5 Songs I Loved During Maternity Leave: Part 2

March 30, 2015

As I mentioned in Part 1, I had a lot of time to peruse the internet while I was on maternity leave. My son and I always enjoyed listening to music while I was working on the shop, and we would often find bands and musicians that we had never heard of before through YouTube. I wanted to share with you five songs that I really enjoyed listening to -- and discovered -- while I was on maternity leave back in 2011/12.

I couldn't really tell you how I discovered Marina and the Diamonds. It was probably one of those random moments searching around YouTube, and I just happened to click on it because they thought it was related to some other songs I was listening to. Regardless of how I found it, I'm glad that I did. Marina Diamandis has such a beautiful and original voice, and my son and I enjoyed bouncing around the house to the song Primadonna. I also just found out that she has a new album coming out.



March 27, 2015

He has really gotten into painting this week. He did two very intensive pieces of work while waiting for supper. It has been so much fun watching the evolution of art within him. He has really been concentrating on painting an entire space lately. One night he convinced my husband and I to join him in painting our hands and stamping them on the paper. These are the family experiences I cherish.


Artist Inspired: Megan Carn

March 23, 2015

When I first saw this photo share on the Instagram account of A Beautiful Mess, I had to follow the link and find out where it came from. I was immediately drawn into the beautiful abstract world of this giraffe, and I had to know more. With the tap of a finger, I was instantly transported into the world of Megan Carn, and all of her magnificent work.

I have never encountered paintings of animals created in such an original manner, and it fascinates me that she is able to use so much colour in such an abstract manner and yet her work still looks like what she has intended to create. It really is such beautiful work, and I hope that you like it too.



March 20, 2015

As you well know, St. Patrick's Day was this week, and we celebrated in our household by proudly wearing green. Both my husband and I are of Irish descent, and it has always been an important day for my family. It is such a fun part of my ancestry, and I hope to share that with my son as well.


Preschoolers: Thoughts on Beauty and Imagination

March 18, 2015

I work with 20 children between the ages of 3 1/2 and 6. One of the things that I find most fascinating -- and frustrating -- about those ages is how much they change socially. They go from playing beside each other and fighting over toys, to gossiping about how someone talks or what their hair looks like that day -- please note that these are not always limited to girls as boys are quite capable of gossip as well. 

By the time the girls and boys that I work with enter Kindergarten, they are already well aware of who does not fit in socially, who doesn't play with the right toys or wear the right clothes, and who doesn't watch the correct television shows. They already have the idea of a social ladder and they are only five-years-old. It just blows my mind.

That is why I try my best not to reflect on the clothes that the children wear, and make comments on how it is not polite to make-fun of how someone talks, asking them how they would feel if someone made fun of how they talked. I try to thank them for helping clean up toys that they didn't play with, or I have a conversation with them about a drawing that they just created. I believe that it is important for me -- and parents -- to set expectations for our children on how we want them to treat others, and help them learn to be kind to one another.

If we choose to focus on the positive things that our children do, and celebrate their imaginations and creativity above all else, perhaps we will start them on a path where the things on the surface don't matter as much as they believe they do -- or as much as we believe they do. It's not that beauty is important, of course you need to take care of yourself, but think back to a time when you where celebrated for something that you did and a time that someone told you they liked your dress; ask yourself which one made you feel better? Was it the compliment about your achievement? Mine too.



March 13, 2015
A couple of weeks a go I came home from a work meeting to a little boy that wanted some pie. He had just watched a TV show that talked about "The Great Pie" and he wanted to have one too. I cooked him up an apple pie and he did not enjoy it, but it was fun making a small, impromptu pie. He discovered the cleaned pie plate in the recycling and started sporting it as a hat the other day. I knew that would be this week's portrait. Have a great weekend!


5 Songs I Loved During Maternity Leave: Part 1

March 11, 2015

While I was on maternity leave -- almost four years ago -- I had a lot of time to peruse the internet. One of the things that I discovered was how to use the links on the right hand side of Youtube to discover music that I probably never would have found otherwise. I wanted to share with you five songs that I really enjoyed listening to -- and discovered -- while I was on maternity leave back in 2011.

The first song that I will introduce you to is Banner from Lights. I actually attended a concert of hers while I was pregnant, and, soon after I gave birth to my son, Lights released a new album. I listened to it a lot while I was at home with my son. I love the message that her music sends out, and this one seems to have so much hope to it. Enjoy!


Thoughts on Creativity and Competition

March 09, 2015

This really spoke to me. From a business standpoint there is always competition, but having a great business is also about being creative and standing out amongst the crowd. If you are not looking for a competition amongst other like-minded businesses, then you are probably going to be more successful than if you have negative thoughts about it all and see every situation that you are in as something you must do better than everyone else -- like you must win at all costs. Imagination and creativity don't flow as freely in a negative environment, and they can't be tied down. Do what you do the best that you can -- and even better than that -- and you'll find that you are a true winner.

I sound like a mom. And now that we've talked ourselves into being the best -- and better-than-that -- that we can be, let's conquer Monday!



March 06, 2015
Yesterday was National Book Day, and one of our favourite activities to do together is to go to the bookstore. He loves playing with the Thomas trains while I peruse the books, and then we take a look around the bookstore together. We visited there this weekend, and I found the most adorable book called The Queen's Hat. It's about an adventure that Queen Elizabeth II has while getting ready to have a visit with someone special -- I won't ruin the book, but you should really take a look at it. Have you bought any good books lately -- children's or not?


The Shop: Celebrating Our Fourth Birthday

March 02, 2015
It's been four years since I opened Little Shop of ElleSee, and it's been quite the journey. I have learned so much about how to run a business, and still have so much more to understand. What amazes me most is the evolution of my products and how I photograph them. I owe so much to a lot of other shop owners that I have met through Etsy, and the guidance and inspiration that they have given me. I also owe a lot to you, as you have given me and my shop so much support over the last four years as a customer and as a friend. Thank you for your love of Little Shop of ElleSee. Here's to the next four years of evolution!

The four-year evolution of Little Shop of ElleSee product photography -- this is kind of embarrassing.

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