May Day Craft: Paper Butterfly Box

Hello! Jennifer from Satsuma Designs here and very excited to be back at Just Us Four blog – thank you Shannah! At Satsuma Designs, I create Seattle-made baby products and content that help make caring for kids as easy as child’s play. At my blog, you’ll find crafts, organizing tips, recipes, holiday and everyday treats to delight you and your kiddos. Come by for a visit!

Do you and your kids love to surprise neighbors and friends with May Day flowers on May 1st? We do and if it’s not raining in Seattle this year, I want to drop a little butterfly on each doorstep to welcome spring in with a bang. Here’s an easy May Day craft to try with the kids. My Paper Butterfly Box requires only a few materials that you’ll have on hand and what’s more is that you can fill each little box with leftover Easter candy!

may day craft paper butterfly box pin

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Shopping CB2 – Brasil Style #CB2NovogratzBrasilSweepstakes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CB2 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

CB2 is a one of those stores that is filled with high style and lots of design inspiration. Now, CB2 has partnered with Robert and Cortney Novogratz to bring the influence of Brasil into a new the new CB2 and Novogratz Collection.

The collection is filled with warm wood tones and pops of color.  It brings in the fun of a vacation home in Brasil to your home.  A few of my favorite items from the collection

I love the bright colors that are intermixed in the collection.  It is just enough to really make the items fun but still fit well into any home.  The Rouge Coffee Table is definitely my favorite item in the collection.

In addition to offering access to some high style inspried by Brasil through the new CB2 and Novogratz Collection, CB2 is offering a chance to win a trip of a lifetime in the CB2 and Novogratz Brasil Sweepstakes.

The grand prize winner and three friends will win a one week stay at the vacation home of CB2 collaborators Bob and Courtney Novogratz in gorgeous Trancoso, Brazil.  In addition, 10 other lucky winners will receive $100 CB2 giftcards along with a personally signed copy of the book "Home by Novogratz".
 
Want to enter to win the trip of a lifetime? I know I do!  Visit here between now and June 3rd for your chance to win one of the amazing prizes being offered from CB2.
 
I started following CB2 on Facebook to keep up with the sweepstakes {who knows, maybe I'll know the person who wins big…like you!} and other offerings from CB2. 

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Changing Tastes Means House Upgrades

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Moen, Incorporated for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We moved into our house just about 3 years ago.  When we bought the house, we immediately painted all the walls and made some pretty big decorating decisions prior to living in the house.

Well, a ton has changed since then.  Our tastes have definitely changed from a more box store catalog look to a preferences that skew to a more collected look where everything isn't matchy/matchy. 

One of the rooms getting the biggest changes is the kitchen.  When the house was built and all the interior  choices were made, the buyer was single guy with no eye for any kind of design at all.  The cabinets match the floors and absolutely DO NOT match the countertops.  We've slowly been making changes in the room which started with cabinet knobs and then furniture. 

The next change I have my eye on is the faucet.  We currently have the original builder's faucet and it is starting to show some major wear.  One of the faucets I have had my eye on is the Kiran Spot Resist one-handle pulldown kitchen faucet.
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I love the stainless steel finsih on the faucet and feel it will go much better in our updated kitchen than the current dark {almost black} faucet we have right now.  Plus, the faucet is spot and fingerprint resistant which is perfect because I always have little kiddos touching it or getting water everywhere. 
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The faucet has an awesome high arch which is definitely own trend.  The pulldown design makes it extremely functional and useful for when I am doing dishes or working in the sink.

With the Moen name behind it, I know I am buying a quality product too.   I have even been out to Lowe's to check out the faucet and am saving my pennies for the purchase :)

I started following Moen on Facebook and Twitter.  Following your favorite brands through social media is a great way to keep up with info on their newest products and get tips on using the products.

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Heating Efficiently: Pellet Stoves

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Harman Stoves for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am always searching for ways to be more responsible to the environment while also not breaking the bank.  For most households, their biggest expense during these cold winter months is heating.  Unfortunately, heating homes can also be one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution too.

A popular heating alternative is a pellet stove.  Pellet stoves cost {on average} 44% less than oil, 47% less than electric and 53% less than propane heat.  Plus, biomass fuels used in pellet stoves are composed of renewable, carbon-neutral products so they are extremely environmentally friendly.  You can learn more about pellet stoves here
Pellet Stoves are Awesome

Another perk of pellet stoves: The federal tax credit on 75% efficient biomass heating appliances was reinstated on January 2, 2013.  The bill includes a "tax extender" which provides a tax credit for qualifying biomass-burning stoves. The credit is 10% of up to $300 on a qualified biomass heating appliance purchased between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013! That makes a pellet stove an even better way to save on home heating costs.

One of the leaders in pellet stoves is Harman Pellet Stoves.  Dane Harman designed and built his first Harman stove in 1979 in an effort to reduce his family's heating costs. Now, after more than 3 decades, the Harman brand has 36 models of heating equipment including pellet stoves, inserts and home heating units.

Harman Pellet Stoves is giving away a journal sized notebook made of recycled materials to one Just Us Four reader! 

Want to win?  Simply visit Harman Pellet Stoves and then leave me a comment telling me what you like about the company or their products. 
The contest will run for 7 days and a winner will be drawn and announced here at the conclusion of the contest period.

Also, be sure to connect with Harman on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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The Updated Blog

So, last week, you guys got a fun surprise and new blog design showed up here!  Monica, from Designer Blogs, worked her buns off to create the awesome design and all the great stuff that went along with it.  If you are shopping for a new blog design, I HIGHLY recommend them {and no, they did not pay or perk me to say that}!

A few of the highlights of the new design:
– Drop down menus: This will make it easier for you guys to find posts that fit into the categories you are interested in.  These do require me to update the categories on all of my posts which is a slow process so be patient with me…I will get them all organized!

- New Buttons:  Yep, those changed too!  Please be sure to update the button on your page :) You can grab the code from the sidebar or by visiting the Grab a Button page.

- Additional social media buttons.  You can now follow me via Google+ and BlogLovin simply by clicking on the icons in the sidebar.

- A fancy new picture.  I have the lovely Elevee Photography to thank for my awesome pictures.  My friend, Kere, hooked me up with some Stella & Dot jewelry to wear and Erica worked her camera magic.  I’m still trying to decide which picture is my favorite so you may see that picture in the sidebar change a few times :)

- LinkWithin – Now, each post has links to other relevant posts at the bottom. I hope it helps you find more content that interests you!

I think those are the major highlights of the blog design.  I had a great time working with Monica and she really helped me put my ideas into a real website.

Your Vote Makes a Difference

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have a huge soft spot for anything child related.  My son has spent enough time in the doctor's office or hospital for children with illnesses to really get to me though.  Each year, we do our best to give back to charities and organizaitons that benefit children in need by donatining money, clothing, toys and our time.

White Cloud, the makers of facial tissues and toilet paper, has teamed up with one of those organizations too: Children's Miracle Network.  They collected artwork from kids in the 168 Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals as potential new covers for the White Cloud tissue boxes.  Once all the artwork was collected, they narrowed it to 10 finalists.

That's where you and I come in!  The 10 designs can be found on the White Cloud Facebook page so fans can vote on their favorites!

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Three winning designs will be chosen and printed on special edition White Cloud Facial Tissue boxes that will be sold exclusively in Walmart stores during the month of May.  Find a store near you!
In addition to featuring the designs, White Cloud will also be making donations to each of the CMN hospitals with winning designs.

Now, helping to score money for hospitals that serve children just by voting is a piece of cake.  But, there is some icing to that cake!  Fans who vote for the designs will be offered a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win $25 Walmart giftcards.  Three grand prize winners will get a one-year supply of White Cloud products.  Like White Cloud on Facebook to get all the details and keep up with the announcements.

Now, what are you waiting for?  It is time to vote.

Voting App

Abbreviated rules (a.k.a. legal mumbo jumbo that is important):  No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.  The CHilren's Miracle Network Contest and Sweepstakes are sponsored by Kruger Products (USA), Inc.  The Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, between the ages of 4 and 14, who are eligible paitents at one of the 168 participating Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  The entry period for the Contest begins on November 29, 2012 and ends on December 28, 2012.  The Voter Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older.  The Voter Sweepstakes begin at 6:00pm ET on January 3, 2013 and end at 11:59pm ET on January 30, 2013.  For official rules, visit http://mywhitecloud.com/tissue-box-contest

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National Day of Mourning

There will be no party today.  Beginning with the moment of silence scheduled today for 9:30am, I will be observing the National Day of Mourning in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Shooting.

National Blogging Day of Silence

I will be taking today off as a day of silence and remembrance as far as technology goes. I will not be blogging, tweeting or updating on Facebook but plan on spending my time with my littles and remembering and praying for those families who lost so much in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut school shooting.

I will see you tomorrow for a new day of posting. Until then, I hope you will take the time to remember and pray for the families of Sandy Hook who have lost so much.

Wrapping It Up #DisneyPrincessWMT

Now that most of my shopping is complete, it is time to get down to the business of wrapping up all my wonderful presents to give.  I like to have fun with the wrapping and try to either keep the person guessing on what the gift is or give it a unique twist on regular wrapping paper.

I bought two Disney Princess gifts {one for H and one for a friend} last week and they were on my list of things to wrap.

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An Easy Afternoon Before I #FinishMyList

The holidays keep people pretty busy and totally crazy! {Please say yes so I know it isn’t just me!} If you’re a mom, chances are they are even crazier for you because a lot of the gift planning, buying, wrapping and giving falls to you.

I wanted to give a good friend of mine a little break from the craziness of the holidays recently. Of course, it is the holidays so my budget was pretty small. So, I visited the Mastercard Marketplace to see if I could score a deal. The only stipulation to use the marketplace is that you use your Mastercard. No problem in our household. We have our Mastercard and our card for Costco and that is it as far as credit cards go :)

So, what exactly is the Marketplace? It is a site where there are bunches of offers for discounted goods, services and restaurants that are open to Mastercard holders. You can sort the offers by category, start dates, popularity and even check out offers your friends have liked!

I started my plan in motion by making sure my friends’ kids had stuff to do so she wouldn’t have to worry about watching them. I wanted this to be true time away. Once that was settled, I invited her over under the pretense that I needed her help with something around the house.

In reality, I was planning a sweet and treats afternoon! I had found an awesome deal in the Marketplace where I could get delicious pastries from an upscale local bakery at half off! I clicked on the deal and it took me to the site to finish up my purchase. Using my voucher was a breeze at the local bakery too!

I picked up some macaroons and petit fours. I was pretty excited to see the cute little Christmas themed petit fours!

To complete our “treats”, I bought some ingredients to make frozen hot chocolate and pulled out my super cute red and white straws.

The frozen hot chocolate was so easy to make and really delicious.  I used a recipe from Epicurious which mimics the Frozen Hot Chocolate from the famous New York restaurant, Serendipity.

My friend was so surprised when she showed up! We had a fabulous afternoon of relaxation with some very delicious pastries and frozen hot chocolate to complete the “party”.

Want more info on the Marketplace so you can plan your own afternoon delight? Check out Mastercard Marketplace’s twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and MasterCard #CBias #SocialFabric #FinishMyList