Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project Life: Week 4

The first half of last week was really busy and I was preoccupied with planning ER's Daisy Investiture Ceremony so I thought I might not have enough to make it through Saturday.  But it turns out I had to decide between photos to figure out which stories I really wanted to tell.  PL has really gotten me taking a lot more photos, which is great!  Now maybe my kids won't wonder why I have stacks of beaten up paperbacks!
  • Sunday: Nearly six months old and able to get up on all fours.  He's been rocking and flopping, which moves him a little bit forward each time.  He's been army crawling a bit too.  Oh boy, crawling will be next and then we'll never have a quiet second again, he'll be into everything!
  • Monday: Crock Pot Mondays have been instituted to help get a healthy home cooked meal in the table after ER's two dance classes from 4:30-6:00 PM.  Otherwise, it would be too easy to resort to the drive through.  We've had luck with chili's and pot roast but you can't eat those every week.  Unfortunately, the two attempts to branch out to soups have been misses.  At least this soup looks tempting, it was just missing something in reality.
  • Tuesday: ER's Daisy Investiture Ceremony, this is when the girls officially became girl scouts.  Each got their Daisy Membership pin, 100th Anniversary Pin - celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouts, their Daisy Center - for knowing the Daisy Promise, and a Money Sense Pin.  I made the certificates each girl received and am the leader shaking ER's hand in blue above.
I also made an insert for the Investiture, using Design F with the last row of little pockets cut off.  It was perfect for a photo of each of the fourteen girls in the troop in the little pockets and group photo at the top and a copy of the ER's certificate on the back.  I decided not to share a picture of it because it once I edit out all the faces and names it wouldn't look too exciting.  But I am thrilled by how handy it is, years from now we probably wouldn't remember each girls name without it.

  • Wednesday: I finally sent of some happy mail to my friends Sharon and Steph.  You can see part of what I sent Sharon here and here.  I made each a version of the card shown above, that particular one is for my Godmother who recently underwent a bout with cancer and now has pneumonia.  It's been one thing after another for her.  I've been trying to send more handmade snail mail and she's definitely one who could use a little love via the postal service.
  • Thursday: My mom introduced me to the The Cat Who series when I first started getting interested in mysteries.  I've got each book, except for the last one which was terrible.  I donated it so I wouldn't have a constant reminder of how badly the series deteriorated.  The author's photo showed an ancient writer when I first started reading in the late 80's so I suspect there is a ghost writer or she's so old she can't write 'em like she used to.  I love book series and this one has been a favorite since the first one.  I've been revisiting them all week long.
  • Friday: Oh man does the baby have stinky feet!  I've been thinking it was me and trying everything from constant sock changes, to foot soaks, etc. to fix it.  My husband's the one who said it was LB.  I think it's because his shoes were made out of synthetic material and I would sometimes put him in them without socks.  His feet couldn't breathe and got all sweaty.  That's what I am hoping.  We went to Target and got him some cute puppy shoes, that say genuine leather on them.   When things say stuff like that, I always wonder, as opposed to what?  Fake genuine leather?
  • Saturday: Birthday party time, ER at Chuck E Cheese for our neighbor's 8th birthday party.  It's bittersweet, they'll be moving to FL next month and it's kind of like a last hurrah of fun for all the kids.  I hate it when things change and people move!
That's how my week went, how about yours?  Now if you've made it this far, maybe you've got some answers for me...1.) Do you have any suggestions for good Crock Pot Monday recipes 2.) What was the last card you sent, handmade or otherwise, and why. and 3.) Any book series recommendations?

Thanks for dropping by, leave me a comment even if you don't have any answers, so I can be sure to come see your PL!


