US Soccer surprises Women’s Soccer Team for Mother’s Day

*Grab your tissues*  This past weekend, U.S. Soccer gave the U.S. Women’s National Team a huge surprise. HUGE.  The team was having a pregame dinner and were told they had special guest speakers to ‘mix things up’ a bit. Turns out, the guest speaker?  Their moms.  I totally would recommend putting this video into full screen so you can enjoy. I love watching it, I think I’ve watched it ten times already.  I think this hits really close to home for me because my mom’s not here with us anymore, but also, it’s just nice to see sheer surprise and joy in others’ faces.  The reactions of the players just makes you feel so happy for them!!  Such a cool thing for US Soccer to do!  Thank you to FOX Soccer and Mom it Forward for inviting me to be part of this sponsored campaign.us womens soccer

It was the ultimate Mother’s Day surprise as U.S. Soccer reunited the U.S. Women’s National Team members with their moms over Mother’s Day Weekend.

On Saturday night, as the team prepared for a send-off game vs. Ireland (in San Jose, CA) in advance of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, an ordinary team meeting and dinner took a dramatic turn as the featured guests were revealed to be non-other than the players’ moms.  

Some of these moms said they haven’t seen their daughters on Mother’s Day in 14 years- they’ve been on the team that long and playing on the holiday.

mothers day surprise

Then, on Sunday during the U.S.A. vs. Ireland game (at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Ca) a unique breaking of tradition took place. Rather than taking the field with youth soccer members to enter the stadium, the players walked out with their moms in a heartwarming tribute to Mother’s Day and moms across America. I’m pretty sure I spotted a grandma or two in there as well.

  Watch the video- again, grab your tissues!  

U.S. Soccer’s women’s national team received the ultimate Mother’s Day surprise this weekend.Enjoy the video and don’t miss the FIFA Women’s World Cup this June on FOX Sports!

Posted by FOX Soccer on Monday, 11 May 2015

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Button Tree Burlap Canvas


I’ve been really wanting to get back into doing crafts again.  It’s been a long while since I’ve really delved into any kind of creative expression and I’ve missed it. It’s almost like a therapeutic activity! Kohls recently contacted me to see if I’d be willing to try out the new Cricut Explore Air machine (um, you don’t have to ask twice?!) and make a craft of sorts for Mother’s Day.  Now, I did do a craft for Mother’s Day. But it’s for me, myself and I.  Or my house anyway. I loved it too much to give it away…although were my mom still here, she would not only want one for her house, she’d be wanting to do a whole bunch of other crafts.  This one combines some of my favorite craft materials of late… burlap, buttons AND trees. I call it the button tree burlap canvas and I love it!

button-tree-burlap-canvas-craft

Want to make a burlap canvas for your house?

Materials

Grab a 12×12 burlap canvas (You can probably do any size, I’m just liking squares lately

Brown self-stick vinyl roll

assorted buttons – your choice of colors

Cricut Explore Air (or whichever Cricut you have)

cricut explore air

Glue gun, glue sticks (I used 2 1/2 small sticks for this project)

Standard grip cutting mat

Newspaper (unless you have a craft table… mine is my kitchen table or counter)

Instructions

Decide on your tree design/shape.  I’m pretty new to this crafting realm so I went with a simple tree from Cricut. I wanted simple and clean, so the tree could be a base for the buttons to really pop.

Figure out the size your tree will be on the mat- I chose to go with it just a hair over 10 inches wide (the mat is 12 inches wide, like the canvas and I didn’t want it to overwhelm things)

Trim and lay your vinyl onto your Cricut Standard Grip Mat and load it into your machine

cricut-vinyl-cut

While your vinyl is cutting, get your glue gun warmed up

Once your vinyl is finished cutting, unload it from the machine and remove it from the cutting mat carefully.

canvas-tree-vinyl

Before removing the backing of your tree shape, figure out exactly where you want to place the tree on the canvas.  Remove paper backing and adhere to canvas.

After your tree is mounted on the canvas and you’re happy with where it’s placed, grab your  buttons and have fun placing them.  I recommend placing them where you want them and gluing once you’re happy with the look.

cricut-canvas-tree-buttons

Hang on the wall or place on a shelf and voila! Beautiful, simple and fun craft.  Perfect to surprise that special Mom in your life for Mother’s Day, or for your own house.  If you have space where you are placing the canvas on the wall to do a family quote, I think that would look great as well- we do not have the wall space as this will be on a shelf .

