Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bubble Therapy Pure & Natural 3 in 1 Bubble Bath #Review


I received the Bubble Therapy Pure & Natural 3 in 1 Bubble Bath for review and Lindsey had a great time testing it out for me! I love that it is made with all natural and organic ingredients; safe for even the most sensitive skin. There is no strong scent if you're sensitive to scents / smells in your bath products, and it's 3-in-1; so use it for a body wash, bubble bath, and shampoo too!


As you can see, it made a great amount of bubbles (I only put about 1 - 2 TBS of product under running water). And even when Lindsey rubbed her eyes with suds on them, it didn't irritate her at all. No tears!


Product Information:
  • All natural with Organic Ingredients
  • Soothing, non-irritating 3 in 1 shampoo, body wash & bubble bath
  • Creates a lot of stable bubbles ( see images on left)
  • SLS-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, sodium benzoate-free, dioxane-free
  • Biodegradable. Can be used by kids and adults alike.





Monday, April 27, 2015

Petoskey and Pine Gift Set #Giveaway!


 Petoskey and Pine were kind enough to send both a beautiful scented candle and lavender lip balm for me to review, and they are giving me and 12 other fantastic bloggers the chance to offer you, dear readers, this wonderful giveaway!


My original thank you and initial review are posted here.

Find Petoskey and Pine around the internet:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/petoskeyandpine/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petoskeyandpine
Webpage: https://instagram.com/petoskeyandpine/


Find all of the Petoskey and Pine Review's at each of the participating bloggers today:

Nichole of Cookaholic Wife
Sarah of The Pajama Chef
Rebekah of Making Miracles
Traci of Burnt Apple
Anshie of Spice Roots
Shilpi of Simply Veggies
Bari of Live Laugh Run Breathe
 

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Petoskey and Pine for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.  


#SecretRecipeClub ~ Open Faced Bacon, Avocado, and Egg Sandwiches


Welcome to the April, Group D, reveal day for Secret Recipe Club! I hope you will take a moment to visit the  Secret Recipe Club if you've never heard of it before - it is a wonderful group of bloggers who are given a "secret" assignment of another member's blog each month and our goal is to pick ANYTHING from their blog to make and post about on our designated reveal day! I have been a part of SRC for just over two years now and LOVE the opportunity to get to know another blogger a little better each month by spending time browsing their blog, reading through their recipes and posts, and finding something perfect for my family from what they've shared.


For the month of April, I was give Lynsey's blog "Lynsey Lou's" to stalk, I mean browse. You may know I am semi partial to this name since I have an adorably crazy 19-month old named Lindsey in my home.


Lynsey married the love of her life in March 2008 and started food blogging in June of that same year - so you will find recipes shared from almost all of Lynsey's married life chronicled in her blog which is pretty cool! Lynsey gained her passion for cooking by growing up in the kitchens of her mother and grandmothers and says the kitchen is the heart of her home. Lynsey has southern roots and takes her inspiration from those roots, along with cookbooks, blogs, websites, etc.

 Here are a few of the amazing recipes I found myself clicking on when browsing Lynsey's recipe index: Homemade Graham Crackers, Easy Restaurant Style Salsa, Quick Pickles, Brownie Pie, Oreo Crunch Brownies, Reese's PB Cup Oreo Blondies, Cheesy Chili Mac, Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, Whole Wheat Pitas, Breakfast Skillet, Butterfinger Banana Muffins, BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza, Chicken Bacon Ranch Taquitos, Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken, Beer Battered Fish, Bacon Lovers Baked Macaroni and Cheese, BLT Pasta, Creamy Taco Mac, PB Reese's Pie, Mushroom Sausage Ragu, Autumn Chopped Salad, French Dip Briskett, Ranch BLT Wraps, Steak and Hummus Sandwiches, Pressed Picnic Sandwiches, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Fanned Potatoes, Stewed Collard Greens, BLTs with Roasted Onion Mayo, Bean and Cheese Burritos, or a Banana-Rama Coffee Milkshake!! I think I could just eat off of Lynsey's blog for the next month or two and that would be just fine with me.


Open Faced Bacon, Avocado, and Egg Sandwiches from Lynsey Lou's

Ingredients
6 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
2 eggs, fried over easy
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 small ripe tomato, thickly sliced
2 pieces thick cut bread, toasted and buttered
2-oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions
  1. Assemble sandwiches on a baking sheet.  Evenly divide the sliced avocado and place on the toasted bread, followed by the tomato slices, then with 3 slices of bacon (per sandwich) and gently lay the fried eggs on top of the bacon.  
  2. Lay the shredded cheese on top and place under a lo-broil in the oven for a minute or two, until cheese has melted.
My baby Lindsey



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sarah's Banana Bread Muffins



We just made these muffins this morning and I loved them so much I had to come share them! We are big muffin lovers around here (you can see my recipe index for verification). However, we haven't had a muffin recipe for awhile now. The last one I made (which was one I'd made before with good success) came out really badly and I wasn't happy with it at all (I'm pretty sure it was the frozen blueberries I was using, but either way - made me gun shy for awhile).


