Wednesday, September 30, 2009

W.o.G. Wednesday: Proverbs 4:23



Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.

I highly highly recommend visiting a blog I just found tonight called "Building the Blocks". The author, Amy, wrote an incredible post about perspective and guarding where your heart places its treasure. And, she is generously letting me re-post her words below:

Do you ever get tired of trying to prove yourself to the world?

Prove you are:
  • Pretty enough
  • Rich enough
  • Strong enough
  • Worthy enough
  • Skinny enough
  • Smart enough
  • Creative enough
  • Popular enough
  • Good enough
  • ENOUGH.

Can I just tell you something?

  • Your diplomas, degrees, and credentials don’t make a difference.
  • How popular your kids are don’t make a difference.
  • The square footage of your house doesn’t make a difference.
  • Your jean size doesn’t make a difference.
  • Your pedicures, massages and French manicures don’t make a difference.
  • Your designer labels don’t make a difference.
  • How clean your house is doesn’t make a difference.
  • The size of your diamond doesn’t make a difference.
  • Your past failures don’t make a difference.
  • Your bank account doesn’t make a difference.
  • Paying $120 to have your hair done doesn't make a difference.
  • Others approving of your life doesn't make a difference.

Your
HEART
will be
what makes
the difference.

Ruh-Roh: Voting is getting TIGHT!

I'm a sleuther. I LOVE digging around on the Internet and finding fun and interesting facts out about things and people that catch my attention. Currently the thing catching my attention is the



This little sleuthing hobby of mine helped me figure out that the woman in second place for the Baby Bjorn Motherhood contest is posting her entry EVERYWHERE on message boards and asking for people to vote for her. She also has 3,656 twitter followers, many who are ReTweeting her request to vote.

Sadly, the twin and I don't belong to such message boards and I have roughly 9% of the twitter followers that the nice woman in second place has.

Now, I know she is probably a very nice mama. She has two grown sons, one of whom races in the Nascar circuit. That is pretty cool. She definitely has ever right to win this contest as my twin...

BUT

The twin is about to embark on her second labor and delivery and NEEDS this vacation to NYC as a mini-babymoon with her dear husband, Mountain Man.

SO

Please Please consider voting for the twin today, tomorrow and Friday. That's it--just three votes--one per day until Friday.

You can vote for her entry by clicking here and keep track of the leaderboard by clicking here. You can even tweet for her or blog about her! Whatever you'd like to to do to get the votes in, we're ever grateful!



If you do vote, please let me know so we can give you a HUGE shoutout when she wins (because it pays to think optimistically!)

Thank you!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: 10 easy ways to make someone's day

It used to be one of my goals in life to make seemingly sad, harried, hurried, or just downright unrespondent people SMILE and tune in with the world for a bit and see how great and fun life can be.

Granted, there are many many legitimate concerns and worries that often don't allow for someone to see the joy in the day. I've been there, for sure (remember this post?) but as a Christian, I'm given unending Joy in the knowledge that my Savior and King has rescued me (me! a HUGE sinner!).

Anyway. Back to the Tutorial!



If you want to make someone smile or make their day, it really isn't that hard--and you'll end up making your own day, too!

  1. (the easiest) Make eye contact with someone passing you on the street. Give them a BIG smile and tell them, "have a nice day!" <--the key is actually talking to them as you walk past them--lots of people can smile, not too many people take the time to wish another a nice day!


  2. If you are stuck in a line or on a bus or subway train, notice someone around you, smile, and give them a compliment. Maybe they have a pretty accessory or you like the way their hair looks or they just have a pretty smile themselves. You are bound to find SOMETHING nice about them that you can compliment them on.


  3. If you are feeling particularly generous, let that person behind you go in front of you in that long line. Or, if you are on a bus/subway, give up your seat or offer your newspaper, etc. to a fellow passenger.


  4. When you finally get to the front of the line or get off your bus/subway, why not talk to the cashier and thank them for being so efficient or talk to the driver of the bus and thank him/her for a safe ride? Guaranteed to make their day and give them a little pep in their step!


  5. Drive to work and won't be getting in any long lines any time soon? Send an email to someone you've been thinking about and let them know that you appreciate their friendship (if they are a friend) or their work ethic (if they are a co-worker).


  6. Go to the Dollar Store and pick up a bunch of cheap $1 cards. Send out the cards to friends or family you haven't seen in a while just to say "hi". This will cost you $1.42 and a bit of time but it will be SO WORTH it to the friend who gets it! I promise.


  7. Call a loved one--I'd start with your grandparents. Don't have any grandparents left? Call your parents. Don't have any parents? Call your siblings. Don't have any siblings? Call your boyfriend/girlfriend husband/wife. Don't have any of those? Call your best friend and tell them that you LOVE them and appreciate them for all the little things they do and the things they do for you that make YOU smile.


  8. Do you have a child(ren)? I LOVE getting little Monkey to smile, wave, and say, "HI!" as we pass people in the stroller. It gives people a big kick to see a little person notice them. Don't have kids yet? Why not try and make a little kid smile yourself--just make a funny face, wave, or say hi and you'll most likely get a response from them and their grateful parent!


  9. Do you know someone who had a new baby? Or someone that is ill or injured? What if you noticed that a new family moved into the neighborhood? I love making desserts (homemade brownies!) or bringing dinner to people who are in any of those situations!


  10. Finally, and this one is probably the most expensive and time consuming but most likely to bring the most joy and happiness to someone--why not send a care package to someone in the military or a new student away in college? Don't know anyone in either of those situations? Well I have a cousin serving in the Army and 4 cousins in college who would love to hear from you...ha!
I'm sure you know of many great ways to make someone's day, even if it does just mean making them smile...what works for you? I'd love to hear it!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Shameless Plug: Help the twin win!

You all know the twin by now.

{If you don't, she is crafty (in a good way), creative, and great at writing! In other words, she took the right half of the brain and I took the left.}

She is up to her creative antics again!

and this time I can actually help her....

and I'm hoping you might want to as well

{hence the shameless plug}

Here is the deal:
The twin wrote an essay for a Baby Bjorn contest--Entrants in this contest wrote short essays about an experience that shaped their definition of being a parent. Basically, she had to write about a moment describing when what being a mother suddenly becomes clear to her. Oh yeah...and she had to do this in 100 words or less!

the prize is AWESOME and I'd be ecstatic if the twin won!

The essay with the most votes by 8:00 p.m. EST October 2, 2009 will win a $1,500 travel voucher and two tickets to the MOTHERHOOD New York City Premier and after-party from BabyBjörn on October 14, 2009. Five runners-up will win a BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Synergy, so they can carry their infants close to them while multi-tasking on a busy day.

Now here is the tough part. You have to register.

Groan. Sigh. Boo. I know I know.

If I weren't the twin's twin, I'd probably just stop reading right now and forget about it. I WISH I could offer you extra entries to a contest or a prize for registering...But that would be cheating (and we don't want that!)

BUT, we'd both be eternally grateful if you registered and voted for her.
Seriously. We would.



Here is the twin's post on it.

She includes the link to her essay and the leaderboard link so you can see how she's doing!

Thanks for reading and thinking about voting...

and, if you voted here's a big SMOOCH & HUG for doing so :)


I ❤ Faces: Blue

This week's theme over at I ❤ Faces is...Blue (bet you couldn't guess by the title of the post!). Oh the places you can go with this theme!

I had some great pictures lined up and ready for me to tweak on Picnik. Unfortunately, we've been in Boston all week (which was actually NOT unfortunate but incredibly wonderful!) and I didn't get a chance to work on the photos.

Thinking optimistically, I felt like I'd have plenty of time to do so when we got back from our trip. Sadly, Boston's Logan Airport was, once again, delayed (no shocker to my parents, right Mom and Dad?)! This predicament left me with no (free) internet--and you all now know my freebie infatuation thanks to Friday's confession--and, thus, no access to Picnik.

Fortunately, while we waited out the delay, the little Monkey herself found a GREAT photo-op at the new Kid's Port playgym in the terminal.
Now, all you mamas please don't shudder--yes, yes, I know--i took my daughter's health in my hands when 1) we took her on an airplane in the midst of Swine Flu outbreak season and 2) we let her run around a playground guaranteed to house millions of little germs just waiting to be "germinated".
Anyway, she loved playing on the Blue and white plane in her Blue and white outfit! I loved how perfect it was for this week's theme! Granted, all we had was an iPhone camera on hand but, hey, it did the trick!

A perfect example on finding reasons to be THANKFUL in everything (even airport delays)!







Make sure you check out other blue entries on I ❤ Faces!

{Side note: first thought when I think "Blue" is the song "Blue Bayou" sung by Linda Ronstadt. Anyone know it? My parents used to own a first-cut karaoke machine that featured pretty hilarious videos...they definitely got a lot better with new technology! Regardless, one of my mom's favorite videos was "Blue Bayou" and the twin and I'd croon it along with her. Pretty funny.}


Friday, September 25, 2009

{CLOSED} Fab Friday Giveaway: Be Nice Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix

True Confession: the adults in my household (ahem, me & J) can't pass up a good deal (read: freebie). Part of the reason we had a Costco membership was to get the free samples! We loved being in Grad School because there was always a club hosting a {free} pizza dinner or a school-event with {free} candy and how do you think my coffee addiction started? Oh by all the {free} coffee offered at said former grad-school (sadly, free food, candy, and drinks no longer seem to be an option...but you can read all about that here)

Anyway, what does my confession have to do with this blog or this giveaway?

When i was reading my Baby magazine {free from my Ob's office!} I saw, in the back advert section, that you could email for a free sample of this new prenatal drink mix "Be Nice".

Of course, I couldn't pass that offer up so i emailed them!

I received a personal response almost instantly and hence started a great relationship with a member of the Be Nice staff. The first thing i noticed right away was how excited everyone is about this product, how much they believe in it, and how they cannot wait to get it into the hands of pregnant women everywhere.

The Background:
Be Nice is a flavored drink mix that you add to water. When I was in my first trimester, i could not, for the life of me, drink water so I tried all different kinds of drink mixes to help it go down easier. The one problem I had with downing packets of drink mixes was that they contained NOT GOOD ingredients.

Be Nice is formulated with the pregnant woman in mind so their ingredients ARE GOOD for YOU and your growing BABY. Be Nice is made with the highest-quality all-natural ingredients and contains no artificial flavorings, sweeteners or preservatives. It is sweetened with stevia, an all-natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. Not to mention the fact that each packet of Be Nice is formulated to contain 25% of the doctor recommended supply of folic acid, vitamins, and minerals, along with DHA. It comes in two delicious flavors, Lemonade and Berrylicious.

Be Nice even has the backing of an Ob: Dr. Peter Hung, integrative and holistic medicine physician and Mayo Medical School graduate, recommends Be Nice. " When portioned throughout the day, the body is better able to retain and utilize nutrients, which is why Be Nice drink packets are an excellent hydration choice for pregnant and nursing women."

The Verdict:
I really enjoyed taking the Be Nice in my water. I could not believe that they managed to put allllll those vitamins in there and still make it taste GREAT! In fact, the taste completely disguised the fact that you were downing prenatal vitamins with every sip.

I did find that the vitamin flavor became a little stronger if you let the water sit for a time (about two hours or so). But, if you drank your water + Be Nice right away, you couldn't taste it at all!

Also, i'm not a huge concentrated-drink fan so I diluted my packet in 1 Liter of water (instead of 1/2 Liter as suggested). I found that, when mixed with, 1 Liter it was still full flavored and delicious.

Would I buy Be Nice?
Absolutely! Knowing that I have a HEALTHY alternative to drink mixes while pregnant and AN EASY WAY to get extra prenatal vitamin goodness is incredible. I loved the product and am so glad I have it for this pregnancy!

Want Be Nice Right now?

Because Be Nice is so new, most people will have to order it online. It is currently sold in one Ob/GYN doctor's office in California, though, so you may be lucky enough to buy it there! You can order it by clicking here.

Want to win 2 boxes of Be Nice?

The generous people at Be Nice are giving away TWO boxes of their drink mix to one lucky reader! You will get to try each flavor!

How:


MANDATORY first entry: Visit the Be Nice website. Tell me what flavor you'd like to try and why.

Extra entries: (please leave me an extra comment for each valid entry)
  • Become a Fan of Be Nice on Facebook (1 entry, please leave your initials for validation)
  • Follow Be Nice on Twitter (1 entry, please leave your "@" name)
  • Tweet this giveaway. (1 entry/day) Please tweet:
Are you pregnant? This product is for you! Win 2 boxes of @BeNicePrenatal drink mix on @monkeysonthebed http://bit.ly/s92rz
  • Follow me or subscribe to my RSS feed (1 entry for one or both)

The fine print:

This giveaway is open to anyone who in Canada or the USA, aged 18 and older. The giveaway will end sometime on Saturday, October 3rd. 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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

W.o.G. Wednesday: 1 Peter 4:11

Earlier this week, exhausted and overwhelmed, i turned on my "Christian Greats" Pandora Mix and up came one of my favorite songs, "Nothing Without You" by Bebo Norman.

Hearing that song humbled me, making me realize that my strength can never get me through the day--only resting in God's strength can i truly be renewed

AND

it made me realize (AGAIN!) how I have nothing to offer God of any worth (no good deed, no superior action or morality). All I can offer is my {broken} self.

I found a few relevant Bible verses to go with the song but thought that 1 Peter 4:11 summed it up well (emphasis mine):

1 Peter 4:11

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.




Lyrics:

Take these hands and lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

Take my voice and pour it out
Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing without You

Take my body and build it up
May it be broken as an offering of love
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing
I love You

With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
With all the strength that I can find

Take my time here on this earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing,
I am nothing without You


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tell-Me Tutorial Tuesday: Finding Quiet Time

Well, I'm headed out the door. In fact, I have to leave in 15 minutes to go catch a flight! Yikes!

It seems like I'm always rushing and I wanted to do a "Tell-Me" Tutorial Tuesday about how YOU make time for yourself.



Really, I'm thinking about how, as a mom, I never seem to prioritize my Quiet Time in the Bible. So tips on that (and prayer!) would be great.

But, I think this topic can apply to EVERYONE who reads my blog! So here are my questions:

  1. If you are a Stay-at-home-parent and a Christian, how do you fit in your daily devotionals?
  2. If you are a Stay-at-home-parent but don't do quiet times, how do you find daily "downtime" for yourself to just relax?
  3. If you are working (whether a parent or not!) where do you find time to ensure you get special "get-away-from-it-all" time?

I think that our culture likes to rush-rush-rush. The busier we are the better we feel about ourselves...at least it makes me feel important and needed.

BUT quiet downtime and personal time is, in my humble opinion, a necessity for life to carry on with normalcy. Without downtime, I get harried, frazzled, and short with my husband, kiddo, family and friends....Precisely the opposite of how I want to be!



i'd love to hear your thoughts!




Sunday, September 20, 2009

I ❤ Faces: Candid!


Ahh, the Candid theme at I❤Faces

I instantly think about "Candid Camera". The twin and I used to that show! Did you? So funny! Now I guess they do "Punked".

I digress...

The next thought I have about "candid" is FUN: a picture of something or someone funny or when people strike a crazy pose...like, oh just be candid!

So.

Given my original inklings, you'd think I'd stick with the funny version of candid.

Nahh, that'd be easy.

I looked up "candid" in the dictionary

Candid means: "relating to or being photography of subjects acting naturally or spontaneously without being posed" and doesn't indicate it has to be spontaneously funny! Just NATURAL, a photo of someone or something in their element. Which is why...

I'm going with the serious, unposed, artistic kind of candid.

Because, hey, its a new week and this picture (while hilariously candid and funny) just isn't going to cut it--BAD quality. (but, really, you should click on it...pretty durn funny if i do say so myself).


Feel free to click on it...it looks better BIG!

(that also makes little monkey's face "clearly visible"--a requirement in every contest entry!)



For more candid, non-posed pictures head on over to I❤Faces!

I'm sure you'll be guaranteed some laughs!

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's a...

Since a picture is worth a thousand words
I'll let the picture do the talking!


Little Monkey will have a baby...

SISTER!

We have one quasi-decent 3D picture of her...

getting ready to perform in the kickline :)



We can't wait to introduce you to Baby Monkey in February!

Featured Follower: Lauren from Thread by Thread!





I was SO happy that Lauren from Thread by Thread was chosen by Random.org to be my Featured Follower today!


Lauren is one of my fave bloggers for many reasons:

1) She has a heart of gold
2) She seeks the Lord first, then takes care of her husband, and then her cute little kiddos
3) She is a cloth diapering GURU and even has her own cloth diapering blog!
4) She lives in Georgia! A fellow Georgian is always cool in my book :)
5) She leaves comments on your blog and makes you feel all special!

Here she is with her adorable family--she has a son (Wild Man) and a daughter (Little Lady) who are so cute and say hilarious things!



and she is an incredible wife and helpmate to the man she loves--her love for him is so evident by her posts



She often posts AWESOME cooking tutorials. I've made her Monkey Bread (dough from scratch!) and it was to die for. Here is an example of her Orange Sticky Rolls. Don't they look divine?



Not to mention that she is insanely crafty. She owns her own crafty store blog (and we think she should get on Etsy!). Look at these gorgeous creations...and buy them by going to her blog, Linens at the Gate



If you haven't checked out Lauren or her blog Thread by Thread get yourself over there today! You'll be happy you did! And, if you want to be a featured follower, make sure you fill out this form, found at the bottom of this post.


Fab Friday Giveaway: Smelly Washer!

{special note: This week's giveaway was sponsored by SmellyWasher and I was given a sample to review. In no way did their donation to me skew my opinion of their product.}


Soooo...Smelly Washer, eh?

Kind of a funny name...but a GREAT product!

I was contacted by the wonderful people at Smelly Washer about doing a review + giveaway for their product. I wasn't too sure I wanted to do a non-Etsy, non-WAHM giveaway but, after reading about their product and interacting with their customer service, I knew I just had to share this product with you!

My dear parents had this incredibly...you guessed it...smelly washing machine for years. Every time they'd do a load of towels, it would come out smelling not-so-fresh and more like mildew than a clean, fresh scent. I was always a little hesitant to use their towels because I dreaded the scent that would be left on my body! ***Please note, I have a ridiculously acute sense of smell so these kinds of things bother me!***

Anyway, they eventually moved on to a new HE washer and donated their lovely smelly washer to my twin. Lucky her. (No, really--it is a very nice, albeit stinky, gift!).

I thought that she would be a better candidate for reviewing this product than me but then I read that Smelly Washer not only gets rid of your washing machine's stink but it also works on towels, sheets, and clothes. Somehow, despite having a great-smelling, non-mildewy washing machine, we end up with towels that REEK! Probably because we've been using them since we got married but that is besides the point...right? I now was a candidate for Smelly Washer and chances are, you are too!

Those of you that read my blog on a regular basis know that I love eco-friendly cleaning products (I even make my own or use homemade detergents for my cloth diapers). It gave me great peace of mind to learn that Smelly Washer Cleaner is all natural!

So lets get to my actual experience with the product. 1) How does it work? 2) Does it actually work? 3) Would I recommend it?

1) Even though I don't have a smelly washer, I wanted to clean it out of any mildewy gunk that might have been lurking.
  • They tell you to add a TBL of Smelly Washer Cleaner to you Washing Machine and then fill it using the hottest water setting. Let it agitate and then stop the washer and allow it to soak--even overnight! You want that gunk GONE!
  • I did this and was amazed that there were nasty little particles floating at the top of the water the next morning. SICK! That stuff was in my washer? I'm glad its gone now!
  • Next I decided to wash my stinky towels. I just added another TBL of Smelly Washer to a full load and allowed it to agitate in hot water and then soak for two hours.
2) Did it actually work?
  • Well, just seeing those nasty particles floating on top of the water post-washer soak made me a believer!
  • oh my heavens my towels looked and smelled brand new! I could not believe it! No more stinky! YAY!
3) Do I recommend it?
  • Hands down, YES. This is a great product that really does the job.
  • I really thought my sister was going to have to buy a new washing machine because the stink was so bad but now I know that the Smelly Washer will be able to fix it and she'll have CLEAN smelling clothes now!
  • Also, Smelly Washer can be used on other mildewy surfaces. I haven't tried it yet but I definitely need to go to work on our window in our bathroom! I'll get back to you on that.

Hopefully you are convinced about the virtues of Smelly Washer. If you are still a little hesitant, why not try to win it? The generous people at Smelly Washer are giving away TWO bottles which means TWO winners! YAY!

MANDATORY first entry: Tell me about your washing machine. Do you own one? Do you use a laundromat? Do you use a shared community washer? Is it stinky? Are your clothes stinky?

Extra entries: (please leave me an extra comment for each valid entry)
  • Tweet this giveaway. (One entry/day) Please tweet:
Stinky Washing Machine? Mildewy-smell on your towels? Fix it by winning a bottle of Smelly Washer on @monkeysonthebed http://bit.ly/yemqc
  • Follow me or subscribe to my RSS feed (one entry for one or both)

The fine print:

This giveaway is open to anyone who in Canada or the USA, aged 18 and older. The giveaway will end sometime on Saturday, September 26th. 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, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday!


{special note: no "personal" pictures this week! sorry about that!}


This week I am thankful for...

1) My Bible Study gal pals. What a great way to start off my Thursday mornings! {sadly, even if I were including pictures this week I do not have any pictures of this great group of women--we're always too busy chatting and studying to take time out for a group pic!}

2) This might be way TMI but it is a personal blog, after all, and it is something I'm thankful for!...That Monkey consistently poos on the toilet and not in her diaper. It is SOOOO wonderful to not have to change a messy BM, especially while I'm pregnant and have heightened scent awareness. In fact, she is even starting to go #1 much more frequently on the toilet which means we go through 2 or 3 diapers a day. Thank you, Monkey! {special note: heaven forbid i included another picture of Monkey on her Baby Bjorn Little Potty! She'd be mortified!}

3) For the beginning of Fall weather. It was only 73 degrees in Atlanta today! Woohoo! And I think I spied some leaves changing color and perhaps even falling. I LOVE FALL--I think it is my favorite season!

4) For bags and bags of candy corn. My one downfall (okay, I have tons of downfalls but this one gets me every single stinkin' time...can't help myself). This year, the addiction started in Portland while we are on vacation. Then CVS had to go and put their bags of candy corn 50% off...and you know who can't resist a GOOD DEAL (me) and then it was death when it was a good deal on my favorite candy!



5) For a great race this past weekend! I ran a 10-mile road race in the first event of the Atlanta Track Club's Grand Prix (a series that runs from September '09 through August '10). Granted, I thought it started at 8 AM when it actually started at 7:30 AM (oh yes...that was me, the runner who missed the start of the race!) but that took off the pressure and nerves and I still performed decently...enough to earn a coffee mug (and that is saying something...ha! I jest!)



6) We get to find out what gender Monkey #2 is tomorrow! Woohoo I cannot wait for that! I'll update y'all...sometime...and hopefully we'll get some great pictures of him or her, too! (my gut tells me it is a girl but we'd be absolutely thrilled with either!)

7) For two men in my life who celebrate their birthdays exactly one week apart (and a few years in between but who's counting?) --my dad's birthday was last Saturday and my brother-in-law's birthday (aka "Mountain Man" as dubbed by the twin) is this Saturday.
Happy birthday Dad--you are an amazing father and example to me and J. We are continuously amazed by your generosity and flexible, optimistic attitude. You inspire everyone around you for the better and always point back to our God as your source of Light. I love you!
And,
Happy Birthday, "Mountain Man"! You are a wonderful husband to my sister and a fabulous and fun dad to my niece. I love watching you interact with her and can't wait to see you with daughter #2. May you have many adventures (outdoors and in!) this coming year.

Tutorial...Thursday: an Eco-friendly project!

Who remembers Denise of Whimsy Couture from her awesome giveaway? (you don't? Well check her out!)

Denise is one crafty mama who is both ECOnomical and ECOlogical when it comes to homemade projects.

I hope you'll head on over to her blog where she tells you how to recycle (or UPcycle!) kids' outgrown clothing...

turning this:




into this:



Check out the project details here!

and thank you very much, Denise, for sharing!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

W.o.G. Wednesday: Matthew 5:13-16



Our church started a new series last Sunday: Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. We covered the Beattitudes last week and this week we are moving on to Christians being the Salt and Light.

The Cross at Eagle Lake, Sunrise

Matthew 5:13-16

{special note: in red because these are Jesus' words}

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

I really think these verses are heard A LOT by Christians. They are at least known and perhaps even memorized. But how often are they lived out--on a day to day, hour by hour basis?

In my life--not nearly enough.

Jesus' gift of Eternal Life and God's Grace and Mercy should be enough to make me jump out of my chair and be joyful in everything! Those gifts alone should bring so much joy that I SHINE...or act as a LIGHT.

It is my prayer that I draw closer to the only One who can bring this joy so that I might be His light.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: Design your baby's Nursery Bedding

I've talked about Kristin (she gave away two adorable onesies from her Etsy store, Peaches and Palm Trees) and Kelly (who made me my original Monkeys on the Bed! header image) and their mom, Sandy (who, after planning two gorgeous weddings, jumped into the wedding industry as a very knowledgeable first-hand wedding coordinator!)

Well, Kelly is pregnant and due with the first grandchild on her side! Talk about exciting! This creative family is going to have that baby surrounded by so many unique, creative, and beautiful handmade items!

One thing that the grandma-to-be is all over is the nursery design. She mentioned a nifty design-your-own nursery bedding website on her blog and I promptly spent three hours on that site! I wish they made one for adult rooms!

It is pretty self-explanatory once you go on the site but I couldn't help but take you through a step-by-step guide of nursery-bedding-design!


  1. Head on over to BabyBedding.com and go to their Custom Design Studio (or click here!)

  2. You'll find a blankslate crib, just screaming to be decorated with fabrics of your choice


  3. Pick a bedding item to start on--you can choose the bumper, skirt, quilt, or sheet. I always choose the bumper first because i think it sets the theme {special note: many parents choose NOT to use a bumper to ensure a more breathable crib. I like them and i used them but do your research first!}


  4. Check out the fabric selection. I usually choose by color but you can choose by theme, too!


  5. Also, if you want to see a wider variety, make sure you UNCHECK the "Guided Design Guide"--it is a handy tool because it tells you what colors and fabrics coordinate best with each other but it also limits the variety of fabrics that you see.



  6. The fun thing about these bumpers are that they do not have to be all the same fabric! If you want a really fun bumper with alternating fabrics on the inside AND the outside, ONLY check the "Inside 2" and "Outside 2" when you choose your fabric. Then, ONLY check "Inside 1 "and "Outside 1" for the next, coordinating fabric--that way, it will alternate and not match up...{does that make sense? If not, try it for yourself and you'll see what I mean!}



  7. Once you are satisfied with your bumper, designing the skirt should be easy! Most bedskirts match the bumper so go off your last design...or be radically different and change it up a bit!

  8. The sheet is also crucial but it will be the one thing that you change the most! So keep in mind that you may or may not want a designer fabric sheet...I like to buy nice solid colored crib sheets from Target or Babies 'R' Us--cheaper, made for babies sleeping on them, and often softer (some designer fabrics aren't the softest!)

  9. And don't forget one of the best features of this fun toy--it keeps all of your current used fabrics on hand at the bottom so you don't have to keep rifling through fabrics to find what you've already used (and want to use again!)



  10. If you want to see what the finished fabric looks like with the railing up, just check the "Toggle" key and it will raise the railing:



  11. I'm thinking about doing a Red Poppy theme if Baby #2 is a Girl and a Red Travel theme if Baby #2 is a boy...so this is what I came up with for the girl:


  12. Of course, they do have a Sock Monkey fabric so you just never know....



Monday, September 14, 2009

Are you feeling lucky...?!?!

Well my fabulous twin won a fabulous stroller from the equally fabulous GoGrahamGo! blog...

so I thought maybe it might be my turn to win something...err...fabulous?



Why don't you try your hand at winning a Bumbleride Indie Twin stroller, too?

Hey--if I can't win, I want it to be someone I know!

Head on over to the Shopping Mama's blog for your chance to enter

just click the button and you'll be on your way!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

I ❤ Faces: Contemplative

This week's theme is "Contemplative". I am stealing the "contemplative" definition directly from the I ❤ Faces website:
Our Definition: thoughtful observation; full or deep consideration; dreamily or wistfully thoughtful: a pensive mood; expressing or revealing thoughtfulness; quiet modes of apparent or real thought; can be marked by some sadness, but doesn't have to be.

After watching this little episode on the Today Show, I thought that the newborn photos shown below would be PERFECT for this category:


Sadly, my sweet child is way too old for creating photos like the above video highlighted. Not to worry, though, I have tons of ideas for baby #2!



In the meantime, I'm going to settle for this shot of our little Monkey with her daddy in Washington Park, Oregon. They were both deep in thought...and trust me, it is a RARE moment for both of them to be still at the same time!



And...BONUS WEEK! We get to enter a non-judged pet photo. I ❤ my cats. Here is my first baby, Churchill, on our way home from Florida:




As always, make sure you head on over to I ❤ Faces for more Contemplative-themed and Pet photos. I'm sure you'll find tender, sweet, and slightly sad photos to ooo and ahhh over!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Fab Friday Giveaway: Ellie & Co.


I'm so excited to introduce you to my friend, Amberly, and her company, ellie and co.

Amberly is a stay-at-home mom to two amazing gifts and little cuties: Annily and Emmalyn.

Having a name not commonly found on the pencils, magnets or bicycle license plates in the Disney World Gift Shop or anywhere else for that matter, Amberly's love for personalized stationery developed at a very early age!



About two years ago, Amberly met Missy the owner of ellie and co. Missy (also a stay-at-home mom) 'inherited' the company from a friend, but changed the name of the company to ellie and co. after her oldest daughter, Ellie. Amberly LOVED supporting ellie and co. and sent many customer referrals her way. It wasn't long before Missy graciously offered Amberly a 'position' to be an ellie and co. representative.

Ellie and Co. specializes in personalized stationery, baby shower invitations, bridal shower invitations, birthday, engagement, etc., wedding invitations, custom address stamps and much more.

