Saturday, May 24, 2014

Instagram Father's Day Giveaway

Our shop, Spirit Bee Woodworks, has teamed up with some other small, online shops to offer a giveaway just for dads for Father's Day this year.  It's rare that you find shops on Instagram, that are geared towards men, and we are SO happy to be working with these shops to give one lucky dad a bunch of cool stuff!

Here's what that man in your life (whether it be your dad or your baby's dad) could win, and a bit about these awesome shops!  (This is an Instagram only giveaway so no comments left here will be counted.  Sorry!)

A walnut bent wood ring in the winner's size, hand made by us.

Spirit Bee Woodworks is a small, family business that specializes in handcrafted, bent wood rings (and other wooden jewelry).  We are located in Scottsdale, Arizona and have been in business for almost a year.  We are a team of two high school teachers who started making rings to supplement our income and help with the costs of raising our almost 2 year old daughter, Lemon.

Original No.1 Beard Oil is lightly scented with exotic sandalwood, crisp citrus, and soft cedar oils. It's a classic woodsy scent with a citrus top note.  Each 1oz bottle of Beard Essentials Premium Beard Oil is poured by hand.  Beard Essentials Premium Beard Oils are handcrafted using organic plant-based oils. These natural oils help protect and nourish your beard as well as the skin beneath. Keeping your beard looking and feeling healthier.

Beard Essentials is a small one man (beard) operation. I offer premium organic beard oil that helps soothe beard itch and moisturize the face and beard. The scents I use are intended to be light and non overpowering, meant for the beardsman and those close to him, not the entire room. 

2oz Tea Tree blend ($13.50 value, shipped) An organic, healing blend of oils that your man will love! Perfect for bug bites, an itchy beard, athlete’s foot, acne, skin abrasions and more!

O+O produces organic, healing oil blends to suit your every need. Uses and benefits include but not limited to; antibacterial, anti fungal, antiseptic, anti aging, dandruff, heal minor cuts and burns, acne, eczema, headaches, bug repellant, diaper rash (cloth diaper safe) AND SO MUCH MORE! We are passionate about natural healing and excited to share our blends with you! We have 100% positive feedback.  (To learn more about this company, I did a video interview with the founder and reviewed their products, here.)

An all natural handmade balm designed just for men. Made with coconut oil, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, vitamin e, beeswax, and a blend of bergamot & cedarwood essential oils, this balm will help any of that dry, rough skin that men get from all the hard work they do. No girly scents, and a low key label ensure that this balm is all man. 

Sweet Daisy was created in 2013 by Kim, wife & stay at home mom of 2 little boys living in a small town in Connecticut. All products are handmade by Kim in the kitchen of her small, happy home. The real reason behind the company came from the need of natural, soothing, healing products and a need to supplement income after her husband got injured at work at their 3 year old diagnosed with autism. Every product is driven by passion and enthusiasm for sharing a happy, healthy, healing natural life.

Field notes cover is 100% handmade from the finest vegetable tanned leather available from the legendary Wickett & Craig.  Stitched, riveted and dyed by hand.

All of my products are handmade from the finest veg tanned leather available from the legendary Wickett & Craig. All products, no matter how small, are made from the same leather.

Fulcro :: Credit-Card Sized, Stainless Steel, Minimalist Bottle Opener ($22 Value)
Crafted like your Beer! The Fulcro is a stainless steel, credit-card sized, minimalist bottle opener that conveniently fits into any traditional wallet. Always have an opener. Save the day, be the hero!

Portsmith Co. is family owned and operated in Phoenix, AZ with our products being proudly designed and handcrafted in the USA. Portsmith Co. strives to create people inspired life essentials that are functional, durable, obtainable, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Goods that will be used, enjoyed and well loved by those around us for a lifetime. Our hope is that our products will make life easier, foster community, spur on adventure, kindle an appreciation for handcrafted and help you to forge life long friendships.

"Daddy and me" bow tie set. (Or hair bow for the father of a girl.)  The adult bow tie is pre made and has a horizontal metal hardware piece to be clipped on collard shirt. A strap may be made if requested.  Child's bow (or bow tie) is a butterfly clip and can also be made with strap. 

My shop is pretty much my outlet. I am still very new and enjoy it very much. (Minus the stress.) I work once everyone is asleep and I am on break from being mama!! My ultimate goal is to have a successful, fun shop for your whole family. 

