Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fabulous Florida Vacation Giveaway!

This post brought to you by VISIT FLORIDA. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I think back to my favorite vacation memories from my childhood, most of the time, I think of Florida.  Since before I can remember, we've been loving Florida and its beaches.  Here I am on one of my earliest visits...

Yep, that was a while ago!

My grandparents lived in Florida, along with several other of our family members, and we spent many a vacation there through the years.  Later, I spent four years of college there and met my husband, and now we travel there quite often with our four kids for tons of fun in the sun.

It's definitely one of our favorite travel destinations, and that's why I'm totally excited to tell you about Florida’s Three for Free Giveaway so you can have a chance at not just one, but 3 great Florida Vacation for your family!


There are so many great ways to enjoy all that Florida has to offer, and now through June 30th, one lucky winner will have the chance to win their choice of three fabulous Florida vacations!  (Because one is just not enough!) Nine other winners will randomly be selelcted to win their chioce of one of the remaining vacation package choices.
You can choose from the following 12 prize packages:

1) Swim with the Manatees--spend four nights at the Plantation on Crystal River with a guided manatee tour, lunch on your private pontoon boat and tickets to Homosassa Springs State Park.

2) Tennis Lovers Gourmet Getaway--enjoy four nights at the TOPS’L Beach & Racquet Resort with a private tennis lesson from a Tennis Pro, a cooking class, and a $250 shopping spree.

3) Natural Florida-- three nights at the Tortuga Inn Beach Resort exploring the area on bicycle and Segway.  Then learn to swim with the horses and horse surf!

4) Family Adventure--spend four nights in Central Florida including two days at LEGOLAND and LEGOLAND Water Park and a day to explore the secret gardens at Bok Tower Gardens, a national historic landmark.

5) Space Cowboy--three nights at the Cocoa Beach Hilton Oceanfront, including a surfing lesson from Cocoa Beach Surfing Company, lunch with an astronaut at Kennedy Space Center, and fun on a real Florida ranch rounding up a herd of cattle.

6) Trainer for a Day-- stay at the luxurious Sonesta Bayfront Hotel Coconut Grove overlooking Biscayne Bay and visit historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.  Then be a dolphin trainer for a day working side-by-side with the Marine Mammal Training Staff at Miami Seaquarium.

7) The Breakers Luxury Dream Vacation--stay for three nights in a magnificent oceanfront room, feel the allure of the glamorous yet classic ambiance and the warmth and care of its devoted staff, and wrap yourself in luxury at the Spa at The Breakers.

8) Ultimate Spa-cation--stay for three nights and rejuvenate at the famous Waters of the World healing mineral pools and be treated to massages, facials, and the resort’s Lavender Bliss Signature Manicure and Pedicure at the Spa at PGA National.

9) Tee Time for Two--stay three nights at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village with golf for you and a guest to play three championship courses.  Then, visit the World Golf Hall of Fame, celebrating golf’s greatest players and contributors to the game.

10) Classic Family Beach Week--enjoy the sugary white sand of St. Pete Beach during your week at TradeWinds Island Resort.  You can relax in the spacious guest rooms, beachside hammocks, and seven swimming pools.

11) Step Into the Past--spend four nights a the St. George Inn in the heart of historic St. Augustine.  Then see history come alive at Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Park, St. Augustine Lighthouse, Pirate & Treasure Museum, Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and Oldest Store Museum.

12) Florida Keys Fishing--enjoy a four-night stay in the Florida Keys at he Hawk's Cay Resort, home of some of the world’s best fishing, a saltwater lagoon, five gorgeous swimming pools and luxurious accommodations.  Then, enjoy a private half-day offshore fishing charter. 

With all these great options, it's so hard to choose, but I think our favorites have to be:

Swimming with the Manatees...

The Breakers Luxury Dream Vacation...

and the Classic Family Beach Week

We'd gladly take any of those!  We're signed up with our fingers crossed. Which will you choose?  Enter once a day to increase your chances!

Don't forget to visit Florida’s Three for Free Giveaway to sign up!  Then VISIT FLORIDA on Facebook as well!  Good luck!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Sweet Shop Announcement

Just wanted to let you know...

Sweet 'Stache Mustache Hipster Bags are back in the shop while supplies last!

Abby made a few more for those of you who missed out last time.  But hurry--the last ones sold out within a few hours!

Click here to get yours!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Embracing Imperfection

Embracing Imperfection, Lesson # 261:

They don't really care if it's not made from scratch.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coffee Punch: A Marriage Made in Heaven

Depending on the time of year, I fall into one of two categories of people: Coffee Lovers and Ice Cream Addicts.  When the weather is cold, I'm always craving a cup of coffee, stopping by Starbucks whenever I get the chance.  But as soon as summer arrives, suddenly I'm loving ice cream and everyone at Dairy Queen learns my name.  Who else is with me on this?

Well, this recipe is like the marriage of two of my favorite things (which really is not good news for swim suit season).  But, all you coffee & ice cream lovers will appreciate this.  It's the perfect punch for summertime parties.  And it's super-easy to make!

Here's all you need:

  • 2 cups of coffee
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 and 1/2  half-gallon containers of ice cream, slightly softened.  (I used a full container of chocolate & half container of vanilla)
  • a half gallon of milk

Make your coffee ahead of time, sweeten with the sugar, and cool for a few hours in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to serve the punch, place softened ice cream in your punch bowl and pour over the milk and coffee.

That's pretty much it!  This makes a large bowl full, so it's great for a crowd.  It also looks really pretty with chocolate sprinkles on top!

Thanks so much to my friend and fellow coffee-lover, Holly, for sharing her recipe with me and letting me share it with you.  I'm sharing it with a few of these friends as well!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More Bliss for Your Buck: Joss & Main

Shopping has come a long way since the days of choosing your furnishings from whatever was available in the Sears catalog for that season.  (Yay for the internet!)

Now we have more options than we can count.  Most of the time, our biggest decision is simply where to get the best deal.  And you know that anytime I have a tip for you to help you find the answer to that question, I try to let you know.  So, today I'm letting you know about Joss and Main.

Many of you have already heard of them and probably already found something you like from their site.  But, for those of you who haven't, Joss and Main is free members-only shopping site that launches new sales events at super-discounted prices every day.

They offer tons of fabulous merchandise for limited-time sales at up to 70% off retail!  Here are just a few things they have that have caught my eye lately...

They've even got an ottoman that looks very similar to the one I made for our living room. (Remember this?)  If you're not a DIY-er, this is a great opportunity to buy one for a great deal!

If you've never signed up to become a member at Joss and Main, I'd love to be your referrer!  (They give me a little bonus for inviting you to sign up!)  And right now, they're offering a free shipping deal for anyone signing up via an email invitation.  So, you can click here to sign up directly, or email me if you'd like an email invitation to receive the free shipping offer!

 So, shop away and get more bliss for your buck!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sweet 'Stache Mustache Hipster Bag

So, I'm sure you know that mustaches are all the rage right now.  All the cool people are wearing them. On everything from t-shirts to party supplies to jewelry---they're as fun as can be.  That's why my daughter, Abby, and I decided we needed a Mustache Hipster bag.  And as soon as my husband saw it, he said, "Sweet 'stache."  So, henceforth, it will be known as the "Sweet 'Stache Hipster."

And since I know some of you cool cats are going to want one for yourself, I have 2 options for you!  You can either (A) buy a limited edition original made by Abby herself for sale in my blog shop here

or (B) follow these easy instructions to make one yourself:

Start by cutting two 10" wide X 9" high pieces of the fabric of your choice.  We used canvas drop cloth because I'm just a fanatic about the stuff and I always have some on hand.

Next, using the freezer paper stencil method I wrote about here, we cut out our mustache.

After the paint was dry, we sewed our zipper to the top edges of the two fabric pieces. (Be sure to line up the front side of the fabric to the top side of the zipper when sewing.)

Then, we sewed around the two sides and the bottom edge of the bag, being sure to sew up the ends of the zipper as well.

To create a flat bottom for the bag, hold the bottom corner of the bag, lining up the bottom seam with the side seam, creating a sort-of triangle point.

Measure down approximately 1/2 inch from the tip of the corner seam and pin.  Then, just sew across, sort of "cutting off the corner" by stitching.

When the bag is turned right-side out, it should look like this...

To add the handle, take approximately 48 inches of belting, fold under each end, and sew a 1/4 inch hem.

Then, sew each end to the sides of the bag with a couple rows of stitching, and you're ready to sport your new 'stache.

You won't be able to carry this without smiling.  You'll love it.  Don't forget to visit my shop to buy one ready-made!  

Linking this project to some of these parties!  Check them out!