Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Almost Famous

Last week on Facebook, my brother's girlfriend's mother (got all that?) posted a picture from the newest issue of Glamour magazine:
and there, on the bottom right corner of the page is my brother's girlfriend, Francesca, in all her fashion-glory! I was so excited and rushed to my mailbox to see if my magazine had arrived...of course it hadn't...so I had to wait an entire other day to receive it, but I have say, it was worth the wait, Francesca looks ever more fabulous in glossy print than on a pixilated computer screen.  She's all "business on the top and party on the bottom!"

Way to go girl!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Went down a Treat"

Do you know what this means?  I just received a message from a customer in the UK that a necklace she purchased "Went down a TREAT."  I read this and didn't understand it, Did she miss a word in the sentence?  Did the necklace fall off while she was baking cookies?  Did someone accidentally take it while Trick-or-Treating?  So I decided to Google it and here is the definition of the phrase: "It was enjoyed very much." 

Phew, I'm so relieved...

Here's RJ eating 6 cookies worth of cookie-dough...they went down a treat!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meeting Jan Brett

Yesterday, my son and I stood in Wegmans for hours to meet Jan Brett and have her sign our book...it was totally worth it!  She was so sweet and kind (even after signing 205 copies before us), and RJ had so much fun!

RJ and Hedgie

Posing in front of a moose illustration with his book...with a moose illustration

Our big moment (I love how she's giving RJ a nice cuddle)!

Such a wonderful experience! Happy Monday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Our Weekend in Photos

Pre-Soccer Pose

15 powdered-sugar donuts later...at the dentist!?!

Hayride puppy-dog



Post-bonfire Hayride


I clearly have an obsession with photographing my boys with food in their mouths...Happy Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Butterfly Parade

In my son's Kindergarten class, they have been studying the life cycle of Monarch butterflies since the first day of school.  The school orders the larvae(?), grows them, tags them with tiny little stickers as part of Monarch Watch ,a program that studies the migratory behavior of these beautiful creatures, and then sets them "free" by having the children walk through the town (dressed-up as butterflies) with the butterflies on their heads to give the butterflies a "Head Start" on their migratory journey. Here is a very ecstatic RJ:

RJ was so excited about this event that he slept with the black shirt and "cozy" black fleece pants rolled-up in his bed for the days preceding the release...it was the best $10.69 I've ever spent!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Style Me Pretty Feature

I just received a super-sweet message from Amy, one of my customers that purchased the "Fleur de Lis Bridal Bouquet Locket" to use in her wedding. Amy used the locket to hold a photo of her cherished Grandmother who passed away in 2009.  Amy told me that the locket was featured in "Style Me Pretty" magazine (ahhhhh!!!!).  Here is the picture from my shop:
And here are some amazingly artistic and  professional photos from the glowingly-gorgeous-Amy's wedding:

I'm so happy that the locket worked-out for Amy and I'm thrilled that Amy shared this feature with me!

Congratulations Amy and Brett!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Channeling My Inner-Mallrat

Here's some back-story:  We purchased our house from a family who had recently bought and gutted it.  The upstairs bedrooms were the parents' and children's and the downstairs bedroom (now my office) was intended to be used by a grandmother.  That being said, the master bedroom, as well as my office had key-operated locks on it (unlike the other doors which have locks that can be opened with pennies)....which would be fine, however, we don't have the keys for them. "What ifs" occasionally crossed my mind, but I liked the privacy so I always pushed my concerns aside and decided to deal with it at a later date, well, today is that date...

