I’m getting back into handmade!

Caroline-made maggie whitley

So, there’s some exciting news to be shared: I’m re-opening my handmade shop! I’ve been playing around with fabric and metal zippers and suede Caroline-made tags, and it’s been so affirming to have made this big decision. Earlier this week I spent some serious time sewing a new batch of zipped pouches. The entire time I felt totally in my element, and I’m thrilled to be back in the handmade scene.

Caroline-made maggie whitley

There are a few changes though, the biggest being I’ll be the gal behind the sewing machine. There were many years where I had a small team of assistants working alongside me, but after some thought I’ve decided to re-focus my time to sewing and growing my brand personally.

Each new release of product will be sewn in small batches inside our Los Angeles home. We have moved my desk so I’ll be sewing in front of a large window, it’s been perfect and so inspiring. I can’t help but think back on the months I spent sewing when we lived in Detroit. That time reflects the foundation of all the years leading up to this moment, for sure.

When will Caroline-made re-open? I’m hopeful for this week, but I’ll be sure to announce the details here.

Thanks for being so excited with me! What a happy time this is :)

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Life around here…

Maxwell maggie whitley

MAXWELL IS…

– climbing all things climbable

– gathering all the pillows and cushions on the floor so he can jump on them

– practicing, “no thank you, mama”

– fascinated with all the construction sites and fire trucks in our neighborhood

– so good at sharing his toys with Natalie

– loving drinking from a real cup

– singing songs to me (“twinkle, twinkle”, “happy birthday”, and “head, shoulders, knees & toes”)

– eating every kind of fruit

– wanting to take Bauer on walks (alone!)

– asking to go to the beach every day.

Natalie maggie whitley

NATALIE IS…

– basically trying to feed herself (Am I too slow for you, darling?)

– loving our Noah’s Ark toy set

– now taking a bath in the big tub

– very ticklish on her feet & tummy

– eating tiny bites of soft/solid foods

– still napping 2x/day (keep it up, baby girl!)

– “clicking” her tongue to make a new sound

– squealing at the sight of Maxwell

– a proud homeowner of two bunny teeth

– tapping her knee when she gets excited (the cuteness is almost unbearable).

+ + +

It is no small thing when children, who have so recently come fresh from God, love us.

–Charles Dickens

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An easy way to nurse in public.

covered goods maggie whitley

When Maxwell was born it wasn’t just the beginning of my first chapter on mamahood, it was also beginning of a new chapter in my family lineage with nursing. There isn’t much history on either side, but with any luck I was (hopefully) forging a new path. I had a great deal of support alongside me, which I paired with a few key nursing products. Nursing is no doubt a personal decision, and I believe it is one each mother needs to make for herself so she can move forward with confidence by her side.

It took me a while to feel comfortable nursing Max in public. Surely everyone was watching me, I thought, but after a lot of cheering from Zack and a few successful sessions I realized hardly anyone was paying attention. Los Angeles is always bustling with people, and I was hardly standing out. We are an active family, spending a portion of all seven days of the week outside together. Learning how to nurse while out & about was a must.

covered goods maggie whitley

When Natalie was born, I immediately felt like I could navigate mamahood with no problems — but having a few tricks up my sleeve definitely helped. Things like having Max stay in our stroller, making sure he’s had time to run around beforehand, and keeping his tummy full and diaper dry helped me nurse Natalie in public with ease.

She’s been revealing more of her personality with each passing month, and it’s so fun! She is a bit more independent than Max, but just as snuggly and happy. Nursing her in public has been a little more challenging for me though because she doesn’t always like being covered up. She wants to see what big brother is doing, which is why this cover makes nursing in public so darn easy :) This isn’t my first rodeo, and thankfully I’ve developed my reflexes for when she wants to pull it off (or, when I don’t use one at all).

covered goods maggie whitley

One of the products I like to keep in our diaper bag or stroller is a nursing cover from Covered Goods. They feature an “all four sides covered” product that is multi-use for nursing, the carseat, the shopping cart, or as a cowl/scarf. Talk about simplicity.

covered goods maggie whitley

And, as if this product couldn’t get any better for me, each cover is hand cut and sewn in Los Angeles! Love that.

Jamie of Covered Goods is generously offering three readers of the Maggie Whitley Designs community a cover of their choice (US residents only). To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget below. The winners will be selected on Friday, July 3rd and contacted via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for supporting the shops that help support me and my family

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MAKE IT: homemade pizza dough

homemade pizza dough | maggie whitley designs

I’ve found the best version of homemade pizza dough and I can’t wait to share it with you. Think “a tiny bit sweet meets little crispy crunch” on the bottom layer. Pair this recipe with a fancy salad and wine, and dinner is served. (Many thanks to my dear friend, Joanna for the recipe because wow, this recipe deserves to be passed along!)

To begin, dissolve warm water and yeast in a large mixing bowl, then add a teaspoon of white sugar.

homemade pizza dough maggie whitley

Let the mixture sit for about ten minutes. It’ll get all bubbly, will rise a bit, and will smell like a bread factory. Once it’s grown in size you know the yeast is active and ready.

Add the flour, olive oil, and salt. Mix together.

homemade pizza dough maggie whitley

The dough will become extra sticky, so grab a wooden spoon and add it atop a pile of flour on your kitchen counter. Knead it for a few minutes, then form it into a ball.

homemade pizza dough maggie whitley

Place the raw dough back into your mixing bowl, then cover with a linen towel in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes. Your goal is for the dough to double in size.

homemade pizza dough maggie whitley

When it does, knead it a tiny bit more, add some flour if it’s still a little wet. Then, stand back and admire your work :)

homemade pizza dough maggie whitley

You can freeze the dough, put it in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or roll it out to use immediately. Obviously the best choice is the last, however it’s always fun to have some ready-made dough on hand. This recipe yields two pizzas about 12″ in diameter. Cut the dough in half to create two smaller/thinner pizzas, or use it fully for a “deep dish” pizza.

 

HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH (yields 2 – 12″ pizzas)

Ingredients:

1 package of active dry yeast

1 cup of warm water

2 tsp. white sugar

1 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

2-1/2 cups flour

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the warm water & yeast until dissolved. Stir in the sugar.

3. Add olive oil, salt and flour, mixing until fully combined.

4. Add a little flour to the counter (about 1/4 cup) and knead dough for a minute or so, or until it’s no longer sticky. Let it rest for a few minutes.

5. Place dough back in bowl and cover with a linen towel, about 30 minutes, so it can rise. The dough is ready when it’s doubled in size in the bowl.

6. Add about 1 tbsp of olive oil to the bottom of a cookie sheet, use fingers to spread it out. Place half of the raw pizza dough on the sheet, then use your fingers to spread it out evenly so it’s about 1/3″ thick. Or, use a rolling pin! Repeat for the second pizza.

7. Add desired toppings (this is my favorite new recipe), then bake for 20 minutes or until cheese has fully melted.

Enjoy!

PS. Two friends who also enjoy making homemade dough and pizza: Myquillyn and Elise.

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