Look Around and Have Fun

Thursday, April 30, 2015

"You Are My Sunshine" Wall Decal

There is something about moving that gets me excited.  My new house is the oldest as I get to my dream house without it being on 100 acres.  Even so, I am thrilled to have the chance to decorate this beautiful 100 year old house.  

got this "You Are My Sunshine" decal from Bobee to put up in my daughter's room. 

As we are moving into our new house and making plans for each area, we plan on painting her walls.  Since the decals aren't reusable I'm not putting it up quite yet. 

I am so excited and can't wait to get this up. It is a perfect size. Not too big, and not too small. These are easy to put up, and if you need to they are supposed to be easy to remove.  I'm not really thinking they are going to be removed any time soon though.  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Starting My Garden Using LED Grow Lights

I'm officially getting my seeds started for my garden.  I have 12 tomato and 4 broccoli seed sprouts planted into little start containers.  They are the ones I saved from last year when I bought the plants.  This year I am determined to get it going myself.  I have my turnip, cabbage, and brussels sprouts seeds just starting to show signs of life.  My peas, beans, cantaloupe, cucumber, and watermelon are not quite showing sprouts yet.

One thing that really helps with my plants is proper lighting.  Sunlight is great.  However, an additional boost of good grow lights will really go a long way. 

I am excited to try out this Hydroponic LED Light from Alite.

The Alite 12W LED Plant Grow Light has been optimized to produce the most efficient wavelengths of light to produce peak photosynthesis performance in your garden plants.

Alite manufactures the Grow Light in a precise Heat Sink to generate the least amount of heat and therefore prevent any damage to your Garden Plants.

Due to the consistent Light Production and refined Light Wavelength using the Alite Grow Lamp will maximize your Plant Growth.

12 LED Lights in precise arrangement to improve Growth across all plants. With the supremely efficient LEDs, low heat generation and optimized Light Wavelengths the 12W Grow Light is the perfect option for Indoor Growing.

I am just starting out with this light, but my little seedlings are just happy as can be.  They are still babies, and I can't wait to watch them grow bigger, and get transplanted outside where they will provide food for my family this summer and fall.

You can find the Hydroponic LED Light from Alite HERE.  It is a great way to get your garden going with the right start. 

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

Surprising My Kids With Instacandi

After a long period of sickness, I wanted to do something fun that I knew the kids would love.  I surprised my kids with a package from Instacandi. 

What is Instacandi?

1. Let's start with the shipping package.  We use colorful padded envelopes to ensure your INSTACANDI does not get crushed during delivery.

2. The INSTACANDI ranges from old-time favorites like Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls to Snickers, Milky Ways or Jolly Ranchers.  We stock 100's of different INSTACANDIS!

3.  All INSTACANDI is wrapped up in a nice clear package, accented with themed confetti, depending upon the occasion.

We will also include your custom message hand-written on a themed card that you add at checkout.

The INSTACANDI ranges from old-time favorites like Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls to Snickers, Milky Ways or Jolly Ranchers.

You can pick out the theme you are wanting to send.  They have everything from the holiday coming up (Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, etc...), Birthday, Thinking Of You, Congratulations, Get Well, and more.  You can see the different themes on their site HERE. 

Each package is $9.99.  This may seem like a lot, however, this includes the packaging, the decorations, the candy, the card, and the postage.  It's actually not a bad price if you look at the price of buying and mailing all of that yourself.

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Galleany Manual Coffee Grinder

I usually start my mornings off with a cup or two of coffee.  About 90% of the time that includes grinding my whole coffee beans and using my French Press EO brew my morning drink.  Now, I have always used just a cheap electric coffee grinder from the store. You know, the ones that run about $15.  That's the one I have.  It's been through a lot over it's life.  It now screams (seriously, it makes a screaming noise) when I use it. It should probably go in the trash, but it still works, so I keep making it scream as I get my morning beans pulverized.

So, the problem with this grinder is that 1) it screams, and 2) there's no way to get a consistent grind.  It's usually too fine, too course, or sometimes too fine with half beans still in it.  Don't ask how that happens. My grinder is too busy yelling at me.  

I was able to try out this manual coffee grinder from Galleany.  It's a fun grinder to try out.  I love it for many reasons.  

I can set the grind to where I want it, and it's always that courseness. 

If the power goes out, or my grinder finally dies, I can still grind my beans. I was without a grinder for a while.  I had to use my morter and pestle.  Yes, I'm dedicated.  

It's really simple to use.  There is the chamber for the beans.  It has the ceramic (not plastic) burr mechanism, the chamber for the ground coffee with a window to see how much is in there, the lid for the whole bean chamber, and the hand crank. 

I measured 1/4 cup of beans an put it in the top.  1/2 seemed to be too much.  

I put it all together an gave it a couple cranks to see the grind and adjusted it to where I wanted it. 

I then cranked the handle.  You will need a good grip and a little power.  It's not too hard, but it take a couple minutes, so it is harder than a few second button pushing.  Once done, I had a bottom container of fresh ground coffee. 

I put it in my French Press and made it like usual.  Beautiful, rich coffee.  I love it!

This is a great grinder to have.  It would be wonderful for every day use, if you don't mind cranking the handle for your perfect grind.  It's also perfect for when you can't use an electric grinder such as during a power outage, your electric grinder goes on the fritz, camping, etc...  

If you want one of your own, you can find them HERE on Amazon. 

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

A Birthday Scoop

Today's my sweet baby Z turned 1.  According to my 8 year old son, he is officially a number.  I love birthdays.  It's good I do, since we have 11 birthdays counting myself and my hubby.  I always plan a big birthday dinner.  We have cake and sometimes icecream for dessert.

My question started with, "What to cook for someone without teeth?".  Ha ha!  He's good at eating, but I wanted to make it easy.  So, I spent all day (4 hours actually) making meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and homemade rolls.  He absolutely loved it.  Not a tooth and he ate it all up.  

We then dug into his dessert, after a little break for digesting.  His big sister made him a chocolate chip cake.  Or a giant cookie according to my hubby. 

Then we scooped up the ice cream.  Now, this was our first time using this scoop.  This is a heavy stainless steel scoop.  It has quite the weight to it. 

I was curious to see how well it worked.  The other scoop I have is from my great grandmother in law.  It's old, lightweight, aluminum, and has the button you push to make the ball pop out.  That's because the ice cream sticks in it. 

The ice cream we were eating had been in the deep freeze.  We got it out and I immediately put the scoop to work. Without warming it with warm water it cut right into the ice cream.  It came off the scoop, into the bowl, without me prying it off. 

It was so easy that after a few scoops I gave the job over to my 8 year old son, who excitedly went about scooping everyone up.  

This ice cream scoop is labeled as indestructible.  I can believe that it would be very hard to kill this thing.  It really is a good scoop.  I love the ergonomics of the handle.  It fits well in my hand.  Even with the heavy weight, it's balanced well enough to use easily.  It cuts through the ice cream easily.  I think it's a fine kitchen item.  

If you want a good quality ice cream scoop that should last a long time, you can find this one HERE.

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

Monday, April 20, 2015

Preparing For Canning Season

As my garden is just getting started I am also thinking about the harvesting throughout the summer and fall.  I am hoping to have enough surplus that I can do some canning.  There's nothing more important than having canned produce to eat throughout the winter.  It's your own home grown food, and you can do whatever you want when it comes to flavor.

The problem with canning is that you need to have the tools.  A pressure canner, water bath canner, jars, kids, rings.  Yes.  The obvious.  Then there are the 'tools'. 

This is a great canning tool set.  It comes with all the basic tools you need to get your canning done.  You get the funnel, tongs, lid remover wrench, bubble popper measuring stick, jar lifter, and the magnet lid lifter. 

Let me tell you.  There is nothing nicer than the magnet lid lifter. I've been using tongs the last few years.  It's not easy to pull kids out of hot water with tongs! 

I am really looking forward to getting started on canning this year.  This will make things much more pleasant.  Everything feels strong and well made.  It all moves easily and stays together.  It will be nice to use a complete canning tool set.  

If you need a canning tool set, or need to replace an old set, check it out HERE on Amazon. 

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

My New 8 Cup French Press

I love trying coffee and I love trying out different French Presses.  I was able to try out a new 8 cup French Press from Bruntmore. 

I pulled the French Press from the box and checked it over.  

The glass is thick.  This is great, a my last glass French Press lasted about 4 days before the glass broke.  The metal surrounding the glass is sturdy and strong.  The handle is comfortable and angled away from the press, so there's much less likelyhood of touching your hand on the glass when hot.  

The lid and plunger piece is a little less strong.  I noticed the metal on the plunger bottom was a bit wavy, but not bad.  

I started my coffee by filling it with my freshly ground coffee.  

I added my hot water and stirred it. 

When I put the lid on it seemed to jam or a moment.  I had to wiggle it back out and it kin of jammed I to the lid.  I carefully put the lid and plunger back in.  I let it sit 4 minutes and pushed the plunger down.  The plunger went down easily.   

I poured my coffee, added sugar and cream, and had a nice after lunch coffee. 

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

Kneeling In The Garden

My gardening days are finally beginning.  As I'm spending more time outside, I'm fining myself on my knees a lot.  This can be rather hard on my knees over a long period of time.  I was able to try this foam knee pad.  

This is a great knee pad to use for gardening, or for around the house.  It's light and easy use.  It's also small enough to store away almost anywhere.  It's a huge relief when you will be working for longer periods on the ground.  The cushion is firm enough to provide good support on most any surface.

The only thing is that I wish it was a few inches longer.  I seem to have to keep my knees together and it would be nice to be able to have space to shift them or move a little.  

They're great to have around the house and I know they'll get a lot of use.  

**I was able to try these in exchange for my review.**

Friday, April 17, 2015

A nice detangling brush

Who here has kids who's hair gets tangled easily?

**Raises Hand**

Here's my post on a plastic, odd shaped, pink brush.  Normally I'm not a fan of plastic brushes.  They pull hair.  They hurt my kids heads and hair gets tangled in them.  I love this detangles brush.  

The shape of it makes it very easy to hold while brushing.  My kids prefer this brush over 'the dreaded hair brush' that pulls their tangles.  We all love that it makes our hair super soft once the tangles are out as well.  Plus, the bristles are nice to brush across your scalp and massage it. 

The only negative is that my husband seems to have claimed this brush as his own for his beard.  Now I need another for the rest of us.  I am happy I was able to try this in exchange for my review.

You can find it HERE on Amazon. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cleaning the kitchen

Everyone has to clean their kitchen.  If it's used then it gets dirty.  My kitchen needs a good scrubbing almost daily.  I decide to give these scouring pads a try. 

This is a great deal for a 10 pack of nice scouring pads. When they arrived I first noticed that they felt tough enough to do any job I had at hand. My kids, strange enough, wanted to try them out. So, I put them to work. If I would have know buying scouring pads would get them cleaning I would have bought them earlier. 

They have done well so far. I've had my stove and counters scrubbed. They held up to my dishes. My daughter also found that putting the scouring pad over the drain worked as a filter to catch all the food particles that shouldn't go down the drain. I'm happy I was able to try these in exchange for a review. They are working out well for my household needs.  You can find these for $9.95 on Amazon by clicking HERE

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Comfortable and Breezy Harem Pants

I saw these Harem Pants and I was enamored.  I really wanted a pair, and I wasn't disappointed when I first put them on.  These are great pants for anything from going out to lounging around at home.  I love the design and think these are just awesome.  

These are my comfortable pants. The waist is a wide elastic.  It doesn't dig into you like jeans.  It also supports your tummy.  

I'm on the shorter side.  I'm 5'4" and most pants re way too long for me.  When I pulled these pants out of the box, I was worried because they were long.  I was so happy to see the elastic at the ankle as well.  They allow the pants to have some room and stay baggy.  The elastic holds it in place to prevent it from being too long. 

These pants are really great an comfortable.  I wear them quite often.  One little feature I love is the pocket on the right.  It's just big enough for my iphone.  A big bonus.  

They do wrinkle pretty easy.  It's just the nature of the fabric.  I hate to iron, so I just toss them in the dryer for a minute or two and they are wrinkle free.  

You can find all kinds of styles by going HERE.  Check them out and see what you think.  

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Interstellar Sand

I've seen the space sand commercials on TV.  My kids have wanted to play with this sand forever.  I was finally able to try some out recently and boy were the kids excited.  We got a 2 pound box of Interstellar Sand, and not only did it meet my kids expectations, it exceeded them.  I had a 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 year old playing with this Interstellar Sand for close to an hour.  I just threw a few kitchen items at them (not really thrown) to use for molds.  Things like tumblers, baby bottle lids, and silicon muffin cups.  

This stuff is really neat.  I had never touched it before.  It's sandy, but squishy.  Sticks to itself, but isn't sticky.  It is flakey, but holds it's shape.  It's like if sand and play-dough had a baby.  

You can see how much fun my kids were having with this sand.  It was a lot of fun, and it was really easy to clean up.  My 5 year old did the clean up for it. 

It's really fun and great for imagination play.  It's a fun and not so messy way to get them to build and create.

You can find it HERE on Amazon.

**I received this in exchange for my review.**

Amazingly Soft Bed Sheets

I hate to buy sheets for my bed.  Why?  I've had the luck of buying the expensive, high thread count, supposedly luxury sheets.  Then, I get them home and after a few nights I have little balls pulling up from the fabric by my feet.  Like when fleece gets pilly.  I hate that. I really dislike buying something that I'm going to cram into my closet and only use when I have no other choice. 

I had the chance to try out this microfiber sheet set by Yorkshire-Mayfair .  It's a 4 piece set that comes with the fitted sheet, flat sheet, and 2 pillowcases. 

I was admittedly unsure about this.  The only microfiber I had come in contact with was my kitchen towels that were thick and kind of stuck to me.  When I receive the sheets, I immediately opened the bag they came in and felt them.  WOW!  They felt so soft.  I immediately put them in the wash and stripped my old sheets off my bed. 

These are so very soft.  I find myself moving around in bed just so I can rub my hands and feet on them.  Guess what?  I've been using these sheets exclusively for over a month (yes, I've washed them) and they haven't pilled up.  They are just as nice and soft as the moment I pulled them from the bag. 

The pockets on the fitted sheet are deep.  They have no problem going over my mattress.  I haven't had them pop off at night like my old sheets would do from time to time.  The material is thicker than cotton sheets, and is said to be more durable than cotton as well.  I love this, however I've also noticed that it keeps your warmer.  This is a great thing during cool nights.  It might be a little warm during the summer months, as my house tends to warm up as well.  We shall see.  That is my only concern.  Otherwise, these sheets are everything I want and love to sleep in.  I love them.

If you would like to see the color options, click HERE to see their Amazon listing.

**I received this in exchange for my review.**