Monday, April 30, 2012

April Sponsor Feature

Clearly, life has gotten away from me a little. I'm really squeaking by with getting my April sponsor feature out in time.  I hope that you will take some time to give these amazing ladies the attention they deserve.  You won't regret 'meeting' a single one of them!

Our Reflection

Favorite Friday night activity with the family:  Mountain Bike Riding

A Little Piece Of Me
Favorite Friday night activity: going to the mall as a family when we have a little extra money to walk around, have dinner, and Menchie's Frozen yogurt.  It's nice to get out of the house and spend time together outside of the house.  :)
Favorite blog post: These are my favorites.  This one Where I'm From is a poem which was kind of hard for me to do but once it was put together is so powerful to me and Thoughts on Motherhood is a deep look at being a mother.
Favorite item in shop: My favorite item in my shop right now is the Ivory Tote Bag with pink multi-color fabric raw edge ruffle.  Every time I come across it on etsy or in my area of made items, I want to take it and use it!  :)

Blog Facebook Shop Twitter 

The Fontenot Four

I love taking long drives with the family.  We don't get to do it that often, so when it happens, I really enjoy it!  It doesn't have to be an overnight trip - just something that gets us out of the house and "away" from it all for even just a few hours!
In my Etsy shop, I am continuing an adoption fundraiser for a friend.  $3 from the sale of any coffee sleeve in my shop will go towards her fund!

Flats To Flip Flops

Favorite Friday Night Meal: Friday = Pizza night at our house!
Favorite Family Activity: Boating in the summer!
Favorite Wardrobe Staple: Black Blazer
Favorite Beauty Product: Nip/Fab Night Cream
Favorite Post(that's hard, but I think this one sums me up):

I do want to promote my blog, but also my non profit, The Hudson Foundation, Inc.  We launched it in January and the mission is to help give HOPE to couples struggling with infertility.  We raise money to give a grant to couples towards infertility treatments.  You can check it out at:

Heavenly Blossoms

My favorite part of the day is when my little one and I get ready for bed, and she says her prayers. She's only two so its nothing too involved, our praying basically goes down a list of family and close friends as well as those who need those extra prayers and consists of, "I love ______" We always end it with, "We love all the babies, and the whole word", "We love you Papa Dios, Amen" Its the cutest thing ever especially in her little baby voice....melts my heart!
Favorite Shop Item: Right now my favorite item is my Crochet Blossoms which can be used as a Hair Clip or Brooch!! Very chic!
Aleks Handmade

favorite friday night activity is stay home with my fiance, snugglin up and huluing t.v. series.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Scripture Sunday: Proverbs 27:7

Welcome to a new weekly feature here on the blog! I'm adding a Scripture Sunday to my lineup!  Deep down, I know how important it is to feed my spirit with The Word.  My day just goes better when I wake up to some verses.  In practice, however, I'm terrible about hitting the snooze button until I'm running so late I barely have time to dress and eat, let alone spend time in scripture and prayer.  I wish I had more self-discipline, but since I don't, I need to cover myself with plenty of accountability.

Enter Scripture Sundays.  I'm attempting a 30 day devotional challenge suggested to us at church (read through Proverbs 1 chapter a day, coordinating chapter # with the date) and I want to start journaling my reading.  So, I'll be jotting down some thoughts on my favorite verse(s) from the week here for you. 

Proverbs 27:7
  One who is full loathes honey from the comb,
    but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

This is the verse I chose this week.  I'll be totally frank - I've only done my reading three times this week - and this is the only verse that stuck with me.  But boy did it stick with me! 

It's garage sale season around here.  Not only do I love garage sales, but my middle child has become a total garage sale junkie.  He begs and begs to go to one sale after another Thursday-Saturday every weekend.  He's not even 3 but even he gets seduced by the piles of exciting new items waiting to be perused.  And I can't wait to find an amazing deal on something I've been meaning to get forever.  Sometimes, I do actually save money by attending garage sales.  Last summer I spent $20 and filled a HUGE garbage back with clothes in all sizes for my kids. I think I've paid retail on maybe 10 items of kids clothes in the last couple of years (mostly shoes).  It's a great money saver.  On the other hand, I can't even begin to list all the things I've wasted money on at a sale (books I've never read, clothes that didn't fit, toys that were played with once, baskets and boxes and decor that lie around unused).

