April 30, 2014

5 Rainy Day Activities

Is the sun not shining? Is it to wet to play? 
Well have no fear. It will all be OK.
I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny. 
So here are 5 learning games you can play that are funny!
Unlike the Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two
My games focus on development too.

1. Painter tape balance beam
Using painters tape, create a line for your children to balance on. You can make it as easy or challenging as you like.
2. Musical Shapes
Create shapes in a circle on the floor with painters tape or construction paper. Have your child/ children walk around the shapes as the music plays. When the music stops, they freeze and tell you what shape they landed on.
3. Color Hunt
Place colored paper throughout your house. Have your child pick a toy and find the corresponding color paper that you have hidden.
4. Animal Acting
Have your child draw an animal figure or picture from a bag then act it out.
5. And lastly, my favorite, have a dance party! 
Turn on their favorite songs and dance it out. The crazier, the better!
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April 28, 2014

#MyBeautyIs... {week 10}

Scarred


For a while I hated my scars and stretchmarks. I felt they made me ugly. But as I look around my house, I cannot help think how blessed I truly am. Three beautiful, smart, lovable little boys came from my body. Each of those stretch marks hold a memory. I can tell you which mark came from which child. That c-section scar; that brought them into this world. 
These scars aren't ugly, they tell a story. And it's an amazing story. Having these boys have taught me to love deeper than I had ever imagined. They taught me to be more patient, to have more fun, that it's ok to get dirty sometimes. I am who I am because of my boys. My scars are beautiful! 

Thank you all for joining me on this mission to celebrate the beauty within us!

Written with love to the moon and back,
Nichole
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April 26, 2014

#HandmadeSaturday- Week 14 {Going Green}

Welcome to #HandmadeSaturday! Handmade Saturday is a great way to find small businesses and browse through some amazing handmade products created by talented artisans. When you buy from handcrafted small business, you not only receive a quality unique product with character, but you are also supporting a thriving individual and/or family. 

 Each week we bring a new theme to share with you. This week's theme is...
Going Green!

Thank you to all who linked your Fantasy products last week. Here are the top viewed links. 






Please enjoy this week's products and thank you for shopping small!

Handmade Saturday is also a great way to network with fellow crafters/ small business owners! Do you have a product that falls under this week's theme? Please remember to share after you link up whether it be the blog post itself or your fellow artisans's products. To link your eco-friendly products, please be sure to adhere to the following rules:
  1. You may link up to TWO links.
  2. SHARE #HandmadeSaturday
  3. Products must be handmade
  4. Only products that apply to our weekly theme allowed. All other links will be deleted.
  5. Links must lead to a specific product listing (not to your store's home page)

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April 25, 2014

Friday Feature- Twisted Thread and Hook {Giveaway}

Happy Friday lovelies. This week's feature is an amazing shop, Twisted Thread and Hook. I have one of her rope baskets in my bedroom and I absolutely love it! The craftsmanship is unbelievable. And you have to check out her rugs. They are beyond beautiful! I hope you enjoy getting to know Magda and her store, Twisted Thread and Hook and be sure to enter the giveaway below.



1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Magda Marsh.  I was born in Poland and came to live in US over 20 years ago when I was a teenager.  Now I live in a great Hudson Valley region in New York, with a great husband and my 2 wonderful children.  I love to spend my time outdoors when it's warm.  My favorite outdoor activity is camping, kayaking and sailing (which I have done quite a bit when I was young).  I'm very happy that kids are finally old enough now so we can do some sailing together.   I'm not much into winter and snow.  On gloomy days, I love to craft.  I've been crocheting since I was little.  I've tried many different crafts over the years.  My house is full of my handmade creations, but crocheting is always the one thing that I keep coming back to.  I love to discover new techniques and unique designs.  

2. Tell us about your business. What do you make? What are you all about?
I make rope rugs and mats as well baskets, coasters and other home decor items.  Many of my designs are nautical and beach themed but there are also many that can fit with many different kids of decor.  I use cotton rope and jute rope that allow me to design rugs with great texture and unique look.  I also use fleece to make rugs for children.  The list of things I have in my shop is always expanding, and soon, I hope to include some rope wall art as well.

