Monday, March 29, 2010

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

Sometimes in life you're awarded moments of pure awesomeness. Like these. . .

*Kirsten correctly identified The Beach Boys in the car the other day. It made me so happy, you don't even know!

*Enjoying sunny spring days at the International Fountain in Seattle. The only cooler fountain I've ever seen is outside the Bellagio in Vegas. Kirsten was mesmerized!

*Walking into Albertson's and unexpectedly finding Grandma Sycamore's HomeMaid Bread. Hold the phones! That was the only kind of bread we bought when we lived in Utah, but until this week I had NEVER seen it for sale anyplace else. And now they sell it here in Washington!!! We are beyond thrilled in this house. It's seriously the BEST bread ever, and the only bread I will actually eat plain, by the slice. We've been savoring it ever since I found it!

*Getting royally rained on at the Woodland Park Zoo. Yep. Rained on.

*Going to see the penguins in the rain.

*Owls are just pure awesome. Rain or shine.

*Getting face to face with a monkey! Kirsten thought the monkey was sad, and asked why he was crying. Aww. He did look pretty sad.

*Spending time with my two little monkeys.

*When this little baby laughs so hard she almost falls over. It's hilarious!

*Kirsten's comment when I came down the stairs yesterday: "Mommy, you're so beautiful!" It melted my heart. It was the first time she's ever said that to me!

*Watching your almost 3-year old build a tower taller than herself. Nice!

*Wearing flip flops on a rainy, cold day. Proof that you can take the girl out of California, but you can't take the California out of the girl!

*Saturdays at the park with a very happy toddler.

*Watching your children learn new skills.

*The complete joy that comes from playing in a ball pit. Kirsten thought she had died and gone to heaven. All she needed was "hass cream." (And the way she pronounces ice cream is pretty awesome too).

*Seeing your husband play with your kids.

*Kirsten's cute rendition of "Happy birthday to you", sung to Stephen on his 30'th birthday.

*How worried she was when the Baskin-Robbins lady took the cake we chose to the back to write on it with icing. She kept asking, "Where's Daddy's cake?"

*Your husband turning 30. . . when you're still 28 and can make fun of him for his "old age." Mwah-ha!

*Biting into Garlic Cheese Bread from Black Angus. Someday I really am going to order that, as my meal. And eat it all by myself!

*Getting two little kids to actually smile at the same time for a picture. Miracles at work here!

*Realizing that they really do love each other, and capturing that moment.

*Being only two weeks away from going on a wickedly cool, amazingly awesome vacation to South America for your 5 year anniversary!

*Finding the kitten in funny places, like the baby swing and the infant car seat.

Gotta love those amazing moments! I hope this week is filled with moments of pure awesomeness for everyone reading this!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Girly March Madness Super-Giveaway!!!

It's March Madness for the girls this time! This giveaway will have 4 winners and includes some really fun stuff that all girls will love! Let's get on with it. . .

Prize #1 is. . . a Scrabble Tile Pendant Necklace in any design of your choice from the HomeStudio Etsy shop!
These are such adorable little necklaces. The HomeStudio shop features 19 pages full of designs, so no matter what your style is you'll be able to find one (or lots!) that you really like. The handmade pendants are made from authentic Scrabble tile pieces, and the top image is really shiny and beautiful because it's sealed with a protective shine. At only $8.95 each, these necklaces are such a wonderful value! You can buy a whole bunch and change them out as much as you want!

I chose this Eiffel Tower pendant to review, since I love all things Paris.

I also think this red Cherry Blossoms tile is beautiful!

These necklaces also make wonderful gifts, and they come wrapped in a pretty little gift bag. Totally gift-ready!

Go check out their huge variety of unique and beautiful designs here, and be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see how to enter to win any necklace of your choice from their shop!

