Thursday, May 1, 2008

RME? Tired of Paypal? Try Something New!

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange Are you fed up with Paypal's fees, bad customer service and unwarranted disputes where they hold your money for what can seem like forever? I am, so I decided to check into other ways to receive payment from customers through my Etsy site and other ventures.
I recently signed up for Revolution Money Exchange. This company doesn't take any fees out of your money and they will even give you $25 if you sign up before May 15! Plus, you can get $10 just for referring a friend.
When I signed up the $25 showed up in my account immediately! I plan to use it on a fun Etsy purchase. You can even withdraw your $25 immediately and they'll send you a check!
RME is becoming very popular and lots of people are talking about it. Feel free to research it before you join - I did! I read many blogs, forum posts from Etsy members who love it - and even those who have their concerns. After researching, I made a decision that the pros outweighed the cons, and decided to take the leap!
Here are some websites that might help you make a final decision:
If you decide that RME is for you, please click on my button above to sign up. You will get $25, and I will get $10!
If you accept RME and have anything to add about this great new service, feel free to post a comment.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Product Review - Use It for groceries, clothes, beach towels and so much more!

My Toshi Cloth Grocery Bag from is so much more than just a grocery bag! This is one amazing, versatile, functional bag. It is large enough to tote your groceries out of the store, instead of using a ton of plastic bags, or to carry your beach towels on your next trip to the ocean!

I most recently used this bag during a trip back to my college alma mater for a reunion. The large, padded straps on the bag made it so comfy to carry around campus the entire day! I stored my Canon DSL camera, small purse, a t-shirt, my cell phone, another tote bag (something I picked up at school), and a bottle of water in it, and I still had tons of space.

I plan to take it with me to the beach in two weeks to use as a beach bag/carryall! And I'm sure I will end of using it to tote my 3-year-old son's books, toys and emergency clothes too.

The Toshi has slightly padded handles that make carrying it comfortable wherever you use it. I had my bag custom made to include inside pockets for my credit cards and cell phone.

The bag is large at approximately 16.5" wide x 14" tall with a 4" deep gusseted side. It even comes with a really cute storage bag with a zipper, ribbons, a button or no closure. The storage bag is made in the same pattern as that used on the Toshi and makes a great place to hold your keys, wallet or other small items when your Toshi is in use.

At Mimsi Bags, just about everything is customizable! You can choose the fabric type and pattern, style of inside pockets, type of storage bag, and much more.

In celebration of Earth Day, Mimsi Bags is offering a free gift card with the purchase of the reusable Earth Day Tote Set. Or if you'd just like to order the Toshi Bag, use coupon code earth-day to get free shipping! These discounts are good until the end of April.

Please feel free to leave a comment here, and visit to check out all of their fabulous bags!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Fling Giveaway!

My Little Monkey Boutique has partnered with and other fabulous WAHM's (Work At Home Moms) to bring you another great giveaway from some of our favorite Mommy and Baby boutiques just in time for spring! I am so excited to be participating in this's bigger and better than ever! There are over 30 prizes available and all you have to do is visit and leave a comment about your favorite prizes - I hope that you will pick mine as a favorite!

My Little Monkey Boutique is giving away a personalized Name Meaning Print using a photo that you submit! This product makes a wonderful Mother's Day gift, new mom present, scrapbook keepsake or Grandparents gift!

And when you comment over at tell them that LivingaMomsLife sent you!
My Little Monkey Boutique offers a great variety of gifts for mom that would make unique and fun Mother's Day gifts - stop by my boutique to see my custom Mother's Birthstone necklaces, Mother's Photo Pendant Necklaces and Bracelets, and other beautiful custom jewelry. I also offer decorative items Mom's love, customized Mommy Calling Cards and Mommy Notecards and Hand and Foot Print keepsakes!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Disco Ball Earrings Winner!

Congratulations to Mrs. Kwitty! She is the winner of the disco ball earrings created by me. Mrs. Kwitty, I will be in touch through email.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my jewelry blog post. I appreciate your comments and support! Mrs. Kwitty is a fellow Estian - check out her shop at!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fun With Beads and Wire

For the past few months I have been trying my hand at creating various pieces of jewelry. It started with necklaces, then ventured into earrings and just this evening I delved into creating coil bracelets.

It is amazing how much fun creating jewelry can be. I really love picking out beads and then stringing them by their colors, sizes or shapes. I am most in love with my photo necklaces which are perfect for new moms and grandmothers. However, creating the coil bracelets is fun too. I even combined the bracelet with my photo pendants and created a coil bracelet featuring two photo pendants - one on each end.

