Archives for December 2011

It Took Him Long Enough! {Talking About Child Development.}

This has been an incredibly big week for Gage!

Gage's mouth full of teethIf you’ve read any of my posts about Gage, you know that he is one very lazy little boy. I suppose that being the youngest of 6 and having 7 bigger people in the house willing to do your every bidding can cause one to be lazy.

Well, not anymore! This week I have seen some big changes in Gage, and I am one proud mom!

Here’s what he learned this week – at approximately 9 and a half months old:

  • The army crawl. He won’t lift his butt up and crawl on his knees, but he can get anywhere he wants to with his elbows. {He’s the reason the tree came down the day after Christmas.}
  • SO BIG! This is his new favorite thing to do, and he does it all the time. Just ask him “How big is Gage?” in your best sing-songy voice, and his arms will fly into the air.SO BIG!
  • Pulls up on everything. And I mean everything: the coffee table, the couch, the bed, his crib, anything he can get both hands on, he uses to pull himself up. Still no walking – or even attempting to walk yet – but I have a feeling that isn’t too far away.
  • Shaking his head yes and no. The best part? He totally gets it right! “Want to go to bed?” {Shakes no.} “Want some yogurt?” {Shakes yes.} I can’t get over how adorable it is.
  • Goes from flat on his belly to sitting up and vice versa. {Maybe this means no more falling over while he’s sitting up?!}
  • Pointing. Oh my gosh! It’s so funny to watch him point at everything. I swear sometimes he even shakes his finger to say “no-no-no!”Pointing at Mommy

And, to top it off, he’s popped 2 more teeth and has 2 more just below the surface. So, he’s got 6 teeth with 2 more on the way. Craziness.

It’s hard as a mom not to compare your child to other children. Heck, I have six kids and I’m constantly comparing them to each other. {Shame on me!} What’s important to remember is that kids all do things at different stages. Some will be ahead in verbal skills but lacking in fine and gross motor skills. Others will be the opposite. If you are truly concerned that your child is behind other children his or her age, talk to your doctor about it. They are the only ones that can tell you if your child really is behind or is just being lazy. {Like my Gage.}

Just don’t allow it to become a competition with other moms. If your friend tells you that her 4 month old is walking and talking, just smile and nod. Then kiss your baby and let him grow at his own pace. It’ll be better for both of you that way.

Gage needed to do things in his own time and in his own way. All of my other kids were the exact same way. We were certain Lucy would never talk. At 2 years old, we were in and out of speech therapy appointments, but they did no good. Two months later, she started talking and hasn’t stopped since. So, see? They work on their own time frame. They don’t care what the “books” say they should be doing. They’ll walk, talk, crawl, and develop when they’re ready to – and not a moment before.

Do you find yourself comparing your child to other children around the same age?

Our Christmas in Review…

I was simply going to post pictures of our Christmas as part of a “Wordless Wednesday.” But, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I wanted to really share our Christmas with you from Christmas Eve until the end of Christmas Day. I’ll try not to bore you too much.

Here’s how our Christmas tree looked just before hubby and I went to bed…

our christmas tree
I just love everything about that picture.

Here are a few more of my favorites from our Christmas celebration. Hope you enjoy!

Have You Heard of Travel Nursing?

Until now, I had never heard of Travel nursing, but I have to say, I’m quite intrigued now that I have. Travel nursing is basically what it sounds like. I travel nurse moves across the country, generally working in 13 week periods before moving on to a new location. It sounds like a fun, interesting way to travel the country, build your career, meet interesting people, and get paid.

Travel nurses receive travel benefits: great pay, free housing, travel opportunities, and so much more. TravelNursing.org lists all of the benefits, opportunities, and jobs available to those willing to become a travel nurse.They teach you how to get started, what you can expect, let you search jobs by state, and answer questions that many people have when considering a career in travel nursing. In fact, you can even apply for a scholarship while you are on their website.

