Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Serafino Double Wall Insulated Drinking Glasses Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.   

About the product

Image obtained from website

Made of durable, heat resistant, mouth-blown borosilicate glass of the finest quality, the 16 oz Serafino glasses are the largest in the Ozeri Artisan Series of award-winning handcrafted drinkware. Borosilicate glass is stronger than common glass, shatter-resistant, and with the Serafino's double-walled design, it offers the ultimate insulation to maintain drinks at their ideal temperature.

image obtained from website
 The Serafino's unique double wall design suspends drinks within an inner wall for an attention-grabbing optical effect, while the wraparound contour provides a natural aesthetic grip. Each glass is made to keep your hands cool even with your hottest drinks, and free of condensation with your chilled beverages. The patent-pending Serafino is great for coffee, cappuccinos, hot or iced teas, cocktails, frozen beverages and much more. 

Whether it is an occasion for a glass of wine, coffee, or some other beverage, borosilicate glass is completely resistant to acids, and your Ozeri glasses will never lose their original sheen. Each set contains 2 handmade glasses designed for lifetime use. The Serafino glasses are completely microwave and freezer safe, and ship in an elegantly printed and carefully packaged box with a 1 year warranty.

My thoughts

I love having hot drinks and cold drinks, but I don't like getting my hands extremely hot or cold. I know there are certain mugs that work great for hot and cold drinks, but I don't have any. Anyways, I was really excited to try out these glasses because they looked so elegant and I wanted a glass that would insulate my beverage.

I first tested this glass using a hot beverage of my choice. I made wassail. I was very impressed with this insulated glass because I barely could feel any heat from the glass. And, I only felt the slight warmness when the drink was almost done! Plus, my drink didn't cool off as fast as it would when I would drink it from a regular glass.

 Then, I wanted to see how the glass worked with cold drinks. I decided to try it with some lemonade after I spent a few hours working in my yard. I didn't feel any cold until the ice started to melt more, and when I was almost done with the drink. I think I felt the cold drink more than the hot drink, but it was nice not having the drink freeze my hands. Also, I loved how my drink stayed cold for such a long time!

I have to say that I love these glasses! I like how they look elegant, and I like how they really do insulate my drinks. I will definitely be using these glasses a lot!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Letter "O"- A post mostly in Pictures

Fishies in the Ocean. As you can see, BooBoo LOVED putting his Fishies into his own ocean. He very carefully lined each fish up in a column. 

He loved saying "ah ah ah ah ah!!!"
Finishing some "o's" with a flourish.
Attempted to teach the difference between Big "O" and little "o" using oranges on an orange tree. Notice the attempted...
He kind of just put his "o's" wherever he wanted to...
 He is still a little young for the concept, but it was worth a shot.
So intent...
These next few pictures crack me up. We gave BooBoo a Chalkimamy Mat
from Adornwithaandm for Easter and he LOVED using it today.

What? Don't you write with your tongue out?

Alone Yet Not Alone Review & Giveaway

 About the book

Settled in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America's new frontier, the Leininger family celebrates the blessings of a beautiful homestead and bountiful harvest. That is, until tragedy strikes with the beginning of the French and Indian War and the devastating raid known as the Penn's Creek Massacre.

The lives of this simple, God-fearing family are forever altered when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by a band of Allegheny warriors. Driven by their faith in God and the powerful bonds of family, Barbara and Regina hole firmly to the belief that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again.

Rich in historical details, Alone Yet Not Alone is an inspirational, true story of a family caught in the cross fire of the French and Indian War.

The feature film will be released in theaters June 13th 2014!!!!
About the author
Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their three children.

Want more information
Official website for the movie, releasing JUNE 13th:

My thoughts

I love learning about history and reading about the accounts of people who experienced various incidents. So I was really excited to read this book because it is a true family's account of their experience with the French and Indian war.

This book didn't disappoint. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what would happen to the two sisters, Barbara and Regina, who were taken from their family by Allegheny warriors. I loved how their faith in their Lord was what helped them to stay strong through their trial and is what helped them believe they would see their family again.

The title of the book is based upon a song, Alone Yet Not Alone, which helped the girls to remember Christ and focus on their faith. I loved how the book talked a lot about religion because I am a religious person and could relate to the teachings.

I thought the author did an excellent job at writing about the horrible things that happened such as the girls seeing a human scalp and someone being burned at the stake without getting into lots of gruesome details. This is perfect especially for younger audiences and for adults like me who hate gory details.

This book is definitely uplifting and it inspired me to work on my faith during hardships. I definitely recommend reading this book. And, I plan on seeing the movie!

 -Open to US and Canada
-Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email before a new winner is chosen
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Belitae Organics FRESH-C Vitamin C Serum Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

About the product:

Belitae's FRESH-C Vitamin C Serum is formulated with the proven highly active form of Vitamin C called "STAY-C 50". This Vitamin C goes to work deep in the layers of your skin where it is converted to Ascorbic Acid by your cells providing the added benefit of remaining fresh in the bottle until absorbed by your skin

Our Vitamin C is proven to stimulate collagen production restoring your skin to a more youthful appearance. Vitamin C is known for it's ability to protect your skin from daily UV damage and will gradually fade sun spots and brighten skin

Made in the USA in our advanced FDA certified facility98% natural and 72% organic ingredients - cruelty free, phalate free, paraben free, gluten free
Why it works
  • This high performance Vitamin C serum with "STAY C-50" helps reduce oxidation damage by neutralizing free radicals. The serums' active essentials, when used over time, helps to protect, restore, brighten, and refine your skin.
Anti-aging benefits
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate or STAY-C 50 Vitamin C is an active, stable, and bio-available form of Vitamin C that does not irritate skin and will help to:
  • Promote the synthesis of collagen production and elastin fibers
  • Help reduces the fine lines and wrinkles
  • Brighten away hyperpigmentation
  • Protect your skill cells from UVA/UVB damage

My thoughts:

I was really excited to try out Belitae Organics FRESH-C Vitamin C Serum. I try really hard to take care of my face and neck, but sometimes I get way too much sun or not enough sleep due to my kiddos. I don't want any premature aging!

The vitamin C serum comes in a glass bottle which contains 1 fluid ounce. It has a dropper so you can apply 2-3 drops onto your face and neck. They recommend using it twice daily after cleansing and to allow time for absorption before putting on moisturizer.

Applying the serum was really easy and quick. These are two big bonuses for me because I hate spending a long time getting ready for the day. I didn't tell my husband that I was using this serum because I wanted to see if he would notice a difference. And, he did. He noticed that my skin was smoother and more vibrant. This made me very happy!

I also loved how the serum didn't irritate my sensitive skin, and I liked how it didn't have a smell. This product is definitely worth trying because it works, it is made in the USA, and is made up of natural and organic ingredients.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Farm Girl at Heart

When I was younger, I thought living in a big city filled with lots of hustle and bustle would be the best place to live. As I grew up I quickly discovered that cities are fun to visit, but not fun to live in. The reason: I love the country.

I love having a big yard where I can have a garden, fish pond, a barn, berry bushes, pets, and chickens. Now, I'm not truly a farm girl because I only live on 0.7 acres of land and don't completely live in a super small community. I find it nice having a hospital, a university, and lots of stores within a 30 minute drive.

I find yard work refreshing and rewarding. I love seeing my garden grow and produce lots of yummy vegetables. We have already planted asparagus, blackberries, and blueberries about a month ago (we already have raspberries and strawberries). We are currently deciding on how many fruit trees we want and the variety. I definitely want apricot, plum, pear, and at least 3 variety of apples.

Anyways, my husband and I bought chickens this year. We got 8 Rhode Island Reds because they are friendly and do extremely well in the winter. Aren't chicks so adorable?

My chicks aren't little anymore. They grow so fast! This weekend, my husband and I are building them a coop and a run. Hopefully, we can get it done. If not, then we will finish it later in the week. I'm so excited because it means in the fall, my chickens will be laying eggs. I love the idea of having fresh eggs. Here are my babies:

I don't want to stop at chickens. I want to get honey bees and a goat. I love the idea of being sustainable so I'm going to start composting and work on expanding my garden this year. I just feel that my garden is just too small. I'm also working on plans to plant an herb garden. So much to do, but only so much can get done this year. I can't wait to get working on my plans.

I also love how I can share my love for gardening with my kiddos. My boy, Monkey, loves to bring his bucket, shovel, and rake and help me while I work out in the yard. It gives us time to get fresh air, and time where I can teach Monkey about gardening and taking care of the animals.

So if you had to choose whether you had live in the country or the city which would you pick?? Please let me know!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scrumptious Bread Pudding

Today is all about re-purposing. More specifically: how to re-purpose stale French Bread. Which may or may not have been left over from last week's recipe...Heh. As delicious as that bread is, I forgot to eat it. Yes, I know, blasphemy. I didn't want to toss it, but I knew that that poor loaf needed some help getting to an edible state again so I decided to make my own version of Bread Pudding. A little bit sweet (so you can still add toppings) and a little bit spicy, this is an easy way to spice up any meal whether it be breakfast or breakfast for dinner or a unique dessert.

