Friday, October 31, 2014

Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen #98: Raddish Kids Picnic Dinner

Time for Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen
(A weekly linky to share what you and your children have created in the kitchen.)


The linky is at the bottom.

 A couple of months ago I celebrated my 5 Year Blogiversary and hosted a Back to School Giveaway. One of the products that I received for review was a Pack-Me-a-Picnic cooking box from Raddish Kids. At the time my Sponsor Spotlight went live, I was unable to get all the ingredients to make the recipes that were in the box. We finally had a chance to make the recipes and have our Picnic Dinner a few weeks ago and I wanted to share about it here on Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen.

I feel the Raddish Cooking Kits and Subscriptions are a great way to encourage time with mom (or dad) in the kitchen. You can check out my Sponsor Spotlight to see what all comes in the boxes. Right now I would like to share our experience with Raddish Kids.

We decided to take one Saturday afternoon and make all 3 dishes that came with our cooking box. We decided we would have a picnic dinner on the living room floor. We started out by making the Chunky Monkey Bars as we could then set them aside while we made the Polka Dot Orzo Salad and Backyard BBQ Chicken Wraps.

Chunky Monkey Bars:


1 1/4 cup dried banana chips
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (we took that to mean Rice Krispies)
4 Tbs butter (plus extra for greasing the pan)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

First we crushed the banana chips into fine pieces.

Then we combined the crushed banana chips, oats, and Rice Krispies in a large bowl and stirred them together.

The girls helped to make the syrup. We put the butter in a saucepan and melted it over medium heat. then we added the brown sugar and honey and stirred it slowly until it was combined. We brought the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and boiled for 2 minutes. Then we turned off the heat and added vanilla and cinnamon. We stirred it carefully.

Mommy poured the syrup into the bowl with the cereal/banana chip mixture. We stirred it well.

Then we added half of it to the 8x8 greased cake pan and spread it evenly. We sprinkled on half of the chocolate chips and repeated the layers.

Then we put foil on top of the pan (because we didn't have wax paper) and used our hands to press firmly. We set it in the freezer for 30 minutes while we started the salad.

The Polka Dot Orzo Salad was quite easy to make. 
We did substitute regular black olives for the Kalamata olives and grape tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes.

The older girls helped to cut the veggies (grape tomatoes, cucumber, and olives).

Hannah and I cooked up the orzo pasta.

Hannah and I also made the vinaigrette together.

When the orzo was done, I drained it and added it in with the vegetables. Then I added the cut up mozzarella and vinaigrette.

This was also set aside so we could make up the BBQ Chicken Wraps.

We used leftover chicken that I had cooked up in the crock pot the night before. The directions say to cook the chicken in the oven, however, I have always preferred my chicken in the crock pot because it comes out very tender. I didn't feel bad using this chicken, seeing as the guide suggests substituting a rotisserie chicken in the Kitchen Tips section. The chicken was shredded and mixed with barbecue sauce.

Then we made the crunchy slaw (my first time making coleslaw).

Hubby was able to find some matchstick cut carrots. We cut thin strips of 1/4 each green and red cabbage. Then we mixed them together with the carrots and made the dressing. It was then all mixed together.

To make the wraps I put a tortilla on a plate, added some slaw, added some chicken and topped it with cheese. The tortilla was then wrapped up and placed in the sandwich wrapper.

I cut them in half and arranged them on a plate.

Here are all three dishes. They paired very well for this picnic dinner.

Picnic Time!

The recipe guides from Raddish Kids are really easy to follow. They have detailed directions with illustrations to help guide children. I love the Kitchen Tips, Fun Bites, and Ingredient Spotlight sections on the back of the cards. 

Don't forget to check out my Sponsor Spotlight post for more details.

Do you have your children help you in the kitchen?  What lessons do they learn? Do you have any kid friendly recipes to share?
I'd love to see your posts, whether you have done something this week or some time in the past. Just link up below. This is a weekly linky.

I am linking up to:
PhotobucketMore the Merrier MondayFull Time Mama

Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Try a New Recipe Tuesday at Home to Four Kiddos
The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane
Friday Food Frenzy at Close to Home
Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs
Foodie Friends Friday at Robyn'sView
Family Fun Friday at Happy and Blessed Home
Find a New Recipe Friday at Almost Supermom

And here is my Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen linky

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil Review + Giveaway

I have been wanting to try more natural products in our home to get away from so many harsh chemicals that I know are not good for us. When the opportunity came to review the versatile Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil, I jumped at the chance. I received a 4 oz bottle along with a downloadable 78 page ebook titled "53 Uses For Tea Tree Oil."

