Photos from the 2014 King Richard's Faire plus Fun Zazzle #RenFaire T-Shirts! #KRFaire

The Big Cat Show at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
Thank you to King Richard's Faire for providing Renaissance faire tickets for my family to attend this Massachusetts event and to Zazzle for providing some of the Renaissance faire t-shirts pictured below.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Our 3rd year returning to King Richard's Faire was a memorable one.  There were two things that made it so memorable . . . The first thing was the 90+ degree super-humid weather.  The second was having my sister, brother-in-law, and their 4 year old son with us, who were experiencing the faire for the first time.  We were excited to be able to share some of our favorite performers with them, so that was our focus.  Instead of making it a point to see some new things, we enjoyed our very favorites, some of which were the big cat show and jousting.

Jousting at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

Of course, no visit to King Richard's Faire would be complete without seeing Jacques Ze Whipper, who has some new whipping songs to share this year!
Jacque ze Whipper at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

If you've seen photos from our past visits to King Richard's Faire, then you know that our children often dressed in costumes for the occasion.  This year, with some advanced planning in anticipation of the hot weather, we all wore Renaissance faire t-shirts from Zazzle and was that ever the right decision!  We were as comfortable as we possibly could be thanks to wearing t-shirts and I felt so badly for the actors and shopkeepers, many of who were dressed in multiple layers.
Zazzle Renaissance Faire T-Shirts for King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

Even though our children were not dressed in costume, the boys still wanted to bring their swords from the Remembrance Shoppe, so my husband had the idea to add grips to the long swords along with a fresh coat of metallic paint.We also fashioned a holster, one on the back for our younger son and one on the hip for our older son.
Renaissance Faires Rock Zazzle T-Shirt at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
Renaissance Faires Rock t-shirt from Zazzle
In addition to seeing our favorite shows, our family couldn't wait to revisit some of the games and activities we've enjoyed in the past, such as shooting crossbows.  We also tried some new things, like the Flying Carousel and the Catapult Game.
Shooting Crossbow in Zazzle Knight T-Shirt at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
Knights of the Realm t-shirt from Zazzle
Another old favorite is the pony rides, or in our daughter's case, unicorn rides.
Unicorn ride in Zazzle Girl Penguin in Renaissance Dress T-Shirt at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
Girl Penguin in Renaissance Dress t-shirt from Zazzle
As for the famed giant turkey leg, we usually order one for the whole family to share along with chicken fingers, french fries, pizza, and an onion blossom.  By the way, I cannot tell you how many people stopped my husband to compliment him on his t-shirt, even those working at the faire.  And here I was, trying to convince him to choose the Huzzah! t-shirt.
Turkey Legs and Cleavage Zazzle Renaissance Faire T-Shirt at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
I'm Here for Turkey Legs & Cleavage t-shirt from Zazzle
We always set aside enough time towards the end of the day for souvenir hunting.  We usually tell each child that they can choose one thing (within reason) for their souvenir.  Somehow they always seem to get out of there with more than one thing.  There are just too many cool things in the artisan shops.  One of these years, I'm going to come up with a valid need for a hand carved staff!  Every year, I admire them when I visit the faire . . .
Shopping the Artisan Shops in Medieval Joust Zazzle T-Shirt at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
Medieval Joust t-shirt from Zazzle
Something else that was memorable about our visit this year was meeting the new Queen.  We will miss the previous queen very much, but were happy to be able to make the acquaintance of the new one.
Meeting the new Queen at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

A NOTE TO PARENTS:  I want to leave you with one tip for attending the Faire this year . . . if you have younger children, be sure to bring your own drinking straws.  The only beverages that were being served with straws were the slushies.  Imagine our surprise when we asked for a straw to go with our 7 year old son's root beer float and were politely told "no."
Wooden handpainted swords and shields from the Remembrance Shoppe at King Richard's Faire 2014  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

King Richard's Faire is currently in its 4th weekend of its 8-week season.  Be sure to visit www.KingRichardsFaire.net to see what special events have been planned for the remainder of the 2014 season, which ends on October 19th.



A Custom Hand Stamped Personalized Sterling Silver Toggle Necklace for My Birthday {plus a $50 GC Giveaway!}

Custom hand stamped sterling silver toggle necklace from Like Mother Like Daughter  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
Thank you to Like Mother, Like Daughter for providing a sample custom hand stamped silver necklace for us to base this review upon and for providing a gift certificate for our giveaway prize.  All opinions expressed are my own.

It's September!  That means the two sapphires of 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires had birthdays this month . . . one of which was me.  Yes, I turned forty *cough* one this month.  Somehow turning 41 seemed to impact me more than 40.  I wouldn't say I'm feeling old . . . just older.  Regardless, nothing cures the birthday blues better than jewelry.  Well, not just any jewelry.  It needs to be something special . . .

No piece of jewelry could be more special than one that was crafted just for me.  While browsing this charming hand stamped jewelry boutique on Etsy, called Like Mother, Like Daughter, I saw this sterling silver washer toggle necklace and I kept coming back to it.  I admit I have an affinity towards larger circular pendants, but I just wasn't sure this was the one for me.  Then I realized that I could make this the perfect necklace for me because it can be customized!

Custom hand stamped silver necklace birthday gift from Like Mother Like Daughter  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

What did I come up with?  Why, it's this mommy necklace that has the names of all five members of my beloved family stamped into the sterling silver washer plus a silver family tree charm dangling in the center.  I just love the way this necklace turned out!  If you do too, you can order this custom necklace here.  It would truly make a cherished gift for a special mom in your life.
Hand stamped personalized silver family necklace birthday gift from Like Mother Like Daughter  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

Now, I'm one to leave my jewelry on 24/7.  Just as stated in the shop information, this type of silver will develop a patina when exposed to air.  If you aren't a fan of an antiqued look, then I recommend that you keep these pieces stored away safely protected from the air while they're not being worn.  It's also helpful that each piece comes with a polishing cloth to help keep your jewelry looking like new.

To view all the wonderful offerings in hand stamped necklaces, bracelets, and earrings (in sterling silver, bronze, copper, and aluminum) visit Like Mother, Like Daughter on Etsy!  Now it does take some time for your custom pieces to be created, so plan accordingly if you're purchasing a gift.  For me, it was totally worth the wait!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck in the drawing!

This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. A random drawing will be held shortly after the contest closing. The winner will be announced here and will be contacted via email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

4 Reasons Why I Love My Prescription Eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com!

Extremely affordable fashion prescription eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com
Thank you to GlassesShop.com for providing sample prescription eyeglasses for us to base this review upon.  All opinions expressed are our own.

If you've seen me around the web this past week, then you may have noticed that I have a new profile photo.  That's because I wanted to show off my new glasses from GlassesShop.  I've owned many different pairs of prescription eyeglasses as an adult and these might be my favorite pair yet.  Here's why . . .

1.  I wanted dark-rimmed glasses, but didn't want the same old plain black frames.  I also could not see myself in some of the more ornate frames I've seen out there.  The Charlottesville frames in black really caught my eye because they were different, but subtle.  The text along the side is very on-trend since typography is currently so popular.

Charlottesville prescription eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

2.  These eyeglasses are incredibly light!  I have quite a strong prescription and it's been a very long time since I've worn glasses and have forgotten that they were on my face because they were so light and comfortable.
Try on eyeglasses virtually at GlassesShop.com  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

3.  These glasses look and fit great!  Two things helped me to make my decision about whether these frames were the right one ones for me:  trying on the glasses virtually and comparing the measurements of these frames to those of my old ones.  This is the first time I've worn non-metal glasses that did not constantly slide down over the bridge of my nose!

I should mention that I have uneven ears, so every pair of glasses I try sit crooked on my face.  Like with all other glasses, the ear pieces on these needed to be adjusted in order for the glasses to sit straight on my face.  I was able to do this myself by making small adjustments.
Extremely affordable fashion prescription eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

4.  The final price for these glasses upgraded with Ultra Thin lenses and anti-reflective, anti-scratch, and UV coating was $92.80!  That is an amazing price.  We usually go to our local BJ's Wholesale Club for our eye exams and to buy our prescription eyeglasses.  The final price for our glasses after upgrades is usually about twice that price.  GlassesShop also offers free shipping on orders over $49.
Charlottesville prescription eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com  |  www.3Garnets2Sapphires.com

These Charlottesville eyeglass frames also come in blue and purple.  To browse their entire selection of frames, visit GlassesShop.com.  Before you shop, be sure to check for GlassesShop promo codes in order to get the best price possible!

Clean Out Your Closets to Support Your School . . . Fundraising Made Easy with Schoola!

Fundraising with Fashion via Schoola
Thank you to Schoola for sending us a gift code to sample the experience of shopping on this unique fundraising website.  All opinions expressed are my own.

I am not one to purchase many things that have been previously owned.  In the past, I've purchased cars, wooden furniture, and fine china that were pre-owned and just recently starting buying used books.  I have never purchased used clothing for myself or my children.  That is why I was a bit skeptical when I was invited to checkout the new fundraising site, Schoola.com.  In fact, I only took the time to visit the site because I know tons of moms who buy previously owned clothing for their children.  This fundraising idea had merit.

The concept behind Schoola is a smart one.  Look for clothes to donate that are gently used or new with tags (Yes! Schoola also sells new clothing) in your own closets and attic, and send them to Schoola in a postage paid polybag.  Then when the item sells on the website, your school will receive 40% of the sale price.  You can do this individually or organize a school-wide clothing drive.

Would this type of fundraiser be successful?  Well, I was able to shop on Schoola to see if I, an avid online shopper, would choose to shop on this website.  After all, in order for the fundraiser to be successful, people need to purchase the clothing you donate.

I must say that I was impressed by the variety of name brands and retailers represented in both the selection of girls clothing and boys clothing, such as The North Face, Columbia, The Gap, Shaun White, and more.  You can shop by gender, age group, or simply type in a brand or keyword search.

Shop for gently used and new with tags kids fashions online at Schoola

I ended up purchasing this Bongo graphic tee and camo hat set for my daughter at half off the retail price on the tag.  Was this the best deal ever? . . . No, but it was a great price and I felt good knowing that $5.40 from my purchase went to support an elementary school in California.  Yes, the product page includes a note stating the amount of money that will donated to a particular school if you buy the item.

My daughter ended up loving the tee and hat set, and insisted on wearing it for the first day of school since the weather was unseasonably warm.  I had also picked up an Old Navy striped long-sleeved tee for her twin brother, but it was too warm to wear just yet.
First day of school Bongo graphic tee and hat set from Schoola

I've introduced Schoola as a fundraising option for our school.  The fundraising chairs may test it out as a way to raise money for the 5th grade class to fund their field trips, yearbook, and so forth.  I hope they decide to move forward with it because this is an innovative idea that does not solely depend on your own school's community to spend money.

To learn more about fundraising with Schoola, visit www.schoola.com.  Want to shop?  Use Schoola promo code: bestreaders25 to save 25% off your purchase through September 30th, 2014.

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