Scrumptious Bread Pudding

6 cups torn or chopped French Bread (about 3/4 of a loaf)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 c syrup (I used Mrs. Butterworth's but Maple Syrup would work great as well)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
Heat oven to 350F. Put butter and milk in a saucepan on medium heat until melted and just warm. Meanwhile mix the syrup, eggs, and spices in a big bowl. Toss in bread chunks and coat evenly. Then poor warmed milk mixture and toss to coat. Pour into a 9x13 pan and put in oven for 30-35 minutes. Serve as desired with syrup, fresh fruit and/or whipping cream.
Bread torn up- doesn't have to be perfect.
Butter and milk heating up.

Sauce ingredients

I know it's weird to use pancake syrup,
 but I like the flavor it gives (and I don't have fresh maple syrup
sitting around...)

All the wet ingredients mixed with the bread.
Just the right level of liquid to avoid sogginess.

Mmmmmm... Easy and delicious, what more could you ask for? PS BooBoo totally referred to this as "Big Pancake!" Which, given the fact that pancakes are his favorite dinner, is a high compliment. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without Review & Giveaway

About the book

From the first, life-changing terminal diagnosis to a new way of life as a widow, the deeply moving journey of mourning a beloved spouse’s death is the subject of Natasha Josefowitz’s candid, uplifting collection of poems, Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without. Drawing from her own personal experiences navigating the grief of this seemingly unbearable loss, the author’s tender and thoughtful perspective is certain to offer hope and healing to anyone who is embarking on his or her own journey of grief and healing process, regardless of age and life stage.

With rich insight and raw honesty, Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without guides the reader from mourning to recovery, using simple, relatable poetry that casts an unflinching eye on the day-to-day experiences entailed with losing a loved one. The collection starts with a diagnosis of cancer and travels through the moments experienced in doctors' offices, hospice care, the funeral, and on to the reality of a life alone. Examining the grief process chronologically, the poems progress from the painful early days to the second year, when healing has occurred. The book then culminates with a strong message of hope, as the grieving person emerges once again as a self-sufficient, confident person who is facing the next adventure life has to offer.
Natasha Josefowitz was inspired to put her poems on paper by her own experience with the death of her husband, as well as the grief she witnessed among so many of her friends. She now endeavors to help others who are confronting the unimaginable end of a central relationship. With compassion, clarity, and profound humanity, Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without is certain to offer solace and support to those who are bereft, and who will benefit from empathy and emotional connection as they work through their own grief toward help and healing.
About the author

Natasha Josefowitz, Ph.D., earned her master's degree at age 40 and Ph.D. at 50. She was a professor of business for 30 years and is an internationally known keynote speaker.  For ten years she had her own weekly program on public radio and a monthly segment on television. She has also been a guest on numerous radio and TV shows including All Things Considered, The Larry King Show, The Dr. Ruth Show, and The CBS News with Dan Rather to name a few. 

Dr. Josefowitz is the best-selling author and award-winning poet of 20 books. Her articles and poems have been published in over a hundred journals and magazines including the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, the London Times, and most major newspapers in the United States. She says that laughter is the best medicine and laughing at ourselves and with each other will help us heal faster. 

You can connect with the author at her blog:

My thoughts

When I heard about this book, I was intrigued by it because of its format. Dr. Josefowitz wrote about the pain and anguish of losing her husband and the process of healing through poetry. I know the pain of losing someone you love and care about, but I have never lost someone really close to me. I wanted to read it because I wanted to better understand those you have gone through this type of loss.

Through the poems, I was able to see the raw pain and emotion Dr. Josefowitz experienced upon the death of her husband. I learned about the delicate stage of trying to survive the grief, how slowly one can heal, and how one can start to find the beauty in life again.

I think this is a beautiful book of poems to read for anyone who has lost a special someone in their life. It doesn't have to be a spouse since the poetry can be applied to the loss of a sibling, a parent, or a friend. This poem really stood out to me because I could relate to it in a variety of ways.

It's Showtime!

