Friday, March 28, 2014

Ali Brown Photography Newborn Flower Headbands Giveaway [CLOSED]

I am co-hosting a giveaway from Ali Brown Photography for 3 newborn tie-back headbands, the perfect photo props for your newborn's first photo shoot!

A little about Ali:

I am a San Diego portrait photographer. I especially love newborn photography and working with those sweet babies.

As a photographer I was always looking for perfect newborn props for my shoots. Knowing how to sew, and having always been into crafting and creating, I decided I would try my hand at a bonnet. I loved designing my own and then bringing it to fruition. I was hooked! 

I put lots of love and time into each piece I make. I truly enjoy doing something creative and without limits, and being able to share it with others!

I absolutely love being part of the Etsy community! It's such a supportive, talented group of artists. I could spend hours browsing the creative work of others!

Ali also makes fascinators and floral headpieces for women, bow ties for baby boys, tutus, earrings, and rag banners.

One of you lucky readers will win 3 beautiful tie-back headbands!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Featured Seller: Oana from Art is Art 2014

This week's featured seller is Oana from Art is Art 2014.

I love art. I am a professional watercolor painter and calligrapher. I figured, why not do artful invitations with what I already know? Love my job :)

Check out Art is Art 2014 for more original artwork and even custom portraits. Use the coupon code OANA2014 for 10% off! You can also follow the shop on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The winner of the Glamorous Sparkle pale pink earrings giveaway is comment #25 by Sheree. Have fun wearing those lovely earrings!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3 Creative Ways to Use Washi Tape

Washi tape is very cute and affordable, but I haven't bought any because I didn't know what to do with it besides make cards or use it for gift wrapping. I already have enough card making supplies and I hardly gift wrap. But I have come across 3 creative ways to use washi tape that I may try!

1. Paint substitute

From Creative Juice

2. Embellishments

From Willow & Washi

From decor8

3. Wall Decor 

From Washi Tape Crafts

From At Home in Love

 How do you use washi tape?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vintage Vandu Pink Bangle Bracelets Rafflecopter Giveaway [CLOSED]

Although I don't know a lot about Indian culture, there are many things about it I appreciate, such as the beautiful bright colors. So when Vishruti approached me about doing giveaways for her shops and her mother's, I thought it would be a great learning experience for me. First is the vintage shop Vintage Vandu by her mother, Vandana.

I am Vandana, proud mother of 3 absolutely brilliant children who are unique and all similar in a way. I live in Mumbai, India, with my son. I am also a U.S. resident and visit my daughter in Chicago twice a year. My life has been pretty colorful, adventurous, and triumphant through major ups and downs, I must say! My Etsy shop started with a lot of nudging, coaxing, and persuading by my daughter who owns three shops on Etsy and is learning more each day while trying to teach me the ropes too.

I have been an air hostess (flight attendant) of India's two most prestigious airlines of my times. During my high flying career of 16 years, I collected various beautiful items from different parts of India and from all over the world. My penchant for exquisite fashion developed as my eyes saw varied beauty not just in India but also abroad. 

After leaving flying, my keen sense of fashion inspired me to open a boutique for exclusive custom-made dresses. I worked with authentic artisans who did unique and traditional Indian hand embroidery and machine embroidery on the best quality fabrics and garments. All the dresses were one-of-a-kind pieces. 

My Etsy shop is a direct extension of all these beautiful and treasured items for so many years. Most of the items are from 1978 to 1999. Please get in touch with me if there is something that you need or you think that I may have!

One of you readers will win a set of 6 vintage pink bangle bracelets in my first Rafflecopter giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014

Family Happenings

Time to catch up on our everyday lives for our family and friends! Last week Thursday Justin's Auntie Linn came into town for a few days. She gave Caden a really cool car that lights up, drives around, and makes crashing noises. Gabe loved it and got super excited every time it came near him! It was so funny.

Adam and Kirsten joined us all for dinner out. I was recovering from being sick, so I shared a small meal with Caden. The next day Kirsten and Auntie Linn hung out with us while the boys worked, and we went to a friend's house for a Pi Day lunch. I took it easy since I knew my tummy was still sensitive. Kirsten left for work, and while the boys napped, Auntie Linn and I watched Mamma Mia!

That evening, Justin, the kids, and I went back to the Pi Day party for dinner. I was really hungry and ate quickly. Although I didn't eat a lot, my tummy was still not ready to digest greasy, sugary foods, because that night I threw it all up. At least this time it didn't last all night long like the first night I was sick.

Being silly while getting ready to go.

Saturday afternoon, Auntie Linn took the boys toy shopping at Target, courtesy of Great Grandma Amelia. (Auntie Linn had also done her own shopping before and bought Gabe the electronic snail toy in the photo below so that he wouldn't chase after Caden's car.) Caden picked MegaBloks, and Gabe got a small musical toy Caden used to have as a baby too. It's the Baby Einstein one that plays classical music and lights up, great for road trips.

