Friday, July 29, 2011

Simply Link {Party}

Thanks so much for stopping by for today's Simply Link {Party}!  I am so excited to see what you have created!

But first, a few features!  Here are the top viewed link-ups from last week:

And here are a few link-ups that stood out to me:

If you were featured, be sure to grab a button from my sidebar!

Now on to the party!  

Please link up your latest creations.  You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  Please keep it family friendly.  Please no links to shops or giveaways.  I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)

Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!

Oh.  And please oh please oh please, visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment! Thanks!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fun and Funky Vinyl

Oh my, have I been having fun with my Silhouette that I won!!  Holy cow it is so much fun!!!

We are headed to the beach later this summer and I wanted to label our beach toys so that we wouldn't mix them up.

So today I played around with a couple of unique vinyls for kicks!

I had a few small sample size pieces of Oracal Series 8810 Frosted Glass and Oracal Series 8300 Transparent.

The frosted glass is actually a semi-transparent sparkly vinyl!  It is so much fun!  I had this one in a pretty blue.

The transparent is, well, transparent and a bit of a glossy finish!  I had this one in a dark purple.

I think we look just about ready for the beach, don't you? haha!

I used the transparent purple on the bucket and shovel.  You can't really tell in the photo but it is a beautiful deep dark purple.

And the rest of the beach toys I used the sparkly blue frosted glass vinyl for.  I wish you could see the sparkles, they are so pretty!

I am so happy that all our toys are labeled and they are much cuter then using a sharpie marker!!

Do you use vinyl to label things?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lighting Options

I am excited to have a guest post today from the Emily at Arcadian Lighting.  Arcadian Lighting was founded in 2002 and is a great resource for discounted light fixtures and they have a wealth of knowledge and great ideas!  I know I can always use a little help coming up with creative lighting solutions and this guest post has given me some great ideas!  So enjoy!! 

When it comes to lighting, sometimes a boring floor lamp just doesn’t cut it. The thing about lighting is that you get to be creative, both with the lighting fixture you choose, and with placement in a particular space. For instance, you can use track lights to give ambience and focus to a large-scale painting in your foyer, or you can use a task lamp for your home office or studio. So, be creative with your lighting choices and refer to these images for some inspiration.

Lighting Options
Room Service Blogg (via)

For workspaces large and small, task lamps are ideal. In case, you’re wondering these are different from desk lamps in that you can focus and adjust the lamp to focus the lighting more easily. In this home studio, two task lamps are attached to the sides of a worktable for optimal workspace ambiance.

Lighting Options
Kitchen Clarity via Living Etc. (via)

Way too many kitchens come equipped only with a single ceiling lamp. Brighten up this usually poorly lit room, by nixing the ceiling light and adding a few pendant lamps. In this space, a large steel countertop is lit with three white pendant lights. You can steal this idea for anywhere in the kitchen that you’ll be using often. This is also a great idea for lighting up an island or bar within your kitchen space.

Lighting Options
XS Lighting via Skona Hem (via)

Go all out for a dramatic, yet elegant look, in your dining room by hanging several chandelets above your dining room table. Chandelets are mini, beaded chandeliers that act as accent lighting. What’s lovely about them is that, during the day, light reflects off of the beaded surfaces, adding to the glow of natural daylight. At night, when lit, they create a warm and ambient glow.

Lighting Options
Elle Décor (via)

Of course, if a dozen or so chandelets aren’t your thing, you still have the option of hanging one or two pendant lamps above your dining room table. These pendant lights brighten up the room softly, without overpowering the natural daylight. The result is modern, airy and fresh.

Lighting Options
The Urban Farmhouse (via)

This bedroom was designed for a teenage boy, but it’s so stylish, it had to be mentioned here. It’s a very small, narrow space and you’ll notice that the wall lamps are focused upwards towards the wall creating a brighter effect.

Lighting Options
Kohler Talk via Elle Décor

Tiny, one-windowed bathrooms are always difficult to light. In this well-decorated and beautifully designed bathroom, the trouble of lighting a small space is solved through a ceiling light as well as wall sconces above the mirror. Light above the mirror is always a good idea because it reflects more light throughout the space.

Knowing your lighting options is important when you want to take more involved and creative approach to the lighting in your home. Get familiar with the kind of lighting available, as well as your goals for lighting up a particular space and you’ll be good to go!

Content provided by Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in top quality lighting fixtures at extremely affordable prices. Come visit us today! 

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Monday, July 25, 2011

One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

A few weeks ago I shared an amazingly simple and delicious recipe for a One-Ingredient Ice Cream over at Design Dazzle.  You can see my original post here with more photos and more details.

But in case you missed it, here's the simple how to:

First you will want to peel and freeze those bananas you have that are a bit too ripe to eat.

Once they are frozen, cut them up into slices and put them in a food processor or a blender.

Magic will happen!!

Blending frozen bananas will magically become Banana Ice Cream!

I was so impressed with how creamy and delish this was!  I added a few mini-chocolate chips to it because banana and chocolate are just a great combination!

I handed my very willing daughter this huge bowl of ice cream and you should have seen how big her eyes got!  She asked me if she could eat it all in disbelief and was in shock when I told her yes!

She thought she got the world's biggest and best treat, a huge bowl of ice cream, and I secretly smiled knowing she was eating 2 bananas and no added sugar!

How fabulous is that!?

This is also an amazing experiment to do with your kids, they will be amazed that ice cream can be made with only bananas!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

A NEW Lime Ricki Winner!!

Alrighty wonderful followers!  Here is the new winner of the Lime Ricki Swimwear Giveaway!

Congratulations Jaimie!!  You have three days to contact me at in order to claim your prize!!


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Simply Link {Party}

I feel like I have been MIA the last two weeks.  I've been here, I promise.  But not "here."

I get migraines.  If you get migraines, you understand how debilitating these can be.  And over the course of the last year, my typical 1-2 migraines a month has increased to 6-7.  Not good, right?  Since moving half way across the country last year, I have yet to find a dr that wants to help me.  Yes.  I said what you think I said.  The first dr I went to here had me tracking them for several months, she insisted on seeing me every month for three months.  At the end of that time, she told me that I had an increase in migraines due to the face that I have two children.  Well, I had two children and six months went by before the migraines increased in frequency.  I highly doubt that is the reason, something else is going on.  But she refused to run any tests for me.  So.  I "fired" her as my dr.

Now, every once in a while I get a cluster of them so badly, that nothing will help alleviate the pain.  My migraine meds won't even take the edge off of them.  Nothing I can take will help.  I wish I could describe the  intense never ending pain that this can bring.  It is miserable and I have a hard time just functioning.

Well, that has been the last two weeks of my life.

Yes.  Two weeks of intense never ending pain.

So, while I have been here, I have mentally not felt very here.  So.  I am sorry!  I hope to see an end to these soon.  And thanks for indulging me in a minute of complaining!

But until then...I still want to see your FABULOUS LINK UPS!!!

So...let's get this party started!  Please link up your latest and greatest creations!  (please no shops or giveaways!)


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fabric Canvases: Half Bath Re-do Part 1

So I am in the long process of trying to decorate my house still.  Too many projects, not enough know how it goes.  So I finally just buckled down and finished my downstairs half bath the other day.

One of the things I needed for the room was some art!  But I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I wanted to be able to change my bathroom as I felt so inclined, and not feel like I needed to keep it a certain way forever because I had spent a ton of money on it.  So I decided to buy a couple canvases and cover them in fabric for some art.  The canvases I can reuse and the fabric wasn't very expensive so I figure I can change it quickly and inexpensively if I want to change the look of my bathroom.

These really are so simple!

You just take a regular canvas and, holding the fabric tight (my husband helped me, four hands are easier then two), use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the back of the canvas.

Easy as can be!  And I get an instant, inexpensive new look for my downstairs half bath!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot Dog Pasta

I was browsing Pintrest the other day and ran across a photo that intrigued me.  So I had to look closer...and closer and closer...until I realized what I saw.

And it just made me smile!

What a perfect lunch for my kids!

So off I went to make Hot Dog Pasta for my kids for lunch!

First I cut the hot dogs into smaller pieces and threaded uncooked pasta through the middle of the hot dogs.

Next I put the hot dog pasta into a pot of boiling water and cooked it until the pasta was cooked to taste.

Then I just served it up in a bowl!

The kids LOVED it!   What a fun lunch!

I tried one of two myself.  It was tasty, but I wasn't sure it I wanted to dip it in ketchup or put marinara sauce on it!  I suppose I could have done either, but the kids ate it all up before I had a chance to decide!  

What a fun and unique summer lunch for the kids!

What do you typically make for lunch for your kids?

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Simply Link {Party}

Thanks for joining me once again for my weekly Simply Link {Party}!

I can't wait to see what you have created!

Please link up your latest creations, please link up things that you have not linked up before and please no shops or giveaway link ups!  Other then that, if you made it, you can link it!!

Also, I would love it if you take a moment and visit a few other links and leave a nice meaningful comment!  Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guilt-Free Treats to Keep Cool in the Summer

Today I am guest posting at Design Dazzle!

