Friday, December 31, 2010


My wonderful husband gave me a laptop for my Christmas present so I've been spending some time transfering files and pictures from our old computer.This morning, I came across some pictures that I haven't seen in years.

Back in October 2005, the hubs and I were still newlyweds. We had just been married that June, so we were only 4 months into marital bliss. Both of us had given little thought to the future, we were having to much fun living in the now, in our own little world. 

On October 4th, 2005, that world almost crumbled down around me. Hubs was helping out another farmer by driving a grain truck for him. Long story short, the truck ended up down a 30 foot drop into a canyon and rolled 2 and a half times. I don't even want to think how long my husband would've been down there if someone hadn't noticed the smoke from the highway.

Amazingly, he only ended up with a concussion, a broken wrist, and 20 some stitches in his head and leg. This was one of those extremely rare times when it was a good thing that he wasn't wearing his seat belt. If he had, he would've been crushed. With that said, he was also very lucky that he wasn't thrown from the truck. The thought that I could've been a widow with just a small chance of fate still sends chills up my spine.

I hope that our marriage would be just as healthy if my husband hadn't been in that accident, but I honestly believe that our marriage is so strong because it's so easy for us to think about what might've been. Sure, we don't always agree and we argue about some really stupid, and not so stupid, things and we've gone to bed angry many times. But, even in the most stressful times, we say "I love you" to each other many times a day and we are so extremely grateful for the life we have. If I ever need a reminder of why I should be thankful, I just need to look back at these pictures.

Be sure to like my Facebook Page to stay up to date. Starting Jan 1st, this blog will no longer be published to I Heart Fluff and all posts will be directed to The Cloth Chronicles.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 Goals

While I'm not a fan of typical New Year's Resolutions, I do like to set goals for myself. Of course, just like most New Year's Resolutions, I don't always complete my goals. I'm hoping that by blogging about them this year, I will feel more accountable to actually follow through.

Goal #1: Take Control of our Finances~ While the Hubs and I do an okay job of living within our means and not depending too much on credit, we could still do much, much better. With the farm and now my Country Drawers store, we need to cut back on all of our 'miscellaneous' spending. You know, the $5 here for a pop and snacks and the $10 there for one more piece of crap junk item that we don't need.

I downloaded Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book for the Kindle app I have on my computer and we're going to try following that. We do need to tweak a couple of the steps to fit in with our businesses, but it looks completely doable.

Goal #2: Live Healthier ~ As far as I'm concerned, diet is a four letter word. Plus, I think I set myself up for failure once that word leaves my mouth. So, I am saying I need to eat healthier and exercise. No dieting for this family! Little man is sometimes the only one in our house that actually eats healthy. Hubs and I have a bad habit of grabbing some quick, processed food instead of actually sitting down and eating healthy meals. I really need to get back on the treadmill again too.

Goal #3: Get Organized ~Oy! This is a biggie for me. I've tried for years to get my act together. When I worked outside of home, I had no problem keeping my workspace organized at my job. At the end of the day, everything would be in its place and I would come in the morning to a neat and well-organized desk. Home was a different story. On the outside, I may look organized. Just don't take a look in my kitchen cupboards, closets, bedroom, or...God forbid...go in the basement.

Besides needing to be more physically organized, I also need to work on my time management. I am a terrible time waster. I have such a hard time focusing on one thing at a time that I just end up getting overwhelmed and end up doing some unnecessary time wasting, like watching TV or checking out Facebook.

Goal #4: Reconnect with Friends~ I used to be a pretty social person. I'd go out with friends at least once a week and you could always find me on the phone. When I got pregnant with little man, I felt so sick that I just didn't feel like hanging out and then towards the end of my pregnancy, I was just too tired. Then, of course, I was in new mom bliss once little man was born and wanted to spend all of my time with him.
Once I went back to work, I just didn't have time for friends between taking care of a little baby, working, and taking care of the house stuff. Then little man had some health issues and we just weren't able to leave the house for fear of him catching some virus or cold and making his health worse. The fact that we live in the middle of nowhere just made us even more isolated. Sure, little man got better, but by that time I was in full on WAHM mode and I had no idea where to find the time.

