Friday, April 29, 2011

26 Weeks

I'll start with a little update, a couple of weeks ago I started feeling really pregnant.  It's hard to bend at the waist and this time around I'm experiencing a significant increase in growing pains and aches.  My legs and knees feel tired after standing for even short periods.  I'm a little concerned about weight gain because I just cannot exercise like I did the first time, I did fifteen minutes on the elliptical and then was achy for two days!  I'm trying not to push myself but it's frustrating because I like being more active.  Baby has been very active, so at least he's movin' and a shakin'; sometimes I can even see my belly move when he's kicking.  But I'm trying not to complain too much, as after all, we feel very blessed to have finally gotten to this point again!

We've really kicked into full baby mode, working on projects in preparation for this summer.  I sorted through boxes and boxes of ER's outgrown things, pulling out special outfits we want to hold onto just in case we have a third go around, and packing up bags and bags of extras to drop off with friends.  We sent a bunch of 2T summer clothes to my cousin in New York and it was fun to see his daughter wearing one of the dresses for Easter.  I tend to be a bit of a pack rack when it comes that kind of thing; it was a little heart wrenching to see them go.  Knowing they are being used and seeing them on other little ones we love makes it a lot easier. 

Brad has been working hard to clear out the basement and move stuff around the house for storage while he works on finishing it and making us a playroom and office down there.  He's dropped off several bags full of stuff to donate and made a few trips to recycling centers.  He's getting ready to lay down tarp on the floors this weekend and we're going to try to finalize a paint color for ER's room soon.  We don't have to paint the baby's as it's already a nice shade of green but since ER's walls are still white it seemed like a good time to tackle that.  Finding a booster seat for her is also on our to do list.
It's a bit early but I've picked up a few baby outfits.  I really like the top one because even though it's not a Tiger baseball oufit, the colors are our team's☺  Shopping was fun because I didn't really pick out any of ER's first baby clothes, our family and friends were so generous at our baby showers.  She wore a lot of basic onesies and now I regret not getting her a few prettier things in those sweet itty bitty sizes.  Right after she was born, it was my mom who had to run out to get another package because ER was so much smaller than we expected.
She didn't truly fit into her "home from the hospital" outfit, that's her in it at one month old above, until she was over three months old and by then it was too cold to wear it.  I was under the impression babies were a lot bigger & grew faster than ER did. She was still able to wear newborn sizes at two months old.  I began to put her in bigger sizes because she needed to wear warmer clothes not because she outgrew them.

So far Baby #2 is measuring right where ER did, within the normal range but at the very bottom.  I'm anticipating we'll need some newborn things so he doesn't look lost in everything, but I'm going to try to hold off making really stocking up until closer to the birth.  I'll be seeing the baby at least once and possibly twice a week toward the end, since I'm considered high risk, so I should have a very good idea of the baby's projected birth size.  The doctors were pretty good about predicting with ER, I was just kinda clueless and didn't realize how small six pounds of baby was until I was holding her!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Crafty Soiree #35

Hello and welcome to the newest edition of our weekly craft celebration!  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, Passover, or weekend☺  While the eggs have been found and the chocolate bunnies at our house are all missing their ears, I'm reluctant to say goodbye to all my Easter decorations.  The following projects all feature one of my favorite motifs, birds and specifically sweet little chicks and baby duckies.  Have fun visiting all our talented participants and don't forget to bring a smile to someone's face and leave some comment love on your travels!
I just about squealed aloud when I saw the ridiculously cute Handprint Easter Canvas at Clean & Scentsible.  I have a thing for children's handprint projects and the design of this is just too fun and so much more meaningful than anything you can buy at the store.
The next chick craft is from Krafty Kat, can you figure out what these started out as?  I guess it's a case of the egg really coming before the chick, LOL.  This and two other really neat crafts out of plastic eggs are in the post.  I love all three so be sure to check them out!
Our last feature for this week are these sweet little onesies from Oxford Impressions, aren't the polka dots a great fabric choice?  I need to try and make some for our baby due in August.

