Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wow Wow Wubbzy PreGaming

Posted By: Leah
One week from today is Gav's 4th birthday. It is really important to him this year for his friends to be there to celebrate so guess where I'm going to have his party? At his preschool! He has attended some fabulous bdays of his friends. One at this amazing park, a wizard of oz theme, etc. Gav chose Wow Wow Wubbzy (from Nick Jr/Noggin) for his theme this year for his school party. Because planning is what I love to do, we have been getting ready for this party for months!

Not heard of Wow Wow Wubbzy, don't worry! it's not as big as Dora or Sponge Bob or one of the more popular/common shows. "Wubbzy lives in a tree. He likes to play! Play! Play! He's got a bendy tail. And he likes it that way! Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Wubbzy Wubbzy Wow! Wow!" yeah... so you know him now. He's sweet, and it's a cute show. BeyoncĂ© was on it and so was Ty from trading spaces/extreme makeover home edit. so it has a little bit of a celebrity following.

Because Wubbzy isn't super popular (yet?) I had to hit up good old ebay and etsy for the party supplies.
My living room got a little crazy last night, but Gav and I had a blast getting everything together.
I know most of the items are not reusable/ecofriendly etc., but I did have an etsy designer create some really nice goody bags that are reusable out of wubbzy fabric and grosgrain. She did a great job!
somehow we got everything organized and packed up for 18 kids. his party is next Friday (I doubt all 18 will be there but, i want to have a bag for everyone's cubby). I have a Wubbzy coloring activity for the kids, a 'pin the bow tie on Wubbzy' game, I have custom cupcakes with his name and wubbzy on them, so we should be set! I mean the child is turning 4, so we have many many more years to go over the top for a party theme. Do you remember your 4th birthday party? I am sure I had one and it was great, but I can't remember that long ago haha!

Friday, July 30, 2010

But I thought you liked it in my belly!?

Posted By: Leah
Back when I was prego 4+ years ago (dang, time flies!) I tried to eat as healthy as possible. No caffine (except chocolate), no luncheon meat (lysteria!), no goat or blue cheeses, etc. So what I did eat was lots and lots of veggie sandwiches. Gav was born 8.7.06 (yes I made sure he arrived on that date because I thought it was cool.) So during the hot hot summer of '06 (I know you remember it lol j/k!) I ate veggie sandwiches 24/7. And they tasted sooo good. I mean crazy good. And edy's chocolate brownie batter ice cream. This is all I survived on those last few months.

Anyway, those of you who are/have been/know people who are prego know that food tastes/smells differently when you are pregnant. Some worse but for me (and 54 lbs gained) a lot better! Many times the foods you eat while pregnant turn out to be your baby's favorites as well. Or maybe the baby is in your belly telling you what to eat?? Because after the baby arrives, these new favorite foods of yours just don't taste the same.

Someone brought in fresh tomatoes from their garden to work yesterday and I had a few cukes left over from my amazing gazpacho so I thought, hey, I'll make gav my favorite sandwich from when gav was in my belly... a veggie sandwich with tomatoes, cucumbers, mayo, salt, pepper, white bread and a slice of american cheese (this was from my pre-vegan days obviously!)


I had Gav really pumped up to eat this sandwich. He loves hearing about my pregnancy and his birth story (I make it extra dramatic! "Then you got stuck in my belly... they were going to suck you out with a vaccuum but I said No! don't do it!" ) and so this sandwich was extra exciting for him to try (normally he just likes plain grilled cheese and maybe a carrot dipped in ranch).

Yeah... so these pictures speak for themselves. Look at his face of pure disghust. He finally slipped the veggies out and ate the sandwich with just cheese and mayo (gross). But it was a start. I know that sometimes you need to expose kids to foods up to... what is it... 17 times or something until they can form a true opinion on if they like it or not. This time it was 'not so good looking' but he saw me enjoying his leftovers (mmmm cheese... I know. SMH). Oh well... maybe in 16 more tries he'll love it.

what followwws

Posted By: Leah
(in honor of my absolute favorite song of all time...)

I'll lay me down tonight
Much further down
Swim in the calm tonight
This art does drown

(What follows) me as the whitest lace of light
(Will swallow whole) just begs to be imbrued?
(What follows) has lead me to this place
where I belong, with all erased

What follows
All insects sing tonight
The coldest sound
I'd send God's grace tonight
Could it be found?
 
