Sunday, May 31, 2009

I❤Faces: Week 21



I usually give a back-story before revealing my pictures but this time around J said just forget it and post them (thank you, boy-genius). So, here I am, simply posting pictures. I feel like this entry is kind of naked without a story so feel free to check out my personal blog for more details about the Kids Entry...

Kids Entry



Pets Entry

Yesterday, J, C and I took an awesome Sunday stroll and stumbled across two hilarious scenes that would have made awesome entries for this week's pet category. Sadly, i didn't have my camera! ugh!

So, here is a picture of my first baby, Churchill. I just learned that you could do selective black and white with Picnik so it was fun to higlight his incredible eyes. He was adopted from a rescue shelter but we think Churchill is part Russian Blue/Korat. I❤Churchy!



I hope you'll head on over to I❤Faces and check out all the other fun birthday and pet entries (and they probably have very nice back stories to accompany them, unlike mine!)...maybe you should enter this week!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I {heart}...You!

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me or wrote in my last post's comments section. Writing these "bare-all" posts causes me to be increasingly more open with you--so watch out!

I know, I know...i said on Thursday that I'd only post here 5 days a week since i now have my "personal" blog dedicated to updates about C and our family (new updates by the way!). Here it is, Saturday, and I've posted twice already! While I may be truthful in my reviews, it appears that i cannot be held accountable for my blog goals {much like me + New Year's Resolutions = failures}

Well, i've come up with two new ideas for Saturday and Sunday. Tell me what you think about these themes (can you tell i strive on structure?!) and if you'd get sick of seeing me in your Reader 7 days/week:

Saturday = Super Saturday Steals (in which I write about the latest cloth diaper giveaways/deals or any other can't-pass-up kiddo/mommy deals)

Sunday = Social-cause Sunday (in which I write about a cause that i love or think is worthy to be mentioned--mind you, these posts would probably not happen too often as I can only think of a handful that are absolutely important to me)

If I get enough response, I'll publish what i've got on the back burner...

We interrupt your Saturday AM Cartoons...

...to let you know that I've now updated all my reviews to reflect one tiny fact:
Besides the Apple Cheeks Diaper (which I would have reviewed anyway because we l-o-v-e love it!), I have never received any products from the company to review nor have I received any compensation.
I started out my blog a looooong time ago (okay, 4 months ago but seriously, i've written 200 posts so it feels like forever ago!) writing about things that Baby C was really into or that we, as new parents, really valued.

Why is this important? Well, really, it isn't I guess but I just want you to know that the things I've reviewed are completely my own opinion and not tainted by any company, etc.

I started this blog so naively thinking that writing reviews of something that i really liked would be helpful to new parents (i even tried to clarify my reviews back then!). When I was pregnant, I pored over what "real moms" had to say about "real products" that they used (and maybe they were compensated to say things but, really, i'm thinking optimistically on this one).

Then i read this post (beware, it can leave you feeling crummy) and haven't stopped questioning why I write reviews or host giveaways. But, really, i do remember why--I wrote reviews because I want to be helpful to other new moms and I host giveaways because who doesn't love finding out about a new crafty and creative woman (usually a WAHM) and then supporting her store?

Sorry for the crazy post on a Saturday AM. I'm scheduling it for Saturday in hopes that it won't get too many views and, therefore, not offend anyon...Ahhh...i'm such a people pleaser.

PS And to all you who do write reviews for companies and get compensated--i seriously and am in no way being sarcastic when I say, "way to make money in this economy!" I am not offended by you or your review posts and love reading your reviews because i know that i can trust YOU!

Friday, May 29, 2009

CLOSED: Fabulous Friday Giveaways: Modern Classic Kids!

{*When we moved to Atlanta, I swore I'd never use Southern phrases like "y'all". But, when we moved back, i felt some weird compulsion to start blog posts with "Y'all..." So, here we go...}

Y'all*, I am so excited about this giveaway--mainly because the store we are featuring is awesome and the woman behind the store is even more incredible: meet Jaimee from Modern Classics: Kids



When talking with Jaimee about the giveaway, I learned that she is one of the most creative moms I've ever met. She stays at home to take care of her 5 year old son. Having a boy is a handful enough (okay, i don't really know that firsthand but i can only imagine!) but Jaimee decided she wanted to be really really busy--so she opened four Etsy stores.

Stop the blogging. FOUR (4) Etsy stores?!?! Yes! (don't worry, keep reading, she isn't that crazy :)

As Jaimee's son became more & more independent, she started regaining her creative "ME" time. She started writing children's books (none of which have been published...yet), illustrating, taking photos, anything to keep the creative juices brewing. All those juices had to go somewhere so Jaimee opened her first Etsy shop!

