Pages Menu
TwitterFacebookemailInstagramPinterest
Categories Menu

Most recent articles

Molly’s Chic Boutique

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Children's Apparel, Nursery Decor, Product Review, Women's Apparel | 0 comments

MCB logo

Mover and shaker and all-things-fun maker Allie Sims can tell you all about evolving a hobby into a career. Allie owns Molly’s Chic Boutiquea hip and happening shop where you can find as-you-grow stickers, invitations, and prints for your little ones. Allie also runs a second shop MCBApparelher excellent apparel line for women, men, babies, & children!

There are so many uniquely fun designs, it would be a challenge to choose a favorite. Molly’s Chic Boutique has something for everyone – from pregnancy & newborn to both men & women, something for yourself, something to give as a gift – it’s all here in Allie’s shop. Starting with newborns, the New To The Tribe layette is perfect in every way. Cute doesn’t cut it with this gown – it would even make a great gift to someone having a second or third child. If it’s anything like the tees in the shop, it’s so cuddly you’ll want one for yourself!

Photo copyright Molly's Chic Boutique

Photo copyright Molly’s Chic Boutique

We received a Run Wild & Free tee from MCB Apparel for our youngest & it suits her personality to a “T” (pun intended)! She loves the softness & comfort & we love the adorable print. Who can resist this amount of cute?!

MCB Hadley 1

 

MCB Hadley 3

 

MCB Hadley 2

Allie also included some Monthly Stickers in our package. These adorable stickers make me want to get pregnant with a fourth child! They’re such an exciting way to document your baby’s development – just peel & stick onto a simple onesie or tee & snap a photo each month as your baby grows. We can’t wait to share ours with our new nephew – stay tuned for photos to come!

 

Photo copyright Molly's Chic Boutique

Photo copyright Molly’s Chic Boutique

Allie is so gracious & sweet and so easy to work with. She’s busy preparing and printing if she’s not caring for her lovely daughter. It’s always amazing to meet someone in the social media world managing to do it all!

Just in time for the holidays, Molly’s Chic Boutique is super kind by offering our readers 15% off in her shop today (12/4) only with the code WHIMSY at checkout. Head over to Molly’s Chic Boutique on Instagram or on Facebook to say thank you by following the shop there to keep up-to-date on the latest arrivals & sales! Shopping small is a great way to support handmade while finding the most unique treasures.

 

 

 

Shared Joy

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Accessories, Product Review, Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Shared Joy Header

Jennifer Broadway is the owner and creative mind behind Shared Joyan adorable boutique where you can find quality girls’ headbands handmade with lots of love! Jenn is the sweetest, hard-working shop owner who draws inspiration from her two most precious creations – her beautiful daughters! Shared Joy has an eclectic mix of styles and designs in the shop as precious as can be. From jersey knits and reversible headbands to bows and lace , there is an accessory for every girl, every outfit, and every occasion!

Thanks to Shared Joy, we have a few headbands for the girls. Pictured below, T is wearing the Red/Gold Jersey Knit Dot Headband, which I think is perfect for the holidays!

Shared Joy 2

The Jersey Knits are so soft & comfortable, the girls don’t even realize they’re wearing it! What I love most is that they’re adjustable so it fits our two year-old as well as our six year-old. You may or may not catch me sporting it around the house 😉 – hey! It’s comfy!

Another Jersey Knit that I love for the versatility is the Wrap Headband. The print we have is so lovely, metallic silver and ivory wrapped into a perfect bow (pictured).

Shared Joy 4

I love browsing the different prints available at Shared Joy. One of our faves is the Chevron Reversible Headband:

Shared Joy 5

Image copyright Shared Joy

Every little girl deserves high style, don’t you think?! Feast your eyes on some florals:

Shared Joy 6

Image copyright Shared Joy

Shared Joy 7

Image copyright Gracelyn Photography

Shared Joy 8

Image copyright Shared Joy

Just in time for that perfect holiday photo shoot and the upcoming holiday season, Shared Joy is extending a very special offer to very special Whimsical Sweet readers! Use code ‘SWEETWHIMSY’ at checkout to receive 20% OFF your next purchase!! Thank you, Jenn, for sharing your talents with us & spreading your holiday cheer!!

 

You can find Shared Joy in the latest issue of CupcakeMag featuring Jersey Knit headbands on page 33. For the newest arrivals, sales, and shop updates, be sure to follow Shared Joy on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

The Little Miss Shop

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Children's Apparel, Reviews, Shopping, Uncategorized | 0 comments

TLMS logo

The time has come again to shop, shop, shop our hearts out in preparation for the upcoming holidays. We have two daughters and a son who are pretty easy to shop for. So, I get to have some fun in the process! Thank goodness for social media, or I would have never been introduced to The Little Miss Shop. Owner Leeana is the sweetest Floridian with a shop full of handmade accessories for the little miss in your life.

