Wednesday, June 29, 2011

These Days of Ours




Spent some time looking through some old photos recently & I came to the realization that my life no longer looks like it does in these photos.  I used to have two little kids at home with me all day, every day.  They were small & needed lots of my attention.  That time has come & gone without me even realizing it.  Seems I've entered the "school age mom" era.  I guess I've been there for a while now & I can't help but feel a little sad that this young mom phase of my life has come & gone.

Now those same two kids have long legs & long hair.  Their faces are thinner & older.  They brush their own teeth & know how to play computer games.  The older one pours her own cereal & can make a peanut butter & honey sandwich for herself.  The younger one writes her name & buckles her own shoes.

This summer with them both home all day has felt like we're getting a bit of the old days back.  We feel a little cooped up & can get cranky with each other after spending all day every day together.  But now its much easier to go to the movie & go swimming & have fun outings.  And although we have difficult moments, my heart feels so full to have them with me in this way again.

But some things haven't changed, they still say the funniest things & are so cute that I can't resist hugging & kissing them lots.

If I had a nickel for every time a stranger has told me that they'll be all gown up & gone in the blink of an eye...

I guess it's pretty true.  These days they go so fast.  Something else that I know is true: I love them & I love my life because they're in it (that includes Mr. Todd as well).  I am so happy that I get to spend my days mothering & loving them.  And I will do my best to enjoy the moment that we happen to be in, even as that moment continues to change. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Ad Sale


It's a summer ad sale!    I am offering $10 ad spots here on Sparkle Power for the months of July & August.  Wow!  That's cheap!  Interested in a sponsorship spot for your shop, blog or website?  E-mail me at SparklePowerCandace@gmail.com for more details.

Happy summer!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giveaway - Itzbeen Baby Care Timer

So this week I've entered my third trimester of pregnancy & simultaneously the temperatures have reached over 100 degrees each day.  It's making me super tired, but I'm trying to stay positive & work hard to get everything ready for the new baby to come.



So I was excited this week to receive an Itzbeen Baby Care Timer in the mail to review.  This handy little device sounds like it will help keep my sanity once the newborn arrives.  Sleep deprivation when caring for a new baby sometimes makes it difficult to remember when the last time you fed them was or how long it's been since they slept.  Plus your days seem to run together & it's just easy for your mind to get foggy when it comes to these details.

The Itzbeen has four different timers that count up with the touch of a button.  So it's easy to look back & see when it's time for diaper changing, feeding, sleeping & medication.  It's super easy to use.


Some other features that I like are:

- The small size.  It could easily fit in your diaper bag & go with you.
- The nightlight & display backlight.
- It displays the time.
- Back clip for even easier portability.
- Nursing reminder that helps breastfeeding mothers remember which side baby nursed from last.

Priced at $24.99 on the Itzbeen website and only $19.54 on Amazon, this would make a great baby shower gift.

Today Itzbeen is giving away one baby care timer in either blue, green or pink to one lucky Sparkle Power reader.  Would you like to win?

Here's how to enter:

1.  Please visit the Itzbeen website & leave a comment on this post.  Please be sure to leave your e-mail address!

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

You have until Friday, July 1st to get your entry in.  Good luck!!

 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Facebook Fun



Congratulations to Emily Maruna!  You are the winner of the Facebook giveaway & you win a flag garland of your choice from my shop!

Are you a Sparkle Power fan on Facebook yet?  You may want to become one so that you don't miss out on any future giveaways like this or the discount code that I'm about to post over there.  :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Kids


Our first week of summer break has been so busy!  The girls are taking ballet classes at the rec center.  They are both loving it.  I really enjoy watching them.  Claire is the littlest in her class & she is so sweet & adorable when she dances.  Sadie is the best.  I didn't even tell her to pose like that in the photo.  She just did it & that's why she's the best.  They make me happy.



Both girls are also taking swim lessons & both are progressing.  What was too terrifying to try last year (jumping off the diving board) has become the highlight of Sadie's day.  She's a swimmer now!

The kids are keeping me so busy.  I have less time for blogging & sewing, though I am trying my best to keep up & fit it in.  The girls are taking priority though.  I've mentioned it before, but this summer is special.  We are making the most of this time together before the baby comes.  And I am totally enjoying being with them, as long as they are not fighting with each other, which we are doing a pretty good job of keeping under control.  Hot afternoons when everybody gets hungry are not our best time.  :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Giveaway for Facebook Fans Only


Over on Facebook, I am giving away a flag garland of the winner's choice from the shop.  You must "like" Sparkle Power & then comment on this photo in order to be entered.

I think this is the first time I've ever given a flag garland away.  This is major.

Yes, I'm trying to get more friends for Sparkle Power on Facebook & I'm bribing you with a special giveaway.  You are so clever.  :)  I just feel like it is a great place for us to connect & I feel ready to put more into the fan page over there.  Sounds fun, right?  You want to be a part of it, don't you?  Well, head on over & enter then!

Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches


For a special Father's Day dessert, I decided to make chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches.  I love these things & I buy them in the store every now & then, but I've never made my own.

I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It's my family's recipe.  I started baking cookies from this recipe when I was 12 years old.  I love them with all my heart.  Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Chippers

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 6-oz pkg. chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

Cream shortening, sugars, egg & vanilla until light & fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients, stir into creamed mixture; blend well. Add chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

I tripled the dough recipe & was able to get 4 dozen cookies out of it.  I used my handy cookie scoop so that each of the cookies would turn out the same size.  Then, once they were cooled, I put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on one cookie & kinda flattened it out with the back of my ice cream scoop.  Then I squished another cookie on top.  Each were individually wrapped & then  put back into the freezer to harden back up a bit.




