Thursday, December 8, 2011

THANK YOU: TheRosaryChick

I am sure that everyone has been crazy busy over the last couple of weeks, and I am definitely in the busy boat with you!  In fact, I almost forgot to give a big thank you shout out to Melanie, aka TheRosaryChick, for including my tea and cookie sets in her blog post.

(In my defense, I was totally away from computers last week while we were off visiting a certain Mouse to squeeze in a little family time.)

TheRosaryChick posted about a few of her favorite things, and I feel honored to be included.  I feel the same way she does about gift-giving, especially to family and close friends, which is why it can be so stressful to me when I can't figure out the perfect thing to give someone.   Here is what she says:

Gift giving is very important to me! It is my love language, so when I am picking a gift for someone it isn't to simply check a box. It is with sincere purpose that I select a gift. I want the recipient to know through the item that I purchase, whether it is big or small, how much I care about and appreciate them. It is most important to me that the gift be meaningful and when possible, practical.

Well, I am honored that you chose my tea and cookie sets as a gift to give the girlie girls in your life.  Thank you, truly!

Tea and cookies at MonkeySeeMonkeyDoHLM

If you need a beautiful rosary or other gift, please visit one of her shops, either on Etsy or her a stand-alone store.  Her creations are beautiful!   I have a niece who will be receiving her First Communion soon, and I will be at your shop first.  

Beautiful Couples Rosary by TheRosaryChick
Thank you, again, for sharing my tea and cookies gift sets with your friends and I can't wait to hear about the fabulous parties your girls will share over them!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Swaddling Demos: Come and See

Swaddling Blankets on Display at Craft Shows

Over the last couple of months, I have been asked more and more about swaddling- How? Why? When?

After some thought, I have decided to get over my slight fear of public presentations by holding my first informal demo and information session on swaddling (with a FREE offer on top!).

The first Swaddling Demo and Info Session will be at The Grey Fox on Wednesday, December 14th, from 10:00 am -11:00 am.  Attendees will
- learn proper swaddling techniques,
- share tips with each other,
- learn about some of the benefits of swaddling,
- discuss other uses of swaddling blankets,
- and even learn how to save money!

In a previous post, Swaddling a Baby: In our experience, I talked about some of the basics about swaddling.   If you have been using "swaddling/receiving" blankets from the big superstores, you are probably frustrated that they won't fit around your baby.   You may have even resorted to using those crazy velcro contraptions that cost too much money and aren't good for anything else.  HappyLittleMonkey Swaddling Blankets are extra large and can not only swaddle a baby, they can also be used time and time again for other tasks.

A large variety of patterns are available 

Every time someone tells me that a HappyLittleMonkey product has become their favorite, I'm ecstatic because I have met my goal of creating functional baby gifts designed to become the "go to" item.

There are so many products that promise better baby care- from better feeding to better swinging to better swaddling.  However, like most things baby, the original and simplest things are usually what we find ourselves actually using and loving.  There are few things more simple and versatile than a blanket.

If you want to learn more about swaddling or just need some convincing about the best baby gifts to give this holiday season, come on out to The Grey Fox on Wednesday, December 14th, from 10:0 am-11:00 am.  For more information on the event or to RSVP, please check out the event listing on Facebook. 

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot to mention, blankets purchased during the demo session qualify for FREE monogramming!   

If you cannot make it, but would like more information on swaddling or HappyLittleMonkey products, please contact me and we can set up a time to meet.  Gift registries are also available.

A few facts about HappyLittleMonkey Swaddling Blankets:
- Extra-large 40" x 40"
- Made from one layer of 100% cotton flannel
- Handmade by a Mom
- Created in Tallahassee, Florida
- Machine wash and dry

Monday, December 5, 2011

Eco-Friendly Gifts: Felt Gingerbread Cookies!

Happy Monday, Friends!

You may remember my post from a couple weeks ago, Gift Giving Made Easy: For the Love of a Great Tea Party.  Since that post. I have been logging some overtime hours baking felt cookies and curing felt tea bags for the past couple of weeks.   You all are loving them!  

