Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oliver's Labels:Review

A while back, I was contacted by Oliver's Labels. They offered to send me some of Stick-eez no-iron clothing labels to review, and I enthusiastically said "YES!" I actually won some of their original labels a few months ago and am loving them, so I was really excited to try out their new product. They have a huge selection of designs. I let Amelia choose her favorite, Nature. When the labels came, they sent me a sheet of clothing labels, plus a sampler of their other products.

My favorite feature is that the labels are fully washable. The original labels go through the dishwasher, no problem. I've labeled all our sippies, and they've gone through the dishwasher nearly every day for the past month. They look good as new.

When I received the clothing labels, I immediately labeled Amelia's coats and ran them through a desperately needed wash the next day. I was skeptical that the labels would last, but they came through perfectly. It's almost like they become one with the fabric.

Another great feature is the "Found It" code. Amelia's labels came with a code that, if lost, whoever finds her item can enter the code on the website and Oliver's Labels will send me an email. Oliver's Labels acts as an intermediary, so I never have to reveal any personal information in order to get her item back. The best part is, the "Found It" option is totally free!

Visit Oliver's Labels to browse their full collection of labels. They'd be great for labeling your kids' stuff for camp and sports, baby gear, shoes, etc. And they're not just for kids! They have a fashion line for hip adults, as well as solid colors. I use the solid labels on my spendy stainless steel water bottles.

Thank you, Oliver's Labels, for the opportunity to try your fantastic products!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Make Something Monday

Better late than never....a few weeks ago, the girls and I made bird feeders for the returning birds. I don't know if robins even eat from feeders, but when I saw the first one, I was so excited I had to do something for it! I bought bulk birdseed at Pet Expo and looked for recipes using peanut butter, since I have a lot stocked up from coupon deals and WIC. I found one using day-old bread, peanut butter, bird seed, and yarn...all things I have around most of the time.

Cut bread into shapes with cookie cutters; the larger and less complicated the shape, the better. Don't forget to poke a hole with a straw towards the top. Then let the bread sit out for a few hours to dry and get hard. Spread both sides with peanut butter, and dip in bird seed. Finally, thread yarn through the hole to make a hanger.

It's suggested that you hang the feeders near other branches to give the birds something to perch on. We waited for a warm-ish day and scouted out the perfect locations for our little feeders. They were gone within 2 days, whether the birds or the squirrels got them, I couldn't say. And honestly, we regularly feed squirrels here, too!

Cabin Fever

B was gone last week on business, which the girls and I are starting to get used to. Instead of acting out, they tend to verbalize that they miss him, which is good. And with a new vehicle, I feel I have more freedom while he's gone. However...this last trip, B accidentally took all the vehicle keys with him, leaving me stranded for four days. Which meant lots of phone calls that went something like this:

"Hi, this is Naomi. Sorry I can't make it to (fill in the blank). B is out of town on business and took all the keys with him, so I have no transportation."


"Mom, can you pick up (fill in the blank) and drop it off for me?"


"Mom, can you pick up supper for us?"


"Mom, can you do (fill in the blank) on your way to/from work?"

Thank the Lord we live in the same town as family, and not at the Arizona branch!!!!

Although I was really disappointed at first, especially to miss youth group, it turned out to be a blessing. I watched my friend's baby on Wednesday and Friday, and by the time 7pm rolled around Wednesday, I was ready to crash, and glad that I didn't have to drive home with the kids from youth group at 9. And I ended up catching a cold, so it was nice to be able to relax a little more on Thursday before having Grant again on Friday. My friend Amber was able to visit on Thursday, and without having to be at speech by 3, she was able to stay and visit after our workout. Blessings aside, I was still frantic to get out of the house by the time B got home Friday night.

