A blog about gardening, canning, quilting, family, saving money, and product reviews

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Turkey Broth - Preserving Thanksgiving

For the first time ever, I decided to keep the bits and pieces of unused turkey to make a broth. I have thought about it several times, but always forgot to have my husband save the unused parts.

Basically, I'm about to take all the bits of turkey gristle, bone, and any meaty bits that were not taken off the bones during carving. We had about an 18 pound turkey this year. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Orion 6000 mAh External Battery Bank - Review

I have been needing to purchase an external battery bank for some time now. I cannot count how many times we have lost power in a snow storm and lost the ability to call out because our cell phones died. It's a scary thing when the heat has been out for 36 hours and it's -25 degrees outside with impassable roads! 

I'll be honest, when I first saw this charger on Amazon, I had a lot of doubts. This battery bank boasts 6000 mAh. That basically means that it can charge my phone from dead approximately 4 times on a full charge! For the price, which is currently $29.99 (as I type this review, it is on sale), I seriously doubted it's ability to charge my phone even once. I was expecting to receive a small, weak-looking "toy" in the mail.

I was very mistaken!

November Freebies!

The month is over (mail-wise) as of today, so it's time to unbox all my boxes of goodies and share them with you!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

It's not Thanksgiving without that orange fluffy stuff - Orange Gelatin Salad

We all have a food we remember fondly from childhood. This is mine! My grandmother would always make this fluffy orange stuff, and we would always chow down on it.

But then, every once in a while, we would have a Thanksgiving dinner with somebody else's family. I would see the fluffy stuff and would get a whole bunch, only to find out it was all wrong, somebody shoved nuts in it, or hid marshmallows in it. Out of respect, I would eat it until it was all gone, but it would make me gag, and I'm sure that the look on my face was seen by whomever placed that ghastly salad on the table. Feelings were probably hurt, but gosh darnit...that is NOT the fluff you are supposed to make for Thanksgiving.

I'm sure that my rendition is slightly different than my grandmother's, I'm not a hundred percent sure, but this is how I have been making it for Thanksgiving since I started my own family.

You are going to need 2-15 oz cans of mandarin oranges (only, please, do not get Great Value, these tasted terrible this time, but they were in the salad and mixed in before I realized it), 1 box of orange gelatin (I choose the sugar-free so that it is not gritty in the salad), an 8 oz container of whipped topping (yup, the fake stuff from the freezer), and 1-16oz container of cottage cheese (whichever kind you prefer).


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ceremonial Grade Matcha - Kiss Me Organics

 I was so lucky to have tried the culinary grade matcha from KissMe organics, and it is wonderful in smoothies! But today, I got the chance to try the ceremonial grade! So now, to finally try a delicious cup of matcha latte!

What I received was one 1oz tin of ceremonial grade matcha. It runs about $28.00 on Amazon, which is very much in line with the pricing of other matcha products claiming to have the same level of awesomeness (same grade).

Win It Wednesday 11/26/2014

Wednesday's BACK! My favorite day of the week!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Oleavine - Review

I recently had the opportunity to try a new facial moisturizer called Oleavine.

What sets this product apart from other similar products is that it is an organic, natural, all-in-one (anti-aging and moisturizing) product. Here is a product description from the company:

Dinosaur T-Rex Room Guard with Motion Sensor - Review

Dinosaurs are awesome. They are strong, they are loud, they are scaly and scary. What's not to love about dinosaurs? Meet the Dinosaur T-Rex Room Guard

Homemade and home-canned cranberry sauce!

Thanksgiving is almost here, and cranberries are popping up in stores. For years, I wondered what I could do with fresh cranberries. Last year we made homemade cranberry sauce and it was such a hit. Now, this year, I used a bit different recipe, but it turned out great. So, fill up the canner, grab some cranberries (I see there was a $1/1 coupon in toady's paper) and let's get to cooking!

If you want to preserve this, you are going to need to get your boiling water canner going, fill it up so it'll be enough to go over the jars with an inch or more above the top of the jars, and get it boiling. Gather your jars, lids, and rings. Add the jars to the boiling water canner so they can come up to temperature.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Target Haul 11/18/2014 (deals should be valid through 11/22/2014)

There are some great deals to be had at your Target store this week, these sales will last until Saturday night, so you still have a chance to get in on them. The products below retail for over $43 (with the sale prices). Keep reading to find out how I got all of these items for less than $8!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thrifty dog beds DIY

I recently started working on call. When I work, I could be here in town, or thirty minutes away. So if the weather gets bad while I'm away, my poor pooch is stuck outside. We thought about a doggy door, but that would let people waltz right into our house (he is a really big dog, so a really big door would be needed). Plus there are rattle snakes here, so we wouldn't want just any ole' doggy door, and those electronic ones are so expensive (and an intruder could use the dog's receiver to gain entry). So a doggie door is out of the question.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Folgers Flavor Enhancers

I received these Folger's Flavor Enhancers for free from Crowdtap in exchange for my review. There were 4 flavors: caramel, hazelnut, vanilla, and mocha.

#vaseline VoxBox from Influenster

Recently I was given my first opportunity to receive and review the contents of a VoxBox. I was chosen for the Vaseline voxbox, and I tell you, it could NOT have come at a better time. With fall in full swing, the wind is whistling, the air is dry, and my skin is even drier! I am plagued with skin problems anyways, and keeping my hands hydrated has always been a challenge. I have tried your typical lotions (store brand) that you can get just about anywhere. But they are so full of water that they do very little hydrating for my skin. I have even gone so far as to get the really expensive store brand ones that mimic the popular brand Eucerin (you see, I still got the store brand, just the really expensive version of the store brand). Those always leave my hands feeling super greasy, and it just doesn't feel like the lotion is absorbing into my skin (feels like more of a protectant, a barrier if you will against dry skin). So, this box came at the perfect time. And boy did I have my doubts.

So, here's what I got:

Zep Crowdtap Sampling

Recently, Crowdtap and Zep gave me the opportunity to try some of the cleaners in the Zep product line. I received some Quick Clean Disinfectant and some All-Around Oxy cleaner and degreaser.

I actually have purchased and use a couple of Zep products in my home already. I use the hardwood floor cleaner (which I put in my Bona mop, sorry Bona). I also use the Zep Odor Control. When we first moved into our home, it smelled like it had been used as a litter box for years. So we scrubbed the whole basement down repeatedly with the odor control product, and low and behold, this house is livable now!

So, of course I'm excited to try some products that I haven't come across yet (probably because I was on a mission to find one specific thing, and that's all I looked for).  So of course I instantly put these products to the test!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Foxbrim Ultra Lift Treatment - Review

A couple of months ago a friend sent me some sample packets of a lifting treatment. I loved loved loved the way it made my face look, it was lightly colored, really thick and almost waxy, and it basically worked like a spackle to fill in all my imperfections. What I did NOT like about it was the fact that it was so thick and didn't actually soak in, so if you touched your face throughout the day, the treatment and whatever makeup was over top of it would just come off. So, I was very happy and very nervous to try this new lifting treatment by Foxbrim.

This product is touted to even skin tone, restore firmness and elastically, refine and reduce appearance of wrinkles, and support healing. This product contains peptides (to stimulate collagen), CoQ10 (to fight free radicals and reverse damage to the skin), hyaluronic acid (for skin hydration), and vitamin b5 (to promote skin health).

Arla Dofino Cheeses - a review from a self-proclaimed cheese monster

BzzAgent and Arla Dofino recently gave me the chance to review Arla Dofino cheeses. I love cheese, I love cheese so much, that I will snack on it before I snack on candy or anything else. I love cheese so much that when I buy sliced cheese for my husband's lunches, I will end up eating it all before the weekend is out and he will be left cheese-less for the rest of the week, until we go shopping again. I love cheese so much, that my family didn't even get to try this with me, because I ate it ALL! I'm terrible. But, I'm so nice I went and bought another one, and I shared a few slices of it with them a couple weeks later. 

Tazo Chai Tea and Chai Latte Concentrates - My Verdict Is In

I recently had the chance to review the Tazo Chai products through Smiley 360. I received the products free in exchange for my review. I love chai lattes (ever since we got a Keurig, we always keep chai latte k-cups in our home), and so I was so excited to find out that I was one of the people that had this opportunity. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

One Soda - One Cake

My daughter turned 9 on Wednesday (yes, I'm a bit late to post this!). I stayed home and was going to make her a cake, and then I realized I had used the eggs in the previous night's dinner. How could I do something so silly! So, I had a couple choices, either go buy eggs, or figure out another way. Well, we had cream soda, why not give that a go!? I know that soda is not a healthy things to drink all the time, and I know that boxed cake mix, also not an everyday thing. But that's just it, everything in moderation. So the next time you find yourself without eggs, but with a soda, give this a try.

There are so many different combinations you could try too!
Dr. Pepper - cherry cake
Sprite - in any cake
Cream soda - chocolate cake
cherry coke - chocolate cake

You see? the possibilities are endless.