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Entries in motherhood (9)


A Go West Mom You Should Know: Kris Pinkerton of Resweater

Kris Pinkerton is a great example of a woman who found a rewarding new career by happenstance.

Kris Pinkerton shows off some of her wool creations, including a hat, gloves, dryer ball and diaper cover.Her son Jack was wearing cloth diapers with plastic diaper covers, but the trapped moisture and heat was causing him to get heat rash. She discovered that wool covers over cloth diapers were a great natural option.

Three years later, Pinkerton now has her own successful online store called Resweater, where she sells old, unwanted wool sweaters to crafty types who make all sorts of cool items from them. She also has a Resweater blog where she sings the praises of wool, shows what you can make from recycled wool, and even has  “Tutorial Tuesdays,” where she gives detailed instructions. (A recent post was how to make a pair of running pants out of a big merino wool sweater.)

Her own products include wool dryer balls, wool & cashmere hats and mittens, and wool and cashmere diaper covers so adorable and soft that you will want to have another baby just to use them.

She does not sell her own products online, but does sell her wares at local craft shows, and you can keep track of her schedule on her Facebook page

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A Go West Mom You Should Know: Ginger Friesen of MealBaby

Ginger Friesen of Naperville used to love watching a show on CNBC called “The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch,” in which Deutsch (an advertising executive) would talk to entrepreneurs. Friesen’s “big idea” came when she was driving to deliver a meal to a friend of a friend who has just had a baby, and she thought, “How could this process be made easier?”

Ginger Friesen, with her youngest son Cash, at Naperville's Centennial Beach this past summer.As a result, Friesen and her husband TJ launched MealBaby, a website with the tagline “Meal registry made easy.” MealBaby is a free service that allows you to easily coordinate the delivery of meals to friends or family who have had a baby, are recovering from surgery or any other life-changing event. (You can also arrange to send gift cards to local restaurants.) The site offers a calendar, options for listing favorite foods, allergies. And then once the registry is complete, you can share it with friends and family. Genius, right?

The couple recently moved into a new house in Naperville with their two boys, Bauer, 5, and Cash, 2. Her husband is the media arts director for Community Christian Church, and he also recently started his own video production company called Community Media.

Read on to find out more about Friesen, 31, her family and how she gave birth to her second son in the front seat of a Honda Civic. And when you read her answers, you have to imagine them said with a warm Southern accent – a remnant of her upbringing in North Carolina. Yes, Friesen is definitely a “Go West Mom You Should Know.”

Q. Can you tell me about the basics of how MealBaby works?

A. Whenever someone has a baby, or has surgery, or if there is a death in the family – any kind of difficult time when you would want to support this person by bringing them a home-cooked meal – you can choose to set up a registry for them on our site. You have to create a user account, it’s all free and really quick. And then you can create a registry. You could actually create a registry for yourself, but most people create one for a friend. Then you go through and you can specify what the occasion is for, you set up a calendar and make dates available for other people to select, you can put in food preferences, what they like, don’t like, allergies, how many people the meal is being prepared for. Then you have the option to select restaurant gift cards – gift cards to restaurants that the person likes.

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A Go West Mom You Should Know: Aurora artist and teacher Lisa Manning

Aurora artist Lisa Lentz Manning has lived in Idaho and California, Italy and Japan, and in addition to creating her own artwork, she’s been involved in teaching or instruction nearly the entire time. But it’s back in her hometown of Aurora that Manning has taken the leap and opened up her very own art studio, where she is offering classes for both adults and children.

Lisa Lentz Manning. Photo courtesy of Nido Art Studio.Nido Art Studio is located on the west side of Aurora, in a charming little brick building. While Manning’s specialties are fiber art and printmaking, she has trained in a wide variety of techniques over the years. Nido offers classes in subjects including ceramics, illustration, cartooning, printmaking and drawing.

Manning, 36, can’t really recall a time when she wasn’t enchanted with creating art. Memories of her childhood including sitting at her family’s dining room table, making projects out of the jumble of art supplies her mom kept in a huge drawer. She was drawing still life pictures at the age of 8, and she loved the box of fabric scraps given to her by her aunt as a birthday gift. She taught herself how to make doll clothes using those pieces, and other female relatives taught her how to cross-stitch and crochet. “I was a more quiet, introverted kid who did quiet things,” she said.

Manning has a bachelor’s of fine arts from St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind., and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Idaho. She has been creating and selling her own artwork for years, most recently a line of clothing for children called Nido Threads that features cute appliqués, tie-dyed tops and skirts, and hand-stiched felt barrettes. Manning does all of the dying, screen-printing, embroidery and appliqué by hand.

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A Go West Mom You Should Know: RN Tobey Bartel

Tobey Bartel is a great example of a woman who was working in her chosen field, a very admirable one, and realized she wanted to be doing something else. Rather than wonder “What if … ?’ the rest of her life, she took the leap and went back to school to become a registered nurse.
Tobey Bartel with her husband Kristopher, son Jacob and daughter Jordan. Photo by Vitella Dennin Photography.Bartel, 35, now works at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and lives in South Elgin with her husband, her 2-year-old son Jacob and 4-year-old daughter Jordan.
Bartel usually works three shifts a week, often involving weekends. Although she sometimes misses out on weekend fun, Bartel likes the arrangement because it has encouraged her husband to become an expert at caring for the children on his own. As a result, Bartel says, her kids have a very close relationship with their dad, who also has a greater appreciation for how she cares for the children while he is at his own job. 
Read on to find out why – if you end up at her hospital – you’ll consider yourself a very lucky patient to have Bartel for your nurse.
Q. Tobey, you went to undergraduate and became a social worker, correct? How many years did you work in social work before you decided you wanted to become a nurse?
A. I have my bachelor’s degree in psychology and then I got my master’s degree in social work. I worked for three years until I decided I want to become an RN and then I worked for two more while I was in school. So I had a total of five years as a social worker and then I became an RN. And I still worked as a social worker after I became an RN. I still hold that license.

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