For the Love…Of Blogging WINNERS!

This is it!  The winners of all the giveaways!

Seriously…thank you all SO much for such a great week!  If there is interest (and bribes of wine and chocolate) Miranda and I may be coaxed into doing it again some time.

Ok, here they are….

Peggy Ann Design….

James (James and Jax Blog)

Sarah Bee Creations…

Mandy

The Thomas The Train Set…

Chris (daddysdown)

Bird E Studios….

Tessa

Pink Bow Bath Boutique…

Cara

JSancken Photography….

Leighann

SofieM.com…

Andrea

Twenty Five Design…

pinkflipflops

Gussy…

Trisha V

YAY!!!  Congrats to all of you…I will be sending an email or some sort of communication to you in case you are not sure if it’s you or not.

And if you entered the giveaways at Not Super…Just Mom, check to see if you won over there!

Happy Sunday!!

Secret Mommy-hood Confessions Saturday

I really like that Kim does Secret Mommy-hood Confessions Saturdays.  I helps me vent out things that have been weighing on me all week.

So here is today’s:

I’m tired.

I know that is not a juicy one.  In fact, now you’re bored and will probably just move on, and that’s ok.

But I’m going to plunge ahead anyway, Ok?

This week totally exhausted me.  So much so that after getting out of bed this morning at 10:00 (thank you, Cort!), I played with Eddie for an hour and then passed out on the couch for THREE HOURS.

This week was hard on me even though it really wasn’t a bad week.  Ever have one of those?

I am tired of picking up after teenagers.

I am tired of students leaving things behind and then freaking out WEEKS later.

I am tired of having to say, “get back to work,” “let’s focus,” “talk while you work…WHILE you work,” among other things.

I am tired of giving a thousand chances to maybe get a D- instead of an F.

I”m tired of having to hound 18 year olds about graduation requirements.

I”m tired of doing more for less.

I also learned some exhausting lessons this week.

students never hear you the first time (this should not be knew, but in light of the week, it was frustrating).

adults can act every bit as immature as a 14 year old can.

adults can back stab you if they think it will get them in good with someone.

not many people can keep a secret.

massive week-long blog events that include a gazillion giveaways are incredibly rewarding…and exhausting.

I need to toot my own horn when I want to be recognized for something I am proud of.  Maybe others will pick up their horns for me too, but maybe not.  So I have to play LOUD–for myself.

It’s exhausting to be proud of yourself.  Many positive things happened to me this week–mostly in the blogging world–and keeping up with them left my head spinning.

But I will end this tired ramble with the things I am proud of, that I hope you will take the time to check out.

The first is huge.  HUGE.  I have a new button on my blog.  It looks like this:
I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

That’s right!  I am on BlogHer with my post My Mother’s Hands.  Because of tons of encouragement from this lady, this lady, and of course this lady, AND with Cort rooting me on, I shoved all my fear of rejection down and submitted five of my babies posts to BlogHer.

Knowing the talent that they usually pick up, I really wasn’t expecting to hear back (I know, I know…lame of me), but when that email landed in my inbox?  I FREAKED OUT!

Cort was gone to class and I just scooped Eddie up and danced and cried with him.  He thought his momma had finally lost it.

So anyway, please go read my post over there…and leave me some love and sparkles if you like it.

I have also been adding this little guy to a couple of my posts lately:

 MommyofaMonster This post was featured!

That’s right, the sweet and talented Natalie has taken notice of me lately (which makes me blush), and has featured me two weeks in a ROW on her Monster Likes weekend round up of her fave posts.  This week my writing tips made the cut.  Go check out who else she likes this week (always good reads, by the way).

Third, in case you hadn’t heard, I am now on the team at The Red Dress Club

I am all sorts of honored and still blown away that Nichole and Cheryl–two writers I hugely look up to–would even consider me to be part of their team, let alone ask me!  To me, this is exactly the thing that has been missing from my writing life.  It pushes me to read more, contact other writers, and think outside of my own writing box.  I love it.

