My Pattern Experience:Fallberry Mitts {knit pattern review}

My Pattern Experience: Fallberry Mitts!

These mitts were amazing!  I had picked up this yarn (and darn it if I wrote down the info or saved the tag...) at Stitches Midwest 2012.  I know that it's a Merino blend, but I can't for the life of me remember the color or brand!  It's truly gorgeous though, soft and really easy to work with.  I picked the pattern because I was hoping that the pattern would work up striped appropriately with the colorway of the yarn.  While it wasn't perfect, it does really highlight the little leaves in the pattern.
I loved working this pattern.  It was one of the few mitt patterns that I've been able to complete both mitts in a reasonable time period.  I don't remember, but I don't think I worked them at the same time either, and the pattern was so easy, that they both came out perfect. I may even have enough yarn to work another pair for myself!!

Schwinn Windwood Women's Cruiser Bike Giveaway

Seriously, I love them.  I love the feel of the wind on my face, the burn in my legs and the new and fun places that you can only get to by bike.  That's why today, I'm so pleased to bring to you a giveaway for a new bike!!!!!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below!  Giveaway Runs from now until May 30th!

Schwinn Windwood Women's Cruiser Bike Giveaway
 Sponsored by: Mom Blog Society | She Informed | My Dairy Free Gluten Free Life | Frantic Mommy 
Co-Hosted by: Jackie's Reviews | Geeky Gamer Mom | Swank Savings 

 The classic Schwinn Windwood women's 26-Inch cruiser evokes the simple style and grace of traditional bicycles, making it a great choice for cruising to the store, the beach, or around town. Designed for easy, relaxed riding, the Windwood boasts a sturdy steel frame with a low stand-over height, making it easy to get on and off the bike. The rustproof 26-hole alloy rims and rear coaster brakes, meanwhile, allow you to stop on a dime. And riders will love the classic chrome fenders and rear storage rack. Other details include a comfortable wide-spring saddle, a single-speed design, pneumatic tires, and curved back handlebars.  

  About Schwinn Founded in 1895, Schwinn is an American icon that's long been synonymous with quality and innovation. The company has built some of the best-known and best-loved bikes of multiple generations, including the Aerocycle, Paramount, Phantom, Varsity, Sting-Ray, Krate, and Homegrown. Today, Schwinn continues to innovate with such releases as the redesigned Sting-Ray, Rocket mountain bikes, and Fastback road bikes. With a continued dedication to quality forever synonymous with the Schwinn name, America's most famous bicycle brand looks forward to providing another century of innovation, freedom, and performance to people of all ages.
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Preserve your Spring Memories with help from Best Buy!

This time every year, I'm always amazed at the high volume of pictures that I take.  Between my daughter's birthday, the garden going in, prom and graduations, to Mother's day and Father's day, I use my camera just as much as I do around Christmas time.  My Smartphone camera is pretty handy for quick fire situations, but in these instances, I want to make better looking memories.

Fortunately, Best Buy has a great assortment of cameras to choose from, including the pricier (albeit awesome) DSLR, camcorders, and simple point and shoot cameras that feature long range zoom, low light capabilities and wi-fi for easy uploading.  Head over and take advantage of their Spring Memories deals in Cameras and Camcorders today!  Of course, you know with Best Buy's low price guarantee, you'll get the best price.  The best part is, if you order off their website, you'll get free shipping, and if you're doing an upgrade, simply take in your old camera and trade it in for a Best Buy Gift Card!!!

Also, for a limited time, you can receive 25% off of select digital photo frames!  What a great way to display your great spring memories!  Get your 25% off coupon here!

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Intex Family Size Round Metal Frame Pool Set Size: 12-Foot by 30-Inch Giveaway!

