Monday, July 30, 2012

Moving Up in the Bicycle World

I love to ride my bike.  I think as far as physical activity goes, it has been my one constant.  For years I was a runner and a kick boxer.  I have been an off and on roller skater, ice skater, and a whiz on roller blades.  I have tried yoga, aerobics, hustle aerobics, fencing, and Jazzercise.  In college I took badminton and my team was known at the "Fearsome Foursome."  Kevin and I non-dated through a season of tennis and badminton.  But, biking...well you just can't get much better than the feeling of cruising around on two wheels.

My first bike was of course a little red trike.  I think most of us started out on a red trike in the 70's.  Was another color even manufactured?  But, I finally got some freedom when my parents bought me a groovy Schwinn with a banana seat and streamers.  What a way to ride!!!  While I do have some pictures, unfortunately I do not have a scanner.  But, this is what that first taste of freedom looked like.
Great memories of that old bike!
After I outgrew that white bike, I used my mom's yellow three speed and my dad's 10 speed.  For my 12th birthday, I got a brand new blue, Huffy 10-speed.  Loved it.  When I turned 16 years old, I got a Huffy mountain bike.  Who needs a car when you can have a bike?!?!  That bike was my trusty friend all through college until some schmuck stole it, probably for the new tires.  So, I upgraded to a Schwinn which is still owned by my brother.  So where am I now in the bike world?  Why am I writing this?  Next paragraph please.

Ten years ago I scrimped and saved for a new bike.  I wanted a lighter weight mountain bike.  Then I found my Trek 4500.  The bike served me well.  Because I was young and single, I would bike a several days a week at Kensington Metro Beach.  My bike even served me well on a few bike tours.  Then I started grad school, then I got pregnant, then the bike acquired a baby seat.  I have loved my bike.

Trek 4500 - 2002 excellent condition.
But now I must sell my old bike.  Why you ask?  Because at 38 years old I now have an old body.  Arthritis and degenerative disk disease make riding my current bike for a long periods of time uncomfortable.  Due to limited storage space, I cannot get a new bike until I get rid of my old bike.  Yes, my husband sets out a lot of rules regarding the way we live.  So, if you are in the market for a used bike, please click out this link.  Because I have my eye on a cruiser.  A bike that rides with comfort in mind - my feet will be flat on the ground when I stop and the seat is actually more suited to the size my my rear end.  

Yes, like most of my posts, this one is longer than it needs to be.  Basically, I am selling my bike.  If you need a bike and live in Michigan, let me know.  I love my bike and it needs a good home.  Once my Trek has found a new home, I have only one decision left to make: Purple or Tangerine??????

Purple Townie - my children like this one.

Tangerine Townie - this just looks like a happy bike.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15 = 715 Pillows Day

One year ago today, I got an unexpected e-mail.  An e-mail that would inform me that I was getting laid off since the law firm I worked for was closing.  Well, that was a bummer!  I was working part-time.  Splitting my hours between the office and working from home.  It was a great gig.  I was upset, angry, and depressed.  I liked getting out of the house.  I liked the extra money.  While I was a little upset, my family was excited that I would be not have to work on the weekends, something I had been doing since Mimi was six months old.  With the news of the layoff, I had to decide what to do next.  Working on the weekends was become more and more inconvenient.  Kevin was travelling more so working at night was becoming inconvenient.  Working part-time during the day had draw backs because both kids still needed some form of daycare.  (Mimi was in school for half a day.)  It is not that I am opposed to daycare but it would suck up too much of my income to make it worth the effort.  Plus, MOST of the time, I enjoy being home with my kids.  But, I still needed something for myself.  But, it would be another month before Kevin and I dreamed up this darn pillow thing.

So, in celebration of one wonderful year out of work, I want to celebrate with all of you.  There will be a coupon code posted on 715 Pillows Facebook Page - click here, (You might as well like this page because I have some fun contests planned for next month.)  This code will be expire on July 20, 2012.  You can use this coupon to receive 15% a pillow order.  Admittedly, stock is getting low, but I will be sewing a good chunk of the day so that I can update my shop.  So, if you are in need of a throw pillow, please consider me.  If you are in need of slice of cake and scoop of ice cream today, please consider taking a bite in honor of 715 Pillows.  Hey, I will take any excuse I can get to eat cake!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Working Vacation Was Foiled by Fun!

Good Intentions

Friday night - June 29:  Hubby and I hang out in the basement cutting fabric and packing up sewing supplies.  

Saturday night - June 30:  After spending a wonderful night watching the fireworks in Lake Orion with friends, Hubby and I are busy with last minute packing.  Sewing machine along with box of material and notions make its way into the living room.

Sunday morning - July 1:  Two adults, two kids, vacation gear, and sewing gear was loaded into a very tiny Scion xd.  This was the first vacation with my beloved red car that we felt the car might be to small for our needs.  When the girls were not fighting, they were sleeping.  You see, they also saw the fireworks the night before.  Yes, there was a lot of crankiness.  However, because they spent so much time snoozing, Kevin and I were able to talk about pillows.  I am definitely not going to invest in paying a marketing company right now.   While I am having fun, this needs to really develop into something that is more than a hobby.  Kevin and I discussed how I would most likely have time to sew AND blog on this trip.  I even had an awesome idea of taking pictures of my pillows with the lake as a backdrop.  Oh, I was also going to write descriptions for my Etsy listings.  A real working vacation, like a real working person.    


The reality of a vacation is rarely the ideal vacation.  That being said, the week was not a disaster but maybe not completely as planned.  Like I said, we started the vacation with two kids suffering from a sleep deficit and uncontrollable excitement.  Which means there was crankiness on and off all week.  On our way to Brevort, Michigan we stopped at a rest stop to eat our picnic lunch.  As we stepped out of the car, Mimi lost her second tooth.  Good thing she always packs her tooth fairy pillow made by 715 Pillows.  Now, a visit from the tooth fairy pillow is an exciting way to start a vacation.  We spent the week at the beach, Mackinaw Island, Mackinaw City, flying kites, playing at a splash pad.  Kevin and I even went on a date to a water park...without kids.  Monday afternoon, my kiddies took a much needed nap, I sewed two pillows.  Two whole pillows.  I thought I was off to a great start.  Then my brother, sister-in-law, and my baby niece arrived on Tuesday.  Yeah, my working vacation was over.  I was officially on vacation.  

What a Vacation Looks Like

Me riding a pink cruiser on Mackinaw Island.
Kevin got lapped by a child.  Since I was riding along with him I guess I was lapped,  too.
The girls playing on the beach and pirate hunting.
I did find some locally created throw pillows for sale on Mackinaw Island.
It is always good to size up your competition.  
The family!  
 The Aftermath

Now I am home, laundry is washed (not folded), house is clean, and the pantry is stocked.  I am not caught up on my sewing projects or upcoming blogs.  But, since my current situation can be loosely described as self-employed, I guess it is okay.  Besides, if this was in your backyard everyday would you want to work?  I think not!  
View from my parent's condo!

My parent's beach! 
Brevort!  !