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Blogger Girlies and Blogger Dudes I would like to gather the masses for a FUN summer giveaway HOP:) All I ask is you giveaway your favorites summer must-haves! This is a beautiful time to get creative, share, and have fun simultaneously! Everyone will be responsible for putting a giveaway together chocked full of summer goodies:) Your Host Spunky Real Deals will be giving away a double LUSH handmade cosmetics duo for SUMMER featuring Ocean Salt face/body scrub and Sea Spray Hair Mist! The lovely Co-host is Sarah McDougal at Enjoying the Epiphany{the name rocks my world}!

Join the Summer Fun Giveaway Hop! Here's how:

1.) Blog about the opportunity in your own words. Please use the top photo in your post. Share via your social networks and we shall have a successful HOP!

2.) Grab our button to promote the HOP:)
Spunky Real Deals
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3.) Join the Facebook Group:) This is vital so we can communicate!

4.) Add your blog to the linky so I know you are on board!


SHOP Annie Sloan Chalk Paint/// Annie Sloan The BLOG
Please note that Annie Sloan has US carriers for her Chalk Paint! You do not need to buy from her overseas. Use Google OR Annie's website to search your local area!;-)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint can work miracles inside and out. I am going to give you tips and a vlog tour of my kitchen that will give you that extra confidence boost to get it done! How do you paint your kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? First pick your color here. The combinations are endless! You can stick with one color or layer different colors. Then you should consider whether you want that aged look with the dark wax! It took about three coats of chalk paint to completely and solidly cover my cabinets. I then used clear wax to seal with two to three coats. I finished with dark wax to give it that aged look and it also happens to hide dirt impeccably! After choosing your color please wash the dirt off your cabinets. A clean surface makes for a happy painted surface:)

If you have never used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint before here is what you need to know. 1.) You need to thin it out occasionally with water while you are working with it{Did you add too much water? Just let it sit and it will thicken up again}. 2.) Annie Sloan Chalk Paint should never be difficult to use. If it is becoming hard to paint with just add a little water. 3.) Use a separate container when painting and do not add water to the can{OR mold will ensue}. 4.) The paint stretches far! Two quarts of Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint covered all my cabinets! 5.) Seal up your chalk paint can well when finished. Nothing is sadder than having a project with dried up chalk paint:(

Ready to paint? Open the lid and give it a stir. When you first open the chalk paint the consistency is usually spot on. Pour your chalk paint into a separate container. Annie Sloan recommends a stiff brush and she also has a wax brush. Buy the wax brush. For your first layer keep it thin and cover the area. It does not have to be pretty, but keep your brush strokes even and going in the same direction. You will see brush strokes so just continue until you have the coverage you want!

Clear before dark wax. After your paint is dry you can take your wax brush or a clean cloth and rub a thin layer of wax into your piece. Can you use a different wax? NO! Annie Sloan is a system so use it together. Let the wax dry 12 to 24 hours in between coats. How can you tell when there is enough wax on your piece? You can buff it to a shine...period. Less wax is better than too much, err on the side of caution. Dark wax side note: A teeny bit of dark wax goes a long way, but if you use too much do no fret! The clear wax will remove any excess:)



Napoleonic Blue: Mystery Solved!
Napoleonic Blue is alive and well! It was back-logged for awhile and that is why I thought it had disappeared from the line up. The Truth: Napoleonic Blue is here to Stay! Thank you Celeste at Sweet Clover and On a Whim.





FAQs about Annie Sloan Chalk Painted cabinets

How many cans of paint did you use? Submitted by ljuleeahl
Response: I barely finished with two cans. I used two to three coats per surface. I bought a third can for touch-ups. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint really goes a long way!

Can you scrub them without the paint coming off? I'm wanting to do a shade of white which shows all the grease splatters and such. Expect though too that the wax would make for a decent barrier. Submitted by Snookoed.
Response: If you wax your cabinets well with 2 to 3 thin layers of clear wax washing your cabinets is of no worry. You should keep them clean and dry. Natural cleaners work well for clean up. Never use harsh cleaners! They will strip the wax quickly and you will find yourself re-applying wax more frequently. I use warm water with 1 to 2 drops of lavender. essential oil.

Would it be possible to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for laminate kitchen cabinets? How do you clean the brushes or paint? just with water? Submitted by Emma.

Response: You can use Annie Sloan on anything! If you have a slick material such as laminate or glass apply a very thin layer just to establish your base. The second coat will really stick then:) To clean the brushes warm soapy water will suffice. I also will use a natural makeup brush remover or a small amount of olive oil to break up the brush gunk!




*Sprout Organic Foods sent me FREE samples. All opinions are mine.
Visit Sprout Organic Foods////LikEM on Facebook

Sprout Organic Foods has some *NEW* fruit and veggie Toddler Snacks that you will want to check out for your kiddo{and yourself}. Sprout Organic Foods sent me and my boys some samples to nibble! First we sampled some Sprout fruity yogurt bites!

The boys cannot get enough yogurt in their systems! When we are on-the-go the Sprout yogurt bites are perfect:) They dissolve quickly, BPA-Free packaging, and no added sugar{all good with mom}. The boys were so adorable I felt a video was appropriate. My eldest certainly has a future in the marketing sector. On to the Sprout crispy chews!

These were incredible! They remind me of a fruit snack, but then they have the crispy rice throughout! The texture is mind-blowing! I am not sure who likes them more the boys or ME! We tried all the flavors, but the Tropical Fruit & Pumpkin was my favorite out of the lot. I hope you enjoyed this Sprout message.....Toodles!:)

Are your Toddlers hungry for delicious Organic Treats? It's giveaway time!;-)
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Hungry? GrohNola is giving away some handcrafted granola{06/04;US}! Enter here:)

Breakfast gets monotonous! Breakfast, however, is my favorite meal of the day due to the possibility of a highly creative savory or sweet dish! For instance, take the savory route and explore some huevos rancheros OR take the sweet route with an "Ooey Gooey" cinnamon bun. So much flexibility and possibility with breakfast, but somehow we wind up with a Egg McMuffin. Okay, no more breakfast preaching;-)

This beautiful Tuesday morning I decided to create a french toast fusion with bananas! If you want an intense banana flavor just let the batter percolate in your fridge for about an hour. If a light banana flavor is all you desire simply add the finely chopped banana to your batter and pan fry immediately! The final product is not very pretty, but it is pretty darn yummy!

Banana French Toast {Recipe Serves 3 to 4 people}

Batter Ingredients:
Banana {Medium-sized and finely chopped}
2 eggs
Splash of whole milk
Lots of cinnamon!
1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Combine the ingredients below for your batter. Heat a pad of butter in your pan on MED heat. Slice some day old french bread thickly. Make sure you smash the bread slightly in your batter on each side making sure your banana bits stick! Pan fry your battered bread on medium heat until golden brown on each side. Caramelizing Bananas{optional}: Thickly slice bananas and pan friend until golden brown. Just a spoonful of sugar and butter needed!!;-)


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*This natural bug-repelling rose bush concoction is mine, but I got some ideas from ehow.com

The aphids are coming....they're HERE! These jerks are sucking the life out of my gorgeous English rose bushes! They are even starting to look slightly yellow:( Well, I just could not take it any longer. I have a natural concoction for you to use before resorting to harsh chemical sprays. After two weeks I am seeing signs of healing, growth, and no aphids! Something is still munching, but no visible pests.

First thing first is to find a heavy duty spray bottle. I used an empty Method dish soap bottle, because it had geyser tubing to help prevent clogging. Natural ingredients that bugs dislike: cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic, clove, a dash of a gentle soap{ivory for example}, and olive oil. A dash of soap or olive oil is important for adhesion purposes. You want the yummies to stick for those pests to munch!

Apply once to twice a week and be sure to get the underside portion of your rose leafs! Problems with moles or other soil creatures? Dribble the solution around your bush to help repel them! IMPORTANT: If it rains be sure to apply another coat of your natural concoction. Check out the vlog below for more information and to see this method in LIVE action!;-)
 
Naturally-sourced Bug Spray for Roses Recipe

Water 2 to 3 cups
Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Ivory Dish Soap 1 tsp
Garlic 2 to 3 tbsp {whole, chopped, or powder}
Black Pepper 1 to 2 tbsp
Tea Tree Oil 1 to 2 drops

 
Happy Aphid Hunting my Friends!!!!;-)

*I got jack-shit for writing this post////Visit FPFTraining.com////Like'EM on Facebook

"No cowboy shit. Real Shit" ~Heather P.{me} 

My freedom-loving heart could not wait to write this post. My husband finally got me out to Culpepper, VA to take John Murphy's Concealed Carry for Self Defense class{CCSD} at FPF Training. My husband took this course several times before and highly recommended both the class and him. My husband is a former Army Infantry Sergeant whom served in the Iraq campaign. He is picky as hell about his guns and instructors. That being said, I was truly nervous about taking this course.

The last time I shot a pistol was months prior to the course. John is a foul-mouthed former Marine Sergeant, but he immediately put me at ease. He tailors the firing drills to "your" personal training level. The class skill level ranges from those who have never handled a firearm to military/police level persons. Many women were in the CCSD course, which rocked my world! Many of the folks who took the course with me were repeat customers{always a good sign}. This course, however, is about more than self defense shooting and concealed carry.

We did an abundance of class time talk that revolved a great deal around mind set. The consequences and responsibilities associated with carrying a firearm are also covered in-depth. John makes you consider the entire spectrum. The Sergeant in John Murphy comes out periodically, but his passion is clear you are training for your potential survival. I left the class with increased confidence in my gun handling skills. My husband and I are already planning to take FPF Training's Advanced Concealed Carry Tactics{ACCT} course next year! See you next year boys!;-) Also, stay-tuned for a video or two courtesy of my bad-ass father-in-law:)
*Old Whaling Company sent the blueberry bar soap for the sole purpose of this review. Opinions are mine.
SHOP//Old Whaling Company

The "American Dream" can be tenderly and lovingly found in April Lee McCarty and the Old Whaling Company. We all dream about the day when we can look at our children and say this is yours:) April started her Organic soap company after finding out her son had eczema and was seeking a different road from that of pharmaceuticals. Blessed that I am to show off her lovingly handcrafted  and Organic soaps for you all today!


Blueberry ah blueberry, so sweet and certainly a summertime treat for all! Old Whaling Company has created a delectable blueberry soap treat for your skin! I cannot tell a lie:) When I opened the door to retrieve my package from Old Whaling Company all I could smell was blueberries emanating from the front door! So eager to lather it up:)

*Sniff sniff* The blueberry scent is intoxicating! The soap is very moisturizing and the tiny blueberry seeds make for a light-relaxing exfoliation:) So pleased.

Who is ready for a boo-berry-tiffic Old Whaling Company giveaway? a Rafflecopter giveaway
*North Coast Organics sent me some spray lotion for this review. All opinions are mine.  
VEGAN**NO ANIMAL TESTING**SHOP North Coast Organics

North Coast Organics is my break-out small business of 2013! They have amazing high-quality, organic, vegan, cruelty-free products. My hippie dream come true! Now I have a *NEW* North Coast Organics product to share posing with "no name" just scary medieval imagery. Behold! This is the symbol of the ultimate moisturizing weapon! I used this effective all-natural spray lotion for an entire month. My skin says, "Thank you North Coast Organics for creating a tried and true moisturizing weapon!";-)

The 100% Organic ingredients include five different amazing oils that absorb into your skin within seconds. NO Greasy mess just moisturized skin. Lemon is the first scent that hits the olfactory senses following a light herbal finish. Pleasant and not overpowering. Once a day application is liberal enough to achieve moisturized skin for 24hrs! Perfect for dry and sensitive skin: both of which I claim:)


Ingredients (*Vegan and 100% Certified Organic): Coconut Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Olive Oil*, Safflower Oil*, Jojoba Oil*, Flower Waters* (Lavender, Lemon Balm, Rose, and Calendula), Mace Essential Oil*, and Rosemary Antioxidant*

Other North Coast Organics Reviews:
Wanna try Death by Lavender deodorant?! Read the review here! 
Wanna try LSQ & W.M.D Organically-Vegan lip balms?! Read the review here!

The Ultimate Moisturizing Weapon awaits you! Wanna Win some North Coast Organics?
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SHOP Thrift Shark//////Like'EM on Facebook//// BLOG Subliminal Street Goth

I am pretty sure this is the raddest, hippest, cutest thrift shop I have found online to date. I literally want everything in the shop:) The vintage clothing featured at Thrift Shark throws all the stigmas you have about vintage clothing out the window! Thrift shark has high fashion, on-trend, and classic vintage clothing and accessories to snag for your closet.  My excitement can hardly be contained, but allow me to calmly go through my very favorite items they have for sale currently at the Thrift Shark!
Grunge Gypsy 90's Aqua Pencil Skirt

Snake Charmer Bracelet 1940's

Mermaid Gypsy 1960s Floral Maxi Dress

Okay all you 90's grunge lovers, gypsy's, and hippies{why not?} ready for a vintage lover's giveaway with the Thrift Shark? Shop Thrift Shark now and use discount code: GRUNGE at checkout for 10% off your order {valid until 05/31/2013}. a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post is for amywaltz.com. I received a gift for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine.

SHOP Amy Waltz Designs////Lik'em on Facebook
I would love it if wearing a piece of Amy Waltz Designs jewelry would lend you to think a little more positively, respond to yourself with a little more heart, cause you to smile more and walk a little more gently on the Earth, treat yourself and others in a gentler, kinder nature, trusting your great and wonderful purpose in this life ~Amy Waltz
Amy Waltz is the passionista and creator behind Amy Waltz Designs{AMD} jewelry. Amy is beaming with a positive light that without a doubt transfers into her boho chic jewelry and accessories. Love boho? Are you a hipster? She has your personal number;-) AWD is textured, earthy, and bright pops of colors as featured in her upcoming Spring 2013 line! Amy's bangles and cuffs are delectable candies for your eyes, wrists, and ears{you get the picture}. AWD has something NEW & leathery for the purse addict in your life! Like the incredible texture of fringe?

Here she is! A smoking-hot leather fringe purse! Can you handle the heat on this one;-)

Mother's Day Alert:) Amy Waltz has the perfect personalized Mama's Day gift for you. Run & tell that hubs! He will be very appreciative and you will get exactly what you want;-) I know that I did! Thank you Amy Waltz...shine on indeed!
Who is ready to *squeal* with delight and enter to win a $75 Gift Certificate to Amy Waltz Designs?! Try to contain yourselves and form a virtual single line to enter via rafflecopter;-)
 
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Do not forget to enter the Mum's Day LUSH giveaway!

The news has been plastered with the recent recovery of three missing teens in the Cleveland, Ohio area. They were being held captive right down the road from their homes for nearly ten years! The women were ages 14, 16, and 19 at the times of their disappearances. They are in good physical health according to news reports. One now has to wonder what is in store for these gals. The nightmare is far from over. It has just begun. NO education, limited support systems, and a six year old child(presumably for Amanda Berry). The whole story made me think back to my childhood and about my own children. How do you introduce this sensitive "stranger danger" subject?

Children should know that both good and evil reside in the world. I recall as a young child there was a children's book that really stuck with me on this particular subject. It was the Berenstain Bears book learn about strangers. Inside they compare two different apples as a way to convey that looks can be deceiving. Sister bear shows Mama bear a lumpy apple, which Mama bear cuts open to reveal a perfect apple. She also shows Sister bear a perfect-appearing shiny red apple. The inside of this apple was full of worms. How can we best protect our children from predators?

Educate them. Talk with them. Abduction is not an option. Do not be taken to a secondary location no matter what. Scratch, bite, and fight to the death(if necessary). Predators want a lamb, not a lion. Who knows what will happen once you are safely tucked away. Some things(in my mind) are worse then death. Above all my children must learn to listen to themselves. Listening "to the whisper" is what ultimately saved my life.