Prize #2 is for. . . my absolute FAVORITE lip balm in the world, Softlips! Have you tried these before? They sell them at most stores in their lip balm sections, and I am ADDICTED in a major way. I can't even tell you how many of these I have lying around my house. I keep them in the pockets of all my pants, on the nightstand next to my bed, next to the computer, and in all my purses and diaper bags. I just can't stand to be without them, so I keep them with me wherever I am! They are just so amazing. The perfect flavors, the perfect tingly feeling when you put them on your lips, and the way they keep your lips so smooth and hydrated. Softlips, seriously, what would I do without you?

If you've never tried these, go out and get some, right now! Your lips will thank you! And you can enter to win three sets right here on my blog! If you already love them, this is the perfect chance for you to try their limited edition flavors. I'm giving away three sets of their special winter flavors, which are Sugar Plum Berry, Sugar Cookie, and Sugar & Spice.

Prize #3 is. . . an Isabelt!
The Isabelt is a clear, flexible little belt that's designed to keep your pants up and reduce gaps and slipping without the bulk of a traditional belt. I was excited to try this, because regular belts are so uncomfortable and they do add so much extra bulk where I don't want it. It's really nice, because it invisibly holds up your jeans! You can just adjust it and then hook it under the front button of your jeans to get the right fit for you.

If you worry about exposing your undies, your back, or anything else when you bend over and move around, you'll love the Isabelt! My favorite things about it are how flexible and lightweight it is, and you really do forget it's there when you're wearing it. The picture below illustrates what a dramatic difference it makes when you're wearing it. And they're giving one away on my blog!

Prize #4 is. . . the completely cute Sock Grams! Their motto is "Warm hearts. Cozy toes." This adorable company makes it easy to send a Sock Gram to a friend or loved one instead of traditional flowers or candy. They have all kinds of socks for men, women, kids, and babies, in pretty much every style you could think of! You can shop by recipient, sock pattern, or occasion, so their website makes it easy to find the right pair of socks. Then they'll wrap them up for you, add free foot balm (or stickers for kids), you choose a card and add a personal message, and they'll deliver it all right to their mailbox! It's such a unique and thoughtful way to show someone you're thinking of them. And who wouldn't appreciate a fun pair of socks? This fish pair would sure bring a smile to my face!

I received these Hi-Top Socks, and they're tons of fun too! They're so unique and I love wearing them around the house. So go browse around and choose your favorite Sock Gram! The winner gets any pair of their choice!

So, to summarize this giveaway, there will be four winners and you could win any of these prizes:
*A Scrabble Tile Necklace of your choice from the HomeStudio Etsy shop
*A pack of amazing chapsticks in limited edition flavors from Softlips
*An Isabelt
*A Sock Gram of your choice!

Here's how to enter:
*Tell me which prize you want to win the most, and why you want it!

Get your extra entries in when you:
1. Follow my blog!
2. Go here to become a fan of my blog on Facebook!
3. Talk about this giveaway on your Facebook status and link over here!
4. Talk about this giveaway on your blog and link to me.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Tell me which necklace you'll choose from HomeStudio if you are the winner!
7. Add HomeStudio to your favorites on Etsy.
8. Tell me which Chapstick brand is your favorite, and if you've ever tried Softlips before. Which flavor do you like the best?
9. Go here to become a Softlips Facebook fan.
10. Go here to become an Isabelt Facebook fan.
11. Go here to follow Isabelt on Twitter.
12. Tell me which Sock Gram is your favorite! Also tell me who you'd love to order a Sock Gram for and for what occasion!
13. Go here to become a Facebook fan of Sock Grams.
14. Go here to follow Sock Grams on Twitter.

*Please leave me a separate comment for each entry and make sure I have a way to contact you if you are one of the winners! This giveaway will close on April 10'th. Good luck winning this awesome stuff!

March Madness For Little Ones Super-Giveaway!!!

Okay, #1. . . this giveaway has nothing to do with sports.
#2. . . Enter this one if you have babies or kids of any age, if you're expecting a baby, or if you want to give some amazing gifts to other parents! (If you're not interested at all in baby or kid stuff, I'll be posting another giveaway very soon called March Madness For YOU!)
#3. . . This giveaway will have 8 different winners!!! Pretty amazing! And that's why I call it March Madness!

