Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mabel's Labels

I recently got to try out Mabel's Labels.  I'd heard about them all over the place from various magazine ads or internet coupons, but I never thought I had a need for them.  Well, I am discovering I do!  Between playgroups, family gatherings with two similar aged cousins, and of course preschool, I find myself needing to label a ton!  I tried Bumpy Name Labels and liked them ok for water bottles and such, but the two major downsides is that they are super hard to get on and off and seem to stretch to almost breaking (or at least unitl the writing is unreadable) on some of our bottles and, even more importantly, I need to label so much more than sippy cups or water bottles! 

Mabel's Labels seems to have the answer.  They have labels for everything under the sun and cute little designs.  My first set of labels has our last name and 3 cute little trees on it!  I love them.  They look awesome on our water bottles when we are hiking (c'mon, the cute factor is essential!), and they are dishwasher safe.  I'll be trying out more of their labels as I prepare for summer camp and back-to-school shopping.  I'll be sure to keep you up to date on my thoughts.

I'm also hoping to get my son's preschool to do a fundraiser.  A fundraiser with almost zero work for the school and for products parents could actually use!  Plus, it makes teacher's life easier by encouraging proper labeling. 

Don't have kids?  Their household labels are awesome!  We no longer have trash and recycling pick-up but if we did, I'd totally be getting a set of these!

'Like' Mabel's Labels on Facebook and keep up with the latest news and coupon codes!

Looking for a coupon right now?  Let me know... I have a few I can  pass along to interested folks!

Disclaimer: I'm a Mabel's Buzzmama and have received free samples in exchange for my honest review of their products!

Love Mabel's Labels?  Live in NY, CT, NJ or MD?  You can be a Buzzmama, too!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm gonna shine.

Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?"  Actually, who are you not to be.

You are a child of God; your playing small doesn't serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to manifest the glory of God within us.  It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone of us, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

- Nelson Mandela

Monday, May 3, 2010

Come on over... (room #2)

So it's taken me a while to post these, but welcome to room #2 on the house tour.  We started with the playroom.  Now, here is the living room.  It's right next to the playroom, and let's be honest, it's not that exciting.  These pictures were taken more than 2 months ago, but it still looks pretty similar except there is no jumperoo anymore (that got moved down to the basement...), and at the moment, there is no baby watching Signing Times, but that still happens.

My favorite parts of this room?  

The orange wall.  
Oh how I love my orange wall.  Remind me to tell you all sometime about how I picked out the colors for this house having walked through it once and while doped up on percocet.  Or let my mom tell you, that's even better.  But I loooove my orange wall. 

The three wedding photos above the couch.
I love my husband a lot, more than pretty much anything else, but I think I loved my wedding day almost as much as I love him... or at least as much as I love my kids.  Oh wait.... well, it was wonderful... moving on.  I love those pictures because that is where this family, this home, and this household start.  Those are our roots.

The bookshelves.
They're not anything special in and of themselves.  Pretty cheap from IKEA.  In fact, there's been some interesting adjustments that have been made to them in order for them to survive life with two small children and a move to a new house.  I love them, because I love books, we love books.  We have a ridiculous amount of books in our home.  When we were pricing movers for the move, they quoted that we'd have some 140 boxes.  More than 50 of those would be books.  We really like books.

I love that our home tells our story.  It invites you into our lives, to meet us, to know us, and to spend time with us.  I feel like our living room does that.  Passionate Homemaking recently wrote about the purpose of our homes.  Interesting.  Food for thought.

(Notice how I carefully avoided pointing out the lack of curtains, the overflow of toys, and the totally mismatching red chair as the three things I totally dislike about this room...  Yea, we'll work on those.  I told you my whole house is a work in progress.)

The making of the pink bird.

You might recall my fear of school costume making, but if not, go remind yourself here.  I was fairly certain that for the right price, the perfect bird costume could be mine without hot gluing any part of me to a table or inhaling pink feathers.

I searched and searched for somewhere to buy it from.  Someone who would make something that didn't look store bought, that would make something that would convince people that I made it with love and attempted creativity.  No dice.

So here is what we eventually came up with.  I'll come clean, my husband is at least 40% responsible for this.  I'll take credit for the other 60%.  It started with a trip to Walmart (yea, not my favorite place to shop either) where I browsed little boy and little girls clearance clothing, fabric racks, and crafts aisles.  I came home with a few things... some worked, some didn't... we made some alterations and poof ... here's what we had:

We'll avoid talking about the three other 'birds'.  Apparently we need more specific instructions for these costumes if there are a few children playing the same part.

He was the most adorable pink bird I've ever seen that's for sure... don't you agree?

This is what he looked like underneath.
Pink Size 24 months (mind you, B is wearing a 4T normally) girls pants on clearance - $3
Yellow M & M t-shirt that er brought home from Vegas for B in October - Free
Pink hair dye - Mema supplied that since she lives closer to a party store than we do, so - Free (to us at least!)

Then we add on the outside....
Yellow women's sock from Walmart (came in a 3 pack with two other colors) These were worn over his sneakers. - $3
Foam sheets for making feathers a pack of 100 sheets (5 1/2" x 8 1/2") - $4 (on clearance - score!)
1 yard Pink satiny fabric - $2 (on clearance, I don't understand why they'd be clearancing this fabric, doesn' everybody want it for their son's bird costume?)
1 foam visor (which was then cut into a beak shape with the elastic re-threaded into new holes) - $.50 (also on clearance)

And then we needed a few tools to make this work...
Spray adhesive for attaching feathers which cost far too much and ended up not working - $5.50
Giant stapler which replaced the spray adhesive when it became apparent that wasn't working - Free (we borrowed it from church - shhhh...)
Household Scissors - Free
Iron on hem stuff (stitch witchery was the brand I had on hand in our 'sewing' box - haha) - Free
Iron - Free
The most adorable kid with an affinity for pink and a fabulous skill for making screeching bird noises - More $ than you can imagine

So total cost of new supplies for us was - $18.  The results?  Oh c'mon you have to admit... PRICELESS (and oh so very PINK!)