Start Your Cyber Monday Shopping

The Lily Pad Stationery

Be sure to order this super-cute personalized stationery
by December 7th:

http://www.thelilypad.us/

Molly Caroline Designs

FREE First Class shipping on her personalized tees Monday, 11/30 and Tuesday, 12/1 only!

Pick your favorite shirt design today at http://www.etsy.com/shop/mollycarolinedesigns.

MCC Designs Monogram Stationery

Her personalized correspondence stationery is fabulous!

Shop today at http://www.etsy.com/shop/mccaligiuri to receive in time for Christmas.

Two Little Tots

FREE SHIPPING on crayon rolls and hair clips through Cyber Monday:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/twolittletots

Cinnamon Sticks Jewelry

Orders over $100 receive FREE SHIPPING! She has 10 fonts available for your custom hand-stamped sterling silver jewelry. What a precious gift!

See her full selection and order before 12/4/09 for Christmas delivery too:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/cinnamonsticks

Deja Room Handpainted Gifts

Starting TODAY, all personalized ornaments at Deja Room are only $5.00 each!

Sale ends 12/10/09.

Place your order by 12/10/09 for Christmas delivery.

Shop Deja Room now:

http://www.dejaroom.blogspot.com/

Olive's Ltd. Monogrammed Gifts

Love monogrammed gifts? Amy at Olive's Ltd. is giving Polka Dot Mom readers a 15% off coupon for any in-stock merchandise. E-mail Amy via her Contact Page for your discount.

Shop http://www.olivesltd.com/ today!

Mary Martha Monogram Chick

Before you place your order, send Mary Martha an Etsy Convo and tell her you want the "Polka Dot Mom" discount. Choose one of these specials (for Polka Dot Mom readers only!):

*Enclosure Cards or Gift Cards - Buy 2 sets, Get 1 set FREE

*Note Cards - Buy 2 sets, Get 1 set FREE

*FREE shipping on orders of $50.00 or more

*Buy 1 Monogrammed Water Bottle, Get 2nd Insert FREE

(Pick one deal - then send Mary Martha a note - she will set up a listing for you.)

Shop Now @ http://www.etsy.com/shop/marymartha

Polka Dot Market
Kid's Clothing & Party Decor

Enter coupon code "MondayDeals" at check-out for automatic FREE shipping!

Shop today at http://www.polkadotmarket.com/ (Deal ends midnight PST 11/30/09).

More coupons to come - check back often!

Get Your Business Ready for Cyber Monday


Time to grab your notepad and pencil, Moms!

Cyber Monday is upon us!

Do you own an Etsy Shop?

Do you own a Website Business?

Do you have a Mailing List?

You have about 12 hours left to prepare for Cyber Monday. I am in the same boat, a little behind - but we can do this!

How can I prepare my business for a successful Cyber Monday with lots of sales?

Read this Cyber Monday Small Business Guide from Etsy's The Storque.

Make a few notes - Pick which things make sense for YOUR business and get to work!

Here's to a great Cyber Monday for YOU!

Christmas Craft Inspiration from Tatertots and Jello


Crafty mom Jen of Tatertots & Jello has compiled a FANTASTIC list of Christmas craft ideas for us. She made this fabulous cookie sheet advent calendar above too. You see lots of dots in her list from some of the coolest bloggers...go check it out!

Leave Jen a comment to tell her, "Thank You!"

Advent starts today!

Here is a great idea - 25 days of Christmas symbols to share with your kids by Happy Homeschool. What if your kids make an ornament-a-day for each symbol and then hang on a special advent tree?

Win 100 Bucks from Naturally Named



Catherine fromMississippi-based Naturally Named is here to help you kick-start your holiday shopping with a gift idea they will NOT be expecting, but will be SO HAPPY to receive!
She creates the coolest nature photography personalized gifts. Choose their first name, last name, sorority or a special word like "Hope" or "Faith". The sky is the limit (and Catherine can even photograph items in the SKY for you)!
She is giving one lucky Polka Dot Mom reader a cool $100 gift card to spend inside Naturally Named. WOW!



Ways to Win:
  1. Leave a comment with your favorite sample from her store.
  2. Leave another comment with what your photography art would say if you are chosen as the winner.

Comments will be closed on Thursday, December 3rd when the $100 gift card winner is randomly chosen. Good luck!

Happy Thanksgiving, Moms!

A Tough 5 Months for the McRae Family



Would you help me send some SMILES to the McRae family in Arizona this Christmas?

Kate has been in and out of the hospital with an aggressive brain tumor since the end of June. Can you imagine what this family has been through? I cannot. I can barely remember what our family was doing in June, July, August, September, October and November. But Kate's mom, Holly can remember each and every day. You can read Holly's journal online at www.prayforkate.com.

If you are thinking of helping me send some LOVE to The McRaes, please take a moment to read her journal.

We are creating personalized gifts to show Kate, Olivia and Will (pictured above, in that order) that the Lord has called them by NAME (Isaiah 43:1).

