Blog Archive

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Quotes

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
~Margaret Atwood

Friday, May 22, 2015

Top 5 Apps for the Summer! #BetterMoments

This post is brought to you by #BetterMoments.

I can’t believe that summer is right around the corner!  It doesn’t seem possible with the how cold this spring has been, but I know it is coming.  I am so excited to be able to get outside in the garden, and enjoy everything a New England summer has to offer.  It really is the best place to be in the summer months!  Here are the top five apps to help plan your summer fun.

Hipmunk is a great tool to find the best hotel and flight rates out there.  It searches hundreds of travel sites, making sure that you are able to find the best rates and the most convenient schedule for you.

Google Calendar is a great way to keep everyone’s schedules organized.  My husband loves to have everything digital.  It is great to have the push notifications and know exactly where everyone needs to be and when.  The ability to sync calendars across multiple devices is a huge help when trying to get to all the activities summer seems to bring.

The Yahoo Weather App offers tons of detailed information on everything weather.  It has information on wind and precipitation as well as sunrise and sunset times – which are perfect for those days at the beach.  Seeing the sunrise at the beach is probably one of my favorite things.  Don’t get caught off-guard by a thunderstorm coming through!

It seems like I am constantly documenting my days with the kids (and my garden).  Snapseed offers pro-level photo editing capabilities in a user-friendly interface.  It is great for perfecting photos that you take with your iPhone 6.  You can also easily share the photos by e-mail and on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer is a wonderful time for sports.  People are able to keep track of their favorite sports teams with The Score app.  It provides news and scores from a bunch of leagues and events.  You can also get live updates so you are never out of the loop.

Having access to these apps on your iPhone 6 or other mobile device is great, but not if you don’t have the signal to use them.  I love that US Cellular has such a high quality 4G LTE network, and that they have national coverage.  No matter where I am this summer, I will be able to keep track of what is going on!

If you have kids that are going to be out and about on their own, don’t forget to download the Parent-Child Wireless Agreement so you can all be on the same page with what is appropriate cell phone usage. 

I was compensated for this post as a member of the US Cellular Better Moments Brigade.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

knitting and reading

I took a little break from sock knitting so that I could knit something a little quicker.  I decided that I needed some new kitchen washcloths, so I am using some cotton yarn that I have in my stash to make new ones.

We don't use paper products in our home, and so rags are always needed to wipe up some spill or wash something - I do have three little kids of course!  I find that my knitted washcloths stand up so much better than what I buy at the store.

With that in mind, I decided some new rags would be good to have on hand.  Plus, this specific cotton yarn was calling to me when I was going through my stash the other day!

As far as reading goes, I am doing a lot of reading with the kids, and not so much reading for myself.  

I decided to go back through Make it Happen by Lara Casey to do all the journaling questions that are in the book.  It is something that I wanted to do while reading the book, but realized I needed to read the whole book before I could wrap my head around some of the thought provoking questions.  

I am planning on going back through several of the books that I read at the beginning of the year and had journaling questions in them.  I want to continue my word of intentional for the year, and the journaling related to these books is a large part of that.

What are you working on this week?  Do you ever go back to books that you have read, or are you a read once and done kind of person?

Monday, May 18, 2015

garden progress

I am always amazed at how much the garden can grow in such a short time frame.  Last week we had a couple days with a lot of rain, and then a lot of sun, and my garden turned into a huge weedy mess.  Can you even see the garden beds in that mess of dandelions?

This week will be spent cleaning up that garden space for planting next weekend.  In Maine the normal “planting day” seems to be Memorial Day weekend.  At least that is how it was when I was growing up, and that is what I have continued to do right along. 

I know that there are a lot of really great gardeners and farmers that start planting way before Memorial Day weekend, but I am not one of them.  There are years that I am out there early planting peas, but this year was not one of those years.  The snow lasting until the middle of April may have had something to do with that.

My hope is that between now and next weekend I will be able to get outside and get the garden cleaned up.  We shall see how well that goes.

Next weekend will be our big trip to the greenhouse.

It is something the kids and I look forward to every year.  It is always fun to see all the different flower and vegetable varieties that they have growing there, as well as having the kids pick out the seeds and seedlings they think belong in our garden. 

I tend to let them pick most of what we grow, for some reason when they pick out the plants, they then want to eat the vegetables those plants produce.  And I am all for lots of healthy vegetables!  Many of the vegetables tend to be purple, purple beans, purple peppers, purple tomatoes – purple is good!

My idea was to back off on the garden this year.  With a new baby I’m not sure how much time I will have to get out there and weed.  I mean, there will be time, but I’m sure that time will be used up in other ways, like sleeping…and sleeping.  But, I know that when I get to the greenhouse, I will want to buy all the normal things I buy, and the garden seems to expand from what I plan every year.  This year will most likely be no different.

My rhubarb is growing well.  I think it has quadrupled in size in the past week.  This week I will definitely need to pick some of it and start making rhubarb sauce, rhubarb pie, rhubarb custard pie and then freeze some as well. 

The garden to-do list is starting to get a little long for this week!

How is your garden growing?  Do you have a lot of planting ahead, or is it all already in the ground?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Quotes

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil Review

I love tea tree oil, but finding a decent brand can be difficult in my area.  I was so happy to be contacted by Apothecary Extracts to try out their tea tree oil.  It did not disappoint!

First, it came in the most adorable little box, which I loved!  I like items to be pretty when I receive them, and the little box this came in was awesome.  I am always concerned ordering anything liquid in the mail, there is obviously the chance that it can be broken or leaking.  Neither was the case with the tea tree oil.  It was delivered in a careful fashion, so there were no issues during shipment.  It was also shipped out extremely fast.  I placed my order on March 30th and it was delivered on April 2nd!  

When purchasing this tea tree oil, the manufacturer e-mails you an entire book on the benefits of tea tree oil.  It was an amazing resource.  I know a lot of the benefits already, and use it often in making my own cleaning and beauty products, but to have the information all available in a nice little e-book was a definite plus.  The company really wants you to have a great experience with their product, and they are amazing on customer service and anticipating what the customer may need.

I love to use tea tree oil in homemade laundry soap, as well as in wipe solution for cloth wipes and cloth diapers.  It also works great as a cleanser for skin infections.

Overall, I think this is an amazing product and I was very happy with the service that I received, and I will definitely be ordering from them again.  The cost for what you receive is great, as essential oils are typically quite expensive.  I was expecting to receive a smaller bottle, but this will last me for quite a while.

I definitely recommend this company for future tea tree oil purchases, and can't wait to check out what other products they offer.

I received this product as well as compensation in return for my review.  All opinions are my own, and I never endorse a product I don't believe in and use myself!

Beech-Nut Organic Baby Food Feature and Giveaway!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Beech-Nut. I received a free coupon to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

It is that time already, time to be thinking about baby food.  Honestly, how is that even possible?  I swear I just had Lucy a couple weeks ago.  No?  Oh, yeah, I guess it was the end of last year.  Baby’s first food is such a milestone!

I have always been big on homemade baby food.  I want to know what is going into my kids, all of them!  Baby food seemed like a relatively easy thing to make at home, just mash it up and there you go.  But, the issue for me, is when we leave the house.  Yes, it is possible to bring something with you, but it can get messy and complicated, and honestly, leaving the house with three children is complicated enough; I don’t want to make it more complicated when I am trying to feed my baby.

I was happy to see that Beech-Nut has come out with an organic line.  You can find it at Babies “R” Us, Kroger and Wegmans retailers.

Organic food is so important to me.  I want something that I know contains no GMO ingredients.  I want something that is using the minimal amount of pesticides possible.  If I can’t grow it myself, I want to know that it has gone through the hoops of becoming certified organic. 

It was really exciting to see Beech-Nut take the same approach as moms everywhere; creating a line of baby food that is as flavorful, and healthy, as what we make at home. 

The food comes in cute little honeypot glass jars and features the USDA-certified organic seal – which shows me that it doesn’t contain GMO’s.  The colors are bright and vibrant and remind me of the foods that I prepare at home already.

I love the different varieties they have available as well.  Since we are just starting out, we like the Just Sweet Potatoes, but there are other varieties as well – Just Apples, Just Carrots, Just Pears, Apple Pumpkin & Granola, and Butternut Squash Black Bean & Cumin.

Beech-Nut uses a gentle cooking process that does not add excess water or artificial preservatives.  It doesn’t cook away the nutrients which is oh so important.  I want the food that goes into my children to be healthy and nutritious.  They are letting the fruits and veggies shine!

I think the fact that they use the gentle cooking process, it improved on the smell of the baby food.  It smelled just like my own sweet potatoes do though, so it seemed like a good alternative to me.  I did try a bit, and it seemed to taste like regular mashed up sweet potatoes.  I love that it was like feeding what I would normally make.

Since this is just the beginning stages of eating for my littlest one, I think that color and texture are important – as is the smell!  All of which were pleasant for me as the parent, and sometimes I think that is a more important gauge than whether or not it is spit out (baby’s first food people!).  I’m sure that my little one is less concerned about what color the food is, and more about the texture and taste which seemed to be good for me!

When you are giving a first food, you expect it to be spit out, but, there weren't any unpleasant faces, just the pure wonderment of what the heck I was giving her!

I was excited to see that Beech-Nut was awarded Product of the Year in the baby category for its 100% Naturals and Organic lines as selected by more than 40,000 consumers in a national, representative survey by Taylor Nelson Sofres.

You can find the Beech-Nut Organic line at the following retail locations and you can find your closest location here:

Kroger, Babies “R” Us, Wegmans, Price Chopper, Wakefern,,  Winn-Dixie, BI-LO, Stop & Shop, Giant Carlisle, A&P, Pathmark, Albertsons, Hannaford, Raley’s, Meijer, Nugget Market,, Harris Teeter, Shaw's, ACME, Shoppers Food and Cub Foods

Beech-Nut has also offered one of my readers a coupon to try one of their new organic line products for free.  Just enter using the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway