Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Have Your Pie and a Williams-Sonoma Gift Card, Too!

This post brought to you by Mrs. Smith's. All opinions are 100% mine.

So it's officially Christmas season whether you've had time to get that tree up yet or not, and very soon it will be time for lots of fun parties and family get-togethers.  And that also means lots of cooking and preparation.  But you don't have to be a professional baker to serve up some fabulous pies.  That's where Mrs. Smith's can help.

Introducing Mrs. Smith's Signature Deep Dish pies.  Say "good-bye" to the typical pre-baked pies and "hello" to these special recipe flavors that will remind you of grandma's home-made creations.

I served these pies at our Thanksgiving feast, and they were both beautiful and delicious.

I was so tempted to let everyone believe I had made them all from scratch, but I refrained. But, I did have fun adding all the great toppings that come with the different varieties, like this yummy brown sugar streusel for the Dutch Apple...

You can almost taste that, can't you?

These were a big hit with our family.  Abby loved the peach...

And crazy Uncle Bradley (a.k.a. the Pie Connoisseur) loved the cherry...

And you need to be thinking of which one sounds great to you because someone's going to win a coupon for a FREE ONE to serve to their friends and family.  And because you might need a fancy pie dish or some nice dessert plates to go with your great pie, that someone's also going to win a $50 gift card to WILLIAMS-SONOMA, compliments of Mrs. Smith's!  I can hear the Woo Hoo's from here!

So, listen up my fellow pie lovers, all you need to do for your chance to win is leave me a comment below telling me which pie you'd love to try AND what you would buy at Williams Sonoma!  (You might even want to give your gift card to someone for Christmas!)

If you'd like extra entries, "like" the Mrs. Smith's page on Facebook and follow them on Pinterest .  (One extra entry for each of those when you leave a comment that you did.)


Thanks to Mrs. Smith's for the fabulous pies and giveaway!  Contest runs now through December 4th, and winner will be announced on my Facebook page on December 5th!  U.S. residents only, please.  Bon App├ętit and Good Luck!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mustache and Monocle Pillow How-To

Today I'm sharing the how-to for the personality of my recently made-over mud room:  the mustache and monocle pillow.  

Super-fun and yet simple, this could be a great little accessory for all kinds of rooms.

To make this, I combined a few of my stand-by techniques including using canvas drop cloth for the fabric choice and freezer paper stenciling for the mustache and monocle.

I started by cutting the two pieces for the pillow.  Then, I printed a mustache using the same design as the one for this mustache hipster bag.  

For the monocle, I simply cut two circles, one slightly larger than the other, using a punch for one and  tracing the lid of my Mod Podge for the other.  Use whatever works for you, just remember you're making a stencil, so you will nest them together to create the look of a monocle.

Then, I just ironed the pieces onto the fabric and painted.  Click here to read more about freezer paper stenciling.

Next, I made the bow tie from a piece of fabric that was approximately 5" x 7".  I folded it together longways and sewed around the two sides and corners, leaving a hole so it could be turned right-side-out and pressed flat.

For the "knot", I cut another strip of fabric approximately 3" x 5", and folded and pressed the two long sides with an iron.

Then, I just pinched the middle of the bow tie to bunch it a little, then wrapped the strip around snugly, and sewed it.

Then, I hand-sewed the bow tie into place on the pillow top.

For a finishing touch before constructing the pillow, I added a little gold chain to the monocle.  You can  find this in the jewelry supplies at Hobby Lobby or your favorite craft store.

Just remove the unneeded links to get it to your desired length, then sew the ends in place with a needle and thread.

I love how the chain just sort-of hangs freely.  Tons of personality, I tell you.

Hope you like this!  Click here to see more of the mud room.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What's Going On

Hey, everyone!  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving eating and being thankful and a great Black Friday shopping (or maybe yours was great because you were not shopping).  

Here's what's going on around here...

We had a great time with lots of family in town and now we're in full-fledged Christmas mode around here.  

We put up 2 Christmas trees over the weekend, including the official "Mom Tree", as my kids call it...

And my dining room is having a major seasonal identity crisis, but we're getting there. 

In other news, thanks to all who entered the Fossil Handbag Giveaway.  The winner is to be chosen by the marketing company that sponsored the giveaway with Fossil and notified via email tomorrow.  So exciting!  Let me know if you are the winner so I can be envious happy for you!  And stay tuned because I have another fabulous giveaway coming soon that you do not want to miss!

Also, remember way back in January when I told you all about my experience with Extreme Makeover Home Edition?  Well, it's finally time for the episode to air.  So, tune in with me tomorrow night (Monday, November 26) at 9:00 EST on ABC to see the final product!  But don't look for me on TV.  I don't think the cameras were rolling when I was there. Somehow I missed my big chance to be a star, but tune in anyway and see how it turned out!

