Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Wishlist: Christmas cards from Minted.com

After Thanksgiving every year I start to get the itch fast to make my Christmas cards! I usually try to scour the internet for coupons and deals, and this year I came across the site that stole my heart for this years Christmas cards: Minted.com.

Minted does not only do Holiday and Christmas cards, but they also have baby announcements, wedding announcements, and personalized gifts! I spent quite a bit of time looking over each are on their website, drooling of all the things I could make for gifts this year, as well as which card I would choose for my cards this year.

Of course, I still haven't decided which ones I am going to use. From luggage shaped, to gorgeous elegant cut out shaped cards, to foil pressed cards...the options are endless! You can even get free recipient printing!! No more worrying about finding time to sit down and hand write all of those addresses. Just type them in quick and let Minted to do the work for you! I know with just 2 kids, I can't seem to find any alone time for things like addressing Christmas Cards anymore. This is one last thing I will have to do before getting into bed, so I am excited about that extra hour of sleep I will be getting!

I love that you can get very simple desings, to super fancy and detailed designs as well. Maybe you are far from home and you want everyone to know how your year has gone, without leaving out all of the details! Or maybe you just want to simply send a wish for a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, without all of the extra stuff. There are so many styles, you won't be able to just pick one.

If you have time today and want to catch their Cyber Monday deal, it has been extended through Tuesday at 11:59pm! You get 15% off and free shipping on holiday orders, and 25% off everything else! No code is needed.

Hurry over to Minted.com and check out all of their many designs for your Christmas or Holiday cards this year, I know I am going to!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Alo Yoga {Yoga Clothing & Activewear}

When I work out, I have to be comfortable. Period. I have enough to worry about when I am exercising- my hair falling in my face, my kids screaming at me to get them a snack, the time going way too slowly on my eliptical (ugh!) and the overall exhaustion that comes with exercising. I don't want to have to worry about an uncomfortable sports bra chaffing my neck, or my exercise pants pinching off my love handles or riding up my back. And--not most important but definitely up there- I want to look GOOD working out! If we have to work out, we wanna look good and feel good doing so. So I went in search for my perfect work out pant, and I think I have found the winner!

Alo Yoga offers lots of different styles of tops, bottoms, sports bras, outerwear, and accessories. I was able to review a pair of their dreamy ribbed goddess leggings and their paddle fast short sports bra. The two together- an amazing combo! You seriously feel beautiful when you are exercising and I love that. The goddess leggings are the most comfortable pants I have ever worn in my life, no joke. They are tight enough that they give you the support you want and need, but not too constricting that you feel like you are being pinched in half. The compression is in just the right spots to give your buns a nice little lift and a little extra squeeze around those thighs. They are totally slimming and I can honestly say they are worth every penny. The sports bra was nothing short of amazing as well. I love the cross back style that prevents chafing and digging into your shoulder blades. It is moisture-wicking and anti-microbial, also two awesome benefits. And they do a great job of holding the girls in place. I wore my whole Alo outfit to a trampoline park last week because I knew I would need the extra stretch and support, and it was perfect! The bra held me in nice and tight (but not too tight) and I had the flexibility I needed so I didn't rip a hole in my mom jeans. ;) Thumbs up for both of these amazing items! 

Buy It: Head on over to Alo Yoga's website to check out all of their amazing Activewear, you won't regret it! The ribbed goddess leggings are $92 (but I am telling you, no regrets people! Worth every penny!) and the sports bra I reviewed is $42. Put them on your Christmas list this year and tell Santa you have been really, really good! ;)

Win It: Here is your chance to win some awesome gear from Alo! One of my readers will win a pair of Alo Yoga's amazing Airbrush Capri leggings! Enter this giveaway in the widget below!

Giveaway will close 11/7 at 11:59 pm CST. Giveaway is open to U.S.  residents only. Winner will be picked the following day and will be emailed that day. Winner has 48 hours to confirm their prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. A BIG thank you to Shana @ Alo Yoga for providing the review products and the giveaway prize!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Practicing what we Preach: the Key to a Happy Home

As my 4 year old son was begging me for fruit snacks today, over and over again, I'd had it. If I have to listen to him ask me for fruit snacks one more time.... I MIIGHT EXPLODE. No, but seriously. {I'm trying to dry my hair!} After about 5 minutes of begging ( which seemed like 30) I hurried to the cabinet and threw some fruit snacks onto the table so he would stop, and I could continue blow drying my hair. While doing this, I somehow found myself putting myself in his shoes. He must get REALLY tired, asking me multiple times for the same thing, with the same old response " one minute, baby" or "hold on a sec, mommy is busy..."

