Saturday, January 31, 2009

Add your giveaway!

Add your giveaway! The biweekly Mister Linky is up at MB's bloggy sweeps .
Enter your giveaway now :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blogs of the Month - Hobby Month / Mana Moon



Mana Moon is our 3rd and final featured Blog in honor of Hobby Month! Please stop by her blog and look around. You will find a wide and varied selection of great jewelry designs. You can find out more about Mana Moon at her blog, ETSY shop, or website indicated below:

Mana Moon Studios
www.manamoon.com
www.manamoon.etsy.com

http://manamoon-studios.blogspot.com


*If you would like to share your own craft blog click HERE to add your site to the January Mister Linky!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!:
I am the mother of three wonderful sons and happily married to my husband/business partner. My youngest son attends cyber school at home so I am able to spend alot of time working in my studio and keeping in touch with friends through blogging. Originally from California and New York we now live in central Pennsylvania. I love the
rolling hills and open skies of the country. It fills me with a sense of peace which enables my creativity to flow more freely.











How did you get started blogging
A little over a year ago I began blogging, thinking it would be beneficial for our jewelry business. What started out as a good way to promote our business ended up enriching my life and my family's in ways I can barely begin to describe. My life has been forever changed by the wonderful friendships I've made with caring fellow artisans through blogging.



How did you get started beading?

I began working with beads over five years ago when I became temporarily disabled. I've never been comfortable with sitting still and needed something to express my creativity. I saw a beading magazine and was immediately drawn to the use of colors and materials. Within a short time my creations were picked up by a local boutique and jewelry store and I was delighted. It's amazing how we end up falling into situations at times and difficult circumstances can be tremendous stepping stones to wonderful opportunities.

When I look at some of my early pieces I am amazed at the difference between those and my more current pieces. How have your jewelry-making skills progressed throughout the years?
:
I actually apprenticed with a master jewelry eleven years ago and learned classical techniques but the jewelry I create now is far more artistic in it's free form style. With beading my creativity really took off when I began mixing mediums such as the use of fibers or beads with wire. I developed a more assymetrical style to my work which I enjoy tremendously.


I prefer to do simple projects - mainly one strand necklaces and bracelets on tiger tail. I use a lot of lampworked glass, crystal and bali silver. I have started to do more with chains and always try to do wirework but it is not something I will ever be great at. I noticed that you create pieces using a variety of materials and techniques - simple strands, using chain work, wire weaving, etc. What is your favorite?

I honestly love them all. One of the aspects I appreciate most about jewelry arts is the ability to use a variety of mix materials and techniques. It keeps things new and fresh for me.


I LOVE this piece. http://www.manamoon.com/inventory/woven_wire/bracelets/36986.jpg What is one of your favorite pieces (would be great if you had a picture to share):
I love the necklace I created titled "How Do I Love Thee" featuring Joah Miller Porcelain beads. I had the pleasure of wearing this piece to a party during the holidays. Using award winning beads is an inspirational experience for me, they casue me to reach higher and aspire to create a fitting framing for their beauty. I love the mix of materials I used in this necklace, from the handmade focals and Czech glass to the fibers and intricate gunmetal chain.



I have always wanted to go to the bead shows. There are not as many here on the east coast as there are in the West thus a lot of my shopping is at local bead shops or online. Since you are on the East Coast also, I must ask - "Where do you buy your beads?". Any good resources to share?
I do attend the few bead shows we have on the East Coast such as the Bead Fest in Philidelphia sponsored by Interweave. I use alot of focal beads in my work and have found most of them through Etsy and Flickr. The beads I use most often are created by Zuda Gay (http://www.ZudaGay.etsy.com), Milmine Design (http://www.milminedesign.etsy.com), dtc lampwork (http://www.dtclampwork.etsy.com) and Star Girl Jools (http://www.stargirljoolz.etsy.com) I also purchase from wholesalers and my two favorites are Vintaj (http://vintaj.com) and INM Crystal ( http://www.inmcrystal.com).