3. When and why did you start your business?
I started my business because I finally realized, or rather I finally believed that I can have a job that I truly love and I'm very passionate about.  I started Twisted Thread and Hook at the end of  2012 selling fine thread crochet jewelry.  It took me some time to realize that my true calling was for something way bigger than that.  That's when I started selling rugs.  Currently, I took a break from my office job so I can follow my crafty business dream while also be able to stay at home with my kids more.  I had no idea how busy these two part-time jobs would keep me, but I'm loving it.  

4. What inspires you?
There are so many thing that inspire me.  Many times it's just things around me, shapes and colors I see.  I love sailing, so many inspirations come from that.  I also get ideas from my kids just by watching them and seeing what they love.  And sometimes it's simply learning a new technique and having a challenge to incorporate it into my patterns.

{Giveaway}
Enter to win 2 handmade coaster made with 100% cotton rope.  They help keep table clean, iced drink cool and hot drink hot.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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April 21, 2014

#MyBeautyIs... {week 9}

my eyes


Today I wanted to find a physical attribute about me that I like. I do like my eyes. Eyes are important to me. I feel I can tell a lot about a person when looking into their eyes. But I also think they are my best feature. If I have one go-to make up item, it'd be mascara to bring them out. Happy Monday!

Thank you all for joining me on this mission to celebrate the beauty within us!

Written with love to the moon and back,
Nichole
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April 19, 2014

#HandmadeSaturday- Week 13 {Fantasy}

Welcome to #HandmadeSaturday! Handmade Saturday is a great way to find small businesses and browse through some amazing handmade products created by talented artisans. When you buy from handcrafted small business, you not only receive a quality unique product with character, but you are also supporting a thriving individual and/or family. 

 Each week we bring a new theme to share with you. This week's theme is...
Fantasy!
Our themes are picked by our weekly feature and this week's #FridayFeature is Mandy's JoysMake sure to check out the Friday Feature post, receive and coupon code for 20% off!

Thank you to all who linked your Vintage products last week. Here are the top viewed links. 






Please enjoy this week's products and thank you for shopping small!

Handmade Saturday is also a great way to network with fellow crafters/ small business owners! Do you have a product that falls under this week's theme? Please remember to share after you link up whether it be the blog post itself or your fellow artisans's products. To link your fantasy products, please be sure to adhere to the following rules:
  1. You may link up to TWO links.
  2. SHARE #HandmadeSaturday
  3. Products must be handmade
  4. Only products that apply to our weekly theme allowed. All other links will be deleted.
  5. Links must lead to a specific product listing (not to your store's home page)

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April 18, 2014

Friday Feature- Mandy's Joys

Today's Feature is a great handmade shop that makes really cute critters. If you haven't checked out Mandy's Joys' page yet to see these cute toys, please do!
  

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. 
I am a stay at home mom to four (with one on the way). I am married to my best friend and someone who supports me in all that I do. We are a home school family, so life can get rather crazy, but it works for us. I have been sewing off and on most of my life, my mom bought me my first real sewing machine when I was 4. I ran that poor thing until I could no longer get parts for it. LOL. For years I sewed mostly just Halloween costumes, but then after the kids were born, I started making them things here and there, and then started sewing quilts. My true passion was always plush toys, so once I started sewing them there was no turning back! 

2. Tell us about your business. What do you make? What are you all about? 
I sew cuddly critters, that are unique and not something you would see in a box store. I also make things that both boys and girls can enjoy, this being especially important since I have four boys! I love making people happy and have many adult collectors, as well as children who love what I make. 