We opted out of eating out with the family since I had thrown up again. The next morning Auntie Linn flew home.

Caden playing with Gabe's toy and vice versa.

This weekend Justin is in New York for a final job interview. Since I have the car, we went to the park and library yesterday and the zoo today with Caden's friend Lily (and her mom too).

The tortoise was walking right up to Caden!

Justin comes home tomorrow. I'm not sure when we get the verdict on the job, but I promise to let you know as soon as we do!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


The winner of the Baltic Healing Amber baby teething necklace is comment #144 by wen budro. I hope your baby likes it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Calm Down" by The Galaxy Electric

This is the new single by my cousin Jacqueline and her husband. If you are in California, you can catch their tour. Otherwise, you can follow The Galaxy Electric on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud. Even if it's not your type of music, there is no denying her voice is beautiful!

Some of Jacqueline's previous work: "Wedding Song" & Swan (my favorite)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


The winner of the PoYo Designs 3 greeting cards giveaway is comment #56 by Dana Beeman. Have fun choosing your cards!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Angelorian Tradition Stamped Spoon & Customized Stamped Key Chain Giveaway [CLOSED]

Stamping metal is all the rage right now, and Crystal from Angelorian Tradition makes it all.

I began my Etsy shop in July 2012. I started metal stamping shortly before opening my shop and have crocheted and sewed for years. I have always been known for being creatively driven, and I love to try new techniques and ideas, so Etsy has been the perfect place to be the creative person I am☺. Everything I do, including selling vintage, is very handwork oriented and time intensive. Accordingly, I love working with details, from the pieces I sell to the packaging I use. In the end. everything I do comes together with a lot of sweat and love and becomes something special♥.

Crystal also has 3 other shops:
  1. Angelorian Baby: burp cloths, hair clips, baby booties
  2. Linda's Garden Path: stamped spoon plant markers
  3. Party Lovely: cupcake liners & fabric tape
One of you will win a stamped tea spoon and customized key chain!

1 entry: Visit this listing and tell me how you would customize the key chain.

1 entry: Heart Angelorian Tradition on Etsy. Leave your username.

1 entry: Follow Angelorian Tradition on Pinterest.

1 entry: Follow The Angelorian Tradition blog on Google Friend Connect.

1 entry: Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect.

1 entry: Like Angelorian Tradition on Facebook. Leave your username.

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

1 entry each (4 total possible): Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your blog.


  • Please leave a separate comment for each entry. 
  • Please leave your email address with one of your comments so I can contact you if you win.
  • All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on Monday, March 31. 
  • This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Best Natural Medicines for Kids & Babies

Our family has been through the ringer with various illnesses lately, so I'd like to share with you my favorite natural remedies:

Similasan Kids Cold & Mucus Relief 

This homeopathic cough medicine really works! My husband and I use it when we are sick too. Its natural sweetness, similar to maple syrup in taste, makes it easy for kids to swallow. Here is a $1-off coupon if you want to try it.

Hyland's Teething Tablets

I love how easily these tablets dissolve. No time for Baby to spit them out! I much prefer giving this homeopathic teething medicine than Tylenol to my baby. Other helpful natural remedies for teething are amber necklaces (which I have a giveaway for right now), wooden teething rings, cold teething rings, and cold, wet washcloths.

Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water & The Windi

I got this natural gas-relief medicine in a giveaway package I won. I have only used it once on Baby, but it helped him with some constipation.

We also used FridaBaby's The Windi, an anal catheter that helps release gas. 

Coconut Oil

Ever since I stopped using Johnson & Johnson products on Caden and switched to BabyGanics soap and coconut oil, Caden's skin has improved greatly. Gabriel had dry, flaky skin behind his ears, and the coconut oil cleared that right up too. The brand I like, Nutiva, can be found at Costco. Otherwise, the best deal is to get the $10-off coupon on their Facebook page and order the 54-oz. container to also qualify for free shipping.

Apple Cider Vinegar

I just got over some food poisoning. While a friend was here helping me, she told me to take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (diluted in water) to settle my stomach. It relieved my intestinal cramps and stopped things on that end. I think this is going to become a staple in our household because someone always has tummy troubles.

What are your favorite natural medicines?


The new winner of the Gift of the Month Club multi-prize giveaway is comment #73 by GR Hovorka. Congratulations! Again, please remember to include your email when you enter a giveaway. If I can't contact you, then you can't win! So many have you could have been winners but I had no way to let you know!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

5 Trends I've Always Loved

As I said in a previous post, I'm more of a classic-style woman than a trendy one. But there are some current trends I have always loved:

1. Retro Secretary

vintage dress from Yessiree Petunia

I love classic fashions that never go out of style, like blouses, A-line skirts, heels, bows, and pearls. Accessories and colors may change with every decade, but the basics never do because they are so beautiful and flattering! (I actually bought the above dress!)

