Saturday, September 22, 2012

Giveaway: Birth Announcements from TinyPrints — 2 Winners! — $75 ARV {10.6 US/CAN}

This is a joint giveaway with Embrita Blogging and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.
TinyPrints is offering TWO of our readers a gift certificate for Birth Announcements or other custom stationery items, a value of $75. From our reviewer, Embrita Blogging:

TinyPrints started as 3 friends filling a gap in the market: quality baby stationery. Since then, the company has expanded to offer invitations, announcements, and greeting cards for all occasions as well as gifts and decor and photo books. The process is easy: narrow down your favorites until you pick a design you like, upload your photos, fill in the blanks, and before you know it there's a happy box waiting on your porch. We were expecting our second son in early August and I spent most of July pouring over the offerings on the TinyPrints site to pick the perfect announcement. Both my husband and Baz weighed in with their opinions and we finally landed on a flat square card with a single image on the front and a single image on the back. So here's what I like about the company and the process: there are many, many options and seemingly endless configurations: season, gender, pregnancy, adoption, number of photos, flat or folded (or accordion!)...the list goes on and on. The cards are printed on heavy stock that will hold up to the abuse given by the postal system (I just went with the standard offering, though you can upgrade both paper and coating). Here's what it looks like on their site:

Here's what arrived on my porch:

(That kid is cute, but mine is clearly cuter :))

Looks awesome to me. While I stuck with the default font for this layout, you can change colors and fonts for some of their options.

We did add a photo to the back for good measure (my first choice was to pick an option with multiple images on the front, but I was out-voted). On the one hand, I'm vaguely bothered that the quality of that image is clearly of lesser quality than the one on the front. On the other hand, I don't really care because it's on the back of the card and the card is about Walter, who is so darned cute on the front!

The only thing that really bothered me about some of the card options was that the text wasn't fully customizable. The first card we all agreed on was for a Holiday season baby, even though the colors didn't indicate it as such and there was no way to remove "Happy Holidays!" from the greeting. We went with our second choice, but it would have been nice to simply alter the greeting and send out our first choice.

The final option we were offered was to upload our address book and have TinyPrints print out the envelopes as well (envelopes come free with your order - one envelope per card, with extras available for purchase). You can also have TinyPrints send them out for you. While I see the appeal for things like invitations, I'm old-fashioned enough to want to include notes and hand-sign most (if not all) of our announcements (and holiday cards, when the time comes). (Edited — I have a newborn — handwritten notes did not happen in the interest of getting them in the mail while the child could still be classified as a newborn.)

Overall, I am impressed with the product and the service and will likely use it again. If you've got a baby on the way, certainly enter for a chance to have a bit of your expense covered (babies are expensive!). And if you don't have a baby on the way...there are birthdays and holidays and parties and thank yous and photo books to be had over at their site. Definitely check it out.


You can purchase your own Birth Announcements at TinyPrints, starting as low as $0.79/card. TinyPrints is also offering a $10 discount on your first order when you subscribe to their newsletter. Be sure to check out their Promotions Page for more coupon codes and deals.


For your own chance to win a $75 GIFT CERTIFICATE from TinyPrints, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below. The winner will receive a $75 gift certificate toward the purchase of Birth Announcements or other custom stationery from TinyPrints. Contest is open to the US & Canada.
MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit TinyPrints and tell us another item you like! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries. This is a joint giveaway with Embrita Blogging and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!   BONUS ENTRIES: See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions! a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Contest closes Saturday, October 6, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Disclosure: Our reviewer received a sample product for review purposes. Tiny Prints links are affiliate links. We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent. If we don't like a product, we won't be recommending it to you. See our full disclosure policy here.
  Emily just welcomed the newest member of her family and is currently existing in a newborn fog. She writes, creates, cooks, and sings (badly) in sunny Northern California.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Genius Little Gadget

As you've probably guessed, we're really big on keeping things accessible around here for the under 4ft crowd. 

It's the bit of Montessori that's the most relevant right now and in the parlance of the philosophy, it's referred to as Practical Life.

One of Baz's favorite things to do is turn lights on when we're working in a room and he can reach the kitchen switches, but none of the others. So I purchased some of these bad boys:

Light switch extenders. We started with two: one in his bedroom and one in his bathroom. Then I added two more: one in the hallway and one in his play area (the switch is actually in the office, but it controls the fixture above his table. Our house was built in 1949 and updated in 1969 and has been existing in a state of benign neglect ever since. We don't question things like switch placement lest our heads explode.)

Anyway - they have made all the difference - he can control his environment without needing to either whine at me or drag a chair around my hardwood floors. Everyone wins.

I have yet to find these in an actual store (not for lack of trying) so you'll have to get yours off Amazon, like I did. 

Then sit back and watch your child's sense of confidence and capability grow. Hooray for autonomy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crib as Co-sleeper

You can already imagine why I did it, and over at NPN today, I'm telling you how I did it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Emily vs. the Sewing Machine and the Cookie Monster

I required the use of the internet to make my sewing machine behave. Then I made this apron for Baz...and then we made chocolate chip cookies. 

(fabric here)

I slacked off and use ribbon instead of making ties. I'm ok with that.

Here's a tip for baking with kids: embrace the mise en place. Having everything measured and waiting in individual bowls helps prevent mistakes. It helps with eggshell retrieval, should you need that, too.

Also: measure flour by weight. This is a good rule of thumb anyway, but it's especially true for kids, who tend to pack dry goods into measuring cups with alarming inaccuracy. In order to avoid hockey-puck-like cookies, weigh your flour.

Tip number 2 - hover, but don't interfere without warning, and pose everything you do as helping THEM.  Your goal, after all, is to eventually have fresh cookies just appear before you (and have the kitchen clean, to boot!)

Tip 3 (not pictured): teach the fine art of tidying as you go. If everything is stacked nicely/rinsed/soaking then you can wash up while the cookies are in the oven and have a clean workspace before they've cooled past the scalding state!

These cookies were truly, truly delicious.

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