Top Ten Tuesday: small business love

Lately I have noticed that I have a bit of an addiction to shopping online, specifically small businesses.  Even more specifically, handmade products.

I think it’s because with my crazy schedule, I don’t get out to do any shopping anymore.  I used to at least do the grocery shopping once a week and get to throw in a fun pen or notepad or cookies.  But now?  I don’t even do that anymore.

So I have turned to the internet.

I will admit that I may have a bit of a problem (although none of the shop owners have complained about it).

This week I am sharing with you my favorite shops to stalk shop.  There are in no particular order…I love them ALL!

10. Sarah Bee Creations:

mmm...smells so yummy!

Sarah of Sarah Bee Creations is one of Sluiter Nation’s sponsors (see her pretty soaps over there on the right?) because not only is she an awesome person?  But she makes some of the richest, creamiest soaps ever!  I have her French Vanilla soap in the shower right now, and her lemongrass is on deck making my bathroom drawer smell delicious.   I cannot get over how soft my skin is after using this.  Horribly dry elbows?  Totally gone!

9. Pink Bow Bath Boutique:

pampering in a jar

Along with Sarah’s soaps?  I have become completely addicted to Amy’s body butters from Pink Bow Bath Boutique. I won a tiny jar from a giveaway and I was HOOKED!  I have never smelled so yummy in all my life.  Really.  Right now I am loving the buttercream frosting and the strawberry cream, but the pear vanilla is way tasty smelling too.  The body butter is thick, but not too thick, and the body frosting is silky and a bit lighter–can’t wait to get that for the summer!

8. The Vintage Pearl:

personalized lovliness

I don’t think there are many people out there who DON’T know about Erin at The Vintage Pearl. I have the “you are my sunshine” necklace and I have given quite a few gifts from TVP–and they are ALWAYS loved.  I think it’s the personalization and uniqueness that makes these pieces so special.

7. Peggy Ann Design:

the cutest frame in my house

Another one of my lovely sponsors, Hannah of Peggy Ann Designs, makes a variety of some of the loveliest items on the internet.  I have one of her cute frames, but I have my eye on her unique cuffs.  I think one would look super cute with my work shirts that are 3/4 length.  (See…I have a problem).  Also how cute would those mini-poms look in little girl hair?  Adorable!  And Hannah is the sweetest friend ever.  I think that makes the addiction worse.  Not only do these shop-owners sell the best stuff, but they are so nice and wonderful…I make up reasons I need their product!

6. The Sunshine Stitch:

self portrait...you get the cuteness of the hat though

This is my newest find.  Alysha of The Sunshine Stitch made that SUPER cute hat for me (because of COURSE I needed a new hat.  Duh.), but mostly she makes the sweetest little baby hats and booties I have ever seen.  Is it bad that after seeing her stuff I told Cort I thought we needed a baby?  Cuz he gave me the side-eye.  Huh.  It’s a good thing I have friends who are pregnant, so I can justify some serious spending here…SOON!

5. Gussy:

all gussy-ed up!

Who doesn’t love Maggie aka Gussy?  Her stuff is legendary out there in online shopping fame.  Those ruffles?  Forget it.  I have a laptop bag, a small pouch for my Droid, and a medium pouch for all the little stuff in my purse.  I showed you two of those things in my vlog a few weeks ago. So you think I would be set, right?  Oh no.  Now that I am going to BlogHer?  I really want a tote or a market bag as my carry on for the plane ride.

4. Bird E Studios

diaper clutch for mom to look good; bib for Eddie to look good!

Erika of Bird E Studios is another lovely friend of mine and an awesome shop owner AND another sponsor here on the old blog.  Erika has been the craftiness behind many of Eddie’s cute goodies…and is working on a little project for me right now for a lovely friend who has twin girls in her belly.  She also makes the cutest dog collars!  All four of my puppy nieces got pretty new “necklaces” from Erika for Christmas this past year.  She is another reason my uterus twitches for a baby…bibs and burp clothes!

3. Funky Mama Bird:

pretty an unique

Betsy of Funky Mama Bird is one of my favorite jewelry shops. Her stuff is so unique; I constantly get compliments on my bracelet.  Right now I have my eye on her birds nest earrings and I LOVE her birds next necklaces too.  Seriously, so cute.

2. Twenty Five Design:

my obession

Anyone who sees me regularly knows about my obsession love of all things Twenty Five Design by the lovely Torie.  My friendship with Torie began when she saved my hair style for a wedding by custom-making my very first Twenty Five Design headband.  Since then? I can’t stop myself!  Currently on my wish list from Torie’s crafty hands is the Spring is Here headband, the Chloe hairclip, and Carol cuff bracelet.  And yes, I already have three headbands, three hair pins, a necklace, and a ring.  What?

1. Eleri Designs

{Ok, I don’t have a picture of this…yet!  It’s on it’s way!}

Stacey of Eleri Designs is another new love of mine.  I came across Stacey’s shop through Miranda (of not super…just mom).  I entered a giveaway, but did not win.  Her shop was on my mind ever since.  Recently I decided it was time I retired my old Pittsburgh Steelers throw to the basement family room and got myself something cozy and girly for my big brown chair upstairs.  Immediately I contacted Stacey to find out if she did custom “adult size” blankets.  She does!  I am so excited to put on my jammies and curl up under my new blanket!  And I might just have my eye on her super cute coffee cozies next…

Now don’t get me wrong…these are not the only shops where I spend all my allowance frequent, but they are the ones I have currently stalked stared at the most in the past couple weeks.

And of course I HAVE to know…what are your favorite shops?  Do you have online favorites too, or do you frequent local small businesses in your area?  Where do you spend your “fun” money?

Don’t forget to vote every 24 hours for Sluiter Nation to win the Mom Central grant!

And don’t forget to shop my Thirty-One party!  Ends this week! (go to “my events” and shop my party–Katie Sluiter).

Top Ten Tuesday: The Stuff I Carry With Me

For this week’s Top Ten, I decided to combine the countdown with something else that has been requested:  a new vlog.

So not only am I counting down what it is that carry around with me in my purse?  But I am doing it on video.  And yes, I made my bed just for this video so you guys wouldn’t see my inner slob.  You’re welcome.

What do you carry everywhere?

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 #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 #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.

For The Love…Of Blogging GIVEAWAY #1

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

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

So let’s get started, shall we?  There are NINE here in Sluiter Nation and they will be posting EVERY hour starting NOW!

We are starting with one of the newest additions to Sluiter Nation’s Sponsor Spots: Peggy Ann Design!

Peggy Ann Design is the result of the sweet and wonderful HANNAH!  And here she is to tell you about her shop:

I am a Navy wife who has a serious fabric addiction! My shop is kind of a random mix of items, with one main focus: FABRIC!!

And yay for US that she loves fabric!  Check out here ADORABLE new clutches:

I know…I know…you are already thinking about how great Hannah is…but WAIT!  There’s MORE!

Check out her shop…she does ADORABLE frames too (I own one…I know of this greatness) and?  She is working on even MORE:

I just added 2 new limited edition clutches – there are only 4 of each of these available! http://peggyanndesign.bigcartel.com/category/limited-edition I also have 2 new products coming out very soon and LOTS of exciting stuff happening Feb 14- March 14. It would be a good idea to become a follower of the blog or on twitter before then (It’s the Month of Hannah – V-Day, my Bday, and our anniversary!)!
People?  Hannah is the AwesomeSauce for sure.
You want some of her goods?  Yeah, you do.
Hannah is giving one of you $25 shop credit to Peggy Ann Design!
You have TWO ways to enter:
1) Tell me what you like best about the blog world…you don’t have to be a blogger to love blogs!
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 @PeggyAnn_Design http://bit.ly/fuq1QO

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 for all the fun that is coming up next month!
This giveaway ends Sunday, January 30 at noon est.  Winners will be chosen by Random.org and posted that same day.

The fine print:  Peggy Ann 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.

Sponsor Highlight: m9 design

Remember how I said friends are awesome about support?

Yeah.  They so are.

This guy here today has been my friend for something like 15 years (good Lord that makes me feel old).

And he is pretty much a genius.

Mat is Cortney’s best friend and the brainchild behind m9 design.

m9 design is Mat’s freelance graphic design/painting business.

We have worked with Mat many, MANY times.

For one, he designed the header and button for this blog right here!  You like?

He also did this painting for us that hangs in our dining room:

It’s of the Public Market in Pike’s Place in Seattle.

We loved it so much, that each time one of our siblings got married?  We gifted them with a painting.

MacKenzie and Dave got Comerica Park (because they spend a LOT of time there!)

Mike and Ashley got the Chicago skyline (because that was their first trip together)

Cody and Liz got London (it was a big trip they took together as well)

Soon, Chris and Sarah will get to pick a painting!

Mat almost always works in acrylics on wood or board, but he can do canvas if requested.  His favorite size to work in is 2’x4′, but he can do any requested size as well.

So blog design and paintings…but wait!  that is not all!

Hey also does a lot of graphic design work…T-shirts are one we love!  He did this one for a fundraiser for MacKenzie and Dave’s adoption!

pssst.  if you like this shirt and you like to support adoption–specifically of Eddie’s cousins?  You can go here and purchase one to help the cause.

Ahem.

Personalized gifts make people happy for Christmas.

m9 design can help you.

Mat is currently located in Denver, CO, but will work out shipping costs with you.

He’s very nice and friendly.

So go check out his site and do some browsing!

Um…in case you haven’t heard?  Top Ten Tuesdays is Top Ten Christmas List Wishes: Internet Edition.  I really want you to hook up.  A) because I may just have some fun discounts to share with you and B) I want to know YOUR lists so I can steal some ideas.  You know you were thinking the same thing about my list.  See you Tuesday.

Sponsor Highlight: mL photography

Some of our biggest supporters are our friends.

Am I right here, people?

That is why I am so happy my lovely friend Missy and I can support each other.

I blog my face off and she snaps some pretty snazzy pictures.  It’s what we do.

Ok, “snazzy” might be an understatement; Missy happens to be a whirlwind of awesome behind her lens….

and my family may have been lucky enough to have her as our “personal” photographer…

…all the way from back when Eddie was just a bun baking away in my oven…and Louis was still an “only child”.

She has grown her little side project exponentially over the past couple years.

She knows just how to capture everyone’s unique personality in her photos so that no one has the same pictures on the walls.  In her words? “I ain’t no Olen Mills!”

Did I mention she’s funny?

And that she is amazing with little kids?

Somehow in the midst of what I think is a total photoshoot fail, she gets the perfect shot…

you would never know he was drooling, spitting up, and being all around uncooperative this WHOLE shoot, would you?

every. dang. time.

And just when I think she can’t get any better…she also offers Christmas cards!

(Sluiter Nation MAY have gotten this very design and MAY have them ready to mail already.)

I am so blessed to have her advertising here on my little bloggy blog!

And just in time for the holidays?  She has some specials for you…YES, YOU (well, you as in locals…or can make yourself locals).

Taken straight from the lovely photographer’s mouth…

“what  better than a fabulous photograph of your favorite people as a gift for Christmas?

Therefore,  through the end of November, gallery mounts, mini  mounts, canvas prints, circular prints, finished albums, wall  calendars, magnets,  collages, and styrene mounted prints are all 20%  off!”


You didn’t think that was it, did you?  Oh no…she has something BIG a’brewing too!

“[mL photography] is  so SO very grateful for amazing clients, friends, and family this past year. wowza. it has been incredible. therefore, in honor of all the fabulousness I have been blessed with, tis time to bestow some upon all  of YOU.

the big announcement is finally *here*..

beginning november 29, there will not be just *one* super…awesome christmas giveaway, but  *TWELVE DAYS*of them(!!), true ellen  degeneres style. MUCH more details to follow. dancing is definitely  necessary. and some serious happy laughter, too.”

Dudes.  This is big stuff.

Need more information?  Want to see more of her work?  OF COURSE YOU DO!  So go to her website and “like” her on facebook.  You don’t want to miss any of these fab giveaways!

Because pictures? Are a way to look at memories.  And memories make fabulous gifts.

Oh hey…Top Ten Tuesdays on Tuesday is Top Ten Christmas List Wishes: Internet Edition…don’t miss it…start YOUR list now so you can link up!  Because I may want to take your ideas and add them to my list.

Sponsor Highlight: Twenty-five Design

Again today I have a super sponsor to highlight for you!

The beautiful Torie–the creative genius behind Twenty-Five Design

Torie makes the absolute cutest hair accessories ever!

Torie and I met in the blogging and twitter world.  She has the most adorable little one-year old girl, Rylie, who I think Eddie would fall in love with if he ever met!

When Torie and I first starting chatting, I thought all she did was make baby bows.  Boy was I WRONG!

This past July, I was in a pickle with what to do with my hair for a wedding.  Torie popped up on twitter and saved the day!  She let me custom order one of her super sweet head bands that went perfectly with my outfit!

I STILL get a million compliments on this!

Besides the items in her shop, you can customize your order.  She offers “game day” headbands so you can look cute while you support your favorite team!

I have one in the Wyoming Park’s school colors!  I wore it to homecoming and I wear it on Fridays when I get all dolled up in school spirit!

Besides making headbands with her adorable rosettes, she makes a variety of other lovlies that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

How cute would this be to pull the wisps out of my face?  And I LOVE the color!

Ah!  And how cute is this ring?  I’ll tell you…it’s WAY cute!

And my absolute favorite in the shop right now are these beautiful necklaces!

I drool every time I stop by to “window shop” in her little Etsy Shop!

Twenty-Five Design is quickly becoming an up and comer in the Etsy world and I am so privileged that Torie has chosen to advertise with Sluiter Nation!

Everything in the Twenty-Five Design shop is perfect for a stocking stuffer for any lovely lady in your life.  So get on over there and start shopping!

Psst…Tune in for Top Ten Tuesdays…Twenty Five Design makes my list for my Top Ten Christmas List Items: Internet Edition…and she may just be offering YOU a little something to help YOUR Christmas shopping!

But go “window” shop now…so you can have YOUR list all ready to go for Top Ten Tuesdays!

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