In the last year or so I have fallen in love with subscription boxes. I like to receive packages in the mail that introduce me to new products or make me feel happy at a reasonable price. This month I was sent a Loved and Blessed subscription box to try out.
This box is different from other subscription boxes I have had before because it is not centered around products. The box is meant to be a source of encouragement. A reminder that no matter how hard life gets that you need to walk in faith throughout your day. There is a different theme each month and the box can include stationary, home decor, jewelry, prayer accessories and more.
The theme for the box I received was Comfort. Inside of my box there was a:
Encouragement Kit to comfort someone else
2 scripture cards
Removable and repositionable reminder sticker
Keepsake theme card
I was not sure what to really expect in the box but I was happy about what was included. I really liked the comfort card. I pray daily for strength and this is a nice reminder to not forget about God.
I like the overall message of the Loved and Blessed box. To be inspired to encourage others is a wonderful thing. Another great thing about this box is part of the proceeds for every box is donated to help people experiencing homelessness.
Love and Blessed Subscription boxes are $10 plus $3 shipping and handling. You can buy any of the other themed boxes in their shop.
Sample provided for review purposes. Opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links
My 13 year old daughter Kayla does not eat meat. Since I am not very familiar with dishes that don’t include meat, I am constantly looking for new dishes for her to try. I can find food that is already prepared in the store for her, but I don’t feel she should miss out on home cooked meals just because the rest of us still eat meat.
Even though she is not 100% vegan, Kayla does like to also eat dishes that are vegan. I like to search websites, blogs and even Pinterest for ideas but nothing beats a cookbook in my hand! I was sent two cookbooks Vegan Delights and Vegan Cupcakes by chef Toni Rodriguez to review.
Toni Rodriguez is a renowned Spanish chef and passionate vegan. Vegan Delights offers wonderful meals composed entirely of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other kinds of plant based protein.
Before you get to the recipes in Vegan Delights, there are over 80 pages of useful information. I learned about the different classifications according to which animal based products a person wants to avoid from Vegetarians who do not eat meat or fish to Macrobiotics whose diet consists of cereals, vegetables in season and whole foods.
Some of my favorite cookbooks are more than just recipes. I like to have a resource to go back to when I need it. Vegan Delights cover cooking techniques, the vegan pyramid, the different herbs and spices and information about sprouts, nuts, cereals and more.
Now it is time to talk about the recipes. This cookbook is perfect for planning an entire vegan meal. The recipes are easy to follow and include very clear and appetizing pictures. A few of my favorites are:
Fried Corn Soup
Seitan Piccata with Creamy Spinach
Tofu with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Carrot and Walnut Cake
Chocolate and Avocado Milkshake
We don’t drink a lot of milk in my home. My son and husband stomachs can not handle it so I don’t buy it as much as I used to. I normally use it for cooking or baking but I have found myself using soy or almond milk as a substitute. Now I have more reasons to do a little dairy free baking because of the Vegan Cupcakes cookbook also by Toni Rodriguez.
My daughter’s eyes lit up when she saw this cookbook, she loves desserts just as much as I do! Vegan Cupcakes will definitely up your dessert game. These recipes are not just basic cupcakes. The recipes include:
Berry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Crispy Lime and Hazelnut Cupcakes
Raspberry and Whiskey Cupcakes
Pear Cupcakes with Chestnut Cream and Cognac
I love all of the pictures in this cookbook. The recipes are for desserts we have never had before. My daughter and I plan to make each and every one no matter how long it takes.
Product was provided for review purposes. All opinions are 100% our own.
If you missed Ant-Man in theaters, you can now watch it at home on Digital HD. It became available on November 17th with bonus features! On December 8, 2015 you can purchase the Blu-ray combo and have the movie in every format.
The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces the newest member of the Avengers: Marvel’s Ant–Man. Armed with the amazing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang joins forces with his new mentor Dr. Hank Pym to protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant–Man suit from ruthless villains! With humanity’s fate in the balance, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a daring heist against insurmountable odds.
CAST:Paul Rudd (This is 40, Role Models) as Ant–Man/Scott Lang, Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Lost) as Hope van Dyne, Corey Stoll (This Is Where I Leave You, The Bourne Legacy) as Yellowjacket/Darren Cross, Bobby Cannavale (Spy, Chef) Michael Peña (Cesar Chavez, The Martian) Tip “T.I.” Harris (Identity Thief, Entourage), Wood Harris (Justified, The Wire), Judy Greer (Tomorrowland, 13 Going on 30),David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight, Prisoners), as Paxton, and Michael Douglas (Last Vegas, The Game) as Dr. Hank Pym
My son TJ did not see Ant-Man in theaters with my husband and I. He did not want to go see it because he thought it was going to be a random movie that did not fit in with other Marvel movies. When I started watching Ant-Man the other night and he joined my daughter and I because he heard us laughing. It turns out it was better than he expected.
Marvel’s Ant-Man..L to R: Dave (T.I.), Luis (Michael Pena) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian)..Photo Credit: Film Frame..? Marvel 2015
Marvel’s Ant-Man..L to R: Director Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man) on set…Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014
Ant-Man is very funny while still being the type of movie you would expect from Marvel with lots of action. The special effects are amazing and very detailed. I like the idea of an ordinary guy with a big heart fighting the bad guys! Paul Rudd did a great job. He was charming and I love seeing him as a super hero. And his crew is hilarious, Michael Peña had us cracking up!
Whenever we match a Marvel movie , we make sure to watch the credits to see the bonus scenes. In Ant-Man there are two, midway through the credits and at the end. You don’t want to miss those!
The trend with digital copies of movies is to include bonus content and we love that! Sometimes it is a hassle to dig out the Blu-ray or DVD just to see the bonus. This makes it so much easier to watch it.
BONUS: Digital HD*, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray
Making Of An Ant-Sized Heist: A How-To Guide – Set your watch and count down the action in this fast-paced behind-the-scenes look at how to pull off a heist movie, including Scott Lang’s hilarious heist “family,” Ant-Man’s costume, plus amazing stunts and effects.
Let’s Go To The Macroverse – Shrink down to size in this fascinating look at creating the world from Ant-Man’s perspective, from macro photography through the subatomic.
WHIH NewsFront –A hard-hitting collection of content, including a glimpse at the future of Pym Technologies with Darren Cross, anchor Christine Everhart’s interview with soon-to-be-released prisoner Scott Lang on his notorious VistaCorp heist, and more.
Deleted & Extended Scenes
Audio Commentary By Peyton Reed And Paul Rudd
Ant Man: Looping in the Avengers
Ant Man’s first encounter with one the Avengers
Sample provided for review purposes. Opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Years ago I started a tradition where on Christmas Eve I would let the kids open one present. I always chose gifts that were games or crafts. I always thought it was a great way to spend the day, playing together as a family.
Recently we added a new game to our growing collection, Ring It! This game is made for ages 5 and up. The basic playing mode of Ring It challenges players to find three kinds of matches:
Cards with the same number
Cards with the same color
Two cards with a bell
To play, shuffle the cards and deal them face-down. Each player takes turns revealing their cards one at a time. If you spot a match, be the first to clap your hands and ring the bell, and you can claim the revealed cards. The last player who still has cards wins.
To win at Ring It, you have to be the first to spot a match and ring a bell. You have to be careful and don’t ring the bell too soon or you will have to pay a penalty.
The game includes a tin to hold the game, 90 playing cards, a bell and instructions.
Ring It! is a fast paced family friendly game. You have to be quick with your eyes and hands. We had a great time playing it. There are various variations of how to play the game to make it more challenging once you get the hang of it.
The tin holds everything well so it easy to travel with so you take the game on the go. Ring It! is perfect for game night or any night since it does not take long to play.
Sample provided for review purposes. Opinions are 100% my own.
When it comes to gift giving it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many products to choose from. I know I like to give gifts that I know my loved ones will enjoy. I put a lot of thought into what they like and might not buy for themselves.
