Homeschool Garden with Heirloom Seeds


It's been a busy couple of weeks with yet another move and having time to enjoy Easter.  Luckily, my friend in North Carolina made the kids their outfits so I didn't have to worry about that! The girls have settled into our new temporary home and are loving all the time with their older sister and two children.  I'm amazed to see how much we've done in a short amount of time with moving, getting settled in, yard work and planting a garden.  Part of the home school curriculum is learning to plant a garden.


What is important to me about teaching the children about food and growing their own food is the wholesomeness of it all.  I'm not happy with the GMOs that have infiltrated our food supply and buying organic food can be extremely expensive.  As I found, buying certified heirloom seeds can also be very expensive!  My oldest daughter's yard is huge and it had a garden at one time so we utilized their plots to start.  We are going plot to plot with growing first what the girls wanted.  In our first plot, we have cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons and pumpkins.  The girls had a good time with digging up the dirt and playing with it but I think they enjoyed the planting step the most.  Now we just wait for those to start growing if the squirrels and rabbits don't eat them first!


We just finished our second plot but the weather is not cooperating so we have to wait and see on that one!  The girls will get to learn about math as they know how many seeds to plant in each hole and how far to plant them apart.  They will get to learn about science on how water and sunlight helps them grow and how fast they grow with the end results.  I suspect they will have a lot of fun especially with the pumpkins if they grow!

Crepe Erase Review

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







I had previously posted my first impression on the Crepe Erase System here and now I'm providing an updated review after I had a chance to try it for three weeks.  I'm a big health and beauty consumer and am always looking for the next best product.  The Crepe Erase System interested me mostly because it addresses an unmet need which are the other areas of your body that no one targets such as the neck, check, elbows and knees.  I'm not overly concerned, yet, with my elbows and knees but I am with my neck and chest.  I've had years and years of sun damage that makes my chest look years older than I am.  



As I previously wrote, my initial thoughts on Crepe Erase™ system included being drawn to the package design as it was simple yet elegant.  It's simple with great eye appealing colors.  To me, although packaging counts, the products efficacy is most important.  The packaging isn't overdone and doesn't overshadow the product.  The Exfoliating Body Polish comes in a flip top tube making it easy to apply and the Intensive Body Repair Treatment is a large mouthed, circular jar that makes it easy to scoop up a pearl shaped amount.  The fact that the Crepe Erase™ system also has Jane Seymour as a spokesperson doesn't hurt as she looks fabulous!

What is the Crepe Erase™ system?  It is a two part system that doesn't take a lot of time in spite of how it sounds.  

Step 1: Exfoliating Body Polish.  It is a very gently body polish that contains TruFirm which is a breakthrough firming complex that works on rejuvenating dry, aging, crepey-looking skin on the neck, chest, legs and arms. I'm going to be 47 this July and I have terrible sun damage on my chest and I'm noticing the dry, crepey-look on my neck, knees and elbows so this was wonderful to know that it works on those most neglected areas.  It exfoliates dead skin cells to help reveal smoother younger-looking skin while promoting healthy skin turnover thus making overall skin texture improved. 

Step 2:  Intensive Body Repair Treatment.  This ultra-rich formula also contains TruFirm which is their exclusive skin firming complex infused with a rejuvenating blend of botanicals to visibly smooth, firm and tighten the look of aging dry, crepey, skin on the neck, chest, legs and arms.  The nutrient rich, super-hydrating oils also provide all-day moisture and protects the skin.  It's very easy to apply and after about a minute of circular massaging, it is absorbed without a greasy feel.  Both products have no overpowering odor which I hate when a product overpowers my senses.  


As I noted above, I've used it for three weeks now have noticed some improvements to the chest area.  You can click on the picture to see it in a larger format.  The circled area shows the most intense sun damaged area.  I have found the products easy to use and the instructions straight forward.  I think the lighting was off on the "before" picture on the neck area so it didn't capture the true appearance.  Based on the "before" and "after" pictures, you can see a visible change in the damaged appearance.  

Overall, I like the product, I am happy with the results and will continue to use it to see how much more it can improve the appearance.  I'm using it on my hands as well and wished I had taken a before picture because I feel my hands look much better.