As part of my morning rush, I ran upstairs to get something out of my bedroom.  My door was closed, not highly unusual with a two-year-old who LOVES to slam doors, however, I know for a fact he was on the first floor all morning since waking-up.  I grabbed the doorknob and it was locked. " Holy s-expletive", what am I going to do?  I tried to remain calm but all I could think about was a cat (or four) stuck in there, deciding that since they couldn't get out, they were going to use my bedroom as a giant litterbox.  I ran downstairs and grabbed the thinnest "credit card" I could find...my Loehmann's Insider Card...it wouldn't budge.  And then, it happened, Jay (of Jay and Silent Bob fame) took over my psyche and I kicked the door "Wolvie Berserk" style:
So much for privacy.  Oh well,  it's a good excuse to get the handyman over for a few jobs we have on the "To-Do" list.  And the culprit couldn't be any cuter today, his school picture day.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Huge "Thank You" to my Customers!

Over the past few years, I have reconnected with a very good friend from high school, Merideth.

Here is a picture of us in high school at some "important" Washington, DC landmark

It has been so great reconnecting with her, she is now the responsible mother of 5 beautiful children, a long ways away from our days of hanging out with guys who were too old for us, wearing snakeskin pants and occassionally blowing-off school.  Through our conversations, we spoke about our internet shops, hers being  Carlykins Boutique (I love the name!), where she makes gorgeous high-quality and trendy accessories for girls of all ages.
Here is Merideth as gorgeous as ever!

Merideth recently started a blog and one of her posts was to guess Merideth's favorite animal to win one of her hair clips.  Well, I guessed, however I was wrong (why else would you wear snakeskin pants unless it was your favorite animal?)  Merideth decided to give me a prize anyway!  I was so excited and when she asked me what I wanted, I said I wanted something "fun and girly."  A few days later I opened up my mailbox and was greeted by a gorgeous purple flower clip which is beyond amazing!  From the moment I first put it on, I got millions of compliments (I get at least 5 compliments a day when I wear it).  Look how wonderful they look in the hair:

Don't I look so natural and demure in this pose?

The beautiful Francesca who "needed" this clip.

Family pic, that's right, I'm sporting a blue zebra clip

All these compliments and good feelings gave me a great idea..I knew my customers would LOVE these clips as much as I did and so I asked Merideth if she would sell me some so I could include them as "Thank Yous" in some of my orders.  Merideth was as excited about this idea as I was (and we both still are) so to make a long story short,

All Orders over $50 (not including shipping) in both my Etsy and Personal shops will receive one of these beautiful flower barrettes.

Here are a few of the beautiful clips you may receive (they will be randomly selected):

Happy Shopping and please head-over to Carlykins Boutique where she is donating a portion of all her sales to a really amazing cause, helping 3 orphans come to the US for Christmas.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Day in the Life...

4:30 am - Laying in bed, thinking "I gotta pee, I gotta pee....roll back over and ignore it, hmmm, what should I dream about?"  "I really gotta go, no, no, no, ignore it...okay, I can't ignore it anymore, quickly go to the bathroom and come back to my warm and cozy bed."

4:35 am - "Okay, I went but I can't fall back to sleep."  "Oooh, I have that Sister Wives that I DVRd last night (don't judge!), I could go downstairs and make a hot pot of coffee and enjoy my show with time to spare before the little ones get up."

4:40 am - Downstairs, check the coffee pot to see if it by chance it is all set-up and all it needs is the flick of a switch to "BREW".  No, of course not, but it is already cleaned-out...bonus.

4:42 am - Coffee pot is on, turn on the TV, start "Sister Wives"

4:44 am - Hear a door open upstairs and RJ's feet thumping down the hall.  "Nooo, I must run an interception."  Run upstairs "Hi honey, it's not time to wake-up yet, lets go the bathroom and go back to bed."  I sit on the bathroom stool while RJ empties his bladder (he definitely got my bladder-holding gene).  Sleepy-handsome-man is looking at me and smiling so lovingly - it's too early in the morning for him to tell me everything I've done wrong (don't worry, it'll come).  I smile back lovingly, suppressing the strong impulse to tell him to focus on where he is peeing, trying to avoid looking to see where the stream is landing (I can deal with this during daylight).  I scoop him up and carry him back to bed, telling him to "have one more good dream and then you can come downstairs"...Sister Wives is so close, I can taste it....then I hear, "Mooom", no, ignore it, I'm obviously hallucinating, Charlie could not possibly be up at this hour.  I tuck RJ in and walk back towards to the stairs..."Mommy."

