Thursday, January 31, 2013

$30 giveaway

I have another sweet giveaway for you today. My lovely sponsor Leigh from Barberry&Lace is offering up a $30 credit to her etsy shop. Above you can see a few of my favorites but there are so many goodies in her shop you'll want to browse for a while.

I asked Leigh to say a few words about her shop and this is what she had to say:

Hi! My name is Leigh! I started Barberry&Lace in 2010 and have enjoyed watching it grow in leaps and bounds. I make vintage inspired jewelry and am always on the hunt for something to put my hands to. 

To enter the giveaway simply do the following: 

Follow The Forge via GFC (goodle friend connect)
Follow Leigh's blog Barberry and Lace via GFC

Extra entries for tweeting and commenting (see rafflecopter widget)

Giveaway runs for 7 days and a winner will be announced and contacted. Winner has to respond within 48 hours to claim prize or another winner will be drawn. Open to US and Canada residents only! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

my blog video debut

I know I'm kinda late today and I totally skipped out on you yesterday but I thought a video would make up for it. Especially, since it includes not only my handsome child but also yours truly! and since we are all stalkers in a sense I know you're just dying to find out what I'm like in real life. Ha!
Plus, as sort of a bonus, this video includes high pitched, reinforcing parent voices, way too many yay's and even me speaking German! (The video is from December when we were in Germany visiting my family)
Now you want to see it, dontcha?

Hey, and did you join the new Vine app yet? Yeah I got sucked in real quick...
The sound quality on my phone is less than stellar due to a small "toddler uses phone to stir tea" accident but I guess that's fine since I hate the sound of my voice anyway. Blah, I know, just like about everyone else.
Soooo, if you'd like to see what I'm rambling on about my handle is @theforgeblog

On another random note, tomorrow is giveaway time again so don't miss a $30 shop credit to Barberry and Lace. Plus, link up your own giveaways again on Friday :)

Playground from Sophie on Vimeo.

Monday, January 28, 2013

cabin fever

Jeans: Pepe Jeans, Sweater: H&M, Scarf: Gap, Jacket: Target, Sunnglasses: H&M, Bag: Fossil, Boots: Gap, Earrings: c/o Lovestitched
This weekend really didn't turn into perfection until Saturday night when Jason finally came home from another business trip. We got a good bit of snow on Friday and since I was on my own I didn't get to shovel the driveway, which by the way is about 150 ft long!! So Logan and I were all cooped up in the house for two days with pretty much a continuous fire going, tea drinking and lots of snuggles inside his new favorite spot, the tent. When Jason got home I was super eager to do the shoveling of said driveway though because I didn't want to be stuck inside any longer. I got to sleep in on Sunday!!, talked to my family overseas and then we dropped Logan off at grandma's and went to see Silver Linings Playbook.
It was really good, go see it! I loved the characters and the thought of accepting someone for who they are, with all of the craziness and not trying to make them someone they're not. the contrast between crazy and subtleness was striking. Jennifer Lawrence is so very talented as well. If you haven't seen Winter's Bone yet, you should put that on your list too. 
We had actually watched Blue Valentine with Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, the previous night (finally got around to it like 3 years late) and so it seems that this weekend's dedicated movie genre happened to be the drama. Three great movies. Highly recommend! 

I wore this outfit to the movie. Super comfortable and a little something different as I am trying to get away from wearing skinny jeans all the time. 

How was your weekend??

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Friday, January 25, 2013

some truth about giveaways and a link-up!


Today, I want to talk about giveaways for a bit. Yes, I am serious ;)
Over the last few months I have won several awesome prizes, including a pair of Sorel boots and a pair of Blowfish heels, simply by entering a few giveaways here and there. Don't worry, I do not spend hours and hours entering giveaways, (who has that kind of time anyway) and maybe I was just lucky these few times, but I still wanted to share my experiences today. Plus, there is a little surprise coming at the end of this post so keep reading, I'd really appreciate your support :)

Giveaways are funny things sometimes because some of them draw great attention and hundreds or thousands of entries, while others don't get much recognition at all.
That is certainly due to the prizes that are being offered, as well as the readership and reach of the hosting site.

I have hosted a few of my own giveaways here on this blog of mine and some of them have been quite successful, while others just seemed to get lost somewhere in cyberspace. That is a bummer for me but especially for the blogger or business who is graciously sponsoring the giveaway.

But here is the thing, getting the word out about your giveaway is the hardest thing. Social media helps and if your giveaway sponsor is willing to promote that is a great plus as well. I have also found several giveaway link-ups on some larger couponing/deals oriented blogs. They never really brought anyone to my giveaways though, probably because it was next to impossible to even find the linkup list on these blogs. Sometimes it was quite the information overload that was posted there. Sometimes, no matter how hard we as bloggers work to promote it, a giveaway (though quite awesome) does not get the attention aka entries it deserves :(

I understand that some of you are out there in bloggy land to read post and look at pretty pictures and not to enter giveaways, so if you feel bothered by this sort of post, I understand that. Some might find it too much to have to follow a blog in order to enter a giveaway or they don't feel like they have a chance at winning anyway. Just remember that bloggers and sponsors are putting in a lot of time and effort to make these things happen!

There are certain giveaways that get blown up so big, your chances of winning become incredibly small and it's very discouraging to even enter them. However, there are also so many smaller blogs out there that are hosting giveaways for amazing things, that don't get much attention at all.
That is such a shame because your chances of winning are so much better there.

So, after thinking about it for weeks now and even though I am hesitant because I am a pessimist and always fear for the worst, like you guys thinking this is ridiculous and never coming back here...
Yeah, you see I am just a little crazy.

Long story short, this week marks the very first Friday Giveaway Link-Up.

This will be the place for all of you giveaway hosting bloggers (big and small) to link up and most of all enter each others giveaways! Enter a couple each week and I promise you, you will not only start winning but you will also find new blogs and friends along the way. Remember, you can't win the lottery if you never buy a ticket ;)

Now bear with me as I figure out this linky business since I've never done it before.
I would also love to hear your feedback on this. Yay! or Stupid?
Should I spend the money and have a linky list hat includes images? Any feedback is welcome!

Thank you all so much for linking up and I would LOVE you even more if you shared this new link-up on your blogs or social media :)


Please only link up giveaways that you are hosting on your own site or that you are sponsoring on another blog.
Link up as many as you'd like from the current week.
Come back next Friday to link up again.
Giveaways only please!
Please, please, please link back to me from your giveaway post or sidebar, or share in some other way.
Enter a few giveaways :)
Thank you! 

The Forge
<div align="center"><a href="" title="The Forge"><img src="" alt="The Forge" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

The Forge
<div align="center"><a href="" title="The Forge"><img src="" alt="The Forge" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Disclaimer: The Forge is not responsible for content linked in this widget or prize distribution. This link-up is simply a collection of third party giveaways which are not in any way affiliated with or sponsored by The Forge. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shabby Apple Giveaway

-- CLOSED --

Today I have an extra special treat for you guys! Shabby Apple is giving another one of you lucky ladies out there a $50 gift card to spend as you please!! 

Just in case you need some inspiration on what to spend that $50 on, I've decided to pick out 3 of my current favorites from their site ;) 

First up and top of my list, is the gorgeous desert modern jersey maxi dress with kimono sleeves. I love to dress in all different shades of gray (a little obsessed) and this looks so amazingly comfortable, I don't think I'd ever want to take it off. Plus, it looks like it would work as a great maternity option as well to accomodate a growing bump.

I also wouldn't turn down this cute first stop peplum skirt. The eggplant/oxblood color seems to be a perfect fit for this time of year don't you think? 

Lastly, how about this stunning palatine hill sheath dress? I know it is very white but what a great silhouette and how easily could it be accessorized? This is my favorite pick for a last minute spring break get-away to some place warm. If you can't make it to Rome like this lucky model, how about one of my all-time favorite spots, the Florida gulf coast! 

Now to win that $50 all you have to do is the following:

-Like Shabby Apple's facebook page here and leave a comment on this post saying that you did. 
-Please follow The Forge via GFC and leave a comment.
-Visit Shabby Apple shop and pick out a favorite item, leave a comment here stating which one you picked.

Make sure to also include your email address!!

For extra entries you may:

Tweet about the giveaway (leave a comment with the twitter link please)
Follow The Forge on twitter (leave a comment here)
Follow The Forge on Facebook (leave a comment here)
Follow The Forge on Instagram (leave a comment) 

If you just can't wait to shop Shabby Apple, and I won't blame you, then use code THEFORGE10OFF to receive 10% off your entire purchase :)

Giveaway is open to US residents only.
Giveaway ends Thursday 1/31 at midnight EST. 
Winner will be announced and contacted within 72 hours and has 48 hours to respond or else another winner will be drawn.
Click here for detailed giveaway rules and disclosure .
Good Luck! 

The winner of the $50 credit is entry number 4, Mandy Ford. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

excuse my sleepy eyes

T-Shirt: Zara, Sweater: Esprit, Pants: Unionbay, Jacket: old Navy, Shoes: Steve Madden, Hat: Pieces
Do you ever look at pictures of yourself and suddenly realize how much your child looks like you? I mean it's not like I never noticed the similarities before but looking at these pictures I was like, holy cow we have the same exact "still sleepy, I just woke up" eyes. The ones that make me look like I'm 12!! 
Oh well, that was my random fact of the day.

On another note, my in-laws gave me two tickets to see Les Miserable (broadway version) for my birthday and so Jason and I got all gussied up and went on a real date last night. Including a fabulous dinner at Meat&Potatoes.
It was so nice to get out of the house and enjoy an adult evening out. We even made an effort not to talk about Logan the entire time, which of course was a total failure ;) and let's be honest, there simply is nothing better to talk about than that awesome little guy.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Giveaway

Today we have another amazing giveaway from the lovely Julie over at Coco and Cocoa blog and shop. Julie loves to knit, crochet and eat. She is a mom to three boys, including hyper-active twins and a fearless toddler.
Go visit Julie over at her blog and say Hi!

Julie is giving one of you this lovely crochet chevron necklace. It's in one of my favorite happy colors: turquoise!! It's the perfect pop of color to add to your outfit on a cold and dreary winter day.

To enter the giveaway please do ALL of the following:

Follow The Forge via GFC
Follow Coco and Cocoa via GFC 

If you tweet about this giveaway to get the word out there, you will receive 10 entries for doing so !! :)) Please play by the rules or your entries can not be admitted. Thank you :) 

Giveaway ends on Tuesday the 29th at midnight EST. 
Open to US and Canada residents only!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 21, 2013

soo-y and i missu (yeah you read that right)

It is Monday and I woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose. Yay for me!! 
While temperatures outside are dropping by the minute, we spent the morning admiring the snow flurries from the window seat. Then we huddled up inside Logan's tent and did some fake napping and block building (because that's what tents are for) until the little guy got up and reached for my hand with his usual "ha, ha" (hand), manuvered us around the sleeping pups with several apologetic "soo-y's" (sorry) and then threw in a few "I missu's" (I miss you) for good measure, making sure his mama's heart was melted into one giant ole' puddle on the floor. 

So yeah, that's what we're doing this Monday. How about you?

PS: Two giveaways coming your way this week, including one from Shabby Apple so make sure to stop back!

Friday, January 18, 2013

recipe: guacamole grilled cheese

I don't know about you, but I love petty much anything that involves avocados. Whenever I make guacamole I make a ton and end up having to find other ways to use it than simply as a dip with pita chips. One of my favorite lunches is a simple guacamole grilled cheese that is quickly made and very filling. 

What you need: 

Guacamole (pre-made or homemade)
Fresh Spinach 
A few cherry or grape tomatoes
Butter or Cooking Spray

First, sauté the tomatoes for a couple of minutes. Put aside. Spread some butter on the outsides of your bread or just use cooking spray. Layer your cheese on both insides of the bread, spread the guacamole on top and layer some spinach and tomatoes in between. Grill on a low temperature from both sides until cheese has melted.


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Birthday Giveaway!

Now onto the giveaway.

The lovely Nicole from Young Love Style has graciously offered to give away 2 pieces of original artwork painted by her. 
Up for grabs are your two favorite 6x6" pieces that you will get to pick from the 8 paintings above. 

Super sweet right? 
Read what Nicole has to say about being an artist and what inspires her:

I'm a painter and illustrator living in Kelowna, BC. I'm currently in my third year of my BFA. My work is very process based, and focuses a lot on colour. My inspiration comes from many of the things around me, particularly books, movies, music, people, locations, and found objects. One of the things I find most inspiring is just seeing other people being creative. Right now I am focusing on changing the way in which I create art. I've recently discovered that I have come up with a recipe for the way that I make my work, using the same structure to produce my art over and over again. I'm looking to break free of this recipe and find new ways of doing what I do.

Also visit her website where she posts more of her artwork and leave her some feedback, won't ya? 

On top of that I am giving the same person this cute bow detail beanie, perfect to keep your head nice and toasty for this coldest part of the winter. 

 To enter:

Be a GFC follower of The Forge and Young Love Style

Additional entries will be unlocked once you complete the mandatory entries :) 

Giveaway ends Friday 1/25/13 at midnight EST.
Open to all US and Canada residents. 

Good luck!!

Birthday Reflections

So today is my birthday and over the past few years this day has made me want to reflect more than it used to. See, in my early to mid twenties I was so busy with life that I barely took the time to think about where I was going. I felt pretty rooted and being in college gave me a sure outlook on what was to come in the close future.  I wouldn't say that birthdays are a huge deal to me, I've never paid much attention to the number but 28 feels kind of funny.  So what is it that seems to be changing inside of me? why do I feel so unrooted and sort of anxious all of a sudden? 
I mean, I do notice one or two more wrinkles here and there, and the gray hair has been out of control since I was 16. Nothing new there... but on the inside I suddenly feel like I don't have it figured out at all. 

I moved out at 21, across an entire ocean no less, got a college degree while building a house, adopted two dogs, traveled a ton and finally got pregnant with that beautiful little boy at 26. 
My 20's seem much more grown-up on paper the computer screen than they actually felt (so far, at least). 

Becoming a mom has been the most wonderful experience by far but it has also made me wonder about who I am as woman, aside from the mom and wife part. Over the past year a longing to be more than just that, to no longer just dream but do!, has slowly crept up inside of me. It is easily covered up by the busyness of everyday life and the responsibilities that help rationalize all those wishes and aspirations away into a tiny little room in the back of my mind. Close the door and only take a peek once in a while. But as I get closer to 30 I feel like I need to not let more time slip away from me and then I reprimand myself for having such thoughts when I am so extremely blessed with what I already have, every day. I mean, why am I so confused and why the heck at 28? Shouldn't this have happened a long time ago? 

This feeling is so hard to put into words and maybe you have no idea what I keep rambling on about. That's totally ok ;) I don't really have a good conclusion to this post other than there is an awesome giveaway following. That's always good, right? 

So there you go, confused birthday ramblings are done until next year.
Happy Birthday to me and may I figure it all out this year ;) 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Extremely funny faces, folks!

Vest: h&m, Shirt: American Eagle, Sweater: Esprit, Leggings: F21, Boots: Hunter 
Ok, just one but isn't it a great one? This is what happens when my husband (aka the photographer) tells me to "work it gurlll". And check out that nicely pointed leg to top it all off.
No words!

Now that we covered that, let's move onto the anatomy of this outfit, shall we?
I am in love with this vest. I almost bought it back when I was in Chicago in September but just couldn't bear to spend the $50 at h&m. I ended up thinking about it for months and then while we were in Germany I happened to come across it again and it was on sale for 20 euros which is about $25 or so. So score! I thought ad bought it. Finally. You will be seeing a lot more of it, I promise. (and if you follow me on instagram you already have...) 

The leggings aren't my favorite but Jason obviously liked them, as he repeatedly told me. I don't really think leggings should be treated as pants, unless you are under 12 or weigh less than 110 lbs, but I think they're ok if your butt is covered up. Then they're kind of like tights. Or not?
What are your thoughts on leggings? When, where, how? Do's, Don'ts? 

And lastly, I sometimes wish I would have just gotten a plain pair of Hunters instead of these... but then again, wouldn't that be boring? 

Well, those are my thoughts on this outfit for today. 
It's my birthday tomorrow and I have a giveaway planned so you should totally come back for that!

28? Yikes! 

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The last of Paris

Today I just wanted to share the last of the pictures from Paris. I can't believe it's been almost a month since we went! Half of these pictures are from the day it rained all morning and we walked down the Champs- Élysées, through the Tuileries (which I am sure are gorgeous any season but winter) and spent half the day at the Louvre. The other half were taken the afternoon before we took the train back home, in the Marais district. I wish we had gone there earlier because we couldn't spend nearly enough time. So many gorgeous little shops, galleries and boutiques to browse. We found the cutest and smallest toy shop I have ever seen. For such a tiny place it was buzzing with people trying to get the last of their Christmas shopping done. I loved how all their inventory was displayed on shelves that reached clear up to the ceiling. It was one of those places that simply oozes the magic of childhood through every crack and crevice. 

Overall, Paris right before Christmas was busy but wonderful, all that was missing was some snow. On the other hand I am glad we didn't have to freeze and got to spend most of our time outside exploring. 
Next time we will make sure we get the full Paris in the summer experience though :) 

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