What are the benefits of using Tea Tree Oil?

As you can see from the information above there are many uses for Tea Tree Oil. It can be used for household cleaning, skin care, hair care, health care, aromatherapy, and more. A major word of warning, Tea Tree Oil should never be ingested. Tea Tree Oil has three antimicrobial properties. "First it acts as an antifungal to get rid of basic fungal infections. Next it has anti-viral properties to help you fight off infections. Part of the anti-viral properties of tea tree oil includes its work as an anti-bacterial, which kills bacteria and prevents it from growing." 

What exactly is Tea Tree Oil? 

Tea Tree Oil is a pure oil that comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca Tree which is native to Australia. The aboriginal people have been using the leaves from this tree for centuries for healing wounds, helping with skin problems, and helping to treat such ailments as coughs and sore throats. In recent times technology has made it possible to extract the oil from the leaves and bottle it up to use for the many uses mentioned above. 

What makes Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil so special?

The Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil that I received contains no preservatives, no artificial colors, no fragrances, no parabens, no mineral oil, no chemical solvents, and no petroleum. It is 100% Tea Tree Oil bottled in a dark brown glass bottle to help it retain both its freshness and potency. There is a two step process that should be used to extract the oil to ensure that it is pure and reduce the chance of skin irritation. It states in the ebook that Apothecary Extracts uses this process in extracting their oil.

What will you find in the ebook?

I was very excited to be able to receive an ebook to go along with our Tea Tree Oil. I had such high hopes for finding some wonderful recipes to use in our home. The ebook begins with an introduction to Tea Tree Oil and where it is from. It explains the extraction process and the science behind the benefits of tea tree oil. Traditional and modern uses are discussed, along with side effects, before moving in to the actual recipes.

The bulk of the book is full of recipes using the Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil. There are approximately 70 pages of recipes that fall into the following categories.

  • Skin Care Treatments
  • Tea Tree Oil Hair Care Treatments
  • Home Care & First Aid Remedies
  • Aromatherapy Options
  • Household Cleaners & Solutions
The ebook ends with a conclusion and instructions for adjusting recipes. 

I have to tell you, there are so many recipes I would love to try in this book. There are so many uses for this oil. At first I was a little hesitant to try any of the recipes that would have to go on my skin as I was afraid I would have a reaction to the oil as I have very sensitive skin. Instead, I started to look at the recipes for Home Care & First Aid Remedies. With 4 young children in the home, having natural remedies for cuts, burns, coughs, sore throats and other ailments seems like a very good use of this tea tree oil. Unfortunately, almost all of the recipes contained at least one other essential oil, which I do not have. Additionally, all of the recipes had ingredients I do not have on hand, and have no easy way of getting in my small rural community. Even the recipe for itch relief cream that I thought would be great for bug bites included a slew of other ingredients. Okay, so, this was a bit of a bummer. 

I knew I wasn't going to find any recipes I could use in the Aromatherapy section. It was obvious to me that those recipes would have additional essential oils. Add that to the fact that I can not usually handle strong scents, and this was something I decided I would have to avoid. Instead I decided to look at the recipes for household cleaners. I can't stand the harsh smells of the cleaners I currently use. However, I want something that is effective and can get the job done. A simple all purpose cleaner can be made with tea tree oil, white vinegar, distilled water and well...cassia or lemon essential oil. Granted, the extra oil is optional in this recipe. However, I haven't had a chance to use this cleaner because we don't have distilled water. Once again, all the other recipes contained ingredients I don't have. 

In desperation I decided to look more closely at the skin care treatments, but I was still concerned about my skin's reaction. It was then that I realized I had missed the instructions on the label for testing for skin sensitivity by diluting the tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil. So far neither I nor my daughter (who also has sensitive skin) have shown a reaction. 

There are actually a few recipes I would be able to try from this section, either for myself or to give as a gift. There are body scrubs and a face wash that I would like to try, along with homemade deodorant. 

