Saturday, September 27, 2008

Shopping with Grandma

My grandma took us out today for Alli's 11th birthday (this tuesday!). We went to JC Penney to get the girls some shoes. Plus Alli got to pick out a couple tops. Cami got that pink shawl in the picture below. She would not leave the store without it, lol. Alli got that blue sweatshirt + a beautiful gray sweater & green/gray striped tank to go under it. Then we stopped at Claire's. Alli got fake glasses, she is obsessed with wearing them. I think she is crazy, lol. Cami ended up getting a sparkly gold headband & then a clip that has pink braided hair on it. Then we went to eat at Olive Garden. My favorite restaurant, worked out good the girls wanted to go there :) After, we went back to my grandma's. She ended giving the girls a bunch of costume jewelry necklaces. They had so much fun!
Here are the shoes I got, I LOVE them! Aren't they adorable? I wear a 7 & that is the hardest size to find. I ended up having to go up to 7.5. Hopefully they don't drive me nuts. They were pretty lose, but I was only wearing those stockings they give you. I'm hoping with socks, they won't bug me. They were just too cute to pass up!
These are the shoes the girls got. Alli got these Nike, I love them. They are such an odd color combo, it is a bright pink with brown & then silver glitter. Cami got those black & white slip on shoes. Very cute!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Review ~ Ma Motherhood with Attutude

When I came across this website, I fell in love. Ma Motherhood with Attitude sell high quality products with attitude!

‘MA! motherhood with attitude’ creates cards and gifts that help moms express the myriad emotions they face. Janalee and Tiffany, founders of the company, believe that ‘perfect parenting propaganda’ is detrimental to mommy sanity. Motherhood is absolutely the most joyful and magical thing a woman can experience. And, simultaneously, it is a messy, daily slog-fest of diapers, sibling fights and mind-numbing repetition.

MA! products include cards for the Terrible Twos, Potty Training, and Sleep Deprivation, which are as much a part of Mom’s reality as the snuggles, smiles and kisses.

MA! celebrates motherhood in all its messy, confusing, frustrating beauty.

Isn't this the greatest idea for a company? So many moms struggle with being a mom. When you are down, or having a hard time with your kids ... A lot of women then start putting themselves down. Feelings of what is wrong with me start to happen. These fun cards, not only give you a nice laugh, but also show that other moms feel this way. The perfect card to make my point is ~ Welcome to Motherhood ~ Let the guild begin

I was sent a nice assortment of cards and postcards. They are a really high quality. I can't say enough good things about this fun, Mom owned company! My favorite card by the way is the one to the left. I can't tell you how many times I have locked myself in the bathroom for some quite time, lol.

If you know a Mommy that needs support RIGHT NOW, send them a free e-card!

You can even send in photos for them to use on their cards, get the details here. My youngest was a little monster, I bet I have some fun photos I can submit, lol.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Review ~ Kids Klutter Katchers

I came across this website awhile back and fell in love with little bags called Kids Klutter Katchers.

From the website ~


Maintainable organization: Thanks to the zipper, the pieces don't fall out of the bag and mix with others when your child rummages through the toy chest.

Easy content identification: Thanks to the mesh fabric, children can see-through the bags and easily identify what's inside.

Child safety: Compared to storage alternatives like open bins or ziploc plastic bags, these zippered mesh fabric toy bags are a clear winner. Keeping small parts that are choking hazards enclosed in zippered bags rather than in open bins makes them less accessible to infants. Also, mesh bags do not pose a suffocation hazard to younger siblings and playmates like plastic or thicker fabric bags could.

Teaches responsibility: Making clean-up easy with mesh toy bags encourages child development by promoting responsibility.

Space-saving: Using a bag per multi-piece toy (rather than an inappropriately sized box) is a great space-saver in all 3 dimensions.

Time-saving: Clean up time is faster since wooden puzzles needn't be assembled before putting them away. Simply toss the puzzle-board and the pieces into a Kids Klutter Katchers bag to keep them altogether and then toss that bag into a bin with the other puzzles.

Eco-friendly: Fabric bags are a "green" alternative to plastic bags and small plastic containers.

The bags are a really nice size. They hold about the same as two 1 gallon ziploc bags. My girls each have two for there Littlest Pet Shop toys, I used another for 18" {American Girl & the like} doll shoes, another for baby doll shoes, one for baby doll bottles/food accessories, then the rest were used for other smaller toys.

