Monthly Archives: September 2011

I AM…A Rag Rug Weaver

•For more “I Am…” stories, click here!

•Do you or someone you know have a story that could inspire other women?  We would LOVE to feature you!  Email us at


Filed under I AM..., Stories

Guilt Trip

We’ve been on a few trips in our life and we would have to say, this is the one we enjoy the least.  In fact, we don’t think we could use the word “enjoy” at all, because quite frankly guilt trips are down right TorMenTiNg.

In the last week we have been talking about this IsSuE not just with each other, but with other moms.

The discussion goes something like this, we feel GuiLtY because it seems that we are “riding” our kids non-stop, constantly having to correct them, instruct them, discipline them, etc.  When we look at our husbands who seem to just get to enjoy the kids, then comes the guilt.  “My husband gets to have all the fun.  I do all the correcting.  I’m not a good mom because I should be playing with my kids.  I feel like I am always nagging my kids.”

The truth is, as mom’s we all have DiFfeReNt GiFtS.  For some moms, playing with their kids may be what naturally flows out of them, for others, maybe it’s nurtuing.  Maybe you love cooking with your kids or reading to them.  Both of us are very loving with our kids.  We love to cuddle with them.  It’s what comes natural to us and as a result, it’s what we do the best at.  When they are sad, its mom they come running to.  However, instead of FoCuSinG on our strength as mother’s we focus on the area where we are lacking.  The result:  Guilt.  We know better, but we do it anyway.   Ugh!!

When we think back to our childhood neither of us remember our mom’s playing with us.  Ever.  However, we both have very FoNd MeMoRiEs of our moms.  They were a very safe place to land – LoViNg and wArm, SeCuRe and sAfE.

So if you’re feeling guilt, ask yourself if it is self-imposed.  Sure, there are times we know we should do better, but guilt goes so beyond this.

If you’re struggling with guilt, take a good look at why.  Is there a change you need to make?  If so, make the change, but then give yourself a break and enjoy your kids by focusing on the things that come NaTuRaL to you.


~Robynn and Lara~

Check out a similar post by Lara called “Mommy Guilt” by clicking here.


Filed under Inspiration, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA


We would like to introduce to you, RoByN CaRuSo.  She has been a guest writer for us and starting TODAY, she will be a regular writer on the Suede Sofa.  We are excited about her joining our team!  Robyn will be writing on WeDneSdaYs and on the weekends from time to time.  Her posts will be signed “JeRsEy GirL”.  Here is her story:

Jersey Girl

Growing up in the suburbs in New Jersey I had three goals:

  1. Be a high school cHeErLeAdEr (as corny as that may sound)!
  2. Teach 1st grade
  3. Be a sTaY-aT-hOmE mOm

Although the road to success wasn’t easy (see my Suede Sofa I Am…A MOM…FINALLY post). Check, check, check…I did it!

So now what do you do when you are in your early 30’s, living your dream, but have no new goals in mind?  That’s just about when Lara and Robynn came into my life and got my CrEaTiVe wheels turning!

An avid EtSy shopper, I met Lara simply because I was constantly purchasing blocks from her Letter Block Shop.  Reading about her success was enough to jump start my own Etsy shop, RoByN’s NeSt.  I have always been crafty and opening up a small business has proven to be a rewarding experience in so many ways.

Next…in comes Suede Sofa.  My blogging began with my I Am post and shortly after Lara and Robynn asked me to be a guest writer.  My FriEndShip with Lara and Robynn is unique in that we’ve never met.  What’s stopping us?  How about the fact that there are five states between us! We’ve recently set a goal to somehow meet within the next FiVe YeArS; until then there’s always email, texting, and of course the Suede Sofa!

I currently live in VeRoNa, NeW JeRsEy a small suburb about fifteen miles outside of New York City with my husband Rob.  We have two children named Nicholas and Abby. Nicholas is ALL BOY and keeps me on my toes!  Abby is a GIRLY GIRL and oh do I love her to pieces!  Before having my children I was a first grade teacher for 8 years.  Sometimes I think teaching a classroom full of 1st graders may have been easier than being a stay-at-home mom; but I wouldn’t trade it for the WorLd!

Thank you for letting me share my life with all of you!

Visit my online shop

~Jersey Girl~


Filed under New Jersey Robyn

What a Relief!

Don’t you appreciate it when someone is completely HonEst with you about a situation you have been secretly struggling with?  As soon as they open up, you immediately think, “What a relief!  I thought I was the OnLy oNe dealing with that!”

When you get in those situations, do you return the FaVor by opening up to them, or do you AcT like you can’t relate because you don’t want to admit your faults in fear that it could ruin your reputation of appearing PerfecT?

