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Show Us Your Life

Show Us Your Life, TalesOfAPeanut

Show Us Your Life – What You Make/Sell (with coupon code!)

200x200 Tales of a Peanut Button

I haven’t posted anything about Tales of a Peanut products in a little while and I wanted to participate in Kelly’s Show Us Your Life today so I thought today was as good a time as any!

So, for starters, Tales of a Peanut is a place where I can create and expend some of my mental energy that doesn’t get excersized while taking care of two little ones.  I started out designing my  kids birthday invitations and it gradually grew to Christmas cards and invites for other people.  I’ve now branched out and started an Etsy shop in May of 2013.  In addition to invitations and stationery, I also create other custom products like notepads, plates, stickers, placemats, and more!

Today I want to share some of the new things in my shop including new designs, new listing formats, and new products that aren’t even up in the shop yet!

57F40H Etsy Listing ImageLet’s start with the “How Does Your Garden Grow” invitation and series.  I’ve found that sometimes it’s hard for people to see all the available designs that I have and so I’m trying a new listing format which is going to include a listing for each product (or similar products) in each design.  This invitation, like all invitations, can be customized by modifying all the colors, making it with or without a picture, changing the text, font, and text color.  I’m working on getting all of the products up in this series but right now you can see that other items listed are stickers, plates, and shirts.  Other products like stationery, gift tags, and placemats in this design should be up soon.

Lunchbox-ChalkboardThis is a new product offering: lunch boxes!  These metal lunch boxes feature designs on both sides (they can be the same or different) and a chalkboard surface on the interior of the lid for you to write notes for your child.  They are of really good quality and would make a great storage or travel container if your child doesn’t want to take a larger lunchbox to school.

PLCMT33 Etsy Image

In February, I teamed up with Mommy’s Block Party to do a review and a giveaway of my placemats.  When people see them in person they immediately fall in love with them and have ordered a lot for gifts for others and for their kids.  They’re great because they’re double sided (with two different designs) and are professionally printed and laminated so they stand up to the test of toddler/pre-schooler roughness.  Plus you can write notes or your child can practice their writing with a dry erase marker and they’re super easy to clean (by hand, they don’t go in the dishwasher).  Our giveaway winner requested a modification of one of our plate designs on one side of her placemat and I love the way it turned out.  This is a great example of how I can turn any design into a design for a product that it’s not initially featured on.

Design 49 EtsyTo ease some of the questions involved with ordering plates, I’m also starting to transition those designs into standalone listings.  This is a new design that I created last week and I love the traditional-ness of it.  Like everything else, all designs are custom modified for you so you can change the colors, fonts, and we can modify the design until you get a design that you love.

Cutting Board MSAnd lastly, I’m about to add glass cutting boards to the shop!  They’re not up yet but if you’re interested in ordering one let me know.  They will be listed for $37 and are approximately 11×8″.  The design is behind the glass so there’s no damage to the design while you’re cutting and the board comes with a textured cutting surface and rubber feet for stability.  This shows a new design I have been playing with but all designs are available on these.

If you have any questions about products or items in the shop please let me know (jennifer (at) talesofapeanut (dot) com)!  You can check out the shop on Etsy and if you look at the top of this site there’s a “Shop Resources” button that will take you to a page where you can access our color charts, font charts, as well as show you lots of designs on actual products.  I’m updating that page often so make sure you check it regularly to see what’s new!

And just to say thank you for reading all the way to here, from now until March 28th you can get 10% off all orders of $20 or more with the code ‘SUYL10’!  Happy shopping!

Christmas, Holidays, House, Show Us Your Life

Show Us Your Life – Christmas Tour of Homes

I welcome you to our home in all of its Christmas finery.  I have had so much fun this year decorating a new home and finding new places to showcase my favorites.  I’m so happy with the way the house turned out and hope you enjoy seeing all the details!

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We have artificial greenery everywhere to prevent allergies and because I’ve sworn off real trees after our disastrous tree falling incident a number of years ago.  But I’m so happy with the pre-lit garland that I found at Trees ‘N Trends this year.  I accented with hand-made (and thus very NOT perfect) burlap bows and Charlotte and I used mod podge and lots of glitter to make these paper mache hearts from Hobby Lobby sparkle.  The effect at night is gorgeous!

If you turn to the left from the front door you’ll see one of my many nativity scenes (or activity as Charlotte calls them).  You’ll also head into the dining room.