We have so much stuff in our house - in our lives - that we can't keep track of it all.  We've become slaves to novelty - always wanting something new - and this culture of cheap, disposable items only serves to reinforce this attitude.  A Montesori book I was reading recently really cut me to the quick when it emphasized over and over again the importance of building for your children a very limited collection of high-quality educational toys (and teaching your kids to respect and treat them well), instead of bombarding them continually with scads of flimsy plastic doodads with blinking lights and easily destroyed parts.  Very few of my kids' toys could be described as "high quality."  And their toyboxes are overflowing with all sorts of other "press a button and watch it play by itself" toys that require a continual supply of batteries.  They have so many toys that sometimes they look around at their things and are so overwhelmed that they don't play with anything at all!  I wish I could say this were just a problem with my kids - but how often have I dug through my overflowing closet only to declare that I have nothing to wear?  When was the last time I actually cooked a recipe from my abundant cookbook collection?  How much time have I spent searching for shoes, glasses, utensils, hairbrushes and other odds and ends because they are lost in all the clutter?

My minimalist husband goes mad in our home.  He doesn't understand why we need more than a few pairs of underwear and a bowl and spoon each.  Why so many toys?  Why so many papers?  Why so many rooms to clean?  Wouldn't we enjoy life more if we could clear out the clutter and get back to the basics?  Wouldn't it be nice to spend less time caring for our stuff and more time actually living?  Yes.  Yes it would. 

And as for gratitude.  Why should I expect my child who has "everything" to remember to thank Grandma for the toy he's just received?  Why should I take the extra time to hand wash that special blouse when I have 7 more on the hangar?  An acquaintance recently mentioned that when her kids started high school, she began giving them a clothing allowance with which to purchase their entire wardrobe for the season.  Not only did she notice her children becoming more frugal with their choices and more attracted to the sale-racks, but she said they were overwhelmed with gratitude when they received clothing as a gift! 

This is my new goal for the present.  Cut out the excess, and live gratefully with less.  I'm hoping not only to reign in my purchasing, but to purge some of the excess I've already acquired.  I'm hoping I can apply this concept to my eating as well.  Perhaps I can slowly savor one piece of chocolate instead of making myself sick on 6 pieces.  I hope to eat healthy, nutritious foods 90% of the time, so I truly enjoy the occasional splurges and treats.  And I'm going to redouble my efforts to teach  my children to enjoy (and take care of) the things they have instead of living wastefully and covetously. 

This may seem like such a simple verse, but it has really changed my perspective and I hope it is of some use to you as well!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Shop Hop: Birds

Welcome to another Saturday Shop Hop!  Last week were were Thinking Pink. Here are a couple of the gorgeous items that linked up!

This week's theme:  Birds
Link up any and all of your bird related items!  No birdies in your shop?  Link up anyway.  
Next week I'll be choosing a couple of submissions to display!
Be sure to visit each other's shops, and if you have a spot on your blog, be sure to post our new button!!  The more we share the hop, the more visitors we all get :)  Thanks all!

Saturday Shop Hop
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Saturday Shop Hop"><img src="" alt="Saturday Shop Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Photo Challenge: From A Low Angle

Once again I'm linking up with Our Reflection for the
Our Reflection Photo Challenge
and this week's theme was: From A Low Angle.

I'll confess - I'm just a big kid at heart. Long before we had kids, hubby and I could be found down in the basement building Lego kingdoms or playing with our fairly extensive Hot Wheel collection.  Now that I actually have kids, I can't seem to stop having fun with their toys.  And that's what lead me to take this photo.

The weather is gorgeous and we were out playing in the yard and I couldn't help myself.   Something about a wild blue hippo stalking its prey in the tall jungle grass just made me giggle.  Hope you enjoy!

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Feature Friday: Carpenter Family Adoption

It's another Feature Friday and this week I'm talking to you about adoption. For a long time, I thought that our family might be called to adopt.  I've always had a heart for helping children who need a home.  The more I learn about adoption, and the more I learn about the living conditions of many children waiting to be adopted, the more I feel that tug on my heart.  However, the Lord saw fit to bless us with three small children of our own, and while adoption may not be out of the question forever, it is definitely not in the cards for us any time soon.

That doesn't mean, however, that I can't be an advocate for adoption.  If I come across an adoption fundraiser, I'm more than happy to give (even if I can only spare $10).  And I feel priviledge to be able to use this blog to help people spread the word about their own adoption efforts and fundraising. 

So when Bonnie of Bonn Bonn Boutique contacted me about her friend's adoption fund, I jumped at the chance to help spread the word.  The Carpenter family is currently raising money to adopt a little girl into their family. They are working exhaustively to pay the exorbitant fees associated with adopting these days (don't even get me started on adoption red-tape *sigh*).  They are also hosting an amazing giveaway with some great prizes (American Girl anyone?) and tons of ways to win.  They are getting so close to their goal, and any help you could give really means so much to them - they are so grateful for each and every donation. 

There are too many children in the world who don't have a loving home.  And there are too many loving homes who are struggling to find the means to bring home another child.  Lets do everything we can to help match these children with forever families. 

Thank you all!  You are a blessing.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meet and Tweet

It's the official Meet & Tweet Twitter HOP!