Well,  today I was happily surprised to be sent a note that my Gingerbread Cookies are included on another blog.  (I think its pretty cool to occassionally see my stuff in other blog posts! Wouldn't you?)   Therefore, a very special thank you to Little Speckled Frog for including my gingerbread cookies in her guest blog post on Eco-friendly toy gift idea and to Sugarsticks Parties for the great gift giving series!

So, the baking overtime may also be attributed to the FREE surprise cookie offer (which is still going on)! Swing on over to MonkeySeeMonkeyDoHLM to see all the pieces available.  If you need any help ordering, please email me.

Swing on over to Sugarsticks Parties and Little Speckled Frog to check them out!  (Also, there is info on how to win a $25 store credit to Little Speckled Frog you may want to check out.  Her stuff is so hoppin' cute!)

FREE COOKIE OFFER: With each four piece set purchase, you will automatically receive a free coordinating frosted or sprinkled cookie.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gift Giving Made Easy! Gifts to LOVE

Every kid needs two things- a great blanket and a great lovey!  Ok, well, maybe there are a few other important things, like people who love him or her, food, shelter, but after that a special blanket and lovey are most certainly tops.

Insert HappyLittleMonkey- where blankets are my specialty and the foundation for my shops.

HappyLittleMonkey Swaddling Blankets come in so many options now- with burp cloths, monogrammed, appliqued, with bibs, and more.  You can customize a set to meet your gift-giving desires and be confident that your gift will be unique and loved.

EVERY baby deserves their very own blanket, making my extra large swaddling blankets that will do their job by swaddling the perfect gift!   Later these blankets will become a multi-functional blanket (play surface, nursing cover, carseat cover, best friend, capes, travel companion, toddler bed blanket, and more). Our kids are ages 3 and 4 and they still choose to use these blankets at bedtime, travel time, and more.

Newborn Gift Set, Simply Personalized Swaddling Blanket, Cotton Bib, and Burp Cloth
Fully personalized newborn gift set- personalize with names, initials, birth date and more!

Cars, Boats, Trucks, Airplanes, Swaddling/Receiving Blanket and Burp Cloth Set, FREE Monogram
The Premium HappyLittleMonkey Swaddling Blanket and Burp Cloth Set- Many other prints available
Applique Swaddling Blanket and Burp Cloth Set, Made to Order

Appliqued HappyLittleMonkey Swaddling Blanket and Burp Cloth Sets- Personalize and Customize with your choice of applique
Sets of 2 HappyLittleMonkey Swaddling Blankets- COMING SOON!

HappyLittleMonkey Swaddling Blankets are extra-large at 40" x 40", 100% cotton flannel, and professionally finished with rounded corners and a serged edge.   They are easy to care for with wash machine wash and dry.   For more information on swaddling, please see my post Swaddling a Baby: In our experience.  The ability to properly and safely swaddle a baby can be easily learned and will help baby to sleep better, which makes for happier parents.  It also allows parents to use blankets for swaddling which can be used for so many other things when swaddling is done.  

Is it Baby's First Christmas?  We can create the perfect blanket for the holiday which will be treasured for years.  These are super-functional and great for pictures, parties, parades, bed accents, and snuggling.  

Christmas Swaddling Blankets, Choose Your Own Fabric Christmas Collection

In our house, loveys are the next best thing to blankets and my daughter never leaves home without her bunny. Well, actually, there was one trip and it was not good so we won't do that again.

When I give a Swaddling Blanket gift, one of my favorite additions is an Organic Lovey Blankie from Little Speckled Frog.  This awesome mom-run-business is chock full of eco-friendly and chic gifts.  Best of all, she is having the best sale I have ever seen her have, for today (Cyber Monday) only- 40% off!  Hurry, her sale ends at midnight.   Go "like" her page on Facebook to get the code.

Organic Lovie Blanket - Monkey
Organic Lovey Blankie- Monkey at Little Speckled Frog

Swing on over and visit her shop!

Visit my shops online at HappyLittleMonkey for pregnancy through age 1, and MonkeySeeMonkeyDoHLM for bigger little kids.  

For other gift giving made easy ideas, visit my post on For the Love of Tea Parties! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sammy is Here! Christmas countdown begins!