Ladies, for being our features this week, we're happy to offer you our special Crafty Soiree Ribbon! It's yours to proudly display! Don't forget to check out today's Crafty Soiree post at Yesterday on Tuesday, we both pick three participants to feature each week so you might have been featured by Malia. But you'll have to visit her to find out!
Now it's your turn to link up! The linky will be open for a week, so you have plenty of time to join us! Here are some guidelines for our guests:
  • Link up your creative projects! Crafts, Kid Crafts, Decor, Recipes, Sewing and Organizing tips are are welcome.
  • Add up to FOUR links to share, you can link up projects from your archives, but please make sure it's not something you've previously linked up to A Crafty Soiree AND you add a link back to the party!
  • Add your links to the specific posts and not your blog's homepage.
  • Add my Crafty Soiree button above or link back to me in your posts, so others can find us and join in!
  • Please comment on the post linked up in front of you. All partygoers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
  • Please consider following the hostesses, me and Malia, we want to get to know our guests.
  • Most importantly... enjoy yourself and have fun!
Don't forget, A Crafty Soiree is hosted on two blogs, so when you link up on one your link will automatically show up on the other one too! Please note, by linking up to A Crafty Soiree, you're giving permission to feature your project and photos in the future, with proper credit of course☺


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TLC Book Tour: Confessions of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn

Confessions of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn
• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (April 5, 2011)

Publisher Synopsis:

The tragic, moving, and gripping story of the ascendance and fall of Katherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, and the best friend she nearly dragged down with her

When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk’s household she could not be more different than her poor relation, Cat Tilney. Yet, of all their companions, it is Cat, watchful and ambitious, to whom the seemingly frivolous young girl confides. When Katherine is summoned to the royal court at seventeen—to become, months later, the wife of Henry VIII after he casts off his previous queen—she leaves behind an ex-lover, Francis, with whom Cat is soon passionately involved.

But a future that seems assured for the pampered new queen and her maid-in-waiting lasts a brief year and a half, only to be imperiled by improper acts and scandalous allegations of girlhood love affairs. Imprisoned in the Tower and hoping to escape a most terrible fate, a frightened, desperate Katherine relates a version of events that only Cat recognizes as a lie—as more than one life is threatened by what she alone knows to be the truth about Katherine Howard’s past.

My Thoughts:

I have two of Suzannah Dunn's previous Tudor novels and The Confessions of Katherine Howard is a fitting companion to her previous tales of Henry VIII's beleaguered wives, each fated for a tragic end but none more so than Katherine. 

Katherine Howard is often portrayed as naive and none too bright.  Dunn's take on her as a girl with star quality, the kind of person who turns heads and instantly stands out is refreshing.  She also gives her more intelligence and ambition then she's normally credited with.  Oh sure, she is very much a teenager and displays immature behavior but overall, I thought this Katherine was much more aware, as viewed through the eyes of her distant cousin and best friend Cat.

Little is known about Katherine, giving Dunn ample room to create her story, with it's multi-layered love story that's expanded into a triangle of sorts to include Cat and Francis Dereham.  I really enjoyed that it's very much the story of Cat and Francis as well as Katherine.  Getting to know lesser characters and imagining them as real human beings rather than the cold facts we know about Francis' fate really makes the novel interesting and different.

Overall I thought Confessions of Katherine Howard is good read, fans of the Tudor period will like how a familiar theme is written with a new and refreshing take and those unfamiliar to the era will find it to be an nice introduction.  I think it's a an especially good book for readers newly interested in the Tudors.  It's a very accessible read; one that can be enjoyed without a great deal of background knowledge.
About Suzannah Dunn

Suzannah Dunn is the author of ten previous novels, all of which have been critically acclaimed. She has written three historical novels: The Queen of Subtleties, The Sixth Wife and The Queen’s Sorrow.

Visit Suzannah at her website.
This post is part of a TLC Book Tour, to see what other reviewers thought of the book visit some of the previous stops:

Tuesday, April 26th: Books Like Breathing
Wednesday, April 27th: Peeking Between the Pages
and tomorrow the final stop on the book tour will be at Bookworm’s Dinner

A complete listing for this tour can be found on the tour page at TLC Book Tours.


Disclosure: A complimentary reviewer's copy of the title was provided along with press materials & images used in this post.  Experiences and opinions related within are personal and unbiased.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mega Blocks Review: Dora's Bath Time Playset

One of the first shows my daughter began enjoying was Dora and being able to continue exploring with her during play time has been a big hit.  MEGA Blok's Dora's Bath Time Buildable Playset includes a Build & Dress Dora figurine, two pretty skirts for her to wear, and several accessories to use during open ended play.  The set if affordable at $14.99.

The set is geared toward kids three and up and even though ER is going on five she still had plenty of fun with this set.  As soon as we got it, she used the picture on the box to assemble it by herself, something that made her quite proud.  She's since been more creative with it and rebuilt several times, which is part of the fun.  ER loves being able to change Dora's outfit and hang up the little skirts.  The hair dryer is in constant use and she has even put water in the tub and floated the little duck.  I really like the cute touches like the pretty flower.  It really is a darling set!

Dora's Bath Time can be expanded with other MEGA Bloks Dora the Explorer buildable playsets.  It can be found at Kmart, Toys "R" Us (US, Canada, and online), Walmart (US, Canada, and online), select Target locations and
If your family are fans of  MEGA Bloks, you'll want to sign up for the MEGA Bloks Family Club, a brand new MEGA Brands blog and online community. Members receive:
  • A printable coupon for $5 off any $30 or more MEGA Bloks purchase.
  • Other exclusive offers, contests, sweepstakes and promotions on MEGA Bloks toys.
  • Information on new MEGA Bloks toys for kids ages 1 to 6.
  • An educational and informative blog by a leading panal of mom bloggers with articles on the benefits of construction toys, product reviews, pictures, and more.
  • A free email newsletter with great new building ideas, toys for kids ages 1 and up and other helpful information.
Sign up for it at


Disclosure: A complimentary review product was provided via Team Mom.  Experiences and opinions related within are personal and unbiased.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend in Recap

I hope your Easter weekend was wonderful!  We had two busy days, beginning with heading out to the Zoo Saturday afternoon for the annual Bunnyville event.  We thought we'd have to skip it due to rain this year, but it was an absolutely beautiful day, temps made it all the way into the 70s!  I was sorry I'd put ER in corduroys as we all got a little hot.  Even though he was pretty covered up, Brad still managed to get a little sun burnt.  

Being at the Zoo really reminded me I'm six months along!  I had a hard time being on my feet for several hours and really felt some aches and pains.  I saw a bunch of mommies to be with really big bellies running around after toddlers and pulling wagons.  I have no idea how they do it, I must be an "old" mom!  Brad took ER to the playground and sitting helped me recover enough to make the long walk back to the car in the overflow lot across a very busy main road.

After the Zoo we went to my parents and spent the night so we wouldn't have to drive back across town again the next day.  We went with my brother Dave out to dinner and to Barnes & Noble to pick up a cover for Nook.  My mom was getting Polish kielbasa and the lemon pie ready for Easter and they kept an eye on ER for us.
On Easter morning we waited too long to head off to church and it was packed!  We ended up in the library, that had a few extra seats in it.  My Dad couldn't find us at first and was sitting in another extra room, but the priest saw him and then saw my Mom and the rest of us in the other room.  He joked and said, "What'd he do," when he saw my family sitting apart.  Mom had to go over and get Dad; we teased him that he was trying to ditch us on Easter. It was odd sitting way in the back; we think most of the people around us weren't regular parishioners as the room cleared out,along with the extra back rows, before the priest made it back up the aisle during the recessional at the end of mass.

After starting the day, focused on the real reason for Easter, we went back to my parents' for some bunny related fun.  ER had a huge egg hunt all and got three Easter baskets with goodies.  This in addition to the basket she got from my Godmother the night before.  That is one kid without a shortage of candy!  We packaged her stuff from us in a sweet Little Princess Vera Bradley purse.  I put a mini Chloe doll and the Veggie Tale DVD she's been wanting inside.  My brother, who's her Godfather, gave her The Gospel for Children.  But I think the biggest hits were from my mom and dad, Tangled on DVD and the book  Mary Englebrite's Fairy Tales.
We had just enough time for a light breakfast and to pack up the car before we had to get to Grandma Norma's for part three of our Easter weekend.  Guess what, even more treats were waiting for ER there.  Grandma Norma gave her some new Legos, a joke book, neat rubber duckie soaps, suncatcher kit, a New Baby book, and a mix & match layette set for her Bitty Twin.

My family joined us for another egg hunt, this time outside in the backyard, because the sun was still shining.  During the rest of the afternoon a little baseball was watched, some Legos were built with, and Brad's old Star Wars toys from childhood also made an appearance. 

Dinner was a big holiday spread with ham, Polish kielbasa, sauerkraut, green bean almondine, carrots coins, corn on the cob, potato salad, deviled eggs, and rolls.  Everyone was stuffed but somehow we managed to fit in pie and ice cream before the official Easter meal was done. 

Easter weekend was busy and the weather was lovely, it kinda makes up for the rain we're supposed to be getting all this week.  We were so tired when we got home last night, everyone was in bed by ten o'clock.  I still have to unpack, but am so unmotivated to do so!  Hope your weekend was fun filled too!


Credits: Spring into Easter Kit by Jady Day Studios, Freebie Digital Template via Heather RoselliFreebie Quick Page from Connie Prince, Freebie Digital Template by Jen Caputo.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! I hope you are all rejoicing in His resurrection, surrounded by loved ones! We will be and each time we celebrate a blessed occasion with our family, I am reminded that it was the right to move back to where we grew up. The memories ER will have spending time with her Grandparents are priceless!
What memories have you been creating around Easter this year?  For us, the big one is it's the first time we've dyed eggs all together.  ER was so excited and Brad seemed like he was not that interested, until we actually got started.  It was cute to see how involved he got!  Well, when she'd let him.  She really wanted to to everything by herself, that's the new catch phrase around here, "I can do it myself!"   It must be a four going on five thing, I don't know if I'm ready for this whole independence thing.  After our hard work, we all thought we deserved a big bowl of chocolate ice cream, sliced strawberries, and whipped cream...egg dyeing is hard work!


Digital Kit Credits: Spring into Easter by Jady Day Studios

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Giveaway: Hair Styling with Conair, worth over $75!

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to Katie @ EyeSpyDIY, comment #3, who said I'm a new twitter follower (@eyespydiy)

I am pretty laid back when it comes to hair styling, never one to fuss too much, I had been relying on salon styling products to achieve the look I wanted.  Things weren't turning out exactly as I wanted but it seemed like too much of a hassle to do much more.  Then I got three great products by Conair to review, and now I know having the right tools can make a huge difference!  As you'll see from the post, there was something for every member of my family and I'm excited to share them all with you too!
One of my biggest problems is wavy hair and most of the time it's either poofy and frizzy or weighed down and sort of straight.  I usually don't have the time or patience to style it properly.  I like my hair best when it's blown dry with a big round brush.  It can be hard to maneuver the brush and hair dryer at once so most of the time I don't bother, except for special occassions.  Then I got the Infiniti Pro by Conair™ Spin Air Brush and it has seriously changed my life!

Smooth, frizz-free and voluminous hair is now easy to achieve with the new Infiniti Pro by Conair™ Spin Air Brush! Shaped like a typical round hair brush you’d use to do a blow-out, the Spin Air brush combines two tools in one by blowing air through the rotating brush to volumize and add shine as you dry. Simply brush through wet or damp hair for instant drying power.

The tangle-free anti-static bristles allow you to customize your volume with or without the spin function. The powerful ceramic heat distributes heat evenly for less damage, and an ionic generator releases 100x more ions than typical tourmaline ceramic motors. With 100x more ions, your hair will have maximum conditioning and shine! Choose from 3 heat settings and 2 speeds, and the multi-directional rotation (right/left) makes it easy for both right and left-handed users.

The Infiniti Pro by Conair Spin Air Brush is available nationwide at mass market and drug store retailers, as well as at for an average retail price of $59.99.

Basically, you "brush" your hair with it and press a button to spin the barrel while simultaneously drying your hair.  You only have to hang onto one thing while working on your hair and I noticed how much shinnier it looked right away too.  The Infiniti Pro by Conair™ Spin Air Brush does take a little getting used to, at first I would spin my hair the wrong way and end up flipping up the ends instead of under.  That's really easy to remedy and after a few times I got the hang of it.  I really like how it smooths and defines the wave in my hair. 

Here's the real test for sucess, my Dad who's normally not that observant about hair styles actually noticed the change!  So did the other moms I chat with during ER's dance class.  The all wanted to know what I was doing differently.  That was enough for me to declare the Infiniti Pro by Conair™ Spin Air Brush a huge sucess!
Along with my great new tool for drying my hair, I got a new multi-function brush that's two brushes in one.  I've been using it for brushing touch ups throughout the day.   My husband, who has longer hair than I do, has been using the new Conair® You Style 2 in 1 Brush as his main hair brush ever since we got it.

With an easy push of a button, it converts from a flat to a rounded brush that’s great to achieve a variety of hairstyles on almost any hair length or texture.

Start with the flat brush setting for everyday brushing and use for blow dry straightening and smoothing.  Slide the button and collapse the sides to convert it to a rounded brush.  Once sides are in place, release the button to lock it into position. The rounded brush allows you to add lift and volume at the roots, create soft waves, or finish ends to curl under or flip up. To return to the flat brush, slide button up and position sides back to original position and release button back into locked position.

The combination of bristles helps to distribute hair’s own natural oils for added shine. The vents allow airflow to reach hair for faster drying and styling. The ball tip bristles gently glide through hair for stress-free brushing.

The Conair You Style 2in1 brush is available nationwide at mass market and drug store retailers, as well as at for an average retail price of $9.99.

For more information about these and other Conair products, visit or

The last part of our package were really pretty and innovative new scünci® bendini™ clips.  They are so easy to use...just bend and snap. Watch the video below to see just what they are and how to use them.

Perfect for prom, wedding, communion or just to add a bit of sparkle to hair any day, we are introducing the new scünci® bendini™ clips! This high fashion hair jewelry adds instant glam in two easy steps, and works on almost any hair length and texture. The scünci bendini is available in three different sizes and a variety of styles, including jeweled crystals, colorful beads and metallics. It’s also available in the special scünci “girl” line designed especially for the little beauties in your life.

To use the scünci bendini clip, start with gathering your hair in the desired style. Slide the bendini comb into the hair, and bend and snap it securely in place for an all-day hold. To see how it works, visit
In our package was a set of scünci® bendini™ clips perfect for my four and half year old.  She was in love with them at first sight.  The pretty colors and hint of bling are perfect for any little girl.  They are very light weight and my favorite part is that the snap into her hair very securely.  Unlike a lot of barrettes or other hair clips that slip right out of her hair, they stay put through a full day of play. 

The bendini clip are now hitting shelves at drug, mass and grocery stores nationwide starting in at a suggested retail price of about $4.99 per pack. Get more great information and take part in scünci giveaways at the scünci Facebook page ( or following scünci on Twitter (


One reader will win all three products from this review: Infiniti Pro by Conair™ Spin Air Brush, Conair® You Style 2 in 1 Brush, and a selection of scünci® bendini™ clips!