*Prize #1 is from the Pink Bowtique! Oh my goodness. . . this website will just make you want to buy everything if you do have little girls, and make you want a little girl if you don't have one! All the accessories are just so precious and beautiful. They are definitely ultra-girly and extra fabulous! My little Natalie looked like such an angel in her Peony hat that she wore last summer. (Look how tiny she was!)

Just from looking at these flowers and bows, you can tell how high their quality is, and their attention to every detail results in seriously amazing fashion statements! I want this one so bad!

This Vintage Roses Crochet Hat is a total show-stopper!

And here's the item up for the giveaway. . . an absolutely stunning Little Glamour Peony Headband! Gorgeous!!! And look at that bling in the middle of the flower!
Deal Alert: Use the coupon code "pink10" for 10% off your entire Pink Bowtique purchase!

Prize #2 is actually coming all the way from Hertfordshire, England! Heartfelt Handmade is a completely adorable Etsy shop that specializes in handmade felt personalized gifts, accessories, and seasonal decorations for all occasions. I am in LOVE with the name garland she made for my little girl, Kirsten! Here's a photo of it, hanging on her bulletin board, and it's absolutely one of my favorite touches in her room. So adorable and sweet!

You'll be amazed by all the fun and cute things she makes! I love the personalized letter hangers too!

The item up for the giveaway is just SO crazy cute. . . a Tooth Fairy Monster! Aren't these such awesome little critters? She will make it based on the colors the winner chooses, and these little guys have a pocket for the tooth and then for the tooth fairy to leave her money! It also has a ribbon, so the Tooth Fairy Monster can be hung from a bedpost or doorknob. Just so cute!!!

Prize #3 is. . . 2 CD's from the Shushybye Dream Band!
I received the Close Your Eyes CD, and the book that goes with it, and it's such a sweet story and some really cute songs! Kirsten loves the book's glow-in-the-dark cover. The story talks about two little kids who are excited to fall asleep every night so they can take their trip through Dreamland where all the Shushies hand out Dream Boxes. Kirsten enjoys the pictures!
The music on the CD's is a nice blend of folk, rock music, and lullabies. Kirsten doesn't actually listen to it while she falls asleep, but she enjoys the songs a lot! If you're looking for new music for your kids to listen to, you will love these CD's and the winner gets two of them! "Shushybye" and "Close Your Eyes." You can go here to preview some of the music and to read more about the CD's.

Prize #4. . . One winner will receive 3 PakNaks! PakNaks are adorable, soft, rubbery decorations for kids to personalize all of their stuff. They work great on backpacks, lunch boxes, headbands, computer bags, really anything! When I was a kid, it was pretty popular to sew patches onto your backpack or wear pins and change them up. These are so much cooler! They're 3D, and really easy to stick on with the super strong adhesive they use. They come in over 40 different designs for boys or girls. This bird is one of my favorites!

This picture really shows how flexible they are. They're also weather-resistant, waterproof, interchangeable, and really easy to stick to any surface. So your kids can change them up as often as they want!

The winner of the PakNaks will get to choose any three designs! Go here to see all the fun and unique choices!
Deal Alert: Enter the discount code 'PAK20' to enjoy 20% off your entire order!

Prize #5 is. . . another Sleeping Sack for your baby from Aden + Anais! I did a recent giveaway for them (you can read all about it here as well as lots of great info about their company), and they are generously offering another giveaway on my blog! I received one of these Infant Sleeping Sacks to review, and they are wonderful! The fabric is so lightweight to keep your baby from overheating, and this would be perfect for summertime. I love the sweet designs, and the winner will be able to choose any design and any size from 0 to 24 months. You will love it!

Prize #6 is. . . For TWO winners! Each will receive one hip, awesome CD from Rockabye Baby! Have you heard of this company? If not, you definitely need to check out their extensive library of tunes for your little angel. They have 30 different CD's of lullaby renditions from all your favorite bands! I'm dying to own Lullaby Renditions of Coldplay, the Beach Boys, Journey, and U2. They've even made Metallica and Nine Inch Nails into baby-friendly music. Genius!