We were lucky enough to receive some accessories from the Oh, Deer collection. Our daughters each have a turban, our son an infinity scarf, & an infinity scarf for myself. Soft and stylin’ accessories can make any outfit and The Little Miss Shop knows it! Our kids are smitten over their new creations. They feel hip & cool when they throw on their headbands and scarf. Little fashionistas!

TLMS Hads

Of course, I have my eye on many, many other items in the shop. You must see the new line of Infinity Scarves – especially the B&W Stripe Infinity Scarf or, if you’re looking for a little more color, the Multicolor Feathered Infinity Scarf. I love that you can match Mommy/Daughter with customizable options for both the scarves and headbands.

TLMS B&W Stripe Turban

You’re sure to find something for every gal on your list this year. Here’s something that will help:  An exclusive for our readers, The Little Miss Shop is offering 20% OFF anything in the shop with code ‘LITTLEMISSS’ at checkout in her Etsy shop!

Thank you, Leeana, for spreading your fun & trendy style to all the little misses of the world!

TLMS Fair Isle

The Little Miss Shop was featured in the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide on The Whimsical Sweet, showcasing her Fair Isle line of scarves & headbands. Be sure to stop by The Little Miss Shop on Instagram to stay up-to-date on new items, sales, & giveaways!

Success Is Greater Than Fear

Posted by on Nov 9, 2014 in Inspirational Posts | 0 comments

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

Failure: the one thing that will surely occur if we don’t succeed.

We fear it.

But why do we fear it? Is it okay to fail? Is failure such a bad thing? If only we could learn something from our failures, then perhaps we can succeed? And better yet, how do we succeed?

Here’s the thing that works best: skip the failure & go right for success. Line up your priorities for the task at hand and put them into motion.

Go.

Do.

Be.

Chant this to yourself several times each day and your mind over matter will start to take form:

 

Success if greater than fear.

 

Be prepared. It could be more work – more blood, sweat, & tears. It could be harder than taking the easy road.

The result of success?

Priceless.

 

{Handmade} Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Handmade, Holiday Gift Guide, Holiday Gift Ideas, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The holidays are quickly approaching! We have been scouring social media over the last year to bring you the greatest in handmade this holiday season. When you shop handmade, you give directly to a shop owner, and there is no better way to spend your dollar than to keep artisans, designers, and creators in business. For this, we thank you. Without further ado, here is our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: A collection of unique, beautiful handmade creations brought to you by lovely small businesses across the Americas. Gift Guide 2014 No. 1 1. Tribe Is Alive – a husband-and-wife team who make screen-printed hip tees for your little ones. Their creations are inspired by music and their adorable daughter, Ollie. All tees are printed in their home which allows them to spend more time with their daughter. Our kids love to rock some of their lyric tees. You’ll find yourself singing the tunes every time you see one! Their Pretty Young Thing tee (pictured) is one of my faves. Facebook – Instagram

2. Moko & Co. – Moko and Company is a design company based in Charlotte, North Carolina specializing in screen printed fabrics, surface designs, welcome tote bags, and handmade products.  Moko and Co was founded by two sisters and their mother, Megan and Kristy (sisters) and Laurie (mother).  Their love for travel, trying new things, long walks with their camera’s, and doodling in the park have all influenced their designs.  Taking their inspirations and combining them with their design techniques has developed the handmade, original, Moko and Co design aesthetic. The Abigail Carryall (pictured, in grey) is a must-have!  FacebookInstagram

3. Freshly Picked – The leader of the moccs world is, has, and always will be Freshly Picked. Susan Petersen began making moccs out of her home in 2009. I know first-hand that these moccs are so durable, fit well, and are beautifully made. They stay put on little feet – an important feature & what many other baby/toddler shoes are lacking. Susan is a perfect example of how to make lemons into lemonade & create a very successful handmade business from the ground. We’re currently drooling over the Amour moccs (picutred). Facebook – Instagram

4. Bakery Charms – Bakery Charms is an independent jewelry store that specializes in realistically cute dessert charms for necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and more. Designed with fun and happiness in mind, every piece is made to order and meticulously crafted by hand out of polymer clay and other materials. All products are designed and sculpted by Jenn K. Lee, who fell in love with miniature foods as a child but only learned she could actually make them herself as an adult. Jenn lives in Hawaii with her husband and their two little girls. Some of our fun faves include Banana Split Sundae charm, the Rainbow Cake Slice and of course the Gingerbread Cake Pop charm (all pictured). FacebookInstagram

5. sweet whimsy designs – Can we talk about me for a minute? I’m Leandra Sweet, owner and sole creator at sweet whimsy designs where I create playable art for children of all ages. I began this little work-from-home biz in 2009 in an attempt to stay home to raise our children. Fortunately, hand-painted peg dolls are finding their way into hands across the world and for that I am extremely grateful. Each and every piece is created with intricate, detailed love by myself and my brand new assistant and friend, Becky. A popular favorite this time of year – our Custom Family peg doll sets (pictured). Facebook Instagram

6. Loved By Hannah And Eli Sarah Duncan, the fun and creative mind behind Loved By Hannah And Eli, lives in sunny California with her little ones, Hannah and Eli! She states that all designs and concepts are inspired by the hearts of her children, their imagination, and their adventures together. Sarah is so grateful for the support she and her team of hard-working Moms receive and loves to give back to the greater good. Currently, we’re crushing on the Country Floral Mama Bear Hoodie (pictured). Instagram

7. Carken Design – Here you will find beautiful handmade things for you, your loved ones, and your home. Owner Carly Kenney loves to sew for her littles and herself, but admits that creating anything is what she truly loves. As you peruse through Carken Design’s shop, you will see such fun and colorful quilts, skirts, leggings and stuffed elephants, you’ll have trouble deciding which gift to choose! We adore the Stuffed Elephants (pictured, in pink polka & gray/white stripe). FacebookInstagram

8. Leila’s Flower Garden Owner Marwa Diaz’ daughter loves flowers; unfortunately she is not known for her green thumb. Despite her botanical shortcomings, she decided to make her daughter some flowers. The end result was a beautiful indoor garden on her bedroom wall that requires no watering. The best part is the flowers are always in bloom, and Marwa can’t kill them. Each set of wallflowers is unique – we are enamored by the Wall Decals in her shop (pictured)! FacebookInstagram

9.  lovelane designs I am totally and utterly in love with everything about Love Lane Designs. The products, the website, the Insta-feed…the entire experience is fun and wonderful! Owner and designer Lane Huerta ventured into screen-printing while mentoring with a graphic designer and poster artist in San Francisco. lovelane is committed to sustainability and “upcycling” by creating tea towels, totes and reusable produce bags, as well as full line of luxury home goods made with eco-friendly, water-based inks and dyes on organic and regional materials. She also prints on vintage fabrics finds from flea markets around the world. It would be a challenge not to fall in love with any of the Superhero Sets, including the Flying Superhero Set (pictured, in pink). FacebookInstagram

GG 2014 NO.2

 10. Bluebonnet Touches  – Brand-spanking-new to the handmade world, Bluebonnet Touches opened their Etsy shop in September of 2014 and has been growing quickly! Owner Ashley Nasburg creates original wooden travel maps and other wall art using reclaimed wood. Bluebonnet Touches has recently launched an equally unique collection of glass-domed necklaces that can be personalized with your loved one’s handwriting to always keep them close to your heart (pictured). We think that’s a beautiful way to bring your loved ones near. FacebookInstagram

11. Hemmed In –  Wendy Valderrama, owner and creator, believes little girls should be little girls. She wants them to be dressed adorably, and appropriately with clothes that let them do what they do best: twirl, run, climb, play and dance! I agree!! She designs & hand-makes items such as skirts, dresses, totes, and car canopies that are fashion-forward, age-appropriate, and childhood-friendly for active little ladies. Every piece is constructed with professional quality that lasts. We find everything in the shop to have such a fun twist on the modern little girl. We really love the 50’s-inspired full-skirted Aprons (pictured, in ‘Baking Tools’) – where fashion meets function! FacebookInstagram

12. Max + Moose – Max + Moose was created by a whirlwind of ideas. They made a sheet for the crib out of the bamboo fabric and immediately fell in love with the soft and luxurious feel of the fabric. They also were trying to figure out a more convenient way for nursing covers on-the-go. After several trial creations, co-owners Alyssa and Brenda had an “ah-ha” moment! Mamas are always carrying around a lightweight blanket with them, so why not give it a dual purpose?! That’s when the Nursing Blanket came to life. From there we created a baby line with organic bamboo and organic cotton blankets, crib sheets, and nursing blankets. Plus, Max + Moose gives back : a percentage of each sale is donated to a charitable cause. The textiles in the shop are so yummy; we are gaga for the ‘Raindrops’ Nursing Blanket (pictured, with ‘Bridge Stripe’). Facebook Instagram

13. Mommy & Baby Too – Owner Marcy Martin of Mommy & Baby Too is a stay-at-home Mom looking to share her handmade life with other Moms. The shop is full of crocheted & sewn items for babies and toddlers. Hats and bonnets, teethers and accessories – you’ll find great gifts for little ones in this one-stop shop. Marcy can customize creations for you as well – simply contact her to discuss ideas. The Baby Pixie Bonnet (pictured, in ‘Dusty Rose’) will have your little munchkin warm & cozy and even more adorable! Instagram

14. Lynnburg Lane Soap Co. –  Lynnburg Lane proudly creates handcrafted cold process soap bars and 100% natural skincare products that are beneficial to your body and the environment. Promoting healthy choices for individuals and families – including mama and baby – every product is Non-Toxic. Owner Amber creates products that are fragrance free, paraben free, phthalate free, sulfate free, and free of chemicals, synthetic preservatives, colorants, dyes, and synthetic perfumes. Their handcrafted recipes are made of plant and vegetable based ingredients, with only natural growing plant based preservatives and antibacterials. Handcrafted in small batches, each product is made to order with sustainable, high quality and organic materials to guarantee quality and freshness. We adore their gift sets (pictured, bar soap set) with tidy packaging ready to give. FacebookInstagram

15. Vivie & Ash – A shop loaded with fun and hip children’s clothing, Vivie & Ash’s owner, Sara, uses scrumptious organic cottons to create her designs. The beautiful collections are bursting with gorgeous colorways. You’ll find the trendiest leggings, dresses, and headbands in the shop ready to dress your stylin’ little one to the nines. Grab some organic cotton leggings, like the Tribal Ikat Leggings (pictured), to add a touch of awesome to your little one’s wardrobe or as a gift for a lovely little friend. Only one warning: you’ll want a pair of your own. FacebookInstagram

16. Foiled Prints – Foiled Prints was born when owner Ashley was encouraged to share her passion to create with others! She realized there were plenty of other people out there who loved filling their homes with encouraging reminders for their families to read- most people enjoyed that daily dose of inspiration! Ashley decided what better way to do what she loves (and not completely cover her own walls) than to share it with the public through her prints. Ashley is Mom to two super cute kids and the wife of an awesome and supportive husband. You’ll love Foiled Prints Oh Happy Day print (pictured) along with every other pretty metallic-foiled print in the shop! FacebookInstagram

17. Pretend With Poppins Pretend With Poppins is owned by the creative Nia Box who  started her shop because she wanted to combine her love of art and creating with her love of working with children. Everything in the shop has been inspired by all the dramatic play Nia had in her classrooms or with the kids she cared for as a Nanny. Pretend With Poppins is based on the belief that learning through play and imagination is one of the most important things in childhood and really hopes to captivate that in every item in the shop. We love everything, of course, especially the Arctic Bunny Plushes (pictured). Surely the little people in your life will love them, too! FacebookInstagram

18. Wake Me Up Designs – Wake Me Up Designs started out as a handwritten mug shop because of owner Sarah Kil’s love for coffee and coffee mugs. They quickly branched out to apparel. Most of the designs are inspired by Sarah’s daughter, her love for coffee, and really just everyday shenanigans!! There are many whimsical designs in the shop at any given time, including the Mommy’s Coffee Date tee (pictured). Who doesn’t love a little side kick?! FacebookInstagram

GG 2014 No.3

19. Baroque Garden by Glenna Curren – Glenna Curren is a cellist, teacher, and visual artist. Glenna’s love of nature is reflected throughout her work. She finds much of her inspiration in the rural landscapes and rustic architecture of Northern and Eastern Europe, Upstate New York and Vermont, as well as in nostalgic memories of childhood, home, and family. Seeking to study both the forest and the trees, Glenna enjoys the contrast between portraying a simple landscape in order to illuminate one of nature’s particular moods, and capturing the subtle details, revealing something special that might have gone unnoticed. Enamored with tiny treasures, she loves to work within the scale of a postage stamp: the bulk of her work is within two square inches in size. Glenna is a pure and true artisan who is passionate about her art and music. Feast your eyes on her Shadowbox Pendants (pictured) – incredibly delicate works of art! FacebookInstagram

20. Lumina Candle Co–  Lumina Candle Co. opened just this year with a fresh approach to lighting. Owner Sarah Thomsen found challenges along the way but has settled nicely into her new role as shop owner alongside her stay-at-home Mommy status. Certainly you’ll wish you had smell-o-vision to grab hold of the scents in Lumina’s natural soy candles. It is obvious that Sarah is passionate about what she does & that shows in her product. Be sure to check out their Holiday Collection (pictured) – Cranberry Creme Brulee is out of this world!      FacebookInstagram

21. Le Pepin – Rizabhel M. is the creative mind behind Le Pepin where she creates handmade infinity scarves and skirts for little ones to adorn. The textiles Rizabhel chooses are delightful in every way. They look great on the hanger but even more adorable on a tot! Le Pepin even has fabric remnant sales from time to time. We are fond of the Happy Holiday Infinity Scarf (pictured) but would be happy with any of her stylish clothing under the tree this year. Instagram

22. Tubby Todd Bath Co. – Made with 100% natural ingredients that is also BPA-free, Tubby Todd soap is entering the market at just the right time. Andrea Williams is the owner & mixmaster at Tubby Todd who believes that bath time provides the best case scenario for parenting: good, clean, fun. What’s not to love about a squeaky clean baby?! We are delighted to try the Love Lake Lavender Wash (pictured) and think you will be, too! FacebookInstagram

23. Pine Tree Designs / Fairport Pharmacy – Step into Fairport Pharmacy in a quaint canal town in Upstate NY and you’ll find the works of many local artisans headed by the fantabulous Stefani Tadio. Stefani brings the community together in many ways, including at the Fairport Pharmacy. You can feast your eyes on her own intricate creations from Pine Tree Designs where she hand-stitches original designs on paper. Stefani is a true artisan for life and it shows in every stitch of her work. Visit the Fairport Pharmacy if you’re ever in the area & stand in awe at the amazing art from the people of the area. Every home needs a hand-stitched Star this holiday (pictured). FacebookInstagram

24. Lookie Loo Loo – One chat with Erica Bizon, owner of Lookie Loo Loo, and you’ll see why her handmade goodies are so much fun! Stop in her shop and you’ll find tons of little clothing such as leggings, shorts, tees, and skirts as well as cute and stylin’ accessories. Custom orders are always welcome at Lookie Loo Loo, just give Erica a holler! We want to cozy up to the Campfires & Marshmallows Tee (pictured) during those cold winter nights. In this industry, there’s not much better than a shop with a sense of humor. We appreciate that about you, Erica! FacebookInstagram

25. The Little Miss Shop The Little Miss Shop makes handmade accessories for your little miss & company. Owner Leeana is the Mother of 2 based in Miami sewing her heart out to bring you the most fashionable accessories to embellish your little love. The mountains of different fabric for headbands and wraps are undeniably cute. We are loving the new Fair Isle Infinity Scarf Line with coordinating Andee Band (pictured). Spice it up! Instagram

26. Gal-Pals – You won’t be able to resist the adorableness that is Gal-Pals, particularly if you have a fashion-conscious babe in your life. Gal-Pal owner Aesoon finds she is most alive when making things with her hands and loves to spark the imaginative spirit in children. She has brought this belief to life through her incredible collection of playable softie dolls and toys. We are ooh-ing and aah-ing over Deborah, a stylishly witty fabric rag doll (pictured) currently in the Gal-Pal shop. Delight your child this year and surprise her/him with a Gal-Pal! Instagram

27. My Kookie Jar – Owner Karla Garcia is a stay-at-home momma to three beautiful children who loves pretty things that make you smile mixed together with colors that make your heart happy. The concept behind her exciting shop radiates though the fun and whimsical earrings, hair accessories and other collections Karla offers. Plentiful in holiday collections, My Kookie Jar can equip you with the accessories you need to make it through the holiday season. Choose from a variety of holiday fabric covered earrings and hairpins (pictured) now available in the shop. Instagram

GG 2014 No.4

28. Christine & Co. Design – My fun & crafty friend, Christine, is always finding ways to introduce new designs to her ever-growing shop, Christine & Co. Design. I love her motto – that we each have a singular sense of style & she makes the jewelry to match it! Most of her glass pendant necklaces are created using acrylic paints, Japanese washi tapes, and alcohol inks, so you can rest assured that each design will be completely unique. Christine makes her jewelry with a finely-tuned eye and steady hand. Our holiday must-haves from Christine & Co. Design include her Birthstone Sparkle Small & Sweet Glass Mini Pendants (pictured). Ooh, glitter and glam! FacebookInstagram

29. Tumbleweeds Handcraft – One of the first shops I followed on Instagram when I joined years ago was Tumbleweeds HC and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’m fascinated by the process in which they create their wood veneer sunglasses, or as they put it, handcrafted goods for exceptional humans. The end result is a stellar, one-of-a-kind product that you’ll have for years to come. They’ve recently added home goods and apparel to their shop, just in time for some fine holiday shopping. Our favorite, favorite (if we had to choose) would be the Confetti collection (pictured). Very unique and highly original, completely handmade. Tumbleweeds HC rocks the optical house. FacebookInstagram

30. Gracie Lou Boutique – Being a part of the handmade community in the social media world means I get to virtually “meet” lovely by-hand creators such as Anna Carlson of Gracie Lou Boutique. Anna puts together some of the sweetest hair accessories for little girls. Choose from hair ties, bands, bows, clips and more! There will always be the proper color palette for any given holiday so your sweetie is sure to coordinate. Treat your little love to a Floral headband or hair clip (pictured) or browse the shop for plenty of other cute ideas. Happy Shopping! FacebookInstagram

31. Little Faces Apparel – If you’ve been searching for the perfect slouch beanie with leggings and accessories to match, look no further than Little Faces Apparel. With slick, punny tees and vibrant, colorful patterned leggings, your little fashionista will be sure to stand out in a crowd. Owner and stylist Jennifer Durham has got you covered, literally. (At least your children.) We have so much fun searching through Little Faces’ collection. My only wish is that they made a line for grown-ups! We like the Moose leggings to sport during the impending winter months. Stylin’. FacebookInstagram