Intex Family Size Round Metal Frame Pool Set Size: 12-Foot by 30-Inch Giveaway!
Win this great pool today!!
12' x 30" Family Size Metal Frame Pool Set (with Filter Pump and DVD) - No one builds a metal frame pool like Intex. With the Super-tough liners and our high quality, incredibly strong metal frames, you will enjoy a pool that is easy to assemble, beautiful to look at, and certain to provide years of fun!
  • Nobody builds a metal frame pool like Intex
  • With our SUPER-TOUGH liners and our high quality, incredibly strong metal frames
  • Filter Pump and instructional DVD included.
  • Ready for water in 30 minutes
  • Room for the whole family
  • You will enjoy a pool that is easy to assemble, beautiful to look at, and certain to provide years of fun
1 lucky winner will win this fabulous pool! For your chance to win simply enter via the Rafflecopter below! Good luck! Must be 18 year of age or older. Open to US residents only.

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Awesome DIY's, Staining Guide and Better Backyard Sweepstakes

This post brought to you by Flood® Wood Care. All opinions are 100% mine.
It's the time of year in which I think of things that I can only work on outside to get done over the summer.  This summer, I really want to work on a stained glass piece (can't do that inside because of the fumes), some sun printing and some staining.  That's right, staining wood.  Many people are afraid of staining, because it is possible to do it wrong, and then you have to try to fix it.  Lets face it, folks, the more you mess with it, the more it turns into a train wreck.

Luckily, in this day and age of the internet, there's lots of tools available to help you achieve the look you're going for.  One of these great sites is Staining Made Simple by Flood® Wood Care.  It has guides to stain everything around your house, like your deck, siding, furniture, playsets, and fence.  They walk you through your project, including factors like what kind of wood you're staining, what condition the wood is in and will even calculate how much that you need for you.  It's really a great large scale resource.
Check out the Staining Made Simple widget on their website!  It's really easy to use!  Start with your project:

and then walk through their steps to find the perfect stain, quantity and store for you!

But wait, you say, I don't want to stain something that large, or do something that boring.  No problem!  I've found some awesome DIY staining projects that you can try that don't require a perfect stain.
First and foremost, are my two favorites, which are just gorgeous!

This gal takes the stain and uses it as a paint!  She has applied the stain more heavily and let it set for longer on th areas that are darker and gently wiped off the lighter areas just a little bit at a time.  Isn't it gorgeous?

These cabinets use a stencil, which instead of paint, you apply wood glue, and THEN stain, which will leave your stenciled wood glue in the negative.  Awesome!

And for a little more help, make sure that you visit  the Flood Better Backyard Sweepstakes, where you can win a $1500 gift card to help make your  backyard better!  Sweepstakes ends on 5/17/13, so enter today!

Flood Better Backyard Sweepstakes Disclosure:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Legal residents of the 50 United States of America and (D.C.) 18 years and older.  Ends 5/17/13.  To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions visit  Void in Puerto Rico and where restricted or prohibited.  This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or asccociated with Facebook.  You understand that you are providing your information to Sponsor and not to Facebook.
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Lysol Touch of Foam

When I recieved the Lysol Touch of Foam sample from BzzAgent in the mail, I was more than elated.  I love trying out new soaps in my bathroom- I'm the type of person who can't buy the refills, I have to buy new ones to try out new scents and all of their claims.  The last kind I had bought was just a standard soap that didn't really do much in way of moisture or helping out sensitive skin.
I did two tests with my Lysol Touch of Foam soap.  First, I tried it out in my bathroom at home.  I let my kids use it and encouraged my guests.  I asked for opinions from everyone.  My kids favorite feature was how "foamy and fluffy" it was.  My guests all commented that they just loved the smell (Creamy Vanilla Orchid) and how it left their hands feeling moisturized.
I continued to use the soap in my home for another couple of weeks and didn't really notice a huge difference in the moisture in my hands, but then again I was only using it in the bathroom and not also in the kitchen when I did dishes. 
My biggest, truest test was bringing it into my place of employment.  I work in an ER in one of the largest hospitals in my state, a place where it isn't uncommon for handwashing to take place several times within a minute!  I placed the soap at a busy common sink with a note that the soap was there for anyone to use, however I asked that they would stop and give me their opinion on the soap after they had tried it a couple of times. 
I got lots of comments!  The men all thought it was a little foofy smelling for their tastes, but the women overall were pleased with the scent.  They all liked how the foam felt, how easily it spread and how it left them with a pleasant clean feeling.  The women were the major commenters, sharing that after using it a handful of times between patients, their hands felt softer, smoother and less dry and stretched from their normal handwashing routine. 
Overall, I had a great experience with the Lysol Touch of Foam soap.  I didn't have a single commenter who didn't like the soap outright, and the only real complaint was from the men in regards to the smell.  After having looked, there isn't really a manly scent available, so perhaps that could be an area of improvement for Lysol, but overall it was a great experience and we'll definitely be using this soap again in my house!!

Get your "Gro" On!

This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.


If you're a dedicated reader, or know me personally, you'll know that I love gardening.  I love the time of year in which I get out and get my hands dirty and make something pretty out of my yard.  My favorite part is when I'm able to make it pretty AND get some vegetables out of it.  This year, I have some pretty cool little gardening projects planned, like some new creative trellising for both containing my raspberries and supporting my tomatoes... but that is a story for another day. 

Today I want to talk about some small simple projects that are quick, easy and good for children and families of all ages, along with some great gardening resources.  This year with my daughter, we're going to try to make a fairy garden, in a raised pot, similar to this:

I found some inspiration from The Gro Project by Miracle Gro, with their Toyarium.  I like the idea of using small toys as decorations within the little fairy garden and think it's a great way to repurpose old toys that are no longer played with.

Our plan for our garden is to take a large barrel pot like this:


We'll fill it with the Moisture Control Potting Mix by Miracle Grow, and start planning out where all the plants are going to go.  I'm going to be using Chamomile, Basil, Thyme, Sage and try to eek out a small Bay leaf tree as my mini plants:

Once you have your plants (or seeds), mark out your fairy garden.  You'll want to have pathways, perhaps a house, a chair, a reading nook, a pond, or many other different things!  Think about old toys that you have to use, what you can build out of bark and twigs and what kind of mood you want your fairy garden to have.  I know we want a little stone pathway running throught the garden, and I want to include several features, such as:

perhaps a table and chairs?

a wee little house?

an adorable mini wicker chair?

or maybe their own little garden set?

Anyway, the options are endless, and it really is just up to you.  But after you have your items (or at least a general idea of their size and space needed, you can start sketching out your garden.  If you're a planner, you can easily draw out a map of your fairy garden to work along side of you in the garden.  I, however, am more of a fly by the seat of your pants gardener, and like to see where the plants "feel" right to me.  I suggest marking out your garden plans either using small sticks:

or you can mark sections by using twine, yarn, rocks, or any other placeholder.  

Once you have all of your sections marked off, start filling in your plants.  Remember that you want the taller ones to be in the back and smaller ones up in the garden with the fairys. Get your kids involved, I know they'll have fun prepping the mini garden for their fairy guests!  Once you're all done, sit back and wait for your new friends to arrive!!

If you need more ideas for your fairy garden, make sure that you visit The Gro Project.  The Gro Project is a really cool resource that has other projects, like the Ukulele Garden, Origami Garden, or Thrown Down (a technique I've heard of before as Guerilla Gardening).  The other cool feature they have is Sprout It, an app that allows you to track the growth of your plants.

You can also find cool projects on the Miracle Gro Pinterest page, where gardeners of all kinds come and share their fun garden projects.  I reference the Miracle-Gro homepage a lot, I especially like their plant finder- where you can search for plants by different classifications, such as amount of light, flowers vs vegetables, and much more.  Their library of videos and articles features many gardening tips to help keep a healthy and beautiful garden.

Of course, while you're on their website, make sure to check out the soil finder and their feeding systems.  I use both Moisture Control Potting Mix and Shake’n Feed All Purpose Plant Food for my indoor plants and make sure to pretreat my outdoor gardens with the LiquaFeed All Purpose Plant Food Advance Starter Kit at the beginning of the season.  

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