*Extra Information:

  • 100% of users said their skin instantly felt healthier.
  • After 4 weeks:
    • 94% of women reported their skin appeared plumper and more hydrated.
  • After 8 weeks:
    • 88% reported that their skin appeared less like crepe paper skin.
    • 86% said that their skin appeared renewed and rejuvenated.

*Based on Crepe Erase™ user perception studies. Individual results may vary.




#CrepeErase #sponsored #ad #ic

Homeschool Fun with the Sunbeam Fortune Cookie Maker


I think it's very important for any homeschool curriculum to include the art of home economics. It's one of the classes I loved so much during high school and although mine aren't in high school, I don't think it's ever too early to start teaching in the kitchen.  Teaching to cook is not just about cooking but it also teaches one to read, follow instructions and math.  It's an excellent way to get the unmotivated student motivated by having some fun.  Luckily, I have Masterchef Junior that is further motivating my little ones as they see these amazing little dynamo's cooking better than most adults.


I've had this Sunbeam Fortune Cookie Maker for quite some time and this is the first time we actually used it. I lost the manual but luckily it was online and I watched this adorable little girl on YouTube demonstrate how she used it.  I'm just amazed she didn't get burned as I know I had red finger tips after making them.  It's easy to use and I searched online for fortunes to print off.  The next time, I'll have the girls write their own for each other as I think that would be more fun.  This time, I used motivational and faith based ones.  There are two cookie makers with grips to help fold the cookies into the shape they need to be.  Once I folded them over, I let the girls hold them as they cooled.  I think today we'll try dipping some in chocolate for vareity.


Although they aren't the dark brown color that you are used to, they still tasted great.  I did add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to ours mostly because I love the flavor of it.  The recipe is really easy to follow and the girls just love cracking eggs.
Recipe:
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In mixer bowl combine egg whites & vanilla - beat with paddle attachment until frothy.
  3. Sift flour, sugar & salt in small bowl
  4. Add to egg mixture & beat until it forms a thick batter
  5. On a heavily greased cookie sheet - take a small amount of batter on a teaspoon & drizzle into a puddle. (I first started out with a Silpat - I found that the cookie sheet with heavy cooking spray worked much better)
  6. Spread around until you have a thin circle approx 3 inches in diameter & uniform in thickness.
  7. Only do 2-3 at a time as once you pull them out you will have to work quickly.
  8. Bake 5 minutes or until edges are golden brown & center is still pale.
  9. Remove & lift off first one with a thin offset spatula - flip upside down on a cutting board.
  10. Quickly place your fortune paper in the center
  11. Fold up the cookie in half- pinching together & hold with one hand.
  12. With other hand press into the center to form the bend & pull ends down to form the cookie. This whole process of folding should take no more than 10 seconds before you move on to the next hot cookie waiting for you.
  13. You can hang it over the edge of a glass until it's hardened or place in a muffin tin to help hold it's shape.
  14. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  15. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

$25 Walmart or Target You Choose Gift Card Giveaway - Ends 3/31 - Open to All


I received a couple of gift cards from my blogging activities and wanted to share them with my readers by offering a giveaway as it's been awhile.  Just check out the form below and enter one or as many times as you want!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The GB Asana35 AP Carseat is About Safety, Convenience and is Just a Must Have

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GB. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.



When it comes to safety, nothing is too good for my children.  Even though I don't travel very often and that means day to day, I want to ensure my children are safe and secure in the vehicle.  It's all very confusing as every day it seems that a carseat is being recalled or you read all these 'make sure you secure your child appropriately' messages.  When I look for a carseat, I read reviews and try to determine which is the best one to purchase. This is where the GB Asana35 AP carseat  came into play as I saw wonderful reviews so I had to try one out for myself.  Given they have been making carseats for over 25 years in their state of the art facilities was also a plus.  The GB Asana35 AP carseat is a rear facing carseat that allows for a weight range 4-35 pounds and height range 32" or less.  You might be thinking that it's a carseat so what's so different about this one over the others?  There are many features that really drew me to the GB Asana35 AP carseat:

  • Adjustable recline foot button that allows you to easily change the recline position without tearing out your hair.
  • The push button lower anchor connectors are stored in the bottom.  Not as easy as the adjustable recline foot but they make it easy to store.
  • The FirmFit System allows for a load leg at the base thus assisting with a downward rotation in a crash.  It's adjustable to allow for different lengths which is great given how no two vehicles seem to be alike.
  • The FirmFit Arm provides a better, tighter and safer fit to your vehicle with minimal effort and that is always a positive.  Carseats can be a pain in using but this one really is revolutionary in the ease of use and the safety aspect in my opinion.  It provides 20 pounds of additional force and provides the assurance that the seat is secure at all times.
  • The FirmFit harness is also a great feature in that every time you adjust the headrest and the harness, they adjust together making it much safer and convenient. When I had to tighten, all I had to do was pull the tightening strap at the feet location and it pulled the harness and headrest to my baby's shoulders. Not having to worry if I have everything just right is a huge plus to me.
  • An infant insert for smaller infants 4-6 pounds which can be used also for infants weighing 6-10 pounds.  In the past, I had to purchase inserts so this is definitely a nice feature.  It's large for the seat but it's a necessity when the infant is small.
  • The built in storage area for the manual is a win as well because I always think I will remember where I store the manuals and always forget.
  • Side impact protection coupled with all the other safety features really gives me peace of mind.
  • It's stylish and fits any interior relative to color.  

FirmFit System Load Leg provides extra safety in the event of a crash.  It's adjustable and fits all vehicles.

The base is easy to install and there are easy to follow instructions along the side while the manual stores in the base.

I really love the FirmFit System load leg given the extra safety protection it provides.  It really makes sense!

Reclines to fit baby's needs and preferences.


Installation was a breeze too!  No more fishing your hands and becoming a contortionist trying to get the belts through the holes.  Instead you just press a button to lift up the latch that holds the seat belt and then you just buckle it in.  This is also great for those families that have to move the carseat to another vehicle.  Finally, an easy way to do this!

Just pull the lever in the back and the carseat pulls right out.  Putting it back on only involves sitting it on the base and it snaps in.  The ergonomic handle also makes carrying your baby in the crook of your arm as most parents know, we have to be the masters of carrying everything and the kitchen sink.  It's also lightweight at 9.2 pounds without the base.


Overall, the GB Asana35 AP is definitely a carseat that I would highly recommend and my oldest daughter agrees as she has a baby.  It's all about safety and convenience and that is what won us over.  It's convenient to use, unlike many others, and the safety features are just amazing.

Check out the GB Asana35 AP exclusively at Babies R Us.



#GBThatsMe  #IC #ad

Crepe Erase First Impression

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







I'm nearly obsessed with the latest and greatest beauty and health products that help me to look my best while retaining my youth.  I've tried all sorts of creams, serums and many devices.  I suppose it might be a vanity issue or I think I just have my paternal grandmother's genes in that I put a lot of attention to appearances.  My latest and potentially greatest find is the Crepe Erase™ system.  I was definitely excited to be able to participate in this unique line of products because it addressed something that many wrinkle/youth based products don't and that is other areas other than your face.  My oldest claims I'm too critical when it comes to aging and I do notice necklines, chests, knees and elbows.  When I see the celebrities wearing next to nothing and are over 45 or so, I notice all those body parts while they have flawless faces.  To me, if I want to maintain a healthier, younger looking appearance, it means all of me.



I'm only writing this first post (review) on my initial thoughts on Crepe Erase™ system.  I will admit that I'm a stickler to packaging and I think that's the intermediate graphic artist in myself coming out.  I look for packaging that is elegant or sophisticated.  The packaging is simple with eye appealing colors.  To me, although packaging counts, the products efficacy is most important.  The packaging isn't overdone and doesn't overshadow the product.  The Exfoliating Body Polish comes in a flip top tube making it easy to apply and the Intensive Body Repair Treatment is a large mouthed, circular jar that makes it easy to scoop up a pearl shaped amount.  The fact that the Crepe Erase™ system also has Jane Seymour as a spokesperson doesn't hurt!  I gravitated towards her a bit more after seeing her cruel performance in Austenland.  I diverted a bit so back on track!

What is the Crepe Erase™ system?  It is a two part system that doesn't take a lot of time in spite of how it sounds.  

Step 1: Exfoliating Body Polish.  It is a very gently body polish that contains TruFirm which is a breakthrough firming complex that works on rejuvenating dry, aging, crepey-looking skin on the neck, chest, legs and arms. I'm going to be 47 this July and I have terrible sun damage on my chest and I'm noticing the dry, crepey-look on my neck, knees and elbows so this was wonderful to know that it works on those most neglected areas.  It exfoliates dead skin cells to help reveal smoother younger-looking skin while promoting healthy skin turnover thus making overall skin texture improved. 

