Archive for March, 2012

Natural Luxe {GIVEAWAY}

Friday, March 30th, 2012

I’m a sucker for a good story behind a remarkable company!  Our friend Jen from Natural Luxe brings us a new line in her boutique today that she just had to share and show you all!  Have a look at the 31 bits jewelry line…it’s fair trade recycled paper jewelry.  Divine is all I can say:

31 bits:  Kallie Dovel, traveled to Uganda in the summer of 2007, getting a first- hand look at life in Northern Uganda. While she was there, she met women making paper beads but who lacked a plan to market and sell them. After spending time in their homes and hearing their stories, Kallie knew there had to be a way to give opportunities to her new friends. She brought a box of jewelry back to the U.S., and spent the next year finishing her degree and dreaming up the concept of a development organization. She brought a few friends on board and her ideas quickly evolved into 31 Bits. The girls traveled back to Uganda in August 2008, and selected six women to begin buying jewelry from on a monthly basis. Since then, we have grown to 115 women; each with a unique story of suffering that has been overcome with joy and liberation.

Fall in love with not only the minds behind this line, but with the jewelry itself and everything else Jen has to offer on Natural Luxe!  If you’ve been with us for a while, you know Natural Luxe is the place to go for gift giving at it’s finest but she’s added so much since last we’ve written about her so take a peek!

GIVEAWAY:  A piece from the 31 bits line from Natural Luxe!  GOOD LUCK!  Simply fill out of the form below to enter.


I See Me! New Birthday Book {GIVEAWAY}

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Yesterday may day was spent not only getting ready for our Spring Break trip to NY, but also spending the day at the boys school eating lunch with our birthday boy and reading to his class.  Connor turns 6 on April Fool’s Day!  Every birthday shocks me still.  10, 6, 3 (almost 4), and 8 months…the years, months, and days are flying by and when another birthday hits, I sit back and try desperately to absorb that past year and hold on to the memories.  We made a special memory with Connor and his class yesterday.  I surprised him with lunch, treats for his class, and a special story just for him.

“Connor’s Very Happy Birthday!”  His classmates LOVED it!  He did get a bit flush in the face, but he loves the attention so I know he was just excited.  I couldn’t be more happy with I See Me! books and their newest Birthday collection…they made my son’s 6th birthday pretty darn special!

Head on over and take a virtual tour of this personalized beauty…here’s a peek:

The best gift you could give, the love of reading personalized especially for that special child.  Something for our family to look back on as a memory that will last a lifetime for our sweet Connor.  This is a book we’ll cherish, just like the others from I See Me! we have!  The rhyming story is perfectly told and the personalized placement of the child’s name fits right in with the overall theme of the book.  The colors and characters are vivid and eye-catching, childish and fun…if a class of 24 5/6 year olds love it, any child will!

GIVEAWAY:  Who has a birthday boy or girl coming up??  Let’s get one of you a special birthday book just for them!  Simply fill out the form below to enter!  GOOD LUCK!


Venettini Shoes

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

With Easter just around the corner, every year we like to remind you to make sure you get some dress shoes!  I always wait til the last minute, go through the hall closet to get all the church shoes out, only to find out NONE of them fit the boys!  Year after year you’ll see the Blake boys at church or out to dinner with sandals or sneakers on because their mom forgets to make sure the dressier shoes fit!  If they would just stop growing so fast we wouldn’t have this problem!

Where do we get our dress shoes?  Venettini Shoes of course!  When I say “dress shoes” I really mean anything besides sneakers and Crocs…which my boys would live in.  Sandals, loafers, boats, flats, and of course anything for sweet Gracie.  A comfortable dress shoe is a must with young kids.  I’ve tried to squeeze my oldest into black dress shoes a couple years back {obviously NOT Venettini} and he whined and cried the entire time he was wearing them.  They must “look cool”, “feel cool”, and mom, dad…do NOT say how handsome they look in them, act like it’s no big deal.  Smile proudly behind their back at how sweet they look in their new shoes but I’ve learned that mentioning it with a tear in  your eye just embarrasses them to no end!

Easter isn’t the only time to make sure these classic beauties are on hand, if you are as sick of the sneakers as I am, make sure to have a few Venettini’s ready to go to mix it up a bit during the week!  The sneakers, cleats, and flip flops will thank you!!



The above is a special Spring advertorial written by BabyElan {daily} for the said company.

Trendy Ties {DISCOUNT}

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

You have no idea how many compliments we received at our last All About Baby Charlotte event where we had these sweet ties displayed!  I handed out every business card I had for this company to all the mamas who were expecting little boys!  You know, or you’ll learn, little girls do have the most cutest accessories and fashions…little boys really truly don’t!  Poor honeys {well, their poor mommies} never get to play dress-up with sweet props for pictures or special occasion, or just because.  Sure their outfits can be divine and precious, especially this time of year, but accessories can only be found few and far between.  Luckily, Etsy came to the rescue for you moms-of-boys out there with Trendy Ties and their most adorable ties for infants on up!

{you see the ties on the smaller mannequin to the left???!!}

Okay, I could talk til I’m blue in the face about how absolutely sweet these ties are in person, but a few pictures can tell it much better:

You’re smiling right??!  Pure heaven for little boys!  For church, pictures, Easter, birthdays, for every day, Trendy Ties are high quality ties that are designed to look awesome and hip on even older boys, but make every mom in the room *sign* while their heart skips a beat!  Gracie’s hair bows are getting pushed aside for a bit while we play around with Trendy Ties on Easter!!

DISCOUNT:  Take 20% off your order with the code ELAN at checkout with Trendy Ties!!


BabyElan {daily} Sample Disclosure: The opinions expressed above are honest, accurate, and not encouraged anyway by monetary donations. A sample free of charge was received from said company, as stated within the editorial.

Finding romance all year {GIVEAWAY}

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Valentine’s Day, Anniversaries, maybe the occasional birthday…but that’s it right??  Special days when romance with the hubby is scheduled and rushed through quickly.  Unfortunately, kids, work, sports, vacations, school, maintaining day to day life…all that gets in the way and before you know it years have gone by and you may not recall the last time you went to dinner alone with your significant other and DIDN’T talk about the kids!  How do you keep the romance alive everyday and not let life get in the way?  What do you do post-Valentine’s Day to stay connected and keep the romance alive all year long?

We gross our kids out, that’s how!  No dirty thoughts here folks, just pure affection in front of the kids.  My children will grow up embarrassed of the affection their parents showed in front of them! HA!  Just kissing and hugging, not other stuff of course, but to children, that alone is unbearable and should be done behind closed doors.  BUT, there’s not a doubt in their minds that their parents love each other still after all these years and all the craziness our lives have to offer everyday.

Alone time that we do have is spent at home after the kids are in bed.  Again, keeping this PG all…I’m talking dinner, drinks, a movie ALONE.  Going out AND getting a babysitter for all 4 kids just isn’t worth it most weekends, it’s stressful on our budget to say the least.  But making the kids an early dinner, spending the night with them until about 8ish, they are off to dream land and hubby and I can eat in peace by candlelight and with some good wine.  Sometimes we’ll go all out making homemade food, homemade sushi is one of our favorite “Just Us” meals to make but sometimes a pizza, a couple beers, and Netflix is all we need to bond again after a long week and catch up after barely seeing each other for 5 days!

Our last night “alone” recently included Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante pizzas…and they were delicious!  We’re definitely a pizzaria family or make our own, only a few times a year will I buy frozen pizzas for something quick.  I’ll admit…and the kids tried it too…the Dr. Oetker’s pizzas we sampled were perfect, the ideal frozen pizza.  Awesome quality and superb taste, they tasted amazingly fresh.  Lordy, so much easier than making our own or paying an arm and a leg at the pizza shop!

Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante, Italy’s #1 frozen pizza, is available in your area! Dr. Oetker Ristorante is currently available at grocery stores in several states, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Baltimore, Maryland and New Hampshire.

Dr. Oetker (urt-ker) is a fifth-generation family-run business headquartered in Bielefeld, Germany. The company started when pharmacist Dr. August Oetker developed the baking powder Backin in 1891. The Dr. Oetker brand soon became synonymous with superior quality in baking materials as well as cereals, frozen food and chilled desserts. Dr. Oetker is now an international food business leader and a market leader in many of its product lines. The Oetker Group is also active in other industries such as beer, wine and spirits, shipping and banking.

Since the 1970s, Dr. Oetker has manufactured frozen pizza of the highest quality. Raw materials and suppliers are selected, monitored and matched against precise specifications set for high quality. For more than 100 years, the Dr. Oetker Test Kitchen has vouched for the assurance that all Dr. Oetker products will always turn out successfully. It is here that the ingredients and products are tested under consumers’ conditions, preparation instructions prepared and recipes developed.

In 1985, Dr. Oetker launched Ristorante frozen pizza in Germany with only two varieties. Today, Dr. Oetker is the market leader of frozen pizza in Europe and sells Ristorante in more than 30 countries.

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Varieties:

Ristorante Speciale
This thin crust pizza topped with pepperoni, cooked ham, mozzarella and edam cheese and spicy herbs is sure to make for a culinary feast.

Quattro Formaggi
A delicious blend of mozzarella, edam, emmental and blue cheese, complemented by a tantalizing basil seasoning on a crispy thin crust.

Ristorante Spinaci
This unique pizza is layered with sun-ripened tomatoes, savory leaf spinach, cheese and mozzarella, perfected by a hearty garlic sauce.

Ristorante Mozzarella
The wonderful aroma of fresh cheese provides this pizza with its elegant taste, combined with tomatoes, edam cheese and a delightful mixture of herbs.

Ristorante Funghi
Enjoy this vegetable pizza with its many aromatic mushrooms, fruity tomatoes and fine mozzarella cheese.

Ristorante Vegetale
Layered with generous helpings of tangy tomatoes, mouth-watering peppers, onions and chilies, on a crispy thin crust.

GIVEAWAY INCLUDES:  Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante Prize Pack which includes: 1 branded pizza cutter, 1 branded freezer bag, 1 Free Dr. Oetker coupon, and 1 Pizza Slice & Serve Board from Crate and Barrel.  Fill out the form below to enter!  GOOD LUCK!