To Enter:

Leave me a comment on this post.  I'd love to know your biggest hair styling challenge or a favorite hair styling tip.

Extra Entries: Leave an additional comment for each method outlined below.
Make sure your email is visible on your profile or leave it in your comment.  I have to have way to contact you or your entries will be void.  Giveaway open to US residents only now through May 7th Midnight EST.  Winner chosen via, contacted by email, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new one is chosen.  Good Luck!


Disclosure: Complimentary review products were provided along with press materials used in this post.  Experiences and opinions expressed within are personal and unbiased.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blue & Green Earth Recycled Crayons

Happy Earth Day!  I've been wanting to do this simple project ever since I saw on babycenter.  We finally made them this week.  Along with our Earth Crayons we made rainbow ones too. 
I know melting crayons has been done before across bloggerland but t's the first time I've made them with ER.  She absolutely loved being told to actually break crayons.  She was a big help during each step and wanted to peel, sort, break, and fill the cups all by herself. She stood on her stool next to the counter just staring at the oven, she was so excited to see the finished batch!
We've been busy creating with our new crayons, especially the ones that look like the planet Earth.  What have you been doing to celebrate our planet?


Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Crafty Soiree #34

I can't believe Easter is this weekend!  Have you got all your plans and preparations done?  We'll be heading to Grandma's our hosting duties for this holiday are already over.  What we'll be doing is still a little up in the air as it might rain this weekend.  Cross your fingers it won't because that'll sure put a damper on a lot of Easter egg hunts!

This week I picked two Easter projects.  The first one you still have time to whip up and the second...well that'll depend on how quickly you can sew!  The third project isn't Easter related but I thought it would be a handy thing to have on hand during the car ride over to wherever you'll be celebrating and might help keep the kids busy once you're there too.  As always, thank you so much for taking the time to come link up and share you talents!  If I don't "see" you before Sunday, have a wonderful Easter!
Ms. Not So Perfect has found the perfect way to use up your extra plastic eggs.  Isn't this bouquet fun?  It sounds so easy to do too, and at any given moment I have all the supplies on hand already.
Lauren at My Wonderfully Made has sewn up some sweet rice bunnies.  Aren't they the cutest?  I like her idea to use them as party favors, placed at each guest's place setting.
Jill at Made it on Monday made the Ultimate Activity Book.  I really love the fabric she picked and I think it really will keep her kiddos busy for hours!
Ladies, for being our features this week, we're happy to offer you our special Crafty Soiree Ribbon! It's yours to proudly display! Don't forget to check out today's Crafty Soiree post at Yesterday on Tuesday, we both pick three participants to feature each week so you might have been featured by Malia. But you'll have to visit her to find out!
Now it's your turn to link up! The linky will be open for a week, so you have plenty of time to join us! Here are some guidelines for our guests:
  • Link up your creative projects! Crafts, Kid Crafts, Decor, Recipes, Sewing and Organizing tips are are welcome.
  • Add up to FOUR links to share, you can link up projects from your archives, but please make sure it's not something you've previously linked up to A Crafty Soiree AND you add a link back to the party!
  • Add your links to the specific posts and not your blog's homepage.
  • Add my Crafty Soiree button above or link back to me in your posts, so others can find us and join in!
  • Please comment on the post linked up in front of you. All partygoers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
  • Please consider following the hostesses, me and Malia, we want to get to know our guests.
  • Most importantly... enjoy yourself and have fun!
Don't forget, A Crafty Soiree is hosted on two blogs, so when you link up on one your link will automatically show up on the other one too! Please note, by linking up to A Crafty Soiree, you're giving permission to feature your project and photos in the future, with proper credit of course☺


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Into Easter Decorations

On Palm Sunday we met friends of ours at a popluar little eatery in downtown.  It's really neat with exposed brick walls and really small too!  I'm glad we had enough people in our party to make a reservation, each of the girls started out with a Snowball Waffle.  While not exactly the healthiest of starts to the day, it sure was a big treat, and yes that order above is bigger than her head!

