11/15/18

Introducing Thunder our new Rescue Dog

I am so excited to introduce Thunder, the newest member of our family. He is a young German Shepherd Husky and he has the most beautiful blue eyes. We just adopted him from SCARS (Second Chance Animal Refuge Society), located near Topeka, KS.
Thunder had a tough start in life so he has some trust issues, but we knew this before we even went to meet him. He was living in very poor conditions, but SCARS took him in and helped him begin to recover. Now, he is settling into our home and learning to trust us. I haven't even heard him bark yet.
Thunder is our second rescue dog. You might remember our first rescue dog, my beloved Buddy, who spent 13 years with us before passing away. Rescue pets are so much better than store-bought pets (who often come from breeders who just want income from selling puppies) because they truly appreciate the love and care you give them.
Thunder was very skittish at the meet and greet last night, but was well behaved on the ride home and through the night. It was this afternoon when he finally came up to meet to be petted and I was so happy. We are so happy he is here with us and we are confident he is the perfect dog for us.
Many thanks to Maureen at SCARS for taking in Thunder so we could adopt him. Her refuge is doggie heaven! Find out more information about SCARS at www.scarsusa.com and on Facebook.

Adopt, Don't Shop!

Photos by: SCARS (Don't worry, I'll be taking lots more!) 



New Boots for a New Season featuring Waldlaufer

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review. 
My absolute favorite thing about fall is that it's BOOT SEASON again! As much as I love my flipflops in the summer, I love boots through fall and winter even more. I am also a huge fan of snow but I hate to be cold. I love boots that can go from casual to dressy, and still keep my feet warm. Waldlaufer boots are amazing and I own several pairs that I wear over and over.
This year, I selected these darling ankle boots. Waldlaufer calls them the Donna Holma Black Combi. I call them beautiful! The mix of fabrics and textures makes them so unique. They have a one inch heel which is the highest heel I will even consider wearing anymore, because my feet have to be comfortable at all times or I get grumpy.
While I'm talking about comfort, the Donna boot from Waldlaufer is an excellent walking shoe. Six days a week, I run a small rural post office in the mornings and I'm on my feet most of the time. These boots offer multi-density soles for increased flexibility and stability, removable footbeds with arch and metatarsal support, and firm counters for better heel fit and control.
My favorite feature is the velcro closure that is hidden under the stylish strap, which is topped off with a charming button. The velcro closure makes them easy to put on, even if I'm all bundled up and can barely lean over because of all my layers of clothes, and they are super quick to kick off when I come in out of the snow. Yes, we've already gotten three goods snows in Kansas this season!
The Donna comes in black, which is perfect because that's what I'm required to wear to work in the post office, and they go with absolutely every fall and winter outfit I own. You can never really go wrong with black shoes. These boots' textured soles also have excellent traction in the ice and the snow!
Sometimes in boots I have to go up a half size, but these Waldlaufer boots run very true to size. They have a more refined look than most winter boots (which can sometimes be bulky) but they are sturdy, durable, and look as fabulous with my blue jeans and winter sweaters as they do with my postal service work uniform.
Approximately 13,000 pairs of Waldlaufer shoes are produced in Europe each day, amounting to 2.8 million pairs a year, using traditional craftsmanship and the latest, environmentally-friendly technology. These beautiful handcrafted boots and shoes are worn all around the world. Add a new pair to your wardrobe today!
Shop for your new boots today at
www.waldlaufer.com

Check out their styles for both women and men!




11/14/18

JoJo Siwa and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CozyPhones Launch for the Holidays

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate link.
Halo Acoustic Wear LLC announces new CozyPhones kids headphones inspired by hit Nickelodeon brands JoJo Siwa and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Available now on CozyPhones.com, the JoJo Siwa CozyPhones Headphones featuring her signature bow, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CozyPhones headphones, join previously released PAW Patrol styles featuring Chase, Marshall and Skye. Great for young kids who consume music or video content at home or on the go, the company’s top-selling and patent-pending CozyPhones combination 3-1 headphones, Sleep Mask and Headband with Kid Safe Volume Control are the #1 selling kids’ headband headphone brand on Amazon.com and topped 2018 hot holiday gift and wish lists, including Toy Insider Hot Holiday Toy List, Heavy.com, RedTricycle Magazine and more.
CozyPhones groundbreaking design provides hours of listening enjoyment for children at home or on-the-go. No more struggling with ill-fitting (or lost) earbuds and bulky over-the-ear headphones! The comfort-fit headband is wide and lightweight for a secure, soft fit, and is also a wonderful solution for children with sensory issues and special needs. CozyPhones are great for travel, as the ultra-thin 1/8" speakers lay flat in the headband providing total comfort in the car and on airplanes. CozyPhones are also perfect for back-to-school as headphones are now required on the supplies needed lists for parents! Another plus? The speakers are easy to remove making the headband completely washable! Read my review HERE! My grandson loves his Paw Patrol CozyPhones! All CozyPhones are compatible with Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Blackberry, Nokia, LG, HTC, Google Nexus, Lenovo, Asus, Sony, Dell, Toshiba, HP, MP3, MP4 and other audio devices.



Visit Baggallini.com

Making Guests Feel Welcome in your Home

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my post.
The holidays are coming and it's the time of year when families hit the road to visit relatives and friends. If it's your turn to host for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything on your "to do" list. Here's my list of tips to help you make guests feel welcome in your home.
  • Freshen up all the towels and bedding with a quick wash a week or so before guests arrive. This is a good time to take a quick inventory to make sure you have enough of both for everyone who will be staying with you.
  • Create a little sign for your coffee table with your wifi password so guests can easily log onto your wireless network while they are staying with you. They will appreciate the break from bandwidth fees.
  • Almost everyone I know has a small stash somewhere in their house of trial size soaps, shampoos, and lotions. Gather all of them up and put them in a basket in the guest room.
  • Personalize the guest room with throw pillows and accessories that reflect your guests' favorite sports or animals. For example, my mom loves owls so when she's visiting, the guest room bed looks like the photo above. My mother in law loves butterflies, so when she comes to stay, I make a few quick accessory changes so the guest room looks like the photo below. 
  • Check with guests in advance for food allergies or special food requirements. I also like to have additional food items available in case I inadvertently serve a food that someone dislikes. 
  • Since most of the country will be cold this time of year, having extra throw blankets available near the living room and in the guest rooms is a great idea. Drape your extra blankets over the back of the couch and at the foot of each bed.

  • Provide a luggage rack (or sturdy chair) in the guest room for guests' easy access to their suitcases, or have empty drawers and hangers available for clothing storage during their visit to your home.
  • Stock your fridge with a variety of drinks, including seasonal eggnog, lemonade, sodas, water, milk, and juices. Also make certain you have enough coffee, wine, and liquor on hand, depending on the situation.
  • If your house is small, like mine is, and you're expecting a big crowd, pillows covered with pillow shams make fabulous floor seating for the younger people in the group. 
  • If you are serving a big meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas, prepare as many of the items in advance of your guests' arrival so that you have plenty of time to sit and chat, rather than spending all your time in the kitchen. 
  • Have a few snack items on hand, such as crackers, cheese, fresh fruit, and raw veggies, and maybe even plan a simple food project, like decorating pre-made sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles.
  • Dust off your board games and put them in a visible spot in the living room. Someone is sure to spy their favorite game and suggest a round or two. Visits with family and friends should be filled with joy and relaxation, rather than stress and anxiety! 
Happy Holidays!




11/13/18

Tomi Musical Instruments for Toddlers and Preschoolers - 18 Pieces in a Backpack

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review. Post contains affiliate links.
Too many schools are removing music from their curriculum! Stop the insanity, and get your children hooked on music before they start school. This fabulous backpack is filled with 18 pieces that will delight and entertain your toddlers and preschoolers. Tomi Music is the perfect holiday gift idea for every little boy and girl.
Although Tomi Music is designed for ages over 3 years old, there are several toys inside that I believe would be safe for younger children, especially with parental supervision. I ran an award-winning early childhood education program for 25 years, and I purchased many musical instruments for those children, but Tomi Music is far better quality than the ones available back then.
There are 18 pieces in this wonderfully varied collection, including 1 Xylophone with 2 Sticks, 2 Maracas, 2 Egg Shaker, 1 Rainbow Bell Stick, 2 Finger Clappers, 1 Tambourine, 2 Drum Sticks, 1 Wood Sounder, 2 Wrist Bells, and a Triangle with a Striker. What a great way to encourage kids to get up and move around, and even dance to their own music!
I absolutely love the quality of these children's instruments! Children can be hard on their toys, but Tomi Musical Instruments will stand up to many years of musical expression. And I actually got all of the pieces back in the backpack without any struggle! The backpack allows children to take their entire musical instrument collection along with them to daycare, preschool, or grandma's house.
Music is fun, whether the child is playing alone, with friends, or with the entire family. Wouldn't it be a joy to gather around together on Christmas eve to sing holiday songs while playing with musical instruments? It's a great way to make memories with your children. Music can be soothing or exciting; either way it's always beneficial to children.
Music allows children to express their creativity, offers opportunities to learn new skills, practice large and small motor skills, develop listening skills, and instills a lifelong love of music. Tomi Music is safe for your kids, made with wood and other nontoxic materials. Kids love the bright colors too. I know my grandchildren will thoroughly enjoy these instruments!
Delight your youngsters
for the holidays!

Sirloin Beef Tips with Gravy over Mashed Potatoes Recipe featuring FarmFoods

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review. Post contains affiliate link. 
Baby, it's cold outside, but my incredible husband braves the cold to grill delicious beef on our backyard barbecue grill anyways. One of our ten delectable selections from our FarmFoods Beef Sampler was a huge Beef Sirloin Tip. The entire tray of beef (below) was under $100 and it shipped for free to my front door.
FarmFoodsMarket.com sells 100% grassfed and finished beef. The beef comes directly from local American family farms. I love knowing where my beef comes from and how it's raised! You can buy as much or as little as you like, and it will ship direct to your door in dry ice. Shipping is free for all orders over 10 pounds and they ship nationally in the USA.
Today, I'm sharing our scrumptious Sirloin Beef Tips with Gravy over Mashed Potatoes Recipe. I highly recommend using only FarmFoods beef in this recipe! Want to see how we've used other cuts of beef from this Beef Sampler Pack? Check out this post and this post!
First, marinate the Beef Sirloin Tip for at least 30 minutes on a plate, using an equal mixture of the following three ingredients: McCormick’s Meat Tenderizer, Kraft Italian Dressing, and Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, turning over once during the 30 minutes. Then fire up the barbecue grill to 450 degrees F. 
Grill each side for about 3 minutes to sear the juices inside. Remove from heat and let rest a few minutes, then cut the steak into bite-sized chunks (making sure to cut against the grain) and add them to a medium-sized sauce pan. Now is also a good time to start the mashed potatoes and either a side vegetable (we chose green beans) or a side fruit.
To make the gravy, you'll need these ingredients: 1⁄4 cup butter, 1⁄4 cup flour, 14.2 Oz can beef broth, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Melt the butter in another saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk with the butter, making sure to get all visible lumps. Add salt and pepper, then cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture starts to turn light brown, stirring constantly.
Then, turn the heat to low and slowly add the can of broth, stirring constantly (it will spit and bubble, so be careful). Once thoroughly mixed, turn heat back up to medium. Continue stirring until the gravy boils and thickens. Next, pour the gravy over the cooked FarmFoods beef in the medium saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. Serve the Sirloin Beef Tips with Gravy over the mashed potatoes and add a side or two for a more colorful plating.
This meal was so absolutely delicious and incredibly filling! Since just the two of us were eating dinner that night, we even had leftovers for lunch the next day. All of the beef we've received from FarmFoods has been crazy good, and it feels good to give my family beef that is more nutritious and delicious than those we can buy in our local grocery stores.

Five stars for FarmFoods (and my wonderful husband)!


Check out all the mouthwatering steaks,
roasts, ribs, hamburger, stew meat, 
and more at FarmFoodsMarket.com!

11/12/18

Cross Stitch Creations: Fine Art Crafting Kit

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review. Post contains affiliate link.
Take your crafting to masterpiece level with this crafting kit of 12 patterns and materials for two complete projects. This amazing kit by John Lohman and Rhys Turton is a great gift idea for anyone who loves needle crafts. Cross Stitch Creations: Fine Art is also excellent place for beginners to start, with its full color instruction book filled with tips and techniques.
The 64 page book features some of the world's most beloved and most recognizable works of art, including Mona Lisa and Starry Night. Practice your cross stitching with the fabric and embroidery thread included in the kit, then start adding your masterpieces to your throw pillows, tote bags, and clothing. Pick up a kit for your office gift exchange, your favorite grandma, and your sister.
In this time of technology, we need to be cautious that we do not lose the skill and art of crafting with our hands. I love the idea of giving craft kits to young girls and boys so they can learn basic sewing skills and maybe even discover they have an incredible talent for creating art. Cross Stitch Creations: Fine Art is the perfect quiet time activity or rainy day project that builds focus and creativity.
Order Cross Stitch Creations: Fine Art



Endangered Species Chocolate - Wrap Up Holiday Indulgence

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review. Post contains affiliate link.
Here is a delicious idea for a fabulous holiday gift! Endangered Species Chocolate Bars and Chocolate Bites are vegan, kosher, non-GMO, Fair Trade, and gluten-free. Plus they donate 10% of annual profits to wildlife conservation groups! Wrap these bars up as holiday gifts with just a few simple supplies you already have around your house.
Cut a plain white piece of paper so that it wraps around the Endangered Species Chocolate Bar with just a slight overlap in the back. Using colored pencils, markers, crayons, or even construction paper to create holiday themed pictures or scenes in the middle part of the paper.
Then simply wrap each Endangered Species Chocolate Bar with your holiday wrap and they are ready for giving! I love giving gifts that also support an important cause (especially to help animals), and I love that Endangered Species Chocolate generously gives to support species, habitat, and humanity.
Inside each Endangered Species Chocolate Bar is information about different species of animals that are supported by sales profits. Learn about the animal, where they live, the threats to their species, and even information on how you can offer even more help to these animals.
And, is the chocolate good? Oh my goodness, yes!!! Choose from Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate with Blackberry Sage, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee, Dark Chocolate with Cherries, Dark Chocolate with Forest Mint, and many other delicious treats.
Some of the causes that Endangered Species Chocolate helps include: Rainforest Trust, Wildlife Conservation Network, African Wildlife Foundation, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, SEE Turtles, SEE the WILD, and Chimp Haven.
Holiday gifts with a purpose are a delight to give and to receive. Endangered Species Chocolate Bars are the perfect gift for friends and family, co-workers and bosses, kids' teachers, and don't forget to treat your mailman! Get kids in on the fun by letting them create chocolate bar covers for gifts for their friends and classmates, too.
Shop for
Endangered Species Chocolate at