Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shop Hop Saturday--Christmas Will Be Here Before We Know It

Shop Hop Saturday with abitosunshineChristmas will be here before we know.  I'm mixing up making a few things for gifts, and wrapping gifts, as well as staying busy getting things made to put up for sale.  I hope to continue in this way all through next year too.

Here are my "mountain climbing" goals, with a change to the first one:
1.  Build a new squidoo lens each week as well as update at least 2 others.  Either build, or update a squidoo lens each day.
2.  Post at least 3 things a week to redgage.
3.  Post 2 things a week into my etsy store and continue to move other things to my zibbet store.
4.  Keep up with the reviews and regular postings to my blog.
5.  Sew at least a little bit each day. (this goes with accomplishing goal 3)

1.  My previous goal with squidoo was always to either update or build a new lens each day.  I let that slip, but it's time to get back on track with squidoo.  So far I am keeping up.

2.  Unfortunately, I didn't make it in to redgage this past week at all.

3.  I actually listed 4 things in my etsy store this week (there are 2 sets of the bibs)
4.  I am keeping up with my regular posting here on my blog....again, I am still behind on my reviews, mostly the book reviews.  I have 2 giveaways up currently that you may want to check out.
5.  I only missed one day making it in to my craft room to sew.  I still have to do so today, but it won't be using my machine, but instead ironing and cutting material to get ready for some projects.

There you have it, my report for this past week.  I always look forward to doing these posts each week, and I thank Ruth, of abitosunshine, for hosting the blog hop too.

Purex to Give Away 20,000 Subscriptions to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine!

As a Purex Insider I got the heads up to let my readers know about this great giveaway!

Purex is giving away 20,000 1 year subscriptions to Better Homes and Gardens magazine.....yes, 20,000!!

Get your entry in by December 20, 2011.   Just click over to and fill out the simple form to be entered.  (Open to US residents only)


Friday, December 9, 2011

Stopain Cold--Review and Giveaway

It’s that cheery… and chilly…time of year again.  Are you worried that muscle or joint pain, which can become harsher as the temperature drops lower, may stop you from enjoying winter activities or holiday festivities? You are not alone! An estimated 76.5 million Americans also suffer from incidences of pain, especially in the winter months when the cooling weather aggravates the muscles and joints. 

Don’t let the worry of wintertime bring you down.  It’s time to “Stopain..and Go” do the things you want to do this season.

The active ingredient in Stopain is menthol, recognized by the FDA as an analgesic indicated for the temporary relief for minor pains and stiffness of arthritis, muscle aches, strains and simple backaches. It also contains peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil, recognized by the FDA for their analgesic properties. Extra-strength Stopain formulas are also formulated with glucosamine and MSM, essential nutrients that support joint health and mobility.

Stopain products include the extra strength spray and the extra strength roll-on, both leaders in the topical analgesics category, as well as a new pain relieving gel formula.

***Stopain is also proud to be a Proceeds Sponsor of the Arthritis Foundation. The Stopain labels feature this sponsorship and for every unit of Stopain products sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation with a minimum contribution of $25,000. 

My review:  I received the product above for review.  As soon as it came in the mail and I opened it, my 15 yr. old daughter grabbed it from me.  She literally ripped the box open.   She's been having a lot of knee pain as well as pain in her thumb and wrist.  She sprayed it on her hand as well as on her knee.
She said that right away she could feel the difference and that it was much easier for her to walk.
She has used the Stopain Cold spray every morning, and throughout the day since we received it.

I, myself, get lots of different muscle and joint pains.  If I sit in front of my computer too long, which I often do, my shoulders really start to ache.  If I sit in front of my sewing machine for too long, my middle back starts aching.  If I sit on the floor, it's my lower back that is aching.  Cutting material for my crafting causes my right shoulder to pain.
I have tried many of the over the counter pain relief gels and creams, but nothing works as immediately and as well as the Stopain Cold.  One spray in the area is immediate relief.

 My daughter, and I have both used the product daily since receiving it and have not yet used even half of the 4 oz. bottle.  I'm very impressed with this too.  We will definitely be sticking to the Stopain Cold for relief from now on.

We also both love the spray on form for the hands free part.  I'm sure we've all used a rub and then rubbed our eyes!  This was the first time we've tried a pain reliever in a spray.

To learn more about Stopain Cold, visit  Be sure to join their facebook community at, as well as follow them on twitter at, for great tips for managing pain as well as giveaways.

Disclaimer:  I received a bottle of Stopain Cold 4 oz spray from Robin Leedy Associates for the purpose of this review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

One of my lucky blog readers will win their own bottle of Stopain!  Just enter below using rafflecopter.

Frugal Friday Link Up--3 Uses for Kool-Aid

I've been rolling another idea around in my head....instead of just posting these everyday uses once a week, to make them more regular than that.  Plus, adding is other frugal tips of my own that I have learned and used over the years.  Still debating since I am behind on some other things in my blog....and my life  :)

I've not been doing well with my coupons.  I did get them all cut and in to my binder.  I'm just not finding the deals that I used to.  I do fear it has something to do with the Extreme Couponing show as many others are complaining about.  I'm noticing a definite drop in the value of coupons.  What used to be .50 off is now .25.  What used to be .50 off 1 is now .50 off 2.   This makes it pretty impossible to get anything free or for just pennies.  This couponer is very disappointed.
I just applied to do a review for a couponing ebook.  I do hope to be approved.  Even though I have been using coupons since 1982, instructions and motivation, tips and tricks, are always needed.

With that said, I will move on to the 99 Cent Solutions book.  Today I am sharing 3 uses for Kool-Aid.  (I'm putting an amazon link for the book at the end of my post too.   This is a great book!  Even though I am sharing something from the book each week, I am only up to page 30 of 335.  There are some neat facts and history throughout the book as well.  I'm very pleased that I purchased it.)

Uses for Kool-Aid:
1.  Cleaning concrete.   The same acids that make lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid taste good are a potent cleaning solution before you add the sugar and water.  Mi the contents of the package with 2 tbsp. hot water to make a paste, then rub that paste over rust stains in concrete.  Scrub with a stiff cleaning brush and the stains will disappear.  Rinse well.

2.  Remove dishwasher rust stains.   Hard water makes the inside of your dishwasher get dingy with iron and other mineral build up.  Just pour a package of lemonade flavored Kool-Aid into to soap dispenser and run your dishwasher on the heavy cycle.  It will gleam in the end.  (I must give this one a try!)

3.  Decorate a kid's room.  You know how kids love to decorate their own room. (My daughter has a chalk pastel mural on one of her walls)  Let your child choose the color(s) they prefer.  Stir in 2 packages of Kool-Aid into a quart of white, water-based paint and stir.  The strong dye makes a distinctive paint that's perfect to brighten up a wall in your child's room.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Embroider Everything Workshop--The Beginner's Guide Book Review

Embroider Everything Workshop--The Beginner's Guide to Embroidery, Cross-Stitch, Needlepoint, Beadwork, Applique, and More by Diana Rupp.

ISBN 978-0-7611-5700-7  Workman Publishing, New York

Part 1 includes 4 chapters and is called The Basics.  Chapters include:  Gearing Up, Get Ready, Get Set, Start Stitching, and Getting Designs onto Fabric and Canvas.

Part 2 is the projects.  40 projects are included, and also includes 48 original iron-on transfer patterns.  These are neatly in an envelope attached to the inside front cover as seen in the photo below.

I am very pleased with how this book is put together.  The introduction, prior to Chapter 1, is fantastic!  It includes a lot of interesting history, 10 reasons why embroider and the different types of embroidery.
Chapter 1 tells you what should be in your embroidery kit.  It even includes photos of all the items as well and detailed descriptions.
This is truly a step-by-step book for the beginner.  Every step and all stitches are explained and have illustrations.  There is even a stitch practice card included in the book.

I've not ever considered myself to be an embroiderer (is that a word?)  I have done it before and have a renewed interest in my quilt making.   I'm so glad that the book includes not just embroidery, but also beadwork,  cross-stitch, needlepoint, applique, and even plastic canvas.   I have referred to the book several times on how to do things in the past couple of weeks.

Let's move on to the 40 projects included.  There are projects for wearing.  Here is a fun one--Daily Panties---underwear with the day of the week embroidered on them.
There are projects for kids.  My daughter spotted the Bejeweled Blossoms right away.  She's been wanting me to make her flower hair accessories for awhile now.
There are projects for the home.  One that I want to make is the Color Theory Coasters.  They are plastic canvas and I enjoy working with it.
There are projects for giving.  I see lots of great projects in this section.  What stands out for me right now are the Old-Meet-New Gadget Cozies.

Appendix A is all about finishing your work.   Appendix B is a font library.  Appendix C is a listing of further resources.

I am excited about this book.  If you have a crafter on your gift list, whether a beginner or seasoned, I highly recommend this book.  I highly recommend it for you too.

I have a goal to either make, or buy all homemade gifts and this book holds many projects that will be made for those gifts.

About the author:  Diana Rupp founded and runs Make Workshop in New York City, the hip craft school that teaches everything from how to use a sewing machine to spinning your own yarn.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York.  She is also the author of Sew Everything Workshop.

Disclaimer:  I was sent a copy of Embroider Everything Workshop by Workman Publishing for the purpose of this review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Squidoo Hopping--Let's Get to Hopping!

Good Thursday to all!  I was just thinking this morning that it's getting close to squidoo payday for the month.  I didn't quite make it last month to get paid to paypal.  It's because I've been working to add charities to my lenses to give a tithe to, so that's great.  I do still have a lot of lenses to choose a charity for. 
I'm thinking of making a lens to highlight all the charities.  There are so many to choose from!

I built another This Day in History lens into late last night.  I think this one has the most history in it of any others so far.  It's This Day in History August 15.  I still have 3 more birthdays at least to get done before I start on other days.  I'm also going to build a placeholder lens with links to all the days as I get them done.

I only recall updating just one lens this past week and it's Marsha's Spot on Etsy.  That required removing the modules and replacing them.  Oh how I wish the etsy module could be edited to remove the items once they are sold or once they expire on etsy.  I added my zibbet banner to the lens too.  As my crafts expire unsold on etsy, I am moving them to my zibbet store.  Zibbet is free to list up to 50 items.  That is saving me a lot of money on paying to re-list on etsy, however, I have yet to sell anything on zibbet.

My question for this week----since I can not get the facebook fan page widget to work, is there a module that would allow me to put the widget code in to get it to show up that way?

****That's my report for the week.  I do hope to see several link up and share.  I am changing the "rules" of the hop.  Many of you don't have blogs.  So, for those of you who don't have blogs, feel free to link up your newest lens, a newly updated lens, or just a lens that you love that you've built.  Please limit this to 2 lenses per week.   Thanks!!****

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wip Wednesday--Many Projects Going On!

I have continued to stay busy on my crafts, even around a busy schedule that is taking me away from home even more than usual.

I am working on crocheting washcloths..  I bought the blue specific for making them for Christmas gifts.  I have listed a set of three of them in my etsy store.  I've been working on crocheting the rest of the lighter colored spool of cotton yarn.  Almost ready for another set of those in my store, which will be the last of that color for now.

I have these 4 bibs for boys done except putting on the snap.  They will be listed in my etsy store in sets of 2.
 I've worked here and there on these quilt squares.  I am up to 31 done now....actually I sewed a few more after I took this photo.  I'm not sure how many I have left yet to make.  I think I'm going to go ahead and iron and cut down enough for a couple rows so I can see what I need yet.
I was going to make 2 quilt tops with these flowered strips, both the same style, but now I think I am going to do a string quilt with 6 inch squares instead for the second top.
Usually this post is about the first thing I do on Wednesday morning.  I took the photos this morning but it's after noon.  In the meantime, as I said, I sewed a few more of the flower blocks.  I am pretty close to finishing another set of 2 of the hotpads that I learned how to make last week.  I didn't put a photo this week since I hadn't made any progress.  I found more material and have it cut for more hotpads, but need to look in my stash for at least 3 more colors that I can cut for them.  I'm having fun attempting to perfect these, but maybe figuring out that I never will.

I also got a start on another toothbrush rug.  Still working now at getting the strips organized.  I doubt I will actually start working on it until after Christmas....but I will be ready at least.
I still have squares on my desk to put together for a quilt top for church.  We will not be meeting this month.  I also have material ready to make 2 simple table runner.
Truth me known, I have enough supplies in this house right now to keep me busy for 3 or 4 years at least!  The only thing I might have to buy is thread to sew with.

I better run!  I am linking up with the following blogs:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homeschool Journal--Week 18 Busy Busy!

Hip Homeschool Hop Button Last week was the busiest week that I've had, I think ever!  I was away from home a lot more than I was home.
And, when I was at home, I was in an online party Monday and Friday from 1-10 pm.   I attended and joined the local quilt guild, so I was there all of Monday morning.  I did a lot of sewing this past week.

So, what happened with schoolwork?  Sadly, it goes by the way side.
We watched numerous educational videos  such as one in the Financial Fitness for Young Adults series, videos from the Green Matter series, and History channel videos.
We did do text work, but just one day.

It's getting closer to Christmas every day.  We've been doing a lot of wrapping gifts.  Jasmine got in some good writing time by making out the list of who we are giving to, along with what we have for them so far as we wrapped it.
She is always writing something, or drawing.  She's always looking something up online that she is interested in.

In other words, she is learning every day whether we crack out the textbooks or not.  I believe it was just this past week that I read in someone else's blog to not get stressed over what you don't get done.   There were a lot of good words of advice in that post. 

Here is something else that happened last week to keep us busy.  This stray dog showed up at the door...he made himself right at home.  We've had no luck finding his owner.  We think he's been abused.  Jasmine so wants to keep him, but he is just so big!  He opens the gate and lets himself out of the back yard.  Another no no as we can't have him running the neighborhood.  Say some prayers for us that we figure out just what to do with him.  He is is sitting pretty with Jasmine:

 Oh!  and something else.  We got to give Algebrator a try this past week.   Jasmine's been looking forward to it even though math is her least favorite subject.   I hope you will click over and check it out as I am offering the software download in giveaway as well.

Algebrator Software Review and Giveaway

Monday, December 5, 2011

Private Selections Appetizer, Pizza, and Dessert--Good Stuff!

As a bzz agent through, I was thrilled to get the Private Selections campaign.  I've been seeing this brand in my local Dillon's (Kroger) store and had been wanting to try them.

My kit included 3 free coupons--one for an appetizer, one for a pizza, and one for a dessert.
Pictured below are the boxes of the choices we made for our meal.   Also included were 5-$2 coupons to use and/or pass out.
There was a wide variety of appetizers to choose from.  We aren't eggplant or mushroom eaters in this house, and most all of them had one or the other, or both in them.  I chose the Southwestern Style Chicken Trumpets (on sale for $7.29) because they had neither.
The pizza's on are the gourmet side.  My daughter and I enjoy the different types of pizza--my husband doesn't.  I chose the Pepperoni and Roasted Garlic (on sale for $5.49).  The dessert was the hardest to choose---there were so many of them and each and every one of them looked scrumptious.   I chose the Mini Eclairs (on sale for $3.99).

Here is a photo of our table just before we sat down to eat:

 What did we think?  We loved all of it!  The pizza is only intended to serve 2, but I cut it in to 6 pieces giving us each 2.  The Trumpets were meant to serve 3, with 9 in the box, so we each got 3.  The eclairs have 4 servings in the box.  My husband can't have sugar and was surprised to see the sugar content per serving of 5 pieces to only have 10g sugar.  He ate a couple and really enjoyed them.  My daughter also only ate a couple as well.  That left the rest of the box for me!

Would I buy these Private Selections products?  Yes, I would buy more, especially if they are on sale and even better if I also have coupons.  I wouldn't be able to buy them on a regular basis though based on the price.

Good-to-know facts:
  • Private Selection® Frozen Appetizers ($3 - $7) Individually handcrafted and filled with unique combinations of high-quality, savory ingredients. Hand-crafted offerings include Mediterranean Inspired Hors D'Oeuvres collection, Southwestern Style Chicken Trumpets, Mushroom Walnut Profiteroles, Spanakopita.
  • Private Selection™ Frozen Pizza (Around $5) is set with oval-shaped crust that is baked in an Italian marble oven to create a thin and flaky base for authentic, high-quality ingredients. Mouth-watering offerings include BBQ Chicken, Margherita, Roasted Vegetable and Pepperoni
  • Private Selection® Frozen Desserts ($3 - $5) have rich, delicious flavors, making them a divine indulgence. Decadent treats include Blueberry Peach Panna Cotta, Northern Spy Apple Crisp, Pineapple Upside Down Cake and a wide selection of Ice Creams (like Strawberry Harvest, Vanilla Bean and SeaSalt Caramel)
Private Selection® offerings vary amongst the Kroger family of stores. Check out your store's aisles to see which foods and meals are available.
12/10 In-store Sampling Event!
On December 12th Kroger will be hosting an in-store sampling of Private Selection™ Pizza and Ice Cream in select locations. It's already marked down in our calendars!

Also, from now until December 31 when you buy 3 Private Selections appetizers, pizza, or desserts you receive a catalina print out to save $3 off your next shopping trip.

The Kroger Family of Stores spans many states and operate under nearly two dozen banners, all of which share the same belief in building strong local ties and brand loyalty with their customers. They are proud to fly one of these banners in your neighborhood.

Visit to learn more about the Private Selection® line of tastefully prepared products.

Mailbox Monday 12/5/11

Not a bad week again  :)
Magazines--3 copies of Ok! so mail must have gotten behind on those, Businessweek, Sports Illustrated---People and Time that I missed getting in the picture.
Several other pieces of hausernet mail.
Free coupon for John Frieda Precision Foam Color
Downy Unstoppable sample
Book--The Encounter from booksneeze for review.
Kind bar with coupon

In my email: $9.41 paypal from blogservices, $25.03 from hits4pay, .09 paypal from youdata and $20 paypal from gather.   It's the paypal payments that made my week fantastic!

Frugal Friend

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Nametag Principle by Scott Ginsberg--Book Review

The Nametag Principle  366 Daily  Practices to Make Your Brand More Engaging, More Joinable, More Human and More Approachable by Scott Ginsberg.

ISBN 978-0-9831405-5-9

Sometimes I am amazed at how things come around just when I need them.  Well, not sometimes, always.
I received The Nametag Principle in the mail and I was just in awe.  For one things, just look at what my front cover looks like:

Woo Hoo!  I rock!

I have looked through several pages of the book and I am really impressed.  I can't wait to start in January 1 and work each day through the book.

Scott says "If they can't come up to you, how will they ever get behind you?"  He challenges you to ask yourself this one question each day for the next year.

Each month starts with a statement.  For example, January says Authenticity is not a strategy.
Each day starts with a statement.  For example, January 1--Anchor yourself in the concrete foundation of your humanity.
Each daily statement is followed by an explanation and instructions.  January 1 reads: If your humanity doesn't have a palpable presence in your labors, the fruit of your labors will taste like chalk.  Make the conscious choice to blend it into every message you send.  Create an insant filter to execute against before leaving voicemails, sending emails, publishing blogs and updating digital platforms.
You might ask questions like, "Would a human being say this?" or "On a scale of one to ten, how much humanity does this message contain?"
Try it for a week.  See what happens.
The point is not to spend extra time debating your message, rather, to create a point of pause that heightens your awareness of humaity in your message.
What structure would you have to put in place today to deliver a human voice?

As you can see, Day 1 starts you on the right track.

Other daily statements include:
January 5:  Appeal to the heard mentality
February 16:  Choose being real over being right.
March 12:  Decide how you want to leave people.
April 17:  Expect less from technology and more from each other.
May 25:  I told you so leads to I resent you.
June 10:  Install an emotional disturbance.
July 22:  Maintain a posture of grace.
August 6:  Make your mission more than a statement.
September 24:  Punch a few stamps on the sandwich card.
October 15:  Reprogram people's experience banks.
November 24:  Stop asking people to edit themselves.
December 24:  Values aren't taught, they're caught.

Scott Ginsberg is the author of thirteen books, a professional speaker, award-winning blogger, producer of and one smoking hot piece of brain candy.  He's made an entire carer out of wearing a nametag every day.  He blames this on his parents. (Taken from the back of the book)

Find out more about Scott by visiting his official website.

I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars.

Disclaimer:  I was sent The Nametag Principle for the purpose of this review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...