I think travel nursing would be difficult if you have a family, but if you are single and have nothing holding you back, you should definitely check into travel nursing. The perfect place to start doing just that is on TravelNursing.org.*

Do you know anyone that is a travel nurse? Have you ever considered becoming one? Would you consider it?

Did You Do A Lot of Online Shopping this Season? Beware of Identity Theft!

Because of where I live, I do the majority of my shopping online. It’s just so much easier than trucking 3+ hours to the mall with six kids. Since I do so much shopping online, I constantly worry about identity theft. Every time I put my credit card number in a box or – gasp – my Social Security Number, I hope and pray that it really is a “secure” connection I’m using.

Thank heavens for IdentityHawk. Now internet users don’t have to worry anymore.

IdentityHawk is an online resource for consumers that offers identity theft protection. They are in place to stop fraud before it starts – no matter what your income level.

IdentityHawk offers the following services:

  • Identity Theft Insurance
  • Alerts to notify you when there’s a change in your credit score
  • 24 hour / 7 day a week Identity Monitoring
  • SSN Protection
  • Your Identity Health Score
  • Credit Scores and Reports
  • … So Much More

If you have been doing a lot of online shopping lately and are worried at all about identity theft or identity fraud, I hope you will consider checking out IdentityHawk. Right now they are offering a 30 day free trial, so you can try them out and see if they’re right for you and your identity protection needs.*

Sales Lady Steps Over the Line of Decency. How Would You React?

Most of you know that I live in a very small town. Our options for shopping, restaurants, and entertainment are seriously lacking. They are a far cry from what I experienced in Chicago – and even in Ohio. Down here you are more likely to find Mom & Pop Shops, family-owned restaurants, and movie theaters with 3 – 5 screens. That’s really about it.

For the most part, I love it. Yes, I miss the mall. A lot. Woodfield at Christmas was my favorite. But, I like the feeling of “family” everywhere I go down here. Everybody knows everybody, and for the most part, everyone is kind.

terrible customer serviceThere is, however, one store down here that I will no longer shop in. I swore last year that I would never go back. Maybe the sales lady was just having a bad day when she refused to give me service or mumbled to the other sales clerk that “no one needs that many kids.” At the time, I was pregnant with Gage and I had my other 5 along with me. They stayed right beside me, never touched an item in her store, and yet she refused to answer my questions or help me out. She was so incredibly rude, though, that I left that day without purchasing a thing and swore I’d never go back.

I should have trusted my gut and stayed away yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon, I had to run to town. I needed to pick something up from a friend, and I needed to get Ashley to the doctor to get the second dose of a vaccine. I had left the kids with my mother in law and her husband so that Ash and I could quickly get done everything we needed to do.

The doctor’s office down here is closed from 12:20 to 1:40. Since I had to pick up the items from my friend at 1pm, that gave us some time to piddle around town before going to the doctor’s. We decided to swing by the unnamed store, {unnamed because they do not deserve ANY publicity – good or bad}, and just poke around. Ashley’s Christmas money and Santa gift had been burning a hole in her pocket.You know, because it’s been a whole 2 days. 🙂

We walked in the store and got a cold, “Hello” from the sales clerk. Ash and I went our separate ways because no 14 year old wants her Mommy picking out her clothes anymore, and I wanted to look at the purses and jewelry.

As I was looking at the purses, I noticed the cutest zebra pajama pants. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I ♥ zebra. Love it. They had my size, so I grabbed a pair. I also found a beautiful necklace, so I grabbed it for myself too. Ashley found a few items she wanted, so I had her check out first. The lady didn’t really talk to her much, but she rang her up and that was the end of it.

Then it was my turn. The lady picks up the zebra pants and asks, “Are these for you?” With a big, goofy smile on my face, I replied, “They sure are! I think they’re adorable. They’ll be great for bumming around the house.” Expecting her to just agree with me, I was flabbergasted when she replied, “Well, they run really, really small. I mean a large fits me.” I turned to look at Ashley, and she had this look on her face that said she was probably thinking, “Please don’t punch her in the face, Mom.

Instead I replied, “I’m sure they’ll be fine” and not another word. Oh, how I wanted to utter more words. But I didn’t. I refrained. I bought the pants anyway. Probably more to prove a point than anything else.

We got outside and the first thing Ashley said to me was, “I can’t believe you didn’t hit her. She totally called you fat!”

I was embarrassed, angry, and hurt. What gave that sales clerk the right to say that to me? So the pants run small. Say that. But don’t say it in a way that implies I am fatter than you are. That is not okay.

I got home that afternoon, and the first thing I did was put on the pants. Hey, guess what? They fit!

Maybe I should wear them back into the store and tell the lady that apparently her butt is bigger than it looks because the Large fits me just fine.

Ok, so I’m not going to do that. But only because I will never set foot in that store again. Ever. I don’t care how cute their stuff is.

Local folks, if you’d like to know where this took place, ask me at church, MOPS, or in an email. I’d be happy to tell you which shop in Blairsville you shouldn’t bother going into… but I’m guessing that if you’ve ever shopped in her store, you already know where I’m talking about.

Facebook Liking is OK, So Let’s Have a GlVE-A-WAY! {Ends 2/8}

If you are a regular here on Facebook, you know that I have not allowed Facebook “liking” as an entry here on giveaways. {You can read why here.} But after watching this video, it seems as though asking people to become a fan is allowed. {Although I still find the video rather confusing…. “You can’t click “like” to enter, but you can click “like” to become a fan and enter to win.”} But, it seems as though becoming a fan is acceptable, so I will once again be offering that as an option on giveaways. Yay!

To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter gadget below.

[Read more…]

Merry Christmas to my Wonderful Readers!

merry christmas

our christmas card

May this be your best Christmas yet!

Thank you for being a faithful follower here on Blessed Beyond Words. I appreciate you so much!

Not Getting An iPad for Christmas?

I’m not either. But, you’d better believe that I’m entering to win one!

Right now, Catalog Spree is giving away an iPad 2 through their facebook page. It’s super easy to enter. Plus, if you tell 5 friends, you get an extra entry!

Maybe you were one of the lucky ones that did get an iPad. If so, check out this article from Catalog Spree: 5 Tips for a New iPad Owner

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for this post in any way.

 


My Top Present Picks for 2011

I know, I know. There are only a few days left until Christmas. But, you may still need to get that last minute gift for someone you love. Hopefully this list will help.

Books

  • Champion Me Books – these were such a huge hit with all of my kids. The personalization is better than any other book I’ve found. You won’t be able to get the book by Christmas if you order now, but a gift certificate is the perfect way to go.
  • Gracie’s Gift – this is my must-have book for moms of little girls. Such a sweet story that reminds us that our children are a gift from God. You can order the book from Amazon and you may still be able to get it in time for Christmas. {It’s on sale for just $12.37 and if you have Amazon Prime through the Amazon mom program, you can get free two day shipping or pay $3.99 for one day. Totally worth it.}
  • What’s Eating Your Child? – This is my go-to book for my kids. It’s helped relieve chicken skin and so many other issues just by changing what we eat. Definitely a must have for every family.
  • First Time Dad – Know a man that’s about to become a dad – or is a dad? This is the perfect gift for him.
  • Read & Share Bible for Children – perfect for toddlers. Breaks Bible stories up into small, easy to read sections that won’t go over your little one’s head.

 

Toys & Kids

  • Joovy Bicycoo – A must have if you have a toddler/preschooler that wants to learn how to ride a two wheeler.
  • Leapfong Peek-A-Shoe Octopus – I haven’t done a review on this one, but I couldn’t resist grabbing it for Gage. Great price on Amazon too – just $19.99, but it won’t arrive until after Christmas. I purchased ours at Walmart for around $25.
  • Vtech Sit to Stand Alphabet Train – another must-have item for babies. {No review on this yet either, but another one that I had to grab for Gage.} Amazon has it for $46 and you can still get it in time for Christmas!

