Happy 3rd Birthday, Jacob!

JACOB THOMAS IS:

Joyful

Active

Creative

Outgoing

Busy

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Terrific

Handsome

Oldest

Magnificent

Adorable

Silly

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Happy Birthday to my first born child! I love you so much and am blessed to call you my son!

A Ladybug Birthday Party

This weekend I attended my niece, Madelyn’s, first birthday party. I wanted to share pictures from it to celebrate her birthday and also to share my sister-in-law’s really cute ladybug themed birthday ideas.

First, is her adorable ladybug birthday shirt, tutu, and hair clip from Snuggles Of Love Etsy Shop. (Thanks again to Tami for working in a short time frame to get the order to us in time for the party! It was much appreciated!!)

Maddy in her tutu

Close up of Maddy’s birthday shirt

Because it was a ladybug theme everyone was asked to wear red and black.

Maddy and Grandma Kelly

We enjoyed themed appetizers like these cute little ladybug crackers:

Ladybug themed appetizers

No party is complete without decorations and this party had plenty of red and black ladybug decor:

Ladybug flower centerpiece

Red, white, and black spotted balloons

And of course there was the ladybug themed cake…

Cupcakes frosted to look like a ladybug shaped cake

A very messy big brother, Camden….

Camden smiling for the camera

And one red and black frosted little birthday girl…

Maddy getting washed up after eating her cupcake

Happy First Birthday, Madelyn!! :)


Wordless Wednesday: Cake!

Thanks to Paula from Frosted Fingers for making Luke’s fabulous birthday cake!

It tasted as yummy as it looks! :)

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I have linked this picture to: Wordless Wednesday Home
5 Minutes for Mom ~ Go Graham Go! ~ Jolly Mom ~ Look What Mom Found… ~ Mom of 3 Girls ~
Momspective ~ MomStart ~ Two of a Kind… ~ Frosted Fingers

Top Ten Tuesday: Birthday Party Pictures

Our family

Lucas and his GeGe

Maddie (Luke's cousin)

Jacob and Claire eating cake

Lucas and Nana

The boys with Daddy, Auntie, and Grandma

Lucas walking

Lucas with his Great Aunt

Lucas and my friend, Audrey

Luke's Aunt Morgan and Uncle Brock

This post is linked up to Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday Meme

Luke’s 1st Birthday (In Pictures)

Wearing his "birthday boy" shirt

At the Farmer's Market

Crawling around the splash pad

Eating his birthday cake

After cake... time for a bath!

I’m A Pearista! (And Giveaway)

Pear Tree Pearista

I am proud to announce that I am a PEARista :) Sounds fun doesn’t it? Want all the JUICY (pun intended) details?

As a Pearista I will be bringing you discounts and giveaways every month for Pear Tree Greetings products.

June’s Discount:

10% off all orders over $19!

Use Code PEARJUN10

June’s Giveaway:

One person will win 5 sets of address labels.

(See Pear Tree Greetings’ entire collection of address labels!)

Enter to win:

Leave a comment below telling me your favorite reason for sending cards in the mail.

(Mine is sending a note just to say “hi”.)

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Giveaway ends June 30th, 2010 at 11:59pm!

(Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post but being a Pearista I will receive free samples in the future.)

Today My Baby Turns One!

One year ago I gave birth to my youngest son.

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Lucas and mommy

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Lucas Nathaniel

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Baby fingers

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Baby toes

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Happy 1st Birthday, Lucas Nathaniel!

Half Pint House Handmade Review and Giveaway

One of my blogging friends, Megan, from Half-Pint House makes some beautiful handmade items. She would like to go to the Relevant blogging conference in October and is financing her trip by sewing her way to Relevant! Let me show you some of the wonderful things she makes:

I love this print! How cute would it be to make a library bag from it for your child to carry their books to and from the library?

Beautiful print and love that my business cards can be put in something pretty!

Think of the possibilities! Use it to hold change, crayons, pacifiers, a travel sized sewing kit...

What a great personalized gift this would make!

Along with having some great items in her shop, she has a wonderful selection of patterns– over 150 different choices! My favorite is the train pattern because Jacob loves trains and I haven’t seen many handmade shops that have a print for train lovers.

Buy It:

Click here to be directed to Half Pint House Handmade.

Win It:

Megan is offering a $20 gift certificate to her shop!

How to enter (leave a comment for each one):

1. Go to Half Pint House Handmade and tell me your favorite item she makes.

2. Subscribe to Half Pint House

3. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy via RSS or email

4. Follow Megan on Twitter

5. Follow Alicia on Twitter

6. “Like” Half Pint House on Facebook

7. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

Giveaway ends July 24, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I have received no compensation for this post. Megan will provide the gift certificate to the winner.)