32. Bannor Toys – Stacey Bannor and her husband Jesse are the masterminds behind the shop Bannor Toys. Even after several years of business with much success, each wooden heirloom toy is still handcrafted one at a time. With a family of five to support, Stacey somehow finds the time to avoid mass production and continue to create toys that are fun, safe, and creative. We are crazy for the State Rattles (pictured, New York represent!) which can be personalized with name and birth stats like any other wooden toy in the shop. In other words, the perfect gift. FacebookInstagram

33. Ahoy Amigo – Ahoy Amigo is about making modern tees for the modern kid. Owner Stacie Downs confesses, what started as a quest to find rad tees for her daughter turned into a new adventure. Stacie personally designs and hand-pulls each tee with water-based ink. Ahoy Amigo strives for comfort for your kid and states they never make anything they wouldn’t wear themselves. The Always Hungry tee (pictured)? Perfection for the little piggy in your life. Ahoy! FacebookInstagram

34. Better Life Bags – Owner and Designer Rebecca sews and sells bags with the intention and desire that each bag would make lives better. Since opening in 2009, Better Life hires women from a Detroit community known as Hamtramck, who otherwise could not work, to work for them.  They pay their employees a living wage (20-25% of the total retail price) and watch them gain dignity, honor, and respect. Rebecca’s designs are impeccable – using a mix of fabric and leathers, she creates works of art otherwise known as handbags. Don’t see something you like? Tap into your own creative roots and design a custom bag like the Brynnda (pictured)! (Custom orders are available until 11/28/14.) FacebookInstagram

35. On Hand Lotions – Fortunately for me, I have another friend in Hayna Weems, the Mover-and-Shaker/Owner of On Hand Lotions. Hayna mixes some amazingly yummy organic lotion bars, balms, and seasonal items to help heal and moisturize your hard-working skin. She opened On Hand Lotions just this year and is flying her business to new heights, always creating new concoctions with only the finest ingredients. When Hayna isn’t moonlighting with the biz, she’s tending to her husband and three lovely children. We love, love, love the Glitter Star Lotion Bar (pictured) for a little extra shimmer this holiday season. FacebookInstagram

36. Brave Sunday – Something that sparkles, something that shines – if that isn’t Jillian Halvorsen’s motto for her shop, Brave Sunday, it should be! Jill’s wire-wrapped jewelry line will have your friends and family pea-green with envy. The pieces are uniquely wonderful with just a touch of fun. Visit Brave Sunday and you will find bracelets, necklaces, and earrings in many metals adorned with colorful stones. Jill is thoughtful in her well-made designs fit for a queen. Try rocking the Wire Wrapped Oval Earrings in Cobalt (pictured) for your next party & see how many head-turns you receive. FacebookInstagram

GG 2014 No.5

 

37. Sunshine On WaterWhen we met while vending at art show together last year, I could see that Betsy Murray has a knack for handmade jewelry. Her shop, Sunshine On Water, is plentiful in beautifully designed jewels. Betsy’s creations are modern and slick yet with a classical twist. You’ll find her sterling silver necklaces, bracelets and rings wrap and twist into lovely forms ranging from letters and words to animals and creatures to symbols and shapes. Clearly the possibilities are endless, and if you don’t see it in the shop, Betsy can design something custom for you. I think it’s time to have one of our very own Silver Initial Necklaces (pictured). A ‘C’ for Christmas, perhaps? Facebook Instagram

38. My Sweet Merrimint – Adrienne Hipple’s shop, My Sweet Merrimint, contains handmade quilts and other baby goodness. Adrienne has a supreme eye for color – her quilts are stunning and brightly colored in sweet combinations appealing to both babies and adults alike. Beyond quilts, you’ll see crib sheets and burp cloths alongside tooth fairy pillows and blankets in the shop. My Sweet Merrimint is so lovely for your growing children but will become heirlooms for your grandchildren and even great-grandchildren to enjoy. We want to be wrapped up in the Indian Summer Triangle Quilt (pictured), or at least snuggle next to it for a bit. FacebookInstagram

39. Kismet Love Collection – Founder and CEO of Kismet Love Collection, Shelly is a busy Mama with a need for nursing cover in order to breastfeed her newborn son in public. She stumbled upon the clever idea of a Nursing Scarf when she realized an accessory could have a functional purpose. That is when Kismet Love Collection was founded, and now Shelly vows that each nursing scarf is made with care and love for you and your little one. There are a plethora of fabric choices to select, we think the Pretty Plaid in Green & Blue Nursing Scarf (pictured) will nurse you through the upcoming months. Wouldn’t you agree? Facebook Instagram

40. Molly’s Chic Boutique – Molly’s Chic Boutique is definitively a chic boutique for your little hipster. Owner Allie Sims is a Mommy to a beautiful little girl who has inspired her to take a hobby and turn it into a shop. With everything from monthly stickers and invitations to apparel, Molly’s Chic Boutique is sure to please even the most stylish tot. Choose from a vast variety of colorful options or contact Allie to customize something just for you! We are all about the Monthly Tribe Stickers, Love My Tribe and Run Wild & Free Tees (all pictured). Something for baby, something for Mom all in one shop! Facebook Instagram

41. Mommy & Miles – Mommy & Miles is the perfect shop to order custom birthday and special event invitations. We had the pleasure of having customized invitations for our oldest daughter’s recent birthday designed by Kimberly Roller, owner of Mommy & Miles. Kimberly has a knack for graphic design and creates custom pieces quickly and efficiently. Birthday invites are a breeze with Mommy & Miles (pictured). Why not reach out to Mommy & Miles to design your holiday card this year? FacebookInstagram

42. Little Pretties  – “Yes, Please!” That is what I said when I first caught a glimpse of Little Pretties little jewelry for Mamas and their little girls. Sweet & tiny beads make up the collections in Allie Cooper’s shop. Little Pretties handcrafted jewelry would make a great gift for that hard-to-shop-for woman or girl in your life. I’m sure Allie would be thrilled to take your custom request to create something completely unique for that special someone. I think a matching set sounds good, or perhaps the Molten Gold Bracelet (pictured) would look nice perched atop your wrist?  FacebookInstagram

43. Lucends – Custom designed fabrics and shapes make up Lucinda’s shop, Lucends. She begins the creation process from scratch, working with a designer to create one-of-a-kind textiles then whips those fabrics into clean-cut designer bags. Lucends branched out this year to include pillows with inspirational quotes in trendy designs. Women can never have too many handbags and Lucends is an original shop to expand your collection. We are snuggling up to the Clear Eyes Full Hearts pillow (pictured) but will always be a fan of Lucends’ colorful clutches. FacebookInstagram

44. The Faded Wildflower – How adorable are the custom crocheted cuties filling the shop of The Faded Wildflower? Rachel Holland enjoys crocheting completely custom orders just for you or always items ready to ship in the shop. Rachel is the sweet Mama and Wife behind the needle at The Faded Wildflower guaranteed to loop some fun into your little ones lives. The Solar System Play Set (pictured) is a hot item & would be the perfect stocking stuffer and a healthy alternative to sugary treats! FacebookInstagram 

45. Honey Bee True Co. – Fun & witty just don’t cut it when we’re talking about Honey Bee True Co. custom clothing and prints. Sisters Nicole & Heather, co-owners of Honey Bee True Co., make each garment one at a time, the way you order it. With so many colors and options available, the creative process is up to you! We are crushing on the Forever Trust In Who You Are tee (pictured). A great message for all! FacebookInstagram

GG 2014 No. 6

46. Shop & Apparel – Owner & Designer of & Apparel, Andrea Updike, takes inspiration from the saying “Expect the unexpected”. Throughout each collection you will find unexpected combinations like fancy embroidered detail on everyday essentials, preppy nautical & punny phrases, neutrals mixed with neons, basic stripes & lovely lacy, & vintage vibes with nouveau trends. We are head-over-heels for the jewelry line & NEED the any one of the various colorful Statement Necklaces (pictured). Treat yourself! FacebookInstagram

47. Simply Love Creations – This tidy little print shop is womanned by the lovely Crystal Johnson. Crystal loves creating prints for the home including baby’s nursery. She is constantly finding inspiration in day-to-day life for you to enjoy happiness in your home. Allow Simply Love Creations to create something just for you by requesting a custom piece of artwork. Every little superhero needs the gentle reminder of the Superhero Bathroom Prints (pictured). So much FUN! FacebookInstagram 

48. Tink & Key – Owner Stephanie of Tink & Key drew inspiration for “Miracle Baby” from her second son Trent. He was born with Tetralogy of Fallot. It was not diagnosed until his 5week checkup and we could have lost him anytime before that. He’s truly a Miracle Baby. Stephanie loves to share some encouraging words through their collection of children’s apparel. Each shirt has significant meaning to Stephanie and her family. Through these shirts Tink & Key would like to share how they have found hope during the storms and have been lifted up through these familiar verses and songs. The Heart And Soul tee (pictured) is a winner! Tink & Key is such an inspirational handmade shop! FacebookInstagram

49. KiraArts – If I didn’t find Kira Arts at a local craft show last year, my kids surely would have. It’s hard to miss Owner Kira Sinclair’s whimsical and colorful setting at a show. Full of fun and imagination, Kira’s shop is popping at the brim with hand-stitched sweater monsters (the friendly kind), owls, and her popular, super kid-friendly Nubbins. Kira Arts creates each creature with recycled sweaters and super cozy fleece. They’re easy to love – I’ve seen kids beg for these lovable one-of-a-kind monsters first-hand. We are sly over the Fox Nubbin in his Handsome Plaid (pictured). A stocking-stuffer DO! FacebookInstagram

50. Hungerford 318 – Nestled within the walls of the Hungerford Building, a hip and special place many Rochester, NY artisans call home, is Hungerford 318. This collaborative space features the works of local artists Mary Terziani Glass, L Prince Designs, Stefani Tadio, JK Stitches, and Tom Zachman Glass. Consider Hungerford 318 the place for all you holiday shopping desires. FacebookInstagram

51. Emerson & Oliver – Laura & Mary are the creative designers behind the hip jewelry line Emerson & Oliver. They have made their imprint on the jewelry world with their fabulous collections of every day silver and gold creations. Their story stems from their children, you guessed it, Emerson & Oliver. As their littles grow, they introduce new and exciting masterpieces for women to spoil themselves with. You can’t call it arm candy if it’s not embellished with DIA bracelets (pictured). Add a charm or three to personalize these sassy bangles. Happy Holidays! FacebookInstagram

52. Shared Joy – Little girls may find this shop for it’s collection of headbands, but they’ll love it for the creative comfort and style Shared Joy’s designs bring to the kid fashion world. Jennifer Broadway started Shared Joy around two years ago out of  inspiration from the birth of her daughter, Emma. Now the mother of two sweet girls, Jennifer has no problem introducing darling new additions to the shop. Sweet just doesn’t cut it – the tiny bows found in her shop are delectable! You’ll find the Red & Gold Dot Jersey Knit Headband (pictured) a dazzling addition to your holiday fun! Ho Ho Ho! FacebookInstagram

53. Yumme Designs – Sweet body gems by Basia brings you Yumme Designs – a vast collection of healing amber, bridal headwear and jewelry, beach footwear, prayer beads, & unisex jewels. You will feel the healing powers behind the bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Yumme Designs utilizes colorful, shapely stones to mesh fashion together with function. The Amber Rings, Bracelets, and Necklaces (pictured) make a perfect gift to yourself or a loved one. Give the gift of healing! FacebookInstagram

54. Baby Face Boutique – Caylee Williams is a first-time Mom who began Baby Face Boutique out of the love for doing things with her hands. She wanted to create fun and exciting new clothing for her little girl, Taylor, out of the textiles and fabrics she has collected over the years. Baby Face Boutique designs patterns from scratch and handmade 100% by Caylee. The diverse collection of leggings (pictured) has to be some of our favorites from the shop. Snazzy! FacebookInstagram

 

This lovely collection of shop owners thinking outside the box are finding ways to earn a living without straying too far from home. I commend each and every one of these hard-working individuals! Support small businesses by liking their pages on Facebook, following their shops on Instagram and making purchases from their shops this holiday season and throughout the year.

Visit sweet whimsy designs on Instagram on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 at 2pm EST through Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 2pm EST for a HUGE giveaway featuring over 50 handmade shops and other small business owners! Over 50 prizes = over 50 winners! 

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books, Volume Three

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Children's Literature, Kindergarten, Library, Preschool | 0 comments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Books are something you can never have too many of. We love books. We have LOTS of books, whether from birthday & Christmas gifts or hand-me-downs. Our collection is growing as our children grow and we couldn’t be happier!

When I started the Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books series, you can see we were in a different place in our parenthood. We were reading board books to please our eager toddler. Now that our children are older, they naturally enjoy more advanced books.

1. Press Here by Herve Tullet (all ages)

We love this book so much, we purchased the iPad app! Press Here will hold a child’s attention through the entire book. It’s so captivating and, more importantly, FUN! The website even offers activities related to the book. Enjoy!!

Press Here

Photo Copyright Chronicle Books

2. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (ages 3+)

Though this book may not be appropriate for the much younger crowd, it’s very amusing. Our kids really enjoy the humor involved and get a laugh each and every time it is read in our house.

I Want My Hat Back

Photo Copyright Candlewick Press

3. The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (ages 4+)

This is another book geared toward preschoolers and up. Morris Lessmore is full of imagination. Our oldest daughter can relate to the idea of getting lost in a book. The illustrations are wonderful and story line clever. And, by golly,there is a short film. Little did we know the film came first, then the book. Of course, there is also an app. We added the film & the app to our wish list – more on that later!

Morris Lessmore

Photo Copyright Moonbot Studios

4. Journey by Aaron Becker

Winner of a 2014 Caldecott Honor Award, Journey is unlike any other book we own, quite unlike any other book I’ve seen. There is no text, simply beautiful illustrations covering the pages of this lovely book. A young girl guides us though the creative world in which she lives to let our minds wander. I highly recommend this book for children who love storytell, or for those who haven’t yet tapped into their imaginations.

Photo Copyright Aaron Becker

Photo Copyright Aaron Becker 

5. Can You Find It? by The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Our kids LOVE finding objects in real life so why wouldn’t they love them in books?! They have always been keen on finding Waldo and his friends, so we branched out into the world of seek & find books and found this gem. Each set of pages has a pretty scene of famous art in which they search to find items listed. I love the art, of course, and think they do, too!

Photo Copyright The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Photo Copyright The Metropolitan Museum Of Art