Friday, September 30, 2011

Simply Link {Party}


Thank you so much for stopping by for this week's link 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!

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

I can't wait to see what you've been working on. 

Thanks!


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

LightStim - Fab Anti-Aging Device


I love anything that will make my life more simple and beautiful.  So naturally I love any DIY beauty products.  Oh how I LOVE beauty products.

I already told you how much I love my Clarisonic, but today I want to tell you about a product that was new to me:  the LightStim for wrinkles.


The LightStim for wrinkles uses LED light therapy to build collagen and elastic.  Simply put, it helps remove fine lines and wrinkles and it can help you have smoother looking skin!  All in one easy to use at home device!  What's not to love about that!?

So naturally I was thrilled to be able to test a LightStim out!  Now, what I can't believe is what I am about to show you.  Pictures of me, close up, not so attractive...please don't judge!  (I hope we are still friends after this!)

But first, I will be the first to admit that I don't have a ton of wrinkles.  I was blessed to have skin that doesn't get bad stretchmarks from having babies nor do I have many wrinkles...yet.  I have been lucky, but I know this won't be the case forever.  And I certainly wouldn't mind being proactive by using anti-aging products to help the wrinkles and lines I do already have.  Extra collagen always seems like a good thing to me, right?!

Alright, here goes...the Before photos:



I've put arrows where the major offenders are at in the above two photos.  Like I said they are not too bad but I was still excited to see what the LightStim was able to do!

Here are a couple After photos showing the same areas:



As you can see, with just a couple weeks of usage, I was already seeing some results!  How cool is that!?

I love that the LightStim is easy to use.  I love that I can use this while relaxing and catching up on my favorite fall shows!  You use the LightStim for 3 minutes in each problem area.  I used it in two places on my forehead, on the edge of each eye and around my laugh line area for a total of 6 places.  Six places for three minutes is 18 minutes a day, 5 days per week.  That is less then 20 minutes a day and since I DVR all my shows, it is the equivalent of one 30 minute show!

In just a couple weeks of usage I already noticed a difference and I am so excited to continue using this great beauty gadget!

I love anti-aging products and have used several lotions and face products in the past, but the results from the LightStim  for wrinkles far exceeds any other anti-aging product I have ever used!  I am simply amazed at how quickly I saw results!!  

Plus one of the best parts of this is that I don't have to make an appointment at a dr's office, I don't have to pay every time I need a treatment and I don't have to find a babysitter for my kids!


The LightStim is lightweight and easy to hold in your hand.  It is so simple to use and doesn't take much time for fabulous results!  I really love everything about this great beauty gadget and will continue to use this for a very very long time!  The LightStim is my new favorite anti-aging product!

What is your favorite product, way or tip that you use to keep your skin younger looking?

I was not compensated for this review, however I was sent a LightStim to use in order to evaluate it for this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.  Please visit the LightStim website for more information.

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Glitter Blast


I was soooooo excited to get to try Krylon's new product: Glitter Blast!

If you followed me last December, you may remember seeing a bit lot of glitter.  Glitter on styrofoam can create some pretty holiday decorations!

But it was a bit messy, and kind of a lot of work.  I would have to poke a stick into the styrofoam, spray it with spray mount and them quickly dump glitter all of the entire thing, trying to catch it all on a paper or in a cookie sheet so I could reuse the glitter that didn't stick.  Then I would have to repeat the entire process at least one more time.

But Krylon's Glitter Blast is a quick, easy, ONE-STEP process!!  It works just like spray paint and I was very impressed with the results!  It gave me a beautiful thick coat of glitter with minimal work!


Now I will admit that you need to read the instructions before using this.  I realize this seems self-explanatory, but I attempted to use it before it was mixed thoroughly and it didn't work.  You really have to shake the can for quite some time before using.  So, read the directions first.  But after I sufficiently shook the spray can, it went on easily, evenly and beautifully!



It cuts out several steps from my previous way of glittering things.  It also is less messy and less work.  And Glitter Blast comes in many beautiful colors!!

I am hooked, no more spray mount and glitter for me.  Next time I want to glitter something, I will definitely look into buying Glitter Blast!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pinkalicious Party


My daughter just had her 5th birthday and she wanted a Pinkalicious birthday party.



