Laura Ashley Ultimate Indulgence Give Away

Wow I can’t believe that I have been blogging for a full year now. As a HUGE thank you to everyone that has followed me; back when I had no idea what to blog about, to my long summer hiatus, to figuring out this whole blogging world. I am hosting my very first giveaway!!!

 

boots give away

Here are the top 5 things that I have learned in this year:

  1. It is hard- For some reason when I started this, I thought it would be easy. Oh you know, I will just write after the kids go to bed. Hit submit and the readers will just pour in. HAHAHA!! Between writing, editing, photographing everything, editing that, putting it all together, then getting the word out there; it does take up a lot of my day.
  2. Social Media is a double edged sword- I love social media. Twitter, takes up so much of my time. I enjoy twitter parties, even though I feel like the old person trying to keep up. FaceBook groups are awesome. Google+ is interesting. But once I got the hang of it, I really like their communities on it. Plus when you play that game, Google rewards you and lets more organic searches come your way. Stumble Upon is a wonderful untapped resource. Do we have to mention how great Pinterest is? HOWEVER….. they are a huge time suck, and I find myself going through withdrawal if I go an hour without some sort of social media input lol.
  3. Some of the best people I have “met”, I have never met- Before I entered this crazy world we call blogging, I thought it would be strange to be friends with people that you can’t go grab a drink with. Now I know how foolish that seems. It is because of these amazing people that I have continued to blog, even when I thought I was done. It is because of their help, that my blog is where it is today.
  4. Going after an opportunity- This was one of the hardest parts for me. Wanting a product, or tickets, or a possible sponsored post; thinking of how to make the business would want my little blog involved; typing up the email with my plan and the reasons that they would want ME. Then hitting send. The joy when they emailed back saying it sounds good and they are ready to take the next step. I never thought that I would have big companies want to work with little’ol me.
  5. That I truly love blogging- It seems counter-productive, with everything else I have on my plate, to add something else. Something that is just for me, something that takes a lot of time, something that I don’t get paid big bucks to do. But it gave me a voice again. I am no longer just a wife, or just a mom. It gives me space to be me.

So with all that said, lets get to what you want to know about…..
The GIVEAWAY!!! 

This is a great treat. Huge thanks to Laura Ashley for sponsoring it and sending me the gift. It is full of everything you would need to pamper yourself a bit, and it smells wonderful.

  • Bath Soak
  • Body Butter
  • Body Lotion
  • Body Polisher
  • Shower Cream
  • Fragrance Mist
  • Hand and Nail Cream
  • A Loofah
  • And last but not least, a great bag to keep everything in

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!

Candles Candles Candles

Candle 1

Hello! My name is Kat and I am a candle addict. Seriously I love them, just about all of them, in every scent. But my favorite is fall scented ones, I may be guilty of burning them year around. There is just so inviting about a house that smells of cinnamon and pumpkin when you walk into the house.

That being said, I am always on the look out for good candles. They need to have a lot of scent, they need to have a long burn time, and they need to keep the soot to a minimum. For these reasons, I have moved to soy based candles. They seem to have to have all of these qualities and more.

Old Factory Candles are my favorite soy based candles. They are shipped simply, in a brown cardboard box sectioned out for each of the three 2 ounce candles. The candles themselves are in simple mason jars, with black plastic tops, a sticker on the side saying they are Old Factory Candles, then a sticker on the bottom with the scent. Don’t let their small size fool you, they pack a scent punch just as much as their larger competition. And they have a total burn time of 60 hours!!

There are a lot of sets to choose from. My choice included:

  1. Cranberry- It has a tang to the smell, not overly sweet. And really does smell like fresh cranberries.
  2. Pumpkin- This is my favorite one of the bunch, but that is not surprising considering my obsession with pumpkin. It has all the scents that you would expect: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg.
  3. Autumn Leaves- This was a complete surprise to me, it is amazing. It smells exactly like a fall day, playing in the fallen leaves.

Up till now I have only tried them in my bathroom, while taking a bath. A single candle will fill the entire area with scent. While they are lovely when you light them together, there is no need in a smaller room.

While they are lovely and by far my favorite candles, they are a bit pricy in my opinion. They cost $25 for the set through Amazon. But there is free shipping, and they go a great job at the gift wrapping.

For more information just click above

What about you guys? Do you burn candles around your house? Are you picky about the types of candles?

 

 

Feature Friday Party!!

Welcome To Friday Feature Linky Party
Here we are in the middle of December, say what, where is this month going? Karren and I wish you the Happiest Of Holidays!!!
Were happy to have you join us for

Feature Friday!

“Friday Feature Linky Party”

Karren Haller Oh My Heartsie Girl 7-26-2014

Karren Haller~Host

Oh My Heartsie Girl | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | Bloglovin

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{Follow Co-Host Kat }

Confessions of a Perfect Mom | Pinterest | Twitter | G+ | Facebook | BlogLovin

Okay this week my features are a bit different:

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Cleaning
Do you ever worry about the chemicals that are in your cleaning supplies?
Then you need to try chemical free cleaning. Yes it really is a real thing
and yes it actually works!!!

Great-Read-Gone Girl Confessions of the perfect mom

My biggest hobby (you know when you actually get a moment away from taking
care of everything else) is to read. I love a good book. And while I liked
Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, her other books were much better. Come and
check out her first book Sharp Objects. Gone Girl

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NEW ADDITION TO FRIDAY FEATURE
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~ Current Giveaways While Your Here ~

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Enter For A Chance To Win Click Banners !!!
spa gift baskets $15 off $120 or more

Adding your blog link gives Oh My Heartsie Girl blog permission to
share your posts and pictures in upcoming posts. Link backs will be provided if these are used. Thank you, Karren

Christmas Mini Garland

Hello Confessions of a Perfect Mom readers! This is Stephanie from Managing a Home and I am so excited to share a quick, simple and VERY inexpensive Christmas mini-ornament garland.

Title_Ornament_Garland

I love to decorate for holidays, Christmas especially! Unfortunately, in our current home, we don’t have a ton of room to store decorations, so I find myself making them and then throwing them away not able to store them for next year. Needless to say, I am always looking for affordable and easy projects to make my house merry and bright for Christmas. That’s where this project comes in.

While walking through Target on one of my semi-weekly trips {because who doesn’t go to Target and just browse?} I found these great mini ornaments in the dollar spot. I grabbed them so quick you would think it was Black Friday! I decided to grab a plain, shiny set and a glittery set – because everything is more fun with glitter. I knew instantly that I wanted to make some garland for our newly installed bar in the basement. I searched the dollar spot for something to string them on and stumbled on some simple twine – which would help add a rustic look to the garland.

Supplies

Total cost for garland: $3.18 {tax included}

When I got home I measured the bar and found that it was a little more than 7 feet long. Now it’s time for some math {ew} and when it comes to math for decorating I overestimate all.the.time.

Knowing it would drape like garland does, and to play it safe, I cut 9 feet of twine. I had 32 ornaments so I placed them approximately 3-3.5 inches apart to ensure that I got all of the ornaments on the twine. Notice I said approximately, this means I measured the first one and placed the rest by looking to see if it looked good. I love doing these kinds of crafts!

I threaded each ornament on the string and tied a simple knot in the top. I alternated a shiny ornament with a glittered ornament for the entire garland. Again, I didn’t use any method of color sorting, I just made sure that any one color wasn’t too close to one another. You can group them together by color to help create a pattern, but that part of my OCD was not working that day.

Ornament_Knot

To hang this garland, I used clear command hooks and hung one on either end of the bar. I made a loop on the beginning end and hung it on the left hook.

Command_Strip_Placement

I strung the garland across the countertop until I was happy with the length. I hung the garland on the other hook. You will notice that I have extra twine hanging down. I simply cut the twine right above the next ornament.

Hanging_Garland_Long

Trimming_Garland

I then tied another end knot in the newly cut twine and hung on the hook. In the middle, I secured it to the underside of the bar with a simple piece of tape. My husband didn’t want me to use anything on the bar cabinets themselves, considering all the work he had done, I approved that.

Tape_Hold

I am so happy with how our garland turned out! It will be prefect for our first Christmas with a completely functional basement.

Full_Strung_Garland

While I am off to plan the party to show this off, you can connect with me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to follow along with our decorations for the season as well as gift giving tips! I would love to see what DIY projects you have going on in your home too!

You Think You Liked Gone Girl

Everyone knows the Gone Girl story. There is a lot hype around Gone Girl. Heck there is a fantastic movie made from it. Don’t get me wrong Gone Girl is a great book. There are lots of plot twists, the characters are deep, really there is nothing bad that I can say about it. With all that being said, in my opinion, she has written better books. Yup you read that right, she has better books.

Great Read

Thanks to BirchBox, and their wonderful book club, I was able to receive all of Gillian Flynn’s books. After reading all of them, I think that Sharp Objects is my favorite. It grabbed me from the very first page, and never let me go. Much like Gone Girl, you can’t see the twists coming; and they come fast.

It is a dark story about murder in a small town. If you are from a small town, you understand that everyone knows everyone and that everyone knows everyones secrets. So when our main character leaves town, for the psych-hospital, she chooses to never return. That is until her job calls her back home.

With the murder of two young girls needing to be solved. She has to stay. With old wounds and family drama coming back to the surface, how will she survive?

From the back of the book:

“Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion. Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims- a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story- and survive this homecoming.”

Has anyone else read this one? What are your thoughts?

Everything You Have Ever Wanted To Know About……. Cleaning?

Cleaning, it is one of the chores that we all HAVE to do. Some of us may like it more then others, some of us may be better at it then the rest of us; but we all have to do it. There is no way to get out of it. Well I guess that if you don’t mind coming home to a dirty house, then you can get out of it. But for the most part, there is no getting out of it.

E-cloth

For those who know me, know my lack of cleaning ability. Not that I don’t try; but I seriously have no ability when it comes to cleaning. Between schooling the girls, getting dinner on the table, laundry, working on the blog; there is just not enough time to scrub the house. Also, I don’t like keeping all those chemicals in the house. With the kids and animals, it just seems like an accident waiting to happen. So even on the rare occasion I feel like cleaning, I simply don’t have the supplies to do it.

Basically a million excuses for not doing housework. I am kinda the master of getting out of cleaning. HOWEVER, we are getting ready to move into a new house. A beautiful, new home; that my hubby has made into my dream home. It is perfect. Everything from the layout, to the way the light comes in the breakfast room, to the real hard wood floors. It is truly a master piece; and I can’t wait to move in and spend the holidays there. Everything for me is giddy about this change. Well, there is one thing that makes me a bit hesitant: how am I going to keep this castle clean?

Well I happened to stumble upon E-Cloth Chemical Free Cleaning. Not only did I happen to stumble across them, they were getting ready to hook up a few bloggers with a full set of their cleaning cloths. Talk about fate.

So I started to look into chemical free cleaning. And I found two amazing facts….

  • First- It is a real thing.
  • Second- It is just as effective as traditional harsh cleaners.

I was blown away. So with the right cloth, I can get a clean house with just the use of hot water. Mind blown. Looking at their line, they have a specialized cloth for every area of your home; from the kitchen, to the bathroom, from the floors to the fans. Each cloth is designed a little different to accomplish the task at hand. For example, the one for your stove top has a bit of scrubby guys to really remove any baked on food; while the dusting cloth is much more soft. I love that the all over kitchen cleaner, has a scrubby corner; cause I don’t know about your kitchen, but it seems like mine always has some sort of jelly sticky mess on it. They even have cloth’s designed for glass and other shiny surfaces.

There are no chemicals to keep in the house, all you need is water AND they are all machine washable. No need to buy a new one every week. Sign me up!!! What about you guys? Do you do chemical free cleaning? Are you ready to through out all those toxic chemicals that you normally clean with?

Well, I am hosting Christmas this year. So be sure to check back in to see how I was able (and how quickly and easily) to get my house all cleaned up for the holidays!

This post contains product that I received at no cost in exchange for this post. It did not influence my opinions of the product or my review. All my thoughts are completely mine. 

Feature Friday Link Party

Welcome To Friday Feature
Karren and I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones and
Enjoying The Holidays!!!!

How was everyone’s December going so far? Anyone all into the holiday season so far? Decorations up, telling everyone Merry Christmas? And on that note, how many of you guys say Merry Christmas verses Happy Holidays? We are lucky enough to live in a small town, and travel to the big city near by often. It gives us a nice opportunity to talk to the girls about when it is ok to say Merry Christmas verses when it is a bit more PC to say Happy Holidays. But my opinion is that any saying with a smile is so much nicer in today’s world; then not saying anything at all.

On that note, lets get our first party of the holiday season up and going.

“Friday Feature Linky Party”

Karren Haller Oh My Heartsie Girl 7-26-2014

Karren Haller | Oh My Heartsie Girl | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+

Karren’s Friday Features are Christmas Wreaths that she found mostly on Pinterest and the Food Network Wreaths made with foods. Do you make wreaths and display them outside?

