Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bamboo cutting boards. I had no clue what I was missing!

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

I am pretty much a kitchen gadget junkie. Need a zester? Got it. Need a potato ricer?  Got it.  Need a garlic press?  SURE!  Need a cutting board? Would you like my board that is plasticy and has slices in it or the incredibly thick and heavy wooden one?  True story.

When I saw that Bamboo Style was looking for some reviews on their three piece cutting board set, I couldn't be happier. Kitchen products + Ecofriendly = my heaven.  Once they came in I whipped them out and quickly declared the white plastic beast as my chicken cutting board.



The boards come in three sizes and are about 5/8" thick.  If you haven't even owned bamboo before, you might be surprised at the lightness of the boards.  The first time I held a cutting board made from bamboo I actually sat there looking for seams.  I didn't believe it was real wood.

The boards are rather smooth and really pretty to look at.  I don't feel the need to hide them inside a drawer!

A few bullet points from the vendor:
  • Extra Thick for Durability
  • 15% Stronger than Maple and 33% Lighter than Oak
  • Easy to Clean & Maintain
  • Natural Bamboo with No Dyes or Colors
  • FSC Certified - To Ensure Sustainable and Ethical Harvesting
  • Doesn't Dull Knives
  • Socially Responsible - 100% Renewable Resource
  • Free of Fertilizers and Pesticides
  • Anti-Bacterial Properties

So far, I have only used these for a few weeks, but can say that I love them!   Really easy to maintain. Just a quick wash in the sink and you are done! Since they are so light, I can even have my kids help with the clean up!  So far, so good!



If you are interested in checking them out for yourself follow this link right here: 


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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

I am pretty much one lucky girl. The hubby does the main grocery shopping every week. Why, you ask? He buys generic, I am picky.  Basically it saves money for him to shop. I am not complaining though. I hate going with the girl because I end up with $20 worth of things we don't need. Eric goes at night after bedtime.

Since we make menu lists and shop by those, I thought it would be a fun thing to list my meal plan in "What's Cookin' Wednesday!"

Hopefully I can inspire some people to try a new recipe or two! (Also, to keep me on track and not wanting Chinese every night)  I think having a plan really simplifies the week and takes some of the stress out of dinner time! No rushing and scrambling at 5pm to figure out what to make.

Feel free to link up your meal plan in the comments if you write one on your blog or tell me your favorite go-to meal!

Few things about this list.  I try to make things that make leftovers during the week so Eric has lunch for work.  Also, before you ask, NO. My kids don't eat this. Try as I might, I have the worlds pickiest kids.  Our house revolves around: turkey dogs, cheese sandwiches, and spaghetti.

Wednesday: Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad  I have made this before.  It is REALLY good.  You should try it.

ThursdayCurried-Chicken and Vegetable Pan Roast  I have a slight obsession with roasted  brussel sprouts.

Friday: Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brusells Sprouts

Saturday: Zesty Lime Shrimp with Avocado Salad & Fiesta Lime Rice  The shrimp salad is a new recipe, but the lime rice I have made before. SO yummy!

Sunday: Warm Citrusy Millet Salad with Roasted Fennel and Kalamata Olives  Again, another new recipe. If you have never had fennel, it kind of has a licorice taste to it, which I LOVE.

Monday: Lemon Dill Chicken I love lemon, I love dill. Sounds good, no?

Tuesday:  Tuesday night Nate has therapy from 4-5:30. Then dance from 6:30-7:15. TOTALLY a drive through night!

I'll let you guys know how the recipes are after I make them!  Swing back throughout the week for updates!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Geocaching: Free family fun no matter where you live!

Before Eric and I even thought of kids, we use to go Letterboxing. What is that you ask?  BASICALLY in a nutshell, people all over the country have put little boxes all over and left clues on where to find them.  You bring a stamp along, hunt down the box with the clues, stamp the journal, and you leave your stamp.  Super fun, but takes time since you have to decipher where things are.

Now since we have a smartphone, enter: Geocaching. Geocaching is basically the same thing, but uses GPS, which I find easier with kids.  You typically don't have to decipher hard clues.  (some do look rather tricky though-read descriptions before you go!) 

With Geocaching a few different things happen when you find the cache.  You either just sign a log (always bring a pen with you!  Some are tiny and don't have pens!), take an item/leave an item, OR you can take what they call a trackable.  A trackable is an item that you can, well, track. When you buy a trackable you have two identical items with identical codes. One you keep, and one you place in a box.  When someone picks up that trackable, they enter the code online.  Then it gets placed again and gets picked up again.  It just keeps going and you can see where it travels to!  You can learn more about them HERE.  As I said, I JUST started Geocaching today, so I am not totally up to speed on all the ins and outs...YET.

I decided today was a great day to take the kids out treasure hunting.We found FOUR caches and then got turned around on a trail, found our way to the road, and made Eric go get the car and pick us up.  We had been out for about 2 hours and Nate was pooped.

Here are a few cute pictures from the day!


SUCCESS!  We found the first one!
V was thrilled that a princess ring was in the box!
Nate went for a gold coin
Cache #2!  V was slightly sad she wasn't getting chocolate milk.
She had no trouble rifling though though.
 FYI, do take someone who doesn't get grossed out easily. This one required sticking your hand in a rotting tree with tons of gnats swarming. BLECH.

As I was walking down the trail taking pictures of trees, I noticed a weird metal thing in the woods and went to investigate.  I was just using the free app at the time and it only shows some of the hidden caches. We went to investigate it...


 And lookie here!


 Talk about some luck!  Unintentional find #3!  Also, see why it is important to hand a pen on hand?  To the kids that have no clue what that is. Before digital you had to take pictures on FILM. That is a FILM canister.;)  Glad I had a pen with me!

Eric made a pyramid. lol
We traipsed through the woods a bit more and found one last one!  Then my battery died on my camera.  oops.



If you get bored this summer, why not try it out!  Free, fun activity!  Just don't tell me exactly where they are!  I like the hunt.  

Friday, May 23, 2014

SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer...REVIEW!

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

Like most people (vegetarians and vegans excluded of course), I feel that I don't eat enough veggies.  When I did the 21 Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse a while ago I felt AWESOME.  I really would love to do it again and just might once school is out for the summer!

Lately, I have been given some pretty cool items to review.  One of the latest items was a SuperSwizz Spiral Slicer.


SuperSwizz is a spiral slicer that you use like a pencil sharpener. Seriously.  You put the food in one end (there are two different thicknesses to choose from:  2x3 mm and 3.5x5 mm), and you twirl it JUST LIKE A PENCIL.  The blades are sturdy Japanese blades and made from Stainless steel. 


Neat,huh?  I had some issues with my carrots.  They weren't really fat carrots and therefore hard to twirl in there.  The blades are along the sides,which are at an angle.  So,if the vegetable isn't wide enough, you have to do some odd holding to get it to cut. Also, I noticed that the carrot stained the inside of the plastic a bit. Kind of like how tomatoes stain plastic.



I tried a cucumber and it worked MUCH BETTER. I am guessing this would be amazing for zucchini and other similar vegetables!
 

In the center of the SuperSwizz is a hole.  The very center of the veggie will NOT get cut with the blades which keeps the seeds out!  AWESOME.  I just kept a knife next to me and sliced off the end when it got really long.
 

The SuperSwizz comes with a cleaning brush and is dishwasher safe.  I would put it on the top rack just to play it safe.  

On one side is a detachable pushing plate with little nubs that helps you hold onto the food when it gets really low. Honestly, I found that a bit tricky to use.  I didn't use it. I just ate the carrots when it got too low.

One warning I do have, the blades are VERY sharp and very easy to get to with tiny fingers.  Make sure you keep away from little fingers!

Look at my salad I made!  My friends were impressed that the "noodles" were actually cucumbers.  It felt really good making something that was fun to eat as well as healthy!  I might try to see what else I can "noodle up!"

Cucumber, carrots, avocado,green onions, dressing

If you are interested in trying out one for yourself you can run over here to Amazon and pick one up! You can also read my review on Amazon right HERE.

  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.

Have you ever been just reading something on Facebook and it smacked you like a ton of bricks?

Yesterday I was just scrolling through Facebook when a post I shared got liked.The person who liked it was a friend of mine that I met through someone else.  We really don't talk. It is more of a "Hey!  We know the same person,so let's be Facebook friends" kind of friendship.

Naturally I did what any other person would do, I went to her wall and started scoping out things.  Just for funsies.  It was at this point that I ran across this video.  Now, I know what you are thinking "Sarah!!!  It is almost 7 minutes long! GAH!!!  I can't watch that!"  Yes you can. Just watch it, then we will chat.

 

Did you watch it? Good.

My heart hurts SO hard for this girl.  She has just a few other video and 2 are Jem related. The girl really loves her Jem.  

What struck me so hard though is that I probably will never know what she is going through.  Being a white girl, living in America, in the suburbs, with my little pale kids, I will never fully know the kind of discrimination that others face.  The way the character is portrayed in this movie did not EVEN cross my mind.

It hurts me so much that she feels this way.  There is so much sadness and hurt not only in the video, but also in the comments.  Being the person I am and living the hand that I was dealt in life, I really feel  almost guilty for not having to face things that others do.  I think I take my place in the world for granted sometimes, and I totally shouldn't. This video was a real eye opener for me.

I wish I could find this girl and hug her.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rush Hour Jr. Game Review.....Spoiler: It is a blast!

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


You may remember when I did a review for Zingo! Sight Words.  If you do, you remember how much we loved it.  If not, click that little link there. I saw that ThinkFun was looking for some more reviews and did a happy dance.  I LOVE their games.  Not only are they fun, they make you think.  I guess they have a pretty much perfect company name!

I got approved to do a review for Rush Hour Jr. and LOVE it.  The version I got is for ages 5 and up, BUT there is also an adult version! I might need to get that. 

It was a bit tricky to figure out from the directions-could have been my horrible sleep the past few nights, but once I looked at the solution on the back of one of the cards, it clicked. So here goes...pictures for you to enjoy!

For $19.99 you get the game board (the black thing in the picture), a deck of cards with 40 different problem solving games on it, 15 different blocking cars, a white ice cream truck, and a travel bag.


The cars have amazing details!  Look at the little dog in the pickup truck! (FYI-I don't condone throwing your dog in the back of a truck unsecured. In a plastic truck-yes)


Everything stores nicely in the travel bag!
 

I set up the first game card, read the directions, and was stumped.  It said you could move the cars forwards and backwards like normal cars with the goal of getting the white ice cream truck off the grid through the exit (cut out spot on the side) .  You can't move the cars sideways.  For some odd reason this REALLY stumped me. lol


I flipped over the card and looked at the solution and then it clicked.  You have to make MANY moves for it to work.  As you can see, this card takes six moves. I told you...I am really sleep deprived lately. lol
 

I let Nate do this card (he is 6) and he figured it out.  It took him a little bit, but he was able to do it by himself. V played with the other cars while wearing a tutu and yelling "BEEP BEEP!!"




When Aidan got home he was super excited to try this out.  I have had it sitting on the counter waiting for a good time to pull it out.  He flew through the easy, medium, and hard. He CLAIMS that he did the super hard card that I wasn't able to figure out. Of course it was when I walked away.  He could not recreate it....so I don't believe him. lol


If you are looking for ways to keep the kiddos entertained while working their brains (and yourself as well) head over to ThinkFun and snag this game or one of their many other games!

Want some more reading? Here is a link to my Amazon review of the game!

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.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The big kid got bigger!


 My eldest is now eight.  EIGHT. I feel so old for saying this, but it is amazing how fast the years fly by. Eight years ago I was whining about him not doing anything.  Just being a blob that went no where and did nothing.  Now...he is eight.  He also cursed for the first time today, so you know,that was fun. (Just damn, not the big one) We had a lovely talk.  (It was probably my fault.) I learned it from listening to you mom!!!  I learned it from listening to you!  Two points if you get my reference!

Aidan's party turned out small. Stinks that at this time of the year, and being a boy, most kids have sports going on.  Due to that fact, it was just immediate family, grandparents, and the lovely Lora with her kids.  You know what though?  It was an amazing day anyway!  We had a blast.  Push-up cakes pops instead of a huge cake, water balloon fight in the back yard, and pizza out the wazoo.  It was such a relaxing day. Most parties I go insane cleaning up. This time, I threw up my feet and just enjoyed it.

The night before the party, we had a little vandalism to take care of.  (Don't worry. We paid $3 and it was approved by the school)
 

Favorite Picture from the night
I didn't need a rock to tell me that!
Here are a few pics of the actual party day!

Sports themed push-up cakepops
 A rousing game of corn hole took place.  It was my mom's first time! She did pretty well!
 

My 90 year old Gram looked on. :) So glad she was here.
My dad showed up even after having 2 hours of sleep the night before.  Yay call night! 
 Then there was a water balloon, not fight, WAR. We couldn't keep the kids stocked with ammo.




My daughter-in-law. (Aidan and Lily got married when they were 3.)

Present time!
 Since we just had the pops, it was a bit difficult to figure out the candles.  Long stem candles to the rescue! 



 V liked them too!


A great relaxing birthday. Maybe I should tone it down more often.....NAH!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#100HappyDays

If you are on social media at ALL I am sure you have seen pictures tagged with #100HappyDays.  Normally I don't do these photo follow along things, but well, I got sucked in this time.

Can you be happy for
100 days
in a row?

 ^Image totally yanked from their site with good intentions.

I mean, who really couldn't use extra happy in their life.  Premise is super easy.  Take one picture that makes you happy every day.  Hashtag it #100HappyDays.  71% if the people that try to do this challenge FAIL.  If you know me, I love a good challenge AND I like making people look at my pictures.

Are you up for the challenge? If so, you can sign up at 100HappyDays.com    This isn't about "I am cooler than you.  My pictures are fancier."  It is point blank "You know what made me happy today?  THIS."  and you see the picture.

Want to follow mine? I am posting to Instagram.  You can check out my profile HERE. Feel free to follow me! I like new friends!  I follow back a lot of the time, unless you are a total Creepy McCreeperson.  Then,you know, I probably won't.  Or I might.  Who knows?  


  

Here is Day #1 of #100HappyDays!  I don't think it can get much cuter, can you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Even Glow Serum - Antioxidant Skin Treatment - 20% Vitamin C by Valentia Skin Care Review

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

The past few years I have been noticing, ahem, a few little crows feet popping up at the corners of my eyes.   I have tried not to let it bother me and thought after 36 years if this is all, I can handle it.  Then I got the opportunity to review Even Glow Serum by Valentia and now I can't stop using it.  I love the results.




The serum is chock full of good ingredients with 98% of it being naturally derived.  Key ingredients and its benefits from the company are:

Vitamin C: has been scientifically proven to reduce the effects of sun exposure on the skin, strengthens and smoothes the skin, and neutralizes free radicals before damaging the skin! 

Organic Rosehip Seed Oil & Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil:  Promote skin hydration and lock in moisture.  They are also full of antioxidants and help support the VItamin C.


Resistem (Plant Stem Cells):  Helps the skin regenerate faster and protect from stressors.

Hyaluronic Acid (Botanical): Draws moisture FROM the environment and into your skin!  Cool, huh?  This penetrates deeply and activates your collagen! 


Green Tea Extact: I think we all know by now that green tea is a great antioxidant.  


The Even Glow Serum has a fantastic orangy-spicy scent to it.  It absorbs incredibly quickly into the skin.  I really did notice a reduction in fine lines in the corners of my eyes! (Confession-I didn't take before pictures because I figured it wouldn't work.  I wish I did now!)  You just shake the little bottle upside down, squeeze up a dropper full, and drop and blend quickly into your face and neck.  Once absorbed, apply moisturizer.  Easy peasy.

When I first started using it I DID notice an increase in tiny bumps on my face.  From my time working in a salon and spa I knew that this was an annoying NORMAL reaction.  When you switch up skin products it causes this.  If it is working ALL skin care products will cause this.  TOTALLY normal and it WILL stop.  Don't stop using the product just because of this! All that goop was in your skin already and this is just helping get it out!

And just because I am a glutton for punishment and keeping it real.  Here are some pictures:

Here is my face in all it's glory. lol



Here is a close up of my eye.  Now....I am cheesing PRETTY DARN HARD in this picture. Trying to make the wrinkles come up.  I have a few under my eye, but look to the side!!!  Basically nonexistent!  Also, it is really hard to take a picture of your eye.



If you want to try some out, head over HERE to Amazon and grab some for yourself!  You can also read a bit more on their product!  You can also check out my Amazon Review right HERE!


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.