You sell your work online. Where else can we find your pieces?
We also sell through several brick and mortar locations: Sophy Jewelers in Pottsville, PA, The Douglas Albert Gallery in State College, PA and Dwellings in Lewisburg, PA. We attend several annual Art Festivals in Central Pennsylvania as well, such as the Mifflin-Juniata Arts Festival in Lewistown, PA and the Yorkfest in York, PA.

What are your beading goals?
I am currently working on publishing a book which is very exciting yet overwelming at times. I am pleased with the concept of the book as it will not only include instructional sections for how to create my original Woven Wire Beaded Bracelet but will also spotlight many of the focal bead artists I frequently use. Once the book is completed I plan on returning to work on more original jewelry creations using fiber and wire.

Anything else?
Discovering beading has been an amazing journey and I've had the pleasure of sharing it not only with a very supportive family but with a wealth of friends I have met along the way. Every day I wake up thankful for the life I have and ability to spend time wiht my family and work with what I love. It's a million miles away from the corporate life I once lived and although we still live the starving artist life from time to time, I would encourage anyone to find what they love, follow their dreams and never, never give up. I would also like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to feature varying artists on your blog. We all know how chaotic life can be but stretching beyond our world to touch the lives of others, that's where the magic truly begins and miracles can happen.

Blogs of the Month - Hobby Month / Nathalie Brault


Nathalie Brault is our 2nd featured Blog in honor of Hobby Month! Please stop by her blog and look around. You will find many great posts about crafting, giveaways, and links to other sites. You can find out more about Nathalie at her two blogs listed below !

et

http://women-prenuergalore.blogspot.com


*If you would like to share your own craft blog click HERE to add your site to the January Mister Linky!

Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm the owner on 2 blogs, http://www.nathaliebrault.blogspot.com and http://www.women-prenuergalore.blogspot.com the first one is my personal blog and the second is a feature/giveaway blog.
I'm a married woman to a wonderful husband and mother to 3 beautiful children. I love everything that has to do with crafting. I love animals and own quite a few. I enjoy walking in the woods , gardening, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and jewelry making and baking.


How did you get started blogging? When I started to go to therapy, I thought it would be a good way to keep me a in a steady mood and also a good way to keep thinking happy thoughts. And it worked. Though sometimes now I am so busy I hardly have the time to clog on it with everything I have to do. But I do enjoy it a lot.


How long have you been making handmade items for and how did you get started?
I've been making handmade items forever, I mean ever since I was a youngster, but sellign them it's been since 6 years ago.

I notice that you have a variety of items for sale in your ETSY shop -
beaded jewelry, knitted/crocheted items, handmade sewn items such as headbands, key fobs, etc. What do you consider yourself an "expert" at and what other crafts are you more recently involved in.

Sewing items is my strongest point and crocheted items, but I also aim at bettering myself at jewelry making by taking classes and reading a lot of books on the matter. I'm a self taught artist. My grandmother taught me to knit,and the nuns taught me to crochet, but I perfected these with the internet, The sewing I learned pretty much by myself, I got my first sewing machine at the age of 12 years old. And I got the hang of it pretty fast. It was as if I had known it all my life. As for the jewelry it too was as if I had know it already, it came naturally, I guess it's that way with creative people. But I can't stop myself to just one thing, when I see beads, fabricsor yarn I get these whims of creativity and I just have to follow them.


What are your favorite mediums? Fabrics, beads, metal, silver, buttons, yarns, cotton,


Where do you draw your inspiration from?
nature, medium itself, magazine, everyday life.


I LOVE your tie purses - these are so original. Did you come up with this design yourself? yes, I just need to play with them for a while an then I come up with a way of putting them together and that is how I came up with this design,. Quite unique . (VIEW TIE PURSE BELOW)












Other than ETSY, where else can we find your items?

http://www.madeitmyself.com/user/recupefashion.aspx
www.recupefashion.artfire.com


Anything else you would like to add?
Be very persistant and never give up as it gets very hard at times to get sales.

Nathalie - Thank you for agreeing to be featured on Blogmania this month!



Monday, January 26, 2009

Kiss My Face - Giveaway and Review

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button















I was thrilled when Kiss My Face contacted me and asked me to review their new Potent and Pure Product line. Kiss My Face is a company that believes in providing effective, quality natural and organic body care products to consumers. Kiss My Face products are created with natural and organic ingredients and botanicals. What will you NOT find in Kiss My Face Products?
-no artificial colors
-no animal testing
-no animal ingredients
-no unnecessary chemicals

Kiss My Face believes that natural and organic products are Safer and Healthier than non-organic alternatives in addition to being effective and better for the environment. You can read more about their company values HERE.

Introducing the Potent and Pure line......







CLEANSE

- creamy face cleanser for Normal/Dry/Sensitive Skin
- exfoliating face wash for Normal/Oily Skin
- facial cleansing bar for Normal/Dry/Sensitive Skin


TONE
- balancing antioxidant toner for All Skin Types


NOURISH

- ester c® serum for All Skin Types


MOISTURIZE
- ultra hydrating moisturizer for Normal/Dry/Sensitive Skin
- brightening day crème with spf 4 for All Skin Types
- facial crème & spf 10 sunscreen for Normal/Oily Skin
- intensive repair night crème for All Skin Types


EYES
- eye repair crème for All Skin Types


EXTRA TREATMENT
-
botanical acne gel for All Skin Types
- jojoba & mint facial scrub for All Skin Types
- deep cleansing mask or All Skin Types



Kiss My Face provided me with a full set of all of their Potent and Pure Products to try AND another one for my readers!











I was so excited to try these products. I started with the fresh smelling facial cleansing bar and the first thing I noticed was that just a little bit created a rich later. It was also very gentle on the skin. Since my skin is very oily and usually I need something a little "extra" to get rid of all of the dirt and oil, I used just a little bit of the exfoliating face wash - I have to say that I LOVED this product. It left my skin feeling totally clean and it rinsed off quickly. For both of these products a little bit goes a LONG way...

Next step was the Balancing Antioxidant Toner. All I can say is WOW! This was my favorite product from the set. I am so used to using toners and astringents on a cotton ball and it is easy to overdo it. For this toner, you simply spray it on after cleansing. The scent was very pleasant - fresh and citrusy. This felt so great - it was a nice refresher for the face and it primed my skin for the next step without stripping the skin.

I followed up with the
ester c® serum I liked that the consistency was just right and not too liquefied as in other Vitamin C products I have tried. The product dispensed very easily and absorbed very quickly into the skin. I followed with the intensive repair night crème - this was very rich and just a dot was perfect for my entire face. I finished with the eye repair crème on my eyes and a dab of botanical acne gel for my chin.

When I was finished with my beautifying routine I was shocked at how soft and smooth my skin was. I cannot wait to monitor the results over a few weeks.

You can find Kiss My Face products online at KissMyFacewebstore.com OR you can find a retailer near you by using the store locator on their website!

One very lucky winner will also get a chance to receive the entire Pure and Potent product line!

THE RULES:

* Visit Kiss My Face and tell me what your favorite product is. No other comments will be considered unless this is followed

* Please make sure that your email address is in your profile or please post it with your entry.

* US entries only

* Giveaway starts 01/26/2009 and ends 02/01/2009 at 11:59pm EST

Please submit an additional comment for each extra entry
* For extra entries you can do any of the following:
- add my site to your blogroll
- blog about this giveaway
- Add me as a friend in Twitter (misaacmom)
- Tweet about this giveaway
- Follow me in blogger
- sign up for my feed - this is in the top right hand corner of my page
- sign up for my feed at MB's Bloggy Sweeps @ http://bloggysweeps.blogspot.com
- Stumble Upon this post (see "Share This" below)
- Add my blog to your Techorati favorites (see "Share This" below)

- Winners will be contacted via email. WINNER MUST HAVE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS IN THEIR BLOGGER PROFILE, IF NOT, PLEASE INCLUDE IN YOUR POST OR ANOTHER WINNER WILL BE DRAWN. If a winner does not respond within 3 days another winner will be selected.

Blogmania is responsible for for prize fulfillment. Winner selected via randomizer on or about 2/02/2009 and posted within 24 hours. Prize will be mailed within 2 weeks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

AVON Medallion Earrings and Necklace Giveaway






It is Bloggy Giveaway time! I ordered a Medallion Necklace and Earrings set from Avon.com. I also have another set to share with you. I tried to take a good picture but the set is much nicer "in person".


This is a lovely brass finish set - the medallions have a nice turquoise enameling that give the look of an aged patina finish. The earrings are spring back wires for pierced ears. The set is currently listed on AVON HERE.




THE RULES:

* Tell me what your favorite AVON product is. If you do not use AVON, what tell me about you would consider trying. Only comments that follow this request will be considered.

* Please make sure that your email address is in your profile or please post it with your entry.

* US entries only

* Giveaway starts 01/26/2009 and ends 02/01/2009 at 11:59pm EST

Please submit an additional comment for each extra entry
* For extra entries you can do any of the following:
- add my site to your blogroll
- blog about this giveaway
- Add me as a friend in Twitter (misaacmom)
- Tweet about this giveaway
- Follow me in blogger
- sign up for my feed - this is in the top right hand corner of my page
- sign up for my feed at MB's Bloggy Sweeps @ http://bloggysweeps.blogspot.com
- Stumble Upon this post (see "Share This" below)
- Add my blog to your Techorati favorites (see "Share This" below)

- Winners will be contacted via email. WINNER MUST HAVE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS IN THEIR BLOGGER PROFILE, IF NOT, PLEASE INCLUDE IN YOUR POST OR ANOTHER WINNER WILL BE DRAWN. If a winner does not respond within 3 days another winner will be selected.

Blogmania is responsible for hosting this giveaway and for prize fulfillment. Winner selected via randomizer on or about 2/02/2009 and posted within 24 hours. Prize will be mailed within 2 weeks.

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Juggling act at home

How do we mom's do it? The few times I have been at home with my kids (when I was on maternity leave and had my back surgery) my days were full and I pondered on how I manage working full time. The majority of my time as a mom has been spent as a work-outside-the home mom and it is always challenging. With one child it was challenging. With three it is a constant juggling routine.

I think that as moms we realize there are some things that HAVE to get done. We need to pay the bills. We need to feed our kids. There needs to be clean dishes to eat on and food to eat. If we let the laundry pile up too high we quickly regret it. There are also school plays, athletic competitions, school functions, doctor visits, new shoes to be bought, "counseling sessions", homework, etc. I think the ONLY way we manage to get everything done is to juggle. We can do our best to plan but cannot always plan for unexpected roadblocks like a sick child, an unplanned expense, etc. So although I never did master the skill of juggling, metaphorically I HAVE.

I am lucky in that my husband is the more active parent. He is the one that does most of the Dr. appointments, homework, trips to gymnastics, etc. I keep up the house, the laundry, the dishes, the bills and the cleaning.

What do I do to make my life more balanced?
- I have started doing my grocery shopping online - this saves time AND the aggrevation of shopping with 3 kids.

- I clean the kids rooms everyday if possible (every other day at the most) - A few minutes a day saves hours later.

- I do one load of laundry a day - Nothing worse than 6 - 7 loads of laundry at a time!

- I cook meals on the weekends that can stretch throughout the week - great for the nights I do not feel like cooking.

- I pay the bills twice a month

- I use my crockpot 2 - 3x a week - easy peasy

- I indulge in small things - I love scented lotions and candles. Aromatherapy does WONDERS.

- I try to share some of the things I like to do with the kids - baking, drawing, beading, etc. We all enjoy it!

balancedliving is a great resource for information on making YOUR life more balanced. If you re seeking more balance in your life, stop by for a few tips and tricks. Also, while you are there, register to win a $5,000 to make your life healthier and more balanced!

