Sunday, September 30, 2012

Winners - New posting process

I recently drew winners for the Mia Mariu giveaway and the Betty Crocker Shake and Pour Giveaway.  Instead of announcing winners on individual posts, I will announce on the rafflecopter form when the giveaway ends AND the winner has been verified.  I think this will be easier and people will know where to check back for winners.

A new Mary Kay giveaway to be posted shortly.

"Stamp and Swatch Book" Project

I have collected so many stamps it is getting difficult to keep track of what I have.  I had wanted to do a color chart for my Spectrum Noir markers and decided to catalog my stamps also.

When I design I usually do not do to much planning.  I do not work off of sketches or designs and instead plan in my head and then see where it goes from there.

For some of the card competitions that do have sketches, my goal is to be more organized - by cataloging my stamps I can see both what I have and can be more specific when planning projects.

I used a notebook from Ciaffi - she designs fabulous spiral notebooks and some of the covers, like the one I own, are from recycled materials.  The pages are unlined so it is perfect for this project!

I titled the cover with vinyl stamps.  They seem to have adhered pretty well so I do not plan at this time to coat, but if I notice that the letters start peeling, I will give a quick coat or two of Mod Podge.

For the color cataloging, I separated the markers by color and color group and then labeled by the identifier.  This will make coloring much more productive with less goofs.  I can see easily which ones I do not own yet. (The "Brights" and "Darks" collection kits are on my wish list!  I own all the others).  My handwriting is admittedly atrocious but I can read it and that is all that matters :)
On to stamping...When stamping the images,  I used a less expensive ink pad that was beginning to dry out. The goal was not to have crystal clear, perfect images but instead to have an overall inventory of what I have in my collection.

I finally figured out that since I did not require the images to be perfect, for sheets of Acrylic Stamps, instead of stamping one by one, it was easier to ink the entire sheet, carefully place on the paper and apply pressure with a large acrylic block or brayer.   There were some smudges here and there and he images were a little blurrier than I would want when doing an actually stamping project, but it was fine for this purpose - plus a total time saver!!!  Another plus is I was able to organize my stamps and clean all  of them.

I am almost through with my acrylic stamps and then I have quite a few unmounted stamps to catalog.  I am so glad I spent the time doing this and look forward to using in my design work.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fun Fall Cards!


 FALL / HALLOWEEN Card I - Tea Time

Attached below are my newest card creations.  Now that it is Fall it is time to get cozy with a cup of coffee or tea!  See my Fall inspired "Tea Time" card above.  it is not a traditional Autumn inspired card but the colors are definitely more Fall based (brown, gold) with a few pinks thrown in to mix it up.

Fancy A Cuppa stamps from Hot Off the Press
Core'dinations card stock (brown/pink for the die cuts and black for the card itself)
- brads covered with Candi embellishments
- pink ribbon with a brown toile floral patternSpectrum Noir markersSpellbinders dies *hexagon

The edges of the stamped images on the hexagons die cuts are inked and distressed, then layered and mounted on larger die cuts.  For fun tea cup stamp on the left is adhered with a brad, not glue, so can move back and forth.   

I love to decorate both the inside and the outside of cards for a more personalized touch.  The inside of the card containing the stamped, embossed and colored image of a teapot shown above.

I am entering in the following challenges this week:

Fall Card I - Tea Time
Simply Create Too
Simon Says - Anything Goes
Everybody Art Challenge - Autumn


FALL CARD II (Halloween) - Dancing Skeleton

I stamped and embossed the skeleton image in white on black card stock.  The result is a glossy, translucent image - I love it!  It is quirky, fun and full of Halloween spirit!   

Both this image and the stamped "Boooo" sentiment are stamped and mounted on Spellbinder's die cuts in graduated sizes.   Both the image and the sentiment ar "dangling" from an orange and black polka dotted ribbon was from a recent trip to Walmart.

I am entering in the following challenge this week:

Fall Card II - Dancing Skeleton
Sentimental Sundays


FALL CARD III (Halloween)- Boo to You
This card was made using similar techniques but with different stamps and shapes AND also using both sides of the paper.   I had some COLORBÖK die cut letters (pre-cut) that were added to the front and the inside of the cards.  After making this I read that you can sand the sides of of the die cut letters to remove the nibbing, which I plan do do next time I use these.  The circle cutout on the interior reminds me of a full moon!

Outside of Card                               Inside of Card                  

I am entering in the following challenges this week:

Fall/Halloween Card II - Boo to You
Cute Card Thursday - Letter's and numbers
Tammyscrapincorner - Kiddie Card
Creative Card Crew - Purple Challenge
City Crafter - An Early Boo (CCCB#128)


FALL CARD IV - Autumn Harvest Thank You!

This was a simple thank you I did.  I stamped and embossed the Acorn image and Thank U on cream card stock and then colored in with Spectrum Noir markers.  The cream card stock was also used to create and age tags using Vintage Photo Distress Ink.   The images were mounted on orange gingham printed paper (glued to card stock) which was lightly stamped with a leaf image.  Finally it was finished off with a handmade button and hemp embellishment.

I am entering in the following challenges this week:

Fall Card IV - Autumn Harvest Thank You
Our Creative Corner - Howdy Challenge
Craft Door Magazine - #37


I entered the challenges more for fun than anything else. I love visiting the different card blogs

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shoplet .com - Pilot Products Review

I was recently accepted as a product reviewer for - what that means is that I get to try newly introduced products and share my thoughts with my readers.  In case you are not familiar with the company, is an e-commerce office supply site.  With over 135 warehouses across the US and over 400,00 in supplies they carry a wide array of products and can quickly deliver to your home or business.

I have a small addition to pens, pencils, notebook and general office supply items so I am really excited to be part of this program!  Last week I received my first shipment - a great sampling of Pilot products for review:

Pilot B2P Recycled Ballpoint Pen
Pilot FriXion Point Erasable Gel Pen
G-2 Mini Roller Ball Retractable Gel Pen
Pilot FriXion Lite Erasable Highlighter

To be honest, I already use Pilot Pens at work and really did not notice much of a difference with these from conventional gel pens as in regards to how well it wrote.  Gel pens are great because they dry fast, write smoothly and tend to keep writing until the ink is completely gone.  Traditional ballpoint pens can sometimes stop working midstream - not sure why but gel pens seem to have more longevity. ....

The primary difference in these Pilot Pens is in the materials and the ink :
- The Pilot B2P Recycled Ballpoint Pen is made from recycled bottles (B2P = Bottle to Pen).  I am all about reducing waste, reusing and recycling!   I like the fact that this product helps reduce the number of plastic bottles in landfills by re-purposing the plastic.  These pens also have the wonderful rubber grip where you hold the pen which makes it more comfortable to write.

- Pilot FriXion Point Erasable Pen is (of course) erasable as is the Pilot FriXion Lite Erasable Highlighter.  I tried both of these pens out on two types of paper - card stock and regular copy paper.

I had some leftover card stock out from crafting projects today so grabbed that first. The card stock absorbed the ink and although I was able to remove a good part of the writing, the ink from both pens did remain.

Discouraged I reached for a piece of copy paper.  When I properly tried on regular paper, the product worked exactly as it was designed to; with just a little bit of pressure, both inks removed very quickly and with just a slight amount of erasing - easy!!!

These pens are obviously not intended for use on card stock.  The surface is extremely porous and it is designed for crafting, not day to day writing.   These pens would be perfect however for normal use -  homework, office, note taking, list making, etc.   I love the fact that there is a pen that truly erases

Pilot BeGreen Dry Erase Marker
Pilot BeGreen Dry Erase refill

My DD loves Dry Erase products so I was very happy to see these in the package.  What makes these markers special?  Once the pen dries out you can simply refill of instead of buying an entire new set of markers; You can refill these up to 4 times! The refills are very inexpensive and very small.    Less packaging, less waste!