Then, she opened another & another & another...until she had four going at once. Needless to say, she became a tad overwhelmed and narrowed it down to these two:

Want to take a peek at what is inside?

Anyone sending kids to VBS or Camp this summer? Tag their bag:


Know of a sweet new baby with a mama that has thank-you notes to write?
you can even personalize it!


Going on a much-needed Date night? Give your babysitter (or the grandparents) the 411


is your baby growing like a weed (like mine? sniff sniff)? Measure their progress:


Excited yet? i hope so! Because there is even more goodness in her store--I just picked the baby stuff out that i liked :)

Buy It!
Jaimee would like to extend a 10% discount to Monkeys on the Bed! readers at her official site with coupon code: SPRING09

Win It!
Jaimee is generously giving away a $15 gift certificate towards anything in her store--and you can easily shop with that amount and have money left over!

How to Enter!

Mandatory first entry: please visit Jaimee's official site and leave a comment telling me your favorite item

Earn Extra Entries! For each extra entry, you need to leave a separate comment!
  • follow OR subscribe (only ONE entry opportunity) to Jaimee's blog
  • follow Jaimee on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway using this tweet:
    Win a $15 gift certificate from @modernclassics! Visit @monkeysonthebed to enter: http://tinyurl.com/lhkguc
    (one tweet entry/DAY!) Please include a permalink for your posts in your entry (click on the time of your tweet to get the permalink)
  • Become a fan of either of Jaimee's Facebook pages: Modern Classics: Paper or Modern Classics: Kids (one entry for each fan page joined)
  • Blog about this giveaway--3 extra entries (leave 3 separate comments, each with the permalink)
  • Purchase something from Modern Classics--FIVE extra entries (please leave 5 separate comments, telling me what you purchased)
  • Let me know if you voted in my poll (only ONE entry)
The fine print:

This giveaway is open to the residents of the USA and Canada, aged 18 and older. The giveaway will end on Thursday, June 3 at 11:00 PM EST. You must leave the mandatory comment before receiving extra entries. You must leave a way for me to contact you with each entry! I will draw a winner via a Random Integer Generator and announce the winner on this blog and email the winner as well. If the winner does not reply to me within 48 hours, I will draw a second winner. I reserve the right to delete your entry if you do not follow the rules listed above.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Winner: jenny's Simply Clean + Bath Buddies

Wow! I could absolutely not believe the enthusiasm you guys had for Jenny's and Crystal's Simply Clean F-U-N giveaways. I really encourage you to try both of their products--one more way to be Eco-Friendly, too!

So, without further ado, here is this week's winner:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

25

Timestamp: 2009-05-29 03:03:05 UTC

...let's see who #25 is...

Stefanie Hartman said... 25

fan on Facebook fhartman@frontiernet.net

Congratulations Stefanie! Please contact me within the next 48 hours to claim your prize!

Help Me Help You!--Poll Closed thank you!


PS Don't worry--this poll is 100% anonymous!

PPS If your answer is "other" i'd very much love to hear your other ideas! Please leave a comment telling me what you'd like to see featured on Monkeys on the Bed!

Thankful Thursday: Week 5

This week has been wonderful! I am very thankful for...

  1. The reason for Memorial Day--the men and women that died for our country.
  2. the long weekend we had because of #1
  3. spending time with family because of #1
  4. C finally recovering from her cold! took a week!
  5. a new Bible study starting next week on the book of Esther
  6. C getting to hang out with babies her age because of #5
  7. and, finally, i am thankful for a new blog in which to write more personal updates...
Yes! a new blog! i love writing for Monkeys on the Bed and i have 5 themed topics to write on each day
BUT this blog has become much less personal--no updates on C, etc. I really want to continue writing my M-F posts on this blog (and i hope you'll stick with me!) but i also want to have a blog that chronicles C's life...So, without any further ado, i introduce my new, personal blog:



Feel free to check it out by clicking on the button--and you can quickly catch up because so far it only has one post! I named it cutieface(s) because my grandpa always calls Baby C "little cutie face" and i added the "s" at the end in hopes that we will one day chronicle more than one little life!

{Side note: You can also now breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that there will probably only be one post per day on this blog and never on weekends! }

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WoG Wednesday: 2 Samuel 11

All of the Bible passages I read yesterday and today have been really heavy. They make me think a lot about the life i am leading and whether or not I am truly glorifying my Creator, Savior, and Lord in everything I am doing!