Inspired Gifts Review and Giveaway

I love taking pictures so I was thrilled when Inspired Gifts agreed to let me review one of their products. Inspired Gifts makes wonderful photo products. Here is a list of some of what you can create:

  • Gift books
  • Baby/Child Books
  • Journals
  • Guest Books
  • Playing Cards
  • Canvas Prints
  • Dry Erase Boards
  • Posters
  • Bookmarks
  • Greeting Cards
  • Announcements
  • Calendars

You can also make day planners which is what I chose to review. I wanted a planner to keep track of all my blog posts and when all of my giveaways ended and I am happy to do so while I look at pictures of my family.

Here is what the Inspired Gifts website says about their day planners: “We know life’s daily tasks can sometimes be a chore, but you can make scheduling less stressful with a photo-filled day planner designed by you. Planners are spiral-bound and available in two sizes to accommodate full days and people on the go. You bring the photos, and we’ll give you the space to lay out your year in as much detail as you need. Add as many custom messages as you like to be sure you never again forget an important birthday or anniversary. Perhaps you know someone who might welcome a little help in the organization department? Planners also make great gifts.”

The day planner itself was pretty easy to make once I got the hang of it. Once you choose the pictures you want in the planner you can either decide what page you want each picture on or you can let the software place the pictures for you.

Here are my two tips on creating your own personalized items using Inspired Gifts and their software:

1) Create an account before you do anything else! I made the mistake of not doing so and lost all of my work because I accidentally exited the screen and it wasn’t saved anywhere. (If you have an account the pictures are saved.)

2) Keep in mind the product you are creating and how the pictures would look in the space that you have. I picked all of my pictures without even considering that the album I was doing was vertical. If a picture was horizontal and could be cropped it worked fine but any picture too wide didn’t work. They give you a choice so you could choose to have your pictures horizontal and then you would be fine but because I chose vertical it was a problem.

Here are a few pictures of my finished day planner:

Cover of day planner

Example of inside day planner

How I use my day planner

I really love my day planner and am super excited to announce that one lucky person can win one of their own!!

Giveaway:

Inspired Gifts is giving away a 4.4×6 Photo Day Planner just like the one I made!

Mandatory Entry:

Visit Inspired Gifts and tell me your favorite photo product that they make.

Optional Entries (leave a comment for each one):

  1. Follow Inspired Gifts on Twitter
  2. “Like” Inspired Gifts on Facebook
  3. Follow Inspired Gifts blog via Google Friend Connect
  4. Create a free account at Inspired Gifts
  5. Purchase a photo product from Inspired Gifts (worth 10 entries)
  6. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy via RSS or email
  7. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook
  8. Follow me on Twitter
  9. Tweet about this giveaway and include a link to this review (in your comment leave link to your tweet)
  10. Enter another giveaway and let me know which one you entered

That’s 11 different ways to win a fabulous photo product from Inspired Gifts. Good luck!

Giveaway ends on July 18, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I was provided a day planner to review at no cost. All opinions on the products are my own. Inspired Gifts will provide the photo day planner to the winner. This review was made possible by MomMadeThat.com)

Devon’s Bows Etsy Shop Review & Giveaway

One of my wonderful friends just opened up her etsy shop and I wanted to share it with all of you because her items are so cute! Her shop is called Devon’s Bows and here are some of my favorite items you can find in it:

4th of July Korker Hairbow

Alligator Prong Hairclips

Pair of Black and Pink Flower Hairbows

Large Sliver Flower Hairclip with Jeweled Center

Personalized Hairbow Holder

She also makes baby blankets, baby burp cloths, and fabric covered flip flops. Along with making adorable items I really love the fact that everything in her shop is inexpensive. I remember when my sister was little and she wore bows in her hair that cost $15-20 each but these ones are only $1.50-6 each. In my opinion Devon’s bows are cuter than the ones my sister used to wear and I love the patterns they come in. I am so thankful I don’t have a girl because if I did I would probably buy one in every color and design!

(Update 6/15: She just posted pictures of tutus!!)

So because she is my friend and she is awesome… Devon is giving away a $20 gift certificate to her shop to one very lucky Making Time For Mommy reader!!! Think of all the bows you can buy with that!

How to enter the giveaway

(you may do any (or all) of the following but please leave a separate comment for each):

  1. Visit Devon’s Etsy shop and let me know which item is your favorite.
  2. “Like” Devon’s Bows on Facebook
  3. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy via RSS or email
  4. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook
  5. Follow me on Twitter
  6. Tweet about this giveaway and include a link to this review (in your comment leave link to your tweet)

This giveaway will end July 14, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this review. Devon is providing a gift certificate to the winner.)