I was a bit disappointed to find out that most of these recipes were not going to be able to be used by our family at this time. When I learned there was an ebook that came with the Tea Tree Oil I had such high hopes. I didn't figure all 53 "uses" meant recipes with various and sometimes numerous ingredients I couldn't come across. I was hoping for some advice on how to use the Tea Tree Oil by itself. I did discover that even though there is a recipe in this book for use on bug bites that I couldn't use, it is possible to use plain tea tree oil on bug bites. So, as soon as someone has another bug bite we are going to try it out. Additionally, we are going to try it for eliminating stinky feet, and my husband is trying it on his wart. These tips were not found in this ebook though. I had to search on the internet to try to find a way to use this product. 

Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil really does have many uses. We were just unable to try them out at this time. If you already have various essential oils in your household, such as lemon, lavender, jojoba, jasmine, and peppermint (to name some of the more frequently listed ingredients) you should have no trouble making the products in this ebook and using the tea tree oil. The 4 oz bottle is supposed to last a very long time and I can see that being the case. I love the scent, as does my husband, and I am glad that I don't seem to have any negative reaction to it. 

If you would like to try it out for yourself and see which recipes you would enjoy trying, you can purchase Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil from Amazon for $24.99.

And here is some wonderful news! I have been given the opportunity to offer one lucky reader a chance to win a 4 oz bottle plus ebook of their very own.

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. There are only 3 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs October 30 through November 15.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Disclosure: I received a 4 oz bottle of Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #20: October 30, 2014

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around October 30th from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook. 

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below.

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Meg from Homeschool Gameschool shared her post 

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Educational Treasure Hunts from Clued In Kids {A TOS Review}

Clued In KidsReview

Since the girls were younger we have done different types of scavenger hunts to enhance our learning experience.  We hunted for letters, shapes, and colors to name a few of our fun hunts. Recently, I introduced the children to hunts that are more of a treasure hunt variety, hunts where clues have to be solved to find the treasure. When I learned about Clued In Kids I thought it would be a great opportunity to have fun together while learning. Clued in Kids is a new company that was launched by Helen Bertelli just last year. It was her childhood dream to create hunts and I think it is wonderful that she has been able to fulfill that dream with these fun hunts. There are a wide variety to choose from, and thanks to being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was able to choose 2 to review. With the girls' help I selected the Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book and the Baseball Treasure Hunt.

Clued in Kids offers several different kinds of products. We were able to try out one of their PDF printable hunts (Baseball) and a Clue Pad hunt (Princess Treasure). They have hunts is several different categories, including: Holiday/Seasonal, Nutrition-Themed, Sports, and Education Related. Additionally, they have Greeting Cards and actually sell treasure chests filled with "treasure." We did not use their treasure, though I could see it being really fun for a party. I went to the store and purchased hunt-related prizes I thought the children would enjoy. I'll share what prizes I chose later on in this review. 

The PDF Printable Hunts are downloaded onto your computer and you can print them out multiple times. The only supplies needed to enjoy these hunts are a computer with printer (and ink of course) plus a pen or pencil for the children to write their answers down. The Baseball Treasure Hunt was 8 pages in length, though I only printed out the 7 pages that had the clues and the answer key. There are 2 clues per page, equaling 12 clues in all. I just had to cut them apart on the dotted line. 

The picture below shows 2 sheets of clues.

As you can see, there are several different kinds of clues in each hunt, and some are easier to solve than others. The Baseball Hunt contained several different baseball-related decoding clues (some involving math problems), hidden picture clues, answer the question clues and more. Once, instead of trying to decode a clue, the children had to sing, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" to receive the clue directly from me. All of the answers to the clues lead to the next clue and ultimately to the treasure. 

There is a space on the top of each clue to write a child's name, so each child gets an equal amount of play time and to ensure harder clues go to older children. On the bottom of the clue the parent/hunt leader is told where to hide the clue. This is what makes it a snap to set up the hunt. All you have to do after cutting the clues apart is go hide the clues. This takes less than 10 minutes. Your job is then over and the children's fun can begin. 

As this was a baseball hunt I decided to get the children some bouncy balls as their treasure. We had a fun-filled afternoon that started with the hunt and continued on into the park to play with the balls. 