3. When and why did you start your business?
I actually started my page with crochet to help the family financially, but it was just not a passion for me. When I discovered we were having a baby girl, I wanted to make her a doll and felt in love with the sculpting process of faces. From the dolls, I felt bad for my three boys...so started with a dragon, and then an ogre...and by the time I was one, I was in love with the faces and personalities that came from my work. My kids were so happy. I was suddenly addicted to making them, but my house was becoming full. Then when friends saw what I was making and started requesting me to make them for their kids, I posted pictures on my page, and from there I started growing. 


4. What inspires you? 
My children and husband inspire me with the joy I see with each creature I make, for them or for an order. I find inspiration in the world around me in colors when I am working with custom dyes. 

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April 16, 2014

5 Easter Dessert Recipes

Easter has came up fast this year. I have been preparing my sons' baskets for a few months, slowly collecting gifts, thinking I would have a jump on Easter this year. Yet here I am, scrambling to plan an Easter get-together. I have spent the morning looking up recipes for cute desserts that have the wow factor to make my guests think I didn't pull this together in just a few days. Maybe they'll think I've been planning for months! Here are the top 5 that I have found:






Don't they all look delicious?! Now to decide what to make... What are you going to make?

Written with love to the moon and back,
Nichole
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April 14, 2014

MyBeautyIs... {Week 8}

Fun




I can't be the only one who sings in the car!? I had a kid free moment in the car. Which meant, crank up that radio and sing as loud as I can. 

Thank you all for joining me on this mission to celebrate the beauty within us!

Written with love to the moon and back,
Nichole
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April 12, 2014

#HandmadeSaturday- Week 12 {Vintage}

Welcome to #HandmadeSaturday! Handmade Saturday is a great way to find small businesses and browse through some amazing handmade products created by talented artisans. When you buy from handcrafted small business, you not only receive a quality unique product with character, but you are also supporting a thriving individual and/or family. 

 Each week we bring a new theme to share with you. This week's theme is...
Vintage!
Our themes are picked by our weekly feature and this week's #FridayFeature is Imagine If BoutiqueMake sure to check out the Friday Feature post, receive and coupon code for 20% off!

Thank you to all who linked your Colorful products last week. Here are the top viewed links. 


Please enjoy this week's products and thank you for shopping small!


Handmade Saturday is also a great way to network with fellow crafters/ small business owners! Do you have a product that falls under this week's theme? Please remember to share after you link up whether it be the blog post itself or your fellow artisans's products. To link your vintage products, please be sure to adhere to the following rules:
  1. You may link up to TWO links.
  2. SHARE #HandmadeSaturday
  3. Products must be handmade
  4. Only products that apply to our weekly theme allowed. All other links will be deleted.
  5. Links must lead to a specific product listing (not to your store's home page)

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April 11, 2014

Friday Feature - Imagine If Boutique {Sale}

Today's Friday Feature is an amazing artist that I am excited about! She is amazingly sweet and makes the cutest eco friendly, child safe toys! I am so impressed by woodworking and the toys she makes are unbelievable. I will soon be a customer myself. She will be offering a sale this week just for you! See below for the coupon code. But first let's learn a bit about Kendace and her store, Imagine If Boutique.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I’m a bit of a walking contradiction and that dates back to my eclectic childhood. We’re all do-it-yourselfers, and if-you-don’t-know-how-buy-a-bookers. There was no men’s work and women’s work in our family – just work, which is great because it opened up a whole world of abilities and experiences. I learned how to lay tile, sew, cook, clean, do yard work, build forts, and probably most importantly, how to use all of the equipment in my Grandpa’s woodworking shop. I was fascinated with everything in it from the big band saws and lathe, to the drill press and bench sanders, all the way down to the smell of the sawdust. There really isn’t much better than the smell of fresh cut natural wood.

2. Tell us about your business. What do you make? What are you all about?
Simply put, I make wooden toys. They are a natural, eco-friendly, open ended line that are my design from the ground up. Each one is sketched and designed by me, cut on a scroll saw, and hand sanded and shaped to be brought to life. Finally they are hand stained with a food grade stain I mix myself from cake decorating supplies (even the shimmer is edible!) and sealed with beeswax. In the future, our goal is to become 100% plant based in our stains – so look for that in the coming months! I’m all about being able to create a product that not only satisfies my need to create, but will be treasured throughout a child’s life. Chew on it while teething, bring it on adventures and discoveries as a toddler and young child, display it on a bookshelf into young adulthood, and pass it on. They are designed to be heirloom quality with a purpose! In short – I want to change the world one playroom at a time!

