Tuesday, April 30, 2013

$50 Spa Gift Card & Crochet Happy Banner Giveaway

First off please excuse the grammar of this post. I am battling a nasty sinus infection and am going to tuck myself into bed once I publish this. 

Since Judah and I woke up this morning it felt like we were trudging through mud. He didn't want to wake up and to be honest I could have stayed a few more hours in our warm bed. But I promised a girlfriend that we were going to take our kids for a walk and my body felt like a walk would probably give it the much needed boost of energy. Plus outdoor walks almost guarantee me a great nap time with Judah. As we were eating our breakfast of eggs, sweet potato hash and raspberries my friend texted me asking if we could reschedule for later this week since it was still wet out. I didn't even look outside yet and just assumed it was a cloudy yet clear day. Breakfast finished I decided we would go pick up Judahs prescription. His doctor told me yesterday that Judah still has really bad allergies but is right on the cusp of a sinus infection. So she prescribed me a nasal spray and antibiotics. We only handed in the nasal spray script to be filled. Now here is where the day starts to get a bit dicey. 

We headed to Target to pick up the prescription when I finally got through to my husband who told me that Judah's prescription was at Walgreen's and it should be ready. Turned my car around headed to Walgreen's. The pharmacy tech wasn't kind at all, screamed at me that my husband just called in the script and it wont be ready for 30 minutes. Judah was already tired and was starting to crash and wanted to sit on the counter next to the pharmacist. I took Judah over to the Mothers Day cards, found one that I may get for my step mom. It was a cute musical card but was listed for $7, I said out loud "no way am I paying $7 for a card!". Judah wanted to "look at it". Figured no harm in it while I searched for that "perfect yet inexpensive mothers day card". I hear Judah say "Look I did it!" turn around and he completely dissected the $7 musical card! On one hand I should be proud that my son wants to learn and take things apart to see how they look but...does he have to do it on a $7 mothers day card! So we go to purchase this $7 mothers day card with a handful of other items and Judah starts to scream "Lolli pop, I want a lollipop!" I bent down to eye level and explained "Judah you ripped a card your not getting a lolli pop also we are going to Starbucks for milk". He calmed down with a few hushed whimpers of "lolli pop" but no where near the screams. The cashier rings me up then asks me "Is that all for you? you dont want anything else like candy" I said no thank you and she said "I think your boy could really use a lolli pop" I looked up and just stared at her. I mean come on really my son just calmed down and sure enough he started to scream "LOLLI POP" but I didn't give in. I thanked her and we walked to the car, I accidentally hit my car alarm while Judah was screaming. I had to somehow calm him, find my keys and get us both into the car. We drove over to Starbucks and he was wonderful. Grabbed our drinks and figured we could have a nice calm mommy and Judah date since we had a hectic morning but we couldn't find a chair anywhere. Balancing two drinks, holding a toddlers hand in the rain and trying to fumble for my keys. Drinks spill, my car alarm goes off again and toddler starts to cry. I almost cried. Finally we head home and decide to lay low for the rest of the day. 

With a half full cup of soy chai, a ripped up $7 mothers day card and soaked pants I kept thinking. Lord I don't want to focus on all the negatives of today. I really want to focus on what you have blessed me with.  So that is why I wanted to encourage you with a $50 Spa Gift Card and a Crochet Happy Banner giveaway. This is an instagram giveaway. 

This giveaway is open to everyone who has an intagram account. My account will be public until the giveaway is over so you don't even have to follow me. All you have to do is go to this picture on my IG feed. Copy and paste this picture into your own feed then go back to the original picture in my feed and leave a comment on how this gift card and happy banner would encourage you or someone that you know. Then go back and encourage each person that has commented or as many people as you would like. Each comment that you leave will count as an entry. So if you encourage 50 people you get 50 chances of winning this gift card. Or you could just leave a comment on why you would like the card. 