What a difference it made. No more digging through all the doll buckets trying to find a matching pair of shoes or a doll bottle. No more finding LPS all over the house. The girls don't mind putting the stuff away. I can even use my youngest daughters toy box because it is easy to sort through the bags. It is a really great organizing strategy that you might want to consider using!

Visit and use coupon code 3FREEGIN at checkout to receive 3 free Kids Klutter Katchers zippered mesh fabric toy bags with the purchase of 15 or more. Expires 10/1/08

* Yes my girls are have an insane amount of doll stuff, I won't even talk about the even crazier amount of Barbie stuff though *

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shopping for Baby Gifts & Birthday Party

My daughter just got invited to a boys birthday party. Honestly I don't care much for the boy and not at all for the parents. I hate spending money on him, but she plays with him quite a bit and wants to go. I ended up finding some nice little action figures at Meijer on clearance.

My close friend just had a baby. At her shower I found a cute newborn baby gift for her, but what I really wanted to get, I had to wait till she named her little baby. I just love giving customized baby gifts, but that is impossible at the shower. Even if they think they know what they are having, there is always that chance of a surprise, lol. I did end up making her a generic scrapbook as part of her baby shower gift. That is the closest I could think of for personalized without actually seeing baby.

Now that she had her adorable baby girl, I can get her these cute custom leather baby shoes. I'm getting the pink with babies name plus adding on the adorable froggy pail. I love using pals for storage, they look so cute on a dresser. When the baby is little, they work great for little things like nail clippers, baby brush, etc. Then when baby gets older they can hold favorite toys or like I do hair accessories.

What do you prefer to give,
unique personalized baby gifts or generic gifts that can be used for either boy or girl and are possibly more practical?

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Wordless Wednesday ~ Deck your Head Day

Today was Deck your Head day at Allie's middle school. We didn't have any spray on hair day, so I had to come up with something else.

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Event at Borders

Bring the family for games, storytimes, activities, and more! Show the kids your skills at "Hokey Pokey" or just sit and enjoy a storytime together.
While you're enjoying the event, kids get a free cookie with any large beverage purchase at our Seattle's Best Coffee cafe.
There's fun for all ages of kids:
Age 0-5: Join us for storytime and other fun activities
Age 6-8: Come play fun games and enjoy special treats
Age 9-12: Participate in a super-cool scavenger hunt

Review ~ Sara Rose Tutus

Being the mom of 2 dancers, tutus are one of my all time favorite things. When I came across Sara Rose Tutus months ago, I fell in love with Stacy's tutus. What drew me to her tutus, was the gorgeous ribbon around the waste! It just adds so much to the tutu. Stacy named her company after her adorable one year old daughter, Sara Rose. Not only does Stacy make gorgeous tutus, she also works full time and also does reviews over at Busy Mommy Product Reviews.

Stacy was kind enough to make a tutu for my daughter Cami, during her vacation no less. She custom made a pink and yellow tutu with pink ribbon. Cami was delighted when she saw it, thought it was so pretty. She finally got a chance to wear it to ballet class yesterday. We got so many compliments on it! The quality is great, and again that satin ribbon waste just adds such a nice extra touch. The fit was perfect for her, the length was as well.

You can check out all the adorable tutus on Stacy's blog, Sara Rose Tutus, or you can purchase directly from her Etsy shop. There are also now clippies to match your tutu.

Be sure to check out all the adorable Halloween
costumes. I just
love this kitty costume! The Angel and Devil are also adorable, especially if you have two daughters!

Tutus aren't just for kids either, Sara Rose tutus caters to adults as well. Check out how Jodi celebrated her last day of Chemo. On that note, Sara Rose tutus is also donating money to the Leukemia Society.

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Compiling a Christmas Guide

I'm in the process of compiling a HUGE Christmas shopping guide. I'm including my favorite products that I have reviewed, plus other favorite products that are great for gift giving.

If you have a product that would make a great gift, and you are interested in my reviewing it for inclusion into the guide please email me scrappydesigns {at} gmail {dot} com

I'm really looking for unique Tween gift ideas and more ideas for boys and men. Of course anything for girls and women is welcome as well.

Only 93 days till Christmas, wow! Today 100 days of Christmas talks about voting, go check it out!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Fall ~ Thoughts, Favorites, Crafts

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I used to say it was my favorite, but with the girls in school, Summer has actually taken that place. I love not having those homework fights! Plus in Michigan, even summer isn't the warmest, so I now treasure any warm weather we get.