I received the two giveaway CD's to review, and I love them! It's just awesome to hear songs that you're a big fan of completely changed into lullaby renditions that'll send your baby (hopefully!) off into dreamland. Guitars and drums are traded for soothing mellotrons, vibraphones, and bells, and the volume is much quieter too.

One winner will receive. . . Lullaby Renditions of Aerosmith.
I love their website's description of it:
"When your angel is cryin,’ try these sweet and soothing renditions of the Bad Boys from Boston’s biggest hits. We’ve made the Toxic Twins suitable for tiny ears, so yours won’t be the last child sleeping. Mama (and Dada) can finally rest through the night thanks to the familiar melodies of their favorite songs. Dream on, and on and on and on."
Go here to hear sound samples!

Another winner will receive Lullaby Renditions of Guns n' Roses.
Another awesome description:
"Is a sweet child o’ yours trying your patience at bedtime? Do you have an appetite for noise reduction? Don’t you cry tonight. Fire up these gentle renditions of GNR’s metal classics to rock your little devil to a peaceful sleep. Welcome to the nursery, baby. It’s paradise city."
Go here to preview the tunes.

Prize #8. . . any product of the winner's choice from Aromatic Health! If you're into all-natural products, you'll absolutely love these. Everything from this site is handmade, using only pure and organic essential oils and raw ingredients. They have aroma-therapeutic products, baby products, and products designed to aid mothers pre- or post-birth.

I received a tin of their Hemp Bum Butter to review, and it's a really great barrier against diaper rash. I have a hard time with the smell, just because it's SO all-natural, but it's also great to aid in the healing of cuts, scrapes, and skin irritations.

I also received the Mom and Baby Massage Oil, and it really is such a nice product! The all-natural ingredients make it totally safe to massage all over your baby after a warm bath, and hopefully you can sweet-talk someone into using it on you afterwards. If you like all-natural products you will LOVE these, so go browse around and find your favorite product! The winner gets to choose from anything!

WOW, 8 winners!!! This will be my biggest giveaway yet! Here's a summary of the things you could win:
*A Little Glamour Peony Headband from the Pink Bowtique
*A handmade Tooth Fairy Monster from the Heartfelt Handmade Etsy shop
*2 CD's from the Shushybye Dream Band
*A set of 3 PakNaks (your kids will go nuts over these!)
*An Infant Sleeping Sack from Aden + Anais
*Two winners will each receive a CD from Rockabye Baby!
*Any product of your choice from Aromatic Health

Now here's how to enter:
*Leave me a comment on this post, and tell me which prize you are most excited about and why you want to win it!

Make sure you get lots of extra entries for this one, they will really make a difference! Get extra entries when you:
1. Follow my blog!
2. Go here to become a fan of my blog on Facebook, or tell me you already are.
3. Talk about this giveaway on your Facebook status and link over here!
4. Talk about this giveaway on your blog and link to me!
5. Tweet about this giveaway and link to me.
6. Look around the Pink Bowtique and leave me a comment telling me which of their fabulous accessories is your favorite!
7. Look around the Heartfelt Handmade Etsy shop and tell me which item you like the best!
8. Add Heartfelt Handmade to your favorites on Etsy (heart her shop!)
9. Go here to follow Heartfelt Handmade on Twitter.
10. Visit the Shushybye website and tell me what you think your child would love from their shop!
11. Look around the PakNak website and tell me which design you (or your kid!) likes the best!
12. Visit the Aden + Anais website and tell me what you'd love to own!
13. Go here to become a Facebook fan of Aden + Anais.
14. Go here to follow Aden + Anais on Twitter.
15. Check out the Rockabye Baby website and tell me which CD you want the most!
16. Go here to become a Facebook fan of Rockabye Baby!
17. Go here to follow Rockabye Baby! on Twitter.
18. Go here to subscribe to Rockabye Baby's blog feed.
19. Look around the Aromatic Health Website and tell me which product you want if you're the winner!
20. Go here to become a Facebook fan of Aromatic Health.
21. Go here to follow Aromatic Health on Twitter.
22. Go here to subscribe to the Aromatic Health newsletter.

