Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from the Krebs!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Victoria's Steal of a Deal

So how would you like a Victoria's Secret Sweater, a Bombshell Tee shirt, and a pack of 3 lip glosses ALL for $13 plus tax? 

Here is how to do it:
1. Go to Victoria's Secret 
2. Choose a Sweater (this cute turtleneck one is only $12!)
3. Add the Bombshell Tee Shirt to your cart (found here)
4. Head over to Checkout (when you are done shopping of course!) and click where it asks if you have a promo code:

LIPGIFT10 - (will add a free lip gloss trio to your cart)
BOMBTEE - (this will make the shirt free)
SHIPWARMVS - (free shipping)

Your total should be about $12 if you get the turtleneck with about $1 tax!!! Awesome deal huh? 
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Sigh... the day that just went wrong....

Today was just one of those days that I wish I could do over....
There were some good points,
but the bad was pretty bad.

I cried at the bank because I cry when I am frustrated and mad,
(They made an error that screwed up my day yesterday and I had to go in today to talk to the manager)
In the end they did apologize, but that was after I had already embarrassed myself...

I had an unhappy Etsy customer (local) that expected A LOT more than I had listed
and therefore wanted her money back after I had made her a custom item, 
drove it out there, showed it to her, and came home. 
And I gave her most of it I because customer satisfaction is important,
(even though I think it is pretty unfair... sigh)

I had a minor panic attack after picking Gabby up from her last day of school,
that I was biting off more than I could chew,
starting to home school while expecting a baby in a few weeks. 
I know in my heart that this is best for Gabby and her education, but it is scary none the same. 

And I have some Etsy orders to finish, a Halloween party to take the girls to,
and so much more...
Breathe....just breathe right?
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Monday, October 25, 2010

FREE Science Curriculum!

I am getting ready for our first adventures in homeschooling and have been busy gathering resources for a loose curriculum that I can adapt to Gabby's talents and work on her weak spots. Since I am already on Baby Center I joined the Homeschooling Board which has been a great help in making the decision to leave public school and how to go about getting started. One woman posted a link to the science curriculum that she uses and I am so impressed that I wanted to share!

Welcome to The Lab of Mr. Q! Here you will find everything you need to teach or supplement an elementary school science curriculum from life sciences to chemistry! Mr. Q is a Science Teacher who also runs homeschooling science programs in Kansas and I have to admit that the man is a genius. The text books are fun, bright, and sort of cartoony but have all the same terms as a normal text book. The best part is that along with the books there are monthly Lab Notes like this one that you can use for science fairs and really getting the little brains going.

The first book- Life Sciences is 100% free and each of the other books are $50, which I believe are well worth the price. Since you use them for all of elementary school that is really a great price for everything you need to teach all the different topics from magnets to weather, habitats to the body!
If you have a Science nut or just want to make learning science a little more fun, definitely check out this site and take a peek at the Life Science book (hey, it's FREE!). There is so much to do thanks to Mr. Q, I can't wait to get going on this with Gabby!
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why I Love Selling Books

This week was a busy week for books and me. I helped a friend with a book fair at our local YMCA and couldn't have asked for a better turnout! Not only did we sell over $900 in books (WOW!) but we gave the child watch room at that Y $450 in FREE books.... people, that is A LOT of books! And the best part is that it didn't cost the Y anything and didn't cost us anything.

For me, I love selling these books because they are everything I believe in and nothing that goes against my feelings on kids and how they learn. I know that you don't need gimmicks to get kids to read if the book is well written and engaging. I know that it is a far better to reward a child for starting a habit of reading by putting a free book in that child's hand instead of giving them a certificate for pizza. And I know that no matter how mad I get at my kids, if they ask for a book or ask to be read to I will NEVER say no.

Well, since I am talking about these books so much why don't I share our favorite 10 Usborne Books? You can find them everywhere from Borders to libraries so check them out... and if you like them a lot you can purchase them from either of my friends here or here! (My e-store is on hiatus while I am on maternity leave!)

So there ya have our favorite titles from Usborne, which I why I started selling them in the first place- I wanted free books for my family! Not only do I get to earn some extra money selling something I believe in, but the free books are an awesome benefit. 
Well that is that.... off to get ready for another YMCA's book fair!
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Etsy Cooperation

I love it when another Etsian and I work together for our stores and can combine products to sell. I met a wonderful seller named Karen who makes these pretty adorable nautical-roped mats that are perfect for a sea loving fairy or a dollhouse on the coast. Her rope work is impeccable and so dainty.... I think I would go blind trying to weave something so tiny! I made her a fairy door to use for her shop photos and even though there was a little hiccup getting the door to her overseas, she was nothing but gracious and kind. Please check out her adorable shop here, especially if you are into miniatures!!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Much is Too Much?

Sigh... it seems like this school drama is not going to stop until we just pull Gabby out for good. There are issues with the lunch monitors, recess length, and most importantly the amount of homework and such expected of these 1st graders. Yet, my dissatisfaction seems to be the minority. Most parents are glad that their kids have homework and that they are being pushed to learn more, faster, and younger. But my question is how much is too much schoolwork?

A typical day with Gabby has her in school from 9am to 3pm. She gets 20 mins to eat lunch (including if she has to stand in line for hot lunch, sitting down, and all transitions), about 12 minutes of recess in which she may actually "play", and then 30 mins of gym or music. And after that long day she has homework EVERY night, plus spelling words to review, oh and did I mention that her teacher handed me some extra sight word cards because apparently Gabby doesn't know them all perfectly so I am to make a game of them and practice every night with her those as well. Doesn't this seem like a lot of school and not enough downtime/childhood time? And obviously whatever is going on in class isn't sinking in enough for the tests since I am getting sheets with more red slashes than positives on them. With all the demands of "please practice this at home" it just makes more sense to do it all at home since I basically am anyhow.

Maybe I wouldn't care about all this as much if Gabby was actually learning the material and wasn't getting these less than stellar marks.... but I do care, a lot, because the last thing I want is her school to make her not care about or even worse hate the learning process. And maybe she doesn't care right now that she is getting mediocre marks on these silly tests, but she will care as she gets older.... and what is that going to do to her confidence?

Tomorrow we are going to have another unschooling/homeschooling day and I don't know who is looking forward to it more, me or Gabby lol. Today I will be picking out some curriculum to just guide me and going over the ins and outs of starting to home-school in the middle of a school year.
This is going to be fun, interesting, and definitely a solution to the stress of sending Gabby to a place that is not the best for her.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

More Things I Love!

Hello readers! How is everyone doing? I am actually having a really good day... surprising considering at one point I had 5 kids in my care, 4 of which were under the age of 3! It seems like on days like today, when the odds are really stacked against me, I seem to thrive.... why is that? I managed to clean, get a cute craft in, painted some of the little girl's nails, made an awesomely cute butterfly themed lunch, read some Halloween stories, and no one cried or was fighting. Amazing! Yet, on days when it is just me and my girls I am pulling my hair out, the house is a mess, and I can't get a handle on my temper... lol.

Anyhow, here are some cool things I have seen around the web... enjoy!!!

I just discovered the coolest blog, Another Lunch, about Bento and Muffin Tin styled lunches for the little ones that are THEMED! The photos are awesome, directions are included, and best of all the writer has links to the tins or other supplies that she uses to create her materpieces! Check it out here!

Isn't this spooky lunch awesome?

Speaking of Bento lunches... I found an awesome European site called Bento&Co that has some of the most unique Bento Boxes I have EVER seen! Some remind me more of computer components than lunch boxes, and others like this LEGGO styled box is just plain fun! Prices are reasonable and they do a loose translation of Euros to dollars. 

I have been talking with a lot of people lately about unschooling and homeschooling in general. One of the biggest things people bring up is the issue of socialization and how to measure whether the kids are actually learning. I love this list that has 15 Organizing Models that are BETTER for Childhood Learning!

Lots of people I know are having babies and therefore I have a reason to sew and craft away. I love this idea of an on-the-go baby change kit that you can just throw in whatever purse you are carrying and know that you have all the essentials in case of a blow-out. Super cute baby shower gift too!

Looking for a cute way to package treats for a Halloween party or something? Check out this adorable treat box that makes Zombie Animals look oh so cute and better yet, it is a FREE printable!

Finally, I am in love with soap in general, but this Hot Chocolate Soap really has my mouth watering.... PLEASE check out this wonderful Etsy Shop called SunBasilGarden... you will not be disappointed! Here are wonderful goodies you will find there and YES, it is ALL SOAP!!!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sing, Sing, I Made Shoes With Bling!

A couple of weeks ago I was at a nature center and I spotted an adorable little girl who was dressed up just how AJ prefers to dress: leggings, tutu, sparkly shirt, hair done up, and sporting for Converse High Tops with some serious BLING going on!!! I asked the mom where she got the shoes from and she said Etsy! Yay for buying homemade! However..... upon doing my search I was shocked to discover that this posh Mama had spent over $100 for said Converse! SAY WHAT?!!!!

So I did what any mama on a budget would do, I checked the photos out, did some research and came up with a crafty plan. I just needed an excuse to make a pair. Lucky for me one of Gabby's very girlie friends had a birthday yesterday and I got my chance to whip up a pair of girly, rock star, Converse! What do you think?

I used light pink crystals for hearts in the middle, 
added a crystal to the star on the side, 
and swapped out the traditional laces for poofy star ribbon. 
I LOVED how they turned out.

And of course AJ fell in love immediately...
and HAD to have a pair....

She wanted a purple flower in the middle,
sparkled purple ribbon,
and lots of crystals so I added a line of them going down the back.

I really think I may add these to my Etsy store...
and I definitely WON'T be charging $100 for them! 

So who else wants a pair of blinged out Converse? =)
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So what is new?

Seems like I am starting to slow down folks.... I am feeling tired again, huuuuuge (even though I am actually losing weight instead of gaining), and when I do get a burst of energy it is directed at cleaning.

Tomorrow I will be 33 weeks and in the 34th week.... it is nuts to think that in about 4 weeks this baby could very possibly be ready to come! For the most part we are ready for her, we need to stock up on diapers still and get her a few odds and ends, but all in all, if she came tomorrow it would be ok.

This weekend I am finishing up the nursery and yes, pictures will be coming. I can't wait to show you all how cute it has turned out. Not baby-ish but very welcoming.

Let's see.... yeah, that is about it, lol! Nothing too crazy, just a lot of OB appointments, trying to wrap up Etsy orders, and getting my house in order so that I don't have to worry too much about tidiness. =) More to come soon though, so stay posted! Did I mention that AJ has a newfound love of unicorns... especially purple ones? She is LIVING in this costume.... it really is quite cute!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Perfect Fall Fairy Door

Even though the color scheme is not girly at all, 
I think that this may be one of my favorite doors yet!
It is chocolate brown, milk chocolate, and cream, with golden sparkles thrown in. 
It is for a special birthday girl,
and I can't wait to hear how much she loves it!!

(If you would like your own Fairy Door for the holidays, please shop now
I am going on "maternity leave" from the shop soon!)

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Little of This, A Little of That

Today I am 32 weeks along and feeling great! I have been really busy in the shop, it seems like everyone knows I will be temporarily closing for maternity leave and decided to order oodles of fairy doors all at once, which is a good thing. Here are some random thoughts that I am having, links that I have been interested in, and cute ideas that I have seen for the upcoming holiday season, which is not too far away!

One of the best things you can do this holiday season is Pledge to Buy Handmade. As an artist and being a part of the Etsy community I can see how fragile our little world is and all of it depends on people buying handmade instead of Big Box store items. Even buying a few things will make a difference to someone and the environment! You can sign the Pledge here!

These past few weeks have been filled with many conversations between Klint and I about how to handle Gabby's educational needs in a way that fit her particular personality. We have been researching, reading, talking to others, and meditating on the pros and cons of all the choices. A blog that I just started reading really caught my eye with this post, which talks about questions that homeschooling/unschooling families get and how to handle them.... I have already experienced some of the doubters and such, which can be quite nasty!

I think that for anyone, keeping a journal is a great tool whether you use it to vent, draw, work out problems on paper, or just jot down your random thoughts. This blog is my journal and I want the same outlet for Gabby, especially since she is learning how to write sentances. This pretty (and earth-friendly) journal will be under the tree for her this holiday season!

With Fall, like any season, comes change. I love these ideas and projects for your home, yard, body, and spirit. Most are so simple to do but will make a big difference in the coming months.

Even with me being in a healthier place than when I started out in this pregnancy I am still starting to feel aches and pains of my enormous belly. Luckily, this awesome Prenatal Yoga Studio in NYC has some free videos online here to help alleviate some of the pains!

I am always on the lookout for cute stocking stuffers for the girls that are not "junky" but will not cost more than a few dollars. One of the things that they will find in their stocking this year is their own personalized pocket mirror by Olliegraphic. Aren't they awesome looking? There are also personalized growth charts, plates, and other funness to be had!

So that is it.... I am busy cleaning and nesting, finishing up orders and starting others! I hope that you all have a GREAT day!!!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nesting at It's Best

I know I am nesting when I drag my poor husband into the fray and demand that EVERYTHING be removed from rooms so I can rearrange things. This weekend was a major nesting time for me, especially since we went to IKEA and I got my little hands on some fun things to help control my household clutter.

I didn't take "before" photos because well... I wasn't going to expose your fragile minds to the horrors of a house with 2 resident little girls. 3 "borrowed" little girls, 4 cats, and a giant shedding dog.... seriously, you would be in a state of shock! So what all did we do? Here is the breakdown of the crazy nesting-ness by room.

1. Took out all furniture
2. Removed toy box that the kids never used, it was filled with junk toys anyhow!
3. Put up hooks for play clothes extravaganza
4. Put up "Art Wire" from IKEA
5. Arranged all the books and took favorites upstairs for bedtime

6. Brought in Papasan Chair for reading space that is welcoming

1. Removed lots of shoes that were missing partners or out of season
2. Flipped shoe box onto side to discourage shoes from taking over
3. Removed all the random bags that were filled with crap stuff from the car
4. Swept up a Labrador's worth of hair that was clinging to every surface
5. Removed chair that was broken and collecting things

Desk Area:
1. Got new desk (thank you Craigslist!)
2. Removed rubbish and more crap
3. Swept up more hair.... can build some extra cats with it if I wanted to!

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