Fall though is real close to the top of the list. I love the crisp cool air, the leaves changing, the new beginnings. Like January, September has all those starting fresh feelings you get. Back to structure, which is good in doses. I love going to the Cider Mill, picking out pumpkins. When I took photography classes, trees were my all time favorite thing to photograph. My favorite day trip was hitting all the cider mills getting pictures.

Some of my favorite fall activities ~

  • Going to the Cider Mill {pumpkin patch}
  • Walking the corn maze
  • hay ride {with tons of allergy meds first, lol}
  • Going to the park ~ you can enjoy it since it isn't so hot!
  • Apple picking
  • Leaf collecting
  • Fall crafts
  • Leaf rubbings
On the topic of crafts, there are so many great resources online to check out. Some of my favorites are ~

100 Days of Christmas has a great post with a free printable for your Fall storage containers here. You can also enter to win a candle on todays post, Falling for Fall.

Finally some great Fall Recipes ~

If you have any fall resources or ideas, please share them in the comments.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

100 Days to Christmas Blog

I'm a few days late, but there is a great blog for the 100 day to Christmas Countdown. Which started on the 16th of September.

The first challenge is a Christmas binder. I was actually going to talk about this in my Holiday Grand Plan Week 4 post. I have a red binder just for Christmas. It is plain though, I really need to get myself motivated this week to make a prettier binder.

Honestly, I don't have much to do for Christmas. We don't have much money & I hardly have anyone to send cards to, etc. Oh well, maybe through all these blogs I can find some cheap/free ways to celebrate Christmas. My kiddos love crafts, so that is one of my favorite thing to do during the holiday season! I'm sure there are tons of out there in similar predicaments, so maybe all together we can come up with great ways to enjoy the holidays together.

One great way to help your holiday expenses, enter my Tiny Prints contest for a $50 Gift certificate. Their cards are so nice, what a nice break in your budget to save that expense!

The $15 gift certificate to Unique Skins would make a good gift as well, I'm giving 3 of those away!

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Holiday Grand Plan Week 4

Wow week 4 already. You can join the yahoo group here.

Feels funny getting ready for Christmas, Halloween is my favorite time of year. I'm hoping to get my Halloween totes out of the attic today. Organized Christmas, also has Halloween ideas in case you aren't ready for Christmas just yet ~

Grand Plan Week 4 Tasks

[ ] Write and address one-fifth of Christmas Card list this week.

[ ] Complete one-fourth of gifts to make this week.

[ ] Fill out holiday menu planner form for each remaining holiday meal that you
will serve in your home. Check serving pieces, and write the contents on a
Post-It note. Make it easy for others to help.

[ ] Inventory the freezer, and record contents on the freezer inventory form.
Plan to eat from the freezer this week and next week, making room for holiday
meals and holiday goodies. Use food budget savings to stock up on holiday

[ ] Start planning holiday baking with the baking planner form, and be alert
for supermarket specials. Try to buy nonperishable holiday foods these week and
next week for all upcoming holiday meals.

[ ] Do a mini-freezer cooking session to put 5-10 pre-made entrees into the
freezer. Use these meals on busy December evenings.

[ ] Prepare for drop-in visitors. Collect hospitality supplies: cheeses,
crackers, frozen desserts. Hide from hungry family members using creative

[ ] Simplify baking chores: organize a Cookie Swap. Invite 6 to 12 guests to
bring as many dozen cookies as there are guests. Swap so that each guest leaves
with a lavish assortment of holiday goodies.

[ ] Make one batch of holiday goodies.

[ ] Make one extra meal for freezer, again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL.

[ ] Buy 2 canned food items from Menus (one for use, and one for donation)

[ ] Buy 1/8 of TO BUY gifts. Save all receipts, noting return policy before
buying. Ask for gift boxes. Wrap and label packages. If needing to ship, get
some shipping boxes now and store packages in them.

[ ] Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts

[ ] Make list of any table and bathroom linens that need replacing before the
holidays. Pick up a few each week.

To Buy This Week:

[ ] Purchase one-fifth of all Christmas gifts. Wrap gifts as they are
purchased. Keep a running total of gift expenditures and enter on the holiday
budget form.

[ ] Trim the food budget to stock up on sale-priced holiday foods. Make a
Thanksgiving Friday grocery-shopping trip for best savings.

Area to Organize - Master Bedroom & Master Bedroom Closets
[ ] First, let's do what we did in the living room. All draperies or curtains
taken down and washed or dry cleaned (or at least vacuumed). Do the same with
your bedspread. While windows are bare, clean blinds and glass.

