Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tag Book: Engagement

I learned how to make these really fun mini scrapbooks from the awesome book Creative Scrapbooks by Donna Downey. There's a whole series called Yes It's a Scrapbook and they are all must haves. They are what first got me scrapbooking off the page so to speak, and looking at everything new in a new hmmmm...what kind of scrapbook can I turn this into kinda way. Donna's one of my all time favorite scrapbookers and all around creative people.
This one I made several years ago, when still in New Mexico in celebration of my Godbrother's wedding engagement to his lovely wife Karen. The front and back covers are made out of paper covered chipboard and the insert is made out of one sheet of 12X12 paper. There are spots for four tags
I bound mine with ribbon and added a personal message on the backside. I've made several of these as gifts and they are always well received. People think they are just the neatest thing.
Here are some detail pictures of how I embellished the four tags, the front and back. On the back I left room for the couple to add some of their own notes to make it a special keepsake for them.
Shared at: Making the World Cuter, Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts, DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land, Show & Tell at Blue Cricket Design, Strut Your Stuff Thursdays at Somwhat Simple. and

It's So Very Creative, where I was one of last week's favorites for my altered Starbucks bottles and caddy treat holder. Cheri is having a month long giveaway called Sharing the Love. There will be several winners each week and there are already several fun things up for grabs. So head on over to check it out!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review & Giveaway: Seduced By A Rogue, by Amanda Scott

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered! Congratulations to Annette, Jane, Taking Time for Mommy, and Holly.
Lately, because of the opportunities I've had as a book reviewer, I have been branching out more and reading a variety of titles that I might not otherwise have picked up. Which has been nice, although true to form, historical fiction is still the quickest to catch my eye. Add a healthy bit of romance to that history, and it's nice to escape from reality as long as the pages keep turning. Plus if well written, you really do feel like you've been swept back in time, albeit a most idealized version.

Amanda Scott's Seduced By A Rouge is a delightful jaunt back into Scotland's distant past, the fourteenth century to be exact. There are plenty of Scottish terms and appropriate references to bairns and the like to give it, to authenticate it's setting. What clinched my decision to read it, was the first of Five Fun Facts, learning that it was based loosely on a real people.

Publisher Synopsis:

A fair-haired beauty at 19, Lady Mairi is heiress apparent to her father Lord Dunwythie's rich barony. He has carefully taught her how to manage their estates, but a feud between his clan and the Maxwell clan is brewing as the two families edge toward a clan war - their dispute over money owed. Mairi's father believes he owes nothing, and of course Mairi sides with him.

When the impulsive and blue-eyed Rob Maxwell chances to meet Mairi in a barley field, they feel instant attraction, despite their families' antagonisms. Knowing he must put his clan first, Rob enacts a plan to force Dunwythie to pay his debt: Rob kidnaps Mairi, making the abduction appear the work of a stranger; then he and his sheriff-brother offer to help Dunwythis rescue his daughter IF, and only if, he will pay them the monies due. Yet after Rob captures Mairi's body, she captures his heart. When Dunwythie summons the aid of the most powerful clan in all Scotland (the Douglases), clan-tensions rise to a fever pitch. Love takes its own feverish course, as Mairi and Rob join forces to prevent a clash between hot-headed clans, and to protect their budding love.

While some of the events may seem implusible, Scott has skillfully woven them together to create an interesting and well paced tale. I found myself drawn into the story and really wrapped up in what would happen between them. There was a lot of romantic tension and desire between Mairi and Rob and not a lot of bodice ripping, if you know what I mean. Scott also did a good job hooking me into the continuing storyline. I definitely want to know what happened to Mairi's younger sister Fiona and will have to read the next tale in the trilogy to find out.

Win It!
5 readers will win a copy of Amanda Scott's new paperback title Seduced By A Rouge

Tell me what historical setting you like to read about the most and why.

Additional Entries:
  • Publically follow my blog, using Google Friends Connect.
  • Subscribe via EMAIL to my posts.
  • Post my link button.
  • Post about or provide a text link to this giveaway.
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  • Fan me on Facebook.
Giveaway open until February 5th midnight EST, to US and Canadian residents but NO P.O. Boxes. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Good luck.

