Grace Adele Earrings GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the upcoming arrival of Baby #2, I wanted to do something fun on the blog today and what is more fun than giving something away to one of you?!

Grace Adele Earring Giveaway | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

I’ve got this pretty pair of Grace Adele earrings to give away to one lucky reader just because! Grace Adele was formerly part of the Scentsy family of companies but was discontinued a few months ago. I couldn’t help myself but stock up on lots of pretty things in the hope that I would find a use for them and these earrings were part of my haul! They are brand spanking new and have never been worn. 

Grace Adele Earring Giveaway | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

This giveaway will run from today Feb 25, 2015 for one week until March 4, 2015. The winner will be contacted and will have 1 week to reply until another winner is chosen. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY where permitted to anyone over the age of 18. 

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Does Clean Smell Like?

I do love yummy smelling things. What girl doesn’t, really? One thing I really hate though is an overly chemical or artificial smell. I can’t even walk through the cleaning and laundry aisle of the grocery store now without having to pick up the pace. I didn’t realize it before, but I am actually quite sensitive to these scents. It wasn’t until I switched to my green cleaners that I noticed a huge difference. Fewer migraines (or headaches at all), I no longer need to use my asthma inhalers and I’m not having to use eyedrops all the time for the itchy eyes I used to have. I had NO IDEA that the things I was using to clean my house were causing me problems, I just thought I was one of those people who would suffer from allergies all the time. After I switched and my symptoms went away, a lightbulb went off in my head.

What Does Clean Smell Like? | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

We’ve kind of been programmed to think that your house isn’t truly clean unless it smells like lemons, pine trees, or “mountain breeze” (whatever the hell that smells like). In reality, clean doesn’t smell like those things at all. In reality, clean smells like absolutely nothing at all. Those fragrance additives that we equate with cleanliness don’t actually indicate that something is clean at all! The truth is that lots of the favorite common cleaners contain some really crappy things for your health like bleach and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The reason these things are so crappy is because they are designed to linger in the air so you keep smelling that “clean” smell for hours later. They are emitted as gases and contains things butane, propane, and ethanol. I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that these are toxins. As you can imagine, they’re not very good for you. Or your home. Or that child over there that’s licking the floor you just cleaned. 

We all want to do the very best for our families and would never intentionally put our children’s health at risk. If you have a child that seems to be exhibiting allergic type reactions, you might want to take a look at what you’re using to keep your house clean as one of the culprits. It’s so often overlooked because we think that our cleaning products are supposed to kill germs and make things safe for our families, when in reality they could be doing some serious damage. There are even studies now being done that are starting to show a connection between the chemicals in household cleaners and children’s behavioral issues. My friend Bonnie posted about it not long ago.]

I’m not the cleaning police, I don’t claim to be. I just want to share what works for me and what I noticed in myself and my home when I switched from conventional household cleaners to what I’m using now. As I said, we’re all trying to do our very best. Sometimes you do want a little lemony freshness in your life and that’s ok! I do too! So I like to add a drop of lemon essential oil into my spray bottle every so often to satisfy that urge. 

I’m not a fan of using vinegar and baking soda to clean either. I hate that vinegar smell, it’s a harsh acid and it’s actually not as cost effective as what I’m using now. Bonnie actually did a detailed post about this too if you want to check that out. 

Clean Cheaper & Naturally

In case you’re wondering, I use Shaklee cleaning products in my home. The Basic H2 is the main work horse and it’s a cleaning concentrate that is diluted with water to make glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner, and degreaser. It’s very cost effective and lasts FOREVER. I’m still using the bottle that I bought in October 2013!! You can’t argue with me that spending $11.05 on a bottle of cleaner that lasts over a year and a half is too expensive. You’d have to spend about $3400 in conventional household cleaning supplies to get the same amount of clean that is in one bottle of Basic H2 AND that’s not even mentioning the 108 pounds of packaging waste that would be going into landfills. 

While I am an Independent Shaklee Distributor, I have no hidden agenda while writing this. I’m not going to lie, if you buy from my links, I get paid. Just like any other affiliate link out there. I’m sharing this with you because it made a difference in my health and in my life. Shaklee has given me things that I was never expecting. My health, friendships, confidence, freedom. For that I am grateful and THAT’S the reason that I share it here on my blog every so often. I found Shaklee through blogging and it has made such an impact on my family, so if I can share that with someone else, I will gladly do so. 

Target Haul Video

In a poor effort to try to get this baby moving, I decided to walk every aisle of Target the other day which resulted in some pretty great finds. I have to admit something to all of you, I am a stationary addict. I love all office supplies! Pens, sticky notes, note paper, binders, folders, washi tape, labels, page dividers, and the list just goes on and on and on! 

I’ve recently discovered an entire universe out there of people who love planners and organizers as much as I do! I had no idea that there was such a following of bloggers and YouTubers which makes me feel much better about my obsession and not quite as big an oddball. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still an oddball … but at least there are people out there like me!

Check out the Target haul video below to see the goodies that I picked up. And spoiler alert, all the the walking didn’t help me go into labour so I am still very pregnant, very uncomfortable, and it’s showing in my writing!

Beginner Crochet Baby Blanket

Beginner Crochet Baby Blanket | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know that I love to DIY whenever I can. I love to cook from scratch when I can, I have posted about knitting projects, I recently got a sewing machine and am having fun playing with that and recently I’ve been working on a few crochet projects.

Online Crochet ClassThe thing that I love about crochet is that it works up so quickly. I also feel like it can be so much more relaxing and mindless than knitting because once you get going, you can almost turn on autopilot while watching TV or in my case, YouTube videos!

Speaking of YouTube videos, I actually found the pattern for this beginner crochet baby blanket there and then when I finished it, I found another video to add the scalloped edging to the blanket. So I’ll link those videos here for you to check out. I am a very visual learner and sometimes just reading a pattern can be confusing for me so videos really help me to see that I am doing everything right. Keep going down to the bottom of this post for the written instructions as well.

Here is the tutorial video for the blanket. 

And here is the video for the scalloped border. 

Here are the written instructions for the blanket:

  • Foundation Chain: Chain a multiple of 6. In the video, she chains 42, I used a finer yarn and wanted a bigger blanket so chained 120.
  • Row 1: 2 dc (double crochet) in 4th chain from hook. Skip 1 ch (chain), 2 dc, skip 1 ch and continue this to the end of your row. In the last chain, 1 dc. Chain 3 and turn your work.
  • Row 2:  1 dc in first chain, *skip 1 ch, 2dc*, and repeat the instructions between the *’s. The dc’s should be in the middle of the V’s from the previous row. Just like in the last row, finish with 1dc in the last chain. Chain 3 and turn your work. 
  • Continue this pattern until the blanket reaches the size that you want. I just went until I ran out of yarn.
  • Scalloped Border: Single crochet all around the outside of the blanket to give a good foundation to crochet into. 
  • Skip 1 chain, 5 dc into next chain, skip 1ch, 5 dc into next chain, and repeat all the way around. That’s it! 

Beginner Crochet Baby Blanket | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

Here are the materials that I used:

The yarn I used in a minty green, and a creamy white, but that’s the Bernat Baby Sport brand.

There are so many great resources online to learn to crochet including this eGuide: The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet which is great, or you can just search YouTube for videos like me! Either way, it’s a super easy hobby to try! It’s also really addictive to see your own creations being used and  loved by others, which I think is a big driving force for my love of all things DIY! 

Beginner Crochet Baby Blanket | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

Check out my Knitting and Crochet Pinterest Board for some awesome patterns and tutorials!

Follow HappyPrettyBlog’s board Knitting & Crochet on Pinterest.

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January Project Life Pages

January Project Life Pages | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I would be using Project Life to be keeping a scrapbook type album for our family, without all of that scrapbooky work. My plan is to have my photos printed at the end of each month so that I only have to work on one month at a time. This strategy has worked well for month 1, hoorah! 

I have to tell you that I really enjoyed doing this! It was so simple, yet looks like I put way more time and effort into it than I really did. This is why I was interested in Project Life to begin with! I don’t have the time or the creativity to make elaborately decorated pages and this is absolutely for people like me who want the look of a beautifully put together album without all of the faffing. Is that even a word, faffing? It is now.

I’m not entirely sure the best way to go about taking pictures of my pages so suggestions welcome from Project Life or scrapbooking junkies are welcome! Here they are anyway!

January Project Life Pages | HappyPrettyBlog.Com

January Project Life Pages | HappyPrettyBlog.Com