Ridin’ in Style: Our New MiniVan and Evenflo Carseat!

**I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network. I received the carseat mentioned for free, but as always, all opinions stated are my own.**

I never thought I’d be a minivan mom.  Not that I have anything against moms with minivans.  My own mother was one, and I drove said minivan for several years in high school.  I just figured we’d never have enough kids to need a minivan, and since we’ve always had a Ford Explorer with a third row seating option…we’ve never really needed one.

However.  Between the Explorer breaking down numerous times in our 6 years of owning it, the third row being virtually inaccessible to anyone over 45 lbs, and a 3rd baby {and 3rd carseat} on the way….it was inevitable.

Chrysler Town and Country..the perfect fir for our new Evenflo Carseat - Palmettos and Pigtails

So Dave and I broke down {after the Explorer did.  Again.} and headed to Carmax.  We got a fantastic deal on a 2013 Chrysler Town and Country with all the bells and whistles we need {which is not many!}.  I just wanted heated seats {didn’t get them}, a DVD player for long trips, and an easy entry to the “way back” row.  Two out of three ain’t bad!

Interior of new Town and Country minivan...compliments our new Evenflo Symphony DXL Carseat perfectly! Palmettos and Pigtails

To make my week even better, I was sent a FREE Evenflo Symphony DLX carseat to try out.  It was just in time too, since Baby Boy will be arriving in about a month, and Millie’s hand-me-down carseat was getting old, squeaky and stinky.  I was thrilled when I realized that the Evenflo carseat accommodates kids 5-110lbs…so just about when Millie is ready {and big enough!} to graduate to a booster seat, Baby Boy will be ready to leave the carrier and venture into the Evenflo carseat as well!  But I love having versatile carseats, because with our busy schedule, who knows which kid will be riding in which carseat….and all THREE of my kids can ride in this new one!

I just love the look of the Evenflo carseat…I find it very stylish and gender-neutral.  Millie just loves that it has cup-holders! And according to a study conducted by American Baby and Safe Kids Worldwide, new moms are 300% more likely to get into an accident than other drivers, in part due to tending to an upset baby.  But we’ve found the fabric to be really soft and the whole carseat to be really comfy.  And happy baby means a safe driver!

Riding in Style in her new Evenflo Symphony DXL Carseat!  Palmettos and Pigtails

One of my biggest concerns about the new minivan, is that it has leather seats {yay for wiping down, boo for sticking to sweaty legs!}, and to top that off…they are black.  And since all of our cars live in the driveway since the garage is Dave’s workshop, that means the sun will be beating down on black leather seats all. summer. long.

But, the silver lining is that the Platinum Series of the Evenflo Carseats feature NASA-developed Outlast® technology, a temperature regulating fabric that keeps babies and toddlers comfortable during hot and cold weather.  Which is key, because Millie is a sweaty kid.  It’s nice to know that the sides of the carseat have little buckle pockets to keep the hot metal buckles off of her as well.  Summertime in the South is a go for this carseat!

Riding in Style in her new Evenflo Symphony DXL Carseat! Palmettos and Pigtails

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#BigBabyGiveaway all April Long!

Scroll down to the next post to see my most recent post!

Don’t forget to enter our biggest giveaway ever!  Over 20+ items to win, totaling over $550 worth of products for moms, babies and kids!  Enter everyday by sharing the giveaway on Facebook and Twitter!

April's Big Baby Giveaway!  Enter each day!

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Flowertown Festival and Craft Show

Last weekend I had the awesome opportunity to participate in the Flowertown Festival and Craft Show here in the Lowcountry.  With 200,000 visitors over the three-day festival, and 200 vendors, it’s one of the biggest Craft Shows in the Southeast…and one of the highlights of my year!

Flowertown Festival Booth and Tips for Participating in a Craft Show - Palmettos and Pigtails

FILE/STEVE JAHNKE/SPECIAL TO THE POST AND COURIER Click on the photo to go to the original Post and Courier article

It’s so popular, that it’s hard to walk, let alone with strollers.  So I was happy to be off of the main path a little and on the sidewalk, where it was a little less crowded.  And, I was by the food court and bathrooms {always a choice location when you are 9 months pregnant!!}.

Flowertown Festival and Craft Show Booth - Palmettos and PigtailsFlowertown Festival Booth and Tips for Participating in a Craft Show - Palmettos and Pigtails

This was my first major craft show….I usually just do local neighborhood and church craft shows.  So I was completely unsure of exactly how much inventory to have on hand.  I worked for months every night washing, sewing and folding my burp cloths, carseat carrier cushions and door hushers.  I had some set-backs with my  sewing machine functioning and obtaining certain fabrics, but in the end, I feel like I had just the right amount of inventory.  I sold out of some things, but still have enough left to restock my Etsy site until after the baby comes.

Flowertown Festival Booth and Tips for Participating in a Craft Show - Palmettos and Pigtails

At first I was intimidated by the sea of professional white tents and permanent display racks that all the booths around me had.  But after talking to some of the other vendors, and realizing that this is their career, and they spend every weekend traveling to festivals around the south, I realized that they are on a completely different level than I am, and I better quit comparing myself to them!

Flowertown Festival Booth and Tips for Participating in a Craft Show - Palmettos and Pigtails

Plus, my little red tailgating tent and my bright yellow door with my pricing and items listed on it was the perfect way to stand out amongst all the white tents!  My door is one of my favorite props.  Not only does it display exactly what I’m selling, but it also shows one of my door hushers in action!

Flowertown Festival Booth and Tips for Participating in a Craft Show - Palmettos and Pigtails

I’m also so glad that I used brightly colored gift bags with my logo and business info on the front.  I felt like it made my stuff look more professional, and I had more than one person make comments like, “Oh THIS is where those pretty bags are coming from!”

*Craft show hint….have a few bags already opened up with gift paper inside, so when you make a sale you can just grab one of those, rather than fiddling with gift wrap!  Be sure to stick a business card or two in the bag too!

Flowertown Festival Booth and Tips for Participating in a Craft Show - Palmettos and Pigtails

The bunting, left over from the one of the baby showers I hosted, was the perfect addition to my rustic decor.  I just love how it all turned out!  I also scattered my business cards in groups of three throughout my displays, and saw that most people took one with them!

*Craft show hint….don’t put all of your inventory out at once, it can be overwhelming.  Plus, buyers want to think they are buying one-of-a-kind merchandise!  Also, adding a little sign with your story gets people intrigued by you!  I had lots of people read mine and seem more interested in my products {and blog!} after reading!

Flowertown Festival Booth and Tips for Participating in a Craft Show - Palmettos and Pigtails

The weather ended up being perfect.  Friday was a bit windy, but it countered the hot sun, so it was heaven to sit behind the tent and soak it all in.  Saturday was sunny and warm, and Sunday was cloudy….but the rain held off!  The perfect weekend for a craft show!

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{From the Archives} Tips for Doing Disney While Pregnant

Doing Disney While Pregnant: Tips from Palmettos and Pigtails

 Good morning!  It’s hard to believe that it was exactly a year ago that we took our family vacation to Disney with our best friends, Betsy and Jay.  So in the spirit of all of you spring breakers headed to Mickey-Land in the next few weeks, and for all of you preggos out there, I thought I’d revisit Betsy’s guest post about traveling to Disney while pregnant.  There are some great general tips about some of the lesser known aspects of the parks, as well as some essential info about doing Disney while pregnant!

Without further ado….here’s Bets!

Tips for doing Disney pregnant from Palmettos and Pigtails

My Disney vacation may be atypical from most and certainly from Shara’s in that my awesome husband took the reins of planning!  We discussed everything we decided, but as you read my recap, know that I don’t take credit for the plans he came up with or our schedule.  We both tried to be flexible with plans and just have fun because that’s all you can do with a 2-year-old and your in-laws in tow!

We rode with my in-laws in their RV so we were able to save money on food and stay at a campground overnight on the way to and from Florida {4 days total of travel to/from Disney from Maryland, and 6 days of Florida}.

Accommodations

We chose to stay at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground for a few key reasons.

We were making this trip with my in-laws and wanted to be near them to make plans to meet up and eat meals together as easy as possible.  We could have all squeezed in their RV all week, but Fort Wilderness has cabins, so the three of us opted for one of those for everyone’s sanity.  It was great!  We really liked everything about it.

Fort Wilderness is a really nicely laid out campground that has spoiled me for campgrounds everywhere.  Disney just knows how to do things right.  It is expansive, interspersed beautifully with trees and wildlife so you don’t see a million RVs everywhere you look, and there is bus transportation to help you get all around, though most everyone ends up splurging on renting golf carts for the week (including my father-in-law!  Even after we had planned not to splurge on renting one and sticking to the bus transport, he decided it would be well worth it for the ease of getting around, so we were fine with that!).  Two great pools, several playgrounds, two well-stocked shops with lots of food and drink essentials as well as gifty Disney stuff, pony rides, a delicious buffet, and easy free transportation to all of the parks plus Downtown Disney all made it a great choice for our family. Pool at Fort Wilderness Campground at Disney WorldThey also had an awesome campfire sing-a-long featuring Chip and Dale every night with marshmallow roasting and a movie under the stars.

  • Note 1. Bring your own marshmallows/s’mores stuff.  They sell everything there, but its pricey!
  • Note 2. Go during the weekdays.  We went on Wednesday night and again on Friday night (though I think some people go every night, hey its free entertainment) and Wednesday was nice and calm and peaceful while Friday was packed and slightly chaotic!Fort Wilderness Campfire at Disney WorldFort Wilderness Campfire at Disney WorldCampfire at Fort Wilderness Campground at Disney WorldThe cabins can sleep up to 6 people total, so our little family of 3 was able to spread out quite nicely.  The cabin had a full kitchen and one full bathroom, one bedroom with bunkbeds and a double bed, and a livingroom with a Murphy bed.  Jason and I chose to sleep out on the Murphy bed so we could put Lulabelle to bed at bedtime and stay up to watch TV for awhile without disturbing her.  It worked out really well.  Plus we had the luxury of housekeeping everyday… that’s my kind of camping!  We researched ahead of time and found that RV lots are not really intermixed with cabins in their layout, but you can call ahead to request specific areas if possible, so we so did that and got loops next to each other……ended up within walking distance to my in-law’s but not so close that we got on each others’ nerves.Fort Wilderness Cabins at Disney WorldParks

We also opted for the 4 tickets and got the 5th day free, but to save money we forewent the park hopper option and just did straight days.  The hopper would have been beneficial to some extent, but we didn’t really miss it.

Magic Kingdom notes:

-Be Our Guest restaurant

  • Ridiculous line just to get inside to eat, but I’ve decided it was worth it!  Disney made the Beast’s castle look so realistic and amazing, it was really a treat to get to sit there and eat!  A delicious feast for the tummy and for the eyes.
  • I was frustrated by the ordering process – touchscreen computers each party orders on themselves are a bad idea when a Disney staff person has to run from computer to computer helping all the people figure out how to take the accidental extra beverages off their total or swipe their credit card!  But my note to poor starving preggos or people with toddlers would be to just have a little snack while in line so you’re not dead or ready to kill someone by the time you get to the ordering screens.
  • The meals were pricey, but in reality quite comparable to the other restaurants in the parks – 4 adult meals with drinks and one kid’s meal with milk came to $55 – and the food was really quite good – I got a quiche that came with a good-sized spinach salad and champagne vinaigrette, mmm….
  • The other pretty cool thing to note was the servers bringing out your food using some method of GPS or tracking to figure out exactly where your party is seated.  It was done via a little red, circular rose that you take with you after ordering and set on the table you’ve chosen, and then within a few minutes a waiter comes wheeling out a fancy food cart directly to your table.  When my husband asked how he knew where we were, the waiter just said “magic,” we were in an enchanted castle after all.  Anyway, we sat in the main ballroom, in fancy chairs, under gorgeous chandeliers, with computer-generated snow falling outside beautiful windows – I absolutely loved it.Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom in Disney WorldEpcot notes:

-Nemo ride + big aquarium afterwards!