 

Gifts for Grown Ups

  • Windows 7 Phone – after giving up my smartphone to help cut costs around here, this is one toy that I really really miss.
  • Icon Modus 1 Flashlight – Not just any flashlight. Trendy and super bright, plus it’s small enough to carry in your purse or leave in your car.

 

Clothing & More

  • Custom Covered Wipes Case – don’t lug an ugly pack of wipes around. Make it special by making it exactly what you want.
  • Boba Baby Carrier – I couldn’t survive without mine. Best infant carrier I’ve found.

 

What’s on YOUR must-have list this Christmas?

Holiday Madness, Updates, and Ramblings

I apologize for the scarcity around here. Things have been just a little more than crazy lately. Here’s the latest update:

  • I’m not sure if you remember or not, but when Gage was younger, the doctor discovered he had a hydrocele. This week, I had to take him back for a follow up visit with the doctor to see if he’ll need to go back to the specialist and schedule a surgery. I am happy to report that his hydrocele is healing on it’s own, and it looks like surgery will not be necessary. The doctor will continue to keep an eye on it at his well visits, but as of right now, things look great! Praise the Lord.
  • I am still dealing with very painful attacks, even though I have been on a Vitamin D regimen for  some time now. My next step is to visit a neurologist. I can’t even begin to tell you how nervous I am about that. But, something has to be done. The attacks are getting so painful that I cannot function when one happens. Gene and I spent yesterday running around town, and I had to spend most of the time in the car in tears because I was in so much pain. I’m really hoping I can get some answers soon.
  • My husband is also falling apart. {Might as well do it together!} He went in for blood work and x-rays on both knees yesterday. It’s looking like surgery will be in his very near future. Yippee.
  • Since that’s not enough going on, Gene and I are looking to move into a new house next month. It’s so much bigger than where we are right now, and it’s about 5 minutes from our church – which is where we spend most of our time anyway. It will put him farther from where he’s working now, but we firmly believe it’s a move for the better. Plus, it will also put me less than 5 minutes from my best friend, so I’m thrilled about that. We’ll find out this coming week when we’ll be able to move in and everything.
  • Then let’s throw in all the added stress of the holidays. For some reason, my Christmas spirit has gone kaput. There’s just so much going on right now that I don’t even want to think about the holidays. I just want a nap.

So, if I disappear for a day or two here or there, I hope you’ll understand and will continue to check in around here. I’m not running off, I just might not be able to log on as much as I’d like to until things calm down.

Give me some good news…. what’s going on in YOUR life right now?

Our Teacher Gifts This Year

I am so thankful for Pinterest this Christmas. It’s opened up a whole new world of teachers’ gifts to me. {And, since there are so many teachers on Pinterest, their comments on pins helped me determine which ones to quickly overlook.}

I wanted to make the gifts special this year. My kids will most likely not finish out the school year in the same school district, so I wanted to give a meaningful gift to each of their teachers.

I stumbled across this pin. I thought it was such a sweet idea. The creator of the project that was pinned used Wordle to create her design. I messed with Wordle and ended up getting frustrated beyond belief. I ended up just using my skills to create designs for each of my kids’ teachers. That way I could use their favorite colors, make certain sayings larger than others, and lay it out exactly like I wanted.

Here’s how Jace’s teacher’s gift turned out:

teacher gift

I am so, so happy with the way they turned out. I did the same thing with Ashley and Zander’s teachers – each one using words the kids picked to describe their teachers. It’s personal, from the heart, and unique. I hope their teachers love them as much as I loved making them.

Of course, I couldn’t just give one little gift, so I threw in a few more trinkets:

teacher gift

You can never have too many pairs of fuzzy socks. And those penguin suckers I found at Walmart were just too cute to pass up!

Jace has two Teacher’s Aids this year, so for them, I mimicked this pin. Instead of using those girly-looking cups, {since both of his aids are men}, I bought two large reusable water bottles, filled them with single-serve lemonade packets, and included a note that said, “Thanks for being such a great ‘ade’.” Too cute.