These banana bread tasting beauties are perfect. Simple ingredient list results in subtle, banana infused, tender, moist, and sweet muffins. Fresh from the oven they are absolutely perfect with a little bit of butter tucked in the middle to melt. My family ate all but 3 of the 14 muffins this recipe made for me just for breakfast! My 19-month old loved, loved, loved them too and that's what she pointed at when it was snack time this afternoon. You could certainly cut the sugar back to 1/2 or 3/4 cup if you don't want a sweet muffin, or just to save on calories. I don't think you'd miss it much.

Next time I will add a sprinkle of diced nuts to the top of the batter before baking in addition to the nuts mixed in - I thought they needed a little more "crunch". Otherwise these were wonderful just as written!


I received a 3-pack of bamboo cutting boards which I used to take pictures of these muffins on today - they are a terrific value and we've been getting a lot of use out of them! Easy to clean, and the three sizes come in very handy. I have used the small one very frequently to dice up fruit for Lindsey's meal times, and the larger ones are perfect for dinner time; slicing up veggies for casseroles, soups, sauteing, salads, etc.

Sarah's Banana Bread Muffins 

from Sarah on AllRecipes

Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place muffin cups in muffin tin, or grease with a little butter (I used Baker's Joy spray).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend sugar, oil, and egg until creamy and light yellow. Add the bananas and blend until batter is mostly smooth, with just a few lumps from the banana. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and blend until completely smooth. Stir in the nuts. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.
  3. Bake for 22 - 30 minutes, until toothpick poked in center muffin comes out clean.


*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product for the purpose of review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tons of Summer Popsicle Recipes

I wanted to share a tested out recipe with you today, but since I still haven't gotten around to it, I'll post a round up of summer popsicles instead! I can't wait to give some (ALL?!) of these a try this summer!!


I'm sure I could keep listing more, and more, and more out - because there are every type of recipe out there you can imagine for yummy summer popsicles; frozen fruit treats, creamy dreamy yogurt and ice cream based treats, cookies added in, gummy bears, chopped, diced or even whole fruit - the options are completely endless!

I received the popsicle molds linked below via Tomoson to test out and can't wait to put them to really, really good use now that the weather is warming up!





Festive Holiday Rice Casserole


I was sent some Uncle Ben's rice products to create a custom recipe with for the AllRecipes Ambassador program this year and decided to work with the original rice for this dish. I decided to go with a yummy rice casserole dish - those always seem to go over well with my family. I thought some green and red vegetables would give it some "holiday festiveness"!


We taste tested when this came out of the oven initially and we decided some cheese would be a good addition - so a cracker topping with cheese was sprinkled over the top.

Either way - with or without the cracker topping, this is a deliciously seasoned rice dish. The butter and flavor from the spices work perfectly with the Uncle Ben's rice to make a tasty and filling side dish. We thought throwing in some diced chicken would make a PERFECT one-dish meal as well (but we ate all the rice in one sitting, so we'll have to test that theory out at another time).


Festive Holiday Rice Casserole (an original Rebekah Hills recipe)

Ingredients
2 TBS butter
1 cup Uncle Ben’s original rice
2 ¼ cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper (more to taste)
9 Ritz crackers, crushed
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat on the stove top and add butter. Sauté diced bell pepper and celery for about 5 minutes, then add in the rice. Stir to coat rice and butter and cook for another minute.
  3. Add water and seasonings; stir to blend and bring to a simmer. As soon as water begins to bubble, turn off heat, put the lid of the Dutch oven on and place in the preheated oven.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, remove lid and stir the rice dish. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the rice and add the crushed crackers evenly over the top.
  5. Return the pot to the oven for 10 minutes (without the lid), or until cheese has melted and crackers are lightly toasted.
  6. Serve immediately.

DISCLAIMER: I am an Allrecipes Allstar brand ambassador (a voluntary position) and I am not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertisers are only used for experienced-based reviews on Making Miracles. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Rebekah. To learn more about the Allrecipes Allstars program visit Allrecipes Allstars.








