Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sour Patch Smoothie

This is it for 2015, so why not go out with a bang or a sour I guess. The new year is all about trying new things and if you like sour like we do then this should be on the top of your list. Plus, with only three ingredients this smoothie just couldn't get any easier.

Strawberry Sour Patch Smoothie

4 cups strawberries (or other berry of your choice)
1 can lemon/lime soda
1/2 a packet of sugar free lemonade mix (you can add more if you like it super sour)

Toss it all in a blender and run until smooth. Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Gift Bottles

Every year I have to think up something creatively cheap to give out as neighborhood gifts. Something that is festive, creative, cheap, but also looks like I spent a lot of time and money and gave it a lot of thought. Why do I do this to my self? I have no good explanation! So for those of you also frantically searching the blog-o-sphere, here is a simple, fun, easy idea that is also basically FREE!

Here's what you need to make your own Holiday Gift Bottles;
Starbucks Frappuccino bottles and wrapping paper. That's it! Well, not including the incidentals like a circle cutter or scissors, tape or glue, and whatever you plan to fill the bottles with, but let's just call this a two item projects so it still sounds super easy.

The frappuccino bottles are so cute and if you don't drink them, ask a friend or check yard sale groups to buy empty ones for cheap. I sold the one's I didn't use on this project for 10 cents each. Once you've gathered your bottles, measure the lid and cut circle to the same size. I wanted the white rim to show so I did them the size of the logo area. A swipe of double sided tape and you are all set. Then just fill the bottle with whatever you like. Candies, hot coco mix, mug cake mix, or our personal choice, concord grape juice from our vines. If you chose to use these for a canned item you will be pleased to know that they do reseal and can be used for canned goodies. So our neighbors can enjoy their juice now or save it for later, but let's be honest it's just too good to wait and that bottle is just to cute not to pop it right open!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

And The Winner is

No, I couldn't believe it either, but as luck would have it we are now the proud owners of a very awesome Ryobi 12" miter saw. It's all thanks to Amy over at HerToolBelt and of course Ryobi Nation. You can see the amazing bookcase Amy made (and where we entered) here. We won't be making anything quite so fancy for a bit, but this will be put to great use as we have just about reached the trim phase of our basement remodel (pictures and projects to come, I promise). Now we just have to convince the mini man that this saw doesn't belong to him so we can use it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Healthy Family Giveaway

We are excited to partner with Mommy Scene and celebrate Fall and the launch of a new product — Sudsy Dough moldable soap on Kickstarter! What better way to celebrate than with a Healthy Family Giveaway featuring some great family-focused products! Be sure to check out the Sudsy Dough Kickstarter Campaign, our review of Yummi Pouch, and all the other prizes below and enter to win!

Heathy Family Giveaway Prizes - Mommy Scene

Sudsy Dough

Prize: 2 tubs of Sudsy Dough moldable bath soap, 12 ounces each
Heathy Family Giveaway - Sudsy Dough - Mommy Scene

Now on Kickstarter! Sudsy Dough is a interactive bath toy that doubles as a moldable scented dough and a cleansing sensory soap! Sudsy Dough was created by a mom to make bath time fun for her own daughter. Kids can squeeze and squish Sudsy Dough in the bath, rub it on as a cleansing body wash, or take it outside the tub and make custom shapes that will dry into soaps. Each ball also has a surprise bath toy hidden inside! Sudsy Dough is offering some great rewards to thank their campaign supporters — all deliverable before Christmas for a great gift!

