Thursday, March 28, 2013

Custom Frame Giveaway!

Wahooooo, another giveaway!

This week, I teamed up with Angie Austin, a super talented artist on Etsy that designs cute personalized picture frames in her shop, AngieAustinArt.

I have ordered 6 frames from her and just happened to find her when I was googling "personalized picture frames."  I wanted to make some baby shower host gifts for my besties and my mom, and stumbled upon her shop.  Her frames are AWESOME, super high quality wooden frames and you can either choose some of the frames she has listed in her shop (or on her blog) or design one of your own.  She writes on the frames, whatever you want to say and you can pick from two different sizes.  She even puts a personalized message on the back, one of my favorite things, so the person you are giving the frame to knows it was made just for them.

The back of the one above:

Some information about her frames (from her shop):
All of my frames are custom made. They include a glass insert, backing, and stand. Choose a vertical or horizontal layout. Each frame is primed, sanded, coated with 3-5 coats of base paint, decorated and embellished, and then varnished with a minimum of two coats of high gloss, durable varnish. The entire frame is painted (front, back, and sides...with embellishment on the sides). These are keepsake frames that will be treasured for years to come.
All of my frames are carefully wrapped in paper and then bubble wrap. If you would like me to ship the frame directly to the recipient, add the shipping address in "Notes to Seller" and I can add a ribbon & note as well. I ship my frames USPS Priority, arriving within 2-3 days.
You can request a 5x7 frame for $5.00 more. My 5x7 frames do not have a stand and must be hung. I can add a ribbon for hanging for an additional $2.00.
The BEST part about her shop is that you can custom make a frame to say anything you want and you can choose the design and colors too.  I actually just emailed her with what I wanted, attached some design pictures I found on the internet and she made all of my frames custom for me.  She was really easy to work with, the frames were made pretty quickly and then shipped to me packaged up really nicely and in great condition.  You have to see these frames in person, they are super glossy and professional looking, but say exactly what you want them to say with a lovely message on the back from you to the recipient.  You can even pick the font you want her to use, she is really talented!

Her shop is unique because you can make any frame you want, in any style you want and it will say whatever you want.  She loves hearing the stories behind the frame she is crafting for you and enjoys interacting with her customers.  She also has a super sweet little family and the reason I buy products on Etsy is because I like helping out other mamas who make a living by doing what they love.  (Mamas helping mamas, again, my fav!)

So, on to the giveaway!  Here is what you need to do to win one of her frames!
Follow this blog - just click on "Join this site" over there on the left side <---.  (You don't need a Google account to follow, you can sign up with any email address or sign in through Twitter or Yahoo.)

Visit AngieAustinArt and browse her frames (you can also go to her blog, more frames options there).  Look for a font/style you may want but remember if you don't see something there that you'd like, that's ok she can make you something custom.
Comment below with a brief story about a frame you would like for someone (can even be for you) and what you would want it to look like and say.  (This doesn't have to be your final choice, you and Angie can discuss specifics later if you win!)
Then, we will choose a random winner with the True Random Number Generator based on the comment number you are (2nd person to comment is #2, 4th person to comment is #4, etc.).   

Once again, if your comment doesn't post, email me at and I will post it for you.  Please spread the word on Instagram and on your own blog, this is an awesome way to get small, family businesses recognized.  A winner will be chosen on Friday, good luck!

Below are some of the frames I've ordered from Angie, I have absolutely LOVED every single one and know you will love the frame you get too!  And, if you don't win this giveaway, make sure you head on over to her shop and put in your orders for Mother's Day and Father's Day, her frames make GREAT gifts (these even brought tears to my besties' eyes)!

Stay tuned for even MORE giveaways!  Because of your support, people are wanting to give, give and give!  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On the Move at 8 Months!

The videos on this post do not show up on Blogger's mobile site.  If you'd like to see Lemon in action, you'll have to visit us on your desktop.  :)

Too many cute ones to choose between this month and she wouldn't lay down!  She was constantly rolling over and trying to crawl off the blanket!

For Lemon's actual 8 month birthday we had a photo session and took her swinging, with us, for the first time!  She loved it!  (Are you on Vine?  Find me:  allisonpants)

This post is almost a month late, Lemon will be 9 months on April 2nd, next week!  But, I had to write it because I had pictures already saved and ready to  go and didn't want to miss such a monumental post!

SO much has happened between months 7 and 8, it's unbelievable.  This is the month Lemon learned to crawl, learned to pull herself up, learned that mommy is there for comfort and learned how to shovel food in her mouth at an alarming rate!