Tri-fold style wallet. Adorned with our new favorite Day of the Dead skulls. This stunning wallet features an extremely durable cow-hide leather wallet back with full grain pig-hide interior. The wallet back was embossed and then hand painted & hand stained to give it serious attitude.

We are a small, handmade business who is focusing on the functional and aesthetic qualities of leather goods. Chauncey is the husband, Danielle is the wife. Together along with our toddler we are venturing into the world of online business to bring our leather wares to the world. May/2014 marks our 3 year anniversary of online sales and we can't wait to see where we go from here. We sell wallets, guitar straps, card cases, bracelets, and focus on creating as many custom leather goods as we can. Our favorite evening can be spent in the warm hills of the southern Ozarks with an icy beer in our hand, a record blaring, and good company with lots of laughter.

Good luck, we hope you win!!  :)

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Friday, May 23, 2014

It's a Cruel World Out There

Yesterday at Gymboree we encountered a very mean boy.  One who did multiple mean things to Lemon, and one whose mother never scolded him for any of them.  Lemon had some of her first exposures to the cruel world around her and it made me so sad. 

First, toys were snatched out of her hands, more than once.  Then, she was pushed.  And to top it all off, as she was reaching for a bubble and caught it, this boy smacked her hard, in the hand (to pop the bubble!).  (Captured it on Vine if you want to see.)  His mom was young, had another baby strapped to her chest (facing out in a crotch dangler) and every time she saw her son do these things she would say, "that's not nice" or "you need to apologize" but would never get down on his level, remove him from the situation, wasn't firm and didn't actually ask him to apologize to her.  The worst part is that  every time he did these things to Lemon - you should have seen the look on her face.

It broke my heart.  It was a look of "Why did he do that?"  Or, "What did I do wrong?"  She looked at us for help, for guidance and we had nothing for her, just a hug and a kiss and to tell her that it was ok.  We couldn't stop this kid from being mean to her, only his mom could, and we couldn't shelter our girl from it.  I guess it was a tough lesson for us to learn too, you can't protect your babes from the meanies out there in the world.  What a bummer.

Sometimes I think Ian is too firm with Lemon when she does something wrong; but he deals with behaviors like her, in grown kids, every day so he does know his stuff.  And you know what?  Lemon doesn't hit kids, push them or take things from them - and it's because we taught her that you don't act like that to someone else, you keep your hands to yourself.  She is really the sweetest thing, and despite the confused, hurt look on her face, she just toddled away and got over it.  She is so resilient, unlike me, I wanted to just scream at that mother.  Don't get me wrong, our kid is not perfect.  She doesn't listen (like all other toddlers), throws things when she doesn't want to do something and throws silent fits when she wants her way (seriously silent, face down, on the floor).  But, she does treat other kids with respect. 

I know that people have different parenting styles and some don't like to give their kids a firm "NO" like we do.  But, it works!  Lemon doesn't touch things she isn't supposed to, only tried to eat dog food once (and got the firmest "No!" that scared her half to death!) and treats other people nicely, because the one time she pushed a little girl she got that "NO!" and never did it again.  We don't spank her, and with good discipline I personally believe that you don't have to, but we are firm with her, and it takes just one or two times before she knows not to do it again.  Why are parents so afraid to be tough with their kids?  You know what happens when you aren't?  Your child is the one hitting, pushing and snatching things from others . . . and it drives me bonkers.

I love doing "kid stuff" with Lemon - we love Gymboree, swimming and doing whatever else she loves to do.  The only thing that makes it not fun are the other kids, and of course I don't blame them, I blame their parents.  The parents who are on their phones instead of watching their kids run wild and knock over the little ones playing peacefully, the parents who don't see their kids pushing, hitting or being mean to others.  The parents who are too afraid to say no or that say no too much it has lost all meaning (you've seen these frazzled, crazy parents too!).  There's nothing like the mom constantly yelling at her 3 children at the grocery store the other day to make me not want to have 3 kids - it looked terrible!  But, it's all how you handle it and the kids were just bored with nothing to do.  Give those kids a list and make them go on a grocery scavenger hunt!

Lemon is a good girl because we've taught her to be a good girl.  Ian's kids bite him as teenagers because no one taught them not to when they were just little muffins.  I am happy that my husband isn't afraid to be firm and give Lemon some boundaries; after all, kids are like dogs, they love rules and boundaries.  Trust me, I teach high school.  The best teachers, who have the best students, hold their students accountable, give them timelines and rules and expect nothing less.  Why don't we do the same as parents?