This year, I am making the time. I miss my friends and I just don't think FB conversations constitute real connections with friends that only live a few miles away.

Well, there you have it. My goals for 2011. Throughout the year, I will be revisiting them from time to time with progress reports.

What are your goals for 2011?

Be sure to like my Facebook Page to stay up to date. Starting Jan 1st, this blog will no longer be published to I Heart Fluff and all posts will be directed to The Cloth Chronicles.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What I Learned in 2010...

  • There are no vacation days or sick leave for WAHMs...
  • When working from home, you will be on call 24/7. Whether it's your business or your family, you will be needed at all times of the day and you must set priorities...
  • I don't have to do it all...
  • It's a wonderful feeling to take a break from working because your child wants you to read a book to him...
  • Sesame Street is a sanity saver. Letting my child watch a little bit of TV every day will not turn his brain into mush...
  • No matter what all those organizing experts say, there is no way I can get up at 5-6am everyday, take a shower, exercise, do some cleaning, and have breakfast ready before my child wakes up in the morning...
  • It's okay to stay in my yoga pants/sweats until the afternoon every once in a while. There are some days I'm lucky that I get to brush my teeth, let alone take an actual shower...
  • It will be many, many years before our house is completely clean again...
  • I need to spend more time with my friends...
  • Facebook and technology can be addicting and there is nothing wrong with going 'off the grid' every now and then. Life will go on even if you can't update your status...
  • Sometimes, caffeine and chocolate really do make everything better...
  • Those developmental milestone charts are not all they're cracked up to be. Every child develops differently...
  • The best conversations are those had with a toddler...
  • Everyday really is a blessing...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Facebook Updated Their Rules Again

Ugh! Facebook went and updated their promotions guidelines again!

You still can't hold a giveaway on Facebook, unless you use an application on one of your tabs. Not such a big deal, but I've looked through the applications and I've never found one I liked or one that I thought the fans would like. Most of them have been too complicated.

Of course, you can still hold giveaways on your blogs and you can promote those giveaways on Facebook. I've been thinking that you could probably also use Google Docs Forms, even for flash giveaways. You'd just have to post the link on your FB page.

You CAN require people to like your FB page for an entry, but you CAN'T have a giveaway where people are automatically entered when they like your page. I'm assuming this means you can't say at 1000 likes, you'll give away something to a randomly drawn fan. But, you can post a blog giveaway when you reach 1000 likes and have people fill out an entry form.

You CAN'T notify winners on FB. This means, you can't contact the winners with FB messages, chats or posts on profiles or pages. This is why I've started asking for email addresses on our entry forms.

While you can require people to like your FB page to be entered in a contest, you CAN'T require them to take any other action on FB - like post on a profile, like a status or photo, upload a photo, or comment on a wall. For example, you can't have people get an extra entry by liking a certain photo. This could also cause problems for flash giveaways where fans are asked to comment on walls. I actually have a giveaway going on right now that requires entrants to post on a FB wall. So, it looks like I'll be changing my giveaway guidelines...again.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer, but this is my interpretation of the updated guidelines. I have heard of FB contacting page admins and even shutting down pages because they weren't following the guidelines. I've bent the rules plenty of times and haven't had an issue yet, but I suppose this would be a good time to start being a little more cautious.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

**CLOSED** Surprise Giveaway - Back to Basics Toys

The winner is...

Jennifer B!!

As most of you know, the Cloth Chronicles blog and the I Heart Fluff Facebook page are pretty much non-paying jobs for me. :) Except for the small amount of income I get from the ad space and some free products for reviews, I mainly do this for fun. So, I'm always excited when my fans purchase products using my affiliate links for sites such as Eversave, Zulily, and Mamapedia. Besides you getting a good deal, I also get a little credit in my account.

Today, I want to give some of that back to you. So, I purchased a $40 gift voucher for Back to Basics Toys from Mamapedia a couple days ago to give to one of you!

Since I want one of my fans to win this, I am asking that you fan I Heart Fluff on Facebook and follow this blog. Just fill out the entry form below and you're done!

This giveaway will end on Thursday, Dec 9th and I'll pick a winner with on Friday, Dec. 10th.

