Thursday, May 31, 2012

Secrets To TuTu Making Success Review

I recently got the chance to review Next Chapter Learning's course on how to make TuTus: Secrets To TuTu Making Success.
This is a super easy craft to master and you will be able to make fabulous looking tutus in no time. Whether you are a mom or grandma of girls, someone looking to start an Etsy business, or someone looking to make a hand-made gift for a friend, this course will teach you everything you need to know about making all sort of tutus. Check out this video with samples of all the tutus you will learn how to make!

Buy it! If you don't win but still want to learn here is where you can order your DVD course on Secrets to TuTu Making Success, and pick up a free lesson!

I don't have any daughters myself, though I hope to one day, but I was still really excited to review this course. I decided to make matching hot pink and black tutus for one of my former bridesmaids that has just had twin girls. I knew she would love these and if I had leftover material I could make one for my possible future daughter, or even make a few to sell in my Etsy shop Two Little Sea Stars, which offers a variety of baby items.

I decided to watch the tutorial on making a tutu with a ribbon tie at the back, that way my friend could adjust the size of the tutus as her girls grow for maximum wearing time. The manual that came with the video was really helpful in helping me determine the size of elastic band I needed as well as how many yards of tulle would be necessary. One thing I learned was I definitely should not have bought tulle off a bolt, but in convenient rolls which you can find at craft stores. I could only find the right pink on the bolt though and didn't want to take time to order it online, but looking back I wish I had as it would have saved me a lot of extra cutting time. The course is full of useful tips like these that make making your own tutu projects fun and easy.

Another great tip I can share with you is putting the tutu around your leg while you are attaching your tulle. It kept tension and held my work in place and I was able to sit and watch TV while I worked (my favorite kind of craft project is one you can do in front of the TV!) The manual had some great bonus features as well, such as how to make a tutu wand, a tutu headband, and how to add embellishments such a ribbons or bows to your tutus. I took my leftover scraps and turned them into matching hair bows, adding corker ribbons (another bonus from the manual) using some of my hair bow knowledge from another great Next Chapter Learning Course, Secrets To Bow Making Success. See my previous review of that DVD course HERE.

Here is my final creation:
My TuTu for a 6-12 month old

I added a bow in the front!

The top of the photo shows the tie in the back

My matching hair bow done with scrap tulle
I really hope to have another excuse to make tutus soon. I love the section of the DVD on no-sew jean skirt tutus and I really want to try an empire waist tutu dress. The tutu onesie would also be a great baby shower gift for another friend. As a bonus, you'll also find suggestions on Halloween costumes you make with tutus, which I hope to do someday. Making costumes saves so much money! I recently got on Pinterest (Follow me!) and found some other tutus I really want to try as well:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pinteresting: Cabinet Organizers

My Mother-in-love is very talented with the sewing machine. She was looking for a new project and possibly a new money maker so she made these organizers to custom fit to my bathroom cabinets. I like to provide toiletries for guests, so this is the perfect place to store them and tell my guests that they can use anything in the organizer. My mother-n-love was inspired by several Pinterest pictures on how to make these. One thing I like that she did different was to make the background fabric match my bathroom decor. I particularly love the polka dots! I am thinking about debuting these in my Etsy store Two Little Sea Stars. Leave me a comment: Would you buy them if you could have them custom fitted to your cabinet dimensions? Would you change anything? Would you pay $10 for 1? Is that too much, too little? Gimme' some feedback! Thanks readers!

The Final Creation:

Bringing in Summer Giveaway Hop:


Welcome to the Bringing in Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Karma Media. Kaeli's Kiwis has brought you a great sponsor:, who is giving a gourmet gift snack basket to one lucky reader!

Once you have entered our fantastic giveaway,  please take a look at all the other giveaways listed at the bottom of the post.

For this review I received the Classic Snack Gift Basket which one of my readers can also win! The basket arrived very quickly and packaged well so that it was protected. It comes shrink wrapped with a pretty grass ribbon bow and the tag and logo. I love the little martini olive that is part of the logo, I think it is a very recognizable symbol of luxury. The basket can also be sent with a note card to your loved one, telling them how wonderful you think they are and all the other reasons you are sending some gourmet treats their way. I really appreciate that the PR department at Gourmet Gift Baskets even took the time to write me a thank you note and thank me for working with them.

Gourmet Gift Baskets has more than just snack baskets, as you might presume. There are baskets for every holiday and occasion at a range of prices, so you're sure to find something that fits your needs and budget. They also make it really easy to explore the different options on their website. You can take a look at their selections based on the recipient, price, theme, category, occasion, or take a look at what others are buying by browsing the most popular gifts. As you go along, the site will also make recommendations based on your selections in the "You May Also Like" sidebar. If you are a regular gift giver, I highly recommend you sign up for their e-mail offers.

Back to my awesome basket! Here is what the description from Gourmet Gift Baskets:

"Our best-selling snack gift basket comes with a host of award-winning gourmet snack foods that are sure to satisfy any taste bud! Designed to be perfect for one but enough for a group, all the items inside are share-friendly and utterly delicious! They'll love the raspberry honey mustard pretzel dip, gourmet dipping pretzels, key lime white chocolate chip cookies, almond pecan crunch, peanuts, trail mix, buttered pecan crunch, peanut roll, organic coconut bar and cheese biscuits! Our snack gift baskets are the perfect gift for any occasion and are the safest bet for when you are not sure what to send! Don't take a chance, send this snack gift basket from Your snacks basket will arrive on time and we guarantee they'll love it!"

I really like the idea of sending a snack gift basket for almost any occasion. Chocolate and sweets tend to be overdone on most holidays, so you could send this basket at any time for what is sure to be an appreciated change of pace. This is a great basket for someone who still likes to enjoy an occasional treat but likes to eat healthy as well. For example, the coconut bar is vegan, kosher, halal, and lactose-free. The white chocolate key lime cookies are all natural and have no trans fat. They really have put together a great collection of snacks from specialty companies all over. There are cookies from Arkansas, peanuts from Virginia, pretzels from Wisconsin, dip from Ohio, and cheese biscuits from my own back yard of Winston-Salem, NC. I appreciate this basket even more knowing I have a fine selection of American made foods to enjoy. Oh, and did I mention how much I enjoyed it? Yummy!

Enter for your chance to win the same gift basket I enjoyed on the Rafflecopter form below!

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Fit Moms For Life" by Dustin Maher Book Review


I'd like to tell you about Dustin Maher, America's Trainer to Moms, who sent me his book Fit Moms For Life: How to Have Endless Energy to Outplay Your Kids to review! See the video below about what you can expect from this book.

Fit Moms for Life is perfect for Mothers (and women in general) who want a fitness program that works. Dustin Maher says:

  • Traditional Cardio Doesn’t Lose Fat
  • You Can’t Work Out to Compensate for Poor Eating
  • See Results 9 Times Faster With Burst Training
  • Learn ONE Exercise That Shrinks a Waistline WITHOUT diet changes
  • Burn Fat While You Sleep
  • A Healthy Environment Equals A More Fit Family
I am in love with Dustin Maher (don't tell my husband!). He is one good looking guy, but that's not why I love him. Here's why: his book told me I could kiss my preconceived notions about cardio goodbye. That's right, wave goodbye to 45-minute elliptical sessions and jogging on the treadmill till all you want to do is eat half a dozen donuts at the Krispy Kreme around the corner because you are starving! Essentially, that's Maher's point: cardio makes you fat because, among other reasons, it just makes you hungry and then you justify that muffin at Starbucks.

Dustin says that instead of hours of cardio, the key to a good fitness routine for weight loss is a mix of strength training with heavy weights and burst cardio which takes interval training, a popular cardio fitness method, to the next level. I don't want to give away all his secrets, you will have to order the book to understand more about this mind shift in exercise, but I will say one more thing about the weight lifting. LADIES: Lifting heavy weights will not bulk you up!! Dustin's book talks about the science and research behind these two key components and they make so much sense. I'm really seeing results as I make these changes to my own workout routine, including increased energy throughout the day, and not being so hungry after workouts. I can't wait to see more results as I continue on my journey.

Before you can start on the physical path to fitness and changing the way you work out, you must work through making the emotional, mental, and lifestyle changes that are necessary for success. This book has four chapters to help you work through the change from within that is essential to losing weight, keeping it off, and being the fit moms our kids deserve to have. I always want to be able to keep up with my kids. Like Dustin says in his book, it starts with putting on our own oxygen mask first. Making time for yourself IS being a better mom to your kids.

Dustin also talks to you about nutrition, forming a basic workout routine, changing your environment, including your family in your journey, and surrounding yourself with a support group. I also love the many personal success stories in the book from Dustin's clients, including great before and after pictures. After you read the book Dustin offers other tools to help you succeed, such as bonus materials available online and several DVD workout series that can include baby, friends, or just you and your awesome self! 

 Be sure to visit Dustin at his Facebook and Twitter pages!

 ***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of the product to try in order to write a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way.  ***

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Upcoming Giveaway Hops & Sponsor Previews

I have two events coming up in June that I am excited to tell you about! First is a Father's Day hop for which my sponsor will be Journal 10. They have sent me a Journal 10 which is going to be a great gift for my husband as he journals each night already! (Shhh...don't tell him!)

Sign-ups are still open for this hop at!

The next hop is the Summer Solstice Hop hosted by

Kaeli's Kiwis sponsor for this event will be Neocell, they are sending me Collagen+C serum & HA serum and Beauty Mist to review and giveaway to one of my readers! We all know taking care of our skin is important year round, but particularly in summer when we spend more time outdoors. Wear your sunscreen! Sign-ups for this event are still open:

 Summer Solstice Giveaway Hop 2012 

Sign Up's are... OPEN!

Summer Solstice Giveaway Hop 2012 
MamaNYC is ready to start her summer off with a BANG! 
Let's break out the sandals, do a few sit up's and try on those one piece's for some poolside fun! Come start your summer with a FREE giveaway hop event hosted by MamaNYC.
The Summer Solstice Giveaway Hop is going to run from June 18-24, 2012 and hopefully become an ANNUAL event. This event is FREE, but there are a few paid options available for anyone that is interested in adding on a few extra perks.
The plan is to make this a HUGE summer kickoff party - so make sure you have read and understand all of the rules and possibilities! Keep reading for additional details on how you can sign up and participate in the FIRST ANNUAL Summer Solstice Giveaway Hop with MamaNYC!   *This is a FREE giveaway hop event with very few limitations and rules! 

Summer Solstice Giveaway Details

Printrunner Stickers Review was established with little more than a small press and a dream. Ten years later the company is one of the foremost quality printers based in Southern California. Check out for the best in online printing services.

They are committed to providing the best value and high quality full color printing at an affordable price. PrintRunner is a full service high quality printing company located in Chatsworth, California.

PrintRunner provided Kaeli's Kiwis with 250 Stickers to review. I received the following:

Sticker Shape : Standard Stickers
Flat Width : 2"
Flat Height : 3.5"
Paper : Premium Sticker Stock
Colors : Full Color ( 4 Color Process), Black and White
Proof : NONE
Ready to Ship In : 3 Business Days

Selecting my stickers and checking out was really easy. It probably took me less than 10 minutes from start to finish. I received confirmation and shipping notifications promptly. My only complaint is that I did not get to see an exact view of my sticker after uploading my image. If I had I probably would have changed the image to take advantage of the full height. I probably could have guessed how it would have turned out though, based on the picture's dimensions. I could have also selected to receive a sample if I had wanted. So I am partly to blame for not being completely satisfied with my selection. 

The stickers arrived in a box with a tucking tab box lid which makes it easy to store the stickers and get them out as needed. There are also two breaks on the back plastic which makes for easy peeling. These are two extra bonuses in my opinion. Overall, I am a satisfied Printrunner customer! 

Use for online sticker printing!

***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of the product to try in order to write a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way.  ***

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