Disclaimer: Thank you to The Product Review Place for connecting me with the Hatchette Book Group for providing the reviewers and giveaway copies of this book. This post relates my own unbiased experiences and opinions with this book and yours may differ.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yoplait Smoothie Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed, congratulations to #23 karenmed409, who said...Have your button. Thank you to everyone who entered!
Are you looking for a healthy way to fit essential nutrients into your diet? Yoplait wants to help! The antioxidant-rich fruit in Yoplait smoothies can be a great way to help you get all the important vitamins and minerals your body needs. Yoplait’s new Frozen Smoothies go from freezer to fabulous in minutes!
Did you know seven out of 10 Americans do not consume the daily recommended amount of fruit? Every Yoplait Smoothie contains a full serving of fruit as well as real Yoplait yogurt pieces with live & active cultures. Yoplait Smoothies are a good source of calcium when prepared with milk according to directions, and an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin C.

Simply add milk to a Yoplait freezer package, blend, and in less than two minutes you can enjoy a nutritious and delicious smoothie guilt free! At 110 calories per serving, Yoplait Frozen Smoothies make creating the at-home smoothie convenient, simple and worry free.

Try Yoplait Smoothies and save with this $1.25 off coupon Giveaway!
Win a Yoplait Frozen Smoothie Gift Pack! Shown above, it includes a VIP coupon for a free Yoplait Smoothie AND a personal blender to make smoothies with!

To Enter:
Tell me what your favorite fruit smoothie is to make at home.

Extra Entries:
{mandatory first method must be completed first, leave an additional comment for each extra entry}
  • Publically follow my blog using Google Friends Connect.
  • Subscribe via EMAIL to my blog.
  • Post my link button.
  • Fan me on Facebook.
  • Follow me on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway using @KTnestingspot in it.
  • Post about or provide a text link to this giveaway.

Giveaway open to US residents through February 3rd, midnight EST. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hrs to respond. Good Luck!

Disclaimer: Yoplait provided me with the free product, information, and gift pack through MyBlogSparkTM.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Paper Mosiac Heart Valentine

Last year ER and I made Mommy and Me Valentines, at that time she wanted to paint every day all day and I wanted a project that would incorporate some of her art. She painted the paper we used and I backstiched the sentiment on the front of the cards.
This year ER is into gluing and as always I have a big selection of paper scraps leftover from scrapbooking. She enjoyed making the heart for Great Grandma, that I decided to make a variation of that project for our cards.
Ours are "Cinderella" blue, because that's what ER is all about right now, and are cute little mini sized cards. To make them, cut a 12X12 piece of cardstock into three 4X12 pieces and then score every 4 inches. ER glued paper scraps to the bottom portion.
After it dried I trimmed the edges, traced a heart in the middle portion of the paper strip, and cut it out with a craft knife. Attach adhesive around the opening and then fold the bottom portion up and press to seal and to make the "window".
Add a message to your Valentine and sign. These are on the smaller size because I didn't want ER to get tired of making them before we had enough for her entire preschool class. I am going to have her trace her name on it and put it into a little treat bag with some candy for each classmate.

A little tip: All the glue caused the paper to warp a bit, and I had to put it under some heavy books to flatten it out a bit. Plan for this to be a two day project if your child is heavy handed with the glue bottle like mine is.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Heart for Great Grandma

Last Saturday, my family gathered to celebrate my Grandma's 89th birthday. ER gave her a cute paper mosiac heart we made, but Grandma's favorite gift were the hugs and kisses ER gave her. At one point ER was quite shy around Grandma but happily not anymore.
It was an easy craft to do, and inspired by one of ER's favorite Valentine books. She likes it so much that it stays out all year long. She is always talking about making Valentines, specifically hearts like the character in the book, so I designed this project to be successful for her. ER loves to glue and this was a great way to use up all my scrapbook paper scraps.
I traced a heart onto pink cardstock. Then ER squirted out clue inside and layed down the paper pieces. After it dried I cut it out and used glue dots to attach a picture of ER with Great Grandma. It's already being proudly displayed in Great Grandma's room.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sylvan Dell Publishing eBooks Review

Earlier this month, I reviewed Little Skink's Tail by Janet Halfmann, a book published Sylvan Dell Publishing. They have recently released their next generation eBooks that feature auto-flip, auto-read, and switchable English and Spanish text AND audio.

