Free E-Books!

mf809.jpgIf one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, eat better, and get healthy, here are a few awesome free e-books from Amazon. Remember, prices on Amazon can fluctuate- so it may not be free for long!

 

Talk Back: What is your favorite healthy snack?

Advertisements

2019 Upcoming Clothing Swaps!

IMG_4703

It’s that time again- Clean out the closets and dressers and get swapping! I love clothing swaps- it’s a great way to get gently worn clothes and other goods (I love looking for linens and new accessories), and get rid of the clothing your kids have outgrown.

The Skyline Swap is scheduled for March 30, 2019. I’ve got it in my calendar and I’ve started the bag of clothes to swap! It costs $2.00 to get in, kids under 12 are free.

Naomi’s Closet is located in Santee, and they provide clothing and toiletries to women in need.

The Sonrise Church in Santee has a clothing swap too! One for kids clothes, and another for women’s clothing. Miss Charity’s Closet & Little Blessings Boutique 2nd Saturday of every month at 9:00 am Contact Charity Murphy for more info clmurphy71@gmail.com

Not strictly clothing related, there is the San Diego Really, Really Free Market. They also meet about once a quarter in various areas around town.

Also not strictly Clothing Related, but one of my favorite give back orgs is the Buy Nothing Project. There are chapters all over the US, and we have a few here in San Diego.

If you are looking for a group that hosts clothing swaps more frequently, check it out the Thread Bumpin’ Meet up Group. They host a monthly swap in OB area.

Trendy Trade hosts events all over the West Coast at various times throughout the year.

Don’t forget Freecycle. Do a quick google search for Clothing swap + the name of your city.

And Finally, the Closet of 54th isn’t a clothing swap per se, but they do help those in need with new to them clothes. They are open once a few times each month. You can find them on Facebook. They are located at the Calvary Lutheran Church, 3060 54th Street, San Diego, CA. Contact The Closet at thecloseton54th@gmail.com.

 

Talk Back:  I’d love to hear about other San Diego area clothing swaps that you know of! Favorite swaps and/or what your best score has been!

DIY Tutorial: Bathbombs!

Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 9.10.51 PM.png
They turned out pretty good!

In my goodie bag from Wow Summit a few months ago, we all received CBD oil balm from +CBDOil, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. It has a coconut oil base, so for me it was too greasy to use as a topical pain relief (I hate having greasy skin, and stuff like Tiger Balm and Ben Gay make my skin crawl). I had been using it as lip balm, but really, I didn’t need that much lip balm.

 

I have a few books on making your own beauty products, so I looked for a recipe for bath balms, as I seemed to recall that they called for oil to bind the other ingredients. I also did a quick internet search. I took 5 recipes and sort of Frankensteined together a really good recipe.

Most of these ingredients you have in your pantry already. Citric Acid (also called sour salt) can be purchased at Sprouts or whole foods in the bulk section, or in a grocery store with a large Jewish Food section. Or, of course… There is Amazon.

I weighed my dry ingredients using a food scale, so these measurements are by weight.

Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 9.11.00 PM.png

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces (by weight) Baking Soda
  • 2 ounces (by weight) Corn Starch
  • 2 ounces (by weight)  Citric Acid
  • 2 ounces (by weight) Salt (You can use Epsom salt, table salt, or Kosher salt)
  • 2 T. Water (more or less make be needed depending on the weather conditions at the time you make the bath bombs)
  • 1 T. +CBDOil Balm (it has peppermint oil in it, so I opted to add no additional essential oil)
  • Optional (but fun): natural food coloring. I used Watkins. Start with a few drops and add more until you get the color you want.

 

Directions:

  1. In a glass bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Add balm, and stir until it starts to clump.
  3. Slowly add water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Add food coloring and stir.
  5. You can either use bath bomb molds like these, but I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup. I packed the cup, let it sit for a few minutes, invert, and gently tap the bottom of the cup until the bomb releases.
  6. Let them sit overnight before using.
Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 9.19.31 PM.png
The Finished product, waiting to cure overnight. 

This recipe makes 4-6 bath bombs, depending on how big you make them.

If you don’t want to use CBD Oil, you can substitute coconut oil, and add in 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil.

A few of my favorite Essential Oil Combinations include:

  • Lavender and Vanilla
  • Orange and Clove
  • Rose and Almond

Talk Back: Have you ever made bath bombs? Did you like it?

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner Party Idea: DIY Ramen Potluck!

file5741236529320.jpg

We love to entertain. Dinner parties are a great way to have friends over to hang out and enjoy a good meal without breaking the budget.

We also love Ramen- not Top Ramen, but delicious, mouthwatering, tempting noodles, velvety broth, veggies, and soft boiled eggs. Doing a Ramen potluck is great way to try out new flavors that you may have never thought of.

In doing research for this article, I found out that there are so many ramen toppings and ingredients that I had never heard of (like corn, which you can see in the picture above). So some of the ingredients listed below may not make it into your potluck, but know that somewhere out there there is someone putting it on/in their ramen.

The host can provide the broth. As far as ramen broths, there are lots of options. I like Tonkatsu, which is pork and chicken based. Here is a great recipe.  Not interested in making it from scratch? You can buy Tonkatsu broth concentrate on Amazon.

If you are vegan, Ocean’s Halo makes a great seaweed based ramen broth. Miso is also a popular ramen soup base (Ocean’s Halo also makes great miso, pho, and veggie broth). We usually try to have two big pots of broth to choose from.

