Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Protect Your Eyes With Spektrum Glasses

When I worked at a company doing data entry several years ago, I suffered from eye strain quite frequently.  When you're staring at a computer screen and crunching numbers for 8 hours a day, it can really take a toll on your eyes.  I remember coming home with headaches and needing to close my eyes and rest.  Eye strain is not fun and it can be painful too.  Be smart and take your vision seriously.  You only have one pair of eyes!



Spektrum's Prospek collection offers the best computer glasses on the market for anyone.  You'll be satisfied with their maximum protection that still provides a comfortable solution that fits your personal style.  The glasses block UV light, blue light and guarantee a fit that you'll enjoy.  If you think these glasses are on the unfashionable side, think again! You can choose from several colors and frames in the Prospek collection for anyone's taste in the entire family.  Whether you like Wayfarers or a something stylish, it's all there! Moms, dads, teens and kids can be protected anytime, anywhere! The glasses are the only ones that feature blue light filtering.  Kids will enjoy the brightly colored Prospek glasses that keep their eyes safe from screen time.  





What I didn't realize was that the blue light that emanates from electronic devices can harm the quality of your sleep.  Not only that but it can lead to a number of ailments such as depression, obesity, cancer, and even blindness.  Studies have shown that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells and cause vision problems.  Social media also doesn't help us to stay off our phones or computer when we're constantly uploading pictures and checking out what everyone is doing. 



I spend a lot of time on my phone running my blog whether I'm home or not.  Frequently, I find myself needing to shut off the electronics and take a break.  The screen time really does a number on my eyes and it's not a good feeling.  I'm also guilty of using my phone with the lights off when I'm in bed.  I know that's not smart at all for your eyes and it's something I need to work on.  

If you want your vision to remain top notch for as long as possible, it's time to be proactive and do what you can to protect yourself.  



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Little Adventures Will Provide Your Child Hours of Fun!

I've noticed lately that Scarlett is interested in dressing up and wearing fake jewelry.  We have a Hello Kitty jewelry box full of fake beaded necklaces and bracelets on her dresser, and she loves putting on the items and looking at herself in the mirror.  I get a kick out of it because she smiles and twirls around! I think it's safe to say she enjoys pretend play like all little girls do.



Little Adventures offers adorable dress up clothes for everyday in a variety of styles for boys and girls.  The sizes start at a year old and go all the way up to 9 years old, so your son or daughter can have years of play.  Your boy will enjoy the cloaks and hoodies along with the knight and dragon wear that comes in a variety of styles.  For the girls, there are a range of options including princesses and fairy dresses as well as accessories like wands, tutus, crowns, and tiaras.  

All children love to dress up and use their imagination for hours of fun everyday.  The clothes are soft and machine-washable for continuous use.  Keep Little Adventures in mind for gifting needs for that little one in your life.

Since Scarlett is a girly-girl, I knew she'd enjoy the Sleeping Beauty Princess Dress, the Deluxe Pink Princess 2017 dress, and the Hot Pink Fairy Halo and Wand.  All three pieces are so adorable! Since the order was delivered during nap time, I eagerly awaited Scarlett to wake up so I could see what she thought of the items.  Both dresses were ordered in a size of 1-3 years, so Scarlett can enjoy them for a while.  I liked that the dresses both came with hangers for easy hanging in the closet.  


Once Scarlett was up from her nap, the first dress we tried on was the deluxe sleeping beauty dress.  This number offers durable pink stretch velvet sewn and pink china silk with silver foil detailing fit for a princess.  Since it's freezing cold out at the moment, this velvet dress is perfect for keeping warm in the bitter temps when playing indoors.  We're also always looking to have more indoor fun since it's winter and too cold to play outside.


What I first noticed about both dresses is how well made they are.  I've seen some dress up clothes that seem like they are made with questionable materials, but that truly isn't the case for Little Adventures.  The colors are bold and vibrant and really grab a child's attention.  I'm a fan of the gorgeous silver scroll design that runs down the middle of the dress.  The dress fit Scarlett well and was a perfect length on her, it was also easy to put on.  She didn't seem to have any issues with the material being uncomfortable on her.  I've never seen dress up clothes offered for children younger than 4, so it's nice that smaller children and toddlers are accommodated.  

Scarlett smiled when I showed her what she looked like in the mirror and seemed very happy.  I put the matching fairy halo on her which really gave the dress an extra bit of pizazz.  One thing that we're missing from our dress up clothes is the requisite fake heels.  If we had a pair of silver or pink heels, I know it would have been perfect to complete the look.  I have to make a mental note to buy her some for future play.  The fairy halo is full of ribbons, sparkles, and flowy satin material to make a girl feel like a true princess.  What more could a little girl want?  What's great about the fairy halo and wand set is that it's versatile and can truly work with any dress up outfit you pair it with.  