When first approached with an opportunity to review their new format, I was not very excited about it at all. I didn't think a computer version of a book would be very user friendly format for my three year old. I do however, like Sylvan Dell Publishing's strong math and science educational component and how how most of their books are about subjects of high interest to my daughter. So I after being asked very nicely to just give them a try, I agreed.Currently, there are forty-five titles available in eBook format. For the purposes of this review I will discuss the book, What's New At The Zoo: An Animal Adding Adventure. One of my daughter's favorites, because she loves animals and visiting the zoo. With all the choices to pick from, she zoomed in on this title right away. It features rhyming text asking a simple addition question, delightfully illustrated pages filled with color and action, and the arithmetic problem clearly shown. Animal facts, mainly what baby animals of each species depicted are called, are woven throughout the story. There is also red balloon to find on each two page spread. The math problems vary in difficulty with 12+8 being the most difficult and including carrying.I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the eBook format. It did take me few minutes to figure out all the features, like how to get the pages to auto-flip, but not too long. Overall, I consider them very user friendly, and even though I did not need to refer to operating instructions or have to call for customer service both are offered. A screen view of ER's favorite page from the book, featuring the elephants - of course☺, is above.

Unfortunately, we are a non-bilingual family, so I liked the option to switch back and forth between English and Spanish. You can get the text and oral read aloud in both languages, more are planned. The auto-flip feature is a must for us as figuring out the mouse is still a mystery to our three and a half year old. I will say ER REALLY enjoyed listening to several books over the course of a few days. She asked for them a lot, saying that she needed to use the computer, and even the longer stories held her attention. It was a great way for me to have something educational for her to do while I made some quick phone calls or did a few chores around the house.

Nothing can take the place of a parent child read together, and the interaction with a book that only a caregiver can provide but this is a good option for something different with limited use. While it can't respond to her personally, that can offer ER exposure to another language which I cannot. Children wanting computer time will enjoy this safe and educational format, that parents can feel comfortable letting their children have.
While I enjoyed reviewing this format, at $11.95 per eBook I don't think I would purchase one for my family. However, should you interested in them, they do provide ample forms of previews so you can make the best choice. Sylvan Dell Publishing's catalogue has a wealth of quality titles, and I would prefer to purchase them in paperback format. Although, if I had a lap top, and my child could access them while we're out and about like when we're waiting for our food at a restaurant, I might reconsider.

Sylvan Dell Publishing does a great job of providing extension activities for their titles, with free online resources that can be used to supplement their books in either paper or eBook format. By far I think the best audience for this new form of eBook are schools. I would have loved to have access to these in the computer lab or on my classroom computer, especially since so many wonderful related resources are provided for enhancing the educational content of each book:
Disclaimer: Thank you to Sylvan Dell Publishing for providing me with free access to their online eBooks for the purpose of writing this review.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thank You

Thank you to everyone for the heartfelt sympathy expressed at the passing of Brad's Grandpa Norman. We don't have be to Missouri until later on this week, so we've got a few days to finalize plans and get ready to hit the road. That's good because for a little bit I thought we might be in the car today and I was stressed out at the thought of that.

Get a "Taste" of Reading with Super WHY!‏

I love PBS children's programing, because let's face it kids like to watch television, and if they are going to be watching something I prefer it to be educational. Do your kids watch Super Why? There is just something about literacy superheros that I find so cool, hmm...must be the reading specialist in me☺

If Super Why and his fellow Super Readers are favorite in your home, you'll be interested to know that not only with they be jumping into the pages of fairytales, but now the energetic friends are also leaping into the pages of other kinds of books to show parents and preschoolers that there are many fun ways to learn to read!Hip Hip Hooray! Super WHY whips up a whole new reading-powered adventure when the Super Readers soar into the pages of a cookbook for the very first time! Super WHY and the Cookbook will premiere January 29 on PBS stations from coast to coast (check local listings).

