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Never before have I had so many giveaways in so little time! I apologize if it feels a little ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ or ‘The Price is Right’ or name-your-game-show (obviously I don’t watch enough game shows). It’s out of control!! The overabundance wasn’t intentional, just sorta happened. It was part ‘dates set by others’ and part ‘I totally forgot about that’. So again, if it’s not your cup of tea, not to worry, this craziness will not happen again and if it is your thing, then hold on to your hats because I have one more giveaway this week!

In participating in the Cricut Design Space Star challenge, my team was given the opportunity to giveaway a brand new Cricut Explore. This new model does just about everything but watch your children while take a snooze. :) I’ve had a Cricut cutter for about 5 years. I have one of the originals and it’s a favorite purchase of mine, just check out my garland projects.

If you think you’d like to sign up and see you can win one, here’s the link to a Rafflecopter giveaway.

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Good luck and happy Friday!

A big thanks to Cricut!

P.S. Picked a winner for the giveaway on Tuesday!

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Tart Cherry Champagne Jam | this heart of mine

One of the best things about finding friends who have similar interests is the inspiration they provide. While watching our children run about outside, I was musing to my friend, Liz, about flavor pairings with tart cherries, brainstorming about my second collaboration creation with Montmorency tart cherries. I tossed out various herbs and other fruit pairings while Liz suggested champagne. Inspiration! The tart, bright flavor of the tart cherries would be further brightened by the sparkling grapes of champagne. The pair tastes fantastic. Plus the color is to die for! And did you know their ruby-red color is a sign their healthful qualities?? I knew red was the way to go. :)

Like in the Roasted Cherries and Ricotta Crostini recipe, I used frozen tart cherries for this recipe too. Knowing most of them were grown here in the US, processed and frozen at peak flavor, I was certain their taste would be punchy and delicious. While this is definitely a sweet flavored treat, I researched various sugar amounts and settled on a lesser amount because the tart cherries already taste good. This jam most assuredly dresses up a plain biscuit and I’m sure it would be yummy on toast, atop my oatmeal and I’m even considering drizzling it over vanilla ice cream.

Tart Cherry Champagne Jam | this heart of mine

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Children Inspire Design Giveaway!! | this heart of mine

Our school year starts today. Love Bug is headed to first grade this morning and tomorrow, Sweet J starts preschool three days a week. The children are very excited for their adventures. I thought I was too. With each new beginning, I am reminded how fast time is passing, how quickly my children are growing up and, eventually, away from me and how fleeting my time with them is. It’s life, the way things are supposed to be. My children are not, in fact, mine to keep forever and my heart is sad. I won’t let it keep me from sharing in their joy and excitement, however. It’s wonderful to experience the world through their eyes.

Toy Room Redo | this heart of mine

I’m so thankful my home is full of the things Love Bug and Sweet J love. Even when they are gone, I see them everywhere. And thank goodness I have a room to house all their items. Some days it’s all we can do to toss all the stuff in the room and turn off the light. We rearranged our house two years ago to better fit our daily activities and it’s been a fabulous change. The toy room has taken the longest to finish. We started with paint way back when and then I hung a few shelf pieces from Land of Nod. Then I just let it sit. The room gets tons of action every single day. The constant mess of toys was a form of decoration in itself.

Toy Room Redo | this heart of mine

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Food Should Taste Good Giveaway! | this heart of mine

Before the whole organic food/eat natural/make-your-own-food movement was a thing, my mom was already doing it all. I’ve mentioned this before. My mom was a ‘crunchy’, ‘natural’ mom even before the terms were used. She made most of our food from scratch, grew lots of the vegetables in the garden out back and those items she didn’t make or grow, we got from the co-op, which, in my little town, consisted of picking up our order at a local church. We even helped unload the shipments from the delivery truck and separated it into the individual orders. Instead of fruit snacks we ate natural fruit leathers, we ordered our flour, oats, nuts and chocolate chips in bulk and instead of brand name pop, we drank organically flavored stuff. For a long time, I thought all people ate the way we did. By the time I figured out they didn’t, my palette was already set.

All that story is to say is that I am well versed in, am not scared by and actually love natural food. When Food Should Taste Good contacted me to try their product, I was very interested. First, I love the name. Food should indeed taste good. All the time. And when I read more about how the company got started, I knew the founder was my kind of people – a guy trying to make quality food with real ingredients and great taste.

Food Should Taste Good Giveaway! | this heart of mine

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Mini Skirt Redo | this heart of mine

I like to dress up whenever I get the chance. Whether it’s date nights with MJ or a night out with my lady friends, I dig out my ‘grown up’ clothes, my heels, jewelry and make up and play dress up. Love Bug calls me fancy and I love it. At the start of the summer, I was inspired by a few mini skirt summer wardrobe images. Despite my status as mother and woman in her early 30s, I thought why the heck not, a mini skirt can work for me too. I got the skirt and then I let it sit and sit and sit. But no more! My friend Marigold from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! is hosting a summer long series called the Summer of No Pants. It’s a handmade style series in favor of ditching pants in favor of skirts and dresses. Because I love Marigold and because this project has been just waiting to be finished, I am discarding my pants for this mini skirt redo.

It’s a very simple redo, a plain black skirt with some metallic paints. I love how it turned out!

Mini Skirt Redo | this heart of mine

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