Friday, October 24, 2014

Review of Wizzy Gizmo

*I received a free FAST TRACK BIBLE PACK set, in exchange for an honest Wizzy Gizmo Review. This review was hosted by Home and School Mosaics and Wizzy Gizmo.*

"Wizzy Gizmo" For some reason that name does not make me think, "GREAT Bible study resources." That's why I was pleasantly surprised when I received the Fast Track Bible Pack in the mail. Immediately upon opening the package, I knew these were going to be a great tool to use in our homeschool. These cards are great! 

Before I get to far into explain the cards to you, I want to tell you a bit about the company. Wizzy Gizmo was created by a group of parents, pastors, worship leaders, Sunday School teachers, and Homeschoolers who are "committed to equipping our children for life, by planting them firmly in God's Word." Awesome! 

Right now, there are audio dramas, books and these awesome Fast Track Bible Pack sets available to assist you in guiding your children towards Christ. They are planning on adding even more products to the line up as well! 

I received the Fast Track Bible Pack for this review. It is a set of 28 cards, one card for each of the books in the New Testament and one index card. They are 5 x 8" and made of durable card stock. This set can be found on the Wizzy Gizmo website for only $14.99. 

Are these not the cutest?

The front of each card contains a summary that book of the Bible. 
 The back of each card is full of information about the book. At the top is the general theme, right below that is an outline with a list of what chapters you can find the subjects of the outline in. Then it lists the key chapters and then key passages. Towards the bottom is lists the key doctrines and key people in the book. Each of these areas is highlighted with a different color, making it super easy for kids to use. 

I found that my kids seemed to gravitate towards them. Not just during our devotion time either! I found someone looking at one of them, at some point in time, throughout any given day! I think these cards will be part of our family devotion time for years to come! The only thing I would change about them is that they are not bound together in any way. Though, that's pretty easy to work with. 

You can find your own set of cards, or one of Wizzy Gizmo's other products on their website. 
You can also find Wizzy Gizmo on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Vimeo.

Don't just take my word for it. You can find more reviews for Wizzy Gizmo over at Home & School Mosaics. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review of Ancient Jewelry by Cynthia

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to meet a wonderful kindred spirit at a street fair here in town. She just so happens to create beautiful jewelry using healing stones. I was taken in by the beauty of all of her jewelry. The fact that it is all handmade is an absolute plus!
Cynthia started her business in March of this year as an outlet for her creativity and her passion for healing. Each piece is created with love and it shows! Just look at these beauties!

Cynthia started her business in March of this year as an outlet for her creativity and her passion for healing. Each piece is created with love and it shows! Just look at these beauties!
Aren’t they stunning!?

They aren’t just beautiful to wear; they will help you with various things as you wear them! The ear rings I pictured above are made of rainbow moonstone, garnet, citrine and clear quartz. On Cynthia’s Ancient Wisdom website, you can find the description of each of these stones and how they will help you. For instance, in the description of the earrings, you will find that rainbow moonstone can help with self-discovery, and that garnet can help enhance one’s vitality! I think I’ll take a pair of those earrings!

In the description of the ear rings, you will find that rainbow moonstone can help with self-discovery, and that garnet can help enhance one’s vitality!
For this review, Cynthia made a pair of earrings just for me! Mine are made with sterling silver wire, labradorite, rainbow moonstone and clear quartz. Along with my earrings I got a print out from Cynthia that had information about each of these stones. Labradorite can help with recognizing and enhancing one’s intuitive abilities. Rainbow moonstone is a stone of self-discovery, insight into the self and intuition. Clear quartz is a stone of amplification of other stones. It also brings clarity of mind and eliminates confusion by showing purpose to the heart and mind. I LOVE these ear rings. My ears a very sensitive to certain metals and I can wear these with no problem because the sterling silver she uses is solid, not plated.

I hope you take the time to browse her online store at

You can find her on facebook at Ancient Wisdom Jewelry by Cynthia

Click here to read more WAHMReviews!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review for Sanstemar

I write reviews for a wonderful site called WAHM Reviews. I thought I'd start sharing them here also. So, here you go.
I like to shop on etsy, a lot. I usually find some pretty cool items. When I stumbled across Sanstemar, they were no exception. I instantly wanted one of their cute handkerchief dresses for my daughter. I mean, look at this cute dress!
I instantly wanted one of their cute handkerchief dresses
Just looking at it makes me think of warm summer days, playing in the sun. How about you?
The dress is beautifully crafted and comes in a variety of different colors and patterns. They even give you the option for a custom order if you don’t see what you would like. The dress in the picture is the one that was sent to me for this review. It fits my daughter nicely. It’s tight enough at the top that it doesn’t fall down, yet it’s not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. She can move and play in it freely. The seams are all very well done, so there’s no concern of tearing. The ribbon at the top finishes it off nicely.
I also received this very cute purse.
I also received this very cute purse.
Isn’t that just great!? I love it! Just like the dress, this one is also handcrafted with the same care and quality as the dress. The inside is lined with an upcycled t-shirt and makes it easy to find what you are looking for inside the purse.
The inside is lined with an upcycled t-shirt and makes it easy to find what you are looking for inside the purse.
All pockets on the outside of the purse are fully functional. They have not been sewn shut, so you can store your chap stick, or phone there for easy access.
Sanstemar also carries weighted blankets and lap pads for those with sensory disorders. I did not receive this item for review, but if the purse and dress are of any indication, these products will not disappoint. Both the purse and dress are so well made that I wouldn’t have to think twice before ordering from Sanstemar.
Want your own? Head on over to their etsy store and place your order.
Questions and Comments are always welcome below.

If you liked this review you may like to read color by amber.
Click here to read more WAHMReviews!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Food Share Friday: Michele's Delight

I'm back, yet again, with another goodie from my Grandpa's Recipe book. This one has been tested by all four of my kids and they all approve. I had to cut them off, or they would've eaten the whole pan!

Just like all of the other recipes, you can find this one in his self published cookbook titled; "Natural Foods Sampler: Whole Food Goodness for You!" One thing I love most about this cookbook is that my Grandpa wrote a little poem to go along with each recipe. It gives a little sense of who he was and brings a smile to my face each time I read it. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Michele's Delight
"Along the way
One sunny day
Good luck gave me a nudge.
Faring quite well
I met Michele
And made this luscious fudge!"

1/3 cup Carob
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp liquid lecithin
3/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 TBS "Better Butter"
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup rolled oats, toasted*
1/2 cup dates, cut up
1.2 cup chopped nuts

1. In a two or three quart saucepan combine carob, water, butter, peanut butter, lecithin, and honey, over low heat, stirring until smooth and well blended.

2. Remove from heat and stir in powdered milk and vanilla.

3. Add oats, dates, and nuts. Mix thoroughly.

4. Drop by 1 1/2 tsp** on wax paper to set. Remove and store in refrigerator.

Yield: 50-60 tidbits.

Special Note: * Toast oats in baking pan in 300 degree oven until golden, Stir occasionally.
                     ** I used a TBS sized cookie scoop and yielded 25 cookies.

Carb counts: Whole batch = 282 grams
                    25 TBS = 11.28 per cookie
                    50-60 tidbits = 5.64 - 4.7 grams per tidbit.

I have copies of this cookbook available by request. I just ask that you cover the cost of printing and shipping. If you are interested, e-mail me at

Friday, January 10, 2014

Food Share Friday: Yankee Banana Bread/Best Baking Powder

Here is another great recipe from my Grandpa's cookbook. I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.

Yankee Banana Bread
"The sweetness of molasses,
The whole wheat flavor's zest
Join dates and ripe bananas
To make this loaf the best."

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal (I'm sure he would recommend non GMO now)
2 tsp Best Baking Powder (recipe to follow)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup mashed ripe bananas
1 Cup Buttermilk
3/4 Cup Molasses (There are carrying degrees of molasses. Black strap is going to be the darkest)
3/4 Cup Dates, cut up

1. In mixing bowl stur together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and soda.

2. Mix together molasses, banana, and buttermilk.

3. Blend wet ingredients into dry mixture. Add dates.

4. Turn batter into three 5/12 x 3 greased and floured loaf pans, or four rouind one poind tin cans.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until tests done with toothpick.

6. After ten minutes remove from pans or cans and cool n rack. Enjoy!

Best Baking Powder
"Leavening that you can make;
It's best for everything you bake!"

Best baking powder is low in sodium and free of aluminum compunds. Here is the formula:

2 parts cream of tartar
2 parts arrowroot powder
1 part potassium bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate can be found on amazon. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Homemade Facial Cleanser

I've been using my homemade Herbal Facial Scrub daily for a long time. It's been working too. That is until I turned 30 and my skin has now become the most sensitive thing on the face of the planet! Or so it seems to me. It was time for a change.

I searched and searched for an affordable natural facial cleanser. There are some really great options out there, but I have this thing about shelling out even $10 for a bottle of stuff I'm just going to rinse down the sink. I also like to make it myself, if I can.

This lead my research in a different direction. I wanted to make my own facial cleanser. There are lots of really great recipes out there. I was inspired by a couple recipes in particular; Chamomile Facial Cleaner Recipe & Handmade Foaming Facial Cleanser. Both of these recipes are great!

Of course I had to take them and make them my own. Why not? I do if for everything else, why not this? Here's what I did:

Homemade Facial Cleanser Recipe
1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap (I used Dr. Woods Pure Peppermint with Shea Butter)

1/4 cup water

2 tsp apricot oil (This is what I had. You can use any light oil)

2 tsp aloe vera juice (Make sure it's the natural stuff, not the green gel you can buy on the shelf of the drug store)

10 drops Vitamin E oil

I put this all into a bowl and gently stirred, with a fork, until it was mixed well. Then, I transferred it to a bottle. That's it! It took me maybe 5 minutes to make and I saved a lot of money!

As you can see from these pictures, it will separate a bit. Just give it a good shake and all is well again. This recipe filled this bottle, plus a little leftover.

Cost breakdown:
Castile Soap- I bought a 32oz bottle at Swanson Vitamins for just over $6. I get the Dr Woods brand as it's less expensive than Dr Bronners and the quality is just as good. Since I just used 2 oz of this I spent about $0.40 for this recipe

Water- Free

Apricot Oil - This is just what I had on hand. You can find Apricot Kernel Oil at Swanson Vitamins for just over $3. Using that cost, I spent about $0.25 for this recipe.

Aloe Vera Juice - The bottle I have cost me about $6, so I used about $0.06.

Vitamin E oil - I spent about $8 for the one I have. I have no idea how many drops are in the bottle. I would say that I maybe spent $0.05.

Total for this recipe: $0.76 per batch! That is way less than even the cheapest drug store brands! Plus, you get the added health benefits and satisfaction knowing that all of the ingredients are healthy and without unwanted/unneeded chemicals.

As you can see, I buy most of my items from Swanson Vitamins. I don't get paid to advertise for them, nor do I work for them. I do provide a referral link. If you order using that link, I will get a $10 reward coupon and you will get $5. Not too bad of a deal if you ask me. You are free to use my link, or not. It doesn't matter to me. Whatever you are comfortable with.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Food Share Friday: Grandpa's Whole Wheat Bread

I have decided to make Fridays, my "Food Share Friday." I will be sharing recipes from my Grandpa's, self published cookbook.

It's called, "Natural Foods Sampler: Whole Food Goodness for You!" He first published this cookbook in 1980. My mom tells me that he would hand these out free of charge. Since he is gone now, I will continue on in that spirit and offer up these recipes to you. The only thing I ask in return is that you don't take them as your own. Please give credit where credit is due. My Grandpa had a passion for spreading the word of good natural health and this cookbook was part of that. He put many years of hard work and passion into creating these recipes. So when you make them for yourself and your family, just remember the man behind the recipe.

He said it best, when he wrote in his cookbook;

"What wonders our Creator has wrought in giving to all of us the ability to prepare the food that is our sustenance, to feel the dough come alive in our hands as we kneed our daily bread, to taste the fresh goodness that He had permitted to grown in our gardens, to revel in the flavor of honey from the hive, and to relish the pungency of the herbs that spice our lives -- natural foods all, and designed to nourish in in joy, health, and love o four fellowman!

I believe that life can be, at the very least, a little more pleasant when we return of while grain nourishment and relearn the benefits to be found in foods that come to us more naturally. In striving to reach the goal of whole food goodness for us all, I offer this collection of recipes, May you eat and enjoy!" ~James Francis

Grandpa's Whole Wheat Bread
Plain and Simple,
Oh so good!
Whole Wheat bread
Is heaven's food!

2 1/2 Cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tsp molasses or honey
2 TBS dry yeast
3 TBS honey
3 TBS safflower oil
1 tsp sea salt (note from Laura: I use Himalayan crystal salt. You can find it at Swanson Vitamins)
1 TBS liquid lecithin
1 egg, beaten
1/3 Cup non-fat dry milk
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup gluten flour

1. Stir together in a large mixing bowl the molasses and 2 cups of the water. Sprinkle with the yeast and let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. 

2. Mix the 1.2 cup of water, honey, oil, and lecithin in a small bowl. Add the beaten egg and pout into the yeast mixture, beating gently with an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon. 

3. Stir together three cups of the flour, slat, gluten, and milk powder. add this to the large bowl. Beat well, This is the sponge. Set it in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 3/4 to 1 hour or more, depending on warmth.

4. Stir down with a wooden spoon and add flour gradually until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn out on a floured board or counter and let stand a few minutes while you wash out the bowl and oil it. 

5. Knead the dough 8-10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to make a smooth elastic dough. 

6. Return the dough to the bowl, turning so that oil coats all of the surface. Cover with a warm damp towel and let rise until doubled. 

7. Punch down, squeezing out all air and shape into the required number of loaves. This recipe will make three loaves in 7 1/4 x 3 1/4 pans (preferable) or two loaves in 8 1/4 x 4 1/4 pans. Grease pans well. 

8. Let rise in pans until almost double. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for five minutes, then at 350 degrees for balance of baking time. Time for three loaves, about 25 minutes; two loaves 30-35 minutes. 

9. Check if done by removing loaf from pan. If it is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, it is done. Remove from pans at once and cool on racks, away from draft. 

Being a diabetic myself, I thought I would share the carb counts for all of these recipes. There are 525.82 grams of carbs if you use 5 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, and 609.82 grams if you used 6 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour. That is for the whole recipe. If you make three loaves, just divide it by three. If you make two, divide by two. I made three loaves and got 16 slices out of one loaf. That would be about 11 grams per slice. 

Making bread is an art form. It definitely was for my Grandpa. I hope you enjoy this recipe for bread from him. If you are interested in having a copy of his cookbook for your own, I can send one to you at my cost. Feel free to e-mail me at with your request and I will get you a price. 

*The link to Swanson Vitamins is a referral link. I do get credit for it. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Working towards loving me!

On January 1st, of every year, thousands of people make their "New Year's Resolutions." I've done it, my husband has done it. In fact, I don't think I know one person who has never made a resolution for the new year. I believe they can be a great way to get a fresh start on life. They can also be something that we hold over our heads and guilt ourselves about.

I'd love for you all NOT to do that this year. Let's start the new year off by saying "No" to guilt. Go ahead, say it. "I will not think poorly of myself for falling short of what I think is my best." Instead, we need to love ourselves, unconditionally. If my Father in Heaven can love me unconditionally, why can't I at least give myself that gift also?

Well, I can, and I will! Starting today, I will love myself, just as I am. I will accept my shortcomings for what they are and move forward. I will strive to be a better person, but not get caught up in who I'm not. I will be me and I will LOVE it.

This year, I will not make a goal to loose a certain amount of weight, though I do have a bit to loose. I will not make a goal to look a certain way, or act a certain way. My goal, or resolution, this year is to love myself unconditionally.

I struggle with my body image, as I'm sure most of you have at one point in time, or another. It's hard to see myself as anything but a fat slob. Well, I'm not either. I'm not fat, nor am I a slob. I am me. Just as He created me to be. I may swear too much, weigh too much, and not "look" like a perfect Christian "should" at times. Don't even get me started on that last one. You see, 2013 had a very dark spot in it for me and it all centered around not being "Christian enough" for a certain group of people. I went through a lot of pain as a result of things these other "Christians" did and said. It was not fun, but it has made me a stronger person. They did not break my spirit!

Back to what I was saying before I took a left turn there. (Sorry) My ultimate goal is to learn to love and accept myself just as I am. I want to do it for me, but also for my kids. I don't want my kids to learn to have low self worth from me. Oh no! I want them to grow up to be confidant and love who the Creator made them to be. In order for me to teach them that, I have to be it. I will. I have already been praying about it and working on changing my thought process.

Instead of trying on clothes and seeing exactly what is wrong with it, I will first look for the positives in each article of clothing. I will not look at the size, but how I FEEL in it. I am also going to cook healthier foods. Not that I don't already, but I always strive for more.

Wish me luck, and if you are the praying type, prayers are much appreciated. I look forward to traveling this year with you all. Keep watching my blog for updates and a special series coming on Friday!