- 1oz Cherry Vodka
- 1oz Malibu
- 1oz Spiced Rum
- 4oz Sprite
- 1 Tbsp. Grenadine
- Maraschino cherries
I loved cooking when I was a child. By the time I was 8 years old I was making dinner for my family and looking through my mom’s cookbooks for fun. Now that I have kids of my own, it’s important to me to share my love of cooking with them. Curious Chef products are the perfect tools to do just that.
There I so much to love about bringing kids into the kitchen with you and Curious Chef is committed to this idea. Curious Chef believes that teaching children to cook builds essential life skills like self-confidence, good eating habits, promotes ownership, fosters math and science skills, listening and following directions, teaches vocabulary and encourages spending family time together. These are all qualities that I truly believe are benefits to teaching children to cook and I was delighted to find a company that shared my own feelings so closely.
Curious Chef products impressed me with their quality right from the start. For example, Nylon knives are serrated and have a blunt tip to be safer on skin. The knives are sized down for small hands with button grips on soft touch handles to keep hands safe. No detail is overlooked in making these knives the perfect implement for a child to learn good knife skills safely. All of the Curious Chef line is made of nylon or silicon, is dishwasher safe and BPA free. These wonderful kitchen tools are all child sized without looking “babyish”. They have sturdy bases, color coding and wide pouring spouts. The attention that was paid to the design of Curious Chef’s tools will be immediately obvious to you.
My daughter now tries to get into the kitchen every opportunity she can get. She loves the Curious Chef apron because it feels to her like a “grown up” apron. I love the sturdy construction, adjustable straps and large pockets. My daughter’s favorite tools are the Pie Kit. She is slowing mastering lattice crust much to my husband’s delight and my diet’s dismay!
The best part of Curious Chef is that they make EVERYTHING your child could need in the kitchen. Knives, cookie cutters, spatulas, whisks, bowls and on and on. These are real working tools, not toys that will really make your child feel like they can cook. I am so excited to be planning kitchen projects with my daughter so that we can work through all of her tools and she can learn how to use all of them.
I have been completely delighted with every Curious Chef product I have tried and I am eager to explore some of their other kitchen items. If you are looking for a great way to incorporate STEAM lessons at home, Curious Chef kitchen tools are the very best product line available to help you do just that.
To learn more about how cooking in the kitchen helps kids learn, check out Miss Sarah’s post on 7 things kids learn from cooking
Foreclosures can have a devastating effect on families and communities. There are still too many homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments or facing the prospect of losing their homes. About one in 13 homeowners nationwide has fallen behind on his or her mortgage payments, putting them at a higher risk of foreclosure.
Some people may go their entire lives without ever having to face the struggle of foreclosure. If you are reading this, I hope that you are one of those people. But if you are or maybe it isn’t you, it is someone you know and love, I hope you are not going through it alone. It is a sad but true fact that most people who have foreclosure knocking at their door have no idea where to turn and they have no idea that there is actually help available to them.
And what is worse – many of these people fall victim to scams that not only will not help them but will make their situation even more unstable.
Making Home Affordable is a free government resource that can make paying the mortgage easier for homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments. With free help from HUD-approved housing experts, homeowners can avoid being scammed by those demanding payment for assistance.
When it comes to upfront fees, MHA tells homeowners, “Don’t Pay, Walk Away.”
o Through the federal Making Home Affordable program, many homeowners have received much-needed help to reduce their monthly payments, get mortgage relief, and avoid foreclosure.
o Telephone scammers often request payment by wire transfer services similar to MoneyGram, or completion of paperwork containing your Social Security Number. Do not make any mortgage payments by wire transfer, or provide any personal information, in response to these calls. If you receive unsolicited calls, always check with your mortgage company using the phone number on your mortgage statement, or call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) to check its legitimacy.
o Beware of telephone calls urging you to take advantage of the Making Home Affordable Program. Beware of anyone seeking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services. In most cases, charging fees in advance of a mortgage modification is illegal.
o Paying a third party to assist with your application may not improve your likelihood of receiving a mortgage modification. Beware of individuals or companies that ask you for payment, tout their success rate, or claim to be Making Home Affordable (MHA) or Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) experts.