Whew! And that's it! Make sure you leave me a separate comment for each entry, and make sure I have a way to contact you if you're one of my winners! Remember, there will be 8 lucky winners on this one, and this giveaway will close on April 10'th. Good luck winning these amazing prizes!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Fun and the Fabulous Reviews!

Time for some more reviews of some really great stuff!
My disclaimer: I did receive samples to review from all of these companies. However, I was not compensated to write my reviews and and all the opinions are completely mine.

#1. . . Unique and fun kid's clothing from Bored Inc!
This photo of my two girls was taken last summer, in the matching whale shirt and whale onesie that I received from Bored, Inc. Oh my GOSH, look how little Natalie was! So bald and so chubby!!! This was one of the first cute photos I got of the two of them together.

Bored Inc is designed and run by a mother/daughter team from LA. Their art is based on their love of super cute Japanese character art. And they love to create products that make everyday life just a little bit cuter. Who couldn't use more cuteness every day? I love how unique their designs are, like this cute baby onesie:

Their website has a HUGE variety of cute things, including belts, prints, clothes for adults, babies, and toddlers, and even wall decals! If I could choose anything from their site, I think I'd pick this Bird on a Branch wall decal. TOO cute for a little girl's room!

I just love their sweet and adorable designs! If you're looking for unique art prints for your child's walls, look no further! I love these elephants!

They even have adorable greeting cards!

The quality of the onesie and T-shirt I received for my girls was also very wonderful. Soft, lightweight, and it held up great in the wash. I was very happy with it!
Deal Alert: Use the coupon code 'BlogDiscount' for 15% off their entire site!

#2- This one is for BYU fans of all ages and sizes. . . (or University of Utah or Utah State fans, too). . . Complete Youth Football Uniforms for kids ages 3-10 from Huddle Up! The quality of these uniforms is SO impressive and this would be just the greatest costume for Halloween or for photography or just dressing up!

Each uniform comes with all of these pieces:
*Team logo helmet with adjustable chin strap
*Team jersey that is personalized with your name and number of choice!
*Pants with elastic waistband
*Shoulder pads

Isn't that just the cutest thing? It's such an awesome idea!
At the time, they only offer uniforms for the three Utah teams I mentioned, but they plan to offer uniforms from other colleges in the future as they expand their licensed territory. Each complete uniform is only $50! I think this is an awesome deal, considering the cost of most flimsy kid's Halloween costumes that aren't nearly this creative or good quality. Start thinking of Halloween early and go check out Huddle Up!

#3- Exercises that a new mommy can safely and easily do with her baby can be really difficult to find. That's why I'm really excited about the Lullaby Exercises DVD from Chicks-n-Chickens.

Why it's so great:
*It focuses on connecting and bonding with your baby while you exercise. This is a truly unique concept and it's really refreshing!
*The series of movements include dancing, swaying, stretching, and relaxing, and are meant to be performed with a baby in your arms or a front carrier. I found it to be a good enough work-out but not too strenuous or difficult. The moments felt natural, and my baby really responded well to the rhythms.
*It can also be a good way to put little ones to sleep! Especially if you have a fussy or colicky baby who has trouble going to sleep, I think this would work really well and is definitely worth a try.
*I like the music in the background, and the other moms with their babies look like real moms, not impossibly thin women who happen to be holding babies.
*The DVD is 35 minutes long and features a high-energy "groove" set followed by a relaxing "sleep" set. It also comes with a CD of the soundtrack!
The DVD/CD combo is $29.95, and would be such a great gift for any new mom or mom-to-be. The Chicks-n-Chickens site is also offering a really great deal right now. . . a Moby Wrap AND the DVD/CD combo for $50! Go to this page for info about how to order, and use the code 'SACCO' at check-out!

#4. . . Another DVD, and this one's fun for toddlers! It's Hip Hop, Baby! is a DVD series geared at kids ages 2 to 6. Kirsten is almost 3, and she really enjoys these! They combine education with fun, child-friendly hip hop music. You can go here to preview them. Kirsten isn't too good at actually following the directions and learning the dance moves yet, but she's getting there! She likes the fun songs and characters, and she likes dancing around to the rhythms and songs. You can buy them on Amazon for $13.50 each right now! Great deal for something that'll get your kid moving and hopping around the room, instead of just watching from the couch!

#5. . . Beautiful art for your walls from Dali Decals! Wall decals are really popular right now, and I can see why! They're easier, faster, and less expensive than painting, and you can remove them at any time. When we first bought our house I thought about stenciling designs onto Kirsten's walls, but quickly vetoed that in favor of using cute wall decals instead. Dali Decals is such an amazing website. They can create designs in over 40 different colors, and they can be customized to any size you want! They can also create a completely customized design for you, if you have something really specific you're looking for. I chose this Cherry Blossoms design, and I'm so in love with it! And this gorgeous decal is such an awesome deal, too. . . only $15!
(That photo is from their website, not from my own home. I'm actually saving my decal until we move to a home we'll be in for a very long time, since these designs are completely removable but not reusable.)
This is another one of my favorites from their site:

Dali Decals are actually safe for outdoor use, and bathroom use too! You can apply them to mirrors, glass, tiles, or acrylic shower walls. They have SO many awesome designs to choose from! How cute are these flowers for a kid's room or playroom?

Deal Alert: Use the discount code 'VeaterFam5off' for a 5% discount off their entire site!

#6. . . A completely personalized kingdom and map for your child from Kidlandia! I have to admit, I had SO much fun making this for Kirsten. Their website is completely easy to use, and it's just a ton of fun to make your child's kingdom look exactly how you want it. You can add all kinds of creatures, towns, lakes, mountains, and tons of other stuff. And it's really easy to increase and decrease the sizes, too. I just love the artwork and all the funny imaginary creatures.
To see the one I created for Kirsten, go here. I had way too much fun naming all the characters and cities and resources after people Kirsten knows. I was really excited to see how it all turned out, and when it came in the mail I was really happy with it. It's a canvas scroll, very high-quality and really nice. Kirsten has such a great time laughing at the funny creatures and asking me what everything is. The canvas scrolls are $99.95, and the gallery-wrapped canvases start at $89.95 for the smallest size. You can also choose to have your personalized kingdom printed as a jigsaw puzzle, for $39.95. I think an older kid would have a really fun time putting together a puzzle of their very own land!

Deal Alert: Kidlandia is offering a 15% discount to my blog readers when you use the coupon code: 'KidMap15'.

#7. . . Really awesome stroller accessories from Carry You! When I bought my expensive double stroller, I was pretty bummed that it didn't come with some of the things that are standard on every Graco single stroller (the one I had been used to). It didn't have a place at the handles for me to put my cup or my keys, and it also didn't have snack trays or cup holders for the kids. These are really essential! So I started looking around for something that I could attach to my stroller. Carry You has a massive line of stroller accessories, including exactly what I was looking for.

The Piccolo Snack Tray attaches to the child bar on my double stroller, and it includes a sippy cup holder, two loops to attach toys, and more space for snacks or toys. It's made of completely washable material, and is really easy to attach with Velcro. It's also really sturdy and durable! Thank goodness I found this!

The Sicily Double Stroller Cup Holder has also been a lifesaver! It has two adult drink holders, three large top-load pockets for extra sippy cups, diapers, or toys, three more medium top-load pockets, and a small front pocket that I love using for my keys, cell phone, and iPod shuffle. I love having all this extra storage space on my double stroller, and it's exactly what I've been needing.
Another Deal Alert: As long as you order in March, you can use the discount code 'FREESHIPMARCH' for free USPS economy shipping with no minimum!

I really hope my reviews help some of you who may be looking for stuff like this! I always enjoy sharing and talking about my new favorite things with my readers or anyone who wants more info!