2014 Twenty Wishes Link Up & Giveaway

It’s FINALLY here!!! Time to link up and share your Twenty Wishes for 2014!!! You can read more on why we started this project back in 2013 here, but the gist is that life is too short. Too short to not really strive for those things you really wish to do or wish would happen. SO this year we’re all going to make a real effort to mark those wishes off our lists!

First you’ll write and then link up your list of Twenty Wishes here. In doing so you’re entered in this month’s giveaway! (There will be a new one each month.) Then you’ll work on those wishes throughout this year coming back here the last Wednesday of every month to link up and share your progress.

Here’s a button to add to your side bar to remind you to come back and link monthly, and to serve as a little encouragement to work on marking off your wishes!!

Truly Lovely

This year we are doing things a little differently. Mostly in an effort to be more organized than last year… But again, the link up will be the last Wednesday of every month. Each month one or two of our ten hostesses will offer a little something as a giveaway for those that link with us. So, allow me to introduce your hostesses for the 2014 Twenty Wishes project…

Kassi & Kayli @ Truly Lovely

 

For this month’s giveaway Jessa of Life of a Sports Wife is giving away Ear Warmers from her shop, Pearls N Stitches!! We aren’t requiring you to follow anyone, the only mandatory entry is linking up to this party with your list of 20 wishes. BUT the more you do the more entries you’ll receive and I can personally promise you if you do follow, like, etc and of these awesome ladies you WILL NOT be disappointed!
So, link your wishes and enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below! The giveaway will end at midnight on February 12th. Can’t wait to see what you lovelies wish for!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

A Picky Eater Diversion and $20 Amazon Giveaway

Hey there lovelies!! Today we have a special guest post from our girl, Steph of A Time for Seasons. She’s a banner ad sponsor on Truly Lovely this month! Today she’s talking about overcoming the dreaded picky eater! She’s also sharing a $20 Amazon Gift Card giveaway!!! Take it away Steph!!!

__________________________________

 
I am very blessed that I have never had a super picky eater. All 3 of my kids never turned down much food. Yea, my youngest, Little Lady (17 months), doesn’t care for raw broccoli, but that’s an intense texture and taste, so we will just try again later.  

 
I credit most of that to one of our household rules: “You eat what is fixed or you do without… Mom is not a short-order cook!“. Now like I said, my kids haven’t been SUPER picky eaters so this rule worked for us. There have never been any nutritional issues or worries, and I think Rosey Posey (now 11yr) is the only one who was stubborn enough to skip a meal. She only did it once and was happy when dinner time came after refusing lunch. There have been plenty of meals where someone didn’t like the food and was the last one to finish due to the procrastination of eating, but no one has ever really gone hungry.

When doing my meal planning I try to take into consideration the family’s preferences. Bubee (5 years) does not like spicy food. Since I don’t like it and Little Lady doesn’t need it, I really try to stay away from spicy food. Rosey Posey doesn’t like tomato soup, so the only time there is tomato soup is when I’m fixing grilled cheese. That way she still has something to eat.  I also love to get everyone’s feedback on dishes. When I fix something new I like to hear what they think, this way I can plan for next time.
 

 
My only boy, Bubee, eats ALL the time. Our family joke is we are not saving for college, we are saving for a food fund for his teen years. He is the youngest in his class (July Birthday) and the tallest. One of our doctors estimates he will be about 6’8″ when he’s full grown, so you can imagine what kind of food it takes to fuel that kind of growth. I keep a large supply of healthy snacks in the house.

About a month ago Bubee started not wanting ANYTHING I fixed for dinner. I was blind-sided! Getting him to eat was a battle every night and there were many times that 30 min after everyone else was done he was still staring at his plateful. He would always finish his dinner… eventually, but I was getting tired of the struggle.

Then one day while meal planning I had an idea: Let him plan the meals, then there was no way he could refuse to eat! Great idea, but I didn’t want pizza every night, so a compromise: If he eats his dinner each night without complaining, then once a week he gets to pick ANY normal meal for dinner (This way he can’t pick Ice Cream Sundaes or something like that). We chose Tuesday nights since that’s what works with our schedule.

I do all my grocery shopping on Mondays. So now, every Monday he ‘places his order’ for Tuesday nights. This keeps him from changing his mind 5 min before dinner and gives me enough time to plan and prepare. I have been so pleasantly surprised! Of course the first week he wanted pizza, so to make it fun we made a Snowman Pizza. After that it has been nice. One week he asked for breakfast for dinner; This means eggs, bacon, biscuits, and gravy. Another week he wanted fish.

