Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kim's Kreations GIVEAWAY!

Happy Sunday! Today I have a fun giveaway for you Sponsored by Kim's Kreations!
Kim has a sweet little shop thats pretty new called Brightly Shines.
You will adore her and her shop!

Here are just a few of MY favorites from her shop!

Here is what one lucky winner could win today from Kim's Shop!

And here is how you can enter!
~It is mandatory for you to be a follower of this blog (Agape Love Designs) But does not count for an entry.
~Please leave a separate comment for each entry that you complete.

Mandatory Entry:
Become a Public Follower of Kim's Kreations, and comment on her blog.

Optional Extra Entries:
Like Kim's Kreations on Facebook, let her know I sent you.
Add Brightly Shines to your favorites on Esty
Blog about this giveaway
Link this giveaway on Facebook
Tweet About this giveaway

This giveaway will end at midnight on Sept 4th, winner will be announced ON THE BLOG Sept. 5th

Much Love & Hugs,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Love Is Not Written On Paper

“Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.”
Today's Saturday Show Offs is This Special Necklace.
 You got to get a sneak peek at this new necklace design yesterday when I showed off Bella's Loot. But today I wanted to share with you the story behind it. It is similar to this personal story I shared with you about my other custom Birds Nest Necklaces.
Bella, as I mentioned before won my big giveaway and got to choose anything from my shop. Bella's generous heart decided to pick something for her friend. And with her permission, I am going to share with you her email to me:

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to pick another birds nest necklace. I want to give it to a dear friend who lost her ONLY son about 10 years ago, and she is all alone now. I love her dearly, and she still grieves so much for her son. He was just 19 years old. Died in a car crash.

How could you incorporate that into the necklace. I wouldn't want the nest to be EMPTY, but I want the pearl to be in the chain, for he's an angel now, BUT what can you put in the nest to symbolize that he is YET in her heart. 

Do you think you can come up with something?"
 Of course after getting that email, you know I was up for the challenge of creating something beautiful and special for Bella's friend to honor and remember her son. It wasn't hard, after reading Bella's email again.. she practically gave me the idea "to symbolize that he is yet in her heart." Of course.. I would put a HEART in the nest to represent her friends heart as well as the love and memories she has and holds for her son.

I emailed Bella back with the idea and she agreed it would be perfect. So I went to work on the necklace right away. And I fell in love with the design. Even though the story behind this necklace is sad, I pray that it will bring joy in a time of sorrow. I pray it will bring a smile to this Mommas heart as she wears it in honor and remembrance of  her son who went home to Heaven too soon.

I've also decided to add this new design to my shop. You can find it listed {here}. I put it in my shop not in hopes that many have to buy it.. but in hopes to bring joy in a time of sorrow to those who have have no children due to loss, miscarriage or death. I keep saying it, but also to honor and remember them too.  I know that my own necklace with two pearls in the chain means so much to me. Because I WILL NEVER forget ALL of my children.. and at times the thought of them STILL brings tears to my eyes. In fact just last week I completely broke down and started crying hysterically about them, during a calm conversation with my husband. And even though I don't always want to talk about it.. or tell people.. or even explain, in my heart I have 5 children and I LOVE THEM ALL. And I am glad I can show them off in this necklace. And I am honored to offer that same thing to other Momma's like me, and like Bella's friend and each and every other Momma who has already purchased one of my birds nest necklaces. They are made with all my LOVE and my prayers go out with each one.

Much Love & Hugs,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bella's Loot

Today I just had to take a minute to share Bella's loot with you all. 
Bella just so happens to be the winner of MY big giveaway during the 500 followers celebration, 
in case you were wondering. :) 
The winner of my giveaway got to chose anything from my shop, 
PLUS get a few other extra goodies from me as a bonus! :) 
So I just had to show off her goodies that just went off in the mail yesterday!

Bella's choice from my shop was one of my custom birds nest necklaces, but, being the GIVER that she is, she did not get it for herself... she wanted it for a friend. You may notice the necklace isnt exactly the same as the others.. there is a heart in the nest instead of any pearls. 
I will explain about that in a post coming soon. I just had to give you all a sneak peek.

Bella is also getting a pair of earrings from me, that are NEW to my shop! 
If you would like a pair of Autumn Leaf Earrings like those you can find them in my shop {here}.

She is also getting a one of a kind ring I made for her, that is not listed in my shop!