I usually draw from my recent reads for W.o.G Wednesday but because they have been so deep, I was really hesitant to write about any of them. But a couple of them keep coming back to me so I feel like i should just post and be done with it--no more overthinking! So, without any further ado, here is my W.o.G. passage this week!

2 Samuel 11:1-5, 14-16, 26, 27
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."

In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die." So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.

When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
This story of David becomes personal when I read the first verse--David, as a warrior king, should have been at war with his army.

But he decided to stay home.

Why? Was he feeling particularly lazy? Did he have important matters to tend to at home? We can't be sure but we do know that he was supposed to be someplace other than home!

And, all because he was not where he was supposed to be, we see a crazy series of events take place--he was able to see something he shouldn't have seen (Bathsheba bathing), and then act on a desire that would never have presented itself (adultery) had he just been where he was supposed to be--leading his men in war!

Hold the presses--how is this personal? Granted, I'm not a king, i don't fight in wars, and I don't have a tall castle to spy on my neighbors. But, I do know where I should be--the question is, am I there, or am i being selfish and "staying home", getting into my own trouble, instead of being used in a place where God has called me?

It is soooo easy for me to get out of bed, check my emails, my blog reader, make C's breakfast, etc., before I even stop to think about getting into the Word of God. Number one, i know that is where i should be first! A lot of the other passages I read yesterday and today reference what happens when we present ourselves FIRST to God--unlike what we see happen to David, everything falls into place.

Invariably, we all mess up--we are far from perfect (Romans 3:23). I am often like David, choosing the easy path and then finding myself far from where i began--all because I wasn't where I was supposed to be in the first place! As we saw in the passage, David spun his own web of lust, lies, and murder. Thankfully, David's God is my God--a God full of grace (Romans 5:8). Even though we may get ourselves in a tangled web of sin, God is still able to work every single action out for His glory and according to His plan (Jeremiah 29:11). He sent His perfect son to die for me (John 3:16) so that all the places my sins take me might be made straight! What a wonderful God!

Wow! Really didn't see this post coming! And I'm very hesitant to hit "publish post" right now...but here goes!

Wordless Wednesday

{a photo montage from Memorial Day}

Memorial Day Mosaic

{For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit 5 minutes for Mom
or for WordFUL Wednesdays, visit sevEn cLoWn CirCuS!}

PS
I am so proud of my twin and have to plug her store!

Little Birdie Secrets is hosting her giveaway so enter today!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: How to make a Menu Bar

I'm getting a late start on my tutorial today--Memorial Day Weekend festivities wiped me out. I'll try to compile another mosaic of yesterday because J, C, and I were all matching which made for some funny photos. Not to mention, the other pictures from yesterday that highlighted the incredible meal that my parents dished out!

Today I'm going to show you how to make a menu bar for your Blog. I use Blogger so, unfortunately, i do not know if this will work for Wordpress, etc. Let me know if it does, though, so other people can try it!

You might be asking, "Uhh...what is a menu bar?" You can see mine immediately underneath my "Monkeys on the Bed" banner--it has image links to most of my themed posts.

If you want to add a menu bar, first think of where you want to navigate your readers. I wanted people to be able to easily find my tutorials, I❤Faces, Word of God Wednesdays, etc. Once you've figured that out, you can now start working on the button images {Special note: you don't have to make image buttons for your menu bar but i think they look cuter!}

I wanted my button images to be really simple and blend in with the white background. You can easily make these buttons on Microsoft Word (which is what I did) or through an online photo editor like Picnik. Even though I used Word, I'm going to tell you how to make your buttons on Picnik because everyone has access to that!

Go to Picnik and upload any old picture--doesn't matter what you choose because we are going to be covering it with a white rectangle in just a second.

  • Once your picture is uploaded, crop it to be a rectangle--I chose my buttons to uniformly measure 125x50 but you can choose any measurement you want!
  • Hit "Create" and then choose "Stickers". Scroll down until you see the "Geometric" sticker options
  • Choose the rectangle shape and then make the rectangle as big as your cropped image--you want it to fill the image you just cropped so that it is the full dimension of your button. You can also choose to make it any color you'd like--I chose white.
  • Now that you have a nice button shape, choose the "Text" option under the "create" tab
  • Type in the text for your button and then choose your font, color, size, placement, etc. Have fun playing around with it--there are lots of options!
  • Once you are satisfied with your first button, save it to an online photo host--you are going to need its URL soon!
  • The great thing about Picnik is that once you save your photo, you can choose to "Continue Editing" it.
  • Choose "Continue Editing" and double click on the Text Box. Type in the next text for your second button, make sure that the font is the same size, and save it as you did for your first one.
  • Carry on making buttons, saving, and uploading them until you have all the buttons you need
  • {Special note: I also made a green circle image to place in between my buttons which you can do as well!}
Now that you have your buttons, we have to tinker with the HTML a little bit. Don't worry, just follow everything as listed below and you'll be fine!

