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.

Affiliate Links:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Freebie Crochet Patterns

The weather here is FINALLY cooling down and starting to feel like fall. To celebrate, here are some free fall-themed crochet graphs and patterns. Link to patterns are in the caption under each picture.  The first two graphs are my own design and can be downloaded from  All other patterns and their associated photographs are the property of other designers.  Happy crafting!

Oak Leaf

Small Harvest

Lion Brand Harvest Bowl
CroCreations Autumn Infinity Scarf

Teeny Tiny Pumpkin
Crocheted Fall Wreath
Easy Crochet Pumpkins

I hope you enjoy these fabulous, free fall patterns.  I'm working on an original v-stitch afghan design so keep your eyes open for that to come soon, as well as more halloween graphs, thanksgiving graphs, and soon, Christmas graphs. I'm also working on a few more book reviews that will hopefully be posted soon.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Eco Emi Deluxe Box Giveaway

Remember a few months ago when I posted about Deals of Sweetness' July Eco Emi Box Giveaway? Well, Emilee and Eco Emi are bringing you another opportunity to win a deluxe box of earth-friendly products!

Eco Emi Deluxe Box Giveaway Sponsored by Eco Emi

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Eco Emi Deluxe Box Giveaway
Eco Emi is the first eco friendly sampling service. For only $15/month, they will mail you five to ten samples of natural, organic, green, eco-friendly products to your door wrapped in chic earth friendly material made from 100% recycled bottles. Just recently, they introduced a Deluxe Beauty Box which includes 4 to 5 full or deluxe size bath and body, beauty, and/or cosmetic items for just $22/month.
All of their packages are adorned with 100% organic or vintage ribbons or they will often use 100% bamboo yarns. Part of the fun is that the package will look a little different every month. You will have the luxury of trying out an array of green products in the comfort of your own home or over a cup of herbal tea with close friends. See what Emilee at Deals of Sweetness thought of her August Eco Emi Box.
Would you like to win one of the new Eco Emi Deluxe Boxes? (Box may be different than the box pictured.) This giveaway begins on 9/8 and ends on 9/22 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from Deals of Sweetness and Pea of Sweetness received free product(s) to facilitate her review. No other compensation was received. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

My Denim and Lace tie-dye tanktop giveaway

Here's another giveaway brought to you by Emilee of Deals of Sweetness and the My Denim and Lace apparel website. This sounds like a pretty neat website and it might be pretty fun to get personalized tank tops as bridesmaid gifts.

Tie Dye Tank Top Giveaway Sponsored by My Denim and Lace

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Denim and Lace Giveaway
My Denim and Lace is an apparel website where the focus of their apparel is for parents to personalize the garments using rhinestones for their kids. They have a line of tops and bottoms for boys, girls, and women, and they are always adding to their line. Emilee at Deals of Sweetness had a chance to review a personalized tie dye tank top.
To expand the line of clothes My Denim and Lace offers they are currently running a crowd funding campaign on small knot. Support their campaign and receive various rewards! Plus, My Denim and Lace will be donating 15% of the what they raise and donating it to K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers which is a not for profit based in New York who assists children and adults by the donation of apparel, school supplies and other items to help those in need. Visit their Small Knot campaign now!
Would you like a Women's Tie Dye Tank Top? This giveaway begins on 9/8 and ends on 9/21 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from Deals of Sweetness and Pea of Sweetness received free product(s) to facilitate her review. No other compensation was received. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Free Halloween Crochet Graphs

To make up for my lack of posts lately, I'm going to be posting two free graph days this week! This first post is 6 of my Halloween graphs since we're already in the second week of September! I have a few smaller graphs that would be nice pillows or wall hangings, and a few larger graphs that would make good seasonal throws. Feel free to play around with the colors on these. I think a dark purple background would look pretty awesome for most of the designs. The fangs would look especially cool and creepy against a blood red background.  All 6 of these graphs are available for free download from Enjoy!


Evil Pumpkin


Spooky Tree

Haunted House

Zombie Hands

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Identical Soundtrack Giveaway

I'm not usually a fan of inspirational type movies, but this sounds like a good movie.  Plus, I'm a sucker for great music. Enter this giveaway for your chance to win a 12 song soundtrack sampler cd from the movie!

The Identical Soundtrack Giveaway Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

The Identical Giveaway
The Identical tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. Drexel Hemsley becomes an iconic 50’s rock ’n’ roll star, while Ryan Wade (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path - performing the legendary music of Drexel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country. As the brothers destinies tragically collide, Ryan discovers that Drexel is his identical twin which leads him to question everything he’s ever believed about God, family, and his own identity.
About the Soundtrack Sampler: THE IDENTICAL ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK SAMPLER features 12 of the 20 original songs by Jerry Marcellino and Yochanan Marcellino from the film. Including “Your Love’s Keepin’ Me Tonight,” “City Lights,” “Angel of Mine,” “Everybody Knows It” and “Nashville Tonight." Check out the music from the movie.
Emilee from Pea of Sweetness had a chance to see an advance screening of The Identical and not only loved the movie but loved the music as well. See what she thought of The Identical Soundtrack Sampler CD.
One winner will receive The Identical Soundtrack Sampler CD. This giveaway begins on 9/6 and ends on 9/20 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US and Canada ages 18+. Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from Pea of Sweetness received a sample of this product in exchange for an honest review. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Chewigem Giveaway

Today I'm bringing you a new giveaway by Emilee of Pea of Sweetness and Deals of Sweetness! This looks like a really interesting product for those of you with younger children or any special needs individuals in your life.

Chewigem Giveaway Sponsored by Chewigem

Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Chewigem Giveaway
It is widely recognized that many children with sensory needs find chewing a way of remaining calm during times of stress. Chewigem is designed for the mild to moderate chewer and is intended to sooth and comfort children through adults with any type of additional needs. Their products are made of FDA approved silicone and are lead, latex, BPA, PVC and phthalate free, allowing parents and caregivers the peace of mind of knowing that safety standards have been met. Their varying designs and colors allow there to be a special Chewigem for everyone! They make great breastfeeding necklaces as well!
Emilee from Pea of Sweetness has three children with special needs - one on the Autism Spectrum and two with Sensory Processing Disorder. She has Sensory Processing Disorder as well. So she understands the need for sensory products that are helpful and discreet. See what she thought about the stylish sensory chewelry she got to review for her daughter and herself!
One winner will receive the Chewigem product of their choice. This giveaway begins on 9/5 and ends on 9/19 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US and Canada ages 18+. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from both Pea of Sweetness and Deals of Sweetness received free product in exchange for an honest review. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mia Mariu Cleanser Giveaway

Here's another great giveaway from Emilee of Deals of Sweetness! Good luck!

Cleansing with Mia Mariu Giveaway Sponsored by Mia Mariu

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Cleansing with Mia Mariu Giveaway
Finding a cleanser that won't irritate your skin but actually has benefits is something to celebrate! Mia Mariu’s Refreshing Foaming Gel Cleanser is a new and improved anti-inflammatory formula with 8 natural botanicals! Aloe, marigold, sea kelp, sea lettuce, plus nourishing essential oils: orange peel, lemon, lime and grapefruit are at the heart of this soft pampering cleanser. This improved formula has increased levels of Aloe along with the addition of anti-inflammatory Sea Lettuce and essential oils making it an extra gentle cleanser. Suitable for all skin types, non-irritating, paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free.
Emilee at Deals of Sweetness has been on the lookout for a gentle, natural cleanser that wouldn't irritate her particular skin on her face. See what she (and her skin) thought of the Mia Mariu refreshing foaming cleanser.
If you would like a gentle, beneficial cleanser, here is your chance to win! One winner will receive a bottle of Mia Mariu Refreshing Foaming Gel Cleanser! This giveaway begins on 8/26 and ends on 9/9 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from Deals of Sweetness and Pea of Sweetness received free product(s) to facilitate her review. No other compensation was received. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Craftsy Cupcake Decorating Set and Class Giveaway

Hello everyone! Craftsy is hosting/sponsoring a great giveaway now through Wednesday August 27th! I learned a little bit about cake decorating while I was in high school, and although I was never very good at it, it is a really fun hobby!

GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will get a 55-piece Ateco Stainless-Steel Decorating Set PLUS free enrollment in the new online Craftsy class The Perfect Cupcake! In this online class, you'll learn how to combine creative cupcake flavors, fillings and frostings with gorgeous decorating for out-of-this-world treats! Enter here

Only residents of the U.S. and Canada are eligible to enter. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Jessa Duggar Mock Wedding

Another Duggar daughter is getting married! Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald announced their engagement last Friday after nearly a year of "courtship."  I think the mock-up I did for the wedding of Jessa's older sister Jill was fairly accurate so I'm excited to another Duggar mock wedding post. First of all, I predict that this Jessa and Ben will marry fairly soon, based on the engagement timelines of the other married Duggars and their friends, the Bates family.  I think their wedding will be at the end of October or early to mid November.  Based on the colors Jessa seems to wear most often in her Instagram pictures, I think she will choose darker colors for her wedding; possibly a dark purple or charcoal, with bright orange accents. She will most likely have a large wedding party with all of her siblings as well as Ben's, and I would imagine it would be at the same church Jill was married at in June.

 Jessa comes off as more "princessy" and high maintenance than Jill, so I think she will choose a more elaborate ballgown style dress.  I really like these 5 options below. The first three are from and the last two are from Allure's modest bridal line. It may be worth noting that Jill Duggar wore what appeared to be an Allure dress that had been modified to make it fit the family's strict modesty standards.   I could easily see Jessa choosing any of these 5 dresses or a similar style, but my personal favorites are the Zeppora and the Allure m503.  
1. Zeppora
2. Volante

A big, dramatic ballgown needs to be accessorized with equally dramatic jewelry and a long veil so the overall look stays in proportion. This two tier veil from David's bridal would look great with any of the above gowns and is relatively inexpensive at $118 (okay, so not exactly "budget", but the Duggars can afford it.) 
Vera Wang Veil
 If the veil is a splurge, then the bride's jewelry would definitely be a steal. I imagine her wearing some blingy rhinestone and crystal statement pieces that won't be overwhelmed by the volume of her dress.  I absolutely love this scalloped rhinestone statement necklace from Icing! Some complementing earrings would be easy to find and would look great if the bride wears her hair in a half-up style.  Jessa already seems to favor a slightly smoky eye make-up look with subtler cheeks and lips, which would look great with this bridal style. She could either wear fun orange or purple shoes, or stick with a plain white pump style.

Icing Statement Necklace

Both the bride and her bridal party would carry bouquets consisting mostly of flowers in various shades of orange, with some greenery thrown in.  Since this is a fall wedding, I think her bridesmaids would look elegant (and stay warmer!) in floor length modest gowns. My favorite is this Alfred Sung Style D569 dress from Dessy in the color 'Majestic'.  Simple crystal necklaces and earrings, as well as gray high-heeled shoes would complete their look.  The groomsmen would be fashion forward in charcoal or navy suits with purple ties and pocket squares.
Orange and Terracotta Bouquet

D/S Mockup

Hopefully we'll find out more details about the upcoming Duggar-Seewald nuptials soon! Until then, I hope you enjoyed reading this and that you've gained a bit of purple princess wedding inpiration.  Do you think my predictions are right? Only time will tell, but I certainly had fun imagining another Duggar wedding, whether or not my predictions are anywhere close to what they actually choose.  In the meantime, check out my Jessa Duggar Mock Wedding Pinterest board, and thanks for reading!

Sponsored Links:
Dessy Group Bridesmaid

*this post contains affiliate links*

Friday, August 15, 2014

Necktie Emporium Giveaway

My husband is a college instructor so he always has to look professional and well-dressed.  Here's a great giveaway for your choice of necktie from the Necktie Emporium!

Necktie Emporium Giveaway Sponsored by Necktie Emporium

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Necktie Emporium Giveaway
Necktie Emporium has the finest selection of neckties, zipper neckties, bow ties and clip on neckties.
All of their clip-on tie clips are guaranteed for the life of the necktie. Should your clip break, send it back to them and they will replace the clip. They feature the latest patents in necktie clips which offer the convenience and safety of a clip on tie, without looking like you are wearing a clip on necktie.
Emilee at Deals of Sweetness had the opportunity to receive a gorgeous woven necktie for her husband to review, and they were both impressed!
Would you like a quality tie? One winner will receive the tie of their choice! This giveaway begins on 8/15 and ends on 8/29 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from Deals of Sweetness and Pea of Sweetness received free product(s) to facilitate her review. No other compensation was received. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. &nbsp