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Monday, March 25, 2013

My Memories Suite + **GIVEAWAY**

Well here it is! Giveaway time!!

The wonderful people over at My Memories have allowed me the opportunity to check out their newest suite, My Memories Suite 4, and give it away free to one of you lucky readers! After a few days of playing with it, here are my thoughts..

First Impressions:

  • A bit intimidating if you're not used to using editing software of any kind. While I've been digi-scrapping and siggie making as well as playing around with blog layouts here and there for a few years now, it's all been very basic stuff and all of it has been on Photoshop. That's not to say, obviously, that Photoshop wasn't intimidating at first, too. As with everything, it takes some getting used to.
  • Nice clean layout to work with.
  • Lots of pre-loaded items (papers, elements, etc.)
After Playing:
  • Easy to use and create with
  • A bit frustrating switching between layers when they're on top of each other
  • Wish there was an easier way to edit the material directly (ie an eraser, crop tool, color changer, etc.)
  • Nice that there's an option to save that saves all of the elements used to create the project. No guesswork later.
  • Easy access to printing, creating CD/DVD, going to the My Memories store, etc.
It's definitely worth a whirl if you're looking to create scrap pages or any similar digi image. Here are a couple of things that I've made while playing around this weekend! (Keep in mind that it's been a while since I've scrapped! *wink*)



Pretty cute stuff, huh? 

I haven't had time to peruse all of their tutorials but they have some pretty helpful stuff on there so far as I've found.

So, you want to win the My Memories Suite 4 for yourself? Here's what you need to do:
Follow my blog!
Go check out the My Memories Store and comment to tell me what your favorite kit is! I have several that I am just in love with <3

Also, My Memories also has a Facebook page - "like" them for freebies and fun! (Not required for the drawing, but you really should check them out!)

That's it! That's all you have to do. Not bad, eh?

Also - if you'd like to purchase the software yourself, I can hook you up with $10 off! Just use this code: STMMMS82529
Oh hey, also, once you purchase the MM Suite v4 you get a $10 credit to their online store to get yourself some fun goodies to get you going! Double fudge brownie sundae sweet, right?

Alright, well, leave some comments and let me know that you're in! I'll let you all know who the winner is by Thursday, March 28th!


This was not a paid post. I did however receive the software for free to review. My own honest thoughts and opinions were used in this post and were not influenced by outside entities. ~Tasia D.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

***GIVEAWAY***

Oh my lovely readers I am happy to announce that here in the next week I will be hosting my very first blog giveaway! I am super excited about this and I am really hoping that you all will be, too!

This giveaway is geared toward those of you who like to play around with digital scrapbooking, signature making on message boards, or digital creations similarly i.e. making buttons and blinkies, banners or even desktop backgrounds, etc. It's very versatile ;) It has a retail value of $39.97(USD)!

RULES
You MUST follow my blog. Yes, this may be a shameless plug to get my blog more attention but I'm hoping in the not-so-distant-future that I'll be hosting more and more giveaways and the more people that know, the better they will go. And the funner they will be!

Hmm.. yep. That's it! That's all the rules I have for this giveaway. It is open to all and I hope I get a few of you interested!

I will post more about it later, along with a review of the product.

I'm so excited!! I hope you will join me in this giveaway.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Lords and Ladies...

This weekend past ... Ok, I can't do it. I'm not even sure what would come next. My medieval speak is far worse than rusty. Crusty with a bit of welded togetherness because of old age, eh.

I've been staring at this page for two days now trying to decide how I want to approach this post. If I go for the detailed version, the majority of you are going to get bored and close out before getting to the good stuff. If I go for a photo-story-line type of thing it would be a crap ton of pictures to scroll through and again, while my kids are gloriously beautiful to me, I know not everyone hangs on every picture and wants to study every contour of their faces and hands like I do.. So, I think I'm just going to throw out some highlights and call it good. Ready?

Drive to Dallas, Texas - Google maps estimated 3h10m
-Kids were actually really awesome for this trip. Haevyn only napped the first half hour after leaving but stayed surprisingly calm the rest of the way. Cole started getting whiny about half way there but it was expected.




