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!).