If you have never read Pinkalicious, the synopsis is as follows: it is a book about a girl who loves pink.  One rainy day her mom helped her make pink cupcakes.  She ate so many that she turned pink.  In order to turn back to her normal color, she had to eat green foods.  It's a favorite book around her house.  We've read it so much, my daughter can "read" the story to me!  Pretty cute.

The best part is that it makes a SUPER easy birthday party theme...since everything is PINK!

I whipped up some Pinkalicious invites in Photoshop and then imported the file into the Silhouette program.  I made it a print and cut file, printed and cut both the front and back and used spray mount to adhere the sides together.

Front of Invitation

Back of Invitation

Instead of cake we replicated the cupcakes from the Pinkalicious book.  Pink cupcake with pink icing, a little sparkly scallop, white sprinkles and a cherry on top.


 The pink goodie bags were filled with a pink wand, a pink crown and a goodie bag full of green food.  In the book, she had to eat healthy food...but...well...it was a party so we went with green candy.

I found this cute topper printable from here.  

We had the party at a park.  Which seemed like a good idea at the time.  Until all the bees showed up.  So.  No good "table" or food photos.  Oh well.

We played on the playground, played "Peter, Peter, Pink" (duck duck goose) and pin the cherry on the cupcake.  We also had a pink crown pinata and read the Pinkalicious book.

Overall it was a fun party...besides the bees.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Delish Fall Apple Dip


Ok.  I am getting in the fall spirit!

I had a few ladies over a little while ago and wanted a fun fall-inspired recipe.  So I found one that fit the bill and was pleasantly surprised with how yummy it is!



You will need:

  • 1 pkg (8 oz) Cream Cheese softened
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff or creme
  • Apple wedges (I used an assortment of apples)

How To:

   In a bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and pie spice until blended

   Fold in marshmallow fluff

Serve with apple wedges



Makes approximately 2 cups

ENJOY!


(Original recipe found here)

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Features!


Thanks so much for all your great link ups last week!  Here are a few favorite ideas!

Top Viewed Links:

Elegant Half Up (soooo cute!  I've got to try this!)

Easy Monogram (great gift idea!)


DIY Moose Munch (this looks delish!)

DIY Coiled Coasters (how cute are these?)

5 minute bread (this looks delish!)

Be sure to grab a "featured button" if you were featured today!

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week!  And remember, there is still time to link up this week here!

Have a great weekend!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Simply Link {Party}



Thanks so much for stopping by for this week's link party!  I can't wait to see what you've created!

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!

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

Thanks!


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Frosted Oreo Brownies


We just got back from a lovely little trip!  And by trip I mean we tagged along on a business trip for the hubby!  It wasn't anything spectacular or grand or warm, but it was fun to get a change of scenery and so fun to see some family as well!

Now I am playing catch up.

I hate trying to catch up.  You know the drill, piles of mail to go through, bags to unpack, laundry to do and a few new spider webs to get rid of!  Yuck.

So I thought I would procrastinate for a minute and show you a yummy delicious treat I made!!  Thanks to Love from the Oven for this amazing recipe!

Frosted Oreo Brownies!  YUM!!!


They really are easy to make...especially if you use box mix brownies like I did!

You will need:

  • 1 box mix brownies plus eggs, oil and water etc as directed on the box
  • 1 box of Oreo cookies (you will need most of the box for the recipe and the rest to eat by yourself!)
  • Powdered sugar, vanilla, shortening, butter and milk for buttercream frosting




  1. Take approximately 1/2-2/3 of a box of Oreo cookies and crush them up.  You can do it by hand in a ziploc baggie or using a food processor.  Reserve the rest of the box of Oreos to place on top of the brownies, or just eat them yourself if you can't resist!
  2. Make brownie batter according to box directions (brownies from scratch is fine too!)
  3. Mix most of the crushed oreos into your brownie batter.  
  4. Cook oreo brownies according to directions.
  5. Once brownies have cooled, cut individual portions.  (You can tell I used a very high-tech gadget to do this: a lightly greased princess cup! haha!)
  6. I put buttercream frosting in a ziploc baggie, cut the corner off, and pipped it onto each brownie portion.  (I used this buttercream icing recipe, and modified accordingly to get the right consistency:  add more milk to thin, add more powdered sugar to thicken.)  1/4-1/2 of this recipe will be plenty!
  7. Sprinkle the rest of the crushed Oreos onto the frosting and top with a final Oreo cookie!