The best instructions I have found for this are at 'Tips for New Bloggers' in Bizwhiz's post entitled ' Add Page Element to Blogger Header and Blog' and at Real Life Blog

Both blogs have excellent instructions (and Bizwhiz has color illustrations!) so make sure you check out their sites if you get lost or confused with my tutorial!

First, you have to change your template which will allow you to increase your options for adding page elements:
  • Click on your Template tab and then click Edit HTML
  • PLEASE save and download a copy of your full template RIGHT NOW before you make any changes
  • Hit 'Ctrl F' to search your HTML template and type in "showaddelement" to locate the proper place in your HTML code to make changes--there are three places where "showaddelement" appears and we are going to change each one just a bit.
  • Look for a place in the code that says:
<div id='header-wrapper'> <b:section class='header' id='header' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement=' no'>
  • Change the maxwidgets to 3 and the showaddelement to yes - You will now have two extra places where you can add page elements.
  • Search for the next "showaddelement" until you find this code:
<div id='main-wrapper'><b:section clas='main' id='main' showaddelement=' no'&gt
  • Change the showaddelement to yes. You now have two new options in your template to add page elements before and after your blog header. NOTE: The process is different for the Dots template. I would suggest reading Bizwhiz's article in entirety.
  • Last time you have to change the code: Scroll down to where you see the code reading:
<div id='content-wrapper'> <div id='crosscol-wrapper' style='text-align:center'> <b:section class='crosscol' id='crosscol' showaddelement=' no'/></div>
  • Change showaddelement to yes
  • Your blog layout should now have an 'Add Page Element' option between the blog header and the blog post section. That new section is what we will manipulate to add a horizontal navigation or menu bar.
  • After completeting the HTML changes, preview your blog to ensure everything is looking good (you won't see anything new just yet as you have not added a page element--your blog should just look normal). Now you can save your new template!
Phew! Still with me? Hope so!

Now you have a place to add those cute little buttons you just made. If you've ever added a button in normal page elements, this step will not be tricky for you, it is just a slightly loooong process! Get ready to add them by gathering all your URLs
  • You should have all the URLs to your button images--keep them handy and maybe open each image in a separate tab so that you can easily see them.
  • We also need the URLs for the links to each button. Look at your buttons that you made--each one should be linking to a particular label, (like my "tutorial" label), post (like an "about me"), email address ("contact"), etc.
  • If you want the link to one of your labels, simply click on the label in your blog and a window will open with all the posts you've ever listed with that particular label. That URL will be the link to its corresponding button.
  • You can also use the handy "search this blog" box in the left hand corner of your Blogger--for example, if I wanted, i could find all the posts that mentioned "the twin" and get an URL for that!
  • NOTE: i recommend opening a new tab for each link--that way, all your links for your labels will be open and it won't be as confusing--so if you have 4 buttons, open a new tab for each button's link (hope that makes sense!)
  • if you want a "Contact" button linking to your email, the coding is just
<a href="mailto:youremail@yourdomain.com">
Now that we have our button images' URLs and our page URLs, we are ready to add the HTML coding!

  • While still in the layout editing mode, choose "add a page element" in the new horizontal box you just made.
  • Choose add "HTML/Javascript" (don't worry! this HTML code isn't hard!) This is where we will need all those button URLs so keep them handy!
  • The code for each button will look similar to this:
<a href="http://yourblog.blogspot.com/search/label/yourlabelhere " target="_blank"><img border="0" alt="YourLabelHere" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/xxx.jpg"/></a>
  • You need to replace the RED text with the link to your first button label and replace the BLUE text with the URL for the image that corresponds to the label link you just used (the part in RED)
  • Where it says "yourlabelhere" replace it with the name of your button
  • MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS KEEP THE QUOTATION MARKS!
  • Do this for all your buttons! Yes, it can take a while but if you have all your URLs handy, you should be able to put it together rather easily...i hope!
  • After adding all your buttons, center them by adding <center> at the top of your HTML coding and </center> at the bottom of your coding.
Save your page element, hit preview to make sure it looks okay and then save everything for good measure one more time!

YAY you did it! Please let me know if you have any issues or questions!

It appears that Mr. Linky is having HUGE issues these days (it isn't even working for my fave site, I❤Faces!) but if you have a tutorial that you want to share (and i hope you do!), please feel free to leave a comment linking to it. Also, feel free to grab the Tutorial Tuesday button!

Monday, May 25, 2009

i ❤ faces: Week 20



This week was a toughy! I was so hoping that we'd get a great beach shot when we were in Florida but it rained the last two nights we were in town. Bummer!

That left me with no shots of a silhouette and no clear horizons. Ironically enough, Atlanta was finally getting all the rain we needed, so this week didn't leave us much chance for sunsets or clear skies. Finally, on Friday, J and I just went outside with C for a quick photo shoot.

While my entry is hardly original (5 out of the first dozen entries i've looked at feature children being thrown in the air!) it was still fun.


sihlouettes 20a
tutu and headband made by Festive Frills

As always, head on over to I❤Faces to see incredible photographs of silhouettes. You won't be disappointed!

Maybe you'll even consider entering this week...?!?!

PS Don't worry, everyone! C had a giggle-fest during the shoot and J's hands are both there, ready to catch her--you just have to look closely.

Unnatural Peace

Yesterday, J, C and I took naps before church started. Unfortunately we woke up right when church was starting. We decided to listen to my childhood pastor's sermon from last week. It could not come at a better time. It is all about Peace, God's Unnatural Peace. {If you'd like to listen to it, I very much encourage you to do so! One of the passages he spoke on was John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me"}

Why was this sermon an appropriate message for this week? Well, this week I have learned of three more children who need urgent prayers. I didn't want to have to write posts like this but, the truth of the matter is, we live in a fallen world where sadness, pain, turmoil, and tragedy exist. As a Christian, I have hope in God's promises, His truth, and His love for us, knowing that the world He created for us is coming!

Until then, we can pray pray pray...and here are three more children to add to your list:

Esther Grace Bulgrien
The first one is closest to my heart. J and I went to college with them and they are an incredibly neat Christian family.




Esther Grace was born by caesarian on Tuesday, May 19, at 12:43 p.m. This was three months to the day before her due date. She weighs in at a whopping> 1 pound, five ounces; but she is doing very well, especially considering her early arrival. Esther is just over 12 inches long, and her entire hand is about the size of Rachel's (her mom) fingernails. Her tiny feet are less than two inches long, and her head is slightly smaller than a tennis ball.

Esther was taken early when doctors discovered a fungus in her mom's birth canal that they see often in women who experience pre-term labor. Even though she was born 14 weeks early, they felt that this early of a birth would increase Esther's chance of survival. She is still so tiny and needs many prayers!

They have a Caring Bridge site if you would like to hear their updates.

Maggie Cobb
Grammy Girlfriends alerted me to Maggie Cobb's story.



After clumsy behavior and vision problems, her parents took her to see a doctor. They found a (benign) tumor on her brain stem but it is inoperable. Maggie is currently preparing to undergo radiation to treat it. She has her own facebook page if you want to keep updated.

Ezra
And then, I heard from A Psych Mommy about another little boy who has leukemia. Manic Mother's son, Ezra was very recently diagnosed with this cancer and they are hosting a fundraiser to help support his treatments. You can read more about his story here.



I leave you with the verses that Esther Grace's dad sent to us:

Romans 8:22-28

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.



Honoring MY Hero

The Soldier
by Robert Frost



He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled,
That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust,
But still lies pointed as it ploughed the dust.
If we who sight along it round the world,
See nothing worthy to have been its mark,
It is because like men we look too near,
Forgetting that as fitted to the sphere,
Our missiles always make too short an arc.
They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect
The curve of earth, and striking, break their own;
They make us cringe for metal-point on stone.
But this we know, the obstacle that checked
And tripped the body, shot the spirit on
Further than target ever showed or shone.
I read Frost's poem earlier this weekend at Life with Kaishon and knew it would be perfect to honor the people who have fought for our freedom.

My cousin is a Ranger in the Army. He is an amazing testimony to his battle buddies of faith in action. Our family is so proud of him. He has witnessed horrible things and my heart hurts for him and those he fights with. Worst of all, perhaps, is that he has lost friends in combat. So for them, I dedicate this post.

PS I know the war is a huge debatable point. I recently read an incredible post at Prairie Air that left me with tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms. Because she says exactly what I wish I could put into words, here is a snippet from that post:
Now whether this war we're fighting in the Middle East is right or whether it's the best way to go about things, I don't know. I also haven't sorted out my own thoughts on whether or not or when it's right to go to war from a Christian standpoint. David was a man of war, and he was also called a man after God's own heart. We also know David walked outside of God's will a time or two, like when he had Uriah put on the front lines to die so that he wouldn't find out David had knocked up his wife, Bathsheba. There were times when God instructed men to fight, and I can't speak personally for what God has or has not instructed our present day leaders to do. Something makes me question whether or not they would listen anyway. All that to say that I am just as confused by this as anyone else. I have no answers for whether war or this war in particular is justifiable.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Roundup

Well the long weekend is just about 2/3 of a way over and we still have a fun BBQ planned with the twin's fam and my parents tomorrow. It has been a great weekend so far--cooler than normal and slightly rainy which makes being outside with a baby a bit more fun. Lets just say we are very thankful for our Phil and Ted's Rain Cover and our LL Bean rain coats!

I was going to write a long recap but i figured that a picture says 1000 words! Just a few highlights that you'll see--J and C hung out while i helped coach the Peachtree in Training group--lets just say, C's room was...err...an interesting scene when i came home. See if you can find the evidence! Afterwards, we visited the Decatur Arts Festival. Today was fun, too, involving lots of time outdoors and one loooong 3-hour walk! C was a trooper!


Memorial Day Weekend Roundup

Didn't win the Apple Cheeks? More Diaper Giveaways!

I wish we could have given cloth diapers away to everyone who entered. You all were great with the comments and the tweets. Thank you!

If you were not the lucky winner, consider entering these diaper giveaways:

For more chances to win Apple Cheeks Diapers:
  • the Mom Buzz--win an envelope cover, two inserts, and a booster--ends June 2nd
  • Two of a Kind--win an envelope cover + two inserts--ends June 8th

And for your chance to win non-Apple Cheek cloth diapers:
  • The Cloth Diaper Whisperer is giving away a BabyBeehinds diaper + thirstie cover--these are neat diapers! This giveaway ends on May 28th
  • Emily, over at Emily's Latest, is giving away a gift certificate to a neat Canadian mommy's cloth diaper and accessory store--Snug's Boutique. This giveaway ends May 29th.
  • The Cloth Diaper Blog is giving away an Imse Vimse Swim Diaper to THREE lucky winners! Click on their button below to enter!
FEED YOUR STASH FRIDAY Imse Vimse Swim Diaper Giveaway
  • Breezy Babies is having a giveaway--it is part of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day so make sure to check out that, too! head over to her site for your chance to win a Flexible Fitted dipe in size 2--ends May 31st



  • You can win a Rocky mountain Diaper in Moovin Lemon (so cute!) at the Diaper Style blog. This contest ends June 5 at 6:00 PM
As I mentioned in the Snooty Booty contest line, Gro-Baby is a revolutionary way to diaper--not only are they made out of organic material but they also incorporate mesh liners for fast drying! i don't know about you but I'd love to try them!

and, of course,
*Don't forget about the Simply Clean F-U-N giveaway!*

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Winner! Apple Cheeks Diaper!

Thank you to everyone who entered, tweeted, blogged, and got excited about the Apple Cheeks Diaper!

I am happy to announce that the winner is...

Here are your random numbers:
154

Timestamp: 2009-05-24 03:02:51 UTC

#154!...let's see who that is...
Holly Noelle said... 154

following your blog

Congratulations, Holly! I've sent you an email. Please respond to me as soon as possible!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Closed: Fabulous Friday Giveaway: Simply Clean F-U-N!

Closed! The winner is Stefanie!

I thought I was excited about the Apple Cheeks Diaper giveaway (still time to get extra entries!) but I am even more excited about this week's giveaway! If you found my blog through the diaper giveaway you may wonder how it could get much better than that...but it does!

When I bought my first cloth diaper I was so excited to put it on Baby C. Then, I realized--I had to wash it! What if I ruined it? What if it didn't get clean? All of a sudden my excitement was replaced with dread. So, being the ardent googler that I am, I did a little research online and on Diaper Swappers. My searches kept landing me on a WAHM's website who sold her homemade detergent that was safe and very effective (not to mention economical!)--Jenny's Simply Clean!


Like many moms who start cloth diapering, one reason I turned to cloth was because of C's extremely sensitive skin. When I read that Jenny started making her detergent because she wanted to minimize her son's eczema and skin irritation, I knew I was in the right place!

Then I discovered that, unlike most commercial detergents which coat your laundry with petroleum-based surfactants (who knew!?), Jenny's Simply Clean works by actually removing (instead of coating) those odors. Genius! Who wouldn't want to use this detergent?

