Do you want to try new products for free?

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I love free things.  Whenever I come across a new opportunity, I try to share it with my friends and readers.  Today, I'm here to talk to you about a new site I've been on, much like some of the others I've talked about, you get free items or coupons toward items in order to try them!

This one is called Smiley 360 and thus far, I have enjoyed networking with them!  I've been trying things like electric toothbrushes and new kitty litter- which surprise me, because I would have told you that I was happy with my current brands, but these are amazing!  You should definitely try out Smiley if you like to try new things!  Click here to try Smiley360!!

Look No Further, Best Buy has the Best Deals for Grads!

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It's that time of year!  Everyone has a grad to shop for, but some are definitely easier to shop for than others!  I've found that one of the best places to shop for grads is Best Buy!  Whether you have a young grad, ready to set out on the world or a more experienced grad who may be graduating with a higher degree, you'll find something suitable for your grad!

If your grad is a Networker, like myself, they'll want a gift that will help them stay connected with their friends and family.  I personally love the Lenovo Yoga 2 13" Touch-Screen Laptop and the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB External USB Portable Hard Drive because every new techy grad deserves a new laptop and plenty of storage that they can take anywhere!  Then again, you may have a graduate who loves fitness!  If you do, I highly recommend the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker Wristband- I have one myself and I love using it to keep track of my activity and to inspire myself to keep moving!!  If they're a crazier sort of active, perhaps they'll enjoy the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition Action Camcorder, which they can attach to a helmet, bike or another crazy place and record all of their crazy fitness ventures!  Don't forget about your new grad- someone who has maybe lived in the dorms or with mom and dad for their college career.  They're going to need new home furnishings- which you can find at Best Buy too!!!  For them, I recommend the 4 Slice Toaster Oven- it provides all in one simple cooking and they can enjoy it for years to come!

Of course, maybe you're not looking for a big ticket gift for your grad, or perhaps you have a lot of grads to shop for!  In this case you'll want to see what Best Buy has to offer for under $50!  Gifts like the Roku Streaming HDMI Stick, Mr. Cofee 12-Cup Coffeemaker, or the BISSELL Cordless 2-in-1 Handheld/Stick Vacuum are great simple gifts for any grad!!  To find even more great gifts for grads, visit Best Buy's Gift Center!!!

Best Buy is even offering a special deal to those shopping for grads!  Purchase a Sony QX10 Camera in black or white and recieve a free case!! Get that deal here!  Simply print the coupon and take to any Best Buy Store to redeem, or use the provided code online!

7 Months to Christmas! Goals for June!

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May was a busy month for me- a lot of progress was made, but not a lot of finishing was done.  I'm hoping this month will be good for some finishing!!!  I've been updating my lists as I go along, and you can see that I have one person completely done and almost one thing done for every person who is getting multiple items.  Some items changed- based on other things that I tried or worked out.

Check out my updated list:

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee  -   pillow/snowflake  (pillow needs back, stuffing and seaming)
Striker – single serving treats/pies in jars/something food/hotpads/snowflake {blanket 2013}
Lily – a bed sized blanket/snowflake 
Lucy –  bed sized blanket/snowflake
MIL - snowflake/hotpads/hat/scarf{blanket 2012}
SIL - cowl/snowflake {blanket 2013}
Linney – dw mittens/snowflake/ dw crochet hook
Hubs -  Extra big & long blanket/sampler style?  (12 squares of 24-30 done, depending on how big 24 comes out)

Would like to craft for:
Aud - snowflake/hotpads/crochet hook 
Kynz - fingerless mitts
Efan -  Creeper hat
Humph - mittens/cardi?
Shep - hat? (aquabats)
V -  snowflake/horse something?  computer sleeve?
FIL –club covers?
STLM - club covers? {blanket 2013}  (1 done, 2 to go)
GGJ- Snowflake/hotpads
Soo- Snowflake/hotpads
Al- hp crochet hook

In Progress:
club covers
cowl for SIL
Testing for blanket designs for the girls
Extra big and Long Blanket- Sampler
Pillow- need back and seaming

Designs to do:

All snowflakes for misc people
dw crochet hook
hp crochet hook
crochet hook with grip
Creeper hat
12/24 or 30 squares for Big and Long Blanket
1/10 Hotpads
Pillow Front

As you can see, I've completed a few things that make me happy- particularly the squares for the big and long blanket.  They're working up really nicely and I'm working out many kinks as I go.  In fact, I'll probably host a Mystery CAL after the holidays with this as the pattern!  I've got 10 different squares I've designed, and am using 10 different colors throughout (kind of an experiment in using up some leftover yarn in semi coordinating patterns)

I've pretty much set everything that everyone is getting, and am now focusing on making big progress on wiping out some of the easier projects this month so I can cross some more people off my lists!  I will be doing a lot of traveling this month and was thinking that hotpads would make great car projects!!  Plus, cotton is easy to fit into bags and they're light and small for the summer heat.  

This month, make sure your list is finalized, and try and finish a person or two to make the rest of your year easier!    Let me know how you're doing in the comments below!

Flower Scoodie {Crochet Pattern}

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I wish that I had a better picture for this scoodie, but unfortunately, it was one of those projects that I finished and then wrapped right away.  I made this for my pre-teen neice, who I thought would enjoy the bright colors and unique design.

Flower Scoodie:

Hook Size: I
Worsted weight yarn, three colors

Chain 16, dc in third ch from hook and next 13 st (14 st)  *you can make this wider if you like, just add more chains and st across the row.
R2: ch 3, turn, sk first st, dc in next 13 st.
Repeat row 2 until your scarf is a desired length for your recipient.

For the hood:
Find the center stitch of the scarf and place a marker.  count from the marked stitch outward on either side and place a marker at 17 st.

R1:  Join MC with a sl st to one of the outer marked st.  Ch 2, dc in each st across to the other outer marked st, moving center marker up a row. Turn.
R2: ch 3, dc in each st until one before marker, 2 dc in next st, dc in center marked st (move marker up), 2 dc in next st, dc to end.
R3-8: repeat row 2.
R9: Ch 2, dc in each st until 2 before marker, dc2tog, dc in center, dc2tog, dc to end, turn.
R10-15: Repeat Row 9.
R16: Fold hood in half and either sl st across through both sides or FO and use a long tail to sew the seams together.  Weave in ends.

For Scallop Border:
Attach contrasting yarn to one of the corners of the scarf with sl st
*Skip next 2 st, 7 dc in next, sk 2 st, sc in next*  repeat around.  You may have to adjust the length of one of the shells depending on the length of your scarf.  Make sure that you finish a scallop at the corner, then turn the corner and start another scallop.  Work this way around the whole scoodie, FO and weave in ends.

Round 1 : ch 2 , 6sc in second chain from hook, join in beg sc
Round 2 : ch 1 , sc in same sc as beg ch 1,ch 2 (sc in next sc, ch 2) around, join in beg sc
Round 3 : ch 1 ,( sc, 3hdc,sc) in each of ch-2 spaces around, do not join
Round 4 : working behind petals, bpsc around first st of round 2, ch 3 , ( bpsc around next st of round 2, ch 3) around, join in first bpsc
Round 5: ch 1 , (sc,5 dc, sc) in each ch-3 spaces, do not join
Round 6: working behind petals, bpsc around firt bpsc of round 4, ch 4 (bpsc around next bpsc of round 4 , ch 4) around, join in beg sc
Round 7 : ch 1 , (sc,7 dc, sc) in each ch-4 spaces, fasten off.

Sew buttons to center of flower and attach flower to scoodie.

My Pattern Experience: Bohemian Shawl

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My Pattern Experience: Bohemian Shawl

I made this shawl in about three days, near the end of fall getting ready for winter wear.  I love it!  I get a million complements on it, no matter which way I wear it.  I used just one color instead of a variegated yarn to bring out the pattern and love wearing it with a greatly contrasting shirt underneath.  The pattern is really easy, and when I made it, I learned a technique new to me- a single crochet foundation row.  I love this technique now and often not only use it, but also double crochet foundation rows to start large pieces.

After you get the first five rows worked, it's just three rounds repeating which decreases as you go, which means that it gets easier as you go along.  When you're done, you just work the edging and you have this beautiful shawl to show for it!  

I used a larger hook, I think it was an "I", and I used Caron Simply Soft and love the way the shawl drapes.  The other great thing about this pattern is that you can wear it in many different ways and it is quite warm.