Monday, January 30, 2012

The Shop at Pooh Corner Valentine's Day Giveaway [CLOSED]

Three weeks ago I opened an Etsy shop selling vintage books and toys and some handmade paper products. The giveaway I did featuring Lilly's Lucky Penny inspired me because I already thrift store shop weekly, so why not do it to make some extra income? I've had two sales already! I threw in the paper goods because I love making things out of paper, especially since I have a Cricut Expression. (Made my first two paper goods sales later this day!)

I chose the theme of classic Winnie-the-Pooh to represent childhood, imagination, and vintageness. The Shop at Pooh Corner became the name because it works no matter what I sell (who knows how my shop will evolve?), although I still prefer Pooh's Closet. (I also liked Pooh Corner because it's shorter, but it only got a couple votes in my poll.)

To celebrate the grand opening of The Shop at Pooh Corner, I am giving away a Valentine's Day package: a fondue recipe book from 1970, a Valentine's Day board book just for fun*, a set of 4 Valentine's Day stamped envelope gift tags, and a "Key to my heart" die cut for scrapbooking or cardmaking.

Mandatory Entry: Visit The Shop at Pooh Corner and tell me your favorite item.

2 entries:  Heart The Shop at Pooh Corner on Etsy. Leave your username.

2 entries: Add me to your Circle on Etsy.

1 entry: Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect.

1 entry: Like my Facebook page.

1 entry: Post this giveaway on Facebook.

1 entry: Give me constructive criticism, such as something you like about the shop, something you don't like, or something you think I should sell. Whoever gives me the best suggestion will get a 50-percent-off coupon code!

If you would like to buy something, you can use the coupon code NEW15 for 15 percent off!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 MST on Monday, February 6. The winners will be announced Tuesday, February 7. Please leave your email in one of your entries so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only. Good luck!

*The board book is used (not old enough to be considered vintage though) and has a small inked area on the first page. It is otherwise like new.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The winner of the BSB Expressions leopard-print baby boots is comment #21 by Jus and Kat. Congratulations! Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

5 Sources for New Exercises

If you are tired of your exercise routine and looking for some new moves to get you motivated again, check out the following:
  1. YouTube videos
  2. The Biggest Loser TV show
  3. Health books at your local library
  4. Health magazines and their Web sites
  5. Other people at the gym (discreetly, please!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Save Money on Workout Clothes

You are finally motivated to work out—and then realize you have nothing to wear. Buying new workout clothes can be expensive. Here are some ways  to save money on workout clothes.
  1. Save old clothes you never wear but that still fit you. Wear old shorts and pants for outdoor activities like hiking. Wear old cotton shirts, like those you get at events, for running and other exercise.
  2. Check out thrift stores for workout clothes. You may find some name brands or nearly new workout clothes.
  3. Buy workout clothes at inexpensive places like Walmart or K-mart. Unless you are a hardcore athlete, you don’t need expensive clothes for working out. If you like to shop name brands, then always check the clearance racks and outlet malls first.
  4. Use workout clothes for multiple sports and exercises instead of buying specific clothes for every type. For example, you can wear basketball shorts not only for basketball, but also for running, football, and weightlifting. You can use yoga clothes also for Pilates, step aerobics, and dance.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

BSB Expressions Leopard Baby Boots Giveaway [CLOSED]

A while ago when searching for sleep sacks on Etsy, I came across the shop BSB Expressions. Everything in the baby-and-toddler-friendly shop was cute and unique. And I'm not the only one who thinks so, because all the items I originally fell in love with have long been sold! Here are my new favorites:

a cupcake gift set made of onesies and washcloths,

a giraffe lovie,

 and diaper cards.

*Unique--my favorite quality.
*Variety of items for babies, toddlers, and moms!
*Great prices. Very inexpensive and reasonable shipping.
*Seller is friendly, accomodating, and has great communication.

*Because things are unique, once they are sold, they are gone! But it's always worth a try requesting a custom item similar to something you like that got bought.

BSB Expressions is generously giving away this pair of leopard-print baby boots (approximately 6-9 months).

Mandatory Entry: Browse BSB Expressions and tell me what else you like.

1 entry: Heart BSB Expressions on Etsy. Leave your username.

1 entry: Follow this blog via GFC.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Facebook.

1 entry: Post this giveaway on Facebook.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Saturday, January 28. The winner will be announced on Sunday, January 29. Please leave your email in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the U.S. only. Good luck!

Friday, January 20, 2012


The winner of the Kayli Johnson Photography 8x10 photo giveaway is comment #27 by intensev5. Congratulations!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Turn Everyday Activities into Exercise

The motto of this season's The Biggest Loser is "The Season of No Excuses." So no matter if you don't have time, money, or other resources. Just turn everyday activities into exercise!
  • Squat every time you pick something up. It's better for your back too.
  • Do lunges while vacuuming.
  • Scrub the floors and tub by hand.
  • Speed walk while grocery shopping. The fast pace will also make it harder to browse and thus be tempted to put junk food in your cart.
  • Stretch while taking a hot shower.
  • Bounce your baby to sleep on the birth/exercise ball. You'll feel it in your thighs!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tips for Healthy Eating

photo by James Farmer
Just a few more ideas to get you on the road to healthy eating habits:

*Cut out unnecessary calories: eat an open-faced sandwich, drink water instead of soda, skip the mayo or ketchup, use less dressing, etc.

*Combine junk food with healthy food. For example, if you have to have chocolate, eat it in the form of trail mix or a chocolate chip granola bar. If you love whipped cream, mix it with chopped fruit.

*Expand your variety of food. Try a new vegetable, healthy snack, or grain each week. There are so many types of food out there you may have never heard of but you might like once you try them!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Eat Less Food

Eliminating just 100 calories a day can make a difference in your health. Here are ways you can change your eating habits to eat less food.
  1. Leave one bite on your plate or one chip in the bag. Slowly progress to leaving more bites until you are eating 25 percent less food than before.
  2. Eat snacks out of a small bowl instead of out of the bag, and eat them one piece at a time instead of by the handful.
  3. Decide before you begin eating how much you will eat. When you eat out, divide the plate into two portions and have one portion boxed right away; use visual cues, such as grill marks, to know when to stop eating; or ruin the rest of the food by adding tons of salt or Tabasco sauce. At home, serve everyone’s portions (from the kitchen, not the table) and then put away the rest of the food.
  4. Eat when you are hungry, even if you are going out to eat in an hour. Bring a snack with you wherever you go. Ignoring hunger causes you to overeat later. Stop eating once you reach your “happy medium.” You should not feel stuffed, uncomfortable, or in pain. Eating slowly and taking breaks between servings/courses will help you get a better sense of when you are full.
  5. Our bodies sometimes confuse thirst for hunger, so drink a glass of water when you feel hungry. If you still feel hungry, then eat.
  6. Drink water before meals to fill you up a little. Other options include eating soup or snacking on fruits and veggies high in water.
  7. Eat at the table, not in front of the TV or while reading. If you must have a distraction, choose one that causes you to pause while eating, such as doing a crossword puzzle or writing an email.
  8. Serve food with smaller utensils on smaller dishes. Your eyes will see a full plate and think you are eating more than you really are. Also, eat with smaller utensils (my favorite is eating ice cream with the sample spoon--makes it last longer!).
  9. If you always like to eat seconds, serve a half portion the first time. After having seconds, you will have only eaten the amount of food in one normal serving.
  10. At buffets and potlucks, take small portions to try things first. If you don’t like it, throw it away—it’s only a little bit. If you do like it, you can get more.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kayli Johnson Photography Photo Giveaway [CLOSED]

My friend Kayli Johnson is a very talented photographer. The proof is in her photos: She shoots nature,




babies and families,

and much more, such as a Dancing with the Stars rehearsal!

*Absolutely stunning work!
*Variety of photos and styles to fit every taste.
*Wonderful person to work with.

*None, not even on any people in her photos! Haha.

Kayli has generously offered to give away an 8x10 photo of your choice!

