October 31, 2013

Crafty Christmas Cash Giveaway!

It's giveaway time! I'm joining Katherines Corner and Art by Karena, BeBetsy, Deliciously Inspired, My Turn for Us, Mamas Little Treasures, Ruby For Women, Practically Functional and Sew Crafty Angel to bring you this wonderful Crafty Christmas Cash Giveaway. We all got together to make this giveaway extra special. ♥

Peppermint Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle

Last weekend I picked up a special collector’s edition of Taste of Home magazine in BJ’s and was immediately sold!  It didn’t matter if they were offering 20% off.  I would have paid double as long as I didn’t have to put it down.  The food images had my mouth watering and I was inspired to bake for myself the family that very evening! 

I flipped through the entire magazine and tagged my favorites.  Everything from Cranberry Rugalach, Blueberry Banana Bread, and Cheesy Sun Crisps to Apricot Coconut Bars and Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (which I also made)!  After skimming each recipe, I settled on Peppermint Biscotti.  The hubby and I are big fans of mint anything, so it was the perfect choice.

October 29, 2013

Tips for parenting two children under two!

In the last few weeks of my second pregnancy, I remember thinking one constant thought. When this kid comes out, I'm going to have two kids under the age of two running around on this earth. And the idea of that immediately wall-slammed me to this thought: I wonder if there's a way to keep this second one in my belly a bit longer, at least until he's on solids.
 
Unfortunately, our ObGyn said this was not "advisable."
 
So, when he came out a week shy of forty, husband and I hit the ground running with our pre-planned ideas of how to parent two children under two while trying not to go Cuckoo Clock bonkers in the process.

October 28, 2013

The PINcentive Blog Hop: Week 8

WELCOME to the eighth week of The PINcentive Blog Hop!  I think a big THANK YOU is in order to everyone that has been linking up.  More so for making it EXTREMLY difficult for our co-hosts to choose winners each week and providing us with such great recipes, crafts, tips, parenting advice, tutorials, (you name it)!  Your content has truly been a pleasure to read and it keeps getting better each week!

If this is your first time linking up; WELCOME!  I am extremely excited to provide this link up for you today and the opportunity for you to increase your traffic, followers, and improve your page rank! 

October 27, 2013

Our $100 “just because” giveaway!

Do you know what I like to do? I like to give away things for no reason at all, just because I feel like it!  I don’t need a blogiversary, holiday, birthday, or even 1000 social media followers to celebrate!  My readers , yeah YOU, are reason enough to make me want to celebrate and give something special away!  Sort of a “thank you” for all the times you’ve read my posts, left comments, shared my content, provided me with blogger opportunities, supported my ideas, sponsored me, contributed to my website, but, most importantly, were there when I needed a friend!

With that said, a group of us decided to contribute some of our hard earned money to fund this monthly giveaway so we could present the eGIFT CARD by American Express to all of you today! 

October 23, 2013

Photography Exposure Tips: Understanding Shutter Speed

Hello, again, to the wonderful Cropped Stories readers.  This is Jen from West Street Story, and I am back today with additional photography tips for you.  If you remember my previous post, Photography Exposure Tips, I discussed ISO, one of the three settings you should consider for achieving proper exposure in your photographs, otherwise known as the photographic triangle. 

Today, however, I will be providing you information on shutter speed.

October 21, 2013

The PINcentive Blog Hop: Week 7

WELCOME to the seventh week of The PINcentive Blog Hop!  I think a big THANK YOU is in order to everyone that has been linking up.  More so for making it EXTREMLY difficult for our co-hosts to choose winners each week and providing us with such great recipes, crafts, tips, parenting advice, tutorials, (you name it)!  Your content has truly been a pleasure to read and it keeps getting better each week!

If this is your first time linking up; WELCOME!  I am extremely excited to provide this link up for you today and the opportunity for you to increase your traffic, followers, and improve your page rank! 

October 20, 2013

Tips for coping with depression while exploring treatment

I knew I wanted to write a post on depression, but had no idea where to begin.  I must have opened and closed my laptop several times before finding the words.  

Sometimes I write unsure of where I want my post to go.  What's the point?  Of my blog post, I mean.  Do I have one?  While the answer to that last question is yes, I usually struggle with making only one point and not 50 million.  Each sentence opens up new doors and, easily tempted, I usually find myself walking through them.  When I do, I find my post going in a million different directions making my topic no longer clear to my readers.

With that said, I am going to focus on coping with depression without the use of medication.

October 17, 2013

TGIF Link Party!

Welcome to the TGIF Link Party at Living Better Together and I Want Crazy!

This week we have an amazing Black Friday Giveaway opportunity available to bloggers and Etsy shop owners. If you want to learn how you can be a part of it and what's involved click here.

October 16, 2013

A tutorial for Studio Design: a free photo design app

Hey everyone, I'm Alicia and I blog over at A Sweet Fragrance. My family and I are American-born but live as expats over in SE Asia. I blog about our life overseas, recipes I attempt to make while substituting lots of ingredients, projects I do around the house, "tot school" lessons I teach to my toddler, and lessons I learn through parenting and walking with the Lord. I believe it's always a good time for coffee and I blame and also thank my husband for turning me into the coffee snob I am today.
 

Beauty Tips and Tricks; I’m sharing it all!

I was getting ready last weekend to go to a birthday party and realized that my routine consisted of various beauty tips and tricks that I’ve acquired over the years.  Some are my own, while others were picked up from beauty school or from participating in pageants when I was younger.  And before Alivia came along I was an avid Cosmopolitan, Vogue, InStyle, and Mademoiselle reader so you can imagine the tips, trends, and tricks I’ve learned from these magazines alone!  I used to clip and keep them in a beauty binder to reference them later.  Particularly the cosmetic images that I used as inspiration to apply my own makeup.  And although this is a bit different than the usual topics I blog about, I thought I’d share my beauty tips and tricks with all of you! 

October 14, 2013

The PINcentive Blog Hop: Week 6

Welcome to a SPECIAL week of The PINcentive Blog Hop! For those of you that have been linking up weekly know there was no blog hop last week due to a much needed bloggy break. Sort of a bummer, I know.

Well, we’re ready to make it up to you! As promised, we’ll be choosing 4 winners this week (instead of 3)! One of which I, Cropped Stories, will provide with sidebar exposure for 30 days!  The space is a whoppin’ 240 x 340 and is valued at $20!  This, of course, will be in addition to being featured, having your content pinned a minimum of 31 times, co-hosting our next hop, and priority seating!

October 1, 2013

Photography Exposure Tips: Understanding ISO

Hello Cropped Stories readers!  I am so excited to be here as a guest contributor.  Keep an eye out for my posts here on Cropped Stories as I will be providing tips as a non-professional photographer trying to achieve professional looking photographs.

Today’s post is all about ISO.  While I was in Hawaii, one of the tours I did was a photography expedition.  I found a local photographer that offered these personal, one-on-one tours.  I went into it thinking he was just going to take me around the island, and we would capture some pretty pictures.  However, I gained SO MUCH more than just a few tropical photographs.  He taught me things about my camera and photography that brought my picture taking skills to a whole new level.  I will benefit from what I learned for the rest of my life!

And guess what?  I am going to share some of the things that I learned with you!

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