Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hawaii

My family just returned from a trip to Hawaii.  What a way to end summer vacation!  This was the view from our hotel balcony.


And each one of my family members had a slightly different "view"

Mine

My husband's


our daughter's


We went on several tours, and used Discover Hawaii Tours for three of our tours.  I have to say, my review of the company would really depend on which tour guide you end up with.



For the Pearl Harbor tour we had Christine from Discover Hawaii, who was friendly and personable.  Her tour was full of facts and information with a little bit of humor thrown in.  She would tell us the best place to sit for viewing different things, and even saved a few seats for our family for the parade at the Polynesian Center.


We also went to the Dole Plantation (had to get some Dole Whip) and she showed us so much of the island.  Even though the day started of raining, her smile and personality made for a pleasant day.

The next day we went snorkeling with EO Wai'anae Tours.  This is a family run company, and we would use them again.


They took us out on the boat and we saw turtles and dolphins.  Then it was time to snorkel . . . and they made sure that everyone was able to see the pod of dolphins we found swim right underneath us!


Later we dropped anchor and could swim, paddle board or even jump off the boat into the water.


They took photos with their camera, which was nice since no one wants to worry about their camera getting wet or falling overboard.  They also brought lunch for us to have out on the ocean.  The group we were with was a lot of fun to hang out with.


If you are in Hawaii and want to tour with them I have included links to their site and Facebook page.

That evening we went to the Big Kahuna Luau Discover Hawaii, This time John Jr. was our driver.  John needs to work on his vocabulary . . . every other sentence started with "Basically, "  We were joking that if it were a drinking game and you had to drink every time he said "basically" you would have been too drunk to stand up and walk to the Luau!

Traffic was bad that night, so John "basically" tried to fill the time with jokes.  "Basically", his jokes were bad and he sounded very scripted and not natural.  He stopped to show us an amazing view of the city from up high, and then even though he knew we were running late he "basically" did not care about that and stopped the bus, pulled over and sang us a song and played the ukulele.  Then, when we got to the Luau he made a joke about "getting laid" since they were handing out a shell lei to each person as they got off the bus.  I personally think he needs to check his crowd and drop that joke when children/teens are on the bus.  I did not hear anyone laugh at the joke.

"Basically", since we got there late, they were wrapping up some of the activities for people to do before the main luau started.  We ended being the last people going to our seats.  "Basically" I felt rushed and not relaxed like I thought I would.  And the best food at the luau . . . the coconut shrimp that they gave us as we first came in.  Then as we got on the bus to leave the Luau, John Jr. did his lei joke again . . . "I see you all got laid" Again, not funny.  "Basically", if this was the only tour we had done I would not be recommending Discover Hawaii as a tour group.

Luckily we went on another tour the next day with AJ over on the Big Island to see the volcanoes.  This guy should do the TRAINING for ALL TOUR GUIDES by Discover Hawaii!  He really got to know each person on the tour, and then he would point out things that he knew would interest us personally.









We had SO MUCH FUN!  If I was judging Discover Hawaii just off of this tour I would say you have to use them!

The next day was surfing.  Yes, we ALL TRIED IT.  We used Gone Surfing.  The instructors said I was doing good, but who knows.  I was able to stand up, but if I fell off the board it was hard for me to get back ON the board.  When I said I needed to loose weight, the one instructor said I just needed longer arms.


My husband was able to get up on the board too


No surprise to us, our daughter did the best.


If you want to learn to surf, I highly recommend using this company!  They really take their time and pay attention to what each person needs.  For example, when our instructor could see that my arms were getting tired from paddling back out to catch another wave, he would toe me in . . . literally.  He would put his big toe on the front of my board and start to paddle.


I highly recommend the group at Gone Surfing.  Go to their website and Facebook page and tell them Beth Mosch's mom sent you there.


That afternoon we did my favorite activity . . . swimming with the dolphins!  We did this with Dolphin Quest.




This one the dolphin was dancing circles around us.


Not only did we enjoy a lot of activities, but we loved some of the local food . . . Lappert's ice cream shop by our hotel was the BEST!  We had pizza one night at Round Table.

My husband and daughter enjoyed a local favorite for dinner a couple of nights . . . the Loco Moco at Cinnamon's



It was a great trip, and I am so glad that we were able to do this and go on so many tours and special activities.  Who knows when this Minnesota family will get to the tropical island again so we had to do it up right!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Save on Cricut products

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Have you been thinking about buying a Cricut Explore Air? Well, now is the time to treat yourself! Right now at Cricut for just $299, you can get the Cricut Explore Air™ + Ultimate Machine Set. This special bundle includes the Cricut Explore Air electronic cutting machine, the Cricut®Cutting Mat Variety 3 pack, a Cricut Explore® Deep Cut Blade With Housing, a Cricut® Tools Basic Set, and more! Everything you'll need to make beautiful cards, labels, gift tags, or whatever creations you can dream up is included in this handy set.

The offer is for a limited time only, so don't miss your chance to get everything you need to hit the ground running in one great deal!

Get Cricut Material and Mats sets for up to 40% off

Re-released retired cartridges now available at Cricut!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Crciut Summer Blowout Sale!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Whether we like it or not, summer is quickly coming to a close. Cricut is having a Summer Blowout Sale with incredible deals on titles that you won't want to miss. From the Stretch Your Imagination Wedding Digital Set (now just $3.33) that will keep you covered for many wedding seasons to come, to the Giant Flowers Cartridge with beautiful blooms that will stay vibrant year-round, Cricut's Summer Blowout sale is the perfect time to stock up on titles you'll be glad to have year after year.

Be sure to take advantage of this huge sale today and get straight to work trying out your new Cricut titles!

Happy crafting!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Coloring books all grown up

Have you seen the latest trend in coloring books?  Images that even the grown ups will enjoy!  If you used to like to lay on the floor in your pajamas coloring as a kid, then you should check out some of these grown up books.


Natural Wonders Color Art Coloring Book Floral Wonders Adult Coloring Book Adult Coloring Book - BIG

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Love Wins Blog Hop


Welcome to the Love Wins Blog Hop!

We wanted to celebrate the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing same sex marriage.  As everyone knows, the rainbow is the symbol used by LGBT supporters. Since one of our most popular products is our rainbow rhinestone sticker sheets we thought this just seemed like a perfect match.  


I love the way this turned out!  The bright pink is the perfect accent to the rainbow heart shape that I cut on my Cricut using my Create a Critter 2 cartridge.  That's right . . . you can cut shapes out of our rhinestone sticker sheets!  The gems are made of a soft resin material so you can cut right through it.  It is a lot like cutting through those "jellie" shoes of the 80's.  I did a video that shows how to cut the product on your Cricut HERE.


For my next project I decided to make napkin rings.  These were super easy to make.  Just cut the rhinestone sticker sheet to size with your scissors, remove the adhesive backing and stick!


These would be a great way to dress up a dinner party, engagement party or even the wedding.

Some of the other Design Team members from The Buckle Boutique have created projects also, so make sure to hop over and see what they have created.  The full line up is below.

Love Wins Blog Hop Line Up
  The Buckle Boutique
  Patti
  Nancy
  Tammy
  Madge
  Shawn

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Magnetic Dry Erase To Do Board

I am so happy to be sharing this post with you today!  I recently discovered the Roeda Studio and their product line.  They have a line of frames, bulletin boards, dry erase boards, easels and magnetic shapes to embellish them all.  This allows you to build your own customized look for your home or for gifts.  What this video for some examples.



I really like their These United States Collection, which is made up of memo boards shaped like all of the states.  This would be a really cute wedding gift for two people board in different states . . . how cute would that be on the wall to have two memo boards shaped like the states they were born in.

Okay . . . back to my project . . .

I have been wanting a memo board for our kitchen for a while now.  I wanted something where I could leave a "to do list" for my teenage daughter, so if she was not up before I left for work she would know that I wanted her to take care of a few things before I got home.  I also wanted to use this for a way to remind all of the family of the errands we might have to accomplish over the weekend.

My family had been using post-it notes for this, but depending on where you put the note, it may not be seen by everyone.  Also, due to the size of the post-it notes there were times that I had to use 2 or 3 for all of the items I needed to list.

Now our family uses the Roeda Studio Dry Erase To Do Board!


First, it was SO EASY to put up on the wall in our kitchen.  Just 2 nails . . . done.

Second, the words "to do" are cut out of the board at the top.  I think this is a great idea, since it allows the color of the wall behind it to come through, so this board will match ANY decor for ANY room of your house . . . the color of the words IS your wall!

Third, the board has a lot of space so I can write messages or even put up an invitation to a family member's wedding.  This is nice since we all have gotten invitations that have gotten lost in the pills of papers on the desk or the counter.  This way the invitation is up on display.


Fourth, the flowers and butterfly that you see on this board are all magnets.  I can get different ones to match my decor or the seasons/holidays.  I used two of the flowers like the bullet points in front of the different items listed on the to do list. 

                      

Here I simply changed out some of the magnets, making the butterflies the bullet points and put more flowers around the wedding invitation.  You could also display birth announcements . . . which would remind you to send a gift for the new baby.  A family photo or vacation picture would look nice here also.  Since it is all magnetic it makes it so easy to change out.


And these little magnets are STRONG!  I know I have two on the corner of this photo, but that is only because I thought the board looked cuter with two.  When we ere taking these out of the package my teenage daughter even commented on how strong the magnets were.  She said "Normally the cute ones are not strong enough to hold anything up . . . they did a good job with these!"

The other thing I like about a magnetic system is that you don't end up putting holes into your photos with push pins.

Tomorrow I can erase the list and start a new one for the family to get done.  When winter comes along I want to use some snowflakes or snowmen on this board.

Roeda Studio is offering a special promotion for all of you!

Enter the code CraftyChics with your order and you will get a free surprise magnet!  Roeda Studios will pick one of their magnets to add to your order . . . it could be a snowflake, a pumpkin, a fall leaf . . . you won't know until your order arrives.  It's like waiting to see what prize is at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box!

So head over to Roeda Studio and start picking out the pieces to embellish your story!

Scroll to the bottom of the main page and you can sign up for their email list.  Don't worry . . . they only send out a couple of promotions a month, so you won't get a flood of annoying emails.  

After that, head over to their Facebook page, and tell them Shawn sent you.  They will post a variety of contests and information about new products on Facebook. 




Monday, August 3, 2015

Gift Box with Sizzix Die

Today I want to share a cute little gift box that is just the right size to put a gift card or some other small gift.   I used the Sizzix ScoreBoard box with scallop flap die.



I really love how easily the Sizzix dies cut through even the thickest materials . . . even the rhinestone sticker sheets from The Buckle Boutique!  To start with I cut a piece of pink cardstock with the die.  Easy.  Just turn the crank on the Big Shot and you are done.



Next I cut a small piece of the rhinestone sticker sheets from The Buckle Boutique.  This pattern is from the Boudoir Quad Sheet.  The lips all over are so cute!  I cut a piece that was just a little bigger than the flap portion of this die.  The I set the rhinestone sticker sheet on the die with the backing touching the die . . . put the top plate on . . . crank . . . 


And this is what you get!  PERFECTLY cut scalloped edges that are cut right through the rhinestone "gems".  The reason it can cut through them is that they are not a hard rhinestone.  These "gems" are made from a soft material that you can cut with scissors, a craft knife and yes . . . a die cutting machine . . . but they sparkle and shine like real rhinestones.


Next, I peeled off the backing from the rhinestone sticker sheet and applied it to the flap portion of the box.  I used a little ribbon to help keep it closed after I put the gift card inside.


I gave my mother a gift card in this box for her birthday, and my niece now wants one of these little boxes for herself.  She is a girl that loves her bling.


RhinestoneBorder
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