(that's just the 1st part)
 
... quick! who knows this song? It's Girls Not Grey by A.F.I! This was their 1st single wayyy back in the day (2003)! Remember? Then they had all the other great songs. Then this song was somehow put on Rockband and omg that's all I played for months. I just love it. I won't force everyone to watch it but you can click here hahah. {Above image via}
 
So where am I going with this? I mentioned this yesterday, but I'm super excited about my 100th follower. I was Chelsey (the paper mama)'s 100th and she dedicated a blog post to me and sent me super awesome gifts in the mail! I felt sooo honored and totally wanted to pass that on to my 100th follower. I think that is the best! I talked about some ideas for what the 100th follower will get... and have even hearted some items on etsy. It's so on!
 
So how am I going to get to 100 followers. I have (for the most part) had people find me by some random randomness. But because I am so excited about getting to 100 I hooked up with a couple sites today. I am a hudge advocate of not following people unless you really want to. Like what's the point of someone coming up in your blogger feed if you will just scroll right past them, you know? AND once I hit 100 followers I'm cranking up Awesome|spot so there will be amazing giveaways (that's the plan!!!).
 
Anyway, all that said... here's who I'm linked up with today!!! And if you are finding me through those sites, WELCOME! and I promise I'm not this random... (am I?) and I promise exciting things will be happening over here (I just about spilled my next big idea... ok see now I have to talk about it... Have you heard about Sweet Valley Confidential? The SV girls 10 yrs later, so they are all 30 now?? Hello online book club!)
 


friday-follow



 

Only-The-Curious


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Awesome|spot

Posted By: Leah
eek! this was supposed to be a tab, but I accidentally published it for everyone to see. I was going to wait until I had 100 followers before starting this, but if you are interested now you can contact me  :)
how to get your
FREE Awesome|spot

Instead of having sponsors (sponsor's spots), I have created Awesome|spot.

So what is Awesome|spot? It is a three-month shout-out to your shop/blog/website/whatever you would like to promote on the Lovely Life of Leah! Your Awesome|spot will include a giveaway of your choice to Lovely Life of Leah readers a minimum of once in the 3-month time frame you have an Awesome|spot. You will be able to have your button/shop logo/etc visable on Lovely Life of Leah's home page.

What do I need to do to get an Awesome|spot? It's FREE! All you need to do is to commit to hosting one giveaway (or more!) on Lovely Life of Leah and I will add your shop/site's badge/button to my sidebar. I will blog about you and give you as many shout-outs as possible! Want me to go overboard on the shout-outs (and be your bff), send me one of your items for an official Lovely Life of Leah review!

How do I get in touch with you to take part? Just e-mail me at leahwinstead*at*yahoo.com with your shop name, the item(s) you plan to give away and if you will be providing me an item to review. Please note you will be resposible for all shipping costs directly to the winner of the giveaway and to me if you plan to provide me with one of your awesome items to review.

What's up with the name Awesome|spot? Instead of having sponsors (sponsor's spots), I have created Awesome|spot. It's called Awesome because I'm sure anything you have created and/or are promoting is awesome.

FAQ:
1- Does it have to be handmade? Not at all! If you sell Pampered Chef, Slumber Party, Mary Kay... whatever, I am all for promoting you :)
2- How long will my item be promoted on Lovely Life of Leah? 3 Months
3- What if I don't make anything and just want more traffic to my blog? Sure! I just need to do some kind of giveaway (that's sorta the theme here if you haven't caught on haha) so it could be something random from your home, a Fendi bag, whatever you want!


*Please note: this will be available to a limited number of vendors during each quarter (3-month Awesome|spot). Also (sorry, I just have to say this) your item/shop may be refused based on any objectionable material or items sold. Believe me, nothing too much offends me so it would have to be something really bad like racist, sexist, violent, etc.
Also, as with anything on this blog, it is protected by copyright. So please contact me prior to creating your own 'Awesome|spot' titled giveaway/sponsorship-type program.

Bloggie things I am going to do....

Posted By: Leah
1) When I have 100 followers I am going to send the 100th person a gift. It is going to be sooo special. It is going to be a box filled with lots of awesome and random things. I'll include a hair clip or pin from ShopLeah, um... maybe I'll buy a few little things on etsy that I like and then put them in there too. I have this over-the-top nautical obsession right now so I'll have to incorporate that in there... I actually have a whole closet of gifts. Everybody has one of these right? A combination of stuff you have purchased all year round for the holidays and stuff you plan to regift, etc. Oh! And the person will be awesome who wins. They just have to be. I know they will be. I have 77 followers as of today. So not too far to go. I may hook up with a couple 'follow friday' type things to boost my #'s lol because I am pretty excited about this.


2) Next thing I'm going to do is make a list. So many people have lists on their blogs of things they will do w/ in the next year, etc. I keep thinking of random things to add to this list I'm making. Some are kind of big, like I really want to buy a SLR. And some are even bigger, like I want to go to a lual. But some are small... like I want to learn how to do a cartwheel (yes it's true, I have never known how to do one and I'm 30 yrs old).


3) I don't even have 100 people following me yet, but when I do I think I want to get some sponsors. I have seen sponsorships done in so many different ways. And I don't know that anyone would even want to be affiliated w/ my blog lol!  But I have a couple ideas.  Like what if to be a sponsor, all you have to do is to sponsor a giveaway on my blog? I guess that's a good deal or bad deal depending on how much your giveaway is worth. I think everyone has an etsy shop. So maybe if someone donates an item from their shop, I will make them a sponsor for say... 3 mos? then I'll do a giveaway and promote the shop like crazy.

4) The last thing I talk about all the time... well not ALL the time, but sometimes. I need to make a button. I have a button from forever ago and it's all jacked up and the link doesn't even work. I need like a good tutorial on how to make one because every time I try it doesn't work. I have googled it but I need like a for real easy way to do it. Everyone has them and I just fail at making them. It can't be that hard, right?

So those are my plans.
What do you think? Can you help me? Do you have an Etsy shop and want to be a sponsor and donate a giveaway? And it doesn't have to be a shop. Like your blog can be a sponsor. Do you know how to make a button? Just something to think about. Thanks everyone!! :)






{all images via weheartit.com}

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Photo Challenges! Urban and Favorite!

Posted By: Leah
This is my entry for "Urban"  for The Yellow House's photo challenge this week. I took this one when we were in NoDa in the QC. I honestly just liked the photo of the beet, then i saw the reflection in the beet when i started editing and was like dang that picture's pretty cool!




I thought about using this one, it's actually of the same building in NoDa as above,
but this is below the windows.

Next is my entry for "Favorite Photo" for the Paper Mama! This was from when Gav and I picked blackberries the first day they started to be ripe. They are still out there, but most are being eaten by wasps/yellow jackets now. Scary!
These are the greatest contests. I just love participating each week :)
The Paper Mama

This is only the most wonderful thing EVER!

Posted By: Leah
My friend Lauren sent this to me and omg... if you are married, want to be married, don't want to be married, know someone who is married, have ever been to a wedding or in a wedding or had a wedding... or been on etsy or made anything crafty, or been in love or out of love or jealous of people in love... this video is for you!

Be prepared for goose-bumps, swoons, and I know at least 1 person who I've sent it to cried. It's just the most creative, touching, special, hipster, diy, fabulous wedding... um... ever!


Golriz + Devon :: Wedding Short Film from Jeffrey Holland :: FFDC on Vimeo.


For more info, Lauren found this on Etsy under DIY weddings... they spill how they did EVERYTHING!

And... if you want to see behind the scenes (I am all over this stuff) here is the bride's blog. Wow. Just. Wow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Laptop Sleeve Giveaway Winner!

Posted By: Leah
Exciting, Chelsey of the Paper Mama is my Laptop Sleeve Giveaway winner!!! Congratulations, girl! I will e-mail you shortly so you can get your awesomely rad laptop sleeve ordered asap :) If you don't already follow her... omg totally seriously for real follow the Paper Mama, she's one of my favorite blogs ever!

Congratulations Chelsey!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thrifting... 200th Post!

Posted By: Leah
Happy 200th Post to me! So as promised, I'm going to talk a little bit about thrifting. I am talking about clothes. Not vintage per se... more like going to the Salvation Army / Goodwill for your gear. I got out of work early on Friday and Gav was still scheduled to be napping at school so what's a cheap/entertaining activity I can do alone, close to work, in the 100++ degree weather? Go try on randoms at Goodwill of course! I wish I could be posting about cool vintage thrifting... I'm sure it's in there somewherer, but I'll let someone else cover that one. I'm talking about good old, find some Anthropologie and Kitson for $3 thrifting.

But don't let the brands fool you. You aren't at the mall... use your head! You will get lucky on every trip (I have never once left a thrift-store empty handed) but be prepared to try on the...
The first dress (black and white) is from the Dress Barn! I don't think I have ever been in there, but this is totally darling, right? The middle one couldn't even be saved by a belt (I was hoping!) and the last one... yeah I'm 30. I live in North Carolina. I really have no place to wear this ever.

I LOVE this gray top (first I thought it was a dress... maybe it is) but should I wear it ....
The great thing about thrift stores is you can try in pretty much any color/style of anything. Sizes are out the window... I think all the clothes are stretched out and/or shrunk so who cares what size it is... you are getting a bargain!