Some milestones I don't want to forget:

2.21.13     You slept straight through the night last night for the first time ever.

2.22.13     You stood up in your crib for the first time today, using the side rails to hang on to.

2.24.13     You crawled for the first time and used me to stand up, then did it one-handed! 

2.25.13     You  reached for your mommy for the first time from your Nani's arms.  You are so needy when me or your daddy leaves the room lately.

3.3.13       You crawled even farther in an inch-worm kind of way across the carpet, grabbing and wriggling on your tummy - you went so fast!  You've also been doing this head tilt thing, like a puppy, and doing circles with your ankles when you're laying down or sitting, it's oh so cute!

3.7.13       You pulled yourself up by yourself at Melissa's house and today you mimicked us clapping.  You have been clapping for awhile but today you did it after we did it and we say "Yay!" and you clap! 

3.12.13     You waved for the first time and tried to pull yourself up on the kitchen cabinets.  You also love to mimic us when we yell, you yell with your cute, little voice.  You don't want to be held of put on your back, you want to be sitting, crawling or inch-working (army type crawl pulling yourself by whatever rug you are on).  You ate yogurt for the first time tonight and refused to eat a broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash medley - the first time you've refused a type of food.

Before bath shenanigans (with the infamous "running" head where she moves it back and forth really fast even though she's laying and her infamous yell):

I now know why another mom friend told me that all she has to do is feed her babe and she's happy.  This month Lemon taught us this too.  She has eaten all kinds of things - mostly soft foods since she has no teeth yet.  Banana, avacado, black beans, sweet potato, regular potato, peas, carrots, green beans, sliced turkey, cheese, yogurt, strawberries (still a fav), melons, eggs and the list goes on.  She still doesn't have pureed food, although she seems ok with a bit of yogurt (not baby kind, the regular kind) oatmeal and applesauce.  She doesn't make as much of a mess anymore and still uses those super cute pinchy fingers.  It takes her forever but there have been times where she's eaten everything we've put in front of her!  She eats better than we do, with a vegetable at every meal and only organic fruits, veggies and meat.  No gluten yet, since I have an allergy, and I'd like to keep it this way for as long as I can.  We don't cook with flour so there is no real reason she has to ever eat it at home.  

She did start to pinch my nipple, with her pinchers this month, because she does it to the food that she eats.  It is too funny that she associates it with a little piece of food and tries to pinch at it, then makes a sort of slurping sound because she has her mouth around it and her fingers.  It is too funny!


The head tilt KILLS me!  (Gluten free noodles of course!)

If you have a Gymboree near you, get their bubbles, they are awesome!  Such a baldy in this pic, I swear her hair grew so much this month too!


We lowered the crib twice in two days, the first time it just wasn't low enough so we had to do it again, such a pain.  Someone learned to stand up and it just wasn't safe!  We also took the sound machine out and put it on a shelf at head level but outside of her crib (it was bungeed in the crib before) and we had to mount the camera because that was bungeed too.  We have caught her a couple of times pulling on the camera cord so I have to staple gun that to the wall too.  I even caught her once, when she was supposed to be napping, about to put the sound machine cord, plug side, in her mouth!  That's how we knew it was time to move them!  (It is seriously insane looking at these pictures, she has grown SO much even just from 8 to 9 months - I wish time would slow down!)


This girl is still taking baths with her daddy almost every night, although we did get a baby bathtub for her to sit in on nights he can't bathe with her so I can do it myself without her sliding and falling.  She did get her first bump on her head when Ian tried to hold her in the bath and she slipped.  But that was definitely the first of many for this standing, crawling girl!  First bubble bath (and all she did was eat the bubbles):


We are still going to swimming and Lemon loves it now more than ever.  She screams and yells the whole time she's in the water (happy yells) and laughs and giggles.  The instructors at Hubbard Swim School all know her and love her, and she goes to them while in the water.  I swear she is happiest when she's swimming, she is totally a little fish.

On to me for a bit.  This is one of my first yoga students from the high school I teach at (for the past 5 years I offered a free yoga class, once a week, to students after school).  Drew, actually graduated high school and now has her yoga certification and became a teacher at the hot yoga student right by my house, the one I go too!  How cool is that?!  We took a class together and man did it make me feel old!

