Monday, February 21, 2011

My 1st Camera Strap...{Giveaway}

I have seen quite a few camera straps out there
{all of them super cute of course!} 
and I thought it was time to give one a try myself!
For this particular style I used two different tutorials
What do you think of the color choices?
I am in love with grey and yellow!!

Since I think it turn out pretty darn good!
I wanted to give it away to one lucky follower!! 
YAY!!
{It should fit most SLR camera straps :}

Here's how to enter:
1. You must follow BigSis LilSis {one entry}
{If you already are, you're in! Just post a comment letting me know!
if you aren't... no worries... 
just click the follow button on the side bar 
and then make sure to post a comment and let me know!}
*Reminder: make sure to add your email if it's not linked to your profile!!

Extra Entries:
2. Grab my button! Post it in your side bar! {one entry}
3. Go to my Etsy shop,
then let me know what your favorite item is!! {one entry}

So that is a totally of 3 entries!! 
Do all three and up your odds :}

This giveaway will run until 
Feb. 28th @ midnight PST
This is also the last day for my 
Etsy shop SALE!!

A winner will be announced on Mar. 1st!!

***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***

Good luck,
Erica
xoxo



Friday, February 18, 2011

Grab My Button!!


BigSis LilSis has a BUTTON!!
I know, I know it's about time,
but I just thought it was a lot more complicated than it was!
I used a tutorial from here!
So if you don't have a button yet, 
get one, it's easy!!

Oh and grab my button while you're at it!! ;}




blog button


Button happy,
Erica
xo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring is in the Air!


With temperatures hitting the mid 70's last week
and the ground hog predicting early spring :)
I figured it was time 
to add a few Spring styles
to my Etsy shop!

With it raining this week,
I hope these will help you feel like Spring is around the corner!!

This one is my favorite!


Poppies are so pretty!

(Sold Out)
Blue skies and sunshine


Shabby Chic that is!



Spring fever,
Erica
xo





Monday, February 14, 2011

5 Love Languages

This past week I learned something exciting about 
LOVE.
Love 
has it's own language 
and we all understand and interrupt it differently!

There are actually 
Ways that we give and receive 
LOVE!

My hubby and I decided to take the 
and learn our LOVE language!

Here is a run down of the 
5 LOVE Languages
It's fun to read them first to see which one you think you are
and then take the quiz to find out which one you really are!

Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Share the LOVE!
I am offering 
15% OFF 
until Feb. 28th
in my Etsy shop!
Use code LOVE15

Happy Valentine's Day,
Erica
xo

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The VEGAN Challenge: DAY 3 & 4

Day 3
Today was very productive for me,
I decided to try a Vegan Banana Bread recipe
Fresh out of the oven!
Ready to eat and time for the taste test!
It was DELISH!
Even the hubby liked it!
It was pretty basic,
I didn't have any nuts or 70% chocolate on hand,
but it was still super yummy!!
So that was my breakfast :}


Lunch: 
I had leftover veggie marinara spaghetti
Still YUMMY!


Dinner: 
We made black bean and brown rice burritos with whole wheat tortillas.
Wow was that hard to swallow, literally!
It was very bland,
we added non-dairy cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, radishes,
but still pretty plain :{ 
I wasn't really sure how to season it,
so I suppose that was the reason!
But like the hubs said, 
"once it's in your stomach and you're full, 
it doesn't matter what it tasted like!"
Good job staying positive babe!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Day 4
Starting to Break


Breakfast:
Kashi Cereal and light Soy milk


Brunch:
I met friends for a birthday brunch
at one of my most favorite breakfast spots,
and this is when it really starting breaking me!
Watching everyone order their 
Macadamia Nut Banana pancakes,
Raspberry French Toast,
Egg, Toast and Bacon,
all smothered in syrup
and then looking down at my 
measly potatoes and fruit cup
really made me question, "why I was doing this?!"
But I did NOT cheat!


Snack:
 Some people may think Oreos are not Vegan,
but as far as I'm concerned,
 the ingredients don't lie!
And at this point I am losing hope :(


Dinner:
I CRACKED,
I CHEATED :(
We went to dinner at my parents house to celebrate
my Grandpa's 86th birthday!!
Happy Birthday Grandpa!!


I am not even going to tell you everything that I cheated on,
because it is bad, real bad!
I will tell you I had a cupcake with 
vanilla confetti frosting!!
SO FREAKIN' GOOD!!
After missing out on 
ice cream cake on Day 2
I was DONE,
I picked the worst week for this challenge!


So I guess the moral of this story is that 
I GAVE UP! :(
I admit it and I am proud of the almost 4 days I did complete! 
I have learned a lot about food
and feel like I can make better decisions for me and my family.


As for being Vegan,
it's just not for me!
 We plan to reduce our meat intake to a few days a week,
and add some healthier choices,
 like the meat-less spaghetti,
so that will definitely go on the monthly menu!


As for the vanilla Soy creamer,
I will never think it's better than my coffee mate creamer
and since I am not lactose intolerant, 
I will most likely go back to regular milk for my cereal and cookies!


And last, but surely not least,
Nothing compares to
REAL CHEESE!
I LOVE CHEESE way too much
and if you have been to my house,
you know this is true!
American cheese, jalapeƱo cheese, sharp cheddar,
goat cheese, brie, blue cheese, gorgonzola, monterey jack,
the list goes on!!!


Almost everything SUPER delicious has some type of 
DAIRY
in it and I am not ready to give that up!!


But another thing I realized during this challenge,
was that even if I don't eat like a Vegan,
there are other ways I can be Vegan!!


VEGAN SHOPPING!!
{not groceries, but CLOTHES!!}


I was just shopping around on a website I frequent called 
LuLus.com
and found their 
They also have
Pretty cool and cute! 
I have never seen a strictly VEGAN section on a shopping website!
I really wanted this pair
But they are out of my size :(
Love the Cheetah print!

So maybe this will be my next challenge ;}

Happy VEGAN Shopping,
Erica
xo

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The VEGAN Challenge: DAY 2

Day 2:
Went a little better!
Actually A LOT better!!


Breakfast:
Bagel w/ peanut butter {YUM!}
the other half of my grapefruit {also YUM!}
Coffee w/ Silk french vanilla soy creamer {tasting a little better ;}

Lunch:
Peppered Tofurky sandwich w/ mustard, lettuce and tomato 
{I really wanted some avocado, but didn't have any}
This sandwich was so much better than it sounds!!
The Tofurky was surprisingly tasty,
my hubby was totally grossed out by the idea of "Tofurky,"
but if he gave a chance I think he would like it!
Oh and those Veggie tortilla chips are super good too.
The three flavors are: 
spinach & garlic, red beet & onion, tomato & sesame
{thanks for the suggestion Nancy}

Snack:
Apple 
two OREOS
That's right, I said OREOS!!!
My life just got a whole lot BETTER today
when I found this list
*It is still best to check the ingredients listed on these products,
 as some may contain traces of animal-derived ingredients.
I double checked the ingredients on my OREOS 
and I was in the clear!! YUM-O!!

Dinner:
We went over to my In-laws to celebrate my Brother-In-Law's birthday
Happy Birthday Chris!!
There was Sausage pizza,
Ham and Pineapple pizza (my fav)
and Veggie pizza
Now since I am not eating cheese I removed the top and ate
Cheese-less veggie pizza 
Luckily there was salad too!!
Thanks to my MIL I was able to eat :)
BUT...
dessert was a different story 
{and kinda depressing}
I was an ice cream cake,
not just any ice cream cake 
{maybe with a flavor I hated, unlikely}
but with World Class Chocolate ice cream
{my #1 fav)
At this point I am still very strong and not willing to break on Day 2!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After I found my "accidentally vegan" list
I started searching for sites that would let me know 
what specific ingredients I should be looking for that would be 
animal-derived or dairy
helped me with so simple key points from when shopping
Since those ingredient list can sometime seem like a foreign language
Just because it say "non-dairy" or "lactose free" 
doesn't deem it Vegan


Hopefully this will make things a little easier 
for shopping and EATING! 
 It has already made me feel like 
I can actually eat things I have always eaten!!

Liberated,
Erica
xo






Monday, February 7, 2011

The VEGAN Challenge: DAY 1... no winner :(

When someone asks me if I want to hear the 
GOOD NEWS
or the
BAD NEWS
I usually want the GOOD first
because then I can be authentically HAPPY about it!
If I hear BAD news first,
 then it just puts a damper on the GOOD news :{
So with that being said I will tell you about my
1st DAY
on the VEGAN Challenge!

Here was the menu for the day,
{from Good to Bad}

Dinner:
SO GOOD!
Whole wheat linguine, pasta sauce with a rainbow of veggies!
a little side salad with my favorite oil based dressing!
I was so excited to end the day with such a delicious meal!!
My secret ingredient: 
add a little brown sugar to the sauce 
to help cut out some of the acidity!

Breakfast:
Kashi Go Lean cereal w/ light Soy milk
and a half of a grapefruit!
This was a decent breakfast, 
but I really couldn't stop thinking about 
how much I wanted a homemade egg mcmuffin!
As I sat down with my girls to eat breakfast,
Cadee with her waffle and syrup!
I looked at mine and thought,
OMG! This is what it feels like to be on a diet!!
The cereal was fine, 
it just tasted like puffed rice 
and granola clusters with a hint of cinnamon. 
The soy milk was interesting, 
kinda sweet and not white, 
that's what surprised me most.
The grapefruit was delicious, the perfect sweet and sour!
I also had some coffee with SILK french vanilla creamer 
and that is definitely going to take some getting used to, 
from previously using Coffeemate creamer. 
I was bummed to find out, 
that just because Coffeemate creamer 
is "non-dairy" and has "no lactose,"
is unfortunately NOT VEGAN :{

Lunch:
UGH! Kill me now!
The soup was so BLAH!
I have had other brands of lentil soup and really liked it,
at this point going Vegan is not looking promising :{
I usually like a little bread with butter when I have soup,
to dip it in and just cause butter is so tasty!
This "faux" buttery spread,
is also going to take some getting used to,
it's definitely NOT butter!
Salad was my favorite part!! ;}

So I think today was 45% successful!



Oh and unfortunately,
I still have the WORST news :{
We didn't get enough pledges 
to take the challenge 
so, I can't do the giveaway!

BUT,
I do have a little surprise up my sleeve for tomorrow,
here is to hoping it turns out well!


Day 1 COMPLETE,
Erica
xo




Sunday, February 6, 2011

Last Chance...

...to get on board for 
and to be entered into the giveaway!

As of now we have very minimumal entries :(
and to offer the giveaway we need at least 5 people
to say "I am taking the one week VEGAN challenge!"

So hurry and take the pledge!

I did my grocery shopping today 
and it was a very interesting experience,
I have to say I probably looked completely out of my element!
I felt lost and really had no clue what I was doing,
but I did end up with some things to make some edible meals ;)

Monday's Menu
Breakfast: Kashi cereal and Lite Soy Milk
Lunch: Lentil Soup and salad
Dinner: Whole wheat linguini with veggie marinara

I am going to do my best to post each day 
to let you all know how the meal went!!

As for tonight, I will be eating junk food ;) 
{just kidding, well maybe just a little won't hurt}




Going Luck,
Erica
xo




Friday, February 4, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Thank you to Melissa @ Mason Bay 
and
for my very first blog award!
I was so excited when I got not just one award but two!!
You are so sweet!!

To Accept The Award you must:
1.)Thank and Link Back to the Blogger Who Awarded You With
2.)Share 7 Things About Yourself 
3.)Award 12 Recently Discovered Great Bloggers
4.)Contact The Bloggers Inform Them of The Award

7 Things about me you may not know:
1.) I am petite and just under 5 feet at 4' 11"!
2.) I married my high school sweetie
3.) I have a bachelors degree in Sociology
4.) I am a SAHM and most days I stay in my pjs all day ;)
5.) I used a sewing machine for the first time only a year and a half ago.
6.) Taking the Vegan Challenge
7.) Love my life!!

12 Recently Discovered Great Bloggers:


Feeling Stylish ;),
Erica
xo


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The VEGAN Challenge...{GIVEAWAY}

So, if you missed the episode of Oprah yesterday on 
"Harpo's Vegan Challenge"
check out a preview here 
and the run down of what took place here

Since I am turning 30 this year! 
Yup that's right the BIG 3-0!!

I have been thinking a lot about how to get myself healthier 
and live my best life!
I am beginning to see the fine lines around my eyes a little more, 
having a few extra aches in the morning when I get out of bed, 
a lack of energy and just an over all need to feel healthy!

A lot of people make New Year's resolutions 
to get in shape and diet,
but have never been one to feel like I needed to diet or exercise.
Now after having two kids and approaching a pivotal age,
I can definitely sense a change in my body 
and I am not really liking it!

SO...
time to make some changes,
I have decided to take the 
and see how my body responds!

What is a VEGAN? 
A type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs 
and dairy products 
and all other animal-derived ingredients.
Did you know?...
 *Americans eat nearly 10 billion animals in a year.
*The average American's yearly meat intake is 
70 pounds higher 
than it was a century ago.
*Research has shown that non-meaters tend to 
live 6-10 years longer 
than meat eaters.

For more info, check out the FAQ's

I would love it if others would join me and keep me motivated!
I know this isn't going to be easy 
and I may get a little cranky at first {sorry hubby}
and
I can't guarentee that after this I will be 
100% Vegan or meat free.
But...
I just think it is important take charge of my eating habits now,
in order to be a good example for my girls!
I want to show them how to be more conscious 
about what goes into our bodies,
and where our food comes from!

For those of us {meaning myself} that have no idea 
what we are getting into
here is a sample vegan grocery list of items 
to get us started!!


As a little incentive to my readers
that want to take this challenge with me, 
if I get at least 5 people to do this with me
I will be giving away a copy of Kelly Freston's book
to one lucky challenger!

where she gives you meal planning ideas
and alternatives to meat like this...
Instead of spaghetti with meatballs,
Try spaghetti with veggie meatballs (found in the grocer's freezer)
Instead of pizza with sausage,
Try pizza made with Daiya cheese, veggie sausage 
or mushrooms and a whole grain crust

Instead of chili with meat,
Try chili with three kinds of beans and veggie meat crumbs

So if you are up for the challenge 
Here are the rules to enter:
We will start the challenge Monday, February 7, 2011
{I want to give you some time to prepare :}
and it will end Sunday,  February 13, 2011
Comment on this post: 
"I am taking the one week VEGAN CHALLENGE!"
For extra entries:
1. Come back and check in 
by commenting on how it is going for you! 
{you can comment everyday of the challenge}
2. Become a follower of BigSis LilSis 
{If you already are, thank you, and let me know!}


3. "Like" BigSis LilSis on Facebook


VERY IMPORTANT:
Make sure to leave me an email contact. 
If I cannot contact the winner, I will have to pick again 
and that would be a bummer!


Remember:
We need at least 5 of us for me to do the giveaway!
So tell your friends and see who is up for the challenge!!




***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***

Veganist {for a week},
Erica
xo







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