And one more thing--I'm offering a special discount in my canvas shop from now through midnight on Cyber Monday, so click on over right now to order canvases for that perfect Christmas gift.  Use code BLISSMONDAY and receive 20% off your entire order!  Time's a wastin', so order right away!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When Life's Not Fair

You may not agree at first, but I think Thanksgiving is the perfect time to come to terms with the fact that life is just not fair.  

Someone gets the last of the Lucky Charms... or has to go to bed earlier than their sister... or gets wrongly accused... and the first thing you hear is, "That's not fair."

And what about when the woman behind you in line cuts to the register beside you when it opens even though you were there before she was?  Now that is seriously not fair.

There was a time I didn't allow those words in my house and I refused to let my kids say them.  But, then I realized we were all missing out on an important lesson.  The truth is that life really isn't "fair".  

It's the fact that we have more blessings than could ever really be counted on our blessings board...

And that we've never had to wonder if we'll have food to eat at our next meal or if we'll be able to pay the water bill.

It's knowing we can be forgiven over and over and over again for doing the same sinful thing because God's mercy never fails even when we do.

And even when things are really hard, and health fails or we lose jobs or even loved ones, we can still be thankful that we have a God who chooses to  give us mercy instead of what we deserve.

Theodore Roosevelt's quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy" is being pinned all over Pinterest, and it's so true in a lot of ways.  But comparison can also be a giver.  It can give us the ability to be thankful when we think of where we could be if not for grace.

Sometimes when we're having a great meal or sitting around our cozy house, I'll say to my kids, "This is so not fair."  And they're starting to realize just what I mean.

When I consider my life, my family, and my friends, I can honestly say that life has never been fair.  And that is something for which I am truly thankful.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.                                   
                                  Psalm 103:8-12

{Download this 'Give Thanks' banner over at Edie's}

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Who Wants to Win a Fossil Handbag? You Do!

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

Leave it to Fossil to come up with a line of vintage-inspired, opulent leather handbags in rich colors you'll want to carry every day, full of classic style that will remain timeless as the years go by.  That's just what they've done with their Fossil Vintage Revival Handbags

The leather in each of these bags has been burnished, stitched, and finished by hand to create each piece to look and feel like the quality iconic styles from the past.  And they're available in luxurious Fall colors like butterscotch, rust, pecan, spruce green, and giraffe hair calf. 

But, you won't be limited to just one season of wear with these bags.  The classic design will only look better with time.  Click on the video and imagine all the possibilities.

Drooling yet?  It's okay-- go ahead and get excited because Fossil is giving one of my readers their very own Vintange Revival Small Flap Handbag and it could be you!

Don't you love those colors?

Getting your chance to win is lots of fun.  All you need to do is create a collage of an outtfit with one of the Vintage Revival bags and pin it to Pinterest.  (Never created a collage before?  Try Polyvore.  It's fun and easy.)  When you pin your outfit with the handbag, be sure to include #FossilVintageRevival in the title.  Then, leave a comment below with the URL of your pin and your email address so you can be contacted!  Click here for the official rules.

Here are a couple of outfits I put together with a couple different bags...

The bags are so classic and versatile they can go from casual to dressy with just a few changes.  Now I just need the pieces in my closet and I'll be ready for a Christmas party.

I can't wait to see what you come up with as well!  The contest ends on November 23rd, so get pinning!  Good luck!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

More Bliss for Your Buck: Light Bulbs

This post brought to you by  Opinions are 100% mine.

I like to think that I'm a pretty smart cookie when it comes to saving money.  Show me a good deal and I'll usually find you a better one.  Coupons?  Oh, yeah, I've got 'em.  And my shopping skills are scary good.  But, I have to admit there are other areas of saving money that I'm a little less knowledgeable.  Like energy savings, for example...not quite as exciting as scoring that great deal on a lamp, yet very important considering how much the lamp could cost to use.

I started getting a little education on this when my husband and I were recently shopping for replacement bulbs for some of our fixtures.  

Here are a couple of "enlightening" facts I discovered:

  • The traditional incandescent light bulbs we've used for years have a median life span of around 1,000 hours as opposed to the compact fluorescents (CFLs) which last up to 10,000 hours and the light emitting diodes (LEDs) which can last up to 50,000 hours.
  • The estimated costs for an average U.S. household to use the 3 types of bulbs for 50,000 hours each are:  $352 for the incandescents, $90 for the CFLs, and $86 for the LEDs.

That's a huge difference!  So, it may be time to make some changes.  That's why you're going to want to check out  

Lightbulbplanet is a leading distributor of lightbulbs, and carries many name brands you know and trust.  You'll also find fixtures and emergency lighting as well.

They offer a wide selection of energy efficient bulbs, including the LED light bulbs, which are becoming more technologically advanced and also more affordable than ever before.  

And if you want to know just how much your own household can save by making the switch, check out their Energy Savings Calculator and find out!

So, don't be left in the dark when it comes to money you could be saving!  Check out to get educated and find what you need.  And save an extra 10% off your order by using coupon code SAVE 10 to get even more bliss for your buck!