World Vision and the World Vision logo are licensed trademarks of World Vision
Recently I was introduced to World Vision.They are a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. Working in nearly 100 countries around the world, they serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
I like the idea of giving a gift that also helps a community that needs help. The 2015 World Vision Gift Catalog contains more than 250 poverty-fighting gifts, ranging in price from $16 to $39,000, that improve the quality of life for struggling children and families in the U.S. and around the world.
Royal Silk Scarf– This gorgeous silk scarf adds color to the holidays and supports the needs of children and families worldwide. The luxurious silk is woven by Vietnam’s Ma Chau villagers, who receive sustainable income through their craft. $95
Balinese Multi-Strand Necklace – This beautiful, draped beaded necklace is handmade by Balinese artisans in a project that helps children in Bali receive an education. $85
I was sent the African Soapstone Box to review.
This box will be perfect to hold my jewelry. I love the turquoise color and think it is beautiful. The African Soapstone Box has some weight to as well. The unique design on the box is etched by talented artisans in Kenya who are using this sustainable resource to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Since 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has grown in popularity as a gift-giving alternative. Last year alone, more than 822,000 people were helped through funds generated by the Catalog. The money raised from your purchase of these hand-crafted gifts goes to the Where Most Needed fund, which supports a variety of World Vision’s programs around the world.
To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, call 855-WV-GIFTS855-WV-GIFTS FREE. You can buy the buy the African Soapstone Box for $85.
Sample provide for review purposes. Opinions are 100% my own.
My daughter loves variety when it comes to her school lunch. She packs her own lunch because she is a vegetarian and the school doesn’t offer any non meat options. I never want her to get bored with her lunch so I am always on the lookout for different foods she can try.
We recently were sent a few boxes of Wild Garden Snack Boxes to try.
Wild Garden® Hummus Dip is vegetarian and shelf-stable. It features the healthiest, all-natural ingredients available, with no preservatives or trans-fats.
We were sent four different kids of snack boxes:
Traditional Hummus with Sea Salt Pita Chips
Traditional Hummus with Quinoa Chips
Roasted Garlic Hummus With Original Multi-Seed Crackers
Traditional Hummus with Veggie Chips
Each box included a bag of chips or crackers and a tube of hummus dip.
Kayla has only had regular hummus before but she really liked the roasted garlic flavor. She wished there was more! Kayla eats veggies chips regularly so she was happy that it was included in a few of the boxes. I tried the Quinoa Chips and with the sea salt they are pretty tasty!
As a Mom, I love the convenience of the Wild Garden Snack Boxes. Because they don’t require any refrigeration, I don’t have to worry about freshness if the snack boxes are in a book bag or lunch box most of the day. The tubes make it very easy to squeeze the hummus out.There is no need for any utensils which means less mess!
My daughter has really enjoyed eating the Wild Garden Snack Boxes. She doesn’t just pack them in her lunches, but grabs them for a snack or a quick breakfast too.
Sample provide for review purposes. Opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.
While I like to give kids a variety when it comes to gift giving, books are my favorite. I love to read and like to encourage others to read, especially children. I was recently sent the book The Central Park Tales by Marcus Meesters to review.
The Central Park Tales consist of 10 short stories:
The Tooth Fairy
The Tea Party
The Shy Dog
The Pirate Treasure
The Princess and the Witch
This book tells stories about the adventures of animals who live in Central Park. The stories are adorable. The book has a classic feel to it, I think it is because of the watercolor illustrations throughout. It kind of reminded me a book I used to read to my daughter, Little Bear. The author, Marcus Meesters did a great job telling the stories of the lives of Squirrel, Duck, Frog, Mousekin and the brothers Doctor Beggar (Dog) and Mister Pup.
I like that in each chapter the animals work to solve problems and learn new things. The Central Park Tales is a great read for children, especially if they live in New York.
Marcus Meesters is the author and illustrator of The Central Park Tales. He was born in the Netherlands and, at the age of 25, he moved to Amsterdam, where he got to know Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s most famous city park. Meesters is a lover of classic children’s books, and it was during one of his walks in Vondelpark that he got the idea to write his own children’s book about the animals that live there. His first book, The Vondelpark Tales, was born and extremely well received.