I forced him to take me out to eat on Friday, and Saturday morning I was still feeling cabin fever, so we decided to take a road trip, somewhere...anywhere!!! We decided to visit friends we haven't seen in a while. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the drive was relaxing. I read aloud the Deadliest Catch book my brother bought for B (it's even autographed to B), so the drive was filled with plenty of laughter. We had a fun visit with our friends, went to Menards to look at bathroom fixtures for our upcoming remodel, and got home around 9.

Sunday was a little rockier. We were both feeling the effects of a long week, and we had a full day ahead of us. We got to church late, then had to rush off afterwards so B could get his hair cut while the girls and I ate in the car. Then home to pick up a birthday present, then drive to a birthday party. After the party, we had to make a Walmart trip for much needed supplies. I was cranky, finding it hard to adjust to having B back home. While I miss him when he's gone, the girls and I quickly get into a fairly smooth routine, and I have complete control of our days. With B back, I have to get used to working around and with someone else. It can get a bit bumpy, but we got through it, and after crashing early last night, I'm looking forward to having him home this week. Especially to cuddle up with and watch some long-overdue Bones episodes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Maternity Jamboree

Life Starring Ellie and Eve's Maternity Jamboree is still going on! I've been enjoying the pregnancy tips and reviews, and looking forward to someday being able to apply them. She has some new giveaways up, including a chance to win a Belly Band to cover up that growing belly when your shirts start getting too short, and a pair of chic Citizens of Humanity maternity jeans, worn by your favorite celebrities. Or a Nursing Mom Package from GlamourMom, including a nursing tank. She's also giving away a gorgeous Babydoll top from DeadWorry, perfect for the pregnant and non-pregnant alike, and a Bravado Nursing Tank in aquamarine, the perfect color for summer!

She's got lots more giveaways going on! I plan to head back over later today and enter for more great prizes. I hope you will, too! And while you're there, give some comment love on her fun pregnancy and baby-related posts.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Monster List

Piece of Me is giving away a car seat or stroller sunshade from Protect-A-Bub, a company specializing in unique and functional products to protect your family from the damage of sun exposure.

My Organized Chaos is giving away a gorgeous handbag from Nest. I love that it's large enough to fit a few baby essentials in it, without looking at all like a diaper bag.

Barefoot Mommies is giving away a Pamper Pack for new moms from Rosy Glow. Barefoot Mommies is one of my favorite giveaway sites: I have one two prizes from them, including a car seat!

Everything Up Close is giving away a pendant from Lincoln Christian. I've been wanting to try a tile pendant, and these are gorgeous. She even offers a collection for just Twilight fans.

Thrifty and Chic Mom is giving away an organic spice set from TSP. They come pre-measured in tsp. servings, so you never have to worry about your spices getting old and losing their flavor. She's also giving away Piggy Paint, non-toxic nail polish made especially for little girls, and personalized note cards from The Note House.

Sandier Pastures is giving away a beautiful Jade and Copper bracelet from Designs by Cher.

A Giveaway Addicted Mommie is giving away 2 packs of Boogie Wipes for little noses.

Mama's Moneysavers is giving away a Bum Genious diaper. I'd love to try one of these for nighttime. She's also giving away a 1-year subscription to the online menu-planning service Relish!

LadyBug soup is giving away your choice of vinyl wall art from Visions in Vinyl. I'd love the "Together Forever" for my bedroom wall.

Parents Gear is giving away soap from Save Your World.

For those of you who are knitters, enter at FatChick to win a Ball and Swift Winder to wind your yarn into center-pull balls. If you are new to knitting, a center pull ball is amazingly easier to work than the alternative.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Giveaways

Enter at Mrs. Cox's Slice O' Heaven to win a pair of earrings. Aren't they gorgeous?

She's also giving away a Hyland's Kids Gift Basket of homeopathic remedies for teething, diaper rash, ear ache, etc...

I love the jewelry company Twisted Silver, and Rundpinne is giving away one of their unique and funky bracelets.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hornets and Wasps and Japanese Beetles Oh, My!