When I am about to be with people
I say to myself
"It's showtime,"
and I walk into a room
smiling, shaking hands
I say, "I'm doing fine"
lies -- all lies
I'm not fine at all
I'm grieving
I'm suffering
I'm lonely
but it's showtime
and so I put on my happy face
put energy into my walk
when I really feel like slumping
like crawling, like not moving at all
instead I stand erect
look people in the eye
and proclaim
"I'm fine"
this makes everyone else happy
I have played my part
I have met expectations
it would be too embarrassing
to say, "I'm hurting"
"Lend me a shoulder to cry on"
"Let me tell you
how terrible I feel
how awful it is"
so I say, "I'm fine"
it's showtime

-Open to US and Canada
-Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email before a new winner is chosen


*Disclosure: I received this product mentioned in this post at no cost in order to do this review. All opinions are my own. Howling Horn is not responsible for prize shipment to the winners as this is a sponsored giveaway.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

N is for No Way!

This week’s Calendar Time is the letter ‘N’.

I really need to lower my expectations for these. Don’t get me wrong, we always have fun, but I swear I have all these fantastic ideas that never quite come to fruition… Oh well.

This week we focused on writing and identifying the sound that ‘N’ makes. First, I found some free clipart images on Bing (I prefer Google, but Bing has a program where you can earn free gift cards when you search using their search engine so I use it for simple searches). I used nurse, noodles, necklace, needle, nuts, and nets; all things he had familiarity with. Then, I let him do his favorite activity: coloring! We identified each item, then tried to find it in the room we were in (we have a Duplo nurse), stated the beginning sound ‘nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn’, then he got to color the pictures (and draw the random egg, robot, and train- he is a 2 year old boy with a vivid imagination after all ).

Then, we worked on writing. At least we attempted to. Important lesson- always look at the pages you print out BEFORE handing them to the toddler. I accidentally printed out a bunch of  tiny ‘N’ tracing pages instead of the one big page I thought I’d found. Oops. So, I tried to make our own… Yeah, didn’t work so well this time. Then I remembered this awesome app that my friend’s husband introduced to us- Kids ABC Trains Game Lite. Love it. BooBoo gets to trace all the letters- using train tracks. It’s like it was designed with him in mind. There is a paid version, but I’ve never used it. *Disclaimer- I was not compensated for nor asked to do this shout-out, I just truly love app and wanted to spread the word*

Ready to learn...

Or something...


My attempt at a writing sheet... 

After I gave up.

Did I mention how much BooBoo loves this app?

All in all, an uneventful lesson, but we did really enjoy it and BooBoo seems to have really gotten ahold of the concept of ‘N’. Looking forward to continuing these lessons with him!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Egg Countdown

Easter is a special holiday for my family. My blog partner, Hannah, explained why with this great post. I feel that Easter is a time to remember my Savior, Jesus Christ. I want my children to know Him and understand what Jesus Christ did for them.

I'm not against the fun festivities of this holiday; I think they are fun and great to do. I just feel that more focus needs to be on the reason behind the holiday. And, that is why I created this Easter egg countdown.

This countdown goes through the final moments of Jesus Christ's life. It goes through the atonement, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.

Each egg contains a piece of paper with some scriptures on it along with an item to represent the corresponding scriptures. Click here to get the document with the scriptures and items you need to stuff the eggs.

What I love about this Easter Egg countdown activity is that it is so versatile. You can use it whatever way that bests fits your family. You can do a countdown with the eggs saving the 12th egg for Easter (resurrection egg). Or you can do the first 11 eggs the night before Easter and the last one on Easter. Or do all of the eggs on Easter.

I also love how you can just do the scripture and talk about the item or you can have a more in depth talk with your family by planning a mini lesson. I didn't include anything for mini lessons because my kiddos are way to young to do that. But when they get older, I am definitely going to ask them questions where we can have family discussions.

Anyways, I hope you had a wonderful Easter, and I hope your family enjoys this countdown activity as much as mine does!!

GlobeIn Giveaway

Howling Horn's Thoughts

We are so excited to participate in this giveaway. We love the idea of this subscription because the subscription fee is so reasonable ($29.99) and it comes with free shipping. We love the the different categories you can choose from: jewelry, decor, and home accessories. It is such a neat idea to be able to get items for different countries. What a fun way to be able to have unique decor and be able to teach your children about different countries. Want to know more about GlobeIn? Then, continue to read this post and read what Lindsey from The IE Mommy has to say.

Lindsey's Thoughts

I love the idea of the GlobeIn Subscription! It's always fun to get a surprise in the mail. These hand crafted items from all over the world are truly beautiful whether you are keeping them for yourself or giving as a gift. Included with each item is information about where it comes from and the specific artist. I have shopped for things from different countries at local stores and they always seem to be extremely overpriced. The monthly subscription fee of $29.99 a month with FREE shipping includes three or four items. I can't usually find ONE for that prices so it really is a great value. You get to choose from one of three categories when signing up:
  1. Jewelry
  2. Decor
  3. Home Accessories
I would have a hard time picking a category since I love them all BUT you can change which one you want at any time so you really have the opportunity to try them all if you want and you can cancel at anytime. You can't lose! Why subscribe to GlobeIn?
Original Crafts
Original Crafts

                                           Incredible Stories

Incredible Stories

                                            Memorable Impact

Memorable Impact.

One lucky reader has the chance to win a three month subscription for a  GlobeIn Box. Just enter below and good luck!    


Connect with GlobeIn


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Disclaimer: nor the bloggers promoting this event will not be responsible for prize and/or shipment of prize. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


*Disclaimer- This is a religious post. Both Christina and I are very religious in our personal lives, but we try to keep it separate from our blogging lives. This Holiday, however, is very personal to me and I can't let it pass without saying something*

Easter. A time for candy, eggs, and, if you believe a certain campaign that's gone viral this year, toys (save the chocolate bunny? Really?). It's also a time for family get-togethers, feasts, and special church services. Communities gather to allow children the joys of playing games and competing over brightly colored, plastic eggs.

(Don't worry - we have fun with Easter here as well. BooBoo Bear and Goofy Girl both loved the Easter egg hunt today and I can't wait to dye eggs tonight and do our own hunt when McGee gets home from work tonight.)

On the Christian side of this holiday (the side I'll be focusing on from here on out), Easter is about celebrating Christ dying for our sins and his resurrection 3 days later. In my religion, we don't dwell on His death- instead we choose to focus on the fact that he suffered for our sins and was resurrected, thus allowing us to someday be resurrected as well. I know that the eggs and the bunnies can be seen as representative of new life (a point driven home in an excellent children's puppet show at a Baptist Easter celebration we were blessed to attend today), but I feel like too little emphasis is place on Easter morning. I love going to Church and hearing the speakers (we don't have preachers or ministers in our Church) talk about their personal thoughts on Jesus's life, death, and resurrection. I love remembering that someday we'll be able to be with those who've passed on. Whether that be a child, a sibling, a parent, a grandparent, a spouse, an extended family member, or a friend we can and will see them again due to His sacrifice. I have so many family members and friends who've gone through so many truly hard things, and lost more than I can ever fathom, and I love spending Easter thinking about them and their families. This is one of my favorite songs:

Another favorite:

In closing, if you're so inclined, take the time to watch this on Easter:

 An amazing work by a true master, performed by an amazing choir. Regardless of your religion, this program has the power to speak to us all.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easy-Peasy French Bread

French Bread

I am NOT a baker. At all. I don't have the patience for it and I hate when you go to so much work only to have it fail. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to throw bread out because it hasn't risen and/or is hard as a rock. Some recipes are worth the risk though. The feeling of cutting through the crusty top and reaching the soft center is such an awesome thing.

This recipe is one of those- totally worth the risk and a lot easier than you'd ever imagine french bread would be. While it requires a lot of time, very little effort is needed and the end results are amazing.

French Bread

-Mix together 3 cups flour and 5 tsp yeast, set aside.

-In a small saucepan mix together 2 1/2 cups cold water, 1 Tbs sugar, 1 Tbs salt, and 1 Tbs oil. Heat on medium until water reaches 115 or just above room temperature. (When you touch it with a knuckle it should feel just barely warm)

 -Pour warmed mixture into flour mixture and mix for 30 seconds on low followed by 3 minutes on high.

-Add up to 4 cups of flour until dough is soft and pulling clean away from the sides. Add SLOWLY; I only needed 2 1/2 cups flour.

-Knead bread for 10-12 minutes. You can do this in a mixer, I just prefer to do it by hand.

-Put into a greased bowl and turn over once to evenly distribute the grease.

-Let rise for 1 hour on stove OR warm 2 cups of water in the microwave until boiling. Open the door and set the water off to the side. Place bowl with dough in it into the microwave and shut the door. This helps control the humidity and temperature and the dough will be risen in 45 minutes.

-After dough has doubled in size, punch it down, turn it out onto a greased baking pan and divide into 2 equal balls.

-Now, you can roll the dough and fold it up OR you can do my (cheater's) route and form the balls into loaf shaped masses.

-Gash tops with cuts about 1/8"-1/4" deep and 2" apart.
-Then walk away for another hour (I usually heat the oven at this point) and allow dough to double again.

-After the hour is over, pop the bread into an oven preheated to 375 and bake for ~40 minutes (mine were ready after 30 minutes)

-Let cool and enjoy!