Monday, May 2, 2016

SHD Winner

Hi friends!  I am so sorry for the super late post.  Life has just gotten so busy.

The winner of my Scrap Happy Deals gift card is DOLORES!  YAY!!!  Thank you to everyone who entered!  Dolores, please contact me to claim your prize!!!  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Small Business Week 2016

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  We are doing pretty good, just busy busy busy!  School is almost over for this year and I can't believe it!  My weekends are booking up super far in advance but other than that, we are great!  

Brazzlebox, a free online community for small business and entrepreneurs, created an image about Small Business Week and why it's better to shop local.  I have no affiliation with this company but love the image that they created so I wanted to share it with you.  I'm trying to do my best to support more small businesses and that's a huge focus on my EatingElkGrove Instagram.  

Currently, I have a home based business as a consultant with Just Jewelry.  Though I haven't pursued it as much lately, having the Just Jewelry business really benefits my family.  I am able to work flexible hours so that I can be home with my kids.  I can even work online.  Also, through having my Just Jewelry website I am able to do offer fundraisers to my friends all around the country and everyone can shop from their homes.  I am able to donate my earnings from parties which is much more than I can afford to donate on my own.  

My Just Jewelry business really allows me to better BE the person I want to be.  I can stay home with my kids and bring in a little income.  I can help my friends out with fundraisers for their adoptions, their medical bills, their children's medical bills, and other amazing causes.  

Try to support small business this week!  You are helping families and your own community.  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Scrap Happy Deal Haul and Giveaway!

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  We are ok.  We have ALLERGIES in full effect in California right now, let me tell you!  It is crazy!  But the weather is absolutely stunning right now so I guess you win some you lose some.

Today, I have a SPECIAL treat for you all!  I'm doing a GIVEAWAY!  We sweet friend Kim opened up a store in February called Scrap Happy Deals.  I have been shopping with Kim for quite some time, previously she had her store on Facebook.  Kim always gets the latest hottest releases from awesome companies that I love like American Crafts, Jillibean Soup, Simple Stories, Lawn Fawn, and lots lots more!  I shop at Scrap Happy Deals a lot.  She offers 10% off retail prices on EVERYTHING everyday!  She also has an option for people to put all their purchases into a "Monthly Box" and have it ship once a month instead of placing lots of small orders and paying for shipping multiple times.  This is the option I use to save on shipping.

Here is my most recent haul.  I know it's a big one but this is where I got all my CHA releases for this year.  I'm so excited to put all this in my Pocket Scrapbooking album!  (All of these items were purchased by me for my personal use.)

Kim also has challenges every month where you can win store credit.  I try to play along when I can because who doesn't love a good challenge?  You can find the challenges in Scrap Happy Deals Facebook Group.  The group is also where she shows new items, items that are on sale, and other fun promotions.

Today, I collaborated to bring you a giveaway!  Would you like to win a $20 Gift Certificate to Scrap Happy Deals?  I would.  But I can't win, only YOU can!

How to win:

~ MANDATORY: Join the Scrap Happy Deals Facebook Group and then leave a comment HERE to tell me you did.

~ Optional: Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, blog, or any other social platform.  Leave me a LINK to the post where you shared.  Leave 1 comment per link.  You can share as many times as you'd like but only 1 comment per method per day will be accepted.  Example: if you share today on Facebook and Twitter, please leave 1 comment for a Facebook link and 1 comment for a Twitter link. If you want to share again tomorrow, you can leave new comments tomorrow with NEW links of new posts you shared.

This giveaway will end April 18, 2016 at 11:59pm and winner will be announced on my blog.  You will have to email me to claim your prize.  Good luck!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy LATE Easter!

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  I had the flu over Easter.  :(  It was awful!  I wanted to share these boxes with you before Easter but I just didn't have the energy.  We were hit so hard this year with illness, I'm hoping it's over for this year.

Today, I'm sharing some cute little treat boxes I made at my friend Rachel's crop using her CTMH supplies.  Rachel had these as a make and take at her crop and I got to put a little spin on each of them.  I made one for each of my kids (with the help of my friend Patricia.)  The kids thought they were great and I liked being able to personalize each one to suit my kids while keeping them cohesive.  You can check out Rachel's CTMH site for all the supplies.

Hope you're all having a great week!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Another New Venture

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  We are doing pretty good.  We are towards the end of the boys's break.  It's been a long one but we've gotten to do a fair amount of things and see a good amount of people.

About a week ago, I decided to try something new.  I've been taking pictures of the food I've been eating and leaving little reviews with a picture on Facebook.  These posts have gotten tons of views and comments so I figured that people enjoy them.  I really enjoy writing them too.  I was trying to figure out a platform to move forward with this.  I might move some reviews, comparisons, etc... onto this blog (since I have already paid for a year at this domain, mostly.)  BUT for now, I'm on Instagram.  My Instagram name for my food account is EatingElkGrove.  In retrospect, maybe I should have made the location a little be broader.  Oh well.

If you'd like to keep up with my eating adventures and photos, please come follow me!  I'm doing photos with short reviews.  I'm really enjoying it!  Not only the posting but learning all about Instagram.  Previously, I'd been using Instagram to post little snippets of my life and share with family and friends, kind of like an extension of Facebook.  Now, I've read tons of articles on Instagram and I'm learning all the ins and outs.  It's really cool to learn something new and social media is just the way this world is heading.

Have you decided to do anything new this year?  Tell me all about it in the comments!  Have a great day, friends!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: Lularoe for the Plus Sized Gal

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  We are pretty good.  We are trudging through our break time and finding simple ways to enjoy it.

Photo from LulaRoe Facebook Page
Today, I'm writing a review that I've spent a very long time working on!  I'll be reviewing Lularoe clothes specifically for plus sized ladies.  The reason I'm writing this post is that I've been contacted several times by friends who are plus sized asking about size, fit, comfort.  One of my friends said she searched online and couldn't find anything about how Lularoe fits plus sized women.  As a plus sized woman, I know how hard it is to look for clothes especially online.  I know how it can be SO disappointing to drive to a store where they are supposed to have plus sized items and have nothing fit you.  And I know what it's like to be very self conscious about trying to shop and being too big especially in front of strangers.  Even though it's awkward and I feel super insecure posting all these pictures of myself, here goes!  I am in no way sponsored by Lularoe nor do I have any affiliation with the company.  The items I have were either purchased by me, given as a hostess credit for parties I've hosted, and I won 1 item in a giveaway.

First off, I've had both online and in person parties.  If you are interested in these clothes, I highly suggest an in home party with a local consultant.  They bring over tons of clothes and you can try them all on.  You invite your friends and they can shop too.  What's AMAZING is that my friends of all different shapes and sizes could shop together!  I normally cannot shop with most of my friends because I have to go to specialty stores or special order things online.  It was really really fun!  We had snacks, wine, and chatted.  I saw so many friends from different facets of my life that night and it was amazing!

I'm sure you all want to hear about the leggings.  YES!  They are as buttery soft as everyone says they are.  They are really cute!  They only come in two sizes for adults One Size (sizes 2-12) and Tall and Curvy (sizes 12-22.)  Personally, I bounce around in most companies sizes.  Sometimes I'm a 20, sometimes I'm a 22, sometimes I'm a 24.  Lularoe leggings fit me fine.  My friend told me that they fit her mom who is a size 26 as well.  They do vary a little bit from pattern to pattern however.  My blue umbrella pair are super stretchy and comfy but there's also extra bunching at the bottom.  Some of them don't have as much extra length.  Some of them are a little more snug in the tummy area.  I carry a lot of my weight in my tummy.  These variations are not bothersome enough for me to stop buying them.

I LOVE the fun patterns!  At first, I was self conscious about wearing such loud prints.  I tend to wear a lot of black, wanting to look slimmer and wanting to fade into the background.  I will say that people will look at your loud pants.  I've gotten a lot of compliments on them and they are great conversation starters.  However, there are times when I feel like people are staring and I'm working on not letting it bother me.  Also, after I started photographing myself in the leggings, I decided that they actually are quite slimming.  I have large legs in both thighs and calves.  I feel like the patterns kind of trick the eye into thinking my legs are slimmer than they are somehow.  I didn't have access to the athletic leggings to try on.

Here are some outfits that I have and some that I tried on at a party.

Dresses: Personally, I couldn't fit into the Amelia dress or the Julia.  They were too tight in the bust for me.  The Ana (bottom middle worn in 3XL) and the Nicole (bottom left worn in 2XL) dresses work for me.  They are a little snug in the bust but they fit and I can wear them.  I really like the way the skirts are cut, they mask my large stomach.

Shirts: I have a Classic T (top left), a Perfect T (top right), and an Irma (not shown.)  The Irma is boxy on me and I'm still trying to work with it.  The one I have is an XL and I can wear a L.  The Classic T is awesome!  It's a great length and it goes a little longer in the back.  It also flows away from the tummy at the bottom.  I have a 3XL but I could wear a 2XL but it's more snug in the belly.  The Perfect T has slits on both sides and flows away from your midsection as well.  It's also longer and it's very flattering on me.  I have a 3XL and could easily wear a 2XL.  The Randy shirt does not work on me.  I can get it on but it's very tight on my stomach.

Kimono: I got 3 Lindsay Kimonos.  I'm wearing a blue striped Lindsay in MEDIUM in the top left photo and a teal glittery Lindsay in the lower right picture.  These are cute little additions to my wardrobe.  It's nice to have something to throw on over an outfit.  They are more flowy than cardigans and give a more artsy look.  I felt that the Monroe wasn't really my style with the fringe

Skirts: In the top middle photo, I'm wearing a Lucy skirt in 2XL.  I wear it under the bust with a shirt tucked in and it looks like a dress.  I love the lace!  It's so feminine and pretty!  This isn't something I would have picked out for myself but I tried it on at the party and like it.  Also, you can wear it as a strapless dress.  I've tried it this way with a belt and it was SO cute!  I haven't worn it out like that but I will next date night.  The Maxi skirt is really cute!  I'm wearing it on the lower right corner in a 3XL.  I can also fit in the 2XL.  These are stretchy and have a yoga waistband.  Not pictured is the Cassie pencil skirt.  I can fit in the 2XL and the 3XL but it emphasizes my large belly.  It looks fine with a long shirt over the top.  I didn't have access to try out Lola or Azure.

And the CUTEST thing ever is that they have little girls clothes too!  I only had access to the leggings.  These are the S/M size and they fit sizes 2-6.  They also have M/L and Tween.  They have other little girls clothes too and I can't wait to try them!  They are a bit more than I usually spend on Avery's clothes but if these leggings hold up really well then I might consider spending more on clothes for her.  Also, this might be the only chance I'll ever have to wear Mommy and Me clothes with Avery.  I have friends who are smaller who can shop in the same section as their kids and I don't think I'll every be able to do that.  Thanks LulaRoe for letting me do this fun dressing like my daughter thing!

If you'd like to buy any LulaRoe, I am hosting an ONLINE party with my friend Lara on Feb 28 from   6pm-9pm pacific time on Facebook.  Just message me on Facebook, email me, or leave a comment.  Lara and I have been friends for a long time (probably about 10 years) and she's a real sweetheart!  (If you buy from the party, it will help me earn hostess credit.)  She also has a LulaRoe VIP group you can join but your first chance to purchase will be at my party.  OR you can join my friend Heather's LulaRoe VIP Facebook group.  Heather and I have been friends for 10 years or so and she's a hoot!  Actually, join both groups, every LulaRoe Consultant has different items.  OR I'm sure there's a consultant close to you.

I hope this post helps someone that might be struggling with finding comfortable plus sized clothes or wondering if LulaRoe would work for their body.  Giant hugs, my friends!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Starbucks Smoked Butterscotch Review

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  We are ok.  We are still on our off-track time and while we are enjoying it, there are just so many germs this time of year!  We will make it through.

Today, I'm doing something new and super fun for me so we'll see where it goes.  Review posts on my blog are actually quite popular.  I love reviewing things!  Especially things in the categories I like so why not write them?

One of my favorite things in the world is COFFEE.  Are you surprised?  I will say that I'm in no way affiliated with Starbucks (but I WOULD be, can someone make that happen??) and all my opinions are my own.  I think people are always curious about the new drinks so I when I got a coupon for a frappuchino I decided to try it.

Here's the picture of the Smoked Butterscotch Frapp.  I got a grande and I got it as is so that I could taste how it's actually supposed to be served.  It was good but it is VERY sweet.  It wasn't so sweet that I couldn't finish it but I wouldn't order another one without adding at least one espresso shot.  I didn't taste any smoky flavor in this drink but it tasted a lot like butterscotch.

In the interest of being thorough, I also tried the hot Smoked Butterscotch latte and the iced version.  (I didn't get a picture of the iced one.)  The hot latte is really creamy and you could smell a bit of the smokiness.  It's not nearly as sweet as the frappuchino.  The butterscotch is a lot more subtle in this version.  The ICED latte is my favorite.  I think something about the ice brings out the the flavor of the butterscotch while the espresso balances out the sweetness.  The iced latte is super smooth but not too sweet in fact if I didn't know it was butterscotch, I would have a hard time pin pointing the flavor. It was just really good and will probably go into my rotation of drinks I order from Starbucks.

I hope these simple reviews help you decide if you want to order these drinks or not.  Have a great day, friends!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Caring for the Cox Family Winners

Hi friends!  My son randomly picked a number and we assigned that number (15) as the GoFundMe people.  Then I used to pick a blog 1-16 and then pick a number from the comments left on that blog/list.

Here are the winners:

1. CAS-ual Fridays Stamps -
From Lisa Lara's blog:
Daria Z. said...
I love the colorful ferris wheel against the black and white skyline. Such a pretty card.

2. Lawn Fawn-
From Lynnette Kauffman's blog:

Debbie Bonczek said...
Love your adorable card. It reminds me that spring is coming! 
Such a pretty card with all those layers and butterflies. Certainly hope good things are ahead for the Cox family.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Update On Caring for the Cox Family Blog Hop

Hi friends!  I hope that you are doing well!  We are ok.  We are fighting off a little cold in our house which is hard when all the kids are home ALL the time!  We'll make it through though.  The weather is GORGEOUS in California right now so I can't wait to get better and go outside to play!

I wanted to give you some updates on the Caring for the Cox Family Blog Hop:

First off, my sweet friend Kim from Scrap Happy Deals saw my post and decided to MATCH my gift certificate post for this hop!  Isn't she the BEST EVER??  If you donate (ANY AMOUNT) to the Cox Family Go Fund Me Page and leave a comment on my original post, then you will be entered to win a $20 gift certificate to Scrap Happy Deals where they have all the latest CHA release, an exclusive line of Dori style notebooks, and so much more!  I shop at this store at least once a month!  If you end up shopping here, please tell Kim I sent you!

Speaking of the Cox Family GoFundMe Page, this blog hop has raised around $500 for the Cox Family!  That is AMAZING!  However, the page is still $4535 away from reaching goal so if your heart tells you it's the right thing and you have a few dollars to spare, please consider donating to this amazing family!

ALSO, REMINDERS: The blog hop is still open!  All you need to do to win is leave comments on the blog hop.  There are over $150 in prizes to be won!  Also, if you want to make a card for the Cox Family there is a LINK-UP HERE so they can see your card online OR if you want to win a $30 gift certificate to Hero Arts please check out Amy's post for details.

Huge thank you to all the sponsors of our hop (CAS-ual Fridays Stamps. Lawn Fawn, SugarPea Designs,) all the designers who participated, and each blog reader for making this a successful event!  The outpouring of love is wonderful!!  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Caring for the Cox Family Blog Hop (and Giveaway)

Hi friends!  I hope you're doing well.  I have a very special post for you today.  I am joining with my new friend Karen Kelly to put on a blog hop for our dear friend Ann Cox and her family.  Please join us!  We have AMAZING sponsors, some awesome of our awesome bloggers are offering up giveaways on their blog, and there's going to be a whole lot of beautiful creations too.  I'm the FIRST stop on this hop so I have all the info for you!  

Ann Cox is a fellow card maker and a teacher.  She and her husband Kevin have been together for 20 years and have a little 2 year old boy named Liam.  Kevin is the primary caretaker for Liam while Ann teaches.  Recently, Kevin had to have triple bypass heart surgery and he's having trouble with his kidney (he donated the other to his father.)  This amazing family needs a little help to get through this hard time.  They have had to put Liam in childcare and they have medical expenses piling up.  The amazing Karen Kelly has set up a page to help raise funds for the family.  Please check out their GoFundMe page:  

We have AMAZING sponsors for this hop!  Check out these awesome prizes!
CAS-ual Fridays Stamps $50 gift certificate 
Lawn Fawn Stamps $50 gift certificate 
SugarPea Designs $50 gift certificate 

To enter to win the prizes, please complete the hop and leave comments on each stop.  Bonus entries will be given to those who donate to the GoFundMe page (not required to win.)  Winners will be drawn on Feb 11 and posted right here.  

If you would like to show your support for the Cox Family by making a card and posting it to your blog, there will be a linkup at our last stop CAS-ual Fridays.

Here is my card for this hop.  I wanted to send the family something that would cheer them up so of course I'm sending a card that looks EXACTLY like my daughter.  (I know, I'm weird.)  The stamps are from Mama Elephant and the patterned paper is Doodlebug.  

I'm also offering an additional giveaway.  My friend Kim just opened up a new scrapbook store, Scrap Happy Deals.  I have purchased a $10 gift certificate for this blog hop.  If you make a donation to the Cox Family's GoFundMe page and would like to win, please leave me an additional comment letting me know!  ETA: Kim from Scrap Happy Deals read my post and has decided to match my purchase for this gift certificate!  That means if you donate and leave a comment here you will be entered to win a $20 gift certificate to Scrap Happy Deals!  Thank you Kim!!

Your next stop on this hop is the AMAZING Karen Kelly!   

Here is the full hop list, I've updated with all the permalinks that I could.  If you get lost along the blog hop, please come back here for reference.