Speaking of The Red Dress Club, some of you may or may not know that I have this blog:

this is where I do my creative writing.  Right now there is a piece of fiction I just posted–and I almost never write fiction–that I feel pretty good about.  I’d love for you to give it a read and tell me what you think.  It’s called White Agony.

Since I am listing things I am proud of here, I also still have Katie’s Bookcase:

I haven’t posted here in a while since I am in the middle of reading books…as are many of my contributors.  If you have read a book that you would like to submit a review for, contact me, and we will set something up!

Lastly, if you haven’t entered all of mine and Miranda’s giveaways?   You can find a list of all the links here.

More than one person asked me this week asked how I do it all.  Even my therapist wanted to know.

And I just shake my head.

I don’t know.  I really don’t.  I all I can say is, if you really, REALLY love something, you will do it.  If something brings joy to you in spite of the challenges it causes, you will do it.

Or at least I will.

But?  It will still tire me out.


For the Love…of Blogging GIVEAWAY #9

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

And we have made it to the END of the giveaways…number 9…the number of completion.

And I saved the biggest for last.  You all know her…

Maggie Whitley Gussy SewsGUSSY!

If you have been living under a rock (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) and you don’t know who Maggie (aka Gussy) is, you can read about her and her little HUGE shop here.

She is always working on something new.  ALWAYS!  I was lucky enough to get a laptop bag from Cort by Gussy for Christmas, and I just ordered a small pouch for my new Droid2.  Check out some of her latest goodies.

for your kindle

for your ipad

The Gussy love could go on forever, am I right?

So you want some Gussy?  Do you?  DO YOU?

Yeah you do…and guess what?  Gussy is giving one of you a $40 shop credit!

Yeow (as she would say)!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me what you love best about YOURSELF!

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @GussySews http://bit.ly/e1F0Rg



That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her shop.

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

and of COURSE you should follow her blog!

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print:  Gussy Sews is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.

For the Love…of Blogging GIVEAWAY #8

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

My eighth giveaway today is someone I love as a friend, a blogger, and a crafty crafterson.  Torie is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet, and she happens to be the genius behind….

It is NO secret that I am love with everything Torie makes.  If you see me regularly, at LEAST once a week I am rocking something I bought from her shop!

Here is what Torie has to say about her store…

My name is Torie and I am excited to share my work with you! I am a stay at home mom to a wonderful little girl named Rylie. She is the reason for opening up my shop. I love accessories of all kinds. I started out making baby and toddler hair products as a hobby when I realized that all women want to look and feel pretty no matter their age. Thus, Twenty Five Design was created.
My goal is to provide you with funky, fresh and inspired accessories for adults. I pride myself in offering high quality items for you and those you love at an affordable price.

And Torie is so awesome that she is offering ALL of you a 15% discount on your ENTIRE purchase with the code BLISS15 (for today only! so HURRY to her shop!)

And she is giving one lucky reader a headband AND a ring of your choosing!
Yes.  This is outstandingly awesome.

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me what accessory you NEVER leave the house without and why.

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @25Design http://bit.ly/euhXjt

That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her shop.

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

and of COURSE you should follow her blog!

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print:  Twenty Five Design is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.

For the Love…of Blogging GIVEAWAY #7

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

This next giveaway is my newest find on the interwebs.  Courtney is my favorite new twitter friend AND she just started this awesome new business:

Here is what Courtney has to say about Sofie M.:

SofieM.com is a modern accessory company. We specialize in Key Fob’s, beautiful clutches, PantKeepers For Women, and so much more! Everything is handmade in a clean home studio with high quality materials. Our Little Black Fob’s are great for getting fancy or adding a little sparkle to everyday!
I am so in love with her products!  From her clutches to the key fobs to her CUTE scarves…everything she makes is awesome:
So cute, right?
There’s MORE!  Courtney is giving EACH of you a 25% off discount with the code katie11!!!
WOWZA!
But of course she is also giving one lucky reader $25 of free shop credit to sofiem.com!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me how you find blogs to read?  By recommendation, searching?  How?

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @sofiemcom! http://bit.ly/hbLwWO

That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her shop.

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print: SofieM.com is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.

For the Love…Of Blogging GIVEAWAY #6

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

We are continuing our day of giveaways with one of my oldest friends on twitter and the blogging world, Julie Sancken of J. Sancken Photography.

Here is what Julie has to say about her new little awesome business:

JSancken Photography started in the spring of 2010. After taking hundreds of photos of my son, Brayden, I knew I wanted to share my talents with my local community. As well as starting portrait photography, I started dabbling in a little bit of nature photography, and soon got the idea to do 3.5×5″ photo note cards with my photos. The cards are the perfect size for a small thank you or any other short note-without that awkward white space when you can’t think of how to elaborate! They also make great gifts, and I hope to add more photos to choose from soon!

I actually have a couple of her prints in my bedroom…they are GORGEOUS! See?

Not only is she available as a photographer for YOUR family (she is based out of Pontiac, Illinois–about 90 miles south of Chicago), she also sells prints (like the ones I have) and photo card sets.

Her cards are generally sets of 10 for $15, but for the rest of the month, she is offering them to you as 10 for $10! That is a five dollar savings!  She is so awesome!

Plus Julie is giving one set of 10 photo cards away to one of you for FREE!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me who you would send a handwritten note to and why!

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @basicallyjulie! http://bit.ly/fJQm4G

That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her site.

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

and of COURSE you should follow her blog!

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print:  J.Sancken Photography is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.

For the Love…of Blogging GIVEAWAY #5

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!!

Our next giveaway is by my latest product crush.  I may be slightly obsessed with these lotions and body butter that Amy makes in her shop:

Here is what Pink Bow Bath Boutique is all about…in Amy’s words:

Pink Bow Bath Boutique specializes in handmade luxury
bath and body products all wrapped up with a pink bow and a fun
girly-girl twist! We offer delicious, top-quality, made to order,
custom fragranced everyday pampering products.

“Delicious” is an understatement.  I have been tempted to lick out the top of the jar when I open my lotions.  I am not even kidding.  That is how good these scents are!  Plus they make my skin SO soft!

I know…so cute…and if you could scratch and sniff?  You would die of the yum.

But wait…Amy has MORE for you…

ALL of you can get 15% off your purchase made through her Etsy site right now by entering the code sluiternation (good through the end of January)

Amy is fricking awesome.

And?  If that wasn’t enough?  She is giving one 4oz jar of body butter in your choice of scent!

Oh my word, people.  This is awesome (um, I have had the pear vanilla and candy cane cupcake among others…they are all yum…you will have a hard decision for sure if you are the winner!)

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me what scent you think you might want to try if you win!

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @pinkbow! http://bit.ly/dHRCil

That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her shop here and here.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print:  Pink Bow Bath Boutique is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.

For the Love…Of Blogging GIVEAWAY #4

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

Our next giveaway is from Sluiter Nation’s very first sponsor: Bird E Studios

Bird E Studios is my very lovely friend, Erika’s shop.  Here is what she has to say about it:

Bird E Studios is my little shop where I pour my heart into creating hand-sewn pieces for your little one and pet. It is my creative outlet and my excuse to have yards and yards of fabric filling every shelf in my studio. When I’m not busy sewing, I’m probably off day dreaming about escaping to a ski town in the mountains, re-doing the living room decor (again…), or making to-do lists in pretty notebooks. Bird E is my reminder to do what you love, and love what you do.

Erika is unbelievably talented:

She also has the biggest heart of almost anyone I know!  She has recently started the non-profit Blankets for Hope:

Before my cousin Cullen passed away this past November, I was thinking about what I could do with my shop, to really give it meaning. To make a difference, to do good things, other than just providing stuff. While the stuff is lovely, I wanted Bird E to be a part of something bigger; to do something to help others. And so, {Blankets for HOPE} was born. While Cullen was ill, I I wanted so badly to be able to help in some way, but felt there was little I could do to make him feel any better. The only thing I could think of was to sew up a fleece blanket for him to have at the hospital. My aunt told me what a comfort it was to always have that blanket there, and the fleece was the perfect soft touch when he was feeling so miserable. Why not do something to help other kids also in the hospital have that same sense of comfort? While it is a small gesture, and one that certainly won’t cure their ills, any act to soothe these kids souls is a good thing.

