Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Help the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles join the National Toy Hall of Fame

Disclosure:  I received the details for this post from Coyne PR.

How many times did I watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, not to mention the movie when Ty was growing up?

More than a few, I can tell you that!

Well now we have some great news coming from our favorite green heroes in a half shell... The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are one of twelve toy nominees in contention for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame 2013! 

  • The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in 1998, and recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period.
  • Each year, the prestigious hall inducts new honorees and showcases both new and historic versions of classic toys beloved by generations.
  • The iconic toys are celebrated in The National Toy Hall of Fame gallery located at The Strong's National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
  • This year's winners will be announced on Thursday, November 7th.
Please help us spread the word and vote for the iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Considered one of the most popular kids' entertainment brands of the 1980s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have become an enduring global phenomenon. The Turtles made a totally epic return in September 2012 with the launch of a CG-animated television show on Nickelodeon and an all-new toy line inspired by the show from Playmates Toys, the driving force behind the global toy sensation for decades. Within just one year of its return, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has once again become the number one action figure line in the toy industry!
Below, you will find a link to cast your vote and feel free to share this awesome news with all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans out there!

Cowabunga dudes,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Raise a Giant and Help Stop Bullying

Disclosure: By participating in this public service announcement the good folks at My Blog Spark and General Mills will be making a $25 donation in my blog name to Pacer's Center for Bully Prevention.
At Green Giant® we know it takes a lot more to raise a healthy child then just getting them to eat their vegetables. Kids these days live in a world that is bigger and scarier than the world we grew up in, and they need help and encouragement to navigate that world with confidence and pride.
Unfortunately one of the hardest things kids have to deal with is bullying. When a child is bullied by a peer it can turn his or her life into a daily gauntlet of fear and anxiety.
That’s why Green Giant® is partnering with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and We Day Minnesota to help parents Raise A Giant and put a stop to bullying in their community.
What Does it Mean To Be A Giant?
Being a giant isn't about being the biggest or the best. Being a giant means standing up for others. It means lending a hand to those who are in trouble and speaking up for those who sometimes find it hard to speak up for themselves.
Studies show that an effective way to stop bullying is for kids to simply speak up and say, “That’s not okay” when they see bullying happening.
But asking kids to have the courage to stand up to bullying is a tall order and that’s why they need our help.
How Do You Raise A Giant?
We’re asking parents to write a letter to their kids telling them how special they are and encouraging them to be part of the bullying prevention solution by being a giant.
To get started parents can visit our community at RaiseAGaint.com and read the letters others have written.
Help Us Spread The Word:
1. Write a letter to your kids about standing up to bullying and post it on your blog and at RaiseAGiant.com. See the included tip sheet for help getting started.
2. Encourage your community to write their own letters and post them at RaiseAGiant.com
3. Share the Raise a Giant Video, Infographic, and Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Bullying on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
4. Change your Facebook profile picture to the Raise A Giant icon to show your support.
With your encouragement we can help all of our kids create a safer, happier world.
You can learn more here: www.raiseagiant.com

We have an online kit for you to leverage as you write your posts. Please see below for a list of what is included and click on this link to access.
What’s in this Kit?
- Letter Writing Tips Sheet
- Social Media Asset Guide
o Infographic – What You Should Know About Bullying
o Infographic – What To Say To Your Child About Bullying
o Facebook profile picture
o Facebook photos
- Video
We Are Proud To Partner With:
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
- Green Giant is partnering with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to develop The We Will Generation, an in-school student-to-student curriculum helping students understand how they can handle bullying. 
- This partnership enables us to help those impacted directly by bullying – students.
We Day Minnesota
- Green Giant is one of the title sponsors for We Day Minnesota – a stadium sized event to celebrate students who are making an impact either locally or globally.
- By sponsoring We Day, Green Giant is able to provide tips on how to handle bullying with those impacted most – students.
Bullying is nothing new.  I was intimidated when I was in school too, but what is new is the extent that technology has taken it.  Kids are quick to push a button and suddenly it's everywhere.  How scary is that.  I mean once it's out there - it's out there for good. This can be life changing for a kid.  I hope that everyone takes the time to use these tools to encourage and support your children as well as inform your children about the effects of bullying.
Hugs Y'all...

Owl Chalkboard Art for Halloween

After a year of seeing all the gorgeous, cute totally intimidating Chalkboards out there, I finally attempted my own.
How could I resist when I found this adorable Owl chalkboard.  How cute is she?  With her little baby owl memo clips on the string?  It was love as soon as I laid eyes on her.
First things first.
Important: be sure to prep you chalkboard first by laying your chalk on it's side and coloring the whole surface.  Just chalk it up really good. Then wipe it all off with a soft cloth.  These will prevent the words you write, from permanently being etched in.
Seeing as how I don't have a projector to make coping the words right on to the board, we're going to have to do this old school, and I mean OLD SCHOOL!  It's easy just follow these easy steps:

  • Find a phrase that suits your mood or project.  I've gone with Halloween.  You can find lot's of them all ready to go on pinterest.
  • Copy or type it into word.
  • My owl board is an odd shape, so I needed to do a little adjusting.  I used Photoscape to adjust the words individually and then taped it back together.
  • Turn your printed document over and rub chalk all over the back.  (It would have worked nice to have used colored chalk for this step.
  • Lay your paper on your chalkboard and trace the words / design.  I sharpened my chalk with a pencil sharpener.
  • Using a permanent chalk marker would have made it even prettier but I want change my phrase for Thanksgiving.
  • I added a little artwork (if you can call it that) to fill in empty spots.
*Another tip is to us Qtips dipped in water to erase mistakes.

No it's not perfect - heck it's not even straight, but for a first attempt at something I was scared of, well I'm pretty stinkin' happy!

If you've put off making a chalkboard because you're a little scared or don't have a projector either, then I highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and just DO IT!  Even if it is the old fashion way.  Be sure to share the link to your finished project in the comments.  I want to be able to see it too!
Now if I could just get one of these #3M portable projectors, I'd be the queen of chalkboard land. :)

Have Fun Y'all...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wrapping Up Last Minute Halloween Cards

Wrapping Up....Bwaahahaha.  You'll laugh at my pun too when you see todays last minute projects for Halloween.
I needed a couple of last minute Halloween cards and you know what that means -
the quicker the better and NO running to the store.

First junk up your table with a bunch of supplies, here's what I used:
  • Blank card & envelope
  • Gauze Sponges (you could use strips of paper)
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Halloween Colored Cardstock
  • glue dot tape
  • circle punch stamps
  • Scissors
Cut your gauze or paper into strips.  I made 2 cards, 1 white mummy and 1 dingy mummy.  To ink the strips I rolled the gauze and dabbed the rolled up edge in the ink.

To make eyes, use different size punches or anything to draw circles and cut out. I used orange, black and white cardstock.

Take your card outside with your fancy spray board and cover the front with spray adhesive.
Cover the card with the strips.  Add eyes to the top of gauze using your dot tape runner.  You can add a little gauze over the edges of the eyes to cover them a bit.
In word type your phrase on cardstock and cut with decorative scissors.
I inked the edges in purple for a finished touch.
Add tape to the back of phrase and apply to front of card.
I cut some scrap paper and inked edges to cover the inside of the card.  I even dingy'd up the purple piece. Mummies are messy you know.  I also used a piece of black cardstock under the Rap silly phrase.
 That's it - you're done!
I even made a mummy lantern to stay on theme.  This is really easy.  You will need:

  • Pickle Jar
  • Ace Bandage
  • Google Eyes or make your own like me with pipe cleaners and buttons.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Candle (preferably a battery operated one) 
Add a dab of hot glue and attach one end of ace bandage. Start wrap  That's it - you're done! Start wrapping the jar all cattywampus.  The velcro end of the wrap with self adhere when you get to the end.  

I looked everywhere for my google-eyes that I've had for years and of course couldn't find them.  Ugghh.  So I created my own ghostly eyes by making a circle with black pipe cleaners and adding some pearly white buttons to the front.  With a dab of glue stick them on the front and add a candle inside.  Cute hun?
Hope you've enjoyed the crafts I've made over the last week.
To see more take a look at my sidebar. I'd love you to leave a comment and let me know what you've been working on.

Have a frightfully fun time TREAT-OR-TREATING with your little ones.  Don't forget to be careful watching for little ghost and goblins in the streets.
Hugs Y'all...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Make Your Own Magnolia Leaf Wreath

More fall y'all.  
Have you all been crafting your little hearts out?  I've been trying to.  Sometimes the best laid plans are full of changes. Like when yucky stomach virus' comes on and decides that you're the perfect host, even when you don't want to be. I picture little purple and green men running amuck, like house guest who just DON'T want to leave.  I mean YUCK...
Back to more fun fall talk.
I made a magnolia wreath.  Easy yes, quick not so much.  You can find lots of tutorials on Pinterest.  I chose to copycat Michelle's over at Sweet Something Designs.  You can find all the step-by-step instructions along with a list of supplies right HERE.
Once the wreath was finished I couldn't resist adding some of the Magnolia seed pods,but they just sort of got lost in the leaves.  I'll fix that, says my inner voice.  It's nothing a little paint and Martha Stewart glitter can't fix.

So I mixed a couple of colors to come up with a chartreuse shade and while the paint's still wet, on goes a sprinkle of glitter.  Be sure to have a professional paint box like mine before you start.  Nothing but the best old box will do.  I used a block of styrofoam and some wooden skewers to hold the pods up and make them easy to work with.  Bam -  just like that, they brighten up the wreath.
To hang the wreath I used Red Jute Webbing.  I love this stuff. I already had some sitting around but you can find it online at the Online Fabric Store HERE for only 85 cents a yard.  Even less if you buy more than 69 yards,  Can you say big project?

To attach it to the wreath I simply wrapped the jute around and hot glued it just above the grape vine wreath.  Then I eye-balled where I wanted it to hang and since my door is wood, I just tapped a tack through it at the top of the door. Easy!

Still, it is Halloween and this beautiful wreath is just a little understated for such a fun holiday.
Lets add a garland, shall we.
Now, that's a little better.  Here's how I did it.
  • Print a cute vintage Halloween card on card stock
  • Cut a square piece of burlap the same side of your card.  Fold the burlap in half length-wise and cut at a diagonal on the bottom half.
  • I used Martha stewart's Loop Script Stencil Set & a sponge spouncer to stamp the letters.
  • Glue a length of ribbon across the top and tie scraps of colorful ribbon between each letter & picture.
  • I tied the ends of the ribbon to 2 skewers and used a drop of glue to hold it.  Then just stick the skewers into wreath. That way you can easily change the banner out in a few days for a Thanksgiving one.
I really did enjoy making it.  The leaf bundling was the easy part, the wiring to the grapevine wreath put a little hurtin' on my fingers but I think the more you do it the easier it gets.

I just realized all my porch decorations were created by me except the witch.  Oh' how I wish I could paint.  Stay tuned and I'll show you how to make my little trick-or-treater. She's been with us for years now.

* Tip - as the green leaves start fading just stick a few more in here and there.  Next year I would like to try making one using foam oasis to keep it fresh.  Maybe I'll try an all green one.

Thanks to Sweet Somethings Designs for the easy to follow tutorial.  Stop by and visit her and see all her creative designs.

Check out more of the fall items I worked on this week like the one's I've listed below:

I'd love to hear what you've been working on this week so I can come by and take a peek.

Hugs Y'all...

With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. 
~ Psalm 91:16

Friday, October 25, 2013

TruMoo The Better Milk For Your Family and Goosebumps For Halloween

Disclosure:  We enjoyed Trumoo thanks to BzzAgent's #GotItFree campaign to assist with my review.  Thanks BzzAgent & Trumoo.

Last year my grandkids got to enjoy TruMoo Chocolate milk for the first time and loved it.  Especially Zach.  That kid could go through a gallon a day.  I can't complain about that!
This year they came out with the TruMoo Vanilla Milk in Orange.  Maybe I would have drank more milk as a kid if I'd had choices like that.  Did I mention Neil and I are kids at heart too.  No one gets more excited than me about the holidays and my minds swirling with thoughts of fun beverages you can make with these.
We like having  something a little special, a sweet treat while watching tv at night.  Hey it's life's little moments that make everything good, right!

When I received the product coupon for this years TruMoo campaign it had a recipe card with it to make the Monster Mash Mudslide.

I didn't have any chocolate wafers so I improvised (my middle name and half the fun).  I added a chocolate mint thin cookie, whipped topping and chocolate chips.  I even added a little crushed ice. I felt like I was getting a special sweet treat but I secretly enjoyed knowing that we were getting more than that. I knew we were getting a nutritional treat made with fresh, pure milk from a trusted dairy.

Trumoo has essential nutrients your kids need, like calcium, protein and vitamins A & D.  See, Trumoo is made with just enough sugar and no high fructose corn syrup.  Trumoo's fresh chocolate milk is made with pure cocoa and it's things like these that make Trumoo special in my book.

Milk truly is a good thing!
Now through Oct 31st
  • Get into the spooky spirit with limited edition TruMoo in classic Chocolate and NEW Vanilla in Halloween Orange!
  • Learn how you can enter to win a Goosebumps Haunted Hollywood Vacation and instantly get a $2-off coupon for any Goosebumps DVD with your next TruMoo® purchase.
TruMoom Goosebumps #GotItFree photo Goosebumps_zpsc54d1fc8.png
Use the $2 discount coupon and pick up a Goosebumps DVD and some Trumoo milk and have your own Halloween Trumoo party!!  The kids will think you're a frightenly cool Mom!

Hugs Y'all...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stacking Jack-O-Lantern & Mums For Halloween and Fall

Stack 'um high! My Jack-o-Lanterns got a new hairstyle.  What do you think?  Fashionably chic for fall.
I told you it was easy craft week and this one fits right into that category.  Some years it's all about the fright but not with 3 Jacks in a pot.

Let me show you how simple it was.  I started out gathering 3 plastic Jack-o-lantern's. You can find them for only $1 at Target.

You need a pvc pipe or a piece of rebar or even a broom stick to stack your pumpkins. You want to know what your stacking them on before you drill so you can choose the right size spade or paddle bit.  I used 1-1/4" pvc so I chose the same size bit. You want a tight fit.
  • Turn your pumpkin upside down an drill a hole right in the center.  
  • Next take the handles out of the top of the pail.
  • This is important, at least to keep me straight.  Line your pumpkins up so you can remember to drill holes on the opposite side of each pumpkin.
2 Stacked Pumpkin Flower Stand photo TRACY11th036_zps73dddaef.jpg
  • I.E...if you use 3 pumpkins you'll have 2 holes on the left or right and one on the opposite side of the other pumpkin.  Get it? Good.
  • Drill the hole right where the handle came out.
  • stick your pole in a pot full of tightly packed dirt.  I wedged 3 bricks on top of the dirt to give the pipe some extra support to keep it from tipping over.
  • Next it's as easy as stacking Jacks!  Thread your Jacks on the pipe going up through the bottom and then on a slant to the top hop you drilled.  Remember whether you use 3 or 5 pumpkins, stack them with holes on opposite sides.

  • When they're all stacked you can add your dirt and mums. My potted mums were a little big for the pumpkin so I had to take them out of their containers so I used some foam peanuts in the bottom so I didn't have to use so much potting soil.
  • Since my mums didn't hide the top of the pipe I just grabbed some moss from the trees, plenty of that here, and covered that ugly thing up.
  • Don't forget to cover up the bricks at the bottom.d
Best of all, it's reversible!  Just turn the pot around and you have a planter for Thanksgiving too!
I love projects that do double duty!  It took me a few day's to realize that one folks.  You're welcome. :)

Pumpkin Pie Kisses Y'all...

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. ~ James 3:21

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Crafting Includes Fall Baking

This past weekend I was in full fall mode.  Right in the middle of the crafting, I got a hankerin' for some fall baking, and I remembered a recipe I'd seen online.  Apple Walnut Bread sounded just right.
And since I'm baking and there's only 2 of us, sharing naturally seems right.  So out comes the 4 mini tube pans - pan.  Does that make sense?
Didn't they come out cute.  I love this pan!
I thought a caramel glaze would be the perfect finishing touch for these.  And as yummy as the glaze is, this Apple Walnut Bread is delicious even without it.
And this little cakes, really aren't so little.  Neil and I could make 4 servings easily.  Even though it's called bread it's more like a cake.  So yum-yum good with coffee!
Then it can time to share.  You know presentation is everything and these little cakes fit perfect in the styrofoam bowls I had in the cabinet.  But you can't deliver something in a styrofoam bowl!  Necessity is the mother of invention.  With a little help from some jute twine a plate size paper doily works out to be so sweet!  Tie on tag and you're all set to go.
Here's the recipes I used: ***Important Recipe Edit
The correct amount of apples to use is 1 1/2 cups, please edit your recipe.
Somehow it just taste better when you share it with a friend.

Sweet Eats Y'all...
Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don't know if profit will come from one activity or another - or maybe both. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:6