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

LOST

Oh, how happy I am. My all time favorite show is BACK ON! Last night was no disappointment either.... My time travel theory proved to be true (somewhat). Still hoping that Jin will make an appearance but I have a feeling it is Hurley that may see him first. How nice to see Anna Lucia again. Last night I watched for enjoyment but I will be re-watching the show this weekend, looking for clues and scouring the ABC forums.

Jack, Kate, Saywer, Sayid, Hurley, Ben, Juliette, Sun, Desmond, Penny, Rose, Bernard, Richard, and Locke - so good to see all of you again.

sigh



It has been a week of computer problems.... Our router stopped working last Thursday and we ended up buying a new one.  Two days ago I received a lovely, nasty virus on my computer that for the life of me I could not get rid of.  I have never NOT been able to fix my computer before but this time was different.  Yesterday my husband ended up bringing it to a technician that was able to save my documents and data.  He then basically wiped the slate clean and uploaded my files back to my computer. 

I also took off from work Monday for the holiday - Sunday I had to work most of the day so I could take the day off Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday ended up being snow days from school so I worked from home.  Days home with kids - Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed.    The kids were really good until yesterday when cabin fever struck.  Usually they are fairly well behaved but not at night (when I have them) - then all hell breaks loose.  It was a relief to go into the office today.

I am so behind on my emails, my blogging, etc. but hope to get caught up some this weekend.  Miss C. has a gymnastics competition on Sunday so we will have to travel a little bit.  She did VERY well in her last competition (scored 4th overall).  She is a little behind of where she should be so we had a serious talk with her.  Basically "It is OK to socialize and have fun, but if you want to move up with your friends, you have to work hard too".  In just a couple of weeks we have noticed a HUGE difference in her attitude and her performance.  We will be very busy with gymnastics through April.

I can't believe that it is almost the end of January.  My how the time flies!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blogs of the Month - Hobby Month / KatyDidAndKid

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KatyDidAndKid is our 1st featured Blog in honor of Hobby Month! Please stop by her blog and look around. You will find many great posts about crafting, home life and parenting. You can find out more about Kathleen HERE!

*If you would like to share your own craft blog click HERE to add your site to the January Mister Linky!


I contacted Kathleen to ask if she would like to be featured because I was impressed with both the crafts and the general content on her blog. I was oh so pleased when she agreed! Read on to find out more...


How did you get started crafting?:

I've been making things since my girlhood when I would make friendship bracelets and beaded jewelry that I'd sell to friends at school. Even then I made cute tags for them on black posterboard with silver paint pen lettering. I learned to knit about 10 years ago when I lived in Philadelphia, and I became a certified art teacher in 2003. Part of my coursework was taking weaving, ceramics, drawing, and other art courses.



How did you get started blogging?:

I started blogging as a way to document my pregnancy and the first months with my son. I "discovered" the blogging world through entering some giveaways. If you've ever heard of Yahoo Answers, it actually started there where I posted a question about where to go for baby freebies. Someone let me in on Prizey and that started a chain reaction of entering giveaways. And I still enter them (and host them) to this day.


This is one of my favorite posts - tea-party-craft-felting-part-deux. I thought it was wonderful that you provided instructions and pictures. Besides felting, what else do you consider yourself knowledgeable about in regards to crafting?:

I'm a very skilled knitter, but I also love to sew, dye silk, and do bookmaking, calligraphy, collage, and drawing. It's hard to think of any craft I don't like, but I can say that I've never tried glassblowing or much metalwork. I'd love to take a class on either of those someday.



What online resources can you share with fellow crafters? Any favorite sites or blogs?:

My favorite craft sites are CRAFT:, Knitty, which has great contemporary patterns, Little Birdie Secrets, and Angry Chicken, to name a few.



What are your blogging and crafting ambitions?:

I'd like to blog less and craft more, but it's like the chicken and the egg in that blogging and visiting blogs inspires me to want to create and post my projects, but it definitely takes time away from the actual crafting. I would also like to post more entries for my Kitchen Table Crafts segment, which is standing by the wayside, waiting to return. My ambition for this year is to get an Etsy shop going, or at least sell some of my knitting and felted items online. It's hard without a studio (which became my 9 month old son's nursery), but I have plans for setting one up again in the next few months.



What types of other crafts are you not very experienced with but hope to learn?:

Oops, I answered that above, but in addition to glassblowing and metalwork (like jewelry), I'd love to do more with photography, like pinhole and Holga cameras, and also learn to crochet, one of the few fiber-related things I can't do.



Please share with us your favorite blog post:

One of my favorites is my first Kitchen Table Craft post on weaving. I love weaving and though I sadly gave up my floor loom this year, I really liked sharing a simple weaving technique with my readers. I was happy with the tutorial and how the photos came out too.



If there is anything else you would like to share please feel free to do so?

I just wanted to thank you for having me. I enjoyed sharing a little about myself, and also reflecting on some of the crafting I had done. The creative part of my life has been pretty neglected after my son was born last year, but I know as he gets older and needs less hands-on care, that I'll return to making things. Thanks again!


Thank you Kathleen!



Confession.

This is my ALL TIME favorite thing. In less than 2 weeks, my unhealthy, uncontrollable and dysfunctional obsession with LOST will start again. Yes I am SO addicted- Action, Adventure, Romance, Drama, Mystery, Comedy, Spirituality, Horror, Science AND Science Fiction - all rolled into one. Lost started an entire new genre of TV - the Sci-Fi hybrid. Basically Sci-Fi plus a whole lot more.

I love piecing the clues together, the references to religion, geography, historical figures, historical events, philosophy, literature, and of course the numbers! After each show I scour the Lost forums looking for clues I missed - piping in about those I found, slapping my head on those I missed and researching those I knew nothing about. We fans will speculate, theorize and re-hash events in our quest for the truth.

With the exception of last year, the season opener is always a jaw dropper. Typically the 1st and last shows of the season both are. It will be interesting to see what happens with the new characters this year. With the exception of Paulo and whats-her-name (so insignificant I can't remember her name) the new characters have always added a surprising new dimension to the show - Ana Lucia, Mr. Eko, Libby, Benry, Charlotte, Miles, Dan, Juliette and "the pilot" were ALL great additions.

The countdown has begun. I can reclaim my life in a few months but until then it is "Lost-centric". Hurley, Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Sayid, John, Sun, Jin (hopefully), Ben, Juliette, - welcome back. I've missed you all. Claire and Charlie - will we be seeing you? Only time will tell. Remember - time is relative.

OK, any other fellow Losties, feel free to post about your excitement!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cleaning up - never exciting but certainly relieving

Cleaning up after the holidays. Never exciting but always relieving. And a little bittersweet as you realize another holiday has come and gone.

This year I was on top of cleaning up after the holidays - the tree and all the decor were down 3 days after Christmas. Typically I end up doing all the dismantling and packing myself and my husband simply has to put the boxes away. This year he was the one taking the initiative which was a pleasant surprise. I was shocked at how much more quickly it went with him helping. I think this is the start of a new annual tradition.

One thing that is a HUGE help is in our new home we have plenty of storage. In our old home we would have to lug the x-mas decorations up to the crawl space attic - not fun. The boxes used to sit in our hallway until my husband got tired of hearing me nag to put them up in the attic. This year we simply boxed everything up and placed in the storage room off of our closet.

Packing is pretty simple.

- Large Rubbermaid container contains all ornaments. Our collection has grown through the years - each year less silver and gold balls decorate our trees and are replaced with school-made ornaments. I get sentimental each year looking at these and reminiscing.

- Holiday home decor are stored in large cardboard boxes - this includes knick knacks and centerpieces

- Lights go in another large Rubber maid container.

Everything stays in storage until late November when they are pulled out again.

Parent Bloggers and 1rightathome.com want to know how YOU clean up after the holidays. Visit here for details and share your tips

Make sure to send your blog post link to parentbloggers@gmail.com when you are through!

Giveaway Winner!

Hello, I combined the entries from Blogmania and She Said It First for the giveaway drawing and selected a number via Randomizer (number 10).

The lucky winner of the Personalized "My Fruit Roll-Ups" is Brooke Lorren who said:
I blogged you on Squidoo (2)

http://www.squidoo.com/Blog-Sweepstakes

Congratulations Brooke! I have emailed you. Please respond within 48 hours and I will send you the code.

As a reminder, all future giveaways will be held on "She Said It First" but will be linked and accessible through Blogmania

Craft Post #2 - Pillows

















Turn '80s Sweaters into Fashionable Floor Cushions

Here is another great craft - for a few dollars you can have designer-quality throw and floor pillows. Designer pillows can be very pricey. This is a great idea because you are recycling materials and making the pillows yourself for a fraction of the cost. Also, each pillow is truly unique.


Visit Craftstylish for instructions and details.

Craft Post #1 - Decorative Mirror

In honor of Hobby month I thought I would post a few crafts. Here is one from Craft Stylish that incorporates recycling.

How to Make a Mosaic with your Old Plastic

Click the link for instructions!

what's goin on...

Hi everyone, It has been a while since I have made an entry.

The holidays were very hectic - My college roommates and I went to go see our friend Susan in Ohio to support her in her fight against cancer. Susan has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and is currently undergoing chemo and radiation. Susan is one of the greatest people I know - she is a beautiful, caring, fun-loving, care-free, spiritual and genuinely nice person. Everyone loves Susan. This is devastating to her family and her friends but we are remaining hopeful for the best. I will be running a special event in a couple months in honor of Susan and other victims of brain tumors so keep an eye out.

When I returned late the Monday before x-mas I was supposed to have worked Tuesday and Wednesday. My parents came in to celebrate the holidays on Tuesday night and I called out for Wednesday. The trip had physically and mentally drained me plus I had to prepare for Christmas. I made arrangements go into work the week following to make up what I needed to get done but checked my email and messages throughout the day.

My parents, husband kids and I had a nice, quiet Christmas at home and they left on Saturday morning. Monday morning following week my in-laws flew in to celebrate New Years with us and see our new home. I did have to go into work Tuesday but otherwise had off the rest of the week.

I returned to work Monday this week full-time but came down with a cold. I had so much to do at work so calling out was not an option! I normally work from home on Mondays - I did go into the office on Tuesday but on Wednesday and Thursday decided to spare my co-workers from listening to me sniffle and sneeze all day and worked from home again Wed and Thurs. It was not the worst cold I ever had. I basically just felt very tired and the congestion was driving me crazy.

Yesterday I was feeling better and returned to the office. Last night was hectic - as soon as I returned to work I had to buy groceries, pick my daughter up from gymnastics, unload groceries, feed and bathe the kids, do laundry, clean the upstairs, etc. How do we moms manage to get everything done? There are never enough hours in the day......

Today I am FINALLY feeling better. The little girls are playing and my teen is in her room doing who-knows-what. Well I do know that she is NOT cleaning her room like she should be. I need to clean the bathrooms, clean the downstairs, finish the laundry and catch up with my blogging... I did manage to prepare my fabulous slow-cooker chili which should be ready for dinner tonight.

Now that I am feeling better I will be drawing a name for the current giveaway shortly, getting ready to feature one of my blogs of the month and updating the Mr. Linky on MB's Bloggy Sweeps. I hope to catch up on some blog giveaways as well. Also, there will be another really great giveaway coming up in a week or two that mirrors my passion for going green and my obssesion for bath and beauty products so keeep an eye out!

Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Personalized Fruit Roll-ups - review and giveaway

I cannot get the comment blog to work on my other blog so I have moved the giveaway here. So much for good intentions! Because of this I have extended the deadline. I will work on fixing the comment forms on She Said it First for future giveaways but the comments will currently be taken here at Blogmania for this promotion. My apologies to all of those who tried to enter.

UPDATE - the comment form is now fixed on "She Said It First".
There will still only be one prize but you can enter for this promotion at either Blogmania or She Said It First or both to double your chances to win.










We were so thrilled to celebrate Miss N.'s B-day with personalized
My Fruit Roll-ups from myfruitrollups.com. My Fruit Roll-ups are personalized fruit snacks that you can use to celebrate any important event in your child's life. How does it work? First you Design your "My Fruit Roll-Ups". The available Design Center takes you step-by-step through the design process. We tried this and it is very simple. Basically you choose your favorite template
(canvas) then add images and a personal message to your child. On the website they have a Design Center and a section with party and design ideas. When you are finished, you save the design to your cart, create an account, and order. Easy!











Creating a personalized box of "My Fruit Roll-Ups" was very fun! We played around with several designs until we created an "8 is great!" masterpiece. We ended up using 1 graphic and 1 message from the myfruitrollups.com library plus a recent photo of Miss N that we uploaded from our PC. We used the blank 3x3 canvas in order to use all 3 images. You can also select a canvas with a background OR but you can use just photos, just images, just logos or a combination of any of these. If you prefer, instead of using their own messages, you can create your own. The options are numerous!














It was very easy to preview and save our design. When we were finished we created an account to save the design but we can also visit later reorder if desired OR create a new design. Once we were ready to purchase, we simply submitted our order. The Fruit Roll-ups are created and shipped within 15 days. We received ours in just a little under 2 weeks time and received confirmation of ordering withing 24 hours. When designing the our Fruit Roll-ups and again when ordering, the website gave us an estimate of when the product would be shipped.


Each carton of My Fruit Roll-ups is $30. More information on pricing and shipping is found HERE

Suggestions: These are great for party favors in goody bags - My Fruit Roll-ups are unique and fun! These are also several "themes" including princess, pirates and sports. My Fruit Roll-ups are also great for group events such as team events, holidays, graduations, etc.
Thanks to MyFruitRollups.com and My Blog Spark, Blogmania and She Said it FIrst is offering one personalized box of Fruit Roll-ups to a lucky visitor. This prize is worth over $35 (including shipping)

To enter, simply visit MyFruitRollups.com and post at Blogmania on who you would like to order these for and what celebration these would be a hit at.

* Please make sure that your email address is in your blogger profile or posted with your entry. You can post it like this to prevent spam blots: janedoe [at] fakemail [dot] com

Entries without valid contact information will be disqualified. For my last giveaway I had to disqualify several people because I had no way to notify them. Please check this before you enter:

* US entries only

* Winners must respond within 48 hours of being notified or another winner will be selected.

* Giveaway (extended) ends 01/09/2009 at 11:59pm EST

For EXTRA ENTRIES you can do one or both of the following:

- Add She Said it First, Blogmania Or MB's Bloggy Sweeps to your blogroll - 1 extra entry for blogroll (Please comment 1x for each)

- blog about this giveaway - 2 extra entries (comment 2x)

- subscribe via email or feed to any of my blogs - 1 extra entry for each blog subscribed to (comment 1x for each blog that you are subscribed to)

- Stumble, Tweet or save to Technorati- 1 extra entry each. (Please comment 1x for each and post your corresponding user name).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

January Bloggy Love

January
Arts and Crafts, Baking/Cooking, Beading and Reading

January is National Hobby Month! In it's honor, I am featuring blogs that focus on Arts and Crafts, Baking/Cooking, Beading and Reading which are my current favorite hobbies. Stay tuned

Add your giveaway!

Mister Linky is now active on MB's Bloggy Sweeps.  If you would like to add your giveaway, please visit Lucky Stars Thursdays and link away!  A new Mister Linky will be added each Thursday.

Only family or kid friendly giveaways please :)

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