Monday, May 23, 2016

Moms on Mondays - Jackie from North Star Teepees

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Today on Moms on Mondays I am featuring Jackie from North Star Teepees!  She made Indy's new teepee for his nursery and we LOVE it!  The best part about her teepees is that they come all ready assembled, with poles and all.  It is awesome because I didn't have to buy poles and it was really easy to set up, it even folds up against the wall for when you're not using it.  She is super talented!  Read her post below and then go shop!

We love Indy's new teepee!

Hi, My name is Jackie and my shop is North Star Teepees. You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook.

I make and sell children’s play teepees, mats, bunting banners and pillow covers. I also specialize in custom order teepees.

I have always wanted to own and run my own business. I have sewn personally and professionally for as long as I can remember. With working outside of the home part time, the kid’s grown and on their own, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

I opened up my shop in July of 2014 making kid’s teepees and have been in business for almost 2 years. I have been enjoying every moment, bringing out my creative side.

I went to school in a small town next to a corn field. I met and married my husband and was  fortunate to stay home with our children until they were about school age. I worked for an upholstery shop as a seamstress, and for a wheel chair company sewing padded seats until the company went overseas. I currently work for our local school district part time as well.

I guess my story is a little different. I am not like the typical story that you read about on 
Mom on Mondays about young mother entrepreneurs. I feel very fortunate & blessed in many ways. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I have been happily married to my best friend for 31 years. We have 3 amazing children together and 5 fun, energetic, full of life grandchildren. I love being with my family, sewing, hiking, camping, and cruising around in my old 1952 chevy pickup truck (still deciding to paint it or not). I still live in the same small town that I grew up in, and my husband and I live in my childhood home. We are so fortunate that all of our children and grandchildren live very close by.

As I stated before, I work part time for our local school district to help with the household. My shop also helps our family as well. Personally, my shop lets me be creative and express myself and communicate with some amazing people.

I have always sewn, and have always wanted my own small business, but I never thought I would be creating children’s teepees and selling them online. What an awesome adventure, I absolutely love it! I am still amazed at how far technology has come, and how it has given individuals the opportunity to work from their own homes and care for their families while making their products. I love the whole process of communicating with the customers, to sewing and creating items for my shop. I always thought that I would open my own business one day and work from our home.

I have a great support team. My husband drills and sands my teepee poles, helps me pack my orders when it gets super busy, plays Mr. Postman and makes many trips to the post office for me. My father (a professional woodworker) helps out by cutting all of my teepee poles.

Since I work part time, I do a lot of my sewing and communicating during the day or evening. 
It does get very busy sometimes, especially during the holidays.

I really love making custom order teepees for my customers. I enjoy connecting with customers and helping them bring their vision to life. I make a lot of teepees for professional photo shoots, baby showers, and that special 1st Birthday!

The most challenging part of my business is juggling my time with two part time jobs and having enough time for my family (and me)!

In the future I would like to keep adding more quality products, and see my shop in some small store fronts and boutiques. I would also really like to sell my teepees at a few local pop up shows and meet some of my customers in person.

I do not have a single favorite product. I would have to say that a lot of my custom orders would be my favorites. They each have their own personality! 

My advice and encouragement to other moms who make handmade products would be to find something you truly enjoy and are passionate about. What a wonderful opportunity for young mothers to stay home with children, express their talents, and help financially.

A few of my favorite shops are: The Wheat Field, Infusion, The Velvet Acorn and Julia E. Dean

Thanks Jackie, loved having you here!

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Friday, May 20, 2016

How to Choose the Right Car Seat - Collab with Baby Cubby

You guys, baby stuff is SO overwhelming.  There are a million products and I, personally, get lost in my research when I google them all.  It's like never ending and can drive you crazy - and who has time for that when you're having a baby?  Not me!
Image from Baby Cubby

Well, with the help of Baby Cubby, you don't have to search very hard.  They created an online Buying Guide to help you to find the right car seat.  They make it super easy, and have graphics that you can work with so you know just what kind of seat to get, based on your child's weight and age.  So awesome and I love how it takes out all of the guess work for me!

Photo from Baby Cubby

This company is great!  They try really hard to let people know that they aren't just "another baby store," they are so much more than that.  They encourage parents to engage with them, online on their website, in their retail store (in Utah), through social media or on their Cubby Community Blog.  That way parents feel the difference in knowing that they don't just sell "stuff," but they are also a resource for them through this amazing journey as well.

Before checking out their buying guide, I just assumed it would be a bunch of car seats that they sell, and a comparison chart for them.  But, it's so much more than that!  The fact that they give parents information, that they can interact with (like the first photo above), really puts the learning in our hands, and allows us to work with their site to choose the seat that is right for us.  I really like that sense of empowerment, without all of the work.

From their company:
The Baby Cubby is for every parent out there who has ever felt overwhelmed or discouraged about becoming a parent. Our Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who have been there, we know what it’s like and we are passionate about encouraging, inspiring, and reminding parents how amazing they are and how important their role is. 
The way we do that is by finding the best and safest baby gear, and providing it to parents in a fun shopping experience where we do things like test strollers on our stroller track, price match everyday (even on Amazon), offer free shipping nationwide and actively engage with parents via social media and on our blog, to discuss some of those hard topics of parenting.
You can read a little bit more about what we're passionate about and why we do what we do on our about us page here.
We always price match so you know you're getting a great deal.  We carry only the best, and safest, gear so you can shop confidently (we spend hundreds of hours researching it so you don't have to) and we offer free shipping every day on our website on orders over $49. 
I mean, how cool is that?  A company that is invested in you, as a parent, and knows that you don't have time to do your own research, so they do it all for you, taking the guess work out of all those millions of baby products we just can't decide on.  I love it!

Head on over to Baby Cubby today, check out their site and blog, and then buy something you've been putting off buying because you want to get the "best" one - they've already selected it for you!  And, use code ALITTLEBLUEBERRY for 10% off your order (valid 5/20-5/27)!

You can find them on all social media outlets:  Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.  Head on over and tell them how much you appreciate them today!

Thank you Baby Cubby for helping us parents out!  :)

This is a sponsored post, but all views expressed are my own.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

An Adventurer's Nursery - Indiana Blue - 38 Weeks

How funny that I am posting this post at 38 weeks and before, when I was pregnant with Lemon, I posted it at 36 weeks - I am behind this time!  I just have a lot going on, it feels like I'm always trying to catch up.  Agh!

Feeling very out of room this week.  I am still measuring small, 37 weeks at 38 weeks, and have only gained 30 pounds (compared to my 45 last time) and feel great and active, but when I'm sitting for long periods of time I feel like I can't breathe.  Then, I start getting nervous that I can't catch a full breath, and then it starts to make me feel nauseous.  I've had two rough days in the past couple of weeks, but I think most of it has to do with sleep.  When I don't get enough sleep I just feel terrible.  Waking up 1-2 times a night is ok, it's when I just toss and turn that sucks.  So, still feeling good but my uterus is totally up in my ribs, it's tough to breathe.

I got checked yesterday, at my 38 week appointment, and my cervix was still totally closed.  The doc said she was surprised since I've already had a baby.  I told her, "School isn't over yet."  Ha!

So, here is Lemon's nursery reveal post, and also the contents of my hospital bag the first time around.  It's fun to look back at this post because Lemon's old nursery is now Indiana's nursery, it's crazy how things change.  I had no idea how to make a girl's room into a boy's room, but I think we did a pretty good job!

Rug is from Ikea, curtains are from Target.

Brittany, our nanny and friend, made this pom pom banner for me.  Indy's great-grandma made the quilt on the crib and the map is from Zazzle.  The chair is actually pink, but I ordered a jersey chair cover on Amazon, that didn't fit, but modified it so it would! 

My mom scored the tiny bag, hat and whip on eBay and the prints are from Etsy.

 The teepee is from North Star Teepees who I am featuring on Moms on Monday next Monday!

Lemon has been spending so much time in Indy's room lately.  She loves pretending his (her old) stuffed animals are the baby and reading to them and playing with all of his (her old) toys.  She can't wait until he arrives and knows it's soon!

She LOVES laying in his crib and watching "movies."

Some pictures from this past week, including Mother's Day, which I somehow forgot to post last week.  We spent the day at Hotel Valley Ho and it was lovely!

Our friends Julie and Penny.

Lemon was STILL sick last week and was fine for a couple of days, then would throw up, then fine and then throw up.  I was really worried about her and we took her back to the doc (for the 3rd time).  They told us to keep a food journal and not feed her too close to bed time.  We've been doing that and she's better, so far.  It was a weird sickness and I hope it doesn't come back!

Out to dinner with my mom and Joe for Mother's Day.  I watched Lemon play with utensils for hours, she can literally play with anything and make up stories about them.  It's so cute to watch!

Our friends at school threw me a surprise baby shower and Lemon came!  It was so fun!

We had barf bowls all around the house - did she barf in them even once?  Nope.  Ha!

I delivered at a different hospital with my first pregnancy so I wanted to tour my new hospital.  Ian couldn't come so my bestie Christie came with me and it was fun.  The nurse did not like my hippie questions and wasn't very accommodating, and the tour didn't really make me feel better about giving birth this second time around.  But, I got a cupcake after and that worked wonders!  

Entertaining a sick chick:

Lemon felt better on Saturday so we headed to a friend's birthday party.  She swam for the first time this year and squealed with joy the whole time!  It reminded me of when she was a baby and LOVED the water from one month old, it was the same sound, laughter and joy.  I am so happy she still loves the water and is swimming like a champ in the last level of classes at her swimming place!  She's awesome!  I can't wait to go in our pool!

Ian played a show on Saturday night so we stayed up late and had a slumber party.  I can't wait to have another tomorrow night when SCHOOL IS OUT!

Children's Museum fun with friends on Sunday:

The saddest princess when Jonah knocked down the castle!  Boys!

And since we are comparing old posts to new ones (and Lemon's nursery reveal also had the contents of my hospital bag on it), I thought I'd include my hospital bag on this post too.

The contents of my hospital bag this time around (with baby #2).  Definitely not bringing as much stuff!
  • chapstick
  • hair ties/bobby pins
  • iPod, headphones and speakers
  • phone charger
  • gum
  • undies 
  • feminine products (there are never enough and I hate asking for them)
  • DVDs
  • blankets/clothes/hats/outfits for baby
  • camera
  • nightgowns for delivery and after, including a robe, comfy clothes
  • bathing suit top/sports bra (for tub)
  • my normal hygiene stuff that I couldn't pack yet like deodorant/toothpaste/shampoo/lotion/face wash/etc.
  • Ian's normal hygiene stuff
  • Water/snacks (I hope to decline fluid IV)
  • socks/flip flops
  • sweater
  • and . . . a vibrator (sorry moms!)  This is a technique we learned in hypnobirthing (and also in Ina May's book) for slow or stalled labor.  Read Lemon's birth story to see how I used it to progress the last time, it was AWESOME!  :)

Well, I hope I get to do another one of these posts next week but if not, I'll see you all on the other side!  Thanks for following along on our journey, we love you!!!  :)

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