Posts tagged ‘FUN’

May 9, 2012

Monkey M doing the Funky Chicken dance

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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!}

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 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

Love is in the air!

The Hubs is one of those who thinks Valentine’s Day is a lame Hallmark holiday, but he “celebrates” it to appease me {what a guy}.  This year {in the spirit of lowering my expectations}, I decided to try a few things with the kids to make it a day of celebrating love in a FUN way!  I think we all had a good time, it was special, and it didn’t cost much at all.

Miss A and I started our celebration a little early on Sunday afternoon with custom heart-felt manicures.  A wanted red, pink AND fuchsia {why not?}, so we alternated the colors, then topped them off with hearts drawn on with a nail art pen.  I painted my nails fuchsia and did 1 heart on my thumb 🙂

{I ❤ this manicure}

 Monday morning I had a special breakfast for the kids: Jell-O jigglers! {I know, I don’t usually share the kids’ names, but I wanted to show the Jell-O 🙂 }

Of course, in my true {un}perfect impulsive way, I decided to make the jigglers the night before and had to use what I had on hand.  Jigglers take 4 boxes.  I had 2 Grape, 1 sugar-free Strawberry and 1 sugar-free Raspberry.  Made for an interesting flavor…

{darn his long name and our little plates!}

{He said, "Yum! I wuv Jeww-O! Hey, how did the Jeww-O know my name??"}

I love making treat bags for the kids’ holiday parties–this one was no exception.  And because my kids LOVE them, I slaved and included some pretty cute cake pops.

{another pic because they're just so cute!}

{my little heart breaker}

{A's teacher painted hearts on the kids' faces--so cute!}

Regrettably, I didn’t get a pic with The Hubs, but honestly, neither of us was looking too hot that morning.  He did, however give me a nice card and a certificate for a mani/pedi/massage.  Ahhh…can’t wait!    I, being equally sweet, gave him this:

{card by upupcreative.com}

That evening I spent a romantic evening with some of my girls, watching the Bachelor.  I made these bad boys especially for them! 

{chocolate cake pops made with chocolate frosting and chocolate candy coating--for my chocolate loving Valentines!}

{C.Y., J.J., K.N.}

February 9, 2011

Oh happy day!

Today was my birthday and it was such a fun one!  In the past I’ve had super high expectations for this once-a-year celebration.  You know what happens when you have really high expectations?  They almost never get met, then you’re left with disappointment.  Not fun.  This year I collaborated a bunch with God to lower my expectations and truly appreciate every little thing that came my way.  And you know what?  It was an incredible birthday!  Seriously, the best.  I started out last night enjoying some trash TV {The Bachelor} with my girlfriends.  We had wine, fun and a lot of laughs.  I even got an early gift of…comfort food!  My girl C.Y. brought me a box of Wheat Thins {HA!} and another fave–a Starbucks gift card.  Yum.  I just love Monday nights with the girls.  We “partied” until it was officially my birthday, then we went home to crash.

{with my friend/neighbor J.J.--showing off my rosette necklace}

This morning I got to sleep in a bit, then went downstairs to gifts from my fam.  Monkey A was more than happy to give me her sweet card {one that plays a song…which will inevitably become HER card to listen to over and over} that included a gift card to one of my favorite cheap/trendy stores: Charlotte Russe 🙂  The Hubs had made me a card with a poem he had written about our last year {love his poems!} and another CR gift card.  Yes!  A informed me {stage whisper} that M’s card contained a 3rd CR gift card.  WOOHOO!  However, M was insistent that I not open his card until I was eating birthday cake.  That’s what you’re supposed to do; that’s what he did.  🙂 

After breakfast we got in the car and headed west a bit {but not before using part of my Starbucks card, of course} to join my mom, my friend A.M. and her kids for our “usual”.  Our “usual” is most parents’ nightmare.  But we love it: Chuck E. Cheese’s!  Honestly, where else can you go and, for under $25, enjoy lunch and 3-4 hours of adult conversation while your kids run around FULLY entertained?  Ok, maybe there are a few other places, but we seriously love our regular CEC “dates”.  We have found that Tuesday mornings are usually pretty dead around there.  And we’ve been there so many times over the last 2 years that the manages know us by name.  They now help us find the best coupon codes, sneak our kids extra tokens and tickets {M calls one manager “Sneaky Tony”}, bring special treats for them…it’s our own personal kid-friendly Cheers!  And ok, I have to admit that A.M. and I have a favorite game we like to play as well 😉  No cake was consumed {I’m trying to actually complement my working out by sort of watching what I eat}, but M agreed to let me open my card {another musical one, of course} over my birthday pizza {I said “sort of” watching what I eat…}, especially since I was opening my gifts from A.M. 🙂

{A.W. and A.M. at C.E.C.}

After a fun and full day at CEC, the kids and I headed back home just in time to pick up the house a bit before the babysitters came over.  Warning: you’re about to be totally jealous.  Our two neighbor girls {ages 12 and 14}, who our kids adore, babysit FOR POINTS!  Yep, for about half the year they don’t accept money for babysitting.  Their church has a point program where the kids earn points by doing things like shoveling {yes, we’ve been on the receiving end of that one too!}, babysitting, and other forms of helping.  If the kids earn a certain number of points, the church will pay their way to summer camp in full.  It’s awesome!  So…after our super-sitters arrived, another friend dropped over to bring me yet another of my comfort food staples: Diet Dr. Pepper!  Not only that, but a new tube of lip gloss.  I’m a little more than slightly obsessed with lip gloss and I LOVE trying new stuff.  Perfect little birthday surprises!  The Hubs and I headed to the mall to do a little bit of shopping before our dinner reservation.  Once at the restaurant, we ran into not one, not two but THREE sets of friends!  Two sets were celebrating birthdays today as well.  The Hubs and I enjoyed a delicious dinner, I had some incredible wine and a cute little complimentary dessert.  And even better–we used our GROUPON {if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to!  Click here}, so it was half price!  Oh, how I love saving money 🙂

{The Hubs and me}

{random run-in with J.S. and K.S.}

{fun birthday treat}

{isn't it cute??}

Now here I sit, so grateful, a heart full of love and toasty warm in my University of Michigan Snuggie… Amazing how when we lower our expectations, they’re almost always exceeded!  As my mom says, We need to raise our expectations of God and lower our expectations of people. People will let you down, but God never will.  Right on, Mama; right on…

February 4, 2011

Why? Because I FELT like it!

Felt flowers, that is 🙂  In my search for zipper flower tutorials, I came across these darling little felt rosettes and knew I had to try some.  Can I afford another addiction?  Well…too bad, I’ve got one.  Quick and easy, these little suckers.  Sweet on hair accessories, but also super fun for embellishing a myriad other things!  I’ve got this royal blue shirt that’s cute enough on its own, but let’s face it–it’s pretty boring.  But add a few dark gray felt flowers with pearly centers and VOILA!  Super duper cute!  But here’s my problem:  If 1 flower is good, 4 flowers are great, right?  The problem is that I don’t really want to stop at 4, but I think I should.  What do you think?

{blah blue before}

{adorable azul after} {I know you love my alliteration}

{close-up of cute...flowers. Sorry it's 1am and I can't think of anything that starts with "c"}

What do you think–should I work up a tutorial of this one?

February 3, 2011

Making the best of the white stuff

School was cancelled yesterday {bummer!} due to the Big Blizzard of 2011…or something.  Yeah, there was a lot of snow, but it didn’t seem like a real true blizzard.  But maybe that’s because most of it happened during the night and I didn’t leave the house so I didn’t experience the roads.  Who knows?  Anyway, the roads must’ve been good enough for a Trail Blazer to get through because one of A’s friend’s dad drove over to pick A and her friend/neighbor E.N. up for a playdate.  {YESSS!}  Thanks J.I. for that 🙂  While A was gone, M and I headed outside to take advantage of the big piles of snow.  E.N. and her dad had dug a tunnel while shoveling the snow this morning and M was having a great time crawling through it {thanks K.N. for snapping this pic}!

{crawling through the neighbors' tunnel}

 After a while M decided he wanted to dig one of our own, so back across the street we trudged.  It was tricky finding a drift tall enough, but we did it.  Apparently my tunnel-digging skills don’t quite match up to B. N.’s, but I got the job done. 

{woohoo we made it through! Yes, the tunnel opening did get a bit bigger than this...}

M had fun crawling through and I even made it through a few times.  I had to wriggle through on my stomach and my claustrophobic tendencies kicked in giving me visions of being trapped underneath the collapsed tunnel, but other than that it was great 😉  And, despite the great amounts of snow and low temps, this mama managed to stay quite warm with all that digging! 

{TA-DA!}

February 2, 2011

A Greener Cleaner

A friend of mine from high school owns a company called Greener Cleaner, an enviro-friendly cleaning company. She makes her own plant based cleaning products and customizes the scent to the liking of her clients.  {How cool is that?!}   I recently asked her to send along a “recipe” that’s GREEN all around–good for the environment as well as the budget.  This one’s a  fun drain cleanser/deodorizer you can make and use with your kids:
~1~ Vinegar
~2~ Baking Soda
~3~ Your Favorite Scents {essential oils} – this is where we would customize!  I usually choose Orange with a hint of Lavender for its antibacterial properties. 
~4~ Measuring Cup

{supplies}

 
Now grab your goodies and head to the bathroom or kitchen sink!  Yup, that’s where we’re headed!  Also, call the kids; it’s going to be time for cleaning fun!  Hey, you want your kids to grow up to know how to do the basics, and to learn a few tricks along the way.  And while you’re at it, teach them how to take care of the earth!
 
Step1) now that you’ve arrived @ your destination, you’re going to sprinkle about 1/4C Baking Soda into the drain in the sink.  ~ I keep mine in a “shaker”, sort of looks like the Parmesan cheese holder @ Pizza Hut.  Can pick them up @ Hobby Lobby for about $2.  Label with Avery Label and Keep in Greener Cleaner Caddy!

{also a good opportunity to teach your kids about math and measuring}

{shake it, baby, shake it!}

Step 2) Now that your drain is nice and powdery {and hopefully one of your kiddos feels really proud–and you do too.  You’re teaching them how to clean, one chore you can “give away” and they feel “bigger” being able to help out.  And after all, a family is a team, right?}, you’re going to mix about 1/2C white vinegar with your essential oils/fragrance -for example: 2 drops Orange essential oil {I used the “grapefruit blush” fragrance I got from Hobby Lobby and used in the lotion}, 1 drop lavender essential oil. 

{sniff, sniff...lavender and vinegar??}

Step 3) SLOWLY pour this mix down the drain.  The slower the better {for the kids’ sake, mostly}, as your “experiment” is working right before your eyes!  The kids will love the dramatization and the vinegar will react with the baking soda {think science fair volcano!} to take all the gunk off the walls of the pipes as it flows down. 
**Follow these steps on all your drains–bathroom, shower, kitchen, and laundry room–about once a month as routine maintenance.  It’s quick and easy; nothing to it, really.  It lasts a long time and smells so fresh!  {My little Helper A was concerned about the smell of the vinegar, but it goes away quickly, I promise!}

{here comes the exciting part!}

{bubble, bubble...with some stuck-on food just for good measure}

 

I had A helping me through the process–she just LOVES to help!  We did 2 kitchen drains, 3 bathroom drains and one shower drain {my other shower houses all of the items that I’ve listed on eBay that are waiting to be purchased 🙂  So no drain to be cleaned there!} and it took less than 5 minutes!  And now, seriously, I can smell the grapefruit blush & lavender scent all throughout the house.  {SIGH of contentment}  I’m so not a cleaner, so this trick totally works for me:
Easy?  check
Easy on the clock {quick}?  check
Easy on the wallet {cheap}?  check
Easy on my mind {don’t have to worry about A & M inhaling dangerous chemicals}?  check
Easy on the nose?  oh yes, check!
January 20, 2011

Zippin’ and Gunnin’

So yesterday when my Martha Stewart “Craft Of the Day” email came through with a “how to” on zipper flowers I happily dug out my zipper stash!  I had already done some stuff with zippers, like the ring I gave away a while back {with a little tutorial as well}, but these flowers were something I had been eyeing for a while.  While everything else {housework, ebay, sleep…} got neglected last night, I got busy with my glue gun and my stash of stinky vintage {you know the smell, right?} zippers.  The results?  Pretty doggone cute, if I do say so myself!  Right now I’m making them into headbands for Monkey A and, let’s face it, I’m gonna borrow them from time to time too.  If I make one that I don’t “need”, maybe I’ll do another giveaway…what do you think??

{some of my zippy new flowers}

{not flowers but still fun!}

{mama needs a new hair pretty...and some highlights}

Which one is YOUR favorite???

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