Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Giveaway: Yoplait Trix Yogurt for Kids School Prize Pack

We love yogurt, it's one of our go to snacks and now Yoplait Trix Yogurt has been made even better for kids!  It's been reformulated to remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup, but only you will know the difference!  Now you can feel better when you serve it for afterschool snack or pack in your kid´s lunch box.  It has the same great taste with two bright natural colors in every cup, a snack you can indulge in every day.
Yoplait Trix yogurt packs a good source of Calcium and Vitamin D and is available in 4-cup packs, with two bright, natural color combinations that can be swirled or eaten at once in every cup.

Kids can choose from five flavors:
  • Strawberry Punch
  • Strawberry Banana Bash
  • Raspberry Rainbow
  • Triple Cherry
  • Cotton Candy
Connect with Yoplait on their website, Facebook, and Twitter.
One reader will win a Yoplait Trix Yogurt for Kids Prize Pack containing: 

1) VIP coupon for a free 4-pack of Yoplait Trix yogurt for kids

Yoplait branded items including an insulated lunch tote, ice pack, backpack, folder, zippered pencil pouch, pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpener

Please use Rafflecopter to enter, after signing in, it will prompt you how to enter.  Open to US residents now through March 14 midnight EST.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Project Life: Week 7

The first half of the week was really photo heavy.  We had a lot going on getting ready for Valentine's.  On Sunday we went out to lunch and while waiting for our friends to arrive, Brad took this picture of me and ER.  I normally can't stand photos of myself but actually like this one so I had to include it. 

Nothing like waitng for the last minute to do your cards!  ER worked diligently to address each card and I love this at work photo. 

I was really excited to use one of the Photo Journalers I picked up by Gennifer Bursett.  The digi kit is just $1 this month.   I thought the cream and off white colors each one comes in will blend nicely with my colorful paper kit and hope I'll get a lot of use out of it this year.
I knew I wanted to include one of ER's Valentine's and used the slots where the sucker is supposed to go to tie on journaling tags with some twine.  Love it and glad I thought to dig up the perfect little ice cream treat sticker for it.
In the first three journaling slots I put pictures of ER with our little friends at a our Valentine get together, that I mentioned above.  I wanted to add some journaling but wasn't sure how.  Then I remembered seeing an example from the information in my kit to add elements on top of the protectors.  I notched the ends to match the little digital tags in the photo above.  Those are are a freebie from Linda Tieu on her blog Back to Paper.
The second half of the week was still pretty busy and I kept things pretty basic.  On Wednesday it was the 100th Day of School and this time Brad went into ER's class to help out.  It's the first time he's gone so she was pretty excited.  Her 100 stamps book is also in the pocket.

On Thursday our Girl Scout Cookies arrived, it was our first year selling and we sold 60 boxes!  That was a lot more than I thought we would.  I used another Gennifer Bursett kit, To Date for the overlay, another kit I picked up specifically for Project Life during a $1 sale.  60 boxes has been added with rub-ons that aren't photographing well at all, but they look pretty nice in person.

We didn't have school on Friday as part 1 of an extended 4 day President's Day weekend.  A neighbor came over for a play date and they spent a long time drawing and stamping.  The swirls and dots over the photo is an overlay.
Saturday I escaped for a much needed scrapbook crop at Archiver's with my friend, who's finally back from her three month trip to Austrailia and New Zealand.  I've been reading about her amazing trip on the blog she and her boyfriend kept.  One of the first things she told me was the big news that instead of just becoming engaged they got MARRIED in Sydney!

I used a free journal card template from Simple Scrapper and put it into the photo slot because I had a longer story to tell.  The papers and elements are from Hobby of Memories by Jady Day Studio, but I don't think it's currently available.

Here is this week's insert:

ER's Valentine's from her classmates fit perfectly inside a trimmed down Design F page when you put them in all the slots back to back.  I added some papers as needed to fill the slots and give a little separation between the oddly shaped cards on the front and back.

I really need to do one more for the cards we gave each other and our Valentine's Day celebration photos but I haven't had the time yet. 