After a big meal everyone came back to our house for play time and an egg hunt while our meals settled.  I dressed up our table with fresh flowers, my robin egg blue tablecloth, and the Easter egg plates, bunny napkin holders, and bunny candle holders I got a few years ago at William Sonoma.  I love using all my cute stuff!
I dressed up the girls table too, with a pretty free spring subway art printable from eighteen25.  It's meant to be a larger size, and didn't quite resize to the Toslby 6X4 frame I wanted to use.  To remedy that, I used an adorable kit from Jady Day Studios: Spring Into Easter, to decorate the bottom.  The rag wreath from my friend Holly was the perfect finishing touch to the girl's table centerpiece.
I used the same digital kit to make a few more decorations for the girls.  Each one got a name banner tied to their chair and a personalized paper treat basket.  I created my own template for the name banners and used Kelleigh Ratzlaff's Easter Basket Template for their treats.  I also made little favors for the adults and added candy wraps to each.  My friend Margaret made the cute little bird's nest desserts out of ramen noodles, chocolate, and a little oil.  We also enjoyed a fresh fruit tart from Whole Foods. 

Shared at Blue Cricket Designs, Seven Thirty Three, Sew Much AdoSugar and Dots, Lollipops  and my own linky party A Crafty Soiree. Have you joined us lately, c'mon we'd love to have you!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Giveaway: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 on Blu-ray Combo Pack

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to...Ticia, comment #30, who siad, "I follow via GFC."
From celebrated director David Yates, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 brings back the highly-acclaimed cast including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as well as Academy Award® Nominee Ralph Fiennes, Academy Award® Nominee Helena Bonham Carter, Academy Award® Nominee Imelda Staunton, Alan Rickman, and Michael Gambon. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 also introduces Golden Globe® Winner Bill Nighy as Rufus Scrimgeour.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, featuring a hi-definition, a standard definition, and a digital copy of the film, for $35.99 and on Single Disc DVD in widescreen format for $28.98 SRP. Also released on the same day, April 15th, Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsTM - Part 1 will be available to buy through DIGITAL DOWNLOAD from digital movie retailers and select game consoles.

I am really excited to get a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, it's one of the few only recent movie I made a point of seeing opening weekend.  I love J.K. Rowlings series, both in book and movie form.  I'm eagerly antcipating the last installment, although I'll be sad it's over!
Along with the newly released Blu-Ray Combo Pack, I also wanted to let you know about an exciting new global online adventure celebrating Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™ - Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™ - Part 2.  On Harry Potter: The Quest, registered users can play games, watch videos and have all new Harry Potter experiences to earn points as a global community. As the global community reaches a predetermined point level each week, they will earn exciting rewards such as exclusive never-before-seen content from all the Harry Potter movies and more. Registration for Harry Potter: The Quest is FREE!

Registered participants in Harry Potter: The Quest are eligible to receive monthly prizes such as Noble Collection Harry Potter merchandise, tickets to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, Blu-rays, DVDs, Games and more. In addition, there will be two Grand Prize sweepstake opportunities for registrants of Harry Potter: The Quest. The first sweepstake opportunity is a chance to win tickets for two to attend the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 in London this July. The second sweepstake opportunity will be announced later in the year.

 For more information about Harry Potter: The Quest visit:


One reader will win a copy of  "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1" on Blu-ray Combo Pack!

To Enter:

Leave me a comment on this post, I'd love to know your favorite character from Harry Potter or your favorite part of the series.

Extra Entries: Leave an additional comment for each method of entry below
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This giveaway is open to US residents now through April 26 at midnight EST, winner chosen by, notified by email, and have 48 hours to respond. 


Disclosure: A complimentary copy of the giveaway prize has been provided to both me and the winner.  Press materials were provided and utilized in this post.  Experiences and opinions related within this post are personal and unbiased.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Carnival Release: Hybrid Frame Project & Freebie Brag Book Page

For just 24 hours you can enter to win a copy of this kit!!!  Head over to Adori Graphics...but HURRY!

It's release time again at Adorible Digital Designs, and the new kit Carnival is full of wonderful elements like two banners, buttons, flowers, ribbon & string, bead scatter, tickets, and my personal favorite - several shapes and frames using the vintage looking book page.  There's also a complete alphabet and beautifully patterned paper with coordinating solids.  It's great for all those trips to the fairs, amusement parks, and the circus.  Here are just some of the goodies below:

I used it to try out a new way of decoupaging my favorite inexpensive wooden frames, that I pick up for just a dollar and are great for achieving many different looks.  This time instead of a layering scrapbook paper and embellishments, I created the whole thing digitally.  Then it was just print and decoupage onto my frame.

It's a great way to use your digital kits to create customized party favors or gifts for your friends and family.  Instead of "Memories" you could add each receipient's name or the place the photo was taken.  You'll only need to make minor text adjustments for each person so making several at one time is quick and easy.

If you'd like to do a similar project I have some helpful suggestions:
  1. Measure, measure, measure!!!  I had to print my design out three times to get spacing correctly.
  2. After printing out your image, trim and hold over your frame with the photo backing removed, by a light source to check for spacing.
  3. Wait until your paper is completely dry before attempting decoupage with a wet adhesive, I like Mod Podge, to avoid the image running. 
  4. Apply only a THIN layer of Mod Podge to the frame before carefully laying down your paper.
  5. Quickly smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles, you can use your fingers, brayer, and even an old plastic credit or gift card.
  6. Use sandpaper to smooth your edges and give the project a distressed, aged look.
  7. Upgrade your paper to premium presntation paper or ultra premium presentation paper, I found slightly thicker paper easier to use for this application.  It's also good to have onhand for printing out card designs that do not have to be then mounted on something else for stability.
A Limited Time FREEBIE!

Adorible Digital Designs,Freebie

It would be hard to share the image I used for the frame because it's sized pretty specifically for the ones I use that I'm not sure everyone has access to.  So I modified the design and created a brag book freebie for you! Image is also linked.  (Link Expired)  Please respect Adorible Digital Designs term's of use and enjoy for your own personal use only

You can visit each member of the Adorible Digital Designs Team and get a Brag Book Page at each stop.  These will only be available for free, for a limited time, so make sure you hop on by and snag each one!  Links will work for one week!  

If you're following along the train, you should've come from Amanda & Millie Designs and your next stop is Larissa at Life, Scrap, Bake.  If you get lost, head to Louise's site for the full schedule. Don't forget to also join us at the new digi scrap forum Digiscrap Nation!

Update 4/25: I hope you enjoyed participating in the blog train. For anyone who come on board a little late and missed the freebies, you can purchase the items in store from today.  Make sure you get your freebies next time by joining our blog train from 9th May...remember, the freebies will only be up for one week before being added to the store, so be quick!
Before you go, I also want to share a layout I did, using those frames I mentioned at the start of the post.  Carnival has more vintage, shabby chic, eclectic look than my normal style and I had so much fun using it!  I've even taken some of the elements in my layout to create a cluster that will be available for purchase in a set along with clusters the other Design Team members made.  A preview of the cluster pack  is below, it's also being released today at Adorible Digital Designs.
If you've never worked with clusters before they are a great time savers!  You get a layered look without all the work, it's easy to add your photos and quickly make up a page, with most of the design work done for you!

Shared At: Craft-O-Maniac, Making the World Cuter, Sew Can Do, Keeping It Simple, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Embellishing Life, Skip to My Lou, and my own linky party A Crafty Soiree.  Have you joined us lately, c'mon we'd love to have you!

Disclaimer: As a member of the Adorible Digital Designs Team, I receive access to kits in return for making promotional items.
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