It made me happy to see Scarlett so excited about the dress up clothes, because she's never owned anything like these dresses before.  Every parent wants to see their child's eyes light up, it's a special feeling. 

I couldn't wait to see how my tiny girl looked in the pink princess dress, I knew she'd look fabulous! Since this is a short-sleeved dress, make sure your child wears a shirt underneath so they aren't cold if you have cold weather outside.  You'll love this gorgeous two tone dress featuring a bright pink velvet bodice with silver trim that meets light pink velvet sleeves.  Your eyes will focus on the glittered collar and beautiful white rose that compliment the delicate drapes over a bright pink skirt.


This dress seemed to be Scarlett's favorite in my opinion since she started dancing and twirling when she looked at herself in the mirror.  It also was the perfect length and fit her well.  She touched the silver detail on the skirt and smiled while saying "ooh".  I'm sure she felt so beautiful, but who can blame her? She looked stunning! We also paired the fairy halo and wand set with this dress as well.  My tiny princess spent a while playing in both dresses and she didn't want to take them off when I told her it was snack time! I think it's safe to say she enjoyed being a princess.  The benefit of these dresses is that your child can be a princess whenever the mood strikes them.


Since both dresses are machine-washable, I can easily throw them in the washing machine if Scarlett does get a stain on them.  For a mom, that's extremely convenient and helpful.  

Why not let your son or daughter transform into a fairy princess or a dragon anytime they want? All you have to do is place an order at Little Adventures.  Playtime will be full of fun and adventure from here on out.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Little Adventures for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Make a Thanksgiving Breakfast This Year That The Whole Family Will Love

If you're looking for something delicious to have for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, I have the perfect recipe for you.  It combines salty and sweet and is utterly fantastic.

These Cinnamon Roll Turkeys from Pillsbury will delight your entire family and they'll be asking for seconds! Don't forget to wash them down with a nice cup of joe, or icy cold milk. They are easy to make and an adorable way to celebrate the holiday. 

Hello tasty cutie

Ingredients:

1 can (17.5 oz) Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls with icing
10 slices of bacon
5 candy corns
5 red mini candy coated chocolate candies
10 candy eyeballs
15 mini pretzel sticks, cut in half

Steps:
-Heat oven to 350F.  Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper 

-Set icing aside.  Separate dough into 5 rolls; place about 3 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Unroll each one about an inch, and tuck dough into roll to create neck of turkey.

-Bake 20 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack and cool 5 minutes.  

-Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towel-lined plate.  Cut bacon slices in half.  Tuck 4 halves of bacon into the back of each cinnamon roll so they stick up and look like tail feathers.  

-Drizzle top of rolls with icing.  Decorate turkeys with candy eyeballs, candy corn, and candy-coated chocolates.  Before serving, place halved pretzel sticks underneath each turkey to resemble feet.

Enjoy! Let this become a family tradition to have for breakfast each Thanksgiving morning.  

*Recipe taken from Pillsbury

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Adjusting to Life With No Naps

When Scarlett was born, she initially slept a lot.  As she got older, her shut-eye time lessened and she spent more time awake than asleep.  When she was 6 months old, I put her on a sleep and feed schedule that stuck with her for more than two years.

As a parent, you deal with many challenges over the course of your child's life.  Some areas may be less difficult than others, but I'm dealing with something that I was not prepared for in the slightest.  Today, I am mourning the loss of naps.  How can you say goodbye to something you loved so much for almost 3 years? It's very difficult.  I feel lost and alone and afraid of the unknown!


When Scarlett used to nap, it was from 12-3.  I had three glorious hours to myself to do whatever I pleased whether it was clean, sleep, or just work online.  She would eat lunch at 11 AM and then nap at 12.  When she woke up at 3, I knew that we only had 2 hours until dinner and then bath time and bed would eventually follow.  The day felt easy and worry-free.  Now, I have 7 and a half hours to fill after lunch and it's concerning.  

Scarlett only goes to school twice a week for 3 hours a day.  So beyond those 6 hours a week, it's up to me to fill the time.  We used to go the park, see friends, do our shopping, etc but it seems foreign to me to have so much time on my hands now.  My friend's children no longer nap so they told me this day would eventually come.  It's not a total surprise, but still difficult to accept.  I know in time, I will adjust.