There are so many great things about Jenny's Simply Clean that I could dedicate three separate posts about her store. Here are the top five highlights, though:
  • Jenny is absolutely incredible when it comes to Customer Service. I can't express that enough so that is why i listed it first :)
  • Jenny is coming up with tons of new products--like foaming hand soap, dishwasher detergent and even room spray. There really is something for everyone.
  • Jenny's detergent is the best detergent i've found that really gets the job done. I never have any residual stink on my diapers and I even have hard water! I love the job it does!
  • Jenny's detergent is not just for cloth diapers. Even non-parents or disposable diaper users can get in on the Jenny's Simply Clean action!
  • and, finally, even my husband, J comments on how great the detergent smells. Now that is saying something!
As long as your laundry is getting pampered by good clean suds, so should you!

Crystal from the Etsy shop, Bath Buddies, is also in on the simply clean f-u-n giveaway!



Crystal loves to create and she also loves bath and body products. She put her two passions together and Bath Buddies was born. It goes without saying that she absolutely loves each and every one of her creations and she loves to add new products to her shop!

Crystal is currently an elementary school teacher by day and bath fizzie maker at night, but hopes to one day be able to turn her fizzies into a full-time endeavor. Please consider supporting Crystal so that she can start making her dream a reality!

Buy It!

Jenny's Simply Clean is offering 10% off for Monkeys on the Bed! blog readers. Please use discount code 511091974. That discount code will stay up through the last day of June.

Crystal is also offering 10% off from today through Friday, May 29th. Please use code "blog10off" in the notes to seller at checkout.

Win it!

Jenny's Simply Clean is generously donating a $20 gift certificate to the winner to use on anything in the store--that is worth more than the cloth diaper giveaway! Wow!

Crystal is generously donating a Sweet Almond Ball Fizzy. While your diapers are washing, pamper yourself by relaxing in an almond fizzy bath!

How to win!

Mandatory first entry: Jenny's Simply Clean comes in so many yummy scents you'll want to try them all! Please visit Jenny's Simply Clean and let me know which one you'd like to try!

OR

Crystal's Bath Buddies come in lots of different varieties, as well. Please visit Bath Buddies and let me know which fizzy you'd like to try!

Earn Extra Entries!
  • join Jenny's Simply Clean Facebook Fan Page, then come back and let me know you did so
  • Tweet about this giveaway--each tweet earns you an extra entry! Make sure you include a permalink for your posts in your entry (click on the time of your tweet to get the permalink)
  • Blog about this giveaway--3 extra entries (leave 3 separate comments, each with the permalink)
  • Follow me or Subscribe to my blog then come back and let me know you did so
  • Purchase something from Jenny's Simply Clean or Bath Buddies--FIVE extra entries (please leave 5 separate comments, telling me what you purchased)
AND, bonus daily entry method!
  • You can earn one extra entry PER DAY by coming back here and telling me a different ITEM (not fragrance) you would like to purchase from Jenny's Simply Clean or Bath Buddies. Please include the words "daily bonus entry" in your comment!
The fine print:

This giveaway is open to the residents of the USA and Canada, aged 18 and older. The giveaway will end on Thursday, May 28 at 11:00 PM EST. You must leave the mandatory comment before receiving extra entries. You must leave a way for me to contact you with each entry! I will draw a winner via a Random Integer Generator and announce the winner on this blog and email the winner as well. If the winner does not reply to me within 48 hours, I will draw a second winner. I reserve the right to delete your entry if you do not follow the rules listed above.

Winner! Vibe Designs Pendant Necklace!

I was overwhelmed by the response to Rachael's beautiful pendant necklace giveaway. Thank you everyone for entering! Don't forget to keep VibeDesigns in mind if you're on the hunt for new jewelry!

Now for the winner...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

94

Timestamp: 2009-05-22 04:31:37 UTC


Congratulations to #94, Amy! You have been contacted via blog post. Please respond within 48 hours!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Week 4

I have two main things that really stood out to me this week to be thankful for: family and friends. So, without further ado, this Thursday i am thankful for:

1) A grandma (and C's GREAT grandma) who takes the time to sew dresses, hats, bloomers, and blankets for C. My grandma even sewed my cousin's Senior Prom Dress! Amazing!



2) A mother (and C's grandma) who sends fun packages for C to open and great outfits for her to wear and even includes little gifts for me and J!



3) Friends who are patient with me after I've promised to make something and just haven't done it yet...(thank you for your patience all you from my February giveaway and Robin from Well of Creations!)

4) Generous crafters from Etsy, Apple Cheeks Diapers, and Jenny's Simply Clean for donating awesome prizes for my Fabulous Friday Giveaways!

