Friday, May 10, 2013

My kids with their Strider ST-4 Bikes and a GIVEAWAY!!!

This is one of my favorite posts I have ever photographed! :)
After the pictures, stay tuned...
there is a giveaway at the end of this post!!!

A few months ago, I was looking into bikes for our kids. A friend of mine had got a Strider Bike for her son's birthday. I was so impressed by what she had to say about the bike, so I went about finding some Strider bikes for our kids. Not only do we LOVE these bikes, but it turns out that they were invented and are headquarterd in Rapid City, South Dakota, my home town! That makes them extra, extra cool.
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I honestly can't say enough good things about these bikes. We LOVE them. Striders are balance bikes, or bikes without pedals. They teach children how to balance, and they use their feet to cruise along.

I was really surprised how quickly our kids picked up on this, and how fast they go on their Striders.

The essence of learning how to ride a bike is learning how to balance. Our youngest son, who is 3, was zipping around on his Strider within days. Not only does he balance and coast really well, but he also has good control of the handlebars. I feel confident that he could ride a bike now. (Although we have no plans to buy him a different bike this summer- he is totally happy on his Strider)!

Strider bikes come in two sizes, the ST-4 (built for ages 18months-5 years) and the SS-1 (built for ages 6+). We have a 5 year old daughter, and chose the small bike for her, since she is on the small side. She has the tall seat, and it is perfect. She has tried her sister's bigger bike, which is too large for her, but she'll grow into it pefectly.

The green bike is the SS-1. Our oldest daughter had a broken arm last summer, so sadly she didn't get the chance to practice on her bike with training wheels. Now that she has learned to balance on a bike with her Strider, she is fully equipped to ride her other bike, although for now, she prefers her Strider. Check out the foot rest, great for learing balance and control without depending on your legs.

Last summer, the kids rode around on cheap, plastic riding toys that we had found at a garage sale. They were ok, but we never got very far on our family walks.

Now with these bikes, we are cruising-- fast-- all over the neighborhood!
It's been really fun for the whole family. 

Now we can barely keep up with them!

This was actually a huge bonus when I began training for my half marathon. I took the kids riding on the bike path, and I ran.

This little guy could not be happier with his first set of wheels..

He's in that independent stage, where he wants to do everything all by himself. Striders are the perfect cure! He can ride, balance, and coast just like a big boy!

Lest we forget how small he is, let's size him up next to dad :)

The ST-4 (smaller) bikes come in a wide array of colors: blue, green, orange, red, yellow, and much to our daughter's delight, PINK!

Daddy taught the kids a very important rule about bike safety:
When you are crossing the street, you always get off the bike and walk it.

I am so glad he took the time to point this out and make it a big deal. They are much more aware of their surroundings and the cars around them when they get off.

The bikes are so light (less than 7 pounds), that it is not a struggle at all for the kids to walk their own bike.

I just love watching the kids walk their own bikes. I can tell they feel so grown up and responsible :)

A couple of weeks ago, when spring sprung in our neighborhood, we were out bike riding almost every evening. It was magical. I took lots of pictures that I will treasure forever!

Our oldest got a little adventurous and led everyone down a "mystery path."

  Our little daydreamer... just like Alice in Wonderland.

Dreaming of all the places she can go...

I also want to mention that these bikes were very easy to assemble. It only took my husband about 15 minutes to get everything ready to ride.

I can't resist posting these pictures. I never want to forget how excited our little guy was after Daddy built his bike!

Here's a short video I made with my son, who turned 3 years old at the end of January. He loves his bike, and can ride it so well!

Giveaway Time!!!!!!!

I am SO excited that Strider wants to give one of YOU readers a bike. They are giving away the bike in this picture, a green ST-4. I know your child is going to love it. I can't wait to see who the winner will be! Huge thank you to Strider!

Please wait a moment for the entry form to appear. It is very easy to fill out and enter. Giveaway runs until Friday, May 24th. Winner will be notified via email.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Mother's Day Mantle + Blue Nile Earrings Giveaway!!

I try to decorate this little ledge (which I call my mantle, hehe) every month. For May, I chose a simple Mother's Day theme. I'm currently obsessing over turquoise (my favorite color of all-time, ever since I can remember) mixed with red. I am usually not a big fan of red (typically just in clothing), but I am loving the pop of color that is has given my living room!
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It's kind of hard to spot my button bouquet up there, but I have to point it out because it is simply one of my favorite things in the world. My daugther's made it for me. If you'd like more details, check it out on my blog here!

I had a lot of fun making this wreath and a bouquet of fabric flowers, with the help of my 5 year old. We used a new product, from Coats and Clark, called Phoomph.

It is similar to a sticker. Both sides are adhesive, and created to apply fabric onto it. it provides a quick and easy way to anyone to play with fabric. This is a great product for those who don't know how to sew, or don't like to sew, but still love and want to incorporate beautiful fabrics into their decor. (We used a mini charm pack from Moda's Vintage Modern collection, designed by Bonnie and Camille).

*My daughter's little helping hands :)

I made some circles and cut them in half, then put them together to create little whimsical flowers. I glued everything together with hot glue onto a skewer.

On some of the skewers, I decided to wrap them in washi tape.
For others, I actually glued them so some cute paper straws.

For the wreath, I strung the leaves onto red burlap and sewed them to a piece of perler cotton thread. I strung the fabric leaves onto the burlap and make one continuous strand of leaves.

Then, without glue, I positioned it onto a twiggy wreath.

 I just LOVE the quick pop of color this adds in my living room.
This project is featured over on the Coats and Clark blog, Sewing Secrets. You can check out the entire post, with more details, here!

You can download this printable for Mother's Day:

and one from last year...
"Best Mom Ever"

And now its time for a giveaway!

I was recently sent these earrings from Blue Nile, plus another pair to give away to a deserving blog reader. You can read more about the earrings here.

I love them so much. They are sterling silver, and are so very delicate and light.

I just celebrated my birthday, and I wore these out to dinner with my girlfriends. The rest of my outfit comes from...
Earrings: Blue Nile // Jacket: Lauren Conrad at Kohls // Shirt: Lauren Conrad at Kohls // Pants: High Rise Rockstar Skinnies from Old Navy // Shoes: Herbergers
Linking up at The Pleated Poppy, What I Wore

I was honestly shocked when I showed these to my husband and asked him if he had ever heard of this brand. "Of course! They sell really nice jewelry." He surprised me on that! lol. It's been a while since I've had a new pair of really nice jewelry. I am so excited about these earrings, they are so pretty!

Now it's your turn for a chance to win!!! Wait just a second for the giveaway form to load on your screen, then decide how you'd like to enter the giveaway! You have 6 chances to win. It closes on Monday May 20th. I can't wait to send these earrings to a lucky girl! :)

 Feel free to stop by and "join the family!"