Of course I had to throw in a few hair accessories!!
Bella is also getting:
A set of my Rosette Bobby Pins
A set of my Charming Bows {Similar Here}
And I also threw in there one of my Hand Wire Written XOXO Necklaces!

Bella's Loot is worth over $60, but she totally deserves every penny and MORE actually.
Because she is SO generous and is ALWAYS giving! :)

Did you know that she is having a giveaway right now where she is giving one lucky winner a $200 shopping spree with her sponsors!? And she has MANY fabulous sponsors-- Of which I am one!!
You can fin that giveaway {here}, if you have not entered yet!

She also has a second giveaway going on that is similar to the first one, except you get to choose which of her sponsors you want to support and she will give one winner $5 per every like they do. If you feel like that one is more your style.. then you can find it {here}!

Told ya she was generous! :) 
I hope she enjoys her winnings from me, and that her friend is blessed by the necklace Bella picked out for her. I know those necklaces have meant so much to the women who get them. I look forward to explaining more about this newer design soon as well as sharing all the new items that will be going in the shop soon!

Much Love & Hugs,

Monday, August 22, 2011

FREE Cutesy Halloween Printables

Ok, I apologize if it is WAAAAYYY too early for Halloween stuff, I guess I just couldn't help it! The wheels are always spinning in this noggin of mine! So when I get an idea for something, especially a cute fun printable, I've got to get it out before I forget it! Lucky for you, though, that means cute, fun and best yet - FREE printables for your home decor! :) Since it is pretty early, I suggest you just Pin this post for the future! :) 

SO I've got THREE cute little printables here for Halloween.  Am I saying CUTE a little too much?  Well there is a reason for that! These printables were made to be CUTE as opposed to being scary or anything else "traditionally" Halloween-ish.


Because for One, I really LIKE cute! And two, I know that some people out there may prefer not to put up scary stuff in their home, but still may want to decorate for the Holiday. So if you just like cute, or prefer to stay away from "scary" things, you are going to love these Printables. PLUS...They would also be cute for children's room, or a kids Halloween party decor. :)

To download this printable:
 Right click on the image you want. 
Hit "Open Link In New Tab",  the photo will open up in a new tab.
Click on it to bring it to full size.
Right click on it again, then hit "save as" to save it to your computer.
Print as 8x10

As always, I really do APPRECIATE any and all thank you's and comments!
It lets me know these are worth my time and effort making and offering them free to you all! :)


Much Love & Hugs,
Visit my In Post Sponsor:
Sponsor an "In Post" Ad!  Click {here}for more info.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red Bluff Children Photography - Bruce Jr.'s New Photos!

On Wednesday you got a peek at Kiahs New Photos
Today I share with you Bruce Jr.'s new photos!

Bruce Jr. is 5 years old! 
He started kindergarten this week, and he is my oldest son!
He's got a killer "Million Dollar Smile" JUST like his daddy. :)

He may have The Hubs' smile, but at least he has got my crescent moon shaped eyes. :) 
He is pretty much a perfect blend of The Hubs & I.

So hard to believe he is already 5!
My little Buddy looks like a little man now.

You may think he's got that "far off look" down perfectly, 
but really he was distracted from all the turkey feathers there were around the yard! 
He couldnt wait for me to be done taking photos of him, so he could go play with and collect them! haha

So handsome! I cant help but gush! :)

He's the MAN! :) My little stud. haha He is SO his father's child!

Again, scoping out the turkey feathers!

This is his "Are we almost done yet... I REALLY wanna go get those feathers" smile. haha

I promised him we could take only 5 more pictures and then he could go play! 
But they had to be good smiles! I said he could even count the pictures to make sure!


You get the idea... he did good.
This was the face I got on 6! haha
This unsure look.
He was like, "I thought we were gonna be done... are we done? Can I get the feathers!?"
I couldn't help it, I had to snap another. :) He was just too cute!

So there are Brucey's new photos! He did good, right? :)
Next up is Zander! The difficult one.
I also tackled the challenge of getting photos of ALL the kids together!
I will be showing those off soon too. :)
It took some work, but I got quite a few that I LOVE. Cant wait to share.

Much Love & Hugs,

Friday, August 19, 2011

Red Bluff Newborn Photographer: Mason Sneak Peek

OK so this adorable little chunky monkey isnt exactly a NEWBORN, 
but he had just turned one month old around the time of this photo session. Meet Mason!

