(Giveaway) Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected

My sweet and talented (and hilarious friend, I might add), Kayla Aimee’s first ever book was just released last week and I am beyond happy for her. Her book is entitled, “Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected” and it’s pages are filled with a combination of moving, beautiful, raw, heartbreaking and hopeful moments as she recounts when her daughter, Scarlette, was born a micro-preemie at just 25 weeks gestation. The story is full of vulnerable and moving moments and I love how although there are lots of painful parts in this book that you will also find strength, faith and lots of laughing in between wiping away your tears.

This book is powerful and beautifully written. I felt so many different emotions as I read the book. It really resonated with me to my core.

As some of you may know, we had a couple of scares with our son, Luke. When I was about 12 weeks pregnant, I had some unexpected bleeding and was rushed to the emergency room. I was so scared that I was having a miscarriage and honestly, everyone that I encountered at the ER in those very early morning hours, I could tell, thought I was having one, too. I think they were actually surprised that after all of the tests and the ultrasound that things checked out OK and sweet baby Luke was safe inside of me. To this day I’m not sure what that was about, but I can remember sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway of the hospital in a dingy hospital gown and shaking. I was awaiting my ultrasound and was so worried about the kind of look I’d see on the ultrasound technician’s face. When the ultrasound was being performed, all I could do was look at her face. She was stoic and didn’t really show much emotion (which I’m guessing they are trained to do), but I couldn’t help but ask her if all looked OK. I think she should sense my nervousness and sweetly said, “It’s all ok, hun.” I left the ER that morning so thankful, but yet reminded how life can change in an instant.

The second scary thing that happened with Luke’s pregnancy happened when I was giving birth to him. You can read his entire birth story HERE, but just to recap a bit – the labor and delivery was going fine, I was 10cm and pushing and all was well, but yet again – in an instant I was going from about to push my baby boy out, to having an emergency c-section in a matter of minutes and not knowing if my son was going to live or die. I will never forget the nurses that prayed with me or the older gentleman who was doing anesthesia that comforted me when I felt like I couldn’t breathe and had to vomit. Those moments of not knowing if my son was alive or dead once he was removed from my body were heart wrenching. I was reminded of a lot of the emotions that I felt then as I read through Kayla Aimee’s book. Was it difficult for me to read at times? Yes, but it was also comforting. The beauty is that in those difficult things there is that spark of hope that still shines through.

I love that Kayla Aimee shared her and Scarlette’s story to remind us all of the hope that can be found in even the scariest, darkest moments in life.

I know it’s going to touch a lot of people’s lives as it touched mine.

It’s definitely a must-read book, so if you haven’t gotten your copy yet you can order it HERE. It would make a beautiful gift for your local NICU or even a friend. It’s actually on sale right now on Amazon for just a bit over $8. :)

Kayla Aimee is sweetly letting me give away an autographed copy of her book to one of my readers, along with this beautiful Gracelaced print.

 

To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me a favorite book that you’ve read recently.

Be sure to also check out Kayla Aimee’s blog, Kayla Aimee Writes. You’ll be glad you did.

Have a blessed day, friends!

  • This contest is open to residents of the United States, ages 18 and up. Please limit one entry per household. Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on July 10th and a winner will be randomly selected from eligible entries received. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning notification via email before an alternate winner is selected. One Happy Mama is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Spotlight: Colleen Attara Studio

Happy Monday, sweet friends!

I’m super excited to introduce you to a very talented and creative woman named Colleen Attara today. I stumbled upon Colleen’s work when I was reading Ali Edwards’ blog one day and just loved her beautiful work. I knew that instant that I wanted to spotlight her on my blog to make sure that lots of other people knew about her. Colleen’s work is so amazingly cool. I knew I wanted her to make me a word (cut from salvaged and scrap plastic) and so after some thought, I decided to get the word “blessed” because I knew it would serve as an important reminder to me all day and every day to count my blessings and to focus on what truly matters.

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I decided to place my word in the shelf above my desk (where I spend a lot of time). I painted it a happy yellow (I think yellow and aqua are my most favorite colors EVER) and the word itself has really blessed me. I often glance at it and smile. I’ve even been known to see it and then pray a sweet and simple prayer thanking God for the blessings in my life. Funny how something so simple can be such a great reminder in our lives.

I love how the word is in the handwritten script. It’s beautiful and has a very whimsical look to it. I also love how Colleen wrote a sweet message on my package when it came in the mail. I asked her about it and she said that she writes a message on EVERY package using that person’s word. She said she loves writing them and she loves reaching people. How amazing is that? It’s such a sweet touch that DOES make a difference. On my package she wrote, “She was blessed in every way – her heart was wide open.” How beautiful is that? I loved it so much I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it. ;)

Colleen also sent me some really unique and beautiful cards and a beautiful print as well.

