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Friday, October 31, 2014

$1650 Christmas Cash Giveaway!!!



Thanks to some amazing bloggers we were able to come collectively together with a
 CASH PRIZE of $1650.  
Yes, you read it correctly, $1650!   
What could you do with a little extra cash 
this holiday season? 
 Enter our giveaway and good luck. 

Giveaway to run November 1st - November 22nd  with the winner receiving their cash on Black Friday so they can start shopping for the Christmas Holiday.

Meet your Host and CoHosts



 Sew Crafty Angel      Cuddlebug Cuties      God's Growing Garden                      
         Mice In The Kitchen        The Interior Frugalista           
Natalie Loves Beauty       VMG206          The Weary Chef                        
Crsytelle Boutique           100lb Countdown            Saving 4 Six
bumblebreeblog             Magenta & Lime                  Everyday Hayley


Many THANKS to our Sponsors too!  
Please stop by and tell them hello.
        

Please read the rules of sweepstakes and contests held at Sew Crafty Angel.
Giveaway is open worldwide to participants with a verified PayPal account.
All entries will be verified. In the event an entry can not be verified participant chooses to forfeit that entry and another winner will be chosen.
Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email.
Giveaway will run from October 31st 11:59 PM CST to November 22nd, 12 AM CST
Any taxes or fees associated with the winnings of this contest are the sole responsibility of the winner according to their county, state and/or country laws.
Prize money to be distributed by Angel Allen from Sew Crafty Angel.
CASH prize is in US Dollars and will not be converted to any foreign currency.
Void where prohibited by law.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Building the Columbia River Highway {Book Giveaway & Review}

Welcome to the Homemaking Party! Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far!

I love to read about interesting things in history, and it's even more fun to read about places I'm familiar with. What's most fun of all, though, is when I read something written by someone I know! It's easy to put a real voice to the narrative---just like my friend is reading to me from miles away! Today I'm sharing a great book with you, Building the Columbia River Highway: They Said It Couldn't Be Done by Peg Willis. I'm even giving away a FREE COPY in a worldwide giveaway, so make sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win. If you just can't wait to get your hands on the book, you can purchase one in my Etsy shop.

Book Description: An Artist's Dream, an Engineer's Nightmare. When nine-hundred-foot ice age floods carved the Columbia River Gorge through the Cascade Mountains to the sea, little space was left for man to form a highway of his own. It took an artist-poet-engineer extraordinaire to conquer this reluctant piece of real estate and produce the nation's first scenic highway. Meet Sam Hill, the mover and shaker, and Samuel Lancaster, the polio survivor, who turned modern engineering on its ear to create a "poem in stone." Today, Oregon's historic Columbia River Highway is hidden among the trees, where it meanders past spectacular waterfalls and dramatic views. Ride along with Peg Willis as she explores the beginnings of this miracle highway and the men who created it.

My Thoughts: Building the Columbia River Highway tells the story of one of my favorite places on Earth---the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge. Unless you've actually been there, it's hard to imagine how amazing it really is, but Peg does a great job in getting you close. Up until this past year, I'd lived my entire life within 2-20 minutes of the Columbia River and spent months' worth of hours fishing, boating, swimming, and driving in this beautiful area. Even so, there was great info in Peg's book that I wasn't aware of.


I love how Peg discusses obvious geological events, like the ice age and floods, while staying true to her Creationist point of view and giving glory to God all the way. Thanks for helping us Christians to look intelligent! Building the Columbia River Highway is an excellent resource for homeschoolers, history buffs, and anyone interested in the further settling of the West.

Now it's time to win your own copy! This one's open to readers worldwide! a Rafflecopter giveaway Linking with:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our October Healthy Habits with LISTERINE #sponsored #MC

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

A few weeks ago, we received a big selection of LISTERINE floss, rinses, and breath strips to try out and we've really been enjoying the results. Oral care and hygeine are really important to my husband and I---especially when it comes to our kids. With a big family like ours, it's important to establish good routines for the kids when caring for their teeth and gums, as well as our own. With a few great plaque and cavity fighting products, along with regular dental checkups, we can have a healthy oral care routine and feel good about the outcome.

The Avengers themed anticavity flouride rinse is great for kids as it helps prevent cavities and removes particles that they might miss when brushing. Even though I can see they've really been trying to be more thorough in their brushing, it's nice to know they're getting in this extra backup afterward.
As I said before, most of the kids really like to floss and the soft floss in the Gentle Gum Care line is just right for sensitive gums. A few of the kids have established a good habit of nightly flossing and have the winning smiles to prove it!

Jamie has been using this Healthy White mouthrinse. It removes and prevents stains, is gentle on tooth enamel, and helps kill germs. He is starting to see a whitening difference for sure, and appreciates that it's not a strong or harsh formula. He's also asked for more of these breath strips for his pocket at work. 

As for the handled flosser, either I didn't get the hang of it or it was just too much of an impact on my sensitive gums, but it wasn't working out for me. However, Jamie likes that it gets back into hard to reach places and will probably want some replacement pieces for it soon, as well.

Overall, I think we're pretty satisfied with our LISTERINE experience. What are your favorite healthy habits and routines?

Check out this list of locations to purchase LISTERINE products, as well as these healthy habits videos on YouTube.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tahitian Vanilla Berry Smoothie for a Prenatal Protein Boost #CollectiveBias

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
You all know how ready I am for another sweet baby! Brenna will be two in less than two months and I'm missing those snuggly 3:00 am feedings and tiny diapers and tiny toes... As much as I'd love to be expecting a new little one right now, there are a few simple things I can be doing in the meantime to prepare myself to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. One important thing is to focus on good nutrition. I recently found this awesome new product, Baby Booster, that gives a good dose of protein---and more---before, during, and after pregnancy. In some cases, it even helps with the dreaded morning sickness.

Babies are always welcome as precious gifts around here, but they don't come without some sacrifice. Many pregnant women have a hard time getting the nutrients they need to keep themselves feeling energetic and healthy during pregnancy. I've had 10 pregnancies and each one of them could have been so much better than it was if I'd have focused more on nutrition. 

I found Baby Booster at Collier Drug in Johnson. Baby Booster can be found at several Northwest Arkansas Collier stores, or online at TheBabyBooster.com. Lynzie and I had a little too much fun drooling over the cute boutique items in this store! Lots of cuddly stuffed animals, sweet smelling lotions, and several flavors of Baby Booster to choose from.

Baby Booster is a safe choice for pregnant and nursing moms, as well as diabetics and those who eat gluten free. With 20g of protein and only 2g of sugar, I was able to use Baby Booster to satisfy my hunger cravings and sweet tooth at the same time! As you'll see in my recipe below, I didn't add any extra sweetener to my smoothie and was actually surprised that the powder gave the drink just the right amount of sweet flavor. Baby Booster contains no soy, preservatives, artificial sweeteners or flavors, and no gluten. Plus, it includes all of your daily vitamins!

This is both a milk soluble and water soluble powder so it's excellent for use in many of your favorite recipes. I made this simple and delicious shake using the Tahitian Vanilla flavor. To make this smoothie, just mix 1 c. milk, 1 c. frozen berries, 5-8 ice cubes, and 1 scoop of Baby Booster. Mix it up in a blender and enjoy any time of day.

Let me know if you try Baby Booster. I'd love to hear about your favorite ways to use it.

Trying Out a New Fast Drying Fabric Softener #FastDrySaveTime #shop #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FastDrySaveTime #shop #cbias
Are you buried under a mountain of laundry? Lynzie and I find ourselves there just about every day! Last week I picked up something new, Suavitel Fast Dry Fabric Softener and Conditioner. I think it will be great for helping us get our laundry done quicker each day. Our dryer normally takes twice as long as the washer does to get the job done, and Suavitel helps to get clothes dry up to 30% faster than loads without it.

We love to spend time exploring the beautiful area we live in, so when the kids know there is something fun scheduled for the day, they get their chores done as fast as they can. Anything that will help move that process along more quickly is much welcomed around here. Especially since lots of adventures mean lots of laundry!

I found Suavitel in the Fabric Softener section at Walmart. There are several varieties of Suavitel, but only those in the bright pink bottle contain the Fast Dry technology. I must point out that I was surprised by the low cost of this 135 oz. jug. I picked mine up for less than $7.00. Fast Dry comes in two scents: Fabulous Field Flowers and Magical Morning Sun. 

Suavitel Fast Dry fabric conditioner features a special technology that quickly removes water from fabric to help clothes dry. Not only does this give you more time for fun adventures, but it means clothes have less time in the dryer, saving you energy costs at home. Keep in mind that each bottle will do approximately 82 small loads and Suavitel is made for high efficiency washers.

You don't have to have a big family or take wild adventures through the Ozarks to benefit from Suavitel Fast Dry. What will you do with all the time you save?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Homemaking Party

I'm half way there! Yes, it's true! My birthday is tomorrow (Thursday) and I'll be a whopping 35 years old! I'm so excited! Jamie took the day off from work and he's making me a fabulous cake and there's presents...and all my kids are excited...and it's just goona be FUN!!! Thanks for stopping by the Homemaking Party. Hope you're having a great week!

Linking with:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Little Shabby Chic Motivation

Sometimes motivation can be found in the strangest places---even at a yard sale.

Last Friday, I stopped by a yard sale my friends were having in the church gym. After wandering around a few minutes, picking things off the tables that I thought I could resell in my Etsy shop, I made one last pass by the clothing tables and stumbled on this:

 As I turned it over in my hands and checked the zipper and seams, my friend said, "that's my old prom dress." 

"What year?" I asked her, sheepishly. 

"1986."

I immediately saw dollar signs, as 80s prom dresses go for good money on Etsy and eBay. After a conversation with my group of friends at the checkout table, I headed for the door saying, "Yeah, if I could fit into this dress, I'd definitely wear it!"

Fast forward to Sunday morning. We had a little time before church so I decided to iron it and get it ready to photograph and list on Etsy. I figured I'd start it out at $135 on eBay and list it for $140 flat on Etsy.

After I got it all arranged on my broken mannequin, Legless Matilda, I went to my closet to get my shoes so I could take everything outside and get some great romantic pictures. As I turned to leave my closet, I spied my favorite burgundy top that I used to love to wear when we lived in Seattle a few years ago. It doesn't fit anymore, but I keep it around because of that tiny spark of hope still in me.

I thought how cute it would be with this dress. I thought about all the great pictures Jamie could get of me spinning around in a field somewhere with the lacy dress and the burgundy velvet, and my long bleach-blonde hair. (I keep thinking that by the time I ever lose some weight, I'll have really, really long hair...)

I decided to measure the waist on the dress, just for fun. I thought, surely it's smaller than I was in high school. I wore an 11/12 in high school and probably could have stood to lose 20 pounds without sacrificing my curves.

I pulled out my measuring tape. 32 inches. My heart started fluttering. Jamie wore a 32 jean size in high school and I remember always wanting to wear his Calvin Kleins but they'd be too small in the thigh and too big in the waist. 

I grabbed my phone and googled, what size is a 32" waist?"

"14."

That's a FOURTEEN, ya'll. A 14 is doable. It's more than doable. That's 12 sizes and I don't know how many pounds away from where I'm at now, but that's 3 sizes up from my kinda chubby high school years. 

So, stay tuned as I do this thing.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Pedigree Dog Food Treat for Mr. Darcy @SamsClub #PedigreeGives #Cbias #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PedigreeGives #CollectiveBias
Look at that mutt! Ahh...he grows on me a little more every year. Yep, Mr. Darcy is back on the blog today, sporting his 1993 middle school kid hair cut and a cheesy grin, to tell you all about Pedigree Dog Food and how you can support Pet Adopt Month this October.

Yesterday, I took all nine of my kids to Sam's Club---the only store in town big enough for us all to walk down the aisles together without being in anyone's way. We were on the hunt for some Pedigree dog food for Mr. Darcy and found a good deal on this case of 30 cans. For less than $17, we picked up 30 cans of Pedigree Choice Cuts. These are big cans too---each one will feed Mr. D for four or five days.

This is a great time to stock up on Pedigree at Sam's Club because, through the month of October, they'll donate one bowl of dog food to a shelter for every Pedigree product purchased at Sam's.

Not knowing about this great deal at Sam's Club, I usually buy him dry food and canned food is reserved for a treat. This morning I set out a can too see how he'd react. He sniffed around a minute and then laid down, happily waiting for me to open it up. That is, until O'Neill came along. Remember him? He's our cat we adopted from a pet shelter about six years ago. While he was very gracious to welcome Mr. Darcy to the neighborhood a couple years later, he still feels a little left out if the Yorkshire Terrorist gets something he doesn't.

I suppose it was sort of rotten of me to open this up outside where O'Neill could get a good, meaty whiff of the beef and gravy. I guess I'll need to pick him up some yummy gravyish cat food next time I'm out. Feeding our pets nutritious meals is important to us. We want them to live long healthy lives so they can continue to chase off mice, bugs, and scary intruders. Plus, like I said, we kind of like them---even if some of us (ahem.) were adamantly against pets to begin with. These Choice Cuts are meaty, moist, and great for Mr. D's skin and coat.

Here's where he gets the goods! Seriously, I did not see this dog's face the entire time he was devouring his lunch. Would it be weird to say I was kind of jealous that he got meat and gravy while I boycotted PB&J and skipped lunch? Yeah, probably. I won't go there. 

Look at that face! In the time it took me to wrap up the can and stick it in the fridge, he had licked the bowl clean. I didn't give in to the pout then, but now that I'm writing this, I feel bad. I think I'll go give him some more now, poor guy! 

Do you have a great pet adoption story? Share it in the comments---I'd love to hear about your favorite pets.

Check out Pedigree on Social Media:

The Homemaking Party: 2015 Daily Planner Review & Giveaway #dailyplanner

This is a sponsored post on behalf of HomemakersFriend.com. I was compensated monetarily and with a sample product in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and are my own.
Welcome to the Homemaking Party! I'm happy to be sharing our party with Sue Hooley, creator of the 2015 Daily Planner. This is a beautiful and uplifting resource that I'm sure you'll find useful and encouraging as you start off your new year. 

Sue's planner is unique because, not only does it feature lots of ways to organize your schedule, it's also full of Scripture to bless you and help you keep God's word the focus of your day.

I like how this planner is designed for efficiency and aesthetics---as Sue says, it gives the user a visual layout of a week or month. See the dotted line along the edge of the page on the right? You can cut those out as you go along to expose the tab for the new month. This way, you can easily flip to the page you need without a lot of hassle. 

She's got cut out tabs on each weekly page, for the same reason. Genius!

The planner is divided into seven sections: Yearly, Monthly, and Weekly Calendars, Task List, Projects and Events, Information, and Shopping Lists. It's a great system for organizing everything you'll need to remember on a daily basis---all in one place! Make sure to check out HomemakersFriend.com to order---she's even got a buy one get one deal going on now!

Would you like a free copy of Sue Hooley's 2015 Daily Planner? I'm giving one away to one US winner. Enter to win on the Rafflecopter below and make sure to link up with the Homemaking Party! 
We had the biggest party yet last week so share with your friends to keep our party growing! The more people who visit, the more views we all get!


a Rafflecopter giveaway Linking with:

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Save Money with the Walmart Savings Catcher App #WMTSavingsCatcher

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Crowdtap and Walmart. All opinions are honest and are my own. #WMTSavingsCatcher
Have you tried out the Walmart Savings Catcher option on the Walmart phone app? Earlier this summer, some Facebook friends told me about it and I first used it in August. Since then, I've got back over $23 in savings. That's enough for a Christmas present or two for my kids---definitely worth it. Before you read about how to use the app, make sure and visit the Savings Catcher contest. You could win a $2,000 Walmart shopping spree just by trying out Savings Catcher and sharing it with your friends!

It only takes seconds to run the app and your savings add up quick---especially if you're like me and use Walmart as your primary place to stock up on groceries. Recently, I bought some ingredients to make Pumpkin Pie Fudge for my family and scanned my receipt when I got home. Sure enough, I had a savings notification just a couple days later!

I've saved anywhere from 30 cents to several dollars per receipt. Just yesterday, I got a notification that I'd earned $3.86 cash back from just one receipt! It's easy to run the app. Once you've downloaded the Walmart app onto your phone, click on Savings Catcher.

You'll then be prompted to Scan a Receipt. Once you click there, a QR code reader will come up and you'll just scan the barcode or QR code at the bottom of your receipt. The app will then show you how it's scanning multiple stores in your area for competitive prices. You can stop at this point, or you can scan in another receipt. You'll also receive an email notification letting you know that your receipt has been received.

In a day or two, you'll get another email letting you know if you've earned cash back. Out of the 49 receipts I've scanned since August, about half of them have given me cash back. Once you have Reward Dollars in your account, you can use them to shop online or you can print off an eGift card to use them in store.

It's such a quick and simple way to make sure you're getting the lowest prices in your area. I'd love to hear about how much you've saved using the Walmart Savings Catcher App. Make sure to check out my Pumpkin Pie Fudge, too!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pink Christmas Trees

I've been busy in my imaginary art studio, that's really just a clutter-filled corner of my bedroom, making pink things. You may remember my sorta weird rose petal tree of a couple years ago...well I've since fixed it up cute but it's packed away so... You get to see my newest ones!

Is this teeny tiny post a desperate attempt to participate in Beverly's Pink Saturday this weekend? Why, yes it is! Head over and check out all the other PINK goodness and tell Beverly I sent you!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

20 Delicious Squash Recipes --- Trim Healthy Mama

It's that time of year when fresh veggies abound but creative ideas are few! Squash became a part of our regular menu only recently, for this very reason. I just didn't know what to make with it! If you're like me and need a little creative shove, here are 20 great squash recipes. Special thanks to my mom (aka: Creative Consultant) for her time and research.

Butternut Squash
Apple and Butternut Squash Casserole
Butternut Squash Spinach, and Feta Pizza
Lasagna with Sausage and Butternut Squash
Almond Cranberry Squash Bake
Butternut Squash Carbonara
Ground Beef and Butternut Squash Breakfast Skillet
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce
Black Bean and Butternut Enchilada Skillet
Apple and Butternut Squash Pulled Pork Casserole

Yellow/Summer Squash
Squash and Tomato Casserole
How to Can Yellow Squash
Zucchini, Squash, Corn Casserole
Yellow Squash Casserole
Mexican Squash Casserole
Chicken, Quinoa and Summer Squash Casserole
Summer Squash Casserole
Cheesy Squash and Tomato Casserole

Spaghetti Squash
THM Spaghetti Squash Casserole (just like spaghetti---without noodles!)
Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Looking for some great Trim Healthy Mama Recipes? Try these! 

THM Lunches & Dinners

Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken
Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl
Spaghetti Squash Casserole (No Pasta Spaghetti)
20 Squash Recipes
Baked Spinach and Pepperjack Chicken

THM Breakfasts

List of THM Breakfast Ideas
Chicken Ranch Omelette

THM Treats
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy

THM Misc.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
Make Your Own Chicken Stock & Broth
Zesty Burger Spread

Jamie Grace CD Giveaway

A few years ago, I was in the car doing errands and listening to KLove, when a super upbeat song came on. It was a new artist, Jamie Grace, and her song was, Hold Me. Not only was it a great tune with excellent ear-wormy lyrics, but it featured tobyMac---a favorite artist since I was in fourth grade. (Yes, I'm from the DC-Talk-is-playing-in-the-high-school-gym-tonight generation.)

Since then, I've loved listening to Jamie Grace. She's upbeat, and her music just makes you happy to be serving God. Would you absolutely love to win her CD, One Song at a Time? Make sure to check out the Rafflecopter below because Family Christian will be giving one of my readers a free copy!

Jamie's new CD, One Song at a Time features the following excellent songs: Ready to Fly, Hold Me, With You, Show Jesus, Come to Me, God Girl, Holding On, You Lead, One Song at a Time, 1945, and Not Alone.

This is an excellent Christmas idea for the young lady on your list. I just might be giving mine away to a special girl I know this Christmas! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 6, 2014

Starting New Healthy Habits with LISTERINE #MC #sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
Oral care and hygeine have always been really important to me---especially when it comes to my kids. With a family the size of ours, it can be difficult to establish good routines for the kids, but it's so important to do so when it comes to caring for our teeth and gums. A few great plaque and cavity fighting products, along with regular dental checkups, are part of a healthy oral care routine. I was recently sent a big selection of LISTERINE floss, rinses, and breath strips, and I'm looking forward to my family trying them all.

The kids enjoy using mouthwash and this fun Avengers themed anticavity flouride rinse is really going to get them excited. It helps prevent cavities and removes particles that they might miss when brushing. Since they're not always super thorough, this is a great extra step to take after brushing. Also, some of my kids absolutely love to floss. I know, that's probably not the norm, but they do. Then again, there are several that really need to make it
 a more regular habit. This soft floss in the Gentle Gum Care line is just right for sensitive gums. I think it's a good starting product for my littlest ones to practice flossing. 

As for the adults in the family, we're going to try out this Healthy White mouthrinse. It removes and prevents stains, is gentle on tooth enamel, and helps kill germs. My oldest, Lynzie, and I have been wanting to try some whitening products so this will be just perfect. I also know my husband will like having these breath strips for his pocket at work and I'm snagging the handled flosser. It looks like fun to use and I like that it gets back into hard to reach places.

Check out this list of locations to purchase LISTERINE products and check out these healthy habits videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Homemaking Party: The One Room Schoolhouse



Welcome to the Homemaking Party! If you haven't already, please sign up for email subscriptions in my sidebar. I've just started a new email list and would love to send you updates!

This past week, our family visited a one room schoolhouse here in Northwest Arkansas.  It was built in 1905 and is being preserved by former students and teachers.



We arrived promptly at 9:00 am and the two "teachers" led the kids through Pioneer Day lessons and activities for four hours!




It was a wonderful experience and the very best field trip we've ever gone on.


Funny how so many of my Facebook friends thought my kids actually go to that school daily. Ha! Guess people think I'm more "out there" than I thought!

Hope you're all having a lovely week and thanks for linking up at the Homemaking Party!


Linking with: 
Homemaking Party @ Hope In Every Season
Vintage Thingie Thursday @ Coloradolady
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Homeacre Hop   
Desire to Inspire @ A Royal Daughter
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home 
Create It Thursday
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Thought-Provoking Thursday
Quitting Thursday Linkup
Hearts for Home
Handmade Hangout Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Anything Blue Friday
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Pintastic Party
Friendship Friday
The Best of the Weekend
No Rules Party
Essential Fridays
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