[ ] Clear off those stacks and piles on and around your dresser/chest of
drawers. Now, dump each drawer, one at a time, or all at the same time into a
central location. Vacuum the drawers if necessary.

[ ] Go through and sort items. Decide what you want to have in the dresser
drawers and put only those items back. Use the 4 box method to sort the
remaining items. If you haven't worn an item in a year, ask yourself if you will
wear it within the next year. If no then get rid of it! (Garage sale, donate to
the needy or someone you know will wear it, or THROW IT OUT!)

[ ] Do similar with items other than clothing that you find along the way. How
about those worn undergarments?? Get rid of them and treat yourself to new! You
may want to invest in, or make dividers for some of these types of articles.

[ ] How about the jewelry box? Time to go through & inventory. Might want to
give some that you don't wear to your kids to play, and leave room for your
better items.

[ ] Have you checked under the bed yet? Better do so! There could be shoes,
books, and other items that have long since been forgotten. You might want to
consider getting storage containers for use under there for your off-season

[ ] Now you're ready for the closet! Use the same technique as for drawers.
Take everything out of the closet and pile in a central location. Decide what
you what to store where in the closet! Then use the 4 box method as you consider
each thing you removed from the closet before you put items into the closet!

[ ] For shoes, try on all pairs if you can't wear them now, chances are you
never will. Get rid of them! And if you never really felt comfortable in a
certain pair, find a friend who would. Come on now, do you really need to keep
the old maternity clothes?? Would anyone else want them? If so, give them away,
if not throw them away! Okay now, get ready to fill the closet with things you
need and love.

[ ] Have you changed the linens on the bed? Turn the mattress first, so you
won't "wear" a valley in it! Throw the pillows into the dryer to fluff, and pull
out all the dust they collect also.

[ ] Time to dust and clean off all the furniture with your favorite product.
Don't forget the TV screen & any mirrors you may have. Everyone has different
things in their bedrooms which are individual to your household. Take a good
look around and see if there is anything that we left out.

[ ] Vacuum the floor of the room and the closet!

[ ] List time: do you need new hangers? Have you replaced winter clothes for
summer clothes? Have you found that necklace that fell behind the dresser last
year? Did you check the ceiling fan, light fixtures & air vents? Do you need a
new mattress pad? Mattress cover?

[ ] We should be finished! What an adventure!

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Review ~ Sam feels better now

I was given the opportunity to review the book Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children through Parent Reviewers. This book was written by author Jill Osborne for children 4 - 7.

Product Description
Sam saw something awful and scary! Ms. Carol, a special therapist, will show Sam how to feel better. Children can help Sam feel better too by using drawings, play, and storytelling activities. They will be able to identify and manage their own feelings and difficulties in their lives following a traumatic event, crisis, or grief.

In Jill Osborne's own words :
Sam's trauma is left open so that when a child is working with this book he or she can use his or her own experiences in defining what experience Sam has had. Sam's trauma could be a variety of things, sexual abuse, physical or verbal abuse, natural disaster, war, dog bites. I left it open for the child to decide, and for therapists and caregivers to decide if the child they are working with could benefit. I did gear it toward the more severe experiences children might have, such as abuse, but trauma is unique to each person. One child might experience a dog bite as a minor incident, cry, get medical attention, and have few other troubles, whereas another child might experience it in a more traumatic way and develop nightmares of dogs, a fear of dogs, or other disturbances.

The purpose of the book is to help children who have experienced traumatic events to be able to learn how to cope, and reduce the effects of traumatic stress.

This book is really great. It is a softcover book with activities throughout the book. Like Jill stated, the trauma is left open for Sam. That way kids can use Sam to help them deal with whatever trauma they may be facing. Sam Feels Better Now is a great resource for counselors working with children. Jill Osbourne has a great deal of education and experience in dealing with children who are survivors of domestic violence.

The book starts out by describing Sam as having gone through a bad experience. The story begins with him meeting his counselor and feeling comfortable with her. The interactive exercises involve have the child draw pictures that relate to the story. Sam also gets to talk about his emotions. The story continues with the child helping Sam by listing their own personal resources that he can utilize. These involve identifying people and places that he can go to help get him through the scary times. There are also exercises to help the child identify their emotions and to help them get started with telling their own story. Through the pictures and exercises, kids can start to learn to cope with their own trauma. Really an excellent book.

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TV Store Online Halloween Costume Giveaway

I didn't realize that the sold a huge line of Halloween costumes until recently. They are the place to go if yo...