My So Called Crafty Life

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Fun Ideas for a Backyard Summer Bash

Daryl and I have been thinking of having an outdoor fiesta this summer with family and friends. We are busy working on the yard at the moment, but once everything is looking great, we’ll be celebrating with a party. In the mean time, I thought I would share a fun article with you all from Quinn at Healthy Living With Quinn( see her blog Here.) She’s got some great tips on how to plan the perfect summer gathering! Check it out!

Fun Ideas for a Summer Backyard Bash

 Fun Ideas for a Backyard Summer Bash

Photo Credit: Josh Liba via Compfight cc

I love summer – bright sun, green grass, and blue skies. My husband and I have a tradition of throwing an outdoor party every year when the weather warms up. It’s a great way to gather our family and friends to enjoy the change in season. Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot of tricks for transforming my backyard into a festive paradise.

Fresh Refreshments

On a warm day, there’s nothing quite like sipping a cool drink in the backyard. For my outdoor parties, I offer the standard wine and beer, but I also like to mix it up with some unique summer beverages. There are a lot of delicious cocktail recipes out there, and many of them don’t require the skill of an expert mixologist. This citrus pineapple sangria is one of my new favorites. It’s the perfect combination of light and flavorful, and it’s remarkably easy for a party setting. I love serving them in glasses my husband and I got from this site. No matter the recipe, distinctive drinks will definitely get your guests talking as they try something new!

Fun and Games

 Fun Ideas for a Backyard Summer Bash
Photo Credit: Ben Husmann via Compfight cc

Lawn games are a must for a backyard shindig. A little competition is sure to bring out laughter and the joy of inner childhood. Activities can range from silly (three-legged race) to sophisticated (croquet). Old staples like badminton, bocce or horseshoes are easy to setup and play. But don’t be afraid to try something a little different. I came across this fantastic outdoor Scrabble project, which was a huge hit with my guests last year. It also doesn’t hurt to award the winners with prizes, such as a bottle of wine or movie tickets. I’ll warn you, though – the competition can get fierce!

Fab Décor

Nothing sets the mood for an outdoor party like the decorations. This kind of festivity is easy to decorate, since nature has its own beauty. Simply set up a few tables and cover with summery tablecloths (tip: tape down the tablecloths in case of a breeze). I like to embellish the casual, natural environment with outdoorsy things. Red clay flowerpots make great vessels for centerpieces, which you can fill with fruits, flowers, or fresh vegetables. And don’t forget the music! Bust out the summer tunes, and the atmosphere will be perfect.

Fine Dining

 Fun Ideas for a Backyard Summer Bash
Photo Credit: Dalboz17 via Compfight cc

Of course, the party isn’t complete without the good eats. A backyard party is a marvelous opportunity for a good old cookout. Fire up the grill and serve delicious burgers and hotdogs. Or embrace the barbecue and present your guests with ribs and pulled pork. I love experimenting with different types of barbecue sauce, and my friends fell in love with this coffee-molasses variety last year. Mix it up and try something new – you’ll be amazed by the results! And when it comes to dessert, serve something fun and easy, like ice cream or fresh fruit. That way, you’ll finish off the party with sweet, summer simplicity.

The best part of an outdoor party is the breezy, casual fun. Remember to keep things simple and enjoy yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be having a blast with friends and family, right in your own backyard.

*Article by Quinn McAdams- http://healthylivingbyquinn.blogspot.com/

Merry Christmas!!

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Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a day filled with family, gifts, and lots of hot chocolate! From my family to yours:

We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

DIY Upcycled Tablecloth Cross Body Mini Tote

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Hi guys! Welcome to day twelve of my Twelve Days of Handmade Gifts! Since it is the last day in this crafty handmade series, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite handmade gifts I have made for Christmas, my mini tote. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I am totally head over heels for vintage tablecloths and frequently repurpose the shabby ones in all kinds of projects. This project only takes a little fabric, so you could even use a tea towel. My little bag is super easy to whip up and it can be completed in under an hour!

