I have to get on here to do a real update one of these days. The little lady is 6 months old and keeping me VERY busy. Also, let’s take a moment to recognize that we’ve kept her alive for HALF OF A YEAR. Woot Woot. Best parents ever.
Anyways, I was pretty excited when Baby Bjorn reached out to me and asked if I’d like to participate in a giveaway. Heck yeah, I would!
June was National Potty Training Month, and even though we’re now into July, that shouldn’t stop you from going strong with your potty training goals! The only thing worse than dealing with diapers is dealing with diapers on a 90* summer day.
BABYBJÖRN has put together a list of top potty training tips from Dr. Robyn Strosaker, a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
- Most children can be ready to start potty training between 18-24 months. Children will train easier before 24 months; some can become willful after that point.
- Both the family and the child need to be ready. Review the signs of readiness and make a plan with your significant other.
- If your child is having trouble, stop for 2-4 weeks and then try to restart.
- Find a time when you can be around during the week to start potty training. Summer vacations or holidays are the best times.
- Sticker charts are great. If your child earns a certain number of stickers, they can earn a non-food reward.
- If your child still wants to go in their diaper, take them out of it. If they are wearing underwear, they will feel uncomfortable when they are wet. If you are concerned about the mess, you can put the underpants on under the diaper. For those kids who don’t like wearing underpants, encourage them to wear them for a short time and offer rewards when they keep them clean and dry.
- As a side note, there is nothing developmentally different between pull-ups and a diaper. Training will go quicker with underpants.
- If your child has a certain area of the house he/she prefers to go potty in, it might be a good idea to get a portable potty and let him/her try that.
- Put the portable potty in a room where the child typically plays to help them get used to the idea.
- Most kids aren’t ready to be dry at night until they start waking up dry from naps and some mornings.
- To help keep them dry at night, stop liquids 2-3 hours after dinner, depending on your child’s bedtime.
- When traveling: take a portable potty or potty seat with you, but you may need pull-ups for long car trips or plane rides.
At the rate Amelia is growing – too fast! – we’ll be potty training before I know it.
Here’s your chance to win a FREE special edition, gold BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty not available in stores or for purchase.
The potty perfectly combines functionality and comfort, making it ideal for smaller bathrooms. The minimalistic design and compact size mean that it takes up very little space, making it ideal for trips. There is a handle on the back of the potty so that you or your child can easily move the potty from room to room.
To win, comment below and give me your best potty training tip. Be sure to leave your email address, as that’s how I’ll contact the winner. For an extra entry, follow me on Twitter @HeatherLWheeler and leave another comment letting me know you followed and your Twitter handle.
A winner will be chosen using random.org on Friday July 25th!
UPDATE: Congratulations to winner Amanda Sakovitz!
A couple weeks ago, I traded in my beloved iPhone4 (That’s right, I was still rockin’ a 4. That never would send text messages. Or open apps. Ooooor retrieve emails) for an iPhone5. Now, the 4 and I had been through a lot together – it was there when we got engaged, it captured photos on our honeymoon and it shared pictures of our first sonogram. But alas, I had to move on (to something that worked).
As I sat at Best Buy, waiting for them to transfer over all of my stuffs, I took a look at the phone cases. As previously mentioned, I drop my phone approximately 3 – 9 bajllion times a day, so going without a case isn’t an option. But spending $30 – $40 on a generic, boring case isn’t an option, either.
Through Etsy, I came across Embellish Cases. These cases are personalized – everything from your monogram or name down to the colors – and run in at around $15.99 a case. Um, yes please! The cases come in plastic (which I chose) or silicone, in white or in black.
All cases are handmade to order by Misty, the owner and founder.
Misty was awesome enough to let me pick out one to review. I’m been super into chevron patterns lately, so after MUCH debate, I decided to go with the Pink Chevron Bird Style. Misty customized the colors for me.
I loooooove this case. It’s super cute. And, in true Heather nature, I’ve already dropped it a few times and not a scratch anywhere to be found! For the price you’d pay in a box store to buy one generic case, you can buy two customized cases from Embellish Cases.
Not only was I lucky enough to get a case, but one of my awesome readers can win one, too!
