Sunday, July 31, 2016

Let's Recycle with Pinterest

  Again in case you have never checked out Pinterest I will help you get acquainted with them.  They are a platform above any and all you have ever met.  It is a clearinghouse of everything.  If you want to make a cake, make your own play dough or make a dinosaur out of toilet paper rolls.  You will find several variations and several skill levels all available at your fingertips.

  Since I receive products I have a fair share of boxes, bubble wrap and tissue paper passing through so why not use some of that?  Today's lucky recycle job pertains to bubble wrap.  Did you know if you get enough bubble wrap in a week even kids stop playing with it.

I actually used a small piece of bubble wrap but if you have a larger piece your in charge of how many pieces or the size of your end result.
Shower cap
You also need construction paper
White paint

 The jellyfish!
  The jellyfish was so fun to see after we were done.  Grab a shower cap that you took from the complimentary bowl at the last hotel you stayed at! I know I'm not the only one to help myself. This makes this craft kind of free.  Cut strips from your bubble wrap.  How many tentacles is your call.  Glue them on around the bottom of the cap.  We hung ours in the door way but, with some fishing line and a few more jellyfish cut at multiple heights dangling down from your ceiling would make a pretty neat scene for an underwater party.

Mary had a little lamb!  My 3 year old made this craft.  I cut out the bubble wrap into the sheep shape and he did the rest.  He painted it white.  He glued the eyes and head on and then added the eyes.  This would be a great craft to accompany a certain nursery song or story pertaining to sheep!  Paint the sheep any color to accommodate your theme. (Baa Baa black sheep)

  There you go two ideas I pulled off Pinterest that I declare a #pinterestwin.   Minimal artistic talent necessary, accessible supplies and easy to make even if your trying to fill a short period of time.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Silk Yogurt (review)

  I recently tried Silk Dairy-free Yogurt Alternative strawberry flavor.   

I picked it up easily at my local grocery store.  Also available that day was peach and mango but there are a variety of other flavors to choose from.

Upon opening the yogurt you can visibly see the chunks of berries blended into the creamy base.  Consistency is definitely the same as traditional yogurt.  Flavor is definitely not.  This is a soy-based yogurt and even if you didn't know you can tell something is different.

I thought the flavor was ok.  I would like to try a different flavor to see if maybe my favorite just wasn't strawberry this time.  However if I was looking for a quick, healthy snack the 5.3 oz portion would be fine.

I tried to have fun with it after initial tasting some of it and choose to add it as a base to a smoothie bowl.

I added a couple tablespoons of the yogurt with some frozen bananas into a blender along with a few splashes of

 Silk Nutchello Chocolate with walnuts and blended it all together.  

I ate this bowl and had a little left to pop in the freezer to see how that would turn out.

My goal is to maybe buy a little more and turn them into popsicles and feed them to the unsuspecting children if the taste tests go well with them.  

They don't have to avoid dairy but 9 grams of protein is a nice bonus to slide in them! 

I was provided a coupon to purchase these Silk products  from Crowdtap for review purposes and all opinions stated are my own.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mother Can You Not? (Book review)

  Let's get serious for a moment.  We all know that one person that provides unsolicited advice, ideas and comments.  What we do with that information and how we act all depends on who it is giving it to us.  Co-workers, friends or family all get a variety of reactions, agreements or lack of compliance.  What if it was all coming from your ever-so-wise mother.  Do you have to listen to all of it and utilize it? Do you sift through it and grab what pertains to you? Do you ignore it and brush it under the rug.

  This book is filled with hilarity to the brink.  My mother personally didn't provide me with half of the information this momma provides and you know what I may have missed out; or did I?

  This book strolls through the day and life of a mother and daughter duo! They took on the world as a team.  Momma always in the stands cheering, supporting and encouraging her daughter on!

  Suggestions weren't even settle or mild for the author as a young girl.  Momma saw her daughters goals and was willing to walk a narrow line to get things done.

  This book is a mix of pre-adolescent, young adult and adult situations.  A variety of conversations via direct communication as well as text messages.  Each chapter brings a smile and a chuckle I guarantee.

  Pick up this book as it is a quick read and worth keeping on your coffee table or other focal point in your house for a great conversation starter piece.

  I was provided this book for review purposes and although it looked like I really enjoyed it (I did) all opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bucketlist Idea for Kids

  One unconventional idea I had for my daughter (only because she was a little older) was to get her in the kitchen and more familiar with the surroundings.  I wanted her to help prepare 3 meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Along with desserts: cookies, cake and pudding.