**FYI, I have purchased from all of the sites mentioned in this post and I would recommend them to anyone!

WAHM Wednesday - Erin from Baby Frills

Tell us about your business:

Baby Frills is my WAHM business that sells everything cute, frilly and fun for infants and toddlers. Scruffle Legs are the signature of Baby Frills, but keep coming back as I expand to include other homemade and personalized items for my kids and yours! Watch for other customs to become available at!

What makes your business fabulous?

When my fourth was born, I decided to be wild and cloth diaper. What has made it easier is leg warmers. I didn't have enough money to spring for a bunch of top name leg warmers, so I started making my own. And, I love them. So do my other kids and they have added their input too. I think that makes it original as my 5 year old daughter loves everything frilly.

One day she walked in to where I was sewing and asked if I was making more "scruffles." Of course she meant "ruffles" but the name was born!

White Rugby Striped Scruffle Leg Warmers

Why did you become a WAHM?

I love crafting. I still scrapbook, but that has gone digital so I felt I needed to do something else hands on. What better way to feed my urge to make, than to make for others!

Faux Fur Leg Warmers - How cute are these???

How do you find the time?

Good question! I find that time is a relative term these days. I have four kids aged 6 and under. I also homeschool the older two. Finding time for anything is hard, but MAKING time is a different matter. You need to MAKE time for the things that are a must in your life.

Any tips for other WAHMs?

Maybe one or two tips! Make sure you love what you do and that you are prepared to invest in an idea. It adds up!

LOVE the Owls!!!

Out of all the products you make/sell, which one is your favorite?

I love my Scruffle Leg and Onesie/Top combo. It is just so cute on the little ones and there are so many custom combinations.

Any specials or giveaways we should know about?

Baby Frills is now on Facebook! Watch for more information on giveaways in the near future.

**CLOSED** Olivia Place Giveaway

The Winner is....

Ambra W!

I first became aware of Oliva Place a few months ago and I've been hooked ever since! It's a family run company that was started by two sisters, Caroline and Deb, and their husbands. For you scrapbook enthusiasts, Caroline and Deb are also the brilliant minds behind Maya Road!

Olivia Place features daily deals starting at 9am CST for 30% to 80% off retail! Of course, my favorite deals have been the cloth diapers but they offer all sorts of products for children and moms.

Now, here's the really good part...Olivia Place is giving one of you a $15 gift certificate to their site!!! All you have to do is visit Olivia Place on Facebook and say I <3 (Heart) Fluff sent you! Seriously...that's all!  Well, and fill out the entry form below so I can contact the winner. :)

Giveaway ends Wednesday, December 8th and the winner will be randomly drawn the next day.

*I was in no way compensated for this - I just love Olivia Place. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Card Time + 50 Free Cards from Shutterfly

Every year I have big plans to make my own handmade Christmas cards and every year I make one or two and then get sidetracked with my crazy, everyday life. Then I end up scrambling to find store bought cards I like that don't cost a small fortune and trying to get them mailed before Christmas - usually on the 23rd, but I've been known to mail Christmas cards as late as New Year's. If I remember right, I didn't get any cards mailed last year.

I've decided to simplify things this year. While I love handmade items, I just don't have the time right now. Besides, this is what happens when I drag out my paper supplies...

Thankfully, there is Shutterfly! At Shutterfly, I can get cute, personalized and affordable cards starting at just 40 cents! Plus, they can even address and mail them for me. I wish I would've thought about this for little man's birthday! It would've been soooo much easier to order the birthday invites from Shutterfly!

I'm still trying to decide on which design I want to use - there are over 800 Christmas photocard designs! Besides the picture on top (notice the cupcake decorating supplies all over the floor) here are some of my favorites...

I love the fact that you can add some family updates to these cards:

I've really been feelin' the retro vibe this year so these cards would be perfect:
I'm also considering picking up a few calenders as gifts. Not only can I add our own photos, I can also add personalized dates for our family's special occasions!
Shutterfly has so many designs available that there really is something for everyone and in everyone's price range. To make things even more fabulous, Shutterfly is offering us bloggers 50 free cards! Yep, you have to have a blog, sorry! :(
To get in on this deal, just fill out the form here: Don't wait too long! The registration ends December 10.