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Viva Vantage Stretch and Strength #review #sponsored

Posted August 21, 2014 By dealinanddishin

Full disclosure: this article is financially supported by Viva

I went to Wal-mart to buy my Viva Vantage with V Flex Weave. I was impressed that it costs what I spending already, but had the added feature the Choose-A-Size. I hate wasting paper towels, especially how we can got through them.VivaVantage

Why do I use so many??

I have two kids and a husband who all have a variety of food drips and spills. Usually on my freshly vacuumed carpet!

Then I have these three crazies.CrazyCats Between hair balls, “oops” on the floor, or messy eating they use a good portion of paper towels.

How can you be mad with this face looking at you? She fell in love with Viva Vantage before I could even try it,VivaVantageKitty but got it taken away when this happened, which I guess I should add to my list above! nomorevivakitty

I decided I would try the stretch test with my Viva Vantage V Flex Weave.
First I looked at the V Flex Weave, which is easy to see. You do have stretch when you pull on it. I like the weave for more scrubbing ability.VFlexWeave

I took one small piece, got it wet and wrung out. I put it on top of a tall milkshake glass. I had to hold the edges to keep it from sliding in when I placed the raw egg on top. There is issue.
Stretchprep raweggEggontop

Then I thought..sure I say I got it wet, but do you really know I did??

So I went to the kitchen sink (ignore any mess you see or sounds you hear) and made a little video with my phone showing me putting even more water on, and still the egg did not move. I put it back in the refrigerator!

Here is a pic after water

Learn more about Viva Vantage with V Flex Weave at Walmart!

Who or what are your mess makers?

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LEGO Fusion Sets Available Now

Posted August 17, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I’ve been watching the Lego site, and today got the email that some of the LEGO Fusion sets are available!! My son’s birthday is this month, but I’m planning to get one for him and one for his sister for Christmas.

I have never tried them, and just know what I have seen from the LEGO site. You get bricks to build and use within “A compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet”($34.99). There are trial games available for download in the iTunes app store, Google Play, Amazon, and Samsung depending on what device you are using.

To get the best deal: Use Swagbucks (Sign Up Here)to earn 2 points per dollar spent at LEGO site. Make sure you are a LEGO VIP member. You earn 1 point per $1 spent, and for every 100 points receive $5 to use online. Points can be earned online and in-store, and redeemed online, in store, or by phone (not at LEGOLAND stores or Discovery Centers).

There are four different ones:

LEGO Fusion Battle Towers
icon (Buying this one for my son)


LEGO Fusion Town Master


LEGO Fusion Create And Race


LEGO Fusion Resort Designer
icon Coming Soon (I’m waiting for this one for my daughter!)

ResortDesigner(Post contains Affiliate links)

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Stop Obsessing Over The Scale

Posted August 9, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I have been trying to lose weight for probably 4 years now. I did great the first time and lost 30 lbs.
—-then—-burnout hit and I gained 20 lbs. back very fast. And that began a process of up and down.
I have never gotten back to my highest non-pregnancy weight of 190, but I never get to my ideal.

Then last week I busted my ass going to the gym, exercising at home, and watching what I eat. So what happens? I gain 3 lbs.

What the hell?!?

That sorta sent me into a bit of spiral. I’m so over this.

I’m 38 years old and I weigh around 170 lbs. Do I want to obsess over 10-15 lbs. until I am 80?? Hell no!! It is hitting me more and more each day how short time is, and I don’t want to be unhappy so much over this.

I truly enjoy the gym and exercising, but stressing about workouts, food, and where I can or can’t eat (or what I can or can’t eat). I don’t want to live like that.

The more stress I feel the harder it seems to be to lose anything. I am refusing to use the scale anymore. I can’t deal with looking at the numbers and what they do to my mood.

Now is the time for me to Stop Obsessing Over The Scale! I will workout like before, watch what I eat, but have treats (or a beer) when I want, but now it has to be about feeling good (and for my clothes to fit better!)

I’m having some withdrawals with wanting to weigh, but I’m holding out and have a great friend to support me!

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Photo Scavenger Hunt

Posted August 8, 2014 By dealinanddishin


We had a Cub Scout trip to Squire Boone Caverns (Corydon, IN) for our Webelos II to earn their Geology and Forestry activity pins.

This is a very long day! The place is around 2 hours away plus in a time zone an hour ahead of us. The first class started at 10 am and lasted two hours, followed by lunch, then another two hour class, and then a cave tour!