The Wild Soccer Bunch Book Review (& Giveaway)

Today I would like to share a new series of children’s books with you called The Wild Soccer Bunch. If you have children ages 8-14 who enjoy soccer this is the perfect series for them.

Landon Donovan, captain of the Los Angeles Galaxy and the 2009 Major League Soccer’s MVP, had this to say about the books: “From the very first page I became a fan of the Wild Soccer Bunch. The stories unfold like an epic soccer game: mesmerizing, nail-biting, and fun.”

This international best-selling series of children’s book launched here in the United Stats on May 26th with the release of the first book called Kevin the Star Striker. Here is the summary from the back cover:

“When the last of the snow has finally melted, soccer season starts! Kevin the Star Striker and The Wild Bunch rush to their field. They have found that Mickey the Bulldozer and his gang, The Unbeatables, have taken over. Kevin and his friends challenge the Unbeatables to the biggest game of their lives. Can the Wild Bunch defeat The Unbeatables, or lose their field of dreams forever? Can they do what no team has done before?”

The Wild Soccer Bunch, Book 1: Kevin the Star Striker can be purchased at the Wild Soccer Bunch website or at other online retailers, such as Amazon. You can also win a copy of the book here!

GIVEAWAY:

There will be TWO winners in this giveaway.

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me what sport your child enjoys playing the most.

Giveaway will end on July 13, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I received copies of this book in return for sharing the series with my readers.)

Touch’d Review and Giveaway

I wanted to share a new line of beauty products with you called Touch’d which launched yesterday. Touch’d bath and body was founded by Rachel Ferrucci. Rachel created the products when she couldn’t find what she was looking for in the stores.  She says, “one product specifically, the organic sugar scrub, was created when my daughter had eczema and the doctors were giving us medicated creams that seemed to be drying out her skin. I wanted to give my daughter relief without slopping medicated creams all over her delicate body. I researched and read every book on natural oils and how they can benefit our skin. I was successful in making a product that was 100% organic and alleviated her eczema.” Being a mom of a child with eczema myself,  I understand completely where she is coming from.

I had the pleasure of reviewing the “Moisture Myst” in the Tropical Paradise scent. The website says that the “convenient spray on moisturizer will revive and hydrate your skin with oils containing natural vitamins to penetrate rather than coat it. Moisture Myst contains no waxes, leaving silky smooth skin with none of the grease.” I love that the spray made my skin feel soft without feeling oily like a lot of other lotions do. I also love the floral smell of the myst which is one of six different scents that the products come in.

Rachel says that the myst is great to use right after a shower so your skin will soak it up. Another great use for the spray is as a moisturizer after too much time in the sun. She says if you get a sunburn and use Moisture Myst three times a day, you won’t peel.

To try out the Moisture Myst or any of the other products you can visit the Touch’d online shop and buy one. To receive 25% off your order you can use the code “TimeforMommy” (valid June 7th-July 15th). You can also win one here!

GIVEAWAY

Rachel is offering a Touch’d Foaming Salt Soak to one lucky reader.

To enter to win you can do any of the following (leave a comment for each):

1) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy blog

2) Go to the Touch’d website and tell me which scent is your favorite

3) Like Touch’d on Facebook

4) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

5) Follow @touchd on Twitter

6) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

7) Tweet about this giveaway (please leave link to your tweet). Must include link to this post in your status update.

This giveaway will end on July 8, 2010 at 11:59pm. Please make sure to include an email address so that I can contact you if you win.

(Disclosure: I received the Moisture Myst from Rachel at Touch’d to review. All opinions given are my own.)

Happy Birthday, Amber!

Today is my sister’s birthday so I just wanted to wish her a Happy Birthday!! :)

Fun In The Sun (And A Giveaway)

Jacob and Lucas recently had a playdate with their cousins, Camden and Maddie. They spent most of the time outside in the sun.

Jacob and Camden in their matching swim trunks

Jacob and Lucas eating lunch

Lucas playing in the water

Jacob and Camden eating cupcakes

Jacob playing football

Cousin Maddie

As you can see, all four children are very fair skinned. It’s really important for them to wear sunscreen when they are in the sun like that. Usually we just use a child lotion sunscreen and my boys fight with me to put it on and wiggle around so I end up missing spots or they walk around looking like ghosts because I don’t rub it in all the way. That won’t be a problem anymore with this new sunscreen we received.

KINeSYS sent me some sunscreen to review. I used it the other day and love it. The sunscreen that they make is easy to apply because it can be sprayed on. It comes either unscented or scented (the one I tried was mango scented- yummy).

