Thursday, February 18, 2010

Go Ahead...Play with Your Food

As you all know, I enter a lot of giveaways and as it goes - "Many will enter, few will win...". Well, luck has been on my side as I won my daughter a Melissa & Doug Wooden Fruit Cutting Set from Gifted Imaginations through Savvy Sassy Moms (two GREAT sites!!!). Find them on Twitter here: @GiftedImagStore and @savvysassymoms - be sure to check them out as they run some really fabulous giveaways and have some really great content.

It all happened shortly after I joined Twitter which wasn't too long ago *blush* (hey I still haven't joined FB...yet...there's only so many hours in a day to get everything done). Anyway, I digress. So, I joined Twitter and entered a giveaway by tweeting their contest info...a few days later, I see my name pop up after the @ sign that I've won - to DM them my mailing address. WHAT?!? Is this some joke? No. It's real. After jumping up and down wildly, I finally figured out what I was supposed to do, send her my mailing address and a few days later, this wonderful toy arrived at our house to an ecstatic three year old.

Seriously, this toy is such a great teaching tool and the pieces are attached together with Velcro, so when you cut it, it crunches and sounds like you're cutting a piece of fruit.

Thank you Gifted Imaginations and Savvy Sassy Moms - you made!!! Now, if I can only get some of that luck spread to finding a job for the hubs or for me...

(Images courtesy of Melissa & Doug via Gifted Imaginations)

Open Heart Parenting

As a parent, you often wish there are published books telling you how you should parent and what you should do. Recently, I stumbled upon a book that was getting a lot of buzz. I ordered it, started reading it and am very pleased with it to date. Upon mentioning it to my sister, she told me about a poem she had heard a ways back and gave me the author's name and the poem title. I found it online and immediately felt inner peace. Serious inner I haven't felt in a very long time. Please read the poem below by Kahlil Gibran.

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


I now know my "true" purpose as a parent and welcome God's plan willingly. I will do my best to guide and nuture my child instilling a foundation of God's teachings, being a good role model and example, but allowing them to become exactly what God has intended them to be or do. This is an awesome message to parents, but you must have an open mind and open heart to embrace it. It's not an easy path, but trust in God - He does not lead you astray.

The book I have started reading that mirrors this mindset is Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. You can buy it here on Amazon if you are interested. I suggest if you must get ONE book on parenting, that this be the book - it's full of amazing information of how to teach your children to manage their freedom and choices all the while developing a respectful and trusting relationship with them. My daughter is only 3 years old, however, I would like to see if I can't implement some of these principles to instill in her the independence of making good choices for years to come.

What are some of your favorite parenting words of wisdom?

(Image courtesy of

Friday, February 12, 2010

Secret Shampoo = $AVING$!!!

For those of you who asked where I had been a week or so ago, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Well, not totally. I hope to be doing my posts on a regular basis...things have been so incredibly busy. Both my husband and I are actively looking for employment and add an active 3 year old into the mix of that equation and throw in a long Wisconsin winter...and the days seem to fly by with the blog taking backseat unfortunately. Why is it though, that when you are not working, every day seems like Saturday and you have no clue what date it is much less what day of the week it happens to be? Yeesh.

Since we are on a (very tight) budget, I thought I would start my "catch-up" marathon with a money saving post for my readers. I use and love a higher end salon line of shampoo and conditioners. However, with our recent financial 'adjustment', we are looking at everything we purchase to see if we can't get creative. Well, I was ecstatic - nothing short of doing cartwheels in the middle of the parking lot - after finding this new replacement hair care product...not sure if it is going to be temporary or permanent because I am liking it so much.

So here's the skinny. Most of you will be familiar with the SALLY Beauty Supply Stores...they have a line of product there that looks like (ironically similar packaging down to the bottle/cap color) and smells like and yes, even behaves like (if not better *gasp* did I say that?) the more expensive brand of shampoo. So, I purchased the shampoo and the mousse since I still had a huge bottle of conditioner to use up...and you know what, I am (very, very) pleasantly surprised. I may not be returning to the more expensive brand. I'll let you figure out what 'that brand' is...and let you figure out if you want to give the new one a try.

If you are interested, I've pictured the items I purchased's not rocket science to figure out what brand I previously used and it surely didn't take rocket science to figure out how much money we could save by switching. I may end up getting their savings card as you get MORE money off your purchases by joining and it's well worth it if you plan on stocking your shelves with this secret shampoo - look like a million bucks for pennies!

To also save money, I gave myself a haircut in my bathroom...3 1/2 inches gone. Seriously, I feel about 10 pounds lighter and 5 years younger...for FREE. Can't beat that!

(Images courtesy of SALLY Beauty)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's my mother's birthday today (she loves the artwork of Mary Engelbreit, featured above). Mom's turning 35...again... We are looking forward to celebrating with you this year and are so happy we are literally 5 minutes away from you since our move. HAPPY BIRTHDAY - we hope you enjoy your special day! LOVE YOU BUNCHES - thanks for all you do for us. We TRULY appreciate it. xoxo - us (C,M and G)

(Image courtesy Mary Engelbreit)

It's Snow Much Fun...

So we ended up with about 8 inches of snow from the past two days or so...nothing like the East Coast is experiencing, but enough for us to get out and enjoy it a bit. Winter doesn't seem as long when you remember the fun of freshly fallen snow with a 3 year old. Enjoy our little snippet.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

able mabel - finding the fun in functional

I am happy to say I was a winner of a giveaway from Today's Creative Blog awhile ago and got to pick some really fun things from Able Mabel's Etsy Shop. Swing by and check out their goods - here's their bio:

We bring you quality and originality in the treasures we fashion. Mixing our father’s dry sense of humor with our mother’s artistic abilities, we come up with imaginative makings.

As artists, we are inspired by everyday things around, nature, colors, emotions, moods, etc. Give us a fun piece of fabric, paper or beads and it's off to the races! We love finding the "unusual" and making it into something functional!

Welcome to able mabel.

Here are the items I was able to pick out - a wonderful little double sided blanket/minkie (Japanese linen print with an uber soft brown minky) - sans the baby, of course - and a cute decoupaged double light switch plate cover.

It was fun to spend $25 and my experience was fabulous - excellent communication and superior customer service. Two thumbs up to Able Mabel and another THANK YOU! They also have a fun little blog that you can find HERE.

(Images courtesy of Able Mabel)

Matilda Jane Hammond Bay Spring 2010 Line

Hey all you Matilda Jane fans out there - the NEW HAMMOND BAY line is up and photos are posted of the gorgeous new items. Check it out HERE!!! These are some of my favorites from the new line...I'm SURE my wish list will grow. Oh Spring, where are you?!?

(Images courtesy of Matilda Jane Clothing)