It has been so wonderful! And through out the week usually a quick reminder of his Tuesday night privilege and he’s more than happy to finish dinner. Some nights, if he’s not thrilled with dinner, he will talk about his plans for that upcoming Tuesday night; but he always finishes his dinner now with minimal conflict!

It has been so successful that Thursday nights Rosey Posey gets to pick dinner. I like it because that’s two less dinners I have to plan each week. And with Rosey Posey being 11, some weeks she not only plans dinner, but prepares it too. This has been a great tool in teaching her some household management skills.

 
So now, dinner time has once again become a peaceful family gathering at the dinner table with plenty of joy, peace and love!
 

***
Steph Seibert is the WAH, homeschooling, mother of 3. After several years of missing seasonal activities, her family started making seasonal ‘bucket lists’. She posts about these adventures, crafts, DIYs, recipes and more at A Time for Seasons in hopes of helping other families get the most out of each season.

 

__________________________________

What a great idea, right!?! I’ll keep that in my idea bank for when my little miss is older! Thanks so much for sharing Steph!!

Now she has a $20 Amazon Gift Card to give away to one lucky Truly Lovely reader!! Enter below using the Rafflecopter form. The giveaway will close midnight on Tuesday, January 21st and the winner will be announced the next day! Thanks for entering and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

My Girl’s First Christmas and a Giveaway!

Disclosure: “This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Dreft. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.”

 
This year was my daughter’s very first Christmas! It amazing how having a child can make the holidays instantly more fun and exciting. Every holiday is suddenly more amazing! Let’s be honest, every single day is suddenly more amazing!

Klara and Santa

For Christmas this year Klara got a ton of cute new clothes and toys of course, but the clothes is the focus of this post. ;) Each of those cute little outfits needed to be washed, so I whipped out my go to baby laundry detergent, Dreft. Not only is Dreft the #1 laundry soap choice for pediatricians, it’s also launching a brand new app, Amazing Baby Days for your mobile devices.

Amazing Baby Days App

The Dreft Amazing Baby Days App can be downloaded for free from the App store on Apple® iTunes®. It gives you the opportunity to load photos from your phone into the app, caption those photos, write little notes to your kiddo, and basically just record all of those Amazing Days during baby’s first year. Once you’re finished you can then publish those moments into a book to share with your loved ones.

Dreft Amazing Days App

To celebrate the launch of the new Dreft Amazing Baby Days App, Dreft is partnering with Kevin and Danielle Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers) as they prepare for the upcoming arrival of their first child.

In the coming weeks you can follow along with the couple via the Dreft Facebook page and Twitter. Then on Tuesday, January 7th, they will be hosting “Dreft’s Amazing Baby Days” Twitter Party from 9pm-9:30pm EST with special guest DANIELLE JONAS!

# DreftAmazingBabyDays Twitter Party Information:

The Twitter Party will take place on Tuesday, January 7th at 9pm EST.

RSVP to the Twitter Party here: http://twtvite.com/DreftAmazingBabyDays

Prizes include:

  • Bottles of Dreft

To participate, follow your hosts @DoubleDutyDivas, @BridgetteLA, @CeceliaMecca @AngieKcom @WhatMommiesNeed @RamblingChick, our sponsor @Dreft, and our special guest @daniellejonas.

Truly Lovely Dreft Giveaway

 
Also in celebration of the Dreft Amazing Baby Days launch, they have given one lucky Truly Lovely winner the chance to win TWO Bottle of Dreft Baby Laundry Detergent!!! To enter the giveaway use the Raffelcopter form below. The giveaway will close one week from today at midnight on Sunday, January 12th. The winner will be announced on Monday the 13th.

Danielle and Kevin Jonas

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

Baby’s Firsts with Pampers and Giveaway!!

Disclosure: “This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.”

 

Pampers Logo

Our sweet little lady will be five months old on Friday. In these five months of her life so far we have celebrated a lot of firsts….

Klara's Firsts

From the top left corner, clockwise – Klara’s first Thanksgiving, her first trip to Hannigan Meadows, her first horseback ride with Daddy, her first Halloween. That’s not to mention the everyday firsts, things like her first smile, her first laugh, rolling over for the first time.

We just recently had one of my favorite firsts… Klara had her first taste of rice cereal. It was the very first time for her to eat from a spoon. We waited until her daddy got home from work so he could join us. We are both big food lovers so it was really exciting to be able to start Klara on solid foods. It will eventually lead to us sharing our love of food with our daughter. I can just picture fun restaurant outings, trying new recipes at home, etc!