This dress (well all dresses at the Goodwill) was only $3.75! Woo hoo! So that's my sorta lame, sorta okay thrifting story lol! PS ok last call Fo real on my giveaway. Enter it now!


Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Posted By: Leah
Gav gets invited to the most extravagant bday parties ever. I would be jealous, except I get to go too and enjoy the fun! This weekend it was a Wizard of Oz 'Over the Rainbow' themed party for a friend from school.
It wasn't required for the kids to dress along with the theme, but you know me... I theme anywhere I can lol! So I picked up this awesome rainbow plaid shirt for Gav at the Goodwill. So cute, right? (PS I will do a Thrifting post soon!)

As we drove up to Gav's friend's house, they had a huge arc of rainbow balloons over the front porch. They had Wicked Witch legs coming out from under the house and apples all over the ground in the front yard (I didn't want to be a total pap. and take pics of the front of the house w/ the whole family in the front yard lol). In the back yard they had a rainbow moon bounce and poppie flowers all over the ground!

There is Dorothy making her way back into the house... it was HOT this weekend! They had a candy 'bar' inside for the kids (I love when ppl do that at weddings!) there was also a table with a rainbow assortment of fruit. it was really cute.
All the kids got super hot so they came into the massive play room. Gav (as the token guy, as usual) settled into the role as piano man (cue Elton John). And I just noticed the creeper picture of Edward (I think) peeking out from behind the rock concert/play tent?!?!?
Feel free to insert your own captions on these...lol!
So next it was time for cake... yay! I honestly don't have any idea where the mom got these made, but aren't they spectacular? Even the fondant was really good. (About this time I was ready to grab that bottle of wine and drink it... haha j/k!)
The mom got dress up hats, tails, wands, etc. so all the kids could be their favorite Wizard of Oz characters. SN: I thought Gav would have been too scared, but we watched parts of the movie on YouTube the week before the party and he LOVED it! Like truly he did. All the moms said they thought the same thing... that their kids would be scared, but every single kid loved the movie!
It was a fun, long, hot day but the party was great and super well done! Gav got this goodie bag that looked like a the scarecrow (but made out of a brown bag) and it had all sorts of fun things in it like a Wizard of Oz cup, toys, etc!

Speaking of fun colors... tomorrow we have a small program and my cubiee Courtney and I got to put together welcome baskets. We are attending so we made them extra fabulous! In the top are chocolate stars from Chocolate Pops here in Greensboro. Sooo Cute! Love them! We got the tins at Target $1 section. Inside is just random stuff and giveaways (we had $5 for each basket). I think they came out really well! PS the chocolate pops are each a different flavor. Aren't they great?

Ok last call for my laptop sleeve giveaway for real!

Posted By: Leah
So I totally didn't draw for the Manhattan Portage laptop sleeve giveaway this weekend (forgot! lol!) so good news is there's still time to enter! Just go to this post, leave a comment... idk... anything you want to say (I made it super easy!) and then you are entered! I'll do the drawing... lets say tomorrow at 8:00am! so be ready!

Friday, July 23, 2010

My life is complete.

Posted By: Leah
I screamed when I opened my mail yesterday because my life officially complete... this is an amazing miracle... and I do not use 'miracle' lightly. I don't even know where to begin. But here is a start...

Ok let me just be honest for a second... I am talking about a bracelet. It's not just any bracelet. It's only the most amazingly perfect in every way bracelet I didn't know I needed ...but it found it's way to me. It is a piece of jewelry next to impossible to get and even more impossible for it to be a perfect fit. Obtaining it would normally require literally hundreds of dollars to get to the location to buy it, and that doesn't even include the purchase price, or the timing of the store being open, or it even being in stock.

I have worn the same earrings/necklace/rings and not taken any of them off in 4+ years. Look at any pic of me and you will be like 'wow, way to not mix it up ever.' So I was not looking for a bracelet... actually I don't even like bracelets. Until I saw this one...

So what is it? What is all this fuss? This is a sterling Cape Cod Dennis Screwball Bracelet from Eden Hand Arts in Dennis, Massachusets. Here's the thing... you have to go to the store in Cape Cod in person to purchase a bracelet. The store is only open 10 AM to 5 PM, Wednesday through Saturday from June 30 through Saturday, September 4. The parking lot only holds 6 cars and the store only allows 2 parties in at a time. There is always a wait, usually hours long. They make each piece of jewelry by hand and they are sized down to 1/8" (so there are over 50 sizes offered) it is nearly impossible to purchase one as a gift because they like to hand-fit it for perfect sizing. No other jeweler in the world is authorized to make the Cape Cod Dennis bracelet. There are knock-offs sold in other stores in Cape Cod and online, but they are not only poorly made, but are also wayyy more expensive. This bracelet was designed by a Cape Cod Jeweler 30 years ago and the family still makes these bracelets by hand.  To give you even more of an idea about how difficult it is to get one of these bracelets, someone even wrote an eHow on it haha!

