4.29.2010

FRIDAY FOLLOW

Friday Follow

Hello Friday Follow: So excited to join you again this week. We have quickly become addicted to hopping around the blogosphere and meeting so many of you! What a great way to kick off the weekend!

As always, we'd love to extend a HUGE Thank You to the gracious hosts One 2 TryHearts Make Families and Midday Escapades!  What a great opportunity to meet new people.

We hope you'll read our Featured Mom Owned Business this week, Tinybuttercup. Not only is the owner a dear high school friend... we are continually amazed as her beautiful business grows one stitch at a time. We know you'll LOVE Tinybuttercup, too.
Oh! And do us a favor... if you are a new follower, leave us a comment with your blog address so we can return the favor.

To join in on the Friday Follow Fun... click the button above. Happy Blog Hoppin'.

Have a Fantastic Weekend!!
The Moms @ InspiredGifts.com
 

Support WAHMs: Love & Shop Tinybuttercup!


Why I LOVE & Shop Tinybuttercup!
By: Rebecca Henry

My High school years came and went, but what I did take from them is a perfect husband, a wonderful business partner and an amazing friend who I like to call my Rini.

Erin and I met as teenagers, our friendship developed in drama class. We were just two, happy, teens giggling in the back of the class practicing our lines for the school play. 

Over the years Erin and I reconnected as mothers, wives and close friends. Even though as adults we've always had hundreds to thousands of miles of distance parting us that never stopped a bond from forming.

When I was living in the states, Erin made seasonal trips from Florida to Maryland for visits. We had our annual reunion at a magical place called Butler’s Orchard. Our little ones were able to meet, play and form a friendship as Rini and I did over a decade ago. It was incredible to see our own babies and toddlers running around the pumpkin field or stuffing their cute faces with brownies in the Orchard’s Country Store.

Erin has always been a talented, artistic, woman who can create an array of handmade things. Today Erin has ventured into her own business with an Etsy shop called Tiny Buttercup. She has quickly developed a loyal following of eager mothers buying her unique baby products. Erin can make everything from crochet blankets to baby toys, burp cloths to nursery sets, and just about anything your imagination can hold. 



Even though Erin’s shop is geared towards baby products she can create wonderful clothes, tutus, and other things for any age. Auntie Rini has surprised my little 4yr old with gorgeous, colorful tutus that made Penelope feel and look like a genuine ballerina! Everything on her site can be customized and she is more than willing to comply. 

Erin’s products are one hundred percent unique, gorgeous and high quality! Please stop by her shop at Tiny Buttercup. 

See for yourself! You’ll understand why I am so proud of my friend Rini.

4.28.2010

A Motivational Story


The Professor and the Jar 
By Author Unknown


A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.


So the Professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.


The Professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the space between the grains of sand.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. 


The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else -the small stuff.


"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18.


There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. "Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."


One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The Professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Wordless Wednesday from Venice

Of all the things Becky will miss the most of her time in London, her European adventures rank high.
Featured above: From a Gondola in Venice.
Photo taken By Rebecca Henry

We can't wait to see everyone's photos today.

4.24.2010

AND THE WINNER IS...

We are THRILLED to announce the WINNER to our
Mothers & Daughters Photo Book Contest!!!!

And the Winner is... SHARON!!!!!!

Sharon told Inspired Gifts about why her Mom was special to her:
"My mother has passed away over 10 years ago...so she never got to meet her granddaughters. How all of our lives would've been more full if she were still here! She was the spunkiest, happiest, most creative woman I ever knew. I hope to be same to my own girls...."
Congratulations, Sharon!!
You won a beautiful 8x8 Hardcover Mothers & Daughters Photo Book

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL...
As promised, the first THREE people who entered our contest will receive a 50% OFF GIFT CARD to be used on their next purchase.

50% Off Gift Card Winners are:
Jasmine
~Miss Raquel
Christina

ALL WINNERS: To receive the code to start creating your Family Treasures with Inspired Gifts, please email us at:
info [at] inspiredgifts [dot] com


How Photo Book Winner Was Chosen:
Drawing was conducted via Random.org. All entrants were entered by the name on their comment post. All entrants were entered to win as many times as they successfully entered via the contest rules. 3 entrant comments were not entered into the drawing (as they were a run on from the initial entry). Total of correct entries: 115.

