Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Light and Lacy Summer Infinity Scarf with Tinted Tangles Yarn

I received a skein of yarn for the purposes of this review.  All opinions are my own.  I always strive for complete honesty.


I had so much fun working with this yarn courtesy of Tinted Tangles.  Krysta, the shop owner and creative genius, is just a girl following one of her passions.  I love that.


Catherine and I went for a walk for our photo shoot.  (Dominic came too, but had little interest in posing with us.)  I think the above picture is my favorite from our session.

 Basic yarn details:
  • Color: Coral (April Color Crush)
  • For best results, hand wash cold, but occasional machine washing is fine. 
  • Reshape and lay flat to dry.
  • 75% Superwash Merino Wool / 25% Nylon Fingering Weight 
  • 462 Yards 
  • Knitters: #1-3 needles (2.25mm - 3.25mm) 
  • Crocheters: B - E hooks (2.25mm-3.5mm) 

As soon as I saw this yarn I knew exactly what I want to make.  I wanted a light and airy scarf that could be worn all year round.  I decided to use the Infinity Loop Scarf Pattern (again).  I used a size E crochet hook.  (Exactly like this one from Clover Amour.)  I made the large size, but I could have made it a bit larger.


Like all of the Color Crush line, the color of this yarn is simply beautiful.  The coral is between a pink and an orange, which is just perfect for me! Krysta dies all the yarn with professional grade acid dyes, in her own little kitchen. This also means that you will get a truly unique product, because no two skeins are alike.


Tinted Tangles ships world wide, so everyone can experience the pleasure of knitting or crocheting with this yarn! Just so you know, Krysta also does custom orders.

Have you had the pleasure of working with Tinted Tangles?  I'd love to hear about what you created!

Connect with Tinted Tangles:



While Catherine both loves the scarf and looks absolutely adorable wearing it, this infinity scarf is mine.  Catherine is turning into a pretty good little photographer, and managed to capture the below photo of me wearing the scarf.  I do think that I will make her a little scarf of her own with the remaining yarn.  



I love to link up my projects around the blogosphere.


Check out this week's Yarn Fanatic Party!  (With a yarn giveaway!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Unedited Flower Photo

Don't forget to enter the Lilla Rose and $5 Amazon giveaways that I'm hosting!  
Both end soon and have low entries.


Link up your own family friendly posts!



Monday, April 27, 2015

Yarn Fanatic Party #34 (With a $5 Amazon GC Giveaway)

Welcome to another Yarn Fanatic Party!  I'm so glad that you're here!  This is a place to share your yarn-y projects, see what other has been creating, support one another, and enter a little giveaway.


There were so many beautiful projects linked up last week.  As you know, I have a love of bright colors, so this blanket by Lunamon Design simply makes me happy.


I also love these adorable Summer Sandals!  (This is a paid pattern, but it seems quite reasonably priced.)


Both Eye Love Knots and The Philosopher's Wife have been busy too!  Did you see Alexandra's new (free) washcloth pattern?  Or my latest Giraffe & Elephant?


Giveaway!
Don't forget that you can get lots of supplies from Amazon, including yarn.  (Also, if you use any of the Amazon links from my blog I get a small percentage of your purchase.  It doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps me earn a few pennies.  I greatly appreciate it when you use these affiliate links.  Thanks so much!) 
This week's giveaway is sponsored by The Philosopher's Wife: Giveaways Galore.  This is a blog where you will find all types of crafty giveaways.  There are lots of giveaway blogs out there, but this one is special, check it out for yourself!


Details and Important Information: Must be 18+ to enter. US only. Void where prohibited. Winners must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Social media is not affiliated with this giveaway. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.  A quick note to my international friends: I know many of you are disappointed that these giveaways are limited to US only.  The problem is that there are hundreds of rules and laws regarding how giveaways are run.  It can be very easy to accidentally break the law when international policy comes into play.  I simply wish to keep everything as legal as possible, and for now at least that means limiting these giveaways to US entrants.  I do hope that you still participate in these Yarn Fanatic Parties and that someday there might be a giveaway that you can enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link up your projects!
What have you created with yarn?  It could be something you crocheted, knitted, or anything that used yarn.  It can be a new project or an old one.  (I would appreciate it though if it had not been linked up to a previous Yarn Fanatic Party.)  I can't wait to see what you've created!