Well, the same goes for us as mommies, right? What if we did those things that we so desperately want ourselves? What if we practiced what we preach and teach at home? A few things came to mind ( in between the blow drying and brushing) that I thought we could all use, to maybe...just MAYBE make things a little easier on everyone in the home.

ONLY ASK ONCE. Wouldn't it be nice if our kids listened to us the first time we asked, every time? Well, yes it absolutely would. But we all know that is impossible. We are busy! We are doing a million things at once. But can't we all try a little bit harder? What if I would have gotten B those fruit snacks the first time he asked? It probably would have saved me a couple of sighs and grumpy thoughts and he would have stopped bugging me after the first time. Maybe if we as mommies start listening to our kids the first ( or second ) time they ask us for something, they might start learning to listen to us a little more? What do you think?

CLEAN UP YOUR MESS. I can't count how many times I say this a day. "Who dumped all of the Hot Wheels out!?" " Why did you start this art project and leave it half finished?!" Why...WHy... WHY!! Well, I then thought about the things I do that I could probably be better at...unfinished sewing projects lying around the house. Scrapbooks. That LAUNDRY pile that has been sitting there for a week and a half now, definitely wrinkled and probably soiled again by dog hair, spilled milk...or who knows what. What if I would have put that laundry away the minute it came out of the dryer? It wouldn't be sitting there, unfolded, staring me in the face, and everyone would be a little happier. So what if I have a desk specifically made for storing my scrapbooking supplies? SO...think of how HAPPY my husband would be if he could eat his dinner on the kitchen table and not in the TV room because our family photos and my strategically matching stickers are all over the table! ( On a side note, at least I am doing something with those photos right? ) Point on this one...maybe we could all clean up our messes just a little bit more, a little but quicker. For our moms?? ;)

STOP SCREAMING! My 4 year old BOY is going through a screaming phase. I mean, blood curling, I think he is getting kidnapped scream...and I find myself constantly reminding him to use his "indoor voice" and explaining to him that there is no need to raise his voice unless there is an emergency. Well...does the same not go for us? Obviously, we as mothers probably don't do much high pitch screaming in our homes. But I do know that it's easy for me to find myself raising my voice when I get angry...probably a little too much at times. I know that look on my son's face when I get very upset and I know it's usually the result of me raising my voice, probably at times that didn't warrant the " I am REALLY mad voice" that came out. Maybe if we all spoke more gently, more sweetly to our children, they could learn from us? 

NO MORE ELECTRONICS TODAY. We can all relate to this one. "Mom, PLEASE can I watch another episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse?" "Mom, can I PLEEEEASE play a game on your phone?" "Mom, just one more movie today, pleeeeease?" Ok, moms. We live in Iowa. We "enjoy" Winter 9 months out of the year. It's impossible to NOT use electronics and I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to double features on a snow day. But there comes a time when we have to say NO to the TV. NO to the iPad. NO to the cell phone and computer. Because let's be honest, TOO MUCH screen time is not good for anyone. I know this is a very debatable subject so I don't want to go into too much depth on this one, but if we truly believe it's not good for our kids, can it really be all that great for us? Another one to think about as we holler out " NO MORE IPAD TODAY!!"

And on that note...I end this list of things I wish my kids AND I could be better at.  Here's to learning from our own threats, less screaming on both parts, less messes, listening the first time, and turning off our computers.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Pink Blush Maternity

Now that the big prego belly is gone, it's time to find a new, cute wardrobe, right?! Ok, who has time and money for that? But in the meantime, a few nice, new items would be well deserved, right?

Right now the hardest thing for me is finding outfits ( especially for church) that are breastfeeding friendly. It's so much easier to have a nursing shirt with a skirt at church rather than a dress- but when I was browsing Pink Blush maternity, I found the cutest and best dress ever for nursing that allows me to nurse, and wear a dress at the same time!