I currently have most of my jewelry listed in my Etsy shop - I have a few of my pieces of mother's jewelry at my online boutique -

My next step is to create enough jewelry that I can showcase it at a craft fair or festival. Please take a few moments to check out my shops. Feel free to leave a comment about my jewelry. I will choose one person who leaves a comment before the end of the day on Tuesday, April 2 to receive a free pair of disco ball earrings!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Etsy Favorites!

Well in one of my most recent posts I talked about becoming absorbed in all things Etsy. So I thought it only appropriate to show you some of my most favorite findings and shops in the online shopping community.

First, a shop that provides a variety of handmade items, including my most favorite lampwork beads, is It only took one purchase of Sheltie's lampwork beads to fall in love with them. Her beads are beautiful and versatile - I have created earrings, bracelets and more with them. In addition she also specializes in glass dragons, even one named after me! I can't wait to receive my dragon - it will be my first - and may cause me to become addicted to them like I have become to Sheltie's beads.

Another favorite Etsy seller of mine is I received the most beautiful wrap bracelet - Imagine - from Heather. Made from a variety of vintage beads and buttons, this bracelet is named after John Lennon's song, Imagine. It is a beautiful bracelet.

If you're looking for baby items, you will want to check out Don't let the site name fool you, this shop also creates some wonderful items for boys too! I recently received an adorable safari security blanket perfect for a little boy! It will be a gift for my brother's baby. The material is beautiful and fabric is soft. In addition, I was lucky enough to get a very nice yard of fabric featuring zoo animals from girliemomma. I can't wait to use this colorful fabric in my next creation.

I definitely suggest taking a few moments to check out these Etsy sellers and Etsy itself. It is a wonderful community of talented people who offer some unique and very cool items. And if you stop by my shop - - I will give you 10% off any purchase over $10 when you mention this blog post.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Come Join the Party!

Living a Mom's Life and My Little Monkey Boutique are partying with 5MinutesforMom at their annual Ultimate Blog Party. But the party ends tomorrow, Friday, March 14th.
Be sure to get on over to 5MinutesforMom to sign up for the chance to win a ton of cool prizes!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Virtual Baby Shower to Honor Adoptive Mother and Guests

My Little Monkey Boutique - my online baby and toddler boutique - is proud to be a sponsor in Little Ladybug Designs' baby shower and virtual giveaway for an adoptive mother to be.

Please read the press release below for information on this exciting event.

PRLog (Press Release) – Mar 07, 2008 – Baby showers have come an incredibly long way in the twenty-first century. When it comes to rejoicing the arrival of a new baby, the Internet has provided an excitingly fresh venue to celebrate new mothers and their children. Trailblazing the way for digital baby showers is a mother-owned and operated company called Little Ladybug Designs that has announced the winner of their giveaway contest of gifts, baby products, and other necessities for a newly adopted child.

Adoptive mother, Dawn Vasco, winner of the contest and mother of her new son Steven, will be the guest of honor at Little Ladybug Designs’ shower. Dawn won’t need to worry about baby announcements, clothes, diaper bags, bibs, or towels, among many other baby accessories—and most of hers are personalized or handmade.

Little Ladybug Designs’ own website,, will be hosting the baby shower in the excited mother’s honor. Set to take place March 27th to March 29th, guests can simply visit the website in order to have the chance to play baby name games and test their knowledge of celebrity baby names, among many other amusing activities.

For the past five years, Dawn has longed to have her own child. Having always been fascinated with Latin culture, Dawn began her search with Guatemalan adoption agencies last year and was thrilled to discover that the country allowed single-mothers to adopt. After finishing her adoption work, Dawn found out that she was chosen as the winner of this enormous adoption giveaway. She was thrilled. “I felt like I had won the lottery,” she exclaimed. “I was ecstatic!”

“Adoption is very near and dear to my heart,” said Kim Neufeld, owner of Little Ladybug Designs. “I wanted to shower an adoptive mom-to-be who had just been through the financial and emotional struggles of adopting a baby.”

Music, gifts, and entertainment are also planned for the three-day event. Dawn isn’t the only woman receiving a bundle of presents. Mothers and other guests attending the event have a chance to win prizes from any of the celebration’s sponsors by leaving a comment in the site’s guestbook about the giveaway or aspect of the party that they enjoyed the most. Gifts come from a range of options, including return address labels, personalized and embroidered blankets, jewelry, gift certificates, and diaper cakes.