Here’s What You Need:

*Tablecloth Fabric

*Lining Fabric (1/4 yard will work)

*Scrap of fabric for the pocket

*Leather or Pleather ( two pieces that are 6×9, and two strips that are 1×3)

*Extra long belt, or a long strap from a purse or bag

*2 1″ D-Rings

*Ruler and a French curve or curved ruler

*Scissors

*Sewing Machine and coordinating thread

*A leather needle or heavy duty needle for your machine

Instructions:

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The first thing you need to do is measure and cut the pieces for your bag. Cut the tablecloth and the lining fabric to be 10×13″. You will need two tablecloth pieces and two lining pieces that size. Next, cut your leather to be two 6×9″ pieces and two 1×3″ strips. Cut a pocket out of scraps to be 6×7″. Now lay your french curve or curved ruler on top of the bottom edge of one of your leather pieces. Draw a curve to make the curve in the bottom of the bag. Cut the leather on that line. Now you should have a curved bottom on one side of your leather piece. Fold the leather in half width wise, and trace the curve to the other side and cut. Now use that piece of leather with the curved sides tot he bottom as a template and trace it onto the bottom of your other piece of leather and your fabric pieces and cut out the curves for the bottom of the bag. Once everything is cut, you are ready to sew. Lay the leather pieces face up on the tablecloth pieces that are face up lining them up by the curve in the bottom. Top stitch all the way around the leather piece stitching it down the the fabric, repeat with other piece of leather and tablecloth piece. Now, take your tablecloth front and back and lay them right sides together. Pin the pieces from the top to where the leather starts, matching up where the leather meets and the curves are. Stitch around the sides and bottom with a 1/2″ allowance, leaving the top open. Now, make your patch pocket. Fold down your top of your pocket 1″ and stitch across. Then fold the side and bottom of the pocket seams by 1/2″ to the wrong side and press flat. Lay your pocket on top of the back piece of your lining evenly from the sides and the top and pin in place. Top stitch around the pocket leaving the top open. Now place front and back lining pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom with a half inch seam allowance. Clip curves and trim the bottom seam allowances of your bag pieces. Turn your outer bag right side out and place it inside the lining bag piece so that the right sides of the fabric and lining are face to face. Match up the seam allowances and pin all around the top. Now, stitch around the opening with a 1/2″ seam allowance leaving a few inches open for turning. I left about 3″ for turning. Now, pull your main fabric out through the hole you left in the top and pull out the lining. Push the lining back into the main bag. Press the top of the bag all the way around pressing under the seam allowance where the hole is. Next, top stitch all around the top of the bag with an 1/8″ seam allowance closing up the hole in the top in the process. Now the main part of your bag is finished. Next, take one of your leather strips and thread a d-ring through it, then fold it in half so the d-ring is at the top fold in the loop and the ends are touching with the leather wrong sides together. Lay the piece on top of the side seam in the top of your bag so the d ring sits about 1/4 to 1/2″ away from the top edge of the bag. Pin down the piece to the bag. Now, stitch across the top of the leather where the loop meets the bag, then stitch down and back around again making a square on top of the leather. When you get back around to the place you started stitching the leather angle your piece in the machine and stitch across diagonally from the top of the square to the other side bottom, then stitch back over the bottom and then stitch back up to the other side in a diagonal, back stitching at the end. Repeat with the other piece of leather on the other side. To finish off, clip your handle onto the d-rings. Or, if you do not have a strap with hardware, add a swivel clasp to both ends of your strap looping them to the bottom and then stitching across.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag! IT is the perfect size to hold your necessities, and it is lightweight to carry. This is the perfect kind of bag for gals who don’t want to lug around a heavy purse! Everyone in my family refer to my bags that I carry as Mary Poppins purses because I have my whole life in there with me. I carry a lot more than I really need. I love how easy it is to customize this bag, just by the fabrics and patterns you choose to use. I also love how most of it is upcycled! Goodwill is a great place to find purses with good long straps. You can always reuse the bag portion for something else later. I left this bag open, but you could easily add one of those magnetic claps to the inside. I hope you guys will give this one a go, it’s perfect for the gals you need gifts for, and it is so easy. You’ll love it! I hope you all have enjoyed my handmade gift series this year! I’ll be back tomorrow with some gift wrap ideas. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout Sale VIP Night

Hey guys! I just got in a little while ago from a fantastic shopping trip to Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout Sale VIP night. This is a great sale, and it is for a great cause, supporting our local boutiques! I snagged a few awesome items including a pair of boots from Spain, and a fantastic North Carolina Pillow from my friend Meghan at the Go Girl Shoppe. My favorite thing about the evening though wasn’t the swag I snagged, but meeting so many lovely gals and guys and discovering shops and businesses that I wasn’t familiar with. It was awesome! I will be posting more pictures from the even tomorrow, but I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite Instagrams from this evening. Check em’ out:

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Here is a list of participating businesses:
· Clotheshound

· Frill

· Fab’rik

· FanFeet

· Flaunt

· Galatea Boutique

· Gingham & Posh

· The Go Girl Shoppe

· Gray Lee Designs

· Gypsy Jule

· Kristen’s Place

· Lucy & Me Jewelry

· Luscious Couture

· Peachy Keen

· Sophie and Mollies

· Simple Bliss

· Scout and Molly’s

· Sugar Magnolia

· The Purple Polka Dot

· The Art of Style
And there is a WHOLE LOT more fun finds there too! Awesome right! And the best thing is that you still have time to shop! The Boutique Blowout will be open today, Saturday July 20th starting at 10a.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. You can find the Boutique Blowout at the Hampton Inn Crabtree at 3920 Arrow Drive, Raleigh. This sale is not to be missed! Hope you all have a lovely Saturday!

Shop Local Raleigh’s Boutique Blowout!!!

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Hey everybody! Today I have something I am really excited to share with all of my local followers and friends. Shop Local Raleigh is hosting a Boutique Blowout sale this Friday and Saturday! Raleigh is growing, and so is its local scene. There are so many awesome local businesses in the triangle and I am all for shopping local! It strengthens our ties as a community and our wallets by sharing in this local love! Some of you all know by now that I love style and fashion, even if most of my days are spent in jeans and a tee. And I am happy to say that we have some really awesome local boutiques and artists here in the Raleigh area!

Shop Local Raleigh is a non-profit organization that is all about supporting local businesses here in Raleigh. Their website has a great directory of local businesses from farms and food trucks, to boutiques and restaurants, furniture stores, cleaners, you name it…. They even have fun events! You can check out the Shop Local Raleigh Website Here.

So, if you are in the area, join Shop Local Raleigh at the Hampton Inn Crabtree this Friday and Saturday(July 19th and 20th) for their Boutique Blowout Sale! It’s going to be so much fun! Here are all the details:

Boutiques Include:

·         Clotheshound

·         Frill

·         Fab’rik

·         FanFeet

·         Flaunt

·         Galatea Boutique

·         Gingham & Posh

·      The Go Girl Shoppe

·         Gray Lee Designs

·         Gypsy Jule

·         Kristen’s Place

·         Lucy & Me Jewelry

·         Luscious Couture

·         Peachy Keen

·         Sophie and Mollies

·         Simple Bliss

·         Scout and Molly’s

·         Sugar Magnolia

·         The Purple Polka Dot

·          The Art of Style

Admission and Location: Friday is VIP night and the sale runs from 5-8p.m. Tickets are $10 and you get first dibs on the sale. VIP members will also receive goody bags from sponsors filled with special deals. The sale opens up at 10a.m. Saturday morning to everyone. Tickets for Saturday are $5. You can buy your tickets at the door, or advance online Here. The Boutique Blowout will be held att he Hampton Inn at Crabtree Valley(3920 Arrow Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27612)

I will be attending tomorrow evening with my mom, the only gal I know who can out-shop me! I hope to see you there!

 

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- June 17th

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! One of my new little obsessions is vintage wall pockets. I absolutely love wall pockets! I love that you can use them for flowers, which is great if you are like me and have cats that like to knock things off of tables. I also love that you can use them for storage. I have been on the lookout for some cute vintage wall pockets to add for storage over my craft table in my sewing room. There are so many fabulous wall pockets on Etsy! Here are just a few of my favorites:

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Check out this lovely Vintage Shawnee Wallpocket from Lolly’s Cubby Hole Here

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Check out these adorable Two Vintage Anthropomorphic Sunflowers with Faces Wall Pockets from Songbird Salvation Here

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Check out this fabulous Vintage Large Ceramic Straw Hat Wall Pocket from Crazee Cowgirl Vintage Here

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Check out these adorable Pair Mid-Century Shoe Wall Pockets from Kitschy Vintage Here

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Check out this lovely Vintage Wall Pocket Figural Cottage Country House with 22K Gold Trim from Tallulah TALLULAH Here

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Check out this awesome Vintage Fish Wall Pocket from Vintage Shelf and Wall Here

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Check out this fantastic Cat Decor Ceramic Wall Pocket Kitty in Bowtie from See Dolly Run Here

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Check out this lovely 1950′s Vintage Red Wing Violin Wall Pocket from Hearts Ease Vintage Here

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Check out this fantastic Vintage Japan Disneyana Bambi Wall Pocket Vase from Bini’s Boutique Here

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Check out this lovely Sweet Deer Vintage Wall Pocket from Violet Blac Vintage Here

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Check out this sweet Rooster Wall Pocket Vase from Old Like Us Here

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Check out this fantastic Vintage Kitsch Chachki Painted Floral Violin Planter Wall Pocket from ModPets Here

Aren’t they all just too cute! I want all of them of course! I hope you enjoy browsing through these wonderful vintage etsy shops as much as I did! I’ll be back next week with more fun vintage finds. Until then…..

Happy Shopping!

Favorite Vintage Finds of the Week- May 20th

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! It has been rainy here. Even though the weather is kind of icky, one thing I have been very excited about is that my flowers are all getting ready to bloom. My roses are in full bloom and my hydrangea are almost ready. I will be most likely be instagramming pics soon. This week I have been inspired by my garden and have found a bunch of vintage floral items to share with you! Here are some of my favorites:

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Check out this amazing Vintage 1950′s Pink Floral Jantzen Swimsuit from When Decades Collide Here

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Check out this fantastic Vintage 1950′s Cherry Blossom Tablecloth from Independence Vintage Here

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Check out this Sweet Vintage Ransburg Enamelware Cannister from NanNa’s Things Here

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Check out this Fabulous Vintage 1950′s Floral Butterfly Print Dress from D&J Vintage Here

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Check out this adorable Vintage Lilies Print Kitchen Towel from La Petite Vintage Shop Here

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Check out this fantastic Vintage Ransburg Red Retro Wax Paper Dispenser From Fabulous Textiles Here

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Check out this lovely Vintage 1950′s Floral Glass Silver City Vase from Ripening Here

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Check out this Beautiful 1950′s mid-century Floral Tablecloth from Mungo and Midge Here

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Check out these Amazing Vintage Petite Bisque Vintage Floral Vases from Dotti Rose Studio Here

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Check out this Lovely Vintage 1950′s Floral Applique Slip from Milieu Vintage Here

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Check out these fabulous Vintage 1950′s Satin Stiletto Floral Heels from Crush Vintage Here

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Check out this adorable Vintage 1960′s Blue Floral Blouse with Ruffles from My Vintage Valentine Here

Aren’t they all just so pretty! I love florals, especially vintage florals! I hope you all enjoy browsing through these wonderful etsy vintage shops as much as I did! I’ll be back next week with more fun vintage finds. Until then…

Happy Shopping!

Iggy Afternoon

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If you follow my blog, or even if you have just glanced in the sidebar, you’ll know I adore my dog! And I adore my sister’s dog Sadie too. I am a total animal lover, and I have to say until recently, I have always been a crazy cat lady. But now thanks to our little iggies I am a crazy dog lady too! For those of you who don’t believe in love at first sight, you just haven’t met the right dog yet. This dog is my heart, and no matter what type of day I am having, just having him here with me makes me happy! The other day I was taking pictures of my jewelry magnets in my bedroom at my parent’s house. The dogs love this room because the bed is right up against the window and it is warm and sunny all day. It is their favorite spot! As I was snapping my product pics, totally caught up in the rush of everything that needed to be done that day, I happened to glance over and see Beaureguard and Sadie happily snoozing in the sun. It completely melted me! I thought for sure they would move the second they spotted me taking pics, but they were totally chill and did not even notice the intrusion. Lucky me! It’s these little moments that I love so much! They captivate you and remind you to slow down a bit, relish the sunshine, know you are blessed by those you love, and remember that life truly is above all else, absolutely beautiful!

Shutterfly Case

Chalkboard Frame iPhone 4/4S 1 Piece
Shutterfly has modern graduation announcements and photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.
Memories Of Us iPhone 4/4S 1 Piece
Shutterfly’s exclusive line of graduation announcements and invitations.
View the entire collection of cards.

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great weekend! Today is my little sister Hannah’s prom, so I am going to be helping her get ready in a bit. I am so excited! Yesterday I had the pleasure of picking out a new custom phone case from Shutterfly. I will be making a fun pouch to match my spring tote that will hold my phone and it’s new case. I will be sharing that with you all very soon! I have to say, Shutterfly has so many designs you can customize, I had such a hard time choosing! It came down to the designs above for me. I loved the collage case because I could fit some of my favorite pics from instagram, and I could carry my favorite lovies with me always. However, there was just something about the chalkboard style case I was immediately drawn to! It is sweet and looks even sweeter with my little Beau tucked inside the sweet frame. I added the words “Les Petits Bonheur” which means the little pleasures in french and comes from the quote “Life is made of little pleasures.”
Which one did I choose? Well you’ll just have to wait and find out. I loved them both so much! If you would like to create your own custom printed iphone case, check out Shutterfly Here. All of the custom iphone cases are 20% off right now too! Go check em’ out!

A Little App Love

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all having a fabulous week! In lieu of my usual Etsy Friday feature, today I want to share with you some of my favorite apps. These are applications I use on my phone and ipad on an everyday basis. I have to admit, I am a little bit app happy. I have a ton of them! Probably more than I should. Some of these you all will probably know about, and some you may not. These are a few of my absolute favorites:

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Instagram- For those of you who are not familiar with Instagram, this is a fantastic camera app that applies vintage filters to your photos and allows you to share them on your social media. I use Instagram every day. It is definitely in my top three. The best thing about this app is that you can find and follow some awesome people. And the images range from divinely beautiful to irresistably cute!

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Pinterest- Most of you all know about my obsession with Pinterest. Well, the madness is only fueled by the ability to pin on my phone and ipad. This one is definitely a must have. If you don’t have it, get it! You’ll love it!

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Etsy- My other love! I love shopping on Etsy and that adoration is easily fulfilled wherever I am with this easy to use app. I can shop, manage my store, view my past orders, track packages, favorite items and shops, and send and receive messages. If you are not familiar with Etsy, you need to check it out! It is a lovely community of all kinds of artists! Etsy also features a ton of vintage shops, and arts and craft supply shops. There is something for everyone on Etsy!

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Craftgawker- This app comes to us from the popular website, Craftgawker.com. The app and site feature an endless source of inspiration for us artsty fartsy people by showcasing all kinds of craft projects and art. I should warn you, it’s a little addicting!

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Bright Nest- This is one of my favorite new apps! This app comes to us from the wonderful website Brightnest.com. This app is a wonderful source for home and design tips and projects. They feature everything from diy projects to home cleaning how-to’s, to green living tips, recipes, healthy ideas, and budget savvy tips. There are so many awesome articles on the site and app, and I love having it all at my fingertips!

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Catalog Spree- I am such a nut for catalogs! I come from a long line of shoppers. It’s in my blood, what can I say. Catalog Spree allows you to browse some of your favorite catalogs in digital form. The colors are bright and you can easily click on an item and find it on its website to order. I just adore it!

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Modcloth- For those of you that love this amazing clothing and home decor webstore, now there is an app that makes it easy to shop right from your phone or tablet. LOVE it!

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MovieCat- This is by far my favorite game! It is adorable! If you love movies, movie trivia, and cats, then this is your app my friend! MovieCat is a fun trivia game with the cutest movie themed kitty graphics. It is so adorable! You have to go check it out! I promise it will at least make you smile!

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Sudoku from Moonrabbit- Love Sudoku? This is my favorite Sudoku app! It has a clean and easy interface. I play this one in bed before I go to sleep.

IMG 1294 450x600 A Little App Love

Charity Miles- This is an app I just found the other day, but I love it! If you are a runner, biker, or even like walking, you can use this app to track your time and earn money for some fabulous charities. Corporate sponsors of the app pay $0.25 a mile for runners and walkers and $0.10 a mile for bikers towards charity. There are several major charities you can choose including one of my favorites, the aspca!

So, those are some of my favorite, can’t live without apps you can get for your phone or tablet. What apps do you love the most? Any out there that I have to check out? Hope you all will go check out some of these fun apps if you do not already have them. Have a safe and lovely weekend!