Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Journal For every Possiblilty: Giveaway!

I have decided to bring you guys an awesome giveaway from my Friend Brie at Beautiful Incentives. I personally would love this and I know would make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas for my girls as well.

You can read the full review over on her site here:

Review link:

Personally I love journaling or just writing down random thoughts as they pop into my head. You can read my full review on why here and also how getting the right for your personality can help inspire you! 

I know Alot of you must love journaling too, so I'm excited to offer this giveaway! Get ready to enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 beautiful Mystery journals from Hallmark! There will be 3 winners and the journal will be a complete surprise. 

Good Luck!  


to Love, Hallmark for sponsoring this Stationary Journal review
& giveaway. All opinions are always 100% my own.  This giveaway
is in accordance with FTC Rules. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Homemade Cupcake costume for less than $5

 I love Halloween it is my favorite holiday of all.  I always throw a huge party ever year and  I am always looking for new DIY  ideas. 

Sometimes I  make costumes with my kids others are decorations or party games.  I also like to do things on the cheap. Here I  will show you some inexpensive costumes  I  have done to make Halloween even more awesome.      

  First up my cupcake costume.   I started with an old lamp shade my aunt had ,so that was free. I then spray painted it with pink paint which was $0.98 cents.  I then hot glued elastic inside lampshade to hold it up on my daughter. I already had elastic but it is like a dollar at any store.  I went to  Walgreen's and got knee high white pantyhose the ones in the plastic gumball machine container. They were 33 cents a piece  I used 3 containers so around 99 cents.  I stuffed the pantyhose   with pillow fill from a craft store whole bag was 4 dollars but I only used about half.  I tied the ends then hot glued them end to end. I then wrapped them around top of lamp shade and hot glued.  Next I had her cut out sprinkles from felt I had in craft room. I bought the hat at dollar store and added a lollipop stick to top wrapped in brown ribbon.  There you go easy cute costume.     So all together total I  spent around $4.00 .      

  Blog Contributor:  Sarah S.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cascade Platinum Party fun & Giveaway! #CascadeShiningReviews

I am always one who loves to have get together's & Parties, so I never pass up the chance, especially when I get to show my family & friends a great new product.

This Party was especially fun because I was not worried about having a sink full  of dirty dishes, after all, what better way to show my guest how wonderful Cascade Platinum is than to give them a first hand show.

I had the opportunity to make a few dishes that were really messy, but were oh so yummy that way I could not only feed my guest but while we ate I could let the  Cascade Platinum do it's job and clean up the mess of dishes I had.

My first Dish and Party Food was Double Fudge brownies, as you can see below, they look good even going in to the oven. My goal was to make them the night before my Party &  leave the pan sitting overnight to get all yucky & crusty, as you can see I accomplished that. I wanted to make sure my guest saw the pan as well before washing.

They actually turned out really well as you can see and the double fudge was extremely yummy.

I also wanted my guest to have a few other dishes & sides to try, and I wanted to choose dishes that would really stick to my glass pans. I used glass because it is much easier to show the real stick on mess to my Party  Guest. I wanted to show the the True cleaning power of Cascade Platinum.
Next up were my homemade enchilada's. I always make a double batch and freeze them  for a second meal, and decided they would be great for this party.  I used Beef in these as well. I made one for each guest.

10 Tortilla
Use 1 Pounds Ground Beef
8 ounces Sour cream
16 Ounces Shredded cheddar Cheese
2 Packs enchilada Seasoning

Mix cooked ground beef with sour cream, cheese and one enchilada seasoning mix and add to tortillas & fold. Add to Glass pan, Use one pack seasoning Mix to make the Red Enchilada Sauce. Put the Red sauce over the Enchiladas and cook for 20 minutes on 325 Degree.  Remove from oven and add 8 oz shredded Cheese, bake 5 more minutes. Remove and let stand 4-5 minutes then remove each from dish and place on plate, top with desired toppings ( Sour cram, Lettuce, Salsa, etc)

Next up, I made Mac n Cheese ( Recipe Courtesy of the Pioneer Woman) . As you can see below, I made sure to leave some residue on the pan.

Cascade Platinum works best when you skip the pre-rinse. It is formulated to get off left over food and stuck on stains best, so when you use this, make sure to simply skip the Pre-rinse so you can see how well this works.

Once My guest arrived, I began taking all the food from the pans ( other than the Brownie Pan which I had let sit overnight) and plate it our for the party.

I had all of my guest crowd around my dirty dishes in the sink as I showed them I was putting them in the dishwasher sans Pre-Rinse. They had a ton of questions such as What will happen to the food. As many of  you already know, each dishwasher has a built in Garbage disposal type system already inside, so no worries there. The reason for skipping the Pre Rinse, as stated above, is that Cascade Platinum works best when used on the grimiest & dirtiest dishes to release the dish soap to get everything off.

