Tsue ~ That's What She Said: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pool Side Seating ~ Making The Most Of Your Entertaining Space


If your home features an in ground swimming pool, you are no stranger to hosting great numbers of summer guests.  While there is no doubt that your blue water is the main attraction, comfortably accommodating your guests requires that you dress the pool area with the right entertaining components.  Style, design and the ability to withstand the natural challenges of a poolside location are primary factors in selecting outdoor decor pieces.  Choosing the perfect pool side pieces will allow your guests comfort, as well as keep your outdoor gatherings running smoothly.

Provide Adequate Seating
While most guests will enjoy a refreshing turn in the pool, others prefer to relax pool side.   Providing your guests with comfortable seating, for relaxing, dining, chatting and simply taking a break from swimming fun is essential.   Nothing can create an entertaining crisis as quickly as a lack of seating for your guests.

Pool Side Lounge Chairs, Pool Seating, Outdoor Decor

Accommodate Your Guests Needs
Prior to making pool side purchases, consider the guest activities you will need to accommodate.  Comfortable pool side chaise lounges are essential for relaxing and sunning, however are not ideal seating options for guests who wish to visit and chat out of the sun or for treating your guest to a pool side meal.   Plan and create inviting areas with specialized seating for all your guests needs.  In addition to lounge chairs, adding a dining set with a large, adjustable canopy will provide the perfect seating for serving meals and drinks.  Selecting pool side dining sets that include sling back chairs will provide your guests with comfort and will stand up to soggy swimmers.

Winston Madero Sling Patio Dining Set, Outdoor Decor, Pool side Decor, Pool side seating

Create Guest Haven In Shade
Extend your party by providing a haven in the shade to allow your guests to refresh in cool comfort and provide a quiet and comfortable chatting area.   Adding a "no splash" zone with cushioned seating can provide a wonderful respite for your guests as well as additional dining space.  Planning this area in view of the pool will adults their own space to gather while still keeping a watchful eye on their swimmers.  Whether under a pergola or on a covered patio, the availability of his haven will be appreciated by guests and host alike.
Pool side decor tips, pool side furniture, Outdoor living

Carve Out Seating Nooks 
Placing attractive Bistro Sets in corners of the garden and in nooks about the pool area can quickly expand your seating capacity while allowing your guests additional options.  Add to appeal of these smaller entertaining areas by adding additional features, such as attractive planters or water features.

Bistro Sets, Outdoor Entertaining, Pool side seating


Create Seating In Empty Spaces
Line empty space with weatherproof benches within the pool area or add comfort to a cement bench with cushions in colorful outdoor fabrics.  Many pool side storage boxes are designed to also serve as emergency seating and can prove useful for storing pool toys and supplies, as well as accommodate your guests.

Pool side seating, Outdoor Entertaining, Teak Bench, Outdoor Decor Tips

The opinions above are both honest and of my own experiences.   Images sourced from various Amzaon.com retailers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Must Have Fab: Unique Leather Chanel Tote Give Away


Welcome to Grand Finale of
Must Have Fab, Designer Handbags, Style, Fashion Giveaway
HipSwap hosted by Sidetracked Mom’s Blog

Grand Finale Giveaway! 
We've combined weeks 5 and 6 into a two-week long giveaway giving you the double the opportunity to increase your odds of winning by completing the daily bonus entries!   

You'll have from 7/24/12 through 8/6/12 to claim as many entries as you possibly can! 

If you can remember to revisit your favorite blog to claim your daily bonus entries,
 you’ll have a huge advantage (2 weeks worth!) over the rest of the competition! 

About our Sponsor:
HipSwap is a mobile and web marketplace that connects buyers and sellers locally and nationally. It enables people to discover what’s inside the most fabulous closets, homes, and shops in neighborhoods and cities across America. HipSwap currently offers delivery service in Los Angeles and New York with its iconic pink delivery van.

HipSwap, Designer Handbags, Win Free Designer Handbag, Fashion

This beige quilted leather Chanel tote 
is a one-of-a-kind find. 
It features a black leather trim 
and large "CC" on side 
to make it easily distinguishable
 as the one of the 
world’s most prestigious designer brands.

HipSwap, Designer Handbag Giveaway, Win Chic Handbags, Giveaway

This beautiful handbag was provided by
 the amazing DoubleTake Consignment Boutique of New Jersey.

The DoubleTake Consignment Boutique first opened its doors in Short Hills New Jersey in 1992 and from day one the store has been packed with women who understand the advantages and value of consignment shopping. DoubleTake, which only accepts the highest quality & current designer clothing and accessories, has been recognized as a unique clothing boutique where huge savings can be realized.


How to gain entries in this giveaway

There is only one mandatory entry option which is to create a free HipSwap account. However, by entering on this blog through the Giveaway Tools widget below, you have the opportunity to gain a large number of bonus entries!  You can complete as many or as few bonus entries as you’d like.  As promised, you’ll find additional bonus entries to claim from having entered our previous weekly Win This Bag Giveaways!

Good luck!


Giveaway begins on 7/24/12 at 12:01am EST & ends on 8/6/12 at 11:59pm EST.
Open worldwide.
The Giveaway Tools Widget will load below this line.


Javascript must be enabled to enter this giveaway. Learn how to activate Javascript by clicking here.
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This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide 18 years of age or older, except where prohibited by law. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and is Facebook-compliant. To qualify to win, you must complete, at minimum, the mandatory entry on the Giveaway Tools form. All entries will be forwarded to our sponsor for the purpose of randomly selecting a winner. Winners will be notified by email from a HipSwap representative. Winners will have 72 hours to respond or risk forfeiting their prize. Prize may re-awarded solely by the Sponsor’s discretion. Prize fulfillment is the sole responsibility of the sponsor. This blog may not be held liable for Sponsors who do not fulfill prize shipments. The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We reserve the right to publicly publish winners’ names and/or likeness. By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Top Ten Pool Party Survival Tips

If you are the owner of an in ground pool, you are no doubt accustomed to regular summer guests.  In all likelihood, you will find yourself entertaining more often than not.  Now in our third year of pool side entertaining, I have discovered a few tips to help my family not only survive the summer entertaining season, rather to enjoy it as well.

Set Guidelines
With a Teen Diva and pre-teen in house, this Mom learned early on that setting guidelines with the children in regard to their ready invitations for friends to visit and swim was a necessity.  Sans a few simple ground rules, we were often astounded by the steady stream of swimming guests during our first season with the pool.  Although we still experience occasional unannounced guests, the frequency and quantity has significantly diminished after establishing the rules of asking before inviting as well as a ban on tweeting out mass swimming invitations.

KimsCrafts Handmade Slate Pool Welcome Sign, Swimming Pool Decor

Know Your Limits
Although our pool is fairly generously sized, knowing how many enthusiastic swimmers our pool area can reasonably and safely contain is of significant importance.  Younger child guest and teen guests do not necessarily equate to one adult guest in regard to establishing your pool capacity limit.   Although your child may be quite adamant in wanting to invite twenty of their best friends for a pool party, once they begin their typical teen and child antics, you'll quickly realize that your pool area does not accommodate as many guests as you might allow for an indoor gathering.

Get To Know Your Guests
New friends have a tendency to come out of the woodwork during swimming season.  Having been a competitive swimmer in my youth, I find I  must remind myself that not all our guests are strong swimmers.  In fact, we have hosted a few guests with very limited swimming experience.  This Mom has learned to greet each guest prior to allowing them access to the swimming area.  Easy questions about teen and child guest's swimming experience helps to identify those who must be accompanied into the pool or watched with extra care.

Review The Pool Rules
Before allowing child or teen guests access to the pool area, review the pool rules.  Identify the shallow and deep areas of the pool, if they are not marked.  Be certain your guests know the safety rules and expectations in regard to diving into the pool, running around the pool apron as well as safety rules for the sue of slides and diving boards.  Point out safety equipment and procedures for when a fellow swimmer is in trouble.

Costa Verda Striped Beach Towel, Top Ten Pool Party Survival Rules, Pool Party

Towel, Anyone?
While some guests will come prepared with swim suit, towel, sunscreen and goggles, many will forget an essential.  Avoid the temptation to purchase extra beach towels of low quality as your supply will be put to great use.  Rather, stock up on extra supplies off season when selection in stores are reduced.


Give Them A Break
If your guests get out of control or forget about adhering to the important safety rules, do not hesitate to give them a break, allowing everyone to take a step back and calm down.  Providing plenty of seating pool side as well as outside of the pool area is very helpful, as well as luring them out of the pool with snacks.


Provide Safe Storage
Few teens travel without a cell phones, as well as many of your younger guests.  Establishing a water safe zone for glasses, cell phones and other valuables will prevent unexpected and costly crises.   Despite your best efforts, water accidents will happen.  Keeping a mid sized container of dry rice at the ready will provide a possible rescue for soggy electronics.

Enough Fun In The Sun?
Ensuring your swimming guests avail themselves to sunscreen is essential to preventing dangerous sunburns from the enhanced strength of sunlight reflecting off the pool water.  For longer gatherings, it is wise to give everyone a break from swimming occasionally.  Providing seating and activities outside of the pool area will accommodate guests who may not desire to swim as long as others, keeping horseplay at bay.

Fuel Their Fun
Anticipating regular summer swimming guests is best when stocking your entertaining supplies for the summer.  Pick up easy to serve summer fruits, such as cantaloupe and watermelon during your weekly shopping trips.  Keeping the supplies you'll need to prepare a quick feast on the grill are essential.  Preparing pitchers of iced tea and lemonade are an ideal  for serving to your guests and much less costly than offering single serve drinks.

Outdoor Entertaining, Safe Dishes for Outdoors, Stylish Outdoor Serving Dishes,  French Bull Melamine Dishes

Outdoor Serving
Save your good entertaining sets for indoor parties.  Glassware pool side with so many slippery hands and bare feet is not recommended.  Select festive plastic serving sets in bold summer colors and fun designs for your outdoor entertaining.   Feed guests outside of the immediate pool area when possible.  Kids, pools and food do not necessarily mix, as you'll easily discover the first time you have to skim food from your pool.

  Images sourced from various Amzaon.com retailers.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fabulous To Family Friendly ~ Explore the Give Away Gala #CMM




Welcome to the Collective Media Magic Monday Giveaway Linky and Gala.
A collection of featured giveaways from five blogs including a linky for you to link up your giveaways!

This Monday Giveaway Linky will be hosted on all five blogs giving you the benefit of reaching all of our combined readers. So feel free to check out giveaways and link up your giveaways. We only ask you link directly to your giveaway, any links to your homepage will be removed.


Week 7/23 Featured Host Giveaways

Just Like June 
Mohawk Rug of choice up to $149 7/31 
NCAA Sports Game or $50 Amazon GC 7/31 
Colgate Optic White 7/27 

3 Princes and a Princess 2 
$50 GC to The Children's Place 7/18 
$25 Publix GC 7/31 
Honeywell with Febreze Freshness Fan 7/30 

Closer To Lucy 
Xperience Days $100 GC 7/29 
Certain Dry 7/24 
Mohawk Area Rug of Choice up to $399 7/18 

That's What She Said 

Have Sippy Will Travel 
Transformer Bots 8/4 
Nelly & Cesar Kids DVD 8/4 
Lego/Gund Toys 7/28

Friday, July 20, 2012

8 Tips For Helping Your Child Ease Back To School ~ Sidekix Give Away

Thinking about the upcoming Back To School season and preparing your list of must haves?  Whether your child is looking forward to their first school days or regretfully watching the summer days fly by, spending time, helping your child with the process of transitioning back to school from summer break can make all the difference in a peaceful and stress free experience for Moms and students alike.

Prevent Summer Slide
Maintain the good habit of daily reading throughout the summer break.  Trips to your local library and the treat of picking a new book to keep at your local bookstore will help your child to stay interested in reading, as well as assist them in maintaining their reading skills.  Set aside a regular time each day for reading.  Children appreciate structure, even in the summer time.  Be a positive reading role model and let your child see you taking time out to enjoy reading and encourage your young reader to work through simple books on their own.

Remember To Reinforce Math Skills
Whether your math refreshers are structured or organic, there are ample opportunities to help your child maintain their math skills every day.  Creating in the kitchen, making crafts or counting during a walk or drive will help keep their skills fresh and establish math as a necessary and fun skill.

Explore And Investigate 
Whether you have a fun family getaway planned or trips to the park or beach, take some time to explore the environment around you.  Create a love of nature and a passion for conservation by taking a hike in the woods and take photos or notes about the interesting new things your child finds.  Research together to discover the names of trees, plants, animals and rocks.

Prepare For Back To School Gradually
With retailers converting their stores to feature Back To School products, supplies and clothing mid summer, take advantage of the extra time to gather supplies and new outfits for school.  Spreading your tasks over weeks, rather than rush them into frenzied days just before the first day of school will help the whole family to stay calm and will make your transition back to school a pleasant experience.

Go Back To School In The Summer
Make it a point to stop by your child's school during summer break, whether they are a returning student or will be attending school for the first time.  Walk the grounds, visit the playground and invite your child to share some memories from the past school year, tell them stories from your own school days and invite them to ask questions.

Interview A School Veteran
Although this technique is useful for any grade transition, it can be especially helpful for first time students and those who are changing schools in the new school year.  Reach out to a friend or neighbor whose child is a veteran of the grade your child will be entering in the fall.  Your child will appreciate receiving the inside scoop about school from another child in the know.

Back To Bedtime Basics
Many children enjoy the summer privilege of later bedtimes during the summer months.  If this is the case in your home, begin gradually working your child's bedtime to school year bedtime over the course of a few weeks, rather than a rush in the last days before school begins.  Gradual changes are easier for both Mom and child, creating less fuss at bedtime and easier on your daily routine.

Back To School Buddy
If your child will be a first time student, is changing schools, exhibiting anxiety over going back to school or even as a special back to school treat, adding a Sidekix buddy to your back to school shopping list!  With a locking clip, as well as a magnet, these reversible buddies are the perfect way to personalize your child's backpack or lunch box and send a friend with them to school!  The perfect size for small hands and able to convert from fun plush character to a soft ball with a zip and a flip, your child will be enchanted by these delightful characters.

Sidekix, Dragon Figures, Reversible Toys

Given an opportunity to explore Inferno, the Sidekix Dragon, we found the little creature delightful.  Soft and plush, with fun details  and bright colors, with easy to use zipper and clip.  Everyone had to check out the new arrival!  The Teen Diva thought Inferno the Dragon was cute as could be and my son loved the flaming ball he could convert the dragon into.   Even our Lab was eyeballing the Sidekix with great interest.

Backpack Buddies, Bike Buddies, Collectible Animal Figures

In addition to Inferno the Dragon, Sidekix offers four other fun friends: Bamboo the Panda, Savannah the Zebra, Click A Dee Chick A Dee and Mojo the Dog.

Stay In The Know

Website     Facebook     Twitter     You Tube    Purchase

***GIVEAWAY***
The makers of Sidekix are generously offering an opportunity for That's What She Said readers to win their choice of Sidekix buddy!  This giveaway is open to residents of US, 18+ and will end on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Must Have Fab ~ Gucci Red Leather Handbag Give Away


Welcome to Week #4 of
Must Have Fab, Designer Handbags, Style, Fashion Giveaway
HipSwap hosted by Sidetracked Mom’s Blog

“Win This Bag” is a 6-week event that will feature six weekly designer handbag giveaways. Each bag will be an authentic, recognizable designer brand such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Coach, or Fendi. Our 6th week will feature a highly coveted designer handbag and you will have the option to claim bonus entries for each of the 5 weekly “Win This Bag” giveaways you entered leading up to this grand finale! 

Enter each weekly giveaway to increase your odds of winning!

About our Sponsor:
HipSwap is a mobile and web marketplace that connects buyers and sellers locally and nationally. It enables people to discover what’s inside the most fabulous closets, homes, and shops in neighborhoods and cities across America. HipSwap currently offers delivery service in Los Angeles and New York with its iconic pink delivery van.

Gucci, Red Leather Bags, Chic Handbags, Fashion

This red-pebbled leather Gucci hobo bag is amazing for any occasion. It features a navy cotton stripe in front and large gold ring hardware at strap ends.
 $1500 (ARV)






Fashion Giveaway, Must Have Fab, That's What She Said Giveaways, Double Take Consignment Boutique


This beautiful handbag was provided by
 the amazing DoubleTake Consignment Boutique of New Jersey.

The DoubleTake Consignment Boutique first opened its doors in Short Hills New Jersey in 1992 and from day one the store has been packed with women who understand the advantages and value of consignment shopping. DoubleTake, which only accepts the highest quality & current designer clothing and accessories, has been recognized as a unique clothing boutique where huge savings can be realized.

How to Enter:
1.Create a HipSwap account.You will be asked to enter your name, email and zip code.If you do not live in the United States, please enter your City and Country in the Zip Code field.
2.Once registered, you can earn additional entries by:
a.Pinning your favorite HipSwap bag on Pinterest
b.“Liking” HipSwap on Facebook
c.Following @HipSwap on Twitter
d.Tweet with the hashtag #winthisbag for daily bonus entries
e.Following the blogs who are bringing you this awesome giveaway

To be credited, all entries must be completed using the Giveaway Tools widget below.You can complete as many or as few entries as you’d like but remember, the more you do, the better your odds of winning!Plus, once you are following all of your hosts, entering each subsequent weekly Win This Bag Giveaway will be even faster & easier!

Good luck!

Giveaway begins on 7/17/12 at 12:01am EST & ends on 7/23/12 at 11:59pm EST.
The Giveaway Tools Widget will load below this line.


Javascript must be enabled to enter this giveaway. Learn how to activate Javascript by clicking here.
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Loading Entry-Form
This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide 18 years of age or older, except where prohibited by law. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and is Facebook-compliant. To qualify to win, you must complete, at minimum, the mandatory entry on the Giveaway Tools form. All entries will be forwarded to our sponsor for the purpose of randomly selecting a winner. Winners will be notified by email from a HipSwap representative. Winners will have 72 hours to respond or risk forfeiting their prize. Prize may re-awarded solely by the Sponsor’s discretion. Prize fulfillment is the sole responsibility of the sponsor. This blog may not be held liable for Sponsors who do not fulfill prize shipments. The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We reserve the right to publicly publish winners’ names and/or likeness. By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fabulous To Family Friendly ~ Explore the Give Away Gala #CMM




Welcome to the Collective Media Magic Monday Giveaway Linky and Gala.
A collection of featured giveaways from five blogs including a linky for you to link up your giveaways!

This Monday Giveaway Linky will be hosted on all five blogs giving you the benefit of reaching all of our combined readers. So feel free to check out giveaways and link up your giveaways. We only ask you link directly to your giveaway, any links to your homepage will be removed.



Week 7/08 Featured Host Giveaways

Just Like June 
Sleep Innovations Bag Of Comfort 7/18 
Lark Personal Alarm System 7/20 
Colgate Optic White 7/27 

3 Princes and a Princess 2
 Crayola Color Wonders Gift Pack 7/18 
$40 Petite Me GC 7/30 
Honeywell with Febreze Freshness Fan 7/30 

Closer To Lucy
 Xperience Days $100 GC 7/29 
Miracle Body Jeans 7/31
Mohawk Area Rug of Choice up to $399 7/18 

That's What She Said

Have Sippy Will Travel
 Frito-lay prize pack 7/16 
250 Business Cards 7/27 
Lego/Gund Toys 7/28

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Top Seven Pool Safety Tips

Whether your pool hosts only family or a regular parade of water loving swimming guests, taking time to ensure the safety of those enjoying a refreshing dip is a paramount responsibility for backyard pool owners.

Pool Safety, Pool Safety Equipment, Safe Swimming Tips, International Retailers

Safety Tip:  Enclosure Pool Area With Safety Fence
Most communities require that all residential in ground swimming pools are enclosed by a safety fence to prevent the unwary from accidentally taking a swim.  This Mom recommends both enclosing your backyard as well as installing a separate fence to the pool area, as well as installing top of door locking mechanisms for pool area entry points.  Locking mechanisms located out of the reach of young children will help ensure young, ambitious swimmers always have permission and supervision before entering the pool area.

Safety Tip:  Stock Pool Area With First Aid Kit & Rescue Devices
Mount Safety Flotation Rings and poles in a convenient, easy to access area around your pool.  Unexpected situations can arise on land or in water and having the equipment you need to safely help a panicking swimmer can make all the difference in a time of emergency.  Teach all family members how to use rescue devices, such as Safety Rings and Poles and practice helping a troubled swimmer at the beginning of each swim season.

Pool Safety Tips, Keeping Children Safe By Swimming Pools, Pool Guard,

Safety Tip:  Invest In A Quality Pool Alarm
Whether you have adventurous teens or toddlers on a mission, installing a pool alarm in your backyard swimming pool will help alert parents to unauthorized entry and will add a layer of backup security in the event of a gate inadvertently left open or door left unlocked.  Test alarm once a month.

Safety Tip:  Cover Pool Rules With New Swimming Guests
Don't assume your swimming guests are competent in the pool.  Take some time to acquaint new swimming guests with your pool safety rules, the locations of safety equipment and safe diving areas for your pool.  Talk with them about their swimming experience and observe their swimming skills.

Floating Safety Rope, In Ground Pool Safety Tips, FibroPool LLC


Safety Tip:  Install A Floating Safety Rope Between Deep and Shallow Ends of Pool 
Particularly important with younger or inexperienced swimmers, installing a floating safety rope between the shallow and deep ends of your in ground swimming pool will help swimmers to stay within the safer confines of the shallow area.  These ropes are easy to install and remove as desired and are an excellent way to help ensure inexperienced swimmers don't drift or float into deeper waters where they make panic.

Safety Tip: Inspect Pool Area For Repair Needs At Pool Closing and Opening
When closing your pool for the season, inspect all steps, entry handrails and pool apron and repair or make plan to check any areas that may be showing wear.  A secure pool entry and exit areas are essential for preventing pool accidents.  Keeping pool apron smooth and free of tripping hazards will help ensure your swimmers are able to safely walk around your pool's perimeter tripping or unexpectedly plunging into the pool.

Safety Tip:  Install A Pool Safety Cover Off Season
With both hard and mesh safety covers for in ground pools now readily available, the savvy pool owner is best served by using one of these safety covers off season than the traditional poly covers.  Not only are they easier to use and more effective in keeping leaves and debris out of your pool, they are an excellent  resource to ensure guest and family safety during the closed pool season.

Images sourced from various Amzaon.com retailers.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Adventures In Floral Design ~ Monochromatic Arrangements

Doesn't every little girl dream of being a florist at some point?  I certainly did.

Of course, among my dreamy childhood career plans were also the careers of flight attendant, veterinarian, writer, missionary and psychologist.  While these passions from my younger years have lingered, impacting some of my choices later in life, both in my choice of avenues to pursue in college and my efforts volunteering in my community, I did have an opportunity to work with a team of skilled florists before starting a family.  What a fantastic experience!

Of the many career hats I've worn thus far in my life, my days at the florists were by far some of the most enjoyable.  As one with an impassioned appreciation of the arts and those with gifted artistic ability, yet hindered by my own lack of skill, I crave opportunity to explore fine works, even if a bit from the outside.  What a treat to discover I did possess some talent in the realm of flower artistry!

Monochromatic Floral Arrangements, Interflora, Ordering Flowers Online
Delicate Tea Cup Arrangement ~ Rose, Alstroemeria, Lisianthus, Freesia
Simply stepping into the shop was an inspiration. With scents mingling in a perfect olfactory bouquet of the live, blooming plants and the chilled, fresh cut blooms, with subtle notes of gracefully scented candles, the effect both calming and invigorating at the same time.  

My education in floral design began simply.  Watching, observing and assisting.  With no small amount of excitement, I was thrilled to begin creating fresh cut bouquets, both for customers with a specific look in mind and those who required my new found eye and recommendations.  As my eye improved along with my skill, I was given an opportunity to work with the Master Florists, creating smaller arrangements and assisting with their preparation and selections, gradually moving into more grandiose arrangements, creating bouquets in vase and eventually training in wedding arrangements.

Interflora, Cream Flower Bouquet, Gerbera Daisies
Graceful Arrangement ~ Rose, Lily, Gerbera, Spray Crysanthemums, Lisianthus

I observed the Master Florists working bright, bold colors with ease, mixing vibrant reds, purples and yellows.  Over time, I found my own taste and style in creating monochromatic arrangements.  I love the grace, subtlety and textures of complimentary hues in a basket, vase or bouquet.  Although floral arrangements featuring roses were always in high demand, I preferred to work with longer lasting blooms and developed a love affair with the hearty, yet delicate Alstroemeria flowers.

Likely due to this delightful chapter in my life, my instinctual choice in sending gifts for nearly any occasion it to reach out to an online florist.  Although I would love to create my own arrangements, ordering flowers from  Interflora is an excellent alternative.  However, I rarely shy away from an opportunity to grace my own foyer or dining room with fresh blooms, granting myself an opportunity to remember my floral training fondly.

The opinions above are both honest and of my own experiences.  Floral Arrangement Photos.  Please find my disclosure policy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Must Have Fab ~ tod's White Leather Handbag Give Away


Welcome to Week #3 of
Must Have Fab, Designer Handbags, Style, Fashion Giveaway
HipSwap hosted by Sidetracked Mom’s Blog

“Win This Bag” is a 6-week event that will feature six weekly designer handbag giveaways. Each bag will be an authentic, recognizable designer brand such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Coach, or Fendi. Our 6th week will feature a highly coveted designer handbag and you will have the option to claim bonus entries for each of the 5 weekly “Win This Bag” giveaways you entered leading up to this grand finale! 

Enter each weekly giveaway to increase your odds of winning!


About our Sponsor:
HipSwap is a mobile and web marketplace that connects buyers and sellers locally and nationally. It enables people to discover what’s inside the most fabulous closets, homes, and shops in neighborhoods and cities across America. HipSwap currently offers delivery service in Los Angeles and New York with its iconic pink delivery van.

Designer Handbags for Less, tod's genuine handbags

This is a 100% guaranteed authentic Tod's White Leather Shoulder Bag Purse Handbag. This Italian beauty is made of white textured calfskin leather and features a single flat leather handle that rests comfortably on your shoulder. Its contrast top stitching gives this sophisticated bag its sassy style. You can always count on Tod's to give us modern luxury and its prestige bags are loved by celebrities everywhere.  Supplied by Celebrity Consignment Shop, Encore Closet.


Chic Handbags, Genuine Designer Handbags for Less, HipSwap


How to Enter:
1.Create a HipSwap account.You will be asked to enter your name, email and zip code.If you do not live in the United States, please enter your City and Country in the Zip Code field.
2.Once registered, you can earn additional entries by:
a.Pinning your favorite HipSwap bag on Pinterest
b.“Liking” HipSwap on Facebook
c.Following @HipSwap on Twitter
d.Tweet with the hashtag #winthisbag for daily bonus entries
e.Following the blogs who are bringing you this awesome giveaway

To be credited, all entries must be completed using the Giveaway Tools widget below.You can complete as many or as few entries as you’d like but remember, the more you do, the better your odds of winning!Plus, once you are following all of your hosts, entering each subsequent weekly Win This Bag Giveaway will be even faster & easier!

Good luck!

Giveaway begins on 7/10/12 at 12:01am EST & ends on 7/16/12 at 11:59pm EST. Open worldwide.
The Giveaway Tools Widget will load below this line.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Simple Pre-Teen Acne Solutions ~ Clearasil PerfectaWash

If you have a pre-teen boy in the house, you know that discussions involving all things hygienic are not always easy or even two-sided.  The challenge doesn't lie so much in a lack of interest in exploring the wonderful world of pre-teen products, rather the growing tendency to respond with a variety of sighs, grunts and "the looks".    This mask of disinterest should not be confused with apathy, rather the converse is true.    My son can spend more time than even the Teen Diva, exploring manly scented deodorants and peeking longingly at shaving supplies.   The issue is more a matter of disinterest in discussing these matters, especially with Mom.  Even so, the tell tale first signs of pre-teen acne need to be addressed and in a simple fashion with simple solutions.

Easy Acne Solutions, Simple Acne Solutions

The Challenge
While the Teen Diva won't hesitate to commit as much time and more than necessary tending to her appearance and skin care routines, conversely, my son has no patience for cotton balls, multiple treatments, steps to remember or products to keep track of.   The simpler and more easy to use, the better in regard to his skin care efforts.  When this Mom learned of the new PerfectaWash system from Clearasil, I knew I had struck pre-teen gold!

Clearasil, Adult Acne Solutions

The Solution
The beauty of the Clearasil PerfectaWash system is in the simplicity.  Carefully formulated Rapid Action Face Wash formulas, doled out in just right quantities from an automatic dispenser!   Perfect for my pre-teen son!  Each PerfectaWash starter kit comes with two bottles of wash, both SuperFruit Splash and Soothing Plant Extract as well as the automatic dispenser.  The PerfectaWash solutions are packed with the power of Salicylic Acid to effectively combat acne concerns.  Two easy simple washes per day can result in visible improvement within twelve hours.  

Clearasil PerfectaWash, Acne Product Coupons

Although the Teen Diva and I are always game to try new skin care solutions, I knew the PerfectaWash from Clearasil would be an immediate hit with my pre-teen son!  Not only is the design of the dispenser sleek and compact, the automated functionality made it fun and easy for my son to use.  With batteries already loaded, we had only to load a bottle of wash, flip the power switch to on and we were ready to test!  The compact size made it easy to find a home for the PerfectaWash dispenser next to my son's sink in the children's bathroom.

Acne Solutions, Easy To Use Acne Products
Before ~ Pre-teen Acne


Gentle Acne Solutions, Effective Acne Solutions

Easy To Use
My son found the dispenser both fun and easy to use.  Not a surprise to this Mom, as the steps were so simple!   Easy to use lends to consistent, regular use and the ability to say goodbye to my son's budding acne flair ups!
  • turn on power switch
  • watch for ready light 
  • hold hand under dispenser 
  • wash with water for 30 seconds 
  • rinse and pat skin dry

Clearasil PerfectaWash, Easy Acne Solutions
After  ~ Pre-Teen Acne Control Success


Our Take
The form, function and simplicity of the PerfectaWash system all contributed to our success in tackling my pre-teen son's budding acne.   The easy steps and fun to use dispenser helped to ensure that use was pleasant and quick, rather than a chore tackled begrudgingly.  My son appreciated the fresh scents of the PerfectaWash Rapid Action washes, noting with pleasure that they didn't smell "girly".   Both the Teen Diva and I couldn't help but to give PerfectaWash a try.  We both found the wash pleasantly scented and effective in clearing our skin, leaving it soft and smooth, as well as blemish free!  While we enjoyed both PerfectaWash Rapid Action wash scents, my son preferred the SuperFruit, while my daughter and I loved the Soothing Plant Extracts version.

Perhaps even more important, PerfectaWash from Clearasil was effective and fast acting, quickly clearing up my son's skin.  As Mom, I appreciate that the price of is budget-friendly, with starter kits offered at $19.99 and refills will last up to six weeks and are affordable, priced at only $8.99!  Keeping in stock on this acne solution will not be difficult to work into my budget and best yet, will actually be used regularly by my pre-teen son!


Stay In The Know & Save


Does someone in your family suffer from acne concerns?
What tips do you share with them to help them win the battle?
What do you think of the Clearasil PefectaWash system?
Tell me in a comment below.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Clearasil. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.  The opinions above are both honest and of my own experiences.  Some information sourced from various Clearasil websites.
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