Sunday, August 28, 2011

No power, thanks Irene

We lost power around 5 pm Saturday evening. We had a tree snap and break. Thankfully it didn't hit our house or our neighbors. I will try to post again when we get power. I think it will be a while since our area got slammed with downed trees. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Preparedness

I guess this week is determined to go out with a bang.  We had the earthquake earlier in the week and now we are under tropical storm warnings with Irene blowing through.  I've been trying to play catch up from vacation this week and to now get ready for Irene coming through my area.  We've had a couple of hurricanes and tropical storms go through our area in the last few years and so today I thought I'd share a couple of tips I've learned that have helped us get through.

1. Fill your bathtub.  Sounds goofy, but I did that a few years ago and it saved us.  You may have to use water from your bathtub to flush your toilet.  Dh laughed at me for doing it, but then when we needed it he was glad I'd done it.  That brings up another point.  Have a bucket ready in case you need to get the water out of the bathtub.

2. Dish washing. If the power goes out you won't be able to wash your dishes, so run your dishwasher ahead of time.  Also, get some of that foaming hand sanitizer.  That works best if you have sticky things like peanut butter on your hands.  You won't want to use all your water up to wash your hands.

3. Water. As I mentioned above, water may become a precious commodity so having foaming hand sanitizer can help.  Getting bottle water is good.  Another thing I'd recommend is if you have any empty gallon milk jugs, fill them with water and freeze them. They will make a great ice block if your power goes out and can keep your fridge/freezer cold for a while.

4. Battery Powered Lantern.  Until I had kids I never realized how great this was to have in the house.  I always used candles before, but you don't want to have candles going in a room with small kids.  So a battery powered lantern is nice to have.  Here is a tip. If you are having a hard time finding flashlights and batteries in your area, Dollar Tree now has battery powered Chinese Lanterns for Halloween. I just bought some yesterday.  You can hang up a couple of those if your power goes out.  Plus you'll be ahead for Halloween. LOL

5. Canned goods and fresh bread.  I've got peanut butter on hand and tuna fish.  Things that don't require cooking are good to have on hand.

6. Fill your propane for the gas grill.  A few years ago we had a grill that had a side burner and it was so handy when we lost power. If your food starts to go bad in your freezer, you can use your gas grill to eat it up.

7. Trash bags.  These are handy if you have storm debris.

8. Glow sticks.  Storms can be scary for some kids.  Why not try to make it fun and let them have glow sticks.  These can be found in the camping section of Wal Mart, or Dollar Tree has had some fun ones in the shape of princess wands, swords, bracelets, and necklaces.

9. Can opener.  Be sure to have an old fashioned can opener if you need to open cans.

10. Charger.  Be sure to charge up your cell phone, ipod, laptop, etc. You may not how power for a few days.

I'm saying a prayer for the folks in the Outer Banks of North Carolina since it sounds like they could get hit hard.  It is hard to believe we were just there a week ago and it was beautiful.  Hoping they won't get hit hard.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shakin and Quakin

Yesterday was a crazy day here.  As you probably heard, we had an Earthquake here in Virginia.  We had a small one a few years ago, but what we experienced yesterday was scary.  I was in the house with my kids and all of a sudden the house started shaking.  I didn't know if a big truck or a low flying plane was going over.  Then as the intensity increased I knew it was an earthquake.  I grabbed my kids and ran into the bathroom.  That is where we should go if there is a tornado. Guess I'll have to rethink the earthquake drill now.

And they say we may get rain from Irene coming up the coast.  I guess the plague and famine will be next. LOL 

We just got back from vacation on Sunday, so I've been playing catch up.  I can't wait to share some stories from vacation. 

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pureology Green Schools Contest

Recently I joined a group called Influenster.  They work with different companies on various initiatives. They recently contacted me about an initiative sponsored by Pureology. Pureology is currently running a contest where folks can nominate their local school to win a green makeover.  There were will be multiple prizes awarded, so various schools will have the chance to win.  There are some interesting facts on the website about how green initiatives can directly impact a child's education in a positive way.  You can read about the details here on the Pureology Green Schools contest website.  It sounds like a great contest and any of the schools who who win will be lucky. I'm personally excited because I have sisters in law who are teachers. I can't wait to share this opportunity with them.

I was thinking back to when I was a kid and I believe there were public service announcements that had the owl that said, "Give a hoot, don't pollute."  It was such a catchy slogan that it has stuck with me.  I think that because of that psa, as well as at various times during my education it made an impact on me to try to do what I can to limit my families foot print.  That is why I like to share about programs like this. Starting kids early is a great way to teach them how to incorporate an awareness about the world around them and their impact in it. 

If you are interested in joining Influenster so you can be one of the first folks to hear about programs like this one sponsored by Pureology, follow my link here  When you join Influenster, you can earn various badges which make you eligible to receive what they call a free VoxBox.  Because I blogged about this iniative, I'm eligible to receive a box of free green products.  There are various areas of interest, so be sure to check it out via my referral link above.  If you have any problems, shoot me an email and I'll be sure to help.  I can't wait to get my first VoxBox and I'll be blogging about it once it comes in the mail.  I've seen on their website where folks in the past have received VoxBoxes of beauty products.  Who know what they will have next. 

What green initiatives are they doing at your child's school, or what kind of green things do you do at your house? 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sabor a Cajeta

Today is my final blog post this week of sharing another blogger with you. Today I'm highlighting Sabor a Cajeta . Ok, I have to admit that high school Spanish didn't stick with me, but this is a great blog to visit because Lisa blogs in both English and in Spanish.  I'm featuring her today because every Friday she posts beautiful pictures in her Friday Favorites posts.  day in your

She has a great eye for photography and shares beautiful pictures of the world around her.  She likes to blog on topics such as her craft projects (she loves to sew), as well as her children and any other great tid bits she wants to share with her readers.  I know Lisa in real life and I can tell you that she is as lovely in person as she comes through on her blog.  You will love her blog so be sure to stop by.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kate Middleton

Today I'm continuing my week of sharing other great blogs I like to read.  On Monday I recommended Serenity Now .  If you missed that post, be sure to check out that great blog. Today I've got another great recommendation for you.

Ok, after seeing the Royal Wedding I have to admit that I love seeing any kind of press about Kate Middleton.  And I especially love seeing the clothes that she wears. To me she has such a wonderful style that is elegant and lady like. So imagine my delight when I recently discovered two different blogs who are dedicated to chronicling the different outfits worn by Kate Middleton.

The first blog Kate Middleton Style shows you a number of the different outfits as worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness of Carrickfergus (those are apparently Kate's new titles).  I love that this blog will show you a dress or pair of shoes and then tell you where you could get a knock off.  Because I don't see me coming into any money soon. But I have to admit that it is nice to take style cues from someone like the Duchess/Countess/Baroness. 

The other blog that is What Kate Wore .  I love the commentary of this blog. Even when there are lull's in the blog having material to report on, they find some kind of Kate related tid bit to share.  For example, they were recently covering a quote that Anne Hathaway made about her regard for Kate's style. 

So if you too are a lover of the Duchess' style, be sure to go and check out these blogs and let them know I sent you.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Serenity Now: a mommy's solution to staying sane

This week I am going to be sharing with you some blogs I like to read.  I'll be sharing another post on Wednesday and then on Friday.  I think it is nice to find out about other great bloggers and I know I appreciate when other bloggers are kind enough to give me a shout out.  So today I wanted to share with you Serenity Now which is written by Amanda. 


I don't know tons of bloggers "in real life", but I do know Amanda.  I think that you'll see from her blog that she has a great sense of humor.  She likes to blog on similar topics that I do which include: cute crafts, being a mommy, recipes, and a dash of fashion thrown in as well.  I recently discovered a great tile craft project that she did that I think will be perfect for my MOPS group.  You never know what kinds of gems you'll discover when reading her blog. 

So be sure to stop by Amanda's blog and tell her I sent you.  Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Operation Christmas Child


Over this past weekend, I was in the stores taking advantage of the tax free weekend we had for back to school shopping.  Last year I used the great sales on back to school supplies to stock up for the shoe boxes we stuff for Operation Christmas Child which is run by the Samaritan's Purse organization.

If you've never heard of this before, it is a great organization that collects shoe boxes stuffed with goodies for needy children in other countries.  For many children, this is the only gift they will receive.  I found it astounding that they were able to get shoe boxes to 8 million children last year.  Can you imagine? 

On Sunday, I picked up crayons and glue at Kmart.  They are on sale for 25 cents this week.  They do limit you to four.  So if you are out shopping for back to school supplies, grab an extra pack (or couple) of crayons and supplies and start planning ahead to participate in this great cause. If you are not affiliated with a church, don't let that stop you.  You can go to the Samaritan's Purse website and they can tell you where they have a local collection center.  And if you feel led even further, they can use volunteers at the collection centers. 

I personally like to fill boxes for little boys since I have two boys. I had to be bias, but I feel like it is way easier to find girly things to put in boxes, so that is why I put together boxes for boys.  Small trucks, dinosaurs, and coloring books, etc.  These all make great items to send. By the way, they ask that you don't send liquid items (so bubbles are out) and don't send things that could melt like chocolate.

I'm sure as we get closer to the holidays I'll be blogging about this again and sharing what I'm collecting for our boxes. And don't stress if you don't have shoe boxes.  Last year I saw where you could pick some up for free at Family Christian Bookstore. 

I wanted to share some pictures with you of children around the world who have received shoe boxes.  I thought this first picture was so cool because it shoes folks in Africa taking shoe boxes to kids and as you can see, they are riding elephants!  What a cool way to travel.  Can you imagine if your shoe box was delivered by elephant?  Amazing!
 The faces of these sweet girls in Iraq just touched my heart when I saw this picture. 
 And this looks like a happy group of kids in Peru.
 And these kids are hanging out in Zimbabwe with all of their shoe boxes.

I'll be blogging about this again as we get closer to the holidays and give you more ideas for packing shoe boxes.  Wouldn't it be fun to organize a group you belong to (co-workers, Bunco, MOPS, etc) and set a challenge to see who can stuff the most shoe boxes? Start now and by the time November gets here, you all will be ready to go.  November is when shoe boxes get turned into local distribution areas so they can get to the kids by Christmas.

So, have you ever put together a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child?  What did you pack in your box(es)?

If you are jumping over from Photobucket
then welcome! I'm glad Amanda sent ya!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Clearly Fresh Bags

With summer here, it is a great time to take advantage of fresh produce. I love having fresh veggies and fruits, but what I hate is buying them and they go bad quickly.  Sometimes we have the best of intentions to eat things up, but then something comes up and all of a sudden the produce is bad.  And I am someone who doesn't like to waste food.

I was recently approached by the folks at Clearly Fresh Bags and asked if I would test their bags.  I said yes, I was definitely interested. Well over the last two weeks I've done just that.  I bought a number of different items at the store and was pleasantly surprised at how well the bags worked.  I was sent a package that contained 10 gallon size bags. This is what they offer on their website.

One of our problems is bananas going brown quickly.  My kids are hit or miss when it comes to eating them, so I was happy that these bags helped keep the bananas from going brown quickly.  I was able to buy bananas on Monday and keep them in the bag and some of them didn't get eaten until Thursday.  None of them had turned brown. 

I also tested the bags on a bunch of asparagus.  I was able to put them in and not use the asparagus for about 5 days.  The asparagus tasted great and wasn't mushy on the ends which is what has happened in the past if I haven't cooked it within a day of buying the bunch.

Here is a link to the Clearly Fresh Bags website.  You can order bags directly from them.  Considering how much you can save on produce, I think the bags are reasonably priced.

For those of you who are concerned about recycling, the Clearly Fresh website says the bags are recyclable and gives instructions on the proper way to recycle the bags.

I'd love to hear if you give these bags a try. Or have you already known about them and used them? Be sure to let me know either way. I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Here is a picture of one of my bags.  It has also been great for tomatoes.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Up with the birds

So, I'm dragging today because my oldest was up at 4 a.m. I think he has some kind of 24 hour bug.  Just wanted to check in and remind everyone to check out my post about getting bonus box tops for education at Sam's Club.  You could win a $25 gift card to Sam's. The giveaway ends Wednesday, so don't miss it.

I'll be back to posting later this week. Hope you are having a great week in your neck of the woods.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Seventh Generation

My youngest son has dabbled with potty training, but right now we are still in diapers.  I recently was offered the opportunity by the folks at Seventh Generation and MyBlogSpark to try Seventh Generation's newly relaunched Free & Clear diapers. 

If you aren't familiar with Seventh Generation diapers, here is some interesting information they provided to me. "What Seventh Generation leaves out is just as important as what they put in. Free & Clear diapers do not include chlorine processing, fragrances, latex and petroleum based lotions. In an effort to contribute less overall landfill waste and continue to ensure a premium standard of absorbency, the new Free & Clear diapers have been redesigned with a lighter-weight core. With processed chlorine-free wood pulp in Free & Clear diapers, Seventh Generation also makes certain that no chlorine is released into the environment during the totally chlorine-free (TCF) whitening process of the diapers and training pants.

Seventh Generation has also reduced the size of the diapers’ plastic packaging, meaning that each pack now contributes even less overall landfill waste than before. In fact, Seventh Generation Free & Clear diaper packaging can now be recycled at local supermarkets where plastic bag recycling collection boxes are available."

So the next time you are in the store, be sure to check out Seventh Generation and their Free & Clear diapers.  They are a company who is committed to helping you lower your environmental footprint when you use their diapers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sam's Club for Back to School

It is hard to believe that it in just a few short weeks the kids will be heading back to school.  This will be a big deal in our house because both of my boys will be going to preschool. This will be the first year of preschool for my youngest son. I'm sure momma will be shedding some tears that first day.

This coming weekend is a tax free weekend for back to school shopping.  This is a newer phenomenon here in our state and is something I'm really glad to be able to utilize when shopping for our supplies. 

Over the last year, I was happy to support our local school by collecting Box Tops for Education.  This is such an easy thing to do and the few seconds it took to snip them off the box was very rewarding for me.  So when the folks at MyBlogSpark contacted me to let me know that Sam's Club has some great products that have bonus Box Tops for Education, I was excited to share the information with you.  When you shop at Sam's Club, you will find General Mills brands such as: Honey Nut Cheerios, Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey Crunchy Granola Bars, Totino’s Pizza Rolls are offering bonus box tops!  These items will have specially marked packages that will have 6 bonus box tops.  That is a lot of box tops!

And even if you don't have kids in school, if you have grandkids or neighborhood children I'm sure they would appreciate them.  Last year my sister who doesn't have school aged children was kind enough to save her box tops for us, as well as both grandmas.  Many classes have contests for the class who collects the most box tops.  Start saving them now to help out with those contests. 

I'm excited that today you have the opportunity to win a $25 gift card that you can use at Sam's Club. (MyBlogSpark & General Mills sent me one too. Yay!)  You have 5 opportunities to enter. You must post separate responses to this thread for each entry to count. You must also include your email address so I have a way to contact you. This giveaway will end at midnight EST on Wednesday, August 10th. The winner will have 24 hours from when I contact them to get in touch with me, otherwise I will draw another name.

1.) Which General Mills products are you most excited to see featured in the “6 Tops on a Pack” offer at Sam’s Club?

2.) Follow me @chiccraftychick on Twitter.

3.) Follow the Chic Crafty Chick Blog. Check out the right hand side of my blog to follow. If you are already following, please leave a comment saying you are a follower.

4.) Add Chic Crafty Chick to your blog roll, or add my badge to your sidebar. Be sure to come back and leave the link to your site in a separate comment.

5)Follow Sam's Club on Facebook Sam's Club Facebook Page

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cooking Day

Wow is this summer flying by. And my two boys are keeping me hopping. I've been having a battle for a while with my youngest and his eating.  So today I'm having a cooking day and I'm baking the Peanut Butter and Banana muffins from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook.  I'll let you know how it goes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed he will like these because he loves the Apple Crunch muffins at Panera.  So hopefully these will be a hit.

I also will have some upcoming reviews and giveaways as well.  Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

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