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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Helping those of you new to Blogs! Tutorial Part 2

In Part 2, I will teach you how to subscribe by email, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and how to email us.  This will help you with our next giveaway!

1. Now if you really like our blog, which we hope you do, you'll want to become a subscriber.  There are two ways to subscribe.  The easiest way to subscribe is my email.  Our postings for each day will be sent to you once a day (around 1-3pm).  This way you don't miss anything we are up to!  On the sidebar you will find a spot to put your email address in for email subscription.
Enter your email, click subscribe.  A window will pop up from Feedburner asking you to input a verification code.  Put in what you see in color exactly as you see it.  Here is my example:
Click "Complete Subscription".  Close the window. IMPT: You aren't officially subscribed yet!  You must confirm your subscription.  Go to your email inbox.  You will have an email from Feedburner asking you to activate your email subscription.  Open it up, click the link in the email.  Now you are subscribed!  Congratulations!  You will not receive an email immediately.  Your first email will come at our next scheduled email send out.  This sounds complicated but it really isn't!

2. Now, if you want to subscribe by RSS (another way to get all our posts), you need to go to our sidebar and click this button (known as the RSS button)
A new window will pop up asking you where you would like to place our feed.  You can bookmark it on your toolbar or just in your favorites.  Once you place it, go back and check it.  You will see all our postings (known as feeds) listed there.  You can also place our feed in your mail program (specific to your program), in your google reader, yahoo reader or other RSS reader.  That's it, onward we go.

3.  Now for Facebook.  Go to our sidebar again and click the Facebook button.
Now you are transported to our Facebook page.  Sign into Facebook if you aren't already.  Then "Like" our page.  Now you have access to all our Facebook posts.  Here is the inside scoop:  We will ask your opinion on post ideas using Facebook and we will post special giveaways just for our Facebook followers.  Run over there and "Like" us so you don't miss out!

3.  If you "Tweet"(aka post on Twitter) than you will want to be a follower.  Funny sidenote:  My Mom (yep she keeps me laughing) told me lately that she doesn't know how to "Twit."  After making fun of her for awhile, I informed her it is "Tweet".  Sorry, back to following us on Twitter.  Go back to sidebar and click the Twitter button.
Sign into Twitter or setup an account.  Then click to follow our blog.  All posts will come from @oursevendwarfs.  Now go "Tweet"!

4.  If you want to contact us directly, click on the mail icon on the sidebar.
This will open up your mail client and you can send us an email.  We also have a pretty easy email to remember:  oursevendwarfs@gmail.com  Send us an email we would love to hear from you!

You are set!  You can comment.  You are fully subscribed.  You follow on Facebook and/or Twitter. You can email us.  BRING ON THE GIVEAWAYS!  Now, that my brain hurts, I will get to our next giveaway!  Happy entering!

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Helping those of you new to Blogs! Tutorial Part 1

Shannon had the great idea of doing a tutorial on how to utilize all the features of a blog.  We know that many of our friends are new to the blog world and we want to assist you.

Shannon is a self-admitted non-techie.  I on the other hand know just enough to be truly dangerous.  Therefore, I have been put in charge of helping you learn a tip or two!

I am going to make these instructions as basic as I can.  Please do not be offended if you think it is too basic.  I want everyone to easily use all the features of our blog and be fully connected.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't worry.  My Mom who can't set the time on her microwave was able to do all of this.  (I love you Mom! I'm proud of your new rad skills!)

In Part 1, I will explain basics of our blog, how to find specific posts and commenting.

1.  You are obviously able to find our blog, so I don't need to explain that.  Thanks for stopping by!
2.  When you are on our Home page, you see all our posts.  At the bottom of the page is a link to older posts, if you want to view them in order.  If you have something special that you would like to view, check out the Labels on the sidebar. (See example picture).  We label each post to help you find them later.
You can also search our blog.  On the sidebar you will find a place to search, this will search just our blog not all of google.

3.  Commenting on a blog post is easy.  Go to the bottom of whichever post you would like to leave a comment for.  Below our signature, you will see the time and next to that the amount of comments.  Click on the comments. 
This will open up all the posted comments.  Go to the bottom of the page.  Type in whatever you would like to post in the open area.  Before submitting, click select profile.  You can sign in using your Google id or a bunch of others.  If you don't have one of those accounts, you can sign in with just your name and/or url.  I don't suggest leaving a comment as Anonymous as it makes it hard for us to contact you.

Now, that is Part 1.  Leave us a comment as we love to hear from our readers!  Thanks!

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Giveaway #1 of 12 Winner: Personalized shirt

Congratulations to #17,
Jamie Newman said...
I posted the giveaway on facebook
Please email us at oursevendwarfs@gmail.com so that we can get your information and personalize your shirt for you!

Here is a picture of Jamie's shirt:
Sure is a cute snowman!

Be on the lookout for Giveaway #2 starting tomorrow!

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Christmas Advent Board Tutorial

For the last few years I have wanted a Christmas advent container of some kind.  I have been in awe of the ones at Pottery Barn, but I am not willing to spend the $99-200 it costs to have a fancy one. I saw one the other day at Target but it was $30 and was cheaply made.

While browsing at that fabulous place, aka the Dollar Tree, I found circular Christmas themed boxes.  They had a large one and a small one for $1.  I knew these would be perfect for holding candy for an advent of some sort.  My wonderful husband went with me to Lowe's the other day and we bought a large MDF board for $21 and cut it down to about 10 board sizes.  (That's 10 different gifts for about $2 a piece, gotta love it!)  Now, putting the circular boxes together with the board, bingo, I have the makings of an advent board. 

On to the tutorial...

  • 1 MDF board of your chosen size (mine was 16 by 25)
  • Apple Barrel Paint in Glossy Red
  • Foam brush
  • 25 circular boxes (I had one leftover since they were bought in pairs)
  • White vinyl cut via the Silhouette (title in Civitype FG font, numbers in akaDora font, both found free online)
  • Silhouette Cutter
  • Transfer Tape
  • Scraper (I used my Pampered Chef little brown scraper)
  • Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

1.  Paint the top and the sides of your MDF board with the red glossy paint.  I did two coats.  Allow to fully dry.
2.  Cut your vinyl.  Remove excess vinyl so that your letters and numbers are the only things still on the paper. (Sorry it is hard to see the vinyl on the white backing).
3.  Rub the transfer tape on the vinyl letters.  I used my Pampered chef brown scrapper (one used for cleaning stoneware). Then peel off the transfer paper (vinyl will be attached).  Place the transfer paper on your board, rub using the scrapper and put your letters on the board.
4.  Organize your boxes on the board.  I did a large box then a small box, alternately.  Dumb me only bought four types of boxes, which meant the boxes got repeated.  Next time I would by five types so that I don't repeat them as often.
5.  Once you have the boxes organized on the board, transfer the numbers onto each box using the transfer paper as you did before.
6.  Hot glue each box to your board and allow it to set before adding candy or trinkets in each box.  Here is my finished Christmas Advent Board:
I figured out that I made my board for about $20.  It isn't the cheapest project, but it is personalized and perfect for what I wanted.

I just realized I name dropped about five companies and I'm not getting reimbursed for any of that.  My brother would be very upset with me for all that free advertising!

If you made your own advent for Christmas or another holiday, please share it as I love advents of any kind!  Off to eat the goodies for Day 1 since the kids didn't get to!  Ha!

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The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe!

I get absolutely giddy when my husband says he has cookies to bring home from work.  Our church secretary, Kathy M, makes the best sugar cookies! She spoils us with them for our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas.  She even made some to welcome our sweet little Anna in the world.
Our boys especially like the smiley faces!  In our house, these are a hot commodity.  My husband has even emailed or texted me pictures of him eating one at work just to make me jealous!

Kathy has made these for many years (I think 15-20 years, but I am not positive).  Anyone that has tried one is quickly addicted and begs for the recipe.  I know from experience. 

Well, the hubby arrived home today with a batch for Christmas and I began to strategically plan how to hide them from the kiddos.  I also thought of how great it would be to share the recipe (not the cookies themselves) with our blog followers. 

I got Kathy's permission and now I can share the recipe.  I hope it becomes a family favorite for you as well.  Enjoy!

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe 

by Kathy M.

1 cup PARKAY margarin, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking soda

Cream margarine and sugar together.  Add eggs; mix well.  Add vanilla.  Add dry ingredients, 2 cups at a time.  Chill at least 2 hours.  Roll on floured surface about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.  Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Buttercream icing
1/2 cup of Crisco solid shortening
1/2 cup of butter or margarine (I use Parkay marg, here too)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

Cream shortening and margarine.  Add sugar, milk and vanilla.  Blend on medium speed until all ingredients are well mixed.  Blend an additional minute or so, until creamy.  Makes 3 cups of icing.  Freezes well.  Can be stored for a week in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Warning!:  These are highly addictive!

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