Winners are to be picked randomly. The event draws on the generous support of a force of mother-owned businesses. The tremendous list of supporters includes: Kandi with A Love of Coffee; Tiffani with Bitsy Bows & Tinsy Ties; Megan with Burp Itty Burp; Janet with Chic Pockets; Christine & Barbara with Cute Creations Design; Kelly & Deb with Custom; Sabrina with Dot Tot Boutique; Amy with Essential Family Living; Katie with Foxglove Cottage; Domonique with Kess Informant; Stephanie with Memaw's Sweet Babies; Tara with Merritt's Momentos; Kyna with Micah & Co.; Lisa with My Colorful Treasures; April with My Little Monkey Boutique; Kimberly with Oh My Baby; Amy, Holly and Carol with Papoose; Rebecca with Quote the Walls; Lisa with Regionz Kidz; Alexandra with Sassy Tees; Ann with Sharmooz; Altha with Stuff a Can; Dawn with Sweet Pea Cakes, Etc.; Diana with The Emilee Grace Company; Janine with The Fairy Princess Garden; Tina with The Polka Dot Frog Boutique; and Julianne with The Wish Place.

About Little Ladybug Designs: Little Ladybug Designs is a mom-owned business specializing in unique, modern, custom adoption and birth announcements, baby shower birthday invitations, thank-you cards, and video montages. The company recently announced that it is also expanding its product line to include wedding invitations, save-the-date cards, bridal shower invitations, and wedding announcements. Little Ladybug Designs is expanding to offer business promotional items such as business cards, postcards, and return address labels.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Winners of Tough Three's Contest

Congratulations to WAHM Tara! Tara is the winner of the $5 gift certificate to My Little Monkey Boutique.

Congratulations also goes to Candace for her advice on how to deal with three year old terrors :) Candace reminds us to give our children tasks to keep them busy while letting them feel like a big helper. She also suggests giving praises to your child throughout the day to encourage him or her to do the right things. Candace will get the Time Management for Moms Ebook.
Both ladies can contact me at april.barney @ amb-services (take out the spaces) to claim their prizes!

Thank you to everyone who commented! I really enjoyed reading all of your stories and tips.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

It Will Suck You In!

If you love to create and are looking for a place to show off your wares, Etsy is for you - but be forewarned, it will suck you in. I just joined Etsy a couple weeks ago and have found myself consumed by it!

Between creating and listing my products, promoting my shop and chatting on the forums, I have spent way too many hours to count in front of the computer. Right now I'm waiting for a fun game of Secret Shopper to start!

Please feel free to check out some of my most recent works at my etsy shop - including these adorable wall hangings perfect for a baby's nursery or child's room.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Product Review - Carrying your Wipes in Style

When you're a mom, you quickly find out that one of the most important and most used necessities is the diaper wipe. Whether you're using them to wipe butts, faces or noses, diaper wipes are an essential item in the world of Mom.

Little did I realize as a young mother, just how long I would be buying diaper wipes. I always thought once he's out of diapers, what's the need for the wipes. Well let me tell you, I have realized just how wrong that thought was. My son is out of diapers, but I still find uses for wipes - wiping his runny noses, cleaning his messy face, getting the food off of his clothes, and so on. At least now, I have a stylish and fun way to carry this catchall product.

While many diaper wipes manufacturers have been kind enough to provide a traveling case to tote them around in, let's face it, plastic just isn't that exciting. Thankfully Shawna at Ballerinas and Buckaroos put her creative talent into designing fun, decorative and classy cases for moms who like to have their personality shine through their gear.

At Ballerinas and Buckaroos, there is a large selection of custom wipes cases to choose from. I, being the mom of a three-year-old who already thinks skateboarding is the coolest thing ever, choose the Skater theme wipes case. This wipes case allows me and my son to both show off our personalities ... I always had a "thing" for skaterboarders growing up :) But it also allows me to tote around the much used wipes conveniently.

Another favorite of mine - that I didn't notice until after I ordered my Skater theme case - is the My Little Monkey wipes case. This case just looks so adorable on the website. It's hard for this design not to grab my attention though, being that my nickname for Reagan is "monkey."

Ballerinas and Buckaroos has a variety of themes to choose from including classy gingham prints, fairies, sports and so much more. And Shawna has been so generous to offer all Living a Mom's Life readers a 15% discount on your purchase with coupon code SAV10 at checkout. So go on over to and pick out your favorite case to match you or your child(ren)'s personalities.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Swap the Old for the Old, But Different

As publicity coordinator of my local Mothers of Preschoolers group, I am in charge of sending out all the emails and notifying members of our events, among other things. I just finished emailing my group about one of my most favorite events that we do - the Clothing Swap!
I LOVE clothes! I love buying clothes for myself, and before my son was even born, I was stockpiling cute little outfits for him. My dad once told me that when I was working retail in clothing shops, it was like an alcholic working as a bartender! That is how bad I am :)
So needless to say, I am constantly going through my son's drawers, finding outfits that he's outgrown and trying to figure out what to do with them - outside of just bagging them up and putting them in the attic.
Thankfully, every year about this time, my MOPS group has our clothing swap. This is my chance to take those clothes that he outgrew during the year and trade them in for clothes in his size - or a year or so bigger for future use. This year I will be swapping a lot of 2T stuff for 4T or 5T toddler clothes.
Of course there are those items that I cannot part with. You know, the baptismal outfit, the Easter outfit, the first Christmas outfit. And alot of clothes now go to my one-year-old nephew. But the others, I'm more than happy to give to my friends, while taking their kids' clothes off of their hands.