Learned how to do a gel manicure on myself (thanks twinsies for the rad Christmas present!):

Spent some time with my lover during naps (or almost naps):

Attended an Arizona Recycling Coalition conference.  I started the recycling program at my high school about 7 years ago and now I am part of this non-profit group.  It was super fun but they had spaghetti for lunch and I couldn't eat it, so I was stuck with salads and veggies.  But, on my way back to school (I got to take professional time to go!), I stopped at Nami and got myself a gluten free doughnut - yum!
And even though the babe had some nights where we all got a full night's sleep, there were also those nights where she was up for 2-4 hours crying and we couldn't stop her.  It was definitely a crazy sleep month - so hit or miss, and it got to a point where I couldn't sleep for fear it would be a night where she was uncontrollably crying.  We don't know why she did it, or why she didn't some other nights, but we tried everything and couldn't stop her.  It was nutso, but then sleeping is always nutso with her.  The less I slept the sillier my school clothes got (leggings for paints): 
But the next day, with a little more sleep, I actually tried a bit harder:

My bestie, Christine, and I went on a zoo trip with a gal we'd never actually met but were friends with on Instagram (and who is a mutual friend of other friends).  Her boys were just the cutest and became instant besties with Espen.  And Lemon, well she loved the attention from everyone.

(future husband)

(ombre love)

And Christine captured these pics, the first ever pics of Lemon and I were I think we look exactly alike.  Look at our profiles!  So awesome.

And guess what guys?  It snowed in Arizona this month!  We drove about 10 minutes north from our house (which isn't in mountains or anything) and found snow!  It was so fun!!  Talk about global warming - it hasn't snowed like this in Arizona since I was in middle school (and I'm 34!)!

Because Ian was always asking me where Lemon was going every day, and because I was always remembering her stuff but forgetting my lunch, I got us a calendar for our front door.  It is the coolest and the organizer in me absolutely loves writing on it.  It seriously helps us know what is coming, who is watching her and to remember what things to pack for us and for her.

Lemon is officially done with daycare!  Her last day was the end of February and Melissa and my mom, with the help of my dad and Ian's mom, Patty, are splitting the time watching her!  We loved the daycare we took her to, and the ladies there loved her, but I'm happy to save the extra $550 a month and for her to be with family and friends every day.  We are so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives that help us out so much.  Swinging at daycare:

Us showing up at daycare on her last day, only to find out that my mom had already picked her up!

 And at Melissa's with her bestie, Livvy:


How cute are these two:


This lady, love her!  Melissa and her boyfriend, Jason, seriously treat Lemon like their own daughter, it's amazing.

Nightly family walks are still in full effect and it's my favorite, like I said before, because I get to pack Lemon in the ergo and snuggle and kiss her the whole time!  The weather was so cold this past month but we went every night anyway!


Some after school daddy love:

Why yes, that is a bow clipped into her hair!  Finally!

Ok, so one of the many problems with being a working mom is that you never get to dress your daughter in all of the incredibly cute clothes she has.  I feel like weekends are the only times I can dress her cute, how I want to, and with all of her jewelry and a cute bow.  So, after school, sometimes if we are going somewhere, yes even to Costco, I change her into something cute just so she can wear it, if only once.  A mom friend once said to me, "Don't save all of her cute clothes because she will grow out of them by the time you go to put her in them," and I remembered that.  So, fancy at Costco it is!


Weekend cuteness:



(Matching again!)

And the random pics:

(We like to name her sleeping positions on Instagram.  I think this one was "shot out of a cannon.")

We are still doing a bit of formula before bed because it's part of our routine (I started it in hopes that she would sleep better).  Walk, dinner, bath, lotion, formula, boob, bed.  Since she's eating so much solid food I don't think she needs it anymore so I've started putting less and less in her bottle, but we've kept the bottle because she is used to it.  Does our routine help?  Sometimes.

Weekends rule:

(This has made her cry, or have a frowny face, from the time she was about 3 months old.  Too funny!)

Cute homemade headbands by @goodbychyna on Instagram.  Also a mama I've never met but would like to!



How she first started to stand!  We didn't have any standing toys so this sufficed for a bit!


 And a few good camera pics and videos:

Phew, so many pictures and videos!  Well, there goes 8 months little Lemon.  You have changed and grown so much over this past month and time has just flown by, like always.  I have never before said that a certain age is my favorite but am saying it now - this is my favorite age.  Seeing her grown, move, and pass so many milestones has been incredible.  Her personality has come out even more and she makes me laugh all the time.  8 months and even 9 months have been truly the best, so much so that I don't want to leave her anymore to go to work, she's just so fun.