Monday, April 30, 2012

Time to shop for....



The most important day of the year to celebrate all of the wonderful mommies is right around the corner. May 13th everyone! That is two weeks away!

Head over to my website to look at all of the perfect items for every mom. Whether she needs a special dress for a luncheon or placemats for entertaining, we have something for everyone. My mom's favorite dress is Claire in Shocking Pink. Trust me - you won't see any problem areas with that pattern ;)

{I also have great gift cards which you can never go wrong with} Happy shopping! 


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Erin McDermott Jewelry :: Giveaway!


Is it possible to get sick of FREE jewelry?? Methinks not...hence, I am pleased to announce a third great jewelry giveaway, three weeks in a row! {I will take peony bouquets and anything from J.Crew as thank you's} 

Erin McDermott of her namesake jewelry line reached out to me last week and I am smitten with her casually elegant designs at amazingly affordable prices! Based in Charlotte, NC, I officially fell in love when I read some of the things she likes via her about me section on her site: Converse, Sharpies and the names of paint colors...we are soul mates. Her materials for earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces {including bridal and little girls} range from sterling silver to wood, and each piece is extremely versatile. There really is something for everyone - boho, elegant, traditional - you will certainly be able to find something you like......

.....which is why it's even more fabulous of Erin to offer a $100 gift certificate so you can choose pieces that match your own personal style! Here are some of my favorites {apparently I am really liking turquoise right now?}, but you have got to head over to her website and browse all of the designs. Just lovely!





To enter, all you have to do is like Erin's Facebook page - link HERE - and for an extra entry {which you must post separately} become a follower of, or let me know you already are a follower of, The Southern Eclectic. I'll run the giveaway through Wednesday evening :) Good luck! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cannon Lewis Jewelry WINNER!


Brittany Williams - you won! Email hello@sheridanfrench.com with your details and I will put you in touch with Cannon. Congratulations!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How I Wore It :: 38 Weeks


I have officially discovered my new favorite maternity dress! Towards the end of pregnancy when my stomach is super size, I am not a fan of baggy clothing. I think tighter fits show off the bump nicely and I don't like feeling as though I'm wearing a big huge sack, so when I came across this Nicole Miller via A Pea in the Pod I was thrilled...and even more excited when I received it and it actually fit as I was hoping! Typically more than I spend on maternity clothes {Old Navy is my go-to store during these 9 months}, I was ok with the $250 splurge because we have several parties coming up in the next few weeks and I definitely want to be feeling my best appearance-wise for all of them. Not disappointed with the dress in the slightest and I highly recommend! 

Dress :: Nicole Miller maternity / Shoes :: Gucci
Clutch :: Marc Jacobs / Sunglasses :: Prada

Trousers :: Vilebrequin

Had to include a snapshot of Biz. He will never ever EVER x 1 million go for a How Biz Wore It, but at least I can give y'all a taste of his awesome style. Definitely brave. Heartsies :)


Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Giveaway :: Cannon Lewis Jewelry!


I have giveaway fever right now! Such a special treat to share with you this morning from Cannon Lewis. Aside from having the best name ever {you know a gal named Cannon is cooler than you are...me included}, Cannon creates some of the most special pieces of jewelry I have come across - her refined bohemian aesthetic has me sold, hook line and sinker. Although her designs feature some of the world's most precious metals and stones, the pieces themselves remain easy to wear yet elegant. All in all, the perfect combination!

From her Life Collection, these Large Willow Earrings are 14K gold vermeil and feature a tiny diamond on each one. A quote from Cannon's grandmother is engraved on the back: "Be a Willow, not an Oak. Willows bend, Oaks break." What a wonderful reminder to stay flexible each day! 

Poke around her website if you have time to browse through her other magnificent creations. My favorites are the teeny gold leaf post earrings, large egg shell earrings and of course the adorable silver baby spoon!

To enter, simply leave a comment below, and I'm sure Cannon would appreciate some love on her Facebook page, Cannon Lewis Jewelry. I'll run the giveaway through Wednesday! Good luck! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why Art? It's Importance for Children


That was the scene in our driveway this past weekend. Squish rose at 5:45am {those are totally my favorite mornings. Sleep is for suckers} and Munch quickly followed shortly after 6. By 7:30am we were covered in paint. {Non-washable...what the heck was I thinking...you should see our shower floor...}

At first I was all, puh-leeease don't get the paint on your clothes! Only on the paper! Not the driveway! Ok ok clothes are alright just not your sister! And soon I was thinking....who cares? Will this matter a year from now? {That is the key question I ask myself when I feel like I'm not in "control" of what is going on...aka they are doing something I'd prefer them not to...but does it REALLY matter? Nah, not usually, so I can chill out a bit} and soon enough, I was drawing a massive red heart on Miss Munch's tummy button.

It got me thinking about how much I LOVE art - not only admiring it, but creating it. Halfway through high school I gave up my beloved field hockey and soccer to focus solely on art. I certainly missed sports, but I loved being in the art room. I wish I had more time to paint and draw these days!! As these thoughts were running through my head - while I was mindlessly browsing Pinterest learning about all sorts of crafts I'd never do ;) - I came across an article that was posted entitled, 10 Ways Art is Fundamental to Education, by Jean Van't Hul:
  • {1}Art helps children develop fine motor skills as they use their hands and minds to draw, paint and sculpt. 
  • {2} Art teaches children about cause and effect. 'What happens when I mix blue and yellow?' 
  • {3} Scribbling and drawing form the foundation for later literacy. As young children progress through the states of scribbling, they learn to make all the shapes in the letters of the alphabet. I still have trouble with G. That's a doozie. 
  • {4} Art helps children develop problem-solving abilities as they explore new ways to use art materials. 'How can I build this sculpture taller without it falling down?' 
  • {5} Art is one of the languages of the world. We live in a visual society in which much of what we interact with and learn from has to be decoded visually. Art can be an effective tool for learning about other school subjects (just as verbal and written languages can be ways to learn) 
  • {6} Open-ended art is linked to creativity. The ability to think in new ways and to create something new is an especially important skill for the 21st century. 
  • {7} Art gives children a voice and allows them to communicate what they are thinking or feeling in a safe way. 
  • {8} Art helps hone spatial skills, including an understanding of pattern and shapes, which are important in math and other areas of learning. 
  • {9} Art encourages observational skills and helps children to notice details in the world around them. 
  • {10} Art is fun. A child who is having fun is an engaged and happy child, which in turn helps him to learn better. 
Now, of course art is not the only way to tick all of those boxes, but it certainly is a fun way! {We speak from experience} What are your favorite art projects to do, alone or with your children? 



Monday, April 16, 2012

ExVoto Vintage Giveaway Winner!


Congratulations L A C E Y!

Send an email to hello@sheridanfrench.com with your details, and I will put you in touch with the ExVoto gals. You'll be wearing your gorgeous bracelet soon!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Your Children Want YOU



A friend from my Bible study group sent me a link to the article below yesterday and it was so wonderful I had to share. I often feel that I am not a good enough mother for my children; I hold on to a lot of feelings of inadequacy that I am simply not doing enough (I wish I had time to be room mother...yes it's not even preschool but still, I want to do that), not spending enough time with them, not making cookies every morning as my mom did for us (well, once I start making school lunches I'll definitely be baking some Paleo cookies every morning...but for now the oven is off before 9am ;), not doing all of the fun crafts that I see on Pinterest as this author mentions below... but reading this reminded me that I am good enough simply because I am Mommy. I found it very touching, and I believe all of you mothers that read this will feel the same way! We all need reminders and encouragement from others, especially other moms - at least I do - and this piece really hit the spot. I am excited to share it with you. Enjoy!

By April Perry
There’s this crazy phenomenon going on right now. Good, devoted mothers get on Pinterest . . . and blogs . . . and Facebook . . . and Twitter . . . and then they flip through parenting magazines and TV channels (full of advertisements and media hype) . . . and they’re convinced they’re not enough.
They’re convinced that everyone else has magnetic, alphabetized spice containers,

Photo source: Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/274086327292186801/)
and unless their garden parties are thematically accessorized with butterfly lanterns,

Photo source: Pinterest, http://tinyurl.com/6lsuurc
and they’re wearing the latest fashions (in a size two, of course), there’s no point in even showing up for the day.
Last Saturday, this happened to me.
I came home from a lovely day out with my extended family and had serious intentions to spend the evening dyeing Easter eggs and making bunny buns.

By the time I got everyone settled and fed, however, I was so tired that I just laid on the couch and dozed while my children played and got themselves to bed.
Around 8:30, when I finally had the energy to sit up, I decided to try out Pinterest for a few minutes until my husband got home. There it was–1,000 reasons why I’m failing at all things domestic.
I don’t make grilled cheese sandwiches look like ice cream.

Photo source: Pinterest, http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com
I don’t even have seasonal throw pillows on my couches or live plants anywhere in the house.
Is it really so hard? Can’t I pull myself together and wrap some candles in green foliage and bring happiness to our decor with bright fabrics and hand-crafted photo frames?
As I was trying to calm my frenzied state of mind, my husband came home and held me tight. We talked about our day, and he told me how much he loves me and that he wants our boys to marry someone like me. I fell asleep snuggled under his arm.
The following morning, our children enthusiastically bounded into our bedroom and tucked themselves into our covers. My four-year-old gave me an arm massage, and we all sat there together–joking, laughing, planning the day ahead, and enjoying that special feeling of family. Reflecting on the discouragement I’d felt the night before, I realized that my family doesn’t care about what I see on Pinterest. They care about me.
My daughter Grace loves me to sing “Baby Mine” to her each night before bed. When I go to our Power of Moms Retreats, she misses that special ritual. We have recordings of Michael Crawford and Allison Krauss singing their versions, but Grace doesn’t want those. She wants me. So I recorded myself singing “Baby Mine” and emailed the audio file to her and to my husband so Grace can hear “her song” before she sleeps. As far as she’s concerned, my untrained voice belongs at the top of the charts.

My daughter Grace is my “snuggliest” child.  Back tickles and “Baby Mine” each night are how I show that I love her.
A few months ago, I was practicing sideways dutch braids on my two daughters. They had found these great “how-to” videos online, and we set up our comb, brush, and hair bands in front of the computer so I could become an expert.

Photo source: www.cutegirlshairstyles.com 
Half-way through the braid, my fingers got all tangled up, the hair was too loose, and one of my daughters had been sitting with her head to the side for several minutes.
Feeling extremely frustrated, I said, “That little girl in the video is so lucky to have a mom who knows how to do hair.”
My daughter stopped me in my tracks when she responded, “But I have a mom who is trying.”

These are my two girls with the braids that took me FOREVER to do.  (But I’m getting faster now, and they appreciate the fact that I’m trying.)
My mom is in her 70s, and her memory is starting to go. Her sweetness and love are as strong as ever, but when we talk on the phone, she can’t remember the last time we spoke or the last time we saw each other.
At the end of one phone call a few weeks ago, I whispered, “I miss you, Mom.”
She said, “Oh, I miss you, too! But we’ll get together soon. You can come down to the park, and we’ll get an ice cream cone at McDonald’s.”
I replied, “Yes, that will be fun.” But then the tears started, and I had to use every ounce of control to keep my voice even so she wouldn’t know I was crying.
What I really meant was, “I miss being able to talk to you, Mom. I miss laying on the grass while my children make a hopscotch and savoring our long phone conversations. I miss you remembering all those secrets I used to tell you. I miss you asking me if I’m okay. I miss seeing you read books and hearing you sing while you do the dishes and having you drive out to my house without getting lost. I miss you remembering how much I need you.”
My mother didn’t specialize in home decor or gourmet cooking, and she didn’t lift weights or run marathons. But she makes me feel like I am the most important, wonderful person ever born. If I could pick any mother in the whole world, it would be my mom.

There’s something deeper going on in family life than can ever be expressed on a social network. Whatever it is we feel we are lacking, can we collectively decide–as deliberate mothers–that we are not going to sit around feeling discouraged about all the things we’re not?
Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for? It is our voices. Our smiles. Our jiggly tummies. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else.
If you ever find yourself looking in the mirror at a woman who feels badly that she hasn’t yet made flower-shaped soap,

Photo source: Pinterest, http://tinyurl.com/82k5vow
please offer her this helpful reminder: “Your children want you!”
QUESTION: How do you keep the right perspective on your importance to your family–in the midst of so many ideas and temptations to compare yourself with others?
CHALLENGE: Recognize any tendencies you might have to get wrapped up in discouragement, and set up a regular way to remind yourself that your children want you.

I hope that meant as much to you as it did to me. These are two quotes I love that I also want to share - make me cry every time I read them! Everyone have a great Thursday :) 




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Where Style Meets Lifestyle


Have you all checked out the website lately? Awesome spring goodies are in store! Which is your favorite? I *might* be having my own giveaway soon.... ;) Make sure to sign up for the newsletter via my contact page so you are kept up to date on this as well as other promotions. Happy Wednesday!


p.s. Don't forget to enter to win the ExVoto Vintage bracelet giveaway... closes Friday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

ExVoto Vintage Giveaway!



I first heard about ExVoto Vintage last year, and quickly became email buddies with the designer behind the line, Elizabeth Adams. Her pieces are so very special {much like sweet Elizabeth herself} and I am thrilled to be giving away one of her incredible designs to you, shown above! {Which retails for $239...so you should feel pretty special}

A bit of background for you to soak up: When Elizabeth was born, her father's mentor gave her a locket and a small card with the handwritten blessing, "May your life be as beautiful as you are." The lockets in Elizabeth's limited edition line each come holding one of four blessing keepsake charms just as her first locket did. Here is a close up of the locket included on the bracelet:


The collection of one-of-a-kind limited edition pieces are created from antique elements and made by hand in their Montgomery, Alabama studio, and feature diamonds, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, premium leathers and sterling and gold-plated chain. Says Elizabeth, "Art, vintage patina, mysterious history and gratitude to the Redeemer who has the power to make beauty from ashes...these are the concepts behind ExVoto Vintage." 

A portion of all ExVoto sales are donated to The Cure Starts Now Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research. Elizabeth lost her daughter, Madeline, to a battle with brain cancer, of whom which the Maisy necklace is named after.

You can see why Elizabeth's pieces are so inspiring and why her creations have such amazing life within them. I know you will drool over them as much as I do! {Check out the gorgeous cross on her website...just breathtaking...}

Now, for the rules! To be eligible for entry, friend ExVoto Vintage on Facebook, and for a bonus entry become a follower of The Southern Eclectic. Leave a separate post below for each if you do both! Entries will close Friday at 6pm CMT. Lucky lucky you whoever wins! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

How I Wore It :: 36 Weeks...

Dress :: Old Navy Maternity
Earrings :: Banana Republic
Lipstick :: NARS Heatwave {best red on the planet}

36 weeks today... and I'm feeling great! I can't believe I may have 6 weeks to go still - this baby is a big 'un - but the past 36 weeks have flown by so quickly that I know this home stretch will be over before I know it. I am SO READY to meet this baby! That said, it's not crying inside me, so it can cook as long as it darn well pleases ;) 



We have been having a lot of backyard fun...


...eating Larabars like they're going out of style...



...finding many new uses for lip liners and eyeshadow...


...and straws...


...and generally trying to stay as fashionable as possible this late in the game. 
{Miss Munch pulls it off so much better than mama!}

Everyone have an absolutely wonderful Easter!

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