Here are some more ways to "get rid" of that pile of outgrown clothes that are spilling over your child's drawers and closets:

* Pass them down to siblings/other family members/friends
* Give them to the Goodwill or DAV
* Make a little extra change by selling them at a yard sale
* Make even less change by selling them to a consignment shop
* Cut them up and get a little crafty with them - turn a baby sweater into a miniature pillow
* Have the really special items mounted in a shadow box and hung on the wall

I'd love to hear what you do with your outgrown kids' clothes. Leave a comment with a tip or unique idea.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gotta love the 80s

I've been busy cleaning this morning. When cleaning I can't stand quiet, I just must have music playing so I can get energized and psyched up ... cleaning is not the most fun chore in the world you know.

So I turned on the 80s XM channel and have been remembering some great times in my life. For instance, right now the New Kids on the Block song "Don't Go Girl" is on .... Wow! That one brings back some memories! I was 13 and so excited to see the New Kids on the Block in concert with two of my best friends. I thought it was the coolest thing to get the autograph of one the group's roadies. And, of course, when Jonathan sang the Happy Birthday song I just knew he was singing it to me - I was celebrating my birthday just days after that concert after all.

I admit it - I was a HUGE New Kids on the Block fan. I had posters covering every inch of my bedroom walls - mostly individual photos of Jordan and Joey because they were the ultimate cuties of the group. I even had a New Kids on the Block pillow case and the Jordan and Joey dolls!

So since I'm reminiscing of the 80s today, I thought I'd post a video of one of the best Monday songs of the 80s. Who remembers this one?

So enjoy the video and feel free to share YOUR favorite 80s memories, singers, bands, actor/actresses ... anything that made the 80s special for you.

BTW, I hear rumblings that the New Kids on the Block are making a comeback .... looks like I may bring out my New Kids on the Block T-shirt back out of hiding.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Going Organic - Product Review

I've never been one to make a great effort to put organic products in my life - I don't eat organic food or use organic makeup, so when Michele Dupper with Miessence asked me to review a couple of products, I welcomed the new experience.

Miessence provides Certified Organic products that are grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilizers.

The Miessence products that I tested were the balancing cleanser and moisturizer for normal/combination skin. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the natural and refreshing smell of the skin care products. The cleanser has a fresh orange smell and left my face feeling very clean. I loved the moisturizer which contains organic rosehip seed oil, jojoba, calendula, chamomile, olive leaf, marshmallow and lavender.

After cleaning my face and feeling so refreshed, I was hesitant to put my makeup on! But even after applying makeup and going through my day as usual, I was excited to still be able to smell the fresh, clean smell of the skin care products.

And using these products at night was an even better experience! As I laid my head on my pillow at bedtime, I was enveloped by the orange, chamomile and lavender aroma as I drifted off t0 sleep.

Because I only used the products for about three days, I cannot atest to an actual change in my complexion, but the exhilerating smells and ease of use of the products have me contemplating finding out just how good they are on a more permanent basis.

I highly recommend to anyone who would like to learn more about these certified organic products visit Michele's website at

Linky Love Tag

It looks like I have been Linky Love Tagged - so I am passing the love along!

I have randomly placed 5 of my favorite blogs on the very bottom so please visit their wonderful blogs! Here’s the details that are passed along with this meme:(Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)
It’s real easy!
*Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!
*The benefits of Viral Linking:
1.One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!
2.Increase your Google PageRank fast
3.Attract large volume of new traffic to your site
4.Build your community
5.Make new friends!

