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Sunday, August 28, 2011

And the Winner is...

who blogs at A Day in the Life
has won MyMemories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software.
Congrats Kristen.  I will be in touch via email!

Remember you can use the code below for a $10 discount on the purchase of the MyMemories Suite v2 scrapbook software from the MyMemories website. The software also comes with a $10 coupon for downloads so that's a total value of $20!
Copy and paste this code exactly during the checkout process:  STMMMS35315

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Memories Software: A review and GIVEAWAY!

If you know me, you know I LOVE digital scrapbooking.  With four little ones though I hardly have time to scrap anymore.  I have a few projects that have been on the backburner for way to long.  So I was excited when  I was asked to review My Memories Suite and even more excited once I tried it out!!

As stated on their website, My Memories Suite version 2 software is a complete digital scrapbooking solution that provides a powerful set of creative tools and multiple sharing options that no other software can offer. Its intuitive workspace and enhanced time-saving features are perfect for a beginner to build an entire album in minutes, or to empower the design pro to build a scrapbook album masterpiece.

It was pretty easy to download and install and  I was able to create a page fairly quickly.   Having some digital scrapbooking knowledge did help a little, but I am sure anyone who has never tried digi scrapping would be able to navigate the software with ease.  It is preloaded with some templates, papers and, embellishments and their online store has a variety of kits to choose from from some top name designers. I was also able to use items I already had in my stash from other digital scrapbooking sites! 

It is easy to use, has a number of options for sharing and using your completed projects like making photobooks and calendars, creating various multimedia presentations or simply saving them as a jpeg image.  The program is flexible, highly rated and inexpensive which in my opinion is a great combination!

If you have been wanting to venture into the world of digital scrapbooking or even a little bit curious, My Memories Suite Version 2 may be a good place to begin. 

I did say there was a giveaway right??  Here is the fun part!!

My Memories is going to give one of my readers a FREE copy of their software!!

This is what you need to do to enter the contest:
 Mandatory entry: (other entries will be void if this one is not completed)
Check out their website and leave a comment here on this page telling me what appeals to you about the software (ease of use, price, etc.) or the name of a kit that you like in the store. 

 Bonus Entries: (leave one (1) comment for each additional entry):
1. "Like" the MyMemories Facebook page (that's 1 extra entry).
2. "Like" Island Mama's Adventures Facebook Page (another extra entry).
3.  Subscribe to  Island Mama's Adventures (email, RSS or Google Friend Connect) (another extra entry)
4.  Blog, Facebook or Tweet about this giveaway ( 1 extra entry for each)

You have until Friday Aug. 26th at 10pm EDT to enter the contest and I'll use to choose the winner. I'll announce the winner sometime on Sunday evening, August 28th.

Only one can win BUT WAIT.. I have something for each one of you!

Use this code for a $10 discount on the purchase of the MyMemories Suite v2 scrapbook software from the MyMemories website. The software also comes with a $10 coupon for downloads so that's a total value of $20!
Copy and paste this code exactly during the checkout process:  STMMMS35315
This code is valid even after the giveaway is closed.

So what are you waiting for?  Go check it out!

Disclaimer: My Memories provided me with a copy of their software in exchange for this honest review.  The thoughts and opinions about this product expressed here are my own.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pin it!

In a previous post I mentioned that  I use Pinterest to keep track of recipes I want to try. Some of you may have been wondering what I was talking about. I thought I would share with you what, in my opinion, is one of the best sites to hit the internet!!

First this post should come with a warning:

Beware!! Pinterest, while a useful tool has been known to take 5 minutes of your time and turn it into 30 minutes without you knowing. Proceed with caution! I will not be held responsible if all of the extra minutes of your day are wasted spent on Pinterest!

In all seriousness, like anything else on the internet, Pinterest does have the potential to be come a procrastination tool. I though have found its benefits towards making me more organized do outweigh this potential for me... If you do join I would encourage you to set limits for yourself if wasting time on the internet is an issue for you.

So with all that out of the way just what is Pinterest?

Just think of it as a virtual bulletin board.  As you find useful tips, ideas, beautiful pictures, wish list items, books to read (the list is endless) on the internet you can "rip them out" and "pin them up" on your bulletin board.

You can have several boards... here is a snap shot of some of mine:

This makes it easy to keep track of the ideas you find in a logical way. It is essentially creating a visual bookmark as clicking on the picture takes you back to the website it came from. I like it more than using bookmarks as I am a visual person.  I would bookmark things and then never go back to them or remember what the bookmark was for.
You can follow other users boards. The application can search your mail, facebook and twitter contacts to see who is already on Pinterest making it simple to find boards to follow. You can repin someone else's pin.   There is even an application for iTouch, iPhone and iPad.   I am loving Pinterest... when I need an activity for the kids or a new meal idea I can quickly go and find something that I have pinned.  So what are you waiting for?? Go join  and have fun pinning!!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: Lioness Arising

I recently signed up at Blogging for Books as a reviewer and was excited to choose my first title. After reading through several descriptions, one in particular caught my attention. I had never heard of this author and speaker,  Lisa Bevere  but the title and subject of the book seemed intriguing.

The following description roped me into wanting to read it.

Lioness Arising offers the life and image of the lioness as a fierce and tender model for women. Revealing the surprising characteristics of this amazing creature. Lisa challenges women to discover fresh passion, prowess, and purpose.

Learn what it means to:

- be a stunning representation of strength
- fiercely protect the young
- lend your voice to the silenced
- live in the light and hunt in the dark
- raise a collective roar that changes everything

Packed with remarkable insights from nature and a rich depth of biblical references to lionesses, Lioness Arising is a call for women to rise up in strength and numbers to change their world.

So what did I think?

While the author made some inspiring points and drew a number fascinating of parallels between lionesses and how we as Christians should live, I was disappointed and concerned over two very important aspects of the book.

The first red flag for me was the author use of The Message version of the Bible.  While I have no problem with using this version of the Bible to engage readers and make the Bible understandable in today's context, it is not in my opinion a study bible and should not be used as such.  I felt that the author used several passages out of context and even at one point argued a critical biblical point on one word  that does not appear in the original Greek.  (page 90)  Because most of the scripture references given were quoted from The Message, I had to read this book with my study Bible open to cross reference what she was saying.

The second concern I had was in chapter six entitled Under the Same Mission where Bevere addressed the role of women in the church.  I did not agree with her interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11 and was concerned about her views of submission.  Again, she used the Message to make her points, watering down sound Biblical doctrine.

While parts of the  book were impelling, these concerns make it difficult for me to recommend it.  I strongly caution anyone who chooses to read this book to study the scriptures for yourself and not depend on the author's interpretation of scripture.

Disclaimer: I received this book (e-book version) from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this honest review.

Monday, August 1, 2011

How Do you Do it? Plan your meals

"What's for dinner?"

I have a love/ hate relationship with that question.  I love it when I have an answer and I hate it when I don't! I especially hate it when it is being asked in a tired, whiny voice after a long, busy day... and I don't have an answer!

I learned a while ago the value of having a meal plan but what that plan looks like has evolved (and is still evolving) through the many changes of our family. I will explain what I am currently doing striving to do but before that I want to share some things I have learned about meal planning (and any form of organizing for that matter).

1. Each family is unique so another family's meal plan or system of planning, while inspiring, may not work for your family and it may even be a source of frustration. There are lots of great meal planning websites and  blog posts about meal planning both free and paid.  They may promise to make your life easier and have great suggestions but you have to know what will work for you.   If you are just starting out, look for a plan that you like, implement it and then tweak it to meet your needs.  Don't abandon something that is working just because you come across someone else who does it differently.

2. Your meal plan doesn't have to look pretty.  Maybe this isn't an issue for you, but for me I would spend way too much time creating charts and lists and making them pretty,  use them for a week and then find something else that seemed better (see point one :)  Now I focus on functionality first and then if there is time I make it pretty.

3. Any plan you choose takes discipline to follow.  I am still learning this one!

So here is what works for me right now:

Step 1
I have a meal planning binder (sorry no pictures here of a pretty, organized binder :)

In the binder there is:
  • a list of meals that our family likes.  I asked everyone to tell me what they like and I created this master list that is my "go to" list. 
  • a calendar
  • scrap paper
  • recipes 
Step 2
Before grocery shopping I gather my binder and computer (I use iCal for my schedule).  I look at the schedule for the upcoming week and figure out what meals we will be having (if I have time I plan two to three weeks at a time).  I use my "go to" recipes for the most part  but if I have time I scan the internet for interesting recipes.  I have started using Pinterest and I have a recipe board to make it easier to collect recipes I want to try.

Step 3
I have a meal calendar in iCal where I plop in the meals for the week.  I have dinner as a recurring event and just update the entry on each day.  I have a email reminder set so I get an email each evening telling me what is for dinner the next day.  This helps me to remember if there is anything that takes extra preparation (i.e. crock pot, defrost meat etc.)

Step 4
I take out all the recipes in the binder that I intend to use for the week and print out any new recipes and then put them in order in the front of the binder.

Step 5
I use these recipes to make my grocery list.

Once I have shopped I am always one step away from dinner!

When it is time to make dinner, I pull out the recipe and put it in the front cover of the binder (I have a clear view binder)  This keeps the recipe clean while I cook. When I am done the recipe gets filed back in the recipe section of the binder.  If it is a new recipe I only keep it if it gets at least 4 thumbs up (out of 6 possible votes).

Sometimes the week doesn't go as planned. With this format, I can always switch things around if I need to.

How do you tackle dinner?  Any tips you want to share?

This is part 2 in the series How do you do it? 
You can read the previous posts here:
Intro post
Part 1