5 Must Haves for a Girls’ Night In {and a Giveaway!}

Life has been hectic around here lately.  Between spring cleaning, spring fever, sports, after school activities, traveling and the upcoming Flowertown Festival, I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath.  Let alone catch up with my girl friends.

So I decided to have a Girls’ Night In.  I didn’t feel like putting on anything but yoga pants, let alone go out on the town, so I invited the ladies in my Bible Study to have a Spa Night at my house on Monday.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever had one, but Girls’ Night In is the best.  It’s just about some good food, good drinks, and good friends.

Now, I love to entertain, but I just wanted to relax for this party, so I invited my friend Allison over to pamper us with some of her awesome Arbonne products.

1. Good food.  Have a mix of healthy, sweet and savory things to eat.  I like to make everything finger foods if possible to make nibbling easier.  For this evening party, I had pound cake cubes, a fruit platter with whipped cream, and a cheese cube and mini club cracker platter with honey.  I found colorful spring plates and napkins to complete my buffet.  Toothpicks replaced silverware!

Girls' Night In Ideas: Bite Sized Foods {both treats and healthy!} are a Must Have

2. Good drinks.  Keep in mind the tastes of the guests at your party.  At this particular one, I chose to serve chilled white wine and homemade Skinny Sangria.  I found the recipe over at Living Locurto if you want to try it.  Some said it was too sweet, but most of us loved it!  Low on carbs and sugar…

Skinny Sangria: One of Five Ideas for a Girls' Night In

3. Good SWAG.  You know me.  I am all about some free stuff.  So when I have parties, I love to give out little favors, or have a little something that my guests can take home.  When I threw my Pinterest project party, we all made a reclaimed wood sign to take for our homes.  When I threw Millie’s Mermaid birthday party, the little girls got to go home with a silky pearl hair clip.  For this party, spring was in the air…so the takeaway was little pots filled with gardening tools, seeds, and {of course} some Arbonne samples.

Girls' Night In Ideas: Favors or Crafts to match the theme of the night

4. Good Friends.  I’m blessed to be surrounded by many wonderful people that I can call friends.  I have a group at church, a group in my mom’s club, a group in my neighborhood, etc.  So when I plan my Girls’ Night In nights, I try to stick to one group at a time to keep it intimate.  That way everyone pretty much knows everyone else and can feel comfortable and relax.

Girls' Night In Ideas: Spa Night with Close Friends and Arbonne

5. Good Entertainment.  Whether you are watching the latest {or a classic} chick-flick, applying fun Jamberry Nail wraps, or even just laughing around a campfire, there needs to be a focal point to the gathering.  On Monday, it was a spa night courtesy of Arbonne.  Allison has us all wash our faces and apply a Seasource Sea Mud & Body Mask to our faces….which appropriately turned us green for St. Patty’s Day pics on Instagram!

Girls' Night In Ideas: Mud Masks, Foot Soaks and Homemade Sangria!

While our face masks were working their magic, our feet were soaking in buckets of warm water and Aromassentials Unwind Bath Salts.  Glass pebbles from the dollar store at the bottom of the buckets gave our feet a nice massage as they soaked, and we scrubbed Awaken Sea Salt Scrub to exfoliate.  My feet were so soft even the next day, which worked out well since I had a podiatrist appointment for my Plantar Fasciitis!

We also got to try out a ton of facial products after we took off our masks, including some spray toner {so you don’t have to waste cotton balls}, instant lift gel, and an intensive renewal serum…all of which tightened, toned and smoothed our faces.  After all the pampering, my face felt and looked fantastic!

Giveaway Time!

Arbonne Gift Set Giveaway! from Palmettos and Pigtails

Today I’ve got a fabulous Arbonne Giveaway worth $87.  Its the Complexion Perfecting Set, which includes a Purifying Cleanser + Toner, an Oil-Absorbing Day Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen, and a Mattifying Powder.

The Purifying Cleanser + Toner cleanses and tones, visibly reducing oiliness for refreshed-looking skin.

The Oil-Absorbing Day Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen helps absorb oil and provides sun protection, leaving skin with a fresh, matte appearance.

The Mattifying Powder takes away unwanted shine, while reducing the appearance of redness for a perfect, matte finish. It dusts on lightly over or under moisturizer or makeup.

This giveaway ends at Midnight on Thursday, March 26th.

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Good Luck!

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Veggie Tales: Noah’s Ark Giveaway

The very first videos Jayna ever saw were Veggie Tales.  I can’t remember which story exactly it was, but there was a little girl carrot talking about how much God loved her…voiced by an actual child.  Jayna was smitten by the “interviews” and I was impressed by the simple Christian messages amongst the retelling of Bible Stories with modern twists.  And vegetables, of course.  And two kids later, the Veggie Tales videos remain some of our favorite family movies.

So I’m ecstatic to partner with Grace Hill Media once again to tell you about their latest Veggie adventure {and give you a chance to win your very own copy!}.

Veggie Tales: Noah's Ark DVD Giveaway from Palmettos and Pigtails

In Veggie Tales’ Noah’s Ark, Wayne Brady and Jaci Velasquez star as newlyweds Shem and Sadie, son and daughter-in-law of Noah. Shem and Sadie return from their honeymoon to find the rest of their family building a massive ark at God’s direction.

Veggie Tales: Noah's Ark DVD Giveaway from Palmettos and PigtailsShem questions his father’s unshakable faith in God, especially when animals begin arriving and the rain is nowhere to be seen.  But in the end, Shem learns the importance of trusting in God.

Veggie Tales: Noah's Ark DVD Giveaway from Palmettos and PigtailsWayne Brady’s Shem performs 7 brand new songs throughout the movie, and a new “Silly Songs With Larry” segment features Larry on a quest for a golden egg.

The girls giggled and belly-laughed through the whole video, and we enjoyed the bonus sing-along songs and downloadable activities together too.

For more information and ordering, check out the Veggie Tales website.

And now for the giveaway!  I’ve got a copy of Veggie Tales’ Noah’s Ark, along with a couple of plush, huggable Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber stuffed toys.  Perfect for an Easter basket!

And I’ve made the Veggie Tales giveaway super easy to enter…just “like” my Facebook page and/or send out a tweet about the giveaway. Feel free to share the giveaway on Facebook too!  Contest is over next Monday night!  Good Luck!

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Baby Teeth and Baltic Amber

*I received the products mentioned in this blog post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!*

Last week was a big week around here.  Milestones galore…including Lincoln’s first taste of puffs, Jayna’s perfect report card and teeth drama.  Comin’ and goin’ like nobody’s business!

A Week of Teeth-Coming and Going Lincoln has been teething since about 3 months old.  As in, drooling and knawing on anything he can get his chubby little hands on.  I was positive that he was going to get them quickly.  But alas, they only popped through last week…the week he turned 8 months old.  Now, if you don’t personally know Lincoln, let me just tell ya, he is a happy kid.  He does”t really cry or fuss.  He will smile at jut about anyone {not just the old ladies at the grocery store}.  He is content to play with his toys for hours alone.  A chill kid.

But even my chill kid experienced teething issues.  They didn’t really seem to bother him much coming in, but the amount of drool he produced was ridiculous!  I mean, I was changing shirts and bibs by the hour, some days!

A Review of Bouncy Baby Boutique's Baltic Amber NecklacesLucky for me though, way back last April, I was given a Baltic Amber Necklace from Bouncy Baby Boutique as part of my Big Baby Giveaway.  Although Lincoln wasn’t even born yet, I was eager to try it out.  I’d seen lots of kids wearing them, but was somewhat skeptical about the claims.  According to Bouncy Baby Boutique, Baltic Amber is found in the Baltic Sea area, where ancient trees fossilized to create a this healing resin that is high in succinic acid.  Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and calms the central nervous system, all with zero side effects.  It’s been used for centuries to sooth all sorts of inflammatory pain, so it’s perfect for teething children!  Bouncy Baby Boutique‘s sells baby and adult necklaces and bracelets/anklets.  They are individually knotted between each piece of Amber, and have a safety clasp closure on necklaces and a screw clasp on the bracelets/anklets.  They should not be worn tightly, but lay against baby’s skin, where the warmth from the skin causes the succinic acid to release and be absorbed into the skin and into the bloodstream.

