I recently shared my shock at discovering that one in six children, in my own state of Nebraska, are considered food insecure. Nationally, more than sixteen million American kids, (under the age of eighteen), are unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. Does that not blow your mind?!!? [...]
I recently shared my shock at discovering that one in six children, in my own state of Nebraska, are considered food insecure. Nationally, more than sixteen million American kids, (under the age of eighteen), are unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. Does that not blow your mind?!!?
We live in a small town (around 6,000 people). We would be hard-pressed to go downtown on the square or out to the local WalMart without running into people that we know — friends, neighbors, co-workers, people from church, our childrens’ friends, kids we work with in youth group, etc. We’re in contact with them, talk to them. If they were hungry, we’d see it — know it — wouldn’t we? I’m just imagining lining up all the kids we know and wrapping my mind around that statistic — every 6th child. I think about their parents. They’d tell us, right? We’d SEE it. We’d know. Wouldn’t we? Wouldn’t you?
Our community, (the entire county, really), does an excellent job in distributing food to those who have a temporary need for extra help. As the county seat, Seward is fortunate to be the home of one of the satellite offices of Blue Valley Community Action Center. I was fortunate to be able to meet the organization’s coordinator, when I stopped by to donate healthy snacks for the Champions for Kids Abbott Nutrition Pack a Snack Project. She told me that Blue Valley Action operates the food pantry, here, as well as through two churches in the community and three FoodNet centers throughout the county. They also oversee the WIC and Commodity food programs for Seward County. She felt that, as a community, we are generous and responsive, keeping the pantry shelves supplied and taking action when a call goes out for donations. I asked if what was provided was enough to meet the real need or if we were missing people who needed our help. While she didn’t have any statistics on hand, she was very encouraging about meeting growing needs in our depressed economy, but shared that there are always those who we just don’t know about and whose pride or circumstances prevents them from asking for help.
In the course of this project, I have learned of several families where the primary bread-winner has been without steady work for an extended period of time. In another instance, a high school-aged child works to provide income and often goes without eating themself, to be sure that younger siblings “get enough”. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s a reality right where we live; yet, you would likely never know it if you met one of them on the street. They would stop to smile and visit, as you pass, and then move on without sharing their plight. Early in our marriage, we faced a time where we had to admit we needed help and then swallow our pride to ask for and accept it. It is humbling and frustrating to have to ask others for the things you know you have a responsibility to provide yourself, but simply can’t. You fear what others will think of you and that people will think you are lazy or too uneducated to manage your finances. Those deflating feelings, no matter how unwarranted, often prevent families from asking for help and usher children into the category of food insecure. So, in a moment of courage and humility, if someone is brave enough to open the door of Blue Valley Community Action Center and ask for help at the food pantry, I want to be sure I’ve done what I can to help see the shelves are full and can provide what they need. This project has made me keenly aware that our family hasn’t done enough and that we need to plan to make regular contributions, there.
My family and I packed up a couple bags of healthy snacks for kids, as part of this service project. We knew the importance of keeping them healthy, but I also knew the importance, for the kids AND their parents to make them fun and appealing. The idea that those who need extra help for a time, should be “glad for what they get”, was a prejudice I faced during those difficult early times. People often felt that it was not appropriate to use the help we received to provide something that seemed “special” or was not the least expensive option, for our kids. Kids like to feel like they “fit in” and are just as worthy of surprises and treats, regardless of their economic situation and parents want to be able to provide those things. So, our goal was to share some snacks that provide great nutrition, but that kids would think are fun and delicious, too! We packed things like PediaSure which provides complete balanced nutrition for young kids, PediaSure SideKicks which provide nutrition support with 25 essential vitamins and minerals that help kids grow and stay healthy, Zone Perfect Nutrition Bars which provide a healthy balance of carbs, protein and fat in some delicious and appealing flavors that made me want a bite , Fruit Snacks made from real fruit and shaped like popular Disney movie characters, Raisins, Raisels, applesauce cups, diced peaches cups and yogurt raisins. To see details about my shopping trip and the snacks we found for the project, you can check out my Google+ album.
What programs or organizations does your community have to help those who might be food insecure? How do you and your family get involved and help out? The Champions for Kids Simple Service projects, and specifically Abbott Nutrition’s Pack a Snack project is a fun and easy way to get started. I’ll bet your kids would have a blast planning and shopping for a donation along with you!
