Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Broccoli with "Cheese" & Review of Sari Foods Nutriontional Yeast Flakes #ad

This was my first experience with Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast Flakes. In fact, I had heard nutritional yeast flakes mentioned by several friends that they had started using them and how good they were for you, but I really had no ideas what it was or how it was used or how it would taste. I had seen them in magazine articles, so I knew what they looked like. I posted a picture of the bag on Instagram and asked my followers to tell me how they use it and topping vegetables with it was a common answer. I don't normally top my veggies with cheese because my kids like veggies plain and I think that's a good thing.

My Thoughts:

We tried these 2 ways so far. One is as pictured above where I steamed broccoli and sprinkled it on top and it did have a slightly nutty and cheesy taste. The other way was to make "cheesy" mashed potatoes where I sprinkled in 4 Tablespoons (which is two servings) in with 4 servings of mashed potatoes. We liked mashed potatoes and don't need to make them "cheesy" but I like the idea of pumping up the nutrition in our mashed potatoes. By adding in a half a serving of nutritional yeast flakes we are increasing our potassium intake by 5%, adding 4 grams of protein, adding 1 gram of fiber and getting 11 other vitamins and minerals we  might not have had during this meal. I will be looking for other ways to serve nutritional yeast flakes because it's a pretty easy way to provide our bodies with extra nutrients.

Product Description from Sari Foods:

Nutritional yeast is a delicious salty, creamy, nutty, cheese-tasting superfood can be sprinkled on just about everything! It's naturally very low in sodium and fat and is dairy and gluten free!

We can promise you this: the abundance of vitamins & nutrients plus the delicious cheese flavor found in this bag of molasses-grown nutritional yeast are 100% whole food based and naturally occurring - nothing synthetic here - just as nature intended!

Our nutritional yeast is comprised of 50% protein (a complete, bioavailable and vegan source), over 20% fiber, contains all 18 amino acids and 15 different minerals (including iron, selenium and zinc) as well as a natural vitamin B-complex and Beta-glucans (known for their extreme immune enhancing properties).

I was provided with the above product for the purpose of review on this blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to this blog. No monetary compensation was received.

2014 Book Club Read List

I am part of a book club and we have just closed out another year, this being my 6th year with this book club. I thought I would share the list of books we read this year. Not all books are winners, but there are some really good ones too.

Our book club meets monthly and we take turns hosting each month among the 10 of us in the group. Whoever is the host picks the book and determines what we will be doing for our meeting (i.e going to a restaurant, potluck meal at the host's home, desserts and coffee, etc.)

So, what does 2015 have in store for us? Well, I can tell you that for January we are starting out with The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis (I just requested it from the library, so I can't tell you what I think of it) and we will be reading a book  (Hannah, Delivered - which just a few days ago was only 99-cents in the Amazon Kindle Store) and meeting with the author.

I still have to pick my month and book choice and have something I am thinking about, but am open to suggestions. What would you pick to read for book club in 2015?

#ad Review of Angry Orange Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator

Before I give you my review on this product, I wanted to state that if you are unsure why your pet is urinating on your floors or furniture, you should take them to a vet to have them looked at because there could be something medically wrong that is causing them to have to urinate. We had one cat with this issues because they had crystals in their kidneys and need medical attention to clear that up and then she was no longer peeing on things. On the other hand, we have a cat that pees because it's a behavior issue and it is his way of letting us know he is unhappy about something. I don't want to get in to it all, but please know we have taken them to the vet.

My Thoughts:

We used this Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator on a carpeted area that a cat had peed on. My husband overly-saturated the area and it was very strongly orange scented. He learned very quickly that a little goers a long way. This is a concentrated formula that makes 4 bottles worth, so we will have this for a while. We did have to go purchase a bottle to mix it up in, but you can get one of those at the dollar store. A week after we used it the cat peed in the same area that was sprayed with the angry orange and it seemed to re-activate the spray. My husband said the only reason he even knew the cat peed there again was because he could smell the orange and checked out that area. We certainly don't smell any cat urine smells anymore with Angry Orange. I am going to try it out next time I clean the litter box too.

Product Description from Angry Orange:

GUARANTEED TO GET RID OF THE TOUGHEST PET ODORS! Angry Orange is a commercial grade citrus odor eliminator that was originally formulated for use in industrial applications such as feedlots, sludge-ponds, poultry farms, rendering plants, pet waste removal companies and boarding kennels. IMAGINE WHAT IT CAN DO FOR YOU.