Linking up to The Mom Creative and One Happy Mama

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pocket & Flap Mini Book

This is a mini book I made for my friend Sharon.  I thought a uber bright and sunny paper would be perfect for her as she kicks back and enjoys all the warm weather living in Hawaii comes with.  "A Whale of a Good Time" seemed like a very appropriate title too!  Hopefully she's had more luck seeing one off the coast than we did on our honeymoon to the Islands.
The book both begins and ends with the same whale and owl papers.  These are also pocket pages with a simple cardstock insert for her to add more photos.
Turn the page and you see the other side of the owl paper.  The paper on the right was just too pretty, I couldn't cover it up!  Sharon can choose to or journal right on it so the you can still see the pattern.  A black felt tip pen would work great.
Here's the other side of paper pocket and the first "surprise" of the book, a fold out flap.
When the page is opened up, you can see where I added the photo and blue mats.  There are also blank areas for her to add journaling details.  The gumdrops with SWEET on them is a sticker I added along with the glittery unicorn.
There are two photo mats on the next pages, just love the bold graphic floral and the sprouting mushrooms.  The paper is so bright and colorful, I really let it shine and left a lot more showing than I normally would.
The mushrooms are another flap page and on the otherside is a great little "Growing Up" title, with glitter and an epoxy mushroom.
Inside the flap is this super cute mushroom paper.  I added a leaf print photo mat and another mat she can either add a photo or journaling to.  The chipboard mushroom has some epoxy on it and is really fun!
Lots of goodies here, an embellished chipboard "What a Hoot" title, which I know Sharon will have the perfect picture for.  She is always posting pictures of her youngest doing the cutest things!  On the other side I added ribbon and an adorable sock monkey charm to the photo mat.
As I mentioned at the beginning the book concludes with the same papers, photo mat placement, and similar sparkly embellishments for a mirror image effect.  This is one of my favorite projects to date and I had a blast making it just for Sharon.  It took me forever to decide on the perfect papers for her and I hope she loves it as much as I do!
Here's a little glimpse of some of the details.  Aren't they scrumptious?  Love the glitter, layers, epoxy, metal...oh how I love my embellishments!

Shared At: Dear Creatives, Skip to My Lou, Craft-O-Manic, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Serendpity and Spice, and Sew Can Do.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flash Giveaway: Jockey & Purex

Thank you to everyone who entered, even though there was such short notice!  Congratulations to Jennifer, comment #8!
This is going to be a quick one, you only have THREE DAYS to enter!  But if like me, you've got getting in shape on your list of new year to dos you'll want to!  That's because while being more active is important, it's also crucial that women have the proper support while doing it.  I've got just the thing for you and what you need to get it clean and retain it's shape so you can use it all the time.

I've now had a couple of weeks to work out wearing my Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra.  I love it.  This is saying a lot because I usually have a hard time finding something that's gives me enough support while not mashing things...if you know what I mean!  It has lots of great features like:
  • Moisture-wicking sports bra helps keep you cool & dry
  • Convenient key pocket so you can take your workouts anywhere!
  • Reflective logo at the back
  • Breathable mesh panels
  • Soft bottom band for comfortable support.
  • Machine wash & dry
The two biggest for me are how it stays comfortable even while I work up a sweat and how it's breathable, because who wants acne from work outs!  I also like how there aren't things digging into your skin.  I no longer go to the gym, preferring to work out at home and in my neighborhood.  But I used to and I remember how annoying it was to have no where to put my locker key, the built in pocket is super handy for that!

I've got a great opportunity for one of my readers to win an awesome Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra and the perfect fabric softener for this an all your laundry.  Some liquid softeners contain softening oils, which prevent moisture wicking fabrics from working.  Purex Crystals infuse long-lasting freshness into fabric fibers without oil – so it's safe to use with active wear like Jockey's sports bras and all laundry including:
  • Athletic wear, like Jockey's Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra
  • Towels
  • Children's Sleepwear
  • and everything else!

Try a new sports bra with a 20% off coupon to Jockey!
You can also get coupons on the Purex Facebook page.


One reader will get a a Jockey sports bra and a full-sized bottle of Purex Crystals Tropical Splash from Purex sent right to their door!

To Enter:

Leave me a comment on this post.  I'd love to know either your biggest exercise challenge or what you do to stay in shape.

