Tuesday, November 25, 2014

7 for 7: Jenny Bunny Creations

Hi friends!  I'm back with more giveaways today!  I hope you guys are enjoying all the giveaways and come back everyday this week for MORE!

Giveaway Rules: Join me each day this week for a TWO new giveaways.  (There *might* be some bonus giveaways too.)  To enter the giveaways, you'll need to use the Rafflecopter that I post at the bottom of each blog post.  Each giveaway will be open for 14 days from the day it starts since it's a holiday week and I want to give people a chance to enter.  All readers are welcome, US or international, unless a giveaway specifies.  Winners will be announced on my blog and my Heart Hugs Designs Facebook Page.  Winners will have 72 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.  Good luck to everyone!

This next giveaway is from Jenny Bunny Creations.  When I first started this blog, it was my intention to review handmade items along with sharing my creations.  I've since ventured away from that.  Hmmm, I think I need to go back.  One of the first buyers I bought from on Etsy was Jenny Bunny Creations.  We became friends.  We've known each other for seven years because of Etsy!

Jenny creates beautiful jewelry and gorgeous crocheted items.  This month 50% of all her jewelry sales are going towards a family whose daughter Jaylee was born at 29 weeks and needs to stay in the hospital.  Jenny's daughter was also born at 29 weeks so she wants to help others the way she was helped.  I have A LOT of Jenny Bunny jewelry and it is GORGEOUS!  The quality is superior to anything you'd buy at a store.  I still have all my pieces after 7 years and they look like they did the day I bought them.  I haven't gotten any crocheted items yet but I know that they will be spectacular too!

This giveaway is for a fun pink cowl scarf.  It is 14 inches tall and 24 inches around but can stretch.  It is made of acrylic yarn.  It's perfect for winter!  She has more of these cowls in the store that would be perfect for gifts!

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 24, 2014

7 For 7: Unravel

Hi friends!  I'm BAAAACCCCCKKKK!  Guess why?!  Well, I accidentally overbooked by giveaways by one.  Next, I got offered one more giveaway.  Then, one thing lead to another and I'm doing two giveaways a day.  What can you do?  I love to give and I love my readers!  

Giveaway Rules: Join me each day this week for a TWO new giveaways.  (There *might* be some bonus giveaways too.)  To enter the giveaways, you'll need to use the Rafflecopter that I post at the bottom of each blog post.  Each giveaway will be open for 14 days from the day it starts since it's a holiday week and I want to give people a chance to enter.  All readers are welcome, US or international, unless a giveaway specifies.  Winners will be announced on my blog and my Heart Hugs Designs Facebook Page.  Winners will have 72 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.  Good luck to everyone!

Our next giveaway is funded by me.  I bought these items and I will ship them to the winner.  Unravel is a very important organization to me.  It was founded by my friend Libby Kranz to spread awareness and raise funding for pediatric cancer in honor of her daughter Jennifer (JLK) who passed away from a brain tumor.  If you read my blog during September, you'll know that this year we joined in their Fluttering Campaign which raised $158,000.  And this was only the first year.  Libby inspires me everyday because her heart knows no bounds.  She can achieve so much and she will keep her promise to JLK that she would help other kids with cancer.  The prize pack includes 1 Unravel Bumper Sticker, 1 Unravel Bracelet, 1 Unravel Brochure, and a $5 donation to Unravel made in your name.
Huge thank you to the Unravel office crew who went out of their way while they are still building their store to find these items and sell them to me!  You guys rock!!!

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 for 7: Mani Monday and a Jamberry Giveaway!

Hi friends!  GUESS WHAT?!?  It's my 7th Blogiversary celebration week!  Woohoo!  I cannot believe that I've had this blog for seven years already!  It has been a long and crazy ride!  I'm so grateful for every one of you that has taken the time to read my posts, leave comments, follow my blog, and form a friendship with me over the last seven years.  I could not imagine that 7 years ago my blog would lead me where I am today!

Giveaway Rules: Join me each day this week for a new giveaway.  (There *might* be some bonus giveaways too.)  To enter the giveaways, you'll need to use the Rafflecopter that I post at the bottom of each blog post.  Each giveaway will be open for 14 days from the day it starts since it's a holiday week and I want to give people a chance to enter.  All readers are welcome, US or international, unless a giveaway specifies.  Winners will be announced on my blog and my Heart Hugs Designs Facebook Page.  Winners will have 72 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.  Good luck to everyone!

Here's my manicure from this week.  Isn't it gorgeous?!  I'm wearing Jamberry Wraps in Floral Oasis and Fade to Black (which is retired.)  I love florals on my nails right now.  It's kind of my thing.  If you have any questions about Jamberry Wraps, come join my Mani Monday Facebook Party.
Giveaway time!  My sweet friend Ali is sponsoring this giveaway for me.  Thanks Ali!  If you don't have a Jamberry consultant, you need to check her out.  She is AMAZING at giving tips and she's always learning new ways to help her customers make Jamberry work for them!  The prize she is offering is a full set of Jamberry Wraps in Glitz, a nail kit, a buffer, and alcohol pads.  Basically, everything you need to do your nails other than the heat (you can just use a hair dryer.)  This giveaway for US residents only.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Bests: Nov 23, 2014

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are getting over a virus over at our house.  Sigh... I hope that this cold and flu season isn't as bad as last year.

Ok, now it's time for this week's Sunday Bests.  Are you guys liking this series?  I think it's kind of fun to see what people like and I love trying new things that my friends recommend.  Do you have favorites for this week?  Leave me a comment down below, I'd love to try them out!

1. EOS Rachel Roy Set.  I don't know about you but I'm an EOS lip balm fanatic!  I don't really use them for chapped lips but more for everyday touch ups for moisture.  I also LOVE them under lipsticks and gloss.  They make my lips smooth so the color glides on nicely.  I love this gift set!  I think it's beautiful and I'm excited to try the new flavors!  (I haven't opened it yet b/c I'm sick and I don't want to contaminate them with my germs.)

2. Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Rings.  These are so yummy!  They are like Funyuns but I think they are better.  They are really light and crispy.  My Target sells them for about $2 a bag.

3. Starbucks Dot Collection.  All the cups are ridiculously cute!  I kind of want all of them.  I've only gotten one cold cup so far and I can't really justify the price on getting more but I drool over them at Target and Starbucks.

That's it for this week!  Join me ALL this next week for my 7 year Blog Anniversary Party with GIVEAWAYS!

***Referral links have been used***

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Card

Hi friends!  I hope you are well.  Avery and I are a bit under the weather.  I hope we are better before Thanksgiving.  The boys will be on their Thanksgiving breaks soon and I'm hoping to do some fun things with them.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I made a Thanksgiving card at the crop I attended.  Now, I really need to give it away because I tend to keep cards forever and it's only good one time a year.  I used October Afternoon Apple Cider for the papers.  I used a couple pieces of washi tape this and some enamel dots.  The sentiment was from a Close to My Heart set that I borrowed from my friend Rachel.
Have a great day, everyone!  Also, please come back everyday next week for giveaways!  I'm having my 7th Blog Anniversary Celebration!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mani Monday on a Wednesday

Hi friends!  I hope you are well.  We are doing ok.  I can't believe that next week is Thanksgiving!  Things have been really busy lately.

Confession: Mani Monday is super late b/c I haven't had time to do my nails.  I really thought that the blog post would keep me on top of it but it's just been an exhausting week.  This mani belongs to Jan Farnworth who is also the WINNER of the linkup!  Woohoo!  YAY Jan!  
Link up to get a special prize from me!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Bests: Nov 16, 2014

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are doing pretty good.  We are having a nice relaxing weekend and we are off to have dinner with some friends in a little bit.