3. When and why did you start your business?
Imagineif’s roots run very deep. I still own many of the wooden toys my mom made for me as a kid and they are very, very special. Then lets fast forward into my own parenting experience; more specifically, late summer of 2013. I have a wild (almost) four year old boy who is really more like the Tasmanian Devil. Naturally, like many little boys he was very drawn to foam projectile weaponry and like many moms, I was not. Within days these things were in a million tiny pieces all over the house. Little did I know that was just the beginning of the saga. Queue sinus infection. Add antibiotics. Happy baby. Fast forward two weeks... Sinus infection number two, and my handsome little prince smelled like he was rolling in a compost bin. Add antibiotics. Happy baby. The third time it was far worse - the infection came back with a vengeance and it was brutal.... By this time I was completely mind boggled. What on earth was making him so sick? 
Long story short - by the time we closed this chapter we were in it one trip to the ER, three rounds of antibiotics, and one very uncomfortable 3 year old. The result? A piece of foam bullet lodged inside his nostril causing a nasty infection. Queue thought: What can I give my kids to play with, that they won't destroy, wont cause them to end up in the hospital, AND that will encourage them to play actively? 
I bought a few tools and began developing my first designs. I wanted something that would last. Something that if it ended up between his teeth (it would), or dropped (or chucked at a bug in the yard) wouldn't earn us another injury or ER visit. We needed something that could stand up to whatever my little monster could dish out and how better to find it than to take the matter in my own hands and create something that would spark his little imagination. At the time, I had been trying to launch a sewing business. People started to notice the wooden toys my son and nephew adored so much, and Imagineif was born! 



4. What inspires you?
My journey of being a self employed indie made business owner comes from so many different sources of inspiration. First and foremost, my kids inspire so much with their playtime. Some of my favorite ideas are actually my four year old’s random requests when he wants Mommy to “make me a prize”. I love animals and travel so you’ll see lots of things in my shop that are influenced by places I’ve been or cherish. I myself have a wild and crazy imagination and probably more important than that, is the feeling of knowing children love my products, and moms can feel great about loving them too. 

{SALE}
Get 20% off  www.imagineifboutique.com using code “babymoon”
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April 7, 2014

#MyBeautyIs... {week 7}

Kindness


It is important to me to make a difference in the world! I try my best to help anyone whenever and however I can. I also try to find the best in everyone. Someone being rude to you, may have had a terrible day and don't mean to be. There are always 2 sides to a coin and I look for the good side. =D


Thank you all for joining me on this mission to celebrate the beauty within us!

Written with love to the moon and back,
Nichole
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April 5, 2014

#HandmadeSaturday- Week 11 {Colorful}

Welcome to #HandmadeSaturday! Handmade Saturday is a great way to find small businesses and browse through some amazing handmade products created by talented artisans. When you buy from handcrafted small business, you not only receive a quality unique product with character, but you are also supporting a thriving individual and/or family. 

 Each week we bring a new theme to share with you. This week's theme is...
Colorful!
Our themes are picked by our weekly feature and this week's #FridayFeature is Stitch Stash DivaMake sure to check out the Friday Feature post, receive and coupon code for 10% off AND enter to win a $50 store credit!

Thank you to all who linked your Wildlife/Unique Animals products last week. Here are the top viewed links. 





Please enjoy this week's products and thank you for shopping small!

