Thursday, February 28, 2013

Choosing Children's Books for Boys

With yesterday's post, I explained my slight dilemma with my two sons and their reading habits (or should I say non-habits?).  Well, I thought I'd go a step further and ask you all what books you recommend for them.  My boys are ages six and ten.

Here is a book that I think my first grader would like, because our whole family loves Phineas and Ferb!

And here's one that I think my fifth grader would like:

He does like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, so I think he'd like this series by Lincoln Peirce.

What would you choose for a first and fifth grader to read?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Words for my Wednesday

It's report card time for my boys' elementary school, and I know my youngest son is struggling with his reading.  He doesn't like to read for fun.  He doesn't like to read when there's more than a few sentences on a page.  He gets anxious about it.  Because he doesn't like to read, he doesn't really like to write.  Reading and writing are important.  So here are the Words for my Wednesday...

My boys are the tough ones when it comes to education, because it doesn't come as easily for them as it comes to my older daughter.  They struggle with reading and writing; language arts is just not their strongest subject.  

Education is important, and reading is a powerful tool.  Do you have any advice to help me keep my boys motivated?

Do you have any words, quotes, or sayings you'd like to share?  Please do with a comment!  =0)
Happy Wednesday, and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Terrific Tuesday Feature & GIVEAWAY: Majessy

I know I usually don't do giveaways on Tuesdays, but I could not wait to introduce you to this shop and its owner.  I found Jessica from a post she left in an Etsy team asking for help in promoting her brand new shop.  In her post, she explained that she just suffered a huge loss, and her story touched me.  She just opened up shop in January of this year, and she is part of the Busy Moms of Etsy Team...Meet Jessica, owner of MAJESSY.

She opened up shop at the beginning of January 2013.  She is the mother of three, and staying home right now with her two young boys.  Her husband helps her balance working on her Etsy shop and taking care of the family.  Enjoy the interview, and I hope you visit her shop and take a peek around!

How did Jessica choose her shop name?  Jessica answers:
I named my shop after my 5 year old daughter who died on November 1, 2012, when I was soul searching for my calling on this earth. Who I am is "My Jessy" or MAJESSY.

I asked her what her favorite colors are to use in jewelry design and why.  Here is what she said:
Blue has always been my favorite color, especially blue topaz, it just gets me. I also love all faceted gemstones like tanzanite and amethyst. I love these colors because they make me feel good and when I see them I smile.

I asked what her favorite thing about being a MOM is, and this is what she told me:
I love being a mom because it is the greatest gift that could ever be given to a human being. My children are my World and they are the true treasures of my heart.

What inspires Jessica to create her jewelry?  She said:
Before my daughter died, we always made jewelry together. I keep her memory alive when I create my unique one of a kind pieces and pass them on to customers with love and impeccable craftsmanship.  

And lastly, I asked if there is anything in particular that she wants you as my readers to know about her shop.  

This is her reply:
I would want readers to know that I create each and every single piece of jewelry from the heart and that each piece is unique and only made once. I use all genuine materials, gemstones, and pure metals. I make my jewelry with love and my goal is to make them smile as they open their packages.

Jessica will be giving one lucky 2justByou Blog reader a Sterling Silver Custom Size Amethyst Birthstone Ring, valued at $37.99!!!  

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on the night of March 16th, 2013 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.  To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter from below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fun with Duct Tape

My daughter has been making the duct tape wallets (she's sold a few at school), and today I thought I'd show you her duct tape flower pens.  She made these a long time ago, and I just never got around to posting.  They're pretty fun, don't you think?

I made some of these bunnies too (also in our Etsy shop for Easter and spring):

 We also have our winner for the Maulani Giveaway!  And the winner is...

Tina K.

For one of the mandatory entries, Tina chose this item from Maulani as her favorite from the shop:

Isn't it a pretty choice?

Tina will be receiving a $15 shop credit and a random necklace from Maulani.
What did you do over the weekend?

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Meet & Greet Blog Hop #15

Oh yes, it's Friday night...Time to Meet & Greet!!!

Welcome to the weekend Meet & Greet Blog Hop.
Join in and meet some fellow bloggers, greet them with comments, and grow your blog with new friends!
***Please note that it may take me awhile to get to all follow-backs, but I WILL get to them all, I promise.

Interested in being a Co-Host?
Send an email to 2justByou(at)gmail(dot)com with "Co-Host" in the subject line for consideration.  

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Meet everyone!
Get to Know You Question of the Week:

Laurie from Created by Laurie says:
There are a few things that scare me, one of them is when both of my cats suddenly turn startled and stare at something that I can't see.  Especially if they both act like they are watching it move.  Creepy!

My answer: I'm afraid of growing old and medical problems that often accompany old age.  I can get used to the idea of aging (hopefully aging gracefully).  But various health complications that often go hand in hand with age really scare and worry me.

Amy from Clippie Dips says:
Water.  I'm a grown woman and I can't swim!  I cannot stand to get water in my face.  I just recently started washing my face in the shower.  I used to always do it at the sink after my shower because there was no way I was sticking my face in the water!  I tip my head back to wash my hair.  No joke!

*Featured Guest*
Cathy from Jack's Paper Moon says:
I'm kinda afraid of life sized robots.  I have come across a couple in technology exhibitions and they genuinely panic me!

Now it's your turn!
What are you afraid of?

Link up and have fun!

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Quick Question

I just have a quick question for all of you...


Lately I've been getting all kinds of pop-up windows appear each time I try to click on a link within a blog post - ANY blog post (wordpress and blogger) on just about ANY link.  Even when I click on the "comments" link to leave a comment, a pop up window appears for some company.  And it's always the same two or three pop ups.  I should have thought to get a screen print (but I didn't).  It's been happening to me all week, though.  Has this been happening to any of you lately?  Does anyone know if there's a way to fix this?  It's never happened before.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Designers Do

Today I have a super special treat - a guest post by Paige from Little Nostalgia.  It's the very first guest post ever on 2justByou!!!  I really wanted her to do this post, because as much as we try not to be judgemental or stereotypical (I know I try to always have an open mind), it happens; we are human, and it happens.  Well, when reading one of her posts, I realized...Hhmmm...I never really thought about what an interior designer really does.  Have you?  All I knew (or what I thought I knew) was that hiring a designer must cost a small fortune.  
-•:*''*:•-:¦:-* *•-:¦:-•:*''*:•-:¦:-**•-:¦:-•:*''*:•-:¦:-**•-:¦:-•:*''*:•--•:*''*:•-:¦:-* *•-:¦:-•:*''*:•-:¦:-**•-:¦:-•:*''*:•-:¦:-**•-:¦:-•:*''*:•-

Hi, everybody! I'm Paige from Little Nostalgia and I'm really excited that Kim asked me to post here today. A few weeks ago I wrote about what I plan to do with my interior design degree once I finish school, and I asked my readers for their input about a project I had in mind. Kim was one of the awesome people who responded, and she and I had a good conversation about some misconceptions people have about hiring a designer. So now I'm here to shed a little light on the topic (because we really aren't scary, I promise).

reading room for less
An affordable room design inspired by a high-end picture.

Myth #1: Hiring a designer is crazy expensive. False! There are some designers who specialize in high-end design, it's true, but that's not the case for everyone. In fact, my plan for after school is to offer design consultations for the average person. This means working within a realistic budget, which is no problem for me because I have to do that when I work on my own house. I believe that good design should be available to everyone if they want the help, regardless of price point.

Myth #2: A designer will ignore my taste. No way. Designers are around to help people who have trouble visualizing a finished space. We're there to guide you and offer new ideas, because some folks aren't as good at seeing potential changes. And that's totally fine! I married a person like that. My husband has a lot of skills, but imagining how a new paint color will look is not one of them. A designer's job is to help you see the possibilities, and if you don't like something, we move onto another idea.

office plan
Simple fixes for an existing space.

Myth #3: Designers only do huge renovations. Nope! A designer will oversee a renovation if you want to do one, but they can also help with smaller things like choosing new window treatments or selecting a color palette. Changing only a few things can have a big impact, so there might not be a need to go whole hog anyway.

Hopefully this mythbusting has offered some insight into what interior design is really about. We're just people who love furniture and want to help you find what's best for your house.

So what about you? Have you ever hired a designer? Would you consider it if you knew it was within your budget? Is there anything about designers that you've ever wanted to know? Who's your favorite on HGTV?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Words for my Wednesday

Today I've chosen some of my favorite Pinterest quote pins to share with you all.  I hope you enjoy!

Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Which one do you like best?  If you're like me, you can't decide!  I love them all!  If you're not already following, you can follow our Pinterest boards HERE.

Do you have a quote, saying, words or a pin that you'd like to share?  Please do with a comment!  =0)

Happy Wednesday, and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A New Blogging Community

First off, I want to say an incredible THANK YOU for everyone's comments on yesterday's post.  I was super busy all day, but I'll be replying and visiting bloggers (and doing follow-backs) from yesterday's comments soon.  =0)  I really appreciate you all visiting and sharing your thoughts with your comments.  It means a lot!  It made my day!!!

Now for today's post....

Are you on Google Plus?  There's a new blogging community, and I'd love for you to join me there.  It's a place to connect with our blogs and share our posts and information, all about blogging.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm following SO many blogs - sometimes it's hard for me to keep up and visit all my favorites when I want.  I'm not a huge fan of RSS and feedburner (but I still use it), because my email inbox is already completely crammed each day.  Sad to say, but sometimes I just have to go through and delete a bunch of stuff without even looking at the content (so if the subject line isn't a small preview of the content, it's a goner).  

Well, with this new Google Plus community, I am hoping that it's going to help me out a little bit...Here's why:

** With the new community, you can share your daily posts in the category that it belongs in - whether it's fashion, beauty, fitness, handmade, DIY, blogging tips, etc.  You can also share your blog's homepage on the blog roll.  If you have a question or want to chat, there's a category for that too.  When someone posts, you get a preview of the content (LOVE this!), so you can either click on it, or delete it if it doesn't suit you for the day.  And if it's something that you want to share, you can +1 it right there!  Easy peasy.

** You can browse by category to pick & choose what blog posts you want to read.  If you want to check out the foodie posts, you simply look in that category.  Want to see the Mommy blog posts to get some parenting tips, stories, etc. - check out that category and see what's waiting for you there.

** All bloggers are welcome to join!  You do have to apply, but that's because the content needs to remain family friendly.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

** We can interact and be social right there within the community and grow our blogs and other social networks together.  It's a great way to network.

** Own an online shop (Etsy, Storenvy, Artfire, etc.)?  There's even a category for some product promotion.

So what do you think?  Click on the image above and check it out.  You can preview the community and scroll through the list of category topics on the left.  At the bottom is a description, and you can decide if you'd like to apply and join.  =0)

Speaking of Google Plus, are you in my circles yet?  If you'd like me to add you, leave a comment below with your URL, and I'll add you.  If you want to add me, here's my Google Plus profile.

Thanks for visiting, and have a great day!


Monday, February 18, 2013

The Valentine's Loot

Well, I promised to share the Valentine's Day loot that my kids came home with, and here it is!

An entire table full of cards and candies from my boys' classrooms.  Fun character cards like Transformers and Minnie Mouse, plus candy like Air Heads, Tootsie Rolls and Fun Dips!  And, my first grader got a couple of pencils and a sharpener too (great for homework time).

My daughter came home with a bunch of Tootsie Pops, a giant Butterfinger Bar (her favorite), a cake pop, and a chunky charm bracelet.

My daughter really likes the bracelet and now wants to make some like it.

And here's what they got from Mom & Dad...

Some of you may know that the Chinese New Year was celebrated on February 10th.  Well, I thought it would be fun to get the kids necklaces for Christmas showing their animals in Chinese characters.  They always ask what their animal is, because they always forget.  

Mei, owner of Etchy Things on Etsy, makes incredible bamboo pendants that I saw and knew they would be perfect!  She custom made all four pendants for me with their animals and the year each child was born and did an excellent job!  She shipped them out to me in time for Christmas, but crazy me...I hid them so that the kids wouldn't find them, and then I forgot where I put them (has that happened to you before?)

This is the front side of the necklaces.

So instead of giving them as gifts for Christmas, we gave them as gifts for the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day combined (Does that save me for forgetting them at Christmas time?).  

It was a great week, a very busy week, but a great one!  And all the kids at school loved my kids' valentines too.  =0)

Do you have a memorable Valentine's gift from when you were little?   

Don't forget that today is the last day to link up with Meet & Greet.
Click below and join the party.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Meet & Greet Blog Hop #14

Time again to Meet & Greet!!!

Welcome to the weekly Meet & Greet Blog Hop.  Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day.  I know it sure was a busy week for me.
Join in, meet some fellow bloggers, greet them with comments, and grow your blog with new friends!
*Please note: It might take me awhile to get to all the follow-backs, but I will get to all of them in time, I promise.  Thanks for your patience!

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Meet everyone!
Get to Know You Question of the Week:
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Laurie from Created by Laurie says:
I would say either yard work or scooping the cat poop!  One gets me tired and sweaty, and the other just smells horrible!

MY ANSWER: I don't find any chore to be all that much fun (I could name a bunch like sweeping, mopping, dusting the furniture...And the list continues.).  Since they are "chores," implying that they are the "Have-To-Dos" and not the "Want-To-Dos" around the house, even the name just gets me in a downer sort of mood sometimes.  But I really never ever look forward to doing dishes or laundry, which is kinda crazy too, because those are the two chores that are absolutely never-ending!  Such is the life of a mother (or even if you're not a mother!), right?  But we can try to make any chore a little fun by trying to turn it into a game (I used to do this when I was a kid).
Oh geeze...Sorry for the book there!

Amy from Clippie Dips says:
Hands down, unloading the dishwasher!  I have no idea why, I just can't stand it!  I've actually delegated that chore to my husband and when he forgets, oh man, I get so angry!  haha

*Featured Guest*
Samantha from Life as Mrs. B:
{Samantha didn't have a chance to answer, but please congratulate her for being this week's featured guest!} 

Don't miss a Meet & Greet hop!  Sign up for our email reminder list below:

*If you're interested in being a co-host, send an email to 2justByou[at]gmail[dot]com and you will be added to the waiting list!
Please note: Participation is definitely a key factor when looking for co-hosts, and we encourage you to leave comments each week and have fun with the Question of the Week as a Get-to-Know-You element of our blog hop.  Thanks!  =0)
Now link up and have some fun!  And don't forget to answer the Question of the Week!
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Friday Feature & GIVEAWAY: Tropical Snow Shoppe

Today I introduce to you the owner of Tropical Snow Shoppe, Jessica.  

Jessica strives to make good quality products while keeping them affordable for buyers.  She has always enjoyed scrapbooking and cardmaking, but now jewelry and hair accessories are her adventure, and she's loving it!
I asked Jessica how she came up with her shop name.  
This was her answer:

Well, my last name is Snow, my maiden name is Brazeal, and my intention was to include some of my handmade items as well as some of my unmarried sister's items. So combining Brazeal(Brazil-you know, like the country) and Snow, I came up with the super cheesy "Tropical Snow Shoppe". Sorta reminds me of those snow cone huts that pop up everywhere during the hot summer months. I'll probably change it if I can come up with something better.  :-)

The peacock feather items in her shop are so very pretty.  Take a look at this piece:
Jessica says: This headband is one of my favorites because (I believe) it is my own unique design. I haven't seen any other peacock headbands that are made in the same fashion.

I asked how she got started in working with feathers.  Here's what she said:
I LOVE peacock feathers! Teal/turquoise is my absolute favorite color and I love pairing it with a nuetral, so naturally peacock feathers were the perfect medium for me to work with. I had been eyeing some gorgeous peacock headbands for a while and wondering if I could make one myself when my sister in law asked me to make one for her. I loved the way that one turned out and decided to try my hand at some other designs. They got a bunch of compliments and I decided to try them on Etsy!

Daylight Savings Time is less than a month away. I asked Jessica the following: Do you look forward to longer days? What is the thing you like most about Spring Season?

I love sunlight! So, yes, I am looking forward to longer days. Even though, obviously, I don't have any more time in my day, I like the thought of at least having more light in my day. Besides, it holds some sentimental value for me as well. My son was born, on the dot, at daylight savings time. So his official date of birth was an hour after he was actually born!
My favorite thing about Spring is...the smell. Seriously, we live out in the country and as Spring approaches you can just start to smell it. And the smell always reminds me of when I was young and my dad and brothers would start baseball practice. I always loved going to the ballpark and cheering for my brothers. So every time I smell Spring it reminds me of my very happy childhood!

Jessica is giving one lucky 2justByou Blog reader one of her awesome Peacock Feather stretch headbands!  Boho Chic and fashionably perfect for the upcoming Spring Season.  She's also generously offered a coupon code for 2justByou readers!!!  Use JBY15 to save 15% on your order.  Plus, if you order, come back here and leave a comment letting me know what you purchased, and I'll give you an extra entry. =0)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on Saturday, March 2nd at midnight, Pacific Standard Time.  Entries are counted by comments left.  Please leave a separate comment for each entry so it counts.

To enter (mandatory):
* Follow 2justByou Blog via GFC, bloglovin', or networked blogs.  Leave a comment telling how you follow and your username.
* Visit Tropical Snow Shoppe and come back leaving a comment with your favorite item. 

Extra entries:
1. Be a 2justByou Blog fan on facebook.  Leave a comment here with your fb username.
2. PIN this giveaway and leave the URL in a comment.
3. Follow @shopjustByou on twitter.  Leave your username in a comment.
4. Follow me on Google Plus. Leave your G+ profile in the comments (and I'll follow back too).
5. Add Tropical Snow Shoppe to your Etsy favorites (must be Etsy member to complete this entry).  Leave your Etsy username in the comments, please.

GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!  Happy Friday to you all. 



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Classroom Valentines


Valentine's Day is one of the memorable days of elementary school, in my opinion.  It's one of those days you can look forward to a classroom party (maybe?) and have so much fun.  That's one of the best reasons I like Valentine's Day - making classroom valentines with the kiddos!

This year my youngest son wanted to just color his valentines.  Sometimes he doesn't have the patience for anything above and beyond that.  He was excited when we found awesome color-it-yourself valentines at Target for only $1 per set of 8-10, so we bought a couple of sets and he was ready for coloring fun.  These are how they turned out.  
He also got one pack of stick-it-yourself valentine's.  This set came with a whole bunch of different stickers to stick on the rectangle scalloped edge valentines.  These reminded him of the valentines we made last year (same edge).

What do you think?

My older son opted for homebaked goodies in a handmade treat bag for his valentines.  He chose one of our spins on Oatmeal Cookies (if you think they look pretty good, stay tuned because I'm posting the recipe next week).  

We stamped some glassine bags with red ink in festive Valentine's Day stamps, filled them with the tasty cookies, and then tied them up with some pink/red & white baker's twine.  He was pretty happy with how they turned out.

One of the treat bags, all ready to give.

My daughter wanted to make some cupcakes and decorate them with pink and red frosting (and silver sprinkles, I can't forget the silver sprinkles).  

Her finished cupcake.

They had lots of fun with their valentines this year!  Now we'll see what they bring home, and I'll be sure to take some photos to show you.  =0)  

Did you make or give any valentines this year?  Do you remember classroom Valentine's Day parties in grade school?  I'd love to read your stories!  Share them with a comment

Happy Valentine's Day, and I hope you share the day with someone you love.  =0)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Words for my Wednesday & Giveaway Winners

It's the last Wednesday before Valentine's Day, so here are the last words in the honor of LOVE (at least for awhile...).  Plus, scroll down to see all the Etsyversary Giveaway Winners and the winner of the Angelorian Tradition Giveaway.  =0)

Beautiful typography, don't you think???

And now for our Giveaway Winners....

The winner of the Angelorian Tradition Giveaway is lucky...

Jennifer D.!!! 

Congrats to Jennifer, as she wins a custom stamped coffee/tea spoon and a date penny key chain!  LUCKY!

For our 3-month-long giveaway, sponsored by, it took me quite awhile to go through all the entries (3 months worth!) and compile them, but I finally got through it all and chose a winner using  And the winner is....


Stephanie wins THREE 8X10 prints from Mira's lovely Etsy shopCongrats!

Winner of our Etsyversary Prize Pack #1 is.....


(I know, trust me, this is the lucky day if your name is Jennifer...there's one more winner with the same name!)
As part of the Prize Pack #1 entries, you had to choose a favorite item in our Etsy shop.  Jennifer chose this:

Winner of our Etsyversary Prize Pack #2 is.....

Toni J.

Entrants for this giveaway were asked what they would like to see more of in our Etsy shop, and Toni said she like to see more JEWELRY!  Be on the lookout, because I think you'll be seeing some more jewelry soon.  =0)

Prize Pack #3 will be going to lucky...

Jenn S.I. 

(her name is also Jennifer, but she shortens it to Jenn, so I thought I'd use Jenn.)  What item HANDMADE by the KIDS does Jenn like?  She chose the mood necklace with glow in the dark stars as her favorite!

And lastly, the winner of the Final Etsyversary Giveaway just turns out to be the LAST entrant and wins with entry #86 (with  It's....


I asked entrants of this giveaway how they might celebrate an Etsyversary, and Shani said she would celebrate with a giveaway.  =0)

All winners have been emailed and will have at least 48 hours to claim their prizes.   

HUGE thanks for all participants, and thanks for being 2justByou Blog readers! 
Special thanks to all of our lovely sponsors for all the great prizes You can check them all out with the buttons on the right sidebar!

If you like giveaways, there are certainly more to come.  Right now we have one current (ends on 2/23), and you can check it out and enter HERE.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!