Daddy Flew!


For Father’s Day this year I was flippin’ brilliant! The boys and I bought Ian an iFly experience at the indoor skydiving place in Roseville.



We kept it a secret and on Father’s Day took Ian out to a lovely Indian buffet. Then we headed to iFly. There was a pretty long wait time, despite our appointment, but it didn’t matter because we were all pretty excited for him. And we got to see lots of other people try it.



Best helmet!


Like I said, I was feeling pretty damn smug about this gift!


Ian got two 4-minute flights in the air chamber. That sounds very short, but it seems to be quite a workout.


I think it was a big success!

And after all that, we visited my daddy, whom I love with all my heart.


Easter Baskets and Giveaway from A Toy Garden


It’s time to think about building Easter baskets. We’ll sow some wheat grass seeds in our Easter baskets on March 14 or so and let the grasses grow up until Easter Sunday. They make a lovely soft bed for pretty eggs.

Easter Altar

In addition to fruits and flowers, the Easter Bunny always brings a few presents for our boys and I’m looking for the perfect items for this year. I bought two handmade gnomes from Eve’s Little Earthlings on Etsy and they’re awesome. A small bit of chocolate is always in order, but not too much because there’s always plenty of Easter candy at family celebrations.

modelling beeswax on pic 100719 gelcrayonpic

I think we need some new modeling beeswax, since ours melted all together while sitting in a sunny window. And a book for each boy, of course. And shiny metallic crayons.

Here is a little gallery of wonderful items for Easter baskets from one of my favorite toy companies of all time: A Toy Garden. They have so many lovely, open-ended playthings for kids up to about age 12 or 13.

Row 1: Blue Butterfly Wings / Felt Sheep / Wood Bird Mobile

Row 2: Sunprint Kit / The Starry Bird / Flowers and Butterflies Cookie Cutters

Row 3: Eggs for the Hunting / Face Paint Giotto / Sweet Dreams Silk and Flannel Blanket – Rainbow

Row 4:  Colored Twig Pencil Set / Three Wood Rabbits / Rainbow 9” Taper Candles – Set of 2

Row 5: Wooden Eggs / Spring Rabbit Set / The Story of the Butterfly Children

Row 6:  Rainbow Angels Kit / Rainbow Crayons / Toddler’s Serving Set Peter Rabbit

Row 7: Three Spring Bunnies Needle Felting Kit / Ladybugs in a Pot / Blue Fairy Doll

Row 8: Reversible Bonnet / Wood Chicks with Butterfly Puzzle / Felt Rabbit

And now, for the first time, I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY to help you build an Easter basket for your child! A Toy Garden has graciously donated three prizes to three lucky Love in the Suburbs readers. We are giving away a Small Sunprint Kit, a wooden Spring Rabbits Set, and a Rainbow Angels Kit, all of which are pictured above.

To enter please answer this question below in your comments: What is your favorite Easter tradition? Then like both the Love in the Suburbs Facebook page and the Facebook page. Please tell your friends about this giveaway! A winner will be chosen at midnight on Wednesday, 3/13/2013. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sixth Birthday Gift: Lord of the Rings Peg Dolls


My little guy turns 6 in a few days. I’ve been making gifts and planning his party. Here’s a sneak-peek of one gift I’ve made. Shhh! Don’t tell him.




Do you recognize the characters? I’ve painted a set of nine peg dolls to look like the Fellowship of the Ring characters. Gandalf’s hat is made out of sculpey clay. He just didn’t look like Gandalf to me without a hat. I’m pretty happy with these. I need to do a bit of touch up work and then varnish them. Think I should make Gollum, too? I think I might, if I have time.

Another day this week, I’ll share the another gift I’ve been working on.

Halloween Fairy Goodies

Needle-Felted Monster Friends

We have a tradition in our home, and I know we’re not the only ones who do this. After Halloween every year, my children set a good portion of the candy they have collected trick-or-treating in our backyard. We shout into the night, “Halloween Fairy! Halloween Fairy! Come and get our candy sweet. Trade us for a little treat!” And then we go to bed.

The next morning we usually find that the candy has been whisked away, and in its place are small goodies or treasures that our children can play with and enjoy much longer than they could enjoy a sweet.

Some years the Halloween Fairy brings books, sometimes toys. Sometimes the toys are handmade—perhaps the Halloween Fairy has a little workshop where she and some Halloween Sprites make treasures for children? You might be wondering, What happens to the candy? Well, the Halloween fairy left us a note once that explained that she gives all the candy to the Sugar Sprite, who needs help to feed her family. She finds it pretty difficult to gather sweet nectar from flowers at this time of year, so she instead feeds candy to her Sugar Babies to keep up their strength in the cold months. In exchange for your child’s generosity, the Halloween Fairy will leave a small gift for your child to play with.

