Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Showers June 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gretchen @ 8:44 am

I am taking a little different bent on this post.  For wedding and baby gifts I really like to give people what they ask for :) so I usually use the registry.  This might be boring but I figure it is something they really wanted.  To keep things inexpensive, I usually go in on gifts with other friends.

I will share one tip about throwing showers that people seem to have liked.  When hosting a baby or wedding shower you can decorate with items that would coordinate with the friends colors and home decor.  Like for one friend we used fun serving dishes that matched her dinnerware, table cloths that were inexpensive but matched, napkins, candles, etc.  Instead of  going crazy with plastic why not buy things your friend can take home and use??  You can get really creative with this and be a little kinder to the environment in the process :)  At the end of the shower you get to send your friend away with some fun bonus items.

 

my favorite board books June 29, 2009

Filed under: Gift Giving,Mothering,Products we like — Andie @ 6:24 pm

I’m sure you’ve heard enough from me this week already, but I have been wanting to post this book we found at the library. It is incredibly fun to read and the kids adore it.

41zJ-S4JrXL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_It’s called Trucks Go by Steve Light. Every page has enjoyable illustrations and includes the fun sounds that trucks make, like “Burbaba Burbaba Whirr Whirr.”  This reminds me that board books make a great baby gift. Some of the most-read board books we own are some I received for Byron. They are the Byron Barton series: Trucks, Planes, Boats, Airplanes. Both my girl and boy love these books.

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Inexpensive and Creative Wedding & Baby gifts

Filed under: Gift Giving,Saving money — Andie @ 7:22 am

It’s wedding season! We have a weekend coming up with two weddings in two days, so wedding season has hit us in full force. Thankfully, I’ve mostly passed the age of being a bridesmaid, but I get to attend least a few every year at this point in my life. Here are my ideas & tips for wedding gift buying.

-Make something special- I used my favorite wedding cards to make a collage to frame and keep. I incorporated our vows into the collage, as well.  If you are crafty, making something for a bride who is not crafty can be a real blessing. You could get a frame for 40% off at Michael’s (they have sales and email coupons regularly) and leave it empty with a note to the bride that you will make her a custom collage of her cards sometime after the wedding.

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-Make something special part 2- Some of my favorite gifts I received were things that I could hang on the wall. As a single I only had enough to decorate a room, not an apartment! A wall decoration can be relatively inexpensive to make. Take a few photos (scenic detail photos work well) and get a frame on sale that already has a mat. Choose appropriate scripture verses to go along with your photos and voila! you have a lovely gift. Sidenote: it helps to look at the couple’s registry to get a sense of their style and colors they like and then you can choose photos appropriately.

-Buy something that goes to a good cause- This would fall into the not-so-cheap but meaningful category. I recently had a bride choose a fine art photo from this site, which benefits an adoption from Uganda. It was totally worth it to me to spend the extra bucks and the bride was happy the money went somewhere useful, too.

-Stock their freezer- This is a little unconventional, but you can give the gift of food. When we returned from our honeymoon, my dear friend Brianne had left easy reheat meals for us to eat. I was SO GLAD I didn’t have to cook, especially since I was still unpacking and opening gifts. You can find the person with the key to the newlyweds place (usually someone has it to deliver presents) and you can send in some yummy “Welcome Home” meals.

-Pre-loved items for baby- I spent all my space on wedding gifts, I’m hoping the other ladies don’t mind taking the baby gift portion! I do have one idea to mention in that department. I have attended showers that indicated “Pre-loved items are welcome.” I think this is such a nice way to encourage others to bring along gently used items. One of my son’s favorite toys and many favorite outfits for both children have been pre-loved.

 

Amazing Jean Sale at Gap!! $20 June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andie @ 10:09 am

Men’s and Women’s jeans are $20 at  Gap until July 2. I’d go now, though, as they are emptying their stock and will have all new jeans July 30. Take orders for your friends, and send one representative if you can’t get there yourself :)  The only style that they are really low on is Essential Jeans… my favorite. But I did find that curvy jeans are a nice alternative and I can get the same size as I did Essentials.

 

The good, the bad and the ugly

Filed under: Mothering,Products we like — Kate @ 10:07 am

Here are a few of my reviews on baby/kid items that we have used!

The Good:

One of my favorite baby things was our bouncy seat!  We were given a seat before the birth of our first and then given another at the birth of our second.  They are a life saver when it comes to doing things with 2 hands while your baby is awake, like blow drying your hair, folding laundry or showering (and they can be good  for napping a gassy baby too!)  They DO both have buckle for holding your baby in place too, if you are not keeping an eye on them or holding a photo shoot  ;)  Just like most baby things, you can find a full range of styles and prices, but really, I think the $25 Fisher-Price one did the job well, even if it is a bit of an eye sore!

