OOOOH! Shiny! (A Giveaway)

It’s no secret that I love shiny things.

Being a stay at home mom (for now) with a busy partner gives me virtually ZERO occasions to wear baubles and bling, but I do like to buy them for those occasions where I do get to wear shiny things and look pretty.

Enter Stella & Dot.

Not only do they have pretty shiny things, but they have some pretty wicked everyday pieces like the Garbo Link Bracelet (my favorite), the Pyramid Double Wrap Bracelet (leather and studs = down my alley) or the Heiress Hoops (in hematite) that would rock with a pair of jeans quite nicely.

But the Fall 2011 collection is STUNNING. There are so many things I would buy in this section, I think I might need to get a job to buy it all.

Like this beauty to the left. The Marchesa necklace.

I’m thinking this bad boy would look amazing with a plain white button-down shirt, a fedora hat, some boot-cut dark wash jeans and some black high-heel boots.

A mom can dream.

But turquoise really floats my boat.

The greatest thing about Stella & Dot is they do the home party thing. You provide the people and some refreshments and people like the lovely Courtney Parham come to your house and show you some pretty jewelry and you don’t have to put on public pants if you don’t want to.

And Courtney (who is an independent stylist with Stella & Dot) has been nice enough to provide a pretty sweet prize for one of my readers!

You ready for this?

She’s giving one lucky person a Revival Tassel Necklace (retail value $79)!! This necklace has been featured in Redbook and InStyle, and Rachel Ray wore it on her cooking show.

The Revival Tassel necklace has a brass chain tassel that swings from handset crystal pave balls, and a string of ivory colored beads. Designed by celebrity designer Nancy Liebowitz. (30″ length of beads. Pave balls and tassel measure approximately 6¼”.)

I have the matching bracelet and I love it….goes with everything.

Want to win it? Here’s how:

MANDATORY ENTRY: Head on over to Courtney’s website, check out what she’s got on her site and leave a comment here telling me which piece you like the best (THEY HAVE PURSES!).

Additional entries (leave a comment for each one)
**ONE ENTRY by liking “Bruises in the Frosting” on Facebook!
**ONE ENTRY by subscribing to my blog! One subscription entry per user. (Just clicky the “HECK YES” button up there in the top right corner, or subscribe on Google Reader)
** FOUR ENTRIES for every $50 of product purchased from Stella & Dot by Courtney Parham: http://bit.ly/SDcourtneyparham. There is no limit on the number of entries from purchasing items. For example, a purchase of $100 gives you 8 entries! After you make your purchase, be sure to post a comment on this blog to let me know what you ordered.
** ONE ENTRY by following me, @miacupcake, on Twitter and sending this tweet: “I just entered to win @miacupcake’s Stella & Dot jewelry giveaway: http://wp.me/pXaXa-js”. (Or something similar….you can be creative if you’d like :) One Twitter entry per user per day.
** ONE ENTRY for each +K you give me on Klout! (blogging, mamavation, food…pick a subject!)

– Giveaway ends Friday, September 2 at 5pm PDT
- Must be 18 years or older
- U.S. and Canada residents only

DISCLAIMER:
 I didn’t receive anything for doing this giveaway or review. I won a piece of Stella & Dot jewelry from my friend over at Motherly Law and became totally obsessed with it and that’s it.

Pushing All my Buttons (mamavation Monday)

Hula hoop

Image via Wikipedia

I’m a procrastinator.

There, I said it out loud.

I won’t try and fix a problem (with myself…my kids get IMMEDIATE attention) until it’s a pretty big deal.

And my weight has been a pretty big deal for long enough. I went through the Mamavation campaign, and then my life kinda fell apart at the seams (and everywhere in between) so it was easy to let the exercise routine and everything else fall by the wayside.

(I wish my Gruve still worked….that was a handy tool :( If BodyBugg wants to give me a bugg, I wouldn’t say no….and would probably wear it EVERYWHERE.)

So now is the time.

Procrastination is over and done with and I’m sick of being this size.

I’m also harder on myself than I am on anyone else. If I fail, I’m super disappointed. If I succeed, I wonder if I could have succeeded even MORE if I tried harder.

So I need to try. More. Right now.

Week 2 of roller derby boot camp was yesterday too. And I was hell-bent and determined not to make a total ass of myself out there on the rink.

So I worked this week. I went hiking and I ran around with the kids and I bartered someone for a weighted hula hoop that’s supposed to help with strengthening my core.

And I did it. I made it through another booty camp without stopping. I didn’t sit down (well, I did twice, to have some water) and I fell a half dozen times, but I know how to fall. So I didn’t hurt myself.

And the only thing that was sore this morning was my lower back, which just means I need to work my core more this week.

GUESS WHAT? I lost 1.6 pounds this week! I can’t wait to see what happens when I adjust my diet too :)

Hope you all have a GREAT week, and work just a little bit harder for yourself this week :)

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway and a review or two, and maybe a post :D

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It’s all Gruntstyle’s Fault.

So I had my first night of roller derby boot camp last night.

And I was FREAKING TERRIFIED.

I used to be a skater, for about 8 minutes, before I had Chuck. I wasn’t very good and I was totally out of shape, so I sat out a lot. And I was sore all the time. And I hurt myself a lot.

That being my last “real” skating experience (not counting the bout I skated in February), I expected to get out there and just try not to die.

But I did not die. And I actually did quite well (despite a broken piece on my skate, that I did not discover until late in the game….it’s a miracle I didn’t injure myself).

And I didn’t have to sit out.

And this morning, I didn’t have TOO much soreness. (My inner thighs and my butt are killing me though.)

I blame Daniel Alarik from Gruntstyle and his amazing workouts that I’ve been doing on and off. And I blame Mamavation for putting me on the road to being back in shape. And I blame myself for working my best and preparing myself for this, even through the rough personal stuff we’ve been going through.

Could I have done better? Absolutely. But that ship has sailed, and I’m (VERY BRIEFLY) resting on my laurels before I get right back to work.

This week I lost 0.2 pounds, but those were hard-earned. That was a lot of “there is soda in the house and I’m not going to drink it.” And “the kids want to eat out, but I know we have healthy stuff I can fix for dinner.” And “no, I don’t need to have a margarita with friends.” (Although I really wanted to do each of those things.)

Making good choices and strapping wheels on my feet to kick some tail. That’s my health mantra this week :)

So make this week count, and come next Sunday night, think good thoughts for me betwen 5pm and 7pm PST!

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Loving Them as they Fly Away

Sometimes it is hard for me to be happy for people.

I’m getting better, but when my friends are growing and expanding their lives in new and different ways, it’s hard for me to see that them growing doesn’t necessarily mean hey are growing away from me.

So my lesson of late is to be there for my close friends as they buy exciting new houses (if any of you need me, I will be living in my friend Ketta’s kitchen because it’s AMAZEBALLS) and prepare to bring another life into the world, or move clear across the country to pursue exciting opportunities.

It doesn’t mean I love them any less because they are doing things I am financially/physically/geographically incapable of doing.

It also doesn’t mean they love me any less.

So I will keep loving them in my own bizarre way (which involves funny emails, occasional random phone calls and forgetting to text back as well as showing up on their doorstep with food when they’re sick) and accept their love in return.

Because I am worthy of awesome friends, and am truly happy for their growth.

Holy Smokes.

thank you to whomever nominated me for this….you like me! You really like me!

Update: For those of you more tech savvy than me…this is supposed to be a badge that is pink and super awesome and says “Nominated for a Parents’ Mage Best Blog Award”! And I can’t make it appear. SAD. Help??

Accidentally Delicious Blueberry Mess

Blueberry

Image via Wikipedia

So I tried to make blueberry jam the other day.

I say “tried”, because I totally forgot about it and it ended up cooking down a whole lot more than I originally anticipated.

But it is freaking delicious. So here’s a recipe for you. This is my first recipe I’ve invented myself, SO BE NICE. If it sucks, tell me. If it’s awesome, tell me. If it doesn’t make sense, tell me.

I apologize for the lack of photos. I will remedy this if I ever write another recipe post again. :)

Accidentally Delicious Blueberry Jam (Makes about 8 quarter-pints or 4 pints)

  • 2 pounds of blueberries, washed (and check for stems. Stems are gross in jam.)
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon (fresh-grated is nice, but not necessary.)
  • 1/4c lemon juice (I use “Real Lemon” juice….the acidity is high enough to make the jam safe. Fresh lemon juice is too variable in the acid levels. If you’re not canning it and putting it in the fridge, fresh lemon is OK.)
  • 1/2 box pectin (or 3 Tbsp of the stuff in the jar)
1.  Put 3 spoons in the freezer. Rinse your blueberries (if you haven’t already) and discard any mushy berries or under-ripe ones. Make sure you brush up on canning procedures, and set your canning pot to boil with the empty jars. Put the lids in a heatproof bowl.
2. Put the berries in your jam pot (NOT an aluminum one, at least 2x as big as the amount of berries you have) and mash the berries up. (It’s easier if you do this in layers, rather than all at once. You can also do this in a food processor if you really want. Process/mash them less for chunkier jam, more for a smooth jam. I like it chunky.)
3. Mix up the pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar, then dump that, the berries (if you haven’t already) and the lemon juice in your jam pot.
4. Over high heat & stirring often, cook to a full boil. (scrape the bottom and the sides every once in a while to make sure everything is incorporated and not scorching.)
5. When it’s reached a full boil, stir in the rest of the sugar and turn down the heat to medium.
6. Forget about it for 10 minutes or so. (this is what happened to me. You should probably be responsible and stir. Scrape the sides too.)
7. Panic and throw in some cinnamon. (Or remain calm because you have been forewarned, and add your 1tsp of cinnamon and stir.)
8. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Let it cook for 5-6 more minutes, then test for thickness. (this means “remove a spoon from the freezer, dip it in the jam and then let it run off the spoon NOT BACK INTO THE JAM POT to see if it’s the thickness *YOU* want.” You might like a thinner jam. We like a thicker, more gelled jam.)
9. Prep your jars. Get a folded towel on your counter, and dump the water from the jars in the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. (Jars go on the towel.)
10. Ladle your jam into the jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Run a chopstick around the inside of the jar to release any trapped bubbles.
11. Lids on jars, rings tightened to finger-tight. (this means “just tight”, not “OMG, it’s gonna take the Hulk to get this thing back off.” You want air to escape during canning.)
12. Process your jars in the water bath for 8 minutes. Remove from the canning pot, and set in an out-of-the-way spot so they can sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
Voila. Jam.
(If this is your first canning experience, please please please go read the Ball site I referenced above. I am not a canning expert, but I have been canning for a really long time. This recipe is written, assuming you know how to can.)

Disappointing.

16 Aug 2011 7 Comments

It used to kill me when someone I admired said they were disappointed in me. I would practically keen and wail and gnash my teeth and rend my garments in my agony.

I was a very dramatic teenager.

But nothing kills like being disappointed in yourself. And I am very disappointed in myself this week.

I had soda for the first time in a LONG time. I had alcohol (one tiny gin & tonic) for the first time in almost 7 months.

And I gained.

Boy, did I ever gain. I’m up 3 pounds from last week. Despite all of the walking and cleaning I did….it just isn’t enough for me to play with my kids and count that as exercise.

This is my first plateau. This is also my first actual weight loss struggle too. I was not fat until after I had my children, and I allowed myself to slide down the slippery slope of french fries and skipping breakfast and being a bad food influence on my friends and family.

I know there will be more plateaus. But I refuse to rest on this one. I won’t sit down and feel sorry for myself, like my subconscious really wants to do.

This week, I’m kicking my own butt. AND! I am starting boot camp for roller derby, so I HAVE to stick to this, I don’t have a choice.

As for the Mamavation question of the week: What qualities do you look for in a healthy breakfast? Any go-to breakfast recommendations for a busy mom?

I’m big on smoothies. I love them. Especially green smoothies. You just shove a bunch of stuff into a blender and you’re good to go. That covers me and my 11 year old. My toddler isn’t a huge fan of the smoothies, but she loves fruit. So she gets whatever fruit we’ve got in the fridge plus some whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

Still working on my fiance – he has coffee for breakfast ;)

This post is sponsored by Quaker Oats and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation and sponsored by Quaker Oats

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Sharpie Love

11 Aug 2011 Leave a comment

Standard Color Set Sharpie 8-pk

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Sharpie,

I have loved your pens since I was but a wee bairn and used to use them to decorate my mother’s walls….much to her chagrin and prior to the invention of Mr Clean Magic Erasers.

I have an enormous collection of Sharpies, and use them for EVERYTHING, from writing in my dayplanner to marking numbers on the arms of derby girls to leaving (approved) graffiti in my favorite bar’s bathroom. (They ask you to do this. It’s OK.)

I even hide them from my son who is as big of a nut about using the perfect pen as I am.

I adore your writing utensils and ALMOST always have one with me….so it pains me that I got INSANELY EXCITED about your perk with Klout! And was totally denied. I was actually really upset. It was kind of ridiculous.

But without your pens, I would never have my name on nearly everything I own, the derby girls wouldn’t be numbered correctly, and my backpack in the 10th grade wouldn’t have been as fun.

So if you find an extra fun pack of your pens lying around, I’d be happy to take it off your hands and even happier to share your decorating/writing/doodling goodness with the next generation of the Cupcake Clan.

Love and ink stains,

Mia

Disclaimer: nobody gave me anything to write this. I just really really really love Sharpies and it’s kind of an obsession and I was honestly really sad that I didn’t get the Sharpie Klout perk.

Roller Coaster Ride

07 Aug 2011 7 Comments

The Scenic Railway at Luna Park (Melbourne, Au...

Image via Wikipedia

I love people. I’m sure that shocks you.

I love hanging out with people and talking to them and going out into public places and seeing people…I am a people person.

I’ve discovered that it’s hard work to get two kids and a fiance going and the dog out of the way and make sure that the indoor-only cat doesn’t escape and everyone into the car and make sure that I remembered Chuck’s stuffed bunny and sunscreen and a sippy cup and something to entertain Boy Wonder if we have to go somewhere that is SO BORING and it’s rough, yo.

I’m sure my SAHM posse feels my pain on this one.

It’s not easy leaving the house. And it’s so much easier some days to just hunker down in the house with a book or a board game or something not-with-a-screen to entertain the kids instead of worrying that I didn’t bring bug spray or enough snacks or whatever.

It’s a fight with myself whether or not to accept invitations to go somewhere. I would rather stay at home and play in our pool in the backyard or run through the sprinkler and not have to put on makeup or public pants.

Kind of like working out and eating right.

It’s so much easier to buy junk food. Or fast food. It’s the easy way out and I took it for years.

The easy way is usually not the gratifying and healthy way.

But, if you work hard enough at it (and I am), the healthy way BECOMES the easy way. Because it’s easier to teach your kids healthy habits now. And to give them good food so they’re fueled for some good wearing-each-other-out playing.

Being a good example is always the good way to teach your kids!

So for the Mamavation post thingy…the question of the week is What are your current technology tactics in your healthy living journey?

I’m a techno-geek. I have a tendency to go a bit overboard sometimes when it comes to gadgets and such….but so far, the best gadgets I’ve got in my weight loss journey is my pedometer and my iPhone. I use RunKeeper for my walks, a Couch-to-5K app for my Couch to 5K stuff, and MyFitnessPal for meal tracking.

I find it’s easier to do this with less stuff :)

HEY LORI! I lost ONE POUND THIS WEEK!

This post is sponsored by Omron Fitness and I’m writing this to be entered into an Omron Fitness pedometer giveaway hosted by Mamavation

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A “Homeschool” Summer Moment

07 Aug 2011 Leave a comment

The ClueFinders 6th Grade Adventures: The Empi...

Image via Wikipedia

Boy Wonder will be starting the 6th grade in a little less than a month.

I can’t believe it.

We don’t homeschool (yet), but we do believe that learning does not end when a kid leaves school. So this summer, we’ve been working on subversive learning techniques. Teaching him stuff to get him ready for middle school without him knowing we’re teaching him.

To be honest, I’m pretty sure we are not very sneaky.

BUT! My MIL (who somebody needs to come up with a better internet name for, since the other one we use to use is no longer applicable) came up with a great idea, back from the days when she used to homeschool Chef, and it’s become pretty fun at our house.

It’s called the “Anywhere and Everywhere Book”. I’ve seen it called a few different things around the internet, but that’s what we call it.

It’s a plain notebook. The first page has a list of the “authors”. And the second page starts with a sentence. Just a sentence.

Everyone in our house is required to write at least a sentence every day. You can write more, but never any less.

And you can take the story wherever you want it to go when you write.

Ours has gotten pretty funny….and we get people who come visit our house to write too!

What fun learning experiences are you doing for yourself or are you providing for your kids this summer?

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All images, ideas and text here is property of Mia Cupcake/Bruises in the Frosting, unless otherwise noted. Please do not copy without express permission from blog author.
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