The Creative Princess: December 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meet Megan Dunham of Half-Pint House

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Social Fabric, Collective Bias, #cbias
Source: Megan's Facebook Page
As a lot of you know, I am a member of an AWESOME community called Social Fabric®. We are a community of bloggers from all over the world that make up just part of Collective Bias®. I have been a member for a few days past 1 year. I have meet a lot of awesome people and have made some AMAZING friends in that time. This year, instead of a gift exchange, a few of us decided to do a blog exchange and introduce our readers to one of our members. 

We filled out a little form and a few days later we were sent an email with the name of the person we had been assigned to, we did not get to pick. I literally shrieked with joy when I read the name Megan Dunham. Megan has been a member of Social Fabric for nearly 11 months. I have worked beside her has a blogger on a few campaigns and this summer had the pleasure of being Campaign Lead and working with her in that aspect for the first time. Let me stop right and let you know, she is an AMAZING blogger!

I recently worked with her on a campaign for Nestle and Ice Age , this is where I learned that her DAD is CRAFTY! Check out what he made for Megan's girls!
Social Fabric, Collective Bias, #cbias
Source: Megan Dunham
 I mean seriously, are those cute candy sleds not the cutest? Oh, and that's her mom peeking over her daughters shoulder.

Megan and I both live in Oklahoma and a few weeks ago I learned that she comes up my way every so often. Totally awesome! We are going to have to meet up soon! We are also both Oklahoma State fans! Go Pokes!!
Social Fabric, Collective Bias, #cbias
Source: Megan Dunham
Be sure to stop by Megan's blog Half-Pint House (check out this post, it's one of my favorites) and tell her Brandi sent you! You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter.

To learn about some of the other great bloggers that make up Social Fabric, check out the links below!
 







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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Introducing Zoe 1:8 Designs - Giveaway

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
 It is rare that a new store opens in this town. I was SO excited when I heard my friend, Phyllis, was FINALLY going to open her store! You see, it has been her dream for 20+ years to have her own store.  But, you know how it goes sometimes, life just gets busy. 
A few days ago I took a break and went to visit Phyllis at her store. Let me just say.....OH. MY. GOSH! I was SHOCKED at her selection! I mean, I heard it was awesome but seriously?  I could have bought just about everything in that store! She offers both new, and tenderly loved, items. She has Purses, Shoes, Necklaces, Clothes, Wraps, Scarves, Hats, Home Decor, Furniture....seriously the list goes on and on. Do you like the display table? It is more than likely for sale as well. If you find something, you better grab it then and not wait! I guarantee it will be gone the next time you are in. But don't worry, Phyllis adds new stock EVERY DAY! She also offers a 30 day layaway program.
So, why Zoe 1:8 Designs? Well Phyllis likes the name Zoe - which means Abundant Life. And the 1:8? That would be from her favorite verse of the Bible, Joshua 1:8.  "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
 
If you are in the Vinita area, or happen to be traveling Route 66, be sure to stop by and check Zoe 1:8 Designs out! You will not be disappointed!  And don't worry guys, she has a few things for you as well.

Zoe 1:8 Designs is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. As a special treat the store WILL be open Christmas Eve from 10am-3pm for any last minute Christmas shopping you need to do.
A bit more about Zoe 1:8 Designs:
You can find them on Facebook
They have teamed up with Arrow Cleaners so you can shop and have your clothes dry cleaned all in one stop!
She offers great deals and specials.
You can have a great Girls Night Out with Zoe 1:8 Designs! Just call ahead and you can come shop after hours with your friends and Phyllis will offer up to 5 refreshments for your enjoyment. Fun right?!?!
You can see even more pictures of Zoe 1:8 Designs here.
Now, about that GIVEAWAY! While I was in the store, Phyllis marked these CUTE little wallets down.  WooHoo!!  I picked up a floral print and, she gave me one to giveaway! The one you have a chance to win is like the black one, only it is gray with itty bitty black dots, it is SUPER cute!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I was not compensated by Zoe 1:8 Designs, their owner or any other affiliate for this post. I was given a promotional item to give away to a reader.

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My Style Surprise with Sears Style

Last week I went to Sears in search of great Holiday fashion. I have heard a lot about the affordable fashion Sears offers and most recently, the Kardashian Kollection. I really, REALLY, wanted to see it first hand. I went in search of a dress but, the Sears location I went to only carried two dresses, in the entire store, in plus size. One was SUPER sparkly and the other was sleeveless, I do not do either of those.  Stink! On to option 2.....pants. I posted my top 3 outfits on Instagram and asked you to vote for your favorite.
I started with this combo. It is a pair of Black Boots, Black Pants and an Off-White Sparkly Top. It got the least amount of votes, of which I am not surprised. A few of you liked it, and that is AWESOME! But, it just did not look OK.
Next was this cute little combo. Again, Black Boots, Black Pants and way cute Black and Ivory Top. The top has heels, lipstick and bows on it, so girly! This was my FAVORITE and I was secretly sending you ALL telepathic messages to vote on this outfit. A TON of you voted and commented on option 2.
Then came option 3. I loved this look, the jeans are my own, I paired them with a Navy Sparkly Shirt and a Skinny Brown Belt. Oh, this was cute! This was comfortable. This was SO ME! A TON of you picked this one as well. 

So which one won?  Well, I tallied up ALL of your votes, from Instagram and from my personal Facebook wall.  And.....the winner at time of checkout was..........
Option 2!!  YAY!! I ended up getting the shirt, pants and boots but have lost just enough weight since last week that the pants are now too big. Stink. So, I just paired the shirt and boots up with some black leggings I already own. I absolutely LOVE this look! I was nervous about buying it, about the pants being tucked into the boots.  About the boots! My gosh do you know how long it has been since I was able to pull boots on over my calves!  AAHHH!!!  I almost cried in the dressing room when they EASILY went on.
I can not wait to rock this look on Christmas!  Thank you ALL for voting!

I also want to mention that I am STILL getting votes on these outfits and as of right now, option 3 is in the lead. But, since I had to purchase the outfit last week, I went with the winner at the time. I might go back and get option 3 though, it is pretty cute.

If you still do not have your Holiday Outfit, use THIS COUPON to get 20% off your order!  AWESOME! Be sure to also enter the Holiday #StyleSurprise Sweepstakes for your chance to win 5,000,000 ShopYourWay Rewards Points!  OH MY STARS that ROCKS!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Sears. #CBias #ad #searsStyle All opinions are my own.


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chocolate-Hazelnut Waffles

Saturday, December 15, 2012
SheSpeaks, #Torani, Breakfast

Do you LOVE Nutella?  Yeah, so do I.  Unfortunately, I don't always have it in the house. You see, I am the only one that eats it so it goes bad before I finish a jar.

A few weeks ago I was sent a bottle of Torani Hazelnut Syrup from my friends at SheSpeaks. I will be honest, when I first opened the box I was less than thrilled with the syrup flavors I received. I received a bottle of Peppermint Syrup and a bottle of Hazelnut Syrup. Other than Amaretto, those are my least favorite flavors. Ever.  Stink!

I was stumped for days on what I was going to make with the syrups.  I did NOT want to try to pull off a recipe that I really did not like the flavor of.  I'm just not one of those bloggers, if I tell you I like something, I really do like it.

Then. It hit me!  HELLO!  BRANDI! Wake up! You LOVE Nutella and it is made with hazelnuts!  DUH!  Oh my gosh!  I was so right! I DO love Nutella and it IS made with hazelnuts!

Then it came down to what I was going to make. The girls wanted chocolate chip waffles for breakfast this morning and it hit me! I could make chocolate waffles and add some hazelnut flavor and oh my gosh, I just about could not wrap my head around how good this was going to be.
SheSpeaks

Chocolate-Hazelnut Waffles
Adapted from: Annie's Eats

1 2/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda (so, I totally forgot to add this the batch I made and they turned out fine)
1/2 Cup Egg Substitute
4 Tbsp Butter, melted 
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Torani Hazelnut Syrup
2 Cups Buttermilk*
3/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips**

Directions:
Preheat waffle iron.

In medium bowl, combine Flour, Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder and Soda and Salt. Stir to blend and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine Egg Substitute, Butter, Vanilla, Torani Hazelnut Syrup and Buttermilk*. Stir to blend well.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in Mini Chocolate Chips** and let rest for 5 minutes.

Cook to your waffle iron recommendations. I fill my iron with 1/3 cup batter and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes or until my iron beeps.

Garnish with Powdered Sugar and additional Mini Chocolate Chips.

*I make "homemade" buttermilk by adding 1 Tbsp Vinegar to a measuring cup, then pour however much milk you need into the cup. Allow this mixture to sit for a few minutes before using.
**When using Chocolate Chips, I like to dust with just a bit of flour before mixing with other ingredients. This allows the Chocolate Chips to incorporate well into your ingredients rather than sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Points Plus per serving - 7
This recipe makes about 12 pancakes.
SheSpeaks
Both of my girls gobbled these up and asked for more. Mads even wanted more for dinner!  HA!  They are REALLY good, you will want to eat the entire batch.

This is a sponsored post, I was provided product from Torani and SheSpeaks in exchange for a review and recipe. All opinions are my own and those of my family.


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cookies for Santa and a fun Ornament

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
One of my favorite traditions is making cookies for Santa. The girls help me pour in ingredients and stir everything together, then they help with placing them on the cookie sheet. It ends up being a HUGE mess but, we have fun. We usually do chocolate chip cookies, but this year I wanted to try a new recipe.

I searched through the Nestle Seasonal Confections site and thought the Mrs. Claus' Favorite Oatmeal Cookies recipe seemed interesting. So, I made a list and checked it twice then to Walmart we flew in the blink of an eye!

I loved that this recipe called for sweetened dried cranberries, I LOVE those!  It also called for Nestle Crunch Jingles.  Hubby, of course, LOVED that. This is a cookie for everyone, because it has something for everyone. It is filled with the yumminess of a regular oatmeal cookie, but kicked up a notch with the Sweetened Dried Cranberries, Crunch Jingles and nuts. Even the girls liked them. I know Santa is going to absolutely love the change this year when he stops by our house! Oh, and in case Rudolph is reading this, don't worry....we won't forget your carrots and maybe a little extra treat. 

To make the cookies you will need: Oats, Craisins, Nestle Crunch Jingles, and the basic ingredients to make oatmeal cookies (sugar, butter, vanilla, flour and eggs).
Place your dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
Next, cream together the Sugar, Milk, Egg, Butter and Vanilla.
You will then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing after each addition until combined.
Now it is time to add the #HolidayCandy. The recipe calls for you to quarter each Jingle. I had a hard time doing this, so I just chopped each piece.
Next, add your oats, cranberries and nuts.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 min or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. These are perfect with milk! You can find the complete recipe here.
 We did not stop with the cookies though!  I also picked up a package of SweeTarts Candy Canes!  I wanted to try making ornaments out of them.
All you do is place the desired amount of candy canes in a bag and crush. Then, place a cookie cutter on a parchment lined baking sheet and add the crushed candy canes. 
Carefully lift cookie cutter from baking sheet and put any candy that has gone astray back in place, then bake.  
Super easy!  I put a piece of bakers twine down before the cookie cutter to make a loop to hang from the tree. I baked the ornaments for about 3 minutes at 350 degrees.  
Be sure to watch carefully, if you over heat they will burn and spread.

Allow to cool for at least an hour, I left mine overnight, then hang on your tree.
The girls LOVED them, Mads wants to take some to school.  Not sure how to get them there in one piece though.

Be sure to check out other fun Nestle recipes on their website.  You can also find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.


I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Nestle #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Bedtime with GoodNites #HuggiesWalmart

Monday, December 10, 2012
In March we potty trained MG. It took less than week to complete the potty training, we did day and nighttime training at the same time.  AWESOME!

Except, there are still nights when she wets the bed. Not so AWESOME!
What makes it even better? She still sleeps with us.  Yep I am one of THOSE parents.  I have co-slept since Mads was born, she is finally in her own bed and has been for a while.  MG will be 4 in April and that is on my list of things to do over the next few months.

Until then, I will suffer with wet sheets from time to time, I guess (or not, keep reading).
Branson
(please ignore the freaky fake Santa)
Last weekend we took a trip to Branson and stayed at a fancy hotel.  I have been fearing for months that MG would wet the bed while we were there.  Bedwetting + Fancy Hotel = FAIL! 

I was planning my attack but still came up empty on a solid "fix". We take her to the bathroom right before she goes to bed, sometimes that isn't enough, I didn't want to use the hotels towels to put under her. I didn't have anything I could take from home to put under her.  What in the world was I going to do?
 A week before our trip I had discovered a new product from Huggies,  GoodNites Bed Mats.  Did you just hear that?  That was the sound of angels singing! Seriously moms!  You need to get these for your children that may still have nighttime accidents.

On each corner of the mat are four adhesive squares. You just peel off the paper and stick them to your sheets.  I was a bit worried that it would not be comfy sleeping on the mats, but you really can't tell a difference.  If you are wondering, the mats are HUGE! Just over 7 sq. ft. huge! Although MG did not have an accident while we were at the hotel {PHEW}, I still wanted to see just how well they absorb.  So...I dumped a glass of water on it. They did not absorb 100% of the water but I would say 98%. If you touched your hand to the mat it was wet and you could see water on your hand.  But, no water was on the sheets, that is great! They do absorb well enough for me to use them again and again!  I actually just put a mat on my bed.  I would MUCH rather have a wet mat than a wet bed.

These would also be great to put in carseats on long road trips, take a few to keep at Grandma's, maybe even take some to daycare!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Huggies. #HuggiesWalmart #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.


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Monday, December 3, 2012

Family Traditions with Lipton Tea & Honey

Monday, December 3, 2012
Walmart, tradition, Family Meals
Lipton Tea has been a family favorite for years! Growing up we had sweet tea with every meal time, it seemed. Now that I have kids of my own, I try to limit their caffeine intake and only offer tea for special occasions or when we are entertaining family. I was so excited to learn that Lipton has come out with Pitcher Packets!
Walmart, Family Traditions, Family Meals
I will be honest, at first I was a little worried.  Have you ever tried instant tea?  It really isn't the best tasting drink on the planet. Really, to me, it tastes like dirty fish water.  Not that I have ever tasted dirty fish water.  AHEM.  While at Walmart a few days ago I picked up the Tea & Honey Mango Pineapple Iced Green Tea and the Tea & Honey Peach Apricot Iced Black Tea Pitcher Packets from Lipton. Being that I am on Weight Watchers I am always looking for new ways to cut back on calories. I was very happy to learn that each serving only has 5 calories!  That's awesome!
Walmart, Family Meals
One of my favorite family tradition meals is roast. It is my favorite meal to make when I need comfort food, the food pairings of the roast, carrots, potatoes, onions and celery is just perfect.  It takes me straight back to my childhood!  This time, I decided instead of having regular sweet tea with our roast, I would make one of the to go tea sticks. 

It was so much easier to pour the mix into a pitcher, add water and stir, than to boil water, add sugar, add water, add the tea once it was done and stir. I was worried about the flavor, I don't particularly care for honey in my drinks and well, we know how I feel about instant tea.  But, it was really, REALLY good! I can't taste the honey at all, I really only tasted the mango and pineapple. 

One other thing I like about the Lipton Tea & Honey packets is that the Tea & Honey is made from real tea leaves and contains 60mg of tea flavonoids per serving!  That's great! Tea & health go hand in hand for me since I drink so much of it, now I feel better about switching to the Tea & Honey packets!
Walmart, Family Meals
The best part?  The girls LOVED them as well!  Since the packets I purchased do have caffeine in them, even though it is a natural caffeine, I will still restrict them for the girls.  But mama will be on no tea restrictions!

Not only are these great for family meal time, you can toss them in your purse to use while on a picnic, while you are camping or any time you want #FamilyTeaTime!

To learn even more about the Tea & Honey Pitcher Packets, be sure to check out the Lipton Tea website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Lipton #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.



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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas with Cookie's Kids

Sunday, December 2, 2012
#CookiesKids, #Cbias
Christmas is just around the corner!
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is shopping for a Christmas dress. I started my search for the perfect dress for MG a few weeks ago on CookiesKids.com.
#cookieskids #cbias
 Their selection of dresses is AMAZING! They have tons of different styles, fits and colors. I had a hard time deciding on THE dress, it was a toss up between the one I choose and another that I decided just was not for us.  Oh, the other one was cute, it just had stuff around the neck and MG can be pretty picky about stuff like that.
#cookieskids, #cbias
I ended up getting this dress by Dorissa and am so glad I did!  The color is just beautiful! The ruffles near the neck and the bows on the sash are made of velvet, the rest of the dress is like a taffeta.

#CookiesKids has an AWESOME new feature that allows you to put your child's height and weight in and they will pull up what size would work best for your child.  Unfortunately, MG is kind of hard to fit so they could not come up with a size for her.  Cookie's Kids does have regular size charts, which is what I ended up using.
#cookieskids, #cbias
One of the reasons I turn to CookiesKids.com when I am shopping for timeless pieces is because I believe in their story. They are a family owned company that was founded by brothers. In 1972 a young man named Cookie and his brother Marvin went into business together. They rented a 1600 square foot store in Jamaica, Queens and fixed it up, bought inventory and opened a day after Thanksgiving with a full stock of holiday toys. 

The toys were a success and they put the extra money toward buying children's clothing for next season. When that did well, they bought more clothing. The business was on it's way. A third bother joined Marvin and Cookie and by the late 1990's, they had 6 superstores throughout New York. CookiesKids.com was rolled out in 2007.

Today Cookie's has 7 stores in the New York City area, as well as online!

Isn't that cool? I LOVE stories like this and it makes me want to shop with them every chance I get! I hope you will consider them next time you are looking for kids clothes. Oh! I also have something just for YOU! You guys know I LOVE coupons, so how about a coupon code?

Head over to CookiesKids.com and enter creativeprincessbrandi at checkout to save 10% on your purchase!
#cookieskids, #cbias
You can see my entire path to purchase on Google+.
Be sure to also check out Cookie's Kids on Facebook and Twitter.

 I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and CookiesKids.com #CBias #SocialFabric

 

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