(**Rafflecoptor is a much easier way to do things but alas WordPress doesn’t wan’t to be friends with it, so I apologize for all the steps!)
You can earn up to five entries into this giveaway. Yay! You’re very lucky, I know.
(For every entry you complete, please leave a SEPARATE comment letting me know you did it. That way, you’ll get all of your entries!) The winner will be chosen by random.org on Friday August 16th. I’ll be contacting the winner via email, so make sure to leave a valid one!
“Heart” Embellish Cases on Etsy
“Heart” an item from Embellish Cases Etsy Shop
Pin a case from http://embellishcases.com and hashtag #justathoughtgiveaway in the comments of the pin
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When we were planning our wedding, we decided right away to make our priorities clear. With a tight budget, we needed to know where to spend our money. I didn’t want to splurge on flowers (turns out that with Karen from Splendid Stems, I didn’t have to. Karen knew how tight our budget was and made the most amazing bouquets and boutonnieres I have ever seen. Truly.) We decided that the venue was the most important thing to us. We wanted to have it somewhere beautiful. We wanted a place that was both elegant and fun, allowing all of our family and friends to have a great time while celebrating with us. Once we checked out the Franklin Plaza, it was a no-brainer that we would book there. They took care of everything, from the ceremony and lighting down to the h’ordeuvres and dessert bar.
After making sure we found the perfect venue, a great photographer was next on our list.
I love photos. I love to flip through albums and books, reminiscing and laughing at times past. And the pictures don’t even have to be of me or anyone I know! I think it’s the writer in me, because you know what they say. A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s so true.
I knew that, for me, in order to tell the story of our wedding to our kids someday, I needed to have plenty of breathtaking photos.
If you’ve never had to choose a wedding photographer while living in the Capital Region, consider yourself lucky. Well, maybe I should consider myself lucky. We are saturated with an overabundance of extremely talented photographers. It was very hard for me to whittle our potential pool down. Luckily, we met with Vinny from Vincent Nicholas Photography, and quickly decided to hire him. While looking through his portfolio, it was clear that not only did he capture the typical family portraits and first kiss, but he was able to get snapshots of the little moments that help create your wedding day – a bridesmaid lacing up your dress, the moment you look in the mirror and realize you’re a bride, the best man adjusting the groom’s tie. That’s what I wanted. And that really is what we got with Vinny.
So, of course, after getting our photo package back, I wanted to put them all on display. This, of course, would make me look like a crazy woman, so I was forced to choose a select few.
You know how I am about Etsy. I went on there to find unique picture frames and discovered Frames, Y’all. Love love LOVE this shop. Shop owner, Mandy, makes all of these frames herself, guaranteeing that nobody else will ever have one exactly like you.
I messaged Mandy and we got to talking. Her shop just opened in September. As a mommy and a wife, she feels blessed to have found her life’s passion. And I feel blessed to have found the perfect frame for my favorite wedding photo!
Not only does Mandy take the time to create your frame, but she also sends it carefully packaged. Little touches like that is why I love buying from little shops and boutiques.
Mandy is offering my readers 10% off any order with coupon code HeatherBlog. She is also going to offer one VERY lucky reader a $50 gift card to her shop. Considering I’d like to own everything in the shop, I’m positive you will find something you love.
So, to enter the contest, please visit Mandy’s Etsy shop Frames, Y’all. Come back here and leave a comment, letting Mandy know which piece in her shop is your favorite. Be sure to leave your email address, so we can contact you if you’re the winner!
For one extra entry, please like Mandy’s shop on Facebook. Leave a separate comment, letting me know you did this.
For one last entry, subscribe to my blog (on the right) and leave a separate comment letting me know you did this.
The winner will be chosen using random.org, from all comments, on Tuesday June 19th at 3:00. Good luck and happy shopping!
Congratulations to comment #9 – Jen!
I’d like to go on record with saying that I liked the vintage look way before it became mainstream. I’ll totally toot my own horn on that. I always loved looking at pictures of my grandmothers from the ‘40s and loving the dresses that they wore. The look back then was so classy and simple.
