On June 14th, it will be five years since I wrote this post about my domestically gifted grandmother, thus launching the little blog that I have come to love. I created Woman in Real Life at a time of significant change in my life. Having just quit a full-time job that I held for over 14 years, I was unsure of what was next for me career-wise. I knew only a few things for sure. I knew I needed a break. A break from nasty bosses and work that lacked creativity. I knew that I've always been a writer. (It's the only passion I've ever wanted to turn into a career.) And I knew I wanted to be a better, happier mom and human being.
I watched a lot of Mad Men on Netflix in the early months. Giving up a well-paying job with over a decade of pension contributions under my belt wasn't easy. And I had no clue how to grow a blog. Frankly, attracting lots of followers and gaining sponsorship wasn't my intention. I only wanted to learn to write in a contemporary forum. (I went to journalism school when few people even accessed the internet.) Over the years, the blog's content has changed some - I quote poetry less and photograph more food. But when I go back to that first post, I see that my vision is unchanged - I want to celebrate the importance of "the little things" - the simple pleasures that make our moments together on this earth more enjoyable. (And you know food is one of those things!)
The best thing about this blog, hands down, is when people take the time to comment. Especially if they like something I'm doing - that makes my day! I have connected with many kind, talented and generous people over these five years, and I'm fairly certain that these interactions with people in the world outside my walls have kept me sane (well sort of sane anyway!).
I'm going to do a couple of giveaways this month as a small thank you to the people who so kindly visit, comment and take the time to enter giveaways. I have been fortunate to work with a number of amazing companies over the past five years. I only share products on the blog that I have used or would use myself and I'm grateful to have partnered with like-minded companies. A couple of those awesome companies were kind enough to offer prizes in celebration of my blogiversary.
You know how much I love DK's colourful, educational, fun books for the whole family. DK is celebrating its own special anniversary. Sophie la girafe is 55! First created in France in 1961, Sophie la girafe all-natural baby teethers have been a fixture in nurseries for 55 years. DK publishes a full line of Sophie la girafe® titles - sturdy board books packed with adorable images and text that encourages parent-child interaction. They are celebrating with four new titles.
The winner of my blogiversary kiddos giveaway will receive the three Sophie books featured on the blog, including Sophie Pop-Up Peekaboo!
How cute is this book? I mean, it's pop-up AND peekaboo! What more could you ask for? Snuggle up with your toddler or grandchild - you'll both enjoy this book. Beautifully illustrated, shiny red apples pop up to reveal a sweet flowery bird. A toy box opens to reveal vehicles, blocks and other colourful toys. Kids are asked to follow along and participate in helping Lazare the cat find Sophie.
If you can't wait long enough to win a copy, here's how you can buy one now:
Buy Sophie la girafe: Pop-Up Peekaboo Sophie! in Canada.
Buy Sophie la girafe: Pop-Up Peekaboo Sophie! in the US.
Sophie On The Move is a touch and feel book, so baby can get that hands-on (mouth-on?) experience he or she needs for tactile learning. It's small and lightweight, perfect for taking on your travels through the day.
Different textures are revealed on each page spread, as Sophie travels in a (shiny) car, a bumpy-wheeled tractor and even a noisy train with sparkly, rough-to-the-touch wheels. It's a quick book, perfect for short attention spans (like those of parents falling asleep before their children perhaps?).
Buy Sophie la girafe: On the Move in Canada.
Buy Sophie la girafe: On the Move (Baby Touch & Feel) in the US.
A classic peekaboo-style board book, Peekaboo Sophie is one of those baby and toddler books that is fun for parents too. There are only a couple of lines of text on each page, so you won't get bored when you're asked to repeat the story approximately 1,000 times. I remember I used to try to cut out lines in longer books sometimes and my son would always catch me.
These sweet books make me nostalgic for the days that I would tuck my kids into bed and read board books with them each night. Sigh. They grow up so fast. Be sure to read as many books as you can right now! Follow along with Sophie's birthday celebrations using hashtag #sophielagirafebirthday.
Buy Sophie la girafe: Peekaboo Sophie! in Canada.
Buy Sophie la girafe: Peekaboo Sophie! (Sophie La Giraffe) in the US.
Okay, this Beatrix NY bento lunch box is not just adorable, it's super cool. It has the durable feel of plastic, but it's actually made from biodegradable rice husk fiber. A rice husk is the little green covering around a grain of rice. Usually the husks get tossed when rice is processed, but Beatrix collects them, smashes them up and mixes them with natural starch to make these very cute, eco-friendly and useful bento boxes for kids. While regular plastic lunch boxes pile up in landfill, these Beatrix NY boxes will biodegrade in about ninety days if broken up and thrown away.
They come in a number of cute and stylish designs, including Penelope the Octopus (shown) and Percival & Alister the Dinos. These bento boxes are food-safe, air-tight and free of BPA, phthalates and lead. They can be washed in the dishwasher, although the lid design is printed so its best to wash the lid by hand.
In Canada, find a Beatrix NY retailer through Soko Distribution.
If you're in the US, you can find the Beatrix New York Bento Boxes here.
What special child would you like to share these goodies with?
Enter to Win A Fun Prize Pack For Your Little One!
Residents of Canada may enter to win using the rafflecopter below until July 4th. Prize may not be exactly as shown. (Our homemade "donuts" not included, haha.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*I received product for this post. All opinions are authentic and my own. Thank you for supporting the awesome companies that partner with Woman in Real Life.