Mandatory Entry: Visit Kayli Johnson Photography's blog and tell me your favorite photo. (Under the Google Friend Connect box, there are categories to make searching easier.)

1 entry: Follow Kayli Johnson Photography's blog via Google Friend Connect.

1 entry: Like Kayli Johnson Photography on Facebook.

1 entry: Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Thursday, January 19. The winner will be announced on Friday, January 20. Please leave your email address in one entry so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

15 Ways to Exercise with Your Kids

photo by Neil Gould
It’s important to instill healthy habits in children when they are young. However, finding time to exercise is difficult when you are a full-time parent with young children. Instead of worrying about finding time to exercise, play actively with your little ones. Both you and your children will have fun and get exercise—and they won’t even know it! Get playing with these activities:

  1. Play tag outside. Children love to run around. You can also play Duck Duck Goose, Hide and Seek, or Kick the Bucket if your kids enjoy those games.
  2. Play catch. For more exercise, have your children throw the ball and you chase after it and vice versa.
  3. Jump on the trampoline, play jump rope, or play hopscotch with your children. All the bouncing is good exercise.
  4. Race your children in the yard or at the park. Children are very competitive and will give you a run for your money. Have different types of races or relay races for a good and fun workout.
  5. Make an obstacle course in your yard with things you need to climb over, jump over, run around, and crawl through.
  6. Blow bubbles and try to pop them all before they float away.
  7. Ride bikes together. If your children are too young, buy a bike seat for your child or a trailer to attach to your bike if you have more children. You can also roller-skate together.
  8. Take a walk together. If you have a dog, bring the dog along. Everyone can walk or your children can ride their bikes or roller-skate while you walk the dog. If there is a park within walking distance from your home, walk instead of taking the car. If your kids don’t like walks, disguise it as a scavenger hunt.
  9. Play with your children at the playground. Lift them up to go across the monkey bars; push them in the swing; play soccer or Frisbee. Be active with them instead of watching them from the bench. They will love the quality time you spend playing with them, too.
  10. Go swimming together. If your children can’t swim, carry them on your back for extra weight while you swim. If you don’t have a pool, run around in the sprinklers or have a water-gun fight. If you live near a beach, do some of these activities there.
  11. Have a dance party. Sing activity songs like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” or play their favorite music and dance free style. If they take dance lessons, let them teach you some steps.
  12. To increase balance and flexibility, play Twister or teach them yoga.
  13. Teach your kids how to hula hoop with various parts of your body. Or use it as a jump rope, roll it and chase after it, or include it in the obstacle course (see step 6).
  14. If your kids are involved in sports, practice the sport with them at home and let them teach you. If they aren’t, teach them a sport in the backyard or play a simple game like croquet or ping pong.
  15. Play energetic games on the Wii or Kinect.


The winner of the Sunshine Flowers hair flower giveaway is comment #22 by May Equality Shum. Congratulations! For the rest of you, another giveaway is coming soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

How to Exercise at Home

Don't have money for a gym membership? Don't have a ride? Don't have a sitter? Exercise at home!
  • Use a one-step stool for step aerobics. (Make sure it is sturdy, not slippery, and not too high.) Even if you don't have a step stool, you can do the same workout routine on level ground or a sidewalk curb.
  • Do tricep dips on the stool, a chair, or the couch.
  • Instead of using free weights, lift tote bags filled with canned goods or heavy textbooks, water jugs, or containers of liquid laundry detergent. The best exercise using bags is bicep curls. For water or detergent, the best are tricep and shoulder extensions.
  • Get in the habit of always doing something physical while watching TV: stretch and do squats, calf raises, sit-ups, leg lifts, or push-ups. TV will make time go faster and distract you from discomfort.
  • Listen to upbeat music you can dance to while cleaning. Music makes things fun and makes time fly by. You’ll end up cleaning more, which—along with the dancing—will make you burn more calories.
  • Install a pull-up bar in a doorway for a quick, convenient workout every time you pass by that door.
  • Buy a jump rope or do jumping jacks when you have little breaks throughout the day, such as during commercials, while the pasta is boiling, or while waiting for something to load on the computer. Those few minutes of exercise several times a day add up to big results!
  • Take advantage of everyday opportunities to move: walk to your mailbox, give your kids piggy-back rides, offer to get drinks for everyone. Do anything but sit. A study found that even people who constantly shake their legs or tap their feet burn up to 300 more calories a day!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How to Make Exercise Go By Faster

