Gorgeous Christmas Cards :: A {Minted} Giveaway

I’m totally pumped to share this gorgeous company I just made the acquaintance of with you guys. AND equally pumped that one of you will win $50 to spend however you please at their magically delicious website.

The company is called Minted, and they are about the business of uncovering design genius — connecting designers around the world with savvy shoppers one sale at a time. They have a B-E-A-YOU-tee-ful selection of Christmas Cards and SO, SO, SO much more.

On my first visit, I drooled over all the funky and stylish fonts, the unique and dapper card shapes, the swoon-worthy chalkboard backgrounds (personal fave) and  just how polished and snazzy every. single. card. on the shelf seemed to be!

Look at these!

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.17.30 PM

Merry Typography

Dipped Snowflakes

I even checked out the Non-Photo Holiday Cards {shocking for this second-shooting photography-loving gal, right?} and fell in love! First with this “Year in Review” card:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 8.45.06 PMAnd then I broke up with that card because I fell in love with this one:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.05.37 PM

which could only be more perfect if that lovely Range Rover looked slightly more like our slightly beat up mini-van. Or good old Mr. Potato Head. {Yes, I still miss that car.}

Classy simplicity, you get my vote.

Then I started perusing some of the other magical stuff on their site, like their Children’s Art Prints. And when I discovered I could CUSTOMIZE their gorgeously designed art prints, I promptly created this one, fainted, and then got back to playing around on their site.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 8.51.12 PM

Is that magic or what???!!!

I’ve gone on long enough, haven’t I? Totally not like me, huh?

So any who, here’s the skinny on this Minted Giveaway. There are three ways to enter, and I was feeling generous, so I decided leaving a comment after visiting the Minted website counts twice. It’s laid out for you plain-and-simple inside the delightful Rafflecopter widget, graciously appearing below. Just make sure you interact with/click on that widget and don’t just leave a comment. That’s important.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s it for now, guys and dolls! One randomly selected winner will be announced after the giveaway ends at midnight on Thanksgiving, this Thursday!

And I’ll have more love from here for you soon… promise.



Disclosure Statement to Keep it on the Up and Up: Minted.com gave me a $50 credit to use at their magical website. But the opinions inside this post are absolutely my own. I consistently endeavor to tell it like it is.

Our Third First Birthday {& the Goosewaddle Winner}

Our Third First Birthday {& the Goosewaddle Winner}

Not interested in small talk? Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the Goosewaddle Giveaway winner!

Last night, after dinner, I felt like I was coming to the end of a loooong day of mistakes. I’d forgotten to put the stirring wands in the bread maker, and as you can imagine, if the ingredients get baked without being stirred, bread doesn’t happen. While out shopping with the Bear, I’d bought the wrong size belt for the BearNarrow-waisted little fella’s pants are falling down… And, I opted for sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes as a topping for a yummy dinner and that just. did. not. work. {What was I THINKING??}

We’d encouraged the kids to consume the almost-inconsumable meal I’d created, which took forever to make and made us late putting the kids to bed, and I was sitting there for a moment while the Belle was finishing up something other than the dinner, which she was kind enough to completely refuse.

I commented, mostly to myself, but aloud and in earshot of the Bear who was still at the table, “MAN I made a LOT of mistakes today.”

He immediately got down from his chair, walked over to me and gently put a hand on my back and said:

It’s okay if you behaved badly today. Tomorrow is another day and you can try again.

Then, he gave me a big hug and said, “I love you, Mama.”

Even if I made a dozen mistakes throughout the day, his kindness and thoughtfulness in choosing words for me I’d carefully chosen for him before reminded me maybe the Hubs and I are getting more of the big things right than we think.

This morning, the Belle woke up one year old. It is always hard for the moment to sink in — when a year has passed since a little one first graced your family with their presence. And so much has happened since the Belle’s Record-Breaking, Beautiful Arrival, it kind of feels like she’s been with us longer.

TheBelle11 001I am so certain this year would’ve been so different, if her joyful presence wasn’t here. Her fragile, tiny life, just beginning carried a significant message for me:

The days pass quickly, and tomorrow has a face you haven’t seen yet. Breathe deep and live full today.

Our three small people — often viewed by the world as handfuls and liabilities — my word, what an asset they are. Reward.

If I could tell you one thing, my precious children, one thing that would ring through the years — a word that might find you again many years from now when you need it most: Know that you are deeply wanted, fully needed, completely treasured. Your Dad and I consider you our most prized gifts. Your lives matter, always have, always will.