The first thing I noticed  is that these  Pilot BeGreen Dry Erase Markers were very large compared to regular dry erase markers.   I was worried that they would be painful or difficult to write with but I was able to write with these just as easily as any other dry erase marker.

I wrote on my Dry Erase Board and wiped when finished.  Very easy to use and very easy to wipe clean!  I also love the fact that one of the standard colors is orange.  I am so used to seeing the regular blue, green, red and black at work so this is a nice change of pace!

I have not attempted refilling yet because these are brand new I do not anticipate needed to refill for quite some time.  There is also a clear warning not to open the pen until ready to refill.

I enjoyed reviewing these products and look forward to featuring more products from Shoplet in the future!  to find out more about Shoplet, visit their websiteBlog OR visit one of the social media channels below:

Disclosure:  I received products for review purposes.  I did not receive any form of monetary compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Eclos Anti Aging Starter Kit - Review and Giveaway

Over the last few monthis have had the opportunity to review products from Freeman Beauty. I have been a Freeman customer for YEARS (since I was in high school). A few of my favorite products include the Bare Foot lotions, the Mint and Lemon Face Masque and their Creamy Scrub Apricot - all under $4 USD.  It is easy to love Freeman because of the excellent quality and great prices.   Freeman products is the value.

One of my favorite product lines from Freeman Beauty is their facial masques. Earlier this year I received a sample set of various masques - my favorite?   The Chocolate and Strawberry - it smells just like a bar of milk chocolate :)

Recently I was asked to try Eclos Skin care - a new, natural beauty line from Freeman.  The product I was sent to review was the Eclos Anti-Aging Starter Kit ($19.99) - it contained a headband and "try-me" sizes the following items (including prices for the full sized version of the product) :
  • Facial Cleanser Skin Prep ($14.99)
  • Cellular Activator Face Serum ($24.99)
  • Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream ($24.99)
  • Restorative Eye Cream ($24.99)
  • Instant Radiance Facial Scrub ($12.99)
  • Renewal Clay Mask ($12.99)
This Eclos 6-Piece Anti-Aging Starter Kit makes it easier than ever to begin a rejuvenating skin care routine. Each product is exclusively formulated with rejuvenating Apple Stem Cells, clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture in 2 weeks. Consistent use of the Eclos Anti-Aging Starter Kit delivers visibly repaired and renewed skin.

I really enjoyed using the kit as a whole but the three products I loved best were the Cellular Activator Face Serum, the Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream and the Restorative Eye Cream.

I am really selective about skin care products, especially moisturizers a my skin is  oily and most moisturizers float on the surface of skin, not really absorbing and ultimately increasing the oiliness.   The Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream absorbed quickly and had an ingredient that tingled and cooled.  My skin felt soft, smooth and refreshed after using this.

The Restorative Eye Cream was light but rich and also absorbed quickly.

The Cellular Activator Face Serum is designed to reduce not only the appearance of wrinkles, but actually reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.  I am not sure how much it helped with reducing wrinkles, but I did notice an immediate improvement in skin texture. I have used serums of similar quality and paid much, much more - at $24.99 this is a steal!

The best thing about all three of these products is that they are formulated without:
• Parabens
• Sulfates
• Synthetic fragrances
• Synthetic dyes
• Mineral Oil or Petroleum

This kit is not just great to try out the products - it is perfect for traveling!  Everything you need is included in the kit.  If you are looking for a new natural skin care line or are planning on traveling, check it out!

Thanks to Eclos and Freeman I have one set to giveaway to one reader!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure:  I received a product for review purposes.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this post and all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Something scary is around the corner!

Look who is back......  