I was able to review the Colorblock Maternity/Nursing maxi dress! It is such a flattering dress, and I have gotten so, so many complements on it! And the best part, all I have to do is pull down the front and I can nurse at church, or anywhere for that matter, at ease! I love the color, and the lace detail! It's easily one of my most favorite dresses. I also love that I can wear it when I get pregnant next time around ( but let's not talk about that just yet!)

There are lots of different styles similar to this dress on the Pink Blush Maternity Website! One of my new favorites is the Navy/Coral Print top Maternity/Nursing maxi dress. Very similar to the dress I am wearing, but with a cute patterned top! Their prices are very affordable, this one going for $39.99.

Pink Blush Maternity has offered my readers a $25.00 gift certificate to their website! Enter in the contest form below. Contest ends 10/5.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guidlines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Book Review & giveaway: Rufus and Ryan go to church!

I was given Rufus and Ryan Go to Church from Flyby Promotions in exchange for an honest book review. 

I was so excited to review this cute little board book! Religion is a big part of my life, and I enjoy teaching my son about religion and feel that it is important for him to learn about church at an early age!

Rufus and Ryan go to church is about a little boy named Ryan who takes his stuffed monkey to church and teaches him what church is all about! From bible stories, to praying, to singing, Rufus learns the ins and outs of church and what it's all about. The author does a great job of keeping the church non- denominational and non biased, which is very important! The illustrations are adorable and my son has asked me and my husband to read it to him countless times already.

From the Press: Author Kathleen Bostrom brings a delightfully light touch to the text as she provides an introduction to an experience that most children are exposed to long before they understand why. And children everywhere will relate to the idea of explaining their surroundings to their favorite companions as they go about their daily activities. This is just one of the first titles in a new series of inspirational books for preschoolers. Also available now:Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers.

Win it! Now you have a chance to win this darling book that your kids will read for years to come. Enter in the giveaway form below.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cascade Platinum Pacs: Review #MyPlatinum #sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

When we moved to Iowa, I didn't realize how moving to a smaller suburb of a small city would affect my dishes- our water is SO hard! So hard in fact, that after I do my dishes, I have hard water spots all over them and sometimes I can't get them off! What I had been using was just not doing my dishes justice when I washed them in the dishwasher- I would have to wash them and dry them all by HAND- and let's be honest, who likes doing that? 

Cascade© Platinum Pacs feature an advanced triple action recipe that is specially designed to leave dishware virtually spot-free and help prevent the build-up of hard-water film on dishwasher walls. Each pre-measured Pac contains a granule dish-detergent paired with the grease fighting power of Dawn. Convenient, easy to use and they fit perfectly into my dishwasher’s detergent holder. 

When I got the opportunity to try out the new Cascade Platinum pacs, I was so excited! It was so great to not have to pour any powder ( we all know that stuff gets everywhere and sometimes doesn't come off the dishes- yum!) and it was just so simple to pop a pac into the little soap tray and send the dishes on their way. 

Once the dishes came out, the amount of hard water spots was insanely less than before! These pacs work really hard to eliminate the hard water deposits, and I could definitely notice! My dishwasher even sparkled when I opened it up!

Cascade's Partnership with Gail Simmons:

Now, more than ever, people eat with their eyes, and the evidence is all over sites like Facebook and
Instagram. With that in mind, Top Chef judge and editor of Food+Wine magazine, Gail Simmons, has
partnered with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation.

· From prep to plating: It’s more than just a great-tasting recipe, but also perfect presentation.
Sparkling dishes, shining flat ware and spot-free glasses truly let you put your best food forward
with culinary creations that pop!

· Gail recommends impressing with a Platinum Presentation:
“The easiest recipes pop with
unexpected, gourmet presentations. Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer
desserts in crystal-clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum,
which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests.”

Learn more about Cascade’s partnership with Gail Simmons by viewing additional videos available on Cascade's Facebook page as well as Cascade's YouTube page.

Don't forget to enter the #myplatinum instagram contest!

The Cascade “My Platinum” contest is a four-week Instagram contest encouraging fans to upload photos related to the weekly contest themes. Show off how sparkly Cascade makes all your pots, pan and plates! Visit the contest landing page for information on how to enter and submit images:

Each week, two contestants will be selected to receive a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher. Additionally, one lucky grand prize winner will receive a Platinum kitchen!!

