Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Crafty Soiree #96

Hi Everyone!  It's my favorite day of the week and there were lots of amazing projects to inspire you with ways to keep your summer days busy.  Can't wait to see what you've got to show off this time!
DIY Shabby Chic Chalkboard Necklaces from My So Called Crafty Life: I love the vintage feel of the settings Ashlee used!
File Cabinet Revamp from QuarDecor:  Theresa took a pair of free filing cabinets and turned them into fabulous!  I love the paint job and maps!  It was very clever of her to use sister states on each one so they are truly a pair!
Freedom Flowers from Kaleidoscope of Colors: Isn't this a gorgeous flower arrangement!  I love the jars, the mix of colors and heights, and of course the patriotic colors!
Shirt from Dish Towels from Touseled Day: I really love this darling top, it reminds me the pillowcase dresses that are popular for girls but with a grown up twist.  The blue and white give it a beachy feel that I like. 
Paint Your Paddle from Suttons Daze: I loved the idea of this painted paddle with the lake side town's name on it but didn't realize until I read the post further that they are fellow Michiganders :)  The residents of the Mitten State sure do love our lakes and this is the perfect piece of home decor.  I can just see it mounted above a doorway!


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, June 27, 2012

Cuddleuppets Review

Have you heard the infectious jingle for CuddleUppets, the innovative combination toy and blanket for kids?  My daughter has been wanting one ever since she first saw the commercial and a few days ago her dreams came true when Blue Elephant arrived in the mail for us to review.  She loves all the little details like the tail and feet on each corner of the blanket.
Once it was opened she immediately began singing the song from the commercial and making her elephant dance.  Then she snuggled up with it and exclaimed how soft it was, she even took a little cat nap.  The fleecy material is nice and plush.  Even though it's summer, on that day it was rainy and cool so it was just the thing to lay under while watching some television.  She looked so cute with her new CuddleUppet and it's a pretty generous size for a play blanket.  I think it'll be great for the car too.
The only thing I was disappointed in, was that ours has a manufactoring defect.  The head of our Blue Elephant isn't sewed on to the blanket properly.  There was a hole at the seams.  It was easy enough to hand sew up but if I had purchased the CuddleUppet I would have made a phone call to customer service. 
CuddleUppets come in 6 fun styles: Pink Poodle, Brown Bear, Purple Monkey, Yellow Puppy, Green Crocodile and Blue Elephant. The animals can be bought online at and retail for $19.99 plus $8.99 shipping and handling.  A $3 discount on both the toy and shipping is available for additional Cuddleuppets purchased at the same time.  If you buy even more, then shipping is free... although whether the shipping is free on just the additional CuddleUppet or if your entire order ships for free is unclear. 

Here is the commercial, just in case your kids haven't been singing it around the clock, like mine!

Connect with Cuddleuppets

Disclaimer:  A complimentary review product was provided.  The experiences and opinions related within are both personal and unbiased.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Farm Rich Snack and Appetizer

During the summer we do a lot more entertaining, both formal parties and casual play dates with friends.  I'm always looking for easy to prepare snacks and appetizers to feed our family and friends.  We recently were asked to try the line from Farm Rich, available at your neighborhood grocer's freezer section.  We selected the Mozzarella Bites and Italian Style Meatballs to review.

Mozzarella Bites Product Description:

Our Farm Rich Mozzarella Bites are similar to our famous Cheese Sticks. In fact, they’re cousins. But they are a little bit different. For one, the cheese is surrounded by soft pizzeria dough, making it a tiny pillow of cheesy goodness. And the second thing is, they are, in fact, bite-sized, which is great for you.

- Made with 100% real mozzarella cheese
- Authentic pizza crust
- Good source of calcium and protein
- 0g trans fat per serving
- Microwaveable
- Also comes in a 44 oz value pack

We prepared ours the oven, if you keep an eye on them and remove them at the first sign of the cheese oozing out the sides they are perfect!  They are little bites of goodness, the dough if flavorful and there is a light dusting of parmesean cheese on them.  Quite delicious!  The day after we first made them, my daughter asked for them again.  They were a big hit.  I suggest purchasing the value pack size, as these will go quick at any gathering.  They are great with a little pizza sauce for dipping and the whole crew will like them, including the kids, a big plus in my opinion.
Italian Style Meatballs: Product Description:

Let’s say you’re planning an Italian night and you want some “meat-a-balls” to liven up the festivities. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t? Consider our Farm Rich Italian Style Meatballs as the perfect sidekick for your noodle of choice, or serve them solo. They’re so tasty, even Italian grandmothers approve.

