Word Up

An important part of having a new little someone is making a personal space for that new little someone.

When I was pregnant with Eddie, Cort and I spent hours working on the nursery.  We chose a theme (jungle) and color scheme.  I picked out and placed items that would be personal and meaningful to our new son.

I was in love with the nursery.

When we found out we were having another boy, part of me was thrilled that I didn’t have to change the nursery.

But as we moved Eddie to his new Big Boy room, I realized I did want to change it in small ways.  I wanted it to be Charlie’s room now.  Not Eddie’s.

So away went anything with Eddie’s name on it or with his picture in it.

Off the walls came the white letters that I painted, hot glued ribbon too, and had hung on the wall with care.

For some reason, those were the most difficult thing for me to take down and put away.  And suddenly it was very important to me…almost irrationally so…that I get new letters for Charlie.

And as much as I loved the big white letters, Charlie’s had to be different.  Because he is a different person.

That is when I contacted Jennifer of Jaborandi and Grove.

She happens to be one of my lovely blog sponsors and I try to use my blog sponsors at any opportunity I get so I can share them with you.

Jaborandi and Grove is FULL of super cute letters for the wall and she LOVES to do custom orders.

So we started emailing back and forth about what the nursery looks like, what colors we have, what I was thinking for Charlie’s letters, etc.

People?  She is so nice.  I mean really, REALLY nice.

She was quick, she was flexible (we have budget issues, so she helped us figure something out that would work within our Charlie budget), and she created something so awesome.

Check it out:

They turned out even better than I had hoped!

The tans and browns match the room perfectly and the letters are a big change from Eddie’s…which I like.  Charlie is a new individual.  He should have a room that reflects that.

I was incredibly pleased with Jen and her shop, Jaborandi and Grove.

You need letter?  You go to Jennifer.

Tell her Sluiter Nation sent you.

*************

Disclosure:  I bought the letters for Charlie’s room with my own money and as part of a deal to also write a review in exchange for ad space. While Jaborandi and Grove sponsors Sluiter Nation, my opinions have not been bought.  They are my own.

is moving really that scary? yes, yes it is.

Last fall I moved my three year old blog over to wordpress.

Yes, I was afraid.

But I knew it was time.  I was rapidly outgrowing my little area on Blogger and I wanted to take my blog to a new, more professional level.

I blogged about the rest of my reasons here along with some tips I’ve learned and some super plug-ins I love (which I could add to that list now if you ask me about it).

I was afraid and knew I couldn’t do this huge move on my own.  So I tweeted about my nerves.

And like superman, Japster appeared.

Ok, maybe not with a cape and a blue uni-tard, but he did start tweeting with me and dispelling a LOT of the myths and urban legends about moving to wordpress (no, you don’t have to lose all your GFC followers, no an ax murderer is not lurking in your dashboard…wait.  what?)

With all his smooth-talking ways he got me to follow him to wordpress.org.

And it was the best blogging decision I have made since joining twitter.

Not only did every single comment and follower and rss feed follow me to wordpress.org, Japster did it professionally and uber-quickly.  I mean, his cute little wife is a blogger, so he KNOWS how much a blog becomes our baby and how worried we get when it’s in the hands of someone else.

He was very gently, very quick, and very professional.  He also never let on that I was being ridiculous or crazy with my frenzy of questions or inquiries about making things just right.

It was so worth it. Now I have my beautiful blog and this lovely sponsor blog that you are reading!

So…are you ready to move?  Have you been thinking about it, but just can’t justify the cost?  (It costs less than you think, by the way)

Your wait might be over!

 Japster is offering a 10% discount if you use the subject line “Sluiter Nation” when you contact him here from now through midnight of July 23rd.

And that is STILL not all!

Japster has been generous enough to giveaway not one…but FOUR moves to wordpress.org! 

That’s right!  He is offering FOUR lucky winners his “Plain Jane” package which includes:

  • four page set up (main page, about, etc)
  • five plugin set ups (this would be how you get your GFC over)
  • three months of hosting ($3.99/month after that)
  • your domain name registered for a year (less than $10/yr after that)
  • install theme with limited modifications
  • transfer of ALL your posts
  • feedburner set up

Holy moly, batman!  That is the best win ever…and FOUR of you will get picked for it!

So how do you enter?

It’s easy.  Just leave us a comment here telling us why you think you need to move to wordpress.org.

Want an extra entry?  Yeah you do.  Tweet this: (but make sure to come back and leave a separate comment telling us you did)!

 WOW!  I want to move it move it over to wordpress.org with @Japster24!  You do too!  enter to win with @ksluiter now! http://wp.me/p1zZcI-3e

That is it.  Giveaway will end Monday, July 18 at 4pm est and FOUR winners will be drawn at random.

The Legal Stuff:  I did not receive any compensation for this review/giveaway.  I just really, really loved my experience using Japster.  And he is providing all the spoils of this giveaway because he is tight like that.

Summer is for Sunshine

Just over a month ago my beautiful friend gave birth to two beautiful girls.

In the months before she was due I was crazy busy looking at etsy for some fun gifts.  And then I remembered something…I KNOW someone with a talent for making ridiculously cute things! (in fact, she made me a WAY cute newsboy hat this winter).

She is Alysha the crafty lady behind The Sunshine Stitch!

i so have this hat in adult size...and in purple. but it's cuter on a little one!

Here are a few words straight from Alysha of how The Sunshine Stitch came to be…

H E L L O! 🙂 I am a creater of things made of yarn {& fabric}, lover of coffee & preschool teacher by degree. My husband kicked me in the butt multiple times to get me to open my own little shop because our house was overflowing with yarn & hey, he figured why not make some money doing it. {Business savy men. pssht} The Sunshine Stitch came alive in January of this year just one month before my second son was born. Its been an amazing blessing to me as a stay at home mom as I now have a fun thing of my own but still have time for my wonderful little munchkins.

the sunshine stitch

ack! such cute hats!

But she doesn’t JUST make hats…oh no…

the sunshine stitch

Eek! Are you not just DYING of the cute here???

I bought some little shoes from her for the twins.  They are so cute in person…I melted all over the place.

the sunshine stitch

cutest. coasters. ever.

and don’t forget something to make mom fashionable…

the sunshine stitch

pretty flowers

the sunshine stitch

just for the beach!

And Alysha is just lovely.  You can follow her blog, The Tarr Pit, to see her cute little family of four.

You can follow her on twitter, because she is lovely there too.

And you should go shopping at The Sunshine Stitch RIGHT NOW because she is offering YOU a 20% discount with the code SluiterNation!

Wait!  That’s not all!  Alysha is generous to give $15 of shop credit to one lucky Sluiter Nation Sponsors reader!

Boo to the Ya, People!

So how do you enter?  Easy!  Leave a comment here telling us what you would get if you win!

Want an extra entry?

Tweet something like the following and come back and enter a separate comment telling us you did:

Enter to win $15 in shop credit from @thetarrpit’s shop The Sunshine Stitch through @ksluiter at http://wp.me/p1zZcI-31

That’s it!  Contest ends Friday, July 15 at 4pm est

The Legal Stuff:  I was not compensated in anyway for this review/giveaway.  Anything I own from The Sunshine Stitch was bought with my own money.  My opinions can’t be bought anyway.  Alysha Tarr is providing the spoils of this giveaway because she is awesome like that.

peggy ann…it’s not her real name

You guys know I have a crush, right?

No really.  And Cort knows about it. And he approves.

Well sort of.  Mostly because he likes her too.

Yup, I said “her”.

But her name is not really Peggy Ann…that is just her AMAZING shop. Her REAL name is Hannah…and I am all sorts of in love with her.

I met her on twitter, and we were instantly friends.

Then I realized that the girl is CRAFTY.

the Ruthanne Clutch

the sophia handbag

the Kate wallet (named after yours truly!)

And yes, all of the above will be with me at BlogHer in those fabrics!  I can’t wait until they arrive!

But you know, you really should have something cute to pack up your stuff in too…even if you’re not going to a blogging conference.

I mean, even if you’ll be at Target the weekend of BlogHer, you should have a cute handbag!

And oh boy does Hannah have some AWESOME package deals going on!

They are called “conference” specials, but you don’t have to be going to a conference to get in on this deal!

Conference Special #1

$80 – includes: An Alena Tote, a Lindsay Lace Pouch, and a Kate Wallet
(you choose the fabrics)

Conference Special #2

$67  – includes:  An Alena Tote and a Kate Wallet
(you choose the fabrics)

conference special #3

$31 – includes:  Ruthanne Foldover Clutch with removable wrist strap and a Kate Wallet
(you choose the fabrics)

Conference Special #4

$44 – includes: Sophia Handbag and Kate Wallet
(you choose the fabrics)

But hurry!  these Conference Special deals are only good through this week Friday!!!

All of these items can also be purchased individually.

And you should be following Hannah on facebook and twitter because she is ALWAYS offering limited discount codes (GOOD ones, not puny 10% off one item ones).

  While I am super geeked for my handbag and clutch, I am MOST excited about my new wallet…perfect for holding all the business cards I am sure to get at BlogHer!

Speaking of BlogHer, I can’t wait to finally meet my crush Hannah!!!

just when i thought i wanted another boy…

You know how Cort and I want to have another baby?

Well all this time I have been saying I would LOVE another boy.  I really, really love being a “boy” mom and giving Eddie a brother just seems like the greatest gift ever.  Especially after seeing my brothers together and knowing their lives would be so different without each other.

But I have a bit of a confession.

When I see stuff like this….

…and oh my God does my uterus twinge for a little girl.

So I try to shake it out of my brain.

A boy is practical.  We have all things boy in this house already.

And then I see this….

ACK!  Cut it out, cute baby girl with the adorable flower on her head!!!

You’re messing up the best laid plans!  The RESPONSIBLE plans!

And then I let myself dream of how cute things like this would be on a chubby baby girl (because let’s face it, I grew them babies BIG)…

Lucky for me, the lovely Kelli owns a little endeavor called Shmoo Wear.

And she is Canadian.  You all know my love of Canadians.

So I might be sort of swoony.

Ahem.

Anyway, Kelli is just starting out, but she will ship to the US because she is AWESOME.

Right now she takes orders from all the pics on her facebook fan page OR you can email her at shmoowear@gmail.com and she will do custom orders too!

I didn’t share her with you for nothing, people?  She the definition of fabulosity.  duh.

It must be the name…

You saw my sweet business cards, right?

the definition of "awesomesauce"

The sponsor of my bloggy business cards is Courtney from GCS Design and I still have a stupid smile on my face about it, because she is amazing!

In her words…

Hi! i’m Courtney – the creative mind behind Sullivan & Sawyer Co. and GCS Design. I studied marketing & graphic design in college and have turned my passion into my career. I quit my day job in November of 2010 to make this my full-time venture. GCS Design is about 4 years old and I can help with just about anything design or print wise you would require. From website design to business cards to custom party decor & printables.

And did you see my post about Eddie’s birthday?

Did you notice how cute the decorations were?  Let me refresh your memory…

food signs

personalized table confetti

customized crate paper streamers

custom flag banners

this one will be reused in his new Big Boy room

People?  I did not do this. Courtney did this too.  She has ANOTHER shop… Sullivan & Sawyer Co.

More of her words…

Sullivan & Sawyer Co. was born almost 2 years ago and this is my outlet for all things kid-friendly and made from fabric. It started with my making quality soother clips and toy ties, and I have since left those behind and moved on to a better range of products including the famous ArtClutch. Its perfect for any occasion and great to give a party favors (wholesale rates apply for order of 10+). The ArtClutch comes fully stocked with everything your child will need to get creative!

I don’t know if it’s her name (I am partial to Cortney’s…or Courtney’s in this case), but she is probably one of my favorite crafty people on the whole interwebs.

She even sent this to Eddie for his birthday:

 

ArtClutch!!!
full of distractions…er…fun!

It is AWESOME!  It carries a small pad of paper, stickers, and crayons.  We even stick his church candy in there too.  It’s great for keeping him busy in church, restaurants, really anywhere that he needs to keep his voice down.

Guess what…she is sharing the fun with you!

Courtney is offering all of you 10% off anything with the code SluiterNation.

OR

Need bloggy business cards?  You can get 500 business cards for only $45 (they are regularly $115, so this is a MEGA DEAL!)!!!

and because Courtney is a giver….

One of you can win $25 credit to GCS Design!

To enter leave a comment telling me what you would spend your $25 on!

Are you an overachiever?

Tweet this giveaway and come back and tell me you did:

enter to win $25 shop credit to @gcsdesign from @ksluiter! check it out for deep discounts for biz cards too! http://wp.me/p1zZcI-2o

That’s it!

Giveaway ends Friday, July 1st at 4pm est.

The Legal Stuff:  Courtney is providing the spoils of this giveaway.  She is sponsoring my business cards and sent me an ArtClutch for Eddie, but I bought all the party decorations with my own money.  Regardless, she couldn’t pay me for a good review…only do quality work.  Which she does.  By the barrel load.

Funky Fresh

There is this blogger who I stalk have in my reader.

Her name is Betsy.  Her blog is Funky Mama Bird.

She also tweets, but not a ton.  She’s more of a QUALITY over QUANTITY kind of gal.

(unlike some people with blogs about the Nations they rule.  ahem).

I love that she is eclectic.  I love her quirky humor.  I love her style.

Betsy opened an Etsy shop about 10 months ago.

I won one of her first giveaways.  And I was ridiculously excited to get this:

braceletOrange is one of my fave colors and paired with purple?  Forget about it.  Love.  I immediately jumped on etsy and found her shop.

She stays true to her title as a Funky Mama Bird with cutie items like these earrings:

earrings

And I am pretty sure I go look at this necklace at least once a week and count the days until I can start buying cute accessories again.

necklace

I might have to check the couch cushions for quarters because Betsy if offering a 10% discount at checkout to all of us!  Just enter sluiternation10 for your discount!  Woot!

And what about this beautiful bracelet:

bracelet

I love all the pearls…and oh that cute little nest…

bracelet

You so want it, don’t you?

Well guess what?

YOU CAN WIN IT!

Betsy has generously offered to give this lovely bracelet to one of my FABULOUS readers!

To enter:

Leave a comment telling Betsy and me what ELSE you love in her shop.

For you overachievers out there, you can get two more entries:

1. You can also tweet this giveaway:  Enter to win a bracelet from @funkymamabird today via @ksluiter http://wp.me/p1zZcI-1W  #giveaway

2. You can follow this blog via GFC, your reader, or an email subscription.

Make sure to leave a separate comment for each of the ways you enter.

Each comment acts as an entry.

This giveaway ends Sunday, June 26 at 4pm Est.

The Legal Stuff:  I was in no way compensated for this post.  The bracelet I own was won in a previous giveaway.  Betsy aka Funky Mama Bird is providing the spoils of this giveaway.

Love Letters

I love getting mail.

I really, really love it.

In this world of constant communication, getting something delivered to my house is one of the best surprises ever.

And I like to send notes to people.

Recently, I sent a thank you card to someone because she did something lovely.  Her reaction to the simple thank you note in the mail warmed my heart even more than her original act of kindness.  She never expected the note, but there it was.

And I would much rather buy handmade cards that are original than something anyone can find in Target or Walmart.

photo cards

This is where my lovely friend, Julie of Julie Sancken Photography comes in.

Julie takes lovely natural photographs and sells the prints to be framed….

natural photography

these hang in our bedroom

or you can buy them as cards…

natural photography

perfect for thank you notes or a quick hello

It’s so fun to be able to send something that is personally made.  She has other prints available for purchase here.

If you want to contact Julie about her photography sessions/services, you can email her here.

Legal Stuff:  Julie sent me the cards to review, but did not pay me for my opinion.  Those are my own.

 

A Handmade Summer: Sew Curly

I really don’t know how to even start to tell you about the love I have for Kristina.  I seriously have a handmade shop crush on her shop, Sew Curly.

First?  I love a good play on words.

Second?  Cort’s nickname in high school, college, and still among some people is Curly.

Third?  Have you seen my son’s hair?  Case closed.

Sew Curly?  Yes…I live a Curly life.

monkey birthday party shirt!

Kristina makes some of the cutest things in the universe.  That T-shirt up there?  Just for Eddie’s 2nd birthday party next week!  That monkey is the exact same one that is on all this decorations and on his invitations.

Birthday Shirt! Woot!

And this one was made using jungle animals (he adores animals) so he can broadcast his new age!  I am in love with this!

Kristina is a sewing/embroidery machine.  We also have this cute little snack pouch that she made and embroidered Eddie’s name on.  It is not just convenient for carrying snacks around in my purse, it’s also totally machine-washable.  So when I put cheese-it’s in there for too long and the pouch turned orange?  No problem!  Just toss it in the washer and presto!  Clean!

mmmm! snacks!

See? You would never know that an hour before?  it was totally orange.  Ahem.

Sluiter Nation LOVES Sew Curly!

And you will too.

You could go shopping right now in her shop.

I would totally recommend reading her cutie blog too.

And you can “like” her on facebook to see her latest products she is working on.

Of COURSE you should follow her on twitter, because not only do I crush on her shop?  I sort of crush on her too.

Kristina has generously offered to giveaway $20 credit to her shop (AND free shipping) to one of you!

To enter, you need to leave me a comment telling Kristina and me what you would spend your $20 on.

want an extra entry or two?

tweet and/or facebook this giveaway (mentioning @ksluiter and @sewcurlyk on twitter and Sluiter Nation and Sew Curly on fb).

make sure to come back and leave a separate comment for each (each comment is an entry, so you need to leave a separate comment for each entry)

That’s it!

Contest ends Sunday, June 19 at 4pm est.

Good luck!

**************

The Legal Stuff:  Kristina sent me the Tshirts for Eddie for review purposes, but I previously bought the snack bag with my own money.  The opinions are all my own.  Sew Curly is providing the spoils for this giveaway.

A Handmade Summer: Gussy

I know you know who this is.

Ok, in case you live under a rock don’t, it’s Maggie…otherwise known to the interwebs as Gussy.

Gussy epitomizes what I am trying to do here.

She makes pretty things.

She supports Sluiter Nation with her beautiful smile, lovely words, and funny banter.

She is a hometown-ish gal making her living doing something that brings her joy.  And it shows.

Oh does it show.

From the fingertips of Gussy herself…

Hi there — my name is Maggie Whitley and I’m the owner/designer of Gussy Sews. I spend equal time working on my blog and my shop. On my blog you’ll find updates on my handmade shop, tips on how I left my day job 1 year ago to focus on my business, and different prompts/projects that help build a handmade community of inspiration & adventuring. Interested in what fills the “shelves” of my shop? All sorts of sassy, girly, colorful accessories: tote bags (3 different sizes), zipped pouches, eReader cases, headbands — all sporting my signature ruffle.

yes…she is crafty…

and she’s just my type…

I happen to own a little zip pouch which I use for my pens and chap stick and hair ties and tylenol in my purse.

I also have a small one that is vertical similar to the one pictured above.  My smartphone fits quite comfortably in there.

And for Christmas this past year?  Cort bought me a damask laptop bag with a red ruffle to match my red Dell.

Swoon.

I bet at this point you are wishing you had some Gussy.

You could go shopping right now in her shop.

Or perhaps you want to check out her cute little blog.

Or maybe you want to follow her on twitter and get updates on her hubs, dog, and shop.

ORRR maybe you want to go “like” her on facebook and get deals that only her facebook fans get.

But guess what…

Maggie has generously offered to give one my glorious readers a $40 credit to her shop!

To enter, you need to leave me a comment telling Maggie and me what you would spend your $40 on.

want an extra entry or two?

tweet and/or facebook this giveaway (mentioning @ksluiter and @GussySews on twitter and Sluiter Nation and Gussy Sews on fb).

make sure to come back and leave a separate comment for each (each comment is an entry, so you need to leave a separate comment for each entry)

That’s it!

Contest ends Friday, June 17 at 4pm est.

Good luck!

The Legal Stuff:  I was not compensated for this review/giveaway in any way.  All the Gussy products I own were purchased with  my own money (or were given as gifts from family members who purchased them).  Gussy is providing the spoils of this giveaway and I love her so for doing it.