Grinch-Christmas-Wreath-595x800 style blue print

She loved this, the Grinch That Stole Christmas, Liza from Style Blue Print said that she made this one in about 4 minutes, well maybe give or take a few.christmas-wreath From Just Imagine

Beautiful with just the Christmas Decorations and your intial!!! From Justin Imagine

Marshmellow Wreath Food Network

Making Wreaths With Food, who would have thought of creating a wreaths by using Marshmellows From the Food NetworkRock Candy Wreath Wreaths-018_s4x3.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide from the Food Network

Rock Candy Wreath would last longer than a real one Food NetworkDivider 371855gobubm297p

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In case you missed my posts this week:

Looking for a new lipstick? Wanting to know what is season this winter?
Well Matte is all the rage right now. Need a tips or tricks to pull this
off, then be sure to check out this week’s Monday MakeUp. Model Co

Confessions of The Perfect Mom Matt Lipsticks

~♥♥♥♥♥♥~

Perfect-Parent (1) Ok I love to read. I read just about anything and everything, on a large
range of topics. This was an AMAZING read on parenting. Even though I have
been a parent for all of my adult life, I still found so much useful
advice in this book. It is worth the read, even for us seasoned mamas. Read the whole post here The Perfect Parent

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If you have been featured please feel free to grab our
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[ Or Found Here ]
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Please follow us in some way
We would love it if you would Pin Something
Kindly leave a comment, so we can visit and comment too!
Build Friendships by visiting and commenting on the 3 blogs before you
Have a wonderful Weekend!!! ♥
Give Us A Little Tweet If You Like Our Party ♥

The “Perfect” Parent

Perfect Parent

WOW!! After reading it, was my reaction. For a little background, I am a researcher. I love reading and researching and basically devouring every book on any given topic. Sometimes I read really great ideas and sometimes I put it down knowing it is not for me; but I do read it all. My hubby thinks it is ridiculous, but hey it is who I am.

So knowing that, when we became parents (not just the first time, but every time we did) I read every parenting book out there. Everything from infancy, to toddlers, to potty training, to sibling rivalry, to types of parenting styles, basically if it had anything to do with being a parent I have read it. And even though, I no long have a baby in the house I continue to read them.

Why you ask? I mean I have been a parent now for almost half my life, my girls are doing well, many people ask me about my “secret” for being a “perfect” parent. Why spend the time (and money) to continue to read about what others are doing?

Because kids are ever growing and changing. My kids come at me from different angles all the time, they might need me to come back at them in a new/different way. It is an easy way to find out new ideas to help, if you are having trouble getting through a “phase”. And it is nice to know that my issues are not solely MY issues. Because of this I was so excited to receive an advanced copy of The ”Perfect” Parent.

This book is by far one of the best that I have read. I love her down to Earth tone. She is so easily relatable and her advice is simple to implement. She breaks her book into 5 different tools:

  1. Honorable Parenting
  2. Approachable Parenting
  3. Sensible Parenting
  4. Reasonable and Responsible Parenting
  5. Enjoyable and Memorable Parenting
  6. Then as a bonus she includes “The Perfect Parent Toolbox” which is a quick reference guide of her book

I can see, after reading this, that I focus a lot of my parenting at the Enjoyable Parenting. While this is not a bad thing, it leaves things a little unbalanced. Things can’t be enjoyable all the time. And it helped showed me how to be a bit more sensible. This is one book that I will go back to and refer to often as my children challenge me, or as I feel that I am going back to old habits of being unbalanced.

How about all of you guys? Do you read parenting books, or just go by gut feelings? Would this be a book that you would choose to read? Let me know your thoughts.

If you are wanting more information please click: The ”Perfect” Parent.

Monday MakeUp- Matte Lipstick

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? We hosted our first big Thanksgiving dinner here at the Ryan house. My domestic skills are a bit on the slacking side, cooking is not exactly something that I excel at. To say that I was nervous, is like calling an iceberg an ice-cube. With a little bit of help, we were able to pull it off. Pretty proud of myself over here!!

IMG_4411

So onto Monday MakeUp……

Do you love matte lipsticks? I know that I do. Sometimes though, I find that they are incredibly hard to pull off. Matte lipsticks are not know to be the most friendly makeup to work with. They have a tendency to be dry (and drying), they show cracks, they can make lips look smaller. But with a little prep work they are wonderful, for those times that you don’t want a shiny, sticky, sparkly mess on your lips.

A few simple steps to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure that you exfoliate your lips before hand. This will pull off any flakes that are bound to show up with a matte lipstick
  2. Use a lip liner that is the same color as your lips. This will help keep the lipstick where you want it, and help keep them from looking smaller.
  3. I always put a bit of lip balm on my lips before a matte lipstick. This will help keep them from drying out on you.

In my BirchBox last month, I received a sample of ModelCO Party Proof Lipstick and LOVED it. Even though they are completely matte, they don’t dry out my lips at all. The color is true to the tube color. They would look flattering on just about everyone. Plus they had major staying power. They really are Party Proof.

Luckily I had some points saved up and was able to use them on the box set of their neutral collection. To be honest, I was a bit nervous buying lipstick online (well actually I buy very little of anything online). But once it got here, totally worth it!!

It came with three matte neutral colors:

  • Get Naked- Is a light flesh tone color, with a peachy undertone. On me it almost makes my lips nonexistent. Which is perfect to go with a very dark smokey eye.
  • Kitty- Is a very light ballet pink color. This has become my new go-to day time color. It is just so soft and girlie. While I am not normally a pink girl, this looks good even on my skin tone.
  • Dusk Till Dawn- This is a mute dusty rose color. While it is not my favorite of the three, it is certainly not disliked. It is a slightly darker version of my natural lip color. It would be a perfect color if you are going for a natural look, but with a little oomph. Or for afternoon tea.

I can see getting a lot of use out of all three of these colors. What about you guys? What lipstick colors do you wear? Are you a fan of the matte or do you like the more satin traditional lipsticks?

Feature Friday Party

Welcome To Friday Feature-
Formerly Weekends Are Fun Linky Party

We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones and
Wish You Happy Holidays!!!!

“Friday Feature Linky Party”

Karren Haller Oh My Heartsie Girl 7-26-2014

Karren Haller | Oh My Heartsie Girl | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+
I hope that you are all enjoying your Holiday weekend, my husband and I had a quite Thanksgiving, just the two of us, and 2 cats. We didnt make the traditional turkey but a chicken with stuffing, a ham, my green beans recipe, baked yams, and a few other things. It was plenty, then we will be watching the Cowboys play Football and I always look forward to the half time activities and I am rooting for the Cowboys. So who’s shopping today? Who’s ready for Christmas? Who’s decorated? Do you send out Christmas Cards? Oh and what about Elf, got one?November 25 Wordless Wednesday

For my feature today I have decided to share Mason Jars. It seems that these days they are used for everything, and I mean from making gifts by filling jars with recipes and adding cut tags, to using them to make luminaries, decorations, snow-globes you name it, if you can think it up you can make it!!! And I am addicted to finding them and pinning to my exclusive Mason Jar Pinterest Board. Thats where the pic from above comes from created by using PinCo. The Only Pinterest™ Collage Creator

Oh and did you see those cute decorations made with salt and pepper shakers, I know their not a mason jar but they are darling.

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Date in a Jar {ice skating} ~ A fun and unique idea for a gift, a “date in a jar”.  Fill a jar with little clues and useful items to use on the date.Date in a Jar {ice skating} ~ A fun and unique idea for a gift, a “date in a jar”. Fill a jar with little clues and useful items to use on the date.

Canning jars made into snow globes filled with fake snow, and little heart oranaments, topped with a silver sugar bowl top to finish

Canning jars made into snow globes filled with fake snow, and little heart ornaments, topped with a silver sugar bowl top to finish. Chipping With Charm

25 amazing mason jar recipes gifts in a jar, from cookies, soup mixes,Mason jar recipes make great holiday gifts! Whether the holiday is Easter, Christmas, or anything in between, if you are thinking of giving a DIY touch to this year’s holiday gifts, try using Mason jar recipes and make holiday gifts in a jar for your whole family! Here is a list of 25 delicious and easy Mason jar recipes to spark your creativity and get you started! Freebie Finding Mom

Mason-Jar-Light-handelier- for front porch from all things heart and homeDIY MASON JAR LIGHT50 Desserts in a Mason Jar50 Dessert In A Jar Recipes

Christms Mint Cookies P & P KitchenChristmas Mint Cookies
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And from my Co-Host over at Confessions of A Perfect
Mom Monday MakeUp- Getting Naked Again Monday MakeUp- November Ipsy Bag

~♥♥♥♥♥♥~
If you have been featured please feel free to grab our
“Featured Blogger Banner” I-was-featured-On-Oh-My-Heartsie-Girl