5) Kelly's Closet's AWESOME customer service team for helping me snag one more "gently used" BumGenius 3.0 before they were all sold out. I'm a customer for life--they really won me over by how above-and-beyond they go in helping you! In case you haven't shopped them before, you can visit them by clicking on the button below...and there is free shipping on orders $35+ today only(May 21) by using the FACEMAY code




6) And, while this "thanks" doesn't fit the friend or family bill, i'm thankful for the clearance section at Publix for still selling their old stuffed animal inventory from Christmas--C found a puppy dog that she absolutely adores and it makes her smile and squeal with delight every time she sees it! All for $1.99.



Okay everybody! i know you are thankful for at least one thing in your life! Feel free to leave a comment about what it is or leave a link to your own "Thankful Thursday" post (Mister Linky is currently down).

I was so encouraged by those of you who participated last week and would love to see what you are thankful for this week, too!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WoG Wednesday: Habakuk 3:17-19

I remember reading through my One Year Bible during a particularly hard time in my life when I was struck by this passage from Habakuk. In a time when there is economic insecurity, much need, and earnest longing, i cannot help but come back to the encouraging verses written in the Old Testament:

Habakuk 3:17-19

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

habbakuk


I am also weekly encouraged by Susan Keller's combination of Bible verses and her breathtaking photography. Please visit her blog to be encouraged yourself!

nearly-wordless Wednesday

I wanted to find a way to share this photo but couldn't think of a blog post to incorporate it...

but then I remembered...

Wordless Wednesdays!

wordless Wednesday

J helped C play "tag" with our pastor's daughter on Sunday following service. By the end of it they were both giggling uncontrollably. Too cute!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit 5 minutes for Mom or for WordFUL Wednesdays, visit sevEn cLoWn CirCuS!

and, a very Happy Birthday to one of my oldest friends!





Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: Minky Blankie & Silkie Loops

It is so good to be back after a day from being unplugged (thanks, again, Kelly for the idea!) but I was so thankful that it was also a day of refreshment.

My day away from computers and phones allowed me to finally sit down last night and make my Tutorial Tuesday...which was supposed to be a baby's gift in MARCH (yes, 2 months ago--this procrastination is what an addiction to blog reading and internet surfing will do to you--go unplugged!)

monkeys on the bed!

For this week's tutorial you will need:

  • Good cutting scissors (i used my cutting mat and my rotary cutter for the first time!)
  • two pieces of fabric with the same dimensions
  • satin ribbon (optional)
  • sewing machine (though, you probably could sew it by hand)


1. Get your materials ready. I cut:
  • 10 strips of blue satin ribbon and 10 strips of cream satin ribbon of equal length (about 3 inches)
  • 1 long strip of blue satin ribbon (which will become the stroller strap)
  • each piece of fabric to be the same size as my cutting mat


2. Line up your fabric with the GOOD sides facing each other.
3. Prepare the satin "tags" (please see my special note at the end about these tags) by folding the first one you want to use in half.



4. Decide where you want this first satin loop to go--I wanted 4 tags on the shorter end of the blanket and 6 tags on the longer sides of the blanket so I just evenly spaced them out.

5. The trick about these tags is that you need to pin the loops on the INSIDE, between the two pieces of fabric, like so:



6. For the stroller loop, i chose one end (opposite to the end with the applique which is an entirely different post in and of itself), and placed it diagonally on the inside of the two pieces of fabric.



7. When you are all finished pinning your loops, they should look like this:



8. Do NOT forget to leave an opening for you to turn the blanket inside out! I left an opening where my last satin ribbon loop would go:


9. Begin sewing. I used a simple straight stitch. Sew all around the blanket, stopping at the opening, and ensuring that the beginning and end of your stitch is reinforced.



10. Turn your blanket inside out. It will now look like this (cool huh?):



11. Find the opening, pin the last satin loop to the inside of the blanket, and sew an inner stitch to close up the hole.


12. Now create a top-stitch all around the blanket--I used another simple straight stitch and sewed around the blanket, leaving a one-inch border:



13. Trim all the excess string. Step back and admire your new blanket!



all cute and folded up and an example of how it looks on a stroller:






PS Please note that while this blanket incorporates ideas from Taggies, they have a very very strict Patent so, if you make this, don't sell it! This is from their website:

We need all of our valued customers to be aware that our PATENT PROTECTION allows ONLY Taggies, Inc. and its partners to create these special products. Any copies of Taggies products are in direct violation of patent, trademark and copyright law. These copiers currently are and will continue to be pursued. We greatly appreciate being made aware of such items. Not only are we at Taggies committed to protecting our intellectual property, but also want to ensure the safety of children everywhere.

PPS: If you want the button, here it is: