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 Latterdaybride.com 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!

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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

Friday, August 8, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: Dog Days of Summer

Yes, today is friday, which means pay day, grocery shopping, and more free patterns! I'm celebrating the dog days of summer by featuring two of my own dog graph patterns and a smattering of other free dog patterns so you don't have to hound the internet looking for cute puppy patterns. My two patterns are available for free download from stitchboard.com, the same as every week, and the other patterns are hosted on a variety of other blogs and websites. The spaniel-type dog pattern and the poodle pattern are both 200 stitches across by 280 rows tall so they would mostly cover a full size bed. All these patterns would work up into absolutely adorable gifts for dog lovers of any age.
I hope you have a woofing great time crafting!


Puppy Dog Hat

Puppy knapsack
Beagle Ami

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to School Crochet

*This post contains affiliate links*
I'm switching things up a little this week. In honor of my niece starting kindergarten, I'm going to post a few back to school crochet patterns.  First though, I want to draw your attention to Craftsy's big August sale. All classes are on sale for up to 50% off, which is a great deal if you are eager to add some new crafting skills to your repertoire! I'm signed up for the Craftsy Fair Isle crochet course (review forthcoming), and while I haven't had much time to work on it, I'm really enjoying the class so far.  Since I have been so busy lately I really love that I can watch the class videos any time and that I don't have to waste hours scouring the internet for tutorials. Also, Craftsy doesn't just have knitting and crochet classes, they have classes in almost any type of craft you would want to learn.  Just a few of the many options are cake decorating, woodworking, and photography.  They even have some cooking classes! This sale only runs from today (8/7/14) to Monday (8/11/14) so hurry if you want to take advantage of these great prices!

Now, here are my free back-to-school crochet patterns. These three are throw sized graphghan patterns with a school theme.  All three are available for download on the stitchboard.com free pattern store and are meant to be finished with a border of your choice.  Any of these would make a great present for a teacher, librarian, or bus driver.  
Book Owl

School House

School Bus

A few notes about the school bus pattern: The red rectangles should be all red so make the random black spaces red. I would use a light gray or aran color for the window, grill, and bumper, with a dark gray or black for the seats, tires, and lines.  

As usual, I provide these graphs free of charge because it's something I like to do. Please do not disrespect me and the work I put into producing these by copying and selling them as your own.  Also, please, please, please, share my blog and this post in particular if you enjoyed reading it/found it to be useful.  Thanks, and happy crafting! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: An Unseemly Wife by E.B. Moore

*I won an advance reader's copy of this book in a Gooreads First Reads giveaway.*

To be completely honest from the start, I was really disappointed with this book.  I really enjoy Amish fiction so I was excited to win this, but it fell flat for me and I almost couldn't finish it.  I felt like this book had so much potential that it just didn't live up to.

Part of the problem for me was the writing style.  I think the author was trying for a unique way of using flashbacks to tell the story, but it came across as a jumbled mess.  I applaud the effort but the execution was poor, so hopefully future editions will be cleaned up a bit.  Between the dialogue, the flashbacks, and the parts of the plot not told in flashbacks, this book really was a mess.

Additionally, it seemed like the author didn't research the historical aspects of the story very well.  Very few real historical details were actually included and those seemed vague and not entirely accurate.

Now for what I did enjoy:  I really liked how much drama was included in the story.  If it had been presented in a better written way, I would have really enjoyed this book.  As it is written now though, I just couldn't get over the bumps in the writing enough to enjoy the plot.  I also was disappointed at the ending.  It felt like all the previous drama had been building up for absolutely no reason.  The conclusion wasn't really a conclusion, which is fine if this series is going to be continued, but there was also not much action at the end of the book to carry the story. In short, nothing really happened and all the events of the story were for naught.

An Unseemly Wife on Goodreads

I can only give this book maybe 2 or 2.5 out of 5 stars.  It just really isn't written well enough to merit a higher rating.

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