Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Keep Track of Your Family's Belongings with the Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit #Review


We have had quite a busy September, and I can hardly believe that the month is pretty much over! September has been a month of getting back into the swing of old routines, and even starting some new ones. B began preschool this month, and has really adjusted so well to being away from mommy for three mornings a week. We are so impressed with his school, and he loves being there, and loves his wonderful teachers, too.

Preschool is new for us. B is in the three-year-old class, even though he will be four in just a couple of weeks. The birthday cutoff is at the end of July, so there wasn't much we could do about that. Orientation was a lot of fun for us, and we enjoyed B's open house, where we got to know his teachers, their expectations and we got to browse through the curriculum. One of the things that we were asked to do, was to make sure that any extras that were brought into school, like coats, jackets, hats, gloves, etc, were labeled with our son's name... that way, nothing would wind up in the lost and found! I love labeling, and being organized, so of course, I saw this as a fun project, and I had just the right tool to help me get the job done.


Every mom wants to have great products on hand that will do what they promise to do, and dare I say- exceed her expectations? When I received the opportunity to try out the Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit, I pretty much jumped for joy, because it was right after we had been asked to label our child's belongings for the school year. 

Since 1942 Epson's long tradition of introducing efficient, precise products continues into the future - with the continued development of some of the most advanced micromechantronics capabilities for ultra fine, high precision processing.

If you've ever worked in a professional setting, chances are, you have used an Epson product. I have used several, and have never been disappointed by one's performance. I had great expectations for the Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit, and couldn't wait to try it out at home!

Here it is- the handy Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit, in a convenient carry-case.

The Epson LabelWorks packaging included easy to read language, highlights, photos, and more!

The back of the case had even more information, plus it also listed a ton of cool features of the printer.

I removed the colorful slip-over info, and peered through the see-through plastic carry case. I spotted the label printer, and two label cartridges. I also received six AAA batteries, which are not included with the kit purchase, but they are needed for using the printer.

Contents of the kit through the case...

And here are the contents, laid out on my dining room table- User Guide, Printer, and Cartridges.

Before I did anything, I read through the User Guide. If my husband has taught me anything through the many years we have been together, it's to stop and read the manual or directions before attempting to use something new, or put something together. The guide was a quick and easy read, and had pictures, which I found very helpful (I am a visual person, for sure!). The kit came with two label cartridges- white and blue. I love that they are available in different colors!

I took a moment to look at the keys on the label printer, and then identify some of the keys by using the guide book, so I wouldn't waste time while trying to use it.

When I felt that I was ready, I set the printer up for use.

I inserted the six AAA batteries into the battery slots, and inserted the white cartridge into the cartridge area. Easy as could be, let me tell you! Next, I touched the power button on the printer to turn it on, and it was ready to go! I played around for a minute or two to adjust the label tape length, and then played around with the different fonts, and then typed in B's name. 

Here are a few key features of the 
Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit...

There are 14 font types, and 10 styles to choose from!
There's a built-in memory, which stores up to 30 label design files.
Print up to two lines of text.
Accommodates different tapes.
Works with the included iron-on tape, as well as sticky labels and printable ribbons (sold separately).
Automatically prints with a split back for easy peeling.

I felt like adding a fun frame around B's name, so I grabbed the User Guide, which shows all of the symbol and frame options, and tells you which number they are on the printer.

I quickly and easily found the frame I wanted to use (there are 75+ frames!), set it with the 'enter' button, and then I was ready to print my first label!

Ta-da- B's very own personalized label with his favorite sport symbols... soccer!

Is this not precious!?

Here's another cute one with a space frame around it! B loved this one!

The printer has a built-in cutter, and all I had to do was press the cut button, and out came my label!

Of course, making that first label was so much fun that I couldn't just stop there! With over 300 symbols, and over 75 frames to choose from, I was about to go label crazy! I realized that this kit would be the perfect Christmas gift for my mom, who makes quilts, and other quilted items. She loves to put a personalized label on her handiwork, and with the Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit, she could quickly and easily print labels with her business name, and iron them right onto her finished products!

I wanted to give it another go and create a couple of labels for my mom to use on her quilts.


I printed a couple of different labels for my mom, and she loved how they turned out!

The neat thing about my mom seeing this and trying it out with me, and loving it, I might add, is that now I know what I'll get her for Christmas! She sells her products through her Etsy shop, and also sells at a local shop here in our town, which features items from local artists. Being able to iron a personalized label directly onto her product saver her from having to re-stock business cards, deal with them getting lost, etc. The LabelWorks Iron-On Kit would also allow her to personalize special messages and put those on her products when she gives them as special gifts, or donates to charities.

Whether we're labeling clothing or labeling handiwork, we think the Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit rocks!

I have been so pleased with this kit! I love the fact that the printer is cordless and runs on batteries. I can take this just about anywhere, and label whatever I need to! My dad might even find this useful for labeling things in his office or music library. I can't wait to make labels for some of B's fabric toy bins, his days of the week clothing pockets, and of course, finish labeling his winter gear before it gets super cold. It's super easy to put the labels on, too- just peel off the backing, stick the label where you want it, and use the iron to seal it with heat. I love this product so much, and I think that every mom needs one of these, plus- there are so many wonderful things you could use this for. It would make a fabulous gift for a crafter, parent, teacher, etc!

Want One? Buy One!

The Epson LabelWorks Iron-On Kit is available at Epson.com, for $69.99 (includes printer and two cartridges). The Printer is available for $39.99, and selected tapes are available at OfficeMax (in store and online), Amazon.com, and Staples.com. Epson is social and would love to connect with you through Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Special thanks to our friends at Epson for allowing us to review and share about their amazing LabelWorks Iron-On Kit!

Happy organizing!


Find Your Inner Beauty Each Month with iBbeautiful {Review and Giveaway}


Raising girls is hard work. I know my girls are still young and the days will get harder, but I am trying to start teaching them to know how truly beautiful they are. Beauty is not what the outside shows, but what the inside is. Girls don't need to be anything but themselves, which is so hard for them to understand, they need to be and do whatever makes them the happiest. I can only hope I am doing the best for my girls now, so that as they grow, they know they are beautiful just as they are.

I was recently browsing online when I came across a company that is catering to tweens and teen girls, celebrating them as they truly are. Promoting the slogan, B Unique, B Happy, B You, this company offers a monthly box, full of fun accessory and beauty products that provide inspiration.


iBbeautiful, has the core belief that ALL girls are unique and beautiful just as they are. Mom, Cindy, founded iBbeautiful last July, after experiencing first hand with her own daughter, how tough navigating the tween/teen life really is. Cindy owns a brick and mortar gift store in Chappaqua, NY called Marmalade (I checked it out online and it has so amazing items, you might just want to take a look there too) and has a background in the garment industry in marketing and sales.With her knowledge and experiences, she looked to share and stay connected with her own daughter, but it was and is difficult. Focusing on helping girls look inward instead of outward at themselves, not trying to change to "fit in", and having confidence in themselves, Cindy wanted something new to create a positive message to girls in the tween/teen age group. iBbeautiful was created as a monthly experience that showed messages of empowerment and confidence and let them know they are beautiful.

 iBbeautiful's Mission Statement:
iBbeautiful's mission is to help young girls realize they are beautiful just as they are; without comparisons to how others look or act.  We do this by offering a monthly box of inspiration that includes fun lifestyle items and a message of empowerment to help young girls be confident, smart, brave, unique and kind.  Every girl should be confident that she will become the woman she is meant to be and can achieve anything she sets her mind to.

Cindy told me that since starting iBbeautiful, she has received countless emails and letters from moms, thanking them for these small gifts. These moms say the messages sent within the boxes have helped open up conversations with their daughters about confidence, happiness, and bravery. Cindy has even received letters from the girls as well, telling her that the iBbeautiful box was what helped them get through a rough day at school. Cindy has been so thankful that what she is creating, is working!

