My Little One and Little Remedies® Gripe Water and Gas Drops

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Little Remedies. I received a product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

My daughter started sewing and is really enjoying it especially making clothes for all the little ones.  With summer here, we are able to utilize the good weather to take pictures of all the outfits she's making.  Summertime is a great time to capture the beauty outside but tummy pains don't halt just because it's nice outside or someone wants a picture taken.  When upset tummies and other ailments hit the children, I turn to the line of Little Remedies® products because I want the best for my children from no artificial flavors, colors or alcohol.  They use the fewest and most natural ingredients which is important to me.  Their slogan says it all:  Little Remedies® Everything they need. Nothing they don't.®

He was already feeling bad with a gassy tummy before trying to take his pictures so we stopped, went inside and gave him some of the Little Remedies® Gas Drops which quickly relieved him of the excess gas he was suffering from.  What's also nice, you can actually mix a dose in with cool water, formula or other suitable liquid to ease the trauma in taking it if you have one of those picky little one's like my eight year old used to be.  Luckily, Conner loves medicine and readily takes it since he liked the natural berry flavor.

For times when he gets tummy pain, we also used Little Remedies® Gripe Water for post hiccup discomfort.  It's safe, gentle formula has no alcohol and is gluten free.  I like having options to turn to for my children and especially when those options are as natural as possible for my preferences.  Little Remedies® products provides what I feel is the best for my children without the unnecessary ingredients like alcohol, artificial colors and flavorings.

Additional information:

Little Remedies® Gas Drops

Quickly relieves tummy pain from excess gas. Safe remedy to gently ease stomach discomfort or bloating.
  • Relieves excess gas from food or swallowing of air
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • No alcohol, saccharin or preservatives
  • Dosage can also be mixed with 1 oz. of cool water, infant formula or other suitable liquids.

Little Remedies® Gripe Water
Eases tummy pain for infants. Natural, effective relief for your baby's upset stomach.
  • Relieves discomfort due to hiccups and colic*
  • Safe, gentle formula
  • No alcohol or gluten
  • Be sure to burp your baby during and after feeding to reduce air buildup.
Here is a great infographic on helping our little one's with gassy tummies:

For more information on Little Remedies®:

Little Remedies Site:

My Daughter, the Seamstress and Her Paris Inspired Dress

My oldest has found yet another skill she excels in and that's sewing.  For my younger one, she's the very happy recipient of many fine dresses.  I've been encouraging her to start selling dresses to help their family income since she's an at home mom.  She's also excellent in planning birthday parties down to each detail as well as many other things.  I'm really liking her desire to move forward with making dresses and can't wait for some of my own!

This is her Hi-Low dress she made inspired by Paris.  We bought the hat at Sears and even though it's a woman's size, it will grow with her helping to offset the costs.  My younger one is a diva and I suspect she will always be a fashionista.  She also has a huge love for all things British which makes sense since her maternal grandmother is from England and both sides of my mother and father's side originated from England and France.

She admits the front should be longer but my youngest is somewhat tall but her width makes her a smaller size.  My oldest is learning as she goes and this is providing her with great experience in understanding how to choose the different pattern pieces to match the size of the model.  All in all, she's having a lot of fun and she can turn out a dress in no time!

White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Cheesecake Filling
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 T corn starch
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, beans extracted
White Chocolate Mousse
  • 4 oz. white chocolate baking squares
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 T powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
Graham Cracker Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line a spring-form pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine crushed graham crackers and brown sugar and mix with a fork
  3. Add the melted butter, egg and vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated
  4. Press into the bottom of the lined spring-form pan and bake for 8-10 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and let cool
Cheesecake Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 320°
  2. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add the sour cream, corn starch and vanilla beans and mix until the mixture is smooth and creamy
  4. Pour over the graham cracker crust and bake for one hour. The filling will be jiggly in the center when you remove from oven
  5. Remove from the oven and place on a heat safe surface for one hour. Do not remove the springform pan. You will remove it right before serving!
  6. Place into the refrigerator overnight to set, or at least 6 hours
White Chocolate Mousse
  1. Place mixing bowl in freezer or refrigerator to chill
  2. Melt white chocolate squares and let cool
  3. In the cold mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks, gradually add powdered sugar and continue whipping until it forms stiff peaks
  4. Place in refrigerator to keep chilled
  5. In another bowl, beat the melted white chocolate and cream cheese together with a spatula until light and fluffy.
  6. Take the whipped cream and stir it into the white chocolate and cream cheese mixture. You do not have to be gentle while stirring. Don't be afraid to stir vigorously!
  7. Place back into the refrigerator to chill overnight. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to put the mousse onto the cheesecake
  8. Once you are ready to serve, spread the mousse over the top of the cheesecake and then remove the springform pan and the parchment paper
  9. Top with whipped cream, berries, chocolate or all three!

Recipe has been adapted from Inner-Gourmet Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

SNAPPower Guide Lights: Add Lighting without the Cost of an Electrician

My kids don't like pitch dark hallways or rooms nor do I mostly because I hate bugs!  I was playing around on Facebook and saw this post for SNAPPower Guide Lights.  What a great way to inexpensively add lights to any area.  All you do is take off existing outlet faceplates and switch out with the SNAPPower Guide Lights.   Grab your screwdriver and you are ready to go and it looks amazing!
Powered with LED sensors, the light turns off when the room is bright and turns on when it’s dark. The lights will last 25 years and it only costs 10 cents a year on average to operate.
Cost $15 for one $42 for a 3-pack

Cinderella Themed Birthday Party

My youngest chose a Cinderella party theme this year for her party and she fell in love with an idea from Pinterest even though I didn't nail it.  I was a bit behind in the planning stages as I was supposed to be out of town but things were cancelled so my oldest and I had to move fast with the party.  For the carriage above, I purchased an orange bulb, blue sheer curtains for the table skirt, a shade tent and gold paint from Amazon.  The cupcakes included these cute edible pumpkins that my oldest daughter made.
I ordered the clock, crown and letters from Hobby Lobby.

The invitation I made by taking a sketch of the castle and colorizing it and using the Cinderella font along with other font.

The cake was a traditional doll cake mold with the addition of the Cinderella doll.  Floral icing was added as well as a fondant top and butterflies.

Smoked Espresso-Rubbed Brisket Sandwich

I try to post more organic and natural type things but this one caught my eye.  Not only because it's from Chef Robert Irvine but it just looks fantastic and there is no reason you can't make it healther.  The Smoked Espresso-Rubbed Brisket Sandwich looks amazing!

Here's a peek at the ingredients but for the full recipe, click above on the link.

For the Espresso Rubbed Brisket:
5 lbs Whole Raw Brisket
2 oz Ground Espresso
6 oz Dark Brown Sugar
3 oz Kosher Salt
1 dash Ground Cumin
2 dashes Garlic Powder
3 dashes Ground Pepper
1 dash Cayenne
2 dashes Ground Cinnamon
For Horseradish Aioli:1 oz Prepared Horseradish, Drained and Squeezed
3 oz Mayo
2 oz Sour Cream
Salt and Pepper To Taste
For Crispy Pickled Jalapeno:1/2 cup Canned Sliced Pickled Jalapenos
1 cup Corn Starch
Fry Oil as needed
For Sandwich Assembly:8 Slices Taleggio Cheese (if not available, substitute Fontina or another semi-soft pungent cheese)
1 tbsp Grapeseed Oil
2 cups Julienned Onions
6 ea Martins Brand Hoagie Rolls

Homemade Almond Butter Recipe

Everyone is trying to get healthier nowadays with all the bad information forthcoming about what is good for you or not or how it's made.  More than a couple of year's ago, I decided it was time to eat better for myself and children's sake.  Luckily, my children love almonds and I found this great recipe to make almond butter thanks to BudgetSavingDiva!
  • 1.5 Cups of Raw Almonds
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Oil ( if needed)
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place almonds on a lined cookie sheet and baked for 2- 3 minutes
  3. Place almonds into the food processor ( only use blender if you do not have a food processor)
  4. Process for about 10 minutes -- it takes a while.
  5. If it is a little dry add a little oil
  6. Enjoy
  7. It makes about ¾th cup

by Sara

Banana Boat® Great Big Family Reunion and Best Summer Ever

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Banana Boat®. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I'm so happy now that summer has officially began because I love the warmer weather.  Sunny days and warm nights are the perfect time for getting together with family.  It's already been a very hot summer with intense sunshine.  I have a variety of ages to protect from an eight month old to four, eight and 12 year olds.  My middle one is a red head and requires a lot of sun protection which is why I turn to the line of Banana Boat® sun protection products due to their most comfortable line of sun protection products yet.  When I go outside, I immediately apply Banana Boat®'s reformulated Dry Oil Clear UltraMist® Sunscreen which now includes argan oil.  It's perfect for restoring moisture to my dry legs while providing protection from the sun's rays.  It goes on smooth and it's not oily which is a double bonus.

When applying sunscreen, you should apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to you and your kids’ entire bodies 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.  In spite of the terrible humidity and heat, it really lasts and provided the sun protection they needed.  There have been no sunburns so far!

For my children, I alternate with SunComfort™ Clear UltraMist®Sunscreen and Sport Performance®Lotion Sunscreen with Powerstay Technology.  The SunComfort™ Clear UltraMist®Sunscreen is also good for everyday use, allows sand to be brushed off easily and relieves dryness caused by the sun, chlorine and salt water.  The SunComfort™ Clear UltraMist®Sunscreenwas designed for those that are more active (i.e. young kids going crazy after school has let out for the summer!).  What I liked about this product is it really lasted long and It was light weight, sweat resistant as well as up to 80 minutes water resistant.  It absorbed quickly, was non-greasy and didn't run into my eyes like many do.  The heavy duty protection was perfect for playing in the little pool or mowing the yard.
For other big news, Banana Boat® Great Big Family Reunion offers summer fun in the sun good times for the whole family and visitors!  Just enter the sweepstakes for the chance for one lucky family to win a reunion for up to 50 of their family members and friends. Participants can also spin the Wheel of Fun for exciting activities to entertain their families all summer long!  I love having pre-planned activities to make it easier on me when entertaining.

It doesn't always require a lot to get family together and any excuse is better than none.  I've watched my family go from a family that held extended family reunions to none.  I find it sad that people are too busy to find time to get together.  Some of my fondest memories were summer time, in the sun, reunions with all my cousins and other family members.  This summer, I'm getting together with some of my cousins.  What about you?  Grab the Banana Boat and head out whether your family is small or large, have fun this summer!

Make sure to follow on social media for more information:

Banana Boat® Facebook:
Banana Boat® Twitter:


Here is a chance to win even more!  Share information on the Great Big Family Reunion sweepstakes to enter to win one of five $30 Banana Boat® Prize Packs including:
  • Banana Boat® koosie
  • Key chain
  • Draw string backpack
  • Three sunscreen products

Contest opens on June 8, 2015 and closes June 29, 2015.

To enter, choose a social media sharing option from the social media amplification tool!

Banana Boat “Great Big Family Reunion” Sweepstakes

SPLENDA® Brand Summertime Sweet Life In-Home SWEET SWAPS™ Holiday Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake Roll

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the SPLENDA® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.

Can you believe summer is already upon us?  It's not officially summer but it certainly feels like it with the hot humid weather here in Georgia.  As when the summer months come, new recipes come to mind with all the fresh fruit and vegetables.  As I look to the summer, I want to find recipes that will allow me to swap out sugar for a lower calorie option.  This is where SPLENDA® Sweetener Products come into my house.  Instead of using full sugar, why not swap out for SPLENDA® Sweetener Products?  It's still great tasting but easy on the calories.  There are many products offered such as SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, SPLENDA®Sugar Blend, and SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend.  It's a great way to lessen those calories while visiting SWEET SWAPS to try out some great recipes to satisfy the biggest sweet tooth.

As part of our kicking off summer activities, we invited family and friends out to camp and hike as what better light activity than to walk in nature?  Since the younger one's couldn't hike much, we had to break up in two groups and have my sister watch them.  After our walk, we stopped to eat and then we had some sweet fun using the SWEET SWAPS™ Holiday Cake Roll recipe mostly because it's a favorite with my youngest and I've yet to master one.  There really isn't any better excuse than to get friends and family together for fun and food!

Now for the fun part, I've learned that making cake rolls are tricky, in my opinion, as you have to make sure you don't crack it when you roll it.  Our creation will be the Strawberries and Cream Cake Roll Recipe. My almost eight year wanted to help make it as she loves strawberries and she also wanted to be the hostess for serving up the Holiday Cake Roll at our get together.  It all looked easy enough and it was smooth sailing but albeit, I found out that I have not mastered the rolling of the cake.

Our after activity was a success.  Those that liked strawberries and cream cheese loved it and no one knew I replaced sugar with SPLENDA®!  Given that my one guest, Kristin, was watching calories, this was ideal for her.   I have to say that I love that I can create recipes with less calories while not sacrificing taste and with SWEET SWAPS™ recipes, I have a great database to choose from! There are many more tips, tricks and amazing looking recipes on  Did you know that swapping just one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated can save more than 600 calories? (

For those of you that want to try it yourself, here is the recipe:

Strawberries and Cream Cake Roll Recipe

Servings Per Recipe: 10
Serving Size: 1 slice (1/10 cake)

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup sifted cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Grease bottom and sides of a 15x10x1-inch jellyroll pan; line pan with waxed paper; grease and flour waxed paper. Set aside.
  3. Beat egg yolks at high speed of an electric mixer until thick and pale; gradually add 1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, beating constantly. Stir in oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Whip egg whites at high speed until foamy; gradually add remaining 1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, and corn syrup, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture.
  5. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually fold into egg mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread batter evenly.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center.
  7. Sift 2 tablespoons powdered sugar on a cloth towel. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula and immediately turn out onto sugared towel. Starting at narrow end, roll cake and towel together tightly; cool 30 minutes on a wire rack seam side down.
  8. Unroll cake and remove towel. Spread with whipped topping; spoon strawberries over topping; carefully, reroll. Place on a serving plate, seam side down. Chill 2 hours before serving.

For more information or to stay up to date, check out:

SPLENDA Twitter: @Splenda

#SweetSwaps #IC #ad

Copycat Chick Fil A Chicken Sandwich Recipe

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz each – or 4 4 oz chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup pickle juice (just use the juice from any pickle jar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 cup peanut oil for frying
  • 4 Hamburger Buns (buttered and toasted)
  • Pickle Slices
  1. Pound chicken breasts flat and cut them in to 4 pieces – then you want to marinate your chicken in the pickle juice for at least an hour.
  2. Beat eggs and combine  dry ingredients together.  Dip the chicken in the egg and then the flour mixture.
  3. Cook approximately five minutes on each side and then serve on the buns with pickle slices.

Back Home Again in Indiana

It wasn't too long ago my children and grandchildren made a trip back home again to Indiana to visit family.  While we were there, we recreated a picture of my father and my great grandmother but this time it was my father and my grandson.  My oldest daughter made my grandson (her son) his outfit to make it resemble the one my father was wearing.  You can't tell in the picture but she's quite the seamstress.  I'm very proud in all the things she can do.

Even though we hate the cold cold winters of Indiana, we are contemplating moving back and everything is contingent on a job interview tomorrow.  Now that things have changed in my life, I'm able to stop moving all about as I'm no longer part of the Army and I can choose where I want to live at last.    

All my girls are native Hoosiers except my youngest who proudly proclaims she's Hawaiian.  I don't have the heart to tell her she's not an authentic Hawaiian but it's cute.