Sammy first came to visit us two years ago, and he is such a treasured visitor at our house.  From the day he arrives, the kids are excited to find where he lands each day.

This morning, we were so excited to find him on our mantle!

Each day he travels back to see Santa and deliver the daily report of Christmas wishes and behavior.    He finds a new place to watch over us from each day.

Welcome home, Sammy!  We look forward to finding you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide

As you get ready for Thanksgiving and then the always crazy shopping season, I hope you will strongly consider shopping with local and small businesses.

According to the Local Business Saturday site, "For every $100 spent at a local business, an average of $68 remains in the local economy."  

By raising awareness and encouraging our friends to shop directly with crafters, small retail outlets and local businesses, we are all helping each other. 

In Tallahassee, we have a group called Mom's Time Out organized by the Mom-Owned Business Association, LLC, and we have worked to connect moms with moms.  We just published our first 2011 Holiday Shopping Guide which is chock full of great resources for shopping with local and mom-run businesses. 

Please check it out!  And if I can help you create handmade and personal gifts for your friends and family, please don't hesitate to ask!  

Visit my shops online at HappyLittleMonkey for pregnancy through age 1, and MonkeySeeMonkeyDoHLM for bigger little kids.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gift Giving Made Easy: For the Love of a Great Tea Party!

As we get closer to the holidays, I thought I would start sharing a few posts on some of our favorite gifts to give to help make gift-giving a little easier.  A key foundation of my shop is that I will only share things we love to use.  I stand behind the function and utility of everything I make as things we have tried and love.  

First up, tea sets!

My kids just love these tea sets!   They have so much fun passing the cookies and dolling out sugar cubes after dipping their tea bags, that it even makes the tenth consecutive air tea party fun for me.

Tea Party in Action on a Custom Kids' Table Tablecloth (also made by me)
At the last couple of shows I have done, I offered a menu of choices for the tea and cookie sets as separates, making it even easier to customize a gift set.  As a result of the positive feedback, I updated the online shop to also offer a menu of all the options to order a tea set that is perfect for the little people in your life.

You can now custom design each set you order by picking how many pieces you would like to include.  The pieces can be found online at my MonkeySeeMonkeyDoHLM Shop, my shop for handmade items for bigger little kids.  

Each piece is listed individually at the shop, including tea bags, flowered cookies, personalized initial cookies, sprinkled cookies, gingerbread girls and boys, and frosted cookies.   For the boys, I can create these pieces in blue, which I had to do for my son who was constantly getting invited to my daughter's very pink air tea parties.

How many pieces make a "good" set?  I think that four pieces make a great gift, especially if the four pieces are two tea bags and two cookies.  This allows for a tea party to take place and you can easily add more pieces later.   As a bonus, from now though December 10th, you will receive a FREE frosted or sprinkled cookie with each set you order of four or more pieces.

You can also add the fun round plastic gift container to wrap the whole set up.

These tea and cookie sets have been a favorite gift for us to give too!  You can even add a little more to the set by pairing it with a great book or kids' tea set.

Our most favorite thing to pair with any gift is a book, and we just loved finding this great book to go with a tea and cookies set: Fancy Nancy Tea Parties, a complete 'how to' book on tea parties taught by our favorite fancy little girl.  Pinkies up!  Fancy Nancy is the girliest of girlie girls, and loves to be extraordinary in everything she does. As a parent, I love Fancy Nancy because she exposes my daughter to fancy words and defines them in a playful manner so my daughter doesn't know she is learning.

One of our favorite tea sets in the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set with its tea pouring sound and songs, it is totally adorable and durable.  We have been playing for this one for a few years now!

Caroline's most recent favorite tea set is the Disney Princess Belle Teapot which contains all of the pieces for a Princess themed tea party.   Best of all, the pieces all fit back into the teapot pretty easily for storage between parties, if there is ever any down time!

I hope this becomes one of your favorite gifts to give this holiday season.  The sets make a great gift under the tree, stocking stuffer, birthday gifts, and even a big sister gift to give mom and the big girl some special time together.

If you have tried out these tea sets and have some stories to share or great gift pairings, please let me know.