I am showing off two Guilt-Free Treats to help you and your kids keep cool in the summer!

Hop on over to Design Dazzle to see my post!!


Also, check out Design Dazzle's new LINK PARTY starting just after Midnight EST tonight!!

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operation: sticker therapy

I found this touching post on Sassy Sites the other day and couldn't help but pass it along.

My daughter and I bought stickers and are putting them in the mail today.  If you are interested in helping with Operation: Sticker Therapy, read below to find out more!

This is Abigail the day before her 2nd birthday. When she was 19 months old, she became critically ill and was diagnosed with cancer---stage 4, high-risk Neuroblastoma. She has been through a lot--with a lot still yet to go through. Abigail loves stickers and they offer distraction and entertainment during multiple hospital stays. Our goal with Operation: Sticker Therapy is to receive enough stickers to be able to put some packets together to share with other children we meet who are fighting for their lives. 

Continue reading here...

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I am guest posting!

I am guest posting here today for her Red, White and Blue Roundup!  I'd love if it you'd stop by and say hi!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

PlasmaCar: An AMAZING Toy for young and old!

Have you heard of PlasmaCar?  It is one of the BEST toys I have ever seen and used!

A PlasmaCar is a ride-on toy for kids, young and old!  There are no pedals, no electric parts, no batteries needed.  (This means it is also quiet!)  This amazing ride-on toy is powered by kids!  It is not a traditional ride-on toy where you use your feet to propel you, you actually just turn the steering wheel back and forth and off you go!

It comes in a wide variety of fun colors like purple, blue, yellow, pink and red!  We got red!

When our PlasmaCar arrived at our home, my husband assembled it in just a few minutes.  And we were all using it!

Yes, ALL of us were using it!  This car is rated for use up to 220lbs on a smooth surface so all four of us took our turn trying this out!

It is so SIMPLE to use and it is SO MUCH FUN!


My husband took the first turn and had no problem riding down our long hallway with ease!  Next I took it for a spin and, well, I have skinny arms, but I still had no problem propelling myself down our hallway and around our kitchen!

Then our daughter took her turn.  And hasn't gotten off since!  She LOVES this toy!  It is her favorite toy!  We have had it for a couple of weeks and she still uses it daily and absolutely loves it.  

My daughter uses this at every opportunity she has.  If she ever needs to get from one end of the house to the other, she uses it.  She also uses it just for fun!

I literally have to make her put it away at the end of the day!

She says she loves how fast it goes (But don't worry, it stays at mom-approved safe speeds!).

Every once in a while our little one tries to use it too!  He even puts his hands on the wheel and turns it!  But he keeps his feet on the ground, so he doesn't go very far!  Hahaha!  But in a few more weeks I bet he will be cruising around our house as fast as our daughter is!

And, compared to other similar products, the cost of the PlasmaCar is reasonable too!!

Like most families, we have a plethora of toys.  And so often, most of them go unused.  But there have been a handful of toys that have been really worth buying, a very few select toys that are truly worth having in your home, that really do get used a lot and loved.  The PlasmaCar definitely is in this category!

I honestly think the PlasmaCar is one of the BEST toys out there!!  And because of the high weight limit, I can foresee many many years of use in our home!

One of my new favorite things is the PlasmaCar!  We all love it!

Does anyone else have a PlasmaCar and love it??

A big Thank You to PlasmaCar for sending me this great car to review!  However, in no other way was I compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are 100% mine.  

Lime Ricki Swimwear Giveaway!  Go here to enter to win!*

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Simply Link {Party}, GIVEAWAY and another WINNER!

Thank you so much for stopping by to join me for this week's Simply Link {Party}!  I can't wait to see what you created this week!

First off, did you see my newest GIVEAWAY!?  I love Lime Ricki Swimwear!  It is cute, stylish and affordable! And right now, Lime Ricki is giving away your choice of a girl's swimsuit to one lucky Simply Designing reader!  Here are a few of my favorite little girl suits:


Go here to enter to win your choice of Lime Ricki girls' swim suit!  It's easy to enter to win!

Secondly, I needed to pick another winner for my babycakes Cake Pop Maker by Select Brands.  So hurray for you guys who get a second chance to win!!  The new winner is...

Tasha Taylor!  You have 3 days to email me at in order to claim your prize!!!  Congratulations!!

Last but not least...let's party!!!

I can't wait to see what you guys created this week!  Please link up your latest and greatest creations!  I am flexible as to what you link up, please just no shops or giveaways :)

Please also visit at least the last two links before yours and leave some comment love!

I can't wait to see what you created!

