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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Decorating DIY Project: Polka Dot and Boo Pumpkins

I LOVE Halloween, it's my favorite holiday. But to be honest, I love all holidays and decorating for them. Even when I only had a college dorm room to decorate or my Bitchen apt in the city (bed above the kitchen), I still managed getting my digs and wardrobe into the holiday spirit. Yes, I've always been a geek like that. However, I'm hardly a crafting guru, so I'm all about easy DIY decorating ideas for less. Here is my latest project though.

The Inspiration:
Polka Dot PumpkinPainted pumpkins- Its so warm here in Az, as soon as you carve a pumpkin it goes bad. So, I love seeing different ways to decorate them.BOO Pumpkins. Would be cute set up on a Halloween buffet.
I was going to purchase the above black and orange polka dot pumpkin for $39 from Grandin Road, but it's already sold out online. Instead, I was able to make my own glittery version for under $10 and I have the bragging rights of saying I did it myself.

My Take:

I purchased plastic craft pumpkins, paint, glitter glue and stick-on beads and a leaf garland at Michael's to create an orange polka dot, black pumpkin centerpiece and bedazzled white Boo pumpkins (Mantle Magic).

I'd normally collect real colored leaves from outside, but since it's not fall in the New England sense in Florida, I had to settle for a fake garland string, which I cut into two pieces. One piece I used to wrap around the above center piece and used the remaining string to wind around my mailbox pole with a magnetic sign that I applied as well.  I'll eventually move the Boo display outside by my entryway, but right now it's rainy season, so to keep them from getting dirty they will be staying inside until the 31st gets closer.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Top 50 Mommy Bloggers - Guess who's #44?

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Suave Family Selfie Contest

When I heard about the Suave Family Selfie Instagram Contest, I was excited to enter as I use Suave Professionals hair care products already and I'm always taking pics  of my family. However, I didn't realize how hard it would be to do a selfie with both boys in it.

I must have taken over 40 shots and still nada. One boy would be looking right at the camera while the other would be crying or squirming to get away. It was like holding bars of soap and my arms just aren't long enough to pull it off. So, I went with a selfie of just me and Ben as he's more interested in my iPhone and seeing photos on it. It also helped that I put a flower that I picked in his hair and he was curious to see how it looked, lol. This shot though echoes how we strive to live beautifully, by playing outdoors and being silly together.
Raphael had to show me up though with this cute selfie with both boys:
So what IS the Suave Family Selfie Contest? Simply take a Fall family selfie with your family that shows how you live beautifully and upload it to Instagram for a chance to win a prize pack. You must also tag the photo with the hashtags #SuaveFamilySelfie #LB2LB and #Walmart then submit your link. Enter the sweepstakes weekly to increase your chance of winning. Each week 6 new winners will be drawn to receive a $175 Walmart prize pack. Once you have submitted your image here you will also receive a coupon via email for $1 off Suave at Walmart. And may I add I LOVE the Suave with Moroccan oil shampoo and conditioner.

Good luck and get shooting! I wish you more selfie success than I had.

 Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from Global Influence, all opinions are my own, yada yada yada.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Giveaway: Inside The Charlie Brown TV Specials

As part of the Peanuts Brand Ambassador program, I have some more fun facts and insight into A Charlie Brown Christmas to share.

The characters were all voiced by child actors, which was highly unusual at a time when Hollywood usually used adult actors to mimic children’s voices. Most of the child actors lived in director Bill Melendez’ neighborhood, and had no experience doing voice work. Some were so young that they could not read the script, so the crew would read the lines and the kids would repeat it several times until they got the take right.

To hear more about this I had the chance to do a phone interview with Sally Dryer (right) who provided the voices for several Peanuts characters in television specials and film from 1965 to 1969. Dryer first started as the voice of Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), before going on to Lucy (my favorite) in four Peanuts specials including It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966). Dryer said she much preferred getting cast as Lucy "because of her frankness and willingness to say anything."

Dryer received only $100 per show, which her mom made her put into her college fund. She joked, "Fortunately, I went to state college." She later received some royalties from anniversary specials though.

Growing up, my favorite character was the bossy Lucy. I even named my Cabbage Patch doll after her as it had a brown yarn pony tail and a dress that looked like her. Which Peanuts character is your favorite?

To learn more interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits, enter below to win A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition and It's the Great Pumpkin: The Making of a Television Classic hardcover books and a bag of holiday themed Peanuts Crunch candy.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Getting my home fall ready with Febreze Home Harvest Collection

My favorite season is fall. The smells, the desserts, the falling colorful leaves and Halloween. However, now that I'm living in Florida it still feels like Summer despite fall being just around the corner. So, I need all the help I can get to capture the feeling of autumn.

There is no better way to welcome the fall than with the Febreze scents of Toasted Almond, Sugared Cranberry, Spiced Pear, Vanilla Latte and Autumn Harvest. I was able to try out The Febreze Home Harvest Collection at Walmart via this adorable scentspiration box that I received from She Speaks. Seriously, how cute is this mailer? I've been using it as a centerpiece for my kitchen table.

I've been spraying Febreze Air Effects Autumn Harvest on our front door leaf wreath creating a warm and welcoming greeting when you walk through our door. I also plugged in a Febreze NOTICEables air freshener in the guest bathroom also near the front of our home for added fall aromatherapy.  I'm a sucker for vanilla scents, so it's not surprising that the Vanilla Latte was my favorite from the collection.

I would have loved to make the following acorn centerpiece shared by Febreze, but there aren't any acorns to collect down here. Maybe I'll make a run to the crafts store. Their cranberry tree though is doable. I just need to unpack the glue gun. Both would be fun for fall and eventually the Thanksgiving Day table.
The perfect fall centerpiece in just 4 easy steps! #FebrezeFallSuch a simple yet elegant decoration! We love this fall #DIY project. #FebrezeFall

How do you get your home fall-ready?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Febreze
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#LetsSnuggle 30th Birthday Giveaway

Like all parents, I'm always trying to make the world a softer place for my kids, both figuratively and literally.

For example, when we moved to our new home, we purchased a super plush carpet for their playroom with the extra high foam underneath to cushion their roughhousing and discovery. Do they notice these little efforts, of course not, lol, but I know.

For 30 years, Snuggle Bear has warmed the hearts of millions of families. I actually had a Snuggle Bear stuffed animal as a child. It lived at my Nanny's house and I loved snuggling with it. I can still see it there in my room. To celebrate his big birthday, Snuggle wants to hear about all of the special ways you, your family make the world a softer place. Respond below via the giveaway form for a chance to win a Let's Snuggle Prize Pack to inspire all things snuggly.
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Disclaimer: I also received the above Snuggle prize pack that's being given away, but all opinions are naturally my own.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

A Newport Beach Wedding

A few months ago, I attended the wedding of my friends Quynh and Donnie, whom I first met when I moved to Los Angeles 8 years ago. Not only did I get to enjoy a beautiful wedding, it was like a west coast reunion.

The ceremony took place in Newport Beach outside on the Newport Dunes. Raphael was one of the groomsmen, check it out, the orchids alone were amazing.
Now, this little ring barer caused a bunch of awes from the crowd when he came down the aisle before the bride holding this sign:
 Psst that's me in blue behind him. I later changed into a teal dress for the evening though. The reception meanwhile was held at a banquet hall with a photo prop station where guests were able to pose with the bride and groom. The tables carried the purple flowers seen during the reception along with wine cork accents for the table numbers and placement cards.
 Here's our table being silly for our group picture:
I was especially wow'd by the Vietnamese traditions that were incorporated from the bride's heritage, which made for an even more fun and memorable night, like with these lion dancers:
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Giveaway: A Charlie Brown Christmas Turns 50

Not sure if you noticed the Peanuts banner in my sidebar recently, but I'm excited to share that I'm one of 30 bloggers who have been selected to participate as a brand ambassador to celebrate 50 Years on Television for A Charlie Brown Christmas. There is no compensation for being part of the program, just exclusive access to news, giveaways and interviews from Peanuts Worldwide.

As such, I recently had the honor of speaking with Jill Schulz, daughter of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. The former professional figure skater, shared some of her families holiday traditions growing up and other fun stories about her father's work. I had asked if their real-life ever showed up in the comic strip and she shared a few anecdotes about her four brothers and sisters' adventures that did appear as did her families' love for ice skating on a pond for example.

For millions of people, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the annual viewing of the most beloved TV special in history, A Charlie Brown Christmas. BUT did you know that CBS hated it?! To the surprise of CBS, the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas was the second-highest rated program of the week and won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Children’s Program,” and a Peabody Award for excellence in programming. CBS then ordered four more specials.

This December, marks 50 years! Its unforgettable moments are as familiar to us as our own family traditions: Charlie Brown choosing his pathetic Christmas tree, Linus explaining “the true meaning of Christmas,” the kids dancing to the irresistible tune of Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy.”

I love that this classic bridges generations. My mom watched it, I watched it and I look forward to introducing it to my boys this year. They have already seen some of the characters from the Junk Food Clothing I dress them in and I just gave them this Snoopy plush, which they keep hugging lovingly. You can win this soft adorable plush too via the giveaway below!
Giveaway: Launch the holiday joy early, as you anticipate the 50th airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas! The soft and huggable Snoopy plush brings cheer any time of day or night, while the charming Be Joyful book keeps you in a Peanuts spirit year-round.

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