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I kept a lot of the decorations real neutral and just added pops of color here and there.  In the dining room we have a gorgeous 9′ Blue Spruce tree from Balsam Hill.  We decorated the dining room tree with all of our nice ornaments — our Christopher Radko’s, our glass balls, our ornaments from trips we’ve taken, etc.  It sparkles insanely at night with all the glitter and glass and the color on the tree accents the neutrals on the table very well. You can also see our custom art from Kim Wheeler of Small Words Art hanging on the wall which definitely livens up the room.

If you turn to the right from the foyer you are in the study.

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We have the same 9′ Blue Spruce in the study but this one is covered with the kids ornaments and those special to our family — handprints, Christmas card ornaments, childhood ornaments from when we were little, etc.  This tree is very bottom heavy because we let the kids do a lot of the decorating but that’s one of the things that I love about it.  There are so many memories on this tree, not only for us, but for Charlotte and James too.  And I love that you can see both large trees out the windows from the street.  There’s lots of sparkle at our house!

And I’m so happy with the way the mantle turned out.  We’ve loved this mantle ever since it arrived last year and it works beautifully at Christmas time.  I’ve got to buy new stockings for next year and I’m sad to have to retire these burlap ones (from The Bobbins Nest) a number of years ago.  They are lovely and the contrast with the burlap and our pewter nativity that we got on our honeymoon is so neat to me!

When you continue into our home you reach the kitchen which we accented for the holiday season.

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There’s not a lot of Christmas going on in here, but enough to make me smile.  The real wreath on the window over the sink is the only real greenery in the house and I love it.  I also love the small artificial wreaths that I found at a shop around town.  Jason didn’t realize they weren’t real until I told him today!  I also made a big print to go over the stove and painted chalkboard paint on a cheap platter from Target to add some glamour.  And, as I’m sure you can guess, my favorite area in the kitchen is the collection of handmade items from the kids.  It’s amazing to see how quickly they grow.  We’ve got plans to make more art this week since school is out!

Across from the kitchen is the den with a little bit more of holiday cheer.

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It wouldn’t be a tour of our home at Christmas without seeing Frisbee our elf.  Although, to be honest, Frisbee has been pretty lazy this year, using the excuse of fog and rain to stay at our house instead of going back to the North Pole and then relocating a good many nights this year.

Of course we also have other touches of Christmas throughout the house, the kids Christmas trees, a small mini ornament tree in the guest bathroom, and others.

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In all the hustle and bustle of the season, we are trying to impress upon our kids that Christmas isn’t about Santa or elves or lights or trees or presents.  Christmas is about the gift that God gave to us in his Son, Jesus.  We love being able to reflect that in our decorations of our home and are happy to share our home with family and friends and with you over this season.

We wish you and your family many blessings this Christmas and always.  Merry Christmas!

Tours of our home during past Christmases: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (2012 we were building and living with my parents)

Gift Giving, Shopping, Show Us Your Life, TalesOfAPeanut

Show Us Your Life – What you make/sell

24x36 TOAP Banner Print

I shared a few weeks ago about my shop, Tales of a Peanut, and today am linking up with Kelly’s Korner to talk about it again.

I design many paper and personalized items in my shop.  I design all final items but sometimes use commercially created graphics, especially in children’s products that require more of a specific character (think princesses or super hero’s).  I love a handwritten note and I especially love one on beautiful paper and so my inspiration to start this business was born out of that.  I create personal stationery, invitations, name cards as well as designing items for kids like placemats, melamine plates and platters, and stickers.  Below are some of my products and some special notes about them.

Folded Quaterfoil Note Cards

These were ordered by a friend.  She combined two designs that I already had into one to create a folded notecard that was just what she wanted.

Watercolor Border Flat Notecards

These flat notecards leave plenty of room to write, but the watercolor border give them a little extra pop.

Ornaments Together Web

We get Christmas ornaments with our Christmas card picture on it every year and I’ve also started getting them with our pictures with Santa.  We’ll have a tree full of family memories soon!

Art Party Invite

A friend was planning an art party for her daughter and asked me to create an invitation for her.  She loved the way this turned out and I was able to rush order them for her so that she could order them on Thursday and have them in her child’s friends backpacks on Tuesday!

Bea Bee

This customer wanted a bee graphic on these name cards for her granddaughter and I didn’t have one…so I created one! I think she’s pretty cute!

Christmas Gift Tags Chevron Web

Perfect for sticking on gifts of all kind, these gift stickers can be personalized or I have a few sets available that are blank.

Yvette Fill in the Blank

We can add fill in the blank wording on any flat notecards to help children get in the routine of writing thank you notes without making it very trying for the parents who have to do the writing.  I usually leave the backs of these kinds of cards white so that children who can’t write can draw a picture for the recipient on the back!

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I love creating Christmas cards and have a variety of designs in the shop available for customization (you can change color, text, picture arrangement, etc).  But my absolute favorite is when you send me a picture (or pictures) and let me play with designs to get you an entirely personalized card.  New designs such as these will be added to the shop the next Christmas, but you will be the only one with a card of that design this year!


Today is Black Friday and you might not be aware that tomorrow, Saturday, is Small Business Saturday.  It’s a day to “Shop Small” and support those businesses by those you know and those who are working on a small scale to create products that are unique and special.  All week this week and through Cyber Monday on Monday, I’m offering a 13% discount on all items in my shop with code ‘SHOPSMALL13’.  You can keep up with deals like these, new products, and more by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin.

Thanks for coming! Make sure to check out the other wonderful businesses shown on Kelly’s blog today!

Marriage, Show Us Your Life

Show Us Your Life – Marriage Advice

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As I’m sure most people will say (or should say), I don’t know a lot about marriage, but I know more than I did seven years ago when I said “I do”.  The thing about doling out advice on marriage is that the only marriage anyone really knows is their own.  You can observe others and see what they do in public, or, if they’re your good friends or family, maybe what they do in semi-private situations.  But under no circumstances do you ever see what goes on behind closed doors.  You can’t see into their lives or their minds or their relationship.  So, what works for Jason and I might be the last thing that would ever work for you and your spouse.  And what works for you might never work for us.  But, in the effort of getting back on the blogging horse and some mental prodding from attending my cousin’s wedding last weekend and my brother-in-law’s a few months ago, I want to share some of what I would say is my marriage advice.  Take it with a huge grain of salt. 🙂

1. Know that every marriage is different and you need to figure out what works for you in yours.

Some people are most comfortable when they have lots of time by themselves, away from each other pursuing their own interests.  Some people (like us) would prefer to be together doing just about anything than spending a large amount of time without each other.  As long as you both agree on your preferred time apart/together then you will do well.  Try not to resent time that the other gets to spend doing something that they want to do even if it means you’re taking most of the responsibilities for the day/weekend/etc.  Your marriage will be much happier if you allow your spouse to be who they are meant to be rather than trying to fit them into a mold like you are, even if that means sacrificing some of what you prefer some or most of the time.  As long as you talk about it and are both on the same page there shouldn’t be resentment or wedges coming between you.  And on that note, don’t judge another couple’s decision.  Just because you like more space to do your own thing doesn’t mean that everyone else needs or wants that same space and their spouse isn’t giving it to them.  Let everyone figure out their own marriages without pushing them to make it look just like yours.

2. Sometimes the best way to resolve an argument is to quit talking about it and get some sleep.

This point was probably my favorite in Rachel Held Evans’ recent similar post about marriage and is so true.  We don’t fight or even disagree a lot.  But I can almost guarantee that if we’re going to get into an argument it’s when one of us (*cough, cough me*) is low on sleep.  When you’re tired even the most basic actions can seem like attacks and you can’t reason with yourself enough to know that he didn’t forget to do something just to spite you.  This is especially so important in the early years with kids when you are running on pure adrenaline and caffeine and no one feels at their best.  Sometimes it’s best to just agree to walk away and sleep on it and discuss it in the morning when you’re feeling better.  Most of the time, when you wake up, the issue that was so big the night before is insignificant and almost funny that you were so upset.  And, if not, you both have had some sleep and distance to be able to discuss it as rational adults as opposed to sleepless zombies.

3. Your husband is your first priority after God.

The first days, weeks, hours, years (maybe all of them) when you have kids are hard.  You’re being pulled in multiple directions and you are literally responsible for keeping your child alive which can be so overwhelming and time-consuming.  You spend so much time with a little one touching you, pulling at you, needing you, and it feels like they are drawing every piece of you out of your body so that you feel like you have nothing left to give.  And then your husband comes home and expects you to do things like hug him and fix dinner and be nice and, to be honest, a lot of times, it just feels like it’s too much and too hard.  But the reward of pushing through those times and trying to prioritize your husband and your marriage, even when you don’t feel like it, is so worth that effort that you feel like you don’t have.  Your marriage is going to change after kids, that’s a fact of life and your husband understands (or tries to) just like you do, but finding common ground to keep you connected — a tv show, a magazine article, the weekly meltdown boards during college football…something, anything — is so important to help you remember why you loved that guy to begin with and remember that, in the end, it’s just going to be the two of you again so you want to remain friends.