Linky Love Tag

The Strategist Notebook
Link Addiction
Ardor of the Heart
When Life Becomes a Book
The Malaysian Life
What goes under the sun
Roshidan’s Cyber Station
Sasha says
Arts of Physics
And the legend lives
My View, My LifeA Simple Life
Juliana RW
Mom Knows Everything
Beth & Cory’s Mom
A Mind Forever Voyaging
enjoying the ride
Jennifer’s thoughts
Mom of 3 Girls
Don’t Make Me Get The Flying Monkeys
ExPat Mom
Just JessieWilson
Nuttier Than You
ShonnteSummer’s Nook
Laura Williams Musings
Melissa’s Idea Garden
Eve at Confessions of an Everyday Housewife
ChristiS of the Blah Blah Blog
Stephanie at Stop the Ride!
Diane at Soap, Blings & Girly Things
Amanda at Amanda:Mama’s Musings
Kristin at An Ordinary Life
Mama Zen at The Zen of Motherhood
Atomik Kitten
The Sassy Southerner
A Room of Mama’s Own
Exploring Autumn
Immoral Matriarch: Catechizer
Real Life
Living and loving every minute of it
The Daily Rhythm
The Rocky Mountain Retreat
Peace is Every Step
Life According to Lizzy
Following Forward
Boys Rule My Life
A Quest for Relevance
Not Trying for a Boy
The Gaspards
Orryally’s journal
My Life with Boys
The Truest Thing
The Potter’s Hand
Permission to Peruse
Live Laugh Blog
Heather’s Hot Mess
Kevin and Paula
Guidance for Victory
Sports Momma
The Home Team Wins
Sisters of a Different Order
Chased by Children
A Frog in My Soup
My Spunky Monkey
Tara’s View of the World
Living A Mom’s Life
Dawn-Sweet Pea Cakes etc Blog
True Tales of A MiniVan Mama

Sara's Jewels Boutique
My Mommy's Bracelets
I'm Pretty Boutique
QT Sunglasses
Baby Bling Boutique

Please take a few minutes to visit some of the blogs listed above. Even if you don’t see your name on the list- you can still participate in the meme and keep the Linky Love Tag going!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Budget Friendly Date Nights

If you're like me, it can be hard to find time to spend quality time with your husband without feeling like you're going to break the bank on a babysitter and the date. I try to "save up" using my parents as my babysitters for times when their services are necessary - which usually doesn't include a date night.

One option that seems to work for me and my husband is to swap babysitting duties with other parents. This helps erase the cost of babysitting so we can splurge a little more on the date. We also try to have dates that are budget friendly.

Fun doesn’t have to mean “expensive." Creative brainstorming with your hubby, a little resourcefulness, and the right attitude are all it takes to have fun on a shoestring! Consider some of the following ideas:

• Picnic at the park. Pack a tasty lunch and a bottle of wine if you’d like, and enjoy a lazy afternoon embraced by nature. Remember to bring a blanket, and keep the meal simple to avoid having to carry a lot of gear (Don’t forget the corkscrew, though!). If you picnic at a local forest preserve, you can enjoy hiking afterwards.

• All-season star gazing – is a terrific website for non-technical people with an interest in heavenly events like moon phases, asteroid showers, planet visibility, and seasonal constellations. Visit the website or subscribe to the newsletter for up-to-date information on interesting phenomena.

Drive to the best viewing location in your area. You can watch the sky show from the warmth of the car, or bring a blanket in mild weather and lay beneath the stars. A thermos of hot chocolate and a snack will add to the fun. Laying side-by-side beneath the cosmos has a way of putting things in perspective, and the peace that permeates the sleeping world, accompanied by late-night sounds of crickets and the rustling wind, create a relaxing, romantic environment for the two of you to simply enjoy.

• Backyard camp-out. Nothing is more relaxing for some couples than getting away from it all. You don’t have to wait for that long-planned vacation to escape together, though. Plan a camp-out in the backyard. Put your child(ren) to bed then raise the tent, build a fire, and relax away from phones, televisions, and all your day-to-day distractions.

P.S. Check in tomorrow for my review on Miessence organic cleanser and moisturizer.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No One Tells You About ...

the Tough Three-And-a-Halfs! When you're a new mom you hear all sorts of horror stories about the terrible twos. But now one warns you about the real age when your child starts defying all of your requests and his ears totally turn off to your voice.

My three-and-a-half year old son has been a nearly perfect child since even before he was born. I had an extremely easy pregnancy working every day at my job until the day I went into labor. I never even had morning sickness. The birth was just as wonderful - fairly short and sweet for my first child. Reagan has always had a calm and kind demeanor, and for the most part has taken mom and dad's words as the gospel. That is until now.

It's like one day my toddler went from barely sitting on the "Naughty Time Out Step" to being placed there for most the day. He suddenly has forgotten his name - at least when I call it - and his hearing has diminished to only working when the words "ice cream" or "candy" are spoken.

My once easy child now spits, kicks, screams and hits when Mommy or Daddy says something he doesn't want to hear. And the words "Love you Mommy," have been replaced with "Leave Me Alone Mommy."

Now that I'm going through this stage with my toddler friends are starting to admit that they to have been here. It seems like I have at least another year of battles, according to the few people who have walked this path before me.

At least there are some glimmers of the pre- tough three-and-a-half year old child. For now I hold onto the random "You're my best friend, Mommy," and "Great Job, Mommy." I remind myself that there are many phases that I will go through with my son and that we will make it through them all.

So now I'm asking you guys for help. I need to know that I'm not just one of the handful of women I've found so far who have found the three-and-a-halfs to be tougher than the twos. I would love for you to leave a comment with a brief story about your child's 3.5 stage. You women with older children who have been through this, please share how you made it through -a tip, trick or advice would be great!

I'll be offering a $5 gift certificate to My Little Monkey Boutique to one lucky person by using to pick a winner from the comments. All you have to do is comment to be entered!

I'll also give a free Time Management for Moms Ebook to the person who comments with the best tip, trick or advice on how to make it through this tough stage without pulling all of your hair out!

The winners will be chosen Friday, Feb. 29th and announced Saturday, March 1!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mister Independent

My 3-year-old is showing his independence more and more every day. Usually he lets me know he can do his own thing by putting on his underwear by himself, or helping himself to a "blue juice" (Capri Sun) from the fridge.
This morning he decided he was going to make his own breakfast - only I wasn't awake yet and his breakfast consisted of Ice Cream Dibs. Most mornings I am woken up at 7 a.m. by my son's smiling face and his beautiful voice telling me "Time to Wake Up, the Sun's Up, Momma." Well today I woke on my own at 9 a.m. I hopped up out of bed, knowing that Reagan couldn't still be asleep. I heard the TV on in the den and as I walked around the corner, there he was sitting Indian style in our big lounge chair with the box of Dibs in his lap.
I don't know whether to be worried or eager to see what he does tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Showing Off My Love - Product Review

From the adorable polka dot packaging to the prettier in person photo necklace, my transaction with The Polka Dot Daisy was more than I could ever hope for. When I came across a sale right before Christmas from The Polka Dot Daisy I took a look in her store and found such beautiful necklaces and bracelets. What drew me to her products was that they are photo jewelry. I love all sorts of jewelry, but jewelry that allows me to show off my one and only son is even better!
I ordered the blue beaded necklace for myself, and a multicolored necklace for my mom. My mother's photo necklace was her Christmas present from me. She tells me all the time that it was her favorite present and she wears it often displaying my son and my brother's child in the double-sided charm.
Shipping was fast, and the necklaces were packaged very nicely in cute little polka dotted chinese boxes. I even used the box as the wrapping for my mom's necklace.
Amy, with The Polka Dot Daisy, is such a pleasure to work with. Although she no longer carries the exact necklace that I bought, she still offers necklaces with the beaded style - both elegant and chunky glass. She now focuses on soldered photo necklaces that allow you to change your charms around to different bead styles.
I will definitely keep The Polka Dot Daisy in mind for future purchases. If you love handcrafted products, or items that allow you to show off the ones you love in a unique way, The Polka Dot Daisy is worth a visit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Product Review Tomorrow - The Polka Dot Daisy

So tomorrow I will have my review of a necklace I received from the This company and its owner is just amazing to work with. And the jewelry is beautiful. It will be a perfect review to release on Valentine's Day since you can get necklaces featuring your loved ones! My necklace now holds my son's photo and I proudly wear it often. Check back in tomorrow for a picture of my photo necklace and the review.
I hope everyone has a good Valentine's Day - mine will be spent mostly with my littlest love - my son!

Monday, February 11, 2008

And The Winner Is....

Beloved Mama is the winner of the Monogrammed Roll Neck Sweater from My Little Monkey Boutique!

Because I do not have Beloved Mama's email address - could you please contact me at aprilm26 @ mylittlemonkeyboutique . com (take out the spaces) - by Friday, Feb. 15th?


Thank you to everyone who participated! My Little Monkey Boutique is offering a 15% discount to Living a Moms Life readers with coupon code MONKEY15 - good until March 21, 2o08.

Make sure to check my blog frequently for more giveaways, product reviews and original ramblings!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fighting Sciatica

It's been a couple days since blogging due to getting bit by the flu bug! But also as I was just getting over the flu it looks like I pinched my sciatic nerve. Not good!Wednesday was a day filled with unbearable pain. No matter what position I tried, I could not get relief. I couldn't sit, stand, bend, walk ... oh it was just awful. I found out it was sciatica after going to the doctor later in the day. Now I'm supposed to be getting phyiscal therapy for it, but since my insurance doesn't cover any therapist in my town - only covering a doctor ONE HOUR away - I opted for a chiropractor. Hopefully after a few more sessions next week I will be back to my normal self.Since I can't sit for long periods of time, I can't be online as much either. Oh, and guess what else I can't do for the next few days ... lift my son, carry a laundry basket, bend down to pick up stuff off the floor or vacuum. How easy is this going to be with a 3-year-old son??! Not easy at all.My house is a mess and it's all I can do not to bend over to pick things up and put them in their place. I'm going to go crazy before this is all over :)I guess one good thing that will come out of this is ... I'll definitely be motivated and ready to clean and tidy up once I'm given the go ahead!

Last Day to Enter

Today is the final day to enter the Monogrammed Roll Neck Sweater giveaway! For details just read to the post below that includes the adorable picture of my son wearing his monogrammed sweater! I am taking entried until midnight EST tonight. I will announce the winner on Monday right here on my blog!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

So What Do You Think?

Although I'm struggling to maintain some sense of normalcy around here (to add on to my back pain, I seemed to have caught the flu too), I wanted to take a minute to publicly thank Shera of Sweet N Simple Design for the amazing new custom blog design.
The design was inspired by my son, Reagan. My nickname for him is "Monkey" and sometimes I feel like I'm living in a jungle! The giraffe is ME :) At 5'9" I'm taller than many of my friends, so they often call me a giraffe. I even had a friend give me a decorative giraffe for Christmas one year.
I would love it if you would take a couple minutes to comment on my new blog design! I really love it, and working with Shera was just the best experience. For anyone looking for a new blog design, I highly suggest you check out Sweet N Simple Design.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Getting a Facelift

I am so excited to have won a new blog design from Sweet N Simple Designs during a contest sponsored by A Frog in My Soup! The designer and I are working on something fun - something that shows off just how wild life can be when you are a mother to a toddler son. Please check back to see my fun, new blog design. I hope to reveal it within the next week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monogrammed Sweater Adds Style to Your Child's Wardrobe - Win One For Your Child

While I'm waiting on a photo for my necklace review on The Polka Dot Daisy, I thought I would go ahead and review one of my most favorite sweaters worn by my son.

Made of 100% cotton, this adorable monogrammed sweater put some style in my son's wardrobe. It is beautifully made, and will be a sweater that I will tuck away and cherish forever. I can see myself opening a box in the attic 20 years from now and having the memories of my son wearing this sweater flood back into my mind.

This beautiful blue monogrammed roll neck sweater comes in three sizes: 0-12 months, 2T and 3T.

Unfortunately my son will only get about a year out of wearing it because I didn't come across it until he was 3. However, if you purchase this sweater in a larger size than what your baby or toddler normally wears, you may be able to get a couple winters out of it.

This monogrammed sweater is available for boys and girls in my online boutique at The sweaters are available in navy blue, pink or natural color. The monogrammed letters can be stitched in a variety of colors and styles. You can choose between having your child's initials, a single letter, or his/her name up to six letters.

For a chance at winning a FREE monogrammed sweater:
2. Post this contest in your blog
3. Come back and comment here with the link to where you posted the contest along with a sentence about your favorite item from
And voila, you are entered! The winner will be announced Friday, Feb. 8th. Good luck!

Back Pain and Muscle Relaxers

Some may think that laying around all day would be a wonderful thing. Let me tell you, it gets old quick. It seems I may have strained a few muscles in my back over the weekend. Finally I couldn't take the pain anymore and made a doctor's appointment today. After a few questions and her poking around on my back, I received a prescription for a pain reliever. Unfortunately, pain relievers and a 3-year-old do not make a good combination.

Thankfully I was able to steal some time and a few minutes of shut eye while my son was watching a movie in my lap. If he had wanted to play trains or puppets, we may have had a real problem.

I can't believe that my doctor wants me to take the pain relievers three times a day! I'm going to be a walking zombie - scratch that - I'll be a zombie sinking into the sofa with a three-year-old jumping on my back. But who knows - maybe he'll work out the kinks so I can get back to normal.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Celebrate With Chocolate Cake!

I bet not many of you knew that today is Chocolate Cake Day! What a wonderful day to celebrate - especially for us women who just love our sweets!

In honor of Chocolate Cake Day, I thought I would post some yummy cake recipes for you to make and enjoy with your family. Visit under Family Crafts to learn more about obsolete events and to check out these chocolate cake recipes:

- Chocolate Lava Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Chocolate Tart
- Classic Chocolate Souffle
- Death By Chocolate
- Devil's Food Cake

and many, many more scrumptious recipes.

And for those who may not know - tomorrow (January 28th) is Ernie's birthday. I know my son will get a kick out of celebrating the birthday of this Sesame Street favorite. So tomorrow, why not take a moment to watch a Sesame Street video with your child, or even make cupcakes and decorate them like the rubber duck loving character himself.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Product Reviews

To add a little something extra to my blog I have decided to write regular product reviews. Since I am a former newspaper editor, and am a current freelance writer for various business and home magazines, I figured this was right up my alley. Heck, I even once wrote a review on a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert!

My first review will be of a beautiful, beaded photo necklace I ordered from The Polka Dot Daisy at Christmastime. Check back in the next couple of days to see what I think of the newest addition to my large collection of jewelry. I plan to have the review online by Monday.
If you would be interested in having a product reviewed and included in my blog, send me an email at april.barney @ (just take out the spaces).

Pajama Day

I think preschoolers should be able to wear their jammies to school EVERY DAY! Who's with me??
Today was Pajama Day at Reagan's preschool, and let me tell you, it was the best day ever. No fighting with him to stand still so I can help him with his pants, no fussing over what shirt to wear. Even his usual dragging, sleepy and slow demeanor was replaced with one of joy and excitement. My son, who normally has to be carried most of the way to his class because he's too tired to walk, flew down the school hallway and ran right up to his teacher when he arrived at class.
And all I had to do was get him out of bed and put him in the car. Every day should be so easy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweet 'n Simple Designs - I Want To Win!

While checking out a variety of blogs the other day, I came across a great contest at A Frog In My Soup. The contest gives TWO winners a new blog makeover by Sweet 'n Simple Design! This is something I REALLY want. Since my blog is in its beginning stages, I could use a nice and exciting blog design - one that could keep me motivated to writing posts to my blog every day.

Sweet 'n Simple Design has some really beautiful designs. My favorite is the Monkeying Around theme. It just fits my life so well! And it really ties in with my online baby/toddler boutique, My Little Monkey Boutique. I just love the monkeys too because that's my nickname for my son.

If you are in need of a new blog design, be sure to check out the contest at A Frog in My Soup. Here's hoping you see my blog in a new design real soon!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Win Some Great Prizes from WAHMs!

Do you like to win FREE stuff? What about cool and unique stuff from work at home moms?

My Little Monkey Boutique is participating in newest contest by offering a set of Personalized Teacher Notecards to one lucky winner! These notecards make a great gift for Teacher's birthdays, Teacher appreciations or just to say Thanks for being dedicated to the education of my child! has partnered with some great WAHM (work-at-home-Moms) online Mommy and baby boutiques for a fabulous Valentine's giveaway! This giveaway will begin on February 1st with the winners announced on February 14th. Entries will not be accepted until February 1st, 2008. So go on over to and check out the prizes that are available now. Be sure to fill out the form for your chance at one of more than 20 prizes! Also, while you're there, leave a comment about your favorite product!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Let it Snow!

After getting a couple of inches of snow covering the ground yesterday I find myself longing for more. Weather forecasts have been predicting snow for tomorrow and parts of next week so I thought I'd visit the local Toys R Us and take advantage of their 40% off Winter apparel sale.

I bought my 3-year-old son a snowsuit just in case the weather forecasters were right. Wouldn't you know, tonight as I watch the news, the forecasters are now backing off their original prediction of 2-4 inches of snow. Looks like now we'll be lucky to get a dusting. At least I bought Reagan's snowsuit in a larger size - we may be waiting till next year to use it.

Maybe this picture of my son when he was 1 1/2, in what we consider a good amount of snow, will bring some luck ... and some snow our way.

Win an Insignia Pilot 4GB Video MP3 Player!

Thanks to Best Buy, 5MinutesforMom is giving away an Insignia® - Pilot 4GB Video MP3 Player with Bluetooth Technology just in time for Valentine’s Day. So you can slip on some headphones, open up some chocolates and feel the love!

The winner will also get a pair of Insignia® - Bluetooth Wireless Behind-the-Head Headphones? Yes - Best Buy is in a loving mood!

Be sure to go to 5MinutesforMom to learn how you can win this great product!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Had I taken a picture of my son a few minutes ago, I would be posting one of the most precious sights I've seen in a while. However, moments pass quickly and aren't always available for camera so I will have to make due with describing this sight to you.

My 3-year-old son decided tonight that he determined his actual bedtime. Although I put him to bed at his normal time, 8 p.m. A little while later I noticed the light on his bedroom as I wandered down the hallway. Now while the sight of him sitting Indian style on his bed, building with his Magtastix was too cute, it was nothing compared to what was to come.

After he told me that he was building, I asked him to turn his light off in a few minutes and go to bed. I said he would, so I left him to go downstairs to finish some work.

About 20 minutes later, I go upstairs to see his light still on. I peek in to see him sitting Indian style once again on his bed, this time reading a couple of books with no pants and no underwear on!

He tells me how he had to go potty and about how he did it himself. He was very proud. So he put clean underwear on and I left him to turn off his light.

About a half hour later, my husband returned home from work and asked why Reagan's light was on in his bedroom. We peek around his doorframe and this time we see our 3-year-old sitting Indian style in his bed, wearing his bike helmet and his sandals, and holding his skateboard!

How do you maintain your composure at a sight such as that? As Joey and I giggle, Reagan hops up from his bed smiling.

Oh, how I wish I had my camera to capture that picture on film! However, I am sure it is a picture that I will always have and cherish in my mind.

Welcome to Living a Mom's Life Blog! I look forward to using this blog to write about my family, the crazy things my son does, being a WAHM, and all the perks and hurdles that come along with being a mom.