The Clue Pad Hunts are softcover physical books where you tear out the clues. Like the PDF Printable version we have 12 clues with a place to add a name, clues/activities, and instructions detailing where to hide each clue. The setup instructions and answer key are also included. The major difference in these clue pads is that they can only be used once. They are slightly smaller than the half-page printed clues, but it really isn't noticeable. Of course, you will not need to have a computer or printer to use these hunts; however, you do still need a pen or pencil for use while decoding.

The Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book is full of princess-themed clues that are similar in type to the Baseball Hunt. There were lots of fun clues to solve: decoding, patterns, mirror image, hidden picture, telling time and more. We also had two princess activities. The children got to practice their curtsying (bowing in Harold's case), and they got to work on their posture by balancing a book on their heads while walking.

We made an adventure out of the Princess hunt. The girls were all princesses and their brother was a knight complete with sword and shield. Daddy was the dragon who stole their treasure and they had to follow the clues to get the treasure back.  Technically, daddy has multiple personalities. He alternated between helpful daddy and roaring dragon keeping them from the treasure. Like the Baseball hunt, I alternated the clues between the children, trying to give the easier ones to Hannah and Harold (who was quite adamant that he wanted clues as well). Each time a clue was found it was brought back to the royal dining room so we could figure it out. As we headed up the stairs to retrieve the treasure (on the washing machine) we encountered the dragon again. Fortunately, Harold vanquished him with a few swings of his sword and we were able to go and get the treasure.

The children are enjoying their new stickers and albums. 

The Clued in Kids Hunts are suitable for children in a wide age range. The two we reviewed are labeled as being for ages 4 and up. Some of the activities in the Baseball Hunt were a bit more advanced (mainly the math decoding clues), so it is beneficial to have older children involved in the hunt who can help the younger children. Of course, as homeschoolers, we are used to having the older children help the younger children, so it worked perfectly. Even teens in the family could get involved by coordinating and helping out. Younger children will definitely need the instructions on each clue explained, where older children can take off and go with it. 

The children have really enjoyed these hunts, as did their father and I. They loved finding the clues and decoding them. They seemed to be at just the right age (7, 6, and 4) to solve the clues. Even though Harold participated, he really didn't understand the clues, but he did get a kick out of having his own clues and circling the correct answer when I showed him what to do. Not only were they exercising their brains, they were getting a physical workout in as well. The children were up and moving, running up and down the stairs for the Princess Hunt, not quite so much for the Baseball Hunt. (The amount of exercise your children receive would depend on the layout of your house of course.) Mom and dad were following right along. This was mainly to get pictures. I do feel they would have been able to have completed the hunt by themselves as long as they worked together. Having the names on the clues also helped the children to not fight over who would go and get the clue. The one who was deciphering the clue would be the one to physically pick up the next clue and hand it to the one named on it. 

I did want to mention that when you print out you hunts you may want to make sure you don't have your printer set to "fast draft" as I did. There was a hidden picture clue in the Baseball Hunt that didn't come up dark enough to be able to find the object, and I didn't realize until it was too late to reprint it. It is situations like this that made me thankful there is an answer key.

I would definitely recommend these hunts for an afternoon of fun or for an exciting addition to a party. It takes about 8 minutes to set up the hunt and then we spent between 20 and 30 minutes enjoying the hunts each day. Of course, that wasn't the end of the fun, as they were then able to spend some time enjoying their treasure. 

The Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Book sells for $8.99 and the Baseball Printable Treasure Hunt is $5.99. I do have to say, I wish all of the hunts had a printable option. I am not usually one who likes to use my printer ink, so I will opt for receiving/purchasing a physical product; however, the ability to use the PDF Printable hunt again in the future is definitely a bonus in this situation. 

How would you like to try out one of these hunts for yourself? Clued In Kids is offering a free Homework Reward Printable Treasure Hunt if you sign up for their newsletter.

You can also stop by the Clued In Kids blog to discover their Christmas offerings and a treasure chest giveaway!

In addition, you can find Clued In Kids on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My fellow Crew Mates have been reviewing a wide variety of these Treasure Hunts. Don't forget to stop by and check out their reviews.

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: October 29, 2014 (w/linky)- Little Teachers

The other day the older girls decided to teach their younger siblings. Tabitha was in charge of teaching Harold, and Amelia was in charge of teaching Hannah.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.


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