“Monsters, Inc.,” one of Disney•Pixar’s most beloved and visually imaginative feature films ever, returns to the big screen to delight a whole new generation of audiences and fans alike, this time in stunning 3D. The now-classic Academy Award®-winning animated comedy adventure “Monsters, Inc.” is set in Monstropolis, a thriving company town where monsters of all shapes and sizes reside. Lovable Sulley (voiced by John Goodman) and his wisecracking best friend Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) are the top scare team at Monsters, Inc., the largest scream-processing factory. The main power source in the monster world is the collected screams of human children—and at Monsters, Inc., an elite team of scarers is responsible for gathering those precious natural resources. Believed by monsters to be toxic, children are strictly forbidden from entering Monstropolis. But when a little girl named Boo (voiced by Mary Gibbs) accidentally follows Sulley back into his world, he finds his career in jeopardy and his life in utter chaos. So pals Mike and Sulley plot to rectify the mistake and return Boo to her home. But when the trio encounters an unexpected series of complications, they become embroiled in a cover-up catapulting them into a mystery beyond their wildest dreams."

Thanks to Disney for sharing this information.  Enjoy the video clip!

Titanic on Blu-ray released today!

Press Release!  

The two billion-dollar box office phenomenon and winner of 
11 Academy Awards®, TITANIC, makes its highly anticipated debut on Blu-ray 2D and 3D today on September 10, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  

This is available in high definition for the first time ever, James Cameron’s timeless and unforgettable tour de force will be presented in stunning 2D and 3D, providing a cinematic in-home experience of TITANIC like never before.
James Cameron commented, “Blu-ray extends TITANIC’s immersive 3D theatrical experience into audiences’ homes, where their living room becomes the backdrop for big spectacular environments and intense action, as well as profoundly intimate human moments, allowing generations of fans—new and old—to truly become part of the movie like never before.”
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the roles that would make them global stars, TITANIC tells the story of the epic romance between two star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the legendary and ill-fated maiden voyage of the “ship of dreams.” 

Titanic on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is presented in high-definition, making for a great in home viewing experience.   See never seen before footage while falling in love again with star crossed lovers Jack and Rose.

Both sets feature:
-  more than 2 ½ hours of new bonus footage never-before-released on disc, including a fascinating in-depth exploration of the film with James Cameron,
- documentary footage produced by National Geographic with James Cameron that brings the world's leading RMS Titanic experts together to solve the lingering mysteries of why and how the “unsinkable" ship sank. 
- additional special features including 30 deleted scenes
- over 60 behind-the-scenes small features
- details on the stunning visual effects
- over 2,000 photos,
- three commentaries

TITANIC will also be available in a two-disc DVD set with deleted scenes and, for the first time ever, for digital download.

If you are a Titanic fan (and who isn't?) this is a must buy!  Take advantage of this while you can - the holidays are around the corner and this would be a wonderful gift for the Titanic lover in your life....

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Titanic as a thank you for providing this information to my readers.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Mía Maríu Giveaway

Thanks to Mía Maríu, I am able to host a giveaway.

1) First, read my original review HERE:

2) Come back and fill out the rafflecopter form below.  

Easy Peasy!!!!!  Ends 09/23/2012.  Good Luck to all :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alli’s Everlasting Arrangements - Review

I, like most women, love accessories.  As I have gotten older the focus has shifted from quantity to quality.   If you are looking for a high QUALITY accessory that also helps with a great cause, look no further.

Alli’s Everlasting Arrangements & Accessories, designed by Renee Heyden, was created in memory of her daughter Allison (Alli) Emilie Heyden, who died tragically at 24-years-old last summer. These one-of-a-kind arrangements and accessories, made from a treasure trove of fabrics Renee found in Alli’s room, not only memorialize and commemorate her daughter’s life and her passion as a fashion designer, but also benefit the Alli Heyden Passion for Fashion Scholarship Fund at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Alli first realized her dream to design when growing up in Harrisburg, PA. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, Alli moved to New York City to pursue her career as a fashion designer. In a few short years, she was voted as one of the “Top 100 Up and Coming Fashion Designers in the United States”.  With items ranging from floral arrangements to pins to headbands, each arrangement and accessory is different and reflects Alli’s effervescence and style. Alli’s Everlasting Arrangements & Accessories are made with the same fabric that Alli had used in her collections and have recently expanded their line to include toddler headbands and hats. The various products range in price from $20 to $90, and all proceeds of Alli’s Everlasting Arrangements & Accessories are donated to the Alli Heyden Passion for Fashion Scholarship Fund at Savannah College of Art and Design, Alli’s alma mater.

When I saw this press release I had to inquire.  I cannot imagine how horrifically  heartbreaking it must be to lose a child.  Through her grief, Renee has chosen to honor her daughter while helping others which is inspiring.  Even more inspiring is how she is honoring Alli.  I love the fact that this charity helps others with a similar passion for Fashion but who may not be able to afford to attend college.  

The flower I received is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!  It is a large size - 6 inches across maybe?  I do paper crafting and I make jewelry.  One of my pet peeves is the shoddy quality in most costume jewelry these days.  Many pieces are made with inexpensive base metals and subpar materials.   These flower pieces are excellent quality. 

I can tell you that the individual fabric flowers can be quite expensive.   When I use them, I usually layer 3 - 6 - that gives a good deal of dimension.   This flower has 8 layers!  The fabric (silk I believe) is excellent quality as is the rhinestone centerpiece.  Most rhinestone jewelry these days is cheap but this button centerpiece  reminds me of the fine vintage jewelry I inherited from my grandmother - it has a great weight, a beautiful pavé setting and tons of sparkle.  I cannot wait to wear this on my purse or my jacket!!!

If you are looking for an luxurious gift take a peek at the website and browse the vast selection of flowers available!  Remember that this goes towards a great cause.  For more information regarding Alli’s Everlasting Arrangements & Accessories, visit the website at

Disclosure:  I received a product for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Hershey's Camp Bondfire

You are invited to discover new ways to “bond” around the campfire with Hershey’s interactive Facebook app, Camp Bondfire . Each week, Camp Bondfire features new tips and ideas surrounding a new weekly theme.   Visit and Fan their facebook page then check it out.  

This week the theme is "Keep the Fire Burning" - create an avenue to bond with family around the campfire whether it be sharing scary stories, singing, telling jokes or simply making smores.  .

Register to be a “Camper of the Week” for a chance to win outdoor prizes like a backyard fire pit.  You can also upload your  own summer memories to the Fireside Memory Book at Camp Bondfire.

 Above you can see pictures of one of our "campfires" this summer while we were on vacation in Washington (thanks to my SIL).  Ryan and Miss E. are enjoying roasting marshmallows for smores.

Raining?   Make a quick batch in the microwave - throw everything in for 15 seconds - yes, it is not the same as roasting over a campfire, but the kids will still love doing this together with you.   In the winter we even do smores at our fireplace.  Regardless of the weather bonding time can still commence! 

The kids grow so fast so it is important to create lasting memories together.  Campfires will definitely bring lifetime memories for your children.  Head over to Camp Bondfire for ideas  and don't forget the smores!

Disclosure:  I received a smores gift pack as a thank you for sharing this information with my readers.  All opinions expressed were my own.  

Mía Maríu Review

I enjoy reviewing various products and bath and beauty products are one of my favorites.  When the opportunity to review Mía Maríu came up I eagerly volunteered!

Mía Maríu is a Dallas based company that offers natural health and beauty products available through social selling.  You can also purchase the products online.

I was not informed of what I was receiving so I was not sure what to expect when I opened the package.  Inside was a full sized foundation sampler (4.3 oz), some skin care samples and a foundation brush.  The products were packaged very nicely and there was also a pamphlet about the company.

When I saw that I received a foundation I was concerned that it would not be a match for my skin color and tone but fortunately it was perfect!   I am saving the skin care samples for my next trip but tried the base out over the course of 2 weeks.  I have to say I absolutely LOVE this base.

I have been using powder mineral makeup for a few years now - since I have oily skin, the mineral makeup foundation seems to help with reducing shine and reducing the appearance of pores more that the liquid bases.  I have tried several brands, including some high end and well known ones.  What I really loved about the Mía Maríu foundation was 1) the pigmentation and 2) the blend-ability.

Many mineral foundations are too sheer to give full coverage or if you layer enough to do so, it looks cakey.  The foundation gave full coverage in one application and, with using the brush (Perfect Blending Brush No. 22), it blended extremely well - with the Mía Maríu there were no patches of excess base.   The foundation retails for $18 - higher compared to the cost of drug store brands, but comparable or lower in cost than premium brands.

I looked over the website and there are liquid mineral foundations for those with drier skin or those that prefer a liquid foundation.  In addition to the Mía Maríu Mineral Makeup there are also many other items to choose from including Botanical Skin Care and Healthy Nutrition.  For more information on the company make sure to visit and see what other types of fantastic products they offer. 

If you are looking for a new mineral foundation be sure to check this one out.  It is excellent quality, affordable and effective.  It definitely surpassed my expectations.  I look forward to trying more of their products.  

Disclosure:   I received a product for review purposes.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this post and all opinions expressed are my own.  

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Milk Unleashed - Giveaway!

After a wonderful break it is back to school time.  My kids are in year round so school for us starts in July but they track out fairly quickly - about  3 weeks in.  It feels more like back to school in late August when we track in - the other kids on the larger tracks and the kids from Traditional school start to go back.  We quickly find out that it is TRULY back to school with the return of soccer practice and games, scouts, dance and after school activities in early September.  What that means is a lot of driving and a lot of time away from the house.    The two most difficult things about being o the run are getting homework done and eating.   Having an on-the-go lifestyle can be challenging to say the least - I do want to make sure that the kids are getting food on the go with the same nutritional quality as at home.  Milk Unleashed is here to help!  

With handy single-serving shelf safe milk there’s no need to ever run out!  I saw this in the stores last week and was shocked it did not need refrigeration.  You can take it anywhere at anytime!  Milk Unleashed goes wherever your family goes, whether it’s a lunchbox, a cooler, purse or a diaper bag!

To show how easy it is to drink Milk on the go, Milk Unleashed wants to give one of my readers  a gift pack 

- perhaps you and your family?  

To enter you must be a follower on Google Friend Connect, Google Plus or Facebook.

Post a comment on this post confirming how you follow me AND one of the following:
  • Your favorite On-The-Go Games from the blog app!
  • Your results from the Family On-The-Go Quiztacular
If you answer both questions, please post twice and you will get an extra entry.

I cannot wait to see your answers!  the giveaway ends Sunday evening and the normal rules apply (US resident 18 and older, one entry per person and winner is responsible for taxes, if applicable).  Winner will be drawn at random

 Good Luck to ALL!

Disclosure:  I received a prize pack as a thank you for participating.  

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Almost Naked Animals DVD Review

On September 25, 2012 Volume 1 of Almost Naked Animals, Cartoon Network’s top-rated animated series for kids aged 6-11, will be available on DVD. I had the opportunity to review this before the release!

Miss E. has lately taken to watching movies in her room on a portable DVD player. When I gave this to Miss E. she was SO excited and said that she loved the show.  I had no idea she had even seen it before!  The show came out in 2011 so is relatively new.

Naked Animals is a cartoon that features several goofy animals wearing their skivvies and working and/or living at a Cabana otherwise known as Banana Cabana.  The lead, Howie, head dog, and his crew undertake on various hysterical adventures each episode.

Check out the cute clips below:

In addition to the DVD release there is some more fun on the horizon:
· The Almost Naked Animals “Online Super Game” will also launch on September 25th

· Café Press (I LOVE Café Press)  has partnered with 9 Story Entertainment to launch a new online store on September 25th, featuring Almost Naked Animals t-shirts, notebooks and more.  You can click the link to see what items are available now :)

This is a really cute DVD for school aged kids.  With a little adult humor thrown in here and there, it is also something you may enjoy watching with the kiddos.

Thank you to Child'sPlay Communications for this review opportunity.  I received a small gift pack and DVD for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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