Here’s a little bit more about the sunscreen from the flyer that came with it:

  • UVA/UVB protection with Parsol 1789
  • Oil-free/ Alcohol-free/PABA-free
  • Preservative-free
  • Very water-resistant and sweat-resistant
  • Hypoallergenic/ Non-comedogenic
  • Over 700 sprays per bottle

Sunscreen for kids

WIN IT!

One winner will receive a bottle of KINeSYS Kids SPF 30 sunscreen.

HOW?

Leave a comment telling me your favorite outside activity. That’s it! (Of course if you want to subscribe to this blog that would be great, too, but not required.)

This giveaway ends July 7, 2010 at 11:59pm. Good luck! :)

(Disclosure: I was provided two bottles of sunscreen in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.)

Jacob’s 2nd Birthday

Jacob turned two years old on Friday, June 4th. We celebrated his birthday by spending the morning playing at home and after nap went to an indoor play place and a train themed restaurant for dinner. Jacob and Lucas had a lot of fun and I wanted to share some pictures from the day.

Jacob

Lucas

Jacob trying to blow his train whistle

Jacob was excited to see the food train coming towards him

Jacob's birthday cupcakes w/ Thomas on them

Enjoying the frosting and his new Thomas ring

Jacob's birthday shirt said "Choo Choo I'm Two!"

Tell me “seasoned” moms… what did you think of this age? Would you call them the “Terrific Twos” or “Terrible Twos”? Jacob has tons of energy and is pretty rambunctious but I am thinking this year is going to be terrific anyways :)

Birthday Shirt Review and Giveaway

On Wednesday Jacob had some of his friends over for a birthday playdate. Here are some pictures of Jacob from the celebration:

See the cute shirt he was wearing at the playdate? Mimi from Mimi’s Babies Etsy shop made it just for him. To customize the shirt I was able to choose what fabric I wanted, what number I wanted, and the name I wanted on the shirt. I loved having a special shirt for him to wear and it will make a great keepsake.

I’ve spotlighted Mimi’s Babies Etsy shop before and I am doing it again because I absolutely LOVE their handmade items. You can order one of these shirts from their shop or enter to win one here. I’m excited that Mimi’s Babies will be giving one lucky winner a customized birthday shirt of your choice.

Mandatory entry: To have a chance at winning you must leave a comment below letting me know one other item you love from their shop.

Extra entries: For extra entries you may do any of the following (be sure to leave one comment for each):

1) Subscribe to Mimi’s Babies blog

2) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy blog

3) “Like” Mimi’s Babies on Facebook

4) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

5) Follow @mimisbabiesetsy on Twitter

6) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

7) Tweet about this giveaway (please leave link to your tweet). Must include link to this post in your status update.

This giveaway will end on July 5, 2010 at 11:59pm. Please make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

(Disclosure: I was provided a birthday shirt by Mimi’s Babies Etsy Shop. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Mimi’s Babies will send Birthday shirt directly to the winner.)

Happy Second Birthday, Jacob Thomas!

Two years ago today I gave birth to my first child.

Last year he turned one.

And today he is two.

I love him so much and I’m proud to be his mother! Happy 2nd birthday, Jake!

June Is Going To Be Awesome (Giveaway)

I am so happy that it is finally June! Here are ten reasons why:

1) My firstborn turns TWO on the 4th!

2) My “baby” turns ONE on the 25th!

3) June brings the official “start” of my favorite season (though it feels like summer has been here in Chicago for a few weeks now).

4) Lots of fresh fruits and veggies and grilling out means I’m eating healthier.

5) Spending most of our day outside means that the boys sleep well at night which means I get more sleep, too.

6) We will go on our first picnic of the year.

7) The boys get to wear their matching “My Dad Is Rad” t-shirts on Father’s Day.

8) Garage Sales, Farmer’s Markets, and Festivals will make our weekends fun!

9) We get to spend a lot of time with our friends and family this month.

10) THE “BIRTHDAY BASH” EVENT IS HERE!!!!!!!! To celebrate Jake and Luke’s birthdays I am throwing a blog party and you are all invited! There are going to be giveaways every weekday for the whole month of June and just for fun I may even add a few in on the weekends.

Let’s start things off right now!

The first giveaway this month will be a $25 gift card to my favorite store…. TARGET! There is only one way you can win this and that is by becoming a subscriber (RSS or email) and leaving a comment here on this post to let me know that you subscribe. The winner will be chosen on July 1st.

Subscribing is FREE and easy to do… On the right hand side, in the sidebar toward the top of this page there are two sections. One says “Don’t miss a post!” and one says “Receive new posts by email”. Choosing either of those helps ensure you won’t miss a giveaway this month. Please make sure to confirm your subscription when you get a confirmation email.

Disclosure: Target did not provide me with the gift card.

Make sure to check back tomorrow and the rest of this month for new giveaways! :)