Sunday, May 8, 2011

Puppet Play Review, Interview, and Giveaway!!


I am so excited to be a part of this blog tour!!  Let me first start off by saying that I love crafting, but when creativity combines with reduce, reuse, and recycle!  I am so in!


“Puppet Play,” by Diana Schoenbrun is a fun craft book that includes 20 puppet projects, made with recycled mittens, towels, socks, and more!  Years ago I made some sock dolls with my girls that they still have and love.  So, I knew this book was right up our alley!  We all read through this book and now are totally inspired to start work on some new puppets.  It is fun to look through the house to come up with items to be used in our own versions of Diana’s puppets!


This book has very easy to follow directions with pictures, cute and unique characters, and is written in a fun and easy to follow tone.  My daughters are in the process of making some of these puppets by themselves!

After reading this book myself, I got the chance to ask Diana a few questions (don’t you just love getting into someone else’s mind!?);


How did you get started on this book?

I started this project a few years ago when I had taught puppet workshops with children. The kids began with a basic sock and took materials from around the house to create their own puppet character. I wanted to take this idea a step further and push the recycling and re-purpose aspect. What other materials could be reused rather than thrown away to make puppets for children? Mittens, gloves, legwarmers, towels, and many other fabrics can be used. Then I started to look for accessories around the house and found buttons, cardboard, shoelaces, etc.

What is your favorite project from the book?

The Punk Rocker puppet stands out because of his attitude. I also think at the time I was crafting I was listening to The Ramones and The Clash. I had fun tearing up an old shirt that my friend was about to throw away. I had collected scrap metal pieces and used that for the face. The red, white, and blue fake fur and glued spiky Mohawk hairstyle is my personal touch.

Do you always try to work with recycled materials?

I try to incorporate recycled materials as much as possible. This makes me a bit of a pack rat because I am always saving things I can use for later. However, the projects in the book do also use some store bought felt and other accessories. When I create my 2-D illustrations I often use paper that I reuse from mailed envelopes or gift-wrap.

What is your workspace or studio like?

My current workspace is only about 1 year old so it’s still fairly new. I have a desk that I use for drawing and sewing. Sometimes my desk gets too full and I end up working on the floor. I decorated the wall with art and postcards for inspiration. I keep all my fabrics in a large armoire. However, they tend to spill out onto the floor. I also have a large shelf that I use to organize all my art supplies.

Did you grow up crafting?

I was always drawing or making things as a child. I loved going to art museums and craft fairs. I loved to create things with my hands. I can remember some of my favorite craft projects during my childhood such as a coffee can drum, a Halloween clay witch, a clay turtle, a corn-husk doll, and many friendship bracelets. I even had some arts and crafts disasters such as the time I drew on the walls and couch. There was also the time that I spilled an entire container of glitter on the carpet. The glitter never goes away.

Thanks so much, Diana! 

You can find Diana at her website, blog, Twitter, or on Facebook!


Don’t forget to check out the other destinations on the blog tour:

May 3rd Oh My! Handmade
May 4th Craft Sanity
May 5th Sew Mama Sew
May 6th Little Birdie Secrets
May 7th This Mama Makes Stuff
May 8th Roots and Wings
May 9th Whip UP
May 10th Fiskateers
May 11th Zakkalife
May 12th Prudent Baby
May 13th Make + Do
May 14th Craft Test Dummies
May 15th Cute Everything
May 16th Schmancy
May 17th Progressive Pioneer
May 18th Pink and Green Mama
May 19th Arrow Cabinets
May 20th The Happy Honeybee
May 21st Craft Gossip

I believe this video alone will inspire you to make some puppets of your own.  Want to try and win a copy of this book?  Just leave a comment on this post to be entered for a chance to win.  For extra chances to win link to this giveaway on twitter or facebook.  Make sure to come back and leave me a separate comment for each extra entry!


This giveaway closes Monday May 16th at midnight.  I will announce the winner the next day on this post!

Can’t wait or didn’t win?  You can buy your own copy!    

Be sure to check out all the other fantastic blogs on this book tour for more chances to win a copy of Puppet Play!!



Monday, May 2, 2011

Libman Mop Review and Sweepstakes!


I was so excited when I got the opportunity to review the Libman Freedom Spray Mop!  My house is all tile except in the bedrooms!  That is a lot of floors to scrub.  I have never been happy with what I have been doing and have even been tempted to call in someone to clean my tiles for me! Winking smile
I was also even more excited by the fact that the company says this product is green.  It comes with a cleaning solution but you can actually choose to use whatever product you want (I’m going to try out my own non-toxic solutions) and pads that are reusable.  I try not to use disposable products in my house in our effort to live more “green”!  It also does not use any batteries.  Sounds like a win win win to me!  I am always leery of a companies claim of being “green” however, with this product I would have to say their claims are real and accurate!  That makes me quite happy! 

