Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thifty Thursday: Make Your Own Apple & Potato Chips


Ok, I know, potato chips are cheap so you are probably not saving money using your Pampered Chef Chip Maker (plus you need to buy one of them too - but try to find one at a yard sale, or if you find yourself at a party and feel like you need to buy something, then think about this because you can make Fat Free Chips!!!) But have you ever bought apple chips. I do and while they are tasty it ends up costing $1 an ounce for organic apple chips. That can be spendy, but over time your investment in a chip maker will save you money if you regularly make your family apple chips and potato chips.



The other tool I use to help me make them is a mandoline slicer. It's a fantastic too that makes it so easy to make REALLY thin cuts. Some of you might have a slicer attachment for your food processor, or maybe you are just gifted at making really thin cuts with a knife (btw - I am so jealous of this skill!)


I've tried making these chips in the oven and while you can do it, it is faster in the microwave.

So, if you love potato chips but avoided them because of the added fat they contain, then there is not need to worry. You use NO oil whatsoever to make these. In fact the only thing I add to my potato chips is salt and I sometimes add plain cinnamon to my apple chips.

Specific instructions are included with your chip maker and there are differing cooking times depending upon the strength of your microwave, so it is best to consult those instructions.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Blue Springs State Park

A GREAT opportunity to check out manatees at the Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, FL

Short video I took of the manatees while we were there. They said the count in the lagoon that day was 217!









Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Sunsella Buddy Box

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I was so excited to be able to review the Sunsella Buddy Box, which is a bento-style box with 3 compartments. First of all, I want to say that the compartments are all nicely sized so that I can give hearty portions of fruits and vegetables in them. I can, fit in a sandwich made on wide loaf pan bread in the larger compartment, which I really appreciate since that is the type of bread I use. The lids snap on easily and stay in place and keep the food from touching each other. I love that they are are BPA-free, so I feel good about serving food to my kids in them.

My daughter eats lunch 2-3 times a week and by using a bento-style box I am able to just grab 2 pieces, the container and the lid, and assemble her lunch. Previously, I was searching for 6 different pieces since I prefer to use re-useable containers and not use baggies if I do not have to.


The picture above was taken when I was heading to a park playgroup with my son that afternoon and my daughter was eating lunch from home at school I just lined them up and put in carrots, sliced strawberries, sandwiches (my kids tend to only eat a 1/2 a sandwich when I make them on wide loaf pan bread) and pretzels.

Today I sent my daughter to school with a similar looking lunch of strawberries, a full PBJ sandwich (her request today) and cucumber slices. The bento style box make it easy to send enough food choices to eat and appropriate sized servings.

My kids love that they can just open up the lid and see all of their food at once.

You can buy your own set of 4 Sunsella Buddy Boxes on Amazon. At the time of this post they were listed for $13.99, which I think is a wonderful deal.



Product Description from Sunsella
Sunsella Buddy Box's - 4 High Quality BPA Free Bento Lunch Boxes - Not Leakproof - Durable Plastic Lunch & Food Storage Containers - Microwave, Freezer & Dishwasher Safe - Meets FDA Standards - Keeps Food Separated, Perfectly Sized Portions, Child Friendly Colorful Lids, Great for School or Office Lunches.

You can find out more information about Sunsella and their products online:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Try It Tuesday: Easter Bunny Smores



This Easter we are going to spend some time at our Rustic Cabin since it is also my husband's birthday. So, we'll be having campfires and a fun time and I thought it would be cute for the Easter Bunny to leave behind these treats (along with some other outdoor exploration items) for the kids to find in the morning. I can't wait to see how big these bunnies get!


Want some other S'mores ideas? Then check out my post called 12 Ways to Make S'mores or how about some S'mores Oatmeal?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Make It Monday: At Home Gourmet Iced Coffee


Save yourself $4-5 from going to a coffee shop and make yourself a gourmet iced coffee at your home for MUCH less. I generally like to do the math on my savings, but I have not done that on this yet.

But all you need is a few ingredients. I tend to use leftover coffee from the day before that is cooled rather than brewing a new batch (save money by using up my leftover, plus it won't melt my ice cubes). Some half and half and flavored syrup and also needed. You could make it with flavored creamer but I like to control how much flavoring and how much creaminess my iced coffee has. Serve over ice, or through in the blender with some ice and make yourself a Frappuchino at home. Yum!


GIVEAWAY and Review: North Coast Organics Deodorant

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Today I am going to tell you about North Coast Organics Deodorant which I was sent 3 pack of travel sizes to review. There are 3 different varieties in the travel pack size that include: "naked", which is the bare product and has no added scents to it; "Revolver", which has a musky scent to it and a scent that I think my husband would most enjoy; and Death by Lavender, which has as you expect a lavender scent to it.

I knew right away that I wanted to try "Death by Lavender" because I strongly prefer a scented deodorant and I love the smell of lavender. I do admit I was skeptical about trying another natural deodorant because as much as I want to use one I have yet to find one that I feel works well for me. So, I tried this deodorant in 3 different activities/ways to give it the best evaluation. I did check out the ingredient list on all of them, here is the list for "Death by Lavender":

Ingredients(Vegan): Coconut Oil*, Carnauba Wax*, Cornstarch*, Baking Soda, and Proprietary Blend of Essential Oils* . *Certified Organic

I know that all of our skins do not respond the same to all ingredients as I have known people who were allergic to aloe, whereas my body loves the use of aloe, but I have had issues with some products with baking soda in before so I proceeded with my review slowly. Also, I was very interested to see what happened it being sticky or smelly after working out or at the end of the day, which had been a problem with other natural deodorants I have tried.

First evaluation - I applied as my re-apply after I worked out. I wore my normal deodorant to my workout but I need to re-apply at some point in the day, so I tried this out to see how it worked. Successful! I loved the smell and did not get sticky or stinky or seem to have any reaction to it.

Second evaluation - I applied on a day when I was not working out and this was applied right after my shower. Successful! Love the scent! It dried nicely on my underarms and I did not get sticky or stinky.

Third evaluation - I applied after a shower and wore to a workout. This attempt was not successful for me. After 30 minutes of working out in Zumba class I started to feel irritation that lasted throughout the rest of my class. After I stopped sweating and cooled down, I did not feel any more irritation. I really feel it has to do with my sensitivity to baking soda and think it would be fine for others. I do want to mention though, that I did not get stinky and as I cooled down I was not sticky either. So, it did pass my stinky/sweaty evaluation.

I will continue to use this deodorant on my non-active days because it did work and I love the lavender scent.

ONE OF MY READER WILL GET A CHANCE TO WIN A 3-PACK OF TRAVEL SIZE 
NORTH COAST ORGANICS DEODORANT 
ENTER RAFFLECOPTER FORM BELOW

You can buy North Coast Organics Deodorant online!!


Find out more information about North Coast Organics and their products online:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Clean Eating Weekly Menu #1



Let's Start Off with Some Ideas for a weekly menu for Dinner Time of Clean Eating.......

If you need other ideas, I already lists of 7 ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, as well as MANY other clean eating recipes on the page of CLEAN EATING RECIPES.


Tuesday: Slow Cooker Spinach and Salsa Chicken served over quinoa


Wednesday: Carne Picada Salad

Thursday:Baked Potato topped with Cottage Cheese and Salsa and a side of tomato slices

Friday: Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken with Snow Peas added

Saturday: Slow Cooker Lasagna with a side of steamed veggies

Sunday: Turkey, Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Cole Slaw


Come back in 2 weeks for my next weekly clean eating menu, as I won't be publishing much more than a Happy Easter post next Sunday!