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I recently had the opportunity to review a pair of See Kai Run shoes. They have a large selection and it was so hard to narrow it down to one pair. I chose the Kaya, from their latest styles! If you’ll allow me to tell you a little bit about our experience with See Kai Run, then you’ll also have the opportunity to enter a giveaway generously sponsored by See Kai Run.

shoes 018A Little About See Kai Run:

The company was started by a mother with a toddler. She had a desire to create comfortable shoes with flexible soles for her little boy, Kai, to wear that would be healthy for his developing feet. When I read that, immediately my confidence in this brand increased. Knowing that it was designed by a mom for her own child, I knew that they would be a quality product!

They have a “Smaller” line which features adorable styles with suede soles in sizes 0-18 months and they have the “See Kai Run” line with the flexible sole available for 6 months – 3 years. Shoes are available for purchase in their online store or you can find a retail location near you!

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My Experience:

I mentioned in my initial announcement that the customer service was efficient and friendly, the shipping was speedy and one of the most impressive things was their printable sizing chart. Most companies put a size chart on their site; you measure and order accordingly, but with this one there is no measuring involved. (Hurray!) You simply print it out, have your child stand on it and order the correct size!

So of course the shoes arrived, fitting exactly as I expected them to! As soon as I opened the box, I was happy to discover that they were even more adorable up close than in the online picture. Now for the the bottom line – adorable is important but how hold up is crucial! Any shoes can look great if they are only ever used for pictures and church but I’m interested how they stand up to the adventures of everyday toddler life. I imagine that you’re interested in that too.

Well, a month is certainly more than enough time for Chloe, my rough and tumble princess, to completely wreck a pair of shoes! Chloe went scootering in them, rode her tricycle, went for walks, played in the sandbox, went to the park and wore them to church. The answer is…yes, the hold up beautifully! Here is a close up picture of the shoes. The dirt and black marks wiped off easily with a damp cloth. There is some minor stuffing on the toes but not anywhere near what I honestly expected.

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The shoes seemed very comfortable. Her feet were never hot or sweaty when I removed the shoes. They have a Velcro strap that is easy enough for her to undo herself and yet it was strong enough to keep them firmly in place through the day! The shoes are wide enough to give her plenty of room and the soles are so flexible that my mother said they “practically walk themselves”.

Overall, I am very impressed with them. Definitely a quality shoe. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about them. The only thing that comes to mind is that if the rubber sole was extended up the front a smidgen, it would eliminate any scuffing of the toes altogether. shoes 016

You know, I was impressed with the confidence that See Kai Run has in their own products to be willing to have real life little ones racing around in their shoes just living life and then have a review done. This is just one mom’s honest opinion; I think these shoes are awesome!

From now until May 8th they are offering FREE shipping for all USA orders online!

You’ve been a patient reader my friend, and now on to the giveaway!

Lots of Chances to Enter:

Go to See Kai Run and choose your favorite(s) from either the Smaller or the See Kai Run, come back here and leave a comment. If you are commenting anonymously, please be sure to leave a way of contacting you!

For an additional two entries subscribe to the See Kai Run email list on the bottom of their home page. Come back and leave two additional comments on this post.

For an additional two entries subscribe to my blog via email (you will need to subscribe and then verify your subscription for it to be active). In order for your win with these comments to be valid, your email address must show ‘active’ status. If you have done this, leave two comments!

For one additional entry subscribe in a reader. Make sure to leave a comment letting me know!

You can also have an entry for blogging about the contest. Just leave the link in your comment!

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This post is paticipating in: Things I Love Thursday (because I love toddler shoes!), Frugal Friday (It’s a giveaway how frugal!), Family Friday (clothing is a famiy issue!) and Works for Me Wednesday (because these shoes certainly work for me!) and Mom Most Travelled.

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Wedding

On 05/05/05, I married a wonderful man.

We were married in a lemon/orange grove at the Hilton Palace in Sorrento, Italy. We spent almost three weeks exploring Italy with a quick trip to Paris, France thrown in. It was amazing (though I did get homesick and spent the last two days crying LOL).

But you know, that was just the beginning. The past four years have been filled with ups, downs, happy and sad moments. Thus far, we’ve been blessed with three little ones, though the Lord took one sweet baby home before we had the chance to meet them.

There have also been a lot of funny moments as I learned to be (and still am learning) to be a homemaker since I was domestically-challenged when we first got married. My husband has been patient with me through pink underwear, burnt meals, and a plethora of other domestic disasters!

I am thankful that:

  • he loves me and our family
  • is patient with me
  • has a sense of humor (though it does tend to be a bit dry LOL)
  • he keeps me warm at night
  • provides for our family which allows me to stay at home
  • he’s smart
  • he’s  kind
  • he’s handsome 🙂
  • he is able to cook, clean and iron – and that he was willing to teach me LOL
  • he is practical, as sometimes I am not…
  • he is steady, dependable
  • he is fun (though he says he isn’t LOL)
  • he’s supportive of all my crazy ideas – and willing to help me accomplish them.
  • he has so many other wonderful qualities!

I am so thankful for this man God has given me and I pray that God will help me to be exactly what I need to be in order to complete him!

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A package arrived in the mail on Thursday…’Kaya from See Kai Run! Let me tell you, I was excited. Chloe put them on immediately and modeled them. She likes shoes too!

This is the first pair of shoes that we’ve tried from See Kai Run. From the efficient and friendly customer service, the speed of shipping, the accuracy of their printable page to determine sizing and the initial look of the product, thus far I am impressed.

Chloe, my sweet little princess, is also a rough and tumble toddler. She managed to scuff them up almost immediately. I was happy to discover that the leather wipes clean pretty easily! I’ll be back in a month+/- with an official review of these adorable shoes and how they stand up in real toddler life!

In the mean time, why don’t you pop over and have a peek for yourself. Don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter on the home page, you don’t want to miss the deals to be had!

See Kai Run has generously provided the opportunity for one reader to win a pair of these fabulous shoes in their choice of style and size! You won’t want to miss it so be sure to check back for the “official review” post!

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We had an Egg-cellent morning!
(Yes, that pun was intended to crack you up. HA HA!)

A Big thanks for all the egg suggestions yesterday. My friend brought over an egg coloring kit this morning. We tried to use crayons but the girls are too little and not quite gentle enough. We lost 4 eggs today. Not a bad loss considering we made out with 20 good eggs right? We simply made solid color eggs and later we’re going to put some stickers on them. The girls LOVED it. This also have us a great opportunity to work on our colors. Chloe thought everything should be pink. I heartily agree. The world would be a happier place if more things were pink!

We had no spills or incidences and I thought I was home free. The eggs were back in their cartons and I had just put the dye cups on the counter when I heard a splash and “Ooosies Mommy!” Chloe had dumped the bowl of water from the eggs on her head. What would possess her to think that it would be a good idea? Who knows. I’m just thankful it was water and an easy mess to take care of!

With that, we had lunch and everyone went down for a sleep after a busy morning.

We’ve also been talking about what Easter really is. We’re working on learning “Jesus is Risen” based on Mark 16:6. Eggs are fun, chocolate is even better (yum!) but praise the Lord, Easter is so much more than that!

How are you balancing the extra fun of Easter with teaching the Truth as well? This mommy always welcomes new ideas!!

PS. Yes, Chloe is still in her pj’s in these pictures. She has taken a liking to them. I asked her this morning if she wanted to wear a dress or pants and she said “Nemo jammies peas”. Sure, why not?!?

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One of my favorite things about the girls is their helpfulness. It’s not just that they are willing, but that they are enthusiastic! They are excited to help, they want to be a part of things.
At this age, they are so teachable and willing to learn!

I am working on creating a chore chart that works for them. I found some great help here: 20 Tips for Finding Your Routine With Kids and she also has a post about Preschool Chore Charts.

Thankfully I have two dust busters. (A long story and another example of why making decisions based on cost alone is not a good idea!) Anyway, when I say it is time to vacuum…they get so excited and immediately go to get their own vacuums. Washing the floor, dusting, sweeping, you name it and they want to be a part of it. The moment that I don my apron in the morning, they are looking for theirs too, knowing that an adventure is sure to come!


If you have little ones, I encourage you to let them help. Yes, it takes longer now but there are so many rewards to be had. Time invested in your children is never wasted.

What are they learning from you?

  • The basic how-to’s of a task
  • That they are loved and worth your time
  • That they are a vital and contributing part of your home
  • A good work ethic
  • Teamwork
  • That there is beauty and importance in keeping a home
  • And so much more I am sure!

What can you learn from them?

  • Not just to be willing, but to be enthusiastic
  • That joy can be found in any task, it all depends on attitude
  • Patience!
  • To let go of perfectionism

Washing the floor!

Setting the table – not too bad for our first attempt!

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Chloe is my daughter. She is two. Her room is one of my favorite rooms in our home. I started collecting things for her “big girl room” when she was 5 months old and still in the nursery. Her bedroom was actually the guest room then. I put her bedroom together when she was about 16 months and I was 7 months pregnant with our son. She was being evicted from the nursery in preparation for John’s arrival.
Some things that worked for me:
  • Scrounge: Two of my favorite items in her room are from the garbage! The pictures don’t do them justice but her little desk and the chair are from 2 separate people’s garbage sitting on their curb on garbage day. With the desk, I was too embarrassed to get it from the garbage pile so my wonderful parents picked it up for me. A few weeks later my sister and I were out somewhere and I spotted the chair on top of a garbage pile. I threw all my inhibitions out and promptly put on my four-way flashers, pulled over and grabbed it up before someone else saw this fabulous find. Thanks to my talented parents, both items were sanded down and refinished and they are so beautiful. An antique white with the tiniest tinge of pink. Simple and feminine! The bulletin board was being thrown out at Scott’s work so he brought it home. We have her bedtime routine with pictures posted on there. We have baskets in the bathroom and bedroom – those we got from Nana, who was planning to drop them off at a charity place!
  • Use what you have: I didn’t like the guest room furniture but didn’t want to buy more when we already had this set. It was my husbands before we got married. But you know, once I added all the pink to the room, the set actually looks very feminine and sweet. (I can assure you it looked neither when it was at my husbands apartment!) Chloe is also in a queen bed because we had just bought it when we got married and then decided to move into a king size for my king size man! (He’s 6’8″) My husband also had a bookshelf from his childhood. It was terribly ugly but my parents finished it to match the desk and chair and it looks beautiful! Rather than get a bed rail, my maternity pillow along the edge of the bed works perfectly.
  • Ask for Help! I am not really that talented. I couldn’t have pulled off this wonderful room on my own. My parents were a huge part of this room. Without their help in finishing the desk, bookshelf and chair, the room wouldn’t be the same. My dad also built the little stairs to her bed so she can get up and down. Mom helped get the curtains up just right and my wonderful husband helped arrange (and rearrange!!) the room into the way it is. He also hung the bookshelf, curtain rods and put together the toy organizer. My grandparents gave us a few of the nylon butterflies and my sister found some of the Nemo stickers at the dollar store. Dad also made the little toy chest in the corner. Mom and dad sanded and refinished the baby cradle (thift store find) for her dolls and mom sewed a little crib skirt and bedding for it.
  • Take Advantage of Deals: Dollar Stores are a great way to go. We purchased several nylon butterflies from the dollar store and hung them around the room from the ceiling. Chloe loves them. We got some Nemo removable wall stickers from ebay as well as the dollar store. The wall stickers I found on ebay were a couple bucks. They are removable and satisfy her love of Nemo while not being permanent. They can be removed at any time. This is a great way to add characters or themes to a room without it being permanent. After all, who has the time or the money to change room decor as they grow? We also got a few things off kijiji (similar to craigslist).
  • Know when to splurge: The only thing for Chloe’s big girl room that I really bought was the quilt, shams and the curtains. I had them made by Quilted Heirlooms in St Jacobs. Everyone at the Log Cabin was so helpful and it was a delightful experience! While this was a significant investment, it is something that will last her a lifetime! It is a queen size and though it has pink in it, it also has green and cream. Because I have it paired with pink curtains it looks feminine. But by adding green as the main color of the room rather than pink, it could very well work in a master bedroom someday. I think that quilts are beautiful, welcoming and timeless. My husband and I have one on our bed which has been washed a number of times. It is a quality item and only gets better (softer) with age! Though I am a big fan of dollar stores, if it is in the budget, sometimes it is better to splurge.

And there you have it. My thoughts for Works for Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday!

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I have an amazing husband! Thanks to him we have never really had any ‘picture chaos’. I take pictures – lots of them. I have such adorable children – how can I not take their pictures?
Anyway, I take the pictures and once a month or so my wonderful, wonderful husband takes them and downloads them from the camera onto our server and puts them in the appropriate yearly folder. So the above is a print screen of what our photos look like. Within each folder is the photos for the year in the order they were taken. (We have only been married 3 years so that helps too. It’s not like we have years to go back). Looks sparse I know but we have a lot of photos, trust me!
We also have a website. Where all the photos are uploaded and sorted into quarterly albums. I’ve debated on whether to share this or not because it does encompass all our photos and therefore me (or my home) look less than stellar in some but for a limited time I will put this link in here. How is that for online organization? I told you he was wonderful!
Anyway this is all fine and dandy for us to scroll through on the computer but what about a hard copy? I generally print out some photos by uploading them to Costco and picking them up the following day. But those photos are to give away to grandparents and such. I’ve been meaning to do something about photos for us but with a toddler, a baby, and a myriad of other tasks, where is time time?

Thanks to the Organizing Junkie’s Roundup and a coupon from Shutterfly…I made a photobook of the highlights of 2008 for free…I just had to pay the shipping. It was very simple…the longest part was uploading the photos but I didn’t have to sit there to do it so that didn’t bother me. I want to go back and make a highlights of the year book for 2007 and a combination 2005/2006 (before we had littles we didn’t have as many pictures), all I need to do is wait for another coupon.

Frugal Friday Tip?
If the idea of a photo book interests you at all, you should sign up for their newsletter. Though it can get annoying at times, a few times a year they send out a coupon for a free photobook, you just have to pay the shipping which from the USA to Canada was $6.99. My guess is that it is cheaper get a “free” photobook once or twice a year than it is to print out pictures. Right now they have 20% off using the code BOOKS20 but I am holding out for the free book coupon.
Once I get another coupon and go back and do our missing years, I will then use the additional coupons to create photobook gifts. What an amazing present for aunts, uncles, grandparents. They have all sorts of “themed” photobooks too. For 6.99 or less (shipping varies by location) you get an AWESOME personalized gift idea.

What are you waiting for? Go here to sign up! You don’t want to miss the next free photobook do you?

SIDE NOTE:
Did anyone notice my frugal use of time here? Monthly Roundup and Frugal Friday combination post….
(Yes, I am impressed with my geniusness on occasion!)

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