Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giving Back this Holiday Season: A Good Example from Robeez and Reflection

There are a multitude of ways that we can "give back" a little of what we have during the holiday season and beyond. We all know that there is always someone less fortunate than us and that we should do what we can to help. However, it is usually during this time of year that we are made more aware of the troubles of the world and are asked to help. Yet, even during this 'season of giving' somehow the majority of our senses are constantly overloaded wtih ways that we can further please and give to ourselves rather than to those who truly need. And, by ourselves, I mean those of us who are already more than blessed by having a roof over our heads and food to eat each night. We are often all but lost to the fact that there are people out there in our world who have next to nothing. I too am often consumed by sale papers and inviting signs in store windows that seem to be shouting "JUST BUY ONE MORE THING!" when that one more thing will go unnoticed in the piles of gifts that have already been purchased. In the blessed world of plenty that most of us are a part of it is so easy to forget that there are families out there literally living on the streets, families that have to wonder where there next meal will come from (or if they will even have one), and children who don't even have shoes to cover their feet. Unless we make a conscious effort to really sit back and think about these people who are less fortunate than ourselves, they are forgotten. And, though the 'season of giving' it may be, in the hustle and bustle of the holidays it's easier than ever to forget the real reason for the season.

Because of this, my family tries each year to make a conscious effort to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. It's easy to say that we don't have this and we don't have that, but more important than focusing on what we don't have is to really sit back and think about what we do have. Having this perspective is especially important during the holidays when all we can seem to think about is what we want for Christmas! Now that EG, our two year old, is getting older and is starting to understand everything much, much more it is more important than ever to help her to have a giving heart and an understanding of what this season is really about. One special thing we started as a family the year she was born is to have one special "giving" gift on the tree each year. This special gift is some sort of contribution to a charity or cause of our choice in honor of each member of our family. The first year we did it, I chose something for my husband, he for me, and we decided together a charity for EG. We searched for organizations and causes that would be near and dear to each other's hearts and made a donation in each other's names. As soon as the contribution is made we usually type up a note on the computer and wrap it up, or stick it in an ornament on the tree, or simply put it in an envelope on the tree. We saved these gifts for last, and they have honestly become the most special. It is a great way to research and find out about organization and charities out there that we may not have otherwise known about, and it is a conscious way to pay it forward to those less fortunate than us. We can't afford to give as much as some, but the message I want to send to my daughter is that there is always someone less fortunate than us and it is our responsibility to do what we can to help. This will be our third Christmas with this tradition and I am more anxious to see what's in the little envelope on the tree than I am to see any of the wrapped packages below. There is always something more you can do, but every little bit helps. I hope that this tradition will continue in our family long after my husband and I are gone and that we are teaching our daughter a valuable lesson about the meaning of this season of giving.

I say all of this and tell you these stories to draw your attention to and applaud a special partnership that Robeez has this year with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) through their Season of Giving (you can find out more here). Robeez is a well-known and loved chilren's shoe company that is working with K.I.D.S. by providing a pair of soft-soled Robeez shoes to the K.I.D.S. organization for each pair that is purchased through December 23. The K.I.D.S. organization "brings hope and self-esteem to children in need and their families by providing new clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and juvenile products donated by leading manufacturers and retailers. The donations move through their network of community social service agencies in the U.S. and abroad to reach children who are ill, living in poverty, or are the victims of natural disasters." This is a very worthy cause that benefits children who are truly in need this holiday season. So, as you are making your Robeez purchases this Christmas, know that you are really purchasing two pairs - one for you and one for a child in need who may only have this pair of shoes to wear, and quite possibly may have never owned a brand new pair. There are tons to choose from on the Robeez website including, my favorite for those beautiful Christmas outfits, these black Mini Shoez Patent Mary Janes. It's a great way to give and thank you to Robeez for truly providing us with a good example to follow.

I invite you to share your story of giving and about the Robeez Season of Giving. By doing so, you may also be eligible to receive some wonderful Robeez to gift, donate, or keep. You can find out more information here. Thank you to all of you who truly commit to making this a "season of giving"!

Long Time, No Blog - But back to stay!

Long time, no blog. For my family and other reasons I had to take a break for a little while. However, I am happy to be back and have some great things to share with you got that delayed a little more than expected! My apologies for that, and thank you to all of the wonderful people I am working with that have been so understanding! It's good to be back and I hope everyone is having and continues to have a wonderful and blessed holiday season!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tie those Tap Shoes (or your hair!) in Style with Custom Tap Ties from No-Plain-Jane {Review and Giveaway}

What is cuter than a toddler in a tutu and tap shoes? Not much, in my opinion! That is unless her tap shoes have her monogram! I love everything monogrammed because it adds that little personal touch that makes you just feel special. As I said before, like it was made just for you! EG started dance class last month and they requested that she use elastic tap ties rather than
the ribbon ties that came with the shoes. I wonder why that is? What, do they think that 2 year olds will play with the ribbons? Never! LOL (It's not like they wont play with the elastic ones either... :) Anyhow, of course, I had the find the cutest tap ties out there. Thus, the reason I stumbled upon No-Plain-Jane. I knew I wanted some super cute, custom tap ties with EG's initial, and that's exactly what they offer...plus a whole lot more! No-Plain-Jane has a plethora of fabrics for the ties so that you can coordinate with any dance outfit.
The little ties are fabric covered buttons monogrammed with the initial of your choice (in your choice of color!). They look so cute and professionally created when they are done! These ties add fun and pizzazz to your, already precious, little one's outfit. She certainly wont be a "Plain Jane"!

Don't have a tapper in the house? You can use these cuties in their original form as a hair tie! They would be adorable on your little one or
even in your own hair. They are just the right size for everyone to be able to wear!
As a bonus, Carrie was so sweet and made me a matching bow for EG's little tap ties. The bow is absolutely gorgeous and has a matching button in the middle with EG's first initial. It is beautifully crafted and so adorable in her hair. Check out the other bows No-Plain-Jane offers here. I love the pom pon bow sets, and at only $8 they really are a steal. Other great items from No-Plain-Jane include custom Crocs bows (ADORABLE...monogrammed with your initial, $12), super cute tutus and costumes (great for Halloween!, $15-$80), and precious headbands ($6-$10) to name a few. Love the adorable items she offers? You can purchase any of these items by clicking the links above, or head straight to No-Plain-Jane to look around. And don't forget to enter below to win your own custom set of tap ties/ponytail holders!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):


1. REQUIRED: Visit
No-Plain-Jane, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite item she offers (I know, it's so hard to choose...).


To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:


2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).

3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.

4. Follow.

5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.


**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Tuesday, October 13. The winner will be randomly chosen via
random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being notified of win or another winner will be chosen.**

Beautiful Accessories and Clothing from Bitty Bits {Review and Giveaway}


Want a beautiful acessory for your little girl's bedroom? I found an awesome one for my Disney reviews in this sweet Minnie pillow from Bitty Bits. A perfect size for a toddler bed, this pillow is beautifully crafted to look fabulous in your little one's favorite space. Comfy enough to nap on (and without any small buttons or beads), and also the perfect accessory for your little Disney fan! Another great use? A travel pillow on your way to WDW!

I have reviewed many hand made items, and the quality of this little pillow is truly second to none! It has a variety of fabrics and materials including pink gingham ruffles, pink piping, the signature Minnie polka dots, and a sweet Minnie applique. The added details all together (shown below) create the perfect combination. The final touch? Your little one's name. I love anything that is personalized, as it makes you feel like something was made just for you...and it was. The quality of the items offered by Bitty Bits ensures that they will last for years. EG's minnie pillow will not only be on dislply in her room, but it will most certainly be a favorite keepsake.
Items like this are intended to be saved rather than be sold for 50 cents at a garage sale in 10 years! I feel confident in saying that Bitty Bits truly puts a lot of time, energy, and love into everything that she creates. Even if you're not a Disney lover, you will be able to find soemthing special in her shop. Other items you can find in the Bitty Bits shop include adorable twirl outfits for birthdays, your favorite team, and Mickey and Minnie of course; team pillows; and this sweet little girl's petticoat (to be worn under skirts, dresses, or by itself!).

Go now and take a look at the gorgeous creations she has to offer. You'll be so happy you did! Enter below to win a pillow of your own!!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):

1. REQUIRED: Visit Bitty Bits, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite item in the shop (difficult to do, I know...pick 5 if you like!).

To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).

3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.

4. Follow.

5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.


**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Tuesday, October 13. The winner will be randomly chosen via
random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being notified of win or another winner will be chosen.**

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Beautiful, Clever Child ID and Other Handstamped Pieces from By Hannah Design {Review and Giveaway} **CLOSED**

Congratulations to the winner, Bombtastic Belle!

Result: 29 Powered by RANDOM.ORG


In a previous post I discussed the importance of a small child having some kind of contact and identification information with them at all times. Especially important at Disney World, but essential everywhere else as well. Unfortunately, many child IDs intended for every day wear are very obvious or unattractive, at least not for every day wear with any outfit, etc...or so I thought. By accident I stumbled upon this beautiful ID necklace from By Hannah Design which is not only a basic ID, but a beautiful accessory as well! This ID is a gorgeous piece of handstamped jewelry with your child's name and telephone number "hidden" inside. It is actually two handstamped dome shaped discs that lay on top of each other to look like a single charm. The outer disc has a handstamped heart, and the inner disc has your child's name and number stamped inside. I think this is such an awesome idea! I love that it looks like a sweet, simple necklace just looking from the outside, but when you shift the top part of the charm it's an invaluable safety item. Here is what Hannah has to say about this necklace :

"I teach young children and also a mom to a 3 1/2 year old and I know that safety is number one priority for every child. Yesterday, as I was strolling the neighborhood with my son, I saw a police officer with a child who was wandering around the street alone! Then I thought, if this child had some sort of identification with him, the police would find the child's parents without a doubt."

I believe that identification for small children is extremely important as they have no way of telling anyone who they are, where they live, a phone number to call....and that's pretty scary. However, it's also very important for any child. If your child was ever in a situation (i.e. injured) where they could not speak for themselves, wouldn't you want someone to know immediately how to get in touch with you? That is what child IDs are there for. I truly believe in their relevance and importance for the safety of our children.
And, as always, anything everyday, useful, and relevant that can be made beautiful is a plus in my book. The Child's ID Tag is a super cute little piece of jewelry all on it's own, with a great little jewel hidden inside. I love everything hand stamped because it creates that "one of a kind" feel. Nothing is aligned perfectly, and you know that a lot of time and effort went into creating it. Each piece from By Hannah Design is lovingly created by Hannah, comes packaged nicely in a reusable tin, and includes a miniature polishing cloth to keep your jewelry nice and shiny. In addition to the gorgeous Child's ID Tag, By Hannah Design also creates many other styles of handstamped necklaces and jewelry including great bridesmaid gifts and super sweet teacher necklaces (definitely near and dear to my heart).
In business on Etsy for just a short while, By Hannah Design has already seen much success! She is so easy to work with and has a super fast turn around time for her hand created jewelry (like...1-5 days...wow!). Definitely check out By Hannah Design if your looking for a great personalized gift for anyone in your life. Want to get a head start for you or a special someone? You can enter below to win an Initial Necklace w/ Freshwater Pearl (shown below)...so enter away!
To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):


1. REQUIRED: Visit
By Hannah Design, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite piece of jewelry she offers.


To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:


2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).

3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.

4. Follow.

5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.


**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, September 27. The winner will be randomly chosen via
random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being notified of win or another winner will be chosen.**

Friday, September 11, 2009

GAP Outlet Sale and Contest: High Fashion and Affordability

This picture is one of my favorite outfits EG has ever had in her wardrobe, in fact, I actually used it in another post talking about great fashion. The reason I mention it and posted again is because it came from Gap Outlet, one of my very stores for adorable clothing paired with fantastic prices! I speak from experience when I say that Gap clothes are meant to last, and you can see that they are precious. It is apparent that I am in love with clothes for EG, and it actually works out really nice that children grow so fast because I can buy clothes all the time...LOL. But, on a more serious note, it can definitely not be friendly on the wallet having to buy a new wardrobe every season. The way I plan for each season is to only shop sales and hit the outlet malls. Every awesome outlet mall I know has a Gap Outlet, and that's always my first stop. Truly. Another great tip for clothes shopping is that I sign up for the e-mail lists of all my favorite stores so that I can be first to know of any coupons or great sales they will have going on. I actually save a lot this way. Shopping for toddlers is so much fun and EG is at the age where she kind of enjoys it too. We'll go through a store and she loves to pick things up and say, "this cute Mommy". Adorable! I always go in with a budget in mind, and at stores like Gap Outlet you can really stretch your dollar a long way. Outlet stores not only have low prices to begin with, but also have great sales. A lot of times they are on current season items too. Ready to get shopping for your little one? Then Twittermoms has an awesome opportunity for you! Check out the contest information here, check out the Gap Outlet Semiannual Baby Sale with the new widget on my sidebar, and this link to Gap Outlet/Twittermoms for an extra 10% discount...wow! So many great, easy ways to get your child's wardrobe started off right! Happy shopping!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!

I let you guys in on a little bit of the craziness going on a couple of weeks ago. I thought it had slowed down a little, but it seemed like more craziness just kept piling on. In fairness to my family I had to take a little bit of a blogging break for a couple weeks. It was just too much at the time. Luckily, things have actually settled down at work, home, etc. so that we are back to a somewhat normal life! LOL Which is not what the last several weeks have felt like, so that's awesome!

I will hopefully be back on a regular schedule now, and will continue the Disney reviews and giveaways until we actually get going on our trip the beginning of October. Yippee! A vacation is much needed about right...NOW! In addition to the Disney items continuing for the next few weeks I also have some adorable dance-related items in honor of EG starting dance this year. There are some really cute things including customized frames, funky leotards, monogrammed tap ties, and more! Starting after our trip, about mid October, I have some great fall fashions for little ones. You will not want to miss these adorable giveaways!


Finally, there are two giveaways scheduled to end today, but due to my blogging vacation I am going to extend these through the weekend. So...the Bella Love Boutique and McKenna Layne Designs giveaways will now end on Sunday, September 13. I have also made this change on both postings and the sidebar.


I hope everyone has a great rest of the week! I've really been thinking about ways to improve and excite you guys with my blog, and I am looking forward to sharing those with you in the coming weeks and months. I can't believe it's nearing 1 year, and I couldn't have done it without all of your support! Finally, thank you so much for your e-mails with your thoughts and prayers. It's just been a wild couple of months and I appreciate you hanging in there :)


Recent winners:

Head 2 Toe Designs - Candy

Lounge Pants - Vanessa


Image from http://cammib.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/crazymom.jpg

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Practical and Fun Character Clothing and Accessories from Bella Love Boutique {Review and Giveaway} **CLOSED**

Congratulations to the winner, Brea's Mommy!
Result: 30 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
My favorite Disney character by far has always been Cinderella. I was never much for princesses in general, but who can resist such a sweet fairy tale as Cinderella? On our trip to Disney World I am most looking forward to the character meet and greets and character dining experiences, and of course that will include Cinderella. We've been trying to introduce EG to some of the chracters she may encounter on our trip, and I can't wait to see her face light up when she gets to see them in person (she may not want them to touch her, but I think she'll enjoy at least seeing them!). Naturally, these magical experiences will also create some really special photo opportunities. With all of these things in mind, I wanted a few special outfits that are character inspired for just these occasions. I am so thrilled that I was able to find many adorable outfits that fit the bill perfectly!
One such outfit is this gorgeous Cinderella dress from Bella Love Boutique. Designed to be strikingly similar to Cinderella's own light blue ball gown, as well as comfortable, it is an ideal outfit for wearing to Walt Disney World.
My plan for this particular dress is for EG to wear it to the parks and to our Cinderella's Happily Ever After character dinner. So excited!! I can't wait to get a picture of my little Cinderella with the "real" Cinderella.

Now as for this precious little dress...Kellie at Bella Love Boutique custom designs and makes each of her items just for you using your provided measurements. The fit is perfect! On the Cinderella dress, the light blue fabric is made of a lightweight cotton, and the accents are a white satin. The waist is elastic for comfort - no ties to keep tying all day or to be uncomfortable for little ones in the stroller, but still provides for a great fit. In my case, I wanted the outfit to fit more like a dress on EG, so I ordered it a little longer. It can be made to your specifications and can certainly be shorter to fit more like a top. Great versatility there. It is beautifully made, unlike many character costumes and outfits that, frankly, are not deisnged to last. This gorgeous dress/top is certainly made to last, as are the other items that Bella Love Boutique offers. It would be perfect for anything at Disney World whether it be shopping, dining, strolling the parks, riding rides, etc. as well as perfect for parties, dress up, or just for fun! I will definitely post a picture of my little one wtih Cinderella because this dress is designed to be a mini likeness.
Though simple and comfortable in design, all of the features that make Cinderella's dress truly "Cinderella" are unmistakable and are included in the design of this dress. The colors are spot on, the puffy sleeves, and peplums (fluffy parts on the hips...lol) are all part of the design.
And if Cinderella isn't your favorite princess, or you just can't get enough of these character tops, Bella Love Boutique also offers other beautiful tops to resemble the most popular dresses of Snow White and Belle. Your little princess lover would not be disappointed! The dress is beautiful and, as I've already said, I just can't wait for EG to wear it on our trip! In addition to the beautiful tops, Bella Love also offers other great items including these handy Mickey and Minnie drawstring backpacks. There is no cuter way to tote around all of your park necessities than in one of these. The backpacks come in either pink or red polka dots and feature either Minnie (with bow) or Mickey. They can also be personalized with a name or initial.
I opted for the initial so that my child's whole name wouldn't be visible for a stranger to see and call her (Heaven forbid something like that would happen, but better safe than sorry). The bags are nicely made and cute as can be. And at $10 it's a cheap and practical way to add a little Disney fun to your park supplies! Another great thing about these bags?
Their use doesn't have to end when you leave Walt Disney World. You can use them for sleepovers, dance accessories, baby dolls...whatever! There is always a use for a bag. Enter to win one of these adorable bags below...and be sure to check out Bella Love Boutique for some adorable custom items for your little ones!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):


1. REQUIRED: Visit Bella Love Boutique, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite product.


To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:


2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).

3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.

4. Follow.

5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.


**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, September 13. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being notified of win or another winner will be chosen.**

Monday, August 24, 2009

Simple Safety - Lost Child ID Tags from McKenna Layne Designs {Review and Giveaway} **CLOSED**

Congratulations to the winner, Xenia!
Result: 8 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
One of the first concerns I had when considering taking a 2 year old to Disney World was safety. I know that EG, like most 2 year olds, is easily distracted and impulsive. If she wants something she'll go after it. In a huge place like Disney World this is an even bigger concern than usual. I knew that should we decide to go, I wanted EG to have something with her all the time that would have emergency information in the event that, Heaven forbid, she were lost. We would need something that she could keep attached to her somehow at all times. I found a great solution from McKenna Layne Designs with their personalized lost child emergency ID cards and lanyards (one of many things McKenna Layne Designs sells - mostly known for beautiful custom invitations and announcements). The cards have all of the information someone would need to know, including allergies. And, not only do they have all of the important information, but they are very sturdy and, of course, come in such cute Disney themes! McKenna Layne Designs sent me several different examples of the card including different personalization and "attachment" options. They are laminated with very thick laminate, can be personalized however you wish, and have a couple of options for wear.
You can choose either a lanyard or luggage tag type loop (to go around belt loops), and either way you choose they are perfect to be worn for the duration of the time you are at the parks (or any other place with crowds!).
My suggestion would be to definitely wear it under clothing so that no personal information is easily viewed from the outside. And, please use common sense when having little ones wear something around their neck. These lost child IDs are a great solution for anyone planning to travel someplace crowded or somewhere a child may be easily lost. How valuable for a police officer or stranger to have your child's name, emergency contacts, and allergy information all in one place? All in all, $4 is a very small price to pay for such an essential safety item. Just imagine if your child somehow got away from you and had no words or way to tell anyone who they were, who they belonged to, or how to contact any parents. That's a really scary thought! I will definitely be using this safety ID card on our trip, and likely before and after our trip as well. Thanks to McKenna Layne Designs for creating such a thoughtful product.
See details below on how you can win your own ID card for your child! Do also check out the other great items offered by McKenna Layne Designs as well. I feel confident in saying that their items are of high quality and you will be pleased with your purchase. They focus primarily on custom invitations and announcements, and have a wonderful array of designs!


To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):


1. REQUIRED: Visit McKenna Layne Designs, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite product.


To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:


2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).

3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.

4. Follow.

5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.


**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, September 13. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being notified of win or another winner will be chosen.**

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hit the Resorts in Style with these Adorable Loungers from Baskets of Beauty {Review and Giveaway} **CLOSED**

Result: 38 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulations to the winner, Vanessa!

What better way to lounge around the amazing Disney resorts than in a cute pair of Mickey loungers? I honestly can't think of one. I am in love with everything comfortable and know that EG is too. Honestly, who isn't? If I could wear my pjs all day I certainly would, and, if given the choice, I don't know too many people wouldn't. Moving along...I've heard nonstop since we've told people we are heading to Disney World that it is A LOT of walking. Knowing this fact (which I actually did know before everyone told me...lol), I figured we'd definitely be taking breaks and enjoying some of the resort amenities throughout our trip. Wanting my little one to be comfortable and stylish, of course, I set out to find some cute loungewear for EG. When I stumbled across these cute loungers from Abigail's Boutique Designs I knew they would be perfect. A pajama like pant in an adorable print that is cute enough to wear outside of the resort room. The fun Mickey print definitely caught my eye for our trip, but the style is actually what I fell in love with. The wide leg pant with it's elastic waist (no ties...love it), sweet bow, and button was a perfect look and fits great. The loungers come in sizes 3 months to 6 and are so cute on! They are very nicely made to your specifications and with quality materials. I love that the pants have a wide elastic waistband and no ties to deal with, but they still have the bow that is the only feature I like with a tie waist. It's the perfect accent for little girl's pants! The fit is so cute and, though long, very lightweight and breathable enough for hot weather. These will most certainly be comfortable for anything we decide to do without sacrificing any style. I'm so glad I stumbled across these loungers and that they come in so many different fabrics to suit anyone's tastes. Check them out for yourself by ordering a pair from Abigail's Boutique Designs. Even better? You can win a pair of your choice by following the directions below! Lounge pants not your thing? Then check out the plethora of other items offered in the Abigail's Boutique Designs shop from more cute clothing to homemade soaps to bows to other bath goodies and even more! She has TONS of items to look through and enjoy. Thanks to Robyn of Abigail's Boutique Designs for a great little shop and giveaway!!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):

1. REQUIRED: Visit Abigail's Boutique Designs, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite product and which loungers you'll choose if you win.

To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).
3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.
4. Follow.
5. Subscribe.
6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.
7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.

**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Saturday, September 5. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being notified of win or another winner will be chosen.**

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Adorable Disney Attire and Accessories from Head 2 Toe Designs {Review and Giveaway}

Result: 2 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulations to the winner, Candy!

I was able to review three different, and equally wonderful, Disney inspired products from Head 2 Toe Designs. No Disney trip would be complete without some character inspired attire and the iconic mouse ears. In searching for these items, at the top of my list were cute mouse ears that EG might actually keep on. I knew that she would never keep on the traditional mouse ears hat so popular at the Disney parks, but that she definitely needed an alternative! So what initially brought me to Head 2 Toe Designs in the first place was the adorable mouse ear "bows", though once I looked through the site I learned there was so much more! I received the Minnie Mouse Lotsa Dots ear set, polka dot ruffle capris, and Snow White top to review. All items were of excellent quality and carefully constructed. I'll start with the ears...totally adorable, genius design, and stay put like a charm. These precious little mouse ears are sewn onto a metal barrette so that they can be clipped onto pigtails, perfectly positioned, and make any little one into their favorite mouse. The sweet bow added to one ear is the final touch. These definitely scream "Disney" and I am sure we will get more than a few comments about them when we go on our trip. Head 2 Toe offers the already made ear sets in two different sizes as well as the instructions on how to make your own. How cool is that?

Another awesome item I received is this beautiful Snow White top. It is lightweight and comfortable enough for wearing to the park while having all of the elements that make it unmistakably Snow White, including the red and blue striped sleeves. I can't wait for EG to meet her in person and get a picture of them together. I love that I can let her wear this top to the park without having to worry about her being uncomfortable or stuffy because the materials are all breathable and the top is designed for little ones in mind. Another great "park wear" item? These super cute ruffled capris. I love that you can pair them with the Minnie Mouse ears and/or a character top and make them totally Disney, but they would also be adorable every day with a cute white tee. They are, again, comfy cotton and very nicely made. I am thrilled to have been able to try out several items from one shop as that allows me to truly make broad statements about the quality of the products they offer. I would absolutely buy from Head 2 Toe Designs again and would urge you to check out the shop as well. There are so many cute items to make your Disney trip extra special. Want to get a head start? Then check out the details below for info on how to win $25 towards the item(s) of your choice from Head 2 Toe Designs!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):

1. REQUIRED: Visit Head 2 Toe Designs, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite item and how you would spend your $25.To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).
3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.
4. Follow.
5. Subscribe.
6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.
7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.

**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Saturday, September 5. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond after being notified of win or another winner will be chosen.**

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Plop Winner {and more information than you wanted to know}

First of all, I'd like to finally announce the winner of the Happy Plop...drum roll please...

Congratulations to The McDougles!

I apologize for the super long delay! Tina was out of town and then I feel like I've fallen off the face of the earth for the last couple of weeks, but we were finally able to get our heads together and decide. After much deliberation for sure! There were several entries that won our hearts, but unfortunately we could only choose one. It was a very tough decision but The McDougles entry was one that was at the top of both of our lists. Tina and I love the idea of the Happy Plop being something special for an older sibling. I wish we could have given one away to every entrant as there were so many terrific entries and everyone seems so deserving. Thank you all for sharing your stories with us!

And now for a little more information...do hang in there for more awesome Disney giveaways this month! I have 14 more, yes 14, fabulous items to share with you that are Disney related between now and the end of the month. I had anticipated spreading them out a little more, but that just means the next few weeks will be jam packed with all of the goodies! Be on the lookout for items from Bella Love Boutique, Head 2 Toe Designs, The One, Two, Three Shop, Lovable Labels, Bitty Bits and so much more!

I had apparently forgotten throughout my wonderful summer just how hectic, trying, stressful, and crazy the beginning of the school year can be. Though I feel like this school year was markedly more stressful than in years past. I am the head of my department and there were a lot of items that needed taking care of left over from the end of last year. Not a good start to the year, but things seem to have settled down this week (less me having a fever virus and a temp of 104 last night...luckily only a 24 hour deal...lol) and I've gotten into a good routine at school. EG did not have a good transition back into daycare after having a nice long summer with Mommy, and it wasn't an easy transition for me either. Needless to say, I couldn't find the time to think, much less get in the needed time for blogging. Anyhow, I'll be blogging like crazy to get all of these Disney reviews and giveaways in! Thanks to all of my faithful readers :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beautiful Beaded Jewelry for Disney and Beyond {Giveaway}

Congratulations to the winner, Cheryl F.!
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While searching for adorable Disney related items, I stumbled across the beautiful jewelry from Julie of Bead on a Stick Creations. The Minnie Mouse pendant was what actually caught my eye, but she offers so much more than that! All of the beads used to create this jewelry have been purchased from a self representing glass artist, and are used by Julie to craft these magnificent and beautiful pieces. To the Minnie pendant, she has added beautiful Swarovski crystals, genuine black Onyx stone beads, and sterling silver findings. The pendant hangs about 2" long and you can add whatever type of necklace you like. Want to win one of these beautiful pendants for yourself? Then check out the details below. This pendant would be a beautiful, yet subtle, addition to your wardrobe for your next Disney trip or every day. It's a great way to show your love of Disney without being over the top, too cheesy, or too juvenile. And if you want more, Julie has several other pieces to match including a bracelet/keychain set, cell phone charm, earrings, and bookmark. All of the pieces in Julie's shop are fabulous and there is literally something for everyone. A few of my other favorite pieces are her blueberry cupcake earrings, pink floral/crystals cell phone charm, and pink Pansy Pansies bracelet. Definitely check out her shop, and tell her I sent you!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):

1. REQUIRED: Visit Bead on a Stick Creations, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite item (Disney or not).

To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).
3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.
4. Follow.
5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.

**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, August 23. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and notified on or around Monday, August 24.**

Happy Plop Winner...almost!

Okay, I know many of you have been anxiously awaiting the name of the Happy Plop winner and it has taken a little longer than I anticipated! Tina and I are finalizing our decision and will announce a winner this Wednesday!! Thanks so much for your patience, it will definitely be worth the wait!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Create Beautiful Vacation Keepsakes in a Flash with Pre-Made Disney Scrapbooks by Jan {Review and Giveaway}

Congratulations to the winner, Abby!

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One thing I really wish I had more time for is scrapbooking. I have a room full of supplies and no time to use them! I feel confident that they won't go to waste and some day I will be able to use them again, but right now there's just no time. By the time I get everything out and begin, EG is waking up from a nap, already tired of me scrapbooking, trying to "help" me (LOL), etc. One solution I have found for this problem is the wonderful world of digital scrapbooking. I don't have to pull out my supplies or cut out the shapes I need, etc. I can just sit at the computer, work a little while, and save. But to me, though I have become quite fond of digital scrapbooking, there is just nothing like your traditional scrapbooks. I love the embellishments, the 3- D quality, and the fact that it just looks so "handmade" like you spent hours and hours on making it look just right (as you probably did!). I'm behind on scrapbooking as it is, but I knew I wanted something special for our trip to Disney World. Knowing I would probably not get to actually making a scrapbook until EG is in college (LOL), I began looking for alternatives. Thus, how I stumbled across Jan's Etsy shop, Sweet Southern Belle, and her beautiful pre-made Disney scrapbooks.
I am so thrilled that she agreed to do the review and giveaway, and even more thrilled that my Disney scrapbook is nearly ready to go...and we haven't even left yet!!







I was able to review one of the 12x12

scrapbooks (2 pages pictured above), and I am so pleased with how nice it is. Jan uses well known, very nice scrapbook papers and embellishments (also many that are hand created!) to create some really beautiful pages. All I will have to do is add pictures and, voila, a beautiful Disney scrapbook to document our vacation! Jan has included many different aspects of a Disney trip including various characters (including a special page for my Ariel lover :), park specific pages, pages for different rides, etc. All of the Disney embellishments used are licensed products and stamps (hand painted by Jan), and all supplies are acid free. It is obvious that she puts a lot of time and effort into making these scrapbooks, just as she would her own. No two scrapbooks are alike, and they can be personalized if you have any special requests! The idea of a pre-made scrapbook is genius, especially for those of us who aren't so creatively inclined, and those of us who always seem to run short on time (probably most of us!). Another great thing about Jan's scrapbooks is that they allow you the ability to add extra elements and information if you want to (though you certainly wouldn't need to!). "Pre-made" doesn't necessarily mean that you can't put your own spin on it. Jan simply gives you a really nice head start! Basically, she does most of the work for you and puts it all together in a beautiful scrapbook that your family will treasure for years to come.

She makes gorgeous Disney scrapbooks in all sizes from 6x6 to 12x12 (which means there are a variety of prices as well), and also offers them in different styles such as acrylic, what she calls "eclectic" (clear with lots of fun embellishments!), and even decoupaged (like the one you can win!). I think all of the scrapbooks in Jan's shop are beautiful, and you can tell that a lot of time and effort went into their creation. I find that you will often see pre-made scrapbooks where it is obvious that the minimum amount of effort went into it. Not the case with these, and one reader will be so lucky as to win a beautiful 8x8 Disney scrapbook of their own! So whether you have already been to Disney or plan to go in the future, this would be an awesome way to display some of the pictures from your trip. No Disney pictures to scrapbook? Sweet Southern Belle also offers other beautiful scrapbooks and items including pregnancy scrapbooks, princess scrapbooks, hand made cards, board books, and autograph books. Go check out Sweet Southern Belle now, and be delighted by the wonderful surprises you will find (and pick what you like best so you can enter the giveaway for a Disney 8x8 scrapbook :)!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):

1. REQUIRED: Visit Sweet Southern Belle, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me your favorite items in her shop.

To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).
3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.
4. Follow.
5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.

**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Tuesday, August 18. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and notified on or around Wednesday, August 19.**

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Collect Memories in Style With These Beautiful Autograph Books from Nucchi Digital Boutique {Review and Giveaway} **CLOSED**

Congratulations to the winner, Candy!

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An autograph book is one of the absolutely essential items for anyone planning a trip to a Disney park. Thus, I felt it only right to kick off our month of Disney with these beautiful autograph books from Nucchi Digital Boutique. The premise of an autograph book is very simple - a book full of pages that park characters can "autograph" for you. But, what if it could be more than just a pretty cover with blank pages? That is what Keri of Nucchi Digital Boutique has set out to design. Her beautiful autograph books are filled with 75 plus cardstock pages, with a different character printed on each, and a heavy laminated custom cover (front and back). The book as assembled using two large jump rings to hold everything together, which makes it very easy to flip the pages for characters to sign. I am so thrilled to have been able to review these beautiful books, and I got to see first hand how customized they actually are!

My little girl is obsessed with Playhouse Disney's The Little Einsteins, particularly June. So, I knew that June had to be on the cover of our book! Keri agreed to make EG a book, and she made up a custom design with June for the front and back in coordinating colors and with personalized information on the front. When the book arrived I was initially very impressed at how thick and sturdy it was. There are A LOT of pages, and each of them, being cardstock, are nice and sturdy on their own. As I mentioned above, each page has it's own Disney character in the bottom right hand corner, and I was thrilled that the characters on the pages were nicely organized by movie and/or type (i.e. all of the princesses are together, Little Einsteins are together, Mickey and friends together, etc.). This will surely minimize frantically flipping pages when visiting the characters at Disney World seeing as how they are usually group by movie! I absolutely LOVE that each page has a character because just about every character will have his or her very own page to sign. How cool is that? And, if you have any characters you just HAVE to have in your book, Keri is happy to customize the books any way you like.
Another great thing about these autograph books? The jump rings easily come apart so that you can take pages out to add them to any scrapbooks, memory books, the refrigerator, or wherever you want. How cute would it be to have in a scrapbook your child's Mickey autograph page next to a picture of them with Mickey? The same goes for every other character they'll meet. That would make an awesome, simple (READ: super fast and cheap) scrapbook of your vacation in an of itself. And, for only $10 these custom autograph books will only run you about the same amount as your "traditional" autograph books. Same price and triple the features...you can't beat that! These books are so cute, have uses beyond the parks, and are completely customizable to your liking. The end product is an extremely professional looking, not to mention adorable, book that you will be thrilled to take and use on your vacation! I can't wait to use ours!! I know June will be so thrilled when she sees herself on the cover of EG's book when we eat breakfast with her ;)
Want a custom one of your own? Then see details below for how you can win one just for you! Thanks Keri for such a great idea and an awesome giveaway! Nucchi Digital Boutique also offers all sorts of digital creations, and welcomes customs, if an autograph book is not your thing. Be sure to check out the shop!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US ONLY):

1. REQUIRED: Visit Nucchi Digital Boutique, check out the shop, then leave me a comment telling me how you will personalize your book if you win.

To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).
3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.
4. Follow.
5. Subscribe.

6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.

**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Saturday, August 15. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and notified on or around Sunday, August 16.**

Friday, July 31, 2009

Transform Your Space with Beautiful Expressions from Uppercase Living {Review and Giveaway} **CLOSED**

Congratulations to the winner, Xenia!

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Does your living room need a makeover? Or dining room, or any other room in your house for that matter? Then I have just the product you are waiting for! Quickly and easily add warmth and personality to any room in your home with a beautiful expression from Uppercase Living. Uppercase Living has hundreds of different wall art decals, called expressions, that can be easily applied to just about any surface. Expressions range from about 20 to 50 dollars and include everything from popular quotes, colorful graphics, and even custom designs. You can't do a room makeover any cheaper than that! And, honestly, these expressions will truly give any room a beautiful facelift. All expressions are thoughtfully designed by Uppercase Living to incorporate many different aspects of beautiful design. Thus, when I was contacted about a review of Uppercase Living expressions I was definitely excited. I had heard of the company but had not tried any of their beautiful products. I have always loved personal touches in a home like a favorite quote, walls of family pictures, etc. and I feel like the Uppercase Living expressions add that "homey" touch as well. I am a fan of wall decals for their affordability and ability to transform a space without a lot of effort, time, or money. And I was so thrilled to try out some "grown up" decals.
We received these adorable flower two-part decals (meaning there are two separate sets of decals you have to apply separately that, put together, make the complete expression) to try out. These were actually fabulous ones to review as we are in the process of transforming our current office into a playroom and it is such a fun design. The hot pink flowers with their skinny brown stems were a perfect way to liven up EG's new playroom! It also just so happened that they were the perfect size to fit between the doorway and closet, and I think the finished product looks awesome!

My biggest worry before actually applying Uppercase Living's somewhat "permanent" decals (not really permanent because they are removable - yay!! - but they cannot be reused) was making sure they were straight and applied correctly. Luckily, the included instructions were very easy to follow and everything went on pretty smoothly. Each decal comes with arrows to help you center and use to measure. The directions are very clear and even give you extra tips if you run into a common snag (i.e. difficulty getting the decal to release from the paper). They also come with their own application tool to help you smooth out and make sure all of the expression applies correctly. After getting ready to apply the decal it turned out that even more stressful than applying the expression was getting it to release from the backing so I actually could apply it. It took a lot of patience, but it was so worth it and everything turned out beautiful!! As I stated above, the flowers were a two-step expression and Uppercase Living made it super easy to line everything up correctly. Both pieces have identical markings and, after you apply the first one, you simply line up the markings on the second decal over the first ones and everything lines up. After both decals are applied you can peel off the "markers" and have only your beautiful expression left on the wall. It turned out so nicely and I can't wait to try out more of them! I will definitely be ordering from Uppercase Living in the future and have already picked out many more expressions I love from their idea catalog.

Want to find one you can't live without? Then visit the Uppercase Living website and look through the beautiful expressions in the idea catalog. Most can be ordered in a multitude of colors, and there is an expression for everyone! Find one you love and see details below on how you can WIN the expression of your choice!

To enter this giveaway follow the rules and entry guidelines below (US and CANADA ONLY):

1. REQUIRED: Visit Uppercase Living, pick out your favorite expression(s), then leave a comment telling me your favorite expression AND where you will use it.

To earn extra entries you may do one or more of the following and leave me additional comment here telling me which you have done:

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet (be sure to leave me your Twitter name and a link).
3. Blog about this contest and leave the link.
4. Follow.
5. Subscribe.
6. Grab my button and let me know where I can find it on your site.

7. Become a fan of Mommy Works on Facebook.

**Be sure to leave me your e-mail address, if there is not a visible one in your profile, so that I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. This contest will end at 11:59 PM CST on Friday, August 14. The winner will be randomly chosen via random.org and notified on or around Saturday, August 15.**