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Posted by on Nov 30, 2013 in Baby, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, bowtie, Carnival Party, Children, Christmas, Creative, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, headband, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Party, Photography, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom, Support Handmade, Tiny Chaos, Toddlers, Working Mom | 1 comment

Tiny Chaos – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Tiny Chaos – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

I’ve fallen in love. I simply adore bow ties, especially on little boys. Our own little man also simply adores wearing bow ties. He thinks they’re handsome, and so do we.
Bowtie by Tiny Chaos, Photo copyright Jessica LK Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos, Photo copyright Jessica LK Photography 2013

The best place, the only place to find super adorable toddler bow ties is Tiny Chaos.
tiny chaos silk plaid
Natalie Carter is the creative mind behind some really handsome handmade bow ties and hair bows at Tiny Chaos. I found her on Instagram, though she also has a Facebook page and shop on Etsy. Tiny Chaos is so good about posting photos of her latest bow creations, and even better – she has flash sales often!
tiny chaos holiday headband
I love that Tiny Chaos puts together color combinations, textures, and patterns that are unexpected, yet they are always beautiful and unique. Her holiday collection is spot on with both classic styles & modern looks. Every little guy needs a Tiny Chaos bow tie in his stocking this year…but why wait?! Take advantage of her Black Friday weekend sale – many of the shop’s listings are marked down plus free shipping on all domestic orders over $10.00 until 12/25 with the code ’10FREESHIP’!! How much do you love these bows?!
tiny chaos polka dot
tiny chaos pink headband
tiny chaos glitter headband
Natalie is so easy and fun to work with. Shipping is very fast & those darling little bow ties and headbands come packaged very nicely. It makes a good gift or a perfect accessory for your holiday photo shoot! (And keep in mind she can make matching Father/Son bow ties, even sister headbands to match!) Tiny Chaos was gracious enough to supply our mini man with a special celebratory bow tie for The Big Carnival Bash!
Bowtie by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

We have decided to be sure to have a Tiny Chaos bow tie for every occasion now through college graduation! How can you resist?!
Tiny Chaos is giving away a handsome bow tie to one lucky winner!
tiny chaos giveaway 2


ENTER TO WIN A GINGHAM BOW TIE!!

You could and you should win this handsome fall gingham bow tie! Simply just click the link above & be on your merry way.

tiny chaos giveaway 1
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One will receive one (1) Fall Gingham Bow tie by Tiny Chaos (a $14 value). Contest begins November 30, 2013 at 12:00am and ends December 7, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Saturday, December 7, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. States within one to two weeks of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.
Thank you to Pamela Rayburn Photography & Jessica LK Photography for providing their beautiful photographs. Rochester, NY & Finger Lakes-area friends, keep them in mind when looking for superb photography!
Full disclosure: Tiny Chaos provided me with a bow tie to review to be able to write this post. I have not been compensated in any other way to feature Tiny Chaos in this post. It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :).
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Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Birthday Parties, Carnival Party, Children, Gift Ideas, Girls' Dresses, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, holiday shopping, Precious Peanut Shop, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom | 0 comments

Precious Peanut Shop – Shout Out & Black Friday Special!

Precious Peanut Shop – Shout Out & Black Friday Special!

One thing I recommend to new Moms, especially stay-at-home Moms, is to join a local Moms group. For support, for play dates, or simply just to vent. We’ve met some really great families through our Moms group. Thank goodness I joined, or I never would’ve crossed paths with Julie Roman of Precious Peanut Shop. Though we’ve never actually met in person (she moved to TX, I live in NY), we keep in touch through various social media. She’s a big fan of sweet whimsy designs 🙂 (I even designed her logo!), and I’m a big fan of Precious Peanut Shop.

I could tell you allllll about Julie and her wonderful shop. I’ll try my best to be brief.

For now, I just want you to Ooh and Aah over her amazing creation for The Big Carnival Bash.

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Can you stand it?!

The whole entire process was amazing! I designed a dress, Precious Peanut Shop suggested some great alterations and per my request, was able to find each and every fabric and then some. She designed this dress from the bottom up, literally. It also included a multi-colored tutu layer (our dress-up-loving daughter didn’t want to wear it this day, go figure!) and Julie whipped up a coordinating headband with the most adorable little florette. She had insightful suggestions to making the dress more fun and carnival-like than I ever imagined.

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

This dress is amazing.

The quality is beyond anything you’ll ever find in chain stores. The handmade design is both creative and clever, and it looks even more beautiful in person.

Precious Peanut Shop also stitches handmade children’s napkins and snack bags, which we love and take everywhere! Since cutting paper products such as paper towels and napkins from our day-to-day life, we are always in need of quality cloth. Precious Peanut has it! Julie will help you select from oodles of fabric choices to please your mini diner. My suggestion? Grab a coordinating snack bag. Your kids will want to constantly carry their own snacks & meals on every picnic, party, and play date ’til college!

precious peanut snack bags 2

precious peanut snack bags

 

 

 

So. Much. Fun!

I would love to tell you more, but we’ll have Precious Peanut Shop back again soon, promise :).

In the meantime, Precious Peanut Shop would like you to enjoy FREE SHIPPING in her shop until December 4th, 2013. Just visit her Facebook page & mention the code “FREESHIP” when ordering.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in Arts, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Carnival Party, Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, Etsy, felting, Friends, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Happy Birthday Banner, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Homemade, Party, Product Review, Reviews, Second Seed In Stitches, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom, Support Handmade | 0 comments

Second Seed In Stitches – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Second Seed In Stitches – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Becoming a handmade artisan is one of the neatest achievements I’ve made in my lifetime, probably because it has opened my life to other handmade artisans. Each show I attend, I meet an eclectic and superb batch of people who likely think outside the box and are generally lovely people all around.

Not too long ago, at a monthly Brainery Bazaar hosted by Rochester Brainery, I was showing my playable art alongside Nancy Topolski, owner and creator for Second Seed In Stitches. I was immediately blown away by Nancy’s colorful display – ranging from her oh-so-adorable “Foundlings” to the hand-knitted fingerless gloves and felted floral arrangements. I just knew we’d become friends.

We spent the entire day chatting, everything from schooling (and un-schooling) to how to succeed in the handmade craft business. You see, Nancy’s a pro. She’s been in the game for a while longer than myself. She is full of excellent advice and had a gentle approach in lending her ear to my newbie questions. I wanted to share Nancy and her work with the world, so I decided right here on The Whimsical Sweet would be a good place to start.

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photo copyright Pamela M. Rayburn Photography 2013

Nancy created a one-of-a-kind birthday banner as part of The Big Carnival Bash. It was on display throughout the party, and it definitely added exactly what we were looking for. I don’t think the party would’ve been complete without the banner hanging proudly above the photo booth. I asked that she make one of her felted banners customized with red & white stripes and black lettering. She didn’t even have to ask any questions. She just got it. I love people that just get it.

IMG_9178watermark

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photography copyright Pamela M. Rayburn Photography 2013

Second Seed In Stitches is led by a strong and passionate woman who has a beautiful handle on her craft (or crafts, as the case may be). I have yet to see all of the varieties of art Nancy is capable of creating, but those I have seen, I have fallen in love with. Though she is no longer making the banners, her Foundlings are always available in her etsy shop & usually present at her shows. They are FANTASTIC! She gets down to creative business & repurposes/upcycles old wool sweaters into fantabulous, soft, furry creatures she calls Foundlings. Every child should have at least one, and grown-ups, two or more!

Nancy Topolski foundling

The good stuff? Second Seed In Stitches is giving away a super-fun, handcrafted felted “happy birthday” banner to one lucky reader! This fun & festive banner measures approximately 5 ft. with plenty of grosgrain ribbon for hanging.

Nancy Topolski banner

Everyone needs a family banner to celebrate birthdays year after year. It’s such a great addition to any celebration. We are looking forward to unpacking ours for each birthday for many years to come.

ENTER TO WIN!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) ‘Happy Birthday’ banner from Second Seed In Stitches (a $50 value). Contest begins November 9, 2013 at 12:00am and ends November 16, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Saturday, November 16, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize must be claimed within one week of winner announcement. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: Second Seed In Stitches is providing the winner with the prize of a felted birthday banner. I was not compensated in any other way to feature this artist. All opinions are my own It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). I support local, handmade art and you should, too. :)

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Carnival Party, Children, Creative, Giveaways, Memories, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Photography, Product Review, Reviews, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Pamela Rayburn Photography – Review and GIVEAWAY!

Pamela Rayburn Photography – Review and GIVEAWAY!

Good photography is hard to find. Great photography is very hard to find, yet we have found a lovely, talented photographer in Pamela Rayburn Photography.

I was first introduced to Pamela’s work through my beautiful (on the inside and out!) niece. Pam photographed my niece to introduce her Beautiful SENIORS packages. Well, she set her standards high and delivered! Every single photo she created is just gorgeous. Beautiful. STUNNING. Every photo induced a jaw-drop in awe.

pamela rayburn amelia 1pamela rayburn amelia 5 pamela rayburn amelia 4 pamela rayburn amelia 3 pamela rayburn amelia 2

We asked Pam to capture the Big Carnival Bash we threw in celebration of our daughter’s fifth birthday. She obliged, and went above and beyond any expectations as well as anything we asked of her. She captured the fun, the beauty, the child within all of us.

pamela rayburn carnival leah pamela rayburn carnival morgan pamela rayburn carnival parker

The editing is pristine. Pamela insures each photo has the perfect finishing touches, and seems to have more fun in the process!

pamela rayburn carnival zoe

The amazing thing about Pam is we hardly knew she was there. She snuck around trees and other barriers to grab the perfect shot time and time again. Even better, she is kind, humble and fun – a requirement in my book! She is so easy to work with and collaborate, and has many more great ideas than I could imagine. Delightful!

pamela rayburn carnival kelsey pamela rayburn carnival marsden pamela rayburn carnival duck pond

There is something so incredibly special about being able to see a moment happen, then capture it into an image forever loved. It takes true talent. To depict relationships, feelings, emotions…well, that’s what differentiates the great from the good.

pamela rayburn carnival charlotte pamela rayburn carnival chloe pamela rayburn carnival friends 2 pamela rayburn carnival friends

Pamela Rayburn is a great photographer. We have fallen in love Pamela Rayburn Photography! Now it’s your turn. Just in time for the holidays, Pamela Rayburn is offering $100 off her normal creation fee or prints!! Locals to Rochester, NY & Finger Lakes region: this is HUGE!

Enter to win HERE!

View slideshows of Pamela Rayburn Photography’s work and visit her Facebook page.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) credit valued at $100 off a creation fee or prints, to be chosen by winner at time of booking, from Pamela Rayburn Photography (a $100 value). Contest begins November 5, 2013 at 12:00am and ends November 12, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Tuesday, November 12, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize can be claimed anytime after giveaway ends and is valid for one (1) year following winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: Pamela Rayburn Photography provided me with several hours of her time to photograph our party. I was not compensated in any other way to write this post or to feature Pamela Rayburn Photography. It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :).

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Carnival Party, Children, Creative, Giveaways, Memories, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Photography, Product Review, Reviews, Stay At Home Mom | 4 comments

Pamela Rayburn Photography – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Pamela Rayburn Photography – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Good photography is hard to find. Great photography is very hard to find, yet we have found a lovely, talented photographer in Pamela Rayburn Photography.

I was first introduced to Pamela’s work through my beautiful (on the inside and out!) niece. Pam photographed my niece to introduce her Beautiful SENIORS packages. Well, she set her standards high and delivered! Every single photo she created is just gorgeous. Beautiful. STUNNING. Every photo induced a jaw-drop in awe.

pamela rayburn amelia 1pamela rayburn amelia 5 pamela rayburn amelia 4 pamela rayburn amelia 3 pamela rayburn amelia 2

We asked Pam to capture the Big Carnival Bash we threw in celebration of our daughter’s fifth birthday. She obliged, and went above and beyond any expectations as well as anything we asked of her. She captured the fun, the beauty, the child within all of us.

pamela rayburn carnival leah pamela rayburn carnival morgan pamela rayburn carnival parker

The editing is pristine. Pamela insures each photo has the perfect finishing touches, and seems to have more fun in the process!

pamela rayburn carnival zoe

The amazing thing about Pam is we hardly knew she was there. She snuck around trees and other barriers to grab the perfect shot time and time again. Even better, she is kind, humble and fun – a requirement in my book! She is so easy to work with and collaborate, and has many more great ideas than I could imagine. Delightful!

pamela rayburn carnival kelsey pamela rayburn carnival marsden pamela rayburn carnival duck pond

There is something so incredibly special about being able to see a moment happen, then capture it into an image forever loved. It takes true talent. To depict relationships, feelings, emotions…well, that’s what differentiates the great from the good.

pamela rayburn carnival charlotte pamela rayburn carnival chloe pamela rayburn carnival friends 2 pamela rayburn carnival friends

Pamela Rayburn is a great photographer. We have fallen in love Pamela Rayburn Photography! Now it’s your turn. Just in time for the holidays, Pamela Rayburn is offering $100 off her normal creation fee or prints!! Locals to Rochester, NY & Finger Lakes region: this is HUGE!

Enter to win HERE!

View slideshows of Pamela Rayburn Photography’s work and visit her Facebook page.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) credit valued at $100 off a creation fee or prints, to be chosen by winner at time of booking, from Pamela Rayburn Photography (a $100 value). Contest begins November 5, 2013 at 12:00am and ends November 12, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Tuesday, November 12, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize can be claimed anytime after giveaway ends and is valid for one (1) year following winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: Pamela Rayburn Photography provided me with several hours of her time to photograph our party. I was not compensated in any other way to write this post or to feature Pamela Rayburn Photography. It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :).

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Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Busy B Boutique, Carnival Party, Children, Crafts, Crafts, Creative, DD Lish, DecoArt, DIY, Economical Activities, Family, Featured, Friends, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Happy Birthday Banner, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Homemade, Memories, painting, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Party, Photography, Precious Peanut Shop, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Second Seed In Stitches, Shopping, Support Handmade, Tiny Chaos, Work From Home, Working Mom | 1 comment

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Our daughter recently turned the big FIVE years old. Since we haven’t really given her a big party (most birthdays have been celebrated with family), we decided to throw her a big carnival bash to celebrate her wonderful self. A carnival seemed fun, easy, and affordable. In reality, it was! My husband & I made most of the games with what we had around the house as well as some inexpensive shenanigans I found at craft stores and local shops. DecoArt sponsored some of the artwork which I used to create one of the games as well as the face paint pens (um, hello?! These were right up my alley!). It helped to have a handy hubby who cut wood & nailed things together for me ;). More on this coming soon…

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In my quest to support handmade shops, I decided to incorporate different things into the party from both local and distant artisans. This is my new mission on this blog: To support handmade artisans.

Enter beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.

First, I found a phenomenal local photographer who was not only willing to come capture the party in all it’s glory, but she did so in such a swift and lovely fashion that we will likely have her photograph our family for years to come. Pamela Rayburn Photography is owned and operated by Pamela Rayburn herself. She is so kind and such fun to work with! But more on her later *hint, hint*. Just look at these gorgeous captures! (Locals, you should do yourselves a favor & look into booking her for your holiday photos!)

There were so many people involved in pulling this off properly (which happened just by the skin of our teeth!). My husband, as supportive as he is, allows me to get a little lot carried away. The kids were cooperative and had a ball dressing for the part on the day of the party and even lended a hand with decorations and games. My sister, Deidre of DD Lish yumminess, baked one heck of a cake that tasted even better than it looked, if that’s possible. My mom “voluntarily” was coaxed into cooking fresh, homemade tacos for everyone to enjoy (we did our best to serve healthy foods). My dad & best friend were roped into coloring in the signage I created that morning. My brother-in-law donated some grass seed bags from his company Crosman Seed Corp.

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Then there were the shop owners, artisans who donated their craft to put the icing on the cake!

Did you get a peek at the perfect dress & headband our little t was wearing? That was designed by me, and created in collaboration with Precious Peanut Shop. Julie was incredible to work with. But again, more on that later.

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In case you haven’t picked up on my *hints*, these beautiful shops and artisans will be featured throughout the next several months as part of our Fall Frenzy: Festive Fall Features. Stay tuned!

Then there’s the bowtie on our son & hairbow on our youngest daughter. Would you get a load of this?! Tiny Chaos made this set of bows to add to the festivities. She is amazing.

Bow by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bow by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

We whipped up a photo booth with help from Busy B Boutique‘s Bethany Crocker and Nancy Topolski from Second Seed in Stitches. Bethany made some really fun photo props while Nancy crafted the “happy birthday” banner. Fantastic work-woman-ship from both ladies!! I can say it’s been so fun working with Bethany as we’re good friends as well as craft lovers. She even painted a few faces at the party. Talented Mama :)!

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

I think those that attended would all agree that C&C Bouncers stole the show with their hoppity-hooping bounce house! Shari & Ted, owners of C&C, are working on opening a great place for fun in the Finger Lakes area so locals, get ready!

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

It was just SO MUCH FUN and rose beyond expectations of our little ones. They had smiles all day long, as did their friends and family. It is always so wonderful and almost dream-like to have so many loved ones all in one place celebrating alongside us! I think we’re locked into throwing a party like this for each of our children’s fifth birthdays, and we’re totally fine with that. We’ll have to do a little more ourselves next time, but live and learn, right?!

I’m looking forward to showcasing these wonderful shops and artisans, as I’m sure you will, too. Just wait to see what’s in store for you!!

From deep inside our hearts, THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of this awesome celebration. We all appreciate it so!!

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