My husband and daughter (6 year old) came along. We went two years ago as well, and she loved exploring the shops there and gem mining, candle dipping, etc. That time though we didn’t take both classes so this was going to be a little different.

She got a camera for Christmas (resale shop find) and loves taking pictures. I thought it would be fun to have a Photo Scavenger Hunt. I wanted to have a visual list for her, but forgot to make one. I now have one in .PDF form for you to print for yourself. It isn’t anything fancy, but helps give a visual to the written word for those who aren’t reading a lot yet. Photo Scavenger Hunt List

The categories were: Building, Rock, Flower, Living Thing (now Animal, which includes people), Tree, and Water. The great part is you can change the categories, write them on a scrap piece of paper if you were out, or just wing it completely!

She was so excited about this game. I was very thankful for that, because by the end of lunch she was “bored” and had already made her candle, mined for gems, etc.

We roamed around for probably an hour finding the right things to take pictures of. I did the hunt with her as well.

Here are our finds:

My daughter’s pictures (had to help with the flower one for focus)
Here are mine:
Some pictures were combos, like the cat is actually for building. It was fun to see her be creative, and she really had fun. I think we will have to do this again. It could be a good way to learn about the world around you.

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Tag Pillow Tutorial

Posted August 3, 2014 By dealinanddishin


Looking for a sewing project and thought of another toy for the cats. I don’t have small cats, and they need a bigger toy to kick and bite on. This was going to be a catnip one (of course..they are little “nip heads”). Then to dress it up add ribbon tags on the side.

This is really easy to do, but turns out so cute! You can follow this tutorial to make a regular pillow, add ribbon tails, or loops to sewn items too.

Decide what size you of pillow you are making. I wanted a rectangular one so I cut a square, then cut it in half and was ready to go. Otherwise cut two equal sizes of fabric. This is fleece that we are using today. Why fleece? It has many colors, is durable, doesn’t fray, and fairly inexpensive.


Pick out the ribbons you would like to use. I mainly used satin type (very inexpensive and on sale often). Ribbon frays..big time! I have this ribbon cutter by Imaginisce. Best thing I have bought!! It takes 4 AA batteries, has a wire that heats up and melts the end of the ribbon as it cuts it.


After you get your ribbons cut (I did random sizes for fun.) place them on the “right side” of the fabric and pin in place. “Right side” is the side you want shown when the project is finished.

Lay the two pieces “right sides” together and sew around three sides. Take out the pins, stuff with cotton (and catnip if you are making it for your kitty friends), and then you can either machine sew the opening or hand stitch.SewandFlipCollage I buy Poly-fil in a big box and keep it in a bag with a clip to keep it clean.
I buy catnip at my local department or pet store.
I chose machine sewing to make it sturdier, which would be good if for a pet or child.TagPillow

A hit with the cats (sharing isn’t their strong suit).

(post contains affiliate links but original ideas)

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Snow Cones with the Ninja Blender

Posted August 1, 2014 By dealinanddishin

The husband was up quite a few late nights and kept seeing infomercials for the Ninja. His reason for buying, “It makes ice into snow!” Okay…whatever. I ended up getting it for him (and me)for Christmas , because he is the hardest person to shop for.  I got the one with the food processor attachment, since my own food processor was falling apart.  It also had a two travel blender cups you can use on it. I bought the small chopper as well. Wish I had known there was one that had something like that as an attachment too.

I have used the Ninja blender, processor, and chopper quite a few times, and am loving it! I use it when preparing onions to freeze, make Cherry Delight, smoothies, and now snow cones. My daughter kept asking about Snow Cones, so we finally made them a couple weeks ago for our sleepover.

I made my own Snow Cone Syrup with Kool Aid (see recipe here)..yum!

I got out the Ninja and filled it up with ice. (Note to self:warn those around you when you are going to hit the button. It will be loud, and scare the cat big time!)

Check out what you get after blending for a bit.
NinjaIce It really does turn ice to snow!! There were a few small chunks of ice. I didn’t want to over blend and melt it, and I may have filled it a little too much. We had way more ice than we needed for three of us.

Put some ice in a bowl, cup, or whatever you like Add syrup and ready to enjoy, and it was yummy!!! Will definitely make these again.


(post contains affiliate links)

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Kool Aid Snow Cone Syrup Recipe

Posted July 31, 2014 By dealinanddishin

My daughter had been wanting to make Snow Cones for a while now. We had a little family sleepover and did just that with our Ninja!

Finding Snow Cone syrup was surprisingly difficulty to find. I would find a flavor or two at Wal-mart, and thought Target had them. Agreeing on flavors was the next issue, and to buy 3 or more bottles at about $3 a pop I didn’t want to spend a bunch for something we don’t do a lot.

Oh Yeah!

Oh Yeah!

I had seen people talk about making their own syrup with Kool-Aid. When you have kids there is a great chance you have Kool-Aid in your house. Another staple in your pantry is sugar. With those two you are ready to make some snow cone syrup! What’s the third ingredient? Easy…water! So you can make your own syrup for under a $1 since Kool-Aid cost 25¢ and Sugar you have or buy a 4 lbs. bag for $2-$3 (can’t figure up how much a cup of water will cost you).

What we are making is a called a Simple Syrup. This one we are making is not a thick one, but can be if you cook it longer to reduce the water content.

Kool-Aid Snow Cone Syrup


1 Kool-Aid Packet
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Water


Combine the Sugar and Water in a pan and heat on the stove. Stir and heat until the sugar completely dissolves. You can add the Kool-Aid during this process or at the end. I did it both ways and didn’t notice a difference. It is easier to see that the sugar is dissolved if you wait on added the colored Kool-Aid. The longer you cook it the thicker it will become. Do watch for scorching. Sugar can burn, and that will not taste good later.
I went for a thinner syrup, which is more what Snow Cone syrup is like. Each batch made about 1 1/2 cups of syrup.
KoolAidSnowConeSyrupCollage2(post contains affiliate links)

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As a Purex Insider I received the  supplies photographed to make a Celebrate Party Hat Card and a Best Day Ever Treat Bag. KitsSuppliedI also was given a Celebra’tions Many Words Clear Polymer Stamp Set to give away to my readers.CelebrationsStamp

Spellbinders Celebra’tions Collection is a complete line of papers, inks, stamps, dies, and embellishments.  The line was designed by Richard Garay inspired by his own passion for paper crafts. Everything is coordinated to make a cheerful creations.

I consider myself a crafty person for the most part, but where I lack is in paper crafts. I recently started scrapbooking, and slowly am getting the hang of doing more than just photos on a page.  I have friends who make cards, gift tags, bags, etc. I don’t “get” how to do that. I enjoyed getting these supplies to try and see how it is done. I learned some things as well.

I started with the Best Day Ever Treat Bag.BestDayEverTreatBagInstructions

Best Day Ever Treat Bag


I put out my supplies plus grabbed some scissors and a glue stick. The thing I learned was using a stamp on two different colors then cutting out a piece of one to glue to the other. Like you can see the you cut the purple out to put on the orange. Then you added another stamped paper on top. I never think of layering.

I think mine turned out really good, and I love the tags. That is something I have wanted to make. How dressed up a brown paper bag can be.


Then I went on to make the Celebrate Party Hat Card. My 6 year old came in to help with this task.

Celebrate Party Hat Card

This was really easy to make, and turned out really cute. The flower is my favorite part of this one. My daughter liked the sequins and the flower.
Overall it was a successful paper crafting experience!
Now if you would like to win a Spellbinders Celebra’tions Many Words Polymer Stamp Set (Open to US Residents 18 and older) enter on the Rafflecopter form below. I took a picture of the stamps out of the package for you to see what exactly you would receive.
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Foil Pack Meals

Posted July 22, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I got my first taste of foil pack meals or as some call them “Hobo Meals” at our Webelos Campout. I have tried them at home in the firepit we built over Memorial Day and they’ve been a hit with my husbands, parents, and kids!!

Why do I love them?

1. Customizable. It is so easy for each person to adjust their pack to their own tastes.

2. No hot kitchen. In the Summer with the A/C running I hate to heat up the house with the oven.

3. Sit and cook. Once your pack is done and on the coals you are basically done until time to open them.

4. Clean up is a snap. There are no pots, pans, or skillets to wash up.

Foil Pack Burgers

Heavy Duty Foil (2 pieces per pack)
Nonstick Cooking Spray
Hamburger Patties
Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes (I used diced kind without coating, but have also used the frozen tater rounds (flat tater tots). The husband liked the tater rounds better.)
Canned Condensed Cream Soup ( I used is Cream of Onion. At our campout they had Cream of Mushroom, but I thought onions would be a better flavor.)
Seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Taco Seasoning, etc.)
Veggies (Raw veggies like carrots and cauliflower work well)FoilPackIngredients

Start your charcoals so they are done burning and white when you get the packs ready. I use a charcoal chimney to get mine lit (plus lighter fluid since my charcoal won’t light for anything!)

