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Posted by Felicia
Friday, April 23, 2010, under
Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to make a poster and you had no idea where to start? You want to make something special that will leave a lasting impression, but all you can think of are the basic stencils and glued on paper? Or maybe you just want to create something simple that will last. I was recently contacted by a representative of ArtSkills and they asked if I would be interested in doing a review for them. Of course I hopped on the idea! I love reviewing items to see if they are truly worth the money and time so this fits in perfectly with me. :) Now, mind you, I am not very "crafty"(which you will see later, lol), but it sounded fun all the same!
ArtSkills was founded in 1987 in Easton, PA. We are a family owned company with a commitment to bringing quality and innovative poster making and art materials to our customers. Originally ArtSkills designed and developed Draw Today and Paint Today, drawing and painting programs, which allowed anyone to learn to draw and paint with no prior skill at all! They also are the only art programs in the world that have a money back guarantee, if you are not absolutely thrilled with your artwork.
Today at ArtSkills we make a wide range of art materials. We specialize in posterboard accessories, including poster markers, poster lettering, and decorative items to make your poster board projects better, faster, and easier!
It is our goal to be your source for everything you need to make a poster! We value the trust our customers put in us and continue to strive to bring new and innovative poster products and ideas to you. We know this image may be all too familiar to you... we are here to help!
A few great links on their site: Poster Basics-Learn the basics on making a great poster Poster Wizard- Free guide to help you create a poster in 10 minutes Poster Contests- Sign up to win with the poster of the month-3 different age groups! Gallery- Great poster ideas can be found here
My Review- When I received the box from ArtSkills, I couldn't believe all that was included! To start, the book they have included is AMAZING! I am definitely saving this and it will really come in handy when my kids enter the school age! It has 100+ project ideas, 50 poster design layouts, and tons of tips and tricks for making your best posters ever. It even has an Emergency Poster Guide for when you only have an hour to make one!
Those Poster Flashes actually FLASH, so talk about a couple toddlers in heaven! I bet those would really get some attention on yard sale signs or in a classroom project!
Before the box arrived, I had decided on what I was going to do. I have two toddlers, 2 and 3 yrs, plus I babysit my niece on occasion, who is also 2 yrs. I wanted to create something that they all could enjoy and learn from. I was going to make an ABC learning board and a number learning board. Little did I know that once the kit arrived, all I would need was a poster board and a little time!
So, here is what the kiddos and I created(the kits included glue sticks and the little ones had a BALL with that!):
1st we started with a BRIGHT yellow poster board(I knew the kids would like that!) and I placed the Holographic Quick Letters on the board. It was the best way to make them even and they have a little sticky on the back, like a post-it, so they won't move on me until I have found their permanent spot. I then went back through and used the glue stick to stick them for good.
As you can see it was already a hit with my son, lol. I thought it still needed a little pizazz so I checked out some of my other options and came up with some cool borders. I let my little man choose and he said he loved the red "spikey" border(haha). So, red spikey border(Fun Borders) it was! After I glued that on I let him and my Ladybug choose an eye-catcher shape of their choice to stick on, to add their own little touches.
I thought it all came together very nice and simple and they were pretty proud of their BIG project!
Next, I wanted to do something to help them learn to count. I used the Holographic Letters again and took the numbers out that were included in it. I spaced them out with the post-it backs and then I used the Eye Catcher Shapes to put something on the board for counting, after all they need something to count to help them learn! I also used the Fun Borders to cut up for some more fun shapes. I went back through and glued all of these on and came up with this:
I know we had a lot of fun creating these two "masterpieces" and we have so many supplies left to make more! So whether your kids have a school project coming up, you have toddlers eager to learn like me or just a yard sale in the future- ArtSkills will help you get it done and have just what you need to make the best poster!
What is up for grabs: The Easier, Faster, Better Posters Prize Package (est. value $50)
How to enter:
You MUST be a follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect to win
Please leave a comment telling me about a poster horror story you have or what you would make if you win this prize.
Extra Entries-AFTER you have completed the mandatory entry:
Leave a comment for each entry you do
1. Follow ArtSkills on Twitter & leave a username-1 entry 2. "Like" ArtSkills on Facebook-1 entry 3. Follow me on Twitter & leave a username-1 entry 4. Tweet about this giveaway & leave me a link- 2 entries
"Win a $50 @ArtSkills Prize Pack on SAHM Frugal Finds and Reviews! http://bit.ly/ckNdCr ends 5/1 #SAHMFrugalBlog"
5. "Like" this blog on Facebook- 1 entry 6. Grab my button & leave me a link-3 entries 7. Blog about this giveaway & leave a link-4 entries
That is a max of 14 entries!! Don't forget to leave me with a way to get in touch with you by email.
This giveaway is open to the US only
Good luck everyone!
Contest ends Saturday, May 1st, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will use random.org to choose the winner. Winner will be contacted on May 2nd and will have 48 hrs to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Product was provided in exchange for review, butall of the opinions and experiences are all my own. I only do honest reviews on my blog.
Based in Boston, CSN Stores LLC began in 2002 and has grown rapidly into a Top 3 online U.S. retailer of home and office goods with 400+ employees. Beyond providing unparalleled customer service, selection, and savings to our U.S. customers, CSN Stores has opened its doors to online shoppers from Canada, the U.K., and Germany. Recently named to the Hot 100 List of online retailers for 2009, CSN Stores continues to grow. CSN Stores began with just two employees, Niraj and Steve, and one online shop.
In year two, CSN added three more Web-based stores. In year three, CSN added nine more stores. From that point onward, CSN Stores went into hyper drive to become what is now one of the Top 3 home and office goods e-tailers in the country, according to Internet Retailer. At this moment, CSN Stores, a $200 million company, is comprised of more than 200 different shopping sites under the overall csnstores.com umbrella. Most sites are named for their primary product offerings or the styles they provide. These include: Luggage.com, AllModern.com, WritingDesksAndMore.com, Cookware.com, and BedroomFurniture.com. Now that CSN has 200+ sites, it also has 400+ employees with several of them working in the service center counseling customers and helping them to find exactly the right item.
Our employees hail from some of the finest colleges in the country, including Bowdoin, Cornell University, Brown University, Boston College, Connecticut College, Bates College, Northwestern University, Hamilton College, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Emerson College and other fine schools. They're also expertly trained on a variety of product categories, so that they know our products inside and out. Customers can rest assured that they will be very well-briefed about products that fit their needs, learning enough to make the right purchasing decision for themselves. CSN doesn't advocate the "hard sell," rather we prefer to help guide customers to find what they really want.
Sounds great, huh? I was given this great opportunity from a representative at CSN and I was told I could choose anything from their stores up to a certain dollar amount. You want to talk about a tough decision!! They have just about anything I could ever need or want at great prices!
MANDATORY ENTRY! Must do 1 & 2 or your comments will not be approved.
1.You MUST become a public follower on Google Connect(on the right sidebar) to win, if you are not you will be disqualified. 2.For the mandatory entry, please check out Racks And Stands or CSNStores.com and tell me in a comment another item on their website you would love to own!
Extra Entries: Remember to leave a comment for each additional entry
1.Follow me on Twitter, be sure to leave your username
2.Tweet about the giveaway-leave a link to your tweet-max of 1 entry
"Win Rachael Ray "Bubble & Brown" 2-piece Stoneware Bake Set on SAHM Frugal Finds and Reviews! http://bit.ly/bVEo0j ends 4/24 #SAHMFrugalBlog"
3.Become a fan on Facebook-please leave your first name and last initial
4.Grab my button and place it on your blog-please be sure to leave me a link to your page
5.Blog about this giveaway-2 entries(leave two comments and a link to the post)
6.Comment on any other posts and let me know which ones-max 3 entries
7.Leave a recipe of something you would like to make in your new dishes, should you win. :)
That's a total of 8 entries if you want them! Don't forget to leave me with a way to get in touch with you by email.
This giveaway is open to the US only
Good luck everyone! Be sure to check out my ArtSkills $50 Prize Pack Giveaway!!
Contest ends Saturday, April 24th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will use random.org to choose the winner. Winner will be contacted on April 25th and will have 48 hrs to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway was provided by CSNStores.com
Posted by Felicia
Friday, April 16, 2010, under
So, our bedroom is pretty small. By small I mean, we have way too much stuff in it and just enough room left to walk around the bed and climb in, if you are lucky enough not to trip on toys my 3 yr old left on the floor. :) We have a HUGE entertainment center with too much stuff piled on it, which takes up WAAAAY too much space. There are two desks with computers, a treadmill, dresser, nightstands and two bookshelves. Something HAS to give!!! It is just so cramped plus I have my scrapbooking and coupons in a pile on the floor. I am starting to feel so disorganized, something that I try to pride myself in NOT being, lol. I won't say I am the most organized person, but clutter REALLY gets to me and when I get to a certain point, I BLOW!
Well, here I am. Something has to give, but what? Yeah, I need to go through some of my stuff and probably donate to Goodwill and give some to friends(like they want my junk, lol), but after that we just have too much in this tiny space. So, I think about the treadmill. We use that on a pretty regular basis and don't have room in any other place in our home. The garage is not an option because it just gets TOO hot out there. It has to stay put. So, how about the book shelves or dresser? Again no room in any of the other rooms. I think my only option is to downsize and my eyes have zoned in on what HAS to go...the entertainment center. It is absolutely huge and old and just takes up way too much space. Bad thing is that it is also storing all of our media items, so I will have to replace it somehow. I have already searched around online and found a couple options, but so far I think a corner tv stand would work best. If I can get it in the corner it will take up less space and not be so bulky, which would be great! We will have a place to put all of our movies, satellite, and game systems, which would be perfect. Plus, since we have our TV mounted on the wall, I can use the top of the center for storage as well!
Bad thing is I would still have to move things around and get rid of some "stuff", but I think changing that out will really help. I DREAD moving all those DVD and VHS's not to mention all the cords that go with my husband's gaming systems, ugh. I am sure everything is going to need a good scrub-down as well....it's going to be a "project". :)
Do any of you have any great tips on getting organized in your home, in small spaces, for cheap? I hate the idea of a bunch of boxes sitting around filled with "stuff". I am actually thinking about whether or not I can mount stuff on the wall! LOL
After I hit my bedroom, I am going to need to move on to the kitchen, it's getting scary in there!
Posted by Felicia
Thursday, April 8, 2010, under
Ok, so you know that thing in the back of your cabinet, maybe high up on a shelf? It has a cord, and some settings that say Low, High and if you lucky Med and Warm. Some even come with a timer-fancy, huh? Well, it's called a Slow Cooker(or Crock Pot as I call mine) and let me tell you..IT IS YOUR FRIEND!! I have made many a cheap meal in mine and they are so great for busy days when you know you won't have time to mess with dinner. You can really create some great things in there or just a simple dip, virtually anything can be cooked in one-I have even seen a recipe for cake! So, I am going to share a few of my favorite go-to frugal recipes for that fabulous small appliance, so dust it off and give them a try!!
Grandpa's Beans-Total cost estimate $2.50 including pantry items, cornbreadand a whole bag of beans-you will only need half :)
1 1/2 C. Great Northern Beans 1tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. white vinegar x 2= 1/2 tsp total
Place beans in a large pot and cover with water, add in the baking soda and 1/4 tsp vinegar Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and place beans in the crock pot. Put the other 1/4 tsp vinegar in and then cover beans with water, up to an inch above the beans so they can swell. Cook on high 4 hours and serve with warm cornbread and a little salt if desired. The ULTIMATE frugal meal and very high in protein!
Buy a very cheap box of Jiffy Cornmeal or check out a cornmeal recipe here
BBQ Pulled Pork--YUM!!! Total cost estimate- $6-$7 depending on if your meat is on sale along w/ your sauce. Only buy it on sale and freeze extra!
3 lbs cheap pork roast, boneless or ribs-doesn't matter! Buy whatever is on sale that week and freeze extra if you like. 1 bottle of you favorite BBQ sauce--mine is Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown sugar
1.Place your meat in your crock and pour just a little water in to cover the bottom, there is no need to be perfect because it won't matter-it will be SO moist in the end! 2. Cover and cook on low 6 hrs or so, it will keep until you are ready for it. 3. When it is cooked through or when you are ready, take your meat out a little at a time-I usually use two plates. Grab two forks and start "pulling" your pork apart into pieces. If you have bone-in, just get rid of those bones. Put your shredded or "pulled" pork on one plate and grab more out of your crock until you have a full plate of pulled pork and an empty crock. Empty ALL the juice and grease out and rinse your crock in the sink-no need to wash, just get rid of the grease. 4.Put it back in the cooker and throw your meat back in. Pour as much of your BBQ sauce in as you like-I use the whole bottle for that much pork. Heat it up till it's good and warm again, if it's not already.
Serve on buns or with mashed potatoes, green beans and Texas toast-YUM!! Reheats very well, so make sure you have leftovers!
Cheesy Chicken and Rice- Total cost estimate: $6-half a bag of frozen chicken, can of soup and half a box of rice + pantry items-all on sale of course! :)
1-2 lb frozen, boneless skinless chicken breasts-about 4 pieces 1 small can cream of chicken 1/4-1/2 cup of water 1 cube chicken bouillon 2 cups of instant(or regular) rice--cooked at the end
1.Boil water and dissolve the bouillon cube in it. 2.Place chicken breasts, frozen, on the bottom of the crock and pour water mixture over the top. 3.Open the can of cream of chicken and pour out on top. 4.Cover and cook on low about 5-6 hours, till chicken reaches 180 deg and no longer pink. Mix in the cooked rice and keep warm until ready to serve. When serving sprinkle with cheese on top.
Cream Cheese Chicken-YUM!!!Total cost estimate- $8 1/2 bag of frozen chicken, can of soup, 1 packet Italian mix, cream cheese, 1/2 a bag of noodles + pantry items
1-2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen-about 4 pieces 2 Tbsp. melted butter 1 packet dry Italian dressing mix 1/2 cup water 1 cube chicken bouillon 1 small can cream of chicken, celery or mushroom 8 oz cream cheese 1/2 lb egg noodles-whatever style you like
1.Boil water and dissolve bouillon cube. 2.Pour water in the bottom of the crock and then place the frozen chicken on top. 3.Drizzle the melted butter over the chicken and sprinkle the Italian dressing dry mix over the top. 4.Cook on low 4-5 hrs(depending on your crock) and about a half hour before the chicken is cooked through, mix the cream of chicken and cream cheese in a bowl with a whisk-you can use the microwave to soften the cream cheese a bit if needed to make it easier to blend. Heat on low and just a little at a time till it is smoother. 5.Add to the crock and cook while you follow the directions and cook your noodles. Always check to be sure your chicken is at least 180 deg. and not pink.
Serve with the noodles on the bottom and ladle the wonderful sauce and chicken over the top. You will LOVE the smell of it while it cooks!