The only rule is that everything you link to must be family friendly.

I would appreciate it very much if you:
  • Add my Yarn Fanatic Party button to your post or party page.
  • The Philosopher's Wife
  • Follow The Philosopher's Wife and Eye Love Knots.
  • Check out some of the other yarn goodies people have finished.
  • Leave comments here, there, and everywhere.  (Please, take a moment to visit at least one other blog and leave a comment.  I want this to be a supportive community of yarn lovers.  To help encourage this a new entry option has been added to the giveaway.  I've been crazy busy lately, and not able to comment on everyone's links, but I will try to comment on everyone's this week!)  
  • If you're not a blogger, but want to participate, feel free to upload a picture from Flicker!
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to share your photos, with the appropriate credit, of course!
  • NEW NOTE: Per InLinkz guidelines, listings linked to purchase options isn't permitted.  This means that you cannot link directly to Etsy listings or Ravelry pages where there is an option to buy the pattern. You may link to a Pin, or a Facebook page, or a Flickr page, etc.  Links to where to buy the pattern included in a blog post are permitted.


Friday, April 24, 2015

7 Quick Takes

This post may contain affiliate links.
1.  Happy Friday!  How has your week been?  The kiddos here have some sniffles.  Sadly, I think that they are seasonal allergies.  Hopefully they will pass soon.  In other news, we recently saw a cute family movie, How to Train Your Dragon.  Take a quick look at the picture below.  Was that a still from the movie?  Nope.  It's cake.  You can see more at the Cake Wreaks Blog. (Disclaimer: While the blog has a Sunday showcase of amazing cakes it really is about the messed up cakes found for sale in bakeries.  Many of these cakes are somewhat accidentally vulgar.  Just exercise some caution while looking through.)

Source
2.  I was browsing Pinterest and came across this ecard that made me laugh out loud.  (Seriously.)


3.  I keep seeing Gwyneth Paltrow popping up for her $29 a week food budgeting fail.  I don't want to debate food stamps, or what they can be used for, or what was her plan with all of those limes.  I would like to offer in her defense that meal planning and shopping on a budget takes a bit of planning and time.  It can take years of trial and error, of learning coupon policies, store habits, creative cooking, etc. to master food budgeting.  That being said, my family of four doesn't come even close to spending $29 a week per person.  In fact, that number seems shockingly high to me.  But I don't live in NYC, and I shop sales, the discount stores know us, I am quite familiar with coupons, and I am a half-way decent home cook.  Ok, I give in, what would you do with that many limes in one week?  (Assuming you aren't allowed to use any pantry items.)

Source
4.  I've mentioned my love of Lands' End clothing a few times on this blog.  They tend to wear well, keep forever, and have fairly classic lines.  Unfortunately, regular price is well beyond my budget.  Sales, coupons, and generous gifts have helped many pieces land in my closet.  This week I found a new way.  Thred Up had some nice items in my size, and since I had a $10 credit burning a hole in my virtual pocket, I ordered myself some new summer pieces.  You should sign up too!  If you use my link we both will get a $10 credit to use.  Yippee!

5.  Now, you might be asking "How does buying more stuff fit with your slimming down the wardrobe desire that you mentioned just last week?"  We are going to be moving this summer to a much warmer climate and my warm weather clothes needed some major overhauling and updating.  Thanks to pregnancies, gaining weight, losing weight, and the like, I had very few shorts that fit properly.  After reading various bloggers that have done the minimalist (or capsule) type wardrobes all of their clothing had one thing in common: everything fit well and they loved wearing it.  So while I might be ordering two new pairs of shorts this week, my plan is to get rid of five pairs that just don't work for me.  What's your clothing philosophy?

6. Do you crochet or knit?  I'd love to have you link up your projects at my weekly Yarn Fanatic Party!  (There's also a great little giveaway there.)

7.  I'm hosting a Lilla Rose giveaway!  Also, they are having a sale right now.  (Just in case you needed an excuse.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: A Scuba Adventure




Share your own family friendly Wordless Wednesday post!







For more of our cruise related fun check out the following:




Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education

If you vacation, or live, in the Outer Banks, be sure to check out the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla.  It's a great family friendly outing.  It is located in Currituck Heritage Park, which is a must see spot anyways, so you can just make a full afternoon of it!


Inside the building kids are fascinated by an 8,000 gallon fish tank.  There is also a giant diorama, a decoy display, and short documentary.  Additionally, the Wildlife Center hosts enjoyable classes for all ages.  The schedule is online and registration is easy.  Catherine and her cousins enjoyed an afternoon of learning how to fish.  Before casting into the water they practiced on land with magnetic fish, which you can see above.  My husband, brother-in-law, and I enjoyed a class of archery basics.  We all had a great time.


While there, you will want to visit the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.  The above picture of Catherine with the lighthouse in the background makes me smile.  That facial expression!  (I think this picture is from 2012.)  Below, Catherine is learning the fundamentals of baseball on the large lawn near the Wildlife Center. (This one is from 2014.)



By the way, this is not a sponsored post.  Whenever we visit the OBX the whole family enjoys spending some time at this location, and I wanted to share it with you.






Monday, April 20, 2015

Yarn Fanatic Party #33 (Snappy Tots Crochet Pattern Giveaway)


Welcome to this week's Yarn Fanatic Party!  It's a place to share your projects, see what others have made, support one another, and enter a crochet pattern giveaway.

One of my favorites from last week, and it really is so hard to choose, is this adorable Fat Bottom Bag.  I especially love the flower applique that Laura freestyled.


Here's another project that caught my eye, these bright and cheerful pillow covers:


Are you curious if you were one of the most clicked projects from last week?  EyeLoveKnots has that information for you!  (She also just posted a crochet washcloth pattern review that's worth checking out!)

I am still working on my lacy infinity scarf with the yarn from Tinted Tangles, I shared a peak on Friday.  It should be finished very soon!  I'm pretty happy with how it is turning out!

Giveaway Time!

I am very excited that Snappy Tots is this week's sponsor!  TEN lucky winners will receive one pattern.  That's right, TEN of you!  Read about the many hats that Heidi, the creative genius behind these patterns, wears on a daily basis, I am constantly amazed by all that one woman can do.


Above are three Snappy Tots crochet patterns that I absolutely love and simply need to highlight.  (I love a LOT more, but had to limit myself.)  The Big Brave Dragon is simply fantastic!  Catherine loved the tutu on the Slouchy Backpack.  The Beach Kids hat made me laugh out loud, literally.


Details and Important Information: Must be 18+ to enter. US only. Void where prohibited. Winners must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Social media is not affiliated with this giveaway. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.  A quick note to my international friends: I know many of you are disappointed that these giveaways are limited to US only.  The problem is that there are hundreds of rules and laws regarding how giveaways are run.  It can be very easy to accidentally break the law when international policy comes into play.  I simply wish to keep everything as legal as possible, and for now at least that means limiting these giveaways to US entrants.  I do hope that you still participate in these Yarn Fanatic Parties and that someday there might be a giveaway that you can enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link up your projects!
What have you created with yarn?  It could be something you crocheted, knitted, or anything that used yarn.  It can be a new project or an old one.  (I would appreciate it though if it had not been linked up to a previous Yarn Fanatic Party.)  I can't wait to see what you've created!

The only rule is that everything you link to must be family friendly.

I would appreciate it very much if you:
  • Add my Yarn Fanatic Party button to your post or party page.
  • The Philosopher's Wife
  • Follow The Philosopher's Wife and Eye Love Knots.
  • Check out some of the other yarn goodies people have finished.
  • Leave comments here, there, and everywhere.  (Please, take a moment to visit at least one other blog and leave a comment.  I want this to be a supportive community of yarn lovers.  To help encourage this a new entry option has been added to the giveaway.  I've been crazy busy lately, and not able to comment on everyone's links, but I will try to comment on everyone's this week!)  
  • If you're not a blogger, but want to participate, feel free to upload a picture from Flicker!
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to share your photos, with the appropriate credit, of course!



Friday, April 17, 2015

Lilla Rose Flexi Hair Clip Review and Giveaway (Ends 4/30) US

This is a sponsored post.  Amazon links are my affiliate links.

Have you seen the beautiful hair clips from Lilla Rose?  I feel in love with them years ago when I saw one of my friends from a playgroup wearing one.

This means that I was very excited for this opportunity to review one!  It took me awhile to decide which clip I wanted.  Did I want a small one?  A large one?  Did I want color?  Did I want bling?  All of the options are pretty!  I ultimately decided upon the Divinely Framed Jewel in large.


In my opinion, the best thing about these clips is that while they certainly can be super dressy, they also brighten an "everyday" mom-do.  I currently wear the half-bun-half-ponytail pretty constantly.  It works well for squeezing in some exercise, trips to the park, rescuing small children from themselves, prevents excess food and general crustiness from getting in my hair, and takes about thirty seconds.


Since life has been pretty busy, the above style is the number one way I've done my hair since I received my flexi.  One day I did manage to get adventurous and did French pigtails and clipped them together in the back as a messy bun.  My four year old tried really hard to get a good picture, but in all honesty, none of them really came out well.  (Have you tried to get a good picture of the back of your own head?  Wowzers, is it difficult!)  While I am hoping to update this post with more pictures of my hair, feel free to get some inspiration from my Pinterest board!




While I don't want to speak badly of the traditional claw clip, a favorite of many -- including my Mother, which would you rather wear?



Giveaway!

I'm excited to announce that one of my readers will get the opportunity to try a Flexi!  Lizzie is sponsoring this giveaway as an Independent Lilla Rose Consultant.

Please note, this giveaway is open to readers who are not currently registered as Lilla Rose Customers. The winner will need to register here as a new customer (no purchase necessary) and Lizzie will send the free flexi to them.  (Please note, this will take about four weeks.)

If you are not currently a Lilla Rose customer, but would like to be, here is a Buy 3 get 1 Free deal. Simply register as a customer here and purchase any 3 items then email Lizzie with the clip they would like for free (her email is easy to find here.)  She will ensure that they will receive the free clip in 6 to 10 weeks. *Offer valid in the US only. Offer is for one free item $16 or less available on the Lilla Rose website. Offer good for new online customers only, one per household. No cash value or exchanges. Must be 16 years of age. Registering on the Lilla Rose website with a valid personal email address is required to take advantage of this offer.

Details and Important Information: Must be 18+ to enter. US only. Void where prohibited. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Social media is not affiliated with this giveaway. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I received the above hair clip in exchange for my honest opinions.  All opinions are mine, and I always aim for one hundred percent honesty.  


Seven Quick Takes

This post contains affiliate links.
1.  I've been busy crocheting with my lovely yarn from Tinted Tangles.  Here's a little teaser:


2.  I'm hosting an awesome yarn giveaway, be sure to enter. (Ends 4/19/15, so make sure to enter right now!)
3.  Dominic has learned how to climb.  Yesterday he climbed over multiple strategic barriers (the ones to keep him away from things like wires, computers, and kitchen drawers) and climbed onto the couch.  He also has an amazing reach when it comes to the dining room table.  Life just got a bit more crazy.

4.  If you could only follow one Pinterest board, which would it be?

5.  I'm working on a blog post about the matching Mother & Daughter Easter dresses, but I can't resist sharing this photo of Catherine and Dominic wearing their Easter duds.


6.  I'll be moving this summer, and I'm thinking that gives me the perfect opportunity to whittle away at my wardrobe.  Laura has inspired me to work on my own "battle against frumpiness and clutter".  Now, I don't personally want a truly minimalist wardrobe -- yet? now? ever? maybe? -- but I do want to part with a bit and we shall see where that leads me.

7.  Just curious, (if you're in a similar state of life) what do you do during library story time?  Do you sit on the floor and participate in the singing and dancing?  Do you read?  Catch up on Facebook?  Or just sit, bored?  Normally when we go I spend my time wrangling Dominic while Catherine attentively participates.  This week he fell asleep in the Beco carrier, so I had a bit more leeway in deciding what to do.  I settled on reading, because I rarely get a half an hour of practically uninterrupted reading time.  What do you do?





Mother's Day Giveaway (Ends 5/1) US

This post contains affiliate links.


Welcome to the Make it Easy for Mom this Mother's Day Giveaway, generously sponsored by Medi-Pals!

Do you struggle with giving your child medication or vitamins? Medi-Pals medication dispensers are going to make your life so much easier! Medi-Pals dispensers are available in 3 whimsical characters that are familiar for your child, easy for the caregiver to use, and most importantly, ensure that the child is always getting the accurate dosage of medicine.
Key benefits of Medi-Pals pacifier medicine dispensers:
  • They're softer than a straight syringe, and the syringe sits snugly in the nipple, so no medicine gets lost or stuck to the sides.
  • They're accurate - the caregiver is in complete control of dosage.
  • The diverter on the pacifier nipple fans the medicine to the sides, not straight to the back of the child's throat, so that the child won't gag and spit the medicine out.
  • They're reusable, dishwasher-safe, and easy to clean.
  • The pacifier and faceplate are easy to put together and take apart. You can even change faceplates!
  • They work with more than just oral vitamins, pain relievers, and oral antibiotics - it can also be used with baby food or even honey. If you can get it into the syringe, it will work.
  • They're made in the USA!
Make sure you check out Thrifty Nifty Mommy's full review the Medi-Pals medication dispensers, and check out her video review of Medi-Pals to see these dispensers in action with an infant and a toddler.



To make mom's life a little easier this Mother's Day, we've put together a FABULOUS prize package - all sponsored by the generous people at Medi-Pals -

This prize package is valued at over $500 and includes:
  • (2) Medi-Pals dispensers: Freddie the Frog and Lilly the Ladybug so mom can give medication or vitamins easily.
  • $150 in CASH so mom can get whatever she likes!
  • (1) $100 Target Gift Card so mom can buy some favorite snacks, new accessories, or housewares.
  • (1) $100 Kohl's Gift Card so mom can get a new outfit.
  • (1) $50 Starbucks Gift Card so mom can get a little treat.
  • (1) $50 Bath and Body Works Gift Card so mom can pamper herself.
  • (1) $50 Outback Gift Card so mom doesn't have to cook on her special day.
  • (1) Mommy Hook to make strolling with bags or groceries a breeze.
You can get your own Medi-Pals on Amazon right now!

Open to the continental US only, ages 18 and up. Ends 5/1/15 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Medi-Pals. The participating bloggers, including The Philosopher's Wife, are not responsible for prize fulfillment. One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email by the hosts of this giveaway, Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Void where prohibited. Amazon links are affiliate links and images are attributed to Amazon.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Holland America's Club HAL

This is a sponsored post.

If you ask Catherine what was the best part of our recent cruise, she will emphatically exclaim "Kid's Club!"  Just look at that smile on her face!  (The facepainting was a part of kid's club events.)  She loved it there, in fact, she still gets sad that we aren't on the Noordam so she can "go to Club HAL everyday!".

Club HAL® -- Kids is for children ages three to seven.  (I did see online that on the ms Prinsendam, children must be at least five.)  They play games, make crafts, color, play Legos, eat ice cream, watch movies, have a pajama party, and simply enjoy themselves.  Below is the main area for Catherine's age group, the three to seven year olds.  Tweens and teens have separate areas to play and hang out.



Children participating in this program must be completely self-sufficient in the restroom as the staff cannot assist the kids.  Catherine had no problem with this, in fact it was even easier for her in the kid's area because they had a smaller toilet and sink just for the kids.

The one and only negative was Catherine was quite sad one night.  On Pirate Night they built ships out of Legos but the "teachers", as she called them, put all of the Legos away before she had time to play with the ship.  All activities were scheduled, and while it was a somewhat loose schedule, they did try to follow it.  At home I have a more Montessori-ish approach and let her work (play) with something until she's finished with it and then we move on to the next activity.  So it was rather shocking and upsetting for her that she wasn't able to play with her creation.  I realize this is a small thing, and it was exasperated by tiredness, but it was surprising to me to find Catherine on the verge of tears (even though she didn't want to leave) when I went to pick her up one night.



Every single time I went to pick Catherine up from Club HAL she was disappointed to see me.  She always wanted to stay longer.  The above picture is after I picked her up and brought her back to our stateroom for bedtime.  She was begging and pleading to go back.  Dominic was sympathetic to her case.  While it was somewhat disheartening that my little girl didn't jump for joy to see me when she saw me coming to get her, I really loved that she enjoyed the youth activities.

It should be noted that Holland America takes the children's safety seriously, the staff at Club HAL is accredited by Praesidium, Inc..  They have a zero tolerance policy on child abuse.  All of the staff that Catherine and I encountered through Club HAL were fantastic.

For more of our cruise related fun check out the following:



I did receive a few amenities free of charge from Holland America, but everything you read on my blog is my honest opinion.



Dupont State Forest and The Hunger Games

This post contains affiliate links.

Waterfalls are simply beautiful, aren't they?  I've always been fascinated by them.  There are four gorgeous falls in Dupont State Forest.  The forest is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.  It is just about an hour car ride from Asheville, NC.


A few weeks after Dominic was born we decided to take a little trip out there.  We saw two of the magical waterfalls.  While there are quite a few trails, there are over 10,000 acres of forest after all, the trails that we hiked were extremely easy to navigate.  (I use the word "hike" loosely here, I was still recovering from my c-section, was wearing an infant, and Catherine was wearing a sundress and sandals.  We weren't ready for anything too adventurous.)  We only encountered one fairly large hill.


My husband carried a small cooler with water and snacks, which was great.  (I do recommend bringing water with you!)  We took a break near one of the waterfalls in a picnic area.  We did manage to take a wrong turn (or miss a turn?) on one of the trails, so we didn't quite make the loop we had originally intended, so be warned -- pay attention to the trail markers!

The geeky side of me also appreciated that some of The Hunger Games was filmed at Dupont State Forest.  (Actually, most of the Hunger Games was filmed in North Carolina.)  According to Wikipedia, most of the outdoor scenes, including those from the arena and those from the outskirts of District 12, were filmed in DuPont State Forest.

If you have a free day, or even just an afternoon, and are looking for a family friendly outdoor adventure in Western North Carolina, I highly recommend visiting Dupont State Forest.

Have you been to Dupont State Forest?  What did you see?  
Did you know that some of The Hunger Games was filmed there?








Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Where was I?






Share your own family friendly posts!

Another Crochet Project: An Elephant & A Giraffe

This post contains affiliate links.



It's an elephant and a giraffe!  I think these guys turned out pretty nicely.  I really love these patterns, which can be found in Easy Crochet Critters.  I knew that I wanted to make one with mint green yarn and another one in pink.  I decided to avoid the whole "pink elephants on parade" referencing and make the giraffe pink.  

Buy the book on Amazon with my affiliate link.
Pattern notes: I used yarn from my stash with an F hook.  I opted to leave off eyes and just do a single color.



I love sharing my projects around the blogosphere.

I'm hosting a crochet pattern giveaway at this week's Yarn Fanatic Party!  There will be TEN lucky winners.  Below is just a sample of what you could win.  (Ends 4/26. US only.)