Check out Libman’s site for more information and to download a coupon or rebate.
I am happy with how this mop works.  My tiles are very uneven and most mops do not get into the huge bumps and grooves of my large tiles.  However, the Libman mop’s pad is doing a great job for me!  The box also says that it works on wood & laminate, vinyl & linoleum, ceramic tile, stone, and marble.  I only have the ceramic tile and will be keeping this mop because it works so well!
Now to the fun part; the sweepstakes for a $100 Visa Gift Card from BlogHer and a Libman Freedom Spray Mop from Libman (all to go to one winner), open to those 18 and up, USA residents. Round-up Page: Visit the Exclusive Offers section

· Rules: Visit the Official Rules

· Sponsor: Visit the Official site

· Where to locate the Freedom Spray Mop:

· Cleaning Tips from Libman:"

So, what's your favorite cleaning tip?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wanna Know a Secret? And A Giveaway!

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Slim·Fast.
Wow, so I am sharing a lot of personal info on this blog. ;}  Here goes with some more purging of my soul! Winking smile 
So, onto this secret…this year I am turning 35!  Now I do not think that is old and actually like all the knowledge and experience that I have because of those 35 years.  However, it is certainly a time for me to sit back and reflect on where I am at in life.  Kind of like my last couple of posts on this blog were talking about wanting to take care of my skin before it is too late, I feel that way overall.  I am still young enough to make wonderful choices that will keep me healthy later in life.  One of these choices is to take care of my body as a whole. 
I have always been a very active person.  In my childhood being an athlete was everything to me (soccer, track, cross country, any sports really).  As a Mom of 3, student, caretaker to my 94 year old Grandma, Employee, etc it has been so easy to push off taking care of myself.  There is just too much else that I have let take priority.  I do totally know that if I do not take care of myself, then I wont be here to take care of the rest!  So, before it goes on any longer I am trying to reclaim my active and fit self. 
Another push to take care of myself, besides just turning 35?  I have a vacation planned to be on the beach in San Diego.  Those two events (vacation on the beach and turning 35) are things I am super excited about!  So, I want to be at my best for them. 
One major thing that I am doing is a fitness program.  I have had this program for awhile and have done it on and off.  However, I always go off because I feel like I can’t keep making time for it.  Well, not this year!  I am consistently working out every day of the week and have been doing so since December now!  I am also fitting in extra hikes and activities with my children!
Here’s a tip on working out consistently.  My program is an hour to an hour and a half a day.  I look at that amount and say I can’t find it.  My best friend told me something that has worked wonders for me.  She told me to just commit to half an hour a day.  I can tell myself that I will do half today and half tomorrow.  Now, 30 minutes a day I can totally find!  But the truth is, once I get to the 30 minutes I figure I am already there so I will finish it out.  There have been days that something comes up in the middle of working out and I deal with that instead (like picking up a sick child from school).  I still did something, so I am ok with not finishing out the program.
I am quite proud of myself for finding the time to take care of me.  I am also so excited for my vacation and for turning 35.  I want to be able to say that I am 35, here on the beach, and I have taken care of myself.  I have achieved my goals!  I wont stop once those events are over, either.  This is a change in my lifestyle to reclaim who I really am, who I used to be!
Anyone else on a journey like this?
Don’t forget this is also a giveaway!  Slim-Fast and visa are giving away a visa gift card.
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment
on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on
this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about
an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be
Sweepstakes runs from 3/28-4/20
Link to the official rules:
Visit the Official site

Visit the Official Rules

BlogHer roundup page: Visit the Exclusive Offers section

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting Back In Shape & a $100 Giveaway!!

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Reebok.
I love the New Year Holiday!  It is such a great way for me to take stock of how the last year went for me.  I fill out my Who Am I Lists, Year In Reviews, as well as my Year In A Glance.
who am iYear In Review or Milestones Plain

I love seeing what fun we had, what tough things we made it through, etc.  Reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for! 

It is also when I look at ways to improve for the next year.  I know some people feel that resolutions are a waste of time or silly.  However, I LOVE them!  It is always a great motivator for me.  I always have getting physically and mentally fit at the top of my list.  I am an active person.  If I let myself go too much, then I totally lose energy and I start to feel down.  So, for me, staying physically fit is the way that I stay mentally fit as well. 

As a busy Single Mom of 3 kids, and a full time student (and a  blogger!) it really does take goal planning to be able to make time to stay fit.  I have exercise tapes that I love.  The top reason I love them is that I can fit it into my schedule, in my home, for free! 

This year I have been really bogged down and have let this goal slip out of my priorities.  So, I’m jumping back on the band wagon to get physically and mentally fit!  I have already scheduled in more hikes and bike riding with my kids!  Those are activities that I love, are great family time, and will get all of us physically fit.  I am a huge multi-tasker so any time I can find an activity to achieve more than one goal, I am all for it! Winking smile  I am also going to think through anything else that could be a time saver for me, but still help me work towards my goal of getting physically fit!  Something interesting that I have looked into are using Easy Tones, (Visit the Official site) which are stylish, comfortable, and tone your body.  They are supposed to be doing extra work for you, while you are doing your day-to-day errands or chores.  Sounds like a win-win for me (it’s all about the multi-tasking!).

What are easy ways that you fit staying physically fit into your busy lives?  I would love any and all tips and tricks here!!

Leave a comment here for an entry into a random drawing for a chance to win a $100 gift card from Reebok (Visit the Official site) and BlogHer.
The start/end dates of the sweepstakes:  1/4-1/16
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c)       Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d)      Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.

Visit the Exclusive Offers section