They turned out great!  They were eaten & loved by all & I felt happy for having made them.  :)

Yum, yum, yum!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Confessions At 26 Weeks


*  Stairs knock the wind out of me & I struggle with the last few steps.  I feel so out of shape & so weak.

* I crave carbs a lot.  This could be the reason for my growing thighs & back fat.

* I love my naked pregnant body.  It all makes more sense.  When clothed, lumps appear here & there around waistbands & such and I'm much more critical of myself.

* My wardrobe is very unexciting.  I'm all about comfort & staying cool this summer.  I may look homely.  I'm okay with this.  I don't have the energy or money to invest in a whole new look for the next 3 months.

* This baby moves so much.  I don't know if he likes swimming in there or if he's just completely wild.  I think we decided that he just already wants to rock n roll.


One of my dearest friends, Maria, made me this adorable baby swaddler.  It arrived in my mail box just one day after we found out we are having a little boy.  It is the first gift that I received for this baby.  How special is that?!  :)


I love it!  I can't wait to see what the baby will look like in it.  I am big on swaddling.  I think most babies really love the feel of being swaddled & this will make it so easy.  Thank you, Maria!


Maria used the pattern in Simple Sewing for Baby to make this swaddler.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baby Boy Bibs





I made some baby boy bibs for my little guy using vintage sheeting from my stash.  Each of these are backed in white flannel.  I know that I tend to use a lot of vintage sheeting florals & that is what most of my stash consists of.  You bet I'll be looking for more boyish fabrics on my hunting from now on.  :)

The awesome green fabric was given to me by my sister-in-law, Lilia.  She has some available for sale in her shop.

I've also made some extra bibs for you!  Check out my etsy shop if you are interested in purchasing some vintage bibs for your little baby boy.  :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Song

The super duper wonderful Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr.  This song shows up on Dylan's mix this month.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Drawstring Bags




I made up some drawstring bags using my vintage sheeting fabrics.  I think they are totally adorable & useful as well.

These have been added to the shop.  I'm trying to add some freshness to the shop. It has seemed to just be the same products for quite some time. When life gets busy, it's easy to just keep making the same things you're so used to making. Because they are almost a no brainer. Plus, if those products continue to sell really well, why change it up? Then there's the stress of trying to fit it all in. Keep up with making your current products, plus add some new items. It can be overwhelming.

I guess I'm letting you into the brain of a handmade shop owner. Summer is a great time to work even harder on producing more product than ever, as sales naturally seem to drop and that allows for more making time.

Anyway, the drawstring bags are cute right? Perfect for storing little toys, or keeping special things protected during travel. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Winner - New Duds T-Shirt


The winner of the screen printed t-shirt from New Duds is Amanda or Miss Modern Marigold as I like to call her.  Yay!  Congrats!  I'm sending you an e-mail right now.

Many thanks to New Duds for the wonderful prize!  :)

Monday, June 06, 2011

Signs of Summer






Just a couple more days of school left for Sadie this year.  Things are warming up around here.  We are ready to make the most of this summer.  I can't help thinking that this will be my last summer or last few months with just my girls.  As excited as I am for our new baby to arrive in early fall, I want to cherish these last few months with two adorable girlies before things change. 

Our calendar is already filling up with swim lessons, dance & gymnastics classes.  I want to have one planned craft per week & hopefully I can keep this kids busy & we can enjoy this time together.

Just because I have high hopes for a wonderful summer, don't be surprised if I start complaining just as soon as temperatures reach over the 100's here in the desert.  That last month of pregnancy is going to be a doosy, I'm sure.  :)

*** Don't forget to enter the New Duds giveaway!  I will be announcing the lucky winner tomorrow.  ***

Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday Etsy Faves


1.  Singing Cat by Ashley G
2.  Triangle Tote Bag by  bookhou at home
3.  Connect the Dots Pillow by Erin Dollar
4.  sung.bear breadboard by snug studio
5.  Vintage Brown Leather Boots by flour
6.  Modern Poms by Chet and Dot
7.  Shoulder Bag by oktak
8.  fox trot poster by lizwill

June Mix


Aw yeah!  Dylan's summer mix tapes are always the best.  We're currently listening to Handclaps & Lint Traps around here.  Head over to Dylan's tumblr page to read more about it & download your own copy for free!

Thumbs up for Rock & Roll!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Thrifted Mirror



I actually went to the thrift store to drop off a bunch of stuff, but I couldn't visit without going in & looking around the shop.  When I came to this mirror, I stood in front of it for quite some time trying to figure out if I wanted to buy it or not.  It's pretty heavy.  The price tag said $15.  With the 10% off coupon that I got for donating that day it would be $13.50.  I decided that I couldn't leave it & in the end it came home with me.

It's been sitting on the floor in my living room for a few weeks now & I've really fallen in love with it.  Wondering now what my hesitation was in the first place.

Now I'm thinking about if I should paint it or leave it this gold color.  What would you do?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mini Garland



So happy with how this mini garland turned out.  This particular one was listed in the shop this morning & already sold, but I definitely plan to make more of these little cuties.

Hooray for cute little things!

Linking up here.
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