Step 2:  Intensive Body Repair Treatment.  This ultra-rich formula also contains TruFirm which is their exclusive skin firming complex infused with a rejuvenating blend of botanicals to visibly smooth, firm and tighten the look of aging dry, crepey, skin on the neck, chest, legs and arms.  The nutrient rich, super-hydrating oils also provide all-day moisture and protects the skin.  It's very easy to apply and after about a minute of circular massaging, it is absorbed without a greasy feel.  Both products have no overpowering odor which I hate when a product overpowers my senses.  

To date, I've used it for three days and although I haven't noticed any visible differences, I have found the products easy to use and the instructions straight forward.  I'm looking forward to posting again after I've had time to use it accordingly.  Having a new way to help my aging skin on the neck, chest, arms and legs look firmer and younger-looking is a definite win.  

*Extra Information:

  • 100% of users said their skin instantly felt healthier.
  • After 4 weeks:
    • 94% of women reported their skin appeared plumper and more hydrated.
  • After 8 weeks:
    • 88% reported that their skin appeared less like crepe paper skin.
    • 86% said that their skin appeared renewed and rejuvenated.

*Based on Crepe Erase™ user perception studies. Individual results may vary.


Stay tuned for another update on my experiences with the Crepe Erase™ system along with some before and after side by side pictures!



#CrepeErase #sponsored #ad #ic

Maleficent Birthday Party

I'm in the process of moving yet again and my middle one is turning 12 in April.  She chose Maleficent as her party theme so I need to kick it in overdrive.  I normally use Pinterest and Word for my planning but this time, I decided to blog as I go to share what I'm doing.  I started with designing the invitation although I'm not completely sure I like this.  If I use this one, I will use my Cricut to cut out the scalloped outer circle and then my HP Printer for the glitter circled printed area.  I could have used the Silhouette but will opt to just print it and use the Cricut for the largest area.  

Invitations:

I tried another couple of examples by using a movie ticket type design and just a different background and she ended up choosing the movie ticket so here is the "current" final design followed up by the runner up's.  The envelope is actually black along with the circle and paper.









Banner:

I will also make the banner out of the same files for both the scalloped outer circle and the printer for the inner circle.  See below for an example middle section and the first letter "H" with a picture of the completed banner together.




Cupcake Picks:

The cupcake picks were also created the same way using the same shape to simplify the preparations.  I will hot glue a pick or toothpick to the back and if I don't want the back to be unsightly, I will just place another one on that side to cover it.

Book Prop:

I just ordered the book holder and will recreate the spell book with a real book to look like this.  I used old, online, manuscript paper and printed with the HP Printer after copying and pasting using the Maleficent font and clipart.



Potion Labels and Drink Bottle Labels:

Next step was putting together potion labels and drink bottle labels.  When I create the finished label, I will be using the Cricut again for the scalloped shape so the image on the bottle below is very crude but the finished image will not look like that.


Lotion/Nail Polish Bottles and Labels:

I've been playing with labels again and am probably going with these except I will print them on a light brown paper or on parchment to give it an old time feel.  I purchased the Purple 2 oz Plastic Jar Silver Lid 6 pk with Mini Jar and other bottles from Amazon.


Mini-Candy Bar Wrapper

The mini candy bar wrappers are just colored/patterned paper with purple jewels, lace and I used this horn template.




Wrapper Template




Money Coin Bank Favors:

I really like this idea but finding coin banks that are inexpensive proved to be harder than I thought.  So I'm going with these I found for $1.49 each at Church Supplier.



Wall Decorations:

I'm using this poster Maleficent - Movie Poster / Print (Regular Style 2) (Size: 24" x 36") (Poster & Poster Strip Set) and making a frame.  I also purchased these wings Hee Grand Halloween Sexy Adult Angel Feather Wings.  I'll cut out a template to make the picture outline to save money.  I found these inexpensive curtains too New 2 Pc Sexy Sheer Voile Window Curtain Panel Set Dark Purple.



I am borrowing ideas from Catch My Party.  I already purchased my glitter dust from Etsy seller A Heavenly Touch Cakes to create the cake pops in purple and green.  I will also make Rice Krispie Treats dipped half in chocolate and drizzled with colored white chocolate. 



The ornaments for the food picks were purchased from Etsy seller The Amateur Naturalist.  I also borrowed the idea from Catch My Party.  This is where a hot glue gun comes in handy for placing the ornaments on top and I'll use the HP Printer to print the flags.



I'll have my oldest make these cookies because she's good at hand drawing images and making cookies look and taste magnificent!





For some of the room decor for the set up, I just ordered this through Etsy although I could have made it with my Silhouette.



I'm still trying to decide which picture I will print from the one's I altered as well as making the candle that follows using the HP Printer and Silhouette this time.






Stay tuned for additional items as I have a little time to plan the complete party!

Doctor On Demand (DOD) is a MUST Have Service #ad

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Doctor On Demand. I received a free trial coupon code to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.




As everyone knows that with time comes advances with new technology and things will probably never look the same.  The improvements to our daily lives are a big win especially when sometimes you wonder why they didn't have something like this long before now?  What I'm talking about is the ability to see a board certified physicians, psychologists or lactation consultant via your smartphone, tablet and desktop computer! How amazing is that to not have to trudge into an office, wait in line, possible become infected with germs or taking time to leave your job?  The new concept, Doctor on Demand (DOD) is a fantastic idea!  Given I have three children and they all have chronic conditions, the last place I want to take them to is a doctor's office to pick up new germs or illnesses.  From the speed of my computer (sound and webcam needed), I can now login, search for a doctor or psychologist, select my date and time and within minutes, I have secured an appointment without leaving my computer chair!




No computer?  No problem!  All you have to do is download the Doctor on Demand app on a smartphone or tablet.  After signing up or logging in, the next step is to provide a list of your symptoms and you will be instantly connected to a provider licensed in your state for a video visit.  It honestly couldn't be easier! It took me maybe two minutes to create my account and to find a board certified psychologist to arrange a visit with.  What I liked the most about this was the ability to see a photograph of the psychologist and I was able to get a profile of their experiences and credentials.

[Image 2] Doctor on Laptop


Doctor on Demand requires no insurance and they will not be contacted.  Each visit is reasonable rated at:

  • First visit FREE with my special coupon code: HEALTH15
  • $40 for a 15 minute visit with a board certified medical physician to include pediatrics.
  • $50 for a 25 minute psychology session.

Since your first visit is free, you have nothing to lose in trying it out!

Other benefits:

  • No monthly service fees
  • Schedule appointments for yourself, your child or someone else.
  • Thorough as there is a section to add any medication you are currently taking and a variety of symptoms to check off so the physician will know more upon initiating the video visit.
  • An easy to use calendar allowing you to pinpoint an exact date and time of availability PER your schedule!
  • A text message will arrive alerting you that your physician is ready.
  • There is a four hour window allowance to cancel an appointment for any reason.

Tips to ensure a great video visit:

  • Be prepared ahead of time for your video visit as you have the 15 minute window for your visit so you don't want to login right at the time for the visit.
  • Make sure your device or computer is well charged.
  • Make sure you are sitting in a well lit and quiet area.

My Review:

My first visit was easy to complete as I received a text reminder on my iPhone informing me it was time for my visit.  I clicked on the app and it started right up.  The quality of the call will be dependent on your internet or wifi connection.  I think for my next one, I will use my desktop with webcam and microphone to have a better view and better connectivity.  The person I chose was very helpful, took the time to really care about what I wanted to say and provided feedback that was beneficial.  The only con was the call was too short but of course, she couldn't spend the day with me!  Overall, I enjoyed the call much better than trudging across the city to go into an office, to sit in a waiting room just to speak to a doctor.  This was ideal and my children's schedule wasn't affected either as they just had a little more playtime!  

If you are short on time or find it inconvenient to drive into an office, this is for you!  You don't get the in person one on one but a video conference, to me, is right up there being next to someone.  I was able to see who I was talking to and if anything, for those that aren't people persons, this is great as you don't have to interact with anyone other than the doctor.  The doctor I spoke to informed me when our time was running out in case I had other concerns or questions.  I would highly recommend this service and will use it again.

Please note, you must enter your coupon code HEALTH15 at Doctor on Demand upon registering.  You can use it immediately or store it for later.  It will request a credit card number but you will not be charged.




#FeelBetter #IC #Sponsored #ad