Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Strawberry and Blood Orange Salad {And winner of Applegate Pizza Party in a Box}

Strawberry Blood Orange Salad:
- greens of your choice, I use Organic Girl Super Greens
- Strawberries
- Segments of one half a blood orange
- Candied nuts
- Honey goat cheese

Add to bowl and enjoy this spring salad!

And Gretchen P, you are the lucky winner of The Applegate Pizza Party in a Box! Please email your address.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Applegate Pizza Party in a Box Giveaway

It's no secret I LOVE me some Applegate.
I mean I did a whole lunch series with them back at the beginning of school, I buy their Sunday Bacon in bulk at our BJ's, and I always have some form of their cheeses on hand 
{another not so secret, I LOVE cheese}.

When I heard they had come out with new mini pepperonis in turkey and pork options, I was stoked.
And my excitement continued when my Pizza Party in a Box arrived.

When I pulled all the goodies out and said to the kids its PIZZA night, they responded with 
"Can we have calzones?" 
Um, sure why not.  
Cause pepperonis aren't just for pizza right?!

A little bit of important info on these tasty bites that will make you feel good about feeding them to your clan:

-100% vegetarian grain-fed pork or turkey - no fillers
- No antibiotics
- Less fat and sodium than conventional brands
- Made from humanely raised pork and turkey
- No hormones
- Perfect on pizza, salads, a meat and cheese board, and just snackin’

We leaned towards the turkey, thats not to say the pork isn't delicious.  But I think since we have been using turkey pepperonis for so many years it was just a taste and texture we were more use to. 
And yes I have a "fancy" calzone maker.  It's really not necessary but the kids love to flip it and cut the excess dough off so we use it. 

And for a little extra veg option I also made zucchini boats. Simply half and cut the ends of, then scrap the seeds out.  Fill with sauce, add you pepperonis and cheese and bake with your calzones or pizza.  

All in all I think Applegate has another home run on their hands. 
And they want to send one lucky person their own Pizza in a Box to see for themselves!

Box includes:

·         Both varieties of new Applegate Naturals Mini Pepperoni and Provolone Cheese
·         King Arthur Flour Pizza Crust Mix (also available in Gluten Free!)
·         Small batch tomato sauce
·         Recipe for mini pizzas
·         Pizza cutter
·         Kitchen towel
·         Apron

Just leave a comment below.
Open to US residents only til midnight Feb 16th. 
Winner will pick randomly by and announced Monday Feb 17th.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Snap Shop DSLR Course Review {Under The Sycamore}

I just noticed that it has been since December when I blogged last.
But not a week goes by that I don't think out loud to a friend, I wish I was blogging more.
I am not sure how or why I fell off the wagon.
Then I got an email back in December that had my jaw hitting the ground and my butt jumping in the air.
Ashley Ann had sent me an email, me little old me, seeing if I would like to take her DSLR Snap Shop Course for a review.
Two seconds later I was responding YES, but not before deleting all the excited expletives I had added, didn't want her second guessing asking me, haha.

We just finished the course and I am feeling refreshed.
Just like many of you out there my iphone has become my camera, its readily available, it takes AMAZING photos, its crazy easy to upload right to social media, and it fits right in our back pockets.

But for me I crave more out of photography.
I want to not take photos but I want to capture memories.
I want photos I can look back on and feel the moments.
I want to feel like I am creating art with my images.

And for that to happen I need to understand my camera.
I want out of that safe green box.
Because it is not the camera that makes a great photo it is how you use it in manual.

Ashley's course is designed for us amateurs to get the basics of operating in manual, using the elements of composition for getting a great shot, and telling a story.

First let me say this.
I am SO not an online course kind of girl.
I am a in yo face, hands on learner. 
Which made me nervous about this.
I am not one to go on message boards and dig for hours on questions asked and try to tie them back to the course material, thats just not how my brain works. 