I was texting my friend Paige today and telling her that these encouraging it forward giveaways are kinda like chicken soup for the soul. I love hearing the stories of how you or someone you know could use encouragement and then something extraordinary happens when you start to see everyone else encourage each other. Its this domino effect of encouragement and its really one of the most beautiful things to witness. People encouraging others. 

Find my picture on Instagram here.

The giveaway ends on Sunday May 12th.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

getting green

I took Judah over to Merrifield Garden Center today to pick up some vegetable plants to grow in our garden. I've been reading up on urban farming and I have been inspired to slowly transform the backyard of our townhouse into garden that we can eat off of. On our trip we picked up some tomato, dill, basil and squash plants. I am already growing carrots, beans, cucumbers, strawberries, chives and blackberries. Hopefully in just a few short months we will be eating from my garden and fingers crossed I'll  have plenty of blackberries to make some blackberry jam. 

Merrifield Garden Center is a great place to bring your kids during the day. I just put Judah in one of their wagons, picked him up a bag of their free popcorn and walked around for an hour. The property is filled with all kinds of neat things to look at. Gorgeous vegetation, flowers, trees, a mini waterfall and fish. Judah tried to feed then ride this little lamb statue. Thank goodness I stopped him because if you look closely that lambs leg is cracked. 

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

encouraging it forward giveaway

This week I'm giving away this crochet "Love" banner that I made. I wanted to hold a facebook giveaway since I had someone contact me on twitter who was disappointed that they didn't have an Instagram account to enter the previous crochet banner giveaway. 

To enter to win but mostly to encourage everyone else who commented and needs encouragement. Go to my facebook page here. Look for the picture above then leave a comment letting me know how this banner would encourage you or someone that you know. Then go back and reply to as many people as you can and encourage them. 

Each comment is an entry. 
So that means if you encourage 20 people you have 20 ways to win this giveaway! 
The giveaway ends Wednesday April 17th  2013, I will pick a winner on random.org and will post the winners name of the banner on my facebook page

I would really love to see people encouraging each other on this giveaway. Here are some comments that some sweet ladies already left who could really use some uplifting words of encouragement. 

I actually went to school with Michelle when we were younger. I remember sticking up for her in school the few times I wasn't scared to when she was bullied. It breaks my heart to see her sweet daughter being bullied in school. This especially hits close to home not only because I know Michelle but also because I recently received some online bullying. I would love to see some people encourage the socks off of Michelle and her daughter. 

Who have you encouraged this week? Can't think of anything to do to encourage someone. Then I would suggest you to encourage those ladies above and more on my giveaway and who knows you might just win the Love banner. 

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

dont stress about the perfect moment

Scott decided to take off work on Wednesday so we could all head out to see the Cherry Blossoms. This year we drove out to DC instead of taking the metro and although we waited in traffic for an hour I am happy we decided to drive. I learned a very valuable lesson on Wednesday. When I am trying to make a family event extra fun, it normally turns out to be stressful. I found myself stressing out over the crowds, people bumping into the stroller, Judah was not in a great mood and would scream if we tried to take a picture of him. Finally after an hour of being frustrated with how things were going I decided to "give up" on trying to have fun and we decided to go home.  When we left the Tidal Basin area and headed over to the less crowded side of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial I noticed a lady selling ice-cream and cold water. While we were in line a man behind us became really frustrated with it being hot and the line taking to long. I asked him what he was going to order and we bought his ice-cream. Then we walked down to the water and had a mini picnic of astro pops. Judah was in a better mood, I was in a better mood and Scott was in a better mood.

So my lesson is this. Don't stress about the perfect picture, people around you or even your toddler. Do something that would make your family happy, for example purchasing some astro pops and sitting down to enjoy each others company in the middle of some gorgeous cherry blossom trees.  We sat down for a good hour and had the best time just being around each other and laughing at Judah screaming "OBAMA" at every helicopter or plane that flew by. When we gave up on having our "perfect day" we ended up having one of the best days together. 

ps doesn't my husband look like Abe Lincoln's twin, our next DC trip we are planning on taking Judah to the Lincoln memorial to show him his "daddy".

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

bringing me joy

Some things that have been bringing me joy this week.

Over the years crocheting has been so soothing to my heart and I have been able to really bless some people with the items I crochet. I've been crocheting lots and lots of banners. I've been giving most away for gifts to some close friends who really needed the encouragement but am now starting to list some in my shop. I really love crocheting these banners. I've dreamed of making them for years and its neat seeing my dream come to fruition. Also I loved reading back on the comments of people encouraging one another on the banner I gave away last week on IG.

Spring is finally here! I don't have to worry about the possibility of snow till next winter! Its gorgeous outside. I love the flowers, the birds singing and the extra sunshine. I don't even care that my allergies are causing Judah and myself to be really congested. As soon as we go outside we forget about everything but the sunshine. 

This week I received the sweetest encouragement packages from some friends. The boxes were full of  of fun goodies and pretty things. What I cherish most is the card from my sweet friend Amber. The card was written with sweet words of love and encouragement and I am carrying it in my purse to reread her  when ever I feel down. 

Judah brings me so much joy. It's this unintentional joy, he doesn't even realize that he makes me so happy. Like today when I was giving him a bath he ended up taking the top off his brand new bottle Aveeno Baby bath wash and dumped it all into his tub and head. I couldn't stop laughing because the tub kept filling up with bubbles and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to wash all the soap out of his hair.  His joy for life is so contagious. 

I'm also very grateful that my husband who has been working crazy hours (I know its all I talk about) is taking some extra time off to spend with his family. Hopefully we get to actually see the Cherry Blossoms this year. 

Also the best news I've received in a very long time. I just found out my sister and her husband are going to go with us to Myrtle Beach this year!!! May can't come soon enough!!! I really really need some girl time with my sister. 

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Friday, April 5, 2013

encouraging as many people as possible

This week we wanted to encourage as many people as possible. To start off I had one of my sweet mama friends Natalie over at Take the Cannoli email me asking if I could make her a custom crochet banner. Its been on my heart to really start giving away some banners to encourage others so I crochet the banner for her and am mailing it out to her today as a gift. Also side note, this sweet friend of mine has the gift of encouraging others. Her emails leave me in tears and her words speak directly to my heart. 

I will be finished with another banner for another sweet mama friend Savannah over at Sleepy King. My heart really hurt for her earlier this week when she mentioned that she was the focus of some online bullying. I asked her what her favorite colors are and am sending her banner to her hopefully by tomorrow. 

I decided to give away one of my Sunshine banners on Etsy. I asked everyone to comment on the banner to tell me how they would be encouraged by receiving it. Or to tell me about a friend who could use a little sunshine in their life. Then I asked everyone to go back and encourage each person who commented. Wouldn't you know I have over 60 comments on that picture and most of them are from people trying to encourage one another. Its a pretty uplifting post. If you would like to encourage someone or try to win the banner for yourself or a friend feel free to look up the picture above on my IG account. My IG user name is JessJudkins. I'll have the contest open until Monday. 

Also I just found out that two of my friends Danielle and Diana  are both having baby boys. So I mailed Danielle a cute little package with a bow-tie and skull socks and mailed Diana one of Judahs vintage rompers.  

Finally my friend Ivelisse's daughter is still not feeling well. My sweet friends family has had it rough this past winter with battling sever flu after severer flu. So I went to Target's dollar section and found the cutest apron, recipe/menu cards and cupcake toppers. I also added an American Girl book that I thrifted and a pair of cute Target socks for Ivelisse. I hope the package will encourage Jules while she is hopefully on the mend. 

I told you, we wanted to go all out and encourage several people this week. Hopefully we will continue to encourage as many people as possible in the next coming weeks.

Who have you encouraged this week? 

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

library book love - toddler version

I feel like we have been hitting the jackpot of great library books for the past three weeks. I think its because I started to go to a library that is a little closer to our home. Its a library that Scott loves that has been around since he was a child.