Here are the cards:

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Each card is so beautiful and unique. The cards are a reproduction of her mixed media art, which I think is so cool. There are bits and pieces included on them, sewing, ephemera and Colleen’s original artwork as well. The inside of the cards are blank and they come with a kraft envelope.

Each card looks pieced together perfectly and contain a beautiful message on the front, too. You won’t find cards like these in the card section of your local grocery store. SO amazing! The cards are also acid-free, recyclable, biodegradable and elemental chlorine free.

The print that Colleen sent to me is just as beautiful.

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I mean, come on! Read that beautiful message! Love!

This is an 8×10 print and is also an archival reproduction of her original mixed media art. It has stitching on it, which gives it a whimsical and carefree feel.

Colleen’s work is really rare and by that I mean, it’s not too often that you see such unique, airy and beautiful bits and pieces combined to create such a beautiful piece of art. I love how she concentrates on using recycled materials that are environmental friendly and how the message of her work is also important to her. Just one more reason why I am so glad to share her and her work with all of you.

You can see so much more of Colleen’s beautiful work HERE on her website.

You can also find Colleen on Instagram HERE and Facebook HERE. Definitely reach out and see more of her work. I know I’ll be purchasing more of those salvaged words to use around my home. They are the perfect little reminder to scatter here and there.

Looking forward to having more of her beautiful artwork in my home.

Thanks so much Colleen for sharing your beautiful, creative work with us!

  • Disclosure: Colleen sent the salvaged word, print and cards to me for free, but all thoughts and opinions about her products and her shop are all my own. Her work is beautiful and I will be purchasing some more goodies from her soon. I only share products that I use and love.

Love me some Waffle Flower

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Happy Monday, friends!

Have you guys heard about the company Waffle Flower? If not, you’re in for a real treat and if you have already then you already know just how awesome they are. :)

I was sent some Waffle Flower goodies to play with a few months back from sweet Nina of Waffle Flower and made a couple of simple cards and also have been incorporating some of their stamps in my planner, which I know a lot of you love to use nowadays.

Here are the goodies that I was sent:

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Here are the cards that I made with the stamps:

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I made this card using up some scraps that I had. I love how cheery it is and all of my cards are always SO simple, but using the talk bubble and heart die cuts with felt – gives it a pop of dimension and adds a different element to it. SUPER easy, but love the look! I also added a wooden “hello” embellishment from Freckled Fawn, too!

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Here’s a closer look at the front! ;)

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This card took me like 2 minutes. I kid you not and there may not be some elaborate techniques on it, but I love how bright it is and you can replicate this super fast and easy using this “thank you” stamp so that you can give a bunch as a gift or just send out a bunch to say “thank you!” Why not, right? I added the stamped “thank you” with a foam adhesive for some dimension, too!

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Inside the card, I used the cute round circle die to cut out this white circle and placed an epoxy heart from a past Freckled Fawn Ohdeerme embelllishment kit. It’s on a foam adhesive well for a bit of POP and just a sweet surprise when they look in the card.

Here are some other stamps in action on my planner this month:

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I just love how easy it is to add a bit of stamping to my planner and it helps organize things so much, too! Win-win for sure! The “DUE TODAY” stamp is great for us busy Mama’s who are juggling a lot of different things!

So, head on over to Waffle Flower HERE and check them out if you haven’t already! There are TONS of other super cute goodies that they have to buy! I just noticed that they have some really cool looking inkpads! I think I’m off to buy the Summer Blend one! Love!

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Make it a great day! XOXO!

 

My new essential oils bag

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m popping in today to share this really cute essential oils pouch that I was given to review. You may or may not know this about me, but if you’ve read this blog for a bit, you know that I LOVE Young Living essential oils. Yep, I sure do and now I am so excited to have a super cute pouch to carry my oils in when I’m on-the-go because just throwing them into the zippered pocket of my purse is just not cute, ya know? ;)

The sweet folks at North Texas Excess Baggage Company sent me this oil pouch to try out.

What I loved right away about the pouch was how thick it felt. Turns out it’s double-lined so it feels really strong and sturdy, which I love since it’s holding my precious oils! ;)

Here’s a shot of the pouch open and all of the oils that I was able to fit in it. There are 14 oils total in all that I fit in the slots that are stitched inside with elastic. The slots held all of the bottles in place great. Some of the slots were smaller, perfect for the 5ml bottles so not every slot seemed to fit the larger 15ml bottles, but that was totally ok with me because I have a mixture of both that I like to carry. I like that you can include a variety in the pouch.

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Here’s an even closer look. The oil with the black lid is actually my beloved Deep Relief roll on. ;)

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Ahhhhh. Oh, how I love you Deep Relief. That needs an entire blog post of its own. ;)

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I loved the beautiful zipper detail that is included on the pouch. It’s a really pretty pearl charm. I think that it adds a beautiful, feminine touch to the the pouch.

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I love this bold, funky pattern and have always loved navy, pink and coral together! I’m excited to carry this around in my purse and have all of my favorite, most used oils super handy and protected, too!

You can find North Texas Excess Baggage Company on Etsy HERE and on Facebook HERE. There’s so many bold, great patterns to choose from and they also have smaller oil pouches, roll-on pouches and even pouches to hold Zyto scans, too from time to time in the shop, so be sure to check it out and favorite the shop!

I would definitely recommend this great essential oils bag. It’s the perfect size to put in your purse or diaper bag and comes in super handy when you’re an essential oil lover on the go, plus the quality is great and it would definitely protect your awesome oils!

  • Disclosure: I was given one essential oils bag to review, but all opinions expressed in this post are solely my own. I would never recommend a product that I don’t love and think is awesome. That being said – get ya one. I’m serious. Your oils will thank you!

BabyLit

Have you guys heard of BabyLit before? Oh my goodness, if you haven’t you are in for a real treat and even if you have – you’ll love to see these adorable books that I was sent last week. BabyLit takes classic literature pieces and creates books that are perfect to introduce toddlers to. The illustrations are just so creative, fun and whimsical and the spin they take on these stories are just too cute.

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I was sent: “The Jungle Book,” “Doodle Lit” and “Edgar Gets Ready for Bed.”

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All three are super adorable. I’m telling you – I know what I’m going to purchase for the next baby shower that I have to attend!

This “Doodle Lit” book was PERFECT for Caylin because she could learn about classic literature, but then she could also draw, color and doodle while she was doing it! This book is SO right up Caylin’s alley! She even squealed when I showed it to her and right away she opened it up and started to read it, draw in it and color! I think she’s already done like 15 pages in it! It’s a great tool to help her use her imagination and it’s just so much fun! There are tons of pages in it with stories, activities, crafts – you name it! I love how playful and interactive this book is!

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This is one of the first pages she did. She loved coloring the insects and then on the opposite side she drew and named her own insects!

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“The Jungle Book” playset and board book was even cuter than I imagined! It came in a little box that opened up with ribboned hinges on the side. It’s a super thick board book with such cute, playful illustrations!

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I just love how colorful and fun it is. Here are a few pages from the book:

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Not only is the book adorable, but it also comes with these pop out board figures that you can make and play with.

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You get one of each animals and they are darling. I’m telling you – my son Jack flipped over these. Caylin and I put them together, but they are super simple to assemble and really sturdy. Great quality! Jack played with these for a good hour after I handed them to him so there’s more than just a great book in that box!

It’s like the characters come to life outside of the book! I love how they are three-dimensional and stood up on their own. Even the backs are illustrated! SO cute! Jack’s favorite is the snake that you can kind of see in the background of this photo. ;)

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The last book I was sent was “Edgar Gets Ready for Bed.” Now, I have to say that I think it’s so clever and cute how BabyLit books take classic literature and put a playful spin on them for younger children. BRILLIANT. I was an English major in college and love Edgar Allen Poe, so when I got this book I giggled and instantly fell in love with it.

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Edgar is a cutie pie and the illustrations in this book are so delightful and sweet.

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My kids giggled as I read the book and they actually wanted me to read it again. It’s a quick read, but definitely one that I’m glad I have in our library now.

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Both Caylin and Jack loved the books and I felt great that they were actually reading and using their imagination instead of wanting to play the iPad or Wii, ya know? It was also sweet to see them reading the books together and playing with the animals.

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I found these BabyLit books to be such wonderful quality and such a cute way to introduce children to literary classics. They are all so beautifully designed and sweetly written. They would be the perfect gift for any child. These books are definitely ones you want in your children’s library, too. Such a cool spin on classics. Makes this English major proud. Ya done good, BabyLit. Ya done good. I totally know that is NOT proper English, but you get what I mean. Hahaha!

Check out BabyLit’s website HERE and you can also find them on Instagram HERE, Pinterest HERE and Facebook HERE.

Have a great Wednesday!

  •  Disclosure: I was sent the above three books to review, but all opinions and words expressed in this blog post are solely my own. These books ARE adorable and I am most definitely going to buy some more to add to our collection.  :)