Did you get creative with Teacher’s gifts this year? I’d love to hear about it!

Looking for the Best Laptops – Need Your Opinions

I am so excited. This year for Christmas, I am getting a laptop. I have never had a laptop before.

Ok, wait. Let me correct that. My mom gave me her old laptop a few years ago. It’s a Gateway and it’s almost 12 years old. The thing is a dinosaur. It weighs about 500 pounds, and doesn’t even have up-to-date wifi. So, I don’t even call it a laptop, because if you set it on your lap, you’re either going to end up with burns because the thing gets so hot, or you’ll end up with a broken bone because the thing weighs so much.

laptopNow, here’s my problem: I have NO idea where to start looking for the best laptop to fit my needs. I know I need quite a bit of memory on it. I need to be able to do all my photography and design work on the laptop. I’ve got several external harddrives to hold files and images, but I still need to be able to run all of my programs on the laptop without bogging it down.

I don’t have a ton of money to spend, either. I’d like to keep my purchase around $800 or so.

I do know that I do not want a Dell. I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with Dell’s lack of customer service and crappy products. So please don’t recommend a Dell laptop to me because I’ll skip right over it.

And I can’t afford a Mac. As much as I’d love to convert, I just can’t.

I’ve done quite a bit of research online, and it looks like Apple is the best – but again, can’t afford to convert. Next is Lenovo? But I’ve never even heard of them. Then there’s HP, Sony, and Toshiba. {According to laptopmag.com.}

The possibilities are endless, so I’m coming to my readers. I’m really feeling clueless here.

If you have the best laptop, would you mind letting me know the details? Photographers, designers – I want to hear from you too! I will still use my professionally calibrated desktop monitor for the majority of my photos, but I need to be able to use the laptop as well.

Please leave your opinions of the best laptop in the comments below.

Like Home Design & Decorating? Check out Houzz.com!

I am becoming quite the home design enthusiast. My husband and I have been looking at houses. We’ve rented for several years now, but we’re ready to buy – or at least do a rent to own. We want to settle into what will become our “forever-home.” Because of that, we want to turn the house into exactly what we want. I’ve spent countless hours browsing the internet looking at home design pictures, articles, and products.

houzz.comAnd then I was introduced to Houzz.com. Oh.My.Gosh. I am in love. Both the Houzz site and mobile apps can keep me occupied for hours. If I ever get a free moment, odds are good that you will probably find me on either the website or the mobile app. Why? Because you can find hundreds of thousands of high quality photos – both interior and exterior shots, articles written by design experts, as well as product recommendations and social tools to get the remodeling and decorating process done.

Design professionals can showcase their portfolios and share them with the world. Homeowners can collect their favorite photos across the site, find local design professionals, upload their own photos of their own home and property, and share tips and ask questions with other members.

There’s so much to do on Houzz.com. I hope you’ll take a few minutes and look around their website. I can promise you will be blown away by some of the amazing photographs available. So start brainstorming, and turn your home into your forever home by making it a place you’ll never want to leave.

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Macy’s Believe 2011: Collecting a Million Reasons to Believe {Ends 12/25}

For the past 4 years, I have been honored to be a part of the Macy’s Believe campaign. It’s a project near and dear to my heart because the money goes to the Make A Wish Foundation. I macy's believehave several family members and loved ones that have seen their own dreams come true because of Make a Wish.

The task is simple: Write a letter to Santa and drop it in a mailbox at your local Macy’s store. For every letter sent to Santa, Macy’s will donate $1 to The Make-A-Wish-Foundation – up to 1 million dollars. Over the past 3 years, Macy’s has collected over 4 million letters. {You guys ROCK!}

There are a few special perks available this year as part of the Believe campaign:

  • Macy’s Believe-o-Magic App – For the first time ever, shoppers that mail their letters through the Believe Stations in Macy’s stores will be able to take a photo with the animated stars from the animated holiday special “Yes, Virginia.” Through today’s technology, customers with IOS and select Android smartphones can download the “Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” application which will allow them to unlock the magic to see and interact with Virginia, Ollie, and all their friends. Customers can stop in the frame and take a picture, and that photo can be uploaded into a holiday card template to share by email or Facebook if desired. Customers can also preview the magic at home by downloading the application and printing out the marker. When you point the “Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” camera at the marker, you’ll be able to see an animated Virginia ice skating!
  • National Believe Day – Today, December 9th, Macy’s is celebrating National Believe Day to honor the spirit of the season and inspire kindness and generosity from coast-to-coast. The special day focuses on the season’s message of goodwill and charity toward others.
  • Believer of the Week – Enthusiastic Believe fans will have the chance to be featured in Macy’s Facebook profile photo as the “Believer of the Week.” Just share your photos of your visit to Macy’s Believe center with their Facebook community and help spread the Believe Magic around. The photo that receives the most “likes” will be featured as the Macy’s profile picture for a week.
  • Create Your Letter to Santa Online – You can find a super simple tool to use at macys.com/believe. After creating your letter, you can decorate it with fun icons. Then, just print out your letter and bring it to any Santa Mailbox at Macy’s Believe Stations. And don’t forget to stop by Santaland inside Macy’s to see the Big Man himself!

The Believe campaign runs now through Dec. 24.

To help encourage my readers to believe, Macy’s has asked me to share my favorite Santa memory.

A few years ago, we were having a really rough year. Jace was only a couple of months old, and we also had Ashley and Zander. We only had enough money to buy the kids their “special” ornament and maybe one other gift. We had decided there would be no “Santa” that year. We just couldn’t do it. Well, a group of very special ladies that I know got together and started sending us packages – all marked from “Santa” with “Do not open until Christmas” on them. I was truly blown away by their kindness and generosity. Then, on Christmas morning, we opened our front door to leave for our Christmas festivities and found garbage bags full of gifts for the kids: coats, mittens, hats, clothing… so many needs fulfilled. There was no name on the card just, “Sorry, Santa couldn’t fit all this down the chimney!” To this day, I have no idea who delivered those gifts to our home. But it is one Santa I will never forget. That Christmas, we barely had a dime to our name, but all of the kids – and my husband and I – were well taken care of. It was truly the best Christmas I have ever had.

Now I want to hear your favorite Santa memory, and so does Macy’s. I’ll give away a $20 Macy’s gift card to one lucky reader so you can do some after Christmas shopping and get something you really wanted. 😉 The giveaway will end at 12:01am on 12/25. To enter, use the Rafflecopter gadget below.



Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is from Macy’s. I am sponsoring the giveaway myself. The Santa story and any opinions expressed are 100% my own. I am not being compensated for this post in any way.

 

Parenting Discussion: Bullying in Schools

Last year, I posted about my daughter getting bullied at school – just for wearing glasses. Around that same time, a boy in my son Jace’s kindergarten class started bullying him. Kindergarten. It was horrible, though. Jace would come home every day from school crying, swearing he would never go back. He would cry every morning as I put him on the bus.

stop bullyingNothing was ever done to stop this boy, either. The school said that they “tried” but because the boy’s mother didn’t see the problem, they couldn’t get her to punish him. {I still can’t understand why he wasn’t expelled.}

Now, I have a whole new set of problems – one with each of my boys in school, and I am just torn.

Jace became friends with the “bully” this year. And for awhile, he decided to start bullying others. No one ever let me know until our parent teacher conference. I spent that entire conference in tears listening to the teacher telling me how badly Jace had treated other kids. I was so hurt that he was doing that, but I was also angry that the school never approached me before the conference. They should have contacted me the first time it happened so that I could nip it in the bud. We have since dealt with the problem, and Jace swears that he’s not bullying any more. Of course, I have no idea what’s really true, since the school seems to not want to contact the parents when there’s a problem.

Then there’s my other son, Zander. Zander is in 3rd grade. Cute as cute can be, but exactly like I was as a kid: nose always in a book. That, and Zander is in all the gifted classes at school. Anyone that has a gifted child knows that their minds work a different way. Zander is incredibly sensitive and takes everything to heart. He absolutely will not stand up for himself. There are times when he’ll even allow his 3 year old brother to take advantage of him. It breaks my heart, but I don’t know how to fix it. Well, there’s now a boy at school that picks on Zander every day at recess. I’ve told Zander to tell the teachers, but he insists that they don’t do anything. Without being there, I really don’t know how much is true, but I do know that I am SO tired of having Zander come home from school every day crying.

I was supposed to meet with the principal this week, but because we’ve been dealing with the stomach flu, I’ve had to postpone my meeting with her. I’m hoping to get in next week before the kids go on winter break.

The school seems so lackadaisical on bullying, and I think that’s a serious problem. No child should hate going to school because of ONE other child. And if my child were the bully, {as mentioned above}, I would want to know immediately so that I could stop it. Maybe I’m not like most parents, though. Maybe most parents just think kids are kids and it’s a part of growing up. I don’t know. I can’t answer for any other parents. I can only answer for myself and how I feel about the situation.

Have you had trouble with your child bullying – or being bullied? What steps have to taken to prevent bullying? Any advice you can give me and other moms dealing with bullying?

Holiday Guide: LaBarrie Littles Etsy Shop Review

laberrie littles etsy shop

Some of my absolute favorite reviews to do are Etsy shop reviews. Why? Because I love handmade items, and I love supporting moms in business.

Recently, Aisha from LaBarrie Littles contacted me and asked if she could send me a couple of shirts to review. Of course I said yes, and she quickly sent me two of the most adorable shirts I have ever seen.

Here – take a look at how adorable Lucy and  Parker look in their new shirts so you can see what I mean:

labarrie littles

Aren’t they absolutely adorable? The shirts, I mean.  Aisha did such a fantastic job on these personalized applique reindeer shirts. I can’t wait to show off these shirts at our church Christmas party and then again at all our Christmas Day festivities.

parkers reindeer shirtThe shirts are so beautifully made. Super high quality, and even after washing, the design is still perfectly in tact. I love the added touches she used as well with the bow on the antlers of the girl reindeer and the bow on the neck of the boy reindeer. So stinking cute.

I love personalized products – especially clothes – for my kids. It makes them feel special having something with their name on it, and since most of my kids have unique names, personalized products are the way to go.

Aisha lives here in the Atlanta area, so I not only get to support a mom in business, I also get to support a local business. Best of both worlds!

I’m all about good news, and Aisha at LaBarrie Littles has lots of good news for my readers:

  • She’s offering FREE shipping right now on lots of items in her shop.lucy's personlized shirt
  • She’s STILL taking Christmas orders!
    • Order by December 12th to avoid a rush fee.
    • December 13th – 16th add $5 per item
    • December 16th last day to order for Christmas Delivery.

After looking through her shop, her prices are so reasonable that even with the rush fee, you can still afford to stock up for all your holiday needs.

And don’t just think Christmas items from LaBerrie Littles… I’m thinking  New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter… the list goes on and on!

Check out this adorable shirt for Baby’s first New Year:

personalized new years shirt for baby

Wouldn’t that be adorable on Gage? She also has a shirt available that says “Happy New Year 2012.”

I would highly recommend LaBarrie Littles to anyone looking for high quality personalized products. She has a huge assortment of products available and she does excellent work – and quickly too!

Check out the LaBarrie Littles etsy shop today and have your kids be the best-dressed kids at your family gathering this Christmas. {And you’ll at least ensure that the grandparents will get YOUR kids names right this year. 😉 }

You can also find LaBarrie Littles on Facebook and follow LaBarrie Littles on twitter.

Disclaimer: I received the items mentioned above from LaBarrie Littles in order to facilitate my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Cuties California Clementines & Mandarins Now Available Nationwide!

cuties

Parents on the West Coast rave about Cuties California Clementines and Mandarins. Now, they’re available nationwide for everyone to try!

To celebrate this expansion, Cuties® is also launching a new interactive website just for parents to celebrate the cute things kids do. The website – www.CutiesKids.com –  will show off different uploaded videos and pictures of kids acting goofy, having fun, and being oh-so-cute. By uploading their videos and pictures, parents don’t just get bragging rights – they also get the chance to WIN! Cuties® is giving away a $150,000 college scholarship to the star of the cutest video.

For this promotion, Cuties® is teaming up with DonorsChoose.org. {DonorsChoose.org allows public school teachers to post projects on the website and people from all over the country can contribute to those projects.} For every video uploaded, users will receive a $10 gift card to use toward any classroom project on DonorsChoose.org. Weekly winners will receive a $500 DonorsChoose gift card, and the winner of the grand prize will also receive a $5,000 card. Cuties® is committed to both kids and education and will give away up to $100,000 in addition to the individual scholarship prize.

Here are the details of the prizes you can win just by uploading a video:

  • Daily: 41 entrents will have a chance to win a Cuties® t-shirt, lunch box, tumbler, beanie, or toy.
  • Weekly: 1 video entrant per week will win a $500 DonorsChoose gift card in addition to an active game console.
  • Grand Prize: 1 grand prize winner will receive a $150,000 college scholarship, a $5,000 DonorsChoose gift card, and a season’s supply of Cuties®.

To submit a video or to learn more about the contest and prizes, or if you just want to watch some seriously adorable videos, log on to www.CutiesKids.com.

Disclaimer: This post is on behalf of CutiesKids.com. I have not been compensated in any way.

 

 

 

Remember my MIL’s Fall Wedding?

Just in case you don’t, here’s a link to the post: Preparing for a Wedding… and Other Ramblings

I finally got some time to sit and edit all of the photos, and I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

Click on the photos to see them larger:

The first photo is of all the grandkids. {Yes, most of them are mine.} 🙂

The last photo is of the pew bows I made. They cost next to nothing to make, since I used bailing twine and fake flowers. I was so, so happy with the way they turned out though.

It really was a good thing I had stopped at the florist that day. She was able to get the right colors to match everything beautifully. {And I am still in awe at how she was able to make a light blue/green work with fall colors.}

How did I do with the pew bows? Didn’t the other decorations turn out so pretty?

New Sponsor: Iderma.com

Iderma.com is the leading online provider of Anti Aging Skin Products.Their goal is to make their skin products available to anyone – regardless of where they live. They offer many different types of skin products including moisturizing creams, sunscreens, cleansers, mineral makeup and so much more. Each product is scientifically advanced and recommended by leading dermatologists and beauty experts.

They offer a particular brand of anti aging skin products called Elure. Elure skin care products focus on improving skin tone and appearance through skin lightening formulations that utilize Melanozyme and Lignin Peroxidase {also known as LIP}. Allure magazine has even referred to Elure as a beauty “breakthrough.” {You can find out more about Elure and that reference by visiting the Elure section of the iderma website.}

Iderma.com was founded by Westlake Dermatology Austin, TX, offering Austin Liposuction at their five different area locations.

I hope you’ll take a few moments and check out iderma.com and Westlake Dermatology and support my sponsors here on Blessed Beyond Words.

Please see my disclaimer page for full disclosure details.

 

Diamond Candles Review Opportunity for Bloggers

Bloggers, pay attention! This is one blog opp you are not going to want to miss!

A Family Full of Opinions and the Diamond Candles Company are giving 100 bloggers the opportunity to review a Diamond Candle.

So why is this such a big deal?

Diamond Candles harbor a very special surprise. Each candle contains a ring valued from $10 – $100 – $500 – even up to $5,000! There’s no telling what kind of ring you’ll get inside the glittery pouch in the soy candle.

Hurry on over and sign up now.

Disclaimer: Posting about this opportunity is a required entry for the chance to review a candle. I am not being compensated for this post in any way.