How Does iBbeautiful Work?
iBbeautiful is a really great way to encourage the special tween or teen in your life to always feel beautiful. With two options available: Graphic Tee Box ($28) or Basic Box ($18), you must sign up by the 15th of the month to receive that month's box, which ships at months end. After selecting your box type, you choose the size or age range and then patiently wait for your box to arrive.

What Comes in an iBbeautiful Box?
Graphic Tee Box: With this box you'll receive a cool graphic tee and a variety of super fun products to wear, try on, play with or sport around town. These items may be lip gloss, nail art, hair products, accessories, but you will never get the same product twice. These items may sometimes not even be released to the public or brand new to the market, and you have the chance to be the first one with them. Each product is carefully catered to the age group you fall in to.

Basic Box: The basic box is the same as the graphic tee box, minus the graphic tee.

We were given the chance to work with Cindy and try out our own iBbeautiful box for the month of September. I couldn't wait to see what empowering and exciting items we would get.

Our iBbeautiful September box is here!
The box was shipped USPS and was sturdy and secure when it arrived.

We were sent the iBbeautiful basic box. This was a great fit for us, since we don't really have a tween quite yet. I knew my beautiful girl would love to get some exciting items that truly showed her how special she is. S was thrilled to see something for her in the mailbox!
Wow, looks like it filled with goodies!
The theme for September is "New Beginnings". With school just starting, this is a great welcome to the new year box for girls.
B Strong-B Adventurous-B Smart-B You was the message on the back. It gives great advice for a new school year being a blank page for you to write your own story, a better version of you. I think this card really empowers girls to set goals and aspirations for themselves to become who they truly want to be.
I know S is still young, but she started this school year a bit differently. We held her back, as all her friends went on to Kindergarten, she was still in preschool. With an August cutoff date for school and her having a July birthday, we basically gave her the gift of time. When she is in high school, we hope that this extra year will give her the maturity and skills she needs to make the best choices for herself. She is very social, so we knew that she wouldn't struggle to make friends, but we did worry that she would be sad that she was not in her comfort zone. She has been completely in love with her teacher and class, we know we have chosen the best for her. This new beginnings, while being more for older girls, also fits S, she is able to completely be who she wants in her new class, while still growing and maturing at a pace that is appropriate.
Here is a look at all of the things we found in our September box, it was full!
A small paper gave us a heads up on everything that was in our box. I like these information cards, it gives you details on each item you receive and what their value is.
Let's explore our box more:
Item #1: Snifty Pencil
Retail Value $3
These scented pencils just hit the market
 
 
A #2 decorative pencil with a scented topper. Ours was cotton candy, and it smells identical to that big bag of pink or blue sugary goodness. Ours is also decorated in giraffes eating cotton candy from a ladder. I love how cute and creative this is, S loves using it for her homework pages.
Item #2: Mirror + Comb Set
Retail Value $6
A cute, quick way to check to make sure you look how you want.
 
 
 
 
This two piece set is perfect for a locker, purse, or backpack for last second fixes. Not only is this perfect for a tween, it is perfect for a 5 year old who loves to look and feel her best. S has spent much time combing her blond locks already.
Item #3: Beauty Junky Strawberry Gel Mask
Retail Value $3
A 15 minute beauty fix in a 0.5 ounce package.
This is a little grown up for S to use, but mommy can sure use it. It tones and deep cleans while smelling super yummy.
Item #4: Lace Up Socks
Retail Value $8
These adorable pink socks look just like shoes!
Both my son and the girls had baby versions of these socks. I love the idea and look of them, they are a perfect fit for my foot, so I may have to borrow them.
Item #5: Live Natural Bracelet
Retail Value $14
Made of leather, clay, and rope, this bracelet is cute and durable.
 
 
 
S love, love, loves this bracelet. She is all about the jewelry so she was thrilled to see it. It is trendy and funky, while still being unique. I love the design of birds, flowers, and butterflies too.
Item #6: NYC Subway Line Bag
Retail Value $22
Fun little coin purse, perfect for lunch money, shopping money, or whatever you want to keep close to you.
 
 S has a bag obsession already. I find them all over the house, filled with her goodies. She took this NYC bag and had it full in no time. I like the size, great for coins or small bills to stick in your backpack or purse. I also like the bright red color and the #1, a reminder that every new beginning starts at square 1.

 The iBbeautiful box is filled with positive and encouraging things. A new beginning is sometimes all you need and by setting goals, you should be able to reach anything you want. The value in this box is also a great deal, not only for personal growth, but financially is a good buy too. If I had paid for one month of iBbeautiful, the basic box, it would run me $18. Here is the breakdown of what was inside our box:
Snifty Pencil $3
Mirror + Comb Set $6
Gel Mask $3
Lace Up Socks $8
Bracelet $14
NYC Purse $22
Total=$56

Want It? Buy It!
Interested in signing up for your own monthly subscription of iBbeautiful? You can also follow iBbeautiful on their social media outlets-Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, or the iBbeautiful blog.



Want It? Win It!
One lucky reader will win a one month subscription box from iBbeautiful. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter to win. Remember- if the entry field appears in BOLD, it's mandatory. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older. Click on 'Read More' to go to the giveaway.

Thanks to Cindy and iBbeautiful for a great box of girlie goodies and a great message too!

Tasty Tuesdays: Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes #Recipe


Now that everything has started back up for the year, our evenings are a little bit busier than they were in the summertime. There are at least two nights a week, where our dinner schedule is a bit rushed, and some nights where we don't all get to sit down together and eat at the same time. I have found that crock pot cooking is a huge time saver for us, especially on nights where I don't get home until after 5:30, and need to have dinner ready for us to eat around 6:00, because hubby has to be back out the door by 7:15. 

Not everyone is a fan of crock pot cooking or crock pot meals, and my husband is one of those people. I try to make meals that I know he'll enjoy when I use the crock pot, or sometimes, I just make a side dish. Last week, I made yummy scalloped potatoes in the crock pot, and they were pretty delicious, so I thought I would share the recipe.


You Will Need

  • 5-6 Small potatoes: peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
  • 1 Cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 Cup crumbled bacon or real bacon bits
  • 1/4 Cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • Salt, Pepper to taste


Directions


1. Start with small potatoes. I used 6 small potatoes, which make about 6 servings.
Peel the potatoes, and thinly slice them. Be sure to remove any brown spots.

2. Lightly spray your crock pot with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

3. Cover the bottom of the crock pot with a layer of potato slices. Add some of the chopped onion over top, and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little bit of the paprika.

4. Repeat step 3- add a second layer of potatoes, onions, salt, pepper, and paprika. Keep repeating step 3 and layering potatoes, until you run out of potatoes. I wound up with two layers of potatoes.

Step 5: Sprinkle the cheese over top.

Step 6: Add bacon crumbles. I used Hormel's real bacon crumbles.

Step 7: Add more cheese, if you like, so the top layer of potatoes is covered.

Step 8: Spoon the soup over top the cheese. Don't worry about trying to spread it out- it will spread and cover the top layer of potatoes as it cooks.

Step 8: Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.


Step 9: Remove lid, serve and enjoy!

This was my first time making this dish in the crock pot. It was actually done after about 3 hours. You can check your potatoes after a couple of hours, and turn the crock pot down to low, if you like, until you're ready to eat. Just make sure that the potatoes are cooked through and fork tender.

Serve with a protein and a veggie...

I served the crock pot scalloped potatoes with grilled pork, and steamed broccoli. For as much as my husband isn't a fan of crock pot dishes, he actually really enjoyed this side dish. What's not to like about creamy, cheesy potatoes with bits of bacon and soft, sweet onions? This dish can make enough to feed a small army, or your very hungry family. We loved this dish, and hubby has already asked me to make it again, so it'll be back in our menu rotation in a couple of weeks.

Why not give this recipe a try this week?