2. Minimalism


I live by "less is more." Just check out my lack of home decor, simple jewelry, and (maybe too) plain wardrobe. I love the clean look of empty space and the focus put on one simple standout piece.

3. Nautical

My current diaper bag, ordered on Zulily

I love red, white, and navy; anchors, helms, and sailboats; crabs, starfish, and other sea life. I got if from my mom, who loved getting us little sailor outfits as children, and my dad, who took me to Sea World every year.

4. Word Art

Queen & Eye Prints

As a word nerd and bookworm, I love anything to do with words. I'm very excited to see the Etsy marketplace and blogging world saturated with typography and subway art.

5. Upcycling

t-shirt bracelets by LimeGreenLemon

I have always been the queen of finding new uses for things and making new things out of junk. But artists these days have found better, sell-able ways to do it. I wish I were that cool.

What trends have you always loved?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Glamorous Sparkle Pale Pink Earrings Giveaway [CLOSED]

Annika of Glamorous Sparkle asked me to host a giveaway for her beautiful jewelry and sent me a lovely necklace. I was stunned by its beauty when I received it. It was even prettier than it looked in the photo!

*Gorgeous color!
*High quality chain.
*Perfect for a night out or even dressing up a casual look.
*Great customer service.

*Although I love pink, half the jewelry items are in that color, so I would like to see more color variety.

A little about the seller:  

My name is Annika and I live in Finland. I have always been a creative person, painting, drawing, and now making my own jewelry. 

From a very young age I have loved sparkling things, and my mother used to call me a little magpie because of that. So naturally my jewelry is full of sparkle. I love putting different colored and shaped beads together to create something unique and beautiful. I mostly use high-quality Czech glass beads in my jewelry because I love how they sparkle, and there are so many colors to choose from. 

I design jewelry to add a bit of sparkle and glamour to your special day or everyday life. I think it's important to remember beauty and sparkle in our busy daily lives, even if it's just through a small piece of jewelry.

One of you will win these pale pink earrings!

1 entry: Visit Glamorous Sparkle and tell me what else you like.

1 entry: Heart Glamorous Sparkle on Etsy. Leave your username.

1 entry: Pin any item to Pinterest.

1 entry: Follow Glamorous Sparkle on Twitter.

1 entry: Like Glamorous Sparkle on Facebook.

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

1 entry: Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect.

1 entry each (4 total possible): Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your blog.

  • Please leave a separate comment for each entry. 
  • Please leave your email address with one of your comments so I can contact you if you win.
  • All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on Tuesday, March 25. 
  • This giveaway is open worldwide.

Monday, March 10, 2014


The winner of the Gift of the Month Club multi-prize giveaway is comment #20 by Corey. Thanks to all of you who shared the fundraiser, and to Amy W. for donating!

Marsha says:
I am moved to tears of joy to see so many wonderful women like you all taking part in my fundraiser. I enjoyed reading all of your comments about my illness with Lyme disease. It gives me the encouragement I need to keep my mission of giving going when I see so many really do care. Thanks to bloggers like Francesca who really care about others for helping spread awareness of this diseas. Many Thanks! 

I have enough BOGO offers left for all of you to try. You can pick any two you would like. Just let me know via email after you have ordered. The price includes the shipping in the U.S. If you are not in the U.S. the shipping is $15.00.

Sending you sunshine,

Saturday, March 8, 2014

3 Trends I Don't Get & What I Like Instead

Trends come and go. Some I like, most I do not--I'm more of a classic-style woman than a trendy one. Here are three current trends I don't get:

1. Chalkboards
There's a reason the white board replaced the chalkboard. Chalk is messy and bad to breathe in. While chalkboard items are creative and cute, I'm sticking to dry-erase markers, or better yet, plain old paper and a pencil.

Tickled Pink Goods

Instead: Chalkboard subway art since you get the look without the mess!

Tickled Pink Goods

2. Shabby Chic
Shabby chic takes classy looks and feels and dresses them down. For example, washed-out photography and distressed furniture. To me, they just look shabby, not chic.

Farm to Front Porch

Instead: Rustic--country and rural yet classy and contemporary decor.

Farm to Front Porch

3. Throw Pillows
Okay, so these have always been around. Although I love the darling designs, I think throw pillows are a waste of space and way over priced. Ever seen Along Came Polly? Then you know what scene I'm talking about!

Vanilla Extinction

Instead: If I like the fabric and embellishments, then a zippered pouch, tote bag, or clutch instead. If it displays photography or personalized designs (like a wedding date), then the print instead.

Vanilla Extinction

Vanilla Extinction

Agree or disagree? What current trends do you not care for?
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