My tiny girl doesn't understand rest or quiet time.  She won't play quietly in her room without making a big mess, so that's out.  I have her in my bed and we watch a movie quietly which is better than nothing.  On the upside, we no longer have to worry about rushing home for nap time and can do more things away from home. 

I'm happy that she napped for as long as she did, but it would be very nice if she said just kidding mom, I'm going to take a nap now!


Monday, October 23, 2017

Preschoolers Everywhere Will Enjoy Little Tikes Games

Now that Scarlett is in her 3's program at school, they've been doing a lot of memory building activities lately  Whether it's matching smiling pumpkins for Halloween or finding the green ice cream cone in a sea of candy and cookies, everything helps build my tiny girl's brain.  It's important to have your little one exposed to educational toys and resources to ensure they are learning and boosting their brain power.




Little Tikes offers infant, young children's toys and furniture for indoor and outdoor use.  If fun is on your older child's agenda, let their playhouses, sandboxes, water tables, and kitchens delight your tot's imagination.  If you have a baby, they will love the jump jump's, walkers, and educational learning toys among many others.  Whatever age your child is, they will surely enjoy Little Tikes products that create and spark play and curiosity.

I was unaware that Little Tikes made learning games until very recently. The age range for the games are 3-5 and they are ideal for improving concentration, memory, and matching skills.  Your little ones will love such games as Crazy Blender, Hot Hoops, Crazy Toaster, and Farm Memory Match-Up.  It's always a wonderful idea to turn off the electronics and have your child really do something beneficial for development.

Scarlett is almost 3, so she's a little too young for all of the games except Farm Memory Match-Up.  This an ideal choice for her since she is such an avid animal lover and it ties into what she's been doing at school.  The age range for this game is 3+.  Two to four players can play the game which is ideal for your child and a friend or two.  Test your memory and matching skills by putting the animals back together.  Separate the farm animals and put each half under a haystack and shuffle them around.  Whoever matches the most animals wins! The game comes with 10 farm animals which feature a duck, cow, chicken, sheep, and more.


This is the first real boxed game that she's ever played and she's really interested.  I think the animals draw her in.  Right now, my husband Jay and I play it with her, but I'm sure when her friends come over they will enjoy it too as she gets older.  The animals are brightly colored and help to get children interested.

Scarlett's attention span for this game is impressively long considering she's not yet 3.  She really wants to find the match and seems to understand the concept which is great. Of course she does eventually want to just play with the animals and loses concentration, but hey she's still very young and it's to be expected!

As a parent, there's nothing more important to me than my child having fun through learning.  I think the best way to teach a child is to disguise it through play.  She's not realizing how much she's really learning, but I am! I think as she gets older this will be a continued favorite.


I'm looking forward to having her play more games in the future and seeing how her mind works with them.  It'll surely be interesting to see as she grows up!

If you're looking for an educational game that your young children can play, get the toy-box ready for Little Tikes Farm Memory Match-Up.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Little Tikes for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

An American Girl Doll Would Make Any Little Girl Happy This Christmas #HolidayGiftGuide

Can you believe how quickly this year has flown by? Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.  I'm sure everyone has started to begin their holiday shopping or will be doing so in the next few weeks. Scarlett really has a maternal side when it comes to pretend play with her toys.

She will brush her Barbie's hair, hug a stuffed bear and give it a baby bottle, and push her dolls around in a stroller. It's very cute to see and she is very proud of herself.  She even says she is the doll's mommy! If you ask me, she's a very good little mommy.  All little girls enjoy playing with dolls at one point or another.  What's your child's favorite doll?

American Girl offers inspiring products for each stage of a young girl's development from baby dolls all the way up to full size dolls that would delight any child.  Through an array of premium-quality books, dolls, clothes, toys and accessories, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators.  

All of the dolls are characterized by a different name, story, and personality.  Surely your daughter will find the one that appeals to her most.  There's an array of clothing options to choose from ranging from pajamas and casual wear to party dresses and fancy coats. Don't forget the purse and perfect pair of shoes to complete the outfit with! 

I have a special place in my heart for American Girl dolls because I had one about 22 years ago.  I'm not exactly sure when I received it, but I do think it was for my 8th birthday present.  It was one of those monumental presents that I was very excited to receive.  My doll was the create your own version that looked similar to me.  I remember flipping through the catalogs whenever they came in the mail and wishing I could order a lot of the accessories! 