I was four houses down from mine when a strangers car pulled up. He rolled down his passenger car window and without a word wagged his finger suggesting I come closer to the vehicle. My heart sunk and a tiny voice in my head said RUN! The moment I took off the man did too....peeling tires and never to be seen again. Adrenaline was coursing and I ran the whole way to my destination(my best friend's house).  I was 14 at the time. The man was never caught.

*These are personal stories and feelings that you may not share. I wish to hear how you feel about stranger danger. What do you tell your children?
Welcome to the "Super Grad" giveaway event sponsored by Tip Hero. This event features some truly fabulous bloggers{like moi}. This season brings fresh faces to the work force of America: our college grads. After all their hard work and late night study sessions they deserve something special! You could buy them something OR you could win them a $100 Amazon gift card to buy a sweet present for your grad! If you are feeling lazy you can just give them the Amazon gift card. If you are feeling selfish you can buy a little something for yourself and your grad too! So many options, but you have to be in it to WIN it!

This giveaway starts on May 7th and will run until May 21st at 11:59pm US Eastern time. It will be open to residents of the US only, 18+. Use the PromoSimple form below to enter. Come back daily for even more chances to win. Good luck lovas!

$100 Amazon Gift Card
Be sure to enter my foodie GrohNola giveaway{US;06/04}

My dental x-rays could surely tell you that I heartily enjoy sweets! My baked goods style of cooking revolves around simplicity. Simple, classic, that ultimately saves you time! Time is something everyone could use more of:) For the sake of father time, I give you the nitty-gritty basic cooking details. I am not a chef. I am more of a freelancer. The first recipe I will share with you this week is my, "I'm desperate for cinnamon rolls, but I do not want to drive to a bakery or put forth much effort"*smiles* Gotcha covered;-)


Things you will need:
Bread Dough
Cinnamon
Sugar
Butter
Apple {optional}
Small baking pan or cast iron skillet for baking

This was a rainy day craving, but it still takes a few hours for the dough to rise. I pulled out some frozen store bought bread dough and placed it into a bread pan to rise. After the dough has thawed and risen REMOVE from the pan onto a clean, dry surface. Use your hands and press to flatten out the dough{FYI: keep the dough long{rectangular}, because you will have to roll it back up}. MELT butter and rub all over the dough. APPLY liberal amounts of sugar and Cinnamon. ROLL the dough up and you will have your cinnamon roll log. CUT 3/4" thick segments off and place them into your PAN{makes 7 to 10 rolls}. I also tucked some APPLE slices on the sides for cinnamon-apple aromatherapy, but they were also delicious! Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top! Icing is truly optional. Enjoy my sweet-toothed lovas!:)
Grohnola sent me some Grohnola for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

SHOP GrohNola////Follow on Pinterest///Lik'em on Facebook

Welcome to our Grohnola Party! Sam Groh is the owner of the wholesome, handcrafted granola company adorably named Grohnola in his honor:) My boys are down for parties anytime, mostly because it involves food;-) Our Grohnola Party consisted of three better granola flavors: Sour Cherry, Chocolate, and Honey Ginger. Dig in boys!
Grohnola is wonderful with yogurt, but we could not resist nibbling with our fingers. A satisfying crunch with every bite. You can taste all the love that went into each nook and cranny. The boys claimed the Chocolate Grohnola{with the perfect amount of chocolatey taste} and I the Honey Ginger{fresh with ginger & sweet with honey}. Love the Sour Cherry Grohnola, but I found myself digging through the bag specifically to pick the sour cherries out;-) Someone else loved our Grohnola Party too!
The ants happily carrying away some Grohnola remnants! Ready for a Grohnola Party Giveaway?


What some Grohnola? Check out these DC area locations!
Pleasant Pops – 1781 Florida Avenue NW,  Washington, D.C. 20009
Seasonal Pantry – 1314 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Union Market – 1309 5th St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002 (Second row in front of Taco Rean)
Glen’s Garden Market – 2001 S Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20009 – Opening on Sunday, April 21st


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