Monday, April 28, 2014

Many Thanks Card


Supplies used:
American Crafts' Margarita Rumba Paper
Pick Your Plum Ribbon

Fonts:
Sacramento ("many")
Epidemia ("Thanks")

If anyone wants the Silhouette cut file, you may download it here.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Blayzers Giveaway WINNER!!

I think it's about time we announce our giveaway winner--don't you? 

Congratulations to Abby Savannah Smith, winner of her own pair of Blayzers Inferno pants!  I hope you love yours as much as I love mine. 



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Monday, April 21, 2014

Go Bananas Popup Card

Hey there!  Looking for the BLAYZERS GIVEAWAY?!?  Don't forget to enter to win your very own pair of Blayzers Inferno workout pants!!


I kept the outside of the card really simple, because I wanted it to contrast starkly with the inside:



Boom!  Hello adorable monkey!  I love that he pops up on a spiral, so he bounces back and forth when you open the card.

Supplies Used:
Miss Kate Cuttables

Fonts:
SectionIntersection ("Go")
SAF ("Bananas")--I changed it a little bit though.
Traveling Typewriter (Card Front)

I designed the spiral, the bananas, the tree trunks and coconuts.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blayzers Inferno Review- AND A GIVEAWAY!


Remember when I reviewed the Zaggora Hot Pants? Well guess what- I have found a product I am loving EVEN MORE!

Allow me to introduce you to my new work out buddy-

BLAYZERS!

You guys- these pants are AWESOME!

I love a gook work out, but as a working mom with four little kids, there is very little time for hitting the gym these days. Blayzers are uniquely designed to induce heat during exercise.  By accelerating your core temperature, you burn a lot more calories, which means you don’t have to work out as long. Less exercise with great results means I can spend less time at the gym and more time with my family. In fact if I am being honest, I have only been to the gym twice in the last month. Yup. You heard me. Twice. HOWEVER these pants are a life savor for women like me- I’ve just been wearing them around the house while I’m moping, sweeping, doing laundry etc… and even though I don’t feel like I’m working out, I’m sweating and burning calories as if I was. This is because of the technology of the material, which they call “fire fiber” 
Fire fiber is a brushed material that traps your body heat and reflects it back to you, which increases your body temperature. And while we’re talking about material, can I just say these are so much more comfortable than my Zaggora Hot Pants!? (Sorry Zaggora. The truth hurts sometimes.) They are lightweight and flexible, and are made to flatter your unique body shape. I had major doubts about that last part at first, especially because I felt like my Zaggora pants added extra inches to my already plentiful rear end. But I was SO happy when I put on my Blayzers and looked in the mirror! They really are flattering! The material supported my muscles (and my other not-so-muscular stuff) in all the right places, making me appear more like the lean mean fighting machine I am trying to be. I don’t know about you, but feeling good in my work out clothes is extremely important. It helps me feel motivated to put them on and get to work every day!

The pants are also made of “Cell Flex” material, which offers a four way stretch so you feel comfortable and your muscles are well supported. The “Air Cell” material has 3 dimensional air chambers, which provide the needed ventilation when working out for extended periods of time. They also infused the inside of the pants with a special treatment called Anti-Microbial Polygiene which inhibits the growth of odor causing bacteria and fungi.
These pants are incredibly comfortable and provide you with unlimited flexibility. Oh and you will want to have lots of water handy because you will get HOT. This means it’s working, you’re increasing your core temperature and shedding those unwanted pounds.


I wanted to take a before and after shot of me in these pants like I did with the Zaggora ones, but I didn’t. And here’s why: When I did the Zaggora review I had about 35 lbs and LOTS of inches to lose, so the results of the Zaggora pants were dramatic enough to be seen in a picture. That was about 9 months ago. As of right now I am down 30 lbs. and am thinner than I have ever been in my life, (Yay!) so I’m afraid the benefits of these pants aren’t going to show up like they did in the Zaggora pictures. That being said I lost 4 more pounds this month without even trying, and the only thing I did differently was wear these pants during my morning housework routine. Score!!! My skin also feels smoother, which is an added bonus.

My Blayzers are definitely my new favorite work out pants. They have changed the way I think about exercise. The comfortable material, flattering design, and increased energy burn is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Whether you are just starting your fitness journey and are looking for something to get you motivated, or you’re ready to take your work out routine to the next level- the Blayzers Inferno pants will help you achieve your goals! And I am SO excited to announce that one lucky reader is going to receive their very own pair!


Don’t forget to connect with Blayzers on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube for updates and new product releases.

Disclaimer- I was given a pair of pants to review for the purpose of this post. I was not compensated and these opinions are my own. One Lucky Pickle is not responsible for prize fulfillment.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

I don't know about you, but I need a bouq!

Well, hello, gorgeous bouquet of ranunculus that showed up at my door this morning!  How was your journey from a equatorial volcano to my home?


Apparently not too taxing, because you are looking LOVELY this morning!


It was hard to choose between all the gorgeous flowers on the Bouqs' site (Yummmm....roses galore...) but now that we've met, I know you are the only bouq for me!


We here at the Pickle would like to give a big ol' welcome to our newest sponsor, The Bouqs Company.  They are a rising star in the internet flowers business, intent on making the experience better for everyone.  I can tell you, they spoiled me--ordering was easy, and I didn't have to wait very long for these pretties to show up straight to my door!

I ended up choosing the Lush Us Bouq--straight up pink ranunculus, baby!  But there are roses, lilies, gerbera daisies, and much more.  Super good news?  Try the code WELCOME20 for 20% off your first order! (I haven't tried it--I just found it on retailmenot.com.  Just trying to help out guys!!)



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*The links in this post are affiliate links, which means we receive some compensation when you buy from the Bouqs through us.  We thank you for your support, since any income goes straight to more crafts, parties, and fun for the blog!!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Doing Dishes Trumps Disneyland

Okay, so no one's ever going to say that doing dishes as a family is more FUN than Disneyland.  It's a menial chore that never goes away--in fact, it seems to be undone the moment you finish.  I would actually rather clean a toilet than do the dishes.  So how can I claim that doing dishes together will make more of an impact on my children's memories--not to mention character--than a trip to Disneyland would?

Well, that's what I'm here to tell you.  Several months back, our dishwasher broke.  We had just upgraded our floor from tile to laminate, and we didn't have the funds to fix it.  Plus, the thought of any more leaking on our brand new pretty floor made my husband (who installed the darn thing, bless him) cringe.  I have some pretty crazy ideas about families working together from my days in college, and I convinced everyone involved that doing the dishes by hand every night would be FUN!  Turns out it IS pretty fun--and even more importantly, this ritual has become very important in the lives of our children (and us parents too!).


One reason for the impact is quite simple: we do dishes Every. Single. Day. When added up over a childhood, that makes for a lot of sudsy moments piled on top of each other.  Poor Disneyland doesn't stand a chance when you factor in actual minutes spent PLUS the number of repetitions.

Besides being ever present, doing dishes is a perfect job to do together.  It requires such little skill that there is something for every level to do.  Daddy does the washing, I rinse for him when I finish clearing the table and sweeping, the big boys dry, and the baby helps them put everything away.  It is a serious thrill to look at my whole family sandwiched between the sink and the silverware drawer (which we moved to a bottom cupboard so the littles can reach), busily working together to accomplish a shared goal.  And it tickles the baby that he gets to be a part of it!

Cup stacking--very helpful AND developmentally appropriate!!

There is another reason I feel confident suggesting that the boring, mindless repetition of dish doing can hold a candle to the boundless fun and energy of rides and Disney magic:  the very mindlessness that makes dishes so boring actually promotes meaningful conversation.  It's easy to relate events of the day, develop strategies to cope with friendship woes, or coach my four-year-old through handling the crush his classmate has on him (!!!) because I don't really have to focus on scrubbing or buffing.  I have a feeling that as these guys get older, crushes become more serious, and jobs and school become overwhelming stressors, this might be the only time I have to "trick" them into telling me about what's going on in their lives.  Try having a deep conversation in the middle of Space Mountain...dishes wins!!

Another plus for doing dishes: it is a "taking care of the whole family" job--studies have shown that these kind of jobs, as opposed to self-care tasks (cleaning their own room, brushing their teeth, picking up the toys that THEY got out) helps children develop compassion.  In our western society, these kind of jobs usually fall to the mothers--how silly of us to keep these incredible learning tools to ourselves!  So I am unselfishly sharing this task with my whole family and letting them reap the rewards as well.  Ha!

This guy has actually started drying without being asked (gasp)!!!

Doing dishes scores major points because working together can build your family into a team (as long as Mommy and Daddy can keep things positive instead of stressful).  Even when we are "competing" parents vs. kids to see who gets done first, we are actually working together to fight against entropy.  By the way, I love it that my kids haven't figured out that our "distress" at them finishing before us masks our smugness that they just joyfully participated in a chore.  Bonus, they get to practice good sportsmanship in winning: "maybe tomorrow you will win, Daddy."  These kiddos take a lot of pride in "their" clean kitchen and we all feel good that it was a team effort.

How many pieces of silverware can we fit in the cheese grater?


It sounds idyllic, and I can feel some eyes rolling through your screen.  Obviously it's not smooth sailing every night.  We parents have to work really hard to keep from nitpicking, nagging, or stressing perfection.  There are little feet under ours, and in the beginning, we could have gotten the job done much faster if we'd sent them off to play.  Occasionally (most days) I find a dish in the cupboard that wasn't perfectly dried the night before.  Some team members are less willing to help than others (I have to prod myself more often than I'd like to admit).  But as we work to patiently teach and consistently expect help, all of these hard things get easier.

The other night, my 6 year old got to do the washing--his favorite job--because Daddy was at work late.  Instead of competing, we worked together, us vs. the kitchen.  He keeps reminding me, "remember when I washed all the dishes?"  And I don't point out that I made sure they were well rinsed first.  He couldn't wait to tell Daddy about this amazing accomplishment.  Neither could I.

Incredibly, the job worse than toilet cleaning has become nearly enjoyable, and the companionship we feel as we do it brings real joy.  The memories made may not be as glossy and sparkle filled as shooting aliens with Buzz or braving snakes with Indiana Jones, but they will be deeper, more meaningful, and substantial.  They will be the memories I will love to pull out and caress against my cheek when my boys have moved on to scrubbing forks and plates with their own families.  With any luck, these kids of mine will feel the same way.

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