  We won't make more than one item a day and even after the items are made I ask her what she used to make it.  My hope is after a few times, we will make a binder of recipes for her reference and eventually she'll be able to make items independently with supervision.

  First meal was dinner!  Spaghetti to be exact.  A full meal with many deviations but easy to make.

Getting the noodles out was the easy part! Breaking them in half was more of a challenge.  Is it really necessary? Probably not but I break them out of habit.

Ground turkey was our meat of choice.  Open the container easiest with a utensil then the disaster I could foresee coming with just a 2 hour finger poke fight with that plastic.

  I opened the jar for her.  She is still practicing how to open her milk from McDonald's.  Young chef we add a little water to the jar to get all the sauce!

  She did great.  She knew all ingredients and I actually cooked the meat for her. Otherwise I would probably put her in a full body chemical suit to cook up sizzling meat in a frying pan.

  Sadly I didn't snap a picture of the finished product but rest assured it looked like all other spaghetti dishes.  Sadder news was that for the record I have proven over and over again even when you let your children cook with you doesn't mean they are going to eat it.

  She ate her garlic bread and slurped up some noodles but the majority of her meal was not consumed.  I can't wait for the day to come where she eats.  Maybe that's another reason I'm getting her in the kitchen more often.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Bucketlist

  Summer is in full swing.  We are trying to take advantage of it and enjoy it around the extreme heat and rain.  I don't usually make a list; but instead just go explore and have fun however this year I decided to make one.  I made a list of places and activities I would like to do this summer for both myself and my kids.

  I made a list for both because their are somethings on mine that are not for children and just things I would like to do.  Now I may not get to all the items on either list but I sure hope so and will try.

  I initially made the list but asked for other choices when I was done but the kids will tend to say things they have already done throughout the year.  I think Chuck E. Cheese and us can take a break for a bit.  So on my lit are places and activities that I know they would like but are not fully aware of to even suggest.  I know that after they experience some of them they will be happy to have done it.

  Planned activities for my kids are: water balloon fight, badminton game, boat ride, fishing, nighttime fun like cooking s'mores and collecting lightening bugs.  Some planned places include camping, museums,  water park and even McDonald's so they can play in the play area.

  We have a pony swim that I would like the kids to see and maybe get them to a cavern!  My list includes a trip to Biltmore Estates  and  train ride.  I personally am considering a white water raft trip, indoor skydiving and a trip to a flower field!

  Of course this is a portion of my summer bucket list.  It's nice to have it organized and to cross an item off when we have done it.  We will still do the summer fun things like going to the beach, swimming at the pool, visiting a park or playground and take advantage of the kids free and budget deals like attending the movies, bowling and summer library programs.

  Follow us as we visit new places and experience new things this summer.  Hopefully it will inspire you with your family to try something new as well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Beans in the Brownies (pinterest challenge day 13)

  First off if your following me on Instagram you should have already seen my video if not jump over there for a short interrogation by my child.  She knew we were going to have brownies today but was not too sure about the use of beans.  I tried to tell her we had them before and all was well but she didn't remember probably because I didn't tell her about them.

  My challenge today was bean brownies!  Why not!  Do you think the more I actually let them know what's in their food the more likely they are to actually try it outside of what I cook it in?  Hmm, your probably right, probably not.  So until then I will randomly feed them goodies with veggies.  I look forward to the day one of them wakes up and says hey mom I'm feeling really healthy today what happened.

  There are so many options you can choose on Pinterest.  You can search just brownies but I selected bean brownies.  That was the easy part after that you have to scroll through dozens of option until your content with one.  Sometimes this is easy based on ingredients I have on hand, 3 ingredient recipes, no bake, or quick preps.  So many choices.  Lucky for you, you can always add them to a board or just like it so that it's saved for another day.

  Todays recipe was brownies with beans.

I added the batter to the pan and let the kids smell it before I put it in the oven.  I asked what it smelled like.  They could identify chocolate as they searched to see the beans.  Everything was run through the food processor so there was very little proof of them in the batter.

Brownies done and cooling.  They spent 18 minutes cooking and making the air smell delicious so when they were done, you couldn't help but want one.

Brownies are served better with a glass of milk

Supper easy recipe.  Everything goes in the food processor then poured in the pan.  The texture was the same as a traditional brownie.  The flavor was high in chocolate and no bean flavor at all.  The kids saw the whole process and still couldn't be stopped or slowed down with the beans. Chocolate trumps beans.  10 minutes of resting and I served up a piece to everyone.  The chocolate was still gooey and melted on your fingers.  2 kids loved these brownies and wanted more so you know what that means? #Pinterestwin!

  All my pinterest challenges can be found on my pinterest challenge board.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Healthy Muffins (pinterest challenge)

  So you know how your having a good day until your kids have plucked your last nerve.  Well I got them back today!  It seemed like I had to tell them multiple times to do several things today.  All of this during our celebratory dress like a cow at Chick Fil A and even after.  I even let them play on the playground.  

  Todays dinner was an easy one.  Hotdogs, mac and cheese and a side of carrots.  Only one of those is acceptable by the children.  However due to lack of time to eat ice cream at lunchtime the negotiation was all dinner had to be eaten before the ice cream was consumed.  One point for mom for that plan.  One poor child was compliant!

  Enter my devious plan to get those children.  Pinterest Challenge for day 12.  Muffins!

 Spinach muffins!  I'll show those kids.  The green I was concerned about but they are always trying to steal my pistachio muffins so I thought I was ok there.

  While they were napping I made this batch and worked quickly to get them in the oven before my plan was blown.  I had to make the dry ingredients bowl was complete before I turned on the blender.

Look what else gets thrown in! Bananas!

  All the dry ingredients got mixed with the wet mix from the blender then scooped into the muffin tray.

  They smelled amazing when they were cooking.  I m not sure if it was the bananas or the cinnamon.  Even when one child came down she said how good something smelled.

  Can I have a muffin, momma?  Yes, yes you can honey!  Can I just saw that was the first thing she took a bite of too.  She even let me know it smelled better up close.  However I did get multiple questions.  Why's it this color? Are there chocolate chips in here? What kind of muffin is it?  A good one that's what kind it is, lol.

  Who cares if it's a pea green unattractive color! This momma just fed her kids a muffin with bananas and spinach in it.  Hehe I feel almost evil.

  I would like to reduce the sugar (3/4 cups) and maybe up the spinach and bananas to make it a wee bit healthier.  The recipe was really easy to make.  Blending everything in a blender makes the mixing easier.  The recipe did have a quick prep time too.  I would have to say with 2 kids (other child ate one and tried several times to try and steal another) wanting second muffins this is a #pinterestwin!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Multiple Elmer (Pinterest Challenge)

  Have you read Elmer?  It is a book about an elephant, a multi colored elephant.  One who gets tired of feeling different.  He wants to be the same as everyone else. His present state of a patchwork of all colors makes him feel self conscience.  He decides to paint himself gray like his friends.  He eventually figures out what happens when you try to act like something you are not.

 The story of Elmer tries to teach us that we are the way we are and sometimes when we try to change who we are and it's really not necessary.  The people you have in your life accept you and like you for who you are.  Kids need reinforcement to know that their differences are no excuse to change and certainly no reason to make fun of people.

  To emphasize the beauty of Elmer we made some crafts to go along with the book.  We started with a color by number sheet.  My daughter had to follow directions to color the appropriate numbers.  However you could just skip the directions and color Elmer whatever colors you want.  That's the true fun of this book.

The second craft we did was to recycle good old toilet paper rolls.  She selected a color of her choice and we constructed an elephant.

Lastly we pulled out the Legos.  My daughter is getting better with directions.  Legos make it easy to assemble their projects.  Step by step she followed the instructions to build her very own Elmer.

  Reading a book and following it up with a craft or two helps your child in multiple ways.  A child is able to recreate a scene, reflect on a important point or summarize the overall story.  Creating a project is not only fun, the child is making a lasting memory of a story as well as bringing it to life.  We found all our projects on Pinterest.

  Pinterest is a great resource to tie books together.  With a little research you can find projects including  crafts, food, coloring sheets, lesson plans as well as other theme related books.

  We had fun with this project and I can't wait to read and craft another book with the kids.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stop and Smell the Flowers (Pinterest Challenge Day 10)

  Another craft project but one you or kids can make! Afterall aren't we always looking for something for the kids to do?  This project can even be given away which is a bonus.

  I picked up some tissue paper the other day for another craft that I probably will never do but hey; I am doing one now so it all worked out.

  Grab some tissue paper, a circle shape to trace, scissors and a pipecleaner.

  I actually picked up my tissue paper variety pack at the dollar store so I'm not breaking the bank.

 I used the lid of a container to make a circle shape and cut it out.  I folded the paper a few times so by the time I cut the circles it was about 10 circles or so.

  After that you make a hole to punch in your stem and pull some of it up.  I twisted the tip a bit to get to stay in place.

   Next you start to crinkle/roll your flower.  Take each circle and bunch it up to make your flower full.

That's it.  By the time you are done with each circle to your flower you should have a very close paper resembling a flower.

  Think of the endless possibilities now.  I used yellow and only made one but, different colors and even a bouquet of flowers in a vase.  I'm just saying bridal shower, baby shower, birthday or Mother’s Day these flowers can help decorate any area.

  I declare this a #pinterestwin!  Super easy craft. A cute flower at the end of an easy process.  Endless possibilities with colors, cuts and could even spray some scent on there.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cheers to my Pinterest Challenge

  I have been stalking this idea/concept for about a week.  It took me awhile to get one ingredient.  I have a hard time with stepping out of the box and trying something without it being written down, so I just kept looking for this bottle at all the stores I went in.

Today I found the last ingredient and was going to make this drink!  It is so neat to see and I want to be responsible for making it happen.  You may not be impressed but my kids will be. Lol, one point for mom is good enough for me.

Apparently this is a great science project so my homeschool friends add this to your lessons.  The more sugar the heavier the drink.  So each drink you add has to be less than the previous one.

I started with red of course.  This red juice had the highest sugar percentage so it went in the glass first and straight to the bottom.

Next up was the med level sugar content drink.  My white drink was a coconut drink.  I thought about lemonade and wasn't sure if the color would be visible so I followed the directions and picked up a coconut drink. 

Can you see it?  Because  I can see it or at least I think I can see it.  At this point I'm so excited!  I have red and white; one more level and this is a winner.

  Blue! I added the blue and it swallowed up the white. This made me sad.  I was still happy yo see the color contrast but will need to work on this drink a little more.

  I used juice on the bottom, Sobe Coconut drink in the middle and a blue Gatorade on the top.   Again the highest sugar level should be on the bottom.  I added a bit of water to the blue to offset the sugar between the white and blue maybe that's where I went wrong.  Also you need to pour carefully.  I read pour it directly over ice, use the back of a spoon to slow the pour down but, bottom line is to not pour directly on the next layer.

  I am not done with this drink.  I will be back at it tomorrow.  We shall see what happens or worse case is I will keep at it sporadically until I make it happen!

  I'm going to chalk this one up as a #pinterestwin because I had two layers then two different layers.  I just need to perfect this one and I am confident it is an easy fix.

  Go ahead and try it with or without the kids; it's a fun party trick regardless!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pinterest Challenge Day 8

  With so many options available to you on Pinterest it's so hard to choose what to do next.  I enjoy trying new meals be it entree, snack or desserts so I look at those and save a lot of them.  The second area I look at is the teaching, learning for kids.  I work a lot with my kids and am constantly looking up new ways to teach them something specific and new ideas to reinforce what they have learned.  Last area is arts and crafts more so for them than diy projects for myself.  Crafts that I can make or that they can make is fun to watch the progress.  Usually these crafts look easier than DIY projects, are quicker and I have most everything on hand.

  Today I am sharing another project from that second area.  I had shaving cream, a pointed device (toothpick, or broken off qtip (we used skewers)) paper and food coloring available so that's a green light for creating more art.

  Spray your shaving cream on the surface.  Even it out so you have it completely smooth.

Drop random drops of food coloring across the surface; even dropping different colors, different amounts on original drops.  Next use a pointed device  to make desired patterns.


We stuck with fireworks with one child and the other child working with the other side of the tray did more of an abstract pattern.

  Place your paper over the landscape when your done swirling the colors.  Pat it nicely to ensure all paper has made contact with paper and color have set.

Remove paper and wipe the shaving cream off and behold the beauty.  I must admit I didn't think it worked when I pulled the paper off but when I cleaned that shaving cream off it was magically.  There is not a clear precise picture maybe because I left the paper on to long, too much color, shaving cream was melting.  It would be worth another try to see the results.

  You could make your own stationary.  I have used nailpolish and had great designs but this is so much cleaner.  I would even like to try it on material and fabric.  I wonder how it would work out.  It's food coloring I almost think it would be permanent but maybe it would need something to set it.

  Overall easy, cheap project to make with the kids and if your a great artist I bet you can make some awesome pictures as well.  This is a great project for kids of all ages which as you can see my two even had to share their surface as my shaving cream was limited.  So much for supplies on hand.

Definitely a #pinterestwin and even the kids declared this a fun project!

Hill's Science Diet (review)

  I receive various products in the mail but, not all products are for me.  Some I get for my children or are eventually passed down to them others are for other members of my house!

  This week my dog Eeyore received mail.

We received 4 12.5oz cans of Hill's Science Diet premium dog food. 2 cans of Braised Beef with Carrots and Pea Stew. 2 cans of Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Spinach Stew.  We have tried out the Braised Beef so far and of course my dog enjoyed his wet food feast.

I poured this can over his dry food and he worked hard to clean his bowl.

He cleaned his bowl and was content with the quality and quantity.  I do not feed him canned food often so it was a treat but I am happy his treat was a healthy one. 

If feeding your dog the right dog food including natural products, vitamins and without the artificial colors and preservatives then this is the brand for you.

Healthy natural ingredients help your dog all around. Healthier skin/fur, digestive tract and provides a happier lifestyle for your pet.

This product was received from Crowdtap for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pinterest Day 7

   Scouring Pinterest takes longer than some projects will take you to accomplish it.  There is so many things to look at and even if you go there with a plan; sometimes a wrong turn gets you sidetracked.   You cold organization your trips to strictly food one day maybe menu plan new meals for the upcoming week, challenge yourself to a new chocolate dessert for the weekend or one fun lunch idea as I decided today.

  My kids are on a strict we decide only diet.  I am not new to this menu.  I work around this sometimes.  Breakfast and lunch are the easiest meals here.  It's dinner when the army of 2 strong start mini attacks. First verbal, then offensive comments detest in their meals.  But that's another story.  Today I gave them lunch with a flair.

  4 items are necessary for this meal.  Toothpicks, pickles, hotdog and bun!

  Based on those items do you have any idea what you could make?

  Check this out!

  You can make these cute little vehicles. I have a little boy and if he gets a daily dose of cars everyday I am the best mom ever and he is as happy as can be! So I aim to please!

  These little cars came out great and they were super easy to make.  Let me tell you a secret though.  I didn't have toothpicks so I got a little creative and used grape stalks to keep the tires on.  Hey, don't judge it worked!

My daughter is getting crafty like her mom and thought I should have used food coloring to add numbers on the side. That was a good suggestion and I will do it next time!  

This was the first time I bought bread and butter pickles and oh my goodness! Have you had them?  Yum is one word that can describe them!  

Anyways thanks for reading and I declare the a #pinterestwin! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Day 5 and 6 Pinterest Challenge (all about watermelons)

  Ok, I'm going to cheat and throw a few ideas at you today (this allows me to stay ahead of the game with other ideas that area already done, yeah).  I bought a watermelon the other day and so I am using it to be creative.  Chopping it up and eating
 a bowl of it is so boring compared to what you can do to it with a few extra minutes and some basic kitchen tools!

  I share with you the basic concept and end results but for more in depth directions you can find it under my pinterest challenge board on pinterest. Find me @meanroel.  Or go directly to it here.

  First easy watermelon idea is ice cubes. Chop some up put them in a bowl or cookie sheet (flat surface works easier) and freeze them.


Then toss them in any of your drinks for an extra burst of sweetness and flavor.

  Next up 2nd easiest thing you can do to transform your watermelon is cutting it up.  Grab a cookie cutter

 and make some shapes.  Due to the present holiday.  The theme was stars!

Throw some extra fruit up there and make it a festive snack bowl. Red, white and blue anyone?

I think the stars make it even better than a wedge.  It just makes the dish prettier.

Last idea with the watermelon for today was using part of the shell.  Lol, because now I realize how valuable it is.  

Now let me be the first to tell you this is a vessel.  It is not garbage.  You can recycle your watermelon shell! Are you excited??

Add some jello! 

I used strawberry jello.  So of course it looks very realistic but you could have some fun and add a different color.  My daughter couldn't wait to try this treat out.  

  It was easy to make and I will make it again.  I used one packet and used the top cap of the watermelon.  I placed it in a bowl to set it in the fridge as it was not stableon it's own.  If I had cut it length wise it may sit better.  Slicing the watermelon was not a problem either.  It held its shape very nicely.

Ladies and gentlemen I would have to say it's a definite #pinterestwin!