4. Try to get away as often as you can.

I know for a lot that it’s near impossible to get away on a couple’s trip.  But in the same vein as the point before, try as hard as you can to do it even if it’s just for a night down the street.  The chance to go somewhere different and experience new things together by yourselves is so helpful in reconnecting you as a couple.  I’m not sure that you can feel more dependent on each other than when you’re in a foreign country and it feels like you’re the only two speaking your language.  Or when you’re walking in to a new situation and don’t know a soul.  Or even when you’re trying out a new dish at your favorite restaurant and it’s just the two of you and you’re wondering if your risk is going to be worth it.  Try to do something just the two of you, something new and exciting or something comfortable and predictable.  Just try to do something just the two of you every so often.  It will help refresh you and bring you back together and help you fall in love all over again.

5. Books can only tell you so much.

Nothing really prepares you for marriage like living it.  Books can help prepare you but you have to remember that they are still written by one or two people who don’t know you or your spouse and don’t know what your marriage is like.  I’m not sure I’ll ever forget the book that I read not long after we got married which advised spouses to have totally different bathrooms and that it would be best for the husband to never know what the wife does to get ready in the morning or ever really see her other than at her best.  Which makes me just wonder what that guy did during childbirth?  Or what he does when his wife is sick?  At the time I pondered if that was a good idea and I’m pretty sure that Jason laughed at me when I mentioned it.  Life is messy and being married means you are one and that means dealing with the fun and the not-so-fun.  Just like taking advice from other people (hello, this blog post!) take books with a grain of salt and pick out the pieces that work for you.  If you want a book to read that’s going to help you consistently in your marriage, read the Bible.  It’s the only one that’s going to be able to speak to you about your marriage and will help you the most.  The others (Five Love Languages especially) can be really beneficial, but remember that they’re not divine and are only interpreting a portion of the Bible (hopefully) and are written by people who don’t have all the answers just like you.

6. Have fun.  Laugh at yourselves.  Relax.

You’re not perfect.  Your spouse isn’t perfect.  Your kids aren’t perfect.  Your families and friends aren’t perfect.  Relax.  Don’t worry about having the perfect marriage, just work on having one that satisfies you both.  Don’t worry about what others are doing in their marriages, just do what needs to be done to make your marriage the best it can be.  Enjoy your spouse and your family.  Take time to remember what a blessing they are (write it down and put it somewhere you see it every day if you need the reminders!).  You’re going to make mistakes, laugh at them and remember that no one expects you to be perfect, except maybe yourself (which you shouldn’t!).  Take your marriage one day at a time while holding both God’s hand and your spouse’s and know that if you prioritize the two (God and your spouse) that God will help you through the hard times and that the hard times will help you enjoy the good ones even more.

Praying for you and your marriages as I’m praying for ours.  I’d love to hear your advice if you have it.  Or, if you disagree or agree with anything I said, I’d love to know it!  I definitely don’t have this whole thing figured out and don’t follow these consistently every day, but I bet our marriage would be even better if I did!

Shopping, Show Us Your Life

Show Us Your Life – Favorite Shops Online

I’m happy to share with you today my favorite shop’s online.  I am blessed enough to know the women behind all of these shops and I will tell you that they are fantastic.  I’m not getting anything for sharing them with you, just sharing some of my absolute favorite places to shop.


Little Langs

Jana started Little Lang’s last year and has since turned it into a fantastic company that helps you provide your kids with clothes that they love at an affordable price point.  Every time I show Charlotte the website she finds more shirts that she “needs” and James’ shirts are his absolute favorite to wear!  Jana can also make pillowcases for your kids and does bib’s and boxers for your little boy!  She is a Mom of two who works out of her house making these items for us and is a fantastic friend and businesswoman!

Mint Julep Monograms

Hilary started Mint Julep Monograms in 2010 and it has grown exponentially since then!  She can monogram just about anything and provides products that vary from baseball hats for those Mom’s trying to hide their third (or fourth!) day hair at carpool drop off to the fantastic wooden monograms that you’ve seen everywhere!  She also works out of her house (with some help!) and is such a wonderful inspiration to those of us just starting a business!

The Happy Cactus

Ariana from the happy cactus is a new friend that I met last week when I did my first art stroll.  She was so sweet to a newcomer and I loved all of the neat things in her shop.  She’s got adorable mini-wallets (that I really want!) as well as clutches, brooches, and the cutest bandana bibs!

Tales of a Peanut

I wouldn’t be a very good businesswoman myself if I didn’t plug my shop while you were here . 🙂  I’ve got a shop where I do paper goods (think invitations, enclosure cards, notepads…) and fun accessories like personalized plates.  We also work with Little Lang’s to make t-shirts from our designs!  I have lots of options in the shop but also love making custom products.  (The custom invitations that I made for my new sister-in-law were actually shown this week on their photographer’s blog!)

Thanks for reading from Kelly’s Korner! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s favorite shops online!  Share your favorites in the comments so that we can check them out as well!

Mommy Advice, Show Us Your Life

Show Us Your Life – Favorite Apps

**No affiliate links are used in this post, but there is some self-promotion. 🙂 These are all apps that we truly have on our devices.  Please see link/review disclosures for details.

So Kelly’s topic today is Favorite App’s.  And since I spent some time earlier this week trying to suggest some to a Mama about to fly cross country by herself with a one year old, I thought favorite kids apps might be helpful.

Apps for Kids
(Mine are 4 and almost 2)

1. Laugh & Learn Animal Sounds for Baby
Both kids loved this app (J(almost 2) still does).  It’s catchy and easy for them to do themselves when they’re small.
2. Peekaboo Barn HD
Another favorite of ours.  Charlotte (4) still plays this sometimes and James loves it.
3. Peekaboo Wild
See above.
4. Mickey Mouse Road Rally – couldn’t find this exact app but Disney Junior Appisodes has it
The kids love this app because they’re watching Mickey but it’s interactive so they aren’t just mindlessly watching a tv show.  I think the Appisodes app has shows from other shows as well as Mickey.
5. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
I feel like this taught C a lot and James enjoys playing it now (although he needs some help and often just touches things not recognizing what he’s doing)
6. BabyPiano HD
This is good for when the kids want to make some noise.  There’s even a two-person option so that they can both play together.
7. Fish School HD
This is good for letter recognition.  C enjoys “cracking” the eggs to get the app started.
8. Bedtime Music
C used this at my parents when she was 2/3 and was having a hard time going to sleep there.  I don’t think that she uses it anymore.
9. Easy Bake Treats
C loved baking cookies and cupcakes with this app.  She hasn’t played it in a while but it’s great for the 3 year age group.
10. Toddler Jukebox
This one can get annoying because it just plays the typical songs over and over again, but the kids both like it and like singing along.
11. IntroToLetters
This app has been great helping C learn how to correctly write her letters.  It’s a little difficult for the younger ones who don’t have a lot of motor control but is good practice.
12. 123 Color HD
This color app has kept C busy many a day.  It’s easy enough that they can do it themselves at 2, but complicated enough that she’s still enjoying it at 4.
13. Disney Palace Pets
This is a new addition (along with some other Disney app’s) that we haven’t had for very long, but C loves hearing the stories and “playing” with the pets and James likes seeing the dogs.

My real, every day home screen
(i.e. the app’s I use all the time)

1. Baby Monitor
This is the monitor that we use for the kids when they’re sleeping.  You can read more about our monitors here.
2. Twitter
This one’s pretty obvious.  But you can follow me here.
3. Mail
4. Bloglovin
I switched to Bloglovin’ after the end of Google Reader and like it pretty well.  You can follow my blog here.
5. Pinterest
Again, obvious.  I check this probably twice a day.  I like the app a lot.  You can follow me here.
6. Kindle
I don’t think I could survive without my Kindle app.  As I said on Twitter last night, I think I am addicted to free eBooks.
7. Nook
Ditto to above.
8. Facebook
Again, self explanatory.  But my page is here.
9. Instagram
I love the way photo’s look through Instagram.  I’ve got to make an instagram book!  Follow me here.
10. Anylist
We (sometimes) keep our grocery list with this app.  Jason and I log in on the same one so that we can both access it.  It’s nice but we still use paper lists sometimes, we haven’t fully transitioned over to digital yet.
11. ICE – looks like the version I have is not available anymore, but you should definitely download an In Case of Emergency app
12. NuVo Player
This is what we use to control our sound in our house.  I really like it.  C really likes the “princess music” station that I  made her on Pandora (i.e. a station from “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid).
13. Etsy
I check my shop stats and shop using this app.  You can check out my store here.

1. Paper
I love doodling with this app.  I get some initial ideas for my shop while I do this.  Plus the kids can play with it too.
2. Paper
I haven’t played with this much yet but some serious designers that I follow really like it.
3. Facebook Pages
This is how I monitor my facebook page when I’m not at my computer.
4. Amazon Instant Video
Did you know that Amazon has tons of shows and movies that you can watch for free if you’re a Prime member?  We haven’t taken advantage of it yet but are planning to!
5. Radarscope
With a weather lover as a husband I, of course, have multiple weather apps.  This one is my favorite though.
6. Snapseed
This is fun to play with editing pictures on the iPad.  I’m not a fan of the iPad instagram version.
7. Bamboo Paper
Another great drawing app.  This was the first one that I downloaded and I really like it.

Hope these helped you! Can’t wait to see other’s on Kelly’s link up!