Whyatt wants to bake his little sister a special birthday cake - but he doesn't know how. So Super Why and his friends soar into a new kind of book - and get the information they need from a rhyming chef with a silly sense of humor as well as a recipe for fun! In the end, Whyatt learns how to create the perfect birthday for Baby Joy.

Here are some awesome tips to help you cook up your very own yummy reading adventure!

Encouraging preschoolers to read recipes, signs and more helps them navigate their world and gives them a real reason to use their new-found literacy skills. Asking questions will expand their creativity as well as reinforce comprehension. It can also inspire them to write their own signs, recipes or stories!
  • Pick out a simple and tasty recipe with your budding Super Reader. Ask them to point out all of the letters and words they already know in the ingredients.
  • Write a grocery list together, sounding out the words as you go along
  • At the supermarket, have your kids help read the signs so you can find the ingredients you need
  • As you cook, read the recipe out loud every step of the way
  • Before serving your delicious treat, create colorful place cards for each member of the family, assisting your preschooler in writing out the names. Have fun – and bon appetite!

Each episode of Super WHY, the award-winning literacy series from Out of the Blue Enterprises, engages young viewers in fun, interactive alphabet and word games, as well as imagination-stimulating spelling, vocabulary and comprehension activities, helping to instill a life-long love of reading all along the way!

I love these simple and fun suggestions to get your kids involved in working with letters and words all day long. The last one, making name cards is a great one for our family as ER has been working on writing her name at preschool. I'm glad I got to learn more about this literacy based show through PBS's Band of Bloggers!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Grandpa Norman

"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy." ~ Eskimo Legend
This morning we got the sad news that Brad's Grandfather, Grandpa Norman passed away overnight. He was 88 and we are thankful that he got to meet ER, on visits during our drives between NM and MI. We are planning on making the ten hour or so drive to be at the visitation this week. We're sure Great Grandma Emma Jane will want her loved ones near. We are all comforted by the thought that his son, Brad's father Phil, has greeted him in Heaven. So it is not good bye Grandpa Norman, but until we meet again. You will be missed and were loved very much.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Love Treats: Upcycled Starbucks Drink 4 Pack

I can't believe I completely forgot to share this cute project I made two years ago, last February! I planned on waiting until next month but can't wait any longer. I seriously love Starbucks bottled Frappuccino drinks; I'll admit to buying them by the case. But since I had a plan, for this I bought a four pack to alter...after drinking their deliciousness all up first☺ To transform the empty bottles and container, start by rinsing and cleaning out the bottles. Peel off the labels. Then paint the inside and outside of the box. I used several layers because I didn't prep them with gesso, which is kind of like artist primer.
Then have fun decorating, embellishing, and collaging the sides of the container with stamps and paper pieced pictures. Seal everything with a layer of mod podge.
We gave this fun gift to, two little friends of ours, I put their picture with ER on one side. I like to personalize things whenever possible.
Don't forget to cuten up the caps; add some mod podge to seal it up. Tie on some ribbons and fill 'em up with treats. Now you have a super sweet and extra special Valentine.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snowball Counting Activity

I put together this simple center, with a counting mat for numbers up to fifteen, for my kindergarten class and recently got it out to use with ER. I'm focusing on numbers up to five because at this time, my goal objective is number recognition.
It's very easy to make up the counting boards, and it's a good time for finding paper doilys on sale too. The stickers are so the kids can self check their work. In my classroom I had a large number line stapled to one wall, that they could also refer to. These are laminated for durability, but if doing this at home it's probably not necessary.
All the kids have to do is place the right number of "snowballs" i.e. cotton balls onto the the large snowflake. I like how they can see the numeral, sight word, and visual representation of the number all at once. ER is fairly proficient at counting out and representing numbers to ten. So as I stated at the top, I make a point to point to the number and finger trace it in the air while we do this activity.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Recycled Snack Box Notebooks

