Monday, February 28, 2011

The Mini D.A.

When I'm not listening to talk radio in the car, I sometimes pay attention to my children and we recite nursery rhymes together.

One particular favorite is "Jack and Jill." One day not too long ago, I recited the rhyme slowly, for Michaela Byrd's benefit and then paused at a red light.

A voice piped up from the back seat. It was Natalie, my 5 year old.

Natalie: "Why did Jack fall down the hill?" {slight pause. thinking.}
Me: Uhhh...
Natalie {in rapid succession}: "Who pushed him?"
"Where did he fall?
"Well, where was Jill?"

I'd never quite stopped to consider the fact that Jack may have met with foul play, or that Jill may have caused his cranial injuries and suffered harm inadvertently from her devious actions.

So I gave her my best, thoughtful, Mommy-like reply. "Um, I don't know. He just fell down."

I could see her face in the rear view mirror and knew that my answer was not good enough. I could envision her shouting "I want the truth!" after which I would bellow in my best Jack Nicholson voice, "You can't handle the truth!"

Instead, she became distracted when we passed a thrift shop and she saw all the furniture out in front.

"Oooh, a sale!" she exclaimed. I guess she is her mother's daughter after all.

So I'm thinking that if her original career plan of becoming a doctor what helps mommies' babies pop out of their tummies doesn't work out, she'd make an excellent District Attorney. I wouldn't hold up under her line of questioning, that's for sure, because her focus is intense. Unless, of course, Diane Von Furstenberg is holding a sample sale somewhere near the courthouse.

I guess Jill's off the hook for now....

*Did you see my February Silhouette Deal yet? A package promo and/or a discount on premium vinyl! If you're in the market, click that link above to check it out! Sale ends tomorrow!*

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crafty Cutter Winner and a Silhouette Deal!

*Are you here to link up your best post of the week to Weekend Bloggy Reading? Head on over...the party is on until 10 pm (ET) tonight. Lots of great links!*

Good news today!
The first good news is for all of you who left comments during this week's I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter linky party saying how much you'd love to own your own Silhouette.

From now until Tuesday, you can purchase your very own Silhouette SD machine package! It includes:

  • 1 Silhouette SD machine (with software)
  • 1 roll of Black Premium Vinyl
  • 1 roll of Frosted Premium Vinyl
  • 1 roll of Premium Transfer Paper 
  • The Home Decor CD of cuttable images 
Only $225!! (This is an almost $400 value!)

If you already own a Silhouette, or if you're in need of vinyl, you can get 25% off all premium vinyl! (I personally love the frosted vinyl because it resembles etched/frosted glass--like my snowflakes)

Please use the code SERENITY when you check out. Just click my little Silhouette button below, and you're on your way to crafty heaven! Go check out what this baby can do...
Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

My next good news is for Stacy from She's Kinda Crafty. Not only did she join the party with some adorable Silhouette projects, her project number was also chosen by as the winner of the party Giveaway. Stacy won a $10 Starbucks gift card and a coffee cozie in her choice of colors from Stitch Sense Designs.

One last BIG thank you to each of you who joined the party. I so appreciate those of you who Tweeted, Facebooked, and linked back to me in order to get the word out about this first go-round. I had a great time visiting each link, and I was so pleased to see that many of you took the time to participate in the party and leave comments for other bloggers. That's the way a good link party works!

I'll be hosting again next month, so get your projects ready! Mark your calendars for March 21-25 for the next I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter link party. There should be another Silhouette promo that week, so hopefully I'll have something fun to show you too!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Highlighted Weekend Links-- Share Your Best Post!

Happy Saturday! I hope you'll pop in to link up YOUR best post of the week at my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. Open for new links until Sunday at 10 pm (ET).

All kinds of posts are welcome: We have recipes, home remedies, room makeovers, crafts, fashion advice, book reviews, and more! The code for the button is at the end of this post.

If you haven't yet, please be sure to visit some of the other links from the party and say a quick howdy to those who have taken the time to visit you. That's how a good blog party works--lots of participation. Otherwise we just have a bunch of stagnant links, and that's no fun for anyone!

I wanted to share a few more posts that caught my eye. These are from Weekend Bloggy Reading as well as this week's I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter linky party:

~Wendy put her own spin on a Tatertots and Jello favorite with her cheery Rainbow Wreath.

~Oscar Night Cupcakes from Me and My Pink Mixer. They really do look like popcorn!

~JoDee took a plain jane sign and used her "crafty cutter" (Silhouette) to create some Coordinates Typography Art!

~Stacy used her Silhouette to create a fun Monogrammed Carafe and Juice Glass Combo. As cute as anything you'll find in Target!

~If you love traveling, take a trip to Tasmania (an Australian island) with Kirsty. She took readers on a tour of the creepy, yet intriguing Port Arthur Penitentiary.

~Amy transformed her Pantry with her Cricut and some DIY muscle. Stunning!

~Claudia's son gets to live in a Pirate Room!

So, what did you have up your sleeve this week? Come by and share it with us! Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers' work too.
Weekend Bloggy Reading

I'm making my way around to each WBR link, and I also hope to have a Silhouette promo for you very soon!
Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

{Hope your weekend is shaping up to be lots of fun!}

Friday, February 25, 2011

::Weekend Bloggy Reading:: Link Up!

Welcome to Weekend Bloggy Reading. I hope you'll link up your best post of the week today, and maybe leave me some comment love!

All kinds of posts are welcome--recipes, crafts, funny stories, home decor, etc.; but please do not link to Etsy shops, businesses, items for sale, etc. (I have a Sponsors section, if you'd like to Advertise with me.)

*The I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter linky party is still open for new links until tonight at 10! Join the party to earn an entry in the Starbucks/Coffee Cozie Giveaway

Here are a few of my faves from this week:
sources listed below

~A great post from Maillardville Manor about Meal Planning on a Budget. Some good tips!

~Do you have Thrift-Store-Shopping-itis? I did. The Nester has a Cure.

~The Drudge Report linked to an article on The Death of Blogs on Twitter the other day. It's a really good read, but I'm not sure I entirely agree with the premise. I still love to blog, love to read blogs...and I've found that social media just enhances the experience! I think the "quitters" the article references might not have bargained for the hard work that comes with writing blog posts. Just my opinion! Check it out for yourself!

~Jennifer focused on DIY this week and blogged about her Painted Floor Tiles.

~If you want to know how commenting on blogs can turn into a good thing for YOU, read Heather's Crafter Minds post on 8 Reasons to Comment on My Blog. This is a must read for bloggers, seasoned and rookie!

~And me?
I spent a lot of this week visiting some fabulous links at the I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter linky party. Hope over for inspiration to see how crafty people use their Silhouettes, Cricuts, and other die cutters. I also weighed the benefits of a Target Playdate, and found a great Dollar Store Solution.

Time to link up your best post of the week (please take the time to include a link-back or my party button and visit some of the other participants!)
Here's the button code if you'd prefer to use that rather than a link-back:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Party is open until 10 pm (ET) on Sunday night.

Remember that blog parties work best when bloggers participate, so if you have a chance to visit a few of the other links, you might find a new friend or two!

T has this weekend off,and I would love for us not to be the lame family that lays around all weekend. Any suggestions? We have a little pizza party planned with Mimi tonight, but not much else in the works....

{What are you up to this weekend?}

Back tomorrow with some highlights from Weekend Bloggy Reading AND the Crafty Cutter party!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Dollar Store Solution

*Here to join the I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter linky party? Head over to link up up and earn an entry in the Starbucks/Coffee Cozie Giveaway!*

To the naked eye, and from across the room, the kids' play table in the addition looks like this most of the time:

However, if you were to approach when the table is not covered with Littlest Pet Shop toys or tea party stuff, you'd see evidence of a crime scene...

There are only two suspects, but no one has come forward to claim the marker streaks yet. I've tried everything short of sanding off the poly and repainting the tabletop. (Any suggestions? Edited to add: Magic Eraser was the first thing I tried!)

In the meantime, I found a great thrifty solution!

Enter: The Dollar Tree

For just one dollar, I grabbed a plastic tablecloth from the party wall and brought it home for the play table.

We won't keep the table cloth on all the time--just for important events like coloring...

...and {cue horror movie theme music}...Play Doh.

If you've been chatting with me on my Facebook Fan Page, you know I have a little problem with Play Doh colors mixing and tiny bits of the stuff ground into the table. Blech.

Clean up is a breeze now, and I don't have to worry about the girls spilling/painting/coloring/ripping, etc. the plastic. We can toss it and buy a new one.

I've seen heavier vinyl table cloths at WM and Target, but they can be bulky. I can fold the plastic one up and store it in our slightly organized art bin!

{Are you a Dollar Store fan?}

Hope you'll come back tomorrow, or sometime this weekend to link up YOUR best post of the week at my Weekend Bloggy Reading linky party!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

I'm off to the first day of a new Bible study for my MOPS group! I'm doing my best to catch up with emails and visiting each link for the Crafty Cutter party. Thanks for your patience, friends!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Who Needs a Playroom When There's Target?

I've always kind of thought of Target as my own personal Mommy playland, but my friend Christy and I recently learned that Target can be the perfect spot for a zany afternoon playdate!

While you finish laughing at me, I should explain that we made the decision while we were high on sodium from Chick-fil-a waffle fries, and it couldn't have been that bad because we went two days in a row with four children in tow. Christy is my New York Girls' Trip partner in crime--nobody is as fun to hang with as her!

Target is usually my refuge, my little Nirvana in the midst of preschooler chaos. I like to go by myself and just wander down the aisles of shoes and decorative plates. But Christy and I discovered that it also has its merits as a playdate spot. Let's review the benefits, shall we?

  • Caffeine (Starbucks!)
  • Toys (albeit packaged ones)
  • Ambient music (it beats the heck out of Dora and Diego in the background)
  • No clean up!!
  • Carts with restraining devices for out of control youngsters
  • Shopping. Need I say more?

Photo opp!

My best and expert advice for a playdate shop?

Caravaning is a must! Two carts make for more room to stash your loot (and kids).

Yeah, it got a little crazy (Natalie looks like she has been possessed by a shopping demon, but that's what I look like when I spot a good deal too), but we hit the Dollar Spot, the Valentine's clearance, and the clothes before anyone had a meltdown. We dangled the promise of a stop in the toy section over their heads for as long as possible.

And then Christy had to run out to her car for a minute, and I got a taste of what life would be like if I had two sets of twins, ages 5 and 3. And that life would be cah-razy. This blog would be called Jack Daniels: A Mommy's Solution to Staying Sane.

So I did my best to entertain the 4 younguns in the toy section, and I kept losing Christy's little boy, Ree, because he wanted to look at dinosaurs and the girls just wanted to have fun (fu-un) because that's what girls do, right?

The only time I had them all together:
They were entranced by this nasty dragon toy that talked and burped. It did not come home with us.

The girls put on dramatic musical and dance performances (with props!) that carried on for several aisles. I am quite sure America's Got Talent will be contacting me soon:

And I had to video them dancing in the princess aisle because not only was it humorous that Natalie tried to sing along to a song from Tangled that she'd only heard once 3 months ago in the theater, but Brianna punched the machine, and Michaela Byrd just dances along without a care in the world.

Of course, there were several "Can I please oh please have this BarbieCarBabyPrincessDollhousePuppy?!" but I ignored those and mostly focused on making sure Ree didn't run off to the hardware section to play with the drills.

And then our good fun was cut short because Christy came back and while we were looking for clearanced soaps, she realized that it was much later than we thought and she had to run home with the kids to meet her middle schooler at the bus stop.

Which is why we went back with Michaela Byrd and Ree the next day during preschool hours.

Because there's not much that's better than good bargains except for good friends!

{Have you ever had an unconventional playdate/Girls Get Together?}

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some Featured "Crafty Cutter" Links!

The I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter linky party is still open! You have until Friday night to stop by and enter your best Silhouette/Cricut/Sizzix, etc. tips, tricks, and projects.

If you've already linked up, please be sure to visit a few of the other links and leave a thoughtful parties should be fun for everyone!

I thought it might be fun to highlight a few links that caught my eye so far:

~Chrissy doesn't have to worry about losing her casserole dish thanks to an Etching Cream Design.

~Robin had some Fun with Heat Transfer and created a birthday shirt with zebra print heat transfer paper!

~Kelli used her Cricut to create a Hallway Art Gallery.

~Katrinka Jane created a Memo Board with a Dollar Store pizza pan and a stencil!

~Randi paired some vinyl and her Silhouette to make a beautiful Prayer Board to make remembering others easier. 

I'm taking a Silhouette class at the local scrapbooking store tonight, and I am so excited! I'm hoping to have a few tips and tricks to share with you guys later this week.

*Remember, if you join the party and link back to me OR include my party button within your post, you'll get an entry in the Starbucks Giftcard/Stitch Sense Coffee Cozie Giveaway! I really really appreciate those of you who took the time to help me get the word out, whether it was from Tweets, Facebook, adding my party button to your blog, or linking back to me. Big hugs!

I'm making my way around through the links to leave comments, and I'm having a blast doing it.

{Happy Crafting!}

Monday, February 21, 2011

"I (Heart) My Crafty Cutter" Linky Party

Welcome to the 1st I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter linky party! I'm so glad you've stopped by.

This party is open until Friday for you to link up your projects, tips, and tricks that are "crafty cutter" related (Silhouette, Cricut, Sizzix, Cuttlebug, etc.). If you don't own a die cutting machine, but have a great stenciling/transfer paper project, feel free to link that up instead. Please do NOT link to Etsy shop listings or other items for sale.

*You are welcome to link up more than one post, and if you link back to me OR include my party button within your post(s), I will include you in a Giveaway for a $10 Starbucks Giftcard and a Coffee Cozie in your choice of colors from Stitch Sense Designs! The code for my button is below.

I'm so excited to attend a Silhouette class at a local scrapbooking store tomorrow night, so I'll be sure to share a tip or two with you all later. Today is all about YOU.

Time to link up your creative work! Please help me get the word out about this new party by including a link back to me or my party button in your post. I appreciate it so much, and it earns you an entry in the Giveaway! Here's the button code in case you prefer to use that instead of a link-back:
Serenity Now Crafty Cutter Party

Party is open until 10 pm (ET) on Friday, February 25th!

Please remember that blog parties work best when bloggers participate; so if you have a chance to visit a few of the other links and comment, you'll probably find some neat ideas and maybe a new bloggy friend or two!

I can't wait to see your creativity. If this goes well, we'll plan to party next month too!

*Fyi, there's a great sale over at Silhouette this week. From now through the 24th, you can get 20% off new subscriptions to the online shop when you use the code PRESIDENT. Don't have a Silhouette machine yet? If you go shopping, be sure to use the code SERENITY. Click on my Silhouette button and see what this baby can do!
Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Highlighted Links, and New Linky Party Reminder

{If you're here to link up to Weekend Bloggy Reading, the party is on until 10 pm (ET) tonight. Great reads this weekend!}

Before I share a few more Highlighted Links from Weekend Bloggy Reading, I thought I'd send out one more reminder about tomorrow's brand NEW linky party-- I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter.

I thought it might be neat to host a party where crafty bloggers could link up any tips, tricks, or projects they might have that are "crafty cutter" related. It will be like having an entire library of fabulousness at my your disposal. See how selfish generous I am? {wink}

Anything related to your Cricut, Silhouette, Sizzix, Cuttlebug, etc. is welcome: 

  • Projects or crafts you've completed
  • Tips on how to use software, make supplies last longer, rig your machine up to do special stuff
  • Ways you organize your supplies
  • Don't have a die cutting machine? If you have a stenciling/transfer paper project or something along those lines, please feel free to add that.

The I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter party will open on Monday, February 21st, at 9 am (ET) and will close at 10 pm (ET) on Friday, February 25th.

Because I spent this month's budget on the nanny's fees and the Rolls Royce payment, the Giveaway for participants is small, but I did want to offer something!

*Anyone who adds a post to the party and includes a link back to me OR my party button in their post  (whichever you prefer!) will be entered to WIN a $10 Gift Card to Starbucks and a Coffee Cozie in your choice of colors from Stitch Sense Designs.

Because everyone knows that crafting is more fun with a fancy drink, and why shouldn't you accessorize your to-go mug?! It's not much, but my way of saying thank you to those of you who take the time to join the party.

I'm happy to host your link here and if you take the time to link back to me, I'll throw your name in for the Giveaway and maybe even feature your project this week! By linking back to me, you help me grow my brand new party so I can continue to host, and I truly do appreciate your help. 

You are welcome to add more than one project, but only posts with a link-back or my party button will be considered eligible for the Giveaway.

Here's the button code if you want to add it to your blog to help me get the word out! If things go well, we might make this a monthly thing.

Serenity Now Crafty Cutter Party

Fyi, there's a great sale over at Silhouette this weekend. From now through the 24th, you can get 20% off new subscriptions to the online shop when you use the code PRESIDENT. Don't have a Silhouette machine yet? If you go shopping, be sure to use the code SERENITY. Click on my Silhouette button and see what this baby can do!
Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool

As promised...

Here are a few more Highlighted Links from Weekend Bloggy Reading:

~Mary Kathryn gave some great tips for Planning a Wedding. She monogrammed her own napkins!

~Jennifer made a cheerful, Spring Yellow and Green Headband.

~Dominique has a great list of Thrifty Tips for Using Coffee Filters. I'd never thought of some of those!

Lots more where that came from! Head over to Weekend Bloggy Reading to share YOUR best post of the week!

*Hope to see you at the I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter party this week! I'm really excited to see what you have to share with me.

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