Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Finds

Finds for today are to say goodbye to summer...All of these items are from Etsy shops that are having Labor Day sales.  Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer.  And hey, any reason is a good reason to save some money.  It's always nice to save!

Do you have any big plans for Labor Day?  Do you usually have a classic and traditional BBQ? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

End of Summer Giveaway

This is completely spontaneous!  We're celebrating the end of summer with a giveaway!  Do you like Swarovski crystals?  Well, we're giving away one of our Swarovski crystal SunCatchers.  =)

You could WIN THIS!

If you'd like to see details and more info on what you could win, please click on this link:

 End your summer with a beautiful SunCatcher from our shop!  Giveaway starts THURSDAY, AUGUST 30TH!!!

This is my first time using Rafflecopter, because I've previously done giveaways in a very unconventional way.  My last giveaway had so many entries, though, that my "unconventional" way turned out to be extremely time consuming.  So here goes nothing, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can check out more great giveaways by clicking the button below:

Blog Giveaway Directory

Words for my Wednesday

Today, another inspiring quote - and one you should always remember!

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, from This is My Story

 This is another picture from our South Lake Tahoe Trip, taken near one of the beaches.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying you'd like to share?  Please do with a comment!  Happy Wednesday, and thanks for stopping by.  =0) 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lake Tahoe Trip

I found an article a couple weeks ago that listed America's Best Lake Vacations, and Lake Tahoe was on the list!  Our family went for a quick trip to visit South Lake Tahoe right before the kids went back to school.  Here are some photos for you.

Views from the Beach

 Sandy Feet!!!
Baby Girl loved playing in the sand.

 At Sunset


This was our first time to South Lake Tahoe, and I'm sure we'll go back again sometime.  It was a great way to end the kids' summer (even though it was just a short visit), and the beaches were fun!  Next time maybe we can stay longer and camp out, do some hiking and more fun stuff.

Do you live near a lake, or have you visited one?  What was your favorite part?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Finds

Instead of a Friday Feature...Today I share some of the great finds on Etsy for this week...Enjoy!  I had a fun time finding them!

All of these shops have many more beautiful items.  You can click on the shop names to visit the shops, and - as always - click on the item title or picture to go to the item description for more info!

Is there anything new, fun or exciting that you found on Etsy this week?  Please share with a comment!  =0)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Words for my Wednesday

Last week the Words for my Wednesday were about trust, and I thank those that left me such great comments and words of wisdom.  This week, I think STRENGTH is a great choice, because we can all be strong if and when we want to be.
If you have the will, you are strong...

"Strength does not come from physical capacity.  It comes from an indomitable will."   ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Do you have a favorite quote or saying?  Please share it with a comment!  =)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vanilla Milkshakes

Mmmmmm....Vanilla Milkshakes!  When I was pregnant with my first baby, I craved vanilla milkshakes.  Some people thought it was a crazy plain craving, but that's what I craved.  I still love my plain vanilla milkshakes too.  And sometimes, if I want just a teeny, tiny bit of extra flavor, I'll add some caramel sauce to shake it up just a little.  =)

I must warn you, the photos are not good quality (my apologies).

Here's what you need:

 2 big scoops of vanilla ice cream 
(actually, we use 3, but you can try it with 2 scoops first to see if you like it)
 1 cup milk (we use 1%, but you can use whatever you like)
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
caramel syrup (optional)

Here's what you do... 

Put it all in the blender (except the caramel syrup)

 Pour the caramel syrup into the cup you're serving.  We put it in a circle under the rim, so that it falls down like this:
 After blending to your liking (we like it a little thick, but you can blend until smooth), pour into your prepared serving cup.
 Then it looks like this from the side:
(Dang it!  We should have used a glass cup.  Oh well.)
 Serve and enjoy!!!
It makes about 4 servings (1 cup size serving).

And remember, even though vanilla might seem plain, it's still gooooood!  =0)
What's your favorite milkshake flavor?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hunger Games on DVD & Blu-Ray

Awhile back (in May) I mentioned that I wanted to read the Hunger Games book trilogy.  Well, I ordered the books from Amazon and read all three in one weekend.  

Yes, those of you who warned me that I wouldn't be able to read just the first book were right.  So right!  The books were great!  And I can't wait to see the movie.  It comes out today on Blu-Ray and DVD.  Who's getting the movie???  I know I am!!!

Also, I'm needing something new to read now.  Any suggestions for me?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some Etsy Finds

Just thought I'd share with you a few Etsy finds that I think are pretty fun for getting Back-to-School for kiddos!

And this one - something for the teachers.

What do you think?  Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Words for my Wednesday

The words for today are really words I need to hear this week.  Sometimes things happen in life and trust can be broken.  Forgiveness is always key, but it's hard to earn that complete trust back...At least for me.  It doesn't matter if it's a close friend, relative, co-worker...Trust is important.  But it's something that has to be earned.  So here are some words that I'll say to myself at least three times today.

"Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks."  ~Isaac Watts

Have you been disappointed by someone close to you that you thought you could trust completely?  Did you forgive right away?  Did you trust that person the same way afterwards?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Want This?

Like what you see right below?  Want it?  You can enter to WIN it!!!

Remember when I did a blog post Friday Feature of the shop Your Charmed Life?  If you missed it, you can view it by clicking HERE.  And if you want to WIN a NECKLACE from Your Charmed Life, please visit Kelly's blog!!!  You can click on the image and enter to win.  I entered already!  I love Kelly's work.  =)

BlogLoveTherapyAlso, if you'd like to visit one of my very favorite blog hops, click the button at left to go to BlogLoveTherapy!  I guarantee you'll find at least one new blog to follow, and you'll gain some followers too!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Kindergarten Keepsakes

Before my kids start their new school year this week, I remembered that I hadn't shared the Kindergarten keepsakes that we made for my son's Kindergarten class for their Promotion Day.  So today we'll show some quick pics that we took.  

We wanted to do something special that the kids would like.  My son loves the dog tags that my daughter makes, so we went with that idea.  And to add to the dog tag, I thought it would be really cool to put a charm on the necklace too, in the shape of a number "one" for the promoted Kindergarteners, who will soon be First Graders.  I have a friend who does amazing work with wire wrapping, and I thought of her immediately.  Her shop is 1ofAkinds (one of our favorites), her work is amazing (did I mention that already?), and I do encourage you to visit her shop and see for yourself.  She makes fun, one of a kind jewelry.  Just look at this awesome Olympic Rings piece!

Back to the story...I browsed her shop and told her of my idea.  This is what we came up with together (but all her work for the wire wrapping)....

Number One Shape with Eyes

Number One Alligator

Number One Snake

What do you think?  Do you like them?  Which one is your favorite?

The kids really liked them!!!  And all of the "number ones" were a huge hit.  We even made a key chain for the teacher, letting her know she was the "Best #1 Kindergarten Teacher Ever."  It was really special, because it was her last year of teaching (she retired after 31 years of service to educating our children).

I remember the "graduation ceremony" of mine where we sang songs and did a whole program.  So it's really fun to watch my kids do sort of the same thing.  And I'm glad we made something fun for the kids for the special day.  Do you remember when you or your kid(s) promoted from Kindergarten?  Did you do anything special?  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Words for my Wednesday

Today's Words for my Wednesday are colorful and pretty, and something you should never forget!

Life Quotes

Be inspired today and do something great!  

Do you have a quote or saying that you'd like to share?  Please do with a comment!  =0)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CA State Fair Fun

The California State Fair was in Sacramento from July 12 - July 29.  They had special days where entrance prices were reduced, and we took advantage of one of those days.  We didn't go on any carnival rides or anything.  We went to take the kids to see the animals and attractions.

They loved the animals.  We almost had the chance for the kids to make their own butter, milk a goat, and do lots more fun stuff like that - but it seemed that our timing was always just a little bit off.  Oh well, we still had a great time.  We were able to see piglets that were only six days old!  It was hard to take pictures, but can you see the little cuties?

And one of this year's attractions (they do different things every year) was "Birds in Paradise."  

We saw all kinds of colorful parrots, a few peacocks, an elderly Emu, and lots of other exotic birds.  

Baby girl really enjoyed seeing the miniature horses.  This is one that was busily eating while we stopped by to say hi.

And here, right before we left, we took a look at the carnival and snapped a shot.

We went through a few of the exhibits and saw lots of bunny rabbits and birds.  The art exhibit was really great too.  There was a piece that really caught our eyes - it was a metal octopus made out of recycled material!  I wish I would've gotten a picture, but I didn't.  =(

We had a really good time.  It was our first time going to a fair without having the kids do the rides.  I thought they might ask to go on a few, but we had such a fun-filled day that they didn't (probably because they were already too tired!).  

I'd have to say that our family had the most fun visiting the animals!  Have you ever been to your state fair?  What is your favorite part of a fair?  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Friendship Day

Did you know that today is Friendship Day?  The official International Friendship Day is actually on July 30th, but some countries (including the United States) celebrate on the first Sunday in August - TODAY! 

So call up your friends and/or send an email, text, or message them on twitter or facebook to wish them all a Happy Friendship Day!

And here's a great quote in honor of Friendship Day for you all:

"A single rose can be my garden...A single friend, my world."  ~ Leo Buscaglia

Happy Friendship Day to you all, and thanks for reading!  =0)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Feature

Friday Feature: Your Charmed Life

This Etsy shop is really something special!  I found it quite a long time ago - a little bit after we first joined Etsy (I remember loving the name of it), and I admired all the beautiful pieces found in it.  Then, when I became leader of the Blogging Buddies team, I re-found this shop through the owner Kelly's blog.  Kelly's blog is one of my most favorites to visit.  She's always got great photos to view, and she blogs about a little bit of everything.

Your Charmed Life offers beautiful personalized hand stamped jewelry.  Opening in April of 2010, the shop has over 3,000 Etsy sales, and its own stand-alone website too.  Kelly started stamping after admiring a necklace she had seen on a mommy internet group...And we're all so glad that she saw that necklace and decided to try making one herself!  Her pieces are all works of art.  Each one is individual, unique and tells a story.   

This is what Kelly says about herself:

"Industrious mother of one, busy bodied 5 yr. old boy and loving wife of 4 years. I have finally pin pointed my outlet for creativity. Welcoming this a blissful reward!"

And this is what she says about her materials and process:

"I draw on using all types of metals, from sterling silver, brass and copper. Boosting the charms 
with textures and dings, oxidizing and wool brushing for that marked rustic look. YOURCHARMEDLIFE is all about YOU and your custom CHARMS." 

Here are more ways to connect with yourcharmedlife:

And here's something I learned while I was putting this blog post together, Kelly owns a second Etsy shop where she sells her lovely photography prints!  Who knew?  I found quite a few that I like (and faved)..
Check it out!
I bet you'll find at least one that you love!

I hope you enjoyed today's Friday Feature!  Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.  =0)