Every spring our home is invaded by wasps and hornets. Somehow they come into our attic stairwell,and one or two inevitably end up in a bedroom. They swarm around our home and garage, and become a general nuisance, not to mention a danger to my kids. Last year we finally gave up and sprayed a heavy duty chemical around the outside of the house, which somewhat took care of the problem. (and left piles of dead japanese beetles on my front porch) I finally got around to vacuuming the attic stairwell last week, and was quickly reminded of our nasty hornet problem. Even creepier, while watching my favorite show ("Bones") the other night with my hubby, I felt something crawling on my neck. Yep, a hornet. This was in the basement, a full three levels below the attic! So I am anxious to find a better solution to this problem. I'd love to try the Flying Insect Repellant from EcoSmart, and am doing my best to win one over at Shop Annie's.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Giveaways

Jolly Mom is part of the 5 Minutes for Mom Blog Party and has several great giveaways going on right now.

Enter to win $25 to use at EcoStore USA. EcoStore USA carries truly safe and natural, plant-based cleaning and bath/body products. I love that their motto is No Nasty Chemicals!

She's also giving away a Scrabble Tile Pendant from The Gift Closet.

And a weight-loss book, The Ah-Ha's of Weight Loss, from the makers of JumpSnap!

Funky Monkey is giving away a Kimochi Doll. Kimochi dolls are cute plush toys that help children express their feelings. Each doll includes 3 "feelings" that can be placed in the doll's pockets.

Friday, March 20, 2009

God Works All Things For Good

It seems that lately God has placed several people in my life who are going through really tough circumstances and events. Perhaps He knows that now that I've made it through my latest period of testing and sharpening, I'm ready to encourage others. Or perhaps I was so caught up in my own situation before that I didn't see the other hurting people right in front of me. Whatever the case, I pray that God will use me as a comfort and encouragement to those in my life who are struggling or broken-hearted. To those of you who are feeling discouraged, crushed, confused, are hurting and in dire straits, I offer this devotional on the life of Joseph. His story is a great example of the truth that while not all things are good, God can and will use all things for good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Video Worth Watching

My mother-in-law forwarded this video to me. It's a moving video on the consequences of sin, and was apparently filmed in the town ten miles from my home, which is really cool. I encourage you to take a moment to watch it, and show it to your teenage/twenties children.

Annie's Home Giveaway

Head over to Annie's Home and enter to win a pair of adorable Bugaboo shoes of your choice! They have some super-cute sandals for summer.

My Organized Chaos: Naturepedic ~ Review & Giveaway

My Organized Chaos: Naturepedic ~ Review & Giveaway When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my mom began doing research on crib mattresses. What she found scared and amazed me. I cannot believe the nasty chemicals our children's mattresses are made of! There is evidence that suggests that fumes released by crib mattresses, especially fire-retardant ones, may be a cause of SIDS. At the time, the only solution we could find (other than ordering an expensive mattress from overseas, and paying exhorbitant shipping) was to purchase special non-toxic plastic sheeting at Menard's and cover the top and sides of the mattress, forcing the flow of fumes downward instead of towards baby's face. Since then, safer options like this mattress are becoming more common. I can't believe it's taken so long!

Wordless Wednesday

The warm weather this week makes me excited for summer fun and games!

Belli Skincare Giveaway

Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous is hosting a giveaway for Belli skincare. Belli features safe products for pregnancy and beyond. They are the only brand that has been teratology and LactMed screened to ensure safety for both pre-born and nursing babies. Enter to win a Motherhood Essentials Kit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Truthful Tuesday: Coupons!

Today's Truth: I love to save money. My favorite way to save is to use coupons, because I get a huge rush out of seeing that total plummet. I have saved 50% plus on shopping trips, and am disappointed with anything less than 25%, not including sale prices. I have spent many hours online researching deals, printing coupons, and organizing shopping trips. Yes, it is time-consuming, but I consider saving money part of my job as a *mostly* Stay-At-Home Mom. I decided I'd share some of my secrets today.