SUPER SAFE AND NON TOXIC, 100% ALL NATURAL - Angry Orange is a cold press custom formula derived from the oil found in orange peels.It is biodegradable and non-toxic. Meets FDA-GRAS standards.

MUCH MORE THAN PET STAINS AND ODORS - Yes..It can be used to remove all types of Pet odor and stains including dog urine , cat urine, litter box odors, as a pet odor yard spray,a pet odor remover from concrete ,removes odor from hard wood floors, tile and carpet. Many people also use Angry Orange around the house for cleaning sinks, toilets , tubs and showers etc.. Works great on stainless steel , many people use to clean their grills. There’s literally hundreds of applications for Angry Orange around the home. Let us know how you used your Angry Orange.

A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY - Angry Orange comes in a highly concentrated form. 1 8oz bottle of Angry Orange makes (4) 32 oz spray bottles.When mixing in a standard 32 oz. spray bottle , most people use 2 ounces of concentrate and 30 ounces of water. For larger spray systems adjust accordingly. Besides being powerful it’s also much more cost effective than other odor eliminators.

I was sent the above product for the purpose of review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to me. No monetary compensation was received.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Easy Homemade Hot Cocoa

Easy Homemade Hot Cocoa
1 C milk (whole works best)
1 T cocoa powder
1 T sugar
Pour milk in Mira Electric Milk Frother Machine
Add remaining ingredients and press button once.
The machine automatically turns off when finished.
This will make a nice warm frothy beverage. It is not too hot.
If you want to make it on the stovetop, just whisk ingredients as it cooks over medium-high heat. You will need to continually whisk to keep from scorching the bottom.
If you like the idea of walking away while it warms and froths, then I suggest getting the Mira Electric Milk Frother.

If you want this to be HOT, then pre-cook the milk in the microwave and add to the machine to just froth it. It can be used for just frothing.

Other Hot Cocoa Recipes on This Blog You Might Be Interested In:

Friday, December 26, 2014

Pottery Baby Bowl and Spoon

I was experimenting with this one. I made the bowl out of a pinch pot, as well as the end of the spoon. I had never done a pinch pot type of bowl before and thought I would give it a shot and make a baby bowl. The spoon I made by making a small pinch pot and attaching a coil to it and then molding them together by hand and stamping on the handle (which is hard to see.) On the bowl I card ridges in the outside.

I know a pottery bowl is not practical for a baby or toddler, but I wanted to try something out and make something for my 1 year old nephew.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Loom Knit Ruffle Scarves (Christmas Gifts)

I have made a couple of Loom Knit Ruffle Scarves for Christmas presents this holiday season. Those gifts have been given already, so I can share them on here. If you want to learn how to make your own, check on out my post on Loom Knit Ruffle Scarves & also watch my youtube video of how to make one.

Ok, this is turning in to a not-so-wordless Wednesday. I had made two of these scarves, but I guess I never took a picture of the second one before I gave it to a friend. Doh! But there are several others to see in the post I linked above.

#ad Review: RAREFORM Recycled Billboard Duffle Bag

My Thoughts:

My daughter had been asking for a new bag to use for swim team and we found a winner with the RAREFORM Light Duffle. Not only is this duffle upcycled and made from old billboards, but it is unique and water proof. You need to check out all the varieties of duffles on their website and see which one you like the best. Because they are made from a variety of billboards and different areas of the billboards, pretty much no two are exactly alike.

But what my daughter likes the most about this duffle is that is waterproof. Often times her bag may fall off a bench, or unbeknownst to her someone left their suit on the bench and it became wet. With her old duffle anytime the duffle was in contact with water her dry change of clothes inside would get wet, bu now that she has this RAREFORM Light Duffle she has not had any wet clothes from water seeping through and is very happy about that.

The size works well for her and she can fit her change of clothes, a towel, shampoo/conditioner/shower gel, a couple pairs of goggles and a couple swim caps inside. Plus she has room to fit in a bottle of water, a snack and still has a little room. The only thing she wishes it has was a pocket either on the inside or outside so she has a place to put her lock and her phone. Below you can see a picture of her as she leave the pool after practice with her duffle.

Product Description from RAREFORM:

RAREFORM specializes in creating unique, eco-friendly products for the outdoor industry. All of their products are made from upcycled billboards and manufactured locally in California. Each billboard is made of heavy duty, water-proof, and mildew proof vinyl, the perfect combination of materials for their bags. This is a company that does more than profit from a product; they make a positive impact on the world by pledging 1% of their sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.

Are you ready to have something no one else has? Every product is 100% unique, no two are the same.

