Saturday, February 22, 2014

Number 3 shaped cake tutorial

I've decided that it'll be fun to always make a cake for Hannah shaped in the number of years she is turning. I made her a two last year and I hope to continue the tradition for a while. So, this past October little Hannah turned three! Crazy. How can she be three already? Anyway, I wanted to make her a three cake so I looked on pinterest and came up with a design to make a number 3 shaped cake. I asked Hananh what she wanted on her cake and she told me "blue flowers". I asked her again a week later and she said "blue flowers" so I guess since she didn't change her mind that's what she really wanted. I'm not big into having fake food coloring in my cake decorations but since it was her one request and since it would be a small part of the cake I figured it would be okay. Plus it's hard to find natural things to turn fondant blue (I even asked a pastry chef). But Hannah loved her cake so all the work was worth it. I really do love making cakes for my littles!

 I'll just let you browse through the photos rather than trying to explain every little cut. Sometimes photos really do speak louder than words! Start with two bundt or jello molds! You want doughnut shapes! This cake is pretty simple and only requires you to cut two pieces from each circle.

 This was my first time making fondant and it actually was fairly easy to do and turned out pretty good. I just did melted marshmallows and powdered sugar. I didn't really plan on eating it (or having others eat it) so I wasn't too worried about the flavor but they were okay to eat as well as pretty. It's kind of a pain to get the marshmallows to mix with the powdered sugar at first but eventually it's like working with a regular dough.
 I bought the little flower cutters at Hobby Lobby and I love the different shapes and colors of the flowers! It was a good choice because hand cutting flowers wouldn't have been so pretty.
 So, I crumb coated my cake...
 Then added a final coat of frosting.
 Here's my tip...If you are writing something on your cake use a dowel or tooth pick to write it out first!! Then if you mess up you can just smooth out the frosting and try again before you add your colored frosting to the cake!!!
 I love how it turned out and can't wait to see what Hannah will want on her "4" cake!!

 Oh and put the leftover cake to good use...make cake balls and just mix the cake with some leftover frosting then dip them in melted chocolate after they're frozen!
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TruKid Review and Giveaway!!

As many of you know I'm on a journey...a journey for a healthier family, a cleaner country, and a less toxic lifestyle. There are SO many things out there to scare a person from even starting this journey. It is OVERWHELMING to say the least. But for me it's all about baby steps and education. My first few steps in this healthier lifestyle journey were to stop buying food with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Since that time we've come a long way and are currently eating a wheat free diet (when possible, we don't worry about it too much when eating at someone's house) and buying whole foods and not really anything processed. It's been an incredible journey and I still have so much to learn but my family and I feel great and confident in our decisions.

Along with making smarter food choices we've also been making smarter home cleaning and personal hygiene choices. I even make my own deodorant! I'm on my way to being "crunchy". I confess that I used to mock people who were "crunchy" and now I want to be "crunchy". But I've got a LONG way to go. Again, it's all about baby steps. While starting my journey towards less chemically filled bath and body products for my family I came across this great company called TruKid. I bought a book bundle and with the bundle received some free sample products to try. The first item that I received from TruKid was the TruBaby sunscreen and we loved it. Shortly after I received my first item I became part of their Mom Tester Community and I received a few other products to test and give feedback on. I have LOVED everything they have sent me. Everything that TruKid makes is made with natural ingredients and essential oils. You won't find any harsh chemicals in TruKid's products. They have a couple of great pages on their website that explain all the ingredients that they use and also explain all the toxic bad chemicals that are commonly found in most products that kids (and adults) use. There's also a great page on sun protection facts which is really worth reading before summer comes!!
TruKid Super Cream - 4oz **NEW**
Super Cream
Let me tell you a little bit about some of my favorite products that I have been able to try. The first thing that I love is their Super Cream. This super moisturizing cream is amazing. I have really dry skin in the winter, sometimes my fingers crack and peel. I have tried many different lotions and creams throughout the years but have never found anything quite like this. I LOVE it. It's not greasy, there's no harsh chemicals, the light citrus scent is just right and it keeps my hands moisturized for a long time. I've sorta hijacked this from the kids and just carry it around in my purse during the winter so that my hands don't ever get past the really dry stage. I have to order more of this because my first jar is just about gone. And when the kids do want to use some of this special lotion and I am in a giving mood and allow them to have some I don't feel bad or leery about them having chemicals all over their hands.

TruKid Sport Stick
Sport Stick
Another item that I was able to try is the Sport Stick. This sport stick is SUCH a huge blessing to our family. I know that sounds weird but hear me out. Micah has growing pains...a LOT. Growing pains wake him up in the middle of the night and he wants medicine. We used to give him ibuprofen pretty regularly (well, like once a week at the most) for his growing pains. I would try to just rub his legs to get the pain to go away but it didn't usually work. We kept track of when we gave him ibuprofen so that he wouldn't get it too often but I really didn't like medicating him so much. When I heard about this sport stick I thought it was too good to be true. But seriously people this stuff works. Now, when Micah (or Naomi as she has started getting leg pain too) gets growing pains in his legs and sometimes his arms we tell him to go get the "pain stick". He loves to put it on himself when he's not in too much pain. And it works. He's able to go back to sleep and the pain goes away. I LOVE not having to medicate him anymore for the growing pains that he experiences. And even when I don't always believe that Naomi really has growing pains (she cries wolf a lot) I don't feel concerned or bad about letting her use the pain stick either!! I've even used it on some of my sore muscles as well. Great product. When we run out we will buy more for sure!! So, it's a blessing because it works and we don't have to give Micah medicine for his leg pain as often as we used to anymore!!

NEW: TruKid BathBlasts
Bath Blasts
Another item we've been able to review is the bath blasts. These are little capsules that you run under the bath water that make amazing bubbles and they smell good too. No more worrying about your kids taking baths with lots of chemicals...no harsh chemicals in these little pods! And the kids LOVE these bubbles, they are big, last long and smell good. Totally worth it!! Here's what TruKid has to say about their bath blasts:
TruKid Bath Blasts
BathBlasts bring bubbly bursts to the tub, leaving skin clean and soft. 
Product Features: 
• Extra gentle for kids and the planet: no chemicals or fragrances and made only with fruits and vegetables 
• Natural long lasting bubbles: perfect for kids with skin sensitivities • Leaves no icky or itchy feeling behind 
• Naturally soothing: after a day of play, milk & honey calm irritated skin 
• No mess, no waste: TruKid BathBlast pockets are pre-measured and ready to use 


• All natural and non toxic 
• Eczema safe 
• Pediatrician and dermatologist tested 
• Gluten-, phthalate- and paraben free 
• PETA Certified Animal Cruelty-Free 
• Biodegradable with 100% recyclable, BPA-free Packaging 

All natural and made with fruits and vegetables, TruKid BathBlasts offer the absolute safest…and most fun way to take a bath! Swathing kids in squeaky clean, bubbly bliss, the all-natural formula leaves skin soft and refreshed with no icky feeling left behind. Formulated for kids with extra sensitive skin, BathBlasts provide incredibly safe bath care for little tykes. Ideal for busy families, BlastBlasts provide a super easy, ready-to-use system with pre-measured, single use, water-soluble pockets that offers a fun, natural color pop that dissolves almost instantly. Patent pending.
TruBaby Water& Play SPF 30+ WR/Unscented Mineral Sunscreen 2 oz TubeTruKid Sunny Days SPF30+ Water Resistant Face & Body Stick
The sunscreen that we got in our first order was great. Easy to apply. Not greasy and it worked great. To think that I wasn't putting chemicals all over my kids gave me such a peace of mind. And we went to the pool a lot last summer (can't wait to do it again this summer) so it was great to know they were covered naturally and they didn't burn all summer long! The idea is to reapply every 80 minutes to make sure you're really covered!! We also got to review the sunny days stick and the kids LOVED to use this and put their own sunscreen on their faces! It's so good to teach your kids healthy habits for their skin and body care.

I cannot wait to try more of the TruKid products. I plan on buying some of their shampoos and conditioners. It's another area we're working on. Yes, it needs to be put in the budget because while these items are not as cheap as going to the store and picking up a bottle these items are so much safer for our kids. And since my kids and their health is a top priority for me I want to do my best to help them stay healthy and that includes not dousing their sensitive skin with myriads of chemicals.

Here's something TruKid is really proud of and I can't say I blame them! So excited for them...and for us who get to use these great products!!
Award winning all natural TruKid Sunny Days SPF 30+ was chosen by thousands of parents as their favorite family-friendly sunscreen. Providing safe UVA/UVB clinically proven protection, Sunny Days is non-toxic, non-nano, and gluten-free. TruKid Sunscreens are pediatrician and dermatologist tested. With no harsh chemicals, a reef-friendly formula, and BPA-free tubes, Sunny Days is as good for the earth as it is for your kids.

You can find TruKid online in a few places. Check out their website...They're on Facebook, pinterest and twitter.
Here's some good news! TruKid has agreed to a giveaway!! You can be the lucky winner of some of these great products as well...a Rafflecopter giveaway They are giving one of my lucky readers a HERO stick which is basically mom's healing kisses in stick form!! Enter today!

All products mentioned were given to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion on the Mom Test Panel. All opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links. If you click on any "TruKid" link you will be taken to the website, if you purchase anything the prices will be the same but my family will receive a small percentage and we thank you for supporting us and this blog.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Granny is Ready for Valentine's 's Day

Valentine's Day is soon!
THIS week I spent some time with the grand kids in the central valley. A granddaughter was celebrating a 12th birthday. As usual with 5 kids in the house there was more than just a birthday happening. Needless to say the day of 
"The Birthday" there was an older grand child's basketball game.
 Everyone took it all in stride, the birthday was strung out over the week. 
Ya do what Ya gotta do! No biggie, No brain er! 
Six of one, half dozen of another!
So, we carried on. Basketball game was awesome. The varsity girls won their game. It was very exciting. The birthday girl didn't seem to mind, just another day. Besides, she had celebrations as they fit in, before & after the game on Monday, Wednesday night dinner with MOST of the family (yes, more activities) and a slumber party with friends on the (coming) weekend.
Several of our grand kids play basketball among other activities. 

THEY are "ALL" use to the stop, go & hurry-up action packed lifestyle.
 It really is "the way of the world" when you are a parent or a grandparent!
Anyway, I was ALSO busy; cooking and doing valentine projects. Here are a few of the projects we did while I was in the central valley.
 By-the-by, the recipe posting this Friday was part of the birthday dinner....
IT was YUMMY! 
So check back Friday for the recipes. 
(Found this idea on Pinterest linked to this site...Hellogiggles.)
 I made t-shirt scarves for the 7 granddaughters for Valentine's Day. We added some cute watches I found on clearance at TARGET!  Can't tell by the photo but, the scarves are PINK & PURPLE!!! 
I found several choices of flowers (@Michael's) to clip on the scarves. Oh and butterflies too. Cute, Cute, Cute! 
So inexpensive that I still have "folding money in my pocketbook"; as Granny use to say! For the boys...they got T-Shirts to wear and a watch!
 While Raelyn and I were at Michael's, we saw a cute idea!
 ONLY I think we made it CUTER! And less expensive! 
 So we bought some supplies. The project took minutes to put together.
The results were so cute! 
You will need:
Drinking glasses (we used wine and champagne glasses),
 glass beads (we used pink & red), valentines, drinking straws, valentine notes, white paper roses, faux strawberries, scissors and a hole punch.
 They look like little parfait's
 We made them to use as name/place cards at the table. We made a set for each couple in our family. 
 The backside of the Valentine cards.
 My daughter will love them!
 Next we wanted to make Teachers gifts (and others) for Valentine's Day.
These turned out adorable! I had seen 2 of the 4 on Pinterest!
 How CUTE is this?
You will need:
Construction Paper, rolo candy, candy kisses, hot glue gun, scotch tape and a real pencil for marking
 Just took moments to make! All the kids LOVED these!!
 For my Hubby; I used 3 rolo packages, red construction paper, scissors, pencil, pipe cleaners, scotch tape and valentine tags.
 Cover all three with red paper...
 Here are two versions of what to write to your Valentine. CUTE!
 A cigar & a flare...
 These were fun to make, simple and easy.
Having fun with Style...
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wedge Salad

This salad is beautiful and delicious. You may serve it as the main meal for lunch or dinner. Or, make it smaller as an entree' to your main course. Either way, it will be a win-win! It will definitely impress anyone and everyone...
You will need:
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • (*Cut, and flush with water, drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and place in the refrigerator to chill while draining. This makes the lettuce crisp and cold. Remove just before assembling your salad.)
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, cooked, & crumpled
  • (*Prepare a broiler pan with cooking spray, place bacon on pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes till done, check bacon often. This is an easy way to prepare bacon without a mess or splatters. When done, remove bacon and let rest on a paper towel. You will crumble it for the salad. I use kitchen shears to cut the bacon for my crumbles.)
  • A few small Red and Yellow tomatoes,          
  •  sliced in half
  • 3 or 4 stalks of green onions, sliced
  • 1 package of grated parmesan cheese, fried, (see recipe below)
  • 1 bottle or jar of Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing
Fried Parmesan Cheese:
Heat a small frying pan after using cooking spray and some olive oil to prepare the pan.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese in the pan.
Sprinkle with garlic pepper.

The cheese will cook fast, do not leave unattended.
Spray your spatula with cooking spray. Then lift the fried cheese around the edges. Next, flip over the fried cheese, cooking the other side. The second side will cook faster. Remove the fried cheese and place on a paper towel to cool. Repeat as many times as you need for the number of salads being served.
They can be added whole or crumbled on the salad. These may be made ahead of time, even the day before. Store between paper towels on a small plate in a zip top bag.

Assembly of the Gourmet Style Wedge Salad 

Remove the lettuce from the refrigerator and cut into wedges
(Size will depend on how you choose to serve your salad, entree' or main meal)
On a plate, place the fried cheese
Next, place a wedge of lettuce
Add the tomatoes, green onions and crumbled bacon
Drizzle on the Blue Cheese dressing
Salt & Pepper to taste...
 The Gourmet Style Wedge Salad
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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Designer Shoes or Art?

Too much fun not to share........

Kobi Levi, Israeli Shoe Designer 
Visit his blog for all of his designs....

Kobi graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem in 2001.
He specialized in footwear design and development. He is a freelance designer.He has designed commercial footwear in Italy, China and Brazil.
Kobi Levi: "When I design a shoe I think about it as a sculpture to wear, an art piece you live with." 
*quote (first sentence) taken from The Virtue Shoe Museum website, at vitualshoemuseum.com
Personal note:
A very good friend of mine had sent me an email regarding Kobi Levi's Designer Shoes....these amazing shoes got me wondering about the designer. So...I googled him and "wa-lah" found his blog site. HENCE, MY ARTICLE TODAY!
Thanks Debbie T. for the idea! The shoe below is "for you" dear friend...
Coffee anyone?
All photos were taken from his blog site (listed above) or Google images
Amazing design & concept....Enjoy
 Who hasn't stepped in GUM?
 Target practice anyone? the guys will love these! 
And the ones below!!!
Ooh La La....
From the Bird collection; Toucan
 Madonna Inspired; Blond Ambition
 The famous Miss Olive Oyl

 From the Bird Collection; Duck
 The Mother/Daughter Shoe
The Chinese Design
Amazing Shoe Designs
Check out his blog site today!
 Shoes & Art with Amazing Style....

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