Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Baking with Reynolds Parchment Sheets and Country Crock!

Disclosure: I received ReynoldsⓇ baking sheets and Country CrockⓇ free from Influenster in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I love baking! I also love a quick cleanup and cookies that don't stick to the pan. If you've used Reynolds parchment paper you know that it is a great addition to your
"ingredient" list while baking or making other desserts. 

But the downside to parchment paper is tearing it from the roll and then having it curl on your pan. While it's still worth it, Reynolds has an even better option!

Pre-cut sheets of parchment paper! These things are wonderful. There are 22 in each box with price point of about $3.00.

They are a little big for my pans, but I just creased the edges and started placing my cookies!

The recipe I used is from the Better Homes and Gardens cook book. I made oatmeal raisin cookies.

I decided to test out Country Crock spread in this recipe rather than using butter. 

I had a great little helper. I usually don't like baking with toddlers, but she did really well!

I was very pleased with the outcome of the cookie. They were a great consistency and had an amazing flavor. Country Crock offers a lower calorie cookie, without missing the taste or consistency of butter. 

I do have to say that I'm a butter girl. I still prefer butter, mainly because butter is butter, margarine is many other things. But I will be keeping Country Crock around for occasional use. 

Country Crock also has an easy "Make It Yours" recipe for cookies.


1 cup Country CrockⓇ
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1-2 cups of your favorite mix-ins (chocolate chips, cranberries, coconut, etc)

Directions: (makes aprox. 4 dozen cookies)

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix sugars, Country CrockⓇ, eggs, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients until well blended.

Add your mix-in choices!

Line your baking sheet with ReynoldsⓇ parchment paper, place rounded tablespoons of cookie dough 3 inches apart.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool for a minute before removing from pan and placing on cooling rack. 

Then enjoy the goodness! 

What type of mix-ins are your favorite for cookies? I could really go for white chocolate macadamia nut right about now! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sunbelt Bakery #BloomVoxBox

All items received in the #BloomVoxBox were given to me complimentary from Influenster in exchange for my honest review.

There are many great products to try in the Bloom Voxbox! Naturally, the first one tried was food related! I have had Sunbelt Bakery Chewy granola bars in the past and have always been delighted. 

I decided to share this snack with two of the kiddos, poor middle child was napping, so he didn't get to have any. 

They were both pleased with this bar and wanted more. It chewy and sweet, but not too sweet. The only thing that would make this bar better is if it were covered in chocolate. It just so happens they have one covered in chocolate. It's amazing. 

While these bars taste great, I don't make them an everyday treat. 

Here is some of the nutrition info, which differs a little from their website

From reading the ingredients, I'm gathering that honey is used to make the granola, but corn syrup and sugar are used as the glue to hold the bar together. 

They taste pretty darn good and it is definitely worth it to keep a box in the pantry for an occasional treat. Really though, you won't regret buying the ones dipped in chocolate! Enjoy!

Come back later for reviews of the other products in the Bloom Voxbox! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Family Fun Night at the Ice Castle!

Looking for a fun event for the whole family? Check out one of these Ice Castle displays! If you are in the Utah, New Hampshire, Minnesota or the Edmonton, Alberta Canada areas and want to check out one of these displays, you can get 15% off admission! Find the code at the bottom of this post! Also listed below are the locations and hours for each Ice Castle! 

WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Midway, UT. One of four Ice Castles in America.
WHERE: 2002 Soldier Hollow Rd Midway, UT 84049 USA
WHEN: Jan 8th-March
M - Th: 3pm to 9pm
Friday: 3pm to 11pm
Sat: Noon to 11pm
Sunday: Closed
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne.
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning Narnia Like display.
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night. Built by hand and made from more than 20,000,000 pounds of ice, the Ice Castles in Midway, UT are READY to be explored!

WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Lincoln, NH. One of four Ice Castles in America.
WHERE: 64 Railroad St
Lincoln, NH 03521
WHEN: Early Feb. TBA.
M - Th: 3pm to 9pm
Friday: 3pm to 10pm
Sat: Noon to 10pm
Sunday: 3pm to 9pm
Tuesday: Closed
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning Narnia Like Display.
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night. Over an acre of frozen ice walls, tunnels, towers, archways and more! Come see us starting in late December!

WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Eden Prairie, MN. One of four Ice Castles in America.
WHERE: 17970 East Miller Parkway
Eden Prairie, MN 55347 USA
WHEN: Jan 29th-March.
M - Th: 3pm to 9pm
Tuesday: Closed
Friday: 3pm to 10pm
Sat: Noon to 10pm
Sunday: noon - 8pm
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display. 
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.

WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Edmonton, AB. 
WHERE: Hawrelak Park, 9930 Groat Road, Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7
WHEN: Dec 30th-March.
M - Th: 3pm to 9pm
Tuesday: Closed
Friday: 3pm to 10pm
Sat: Noon to 10pm
Sunday: noon - 8pm
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display. 
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.

My readers get to save off admission! Fun and Unique experience with your family at Amazing Ice Castles! UT,NH,MN,and AB! Use Code USFamily and Save 15% off admission on .@usfg

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Universal Comfy Co. Crib Mattress Protector Review

My third baby is 9 month old. Up until now I have only had mattress pads that are the size of a pack and play. Every time I would change the sheets I would put one of these half crib size mattress pads on the mattress then cover them with a fitted sheet. Then I'd just hope that when we had leaks my baby would still be on the portion of the mattress that had the pad. Then there was the process of putting the fitted sheet on without the pad moving out of place.

Thanks to Universal Comfy Co. I no longer have this issue, and I wonder why I didn't get something like this sooner! Not only is their mattress protector easy to put on, but it gives me 100% mattress protection and it's comfortable for my baby!

Besides function, it is also very comfortable, Universal Comfy Co. Crib Mattress Protector is:

Washing before use will increase absorbency. Bamboo fibers hold onto the natural oils, it will probably take a few washes to reach maximum absorbency. But washing once before use would be enough to begin with. 

This mattress protector is easy to put on. It's just like a fitted sheet and hugs a standard crib/toddler bed mattress (28" x 52" x 6") perfectly. Once it is on, you can add a fitted sheet without worrying about the protector shifting out of place.  Below is a photo with the protector on the mattress by itself and with a fitted sheet over it. Full coverage, no shifting, mattress protection!

If you are in the market for a mattress pad protector head to Amazon and get Universal Comfy Co! It's even on sale right now. With a Prime account you'll get it in two days with free shipping! 

Disclosure: I received the above product complimentary in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Natural Teething Relief with KG Baby Baltic Amber

There are a number of teething pain remedies on the market. From Tylenol to teething tablets. While Tylenol has it's place, I don't believe it is beneficial to give a child regular doses of it over the lengthy period of time that teething is. Mouth numbing agents are effective, but can cause choking due to the throat muscles being effected by the numbing agent as well. There are also more natural and homeopathic remedies, two of which we rely on in this house; amber teething necklaces and teething tablets.

If you aren't familiar with amber teething necklaces, there are a few things you should know. First off, amber teething necklaces are made from amber beads. Amber is a fossilized resin from conifer (trees bearing cones) sap. When the beads are against the skin, body heat releases succinic acid which absorbs into the skin. Succinic acid provides many beneifits which aid in teething.

Second, amber necklaces are NOT meant to be chewed on. This is not a product your baby or toddler should be able to get in their mouth. This is meant to be worn against the skin. As I said above, benefits come from body heat and absorption, not from your baby actively chewing on the beads.

Third, safety! Make sure you have the right fit. Not too long, not too short. It is not recommended to allow your baby to wear the necklace when you are not with them. Avoid bathing with the necklace, this could weaken the cord the beads are tied on, which would increase risk of the necklace breaking. 

One place you can buy these necklaces is from KG Baby on Amazon

There are many things I like about their necklaces. Each bead is knotted on either side. This is significant because if the necklace breaks, only one bead will fall off the cord, the knots hold the rest on the cord. I also like that the beads on this necklace are multi-colored and oval shaped, I feel it is a great option for boys! The clasp is screw-on and I haven't had it loosen at all. 

The downside to this necklace, it's a bit too long. It is listed as 12 inches, but it is actually closer to 13. When I put it on my 9 month old, she immediately pulled it up and put it in her mouth, and as I said earlier, they should not be able to get it in their mouth. I decided to try it on my 3 year old. I thought it was a pretty good fit for him. He could get it to his chin, but not in his mouth unless he really tried. But he's not one to put things in his mouth anymore, so I'm not too concerned about that with him. Unfortunately, he has all his teeth, so this isn't something he needs. 

Below you'll see how it compares when my baby is wearing it vs. my 3 year old. 

As you can see, this length makes it easy for her to play with and put in her mouth, neither of which is safe for a baby. I also feel like it would be easy to get snagged on things as she crawls or toddles around. It has a much better fit on my toddler. Still a little bigger than I'd like, but I don't see any safety concerns with him wearing an amber necklace this length. 

I'd say this necklace would be good for bigger babies or older babies/toddlers, but not younger babies or little ones that are on the lower half of the growth scale. 

You can purchase this necklace by KG Baby on Amazon, they are currently including chewable teething jewelry (for mom to wear) in with your purchase! 

I received the product pictured above for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Teething Baby On-the-G0! Teething Jewelry Giveaway

Thank you Baby Comfy for the teething jewelry!

 There are many factors to a teething that came make both mom and baby miserable:
  • interrupted/less sleep
  • moody baby
  • lots of drool
  • being away from home
  • etc
While I can't help you with your lack of sleep or your cranky baby, there is one product that has really helped me when I have been on-the-go! Baby Comfy offers a line of Gummi Teething Jewelry that can go with you anywhere to keep your little chomper happy. 

My husband and I went on a lunch date with out the boys. But because my daughter is still nursing we took her with. This necklace kept her entertained nearly the whole time we were eating. 

Baby Comfy Gummy Teething Jewelry is a necklace that mom (or dad) wears which has a food grade silicon teething ring attached. Teething ring is free of phthalate, BPA, PVC, and lead. It is FDA approved and CPSIA compliant.

The necklace is comprised of a nylon cord and a safety break-away clasp, in the event baby pulls really hard on the necklace, mom won't get hurt.  

What is unique about Baby Comfy is the texture on the teething ring. Most teething jewelry is smooth, but these have a textured surface, sure to make this necklace more entertaining for your little one. 

My baby girl is 8 months old. She already has 8 teeth, she started teething at 4 months. She may already have her front teeth, but she is constantly putting things in her mouth to chomp on. She likes anything gummi/silicone, but she does seem to like to drag her teeth across the texture on this necklace. 

The first time I put it on, she grabbed it immediately and stuck it in her mouth (pictured above). What makes this a wonderful teething product for being out-and-about is that mom wears it baby can't drop it! So you don't have to worry about picking up baby's teether from the dirty floor of the grocery store. It is the perfect length if you are pushing a cart with  your little one sitting up front (assuming you aren't super tall). It is also a great length if baby is sitting in your lap, but facing away from you. You don't have to be carrying baby on your chest to utilize this teething necklace... but you can, because it is also great for baby wearing!

An added bonus is that it gives your baby something to play with while breastfeeding. Her holding this necklace beats getting fish hooked or having her little fingers dig up my nose! 

You can purchase Baby Comfy Gummi Teething Jewelry on Amazon in one of seven colors, the color pictured is aqua. 

You also have a chance to win it! Baby Comfy Gummi is giving away a coupon code for a free necklace to one of my readers!  Enter below. Must be 18 years old and a resident of the US.

Disclosure: I received the product pictured above complimentary in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Frosty Vox Box from Influenster!

I received the items pictured below complimentary from Influenster in exchange for my honest review!

I introduce you to the...

             Frosty Vox Box!

Lets first start with my two favorite items from the Frosty Vox Box, these four items are products I will definitely purchase in the future:

NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum
Of all the lipstick I have tried, this is by far the best! Not only was it the perfect color for me, but it gave a long lasting wear. The first time I used it I was expecting to have to re-apply every hour or so, but after four hours and eating lunch, I still did not think it was necessary to touch up my lip stick! When you also take into consideration the low price point, you really can't get any better! 

McCormick Gourmet Thyme
I have been adding this seasoning to everything, stews, mac and cheese, scrambled eggs and omelets, and even stir fry! Great flavor, looks and tastes fresh!

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner
This is a great liner for my top lid. It glides on smooth and gives a great bold color (this one is black). Fills between my lashes nicely. It would be great for that smokey eye or smudged look too! I do not use this on my bottom lid, I do not feel it give the precision I need to line my bottom lid, so I use a different eyeliner from the Scandaleyes line for my lower lid.

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea
I'm not a big fan of peppermint. But after tasting this one I am sold! This was a great tea. I like that it is decaf so I can drink it whenever I want. When I first tried it I had a mild upset stomach, as a bonus, the peppermint tea took away that discomfort. Definitely something I want on hand when my tummy isn't feeling too well. 

Now onto the rest of the products:

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum
This product is supposed to reduce the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles in as little as two weeks! I received a sample size of 3ml. This wasn't enough to fully test the product. While I can't say whether two weeks of use will reduced those dreaded wrinkles, I can say that the product has a silky smooth feel on the skin, it is light and makes my skin soft. This product is hypoallergenic for those who may have sensitive skin. It is recommended to apply twice a day, morning and night, after washing your face.

Eco Tools Hair Brush
I received the Sleek and Shine finisher hair brush. I like the concept of the Eco brush. It is manufactured with the environment in mind. Each brush has an open back to allow you to blow dry your hair with the brush quicker than a standard hair brush. I don't like the bristles of the Sleek and Shine brush. Even with fine hair, I don't find it effective at brushing my hair unless it has already been dried. This style bristle is supposed to distribute your hairs natural oils giving you an all over sleek and shiny finish. While I do feel it did this, I also got a bit of static. I would however love to try their Smoothing Detangler Brush, that is more my style hair brush! 

Fruit Vines Bites
Not going to lie here... these are VERY delicious! A sweet and tangy cherry flavor that is perfect for snacking on the go or at home watching a movie! Unfortunately, it is really easy to eat the whole bag in one sitting, which isn't good if you are concerned about your sugar intake. But they are incredibly tasty!

Now that you have been introduced to these products, which are you interested in trying? Have you already tried some of these?