Today, I'm sharing my favorite things from this week.  (Post includes affiliate links.)  This is just random stuff that I like.  If you want to see things of a certain category or brand, just leave me a comment.

1. Covergirl Lash Blast Fusion Waterproof Mascara.  I use the shade Very Black.  I couldn't find this mascara a while back (someone with tiny hands who loves to play with mommy's makeup put it in the wrong drawer) so I went out and bought another mascara.  After a few days, I had to get this one again.  I love the formula!  It's not clumpy but gives a lot of volume and length.  The brush is awesome for separating your lashes and making them look full.  I use waterproof because I have very oily skin and regular mascaras will give me "raccoon eyes" after a few hours b/c my oily under eyes will break down the mascara.  I have no issues with this mascara and smearing.

2. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Minty Marshmallows.  I'm pretty sure these are much cheaper at Trader Joe's but if you don't have one, Amazon is an option.  These are amazingly delicious.  I bought them on a whim and that was a mistake because now I want to go buy 3 more boxes.  At least.  They are so fluffy and delicious and the chocolate is perfect.  Just the right amount of mint.  I've been having one after dinner as a treat but I'm sure they would be good in hot cocoa too!

3. Muffin Scoop.  I've probably made 6 dozen muffins this week and I love using a muffin scoop.  I guess it's just a scoop but I call it a muffin scoop because I have different sizes.  The scoops helps me to portion out the same amount of batter for each cup so that my muffins bake up evenly.  It just makes life easier and with three kids running around while I bake, I need all the simple I can get.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Join Me on Facebook!

Hi friends!  I hope you are having an amazing weekend!  We don't have a TON of plans this weekend but I'm really looking forward to dinner tomorrow night with my friends.  It's been a very challenging week and I really could use a nice kick off to next week.

In other news, I've created a Heart Hugs Designs Facebook Page.  This will be a page where I post questions and ask for suggestions.  There will be chatting and giveaways.  It's just another place where I can connect with my friends and talk about crafty, mommy, or other fun things.  I'm sure my non-crafty Facebook friends are tired of hearing me go on and on about stamping.  I hope you'll join me over there!  I will be doing a giveaway when I get to 200 likes!
Have a wonderful day, friends!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankful for You!

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  We are ok.  We are just dealing with some school stuff right now.  This too shall pass right?  Or we will get it figured out on how to deal with everything.  

Today, I'm sharing a card I made at the crop I went to this weekend.  I actually forgot my albums at home and couldn't work on them for a while.  My sweet friend Elly picked them up for me on her way to the crop.  However, in the meantime, I made a couple cards.  

This card is dedicated to you!  The sweet people who read my blog!  I'm so thankful for you!  I'm thankful that you have stuck by me when my blog went dormant.  I'm thankful for people who still comment.  I'm thankful for the people who continue to support me as I muddle my way down this path.  

For this card, I used a Close to My Heart stamp set.  My friend Rachel lent me the stamp set and some CTMH ink.  The paper is Apple Cider from October Afternoon as is the sticker of the girl.  The alphabet letters are Basic Grey.  
Have a great day, friends!  Also, I've started a Heart Hugs Designs Facebook Page.  Please join me over there for chatting and giveaways!  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Makeup Tips For Family Photo Sessions (From a Pro!!)

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!

Today, I have a SUPER exciting post to share with you!  My friend Jenn of Jenn Marie Makeup Artistry spent the time to give me tips on what I should do to look my best for my upcoming family photos.  I don't know about you, but we take photos every fall for our Christmas cards.  Jenn is kind enough to let me share these tips with you so that we can all look and feel our best for our photos.  Jenn demonstrated the tips on her (already gorgeous) face to show off the kind of look her tips will achieve.

Here's what Jenn says:

Doing makeup for photographs is a little different than every day makeup.  Some things look great in person but don't translate well in pictures.  Here are a few makeup tips to help you look your best when you are photographed for your upcoming family portrait sessions:

1.  Use matte colors - Although shimmer can look great when applied properly, if you are a little unsure about what to do, it's always safe to go with matte colors.  Matte makeup won't reflect light, making it easy to apply and easy to photograph.

2.  Fill in your brows - Even if you don't fill in your brows on a daily basis, fill them in for your pictures.  Your eyes and face will look so much more complete if your brows are looking polished.  This especially goes for blondes.  Blonde eyebrows will disappear in photographs.

3.  Makeup will photograph 2 shades lighter.  Makeup doesn't translate as vibrant in photographs.  I recommend doing your blush, eyes and lip color a little more vibrant than you normally would.

4.  Use powder - Even if your makeup is applied perfectly, if you look shiny in your pictures it can ruin your whole look.  Once your makeup is complete, use a finishing or setting powder to make everything more matte.  I recommend even taking some powder with you (or oil blotting sheets), especially if it's a warm day.

5.  Wear false lashes - I have never had a client who didn't like wearing false lashes, even if they were hesitant about them at first.  95% of the people in my portfolio are wearing false lashes, and they make all the difference!  If you want something more natural, buy the individual lashes and just put a few on the outer corners.

6.  Apply your makeup in natural light - When you put on your makeup, sit by a window or in a room with a lot of natural light.  This will give you the best idea of what your makeup really looks like, and how it will look in the pictures.

7.  Wax - makeup does not adhere well to peach fuzz.  Whatever you normally wax on your face, wax it before your pictures.  I suggest waxing at least 48 hours before your pictures to give enough time for any redness and swelling to go down.

8. Wear lip gloss- I, myself, never wear lip gloss.  I am a chapstick girl through and through.  But when it comes to photos, lip gloss is a must.  I consider my lips on the smaller side, so wearing lip gloss really helps them look full and plump in pictures.

9.  Wear black mascara - Some people think black is too harsh for their skin tone, but I promise that when it comes to pictures, black looks good on everyone.  Wearing black mascara will bring out your eyes a lot more than brown will.

I hope these tips will help your photos turn out even more beautiful!   

Huge thank you to Jenn for taking the time to give us these tips!  I cannot wait to try them out and see the difference they make in my photos!  You need to check out her Jenn Marie Makeup Artistry Page for tons of amazing tips and breathtaking before and afters!  If you are local (Sacramento Area), it's not too late to book Jenn for your holiday sessions!

Have a wonderful day, friends!  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mani Monday Nov 10 and a Jamberry Giveaway

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are ok over here.  I think the baby is getting a little cold.  Keep your fingers crossed that it goes away quickly and that no one else gets sick.  Also, I created a Heart Hugs Designs Facebook Page and there's a giveaway over there, check it out!

Today, I'm posting my manicure for this week.  I decided to do some Jamberry Lacquers and a wrap as an accent nail.  I used Lilac Lacquer on my thumb and middle finger and Sweet Sangria Lacquer on my pointer and ring finger.  The wrap I have on my pinky is Pickled Paisley.  Did you know that I ADORE paisley?  It's one of my favorite prints and I actually wanted to name my daughter Paisley but D wouldn't have it.  I also used the Jamberry Strengthening Base Coat and the Jamberry Ultra Shine Top Coat.
I currently have a Jamberry party open with my friend Ali Jay.  Just go to Ali's Jamberry Site to order and select my name as the hostess.  If you want to learn more about Jamberry or ask questions, join my Mani Monday Facebook Party.

GIVEAWAY!  This week, Ali is giving me a sheet of accent nails to giveaway!  To enter, all you have to do is link up ANY of your manicures.  You can link a blog post or an Instagram pic or a pic from Flickr.  Enter as many times as you want!  I'll pick a winner and announce them on next week's Mani Monday post where there might be another giveaway...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Bests Nov 9, 2014

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are ok.  The kids went off to grandma's house this weekend and had tons of fun.  I went to a crop and my hubby cleaned the house.  It was a pretty fantastic weekend if I say so myself.  ;)

Today, I'm back with my Sunday Bests for this week.  I hope you are enjoying seeing our favorites of the week.  This post might include affiliate links.

1. Starbucks Veteran's Day Card.  It's no secret that I am a HUGE Starbucks fan!  I love their drinks and I occasionally get their yummy treats.  Until Nov 11, Starbucks has these amazing Veteran's Day gift cards.  For every gift card you buy, Starbucks will donate $5 to Onward Veterans charity.  Soooo, if you buy a $5 gift card they will make a $5 donation!  Buy a card for yourself, a friend, or better yet your favorite Veteran!
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  This is a TV show on Fox featuring Andy Samberg.  I loved Andy Samberg on SNL and his music videos with The Lonely Island.  But this, is just too good.  This is my new favorite sitcom and it is so funny!  I laugh so hard that I get tears in my eyes!  I love the characters and the premise of the show!  Every character is so well written.  I haven't liked a sitcom this much in a LONG time.  I hope that stay on for many, many season.
3. Coconut Oil.  I am really loving coconut oil for taking off my Jamberry nail wraps right now.  I heat it up and dip my nails in.  I also use it to nourish my cuticles.  I know some people use it to take off their makeup.  I have used it in the past for diaper rash.  I'll put it on my kids if their skin is irritated like with a small rash or bug bite.  There are tons of different uses.  It's like Windex on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  ;)

Have a great day, friends!  I hope your week is awesome!  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Damsel in Defense Presentation - How to Protect Yourself

Hi friends!  I hope you are well.  We are doing pretty good.

Today, I have something a bit more serious to talk about.  I hosted a Damsel in Defense "Empower Hour" last night and my friend Ali graciously opened her house to us.  I learned so many alarming facts about violence:
**1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime**
**College age women are 4 times more likely to be assaulted**
**A child is abducted every 40 seconds**
**Every 26 seconds a violent crime occurs**

Honestly, I know it's not fun to talk about.  Though, my friend Collette did an amazing job keeping the mood light.  I learned a lot about ways to keep myself from being attacked, what to do if I am attacked, and how to fight back.   Collette got some training from Damsel in Defense and they have law enforcement officers come in at their training to speak.  I cannot emphasize to you how IMPORTANT I feel this is!  I feel like I've been irresponsible not having a pepper spray until last month and constantly running around at night doing errands.  I had NO plan on what I would do if I got attacked.

Truth time.  I'm one of the 1 in 5 women who have been sexually assaulted.  And like most women, I froze.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a plan of what you would do if this were to ever happen to you.  I now have a pepper spray and personal alarm.  I can draw attention to myself with the alarm and hope that someone comes.  I can spray the attacker and give myself some time to get away.  I also plan on getting the Sock it To Me Kubotan in case anyone gets their hands on me.  I hope I never have to use this plan but at least I have one now.

Collette also informed us that if an attacker sees that you have means of protecting yourself, your chance of getting attacked goes down to 1%.  Attackers want an easy target.  Please don't be an easy target!  Even if you don't want to order any products, please sit down and think of a plan of what you would do.  And TALK to your daughters about it too.  PLEASE.  College women at 4 times more likely to be attacked.  Arm your girls with some pepper spray or alarms.  It can save their life or innocence.

If you'd like to order from my party, you can go to Collette's Damsel in Defense site HERE.  Select my name and shop.  If you have any questions or want to learn more about the products, check out my Facebook event Arm Your Assets with Ashley.  The products are inexpensive, $10 for a pepper spray, personal alarm, or kubotan. Buy them for every woman and girl you know.  Be empowered.  I hope you'll never have to use any of it.

Giant hugs, friends!  You mean so much to me and I just want for you all to be safe, always.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Corn and Potato Soup

Hi friends!  I hope that you are doing well.  We are pretty good.  I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the weekend.  I'm going to a crop!  YAY!  What are you doing?

Today, I'm sharing a recipe for a corn soup I made.  I'm sorry about my food photos.  I know they aren't the best.  Honestly, I'm a simple person and I don't garnish my food.  I just scoop it out and eat it.  I also don't have any "nice" plates and bowls nor do I stage my food.  I just snap a picture.  I hope that's ok with you because it doesn't effect the taste at all.  ;)  I based my recipe off THIS recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Corn and Potato Soup:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion
2 clove of garlic, pressed
4 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
4 ears of corn (I used white for this, you can use yellow)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups of milk (I used 2%)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil and caramelize onions.  I adore the taste of caramelized onions and it adds to the natural sweetness of this soup.  When caramelized, add garlic so it can cook.
2. Add potato, turn heat to medium, and put the lid on so potatoes can steam.
3. Cut corn off cobs, scrape some of that corn "milk" off the cob too.  Yum!
4. Add corn, milk, and broth and cook until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
5. Take 3/4 of the soup and put it in the blender.  I blend it for a little bit, take out a couple ladles and then puree the rest of the soup.  I like different stages of texture in this soup.  I'm weird.  Blend it however you want.  Bring it back to a low boil just to make sure it's all heated and serve.
6. To make this prettier, you could garnish with green onion or a few kernels of corn if you reserved any.

Enjoy!  If you make this soup, please let me know.  I really enjoyed it and Brady really liked it too.  He's my soup eater.  Have a wonderful day, friends!  Let me know if you'd like to see more recipes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Neon Coffee Love

Hi friends!  I hope that you are doing well!  We are ok around here.  We have this cough that won't go away but other than that, I think we might be turning a corner.

Today, I'm sharing a card I made for my friend Madison (she was on yesterday's blog post) as a send off.  She is heading off to college.  I met Madison at Starbucks, she's my barista.  I'm so proud of her for saving up, getting her own place, and getting a job in her new location!  I wanted to make her a fun card to let her know.  I used Paper Smooches Hot Concoctions stamps for this card.  Aren't these to go coffee cups the cutest??  I wanted to make a fun, young card so I pulled out some WRMK It Factor papers for the fun neon look.  I didn't want to go too crazy so I used a fair amount of black on this card.
I'm entering this card in the Paper Smooches Sparks Anything Goes challenge for this week.  You know how I loooooove Paper Smooches stamps!
Have a great day, friends!  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Beginner Stamping Tips

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are ok.  It's finally getting cold here.  And by cold I mean it's about 70 degrees as the high.  But it's cold in the mornings and at night.  

The other day, I helped my friend Madison make a card for a coworker.  While I tried to let her have her own creativity, I did give her a few tips here and there.  In the end, I think all I did was save her from making a few small mistakes that would have made her start over.  I've heard a lot from my "non-crafty" friends and my friends who do pocket scrapbooking or digi scrapping say that they don't know how to stamp, so I thought I'd give a couple BEGINNER tips.  I'm not an expert or anything.  I'm just thinking that if you knew how EASY stamping was you would incorporate it into any crafts that you might do.  
1. Buy a nicer ink pad.  I use Memento Tuxedo Black since I mostly stamp in black (i.e. sentiments and line images.)  The stamp pads from the $1 section might be ok but they will not give you the crispness that a nice stamp pad will.
2. Don't stamp sentiments on busy patterned paper.  The sentiment will not pop and it's just not good. If you want to emboss, that might make it pop but I don't emboss so best of luck to you.  ;)
3. If something seems too small for the scale of your project, just mat it.  Madison had that issue with her sentiment.  A simple mat will give you more area to work with.

I hope these simple tips will get you to pick up those stamps and add a little something extra to your projects.  It's so easy and so fun!  If you have a simple tip that you want to give a beginner, leave it in the comments down below.  If we get a few tips, I will write another post with tips from stampers as a reference.

Have a great day, friends!

***This post includes affiliate links***