The Light Duffle is inspired by the short day trip. It is constructed using RAREFORM’s signature upcycled billboard material for the exterior and lined with a grey nylon pack cloth. This bag is water resistant, versatile, and durable for everyday use.

- Made in California
- Signature billboard material
- Fully lined with a grey nylon pack cloth
- Nylon zipper closure
- Dual top handles
- Dimensions: 9.5"H x 16"W x 9.5"D, 24L

I was sent the above product for the purpose of reviewing it on this blog. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to this blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

#ad GIVEAWAY and Review: My Ribbon Barrette Maker

My Thoughts:

The My Ribbon Barrette Maker isn't our first Choose Friendship Company craft kit and it certainly will not be out last. Last year I told you about the My Image Bracelet Maker in a review I did and the year before that I had bought my daughter the My Friendship Bracelet Maker for a Christmas present. These kits make awesome Christmas presents. Over the course of the year, my daughter has made all her bracelets with the My Image Bracelet Make, so this is a fun to creative project for her to try out.

Below you can watch a youtube tutorial of me making one of the ribbon barrettes. I think I was even more excited (if that is possible) than my daughter to start making these barrettes. I remember these color ribbon barrettes from grade school. I don't remember ever having any myself, but I remember seeing them in the hair of other girls and didn't even realize at the time that they were probably crafted by someone. Had I realized I may have asked my mom if we could make them, but now I can reminisce and make them with my daughter.

They are actually quite easy to make. My daughter is 8 years old and make one quickly after she watched me make one. You are given quite a bit of ribbon and beads to use, so I have a feeling I will be going to the store soon to buy more barrettes so she can continue making more.

Having a place for the one end of the barrette to slide in to is very nice and holds it in place so you can easily make your barrettes. This kit is going to be a fast favorite in our house.


Other Kits available from Choose Friendship include:

  • My Friendship Bracelet Maker
  • My Friendship Bracelet Maker Traveler
  • My Friendship Bracelet Maker Clipboard
  • My Chord Friendship Bracelet Maker
  • My Image Bracelet Maker
  • My Image Button Maker
  • My Lanyard Maker Boondoggle
  • My Lanyard Maker
  • My Circle of Creativity

Product Description from Choose Friendship

A popular Girls Hair Accessory, a fashion blast is back from the past! Fun and colorful ribbon barrettes are every girl’s must-have, and everything you need to make them is at your fashionista fingertips! With ribbons and beads to match every outfit, My Ribbon Barrette Maker® lets you create fabulous hair flair for yourself and your friends! • Barrette Holder and loom pegs secure barrette and ribbons as you weave.
• Slide-out drawer keeps ribbon, beads and barrettes securely stored.
• Includes 8 straight barrettes, 8 wave barrettes, 32 ribbons in 8 colors and 256 tri-beads in 8 colors.

Find out more information about Choose Friendship Company Online:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given the above product for the purpose of reviewing it in this blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to this blog. No monetary compensation was received.

Make Your Own Lego Family Holiday Card

One of the fun things you can do online for FREE this holiday is make yourself your own Lego Holiday Card. Here is ours. It's always fun to do and show your personality and share with others.

Next thing I need to do it sit down with the kids and make some little holiday dance video ecards on JibJab. That is always a riot!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Popcorn Teacher/Coach/Neighbor. Gift & Review of Franklin's Gourmet Popcorn Packs #ad

You still have time for a last minute teacher or coach gift and all you need to do is print off the FREE printable above and check out your pantry for some popcorn, head to the grocery store, or if you have a bit of time yet, I would highly recommend Franklin's Gourmet Popcorn Packs that you can buy on Amazon.

My Thoughts

What I love about Franklin's Gourmet Popcorn Packs is that they are made with 100% Organic Non-GMO popping corn and 100% Organic Coconut oil. My packs of popcorn were all 6oz, which makes a pretty huge bowl of popcorn that is the perfect for a family movie night for our family of four. They also sell pack in other sizes that include 2oz., 4 oz., 8oz., and 12 oz. All of them come in a pack of 24 individual packets that include the oil and seasoning and popcorn you need to make the given size of popcorn. This box of packets if perfect for using to make up gifts for teachers, coaches and neighbors.

We have tried the popcorn ourselves and is very tasty. There is quite a bit of seasoning, so you might want to season carefully and only use about half and then taste to see if you need more. It tastes much better than getting popcorn at the movie theater plus is it made with higher quality ingredients.

Product Description from Franklin's

Franklin's Gourmet Popcorn is a delicious organic popcorn portion pack that can be cooked in your popcorn machine or in a pot. The pre-measured pack includes popping corn (organic, non gmo, gluten free), seasoning, and 100% coconut oil. Its pre-measured for a perfect pop every time. Makes delicious popcorn that tastes just like the movies!

I received the above product for the purpose of reviewing on this blog. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts,opinions and images within this post belong to this blog.

Microwave Peanut Brittle & Review of iKuuk Silicone Baking Mat #ad

I have found that cooking peanut brittle on the stove top can sometimes be a bit finicky and you can end up scorching your sugar if you are not careful. Making them in the microwave is much easier and doesn't seem to scorch. 

I know it's Christmas week now, and if  you haven't already made peanut brittle this recipe is simple enough that you can make up a batch and impress everyone with some homemade peanut brittle.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 C white sugar
1/2 C corn syrup
1 1/2 C peanuts
1 T butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda


  • Heat sugar and corn syrup in a microwave safe glass bowl for 3 minutes. Take out and stir together. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes more. Stir agaun.
  • Stir in peanuts and return to microwave.
  • Cook sugar mixture and peanuts for 3-5 minutes until mixture is golden brown in color.
  • Stir in butter and vanilla and return to the microwave.
  • Cook for 1 minute longer.
  • Remove from microwave and stir in baking soda (it will start to "foam" and get lighter in color.)
  • Quickly pour on to a baking sheet lined with an iKuuk silicone baking mat.
  • Allow to cool completely.
  • Break apart in to desired sized pieces.
  • Enjoy!

My Thoughts in the iKuuk Silicone Baking Mat

I love using the iKuuk Silicone Baking Mat. Usually I use a silicone mat whenever I am baking something on a baking sheet in the oven, but it also works great for making candy like peanut brittle or truffles that need to cool and set on something. Using a silicone mat under candies works fantastic and clean up is a breeze. Just take a wet dishcloth and wipe off. It saves me from having to buy wax paper, which is what I used to use under my candies. It also means I need less non-stick cooking spray when I am baking something in the oven using a silicone mat because it is non-stick without any spray.

Product Description from iKuuk

You get a 2 pack so you can keep baking without interruption.
- Fits standard (13"x18")half sheet pan. Actual size is 11 3/4" x 16 1/2", with trimmed corners, to fit perfectly without lifting or gaps.
- Highest Food Grade silicone reinforced with fiberglass mesh for durability.
- Place your iKuuK mat on your baking sheet, then place your food or project on top of the silicone mat, then bake or freeze.
- Eliminates need for oils, butter & cooking sprays.
- Great for delicate or messy projects, such as sugar art and craft clay work.
- Perfect for candy making, gluing, and BHO processing. No waste!
- Acts to even out heat so products cook more uniformly. Do not use directly on stove tops or other heating elements, such as broilers or electric oven elements.

I was sent this product for the purpose of review. No monetary compensation was recieved. All thoughts, opinions, and photographs belong to this blog.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Jingle Juice Martini

Holiday drinks are fun because usually you are drinking something you might not normally have and so we can be creative and try new things because we like the idea of holiday themes.

This martini (MAKES 2) is three simple ingredients shaken with ice. Use organic ingredients if you can find them in store near use, I have never seen organic sloe gin, but the others you can certainly find organic.

Shake Together with Ice:
1 1/2 oz. organic vodka
1 1/2 oz. sloe gin
1 1/2 oz. cherry juice

*Rim your glasses with red sugar (optional)


#ad Review: Tools4Wisdom Goals Calendar and Planner

My Thoughts:

I decided I wanted to get more organized with my blogging and wanted to try out the Tools4Wisdom Goals Calendar. As this blog gains more and more readers and I get more and more ideas of tutorials to write about, I have found that I need to get stuff planned out and down on paper so that I can be organized and not forget things. Sure, you can just use a planner for that, but this Goals Calendar is so much more than that. BTW - I am using this for my blogging but you can use it for your daily life or your own business or your coaching or personal improvement, anything where you have things to schedule and goals you want to accomplish.

Below are picture you can what some of the inside pages look like. I took the pictures before I wrote it in. I had thought of taking picture afterwards, but I want my schedule and my goals to be for me.

The first picture below I am showing you is of the monthly calendar, but also includes 1-3 thought provoking questions to help you get focused and examine what your goals are for that month and how to achieve them.

The second picture below shows the monthly priorities masterlist and essential goals. Each month this is featured so that you can write down your to-do list basically but then it helps you figure out where items should be on your priority list by asking you to think about about completing those goals adds value and then breaking down the steps you need to get to that goal.

Other ways I envision myself using a planner like this is if I was training to do another half marathon or was crazy enough to do a full marathon, or just to develop my fitness goals and determine how I was going to achieve them and schedule them in.

Product Description from Tools4Wisdom.com


Or is your dream life still just...out...of...your...reach?

Living the life you were destined for is life's ultimate prize. Tools4Wisdom wants to partner with you on that journey.

Our Planners help you accomplish not just what you have to do, but also what you want to do.

Lay out your week on each double page, with space to list the MAJOR outcomes you want, simple steps to achieve those outcomes and ideas to enhance your life, along with your appointments and reminders.

Like a great life coach, the Weekly Planner asks the right questions on every page, so you can unlock the answers that make your heart sing. Answering powerful questions helps reveal unexpected dreams you never knew you had.

Writing down your thoughts in our beautiful paper Planner also boosts your creativity: Scientific studies have proven that the act of writing by hand actually inspires new ideas! So the more you write, the more ideas will flow from your pen, and the sooner you and your destiny will meet.

Live the life you were destined for. Take small, manageable steps toward your dream every day with your Tools4Wisdom Weekly Planner.

At Tools4Wisdom we know that when you put your mind where your heart is, life comes into focus...

I was sent this product to review on this blog. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to this blog.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

#ad Review: Fit for We Mommy & Me Water Bottles

My Thoughts:

I love the idea that this product, the Fit for We Mommy and Me Water Bottles, the business venture of a single SAHM who is trying to get her online business up and running so that she can stay home with her daughter and not miss out on events in her daughter's life because she is working so much. I think it is awesome idea to start her business with something that represents her motivation to start it, Mommy and Me Water Bottles.

My daughter and I just love the vibrant pink color of these matching water bottles. Also, I really like the sizes that they come in, which is 25 ounces and 18 ounces. It often seems like water bottles for kids are smaller and we like them bigger like this. Other features I really like is that they are BPA-free, the latch to hold the lid closed and secure and the open spout to pour in to your mouth. It does have a strainer inside, which I am not sure on the intended purpose but I like that it keeps my ice from clogging up the drinking spout and keeps any fruit from blocking the way and making it possible to easily have infused water.

My daughter still wants to be "twinsies" with me and I am going to soak all that in while I still get it. We have done a couple of races together and will use these when we do activities together and apart. It is fun to have matching things and I know this won't last forever so I am going to do it while I can, without having to wear frilly dresses.

If you order now you can get it delivered in time for Christmas (and FREE with Prime Shipping)

Product Description from Fit for We:

Safe to Use: Non-toxic, made with durable Eastman Tritan, a clear BPA free co-polyester, tested to be FDA safe for use with beverages. Shatter Proof. Top Rack Dishwasher Safe
Easy to Use: Flip open cap with push button lid makes it easy for kids to use. Small finger-loop for easy carrying. Sleek and Slender design for ease in handling
Convenient to Use: Our snap top lid ensures that these bottles will be Leak-proof. No Spillage at all! Lightweight and Shatterproof ! Perfect for Kids!
Fun to Use: Enjoy with your child at Exercise Class, at Mommy and Me Class and absolutely ANYWHERE

I was sent this product for the purpose of review on this blog. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to this blog.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hand Built Pottery Crosses

These are gifts that I made for my grandparents and my husband's grandma. I made them to hang on the wall and used a stick on hook on the back and included a self-nailing wall hanger to put in the wall (it is kind of backwards since normally you would have the hanger on the picture and the hook on the wall, but I needed something to stick to the back of the pottery.)

On the left is when I first hand built the crosses. I used a variety of flower stamps to fill in the middle of the slab rolled clay. All the little stamps are a collection of 3 holly berries on a stamp. I also used the edge of a Pic comb to make the little lines on the horizontal bar. The center has a hand built heart.

I am pretty pleased with how the details turned out in the picture above. I have been having to experiment a bit with figuring out how to make the prints show up and I feel like I toyally lucked out with these because they turned out just how I was hoping.

I had actually made a third cross, but that one didn't dry flat and curled a bit. They can't all turn out just how you hoped.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hand Print Manger with Baby Jesus Craft Project

Every year my kids make a new ornaments for a variety of trees, including their grandparents, godparent, parents and their own little trees.

This is the one that my son made this year. He's getting close to growing out of doing hand print crafts, but I am going to do them while I can to keep remembering those little hands. It won't be long until they are big hands.

I even did this project as the craft project I did this month with his classroom and their ornaments were added to the Christmas tree that is for all the preschool classes and for the church congregation to see.

As you can see on the left, I drew a bunch of swaddled Baby Jesus'  that the kids cut out and colored.