A Review of Bouncy Baby Boutique's Baltic Amber NecklacesLike I said earlier in the post, I was skeptical, but had an open mind.  We put the necklace {which is a tad big on him right now, but will fit better as he turns into a toddler} on occasionally when he was 3-6 months old.  I didn’t see really any results, but certainly no ill effects.  However, we were only having him wear it when we remembered to put it on {maybe once a week or so.}.

A Week of Teeth-Coming and Going But as his teething got more severe as those teeth started to push through, we started having him wear it at all times, except for sleeping.  And then we did notice quite a difference in the amount of drool.  To the point where he rarely needed a bib anymore {he used to soak through bib and shirt constantly!}.  And although he never really showed any physical indicators of teething pain, the reduction in drool was enough for me to be impressed!  He’ll continue to wear the necklace, and I’ll keep you posted as more of his teeth come in!

Baltic Amber Necklaces from Bouncy Baby Boutique {A Review}Be sure to check out Bouncy Baby Boutique’s website for more information on Baltic Amber and to see their other products, or go to their Etsy Site to order your own.  And I’d love to know about your experience with Baltic Amber, leave a comment!

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I See Me! – Farm Friends

*I received the products mentioned in this blog post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!*

Whelp, Lincoln is five months old now.  I can’t believe how quickly time is flying with him.  He has such a little personality now!  He is a super laid back kid.  He really only cries if he’s hungry or over-tired.  The rest of the time he is smiling, belly laughing and squealing!  Here’s a quick video I caught last week:

He is finally loving “tummy time,” now that he can push himself all the way up, and manipulate toys with one hand as he holds himself up.  Most of the time his little legs are going too {even though his big Buddah belly is still firmly on the ground….he’s not going anywhere!}!  Mirrors are a big motivator for tummy time.  Although I don’t think he recognizes his own reflection yet, he sure does like checking out that cute baby in the mirror.

Recently, I was sent a personalized children’s book for Lincoln from I See Me! books.  And just because they are awesome, they threw in a personalized placemat as well.  Now, Lincoln is not quite ready to be at the table yet, so I used the placemat to help out with tummy time.  Propped up against the mirror he loves so much, Lincoln was happy to push himself up to stare at the handsome farmer and his animals!

And next month, when we start introducing baby food and his is up at the table, we’ll be able to use the placemat in a more traditional way.  It’s really big and easy to wipe off, so it’ll be great to catch all of those drips and crumbs that come with first foods.

Lincoln is really getting interested in books now.  He likes to help turn the pages, and will often “pat” pictures of animals.  So when we got a copy of I See Me!’s new book, Farm Friends, complete with farm animals and pictures of Lincoln, we were eager to read it together!

At first, I thought the giant Lincoln face on each page was silly.  But then I realized that it was the perfect size for Lincoln to see, and in the coming months when he starts recognizing his photo, he’ll enjoy it even more!  The book was perfect for even his little hands, with a sturdy cover and pages that will withstand some wear and tear from him as a toddler too.

Lincoln and DadAnd the book is just adorable!  From a Mom perspective, I love how “Farmer Lincoln’s” face is on every page, in addition to his name spelled out or written at least once on each page.  I’m not sure if you can see it below, but his name is spelled out {in subtle humor} on both his argyle sweater, and on the sweaters that each of the sheep in the field are wearing!

And the former teacher in me loves the many talking and teaching opportunities on each page, from counting, to letter identification, to animals and their sounds, and colors.  When  Millie reads it, she loves pointing out all of the silly things on each page.  {Chickens wearing glasses!?!?!?}

And since just about anything will make Lincoln laugh these days, exaggerated animal sounds coming from Mommy and Daddy are just what are needed to entice a few belly laughs from the baby!

 I See Me! books have a ton of personalized stories, including:

The Super, Incredible Big Sister

I Can Change the World

My Very Own Pirate Tale

I’m a Big Boy Now!