Klara's First Food

As our girl grows it’s exciting to experience each new first. I am thrilled that as Klara keeps experiencing fun things for the first time she can continue to wear our favorite diaper brand, Pampers Swaddlers!

Pampers Swaddlers PackagingPampers Swaddlers are now available all the way through size 5!! To celebrate Swaddlers sizes 4 & 5, Pampers has 30 days of incredible giveaways and a grand prize of FREE Swaddlers diapers & wipes for a year going on right now!!!  Visit Pampers on Facebook and enter to win daily prize bundles, plus the grand prize.

Pampers is also hosting a live Twitter party on December 5th at 9PM EST. To join click this link, Pampers Swaddlers Twitter Party,  and follow the hosts, @DoubleDutyDivas, @BridgetteLA, @CeceliaMecca @AngieKcom @WhatMommiesNeed @RamblingChick, and our sponsor @Pampers.

Prizes will be given away to participants of the twitter party and will include:

3- Celebrating Firsts Gift Packs, ARV ($250), which include:

  • Baby’s First Friend Doudou Bear Plush Doll
  • Baby’s First Tooth and First Curl Treasure Box
  • Baby’s First Words Book
  • Baby’s First Steps Plush Toy
  • $50 Shutterfly Gift Card to celebrate all “firsts” moments
  • Baby’s First Bath Robe
  • Pampers Swaddlers

Grand Prize: Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera worth $450!

 

Pampers Celebrating Firsts Prize Pack Giveaway:

Right now, I have a giveaway for ONE lucky Truly Lovely reader!!! The winner will receive a Celebrating Firsts prize pack from Pampers which includes:

  • Baby’s First Friend Doudou Bear Plush Doll
  • Baby’s First Tooth and First Curl Treasure Box
  • Baby’s First Words Book
  • Baby’s First Steps Plush Toy
  • Pampers Swaddlers

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will close one week from today at midnight on December 10th. Winner will be announced the following day. Thanks for playing and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

A Natural Fabric Softener Solution and a Giveaway!

Hey there lovelies! How was your weekend?

Let’s start this week with a fun product review and giveaway! I don’t know about you but laundry is one of my LEAST favorite household chores. Anything that can make that process go by faster is a win in my book… Introducing Woolzies Dryer Balls!!! They are a non-toxic, natural solution for softening your fabrics. They’re made of 100% pure New Zealand wool but are safe for people with wool sensitivities. They claim to help eliminate wrinkles, shorten dry time (whoot!), reduce static and they are chemical free.

woolzies dryer balls review

I received a box of six XL Woolzies to try out. I’ve been using them in place of my normal dryer sheets for the last two weeks. Using the Woolzie dryer balls couldn’t be simpler… You just place the six dryer balls in the dryer with your wet clothing and turn it on! When the clothes are finished drying there’s less static, less wrinkles and softer clothes all without the film that dryer sheets can leave behind.

fabric softener alternative

I don’t like to use dryer sheets with my daughter’s clothes at all since she’s only three months old. I’m still afraid of the reaction she might have to chemicals on her clothing… I will however use the Woolzies dryer balls!

If you prefer scented laundry you can add a drop of fragrant essential oils to one or two of the dryer balls before putting them in with your wash. Again, fragrant laundry all without the harsh chemicals that can be found in other laundry softening alternatives.

Honestly, I wouldn’t say the dryer balls are better at removing static then dryer sheets, but the peace of mind that they’re not leaving anything else behind is well worth the trade off. Overall I was pleased with the product and felt good knowing that my daughter’s clothes especially could be less static-y, spend less time in the dryer and I didn’t have to worry about a rash or something not so fun on her skin later!

It’s YOUR lucky day because I have another box of Woolzies Dryer Balls to give to one Truly Lovely reader! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will close one week from today and the winner will be announced on October 15th. Thanks for entering and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a box of Woolzies Dryer Balls in exchange for my honest review. As always opinions shared here are 100% my own.
Kassi @ Truly Lovely

Celebrating with a Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Let’s celebrate shall we?? Today is mine and the hub’s two year wedding anniversary!!

laughing wedding

AND baby girl decided to make her appearance this weekend!! Meet little miss Klara Beth Mortensen!!!

Klara and Mommy

So here’s to celebrating two years of fun and laughter with my mister and to becoming a mommy and daddy on July 6, 2013!!! I’ll be back to share more sometime later!!! Won’t you celebrate with us by entering to win a $50 gift card to Shabby Apple!?!

Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses. Here are a few of my favorites…

Shabby Apple Dresses

The Alice, This Day Forward and Belle de Jour.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will close one week from today on July 16th, and the winner will be announced the following day! Thanks for entering, for celebrating with us and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

The Black Shard; A Sequel and A Giveaway!!!!

Hey there lovelies! Remember the giveaway I hosted a couple of weeks ago for The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox? Well today I have a fun treat for you! The sequel to The Magic Warble entitled The Black Shard is now available and I have THREE e-book copies to share with three lucky Truly Lovely readers!!!

First, a little bit about the book…

The Black Shard

The Black Shard is 267 pages long with 1-2 pictures per chapter. It’s listed at a middle-grade read, ages 9-13. This story picks up where The Magic Warble left off, of course. It leads our main character, Kristina back to the magical world of Bernovem to be reunited with old friends from the first book. I was able to review The Black Shard and much like The Magic Warble, I found it to be a clean, fun read. Quick and easy to breeze through as an adult but the perfect story for the 9-13 age set.

And now, an excerpt from The Black Shard by Victoria Simcox….

_____________________

The Black Shard image

Chapter 5, Recalling: Excerpt

While she was speaking, Kristina suddenly felt a tug on her pant leg. She looked down, and flabbergasted, her mouth dropped open. “Did I surprise you?” a familiar voice said.

“Oh, my gosh! Raymond!” Kristina said, full of surprise. Her eyes filled with warm tears as she bent down and scooped her former pet rat into her arms. After a long, heart-filled hug, Kristina placed Raymond down again. She noticed that Raymond had grown a little larger, mostly in his belly area. “Wow, Raymond, somebody must be feeding you very well.”

“Yes, I must say, maybe a tad bit too well,” Raymond said, standing on his hind legs and patting his full belly.

Kristina looked behind Raymond and saw another rat, patiently waiting for him. “Are you going to introduce your friend to me?” she asked Raymond. Raymond turned to look at the other rat. “Come a little closer,” he whispered nervously.

Timidly, the other rat went to stand beside him. “Kristina, this is my girlfriend, Lilly,” Raymond said. Kristina’s eyebrows rose and the first thought that popped into her mind was, your girlfriend? Uh … You didn’t ask my permission to have a girlfriend.

Lilly lowered her head in a humble bow and then held out her little pink paw toward Kristina. Kristina crouched down and shook it.

“Pleased to meet you, Kristina,” Lilly said. “Raymond has told me wonderful stories about you and him.”

_____________________

So fun, right!?! Raymond is back! ;) NOT to give away an spoilers or anything… Now onto the giveaway! Again, we’ll have three winners, the giveaway is open to both U.S. and International participants. Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will end on Thursday June, 20th at midnight and the winners will be announced the following day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for entering and good luck!!!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

WIWW – Lilla Rose Hair Clip Review and Giveaway!

Hey there dolls! Today my WIWW post is centered on hair! I have a LOT of hair… Every time I visit a new hair stylist, without fail, they comment on HOW much hair I have… It’s not really that it’s thick, it’s just that there is a lot! So needless to say I have always been fairly skeptical of those hair clips that are supposed to hold all of my hair in place all day long. So skeptical that I don’t ever wear them….

But then Kendra of A Proverbs 31 Wife approached me about reviewing a Lilla Rose Hair Clip… She even picked out a few specific clips from their extensive collection that reminded her of me! How could I say no to that!?!

Lilla Rose Hair Clip Giveaway

So I went in skeptical, but when this pretty Bright Start Within a Horseshoe flexi hair clip arrived at my door packed so prettily, with instructions, thank goodness, I was excited to try it out!

Lilla Rose Hair Clip review

The one I received is a Medium – they come in Mini, Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large and Mega sizes. Like I said before, I have a LOT of hair, but the medium was the perfect size to hold my hair in both a half up do like this one…

hair clip idea

Or even an entire ponytail!! I was very pleased to find that it was really easy to use (there are instructions included with your order, or they have videos available on the website) and that it held my hair in place! Phew! Skepticism deterred!! Plus, it’s WAY gentler on my hair than a run of the mill hair tie and adds a little something to an everyday outfit!

Lila Rose Flexi Clip

Lucky for you ladies one Truly Lovely winner will WIN their very own Lilla Rose Flexi Clip this week!! Kendra has generously offered one flexi clip of the winner’s choice valued at up to $15! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will close one week from today and the winner will be announced on June 6th. The giveaway is open to US and CA residents only; winner must not have won a Lilla Rose giveaway in the past year.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a Lilla Rose clip in exchange for my honest review, as always opinions shared here are 100% my own!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

What I’ve Been Reading Lately and a Giveaway!

