Wednesday, December 24, 2014

8" Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri Review.

So....I REALLLLLLY waited until the last minute here.  The holidays snuck up on me and this review is due TONIGHT!  SO, still okay, just not what I wanted to be doing Christmas Eve since I took the pictures and video weeks ago.  Darn sickness and baking and craft shows!

Anyway...this pan...AWESOME.

First of all...it is a fantastic green color. I remember when I was little my mom had bowls this color. LOVE IT.


 Then, after ooohing and ahhhing over the color, you flip it over and see this:


The pan has a neat honeycomb texture to it that helps with airflow. This means better, more even cooking.  It also has a CERAMIC coating so it is truly nonstick.  Here is a blurb straight from the company so they can get all technical for you:
 
"Utilizing GREBLON -- an ultra-safe ceramic coating from Germany, the Green Earth Pan by Ozeri is one of the world's first frying pans to achieve non-stick perfection while remaining absolutely free of PTFE, PFOA and other harmful chemicals. With the Green Earth Pan's GREBLON ceramic from Germany, even under high temperatures, no harmful toxic fumes are ever released into the environment. This is because the Green Earth Pan utilizes a 100% ceramic coating inspired by nature - not a laboratory. The Green Earth Pan's ceramic coating is completely free of PTFE and PFOA, and far more durable and scratch-resistant than other non-stick surfaces. With better non-stick properties, the Green Earth Pan allows you to saute, fry, bake, boil and braise with as little as half the amount of oil normally used, and cleaning is a breeze. The Green Earth Pan by Ozeri is made of the highest quality die-cast aluminum that allows for even cooking and fantastic browning without hot spots. It boasts a magnetized bottom for rapid heat transfer on induction stoves, and a heat resistant silicone coated handle. This version of the Green Earth Pan features a textured ceramic cooking surface. The elevations of the textured cooking surface create air pockets which distribute heat underneath food to enhance cooking performance. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. GREBLON ceramic made by Weilburger GmbH, Germany. Final assembly in China"

Did you get all that?  Basically, in a nut shell, this pan is nonstick, no yucky chemicals in it, and it cooks your food more evenly.

Inside the box, there is also this weird little felt pad.  If you have more than one and stack the pans, this helps protect the honeycomb pattern so it doesn't scratch.  I hang my pans, so it isn't necessary for me.
 

Let's get to the show and tell.  V likes "princess eggs". Eggs with cheese.  Cheese, is wonderful, but when it gets stuck on the pan, not fun.


Now....watch and be amazed.


DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!?!  Amazing....am I right?  This is an awesome thing, but makes me oddly sad at the same time.  Crispy pan cheese is the best!

My Amazon review link for those interested.
 I was given a pan in order to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own....as well as my love of pan cheese.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bidding site VS. actual Disney. Who do you think would win?

First things first,this post is NOT endorsed, sponsored, etc.in ANY WAY. That will probably become apparent.

For V's birthday party this past weekend, she wanted a "Frozen" party, like 900,000,000 other little girls.  I recently reconnected with a friend that I worked with YEARS ago and found out she makes cakes. You can check her out here:  Carrie's Creative Icings

We were throwing ideas back and forth and we decided on a style. It needed to have little figurines on it, so she sent me a few links to where I could purchase "cake toppers" for an inexpensive price. Read cake toppers as looks like Disney figures but enough difference that they can be called "inspired by".

I found some, ordered them, and had them shipped to her house.  She sent me a picture and they looked good!  Picked up the cake and it was AMAZING.


My friend came over and said "CRAP! I bought her the same figures. EXACTLY the same." I laughed and said that is ok. We could have two sets.  We had cake, opened gifts, all the normal stuff.


 Sunday we took the kids skating for the first time.  IT WAS AWESOME.


Later that week, V got into the gifts and DESTROYED the box. No way to return them now.  I took them out and looked at them. THEN I placed them next to each other.
 

Can you guess which is from Disney and which isn't?


How about these?
 

They both SAY Disney on the bottom.


Poor poor Christoph.