Monday, April 20, 2015

GS Journey ~ Your Pregnancy: 6 Weeks (and Beta Update)

 

How Q and Y's baby is growing:
This week's major developments: The nose, mouth, and ears that you'll spend so much time kissing in eight months are beginning to take shape. If you could see into your uterus, you'd find an oversize head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils are starting to form. His emerging ears are marked by small depressions on the sides of the head, and his arms and legs by protruding buds. His heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute — almost twice as fast as yours — and blood is beginning to course through his body. His intestines are developing, and the bud of tissue that will give rise to his lungs has appeared. His pituitary gland is forming, as are the rest of his brain, muscles, and bones. Right now, your baby is a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a lentil.
GS #3 6 Weeks Pregnant
GS#2 6 Weeks Pregnant

It is a funny thing, going back and rereading my words from my previous GS pregnancies. So many things that are practically identical to how I'm feeling at the same point in my current pregnancy. This pregnancy (symptoms wise) is more on par with how I felt with the twins in terms of the symptoms coming and going, and the increased hunger. I'm not used to getting so hungry so early on, but that's how things are shaping up this round. I don't eat a ton more then I used to, I'm just needing more frequent small meals / snacks. I'm already having to pack my lunch box very differently then I was a week or two ago. An apple or orange, cheese stick, yogurt, cottage cheese with pineapples, and a Luna bar are often the snacks that disappear during the day after a light breakfast and a light lunch. I just ate a breakfast sandwich not even an hour ago and can feel my stomach rumbling already.

I found myself completely wiped out over the weekend. I think I have completely forgotten how tired I get early on especially with all the hormones in my system for the surrogacy - I am used to pretty much being on the go, go, go on the weekends. Not anything stressful or fast paced, but up at 6:00 - 6:30 with Lindsey, fixing breakfast, cleaning something, straightening something, cleaning the floor, making lunch, going outside with Lindsey for a walk or to play, more food, more snacks, more cleaning. That's how we spend our days on the weekends; lots of kitchen time, cleaning up, and Lindsey time. This weekend, that normal routine totally bit me in the butt and I couldn't keep up. Lindsey woke up extra early on Sunday (5:00am) and I got up with her at 5:30. By 10:00 I was a mess. I felt sick to my stomach I was so tired. Lindsey and I both went down for an early nap at 10:00 and I slept for a solid 2 hours before I started waking up; she slept for closer to 3 hours! We both needed it.

How many weeks today: 6w1d
How I am feeling: Tired, hungry, off and on queasiness / mouth watering. Most of the time ok though.
Cravings / aversions: Nothing in particular the past few days.
Baby: Size of a lentil
Baby Nickname: Passenger or Smalls

Here are the beta updates from last Thursday as well; numbers below from SMO for comparison:

19dp5dt
SINGLETON: 310, 497, 560, 1094, 1634, 3106, 3525, 4360, 5025.17, 12203, 13091
TWINS: 8610, 9000+, 9873, 12605, 14010, 15995, 21950, 39515
TRIPS: 8047, 12619, 16298

20dp5dt
SINGLETON: 2831, 3717, 4105, 6322, 6623, 10088, 10567, 23743
TWINS: 4870, 7100, 7648, 9674, 10996, 11063, 11170, 12166, 12032, 12725, 14320, 15385, 26999, 39937

21dp5dt
SINGLETON: 1275, 1423, 3524, 7101, 7118, 7748, 13131, 13277, 15k+, 19256
TWINS: 2026, 14471, 18289, 45303

GS #4
10dp5dt 469
13dp5dt 2289 (doubled in 31.5 hours, or 1.3 days)
20dp5dt 18320 (doubled in 56 hours, or 2.3 days)




How does this compare to my previous surrogacies:

GS #3 (TWINS)
12dp3dt 605
14dp3dt 1183 (doubled in 49.6 hours or 2.1 days)
19dp3dt 9151 (doubled in 40.7 hours or 1.7 days)

GS #2 (SINGLETON)
12dp3dt 110
16dp3dt 519 (doubled in 42.9 hours or 1.8 days)
23dp3dt 5129 (doubled in 50.8 hours or 2.1 days)

GS #1 (SINGLETON)
12dp3dt 198.1
14dp3dt 388.5 (doubled in 49.5 hours or 2.1 days)
17dp3dt 1264 (doubled in 42.3 hours or 1.8 days)

The doubling time definitely slowed down into the singleton range, but the number is still very high up in the twin range. We have our first ultrasound tomorrow morning and can't wait to see how things look and if we can see a tiny heartbeat!




Sunday, April 19, 2015

No Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake


Craving something creamy, rich, peanut buttery and totally sweet-tooth satisfying? Then boy are you in the right place!! My son has been asking for peanut butter cheesecake ever since I made this recipe (he loved the layer of peanut butter cheesecake in there). I decided to appease the boy and give a no-bake cheesecake recipe a try.



I found the recipe linked below and adapted slightly to use a combination of Reese's and other PB candies I had on hand instead instead of mini Reese's bites.


The drizzly chocolate sauce on top is very pretty and a nice sweet touch to offset the richness of the cream cheese and savory flavor of the peanut butter.


Because I used M&M candies, the cheesecake was studded with little pockets of color from the different colored candy coatings!


This is a very rich and delicious peanut butter cheesecake - the Oreo crust is so yummy! I didn't have the full amount of Oreos but we made do with what I did have; it was a nice complement to the peanut butter filling. As you can see from my pictures, I used a pie plate and skipped the springfom pan. This was easier for me to store leftovers in the refrigerator (with just some cling wrap over the top).

No Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Life, Love, and Sugar
Yield: 9 inch cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust
2 1/2 cups Oreo crumbs
5 tbsp butter, melted

Filling
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup mixed peanut butter candies (PB M&Ms, Peanut Butter M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, PB Chips, etc.)
8-oz Cool Whip (or 1 cup whipping cream beat with 1/2 cup powdered sugar until whipped cream is formed)
chocolate sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine Oreo crumbs with melted butter.
  2. Press crumbs into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set in refrigerator to firm.
  3. Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter together in a large bowl until smooth and well combined.
  4. Gently stir in the Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream).
  5. Add about half of the chopped Reese's and stir until combined.
  6. Pour filling into crust and smooth the top.
  7. Refrigerate for about 4-6 hours or until firm.
  8. Remove cheesecake from springform pan and top with remaining chopped Reese's and chocolate sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.





Saturday, April 18, 2015

Snugg Organic Toddler Pillow #Review


If you want to learn more about natural latex as a premium filler option for children's pillow's, please visit Snugg Organic Pillow's website. There is a bunch of great information available!


I was given the opportunity to review a toddler pillow for Lindsey and was excited to receive it and open it up for her - I knew she would love it. Lindsey is 19 months and still in her crib so not ready for a pillow at night yet, but boy is my baby a snuggler who loves using her stuffed animals as pillows in her playroom all the time!


Kenneth usually spends at least a half hour cuddling with her in her room in the mornings while she wakes up, and one or both of us usually spend at least a half hour with her in the afternoon / evening when she's settling down and getting tired. She loves to cuddle on anything soft and snuggly. This pillow is certainly no exception.


There are a lot of great things to love about this pillow - I love that it's hypoallergenic, and comes with a snugg case that can be removed and washed when needed, and the consistency reminds me of memory foam. It is very comfortable. My teenager likes it so much, he wants to steal it from Lindsey!

Product Information:

  • 100% latex filling
  • Premium Shredded Latex filling
  • Perfect larger size for your growing child which means you will get years of use from your pillow
  • Hypoallergenic - repels dust mites, the best choice for all children especially children with sensitive respiratory systems like asthma and allergy sufferers
  • Machine washable outer casing
  • This pillow comes WITH a SNUGG CASE so you don't need to spend any extra or make do with a poor fitting case that doesn't fit properly




Slow-Roasted Beef for Sandwiches


This recipe is ah-ma-zing. I think today is the third time I've made this one. I have no idea what cut of beef roast I use, so feel free to use whatever you have and it will probably come out just fine. The secret with this one is to use the meat probe and make sure to follow the instructions about temperature. My roasts seem to take about an hour, depending on if they're fully thawed or not. But every time they come out deliciously flavorful and the PERFECT texture / consistency in the middle.

Slice it and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy for a traditional roast recipe, or slice thinly and serve on buns for an amazing sandwich (which is typically how we serve ours)! If you are using this at lunch meat, make sure it is sliced as thinly as you can get it - because it is still somewhat pink in the middle it's not super tender if cut thickly which can make it difficult to bite through.Yumm!

Slow-Roasted Beef for Sandwiches from bd.weld on AllRecipes

Ingredients
1 (3.5 pound) beef eye of round roast
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions
  1. Season all sides of beef roast evenly with garlic salt; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 18 to 24 hours.
  2. Place rack in middle position of oven and preheat to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).
  3. Pat roast dry with paper towel and rub with 2 teaspoons canola oil; season with black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until small wisps of smoke rise from the oil. Brown the roast completely, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer roast to a rack set into a roasting pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a meat probe thermometer or instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) for medium-rare, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours.
  5. Turn oven off and leave roast in oven without opening door until meat probe thermometer reads 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for medium-rare, 30 to 50 more minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing thin.