Monday, October 24, 2016

Strengthening the Bonds of Family with red rock traditions {Review & Giveaway - 2 winners!}

red rock traditions logo
Recently I came across a question posed on a popular social networking site: How would you describe life in one word?

While there were, of course, a handful of tongue-in-cheek answers given, it was the number of honest responses along the lines of unappreciated, unfair, chaos, struggle, and complicated that gave me pause.

How have we gotten to the point where life is viewed as so... difficult? I'm not claiming that every situation, event, encounter, and day will be as favorable as others, but I do strongly believe that life is what you make of it and spreading goodwill doesn't have to be a huge task. Take the time to send a handwritten card to a friend, give your kids an extra hug as they head off to school (even if it embarrasses them) or call your mom out of the blue. You know she'd appreciate it.

Essentially, why not celebrate and enjoy life as much as possible? In particular with those that are nearest and dearest to your heart — your family? Invest your time, show your affection, encourage daily, create memories... it's all so important when it comes to keeping families strong.

Which is exactly the mission and belief of one of my new favorite companies, red rock traditions.

red rock traditions products

Created to strengthen the bonds of family relationships through the sharing and celebration of traditions, red rock traditions offers an array of products designed to make the most out of spending time with our loved ones. Who doesn't love a company that can not only offer amazing items for your family (or to give as beautiful gifts), but who is determined to help you share stories, conversations, laughter, and memories?

Whether you are specifically shopping for something to celebrate an upcoming milestone, start a new holiday tradition for your family, stay connected with loved ones across the miles or more, red rock traditions has so many options on their user-friendly site to choose from. There really is something incredible for each and every occasion... or just to make every day a bit more special!

red rock traditions shopping

Although there were numerous items throughout red rock traditions' site that I adored, it wasn't long before I zeroed in on their 'thankful hearts' category. In my 10 years of parenting, I've found that there are some qualities that are easier to "teach" than others and that reminding my children to be thankful doesn't come as easy as, for example, nudging them to say please or thank you.

Therefore it was no surprise that as soon as I saw the Gratitude Tree, I was smitten. The combination of the beautiful metal tree on its wood stand with the simplicity of the notes of gratitude hanging from the branches? Perfection!

Gratitude Tree

Gorgeous, right? And what better way to not just think about gratitude, but to actually write down what you're thankful for and hang it on display — and then walk by and see it over and over again!

As soon as the box from red rock traditions arrived on my doorstep, I couldn't wait to get it open to see the Gratitude Tree in person.

red rock traditions packaging

I always appreciate when a company puts in extra effort to package their products well to minimize the possibility of damage and red rock traditions went even a step further. Multiple boxes, bubble wrap, Styrofoam... all carefully layered around this gorgeous tree.

red rock traditions Gratitude Tree

With no assembly required, it only took deciding on where to place this Gratitude Tree before it was making a stunning statement in my home.

After a quick explanation to my children (and husband) that the chic little leaves were there to write (or draw) a short message about someone or something we were grateful for, it warmed my heart to see them stop, on their own time, to make an addition when the moment felt right.

teaching kids gratitude
My heart may have completely melted at Big Sister E's first leaf, "For a home and a very loving family."

Overall, I can't think of anything that I would change about the Gratitude Tree and have loved the reactions that it has received both from my family as well as from guests. What a great piece of art that is also a simple reminder for being grateful for what and who we have in our lives.

red rock traditions review

Whether you are purchasing an item for your own family or are shopping for a delightful gift for an upcoming birthday, holiday, wedding, baby shower or more, red rock traditions has unique and creative options that you won't find elsewhere. The quality is superb, prices are affordable (the Gratitude Tree retails for $69), and each item will bring a smile to your face every day as it aids in helping knit your family closer together.

Find out more about all of the amazing options that red rock traditions has to offer to strengthen your own family connection by visiting and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Also, thanks to their generosity and eagerness to spread the love and joy to others...

TWO lucky people will win their choice of a Gratitude Tree OR any one red rock traditions product of their choosing up to $50 in value!

red rock traditions giveaway

Thank you to red rock traditions for providing a Gratitude Tree for me to review as well as prizes for two lucky giveaway winners. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Turn Any Image Into Your Own Paint-By-Number on Canvas with Crocart {Review}

Crocart logo
While there are a plenty of talents that I wish that I had, one that I have always especially yearned for is to be artistic.

