Monday, November 30, 2009

Busy Monday: Social Media - Believe the Hype!

Good Monday morning everyone.

Last night I was starting to think about what I wanted to post today and decided to share a link to this great website with a whole host of fabulous resources.

Part of me thinks - it's so great - and if I were a really selfish person - I wouldn't want to share this awesome resource...but lo and behold - I love to share great information! Which is really why I'm doing this blog in the first place!

Today's great link is to Women'sEntrepreneur.com. They have forums galore and as I mentioned - a boat load of resources. While only briefly on the website did I find a post of interest to me and had to read it immediately....Social Media Gurus Speak Up.

So believe the hype people. Social Media is the phrase you should be thinking about, speaking about and blogging about, and if you are anything like me....dreaming about! (I'm a serious dreamer).

There were so many links in that one post - so I won't be putting them all in here...but will start with Laura Fitton from Pistachio Consulting. She wrote the book - Twitter for Dummies. I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing this book with my next borders coupon. (I'm frugal!)...But you can also check out her site OneForty. My most favorite app from there....Friend or Follow! So many people are all about the numbers on twitter and facebook. The more Fans, the more followers the better....right? - Wrong! Why not have lower numbers knowing they are real friends and fans and followers. Not just there because you want the higher numbers? Many people I know have said "if you follow me - i'll follow you"...only to have them a couple of weeks later - unfollowing you....Now you can know with Friend or Follow! Why not just follow everyone that is following you? That's what I plan to do. (so long as you don't spam me or use questionable language or content in your tweets & posts).

Keep reading the Social Media Guru post. It really is chock full of great information you want to know! Have a great morning. And PLEASE leave a comment if you liked this post. I LOVE comments. I appreciate you taking time to leave comments. It also helps me to know what's working for you - so I know what to bring you more of! Thank you!!! - kg

Oh - yeah...here's my twitter link....and my facebook page...follow and fan me if you'd like! (I'd like that very much!) THANKS!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Thanksgiving Feast

If you're anything like me....you still have to go get your turkey, and all the fixin's! With my daughter's Birthday so close to Thanksgiving - it's hard to get anything for Thanksgiving done earlier than the last minute.

Today I share a bit of my past - with some recipes for you today and hopefully many Thanksgiving Feasts to come. When I was in High School, my twin sister and I had an AWESOME opportunity to be in a Seventeen Magazine photo shoot. We were trying to get in on the "makeover" spreads they used to do, but they had enough model coverage for that.

A couple of weeks later, they called us and asked if we wanted to do a Photo Shoot for the November magazine, in the Sybille's Cookbook section. So there we were in the middle of July - dead heat of summer, we had to wear wool skirt or polyester pants, sweater, vest, flannels, layers upon layers in a small cottage in Bridgehampton, NY with no AC! There were barely enough windows to help the air circulate all the heat coming from the old brick oven. We made little napkin holders and other "decorations" for the tables, and then helped to prepare the feast. When all was said and done, we sat down an enjoyed the turkey and all the fixin's! We can't remember if we ever got paid for that (maybe $25 each)- but we certainly got bragging rights during our freshman year of college and memories to boot!

I've made this turkey recipe for friends in college. I've made it here in my own home, and now you get to try it! I've since changed the way I prep the bird, I butterfly it first so it cooks quicker and more evenly after brining overnight without drying it out. You can get instructions to butterfly your bird in the most recent Martha Stewart Magazine. You'll never cook your bird any other way! it's awesome!!! I thank my husband's Aunt Jane for showing me that trick first!

I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. This experience I had 17 years ago (half my life - with my other half) and with 17 Magazine....I will always remember. I think the number play here is very ironic! I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving....thank you for following my blog. Thank you for your comments and feedback. I very much appreciate it! God bless! kg

psst....Before you head off to the grocery store - print one of these before you go...a grocery list...it's the best! I'm sorry the images are so hard to read...I will see if my hubby can work his magic later...I revised the size and quality and it helped a little...but let me know if you'd like me to type the ingredients...Thanks, kg

Monday, November 23, 2009

Busy Monday: Need Labels?