Watch this animation of how they are made.

Get all your foil pieces ready. It is better to have them a little larger for easier wrapping. I would the normal width but about 18” long. Lay down the foil. Spray with your nonstick cooking spray. Put a layer of potatoes down (I used a ½ cup).Potatoes Put the hamburger patty down.
HamburgerPattyAdd some more potatoes on top. PotatoesLayerTwoPut on a dollop of condensed soup and seasonings.
SoupWrap up your foil. WrapWithFoilIf you need to keep track of whose is whose use a Sharpie and write initials on this pack. Rotate the pack and wrap in another sheet of foil. Lay on hot coals. Rotate about halfway through.

Plan about 60 minutes for them to cook. This all depends on if the patties are raw or frozen. Mine were not frozen so they took closer to 40 minutes. I could smell them cooking that helped me tell. The hardest part is not being able to easily check the temperature. To check carefully unwrap one and see how it looks. You can refold it if needed to cook longer.OpenPacks

When done unwrap and serve! My daughter had hers on a bun with cheese. I chopped mine up and ate it with the potatoes and some chips. The hamburger was super tender and didn’t taste like a burger. It wasn’t quite up to a steak, but it was than a regular burger.



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Secrets of Being a Woman with Poise #sponsored

Posted July 18, 2014 By dealinanddishin

PoiseLogo Full disclosure: this article is financially supported by Poise

Being a woman, having children, and getting older have made me less embarrassed about all the little things that come along with that. You need your girlfriends to talk to about these experiences. It always feels better to know you are not alone. Today I am your girlfriend, and I’m going to share things I normally would only with my friends.

Motherhood for sure changed my outlook on what was considered embarrassing. Once you have been through all the exams at the doctor’s office and who knows how many people at your feet while you are in labor. You lose a lot of your shyness!

Here are some of these secrets that you may be too embarrassed to talk about.

#1 You have periods! This is not shocking news, but growing up it was something I hid. I was so embarrassed about the idea of being “on the rag” and anyone knowing I had to go change my pad. There is no reason to be embarrassed by this, and some months you will be overjoyed when it shows up and the PMS stops!!

#2: PMS is real! We don’t make this up to act like witches for a week a month. We feel hormonal and switch between wanting to cry and wanting to scream. We gain weight and eat nonstop. It is not enjoyable. I was so sad yesterday about a moth that I found in a bucket of water. Not sure if it was going to live, but couldn’t bare to kill it. My husband looks at me like I’m crazy (perhaps I am a little bit)

#3 You will find hairs where you don’t want them. They will pop up on your upper lip, chin, and sometimes chest (This was one I was very surprised to learn!). Invest in tweezers.

#4 Last, but definitely not least. Sometimes you leak! Somedays you feel leaky or you cough a little too hard, sneeze a little too much, and the bladder let’s loose a little bit.

I will admit to having experienced all of these, and would bet any grown women (especially those who have kids have had kids) have experienced all of these as well! Light bladder leakage hit me when I was pregnant. The weight of a baby pushing on your bladder does a number on you. Afterwards, it hasn’t been bad, but if can get questionable when I am sick and coughing a lot (or like yesterday an unexpected sneeze!)

“One in three women experience Light Bladder Leakage (LBL), which can be triggered by everyday occurrences like coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. “

I can’t help with the periods, PMS, hair, and all that, but I can offer you a suggestion on dealing with LBL. Poise has come out with Poise Microliners. Here is some information about Poise Microliners.

“These shockingly thin and surprisingly absorbent liners feature SAM (Super Absorbent Material) to provide discreet Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) protection that helps keep you dry and comfortable all day long so you can manage life’s little leaks with confidence. Poise Microliners are the thinnest liners in the light incontinence category and are designed to absorb wetness, neutralize odor and stay three times drier than period liners.”

To try Poise for yourself request a Poise Liner Free Sample Kit
Sample Kit

They are sold at stores with the other Poise products. I found mine at our local Schnucks grocery store in the Feminine Care Aisle.

Learn more about Poise on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

Many thanks to Poise for sponsoring today’s story, and keeping me confident!

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