Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Giveaway - New Duds

New Duds is one of my very favorite etsy shops, so when Tessa contacted me about hosting a giveaway I was super excited!  New Duds is an etsy shop run by husband & wife duo, Tessa & Torrey.  We love husband & wife teams!  :)  They screen print their own fun designs onto t-shirts & pretty fabric that is sewn into bags and pouches.

Here are some of my favorite products from New Duds:













Okay, so there's a lot that I really like! 

Tessa & Torrey are generously offering one Sparkle Power reader the choice of any tee from the New Duds shop.  How awesome is that & just in time for summer!

This giveaway is open to international readers as well.  Here's how to enter:


1.  Visit New Duds & leave a comment telling me which t-shirt design you'd choose if you won.  Please be sure to leave your e-mail address!

2.  Leave one additional comment if you follow the Sparkle Power blog.

You have until Monday, June 6th to get your entry in.  Good luck!!

Back To Life


Oh goodness.  Back to reality.

Dylan & I had a really great time on our anniversary staycation.  Our time away included trips to the pool, delicious dinners, great people watching in the bingo hall, room service, buffets, star wars slot machines, the biggest southwestern omelet I've ever seen, Thor, a trip to the top of the eiffel tower & lots or relaxation.

It's amazing just how relaxed a person can feel as soon as the daily duties of picking up after people & cleaning & cooking dinner & running errands & refereeing kid fights are taken away.  It was so good to have so much time to reconnect & I'm so thankful to my awesome mom & dad for caring for the kids for us while we were away.  We could not have done this without them.  Grandparents are so awesome.

Now it's back to life.  So much to do today.  Check back in with me later for an awesome giveaway.

Also, I've added a couple more magnetic tray memo boards to the shop.  These went quickly last time, so I thought I'd give you a heads up.  :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

11



11 years.
As of today, that's how long Dylan & I have been married.
Seems like we were just these young kids.
We promised to be together forever.
We're working our way there & loving every minute of it.


I cannot even put into words just how important my marriage is to me.
I love my husband.
I'm lucky to have him.
Today is a happy day.
:)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blogger's Block



Yep, I've got it.

Summer will be here soon.  Feels like it already is, but we still have a few more weeks of school left.

I'm struggling with this overwhelming urge to organize every closet space & purge the unnecessary.

I'm also struggling with this overwhelming lack of energy.  Sometimes a nice cold soda fountain drink from the convenience store helps with this.  Slurpees seem to do the trick too.

I'm also feeling the need to be super productive with shop work to continue bringing money in before I have a newborn & just want to take a break.

The good news is that tomorrow Dylan & I are going on a little staycation on our own for our anniversary.  I guess the timing could not be any better.  Hopefully I come back rested & with more energy to be a better blogger.  :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Song

I'm not really familiar with Mason Jennings, but thanks to Pandora I can't get this son out of my head.



Happy weekend, my friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

T-Shirt Nightgowns


The growing stack of adult size t-shirts in the donate pile has been staring at me.


So I turned some into summer night gowns for the girls.  My girls really love these nightgowns.  I think because they are super comfortable.


I love them because I think they are adorable, plus they save me money on pajamas.  I can't even tell you the last time I shopped for kids pajamas.  I just refuse to pay for them when I can make nightgowns, pajama pants & shorts for nothing.

Who needs Disney princess nightgowns when you've got these?!

Want to convert some of your old t-shirts into kids nightgowns?  Check out my tutorial here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tiny Pants


Seersucker pants.  They're the first thing that would come to mind when I thought about dressing a little boy. 


They really are the simplest to make.  I pulled this tiny pair together last night.  They are super tiny.  Like newborn size.  I'm sure that I'll be making lots more simple elastic waist pants like these through my little boy's baby & toddler years.


There's a good pattern for these pants in Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby book.  I used the same technique but in a smaller size. 

Do you remember that I said that I would sew everything in that book if I were to ever have another baby?  Well, consider these pants a start.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chubby


So last week I ran into an acquaintance & her mother & we had a super quick chit chat & then I turned around & was on my way.  Just a few steps away I could hear them talking about me quite literally right behind my back. 

"Is she pregnant????" The daughter whispered to her mother.

"Hmmm.  I'm not sure.  She's chubby!" The mother responded.

And of course because I was only about six feet away, I could hear it all.

