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There’s Been a lot of “Crafting” Going On!

Hello!  I can’t believe it’s been So Long since I’ve last written a post for my blog!  It’s actually quite embarrassing for me since I love to blog and write my little day-in-my-life tidbits.  There’s been a LOT going on around here, so let me update you with my current life craziness!!

Crocheted Snowman Ornament

My little family has moved to the southern end of the state, in the middle of the country.  It’s a big change for our little guy, who has only ever known our previous home set in a town.  Now he can look out his bedroom window and see the horses grazing on the farm across the road. It’s a nice, positive change though, and I’m looking forward to next summer when I can sit in our yard and enjoy the view of the neighbor’s farm or the horses while I crochet or read.

A lot more changes have come our way since moving other than just the landscape.  We’re living in a home significantly smaller than the last one, so I’ve spent most of my time making our furniture “fit” and moving our belongings around to areas where they seem to work best.  I’m excited about the finished attic area that we have. It’s perfect for an office/crafting area for my husband and I, as well as a family room/play room for our children to enjoy without having to clutter up our small living room with toys and our other things.  I’m hoping to tackle this upstairs area in the very near future so that we can start making good use of it right away! Besides, I’m itching to have my own crafting space again!  Which leads me to my next topic…

I’ve been a crafting machine since we’ve moved, and believe me I’m not complaining! I’m loving it!! I’ve already participated in a craft fair and am signed up for a week-long event for next week.  I’m excited to get back into crafting mode and have found it to be good therapy in the midst of the adjusting from the move, my need to unpack and reorganize everything, as well as adjust to my husband’s new work schedule while caring for our 2 wonderful children (who are under the age of 4).  Lots of adjusting! But thankful for my crafts and recent orders I’ve received to help me relax!  I’m also looking forward to reading books for review again once I get myself organized and into a better routine. 

So, that’s about it.  Just busy with our new home, our new family schedule, and my crafts.  I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading my post. I am looking forward to sharing with you more of my crafting adventures and other posts!

 
 

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Friday Featured Product Review and Giveaway! ~ “Man Shoes” by Tom Watson

"Man Shoes" by Tom Watson

A survivor of child abuse, upheaval and 13 foster homes, Tom Watson learned at an early age to overcome adversity.  Rescued at the age of five by the Watson family, he found new hope and love that helped to heal his deep physical and emotional wounds.  Encouraged by a community of supporters, Tom learned vital lessons in patience, perseverance, laughter and tradition.  Years later, these lessons would be put to the ultimate test as Tom faced heartbreaking losses that threatened to destroy him.  A stunning revelation of one man’s determination to live life to its fullest, Man Shoes demonstrates that new beginnings are possible at any age and at any stage of life, no matter what obstacles get in the way.  This story is an important reminder that we can live a better life and influence others to do the same!”

 

If the above summary (found on the back cover of the book) doesn’t make you want to read Tom Watson’s book, Man Shoes – The Journey to Becoming a Better Man, Husband & Father,  then I don’t know what will!  I read it and was immediately intrigued!  Upon receiving my review copy, I didn’t hesitate to begin reading it and was glad I chose to do so.  Tom Watson is very honest and open about the journeys he encounters during the events that make up his life and the man that he has and continues to become.  With every chapter I found myself anxious to see how he handled the minor and major situations that were thrown in his path, as well as how his life events, upbringing and faith affected his thoughts and actions towards those situations. Through his book, Tom Watson reminds us that we can either allow the hardships in our past to bring us down or we can utilize it and learn from it in order to make the present and the future better and brighter. 

 

At the beginning of each chapter, Tom shares a verse from a country song that he feels relates to the topic discussed.  I found this amusing and a fun feature to look forward to, especially since I’m a fan of country music.  At the end of each chapter, Tom provides a summary of lessons learned and suggestions on how to make your life journey with yourself and others better and worth it.  He also provides a section where you can write down your own reflections and ways you can plan to make your life more meaningful. It helps you think of ways in which you can be a better person for yourself, as a parent, as a spouse and as a friend. I think the key point summaries and areas for reflection were my favorite part of the book because the author invites you to reflect upon your own life, actions and attitudes.  Now that I’ve finished, I’m going to pass my copy along to my husband to read!

 

Overall, if I were to rate this book on a scale from 1 – 10, I would definitely give it a 10!  I encourage you to pick up a copy of Tom Watson’s “Man Shoes” for the husband, father, man in your life.  I agree with the statement “A must read for men of all ages, and for the women who love them”.   Thank you Tom Watson for sharing your story with us and being an inspiration to all!

Tom’s website for Man Shoes is: http://www.manshoes.net

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And now for the Giveaway part!  Here is your chance to win your own signed copy of “Man Shoes”!  To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post stating why you would want to win a copy of this book, as well as “Like” Tom’s page on Facebook – found here.  Be sure to do both actions in order for your entry to count. When leaving your comment, be sure to provide an email address or way for me to contact you in the event that you are the chosen winner of the giveaway.  The winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond once notified via email.  The giveaway ends at 11:00 p.m. EST on November 10th!  Good Luck!!

 

*Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review of the product containing my own personal opinion on the product.  I was in no way influenced by the company or individuals associated with this product.  Also note that Facebook has no affiliation with this product, post or giveaway provided.

 

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Fan Page Special! ~ Crocheted Headband or Hat w/ Flower

Pink and Black striped Flowered Beanie

HI Everyone!  How is everyone’s Saturday going?  I’ve been super busy and productive (in a good way!) and I’m  hoping it continues for the rest of the day/weekend!  To get your weekend going, I’d like to offer a special on 2 of my most popular handmade items! Here’s the scoop:

I’ve received some awesome feedback from some of you on my crocheted hats and headbands.  So, as a way to welcome in the cooler (and in some areas, colder!) weather, I’ve decided to offer a special on these items via my Facebook fan page!  Anyone who places a custom order for crocheted flower beanies and/or crocheted flower headbands via my FB fan page will receive FREE SHIPPING!!  I will also be posting pictures of hats and headbands on my fan page wall, under which you can leave a comment requesting an order. Be sure to leave me a means to contact you so that I may send you an invoice via Paypal, as well as size and color preferences!

Black and Orange Flowered Headband

Sizes and Prices:

Beanies:

  • Newborn- 3mos, 6-12 mos.: $5.00
  • Child (one size): $7.00
  • Adult (one size): $9.00

Headbands:

  • To assure headband will fit properly, I suggest measuring the individual’s head for whom the headband is intended and submitting it with your order request.
  • Newborn- Child: $5.00
  • Adult: $7.00

Don’t want a flower accent?  No problem! Request a beanie or headband without one! A crocheted bow can be substituted for the flower as well! 

Please note: This discount will only be available October 22- 29, 2011. All orders must be paid within 48 hours of receiving Paypal invoice. Orders not paid for within the designated time will be cancelled. Also note that Facebook is in no way affiliated with this special or the contents of this blog post.

I can’t wait to make your hats and headbands! Enoy your weekend!!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Crafty Creations

 

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Friday Featured Product and GIVEAWAY! ~ Postcardly ~

** This Giveaway is now CLOSED.  Congratulations to Elizabeth O.! Winner of our 10 pack of Postcardlys giveaway!! 🙂

Last week I received the finished product for my most recent review, thanks to a little company called Postcardly!  I was so pleased with the end result, I decided to frame it and add it to my collection of family pictures.  You, on the other hand, are probably sitting there asking, “What exactly is she talking about?” Let me explain…

Postcardly can best be described as “a service that lets you use your email to send physical postcards via U.S. Mail.”  That’s it! Great, right?!  I thought so! Especially since I received an offer from Postcardly.com to do a review of their product and website shortly after welcoming home our newest addition to our family!  The idea of being able to send a picture of my choice to friends and relatives via U.S. Mail immediately caught my attention (I was thinking: instant birth anouncement and picture all rolled into one!).  I eagerly agreed to the review and after receiving a free trial of 10 postcards along with the information necessary to make things work, I got right to it — after finding the perfect picture of course! 😉   I decided to send just one, to myself, in order to see how the whole process panned out and, since these were to be birth announcements for our little girl, to see if the finished product was worth it.  I wasn’t disappointed!  Postcardly’s website was pretty easy to navigate, and as I mentioned before, the postcard I received was nice enough that I have it in a picture frame sitting in our living room. The font used for the “message” part of the postcard could have been a little more exciting and perhaps bigger in size, but it was cleanly typed and readible, so that is a plus.

Framed postcard I received from Postcardly

 Now that I shared with you about my Postcardly experience, let me tell you more about the company and how it works. Here is the information I was given, and that can also be found at Postcardly.com:

Postcardly is a new service that lets you send postcards using your email. When you send an email, Postcardly turn your message and attached photo into a real, hold-in-your-hand postcard, sent by U.S. Mail. You can send postcards from your phone, your computer, or anywhere you have email.

“We wanted to find an easier way to get pictures to our relatives that aren’t on email or Facebook,” says Tom Marshall, co-founder of the Seattle start-up. “People love getting the pictures they can hold in their hands, but printing and mailing pictures is a pain. But email is easy, and using Postcardly is just like using your email.”

While other services can turn digital photos into postcards, Postcardly has simplified the process by letting you send a postcard with a quick email—no app, no uploads. Just email. In fact, the only time you ever have to go to the Postcardly web site is to set up your account.

When people sign up, they create Postcardly email addresses that correspond to physical mailing addresses. It’s a one-time set up. After that, when you email grandma at, for example, grandma@postcardly.com, your grandma gets a postcard mailed to her house. You attach a photo to an email the way you normally would—then we print and mail your postcard with your attached photo on the front, and your words on the back.

The company, which has been beta testing since February, has received rave reviews from Postcardly testers. People have sent postcards of their kid’s first ski lift ride in Vail, their new puppy’s stick-chasing adventures on the Washington coast, and a family’s spring break in Finland. The company even got some unexpected feedback from college students, who love the idea of a “retro” paper postcard delivered by mail—but it’s even more fun because the postcard has a personal snapshot.
To learn more about Postcardly or to sign up, go to www.postcardly.com.

Key Points:

  • Create and send a postcard from a single email.
  • Send postcards from your phone, computer, or anywhere you have email.
  • No app, nothing to download.
  • 3-postcard FREE TRIAL available
  • Reasonable rate options to choose from:
    • $19.99 for 20 prepaid postcards
    • 5 postcards a month for $4.99/month, or 15 postcards a month for $9.99/month
    • additional postcards for 99 cents each    
    • price includes postage

And now for the FUN part!  The GIVEAWAY!!!

 Postcardly is allowing me to select one lucky reader of my Heartfelt Home Creations blog to receive a coupon code good for 10 FREE picture postcards to be sent out to the person/people of his or her choice!  All you need to do to enter for this Free offer is leave me a comment on this blog post stating what kind of picture postcard(s) you could send out to your family and friends if you won the free trial, along with a means for me to contact you if you are the winner of the Giveaway.  For example, I’m using my 10 free postcards from Postcardly to send out pictures of our baby girl in the form of a birth announcement postcard.  That’s it! Easy enough, right?  So don’t forget to leave a comment after this post, and be sure to share about this giveaway and about Postcardly.com with your family and friends!  I know I will be sharing about it on my HHC page on FB too!  The giveaway runs until 11:00 p.m. EST on October 31st. The winner will be chosen via random.org, and will be notified on November 1st. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner fails to respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Good Luck!!

You can find Postcardly on Facebook here, and Twitter here.

*Disclaimer:I was given this opportunity to review the product(s) offered by Postcardly.com in exchange for my honest review and opinion, which I have provided in this post.  I assure you that the opinions given in this review are my own and were in no way influenced by the company or contacts made. Also note that Facebook.com and Twitter.com had no affiliation with this review or giveaway.
 
 

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Friday Featured Product! ~ “50 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Husband” ~

Here is my latest “Friday Featured Product” —— on a Monday! Haha!

Have you heard of or met Christian author, entrepreneur and mom MariLee Parrish?  If you haven’t, then you should (even if it’s just through social media).  I’ve had the privilege of getting to know MariLee over the past 2 years and look forward to working with and getting to know her more for many years to come. 

MariLee Parrish

Recently, MariLee has added another book to her list of published works titled 50 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Husband — and I LOVE it!!  It’s not the kind of quirky book compiled of lame date ideas or religious jargon.  Instead, it is as delightfully simple and lovely as its cover.

 The book is broken up into 5 sections that focus on ways to improve Spiritually, Emotionally, Romantically and with Your Surroundings.  Within each section are the tips that follow under that category.  MariLee then goes on to give a little insight about each tip with a coinciding Bible verse, an action point, a scripture segment to remember, and a checklist for improvement. 

At the end of each section, MariLee included an area so you can record your own thoughts and notes of reflection, something I thought was a nice touch and helpful addition.  But that’s not all! MariLee gives a list of additional scriptures to remember ranging from communication and faith to finances and God’s love.  There is also an index in the back so you can easily locate your favorite scripture verses hi-lighted within the readings.

I really enjoyed this book.  I think it would make a great bridal shower gift too!  If you would like to check out more on this book or MariLee Parrish, then visit any of the links I have listed below!

MariLee’s Website

MariLee Parrish on Facebook

“Picking Up My Socks” Blog

THANK YOU MariLee for my signed copy of 50 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Husband!

Disclosure: Please note that I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review that contained my honest opinion of this product.  The opinions shared in this post are my own and were in no way influenced by the author or publishing company associated with this book. 
 
 

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Book Review: A River to Cross

"A River to Cross" by: Yvonne Harris

I grew up watching old-time Westerns, and if there were a list consisting of books that could be turned into good Westerns, then A River to Cross should be on that list. Written by Yvonne Harris, A River to Cross is a casual read that kept me interested from start to finish.

 

Set in the late 1800’s, this story of love and trust takes place in Texas along the Rio Grande.  Elizabeth Evans, daughter of a U.S. Senator and sister to a newspaper editor, finds herself kidnapped by a Mexican general and taken away across the United States – Mexican border.  Fearful for her life, Elizabeth’s prayers are answered when she is rescued by Jake Nelson, a Texas Ranger.  But the story doesn’t end there for the general, Manuel Diego, isn’t about to let her go without a fight.  Not to mention, while Jake is busy keeping Elizabeth safe, he finds himself remembering his past and starts trusting in Elizabeth and in the possibilities of the future — something he had not been able to do nor would have considered doing previously.  And he’s not the only one.  Elizabeth finds herself gaining the strength to move on from her past love and fears of falling in love again with a man of the military.  Read this book to find out how love and trust are regained by both of these heartbroken and guarded Christians.

 

I found this book to be an enjoyable read — the kind of book that I can curl up with in a comfy chair and read while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate.  Classified as historical fiction, A River to Cross, made me feel like I was watching an old-time Western rather than reading a book.  The setting, characters and plot were easy to digest and didn’t contain a lot of unnecessary “fluff” like some books have.  So if you are looking for a quick and enjoyable read, I’d recommend adding this book to your list!

 

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Book Nook

 

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Adding Color

This morning during a bit of quiet time while my little one was napping and her older brother was busy playing with my old Fisher Price Little Peoples sets,  I managed to sneak in a bit of tv time.  I immediately tuned in to one of my favorite tv channels – Create! – and was excited to see that Knit and Crochet Today was on.  During today’s episode (#107) there was a guest who demonstrated a technique I’ve heard about and have seen in patterns but have never taken the time to learn myself — color changing within a pattern of crochet and Intarsia knitting while using bobbins. 

Are you a knitter or crocheter?  Do you shy away from projects that require you to change colors within the pattern or design?  Then, I hope my post will help you tackle that project you’ve been wanting to try but have been avoiding.

After watching the show and becoming inspired once again to attempt to try these techniques on my own, I decided to browse through the world of YouTube to find some how-to videos.  This first video demonstrates how to do some Intarsia knitting:

This second video, although a bit fuzzy and a little fast in demonstrating, was one of the best ones I could find for the color changing in crochet projects:

Since Sundays seem to my “crafting day”, I’m hoping to try out a few basic patterns and designs with these new color changing techniques.  I’m hoping to use them to add more color and design to some scarves, hats and placemats I hope to make in the near future!  I hope these videos are somewhat helpful to you!

Now… if only I can figure out where I packed away my knitting needles.  I knew I shouldn’t have packed them away in our moving boxes so soon…. hmmmm……..

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Crafty Creations

 

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