To win, users have to both register and upload a photo with the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag
@MyCascade. Participants that have not registered will be disqualified from winning.
Each week will have a 6-day entry period where Instagram users can enter the contest with their #MyPlatinum Photo. Cascade will choose two weekly winners and one final grand prize winner after the entry period has ended. Please be sure to include both the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade in your entries to the contest!

Week 1: My Platinum Plate (Entry Period: 6/3-6/9) Show us your best dish styled from the sparkling plate up!
Week 2: My Platinum Bite (Entry Period: 6/10-6/16) Show us your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware!
Week 3: My Platinum Clink (Entry: 6/17-6/23) Show us how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers!
Week 4: My Platinum Table (Entry Period: 6/24-6/30) Show us your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations!
Grand Prize Winner (Entry: 6/3-6/30)

Monday, June 30, 2014

EcoShag: Review & Giveaway!

I am so excited about this review and giveaway I have for you today! Tania, from EcoShag, has generously let me feature her business on n.c. baby blog. As you may know, I have a love for all things handmade, especially items that are vintage or one of a kind. Tania has combined these two and has made beautiful statement pieces that give us moms a chance to look great at an affordable price. I can tell by just a few of our conversations that Tania is such a kind and generous person. Not only does she hand make each item she sells, but portions of her sales go to the National Brain Tumor foundation and the Humane Society! I asked Tania to tell us a little bit about herself and her shop, here's what she had to say:

"I’m a mother, a wife, a philanthropist, and I own a little place called EcoShag.
Losing my sister in 2008 is what inspired my company. She was my creative counterpart and in many ways, her memory lives on with each item I make. Heck, she’s the one who taught me how to make a scarf necklace back in the 80’s….I think I was 6!?!

From infinity scarves made of vintage inspired fabrics, to scarf necklaces born of upcycled materials....I create them all with my own two hands.

One of the most gratifying aspects of my work is in finding the fabrics I use. Unlike many scarf and accessory makers, I don’t go to my local fabric store for textiles. I hunt down materials at estate sales, remnants when I’m fortunate to find enough, as well as organic/eco-friendly textiles. Even though it’s a lot more work, it feels really good to be eco-friendly."

   Here is the infinity scarf I reviewed, isn't it beautiful!! Don't mind how tired I look, it's been a long week! :)

When I got in touch with Tania about this review, she graciously accepted and allowed me to review one of her items. I chose the Pear Green Floral and Stripe Infinity scarf. Isn't it AMAZING?? This fabric is unbelievably soft and breathable. It is so lightweight, I love that I don't feel like I am wearing a 20 pound weight around my neck like with some other scarves. It can be dressed up, or down, and I love that. It was hard to choose, she has so many fun patterns and colors to choose from! Here are a few more of my favorites:

Buy It: Head on over to Tania's etsy shop page, EcoShag, to purchase any of these beautiful items!

Win it! Tania has offered one of my readers a $30 credit toward her shop EcoShag!

ENTER TO WIN! There are TWO Mandatory Entries! All other entries are optional, but the more you complete, the better chance you have at winning! Leave one comment per entry.

1) Mandatory: Head on over to Tania's shop and tell me what you would use your $30 towards!

2) Mandatory: Follow n.c. baby blog via GFC (or tell me if you already do)

5) Share this link on Facebook or Tweet about the giveaway ( you can do this once daily!)

6) Leave a comment on my Fashion Hunters blog post! 2 entries!

7) Pin a picture of your favorite item from either this post or Tania's EcoShag etsy shop to Pinterest! Leave the link to your pin!

8) Enter any other of my CURRENT giveaways ( 1 entry for each giveaway entered)

9) Subscribe to n.c. baby blog via email ( on right side of blog)

10) "favorite" EcoShag on Etsy!

GOOD LUCK!!! Giveaway will close 9/23 at 11:59 pm EST. Giveaway is open to U.S. and CANADA residents only. Winner will be picked the following day by Random.org and will be emailed and announced on the blog. Winner has 48 hours to confirm their prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. A BIG thank you to Tania @ EcoShag for providing the review product and the giveaway prize!