Dont you just LOVE his full head of HAIR! :)

And those cute chunky monkey cheeks! ♥

You probably cant tell from any of these pictures, but Mason definitely made me WORK HARD to get some good shots of him! He was not in the mood to have a camera in his face this day.

His Momma, who happens to be my cousin, was worried he was so fussy we wouldnt be able to get any usable shots. ;) I assured her it was fine and he still did great. This little guy was a trooper!

Love his sweet big blue eyes!

So expressive!

This one is totally my fav!

We did good, huh, Momma? 

I was pretty excited about this session, because I had never before done a newborn session for a boy before! Ive only ever had girls to photograph! Aside from him being a little fussy, I enjoyed this session. 
And I hope his Momma enjoys these new pictures!

Much Love & Hugs,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making Chores FUN For Kids! (And Releasing My Inner Control Freak!)

Hello My lovelies!
Today I would like to talk about how I was able to make chores FUN for my kids! Plus how I made it easy easier for a control freak like me to LET go and actually let my kids do chores and things for themselves!

Being a control freak and a slight (or Lazy as I call myself) perfectionist I find it hard to ask for help, or let others help me.. or even do anything for me! Its even WORSE when it comes to letting my kids do anything for me... See I have this fear that it wont be done right unless I do it. And even though I hate doing it all by myself and dont want to work so hard to get everything done by myself (<--- Lazy Perfectionist Alert!) I still will anyways.. Or I will just put it off untill I can get it done another day!

Yes.. thats right.. I would rather do everything by my self rather than have others help me and risk it being done wrong and having to do it myself again anyways!
*hangs head in shame!*
This is my thinking.. this is the sad control freakish nature I am WAS living! But with the help of my newest sponsor My Job Chart, I am working on this behavior of mine and better yet, my children are working on chores and really earning all the special privileges they otherwise took for granted!

It's not that my children are totally spoiled, but lets face it.. they get a lot, and used to do VERY little to actually earn things like toys, computers, video games, friends over, treats and such. So when I was contacted by Gregg (Founder of My Job Chart) about becoming a sponsor I was very pleased. Because I had actually been trying to work on a way or find a system for chores and rewards so that the kids would remember every day to do their chores without me having to tell them, or remind them... or without me ending up just doing everything myself, as much as I wanted and didnt want to! lol

So, I'd like to show you more about My Job Chart and how we use it!

For one, this is a FREE program and for two.. it is WAY COOL, easy and as previously mentioned really FUN too! Once you sign up you will be able to log in and create log in names and passwords for your kids! If there were anything I were kinda "ugh" about it was that the kids would have to log in to check out and check off their jobs!
I wasnt sure how much I wanted the kids on MY laptop and messing around. Plus Brucey is only 5!
Then I realized, with our tech'ed out kinda world now.. kids really NEED the computer knowledge and to be at least a little tech savvy. And to be honest, I have sort of deprived my kids a lot in this way... because I know how addictive and overwhelming it can be. However, I know they cant be "sheltered" forever, and this is a good opportunity for them to really learn. So I got over that and am so glad I did! Now I LOVE it!

To make it easy for the kids to log in on their own, I decided to add My Job Chart to my tool bar (as seen in the photo below). They just open up our browser, and click that simple button! Then they can click on their picture and use their very own special password to log in and view their jobs for the day! But I will get to that part later.

First let me show you what it looks like when I log in. When a parent logs in they can add family members, assign jobs, pick rewards and set up everything you need for your child's job chart!

One of my own personal favorite parts is the message board! I can write quick personal messages to each of the kids.. and they show up when that child logs into their job chart. And they can even write me back! Its so fun!

Ok so here is what my son Bruce's job chart looks like when he logs in. He has chores for the day time and the night time. He can view his messages from me, his day/night time jobs and check them off when he gets them done. Each job is worth points, and he can use the points to EARN certain rewards! You (the parent) get to set the point value for each job and also the cost of each reward.

This is another fun feature... when your child gets all of his jobs done, this little messages pops up along with the sound of applause. :) *hehe* Its a small thing, but Brucey Loves it and it makes him excited!

So while your child is logged in they can not only check their jobs, but they can also check out their very own store! This is very fun for my kids! They always want to see what they can "buy" with their points and how many more points they need to earn in order to buy certain items. There are a few cool things about this. One is they can choose to turn their points into real money. I believe each point equals one penny. You (the parent) can also put real retail rewards from on the list. So say they want a new video game, bike or book, etc.. you can add it to their shop and they have to earn enough points to buy it. If they earn the required points, then you have to hold up your end of the deal and purchase the retail item for them!
I have not used that option yet, my kids are young and I have not felt the need to use those kinds of rewards yet. However, if the time comes along when they "REALLY" want something, I will probably use it to show them how much work it takes to earn real money kind of rewards. For now, though, they are only using what is called Family Rewards. Things like video game time, family game night, ice cream, going to the park and such. Of course these are kind of just every day things they used just get to do any old time.. or when ever I allowed them to. Things I felt they were taking for granted, but now are EARNING.
Now when they ask for something, I dont have to feel guilty for saying no. I can ask them about their jobs, if they got them done, and if they have earned enough points to be able to do what they are asking for. If they have not, they understand why. If they earned it, well awesome! They deserve what they asked for and can buy it from their store!

At the end of each day I get emailed a report of the daily summery for each kid. It lets you know what jobs they got done that day and which they didn't. I usually already know what they do and don't do, because my kids are only 5 and 8, so I'm always close by when they get chores done and check them off. But I also try to let them do it on their own. I have Kiah help Bruce log in away from me.. so he can feel like a big boy. :)

This site had been wonderful! The kids are now EXCITED every day to check their job charts and get their chores done fast! They understand about working to earn rewards and privileges. They get an idea of all the work this Momma does, and I feel they appreciate me more for it. My home stays clean and tidy and Im not totally exhausted at the end of the day! And best of all it has helped me lose a little control (in a good way!) over some of the jobs our home requires. I don't have to worry about if this or that is getting done. If I should allow or make the kids help me.

I assign the jobs I'm comfortable with them doing or helping me with, then I relax and let them do their thing! If in the end its not perfect, I let it go. It doesnt have to bother this control freak because the job will be there again for my child to do again the next day. Of course I will still correct and help them learn how to do their job well. But I am still a lot more relaxed and less stressed (not so control freakish) since using this site, than I have been before! I'm happy, the kids are having fun and LEARNING at the same time. You really cant go wrong. I completely recommend My Job Chart to anyone with kids! Especially anyone wanting to teach their kids about responsibility, work and earnings. :)

Much Love & Hugs,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Would You Like $200 To Shop?

My girl Bella over at Bella Before & After is celebrating her bloggy Birthday! It is one year old!
And when my girl celebrates, or does giveaways.. she goes BIG! And this time she has gone beyond Big even.. 
She has gone Ginormous!
She is introducing her sponsors in a very cool way! 
She is having a Shop Till You Drop Giveaway, where you can win up to $200 to shop at ANY of her sponsors shops! How generous is that!? VERY generous, if you ask me!
I have entered, I would LOVE to win.. but I am also one of her sponsors... so I wouldnt mind if any of YOU won! Because you can choose to shop at MY shop, did I mention $200 worth of shopping and BELLA will pick up the tab! Bella also has 18 other sponsor's shops you can choose to shop at as well!
You definitely do NOT want to miss out on this wonderful giveaway!

So you may be asking yourself... "Whats the catch?"
Well the catch is, you MUST "like/fan" EVERY sponsor on the list and connect with them on facebook, letting them know Bella sent you or something about her giveaway. Which wasnt a problem for me, I just used my own business/fan page to like them from. (Be warned though, if you comment something similar on each page at one time.. like within a minute or so of each other, facebook will assume you are a spammer and block you from leaving comments on business/fan pages for a WEEK! I know this happened to me!) So if you enter, be sure to like everyone's page.. but leave comments here and there with some time in between! :)

So what happens if you only have a personal page and would prefer to keep your "likes" to a minimum?
Do you have to miss out on an awesome free shopping spree opportunity? HECK NO! Bella in all her generosity is ALSO offering another giveaway JUST for fans like you! You can enter the $5 for every Like Giveaway! You only have to LIKE or fan the shops/sponsors you actually enjoy and WANT to shop at. The winner of that giveaway will get $5 for every "like" they did, towards shopping at those sponsor's shops!

Either way.. if you are a fan/follower of mine then you are already one step closer to winning a free shopping spree! Because, like I said before.. I am one of her sponsors and you can also look forward to a giveaway on her page from ME, soon, as well! :)
So head on over to Bella's Blog and Enter the giveaway that is right for you!!

Much Love & Hugs,

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