And so that it, I think I'm getting into the groove with this whole Project Life thing, how are you doing?
Linking up to The Mom Creative and One Happy Mama.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

I made this absolutely yummy dessert cheese ball for a neighbor party and it got rave reviews.  Everyone loved it, especially when they realized how easy it is to make.  It tasts like cheesecake and is softer than a store bought cheese ball, making it easier to cut into.  The recipe makes a BIG cheese ball.  You could easily divide it into two for times you have several events you need a dish for, like around the holidays.  I will definitely be making this again, just one time has already achived family favorite status.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oh My Crafts Coupon Code

I've got some fun things lined up with Oh My Crafts for next month, including a GIVEAWAY!  In the mean time I wanted to let you know about a coupon code they're running right now for 10% off your order.  Their prices are already fantastic so saving even more, means you can craft more and don't we all want to do that :)
Use the code OMCBLOG10 to get your discount!
If you need some ideas for how to use all the crafty goodness at Oh My Crafts, see how I used their vinyl here & here and what I made with their bottle caps.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Udi's Gluten Free Foods Review

There isn't anyone in our household who requires a gluten free diet, however we do have relatives and friends who do.  In addtion, when I was still in the classroom I had a number of students on a gluten free diet and would be asked for gluten free food recommendations by their parents.  I didn't have a lot of experience with gluten free foods at the time, so I was interested when the opportunity to try several of Udi's Gluten Free Foods came my way.
We were sent a box with a very generous sampling of Udi's Gluten Free Foods.  Everything was packaged so nicely.  We dug right into the box. 
Here's what we found inside, from top to bottom & left to right:

It was really fun tasting all the different goodies that got sent us.  I don't think I'd ever had a gluten free product before these.  I wasn't expecting them to taste exactly like their non special diet version counter parts and tried to go in with an open mind.  But it can be hard not to compare them to the things were are used too.  Some were bigger hits that others and I'd like to highlight our two favorites.
Overall, I thought the Blueberry Muffins tasted the most like their regular non gluten free versions.  I enjoyed them very much and ate them right out of the box, nothing added to them.  They made a great breakfast and were so good I'd find myself wanting another later for a snack.  They were a good sized portion, very filling, with a satisfying blueberry taste.  There are several yummy sounding muffin flavors available and I'm pretty sure I'd like each one but the Chocolate I'd really be interested in! 

Available in packages of 4 with a suggest retail price of $6.
My five year old's favorites were the hands down the Snickerdoodle Cookies.  Soft and chewy with a bit of crunch from the cinnamon these went really quickly.  She wanted one, every time she got pick a treat and if I see them on sale I would buy her another container of them. She was quite diappointed when they were gone.  Also good enough to make us want to try more of their cookie flavors.

Available in 8 oz packages with a suggested retail of $5.

The Rest of the Story:

In the interest of a complete review, I have to say, one sample we really didn't care for was the Whole Grain Loaf Bread, not liking the taste or texture.  I tried it on it's own as toast and as part of a sandwich, thinking that with other ingredients the difference from our regluar bread might not be as noticiable but I really couldn't find a way to make it palatable.  The bagels we found acceptable. 

I will note that we had some neighbors who eat gluten free try both the bread and bagels and they liked both versions.  They said that versus other gluten free brands they were pretty good and plan to look for them at the locations they are carried near our home.  It would seem that opinions can vary depending on your familiarity with gluten free foods in general.

The Bottom Line:

Would I purchase these for my household, considering we do not have any gluten free dietary concerns? 

Probably not.  Even though we did enjoy their baked good treats, they are higher priced as a specialty food.  However, I would recommend the muffins and cookies to people looking to have a gluten free diet.  They were each tasty and a good way for people with dietary restrictions to indulge.  I'd also suggest trying the pizza crusts two packs, as a good base for make at home pizza.