You know you need to exercise, but when you do, it seems to last forever! You might make it through resentfully or you might even give up. Don’t be discouraged! Here are some tips to make the time go by quickly when you exercise, and hopefully make you exercise even longer and thus lose more weight.

  • Change direction often. Make your route go various directions instead of down a long road or around a large perimeter. Changing direction frequently makes you feel like you are making more progress. Different scenery is a nice distraction as well.
  • Choose a route you know. An unfamiliar route may make it seem longer before you get back to your starting point. By knowing your route, you can track your progress accurately.
  • Measure your remaining distance in small increments based on landmarks. Don’t think, Eight blocks to go. Think, Two blocks to the gas station before I turn right. Then at the gas station, Only three more blocks to my neighborhood, and once in your neighborhood, Three blocks to the house!

  • Change your pace or stroke every few laps. For example, run two laps for a warm-up, then alternate between sprinting and jogging a lap, and cool down with two laps.
  • Watch your favorite TV shows. Next thing you know, thirty to sixty minutes have gone by!
  • Change machines every ten minutes: ten minutes each on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bicycle, and stair stepper becomes a forty-minute workout. Add ten minutes each of weight lifting and stretching and you have a full hour of exercise!
  • If you like to stay on just one machine, change the settings or your pace every ten minutes.
  • Read a book or magazine while on a machine. Nothing makes time go by faster than being absorbed in an intriguing book or article.
  • Watch the gym's TV or the personal one on the fitness equipment.
  • Listen to a pumping playlist on your iPod (or stereo at home). It will not only make a workout go by faster, but will also make it more fun. Make a playlist for each type of exercise you do to create variety and the right mood.
  • Work out with a friend. You will have someone to talk to, keep you company, and encourage you.
  • Alternate exercise methods. If you run the same route every day, you may easily become bored. But if you only run it twice a week and do other forms of exercise the other days, your route won’t seem so tedious.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Mom, Mom, Mom"

(Not the best quality, but the only one without ads.)

I've never watched Family Guy, but I've seen this clip. This is so my son right now! He also will say "hi, hi, hi"over and over until I say "hi" back.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sunshine Flowers Hair Flower Giveaway [CLOSED]

I came across Sunshine Flowers a while ago when looking for Puerto Rican items on Etsy. I found this flower and bought it for my little sister for Christmas. She loved it!

She also sent me these two flower headbands to review. I usually give as gifts the girl items I receive from reviews and giveaways, but these are just too cute to pass along. I really hope I have a girl next!

*They are absolutely beautiful! I love the colors, especially the autumn one, and the large size.
*The flowers can be unclipped from the band and worn by themselves--two accessories in one!
*They are inexpensive for their size and quality.
*The flowers shipped very quickly and were packaged in flower tissue paper.
*The seller is very fun and funny!

*Some babies may not like wearing such large flowers, so they are probably better for toddlers and up.

Sunshine Flowers is generously giving away a large hair flower of your choice!

Mandatory Entry: Like Sunshine Flowers on Facebook.

1 entry: Browse through the photos on the Facebook page and tell me your favorite flower.

1 entry: Heart Sunshine Flowers on Etsy. Leave your username.

1 entry: Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Facebook.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on January 10, 2012. The winner will be announced January 11, 2012. Please leave your email address in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the U.S. only. Good luck!

Monday, January 2, 2012


The winner of the Three Kings Day giveaways is comment #71 by Ms. Veronica's. Congratulations! Thank you to all who are now following me on Facebook and GFC. And thanks to these people for the most awesome comments: Diana, Cynthia, Cindy, Andre, Jennie Moye, and Cathy H! I love feedback!
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