Check out how cute this little shop is... and the line of people waiting to get in is for real!

Here is the Eden Hand Arts website detailing how you have to plan wayyy ahead to get one. Also how you put it on for life and never take it off ever. Anyhow! so back to me! A regular girl living in North Carolina... how on earth did I score this gorgeous bracelet? Well I first saw it on... ok, I have blogged about it before so it's no joke... I saw it on the Bachelorette. I know, stop laughing. This is serious stuff! Chris L from Cape Cod (you already know how I feel about him) gave it to Ali, explaining how he purchased it from a friend of the family who made special jewelry.

I saw it and had to have it. Once I saw that it was impossible to order online I tried to make a plan on how I'd get it (I really, truly, don't want much. But I'm a Taurus and stubborn and if I REALLY want something I will find a way). First I mapquested from here to Cape Cod... well it's 16 hours not including traffic. So next I started thinking who could I get to go there for me? I have lots of family in Boston (well Cambridge and Marlboro, Mass) ... but they would need my exact size, and probably not be excited about driving 2+ hours to the Cape to get me a bracelet. And yes, I could order a knock-off online. I thought about this, but after reading up on them... a lot... I knew the fake ones easily broke, were double the price and why would I want anything but a real one?

So what did I do next? What anyone would do... get on ebay! I tried a variety of searches... and yes the faux bracelets and knock-offs are on ebay. I favorited a lot of them, but after seeing photos of the Dennis Bracelet, the fake ones just aren't as pretty. And then I saw it... a real, for real, Dennis Bracelt for sale on ebay out of Buzzards Bay, Mass (near Cape Cod). And not the 'traditional' silver with a gold ball, no a silver on silver (sorry, I don't like gold) which is even more unique. And without thinking I bid on it. I found exactly what I wanted! Then... I remembered the sizing thing. It said 6" and my wrist is exactly 6" but a bracelt exactly that size would cut off my circulation and my hand would probably fall off lol! So I e-mailed the seller for the exact dimensions and guess what? I was outbid. This all happened in oh... 3 minutes. So I was like ok get a grip, order a faux the actual right size and move on. But I couldn't. I went home (this was last Friday) and e-mailed the seller again (I am such a bracelet stalker!) the auction was up at 10am on Saturday so I NEEDED an answer. I carried my cell with me just waiting for a buzz that the seller had e-mailed me back. You would think I was waiting for a hot dude to call me or something how I was carrying that phone around LOL! Then I started thinking... you wear this bracelet FOR LIFE so what are the chances of another one being on ebay ever again? So I thought ok, I will just bid again and if I win and it doesn't fit, I am sure someone else wants it and I'll get my $ back. So I bid again... not super high, just like $50 (it was at $41). And my bid was at $42. I just put my phone away and went to bed.

Woke up the next morning, I was still the high bidder! It was raining and my husband said lets go to IHOP and we went. I had 1 hr left in the auction. We received SLOW service at IHOP and so I just stayed on my ebay app on my phone watching the seconds ticking down, waiting to be outbid. My heart was racing, I know... it's a bracelet... but it's exactly what I wanted! And at 10:49am... I won the bracelet. I didn't make a big deal because I honestly expected it not to fit.

Fast forward to me getting my mail yesterday... the bracelet came, I tore open the package, put it on and...
The chances of it fitting so well are what... 1/50? Remember all the sizes? And as I wore it, like magic it just conformed to my wrist and is sooo comfortable. The bracelet is not supposed to be able to turn around on your wrist, it is supposed to be a snug, yet comfortable fit. And yes, this is a real, for real Eden Arts bracelet... check out the logo (so sorry for my creepy arm picture!  but I am never taking the bracelet off, not even to take a picture of the stamp)


So that's my story. I feel like this bracelet found me and now my life is more complete. I am so happy, I can't even describe how thrilled I am with this bracelet. It is in fabulous shape even though I am assuimg it was once worn by someone else. I'm weird about 'vibes' and stuff and this bracelet is truly mine. It is just perfect.


PS... how about a perfect laptop case?!!? Did you enter my giveaway? The last day to enter is tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Posted By: Leah

 "Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” - MLK Jr.

ISO-400
Flash off
f/3.8 (yeah, I only have a canon elph point and shoot... but I had to find a way to take these. I took cole out last night 11pm-ish and was like wow how can I get a picture of our rad shadows?!)
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