My next book to read – Captured by Grace

I am receiving Captured by Grace, by David Jeremiah, from BookSneeze to review.  I am very excited to have this opportunity to receive books for FREE, in return for honest reviews!  Here is another company {see my post about SocialSpark} that wants honest opinion in the reviews they receive from their readers.  So, any books that I review for them will be what I think of the actual book.  Now just like movie reviews – just because I love a book and can’t recommend it enough, does not mean that everyone is going to love it, LOL!  Take my reviews as you will, and I would love to read what you think of these books too!

Five Question Friday – 7/30/2010

It is the last Friday in July, next week is already August!!!  I just feel like this summer is flying by.  My to-do list keeps growing, but not much is getting done.  For the last couple weeks I have been concentrating on getting my mare, Galaxy, ready to go to her first horse show.  We are showing this weekend at the Travis County Expo Center, at the middle Summer Circuit Show.  So, yesterday was spent getting everything ready, including Galaxy, to go the the show.  I am dragging this morning, but was reminded by other’s posts that I needed to get my butt over to My Little Life to pick up the Friday Questions.  See how committed I am to doing these every Friday, LOL!  I have been really enjoying reading others’ answers, and figure I need to add mine so that the playing field is level.  I trust that you will have an awesome weekend, and I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers for my niece.  I will post an update next week on how she is doing.

1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it?  I had a favorite baby blanket I kept with me until recently.  No, I am not going to discuss how recently, LOL!  My favorite stuff animal was one of those white puppet bunnies with the red eyes.  My mom has it, and currently uses it as a door stop unless Ms. Diva removes it to play with it.  The bunny is almost as big as her at the moment, LOL!

2. Do you dream in color?  Yes, I do.  I don’t remember the dreams for very long, but I do know that they are in color.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller?  I am 5’6″.  I am fine with how tall I am, I just wish I could be a skinny person.  Even at my low pre-baby weight I still have stout leg muscles.  No chicken legs here!

4. If you could have anyone’s (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be?  James Earl Jones!!!!  I have the Bible on CD with his voice (James Earl Jones – Bible).  It is a wonderful thing that voice.  I love watching a documentary with him narrating too!

5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot?  I always return the cart.  It is one of my pet peeves when I can’t park in a space, because someone left their cart in the parking lot.  Gotta love kids, they are normally the source of returning carts to their “proper” place, LOL!

To finish up this post:  I am going to be lazy today and just link back to the Five Qustion Friday post.  You can find the post and others links by clicking on the button below.  Hope to see your deep dark secrets exposed too!
 

Please, keep her in your prayers.

UPDATE – Riley seems to have issues with her blood sugar levels.  So nothing to terribly serious (life threatening) after all.  Thank you for all your prayers!  8/2010

I have a prayer request for you this afternoon.  My youngest niece is in the hospital after having a seizure at home on Tuesday.  Since being in the hospital she has had two more seizures.  The doctor’s are not sure what is wrong, and are still ruling out different things.  She is only 1.5 years old and such a delightful little thing.  Please, keep her and her family in your prayers.  Thank you.

I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

{This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.}

Should you check out SocialSpark? Take a moment to find out why I signed up, and decide if it is right for you and your family.
With our newest baby on the way (due in January) I have been looking for ways to add some additional cash flow for our family. Who isn’t looking for additional money these days? I found SocialSpark through Simply Stacie’s Blog, and decided after checking it out to sign-up. While checking out it out I found that SocialSpark stresses full disclosure with the readers of these reviews in their Code of Ethics. They take violating the readers trust very seriously. That is what made me decide to register with SocialSpark, because I am not interested in compromising my integrity with a slanted or biased review. What is the point of taking the time to review a product if your review is going to be slanted or biased from the start? Once I started the registration process it took me under ten minutes to complete. Not bad when you think about how long it would take to fill out a full job application, LOL! The website is very straightforward and easy to navigate. This lets me spend time working for money and not spending time looking to find work. I am looking forward to seeing how SocialSpark will aid me in my quest to add funds to the family pocket book. 

Here was another review of SocialSpark that I found helpful by Dragon Blogger.

Guest Post by Nancy about Germs, Yuck!

I am very happy to have Nancy posting today about something we each have in our houses {especially in our kitchens!}.  Be sure to take the quick hop over to her site to find tons of great homemaking tips and advice!  For those of you visiting from Nancy’s blog, Welcome!  Take a moment to look around and you will find a variety of craft ideas, how-to’s, and links here at The Spunky Diva to explore.

Hi Friends,

I’m Nancy Jacobs from How To Homemaker and I’m glad to be blogging with you today. I’m a married stay at home mother of three busy teenage children. I love teaching and have done some form of it all my life. That is why How To Homemaker came into existence. I give ‘how to’ tips almost daily on cooking, cleaning, gardening and all things related to homemaking. I even throw in recipes and crafts.

Today I want to talk to you about germs.  I’m not a germ-a-phobe, but I think it just makes sense to use some precaution as well as good hand washing.  As parents, we need to teach our little kiddos how to wash at the sink properly.  Kids should soap up for the length of time that it takes to sing the ABC’s twice or Happy Birthday twice.  It is a great way to teach the youngest in our families their ABC’s.

There are many germy places and the first I want to mention is shopping cart handles.  When my kids were little and sat in the cart, they didn’t have the disinfectant wipes available like they do today.  Use them.  It also goes to say, be sure to wash your hands after putting the groceries away.  Have you ever been to the restroom in the grocery store to see one of the workers leave and not wash up?  Yuck!

Your cutting board.  Use one side for meat and the other side for vegetables.  Better yet, have two different cutting boards on hand.  Wipe with warm sudsy water after using.  Then spray the board with a mixture of 1 pint of water to 2 Tablespoons bleach.  Let the bleach mixture sit on the cutting board for 5 minutes and then wash again with warm sudsy water.

Your kitchen sink has plenty of germs.  Be sure you change out your dish rag or sponge daily.

Don’t sit your purse on the table or on your kitchen counter.  Where was your purse sitting before you put it on your table?

Other places to think about in your home:  computer keyboards, telephones and cell phones, door handles, light switches and stair rails.  I have learned that after the kids go to school for the first week in the fall, it is in my and my children’s best interest to go around and hit all these places with a Clorox wipe.  I also wipe these things down again when anyone comes down with a cold.

Places outside the home to consider besides shopping carts:  ATM keys, hotel remotes, pens at the bank that are attached to the counter with a beaded chain, and first floor elevator buttons are laden with germs.

Like I said earlier, I don’t consider myself a germ-a-phobe.  I just think good hand washing before eating makes sense.  It is also good to teach your children not to suck their thumbs or bite their fingernails, a very hard task that can be though. (Sometimes I catch myself biting my nails.)  I also keep a container of antibacterial wipes in our vehicles.  There are times when we must make the quick run through a drive through.  That is when I pass out the wipes so the kids can scrub a little before eating.  When in the car and I use the wipes myself, I also make sure to wipe down the steering wheel.  Remember, I was just pushing that grocery shopping cart before getting in the car.

So thanks Kimberlee for letting me guest post here.  I hope your readers will take a moment to pop over to How To Homemaker and say hello.  It’s always nice to meet new friends!

Neat Fabric Giveaway at Pat Bravo’s!

There is a wonderful giveaway of yet to be released (as in you can’t buy them yet!) fabrics at Pat Bravo’s Art Gallery Fabrics

What a fantastic way to get your hands of fabric that no one else has yet!!!!  I found this giveaway through  Yards and Yards by checking out links at the Sew Cute Tuesday Link-up. 

See… you can find neat stuff, and not just more stuff to add to your to-do list by checking out those links!

How To – Zippy Flower TuTu

I completed this tutu to add to the package that I am sending to Samster’s Mommy for her Tutu Drive.  I have till the end of the month (5 more days, yikes) to complete the five tutus I have as my goal to donate.  These are the two that I have finished so far (still three tutus to go!):

The Zippy Flower TuTu (left) and the Furry/Fuzzy Trim TuTu (right)

Here are the directions on how to create this fun tutu in a flash! 

Ingredients for the Zippy Flower Tutu are:
- 2 plus yards of tulle (I used 2 yards for 18″ of elastic)
- Flowers and matching buttons
- 1 inch or 1.5 inch elastic, measure child’s waist and subtract 1 or 2 inches to get length
- Thread to match tulle for both upper thread and to use in your bobbin

Sidenote: the puffier you want the finished tutu to be the longer your tulle should be.  If you can find tulle on sale you can easily (and affordably) use 3 or 4 yards to create a super tutu.  I got this peach tulle for 77 cents a yard at Hobby Lobby!

Unfold your tulle lengthwise, leave it folded in half as it came off the bolt.  Then fold over the open side across the fold side, and have your open edge 4 to 5 inches father than the folded edge.  See the picture for this to make more sense.
Take the top layer of tulle and lay it the offside of the other layers.  Then take the second layer of tulle and fold it up to the crease.  This will give you one single layer laying away from the rest of the tulle, and two layers of double tulle with a fold in each layer.
Lay the single layer of tulle back over the other layers.  Pin along the top.  I pin roughly at first, just make sure to get all the layers as even as possible.  Also make sure that the layer you just folded up (will have a rough edge along the top) is pinned securly.  I then measured the elastic, added a half inch, and repinned the entire length of tulle using this measurement to create a casing for the elastic. 
After pinning using your measurement from the elastic, take your tulle to the sewing machine.  Line up the pins to the right of your sewing machine foot.  You will use these pins as a guide to sew as straight a line as possible.  The great thing about children’s dress up clothes is that straight lines, while always nice, are not imperative.  I used the standard straight stitch on my machine for this first line of sewing.  You will be sewing through three layers of tulle at this point.
Your result is going to look a little backwards when you lay the tulle out after sewing this “seam”.  Here is the trick that we are going to use to give the waist band extra strength (this is important with children’s dress up clothes, LOL).  Unfold the top layer of tulle, then fold it under the other folds of tulle making sure to not compromise the size of your elastic casing you just created.
This will give you three layers of tulle for the waistband.  Pin on both sides of your original “seam” the entire length of tulle.  Then use a small zig zag (I set my machine to 2.0 length and 2.0 width), and stitch the tulle in place directly over your previous stitches.
Here is a picture showing the layers.
Now cut the folded layers.  The top layer is cut 2 to 3 inches up from the fold, and the middle layer is cut only 1 inch or so from the fold.
Lay out your tulle, and then cute your tulle in strips beginning with the bottom layer working your way to the top layer.  You can cut the strips any width you like.  I cut the bottom layers in 6 inch strips, and the top two layers in 2 inch strips.  To save time you can certainly use your rotary cutter and straight edge to cut all the layers into strips at once.  I wanted to see how staggering the cuts would affect the finished tutu, and I have to say that it is a pretty neat effect but took more time than cutting all layers at once.
After you have cut the tulle into strips… this next step is where the magic happens!  Now instead of cutting millions of strips of tulle, and then spending countless hours (anything over an hour is countless hours to me, can you tell I like fast projects, LOL!), all you are need to do to create your amazing puffy strip tutu is to insert your elastic!  Sew with a large zig zag over the doubled up ends.  I set my zig zag for 5.0 width and 1.5 length to secure the ends of the elastic.
Move the elastic around so that where you sewed the elastic together is in the middle of your tulle (or so, remember you don’t have to be too exact here).
Another bit of magic, you are going to use a flower to anchor your elastic to the tulle and the flower will also hide where you stiched the elastic together!  Use your button foot to secure the butrton at the center of your flower.  If you think you will be washing your tutu a lot, go ahead and lay out the flower petals on newspaper and spray with a fray check product to prevent the flowers from fraying over time.
Now add the rest of the flowers where you want, and you are done!  I used a piece of cardstock over the flower petals to manuver them under my sewing foot.  Then when I removed the cardstock my flower petals were all nice and laid out, and I could easily add my button.
I am linking this tutorail up with:
Sew Cute Tuesday @ Creative Itch
Take A Look @ Sugar Bee {check out her new look!}

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~ About Me ~


I'm Kimberlee, the owner/creater of 'The Spunky Diva'. Here is a little about me... In addition to my love of blogging I adore all crafts, sewing, quilting, improving my non-existent cooking skills, and playing with my two girls. We have a 'collection' of animals around the place to keep us busy; two 'huge' dogs, a cat, kittens, several horses, and assorted wildlife. We live east of Austin, Texas, in the middle of farm country. Here at 'The Spunky Diva' blog I get to share daily life moments, fun crafts, sewing and quilting progress/finishes, and brag about my 'Babies'. Thank you for visiting and sharing some of your day with me!

~Kimberlee

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