4:47 am - Open Charlie's door, I'm greeted by the biggest smile and the sweetest "Hi Mommy."  I reply "Hi Charlie, it's still night-night time, can I get you some juice?"  "Go downstairs" he replies.  "No Charlie, it's still night time, I'm going to get you some juice." Run downstairs...

4:49 am - Run upstairs, bringing up a cup of uber-diluted juice.  "Eat bread" I hear.  "You want to eat bread?" I reply.  "Yes."  Okay, I run downstairs and grab a piece of bread, a highly unusual move but at the point I'm desperate.

4:51 am - Hand Charlie the piece of bread, "Want butter" he states.  "You want peanut butter?" I reply.  "Yes."  "No, we can't eat peanut butter in bed, I'll get you some peanut butter in the morning." "Okay Mommy."  I turn on his music and go back downstairs and watch some Sister Wives, enjoying my steaming hot coffee.

5:00 am - "Mooom, need nuni"  It's Charlie, he wants more pacifiers - we are in the process of weaning him from them by snipping the tips more and more each day. Today should be the last day.  I grab the last nub from my purse and run it upstairs to him.  "Thank you, Mommy." "Goodnight, I love you, Charlie."

5:15 am - Charlie is still stirring so I hit "Pause" again and run upstairs and bring him down.  I tell him that he can watch a "Mommy-show" with me.  He wants "More Bread."  I make him a piece of bread with peanut butter and set him up at the kitchen table.  He tells me he wants to "Snuggle."  I assure him that we can snuggle as soon as he finished his sandwich.

5:25 am - Immerse myself, once again, in Sister Wives and hot coffee...Quiet....

5:30 am - I hear "Hi Mommy."  Charlie walks over to me with a huge smile, carrying all his cars and juice and this is what I see:
Charlie, wearing his sandwich, in his "Bug Out" pajamas...and I think I just might ;)

5:35 am - Charlie is all cleaned-up and sitting with me, begging to let the cats up (they sleep in the basement, in order to preserve the sleep of the two-legged creatures in this house.)  I beg him not to let them up, I can't imagine having to take care of anything else at this hour.  He is persistent and I figure that they may help entertain him and I will be able to finish watching my show.

5:45 am - The cats are up, Charlie is playing and I'm watching my show, on my fourth refill of coffee.

5:53 am - I hear RJ get up, I quickly change the channel, meet him at the steps and I tell him how proud I am that he was able to go back to sleep, that he looks very refreshed.  He walks into the kitchen, looks at the clock and says "5:53, that's pretty late."  I chuckle " Hahaha, not really."

6:00 am - Decide to blog about my stair-running morning and wonder why "Sister Wives" is never as good as I think it's going to be....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Go RU!

My husband has been a Rutgers Football season ticket-holder since, he was in college...basically since the dawn of time.  Yesterday, we spent an awesome day watching Rutgers dominate Pittsburgh. 
Here's RJ enjoying  a delicious "Red and Black" cookie

Here is the crowd enjoying RJ enjoying the cookie

My handsomes in front of the statue Rob is compelled to touch whenever we leave the stadium


Friday, October 7, 2011

A Case of Genetics

I was speaking with my friend Jamie earlier today and she commented on how much RJ and Charlie look alike.  I hear this A LOT, I mean,  A LOT A LOT!  I decided to look through my pictures of RJ when he was too and compare their photos.  Here is what I found:
Yes, they do look very similar, and yes, I do have an obsession with little men with long hair and bow ties :)

Here are some recent photos of a random "matching" day and a Pre-Halloween pre-party:

Have a great day!
Big Bird, Mario and King Boo

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Future of BTC

First, let me apologize for being so delayed in my blogging.  We have had some recent illness in our extended family and with the new school year starting, I'm so off-schedule, it's ridiculous. 