Before every Walmart trip, I check for Johnson's Buddies coupons. My daughters love the Buddies soaps because they are encased in easy-grip mesh, so they can easily scrub themselves without losing slippery soap. Although I like to try to purchase "natural" body care products for my girls, I can't justify *not* purchasing these. At my Walmart, they are just under a dollar, and I can usually find at least one $1 off coupon, making them FREE! Print Your Coupon, coupon 2 , coupon 3 , coupon 4. I should end up with 8 free bars today.

Here is a great coupon website. I check it regularly for new printable coupons. Right now it has a $5 Huggies and a $3 Huggies coupon. This is a fabulous deal if you use diapers, especially if you can find a good sale to go with it. I purchased 3 packs of Huggies at Walgreens last week for $13, and they gave me $10 in Register Rewards. So basically, $1/pack. At that price, it's worth getting them to have on hand for emergencies, even though I use cloth.

Although I love internet coupons, I also buy a Sunday paper every week. The $1.50-$2 investment always pays off. Even better, if I can stretch my tank of gas til Sunday and fill up at Casey's, they'll give me a paper for FREE! (If you do this, make sure to do it right away in the morning; they go fast.)

It's possible to find great deals every week, even every day. One of my favorite resources is A Full Cup. Registration is free, and it has a coupon database, forums for nearly every store you can think of, a coupon trading area, and general questions area. This site is a must, especially if you are just starting out. Browsing the forums will saturate your brain with coupon tips, tricks, and secrets, and the members are always willing to help out with any questions. Before every shopping trip, I check the forums for the stores I plan to visit. They usually have a list of coupon match-ups, which helps me maximize my savings by matching my coupons to store sales.

I store my coupons in three binders, by category. The pages are baseball card protectors. I have a large tote that I keep these binders in at all times, so when I sit down to create my shopping list, I grab my tote and laptop and am set to go. I also keep a scissors and small coupon organizer in my tote. I use the organizer for designated stores. For instance, if I'm going to Walmart that week, I place the coupons and shopping list in the Walmart file.

Implementing coupons in your shopping really can save money. The trick is finding coupons for items your family uses, and matching coupons with sales. My challenge to you this week is to set aside one hour towards couponing, be it researching on A Full Cup, printing internet coupons, or setting up your coupon system. You may be surprised at the fulfillment you feel at watching those numbers drop at the cash register!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Great New Kitchen/Cooking Site

In the Kitchen

Everything Up Close has started a sister blog, Everything in the Kitchen Up Close. This new blog includes recipes, food facts, kitchen product reviews, giveaways, guest sites and bloggers...I look forward to reading this blog each day and learning new ways to be productive in my kitchen. They have a giveaway right now for a kitchen pack of e-cloths, to help you break your addiction to paper towels. They're also giving away a one-year subscription to the menu-planning service Relish! The unique feature of this service is your ability to put together your own menu from their list of meals, instead of being locked into someone else's choices. It also gives you the option to convert your meals into a handy shopping list. I know I struggle with coming up with a menu plan, and tend to fall back on a handfull of dishes I know I can prepare well. I'd love to opportunity to try some new recipes, and to have my meals planned in advance rather than scrambling to come with something at 5:00.Lastly, they are also giving away the book "Eat Well, Live Longer" I love that this book has information on the best foods for each stage of life, as well as recipes and nutrition information. As a mom, I'm always interested in learning how to better feed my children to ensure that they get a nutritionally sound start in life.

Maternity Giveaways

Life Starring Ellie and Eve has more maternity giveaways going on during their Month-Long Maternity Jamboree. Check out their Japanese Weekend giveaway for a maternity wardrobe.

Or enter to win a child's outfit from Noppies.