Hey there lovelies! According to my 20 Wishes list I am well on my way to reading my goal of 50 books that I WANT to read in 2013.

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Kassi has
read 22 books toward her goal of 50 books.
hide

I’ve read 22 so far this year and I’m working on the 23rd as we speak. I enjoy looking through other reading lists and finding fun reads to add to my own, so I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve read lately in case anyone is looking for something similar. Oh, and at the end of this post you’ll find a fun book giveaway!

So first up, the Beautiful Creatures series. First of all, the first book came out as a movie a couple of months ago, which caught my interest, and thanks to one of my favorite book bloggers (shout out to Marissa of Rae Gun!) I joined a book club on GoodReads where they were listed. They are in the young adult genre, something along the lines of Twilight or Divergent. The stories are a little bit darker than most YA books I’ve read, but I still thought it was a fun read overall. The writing is not at a level of other popular YA books, but if you’re looking for a breezy read just for fun, here you go!

Next up, The Dirty Life: On Farming Food and Love. I really enjoyed the story behind this book. It’s a true life story written by a woman that goes from city living in New York City to farm living in up state New York with her soon to be husband. It’s really a fun take on the city girl goes country theme made popular by The Pioneer Woman. My entire background is based in agriculture, it’s what I studied in college even so I wasn’t surprised by some of her more detailed farm adventures… But a word to those that aren’t as acclimated in agriculture… Don’t read this book around lunch time… There may or may not be detailed stories of the cooking of ALL animal parts… Just sayin…

Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay is my new go to gift for new moms or baby showers. This book is HILARIOUS. I marked it 5 stars on GoodReads! It’s one woman’s take (a comedian no less) on the advice that gets thrown at you from the baby books, well meaning acquaintances, your mother in law… as soon as you get pregnant. It really helps to make light of the situation and just really helps calm your nerves about people sharing opinions you didn’t ask for, or about things you are certain you might be doing wrong because ‘perfect’ moms don’t do it that way. Such a good book!!!

Now that brings me to my fourth book. Technically it was a book I read as part of my 2012 reading challenge, but I enjoyed it and would like to share it with you today! ;) The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox is the story of a young girl suddenly pulled into a magic world that includes fairies, a prince, talking animals and more. I think this is the perfect story for kiddos of the say 9-13 age range, give or take a few years. But even as an adult I found it to be a fun, easy read.

TheMagicWarble

Here’s a little ditty about the author…

Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children’s Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends.

Victoria Simcox

You’ll find that the main character in The Magic Warble is named for her daughter, Kristina… Too fun, right!?!

Today Victoria is offering not one but THREE lucky Truly Lovely readers their very own e-book copy of The Magic Warble!!! Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. The giveaway ends at midnight on Mother’s Day and the winners will be announced on Monday May, 13th. Thanks for entering and good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tell me friends… What have YOU read lately???

Kassi @ Truly Lovely

Kayli’s Birthday and a Shabby Apple Giveaway {CLOSED!}

Today is Kayli’s birthday!!!!! Happy birthday sweet sister!

To celebrate we’ve partnered with Shabby Apple to give one lucky reader a $50 gift card to buy any Shabby Apple pretty you prefer!

Since it’s Kayli’s birthday I asked her to choose her three favorite Shabby Apple items. After much deliberating and deciding she finally chose (unbeknownst to her) a special birthday Shabby Apple outfit!

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Miss Kayli chose a pretty blue and white checkered dress, some lovely spring wedges and a classy necklace to top it all off! So friends, what would you choose for YOUR special Shabby Apple Birthday outfit?? If you win the $50 gift card, the choice is yours!

Enter to win:

*Mandatory Entry: Like Shabby Apple on Facebook, then comment below that you did.
*Comment below with your favorite Shabby Apple dress.
*Like Truly Lovely on Facebook, then comment below that you did.
*Follow or subscribe to Truly Lovely and tell us in the comment section below what method you use (i.e. RSS, Email, etc).
*Receive an extra entry for every place you share the giveaway (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc). Just be sure to leave the link of the share in the comments section below!

The giveaway will close in one week, on Tuesday, March 12 and the winner will be announced the following day. Must have a U.S. shipping address to enter.

In the meantime, for those of you that don’t want to wait to see if you win the gift card, you can take 10% off your Shabby Apple order using the discount code: trulylovely10off!!

Thanks for entering dolls! And good luck!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely