Perfecting Your Pitch by Providing Repurposed Products of Your Passion

Truly, there is something nostalgic about listening to a ball game on the radio while I sew, paint or write from home. Although I do LOVE attending MLB games (Detroit Tigers in particular at Comerica Park), watching the bulk of the 162 regular season games from my couch at home is preferred.

Being a stay at home momma is a gift. Those precious years before we send our children to school pass by so quickly. Needless to say, my heart, as well as my hands I use to create handbags, canvas paintings and ‘words of art’ via freelance writing, both abide in my home.

The last five years I have pursued countless online employment opportunities. All making little to no money BUT I gained much knowledge in online marketing, SEO, website design, writing…list goes on. I still had this nudge to create my own online business. I knew I could attain it but to do so I had to keep trying and not just give up on it!
For the past year, I went with the ol’ reliable method of reselling items on eBay. Brings a smile to my face to sell new and used clothing items to people for a good bargain. I have focused primarily on women’s/women’s plus size and children’s clothing and have had good success and established myself thus far. Upon purchasing a pair of name brand jeans, I unknowingly bought them with a hole-in the crotch, of course 🙂 There wasn’t much I could do with them honestly so my mind began imagining what I could create from them and gave them a new purpose:

I made a purse, by hand, no sewing machine at all and I still use it to this day. I hesitantly yet more confidently thought “I can do this”…”I can continue to do this from unwanted clothing…”
My creativity exploded and I made a handful of purses repurposed from clothes within only a few weeks time. I of course pulled my sewing machine out for these and haven’t looked back since. I did however, pause. Why?
baseballgripflameAs a pitcher in baseball steps off the rubber on the mound to gather himself and make the next pitch, I decided to continue throwing my cutter fastball (repurposed handbags from unwanted clothing)-you know, stick with what works! However, I decided to add a two-seam fastball to my creative arsenal, creating baseball-inspired handbags in three different styles.

***ONLY LARGE TOTE AVAILABLE CURRENTLY, 2 MORE DESIGNS TO COME!*** (see Etsy store grid on left)

My customers can choose a main navy or red striped ticking material and then a lining color as well, which will also be pockets and top edge trim. I wanted to keep it simple yet customizable; understanding of people’s different likes/dislikes. ( I reserve the right to choose this coordinating design but will be in customer’s color choice) 🙂

Having the freedom to work from my humble abode has it’s home field advantages. Every ‘fastball’ I throw is intended to make an impression. I strive to maintain and improve each part of the creation process and with each product I make. Combining my passion of baseball with my creative outlets of design, sewing, painting and writing is extremely fulfilling.

Thank you for being here as I grow from a rookie online entrepreneur to whatever God has in store for me the rest of this season and hopefully many more to come!

To Shea or Not To Shea Your Hair?

Baseball fans are still buzzing about the newly unveiled MLB  batting practice caps, so I thought I’d keep the rally going and discuss about what lies smashed beneath whatever hat style you choose:

Our hair.

Love Your Hair?

Love Your Hair?

How many of us have cut out photos of various hairstyles we love and excitedly bring them to our stylist hoping she can create the same look for us?  Most likely what draws us to certain styles besides our own personal taste is how healthy it appears.

Perhaps one of your resolutions for the new year is to have longer, curlier, more manageable hair or maybe even adding a colorful tint to your tendrils with a new color.  Regardless of what it is you desire to do, the most important thing is to ensure your hair is healthy.  I suggest bringing your mane to a healthy condition before you do anything else, especially if you’re planning on putting any chemicals in your hair (perms, dyes, etc).

How do you get beautiful, shiny healthy hair?  Naturally. 

Recently I discovered (and tried) various all-natural products for my hair and face.  I truthfully had never put much thought into what the ingredients were in my hair products until last year.  Something about turning 35-years-old had me contemplating  my facial product choices so I began googling ‘natural face cleansers’, ‘all-natural face soap’, etc.  After gathering important factual research (I never purchase anything quickly haha) and reading reviews, I decided upon a particular website that has a store on eBay named Enchanted Waters.  I will share in a future post the facial products I now faithfully use that have made a beautiful and beneficial difference for my face 🙂 Anyways, back to our hair!

