Yay for the Freakin’ Weekend!

Happy Friday, y’all!  This has been the slowest week ever, so I’m hoping this weekend goes nice and slow, as well, but we all know it won’t!  It’ll more than like go by super fast and Monday will be flying upon us like those crazy creepy flying baboons from the new Oz movie.  Oh well, it is what it is….happens every week like clockwork!

Giveaway.Painting

If you’re interesting in entering a giveaway for one of my 8×8 “Moonlight Cherry Blossoms” paintings, make sure and head over to Simply Stephanie blog a.s.a.p.!  All you have to do is visit my Etsy shop “The Painted Palette” & take a look and then go and leave a comment on her blog, as to which painting you like.  Easy peasy!  The winner will be announce on Monday, May 6th, so you only have until this Sunday to enter.  Last I checked there were only 4 comments, so you have a pretty good chance, so go enter!

kissimmee

Remember in my last post where I said that all of my posts I’ve written lately were in draft mode over on i.seekissimmee.com?  Well, if you head over there now, my first post has been published, so you’ll have about 10 more that will be published throughout the next week! Some of the posts you’ll see over there this week are for some pretty good places to eat, like Hawkers, Beaches & Cream, & Blue Bird Bake Shop.  You’ll also see my review of the musical dinner show the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, which is pretty spectacular, as well as things like the Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, shopping at The Loop & of course the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

Character.Splash

Other than that, not much else going on.  Been doodling a bit in my sketchbook & playing around with my logo character.  Tomorrow is my 1 month weigh in.  I’ve been trying my best to be a good girl and eat more veggies and smaller portion sizes.  My goal for the month was to hopefully be down -10lbs, so fingers crossed I can hit that in the morning.  As of week 3, I was down 7.7, so far, so we’ll see!  Well, until I post again…yak at ya y’all later & have a fabulous freakin’ weekend!!  

Happy Monday & Giveaway Winners

Happy Monday!  I can say that today since I was smart and took the day off work!  Sorry I’ve been so terrible about posting lately!  My back is acting up, like it tends to do at least once a year, so after sitting at work all day I’ve just been coming home, popping some advil & then laying with an icepack for a bit and then soaking in a hot bath, so I just haven’t felt up to posting.  When my back is hurting like this, it just kills my mood to do much of anything.  I tried calling the chiropractor last week, but the soonest they could get me in was today, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some relief.

I did manage to down a pint of gelato while icing my back though.  If you have never had gelato…TRY IT!  I’m not an ice cream fan….a McDonald’s cone is about all I like.  On the occasion that I do want a little Ben & Jerry’s I can only eat about two or three bites and I’m done, so it lasts me awhile.  Kind of a different story with the gelato….it was gone in 3 days!  So good!  It doesn’t get hard like ice cream, so you just sink your spoon right in and eat the most creamy & flavorful treat ever!  I absolutely loved the Sea Salt Caramel flavor, as I love caramel, but I definitely want to try some other flavors!

I also managed to down a whole bottle of my favorite red moscato one evening when I was out of advil.  It must have worked because it was the best sleep I had gotten in a long time!

Saturday evening, I went out with my friends to try out the Wine Room on Park Avenue in Winter Park, FL.  We all had such a great time!  I mean what’s better than good wine, good friends & good food??  Plus it was such a lovely day out weather wise, we just snagged a table outside on the sidewalk and enjoyed people & pet watching along with some good conversation.  I don’t go out much, so it was nice just to unwind.  I didn’t even take my phone out all evening to snap tons of pics like usual.  This place was pretty darn awesome though.  It had these cool wine machines all over the place, so you could either get a 1oz. pour, 2.5oz. pour or a 5oz. pour.  You just get a preloaded card when you go in and then you pop the card in the machine you want to try wine out of…put your glass under and select the size of pour you want and wah-la!  They had 148 wines in these machines to try, so if you want to try a variety of wines…this is the way to go!  Luckily I snagged a Groupon for a $40 card for $26 a while back.  It pays off to watch Groupon.com for deals!

AND THE WINNERS ARE…...

I also want to take thank everyone who entered in the giveaway this past week, so the winners that were drawn were Miranda from the Eclectic Bookshelf & Katie from The Simple Songbird.  Shoot me an e-mail with your addresses & I’ll ship out your soap! thelittleblackraincloud@yahoo.com  Congrats!

Malena’s Gourmet Creations Review & Giveaway

Hello all my bloggy friends!  Are any of you out there addicted to Etsy?  LOL….silly question, I know…of course you are!  I have found some of the best handmade shops over the years on Etsy and now I’ve found another great find for you that is just too good not to share!!  The name of the shop is Malena’s Gourmet Creations.

Malena’s Gourmet Creations specializes in making completely natural, handmade soaps, lotions, lip balms, mud masks, moisturizers & more!  I love the fact that in her description of each product, she lists the ingredients along with the benefits of each ingredient!  It’s kind of like a little science lesson!  For instance, Papaya Extract is good for stabilizing oiling skin, as well as a good exfoliant for removing dead skin cells!  Who knew?  Another plus is when you order, your shipment is sent out pretty darn quick.  I ordered and received my package within a week and it was packaged super well with bubble wrap and tons of pink tissue paper!  Even living in Florida and my package sitting outside in the heat, everything was perfectly fine when I opened my package.


It’s hard to pick a favorite item, as everything I’ve tried has been excellent, but if I had to pick I would say it’s the Massage Lotion Bar in the scent “Viva La Juicy”….it smells Aaa-Mazing!  I had never heard of a lotion bar before, so I thought I’d try it out and I’m so glad I did.  It comes in a little metal tin for you to keep it in, so you can throw it in your purse or keep it on your desk for whenever you may need it.  It’s super moisturizing and it doesn’t leave your hands all greasy feeling, like some lotions do.  Plus, this has little ridges around the heart shape, which gives your hands an excellent massage when applying!  It comes in so many different scents, it’s hard to choose, but I highly recommend “Viva La Juicy”.  It smells so good!  If you’re a lotion person & travel….this would be an awesome item to get since it’s not a liquid and you wouldn’t have to try to cram it in a quart size baggy with all your other liquid cosmetics!


My next favorite item I ordered was the lip balm.  This stuff is the BALM!  Haha…bad joke, but, seriously….it’s off the hook!  It contains things like beeswax, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, cocoa butter….so super moisturizing!  What I love is the fact I don’t have to constantly reapply like you do with some lip balms.  This moisturizes so good…it literally lasts for hours.  Plus you can get it in numerous lick your lips yummy flavors.  I went with the “Pink Frosting” flavor due to my love of cupcakes.  I think the next flavor on my list to try is “Cotton Candy”.  YUM!!


Anyone out there love face masks?  I do!  If you do is well, you’d love the Dead Sea Mineral Mud Mask!  This is a pretty thick mud mask…I would almost describe it to have a clay like texture, which is great because a little goes a long ways!  Just put on a thin layer and let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with some warm water and leaves your skin feeling so smooth & refreshed!

Now for a little surprise for all you lovely readers out there!  Malena was sweet enough to send me a couple bars of soap with my order & I’d like to give you all a chance to win one of these bars in a giveaway!  I have two full sized bars…one in the scent Crisp Lettuce & the other in the scent White Truffle Raspberry.  I tried out a sample bar of the Frosted Cranberry.  Loved the soap…it lathers up really well and leaves you smelly good and leaves you squeaky clean!

How to Enter

To be entered to win the Malena’s Gourmet Creations Soap Giveaway, all you have to do is follow this blog & visit Malena’s Gourmet Creations Etsy shop & leave a comment of which product you’d like to try out for yourself.  For another entry, “like” Malena’s Gourmet Creations on Facebook & leave another comment that you did so.  While I’m still deciding on whether to transition my blog to wordpress completely, you can also follow & leave a comment on my blog here for an additional chance to win.  I will pick two winners and the contest ends on Friday, August 17th at 8pm EST.  Best of Luck & spread the word on the giveaway!  Wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on getting to try out a pretty great product!

 

Favorite Things at the Moment & Keurig K-Cup Giveaway

Hey everyone!  It’s been awhile since I did a favorite things post, so I thought it was about time that I did one.

I’m loving my new mini Keurig that my parents bought me for Christmas.  For one, I love that it is a nice & cheery red that adds a little pop of color to my kitchen counter.  I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I love flavored coffee type drinks, hot tea, hot cocoa & things of that nature.  This little sucker is awesome in the morning, even if you’re in a hurry to get out the door, but want that cup of joe to go.  You can put the water in the Keurig, pop in the k-cup of your choice and hit the brew button and you’ve got your fresh, piping hot drink ready within literally a couple of minutes.  My favorite flavor so far is Cafe Mocha.  What flavors do you recommend??  I seen a french vanilla cappuccino on Amazon that I may have to order & try.  Yum!
Next on my list is also a Keurig related item.  The Ekobrew is a reusable filter that you can use in your Keurig in place of a k-cup.  It makes using the Keurig super affordable! You can put just buy your favorite tin of coffee like Folgers, Maxwell House or what have you and just put the desired amount right in this little guy and boom….coffee in a flash!  You can even use it with loose teas as well!  How awesome is that??   Another added bonus is you don’t have to remove any parts from your Keurig to use this like you do with some filters. Just pop it right in like you would with a regular k-cup!  Suh-weet!

Number 3 on my list is this awesome little idea I seen on Pinterest.  I’m a very visual person, so I figured this may be that extra boost of encouragement to stick with a diet, if I’m seeing the results in this way.  I ran out to Michael’s today and picked up a couple of small Mason Jars, along with a couple of bags of decorative gems.  They are clear and then they also had heart gems mixed in with them…so cute.  So I’ll put in the clear gems for each pound and for every 5lb mark, I’ll put a heart gem into the jar…love this idea!  Wish I would have thought about it myself or seen it sooner!  Really affordable though…it cost less than $10 for the supplies! 🙂

Fourth item on my list today is the Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleaning System.  I have to admit, I’ve had this little sucker on my wish list for some time now & I finally broke down and bought it yesterday while I was at Target, as it came with a full size exfoliating renewal cleaners as well as a travel size for only $29.99…I actually think I see this in there weekly ad this morning.  I tried this little puppy out last night for the first time & it is awesome!  Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how much crap is left on your face AFTER you’ve washed your face.  Go ahead…go out and get this & go home and wash your face, then use this…all of the makeup you thought you had removed shows up on the brush…it’s crazy.  You won’t believe how incredibly soft & smooth your face will feel after using the Pro-X.  I’m so glad I finally broke down & bought it!

If you’re kind of clumsy like me & have a tendency to drop your phone sometimes or accidentally knock it off the table, than this is the iPhone case for you!  I finally upgraded to the iPhone 4 in November & carried it around in nothing but a little zippered fabric pouch.  I researched & tried to figure out the kind of case I wanted to protect my precious phone & heard several people at work comment that they loved there cases like this, so I found the color I liked and purchased the Otterbox Defender Case.  It’s actually a hard plastic case, that has a hard plastic cover to protect the face & the touchscreen works just as if nothing was covering it at all!  Then you put the rubber cover over the plastic case & BAM!  You have one super protective case!

The last thing I have on my list of favorite things at the moment post is Boots No.7 Mineral Perfection Foundation with SPF15.  I’ve tried several of the more known mineral foundations out there and this one is by far my favorite.  I first came across it at Target, when they were handing out coupons when they first started carrying it.  It’s a lot more affordable than most of your mineral makeup.  I believe it’s only around $13.99 at Target.  I love to use this in the summer when it’s horribly hot and normal foundation just feels so heavy and then makes you feel like your face is going to melt off.  This gives you the perfect coverage, plus it has sun protection in it as well.  Plus it comes with a great make-up brush everytime you buy a new box!

Well, that about wraps up my favorite things at the moment post, but I also thought it was about time I did a giveaway of some sort.  So, that being said, I wanted to go ahead and do a small giveaway of a 12 pack variety of Keurig K-Cups.


Keurig 12 count K-Cup Giveaway!

How to Enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me of your favorite tea, coffee, k-cup flavor, etc.

Optional Entries:

* 1. Like me on Facebook & leave a separate comment that you’ve done so.

* 2. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter & mention me in the tweet @littleraincloud & leave a separate comment that you’ve done so.

* 3. Follow me on Twitter.

Giveaway closes at 11:59pm on Saturday, February 4th & I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.


    Congrats to the Giveaway winner Ginger.  I e-mailed you.

Inspiration Workshop – Spend the Day Playing

Linking up again to the 4th week of the Inspiration Workshop over at GussySews.  I’ve really got to get on the ball and start posting other than once a week for the workshop.  I could say it’s summertime and I’m busy like a lot of people, but I’m not.  Currently, I live in Orlando, FL while my fiance lives in Columbus, OH…sad panda!  So, needless to say…I’m a pretty boring ‘ol 33 yr old when I’m stuck in a city all by myself.  So when it comes to spending the day playing for me…that usually means playing in paint and trying to come up with new ideas to throw on the canvas.  Usually, by the time I’m done I’ll have paint covered hands, possible a bit on the face & I’ve even been known to find paint on my feet!  Below is a collage of 4 random paintings I’ve done over the past few months.  I have several more, so I need to just open up an Etsy shop to try to get rid of them, as I just paint for the fun of it.  Would you be interested if I opened up a shop??
Now the last time I spent the day playing with another person, would have been back in February when my little brother came down to visit his lonely, homesick sister.  His first day down here, his agenda was GATORS.  So we went on an awesome airboat tour of the Everglades at Wild Willy’s Airboat Tours, which was a blast!  Afterwards, we hit up Gatorland where we fed gators hotdogs, while trying not to get attacked by all the birds on the prowl for the food.  I’m not talking little birds either…I’m talking birds that stand up to you waste with huge beaks and will sneak up behind you and give you a peck when you’re trying to feed the gators.  We also watched a few shows & even tried our hand at a little gator wrestling.  It was a fun filled day & I can’t wait for the chance to do it again one of these days when someone else decides to come down for a visit.