I’m also loving their personalized puzzles {and lunch boxes, growth charts, etc.}, for older kids.

I See Me! Books has a great selection of other unique personalized children's gifts, such as puzzles, lunch boxes, stickers, etc. #iseemebooksAnd right now {just in time to order for Christmas!}, they have a bunch of promotions and giveaways going on!  You can enter to win a free book and a Pottery Barn Giftcard, or “like” them on Facebook to receive 15% off.  Or you can join their e-mailing list to get the newest promotions.

Follow I See Me! on social media:

Facebook          Google+       Pinterest       Twitter       Instagram

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Hold Me Close Nursing Cover and Infinity Scarf

*I was given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.   As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

Back when I was coordinating all the the Etsy vendors for my Big Baby Giveaway, I stumbled upon Hold Me Close Nursing Etsy shop.  Sondra makes infinity scarves that double as nursing covers…I was tickled to be able to include one in my April giveaway AND also review one for you now!

She’s got a zillion different colors, in solids, prints and chevrons.  The fabric is long, so there is more than enough to cover you and baby!  For a quick video on how the scarf works, check out the Hold Me Close Website.

Most recently, I took the scarf that Sondra gave me, to Montreat.  It was perfect since the mountain air was a bit cooler than what I was used to.  And for the church services at the retreat, I felt like I needed a bit more coverage over my tank top.  I was able to be stylish, while still practical and discreet while nursing.

Sorry for the selfie in the hotel room, but it was all I could do!  My scarf is the mint chevron, but this model does a much better job of showing you how the scarf works!

The fabric is a stretchy jersey knit, which is a little heavy for the heat of summer, but perfect for fall, winter and spring!  And the colors are bright and cheery (and lots of them coordinate with local teams….hello football season!).  And if you are like me, and like your scarves to be a bit longer, you may want to consider the Extra Long scarves.  And Sondra even has little scarves for your mini-me!

This is a great gift for the new mom {or new Big Sister!} in your life!  Get a jump start on your holiday shopping at the Hold Me Close Etsy Shop with 20% off with the code PIGTAILS20 {until August 27th!}!

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Jamberry Nail Wraps Giveaway

*I was given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.   As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom, as I have a sweet Jamberry Nail Wraps $25 Giveaway for you!

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

A couple of weeks ago, Jayna and I attended a Mommy and Me Princess Party hosted by Jamberry Nails.  My good friend Natalie recently started selling the nail wraps and hosting parties.  Jamberry Nail Wraps started in 2010 by three sisters who were tired of paying for expensive manis and pedis, just to have them wear off or chip in a few days.  And so Jamberry Nail Wraps was born!

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

I am the first to admit that I am not really a painted nail kind of person.  Like the sisters, I feel like every time I attempt to paint my fingernails, it chips within minutes of drying!  However… I have some UGLY toes, and so they are never without nail polish!  So I was happy to have some fun designs for my little piggies, and was eager to see how long the wraps lasted on my busy fingers.

First of all, the Jamberry Mommy and Me Princess Party was adorable.  The little girls all dressed like their favorite princesses while playing games and getting their nails “did” by their mommas.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

Jayna was ecstatic to have an excuse to wear her Elsa dress “out and about.”  And this party happened to be the same evening as my Bi-Lo Kuddles Launch, so Jayna still had her Frozen face paint on too!

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

And let me tell you, I am so glad that I actually went to the party…because as simple as they are, there are instructions to the nail wraps in order to get them to last longer.  As you can see from the first photo in this post, each nail wrap is an oblong wrap, that is temporarily fixed to a piece of clear plastic {and in the photo, taped to a pink piece of paper}.  One sheet of wraps have several widths on them, so you can always find one that is the appropriate width to each of your nails.

So everyone chose their favorite design of wrap…I chose mustaches! =)  After choosing the appropriate width of wrap for each nail, you cut it in half…one half for each hand {you can see them on the table in the photo below}.