- Seasoned with authentic Italian seasonings
- Made with hearty ground beef and savory pork
- Appetizer size
- Fully cooked
- Convenient, resealable bag
- Microwaveable

We like meatballs, I just don't like all the time required to make them from scratch.  I like these because we can use them as appetizers with a little barbeque sauce or as a quick source of protein for a spaghetti dinner.  I wish they heated up a bit quicker, but I know they're frozen so there's not much you can do about that besides use the microwave which I prefer not to do.  However, I did try that recently and they still turned out good.  The trick is to use a little water and to use the least amount of time to prevent them from getting tough.  The mix of beef and pork makes them especially tasty.  I think they're a great time saver.

Over all I was very pleased with the quality and taste of the Farm Rich products we tried.  I am looking forwards to trying other varieties.  The Stuffed Pretzel Bites, Queso Cheese Bites, and Jalepeno Peppers all sound yummy.  Farm Rich appetizers are great snacks without that frozen taste and are nice when you want to serve something hot and more substantial than something like chips and dip but are short on time.  

Connect with Farm Rich

Would you like to try Farm Rich's line of snacks and appetizers?  One reader will two coupons to try two varieties of their choice! (Depending on their local store's stock)

Please use Rafflecopter to enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Complimentary products were provided for our review.  The opinions and experiences related within are both personal and unbiased. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Twinkle Toes: The Movie Coming 7/31/12 on DVD

Does your daughter love her Twinkle Toe shoes?  They were all the rage with my daughter's kindergarten class and she wanted a pair all year long.  She had to wait until she outgrew the shoes she already had but it was a big day when she finally got the shoes of her dreams.

Now she and all her friends can watch Grace "Twinkle Toes" Hasting, a character inspired by the best-spelling SKETCHERS kids footwear line, as she headlines her first-ever, full length animated feature film, Twinkle Toes: The Movie.

I think she'll want to get up and dance as she watches this sparkly, fun-filled adventure.  In the movie Grace "Twinkle Toes" Hasting works to overcome her fears and make new friends at her new school with the help of her fluffy friend Walter, learning along the way that it's okay to be herself and shine.

It's out exclusively on DVD on July 31, 2012!  Check out the trailer below and be on the look out for my review!


Disclosure: This promotional post has been done in conjunction with a review, for which I will receive a complimentary copy of the title DVD.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Giveaway! 6 Bags of Pillsbury Baguette Chips

On Monday I shared a great new snack for the kids and today I have one for the adults in the household. Although truth be told, my five year old loves these too!  New Pillsbury Baguette Chips will awaken your taste buds with savory seasonings bringing the unique and contemporary flavors of Italian Cheese & Herb and Cheddar Sun-dried Tomato to gourmet snack chips.  Each hearty chips is sliced from oven baked bread and the delicious flavors and perfect texture can help you round out any recipe.

Pillsbury Baguette Chips are great to eat alone or use them to add a bit more flavor to your favorite dip, spice up soup, or add some crunch to your salad!  With 130 calories per serving (21 baguette chips), and 50% less fat than regular potato chips*.  Pillsbury Baguette Chips a delicious snack I feel good about enjoying.
Don't they sound great?  Try them today and download a coupon to save $0.75 off one package:

Connect with Pillsbury:
One winner will win a gift pack with:

(3) Bags of Pillsbury Baguette Chips in Italian Cheese & Herb 
(3) Bags of Pillsbury Baguette Chips in Cheddar Sundried Tomato

Please use Rafflecopter to Enter Below:

Please Note *** Pillsbury Baguette Chips (5g fat per 29g serving); regular potato chips (11g fat per 29g serving).  See nutrition information for sodium content.


Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Crafty Soiree #95

Thanks for coming by crafty friends!  I'm looking forward to another week filled with all your lovely projects!  Before you link up, please take a minute and enter one of my giveaways.  There are very low entries :( and I'd love for one of you to be one of four to win a huge box of Mott’s® Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks or a rolled canvas print!  I'll have another giveaway up tomorrow for some tasty Pillsbury Baguette Chips that are great for summer entertaining.  There are lots of things to win!  Okay now onto my features!
Even though my baby is going on 11 months, I've yet to get to decorate his room.  Brad's working on finishing the basement so we can move LB into our spare room and othe office downstairs.  In the meantime, I am obsessed with the planning phase.  Megan at A Blossoming Homestead has created this beautiful one for her daughter.  Love the banner, knit blankets, repainted crib, dainty dresser, and the fabulous built ins!
Love this simple upcycle from Christine at The DIY Dream.  I've had the exact same thing happen, and could make a whole stack of these. 
Karah at The Space Between has three fun ways to embellish pillows.  What a fun way to switch out your decor for the season.  The best part?  All three are no sew and quick!
Fourth of July is coming up in the US and this wreath pin is a such a great way to show off your patriotic spirit.  Love the shabby chic feel of Michele's design.  Check out the how to on her blog The Scrap Shoppe.
I couldn't leave out our neighbors up north, Canada Day is also coming up and Sarah at Crafting and Creativity has been busy whipping up a bunch of easy to make decorations, including this canvas.  They look great grouped together!


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!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UPrinting Giveaway: Rolled Canvas

As many of you know, canvas prints are very popular in home decor these days.  They give a wonderful texture to your picture and make it look extra special.  I have personally experienced canvas prints before and have been very impressed with the high level of quality.  Compared to the other two companies we've also used for canvas prints, UPrinting wins hands down on quality, color, and crispness of image. 

We have one from a previous campaign I did with them, hanging in our kitchen, and it never fails to get compliments.  I got mine with a 2-inch border and used the extra space from the border to wrap it onto an unfinished canvas, the kind available at most art supply stores, to give it a frameless mounted look and it's stunning.  The professional photographer who took my son's six month photos was very impressed with the print quality.

As you can probably tell, canvas prints are my favorite way to showcase special photos.  Because I love the look so much, I can't wait to give you a chance to get one too!

Here are the details:

1 pc. rolled canvas print for one (1) winner
16” x 20”
With 2-inch border or No border
1 Business Day Print Turnaround
Free shipping


This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years old and above.
No prize substitutions allowed.
Winners are allowed to win once over a six-month period.
Only email addresses used for the giveaway will be eligible to claim the prize.

Please use Rafflecopter to Enter!


Disclaimer: You should assume that I will receive free print products in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions. Interested to hold a giveaway like this? Please sign up here.

Project Life Week 22

It's been a couple of really busy weeks with the end of Kindergarten and a dance recital to get ready for.  I'm surprised I managed to restrain myself to just two inserts! I remember that while living this week, I was thinking of how much I was looking forward to the slower pace of summer!

Left Side:

At the top is a picture of me modeling a new hat I got in exchange for a review.  I wasn't going to include it but then thought I should make an effort to add myself too.  Plus, since blogging is such a big part of my life it should show up in Project Life.

Next to it is ER modeling her fabulous new pair of Twinkle Toe shoes.  They are all the rage with her friends and she's had to wait all year for her feet to out grow the perfectly good pair she already had.  She managed to get them right before the end of the year and was super excited to wear them to school and show them off.

The bottom two pictures on the page are very emotional for us.  They're the last time we had some of our dear friends over for a play date before their family moved to Texas.  I still get all choked up when I think of how much we are going to miss these neighbors!  They lived right down our back path and it's hard for me to believe they won't be running in and out of our house all summer long.
I used two really great freebies as journaling cards this week.  Just don't read the text too closely or you'll notice a typo, when I rewrote part of a sentence and forgot to add a word.

The Sunday card is from Melissa at A Vegas Girl at Heart, who provides a wealth of fabulous freebies on her blog.  These make me want all her digital supplies too.  I've currently got these Days of the Week and Love Photoshop Overlays and Brushes on my wish list.  She also creates fantastic Project Life pages, so she's one to visit regularly for inspiration.

The Diamond Jubilee card is from Catherine at Design Editor, another fabulous Project Lifer with lots of great ideas and eye candy on her site.  I am particularly fond of her Font Friday posts and get lot of ideas for different perspectives and angles for photos from her photography. 

I added a bit of text inside the silhouette and love it.  I changed to shade of pink slightly to match the pink of Saturday's journaling card.  Since you can see them both at the same time, I thought this would give the spread a more coordinated look.

Right Side:

The end of Kindergarten was rough, for Mommy, and I'm glad there was a Garden Party to wrap up the year at the beginning of the week for a sense of closure.  It was very cute and I managed to enjoy it, despite feeling a little stressed out about needing to finish the class photo books for each child.  I managed to get them delivered on time and it was a load off my mind!  The Documented journaling card is by Kristina, from One Happy Mama.