Over the years I have mentioned my lack of artistic skills and have had friends beg to differ, pointing out various projects or crafts that I have completed. Alas, I correct them, I'm creative. I have the ideas and the imagination and can follow directions, but the actual talent to be able to simply pick up a paintbrush or a colored pencil and bring those ideas to life? Nope. Not going to happen.

Therefore, when I'm introduced to a company that has made it possible for me to produce a work of art more than worthy of being displayed or hung on the wall, I'm interested. Even more, if they make the actual process personal, fun, satisfying, and with a touch of nostalgia, then count me in.

It's no wonder I'm a huge fan of Crocart!

adult paint by number

A family-owned small business started to guide photographers and painters in their composition, Crocart has since grown into a website for all of us to create custom paint-by-number canvases that are ready to go right out of the box. Simply upload a photograph, select the size you prefer, and wait for your creation to arrive on your doorstep!

The ability to create my own paint-by-number, a favorite from my youth? Out of my own personal photo? On a ready-to-hang canvas? What more could I ask for?

When it came time to get started on my Crocart creation, it didn't take long for me to realize that the most difficult part would be selecting what photo to use. From vacation scenery to a family portrait to an adorable one of our pets, the options truly are unlimited.

When I finally decided on one of my all-time favorites of my children, I immediately appreciated that each step to ordering is simple and intuitive and that Crocart offers previews of all of my style choices.

Crocart styles

Whether you prefer more realistic or a bit more stylistic, one look at the outlines shows the amount of detail that is involved.

Crocart paint by number

At the same time, one click on the green tab in the corner allows users to not only see the outlines on the canvas, but that of the finished, painted product.

Crocart realistic paint by number
Right away I adored the look of the Realistic but there were 162 different paint colors involved. Yikes!

Once I had decided on the gorgeous Simple style, it was only another couple clicks before I had my canvas ordered and its creation underway.

Even better, it was only a few days later that a slim box from Crocart showed up at my door. And, while I of course had an idea of what my canvas would look like, I still felt my jaw drop when I opened the box and pulled out my work of art.

Crocart paint by number canvas

All of the details! Each perfect little line! Not to mention that the corners were secure and well-wrapped and Crocart even includes all of the necessary items for hanging your completed canvas with each order.

Crocart review

As Crocart doesn't offer the option to purchase paint with their canvases, I was fortunate to pull out my craft bin and find a slew of colors that would work with the palette needed for my picture.

In fact, I took the suggested colors that they had listed for me...

color palette

...and rearranged them into groups of similar tones (therefore making it easy for me to do one color and then add white or black to lighten/darken it into the next color). Once printed, it was time to paint!

paint by number canvas

Although I had assumed it would take me days upon days to complete my Crocart piece, I found that once I began, I had a difficult time stopping.

A few strokes turned into "just one more number" as I meticulously painted one section after another and thoroughly enjoyed the calming process of mixing and painting, mixing and painting.

Crocart painting

By the time I was brushing on the last few colors, I couldn't wait to step back and see the finished work.

Who would have thought that I would ever paint something this amazing?

Crocart paint by number review

While my canvas doesn't perfectly match Crocart's projection, I absolutely love the result and how I was able to personalize it just so. There is no wrong way to paint these beautiful pieces when the lines and colors are there as a suggested guidance. The whole thing is truly up to you!

Crocart reviews

When it comes to a unique piece of art for your home or to give as a gift, Crocart provides options unlike any other site that I have seen. Where else can you find custom artwork that is going to have so much meaning — both in the image itself as well as in the pride of having painted it yourself?

I adore the idea of giving this as a gift to a couple for their first holiday after getting married and using a wedding photo or to parents to celebrate their new addition by using a baby photo. Graduation, housewarming, birthdays, Mother's or Father's Day... I can't think of a time that a Crocart canvas wouldn't be an incredible, well-received gift!

Available in four different size options that start around $42, you'll want to head over to today to find out more about their products and possibilities (and go ahead and upload some of your own images to see the previews)! You can also connect with this innovative company on Facebook and Instagram.

Other than the canvas that I received from Crocart in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this product and this company.