But first, use a little nail polish remover or alcohol wipe to clean all the dirt and oils off of your nails.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

Then peel one of your wrap halves off of the plastic, and heat it up with a hair dryer  for about 3 seconds, until it is floppy.  Then carefully adhere it to your nail, making sure that it does not touch your cuticles.  The rounded part goes up against your cuticle, and the straight cut part will slightly hang over the edge of your nail {you can see this in the photo below}.

Then, use the hair drier on your nail again, pushing down on the wrap to secure it to your nail.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

Natalie was a genius at the party, knowing that the hair driers might be a little too hot for the little girls…she also had hand warmers and socks filled with rice {waiting in the crock pot} ready to apply to the little ones’  nails.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

The excess wrap should be hanging over the end of your nail.  Take a nail file and, with a downward motion only, file over the wrap to sever it…then the extra will just peel off.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

Then I heated the nail up one more time, making sure all of the edges are secure.  And voila! Done!  It took me a little while at the party to get the hang of it, but after doing a few nails, it was easy and fast to apply.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

I chose to only use the wraps on my thumbs, and just paint the rest of my fingers…so I could compare the wear and tear. Sure enough, the painted nails were chipped and worn within days…and the wrap lasted almost two weeks!  And that included pool time, dirty diapers, and opening coke cans!  Not too shabby! =)

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

However, Jayna’s nails did not last as long.  I keep hers pretty short in general, so she won’t be tempted to bite her nails. But in this case, I think it was to our detriment.  I ordered some of the Junior Nail Wraps for the girls {Berries and Gingham}, and those only lasted a few days.  Buuuut….I think it was because Millie’s nails were so itsy bits {less to adhere to}, and she picked at them constantly.  Jayna’s lasted a bit longer, and I think they would have been fine had the nails been a little longer, so the wrap could fold over the edge.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

To remove, Natalie recommends a dental floss stick dipped in coconut oil, and slowly work the floss back and forth under the wrap until the whole thing slides off.  Soaking the wrapped nail in polish remover will also help.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

But overall, we loved them!  The sheets have enough wraps for us to enjoy several uses, and the girls’ Mini Wraps had two different designs as well.  They’ve proved to be the perfect activity for rainy or “bored” days this summer!

Jamberry Nail Wraps Princess Party and Giveaway! Palmettos and Pigtails

Be sure to enter the giveaway below to win a $25 gift certificate* to Jamberry Nail Wraps!

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*Gift certificate must be used on an order from Natalie’s site, http://dixon.jamberrynails.net rel=”nofollow”

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Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway!

*I was compensated and given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.   As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that I’ve partnered with Bi-Lo to help launch their new baby line of products, called “Kuddles.”  I wanted to take today to tell you a little bit about my experiences trying out the products, and then give you a chance to WIN a prize pack of my FAVORITE items!

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

First of all, I just have to say that I was so impressed with the quantity of items offered in the Kuddles baby line.  They had tons of products to choose from, but also variations of each product as well….like various scented wipes, flavors of the baby and toddler food, and different types of formula.  So it’s quite nice to be able to shop for all of your baby AND toddler needs, all in one place!

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

The first set of items I tried with Lincoln, were the diapering products.  I bought Size 1 diapers, but found that they ran a tad smaller than I was used to {8-12lbs}…and Lincoln is a chunker, and kind of in-between size 1 and 2 diapers in general.  So I had to use size 2 for overnights, in order to hold the “excess.”  The size 1 was great for during the day though.  And Lincoln has terrible diaper rash, so I really appreciated that the diapers are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

One of my favorite items was the scented baby wipes.  I tried the original fragrance-free, and then the shea butter, berry, and green tea & cucumber.  I loved the refreshing berry and green tea scents.  The wipes were just the right size, and weren’t “slimy” like some of the national brands I’ve used…so they were good at getting all of the “stuff” off of Lincoln, with one swipe!

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

During and after bath-time, I used the shampoo, baby oil and baby lotion.  All three of which I really liked.  They are much more affordable than some of the national brands, but were just as good…and smelled great too!