Read the full details and jot down the sizes and favorite colors of Olivia, Kate and Will McRae on the Isaiah 43:1 Project blog.

The deadline for gifts to be stamped and in the mail to me is December 10th.

Kate's 6th birthday is 12/26/09.

When you read her story, you will find out that Kate is hosting "Kate's Crazy Christmas" for her friends in the hospital. Can you believe it? For HER birthday, Kate is gathering donated gifts from around the country for her friends.

I know God is present and I want to send a BIG box of gifts handmade especially for the McRae kids. They have had a tough road this year!

Will you help me?

Come find out how.

(Thank you!)

Thanksgiving Countdown with Family Manager


Scared that Thanksgiving is only 3 days away? Me too!
Here is a 7-day countdown from Family Manager (great site).
Feel free to skip ahead to Day 4!


Join her mailing list for free and gain access to awesome printables to help you become a better family manager too.
Happy Turkey Basting!

Make a Christmas Gift Basket - Win the Plates and Napkins!



Is it really Thanksgiving next week? I cannot believe it!

When these CUTE polka dot red-and-green Christmas plates, cups and napkins arrived on my doorstep, it started to feel more like the holidays!

See my complete Polka Dot Christmas Party paper goods collection now in stock at Polka Dot Market.

I am thinking these holiday paper plates and napkins will add the perfect touch to gift baskets I'm making for our new neighbors and my daughters' teachers. (Actually WE are the new neighbors, but giving a homemade treat is a great way to meet the folks across the street!)

I have not decided which homemade goodies we will be making, but there are sure a TON of ideas, free printables and recipes out there in blogland this year. I am not even going to try to top their lists, so enjoy their hard work - to make your holiday planning and gift-giving a little easier!

Top Finds in Blogland for your Holiday Gift Baskets:

$10 Felt "Merry Christmas" Banner (@ Polka Dot Market)

Cheap Gifts for your Neighbor (@ Tip Junkie)

HUGE Batch of Easy DIY Holiday Gifts & Free Printables (@ Living Locurto)

Homemade Cocoa Mix Recipe & Cookies (@ Shabby Chic Crafts)


Whew! Okay, before you go running off to save and print all of these fabulous ideas, I'd love to give ONE lucky Polka Dot Mom reader a FREE batch of my polka dot holiday tableware:

1 set each:
Dinner plates, Dessert plates, Luncheon napkins, Beverage napkins, Cups

AND, ("That's not all folks, tell her what she's won!") I'd like to give ONE more reader a groovy vintage-inspired "Merry Christmas" felt banner garland!

So that's TWO winners. Random.org will choose the first winner (paper goods) and then the second winner (felt garland).

To enter, please leave a separate comment for each entry. Make sure I can find your e-mail address to tell you you've won. :)

Three Ways to Enter:

  1. Become a Polka Dot Mom follower and tell me
  2. Tell me your favorite item in our Holiday Chic collection
  3. Tell me what you are making for your neighbors and teachers this holiday

Giveaway will be closed to entries on Wednesday before Thanksgiving at 12:01am PST.

Good luck!

Go Green Jewelry for the Holidays


Really?

Are you sure this beautiful turquoise-esque stone is made from recycled newspaper?

Are you sure?

That ring is awesome!

Tricia, the owner of DogHaus Jewelry assures me that YES, her jewelry is made from recycled newspaper.

This Phoenix stay-at-home mommy writes, "DogHaus was born from an idea, the need for a new hobby, and a pot of boiling water. All DogHaus jewelry is made from recycled newspaper with a splash of creativity!"

Tricia's one of a kind jewelry pieces are made from handmade and hand-painted recycled newspaper beads and sterling silver wire. Each is hand-wrapped and sized to fit. Custom bead colors available and always FREE SHIPPING in the good 'ole U.S.A. (I love to send Christmas gifts with free shipping, don't you?)

Find rings, earrings and bracelets inside the DogHaus online store.

Check out Tricia's DogHaus blog for great specials and giveaways!

http://www.doghaus09.blogspot.com/

'Tis the Season (to give really unique GREEN gifts)!

Be Still Sunday

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Hebrews 12: 1-3

New Christmas Travel Mugs at Lilybella


I love to stop in at www.lilybella.com to see what Karen has come up with. There is always something new! You have never seen so many uses for oil cloth!

She has just released her Holiday 2009 Gifts collection, including the polka dot monogram coffee tumbler shown above.

Karen writes, "Every year, we love to come up with a new Christmas Travel Mug design. We think this is our cutest design to date. It is so festive and fun for the holiday season. This durable travel mug holds 16 oz. and is such a fun and stylish way to carry your hot or cold beverage wherever you go. The oil cloth insert is easily removable for washing. These mugs also makes great hostess gifts for all of those holidays parties your invited to, adorable teachers gifts, or for friends, or co-workers."

See all of her personalized gifts for the holidays here and check the Lilybella blog often for great coupons.

Here come the holidays - get ready! :)

The Monogram Swap Knows Your Name


Meet Lauren, mom and owner of new online selling boutique, The Monogram Swap!

Lauren lives outside Charlotte, NC with her husband, 16-month-old daughter and her "very lazy bassett hound".

She is a woman on a mission with an amazing idea:

She wants all of our children's precious monogrammed clothing (that no longer fits) to find a good home and to help us make a little money along the way.

Lauren writes, "Monogrammed clothing is timeless. Unfortunately, children aren't. After having four girls, my sister-in-law had closets full of monogrammed clothing, but no one to wear them. Having a relatively uncommon last name, there weren't exactly people lined up to take her "V" clothing."

"This is where I came in to the story. In June of 2008, I had a little girl and that collection of "V" clothing was welcomed into my house. As I explained to my husband how much money I was saving him, I decided I should make this possible for other moms."

In 2009, The Monogram Swap was launched as a way for moms to buy and sell personalized items. Whether you're cleaning out closets or shopping for a birthday outfit, this should be your first stop. Find 3-initial monograms, initials and embroidered names.

There is usually a 50-cent per item listing fee, but all listings are free until December 1st.
The Monogram Swap is similar to Ebay in its format: The seller creates an account, uploads photos, writes a brief description, and sets their price. When your item is sold, the seller ships the item and gets paid.

Lauren has made it easy. Find your monogram in these categories:
Accessories
Clothing
Bags
Home Items
Linens
Sporting Goods

Remember, listings are free through 12/1/09!
See you over at http://www.themonogramswap.com/ - isn't this THE BEST idea?!

Send a Christmas Card to Noah

UPDATED 11/15/09: Noah's family has received SO MANY CHRISTMAS CARDS that they have asked to end this effort so they may concentrate on their final days with Noah. His health is deteriorating, please pray for this family.
This weekend in-between breakfast, house cleaning, laundry, a soccer game, raking leaves, walking the dog, bathtime and dinner, my two little girls and I will be making Christmas cards for Noah.
Will you join me?

We have friends and family in the Detroit area who forwarded Noah's story to us.

From the radio station leading the effort, 99.5 WYCD's website:

"Noah was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in February 2007. He went into remission in August 2007. In September 2008, Noah relapsed with lesions in his right arm and right leg. After going through six different trials, the cancer continues to spread. Noah is an angel and we are blessed to have him in our lives.

Please help the fulfill the Biorkman family's wish to make this the best Christmas ever for Noah."

You can send your Christmas cards to:

Noah Biorkman
c/o 99.5 WYCD
2201 Woodward Heights Blvd.
Ferndale, MI 48220-1511

Thank you!

It's a great way to kick off the Christmas season with your kids doing something for a sick child. Especially since all the stores are filled with Christmas trees and Santa images - start your season off right. Join me too at Joy's 47 Days to Christmas (the simple, stress-free way).

I Made the Cat Sweater, Oh Yes I Did



My 5-year-old daughter wanted to be Miley from the TV show for Halloween.

She wanted to wear a pink jacket and leggings or a velour jogging suit. Neither screamed, "I am Miley from the TV show" to me.

So she picked an episode. Or maybe I nudged a little bit. See the short video clip above for our "inspiration"! :)

Why was I so bent on cutting up a stuffed animal into pieces and re-sewing its head and tail on to a pink sweater? (And why do I secretly wish I could do that every day?!)

Make-your-own Miley cat sweater (you know you want to):

  1. Buy, Find, Re-purpose a pink sweater (ours was $1.99)

  2. Search every aisle at the dollar store for a stuffed cat. Settle on a white bear with promise. Yep, head can be made into a kitty face and yep, one leg can become a kitty tail (for the back of your sweater)

  3. Run home and get started- try not to let your children see you smiling while you cut up the bear.

  4. First cut off the bear's head.

  5. Next cut up the middle of the bears body to make a longer "leg".

  6. Cut off the leg - this will be the tail.

  7. Sew up the side seam of the leg where you cut it.

  8. Place the teddy head in the middle of your sweater.

  9. Shove it under your sewing machine and satin stitch across the base, sewing to the sweater and stitching up the hole you made so the stuffing won't come out at the same time.

  10. Bear head will flop down so add a few more stitches on each ear, then at top of head if needed.

  11. Next position the tail/leg in the middle of the back of the sweater and sew it on too.

  12. Grab some felt to turn your bear face into a kitty cat face (think triangles and some whiskers)

  13. Show your daughter and see a BIG smile (yea! she is excited about her costume!)

  14. Add leggings and Wal-Mart boots to complete "the look"

  15. Wait 364 more days until you can cut up dollar store stuffed animals again without people thinking you are crazy. :)

I'm trying to find a photo of her back - but yes, the tail is on there! :)

Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my very silly side. Crafty moms in business can still have fun too!