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Posted by on Dec 14, 2013 in Christmas, Christmas Music, Favorite Things, Holidays, Music, Song Of The Day | 1 comment

12 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 1

12 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 1

I’m a procrastinator at Christmastime. I have never been one of those people who shops for Christmas in July, nor will I ever be out at 3am on Black Friday. One thing I can do to be sure my shopping isn’t complete until December 24th is write! Yeah, that’s it!! Because I love anxiety! {What a glutton…} So I’ve come up with a little idea to share my love of Chrostmas music with all of you.

I’m not really sure when the twelve days of Christmas actually begins, but I’m doing my own little countdown with our favorite Christmas songs in the twelve days leading up to Christmas.

Music is most certainly one of my most favorite things in the world. If there’s one time of year when I listen to the same music over and over again for one month plus, it’s the month of December. I’m a sap for holiday tunes of any kind. Though it has been tough to narrow down my ridiculously long list of favorites, I will begin by listing some favorites this year. Next year, well, that may be a different list. (I’m an indecisive Libra, what can I say?!)

Our first, but not necessarily our favorite (because really, how can anyone choose just one?!) is “Christmas Lights” by Coldplay.

Always a favorite band, Coldplay hits every schmaltzy bone in my body with this creative and clever video, and the music just gets to me. They did it in one shot – quite a feat considering all that goes into this elaborate video. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorites? Share with us & you could win some swd goodies in the new year!!

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Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Arts, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Children, Christmas, Creative, Etsy, Favorite Things, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Jewelry, Lovely Lyla Jean, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, Support Handmade, Toddlers, Work From Home, Working Mom | 0 comments

Lovely Lyla Jean – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Lovely Lyla Jean – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

All right, lovely people, it’s getting a little crazy around here. It’s about to get a heck of a lot crazier with a giveaway from one of my favorite children’s accessories shop.

Let me introduce you to Lovely Lyla Jean!

A wee side-note – I would not have met Melissa Griffo, owner of Lovely Lyla Jean, if it wasn’t for the Rochester Brainery. Melissa & I tabled next to each other at a Brainery Bazaar show this past summer. *Rochester, NY Locals: If you haven’t made it to a Brainery Bazaar, you are seriously missing out! LOADS of unique, handmade goods from an eclectic mix of artisans. Second Saturday of each month, and TWO SHOWS in December!)

Lovely Lyla Jean creates the most fun and whimsical accessories for girls & boys! The Chunky Bubblegum Beaded Necklaces are what stand out, but there are oh-so-many more sparkly pretties to select!

Lovely Lyla Jean holiday purple necklace

Melissa is a super-fun Mom to two littles who began creating her beautiful jewelry for her toddler daughter. What little girl doesn’t LOVE jewelry, right? (What little boy, for that matter?!) Where she finds the time, I’m not sure, though I have a pretty good idea it’s in between her full-time job, making dinner, and catering to her small children. You know, there’s just so much time left in a day to whip up lovely necklaces, earrings, and other accessories. Yes, I think that’s spot on. 😉

Lovely Lyla Jean earrings

Lovely Lyla Jean’s pieces are fun to play dress-up with, yet sophisticated enough to wear for a photo shoot or a family outing. Melissa is great about creating customized jeweled pieces to coordinate with that favorite outfit, especially with upcoming holiday attire. If you don’t see something that matches in her shop, she will be more than willing to whip up something wondrous for your little charmer to don in those Christmas card photos (sneaking up on us quickly!).

Lovely Lyla Jean Christmas
Lovely Lyla Jean Hair Ties

It’s no surprise that the creations that come from Lovely Lyla Jean’s shop are so much fun – Melissa is a ball of energy with lots of laughter and a positive outlook on life. She is excellent fun to be around, and that certainly shines through in her art.

Lovely Lyla Jean Thanksgiving

When I saw Lovely Lyla Jean’s display at the Bazaar, I knew our kids had to have a handful of somethings from her shop. We ended up with a few zipper pulls and hair clips. Our son wears his zipper pull on everything, his belt loop, backpack, he even clips it on his shirt and pants. The hair clips are so adorable on the girls, and they always get compliments when they wear them. It’s hard not to purchase everything Melissa makes, it’s all just so darling! I sincerely hope she has plans to expand to making jewels for Mom…I think I need a chunky bubblegum bead necklace stat!