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lime Ricki Swimwear GIVEAWAY

Have you heard of Lime Ricki Swimwear?  

Lime Ricki is a great company started by three sisters who wanted to give their daughters modest, yet cute swimwear options!

And boy, did they succeed!  Here are a few of my favorite swimsuits:

Cute and Stylish Tankinis

Amazing One-Pieces (Seriously!! Have you ever seen a one-piece that is this cute!?)

How great is this maternity suit!?

Men's board shorts

Super cute little girl swimsuits!
Today, we are so lucky because Lime Ricki has offered to GIVE AWAY a girl's swimsuit to one lucky Simply Designing reader!!

I know my daughter is hard on swim suits and I would LOVE to have a second suit for her for this year, or get a bigger size for her for next year!

Don't have a little girl at home?  How about winning one for your granddaughter, niece or as a gift for a friend's little girl!

If you win, you get your choice of either a one-piece suit or a tankini 
top and bottom girl's swim suit!  You can see all of the great options here.

Here's how to enter to win:

Leave one comment for each of the below entry methods that you complete

Mandatory entry

  • Be a follower of Simply Designing (on my left sidebar) and leave me one comment here telling me that you are either a new follower or that you already follow me.  Also, please tell me what your favorite swimsuit is from Lime Ricki = 1 comment/entry
Additional entries
  • Leave a comment on Simply Designing's Facebook page telling me that you want to win a Lime Ricki suit for your daughter/niece/friend's daughter etc.!  Come back here and leave a comment letting me know you did that.  = 1 comment/entry
  • Follow Simply Designing on Twitter and leave me a comment here saying that you are a new follower or that you already follow me on Twitter. = 1 comment/entry
  • Follow Lime Ricki Swimwear's Facebook page.  You can leave them some comment love if you want to.  Leave a comment here telling me you "like" Lime Ricki's facebook page.  = 1 comment/entry
  • Blog, Facebook or Tweet about this awesome giveaway!  Please tag Simply Designing if possible.  For example "@Simply Designing is giving away a Lime Ricki Swimsuit!!  Go enter to win!"  Leave one comment here telling me how you spread the word about this giveaway!  = 1 comment/entry

You can enter a total of up to 5 times, that means you will leave up to 5 comments on this blog post!  5 easy and fabulous ways to win!  

And please spread the giveaway love!  I would love to give as many people as possible the chance to win a cute swimsuit from Lime Ricki!

The giveaway will end July 14th at midnight EST.  I will announce the winner on July 15th so be sure to stop by and see if you've won!  The winner will have 3 days to contact me to claim their prize.

The fine print:  
Leave 1 comment per entry method competed for a total of up to 5 entries (5 comments).  
Must complete the mandatory entry first.  
Winner will have three days upon announcement to contact me in order to claim your prize.  
Must be a US Resident with a US mailing address to win.  

Good luck!!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Create: to make a big mess


I love to create.  (this shouldn't surprise anyone! haha!)

But my husband, doesn't love the mess that often goes along with creating.  (what?!  me?!  make a mess?!)

When Say It On The Wall offered to send me vinyl to review, I was ecstatic!!  I love vinyl!  I love creating home decor with vinyl!  And when I saw this cute vinyl, I knew it would be perfect for my house:

So I grabbed a piece of wood and cut it down to size.  

Painted it cream and then sanded down the edges.  I like to distress a lot of my things by adding a coat of stain over top of the paint and sanded areas.  I really like this look!

When it was completely dry, I adhered my vinyl.  

The vinyl was GREAT!  It was a nice, high quality vinyl in a beautiful red color!  The layout was perfect, and I just thought the design was great!  Perfect for my house!

Say It On The Wall provides cute, high quality vinyl designs at a reasonable price!  I would highly recommend checking them out for your vinyl design needs!

Isn't this sign so cute!?!?

I love it!

Thank you so much to Say It On The Wall for providing me with this vinyl to review!  Say It On The Wall is an affiliate sponsor, however I did not receive any compensation for this review, except the vinyl to review.  And all opinions expressed are 100% mine.  

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy America Day

Happy 4th of July America Day!  (I just love that my daughter calls it America Day!)

I hope we can all take a moment today to appreciate what we have and how blessed we all are.

But mostly, I wish you lots of fun, too much grilled food to eat, lots of firework fun and a whole lot of great family and friend time!!

See you tomorrow!

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Patriotic Features!

Here are a few AMAZING Patriotic Ideas from my amazing readers!  Thanks for linking these up at a previous Link Party!

4th of July Cupcakes (those are jolly rancher stars!!!)

Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!!
Remember to go here to enter this week's link party here!

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