My aunt was very talented and built a bed for the doll as well as a mini wardrobe for the clothes.  She also sewed blankets and a pillow for the bed.  I'm fortunate enough that my mom kept the doll, clothes, and furniture after all these years for my future daughter to play with.  It's very special that Scarlett will be able to have years of enjoyment from the items just like I did!


It's funny how more than two decades later, American Girl is still just as popular as it was in the 1990's when I was a child.  Scarlett was fortunate enough to receive the Samantha doll and what a lucky girl she is to have it.  While the doll collection has grown over time, the classic girls from the beginning like Addy, Felicity, and Samantha remain. I vividly remember my friend having the Samantha doll when we were children and loving her old-fashioned clothes and beautiful hair. 

Samantha is one of American Girl's first historical characters along with Kirsten Larson and Molly Mcintyre.   Since her inception in 1986, she's been extremely popular.  Samantha was retired for a few years but has now been re-released and is back to entertain and bring joy to girls everywhere again.


Scarlett really loves dolls and has been interested to play with Samantha since she arrived in the mail.  I think it's very special that a piece of my childhood will also be included in hers.  Samantha comes wearing the classic "Meet Samantha" outfit that I remember her in all those years ago as well as a coordinating book.  You'll instantly fall in love with her beautiful hair and dark features.  Scarlett is used to dressing up her barbies, but to have an 18 inch doll that you can play with and change her clothes is a lot more fun.  

She enjoys brushing her hair gently and showing Samantha to all of her stuffed animals. Our dog Lynnie was even introduced to her! I'm lucky that Scarlett understands that she cannot be rough with the doll and really goes out of her way to play with her nicely. Scarlett even offered to share her yogurt raisins with Samantha which is a big deal because those are her favorite.


Samantha only comes with one outfit, but more are available to buy on the American Girl website.  She is quality made and has a huggable cloth body with moveable head and limbs made of smooth vinyl. I've already gone a little nuts and bought the doll a lot of clothes online including pajamas, a swimsuit, and a jacket.  Hey, a girl needs to have options! I'm waiting for those to arrive in the mail.

Even though Scarlett is young for the doll at almost 3, it's something that she'll be able to receive enjoyment from for years to come and won't quickly outgrow it.  As a parent, I like having toys and dolls that she'll be able to get years of use out of.

When we go to visit my mom in Florida in December, I'll be bringing back the bed and the wardrobe for Scarlett. I'm sure she'll love being able to put all of the doll's clothes away and changing her outfits whenever.

In time I may add various various accessories and playsets to the doll for Scarlett.  There's so many options to choose from on the American Girl website that are beyond adorable. I've noticed that there's so much more available then when I was a child!

If you're looking to make a little girl happy on Christmas morning, why not put an American Girl doll under the tree for her?

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to American Girl for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 





Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Scarlett's 3rd Birthday is Approaching!

Can you believe it? Scarlett will be turning 3 in less than 8 weeks.  Wow!

Since Scarlett is such an avid pizza lover, we decided to have her birthday party at a local restaurant where her and her friends can make their own pizza's.  The birthday girl and her guests will be able to decorate pizza's, get a tour of the kitchen, and watch their pizza cook in the brick oven.  They will be wearing chef hats and coats and will be mini chefs for the day! I know they also will be decorating pizza boxes and making their own sundaes too.



I'll be sending out birthday party invitations in the next few weeks as well as working on her goody bags for the party.  Each bag will contain a pizza cookie that I'm having custom made as well as a mini pizza box with a pizza crayon and a make your own pizza kit inside.  The cake will be chocolate but made to look like a pizza.  Since my tiny cutie loves pizza, she'll be thrilled! I'm sure she'll want lots of cheese and peppers on her pizza on her special day.

I can't wait for her party, I have many pizza themed decorations as well as a pizza hair bow and themed shirt for the party attire! She's going to look so cute and have so much fun.  I'll be sure to post plenty of pictures.


Why I Love Zulily

As I've mentioned previously, I enjoy online shopping.  There's something exciting about making a purchase for something you want or need and waiting for it to show up outside your door.  Online shopping is fantastic, you can skip the crowds and the lines and purchase anything from the comfort of your own home.  What could be better?



Zulily is the one website where I have a lot of trouble not making a purchase.  If you haven't been on Zulily before, let me inform you of how fabulous it is.  The website offers daily deals from top retailers and beyond that are anywhere from 40-80% off.  You can save some serious dough on home and garden items, clothing, toys and games, shoes, accessories, and so much more.  There's truly something for everyone and it can be downright dangerous for your wallet! It's hard for me to stay away and I sometimes can't!



I mostly shop on Zulily for Scarlett since they offer unique and interesting clothing options for babies, children, and adults that you can't find in a local store.  The prices are always so reasonable and Scarlett can look adorable for a fraction of the cost of what the outfit would be in a department store.  All of her summer sandals and some rompers and dresses came from Zulily and they fit her great.  

The toy options are also quite different from most toys that you'd see in your local chain retail shop. They do have name brand toy companies, but there are a lot of small Mom & Pop type companies that they give a chance to as well.  Zulily offers a lot of learning and educational toys which make moms everywhere happy.  I know I enjoy Scarlett learning through play and Zulily is big on this. There's always something fun and exciting that kids will love.  

Zulily has a wonderful return policy if you aren't satisfied with what you've bought.  Sometimes an item you buy doesn't work out and that's ok, they don't ask many questions for the return and want you to be satisfied.  

You're able to sign up for alerts that tell you when your favorite company or brand is featured again on Zulily, which allows you to never miss out on your beloved brands.  

Once you make a purchase you have free shipping for a limited period of time.  I like this option because shipping is sometimes pricey, when you have the advantage of free shipping on something you may have forgotten to buy it makes you feel important.  

There's nothing that I don't like about Zulily! I highly recommend the website and look forward to buying and saving lots of $$ on my next purchase! Go check them out today and you'll quickly become a fan.

*DISCLOSURE* I am not receiving compensation from this post.  I am simply sharing my love of Zulily with an audience.  All thoughts are strictly my own.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Make Precious Moments A Part of Your Holiday Season This Year #HolidayGiftGuide

As soon as the weather turns cooler, it seems like the first thing I want to do is bake.  There's nothing quite like freshly baked treats like chocolate cookies, banana cream pies, blueberry muffins, and brownies.  I'm lucky that Scarlett loves to help in the kitchen and has already assisted me with making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies recently! A kitchen is truly the heart of the home and where endless memories are made.  Go ahead and whip up a delicious dessert with your family today.



Precious Moments offers adorable porcelain ornaments and figurines for virtually any occasion you need including engagements, wedding, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and more.  Whether you want a figurine to represent a new baby in your home or even a nativity scene to put on your table for Christmas, they have it all.  Precious Moments has been bringing people joy for almost 40 years now and their products are famous.  There's certainly a special piece that will be perfect for you or a loved one that will warm their heart.  Keep Precious Moments in mind for holiday gifts this year and beyond.

For the holiday season, Precious Moments has a Snow Much Fun Collection which features adorable winter themed items like snowmen cookie jars, salt and pepper shakers, serving trays, table runners and more.  I always like to really take advantage of every major holiday and not only decorate my house for it, but use themed items for it as well.

It's been Fall for a few weeks now, but the temperatures are finally starting to drop.  The holiday festivities and the season of entertaining will be here before you know it.  When you have friends and family over, it's essential to serve them something delicious and satisfying.  You can't forget coffee and dessert either.  Entertaining is made easy with both the Snow Much Fun Snowman Mug Set and Snow Much Fun Snowman Cookie Jar. These essential winter pieces will be used for years to come!

Of course you can't think of the holidays without sweet treats.  My mind races to a table filled with cookies, cheesecakes, and Boston creme pies.  What could be better? Keep in mind that you'll need something to store the cookies in when they're not in your belly, don't you?


The Snow Much Fun Cookie Jar is ideal for holding luscious cookies such as snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, sugar, and even peanut butter.  I bake a ton of cookies during winter for Scarlett's school, my husband's office, and presents too.  There's nothing like reaching for a cookie whenever the mood strikes you.  You'll instantly fall in love with the smiling snowman with sweet Precious Moments eyes that holds your favorite holiday treats.  Just like with the mug, a friendly cardinal perches happily on the brim of his charming top hat-shaped lid.  

Someone you cherish is sure to adore this cookie jar that keeps their Christmas sweets and memories of your thoughtful treats close at hand.  This cookie jar makes the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who loves snowman or who treasures Christmas cookie traditions. Make sure to hand-wash this jar, don't put it in the dishwasher.


I'm lucky that I have a spacious kitchen to hold everything I need to keep it running.  The cookie jar fits nicely on the countertop without taking up too much room.  I instantly noticed the colors are bright and vivid and really bring the joy of the holiday season to my kitchen.  Don't tell Scarlett, but there's M&M cookies inside.  How long until you think she realizes? 

The inside of the jar is spacious and is able to hold a decent amount of cookies.  The lid fits perfectly and really looks wonderful in my kitchen.  I'm sure others will notice it when they come over and it will be a conversation piece.  Scarlett loves the snowman and smiled at him.

The mug set features a smiling snowman sculpted on the side of a charming black mug decorated with white polka dots.  A friendly red cardinal perches on the handle and completes the mug.  Not only is the snowman adorable, but it's a perfect mug to use to enjoy a warm cup of cocoa, tea, or coffee during the frigid months of the year.  Invite someone over to share a warm beverage and enjoyable conversation with you every winter.


The mug is carefully crafted with glazed ceramic and is hand painted.  It's microwave safe as well as dishwasher safe to use time and time again.  If you're thinking of using it in conjunction with a Christmas present, why put a small bag of premium chocolates inside as well as gift card? Tie it up with cellophane and a ribbon and it will be a beautiful gift for a friend, family member, boss, or even your child's teacher.


My husband and I enjoyed having mint hot chocolates in the mugs.  In my mind, it's never too early for the holiday season or mint hot chocolate! It's my signature holiday drink and I always make it.  The mug handle was easy to hold and was not hot at all.  These mugs will definitely be apart of my holiday collection going forward.

As you make your way into the holiday season, make sure it's filled with joy, memories, love, and endless snowmen.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Precious Moments for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    The Ninja Coffee Bar is Just What Your Kitchen Needs

    Most people's mornings cannot begin without a cup of their favorite liquid caffeine to help them get through the day.  While some cups of coffee are better than others, wouldn't it be nice to have coffee house style coffee each and every day in your home? No this isn't a dream, it's reality.  It's time for you to delight your taste buds and treat yourself to only fantastic coffee from here on out.



    The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewing System offers a coffee house experience in the comfort of your own home.  Forget the standard cup of decaf or regular coffee, it's time to change your coffee experience for the better.  This brewing system is exactly what you need for amazing coffee drinks all the time. The multi-serve dial lets you choose the precise size you need to make your taste buds happy.

    With the special thermal flavor extraction technology that allows you to dial up the flavor richness level and choose a brew that fits you, you'll always be happy.  Whether you select classic, rich, over ice, or speciality brew, you can have the drink you want anytime of day.  If you have a family member who doesn't drink coffee, they'll be delighted to have a single cup of hot chocolate, iced/hot tea, or a caramel option without coffee.

    Choose from simple rich brewed coffee all the way to speciality drinks like pumpkin spice lattes or chocolate hazelnut coffee.  It's time to stop spending money on expensive coffee drinks daily when you can make anything you want at home.  If you're having a party, make a full carafe of a Colombian coffee blend that will pair well with biscotti's or pound cake for dessert.


    The Ninja Coffee Bar was very easy to set up and in moments it was ready to go.  It comes with a travel mug, beautiful glass carafe, frother, and permanent filter.  I love the beautiful black and brushed chrome display, as well as the easy to push buttons.  There's an included manual for being in the know about everything the machine does.

    My husband Jay is the big coffee drinker in our family, and I'm more interested in speciality drinks like caramel macchiatos.  The unique thing about this machine is that you can brew coffee in several different options including half carafe, full carafe, XL mug, regular mug, or a travel cup depending on your needs.  It's very convenient to have exactly the size you need if you're serving guests at a party, or just want some coffee on your morning commute to work.


    Before you make your first cup of coffee, you have to run the machine through 2 cycles to prepare it. After that, you're free to make the drink of your choice.  Jay made a standard cup of coffee using his favorite blend and brand.  He filled the water reservoir and placed a large mug underneath the spigot and chose the classic brew and the XL mug setting.  In a matter of seconds, the machine came alive and filled the mug with steaming hot liquid goodness.  In my opinion, the coffee bar machine was relatively quiet and did not make a lot of noise.  The coffee was rich, brown and smelled wonderful.  Jay really enjoyed the coffee and said it was fabulous yet bold.  He's a coffee connoisseur and always enjoys a good cup of joe.


    The unit came with a big recipe book filled with wonderful single cup hot and cold drinks that I can't wait to try.  There's a drink featured made with Oreo cookies that has my name written all over it, as well as a caramel one too.  Go ahead and make a single cup of blueberry iced coffee for your friend, while your mother has a Thai iced coffee.  The coffee options are endless and you can have a new drink everyday of the week.  The best part is that you don't have to make a whole pot if there are just a few people over, and everyone can have exactly what they want. 

    If you want to make an ordinary cup of regular coffee exciting, you can use the frother to add whipped cream or make the milk frothy for specialty drinks too.  Add a dash of cinnamon for some additional flavor to make your tummy smile.

    What I did notice about the unit was that it's very tall and doesn't fit flush underneath my cabinet.  I do wish that it wasn't as tall so it could fit directly underneath.

    The Ninja Coffee Bar is going to revolutionize my family's coffee experience for the better and I'm happy to go along for the ride!

    If you're looking to upgrade your coffee machine for good, the Ninja Coffee Bar is waiting for you.

    *DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Ninja for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Halloween Has Arrived In Our House!

    Now that it's October, Halloween is just a few weeks away.  Scarlett's going to be a ballerina cat this year and she is very excited.  She's going trick-or-treating with her friend and I can't wait to take no less than 500 pictures of them.  This year she is more aware of Halloween and she yells out "Halloween!" whenever she sees someone's house decorated with pumpkins or anything related to the event.

    I've been wanting to do some Halloween crafts and activities with her, so I seized the free time I had when she was at school to go to Michael's.  I spent a while looking at all of the different craft kits and ended up choosing a kit which allowed you to put a face on a felt pumpkin.  I needed something simple for a toddler and this fit the bill.  Also, I picked up a Halloween cookie house to decorate that came with everything as well as Halloween stickers.  I had a fun afternoon planned for my tiny girl after nap time!

    Scarlett loved helping to decorate the cookie house, but I think she enjoyed eating it even more.  With icing and candy corn, what more could a toddler want? It's sugar heaven! We saved the rest of the house to decorate with my husband when he gets home.



    Afterwards, we decorated the felt pumpkins and each made one.  I taped them on the inside of the windows so you can see them from outside.  It looks cute.  This was an easy mess-free craft that any mom can enjoy.  Just peel the face stickers and place them where you want on the pumpkin.  There are many different eyes, nose, and mouth stickers to delight any child.


    We have some Halloween events coming up over the next few weeks that I know Scarlett will enjoy.  Her school is hosting one and we surely won't miss that one either.  Our house is all decorated for Halloween inside and out and we have a pumpkin on the porch too. 

    What are your children dressing up for Halloween this year? I can't wait for Scarlett to go trick-or-treating.  I hope she shares her candy with me!

    I hope everyone has a fun and exciting Halloween this year!


    Monday, October 9, 2017

    Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie Would Be Great to Make This Fall

    I firmly believe in indulging in delicious desserts on any day that ends in Y.  Whether I'm sinking my teeth into a luscious piece of chocolate cake or having an ice cream sundae, you can guarantee that my belly will be happy.

    Recently, I stumbled upon a dessert recipe that I knew I had to make. Who doesn't love the flavors of smooth and creamy peanut butter with chocolate candies and Reese's peanut butter cups? The combination is both sinful and rich.  If this is right up your alley, I have a wonderful treat for you to sink your teeth into.


    This Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie will not only make your tastebuds dance, but it'll put a big smile on your face too.  Dessert always tends to make me smile. 


    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
    1 large egg
    1 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 cup all purpose flour
    optional, pinch of salt to taste
    12 to 14 mini peanut butter cups
    about 2/3 cup peanut butter M &M's


    Candy perfection

    Steps:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9-inch pie dish with floured cooking spray; set aside.

    2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

    3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it.  Add the e.g., brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

    4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don't over mix.

    5. Turn batter out into prepared pie dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

    6. Evenly insert the peanut butter cups into the batter, pushing them down so the top is almost flush with the surface of the dough.

    7. Evenly insert the chocolate candies into the batter, pushing them down to anchor. 

    8. Bake for about 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.  If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools.  Allow pie to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  Pie will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

    Dessert is served

    You'll be left with a luxurious and silky pie that you won't want to share with anyone.  The peanut butter flavor is perfect matched with the chocolate candies. What a classic combination, don't you think? 

    These layers of peanut butter and chocolate will make anyone happy

    You'll be requested to make this delicious pie time and time again, and your family will absolutely love it.  It's so easy to make that you'll be able to whip it up in no time. 

    Don't forget a tall glass of icy cold milk.

    *Recipe taken from Averie Cooks*

    Saturday, October 7, 2017

    Scarlett's Visit to The Pumpkin Patch

    The weather has been strange here in New England lately.  It feels like summer really never left as we've had temperatures in the 80s and high 70s.  This is not typical weather for this time of year!

    My husband Jay and Scarlett and I went to the pumpkin patch for the first time this season today.  I told him that this must be what Florida is like in fall! It was 78 degrees today and everyone was in shorts and flip flops!

    Scarlett has been on a pumpkin kick lately and has been hugging our neighbor's pumpkins and telling them that she loves them.  Since she's almost 3, she really has a grasp on Halloween this year.  She knows that pumpkins and candy represent Halloween.  My tiny cutie is going to be a ballerina cat this year and I can't wait to share pictures of her in her costume.

    We all had a great time at the patch and of course I brought my camera along because I can never miss a chance to shoot! Hope you enjoy the pictures.







    Tuesday, October 3, 2017

    Scarlett's Responsibility Chart

    For the most part, Scarlett is a very good child.  She is eager to please and really tries to do the right thing.  On the other hand, she is a typical toddler who has a lot of energy and has her own agenda for what she wants to do.

    Over the past few months Scarlett has become extremely independent.  She announces to us that she wants to do everything herself all the time.  Even the smallest tasks she tries to do herself like drying herself off after a bath or zipping up her pants.  Some things she can do by herself but other hard tasks, I have to help with.  It's hard for her to accept help and she gets very frustrated and upset.  It's wonderful to have an independent child, but it's a challenge to handle a strong-willed child too.  I have to pick and choose my battles!

    Over the summer, Amazon had a Prime Day sale with thousands of items on sale.  I found a special Melissa and Doug responsibility chart that I thought would be a good buy to help her with.  I feel that Scarlett is now ready to use the chart, especially since she's having trouble listening at both school and home. Scarlett is a high-energy child and if you open the classroom door she will run out.  She finds freedom exciting and will not seize any opportunity to attain it.  It's something we're working on and it's something I'm not a fan of.  She also has trouble sitting for circle time and is easily distracted.



    The chart comes with categories of responsibility and encouraging magnets that you put in each day of the week.  Some of the categories are too advanced at the moment for Scarlett, but I tried to pick the best ones that she needs the most help on.  For her age range and needs, I chose brushing teeth (she hates this), show respect (also using this as listening), clean up toys, and no whining.  We have a lot of whining and crying in our house and I'd love to eliminate the noise!

    I introduced the chart today and Scarlett seems to like it so far.  I did my best to explain what it's for and why we're using it.  She seemed to get it and loved all of the colorful magnets too.  It's hanging in our kitchen and she already was able to put a magnet on for brushing her teeth and following directions.  Hopefully tomorrow we'll have even more progress! 

    Since she's so young, I don't think she has the capacity to understand doing all of the tasks for an entire week before receiving a prize.  If she can do all of the above tasks in a single day, I will let her choose a small prize.  I plan on going to the dollar store and buying some little toys and crayons that she can select from.  Hopefully the incentive of picking out a new surprise everyday will keep her motivated.

    I may tweak how I use the chart slightly, but this is a rough idea of how I want to use it.  I like that it grows with your child as they age and the tasks change.  I also want to see if her school would be on board for using stickers as an incentive to help her listen too.  

    I'm thinking positively here and hope to see my little angel make a step in the right direction behavior wise.  Wish us luck!


    Sunday, October 1, 2017

    Easy Mounds Fudge Made in the Microwave

    Now that Fall and October have arrived, that means baking season is here! Throughout the cold months of the year I tend to bake seasonal treats like pumpkin and snickerdoodle cookies, banana bread, fudge, and other delectable treats. There's nothing like a satisfying treat to make your tummy happy.

    Many people don't realize that fudge isn't a complicated process to make.  You don't need candy thermometers or anything fancy to make it, and I bet you have all of the ingredients already in your kitchen pantry.  What I love about fudge is how versatile it is. You can do a plain fudge flavor like chocolate or peanut butter, or you can mix it up and make it your own in a creative way like with crushed pretzels.  However you choose to make it, I'm sure it'll be fabulous and tasty.

    Since I'm a big lover of coconut and chocolate together, I chose to make Mounds fudge.  To make this yummy treat, all you need is a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, a bag of chocolate chips, and a bag of flaked coconut. Oh, and don't forget a microwave too! :) 


    This is probably the easiest and fastest dessert to make.  You'll be amazed at how you can have it ready to go in just a few minutes!


    If you're a fan of Mounds candy bars, you'll go absolutely nuts for this out of this world fudge.  There's nothing like the sweet taste of chocolate mixed with coconut.  The flavor is truly unbeatable.

      
    The fudge makes a perfect holiday gift when put in a pretty holiday themed tin or even wrapped in a clear cello bag that's tied with a green or red ribbon.  Anyone with a sweet tooth would love to receive fudge any time of the year.


    You'll be left with delicious fudge that your friends and family will gobble up in no time.  I can guarantee you'll be asked to make it time and time again.