To verify you were entered into contest, please go to:
http://www.random.org/draws/details/?draw=1968

**Use the name associated with your comment post. Spell it exactly as your post sign in appears.

If you have any questions, please email:
info [at] inspiredgifts [dot] com

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO ENTERED!!!
You all have such beautiful stories and strong family connections.
We wish everyone a Happy, Happy Mothers Day!

4.22.2010

Friday Follow

Friday Follow

Hello Friday Follow: So excited to join you for a 2nd week.
If you made it hear before Midnight, Friday April 23rd (EST)... Hurry, Hurry and enter our


We'd love to extend a HUGE Thank You to the gracious hosts One 2 TryHearts Make Families and Midday Escapades!  What a great opportunity to meet new people.

We look forward to hopping around the blogoshpere and see what you all have been up to. Do us a favor, if you are a new follower, leave us a comment with your blog address so we can return the favor.

To join in on the Friday Follow Fun... click the button above. Happy Blog Hoppin'.

Have a Fantastic Weekend!!
The Moms @ InspiredGifts.com
 

Cooking Organic not just for the family… it's great for your dog!


Exactly what is in your pet's dog food?
By: Rebecca Henry

We all want the best for our family. We try to watch out for those devil foods that pollute our bodies and tamper with our children's growth. But what about our four legged friends? Are you paying attention to what goes into their stomachs? You might be shocked to find out exactly what mystery ingredients are in your pet's dog food.

So exactly what is in your pet's dog food? Have you checked your dog food label and read the term "animal by-products?" Ever wonder what that is? The definition for meat by-products by the Association of American Feed Control Officials is: 
“The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meat_by-product 
Animal by-products are also known as, 
"ground, rendered, and cleaned slaughtered meat carcass parts such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, bones, heads, and intestines (and a small amount of feathers in the case of chicken)." http://www.aplus-flint-river-ranch.com/define-animal-byproducts.php 

So basically we are feeding our best friends road kill! As if that wasn't a big enough shock, here are some other common ingredients in your ready package dog food that are harmful to your dog. Most dog food usually contains soy, grains and even corn. These ingredients can cause allergies and digestive tract problems to your pet. They are nothing more than cheap fillers with no health benefits to your dog's diet. If your dog is a breed that suffers from bloat (such as my dog is, a great dane) then this is a very important detail to pay attention to. Bloat can kill your pet; it is serious and extremely deadly. What makes this so serious is that name brand dog foods are deceiving us. Just because it has a high price tag doesn't mean that it is good for your pet.


A couple other reasons to scrutinize your current dog food label are:

1: The constant and dangerous recent pet food recalls causing problems in pets such as, renal failure, kidney failure, and salmonella contamination.

2: You should always check the "Best If Used By" date on canned or packed dog food.  Chances are it is at least a couple of months ahead of the time in which you purchase the product.

I love my two dogs, Genevieve, a Great Dane and Laverne, a toy doxin. Once my eyes were opened to the deceit from dog food companies, I made a drastic change in my pets’ diets. I now cook organic for both dogs. This may sound like a long, tedious and costly project, but it's not. I cook the dog food once a week in the afternoons when my day is slow. It only takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

Below are some links to free organic dog food recipes. But before you decide to go this route always make sure you consult your veterinarian and make sure you supplement with vitamins.

Tasty Dog Food Recipe Links:


Bon Appetite! 
About the author: Becky Henry is the exclusive author at InspiredGifts.com. She's also the proud mommy to 2 healthy furry friends, Laverne & Genevieve. Becky is pictured right with her babies.                                                                                                                                                                                  

4.20.2010

Wordless Wednesday

Aloha from Hawaii.
Photo Taken By Becca Dipersia
For more Wordless Wednesday photos, click here.

4.19.2010

Tackle it Tuesday: HELP! Moving to Singapore!!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Help! Not ready for the Move to SINGAPORE!
By: Rebecca Henry

It’s Tuesday and I should be getting ready for the movers coming tomorrow, but instead I’m writing this blog. We are making our second international move next month to Singapore!! My family moved to England three years ago from Maryland and at the time that seemed like a journey. I cannot even image what’s in store for us with this next move! To add a cherry on top, I’m making this move EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT!

Becky above with her beautiful daughter, Penelope

Before your jaw drops… YES! I am allowed to fly at 34 weeks. Trust me, no one was more shocked about that than me!!! I was stunned to learn that pregnant women are allowed to fly on most airlines until their ninth month. Thank God that won’t be me. Fingers crossed my water won’t break on the flight from London to Asia. Just in case, I purchased a midwife book on how to deliver at home.  A present for Dave, my husband, since he would be the one stuck on the airplane with me in labor. Lord help us both if that ever happened! LOL.

All in all, we are very excited, eager and optimistic about our new home in Singapore. So why are we making another big life changing move to a new country in such a short period of time? Because my hubby works for the state department and we are blessed with the opportunity to travel and live in different countries around the world. Dave and I are a couple of traveling bugs, so for us this is an ideal lifestyle. In fact, Dave was the first person who took me out of the country when I was just a teenager. He was my high school sweet heart and I joined him and his family for a weekend getaway to the Bahamas. I’ve been addicted to exploring ever since. It only seems fitting I would see the world by his side.

So what should I be doing on this beautiful Tuesday besides sit here at my laptop and type this blog? I should be organizing my life in nice neat piles so I can show the movers what I want moved. And am I doing it?? No, not yet!

Help! I’m not ready for the move to Singapore!

No matter what job you’re tackling today, hope you have a more productive Tackle it Tuesday than me! See you next week. 

To check out what other people are tackling today, click here.

Create Custom Photo Book & Gifts
For Families, Friends, Children & Babies

4.16.2010

The Ultimate Blog Party -- AFTER PARTY!! Yahoo!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010


Oh, and the party continues!!! Pop open the champagne, we are in! Fun, fun, fun! More opportunities to meet more amazing people, HuGe THANKS to the ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom for the invitation. 

The Moms @ Inspired Gifts can’t tell you enough just how amazing it has been to connect with so many of you.

We’d truly like to dedicate the New Blogs We Love to ALL OF YOU!!! Seriously! Each of you truly touched our hearts. Gosh... feels like we are making an acceptance speach. I just know we are leaving someone out. Haha!!

If you didn’t already get a chance, though…. we’d love to introduce you to these 3 amazing blogs!!!

Zen MamaVentures: As if our hostess’ name Maricris wasn’t beautiful enough. She invited us all into “her humble little house” in the Phillipines! Warmly welcomed, we took our shoes off and enjoyed conversations over freshly brewed green tea. Thank you, Maricris! Inspired Gifts had a great time.

Itty Bitty Book Worms: We met Tara, another fellow WAHM. We were impressed with all her creative ideas for connecting with children. And again, the warm hospitality!! We will be back again, you can count on that. Thanks, Tara!

The Snail Trail: Oh and how we loved the Snail Trail, too! Any Mom who shares ways to get outside, get active, learn something along the way… we totally support and adore. If you haven’t already, stop by the Snail Trail, say HI to Mama Snail. You won’t regret it and we can guaruntee you will come out of it with some fantastic ideas to do with the kiddies.


With all this said… we seriously LOVE you all!! You’ve brought inspiration to each of us. We cannot wait to continue to connect with everyone at future 5 Minutes for Mom events… we know we are in for a good time!!

Warmest Aloha,
The Moms @ Inspired Gifts

Create Custom Photo Books & Gifts
For Families, Friends, Children & Babies
 

4.15.2010

OUR FiRST FRIDAY FOLLOW



The Team at Inspired Gifts is thrilled to Welcome Everyone to our FiRST FRiDAY FOLLOW!! So happy you could stop by.

We'd love to extend a HUGE Thank You to the gracious hosts One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades!  What a great opportunity to meet new people.

GRAND OPENING: It's been nothing short of a celebration after celebration this month for the 3 Moms at Inspired Gifts. Mid-march we officially opened the doors to our site InspiredGifts.com!! And have been celebrating ever since.

OUR BLOG: Not to mention, we've been having such a fantastic time putting together our accompanying blog. It's our hope that the Inspired Gifts blog turns into a resource full of daily inspiration you continue to come back to. Our blog also serves as a place in the blogosphere we can all get to know one another on a more personal level. So leave us a comment and we will make sure to come by and visit you, too!

TEAM OF MOMS: If you'd like to get to know our Team of Moms, please take a look at our Welcome Message to the Ultimate Blog Party we just participated in.  And if you are wondering how 3 moms located in England, Florida & Hawaii all got together in the first place, read the Story of Inspired Gifts.

GIVEAWAY: Before you leave, we invite you all to Enter To Win an 8x8 Mothers & Daughters Photo Book.

Happy, Happy Friday Follow! Leave us a comment and we'll make sure to stop by your place.

To continue on the blog hop, click here.


Create Custom Photo Books & Gifts
For Families, Friends, Children & Babies

Mother Nature's Ancient Secret

The Benefits of Rose Oil
By: Rebecca Henry

So many of us want to know the secret to eternal youth. We want that one product that will vanish our wrinkles and bless us with smooth, glowing skin. But what skin care products will actually work and which products are safe? The constant threat of cancer is out there and we are all are aware of the danger. We have to protect ourselves from harmful chemicals found in over the counter skin care lines.

Rosa Mosqueta Oil is an ancient secret used by the Chilean women for centuries. This is Mother Nature’s gift to us! Rosa Mosqueta Oil comes from rose hips and is very nutritious and consists of 80 percent essential fatty acids. Rose Mosqueta Oil moisturizes, smoothes and hydrates dry skin. It also helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Many of the compounds in rose oil are antioxidants and can even be antibacterial. Rose oil is also believed to stimulate collagen production.

A fantastic brand is Aubrey Organics Inc. Not only is Aubrey Organics Inc. one of the best organic lines out there and the line I personally use, it’s also very affordable! Thanks to my mom, Mrs. Eternal youth herself, I now carry this ancient secret in my daily beauty regime.



About the author: Rebecca Henry (we like to call her Becky around here) is the Exclusive Author at InspiredGifts.com. She's passionate about natural beauty and sharing ways to obtain it. Becky is shown to the left with her Mom.



Create Custom Photo Books & Gifts
For Families, Friends, Children & Babies

4.12.2010

Crashing the Ultimate Party!!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Hello Ultimate Blog Party,

The Team at Inspired Gifts is crashing the party... we just had to stop by to toast all you lovely bloggers!!!

A little about us, we are 3 moms located in 3 different corners of the world: England, Florida & Hawaii. We are thrilled to announce the launch of our site: InspiredGifts.com. At Inspired Gifts, you'll find custom photo books & gifts personalized with Words of Inspiration & Love. Our themed collections include Inspirational Gift Books, Special Occasions, Just For Teens, and an adorable Children & Baby selection.

Before I introduce our team, we wanted to let you know InspiredGifts.com is having a GIVEAWAY!! If you are interested, enter to win an 8x8 Mothers & Daughters Photo Book.


Meet The Inspired Gifts Team:


Becca is the visionary behind Inspired Gifts. The idea came soon after the birth of her daughter, Makena. She began searching for ways to preserve and share the beautiful memories her new family was creating. She also wanted to create perfect gifts for grandparents, but nothing seemed to capture the importance of these very special people in her daughter’s life. All this searching led to the creation of Inspired Gifts. Becca hopes Inspired Gifts becomes your everlasting resource for creating meaningful gifts.

A born Floridian, Becca has been living in Maui since 2005. She’s blessed daily with the Spirit of Aloha, the warm Hawaiian sun and her growing family. She is thrilled to announce the birth of their second daughter, Sydney, born June 2009.

Rebecca is our exclusive author. She became inspired with the birth of her daughter, Penelope. As Penelope grew so did Rebecca's stories. She moved to England 2 years ago with her family. Instantly Rebecca knew she was home. Her time in Great Britain has opened up a world of creativity and ideas for her children stories. 

Besides all her talented children stories, Rebecca also composes all our inspired books. She has been published in various websites, magazines, anthologies and e-cards.



 Keti is the mastermind behind the beautiul creations featured exclusively in the Inspired Gifts photo book collection. As a young girl in Albania, Keti considered art her best friend. The world of colors, shapes and people influenced her bold and colorful creations. 

In 2008, Keti & her husband welcomed the birth of their son, Leonardo. The transformation into motherhood took her art to another level. The meaning behind Keti’s work now belongs to her most precious blessing of all, her son.



We are having so much fun checking out all your blogs!!! If you have any questions for us, please stop by and give us a tweet @InspiredGifts.

4.11.2010

Pregnancy Tips for Relaxing

It’s Ok to Know Your Limits
By: Rebecca Henry

Being pregnant is a beautiful time in a woman's life. The promise of a new life growing inside of you, the wonderful possibilities that new baby will bring and the eternal bond of motherhood blooming inside your womb for nine months. However pregnancy can also be a stressful time in a mother's life. You have the constant demand to care and look after your children while feeling the emotional and physical stress of pregnancy. It's ok to be overwhelmed and feel over extended. Realizing your limits is the first step in accepting your new pregnancy and the child you already have. Here are some tips to make your pregnancy stress free and relaxing while caring for your little one.

1: Take a Time Out
Time outs are not just for little ones; they are for moms too! My 4 year old knows when mommy is cranky and needs her nap! She looks at me with her big brown eyes and gingerly takes my hand into hers and says very lovingly "mommy you need a time out."
And just like a 4 year old, I nod and follow her up the stairs to my bed. I use to fight the urge to lie down and rest. I felt I needed to stay awake and entertain my daughter. That I wasn't a good parent if I gave into my physical needs of pregnancy, but my little girl proved me wrong.

2: Yoga is good for the mind body and soul
At 7 months pregnant, I realize how strained my body has become. Before pregnancy I was a physically fit and an energetic woman. I exercised 4 times a week and walked/hiked my dog every day. Tiredness was never a concern. I had an endless supply of energy. But being 7 months pregnant at 30 with my second baby has changed all that! I wake up with sore legs, backs and tired muscles. I feel as if I've run a marathon, but all I did the day before was care and play with my little girl. I do not want my daughter's life to change drastically because I am pregnant. So to refresh my mind body and soul I practice light yoga for maternity every other morning. I find a quit spot in my house, for me that's the conservatory, I play relaxing music like Enya and allow my body and mind to become one as I stretch and relax my muscles. For a pregnant woman this is like drinking a can of red bull!

About the Author: Rebecca is currently 7 months pregnant expecting a beautiful baby boy July 4, 2010. From now till due date, she will be moving from her home in England to Singapore. Joining her will be her 4-year-old daughter, Penelope, and her husband, Dave. The rest of the team at Inspired Gifts wishes Rebecca a stress free and relaxing journey. Good luck, Becky!!!

4.07.2010

ENTER TO WIN AN 8x8 MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS PHOTO BOOK!

A Beautiful & Inspiring Way to Thank Mom this Mother’s Day…

Enter to WIN a custom photo book featuring your most treasured photographs accompanied by timeless inspirational quotes on mothers, daughters and family. A true family keepsake.


PRIZE DESCRIPTION: A Custom 8x8 Hard Cover Mothers & Daughters Photo Book. The Mothers & Daughters Inspirational Photo Book celebrates the special bonds of mothers & daughters. Beautifully illustrated with moving quotes describing the deep connection, joys and triumphs of mothers and daughters are placed side by side your personal photographs.

The end product much like the inspirational gift books found at card stores, but featuring you & your loved ones. This timeless treasure will grab a hold of your mother’s (or daughter’s) heart for generations to come.

PRIZE VALUE: $49.45

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…

The first three (3) readers to enter will receive a 50% OFF Storewide Coupon to be used on their next InspiredGifts.com purchase!!

GIVEAWAY DATES: April 7 – April 23, 2010

HOW TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY

Required: Leave us a comment telling us what makes your Mother or Daughter so special. This is mandatory and must be done before any other entries.

Want extra entries? Leave a separate comment for each one, worth one extra entry each (each comment counts as one entry so your chances of winning increase).

  1. Follow Inspired Gifts on Twitter
  2. Tweet or Retweet about this giveaway, you can do this once per day:
Enter to Win 8x8 Mothers & Daughters Photo Book at @InspiredGifts http://dld.bz/AT9 #giveaway
  1. Follow Inspired Gifts Blog, on right margin
  2. Fan the Inspired Gifts Facebook page
  3. Blog about this giveaway and include a link, leave web address under comments below that we can visit
  4. Create a FREE Inspired Gifts account

WINNER ANNOUNCED

This giveaway ends April 23, 2010 at midnight EST. The winner will be picked by Random.org and announced here on April 24, 2010 after 9 a.m. EST.

The Fine Print: The giveaway is open to everyone. The contest closes on Friday April 23, 2010 at Midnight EST. One winner will be picked by random using Random.org. Winner will receive a coupon to design an Inspired Gifts 8x8 Mothers & Daughter Hard Cover Photo Book.  The first 22 pages of the book are included in prize, additional pages can be purchased at retail price. Prize valued at $49.45. Winner will be responsible for shipping.