Thursday, August 30, 2012

$2 off Air Wick National Park Line

I am on my way to the grocery store in just a bit, when I saw this interesting offer in my inbox.   Air Wick  has  partnered up with the National Park Foundation, and their new fall line is inspired by by these wonderful parks.    A percentage of each purchase is donated to the National Park Foundation to help support and aid nearly 400 national parks around the country.  

If you join the Fragrant Homes Club today, you will be able to print a $2 off 2 of their new National Park Fall Collection.  Some of the new scents are Sweet Vanilla and Pumpkins, Apple Harvest, and Warm Spice and Twilight.   Just print the coupon and take to your local store.

~UPDATE  if you have problems and receive an error message it is because there is a high demand on their site today.  If you receive an error message and then receive a sorry you you have already registered when you haven't, try again with your Facebook acct. This happened to me and I got through when I tried it using Facebook.  

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In the Home Stretch

You may have been wondering if we are still doing our Summer Fun Challenge.   We are, and we are also  in the last few days before school starts.  There were a few days in the past week where we had to take care of other things such as back to school registrations. The  kids didn't think  they were that  much fun, so I didn't write about them.   As of today, all 3 are done, which means school really is about to start ready or not.

Here are some of the fun things we have done this week, even with all the "school stuff."

We went to a doggy birthday party, and Kara had not 1, but 2 sleepovers in a row.

I made the girls another water blob, and they spent several hours enjoying a beautiful day.

They also spent time dressing up the poor kitties.  I guess I am grateful they made clothes for the cats instead of what they used to do .. have a kitty beauty salon and make a giant mess in my bathroom.  (they have been banned from that activity!)

This morning we went to Kara's registration day, and she was very happy to find out one of besties is going to be in her class for the 2nd year in a row. She is actually a teeny bit excited about going back to school now.

This afternoon we took advantage of free popcorn Tuesday, and saw the movie ParaNorman. My oldest daughter was there too, she just refused to be in the picture.   Let's just say that it was interesting.  Seriously,  I can't decide what I thought about it.  There were a few parts that were kind of intense so this is definitely not the movie for small kids.

We now only have a few days of our summer fun challenge left.  I am not sure what we are going to do yet, but hopefully they will remember how much fun they had in the month of August.

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Cooking with Kyle-Cheese Fries

Last night Kyle wanted to make us a special treat... homemade cheese fries. We recently bought a bag of potatoes on sale and he picked out a block of cheese. 

He carefully selected what seasonings he wanted to add. He chose salt, pepper, garlic salt, Italian herb, and just a dash of Paprika. 

I had to take this picture.  It is just such a rare site to see him standing by the sink. Gasp!  He chose 5 potatoes, and then washed each one.

He cut one potato with our Pampered Chef slicer, and announced that cutting potatoes was too hard.  I offered to help him cut the rest of them. 

He sprinkled the seasoning on the freshly cut fries. 

This is where we made a slight mistake, but it turned out okay in the end..  He applied the shredded cheese a bit too early.  We should have cooked the potatoes a bit before had added the cheese. He cooked the fries about 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven.  I checked on them every 10 minutes or so.  

He added a lot of cheese. Yum! 

I realized about 15 minutes  in that they cheese had cooked a bit too long.  We decided to cook the fries for awhile longer, and then added more cheese.  

What they looked like coming out of the oven. 

This is all  that was leftover.  They were really good!  It was then when I realized mistake #2. I should have told him to spray the pan BEFORE adding the the fries.  Oh well, lesson learned.  

As an experiment I tried something else while Kyle was making his cheese fries. .  I had a package of Cheddar Jack & Bacon Fresh Take that needed to be used.  I didn't really feel like making a big meal, and wondered what it would taste like on some zucchini, I recently bought.  (mine didn't grow this year)   We were all pleasantly surprised with the taste.  It  is kind of hard to explain, but worth using on vegetables instead of meat again.  

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Crafting with Kara- Wishing Stars

My girls recently found a new thing to pass the time. My oldest read somewhere that if you make 100 origami stars with a wish inside, one of the wishes will come true.  Since then I have been finding paper and stars all over the house.   Luckily for them, I have a huge stash of scrapbook paper to choose from.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School Glasses

It is back to school time, which to me always  reminds me of getting  new eyeglasses.  A lot of the time, you  find you out need glasses,  because you can no longer see the board at school.  This happened to me in college, and to my son in 6th grade.  So far, so good with my girls, but I would not be surprised if they eventually need some to,  since both their dad and myself  need to wear corrective lenses of some kind.

I recently heard of a website called   This is actually a great time to find out about this site, because just 3 weeks ago I found out my eyeglasses prescription has changed yet again.  Every year for the last few years my prescription  has changed.  I am now wearing bifocal contacts.  Eek!  I am in the market for finding affordable glasses to wear when I do not  have my contacts in.  The ones I am wearing still have an old prescription, so I really am not seeing everything I should.


While buying eyeglasses online can be tricky  for a hard to fit person like me, they have this great new feature called the Virtual Mirror.  You upload a picture of yourself and when you use the try on feature, you  can see what you would look like in their large selection of frames.  It is best to use a photo where your head and eyes are even and looking straight on.   It had no idea that I tilt my head in so many of my  pictures.   I finally found a decent  one that I could use where my head  was mostly straight.  Here is what I look like using Virtual Mirror.  I tend to have a smaller head and face, and can actually wear children's size glasses.  While  only offer men's and women's glasses, their selection is so large you could probably find something to fit your older child.
You can try out the feature yourself just by clicking on the Try-It Mirror in this post.

Here are two styles that I am considering for myself.  Both  are smaller size frames which fit my face, and both are under $50

Another thing that I really like about the website is they have many discounts, coupons and sales.  Check out the sales and coupon page to find many coupon codes to use when you order.   has also  generously offered a special discount for my readers.   You will get a 15% discount off your entire order and free shipping off orders over $50  with the code FS15.  You can also get 10% off your prescription glasses with the code Blog10.

So if you are in the market for new glasses, why not give  a try.

This is a sponsored post, but the opinions on this page are 100% mine.

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The Water Blob.. Redo!

Today it was another day in the high 80s, so we decided to make another water blob.  This time I used heavy duty plastic  that I found at my local Meijer for $4.99. It has already lasted a lot longer than the dollar store version,which you can see HERE.

It laid flat much better and was easier to tape. This time I  put it together in about 20 minutes.

Because it was stronger, we also filled it with more water this time.

The girls also got out the water bombs and pool noodle sprinker.  The duct tape came off the end, so they used it as a giant water gun.

While we were outside, the neighborhood cranes stopped by for a visit.  They were only about  20 feet away.  We see them frequently in our yard, but not usually while we were playing  in the yard.  They are normally skittish, and don't like to get too close to people.

Uh oh, I hear the hose again. I have told them 3 times to turn it off because they were wasting water. I don't think they realize that I can hear when they turn it on in the house.  LOL!  If you still have not made a water blob this summer, you really should before summer is just a fun memory.  

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Its A Doggy Birthday

It really is a doggy birthday.  Meet the birthday boy, a Chihuahua named Jo Jo.  He belongs to good friends of ours.  He had his birthday this week, and his human mom thought it would be fun for us to have an impromptu celebration.

Kara was especially excited about the thought of a dog birthday party. She had me take her to the store so she could buy him a gift.  She also wanted to make something to take to the party.  It was her idea to make dog bone shaped cookies.  I have about 100 cookies cutters, but one of the ones I DON'T have is a dog bone shape.   I did have  toll house pre-cut cookies in the fridge. It was her idea to push two of them together and push in the middle to make a bone.

When they came out of the oven, they looked a bit "blob like." Since they were still very soft and pliable, she just reshaped them.

They turned out pretty good, and this entire plate of cookies disappeared very quickly.

I had planned on making cupcakes to take with us.  Kara was the one who thought I should make them look like Jo Jo.  We kind of improvised the recipe from  the Hello Cupcake book. We did not have everything in the book, so we kind of winged it with what we had on hand.  I started with a basic chocolate cupcake, and frosted it with dark chocolate frosting.   I cut a regular size marshmellow in half to make the snout.

I frosted the snout (which was kind of hard because it did not want to stay put) and then added candy eyes and nose.  The book calls for black jelly beans.  We cant stand black jelly beans, so we of course did not have them at home. I did have M & Ms and Reeses Pieces which worked just as well.
For the ears I cut a Nilla wafer in half and frosted it. After a couple of mouth fails, the decided it looked better without  a mouth

I had red gel and mini dog bones on hand, but  didnt like how it looked.  I used a thin mint for the ears of this cupcake but they were a bit too big. ( we  also did not have very many to do all the cupcakes)

Kara and I made a giant mess on the kitchen table while making them

but soon we had a cupcake tray full of cupcakes to take along.

They were not perfect but the kids LOVED them, and so did Jo Jo. (no, he was not allowed to eat one since it was pure chocolate)   Happy Birthday little guy!!

I will be linking a doggy birthday on these linky parties HERE!
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Dare to Share #22

We have had another busy week here.  We are still doing the Summer Fun Challenge, though this week we had to take a few days off for high school registration, dance open house and errands.

Some of the things we did early in the week were go to a local festival, watch the sweetest dog, and go to Frankenmuth for a day of Baravian fun.

Kara also got to spend a lot of time with her friends this week.   Tonight we went to pool party and made  smores over a bonfire in the back yard.  This afternoon I got to go to go meet a friend for lunch.  We have a few more fun  things planned for this weekend.

Do you have anything to share this week?  

Your are welcome to share pretty much anything, and no limit to the number of the posts.  '

I would love for you to post my button somewhere on my blog, so more people know about the party.

Link up and have FUN
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A Crafter's Dream Giveaway

  • Welcome to A Crafter's Dream Group Giveaway, hosted by My Merry Messy Life, Earning My Cape, and Little Becky Homecky. There are 20 bloggers who are offering their own giveaway worth $25 or more, all related to crafts and homemade items. Once you have entered the giveaway on my page, use the links at the bottom of the page to enter as many giveaways as you want.

    Since I have a blog about planning parties, I put together a party themed prize pack. The prize includes 2 Wilton Sugar Sheet cutters, adorable cup wraps, 2 packages of cupcake napkins, a pack of 6 party favor boxes, a pack of flower thank you cards, Happy Birthday tissue paper, and 3 sweet treat ornaments from Bronners, the worlds largest Christmas store.

    To enter the giveaway, sing up through Rafflecopter. There are ways you can earn several entries.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Check out the other bloggers that are part of A Crafters Dream here.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fall Decorating on a Budget

Its that time of year again.  The kids are going back to school, the nights are becoming cooler, and fall colors are creeping into our favorite stores.  In just a few short weeks, fall will be here.  While summer will always be my favorite season,  I have to admit I love to decorate for fall.  When there is not a lot of money in the decorating budget, there are still ways to be creative with your decor.  One of  my favorite places for fall crafting supplies is the dollar store.  I found these items just this week. 

Another great place to find decorating items is the thrift store.  There is a huge selection at very afforable prices.   We went yesterday and found several items for our fall decor for just a few dollars. 

Aren't these planters cute?!  They were both only .99 each  at the thrift store.  I loved the shape of the white planter, and the gold color of the smaller planter.  If you find a container  that is an interesting shape, but the wrong color, that can easily be changed with a can of spray paint.   I am going to use these to display pumpkins on my porch.  For this picture  I am  using craft pumpkins from craft stash, since real pumpkins are not quite ready.

An easy way to incorporate color into your decor is by using candy.  I loved the shape of this vase. I also found it at the thrift store for only .99.  I added two small bags of candy corn and a dollar store candle on top. 

I made this using a glass vase and candlestick from the dollar store.  It looks like something you would find in a catalog, but for only a fraction of the price.  It is easy to change the inside of the vase from season to season.  You can use eggs for spring, shells for summer, candy or gourds for fall and ornaments for winter.

A great way to display your fall decor is by making a cake stand/pedestal.  I found the very nice candlestick for only $1.99 and the gold charger plate for only .50 at the thrift store.  I love the color combination as is,  but again it would be very easy to change with a little bit of paint. 

You can use the pedestal in many ways.  In the first picture I added some dollar store leaves and a craft pumpkin.  In the second picture, I used a glitter pumpking from the dollar store and a strand of fall leaves. Both ways would make a great centerpiece, can easily be changed depending on the look you want.   

I have to admit, putting all of these looks together has made this die hard summer loving girl, just a little bit excited about fall!

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