Category Archives: “The New”

Blue Apron: Tasty Food? Worth the Cost?

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

For months I’ve been contemplating trying Blue Apron food deliveries, but could never fully commit to paying the $60/week price tag. But just recently I was emailed an amazing deal and paid only $14.94 for my first delivery. At that price, I knew it was the right time to give Blue Apron a try, so this time I didn’t hesitate.

The weekly Blue Apron plan I chose to get was three meals for two people. The service tailors the meals you receive to your diet preferences and tastes. For example, if you don’t eat seafood, you can designate that in your profile and no seafood dishes will ever be sent. There are even options for vegetarians and much more.

And to take it a step further, you’re offered a menu each week where you can pick and choose which meals you receive. It’s not a type of service where you’re flying blind and each delivery is a surprise, although you can keep it a surprise if you want to. Going to be out of town for a week? No problem. Just skip that week’s delivery and you won’t be charged for it. It’s definitely a perk that it works around your schedule and your family’s preferences.

We eat pretty much everything around here, so we don’t have any diet restrictions and after browsing the menu, the three meals I chose to receive were (1) Chicken Paillard with Potato, Fennel & Meyer Lemon Sauce, (2) Bucatini Pasta Bolognese with Brussels Sprouts, and (3) Lemon-Caper Catfish with Spiced Lentils & Collard Greens. I felt like these dishes would give us a good sample of different types of meals Blue Apron has to offer.

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

Delivery

Once I signed up I believe it took about 2 weeks to get my first delivery. When it did arrive, it was on time and as promised. I was very pleased with how everything was packaged. All the foods looked fresh, much of which looked better than I’ve purchased at the store before; and with large ice packs keeping the food cold, I easily transferred everything to my fridge.

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

Cooking

When it was time to try our first meal, I chose to make the Chicken Paillard dish. Each dish that comes in the delivery has its own recipe card, so all I had to do was pull the ingredients listed on the card and follow the cooking instructions. As far as ingredients, literally everything I needed was included with the exception of salt, pepper and water, and obviously these are basic cooking staples that everyone should have in their home. Even simple things like butter were included.

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

As far as the recipes, I’d say they’re fairly easy to follow. If you’ve never worked with certain foods it could be somewhat of a challenge, but you’ll still figure it out. For example, I have never cooked with fennel before, but this dish included fennel. I really didn’t know how to prepare it, but after rereading the instructions a few times (ya know, just to make sure I was clear, haha), I made it work.

That just happens to be one of the things I like about Blue Apron. In every dish I made, I got the opportunity to work with certain foods and ingredients I’ve never cooked with before, including the fennel, black lentils, capers and brussels sprouts. I’ve never even cooked with red pepper flakes, which was part of this chicken dish.

Eating

When all was said and done, the Chicken Paillard was delicious! There is no doubt I’m keeping this recipe card handy and making this dish again. If you’ve been reading Making Time for a while now, you know my family loves chicken, so finding new flavors is always a plus for me and this is a flavor I love.

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

The second dish I made was the Bucatini Pasta Bolognese and once again, this dish did not disappoint. In fact, my kids even loved it. My boyfriend and I didn’t get to eat our full meals because the kids were indulging too. I had actually given them a night off from family meals (my son is a picky eater) and let them choose what they wanted – chicken nuggets. But when they saw what we were eating, they tossed their nuggets to the side and headed to our plates.

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

The last dish of our Blue Apron delivery was the Lemon-Caper Catfish. We love seafood, but I left this particular dish for last because I wasn’t so sure we were going to like the black lentils mixed with collard greens. Alas, I still cooked the dish per its recipe card and we gave it a try. Personally, it was a very different taste for me, but was doable. I would say that there were too many black lentils and they overpowered the dish.

I recently got a great deal on my first Blue Apron delivery, so I took the long awaited plunge and tried it out. Visit the blog to read about my experience and what my thoughts are on whether the food is tasty and if the service is worth its cost. #BlueApron #subscription #fooddelivery

My boyfriend actually spit his food out and said heck no. He ate the catfish, but nothing else. So in my opinion, less of the black lentils would have made this dish much better, and I actually didn’t even plate all of the lentils that I cooked. This was just one recipe we didn’t care for as much as the others, but everyone’s tastes are different so to each their own.

Final Thoughts

Is the food good? Yes. We absolutely loved the chicken and Bolognese dishes, and will make those again in the near future. And even though we didn’t much care for the seafood dish, it was still a great experience to try something different.

Is Blue Apron worth the price? For my family, no. $60/week for three meals that’s just enough for two people, simply isn’t affordable. There’s another option that offers two meals for four people, but again that’s still not affordable for us. I can go to the store and purchase all the ingredients for these recipes for much less than that.

That being said, with Blue Apron you’re not only paying for the food and recipes, but you’re also paying for the convenience. It’s definitely nice to have everything I need to cook my family nice, hearty dinners delivered right to my front door. If we had disposable income, I may consider keeping my Blue Apron deliveries, but for now I’ve cancelled all future orders.

Have you tried Blue Apron or any other food delivery service?

*This post was in no way sponsored. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

New Year, New Organized You

I'm going bold but classy with my organization this year, using my new Kate Spade New York large black/white striped agenda.

~This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.~

As the New Year arrives, many of us are reflecting on the previous year. Did we accomplish our resolutions? Was the year meaningful? Did I do everything I could to make it great?

When it comes to reflecting on the past year, all I have to do is flip through my planner/agenda from 2016 and see just how much I accomplished. Knowing I conquered it all like a boss makes me feel like a super woman/mom/boss/girlfriend (and all the other amazing things I am).

As a working at home mom, I have tons to do and keeping up with it all gets difficult. I get involved with so many different things between work, blogging and family, taking on multiple tasks, all of which have their own deadlines. And quite honestly, I can’t keep up with them all unless I write them down. This is the main reason a planner is a must-have for me and you can definitely get a good look at my schedule just from taking a peek inside.

This year I decided to go bold, but still keep it classy with a large black/white striped Kate Spade New York agenda. I’ve actually been using it since the beginning of December since it’s a 17 month book and so far I’m really loving it.

I'm going bold but classy with my organization this year, using my new Kate Spade New York large black/white striped agenda.

With tab dividers for each month, there’s a mini to-do list compliments of Kate Spade New York featured for each one. I consider this a simple reminder to not get too busy to live and have fun.

January’s To-Do’s:

  • Send lots of thank-you notes
  • Read between the lines
  • Make a snow angel
  • Host a clothing swap
  • Join a book club

I'm going bold but classy with my organization this year, using my new Kate Spade New York large black/white striped agenda.

Behind each tab you’ll find a full monthly calendar, along with weekly divisions broken down by day. This is where I make a lot of entries in my own planner. It’s the only way I can keep up with what I need to get done that specific day and an easy way for me to mark each item off as I complete it. It’s certainly nothing overly complicated, but exactly what I need to keep my year organized.

Other notable features:

  • Large size (9.25″ x 7″ x 2″)
  • Beautiful hardcover
  • Elastic closure for secure keeping
  • Metallic gold spiral binding
  • 2 interior pockets for filing
  • Complete annual calendar
  • Section to note celebrations by month
  • List of 2017 holidays
  • Multiple pages of notes in the front as well as a couple pages behind each month’s tab

I just love the black/white stripes of my Kate Spade New York agenda, but if stripes aren’t your thing, there are other designs to choose from including Gold Polka Dots, Gold Caning and a Floral design. No matter which design strikes your eye, it can be purchased for $36. And I have to say this is probably the best $36 I’ve spent so far for the New Year.

I'm going bold but classy with my organization this year, using my new Kate Spade New York large black/white striped agenda. I'm going bold but classy with my organization this year, using my new Kate Spade New York large black/white striped agenda. I'm going bold but classy with my organization this year, using my new Kate Spade New York large black/white striped agenda.

Do you use a planner/agenda to stay organized? Which Kate Spade New York agenda design is your favorite?

*This post contains affiliate links, in which I may receive compensation for your purchase.  I did not receive product in exchange for a review, but am simply sharing my love for a new organizational tool. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Tights Are a Staple That Never Go Out of Style #itfitsitflatters

Ladies, do you hate wearing hosiery? I did until I came across Berkshire, which changed my outlook on wearing tights and pantyhose myself. With sizing from regular to curvy, and even maternity options, Berkshire definitely has the right fit for you! #itfitsitflatters #berkshirelegs #alookforeveryleg
~Thank you to Lipton Publicity for providing samples for review.~

I have a confession to make. I have never been a big fan of women’s hosiery. Am I the only one? I mean, I see so many women all the time wearing some type of hosiery and always thought it was the perfect finish to an outfit, but I just couldn’t ever get with it. And I honestly think it’s because I could never find ones that truly fit me. I’m considered a plus sized woman and even as a child, have had my fair share of tights and pantyhose that I couldn’t even get over my butt.

But just recently I got the opportunity to try some Berkshire tights and I really feel like I’ve been missing out for so long. I finally found a brand of hosiery that has sizing that works for me and I absolutely love the fit. Their sizing ranges from regular to curvy and they even have maternity options.

Ladies, do you hate wearing hosiery? I did until I came across Berkshire, which changed my outlook on wearing tights and pantyhose myself. With sizing from regular to curvy, and even maternity options, Berkshire definitely has the right fit for you! #itfitsitflatters #berkshirelegs #alookforeveryleg

The first thing I got to try from Berkshire is their Easy On! 40 Denier Plus Size Tights ($16 or 2/$26). It was love as soon as I put them on!

  • Cooling fibers with knit in ventilation.
  • Extra stretch for room at the top.
  • Comfy control top.
  • Coverage and colors to love.
  • Easy to wear super soft fibers.
  • Easy on the toes.

Ladies, do you hate wearing hosiery? I did until I came across Berkshire, which changed my outlook on wearing tights and pantyhose myself. With sizing from regular to curvy, and even maternity options, Berkshire definitely has the right fit for you! #itfitsitflatters #berkshirelegs #alookforeveryleg

I love how just one pair of tights can add the finishing touch to so many different looks. It’s easy to take summery type outfits and make them winter ready. Just like every woman needs that rocking little black dress, every woman needs a good pair of black tights.

Ladies, do you hate wearing hosiery? I did until I came across Berkshire, which changed my outlook on wearing tights and pantyhose myself. With sizing from regular to curvy, and even maternity options, Berkshire definitely has the right fit for you! #itfitsitflatters #berkshirelegs #alookforeveryleg

In the past I never would have given red tights a second thought and most of my wardrobe consists of dark colors, like black. But I’ve recently started stepping out of my comfort zone and trying to add pops of color here and there, so I went for it. I am so glad I did! I took this all black look of mine and made it something special. I’ll definitely stand out in a crowd, but in a good way.

And I didn’t stop there! In addition to the tights, I received a pair of Berkshire’s Stretch Fishnet Pantyhose ($11). Most people tend to associate fishnet stockings with burlesque, but I’m here to tell you that they are so much more! I took the same outfit as above, with my red tights and just layered the fishnet stockings over the tights. One simple addition changed up the whole look!

Ladies, do you hate wearing hosiery? I did until I came across Berkshire, which changed my outlook on wearing tights and pantyhose myself. With sizing from regular to curvy, and even maternity options, Berkshire definitely has the right fit for you! #itfitsitflatters #berkshirelegs #alookforeveryleg

Of all the outfits I put together with my new hosiery, this one was my favorite. Who would have thought a hosiery hating lady like myself would go from nothing, to this. All it took was finding ones that worked perfectly for me.

Berkshire, where have you been all my life?! I will never again go without tights in my wardrobe. They’re a staple that simply put, will never go out of style!

Ladies, do you wear tights?

Connect with : Website / Facebook / TwitterInstagram

*Thank you to Lipton Publicity for providing Berkshire hosiery samples for my review and inspiring me to step up my fashion.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Easily eRase Unwanted Winter Hair #GiftIdea

 The eRase e60 Epilator from #Emjoi is the only tool you need to keep those beary hairy winter legs at their smoothest throughout the holidays. #eRasee60 #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

~ Thank you to Lipton Publicity and Emjoi for providing product for my  review. Opinions are 100% my own.~

Ah, the things winter is made of – gentle snowflakes, cozy fires, hot chocolate, leggings, boots and – hairy legs? Ladies, you have to know what I’m talking about. When cold weather hits, we live in our leggings or pants, and quite frankly that means no task of shaving in the near future. No one’s going to see our grizzly bear legs so why bother?

The eRase e60 Epilator from #Emjoi is the only tool you need to keep those beary hairy winter legs at their smoothest throughout the holidays. #eRasee60 #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

But at some point, enough is enough. We can’t go all winter with hairy legs and Emjoi has just the thing to help – the eRase e60 Epilator. Have you ever had a wax before? eRase is like getting a wax, but without using wax. Instead, eRase uses a series of 60 tweezers to electrically remove unwanted hair.

eRase e60 Highlights:

  • Removes hair from root for up to 6 weeks.
  • Removes hair as short as 0.3 mm.
  • Can be safely used on legs, bikini line, underarms and face.
  • Precision Hair Removal Technology effectively removes majority of hair in first passing to prevent skin irritation and save time.
  • Dual speed control.
  • Includes sensitive attachment for sensitive areas.
  • Corded electrical use.
  • Compact size great for easy use, storage and travel.

The eRase e60 Epilator from #Emjoi is the only tool you need to keep those beary hairy winter legs at their smoothest throughout the holidays. #eRasee60 #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

I have never personally had a wax before and certainly never tweezed my leg hairs, so the eRase e60 Epilator was quite a first experience for me. When I took the plunge, I hadn’t shaved my legs in a good 2-3 weeks (I’ve been in serious winter legging mode) so my hairs were fairly long. I knew the eRase e60 would have no problem grabbing them, haha.

The eRase e60 Epilator from #Emjoi is the only tool you need to keep those beary hairy winter legs at their smoothest throughout the holidays. #eRasee60 #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

I plugged in my eRase e60, pushed the power button to the first speed setting (wasn’t so sure I was ready for the second yet) and got to work. I ran the epilator up the shin of my leg, feeling every single hair it pulled from the root. Was it painful? Yes. Yes, it was.

Emjoi suggests showering and exfoliating the area before using eRase, to help with comfort. Warm water helps open the pores, so I’ll have to do that next time. But since I was able to go at my own pace, I got used to it after a few minutes, upped it to the faster speed setting and eRased my leg hairs.

The eRase e60 Epilator from #Emjoi is the only tool you need to keep those beary hairy winter legs at their smoothest throughout the holidays. #eRasee60 #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

When I was done, my legs were covered in red spots where hairs had been pulled from the root. This didn’t last very long though and my legs were the smoothest they’d been in 3 weeks. The best part is they’ll stay this way for up to 6 weeks. That means no wasted time shaving in the shower, no wasted water from shaving and NO HAIRY WINTER LEGS! This girl has smooth legs under her leggings! Do you?!

Making Time 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Buy eRase now!

The eRase e60 Epilator would be the perfect gift for women (or even men who have unwanted hair) this holiday season. Ladies, get one for yourself or maybe even your daughter. Fellas, why not get one for your wife? I know you’d prefer her to have smooth legs over beary hairy ones. eRase e60 is the solution this winter!

You can find the eRase e60 in the Bermuda blue color, right at Emjoi for $79.95. And throughout the year, limited edition colors and patterns can be found at QVC.

Who will you give the gift of smooth legs to this holiday season?

Connect with emjoi-logo: Website

*Thank you to Lipton Publicity and Emjoi for providing an eRase e60 Epilator and inspiring me to get rid of my beary hairy winter legs.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Toss Your Tongs & Claim Some Clongs #GiftIdea

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

~ Thank you to Dreamfarm for providing product for my  review. Opinions are 100% my own.~

Have you ever been cooking and thought of a cool gadget, or even just a tweak to an existing product, that would make your cooking experience so much more efficient and effective? No matter how wild you think that idea is, there’s a good chance you’re not the only one thinking about it.

In fact, Dreamfarm turns some of those ideas into a reality. I own a few different Dreamfarm products and they definitely get the most use out of everything I have to choose from in my kitchen. One such product from Dreamfarm are the Clongs.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Clongs are a unique kitchen utensil in that they (1) have a few different uses, (2) have a design that allows them to sit off the counter or stove top, and (3) implement a click-lock system.

Using Clongs

Clongs have a V-shape just like tongs and can be used for grasping literally anything, just as tongs are. In my experience, most people use tongs for salads, but I use them for all kinds of stuff, and my Clongs for so much more.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Just a few days ago I was cooking stuffed peppers and Clongs were the perfect tool for grasping the peppers. The tips are made of silicone, so unlike metal tongs, they provide a much more gentle approach to grasping. In the case of my stuffed peppers, after boiling them for a bit they become fairly soft and brittle, so the gentle touch of Clongs helps prevent tears.

The silicone tip is also good because they’re scratch resistant. I can’t tell you how many non-stick pots and pans I’ve ruined from using metal kitchen utensils.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Aside from the silicone material of the tip, the tip design itself is something to note. The wavy waffle design makes Clongs great for serving all kinds of foods, and the flat tip makes picking up smaller foods a cinch. When I was making my stuffed peppers, I even used them to stir the rice and actually stuff the peppers.

So as far as use goes, Clongs are a great tool and are the only kitchen utensil I need to use to get my stuffed peppers from the stove to the table.

Unique Bend Design

One of my favorite features of Clongs is the bend design of the handles. When sitting Clongs on the counter or stove top, the curve in the handle keeps the tip off the actual surface. This prevents counter and stove tops from getting dirty and also keeps any germs off the tip.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

The bend design also comes in handy to prop Clongs on the side of a pan. This means no more worrying about propped utensils sliding down the pan and splattering food all over the stove top.

Click-Lock System

Of course, I saved the best feature for last. Clongs have a click-lock system that makes it super easy to open and close, lock and unlock them with just one hand. Just like a clicky pen, the push of a click button on the end unlocks the Clongs. To close them, it’s the same thing. Just hold the handles together and push the click button. Easy peasy!

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

This is definitely time saving and much easier compared to tongs that require slipping a metal piece into position to lock and unlock. It’s such a pesky piece and quite frankly, I had removed the one that was on my metal tongs. I just left them in the open position all the time.

And I’m not going to lie. When I took my Clongs out of the box, I sat there and continuously pushed the click button to open and close them. It’s just as addicting as sitting at a desk and clicking a pen. I absolutely love this feature when cooking because I can open/close the Clongs with one hand, freeing up my other hand to hold the pan or do something else.

As soon as I experienced how much of a difference Clongs made in the kitchen and how easy they were to use, I immediately tossed my metal tongs!

Where do Clongs get their name?

Have you figured out where the name Clongs comes from? It’s simple >> click-lock sit up tongs = Clongs!

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Buy them now!

Do you know someone who is always in the kitchen? Someone who loves cooking? Someone who entertains a lot? Someone who wishes there were more practical kitchen utensils? Heck, even if you want some Clongs for yourself because I mean, who wouldn’t want some?! Clongs are a great gift idea for any one of these people! Just visit Dreamfarm and get your order in before the holiday rush.

9″ (shown in red) – $19.99

12″ (shown in black) – $24.99

Plus, when you place an order of $50+ you’ll get FREE shipping! Spend $100+ and you’ll also get a FREE set of Levoons! I’m not going to tell you what those are so you can check them out for yourself, but trust me – if you just glance at all of the products Dreamfarm has to offer, you’ll want them all and spending $50 or $100 will be a breeze! Making time for Dreamfarm is easy and once you get your first product, you’ll love them just as much as I do!

Will you toss your tongs and claim some Clongs?

Connect with Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide: Shop / Facebook / Twitter

*Thank you to Dreamfarm for providing a 9″ and 12″ Clongs, and inspiring me to get creative in the kitchen.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Just a Girl and Her Shoes

As my toddler learns to walk, Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes provide her with stability, comfort and the protection her little feet need. #StrideRite #SoftMotion @StrideRite

There’s no doubt women (or men for that matter – I live with a sneaker head) can have a special bond with their shoes. I know I have a few pairs (okay maybe more than a few) that I just could never live without. Whether our personal preference is comfort or style, some shoes just hold a special place in our hearts.

Not only that, but think about the shoes you put on this morning. What do they say about you? Are you wearing a comfortable pair of sneakers that have good traction? I might guess you’re athletic, are going for a run, or simply just want to be comfortable. Are you wearing a high pair of sexy pumps? I might guess you’ve got a really hot date or are headed to have lunch with the girls or a girls’ night out. You get my point, right?

Our shoes say so much about us personally and even give others an indication of what type of mood we’re in. On any given day you can find me wearing a pair of sandals or flats. I’m usually in full on mom mode with the messy bun, leggings and kids in tow. I need something simple, quick and easy, and that’s what sandals and flats are to me. But get me on a day where I’m going to take on the world and you’ll find me wearing some of my hottest pumps or wedges. And watch out because here I come and nothing is going to bring me down!

As my toddler learns to walk, Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes provide her with stability, comfort and the protection her little feet need. #StrideRite #SoftMotion @StrideRite

I like to think the same goes for my kids. My daughter has recently started learning to walk and just like the rest of the family (mom, dad and brother included), she loves getting new shoes. She sees that little shoe box and knows exactly what’s in store. She’s a true shoe lover in the making.

Her newest addition is a pair of Stride Rite Kellen Soft Motion shoes. What exactly do THESE shoes say about her? Everything you’d expect of a toddler who’s learning to walk. She’s ready to get up and go, but needs gentle comfort because it’s all so new to her.

As my toddler learns to walk, Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes provide her with stability, comfort and the protection her little feet need. #StrideRite #SoftMotion @StrideRite

Soft Motion Features:

  • Rounded soles for improved balance.
  • Flexibility for natural movement.
  • Oversized openings for easy on/off.
  • Memory foam interior footbeds for comfort.
  • Secure closures to keep shoes on.

The new Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes have quickly become my daughter’s favorite pair. Once she took them out of the box, being the little independent kid she is, tried to put them on herself and she hasn’t wanted to take them off. Every time I tried to take them off she’d grab my hand and put the strap back down. She’s making time to explore the world of walking, with or without mom.

As my toddler learns to walk, Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes provide her with stability, comfort and the protection her little feet need. #StrideRite #SoftMotion @StrideRite

As my toddler learns to walk, Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes provide her with stability, comfort and the protection her little feet need. #StrideRite #SoftMotion @StrideRite

As a parent, my favorite thing about Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes is that they are soft and flexible, but still durable enough to protect my daughter’s little feet. Not to mention, they are THE easiest shoes to put on. I remember having such a tough time trying to get shoes on my son’s feet when he was smaller, simply because of how they’re made, but Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes, or at least the Kellen style, slide right on with no fuss.

As my toddler learns to walk, Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes provide her with stability, comfort and the protection her little feet need. #StrideRite #SoftMotion @StrideRite

What’s your favorite feature of Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes?

Connect with stride-rite-logo: Shop / Facebook / Twitter

*Thank you to Stride Rite for inspiring my toddler to learn to walk in comfort. I received a pair of Stride Rite Soft Motion shoes compliments of Stride Rite and BzzAgent. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

How My Little One Indulges in Fall Flavors

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies

One of my favorite things about fall is all of the amazing flavors – pumpkin, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, roast beef, apples and any recipe that has crockpot in the title. I can’t wait to pull my crockpot out!

On the flip side, my little one can’t enjoy all of the same fall flavors I do because she’s still learning to chew solid food. There’s no way I can give Sadee small pieces of turkey, ham or roast beef quite yet, but I would love for her to experience the same savory fall tastes that I love and enjoy.

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies
Eeny meeny miny moe, so many Lil’ Bits to choose from, yes it’s so.

 

My solution is Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits! With flavors like Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner and Autumn Vegetable & Turkey Dinner, I can share my favorite fall flavors with her.

Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits provide Sadee with a puree consistency she can handle, but also introduces her to small pieces of soft, solid food. I love it because it’s teaching her how to chew and progress into real, solid table food. It’s only a matter of time before she’ll be eating everything we eat right from our table.

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies

Crockpot roast beef is a favorite fall dish of mine and one that I make at least 3-4 times during the fall season. I wanted to see how well Sadee would like some of these same flavors, so I made time to try a quick mashed sweet potato recipe for her and topped it with Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner. It gives her a little taste of the sweet and savory flavors of fall, but in consistencies she’s able to handle at her age.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This recipe allows your little one to experience the sweet and savory tastes of fall, while maintaining a consistency they're able to handle, and even introduces them to easy to eat, small pieces of solid food.
Ingredients
  • 3 small sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1, 5 oz. container of Gerber 3rd Food Lil' Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner
Instructions
  1. Boil the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Drain the sweet potatoes and return them to the pot.
  3. Mash the sweet potatoes, and mix in the milk and maple syrup.
  4. Place desired amount sweet potatoes in a bowl.
  5. Top with desired amount of Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner.
  6. Let sweet potatoes cool before serving.
Notes
Feel free to substitute the Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner, with another flavor your little one may like.

With this #recipe calling for @Gerber 3rd Foods Lil' Bits, my little one can enjoy the same fall flavors I've come to love and is also learning to chew and eat solid food. #GerberBabies

I’m happy to say, it was a big hit and Sadee loved it! She had no problem eating the small, solid pieces of carrots in the Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner, while the rest of the dish was a puree consistency. I think she really enjoyed having a little taste of both the sweet and savory sides of fall dishes because up until now her meals have been pretty one-sided – either sweet or savory.

Which flavor of Gerber 3rd Foods Lil’ Bits would your little one enjoy?

*Thank you to Gerber for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to prepare my little one for solid table food. This is a sponsored post in which I will receive compensation.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

New Reading Surprises with The Story Box

If you can’t tell yet, I’ve recently become a huge fan of monthly subscription boxes. And guess what, my kids have too! They love getting new surprises in the mail each month, especially if it’s a cool package to open, and I love the joy and excitement on their faces when they open a new box.

Their latest subscription box addition is from The Story Box and every month they each get a new book that’s fit for their age. We make time almost on a daily basis to sit down and explore the characters and adventures that what await inside their books. Let’s just say their reading collection has grown at such a rapid pace that the book shelf I made them a few months ago just isn’t big enough anymore.

The Story Box provides your children with 2 new story books to explore each month. Subscribe today and save $6 off your first order! #subscriptionbox

The Story Box has 3 different box options to choose from, but they all include a parent guide and 2 books that are curated by a speech-language pathologist.

  • Board Books Package – for children ages 0 to 2.5 years.
  • Picture Books Package – for children ages 2.5 to 6 years.
  • Family Package – for families with children in both age ranges.

Since I have a 1 year old (as of tomorrow!) and a 4 year old, I chose the Family Package. The selections in our August box included a  board book entitled Sheep Go To Sleep, and a picture book entitled Shark’s Big Surprise.

The Story Box provides your children with 2 new story books to explore each month. Subscribe today and save $6 off your first order! #subscriptionbox

My kids were super excited to see they got some new stories to read and couldn’t wait to get into them. Yesterday was pretty gloomy and rainy, which actually cooled down the weather a little bit. So after the rain stopped, we headed to our bench outside to enjoy the nice, cool evening and spend some time experiencing their new books.

The Story Box provides your children with 2 new story books to explore each month. Subscribe today and save $6 off your first order! #subscriptionbox

And these aren’t just your ordinary run of the mill books. There’s so much to enjoy about them. For starters, the board books are perfect for my toddler because she can’t tear them up. She has an interest in ripping things apart – tissue, magazines, and even her brothers books. She’s already destroyed a handful of his books. So it’s a big plus we can enjoy a book with her that she can’t demolish.

The Story Box provides your children with 2 new story books to explore each month. Subscribe today and save $6 off your first order! #subscriptionbox

As for the picture books for my son, I love that they come with suggested challenges that I, as the parent, can challenge and help my son with. For example, one of the suggestions included on the parent guide for Shark’s Big Surprise was to talk with my son about the sound each animal makes in the story and then do a small recall activity to see if he could match the sound with its animal. So not only is my son getting to experience a new world and story with the book, but I can also help develop his mind and language with the help of the parent guide.

Subscribe to The Story Box + Savings Code!

Ready to subscribe for your little one(s)? Simply visit The Story Box and choose which box best fits your child’s age. Use promo code TAKESIX and save $6 off your first order! Then you just have to wait in anticipation for your box to arrive! This month’s shipment is scheduled for September 21st.

And before I forget, a portion of each subscription fee is used to purchase books and other educational materials to benefit children with disabilities and children from low-income families. What a great way to not only help your child expand their mind, but help other children as well!

Which box option fits your child’s age?

Connect with The Story Box:

Shop / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

*This post contains an affiliate link and I may receive compensation in exchange for this post.  I also received a sample free of charge.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Skinthology & PatchMD Make Taking Vitamins Easy

PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patches are the easiest, most effective way to stay healthy.

I was never much of a vitamin taker until I first became pregnant, and even then I quickly learned that vitamin pills were not my friend. I am absolutely no fan of gagging on gigantic pills, but could manage if I needed to. And since giving birth that’s exactly what I’ve done – managed. In an effort to continue living healthier I’ve been taking a multivitamin, although it’s not the most fun thing to do.

I later learned that my mother-in-law actually can’t stomach vitamin pills. Any time she takes one it upsets her stomach and brings about unwanted side effects. The whole point of taking vitamins and supplements is to live healthier, but if taking them orally is causing side effects, it’s not helping very much.

So what are we to do about taking vitamins? Is there no easier way than swallowing large pills or an alternative altogether to avoid an upset stomach or unwanted side effects? Yes! It just so happens there is.  The answer to our problems is PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patches.

PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patches are the easiest, most effective way to stay healthy.

PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patches are exactly what they sound like. They’re topical patches you place on your body, and release vitamins/supplements directly into the bloodstream throughout the day using a time release formula. It only takes one patch per day and lasts for 24 hours. Not to mention, the patches activate in the body within just 3-5 minutes. Do you know how long it takes an oral pill to take effect? 4 hours!!!

And that’s after passing through the stomach and digestive process. Not only do oral pills take longer to become effective, but you’re only getting as little as 5% of the supplement. Wait – what? You mean all this time I’ve been choking down vitamins, I haven’t been getting the full effect of the supplement? Not anymore! With PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patches I’m getting up to 95% of the supplement into my cells. Now that’s more like it!

If I can remember to take a pill AND choke it down, there’s no reason I can’t make time to put on a patch. It really doesn’t take any more time anyways and I don’t have to worry about choking down a pill.

And there’s quite a variety of PatchMD options available, too. Just take a look at this list!

  • Anti-Aging
  • B12 Energy Plus
  • CoQ10 Plus
  • Garcinia Cambogia
  • Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  • Iron Plus
  • Keep Klear Acne Prevention
  • KIDS Multivitamin + Omega 3
  • Last Call Hangover Prevention
  • Menopause Day Relief
  • Menopause Night Relief
  • Multivitamin Plus
  • Omega 3 Plus
  • PMS Day Relief
  • PMS Night Relief
  • Sleep Starter
  • Vitamin C Plus
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin D3/Calcium

PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patches are the easiest, most effective way to stay healthy.

I recently introduced my mother-in-law to PatchMD Vitamin D3 patches and she’s been using them for the past few days. She hasn’t had any of the problems or side effects she did with oral vitamin pills. The patches are easy to apply and remove from the skin, and really take no effort at all. You can even apply it in a location that’s discrete so that your clothes cover it up. No one will ever know you’re getting vitamin or supplement intake throughout the day. I mean, does it get any easier?

My son is a very picky eater and we have the hardest time getting any kind of good nutrition in his system. He won’t even take kids vitamins that are purchased over the counter, like Flintstones or even the gummy vitamins. Sneaking gummy vitamins into his fruit snacks doesn’t even work. He’s too smart for that. So on my list to try is the KIDS Mutlivitamin + Omega 3. Maybe a “sticker” will do the trick.

Shop PatchMD + Discount!

PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patches can be purchased online at Skinthology.com and a 30 day supply is just $19.95. How amazing is that? For just $19.95 I can avoid choking and gagging on large pills, my mother-in-law can avoid unwanted side effects, and I can even get my son some vitamin/supplement intake. And right now we all can save 20% off a $60+ purchase with promo code STORE20! Who can’t make time for that?

Which PatchMD Vitamin Supplement Patch could you use?

*This post contains an affiliate link and I will/may receive compensation in exchange for this post.  I also received a sample free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

DIY Book Shelf: From Shoe Rack to Book Shelf

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.

With my son’s collection of books getting larger and larger, his reading materials have outgrown their storage basket.  I have been browsing online to see what cute and effective storage ideas I could find and came across some pocket shelving.  The problem is that I wasn’t willing to pay its cost if it wasn’t going to hold all of his books.  So I held off.

 Book Shelf Idea

Shortly thereafter, while visiting my parents, my mom asked if I wanted a shoe rack she was going to toss out.  At first I said no because I had no need for it and certainly didn’t need any additional clutter in my home.

Then all of a sudden it hit me!  I was thinking about the shoe rack and it dawned on me that I could turn it into something similar to the pocket shelving I had previously been eyeing.

Once I got home with the shoe rack, I took to Pinterest to see if I could find if someone else had done something similar.  I mean, why do trial and error if someone else already has it figured out?  But I couldn’t find anything.  So I decided to just do it my way and I absolutely love how it turned out!

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.

I’m certainly no seamstress, but I do know the basics of sewing.  And not only that, but I don’t even have an average sewing machine that has all of the basic functions.  I have a miniature sewing machine that only does a straight stitch and was still able to pull this off.

Step 1 – Find the perfect material to make the shelves/pockets.

I decided to go with a canvas-like material so that it would be sturdy.  And I liked this particular design because the words were fitting with books and reading.  I purchased 1.5 yards and used it all.

Step 2 – Take measurements.

As far as width I lucked out with not having to do any measuring because when folded in half, the sheet of material was exactly the width I needed.

Width Measurement

Measuring the length was a little more tricky and required some little helping hands.  Before measuring, I made sure I had the poles I’d be using in their appropriate slots and removed any excess poles I didn’t need.  Each pocket requires two poles, one in the top back and one in the bottom front.  Just repeat the pattern all the way down the shoe rack being used.  My shoe rack was tall enough for four shelves.

Next, I literally strung my flexible measuring tape around the poles and draped it how I wanted the pockets to fall.  I preferred to have deep pockets so that I could fit as many of my son’s books in them as possible, without having any topple out the front.  I ended up with three deep pockets and then the bottom pocket I had to make some adjustments on because it would fall closer to the floor.

Length measurements can be tricky.

To take the length measurement we started at the top back pole and wrapped the measuring tape around it because I was going to be sewing a slot to insert the pole.  Then we draped the measuring tape down to the pocket depth we wanted.  Next, we continued the measuring tape around the bottom front pole and made sure to add enough extra length so I could sew a seam on the bottom side of the actual drape.

Add additional length so there's no oopsie like this.

I know – sounds pretty confusing, but take a look at this and you’ll kind of see what I mean.  This is my first attempt at a pocket and a big oopsie on my part, haha.  The back of my one-sided designed material was showing!  So much for trying to plan and think ahead.

Now you can see why it’s important to add some extra length to create that seam on the underside of the drape.  Luckily, I was able to fix it by sewing on some additional material and you can’t see the seams where I added it on.

Step 3 – Mark your measurements and make your cuts.

As I just mentioned, I needed three pieces with the same measurements for the deep pockets.  And for the bottom pocket I needed to cut the material a little shorter in length since it was closer to the floor and wouldn’t drape as deeply.

Step 4 – Pin and sew.

Now we’re getting to the meat and potatoes!  When ready to start pinning and sewing, the first thing I did was sew a finished look to the sides of the pockets.  I simply folded the edges back slightly and sewed a straight seam all the way down.  This will give a simple finished look and no frayed threads along the sides of the pockets.

Fold sides slightly and sew to provide finished edges.

Nice finished edges.

Next, take a pole and wrap the top of the material around it and pin it in place.  Remove the pole and sew along the pins.  If you have a one-sided and one-directional design as I did, make sure you’re actually doing this at the top of the design.  I would have hated to end up with the materials wording design upside down.Pin along the pole and sew.

The last part of sewing was the bottom part.  With the back side of the material face up, I folded back the bottom about 6″ (according to my measurements), pinned it in place and sewed along that edge.  This seam lies on the underside of the pocket’s drape so it can’t be seen when in place.

Fold the bottom back.

The seam will be on the underside of the drape.

Not only does this create a finish to the bottom, but now you have a slot to place the bottom front pole.  And that’s all the sewing you need!

Slot to insert the bottom front pole.

Repeat the same pinning and sewing for all pockets.

Step 5 – Put it together.

It’s finally time to put everything in place and admire the finished product!

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.

If you’re using a super flimsy shoe rack, you may have to do something to the sides to stabilize it.  Once we put the books in ours, it was fairly stable I think because of the weight of the books, but it’s final resting home also provides some stability in case it were to rock side to side.

DIY Book Shelf: From shoe rack to book shelf! I'll show you how I turned an old shoe rack into a useful book shelf for my son.