Handmade Saturday is also a great way to network with fellow crafters/ small business owners! Do you have a product that falls under this week's theme? Please remember to share after you link up whether it be the blog post itself or your fellow artisans's products. To link your colorful products, please be sure to adhere to the following rules:
  1. You may link up to TWO links.
  2. SHARE #HandmadeSaturday
  3. Products must be handmade
  4. Only products that apply to our weekly theme allowed. All other links will be deleted.
  5. Links must lead to a specific product listing (not to your store's home page)

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April 4, 2014

Friday Feature- Stitch Stash Diva {Giveaway + Sale}

I am beyond thrilled to bring you this weeks feature as it is my favorite fabric supplier, Stitch Stash Diva! They are a family run shop and carry only the cutest quality fabric with fun and vibrant prints. I found them months ago while perusing through Etsy looking for a specific print. I came across their shop and what I was looking for but still had a question so I, of course, sent them a message. They answered me so quickly and were so nice. I ordered my fabric and it was shipped the same day. The customer service you receive when shopping Stitch Stash Diva is probably the best I have ever experienced!
Now my pet peeve is when I go to a big box store for fabric, or even order it online from other supplies, only to find that it is cut all kinds of crazy (sideways, an inch short, etc.). It drives me batty! That doesn't happen with Stitch Stash Diva!
With the new year they have launched their new website and I have to tell you, I love it! I made my first purchase 2 days ago. It was so easy to use. I found everything I was looking for (and then some). They even have a live chat section. And get this, there is a reward system! Reward points for buying fabric? Yes please. I'm telling you, if you love fabric even a fraction of the way I do, you will love Stitch Stash Diva!
Ready for a re-cap? Great products, cut perfectly, shipped quickly, best customer service, and family run and operated!
I obviously can go on about how great they are forever. But let's get to know Tayva and Stitch Stash Diva. At the bottom you will find a discount code to use all week and be sure to enter to win a $50 store credit. Yep, that's right $50!! 



1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
A little over three years ago my husband's job moved us to Utah.  This was the first time in my entire adult life that I didn't have a job outside the home, and since we were new in town and I didn't have many friends I had a lot of time to sew!  I had built up my stash back when I was working so I was thrilled to finally have time to get my scissors into all of that gorgeous fabric I had been hoarding!
I had stacks of “girl fabric” but had very little “boy fabric” yet so many of my friends all started having boys!  My local quilt shops didn't carry any boy fabrics that caught my eye so one of my sisters told me to look on Etsy. 
I fell in love, instantly!
On Etsy I found so many great fabrics but I couldn't find one shop that carried all of the fabrics I wanted so I had to order from several shops...and had to pay shipping at several shops.  A couple of months later my shop “Stitch Stash Diva” was born!
Fast forward to today, my husband now works from home with me in our fabric shop and we sell on Etsy, Amazon, and our own brand new website:  www.StitchStashDiva.com!  We now have 3 little girls and even though I have less time to sew I have SO much more motivation!


2. Tell us about your business. What do you make? What are you all about?
We are the happy owners of Stitch Stash Diva and we sell Fun & Bright Designer Fabrics!  

3. When and why did you start your business?
I started StitchStashDiva 2.5 years ago to create one location to buy all of the fun and bright children's fabrics that I wanted to personally sew with!  My original goal was to save a little money on fabric while making a little extra income to help finance my growing sewing and knitting addictions!  The reason I chose this specific shop name is because I had planned to sell fabric AND handmade children's clothing, I never intended to have to say it out loud, let alone as many times as I have already!  The diva part of the name...order fabric from us and you'll understand!  We emphasize the little details that make the difference between opening up a package of fabric, or opening up a present – something special! 



4. What inspires you?
Vibrant and rich colors inspire me!!!  I absolutely love fabric, and there are so many fabrics that catch my attention.  The really vibrant and bright fabrics though, they are the ones that I can't wait to get my scissors into!  I like to make up my own patterns as I sew and nothing inspires a new pattern like a stack of bright fabrics.  I am a color addict!


{SALE}
Use code  BabyMoon10 at www.StitchStashDiva.com for 10% Off!  This code is valid through Friday April 11th, 2014.

{GIVEAWAY}
 Win a $50 Store Credit to www.StitchStashDiva.com
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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