Watch the video for easy to follow recipe/ingredients!
OK, so this isn’t your typical Jambalaya, but it is spicy cajun goodness!
Please leave a comment if you’ve tried this recipe!
I have to start off by saying that I am not a big bug spray fan. I’ve tried a few different ones, and was left less then impressed. I hate the smell of them and the oily residue they leave all over. I feel like i’m rubbing a flamable substance all over me an no matter what I do, the smell lingers. I assume the smell of the stuff is what keeps the bugs at bay, but I almost rather be eaten alive by bugs then suffer through the headache that is left after the smell.
Not only do I hate it for myself, but I refuse to put it on my children. The though of them getting that disgusting stuff in their eyes an mouth, well, I don’t want to risk that.
Most of you nixed out bug repellent all together because majority of them contained Deet. I have tried many since the knowledge of deet and how bad it can be for you. I’ve even paid $50 for a few small bottles of one that contained lemongrass and had great reviews to work against the bugs and leave out the deet. The problem is that it smelled like Marijuana! I didn’t want to have my kids or myself walk around smelling like that, so it sits in the graveyard of bug sprays amoungst the others.
Another good alternative is the SSS spray you can buy from Avon. The problem is, it works, but not as good as you’d like. It repels mosquito’s, but it doesn’t protect against ticks which to me, are so scary and I am always checking my kids for ticks.
I was so happy to have the chance to work with Guardian an try out their insect repellents. I am so relieved that I actually LOVE it because you know I speak my mind! I think I finally found the one that works for me an my family. It’s inexpensive, and it smells like an outdoor adventure to me! If that makes any sense. Best of all, you guessed it… no deet!
I haven’t tried it out in a heavily wooded area yet, so I am not sure how well it would work in that area, but we did go to a local lake up in the mountain area yesterday that is a breeding grounds for mosquito’s being that it’s standing water and next to a wooded area. I used the 4 hour spray.
We were able to have a good time without being bothered by any bugs and we didn’t smell like chemicals. No, it doesn’t say it on the label, so I am not positive, but it seems fairly water resistant to me. I am not sure how it would hold up if you were submersed in water for an extended amount of time, but with splashes of water it was fine.
The other big question, being that it is plant based, does it attract bees? Well, I am not 100% sure on this one, but the fragrance is light on the 4 hour spray an it doesn’t smell to fruity or flowery so I don’t know if they’d bother you. Again, It’s hard to explain the scent because to me it just smells like Summer outside. The scent is a bit heavier on the 8 hour spray so it may attract them, but it’s still not as bothersome as the other brands scents.
Here’s here’s the deets with no deet;
Products – Guardian Wilderness/Guardian Backyard
We Beat DEET™! DEET-Free Guardian insect repellent is proven to perform as well as 15% DEET using non-toxic ingredients safe for the whole family. See how plant-based Guardian is scientifically proven to deliver an effective mosquito and tick repellent you can rely on at www.guardianrepellent.com, and find our 4-hour and 8-hour formula at Amazon.com for a bite-free adventure.
DEET-free Guardian insect repellent, available at Amazon.com, is the first major innovation in over 60 years in protection against mosquitos and ticks – plant-based, safe, non-toxic, and proven to repel for 4 or more hours with a formula that matches your outdoor plans.
The winner will receive a Guardian DEET-Free Guardian Insect Repellent Pack that includes the following;
Guardian Wilderness is an 8-hour formula for extended time outdoors in heavily infested areas (outperforms 15% DEET). Camping, fishing, kayaking, backpacking, whatever adventure awaits, Guardian Wilderness delivers repellency with no compromises and won’t harm your plastics and gear.
Guardian Backyard is a 4-hour formula designed for activities such as backyard BBQs, trips to the playground, and time spent enjoying outdoor sporting events (comparable to 15% DEET products). Guardian Backyard lets you delight in warm weather bite-free with a lighter scent and lighter feel than Guardian Wilderness.
*This is a sponsored post and I received the said items in exchange for my review however all opinions are my own.
(Photos courtesy of Bookroo.com)
I had an opportunity to check out the new children’s book subscription service from Bookroo.com this past month. I have not heard of this subscription service before, but thought it was a great idea and would fit my family well being that I have a 3 year old and a 7 year old. My 7 year old is at the age where he is loving showing off his reading skills, and conveniently enough, my 3 year old is at the age where he loves being read books. So for me, this was a no-brainer to try out!
The logo is so cute on the brown box outside, and my 3 year old immediately proclaimed it was a present for him when I brought the mail in for the day. To my surprise, the contents inside of the box were even more adorable.
There were 2 books, and they were each wrapped individually with an amazing quality wrapping paper and even tied together with a cute little twin rope. You can tell each book was wrapped by hand, and that a lot of work went into preparing this little box of cuteness.
My son was so excited because he loves opening presents! I mean, what kid doesn’t? He wasted no time ripping the beautiful paper off of the books, and unveiling each book to me with a huge smile. He couldn’t wait to sit on the couch with me and read the books immediately. The books were both titles I have never head of before, but they’re definitely quality. As weird as it may sound, I couldn’t help but sniff the pages. They smelled like the library and reminded me of how much I loved reading with my parents when I was younger. Something about the smell and the bright colorful pages that were all brand new to me brought me back to my childhood and I thoroughly enjoyed reading each of these to my boys.
The 2 titles we received are;
Harry and Horsie; It has an MSRP sticker on the back side that read $16.99. Being the skeptic I am, I immediately googled the book to see what I can find. Amazon has the hard cover listed at $15 with free shipping if you’re a Prime member.Other sites that pop up are similar in price, so I feel confident I got a great deal with this book alone. These sites also do not ship in the adorable wrapping paper and light up your child’s face like this subscription does.
Squid and Octopus; friends for always: this book didn’t have an MSRP sticker on the back, but after looking it up, it’s another $15 book. This one has a few stories in one book which is cool. The colors are very vibrant and there is a section with a surprise pop out which we loved.
Overall, I am excited to get out next shipment next month and I hope my sons are just as excited to see which books they get and more important, to read.
Spending quality time with my children is what I cherish most and reading to them affords me that uninterrupted opportunity.
If you’re interested in checking out Bookroo for your home, Bookroo has given me an exclusive code to share with my readers to save $4 off your first order (shipping included). They have a few options to choose from as far as month to month or up front monthly bundles. You can also choose to give Bookroo subscription as a gift and if you’d like board books or regular.
I hope your children enjoy this subscription as much as mine do.
The exclusive discount code is below;
Please let me know if you’ve tried Bookroo!
Baby Registries are so much fun.. You get a cute little scan gun and have as much time as you can afford to walk around and beam the little light onto anything you find adorable (that is the word you will undoubtedly blurt out a lot). The problem is, everything is adorable. By the time you are finished in the store, you’ll have a list much bigger then what you need, and most people will be purchasing for your baby shower based on that coveted list. So what do you NEED and what can you live without?Aside from the obvious large items like the Crib, Bouncer, Swing, and Pack & Play, I did a poll with over 100 moms from around the country and here is how they weighed in!
1. Nasal Aspirator – You will realize quickly that boogers are nothing to be afraid of and you’ll see, touch, and probably smear on clothes more then you are prepared for. Having a nasal aspirator handy is a must. Your little one has nostrils that are too tiny for a finger or a piece of tissue, and you’ll need something to “get up in there” to give them relief of their boogies. It is something that most moms do not think they’ll use as much as they really will. A “boogey snatcher” was on the Must Have list of majority of the moms polled. More specifically the Baby Nose Frida. This item is new to me and quite honestly, it seems a bit odd for me to literally suck the snot out of my childs nose with my mouth, but I got one to try and i’ll be adding a video here once I do. Better yet, I have one for YOU to try it out yourself! Enter now to win your own Nose Frida and see what the fuss is about ~ENTER TO WIN NOW!
Giveaway Contest Runs 6/17-6/24
2. Aden and Anais swaddle blankets – These swaddle blankets are a life saver. Literally. They are made of a breathable fabric and even if pressed tightly to your nose, you would be able to breath through them. This is something that is very important to me and made me feel comfortable enough with them to only use these swaddle blankets with my children. Not only are they breathable, but they swaddle so perfectly and snug that they compare to the hospital blanket swaddle you get. As a perk, they have adorable (there’s that word again) designs to choose from.
3. Diapers – I know they’re not “adorable” and I know you probably think you’ll get enough without adding to your registry but think again. This is probably the item you should have multiple of on your registry. Include a few of each size in large cases instead of little packs. Stay away from newborn size because your baby may not get to fit in them for very long .
4. Bibs/Washcloths – Having a bunch of bibs and washcloths on hand is always a good idea. You will be going through more of these then you could imagine. They have so many with fun little sayings, but leave those for family or close friends to grab on their own. For your registry, add the large colorful or all white packs that anyone can buy as a gift or an add on gift, they’ll definitely be put to good use.
5. Snap & Go Stroller – A Universal Snap & Go stroller is a wonderful little known item. It can be used with multiple brands of infant car seats, and it is much more compact then a typical travel stroller. The frame itself is more narrow, making it easier to navigate small store aisles. Most will snap closed with just one hand and weight much less then a stroller.
1. Diaper Genie – This seems like such a clever product until you actually try to use it for the first time. There is a small hole that you’re expected to cram a smelly, squishy, diaper through and then wait until it’s filled up with smelly, squishy diapers and then you throw them out. You soon realize, that it’s more money and effort then it’s worth, because the diapers aren’t the only reason your house smells like poop, it’s the initial pooping act that smelled it up to begin with, and ultimately, they wind up in the garbage anyway. In my house, we always just saved the grocery store plastic bags and used them to tightly seal the dirty diaper before tossing into the garbage. It worked just fine and saved money on refills.
2. Fancy Spa Tub – As tempting it may be to get your little bubba baby the best that money can buy, you’re really not getting your money’s worth with the fancy smancy tubs. The shower and jet sections of the tubs are actually vulnerable to mold and bacteria. Babies love the water, but it’s not all about fun bath time until they’re actually old enough to graduate to a tub seat (I recommend one of these strongly). The cheaper plastic tub with the newborn sling and the flower petals seem to be the more popular choice and will do just fine for a newborn. Save yourself the money and don’t splurge in this area.
3. Wipes Warmer – Although I’ll have to admit, it has got to be pretty uncomfortable to have a cold wipe touching your behind, it can’t be much worse then what was on it prior to the cold wipe. I got a wipes warmer at my baby shower and I was so excited to plug it in and heat up my first batch of wipes. I soon realized, there was much more to the wipes warmer then just plopping the wipes in and having a perfect temperature wipe as a result. Like the fact that if you don’t keep the inside moist, your wipes will be dried out and even get burnt. There is an electrical shock warning, and I’ve heard stories about being shocked by them. These are more of a hassle then they’re worth, and your baby will have a love/hate relationship with diaper changes weather the wipes are warm or cold.
4. Clothes – Putting baby clothes on your registry may seen fun at the time, but it’ll wind up just being a page clutter and making your registry more lengthy then it needs to be. The fact is, not all stores carry the same clothes, and not all clothes can be easily found. Don’t drive your family and friends nuts by adding every adorable (yep, that word again) outfit that you see to your registry. Odds are you’ll get some gift cards and be able to use them for the cute outfits you REALLY want.
5. Bottle Sterilizer – This just really takes up space. In essence, the thought of an item that quickly and effectively sterilizes your newborns bottles and pacifiers without having to hand wash is great. The issue is, this is another case of more hassle then it’s worth and you soon realize you can use boiled water to sterilize these items as you need. The Sterilizers themselves need upkeep to prevent them from getting mildew and mold and you wind up having to clean them.
This list is a compilation of items that aren’t necessarily “Adorable”, but tried and true moms have found to be useful (or NOT). As with anything these days, commercials and advertising can sway your opinion and isn’t always in your best interest when it comes to your wallet. You want to make sure you get things you’ll actually use and since baby stuff will soon fill up your home, you’ll want to keep the unnecessary items to a minimum.
One thing most people don’t know is that after your baby shower date on your registry, Babies R’ Us will give you a special offer for a percentage off anything still left on your registry. That includes diapers, wipes, bottles, you name it. Having items on your registry that you REALLY need will save you money in the long run, even if people do not purchase it all – you can use gift cards to get the rest with the discount!
A little extra;
In addition, with your purchase, we will include a set of organic teething pads, a sleeping hood, free shipping AND an additional $10 off any hipseat carrier on our website (over a $50 value!).All you need to do is use the discount code ANGELME10 when you check out.
I hope this list gives you some insight on your registry and most important, HAVE FUN and enjoy your baby bump!
I have an Angry Birds balloon that has been floating throughout my house for over a week now. I have thought about knifing it, and getting it over with because this damn thing refuses to give up. If I didn’t pay $9 for it, I probably would’ve told my son the bird flew away to find the others, but instead I stare up at it blankly thinking “Why did I pay $9 for this?”. That is until my 3 year old asks me to leap 5 feet into the air and grab it with my fingertips so that he can give it a big hug and run around holding it. It’s at that moment that I remember why I don’t mind having a hovering bird in my living room and occasionally getting sucked into the kitchen fan.
It’s my house. It’s a mess. Filled with toys, and small little parts that you laugh at people in the movies for stepping on and screaming in the loudest pitch as if it were the worst pain in the world. We all know that pain. That Lego on the kitchen floor in between your pinky toe pain. That “Oh my God what am I currently stepping in that squishy” dreadful thought. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Hand prints on mirrors, and hand prints on walls. Toys in the kitchen. Speaking of which, a giant train track occupied my entire kitchen floor for two days straight. My parents and husband had conversations with me in the kitchen while effortlessly stepping in between plastic train tracks and navigating it like a minecraft level while going to and from the refrigerator.
To some, this may be insane. To me, it is my home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sure, I can spend my 40 hours a week at work, and then the time at home spent cleaning and vigorously scrubbing the floor and picking up toys. But why? For who? For it to get messy again within the hour and my whole time wasted when I could’ve been having fun playing with my children and relaxing with my husband?
There are more clothes then any person should have in their home ever, but I somehow managed to get them all in my home,in just 1 room. Clothes get thrown all over, put into piles and climbed on like it’s Mount Everest. To pick it up, or not pick it up…fold and organize, or act like it’s not there.. that is the question.
Yes, I clean. Let’s get one thing straight… it’s messy, not dirty. There is a big difference.
I was once told that one day I would miss my messy home. To enjoy it now while my boys are little and still have imaginations. While they are innocent and their only care is what toy they’re going to play with next.
That one day, my husband and I will be in an empty home, and wish we heard the screams of our boys and the padders of little feet running back and forth. We’ll miss stepping on play-doh, and cleaning up random toys from in the bathroom. I know I will and I get sad even thinking about how fast that time will come. I mean, look how fast it’s gone already. Why waste it trying to keep a perfectly clean home. What’s the point?
Everyone should have at least one messy room if you have children. A room for when the time comes, you’ll clean it and start giving away the toys that your little one has already grown out of.
Yes. My house is messy. I have a large Mylar balloon currently staring me down from up above. And I don’t care.
I love my messy home and will cherish it for as long as my children will allow me to.
And 1 package of original Oreos.
I used my stand mixer this time, but have done it in the past by hand. The easiest way to do it by hand is to crush the Oreos in a ziplock back (I use a hammer hehe) before adding to the cream cheese.
Add both ingredients and mix on low speed until smooth
(If you wanted to make Oreo Icing, you can add less cookies to cream cheese ratio and you’ll get a yummy oreo cream cheese icing).
The fun part is next! Take out even spoonfuls of the mixture, and roll into balls using your CLEAN hands. Try using a spoon or something that can allow you to have even sized balls. Place on parchment paper lined tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes uncovered.
Removed from refrigerator and decorate with chocolate! I used the yellow colored white melting chocolate and non parel sprinkles for these, but my absolute favorite is milk chocolate covered Oreo Truffles.
If you wanted, you can even add a stick (dip the stick into the chocolate then into the ball and cool before dipping fully into the rest of the chocolate). Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. The Oreo Truffles should be kept cool until consumed.
* This recipe makes about 25 Cake Pop sized Oreo Truffles. You can half the recipe and make a smaller batch or make the truffles smaller.
Peep! Peep! Thomas the Tank Engine™ is celebrating friendship at Day Out With Thomas®: The Celebration Tour 2015, and families across North America are invited aboard!
Little engineers everywhere are invited to join Thomas when the #1 Engine pulls into The Delaware River Railroad Excursions July 10-12 and 17-19 for Day Out with Thomas: The Celebration Tour 2015, presented by Fisher-Price and sponsored by MEGA Brands and all inclusive Hard Rock Hotels.
This fun-filled event offers little engineers and their families the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends® series. In addition, children will meet Sir Topham Hatt™, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities including arts & crafts, storytelling and more. The tour, now in its 20th year, will make 42 stops across the U.S. and Canada and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2015.
This year, Thomas & Friends celebrates 70 years of friendship. All aboard the Best Friends Express for an unprecedented year of Thomas-themed programs and activations as the #1 blue engine celebrates friendship with fans around the world.
The GREAT NEWS is that I will be giving away a family 4 pack of tickets for JULY 19TH at 3pm (winner must be available to go this date, tickets are held at will call and are non transferable). Contest runs 6/1-6/7.
> > > Enter Now < < <
A 25-minute (approximate) ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and hear Thomas greet his fans!
· Meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
· A Thomas & Friends Imagination Station; featuring stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts, train tables, and coloring sheets.
· Storytelling, video viewing and live music , Pumpkin Bouncy, 40’ Bouncy obstacle course, model train layout, Scott Wagstaff –Ventriloquist, and The Grand Master Concert Organ
WHEN: July 10-12,17-19
TIME: Hourly 10:00 a. to 5:00 pm
WHERE: 99 Elizabeth Street Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08812
Tickets for Day Out with Thomas: The Celebration Tour 2015 are on sale now and available by calling Ticketweb toll-free 866-468-7630, or by visiting 877trainride.com Ticket prices are $21.00 plus tax for ages 2 and up (service charges and fee may apply).
For more information and directions, contact the Delaware River Railroad Excursions, 877trainride.com.
For information on Thomas & Friends, visit www.thomasandfriends.com
Follow Thomas & Friends on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thomasandfriends and Twitter @ThomasFriends #DOWT #ThomasObsessed
So we went to the day out with Thomas this past summer and I was not impressed. My son who loves Thomas had a great time seeing the train and the set up around it, but even he didn’t go crazy on the train ride. It was not air conditioned at all, and the train itself seemed musty inside. They had cheesy Thomas birthday party city favors hanging from the ceiling and we were less then impressed. The train ride itself was only about 20 minutes and the played the Thomas song so low you couldn’t hear it over the taking crowd onboard.
They gave each child a certificate as a conducter at the end which was cute, but just a piece of letter paper so it ripped easily.
Overall, for the price they charge, I think they should up their game a little. Having the Thomas voice come over the loud speaker to talk to the children and raising the volume on the train for the song to remind us we are riding on the Thomas train would be a simple fix. The best would be an upgrade of the train interior.
Did you go? What did you think? Will you go again?