So, to the kid's mom at Gymboree who I think was just young, tired and didn't know what she was doing - I do blame you for not disciplining your kid.  Next time, I just may say something.  But, to my sweet Lemon who had no idea what was happening - I wish I could protect you from what's out there in this world, but I won't always be there to do it.  It's a cruel world out there but you handled those situations with grace, tact and just ignored his bad behavior - just like we've taught you to do.  Just like I hope you will do in the future, when the bullies get meaner and the world gets more cruel.  I'm proud of you. 

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Few Last Things - Guest Post

I was featured on Danielle Hampton's blog today, Sometimes Sweet, answering some "A Few Last Things" questions.  This girl is amazing - she is the mama of two cute boys, lives in Arizona (like me) is a hard working, stay at home mama who takes the most beautiful pictures of her family.  Her blog is one of the first blogs that I ever read and she is so inspirational to all of us "blogger moms."  She speaks at conferences, sponsors small businesses on her site and is so positive and influential in this mama community; I just love her and her little family.  See my answers to these questions on her blog:
  • Last really delicious meal you enjoyed.  
  • Last time you felt nervous.
  • Last big thing you splurged on.
  • Last family vacation you took.
  • Last time you were moved to tears.
  • Last time you were wrong.
  • Last person you missed.
  • Last blog/IG account you really fell in love with.
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Friday, May 16, 2014

Little Foot Boutique Teepee Review & Giveaway!

 {The giveaway featured in this post ended on May 21st, 2014.}

I am so excited about this giveaway, I have ALWAYS wanted a teepee for Lemon's room and we finally got one from this awesome shop!  Scroll down to see how you can win a handmade chevron teepee (in either pink, yellow, gray or black) for your little one!

I had a chance to work with Lisa from Little Foot Boutique this week and her teepees are just so cute!  More about Lisa, her family and her shop:

"I'm a stay at home mom with two boys, Wyatt is 2 and Evan is 3. I have been married to my best friend for almost 10 years.  I started sewing around age 10. My grandmother taught me when she would watch my sister and I in the summer time. I made doll clothes and pillows. Pretty simple things. We would use my grandma's old singer foot pedal machine.

My husband bought me my first sewing machine five years ago. I didn't really use it until I had my second baby. I was laid of from my project manager position at my architectural firm when the economy crashed back in 2009.

I went from being the bread winner to nothing! Such a bittersweet time in my life. I couldn't get a job anywhere so I got pregnant. Right!?!? I had my second baby within eighteen months and times were really tough. I couldn't buy my babies anything because there was no extra money. I relied on baby showers, donations and hand me downs from family and friends. My friends and family gave me fabric and I had yard sales to raise money for my supplies. I started Little Foot Boutique on my dining room table.

When Wyatt was three months old, and Evan was a year and a half, I  opened my Etsy shop. I started sewing simple baby items. I would sew at nap times and in the evenings when they would go to bed. Eventually, sewing took over my life! I would sew all night sometimes and take care of my babies the next day. Crazy! I eventually hired another person to help me. I now have three amazing women that sew with me. These ladies needed money and have been out of the work force for many years raising their kids. I have grown so much since 2012. I recently started another Etsy shop with my sister called The Sprouted Arrow. Both shops are going so well and I've learned so much over the last two years that I feel only experience can teach you. It's been amazing how much my shop has changed, and myself as well. I now sell apparel, bedding and home decor items.

I'm so grateful for my family, friends and loyal followers' support. I feel so blessed to be where I am today!"

Lisa makes tons of stuff like headbands, skirts, table runners, teepees and more - she is so talented!  (And her, and her sister's, shop is awesome too, such comfy, cute kids apparel!)  I actually wish that I would have found her shop before buying Lemon's custom made pink chevron curtains and crib skirt (on Carousel Designs), and spending a fortune two years ago, because Lisa's prices are so much better!  
I have always wanted a teepee for Lemon's room, she is a quarter Native American after all, and I'm so happy I found Lisa's shop.  She was really easy to work with, is so accommodating and sweet, even though I'm sure she's busy, and I am loving our new teepee! 

She sent us a pink chevron teepee (which retails for $125), without the poles, and we put it together ourselves.  (Her teepees measure 59 inches tall and are 58 inches around the base.)  Our teepee came with instructions for "Teepee Assembly" that said we needed 5, 1/2" dowels (or PVC pipe) that is 66" long.  You also need rope or twine to tie the top of the teepee together.  You just insert the poles, through the 5 pockets, spread the legs out and then tie firmly at top and you are done!  It definitely seemed easy enough and it's how I wanted to spend Mother's Day, putting Lemon's teepee together as a family. See how we assembled our teepee:

We went to Lowes to try to find dowels to use for our teepee but it wasn't as easy as we thought.  The only dowels they had weren't long enough, so we had to get square poles instead (it's molding I think).  I got 1/2" inch poles (like the instructions said) that only came in 8 feet so someone at Lowes cut them down for us.  After bringing them home, we saw that the pockets on the teepee were actually big enough for 1" poles (and those also would have made our teepee sturdier), but we had already spent $25 on the ones we got.  So, our teepee is pretty flimsy, because of the poles, and I will eventually replace them with something thicker.  Lisa does say, on her site, to get 3/4" dowels for your teepee (different than the instructions), which would be a bit thicker, but I would totally recommend 1" dowels/poles/PVC pipe which would have even more support (and it looks like the ones in her pictures may be 1" dowels).  

The fabric on ours had to be tied up with the twine also, since the poles were so thin, so the thicker poles would support the fabric better too.  Our fabric slips down the poles, and the poles slip out at the ends, and this makes for a very filmsy set up, and one that a toddler constantly knocks over.  A thicker dowel (molding/PVC pipe) would definitely solve both of these problems (holding the fabric in place at the top and bottom) so if you order a teepee, opt for a thicker type of pole when you are purchasing them!

Seriously you guys, Lemon loves this teepee!  I put a couple of blankets down on the floor, and a pillow inside (with some stuffed animal friends) and she just sits in there and looks at her books.  She goes in it every morning when she wakes up, and every afternoon when we get home from work, and thinks it's hilarious to close the front on us (it comes with ties to close it and to ties to tie in a bow so the flaps stay open).  She hides from us in it, relaxes in it, pretends to go "night, night" in it and it is all just so cute.  It is the perfect size for her and I think she loves having her own little space, one we definitely can't fit inside of!  
I love the design of the teepee, love that it just happens to be the exact same Chevron fabric as the curtains in Lemon's room, and it is really well made.  You can tell that Lisa has a passion for her business, and the items she sells, and works hard to make this job her career.  I hope she is SO successful in this business because we love our teepee (and the other items in both of her shops are so cute too, check them out!)!

Do you want to win a Little Foot Boutique teepee for your little one (in your choice of pink, yellow, gray or black chevron)?  Here's what you need to do for a chance to win:
  • Follow littlefootboutique and I (allisonpants) on Instagram, repost our giveaway picture and hash tag it #givemeateepee!  (If you don't have an Instagram account, just follow my blog, on Google or on Blog Lovin', and comment below to be entered.)
  • For an extra entry, follow my blog and comment on this post saying why you would love to win a teepee for your muffin!  (You've got to follow in order for your comment/entry to count.)
Winners will be chosen at random on Wednesday, May 21st at 8pm MST.  If you win, you will receive a chevron teepee in your choice of colors (pink, yellow, gray or black)!  Good luck!!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's Good to be a Mommy

Mother's Day flew by this year, just like everything else, but damn it's good to be a mommy.  We celebrated my Mother's Day on Saturday with sleeping in, breakfast made for me, a trip to a nearby farm with friends (that we had never been to!), swimming lessons and building a teepee with my family.  Sunday we went to breakfast with Ian's mom, grocery shopping (working parent life) and then dinner with my mom and niece.  A whirlwind weekend but oh so fun. 

Hope you enjoyed your Mother's Day too and that you family treats you so good, like it's Mother's Day every day!



To the little girl who made me a mama - I love you with my whole heart.  You make me be a better person, have more energy and make me want to do all of the things with you that you want to do, even if I'm tired.  You complete me and are my very best friend.  Sometimes I feel like we are the only two people on the whole planet.  I never thought someone could love me this much and that I would love someone just as much.  It's too much, too much to write and too much to say.  I love you will have to do.  You are the best thing I've ever done and my most favorite person on the planet.  

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