Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WINNERS of the Dr. Scholl's Coupons! (And I Picked Out a Ring)

Wow! Seven winners are announced below! I'll work on getting emails out to everyone tonight - after bedtime. Oh, and I received a stack of more high-value coupons in the mail today, so I'll add one of those to each of the envelopes, too! Thanks to everyone for entering, I really appreciate the time you took.


Also, a BIG THANKS to all of you who checked out the rings I was pondering and giving me your feedback. I finally chose the Vintage Sterling Silver one. I like the Ebony one, too, but it came down to cost as the tie-breaker.
My New Wedding Ring!

I Ran Into An Old Friend {Wordless Wednesday}

Just ran into an old friend yesterday afternoon. I thought he (more likely "she") had been lost in a storm or moved into the woods. Nope! Here's a little retrospective of my praying mantis friend.

May 2011 (after hatching in my kitchen!)

May 2011 - 1/2 inch long

Early June 2011 - in my oregano
Late June 2011 - up to 1 1/2"

YESTERDAY! On a sunflower leaf - about 6" long.

Sure wish I could bring him in for the winter. Wonder if they live that long? Anyway, I have nothing to feed it and I'm not about to start a grasshopper colony inside just for food! I'm going to keep on the look-out for another pod of eggs, though.

I owe this guy big. Last year, at this time, the grasshoppers had stripped my garden. This year, not nearly as much. I wish I'd had my camera when I watched this guy grab a grasshopper in mid-jump, then eat it! Every garden should have a resident like this.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's That Time Again! {Tuesday's Giveaway Linkup!}

Tuesday's Giveaway Linkup
Welcome to the NEW and improved Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Aimee @ Classified: Mom & Karen @ Tots and Me & Alicia @ McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts!

This link up will be posted Monday at 8 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the three hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Thank you for linking up with  Aimee @ Classified: Mom & Karen @ Tots and Me & Alicia @ McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts! 

I haven't Worn My Wedding Ring in Almost 3 Years!

OK.. I need some help here. You see, I haven't worn my wedding ring since Little Guy was a couple of days old. I don't know WHAT I was thinking when I picked it out... it's huge and sparkly. Not really "me", you know? Beside that, there is a lovely "certified" CZ stone in the center that was catching on everything and scratched my tiny newborn. The ring was banished to a drawer and forgotten about.

But now that he's bigger, I've realized that maybe I should start wearing it again. The thing is, I don't like it at all. We were married in the court house, so it's not like it was blessed for our marriage or anything. Hubby and I talked it over and decided that I should get a new ring - one that fits my style and all of the busy things my hands do all day. Below, there are five rings I found on Etsy that fit our budget (can you say, "What budget?!") They're not really traditional wedding-type rings, but I like them a lot. It was not easy finding these - I have arthritis creeping in, so my knuckle is a full size larger than my finger where the ring will rest. Plus, I have skeleton hands - to fit the ring over said knuckle, I need a size 5 - that means my finger is a size 4!

I'd love it if you could give me some feedback on these. I really love the Textile Ring, but I can't help but wonder if the fibers will last a long time. I convo'd (LOL - is that how you write it???) the shop owner to ask. I also like the Ebony Wood Ring, but have asked the shop owner if it'll last as a ring I wear all of the time and never take off - dishes, showers, baking, etc. can take their toll on something like this!
Textile Ring

Vintage Jade Filigree
Turquoise & Silver Ring
Ebony Wood Ring

Vintage Sterling Ring

Sunday, August 28, 2011

REMINDER! #WIN Sweet P's Organic Skin Care Products @EnviroBooty! ($75ARV) LOW ENTRIES!

This is a re-post. 
Entries are really low (68 as of now) 
and the giveaway ends on Tuesday!  
Click the first link, below, 
to be taken directly to the giveaway 
on Environmental Booty.

Right now, fans of Environmental Booty have a chance to win some amazing products from Sweet P's Luxury Organic Skincare! Yes, it says "LUXURY" for a reason. Sweet P's produces a number of spa-worthy products for hair, body, skin care, sun protection, pain relief, babies, and even your home! With seven scent collections and over 150 oils in use, you are sure to find a combination that is perfect for yourself, your home, and to give that special someone an amazing, personalized gift! All products are made with certified organics and an Ecocert Preservative that is friendly and non-toxic to humans as well as the environment.

Now, not only are Sweet P's products environmentally-friendly and people-safe, they are AFFORDABLE! Check this out: You can get an 8oz. bottle of their Aloe Vera Shampoo for only $7.50 - AND you can choose from 33 different scents (I like the Chocolate Decadence and Stress Relief Aromatherapy, myself!) Their Soy Wax Candles come in a variety of sizes, from 1oz. to 16oz. and you can choose from 153 scents. Finally, I love the perfume choices!

Now, I'm not one to wear perfume - I just don't like the fake, flowery scents available. Plus, what the heck is in them? I've heard that many name-brand perfumes contain formaldehyde?! No, thanks! But, I do like to smell nice, you know? Natural soaps have a lot of scent to them, but I've noticed that, even the heavily-scented ones just don't last the day. Sweet P's combines the fragrance oils used in their perfumes with organic jojoba oil, which blends with your own body oils and allows the scent to stay with you all day! Oh, and did I mention that there are 153 different scents to choose from? I'd love to try Earth, Lavender Rosemary Cinnamon, and Vanilla Sandalwood! Oh, and if you don't see a fragrance you like, or have a special combination that you know works for you? Just email or even call them and they'll take care of you!

So, what's all this about a giveaway?! Head on over to Environmental Booty and you can enter to win TWO great products from Sweet P's Luxury Organic Skin Care! The first is that perfume I've been telling you about. But not just the perfume - it will come in a beautiful Diamond Cut Crystal Bottle! This is the epitome of luxury. The second prize is a bottle of Sweet P's Prickly Pear Antioxidant Sunscreen with Tint. This stuff does four things for you: moisturizes, provides protection from UVA and UVB rays, lightly tints the skin (no bright orange people here!), and it contains a ton of antioxidants. Those antioxidants are especially good for those of us who constantly nag our families to wear sunscreen, then forget to apply it to ourselves. This lotion will heal your sunburn fast!

So, how can you win these two prizes that are worth $75?! Head on over to Facebook and "like" both Environmental Booty and Sweet P's Skincare, then head HERE, to Environmental Booty's blog and leave a comment that you liked the two Facebook pages. Easy-peasy! There are also extra entries, such as sharing on Facebook & Twitter, to help increase your odds of winning. This giveaway is open to US residents and ends on August 30th. As of right now, there are only 68 entries, so go over there and get in on the chance to win these great products!

***I wrote this blog post while participating in the and Sweet P's blogging contest (I won!!!), making me eligible to get monetary compensation and Sweet P's product. Anyone who is a green blogger and interested in joining Environmental Booty's Blog Ambassador program can click on  the blue "Blog Ambassador" button above to find out more (there's a link in the left-hand side bar.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

WINNERS of The Peaceful Housewife's Natural Household Cleaners eBook!

Congrats to the winners of The Peaceful Housewife's Natural Household Cleaners eBook! Don't forget that you can purchase this eBook directly from The Peaceful Housewife for only $3.00. Also, she has a Back-to-School sale going on right now (I think it's still good - I don't see an expiration date). You can get a whopping 25% off anything in her store by using the code: BACK2SCHOOL at checkout. With her already low prices, you'll be getting a real bargain!

And don't forget -you still have time to enter the Dr. Scholl's Coupon giveaway. There are SEVEN winners who will each get (2) $5-off coupons for Massaging Gel Inserts. Since the SRP of these is $12.99, this is a great deal! Ends 8/30 and open to US residents.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Finally Have an "About Me" Page!

OK, I have no idea what I'm doing here. Apparently, when I add a new page to my blog, it doesn't show up in my feed? So, if you missed my tweet and/or Facebook page status update, here's the link:
Now, I'd really like to be able to add new posts to my "About Me" page. Can anyone tell me how to do it, or just direct me to somewhere that will tell me in non-geek language how to do this. I need step-by-step instructions with words directions like, "click on the thing that looks like a paintbrush, then click on the bird-like shape." You know, super-simple that even Little Guy or even my husband could do it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You Have to Play By The RULES!

One of the things that attracted me to hubby was a story he tells about he and his now grown daughter. She had been messing around with him. When he told her to come inside the house for dinner, she just laughed and ran away. He was getting angry and finally went out to get her. He tripped on one of the porch steps and fell onto the sidewalk. She stood about a foot away and laughed at him. Not only was he physically hurt, but also embarrassed and emotionally hurt. To retaliate, he grabbed the macrame belt he was wearing (yeah, hippie!) and took a swipe in her direction, not really expecting to do much more than show her he wasn't happy. He hit her square on the butt. This was the first (and last) time he ever "spanked" her. It hurt her feelings and she cried. Then HE started crying because he hit his daughter! (Now, we're talking about a belt made from braided yarn. It didn't really hurt in the physical sense.) When she saw him crying, she stopped immediately, gave him a big hug, and they went inside to eat dinner. Aww...
Photo by woodleywonderworks on Flickr
 Last night, as I was making dinner, hubby & Little Guy were in the other room playing with Legos. This is one of his very favorite activities to do with his daddy and he looks forward to doing so every evening. My oldest had just passed down a set to Little Guy that could be built into a pirate ship and they were both pretty excited to play with it. Hubby really wanted to make the ship so he and Little Guy could play pretend with all of the Lego guys. They come up with some rather interesting stories - there's one about Carl the Laundry Man, another about Rasheed the Snake Charmer... Anyway, as hubby worked on putting all of the pieces where they were supposed to go, Little Guy busied himself with the joy of just plain building. Every once in a while, I could hear him say, "I need borrow dat piece for my truck [or train, or car...] I'm building," to my increasingly frustrated husband. I could envision what was going on, every time my hubby turned to look for a piece he needed, Little Guy was taking one from the ship.

That's when it happened.  Hubby had had enough. Slowly, buy surely, his voice came through loud and clear, slowly rising the more he spoke, "No! That piece doesn't go there! I need it for the ship! Don't you want to help me build this ship???" Then the lecture began (remember, he's talking to a kid who isn't even quite 3 years old.)

"You need to play by THE RULES. Don't you understand? We're trying to build this really cool ship and you keep messing it up! This piece goes here, you see? If you're not going to play by THE RULES, I don't want to play Legos with you anymore. You can just play by yourself because I don't want to play with someone who doesn't follow THE RULES. No one will ever want to play with you if you just do whatever you want and don't play by THE RULES..."
It went on from there. I was seeing red, but couldn't come to his rescue because I was making mac & cheese and had just started to add the milk to the sauce. I had to keep stirring... Finally, when I had a chance, I popped my head into the room and told them it was time to start cleaning up because dinner would be ready soon. What I wanted to do was tear hubby a new one for talking to that little one like that. It wasn't just the words, but the tone of voice, too. I waited, though. We don't argue in front of Little Guy when it could possibly turn into a heated battle of parenting philosophies. He doesn't need to witness that. Plus, he was starting to get the idea that since I make the majority of the rules that pertain to him, he didn't have to listen to anyone other than me. Not cool when hubby takes him for a walk and he runs off because he feels that hubby's instructions (like: Hold hands across the street) don't apply because it's not Mommy saying it. I held my tongue until after bed time.

Then I confronted my husband. Yes, "confronted", not "brought up the subject" or "asked". I was still really pissed off. I wanted to know why he thought it was OK to talk to our son like that. His response was that he kept saying more and more things, in a meaner and meaner way, because what he was saying was not phasing Little Guy. In fact, he was being completely ignored. He was mad at this, so he kept on going. WHAT?! I was dumbfounded for a minute or two. Was I hearing a grown man tell me that he was saying increasingly hurtful things to a toddler just to get a rise out of him?! I went over the things he said to our son (kind of like the paraphrased piece, up there), then asked him how he'd feel if he heard another kid or the oldest saying those things to Little Guy. "But he wasn't even paying attention!" was his retort. What do you do when someone hurts your feelings? I try to ignore the person, busy myself with something else until the person stops or I can go away. I asked hubby if he thought maybe Little Guy was doing the same thing. He was quite defensive about the whole situation - probably because I was on the warpath.

Legos, he would try to just go with the flow and not worry about making anything colossal for now.

This morning, hubby told me he felt really bad about talking to Little Guy that way. He still feels that it's his job to teach him how to follow rules, though. I think he's still a little young, but suggested buying a simple game like Candyland or Memory for Little Guy's birthday for them to play together. I really hope that this is the last of incidents of this nature. I'm still pretty shocked at the entire thing. I would have never thought of this kind of thing coming from my husband - ever.

Number 1 {Wordless Wednesday... uh, kind of...}

This is Number 1, our cat. He was born in the middle of winter, 4 years ago, under the blankets of y bed - right next to me feet. We had let a poor stray cat into the house that night because it was one of the coldest nights on record and I felt so sorry for her. I didn't know she was pregnant - I never really bothered to look! Anyway, we were NOT going to keep her or the kittens. Our landlord had already kicked two different people out for having pets. That's why we named him Number 1 - he was the firstborn and we didn't want to get attached. We didn't even name the others. Well, everyone found homes quickly except Number 1 - we named him and couldn't get rid of him. He even hides when the landlord is around!

He's been taking naps with Little Guy since he was a newborn. If nap time is late, Number 1 gets very upset and starts pacing back and forth on the bed.

He loves going for walks in the woods with us. He knows that we do not appreciate dead animals as gifts, so he's been bringing us live offerings. They usually spend a night in our bathroom and I let them go in the morning while Number 1 is eating his breakfast. He's recently been banned from coming into the house because he attempted to catch us a skunk. The smell is wearing off... very slowly!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Come On Over and WIN! {Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up}

Tuesday's Giveaway Linkup
Welcome to the NEW and improved Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Aimee @ Classified: Mom & Karen @ Tots and Me & Alicia @ McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts!
This link up will be posted Monday at 8 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.
Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up
1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)
2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)
3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!
If you would  like to follow the three hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.
Thank you for linking up with  Aimee @ Classified: Mom & Karen @ Tots and Me & Alicia @ McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts! 

Are You Gellin'? {Rafflecopter #Giveaway - 7 Winners!} #imabzzagent

So, I signed up to become a BzzAgent a while back. I get to try out products and get high-value coupons. In exchange for these things, I need to share what I think of these products by blogging, tweeting, writing reviews, etc.My most recent BzzCampaign is for Dr. Scholl's. I received a pair of Massaging Gel Insoles and a ton of great coupons.

Now, I have to admit that I've been gellin' since before the annoying commercial came out. I waited tables for years and years and this particular insert was the only one that I could trust to work and last a long time. I tried others, but they'd either collapse within a week, ride up inside my shoe - really great feeling when you're super-busy and are carrying a giant tray with 10 loaded dinner plates toward a table of very hungry senior diners! Anyway, when I quit working to stay home with the kids, I kept buying the Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Inserts. First, I was pregnant. My feet hated me and the only thing that allowed me to walk more than from the living room to the bathroom (repeatedly) were those inserts. Then, once little guy became mobile, so did mommy! Even after a long day of chasing him in the park, my feet and legs don't hurt. Oh, and did I mention that we have no car and walk everywhere? Yeah. I thank my lucky stars that I have these things inside my shoes almost every day.

I gave the sample pair of inserts to my oldest. His feet are just a little larger than mine (my baby!), so they fit into his shoes. What happens is the inserts are made for men or women. They come in a large size that you can cut down to whatever size your shoe happens to be. He was kind of weirded-out about having the women's version until I asked him how many of his friends look inside his shoes, especially when he's wearing them. Bonus: He could ask people if they were gellin'!

A pair of Dr. School's Massaging Gel Inserts runs about $12.99 each. I've seen them at Walmart for $10, Target for $9, and Walgreens for $11. Not a bad deal when you consider that you can buy inexpensive shoes and still feel good wearing them!

I received a ton of $5 off coupons. That would mean if you find these at the suggested retail price of $12.99, you could get them for just $6.99! And if you find them at Target or on sale anywhere else, you can get them for even less! These coupons are good on any Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Insoles, including the original, work, sport, and extra support - both men's and women's. Coupon is good in the US and expires 12/31/11.

I am going to give away 2 coupons to seven winners. Use one for yourself and share the other (or keep them both!) The entries are very, very easy! *If you clear your cookies often, you may want to leave a blog comment to remind yourself that you entered. You don't have to - just a friendly suggestion.

***I am a BzzAgent. I received products and coupons for this post. 
I did not receive any monetary compensation. 
The review has been written in my own words and the opinions are mine.***

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Looking for Inspiration or Want to Share a Project or Recipe? {The Frugal Girls!}

Frugal Girls!

So, every Thursday, I can't wait for The Frugal Girls' Chic & Crafty Party to get posted. What is it? Well, I'll tell ya! It's a great linky filled with a ton of really neat projects and recipes from all over blogdom. The links contain "chic & crafty" ideas that range from the super easy to very involved. I've learned how to completely make over the crappy-looking, yet functional pieces of furniture that hubby keeps dragging home on garbage night. I now have a recipe for Strawberry-Peach Jam that I'm planning on trying this weekend, after out next Farmer's Market trip. And, I used the Flowers for the Black Thumb idea to send flowers to my mother-in-law with the kids.

Oh, and did I mention that this linky doesn't just give you a place to feature your DIY craft, recipe, or idea. When you submit a link, you're entered to win something, too! As a special "Thank You" to those who link up, The Frugal Girls will choose (randomly) one person to receive a gift card of some sort. I was the lucky winner of a $25 Hobby Lobby GC a couple of weeks ago for linking up my revamped Seed Bombs post!!!

Little Guy and I made a special day of it, yesterday, with a bus ride to Hobby Lobby and a craft supply shopping spree. For the $25, we were able to get him 5 sets of watercolors (he goes through them like crazy!), his own box of 64 crayons, a ton of stickers, pop-poms, google eyes, pipe cleaners, a giant jug of glue, lots of construction paper... and more. I've never seen a kid so excited to be buying this kind of stuff - he was just in heaven! (Yeah, he's definitely my kid! LOL)

So, if you've got something you'd like to share, go link up. 
Anything that takes an iota of creativity is welcome, 
even party ideas, 
tips on cleaning and crafting, 
and, of course, 
those project and recipe posts.
The newest edition of the Chic & Crafty Party will post at 8pm tonight! (Thursday) Your idea could even be featured later in the week in its own post on The Frugal Girls. Let me tell you, that's no little thing - being featured by them will mean a ton of exposure for your idea!

**I didn't get anything for posting this. Heck, The Frugal Girls don't even know I'm posting this! I just want to share this really cool linky with you and tell you about a great chance to win a GC to some crafty-type of store. And to thank The Frugal Girls for sending me and Little Guy on our fun shopping spree, thanks to that GC I won!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Art Fair! {Wordless Wednesday}

 I've included some info about each at the bottom of this post.

Got Little Guy a really cheap ($1) digital camera. He took pictures of everything he saw all day - especially of cars and Brubber!
There was a huge turnout of artists this year - I think they said over 85!
Recycled Materials Yard Art (Isn't that turtle really cool?!)
Concrete Planters made using found trash as the molds. There were all kinds of shapes and sizes. BEAUTIFUL!

This Mosaic Wall Hanging measured over 3 feet in diameter! I LOVE the message, the colors, the frame... ALL OF IT!
Yeah, against all "I'm not buying that" attitudes, he got a balloon animal. It lived a whole 4 hours!
Snack time! Fresh raspberries that we got from the Farmer's Market that morning.

A rare photo of the oldest not being weird.

Cooling off with some splashing by the fountain.

Making fingerprint art with REAL permanent markers!

Painting, too!
Taking a rest before walking the mile home. (That balloon was free and is still hanging around in the living room.)
Artist Credits
Recycled Materials Yard Art - Blue Turtle Designs (734) 586-8083 South Rockwood, MI (No Website)
Concrete Planters - The Portable Garden (810) 449-2706
Mosaic Wall Hanging - Centered Studio by Chritsy LaRoy (734) 241-5147

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Every Cleaning Recipe You'll Ever Need! {#Rafflecopter #GIVEAWAY!}

 Have you heard of The Peaceful Housewife yet? I met Jenny around March of this year, I think it was during Code Name: Mama's March of Kindness meme. Jenny was blogging about the same things that I was interested in, mainly: greening your home and parenting peacefully. She opened her online store, The Peaceful Housewife, soon after we "met" and I was excited to do a review and gift certificate giveaway with her to spread the word. Her items are wonderful - tons of homemade cleaning products, created with safe and natural ingredients.
Jenny - The Peaceful Housewife

Recently, Jenny published an eBook containing all of her recipes along with cleaning tips. She's included basic laundry detergent and dish soap recipes. Then she added some that I didn't think you could make at home: dishwasher detergent, brass cleaner, and even one for those oh-so-convenient disinfecting wipes! Her tips include how to get stubborn stains from clothes and how to replace chemical-laden carpet shampoo with a non-toxic version.

The book is very easy to read, all of the steps are laid out perfectly. I'd even give it to my husband to make some of these recipes and expect the results to come out perfectly (that's saying a LOT!) I am so thankful to Jenny for sending me this book and I know that, when I shop next, I'll be picking up lots of vinegar, baking soda, and some great-smelling essential oils!

You can buy the book for a mere $3 by heading to her online store. You will also find a ton of great cleaning products for amazingly low prices. For instance, this month's "Scent of the Month" is Apple Jack and Peel and if you'd like to try it, you can buy a 20-load bag of laundry detergent for only $2! I have a bottle of Linen and Room Spray in Lavender Vanilla (there are 12 scents to choose from) that I love. The stuff lasts forever (both the bottle, itself, and the scent) and it only cost me $3.50. Oh, and she even creates a wonderful furniture polish that I feel good about letting Little Guy use for just $5. You just cannot find items like this online or elsewhere for these prices. And, if you choose to buy the eBook, you'd really be saving money by making all of these (and more) yourself!

Would you like a chance to win The Peaceful Housewife: Natural Household Cleaners eBook? Just use the easy Rafflecopter form below (it may take a minute to load.) Open WORLDWIDE!

****By the way - I didn't receive any type of monetary compensation for this review. I did, however. get a really handy eBook - that's it. Everything I've said is in my own words and is my own opinion! OK, now get back to entering the giveaway!

Triberr, Anyone?

So, a couple of weeks ago, I received a Triberr invite. I had absolutely no idea what this was. I had just signed on to Google + and didn't really want to take on yet another social networking thing. I mean, it's not like I need to gain more followers, but I do like to try out free products and have giveaways once in a while. Those analytics numbers do count for something when a company is considering you for PR. I read a little about Triberr and learned that this isn't a social network at all. It's basically a group of people getting together and tweeting each others' posts.

The Basics of Triberr
Triberr's terminology is kind of interesting. You belong to "Tribes", or groups of others who will tweet your posts, as you tweet theirs. You can belong to as many tribes as you'd like. You can also start your own tribe, making you the Chief of that tribe. In fact, everyone can have three tribes of their own. Now, there is something called Bones - money, really. You start off with so many bones when you sign up (I can't remember how many, sorry.) If you want to join a tribe (and are already a member of at least one other tribe), you must pay the chief and all of the tribe members a kind of offering. That's where the bones come in. The chief of the tribe gets the largest cut, and then the members get a smaller amount. The larger the tribe, the more it costs to get in.

What's With Dem "Bones"?
There are two way to get more bones. First, you can buy them outright. The other option is to earn them. No, you don't have to jump through any hoops like taking surveys or signing up to sites that are going to spam the hell out of you. You simply give Karma to the posts that your tribemates would like you to tweet. This is, (tee-hee) a "Random Boning Opportunity"!

You see, when you are on your Home page, you are able to choose between a few views. One is called the Tribal Stream. This is where a list of all the tweets that are queued up for you to tweet to your Twitter followers. There is a section that shows you exactly what the tweet will say (you can edit this), who the post belongs to, and a link to the post so you can check it out. Then, there is a section that allows you to delete the post, so you won't tweet it. Finally, there is a section for karma. You can like or dislike any post based on whatever you want. Either way, you will randomly earn one bone for doing this. Sometimes you will have to give karma to 10 posts before you earn a bone, other times you might earn 5 bones in a row. That's why it's called a "random" opportunity!

But What if I Don't Want to Tweet a Post?
Then don't you have the control here. In one of the tribe I belong to, one blogger is a very green mamma. She does not want to be tweeting about a great deal on Huggies to her followers, you know? So, she just chooses to delete those posts from her Tribal Stream. If you don't have the time to keep checking back throughout the day to see if any errant posts are scheduled for you to tweet, you may choose to set your account to manual. This means that no tweets will go out under your Twitter account without your approval. You have to be careful with this, though. If you're forgetful and don't return to approve posts often, yet you are allowing all of your posts to be tweets, people are going to get angry. Why should they tweet for you if you're not going to do the same in return?

The Positive Side of Triberr
You will have your posts Tweeted out to a ton of new people. I have gained over 200 new Twitter followers in the couple of weeks I've been on Triberr. Your Google Analytics numbers will jump through the roof. The first week, my visitors went up 78%! This wee, they're at 49%. My bounce rate has dropped, I have people checking out 2-3 posts per visit, AND I'm getting a lot of return visitors. If you've got a message to share and want lots of people to hear it, Triberr is the place to do it.

On that Triberr Home page I was telling you about, there is another tab you can choose. This one is for Your Stream. It shows you all of your posts that have been or will be tweeted by your tribemates. Here, you have the option of pausing a post, so it won't be tweeted yet. You can also delete the post from Triberr completely. Remember all of those KY Intimacy Experiment posts I had? Well, one of the tribes I belong to is named "Family 101". Um, yeah... no one really appreciated my KY posts getting into their Twitter stream. I deleted them and there was no longer a problem.Maybe you wrote a very personal post that you only want to share with your readers and not shout to the whole world - just delete it from the stream.
On that same page, you can see who in your tribe has tweeted your post and how many times one of their followers has clicked the link in their tweet and visited your blog. Remember that Cheesy Broccoli Goodness recipe I just posted. I received 120 visitors to that post just from my tribemates tweeting it to their followers!

I Heard This is Spammy
Triberr can be spammy - if your settings are not right for your particular group of followers. In the My Account section, you have many options. One of these allows you to choose how often each tweet from Triberr will go out to your Twitter followers. I had mine set to every 15 minutes when I started. This meant that once every 15 minutes I would tweet one of my tribemate's posts to my followers. Last week, in an effort to make sure that I was able to tweet all of the Tribe members' posts, I upped the time to one tweet every 5 minutes. It wasn't pretty - I became a Twitter spammer. I lost a ton of followers! So, I just set it back to 15 minutes and I'm gaining followers again. You can choose any amount of time between tweets, one a minute or once an hour - it's your choice. In addition, as I mentioned above, you can delete any posts that you do not want to tweet to your followers. This keeps the spam-ish posts from even hitting your twitter stream.

Word(s) of Caution
I've recently found a problem with Triberr. For me, anyhow. One of the tribes I am in has grown too large. This tribe has 48 members right now (this may change any minute!)For those who just want to get their posts to the largest audience possible, this is great. The members of the tribe have a total of 85,000 Twitter followers, so the reach is HUGE. The problem for me is that I have a certain audience that I want to reach and I don't feel like that's happening for me with this tribe. Because, while these 47 other people are tweeting my posts to their 85,000 followers, I must tweet all of their posts to my followers. Some of these bloggers post 5-10 times a day! I feel like my own tweets of my posts - to my own followers - are being ignored because my followers are getting used to seeing me tweet so many other blogs posts. I am going to turn in my Tribe member "resignation" tomorrow and stick to my smaller tribes.

Which Brings Me To...
Would YOU like to join me on Triberr? I have one Tribe - Green Parenting/Natural Parenting. I'd like to top out at 20 members who post 3 times a day or less. Right now, the others who are in this tribe (myself included) get about 5-7 posts a week out. I think that, with 20 bloggers all averaging the same number of posts and tweeting each others' posts once every 20-30 minutes, we can have a very peaceful tribe and spread our messages to like-minded followers.

If you're interested in joining this tribe on Triberr, please leave me a comment with your Twitter name and, if your blog isn't linked to your blogger profile or twitter profile, leave me the URL to your blog. Now, if you're not following me on Twitter, I won't be able to send you am invite via Twitter direct message. If you don't want to follow me (no hard feelings - you don't have to!), you can email me at ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com. I will send the invite to your email address.

I will be checking blogs to make sure you're not posting a ton every single day. I understand that you may get 8 posts out one day and none the next. I'm just looking at averages here. I'll also be checking for content. I'm not going to be strict on how green or natural your posts are. I'd like to stay away from constant "coupon match-ups" or "go get this deal!" posts. If you have a couple here and there, no big deal. I'm pretty laid back and not a controlling person, but I want to be fair to everyone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Got Giveaways? Come Link Up! {Tuesday's #Giveaway Linkup 8/16}

Tuesday's Giveaway Linkup
Welcome to the NEW and improved Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Aimee @ Classified: Mom & Karen @ Tots and Me & Alicia @ McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts!
This link up will be posted Monday at 8 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.
Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up
1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)
2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)
3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!
If you would  like to follow the three hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.
Thank you for linking up with  Aimee @ Classified: Mom & Karen @ Tots and Me & Alicia @ McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts! 

Add A Special Touch to Your Children's Homemade Gifts & More! {}

We are constantly working on one project or another. On those days when I just don't have the "umph" in me to actively participate in one of the projects, or when Little Guy is in a "I do myself! Mommy no helping me!!!" kind of mood, I hand over some glue and a variety of stuff from our crafts box(es), set him up in his high chair, and put a piece of paper down in front of him. While I lazily sip my coffee and leaf through a magazine, he goes nuts.
TIP: Wash out a paint applicator (like those you get glitter paints in) and save it for gluing time. Lots less wasted glue and it's easier for little hands to squeeze the glue right where they want it!
For a while, I ended up with a pile of "glue project" pieces of art. What the heck do you do with them??? I couldn't throw them away. Little Guy puts so much concentration and time into them, and he's so very proud of each one, that I just can't. Our walls are already covered with all kids of kids' art, so there's really no more room there.
I found the perfect solution: Grandmas!!!
Yep - we pop artwork into envelopes once or twice a month and take a little walk down to the post office. It gets the artwork to someone who will appreciate it. Little Guy loves getting "thank you" calls from his grandmas and he especially enjoys all of the praise (this kid's ego is not something I worry about!) 

One problem we've had with this is Little Guy's inability to sign his name. He sees his brother's signature on the drawings that he adds to our envelopes and wants to be able to do the same. I tried just letting him "sign" his work, but he can see that what he's doing has nothing to do with writing words. If I attempt to sign his name for him, he just loses it (right back to the "I do it myself!" thing.) When I saw's fun labels and stickers, I knew we had to have some. 
Little Guy loves stickers and when I told him that these were special stickers that he could use to "sign his name" with, he was all for it. We made it serious business, the oldest and I, when we showed him where his "signature" should go. My oldest pulled out some of his drawings and showed him how he always signed at the bottom, away from the drawing so nothing would get covered up. Now he's a happy camper and even prouder that HE has a signature on his artwork, just like "Brubber".
You really should consider getting some of these labels if your kids like to mail out pictures to friends or relatives or, as in out situation, they really want a special way to show that "I made this!" I chose the Arts & Crafts Label for Little Guy's projects. Check it out:

In fact, there are a ton of products that you can buy with the Arts and Crafts Design. I'd love to have a crafting birthday party for Little Guy's 3rd birthday in November. I could get some of's Arts and Crafts Invitations completely personalized with what I want to say. Maybe I could get Little Guy his own Arts and Crafts T-shirt with something like "Happy 3rd Birthday!" on it? Oh, and I wouldn't want to forget to include an Arts and Crafts Photo Invitation. Since you can personalize anything to say whatever you want, I'd love to use a photo of Little Guy at his party and use the personalization to turn it into a "thank you" note.

Now, there are a ton of places where you can buy personalized stationery, invitations, labels & stickers, calling cards, announcements, cards, and children's clothing. But I choose because of the eco-friendly steps the company when creating and shipping their products. First of all, the items from are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper - that's ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. I've seen other companies boast of using post-consumer recycled paper, but if you look into it, you'll often find that the percentages are pretty low - usually around 10% to 25%. 

 So, the next time that you are looking for labels, invitations, stationery, T-shirts, announcements.... anything like this, go check out first. Amy's artwork makes these items extra-special and the prices won't gouge your pocketbook!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.