If you have any questions or need help ordering, please don't hesitate to email me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

NICU Sewing Project Wrap Up on a Photo Friday

You may remember that over the summer, several of us got together to collect baby blankets and make them into isolette covers and smaller swaddling blankets for the local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).    (Here is the old post: Sewing for the NICU)

Christy Baldwin owner of Christy Baldwin Photography, volunteered to come out and take pictures of our sewing and she really captured the evening.

Overall, we donated 9 isolette covers, with one that was going to be delivered later, several dozen small swaddling blankets, a couple of bags of baby clothes, and even some full size blankets we didn't sew with.

Enjoy these great pictures!

 These last few photos are of the items we dropped off at the NICU.  They are just my work, so please don't judge Christy on their quality!

The isolette covers and blankets- ready to go to the NICU
One of our isolette covers on an isolette (and my NICU Graduate)
An isolette- this is where many babies sleep in the NICU

Now to say "Thank You!"

Christy, thank you for the wonderful pictures!  You captured the sewing evening beautifully and your generosity is much appreciated.  On another note, thank you for also agreeing to be at the 3rd Annual Big Bend March of Dimes Signature Chef's Auction.  Please check out her web site and her Facebook Page.

A special thank you to Lynn Griffin with The Bernina Connection for letting us use the shop to sew.  The space was perfect and we really appreciated being together!  Her shop features some of the best machines (I'm totally biased) and she is the only local shop with great fabrics from designers like Amy Butler and Michael Miller.  They are also on Facebook.

To Marlo, Sarah, Claire, and Justine who came out to sew, thank you for your amazing talent and willingness to help.

To Ragan and Nancy, who came out to help with "anything they could help with," thank you for all that you did to support this project, including ironing and cutting for hours!  This project would have taken so much longer without you!

To everyone who donated, THANK YOU!  I met so many new people who heard about the project and wanted to donate materials and get involved.  THANK YOU!

All of the items we donated

Some of the fabulously talented Mamas who came out to sew also have great online shops.  Marlo owns Little Speckled Frog, LLC an Eco-Chic Children's Boutique.  Claire is with Ecological Babies, LLC, your #1 source for natural parenting. Justine makes beautiful nursing covers and can sometimes be found on Etsy (just not right now- email me if you want to get in touch with her!).  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Phew! Halloween Orders, DONE!

A little over a year ago, a friend asked me if I would be willing to make her daughter a Pebbles costume.  She did not want one of these fleece (aka plastic) costumes that are more easily found.  Cotton.  Soft.  Cute.  Knowing her style, we quickly hashed out the details for a boutique style Pebbles, made from cotton that just had to include the bone for her hair.  The reserve listing was up on Etsy for a few days and that resulted in a second order for someone needing a cotton costume for her daughter with sensitive skin. 

Lo and behold, the HappyLittleMonkey Boutique Style Pebbles Costume was born.  When I first posted the costume early in the summer, I didn't expect to get so many orders. (After all, it's just been me over here sewing these cute little things, well, at least so far!)

And today, I get to sigh a little bit of relief that they are either in the hands of those who ordered them, or the hands of the Post Office Clerks (who almost didn't want to let me in when I came running in at 6:00 pm today with my arms full of the final orders and two kids). 

Early Order- for a Summer Birthday Party

First Batch of Halloween Orders

Close Up of the Yellow One

Last Batch of Halloween Orders, including Bam Bam!

Won't the brother and sister duo look so cute in these?

Bam Bam in his solo glory!

Batch 2...well, it wasn't really a batch!  

A few SuperKid Shirts flew out the door in time for Halloween too (although they went so fast I didn't have time to take pictures of all of them.) 

The Pumpkin Clips are still popular for the remainder of the season through Thanksgiving.  They are great on their own or as a bow add-on. Some letters are available to ship and others can be made to order.  Also, if you are in town, Rinse & Repeat Kids' Salon has some in their boutique too.  

Now, to get working on my own kids' costumes and the rest of the orders!

In case I don't get to post before next Monday, hope you have a happy and safe Halloween! 

As always, thank you for your support!  I have enjoyed being able to help people create their Halloween memories. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Little Miss Magic: Photo Friday

Our little girl, riding with the window down enjoying the day and lately she has been insisting on having the sun roof or windows open in the car...our Little Miss Magic...

"She likes to ride into town with the top down, 
Feel that warm breeze on her gentle skin, 
She is my next of kin..."

Thank you, Caroline, for being ours.

(Thank you, Jimmy Buffett, for the great song.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Organizing Genius!

Ok, well, its been a while.  So I apologize to the three or four of you who read my ramblings.

The last month or so has been chock full of sewing for shows and orders, getting used to a new school schedule, and cleaning.  In between other activities and sewing, I have been a woman on a mission to organize and de-clutter our house.  Most recently I attacked the bin of first aid supplies.

Do you have a bunch of band aids lying around?  My kids think they are the only thing that cures a bump, and anything that can make crying stop quickly is A-OK in my book.  So, we buy bandaids.  For a while, I even tried to pass stickers off as bandaids, since we were finding ourselves putting bandages on more bumps than scrapes and they take them off so fast anyway.  It didn't last long.  The downside of having smart kids.

So, we had this many partial boxes of band aids.

The Problem:  Too Many Boxes of Bandaids Taking Up Lots of Space
I found one of these coupon envelopes, and VIOLA- Bandaid Organizer.

The Solution: Use an old Coupon Organizer for the Bandaids
Ok, I will take the verbal praise now.  Feel free to use words like "genius" and "awesome" as much as you want.

The difference in space requirements

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jack the Conquerer!

As forewarning, this post is all about bragging on my kid.

In the world of my son, Jack, the wobbly bridge at the playground is not only to be feared, it has been an enemy to be avoided at all costs. It was only to be attempted with a parent in hand, at best.

At this date and time, we are excited to report that not only has he successfully tamed the enemy,thus reinforcing his awesomeness, I also have video evidence.

It is important to note, that he has gradually been getting more and more courage to conquer this fear over the past few weeks. Last week, just before leaving the playground, he took on the wobbly bridge and was so proud of himself (picture above is of the proud Jack and his sister, who I think was more proud than me or Jack!). This week, the first thing he did at the playground was cross the bridge. The pride on his face when he ran up to tell me was priceless!

Happy Monday! Go conquer something!

Thanks for sharing the proud moment with me.

Picture of Caroline and Jack leaving the playground last week while Caroline is telling him how proud she is of him for crossing the bridge alone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I need a TIME OUT, A Mom's Time Out!

It has been a day in my world. Nothing major, just all the fun that goes along with the family being tired from a five-day trip paired with normal life stuff. As a result, the kids were in a "we-are-going-to-laugh-that-laugh-your-mom-hated-but-you-didn't-understand-why-until-you-became-a-mom" crazy laugh kindof mood that resulted in yogurt popsicle all over the backseat of my van and kids who couldn't do anything but cry when they weren't crazy laughing.

So, I am finding it slightly ironic at this moment that part of my distraction around them is that I am preparing to take my HappyLittleMonkey merchandise on the road for a market this weekend. The show happens to be called "Mom's Time Out Fall Market."

Could it be any more appropriate???

The first "Mom's Time Out" was held less than a year ago and it's amazing to see how this idea has grown. Less than a year ago, four moms-in-business sat down together to figure out a way to share their businesses with their friends. An idea to hold a little meet-n-greet turned into the first shopping event held in Tallahassee last December.

Each Mom's Time Out event is focused on giving mom a great reason to get out of the house and around other moms. With the belief that moms want to support each other, we have been working to bring moms-in-business together to support each other and to reach other local moms. Afterall, moms are busy people and we want to support each other but we just don't have the time to search.

The Mom-Owned Business Association collects mom-run and local businesses as members and keeps an easily accessible list online for moms to reference. We also help members to network with each other and share business information.

I feel so honored to have been one of the moms-in-business who first sat down together and planned the first Mom's Time Out.

Please join us this Sunday, October 2, for the third event we have planned, the Mom's Time Out Fall Market from noon- 4 pm at Earth Fare on Apalachee Parkway.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

I will also be at Merry Market on Saturday, October 15, and the Good Shepherd Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday, November 12. Please come see me and stay tuned for more information!