I thought to myself, "What idiots!"  I know.  Rude of me.  But that's what came to my mind & I continued on with what I was doing & with the rest of my day.  But darn it, when I went to lay down at bed that night, I couldn't help it & I just started crying.  It crushed me.  I am so insecure about my body this pregnancy.  Yes, this is by far my chubbiest pregnancy & I'm concerned about just how more chubby I'll be by the end of it.  I don't want people to think I'm gross.


But come on!  This is definitely the shape of a pregnant woman, right?  Not an over eater.  I am growing a baby!  A baby that I wanted for so long.  Pregnancy is beautiful.  I should not care what anybody else has to say about it.  Especially women that don't even have the decency to wait until I'm out of ear shot to talk about their negative opinion of my body shape.

This is a short time in my life.  I am going to enjoy the heck out of it.  Chubbiness & all!

Also, I've got the emotions right now.  Big time.

Also, I am not posting this to get you all to tell me that I look great.  I just want to remember.  I will always tell pregnant women how awesome they look.  Bringing a baby into this world is an amazing sacrifice.  It's a beautiful act.  We should never make the pregnant ladies feel horrible.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Clothing The Little Guy


After finding out we were expecting a boy, I was really excited to start shopping for baby clothes.  But my excitement quickly fell flat when I realized that shopping for boy clothes is a whole new ballgame.  I couldn't believe that I'd go into a store with the intent to buy & leave empty handed!  Slowly, I've discovered a few go-to stores & now I have to tell myself to take it easy for a bit.

Oh the waiting.  Can't wait to see what the little boy that wears these clothes will look like!

P.S.  Fill me in!  Where are the great, affordable places to shop for the boys?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On Deals & Couponing & Swagbucks


Look what arrived on my doorstep yesterday.  I paid $8.32 for this box of diapers.  For reals.  That's 6 cents per diaper!

Did you know that I'm a deal diva?  I looooove getting a good deal.  It makes me feel super, super awesome.  Saving money, paying way less than I should have, keeping more money in my bank account....I love it!

Anyway, let me fill you in a bit on how I got this big box of teeny tiny diapers for so cheap.  I follow a few couponing/money saving blogs.  One being my mom's blog, The Centsible Couponer.  Perhaps this is where I get it from.  Maybe I got the deal diva gene from her.  :)  Another one of these blogs that I follow is My Frugal Adventures & when I saw this post about diaper deals on Amazon, I thought the Pampers deal was too good to pass up.  I followed her directions & registered for Amazon Mom  & Subscribe and Save.  Shipping was free, so with the promotion + a $1.50 Amazon coupon, this box of diapers would have been $16.34.  But I had a gift certificate balance of $8.02 that I had earned through Swagbucks that I was able to apply.  Making my total just $8.32!

Now, let me just tell you how much I love Swagbucks.  You just register & search through the swagbucks search engine & you earn bucks that you can cash in for rewards.  I always cash mine in for $5 Amazon gift cards.  Then I let them accrue in my account until I'm ready to spend them.  Currently I'm earning about $10 per month in Amazon gift certificates through Swagbucks.  My plan is to continue to apply these towards diaper purchases.

Cool, right?  I just love a good deal & I'm thankful for all the bloggers out there that find the deals for me!


Please excuse my unmoisturized hand, but look at this adorable, tiny diaper!  It's crazy just how excited I'm getting for this baby to come & I still have 4 more months to wait.  It'll go by fast, right?  That's why I'm already stockpiling diapers when they go on sale.  :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vintage Fabric Magnetic Trays In The Shop





Heads up!  I added three vintage fabric magnetic trays to the shop today.  Aren't they sweet?

Also, remember that today is the last day to enter to win 2 Sparkle Power posters of your choice over here!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Painted Flower Pots


For Mother's Day gifts for the grandmas & great-grandma, I had the girls paint small metal paint cans that we picked up at the home improvement store.  They used acrylic paints & then I sprayed them with a clear sealer.  Then we planted flowers in them.

This project went over really well with the girls.  They loved it & we ended up with some bright & cherry gifts for all the grandmas.  :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Mine was awesome because it included a nap & a new blow dryer.  I love being a mom.  :)

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hooded Towels


I love stripes, and I love these striped towels from Target, so when I saw them go on sale this week for $4, I knew it was time to grab some & make the girls new hooded towels.  The kids love to use a hooded towel when they get out of the bath & I love that they hang so nicely on a hook behind the door & don't take up any of our towel racks.