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40
I was provided the opportunity to learn about and participate in Champions for Kids Simple Service Projects through this compensated shop, as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #AbbottCFK #CBias Views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I kinda, sorta, maybe, a little bit, like Pinterest. lol The premise behind Pinterest is a good one, because you find interesting products, money-saving tips and ideas for your home and family, crafty projects you can do with your kids, make for gifts or use to spruce up your home [...]
In case you hadn’t noticed, I kinda, sorta, maybe, a little bit, like Pinterest. lol The premise behind Pinterest is a good one, because you find interesting products, money-saving tips and ideas for your home and family, crafty projects you can do with your kids, make for gifts or use to spruce up your home and recipes for food you never knew you were dying to try and ALL of them have pictures. It’s marvelous! The idea of pinning all of those things into their own neat little file folders, or boards as they’re called, actually makes me feel very organized and accomplished. (Further evidence that feelings are unreliable. ) I know I’m going to be able to find each pin, again, when I am ready to try the project. The standing joke with all pinning addicts, though, is that most of us just pin and never actually do the cool things we dream about when we pin the ideas.
I have a confession to make. I pin them AND I make them, or at least some of them. Thanks to Pinterest, I now always have a craft/sewing table piled high over in the corner of the parlor. So many projects and so little time! I believe there are Pinterest support groups forming all around the country, so you don’t have to worry. I can probably the help I require, or at the very least, I can start pinning some great ideas for organizing craft and sewing stuff.
Anyway, I recently pinned a blog post on how to make our own paper from junk mail and scrap paper we had around the house. The blog it leads to is Positively Splendid and Amy has lots of great, crafty ideas to share, over there. My mind immediately traveled back a few months to our summer trip to Ohio and the Bob Evans Farm Festival where we had watched a demonstration of the exact same thing. The lady there was selling kits to make your own paper at home. So, I scanned the blog post I had pinned and realized how simple it would be to just gather the supplies at home. A new Pinterest project idea was born!
I love the idea of recycling all the old paper in the house and reusing it for craft projects and cards. It saves money, it reduces waste and it’s actually really fun and easy to do. Since we were making paper to use for Valentines, we gathered scraps of napkins, scrapbook paper, junk mail and magazine pages that had reds, pinks or lavenders and used them in this project. The colors you can make are as plentiful as the scrap paper stash you have on hand!
What you’ll need to make paper:
- a blender
- scrap paper, envelopes, magazine pages, dinner napkins, scrapbook paper, any paper scraps you have on hand
- an old picture frame or embroidery hoops
- window screen scraps big enough to fit your frames
- duct tape
- dishpan large enough for your frame to lie flat in
- square of felt just a little bigger than your frame
- an old bath towel folded over two or three times
- a blow dryer
- (optional) flower seeds – This was such a fun idea we gave it a try, for our project, but you definitely don’t need seeds to make paper.
The picture frame I had in the garage was broken, but since we were going to be taping the whole screened frame together, anyway, it didn’t matter and it was a great way to reuse something I already had. In hindsight, the frame has a ridge along the edges that can trap extra paper pulp, so next time I would choose a frame with flat sides and edges or even use an embroidery hoop which was an idea that came to me after I had already built my frame. They would make round or oval sheets of paper, instead of rectangular, but if you will be cutting out shapes from them, it really doesn’t matter. I know I saw some old hoops at our local thrift store, for a quarter a piece. I think I will definitely go back and pick them up for future paper-making projects.
I cut window screening to fit around my picture frame, leaving about 2 inches of overhang on each side to fold over and tape down on the back of the frame. Size matters, here. Be sure the frame you build will be able to lie flat and be completely submerged into the container (dishpan) you are using for the water.
Using duct tape, I pulled the screen tight across the frame and secured it on the back, going around all four sides.
Now that the screen was complete, I filled my dishpan 1/2 full with water.
Then I tore our scrap paper into small chunks and filled my blender canister about 1/3 to 1/2 full with the pieces.
I added hot water to the blender canister filled with paper, until it reached the point of being about 2/3 full.
Then I used the pulse feature on my blender to chop the scrap paper into tiny pieces. The mixture wasn’t purely liquified. There were still a few detectable bits of paper floating in the pulp. You can decide how large or small you would like those bits to look in your finished paper.
I poured out the blender canister into the dishpan filled with water and then I repeated the process, so that I actually had two canisters worth of paper pulp in my dish pan. I tried to make the paper with just one, but it came out thin and uneven. I personally preferred working with two canisters at a time and got several sheets that way. Use your hand to stir the pulp into the water.
Once you have stirred both canisters of paper pulp into the dishpan of water, you are ready to make paper. Submerge the frame you built, screen-side up, into the dishpan. Try to keep it perfectly flat and level as you lift it back out. There will be a nice thick coating of paper pulp sitting on top of the screen. If you have holes or gaps that didn’t fill in evenly, you can simply submerge the screen again to rinse the pulp off. Give the water a gentle stir with your hand and then submerge your screen again, lifting it out flat.
At this point, the woman who demonstrated in Ohio and the blogger whose post inspired this project, both quickly turned their frames upside down onto a piece of felt and the paper came off the screen onto the felt. Then they set the felt aside to allow the paper to dry, taking up to 24 hours, depending on how quickly the moisture evaporated from the paper.
I’m not sure what I was doing wrong, but no matter how many times I tried, I could never get the paper to come off the screen onto the felt. I’m only guessing but maybe the problem was that I was using craft felt, which is mostly polyester and I should have used wool felt, which would definitely wick away the moisture more quickly. I just don’t know, but I didn’t have access to wool felt, so I had to come up with another method.
(Optional use for flower seeds): At this point the blog I read, suggested sprinkling the wet paper pulp on the screen with flower seeds. What we discovered is that they didn’t stay adhered very well, once the paper was dry. Our solution, we sprinkled the flower seeds into the dishpan of water that we added our blended paper pulp to. That way they became part of the paper, instead of just resting on top of it. The idea is that the paper hearts can be planted in a few inches of soil, watered and eventually sprout a few flowers for the person to whom you give them. Since the paper will breakdown and become compost in your soil, it makes great sense and it’s a fun Valentine gift idea.
Once I lifted the frame from the water, I flipped it over onto the felt which was lying on top of the folded bath towel. Then I blotted out a lot of the excess moisture with a folded wash cloth. A sponge would work well, too. Just blot right through the screen to start pulling the moisture out. I used a blow dryer on the highest setting to dry the paper, right through the screen while it was still lying on top of the felt. I eventually flipped it and made sure the top was dry, too. It was completely dry and ready to use in about 8 or 9 minutes. Which sure beats 24 hours when you have kids who want to use it “right now”! I grabbed one corner and lifted it right off the screen. Some pieces curled a little as I was drying them, but I discovered a couple quick blasts of steam from my steam iron pressed it smooth. Perfect!
I traced hearts of all sizes and combined them with heart shapes I cut with my Cricut. Then I glued them together, with Elmer’s White Glue.
Once the hearts were finished, I attached them to lollipop sticks and added green cut-out leaves. The hearts and leaves attached easily to the lollipop sticks with white glue.
Once everything was dry and set, I poured some glass beads into an old candle jar I had saved when the candle was gone. I arranged the hearts in the jar like a flower bouquet, tied on a bow from a piece of fabric in my scrap basket and added a note I printed from my printer and glued to another lollipop stick. The note says, “Friends are flowers in the garden of life. I’m glad you bloomed in mine. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
This was simple and used items I had around the house. It would be a unique Valentine’s gift for a friend, aunt or even Grandma! Who doesn’t love hearts and flowers?
We’re going to be making even more homemade paper projects and, hopefully, perfecting our technique. If you try it, I would love to hear about your projects or have you share pictures on our Facebook page!
After two and a half months making our own laundry detergent and loving the results, I’m moving full-steam ahead to find frugal substitutes for the other products we use in the laundry room. While I wouldn’t say we spend an exorbitant amount on dryer sheets, if I were to suddenly be left without the need [...]
After two and a half months making our own laundry detergent and loving the results, I’m moving full-steam ahead to find frugal substitutes for the other products we use in the laundry room. While I wouldn’t say we spend an exorbitant amount on dryer sheets, if I were to suddenly be left without the need to have them, I wouldn’t miss finding the used ones lying on the laundry room floor or sticking to the inside of a pant leg or the back of someone’s shirt. I wouldn’t miss having to remind people to toss them in with each load, so we don’t shock and awe the congregation with the amazing static electricity display erupting from our family’s row at church on Sundays. I would definitely get excited about putting the cost of them back into our budget, because even small amounts add up over time. Believe me, I’ve scoured Pinterest and come up with dozens of options for all kinds of homemade cleaners, I intend to try, but nothing that appealed to me as a better option than the dryer sheets I’m currently buying – for performance or cost.