  • We knew about Turtle Talk with Crush after the Nemo ride, but I did not know there was a full-fledged aquarium to check out in there as well with manatees, dolphins, turtles, fish!  We ended up staying in that one building for close to 2 hours even with no line to get on the Nemo ride at all!
  • Note: bring a snack in if you’re pregnant and hungry every half an hour.Aquarium by the Finding Nemo Ride at Epcot at Disney WorldHollywood Studios notes:

-Disney Jr. show

  • This was pretty much the main thing we thought Lu would want to do so we got in line early on and excitedly got front row seats inside the theater.  Terrible idea.  We could not see anything from the front row because they have you sit on the floor (my other bone to pick with that show – I don’t get up and down all that easily these days!) and the characters are all puppets.  Most times we could see just the tops of characters’ heads, but sometimes we couldn’t see them at all when they were talking.
  • We also had a Disney staff member who kept making little Lu sit down when she tried to see a little better (even though in the middle rows all the kids were standing up and even though the only people she could have been blocking were her dad and grandpa).  SO, aim for the center of the theater, maybe even towards the back.
  • And warn the grandparents and preggos in your family they’ll be sitting on the floor.

Tips for doing Disney while Pregnant from Palmettos and Pigtails

And finally, a shout-out to my shoes!  I researched good, supportive sandals for walking before we left, and these are what I decided on.  They are Spencos http://www.zappos.com/spenco-kholo-straw-java~1 I ordered from zappos.com, and they did a great job supporting me in all of our walking.  According to the reviews, they run a little wide, which was great for me as I have slightly wide feet on a normal day and was very worried my pregnant lady feet might swell especially in the heat.  They have great arch support, and I never had a day of discomfort with extended walking every day we were there.  Yay!

How to do Disney while Pregnant from Palmettos and Pigtails

Overall, it was a magical Disney vacation!  In a nutshell, if you choose to do Disney while pregnant, make sure you wear good shoes, bring lots of water and snacks, and stay in the shade.  We can’t wait to go back, or at least go on vacation with Shara and Dave again soon!  Thanks for reading!

Betsy

Betsy is the cake creator over at Betsy’s Cakes, the Godmother of Jayna and Amelia, and the Mommy of Lullabelle.  She’s also the wife of Jay, and lover of all things Disney.  She’s also Shara’s best friend, and can be found in this post, this one, and this one.  Oh yeah, she also is the mastermind behind the Super Popular Dr. Suess Party post!

Big Baby Giveaway – It’s Finally Here!!!

Y’all know that we are expecting our first baby boy in about a month, and we are soooo excited!  Even though it’s only been two and half years since we had Millie, I’ve forgotten how exciting baby stuff can be!  And there are so many new and innovative items out there!

Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails

I am completely addicted to Etsy.  I not only sell my baby items on there, but I LOVE finding other moms who have a passion for hand-making items for children.  And I can’t think of a better win than to buy something that I need, from someone who has a passion for children and moms…and cares enough to take time out of her busy day to make those items at home.

So, today I am ECSTATIC to bring you my Big Baby Giveaway!  I have been working with a ton of talented Etsy and local artists and experts to bring you a collection of maternity and baby items that any Mom would drool over!

Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails

And over the next few months, I’ll be introducing you to some of these ladies {and gents} on a deeper level, as I gush over the items that they have so graciously provided to me!

But for now, let me show you what’s in the baby giveaway, and who will be giving it to you!

Let’s begin with a big, beautiful bag to put all of your prizes in!  Lauren from Thirty-One Bags is giving one lucky winner a Ziptop Utility Tote to store all of your goodies in!  This multipurpose bag can be anything from a hospital bag to a pool bag!  The winner will get to choose their fabric and put a monogram on it as well!

Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails

I met Olivia, the founder of Developmental Duffle, at a Family Expo here in the LowCountry.  She is a local gal who took the task of finding developmentally appropriate toys for children {birth-five years} into her own hands.  She now compiles duffle bags full of educational, enjoyable and enriching toys for new moms.  And she has been gracious enough to give the winner of my baby giveaway a complete duffle bag full of infant toys!

Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails

Swati is a new friend from Etsy.  Her shop there, Tinytweets, specializes in retro-modern handmade accessories for your new baby.  She is giving away an oh-so-cute fox pillow and one of the cleverest items I’ve seen in awhile, an Aventi bottle wrap {It’s a cozy for your baby’s bottle!}.

Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and PigtailsBig Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails

Rene and Jeremy’s CD, It’s a Big World World, is one of my family’s all-time favorite albums.  Their harmonies are soooo relaxing….I listened to them during both of my labors so far, and plan on continuing the tradition with this baby too!  They’ve also got some great covers and awesome sing-alongs.  It’s one of the few “kid” CD’s that I {gasp!} will listen to when the kids aren’t even around!!  Click on the picture to go to their site and hear some music samples.

Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails

I met Heather from Gemini Red Creations when I went to Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte last year.  Not only is she a part of my tribe, but she makes some beautiful jewelry and baby items!  She is contributing a car seat tent, a car organizer, AND a door latch cover!
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and PigtailsBig Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Grace Hill Media promotes faith-based and family friendly movies to the public.  They are giving away a copy of Veggie Tales: The Little House That Stood…a kid-friendly version of Matthew 7:24 verse about building your house on a solid foundation.
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Y’all have already met my girl, Holly, from Bunyoni Blankies!  She is the brains behind these ingenious carseat blankets that keep your lovey warm AND safe in his carseat.  My little friend Connor got to try one of these cozy blankies this past winter and loved it!
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Amber teething necklaces are all the rage these days.  From curing teething ailments, to ear infections to sleeping through the night…every baby needs one!  Monica from Bouncy Baby Boutique is donating one of her Honey and Lemon Amber Teething Necklaces to my winner.
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
My friend Stephanie is an amazing author and blogger over at Binkies and Briefcases!  You may have read her hilarious contributions for the book, I Just Want to Pee Alone.  Well, she has moved on to writing children’s books as well now, and tackles the hard subject of kids and grief in her new book, The Cookie Jar Parable.  The winner of my #BigBabyGiveaway will win a copy of the ebook.
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
My old friend Chandler {whom I used to work with about 10 years ago at summer camp!}, is donating a Norwex Basic Household Cleaning Pack.  This pack of chemical-free cleaning products includes an Enviro-Cloth for everywhere, a Dusting Mitt, and a Window Cloth.  Perfect for those nesting days before baby comes…and everyday after baby comes!
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Carrie from Venezia Art for Kids creates beautiful prints using your child’s name and themes from nature.  Perfect for nurseries all the way through childhood bedrooms!  The winner will get to choose a 10X20 paper name art for their child, made to order.
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Rachel from 38 Stitches is donating a set of 3 cloth blocks.  The winner will get to choose which fabric prints they’d like from the 38 Stitches Etsy Shop.
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
I met my friend Alison at Bloggy Boot Camp as well, but since she is also a local gal, we’ve also had a chance to hang out with other LowCountry Blogger tribe members.  Alison blogs over at TheAlisonMarieBlog, but is also a successful Shaklee rep.  Shaklee promotes an overall healthy lifestyle, including weight loss, beauty, home care and nutrition.  Alison has been kind enough to donate some organic ShakleeBaby Soothing Lotion to the baby giveaway.
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Blessing and Light is an Etsy shop dedicated to creating original concrete bookends, magnets and garden markers.  They are graciously giving you your choice of any two blocks to create a bookend set!
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Every girl loves a bright chevron scarf in the Spring…Hold Me Close creates beautiful and fashionable infinity scarves that double as a nursing cover!  The baby giveaway winner will win a gift certificate for one of these beauties!!
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Baby Greeters is donating three sets of washable nursing pads and a flannel burp cloth with mink backing to my baby giveaway. Winner chooses the fabric from a HUGE selection!!
Big Baby Giveaway-Over 20 prizes for Mom and Baby from Palmettos and Pigtails
Can you believe you can win ALL of those fabulous gifts?!?!?   It’s over $550 worth of products!!! I’m so excited for you! =)
Below, you’ll find the rafflecopter that you’ll use to enter the giveaway.  Be sure to follow the directions  on the entries you are interested in…because this is such a HUGE baby giveaway, I’ll be double checking the winning entry to make sure that you actually complete the entry {i.e. leave a comment, “Like” a Facebook page, etc.}  No cheating…. :)
You DO NOT HAVE TO complete all of the entries!!  If you have already completed one of the entries {i.e. if you already “Like” Palmettos and Pigtails on FB}, you get to click on that entry button without doing anything!!  And be sure to share this giveaway with any friends you have…if they win and don’t have kids….maybe they’ll give it to you!!!

Good Luck!! {Giveaway ends April 30th!}

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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April 2014 Cleaning Calendar

I cannot believe April is already here!  I have less than 7 weeks before Little Man comes into our lives….and apparently I have a lot to do.  This month, I’ll be using a combination of my April 2014 Cleaning Calendar, and I’ll be utilizing some Groupons for professional cleaning services.  Hey, they were good deals, and frankly, I physically can’t do a lot of the spring cleaning I’d like to be doing!!  So, I admit I need some help!

Here’s your copy of the April 2104 Cleaning Calendar.  Stick it on your fridge and do one little chore a day!

April 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Click here to download and print your own copy of the April 2014 Cleaning Calendar!

Happy Cleaning!

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The Best Thing about Being a Mommy Blogger

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

As you know, a couple of weeks ago I was able to escape for a few days to sunny rainy San Diego, CA to attend the SITSgirls’ Baby Bloggy Boot Camp.  A special blogging workshop just for mommy bloggers!  I arrived a day early, hoping to enjoy my first trip to California by being a tourist.  However, the weather had other plans and it rained for my entire weekend out there!  I was able to grab a few minutes at the beach in between rain showers though…

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

The water was freezing, but my ankles were swollen from the flight…so it was totally worth it!

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

I was lucky enough to stay at the Bahia Resort over in Mission Beach.  They treated me like a queen, going above and beyond with extra {like 10!} pillows for this preggo, and post-its to compensate for my lack of business cards!

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

I was bummed that I forgot my business cards at first, but the silver lining was that handing out post-its was a great conversation starter, and the sticky backs ensured that no one misplaced them! The conference itself was invaluable.  Tiffany and Francesca did a fantastic job of balancing networking, humor and workshops to make the whole day really enjoyable, as well as educational.  They also do a great job of ensuring that new bloggers know their worth, and teach them how to turn their blogging “hobby” into a business that is fulfilling and financially worth it.  And of course, as a mommy blogger, how to balance IT ALL!

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

And then, of course, there was the SWAG.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like getting free stuff.  Pens, water bottles, and keychains are the norm.  But not the SITSgirls.  They treat their mommy bloggers RIGHT! =)  They had some fantastic sponsors at Baby Bloggy Boot Camp that gave us samples of products, and some very helpful demonstrations!

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

Since I’m only 8 months pregnant, I haven’t been able to personally test most of this stuff out on a real baby yet.  But, I can tell you that now that the weather is nicer, I am living in my Liz Lange Maternity dress.  It’s flattering and soooooo comfortable!  And since you can buy that brand at Target, it’s price point is perfect as well.

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

And then there was Ergo Baby.  Every mom’s best friend!  And they were kind enough to bring me Ergobaby swaddlers, an Ergobaby wrap AND a brand new Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier {not even on shelves yet!}.  I simply cannot wait for Baby Boy to arrive so I can wear him all over town.  For now, I’ll Dave will be practicing with Mongo the Monkey.

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

And since I accidentally grabbed a “girl” pack of diapers from The Honest Company {and they were size 3}, I sent them to Betsy to try out on baby Rosie.  She LOVED the adorable prints and stretchiness of the diapers for Rosie….especially now that Ro is all over the place!  I kept the samples of baby wash, laundry detergent and hand soap for myself!

Bloggy Boot Camp for Mommy Bloggers in San Diego #LizLange #ErgoBaby #ad #swag

It was a whirlwind of a rainy weekend, with the sun finally coming out on my flight home.  But every second I had out in CA was worth it, from the much needed “me time” cooped up in my hotel room, to the “polar bear plunge” that my toes made, to the new friends and great information I gained at the conference.  ’Til we meet again San Diego!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

Rewined Candle Company Tour

Happy Spring!  It’s FINALLY here…and hopefully sticking around for a bit!  My sister works for a local Charleston company called Rewined Candle Company.  They create wine-scented candles in repurposed champagne bottles and sell them all over the country.  And they throw candle making parties!  I got to go to their launch party for their spring scent, Mimosa, last week with Loo.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Not only did I get to eat, drink and be merry with the locals, but I also got a tour of the factory, AND got to make my very own Mimosa scented candle to take home!

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

It all starts off with champagne bottles.  Rewined Candles takes empty champagne bottles from local restaurants and cuts the necks off using a wet saw.  {it’s noisy and messy, so they didn’t have the saws going during the party, so you’ll have to take my word for it!}.  The necks are recycled or reused at parties as food labels.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Labels are {very} carefully applied, and each scent gets its own colored seal.  When the process is complete, a candle maker inspects the candles and signs off on the label and the candle is shipped out.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Different fragrances are perfected in giant vats, creating signature wine scents…some of my favorites are Pinot Grigio and Reisling.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Then the wax {made from natural soy} and the fragrance {essential oils} are mixed and poured carefully into the wine bottles around a wick.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Apparently, mixing wax can be a very messy process!  Yes, those are shoes stuck to the wall….

The candles in the picture above are from a separate line, called Produce.  And they are scented like, well, produce!

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

The wicks are trimmed and the candles are boxed up, ready to ship to the Historic Charleston City Market, or store locations around the world.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

And the sweet smell of orange and champagne that lingered home with me was the perfect way to start Spring!

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

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{Guest Post} DIY Crafts That Brighten the Room

Good morning!  My name is Naomi and I’m thrilled to be guest posting on Palmettos and Pigtails today.  I’ve been a stay-at-home mother for several years, and in my free time, I do a bit of blogging on the side.  I enjoy creating DIY and crafts for home, but I also love writing about the realm of business, more specifically retail design.

DIY Crafts That Brighten the Room

Are you moving into a drab dorm room? Is your office feeling a little dreary? Whether your home, bathroom, bedroom, or dorm need some sprucing up, these crafts will get you on the colorful path to brighter days.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Instagram Photo Collage

Do you have a drab wall that needs decorating? Create a colorful masterpiece using your photos from Instagram.

  • Print out your instas from a computer at instagram.com or simply use polaroids or any other type of square photograph.
  • Use painters tape to mark a level base for your wall collage. Measure from the floor on each end to guarantee its level.
  • Cut out your square pieces and tape them to the wall in a grid pattern. Before you know your wall will be a colorful masterpiece of … lattes?

Faux Frames

Washi tape originates from Japan and comes in tons of different colors and patterns that can make any dull design pop. Craft a few small frames to make any picture on your wall seem perfectly placed.

  • Hang a few different sized photographs on the wall using four small pieces of tape (painters tape or masking tape).
  • Cut different sizes of Washi tape for different sized frames. Think square, rectangular, octagonal, and so on.
  • Check out this detailed blog post from Design Sponge on how to make your frames truly unique.

 Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Doily Wallpaper

Layering different colored doilies together can give a dorm room wall a personalized feminine touch.

  • Starting from the bottom, use about two pieces of tape per doily and start creating rows.
  • You can use the painters tape level method (mentioned above) to make sure your doilies are lined up.
  • Make sure each doily overlaps so that you can’t see the wall behind them.

Shutter Organizer

Perfect for hanging kitchen supplies, office supplies, or anything else needing a place to go, an old shutter can hold just about anything.

  • Find an old shutter and paint the top half yellow for a bold color block. Check out this great example from C.R.A.F.T., a blog dedicated to “creating really awesome free things.”
  • Over the door hooks, a magnetic knife strip, clear caddies, or even a bike basket are all storage tools you can hang on the shutter.
  • Lean the shutter against the wall close to your bedroom door or anywhere convenient in a small kitchen and whalah, DIY decoration and organization at its finest!

Paint Swatch Scallops

Paint swatches are free and can be used to brighten up any small corner, large wall, or dull space in need of excitement.

  • Use a die-cutting tool and cut as many circles as you need from your paint swatches.
  • Using the protective cardboard found in a frame or simply the back of the frame, tape or glue the circles in rows (like the doilies) so they layer each other in a neat pattern.
  • Secure inside your frame, then hang this quick piece of art on any wall or lean it on any desk for a bright pop of color.
  • Here are several great examples of paint chip art from event planning blog, Social Graces.

Scalloped ArtImage courtesy of Social Graces

Get creative spicing up any space with these DIY crafts. Add furniture and other displays and whalah! Maybe these ideas will inspire you to come up with some of your own!

 

Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home mom in Southern California. After being a stay-at-home mom  for seven years she now works full-time as a freelance writer. She enjoys blogging about mommy tips and DIY crafts providing insight, advice and more. 
 
 

{From the Archives} DIY Spring Wreath

Here’s one of my favorite DIY projects from the archives….just in time for Spring, which seems to finally be popping up!  A DIY Spring Wreath!

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

I was challenged about a month ago, by my mother, to make a spring wreath. And because I have nothing better to do, it kind of got pushed to the bottom of my To-Do list.  But then, I remembered that I would much rather craft, than wash windows.  So, it got pushed back up to the top!

I saw lots of cute spring wreaths on pinterest, and decided to keep it simple and cheap, with materials I already had.

So, I decided to use some foam (from Lowes) duct-taped together to make my wreath form, and some left over packing paper from our move.  My goal was to use the paper to create some shabby-chic-ish southern inspired (Magnolias, perhaps?) flowers.

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

I crinkled up the paper and wrapped it around the wreath form to completely cover the grey color.

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

And then I cut the paper into strips.  I folded the strips accordion style width-wise, so I could cut more circles out at a time.  I cut three sizes of circles.

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

My circles were a little sloppy and uneven, but it didn’t matter at all in the end. And as I worked, I decided that the wreath needed a little color.  But I still liked the idea of a white base to the wreath.  So I decided to color just the edges of each of the circles purple (perfect for the Lenten Season!).

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

After coloring ALL of those circles, I started crinkling.  I actually got Jayna’s help…she crinkled and reopened my flowers, and then I glued the three layers together.  Then I topped it with a little crinkled scrap of paper in the middle to be the flower’s stigma.

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

I used a hot glue gun to glue each flower onto the wreath form, in close proximity to each other, so they kind of all scrunch together.

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

And I left a little gap at the top, so that when my mom hangs it, her wreath hanger won’t squish the flowers.  I put a little smiley on the back so it would be easy to find.

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

But then I decided that I needed a bow to make it look a little more complete (and elegant!).  I had a hard time finding ribbon that I liked, so I bought some thick, crocheted lace instead.  I made a bow and tacked it in place with hot glue.  Perfect….shabby chic!

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Spring Wreath Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

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