And The $80 CSN Winner is.....

comment #25 from Kim D. - daily tweet Congrats Kim! She has already been contacted and has 24 hours to respond or an alternate will be chosen.

Not a winner this time? That's ok...we are over 300 GFC followers which mean another giveaway is in the works.

And for all of my new followers who have no idea what I'm talking about, I have a "Every 100 Followers" giveaway open exclusively to my Facebook, email, Twitter and GFC peeps. Oh, and welcome to all of you to the crazy that is this blog. Thanks for sticking around!

Fiesta Friday - Hard Working Mommy Blogger Awards

Today's F.F. is dedicated to those hard working mommies who balance all the things in their lives and still have time to put together an awesome shindig, whether it's a playdate, a birthday extravaganza, Girl Scout meeting, or time with grownups.

I'm honored to receive this lovely award from Latte Mama; we all need a little recognition for everything we do, and it's hard to remember that you are not just a mommy. See how I worked that in there? So here is the fine print...

Hard Working Mommy Blogger Awards:
1. If you are awarded the "Hard-working Mommy Blogger Award" you need to pass on the love to 7 other Hard Working Mommy Bloggers.
2. Accept the award (by leaving a comment on the original award post)
3. Post about the award on your blog (include the image of the award) together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and her blog link.
4. List 7 other Mommy Bloggers that you want to pass the award along to (no backsies). Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

And although I have so many I can only choose 7. And the honors go to....

We Go Wednesday - Great American Bake Sale

I'm a proud supporter of any project that involves sweets, and especially those with a bigger goal in mind. Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale is part of a network of programs that works hard to ensure that no child in America grows up hungry. The funds of their GABS awards grants to support successful organizations across the country that work to provide children and their families with the healthy food they need. Today' W.O.W. is for you today, find and support a local Bake Sale, or start your own!

But does the thought of a bake sale overwhelm you? Think you need to be Betty Crocker, or at least Sandra Lee? To get you inspired, check out this amazing bake sale spread from Bird And Berry; please note the use of inexpensive crepe paper as a tablecloth, cowgirl cookie mix jars, and the simplicity of her treats. It's not about 'the what', but 'the package'....if it looks awesome, people will buy it. Let me tell you, if I drove by this table, I would have bought one of everything, and from the sound of her post, that's what everyone did. bake sale tablebake sale table 2bake sale table 3

Tuesday Tip - Giveaway Bonanza!

If you are all about giveaways, this post is for you. Are you tired of searching for the latest giveaways? Wouldn't be nice if they were consolidated in one easy-to-use location, besides my giveaway posts?

It's Giveaway Scout to the rescue. They are a free giveaway search engine where users subscribe to receive updates on the latest giveaways on the web, promotions with products ranging from coupons and samples to high value jewelry and electronics! I'm always shameless promoting myself so I'm going to give them a try.

So, on to my own version of Giveaway Scout....
Don't forget my own giveaway for an $80 gift card to over +200 CSN Stores is on and rocking, and ends Friday night 11:59 p.m. PT! And did you notice I'm creeping up on 300 GFC followers? So you know that means 'Every 100 Followers Giveaway' is coming up's a hint...ABC.
AFOMFT is having a giveaway for one of the cutest ideas I've seen on the kiddie circuit...milestone stickers from Stickie Bellies for taking monthly birthday pictures!
Need some awesome party supplies? Bird Crafts is hosting a giveaway for party supplies from Hey Yo Yo! Red striped paper straws are one of the prizes, so you know I'm there!
Need some personalized gear for the kids this fall? The Bragging Mommy is hosting a giveaway for any item up to $40 from Frecklebox.
Even more yummy, a Ben & Jerry's Summer Survival prize pack that includes 10 free pint coupons over at Slice Of Heaven.

Tuesday Tip - Paperless Post

Move over online invites, there's a new kid in town, (well, at least to me). Time to get ready for your upcoming BBQ, pool party and yikes! Labor Day soiree. Jill from Paperless Post contacted me about their chic, eco-friendly, affordable way to send invitations and cards online.

What I love about them is they're a step above other online invite companies, because users design and send cards digitally without sacrificing the traditions of classic, custom stationery. The cards have the look and texture of what you would find in a high-end stationery store, but the ease, eco-consciousness, and cost effectiveness of digital communication. They even come with coordinated envelopes!

Don't get me wrong, I love sending and receiving invites through the mail, I feel that it's a dying breed. And BTW, please don't send me emails about the environment, saving it for our kids' future, etc. Go hit up the magazine companies with 13,000 flyers that fall out every time you turn a page.

With postage and paper costs on the rise, it's a lovely option for those who choose the online route. And I do sometimes, thank you very much! I can't wait to give them a whirl; sign up and get your first 25 stamps for free!

Drink Of The Week - Frozen Blueberry Lemonade

frozen blueberry lemonadeOh Real Simple, I love you so. Check out this lovely drink from this month's issue...recipe serves four.

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup lemonade
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. In a blender, puree the blueberries, lemonade, mint, confectioners’ sugar, and 3 cups ice until smooth.

2. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Make it a cocktail; add 1/2 cup vodka to the blender before pureeing.

$80 CSN Giveaway/Fiesta Friday - I Scream, You Scream

*********THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!!!******

I know, I snuck in a giveaway on a Friday, but it seemed perfect for today's ice-cream themed post! Before we get into that...every summer we have an ice-cream themed glorified playdate and it's coming up next week. We invite friends to bring their favorite toppings and we provide the rest.

To get some inspiration, I did some bippity bopping around the blogosphere and here's what I found to celebrate summer's ultimate spokesperson....

ice cream inviteOh, I would so be there if I received this invite from My Time, My Creations, My Stampendence.
ice cream bar from Amy AtlasThe great Amy Atlas always inspires; check out this amazing spread she did for an Electrolux event, so many yummy details, from ice-cream cookies to brownie ice-cream pops.
confetti popsConfetti pops from Country Living hide a surprise: a soft-in-the-center miniature candy bar.
ice-cream block partyAn ice-cream sandwich buffet from Your Homebased Mom is fun, affordable and crosses age lines...the perfect party activity.
ice cream baby showerThis pretty baby shower has personalized cups and little wooden spoons! It's those little details I heart so!
milkshake partyOh, more love for this retro milkshake bar from Elizabeth Anne Design; the models built the bar themselves and sewed the backdrop from cloth shower curtains. I knew they looked familiar, I've seen them at Target!
These ice cream cupcakes from Martha won't melt and are just as fun as the real thing.
ice cream cotton candy coneThe perfect party favor, a cotton-candy ice-cream cone, complete with instructions from La*T*Da.

OK, so the following aren't technically ice-cream but hey, it's my blog and I can do what I want. Plus, they were too awesome not to share.
PopBarNew York's PopBar is handcrafted gelato on a stick...and looks like pure heaven.
ice cream fakesiclesCelebrate Today is killing me with her know you are heading to the store to make your own.
CSN Stores ice cream collageInspired yet? I can get you started...the over 200+ CSN Stores has an extensive collection of everything you need, from summer entertaining projects like redoing the bathroom sink to getting your hands on an ice-cream maker for homemade treats. Jason contacted me again to share with one of my fabulous readers

an $80 GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

You can use your winnings for your own ice-cream soiree, maybe for a soft-serve machine, a cone holder, a cream whipper, or some fabulous new bowls!

Mandatory entry - All other entries will be invalid
1. Visit one of the CSN stores and tell us what you need to help with your summer entertaining.
Additional entries - Leave a comment for each option
2. Become a GCF followers or let me know that you are
3. Become an email subscriber or let me know that you are
4. Follow me on Twitter @NotJustAMommy and tweet the following 'Come win a $80 GC to over 200+ CSN Stores @NotJustAMommy ' You can tweet this once a day, just leave a comment each time.
5. Fan me on Facebook, share this giveaway with your readers and leave a comment.
6. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link in a comment.

Giveaway ends Friday, July 30 11:59 p.m. PT. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by email. If you do not have an email contact in your profile please leave in your comment. Winner has 24 hours to respond, otherwise an alternate will be chosen. Sorry, open to U.S./Canadian residents only!

Real Cupcake Sneak Peek - Buggin' Out

I heart cupcakes. Every party we have has cupcakes. I detest children fighting over who has the bigger piece, who gets the pretty piece, and the parent who can hold a knife in their hand while children bicker over them must have the patience of Mother Teresa.

A wonderful friend of mine has graciously agreed to sell a few tasty treats in her used-bookstore. I know, coffee, books and cupcakes, it's a match made in heaven. Here is what I made up for last week, jumbo cherry chip cupcakes with fancy frosting....

cherry chip cupcakes
My plan is to alternate different treats each week; jumbos, regular sized ones, some type of brownie concoction and something else...don't know what yet.

Up for this week, thanks to the Gospels According To Hello, Cupcake! and What's New, Cupcake? I'm combining two of their bug cupcake ideas, and here is a sneak peek...

buggin out cupcake toppers

The bug template is from Hello, Cupcake!, some fire ants, a few beetles and a centipede or two will become fun cupcake toppers. They are just a combo of different sized M&Ms and chocolate candy melts.
I can't find candy covered sunflower seeds locally to make some of the other cooler critters like the scorpion, but that's ok. My party OCD will kick in and I will figure out an alternative. I'm going for a 'Bugs At A Picnic' feel. Part 2 will come from What's New, Cupcake?

Thank You Shout-Outs And Crazy It Forward

Because I need constant praise to keep me moving forward, I'm excited to share and say THANKS!!!! to the amazing sites that featured some of my parties!

To the great Tip Junkie for showcasing my Silly Socks party as a Creative Birthday Party Theme.

Next up, one of my favoritest places to find lots of party inspiration, Creative Party Place shares the love too!
Over at another premiere party site, Catch My Party, the little one's Cars party and Silly Socks were Party Of The Day!
A party rockstar who has been featured on HWTM and Amy Atlas, Bird Crafts loves it too!
Now it's time for a Crazy It Forward award, to Helen Clyde of Lady Helen. She was one of the first to jump on the felt owl train, and since I didn't have a button back then, here it is now! Helen, if you are out there, email me for the code to display the crazy proudly!

Tuesday Tip/Tutorial - Snack Toppers And A Whale Of A Good Time

It just occurred to me that I'm turning into one of 'those' women who just whips up something from things she has lying around the house. I received a call last night from the boys' VBS school for me to bring in snacks today for the teen helper. Thank goodness my obsession with having a house full of snacks for last-minute playdates and my relentless need to have a ton of free downloads paid off!

Some popcorn, M&Ms, Chex Mix, Cheez Its crackers and voila! 10 treat bags ready to roll!Love the sandwich bag toppers? I found it from amongst all the other amazing freebies at Executive Homemaker, from the makers of Tip Junkie!

Speaking of amazing freebies, check out this absolutely fabulous tutorial from The Paper Pony for a whale applique! whale applique
Doesn't it look all professional and store-bought? Once again, note to self, learn to friggin' sew already! Go take a visit, she shares great tips and graciously shares the template for you to make your own.

Drink Of The Week - Banana Ice

banana iceIn the July/August Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine, their newest feature is reader submitted recipes. This one from Cindy Scott sounds like the perfect summer drink. Serves 6.

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 oranges and 3 lemons, juiced
8 oz crushed pineapple
3 bananas, cut into small pieces
garnish: mint sprigs

1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Transfer to an 8-inch square dish and mix with the juices from the oranges and lemons, the crushed pineapple and banana pieces.

3. Freeze 3 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from freezer about 20 minutes before serving (mixture should be slightly slushy).

4. If desired, mix with a lemon-lime soda like 7-Up and garnish with the mint sprigs.

Real Party/Fiesta Friday (On A Saturday) - Fairylandia

Now, you know I have boys, and of course bitter at how girl stuff rules the world. I can put that aside to share this absolutely amazing fairy party sent to me from Jennie at Tuffet for her daughter's 4th birthday.

She has so much to share, it takes several posts to contain it all...a fairy bower and a grotto, pretty food details down to the butterfly cutouts on the straws, fairy costumes, making pixie dust, whew!
fairy partyfairy party 2
fairy party dollsA full tutorial on the super cute flower fairies! Run out and make some, it's a great rainy-day activity.
fairy party favor bag
fairy party playdough favorHer lovely favors include her own homemade playdough. You know I love me some homemade playdough, really love me some playdough, really really love me some playdough. Ack, how did I make this about me?

Thank you Jennie for sharing with us your party, love it all! Go check out her posts, I barely covered all the details.

Fiesta Friday - Fiesta Inspirations #6

So while on blogging hiatus, I was coming across so many amazing and doable parties, my bookmark folder was full! So, that means it's time for another Fiesta Inspirations and it's quite a doozy!First up, this lovely party A Reason To Get Together sent me to her fab pink and green bash for her 1 year old. Mama made her cute little dress and check out the clothesline decor using her outgrown outfits!
Keep On Truckin' at The Pleated Poppy's party for her son's second birthday, complete with personalized trucker hats. Git 'er done!
A cute car themed baby shower at How Does She? Lovin' the straw labels, well, mostly because they are attached to paper straws.
Whimsy Celebrations' Art Party even has a Mona Lisa cutout for a photo op.
How to get to Cydney Lane is easy, via her Sesame Street themed bash at Lemiga Events; so much to see, so many details it takes two posts!It's Smurfirific! There are even how-to's for party stuff! Yes, you like the radish mushrooms? Thank you Paper Pony for the nostalgic walk down memory lane. No children, it was on before it came on Nick At Night.
Oh, the orange stand place settings? Eye-popping colors? Goggles as decor? Paper straws? I'm in love with Simply Creative Insanity's Under The Sea party.
A lovely red wagon first birthday from Magnolias, Marriage and Manhattan. I'm so lovin' the wagon cookie favors with personalized labels.
Puppies and pinwheels from This Is Me Inspired, does it get any cuter?
Another sea themed party, 'Under The Sea And Turning Three' from Pink Tea for her little munchkin, and this hard working mama even has party freebies to share.
This carnival wedding is full of yummy details!
Lions and tigers and bear, oh my! Little Miss Momma's circus baby shower.

Utterly Engaged's very cool homage to The Hangover.
Oh, how I heart this Hazardous teen party from Party Starters! The printables are available for purchase in her shop.
And super cute details in her Mickey Mouse party.
I'm squealing over this absolutely lovely bunny party and pink party from Mrs. A In The Cove.
A fabulous and pretty chocolate and turquoise party from My Life My Loves, and look, more paper straws! Didn't I predict they would be hot?
Everyday Obsession's green and white bridal shower is so fresh and clean, and has all my favorite treats, from brownie pops to pretzel rods. And do you see how pretty the spoons are presented?
Boom! Boom! Pow! from Send In The Clowns.
A color combo I haven't seen in a long time, but works fabulously in this pink and blue wedding from Amorology.

Need even more inspiration? Check out Fiesta Inspirations #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.
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