Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shop Feature and Giveaway - Sand and Starfish


I have been blog friends with the lovely Stephanie from Sand and Starfish for awhile. She is super talented and creative, as well as just plain nice, and a mommy to a sweet little girl. Stephanie recently opened up an Etsy shop, also called Sand and Starfish and she asked me to review (and giveaway!) some items from her shop! Lucky me and lucky you! I chose to review some of her fabric covered notebooks as I was gearing up for NaNoWriMo and feeling very authory. Meanwhile, I only managed to sit down 4 times to write during the month of November and have yet to produce more than the prologue and first three chapters of the next great American novel . . .

But let's not focus on my total NaNoWriMo fail. Let us instead focus on Sand and Starfish's awesome notebooks . . .

Stephanie sent me a Fabric Covered Composition Notebook to review . . . and an adorable scrappy Fabric Covered Mini Composition Notebook and Fabric Covered Steno Pad to give away to one lucky winner!

The Composition Notebook is covered in cute fabric, giving it a really special feel - which makes me even sadder that I have failed it but not putting much other than my first sad attempt at a timeline for my novel in it. . .. but hope springs eternal, and at least my story notes have a really cute place to go once I like, you know, write them.

The Steno Pad is covered in a really fun pink argyle and leopard print and is perfect for lists . . . it was really hard for me not to steal it and start madly filling it with lists . . . I love lists!

The Mini Composition Notebook is adorable, I love the scrappy details! So much fun!

Here are some other things from Stephanie's shop, I had to start with more mini composition books notebooks because they are to die for cute! You know how much I love ruffles! And they are a steal at $4 for the pair!

Stephanie also makes awesome fabric covered mouse pads, it is ok to add a little style to your computer desk!

Reusable snack pouches are all the rage! They are economical and eco-friendly! Stephanie makes the cutest ones I have seen! I love the Christmas prints . . . and of course there are everyday prints too!

Stephanie also has a bunch of really great appliques. Make sure to check out her Etsy shop and see all of the yummy goodness!

Want to win these?

Mandatory Entry

Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would use the fabric covered notebooks for.

Extra Entries (please leave a comment for each entry)

1. Follow this blog, or let me know you already do.
2. Follow the Sand and Starfish blog (scroll down to the bottom to follow via GFC or RSS).
3. Favorite an item at Sand and Starfish on Etsy.
4. Follow me AND Sand and Starfish on Twitter
5. Tweet about this giveaway and link back to this post.

Sample tweet (feel free to use your own):

#Win some lovely fabric covered notebooks from @sandandstarfish on @narniamum #giveaway

So that is 7 possible entries . . . if you do all 7 make sure to leave 7 comments!

This giveaway will end on Tuesday, December 7th, and is open internationally.

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

M and L Fabrics - A Virtual Tour

I am so lucky to live near one of the most amazing fabric stores ever! It is called M&L Fabric, it is located in Buena Park, California, and it is huge. Seriously, people drive for miles and miles to come shop here and it's a hop, skip, and a freeway away from me.

I went the other day to get some tulle for a tutu for Maddie (more on that to follow) and I snapped some pics on the iPhone to share with you.

Here it is from the outside . . . large-ish looking, but unassuming . . .

And then you walk in side and oh my gosh. Acres of fabrics.

Ok, I am sure it isn't literal acres, but it feels like it.

Facing the front, the whole left side of the room is discounted fabrics, gorgeous, name brand stuff like Robert Kauffman marked down to $3, or $4 a yard depending on the row you are in . . . I have found some amazing deals in these sections.

Whole rows of flannel . . .

Solids . . . they have Kona solids, poplin, chambray . . .

The right side of the room is the "full price" fabrics, where you will find all of the lovely Moda prints . . .

Kauffman stripes or dots anyone?

Even Hawaiian . . .

Every novelty print you could possibly ever think of . . .

And some you couldn't possibly ever think of . . .

There are children's prints and holiday prints. The only drawback is that they don't carry Riley Blake, boo.

The back half of the room has the faux fur, the tulle, amazing sequined fabrics, silks . . .

And the stacks!

The stacks are rows upon rows of $2 a yard fabric, usually fabric that was cheaper to start with (although I have found some amazing stuff, for example, the toile I bought at $7 a yard ended up months later in the stacks!)

The second section has denim, corduroy, and even t-shirt and sweatshirt material.

There is also an amazing section of decorator weight fabrics that I managed to somehow miss taking a picture of because I was too busy checking out the Lake House fabrics.

Have I mentioned the trim section?

Or the notions section?

In-freaking-sane people.

I could probably easily drop a grand (if I ever had a grand to spend on fabric, hey, a girl can dream) in just a few hours at M&L.

This is also one of Maddie and Jamie's favorite places to go. Maddie is very particular about fabrics, she likes to feel them, pick out her favorites, and hold the bolts in the cart. James likes lean out of the cart and run his hand over the bolts as we go down rows. They also are both fans of the lollipop jar at the register.

Have you been to M&L? Do you have anything like it near you? If not, what would you snag at M&L if you were to visit Buena Park? I'm still drooling over the Lake House lines!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cause I Like You

I am letting you know about this giveaway for the awesome book Charlotte Collins . . . and there isn't even an extra giveaway entry in it for me! I am doing it out of the kindness of my heart.

The kindness of my heart people!

Because I like you.

And because it's a great book, by a great independent author.

You can buy it on Amazon or on Jennifer Becton's site too in case you don't win.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Winner

Thank you all for "liking" Maddie and James on Facebook. We unfortunately did not make the top ten, but that's ok, we gave it the good ol' college try!

The lucky winner of the 12 Days of Christmas Charm Pack is:

Regina of Sew Love Today!

Congratulations Regina!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A NaNoWriMo Update & Confession

Remember you can still enter to win my 12 Days of Christmas Charm Pack giveaway (and vote for my kids) until Monday, November 15th at 1 pm EST. Click here or scroll down!

I have a confession.

It is now day twelve of NaNoWriMo and I have sat down in front of my laptop to write exactly two times. Both times my kids were awake and in the next room watching t.v. and practicing making the leap from the bed to the couch. This is not conducive to creative thougth and concentration. Each writing session has lasted for approximately 15 minutes.

At this rate I will be done with my novel in 2025 . . . if I am lucky.

I may have overestimated my ability to not crash and fall asleep when I am laying down with James at night to get him to sleep. I also may have overestimated my ability to find time to novel while I am working.

Good news (for writing, if not for my pocketbook)! I am out of work as of Friday next week! So I am looking at my NaNoWriMo experience being more like a NaNoWri-last-half-of-Mo experience. I am committed to working on it as much as possible this weekend and next week and then hitting it hard come next weekend.

To be on track I should have about 18,000 words already . . . I have approximately 500 or so . . . but nobody panic! At least the page is no longer blank! And I've worked out some major character kinks and plot points in my head, so that's fabulous . . . and I have completed my prologue, which I thought I'd share with you! Maybe you can help keep me accountable! I got a lovely card in the mail from my dear friend Rebecca who is away at college encouraging me and telling me she knew I could do NaNoWriMo, which is what inspired me to actually sit down and start writing this after feeling very behind and lost. So thank you Rebecca . . . I love you to pieces!

Side note before you read this: please be aware this is a very rough draft, I realize I've used the same words a few times . . . it has not been edited because I am trying to silence my inner editor, get over my fear of imperfection, and try to get words on a page. So please . . . be kind!

Sleeping Beauty 2.0


Alexandra Martin did not believe in fairytales. Truthfully, Alex didn’t even know much about fairy tales. In spite of her mother’s best efforts, Alex had always been more interested in finding and cataloging interesting looking rocks than paying attention to stories about princesses and fairy godmothers. Which is why, when she walked into storage room B-23 of the Gem and Mineral Museum of Los Angeles and nearly bumped into a cobweb covered four poster bed, she immediately began mentally tabulated the rarity, historical significance, and cost of the gems embedded into the ornately worked head and footboards. It wasn’t until a soft sound interrupted her calculations that she even noticed that she wasn’t alone. There was someone sleeping in the bed.

At first Alex thought the sleeping figure, like the bed, was covered with fine cobwebs. As she looked closer she realized that it wasn’t cobwebs draping over the figure but hair – foot after foot of sandy colored hair draped from the sleeper’s head, and over it’s face and body, moving gently as the figure breathed in and out. As she looked closer she realized the hair wasn’t growing just out of the sleeper’s head, but from the face as well – a beard that would have done Rip Van Winkle proud flowing down to well past the knees. And that is when Alex realized she didn’t have a sleeping beauty on her hands, but an enchanted sleeping man.

As Alex stared at the figure in shock, trying to calculate how long it would take for that much hair to grow, a soft snore emitted from the sleeping man. Alex jumped back about half a foot at the quiet sound, trying to stifle her slightly hysterical giggles. She may not know much about fairytales, but she was pretty sure that enchanted sleeping princes weren’t supposed to snore.

So what do you think?

Remember, it's not too late to join me for NaNoWriMo . . . I'm obviously just starting, so you could too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shameless Bribe: Vote for My Kids & a Giveaway

Modern Bird Studios is this amazing studio (actually an artist) that turns your photos into amazing one of a kind artwork . . . and by amazing I mean out of my budget ;) Ok, I also mean amazing, but definitely out of my budget. Which is why I entered a picture of James in their holiday contest . . . and Ed entered a picture of Maddie. The 10 photos with the most "likes" on Facebook will get entered in the final round of judging and one will win a Modern Bird art piece.

We are already tragically behind on the voting . . . but it would be nice to have our photos at least in the running!

I have read the rules on the Modern Bird site and there is nothing that says I can't bribe you for votes . . . in fact it says to get votes "in any manner you can think of." And the manner I can currently think of is to giveaway this gorgeous charm pack in exchange for votes:

A Charm Pack of Kate Spain's Twelve Days of Christmas! Whoo hoo! I actually won this charm pack, the same week I had bought two from the Fat Quarter Shop for myself . . . so no money is exchaning hands here, I am passing a winning onto you to help me win . . . see, if I explain it this way to myself I feel better, muhahahahha.

So here is what you have to do to enter:

First like Modern Bird on Facebook.

Then like kiddos pictures.

You can get one entry for "liking" James:

And one entry for "liking" Maddie:

Also, if you tell your friends (email, blog, twitter) to vote for either or both of my kid's pictures you can get another entry, or just sending them over here to this post, just tell me in a comment that you did.

And because I feel guilty about the bribe, you can have a fourth (or only) entry for just following my blog and telling me you do so. So that is a grand total of four possible entries.
Leave me a comment for each entry.

Does this make me a bad person? Do you care? Hopefully, you are willing to be a part of my nefarious scheme in order to get your hands on this loverly charm pack!

You have until Monday, November 15th at 1 p.m EST so get "liking!" And, yes, the giveaway is open internationally!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Church Nursery Redux - Part the First

Let me introduce you to our church nursery . . .

Actually, this is only the "toddler" portion of the church nursery. It actually consists of this toddler nursery, a baby nursery (which is rarely used), a bathroom (located between the two nursery rooms) and a cry room which is upstairs in the "choir loft" section of the sanctuary. All of these areas fall under my jurisdiction as "Nursery Coordinator." Nursery Coordinator is basically a fancy title for "she who does the nursery schedule."

What seems like ages ago I submitted a proposal to the property committee to update the decor in the nurseries and cry room. These little bears are cute, but they are a bit stuck in 1993. We finally got approved, and have money in hand, so we have started work!

Unfortunately, when the wallpaper got steamed off, it revealed some problems with the dry wall, so we are on hold while we get the toddler nursery re-plastered. I am excited by the designs I have planned (working with that purple carpet is kind of a fun design challenge!), and I hope I will be able to share some awesome pictures with you soon!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Belle and Winnie the Pooh . . .

Trying on costumes at Grammy's before Halloween . . .

It's love . . .