She is awesome, yes?  To learn more about Blankets for Hope, go here. Soon you will be able to donate materials or money to Erika for her project, and Sluiter Nation will be here to tell you how!

Now I bet you are wondering how to get your hands on some Bird E Studio goodness, right?

Well dear Erika is giving one of YOU a $25 shop credit to Bird E Studios (excluding dog collars)!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me what you would spend your shop credit on from Bird E Studios!

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @simplerika http://bit.ly/i8x59S

That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her shop.

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

and of COURSE you should follow her blog!

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print: Bird E Studios is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.

For the Love…of Blogging GIVEAWAY #3

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

The third giveaway today is from someone who is so awesome…

My super awesome friend,  Jackie, from With Just a Bit of Magic:

Jackie is a lot like me…she is a working mom trying to juggle everything in life.  And when I think I have it tough with just Eddie?  I remember she has FOUR to keep track of care for every day!

Jackie doesn’t have a shop, but she is a wonderful person who contacted me with something she would like for one of you to have….

Jackie just HAPPENS to have an extra Thomas set on hand that she would LOVE to giveaway to one of you!!!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me who you would give this Thomas set to and why!

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @JackieCross http://bit.ly/eLs3za

That’s it!

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

and of COURSE you should follow her blog !

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print:  Jackie Cross is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.

For the Love of Blogging…GIVEAWAY #2

This is it!  The end of the For the Love…Of Blogging Week!

You made it to the end…and as a reward?  GIVEAWAYS!

Our next giveaway is from the newest addition to Sluiter Nation’s Sponsor Spots: Sarah Bee Creations!

Sarah is a wonderful, beautiful friend who makes wonderful, beautiful products.  I’ll let her tell you a little more…

When I started Sarah Bee Creations, I thought I’d make gifts for family and found some soap recipes. My family always made beeswax candles in the winter to give to our friends so it made sense to me to pass along the tradition. Then it turned out that my daughter, affectionately called LO around the interwebs, suddenly had her eczema clear up (after a year of wearing socks over her hands with olive oil in it to soothe her poor cracked little knuckles) when she used my aloe vera soap. I never wanted her to go back to those painful hands again and started experimenting with soap recipes.

I’d always considered myself more of a candle lady and you will see an assortment of soy candles in my shop, too. They burn cleanly with less emissions than paraffin candles. I never knew that paraffin was made out of oil barrel scrapings until I learned more about soy. Now those black rings around paraffin candle jars suddenly make more sense and I don’t want my family breathing that in. Soy also melts at a lower temperature so you can even use the melted wax as massage wax once the flame is extinguished, if you are so inclined, and it’s water soluble.

I told you…awesome.

Check it out:

Great Tea soap

Vanilla Butter Body Butter

Sarah is so talented, isn’t she?

But wait!  There’s more!

Right now you can get 10% off EVERYTHING in the shop by using the code SluiterNation10!

So really?  We ALL win.  But I know you want some free goods too, yes?

Get ready because Sarah is giving one of you a $20 shop credit to Sarah Bee Creations!

You have TWO ways to enter:

1) Tell me how you started reading Sluiter Nation or if this is your first time here…I like to say hi, you know!

and/or

2) Tweet about the giveaway and then come here and leave a comment that you tweeted.  You can make something up, but if you are all lazy like I am, you can just copy and paste this:

I love blogging and I love giveaways!  Enter to win with @ksluiter and @SBeeCreations http://bit.ly/f1d6NT

That’s it!

Of course you should go browse (and then buy!) in her shop.

You should follow her sweetness on twitter.

You should like LOVE her on facebook

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print:  Sarah Bee Creations is providing the spoils for this giveaway.  I have gotten nothing in return other than the joy of giving you something I love from someone I love.
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