The second half of the page is all about the dance recital. The family photos taken at home as well as the decorations I made for the party.  You can see more of those in the Twinkle Toes post.  I also included two of our tickets next to the Saturday card from Crystal.


The actual last day of school was on Friday and I covered in a 6X12 insert.  I created a 12X12 in PS Elements, printed it at Costco and then simply cut in half.  The page protector I stitched and cut as usual.  Even though it's simple enough to customize them myself, I'm looking forward to ordering some along with the other new plastics when they arrive.

Insert To Be Finished:

For some reason when I sent pictures to be developed I forgot to include the dance recital photos from Thursday so I will have to do that ASAP.  I'm bummed I can't share it with you as I took some really lovely pictures of ER in her outfits, some of my favorites of her.  I intend to scrap a 8.5X11 layout and slip it in one side of a protector and keep the program from the actual performance on the other. 

There's a story behind the big dress rehearsal that I want to make sure I record, as it was the first time ER has been in more than one dance.  It was quite a production to coordinate the three costume and shoe changes.  To make things even more hectic, I've been having terrible allergies and got allergen induced pink eye that day.  It's not contagious, just the result of overly irritated eyes but I looked a mess. 

I couldn't go out looking the way I did.  I'm sure the other mother's wouldn't have liked me being around their kids looking like I had the plague for the eye...contagious or not.  Brad had to come home and take ER, get her in and out of costumes and ready her for formal pictures.  I wasn't too sure about trusting him to get it all done, even though I know he's capable I wanted to be the one doing it.  But some times events are out of ones hands.  He did a great job, even if the camera battery died and he wasn't able to take many photos.

Linking up to The Mom Creative.


Monday, June 18, 2012

4 WINNERS: Mott’s® Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks Giveaway

Summer has arrived and as the days get sunnier we always seem to get busier too.  I am always looking for quick snacks perfect to grab and go as we head out the door to play dates, summer camp, and day trips.  Our new go to for on the run are Mott’s® Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks.  Available in Assorted Fruit and Berry varieties they bring the taste of my daughter's favorite fruit juice with us in an easily portable form. 

Made with real fruit & vegetable juice* and natural colors and flavors, she loves the flavor and taste.  She wants to eat them all the time and they are small enough for her to carry along for herself.   Packages are also available with year round Double Box Tops.  That will make your school happy too!

I'd love to share these great tasting fruit flavored snacks with you!  I have FOUR gift packs to give away!  Each winner will win 3 boxes of both Assorted Fruit and Berry.  Please use Rafflecopter below to enter! 

In the meantime, visit to download a printable coupon for $0.60 off the purchase of (1) Mott’s® Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Please Note: Made with pear, apple and carrot juice concentrate. See package for complete details. Not intended to replace fruit or vegetables in the diet


Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by Mott’s® through MyBlogSpark.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day: Washi Tape Card

Happy Father's Day!

Here's a quick and easy card I made for LB to give Brad on his first Father's Day as the father of two.  It begins with a premade card and base.  All I did was decorate it with rolls of coordinating washi tape.     Most of them come in package of four from Target, that can be found in the office supply section.  The tape with green and blue is from Queen & Co. and is called Trendy Tape Ziggy Boy.
All I did was notch cut the ends of the washi tape cut at random lengths.  Then I just stuck on and trimmed as needed.  The sentiment was stamped with the Typewriter Alphabet by Stampendous.  It's my favorite all purpose alphabet.  Super quick and cute, just the way I like it.  I've got to admit, I'm beginning to catch on to the whole washi tape thing.
Here is the inside.  Between the arrows is LB's name, edited for privacy.  I think the card has a great versatile design, that can used for many different occassions by changing the sentiment.  With so many washi tape styles out there, there's no end to all the fun looks you can create.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Rockin' Father's Day Card & Frame

This year for Father's Day we made a rock covered frame for Daddy, with ER holding a  message for him as I took her picture for inside for a play on words.  To continue our "rockin" theme, we made a super star in rock star, like Daddy's favorite genre of music. 
ER is really into making stars, she draws them non-stop; it was a good way to capture this time in her life...the one where is constantly doodling.  I think it will always bring back memories of how proud she was when she could finally draw one all by herself.
After drawing and cutting out a bunch of stars from scraps of paper we added the sentiment to finish one special card for one special daddy.  When we were finished, she turned to me and said, "You know Daddy's gonna like my present best, cause it's handmade."  Yep, that's my girl :)

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