Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rainy Day

Saturday started out nice we got some work done around the yard and mowed grandma's yard for her.  We then headed up to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, I've been wanting to go see the new baby orangutan.  We got there just as it started to rain, so we got front row parking from those fleeing and it wasn't nearly as full as the last time we went.  It was the first good weekend of the year and was insanely busy.  We headed straight for Indonesia since most of it is inside and we'd forgotten our umbrellas.
Pete and Nora on the Komodo dragon statue

 We saw all of the animals just like we wanted and surprisingly both kids were in a decent mood the whole time.  Nora ended up falling asleep in Australia but slept through it and all the way to the car and the way home!  What a good little sleeper!  Pete also fell asleep in the car on the way home. 

Pete in a shark in the new Australia
This little peacock came right next to me while I was rocking Nora
We came home to a decent storm and once we headed inside and looked out the window saw a decent amount of damage to the stuff in our yard.

I'm standing where the red chair and swing should be
Pete's playset knocked over.  So far I only see one board that will need replaced.

A couple weeks ago I thought I'd try a new veggie, Brussels sprouts! Phil always said they were nasty I'd never tried them (my mom hated them too) but I wanted to give them a shot.  I posted on facebook aksing for recipes and found a couple winners, so we had them again last night for dinner.  Yum!

Brussels sprouts, bacon, garlic and onion
I also got a new carrier and got a good chance to try it out at the zoo too!  It is a Sakura Bloom ring sling.  Once I get more use out of it, I'll review it all for you. 

Sakura Bloom ring sling in Port

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

American Bronzing Company Review and Giveaway

I'm a sucker for sentimental things, especially for my kids.  Now being the sentimental person that I am, when I saw an article in the Deseret News about shoe bronzing coming back into style I was thrilled!  I'd seen old shoes that had been done before but didn't realize that the company that was known for it was still around and really not that far off, just over in Columbus, Ohio!  I contacted the American Bronzing Company back in March about a possible review.  To my surprise, Bob Kaynes, grandson of Violet Shinbach, the Mother of Baby Shoe Bronzing, was the one to respond that he would gladly work on this and sponsor a giveaway of a gift certificate for baby shoe bronzing!

American Bronzing Company is the largest baby shoe bronzing company in the world with over 13,000,000 baby shoes bronzed since 1934.  This year alone they expect to  bronze over 40,000 baby shoes.  That is a ton of tiny shoes preserved in metal and lots of little wobbly first steps saved not only in parents' memories but able to be passed down through the years and displayed. 

I had Pete's first shoes bronzed and got them back a bit ago.  It takes about six weeks to have them bronzed.  Pete was a late walker and had extra wide feet, so his are a bit bigger than the average baby's shoes.  He was 18 months old when he finally got his first pair of kicks, and now they are sitting on the piano, which isn't something they were doing before having them bronzed.
Pete's shoes right before shipping them off for bronzing

Ordering the shoes on the website and shipping them in is easy.  There are options for mounting and finishes.  Pete's are loose with the antique finish; there are also option for bright and for a bit more pewter and porcelain, lots of different options to fit all the styles of shoes. 
the finished product

I was impressed with how carefully they were shipped they came back to me in an oversized box full of packing peanuts and wrapped.  I liked that they took care of shipping it back carefully so it couldn't get damaged.
Can you still tell the brand?

The overall look of the shoe is amazing.  They took the care to adjust and line up the straps, stand up the tongues and the back of the shoe nicely. I find it amazing the amount of details that come through; I can tell the difference between the fabric used in the shoe, and the logo of the shoe's brand is still there and legible.   For the unmounted shoes, they have adhered felt to the bottoms to protect the finish of furniture or wherever they will be displayed from the metal scratching the surface.  It wasn't an issue I had considered so I'm glad they did! They also put his name across the strap of his shoe since the toe wasn't conducive to it. 

felt to protect surfaces from scratches
Pete's name across the strap
All in all I'm thrilled with our bronzed shoes. The quality and workmanship is superb.  I like the fact I'm supporting an American company and manufacturing plus continuing on a tradition.  I've always been fascinated by bronze shoes and now get to have my own children's done.  Phil began by thinking it was silly but once we got them back he agreed that it was really cool and amazing to see how small Pete was at one time.  Our shoes are on our piano in the front room with the family pictures.  Once Nora has her first shoes and is finished with them I have plans to have hers done as well. 

Now for the giveaway that Mr. Kaynes has given me - a little something to give away to a lucky reader…a certificate good for the free bronzing of 2 baby shoes!  If your name is chosen, I’ll send you the certificate! Also make sure to tell your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One final note: If you enter the drawing for the free bronzing but don’t win the prize,
don’t worry!  I’ve arranged for you to still be able to get a special discounted price just
for being a blog follower!  To take advantage of this, go to, choose the style and finish you like, place an order and enter the Discount Code BLG15A when you check out and you’ll Save 15% as the price will be reduced right there!  But don’t delay…as the offer expires on June 3rd, 2015.

*I received the product for free in order to review, but all comments and reviews are my own and not that of the company's.  Some of the pictures are my own while others were provided by American Bronzing Company.