Sunday, November 29, 2009

I ❤ Faces: {Tooshies}

I had lofty goals for this week's entry.

I had envisioned a Kodak-moment on the playground with Cutie Face crawling through a play-tunnel with J on the other side, arms wide open and a huge smile on his face.

Can't you picture it?

Sadly, J had to work this weekend and the playground picture never materialized.

Then, my twin went into labor today and I started envisioning this adorable newborn photo session with a tiny tush in a teeny diaper, cradled by her mom's arms.

Can't you picture that?

Sadly, the baby still isn't here so that picture hasn't materialized, either.

So here is one from my iPhone archives {still haven't got the new camera!}--this is Cutie Face at her 15-month well-checkup. She LOVED being high up on the doctor's table and couldn't get enough of the "Baby's First Words" book.

Stop the presses! I just re-read the rules for this week and saw that the entry does NOT have to include a face! There is hope! Albeit another iPhone capture {with special help from my favorite online photo editor, Picnik}, I've always loved this photo (it was the inspiration behind my kodak-moment idea) and am happy to enter it...

Be sure to head on over to I❤Faces for some {decidedly more creative and better quality} Tooshie photos!

AND, be on the lookout--
if my twin delivers this baby anytime soon, I'll make sure she gets it on her blog!

Friday, November 27, 2009

{Closed} Fab Friday Giveaway: Carolina Craft Shoppe

Looking for last week's winner? I've decided to post the winners on the
SAME post as the giveaway post. Check it out here!

This week's Fab Friday Giveaway is sponsored by Carolina Craft Shoppe.

It is an extra-special giveaway because it is also on BLACK FRIDAY. Woohoo! Did y'all get out and shop this morning? It's been a crazy day for us, not to mention for my twin--she is currently in labor as I write this post!!!

Usually I end my Fab Friday posts with the special deals but since it is still BLACK FRIDAY, I wanted to start with the great specials that Carolina Craft Shoppe is offering now through Sunday, November 29.

* Get $3 off your purchase! (Excludes clearance items.) Start following their blog and, when checking out, Enter "BlogMe3" in the "Message to Seller" box.


* (again) Get $3 off your purchase! (Excludes clearance items.) Follow Carolina Craft Shoppe on twitter and, when checking out, Enter "TweetMe3" in the "Message to Seller" box.

* In addition, any Etsy seller who hearts Carolina Craft Shoppe will see THEIR items featured on their twitter page! Carolina Craft Shoppe does a daily link-to and features five etsy sellers. This is a great way to get some of your items seen by new customers and is very cool of them to do!

Now lets learn a little more about Carolina Craft Shoppe and see what you can buy with these fabulous discounts!

Carolina Craft Shoppe is run by Abby and Elaina, two sisters from North Carolina. They sell premade scrapbook layouts, which are shipped completely put together and ready for buyers to post photos on and slip into their albums.

"Beautiful" 12x12 single page layout

Okay--how genius is that? This is the kind of scrapbooking I was made for!

As you may know first hand, scrapbooking can be very expensive and time-consuming so Carolina Craft Shoppe is there to help busy people organize their memories and keepsakes without a lot of the hassle. We also have ready-made embellishments, which are great for scrapbook pages, gift bags or handmade cards.

Boys will be Boys 2-page 12x12 layout

While Abby was on maternity leave, she and Elaina decided to take one of their favorite hobbies - scrapbooking - and turn it into a small business (Carolina Craft Shoppe!). Their mom always wanted them to make scrapbook pages for her and the sisters quickly realized that there were other busy parents out there who wanted scrapbooks for their kids but didn't have the time and resources to do it on their own. (<---and...that would be ME!) Their new business venture also became a great way for the two sisters to spend some time together! They opened Carolina Craft Shoppe in September 2008 and were blessed with their first sale the first month. They have some very loyal customers, and they enjoy crafting so it's a win-win situation.

"Embrace" 12x12 single page layout

Abby and Elaina have been scrapbookers for many years--giving them a great supply of materials to work with and create the fun layouts you see in these pictures. They both enjoy crafting so they try to split a lot of the design work between each other. Often, one of them will create the bones of a page and the other will come behind – with a fresh perspective – and apply the finishing touches. Talk about great team work!

Graduation 2-page 12x12 layout

Currently, Abby and Elaina are loving creating their holiday layouts. They're getting ready to list lots of new Christmas layouts so make sure to be on the lookout for them--in the meantime, think snowflakes, Christmas trees, glitter, sparkles - that's the stuff scrapbooking is made for!

Red and Purple flower embellishments

The baby-announcement layouts are currently one of the most popular Carolina Craft Shoppe layouts. Scrapbooking is very personal and it's meant to be a place to keep memories. These layouts are great gifts for new moms, and they're easily matched to a nursery. Get this--they even recommend framing them for the nursery - they're fabulous keepsakes! <---Now that is a GREAT idea for a unique baby shower gift!

Both sisters are big readers--so much so that they recently started a book club with friends.

Elaina has a dog – Beau – who is really like her son (and a cute one at that!) She also loves decorating her home and gardening.

Abby has a little boy, who takes up a lot of her time these days! She also has a food blog called Shall We Cook which functions as her other baby . Her favorite pastimes are definitely time in the kitchen, especially baking, and photography (which she really only dabbles in!)

Three Gift Set Embellishment


Now that you've seen some of the great layouts that you can purchase from Carolina Craft Shoppe don't you want to go out and start scrapbooking right now? No? Not as ambitious? Well those gift tags are certainly a steal for 4/$1.50!!!

And, don't forget--now through Sunday, November 29 you can get $3 off your purchase by using code "BlogMe3" or "TweetMe3" in the "Message to Seller" box.


Abby and Elaina are giving one lucky Monkeys on the Bed! reader either a one-page baby-announcement layout OR a one-page custom layout worth $10! Don't forget that these baby-announcement layouts make great baby shower gifts!

Congratulations to Stephanie and Matt who won the premade layout!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition!

Wow! I actually stayed awake last night trying hard to remember all the things I am thankful for. It could go on and on and on and...well, on.

Since practically everyone in the blog world is doing a Thankful Thursday post today, I don't want to bog down your blog reader with more but I also want to remember the simple things I was thankful for this week...

1. To see my grandma again, the first time since my grandpa's funeral

2. For being able to run well and long this far into my pregnancy

3. To see LOTS and lots of family (a few that I haven't seen in a long time!) {side note: i am sad that we did not get to share Thanksgiving with J's side of the family this year. That was a bummer. Thankfully, we have plans to see them soon, though!)

4. My husband's incredibly strong work ethic

5. That my twin is going to be a mom for a second time in a week or less! YAY! I can't wait to meet my new niece!

6. For a great meal today.

7. For FREE COFFEE from Waffle House today for all of us volunteer crew members at the start Atlanta Track Club Half Marathon. With 38 degree temperatures and a 3:50 AM wake-up alarm, that coffee was never more welcomed! Seriously the best coffee of my life.

8. For good Christian friends in bloggy land that encourage me with their posts every day!

9. For a sweet sweet sweet girl who loves on everyone and thinks life is hilarious (most of the time)

10. For all the half marathoners who donated their outerwear to the homeless (ie, they shed their coats and warmup pants before the start of the race and gave them to shelters!)

11. For neighbors and church friends who continue to generously let us drop Cutie Face off at their house for a snooze while J and I head off to date night. We (and our marriage) are FOREVER INDEBTED to them for that time we get.

12. That the pie tin "lid" that I thought was a "genius" solution for keeping the mashed potatoes warm finally came off of the pot after the men worked tirelessly to free it!

13. For all of the great giveaways that generous Etsyians are offering on my blog and on many other blogs. So generous!

And finally, and this is a big one that I don't write about enough!

14. For all of YOU, my blog readers, who are the motivating factor behind EACH post...if it weren't for you, I'd quit this blog today! So thanks for keeping me going!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

W.o.G. Wednesday: Psalm 100

Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving thanks.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
May you be thankful for ALL of God's provisions and blessings!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: DIY Doormat

I've always wanted a cool doormat for the holidays--one for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. But I didn't want it to be cheesy (a la this doormat that freaked out our poor kiddos on Halloween!).

In my un-creative mind, I have these lofty (and super crafty) ideas but no follow-through. So I aimed a little low (nothing fancy, just nice and doable) and came up with an easy DIY (do-it-yourself) doormat.
Take note: There are SOOOO many ways you can run with this tutorial--you can make a monogram doormat, a holiday doormat (as aforementioned), an image doormat with a damask print or clipart, etc. etc. Seriously I kind of wish I had more time, money, and creative poweress (is that a word? do you know what am i trying to say?) to actually do all of those!

Anyway...i can keep brainstorming but it's time for the real tutorial!

What you need:

  • Coir rug. I found mine at Ikea for $7.99..cutely named "Trampa"
  • Stencil
  • Posterboard for your stencil
  • Marker (for marking out your stencil on the posterboard)
  • Scissors (for cutting out the stencil)
  • Tape (masking tape is better than packing tape, fyi)
  • Matte or Flat spraypaint that is for outdoor/indoor use and able to use on wicker
  • paint and brushes (optional!)

In case you are wondering, a coir rug looks like this up close:

this is the spraypaint my friendly Ace Hardware clerk told me to buy:

interesting note: they had video cameras in the spray paint aisle and you had to be over 18 to purchase the cans! Kind of a sad sign of the times :(

I decided to use posterboard as the base of my stencil because it was sturdier than any alternative (well, foam board or plastic would have been firmer but you get my gist). Of course, if you have a pre-made stencil, don't even worry about these steps. Side note: I chose the neon green posterboard because it was 50% off!

So...organize your stencil. I needed it to fit the width of the posterboard so I had to do some cutting and rearranging.

I finally had it all cut out like so
(making sure to keep the very crucial inners to the "p" and the "a")

Once your stencil is ready to go, firmly tape it to your rug. You want it as flat, tight, and secure as possible so that the spraypaint does not leach out of the stencil.

Tape it down!
Again, I would recommend masking tape as my packing tape wasn't too spiffy

Shake your spraypaint can and get to painting!

I did two coats--one vertical and one horizontal. I also recommend waiting until it is dried, much like a freezer paper stencil, so as to avoid any paint bleeds (as you'll see in the next picture, i got a little too eager and made my letters run a little)

Voila! A new rug!

I had high aspirations of incorporating a dove in one of the corners but couldn't quite figure out the proportions, angle, etc. so I left it out.

But, of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone so I painted some holly + berries in the corners. Kind of tacky but it needed something. Next time I'll probably use a pretty corner stencil from one of my favorite flourishy fonts.

Not bad for a $11 DIY mat, though! (the spraypaint was $3)

These are some phrases I thought would be fun to use:
  • Boo Y'all
  • Give Thanks (maybe with a turkey?)
  • Noel (in a pretty script)
  • a Snowman clipart
  • a Santa clipart
  • a Nativity clipart scene
  • "Wisemen still seek Him" with the Star of David in the center
  • our family monogram (JSA)
  • A Fleur de Lis icon repeated
  • lots of ornaments in different spray paint colors
  • etc. etc.

What are some ideas you can come up with? I'd love to be inspired by your creativity!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I ❤ Faces: Sunflare!


Yesterday I let an overly curious Cutie Face explore my camera...and by "explore" I mean "drop".

On a BRICK floor.


Now the poor snap and shoot's lens will NOT close. (suggestions anyone?)

All this to say...

for the foreseeable future all my i ❤ faces entries will be taken on...

my phone.

So don't expect much.

Without further ado, is my Sunflare Entry:

Now head on over to i ❤ faces for some "REAL" photographs of sunflares!

PS I'm SO sorry for not returning the "comment love" from last week's entry. I claimed lazy pregnant woman status but STILL feel guilty about not getting back to most of you! I promise to change the error of my ways this week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

CLOSED: Fab Friday Giveaway: Toot Sweet Handbags

I was beyond thrilled when Elisa from Toot Sweet Handbags contacted me about a giveaway. Besides being one of the sweetest, most helpful, and most excited Etsy women I've ever worked with, her creations are adorable and must-haves (not to mention PERFECT gifts for birthdays and holidays!)

Elisa has been crafting and creating for as long as she can remember, but Toot Sweet Handbags started with a bet: Given her LOVE of handbags Elisa's husband bet her that she couldn’t resist buying a handbag for a year. She lasted for three months but by then she was ready to buy a new bag.
Elisa's smart husband said that she would not break the rules if she made a bag, as long as she didn’t buy the materials to make the bag. And, that, my lovely readers is how Elisa got started upcycling clothing into handbags!

Her friends all loved the bag and encouraged her to make more and sell them. She found Etsy and now you all get to see her gorgeous handbags and accessories in her Toot Sweet Handbags store. (In case you were wondering, Elisa won the bet, and her husband bought her a new Singer Confidence Quilter sewing machine as her winner’s reward!).

As a self-described eco-freak, Elisa feels everyone can do their part to ease the impact we have on the earth. She personally finds it just as easy to recycle as to trash, to reuse as to buy new. And so she does the same in her designs. Elisa searches thrift stores for the best fabrics and patterns on skirts and blouses, and uses Etsy to buy awesome vintage fabrics.

{design your own catch-all pouch}

Elisa also finds remnants from the fabric store and from past projects to create the smaller items you see in Toot Sweet Handbags--their uniqueness never ceases to amaze her. Because of the garments and fabrics Elisa finds, you’ll never find another handbag like the ones sold at Toot Sweet Handbags.

Elisa lives in a sunny Florida beach town with her husband and 2 crazy cats, and they keep pretty busy. She works full time at an engineering firm, so creating happens in the evenings and weekends. In their spare time, they enjoy going to the beach, eating sushi, reading books, and pretending that they can understand what their cats are trying to say to them (ha!).

As Elisa told me, "my husband and I both hold each other and our faith highest in our lives, so being involved in church activities and spending time with one another is essential." <---LOVE that!


Now that you've learned a lot more about Elisa and Toot Sweet Handbags (and seen her GORGEOUS pieces), don't you think that you should invest in one of her products?

{design your own handy fob wristlet keychain}

Well, lucky for you, Elisa is giving all Monkeys on the Bed! readers 15% off any purchase from now through Saturday, November 28. AND FREE SHIPPING. WOW! That would make these keyfobs are only $5.52 and this Renee clutch only $28.90!

{retrofied pink Renee Clutch}


Even luckier for you, Elisa is giving away a Design-Your-Own Renee Clutch (a $35 value!), like the one seen below:


Congratulations to Julie!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week? Truthfully I am tired, sick, and overwhelmed. But this isn't "Truthful Thursdays"...oh no...this is Thankful Thursday!

so here are the top 7 things I'm thankful for this week:

1. A great Saturday! We did a lot of fun things but the highlight for me was hanging out in the fountains at Olympic Centennial Park

And, just for kicks, I'm posting this video from my other blog because it is too funny!

2. An amazing husband who shows me love all the time

3. A friend from our neighborhood who gave us tickets to the season opener for the Georgia Tech Basketball Game. And then our neighborhood/church family let us drop Cutie Face off at their house....a great excuse for a date night!

4. 3 days with my mom and sister (and niece!) while J was out of town (he travels 2-3 nights a week so this wasn't anything new but it sure was nice to have time with them and get a little break from Cutie Face's rambunctiousness). Cutie Face sure was thankful to have her cousin nearby!

5. Cutie Face is learning so much every day and it is so fun to see her intellect take off.

6. Speaking of growing intellect, Cutie Face had her 15-month well check up on Friday. She is doing great! Very thankful for her "well health".

7. But, speaking of health, Cutie Face's (green) runny nose + cough has returned. J came home and instantly thought she had H1N1 so we spent all night freaking out about it. We even had her sleep with us (which we never do) so that we could keep an eye on her. She had quite a few crying/moaning sessions in her sleep but ...

we are SO THANKFUL she woke up bright and happy (albeit with greener snot and the same cough). I guess we're just thankful it is a cold and not a flu virus! Phew!

(this is Cutie Face in the baby swing with three blankets on top of her...normally rambunctious, she wanted to swing allllll day and she wanted all the blankets she could see piled on top of her...poor sicko)

Okay...use this week as the week to practice your "Thanksgiving" thankful list...
what are you thankful for?