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Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Gift Ideas, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, Holidays, Homemade, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 0 comments

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

It’s snowy and cold. Winter is here, and so are the holidays…in full force!

As busy as I’ve been, I always try to make time to craft with the kids. For the past several years, we have collected broken crayons from our home, restaurants, etc. We just hold onto them to make our own crayons!

I found a fairly inexpensive gingerbread crayon mold at Hobby Lobby last week (it was 50% off) for a total of about $4.

The kids love to peel stuff (it’s a gene, I swear), so we got to work stripping the crayons. This takes a while, but with a little Christmas music & storytelling, we passed the time fairly easily.

Speaking of time, we’ve been learning about the passage of time – how long is a minute, an hour, a day. We guessed how long it would take to melt the crayons in the toaster oven. We didn’t get too scientific, rather we kept it simple. Each child guessed & Marsden came the closest! Then we did the same for guessing how long it would take for the crayons to cool. Tavia was closest this time.

A fun and pretty time consuming activity – with lots of play time in between!

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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 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

ENTER TO WIN HERE!

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 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.

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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 Oct 18, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Homemade, painting, Party, peg dolls, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, sweet whimsy designs | 0 comments

What’s Going On: October 18, 2013

What’s Going On: October 18, 2013

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hello & happy friday! so much going on in the world of sweet whimsy designs / The Whimsical Sweet, i thought i’d share. feature on psiadoreyou you runs through tomorrow. giveaway on thewhimsicalsweet.com ends 10/20 (which also happens to be my birthday!). craft fair at Ellwanger-Barry nursery school tomorrow 10/19 11am – 4pm (locals to Rochester NY, this should be a super fun-filled family event)! lots of holiday inventory prep & fulfilling orders left & right. upcoming giveaways from handmade shops & finally, hopefully, the blog on the big carnival bash featuring TONS of wonderful reviews and giveaways.

{i’m intentionally writing in lower case because sweet whimsy designs is for little ones. and because i’m nursing a baby and too tired to turn on auto-correct. 😉 }

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