An amazing, natural and revitalizing pure ingredient is shea butter for your hair.  Enchanted Waters mentioned above has a 3.5oz Tea Tree Conditioning Shampoo Bar that is FANTASTIC for your hair and contains:

  • Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Soy Oil and Sunflower Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Essential Oils of: Tea Tree and Cajeput
  • Parsley Powder
  • Glycerin
  • Natural Vitamin E

This is pH balanced for all hair types, contain NO harsh chemicals and promises to leave you with thicker, more manageable and shinier hair!  And of course, you can check elsewhere for shampoo bars so here are a few other cautions to be aware of when shopping for shea butter:

FAKE UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER: Hard, green or some awkward color, smells bad, mixed with various ingredients.


TYPES OF SHEA BUTTER:

  • Unrefined: Pure, straight from nature (most expensive)
  • Refined: bleached but has some of it’s original components intact.
  • Processed/Industrialized: Stripped of its natural components. Non natural components like hexane is added to yield more shea butter.

The Tea Tree Conditioning Shampoo Bar mentioned above has shea butter in addition with other natural ingredients.  You can also purchase from other websites pure, unrefined shea which can be used once or twice a week as a revitalizer.  Massage it into your scalp and hair and then wrap with a warm towel for 30 minutes.  It improves hair texture, moisture and growth.  If you’re a swimmer, you can apply it to help protect hair from chlorine and salt.  Shea Butter is a daily moisturizer that has numerous uses:

Stretch Marks, Chapped or Dry Lips, Chaffing, Blemishes, Hands, Cuticles,

Feet, Cracked Heels, Bumps, Massages, Dry, Flaky, Rough & Dull Skin,

Dark Spots, Marks, Minor Scars, Premature Facial Lines, Blisters, Knees, Elbows and More!

Obviously, I cannot say enough positive about Shea Butter and other natural ingredients we can use to enhance our natural beauty.  Give it a try and if you have any questions, comment below or shoot me an email at belleofbaseball@gmail.com.  I would love to hear your thoughts and what hair products you love and use!

So whether you were contemplating purchasing one of the new MLB batting practice hats or not, by creating healthy hair you will not need to wear it to cover up a bad hair day!

Healthy is Beautiful no matter what size and shape you are, remember that!

I am going to cleanse and moisturize my face with the soap and facial moisturizer which I will be sharing with you in a future post so I gotta go!


Close the Lid on the New MLB Practice Caps?

MLBpracticecap

Home Batting Practice Caps

While I am actually glad to move on from the old MLB batting practice cap design (specifically, Detroit’s), I’m not yet certain how I feel about the new caps.  I love the simple English D of course but never cared for the white piping.  At first glance, I cringed and agreed with the C- grade it received from ESPN.  However, the more I look at it, I think it’s growing on me.  Perhaps when I have the opportunity to personally check one out and try it on, I can then fairly give it my personal grade too.

Apparently it’s become expected that teams will get a new hat design every three to four years, though I am uncertain if it’s expected for each of the 30 teams.  One fact I wasn’t aware of  is that the practice caps differ in material from the caps they wear in the games.  These new practice ones do not have a stretchy material in them.   At the very least, the MLB put another item for us fans to shop for which results in more sales from their marketing efforts.  If you’re a Tiger fan, what are your thoughts on the new batting practice hats?

MLBpracticeawaycap

Away Batting Practice Caps

Whether you like them or think they are for the most part hideous, your team will be wearing them!  Will you be?

Check out the other MLB teams batting practice caps too!

2012 ALL MALE TOP WRITERS FOR BLEACHER REPORT

2012 ALL MALE TOP WRITERS FOR BLEACHER REPORT

I’m grateful modern technology brings news to me quicker than little Jimmy once did while riding his bike lugging a load of newspapers and then whipping them into people’s front yards.  I receive instant baseball updates through Bleacher Report directly to my iPhone.  While reading through the latest baseball buzz, my eye caught a headline that read, “MLB Writers Leaderboard 2012”.  Instantly, the headline grabbed me as a writer and baseball fan so I clicked on the link.  I skimmed through each writer to find that ALL OF THEM WERE MEN! (If there’s men reading this, don’t get your jockstrap all twisted, I’m not male bashing, I’m merely making a point that not one female is on this list).  Intrigued?  Yes.  And slightly determined to get myself on that list!  Let me add, I am not certain if there are no female contributing columnists or if they just didn’t make the leaderboard.

Either way, I want to be on that list, haha!

On a sidenote: Did you know can google anything, anytime and from numerous devices, it’s really quite amazing when you think about it-little Jimmy would never be able to pedal that fast.  Just for kicks, I randomly typed in “armpit itch” yesterday while putting this post together.  (No, I have no idea how or why my mind wandered there but perhaps I had been itching my armpit).  I won’t tell you what google found because I know you actually want to do this for yourself…right? hahaha…I’ll wait to continue until you get back!…

Have fun going throbleacherreportappugh the results?  Haha, now you know I’m a bit quirky!  My point is you can have abundant information in front of you quickly.

Anyways, I recommend this Bleacher Report app to anyone with a smartphone.  If you’re on the go often it’s a fantastic way to receive those     sports updates in real time.  I often cannot keep up with my racing thoughts and forget to check on baseball news.  If you have a brain like the one I have been blessed with, it’s difficult for me to remember or record all the creative ideas I get down on paper or into any of my electronic notepads!

Since you can add/delete teams to customize this app, during October playoff baseball my iPhone notifications from Bleacher Report were blowing up my phone!  I had basically added every team in the post season so you can imagine!  Ahh, how I miss baseball!

What a blessing and honor it would be to interview your favorite ball players-what an article I would write!  Someday perhaps, you just never know.  Here’s to hoping!

Future Facelift Plans…For Website

Pinterest.  I love it.  It’s addicting…and the set up and design of their website is brilliant and organized!

This is the future facelift plan I am speaking of!  I plan to incorporate a similar look onto http://www.belleofbaseball.com so we can easily view different posts, photos, videos etc on a one page ‘corkboard’ like Pinterest, keeping the baseball theme with feminine touches.  If any of you have ideas, please feel free to pass them onto me, I’d love to hear them!

This is one of my short term goals, let’s see…I’m going to give myself a reasonable time frame of 1  year to acquire this.  I’m assuming this website will grow in numbers and even if it doesn’t, I’m ok with that; but I have found when you have an obvious passion for something, it’s contagious and people want to be a part of it and grow with you.

Another short term goal I am continuing to work on today actually is linking this site to my brand new Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/shop/HollybelleBags.  WordPress.com blog owners must abide by certain rules regarding links so I am researching and learning how to do this within those boundaries.

My store is open but somewhat ‘under construction’ as I’m establishing my shop design,  information, as well as adding items for sale.

I will be selling handbags in 2 different categories: Upcycled and Baseball-Inspired New Bags.  Inventory I am currently posting are all upcycled handbags which means they have been created into purses, totes, handbags from clothing no longer being worn.  The baseball inspired handbags will have 3 different styles/sizes to choose from-I have nearly completed the second purse design to share with you soon!  When I have 3 finished handbags of each design/style, I will post them for sale as available on Etsy and will share them here as well.  From that point on, I will create purses as I wish in my free time and they can be ‘made to order’ (customer places an order, then I create one for them but not customized).

Anyways, thank you for being here now and growing together.

I have to go for now, I have a 3-year-old that wants to play Legos! 🙂

Giving Our Kids a Reason Why Other Than ‘Because I Said So’?

Do you remember when your children asked “why?” after darn near everything you told them?  Or perhaps you are going through this stage with a child now, haha?  Regardless, when they ask why, do you give them an answer or a reason why to their questions?  We tend to answer them (as patiently as possible) after each of the 17 “whys” when they are young yet when this stage passes we tend to forget our kids still might want to know why even though they don’t ask.  I believe explaining helps when you discipline them and when you set household rules you expect to be followed. 

I have two kids, an 11-year-old boy and a 3-year-old daughter, and I’m certain my son at least would tell you his Momma isn’t perfect. The reason I say this is because I am honest with my kids, I admit my failures to them (as much as is appropriate for their ages) and we talk about them.  I strongly believe this helps them to deal with failures of their own. Obviously, when I discipline my son I go about it differently than when I correct my daughter due to their age differences, but I have also come to realize that I approach the genders differently.  My children each have a sensitive side and both also relate well to humor-and I use this even as I’m scolding them.

We don’t have to teach our kids to be naughty, ever notice that?  For some reason, my son, as a toddler was a laid back little boy.  Seriously, I rarely had to punish him, it was crazy!  My little girl on the other hand is a bit more ‘curious’ and tends to put caution aside, getting herself into trouble.  I understand curious kids and all but I can recognize when naughty is just naughty!

So what do you do? How do you get your child to listen to you? How can you get them to respect you enough to understand that no means no?  Well for one, this is a process.  Your kids of course will forever be testing you to see if no, indeed, means no.  I can’t wait for the eye rolling teen years!

I enjoyed being a youth sponsor in my local church for several years.  Since these adolescents were not my own children, I (usually haha) wasn’t the target of any of their eye rolling and muttering under their breath.  However, we did play a ‘parent ‘ role in their life, at least an authority role.  Through experience which led to wisdom, I had a life-changing moment when I realized something:

These teens were actually ok with being told yes and no to things in life by authority WHEN THEY WERE TOLD WHY.  In fact, they WANTED to know the reasons to why their parents had the rules they had and why we as youth sponsors set certain rules as well.   Doesn’t mean they always agreed but they seem to respect that there were reasons other than “because I said so”.  Preteen and teens are going through life deciding what is truth in their lives at this time.  Do these truths change?  Yes certainly, but I believe at this time in their lives they lay the groundwork for who they are, what they believe in…and to be told why so they can then relay why they believe what they believe-powerful.

Going back to my own kiddos, I have put this to practice when disciplining them.  For example:

Loving my dog

Loving my dog

To keep it simple, we’ll use my 3-year-old (explaining and discussing reasons to an older child are obviously more detailed haha).  The other day, I caught my daughter yankin on our dog’s tail.  I love animals, dearly and on purpose or not, I just can’t handle it when kids do things like that to them and I don’t tolerate it.  I quickly said no firmly.  She backed off, some. However, she went right back at it not even 5 minutes later.  I gave another warning, firmer this time.  You see, she has been told “do not play with the dog’s tail” a handful of times.  I think sometimes I figure if my voice is louder where I’m nearly yelling it or are yelling it, that’ll work and she’ll back off.  Not.  This last time I told her, I sat her down on my lap and said again, “no, I said leave it alone.”

Then it dawned on me!  Explain why, give her a reason!  Maybe she wasn’t understanding what a dog’s tail even was.  Could be that she was just being naughty and yankin on her tail was fun.  Ok, regardless, I decided to try giving a reason to see what happened from here on out.

I gently said, “Sweetie, that hurts Lucy (dog) when you do that, she will cry and say ouch.”  Then I took my daughter’s arm and kinda pulled on it, then pulled on it harder and asked her, “see that can hurt huh?”  And she looked up innocently at me with a scrunched up face and I smiled.  Removing her from my lap, I went over to Lucy and held her tail (I’m sure she was thrilled about this haha) and tugged a little on her tail, still tugging my daughter’s arm.  I repeated, “see, this is your arm and that’s Lucy’s tail, we have to be careful and be nice.”  I watched her as she observed and tried to soak in this lesson Mom was teaching her and smiled again.  I asked her to please give the dog a hug and say you’re sorry.  She did so and even gave her a kiss.

I’m happy to report, as is Lucy, that there have been no tail-pulling incidents since this time.  Can I credit it to giving my daughter a reason we will not pull the dog’s tail?  I don’t know, but I know she’s not doing it anymore.
Perhaps we as humans need to know the why, the reason(s) behind an authority figure in our life says no to something?

On the flip side, I also believe it’s beneficial to be told the reasons behind a yes answer as well.  Some are common sense reasons of course though you might be surprised how many people are running low on common sense!
This was a breakthrough for me years ago and it’s a practice I still implement today.  I try my hardest to not use ‘because I said so” to my children.  Admittedly, an earlier bedtime after a stressful day though could very well get that answer!
Well, gotta go folks…why? Because I’m hungry! : )