While I ran the dishwasher , My guest & I enjoyed the food as well as each party guest received a goody pack with Cascade rinse Aid and Cascade Platinum as well as a info sheet about theses Amazing products.

Truth Time!

Look how awesome my pans looked right out of the Dishwasher, even my guest ( as well as myself) were amazed. This was my first time trying Cascade Platinum and I have to admit, I was super impressed and will use it from now on. with so many kids and dirty dishes, this is the perfect thing for me to have on hand at all times, as you can imagine , my kids make sure to always leave a mess when they cook and this way I do not have to worry when they are doing chores that they Pre-Rinse all the dishes.

You can also visit Cascade on Facebook & Twitter to find amazing new product info as well as other great info!

You may wonder what the Goal of this party was, and that is actually a super simple answer! To educate people on how to achieve immaculately clean dishes every time just like my dishes!

Have an opinion to share? Head to the Cascade website to leave a short review of Cascade Platinum ( including #CascadeShiningReviews. One reviewer will win a Kitchen Aid Dishwasher!

One of my reader's will now have a chance to win a prize pack for themselves.  Check out all the goodies below that will be included with the Winner's Pack!

  •  Cascade Platinum 
  •  Cascade Platinum Rinse Aid
  •  Whisk
  • Spatula
  •  Cheese grater
  • Oven mitts
 This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine

Simple Rafflecopter Entry below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to school

Back to school time  some love it some hate it. I am in the love it club for may different reasons.  Last year i got my dream job . I am a  special education para-pro for autistic preschoolers. I work hand in hand with a speech therapist so each student gets one on one therapy for 1 hour each and every school day. I love my job. Although i love back to school time it is very busy. I have 2 children of my own i need to buy school supplies for, organize meals for lunches and easy dinners for after school is full of homework,theater rehearsal and soccer.  For me though going back to school means i  need some  school supplies of my own to  keep on hand. I know that my self and other teachers and paras also spend there money on supplies. I try and coupon and search out sales and shop early. I need to make sure i and my kiddos have what we need to make it a successful year.   Because i know the expense i try and get extra for my daughters elementary teacher. My daughters class only has 10 students so it is a little easier on my pocket to help her then all 7 of my sons teachers. Although i want to help out my son as well i opt to  donate  a gift card to the school or a item to his homeroom they are wanting along with the normal extra pens and tissues.     For my daughters teacher though i gathered extra supplies from list and my craft supplies.  I had a lot of fun with this and my daughter was able to help . I made a supply cake i saw the idea on pinterest.    
I took a cake board because i already had one you don't have to have one. I took 2 Kleenex boxes and stacked them up glue dots or tape help. I then put crayons all the way around bottom.i put snacks in middle the went around with glue sticks (you can never have to many). Then hand sanitizer,pencils,paint,stickers. This is very easy to do and can be customized for each class. I had fun and hope  it makes the beginning of school a little easier. 

Sarah S

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Design & Drill Socket To Me

Educational Insights

This was a toy sent to me to test out. My kids are older than the age group here which is 4+. Although they are older they still had fun helping me out. This toy will be going to work  with me. I work with autistic preschoolers and help with ABA therapy. So this toy will get plenty of use and will be wonderful for fine motor skills that we teach everyday. It is also very easy  to use which will be helpful with my students .

 It is also very colorful big openings and no small parts. Like anything we purchase for our children of any ability we are always looking for function ,affordability and attractiveness to the child.. With its bright bold colors it is very attractive to any little eye.  When it came I was very excited to open it up and imagine all that i will be able to teach and help them learn through  play.      
I opened it up and was so happy to see four different shapes with a different number of holes. I know , it is strange to look at  the holes ,but I was in work mode and was thinking with some kids we will start with smaller amount of holes then go from there . Of course I will have some that will go by shape or color.I have a feeling the robot will be very popular. 
As you can see my son chose the robot . He was happy to show how it worked . He took the socket wrench and went to work . He said it was easy to work and worked just like the real tools he uses with dad. I did let my little neighbor boy try as well and he is 5 ( I am unable to use pictures however for privacy reasons)  He had fun as well and was able to use it just as easily as my older kids. On the the wrench is a little slide to make lefty loosie  or righty tighty. I was very happy with this toy and its ease for all abilities and I cant wait till school starts to really use it.

 I have so many ideas on lessons to teach  and they will never know they are learning and that's the best part. I would recommend the Design & Drill socket to me to anyone that has little kids or someone that needs a little work on fine motor skills. I will also be talking with my colleagues in special education and general education on this toy as we are always looking for new and inviting things to keep interest.  This also a great toy for parents. It is  just fun and easy and will give them a toy that they can do alone so you can do dishes or you can all work together.      

Blog Contributor:  Sarah S.

Disclosure: I received this product for review for free, however, I was not required to write a review and all opinions expressed are my own.