April 13, 2011

Mass production

I just received a big-time order for a few hundred tubes of chapstick – WOW!  The Nashville-based company WhimWed sells GOR-GEOUS whimsical handcrafted floral bouquets and they want to use my chapsticks as giveaways to their bridal clients.  How fun is that?!  I’m super excited for my supply shipment to come in so I can get started.  I also ordered some fun flavors {to be revealed soon 🙂 } to experiment with.  I’ll be sure to take photos of my kitchen as it gets transformed into a chapstick factory.  But in the meantime, check out the whimsical wonderment that is WhimWed!

{Funky Shway}

{Funky Shway}

{Regal Rose & Carnation - love it!}

{Vintage Brooch Bridal Bouquet - OMGorgeous!}

April 6, 2011

Holy craft! I’ve finally done it…

…restocked my Etsy store, that is 🙂  If you’re interested, check it out! 

HOLY CRAFT

{fabric rosette necklaces - for women and little girls}

I’m still hanging out, waiting for spring to fully arrive and making a TON of fabric rosettes whenever I have a few extra minutes.  I canNOT wait to get back into my garden and just play outside more.  Winter can GO now!

March 8, 2011

FREE 8×10 Canvas!

I have SO many photos of my kids…on my computer.  I need to get some of them printed!  This is a great opportunity to get a super deal on wrapped canvas prints.  Canvas People is offering {for a limited time, so hurry!} a free 8×10 canvas or $50 off a larger size.  Check it out here!  FREE 8×10 CANVAS

March 5, 2011

Tell me what you want, what you really really want…

{That reference to the Spice Girls was for you, CMTS!}

I’m feeling a little blah today–the rain yesterday made me think, “Ooh…maybe spring is coming!” but then there was snow again this morning.  Booo!  Also I’m majorly lacking in the sleep department and I’m congested and sinus-y.  What kinds of things do you all like reading about the most?  Crafts/tutorials, recipes, budget/financial helps, DIY projects, personal stuff about me/The Hubs/the Monkeys {mostly boring!}, something new?  I want to post things that people want to read about, so let me have it!  🙂  Enjoy your Saturday!

March 2, 2011

Who likes money??

Over the years I’ve come across MANY programs that claim to earn you big bucks online.  Some of them are a bust, but some of them are legit and pretty darn cool!  Allow me to introduce you to a few of my tried-and-true faves 🙂

MYPOINTS
I’ve been using MyPoints for 6.5 years now.  They send emails daily and you can earn points by clicking on a link within the email.  Other ways to earn points include surveys, online searches using the MyPoints toolbar, online shopping and completing “deals”.  I typically stick to reading the emails and an occasional survey.  On average I’m able to rack up enough points to earn a gift card every 4-6 months {my go-to: $25 Macy’s gift card – sure helps take the sting out of paying for those pricey jeans I’m drawn to!}.
CON: The daily emails {sometimes up to 10/day} can get a bit overwhelming if you don’t keep up with them.  The plus side of that is that if you do stay on top of them, you can earn points pretty quickly.  Click here to check it out.

INBOX DOLLARS
Similar to MyPoints, Inbox Dollars pays you to read emails, take surveys, shop online and more.  The really cool thing about Inbox Dollars, though, is that they’ll actually send you a check!  Each email you read {make sure you click on the link inside the email} gives you $0.02.  Not a huge amount, but it adds up!  Once you earn $30, you can request a payout.  They’ll charge you $2 or $3 to cut the check, but hey–that’s $27 for just clicking on some emails!  And Inbox Dollars will send you an average of 2-3 emails/day.  Taking surveys will give between $0.50 and $2/survey.  You can get paid for referring friends as well and get this–you’ll get $5.00 right off the bat, just for signing up!
CON: With just 2-3 emails/day, it can take a while to earn the $30 necessary for a payout.  But at least you won’t get overrun with emails 🙂  Click here to check it out. **{I’m not sure why, but that link isn’t working.  Try copy/pasting this: http://www.inboxdollars.com/?r=ref1832033}

SEND EARNINGS
See the above information.  As far as I can tell, the only difference between Inbox Dollars and Send  Earnings is the color scheme on their website.  Seriously.  Not sure what the deal is, but I tend to get identical emails sent from both programs.  Whatever–I’ll take it!  Click here to check it out.

SWAGBUCKS
Probably the quickest way to earn rewards.  You can earn “bucks” by searching {tip: download the toolbar!}, playing games, shopping, surveys, daily polls, special offers and more.  I stick to searching almost exclusively and I’m able to earn enough bucks to get a $5 Amazon.com gift card {450 swagbucks} each week.  Although lately I’ve be holding out just a bit longer to earn $5 deposited into my Paypal account.  I love free money!  I was even featured on our local news for using SwagBucks 🙂
TIP: Download the toolbar and use it for ALL your searches.  I typically start each day “searching” for things like Yahoo {to get to my email}, Facebook, ebay, etc.  For every few searches {approximately every 6 searches or so} you’ll be rewarded with swagbucks.  Could be 6, could be 12…you never know.   Click here to check it out.

None of these programs are going to earn you a supplemental income, regardless what they claim, but they will give you a little financial boost every now and then.  All of these programs are free to join – don’t ever pay to join an online reward program! 

Do you use online rewards programs?  Feel free to share them in the comment section!

February 20, 2011

Sometimes I forget

This afternoon/evening, the boys are away, so it’s just A and me for dinner.  While at D&W, the cute little sushi rolls were calling to me.  A is such a great eater and will try most anything, so I asked if she was up for trying sushi and egg rolls for dinner.  As usual, she was game.  I bought the smallest “snack pack” I could find.  It had 4 each of avocado, cucumber, carrot and {imitation} crab.  Nothing too scary. 

{cute little snack pack. we'll just ignore the spicy stuff in front there}

Miss A tried the crab roll first and loved it.  She loved the avocado one, too.  Cucumber and carrot not so much.  I’m proud of her for giving it a shot–I even told her about the seaweed! 

{A gives her crab snack roll a thumb's up!}

Enter the {un}perfection… while I think little sushi rolls are super cute, and I love all the ingredients, the seaweed smell really grosses me out.  If I shove the whole thing in my mouth really quickly I’m ok, but if I linger too long or take more lady-like bite, I have to choke it down.  And sometimes I forget that.

February 20, 2011

Grande Chemically Processed Latte, please

I *love* coffee.  That’s one of my favorite things about winter–warming up with some yummy creamy coffee.  Caramel is my absolute fave, but I’m open to other flavors, too.  A few days ago I came across a post on Deliciously Organic where Carrie posted recipes for coffee creamer withOUT using processed ingredients.  I’m not hugely concerned about that, but I’m gradually coming around to seeing the benefits of sticking with natural {and sometimes organic} foods.  We’ve switched almost exclusively to organic free-range locally farmed eggs, we’re growing our vegetable garden without chemical fertilizers, our beef comes from grass-fed locally raised cows, same with our pork.  And I just recently discovered a source for organic free-range chicken.  When I can afford it, and when it makes sense I’m going natural/organic.  So when I came across these creamer recipes {and I have to admit, I go through the creamer!!} and was reminded that most creamers are full of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils, I thought I’d give it a shot.  I love homemade things as long as it’s not too tricky and these recipes looks pretty darn simple! 

Little Miss A and I stopped at the store on the way home from church today {while the Hubs and Mr. M headed to the in-laws’ for the afternoon} and I picked up the ingredients I needed to make the caramel creamer.  Good thing we did–in the last 4 hours we’ve gotten over 6″ of snow…and sleet and freezing rain is in the forecast in the next few hours.  Faaaaaannnntastic.  {sarcasm dripping}  At least I’ll be able to cozy up with my girl, some movies and a hot cup of creamy caramelly coffee goodness! 

Here it is, friends:

CARAMEL CREAMER

The caramel recipe makes twice what you need for the coffee creamer recipe. You can store the caramel in the fridge to use for another coffee creamer recipe or use it to drizzle over ice cream. Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Caramel:
3/4 cup organic whole cane sugar or sucanat
5 tablespoons water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream {I used half & half to make it a little lighter}
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

{Not the cheapest option, but more natural and has a great rich flavor}

Put the cane sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until mixture reaches 240ºF. {I don’t have a candy thermometer, just a meat thermometer that only goes up to 200º so I heated it about a minute or so after it hit 200º} Remove from heat and whisk in cream and vanilla. Cool.

Creamer:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk {again, I used 2 cups half & half, instead of buying cream AND milk}
1/2 cup homemade caramel

Whisk together cream, milk and caramel in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat. Pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator. {I didn’t have a glass bottle, so I poured it into a canning jar.  Umm…maybe I’m not that coordinated, but it made a mess when I poured it!  So I poured it back into the half & half container since it had a screw on cap.  I had a small amount that didn’t fit, so I put it into another container and sent A across the street to share it with K.N. 🙂 } 

{mason jar = cute for photo = not at all practical for pouring}

{yummmmmm...}

 For more great organic/all-natural creamer {and other} recipes, check out what Carrie has over at Deliciously Organic!

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February 19, 2011

And the winner is…

…Comment #3!  What?  You don’t want to take the 5 seconds to check and see who #3 is?  Hmm…you’re an impatient bunch aren’t you?  I mean, in the time it’s taking you to read what I’m writing right now, you could’ve checked to see if YOU are the winner. 

Hee hee 🙂  Sorry…I’ll get to it right now.  The winner is Jennifer Hess!  Here’s the Random.org screen shot:

{comment #3 is the winner!}

Congratulations, Jen!  Once I get your info, I’ll send it out to  you.  Enjoy! ❤

I’ve got another fun giveaway in the works…for another time.  For now I’ve got to hunker down for the winter storm they’re forecasting.  So much for Spring making an early appearance 😦

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February 16, 2011

A Spring-is-coming Giveaway!

Ok, maybe it’s wishful thinking, but with the near 50-degree  temps today, Punxsutawney Phil and I might not be that far off!  To continue getting us all in the SPRING of things, I’m having a little giveaway.  Same rules apply as usual:

{HOW TO ENTER}
Leave a comment here on this blog post {facebook comments won’t count–sorry!}.  For extra entries, share this blog post on facebook, Twitter or your blog and leave me a seperate comment for each one {one comment to enter straight up, another one if you share on FB, another if you share on Twitter, and another one if you share on your blog–please provide a link to your blog = 4 total possible entries}. 

{DEADLINE}
This contest will close Friday, February 18 at midnight EST.

{WINNER}
The winner will be chosen using random.org and will receive this lovely necklace right here 🙂

{all kinds of springy colors}

{close-up of the colorful neck garden. Neck garden?? Whatever...}

{antique silver, pewtery colored adjustable chain}

{modeled by me! I have to admit, I'm wearing it around and I MUST take it off soon or I won't want to give it away!}

Want it?  Ready…Set…ENTER!!!!

February 15, 2011

A little teaser {contest}

I’m sick and tired of winter!  So, what else to do to pass the time than have another contest??  I’m thinking it’ll get you in the mood for spring {as if you weren’t already, right?} with some fun colors.  What do you think?  Should I do it??  I can’t guarantee it’ll go up tonight, but definitely by tomorrow…  I’ve already decided what to give away, but if you could choose, what would you want me to give away?

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