Arrived in Dallas - Actual trip took 3h30m roughly, including one pit stop just as we were leaving Oklahoma. We actually arrived 15 minutes early to the hotel and they weren't ready for us yet (that was a bit disappointing) so we went and found something to eat. After getting lost. My husband is the worst travel companion. He lets his nerves get the best of him and gets very snappy very easily. He decided instead of following the directions the lady at the front desk of the hotel gave me to find food, we'd just go "this way". "Whatever you want, love" being my response. Then we get lost and I have to navigate us back to the hotel and start again (with the help of GPS). We eat at an IHop of all places, but I haven't been to one since I was pregnant with Mehkaelie so I was game. It was right next to the hotel, too, so there was very little chance of us getting lost on the way back.

Back to the hotel - check into our suite and explore it. The kids think it's the coolest place in the world, Joe is finding it pretty cool as he's never stayed in a suite before and I'm just wanting to sit down and put my head down on something soft. I've been sick for three days at this point with fevers, headaches and a sore throat so bad it felt like I was not only swallowing glass but having it shoved down my ear holes as well. My fever broke that morning but the rest of the symptoms were still very much around.

Dinner at Red Lobster - Just .. YUM! I love this restaurant but they were especially on par this evening. Cole developed some tummy troubles half way through though and was having quite an unpleasant time until he farted so hard and loud that he actually visibly sighed and relaxed. It sounded like a freaking fog horn. It was horrible, but he felt so much better, so all was right in the world again.

Back to the room - We discovered that not only was the outdoor pool open already (in mid-March!) but they did in fact have an indoor pool. I hadn't thought to mention to the kids to pack swimsuits so they were pretty bummed about not getting to go swimming. Once back in the room we hung out until bedtime and everyone chose their place and got settled in.

We checked out - Pretty early the next day we were getting hungry so we decided to head out to breakfast and just go ahead and check out then. After eating at IHop again (still yet, breakfast was amazing - stuffed french toast, yum!) we headed out the the Fort Worth Water Gardens; A place I had found doing a search for "Free things to do in Dallas, Texas with kids". It looked like it would be a lot of fun and it did not disappoint. The only thing that wasn't as grand as expected was that the coolest pool of all wasn't flowing at the time. Closed for maintenance. There also were no ramps, everything was stairs. That was no fun with a stroller, but we managed.

Medieval Times - We headed back to Dallas and made it to Medieval Times, the whole reason for coming to Dallas in the first place. When we got there (15 minutes after the doors opened) the place was already packed. The lines were wrapped around the building already. This wasn't too terribly awful except that we all needed a bathroom break at this point!
-Once in we were amazed at how many people were packing into this building [er, Castle]. There were giftshops all over the place and Cole and Mehkaelie both chose their souvenirs. I somehow forgot to get Haevyn anything. Oops, bad mom! I chalk it up to being ill, crowded and overwhelmed all at once!
-Since we purchased the upgraded King's package we got through our lines pretty quickly as well as getting to have our picture taken with the Hawk Trainer and his gorgeous bird. Sadly, the picture of me is crazy bad and Haevyn looks terrified, like she's trying to get out of there as fast as she can, my husband kept his hat on so he has a paper crown sitting on top of his hat .. the only two that look decent in the photo are the big kids.
-The food was subpar in my opinion, but I'm not much of a meat eater. Especially when it has bones in it. Our serving wench, Cara, was entertaining enough, I suppose. But she really didn't give us the vibe that she wanted to be there. The feast included "dragon parts". A piece of garlic toast, "dragon scale" that went with an extremely salty tomato soup, "dragon blood soup" (Cole thought they called it dragon BUTT soup and wouldn't touch the stuff! HAH!). Next they served a whole roasted chicken, I cannot recall what part of the dragon this was, and a bbq spare rib, "dragon toe" with herb roasted potato wedges, "dragon talons" (these were DELICIOUS). For dessert we were served an apple turnover, "dragon droppings" that was also quite yummy. We were given the choice between two beverages, Pepsi and unsweetened tea, and given one refill throughout the meal. All in all it wasn't awful, I've had worse, but when we go back in the future, it won't be for the food.


-The show was incredible. The knights were a lot of fun to watch and while the acting was of course cheesy at times, it was also spot on for children of all ages to enjoy.
-Our knight was the Red and Yellow knight. We cheered him on as loudly as possible and I'm pretty sure he was the most enjoyable knight out of all of them. He wasn't however the winner of the tournament which was a bummer. But, it was a lot of fun nevertheless.

The ride home - was a bit harder on everyone. No one wanted to be in the car and while the big kids did great at not whining, Haevyn did not. She wanted out of the car half way through and by the time we were about half an hour from home she was full blown screaming about it. So, of course, I sat in the back and popped a boob into her mouth for the rest of the ride home.

All in all it was an enjoyable trip! I wish I hadn't been sick throughout it but what can ya do? The kids really enjoyed themselves and that was the point of the adventure. I am very happy with how our first family trip went and I am looking forward to many, many more! This time I think I'm going to preplan a little better, though so that we're not bumbling around at the last minute trying to figure out where to eat and where to go to kill time, etc. Hmm where to go next year.... We're all about that Crazy, Beautiful Chaos that is family vacations, after all! *wink*

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Letters

Dear Haevyn,
I am so sorry you are feeling so icky :( If I could take it all away from you, I would.. in a heart beat.

Dear Mehkaelie,
You are ten, dear. Not 13, certainly not 16 and you most definitely are not an adult yet. Please keep that in mind. I love you and I was once a "pre-teen" who thought that meant I was always right and could say anything I wanted to anyone I wanted anytime I wanted to, but I, like you will sooner or later, found out I was wrong. Please enjoy being 10. It's an amazing age and you are such a beautiful, sweet and kind ten year old. Don't try growing up too fast!

Dear Cole,
I have got to get you into some sort of drama class, soon. Maybe creative writing or something would help you to express all of those emotions you have pouring out of you every moment of every day.. I love you, son. I just know you are going to do great things in life.. in the loudest and most dramatic ways possible, I'm sure.

Dear Joe,
It is almost our 5 year wedding anniversary. That means we've been together ten years already and I find that amazing. Even when I want to throttle you, I know I'd miss you too much if you were gone. I love you.

Dear weight,
If the oatmeal cream pies and donut sticks don't persuade you to drop in my favor, I will understand. It's just been one of those weeks already.

Dear Texas,
We're coming for you!!! You have a family of five headed your way in a few short days and we cannot wait! We are going to rock you, but I promise we will leave no lasting damage.

XOXO--Me

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring break, home school and other things

Spring Break is upon us, my friends! Only one week of school left until the fun begins!

We have been discussing family vacations for a while now since the big kids are old enough to really enjoy and even remember them. Financially speaking, one a year is probably all we will be able to do, which is fine. "One is better than none" as the saying goes.

Originally, I was hoping to do Six Flags over Texas...but I was outvoted by the rest of the family. Instead, we will be going to Medieval Times in Dallas! I'm perfectly happy with this as it seems like a blast. Plus, we've decided we'd just try and do some sort of amusement park here in state over the summer instead, all things allowing.

Weather-wise it's supposed to be gorgeous while we're in Texas so I'm hoping to get some outdoorsy time and some fun pics of the kids! Speaking of weather, Haevyn has been battling some nasty pollen allergies and as such is on Zyrtec. She hates taking her medicine!! I hate it for her :( I'm hoping this won't hold us back from doing things while we're in Texas. But, we rented a pretty nice suite so if we do have to stay in at least we'll have fun doing that, too.

Cole and I are both still thoroughly enjoying homeschooling. After more research I'm finding that I've been doing more "school at home" than "home school" or even "unschooling" as some people do. I really like the idea of unschooling, but I'm terrified that it will cause Cole to become completely behind and unfocused on anything other than whatever tickles his fancy that day. While I don't begrudge anyone else this method and have read several stories marveling at the benefits and praising the children who grew up to excel, I feel that Cole does better with a curriculum of sorts. We ourselves are definitely not following any particular curriculum at this time. In fact, I put together little weekly packets for us to work on throughout the week myself and that seems to be working out pretty great so far.
He's wanting to stay homeschooled. As we are enjoying it and I am finding that he's doing incredibly well learning-wise as well as behavior-wise I don't have a problem with it for now. However, in a few years when Haevyn is able to go to school I was hoping to go back to work. Having a second income coming into the house would definitely not be a bad thing. Especially with as many unexpected expenses that pop up with a family of five. I also would like him to go back to school once middle school begins so that he can get a full experience of extracurricular activities that the schools offer. We have several sports to choose from (including swimming, which we never had when I was growing up in schools!) as well as various activities for the arts. I don't want him to miss out on any of that and there are just some things I cannot teach him or pay for private lessons for him to learn. Well, we'll see what happens.. We have a few more years to figure things out for sure.

I really, really want to get a dog. Here's the rub.. no one in this family can agree on what kind of dog we want! I'd be perfectly happy getting a pound puppy while my husband wants to invest in a certain breed of dog. Not for any more reason, though, than just how they look and to say he has one. My kids can't decide if they want a big or small dog while I'm full and clear on the big dog side. I'd prefer a big dog. I grew up with big dogs and to be honest, little dogs kind of annoy me. Especially the yappy ones. I don't mind the smaller dogs that are fairly calm and well suited to a family with children and all but security wise and comfort wise, I just want a big dog. Again, we'll have to see what happens and who wins out there. Although, really, I think I should get the final say as I'll be the one taking care of the new addition. We know that's going to happen!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Haevyn's First Birthday!

(The Banner)
 (The Cake)
 (Nana Becky and Daddy)
 (Bubba and his dog, Mark)
 (Cousin Faith getting snuggles)
 (The girls shoved the cupcake in her face!)
 (Trying to get the icing off of her tongue.)
 (Papa George, Mommy and the birthday girl trying to figure out how the blowy thing works.)
 (Papa George and Haevyn)
 (Papa George, Mommy and an eager birthday girl)
 (The papas, in their own little world)
(Sisters. "Which present should I open first?")

Friday, March 1, 2013

Time flies!

Well as per usual, life has gotten away from us again. We had some flu bugs fly through the house a few times, my son went through another battle with his epilepsy resulting in him going back on his meds, and my oldest daughter has been having one chaotic time with her choir being able to find a time when they can have their concert. Every time they've planned it, we've ended up getting some sort of crazy weather blow in that day to prevent it from happening! Which brings me to that. The weather. What.The.Hell?! Who sent Mother Nature to an amusement park? Seriously! We're having some crazy whiplash weather lately. Warm and Spring like to thunderstorms to blizzards.. It gets worse and worse every year. I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely ready for warmer (consistent) weather!

I've been doing exceptionally well on my 365 so far this year. I haven't missed a single day! I haven't even "cheated" and not posted every day! Sometimes I get to the last few minutes of the day, but I do indeed post one picture per day. Go me! I'm considering uploading them to a Flickr account or Photobucket or something. I'm not sure yet, though. I may just keep them on Facebook since it's just so easy!

My sweet baby girl is going to turn a year old tomorrow. I know every parent says it, but I really cannot believe it has been a year already. I can still vividly remember touching that sweet, tiny baby in my arms .. kissing those squishy little cheeks and thighs and watching her learn all of us one by one. Man oh man ..

My family has decided to start taking yearly vacations. No matter how small. Just doing something at least once a year together as a family. The big kids are old enough now to really appreciate it so I'm really looking forward to it. We've decided this year to do Medieval Times in Texas!! We wanted to do Six Flags and Medieval Times but for $1500+, that's just not going to happen without better planning! Instead, we're going to take the kids to an amusement park here in Oklahoma this summer and do Medieval Times for Spring break! We are also wanting to take the kids to Alabaster Caverns, Boiling Springs and Glass Mountain this year. It'll be a busy year if we manage to get everything squeezed in there. I'm looking forward to it!!

Well here's to a spectacular March for everyone! 3rd month of 2013 (already!)!