Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unus Sed Leo's Etsy Shop Grand Opening Giveaway!

I am so excited about finally opening my Etsy store that I am celebrating with a giveaway! I am slowly but steadily filling the shop with my vintage and handmade finds- don't want to list it all at once- so keep watching for beautiful things.

Here's how this is going to work, the giveaway starts today and ends July 31st. From now until then I will be adding items to the store everyday, so if you do not see something that you like and want to win now, keep watching.

Vintage Metal & Mother of Pearl Collar Necklace
Scarlet & Azul Hinged Cloisonne Bangle
Vintage Enamel Peony Earrings

Sergio Lub Triple Chevron Cuff
Vintage Art Deco Wooden Bangle

So, what exactly is the giveaway? Well, to celebrate someone will win one item of their choice from my store, up to $20. Remember, new things will be added every day!

How to Enter:
  • Share this post using the Tweet or Facebook Share button at the top of this post (1 x daily each). Drop the link in a comment along with an email for me to contact you if you win.
  • Etsy Love If you are an Etsy user add my store to your favorites (click on the banner above) or any item you want to win. Let me know what you favorited in a comment below, for obvious reasons you can only favorite once for each item, but check back for more items all month!
  • Tweet/FB Check out any item from my store that you want to win and then Tweet or Like it on FB. You can do this directly from the Etsy post, bottom right. Drop the link in a comment for me. 
  • Blog about this giveaway, add a link. Tell your readers to let me know you sent them & if they win, you win! 
  • Friend me on Facebook, Like this blog or Follow me on Twitter (1 entry for each)
Don't forget to come back and see what else has been posted, or follow me on Fb to catch new items as they go up!  

Contest ends 7/31 at midnight PST. Winner will be notified via email & has 48 hours to respond. I will do everything I can to contact the winner before choosing another, so make sure you leave me a working email address. Winner gets to choose any current store listing up to $20. Good Luck!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Have an Etsy Store: Vintage and Handmade Finds

I am always talking about my cool vintage finds and the handmade jewelry, accessories and clothing I create! And I am constantly getting emails and comments from friends that they want whatever it is I find or requests to watch out for. So after a lot of ho-humming I decided to just bite the bullet and open my own virtual store on Etsy!

My store will include both vintage and handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories and home decor. A lot of the handmade stuff that I do is upcycled too, so you will be seeing a lot of that. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wigs and Hair Extensions from Laissez Faire

Known as the online hair superstore, Laissez Faire, is a trusted site for quality wigs, weaves and hair extensions, and all the supplies you need to get the hairstyle you want. Both synthetic and real human hair are sold in every color imaginable from more brands than any other online retailer carries. 

If you use hair extensions and are not satisfied with the current brand or supplier, be sure to check out the products available.  The extra strands give you the freedom to experiment with your look,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review: My Sweet Mexico, Not So Sweet

My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats 
I was so excited when I found, My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats because it had recipes for all of my favorite dulces, plus lots of other stuff that I have been wanting to try. Over the last two months or so, I have been trying to replicate the recipes within. None of them are working!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gardening How To: Gardening Around Hardscapes

When we first moved into our home, it looked like a jungle with some serious hardscapes in need of gardening. The one good thing about the various garden areas, were the struggling and scattered perennials that were still fighting through the weeds. I was able to garden around the hardscapes in our yard, including a guardrail, a driveway and driveway landscaping. 

One reclaimed corner of the yard
If you have some hardscapes in your yard that could use a touch of gardening, it is not that hard. Here's what I did:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Star Fruit, Pineapple and Mango Salsa Recipe

Last year I shared a quick dish that I fell in love with, mango salsa with chicken, and the salsa from a local store was delicious enough that I was content enough to buy instead of make. This week though, I found a recipe that took the mango salsa over the top, in this awesome book called Growing Tasty Tropical Plants. 
 Growing Tasty Tropical Plants: *in any home, anywhere. (like lemons, limes, citrons, grapefruit, kumquats, sunquats, tahitian oranges, barbados ... tea, black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, an

Monday, June 20, 2011

Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products a Bargain for Allergy Sufferers

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies knows how expensive name brand health products can be, and this is why I love that the Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products are such a value packed bargain.


When I found out that Walgreens was going to be offering a new Allergy medication, Wal-Fex, I was eager to try it and bought it immediately. For years I have been using other Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products, saving myself money, but have pretty much stuck with the same allergy medication for fear that nothing else would work quite as well. However, after speaking with one of the pharmacists and reading the product information, I was assured that it would work just as well as the name brand I was paying about 30% more for.

For several days now I have been using the Wal-Fex and have yet to notice any difference or feel any of the side effects that allergies can cause. I certainly do not miss the price tag for my old brand either. I truly am happy that like other Walgreens brands, this product, and most others, has the same active ingredients as other national brands. The pharmacist at my store took the time to compare ingredient lists with me and in addition to recommending it, he let me know about their 100% satisfaction guarantee!


If you have never tried Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products, now is the time to do so and one of these blog giveaways for Walgreens gift cards is a great way to start! One program that I had no clue about is the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™ which provides wellness services to local communities, so I, and you, can feel good about your purchase.


Visit Sponsor's Site

Universal or Disney? What's Best For Teens?

In the middle of all this planning, debating and number crunching a new issue has arisen. Do we consider Universal instead of Disney? Don't get me wrong, we have always wanted to do Disney, there is just something about the place. But, when I consider Disney next to Universal, and consider what the girls and I really love-- fast, crazy rides-- it seems as if Universal would be the better fit for us.

Now all of this is purely conjecture at this point because I still do not know if I am going to have enough to throw in money for tickets. The costs around this trip keep rising and I sorely underpriced a lot of stuff and we changed the return trip to include a couple stops. Still, I would like to see this part of the trip happen, and I am really going to try and make it possible.

The ticket prices to Universal are much better than Disney, but like Disney the better discounts come with a four to five day ticket over a one or two day. However, there is no way I would be able to do a four day, even split up, regardless of the savings or if I can pay for it. It would just be way too much walking for me and I know that if I tried to even force the two days in a row I would be off my feet for two weeks.

With as weak as my knees have been lately, and with the fall I took a couple weeks back, I am not even sure I can do all the walking that one day would require. I am hoping there are wheelchairs because I would probably have to make use of one. My ankle and foot will not be completely healed by then and it is the constant walking on my knee that causes it to pop. The last thing I want is for it to happen away from home and then I would not only be unable to walk, but driving would be impossible as well.
I love roller coasters, but I would have to have the girls wheel me around and then just stand in line for the rides. I know that that would definitely help.

Anyways, for girls that love big thrill-- Disney or Universal?

Oh, and I have not asked the girls which they prefer because as far as they are concerned this is purely a space coast and Florida Keys vacation with as many days spent at and on the beach as possible. I don't want to have them consider something that might not happen, but I am sure if I sprung it on them, they could bring themselves to leave the beach for the 2 days :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Florida For Families Guidebook Reviews & Recommendations

I love the internet, but I never take a trip without reading a few travel guidebooks-- I love them. For our trip to Florida, I have been grabbing and reading anything that covers Florida for Families. The twins might be 14, and too old for any child prices at attractions, but this is going to be a family themed trip with lots of opportunities to learn and have fun. 

There are two books in particular that I have grabbed, neither is Disney heavy which is why I grabbed them. The first is from travel leader, Fodors, and is called Frommer's Florida With Your Family.
 Frommer's Florida With Your Family (Frommers With Your Family Series)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Painfree Swimsuit Shopping With Teens, Finally!

Ever take teens swimsuit shopping?

I am so relieved that I was able to go swimsuit shopping with the twins and keep all my limbs, my sanity and get in and out of the store in a little over an hour. If you remember last year, or the year before, shopping for swimsuits with the girls was not fun-- Missy refused to try anything else on when I sarcastically agreed with her about being fat, Catherine put a curse on me and Christine pulled a karate move.

Knowing that both girls were going to need new suits for the summer and that the longer we waited, the less that we would find, I decided to try things a little differently this year. Here's what we did:

Talk About What Is and Is Not Allowed
This has always been a sticking point with Missy, but the twins are just coming into their own and this is really the first time they are buying a suit that they wouldn't use on a swim team (sporty Speedo's) or a cute one piece that mom or I chose for them. Before we went out or looked at anything online we talked about what they could and could not pick out, for us, it's no strings or thongs and the tops have to cover their chests entirely. 

Limit Your Teens to A Couple Stores
I think a huge part of the reason we have never been able to swimsuit shop together successfully in the past is because the girls had too many options. Limit them to one or two stores, but make sure the stores you choose have plenty of style options. Stores like Target and Old Navy sells several tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched. 

Browse the Online Selection
I made the girls browse the online selection for the stores we were heading to for two reasons. First, it gave the girls an idea of the different styles and prints that each store had so they could talk about what style suits would flatter them the most.  Second, I'm trying to teach the girls about shopping smart and how to spend versus save-- the book, A Purse of Your Own: An Easy Guide to Financial Security is a great book for teens & young women-- so this gave them an idea of how much they would be spending.

It worked! And it was totally painfree :)

The girls knew what they were looking for, had an idea of all the patterns that were in the styles they liked so we walked in, grabbed them and went straight to the fitting rooms. Both settled on the same suit, but they did end up deciding that they wanted to pair the top with cute board shorts to wear in the water (with bottoms they already owned because they won't be showing).

Here's what they settled on, From Old Navy
These they paired with colorful board shorts that had a brown background.

I love the support that is included in the top, something you don't see on most suits, but there is support on the side and the cups. I hope this will prevent any suit rolling etc.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Help Me Celebrate Summer With the Summer Blogger Block Party!

To celebrate the start of summer, I joined up with several other blogs to bring lots of great giveaways during the Summer Block Party. The event will last till  June 21st, and is hosted by, Tatum, from Tatum's Family Reviews.
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Each of the giveaways that I will be hosting has the possibility of extra entries when you check out and Follow/Like/Follow each of the blogs. (I'll be sure to link back to this page with each giveaway.

Follow Us on Twitter!
Please use Hashtag #SBBP

And like us on Facebook!
Tatum's Family Reviews

Monday, June 6, 2011

Trying to Plan a Trip to Disney

Does anyone have any Disney vacation tips for me? Do you have any idea how incredibly crazy complicated this is? Seriously, I wanted to title this post, How to Perform Major Surgery on Yourself.
When I mentioned that we wanted to make a trip down to Florida, I mentioned that I wanted to stop for a day or two at Walt Disney World with the girls, if I could afford it. Last year my brother and I were seriously considering a trip down, treating all our sibs to a vacation, but then my brother lost his job last Jan and after a couple months was still not employed. We changed the plans to take a vacation much closer to home, to Wisconsin Dells-- which was so much fun!

Because we would be in Florida already, I would love to surprise the twins with Disney. No one in the fam has ever been, but I know that everyone has had the desire to go at one point or another. 

The thing is, I won't know till right before we are leaving if I will be able to afford it, so it will definitely be a last minute paid for thing-- which might end up being more expensive. I would like to know everything that I need to know about the visit either way, even if I do just end up buying the tickets when we are there. Two day tickets for the 4 of us would end up being over $600, and that is without any of the added perks or options. Not staying on property would not get us the extra hour options at the start and end of the day, we would have to pay to park both days, no water park, hopper etc. 

If we were to stay longer, and at one of the resorts, the savings are a lot more significant, but that would cost a couple grand and I don't have that on top of what I would need for the rest of the trip. Plus, I can't take that much time off.

Trying to plan out this portion of the trip though, is crazy ridiculous. I have been scouring forums, websites and even picked up a couple books from the library-- but OMG, I don't understand half the lingo. Most of these folks in there have been every year, and there is just so much information to digest. It really is overwhelming. 

It is impossible to keep everything straight. Seriously, information overload. I wish I was more obsessive about things, but I tend to be nonchalant about planning vacations and trips since I grew up in a family with a family business and we never knew when or if we were going to vacation until my mom started throwing things into a trunk. Seriously, the last time we went to Mexico I was on my way home from school when my mom called to say that if I wanted to come, I had an hour to get home and pack before she left. It was also the trip my dad said she would never take and didn't believe her till we were pulling out of the driveway and he ran into the house to grab his wallet and a toothbrush, lol-- nothing else.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How to Make Cassava Cake

With all the new gardening books and cookbooks I have been flipping through lately, I have had the chance to try out new fruit and veggies-- like cassava. I have been reading a lot about cassava and was surprised to find out that I have actually already had cassava cake!

Every year my family attends the Simbang Gabi festival here at our church, in addition to other cultural events around Christmas time. One of my favorite dishes is this lovely cake that the Filipino community

Armani Jeans: Always the Right Trend

Armani Jeans is one of the few designers out there that has made casual wear a classic look.  No matter how the trends change, this designer always has a place among them, largely in part to the chic style and cut of each and every piece that make up the collection. 

This year is no different, and I really have fallen in love with several pieces including dresses, tees and Armani jeans. There are even a few mens tees that I wouldn't mind owning too!

Among my pics for this season are 
For a night out on the town

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 is Zorro's Choice!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nutrish for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
When was the last time you had to sit down and pretend to eat dog food in order to trick your stubborn dog into eating it too? Me? When I received a sample of Rachael Ray Nutrish just 6 dry dog food.

When I adopted my dog, Zorro, I didn't know how many bad habits I would have to work on. Zorro's eating habits, table feeding, and what he would eat were just one of his issues, but because I want Zorro to be happy AND healthy I know I have to be just as stubborn as him.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Worth a Look: PhotoPic Sky Survey

The girls and I are in total space mode right now as we anticipate traveling to Florida to watch the final space shuttle launch in July. I have always been into space exploration and astronomy, and since I drag the girls along with me, they are pretty into it as well. 

This really neat website called, PhotoPic Sky Survey, just landed in my email inbox today, and I am so jealous and inspired. Seriously, Wow! You have to visit the site to understand what I mean. 

Photopic Sky Survey
The site is a project by, Nick Risinger, and is the product of a year long photographic endeavor in which Nick traveled 60,000 miles. Sky Survey is a single night sky photograph, composed of over 37,000 synchronized shots, void of light pollution.  It really is incredible, and reminds us all of the place we have in the universe. 

Finding areas that are without any light pollution up here is hard, but I do recall many sleepless nights in the rain forests of Costa Rica spent staring up at the incredibly illuminated (and different) night sky. 

It's worth a look.