Feeling the need for a little “pick me up” and a break before I plunged back into my research, I grabbed a chocolate peanut butter chip cookie and a Coke (I know. I know. — But, they were delish!) and checked my Facebook feed. I noticed one of my sister’s posts mentioned that she had just entered a giveaway for Dryer Balls. I had never heard of such a thing, but my interest was piqued. I gathered from her short post that they were made from wool, used in the clothes dryer instead of fabric sheets and handmade by someone who was selling them through her own Etsy shop. I found the site and started reading about Maple Hill Farm and Rebecca Rowan. Rebecca’s dad raises sheep and she makes dryer balls from the wool he produces there.
Rebecca’s Wool Dryer Balls are made from 100% wool and are colored naturally, not with dyes. They decrease static cling and soften the clothes in your dryer as they tumble with your laundry, by gentle friction of the felted wool fibers against your clothing fibers. Dryer balls separate the clothes, as they circulate through your dryer, and keep laundry items separated as they tumble around. This increases airflow and allows warm dry air to reach even the clothes at the center of your dryer tub. This drastically cuts the amount of time it takes to dry a load of clothes. I can attest to the truth of that! We have been nursing my poor dryer along for the last several months, while we save to purchase a new one. It takes at least two complete cycles to dry a normal load of laundry, now, as it limps through the end of its life. However, I purchased 4 extra large Wool Dryer Balls which arrived here on January 17. Since that time, we have been able to dry our clothes in a single cycle, again! I am so excited for what that means about the gas and electricity we will save when we actually get a new and properly functioning dryer, again! The dryer balls made a dramatic difference in each load’s drying time and I won’t need to buy dryer sheets, again.
Maple Hill Farms Wool Dryer Balls are completely reusable — no waste, no trash. I just leave them in the dryer as I pull out each load, so they are there and ready for the next cycle. People have apparently used them up to 8 years before they needed replaced! Amazing! They come scented or unscented, whichever you prefer. I elected to have mine scented with lavender essential oils before they were shipped and opening the package when they arrived was like being in the center of a field of lavender. I love it! I’ve used them in every dryer load since they have arrived and the scent is not even hinting at fading, though I understand that it will eventually fade over time and can be reapplied, if desired. Our clothes absorb the fragrance, and hold it, better than any commercial fabric softener or dryer sheet I have ever used. No chemicals, no mess, no repurchasing and my laundry room and clothes smell amazing – I’m a happy camper!
I like that this product is handmade and all natural. I like that it’s a family business and I love that the product is 100% everything that it claims. I intend to continue using them and reap the energy savings, over time, plus eliminate the cost and waste of the dryer sheets that were the norm in my laundry, up to now. Wouldn’t these be a unique and welcome bridal shower gift or a gift for someone who “has everything”? I wholeheartedly recommend them. As a matter of fact, I was so excited about them that I contacted Rebecca, who has agreed to sponsor a giveaway AND a 10% discount for Busy-at-Home readers! Enter Coupon code: Busy2012 in your shopping cart at checkout to receive the discount, when you place an order. I’m so grateful for her generosity and excited for all of you to know about this money-saving and eco-friendly product!
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below, telling me which fragrance (or unscented, if that’s your preference), you want to try. [Click Here to visit the page with a List of Available Fragrances, in a new window.] Once you leave your comment, go to the form below, hit that Do It! button, then Enter! and you’ll unlock several more options for additional entries. It’s super simple and what a great prize for one of you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I purchased Maple Hill Farms Wool Dryer balls for my own use and tested them in my own home, in order to write this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.
Are you a New Year’s Resolution maker? Maybe you’re one of the thousands who decided 2012 was the year to get healthy and get in shape, to shed those extra pounds and look your best. If you are, Tropicana wants to help and they want to hear about what motivates you. Tropicana Trop50 is an [...]