Extra Entries: 
Follow @Purex on Twitter.
Visit the Purex Facebook page 
Visit the Jockey Facebook page
Follow @Jockey on Twitter for updates, sales, and news.
Since this is a flash giveaway with a really quick ending date, I'd also appreciate any additional ways you spread the word, via Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Just let me know what you did in a separate comment.

Open to US residents now through January 29th at midnight EST.  The winner will be chosen via random.org, contacted on the 29th via email, and MUST RESPOND by the 30th or another winner will be chosen. All winner's information must be into the sponsor by the 31st!


Disclosure: Complimentary products from Jockey and Purex were provided and the giveaway will also be provided by the sponsors.  The experiences and opinions related within are personal and unbiased.  No other compensation was received.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Crafty Soiree #74

While you're here, enter to win yourself a winter's supply of Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops, seriously good stuff for soothing those sore throats and cold season is upon us!

Hi Crafters!  Today at A Crafty Soiree, we're boy crazy! 
Randee's Organized Chaos shared these Robot Valentines
 Katy at Osker and Owlivia has put together an adorable owl themed room, full of sweet touches like the mobile made out of paint chips.
If you have an older boy, check out Salvage Savvy's boy's room, with room to grow.

Thanks for linking up and now for TWO more features, because Malia and I have decided to SUPERSIZE the features to five!

This card holder is such a super clever idea, see the how-to at Meaningful Mama.
You are not going to believe how many fun activities Lil Miss Red T-Shirt has fit onto her Game Board Quilt!  It's got to be seen to be believed!

Party Guidelines
1.  Link up to four of your creative projects (No Etsy stores or other linky parties pretty please).  
2.  Add your link to the specific posts not the main URL.
3.  Add a "Crafty Soiree" button to your blog or posts.
4.  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!
5.  Your hostesses would love it if you'd follow us. You can find Malia here.
Let's Party!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops

This giveaway is now closed thank you to everyone who entered and congrats to #5 Alison @ OhMyVera! who said... I follow on google friends!

Have you heard about Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops?  I hadn't, even though they have been around since 1870 and Americans have been using them to sooth their sore throats for over 140 years.  These delightful softish drops, that are slightly chewy with an amazing taste, began gaining fame when...

In 1870 J. Herman Pine hung out a confectionery shingle on 8th Street above Walnut in Philadelphia and, along with his brother, sold their first batch of what they called 'Pine Brothers Glycerine Tablets.' In an attempt to relieve his own sore throat and those of his family members, Mr. Pine, a former German confectionery maker, determined that by combining the soothing natural qualities of glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia, he could sooth and mitigate the mild discomfort of a sore throat. Add in some natural flavoring and a sweetener and voila, Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops were born. "I have discovered something," Pine wrote, "which will give quick throat relief to thousands afflicted as I was." He added,"Perhaps I won't make much money out of this. But I can make people happy, and that's more important than money." Mr. Pine was being unduly modest, as his "discovery" would become one of the most successful, most delicious and most unique throat lozenges in the world. Nor has the recipe changed appreciably since it was first introduced to the public over 140 years ago.

How on earth did I miss them before?  I asked among my neighbors and several remembered them from their childhood, as the drops reached their height of popularity in the 70s.  Due to a number of changes in ownership in recent years, the softish drop, well "dropped" off the radar for most Americans. 

After 15 years, Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops are back! Happily the creator and former owner of Airborne, Victoria Knight-McDowell, for her new company 3 Sisters Home Products™ have now aquired them and given Pine Bros. new life.  It's given them a chance to make more people happy.  I think that's just like Mr. Pine would have wanted.  Even though I hadn't heard of them before I love Airborne so I decided if the creator of it decided Pine Bros. was the way to go, I'd give it a try!
Now that I have, I'm addicted!  They taste so good, not all yucky and medicinal like some throat drops do.  The biggest surprise, has been how much my daughter likes them, normally she is anti anything that even remotely seems like "medicine".  We were sent the Natural Honey and Wild Cherry Flavors, which we tried when both ER and I came down with a doozy of a cold right after Christmas. 

