Sunday, December 30, 2012

A few of my favorite things

I have been wanting to do a post like this for awhile now, and am hoping some of my fellow blogging mamas will follow suit, so we can swap some great ideas! I have found some FANTASTIC finds lately and wanted to share them here...

1. Family Rules Signs
You may remember our family establishing family rules some time ago. So, I know these awesome signs are all the rage on Etsy and elsewhere and I fell in love with them! When I told Dusk I wanted one of the ultra cool canvas ones that were selling for a hefty $175+ our conversation may have gone something like this - Him: N.O. Me: Please!!!! Him: N.O. Me: Stop being so cheap! Him: Excuse me?!? Did we not just buy an expensive minivan? Me: Silence (because really, is there any response to that??? No!). Anyway, he told me if I could find a way to get it under $50, I could do it. So I set out and TOTALLY accomplished it! 

I found this awesome seller, Christen, on Etsy, who will create a completely custom pdf/jpg for you with YOUR family rules. She was so kind, going back and forth with me to get it just right (even complying with my last minute request to add rules in, change language, etc.). I had her do it as a 16x20 jpg file, took that, printed it at (which just so happened to be having a 50% off sale right before Christmas, which is super helpful when you're talking the big prints, which can get kinda pricey) and picked up the print a couple of hours later at our local Walgreens! I ran over to Aaron Brothers, which had an gorgeous large frame with a mat in it already that fit a 16x20 print (which is huge, since that's the size you start having to do custom print mats which can get really expensive - oh, and I had a 50% coupon)! 

All told, I spent $48.25 ($8.50 for the file + $9.75 to print it out + $30 for the frame) - and I did the whole thing in less than 24 hours! How's that for amazing? And I SO LOVE it! It fits with our household motiff perfectly and I couldn't possibly love it more! I wholeheartedly recommend Christen and her Etsy store, On and Off the Hook (oh, and if you tell her I sent you and use the coupon code "referred," you'll get 10% off!)

2. Nighttime Potty Training Alarms
Nighttime potty training Bodie, right? Nope. Sierra. I know, I know - she's 5 and still wearing pullups to  bed (which are SOAKED in the morning regardless of how many times we woke her up to pee, how much we limited fluids before bed, etc.), but what can I say? Dusk and I were late bedwetters, too, so we kind of expected it. Her pediatrician said not to worry about it or do anything about it, since it'll happen once her bladder matures and not a second sooner. But then we heard about these things called bedwetting alarms and bit the bullet and bought one. BEST.DECISION.EVER. Seriously. All it is an audible and vibratory alarm that attaches to the shoulder of her pajamas with a wetness sensor that clips to the outside of her underwear.  The concept is that it alarms and wakes her up as soon as she starts to pee. Eventually, her bladder learns to wake her up before that happens and she goes on her own - or she just doesn't go during the night anymore (I'll be honest, I have no idea how the latter happens, I only know that it does! Ha!). Anyway, that's how it theory.

In actuality, the first week, she was setting that thing off 3 times a night and she was sleeping like the dead STRAIGHT THROUGH the ear piercing alarm. I was having to shake her, etc. just to get her up and out of bed to change her. It was like having a newborn baby - super awesome. But, I'm thrilled to say that in the past month, she has made HUGE progress. Generally, she now has, at the most, 1 accident a night - and she had 5 dry nights in a row the week before Christmas! For us, this has been a HUGE deal. I suspect in another few weeks, she'll be totally dry all the time - she's super proud of her progress, and we're super excited to be thisclose to having her out of pullups!

I wholeheartedly recommend this alarm to any parent with an older bedwetter!

3. Best Kids Crafts Ever!
If you haven't already discovered DLTK Crafts for Kids, CHECK IT OUT NOW! If you have young kids and like to pretend like you're crafty, but don't want to actually have to think of the crafts yourself, check out this website. Awesome kids crafts for all ages - we routinely find crafts on here that are age appropriate for BOTH Sierra and Bodie - and lots of letter work, which is great for preschoolers!

4. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
Oh.My.Word. I LOVE these things. Hypothetically, if we had a kid who wrote EVERYWHERE (and by everywhere, I mean the walls, the hardwood floors, the granite counters, the inside of a brand new minivan - all hypothetically, of course), I would seriously want to buy stock in these. Because, they get pencil, crayon and marker off of just about ANYTHING. I'm sure they have other uses as well, but I honestly can't see past our current use. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Because only a bad parent would have a kid that thinks the world is his writing surface.

5. World's greatest minivan
This morning, when we got home from church, we were so happy, cozy and comfy inside our new Sienna that the kids and I refused to get out. We reclined the seats, snuggled and giggled. 
 Seriously. They thought of EVERYTHING a family needs. 16 cup holders. Seriously. And that, folks, is just the tip of the iceberg. If you're even considering it, go test drive one - and then get over yourself. It's a Minivan. But if you're uncool enough to have to consider needing one, you're probably past your prime of cool anyway. I'm just saying. Just get the darn thing. You won't regret it, I promise!

6. Print with my Pic
I discovered this website when I was trying to print tickets for our Bennett Family Express on Christmas Eve. I wanted personalized tickets for the kids and I came across the website. AWESOME. You can upload your own picture, information and everything - and they're adorable - and totally FREE. 

There you have it, folks. Just a few tidbits of awesomeness I've discovered lately. You're welcome. :-) Hit me back with yours - let's share the love! Happy almost New Year!!!



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  2. Minivan or no, you cannot be anything less than LEGIT if your ride is a Swagger Wagon! I only just WISH I could've starred in that music video! Haha! The water bottle holders in the doors are one of my absolute faves. Dang, we've owned ours for almost 3 years and I still can't get over how awesome it is! LOL!

    And I echo your Magic Eraser sentiments... although my kiddos don't seem to be quite as destructive as those "hypothetical" children you speak of. ;)

  3. Love this!! Such great ideas - my favorite is the craft site and printing site - very cool! And of course, the minivan - I foresee one in our near future for sure! LOL! Glad to hear yall had a blessed Christmas! And I hope to follow up with some of our favorites soon too - such a great idea!

  4. Thanks so much for featuring the print on your blog - I'm so blessed that you love it!