Next, we tried the feeding products.  I breast-feed, but also supplement with formula occasionally.  Lincoln has a sensitive belly and throws up a LOT, but he had no problems with the Kuddles Sensitivity or Tender varieties of formula {which can be compared to Similac and Gerber…but for way less moola!}.  I also appreciated that there is a little spot for the scoop in the lid, so you don’t have to dig around in the formula to find it.

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

I took some of the toddler snacks on the road to Montreat with us last week, and all four girls were obsessed!  They especially love the yogurt bites and the puffs, and Betsy loved them too, since 1 year old RoRo could eat them easily as well.  They proved to be great travel snacks!  And since we packed lunches each day while we were there, I packed the apple-flavor baby food {with it’s resealable plastic lid} as applesauce for the girls…and they loved it {and had no idea they were eating baby food!}

Kuddles Baby Products Giveaway from Bi-Lo and Palmettos and Pigtails

There is no need to spend more money to get the quality baby essentials you need. With Bi-Lo’s new line of Kuddles baby products, you get national brand quality at everyday low prices, all in one convenient store.  And now, I’d love to give you a chance to win your own prizepack of my personal FAVORITE Kuddles products!

Included in my giveaway is:

  • Kuddles diapers (Large pack of selected size)
  • Kuddles Formula (Large container)
  • Kuddles Scented Wipes (Large pack)
  • Kuddles Baby Lotion
  • Kuddles Munchers
  • Kuddles Yogurt Bites

And I’ve made it super easy to enter!  Remember, if you have already done one of the items below, to click on “+1″ to get a free entry!  The contest ends on Friday…spread the word!

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Good Luck!

 

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Bringing Lincoln Home {and a couple of reviews}

*I received the products mentioned in this blog post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

We brought baby Lincoln home on Saturday afternoon, May 17th, after spending 48 hours in the hospital.  It’s amazing how, even after three kids, you have battling feelings of relief and panic when being issued your discharge papers from the hospital.  As much as I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, taking a shower, and getting back into our little groove…I also was keenly aware that by going home, I was also going to now be responsible for 3 lives, day-to-day activities and chores, and giving up sleep.

When our girls were born, we didn’t slow down.  The new baby just got toted along for the ride.  We went out to eat, we visited friends, we went to church.  But even though our schedule wasn’t really interrupted, I was constantly worrying about dirty hands touching the baby, the sun in the baby’s eyes, strangers staring, etc.

So when Trisha from Cute As a Button Etsy Shop contacted me about doing a review for her tag toys that double as reminders to wash hands, I jumped at the chance.  I LOVED the idea of a little sign for the carseat carrier, and so incorporating it onto a hanging toy was perfect!

Cute as a Button has a ton of different color/fabric combinations, and several different ways to ask people to wash hands.  I chose the more straight-forward request, and then added on a little hand sanitizer onto the clip as well.  No excuses for germy hands!

Wash Your Hands before touching the baby Tag Toy from Cute As a Button Etsy Shop

I have gotten SO many compliments on my tag toy….people are loving the idea, and I love that I don’t have to be the bad guy anymore by having to awkwardly ask people to wash their hands.  Cute as a Button has lots of other things as well, check out their Etsy Shop to see all of the embroidered and monogrammed items: including seat belt covers, bloomers, safety items, etc.  You can also follow them on Facebook or on Pinterest.

And you might remember Heather from Gemini Red Creations, from my Big Baby Giveaway last month.  She made me a carseat carrier tent to die for!  I had always been skeptical about them for two reasons.

a) Lincoln would be at his tiniest/most vulnerable during the HOT summer months
b) I make and use a carseat carrier cushion on my carseat handle.  I can’t live without it.  So I was worried that the tent wouldn’t fit around it, or that it would be awkward to use both items together.

Carseat Tent from Gemini Red Creations and Tag Toy from Cute as a Button Etsy Shop - Palmettos and Pigtails

But Heather’s tent ended up being perfect for us!  It has the adorable tie print cotton on the outside, and a lightweight flannel liner on the inside.  It’s heavy enough to protect the baby from sun, wind and loud noises, but doesn’t trap the heat inside the carrier.  The straps that go around the carseat handle are sturdy, and located in a wider position…which accommodate my carrier cushions perfectly!  And I love that it’s open in the middle, but the fabric is wide enough that it can overlap easily to hide the baby if needed.  And have you ever seen such a cute fabric print?  Just the right amount of subtle boy! =)

You can follow Gemini Red Creations on Facebook, Pinterest, or Shop her current products.  She’s got a ton of crafty products, from jewelry to aprons to pillows!  Go check her shop out!

Needless to say, these two items have become staples for us, as we cart Little Man around in his carrier every day.  I love the way they look, and I’m confident that both the Tag Toy and the Carseat Tent are keeping him safe and germ free!

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Play Garden Mt Pleasant Giveaway!

With less than a week left until Baby Lincoln arrives, I am in panic mode.  No, I’m not panicking about having a third child.  Or having my first boy.  As sad as it is, I’m panicking about losing my Tuesday and Thursday “me” times.  When both of the girls are in school, I get a couple of hours to do….well, whatever I need to do!  Usually it’s blogging on Tuesdays and errands on Thursdays.  Not the most glamorous “me” time…but it is my “me” time!

Play Garden Mt Pleasant, SC summer camp giveaway from Palmettos and Pigtails

So when the kind ladies at Play Garden Mt Pleasant invited me out for the morning, I jumped at the chance to see a drop-in play space for kids, so that mom’s can grab a little “me” time.  Little did I know, I was going to be treated to an early Mother’s Day gift from those awesome gals!  We arrived and the girls got settled playing with various manipulatives with the other 10 kids or so in there.  I was all set to talk to the owners for a few minutes and then head out with the girls.  But I was awe-struck when they insisted that I leave on my own for 4 glorious hours of “me” time where they played with and fed my children!  BEST FOUR HOURS OF MY LIFE.

When I came back after lunch to get the girls, I got a fantastic tour of the Play Garden’s various educational areas, and a run down of how the program works.

Basically, Moms can drop their kids off at Play Garden in Mount Pleasant anytime during their open hours.  And they can leave the kids there for up to four hours without any sort of reservation or commitment.  Payment is per child, per hour, with discounts if you have a yearly membership there.  They also have school break sessions and summer camps which are longer program times than the four hours.

Programming alternates between structured and unstructured play….with activities in the reading, manipulatives, gross motor, art, cooking and dramatic play areas.   The structured activities are customized to be appropriate for all ages of children who participate (12 month walkers through 12 years), with some of the older kids also serving as “helpers.”  All of the play structures and toys are eco-friendly, and the staff have occasional special programming that includes sensory play, yoga, Spanish, and Legos for no extra charge.

Parents can opt to have their kids stay for lunch or snack for a small extra fee.  My girls got to try lunch there courtesy of Play Garden’s partnership with Whole Foods, and ate veggies, hummus, and rice cakes…all organic!  After lunch, all the kids pile into the quiet area {complete with comfy couches and pillows} to watch a kid-friendly movie for a little down time while their tummies settle.  I LOVED that on the application I filled out, it specifically asked if there were any movie/tv restrictions that I preferred.  I’m very careful about the stuff my kids can watch, so I really appreciated that they even asked!

So this week, in honor of Mother’s Day {and summer quickly approaching}, Play Garden Mt Pleasant is offering a giveaway to my local moms!  And I made it super easy for you to enter to win this…with the easiest one being just to share the giveaway with your friends!

The prize for the winner will be four hours of creative learning and fun for up to three of your kids, including lunch!  Children must be from the same family.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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What’s on my Delivery Packing Checklist {and a Thirty-One Bags Review!}

*I was given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.   As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

As you know, this month I’m having a HUGE #BigBabyGiveaway, where I partnered up with some awesome ladies to give away some sweet maternity and baby items {ENDS TOMORROW!!}  Well, one of the perks of being a pregnant blogger and doing a giveaway like this, is I get to try out most of the products too!

So today, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone, by telling you about the awesome Thirty-One Bags Ziptop Utility Tote bag that I received….AND share with you my printable delivery packing checklist {link to print out is at end of post}.

Thirty One Bags Review and Giveaway - Palmettos and Pigtails

I actually have a Thirty-One Utility Tote already, and use it as our family’s pool bag.  It’s interior is easy to wipe down, and can withstand wet bathing suits, sand, and a plethora of toys and snacks.  And the pockets {some mesh, some solid}  are perfect for sunscreen, bottles of water, sunglasses, etc.

Thirty-One Ziptop Organizing Utility Tote: Perfect Bag for your Hospital Delivery Stay - Palmettos and Pigtails

So when my friend Lauren, from Thirty-One Bags asked me to review the new and improved utility tote that has a ZIPTOP, I thought it would be the perfect hospital bag, since it can close!  And have I mentioned the pattern choices?  SO cute!!  I chose the navy and turquoise striped print.

Thirty-One Ziptop Organizing Utility Tote: Perfect Bag for your Hospital Delivery Stay - Palmettos and Pigtails

And now that Baby Lincoln will be arriving within 3 weeks, I want to be prepared.  So I’ve compiled a list of things that I am planning on bringing to the hospital with me.  Since I’ve already done this twice, I feel like I’ve gotten this down to a science now!  Here’s my Delivery Packing Checklist {link to print is at the bottom of the post}.

What you'll really need at the hospital for delivery: A Delivery Packing Checklist - Palmettos and Pigtails

Feel free to download and print this as a file here!  And please Pin {hover over each photo to Pin} and Share {Facebook and Twitter icons at the end of the post}!

I found that the outside pockets are the perfect size for socks and flip flops {both a must for the shower and for general walking around!}, phone chargers and iPod, easy access to chapstick and lotion {both of which I needed constantly during active labor}, and hair and makeup.  Since Hubby will be doing a lot of the “getting stuff” for you, the less digging for that little stuff, the better!  And  the main part was the perfect size for pajamas and changes of clothes (bring maternity clothes…your belly won’t be ready yet for non-maternity!}.  The zip top will keep all of my “delicates” {aka Granny Panties} inside and hidden.

Thirty-One Ziptop Organizing Utility Tote: Perfect Bag for your Hospital Delivery Stay - Palmettos and Pigtails

Although you will most likely deliver in a hospital gown, you’ll want to change into a nursing tank/bra shortly afterwards, and some comfy clothes to accept visitors in.  I also had Loo help me put on some basic foundation and brush my hair right after delivery, knowing that I’d be in a lot of pictures.  I didn’t go overboard, but just cleaned up a little, you know?

Baby Amelia's Debut - Palmettos and Pigtails

*Top Secret Mama info {maybe skip this paragraph if you are a Dad-to-Be….} Mama, you are going to need some “ahem” undies protection.  Pack 5 or 6 JUMBO {like, biggest you can find} maxi pads and OLD underwear that you may need to just throw out afterwards.  I didn’t put this on the list, because my hospital gives it to me, but you may also need a stool softener and witch hazel pads {like Tucks} to line your undies with to help with swelling.  Don’t worry about all that too much…you’ll forget about the need for these things a couple of weeks after delivery!  {It’s called Momnesia!}

A boppy is an absolute necessity in the hospital...it makes a great pillow for mom, helps with feeding, and lets Big Sisters/Brothers hold the new baby! Palmettos and Pigtails

Do bring a hoppy…they are great to sleep with, and obviously are terrific help for feeding.  And bring your personal pillow, but make sure you have a pillowcase on it that you will recognize, so you don’t accidentally leave it there!

If you want to win your OWN Thirty-One Ziptop Utility Tote {with your monogram and choice of fabric}, along with over $500 worth of other Mama and Baby goodies, don’t forget to enter my Big Baby Giveaway {which ends April 30th!!}.  Click on this link, or paste it into your browser to go to the giveaway page.

http://www.palmettosandpigtails.com/big-baby-giveaway/

Well, I’m all ready for Baby Lincoln’s debut!  Do you have any other suggestions of items to pack?  Leave a comment, so we can ALL benefit!

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