Friday, June 29, 2012

Red, White & You Blog Hop Par-tay Coming SOON!

how to grow a blog

Kick off JULY with a huge blog party:


Here is a great opportunity to grow your blog!

We are bringing our reader audiences together!!

You will link up on any ONE hostess’ sites above. 
Our links will be interlinked, meaning: 
your post will be displayed on ALL 4 of our sites!

Go to the links on any of the host pages beginning Wednesday July 4th! 

Link up YOUR RED, WHITE & BLUE YOU- Crafty, Beauty, Fashion, Decor, Recipe, Anything post and make sure you include an introduction of YOU!

Make new friends!!  Increase YOUR readers!!!

We can't wait!!!!!


Grab the Button!
Help us promote the party and you could win:
$20 Starbucks Card + In-Post Ad On Baxtron{Life} in July!
Enter via the Rafflecopter Widget Below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post + GIVEAWAY: Alli from Life on Leroy

I'm stoked to be here today to help out Laura while she's taking a little vacation.  Lucky girl! I'm Alli and I blog over at Life on Leroy.  My blog is all about life, adventures, food, DIYs, fashion and lots more.  I would love to meet you, stop by and say hello! 


Living a simple life is very important to me. I actually strive to live simply because I feel like it makes my soul happy and helps me to focus on the little, beautiful things in life that surround us everyday.  I often get asked what about my life is so simple?  My response is typically because I don't have a lot of "clutter" in my life. Clutter can be physical things, a crazy busy work and personal schedule, or even negative people that bring you down. I try to keep my life free of this clutter and have found over the years that life is so much sweeter without the clutter.  Find what it is in your life that makes you happy, get rid of the extra clutter and you may just find that you love living simply.

When I was a junior in High School I took a trip to Peru, South America. I stayed for 12 days in the Amazon Rain Forest and visited villages along the Amazon River where people had next to nothing.  They lived in shacks, ate meals covered with bugs and wore mismatched clothing.  However, something to this day stands out in my mind about them; they were so happy and so beautiful! They live these simple lives, free of clutter and even though they don't have much, they have enough.  When you feel like you have enough in your life it can be such a satisfying feeling.

I don't have clutter in my house, I'm not involved in a lot of activities because I would rather spend that time with my family and I keep the negative people out of my life on purpose. I feel so blessed that my life has evolved into this simple way of living because it's truly what makes me happy. 


Live simply.

What do you do to live your life simply?
What is one thing you could do to live more simply?

Now let's have some fun and giveaway something!
I'm giving away a $25 gift card to Target!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Meet & Tweet Twitter Hop!

Ready to make new Twitter friends?
Wanna hang out a bit and play? Sweetness, just follow the rules.

Link up your Twitter account, not your blog.
Follow your host and co-hosts. {The first 7 in the linky.}

Thanks so much to my amazing co-hosts:
Summer from Made By Munchies Mama
Colleen from Paisley Boulevard
Mary from Trusty Chucks
Cassie from Two in Diapers
Browyn from Our Beautiful Blessings
Julie from The Funny Thing Of It Is

Loving this hop? Shout it out to all your friends!
The more the merrier.

Thanks so much for linking up today!
Hope you've had fun and made some amazing new friends.

Save the Date! Next Hop: 7/5
Grab a button and add it to your blog!
Our Reflection
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Our Reflection "><img src="" alt="Our Reflection " style="border:none;" /></a></div>
Want to be a future co-host?
Email me at

Like us on Facebook  |  Subscribe to Updates  |  Follow on Bloglovin  |  Follow on Pinterest

Saturday, June 23, 2012

No Bake Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Cookies

Does anyone else agree that healthy-eating and vacations don't go together? My hands raised high. Today we're back from vacation and I have to admit I didn't eat to well. I didn't watch calories, didn't count fat grams and didn't exorcise. But it was vacation and that's all right. I told my self I deserved it.

Before we get back into the swing of things, I wanted to share a fun and easy recipe that takes only 4 steps and 4 ingredients. Plus with this hot summer weather, there's no need to use the oven. 

Here are your ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cup peanut butter
5 cups Rice Krispies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies


1) Line two 9x13-inch baking pan with wax paper. Set aside. 

2) Place sugar and corn syrup into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stirring slowly, bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

3) In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter and Rise Krispies. Quickly stir in the liquid sugar mixture. 

4) Drop mounds {about 1 tablespoon size} onto wax lined baking pan. Allow to cool and enjoy.  

Viola! Easy peasy and great to do with kids!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Do Your Readers Feel Special by Royal Daughter Designs + GIVEAWAY

Hi y'all! My  name is Amanda and I'm the creative mind behind Royal Daughter Designs. I'm a country girl, farming and ranching on 8 beautiful Texas acres. My husband, Mr. E., is a minister and a seminary professor and  I'm a small business owner and graduate student. I'm a has-been foster moma self-proclaimed animal lover, laundry procrastinator, sweet tea junkie, and high-heel hater. 

I love the blogging community. I love meeting new women, making new friends, and finding inspiration on new blogs. I try really hard to let my readers know how much I appreciate them, and since Laura has been so gracious to let me take over her blog today, I thought I'd share 5 tips for showing our readers how much we appreciate them.

1. Respond to Comments
I know this is not possible for big time bloggers. If you get dozens (or hundreds) of comments on each post, plus tweets and Facebook comments, there's really no way to respond to every single comment individually. But for those of us who are not so big, taking time to respond to comments can go a long way towards making our readers feel valued. It doesn't have to be much. A simple "Thanks so much for reading!" says that you care enough to personally respond to their comment. There are a few easy peasy ways to respond:
  • by e-mail
  • by a reply comment (newly available on blogger)
  • tweet a message
I try to respond to every comment I receive. I'll be honest: sometimes I just say thanks for commenting. But sometimes a blog comment sparks a real conversation, and a true connection is formed. 

*If you don't receive an e-mail from me, it is because you are a "no-reply" blogger. That means your e-mail is not linked to your blogger account. You can find out how to fix it by following this tutorial.

2. Turn Your Music Off
I know I'm not the only one who has multiple tabs open in my web browser. I constantly click on websites and blogs and leave them open to come back to later. Not to mention my favorite songs playing on Pandora. 

I know I'm not the only one who opens multiple tabs in my browser. Imagine how frustrating it is when I open some of my favorite blogs and they all have music turned on. It's not a happy thing. It seriously makes my ears hurt. And I immediately close the tabs. Even if I haven't read the post. Sometimes I make my way back (after I've muted my speakers) but sometimes I don't.

The ever-so-considerate Ashley at After Nine to Five is the perfect example of blog music etiquette. She has a playlist on her blog (in the side bar, under her sponsors.) If I want to hear her music, I just click play and voila! Fabulous music plays. But she lets me decide if I want to listen or not, instead of forcing me to a.) listen to the music she likes, or b.) mute my speakers so I can't listen to any music I like.

3. Contact Your Giveaway Winners
Until earlier this year I required my giveaway winners to contact me within 48 hours of being announced. I changed my policy because I was tired of waiting around for them to finally e-mail me. (After I had to pick a third winner I decided it was not working.) I had another reason for changing my policy.

Contacting the giveaway winner is great for two reasons:
  • As I mentioned, I didn't have to wait days - or even weeks - to finally get a winner to claim their prize(s). As soon as they responded to my e-mail I contact the sponsors who hosted the giveaway and it was out of my hands. Easy peasy. No worries. No having to note whether or not a winner claimed their prize. 
  • I was on the receiving end of this a several months ago. The same week our foster boys left, I won two giveaways: one at Pink Lemonade and one at the Foley Family. Both of those lovely ladies (Paige and Kristine, respectively) sent me e-mails letting me know that I had won.

    With everything going on in my personal life, if those ladies had not e-mailed me, I honestly wouldn't have known I won. I went several days without reading any blogs. If they had simply announced me as the winner, and waited on me to contact them, I probably wouldn't have. I'm so glad they did e-mail me!
To sum up: contacting our giveaway winners makes it easier on us, and them. It's a win-win situation. Don't have their e-mail address? Then you should use Rafflecopter. Tweet them or announce it on Facebook. One way or the other, they'll get the message that you're trying to get in contact with them.

4. Facilitate Networking
We've all been (and some of us still are) the newbie blogger just starting out. Hosting linky parties are a great way to facilitate networking, not only for the newbie bloggers, but also for seasoned pros.

I'm really not the one to recommend doing this, as I only host one linky party per month. But if you're hunting around for linky parties to join, I recommend visiting - you'll find lists of all kinds of linky parties to join. You can search by day of the week,  by theme, and by season.

On that note, Laura here is fabulous at facilitating networking. Every Thursday you can link up with her Meet & Tweet linky party.
Our Reflection

5. Offer Tutorials
Or recipes. Or tips & tricks. Basically: be helpful. Even though sewing a beautiful spring dress without a pattern is about as easy for you as brushing your teeth, the rest of us pull out our hair every time we're bent over a McCall's pattern. Sharing your wealth of knowledge is a great way to help out your readers.

Here's a list of the tutorials I've shared so far:
Thank you Laura for giving me the opportunity to be here today! And thank you for reading. Please stop by my blog and say hi some times. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. If you do connect with me I'd love to know, how do you make your readers feel special?

Thank you Amanda for being SO amazingly awesome!

Today Amanda is also giving away a set of 2 custom prints. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meet & Tweet Twitter HOP!

Ready to make new Twitter friends?
Wanna hang out a bit and play? Sweetness, just follow the rules.

Link up your Twitter account, not your blog.
Follow your host and co-hosts.
Thanks so much to my amazing co-hosts:
Alissa from Rags to Stitches
Lianne from A Content Housewife
Tasha from Wild at Heart
Rebekah from Tailor Made Crafts
Tiffany from Blabbering Thoughts

Loving this hop? Shout it out to all your friends!
The more the merrier.


Thanks so much for linking up today!
Hope you've had fun and made some amazing new friends.

Save the Date! Next Hop: 6/28
The more the merrier! Grab a button and add it to your blog.
Our Reflection
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Our Reflection "><img src="" alt="Our Reflection " style="border:none;" /></a></div>
Want to be a future co-host?
Email me at

Like us on Facebook  |  Subscribe to Updates  |  Follow on Bloglovin  |  Follow on Pinterest

Fashion Rut with a Shabby Apple Giveaway!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may be seen this past week I talked a lot about being in a fashion rut. Seriously. If you saw me in my "norm", mostly likely I would be in jeans, a t-shirt and Uggs. They're just comfy.

Well no more! Well maybe not ever, just not everyday. This week I ventured out a little {plus it helps I wear the same size as my high-school daughter, score!}

I bought a long maxi skirt from Target. Adore. 
Then borrowed my daughters bike necklace.

I bought some new shoes. Sprused up my jeans with a layered top.
Added this amazing necklace. Viola. 
 Then I did something I never thought I would do.
Bought a pair of colored jean. {At Target of course.}
I fell so head-over heals in love with them I've gone to 3 other stores looking to buy all the colors. Mint, yellow, orange and pink. Bummed though, they were super popular and can't find my size anywhere. 

You can see I'm trying. Any advise I'll take it!

Why exploring my new fashion world, I found a new favorite shop. Shabby Apple. Well today I'm super-de-duper excited to offer my readers a chance to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Shabby Apple. I'm SO jealous! The awesome part is even if you don't win the $50 Gift Card, Shabby Apple is still giving you 10% off your entire order by using the promo code ourreflection10off. I adore this line. Since its summer, my next purchase is going to be this amazing swim suit. Think I could pull it off?

You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. Note: You must have a U.S. Shipping address to be eligible. This giveaway will run through 11:59pm PST on Monday, June 25th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Starbucks & Disney GIVEAWAY

Hi all! My name is Melanie and I'm super excited to be guest posting today while Laura is enjoying her vacation. My regular internet home is at a little ole blog called Metropolitan Money Pit. I'm a Southern California native and love where I live. Honestly, I can't think of living anywhere else (except for maybe NYC buts that's a whole nuther story). I'm also a bargain nut and can't pass up a good deal. And seriously, in SoCal (as we natives like to call it) that's almost a necessity because man oh man is it expensive here!

So in my blog I've decided to combine my love of bargains with my love of my state. When you visit you'll find lots of tips of places to see, things to do, foods to eat, stores to shop at....all with a bargain focus. You'll be amazed at how many inexpensive things there are to do around here (I know I always am!). So check it out! If you live in Cali hopefully you'll find a new place to visit. And if you don't...well, hopefully it will encourage you to take a trip out here. We'd love to have you!

And as an added bonus today I've got a little giveaway for ya! Recently, Disney opened an exhibition space right outside The Happiest Place on Earth. It's called the WonderGround Gallery is full of all sorts of cool stuff. Like this print -

Hipster Mickey! Gotta love it! So to celebrate, I'll send you a 5 X 7 print of this little guy. And since coffee seems to be his drink of choice, I'll throw in a $10 Starbucks gift card also. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 18, 2012

Eisley Rae Clothing GIVEAWAY


Hi there! I'm Alyson, from Eisley Rae. I blog here and 
have an etsy shop here and a storenvy shop here

I love creating, anything from painting, drawing, decorating to sewing, spray painting or hammering away at something. Antiques & vintage goodies also make me happy! 

When Laura put a call out on Twitter for guest posts or giveaways while she's on vacation, I jumped at the chance. Giving something I've made away is one of my favorite things about having a blog & social media! It's just so much fun to share what I love with new friends. 

So, today I'm giving away a $20 shop credit! 
There's a few items in each of my shops to choose from, and I also take custom orders!
There are just a few children's items left, all at discounted prices. 

Or, pick a couple of my NEW Mason Jar Wraps! (all can be customized)

Fun summer coffee cuffs! "hi" and "hey girl" are my favorites! 


Thanks so much to Laura, for having me today! I hope you'll all come visit me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Calming the Kids with Mom2MemphisAndRuby + GIVEAWAY!

Hey there!
I'm so happy Laura invited me to hang out on Our Reflection while she's on holidays!
My name is Lena and I blog over at Mom2MemphisAndRuby and Lena B Photography!  I'm a mom of 2 wild and wacky kids and they certainly keep me on my toes!!  They're at that age now {4 & 6} where they either get along fabulously... or not at all.

Case in point.  I used to LOVE bath time.  It was a nice "wind down" from our day... there was nothing better than hanging out in a warm room listening to their giggles & splashes, am I right?  Not to mention the smell!  Oh, babies smelll sooooo good after a bath!

Well, that has changed a lot in the past year or two.

When they do take a bath together, there's splashing alight... AND lots of whining and screaming too.  Nobody thinks they're dirty and nobody thinks they need their hair washed.  The whole thing has been quite unpleasant.  

Until I remember something I saw on Pinterest a while back.

Glow sticks!!
Can I get an "Amen!?"

I'm totally serious!  Grab a few of these, turn off the lights and it's a whole new experience!  They LOVE it!  And it's such an inexpensive "treat" at the end of the day!  They're having fun, and I get to make sure they're clean... without any screaming or arguing.  It's a win-win!

So, that's just a tip from one mother to another!
I'd love to hear your tips for keeping bath time under control!

You can visit me on Facebook & Twitter too!

And since I'm here... I'd love to offer you the chance to win 2 months medium ad space on my blog!
It'll be a great way to get to know each other better!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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