See the Sudsy Dough Kickstarter »

Piggy Paint Hug Life Gift Set

Prize: Hug Life Gift Set with 3 shades of non-toxic nail polish including Let's Flamingle, Wild Child, and Periwinkle Little Star Piggy Paint is a natural, eco-friendly nail polish for kids. It's non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula makes it safe to use on all piggies. Piggy Paint dries to a hard, durable finish that can easily be removed with the eco-friendly, low odor Piggy Paint nail polish remover. Both are made in the USA!
Heathy Family Giveaway - Piggy Paint - Mommy Scene

SOPHi Nai Polish

Prize: 2 shades of SOPHi natural nail polish for adults plus SOPHi's PRIME + SHINE + SEAL System for maximum durability From the maker of Piggy Paint, the non-toxic nail polish for kids, SOPHi is a natural nail polish in SOPHisticated colors for adults. These polishes are virtually odorless, eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and made in the USA. SOPHi is free of all harsh chemicals and does not cause nails to yellow or become brittle.

Baby Comfy Care

Prize: Baby Comfy Deluxe Safety Nail Clipper
Heathy Family Giveaway - Baby Comfy Care - Mommy Scene

The patented single-blade design of Baby Comfy Nail won't cut baby's skin. Baby Comfy Nail Deluxe safety clippers have only one blade! The bottom flat plastic ledge pushes baby's skin back out of the way while the top blade cuts the nail... and only the nail. The unique ergonomic design and larger size makes it easier to hold and operate when you don't want to make a mistake. The design also protects from cutting too closely to the sensitive nail bed.

Leaf Therapeutic

Prize: Leaf Skin Therapy Lotion - 2 ounces
Heathy Family Giveaway - Leaf Therapy Lotion - Mommy Scene

Leaf Skin Therapy Lotion features a formula that is both hydrating and healing for damaged skin, without using toxic preservatives. Leaf Skin Therapy Lotion uses natural and safe (and expensive!) fermented radish root and goldenseal extract. It is safe enough to use on babies and, although this lotion was specially designed for people with eczema and other dry skin conditions, it works great on normal skin, too. Best of all, it has an extremely low toxicity rating on the Environmental Working Group website. If you are looking for an ultra-hydrating, hypoallergenic, unscented lotion, this is the lotion for you!

Little Standout

Prize: 100% Silicone Diamond Teething Toy
Heathy Family Giveaway - Little Standout - Mommy Scene

Add a little bling to your day with Little Standout's 100% silicone Diamond Teether! Made for tiny hands and achy gums, our silicone teethers are non-toxic and free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, cadmium and all that other yucky stuff you don't want to see your baby putting into their mouth. They are dishwasher safe, making them super easy to clean and totally awesome!

Young Living

Prize: One Bottle of OrthoEase massage oil, one Oola Book + samples from Young Living
Heathy Family Giveaway - Young Living - Mommy Scene

OrthoEase massage oil soothes and warms tired and stressed bodies, helping to combat the damaging effects of everyday activities. With a calming blend of oils, it will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. OrthoEase contains: coconut oil, wintergreen, peppermint, juniper, eucalyptus, lemongrass, marjoram, thyme, vetiver, sweet almond oil, and olive oil. The international bestselling book "Oola, Find Balance in an Unbalanced World. The 7 areas you need to balance and grow to live the life of your dreams" is written by Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl. This book inspired Young Living's Infused 7 Line. As a Mom and wife, I strive to provide my family with a lifestyle of wellness and abundance. My life has changed since November 2014, using Young Living Essential Oils. I have less anxiety, more peace, more energy and an overall sense of well being. Not only do I apply and diffuse them every day, I cook and clean with them and save tons of money. Our body is our greatest asset. The healthier we are and better we feel, the more we can enjoy life, our families, friends and go after our dreams. Each day we get older and each day we are given a fresh new opportunity to age better, to have more joy, energy and focus and to truly experience "young living". Follow me for upcoming class updates and daily Oily Living.
Erika Miller
Independent Distributor
Young Living Essential Oils

Baby Buddy

Prize: Baby Buddy 360 Toothbrush (Step 1 & Step 2)
Heathy Family Giveaway - Baby Buddy - Mommy Scene

The Baby Buddy 360 degree toothbrush is truly innovative - it is the world's first 360 degree designed toothbrush. Developed in the Osaka University Dental Hospital of Japan, the 360 Toothbrush has unparalleled cleaning power thanks to over 10,000 micro fine bristles - 10 times more than the average toothbrush. Circular rings firmly hold bristles in place, while spacing washers between bristle layers make it more effective for removing plaque and keeping the brush clean. Works great for cleaning the tongue and for massaging gums. Take a 360 Toothbrush to work, out camping, or on the road, as it may be used effectively with water alone when you are on the go. Available as Step 1 for ages 4-24 month olds and as Step 2 for 2-12 year olds.

Genesis 950

Prize: Gallon of Genesis 950 & spray bottle
Heathy Family Giveaway - Genesis 950 - Mommy Scene

Genesis 950 is a green, all purpose cleaner that makes cleaning your home safe. Genesis 950 is free of harsh chemicals and works as a concentrate with water to break the bonds of stains by making them water soluble. When a stain becomes water soluble, it can then be broken down and flushed from the surface. In doing so it removes the toughest stains and biggest messes.

Babycook Pro

Prize: Babycook Pro Original Baby Food Maker, prize color may vary - winner may be able to select preferred color if in stock
Heathy Family Giveaway - Babycook Pro - Mommy Scene

babycook pro is the original baby food maker on the market. It makes up to 4.7 cups of food in a sleek, patented countertop appliance that steam cooks, blends and reheats all-in-one, in 15 minutes or less. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, then simply defrost and reheat right in babycook. Steam cooking locks in vitamins and nutrients, a multi-purpose mixing blade provides just the right texture, the timer has an audible alert to tell you when meals are ready, and all of this with total one-handed operation. This appliance is loaded with features that make any parent a "pro" in baby food preparation.

Sip & Spin

Prize: Sip & Spin Straw Cup
Heathy Family Giveaway - Sip & Spin - Mommy Scene

The Sip & Spin straw cup has a unique fun-factor - a pinwheel in the lid that spins as you sip. Playful artwork on the pinwheel disc coordinates with the cup art, creating an engaging drinking experience for your child. The racing trucks and soaring butterflies can encourage playing kids to take a water break, cheer up and rehydrate a sick child, or motivate a toddler to transition from a bottle or spouted sippy to a straw cup. As parents, we know what a pain it can be to clean kids' cups, so we made sure all the components come apart easily for cleaning and are dishwasher safe. The Sip & Spin straw cup is a cute gift and a fun way to keep kids hydrated... Hydration Motivation!


Prize: kidSTAT First Aid Kit
Heathy Family Giveaway - kidSTAT - Mommy Scene

kidSTAT is targeted for active toddlers and kids. This kit is equipped with hospital-grade products to treat the most common childhood emergencies: aches+sprains, bites+burns, and cuts+scrapes. kidSTAT has easy-to-follow, first-aid instructions to reassure you when your child is in distress. Together with "red flags" warnings on when to seek medical attention, this comprehensive kit was designed by moms, who happen to be ER doctors, too.
kidSTAT contains:

91 items
Doctor-written, step-by-step instructions
Full-sized items, latex & BPA free
Hospital-grade products
Red flags to go to the ER
Emergency contact/Pediatric CPR card

Pacific Baby

Prize: Natural Feeding Starter Set - Green
Heathy Family Giveaway - Pacific Baby - Mommy Scene

Made from Natural Bamboo. Safe & Healthy. Machine Washable and Biodegradable.

Yummi Pouch

Prize: Yummi Pouch Brights Reusable Food Pouches
Heathy Family Giveaway - Yummi Pouch - Mommy Scene

Yummi Pouch Brights (Set of 4) combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and enjoyed by drinking from the side spout, Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are great for kids taking healthy snacks on the go. Includes set of 4 assorted patterns.

Enter to win these great prizes!

This contest is sponsored by Mommy Scene and is open to US entries. One winner will be chosen and displayed on the giveaway widget after the contest ends on Oct. 8th, 2015. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It got cold here this week, which means it's time to fire up the oven and start baking. To get us in the fall mood I decided to do a huge batch of my very favorite cookie, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. These are warm and fluffy bites of pure fall time bliss. If you need to scale down the recipe be aware that I base my measurements off the 29 oz. cans of pumpkin they sell at Costco. You can also freeze the cookies (they are just as tasty frozen) or batter (minus dry ingredients) to bake later.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies
(144 servings)


  • 1-1/2 cups butter
  • 4-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 29 oz. can pumpkin (appx.  3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a separate bowl; gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until light brown. Cool on wire racks.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Peach Feezer Jam

The end of summer means it's time for peaches. We only have one tree, but even when I remember to thin it out, we get a ton of peaches. There is always more than enough to eat and make my very favorite No-pectin peach jam. I'm low on effort for canning anything, so recipes that I can freeze or make quickly, with minimal ingredients, are right up my alley.

The real trick is having any of this make it to the freezer, as we tend to eat it almost as fast as it cools down. Nothing in the world beats buttered toast with fresh peach jam! Yum!

No-Pectin Freezer Peach Jam

  • 6 pounds peaches
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups sugar 

1) Low boil peaches until the skins easily slide off. Peel and pit peaches and place in a large pot. Add the lemon juice and mash them together with a potato masher to desired consistency (chunks will break down a bit more while cooking so keep that in mind if you like it chunky).
2) Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches about 210-220 degrees F and thickens, about 25-30 minutes (I never test the temperature, just boil until it looks good). 
3) Ladle the jam into sterilized jars and cool then refrigerate/freeze. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Teddybear Washcloth

Anyone of my friends or family, or friends of family, or friends of friends, who has had a baby recently has gotten from, or come to me for, a baby basket. One thing I include in every single basket I make is a teddybear washcloth. They are so cute and super simple to make. All you need are some washcloths and clear elastics (I bought a huge container of these at the dollar store). Once you get the hang of it you can make these out of anything. They are adorable when made with receiving blankets!

Step by Step
  1. Lay two wash cloths one on top of the other. The top color will be the inside tummy color when finished.
  2. Roll the outside edges into the middle.
  3. Flip over and fold down about 1/3 of the roll.
  4. Flip back over and twist the longer section over once, does not matter which direction you twist.
  5. Flip over one more time.
  6. Put an elastic around a little bit down from the top . This will be the head.
  7. Push back the small rolled sections to expose the inside washcloth. You'll have to work it open under the elastic a bit. This will create the face and tummy areas.
  8. Pinch the top corners of the head and add elastics to make ears. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Burger Bake and Hellmann's Review

This post is a two for one, you get a review and a yummy recipe all rolled into one. Influenster just sent us a bottle of Hellmann's mayonnaise to review. Let me start by saying I love the new bottle design. Easy to squeeze, no mess, and nothing wasted. The Mayo is great with just enough tang and no sour taste. Just a good creamy mayo. With that out of the way, on to the food!

My kids love burgers but rarely do I have everything on hand to make them for just us on our average week night. So this recipe is for those nights when you are craving a good burger but don't have the fixings. You may notice from my photos we didn't even have buns or rolls, we used hot dog buns, and it still turned out great.

It's a pretty basic stack and bake recipe. Bun, meat, cheese, bun, glaze, bake, and devour! Enjoy!

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
1 (10-oz) can Diced Tomatoes
2 cups shredded cheese (whatever type your prefer)
12 dinner rolls

½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Brown ground beef in a pan. We did not add any seasoning to the meat in this recipe, but if you like you should season as the meat browns. Add the onion (optional) and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and onions are golden. Stir in drained tomatoes until well combined. Place bottom half of buns in the prepared pan. Top with beef mixture and cheese. Finish off with the top half of the bun. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a sauce pan over medium heat until melted and combined. Pour over the buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Makes: 12 burgers.

I received all products complimentary from Influenster.
The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Graduation Money Origami

It's that time of year again, when school goers of all ages are graduating. So instead of just slapping some money in a card, I say why not have a little fun, origami style!

I had to search high and low to find a mortarboard (graduation cap) money origami that had the tassel included. These instructions are from Green Origami Gifts by Sy Chen, so unfortunately I can't post his step-by-steps directly.

These are actually really easy to fold, but if you are scared, practice with a piece of scrap paper before you fold the bill. Even though it has the tassel folded already, I decided to add some twine in school colors. Just a fun little touch and way cooler than just handing someone cash!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Carefree Liners Review

Time for another Influenster VoxBox, this one brought to us by Carefree®. For review this month we got to try out some panty liners as part of the #FreshisFierce campaign. I let 'A' try these out as well to give her opinion, so this one is a dual review.

As far as size, shape, and coverage these are great liners. The sticky backing covers the entire back to give a smooth adhesion. However, this doesn't prevent bunching up during physical activity. 'A' says she would not wear these to gym ever again.

Moisture absorption is fine but the plastic baking really traps humidity against the body making you feel very sweaty, which is not a comfortable thing.

Finally the surface of these is soft but with long term (day long) wear there is pilling on the surface, which is uncomfortable.

All in all I would say that for short term, low activity, or over night wear, these would be fine liners. Otherwise I would go with something else.

I received all products complimentary from Influenster.
The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Apple Pie Coleslaw

Spring to me means the beginning of salad season. We have some sort of salad with just about every meal during the warmer months so I've had to come up with some variety and surprises to having the normal boring tossed green salad every night. With that in mind, I thought I'd share one of our favorites.

Apple Pie Coleslaw
1 small head cabbage
1 large green apple
2 stalks celery
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
pinch Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or sour cream)
1 tsp. lemon juice

Shred or thinly chop cabbage. Cut apple and celery into small chunks. If your prefer, you may thinly slice apples. Place in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well coated. Serves appx 10.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pink Papaya Hand Scrub Review

Lucky us, this month the lovely Brooke from Pink Papaya Spa and Beauty sent us some Pink Papaya Cranberry Orange Hand Scrub to review. Right out of the box I fell in love with this scrub. Even the container is wonderful with it's mirror like shine and adorable little spoon. But what's not to love about tiny spoons?

First things first, I gathered a little intell on the company. It's a home based sales company, yes, but I think it's their products that make them different.  They source USA ingredients and manufacture 98% of their products in the USA. They are part of the Natural Products Association and offer 100% natural botanically based products. I'm kind of a naturals snob when it come to products claiming to be natural because most in fact contain all sorts of chemicals. That is not the case here. The ingredients list for this particular item reads like a grocery list: Sugar, Sweet Almond Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed, Vitamin E, Corn Oil, Fragrance, and Papaya Extract. No parabeans, no PEG's, and no dyes, so we'll let them off the hook for the added "fragrance," for now.

Now for the good part, trying it out. This is where that cute little spoon comes in to play. That tiny scoop of scrub is all you need, really. It has a great oily grit that really rubs off the dead skin. Rub and scrub and enjoy the smell. The cranberry orange combination reminds me of pink grapefruit and is very pleasant, if not a bit strong (probably don't even need that extra fragrance they add). Scrub, rinse, pat dry and then, if you are anything like me, this is where you realize the oil has stayed on your hands leaving them silky soft and smooth and you will waste the next ten minutes caressing them. The smooth skin stays through several hand washings and even days later your hands are still softer than normal. Rub in a dollop of coconut oil after drying and they stay soft even longer.

So the final real test was to use this after cutting onions to see if it can remove the smell as claimed. And the results? It really does eliminate that terrible onion smell from your hands. I'm now keeping this by the kitchen sink so I remember to use it when ever I cook with something strong smelling like onions.

If you'd like to order hand scrub or any of the other wide variety of products offered you can visit Brooke at OR find her on Facebook at Pink Papaya Spa and Beauty.

I received all products complimentary from Pink Papaya Spa and Beauty.
The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.