The Natural Honey is my favorite.  It's mild honey flavor with a hint of sweetness was just perfect for soothing my sore throat.   Honey I associate in my mind, with comfort.  It evokes images of cozy nights, cuddled underneath blankets during wintry snowy days, probably because I like honey in my tea!  So it just mentally made me feel better too!  They not only taste great but smell great too.  Something I discovered as I began to feel better and my nose had cleared up a bit.

The puck packaging is great.  The hard container makes them easy to find in my purse and keeps the drops safe in the car and on the go.  The screw off lid of the puck makes it easy to refill with drops from the bags they are also available in.  The pucks are so much more convenient and portable for keeping by you all day when you've got a sore throat.

ER preferred the Wild Cherry.  Or rather I should say, she is crazy for the Wild Cherry which has a bolder flavor than the honey.  I thought it might taste like candy and be so sweet that your teeth almost hurt.  I was love how it's the perfect balance of bright cherry taste and sweetness, no fake tasting flavors or after taste.  She loves them and so will your kids, they're safe for little ones over 3 years. 

Besides a fantastic product, another reason to like Pine Bros. is that they're made in America.  We always try to support American made!  They're also just 5 calories a drop, and for my fellow diabetics only 2g of carbohydrates so you don't have to worry about one throwing off your meal plans and sugar levels. 

Find Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops at your local Walgreens, CVS, and these retailers.  I will be checking my local retailers for the Lemon-Citrus, to pick them up as soon as they're out!  Licorice is another flavor coming soon.  You can also purchase available flavors online.


One reader will win both flavors of the Softish Throat Drops, that we reviewed!

Win an eight pack of Wild Cherry Pucks and an eight pack of Natural Honey Pucks from Pine Bros.  These have a MSRP of $47.84!

To Enter:

Leave a comment on this post.  I'd love to know if you are new to Pine Bros. or if they're an favorite you're happy to see again!

For Extra Entries:

Follow Pine Bros. on Twitter, leave a link with your Twitter ID.
Fan Pine Bros. on Facebook, leave a comment with your profile name ON THIS POST.

Just a Note - You'll want to follow Pine Bros. both places because they often have even more chances to win some of their awesome drops there!

For more...Keep in touch - follow me on Google friends, subscribe with email, etc. I'd also love for you to help spread the word! Facebook it, tweet it, etc. Just leave me an extra comment for each one so I can give you all the chances you're entitled to!

Giveaway open to US residents now through February 17th, midnight EST.  Winner will be chosen via random.org, emailed, and have 48 hours to respond.  Good luck!

***Updated 2/8 to extend giveaway period.


Disclosure: Complimentary samples and additional product were provided.  However, this did not in any way influence my opinions.  The experiences related within are personal and unbiased.  This giveaway will be fullfilled and sent directly from Pine Bros.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Project Life: Week 3