I have spent a decent amount of time recently, thinking about what the future of Basil the Cat will look like.  Will I continue to grow the business myself?  Will I take on employees other than the ancillary staff that I have now?  Will I eventually sell the company?  If so, who will take it over?  As I don't have any daughters, there isn't a natural progession of this idea with the fantasy of me "passing it down" to a family member, especially considering my sons, as brilliant and amazing as they are, aren't really interested in artistic endeavors. What am I to do?

Flash back (or forward), to a few days ago (actually, at this point, it was probably weeks ago), when a very loyal customer contacted me and said " I wish you could see all the family pictures that my girls draw - in them, I am always wearing my letter "A" necklace." I responded that I would LOVE to see a picture and she sent me this picture (and gave me permission to share it with you).
First of all, I'm not sure how old her daughter is, but she is clearly a very talented artist who obviously thinks her mother is exceptionally beautiful (which I'm sure she is!)  The attention to detail is amazing and her artistic interpretation of this necklace is visionary!  The actual necklace has a small loop at the point of the "A" where the chain runs through (of course I don't have a picture of this because it would make this post too perfect :P ).  I LOVE how she has the chain as an extension of the line across the letter...I may even like it better than the actual necklace.

So this got me thinking, THIS girl is the kind of girl that I need working with me! Please note, the drawing of this necklace constitutes intellectual property and is therefore copyrighted...so don't even think about taking this idea ;)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beadingtimes.com Feature

I am honored to say that my necklace, Sea Foam Cloisonne Locket: http://www.etsy.com/listing/59519635/sea-foam-cloisonne-locket-necklace has been feautured in a beading ezine, beadingtimes.com.  It will be featured in the September issue.  Head on over and check ME out!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Corinne!

You are the best, most wonderful sister in the whole world and I'm so glad we were able to help you celebrate on Sunday!  I wish you many more years of health and happiness!  Have a great day and don't party too hard ;). xoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Customer Shout-Out

This is the beautiful Sara!  This is Sara in front of the photo of the Million Dollar Quartet at Sun Studios in Memphis (she's very fancy). Sara has been a customer (more like a friend) of mine for years now and I've been asking (basically begging) her to show me a picture of herself for a looooong time.  She finally agreed (yay!) and she even let me put it up on my blog!
Thanks Sara, YOU ROCK!! xoxo

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tomato Hornworms

A few days ago, upon daily inspection of my tomato plants, I saw this uninvited guest:

After screeching and gagging, I ran to my computer to investigate.  I found out that this is the larvae of a tomato hornworm that has been parasitized with wasp eggs.  Basically, a wasp layed eggs on this moth larva, slowly destroying it. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize...pretty gross but pretty amazing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Necklace Giveaway

My friend Kelly and I are teaming up for my first ever giveaway.  Go visit her blog: http://www.kellypurkey.typepad.com/ to win a sterling silver initial necklace from my shop: http://www.etsy.com/listing/61963050/teensy-tiny-silver-initial-necklace

This self-portrait (of Kelly) was taken straight from her blog

To enter the giveaway, leave Kelly a message telling her what your favorite accessory is and she will pick a winner by Thursday.  Also, use promo code "Kelly" at my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/basilthecat to get 15% off all purchases until July 31st.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Sweetest Place on Earth

Hershey, PA

We spent our 4th of July Weekend at Hershey...it was soo much fun.  I wanted to share a few pics from our trip:
In the car, on our way, Charlie insisted upon wearing these "sunglasses"
Hershey's bar at check-in
5 minutes later, after RJ devoured his bar (did I mention it was 9pm???)
The most delicious Reese's EVER
The cute train passengers
The ski lift ride I was too scared to go on
RJ and his winnings
Me, The Boys and the "Meow" according to Charlie (in his defense, it does sounds like "Kitty Cat")
Outside ZooAmerica...I love this picture!
The Characters

We had such an amazing weekend, I hope to do it again soon!