Monday, March 27, 2017

Collector? Collections??

Do you have something that you collect?   Not just those coin collectors but something else?  Stuffed animals?  Random animal?  Keepsakes?  

I don't really consider myself a collector but I do have over 10 Willow Tree Figurines.  There is something so sweet about these faceless figurines.  For me, they are almost like milestones in my own life.   Like I have a sister one, then a couple one, one holding a baby, then a family one.  

Willow Tree figurines are sold all over but one online place is  The prices seem very similar to prices I have seen in other stores. is a website based out of Italy that sells way more then the figurines I collect.  They have items that your church might need from communion supplies to candles to cross necklaces.   They have so many different religious items that you can spend a long time browsing their site.  I even found a small selection of tea!  I will admit that the website does favor more of the catholic traditions.  

About Holyart: - the first religious art shop in Italy, which sells exclusively on-line.

We are a team of sincere people driven by a simple and clear goal: offering our customers the best service possible! This means unique products, value-for-money prices, prompt answers, safe and easy payment methods, quick delivery and above all, make our customers sure that they will run no risks in purchasing on our website!
Yes, you get it, and, we would like to repeat it once again: no risks for our customers.
This is a paid sponsor post! 

Super Mario Party

 Happy 6th Birthday Titus!  He loves both Mario and Luigi but chose to be Luigi all afternoon.  


We had so much fun with his Super Mario themed birthday party!  A huge thank-you to Oriental Trading for helping me get most of the supplies I needed for his party!   Oriental Trading had birthday banners, plates, cups, balloons, and of course Mario and Luigi masks and mustache.  WE adored the masks and the posters which helped us decorate and set the mood for fun for the whole party! 

So the first game we played was pin the mustache on Mario and Luigi.   This was a fun game and the kids enjoyed doing the game but then taking their mustache off and putting it on themselves! 

After the mustache game, we played the pie face game... that was some good laughs.

Next we needed to pose in our mustache's and so mom would have a fun picture for years! 

We also had yummy cupcakes!  Thanks to my friend Randi for coming over the night before making them!  We had Goombas, stars, mushrooms, and bricks with the question marks!  It was my first time really working with fondant and it was a learning experience for sure! 

Before we handed out the goodie bags, we had an obstacle course that the kids had a ton of fun in! After the course, we also had to have some fun with a pinata!   

Titus, I don't even know where to start on this birthday post.  It is becoming harder and harder to admit you are growing up because I still see you as my baby.  Technically you are such a little guy right now and I can still easily pick you up and I know at 6 years old I need to stop doing that...however, I love being able to and kinda enjoy baby-ing  you.   I know I know pretty soon you will be so mad at me so I am learning some self control in that area. 

Titus, you are such an important person in our family.  You bring joy to the room with endless silly things and laughs each day.  You might be quiet at times but I know your brain is constantly thinking of things all the time.  

You are a thoughtful kid, you see and act in a loving way.   You can be sensitive at times which is okay and teaching me to help you learn to deal with hurts and pain.  

This last year you showed us you love soccer and are really good at it!  You are starting to be a great reader!  You love school and your teacher!  You have a lot of great friends and even though you have a few kids that don't always play fair you are learning to be an includer and friend no matter what.  

No matter what we are blessed that God let us be your parents!  I love being your mom!  

Hugs and kisses,

Love Mom! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

It's Easy-Peasy To Develop A Cooking Habit

Whether you want to eat healthily or you want a better vegan lifestyle, food has to matter to you. Finding great, easy products to make that lifestyle easier is always a plus. But at some point, you’re going to have to conquer that part of the home that seems insurmountable to people who barely set a foot in there. We’re talking about the kitchen, how you can use it like a pro and get into the habit of using it often and well.

Take a class
It’s a simple piece of advice, but it works. If you really don’t know your spatula from your whisk, then it’s a good idea to get started with a class. If you’re trying to cook for yourself but you don’t know how, the pressure of making yourself a meal can cause the most novice of novices to mess up and never try it again. Good cooking classes, like the vegan options available at, are a stress-free environment. There you can get used to the kitchen, get used to food preparation, and get hands-on experience with the kind of knowledge that most people who cook take for granted.
Optimize the kitchen
It’s important to look at the reasons why you don’t cook as often as you would like, as well. Time and organizational constraints play a big factor, especially if you spend the majority of your day at your job or at school. So, you want to make it a lot easier to cook. One way to start with that is by optimizing your kitchen. One of the best ways to do that is by laying it out with different work zones. Reorganize it so you have set zones for food prep and outfit those zones so that making your food there is a lot easier. For instance, keep it close to the cutlery and cooking utensil work zone and add wall storage like a spice rack or utensil wall-magnet so that everything you need is in reach when you start cooking.

Make it a lot easier to clean
Your time in the kitchen doesn’t end when you finish preparing the meal, however. You’re going to have to get to the nitty gritty of cleaning up after you’re done. That adds more time and effort to the process that puts people off giving it a go in the first place. One of the ways to make it much less of a hassle is by choosing aspects of kitchen d├ęcor that makes it a lot easier to clean. For instance, granite counter tops and other low maintenance countertops mean they’re a lot simpler to simply wipe up. Similarly, instead of using floor tiles with lots of little gaps, choose a smooth even surface so you’re not constantly dealing with the dirt and debris that gets stuck in the cracks. A cleaner kitchen makes you feel a lot more comfortable about cooking in there, so don’t let dirt become a hassle.
Keep order as you cook
If you really don’t want to have to spend a lot of time cleaning after you make your meals, then you should clean as you cook. It only takes a few seconds to push scraps into a waste bowl and to wipe down the countertop quickly before you move onto the next part of the recipe. If something falls on the floor, pick it up straight away. If you have some spare time waiting for a part of the recipe to finish before you move on, then give the utensils you won’t be needing a quick clean.

Learn new recipes
Now, to get into the nitty gritty of how you actually take your cooking seriously. It’s all about building up a knowledge base that allows you to do more and to discover different tastes that make it a lot easier to stick to a healthy or vegan lifestyle. A great place to get started is by picking up recipe books. Instead of skipping from page to page looking for a suitable meal, try spending time cooking each and every recipe in there. You won’t always be successful, but it’s a good way to make sure you’re building up an even knowledge of how different meals are prepared.
Learn all the ways to use an ingredient
For non-vegans, there’s a very good method to quickly get used to the different ways of preparing food to unlock different tastes. It’s learning all the different ways to cook eggs. There’s a myriad of them and learning them takes more than just using different tools. It means learning about the sensitivity of ingredients and finding the balance to cook them in one way without going far and ending up with a different result entirely. For vegans, it’s recommended to use one of the staple grains of the average diet: the potato. Just like eggs, there are plenty of ways to cook them, from the simple to those methods that require a defter hand.

Learn new cooking methods
When it comes to unlocking the taste of those individual ingredients the methods and tools you use to cook them have just as much importance in the taste as the ingredients themselves. Building your knowledge of new utensils and new cooking methods can drastically change the taste of a meal. For instance, we all know how important the right temperature is. So, things like induction cookers and the kind of induction cookware featured at can help you ensure that you stick to precisely the temperature you want, while other methods can result in a loss of heat and thus a sub-optimal meal. You’re going to need to get into detail about the tools you use to cook your food, not just the food itself.
Plan your meals
When you start to build up your knowledge base and you want to turn cooking from a hobby into a habit, you have to get back to planning around the constraints that will sometimes stop you from doing so. One of the best ways to stick to a healthy diet and to make cooking cost-effective is to take time planning your meals. Set aside an hour in the weekend and make that meal-planning night. On that night, you can think about recipes you’d like to try and ingredients you’ll like. By planning more than one meal that shares certain ingredients, you can keep the shopping list smaller, saving money and preventing any of that ingredient from going to waste when you decide not to use it.

Do it every day
The meal plan is only one of the ways taught by sites like that will get you into the habit of cooking every day. For instance, if you’re getting impatient that you’re not becoming a top chef even after learning new recipes, ingredients, and methods, you need to tackle that. That impatience can make it easy to give up altogether. So, set yourself goals. Give yourself targets, such as nailing one recipe in particular, or trying something entirely new with an ingredient. It’s a good idea to establish triggers as well. A good trigger like putting on music and an apron when you get ready to cook can make those habits become something like a ‘switch’ for you. Even when you’re not feeling like cooking, it can get you in the right mode quickly.
But be prepared for days where you can’t (or won’t) cook
Sometimes you’re not going to be available for long enough. Sometimes you’re just getting too tired and you need a day off. Being able to take said days off is important if you want to be able to stick to any habit or hobby. They should be infrequent, however, and they should be planned. Then you should make it a lot easier to do. Don’t slip back into the habits of getting in processed food for an easy meal. Instead, cook make-ahead meals you can just as easily reheat tomorrow.

Share the love
If there’s one thing that can make just about any goal more achievable, it’s the benefit of finding a community. The people who can keep adding little pointers or who can give you new recipes to try. There’s a sense of pride that comes with being able to share your own twists and your own creations as you get better, as well. There are a lot of people who are into cooking, and they’re all on different steps of the journey like you. Apps from places like make it a lot easier to connect with those like-minded folks. Some might be just starting, some are in the experimental phase, some are well established. Getting to see people on that scale can make you feel a lot better about how far you are and help you set your sights on what you have yet to accomplish.

Spend enough time creating a kitchen where you can do your work, and learning that work well, is how you really start loving food. When you know how to use the best ingredients and you have a kitchen that makes it easy, then you start unlocking the best taste experiences with a lot less fuss than when you started out.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Review

Raise your hand if you are a children's church volunteer or teacher?   Some are volunteers and some are the blessed few who have this as a full-time job.  Either way, everyone is always looking for the next curriculum to use with their students and what is the best for each age group.  

You all know I have enjoyed "the Jesus Storybook Bible" videos and have used it to teach my students in children's church they now offer a curriculum package!  This is 44 weeks of lessons!!!   How awesome is that!  All you need is your computer and a printer and you are set for weeks!

It is such a nice addition to a great Bible for kids.  The CD's are easy to work with and printing was easy... ver simple, especially for those who think they are not very techy!  The curriculum has instructions on how to use it and the kids have a page they can take home every lesson.  There is a huge variety in the lessons! 

Thanks Zondervan for sending me this curriculum for free in exchange for an honest review.  I was not paid for this review and all opinions expressed are 100% mine.  

This is a great curriculum to buy for your church or home!

About the Curriculum
Based on the award-winning storybook, The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sam Shammas contains 44 lessons revealing how Jesus is the center of each Bible story and how every story whispers his name. With activities, notes for teachers based on material from Timothy Keller, memory verses, handouts for children, and more, The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation—and at the center of their story too.
The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit contains everything you need for 44 weeks of lessons:
• 1 DVD-ROM containing 44 printable lessons (both teacher material and student handouts), 44 bonus animated videos, promotional materials, as well as instructions for implementing the        curriculum
• 1 hardcover The Jesus Storybook Bible
• 3 audio CDs containing David Suchet’s recording of The Jesus Storybook Bible

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Koa Coffee

Kona CoffeeIn 1997, Koa Coffee started as a small family business. A true “Mom & Pop” with a little boy and his dog running and playing in the Hawaiian sunshine as we tended our precious Kona beans.
We harvested by hand, picking every Kona Coffee cherry by hand only when it was ripe. We roasted our coffee with care, cupping every roast to make sure it tasted just right. And we shipped it out daily, from Hawaii to your door with much Aloha.
Kona Coffee
Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs