Pages Menu
TwitterFacebookemailInstagramPinterest
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Children, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, Decor, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Family, Home Decor, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Library, Lifestyle, Minimal Living, Motherhood, Organize, Save money, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

20140103-120818.jpgHere’s a little something you may not know about us: We live in a 1200 square foot town home.

Five people. Two bedrooms. One general living room. One kitchen. One dining room. One and a half bathrooms. One garage. One basement.

One work-from-home Mama. Three homeschoolers. One hundred percent childhood energy.

You do the math.

This photo depicts an organized, believe it or not, version of our current set-up for a “play area”. (It may appear a tad hazardous, but not to worry, those shelves are anchored several times to insure safety.) All of our new Christmas presents & overflow of toys have been sorted and arranged. This is pretty much everything the children have, nestled into this puzzle of shelving.

The homeschool area was just relocated yesterday & has to be organized, art & projects hung up, shelving installed. This is depicting the bare minimum.

There is always something more needed in this space. We always need something more to keep us from going bonkers while living in close quarters.

Sure, we have outgrown our space. You’re not the first person to think that, not would you be the first to call me crazy for choosing to homeschool three little ones in such a tight space.

The time will come when we have our own home, but now, life is just too busy and hectic to have to worry about a new roof, a leaky hot water tank, broken windows or a new refrigerator.

We are making due with what we have because that is the way to happy.

We are choosing happiness together. Really close together.

For tips on how to stay organized with lots of toys, books, games, puzzles, and supplies, please don’t ask me.20140103-121935.jpg

Read More

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 :).
Read More

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!!

Read More

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Arts, Children, Costumes, Crafts, Crafts, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, DIY, Economical Activities, Etsy, Giveaways, Halloween, Handmade, Handmade Halloween, Handmade Holiday, Holidays, Homemade, peg dolls, Save money, Stay At Home Mom, sweet whimsy designs, sweet whimsy designs, sweet whimsy designs, Work From Home, Working Mom | 17 comments

Homemade Robot Costume & sweet whimsy designs GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Homemade Robot Costume & sweet whimsy designs GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Last year, our 2 year-old (at the time) was MAD about robots (or “Oobots”, as he called them). There was really no option in his mind when it came to dressing for Halloween.

Upon looking at our vast collection of old diaper boxes, crates left over from our summer CSA, and used toys, I decided to create his very own Oobot. I documented it well, however, our computer has since crashed & I have (hopefully temporarily) lost a few years’ worth of photos & videos. I don’t want to talk about that. Instead, I have decided to post this “how-to” make your very own robot costume without detailed step-by-step photos. I hope you get the gist.

Here he is, in his absolute glory!mars robot costumeThe box on his head is a diaper box spray-painted in silver metallic. Also sprayed were three large & three smaller vegetable/fruit crates (you know, the green cardboard) and a red plastic cup. The eyes are painted peanut butter jar tops which were super-glued around the edges to adhere to the box.

The box for the body was an amazon box repurposed with metallic silver spray-paint as well. I definitely used several coats to insure any printing was covered. The boxes’ squares were simply cut out with a pair of scissors. We added padding to the shoulders, as the costume was getting rather heavy & wouldn’t be easy to walk in come Halloween night.

I created a panel on the inside of the body with a piece of cardboard, slightly larger than the opening, covered in tinfoil. The panel was then Duck-taped to the inside of the opening. On the panel, I added a switch plate which I found at Lowe’s for under $1.00. I also grabbed a light switch for chump change along with four white caps & painted everything in a variety of colors from DecoArt Americana paints then outlined in metallic silver puffy paint. Target had some working blacklights in their dollar section, so I purchased two of them & attached them to the top & bottom of the panel with double-sided padded tape.

I also cut an “infinity” shape out of cardboard & covered it in tinfoil to begin the turn-key at the side. After cutting a small “x” slit in the side of the body, I covered a paper towel roll in tinfoil & sliced a slit about an inch long in 2 places to slide the infinity shape & make a key. So easy!

The “Marsbot 2012” was painted in DecoArt Americana Bright Yellow paint (2 coats) then outlined in silver glitter puffy paint. I asked my husband to screw in several plastic gears of various colors that were part of a board game no longer in use. They were loose enough to maneuver & everyone who came close enough would love to play with them! Our son was like a walking toy!!

Likely the most costly purchase for the costume was for the arms. We bought ducts from Lowe’s, costing a total of around $13 with much to spare. I cut pieces long enough to cover his arms and was sure to tuck in the edges to prevent cuts. We wanted to make legs out of the ducts as well but figured it wouldn’t allow him to walk…at all. Good choice, I think ;).

Everything was put together with silver Duck Tape. I just love all the colors and patterns Duck Tape now offers!

The back side had some fun things to see, too. We glued a Frisbee that he painted & some buttons to push.

This costume made heads turn & was the hit at our town’s Halloween Parade where our son won Best Costume for his age group. He received a plaque & was (& still is) so proud!! He marched around the parade beaming & waving to the crowd. He loved being a robot for a day!!

The costume stayed together pretty well, minus a few mishaps, but nothing tape or glue couldn’t fix! He wore it to several occasions & by Halloween night, we wished we had insulated the costume – it was a cold night!!

We can assure you the look of sadness was due to the cold weather & not the awesome costume he was sporting!

We can assure you the look of sadness was due to the cold weather & not the awesome costume he was sporting!

I always seem to raise the bar each year. I have decided this year that I will make costumes only every OTHER year, this Mama needs a break! It is so much fun, though, especially if your significant other is on board to lend a hand.

What are you whipping up for Halloween this year? What are your little ones going to be?! Share & enter to WIN a set of PEG DOLLS from my shop!!

ENTER HERE!!!

wizard of ozsuperhero avengersroyal princess setpeg doll necklace

artdisx

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive a shop credit totaling $45 & will include shipping. Contest begins October 14, 2013 at 12:00am and ends October 21, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, October 21, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. 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: I have not been compensated in any way to write this post or feature any companies in this post. All opinions are my own. It was completely my own doing and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). 

Read More

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Baby, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Children, Creative, Economical Activities, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Handmade, Holiday Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Homemade, infant, newborn, painting, Party, peg dolls, Preschool, Save money, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom, sweet whimsy designs, Toddlers, Work From Home, Working Mom | 2 comments

sweet whimsy designs Feature On PS I Adore You TODAY!

sweet whimsy designs Feature On PS I Adore You TODAY!

20130723-081412.jpg

My shop, sweet whimsy designs, is having a sweet little feature on the pop-up shop PS I Adore You today! It will run for the next five days, so be sure to collect your set of Personalized Peg Dolls!

I’d like to thank Chelse at EIEIO Photography for her beautiful work capturing the fun and whimsy of these peg dolls. You can look forward to more swd photography from EIEIO to come!

Read More

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Bradley Friends, Busy B Boutique, Crafts, Creative, Etsy, Friends, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Home Decor, Homemade, painting, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Stay At Home Mom, Subway Art, Summer, sweet whimsy designs, Work From Home, Working Mom | 4 comments

Subway Art Block – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Subway Art Block – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

It’s time to start this month off with a BANG! The Whimsical Sweet is pairing with some pretty neat local artisans/crafters to bring you a month of handmade goodness to include reviews and giveaways!

First up:

Busy B Boutique

I have some great friends.

Crafty friends. Smart friends.

It’s great when you get to meet someone who has the whole package, and my friend Bethany at Busy B Boutique has just that!

Busy B Boutique is a one-Mama show. Bethany runs her crafty business from home while she cares for her two little blonde beauties and supports her Army-strong hubby, all while they work and live life to the fullest. They’re busy, alright! Not quite sure how she finds the time to create everything she sells in her shop.

Busy B’s online boutique is eclectic and fun for everyone! She offers handmade items such as these whimsical mugs:

"Mustache Mugs"

Mustache Mugs

You’ll find some oh-so-hip stationery in the shop as well:

"Chevron Monogrammed Stationery"

Chevron Monogrammed Stationery

The shop really took off when she introduced home decor subway art blocks:

Patriotic Subway Art

Patriotic Subway Art

Busy B Grammy Subway Art

Personalized Rooster Block

Busy B Summer Subway art

Summer Time Subway Art

My personal favorite? Personalized pieces, like the Baby Subway Art:

Baby Subway Art

Baby Subway Art

When you place an order with Busy B Boutique, get ready to enjoy your creation soon – turnover time is short and she’ll get that art to you in no time! Busy B is willing to work with you to create whatever your heart desires, be it a personalized block (you choose the colors and size!) or that special set of mugs you’ve been eyeing to share the morning cup with your loved one. If you’re not sure what to choose, Bethany will work with you to design a custom listing just for you!

What will this shop give to me?

Home Decor Subway Art

Home Decor Subway Art

Busy B Boutique is giving away her Home Decor Subway Block to one lucky winner! Moving into a new home or know someone who is? This block makes a fantastic housewarming gift. It also adds a little reminder of the important things in life:

Dream big! Create! Make Memories!

I like the sound of that, don’t you?!

Please enter to win this giveaway here.

I probably shouldn’t mention that Busy B is creating a little piece of subway art for sweet whimsy designs’ tent! Oops! Did I just leak a little secret?? 😉

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

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One lucky winner will receive one (1) “Home Decor Subway Art Block” from Busy B Boutique. Contest begins June 3, 2013 at 12:00am and ends June 10, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, June 10, 2013. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified. See shop listing for details.

Read More