I am loving the Explore Air machine.  First and foremost, with the “air” function, I can go wireless, so I can keep the machine off to the side near my computer desk.  It’s bluetooth enabled.  I can design on my iPad, my laptop or computer (or my iPhone), and as long as I’m in range to the machine, I can get things going wirelessly.  Pretty cool feature.

cricut-ipad-mini

Since Cricut uses cloud storage, I can start a design on my laptop, work on it, say, while the kids are at gymnastics on my iPad, and come home to finish up and execute the craft on anything I want! That versatility makes the extra cost of bluetooth functionality worth it for me. I cannot always sit at home and play around to make cards, signs, crafts, boxes, etc., but when I’m at gymnastics for team practices for 3+ hours in a row?  I absolutely can.  I’m just not going to bring a full craft room of supplies with me.  Being able to at least work on and design what I want makes my life a whole lot easier. Plus, crafting is usually pretty relaxing- its nice to have something I can *do* while out that’s still helping me cross items off that never-ending to-do list. Cards, invitations, banners, and this whole new world of window clings and vinyl…. paper crafts… I can do “allthecrafts” “allthetime”!

cricut-explore-air-canvas-project

 

(Please excuse the finger prints on the iPad, this is what things really look like when you have kids in the house…)

The Cricut Explore Air Machine at Kohls comes with

PRODUCT FEATURES

  • Embedded Bluetooth allows for wireless cutting.
  • Dual cartridge lets you cut & write or cut & score at once.
  • Upload your own images for free to personalize your projects.
  • Explore Air machine cuts through a wide variety of materials.
  • Smart Set dial provides one step material setting.
  • Integrated storage compartments keep your space organized.
  • Free Cricut Design Space online software & iPad app offer more patterns to cut.
  • Cut Smart precision cutting creates a clean line every time.
  • Cricut Explore Air Machine works with all Cricut cartridges.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Cricut Explore Air Machine

  • Storage bag

  • USB & power cords

  • German carbide premium blade

  • 12” x 12” StandardGrip cutting mat

  • Accessory adapter

  • Metallic silver pen

  • Cardstock sample

  • Iron on sample

  • 50+ free projects, 100 + free images

  • Getting started guide

What are YOUR favorite Cricut crafts?  And how excited are you that Kohls has so many fun craft supplies available online now?

 

 


Four Steps To Choosing the Right Mother’s Day Gift #Shopswell #Giveaway

Mother’s Day is coming.  Super soon.  (Just so you know, it’s also my birthday this year…sometimes that’s kind of fun). Most of us either want to celebrate being a mom, or celebrate our own moms.  But how do you find the right gift? If you don’t have suggestions from the mom in your life but want to get her a gift….

choosing-right-gift-mothers-day

Four Steps To Choosing the Right Mother’s Day Gift

Make it Memorable:

Don’t disappoint mom and give her a gift she may buy for herself. My mom was known to buy fresh flowers for the house or a nice bottle of wine. Take a risk and buy her something like a full body massage, personalized jewelry or a framed photo with all the kids. For me, I’m good with taking photos and awful at printing them. I’ve wanted a cute little printer for just photos forever….

polaroid shopswell

Make It Meaningful:

I must admit, I have had a few Mother’s Days when I got a bottom of the barrel card or wilted roses. I knew these were last minute and it took no effort to choose them. Do some research and find out what your mom would really like. What is her favorite perfume, or band (buy her tickets to their show) or secret indulgence (decadent triple chocolate cake) or a vintage scarf or broach.

Know Her Stats:

Make sure you know mom’s favorite color, size, flower, hobby or other pertinent information before you head out to do her shopping.

Rely On Reviews:

One thing I will do when shopping for gifts is to see what other people are saying about it. Finding a great deal doesn’t hurt either! With Shopswell, you get all of that and more.

shopswell

What I love about Shopswell is not only am I saving money, but I also get the help from a community of other Shopswell shoppers. Shopswell combines cost saving technology, reviews and recommendations from a quality and shopping savvy community. You can also see authentic videos in a simple interface that empowers your best shopping experience ever.

shopswell printer

I do not have a lot of time or money to waste when it comes to shopping for the right product. Whether it is something for me, my family or a gift for someone, I want the right product at the right price, and I get that on Shopswell. It also makes my online shopping quicker and easier than ever. I can:

  • Track pricing to save money and time.
  • Find the right product for you, right now.
  • Get recommendations, and share yours too.
  • Discover fun quality products that entertain and delight.
  • Benefit from community reviewed and curated products.

shopswell printer track

Instead of those annoying ads popping up from advertisers, Shopswell offers authentic recommendations and reviews from people who understand how to match the unique tastes and needs of shoppers with products they have real experience with.  No matter what you are shopping for, Shopswell offers you get price tracking on the right products with recommendations from a community of shoppers who are just like me!

shopswell printer wishlist

 

Our friends at Shopswell have realized how many people like me are out there, who want help finding the right gifts for the right prices and how to track those. I’m loving this service- both for my Mother’s Day/Birthday wishlist for me, but also to keep a close eye on gifts for family and friends!

shopswell giveaway

Shopswell loves shopping so much and they understand how online shopping is great, they want to give away an Amazon Prime Membership!! Enter below! (If already a member, winner to receive a $99 Gift Card)

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Shopswell, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Flower Pot Candy Jar

I can hardly believe we are halfway through April already.  Before we know it we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day and then the school year will be coming to an end.  If you’re looking for a handmade gift for mom or maybe even something to say thank you to your child’s teacher for all they’ve done this school year, this adorable Flower Pot Candy Jar makes a great gift!  It’s also a great addition to spring or summer decor if you want to make one for yourself.

Flower Pot Candy Jar

Flower Pot Candy Jar

Supplies:

  • 1 small terracotta flower pot with bottom saucer
  • paint brush
  • 1 cabinet knob – I found this adorable beaded knob at a thrift shop
  • paint – suitable for ceramic
  • 1 small glass rose bowl
  • 1 tube of adhesive – something that will work with glass and ceramic

Flower Pot Candy Jar

Instructions:

Begin by painting your flower pot.  Apply 2 coats of paint, allowing it to dry completely between coats and after.  You’ll need to paint all surfaces of the pot and saucer with the exception of the inside of the actual flower pot.

When the paint is completely dry use a small amount of adhesive to attach the knob to the saucer piece to create the candy jar lid.  Set aside to dry.

Flower Pot Candy Jar

 

While the glue dries on the first piece create the base of the candy jar.  Turn the flower pot upside down.  Apply a small amount of adhesive to the bottom of the glass bowl and place it on the flower pot, carefully pressing down.  Allow the adhesive to dry completely before using.

Flower Pot Candy Jar

Once the adhesive is dry on both the candy jar and lid it is ready to use!  Fill with a favorite candy and use or give as a gift.

Flower Pot Candy Jar

You can add details or a phrase using paint and stencils or scrap booking stickers if you want to personalize the jar or make it more unique!

Felt Napkin Rings

These adorable napkin rings are fun and simple to make, and would be a great Mother’s Day gift (hint, hint, family) or just a fun craft to make for yourself. But some bright colored napkins to go in them, and you’ll have a beautiful (and inexpensive) gift made with love!
felt-napkin-rings

FELT NAPKIN RINGS

SUPPLIES

Turquoise felt

Red or Pink Felt

Button



napkin rings supplies

TOOLS

Scissors

Hot glue gun

DIRECTIONS

1. Cut a 1 1/2″ x 5″ piece of turquoise felt.

2. Draw three different sized circles out of the red or pink felt. Glue one on top of the other using hot glue. Adhere a button of your choice to the top of the circles.

napkin rings button

3. Attach the stack of circles to the center of the turquoise felt. Create a tube out of the felt, overlapping the ends just a bit, and use hot glue to attach together. Repeat until you have enough napkin rings for the entire table.

napkin rings close

What I really want for Mother’s Day is… HoneyBaked Ham?

Someone asked me today what my dream Mother’s Day would be.  I realized, I don’t have a great answer for that. I could be sappy and sentimental and want to spend the day with my family.  It kind of got me thinking, though.  What WOULD my day look like? What do I really want for Mother’s Day? The folks at HoneyBaked Ham had asked me to write a post about Mother’s Day and I realized, what they offer is something I might really enjoy.

I mean, sure, I’d be happy to visit a spa (haven’t been to one before), have some fabulous pampering time, and be doted on all day.

But I would probably miss my family and be a little lonely.

Pampered, but lonely.

 

spa_massage_therapy

Photo Credit: http://www.samasannine.com/

In a dream world, my mom would still be around and we could take her to lunch.  Then dinner could be about “me” and we could still see my mom.

I guess my ideal Mother’s Day is a day that:

I sleep until my body wakes up

Fresh coffee greets me when I come downstairs

The kids are doing their best to be kind to each other

I don’t have to make plans nor decisions.

Someone would insist I go get a nice pedicure with extra time in the massage chair. Also, there might be a small glass of wine with that pedicure.  A friend or two might even join me for that activity.

Meals aren’t something I need to worry about.  I’d actually really like to pop over to HoneyBaked ham and grab a spiral ham and a few sides and have a fabulous picnic in the woods someplace with my family.  That way, none of us has to stress or prepare foods.  They are ready to eat, in containers, and we know they’ll be delicious.  Or, the Mother’s Day Special.

honeybaked  ham

 

A 4 lb spiral ham (my favorite) and 4 adorable little chocolate silk pies.  YUM.  We’d need a loaf of bread, some fruit and cheese, and we’d have the perfect picnic lunch!
After our awesome, bug-free, no-kids-arguing picnic, we’d go home for a nap (because every day should have a nap in it) and hubby and I could end our day with a soak in the hot tub we don’t own.

What’s your ideal Mother’s Day like?

 

My Mother’s Day Plans include unplugging it all #SocialBlackout

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and as much as I love you all, dear friends, I won’t be online much.  Especially not on Sunday, Mother’s Day itself.  Why is that?  I want to unplug, unwind and just chill.  All day.  I won’t lie, it will be hard, because I’ve always got my phone right there, or a tablet, laptop. I am participating in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consultingfor MetLife. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participatingIn other words, I’ll be taking part in the Social Blackout! Will you join me?

the kids who made me mama

 

My mom isn’t around to spend Mother’s Day with.  If she was here, she would tell me to unplug and BE with my family, my children, the ones who made me a mama.  And so, to honor her, that’s what my plan is. We are going out to breakfast at a new local place I just discovered (and oh goodness, the Cosmic Omelet is the name- if you are ever near Manchester, CT, you have to go!)…after breakfast, the kids and my husband are going to have lunch with my mother in law, and I’m off for a manicure and pedicure.  I also downloaded the last Sookie Stackhouse book to read.  The kids and hubby will come home in the afternoon and we’ll do a movie and dinner together, since it’s due to rain and rain all day long.  Can’t imagine doing it any other way.

social black out mothers day

Join the Mother’s Day movement every mom will be proud of: #SocialBlackout. It’s simple. In fact, it may be the easiest event you’ve ever attended. Just don’t show up.

Because mom has always been so attentive with us, we’re honoring her on Sunday, May 12 by turning our attention to her instead of our friends and feeds. Just set your profile pic with the official #SocialBlackout image, update your status with a warm Mother’s Day wish and say “arrivederci” to your social sites for a day.

How to spread the Mother’s Day movement:

1. Join the #SocialBlackout event page
2. Invite your friends to join
3. Log off Social Media on Mother’s Day

It’s really that simple.

 

Won’t you join me?  (Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be online today, tomorrow and Monday….but one day, I can give it all up!)

Double Cash Back at Ebates in time for Mother’s Day!

Happy May!  It’s almost Mother’s Day– and it’s time for many (including myself) to get those gifts, flowers, cards, plants, etc purchased in time for Sunday.  It’s also my birthday week…and since I’m a mom…so sometimes maybe it’s time for me to surprise myself?!  One of my FAVORITE ways to shop is online but my most favorite way is using Ebates.com because I earn cash back on my purchases and it helps me to save money.  I may or may not have gotten an email from Ebates congratulating me on a certain transaction number in my lifetime with them a year or so ago.  Given my love for Ebates, and getting cash back, when they said “Hey Brett, can you help spread the word about our Mother’s Day DOUBLE cash back promotion?” I of course had to say yes.


ebates double cash back

Want to just do flowers? FTD has 25% cash back  and Teleflora is at 20% cash back.  Send pretty flowers, she’s happy, get cash back, your wallet is happy.  Win, win!  Not a member of Ebates.com? Signing up is free and new members get a $10 gift card just for signing up!

Not a flower person?  There’s tons of great deals to be had, from flowers to clothes to accessories to makeup to house stuff to jewelry.  I mean, that covers just about any list?!  And my favorite (see below) deal…

Mother’s Day Stores and Cash Back Amounts

Blue Nile – 5.0% Cash Back

JCrew – 6.0% Cash Back

Lands’ End – 6.0% Cash Back

FTD – 20.0% Cash Back

QVC – 3.0% Cash Back

Coach – 3.0% Cash Back

jcpenney – 8.0% Cash Back

Teleflora – 20.0% Cash Back%

Avon – 7.0% Cash Back

Kohl’s – 6.0% Cash Back

Nordstrom – 5.0% Cash Back

Macy’s – 6.0% Cash Back

LivingSocial – 4.0% Cash Back

Magazines.com – 40.0% Cash Back

Sephora – 8.0% Cash Back

eBags – 12.0% Cash Back

 ebates double cash back

Here’s the super fun thing.  Does mom like magazines?  Head to Ebates, click on Magazines.com, and get her a renewal or a new subscription to People Magazine (or maybe just me. I mean, we all have guilty pleasures???) and then YOU will get 52% cash back on the subscription price.  PLUS when you click through, a $5 off coupon is on the home page.  Let’s do that math.  Can someone send this to my husband please? 

1 year People Magazine is $116.07 for 53 issues.  (The $5 coupon won’t work for People, so maybe get a subscription for yourself with People, and then surprise someone else with another magazine that does work with the coupon). But still… Then you get $60.36 back from Ebates.  Um, hello?  Sign me up, please and thank you.  I mean, you know.  Sign yourself up.  (I would feel guilty buying for myself but I’d love to have this! What a fun gift that lasts all year!)

Thanks to Ebates for sponsoring this conversation today, and for giving me cash back since 2008.  Three cheers for smart spending!

Empowering Women for Mother’s Day #PintoEmpower (Giveaway)

As we celebrate mothers around the world this weekend, it seems to me that we should be doing what we can to celebrate women around the world in general- yes, mothers, but when we’re looking to get something for a mother in our lives to show a token of our appreciation for all they do, it would be wonderful if we could shop things made by other women, to empower women. This post is brought to you by Walmart’s Empowering Women Together campaign, and will highlight some beautifully crafted items made by women around the globe.  Some are mothers, some are not. I love the idea of celebrating Mother’s Day by helping to empower other women.  It just feels right, you know?
Walmart’s goal in this program is to offer a destination for consumers to support small businesses own and run by women around the world where they can find unique and handcrated items.  Each purchase supports the women who own the businesses, as well as their communities, empowering them to do more.  There are over 200 items from over 19 countries available on Empowering Women Together, and thanks to the size and reach of Walmart as a corporation, these women are reaching customers globally who may otherwise have never heard of them. 

Click to view Empowering Women Together Mother’s Day Look Book on GLOSSI.COM

Check out this video about the Empowering Women Together program



If you are on Pinterest (and I hope you are, because I have much love for Pinterest), be sure to follow the Empowering Women Together board!

empowering women together

One reader will win $75 worth of Empowering Together merchandise! 

This is a sponsored conversation with Mom It Forward. Opinions are my own.

What are you making for mom? With Mom? As a mom? Mother’s Day Giveaway

It’s the end of April, and Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away.  Back in the day, my mom and I enjoyed doing crafts together. While she’s not here to spend Mother’s Day with, I’ll carry on our tradition of crafting together with my kids- even if it’s my own Mother’s Day surprise.  It’s with that in mind that I excitedly tell you I was invited to take part in this giveaway for a HUGE get your crafting, creative, baking on prize pack- including not one but 2 Cricut Expression 2 units, and winner’s choice of either 2 5qt KitchenAid Artisan Mixers OR 2 Canon T3 DSLR Cameras!! That’s right- a set for you, a set for mom! (Or grama, sister, bff, neighbor…teacher….you get the idea).
mothers-day-party-ideas-giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post.
No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received.** This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.** To qualify to win, you must fill out the Entry. See Rafflecopter for complete rules. This giveaway is compliant with Facebook Promotions Guidelines. Must be aged 18+ to enter & win. Valid only in the United States. Void where prohibited by state or national law.