So the relief I felt when I first logged on and saw how the course was setup was HUGE.
The fact that there is a comment section at the end of each chapter, made my life so much easier.
I like organization, despite what my desk looks like right now, I promise I like it. 

Like I mentioned before this course is designed for amateurs.  
If you have basic knowledge of your camera, ie ISO, aperture, and such, then its not the course for you. 
But if you are just now clicking over that dial from green to M, then this is the BEST place to start.

Ashley has a great knowledge and experience, but she doesn't leave you scratching your head thinking you will never get it. She is there to answer questions and provide helpful tricks to get it down.

There are helpful printouts with areas to add notes.
And at the end of the course you get the opportunity to share your images with the group and get critiques. 

I leave the course with a plan.
A plan to commit to at least one day a week putting my phone down and using strictly my camera.
It may be bigger, harder to use, more time consuming, but it gives me so much more satisfaction knowing I did it. 
And I owe that to Ashley, her course has given me the confidence I needed to step out of my comfort zone and work for that image.  
Looks like her next course is booked but one opening in May, so perfect time to ask for a Valentines gift! 

 If DSLR is not your speed but you want to nail down amazing shots with your phone, Ashley also offers up an phone course!! 

Thank you Ashley for giving the push I needed!

Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY Christmas Cork Board Card Holders

This past Thursday I had the privilege of attending The Meet and Make hosted by the ridiculously cute Sarah Hearts. 
And upon our arrival we were given swag bags and among they adorable items was some Christmas wrapping paper from HelloHeyYo

I immediately thought there was no way I was going to be able to cut it up, tape it, then sit back and watch someone tear it up and throw it to the ground.
Yes, I was that in love.
To set my heart palpations at ease, I came up with a little DIY ensure future use and viewing pleasure of the paper.

Ok side note:
When I started this I thought the tacky spray would be a good call, which much to my frustration it was not.  Do just pretend that is not even in the photo below.

Get you some awesome HelloHeyYo paper
Cork boards, I got a 4 pack from Target.
Mod Podge and foam brush
And a coordinating spray paint.

First thing I did was lay the boards on the paper to figure out the best layout.  Then traced them on the paper and trimmed.

The paper was going to be a little short so I spray painted the edges gold when I sprayed the other to boards.

Take a good amount of mod podge to the boards.  Then lay paper down and mod podge the tops.

Dry and hang with some 3m strips.
As you can see in the photo below, my top left one got some serious creasing.  This is the one I used the spray adhesive on. Insert my frustration. 

These boards are our new card holders.  
Just a little straight pin action to hold them in place.

The paper is seriously amazing.
And Rebecca has so generously offered a $5 off a $25 purchase.
And you have til Dec 13 for a Christmas delivery time.

PS:  This is totally not just a Christmas project.

Before I go, here is our fam bam card for this year.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Swags Out of the Bag {The Crafty Social: Fall 2013}

This past weekend we gathered, we took photo booth photos, we created, and we made friends.
The Crafty Social was such an amazing experience from start to finish for Sara and myself.
It's safe to say that we were taken aback by all the vendors who said yes to donating to our swag bags.
Being our first event and so close to the holidays were didn't know how it would go, but wow people were so very generous.  
This post is photo and link heavy but is worth it in the end, just think of it as a holiday shopping guide.

Kori at Paper and Pigtails, yes you have seen her name umpteen times on this blog, what can I say I kinda REALLY heart her something fierce, sent us 5x7 copies of her amazing watercolor prints. 

Need a great gift for your girlfriends or teachers maybe, Piper Polish would be perfect!
These glittery polishes add the perfect amount of sparkle to your hands.

 Its safe to say I LOVE everything Ashley Brooke Designs comes out with.  Her items are the prefect mix of sass and girlie.  So when we were told that she was donating her mugs, and said mugs came with our favorite sayin, um we were SUPER STOKED.

