Hamilton Beach Durathon Review and Giveaway

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OK…this was a bit strange to me but when Hamilton Beach reached out to me wanting to know if I would review their new Durathon Iron…I said sure, but in my mind I was thinking…what is there to review? You plug it in, it heats up, you iron things. Was I missing something?

I’ve never been an ironing type gal. The dryer was my solution to wrinkles. It absolutely drives my husband crazy. I would be happy leaving all of my clothes in the dryer and turning it on each morning before I get something out. Very dorm room,  don’t you think? But I do use my iron when I’m crafting. I learned that tip from my grandmother. Don’t take the easy fast way out because you can always tell in the end. Don’t be lazy about it.

I think the iron I’ve had –  I got in high school, when my mom refused to iron anything…(I blame her for my lack of pressed clothes). It’s almost embarrassing now to look at it.

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Gross. At least the faceplate shows I’ve used it right??? I haven’t recently because it either leaves brown marks on my clothes or something that looks salty. Regardless…I guess it was time for a new iron.

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Thank goodness I got the Durathon when I did. Honestly when I pulled it out of the box before I even used it, I started laughing because this seemed like such fancy-dancy iron. How had I lived so long without it? An iron I didn’t have to wrap the cord around? Shut up. There is not one thing I don’t love about this iron. Well, I would love it more if it actually ironed without me having to do anything…but that’s a whole other topic.

Seriously…how old is your iron??? It’s not something you ever really think about is it? Hiding in the shadows just waiting for you to dust her off for an amazing craft project, or lord help you…to actually press a pair of pants. Would you love a brand new iron from Hamilton Beach??? Well you are in luck! This is a giveaway!

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To enter all you have to do is : Follow this awesomely lovely blog and comment below or follow and like/comment on my Instagram page @mariannafrances for the Hamilton Beach Durathon Iron Giveaway. One winner will be randomly selected on Saturday March 22nd. Good luck…

February Crafty Things

The funny thing about having a kid is that all of the things you had time for before…don’t exist anymore. I LOVE crafting. Just love it. But with work, school, life and chasing him around…all of that free time for Pinteresty things has somehow vanished. I’m not complaining at all. Just making an observation.

I’m sure I did more than 2 things this month, I sure hope so…but as I was going through my photos…these are the ones that I had.

So one of the ladies I work with is having a baby..(awww….) and it’s a boy! I’m excited about that, just because it means one more play mate for Hucklebaby hopefully. I was elected to make a motorcycle out of diapers. Um…ok… Does she ride motorcycles? No. Someone thought it was cute. Not my first choice but hey..I didn’t have anything else to offer so on my way I went to make an elephant riding motorcycle. (She does like elephants)

After looking at YouTube…where you can find anything…this is what I was able to put together.

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Everyone loved it…well they said the did anyway. Project one done.

Next…Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t going to do anything for the staff at work. I was OK with that. Taking a little well needed break. That is until, the day before Valentine’s, as I was walking out, someone said…”Hey, can’t wait to see what we are getting tomorrow.” Crap.

SOOOO I stopped by Publix and grabbed donut bites. I may or may not have eaten some too. If no one saw me eat them, did it really happen??? :)

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Here is the step by step break down…

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Only putting two in a bag seemed a little cheap looking to me, but three was really pushing it because of the size of the bags.

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The staples were a pain though. My tiny stapler was too small to get all the way down and a full size stapler wanted to smoosh the donut tops. If I were to do this again I would get bags that were bigger and cut them down. That’s my only word of advice.

….and because I was on a role, and I fully believe in sucking up to teachers as much as possible, I printed large signs from Hucklebaby and grabbed Dunkin on the way to work.

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It’s never to early to be a teacher’s pet.

Hucklebaby’s First Haircut — At Disney World

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I’ve been reluctant to cut his hair. My husband has too. I loved his curls and waves. It was different and I didn’t want him to lose them. That was my biggest fear, that after he had his first haircut, all of those curls would be gone.

We had planned to go to The Magic Kingdom with a few friends of ours and randomly upon searching blogs I found something about First Haircuts at Disney. WHAT? There wasn’t really much more information than that. Oh, and that they were only $19. That couldn’t be right for something at Disney??? Way too cheap right?

We had been getting pressure from my parents to cut his hair for months and I knew the day was coming when I was really going to have to do something. So it was either go to some random kids salon to chop it or maybe make it something special. I am ridiculous enough that as I was researching all of the required info, I started tearing up. I couldn’t even talk about it without getting that weird lump in my throat.

Even as we were walking around Disney I wasn’t really sure I was actually going to go through with it. After getting off one of the rides I thought that maybe I would walk over there and just “check it out”. It’s very tiny and a building I had never seen on Main Street U.S.A. If you are walking into the park and looking at the castle, it is off on the left side. Right next to where the parade starts. They had a classic barber pole right outside, I had never paid attention to that either.

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After asking how long the wait would be I knew right then I should have made an appointment. I was also told I couldn’t make same day appointments. I think this is what got me. As soon as I’m told I can’t do something, a switch goes off in me and then I MUST do it. It was a challenge. Hucklebaby was now going to get his hair cut. All of them. (I love that lame hair cutting joke)

As he slept in his stroller…we waited. It wasn’t that bad really…out of the sun and right next to an electrical outlet for our overused phones. We were waiting to hopefully be “squeezed” in between other appointments. While waiting we were able to see the Dapper Dans and the start of the Afternoon Parade. Like I said, we were right by the door where they come out so we had a great view of everything.

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I was about to give up hope when I sent Bill back in to check to see how much longer it might be…and he waved us over. There was a no-show appointment and we were in!!! Now my concern went from us actually getting in… to what if Hucklebaby freaks out?

There was a little boy in the chair before us that was having quite a moment. I’m not sure why I was even doubting the magic of Disney. As soon as he was in the chair he had Mickey stickers plastered all over him…and it WORKED! Genius. After the first moment, my hesitation was gone. I knew his hair was getting cut and I had to hold my breath and see what my kiddo was gonna look like without his long mane.

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I noticed the barber was putting all of his hair on a paper towel on the counter. I had completely forgotten to tell her we were planning on keeping it. But of course she knew exactly what she was doing. All of it happened so quickly. I would say less than 15 minutes for all of it to wrap up. Ears and all. Yes, in the First Haircut package they get ears that say “My First Haircut”. I even grabbed a quick picture of the cabinet with all of the ears waiting for little heads.

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Another surprise was that they wrapped up his hair and put it in a mesh drawstring bag with a Mickey sticker on the inside and Pixie Dust. AKA confetti. He also received a certificate to mark the day. All of this I’m sure is more for the parents than him…but it was something special to me.

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Have OCD? The perfect product for you…

I’m completely serious. Now I don’t have OCD but my husband does. No joke. I thought this was a cool product, not for me… but for him. Before I met him I never knew that there were people that actually repainted scuffs on walls…on a daily basis. It never worried me. Honestly I rarely ever see the places that he says need to be touched up.

All I know is that I would see him go into the garage and pull out the huge 5 gallon paint bucket (I have no idea why he buys the 5 gallon paint bucket) along with what ever brush he wants and starts walking around the house like he is inspecting for something. It honestly looks a bit crazy.

I digress… The perfect OCD product for him is this thing called the Color-Glide Pro. You fill it with whatever paint color you want and that’s it. He walks around with one of these now instead of digging everything out of the garage. It even has a little metal bally thing that mixes up the paint when you shake it.  The great part about all of this is he can grab it when ever his OCD hits and do what he needs to do. He doesn’t have to fill it up each time, or clean it out. It really is an amazing little invention. Honestly I’m not sure how many times I actually walked by it at the store.

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Here is what the top looks like…you don’t need a brush at all, just wipe it on with this…put the top back on and you’re done.

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So there it is…my favorite home improvement product that my husband uses ALL THE TIME!!! Enjoy your Sunday. :)

My Very Own Teeny Tiny Pumpkin Patch

I already started brainstorming what I could get all of the members of my school’s hospitality “club”. Since I am in charge this year…I’m always thinking about what I need to do. ALWAYS. Food seems to be the easy go-to, but teachers are always on a diet. ALWAYS. I thought this could be a cute and cheap alternative. There will be candy and sweets everywhere. Hopefully they will think these are cute. I didn’t make that many starting out because I wanted to see if I actually could make them. 

I bought a little one a few years ago at a craft fair and used that as a guide. You can see him sitting there on my cutting board. I loved the little green stems I made. They looked like a whole bunch of pickles all lined up. That made me smile. I always find pickles funny. No idea why, 

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You can see they are far from perfect…but it was my first time and I can always say it gives them a little character. The only tools I used were my hands, the back of a dinner knife and a chop stick. The back of the knife helped me make the lines in the pumpkins and mouths. I used the small end of the chop stick to make a hole in the top for the stem to rest in before baking.

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One I had them to this point I put them in the oven at 230* for 30 minutes. No, they didn’t stick to the cookie sheet. Just let them cool for a little after you take them out. They should be good and hard. 

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Now for the faces I brushed on red acrylic paint with a paper towel for the rosy cheeks. I used the same small chop stick part for the black eyes. It made a perfect circle and was so much easier than using a brush. Then I used the end of a ball point pen in white paint. (all of the paint was normal acrylic craft paint)

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This is what they look like so far. I still have quite a few ahead of me I need to make this weekend, but I am happy with my start. I’m pretty happy with the cost too. I think it is going to come out around $10-$15 total (plus my oh so precious time) to give cute little hello gifts to 40+ people. 

Hucklebaby’s Book Club September Edition (Better late than never)

I’ve been storing these two books away waiting for our next trip to the beach to post a review…but for some reason we have not been able to make it. Can you believe that? A whole summer month with no trip to the water. That’s what happens when you live in Florida. Life gets in the way. Now it’s mid-October and I must write about these books. 

Who knew Jim Carrey was writing children’s books? Did you know? I didn’t. 

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First of all let me point out that the illustrations by Rob Nason are amazing. Each page is simply beautiful. There is even a special fold-out center fold in the middle of the book to show the main character (Roland the Wave). 

Roland is a wave, who is afraid that once he hits the shore, his life will be over. Pretty deep huh. Not to worry, the book is extremely uplifting. He falls in love with a seagull that loves to get wet and they experience their worst fears (getting to shore) together.

The text on each page keeps little ones interested in what is going on too. Every page has something to grab the readers attention, between the illustrations and text it really is a piece of art. 

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As you guessed, Roland does make it to shore…and there realizes that he is so much more than just a wave. He is the whole ocean. He is much bigger than he ever believed himself to be. He is special. 

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I had no idea until I reached the end of the book that the illustrator actually used pictures of Jim Carrey for the surfer on a few of the pages. After I saw that and looked back at the pictures I couldn’t believe I didn’t connect the dots myself. I love that they included this in the book too. It’s a great example to show how the author and illustrator work together to create a book. 

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On a similar note, Fuzzwippers by Marilynn Halas, is beach themed too. On this one Alexandria and Fuzzany (her very own Fuzzwipper) go on a trip to Hawaii. 

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This book really discusses a character’s feelings page by page. From going on a long trip, to trying a new adventure of surfing. My favorite part of the book is the message from the Fuzzwippers. To sum it up, “Everyplace has an amazing adventure waiting, and learning something new means never giving up.” 

 

The last page also points out that no matter what…YOU ARE LOVED. 

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I’m thinking this could easily turn into a huge series, kids have so many new experiences all the time, the Fuzzwippers can too. In case you were wondering the Fuzzwippers are creatures that reach out to anyone who needs to be assured that they are wanted and needed. You can see by this illustration of the children on surf boards they each have their own Fuzzwippers. It’s almost like the Fuzzwippers are the internal voice of the other characters.  They say the things that the children characters are probably thinking. It’s only easier to have a furry little creature saying it. As Hucklebaby gets older I could see getting those fuzzy pom-poms from the craft store and creating our own Fuzzwippers for him to take with him on a day he might be nervous about something. So he knows he’s not alone and that no matter what, everything will be ok. Every time he feels or see it he knows that he will always be loved. It’s such a great message no matter how old you are. 

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You MUST throw a First Birthday Party…

This weekend was all about Hucklebaby’s 1st birthday. I have a little over a month to get everything together. You see, I wasn’t planning on actually having a birthday party for him. He’s turning one. He won’t remember. I don’t remember mine, and after asking both of my parents…they have no clue if I even had a party or not. I wasn’t too worried about a first birthday… I guess that made me the worst mother in the world.

After a few conversations with different people, I gave in. He’s having a party. Finding a location for a party (not at our house) was more difficult than I thought. Not that I couldn’t find a place, I just couldn’t find a place that wasn’t expensive. Again, it’s his first birthday. I’ll pay more when I know its going to be something he’s going to enjoy. 

We did finally find a location I think will be perfect, at a local park. Nothing too fancy. It was actually the last pavilion left to rent that weekend. Next year I know I have to start my location scouting at least two months out. Is that normal everywhere? Or only in South Florida?

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Now that we have the location, it’s time to start planning decorations. I’m really worried about the weather though. There is nothing I can do to control that so I’m trying to push it out of my mind. I don’t want to be one of those crazy moms that spends an insane amount of money on the party so I’m just going to grab party goodies along the way. 

We had an A.C. Moore open here this weekend so I popped in to see what it was all about. For those of you who have never been, it seems like another Michaels. I’m not sure what their price comparisons are going to be in the long run but I’ve never waited in line that long at any other craft store. I think everyone in town was there. My mom came with me, she loves craft stores as much as I do, so I had someone to chat with while we were waiting. Here are a few of the things I grabbed. 

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I HAD to get paper straws. I’ve been seeing them everywhere, so Hucklebaby will have them at his party. I loved these cupcake liners. Not sure if I’ll use them for his party or just for my next batch. 

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Glitter papers for a few accents. I know I’m going to use lots of bold colors for his theme, so I figured why not. I saw a cool little project on Pintrest with the first letter in your child’s name. I grabbed an H. I’ll make sure to post about it once it is done. 

I also grabbed a few things for me…not sure why I needed them, I just did. 

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I loved this bandana for the color. I used to wear them all the time, maybe I will again. Owl patches, because they are amazing. Beads…I was really drawn to these.

I picked up a few more basic supplies too. I didn’t snap a picture before I put those away. Now I need to get off of the computer and start working on my birthday crafting. :)