Friday, February 26, 2010

Shamrock DIY Iron On Kit GIVEAWAY, ends March 4

Meet my newest DIY iron on kit...just in time for St. Patrick's day.
Buy them here.
Win one here!

Leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday and why. Failure to do so will disqualify all other entries.

Extra Entries (where all the fun is! All entries worth one unless otherwise listed. Those worth a ton will be added in at the end via an uncomplicated list with numbers and names)

  • Follow this blog (google connect on the left)
  • Grab my button (leave a URL so I can check it out)
  • Follow me on twitter (jessremington...leave your twitter name)
  • Tweet about the giveaway and make sure to @jessremington it so I get it tweeted to me. No limit on the # of times you do this. Heck, if you tweet Enter to win one Shamrockin' DIY iron-on from @jessreminton ends March 4 100 times a day, knock yourself out!
  • Buy an iron on kit. Get 50 entries. You won the contest and bought one? Either win a second kit OR save your win for the upcoming Easter kits!!!
  • Buy one of the newly listed groovy guitar shirts. Get 250 entries per shirt purchased. (Same goes for any other listed item)
  • Blog about this giveaway (leave URL) Get 50 extra entries.
  • Follow FJITJ on Facebook.
Make sure to leave an email address in at least one of the comments if it is not easy to find in your profile!

Don't care about winning the contest, you just want some of these LUCKY shamrock kits NOW? Buy now and save. Mention this post in a convo on etsy and I'll set up a listing for you for your kits (only applies to orders of two or more and can be added to additional orders if you want a shirt or banner as well) taking 25% off your total purchase! (Must purchase kits to receive discount on any merchandise) Shamrock's are ready to go and ship same day as payment is received!

Organic Weed Killer Giveaway, ends March 10

Like the EcoSMART products I just reviewed? Want to win a bundle for yourself?
You can do that right now!
Leave a comment sharing why you want or need the value bundle just described.
Yep, let me know why you want to control home pest or use an organic weed killer.
I've already told you why I want to use them...your turn.

Want an extra entry a day? Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment w/ the URL.
Easy as pie.

Contest runs through March 10 @ Midnight.
Open for U.S. except Alaska & Hawaii only
One entry per person.

EcoSMART Home & Garden Pest Control

I want to grow a garden. Each year I plant something I think will be yummy to eat, and each year, a bug eats it instead. The bug never says thank you, either. I've checked out pesticides at Home Depot, but because I want to EAT the food, I balk at the thought of spraying these poisons to keep bugs at bay on it.

However, I am going to be using EcoSMART home and garden pest control this spring. I am able to review the Garden Insect Killer, Garden Fungicide, Weed and Grass Killer (do you think my neighbors would mind if instead of cutting the grass I just killed it???) and Insect Repellent (that bottle is going with us to LA for sure this summer!).

I am excited to use this line of products because this is a line of organic insecticide products. Safe to use around children and pets...non-toxic. Environmentally safe and works fast! I am always hesitant to spray pest control (let's group weeds in to the category of pests) because of the chemicals I am putting into the earth...where our water and food come from! I don't let the boys outside in the backyard to play for a day or two after I spray weed killer in the cracks in our lovely concert patio area (never buy a house in the winter when it is covered in snow and all pics. are shown of house covered in snow.). That just isn't fair for them.

With this line of home and garden pest control, I will be more relaxed and not worried they will get sick from the toxicity of the "other" pest controls.

One more thing, for all four organic insecticides I received to review, the total price is only $26...just one bottle (same size) of weed killer that makes me freak out about poisoning our water and my children is like $10!

Who knows...maybe I will even actually succeed in my desire to plant, grow, and harvest carrots and strawberries...maybe...

This discovery is solely based on my opinions. I was not paid to write this review though I did receive a set of organic insecticides for my personal use this spring. Pictures courtesy of EcoSMART's website and blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Printing on gumpaste like a frosting sheet

Guest Blogger Today!

My mother, Linda McClure, of Deseret Designs and Creative Designs for Cakes. Linda has been decorating cakes professionally for ten years now and is just a wealth of knowledge. She is constantly inventing new ways to make cake decorating a thing of beauty. Her largest claim to fame is using electronic paper cutting machines to cut gumpaste. You've heard me talk about it here and seen a few cakes I've done using this technique. She sells DVD's on her techniques at her site.

Today Linda is going to teach you how you can print pictures onto a sheet of gumpaste!

The printer I use in my shop is an Epson 1400 photo printer. I use it with food color cartridges to print frosting sheets. I also use it to print gum paste sheets, you can see me using it in the You Tube video. If you do not have a frosting sheet printer or do not want to run the risk of messing up your frosting sheet printer you can use a Cannon 2600 printer. It only uses regular ink, not food color. It costs $30.o00 from Wal Mart, so if you would like to experiment with this technique you would not be out a lot of money. The Cannon printer is for practice only.

I roll out my gum paste very thin, just like I would if I were going to be cutting out a design with an electronic cutter. If I need a large sheet of gum paste I roll it out with my fondant sheeter ( I show how to do this in my new DVD, "Damask Wedding Cakes").

I apply the gum paste to my plastic mat. You can do this several ways:

1) If you have the small Cricut you can apply the gum paste to your 6" mat. This mat will fit in the Cannon printer. Set the mat size and the area you are going to print from your picture program. Print the image onto the gum paste, just like you would print onto a frosting sheet.

2)If you have the Expressions, or other electronic cutter with a larger mat you can apply the gum paste to the larger mat. If you used a fondant sheeter you can apply a full sheet of gum paste to the cutting mat. If not you can roll out 2 six inch pieces of gum paste that are 12" long and apply them side by side. This can only work with the printer that can print a 13" wide mat. Set your picture program to print your image in the area that the gum paste is located. Apply it the same way as the 6" mat, using a fondant smoother to make sure it is applied securely and wipe off any excess shortening.

3)You can cut a plastic mat to fit the Cannon printer and apply the gum paste to it just like above. When you have printed you image onto the gum paste, let it dry a bit before taking it off to apply to your mat for cutting with the electronic cutter or whatever you wanted to do with the printed gum paste.

I use the plastic mats from the Dollar Store that are made for cutting food on. They are great for storing my designs on that I have cut out in advance of a project. I store the mats in a 2 1/2 gallon zip lock baggie.

Now you are not limited to a solid color piece of gum paste for your designs. This technique opens up a whole new world of design possibilities. So far I have had great success and I am excited to try new designs on printed gum paste.


Ethan's had a bit of an upset stomach lately. I am taking him to the doctor tomorrow to find out what is going on.
Yesterday was our return car trip from Louisiana to Nebraska. About 18 hours (including all stops for gas, food, WalMart for Bart's search for a PS3, bathroom, etc)
We got up at 5:30 a.m., got dressed, said goodbye, heard PLOOSH, changed diaper and clothes of Ethan, got in car, drove two hours, got gas, heard PLOOSH, changed diaper in front seat of car because the gas station looked gross, changed Ethan's clothes, drove four more hours, stopped for lunch, Ethan didn't eat, heard PLOOSH, changed diaper (not clothes this time), drove some more. It got dark, decided it was supper time, pull into Taco Bell (cause we are fancy when we travel and like to "Think outside the bun"), ordered supper, ate, went to car to get p.j's for boys to put on, heard PLOOSH as I lead Ethan to the bathroom, searched diaper bag in bathroom to discover wipes were in the car, get to car to discover there are only three left in pack and know that is not enough, search entire car to find the pack of wipes from Aunt Julie that I know I packed right in back for this very scenario, can't find them, grab the few that are left, go back into Taco Bell, have a GENIUS moment and grab a handful of Taco Bell napkins, get Ethan from Bart and the big boys in the men's room, head to the girls room, wet those bad boy TB napkins and get busy.
Get back in car, immediately find missing wipes, strap the boys in, then drive, drive, drive all night long to Omaha.
Sigh. Oh, the joys of motherhood.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Adventures in Cloth Diapering...#11, Visiting Grandparents

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go.
The Kia Rondo knows the way to carry the...well, you get the idea. We went on a trip.

The boys and I drove to Louisiana to visit while Bart was away on a business trip. I was hesitant to use cloth diapers, but I knew we'd be near a washer the entire trip and figured it would be fine.

While traveling with the boys, I used excited as Lexi was to have us come visit (I can't believe not a single picture was snapped.) for a few hours, I think she might have threw up in her mouth a little if I said, "Oh, by the way, I've got a few #2's I need to shake in your toilet. Then, let me just do a quick rinse in your washer so it's okay until I get to Grandma Cupcake's house."
Yeah...that's just bad manners.

So, disposables for the drive. That's okay. There was this one diaper and I am VERY glad I could throw that bad boy in the trash and leave it in Oklahoma, along with about $5 in toll fees.

When we arrived at my parents house, I discovered a big box of Huggies waiting for Ethan's bum to come make dirty. (Thanks Daddy!) So, while I've been here, I've used a combination of disposables and cloth diapers. It's worked out well. For church on Sunday, he wore cloth because I made his dress pants and designed them to fit over a cloth diaper (I just had my mother professionally alter a shorts pattern and can't wait to share how they fit!).I've used disposables at night simply because I did not bring my larger diapers and covers. I only brought pocket diapers and super thin/absorbent inserts. I really prefer to use cover (or fleece longies) at night.

When the big boys and I went to the Mardi Gras parade, I think my parents were glad Ethan was left in a disposable diaper. Though I try to "force" my husband to support my cloth diaper addiction, I can't force or expect my parents to do the same. And I think of all the people grateful for disposibles, my younger brother, Justin, who was left with four children, three of whom had on night time diapers. Now, there was no #2 troubles, so Justin was safe, but what if...

So, using disposables when convenient and cloth when convenient has worked out great. I am glad I did not totally leave Ethan's fluff at home...I am kind of missing the cloth and can't wait to get back to using it every day.

Next Big Thing!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mud Puddles Everywhere

The Mississippi River is at flood stage and it's not even March! It's been raining and raining (or so I've been told...I don't live here but I'll trust the natives as they don't generally lead me astray) and raining some more. My parents yard is a swamp!

The boys have rubber rain boots (thanks Papa Jeff) and have had a blast playing in the mud and muck with the dogs...however, I've not yet let Ethan off the porch to play. He wanted down to play with the big boys so badly, but he didn't have rubber boots, so I was hesitant to let him down. Plus, the water is cold, so I didn't want him getting too cold.

Finally, I decided what the heck, it's just shoes and we can always buy a new pair (he's about outgrown them anyway!) and it isn't that cold so I let him down with his brothers before dinner and they had a blast...well, for the most part they did. :)

So, while having a soggy yard is not an ideal scenario, it has been a great play place for three little boys with cabin fever from months of cold and snow. Sure, it snowed Thursday night and Friday morning...but it had melted by Friday evening and just make the boys play land a little more magical.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mardi Gras Madness

I called a friend in Natchez today right at five o'clock to ask if we could do a play date tomorrow while I am visiting home. She said yes but that she had to go as they were waiting for a parade to start.

"A Mardi Gras parade?" I asked excitedly.

"Yes, it is the Natchez, MS Mardi Gras parade. It was supposed to start at five, but they are delaying it for a bit. You should come meet us, we are in front of my husband's office."

I let out a yell to the boys, "Get your shoes, go to the bathroom, we are going to a parade!"
(Ha, ha...hanging out on balconies...Natchez is soo not New Orleans, but they sure looked like they were having fun!)

We were out the door and over the bridge within ten minutes, parked uphill from where my friend was, and we walked the route, not missing a second of the parade, experiencing the charm and hospitality that is Main St. Mississippi.

Because of the cold temperatures and snow that had fallen (but had almost all melted), there were less people out then usual (or so I was led to believe) so there was plenty of room to roam.

As we walked down Main St, the boys yelled, "Throw me something Mister." and much to their delight, they were showered with beads, Moon Pies, and trinkets.

When a handful of beads landed between a young boy and Brennan, I said, "It's okay, there will be more."

The young boy says, "Here you go." and gave Brennan half of what he'd caught.

When an elderly gentleman caught some DumDum suckers, he turns around, sees Jackson, and hands them over.

It was southern hospitality and I loved it. They did not know who I was, where I live, or what I was doing there. They were polite because IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Sure, that is not how all of the south is, but for those few moments, people seemed to remember their manners and that we are our brother's keeper. They didn't push little ones out of the way so they could catch the "good beads" or get the Mardi Gras cups. Everyone had a good time, and in the end, that is what is really important, a good time...NOT how many beads you caught...even if you DO come home with about 798 strands of plastic gold.

And yes, Brennan has on EVERY SINGLE BEAD that we caught/collected/were given by our friend after the parade. It was so funny to see.

The boys really had fun at the parade and I did, too. I am so glad I thought to call my friend at the moment I did so that the boys (Ethan stayed home with Papa Jeff) could experience a little bit of (what is traditionally a) South Louisiana fun. (Even if we were in west/central Mississippi, nowhere near New Orleans or the wild and crazy Bourbon St.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

PUJ Bathtubs

"Baby bath time was never so easy or safe than with the PUJ baby bathtubs." (from site)

The baby bath tubs by PUJ are by far the smartest bath invention I've seen around for babies. The big plastic tubs are so bulky, slippery, uncomfortable and dangerous...well, mine was because I may have used it on my kitchen cabinet a time or two...pretty high up for an itty bitty baby. Oh, and did I mention old fashioned? Other then color changes and making them bigger, they really haven't changed in ages.

PUJ bathtubs are sleek, slip free, comfortable and safe. And a brand new idea! Instead of having to put a H.U.G.E tub somewhere, whether it be the floor, the bathtub, the sink, and fill it up with water, the PUJ tub goes straight into your sink (kitchen, bathroom, wherever, you decide)...give it a few quick bends/snaps and it is in shape and ready to go. When bathtime is done, just a quick snaps and it is flat and ready to be stored in a closet, the shower, wherever is out of the way and convenient for you.I love how easy it was to fold up and unfold. It's simple, too. I loved how safe I felt my baby was and how little room it took to store...the boys bathtub took up WAY too much room in our bathroom, always being in the way, never having a spot to call it's own. This is a tub I wish I'd had in 2003...I'd never have wanted another tub again if I had.

So, if you are in the market for a new baby bath tub, or have a baby shower to go to...I suggest checking out the PUJ baby bath tubs. For only $39.99 you will be giving yourself (or a lucky friend!) a great gift!

Oh, and don't forget...I have a PUJ sling and I love it. I still use it with works great now that he is older then when I first mentioned it. :)

***I recieved a PUJ tub to test. I was not paid for my opinion and seriously think it is the best tub out there!!!!***

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Snowmen

It snowed. Again.

And I heard people saying (well, on Facebook I read it) that this was "good" snow b/c it was "wet" and would make good snowballs and snowmen.

Brennan must have heard that same chatter, because today he declared it was time to make a snowman. A big one, not a small snowman cafe as he'd done a few weeks before (he built five or six small snowmen all over the front yard and declared that they were at a cafe).

Bart, coatless, went outside and helped make a big you can see, they succeeded.

And how sick is it that 34 degrees is now considered warm???

Heart Breaker WINNER

#11: the caillouets! Congrats Jeni. I sent you an email.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Can't See My Hair!

Jackson has always been the one with longer hair of the two older boys. Bren has spikey, Jack has sleek. Bart likes Jack's long shaggy do. Me, I like it long, but cleaned up. Lately, though, it has been getting out of hand. Hair way over his ears, in his eyes, tangled up, etc. He was constantly pushing his bangs to the side, just as a little girl who is growing her bangs out does.
Then, one day, out of the blue, Jack says, "I want a spikey haircut, like Brennan." Well, I almost passed out...I mean, my baby with his cute longish hair with spikey hair? NO!
Aimee, of Turning Heads Salon, took on the task of cutting his hair, leaving it long enough for me to not have a stroke and short enough to give him the spikey do he was begging for.

Excuse the blurriness of the picture...Jack was a wiggly machine and I didn't have my ISO up enough. Here is the after...but also after Jackson touched and touched it, causing some of the spike to fall limp.
Jack loves it. In the car he said, "Hey, I can't see my hair!" as he gazed upward. I asked if he liked it being out of his eyes and he said, "Yes, I just couldn't see a thing." He told me after his nap we have to spike it back up for Brennan to see it. I think his new hair cut looks very grown up and playful at the same time and is just perfect for Jackson.

If you live in the Omaha area and need a new stylist, try Aimee at Turning Heads Salon (google the site for a complete price list and phone number)...she ROCKS! She cut my hair on Wednesday and I love it! Tell her I sent you and you and I both get $10 off our visit...meaning your adult hair cut is only $18!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stair Stepper

Ethan is growing up so fast. A lot of people are sad to see their babies grow up, but not me. I much prefer the toddler/preschooler stage (even with its temper tantrums that come with it) to the baby who cries, shrieks and can't do things on his own stage. (oh, and poops in his diaper...I hate that part, too)

Recently (thanks to me letting him play with Hudson on the stairs at H's party and E seeing how fun it was) Ethan has started to experiment more with the stairs. I used to be able to keep him away from the stairs with my ghetto gate, but he is now big/strong enough to push that large container out of the way and go as he pleases...usually right to the stairs. He climbs up fast as lightning and then heads to the bathroom to beat on the tub and scream at the top of his lungs, declaring his intentions of wanting a bath NOW.

This new "trick" makes me so nervous. I hate stairs and babies. I wish stairs came with airbags so when the baby fell down the stairs, he had a cushioned fall. Either that or a harness that could be hooked on him so when he got near the stairs, it was activated and caught him when he started to fall. (Think rock climber type contraption)

So far, he hasn't fallen down the large set of stairs, but he did fall down the shorter set onto ceramic tile. Talk about one fast moving mama to get him. If he ever did fall down the larger, longer set of stairs, I do believe I'd have to take him to the ER. Does DCPS understand toddlers exploring their limits and not listening to Mama when she says no? I sure hope, for now, everybody pray that kid learns reverse as quickly as he's learned forward.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I am giddy

I am so excited to see what this blog has in store for us mama's of boys this month!