Fischer and Wieser: Exotic fruit spreads from farm to table

We go through a lot of jelly in this house and not just on a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Fruit spreads are great with crackers and cheese, as an ingredient in a marinade, in baked goods, etc. Of course, we do eat our share of PB&J as well! I rarely buy plain old squeezable grape jelly...instead we usually opt for more unique flavors like blackberry, cherry, or apricot. Well, I THOUGHT those were fairly unique until I got a chance to try a selection of Fischer and Wieser fruit spreads! I was thrilled with the selection of … [Read more...]

(sponsored video) Expert chefs and food connoisseurs offer insights on global cuisine #ad

My husband and I consider ourselves 'foodies' although we are not particularly snobbish in our food preferences. We will happily munch on Kettle chips or dive into a bowl of Thai soup made with lemon grass from the garden. What matters most to us is that the food tastes good! I have tried hard to raise my children with an appreciation for good food and that includes exposing them to international cuisine. I hate to see kids that will only eat hotdogs and boxed mac and cheese because that is all their parents ever serve them!Expand your … [Read more...]

Hot Sauce cookbook up for grabs!

My husband and son have a serious love of all things spicy. My garden is currently growing 6 different kinds of hot peppers that we dehydrate to use year round. My son believes hot sauce belongs on everything. Who am I to tell him that macaroni and cheese shouldn't be spicy, right? Well, when I got the chance to review Hot Sauce from Storey Publishing I knew the family would be thrilled! Keep reading to find out more about this book and then enter to win your own copy! I will have a recipe for you to try out in a few weeks so come back again … [Read more...]

How to survive “the talk” with your daughter (#Kotexmom)

When I was growing up, I was very close to my mom. She was my Brownie leader, we baked cookies together and would often sit at the kitchen table and clip out coupons together on a Sunday morning. We did not, however, discuss many personal issues. Discussions about periods, sex, changes in my body, or emotional issues were really not comfortable discussions between the two of us. We could talk about a good book I had recently read but not about puberty. I actually got my period without my mom ever discussing it with me and it sort of freaked me … [Read more...]

Up for Grabs: Enter to #win a Conscious Box full of ecofriendly products!

How many times have you gone to the store and purchased a product that you have never tried before only to get home and realize you don't like it? I hate to spend good money on an item and then find out I don't care for how it works, smells, lathers, or tastes! Well, in your search for greener products, Conscious Box is a great alternative to buying full size products before you know if you like them. If you are not familiar with Conscious Box, here is some information about them from their website: Conscious Box is dedicated … [Read more...]

Dreaming of My Backyard Oasis (#SearsPatio #SummerWithSears)

I spend a lot of my time in our backyard and it feels almost like an extension of my house. It is a space for us to cook, spend time with the kids, play, relax with the pets, entertain, commune with nature, and enjoy the sun. It is a functional space with items that are useful, although not all that attractive. We purchased our house 6 years ago and the previous owners offered to leave their patio furniture for us. While it was a thoughtful gesture,  the furniture is not in all that great of shape. The material is faded, the once white table is … [Read more...]

Up for Grabs: Nueva Cocina gift basket of Latin inspired mixes

My husband and I consider ourselves adventurous eaters and often turn towards ethnic recipes when we want something a little more exciting than plain chicken or pasta. The problem I have with many ethnic recipes is that they tend to be a little bit more time consuming than I can really handle on a busy weeknight! I was recently sent a selection of Latin inspired mixes from Nueva Cocina and think this line of products offers a great balance between quick and natural and the complexity of flavors that I love about ethnic foods. If you are not … [Read more...]

Blue Diamond Baked Nut•Chips for healthier snacking!

The kids are home for the summer and all I hear is 'I'm hungry' and 'What can I have for a snack?'. I think my grocery bills have tripled since school let out! Since I don't want them snacking on junk food all day I have been trying to make sure the pantry is loaded with healthy snacks. Of course, they are kids and are naturally drawn towards anything resembling a chip! I was sent a selection of Blue Diamond Baked Nut•Chips to try and they have been a big hit. I am sure you have seen other Blue Diamond products in the store but here is a little … [Read more...]

The Muffin Tin Cookbook (book review)

  Title:  The Muffin Tin CookbookSubtitle:  200 Fast, Delicious Mini-Pies, Pasta Cups, Gourmet Pockets, Veggie Cakes, and More!ISBN:  978-1440532160Publisher:  Adams Media; Original edition (April 15, 2012)Author:  Brette Sember (with Contributor: Melinda Boyd, MPH, MHR RD)Pages/format:  paperback 224 pagesMy Rating:  4 From the Publisher: There's nothing you can't make in a muffin tin--and we're not talking merely muffins. All you need is a muffin tin, paper liners, and this … [Read more...]

Up for Grabs! 6 bags of Pillsbury Baguette Chips from #MyBlogSpark

My husband and I are simple folks...we don't spend a lot of money on fancy date nights and exotic destinations. We are happiest to be home on a Friday evening with a good bottle of wine and a few tasty snacks. I try hard to make sure that our snacks are at least SLIGHTLY on the healthy side so I don't feel quite so guilty indulging myself occasionally. While chips might be tasty, they have a tendency to be rather high in fat! I was recently sent a selection of Pillsbury's new Baguette Chips to try our and am happy to say that these are not just … [Read more...]

A vacation visit from the Fairy Hob Mother

I spent the last few days hot and sweaty in Charleston, SC. We kayaked in the swamp with alligators, toured old town Charleston from the back of a horse drawn carriage and wandered around Fort Sumpter as we listened to a historical account of the Civil War. The highlight of the trip was definitely the 3 hour long kayak tour that took us through the cypress forest swamps of Beidler Forest. We got to see tons of gators (yes, they were actually in the water with us!), snakes, and birds. I am very glad to say we did not see the infamous swamp … [Read more...]

EcoTools offers green beauty and a donation to help the planet!

I am not usually one to wear a lot of makeup. I prefer to choose a few key pieces that are simple and natural to help blend my complexion and bring out a little bit of color. I really enjoy the loose mineral makeup, particularly the blush because I think it blends better and looks more natural. In order to use the loose powdered type makeup, you need to have a few makeup brushes in your collection. EcoTools offers a wonderful selection of makeup brushes that fit right in line with my green beauty routine. If you are not familiar with EcoTools , … [Read more...]

B-Real offers a natural clean for tweens!

Like any other tween girl, my daughter is really starting to get excited about beauty products. Our collection of lotions, body sprays, perfumes and hair products has grown at astronomical proportions over the last year. I am always concerned about the types of products that she is using and try to guide her towards things with natural  ingredients whenever possible. It is sometimes a bit of a struggle to find products that are natural but also geared towards kids her age. She isn't a little kid anymore but she also isn't a grownup. Well, I was … [Read more...]

An easy #vegan spring roll recipe!

In an effort to add more vegetables to our diet, my husband and I have started trying to incorporate new recipes into our repertoire. I was recently sent a copy of Vegan Cooking for Carnivores: Over 125 Recipes So Tasty You Won't Miss the Meat and there are a TON of great recipes in it! I will say that the original recipe calls for things like 'julienne' and 'chiffonade' and I am more of a slice and dice sort of cook. I used my Cuisinart food processor to thinly slice most of it and a knife to do the rest. Along with some spring roll wrappers … [Read more...]

Gluten Free Sauces from San-J

In April my in laws came for a visit and I started planning some nice meals that would feed more than my usual 4 people. My mother in law has Celiac Sprue which means she cannot have any foods with gluten in it. For those of you who have ever tried to eat a gluten free diet, you will understand that this dietary restriction puts a bit of a crimp in the grocery shopping and menu planning. I wanted to grill out some chicken breasts but looked forever for a gluten free marinade to try. I finally found one but it was difficult! Then, the week after … [Read more...]

Summer Snacking with G.H. Cretors popcorn!

With the kids home for the summer, my house is filled with children's voices. Those voices are either yelling at each other or asking me what is to eat! Honestly, if they aren't fighting they are eating! I am maintaining my sanity by keeping them well fed! Since I don't want them filling up on junk, I make sure to always have a wide selection of healthy snacks available. Fruit, yogurt, pretzels and popcorn are all great choices  but popcorn is by far their favorite! I was recently sent a selection of popcorn flavors from G.H. Cretors to try out … [Read more...]

I’m a #KotexMom! Make sure your daughter is prepared for her period!

Last weekend I took my daughter shopping for her first bra. It was an exciting moment for her and a slightly sad one for me. We had a lot of fun but I had to admit that my baby girl is growing up! I have tried hard over the last couple of years to make sure she is prepared for the ways her body is changing and have always told both of my kids that they can ask me anything at all and I will answer as honestly as I can. My mom and I didn't have a very open line of communication when I was her age. I got my period at 12 and my mom had never even … [Read more...]

Healthy and Organic Grilling with #Applegate

Now that summer is here, my husband and I are preparing more of our family's meals on the grill. I hate heating up the kitchen with the oven and stovetop when the outdoor temperatures are in the 90's so cooking outside is convenient! I am always concerned about choosing the right foods for my family. We try and choose organic and naturally raised meats whenever possible and our local grocery store has a great selection of organic produce. Once thing I have really missed eating in the last few years is hotdogs...I just can't bring myself to buy … [Read more...]

Connect Your Home can save you time and money!

    The kids are out of school for the summer and between swim meets, tennis lessons and music practice they like to glue themselves to a screen and become rather comatose for a few hours. While I try and limit their screen time when I can, there is no way I would survive without cable television and a fast internet connection! I may not understand their taste in entertainment but it is apparently a vital part of their existence! There are many different cable companies on the market today and it really pays to do your research. Sometimes, … [Read more...]