Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year, welcoming New Challenges

As 2012 approaches, I am looking forward to new challenges.
I don't like resolutions, but I do like to think about goals.
This coming year, I want to improve my blog content as well my general writing.  I am also going to work on interacting with my readers as well as my favorite blogs.
What are your goals and thoughts for the new year?


Monday, December 26, 2011

Sharing in a season of Blessings #CFKDisney #cbias

Earlier this month I shared with you that we were going to participate in Champions for Kids by filling stockings to share. Well last week, Cameron and I delivered these special stockings to a local Domestic Violence Resources Center, Henderson House. We decided to donate our stockings to Henderson House to let the recipients feel gentle love and kindness rather than violence for a little while in their lives.  

From their webpage, I thought this said a lot about Henderson House
Our mission is to provide safety, shelter and services to empower women and children in their recovery from being victimized by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. We work to promote change in the societal conditions that allow oppression and all forms of violence against vulnerable populations to exist, by providing direct services, education and outreach.

Sometimes we forget to look outside our own little circle and remember that people need to feel safe and loved. 

Follow our entire journey here  with our Google + photo story.

You can follow Champions for Kids projects on Facebook or get involved in up coming projects by following their website

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my friends and blog followers. Thank you for your support of the blog

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oral B and Crest race with Cars2

The party began as Thanksgiving dinner for the family, but little did the kids now that after dinner they were is for a healthy and fun surprise. After dinner we brought out goody bags filled with Crest and Oral-B stages toothbrushes, tooth paste, flossers, and Cars gummy vitamins. I had also added some Cars2 stickers as well as Cars themed Christmas Ornaments to color. The boys all explored their bags and then we put on the movie..All the kids and the adults sat down together to enjoy the movie...We laughed a lot, and the kids loved coloring the ornaments and decorating the bags with the stickers... The younger boys explore the flossers and the fun Cars themed toothbrushes. 
We were so grateful to MommyParties/ MomSelect as Crest/ Oral B for the new tooth brushes, toothpaste, and movie.  My boys have since shared more of the goodies with other friends as well as shared the movie as well.  I was very excited when Cameron decided we should include a set of the Disney themed items in our Christmas Stockings we filled as a community service project this last week. 
In addition to that, I use 1 set of the coupons we received to pick up a couple extra toothbrushes so that we can share the lessons/ trivia with our Youth Group when we get back together in January. 

I received a potion of the products mentioned in this post as part of the MommyParties program in exchange for hosting a party to share the products and a write up here on the blog. No other monetary compensation was received.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Some awesome deals I found for you

Social Spark has a new program with deal I get to share with my readers. Here are the ones I thought deserved a spot on the blog today.

Leave a comment if you would like to see more deals like this and I will make it a regular spot

Monday, December 19, 2011

Preparing our home and hearts for the Holidays #DisneyCFK #cbias

As the Holidays get closer and the craziness sets in, the boys wanted to decorate the fence. We had been blessed with a gift of 12 artificial wreaths with red bows attached. As the boys worked on the fence, we talked about what we can do for others this holiday season. Money is tight but that doesn't mean we can't help in some way.  We came up with a couple ideas and Thanks to Champions for Kids we are going to donate 2 stuffed stockings to the local Woman and Children's Shelter.

This year we were blessed by a dear friend who has a small field of Douglas Fir trees who let us get 2 trees for the house. The boys picked out a small tree for their room and we found a larger tree with lots of character. Knowing that someone cares is always a good feeling and that is one of the things that led me to Champions for Kids  and their message. I want the children that receive these stockings know that they are more than just material gifts, they are gifts of love and joy.  I am trying to teach my boys that the season is more about giving and love then about receiving gifts, it is about the joy that comes from friends and family and not about all the pretty paper, and it is about caring for those around us weather we know them or not.

C and I headed out to Walmart to shop for stockings for the shelter.   We had a couple of ideas in mind as we headed out, but really didn't have a list. We couldn't decide if we were going to fill  stockings for just boys or what, so as we were driving we talked about it, deciding to do 1 boy stocking and 1 girl stocking. Being the Holiday Season the we didn't park in our usual spot, we ended up on the opposite side of the store..

Cameron went to work picking out some awesome Cars and Disney Princess themed things to fill the stockings with.

We found these adorable little bottles of soap in Disney characters along with Hot Wheels, a watch, and a Night light in Cars 2 theme, as well as a package of stickers. We included a toothbrush and toothpaste as well to promote a happy healthy child. We also filled a stocking with Disney Princess theme and included  a Disney Princess toy, lip gloss, soap,  a watch , a toothbrush , toothpaste,  Disney Princess flossers, and stickers.

 Cameron and I had a blast shopping for someone else and filling the stockings was a blessing as well. We thought about the child that would receive this gift and prayed that these gifts would be received and be a blessing to that child.

We will be delivering the stockings this week and will share the rest of the story with everyone just as soon as we delivery them. In the mean time, remember that every child is special and you can be a Champion in their life.

“This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cookies, Cakes, and Pastries oh my

Did you know December 9th is National Pastry Day. I didn't until just recently.
In honor of a wonderful yummy Day, I thought I would share a couple yummy treats.

Oatmeal Applesauce cookies and Hazelnut Lace.

For the Oatmeal Applesauce cookies I used homemade applesauce and 1/2 date sugar.

For the Hazelnut Lace I used Torani Hazelnut syrup instead of the liquor  I am really thinking of piping in some Hazelnut Cream Frosting into the first batch of the lace as I made them a little big.

 I used fresh local Cranberries and Clear American Zero Calorie Flavored Water (Tangerine and Lime Flavored) instead of plain water to add a hint of citrus flavor.

Kiddo helped me with the baking this morning in exchange for a no school day, what he didn't know was the whole time we were working on these he was reading (the recipes), doing math (we made a double batch of the Oatmeal Applesauce cookies), and science (the chemistry of combining ingredients and what happens)

I am so thankful for for having an awesome assortment of recipes.  If you haven't used them lately check it out. You can search by ingredients that you have on hand or by recipes.

This post was written for SheSpeaks however this is a non sponsored post. All recipes are available on and linked accordingly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vintage Spool Ornaments

This year I really wanted to focus on homemade decorations and a more "green" holiday.  I have a stash of old wooden thread spools and thought it would be fun to hang them from the tree.
Nathan didn't think they would look good plain so we decided to jazz them up a bit. Not sure how it was going to turn out , I only pulled out 8 of the spools... I tried to get a good variety.

Using out stash of Elmer's 3D glitter glue we started adding glitter to the spools instead of thread. The green spool screamed green glitter.

Between Nathan and Mommy we glittered all 8 of the spools in no time.
I love the way the glitter sets up on the spools.

One thing we had to do as they were drying was turn them every so often to keep the glue from puddling.
The natural wooden spools create a nice contrast to the glitter.

I am still trying to decide on a hanger for the spools once we get our tree, I will either use a bead and ribbon to hang them or strategically space them on a garland.

This post is not a sponsored post, just something Nathan and I were playing around with and enjoying the Elmer's products we have been introduced to.

Friday, December 2, 2011

iMemories saving old video to new technology #PreservingMemories #cbias

Looking through boxes of old odds and ends I found a couple VHS tapes from Junior High and High School. Luckily I still have a working VCR but there really is no guarantee it is going to last, so I wanted to save these memories, especially since the building where most of these were shot is no longer standing.  

photo from The Oregonian 11/2009
A little back ground, when I was in the 8th grade I was a photographer.. I love all things camera and loved playing with lighting and contrast. When the all school play came along , my photography teacher asked me to take some black and white shots of the play. I showed up ready to take some standard shots, little did I know that photo assignment would forever change my path.  It may sound cliche' but I really didn't know anything about theater, and I hadn't really given it a second thought, until I met the director/ Drama teacher.. Shelly Cole was a force to be reckoned with and she knew what you were capable of and what she expected. If you chose not to do that , well get out of her way and let her find someone who would.  She asked me if I knew anything about lighting and foolishly I said, "yes" not realizing she meant stage/ theatrical lighting not photography lighting.  From that moment forward I was whole heartily involved in the theater.
During my freshman year, I performed in class, but mostly  assistant directed or did lighting in some capcity for every production we did, I also wrote storylines and scripts for a couple things; one of which was found on a VHS tape title "Murder Crimson Beach High".
If I remember right, it was a project for not only Drama but also our Freshman Language Arts class.
Fast foward to 2009 when we found out the school district had made the decision to tear down the building formally known as J.B. Thomas Jr. High and before that it was Hillsboro High School. The building had been built in 1928 and was no longer considered a viable structure for the school district.  A few people collected pictures of the building in its final days but I wanted to preserve the memories I had from my 6 years of theater inside those walls.
I knew as soon as I accepted the opportunity to work with iMemories this would be the perfect project, saving the memories even if the video is over the top silliness

The boys and I took the VHS tape to The UPS store in McMinnville and had the staff help us ship it off to iMemories in Arizona.

The process was easy. Simply ship them the tape and they would take care of the rest.  They scanned the video and even tried to include some parts of the tape that were worn.
Once they were done scanning the tape I received an email letting me know my videos were online for viewing.  It took a little over a week to get them all scanned and a day or 2 after for them to all show up in my account.

Once the clips were in my account, I could then arrange them however I wanted, even clip and rearrange sections of the video.
The ordering process was very smooth once I had the clips placed in a gallery and a DVD created.

We had one minor issue, but a quick email to customer service cleared that up and I was able to order the DVD with overnight shipping. I ordered on a Monday mid day, and received notice Tuesday afternoon that my DVD would arrive on Wednesday.

The DVD arrived and included screen shots of the movie clips on the cover (front and back) as well as the DVD itself.

Overall this was a fun journey and I hope the first on many more as I continue to find more of the old VHS tapes from my years in theater.

Get the whole journey Here in our Google Plus Album

The UPS Store on Twitter and Facebook

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias, the experiences and story are my own although the memories included on the DVD are shared among some very special friends.