These brownies are super scrumptious and very rich!

Now, I've heard that you can use the left over icing to put on the left over brownie pieces to eat when no one else is looking.  Not that I know from experience...just sayin' :)

Happy Baking!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

SpookBATular Garland


Do you remember being 13 and getting giddy after eating too much sugar and staying up way too late?  You would just laugh and say silly things?  Or you would get scared to death from a movie like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" with your friend and almost burn your house down.  I do.  Except not that last part.  That TOTALLY wasn't me.  Ha.  Buffy?  Really?  I plead the 5th.  

Anyway, I managed to have a lot of fun.  Now, being much older, and much wiser (ha!) I have similar giddy-type reactions due to lack of sleep (mostly self-induced) after about 10pm.  No sugar needed.  

I mean really, why else would I even attempt to combine the words "spectacular", "spooky" and "bat"!?  "SpookBATular" is clearly a result of lack of sleep.  I really should have a rule against writing after 10pm! 

Wow.  Moving right along...

I'm not quite so sure I'm ready for fall or Halloween, so in an attempt to will myself into the fall mood, I decided to use some fabulous black vinyl from Expressions Vinyl to create a SpookBATular Garland



You can see my complete How-To here!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clarisonic Mia: my new favorite beauty gadget and a must-have!


Excuse me while I get a bit personal...

I love my electric toothbrush.  Do you use a regular toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, like OralB or Sonicare?  If you use an electric toothbrush, you know how clean your teeth feel after using it.  You get a near-dentist-clean feeling every time!  It is amazing and a HUGE improvement over just brushing with a regular toothbrush, right?!  I think so.  I love my electric toothbrush.

Now, imagine if you could get that same clean feeling, but on your face.  That would be amazing, right?

Well, let me tell you about one of my new, favorite, must-have beauty gadgets; the Clarisonic Mia!  It is a large electric, cordless, sonic brush for your face and it gives the most amazing clean ever!



I am a traditional girl, used to washing my face with a washcloth.  It works.  My face feels fairly clean and it gets the job done.  But after I tried a Clarisonic Mia, I can't go back.

My face feels cleaner and oh-so-fabulous!  The Mia also reduced pore size and improves your skin tone.  I can tell that my cleanser is working more effectively and I love how my face feels like it has just had a mild exfoliation after every wash!  My skin is definitely softer!

The Clarisonic Mia removes 6x more make-up and 2x more dirt then washing with your hands alone!  The Mia moves 300 times per second!  Holy cow!  That's a lot of cleaning action!

Now, to be honest, the first time I used it, the vibrating kind of tickled my nose!  Haha!  Everywhere else I absolutely loved the feel of it right away, and I got used to using it on my nose after only a couple of times!  And the increase cleansing power definitely makes up for it!

Another great thing about the Mia is that you can take it in the shower with you: it is fully waterproof!  It is also cordless and seems to last a couple weeks on one charge (depending on how often you use it of course)!

It also comes in a lot of fun colors!!  (I got lavender.  Isn't it so pretty!?)


As you can tell, it fits comfortably in my hand which makes it really easy to use.

I realize that other brands make similar products that you can find on the shelf of many drug stores and big super stores, but they just don't have the same cleaning power that the Clarisonic does.  I honestly think it is worth the cost to get a great product with such an amazing cleaning power!

I could tell after only a few uses that my face was cleaner and my skin was softer.  And after using it for a couple of months, I am honestly hooked!  I can't go back!  I recently went out of town and decided not to bring it, and I missed it terribly!

And of course, this is so SIMPLE to use and it doesn't add any time to my routine, but I get fabulous results!  My skin is cleaner, softer and it feels oh-so-fabulous!  I absolutely LOVE my Clarisonic Mia!

So I want to know, how do you wash your face?  Hands, washcloth or another way?

