Thursday, July 11, 2019

Dairy Free Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Please note I was sent samples from the Northwest Cherry Growers in exchange for this blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.
One of my favorite things about summer is getting a big box of cherries from the Northwest Cherry Growers delivered right to my front door.  Nothing beats the taste of sweet cherries in summertime. 

This year I'm baking up a recipe the whole family can enjoy.  We are a food allergy family so sometimes finding recipes everyone can eat is a bit of a challenge.  I recently stumbled across a dairy free brownie recipe.  I tweaked it a little to take out eggs.  And then I added in some fresh diced sweet cherries.  This recipe is perfect!!!  The brownies are nice and cakelike.  And the cherries give it great flavor, almost like eating a chocolate covered cherry but in a brownie like form. 

For more cherry recipes and ideas visit 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

My kids first tablet

Please note I was sent product in exchange for this blog post.  All opinions and photos are my own.

I am that mom that always back a bag of activities to keep her kids busy whenever we go to any events, various functions, doctors appointments, church, meetings etc.  I pack a coloring book, crayons, small toys, etch-s-sketch, sticker book, snacks, reading book, fidget cube, you name it... if it's small and quiet.... into the bag it goes and hopefully keeps my kids busy for the amount of time I need them to sit still and behave.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Children's Books for Summer reading

Please note I was sent free product in exchange for this blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.

Summer is almost here.  My kids love summer reading programs.  And we encourage them to look at and read books on a daily basis.  Sometimes, where the weather is nice, they opt to take their books outside to read instead of playing.  So before these two childrens books get worn out I'm going to share a quick review.

First up... "What on Earth?  Birds" by Mike Unwin and Pau Morgan.  I feed quite a few Goldfinch at our house and my kids enjoy identifying them as well as robins, cardinals, blue birds and red winged blackbirds.  This book is broad in its information about birds.  Not only does it include bird identification, but it explains birds anatomy, behavior, habitat as well as lots of craft ideas and fun facts and trivia.  A well rounded book with a little bit of something for every interest level and age level.  One time after reading it I noticed my daughter running around the yard looking for items to build a nest with.  She came back with some grass, twigs and leaves and left them out in the open.  She monitored the spot all afternoon to see if any birds came by to use her supplies.  Overall a nice hardback book, with cute pictures and tons of ideas to keep kids buys.    This book can be purchased on Amazon.  
 Next, is "Love Big" by Kat Kronenberg.  A cute animal fable about how to treat others and be kind.  The book takes place in the Savannah and the characters are various African animals.  The pictures in this book are very colorful and the characters change throughout the story as they learn to be kind, share and smile.  Ideal for ages 3 - 10.  Love Big can be purchased on Amazon

Monday, April 15, 2019

Easter Basket Ideas... Streaming Sticks

Please note I was sent product samples in exchange for this blog post.  All opinions and photos are my own.

Looking for a unique idea to put in your kids Easter Baskets?  Check out the PBS kids Plug & Play HDMI Streaming Stick.  For ages 2 on up, your kids can watch hours of all their favorite PBS kids shows, play exclusive PBS kids games, songs and more.  I love how easy and kid friendly this is to use.  I feel completely safe letting them choose their own shows and run the remote all by themselves.  There are dozens of PBS kids streamed right to your TV or you can watch PBS kids live.  Imagine having instant access to WordGirl, Nature Cat, Peg + Cat, and Sid the Science Kid all at the same time with over 100 hours of content.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cold Brew Liquid Pods

Please note I was sent product samples in exchange for this blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.

You know those mornings when you're getting the kids around for school and you set your coffee mug down somewhere, forget where you left it, and then by the time you finally find it.... your coffee is cold.  (Ugh!  That's always frustrating.)  Well I have found a solution to this mom problem....  Authentic Cold Brew Coffee from Java House.  

Liquid Cold Brew Coffee in a coffee pod, that you can be enjoyed either hot or cold.  That's right, it's concentrated liquid in the k-cup not coffee grinds.  Simply place a pod in your K-cup brewer, push start and then allow your coffee to come out either in a warm mug or over ice cubes.  The great thing about Cold Brew Coffee is that it maintains it's flavor profile if you reheat it.  That's right!!!  Find that cold cup of coffee sitting around and stick it in the microwave once, twice, three times (depending on how rough your morning is) and the coffee will taste the same as it did when it was freshly brewed.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

BOOM! Science!

Please note I was given product samples in exchange for this blog post.  All opinions and photos are my own.

On Saturday's. we do Science.  Well, truth be told, we talk about science a lot more than just on Saturday's with our kids.  But, this winter we got all the bad weather on the weekends, so science projects were a fun way to pass the time indoors.  And this new BOOM! Combustion Science Lab Kit has tons of ideas and supplies to keep your kids busy, entertained and learning all at the same time.
BOOM! allows your kids to explore scientific principals through hands-on activities.  With supplies and a lab guide for 25 experiments there is a wide variety of topics and subject matter to stir interest in any little mind. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Your Valentine will Love Nomad Coffee

Please note I was sent product samples in exchange for this blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.

If you are looking for something unique to give your Valentine this year check out, Nomad Coffee Club.  Imagine having small batch freshly roasted coffee delivered monthly to your door for 3, 6 or 12 months subscriptions.  Perfect for at home or the office.  A different bean each month.  All you do is sign up and start sipping.   
 I recently had the please of trying the Colombia Fiesta.  It was a medium roast with hints of chocolate and cherry.  Nomad Coffee Club comes whole bean and they select organic beans under fair trade practices.  And a portion of each sale goes to building a school for children in Kenya.
To order or learn more about Nomad Coffee Club check out their website.  

Thanks again to Nomad Coffee Club for sending me samples to enjoy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Amora Coffee & Cinnamon Rolls

Please note I was sent samples of this product in exchange for the blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.
Cold weather makes me want to drink coffee all the more just to stay warm.  And the holidays bring lots of yummy food that is easy to pair with coffee so its a perfect storm for a coffee addict like me.  I am sampling Amora Coffee this week and their Chocolate Cherry Blend.  I also have been baking up lots of Cinnamon Rolls in my kitchen this week to freeze and then bake and serve later.  Now I know what your thinking who has time to mix and knead dough when there are so many other things to do right now???  Easy answer.... my bread machine does all the work.  But, I'll get to that in a minute.

Amora Coffee was started in 2011 as a way to bring fresh roasted coffee to your door within days of it being roasted.  It doesn't get much fresher than that.  They have a 9 stage roasting process that is done in small batches which again maximizes the freshness.  They offer 4 blends of coffee and right now 4 flavors.  Amora coffee does offer a subscription service so you can have their coffee delivered right to your door.
As I mentioned I sampled their the Chocolate Cherry Blend and as soon as I opened the package I could smell the distinct flavors of Chocolate and Cherry.  Once brewed and tasted you could almost swear their were cherry cordials hiding in the bottom of your mug somewhere the taste was that good.   Just imagine how good this coffee will taste after your Christmas Dinner or a New Year's Day brunch. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Here's a gift idea... Subscription boxes from KiwiCo

 Please note I was sent product in exchange for this blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.

The holiday season is right around the corner and if you are scratching your head trying to figure out what to get the kids on your list, then I have a great suggestion for you.  A monthly subscription of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) age appropriate activities from KiwiCo

Instead of a toy they break or loose, every month your child could get a box of educational and creative activities delivered to your doorstep.  Just think how great that would be for snow days in winter or rainy days in the spring.  A box full of books, crafts, stickers, games, and hours of entertainment for your family.

KiwiCo has 8 different subscription boxes to choose from based on age and interest level.  My kids recently received the Kola Crate which is for kids 3-4 years old and focuses on play and learning.  And my 6 year old received the Kiwi Crate for 5-8 years old which focuses on Science and Art. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Science Features & Beaker Creatures

Please note I was sent product samples in exchange for this blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.
We head back to school early around here, so my kids are already well into the routine of buses, school lunches, homework... you get the picture.  But going back into the classroom wasn't too altering as we spent the summer collecting caterpillars and discussing the life cycle of insects and watching a radish grow inside a graduated cylinder to learn about plant growth.  If it's science related my kids have their googles on and inquisitive minds ready to learn more.  I love to encourage my kids in STEM areas.  (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) So the entire family was happy to review some educational toys.   
Beaker Creatures  is a toy from Learning Resources that is a colorful bubbling creature reaction! Extract the Beaker Creatures from the mysterious Reactor Pods with the Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab from Learning Resources. After placing one of two included Reactor Pods within the Super Lab’s center chamber, kids send water whirling through the tubes with the help of two Hydroplungers, filling the chamber and triggering the amazing reaction. Once the reaction ends, kids can extract their Beaker Creatures collectibles and start classifying! The working lab set also comes with the equipment and instructions needed to perform amazing real-world science experiments inspired by the creatures and their home planets. The Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab also includes an exclusive full-size poster, two classification cards and two double-sided mini-posters: one side features a quiz filled with amazing real-world science facts, while the other features fun images of the creatures at play that combine to form a larger scene!

  • Trigger a colorful bubbling reaction to reveal one of 35 Beaker Creatures
  • Includes two Reactor Pods containing mystery Beaker Creatures
  • Learn real-world science with this working lab set's amazing experiments inspired by the Beaker Creatures and their planets
  • Includes two classification cards, one full-size poster, and two mini-posters filled with amazing science facts
  • Ages 5+

Big thanks to Learning Resources for sending me product to review.  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Construction FOURman Birthday Party

Our Shot of Espresso turned four this fall.  I love four year old birthday party themes because it's soooo fun and easy to play off the word four.  Our little man loves anything with wheels (And I mean anything) and gets excited every time he see's yellow construction equipment.  So playing off the word four... a construction 'four'man birthday party was just the thing.  Lots of yellow and orange and caution tape made for easy decorations. And utilizing things like tool boxes, extension cords and traffic cones were cheap and reusable and easy to find at a hardware store. (soooo practical)

For outside decorations we had a "Speed Limit 4" sign posted in the driveway for guests to see as they parked.  Up by the house I turned our wooden snowman decoration into a construction worker.  Then I made a wreath for the front door out of extension cord and caution tape.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Peach Fondue... don't mind if I do!

Please note I was sent product samples in exchange for this blog post.  All photos and opinions are my own.
 I was looking for something new and different to do with a big box of white flesh peaches.  Yes, we ate plenty fresh and they were delicious, but you know how I like to try new things in the kitchen....  I was flipping through the pages of my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and stumbled upon a recipe for Peach Fondue.  Fondue???  With Peaches???  This I had to taste for myself. 

After making the recipe and canning 6 half pints of it, I got out my fondue pot and served it with some graham cracker sticks and marshmallows.  The hint of chocolate and peaches make for a very pleasing favor.  Unique, but something that satisfies the sweet tooth in you.  I'm thinking this will also taste great spread across a big bowl of ice cream.

So without further adu... here is the recipe for Peach Fondue!