 Even Sven didn't fare well.


Real Sven

Knockoff  Zombie Sven.


Pretty sure the saddest for me was Olaf.



Not going to even try to figure out what happened here. lol  Why are his eyebrows RED?!?
 

So,what did we learn here?  
First:Don't expect to get super high quality items that supposed to look like Disney figures for cheap on bidding sites. 
Second:They are ok for cakes, I wouldn't buy them as a gift.

Third: My friend makes awesome cakes.
Fourth:MY BABY GIRL IS FOUR!!!!

 Happy Birthday V!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I must confess. I love Christmas music.

* I participated in the Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

V has fallen in love with Frozen.  This means I hear a LOT of Idina Menzel in my house.  When I heard she had a Christmas album out, I knew I wanted to check it out!

 
 
The CD is full of classics! 
  1. The Christmas Song
  2. Baby It’s Cold Outside (Duet with Michael Buble)
  3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  4. All I Want For Christmas
  5. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
  6. December Prayer
  7. When You Wish Upon A Star
  8. Silent Night
  9. River
  10. Holly Jolly Christmas
  11. White Christmas
Target has an exclusive copy with two additional songs.
  1. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
  2. Mothers Spiritual
The CD still hasn't made Eric into a Christmas music lover, but for me it is a hit.  My favorite song is the duet with Michael Buble "Baby It's Cold Outside" No clue why, but I love that song.   Probably one of my favorite winter songs.

Enjoy the trailer below and head on out and get a copy!

 

Helpful links for you:
Purchase on iTunes: http://bit.ly/IMHolidayWishes 
                  Amazon:  http://bit.ly/IDINAHOLIDAY
 * Official Idina Menzel website: www.idinamenzel.com
 * Twitter - @idinamenzel
 * Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/IdinaMenzel
 * YouTube - http://bit.ly/IMHWVID

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do you have a Canon lover in your house? Head over to Best Buy this holiday season!

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Years ago Eric and I took a photography class at a local community college and that is where I developed a love of photography.  It was a 35mm camera and I LOVED the dark room.

A few years later we decided to upgrade and get a digital camera when I was pregnant with Aidan. Film cameras are amazing and playing in the dark room is LOADS of fun, but when you are trying to get images of your little one, sometimes quantity of pictures taken is key.  For birthday parties or holidays with the family it isn't uncommon for me to take hundreds, yes HUNDREDS of pictures.  Rapid shooting is my friend. Stocking opening and getting the perfect shot of excitement?  PRICELESS.

This holiday season, Best Buy has an amazing deal on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (Eric actually learned on a Rebel and it captured his heart.  Pun totally intended)

This camera offers the ability to make HD video (which I LOVE using my camera for).  During video it actually has continuous auto-focus!  You don't have to worry about people getting blurry from moving!

It has an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor (semiconductor light sensor) and a DIGIC 5 image processor.  These combined help to yield crystal-clear images.

It has a 3inch touch screen which swivels around. This helps V be able to take the PERFECT selfie. Seriously.  We call it her selfie screen. 

Best Buy is having a sale!  You can save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more.  *offer valid 12/7-12/20


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My little girl is getting huge!


This is such a big week in my house. Today, V had an interview for preschool. It is through the school system so they only take the kids who really need it. Less than HALF get in. Fingers crossed? I am so conflicted on how to feel. On one hand, it is an amazing free program that Nate excelled in. On the other hand, if she gets in, that means they think she will be behind without it. I am pretty sure she won't get in. Nate basically got in because of speech issues. I will find out in 6-8weeks if she is even eligible. If she is I won't find out until JULY if she gets placed. UGH

Incase she doesn't get in, I also applied to be able to enter the lottery for a Montessori preschool that is right down the road. This would be amazing, but again, no clue if she will get in since it is lottery based. 

I find it so weird that my baby is at the age where she will be in school. Actual school! She turns four next week. 

Make time stop please!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I am forgetful sometimes, but maybe this time it was a good thing to forget.

This past Monday I was looking through my TimeHop app (If you don't have this app.  Get it) and realized that it marked three years since Nate's last seizure.  THREE YEARS.  This is AMAZING.  I always remember the day since it was on Thanksgiving, but forgot the actual date.
Totally forgot this year.

I posted a blob on my Facebook page about it and TOTALLY forgot to come over here. It is SUCH a huge thing and I forgot. I went and bought him a chocolate cake though. Funny thing was he had NO clue what we were celebrating. Doesn't remember a thing about them. I told him what it was for, still.  No clue. He takes meds twice a day and has no clue why. I guess that is a good thing?

I started this blog as a way to write about our lives and remember important things. Sometimes I forget that.  

With Thanksgiving, V's birthday, Christmas, I just forgot.  You know what? I guess I am thankful that I forgot about it. Hopefully once we get him off the meds he will do great and I can put this all behind us like my mom did with me.

This has been my mom guilt post. You can read my post about the actual day here

Happy Belated Three Year Anniversary to my Natey Naters.
(or as we called it when eating cake "Happy Healthy Brain Day!)

Monday, November 24, 2014

FEAR Loot Crate

I received a box in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

 


It is the time of the month again....I LOVE LOOT CRATE!  If you read this blog, you should know about them already. If not, here is a little run down about what they do: 

Loot Crate is a monthly box for "geeks and gamers".  The starting price is $13.37/month plus $6 shipping.  So, about one grande latte a week.  Each box contains a $40+ retail value. Prices can vary depending on the plan you get. If you order a 3 month subscription you end up paying $12.37 plus shipping/month.  If you get a 6 month plan it breaks down to $11.37 plus shipping/month. You can sign up HERE.  

I love this box. You can read my other four reviews HERE(adventure), HERE(villains), and HERE (Heroes)
, HERE (Galactic)


Each month has a particular theme. Last month was Galactic.  This month...FEAR! Which is PERFECT since it was Halloween and my most favorite show ever came back on the air! Let's break this box open and see what is inside.
First things first...my shirt isn't in the box.  The reason, I took it out and threw it on.  IT IS AWESOME. Every single time I wear it I get compliments on it.  This REALLY made the box this month!

A photo posted by Sarah Dodson (@bumbleflies) on
A FREAKING KITTEN SKULL SHIRT! Can this get any more awesome? I don't think so. I actually have it on right now.  It is SO soft.  LootCrate seriously has the best tshirts.

So here are the rest of the goodies! 
 
 2 guesses what this is other than an awesome sledge hammer/saw hybrid...
 It is a Sledgesaw Hammer PEN!  WHAAAT?!?!  Awesome!  From those of you not in the know, this is from Dead Rising 3.

Super 7 and LOOT Crate gave everyone a Smite Gift Card.    Pretty cool!  I think I need to check it out.  As a bonus this month they threw in a piece of Toxic Waste candy.  I got apple flavor...YUM! Of course the pin is included. Onto my knitting bag it goes. I feel like they are my badges of honor. lol
 

You can't have October without The Walking Dead.  I look forward to the show every year. Eric, the hubs, is reading the comics.  This month I got a copy of issue 132. I LOVE how she(?) is wearing a LOOT Crate shirt! 

  
The graphics are fantastic!


I hated Meryl.  I was so happy to see him go. This print is fantastic. I need to remember to take it with me to the store so I can get a frame for it. Seriously love this. This would make an awesome tshirt!
 

Every month you get a guide explaining everything in the box.  This month it came in 3D! I am a sucker for 3D glasses.  I wish I could figure out how to show you the graphics inside with the glasses on.

You can't think of "fear" without bites and scratches! I got a page of temporary tattoos. I am thinking about sticking one on Eric when he zonks out on the couch one night...is that wrong?  If not, which should I do?  I am thinking the zombie bite on his arm.
 

If you haven't seen what I am about to write about, stop reading, go watch Sharknado, and come back.  I LOVED that movie.  It was so bad it was good.

This month you get the "How to Survive a Sharknado and other unnatural disasters" book.  The shirt alone made the box worth getting this month.  This pushed it over the edge.  AH-MAZING.
 

Eric is from West Virginia and we always joke about the Mothman Prophecy.  Now, thanks to this book I can be prepared next time we head up that way.
 

All in all, again, LOOT Crate knocked it out of the park. This would be an AWESOME holiday gift for a geek or gamer in your life.

Thanks again Loot Crate for an amazing month!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Tutorial aka, fantastic homemade holiday gift for a baking friend.

I.Love.To.Bake.

Love love love.

I ALSO love to find the perfect gift for others around this time of the year. It always gives me the warm fuzzies to give something that I know people love. If I can get the recipient crying, even better. 

Years ago I can remeber my stepmom having a bottle of homemade vanilla extract and though it was the neatest thing. With the holidays quickly approaching I have been trying to figure out gifts and thought I would give some homemade vanilla extract bottles a shot.

For this, you need three things.

Vodka.
Vanilla beans.
A bottle.


 
I used a mid-grade vodka. Remember, you won't be drinking this. Well, you COULD, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Vanilla beans. I got "B Grade" beans. I paid roughly $20 for 1/4 lb off Amazon.

The glass bottle. You want an air tight bottle.  Again, I got mine off Amazon. I did see they had some at Hobby Lobby that work as well.

To make 8oz of vanilla:
Cut 4 beans in half length wise.
Take those 8 pieces and with a sharp knife, Slit the bean in half length wise. It will end up looking like a wishbone. 
Put them in the bottle.
Pour 8oz of vodka over the beans. Make sure the beans are submerged.
Close bottle and shake.
Keep in a cool, dark place. 

Every day: Shake Shake Shake. Shake Shake Shake. Shake your vanilla! Shake your vanilla!

Do this for about 2 months. At this point, you are good to go! Get your bake on! Feel free to take out the beans. The longer they remain in, the deeper the flavor. Same thing with the amount of beans. Want a stronger flavor, add more.

They say the vanilla beans are "used up" after about 6 months. If they aren't already out, take the beans out. You can replace with more and fill it up again!

If at any point you use enough extract that the beans aren't submerged, add more vodka to the bottle!

Happy baking!


FYI, this picture was taken after 24 hours. I thought the ombré of the bottle was gorgeous. Now that I shook it up, it lost the pretty gradient. Make sure to get a picture of yours!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Do you love taking selfies? If so, step on in here.

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time I was approached by a company to do a review for the game Selfie.  I was heading out to my friends house across the country and I call her the selfie queen, so of course I said yes.  I figured we could set something up and play there.  I did not think about 12+ hour work days making me tired.

They did.

So the game and supplies came home.

THEN I set up a time for a bunch of friends to come over on a week day.  They are moms.  Guess what happened.  Mom life.  Get together cancelled...again.

FINALLY (and over a month later) I went over to a friend's house.  Between me, her, my husband, her husband, and her OLDER kids WE HAD THE PARTY!!

First off, the game is SUPER cute.  In the box you get 360 cards, a frame, and the rules.  So TECHNICALLY you could throw the cards in your bag and take it with you. You just need a phone or tablet.


Quick description of how to play:
  • Everyone draws 7 cards.  
  • The person whose turn it is chooses one of their cards to "make a selfie of" You hold up the frame and make your face through it correlating to the card.  (or take a picture and show everyone)You do NOT let the people know what the card says.
  • The other players look through their cards and find the card that best describes the look on your face.
  • The selfie maker chooses the best card, based on closeness of answer or funniest. The person who played that card gets a point.
  • Discard the cards, everyone gets new cards.
This continues until someone gets 5 points.
 We decided to play with a tablet instead of the frame.  The girls did have fun making faces through the frame though! 
A photo posted by Sarah Dodson (@bumbleflies) on
  Now.  Let's talk cards.  This game is for 13+.  Some cards are SUPER tame.
Some are questionable.  I do not have a 13 year old at this point, so I can't judge what it will be like when I do.  I try not to talk about passing gas with my kids now, they still do though. Not too sure about the potty humor.
Then you have cards like these. I DEFINITELY don't want my kids thinking about this.  The mom and I were ROLLING laughing when we were pulling out these cards.  

The idea of a 13 year old girl having to make a face like she just found out she was pregnant...I don't really want them to think about that, you know?  If you are playing with kiddos and are overprotective like me, weed the cards out.  There aren't a TON of these, it won't take long.
Then there are blank cards to make your own.
This game is super fun and we all had a blast.  Know what would make this even better? Girls night, all the cards in the deck, and margaritas. I can really see this as a fun "adults only" game. Ohhhh....after dinner while kids are playing?  That could be fun. We have Eric's brother and his partner coming over next week for Thanksgiving! This will be PERFECT to pull out!

I'll give you two guesses as to who won...

(I want her hair)
A teenage girl. lol.  I would have NEVER guessed that a teenage girl would be the best at selfies! (please note the sarcasm)

If you are interested in checking it out, they sell online and in stores!
USAopoly
Toys R Us
Books A Million
Calendars.com
and of course  Amazon

USAopoly game me copies of the game in order to facilitate the review.  All opinions are my own. :)
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Have you SEEN the adorableness at The Children's Place this holiday season? #bigfashionlittleprices

Back in 2006 I found out I was pregnant with a boy. Not surprisingly that was the same year that I realized that boys don't have a good selection of clothing at most stores.  That was until I discovered The Children's Place. Before we get into the cuteness of the clothes this year (they are ADORABLE), lets discuss the deals that you are about to get and my tips for greater savings.

First: Sales.  There are ALWAYS sales.  If there isn't,wait a few days.  Something always pops up.

Second: GET A STORE CREDIT CARD. I know,I know, credit cards are "bad"  down with credit. Yadda yadda yadda. Now. The reason WHY you need to get this card is SAVINGS. If you have a card, BAM. You save 5%.  You ALSO get coupons in your bill envelope.

Third: My Place Rewards.  For every $1 you spend you get 5 points. Earn 1,000 points, get a $5 GC .  They have, apparently, 3 levels. Regular, Gold-where you get 6 points/$1, and Diamond. I JUST learned about that because I am at that level!  See, I shop there a lot.  Three kids equals lots of clothing. Now I get 7points/$1

Fourth:  You get all these coupons in the mail, email, the discount for using your card, and YOU CAN STACK THEM.  

Say you go into the store right now.  They have a HUGE sale going on for the Holiday time.  Everything I picked up the other day was on sale for 30% off AT LEAST.  THEN I had a coupon from my email, spend over $60, get 30% off.  THEN I had the coupon from my card.  THEN I had a $5 GC from the My Points.  All of that I combined.

CHECK.THIS.OUT.
Yep.
Now, my friend's husbands say "But you didnt save anything because you still spent money." To which I reply "WHAT EVER."  Your kids can't walk around naked.

Let's check out some of the items I bought, shall we?

V picked out this dress in the store. This will be PERFECT for her birthday party in a couple of weeks!  Originally $34.95  After all my discounts $15.07  I can't WAIT for the party to show you her in it!  SOOOO CUTE!!  I have a friend with FIVE daughters.  She just used these dresses for their Christmas card.  ADORABLE.

The SECOND V saw this shirt, she had to have it.  She refused to put it down.
Originally this outfit would be $46.90. I paid $20.22

The boys got a few things as well.  They each got an amazing fleece pull over, a new jacket, and a shirt.  HUGE winners this year with lightening bolt designs! Nate LOVES them!

The sweater was originally $29.95, I paid $12.91 The pullovers,originally $16.95.I paid $4.92.  Yep.  $4.92. They were on sale for $8 to begin with.

So yeah....it is awesome. I LOVE The Children's Place and have been a HUGE supporter for years.  This holiday season if you are looking for some great fashion at amazing prices head over there! (and sign up for emails before you go...COUPONS!)

I received a gift certificate in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.  I have been obsessed with them for YEARS. Ask anyone who gets my hand-me-downs!