Some of Amberly's FAVORITE items from ellie and co. are:

The Custom Address Stamp by Three Designing Women. They sell for $40 retail. However, buying in bulk [think birthday, Christmas gifts, etc.] they are: 1 for $40, 2 for $70, 3 for $96 OR....buy 3 [$40 each] and receive the fourth FREE! And, you don't have to order the same one to get it to count!


These adorable plates ($20 each) and placemats ($14 each) for Kids.



Amberly's next favorite item by Sweet Pea is their folded notes and enclosure cards.




Quick note about the Folded Note Cards: you can have them personalized any way you'd like! You can use your name or get creative and have them printed to say "Thank You", etc.! These are Buy-One-Get-One...think about ordering now for Holiday gifts, Baby Gifts, End of the Year Teacher Gifts, Etc. Everyone loves personalized stationery!


Amberly's all-time favorite item is the Bag Tag from Sweet Pea Designs. The bag tag makes for such a great baby gift for diaper bags, back-packs for back to school or wedding gift for the new couple's luggage as they travel on their honeymoon. Until SEPTEMBER 15, they are "twice as nice"...buy one get one free... 2 for the price of 1!! (They do have to be the same pattern w/ the same name, fyi.)







If you miss the twice as nice sale, there is another great sale going on until September 30:

20% Off plus Free Imprinted Envelopes
on all Holiday Invitations and Holiday Photo Cards.



Like what you see? BUY IT!

You can see all the other fun products here. Please note: There are some complications with the website right now, so please place all orders through Amberly personally: amberly@ellieandco.com or amberly1231@yahoo.com

Want to try your luck? WIN IT!

Amberly is generously giving away a Bag Tag (personalized just for you!) and a $10 gift certificate towards anything at ellie and co.!

MANDATORY first entry: visit ellie and co. and tell me what bag tag you'd love to sport!

Extra entries: (please leave me an extra comment for each valid entry)
  • Buy something from ellie and co. (please tell me what you bought--5 entries!).
  • Tweet this giveaway. (One entry/day) Please tweet:
Win a $10 Gift Certificate and a Bag tag from ellie and co. on @monkeysonthebed http://bit.ly/1n1xec
  • Follow me or subscribe to my RSS feed (one entry for one or both)
  • Extra special this week! Get a daily bonus entry by coming back each day and telling me what you'd buy with the Gift Certificate. Please comment with "DBE" and then your product of choice!

The fine print:

This giveaway is open to anyone who in Canada or the USA, aged 18 and older. The giveaway will end sometime on Saturday, September 19th. 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, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have one hour left before Thankful Thursday turns into Fab Friday...so here goes nothing--a rapid-fire version of TT:

1. CVS' 90% off sale! We scored a pool for $1.29 and little Monkey loves hanging out in it during the Hotlanta days of September.



2. Football! Yup, its back! J and I love the sound, smell, and sights of football. It just screams Fall! (Gooo GA Tech!)



3. Fall Festivals in Atlanta. The really big ones happen in the Spring and Fall when it isn't so hot. There are some great ones coming up, including two this weekend. I'm interested in going to the Yellow Daisy Festival. Supposedly it is a huge crafty carnival...and you all know how I feel about crafts!



4. Courtney from Courtney's Corner and Jackie from 3LittleOnes for the "One Lovely Blog Award". Thanks, ladies, for thinking of me!



5. Christine from Southern Belle Dreaming for the "Friends Award". Seriously, y'all, you need to check out these blogs and the kind mamas behind them! So sweet!



6. It felt like Fall today! It was such a nice temperature throughout the day (okay, it did get a little steamy towards mid-afternoon) but the morning and evening were crisp and gorgeous! I can't wait for real Fall temps to arrive!

7. A really nice long walk with the Monkey today. We used to take long walks all the time when she was first born...and she'd sleep for like 3 hours. Now days, she sleeps for ~30 minutes but today she harked back to the days of old. It was great! We explored our neighborhood and just mosied. I love walks with my kiddo


don't worry. she was safe. i just thought it was a cool pic...

8. Our neighbors and friends for continually saying "yes" to us when J continues to ask if we can use them as our (FREE) babysitters for date night. Seriously a life and marriage saver. We appreciate you both and your kiddos!

9. A talkative, happy-go-lucky, kiddo that keeps me entertained and reminds me to be joyful every minute of the day. It is so neat to see her optimistic attitude and outlook on life--I'm so blessed to be her mom. Thank you, God for this gift!


exploring new toys at our fave local toy store

And, i'm done. Phew 11:11 with 49 minutes to go. Must get to bed! See you all tomorrow for a new Fab Friday giveaway!