A while back, I won the Everyday Cami from Ingrid and Isabel. Even though I'm not pregnant, I couldn't help but try it out, and it has become my new favorite tank. It's made from a very soft, stretchy material that I'm sure would be very comfortable while pregnant. Enter here to win one of their Bella Bands, a nifty product that helps prolong your ability to wear pre-pregnancy pants.

The Meaning of Joy

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

Lately I've been working on sustaining my joy throughout day to day life. It seems that now the crisis of unemployment is over, it's easy to slip back into being disgruntled and upset about the silly details of life, whereas before, because life felt so out-of-control, I knew I had to be in constant communication with the Lord in order to feel joy and peace. Because I had such an overpowering need for Christ to hold me up during that time, it became almost automatic to trade in my troubles for joy, to make that conscious choice each day. Now that life has settled down, I've allowed myself to get drawn back into the meaningless routine of each day, forgetting to turn to him for my daily needs; patience with my children, love for my husband, an overflowing schedule, etc. The verse above is a great reminder that no matter the circumstance, we are called and able to be filled with joy.

Dreamsacks Giveaway

Visit And Twins Make 5! to enter to win a DreamSack baby gift set made from eco-friendly, super soft bamboo. Or head straight over to DreamSacks to order from their yummy selection, including bath/bedding and women's products.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Enter to win Blush, the topless undershirt, at Shop Annies. Basically, this is a band of lycra fabric that peeks out from beneath your overshirt, so that when you bend over or raise your arms, your skin is covered. I've used and loved a similar product during pregnancy.


Anybody out there know why my links aren't working anymore? Please Help!

Enter to win an adorable pair of Jack and Lily shoes.

Enter to win a really handy "Eat, Sleep, Poop" journal for your new addition. Keep track of all those little details your sleep-deprived head can't keep organized.

Lastly, head over to Organized Chaos to win a funky organic onesie or tee from Little Chickie.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Enter to win Garden of Eve 3.3oz Hand and Body cream of your choice or a Face Care Sampler Kit at Prissy Green.

Brain Dump

I'm sitting here trying to get myself moving, and I think I need to do a brain dump. Sometimes putting a problem on "paper" helps me let it go. So bear with me. Yesterday a situation I thought had been resolved reared up again, and today I'm allowing myself to feel victimized and depressed. Scratch that, I was allowing myself to feel victimized and depressed. But from this moment on, that problem no longer has power over my life. The only thing I have control over in this situation is my own reaction, and I vow to no longer react with fear and anger. At least for today, I'm emotionally removing myself from the situation, and giving it over to God to deal with. Aaaaaahhh, that feels good. Time to put on some praise music and restart my day! Check out the song on the bottom of my page for a sample of what I'm listening to today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

O Yikes Diaper Bag Giveaway

Piece of ME is giving away winner's choice of diaper bag from O Yikes! These bags are unique and stylish, and would be great for either mom or dad to tote around, depending on the colors you chose. I've been eyeing the slingback design, as it looks like a great hands-free way to carry all those diapering essentials. I sometimes have to carry/manhandle both kiddos, which is hard to do with a diaper bag hanging off my arm, so the slingback would be a great solution. Sign up to win, or visit Piece of ME for a discount code if you don't want to wait!

Wordless Wednesday

Baby, it's cold outside!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Barefoot Mommies Giveaways

Visit http://barefoot-mommy.blogspot.com/ today for some great giveaways! I just won a pair of kid's sunglasses from their site (haven't gotten them yet, but I'll let you know soon how I like them), so maybe you'll get lucky, too!

First up is BumGenius 3.0 cloth diapers from Kelly's Closet. I'm always excited about cloth diaper giveaways, because they are an obsession of mine, and I've been dying to try these out for night-time. Check them out here: http://www.kellyscloset.com/

Sign up to win cute and comfy children's shoes from Umi. I would love to win their adorable Lucy sandal. I'm on the lookout for some cute white sandals for spring/summer, and these would be perfect! They're shaped like little adult sandals, but are made for children's feet, and have a sweet little flower across the front strap. They also have really cute boy's shoes.

They're also giving away a booster from Recaro. I've been looking at the new carseats with side impact protection, and would love to have this for Amelia. Her booster is getting worn out, and she's so little I'm sure she'll be in one for a while.

And a $25 gift certificate to Earth Mama Angel Baby. Use it to purchase natural bath and body products for your babies, children, yourself, or that pregnant mama you know.

For all you chocolate lovers, this ones for you! Win a $25 gift certificate to CocoZen, where you can purchase decadent chocolate, or chocolate-scented body products!

Tuesday's Truth

My truth this week...although I love being a mom I don't always like it. Today is one of those days. For some reason, rebellion has reared its ugly head in Amelia, and I feel like I have battling its nasty attitude for weeks, though I'm sure in truth it hasn't been that long. The ugly truth...it's now 5:00 and I've been trying to get Amelia to clean up her room from her time-out tantrum since 1:00. That's four hours! And right now she has taken advantage of my distraction on the computer to sneak down and get a snack. So the worst truth of all is that it is REALLY time for me to end this blog post and send her little bum back upstairs to finish the job she started four hours ago. So please pray for me faithful readers as I try to maintain my patience and my resolve. And I think tonight calls for some extra prayer time for my daughter's little spirit, that she would kick out the rebellion and replace it with peace and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Tuesdays Giveaways (thank you Momma in FlipFlops 2!!!)

Enter to win a really cute and unique knit hat for that special child in your life.

Momma in FlipFlops2 is giving away 3 items from Kimberly Parry Organics. I checked out her online store, and would love to try her products. For one thing, I'm all about pretty packaging, and her packaging is gorgeous. I also love that her products are made fresh, and that I don't have to worry about any icky chemicals soaking into my (or my children's) skin.

She's also giving away a gorgeous handbag from Elliot Lucca. I'd love to win this (or any) bag from this fab company. I checked out their website and fell in love with their sunny yellow Bari Shopper. Too bad I already spent the majority of my birthday money...

Or enter to win a really cool ring sling from Parenting by Nature. My favorite feature of this sling is the pocket, because with a baby on your hip, there's not a whole lot of room for a purse. The patterned pocket also gives them a very unique and funky style, which I like. Parenting by Nature also carries all kinds of natural parenting products, from body care to cloth diapers.

Or maternity shirts from Boob Maternity. Is it bad that I love that name? Check out their websit for chic and trendy maternity clothes that accentuate your gorgeous growing belly.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Giveaways

Enter this fab giveaway at Piece of Me for a complete, absolutely adorable, baby outfit from Zutano.

Enter at JollyMom to win all-natural body products to pamper yourself and your family.

The Soothie Ranch is giving away your choice of Jack and Lily shoes. These shoes are so adorable, and good for baby's feet. I've been coveting the Chocolate Lovebird shoes for Addie, but no luck winning so far *sigh*.
Check out all of Jack and Lily's adorable shoes and booties.

I've been enjoying a new-to-me blog, Sandier Pastures, because the author lives in Dubai, and my family knows a few people who also live there. She writes of her unique experiences there, and also hosts some great giveaways. Today's is for a gift certificate to Red Ruby Rose. http://www.sandierpastures.com/giveaway/giveaway-red-ruby-rose.html/comment-page-6#comment-93722

Enter to win a whole package of gorgeous handmade items!

Month-Long Maternity Jamboree

One of my favorite blogs, Life Starring Ellie and Eve, is hosting a month-long maternity giveaway. There is a new giveaway every day in March, and she'll be chatting about pregnancy-related topics all month long. Pop on by and share your comments on her posts-she wants to hear from us;)-and enter some really cool giveaways. I just entered for some gorgeous maternity/nursing intimates, and am on my way back to enter for some more awesome prizes!