You can’t expect to GaiN a lot from others if you aren’t expecting to open up with them in return.  People that open a door and “hear crickets” are likely to not open that door again.  So next time someone ShaRes a deep thought, at the very least, show empathy or appreciation for their honesty.  ExPress to them that their openness helps you with your own personal struggles and gives ComFort in knowing that you are not the “only one” that goes through stuff like that!


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Filed under People, Relationships

Use The Resources You Have

If you’ve been following our blog you may have seen me talk about dealing with an “All-Or-Nothing” mindset.  I struggle with this thinking and am diligently working to change this crazy TrAiN Of ThouGht.  Here is one thing that is helping me out a GreAt dEaL.  I recently have adopted the thinking, “Use The Resources You Have”.  I actually say this to myself and Lara & I talk about it often.  This gives me “PerMisSiOn” to continue on even when the situation is not “PeRfEcT”. 

So what, that I’ve MeSsEd uP, had a rough day, got off to a bad start or things just aren’t going like they are suppose to go?  I ReFuSe to have the mindset, “May as well throw in the towel for today.  I’ll start again tomorrow.”  I won’t mess up the rest of my day with that notion.  Instead I’ll use the resources I have.  In this case, it is the ReSt oF tHe DaY – completely free of mistakes and disappointments.  Who knows what good thing may be just around the corner?

What are you lacking in?  Time, inspiration, money, education, energy, health, a good childhood, etc.  It really doesn’t matter.  What matters is what you Do HaVE. 

I don’t know if this advice will help you, but it sure has helped me.  Do I have this MaSteReD?  No, but I’m a work in progress.  A LittLe At a TiMe.



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Filed under All-Or-Nothing


HI Suede Sofa readers!

Bare with us as we may look like a couple of Geeks while we figure out how to run a video on our smartphone :)  Check out our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

~Lara and Robynn


Filed under Live-It List, RANDO•RAMA, Videos


I found this ChAiR left out for garbage on the side of the road and decided to refinish it into a FloWeR PoT HoLdEr.  When I found the chair it had a brown stain.  I spray painted it with a DaRk rEd color to match my house and then got to work.

I drew a CiRcLe in the middle of the chair that would be big enough to fit my flower pot without it falling through the hole.

My HuSbAnD (and sOn) drilled a hole through the wood and then used a saw to cut the circle out for my flower pot.

Now that my hole was finished it was time to make sure the FloWeR pOt would fit.


For only the CoSt of PaiNt…I now have an AdOrAbLe addition to the front of my house that I can use season after SeAsOn!

~Guest Writer Robyn, From New Jersey

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Filed under At Home, DIY, New Jersey Robyn, RANDO•RAMA


•For more “I Am…” stories, click here!

•Do you or someone you know have a story that could inspire other women?  We would LOVE to feature you!  Email us at



Filed under I AM..., Stories

Red Wine Vingar Salad Dressing

Want a new and RefreshIng spin for your salad?  You must try this homemade salad dressing!  It is super easy and a crowd pleaser!


1/3 C. Red Wine Vinegar

1/3 C. Olive Oil

1/3 C. Sugar

Pecans (throw them on a pan in the oven for a few minutes to enhance the flavor!)

Strawberries (or really any type of fruit–mandarin oranges, blueberries, etc)

Lettuce (I like using the prepackaged “spring mix”–it is much prettier–but this is all I had on hand the other night!)

Combine the sugar, oil and red wine vinegar and bring to a boil.  Then place it in the fridge to cool.

Pour the dressing in a bottle and always shake it well before serving!  EnJoy!



Filed under RANDO•RAMA, Recipes

Most Valuable Player

A month or so ago I had the opportunity to speak to a group of CoLLeGe students about following their DrEaM and fulfilling their PoTeNtiaL.  I took this trophy along and told them how I had wanted so badly to be named the MoSt VaLuAble PlaYer in BaSkeTbAll my senior year of high school.  Instead, on awards night, I took home the “BeSt DeFeNsE” trophy.  Defense always was my best asset.  Still, it was a disappointment, even though I knew that award of Most Valuable rightly belonged to another PlAyEr.

The point I made by bringing this trophy along for my talk was that each person is the “Most Valuable ____________ (Fill in YoUr NaMe in the  blank)” there is.  There never has and never will be another person with the combination of GiFtS, TaLeNtS, teMpeRmEnt, and PerSonAlity that you have.

The question is:  are you the best “YoU” that you can be or are you trying to be someone else?  We do a lousy job of trying to be someone else, but when we fulfill our potential we become a truly UnIqUe oRiGinAl.  If you are looking at others wishing you were more like them in LoOks, pErsOnaLity, tAleNts, etc, LeT iT Go!  You were created for a unique PuRpoSe.  There will NEVER be another you, so sit back, EnJoY yourself and take a load off your ShoUldErs wishing you were someone else!!




Filed under All-Or-Nothing, Inspiration, Inspire, Life