The Making Home Affordable (MHA) housing counseling experts at 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) are available around-the-clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), in over 170 languages, and at no cost. They will help homeowners understand their options and design a plan to suit their individual situation.
Homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments can call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) or visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for free resources and information to help them deal with their mortgage problems and avoid foreclosure.
As American as apple pie they say. But, one thing we have to wonder is whether or not apple pie really is American. So, we decided to dig a bit and see if Apple Pie is something so American that we should celebrate this delicious dish as being an icon of Americana.
American as Apple Pie
As we celebrate the great American pastime of summer fun, relaxation and vacation, should we also make sure we keep the ideal of Americana going? We have certain things that many Americans see as a true American summer. This isn’t full of IPads and the perfect house on Minecraft. This is heading to the beach and camping. This is hot dogs, baseball and a picnic basket with apple pie included.
Well, when looking for a great apple pie recipe, I found out that the English back in 1381 actually made a pie-like pastry with the main ingredient of apples. WHAT?! Places like Michigan are major apple growing states. Plus, with all we hear about “As American as Apple Pie”, it just seems to be that apple pie must be American! We are, after told, that Apple pie is American!
So I decided to look a bit deeper to see if Apple Pie is really as American as we think it is. Well, yes, a search of “apple pie recipe” lands us with thousands of options, and millions of hits. But, how many are American and how many are from other places.
America, being a mix of cultures, has many different mini-Americas. Southern recipes are different than those from the northeast, and the Midwest has many differences. Look up California Apple Pie and you may find some vegan options, whereas the South my ask for lard over butter even. So I found out that there isn’t a single “American apple pie” either!
So, where did Apple Pie originate? The 1381 recipe I referred to earlier is found in Chaucer.
Chaucer’s Apple Pie Recipe
Inside a pastry filling, include:
- Cooking apples
- Saffron for coloring
Apple pie variations
The French also have a Tarte Tatin, the Swedish have their own version, the Dutch version uses an almond paste. So, each is unique, but, the American Apple pie is still original, and stands by as an icon of Americana. Really, each person who makes an Apple Pie will have their own touch to make it their own.
At least the typical American Apple Pie recipe usually showcases sweet and tart apples, some cinnamon and lots of sugar, no raisins necessary!
So, now that we know that apple pie isn’t just American, it is found a bit elsewhere, we should recognize that America, being a melting pot, is just that: a place to celebrate our freedom to be not-so-homogeneous. While you’re at it, check out our Apple Pie Jelly.
What’s your favorite way to make an apple pie? Do you know the recipe’s origin?
Summer finally feels like it is here as the kids are out of school! Here is a fun list of 21 different cool summer treats to keep everyone happy over the next 90 days
Strawberry Coconut Milk Popsicle
Strawberry Coconut Popsicle
Pineapple Cherry Popsicle
Blueberry Lemonade Popsicle
Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicle
Pineapple Orange Pops
Frozen Watermelon Push Pops
Koolaid Ice Cream
Rhubarb Ice Cream
Strawberry Banana Non Dairy Ice Cream
Blackberry Ice Cream
Blackberry Banana Ice Cream
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
Mango Watermelon Frappe
Pina Colada Pineapple Whip
Refreshing Watermelon Smoothie
Have you ever stopped to think about how traumatic washing laundry must be for laundry?
The fibers get saturated, stretched, weakened, and after all of that, they are tossed into an aggressive jostling, hot and dry environment. I’m invested in the idea of making our clothing last as long as possible, so I do everything I can to avoid the dryer.
When I was asked to review the Maximo Clothes Drying Rack by Bonita, I was skeptical – so many of these types of things are poorly made. I am pleased to say that this product exceeded expectations and I don’t want to be without it in my laundry arsenal.
