Monday, April 25, 2011

You Know Your Country When...



...You get home from church Resurrection Sunday, cook up some lunch, then pull your hair up into a ponytail, step into your rubber muck boots with your Easter dress on, grab a plaid quilted jacket, and run out into the rain to feed the horses and chickens before the real storm hits.

My Chicken Posse following
me around this morning.
Yeah, that's right, I'm Real Country!

I definitely was a sight! I almost wish I had had my husband get a photo, it was pretty comical. I half wonder what the horses thought as I rushed around in my dress, probably nothing except "Hurry up lady and get me some food."

On another note, and speaking about the horses... this morning I was doing the dishes and as I looked out my kitchen window I noticed a white bird following around one of the horses. At first I thought maybe it was one of my chickens, but then it stood upright. It had a long sleek neck, much longer than any of my chickens. I don't know what it is about Fugit, our Thoroughbred, but birds gravitate to him. When he was in a stall at our other farm, the chickens would jump up on the gate and he would slide his neck along the gate so that the chickens were crawl up onto his neck and sit. Maybe he liked their little claws massaging his mane, who knows, he is just odd like that. So, it didn't totally surprise me that a wild bird had befriended Fugit. I got a could pictures from the house, but they don't give enough detail to the bird. I have NO idea what type of bird it was, and as I got closer it got nervous and fly away. Personally, I would think that a horse would be scarier than a person, being that they are much heavier and if they get annoyed those hooves don't feel to good making contact with you (not that I think Fugit would ever kick a bird, but it is possible I guess). Well, hope you enjoy the pictures, maybe you could tell me what kind of bird it is and why it seems to like the horses!
Fugit and the Mystery Bird!
Eva trying to figure out why the Mystery Bird
is following Fugit around.
The Mystery Bird, sorry its fuzzy, I tried to Zoom
In as much as possible from the house...


Have a wonderful day dear followers!
Kelsey

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Felt Play Food by jdensing Review & Giveaway



Big Sister has a nasty little habit of throwing toys. Normally, she doesn't throw them at people, she just likes to throw them around the house. Well, this was fine (And yes I probably should have corrected it right away, but you live and learn...) until Little Sister was born. Now Mommy gets a little nervous during Big Sister's play time when she decides to run up and down the hall and into the living room throwing toys. I had a felt barn and farm animal set that I was given when I was pregnant with Big Sister, but didn't realize how great of an idea it was until Little Sister came along. When Big Sister plays with the Felt Toys, I don't get so nervous that she might accidentally throw them in Little Sister's direction and hurt her. Well, now that Big Sister is starting to play pretend more and more, I began looking for toy foods and tea sets to encourage her imagination. I came across the Felt Play Food shop on Etsy during my search for safe toys!




About jdensing's from Felt Play Food Etsy Shop:

"My name is Jenny and I am from Houston, Texas. I have always enjoyed homemade items, both making and receiving! I am a University of Houston Alumni and have my BFA degree in Fine Arts-Painting. As a creator, I can't stand idle hands; so sculpting fun felt food toys just comes naturally to me!

Here at my shop you will find a large assortment of play food items that will keep your little ones using thier imagination for hours.

I am always contemplating new ideas and adding new items so keep checking back!!"

You can visit her shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jdensing

Jenny aka jdensing from Felt Play Food sent me her best seller, the "Sushi Set" (3 black rolls, 2 chopsticks, & a fortune cookie) for Big Sister and I to review! This set is actually featured in "Lucky Kids" Magazine's Spring issue! Her Felt Play Foods are popular around the World, as she has sold in 9 different countries! Not only can you find this COOL Sushi Set in her Etsy Shop, but you can will find items like Nachos, a Fajita Taco Kit, Smores, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Jumbo Shrimp, Pizza and So Much More!

When my hubby brought the package in from the mailbox I was SO excited! The Sushi Set was in a clear plastic bag and taped shut, which was nice because with all the rain we have been having lately it was a relief to see that the toys were protected inside the package as well. I pulled all the pieces out and set them on the coffee table. Big Sister was instantly curious to see what I had. When she came over I grabbed the Chopsticks and began picking up each Sushi piece, brought it close to my mouth and said "Yum Yum Yum" and then put it down to get another one. Big Sister giggled and began to follow my lead. She couldn't quiet figure out how to use the Chopsticks like Mommy but it sure was cute watching her try! The Sushi pieces were her favorite and she picked them up and walked around the house with them. Every once and a while she would come back to the coffee table to pretend to eat them. I got a kick out of her trying to hold all three Shushi pieces in her hands while trying to pick up the Chopsticks as well... it didn't work out very well. She could get all three Shushi Pieces in her arms, but when she went to grab a Chopstick, she would drop a Sushi. She'd pick up the Chopstick and then try to pick up the Sushi, but dropped a Chopstick as she did, SO CUTE! She played with them for the rest of the night and even put the Fortune Cookie and Sushi pieces in the microwave and oven of her little kitchen set. My husband laughed and told Big Sister that "If you put Sushi in the microwave, it isn't Sushi anymore."