Chrissie Grace Art sent us a beautiful 8x10 piece of art work.  I love Chrissie's use of different textiles in her art and vibrant colors.  A great place for unique gifts for sure.

 I loved the tiny charms Houndstooth and Nail sent for each of the attendees.  The shop is filled with beautiful pieces. I want to add a few things to my Christmas List.

I loved that we got such a mix of products.  And the hair was not left out with Shimoshi Hair Fragrance, the perfect way to give your day three no wash hair a little spritz of freshness, come on we have all been there.  And some hair bling by the uber talented Sunshine and Carousels, I mean serious talk people check out her beautiful creations, from everyday to wedding day Erin has you covered.

I keep seeing Kidecals popping up in my social media circle, and I have been smitten.  It was so amazing of them to join in on our swag and send us keyboard decals.  They are SO cute, I know a few people that will be getting some VERY soon.

Not going to lie, it pays to have amazingly talented friends to call on.  Lindsay from Pen and Paint is one of them.  She came through like I knew she would, sending 10 mini notecard packs, 5 of each of the design shown.  The perfect little topper for a gift.  And add the Twine from The Twinery and your packages will be pop!

The ladies over at Bleue Boutique were so sweet and donated these beautiful studs.  Check out Bleue, its the best way to shop, flash sales every thursday night.

And last but not least we needed something to house all these goodies and Culture Flock Clothing sent over the perfectly perfect crafty themed totes. 

Not pictured unfortunately, adorable mini holiday bunting from  Everyday Party Mag.

Like I said at the tip top of this post, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of these vendors. 
So please visit them, shop and spread the love.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wreck It Ralph Family Costume

So its that time of the year again, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween.
Which means Fam Bam Halloween costume time, here is last years.
After a family vote, Wreck It Ralph won out.
And since it is one of Disney's lowest grossing movies of all time, there pretty much isn't anything out there for costumes, which meant A LOT of homemade.

Felix was the easiest.
After a friends suggestion, I snagged these patches on this Etsy shop.
Amazon came through with some cheap leather gloves and blue hat.
And he was done.

It was kinda up in the air which character I was going to be.
But for some reason EVERYONE agreed Momma should be the "mean girl" Taffyta Muttonfudge.
Not sure if I should be insulted by this or happy since she wears all pink.

But I set to work on Taffyta.
I got a pink ball cap at Michael's.
Cut the brim to shape it more like a helmet.
Attached some felt for the green brim and stem with leaf.

Lastly, since she has a sparkle to it, I glue beads around.
As for the rest, I took some white leggings from Target painted strips on them with fabric paint.
Got a hot pink satin jacket off American Apparel and took a men xl Hanes tank top and dyed it pink.

For Ralph, I grabbed a clearance orange vneck shirt, added a little green fabric at the neck and a few buttons.

Then with painters tape, I taped off sections for plaid and used a red fabric marker.

As I mention before Wreck It stuff is hard to come by.  When I went to find Ralph hands, it was looking like they would set us back an easy $60!!! So since that was not about to happen, I got Hulk hands for $13 and a can of spray paint. This idea was brilliant in my head, but lets just say by the end of the night Ralph had SLOWING turned into the hulk with chucks of spray paint being left in a travel behind us.

Vanellope took a bit of work just to find the things needed.
But I was able to get a hoodie at Target in just the right color.
And then added some pink rope I found at Joannes.
The leggings, I just taped off the strips and painted with fabric paint.
The skirt was just brown fabric ironed into pleats and then sewn onto an existing skirt.

After all that work we were all set for Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween.

I loved seeing the kids faces when someone would see us and say "They are Wreck It Ralph!!" It was worth all the work to go into it.

It was the perfectly magical family night we needed.
Talks have already started for next years.
I love this tradition.

And on a funny side note:
I thought I would get a white bob for my costume.
After a trip to Walmart {I hadn't been in 9 years when I witnessed a fist fight in the cat food/toy/toilet paper aisle}
Lets just say the packaging did not match the product,