Are you a New Year’s Resolution maker? Maybe you’re one of the thousands who decided 2012 was the year to get healthy and get in shape, to shed those extra pounds and look your best. If you are, Tropicana wants to help and they want to hear about what motivates you. Tropicana Trop50 is an innovative line of juice beverages, delivering the goodness of fruit juice with 50 percent less sugar and calories, and no artificial sweeteners. Our family really likes the No-Pulp variety with added calcium and Vitamin D. These yummy juices can be a big help as part of your weight loss plan and they come in a multitude of flavors to keep you inspired — Orange (No Pulp, Some Pulp and Calcium + Vitamin D), Farmstand Apple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Pineapple Mango, Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade.
Plus, Tropicana has a sneaky suspicion that behind every New Year’s resolution is a secret motivation. Do you really want to lose weight to feel healthier or is it actually to fit into that a-MAY-zing dress that makes you feel great? This year, Trop50 True Resolutions celebrates the real reasons behind New Year’s resolutions.
Like Tropicana on Facebook, then share your resolution and you’ll earn a coupon for $1 off Trop50 for yourself and 50¢ off coupons for up to 50 of your friends. Bonus: Whether you submit a resolution or not, you can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1000 gift card.
Limit one (1) $1 coupon per person/email address/Facebook account. Coupons available while supplies last.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 1/31/2012.
I received a sample of Trop50 +Calcium in order to test the product and conduct a review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. Views and opinions expressed about the product are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with it.
It’s cold and hectic and we’re back in full swing with school and activities, now that the holidays are over. It’s easy to get caught up and forget that small things can make a big difference. Did you realize that the Box Tops for Education program that can help your local school or homeschool group [...]
It’s cold and hectic and we’re back in full swing with school and activities, now that the holidays are over. It’s easy to get caught up and forget that small things can make a big difference. Did you realize that the Box Tops for Education program that can help your local school or homeschool group with playground equipment or supplies they need, is still active and in full force? Since, General Mills makes so many products that are part of a regular school day routine, whether it’s for packing in lunch boxes, making a breakfast or an after-school snack, your pantry will likely contain several things that contain the Box Tops for Education tops. Please be sure to collect them and contribute to your favorite educational organization.
Lunch and after-school snack items are the types of products I love to buy in bulk, at Sam’s Club, to save money and time; and the cool thing is that there are several products still out there that are sporting the SIX bonus boxtops on one package, like Progresso, Yoplait and Nature Valley Oats ‘N Honey Crunch Granola Bars! Sam’s Club makes it easy for you to stock up on great General Mills products for your family and collect Box Tops for Education at the same time. Plus, they are sponsoring this excellent giveaway! One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win a $25 Sam’s Club Gift Card! To be entered, leave a comment below telling me your favorite product to purchase at Sam’s Club. Hit the Do It! and then Enter buttons, in the form below, to be registered and unlock all the optional entries for this cool giveaway. Super simple!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Sam’s Club gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. Views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
What does it mean to be food insecure? In simple terms, those who are food insecure have no idea when, or from where, there next meal is coming. They don’t have consistent access to the nutritious food which is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As difficult as things have become in our current economy, [...]
What does it mean to be food insecure? In simple terms, those who are food insecure have no idea when, or from where, there next meal is coming. They don’t have consistent access to the nutritious food which is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As difficult as things have become in our current economy, it’s still hard to wrap my mind around the idea that there are those in the United States who struggle with that insecurity on a daily basis. Even more surprising, I discovered that one in six children, in my own state of Nebraska, fall into that category! To say I was shocked doesn’t do justice to the emotion that statistic evokes. Hunger isn’t just about hunger pains, and in our day to day lives, the outward signs of hunger may be virtually invisible to us, because we incorrectly “diagnose” them as something else. Hunger and malnourishment contribute to a child’s inability to concentrate and affects their academic performance. Lack of nutritious food options contributes to childhood obesity and the health risks associated with it. Hunger makes it difficult for kids to deal with frustrations; and from birth to age 7, when so many vital body systems are still developing, malnutrition can have a lifelong impact on children’s health and development.
A call to our local food pantry, Blue Valley Community Action, confirmed things I already knew and left me with a few more questions. I already knew our own church is active in making donations there and I discovered that many other local churches and organizations collect and add to the supplies, as well. I was really pleased to hear that donations of fresh produce are made every Monday, Wednesday and Friday by our local WalMart store and that it is available, 6 items at a time, to anyone who needs it. It was exciting to here that the facility had resources for storing and distributing perishable items like seasonal fresh fruits and veggies, too! When I visit next week, I hope to learn even more about childhood hunger in our small town.
One way I’ve discovered that our family can contribute and help meet some of the needs, locally, is to accept an invitation to participate in the Champions for Kids Abbott Nutrition Snack Packs Simple Service Mission. Champions for Kids works with many companies to mobilize MILLIONS of people by providing training and resources to improve the lives of children in communities across America and beyond. With a goal to mobilize 20 million people, by 2020, they need everyone’s help! You and I can get involved and be part of that huge number by participating in Champions for Kids Simple Service Missions. This month’s project is Abbott Nutrition Pack a Snack. We’ll be making our snack pack donation, at Blue Valley Community Action, our local food pantry. I can see that they do a good job of reaching the families and children with the greatest need. You can participate in the Snack Pack Mission, too!
The Nutrition Pack a Snack Mission is simple. Gather your friends, family, and coworkers to collect nutritious snacks for children in need. Items like Pediasure®, Pediasure SideKicks®, and ZonePerfect® bars, would be great to share, along with other healthy and nutritious snacks! Take your Nutrition Pack a Snack donations to an organization in your community that serves children. It could be your local food pantry, a school, a shelter, a church or any other non-profit you know of that serves children’s needs. Every able person, providing nutritious snacks for children in their own community will be a great start to helping to stamp out childhood hunger around the globe. I hope you’ll join in the cause. I’ll be reporting back soon with pictures of what we decided to include in our Snack Pack.
Sources for information used in this post:
- Hunger Free Heartland
- Hunger Free Heartland Blog
- Champions for Kids
- Champions for Kids Simple Service Projects
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #AbbottCFK #CBias
Are you looking for great savings and amazing daily deals on some of your favorite Hasbro toys and games, then check out Hasbro’s Annual Fun and Game Event going on now! You (U.S. only) can register today at www.hasbro.com/fun to print over $125 in coupons (quantities are limited) and get access to incredible daily deals. [...]
Are you looking for great savings and amazing daily deals on some of your favorite Hasbro toys and games, then check out Hasbro’s Annual Fun and Game Event going on now! You (U.S. only) can register today at www.hasbro.com/fun to print over $125 in coupons (quantities are limited) and get access to incredible daily deals. All daily deals include free shipping!
Kids, ages 6 – 13, can also get in on the action by playing games for a chance to win hourly prizes from their favorite brands, such as My Little Pony, FurReal Friends, Littlest Pet Shop, Beyblade, Nerf, Transformers, Connect 4, Bop It! and Simon Flash.
UPDATE: It is with great sadness that I can no longer endorse the company producing and marketing the NuWave or the NuWave PIC. I LOVE, seriously LOVE the products, but the manner in which they charge for shipping is, in my opinion, not ethical. The product is worth far more than the price being charged [...]
UPDATE: It is with great sadness that I can no longer endorse the company producing and marketing the NuWave or the NuWave PIC. I LOVE, seriously LOVE the products, but the manner in which they charge for shipping is, in my opinion, not ethical. The product is worth far more than the price being charged for it; and it would seem more honest to me to simply charge what the product is actually worth, rather than saying it is only x dollars and then charging inflated prices for the shipping and handling. Should those practices ever change, Busy-at-Home would be glad, once again, to endorse not only a great product, but the company who produces it. Thank you for understanding.
If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing a NuWave Oven, this may be just the announcement to help you make your decision. I received word, last night, that Busy-at-Home readers can follow this link and click the special order box that pops up when the NuWave site opens. This will allow you to receive $10 off the regular price PLUS Free Shipping! The pop-up also says you will get an extended 4 year warranty! That’s fantastic! I’m so excited to be able to share this savings with you! The coupon link will only be active until January 23, so if the NuWave is something you were wanting for your own kitchen, it’s a great time to save a little on the purchase and start enjoying the fabulous meals and recipes it makes possible.
I clicked through to see all that was included and it’s exceptional!
White NuWave Oven
NuWave Oven Complete Cookbook
Quick & Easy Cooking Guide
Set of 25 Gourmet Recipe Cards
4-Year Extended Warranty
Custom-made Carrying Case
NuWave Cooking Club Membership
Bonus Gift: Party Mixer
Bonus Gift: Twister Blender
Bonus Gift: NuWave Oven Baking Kit
The final cost shows up as only $109.97! That includes saving $10 off the regular price AND $29.95 for shipping, so you will be saving only a few pennies less than $40! That’s an awesome deal! Click the link above, or the picture, to receive the savings and order a NuWave for your family!
Making the most of what we already have, stretching our dollars and making responsible choices for our environment, when we can, are ideals and qualities that all of us want to instill in our children and practice in our own homes. Full Circle is a company I have been recently introduced to that makes it [...]
Making the most of what we already have, stretching our dollars and making responsible choices for our environment, when we can, are ideals and qualities that all of us want to instill in our children and practice in our own homes. Full Circle is a company I have been recently introduced to that makes it a little easier for us to achieve some of our reduce, reuse and recycle goals for 2012. They’re on a mission to offer affordable tools to help out around our kitchens, and throughout our homes, that are functional, attractive and made from sustainable and renewable resources. The timing for me to review their Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector couldn’t be better, as I sit to sketch out and make plans for our family’s 2012 garden. I actually reviewed the Compost Collector and the Suds Up Dish Brush and I’m excited to share what I learned about both, as well as offer an opportunity for one Busy-at-Home reader to win one of each for their own kitchens! You’re going to love them!
We are about to have an AWESOME compost bin completed and set up in our back yard, near our garden, where it will get tons of use. I want to be very faithful about being sure we don’t just toss away any of our kitchen scraps, wasting what can become important ingredients in creating rich, nutritious soil to grow our food in, so I need some way of collecting them, for a time, instead of walking to the compost bin every time I peel a carrot or potatoes. The problem is, I don’t want my kitchen to smell like I’m collecting garbage and I don’t want to attract bugs. Until now, I hadn’t really seen anything that seemed like it would be effective. I have to tell you the the Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector is the answer to my problem. I didn’t expect it, at the onset of this review, but it will probably go down as one of my favorite new kitchen products of 2012! I have been testing it for about one month. It sits on my kitchen counter, next to the sink and no one notices it. Beautiful! I have yet to empty it, in that whole month’s time. There is no smell and nary a critter, flying or crawling about. To say I am pleased is an understatement.
In the month’s time I have been using it, I have continuously added new material to the top of what is already in the Collector. As it breaks down, the level lowers and there is room to add more to the top. There isn’t any “soil” in the bottom of the bin, because this system just doesn’t work that quickly, but it is breaking down our compostable food waste, right in the kitchen, with no smell, no mess and no bugs. I can easily transfer it to our larger compost bin, by removing the contents in their handy-dandy fully biodegredable bag and carrying it outside to the larger bin. I could do that every day or apparently once a month, whatever is most convenient. For our large family, with the heavy amounts of cooking that happen in our kitchen, it will likely be more often, so nothing nutritious for our soil is wasted, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to really wait it out and see the results of allowing the Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector to sit long-term without being emptied.
So, how does it work? The Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector is designed with a special ventilation system that allows the food to dry out as it breaks down. This slows the decomposition process, but it also makes it cleaner. Without the moisture found in pails or other compost collection bins for your kitchen, you eliminate a lot of the bacteria, mold and other decomposition processes that create that “garbage-y odor”. You also don’t attract bugs. Fantastic!
The Compost Collector was simple to set up. When it arrived, I pulled it out of the box and had it up and active on the counter in minutes. It comes with 5 biodegradable collection bags. All I had to do was lift the metal ring, stretch the bag over the top of the plastic top and snap the metal ring back into place. Very easy!
The Suds Up Dish Brush is very cool, too. It’s the first time I’ve had a dish brush that I can fill with soap, but actually stands up on the counter. No oozing or leaking soap mess! I love that! The stand-up handle is made from bamboo and the brush head can be removed and replaced rather than just throwing away the whole brush. Genius! Waste not, want not. The all natural, recycled bristles absorb soap and provide tough scrubbing action, so this is a very effective tool for stubborn pots and pans. It’s easy to dispense more soap with the handy push-button in the center of the brush handle.
You can order both these products and more at the Full Circle section at Alice.com or pick them up in local shops near you. Many Bed Bath and Beyond stores are carrying Full Circle products. To check and see what stores in your area carry them, click here. And one lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win their own kitchen compost collector and dish brush!
To enter the giveaway, visit Full Circle and see which of their products would be a good fit in your own home. Leave a comment below, telling me which is your favorite. Then hit the DO IT button, then Enter and unlock the other optional entries that can increase the number of times your name is in the random drawing. That’s it! Super simple!
I received a Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector and a Suds Up Dish Brush in order to test them in my own kitchen and conduct this review. No monetary compensation was recieved and a positive review was not required. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience.
I rarely get “political” on this blog, though we all know I am DEFINITELY not, nor do I care about being, “politically correct”. My faith in Christ is no secret and while I don’t run around beating people over the head with it, I hope I live and write in such a way that it [...]
I rarely get “political” on this blog, though we all know I am DEFINITELY not, nor do I care about being, “politically correct”. My faith in Christ is no secret and while I don’t run around beating people over the head with it, I hope I live and write in such a way that it is obvious where my hope lies and by Whose standards I measure my choices and beliefs.
This afternoon my heart is heavy and I find myself swinging between crushing sadness and disbelief to outright anger. I take for granted, most days, the relative good health of our family. We certainly have our challenges in the health arena, but nothing that has prevented us from finding or providing the care our children need, when it’s called for. I also take for granted that “the powers that be” who have been given the great gift of skill and talent to heal and the responsibility for that care, for the most part, recognize that it IS a gift; and that their responsibility and calling is limited to providing the best possible health treatment available to them, NOT determining who is valuable enough to receive it. That we have devolved, in the United States of America, to a level that such an attitude is not immediately crushed out of existence is appalling. People are not God. No mere person has the right to decide whose life has enough value to continue.
This story came to my attention this morning, as I read a fellow blogger’s post and I am compelled to share it, because it is an issue that is bigger than any of us and that any one of us could face, in the future, should we allow it to go unchallenged. Today, in Philadelphia, (the City of Brotherly Love), a young girl lies in need of a kidney transplant. By the grace of God a matching donor is available and ready for surgery, immediately. The girl’s name is Amelia and the donor is a member of her own family. That’s correct. This family is not asking to remove an organ from the donor list. They are supplying one, themselves. All that is needed is a team to conduct the surgery and a place for it to happen and for her to recover. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has the means to provide both, but in their great wisdom, has determined that Amelia’s “quality of life” does not meet their standard of valuable enough to live, because Amelia is cognitively impaired. A person they deem to be “mentally retarded” is not entitled to the life-sustaining care that others can expect at CHOP, because they have a “lesser quality of life”. By what power or authority do they believe they are allowed to determine such a thing? Outrageous!
What is a “lesser quality of life”? I have family members who suffer from both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. It has literally ravaged both sides of my family for decades. Theirs would not be considered a “normal” life by medical standards. Do they deserve to live? My youngest sister has multiple sclerosis and spends most of her life immobile, needing help with almost every function of life we so blindly take for granted. Her life would likely not meet the heartless and ruthless standards of “quality”, established by this “institution of healing”, yet I can tell you emphatically that her life has value beyond what those of us without “diminished capacity” will likely ever understand. There are people in my family and in my church who have suffered from illnesses that have left them developmentally disabled, unable to walk for a time and unable to feed themselves without assistance. Do they deserve to live? There are those in this nation who live well below the poverty level, who struggle to see that their family receives even one meal a day. They don’t have homes to go to. What is their “quality of life”? Quality of life is not determined by an arbitrary list of man-made physical circumstances or standards! Where would we draw the line? Would you and your family be safe tomorrow? “Quality of life” is determined by the One who gave it, who lovingly created it and has purpose for each one. In our arrogant, close-minded and superficial way of thinking, we cannot even begin to grasp the joy and happiness that sweet Amelia brings to the world, what she teaches those around her or the happiness that those people bring to her. Her “purpose” doesn’t fit into the neat little man-created package of what has value. Oh, if only we could see Amelia and her value through the eyes of the Magnificent One who created her! What we would understand and see then, would drive us to our knees. At least I hope it would. I pray it will.
What can you do? Add your name to this petition to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, asking them to provide the surgery that Amelia needs to receive her family member’s kidney. Pray for her and her family and those who have decision-making power in this situation. Read her mother’s story, and stop for one moment to think of the people you know, the people you love and if they will someday meet man’s arbitrary standard of “quality of life”. Who will speak for THEM?