Like most things, I think gluten free alternatives are something your taste buds adapt to.  If I was eating them all the time I can easily see how one would grow to like them quite a bit.  The slight price difference I could overlook as a trade off for being able to eat gluten free versions of my favorite foods.  I know that as a diabetic I sometimes have to pay more for versions of food that work within my meal plans and don't mind one bit as I know it will help my health in the long run. 

Find out where Udi's Gluten Free Foods are available locally, with their store locator.  They can also now be found at 150 Walmarts.  Look for Udi's soft white bread, soft whole grain bread, plain bagels, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza crust in the bakery department. 

Connect with Udi Gluten Free Foods

Disclosure: Complimentary samples were provided for this review, no other compensation was received.  The experiences and opinions expressed within are personal and unbiased.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Win a $25 Kroger Gift Card: Kroger's Cart Buster Saving Event is Back Feb 26th

Kroger's Cart Buster Savings Event is coming back!  Beginning the week of February 26th, 2012, shop the Kroger Co. Family of Stores biggest-ever promotion and find the hottest prices around on more than 35 brands, across more than 60 categories from General Mills, P&G, Pepsi, Nestle, Kraft and Kroger Banner Brands. During the Cart Buster Savings Event, you´ll find great savings in almost every department at the Kroger Family of Stores.

You'll be able to save on all these great brands and more!

Lucky Charms
Betty Crocker
Hamburger Helper
Green Giant
Cascadian Farm Tide
Old Spice
Rice A Roni
Mountain Dew

For even more savings, visit beginning 2/26/12 to find money-savings digital coupons, shopping lists and more. And starting 2/29/12 you can participate in the "Deal of the Day"! Here is how the Deal of the Day works?
  • During seven days of the Cart Buster Savings Event, 2/29/12 - 3/6/12, there will be a super hot, exclusive offer good on one participating Cart Buster item. Each offer will be exclusive and available for one-day only - but the offer will be good for the duration of the entire event.
  • You´ll see savings of up to and over 50% with the Deal of the Day offers - maybe even some freebies - and that´s on top of the already-low, low prices that Cart Buster has to offer!
  • Look for seven days of "Deal of the Day offers" beginning 2/29/12. The Last Deal of the Day offer will be up on 3/6/12. But don´t fret - the Cart Buster event will continue even after the Deal of the Day ends. Check your local store for the exact end date for the Cart Buster Savings Event.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Crafty Soiree #78

I always feel like St. Patrick's Day gets a little overlooked by the crafting world.  A lot of us seem to skip right over it going from Valentine's Day and straight to Easter.  This is especially easy to do when Easter is early.  Here are three fun projects linked up last week that might make you feel a little greener!

 Subway Art from Pocket Full of Pink
 Pinched Free Printable Kit from I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Folksy Scandinavian design inspired St. Patrick's Day decor from The...Late, Young Family

And since we've upsized our features to five each week, here are two more projects with different ways to personalized your home.

Revamped Coat Hanger with Chalkboard Labels from Destination Craft 
Stenciled Initial Canvases from A Glimpse Inside


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!

And before you, don't forget to enter my YCMT Pattern Bundle Giveaway, you have until Thursday Midnight EST & it's open to readers worldwide :)  PLUS I have another giveaway starting tomorrow and here's a will help you go "Krogering" so c'mon back for that!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Heart You Lip Balm Labels

This probably never happens to you, but I bought a set of cute Christmas lip balms for ER to give my friend Margaret's two daughters.  Then I temporarily misplaced them until they were  rediscovered while cleaning out the office last week.  I didn't want to hold on to them for a year, so I made these cute little graphics and printed them out onto Avery Sticker Project Paper.  Peel and stick right over the Santa Claus and Elves on the lip balms and no ones the wiser :)
Here is a better look at the label

Credits: Litabells Design (You and I Kit): Pink Ribbon, Meredith Cardall Designs (Love is in the Air Kit) Blue & Green String, Blue & Green Flags, Heart, Kristen CB Designs (Love is in the Air Kit) blue rick rack, WM[Squared] (Crazy Love - Mini): I Heart You Word Art, heart paper


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Project Life: Week 6

After missing last week, did you think I'd fallen off the Project Life bandwagon?  No way!  I just had a major snafu with the online photo development at Meijers.  I do not recommend using them, the colors came out way too dark and the photos were all grainy.  They reprinted them but their quality still left a lot to be desired, all together a really terrible experience and it's not like they are even very cheap. 

I tried them because I had hoped to save myself a weekly trip to Costco or the ink it would take to print at home.  With the time it took to go there twice, because of course I didn't think to check their quality at the store, I would've been too rushed to try and finish the pages in time for last Tuesday.  As it is, I ended up reprinting them again at Costco to finally have prints of good enough quality for my pages.

From now on I will be posting a week behind, which I've decided will actually be a lot better for me.  Then I won't feel like I'm under pressure to get the last photo taken on Saturday, put everything together in time for Tuesday, and get the the actual pages photographed and edited.  You've probably notice I edit out a lot of personal details and any neighbor's for privacy.

I'm not like some Project Lifer's who work a little bit at a time all week long.  I need to have all my photos at once so I can figure out what I want to use and where to put it. I do upload photos almost daily and journal ahead of time, so it's really just laying things out I do all at once but it can still take longer than expected and be time intensive at the beginning of the week...time I do not always have. 
Now that I've got that off my chest, here's a closer look at the week.  I've incorporated some digital frames & titles (all freebies: frames from karenika and photo template from paislee press) as well as some journaling directly onto the photos.  I love how it looks and know I'll be doing that a lot more in the future.  It also frees up more space for including photos and other fun stuff in the bottom pockets, another look I love, like the pictures of two art projects ER brought home that are way too big for including in an insert.  I learned how to include the Facebook status update about playing peek a boo with LB in his carrier on Theresa Marie's blog
I tried my hand at stamping, and broke out a little alphabet set I got for just a dollar at Michael's. I've always liked the look of stamping but never had the patience to learn all the techniques. Stamping the titles was a fun way to get the look without a whole lot of effort.
Just be sure to clean your stamps between colors and don't try shortcuts and just wipe off like I did. The reddish bits on the green art tags don't bother me because of the red in the tag, I kinda like it. But there will be times I'll want it to be cleaner.  I was at Archiver's cropping last weekend and an employee suggested a baby wipe.  It worked really well; even cleaned up some ink from previous weeks on my date stamp.  She said that should be a fine way to get the job done with my cheapy sets that weren't a big investment.
The little recap tags with bulleted journaling for each day are also something I tried for the first time.  Normally I have a lot I want to write, because the stories behind the photos has always been my main focus for scrapbooking.  But even I have times when there isn't a lot to add. 
For the one longer story I wanted to include I did an 8.5X11 scrapbook page insert.  The digital recipe card is from the Holiday Recipe Collection from Shabby Princess, it's one freebie that I've used time and time again. 
On the other side of the inert I put LB's immunization record from his 6 month well baby visit on the 9th, matting it so there would be more contrast between it and the growth progress sheets I also included.  I cut those down, stapled, and matted the last one on cardstock.  They ended up being about half the height of the record sheet.  Using a dry erase marker, I marked the height and drew a line with a ruler across the protector.  Then I slid a self healing mat into the protector and cut along the line with an exacto knife and ruler.  The opening is slightly wider than the growth chart sheets.  To prevent the cut from ripping open further, I used a hole reinforcer over each end.  Now both inserts are easily accessible.


Linking up to The Mom Creative and One Happy Mama.

Monday, February 20, 2012

February's Take Twelve

Happy President's Day!  We are enjoying a four day weekend.  I hope you are getting a little break too, while we remember and are thankful for the father of our nation and all the men who have led our country, for better or worse.  Regardless of party lines, I am grateful for the men & women who dedicate their lives to public office and law making.  It's a thankless job, with so many critics one can never hope to make everyone happy.  With that being said, now back to our regularly scheduled postings...
I have some exciting news, my January Take Twelve was featured on this month's post on Ella Publishing's blog!!!!  I was so thrilled to see it up there, very fun for me as I love Elizabeth Dillow.  I've even got her book, The Scrapbooker's Almanac so knowing she saw one of my layouts is very cool!

I am running a little late with my monthly layout for Take Twelve, which is okay because unlike some participants mine is not made up of photos literally taken on the 12th of each month.  Since I am also doing Project Life, I decided that 12 photos revolving around the monthly theme from the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit is how I'll be participating.  Although, I wouldn't rule out a month where I will take all 12 on the 12th. 
Here is a closer look at the leftside of the page, I used number 4 from the Take Twelve Templates.  The kit is Letters of Love Mini Kit from Sara Schmultz.  The blue polka dot and red hearts on each side are made from part of the bingo card.  To make them, I {badly} extracted the heart.  The edges are pretty rough but since the hearts are small I don't think you can tell that much. 
The cursive "love" and "hug" on the layouts are from the kit Well Written Set One, a freebie I got from Simply Tiffany Design, during one of the designer blog hops through Design House Digital.  The originals are really cute quotes but I only needed the word so I erased the rest of the text. 
The Journaling Reads:

No matter where you look in February, pink and red are everywhere all month long! From the clothes we wear - even on LB, to the treats we eat! {12 in 2012}

From Top to Bottom Left to Right:
Lunch at Mongolian BBQ with our friends
Valentines on the mantle
Star Wars Lego book from Daddy
LB’s 1st Valentine package
ER’s drawing of the family for Daddy’s card.

Right Page:
ER writing her classroom Valentines
Chocolate cake - okay not the right colors but with a
big frosted heart in coffee flavored icing, yum!
M&Ms from Grammy & Papa in a bowl
Favorite decoration, a felt countdown I made
LB’s 1st Valentine onesie
ER at her kindergarten party, making a glitter heart
Newest decoration, a wood block with vinyl.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Disney Junior unveils new toy line at Toy Fair 2012

As you know, we love our Disney Junior and when I got sent a link to this video from one of my Disney contacts, I enjoyed it so much I thought other Disney fanatics might like it too. It was so fun seeing the new toys inspired by some of the most popular series.

I can already imagine Brad the kids playing with that pirate ship from "Jake and the Never Land Pirates". I love that Sharon Osbourne the voice of Mama Hook is planning on taking some of the toys home to her son Jack. Isn't she just perfect for Captain Hook's mum?

After getting a couple of glimpses of the toys, I'm also excited to see the new show "Doc McStuffins". I think ER is going to like that a lot! That show's premiere is Friday, March 23rd, we'll be tuning in!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Valentine's Day Cards

Did you make any Valentine's this year?  As I mentioned earlier in the week, ER had her heart set on Disney Fairy cards for her classmates but she did make a special card for Daddy.
She drew this picture of our family.  From left to right that's her, me, LB, and guess who's all in pink?  Ha, ha, why it's Daddy of course!  I wasn't sure why she did him in that color, until she rolled her eyes and told me, "Pink is for Valentine's Day, Mommy!"
I made a baby sized mini card for LB, inside it says "We're Nuts and Bolts for You".  The envelope was cut with my Wild Card cartridge, which is kind of a waste if your machine only cuts 6X12.  The envelopes can only be cut in itty bitty sizes, which means if you want the card to fit inside they have to be even smaller.
I also used the cartridge to cut a large heart shaped card and the heart embellishments twice, once each out of light and dark purple.  Since I didn't plan to use an envelope, these I could cut as large as 5.5 inches.  The letters are all cut with my Sizzlets Alphabet Fruit Smoothie, which was time consuming but worth it. 

When Brad gave her the glittery princess card he bought I thought oh great mine is going to look plain jane next to it.  But ER was so excited and loved the fancy pop up hearts, guess she really is my kid, with an appreciation for handmade ♥  The sentiment is a play on the song we sing every night before bed, to the tune of "You Are My Sunshine," only it's, "Sweetheart," instead of, "Sunshine," because one night several years ago ER corrected me saying, "But I'm your sweetheart, NOT your sunshine."

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