Source: amazon.com via Jessica on Pinterest

I have a confession, I am very expressive when I read out loud so when Judah knows that I am going to read to him he will pick out fun books that I can verbally put on a show for him. For example we have had this adorable book Jazzmatazz for three weeks now. Its about a mouse that enters a house and starts to play a little doo-dat, diddy-dat jazz song on the piano. He eventually gets several animals involved including the child in the book who also likes to dance. The flow of the book is very catchy and you find yourself almost wiggle dancing while your reading it. Judah loves it and I catch him singing doo-dat, diddy-dat while he is playing with his toys or dancing around the house. 

If you would like to see a list of great toddler books that we have read in the past click here. 

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

happiness is a feeling that comes from the heart

This week I am really trying to live in the moment of joy. I want to savor each and every thing that brings my heart happiness so I can recall upon these memories during rough times. Jesus didn't promise us a conflict free life but He did promise us joy with in Him and He promised us eternal life. 

Here are some things that have really brought my heart joy this week. 

Since Judah's nap schedule is starting to change and he is starting to wake up earlier or just refuse naps I started a new daily tradition. I will pop up some popcorn and while we will eat our mini bowls of popcorn we will sit at the front door and watch the squirrels and birds come to the front porch to snack on the popcorn I left for them. Its such a small simple thing to do, but it brings my son great joy to watch all the animals and to be eating the same thing that they are. Which in turn gives me joy. 

Every morning and sometimes at night Judah and I will dance to a vinyl record. Its our "mommy and Judah dance time". Once I turn that record player on Judah will get the biggest smile on his face and he start bopping his head in tune to the music. Its by far one of the cutest things Judah does. So I love taking Judah to a local record shop to look for new music to listen to. It brings my heart joy to teach my son about music and dance. 

I love bringing Judah to the Sweet Berry yogurt place near us. For $2.00 I am able to fill his little cup full of yogurt and watch him eat it and ask me a billion questions about life and yogurt. As a mom its hard not to give your child a special treat and treating Judah to frozen yogurt is so much fun. Plus these mini dates with my son make me happy and I love looking back on the pictures of our mini dates. 

A month ago I did an Instagram encouraging it forward. I posted up a picture of a $25 restaurant gift card and I asked each person to comment on the picture and let me know how this gift card would encourage them. I picked a winner on random.org but at the same time I had another IG'er contact me who wanted to send me two gift cards to give to two other girls who really touched her heart with their stories. I am honored that I was able to be part of this lady wanting to encourage it forward. I was happy that she included me in her encouraging it forward plan. 

Even while I am picking up the house or doing the dishes I like to think about all these wonderful blessings that bring so much happiness to my heart. Just simple sweet blessings that are nice to recall upon. Its easy to let worry overwhelm your mind, but I hope by practicing the art of soaking in that moment of joy will help me be a better wife, mother, friend and encourager. 

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Not a Joke April Fools Giveaway: Omega Juicer

Happy Monday! This week I really wanted to go all out and make some people smile.  I was thinking how great would it be to start off the first week of April with an encouraging giveaway. A team of some super sweet ladies and I are giving away an Omega J8004 Nutrition Center! Scroll down to check out these ladies blogs and see how you can enter to win!
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I'm so excited to give to start the week off with a fun giveaway for you all! I've collaborated with a group of fabulous bloggers to bless you all with an Omega J8004 Nutrition Center!
Not into juicing you say? What about making fresh salsa, homemade pasta or your own peanut butter? The possibilities are endless with this little gem and can't imagine a more perfect prize as we are entering the season of fresh produce and veggies! 

mandatory entry: leave a comment below letting us know a meal or dish you prepared that didn't turned out as planned.
(basically a recipe you butchered or one that left you disappointed)

for EASY additional entries: use the rafflecopter below!
(additional entries are a great way to increase your chances of winning this awesome prize)

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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