Apparently I am THAT cheap, enough so that I'm willing to grab empty snack box containers out of the recycling bin and think hmmm...I could use this for something. I ended up with these because ER has been going through blank notebooks like crazy.
She is obsessed with coloring ALL the time. She scribbles and scribbles, one little mark on each page and then rips them out. In no time at all she has an enormous stack of bits and pieces. Then she likes to wad them all up and carry them around with her in one of her little purses. Can she remember the letters in her name, oh heck no, but if I happen to throw one or two papers away, somehow she can tell exactly which one is missing. But this really isn't about that, that's another issue I have to deal with. Right now I'm going with the if it's ripped out it gets thrown away rule, and that seems to helping. Now at least my house doesn't look like a paper shredder.

She loves Finding Nemo, and the fruit snack box is bright and colorful. I used the front and back, my binding machine, and some paper I snagged from junk mail. You know, all those millions of credit card applications, or rate changes with balance switch, or other things you don't need. One side is usually blank, so I saved a bunch up of papers from them, cut to size, and then popped them in. Just make sure the papers you add don't have any important information on the back. ER scribbles so hard any type is obliterated but you should still be careful. I can add more papers when she empties a notebook or just add back to the recycling bin if it's a bit roughed up.

Do you have any money saving tips for art supplies, please share!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flip Along Fun: Children's Book Review, Giveaway, & Coupon Code

Thank you to everyone who entered! This giveaway is now closed, congratulations to Jennifer T, comment #50 who said, "I'm a facebook fan of ABC and 123 under username Jennie".
We recently got a fantastic new book for our home library. I am always interested in children's literature, but this one really got me excited. It's a simple concept done very well. It also happens to be perfect for my daughter, right now. Children ages 2.5-6 will enjoy it a lot.

Flip Along Fun: Mix Up To Match Up...The Right Answer by Michael J. Dowling, illustrated by Sarah Dowling, is a mix and match storybook. Meaning that there are three different panels that are used to make up a simple addition "story". The whole thing is set to simple rhyming verse and colorful animal pictures.
The reader picks flips through the first and second set of panels finding an animal picture for each, that the story will feature. In the third section they find the picture that has both animals from panel one and two to complete the story. As the story is completed the animals add up.

It's hands on and interactive, the stories are delightfully funny, the concept of addition is illustrated for the kids, and the numeral on each page is enlarged and bolded. Children can see, hear, and make an addition story all at once. My daughter really likes this one:
Panel One: 3 pink pigs dancing jolly jigs.
Panel Two: Spied 2 yellow cats swinging baseball bats
Panel Three: and all 5 had a laugh as they sat in the bath.

That gets her giggling over and over, she thinks it's funny to imagine our two kitties in the bath tub. "That's so silly," she says while she rolls her eyes and usually falls over from laughing.
Another thing that I like about this Flip Along Fun is it's sturdy laminated board book cover and pages, not only will it stand up to years of little hands using it, but you can easily use it for desk top easel activities. Perfect for teachers to use during center times with small groups. It would be a great tool to use with parent volunteers leading small groups to review and reinforce math concepts. Students could use a book to make their own addition story, have the parent read it to them, and then copy the problem down into their math journal. To challenge the students, you could also have them reverse the problem into a subtraction problem.

It's an engaging read for preschoolers and an excellent resource for parents and teachers alike. I can think of many great ways to use this book because besides the math concepts, it could also be used in conjunction with word family and rhyming lessons. There is also a great video on the website, showing how the book works, see for yourself what a fun resource Flip Along Fun is!

Coupon Code:

Order the book at, use the code K-01 and save $3 off of Flip Along Fun. Offer good now through February 14th.

Author Michael J. Dowling will autograph the book for you at no additional charge. He'll even personalize it if you provide the first names of the recipients at checkout, turning it into a really special gift! You can learn more about the author and the illustrator Sarah, who is also his wife, at their website. Giveaway:

One reader will win a copy of Flip Along Fun!

To Enter:

Visit and tell me something you learned about either the book or the author. {MUST be done for any other entries to be valid.}

Extra Entries:

  • Tell me who you'd give or use this book with and what you think the little learner in your life would like most about Flip Along Fun.
  • Publicly follow either one of my blogs, this one or my educational blog: ABC & 123, one extra entry for each.
  • Post either link button on your blog, one extra entry for each.
  • Fan either blog on Facebook, one extra entry for each.
  • Follow FlipAlongFun on Twitter
  • Follow me on Twitter, tweet this giveaway, using @KTnestingspot in it.
  • Post about this giveaway on your blog.

{Don't forget the mandatory first entry, leave me an extra comment for additional method of entry you choose}

Giveaway open now through Tuesday February 2, 2010 at midnight EST to US residents.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes; this post relates my own unbiased opinions and experience with this title. Yours may differ.

Monday, January 18, 2010

DENISE'S DAILY DOZEN Blog Tour & Giveaway, 5 Winners!

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered! Congratulations to #1 Gonna Be His Mrs. (I know can you believe it came up with #1 I thought that never happened), #12 Tj and Amy, #25 Marilyn, # 46 Michelle M, and #7 Mami2jcn.

I have been a fan of Denise Austin's for a long time, I remember exercising with her and my friends, by watching her television workouts. I also lost weight with her before, using another of her great books. Now that's I'm older and have had a child, I need more help, and who better to turn too!
Publisher Synopsis:

From Denise Austin comes the perfect health book for anyone who wants to live better but just can't seem to find the time. Much more than just another exercise book, Denise's Daily Dozen covers a whole range of health and diet related concepts yet manages it all in a no-stress, time-conscious program of 12's. At it's core, this book contains the minimum daily requirements to keep the reader flexible, strong and trim. Organized simply into seven chapters, which equal the seven days of the week, it covers a full week in daily allotments. Each day will have it's own focus from Monday being "fat burning day" to Sunday's "recharge and rejuvenate."

Denise has created a total body program, including a 7-day balanced meal plan that includes healthy recipes, and a workout that encompasses 12 exercises done in 12 minutes each day. Everyone can take just 12 minutes, at whatever time of the day works for them, and turn it over to these simple and fun exercises. Cardio, toning, yoga and breathing exercises...they're all here but in a way the maximizes effect while minimizing time.

Beyond a dozen exercises for each day of the week this book will include many other of Denise's dozens for each day.
My hope had been to tell you how fabulous I was doing, on this stop of the blog tour, but as my regular readers know I've been very sick for the past week. The double ear infection and chest cold, meant that on doctor's orders I had to stop working out, stay in bed, and just focus on healing. So unfortunately, I can't tell you how it's been using the program, but since I had mapped out my plan of action, read, and reread the book several times I still have a lot to say about it.

My Review:

As usual Denise's unfailing cheerfulness and you can do it attitude is all over this book. From the first moment you feel like you've got the peppiest cheerleader on your side. The thing I've always liked about Denise is her ability to breaks things down, into doable increments, usually 12 in this case.

Yes there are twelve exercises that take twelve minutes to do per day, but a need to be active is still stressed in Part One. It's not just twelve minutes per day, doing the exercises for each day. You also have "Your Weekly Dozen Miles" i.e. cardio, a thirty minute interval program is then outlined.

The main part of the program is outlined in the second part and divided by day. Meaning that in Monday's section first you see the 12 daily exercises, followed by week 1's menu, then week 2's, etc. This was both good and bad for me. It's great to have a variety of exercises to do each day, you don't repeat a workout during the week, so you don't get bored.

While it definitely made sense to organize the program by day, it meant that when I was trying to get a feel for the program I had to do a lot of flipping around. Plus it made it confusing for me to make the shopping list. A by week shopping menu is at the end of the book, but I do not eat fish and some of the fruit used is not very good and/or expensive out of season. I made modifications for it to work for me, and ended up writing down the ingredients for the wrong week's meal on Tuesday.

So learn from me and use sticky notes to mark you place on each day. I'll also point out that you'll need to adjust the recipes to reflect your family members too, if they'll be eating the meals, like dinners. Recipes are written for one.

I am very excited to start Denise's Daily Dozen again one week from today, going to give myself a little longer to get completely better. In the meantime, I'll be using the quick and helpful extras, that you can start doing the day you get the book. The "Twelve Favorite Fidgit-cisers" are my favorite and include ways to add exercise during down time, like waiting for your toast to be ready or while sitting on the coach during commerical breaks.

I can also get even more tips from Denise by following her on Twitter and becoming her fan on Facebook. If you've got a few pounds to loose and want to give your lifestyle a jumpstart this year, pick up Denise's Daily Dozen.


5 of my readers will win a copy of Denise Austin's new book, Denise's Daily Dozen.

To Enter:

Tell me your biggest challenge that prevents you from reaching your weight loss or healthy lifestyle goals.

Extra Entries:
  • Publically follow my blog using Google Friends Connect.
  • Post my link button.
  • Fan me on Facebook.
  • Follow me on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway and include @KTnestingspot in it.
Open through February 1st, midnight EST to US and Canadian residents, no PO Boxes.

Disclosure: Thank you to Hachette Book Group for the reviewer's and giveaway copies of this title. This review relates my own personal opinion and experiences with Denise's Daily Dozen and yours may differ.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

At Least 2008's Holiday Pictures are Scrapped

It's midway through January 2010, so naturally I am working on finishing up scrapbooking the holidays...from um..2008 that is! I won't mention that I still have a few things from '07 to do too, oh whoops, I guess I just did. To make things easy on myself I mainly used a coordinating kit I by Making Memories that's been in my craft stash longer than I'd care to admit. Some of the pages from the finished mini book are throughout this post.The approximately 5X7 inch spiral notebook has ten cream pages with coordinating stickers and patterned paper that all came in the set. As I wanted to fit an entire month of pictures into this mini, kinda along the lines of a Daily December book, I was going to need more pages. To remedy that, I pried the spiral binding open and and added red and green cardstock pages, cut to size, as well as some velum quotes which gives it a fun eclectic look. Use the cover as a template to know where to punch holes on the new sheets. It was easy to add the extras and push the spiral back into place. Assembly was really quick, pick only one or two pictures to represent for most of our events that month, lay them out in order, and then place them to get a feel for how the book would lay out. Then cut the photos and large paper blocks. The small size meant it was a great way use "okay" photos that could be cropped fairly small.I used a tape runner to stick everything down because I want the book to be handled and looked at. But I also don't want any thing falling off. Once the pictures and papers were down, time to go back and embellish. Some stuff is from my horde of crafty goodness but I tried to really use up the kit's contents. Only one square and a few random letter letter stickers are left, pretty good huh? Hmm...judging from these pics, I must really like using my large scalloped scissors to make little borders! Are you wondering...what, no journaling? To make this book go quicker, get lots of pictures in it, and have them be the focus I used a tip I learned from Simple Scrapbooks, my favorite but sadly now defunct magazine. The first page in the book is my title page and the last two are for journaling. I'll tell the longer story on those pages.Have I mentioned the one of my favorite parts is of the book is how you can see through the velum and get a glimpse of what's next, so fun! Okay back on topic...through out the book scalloped circles and paper scraps were used to make small labeling spots as needed. To further streamline the process I handwrote the journaling spots, which is hard for me.

Perfectionist that I am, I prefer typed print, but do think having some of your own handwriting in your scrapbooks is important. These represent baby steps for me. The preprinted tags and stickers from the kit also helped give the pages some related text.The glittery red poinsettia design was preprinted on the cover. I added a fun rhinestone title, 3D reindeer sticker, and a cute picture of ER in a metal frame to the front. I love having a full season of memories all in one place and more imporantly DONE. Well except for some ribbon I may or may not tie onto the spiral.
I finished 95% of this in one sitting, granted it was a long sitting but still. It's nice to work hard and have a finished product. How do you make hold onto your holiday memories? Do you have any ideas for streamlining the process? I'd love to know what you do too.
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