I was not compensated for this review however, I was sent a Clarisonic Mia to review.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  Go here to find out more about the Clarisonic Mia.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yellow for Tween and Teen Boy Rooms


*This post was originally written for Design Dazzle*

Yellow is such a fun and bright color that is the epitome of spring colors.  Yellow, is fun, flirty and fabulous! 

But yellow, in homes, needs to be used carefully.  Too much yellow can be overstimulating and harsh.  However, when used correctly, it can be an optimistic color which can promote creativity and enlightenment.  Yellow can help activate the memory, provide mental stimulation, encourage happiness, energy and creativity!

Traditionally, yellow has been seen in girl's rooms.  However, yellow is becoming popular in boys rooms too!  Yes.  You can use yellow in boys and girls rooms! 

Not convinced?  Here are a few great ways to use yellow in a Tween or Teen Boy's room: 

{Via}
I love how pairing yellow with neutral, dark colors creates a wonderfully bright, yet masculine space for a teenage boy.

   
{Via} 
I love how the use of yellow in this room isn't overpowering but provides a great energy and vibrancy to the otherwise neutral room.


Yellow paired with red makes for an exciting room that tween boys would love to hang out in.


The subtle use of yellow, paired with a very masculine gray makes this room undeniable suitable for a teen boys to "rock" in!


So tell me what you think; would you use yellow in a boy's room?

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Simply Link {Party}


Today, at exactly 8:09pm PST my oldest daughter turns 5!  I can hardly believe it!


This is our lovely daughter shortly after birth.  Gosh she was so tiny!


And this is her, 5 years later.

There are so many things I love about my daughter and I don't want to bore you with them, but I couldn't help but share a few photos of my little girl on her BIRTHDAY!!

Now, let's party!


Thank you for joining me for this week's Link 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!

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



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Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Love Your Comments


I love getting comments!  They seriously make my DAY!  I read each and every one of them and I try to respond to all of you!

However, I am always jealous of those who have "cool" commenting systems.  Since I use Blogger I thought I was stuck, I thought only Wordpress blogs could install cool commenting systems.  But then I read a post over at Mad in Crafts and was so excited at what I learned!  (I was so excited I even stole borrowed the name of her post!)

Anyway, I finally found a commenting system that has all the bells and whistles I wanted with EASY installation!  (Easy installation was very important to me!)

So I did it.  I disabled blogger comments on all future posts and installed the IntenseDebate widget for all new posts!

Go to IntenseDebate

IntenseDebate also offers the option of using CommentLuv which is really neat because it is instant advertising for your blog!  You have the option of adding your blog/site URL while commenting on my blog and CommentLuv will automatically post a link to your last post!  So you get instant, free publicity!


I can't tell you how many times I have actually clicked over to a post this way and ended up finding a new blog I LOVE!  So it is a great way to get more visits and gain new followers!

This system will also allow me to more easily reply to your comments, and it will allow other people to reply directly to your comments!  How cool is that!?  It also allows you to give other comments a thumbs up or a thumbs down: think of this as your "like" button on Facebook (FB needs a dislike button too...but that's a topic for another day :)

I've also added buttons to the bottom of my post that allow you to FB, Tweet, Digg, Buzz, Stumble, Email, Bookmark etc etc etc my post.  So if you see something you like, please SHARE IT!

I wanted a commenting system that would make it easier for YOU to leave me comments because I want to hear what you have to say, but I know some commenting systems can get so complicated.  So I tried to make it easy, simple, no pop-up windows or new tabs created and simple and easy for YOU and ME!

So, please be honest, do YOU like my new comment system?

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cupcake Apron


**In an attempt to do some fall-cleaning, I found this post that never made it up on my site!  It was from almost a year ago!  Seriously.  Enjoy**

I recently A year ago, I threw a Cupcake Themed birthday party for my daughter who was turning 4.  One of the games at the party was a treasure hunt. 

At the end of the treasure hunt, they found these cute little aprons that I had made for each of them!  The girls were giddy!  They all wore them while we decorated cupcakes! 

What a yummy party!






PS - Don't look too closely at my sewing skills, they aren't that great!  And the ruffle at the bottom I bought pre-made and just sewed it on.  So even though they aren't perfect, my daughter loved them to death, and still does, a year later!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

PB Inspired Command Center: Cork Boards


One of my favorite parts of my Command Center is my cork boards.  I can't tell you how many invitations and wedding announcements I get in the mail that I want to save, but I have no where to put!  So they end up in a pile that I  have to continually go through...it is such a pain!

I also have been wanting a place to pin up inspiration etc.

So I decided I needed a cork board area in my command center!

(you might see this fabric again later... :)

So I found two matching frames at a garage sale for $1 each that were 8x10 size.  I took out the "interesting" art and glass and primed the frame with black primer and then painted them both heritage red.

I found a 11x17 cork board at HL for $5, but with a 40% off coupon in made it quite inexpensive.  I enlisted the help of my husband to help me cut it down to size, and then just inserted the cork boards into each frame!

Easy peasey!   So simple, so inexpensive, so fun!


Check out my original Pottery Barn Inspired Command Center Post

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Monday, September 5, 2011

PB Inspired Command Center: Calendar


Like I mentioned in my precious post about my Command Center, I love the Pottery Barn command center, but I didn't love the price.  One of the biggest issues for me was the calendar.

Yes, I could have picked up a regular white board from Target and used it as a calendar, but it just isn't pretty.  If I was going to have a command center, I want it to be pretty!

After seeing SAS Interiors use a frame to make a beautiful calendar, I decided that that would be a great alternative and could be done simply and inexpensively!  Hurray!

 
I found an dated, gold frame at a garage sale for $4.  It was an 18x22 frame which I thought would be a perfect size.  And it had an equally dated picture in it.  I should have taken a photo to show you this beauty before.  Let's just say the gold frame went well with the peach and colonial blue flower picture that was inside.   :)

I love red so I just couldn't resist painting this frame a pretty red.  So I got out my black primer and my heritage red spray paint and went to town.

I added some fun sparkly turquoise scrapbook paper (the photo doesn't show the scrapbook paper very well), and my calendar that I created in excel and printed 11x17 size, and a notes section.  And voila!  My dry erase board was born!

So.  Before I go on, let me tell you that yes, you can write on glass with a dry erase marker and it will come off.  I did not know that before, but what a cool thing!

And yes, I will be giving you my calendar and note FREE PRINTABLE 11x17 PDF's!!  Now you can make your own dry erase calendar so simply!  These are offered in the links at the bottom of my post.

Now for my disclaimer...do you ever do one of those projects and decide, as soon as it is done, that it isn't quite right?  Yup.  This is one of those projects for me.

I love it...mostly.  But the scrapbook paper didn't turn out quite how I had envisioned it, and I wish I had more space to write things down on the calendar.  So I will be taking the scrapbook paper out of the frame and printing a larger calendar to put in there I think.  I will offer my larger printables for free to you guys as well as soon as I complete them!

So, as it often goes, the evolution of some projects is never complete!

But I am 99.9% happy with how my dry erase calendar turned out and with a few tweaks I think I'll be in LOVE!


Go here to see my original Pottery Barn Inspired Command Center post!

Download my free 11x17 Calendar PDF Printable
Download my free 11x17 Notes Section PDF Printable

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Features!


I love looking through all of your links each week!

Here are a few links that stood out from last week:

Top Viewed Links:

(From white laminate to gorgeous!  I can't believe Maureen did this herself!!)

(What a beautiful alternative to a guest-book, letting wedding guests make leaves using their thumbprint is a great unique wedding reception idea!)

(Dorian has a great tute on how to make this Anthro-inspired shirt!  Isn't it just so cute!)

And here are a few links, from fabulously creative people that stuck out to me:

(I LOVE the technique shared in this tutorial...so creative and it makes this a totally do-able project for anyone, whether they own a vinyl cutting machine or not!)

(What a cute DIY headboard that was also simple to make and inexpensive!)

(These dressers are just to die for!  What talent to turn an ordinary dresser into this!)

(Ok...I have been stewing on how to do this to my stairs for the last week or so...I am so thrilled that Remodelaholic linked this up because now I have a great how-to!  THANK YOU!)

(What a cute way to spruce up an old or new hoodie into something special!!)

Thanks to all who linked up last week!  If you were featured, feel free to grab a button for your blog!

Remember there is still time to link up at this week's Simply Link {Party}!!

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