Each of my hooded towels are made out of a bath towel & a hand towel.  Like I said before, the towels are $4 this week & target & the hand towels are $3.50.  So each completed towel cost me $7.50.  There are roughly one billion tutorials on the web showing how to make these.  So I suggest searching around for one you like best & then going for it.


Now I just need to make one more with a smaller hood for the baby.  :)

Little Gray Pixel Blog Party



I'm participating in the Mother of a Day Blog Party over at Little Gray Pixel today.  Check in later today to catch our giveaway.  Vanessa has something fun happening every hour from 6am - 10pm including lots of guest posts & giveaways all related to the topic of motherhood.  :)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

May Mix


The May mix made by my super handsome husband is ready for you to download for free. 

Sasquatches scare me, but I think they are terribly cool.  It's true.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Baby Boy


I got Sadie out of school early yesterday.  She, Claire & I met Dylan at the doctor's office for my 20 week ultrasound.  I'm at the halfway mark!  Woohoo!  Anyway, it was so special to have my family there.  I loved that the girls were old enough to be a part of it. 

The technician immediately started taking a look at the baby's gender.  It did not look like what we were used to seeing.  Dylan & I gave each other a look.  But then the technician told us that the umbilical cord was in the way.  She thought she was seeing a boy though. 

We continued to look around and I was so very happy to see that all was developing well & that the baby is healthy.  We were then able to see that yes, we are definitely having a boy!


The whole boy thing is very exciting but also very strange.  This is all new territory for us, but I think that as soon as I get used to the idea, I'll be ready to jump in. 

I was just so surprised at how my heart melted at the sight of his adorable little head & profile.  Because I had to wait longer for this pregnancy & this baby, everything is definitely felt deeper.  I'm so thankful for the blessing of this experience & I can't believe I'm going to have a son!

We have a series of ultrasound photos where his hand is on his forehead & then it's tucked behind his head.  I'm so curious to see if he will sleep that way once he's born.  He's just the cutest.  :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Summer Pasta Salad



My sister, Amber, made a delicious pasta salad for family dinner a few weeks back & I had to get the recipe from her.  Turns out it's a Betty Crocker recipe called Do-Ahead Summer Pasta Salad.

I could not understand why this pasta salad recipe only called for 1 cup of uncooked penne pasta.  I used more like 4 cups.  You kinda need more pasta to add quantity to this salad, especially if you are taking it to a barbecue or party where there are lots of people to feed.

Dylan really likes a pasta salad that I make with a bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing, so I may try this one again with the bottle dressing & see how it goes over.

Anyway, it's a yummy & pretty salad.  Great for the warm months ahead.  :)


Monday, May 02, 2011

Hello


I spent the last half of last week in Utah with my sisters & my mom.  We went to attend BYU Women's Conference.  It was super fun & super uplifting & super tiring on my pregnant body.  Today I have to begin a new week feeling behind & sluggish. 

So I started the day off with some chocolate.  Why not? 

The chocolate that I bought as a gift for Dylan.  A thank you for watching the kids & keeping the house running while I was away.  I can't be trusted with food & treats around.  He knows that.


It's good to be back home with my crew.  We have an exciting week ahead of us.  Soon we'll know the gender of our new baby!  Any guesses?

I have no idea if there is a little girl or a little boy inside me.  People keep asking me if I know.  But I don't have an ultrasound machine, so I don't know.  I know that some women claim to just know the gender of the baby they are carrying.  Personally, I think it's purely a guess & they have a 50% chance of it being correct.

I haven't received any divine visions or dreams the reveal the gender of my new baby.  I daydream about it being a boy & I daydream about it being a girl.  I will be so thrilled with either.  A boy would be cool.  And I looooove girls.  I would not be sad to have a family of all daughters.  I'm just anxious to see that the baby is healthy & doing well.

For the record, Dylan has no preference on the gender either.  Neither does Sadie.  Claire wants a sister.  As she says, "Not a brudder!"  She did have a couple weeks where she said a boy would be okay.  But now she's back to only wanting a girl.  :)

For the record as well, I see how fat my face is in the above photo & now I am totally appreciating my pre pregnancy body which I didn't at all appreciate at the time.  Women are so totally annoying when it comes to body issues.
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