The illustrations for the instructions could be a little clearer, possibly larger and the parts list had similar issues. This product has quite a few similarly sized metal pipes and the images for these pipes on the parts list were all centered making it very difficult to discern which pipes were which, especially when you are kneeling in the middle of the living room and you have two little daughters who are insanely curious about what you are doing.
That said, assembly was easy and took less than ten minutes, even with a toddler “helping”. The most trying part of the assembly process was when a plastic snap rivet went missing. It was discovered when I stood up and looked at where I was sitting.
The Maximo Clothes Drying Station, when fully assembled feels extremely solid, my confidence was increasing. The swing arms for hangers work very well, and can handle what I would call a moderate amount of weight. I would use the swing arms for kids clothing and for cotton shirts. I would not hang wet, heavy work pants off of them.
The drying racks are really where this item shines. There are three drying racks that are height adjustable. The sides of the racks can be pulled out from the assembly and can hang down, making the rack tremendously space efficient. Wet Sweaters are heavy, and most drying racks collapse under a wet that weight. The folks at Bonita must have considered concepts like the weight of wet clothing because the Maximo Clothes Drying Station feels like it can take a wet sweater with no stability issues.
The Maximo Clothes Drying Rack by Bonita is a solid product. It does exactly what it says it does and it does a lot in a small amount of space. It’s lightweight and portable. Speaking as someone who has gone through a fair share of drying rack items, I tend to feel like they are not as well-thought out as they should be. I truly like the Maximo Clothes Drying Rack by Bonita. It feels like a “finally something that works!” product. Thank you Bonita!
I love my pillow-top mattress. After being cut out of two different car accidents that broke more bones than I can count and I now have arthritis and fibromyalgia. I am never going to give up that “sleeping on a cloud” feeling. The only problem? You can’t flip them.
Mattresses are supposed to be flipped for even wear and to keep the “ick” in the middle. Pillow-top mattresses are spun, so the top is always the top. This is a problem…all those dead skin cells, dust mites that eat them and then the carcasses and feecees of those little critters was sitting on my cloud with me! The average mattress has over 2 million of those little buggers….eeww! . I was shocked to hear that some sources claim the average 10 year old mattress can nearly double in weight from the accumulation of pet and human hair, skin cells and dust mites (including their feces), along with the dried remains of saliva, sweat and other bodily fluids that get embedded in it – that’s pretty gross!
Dyson to the rescue! The Dyson V6 Cordless mattress vacuum really sucks. It’s that deep action brush to agitate the fibers in the mattress along with a Hepa filter to contain 99.97 % of particles as small as 0.3 microns. The whole machine HEPA Filtration: Patented 2 Tier Radial cyclones, a post motor filter and a sealed system to ensure that the air that leaves the machine is cleaner than the air you breathe. This is currently the ONLY Dyson handheld with HEPA filtration. It really got a lot of junk out of my mattress — just look for yourself!
Ewww — right? And that was just ONE of our mattresses. I will tell you right now, the house is quieter at night with less snoring.
The Dyson V6 Mattress Vacuum is very lightweight coming in at 3.6 pounds. That makes it easy to maneuver and carry around. It’s strong suction comes at a small price: you have about 30 minutes of charge before it needs to hit the charger again. Don’t get me wrong, it works VERY hard during that 30 minutes!
I see us using the Dyson V6 Mattress Vacuum often — at least once a season. Sooner if I hear someone snoring!
disclaimer: we were sent a vacuum from Dyson for purposes of the review, all thoughts (and sadly the yuck from the mattress) are entirely our own.
There are a lot of perks to having a chest freezer: you can take better advantage of sales on things that need to be frozen, buy more meat on sale and bake larger quantities of treats for future use. It really does pay for itself when you consider how small a freezer is in a freezer/fridge combo unit.One thing I have been asked, is “how do you know what you have in your freezer?”
Simple. I have an inventory list!
At the beginning of the month, I have a complete list of what is in it. As the month progresses, I cross off what we use, and write in what we add. At the end of the month, I put a * next to the original items on the list, pull off what we used and add in what we bought to have a fresh new list for the new month.
The * tells me it is an older item and I need to try to use it first. If it doesn’t get used that second month it becomes a ** item and HAS to be used the third or fourth month!
This keeps my inventory rotated, food from getting too old or “freezer burnt”, and makes me seem more organized, LOL! We no longer have UFOs (unidentified frozen objects) or throw a big bag of stuff out every 6 months. Let’s face it – you aren’t really saving money on food if you just bring it home and let it set until you have to throw it out!
Do you know what is in YOUR Freezer right now? I challenge you to do a freezer clean out! Toss the UFOs, make a list of what you put back in and post that list on the fridge – you will thank me later
Bonita was one of the companies we were able to visit with when we were at the Chicago Housewares show in March and had so many fun things, I don’t even know where to start! Their concept is to build it better than anyone else and they really pay attention to the tiny details.
Let us chat a bit on their Alpha Ironing Mat. First of all — who still has an ironing board? I don’t. I would just pull out a towel and use the counter…which worked well until the Girl Scout vests started bleeding through to my towels. (sigh)
That is part of what drew me to this mat! It can be used on any large surface and is bigger than an ironing board when full spread out. 47 x 26 inches of cushioned safety at your fingertips for use. Now you can iron large items with ease and simply fold up and put away the mat when you are done!
The built in silicone trivet is my favorite part of this gem — no more scorch marks from the iron on your mat! This helps eliminate fires…because we all know the phone rings during tasks that take both hands (or the doorbell rings!)
This super light (just over 1 pound) mat can easily live on a shelf in your closet or even over the washer or dryer…folding small for storage is a huge perk compared to the 15 pounds of an average ironing board.
The Bonita Ironing Mat is a PERFECT item for those bridal showers or even that college kiddo heading off to the dorms — at just under $20 it’s a great deal.
Now, it is time for me to add Miss Sarah’s new patches to her Girl Scout Junior vest…and this time, I won’t kill one of my towels!
disclosure: I was provided an Ironing Mat from Bonita in exchange for the review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
All Cedar Fair parks off a regular season pass, a gold pass that has added gold member perks including free parking and discounts throughout the park, as well as the platinum pass that allows all the parks of the gold membership but also admission into ALL Cedar Fair Parks. So, now the debate is between whether you should get a gold pass or spend a little bit extra and spring for the platinum pass? You have to weigh the pros and cons, but I am going to be telling you why you should go for the platinum!
-Saves You Money on Multiple Parks: If you plan to do any family vacations this Summer, go somewhere where there is another Cedar Fair theme park and you already have your admission covered for that park. With the Platinum Pass you can get into any and all Cedar Fair theme parks and water parks.
-Gives You a Reason to Travel: There are a lot of Cedar Fair parks on the Midwest-East Coast. If you planned it out and had a few weeks for a long vacation, you can make it a road trip and visit several parks and your pass will give you into all of them!
-Early Admission: A lot of Cedar Fair parks offer an hour early admission for a select amount of rides and this is only offered to Platinum Passholders. The rides allotted changes daily, but it’s nice to be able to get into the park early and not have to wait in ridiculously long lines.
-Discounted Merchandise: With both gold and platinum passes you get the benefit of 10% off all merchandise throughout the park as well as 10% off most food and beverage purchases as well. Saving a bit of money is always nice.
-It Pays for Itself: With the cost of admission to these parks, going to the park just a few times pays for the whole pass. It is well worth paying the price of the pass as long as you plan to use it up! Between paying for admission and parking (which you get free with the pass) you only have to attend about 5 times to get your money’s worth.
I’ve been to a few different Cedar Fair parks and they are all absolutely phenomenal. They have a wide range of rides and they are some of the biggest theme parks in America. I would highly recommend getting a platinum pass and trying out multiple parks!