I've had a few people local and otherwise, ask where I got my labels from. So today is label day.

Esther at Specialized Sales Corporation has been hooking me up with labels since I first ordered my Tuck 'n' Go labels in 2005. After our initial contact, she sent me a package of different label options and also various hangtag options to choose from. My husband designed them and provided the art work, and after much deliberation, we picked just the right colors and just the right materials and came up with these....They are woven labels with polyester threads that are heat cut so no adhesives are used to seal the edges (for those concerned with the CPSIA). The heat does the job. The standard care labels were printed with inks that do not contain lead contaminates (again for those concerned with the CPSIA). All the labels I have purchased from her, come pre cut and folded in long skinny boxes ready for a new home.

If you need labels, give her a call today! Let her know Kerry @ Kid Giddy sent you - tell her I said hi! She does have a minimum of 1000 units per order. Please be sure to ask all your questions. If you are concerned about the CPSIA in your labels/hangtags etc, please be sure to address those concerns with her prior to placing an order.

This is not a paid advertisement. Kid Giddy can not be held liable for any labels you order from SSClabels and affix to your products.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Doll House Fun

In honor of my youngest daughters up coming birthday, I'm posting a drawing I did really quick of her doll house. I needed to know what colors she wanted for the rooms before going to school, so I drew this so she could color it in before leaving and I could paint it while she was gone. (I don't want her to know it might be ready for her birthday...Monday - I keep saying it may not be ready until Christmas!) Now it's here to share it with all of you.
If anyone wants to color it in - and send a copy of it back to me via email, I will let the birthday girl pick out her favorite version and post it here with the original drawing. You can as creative as you'd like. Draw what your family does on Thanksgiving (she was our turkey baby). We brought her home on Thanksgiving day 5 years ago! So color it in - draw some pictures - draw the thanksgiving day parade outside the window...go crazy...click the contact link above ....yeah up there....to send me the picture!

And if you like my blog, or better yet love my blog, would you please leave me a comment somewhere! I often worry I'm posting to space - not sure anyone is out there reading! So comment here if you like this sort of post...so I know to add more like this! Comments are GOOD! Thanks! and have a great weekend!!! kg

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Pomegranate

This is one of the most amazing fruits. Recently I bought 5 poms because all the other fruits are no longer in season and I have to get my antioxidants from somewhere!!! So since i still had one, I thought I'd share this awesome fruit with you today. If you've never had a Pomegranate, please PLEASE go out and get one today to try!!! It looks weird inside, but the taste will send you back to the store for more!

To Prepare: I cut a little slice of the skin - not too deep - all the way around and break the fruit in half. Keep tearing little bits of the skin off and "knocking" the arils into a bowl. Please don't wear white or any other light color if this is your first time. The juice will stain your clothes for sure! When I have finished knocking out all of the arils, I give it a cold rinse to get any little bits of the "flesh" out of the bowl.

To Eat: Grab a spoon! Ok - no really - you can put it on top of a salad, in many cooking dishes and maybe even in a drink or too...I don't drink - so when I say that - I'm talking smoothies here people!

If you want to know more about this fruit, or find some great recipes (I've never had them in a bowl long enough to find a recipe)...check out the POMwonderful website. I'm sure they also have a boat load of information on the history of the pomegranate, but if they don't - wiki does! And check it out - they have a POMwonderful contest going until Nov 30th - you can win $4,000!!!

Have a great juicy pomegranate day! k (all the pomegranates in these photographs have been devoured!)

(and just in case you are wondering...this is not a paid advertisement!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the Winner is.....

Hey everyone, the winner of the Fabric Jar Guesstimation was Lizzy!!!! The number of correct pieces was 41 (40 strips and 1 back panel piece). Lizzy guessed 36 (the closest number without going over).

Thanks everyone that entered. Lizzy, you have won 40% off the purchase price of any one item in my Etsy Shop. (mention this in your note to seller)...

Have a great day! See you tomorrow for Edible Wednesday! Thanks! kg

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy Monday: Need Business Cards?

If you haven't been in the Etsy Virtual Labs - you're missing out!!! They are jam packed with not good, not great, not awesome, but with FABULOUS information! While in the labs this past week - I decided to do a few rounds of Monday posts, for tools you may need or want for your Business.

So today I share with those of you needing business cards. There are so many different options out there. For some of you, all you will want are 25. For some of you, you may need upwards of 500 - 1,000. No matter your needs, here are plenty of options to choose from in no particular order:

Moo - They offer full color printing on both sides (for which they say is no extra cost). They offer their own artwork, or you can upload your own. Prices start at 50 cards for $21.99, 100 cards for $43.98 & 200 cards for $69.99. They offer mini cards and many other items as well.
Print Runner - They offer B&W or blank back or full color dual sided, durable water resistant or UV coating...and so much more. They are currently running a special deal 15% off Matte, and a free website design (1 month trial from web.com) with Business Card purchase. Prices start at 100 cards for $9.95-16.95 depending on options and 250 cards for $19.95-27.95 again based on options. Prices are reduced as you order more cards. Shipping takes longer for orders under 250 cards.
Got Print - Offers different paper options. Most companies offer business cards on a 14pt stock. Mine are made with 100lb cover stock and are very durable. They offer here a Recycled 100lb Matte Cover with aqueous coating for a decent price. Rates start at $6.95 - $9.41 based on options for 100 cards.
Vistaprint - Pricing starts at $3.99 for 3092 different design options on 80lb stock and 250 cards. This is for Matte finish and blank back side. You can also order free cards (must pay shipping and handling). You can only choose from 42 designs. This option also requires that you approve them to print their logo on the back side.

And saving the best for last....here's some awesome options from Etsy sellers:

Why not purchase some art work from Tracy Ann Digital Art - you can purchase the art work to upload to some of the sites listed above, or just order the cards directly from her...SUCH CUTE designs!! For more awesome cute stuff - check her TADA website!!!

And here's some other great sellers - whose cards are posted throughout this post...These are photos are linked directly to the Etsy shops....(Pixelimpress, Amyingmui's, Mylittlebuffalo, and SaddleStitchStudio) please drop them a visit. Although some of the prices above seem "better", the customer service and quality you can get some an Etsy seller can most times far surpass anything you can get from a larger corporation! As I said before - I'm giving all the options. My husband designed and printed mine on Matte 100lb cover (and I LOVE them! - see the ones at the top of post)

Be sure to know that prices can also vary depending on getting a Proof prior to printing and based on uploading your own designs or having them do "Custom" design work. Please be sure to check all the options and costs no matter which route you choose for your self. This is not all the information there is on each site, just enough to get you started in your quest!

Good Luck to all and please feel free to share any other info regarding Business Cards in the comments below. All art worked is Copyright and Owned by the respective artists. Please don't copy their work. That would just be wrong! Thanks, k

Friday, November 13, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Totem Poll

Is it Friday already? Wow - time flies when you are making a Sushi Birthday Cake for a friend. I made 5 rolls today, using just under 4 rolls for her cake. She was so excited to be holding dinner in her hands this afternoon when I delivered it!

Wow - Since the day is almost over - this will make for a really fun project this weekend. As soon as I came across this website "The Scribble Project", I knew my kids would love to make their own totem pole! The template is no longer available, but If you cut a regular size piece of paper down to 5" x 11" then you have room for a 5" x 5" square in the center and room on the sides for wings or whatever you wish. From the looks of this Scribble Project website, some of these totem poles were featured in the Anorak Magazine as fun coloring pages! That is so cool! Here's more blogging while the totem poles were being submitted. The links to the template again are not working, but my dimensions look about right....Print on a regular size piece of paper and cut on the dotted lines.

The Scribble Project website is being updated - so I'll be sure to update any links, should the need arise. But in the mean time - have fun making your very own Family Totem Pole. Or a Friends Totem Pole, or a Thanksgiving Totem Pole...wow - the possibilities are endless!!!

I cannot put up the images here without Lisa's permission. If I get permission to post some for coloring, I will. Otherwise, I will post up the ones my girls make this weekend and will be happy to share ones you make as well. I'll post the first 4 that I receive (provided they are appropriate for my website and viewing). Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Chocolate Giggies (No Bake Cookies)

For as long as I can remember no bake chocolate cookies in our house were called Chocolate Giggies. When my oldest brother was very little, he tried to say Cookies - but couldn't - and said Giggies instead! Until I got older, I thought this was a recipe only my family knew about. Boy was I wrong! Now there are white chocolate versions, Soy & Sun butter versions (for the peanut allergic) and so many others.

But today - I share with you, my family recipe:

Ingredients:
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Powdered "Baking" Cocoa
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 lb Butter (not margarine)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch of Salt (optional)
1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter
3 Cups Quick Cooking Oats

Directions:
  • Mix in saucepan: Sugar, Cocoa, Milk & Butter. Cook on medium heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute.
  • After Cooling: Add Vanilla, Salt, Peanut Butter & Oats. Stir well and no licking the spoon! Drop by the spoonfuls onto wax paper and let set for approx. 30 minutes (this is the bare minimum or you can really burn your mouth! - unless you stick a few drop in the freezer then it's only a 10 minute wait!).
  • Grab a glass of Milk and enjoy!
After I make some - I'll be sure to post a picture - but it will have to be a little later (because when I make them, I have to eat some right away like I did when I was little). By the time they cooled off enough to harden, they were already gone. Chocolate Giggies didn't last very long in our house...and they still don't! But I do wait for them to cool so my girls don't burn their tongues like we did...and it teaches them patience (something I have but not very much - for giggies of course!)

Have a great day! Kerry

Monday, November 9, 2009

Busy Monday: Fabric GUESStimation Jar

I've been so swamped that I almost forgot to post something for today's Busy Monday. So on that note - I'm going to post what I've been so busy with today.

My daughter's school is having a book fair this week. With that, they are having a Family Night with refreshments and estimation jars. So we signed up to make a guesstimation jar, and since I have so much fabric, we decided to use fabric strips. I measured it all out and it will end up being just the right size for a kids lap blanket.

It came out so cute that I'm thinking I may have to offer them for prizes or in my etsy shop!!! What do you think of that?

So take a guess - I'm wondering how easy or difficult it may be to figure out how many pieces of fabric are in this recycled plastic applesauce jar. I can't give the jar to the winning guess (since it's for the school), but I will offer 40% off one item in my store to the person that guesses the closest. Winner will be announced next Monday.

Rules:
  • Cannot exceed the number of pieces in the jar.
  • Winning Guess will be exact or closest to the actual number of pieces.
  • If more than one person guesses correctly or ties for the win, the person that posts first will be considered the winner

So post your guesses here...And have a great Monday staying busy and getting your work done!

ps - the painting behind the jar was done by my littlest girl...Elephant (she's almost 5)! She was very excited I used her painting! k

Friday, November 6, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Signing Time

If you've never heard of Signing Time and you have little kids....you're in for an awesome treat!!! While I was pregnant with my first daughter, my sister handed me 3 VHS tapes of Signing Time to use when my little girl was old enough to watch (because she didn't have kids of her own yet). A friend of hers I guess worked with Two Little Hands Production and helped to make the packaging. (may have to verify this since it has been almost 7 years).
When my little girl was only 2 months old, I pulled out the videos to check them out and began signing with her immediately. By the time she was 10.5 months old, she was able to share her first sign "thank you" to show gratitude for something someone had just given her. I was in absolute shock. Next came "bird" when she heard a bird out the window chirping. Then "more". Then "milk"...and the list goes on. She's now at a 3rd grade reading level (maybe higher) and is only in the 1st grade. When my second daughter was born, we didn't wait 2 months and began signing right away. The preschool and Kindergarten school they both attend and attended, have now instituted a signing curriculum because it clearly helps kids with speech difficulties and so much more....and it's just downright fun! I have since purchased all of Series 1 & 2 and the first 2 Baby Signing Time videos. (I still want the others!)

So today for Giddy-Up Friday - I share with you 4 of our favorite friends...Rachael, Alex, Leah and Hopkins. Please check out the Signing Time website. And for fun games, check out this! This is not a paid endorsement - I just LOVE them and had to share! Thanks Rachel, Alex, Leah, Hopkins and everyone in the Two Little Hands family!!!

Happy signing! Kerry

Signing Time, Rachael, Alex, Leah & Hopkins are registered Trademarks of Two Little Hands Productions, LLC

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Sue's Vegetable Sushi

The first time I ever had homemade sushi was at my twin sister Sue's house...so I am naming this for her!

I bought a Sushi Kit at me grocery store and let it sit on my counter for about 3 months. The box made it sound so easy. The images - made it look so easy...but I knew it was going to be so hard! Boy was I ever wrong!!!! Folks - Vegetable Sushi is one of the easiest things to make! So let's get started!
Unless you buy a kit with all the works, you need ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: (Look in the Ethnic section of your grocery store, or near where they may make sushi.)
Sushi Nori - Comes in a pack of 5.
Sushi Rice
Sushi Rice Vinegar (Can be "Seasoned" or not)
Your choice of veggies (I use 2 med carrots, 1 cucumber, and 1 avocado) (makes 4 rolls)
Sesame Seeds
and a Bamboo mat (get some plastic wrap or a plastic bag)

Step 1:
Make the rice according to the directions on the bag or box (for a kit). The best thing to do - is make the rice really earlier than you need it because it needs to be totally cooled off (I prefer doing it the day before). Please stay close to the rice and stir frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. I would very much recommend using a non-stick pan. (Sue says to rinse the rice til the water runs clear. I've never done that - but she's on my speaker phone right now and told me to add that info!)
Step 2:
Once the rice is cooled, measure out your sushi rice vinegar and using a spoon, equally distribute the SR vinegar over all the rice. Fold the vinegar in - so as not to mash the rice grains. (it won't look as pretty!). I don't use as much rice vinegar as they recommend on the bottle - but this is a personal preference.
Step 3:
Set up your veggies. I use a peeler to cut up the carrots, julienne the cucumbers and slice the avocados (I know it's tempting but no snitching!)
Step 4:
The really awesome guy at my grocery store showed me a trick with the bamboo mat. He wraps his up in plastic wrap so he doesn't have to clean it or throw it away over time. I found that plastic wrap annoys me and so I just put mine into a plastic zipper bag. It works just as well!
Step 5:
Split your rice within the bowl so you have equal amounts of rice for each roll. Grab one sushi nori and lay it on the mat. Get a little bowl of water (this is Sue's secret trick!), dip your fingers, grab some rice and spread it out on the sushi nori. Continue to dip your fingers in the water so the rice doesn't stick as much. Again be gentle so you don't mash up the rice grains! Once it's covered, sprinkle some seasame seads on top and then flip it over.
Step 6:
So now your rice will be on the bottom and the other side of the Sushi Nori will be facing up. On one end lay some carrots, cucumbers and avocado. Nori is not squared. Lay the narrow end closets to you and the veggies on that end. As you roll it up, that should be the longer length.
Step 7:
Grab the bamboo and the veggie end, and slowly roll once so the rice from the front, touches the nori. This seals in the veggies. Scoot the bamboo in and squeeze. Roll again and do the same thing. Scoot and squeeze. Continue to do that until it's totally rolled. Once it is, squeeze and roll one last time.
Step 8:
Do not cut it up on the bamboo mat so you don't cut holes in the bag. Lay the roll on a plate and cut the roll in half. Be sure to move the knife back and forth to cut it, not squishing it down to cut, and make sure the seam is on the bottom. Cut each half in half again, and then each of those halves in half!
Repeat steps 5 - 8 to make as many rolls as you can.

Serve your Sushi with Ginger Miso dressing or a Soy Sauce of choice and by all means enjoy!!!

If I forgot something here, leave me a comment...If you try this out, leave me a comment, if you read this, leave me a comment...In other words, fell free to leave me a comment! : )

Thanks! Kerry

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Busy Monday: Contests...Have you entered one lately?

Did you ever realize there were so many creative contests going on today? Have you ever thought to enter one?

My first Contest entry was for the Amy Butler Midwest Modern Fabric Contest back in September 2009. I blogged about it here. And you can see all the entries on the Amy Butler Flickr Pool (starting with page 2 - because that's where my items are!)

It was so much fun - I wanted to do it again. So I've been keeping my eyes open for new contests and decided to share some with you all. These are not all for me and may not be all for you. Everyone has their thing. I think my twin sister could win the baking contests - but not me. I'm more the crafter side. (so is she - but she's really good at baking and making really cool birthday cakes for her boys!). Anyhoo....There are quite a few options here. Maybe one you will like, so check them out, and if you've never entered a contest, give it a try! You just might like it enough to do it again!

Crafters:
Instructables & Singer Halloween - (started last year - ends Nov 8, 2009 - HURRY!)
Craft: Singer Contest Me, My Scarf & I - Ends Nov 22, 2009 only US Residents
Cut Out & Keep - Current contest ends Nov 22, 2009....but they run a monthly contest!
Love to Sew - 6th Annual Love to Sew Quilt Contest - Ends Nov 30, 2009
Michaels: Handmade Holiday - Now thru Dec 20, 2009 (win a trip to NYC & Martha's show!)
Love to Sew - Fashion Design Contest
2nd Annual Vanna's Choice Contest - Ends on Feb 1, 2010
Craftster.org Craft Challenges - Always new Challenges!
American Sewing Expo - Passion for Fashion ending in July 2010; Art of the Quilt ending in Sept 2010
American Sewing Guild - 2010 Creativity Contest

Chefs & Bakers:
Cooking Contest Central - There's always a contest cookin' 'round here!
Pillsbury Monthly Bake Off Contest - November - Easy Party Appetizers
Creative Kids in the Kitchen - A 250 word essay on "how you promote creativity in the kitchen with your kids", Ends Dec 4, 2009
Just Tomatoes (their contests for adults and kids have ended, but they will most likely run again in the future!)

Eco Friendly:
Ready Made Magazine - There are no contests now that I can find, but they often have a challenge in their magazines each month - like what to do with a bunch of used plastic spoons. And the magazine rocks!

☺ Please understand that you should check out ALL of the Rules and Regulations and all of the Terms and Conditions of any and ALL contests you may wish to enter. Please read the fine print and know if you are being asked to sign away the rights with your submission. Kid Giddy is not responsible for any contest you enter and lose as a result of this post...but should you win a contest as a result of this post - please come back and let me know so we can share it with everyone else!☺

Have a great day! And if you know of any other contests, like good Photography or Metalsmithing contests...please post them here to share! Thanks, k

ps...are you following me yet? <------Over there (and up a little ways)! See the Follow box...click it - you'll be really happy you did!

ps again....all the images are Copyright and owned by their respective Companies. Should you wish for me to remove your image from this post, please advise and I will respectfully comply!