In my usual quest to find something unique, I turned to Etsy and ended up at the shop Material Whimsey. The shop owner, Becky, makes all pieces by hand. She takes a vintage and reclaimed materials and updates them, bringing styles of the past into the 21st century. Everything in her shop is one of a kind.
When Becky had her first child, she quit her job as the manager of a café to stay at home, creating a career out of what she loves – fashion.
I’ve been saying to The Husband for years that I’d like to get a sewing machine and create clothes, although I don’t have any idea how to do that. Becky’s blog has posts with step-by-step instructions, with photos, showing how to make certain pieces. I love the Up-cycled Nursing Top, made from an old men’s shirt. It definitely could be used as a regular top, or swimsuit cover-up. Once I get around to getting a sewing machine, I think I’m going to try it!
Becky has offered to host a giveaway for my readers, which is super lucky for you. She is offering all of my readers 15% off her shop when you enter the coupon code HEATHERSBLOG at checkout. She’s also offering one lucky reader a gift card to her store!
To enter to win, please visit Becky’s shop or blog, come back here and comment letting her know which one of her pieces (or blog posts) is your favorite. So easy and, hopefully, you’ll be able to walk away with your own one-of-a-kind piece from Material Whimsey.
For an extra entry, please like Material Whimsey’s fanpage on Facebook, come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did that.
For one more entry, subscribe to my blog (over on the right). Leave a separate comment letting me know you did that.
The winner will be chose at random from all of the comments on Friday, June 8th at 3:00 p.m EST. Make sure to leave your email address, so that I can contact you when you win!
The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to comment #41 – Renee Richardson. Thanks so much to Ali Herrmann for sponsoring this giveaway!
We bought our house in November – four months before our wedding. If you’re thinking “Wow! Buying a house so close to your wedding? That seems stressful!” – you would be correct. It was an extremely stressful time, which pushed both the boundaries of our relationship and our sanity.
Luckily, we are now happily married and our weekends have been free to finally get things done around the house. Jason has been busting his butt outside, chopping down trees, digging up weeds and other things which involve a ladder and going on the roof. I think maybe filling something in to keep bees away? Let’s say that. Anyways, I’ve been running around inside, cleaning and trying to get rooms to come together. For a lot of our decorating needs, I turn to Etsy (where I went for a good chunk of wedding supplies as well).
Etsy is currently my very favorite site. For those of you unfamiliar with the site, think of it as an online craft fair. Thousands of vendors set up “shops”, posting pictures and descriptions of their items for sale. You can find hand-crocheted baby blankets, wedding cake toppers and kitchen knickknacks all at the click of your mouse.
I’ve ordered over a dozen items off of Etsy, and every shop owner has been fantastic to work with.
So, just as I do with everything, when it came to decorating our house, I went to Etsy. I found a great, local art shop (you can search by zipcode), owned by Ali Herrmann.
Ali lives in Canaan, NY. Saturdays during June you can find her at the Delmar Farmer’s Market from 9am – 1 pm. On June 10th she will be at the Schenectady Green Market from 10am – 2 pm. She will also be at Art on Lark on June 9th!
From Ali’s shop profile:
My work here is all original painting! When you purchase my work, you are buying the originals, as I do not take or make prints of them. I am a full time artist, so please know that your support is truly appreciated.
My work is heavily influenced by the growth and decay cycles of nature; though I am most intrigued by the “pods” I find. Within my paintings, I reference plants and pods amidst a combination of both representation and abstraction. As a result, repetitious forms and patterns start to emerge, creating a unique, playful landscape all its own.
Limited Selections of work also available for sale at:
Anchor No. 5 Boutique, 288 River Street, Troy, NY
Jewelry and artwork for sale at the Albany, NY Visitors Center (corner of B’way and Columbia)
She also has a jewelry shop, which you can view at www.theotherali.etsy.com (We may also hold a giveaway for that shop as well!)
Ali has offered my readers 10% off their entire purchase by using the coupon code BLOGHEATHER. The coupon code must be entered on the Etsy cart/payment page BEFORE being redirected to paypal for completion. Once coupon code is entered properly, click apply and you with see the discount applied. The coupon code IS case sensitive.
