Feb 28, 2011

10 Reasons I Blog

I often ask myself if I really need to blog.  I mean, it takes up more time than I should let it, but balancing my time has never been my strong point.  Besides the time, I really haven't found reasons why not to.  But, why do it?  Here are my top ten reasons:

1. Its fun.

2. It is a creative outlet for me.

3. It inspires me.  For my photography, style, and life in general.

4. It lets me see that there are so many good people in the world; and that many of them blog.

5. I get free stuff.  Who doesn't love that?  Giveaways, reviews, advertising, etc.  Often they are things that I had been wanting or things I was going to buy anyway (money saver.)

6. I get to relate to others in ways that I need (especially motherhood), and also see the world through the perspectives of others (different opinions than my own.)

7. It helps me be more patient with my toddler, especially when I hear stories from other moms.

8. It helps me count my blessings...I am, after all, blogging about my "favorite things."

9. It helps me define my personal style (i.e. photography, decor, fashion) and learn more about myself.

10. Because I get bored easily...there are always new things to see/think about in "blogland."

So, why do you blog?
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Feb 26, 2011

Budget Gadgets Review and Promo

I have been needing a camera bag since forever, so when Budget Gadgets contacted me to do a review I was excited to review this camera bag:

It is the perfect size for the equipment I use the most, and has lots of pockets to keep all the little things in (like my flash cards and such.)

Budget Gadgets has offered 5% off any order  to my readers with code thehillsarelivin5off and a free keychain flashlight.  (Promotion ends May 28th and if you don't use the promo code they will send a free flashlight for orders over $20.)

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Feb 24, 2011

Planning a Pretty Party and FTF

Call me crazy, but I have been planning Allie's 3rd birthday party since last year...kinda.  I won a party in a box from a giveaway and since I didn't have any parties in mind, I decided to use it for Allie's 3rd birthday.  See, I am the worst mom ever and haven't had an "official" birthday party for Allie yet.  So, I am turning a new leaf, and, I also have been dying to photograph a party so that's a little bit of a motivation too :)

I was totally into aqua, light yellow, and coral at the time, those are the colors I decided to use.  And, since it is a birthday party for a 3 year old girl, I had to throw pink in the mix too.  Here are some pics of the colors I plan to use:

And now I need your help!  If you have any good ideas or pretty inspiration photos for this please send them my way!! 


I will share them here on my blog, with a link to yours, if you would like too!  Thanks!

Also, please take my quick 2 question survey about A Few of My Favorite Things so I know what you guys like!  Thanks!

 Please share your favorites:
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Feb 23, 2011

Sanuk Review and Giveaway

Sanuk is a great sandals company that's all about fun and being environmentally conscious.  Here is a little bit about Sanuk and what they do:

Hi, we’re Sanük. We’ve been around since July, 1997 when Jeff Kelley started making sandals out of inner tubes and indoor-outdoor carpet. 1998 marked our first full year of operations. While we’ve progressed into semi-proper footwear company (uh-oh), Jeff’s spirit of innovation still serves as the backbone of our little brand. Today, we strive to make products that are as much about funk as they are about function. We’ve found our sandals are happiest when they tread the road less traveled – so we design ‘em accordingly.
Because “Sanük” is the Thai word for FUN, our name is also our mantra.

Our goal is to provide creatively inspired yet thoughtfully designed products for the global outdoor community…mostly because we’re part of it.
Headquartered in Southern California, we are an eclectic little family hailing from Santa Cruz, Seattle, Cardiff by the Sea, the Philippines, Colombia, Hong Kong, and even Papua New Guinea. With your support, we continue to grow and now have distribution across the United States and in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.

 I was lucky to get to review these fun Sidewalk Surf Shoes:

I LOVE them.  They are so fun and add personality to any pair of jeans and t-shirt combo I put on. :)

Since they really are made to wear as sandals (they are very airy and light) I love that I can wear them without socks and they are still super comfortable.  They will be the PERFECT shoe to take here when we go this Spring, and they will be awesome for taking walks this spring/summer/fall (since my flip flops don't always offer the best support or comfort.)

 Sanuk has offered one of you a choice of shoes from their site!

To enter:
Like Sanuk on facebook
Follow Sanuk on twitter
Subscribe to Sanuk's YouTube account

 1 entre for each - leave a comment of each entry.
For US residents only

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Feb 22, 2011

President's Day Decorating

I am actually a HUGE fan of using red, white, and blue (especially in a boy's room.)  So, here is my decorating post dedicated to President's Day (which may also be a little bit nautical):

via pottery barn
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Tinysoles Review and Giveaway

I contacted Tinysoles after reading a good review on them to see if I could review and do a giveaway for my readers.  They were really on top of things and responded very quickly with lots of great information for me about their business.  Here is a great explanation about them and what they do:

TinySoles is a shoe store dedicated to providing the most complete
selection of stylish, comfortable shoes for babies, infants, toddlers and
kids. We specialize in age appropriate footwear and offer the best
collection of flexible, soft sole shoes for little feet. TinySoles was
started by three mothers on a SOLE search for quality, development
appropriate footwear for our infants. Unable to find anything suitable in
our local area and frustrated with talking to "customer specialists" with
no real life experience with their products, we decided to bridge the gap
and created TinySoles.

We personally test all of our shoe brands on our own kids first and if we
don’t love them, we won’t sell them. Not only do we care about what you put
on your child’s feet, we want to provide you with a hassle-free shopping
experience with superior customer service. As parents, we know your time is
precious. Our goal is to keep your children’s feet happy, comfortable and
stylish while making shopping a pleasurable experience. We aim to be your
one-stop shoe source for baby, infant, toddler and kid shoes. We are
constantly searching for the best new products available to provide our
customers with the greatest selection of quality footwear. Our store prides
itself on being a mother-friendly and supportive workplace. When you call
to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff, you might hear the happy
sound of tiny voices in the background. Oh and did we mention our fast,
free shipping? We stock all shoes in house, which means if you can put it
in your cart it will ship the same day (if ordered by 3pm EST) and if you
order over $20 shipping is free (and that includes Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO
and Canada). We stand behind everything you purchase 100% and have a hassle
free return/exchange policy.

At TinySoles you will find a great selection of stylish shoes but you will
also find a ton of coordinating SOLE accessories like tights, socks, hats,
bags and even music you can stomp yer feet too. We are huge SmartWool
addicts and carry a great selection of soft and stretchy, all natural,
completely sustainable, itch free, stay cool in the sun and warm in the
snow, machine washable, super cute wool socks and accessories. We have over
100 styles of BabyLegs in stock and can definitely say they are the perfect
must have accessory for your diaper bag. In an attempt to cut down on
plastics in the environment and limit BPA exposure to our kids, we carry
the Klean Kanteen line of stainless steel sippy cups. TinySoles is also a
great place to buy Baby shower/newborn gifts from - with free shipping,
gift wrapping and a hand written card we make it easy to make a great
impression. If you’re like us and love to get a deal, then our “Daily Deal”
is for you. We offer a new deal daily Monday through Friday at an amazing
price until it’s gone.

Most importantly, all of our products at TinySoles are child tested and Mom
approved. Gone are the days of stiff shoes. At the heart of TinySoles is
the recommendation from leading pediatricians and podiatrists to keep
children in the closest thing to bare feet as possible and practical until
the age of two. This allows for proper foot growth, development of muscles
and balance naturally. That is why we offer the best selection of soft
soled shoes. We also take that theory to our rubber soled shoes, that our
children do not need heavy stiff shoes to play outside and so we have tried
and tested the best brands for flexibility, lightweight, comfort and
durability. No matter what the use, we have your tiny soles covered from
newborn to kids size 13.
So little may not have been the best adjective :)

They were so great to work with and so accommodating.  For the review, I chose these cute red Mary Jane's made by See Kai Run:

The package came SO quick and in it was a cute wrapped package and even a little sucker for Allie.  Talk about great customer service all the way to the door!

Allie LOVES these shoes.  They are so comfortable for her and VERY well made.  I can tell they will last through many kids; which is a nice thing to have when you plan on having more children. :)

Tinysoles has offered a $30 gift credit to their site to one lucky person!

To enter the giveaway, take a look at Tinysoles and leave a comment on what you love.

For extra entries:

Follow/Subscribe to my blog (1 each)
Follow/Subscribe to Tinysoles blog (1 each)
Like Tinysoles on Facebook
Share this giveaway on twitter/facebook/your blog (3 each)

Please leave a comment for each entry.

I would like to thank Tinysoles for sponsoring this and wish you all luck!

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Feb 21, 2011

Shoe Week

I have 2 great shoe giveaways for you this week, so why not make it shoe week?  I think I become more of a shoe gal as I get older...not sure why.  Here are a few that I have been drooling over lately:

I've been wanting these since Christmas:

And how about these cute running shoes:

Happy Presidents' Day!
I am having lunch with friends and a date with my hubby today - lucky me! :)

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Feb 19, 2011

Take My 2 Question Survey?

Thank you MUCHLY! :)
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Favorite Things in the Office

I have been lucky to be able to work with CSN to do some reviews and giveaways.  I was browsing their selection recently for home office furniture and came across these:

I would love to have this desk:
Paired with this chair
Or this desk:
Paired with this chair

I really like the contrast; like in these offices:

I also love big clocks in offices like these:

...and I absolutely love this clock from CSN (left corner):

What do you love to have in your home office?
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Feb 17, 2011

FTF Valentine's Wrap-up

I hope you all had a lovely V-day and got to spend it with the people you love.  I had an especially good Valentine's Day this year and thought I should share; since these kinds of things are my VERY favorites.

Allie has been sick with colds and flus all month and so we haven't been able to go on any dates.  Luckily we have had Lost (TV Series) to keep us occupied while we are quarantined inside, but I have to admit I am coming down with quite the case of cabin fever.  I think my husband realized this and brought me and Allie home some fun Valentine's Day surprises.  

Allie got a balloon, stickers, and a sweet little Valentine's puppy (stuffed of course.)
Then he made us dinner (his own made up recipe that was quite delicious) and brought home a red velvet cake for dessert (which I had mentioned to him quite a while ago that I had been craving.)

Then Trey had me close my eyes while he brought in the grand finale:

An area rug!  Shag, light, and so soft!  Best gift ever!  I am one lucky girl.

And now for some awesome features from last week:

These valentine's cupcakes from Creations From My Heart:

 This amazing nursery and some knock-off curtains from Scissors and Spatuals:

 This lollipop holder from Sandy's Space:

 This corsage from Less than Perfect Life of Bliss:

A guest room shared by House to Your Home

A yummy brownie recipe from Dining With Debbie

A painting Machelle is working on from Machelle Reeves Blankenship
( I love her hair!)

A favorite winding road from Sweet European Dreams

A pottery barn knockoff from Finding My Aloha

I wish I could share so many more from last week - I really enjoy reading all of them!

Please share your favorite things from the week:

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