I’ve done a bit of looking, on the Fairy’s behalf, and I’ve discovered all of these wonderful treasures to be purchased at A Toy Garden. I thought I’d share them with you, in case you can help the Halloween Fairy choose a special treasure for your child. *

Mushroom Knitting Spool  /  Peekaboo Pixies – Orange and Black  /  Blank Book – Set of 4 – Red, Yellow, Green, Blue  

 The Harvest Story  /  Autumn Gnome Set  /  Autumn: A Collection of Poems, Songs and Stories for Young Children

Forest Spirit Wand  /  Treasure Pumpkin Wet Felting Kit  /  Felted Pumpkin Pair

Forest Gnome Family Kit  /  Autumn Garden Gnome Pair  /  Forest Friends Herbal Beanbags

Stacking Gnomes  /  Earthtone Silks  /  Forest Animal Box Set

In a Nutshell  /  Felt Mushrooms  /  Carved Wooden Heart Nesting Bowls

There is something for everyone in this collection (open-ended playsilks, dolls, crafting kits, nature table finds, toys), and far more at A Toy Garden’s beautiful website. I know the folks from A Toy Garden personally and I can assure you they take great pride in sourcing toys, craft supplies, clothing, books, seasonal decorations, dolls and much more from the very finest makers and suppliers around. Many of their products are Fair Trade or made in the U.S.

* Now, here’s a little note from me, the Reluctant and Often Confused Webmistress of Love in the Suburbs: I’ve done the best I can with this technology stuff. If you click a photo, you unfortunately won’t go to the website where you can buy the item. (Trust me, I tried!) To be whisked off to the website item page, you have to click the text link below the pretty pictures. Thanks!

Handmade Birthday Gifts for Asher

Mama-made Alphabet Stones

Today is my baby boy’s fifth birthday. I am over the moon with excitement for him. I live for this stuff, I think. Anyway, over the last several days, I’ve been scrambling to make some gifts for him.

Mama-made Alphabet Stones

I made these alphabet stones for him using rocks from my yard and my paints. I got this idea from a photo I saw on Pinterest, which I believe is originally from this blog. I am grateful for the fun idea. Asher is five, so I don’t know how or if he will connect with these letters yet, but even if he doesn’t, they are still fun to hold and look at. I think manipulating them to make short words will be fun, and that’s all that matters at this age.

Mama-made Alphabet Stones

Each stone has its lowercase letter on the other side.

Mama-made Dragon Hat

Thanks to a lot of help from my mother and her nifty, first-class serger, I made this fleece dragon hat and a matching pair of mittens. I’ve never done anything like this before and the mittens in particular were challenging for me. But a more accomplished sewist (“sewer” just doesn’t look that great even though it’s correct, does it?) would have an easy time of it, I think. I just traced Asher’s hands and made a paper pattern, adding a good 1/2 inch for the seem. I also made the wrist portion wider to ensure that he could get his hand into the mittens. Fortunately, fleece is slightly stretchy and it’s pretty dreamy to sew because it doesn’t fray, so you don’t have to be as nitpicky as with other fabrics. BUT—like I said, we serged these! And my goodness, what a dream of a machine that is! This was the very first time my mama let me touch her serger. (Machines and I don’t always see eye to eye.)

Mama-made Dragon Hat and Mittens

OK, the back of the mittens look best. Anyway, he went off to school this morning wearing them!

Crayon Holder for Asher's 5th Birthday

And finally, here is a crayon holder I made for his brand-new birthday block crayons. We have block crayons in this house, but technically they belong to Lucas. I thought Asher might like to have his own and a special place to keep them safe. (I don’t know if he WILL keep them safe, but with the crayon holder’s pockets he COULD.)

Crayon Holder for Asher's 5th Birthday

This item has 22 wee pockets, with six that are empty now so he could add to it later. And to be honest, I still have to sew a ribbon tie on one end of the crayon holder before I can wrap this up. So, I’d better go do that.

Today is for writing, wrapping, baking a cake, and baking a class set of muffins for tomorrow’s Kindergarten celebration. Tonight we’ll have a small family celebration with Asher’s choice of dinners—Daddy’s stir fry with Chinese noodles.

Happy 15th!

Happy 15th Anniversary to the man who has filled my life with love, laughter, sensation, little boys, and most recently, rainbows.

My Birthday Present

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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