She has also graciously offered one of my readers the chance to win one of her watercolors, Rusty Veins. This original watercolor was done on 140lb hot pressed watercolor paper, using orange and rust colors. The 5.75” x 4” piece will come shipped in a protective photo storage bag, matted in a black mat.
In order to win, please visit Ali’s shop at AliHerrmann. Come back and leave a comment, letting Ali know the name of another piece that you like.
For one extra entry, please subscribe to my blog, and leave a separate comment letting me know you did this.
For one more entry, please like Ali’s Facebook Fan Page. Please leave a separate comment letting me know you did this.
The contest closes Friday, May 25th at 3:00 p.m. The winner will be chosen using random.org. The winner will be contacted via email (so make sure to leave your address in your comments!) and will have 48 hours to respond.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to check out Ruffles With Love and enter the giveaway. Remember that you can still use coupon code JustAThought to get 10% off an order. Using www.random.org, the winner for the giveaway is comment #2 YanksJD2. Congratulations! Please make sure to subscribe to my blog for updates. I have several giveaways lined up for next week, including jewelry and home decor. Very exciting!
I am not crazy about working out. Unfortunately, I AM crazy about cupcakes, chips and all varieties of fried foods. Thanks to my place of employment, I have a membership to Gold’s Gym. I used that membership diligently during the year leading up to the wedding.
Although I don’t think I’ll ever say I loved it, I did begin to look forward to my daily date with an elliptical in the Cinema Room at Gold’s Niskayuna location. I don’t understand why every gym doesn’t have a Cardio Cinema Room. First of all, it’s cool and dark in there, to keep your sweat level at bay and to keep your bouncing body parts from bothering other members. It’s set up like a theater, with different levels housing various treadmills, stationary bikes and (my favorite) ellipticals. Every day, a different movie plays on a loop on an actual movie screen. The staff (at least at the Niskayuna location) does an awesome job rotating through all genres. In the span of one week, you can catch Animal House, a lifetime movie starring Mandy Moore, Thor and Mars Attacks.
Anyways, after the wedding, I totally began to slack on my exercise. My office changed locations, moving farther away from the gym and (unfortunately for our bank account) much closer to the mall. But last week, after washing down a taco dinner with a cupcake, I decided I needed to get back in the game.
I made my way to the gym yesterday and I’m happy to report that I am still alive and not in as much pain as I anticipated. The final push to get me there was receiving a workout shirt from the Etsy shop Ruffles With Love. The shop owner, Vanessa, has offered to give one t-shirt away to one of my readers!
I got the cobalt blue Break a Sweat racer tank. The jersey cotton material is light – perfect for working out. I loved the color combo, with the tangerine words on the front and the hot pink ribbon on the back.
Vanessa is a data analyst in California. When she got engaged last year, she decided she had to get to the gym more and decided to make herself a few fun, cute workout shirts. Her fiancée started throwing out sayings to put on the shirts, such as “Sweating for the Dress”, “Beauty Trains Like a Beast” and “Strong is the New Skinny”. Others saw the shirts and asked where she got them from. Ruffles With Love was soon born.
A bit about the shop, from Vanessa: I have always loved bows, ribbons, anything pink and anything that says girly! I enjoy being athletic and wanted to incorporate all of my likes into something great! I enjoy making workout tank tops that have all of my likes and sayings that will motivate not only you but others around you. No workout tank is complete without a bow, at least in my eyes! I enjoy making them and coming up with fun color combinations. I hope you love my shirts as I much as I love making them!
Ruffles with Love is offering my readers 10% off any order. When you go to check out, click “apply shop code” and enter JustAThought . Keep in mind that Vanessa will work with you to make a customized shirt as well!
She’s graciously offered one reader the chance to win one shirt from her store.
To enter, please visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/RufflesWithLove , come back here and leave a comment letting us know what your favorite shirt is. Please make sure to leave your email address, so I can contact you if you win!
For 1 bonus entry, like http://www.facebook.com/RuffleswithLove . Leave a comment letting me know you did this.
For 1 more bonus entry, subscribe to my blog (on the right column). Leave a comment letting me know you did this.
The winner will be chosen from all comments by random.org on Friday May 18th at 3:00 pm EST and will have 48 hours to respond to my email in order to claim their prize!