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Life Lately & Saying Aloha to 2018

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It’s so hard for me to believe that we’re already well over a week into 2018! Things have been quiet here on The Artisan Life over the holidays, but now we’re home from the Mainland and ready to get back into a more regular routine (or, at least, as regular of a routine as possible with a new baby!) Today it’s time to play catch-up and share a bit about the last three weeks and a little look ahead to what 2018 has in store for The Artisan Life and my Etsy shop.

Traveling with LG was simultaneously easier and more difficult than I expected. We don’t use an infant carrier-type seat or a stroller, which meant we didn’t have to worry with lugging these items through the airport. That part was pretty nice! Unfortunately, our first flight from Hawaii to the Mainland experienced a lot of turbulence so we had to stay in our seats much of the time. Our LG loves being walked around so she wasn’t always happy with staying in our seats! We also had to keep her in a sling, usually the K’Tan, instead of having her in our laps because it was more secure for her while there was turbulence. She loves her slings and naps in them quite well, but she also loves her floor time and wiggling so it was more time confined than she enjoys. On the way back she had more freedom and was so super sweet the entire trip. It was probably actually her least fussy day ever, which made a long trip more bearable.

I’m so glad we traveled with our baby in slings (we tend to alternate between her K’Tan and this ring sling) instead of a stroller. Getting our luggage, even when we were down to only carryon items, through the airport was difficult enough. I can’t imagine doing it with a battleship-sized infant carrier system, too! Additionally, our LG is just about the only baby who hates being in a carseat/strapped into things so she probably would have screamed the entire time in a stroller. My Brest Friend nursing pillow was also key to a successful trip with baby. My husband and I kept swapping the pillow back and forth so she’d always have a “large,” soft surface to lie or be held on. It made our lap the same height as the arm rests so we could then put a blanket across the entire surface and give her somewhere to play around a bit. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, I can’t recommend the My Brest Friend pillow enough for flying with an infant in arms.

Like both her parents, LG was totally exhausted by the trip and ready to sleep a lot after arriving in South Carolina. After that first night her sleep schedule was way off while she adjusted to the time zone change, but since it was vacation we were able to sleep in somewhat to make up a bit of the difference. For the first couple of days back home the time change has worked in our favor and she’s currently going to bed and waking earlier than before, which is exactly what we want. Fingers crossed that we can make the change stick!

LG was a very lucky girl who received lovely, thoughtful Christmas gifts from family and friends. Hand knits, mini play silks, wooden toys, and a couple adorable onesies from Etsy shop Bitty and Boho were waiting under the tree for her! She also received a couple of absolutely perfect books from a family friend and a lots of new clothing from her Miami abuelos. I’m excited for her to grow into an adorable 3 month size black and white panda dress and a 9 month size owl shirt/pants set from her Miami family!  Her new things were all thoroughly play tested by my mom’s “helpful” indoor cat.

The weather in South Carolina was unusually cold during our visit. Although we didn’t see snow, parts of the state (mostly along the coast) received several inches that stuck around for days due to freezing temperatures. Although it was warmer in SC than many other parts of the country, nighttime lows in the teens and highs in the 30s several days made us happy to cozy up by the fireplace! The weather helped our trip feel special because it was so out of the ordinary for us. This time of year the temps in SC could have easily been 60s/70s, which wouldn’t have felt as different and special. Again, the K’Tan was very helpful because we were able to keep LG close and warm on walks.

As usual, we did LOTS of craft store shopping while on the Mainland. My Etsy store has been largely inactive since early October (I have about a half dozen printables for sale), but I’m looking forward to gradually reintroducing items for sale. In the coming weeks I’ll be launching a new line of knitted bracelets – look for more info on them soon! We went to the local Hobby Lobby three times and made sure to take advantage of the 40% off coupon you receive each week with their free phone app. I was surprised to learn Hobby Lobby actually has an app, considering they don’t even use barcodes. If you shop at Hobby Lobby and don’t already have the app, get it!

Our flight home was bittersweet, in a way. Hawaii is beautiful, but it’s also time for us to leave soon. I know part of me will always miss living in Hawaii, but we’re excited to move to the Mainland in a few months. We look forward to being closer to family, the space/affordability, and working on the family property in WV that I’ve mentioned so many times. Shopping after returning home was a real wake up call after time on the Mainland – a 10 oz package of spring mix was $7.99 at the Commissary and gas was over a dollar more than what we’d paid the previous day in SC. It was strange to think that this might be our final trip to Hawaii, so I had to take photos out of the window when we flew over the neighbor islands.

Now that the holiday season is over, I can blog about a few projects I’ve been itching to share but couldn’t because they might have spoiled some surprises. A look at a Craftsy class, faux-ceramic gift tags, and naturally dyeing with cabbage are all on the slate for early 2018!

We’re also very much looking forward to attending Promoting Passion 2018 in early October in Joshua Tree, CA. Longtime readers may remember that I attended Promoting Passion 2016 and had a wonderful experience. This time my husband will also be attending and we’re stoked! If you’re a creative, I encourage you to check out Promoting Passion. It’s such a wonderful place to find your ‘tribe’ and be inspired.

Additionally, in summer/fall of 2018 we anticipate launching a second Etsy store with an entirely different vibe and theme. My husband and I will be working together to create wooden baby furniture and children’s toys, so expect to see more about this project in a few months.

2018 will be full of changes and challenges for our family, but we are all very excited about the year ahead. I hope you’re excited about the new year, too, and that it’s off to a great start for you!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, The Artisan Life will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!


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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Edi January 10, 2018, 11:47

    So glad you had a great visit! Hard to believe you’ll be leaving Hawaii soon!! Lots of changes 🙂

    • Natasha January 10, 2018, 15:11

      What I can’t believe is how long we’ve been in Hawaii! I’ve only lived in one other home as long as I’ve been in our apartment here.

  • Julie January 10, 2018, 19:06

    Welcome home! Glad to hear you had an awesome Christmas/NY!! Every time I go back to the States, I’m still so shocked by how “cheap” everything is. Sigh. But then I realize certain things are way more expensive in the US – flights and hotels. But yeah, it will be nice to be closer to family. That is definitely weighing in on my mind as I think about what 2018 has in store for me.. Glad you got to stock up on craft supplies!! When do you guys PCS out of Hawaii?

    • Natasha January 10, 2018, 19:44

      You have a very long trip to get back to your family! I’ve flown Newark -> Narita twice and it’s my least favorite flight ever. Do you usually go through Japan, or is there some other way that’s easier?

      We’ll be moving from Hawaii in early May. My husband is leaving active duty but will be going directly into the Reserves.

  • BeadedTail January 11, 2018, 12:07

    I’m glad you all had a wonderful holiday with smooth travels! Sweet photos of LG and her daddy! Your mom’s kitty is cute too! The sling does sound like it’d make things easier. What will you use when she gets too big for that if she doesn’t like to be strapped into things? Strollers are getting so big these days. We dodged plenty in Disneyland! Anyway, I’m glad her first Christmas was so special. Enjoy your remaining time in Hawaii!

    • Natasha January 11, 2018, 13:29

      Theoretically her current carriers are good until 35 pounds. I don’t really see myself using it with her then, though! Hopefully she’ll either be more tolerant of straps or capable of walking herself places by the time we need to stop wearing her. I think she’ll really enjoy front-facing and back carriers once she’s old enough because she really enjoys taking in the sights.
      Earl Grey is a very fluffy and friendly kitty. His one major character flaw is that he loves to steal articles of clothing and drag them around the house! He’s a small cat and he can even manage to haul adult sweaters around.

  • Sarah January 12, 2018, 10:06

    Glad you had a great holiday time and are looking forward to the move. I bet you’ll miss the sunny skies of Hawaii a little though. It looks like paradise to me!

    • Natasha January 12, 2018, 13:21

      It is beautiful, but it is also quite expensive and takes forever to get anywhere else. Now that we have a baby we’re looking forward to being nearer to family. I know part of me will always miss Hawaii and will be glad I’ve lived here, but it’s also getting time for a change!

  • Janice January 29, 2018, 12:48

    How do I sign up for your blog?

    • Natasha January 29, 2018, 17:40

      You should see a box at the bottom of the post where you can sign up. It’s below the post but above the “related post” thumbnails. Please let me know if it isn’t appearing for you!

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