Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Getting Personal with Jaymo...a Division of Cottage Mills LLC #review #giveaway

I love personalized things and this is a company that is right up my ally.  I love to give personalized gifts, too.  They asked me to send them some pictures and I couldn't wait to see what they did with them!!  It was like Christmas morning for me when this box arrived on my front porch.  It was overflowing with goodies that were just for me!  I got the cutest travel mug with my sweet Bolt's picture on it.  I have gotten so many compliements on it because I have used it every day.  I also got a very cool phone case that has a great picture of Aiden on it.  Those are my two most favorite things right now!!  I also receieved a very nice pen with the Mommy's Block Party logo on it.  It writes great and I can't wait to give it to Ondria, since she is the founder of Mommy's Block Party!  I also recieved some sample Pix Stylus pens that can be personalized and used with your devices.  Another very cool item I received is the Zip Sign.  It is a reusable, dry erase banner that you can suction cup for display. You just write your message on it with a dry erase and it is so easy to wipe clean with a wet towel when it's time to change it. When not in use, it rolls up for easy storage. So far, I've used it for a Summer Camp but I am sure it will gets lots of use at the Kindergarten where I work. I defineitly reccommned checking out Jaymo for unique, personal items.  You will not be disappointed!

A box full of goodies...It was packed neat but I was so excited to go though it!

Love my new phone case.

It fit perfectly on my phone. 

I love drinking my coffee from this sweet cup every morning.

PixPens that can be personalized.

Mommy's Block Party pen

Cool ZipSign with dry erase marker and eraser.

This ZipSign comes with suction cup holders. 

So easy to hang on the front door of school to welcome kids.

Cottage Mills was started in 1991 by Paul Foght with a focus on the craft and scrapbooking markets. His son Jay was his first employee although he later left the start-up to become a Product Manager creating craft products for Fiskars and Uniek. Jay returned to Cottage Mills in 2004 to take over the business. With Jay’s return the company became best known for its innovative storage and display items. Giving shops something new to sell is Jay’s focus, who at a young age won three Innovations Awards from the nation’s largest craft trade association for products he created. The most recent of these prestigious awards was for the PixPen™, the ball point pen that’s a picture frame.

With this history rich in the craft market, Cottage Mills LLC continues to provide its popular sewing notions and now the Needloft and QuickCount products to the public via independent and large chain craft stores. The Needloft and QuickCount products, formerly manufactured by Uniek, Inc dramatically increased the craft business.

In 2010 Jaymo, the new photo gift division was created to further broaden Cottage Mills’ scope into new sales opportunities. With it was the market introduction of Jay’s latest products, personalized cell phone cases. The PixCase™ combines the black vinyl side of a conventional phone case with the non-glare surface of a picture frame. Because the photo appears inside the back of the phone case, all one has to do is flip over the phone to show off the photo. The PIYCase™ takes another twist on personalization. A person can decorate a case with the included backgrounds and stickers making it completely one-of-a-kind. Jaymo and the new products are helping to focus sales and marketing efforts to create a solid market presence in the gift and electronics industries.

Located in picturesque south central Wisconsin Cottage Mills and Jaymo ship products throughout the United States, Canada, South America and Europe.

Want it?  Buy it!
Check out all Jaymo has to offer on their website! You can also connect with them on Facebook , Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

Want it?  Win it!

Four lucky readers will win a Jaymo Personalized Prize Package. Open to US residents, 18+, only. No PO Boxes. Just use the RC entry form below to enter for your chance to win. This contest is in no way affiliated or endorsed by any social media platform. Mommy's Block Party is not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment. Please see our policies page for our full disclosure and contest rules.

Special thanks to my friends at Cottage Mills and Jaymo for the awesome things I received.  And for offering this wonderful giveaway for our readers!!  It was a pleasure to learn about these companies and work with you on this review!

Easy Chicken Cacciatore #tastytuesday

You guys know how much I love my crock pot and here's another easy, yummy recipe for you to try.  I put my frozen chicken breasts in and then added the other ingredients.  The recipe said to serve over cooked noodles but I put my noodles in the crock pot to cook the last 30 minutes.  I have done this before but this time it was too long.  My noodles got a little overcooked and were mushy.  But, it still tasted good.  I will definitely cook my noodles separate next time I make this one.  

Ready to cook

This was when I should have turned it off.

Not much to look at, but it was yummy!!

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

4 chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 box of pasta

Place chicken in the crock pot (I put mine in frozen).  Mix in sauce, tomatoes, and garlic.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7/8 hours.  Serve over cooked noodles.

*This can be done as a freezer meal.  Combine all ingredients except noodles in a freezer bag.  When ready to use, thaw overnight the night before. 


Monday, July 25, 2016

How Upcycling Is Bringing Back The Rustic Charm Of The Past

The way the world works sometimes seems to be very cyclical. There are certain obvious ways we see this. The music that is popular now is influenced by the music of the 80s, which in turn often had a 50s influence. Fashions come and go, but it only takes a journey to a shopping mall to see 40s, 50s and 60s aesthetics back in fashion. Trends that are laughed at five years after the fact are loved twenty years later.

It's not just music and fashion that comes in and out. You can think of practically anything that we do in the home or at leisure, and see how trends have been dropped and picked back up. As manufacturing methods have changed, a futuristic look that seemed really "in" twenty years ago gives way to a more rustic one. Appliances, ornaments and furniture are all prone to this.

One of the great current examples of this is the idea of upcycling. Items that were used for one purpose and might no longer fit it can be taken, prettified and made into something else. You can see it - not so much in the standard furniture shops, but in a lot of specialised ones - with the use of old railway sleepers and other items. Many people will now build seating areas in their gardens from hardcore materials.

An aspect of upcycling that is really coming to people's attention is the reuse of old wooden pallets. Their initial use? To rest and transport items that are for sale in stores. A trip around any garden center will show them in their natural habitat. Now, though, people are using them for many other purposes. With some modification, they can be used to build fences, or for raised beds to grow flowers and veg.

Picking up some used pallets and turning them into something more works for so many reasons. Because they are made of wood, they are easy to modify. Increasingly, this versatility is seeing them used in the making of furniture. Your opinions may vary, so don’t feel you have to go with what’s on trend. You may feel that Pallet West have the best pallet furniture designs, someone else may prefer another- and that’s okay. Very few things qualify for “in the eye of the beholder” like upcycling. 

Because pallets were originally built for one purpose, they may initially need some treating. After all, when it begins its life being used in warehouses and high-volume stores, it might not initially fit in a living room or garden. Anything made of bare wood raises the danger of splinters. With the correct treatment this issue disappears, while the rustic and austere charm of the item remains.

In years to come, will people take the more modern-looking furniture and use upcycling to make it interesting and different? It's likely, yes. How that will look remains to be seen. But in 2046, we're bound to be talking about how the classic looks of the 2010s are so "in" right now. Others will wonder what the fuss is all about and why we have no new ideas, but that's how it works. Things are cyclical.

Faybeline Babywear: Super Cute Styles to Cherish

Thank you to Fayebeline for providing me with product, in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

Get ready for a cuteness overload! I've already shared how much I love dressing my daughter up, and I'm starting to think that she enjoys it just as much as I do! I have never met a happier baby who loves to get dressed up, smile, laugh, and have her picture taken. I am blessed to have two beautiful children, each with their own style and personality. B is just starting to figure out his little dude style, and for now, I get to determine S' style. I love finding new clothing boutiques for babies and kids, and sharing about them- they're always so unique and fun.


Fayebeline is a new children's boutique, offering adorable and unique apparel for babies and kids. The idea for Fayebeline was born shortly after founders Emily and Jeff welcomed their daughter Faye into their lives in March 2015. They wanted to create unique, boutique-quality baby apparel that would make a statement without sacrificing style. Fayebeline clothing is designed for people who think baby clothing can be hip, edgy, and clever. Their experience on the parenthood journey is their inspiration, and the profits from Fayebeline go straight into the college fund. They also pay it forward by donating baby onesies to families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit through their partnership with Miracle Babies charity.

We were excited to receive this beautiful 'Blessed' onesie from Faybeline.

The blessed onesie is a soft cotton onesie, in a pretty aqua color. It has short sleeves, and snaps close at the bottom. Gotta love easy access for diaper changes! The word 'Blessed' is beautifully scrolled across the chest of the onesie in gold lettering. I love this onesie, because I do consider Baby S a wonderful blessing. After I had B (and went through a long labor and emergency c-section), I knew I wanted another child, but I didn't know if I wanted to put myself through another c-section and tough recovery. We waited almost five years to have Baby S. I was worried that we wouldn't get pregnant right away- or at all, and was terrified of the possibility of something going wrong if/when we did conceive. Every expectant mother has these same fears, I know.

When we were one month away from our due date, we learned that Baby S had heart arrythimia- and we were so scared. We didn't know what that would mean for our precious baby girl, and our doctors weren't sure either. We were continuously monitored several times a week, and we very glad to make it to full term before I was scheduled for my c-section. Baby S' arrythmia corrected itself once she was born- and we breathed a huge sigh of relief. I considered it a miracle- and still do.

So blessed to have Baby S in our lives- a beautiful, happy baby.

Baby S loves to play and laugh! Here she is, looking adorable in her 'Blessed' onesie from Faybeline.

I don't know what it's like to have a baby in the NICU, and I pray fervently for those who do... for the mothers and fathers who don't know what tomorrow will hold for their families. It makes me smile to think of little babies wearing these onesies when they're coming home from the hospital. I imagine that they give the families a beautiful reminder of what a blessing their child really is- and what a precious gift life truly is for us all. I think it's beautiful that these onesies are donated to bring families a sense of hope.

We're certainly blessed to have Baby S in our lives!

$ 19.99 $ 49.99

0-6 MONTH  6-12 MONTH

Baby's are a blessing - no doubt. This onesie is stunning in person. The gold foil printing pops off the aqua fabric. Perfect for a baby baptism, baby blessing, or christening gift.
THE PERFECT ONESIE - Hip, edgy, and clever designs are only the beginning. Fayebeline onesies are made from the softest available boutique quality cotton, 30% thicker than most traditional multi-pack onesies. You will not find any thin see-through material in the Fayebeline collection.
THOUGHTFUL FEATURES – In order to achieve the perfect baby shower gift and unisex baby clothes both mom and dad will love, we put a lot of thought into our onesies. Fabric folds at the shoulders allow for pulling the onesie down to keep mess away from baby’s face. Extra tough snap closures stay closed until you are ready to open them.
WORLD CLASS PRINTING - Designs printed with fashion industry gold standard techniques guaranteed not to fade or crack, with no bleed through to the inside – perfect for baby’s soft skin!

Fayebeline also has other adorable onesies and more for your precious littles. 

Check out some of our faves...

Pretty darn cute, huh? There are lots of littles for me to shop for in my family and circle of friends. Dressing up little ones is so much fun, and even more fun dressed in Fayebeline!
If you're looking for a fun outfit for your little love or are looking for a unique baby gift, check out Fayebeline!

Want it? Get it!

Head on over to Fayebeline to browse all of their current styles for babies and toddlers. Connect with Fayebeline through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Special thanks to Fayebeline for allowing me to share about their adorable children's boutique clothing!

Counting down to Disney... Disney Challenge Day 8... Who is your favorite Villain?

Thanks for joining us again for another day of the Disney Challenge!!! We are on day 8 while counting down to our trip to Disney... and today's question is Who is your favorite Villain?!?!?

Disney is SO good at making characters that are SO BAD!!!!

I couldn't decide which way to go with this one.... so i will go both ways.... The one I hate the most, and the one I love even though she is bad!

By far, The Villain I hate the most is Lady Tremaine (otherwise known as The Wicked Step Mother!!!

 She has no magical powers or high position of authority, she is just MEAN! Lady Tremaine is just out to help herself. She is ruthless and victimizes Cinderella for no good reason other than she wants to and she can. The Queen of Hearts decapitates, Cruella De Vil kills puppies, and Ursula steals souls, so to be this hated for no other reason beside she is MEAN, says a lot!!

Now, on the other end of the spectrum is my favorite.... but she is only my favorite because of the Live Action Movie where it tells HER side of the story!!!

While she originally comes to us as "The Mistress of All Evil"  cursing Princess Aurora after not being invited to her Christening... when you see HER side of the story... it really makes you feel for her. I normally like the classics to stay the classics, but in the case of Maleficent, i LOVED the live action movie!

Who is your favorite Disney Villain? Comment Below! The kids and I are loving hearing from you!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weekends with the Wigglesworths- Welcome Home Girls

Happy Saturday. Today's late blog post is brought to you by procrastination and home project distractions. 

Matt and I started out the weekend with no children! Both girls have been with his parents since Wednesday because they were kind enough to volunteer when they heard I would be having some wisdom teeth pulled. Thankfully, I am recovering just fine and the girls should be back home anytime now!

Painted Faces at the Park with Grandpa and Grandma

At the Hoe-Down at Stew Leonards

Because both girls were gone, Matt and I decided that it would be a good day to flip Reese's bed. A few years back, we bought both girls the KURA reversible bed from Ikea. When we brought the beds home, we made it so that Drew had a "high bed" with a fort area underneath and kept Reese's a low bed, for safety's sake. Today, both girls have a high bed with a fort area underneath!

I can't wait for the girls to be home and for them to see the changes to their room.