Last week I could've filled all the inserts with pictures from taking the baby to meet his Great Grandpa for the first time.  It was a really wonderful visit, and Grandpa stayed for about an hour, unheard of!  He usually is fussing to go back to his room after ten minutes, he's never been very social or talkative.  But we came armed with my new camera, some video, the NookColor, and of course the big event...two darling great grandchildren.  Oh and chocolate, chocolate is always good!
Here's the first page, I went a little overboard with the twine this week but it went so good with the red and white date card I couldn't resist.
  • Sunday: Generational photo with Great Grandpa, Uncle, Daddy, Grandson, and Papa.
  • Monday: Sibling Moment: It was so cute, ER watched LB for me while I ran to get something in the next room.  I could hear her singing "Patty Cake" to him, and LB giggling.  I took this photo when I came back in and said, "Look up!"
  • Tuesday: Milestone: ER jump roping, a BIG deal to her.
On the second half I did a lot more embellishing, love the cute banner I made with punched circles folded in half over some twine.  I stamped SLEEP on it, but it's hard to see in the photo.  Digital frame by Crystal Wilkerson, love her!  Sticker cluster at the top.  Some rub-ons and a chipboard heart combined on Saturday for my favorite little mini layout so far. 
  • Wednesday: Busy, busy, busy day for us. We got a last minute cancellation appointment bright and early at the dentist for ER.  Rushed home to get her ready for kindergarten.  I ran with LB to Costco.  Arrived just in time to get ER off the bus.  Then snack followed by book club, for her at the library.  Brad met us and we did the switch off so I could dash to my FIRST hair cut since before LB was born.  That means, oh let's see, it was over six months since my last trim.  No wonder my hair looked a hot mess!
  • Thursday: Our photos were up from the professional photo shoot we had at the end of December.  I was so excited to see them on our online gallery.
  • Friday: It's official LB has transitioned from back to stomach position for sleeping.  It's not an issue now that he's rolling.  We're wondering if he'll sleep with his posterior up on the air for as long as ER did.
  • Saturday: Since getting our pictures I've been obsessively looking at photo ideas online and realized that we didn't have "naked" baby pictures of LB!  Shocking; it had to be rectified immediately! Baby skin is so precious, isn't it?
The most exciting part about this week's pages is that I made an insert all by myself!!! I had so many great photos, I just couldn't use only one for our visit to Great Grandpa, and as you see a much longer story to tell as well.  What to do?

Most Project Lifer's know several supplies are currently out of stock.  The 6X12 page protectors are really popular, probably because of the fabulous things Cathy Zielske's been doing with them.  I thought about just waiting until the pages came back in.  Then decided to go ahead and do something I've been wanting to do for a long time but was too scared to try. 

Sewing on plastic! 

I thought the page protector would be slippery.  Things would jam, you name it I worried...but I just went slow and it worked really well.  I used my pinking shears to trim down, but probably won't do that too often.  I don't want them to get all dull for when I need them for fabric.  It was fun and now I can think of so many possibilities!


Linking up at The Mom Creative and One Happy Mama.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snowman Math

Snowman Math Materials

Math Mat (above)
Cotton Balls
Dry Erase Marker & Sheet of Kleenex for Eraser
Page Protector or Laminate

I love being able to make my own learning materials for ER using the beautiful digital scrapbooking kits I've collected.  This simple addition activity I created with Let It Snow, a now retired kit from Louise Franks Designs.  (Visit the kit release post to download the Design Team Quick Pages I created, they're still available for free download.)

Snowman Math is simple and straight forward to do.  Roll a dice for the first number.  Write it on the first blank line.  Roll again for the second number and write it on the second blank line.  Use cotton balls to represent each numeral and place on the corresponding snowman.  For example, if the first roll is a two, place two snowballs on the first snowman image.  Then count up all the math manipulatives, in this case the cotton balls, to get the total.

I printed the math mat on high resolution paper so the colors would be nice and vibrant.  Then slipped it into an empty page protector for a cheap way to "laminate" it and make it reusable.  On the otherside of the page protector, I slipped in a copy of this printable of Rhymes to Help Students Write Their Numbers, thank you to Miss Ingram for providing it.  That way ER can refer to it, if she needs help while writing.  I also put a piece of cardstock in between the two to make it a little stiffer and easier for ER to write and erase on.
Besides the cotton balls, we sometimes use some fun snowflake counters that I also used to Let It Snow to create.  We also use them to create patterns.  I glued them to an old empty cereal box before cutting them apart and "laminated" with clear packing tape so we can use them over and over.

Linking this up to the weekly linky at the blog I helped co-found, ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative.


Disclosure: As a member of the Louise Franks Design Team, I received access to kits to create promotional items.  While this was not part of a DT assignment, I did use a complimentary kit to create them and in the interest of full disclosure am noting this for readers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let's Share! Linky Parties

Here is where I like to share my crafty projects and find inspiration from all the talented bloggers!  Don't forget to come and share on my own co-hosted linky party A Crafty Soiree, every THURSDAY

Katie's Nesting Spot

If you host a weekly party and don't see your button, leave me a comment so I can add it and join in with you too!


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