Overall I was very impressed with the quality of the Sushi Set. All the pieces were sewn really nice. The Sushi were wrapped tight and sewn so that it couldn't come undone. Big Sister tried to stick her fingers in the centers of the Sushi but they wouldn't go in and as she pushed the felt it didn't try to fall out the other side. Most of the pieces were super soft and squishy. The only issue we had was with the Chopsticks. My husband was fine with Big Sister sitting still with them but later in the evening when she started running up and down the hall with them he got nervous. There appears to be a thin wooden dowel inside the felt to help keep its structure. My husband was afraid Big Sister would slip, fall, and hurt herself if she fell on the Chopstick. I think that the dowel inside would break easily if she landed on it, but you never know. So, for the rest of the night she was only allowed to play with the Sushi and Fortune Cookies, which she was ok with because she LOVED the Sushi. This is a great play food set for kids, but I think there needs to be an alternate type of Chopstick for young kids like Big Sister. We love the Sushi Set and I will definitely be looking into buying another set from Jenny's line of Felt Play Food!

Cost: $3.50 (6 Green Beans Felt Play Food) - $34.00 (Dessert Felt Food Set)


My Rating: A+ 
WIN IT!

Jenny from Felt Play Food has graciously offer One LUCKY reader the chance to win her "3 M&M Cookies" set!

ENTRIES CLOSED

 Entries close May7, 2011 at 5:00 PM EST. Winner will be selected using Random.org. Entries open to Everyone. Winner will be notified via e-mail as well as the Winner's first name and last initial will be placed on my blog.



I hope you enjoyed my Review dear followers and Good Luck to all those entering the Giveaway!
Kelsey

Disclaimer: Jenny from Felt Play Food by jdensing Etsy Shop sent me one Sushi Set to review. I was not compensated for my review. Everything I wrote was my personal opinion based on our (my daughter and I) interaction with the product. Jenny nor I guarantee any type of satisfaction that may or may not come from purchasing the product.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Caramel Sweets Giveaway Winner!



Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Drum roll please..................

The Winner of 1/2 pound of Vanilla Caramels from Caramel Sweets is..............




Congratulations to Laura G.!

I will be contacting Stacy from Caramel Sweets with your contact information! Enjoy your YUMMY Caramels!

Thank you to everyone who read my review and entered the giveaway!
Keep checking back, I have MORE Reviews and Giveaways scheduled for the blog very soon!

Have a GREAT night dear followers!
Kelsey

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cool Things Coming Up!



Hello all!

If you haven't done so already jump over to my last post, the Caramel Sweets Review and Giveaway to enter to win 1/2 pound of YUMMY Vanilla Caramels!

Coming soon this month: Review and Giveaway for Snikiddy Snacks! Keep checking the blog for this review, it should be up in the next couple of weeks.

A super cool product that I found out about today, Diamond Candles! It is a 21 ounce soy candle for $24.95 that has a ring inside...the rings are worth from $10 up to $5,000! Crazy, yes, I don't know how they are doing it, but its a really cool concept! They are doing a facebook contest, if you post on their wall that I sent you (Kelsey from Rural Mama's Sandbox) both you and I will be placed in a drawing for a FREE Diamond Candle, how cool is that! So, jump over to Diamond Candle's Facebook page and spread the love!

Also, do me a favor and Vote for my sister Keri Cook HERE!
Help her dreams come true!

Tonight Shari Criso from My Baby Experts is doing a show about vaccines, which is CRAZY because tomorrow Little Sister has a doctor's appointment for her 2 month check up and vaccinations! This came JUST in the nick of time! There is still time to RSVP so that you are eligible to win prizes during the show, so hurry over! Even if you can't RSVP in time, the show should be really interesting!

I had a busy weekend and made a quick spontaneous trip out of town for some important business... hopefully I will be able to release details about that soon... we'll see...Faith and works go hand in hand.

On another note, I've been trying to do some Pre Potty Training things with Big Sister. She still wears a diaper, but when I see signs that she is trying to go, I ask her if she needs to sit on the potty and then take her diaper off and sit her on her potty chair. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't think she or I are completely ready for Potty Training, but at least she is starting to get an idea that it is a good thing to sit on the potty. I am a big believer in bribery, Big Sister gets three or four Mini M&Ms if she potty's on the potty chair as a "treat". It is really hard to catch her when the time is right and cater to Little Sister as well. I'm sure it will be easy for both of us once Little Sister is a little less dependent and more content by herself.
 

Hope you have a Great Week dear followers!
Kelsey

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Caramel Sweets Review & Giveaway



Stacey from Caramel Sweets sent me a sample of Vanilla Caramel with Butterscotch Chips. One word - DELICIOUS! And I should know, I LOVE caramel! I love caramel more than I like chocolate or any other sweet out there. I have a family recipe for caramels that I usually make around Christmas or special occasions. I only make them every once and a while because of all the work that goes into making them and preventing them from burning. So, I give Stacey HUGE props on making a great caramel that is silky smooth and did not burn.

Here is a little about Stacey from Caramel Sweets as stated on her Esty and Artfire shops profile:

 "I'm a stay at home mom with way too much time on my hands. I have always loved making new things. Last fall I attended a craft show with my caramels and caramel apples. I just about sold out."

Caramel Sweets sells vanilla caramels with a variety of special add ons or add ins. You can get caramels dipped in chocolate and colorful sprinkles as well as caramels with cashews, peanuts, or pecans mixed in. You can also choose from caramels mixed with Snickers, M&Ms, or Butterscotch Chips. Caramel Sweets sells these varieties in quarter pound, half pound, one pound, and two pound lots, although she can make larger batches upon request. She even has sets of four Caramel Suckers!

And now, on to my review! As I mentioned previously, I was sent a sample of the Vanilla Caramel with Butterscotch Chips. The sample measured approximately 2 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide and about 1/2 inch thick.

The Caramel itself was firm but soft, not hard at all. When I bit into it, it didn't stick to my teeth and the texture was very smooth. Some caramel can get a grainy texture to them if not cooked properly and these were silky smooth.  It had the perfect amount of sweetness and was not overly sweet. I could easily eat a couple handfuls of these caramels! The flavor overall was very nice, it had a nice blend of caramel and butterscotch, neither one overpowered the other, however each flavor was easily identifiable. The Butterscotch chips were firm but broke up immediately and had a texture similar to powdered sugar. The wrapper was very pretty, a shinny gold that was very appealing. The ONLY thing I had an issue with was the inside wrapping, it was a little difficult to remove the caramel from, but I took my time, was patient and it came off. Not sure if maybe it got smashed in the mail, or the heat got to it or what. The amazing taste made me forget about the wrapper and this small detail would not deter me from buying them or recommending them to others.

Overall, these caramels are top shelf!  They are SO yummy and would make a GREAT gift, addition to a gift basket, or even a nice treat to have at home!

Cost: $2.50 - $34.00


My Rating: A+ $$
Click here to see what My Rating means!

Caramel Sweets is also on Facebook! Go Like her and tell her Kelsey from Rural Mama's Sandbox sent you!

WIN IT!
Stacy from Caramel Sweets is graciously offering my readers Half a Pound of Vanilla Caramels!

ENTRIES CLOSED - Winner
This giveaway ends Thursday April 21, 2011 at 5:00PM EST. Entrants from the US Only! The winner will be selected by Random.org and notified by e-mail as well as their First name and Last Initial will be posted on my blog.

I hope you all enjoyed my review dear followers and good luck to all the giveaway entrants!
Kelsey


Disclaimer: I was give one piece sample of Vanilla Caramel with Butterscotch Chips by Stacy at Caramel Sweets at not cost. The information written in this review are my thought and opinions only and I was not paid to say anything in this review. Stacey nor I claim that this product will taste great to everyone, but it sure did taste great to me!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Homemade Baby Wipe Solution


I've been meaning to post this for almost a week or two now and finally remembered to do so. Boy is my "Mommy Brain" getting bad!

It seemed like we were spending way too much on diaper wipes and I finally decided I was done doing it. When I first got into cloth diapers (Thanks to Christina H. and the Moms from 2009 Junebugs Group on CafeMom.com) I think I was a little intimidated by the thought of using cloth wipes with a wipe solution and kind of threw the idea of doing it towards the back of my mind. It wasn't until just recently that I decided to give it a whirl. I was DONE with spending the money for "Sensitive, Fragrance Free, Alcohol Free" Wipes that still seemed to BURN when Big Sister got a diaper rash. I was DONE fighting with her to get poo off her bum because the wipes HURT. So, I broke down and searched for Homemade Wipe Solutions on the internet. I found several resources that I pulled from to make a couple solutions that work well for both of my girls! Here are the two solutions that we are using now!

Big Sister's Solution

Ingredients:
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 tablespoon Aveeno Baby Fragrance Free Soothing Relief Creamy Wash
4 drops Tea Tree Oil
1 cup Water

Little Sister's Solution

Ingredients:
1/4 teaspoon Lansinoh Lanolin (100% pure)
1 tablespoon Aveeno Baby Fragrance Free Soothing Relief Creamy Wash
4 drops Tea Tree Oil
4 cups Water

Want to make a solution of your own? Check out some great recipes here:

Zany Zebra Designs

I made enough of the solutions to fill 1/2 of a gallon water jug. I fill up smaller perineum bottles with the solutions so that I can use it easier. I acquired the perineum bottles from the hospital after I gave birth to my girls, they work GREAT for the solutions! I spray the solutions onto my cloth wipes, which are  actually small baby wash cloths I got from my baby showers for Big Sister. They are JUST the right size to get the job done, but seemed just too small to use as wash cloths for baths.

Little Sister's Solution is much more mild than Big Sisters because Big Sister tends to get irritated from time to time from her own poo... depending on what she eats (sorry if TMI). The Vinegar seems to help prevent the redness from turning into a rash and if she does get a rash it doesn't seem to burn her like the store bought wipes were doing.

Well, I hope I helped you all out a little! Enjoy your Homemade Wipe Solutions!

Have a GREAT day dear followers!
Kelsey

Friday, April 01, 2011

What's For Dinner? Chicken With Rice and Pear Crisp Desert



What are you having for dinner tonight? I had watched a cooking show on the Food Network Channel and the lady (can't remember her name now) was making a Pear Crisp! I LOVE pears so instantly I thought this Pear Crisp idea would turn out awesome. Well the last time I went grocery shopping I bought some pears specifically to use for this desert experiment. I couldn't remember the recipe unfortunately so I Googled some recipes and then modified them the way I thought would make the dishes turn out the way I wanted. Our main dish tonight is Chicken with Rice, here is the recipe in case you are interested:

Chicken with Rice

Ingredients:
4 Boneless Chicken Breasts Halves
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup of White Minute Rice
1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of your favorite Veggies (I used Broccoli tonight)
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 *F and in a large casserole dish mix Cream of Mushroom Soup, Water, Salt and Rice. Lay the Chicken Breasts on top of the Mixture. You could also cut the Chicken into small chunks and mix them throughout the mixture as well, but for tonight I didn't. Bake for 50 minutes or until Chicken and Rice and cooked completely.

So, after I got the Chicken with Rice dish in the oven I decided to make up the Pear Crisp. Now, unfortunately I totally forgot what type of Pears I bought, but I'm assuming that your favorite type of Pear would work as well. Here is the recipe for the Pear Crisp I am making tonight:


Pear Crisp

Filling Ingredients:
4 Pears (Your favorite variety)
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

Topping Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 *F, (Although since my oven is already baking the chicken at 375, I put the Crisp in with it and I'm just watching it to see when it is done, lol) Slice up the Pears and in a medium to large bowl mix all filling ingredients together and set aside. The easiest way to mix the filling is to mix the pears and lemon juice making sure all the pear slices are coated. Then mix in the dry ingredients and make sure all the slices are mixed evenly with the dry ingredients. In a separate medium sized bowl mix the topping ingredients, now the recipe I pulled up on Google said to use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. I don't have an electric mixer so I used the best tool I have, my hands. I stirred together all the dry ingredients then chopped up the butter into small pieces, added them to the mixture, and then worked it with my hands until it was mixed evenly and was crumbly. Next you sprinkle about 1/4th of the crumbles in the bottom of a baking dish. Pour all the filling mixture on top of the crumbles and then sprinkle the top of the filling evenly with the remaining crumble topping. Place dish in the oven and bake of 50 minutes or until pears are soft and tender.

This is a basic Crisp type recipe and I bet you could use the same recipe and substitute the pears of any type of fruit like Apples, Peaches, Blueberries, Cherries, etc.

Hope you enjoy!

Have a great evening dear followers,
Kelsey

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