Follow your host:

This week's co-hosts are:
Melissa @ My PB&J

The Rules
1. Follow your hosts
{They are the first 7 in the linky.}

2. Follow at least 5 new people via Twitter
{Or more! Introduce yourself... Its a great way to make new friends!}

3. Spread the word!
{The more the merrier! Grab a button and add it to your blog, 
Tweet or Facebook about the link up.}

Our Reflection
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Our Reflection"><img src="" alt="Our Reflection" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

One lucky link up person will WIN a FREE
solo guest post on Our Reflection blog!

Drum roll please....
Last weeks Meet & Tweet winner is Miranda & Jamie from The Pinterest Project
Congratulations! You have 48-hours to claim your prize.

Please link up your Twitter account below... 
{not your blog}

Want to be a future co-host? Email me at

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Want Some Shabby Apple?

Who loves Shabby Apple? I do! I do! Do you?

Have you checked out their most recent lines?  Shabby Apple is all about the color-blocking this summer. Their newest line, The Block, has tops, bottoms and dresses in some of the season's hottest colors!  They all coordinate, so tossing together an outfit is simple!  The Waterfront dress is perfect for a night on the town and the Bistro Blouse is great for a casual lunch.  This line really does have something for every occasion.

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Don't need any new clothes for yourself?  Shabby Apple also sells jewelry, kids' clothes, home decor and more!  Are you dreading swim season because you just can't find a flattering suit?  They also have gorgeous, iconic swimwear lines that are sure to make you stand out and look stunning on the beach.  For the expectant mother, they even have
Maternity Dresses from Shabby Apple
(boy do I wish I'd known about that when I was pregnant!)

Now I need some input from you.  Would you like to create your own special deal on some Shabby Apple clothes?  Then it's time to vote!  What line or item would you most like to see at a discount? The whole Block line?  The Matinee dress?  Leave me a comment below and let me know what you most want to see, and I'll pass the info along. (sorry, swimwear and fitness is excluded). You might be rewarded with a deal that's too good to miss!

Thanks all!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stuff I Love: The First Years True Fit

We are potty training in our house. Which means that, inevitably, there will be accidents.  And sometimes these accidents happen in the car.  Which means that, because Mama forgot to put down the puddle pad, we have to wash the car seat cover.  Last night was one such night - only this time it was big-brother's cheapo Cosco car seat - the one we bought for $60 because it was such a great deal!  The one that you literally have to disassemble piece by piece to clean.  I'm talking, taking out screws and removing every single strap kind of disassemble.  We were going to go to the library today - but since I have no idea how to put this thing back together without hubby, we're hanging at home instead (read - everyone is very grumpy and whiny - even mommy).

SO that made me think about the following review which I wrote quite a few months back about the car-seat that both younger siblings have.  I adore that car-seat and its amazing "mommy-who-knows-nothing-about-mechanics" friendliness.  I thought I'd share it once again for any of you who missed it the first time around.  Remember ladies - sometimes things are cheaper for a reason.  I'm not one bit sorry we spent extra on the True Fit seats - they are a dream.

Picking a car seat can give any parent a headache.  Frankly, our process for choosing The First Years True Fit car seat wasn't terribly precise, but we're sure pleased with the results.  We researched car seats till our eyes crossed.  We made a list of the seats with the highest safety rating.  Then we drove on over to Target to see what was in stock.  The only one in our price range was the True Fit, so we picked it up. 

When our second child was ready to move into a convertible car seat, we bought the cheapest car seat we could find for big brother to use.  Boy did we regret that decision.  After being spoiled with the True Fit, we were disappointed by the new seat in so many ways.  The buckles stick when we try to snap them in, which makes buckling take twice as long.  The cover is very difficult to remove, which makes washing it a nightmare (not a good thing when your toddler is potty training).  And if your car is not LATCH equipped, it's very difficult to install.

The True Fit, on the other hand, is a dream.  Its straps adjust up and down simply by sliding a lever.  Its buckles glide together quickly and smoothly.  Its plushy cover has several easily removable layers to make washing a breeze.  And best of all, installing without the LATCH system does not require one of those easily-lost gold seatbelt fasteners.  Instead, the seatbelt threads through the seat itself and clamps hold it in place.  Easy peasy!

The only drawback to the seat that we've found so far is its weight.  It is wider and significantly heavier than the other seat we bought, so hauling it in and out of the van can be tiresome.  However, if you don't often have occasion to move your seats around, it's well worth a little extra bulk to have such an easy seat to install and use.

We loved this True Fit seat so much that when baby #3 was ready for her convertible seat, we ordered her one, too.  Not only does the seat come in neutral greys and tans, but it also comes in two varieties of very girly pink!  I was thrilled.  So if you're in the market for a new car seat, definitely check out The First Years True Fit seat.  You'll be glad you did.

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