Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bounce away Boredom with Bounce-Along-Buddies!

Moo Moo and Trotter Review and Giveaway!!

We live in the country.  I wake at night if a car drives by because it almost never happens.  I am lulled to sleep at night by the sounds of the neighboring farm's bull bellowing, the frogs croaking, and the crickets singing the blues, and every morning at 4:30 am I am awakened by Joe, the rooster singing his "it's uppy up time" cock-a-doodle-do.

So, I guess it is no surprise that my youngest Mika adores everything country from the chickens, to gardening, to bon fires, to animals. His favorite thing of all though is to walk a half a mile to see the neighbors cows and calves.  The calves are not people shy at all, and will walk right up to the fence and just "talk" away with us.  Then we walk another half mile or so to see another neighbors beautiful Clydesdale horses.  To say Mika loves cows and horses is an understatement even though he has tested allergic to both :).

We were just thrilled to receive a package in the mail from FS-USA, North America’s premier maker of toys and gifts, containing their awesome Bounce-Along-Buddies, Moo Moo and Trotter!

Mind you, Moo Moo and Trotter are geared perfectly for Mika's age bracket, but my oldest three were so excited to my surprise.  Max offered to use the pump to blow up the toys and I let him be the "man" and build the toys for Mika.  We had a hand pump that you push the handle to fill the toys with air, and I honestly thought it would take forever to fill each toy.

 I even told Max not to worry, we could have my husband fill them with his air compressor the next day if it didn't work.  What can I say, call me a cynic! Believe it or not, Max had Trotter filled in about 3 minutes, and Tara Grace, my girly girl filled Moo Moo in about five minutes.  It was so easy and fast, and I am proud to eat crow and say I was wrong about these being the typical blow up toys that are impossible to fill!

The rest is best said in pictures!  Every one of the children had turns on the toy, and my 90 lb 13 year old rode the toy just fine without popping it.  Disclaimer:  I am not sure the weight limit on them, so you may want to defer to the box suggestions before bouncing 100 lbs on it!

These have been one of the best toys we have ever gotten or purchased.  Typically the kids are done with a toy within a week tops, but every night my husband works the kids have Trotter and Moo Moo races on my hardwoods and just have a great time!

As a mom, a few features really impress me.  I love that the soft ears of both animals double as the perfect sized hand grips for little hands so they can hold on as they bounce which helps prevent injuries.  They are easy to clean, safe for all flooring and furniture, and they are powered by shear energy, no batteries needed. I also love that it encourages bouncing which is needed for sensory issues, but also helps with hyperactivity problems too!

You can find Moo Moo and Trotter along with lots of other fun things on the Fs-USA website, and connect with them socially on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to FS-USA for the product I received to facilitate this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.

Welcome with Entryways Wholesale Mats!

Entryways Wholesale Mats

When we moved into the house that we live in now, the people who moved out left their door mat, and honestly it was so hilarious I kept it.  It said "All of our guests make us happy:  Some some make us happy when they come, other's make us happy when they leave!  I loved this mat, and it seemed to just fit so I kept it!

Well fast forward 2 years and my door mat was looking pretty sad!  So I was just thrilled when Entrieways Whole Sale Mats sent me a door mat  in the mail!  I received the Hippie Bird Hand Woven Coconut Fiber Doormat to facilitate my review and the first thing I noticed was now sturdy and well made it is!  It is made out of all natural coconut fiber, so it is a "Coarse" feeling mat perfect for outdoors or the doorway because it captures dirt so well with  it's 3/4 inch fibers. 

Although the back of the mat isn't dyed like the front, I like that it is just as smooth and nicely woven.  Oftentimes, when I am looking for mats, it's easy to see a gorgeous mat, but when you turn it over, it's obvious it won't withstand the rigors of my household of six. Not with Entryways Mats!  No, Sir!  They are built just as strongly on the back as they are on the front!

You can especially see the quality of the weave in the corners.  They aren't fraying, or coming apart at all, which is often where weaknesses are!

t also is made with stain resistant permanent dyes so it won't sun fade, which is especially important to me since the last mat ended up having no words on it at all.    Entryways is a wholly Woman Owned Business that imports quality, uniquely designed all natural non slip rugs.  Entryways mats can be purchased at garden centers, hardware stores, some Whole Foods Stores, and gift stores.  However, if you are having trouble finding one at your local store, you can also purchase them online at stores such as WayfairDebnroo Hayneedle, and Amazon..

So go ahead and jet over to the Entryways Wholesale Doormat Website and check out all the cute mats they have.  They really do have quite a large selection of mats-something for everyone!  

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Entryways Wholesale Doormats  for the product I received to facilitate this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Elite Serum Update

Elite Serum

I posted almost 2 weeks ago my first review and I had passed the elite serum along to my children's Nana to use and do a review of it with me.  For personal reasons I prefer not to get into, Nana wasn't physically able to do this for me.  She "always follows through" as my Suzannah always says about Nana, so I will say that she was very sorry she couldn't do so this time.

Nana had the serum sent back to me, and I personally have used it for another 1 1/2 week and that is why my promised 2nd review is just coming out now.  

I have fine laugh lines around my eyes.  And while I have used products before and saw some results, I have always still had the wrinkles.  I have to say after another 1 1/2 weeks of Elite Serum I can see a DISTINCTIVE difference around my eyes.

The lines are decreased greatly, and they aren't the first thing I notice when I look in the mirror.  I know you ladies know what I am talking about. Seeing my skin getting lines has been very hard on me, and often all I can see when I look ARE those lines.  Well, no more.  I can't wait to see the difference after a couple of months!  I feel way better, and I can say from personal experience that Elite Serum does everything it promises!  I would give a thumbs up for anyone I know!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Make Italian Sammies Easier with with Volpi Foods!!

Volipi Foods: The Taste of Italy Since 1902

My husband is a HUGE Jerky, salami, beef stick kind of man!  If you look in his night stand or lunch cooler, you will always find a stash, and my 2 year old knows this too!  If I turn my head for two seconds, you can be sure I will see him waddling down the hallway with both fists full of some delightfully meaty treat!

Volpi Foods' Un Mondo products mixes Old World Traditions with New World Beliefs, and the end result is just mouth watering!   The Un Mondo Line is All Natural, inspired by the flavors of Spain, France, and Italy using 100+ year old experience to create their tasty meats!  Not only are they a company I support because of their all natural foods, but they donate a portion of all proceeds to MOOG Center for Deaf Children, so I have two very good reasons to continue buying their products!

I was blessed to receive the Un Mondo Cacciatori Italian Salame to assist with my review.  I admit that I am not a salami expert by any means and typically if my husband offers me some I say "no thank you."  I don't dislike salami, it's just not one of my favorite foods like it is his, so I usually let him enjoy his treat.   However, I made sure I cut off my portion before I passed it along to him to enjoy one night in his lunch.

The Un Mondo Cacciatori Italian Salame is a Hunter's Style Salami containing no nitrates!  The taste is very bold (I would characterize it as spicy or peppery), quite salty, and rich!  It is the perfect snack or can be paired with Parmesan and a nice crisp Italian Bread to create a quick lunch.  My husband and his officers made quick work of the stick in one night, but I was thinking this might be really tasty cut into small bites and added to a cheese and olive pasta salad!  

I would give Volipi Foods a 10 on this one because they have created an All Natural Salame which I can feel great about eating, and it's only $4.99 for a 6oz stick which is quite affordable in the world of Salami!  They have such a wide variety of different Italian meats you are sure to find something you'll love!  Check them out at their website

 Disclaimer: Many thanks to Volpi Foods  for the product I received to facilitate this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.

Is your wine GREEN {Sponsored}?

To say I am not much of a drinker would be an understatement!  I have no worries with anyone drinking, if you can hold your own, have at it! The older I get the less I tend to drink, but that being said, when I do drink, I want wine.  A Good Quality Wine.

I know that wine in moderation is healthy for us, most people know that by now, but is it eco-friendly, earth-friendly, sustainable, and GREEN?  Those are the character traits I live by and I am instilling in my children, so I want to carry this into my occasional glass of wine as well!

The difference between good 'ole wine and GREEN wine is very simple:  Certified Organic and Biodynamic practices.  Instead of synthetic material, pesticides and insecticides, why not use herbs, minerals, compost, and animal waste to rid of bugs and improve the soil while you are at it?

I may not drink often, but when I drink wine, GREEN is the new pink!

what are green wines infographic
Presented By, Purveyors of fine green Wine

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation for this post by  The few OPINIONS expressed in this post are my own.  All other material was provided by

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Award Winning Mocha Brownie-It's Sinful!!

My Award Winning Mocha Brownie!

I entered a recipe contest a few months back for Truwhip, 100% natural, 70% organic whipped topping.  There were several categories, and I am the Grand Prize Winner for the Gooey Chewy Category.  This is a recipe I concocted back in the day when I was a Preacher's wife and we were doing what seemed like Monthly church potluck dinners.  

This dessert was and is always a hit and is usually all gone way before the buffet line is gone!  I have only made this three times in the last 7 years, today being one of them, but I would like to brag share with you! I am so happy to say I won $250,. $250 was donated in my name to Duke Children's Hospital and I won 52 free Truwhip coupons!  Thought ya'll might enjoy hearing that my 13 year old son who thinks he is too cool for school actually hugged me for making his second favorite dessert in the world!

Ally's Mocha Brownie:

1 Box of Brownie Mix
1 Package of Oreo Cookies crushed
1 cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso
2 containers of Truwhip
Caramel syrup or Chocolate Syrup
1 cup of miniature Chocolate Chips

Bake Brownie mix as directed on the package in a 9x13" pan and let cool
Poke the top of the brownie with a fork
Pour Coffee/espresso over the entire top of the brownie and allow to soak in
Evenly spread the crushed Oreo Cookies over the top of the brownie
Top with two containers of Truwhip
Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips
Garnish with caramel or chocolate drizzle

Salmon and Asparagus Quiche for Tasty Tuesday

Salmon and Asparagus Quiche

Today for Tasty Tuesday I am sharing a recipe I made for supper today!  Bon Appetite!

Homemade Baking Mix

2 Cups of White Lily All Purpose Flour
1 TBS of Baking Powder
1 TBS of Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
1/3 cup of Butter, Crisco or Coconut Oil

Mix the dry ingredients well and cut the butter into the flour mixture with either two knives, a fork or a dough cutter.

Salmon Asparagus Quiche

2 6 oz pouches of Salmon or left over cooked Salmon, Flaked
2 1/2 cups milk
6 eggs
1 bunch of Asparagus
1 red or green pepper
1 box of Emmi Roth Original Swiss Fondue  or 2 cups of shredded  swiss cheese
2 cups of Baking Mix
2 Tsp of dried Basil
Pepper to taste

Break the Asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces
Cut the pepper into thin strips
Boil the Asparagus and Pepper in simmering water for 4 minutes
Oil two pie pans or two 8x8 pans and line the bottoms with the asparagus and peppers
Crumble the Fondue Mix on the top or sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the asparagus/peppers.

Top each pan with one pouch of Salmon

Mix together the Baking Mix, Six Eggs, the Milk, the basil, and the pepper
Pour 2 1/4 cups mixture over each pan

Bake in the oven at 400 for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Serve, and enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Excelsis Fine Fragrances for Mother's Day and Father's Day!

Excelsis Fine Fragrances

With Mother's Day and Father's Day coming up,I know "what to buy" is on everyone's mind, and many are in the process of actually shopping for these occasions.  There is nothing that embodies Mother's Day or Father's Day better than a nice perfume or cologne.  Often times they are paired with flowers or a tie, and all signify I love you.  

You can look no more, because Excelsis Fine Fragrances has a lovely selection of both men's and women's fragrances to choose from.  Frederick J. Hass, M.D. founded Excelsis Fine Fragrances in 2005 with the purpose of creating a cologne derived from the original formula of Pope Pius the IX.  He named the  first fragrance The Pope's Cologne which caught the attention of the news media and was even featured on the CBS news!

With further research, Frederick, J. Hass M.D. began creating other fragrances made from essential oils and thus Excelsis Fine Fragrances was born!  They sell many unique scents for both men and women, all with wonderful essential oils as the base notes.  I received the Sempre men's cologne and the Shady Lane Women's cologne to assist with my review.  

The Sempre Men's Cologne is in my opinion a bold, yet light "Clean" aroma with notes of woodsy aroma to it.  It is a cologne representing the 19th Century Rome, and quite honestly the more I smell it, the more it grows on me!  I liked it at first, and now I can say like it a lot. This scent spans generations is and is perfect for both my father and my husband.

The Shady Lane Women's Cologne is just lovely.  It has a bold, woodsy palette to it, and has notes of patchouli, leaves, sandalwood, lavender, and citrus.  It has an elegance and character about it that speaks volumes.  It reminds me of a scent my High School English Teacher wore back in the day which simply tells me she had excellent tastes in perfume!

I have been overall pleased with these colognes which are quite moderately priced.  You can purchase both the men's and women's colognes for $27-$30 for a 2 oz bottle which is very reasonable for a high quality fragrance!  You can find these and many other fine fragrances on the Excelsis Fine Fragrance Website where you can even make a purchase if you would like!  You can also connect with them on Facebook to stay socially connected with the latest fragrances and news!

Just a little HINT for all my wonderful readers:  Stay tuned for a giveaway coming up in the future!!  You will be able to enter to win your very own fine fragrance! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Frugal Way to Cloth Diaper-How to Diaper in a Pinch!

Cloth Diapering for Earth Day

I was unable to make it to the Great Diaper Change because of where I live. I honestly don't know where the closest one was, and by next year, it probably won't be applicable to me which saddens me.  However, I want to share something with you.

I know so many people think they just can't afford to cloth diaper.  Let's face it, it's a big expense all in one chunk.  It's way more expensive to use disposables, but I can buy a $7 pack at a time which lasts for a week as opposed to a couple hundred out at one time to get enough to last a day or two.  All that being said, I STILL think it's cheapest, best for my baby, and wisest for the Earth to cloth diaper.

I have been thinking about things to use for absorbency lately for use in a pinch or even for those who just can't afford to purchase enough to last a while.  I know about using dish towels or bath hand towels are great for absorbency, but what about other things around the house?  I was researching the other day ways to make cloth diapers without special materials or a sewing machine which I am still saving to purchase.

I came up with the greatest idea which I HAVE tried out and would like to share with you:  Old T Shirts!!!

You take an old t-shirt which you don't wear anymore and lay it out flat. (Sorry WV fans)

Take the t shirt and start a third of the way over and fold it over to the other side of the tshirt.  This will make the tshirt in thirds.

Next take the neck of the shirt and sleeves and fold in half making what looks like a T and fold the bottom of the t shirt up to add extra layers in the front of the diaper.

Next, put on baby.  The arms are obviously the back of the diaper that wraps around the front.

Now, I don't use pins, so I don't have any. I do have diaper covers and AIO's though so here is where you want to put on a pin and some waterproof pants or the diaper cover.

I actually used this exact shirt and diaper cover on my 2 year old last night, and he got a big kick out of wearing a shirt on his butt!  I was worried about how absorbent it would be, but it kept him dry until morning!  The shirt was completely wet come morning, but we didn't soak through (he's a BIG wetter) and I was more than impressed.  

I am on the back end of my diapering career this being my fourth child and last, but I on a mission to help people change one diaper at a time!  Hey, if you are nervous about changing to cloth diapers, just try one!  If you don't like it, you can pass it along, re-sell it, or let your daughter use it to diaper her stuffies!!!  I know though that you will be impressed with how easy it is.  And, the t shirts can be easily washed out in the sink or tub and hung to dry over night if you don't have a washer at home!

Manna Organics -Healthier Eating with Sprouted Grain Bread!

When I came across Manna Organics I reached out to them because I wanted to learn more about sprouted products and share with you my thoughts on this since I have been hearing so much buzz about how healthy sprouted grains are.  Manna Bread actually originated with the Essenes who lived near the Dead Sea, and thanks to Aramaic writings and the Dead Sea Scrolls, the recipe is still in use today!

Sprouted Grain bread contains no salt, no yeast, no preservatives, no sweeteners, no oils:  it is made solely from sprouted grains, nus and dried fruits.  The fully germinated grains change starches into natural complex sugars so the bread is sweet without adding any additional sweeteners!  The grains are then ground, baked at low temperatures, and frozen to preserve freshness.

I was nervous about trying Manna Bread because it was only grains, and I thought it wouldn't taste good at all.  However, I will try almost anything once, and with all the talk about how healthy this is, I really wanted to like it.  I received a box containing Millet Rice Manna Bread, Sunny Sourdough, Fruit and Nut Manna Bread,  and Cinnamon Date Manna Bread.  

The first thing I noticed about the breads are how heavy they are, and more of a moist dense cake-like feel in your mouth than regular bread.  I tried the Millet Rice Manna Bread first because it didn't have added fruits and nuts to make it taste great and I was pleasantly surprised.  It is quite sweet tasting, and honestly I loved it.  These breads are more of a complete meal in nutrients than a simple slice of bread, and are quite filling.  I was full for hours after eating just one slice.

The Sourdough bread was my least favorite, even though I love sourdough bread and make it fresh all the time.  It had such a strong sourdough flavor to it, it tasted more like a rye bread.  Since I don't care for rye, of course this wasn't my thing; however, my husband adores rye bread, and he was quickly making roast beef on rye sammies!  Needless to say there wasn't a crumb left in the bag within a couple of days.

My two favorite breads were the Cinnamon Date Manna Bread and the Fruit and Nut Manna Bread.  I love toasted cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast, and this reminded me very much of a moist muffin.  If you heat it for 10 seconds in the microwave and put butter on it, it tastes JUST like a muffin.  My 2 year old Mika LOVED this bread and asked for it several times until it was all gone!

You can find even more varieties including wheat-free and gluten-free offerings on the Manna Organics Website, and you can also connect with Manna Organics on both Facebook and Twitter.  

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Manna Organics  for the products I received to facilitate this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.