Lovely Lyla Jean Sweets

Photo by The Whimsical Sweet

Get your cutie gussied & get ready to accessorize, because Lovely Lyla Jean is giving away a super adorable Purple & Cream Faux Pearl Holiday Toddler Necklace and Bracelet Set (valued at $32.50)

– Lovely gift for your favorite Daughter, Granddaughter, Goddaughter or Niece
– Necklace measures 19 inches long with 2 inch extender chain for adjustable sizing
– Bracelet is made of strong highly stretchable cord to stretch and fit little wrists
– Perfect addition to any holiday outfit
– Beautiful photography prop for your holiday photo shoot
Lovely Lyla Jean giveaway 2 Lovely Lyla Jean giveaway 1


In the meantime, visit her shop or read her blog, and for goodness sakes, start making a list of every little girl you know and gift her lots of lovelies from Lovely Lyla Jean this holiday season!! Start SHOPPING!


TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive a Purple & Cream Faux Pearl Holiday Toddler Necklace and Bracelet Set (a $32.50 value). Contest begins November 11, 2013 at 12:00am and ends November 18, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, November 18, 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 two weeks of winner announcement and claim. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way to write this post or feature All About Kraft in this post. It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :).

All photos copyright Lovely Lyla Jean, unless otherwise noted.
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Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Children, Economical Activities, Family, Favorite Things, Fourth Of July, Friends, Healthy Lifestyle, Parenting, Stay At Home Mom, Summer, Weather | 1 comment

Why I Love Summer? Let Me Count The Ways

Why I Love Summer? Let Me Count The Ways

Summer could easily be my favorite season. Though we live in Upstate New York and enjoy the change of seasons each year, nothing quite beats the warm summer breeze, long days, and short nights.

1. The weather
This is a given. Who doesn’t like eighty-to-ninety degree temps and cool, seventy-degree nights? Oh yeah, and a TON of SUN!! Bask in that vitamin D, soak up that sun! It’s so good for us & we need it more than we know.

2. Family at the lake
In our family, we are fortunate enough to have a beautiful, therapeutic lake home on one of the Finger Lakes in New York State. My dear grandfather purchased this cottage decades ago as a place of relaxation and tranquility. It has served it’s purpose and then some, bringing decades of fun and joy to everyone who enters. Clearly an entire blog post can be dedicated to it in itself.

3. Afternoon naps
Sometimes we don’t make it out of the house in the winter months. It just takes too long to bundle three kids in coats and mittens and hats and boots. The summertime brings easy days and playful hours, which, in Mommyland, equals a little R&R for us! They tire themselves out and all that vitamin D? It eats their energy right into a nap! I love my children to pieces, but I look forward with pure enjoyment to the one-to-two hours all three kids nap almost each day.

4. Weddings
Everyone likes to get married during nice weather, and we love to come party at your nice weathered nuptials! This summer alone, we have four weddings to attend. Fun, fun, fun!

5. Playdates
Outings and hikes, picnics and playgrounds, festivals and farms. How much fun can we cram into ninety warm days?! It’s “Go, Go, Go!” at the Sweets in the summer, and we are loving every minute! We’ve seen lots of friends and family, and we just can’t get enough!

I think I’ll stop at five today, but not because I’m at a loss for more great reasons why I love summer. It’s because I have to go! So much to do and see!

What are some of your favorite things to do and see in the summer? Do tell :).


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Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in Bradley Friends, Children, Choices, Creative, Family, Favorite Things, Friends, Healthy Lifestyle, Inspirational Quotes, Life, Memories, Motherhood, Motivational Posts, Motivational Quotes, Natural Parenting, Parenting, Passion, Philosophy, Quote Of The Day, Random Thought Of The Day, Stay At Home Mom, Summer, sweet whimsy designs, Thought of The Day, Work From Home, Working Mom | 1 comment

My Thoughts, Exactly: 07.14.13

My Thoughts, Exactly: 07.14.13

I love life.

Yesterday at Rochester Brainery Bazaar, I found my second third fourth fifth? calling.

Craft shows.

I’ve always enjoyed attending shows but now I enjoy being an artisan at shows. I enjoy meeting other like-minded people doing creative and interesting things.

Throughout my life, I have sought like-minded people doing creative and interesting things.

In childhood, they became my dearest and oldest friends. In the teen years, they became my most fun, partying friends. In the college years, they became philosophical and thought-provoking friends.

Into adulthood, I have met friends that I wouldn’t have thought would be creative and interesting back in the younger days.

Motherhood brings new creativity and interest. I’ve made natural child-birthing friends, holistic friends, “crunchy” friends, and non-vaccinating friends. I’ve grown fond of lovely friends who, not in a million years, would have crossed paths in the decades before.

Now I enter new friendships. Homeschooling friends and craft show friends. T-Ball friends and neighborhood friends. Creators and artisans, movers and shakers.

I cherish these friends and look forward to the new relationships. Onward and upward!

Hold tight your relationships. Cherish your friends. It is interesting to look at your list of friends (be it a literal list, as on Facebook, or a cerebral list) and see the friends you’ve made over the years, how truly different they all are. It should be that way. That’s the good stuff.

I hope to pass these relationships to my own children, so they can grow and flourish holding the hands of not only us, as family, but their new friends.

The greatest gift is love.

It is only fitting that I end with one of my favorite quotes:

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
-Nat King Cole

(*preferably sung Moulin Rouge-style.)

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Children, Family, Favorite Things, Featured, Life, Memories, Moderation, Motherhood, Parenting, Random Thought Of The Day, Stay At Home Mom | 0 comments



These nights when nothing really happened, but everything did.

I will remember sitting here, clipping these tiny fingernails as the cacophony of young children’s banter and coos rang through the room like a lovely choir, sometimes.

I will remember our one year-old trying to place various beads from Mardi Gras’ past around her neck as her big sister does, only lacking the skill her big sister possesses.

I will remember snuggling into our son as he reenacts a car crash scene with his little race cars, hearing Jeff Buckley singing “Hallelujah” in the background.

I will remember begging and pleading with our four-and-a-half year-old to pick up her toys – her peg dolls and dress-up shoes, doctor kit and the journal that she sketches in from time to time. And the smile she gives as she attempts to barter, clever to strike a bargain.

I will remember watching those first steps that night. The first steps of our darling daughter, just short of fourteen months old. Oh how they disappear into big girl steps so quickly.

I will remember our oldest asking me to please undo the braid from her hair, the same hair that took four-and-a-half years to grow long enough to braid.

I will remember the kiss and embrace before bed, tonight, every night.

I will remember it all. I have to. I must.

For it will be only a memory.


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Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Children, Children's Songs, Family, Favorite Things, Featured, infant, Motherhood, newborn, Parenting, Stay At Home Mom | 2 comments

I Love When

I Love When

I love when she falls asleep sucking her thumb then it slips out of her pursed little mouth.

I love when she makes cute little squeaky noises.

I love when she smiles so big and so real at her siblings. And at us.

I love when she has to burp but refuses to break her latch as she nurses, squirming and wriggling her chubby little body against mine.

I love when she reaches to grasp a toy, so determined, so new.

I love when she snuggles. With anyone who wants to snuggle back.

I love when she bats her barely-there lashes at her Daddy, flirting & wrapping him around her barely-there finger.

I love when she smiles in her sleep. When it’s not gas-related.

I love when she coos. And when she tries so hard to communicate with us.

I love when she shivers when we take her out of a bath.

I love when she stares at her hands and feet for what seems like hours at a time.

I love when she wakes hungry, yet only makes a few tiny sounds to let us know she’s ready.

I love when she figures it out.

I love when she tries to sing with me. ABC’s. The Hadley Song. Sing A Song Of Sixpence. Pat-A-Cake.

I love when she waits patiently to be dressed, always with a smile.

I love when she nuzzles her face into mine.

I love when she breathes.

Fifteen weeks old. Almost four months. I love this baby girl.


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