Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Normally I'm the person who has everything done, wrapped and bowed by Thanksgiving. Then I enjoy the Christmas season much more leisurely when I have the hustle and bustle out of the way. This year, that just did not happen. I finished up yesterday, with 2 whole days to spare. Whew.....made it. But at least throughout the past month we did manage to get necessities and fun things done. Considering how not on the ball I was, we are lucky the following happened.

Earlier we did Santa visit. Check. And got the tree up. Check. 

Olaf countdown to Christmas. Check.
Olaf Countdown

Lights in Peoria after a 37 hour wait in line. Check.
Lights (1)

Lights (2)

Gingerbread house making. Check.
Gingerbread House (1)

Gingerbread House (2)

Gingerbread House (3)

Gingerbread House (4)

Gingerbread House (5)

A holiday play at school. Ashlyn covered Mexico. Check. (She was so nervous and did so well. They all did great.)
Play (1)

Play (2)

Christmas cookies with Royal frosting for the first time ever. Check.
Christmas Cookies (1)

Christmas Cookies (2)

Toby resting peacefully in the dirty laundry. Check.
Toby Laundry

Snowman pretzel treat with the chocolate hat drying a little funky. Check.
Snowman Treat

School music program and parties. Check.
Program

The quickest family Christmas card photo ever that didn't scan in well. Check.
Christmas 2015


I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Yes, yes I do say Merry Christmas. My blog. My verbiage. And I'm down with Merry Christmas. So I hope you and your family have a great one too.




Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Foneso Essential Oil Diffuser - Review

I have been using the Foneso Essential Oil Diffuser for about a month now. I've been wanting one for a long time. This is my first one, so I have nothing to compare it too. What a great first choice.

Comes with the diffuser, power cord, measuring cup, cleaning brush and instructions.
diffuser 1

My main 2 things I wanted in a diffuser was the auto shut off option and I wanted it to cover the largest space possible. I want it for my home, not an office cubicle. So the more coverage, the better.
diffuser 2

It definitely covered those 2 needs, and more. It's a 300 ml in size. Which meant nothing to me before. But now it means it covers my kitchen, living room and down the hall. And runs for a long time.
diffuser 3

An extra feature that's neat, but was not a necessity for me, that Ashlyn just loves is it's color changing mode. You can have it automatically rotate through the colors. Leave it on one color. Or turn that part off and have none at all. When it's on, it's not super bright, just like a colored night light.
diffuser 4

The best feature's that make me really love this diffuser are:
  • it's extremely easy to use.
  • you can set it to run for 1, 3, 6 hours, or to run continuously. 
  • it will automatically shut off after the desired time you selected, or when it runs out of water. Sweet huh !
  • you can choose to have it run on high mist, or low mist. 
  • easy to fill, easy to clean, easy to use.
diffuser 5

In case by chance you'd like to truly torture yourself with a video that's at a bad angle that you can hardly hear, please feel free to watch. When I need the sink for reviews, I have no good area to set up my camcorder. I also do not have any external microphone device, and I hate to shout at everyone. 

So, hint hint to all the external microphone companies out there. I'm in dire need of one of these, I'd love to review one so everyone can hear me better. Boy, that was subtle wasn't it. To be honest, I have no idea if my camcorder has such capabilities or a mic port hole. 

Enough boring text, onto a low audio video. 


So, all you pro diffuser users out there. I'd love to know how you use yours. Tips on what helps which sickness or mood. 




I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Marble Run & Mega Set Play Mat - Reviews

I've got a couple cool ones for you today. I'm doing both in one post to make it easier and they are from the same company. And just in time for Chirstmas gift ideas !

Mega Set Play Mat by EduShape

The first is Edu-tiles Mega Set Play Mats by EduShape. We have a very tiny set of a similar tiles, about 3 or 4 inches is all. These are mega whoppers, 12x12 inches!  The size is what makes them awesome. You can do so much more, build more things, bigger things, more useful thing. Ashlyn has built a box that she fits in, a fort, over sized playpen for playing house, a tunnel and a flat mat for tumbling. Once you put them together, they stay together. So if she had an open edge (like the tunnel in the video), it stayed that way. Which just makes them that much more versatile. She's had a ton of fun playing with these. She comes up with way more uses and ideas for these than I ever would. She loves them.

edushape tile mat  
Here's the video to show you more. 








Marbulous Marble Run by EduShape

On to the next one.  Marbulous Marble Run by EduShape.  This thing was awesome. I had never seen one prior to this. You can make it as easy as you want, or as difficult depending on the age and level of your child.  It's a pretty hard plastic, so very durable. They are easy to fit together for the younger kids too. You can create so many different unique runs, and it's so fun to send all the marbles down. It's like the big event after you've made your tower. And to be honest, this is not just for kids. The adults have had just as much fun with it. Even arguing with the kids to not give pieces back to them because we weren't done yet !!  This really is one of the coolest toys I've seen in along time.

marble run

 Here's the video to show you how it works in action.




You may want to check out the other toys EduShape offers as well.  
Happy Christmas shopping this year. 




Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kombucha Band Wagon

So I tried my first Kombucha Tea the other day. Since it's all the rage right now, I just had to try it. 

Feel free to google and research the benefits on your own, but a gist of the claimed benefits are:
  1. Detoxification
  2. Digestion
  3. Energy
  4. Immune Health
  5. Joint Care
  6. Cancer Prevention
  7. Weight Loss 
Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects: Improved Digestion, Weight Loss, Increased Energy, Cleansing and Detoxification, Immune Support, Reduced Joint Pain and Cancer Prevention.

I buy one. There were 4 flavors to choose from. I check out. Unload groceries in my car. I notice some settling at the bottom, so I shake it vigorously. Because that's what you do when you see settling at the bottom of something you are about to drink. I stop occasionally to read the bottle. Lot's of information all around it. 

As I settle in to take a swig, I shake again for good measure. As I am twisting the cap, and I mean I'm in the process of twisting, no stopping mid-twist, I read the words in all caps, DO NOT SHAKE.............S.H.I.T....B.A.L.L.S.....  this stuff fizzed, foamed and squirted all over the dash, myself, seat and I set it on the floor board. Good thing for those winter mat's that catch all that melted snow. It smells very vinegary. Or maybe only when you've just bathed in it, it smells so strongly. 

Taste wise. I didn't like it and I didn't dislike it. I disliked that this shit was all over my car. 

I can only assume, as you tip it to drink it (without shaking it), the settlement works slowly and gently back into the drink. 

When making your way to your car, it's safer to put a pillow under it and do not hit any bumps along the way with your cart.


Kombucha

I really have no thought or opinion of this yet, other than it's highly explosive material. I am thinking about recommending a hazardous placard come with it.

Have you jumped on the Kombucha band wagon?  Tried it?  Your thoughts on it's benefits? Good? Bad? What ya got?


Brownies

So you know those really, really good brownie's mixed with cookies. A cookie brownie. A brownie cookie. Well, they are really, really good. 

Jamie and I each took a tiny piece from each corner. Previously, that's all that was gone. 2 very small pieces, because these are very, very thick.

After supper, Ashlyn asked if she could have one. I told her yes, but give me a minute before I can get her one. She proudly says, "I can cut it all by myself!" Knock yourself out.

This is what you have when an unsupervised 7 year old gets to cut her own brownie cookie. The gaping hole was massive. 

Jamie says, "How big a piece did you take?"

She says, "Way bigger than if Mommy would have cut it?"

Good thing it was after supper.

brownies



Peanuts Movie

Took Ashlyn and a friend to see the new Peanuts Movie. What a great movie. They loved it. I loved it. All kids and adults laughed throughout the entire movie. 

Glam squad getting their nails ready for the movie.
Peanuts Movie (1)

And glitter tattoo's.
Peanuts Movie (2)

Getting the wiggles out before leaving.
Peanuts Movie (3)

A little pizza.
Peanuts Movie (4)

Show time !!!
Peanuts Movie (5)

Breakfast with a green snake and handcuffs. Hmm.
Peanuts Movie (6)

A chilly but nice sunny day for the park.
Peanuts Movie (7)


Why is it after a sleepover, they are always so perky, and I'm always so tired?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Trick or Treat

The last 3 year's I've dressed up with Ashlyn for Halloween. I keep telling myself it's for her sake only. But really, it's just fun. I'll probably still dress up when she's grown and moved out. I only do simple, cheap and easy costume's. Not like as in, trashy hooker's cheap and easy, but like inexpensive and quick to put together. 

Ashlyn asked Jamie if he'd dress up. The day of, he said "You find me something to wear and I'll dress up."  This is a first, and you need to be careful what you say or ask for, because we deliver. 

He was probably not thrilled to dress up to the extent of an actual costume and character. He's also probably not thrilled to have evidence of it on this blog. My blog, my rules. Plus, he doesn't read the blog, so it's a win-win. 

Moving onward. Here we are, Mr and Mrs Scarecrow and the Candy Corn Witch. In proper scarecrow form.

Halloween Trick or Treat 010

Mama and her little witch. (She probably thinks that comment should be reversed.)
Halloween Trick or Treat 009

Some houses have the cutest decorations. One house had fantastic scenery, I'd have loved to bring my big camera for a few good photo's of her at their house, but it was dark by then and I didn't want to carry it around. 
Halloween Trick or Treat 005

Just a nicer pic of us all. And go figure, Jamie smiled. He NEVER smiles in picture's. But you throw a scarecrow costume on him and look. Guess I know what photo will go on the Christmas card this year.
Halloween Trick or Treat 003

And of course, we had chili waiting for us for supper when we got home. The first 4 houses we went to had chili as well. Must be the Halloween night supper of choice.
Halloween Trick or Treat 001


Hope you all had a great Halloween.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Girls Camping Weekend

Last camping post of the season, I promise ! But this one was different, it was a girls camping weekend. Our 1st Annual Girls Camping Weekend. Only change for next year may be to bump it up to September. We hit that first freeze weekend. The sub-freezing temps. During the day it was great, but was pretty cold at night. 

I said to Ashlyn, "Do NOT disturb these geese."
Girls Camping Wknd (21)

This was literally 2 seconds later.
Girls Camping Wknd (22)


Here's a little video of picture's. We didn't take a lot of picture's for some reason. Must have been having too much fun.  

 
Music by Sophia Grace - Girls Just Gotta Have Fun



Painting Pumpkins

We tried to camp as much as we could this October, using every nice weekend we could. We brought our pumpkins with us and painted them there. Which was fun and I didn't worry about the mess near as much. Bonus ! Ashlyn and I put together a video of the picture's. Since she helped choose, she picked out much more than I would have. You will definitely see every single pumpkin being painted, and every angle you could think of seeing them in. Then just a few other boring camping picture's that you could probably care less about. 




 Did you carve or paint pumpkins this year?



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fun with Friends

One of the cutest little shop's ever had face painting recently. It's called Paxton's Corner Coop. They ice cream. Oh lordy, do they have ice cream. And cupcakes. Heavenly cupcakes. And cookies. Roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head cookies. Cinnamon rolls. I haven't tried these yet, but don't you think for one minute that I won't soon. So baked goods that are out of this world and with throw your diet for a tail spin since it's impossible to stay out of this place. And they have eggs. The eggs are delish! They are hormone free, antibiotic free and humanely raised free range eggs. 

On to the face painting that Paxton's had for the kids. 

Elsa painted the faces. She attends many fairs and events all over. She's is soooo good.
face paint (1)

Ashlyn was obviously Hello Kitty, her friends were Anna and a tiger.
face paint (2)

face paint (3)

face paint (4)

face paint (5)

face paint (6)

Just in case Halloween is cold and crappy and I don't get a decent picture. Ashlyn is a Candy Corn Witch.
Candy Corn Witch (1)

Candy Corn Witch (2)

She went with a friend to Boo at the Zoo. So we have a Candy Corn Witch, a Monster High character (I don't know the names, sorry) and Mal from the Descendants movie. 
(The following picture's were stolen from the Mom who took these 3 to the zoo. She may not know I stole them yet, so if and when she reads this...please can I? and thank you kindly, for letting me steal your pic's for my blog).
Boo at the Zoo (1)

Boo at the Zoo (2)

Boo at the Zoo (3)

Boo at the Zoo (4)

Boo at the Zoo (5)


Love the holidays. So fun.


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