Big Secret: Tim has been gone in Ukraine for the past 2 weeks - and he's coming home tonight (TONIGHT!)! I didn't mention anything on my blog because I didn't really want to advertise his absence, but oh-how-I've-missed-him.
In fact, this is the longest we've been apart from each other since I was 17. My heart could hardly stand it. I missed his voice, his smile, his wisdom, his friendship. And - I'm not gonna lie - I missed his help (What a glorious sound the garage door opening is at the end of the day, am I right?).
I planned the fashion series in part because reviews are generally pretty easy to write; it's undemanding work. The other part is that I really like hosting giveaways. It makes my day to be able to e-mail winners and say, "You won!" (I have to admit, though, that I sometimes wish that I could always pick a regular reader/commenter instead of all of the sweepstakes people that come over...but I gotta keep things fair).
Even so, the odds are pretty good so I hope you'll keep entering. And just to show that you can indeed win, tell me in the comments if you've won anything here in the past and, if so, what it was. To give hope to the masses.
Also - I mentioned what my tinies have been wearing on their feet, but I don't want to close out the series without mentioning my new Paulina Mary Jane sandals, compliments of KEEN (pictured: right). They are super comfortable & breathable (AND made of real leather - no stinky feet!) - equally perfect for wearing with shorts or a skirt. I particularly like that they're not completely flat (I'm not a fan of flats) so they actually offer support when I'm walking.
Here are three ways you can interact w/ the KEEN brand:
I hope you enjoyed perusing my fashion finds (I also hope that it is obvious that I am super picky and put great care into what I feature here).
Now it's back to personal posts and musings. Yay.
Do you like it when I have periodic themed giveaway events here?
I won a Bravado nursing tank from Metropolitan Mama. Oh how I love it!
I haven't won anything from Metropolitan Mama, but I have won on other blogs. I like how the giveaways are a review from a regular person's perspective who are often dealing with the same issues/concerns as me!
I haven't won anything here, from you, but I've been lucky enough to win a few items in giveaways elsewhere, so I figure it's probably someone else's turn to have some luck!
Giveaways are fun...I love that little rush of possibility when you enter, those few days of thinking "maybe I'll win this!" Plus you get to learn about products and shops you may not have been aware of before! And the items you choose to review/giveaway always seem to be quality items. Some blogs are a bit...ah...less particular...about what they'll review.
Your giveaways are great and so are your reviews. They are very thoughtful, and I can tell you believe what you are writing. I certainly value that, and I am sure all of your other readers do as well!
I also love that you focus on quality but within reason. Some blogs giveaway things I could never justify, which can be frustrating.
I haven't won anything yet, but here's hopin'! :)
So glad your hubby is home now!
I have won from here in the past - some Robeez, a pair of boots for hubby, some cutting boards, and most recently a twirly girl dress for Sugar!
You have great giveaways - and I value your reviews. They are thoughtful, accurate and detailed. I appreciate that they are not full of hype and are not press releases about the products.
I have won from you! Yes, indeed! I won a pair of Robeez for my little sweet pea and I won $100 gift card to Restaurants.com. :-)
What a blessing it was to win a prize from you!!!
I love your themed posts and thoroughly enjoy your thoughts :)
I am a Nini reader too! She was a leader in my youth group when I was little and now we have similar friends here in town :) She is great!
I have never won anything. ever. But that's okay :) I figure I will give it a shot here! And I did enter the Bravado sweepstakes because, well, I am nursing and that would be awesome!
Happy the hubby is home! Mine is off soon and I am sad.
I have won quite a few things online although not from your blog. It's nice to have presents coming in the mail especially when you don't have to pay for them.
BTW Keen makes adorable kids shoes as well. We prefer their sandals to crocs. They support the feet well, my kids dont trip in them and they're washable!
I enjoy you giveway themes. You are such an honest reviewer and I love that. You share the good and the not so good about everything.
I won a carseat bag. It worked perfectly and was so timely just a few weeks before our 1st airplane trip with our son. Thanks so much!!!
I have won a video monitor that I cannot live without now. I've also won a book. Thank you btw.
Hooray for video monitors! I'm sitting at my desk typing right now w/ the monitor by my side...It gives me so much peace of mind to be able to "peek" in on my girls from time-to-time. :)
Love Keens! I'm hunting for some in purple. :)
My husband is a "Tim" too, I'm glad he's home! You're right about the help...I took my 6 week old girl out for the first time today, just the two of us, without daddy! I'm so used to his help I just had to see if we could do it.
I'm new to your blog so I've never won anything, but I'm always more fond of reading well written personal accounts of parenting and the giveaways are secondary. I'm one of those people who say, "I never win anything!" then just last week I won a free cloth diaper from a site, so maybe my "no win streak" is turning around. :)
Hurray for Tim being home again. It is HARD to have your husband away!
I won a fun scrap booking kit a couple of years ago and always enjoy your themed giveaways - like others have said, I really appreciate that you only feature things you genuinely like & use.
I LOVE my pair of KEEN mary jane's that I bought a few years ago. They're cute enough to wear with a skirt, and sturdy enough to hike in. I've about worn them to shreds, though, so I'm on the lookout for some new ones again.
those shoes are SO cute! would love a pair, I've always wanted to try Keen...
So happy for you that Tim is home safe and sound. Jeff has to travel for work sometimes, too and I know how hard that is.
I've won one of your giveaways! I won a code to do my taxes for free through Turbo Tax one year!
You must have missed your husband a lot! I'm so spoiled having mine around most of the day every day.
I won a couple of books from you last year. I never win anything in draws so I was pretty excited and my husband has since been more reconciled to the time I spend reading other mom blogs online :) Mostly I comment because I have something to say rather than for the chance to win things because I don't think lightening will strike twice!
I like reading your blog whether I win or not and usually find your themes interesting. Often I'll pick up and read any books you mention too - always looking for recommendations for good reads and so far while I haven't always agreed with the philosophies of some of the parenting books, they've always made me think!
I've never won from You! But I have won from blogs before.
I read your blog and try to respond regardless of a contest, so not winning, obviously, doesn't turn me away!
Love your shoes! But even more, I love the little bare footsies next to yours!
Yes, I've won twice! A bib and a helmet. And now I try really hard not to enter any more giveaways to give someone else a chance, but I must admit that there were a few this week that I just HAD to enter. Couldn't help myself.
And I first came to your blog to enter a giveaway, but I keep coming back because I love the site! And I think you're among the very nicest, down-to-earth bloggers out there.
My husband is gone for several weeks at a time each summer, and it is hard! Watching girly movies by yourself is only fun for so long. I'm glad Tim is coming home.
Thank you so much for the compliment, Joanna! Your comment warmed my heart.
Also - please do keep entering! I think it's super fun when my regular readers win frequently. :)
I have won and so has my sister in law. I love it when you have themed giveaways!
I'm a lucky gal and I've won several things on your blog, every one of which I've used and loved. :) A cookbook, a lunch box, the trip, and oh! the map! Oh my goodness, I completely forgot about that, and I was so excited about it...is it too late??? Holy cow, that makes me sad. Well, anyway, it's definitely possible to win. I'm glad Tim's back; enjoy your time back together, and enjoy listening to his stories!
My DH and I were apart for 6 weeks once and it was terrible! The first night he was gone I found a snake in the house and had to deal with it myself. After that it got easier not to have his help, but I missed HIM so much! I'm glad to know that your DH is home with you and I hope you have a chance to just spend time with him for a few days.
I do enjoy your giveaways although I've yet to win. You've helped me find some of my very favorite products and I appreciate it!
I should add that was before becoming parents! I can't imagine how hard it would be for him to be gone for 2 weeks now!
2 weeks would be hard. We've been apart longer but not since having our second child - being a single mom is hard!
I do enjoy your giveaways - you often highlight brands that I am unfamiliar with and I like checking them out.
Keen - those are super cute! I had a pair that I wore when I lived in Guatemala but in all honestly they were a little ugly - I bought them for their comfort and usefulness walking the cobble stone streets there. Those are much cuter.
It was actually a giveaway that brought me to your blog in the first place, and you've been on my RSS feed ever since.
I have won several things from you in the past! You host wonderful giveaways and I LOVE reading your blog :) Here is what I have won in the past year or so:
Crock Pot Cookbook
Swaddling Blanket (this made a great gift for mu husband's co-worker! THey all thought it was wonderful!)
Souper Salad Gift Card (we were able to get two nights out to dinner for our WHOLE family of 7 people by using the gift card and coupons from the paper. My children LOVED eating there and are always asking to go back!)
Thanks for hosting such great, quality giveaways!
I only enter a few contests here and there...when it's something I really really need to want to have...lol! I've won a few things in general over the past year or so....
I can't believe he's been gone so long....I know how it is to have the hubby gone....I soooo know how it is...and I'm so glad he's back!!!
Wow, 2 weeks is a long time! I'm glad he is back~
I own a KEEN purse that I use most days...it's bright yellow and made from repurposed materials. I get quite a few compliments on it and comments because most people don't know they make purses.
I have never won anything on any blogs...I know, I know....cry me a river right? Sad but true. :)
Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!
1. Yea for Tim coming home! Well, I guess he's already back now. I'm sure he missed you and your girls so much too! Yippie!
2. Yes, I love when you do themed giveaways. I seem to always like the sites and products you feature.
3. I haven't won, but that's not why I'm here. I enjoy reading all of your posts.
Tim is home...YAY!!! ( :
I did win once on your blog!!! Sippy cups,baby fork and spoons, and little bowl with lids...Audrey eats from them daily.
Love winning, but that is not why I come to your blog. I come to feel good about myself, feel inspired, hear your accomplishments and struggles, and learn new things!! Thanks 100x more for that!
Welcome back, Tim! I hope Stephanie gives us a brief overview of your time there!!
oh my goodness 2 weeks - I have never done that! I still get a jump in my heart when hubby comes home from work each DAY, never mind if he had to be gone for 2 weeks - you are brave! :)
So - I love the theme giveaways (haven't won yet!), but I also love all your other posts, your advice for mom bloggers, your book - okay, I'm a bit of a fan! :) Keep up the good work! :)
I am also a lucky Metropolitan Mama winner. I won a fruit bouquet. That was the first time I ever won anything! As another commenter mentioned, I don't like blogs that solely do giveaways, but I do enjoy a nice giveaway periodically! :)
Welcome home to your husband! 2 weeks is a LONG time to be parenting solo.
Congrats on your family's wholeness!
I've been a reader for a long time it seems...We have a 7 mo old and a 4 year old now and I can remember when I first started reading your blog you had just had your baby girl and our oldest are only months apart...
I did win a kitchen thermometer! It is great and had been on my wishlist!
I love giveaways and have won many- Which has been a help because I have *great* taste but can't always afford it!
My girlfriend just told me about your site. She reads it all the time, It is a nice addition to my facebook time. I have added you to my favorites! Enjoy your husband. I know how nice it will be to have him home. I enjoyed reading about your giveaways and posted a few comments. I look forward to coming back and reading more. Thanks for putting your time and energy into this!
I've won twice on your blog! But, truth be told, I'd still read all your posts even if you had no giveaways whatsoever.
I won a sports water bottle and pedometer first and then I won a Mei Tai baby carrier which is TO DIE FOR. Love that carrier!
TWO WEEKS?! That is so long Stephanie! When my husband is gone I am most lonely at night. Snuggle close tonight. Homecomings are the best part of being away for so long.
I like the theme giveaways. Also, I am like you I don't mention my husband is gone or we are all gone on my blog until we are back.
Great giveaways this week mama! Glad to hear your hubby's home! I can sooo relate to your comment about the sound of the garage door. : ) I do like giveaway periods like this. I'm not one who cares to read a giveaway blog but when a blog with quality writing that I enjoy throws a few out there for readers it's always a nice addition! Plus the products you giveaway are awesome!
Oh, the sound of the garage door opening! I remember so very well, asking my mother on my parents' 25th wedding anniversary, if it was still "all that". She replied, "my heart still leaps in my chest when I hear the garage door opening!"
And, yes, I did win something: a crockpot cookbook. I wasn't much of a crockpotter, but I enjoyed cooking a few recipies out of it. Then I passed it on to my SIL, who LOVES the book, and cooks from it often. So not only did I get the joy of winning something, I got to enjoy passing it along to someone who so appreciated it! A two-fer!
I appreciate your giveaways (though I'd still visit without them) because I appreciate and trust your judgement.
I've won twice. I won your ebook/1-800-Flowers Giveaway and I won the Mariott Points Giveaway! I love, but I love you more! And I knew from following Tim on Twitter he was gone, so I was praying for you and the girls! :) Glad he is home!
Thank you so much for your prayers, Vanessa! We are so happy to have him home.
my kids and i always love when my husband returns from being away for work... enjoy your time having your husband home again. the way you talk about him, i know you will : )
the only giveaways i've ever won, were from you...
a crockpot cookbook and a best of baby package (ergo carrier, car seat, and robeez). i love the ergo! it is my favorite carrier i've used.
i do like your themed giveaways... it's fun to see useful and unique products. and to get honest reviews about them. and to have the chance to win them, of course ; )
Yay!! I'm so glad for you and your girls. I know y'all must have missed him terribly.
I won a fishing vest from your blog, and sadly my brain doesn't seem to stay intact long enough to give it to my uncle when he's in town. Someday....soon!
And, yes to the question about periodic themed giveaways. They are fun, and it's great to see what other trusted mamas like.
P.S. Was he there with Adventures in Missions? Another friend of mine was working with them last week in Ukraine...long shot, I'm sure...
I've been a reader for quite some time and haven't won anything yet, but I keep trying! :) So glad your husband is on his way home and trust his trip was profitable and blessed!
I've been a reader of your blog for a long time now and have won a couple of things. I know one was a goody bag of sorts for air travel with small children, but I can't remember what the other thing was... doh!
It is hard when my husband is away from home, but as an airline pilot and an ARMY reservist he spends a fair ammount of time away... like the entire year our triplets were 2!?! We have just learned to make the most of the time when he is home and do our best to carry on when he is out of town.
Glad Tim is on his way home to you and the girls tonight!
Wow, good job surviving those 2 weeks!! I have been SO thankful to win at least 2 giveaways (maybe more?)!! Aden and Anais swaddling blankets which I love and love to give as gifts now! Also, a nursing nightgown which I gave to a friend who is expecting ANY day now! Keep up the good work and thank you!!
Oh and P.S. I love these giveaways.... they are thoughtful products that I love to use, and would love to win, and your reviews include great content that is great to read.
Oh gosh, I would have been dying with about hubby for two weeks! I bet you miss him so much (and I bet he misses his girls a ton!)
I love your Mary Janes, those are adorable. It's funny that you talk about Keen, because I was just about to e-mail you and ask if you if you tried them, because we just got Keen shoes for Capri, and they are awesome in this AZ heat for running around outside (and hiking and by the pool, I bet your oldest would love them....these are the ones we just bought...
Your giveaways were what drew me to your site, but I have become a regular reader, (though I don't often post).
And yes, I have won from you -- a Melinda G nursing bra that I still wear all the time (I bought a second one because I like it so much!) and a book about breastfeeding. And I think a pair of babylegs? (That one was from when I was a brand new mom so my memory is kinda hazy!) What I like about your giveaways is that they are straightforward, one entry per person more or less. Most blog contests ask you to tweet and retweet, post buttons and write blog posts, which is all nonsense really, unless you really have a following, like you do. (I often follow the links on your Tuesday post about things on the web!)
I'm so glad you like Melinda G as much as I do!
I'm also glad that you like my 1-entry giveaway system. I chose to do it that way because that's the way *I* like to enter contests on other sites. Who has time to enter 10 different ways? (Not me).
I won a Seagate hard drive set about a year ago. Very nice set and a great way to save all my photos.
Themed giveaways are fun. I like seeing the variety of products in the theme yet everything still fits together nicely.
I won a gift certificate to a photographer, which we're saving till E is sitting up. I like the periodic giveaways, it's fun to have the chance to win cool stuff, and I like the product reviews, it's good to know what a real person likes/doesn't like.
And I hear you about the sound of the garage door opening!! Plus I hate being alone for that long. When Noel got his new job (2 1/2 years ago now) he had to do a total of almost 5 weeks training...2 weeks in Denver and 2.4 in Malibu. It was SO lonely without him!
Well, I was one of those sweepstakes winners a long time ago... I won these funky numbers/letters silicone molds. We mostly use them to make fun ice cubes, but one of these days I will get around to making some type of shortbread/cookie in them!
And then finally I realized I should be reading you all the time! ;)
Um, I love when you do themed giveaways =) Plus, I know that you only review/give away things that you really like, not a bunch of junk - so I always enter your giveaways because I am sure I'll like the product too. I actually have been reading your blog for probably 18 -24 months and first came because of a giveaway that I won from you (a pregnancy pillow).
Yes. I won a $50 gift card to Whole Foods (loved it!) and some Disney consolation/runner-up prizes which my little guy enjoys. :-)
Also, I really love your self-portraits this week.
I am a regular reader and I won a teething bracelet and necklace from your site. And I also won a baby sized scrubs outfit with a custom monogram that you linked to on your Tuesday Tours post.
I'm with ya. I don't advertise vacations or time away or hubby working over night on the blog... you just never know, right?
Glad he is on his way home! I know how deeply you two just adore each other.
Oh, I am a huge fan of KEEN as well...I wear them everywhere and with everything. My other new favorite, is Chacos...comfy sandle indeed.
Enjoy your reunion with Tim!!
I haven't won, but that doesn't stop me from reading your blog on a daily basis. You always have such great giveaways (we must have similar tastes) so I've thoroughly enjoyed your review/giveaway posts this week. While I enjoy your day to day writings, one of my favorite things about your blog used to be your themed weekends with giveaways. Hope you and Tim enjoy the rest of the weekend together.
I haven't won anything here on Metropolitan Mama, but it was your site that introduced me to the whole give-away concept. I've entered contests here and there for the past three years and just won my first one last month.
PS I like your occasional themed give aways. But I love the awards posts too. I agree with other posters. I can always count on your reviews to be honest and reliable. So many review blogs these days read like factory posts. "Got it. Love it. You gotta get it. Here's how." Metropolitan Mama is a refreshment!
I won the ionator HOM that you gave away awhile back. I have used it almost every day since I got it :) I found your blog because of that series of giveaways, but I have been a loyal reader ever since. I do enjoy your themed giveaways and even when I don't win, I find out about new products I might be interested in, like good quality kids shoes.
Isn’t the ionator awesome? We use ours every day too. Truth be told, it’s one of the best products I’ve reviewed all year! :)
Congrats on the hubby returning! Your girls are going to be over the moon tonight!! I won a maternity clothing set from moody mamas last year and am LIVING in it now! Only 2 1/2 months to go now! I am sure my friends are going to be thrilled when I pass them along. I don't always comment but read every day, yours is one of the blogs I most look forward to reading each day!
I feel you on the hubby returning after a long trip! My husband is out of the country every couple o months & even went to Dubai just a week after our 2nd baby was born. Australia next month for 2 weeks & I can't decide if I should retreat to my parents or stick it out at home. ;)
I won a package full of maternity clothes which I wore like crazy! Thanks
I certianly enjoy hearing the sound of the garage door opening too! Was Tim on a mission trip? I have some missionary friends over in the Ukraine that I hope to go help out sometime.
And to give hope to everybody else I have actually won two things from your blog, An art set for my daughter and Amanda Soule's Handmade Home book. We have enjoyed both very much.
Yes. He was helping to build a church there. Hard work. Long days. But quite the experience!
These shoes look cute! I do like when you have themed posts and giveaways. Thanks!
I am so glad Tim's home coming is soon. I know what that is like, to have hubby/daddy gone for a long time. But, 2 weeks straight is longer than we have had to do. NOT fun! Good job enduring. :)
p.s. I do like giveaways!
Yay!! I was wondering if he was back yet!? (I gathered he was gone from FB and Twitter). 2 weeks is a LONG time...especially since you have never been away that long! Markus and I had to be apart for 4 weeks (two different times) when we first got married (due to immigrations stuff while waiting on his green card) and since he arrived here in the US 6 years ago, the longest we have had to be apart is 5 days when I had to travel for work pre-kids. I don't like being apart from him at all!
Last year I won a play mat. It was the first and only thing I have ever won. It made my day. While we didn't wind up using it, I was able to give it to a friend and it was a perfect fit for their play room! So...winning is possible!
You're giveaways are fantastic! As the others said, they are thoughtful, great quality products, and your reviews are honest and well penned! Keep 'em comin'!
Happy Happy Welcome Home to Tim and you! Have a GREAT night!!
I don't always comment, but I do read regularly (for the past 6 months or so when I started reading more motherhood blogs. I'm due this month with my first!! Yay!)
I haven't won anything. I did go out and buy a steam mop after reading your review in your archive and love love love it. I like how discerning you seem to be with your giveaways and that they usually revolve around a theme of some kind. You don't just throw something random up.
Enjoy Tim coming home!! As a military wife, I understand how hard separations can be for whatever reason and whatever length of time. It's hard to be away from our favorite most loved people. :)
Congrats on your pregnancy. I am so very happy for you. Motherhood is a life-changing and wonderful thing. :)
Oh, and that steam mop is great, isn't it? We still use ours often and we are very happy with it.
First off - I lived in Ukraine for 16 months. Where was Tim and what did he think of it?
I have not won anything on your site :( but I comment because I adore you and your blog.
I also love my Keens and am wearing them today.
He spent most of his time in Donetsk, but also visited Kiev. Where did you live...and did you enjoy it?
P.S. Thank you so much for the kind compliment.
Enjoy your reunion with your husband! I am a lucky Metropolitan Mom winner. About two years ago I won a UV bathing suit for my daughter. She still likes wearing the suit and she continues to be the only member of the family immune to sunburns. I haven't won since and I don't enter every contest but I still enjoy stopping by.
Two weeks is a long time, my husband is gone a lot for work - and it does make it difficult whenever they are gone. Your garage door comment made me smile, because that's how we feel at my house. As soon as the garage door opens we're all racing to the door to welcome my husband home!
A while back, I won your giveaway for the Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs - which we love! I've gotten a lot of comments on them whenever we've used them outside of the house. In fact I've even bought a few sets for gifts. They are great!
In my opinion your giveaways are fun - and it shows that you care about which products to feature. I love most of all that you do not make your readers jump through a million hoops to enter. Simple is good!
I haven't won anything yet, but I am a fairly new reader to your blog (Thanks to Nini!), so I figure it might take some time. ;)
How nice to have your husband returning! 2 weeks would be unbelievably hard, since I've been married I have only been away from my husband 3 days tops (and I thought THAT was hard!!)
Your giveaways are so incredible, it is obvious you put a lot of thought and care into what you present/offer. Do you contact the companies you like, or are they all contacting you?
Oh, I just LOVE Nini! Do you know her in real life? She strikes me as being kind, encouraging, and optimistic. And her kids are beautiful!
In answer to your question, I get hundreds of pitches from companies that want me to review their products. I say "no" to most of them. I even turned down a Coach purse once. ;)
That said, I do say "yes" if the product is a good fit for my family and my editorial calendar. I also send out my own pitches.
Are you interested in reviewing products? You can read some tips here: https://www.metropolitanmama.net/2009/07/how-to-get-products-to-review-on-your-blog-an-intro-for-new-ish-bloggers/.
Yes, I know Nini is real life- and you have the right impression of her- she is so great!
Thanks for the link, I think I might try to do some product reviews. I would just love to have some giveaways on my own blog, they are so much fun!
oh... hope tim has a safe trip home. i can't imagine two whole weeks, especially with two young kids.
I've never won, but hopefully one day! I'll keep entering and reading. It always takes me a while to get to comment since I usually read blogs on my ipod touch at night.