Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Virtual Angel Tree

When I was growing up, my parents always took me to the Salvation Army Angel Tree at the mall and we would pick out a few Angels off the tree and go shopping for them.  There are many worthy charities that do things like this but this one appeared at our mall every year and made it easy to give back.

I have tried to continue to do something like this every year but sometimes I feel stretched so thin trying to get everything done.  I was excited to do hear that JCPenney is teaming up with the Salvation Army this year for their Angel Tree program.  You can adopt an Angel online by searching for your zip code and then selecting the type of recipient you would like to have.  I chose a senior citizen because I feel they get especially overlooked at this time of year when so many charities focus on children. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a senior alone at this time of year.  I chose a woman in my area who is the same age as my mother.  I ordered an item off her list at JCPenney online and had it shipped directly to the Salvation Army.  They are even offering FREE SHIPPING codes through December 9. 

Now, I can cross this important part of Christmas off my list.  I hope it gives a little comfort to my Angel.

Go here to find your own Angel.

Monday, November 28, 2011


My sweet friend Michelle of Hippie Dog fame spotted me in the December issue of ALL YOU magazine:

(photo borrowed from Hippie Dog)

I even read that particular issue and missed it! 

I LOVE looking at holiday lights.  Absolutely love it.  If I am lucky, I can con my husband into driving so I can drink hot chocolate and be totally focused on the lights. We like to decide as a family on our favorite holiday house and leave them a little treat on their doorstep. All the decorations give me such joy and I think it's nice to let people know they brightened your holiday.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cyber Monday at Pick Your Plum!!!

You all know what great deals Pick Your Plum has for crafty people.  They usually go so quickly that I often don't get to them before they sell out.

In honor of Cyber Monday, Pick Your Plum will be offering NINE different products! The products will be posted at 6:00am (MST).  I'm not sure I will be up early enough but maybe you can find some good deals.

Go here to shop and good luck!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks

I made the little graphic above on Picnik in honor of Thanksgiving.  Plus, it is a good everyday reminder as well.

My husband has been struggling with his "thank yous" for awhile now.  With everything that has happened in the past year and a half, it is so easy to focus on the bad instead of the good. I will be praying for a peaceful, quiet Thanksgiving this year. It will just be four of us. The boisterous Thanksgivings of my childhood are pretty much over. My son will never have cousins. There will be no more children in our little family unless I produce them. My son only has one grandparent and no aunts and uncles on my side.  But we still have our family and we are blessed.

I have Wednesday through Sunday off from work. I'm going to set aside unpacking boxes and have some fun with my child.  My husband is leaving Friday to go and visit some friends and try to find a little happiness so perhaps we will surprise him with a house decorated for Christmas when he gets back.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It's a good life and we have a lot to say "thank you" for.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Update on Crowdtap **updated with Pinecone info**

Some of you may remember that I mentioned Crowdtap five months ago. It is a new opinion panel site that I decided to join. (because I love taking surveys!) 

I thought I would report back on my experience with them so far.

It is really fun to take surveys with Crowdtap. The more interaction you have with them, the better the benefits.  You get points and "money" by answering surveys and joining panels.  When you reach $10 in "money," you can cash it in for a gift code to Amazon.  Part of the money is also donated to the charity of your choice which I love. I have heard that some Tappers have gotten free products but I haven't gotten any so far. I am currently at the Gold level and it has taken me five months to get there.  It seems like most of the good opportunities go to people at the Gold and Platinum levels. I tried to participate in every activity and survey opportunity that was offered as long as it was something that was appropriate. In other words, I would never lie just to get into a survey or opportunity.

It can take a long time to move up through the ranks.  It took several months to accumulate enough "money" to get my Amazon gift code but it helped me to get a birthday present for almost free which was great!  You really have to be patient and stick with it in order to reap any real benefits.

If you are interested in joining, go here.  If nothing else, it can be really fun to answer surveys. And you never know what kind of product opportunities might come up!!!

I just got an e-mail that Pinecone Research is recruiting.  I have been doing surveys with them for years and they don't often allow new people to sign up.  For each product survey you take, you get $3 free and clear deposited into your Paypal account.  (this does not include general information surveys they sometimes send)  They also enter you in contests to win cash as well but I have never won one.  However, it is really nice to get cash for answering surveys and I like seeing it pile up in my Paypal account. I use it to fuel my Etsy addiction!!!

For a limited time, you can sign up for Pinecone here.  (I do not get any compensation for getting you to sign up for Pinecone. I just think it's the best deal out there for people who like answering surveys)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Mouse

I always feel blessed to have such creative people in my life and when I find one of their wonderful creations, I just have to share it with you.

This little guy arrived at my house this week:

(photo borrowed from and owned by Hippie Dog Primitives)

This adorable Hippie Dog creation comes with a pencil and a little rolled up note for Santa.  And he smells so delicious!!!    I can't wait to introduce him to Noodle but he'll have to wait a little longer.  You can find your own here but you may have to wait until after Thanksgiving to get it.  I have so many of Michelle's primitives and I love each and every one. Plus, she is such a sweetheart and has been a blogger friend for years.

I am going to hit the storage unit this weekend and try to find Thanksgiving decorations. Better late than never!! I also need to locate our Elf on a Shelf so he will be ready to appear on December 1.  Our elf is named Crumpet and I have already let Noodle know that he is on his way!

My husband is being a real grump about decorating for Christmas so it looks like I will be doing it on my own.  I am looking forward to sprucing up the fence at our new home. I already envision it covered in swags of lighted garland. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mothers and Daughters

I love my mother so much. I am the only child of an only child. My father was killed in 1999 so I am pretty much the only family my mother has.  We are very close.  Close relationships can be complex.  We have been struggling in our relationship for several years now.  Sometimes changing roles can be difficult and we have to figure out new ways to relate to one another. It hasn't been easy.

With our new scaled-down Christmas idea, I was trying to think of something small I could get my mother.  There are lots of things I know she would like but I hesitate to add any more "stuff" to our lives. I want to give her something meaningful.

I have so enjoyed the classes I have taken with Brave Girls Club and I was thrilled to hear they were offering a Mother/Daughter online class.  The class starts today and I can already tell that wonderful things are going to come out of it. I paid for the class and, to make things easier, gathered a basket of materials for my mother.  I left them at her house as a surprise. I am also going to print all the PDF files for her so all she will have to do is watch the videos and do the art projects.  At the end of the class, we will have some concrete keepsake art items to present to one another.  This will be our Christmas gift to each other.

Although the class was originally created for mothers with younger daughters, BGC assures us that it is appropriate for mothers and daughters of any age. I'm hoping that making this journey together will provide some much-needed healing and reminders about how much we love one another. I hope Mom enjoys it!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

What I Have Been Up To

I had a glorious three-day weekend with my family. It poured down rain on Friday so we missed the wonderful Veterans' Day Parade that our little town hosts but we still had a nice day.  Every day I have off from work is a blessing. It is precious time that I get to spend with my family.  But it makes it that much harder to head back to work.

It was sunny on Saturday and Sunday so we worked in the yard and spent some time unpacking more boxes. I can actually walk into the room that will eventually be my workroom.  I gathered the materials I need to start Noodle's "Maggie's Farm" gift although I haven't actually started it yet.

Money is so tight right now and we have decided to do a very scaled down Christmas.  I'm not even sure if we have room for Christmas tree in our new home but we'll figure something out. The adults don't really need any gifts so we are skipping that.  Noodlebug will just get three gifts from us (Santa) and I'm sure that will be fine. I want to focus on more family adventures and time together this holiday season. That will be the best gift. No running around stressing about Black Friday deals or finding gifts on sale. Just celebrating the gift of each other.

Speaking of money, I am going to try something new. I am investigating how Business2Blogger works.  Other bloggers that I trust have tried it out and it seems to be an interesting way to do some paid blogging. I'm pretty picky about paid posts and reviews so we'll have to see what they are offering. Still, it could generate a little income. My friend Monique and I are also considering setting up an online store.  She's actually a much better crafter than I am so it would probably just be me helping out. Still, it could be fun. I'll keep you posted!

Hope you are having a great day!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stocking Stuffer?

Look what Pick Your Plum has today!!! Personalized address stamps for only $8.75! I'm going to order one as a gift for Noodle's preschool teacher.

Get your own stamp here. But hurry! These go fast!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Creatively Made with Jeanne Oliver

As some of you may know, I have been taking the Brave Girls Club Soul Restoration classes and it has been a wonderful experience.  I enjoyed it so much that I have been looking for new online classes to take.

I am already a fan of Jeanne Oliver's art and clothing so I was so excited when she announced that she is launching a new e-course in January called Creatively Made.

Here is her description of the course:

It sounds like it will be a great way to start the new year and I am so excited about it.  Would you consider joining me? I think it will be so fun!!!

You can view a video about the course here and get details about how to sign up.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scenes from Halloween 2011

Quick and easy pumpkin:  (Did you know that old-fashioned pointy can openers make excellent pumpkin carving tools?)

(We named him "Joe Blow")

(Noodle with his little girlfriend---photo by Paul McGavin)

I am adding this photo so you can see all the fake pumpkins I carved.  Got them at Michael's at 50% off plus a one day only 25% coupon.  They are REALLY hard to carve!!!  You can see my much loved family sign by Heidi in the background.

(trick or treating our friend Monique)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Action Pack 7----Sticks and Stones

The new Action Pack is here! Wahoo!!!

As most of you know, I only do a minimal amount of advertising on my blog. I am an affiliate for three different vendors and that is it. I am highly selective about what a choose because I want you to know that I really believe in these products. Whipup's Action Packs are one of them. Kathleen Ricketson creates these wonderful e-zines for kids that gets them outdoors and exploring the world around them. Each issue has a different theme and the new one is "Sticks and Stones."

Most of the activities are geared for children ages 7-12 but there are always projects that can be adapted for younger children.  Look at these colorful painted rocks:

And how about this adorable log cabin:

This printable downloadable magazine is available for only $5 and has no advertising.  Only fun things to do!!!

Get your copy here

I'm heading over right now to get mine.