Maclaren Rocker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fisher-Price Bouncer

Fisher-Price Bouncer

Maclaren Rocker.

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Another simple, classic hit around here has been the Ikea Block Wagon.  I’m not sure if you can still get it, but here is a similar one by Melissa & Doug.  It was so fun to see our son’s mind go to work with stacking the blocks, pulling the wagon and just playing with something a little simpler than most of the toys out there today!

Ikea Block Wagon

The Bad:

I did not have much success with these bowls by Munchkin.  The idea was nice, but my kids thought it was more fun to try to get the bowl up off the tray/table which resulted in some big messes as the bowl reluctantly released!  Having some covered bowls is great for taking homemade baby food on the road and I found that the set of 2 for $.97 at Walmart did wonderfully!

suction cup bowlsThe Ugly:

I had to use this cute title, but I must admit I haven’t run across anything that I swore I would never use again (or at least I can’t remember it)!  I do echo Leah’s sentiments about the Desitin cream … leave it and pick up the ointment instead!  You can even go for the generic A+D ointment and have great results!

 

Like it, Love it, or Leave it… June 25, 2009

Filed under: Products we like — Leah @ 3:33 pm

Here are my takes on some great…and not so great….baby/kid products.  I hope you find it helpful!

beco

Love it: The Beco Butterfly II child carrier. I LOVE THIS product.  Can I say it again? I LOVE IT!!  We used Bjorn baby carriers with the twins and thought they were a pretty nifty product with pretty good quality.  We even used a Bjorn with Miles for the first 6 months or so.  Then I found out about the Beco from one of my friends and after test-driving hers, fell in love and made it my mission to sell enough other random baby stuff on CL that I could buy myself a Beco carrier.  They blow the silly Bjorn out of the water.  They allow you to tote your child along until they are 45 lbs if you need to for some strange reason.  :-)  The downside?  They are pricey, but I personally think that they are SO worth it!  I can tote Miles with me on the front or the back (piggy back style) and not feel a thing in my lower back or shoulders for hours- seriously, for hours!!  The Beco is my new best friend in the baby product world.  Miles loves to hang out back there and I love not pushing a stroller though crowded areas or trying to store one in the back of the car.  Here is a site you can use to buy Beco returns and Beco seconds if you wish– that does ease the sticker shock a bit.

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Love it: Nalgene Everyday Grip-N-Gulp Water Bottle. We have these for the twins and love them.  They don’t break, they clean up well, they hold 12 oz of water, and they have a great loop for the kids to carry it by or to hook onto a carabiner with.  Plus, they come in fun colors.  :-)

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product_56Love it: Johnson’s Buddies Soap. This is great!  There are often coupons for $3 off 3 Johnson’s baby products online, making buying three of these at a time  (often priced at .97 at Target)….FREE!  They’re great- they don’t require any adult help to get the suds going, they don’t slip out of your kid’s wet hands, and at FREE- it’s a great deal.  :-)

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excersaucerLike it: The dreaded excersaucer. They take up TONS of space, but if you can snag one for under $10 off Craigslist or a garage sale, then I think it’s well worth the space and the $.   Speaking as a mom of multiples:  this is a MUST HAVE.  Speaking as a mom of a singlet: this is a take it or leave it.  :-)

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disitinLeave it: Desitin. Poor Desitin, it gets used in the worst of places in the worst of times….and then it doesn’t even work very well.  Skip over the creamy stuff (blue box) and go strait for the Desistin Original (purple).  After trying a plethora of creams, we accidently bought some of the original when the twins were little and were pleasently shocked at it’s superiority to it’s creamy counterpart.  Our experience was that the creamy version does practically NOTHING and the original clears up the issue…litterally- overnight!  Happy bum= Happy baby.

 

SALES!!! June 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gretchen @ 2:53 pm

Sorry to interrupt the theme but I had to tell you all about the sales going on right now!! (I have been sick so you all probably  know about them but…)

H & M – I got shirts for my girls for $1 and dresses for $5 :)

Gap – shirts and pants for me for $8 and $13

Children’s Place is having their Monster sale – shorts and shirts for $3.99

Here are the stores I walked past because of screaming children but also advertised great sales :)

Gap Kids

Gymboree

Victoria Secret

Hannah Anderson