Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Long Time, New Update (and some new graphs)

I realize it's been a really, REALLY long time since I've posted an update.  Long story short, I've been plagued by a ton of computer problems for the better part of a year.  To make up for it, here are some new FREE sports graphs and a brand new EASIER way to find and download my graphs.  From now on I'll be hosting my sports graphs on Google Drive so just follow this link, click on the graph you want and download it.  Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fun and Romantic Valentine's Wedding

As January is quickly coming to an end, Valentine's day 2015 is only a few short weeks away.  This year, V-day falls on a Saturday so it makes an ideal wedding date for the romantically minded.  Now, having a Valentine's day wedding could potentially seem trite and cliched, but it can also be an extremely fun theme.  Remember decorating elaborate card-boxes and making homemade valentine's cards in elementary school? I say take all of that fun, over the top romance and give it a slightly more mature spin for the perfect wedding theme!

I imagine the bride in an intricate, ethereal ball gown style dress.  Her dress should be a soft white or just slightly off white so it doesn't clash with the red and pink colors of her bridesmaids and decor. A very pale blush dress could even work well with this theme.  I adore this floaty, lacey strapless Melissa Sweet gown from David's Bridal:

David's Bridal MS251004
A slightly more expensive option would be this gorgeous dress from the Allure Romance Collection:
Allure 2716

I love how both of these dresses float and drape around the brides.  Just a touch of lace and ribbon accents make these looks perfect for Valentine's day.

I imagine the bridesmaids in one of two colors of red or pink.  This After Six by Dessy style is fun and flirty, and its shape complements the ethereal look of the bride's dress.  Plus it comes in 80+ colors! I especially like the colors Posie, Honeysuckle, and Flame for a v-day theme. Each bridesmaid would wear matching colored shoes and simple jewelry.  

I want the flowers and decor for this wedding to be just slightly over-the-top. The flowers will be shades of red, pink, and white. I kind of like this Sweet Thoughts bouquet from Global Rose, perhaps with some added pink flowers and greenery for the bride.  For the bridal party I like the Sweet Kiss bouquet, also from Global Rose.   Note that both bouquets are available in varying amounts from the Global Rose website, so you'll need to determine how many you need before placing your order.  If you order more than you need for the bridal party bouquets, the extra flowers can always be used for reception centerpieces. 
Sweet Kiss
Sweet Thoughts
The reception would ideally be held in a gorgeous banquet hall space that can be decorated to fit the theme.  If it is in the bride and groom's budget, red or pink colored accent lighting would be fantastic.  It might be fun to replace the traditional reception meal with a variety of exotic tapas and cocktails. Of course there would be lots of chocolate featured for dessert, with some traditional heart-shaped sugar cookies for guests who may not like/be able to eat chocolate (Yes, there are people who are actually allergic to chocolate. What a sad fate!).   

For more inspiration, check out my Valentine's Day Wed Pinterest Board.  There I will be posting more pink and red Valentine's wedding decor, gorgeous romantic wedding dresses, tantalizing desserts and more.  

*This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links help support this blog*

Monday, December 1, 2014

Free Christmas Crochet Graphs!

Seasons greetings everyone! Wow this year has gone by incredibly fast! Blogging has mostly taken a back seat to work and trying to finish all my crochet projects before the holidays, but I wanted to bring you some cheery Christmas graphs to celebrate the season.

As always, I created these using the Free Pattern Wizard.  Just comment or email me if you would like any of these graphs and I will be happy to send them to you in .jpg or .pdf format. Remember to check out my tutorial on making your own graphs using the Free Pattern Wizard if you would like to make your own holiday graphs.  


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Free Jack-O-Lantern Graphs!

How in the world is it October already!? I absolutely love this time of year, and I love pumpkins and pumpkin carving, so today I'm bringing you some free small jack-o-lantern graphs. These graphs are small enough they can be completed fairly quickly and would make great decorations.  They are not anywhere near big enough on their own to be blankets, but they could be joined together to make a throw blanket, or used individually as pillows, wall hangings, or place-mats.  They aren't hosted anywhere just now so you'll need to email me (email address at top right of blog) to get the full size graphs.  I know I usually host at, but the website owners there are concentrating on improving their site and the free pattern wizard currently (more on that later).  I'll stop rambling now and get to the patterns.

Also, look for a new, unique, simple v-stitch afghan pattern coming soon.  I need to figure out how to use my new camera and make a tutorial when I get some spare time, but I promise it will be posted within the next few weeks.  Also, just a reminder, I make and distribute these graphs for absolutely free.  I don't ask for or require any donations or payments, so please respect my work and only use my patterns for your own personal enjoyment.  If you would like to do anything to thank me for providing these free graphs, please either make a donation to improve the free pattern wizard, purchase something for me off my wishlist, or buy something for yourself from one of my affiliate sponsors or affiliate store (I get a small commission and your price is completely unaffected).  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy crocheting these cute jack-o-lanterns! 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: The Almond Tree

A few months ago I won a Goodreads First Reads giveaway for the book, "The Almond Tree" by Michelle Cohen Corasanti.  This book was absolutely spectacular; I'm not usually so impressed with a book, but this was was a superbly written story. It follows the life, from boyhood to old age, of an intellectually gifted Palestinian man, Ahmed Hamid.
The Almond Tree on

The plot and action of this book are absolutely intriguing and page-turning, but not in a "thriller" type of way. The characters are so real and compelling that I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know what happened next.  For me the subject matter is particularly interesting because of the current day conflict between Palestine/Israel.  The story really humanizes all of the struggles and conflicts that region has had in the past 60 years and presents it in a fairly unbiased way.  Although this is a fictional story, it is clear that the author knew and researched the subject extremely well.  Her writing style is clear and descriptive.  At times, I felt like I was sweating under the summer sun with Ahmed and his brothers as they worked dangerous construction jobs to support their family. I could easily imagine that I was in the dorms and classrooms with Ahmed when he finally was able to go away to college.   For the most part, I could easily believe that all of the events in "The Almond Tree" were possible.  There were only a few parts that seemed a bit far-fetched, making this a truly great piece of writing.

I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone and everyone.  It is one of the best books I have read this year.  I would rate it 4.75/5.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: PicStick Photo Magnets

Today's review is of, a company that makes magnets out of your pictures. PicStick sells magnets by the sheet, and each sheet is made up of 9 magnets and costs $14.99. They are based in the UK, but ship worldwide (for FREE!).  I recently received a sample of 1 sheet (9 magnets)  for free in return for my honest review.

To start, I was very pleased with how easy it was to create my sheet of 9 magnets.  PicStick offers the options of uploading photos from your computer, or connecting to Facebook  and Dropbox and choosing photos from your online albums.  I chose to connect to my Facebook account and choose 9 pictures that I thought would make nice mementos from the past several years.  I chose to use a few photos of my parents' cats as well as some pretty pictures from my wedding. It was very easy to upload and resize my pictures, almost completely foolproof.  The only problem I encountered in this step was that a few of the pictures I wanted to use were automatically changed to a weird crop/orientation/size that didn't look all that great. I couldn't figure out how to fix this so I simply chose other photos.

After I uploaded my pictures all I had to do was check out and enter my shipping information.  I promptly received an email receipt and confirmation that my order had been received.  It took considerably less time for me to receive my magnets than I expected; only about a week from the day I placed my order.  I was very impressed by the speed I received my order and by how well informed the company kept me of my order status. I received emails when my order had been processed, produced, and shipped.

Once I received my sheet of magnets, it was just a matter of folding along the perforated lines and snapping the individual magnets apart before they were ready to hang on my refrigerator.  This was super easy and convenient, but I do have some mixed feelings about the quality of the magnets themselves.  To start with, I was pleasantly surprised with the picture quality of the magnets, especially considering that I used pictures from Facebook.  With other photo printing services, the pictures I had printed from Facebook albums always turned out grainy and looked very bad.  Nearly all of my PicStick magnets looked great, with the exception of one photo that wasn't very high quality anyways.  My biggest complaint is that the magnets themselves aren't very strong.  They stick to my refrigerator just fine, but they are a little bit too weak to hold much. They are too weak to hold more than a few thin sheets of paper up.

My 9 magnets

Overall, I think the best use for these would be as a space-saving way to decorate your office space, dorm, or kitchen with your personal photos, but I wouldn't expect them to be highly functional.  I like the way they look and it's nice to be able to add some personal touches to my otherwise boring refrigerator.  They work just fine to post my shopping list or a note, but I will have to look elsewhere for a stronger magnet to hold cards and coupons.

As a special offer to my readers, PicStick is offering a 25% discount with the code FAUX25

*I received this product for free in exhange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own*

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Degree Motion Sense Deodorant

*I received this product free of charge to try and review thanks to Influenster and Degree Women. All opinions are my own*

I recently got the chance to try a free sample of Degree Expert Protection with MotionSense deodorant as part of the VoxBox program.  I was pretty excited to get this sample because I have a hard time finding a deodorant that I like and that really works well.  I had previously been using Equate Clinical Protection, but wasn't entirely happy with it.  

Degree Expert Protection

First off, I received a full size sample of  Degree MotionSense in the "Fresh Energy" scent, which smells really good. It is a light and clean scent that isn't overpowering or cloying. It is light enough that I barely notice it after applying the deodorant and it doesn't compete or clash with any perfume I might choose to wear.  It is not messy at all during application, unlike the deodorant I had been using, and it doesn't leave those gross, white deodorant marks on everything.  

Now, the really important part is how well it works at keeping me smelling good and feeling dry during the day.  Supposedly, this deodorant uses a new technology that works more the more you move.  I'm not sure if that is really the case, but it does do a really good job of keeping me feeling fresh all day.  I am on my feet, running around, for 8 or 9 hours at a time at work and this keeps me remarkably dry and fresh for the entire day.  Degree claims that this deodorant offers 48 hour protection, but I sweat A LOT so it only lasts a day for me. Also, lets be completely real: People sweat. People are MEANT to sweat; it's a natural biological process to maintain your proper body temperature.  No deodorant out there is going to completely prevent you from sweating, and no deodorant should.  

So, the bottom line is that Degree MotionSense is one of the better deodorants I have ever tried.  It really does offer superior freshness and protection compared to all the other deodorant/antiperspirants I have tried over the years.  I highly recommend you try it out for yourself if you want to feel clean and dry all day.  For more reviews and info about this product check out and the hashtag #DoMore on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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