And our precious little long-awaited Belle — thank you for this year. I spent nine months carrying you… but for the past eight, you’ve carried me.

TheBelle11 002

And now that the sap is out of the way… on to the Goosewaddle Giveaway winner!

The magic robot behind the scenes at Rafflecopter randomly selected:

Giveaway Winner Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 7.41.21 PMAmiee, who Liked Goosewaddle on Facebook!  

Congratulations, Amiee! I’ll email you to get the details for getting your Goosewaddle gear to you!

Thank you all so much for entering! I hope you’re glad you were introduced to Goosewaddle — keep them in mind when you’re shopping this holiday season!

Love y’all, back with more love {and maybe a few pics of the one year old} soon!



Goosewaddle Giveaway

Goosewaddle Giveaway

When I was a tiny wee lass, I had a special blanket to love on that I might occasionally wish I still had every now and then. My Mom and I were discussing it the other day — it was a yellow blanket called my “piecey” {I think because I rubbed it to pieces} with satin edges that I loved to stroke between my fingers while sucking my thumb. Yes, I sucked my thumb long enough that I can remember sucking my thumb. No judgment please. And no queries for stories about the antics my brother pulled in attempts to help me stop sucking my thumb, either.

Let’s move on, shall we? My boys each have their own special, especially loved thing (or in the Tank’s case, things). The Bear has a Beaver that I bought in Germany long before he was born. I named it Schatzi, which is kind of like “Sweetie” in German… but the Bear got even more creative and started calling him “Beaver” instead.


{Poor Beaver, he looks a little worse for wear now that that little Bear is five.}

To help the Tank settle down for naps, I started putting one of the tags of his swaddle blankets in each of his hands. And now, at two and a half, his sleepy time routine still includes a “taggie” for each hand. But it works, people! Call him Linus if you want, it works!


{That’s the Tank still wrapped in a taggie after a nap at Goo-Goo and Gammy’s ages ago…}

So we’re rounding the corner on the end of the Belle’s first year, and she has turned her nose up at dolls and shows no particular preference for one plaything over another. I still swaddle her for naps and nighttime (it’s more a routine than anything else at this point) but I’ve been wondering how we’ll move on when the swaddle cloths no longer wrap around her little self, or when she finally asserts her will and says Swaddling, you’re done. I’ve been kind of disappointed that she doesn’t have one thing that is her thing that makes her feel like she’s complete and ready for sleepy time because it has worked so well with our boys.

Cue the introduction of a groovy new product that might solve my problem, and a concurrent celebratory giveaway.

A few months ago, I heard about some new baby blankets called Goosewaddle blankets.

Goosewaddle make super-soft full-size baby blankets (like what you would use in cribs), and smaller “lovie” sized blankies which are the perfect thing for a baby to love on and snuggle up to at sleepy time. I’ll tell you a bit more about the Belle’s opinion of the blankies in a moment, but I first have to mention the quality people behind the company. Because you know me well enough to know I can’t stay on topic too long, and if there’s anything praiseworthy happening behind the scenes, I have to get to that first.

Goosewaddle’s Buy 1, Give 1 campaign means that every time someone purchases a Goosewaddle blanket, the company donates a receiving blanket to a child in need. They work with various charitable organizations to make sure they’re getting to babies who could use them around the world. And the collective Ahhhh kicks off…

Now… the actually blankets are delightful. They are luxuriously soft and have that wonderful old-school satin edging that I remember making me snuggly happy with piecey a few years ago. They’re big enough to grow with baby through the first year, but still small enough to travel with baby into the car or out and about in the stroller. Pram. Choose your own moniker. I’m not sure the Belle has decided she’s totally sold {she seems to have preferences about food and… food!} but I totally love having a new perfect fluffy soft blanket for her crib just in time for cold weather.

Belle and Goosewaddle 002

The blankets and the blankies come in pink, white and blue and can be bought as a set or individually.

And… {yay!} I get to give one away to one of you lovely readers this week!

We’re giving away a Goosewaddle Gift Set — One Blanket and One Blankie {choose your color!} — to a lucky winner! Honk!

If it’s not for your own little one, it will make a great gift for somebody else with a wee one or a wee one on the way! Just leave a comment below, and hopefully you’ll score your own Goosewaddle later this week! {You can like Goosewaddle and With Love, From Here on Facebook for additional entries.}

And — here I am trying to get back on topic again — a conclusion to the story: to the question of whether the blankie will become the Belle’s piecey, the jury is still out. But so far, she is definitely convinced it’s cuddly and snuggly. See?

Belle and Goosewaddle 001

I’ll keep you posted! Good luck, friends! More love from here soon…



a Rafflecopter giveaway


P.S. I almost forgot to tell ya! The cool cats at Goosewaddle gave me a blanket and blankie to try for free. But my review and opinions are absolutely my own. And this giveaway will end Thursday at midnight!

Visiting Random.Org {the Giveaway Winner}

Just because it’s 1 am and I am pregnant and therefore can no longer sleep at 1 am, that does not mean I’m not getting up to something useful. It does not, not mean that at all. Because it’s 1 am on October 29th, which is the day I said I would choose and announce the winner of the Shutterfly giveaway that just happened the other day ‘right ’round these parts.

{Hope you’re not pressing the heel of your hand against your forehead right now, and saying “Dern! I missed it!”}

Seems to happen to me more and more often, the more children I have…

Anywho, at 1 am with no children to draw names out of a hat and keep things fair and square around here, I decided to do the next best thing. Which meant that every comment was given a number from last to first, because I was feeling a little wild like that, and then I visited random.org to have a special integer generator randomly generate the winning number, which was between 1 and 29 because, wow, do people not want free stuff anymore? What in the world? Only 29 comments!

So this is what happened:

#19 brings home the bacon! I was very tempted to click that Again! button a few times because it ends with an exclamation point and looks like fun, but I decided that didn’t seem like the fair thing to do.

Since you don’t know which comment was fortunate enough to receive the number 19, that means I need to translate:

Kathryn VanLoon Schuman is the winner!

And I hope the rest of you believe me when I tell you that although I absolutely love this gal (who won the giveaway) I totally would not rig a contest on my blog for her to win it. Random.org obviously loves her, too.

Thanks so much to all of you for entering — if Shutterfly decides to send me any more goodies, I will be sure to share them with you first! I hope you all do send out Christmas cards this year — and will you please send me one?

Now let’s all just hang in there and see when I get to post another even more exciting announcement… the arrival of Baby Collie #3 on the outside! I am SIX days away from my due date!

Who thinks she’s gonna pull an Asher and take all day? And who thinks she’s gonna pull a Blakey, go way late and then show up so fast we almost don’t make it to the hospital? I’m kind of hoping that rather than a sprint or a marathon, she’s kind of a middle-distance gal. Without hurdles.

I’ll keep ya posted.



Start the Christmas Countdown :: A Shutterfly Giveaway!!

Hey Guys & Gals! I know it has been awfully quiet around here… but between the photography session booking, the website building, the child-rearing, laundry-doing, food-cooking, bread-baking and laundry detergent-making, I have also been preparing for the impending arrival of Little Collie #3! So there are a heap of posts in my drafts box that need a little love and then they’ll be on their way to you! For real!

Unless this baby comes early, in which case, you’ll be seeing pictures of our little girl first!!

So you might remember that last year, I enjoyed the special treat of giving away Christmas Cards from Shutterfly. {I love giving stuff away, so I was totally excited.} Well, this year, Shutterfly has sponsored this lovely little post and given me the privilege of giving away $50 off your total order at Shutterfly. When you find those oh-so-perfect cards or gifts and get ready to check out… boo-yow! you’ll get an automatic $50 off the order!

Just so you know… their holiday cards this year are absolutely stunning. Seriously, beautiful. Whether you like the cards with a traditional feel, a more modern feel, merry and bright colours, sweet little embellishments, or cards that center on keeping Christmas more faith-centered (yes!) I am very confident they’ll have something you’ll love.

Hop over to Shutterfly, and you can check out their gorgeous Christmas Cards, and they also have some sweet Special Offers running right here that are worth checking out, fo sho.

I haven’t played around with card ideas too much yet because I’m hoping to get a good shot of all three kiddos for the card this year!

…But do you LOVE these stripes as much as I do?

Look at my boys being sweet at the beach… {I have some more pictures to share with you!!}

So, in order to enter this giveaway — I just want you to answer one question in the comments. Okay, maybe two. Are you planning on sending Christmas cards this year? And if so, what will be on them?

And in case you didn’t know… Quiver Tree Photography still has a few spaces available in our Fall Mini-Sessions, just this Saturday, October 27th! Here are the details if you’re interested! Great way to get some gorgeous photos for Christmas Cards & gifts!

Alrighty, friends…Happy Giveaway Entering!


A few important details: This giveaway will end at midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on Sunday, October 28th. I’ll randomly select and announce the winner on the 29th, if I don’t go into labour. Shutterfly will send you your promo code as soon as possible after that. The $50 off doesn’t include shipping and cannot be combined with other promos. 

A Get Out There Giveaway! :: Win a Free Month of Boot Camp

Hi guys + gals!  Is it totally against proper netiquette to introduce a new giveaway without announcing the winners of the previous one? You’ve got grace for that, right? Because the Hubs and I have seriously not had a chance to sit down and talk through the Senior Session name suggestions — but oh man “Quiver me Clever” sure did make me laugh! {Thanks, Deliverance!}

Part of the reason for this slight delay is that I’ve been working on websites for a couple of artists at the Inner Banks Artisans Center… full steam ahead! And between the file uploading, domain mapping, theme tweaking, logo creating and colour choosing, I have been so hard at it I find myself waking up during the night (to use the potty of course, I am so pregnant) and I feel like I have been thinking through website decisions in my sleep. {When I have something pretty (and close to finished) to show you, I will!}

But you’re here about the giveaway anyway, right?


So. There’s a fabulous new exercise concept called Boot Camp that is growing in popularity all over the country. Here’s a little description to start us off before I say more:

When it comes to fitness, Boot Camp is the best of both worlds. You get the expert training and fun group dynamic of taking a class at the gym, along with the freedom and flexibility of diving into a good workout in the great outdoors. You’re signing up for a total body workout – a typical session can include interval training, sprint and agility drills, stations, plyometrics, body weight strength drills, cardio mix, and much more.

And here’s a picture, because that’s worth a thousand words, right?

{Taken by one excellent Hero Hubs.}

Boot Camp workouts are held outdoors (yay!) and are focused on exercises that don’t require machines. A group of about twenty people will work out together with a couple of trainers/coaches leading the way, and each ‘camp’ runs Monday to Friday for four weeks. You’re doing a different workout every day, you get to enjoy the dynamic of having fun in a group, but since the group size is small, you also get the personal attention of a trainer, encouraging you to go for it every day {which I could totally use when I’m slacking on the treadmill at the gym.}

Some wonderful friends of ours have launched a local boot camp right here in wee Washington, {NC, y’all} called IBX Boot Camp. {And for those of you dearies who aren’t from around these parts, IBX stands for Inner Banks, since Washington is situated on the “Inner Banks” of North Carolina, as opposed to the Outer Banks {OBX} which are perhaps a little better known… they’re the long string of barrier islands you’ll see if you look at a map of North Carolina. (And that’s the place where the Wright Brothers took their first flight!)} Man, I do not stay on task well, suntines.

Back to Boot Camp.

Our local Boot Camp meets at the Washington waterfront to take in the fresh air down by the rivah at 5:30 every morning, Monday through Friday. The Hubs says Friday is his favourite because it’s “Easy Day.”

IBX Boot Camp is giving away one MONTH of free Boot Camp right here on this wee happy website. That’s right… four fabulous weeks of free encouragement and training and letting someone else choose your workout for you. {Whether you’re just getting off the couch or you’re already a fitness fanatic, you are good to go — you can choose the intensity level that’s right for you every day.}

And, we have to call the Get Out There Giveaway MY BIGGEST GIVEAWAY EVER because that’s worth $200. Which is a lot.

So how do we pick a winner? Well, randomly of course.

Just leave a comment and answer two questions for us:

First, tell us either 1) If exercise is already a part of your lifestyle — what do you like to do best or, 2) If you’re not exercising these days, what’s holding you back?

And second, tell us whether you’d like to Camp it up at that 5:30 am session or whether you’d rather be going to an evening session instead. (If there is enough interest evening sessions might be starting soon.)

Before I tell you I love you, now go leave a comment, there’s one more piece of sweet news. The first fifty commenters who come in second (meaning, don’t win The Get Out There Giveaway) can have a FREE week of Boot Camp, just for being great and answering two questions. So for all of you who would like to say “I never win anything,” I kindly rebut… if you’re in the top 50, you just did! (And even if you’re not, your chances of winning the month increase by 100%, just by you entering.)

You can find out more about IBX Boot Camp on their website right here.

This giveaway will end one week from today, August 23rd. Leave a comment before midnight {EST} on the 23rd and you’re in the running! So, I love you, now go leave a comment and please tell a friend!



P.S. It would be a good idea for you to live in or around Washington, NC to enter this giveaway. It’s not a requirement. If you want to fly in from Scotland for a free month of Boot Camp, you are more than welcome. Especially if your name is Agnes. And you’ll stay until the baby comes. 😉