Spring Into Cash Giveaway!


Welcome to the Spring Into Cash Sweepstakes!

Spring is in the air!

Today we spent a whole lot of the day outside. Actually, we did the same thing yesterday!  We’ve been locked up in our house for far too long, and I’m excited to get outside and see a bit of sun.  I know the girls are thrilled they can wear shorts again and no coats (but we’ll see how long that lasts.)

We’re waiting for the right time to start planting our garden, grilling out and playing our yard games.  Now that the weather is nicer, I’m also excited to start getting out and doing a bit more geocaching!

What are you excited for this spring? How about a giveaway to get you into a bit of Spring Fever?

We have teamed up with Mom Powered Media, Mamamusing, The World of ContestPatti, Nest Full of New, The Nina Show, Growing Up Bilingual, Memoirs of a Clueless Woman, Faith Filled Food for Moms, Grown Ups Magazine and the MPM blogging networking to bring you this amazing Spring event.

Two lucky winners will each receive a $250 Visa Gift Card.

Giveaway ends April 10th at 11:59pm, open worldwide, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winners outside of the US will receive $250 via PayPal instead of the Visa Card by mail. Complete each task on the giveaway form below to earn entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Blogging From A to Z Challenge: Starts in April 2014!

Alright, I know I’ve been quiet this past month (even my mom asked me where I’ve been online…trust me, it’s been awhile if she’s asking). I’ve been taking some down time to recover from a little bit of blogging burnout, and now I want to use a little more of this visible down time to prepare for some up and coming excitement.

I’ll be getting prepped and ready for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge in April!

A to Z Challenge Calendar

For the challenge I’ll be writing a post every day except Sunday’s. Each post will reflect a topic starting with a different letter of the alphabet, obviously starting at A and ending with Z.  Some bloggers are going with a theme. That doesn’t jive with me. I’m too random for that, so you won’t know what you’re going to get until you get here! It will be fabulous!

Over the past week I’ve been working hard to come up with ideas for both Living a Sunshine Life and Homeschool Antics (that’s right, I’m doing this challenge over there too!).

I can’t wait to share some stories of my past, little tidbits about me now, recipes crafts and anything else I can think of.

It’s going to take a lot of work to complete this challenge for two blogs, so please put your earbuds in and enjoy this elevator music while you wait for the awesomeness to start spewing forth again…oh, wait, I don’t have the tools to set that up.


Well, I guess, check out some of my past posts, come back weekly to grab my random posts I’ll be writing for the next month, and don’t forget to come back on April 1st to see what exciting adventures I’ll take you on.  Who knows, maybe Adventure will be my first post for the challenge?  Guess you’ll have to come back and find out!

If you don’t want to miss out on this please look over there on the sidebar and subscribe by email. Don’t worry, I won’t spam you and you won’t get an email everyday, just a digest weekly with the updates. Super easy, doesn’t take up much space, and you get to have a little sunshine in your email weekly. Nothing beats that! Except pizza, I love pizza…mmmm.

Side tracked again! This excitement is getting to me.

So here’s the run down:

  • Keep an eye out for a few more posts over the next month or so.
  • Come back in April to cheer me on for the A to Z challenge.
  • Subscribe over there on the sidebar so you don’t miss out on the fun.
  • Oh, almost forgot, don’t forget to join in the challenge if you have a blog and want some fun content building motivation!  Let me know in the comments and I’ll head over to cheer you on too!

That’s about it. I can’t wait to share the sunshine with you through this challenge!

Tell me in the comments, what topics you’d love to see me talk about for the A to Z Challenge.

Took a short break, but now I’m back!

I'm Back

Photo courtesy of Sapphire Hills Photography

 I took a few weeks off while the family was sick.  I had food poisoning, then back to back colds. It was bad. Yuck. Gross. Ugh.

I think I’m better now!

While I was away, even though I wasn’t writing, I was thinking.  I was thinking of some new directions I want to take Living a Sunshine Life so I’ll be trying out some things in the coming months to see what fun I can get myself into.

Another thing I did while I was away was to create a new blog!

Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting fun stuff here, I’m not abandoning this blog, just branching out into new things.

I decided that homeschooling is a big part of our life, and I wanted to share some of our homeschooling stories.  At one point I tried to do that here on Living a Sunshine Life and it just didn’t seem to jive. Having a dedicated blog for it will be a lot easier.

Homeschool Antics

If you’d like to check out the new blog head over to Homeschool Antics and cheer me on as I start to build some content. If you’re a homeschooler and don’t want to miss what I share about homeschooling, please make sure you subscribe by email!

That’s it for the update. I just wanted to let you know where I was, and some of the stuff I have coming up.

Thanks for sticking with me and following me! I appreciate you!

What would you like to see on Living a Sunshine Life?  Give me some ideas and I’ll see what I can do to deliver!


Hand Stitched Coin Purse

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post.
I received a sample of the product for review purposes. Affiliate links are included in the content of this post.
Hand Stitched Coin Purse

I will be the first to tell you that I love to sew!  However, when I tell you that, I mean cross stitch, crochet and the occasional felt, latch hook or plastic canvas project.

Sewing bits of fabric together to make a shirt, skirt or even that coin purse up there is not my forte.  I’d show you the train wreck that was Charlie’s little red riding hood cape a few years ago, but I was so mortified at the results that it was hidden far far away in the deepest corners of my basement never to be seen again, and it was never photographed.

Thanks to Wholeport, I received a coin purse sewing kit to try my hand at.

The instructions are in Chinese with step by step photo instructions.  I knew this when I ordered it, but it was still a bit intimidating because I don’t do the whole piecing together thing.

I dove in, and to my surprise it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Sure there were a few moments of confusion, but I worked through them and wound up with a decent looking coin purse. Here are some of the steps I went through to make this cute patchwork coin purse.

Hand Stitched Coin Purse

Cut out the pieces from the pattern included and match them up. There is one outside, one inside and one padded piece for each section.

Hand Stitched Coin Purse

Sew all three pieces together, the two colored pieces facing each other, then the padding on top, leave an opening to flip it right side out.  Once stitched with approximately a 1/4 inch seam, trim away the excess padding to make it easier to flip right side out.

Hand Stitched Coin Purse

Once you have all the pieces flipped right side out, start sewing them together. This was my worst part.  I didn’t have very good seams, and they probably would have looked better if I would have ironed each piece flat before I started putting them together, but hey, hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, start stitching around so it’s a front piece to a side piece and alternate until all four sides have been stitched together.

Hand Stitched Coin Purse

Finally the fun part of attaching the brass clasp. This was the scariest part, but turned out to be pretty easy. I just put a couple of pins in there to help me hold the fabric in place a bit, then backstitched, going over it a couple of times for reinforcement.

I was amazed at how easy this whole project really was, and with some practice I could probably do a much better job.  I think I may have found a new sewing love…even if the instructions are in Chinese.

Hand Stitched Coin Purse

Have you ever hand stitched a project? Something simple like this coin purse, or big like a quilt?  Tell me about it in the comments. 

Cream Cheese Pickle Wrap Dip

Cream Cheese Pickle Wrap Dip

My favorite appetizer ever has to be the cream cheese pickle wraps.

You know those delicious little bites that someone always seems to bring to a gathering.  You take a slice of either thin roast beef or dried beef, slather it in cream cheese, wrap it all around a dill pickle, then slice it up into bite sized servings.

It’s amazing.

It’s one of my favorites.

It’s also a pain to make, so I was always the first to suggest it to someone else, just to make sure it was there, but not by my hands.

I’m excited to say I no longer have to pawn this delicious snack off on others to make, I can now make it all on my own with less mess and all the flavor.

I turned it into a dip.  Chop it, mix it, eat it.  Simple!

Here’s what you do:

Cream Cheese Pickle Wrap Dip


  • 10 oz thin sliced roast beef or dried beef
  • 1 small jar of dill pickles
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream

Chop the pickles and beef into small pieces and place in a medium bowl.  In another bowl mix cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Fold the cream cheese mix into the pickles and beef until combined.

Now you can enjoy immediately or let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.

Serve it up on crackers, crusty bread, on tortillas, topped on a salad or any other creative way you can think of to enjoy it.

This makes a great snack to share at a potluck or small party.


Organization: Getting Rid of the Hot Spot — Before

Organization Getting Rid of the Hot Spot: Before Pictures

You heard me right. It’s time to eliminate the hot spot.  That dreaded space in your home that accumulates paper, clutter, books and stacks and stacks of who knows what.

This is just my accountability to show you how bad it’s gotten.

Here is my desk in the living room (I also have a desk in my office, that one is actually organized).

Organization Getting Rid of the Hot Spot: Before Pictures

Like I said before, it’s a magnet for just about everything. I have homeschooling stuff on there, home office paperwork, crafts, books and more.

One of the first steps in organizing is determining what the problem is.

Obviously the problem is the clutter; but, why is the clutter gathering here, in this specific space?

Answer: This used to be a functioning desk. I had a computer that I used regularly. Since then, the desktop died, after it was fixed I had trouble getting it to hook up to my wi-fi and I gradually moved to using my laptop only. After awhile we got a new desktop which was placed in the new office upstairs. The monitor went up to join it and I was left with a nice big flat surface that had absolutely no purpose.

That right there is the breeding ground for a hot spot and a hot spot it became!

My solution is to do a bit of rearranging with these two spaces:

Organization Getting Rid of the Hot Spot: Before Pictures


Organization Getting Rid of the Hot Spot: Before Pictures

While these two spaces aren’t hot spots, they aren’t entirely perfect for the spaces they are in either.

In the first picture, you see the hall tree that found it’s home in my basement homeschool classroom.  You remember that organizational project I rocked last March, right?  Well, it fits downstairs, but it doesn’t leave much space for a bookshelf, and we really don’t have too much purpose for the hooks on it.

The second picture is our kennel in our family room. When Glory moved in a couple years ago we didn’t have a better place for her kennel. It’s big, blocks the closet and it forces the rocking chair next to it to be in the walking path which affects the flow of the room.

Our plan is to rearrange these pieces of furniture and disperse the paperwork and books into appropriate rooms, then make sure there is a system in place so everything finds a home and doesn’t turn a space into another hot spot.

I think improving the flow of these rooms and giving the spaces a better purpose is really going to help.  Check back in a few days to see the results.  I hope we’re done with this project by then!

What organizational projects do you have set up for yourself this year? Tell me in the comments.

Flattened Toilet Paper Roll Art

I’m so excited to partner with REPREVE in this sponsored post and share with you how to #TurnItGreen!TP craft collage title

In our household we’re always looking for fun and creative ways to reduce, recycle and reuse. After spending hours searching Pinterest (doesn’t everyone do that?) I found some really innovative ways to use toilet paper rolls.

We have a ton of toilet paper rolls saved up.

Here’s how you can creatively use up some of those toilet paper rolls you’ve been saving up for the kids when another pair of toilet paper binoculars just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.

Painting edited

First, paint your toilet paper rolls in any color you want to use for your masterpiece. Lena did purple and orange. Charlie opted for blue, pink and purple. I used green and yellow (my favorite colors). The hardest part is waiting for them to dry before the next step.

flattening edited

Next, flatten each toilet paper roll. Pretty simple. Just press on them, then put a little extra pressure along the edges to give them a slight point when the pop back to shape.

cutting editedAfter they are flattened, cut them into strips. I need a little work on this. None of mine came out the same size.  I suggest, if you want them to be the same width, to measure and mark where you’ll cut them. It will help your finished piece have a little more polished finish.  Here, we like being random.

designing edited

Once all of the pieces are cut out you’ll want to start designing. Play around with the colors and the pieces to see what fun shapes and designs you can make with them. After your design is created, glue down each piece.

buttons edited

After the glue dries add in any other elements you want. We used paint, markers and some extra buttons we’ve stocked up on to finish our creations.

Charlie Complete editedThis is Charlie’s masterpiece.  I love the button she found for the bee’s head. It worked perfectly!

Lena's complete edited

Lena told me her work was a picture of a floor with buttons. I have a feeling she’s going to be some kind of modern abstract artist as she gets older.

My complete edited

Finally, my finished flower.

If you’re looking for another way to be creative in your recycling, check out this video from Repreve about what you can do with plastic bottles:

That’s right this green beanie I’m wearing here:

Was made out of 6 plastic bottles! Just another creative way to recycle.

Want to hear something awesome?

Repreve is celebrating the X-Games by offering up a sweepstakes with a grand prize of $5000! That is seriously awesome!

$5000 REPREVE Sweepstakes entry instructions!

Here’s how it works. Repreve is inviting participants to share how they are turning it green, or how they live their life in a more sustainable way by recycling or reusing materials, by sharing an image or video on Twitter, Instagram or Vine with the #TurnItGreen hashtag.

Once you share the image or video with the #TurnItGreen hashtag you will be entered into a sweepstakes where five entries will be randomly selected as the Top Five. Those five will be voted on by visitors to Repreve.com where the image or video with the most votes will will a $5000 cash prize. The other four video entries will receive a Repreve jacket and Go-Pro camera (retail valued at over $350.)

It runs until January 31st 2014 so get those videos and pictures made and uploaded with the proper hashtags!  Go, go, GO!

$500 Warm Up the New Year Cash Giveaway!

Welcome to the $500 Warm Up The New Year Cash Giveaway!


We’ve joined an amazing group of bloggers to bring you this great giveaway. One lucky person will win $500 cash. I know I could use an extra $500!

The weather around here has been going from the extreme cold back up to spring weather, and back down again. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need  a little motivation to get me moving. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes money can be a great motivator!

Having an extra $500 can inspire me to get a project finished around the house, maybe try out a new hobby, or go on that shopping spree I’ve been meaning to treat myself to.  What about New Years resolutions?  Do you have something on your list that would be so much easier if you had a little extra cash to buy something to help you out, like a new camera for a photography resolution or a treadmill for a weight loss goal.  What about a pay off debt resolution?  I know $500 could make a dent in someones debt!

Spend just a few moments and enter this giveaway, it’s worth the chance at $500, right?

Enter to win $500 cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.

Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.

Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on January 26th, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.

What would you spend an extra $500 on?

What is Nutrisystem Fast 5? Five things you need to know

This post brought to you by Nutrisystem . All opinions are 100% mine.

 photo REQUIREDfast5logo450_zpsebb38c3e.jpg

Do you love Nutrisystem® My Way®?

This has been one of the weight loss programs I've been wanting to try for quite a while, and if you know me, that's huge because I'd much rather cook my own food from scratch and make it as healthy as possible than try to figure out portions, calorie count, etc. 

With Nutrisystem, I've heard great things from other people who have been on it, and with the way the new Nutrisystem My Way program uses science-backed alogarithms to estimate each individuals metabolic rate therefore allowing a more personalized program, it means I would be getting a program that can tell me why it will work for me! 

Did you hear that?


Personalized program!

That's the kind of weight loss program I can get behind!

It's like having a personal trainer right there with me telling me what to eat and how to exercise to maximize my weight loss. It's like an answer to my prayers!

You all know I've tried doing it on my own and I do much better when I have a trainer telling me exactly what to do.  Pair Nutrisystem with my New Year's Bucket List of Get Active activities and I just may find myself staring at a whole new me in a year. 

 photo OPTIONAL2fast5mywaygroup450_zpse9c54eb1.jpg

Now, I haven't tried Nutrisystem, but I also have never been this excited to talk about a weight loss program, either. The more I learn about it, the more I want to try it.

Take this for example, the Nutrisystem My Way Program will start you out with the all new Nutrisystem Fast 5, which is a one week jumpstart kit. So, you get the Nutrisystem Fast 5 as your first week on the program, get absolutely energized with some amazing results right away, then move in to the 28-day program right after it with a feeling of being inspired and motivated! Two of my favorite words!

What's even better?

Nutrisystem is offering the Fast 5 kit FREE with the purchase of a 28 day Nutrisystem My Way program.

In the Nutrisystem Fast 5 kit you'll recieve a weeks worth of meal planning that includes 7 breakfasts, lunches and dinners to help you accellerate your weight loss goals. You'll also receive the all new shakes that have formulas for both men and women.  

I don't know about you, but I think this deal sounds pretty sweet. I think this might be what I was looking for to help motivate me on my weight loss journey. 

Have you ever tried Nutrisystem? Tell me your thoughts in the comments. 

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