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 9.26.13 AM.pngAs far as noodles, you can get regular ramen noodles at any Asian grocery store (or most 99 Cents Only locations). I’m not talking about the kind that come in a little bag with a pouch of salty broth, those are fried so they cook super fast and aren’t really all that healthy.

I like the Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen from Lotus Foods. As a bonus these are gluten free and have protein in them. Our local Costco sells large packages, which is great for parties.

Some people like Soba noodles (thick buckwheat noodles), and some people like zoodles (the spiral cut zucchini “noodles”).

Now that you’ve got broth and noodles down, it’s time to get creative with toppings! Here are just a few ideas for guests to bring:

  • Eggs: I love a good soft-boiled egg on my ramen.
  • Scallions/green onions
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Seaweed/Nori sheets
  • Canned Bamboo shoots (they will need to be rinsed and probably sliced to made bite-sized.
  • Corn Kernels (defrosted frozen, fresh, or canned with no salt- drained and rinsed).
  • Mayu/Black Garlic Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Chili Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Fish Sauce
  • Kimchi
  • Fried Tofu
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sliced fresh Jalapeños
  • Fried or pan steamed Gyoza
  • Roasted /braised slices of pork (fattier cuts of pork are great in ramen)
  • Cooked Shrimp (I can’t really give you any other suggestions on cooking/serving, I’m allergic to shellfish)
  • Fish Cakes (available at your local Asian Market)
  • Bok Choy
  • Mushrooms (Sliced shiitakes are nice, as are enoki)

And some people like rice as a side to their ramen. I prefer sticky rice, it’s easier to eat with chopsticks.

If you’ve got friends that don’t cook, don’t forget you’ll need chopsticks, bowls, spoons, and beverages.

Talk Back: What is your favorite type of Ramen? 

Kiddolab Toys and Win a Trip to DisneyWorld!

Recently the cool people over at Kiddo Labs asked me to review a product from their website. Uh, yeah! I love reviewing toys!

unnamed-1.jpg

KiddoLab is a new brand which supports the initiative to provide babies with a solid foundation for the development of early skills during play. I love that all of the toys are made in vibrant colors with interesting textures and lights and/or sounds.

Screen Shot 2018-12-22 at 5.44.31 PM.pngI chose the 2-in-1 Activity Center, which features:

  • AN OCEAN OF FUN CHARACTERS: This interactive activity center is decorated with adorable sea creatures including a fish, turtle, clam, crab, and starfish.
  • A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES: More than just a toy piano, all of the fun ocean creatures double as activities of their own; a click-clack fish, a rattle spinner, a sliding star, a push-down squeaker and a baby-safe mirror.
  • LIGHT-UP PIANO KEYS: Three big, brightly colored light-up piano keys are easy to press for little fingers. Intended for ages nine months plus.
  • TWO MUSICAL MODES: Loaded with cheerful music to entertain babies and toddlers, you can choose between free play and tunes to play along with.
  • ATTACHES TO YOUR CRIB: This activity table boasts detachable legs and can then be easily attached to your infant’s crib.

I set it up, added batteries and let Margaret go to town. She played with it for about 20 minutes. She had a great time.  What I like it that it’s easy to set up and change to attach to a crib. The sounds aren’t high-pitched or tinny, so listening to the sounds wasn’t like most baby/kid toys (parents- you know what I’m talking about!). I love that it’s a toy that can grow with your child. The crib straps and the legs are both easy to install and remove.

Right now, Kiddo Labs is offering my readers a a 25% discount with coupon code: TTPM25  To get started, visit Kiddolab here.

Oh, and it gets better. Not only does Kiddo Labs have great, fun toys for your littles, right now they are giving away a vacation to Disney World. Visit their website to learn more.

 

Thanks so much to Kiddo Labs for the fun toy! All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for my review. Please see my Disclosure Page for more information about reviews.

Smallfoot Dvd/BluRay Giveaway!

Smallfoot 3D.JPEG

We recently received an advance copy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s film Smallfoot.

It was so cute! If you are looking for a cute family movie to watch this holiday season, Smallfoot is perfect! And you are in luck, because today, December 4, “Smallfoot” will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On December 11, “Smallfoot” will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

If you are like us and love the Dvd/BluRay/Digital combo pack, that will be released on December 11, 2018.

Smallfoot is an animated adventure for all ages, with fun new music by Zendaya & Common and featuring an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti (Channing Tatum) finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human! News of the “smallfoot,” Percy (James Corden), throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village.  This is an epic story about friendship and courage!

BLU-RAY ELEMENTS

“Smallfoot” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

  • Yeti Set Go Sing-Along – Sing-Along, fun facts and much more!
  • “Super Soozie” Mini Movie – Custom animation featuring the yeti toddler, Soozie.
  • Migo in The Secret of the Yeti Stones – Featurette featuring Channing Tatum
  • Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot – The making of Smallfoot
  • Nial Horran “Finally Free” Music Video
  • Cyn “Moment of Truth” Music Video
  • “Wonderful Life: In 28 Languages, Sung Around the World” Music Video
  • Theatrical promos

“Smallfoot” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot

I am so excited to give away a copy of Smallfoot to one reader! Entering is easy: Just leave a comment on this post- What is your favorite holiday tradition? Looking at Christmas lights, caroling, a special family meal, midnight mass, ugly sweaters?

I’ll chose one winner on 12/10/18 and notify the winner via email and will be shipped directly to the winner by the giveaway sponsor.

11/9/18 Freebie Friday Round-up!

8101f95433a1458fa8c2371f3b11b849It’s that time again- Time for a Freebie Roundup!

Here are just a few of my favorites!

Samples/Goodies

Magazines

Free Events /Free Food