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Side Show on Broadway

I received complimentary tickets, all opinions are my own.

Last weekend I had the chance to attend a performance of Side Show at the St. James Theatre on Broadway, and it was an amazing experience.


The show is based on the true story of Daisy and Violet Hilton, who were co-joined twins who were very popular on the vaudeville circuit.  This seems like a kind of odd premise for a musical, but it really worked and the play presents a touching story of love and loss.  The whole theme is about searching for love and acceptance, which is something everyone can relate to.

Blueberry cherry yogurt parfait.

Blueberry Cherry Yogurt Parfait

Looking for some healthy ideas for snacking? Here is a Fall Party Snack that is healthy and nutritious, a Blueberry Cherry Yogurt Parfait.

Blueberry cherry yogurt parfait.

This tasty treat has yogurt mixed with fresh blueberries, and topped off with Dried Cherries and chopped Blueberry Almonds from NatureBox. This is easy to make, and provides party goers with alternatives to the calorie laden dishes that are so prevalent this time of year.

K’nex Education Kits Review

Building toys are great for kids, because they are so open ended and allow them to have hours of fun while they learn. I recently had the chance to review a number of K’nex Education kits, and I was very impressed by how fun these kits make learning!  My kids have lots of K’nex, and have always enjoyed building with them, but these kits really take the learning to a new level.

Knex Education Kits

Moments of Connection with Coffee

Now that my children are growing up and starting to branch out on their own it can be hard to stay connected with them!  My oldest daughter has her own apartment and is very busy with her college schedule  My middle daughter is attending college part time and working, and it seems like she is always on the go.  So when we have the chance to get together we like to make the moment count, and coffee can help make simple moments more special.

My La-Z-Boy Mom Cave Dreams

Having personal space is so important!  we have a big house, but it seems like there is no place that is just mine, somewhere I can retreat to for some calm relaxation, to just read a book.  We recently bought a new mattress and rearranged our bedroom, and it seems like the perfect time to create my own space in it, somewhere that can be my Mom Cave! It is fun to browse and plan a redecoration, just to get ideas and imagine the possibilities.

My bedroom needs a makeover

Visiting a Dairy Farm with The American Dairy Association


Recently I had the chance to tour a state of the art diary farm here in Upstate New York.  I have visited a few farms over the years, but never a dairy farm, and I was amazed at everything I learned.  I had no idea that dairy farming was so complicated, and I am quite impressed at how efficiently farmers are at getting dairy products to grocery stores!  We take for granted the easy access we have to fresh foods, and rarely think about all the work that goes on behind the scenes to produce it, so this was a great chance for me to see how it all comes together.

Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kit Review

With school starting up it is time to think about packing healthy lunches.  Even though we homeschool we are out of the house one day a week at a homeschool co-op, so we have to brown bag it that day.  We also have two long days while my daughter is attending community college, so that is another two days we need to eat lunch on the go. Packing a lunch is a great way to save money, and make sure the food we are eating is healthy and not junky fast food.


Chicken Marsala Ravioli in Pesto Spinach Cream Sauce Recipe

Recently Buitoni sent me some of their new filled pasta to try out! They make all kinds of yummy refrigerated pasta that is available in many grocery stores. I like that their pasta is more exotic than standard boring pasta. Cheese ravioli is good, but there is nothing special about  a dinner of cheese ravioli served with spaghetti sauce. Sometimes I want a pasta dish that is more exciting, and looks like I spent a lot of time making a special dinner.

I received this Chicken Marsala Ravioli, which was delicious. It is a filled pasta with white meat chicken, roasted portobello mushrooms, onions, ricotta, parmesan and asiago cheese accented with marsala wine. It almost seems like too many ingredients for one ravioli, and it certainly isn’t boring or ordinary.

Tropical Traditions Organic Soft White Winter Wheat

Tropical Traditions White Winter Wheat

I have been reviewing products from Tropical Traditions for a few years now, and this Soft White Winter Wheat is one of my favorites! I recently got a grain mill from NutriMill as part of the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge, so the timing for receiving this wheat was perfect. I wasn’t sure I would like grinding my own flour, but now I am convinced it is the best way to go.  The flour is so fresh it makes a huge difference in how the food tastes.

This soft winter wheat is best for baked goods like muffins and cookies.  It is lower in protein and gluten than standard wheat, so it makes a very light flour.  If you buy it already ground it is usually called “Pastry Flour”, because it is perfect for baked goods.

Stanley Steemer Gift Certificate Review and Giveaway

Dirt never quits!  It is the time of year for spring cleaning, but there are some things that you just can’t clean for yourself, which is when it is time to call in the experts.  Vacuuming is important, but it doesn’t remove all the grime, dirt, and dust that get tracked into the house.  So every year or so we like to get our carpets professionally cleaned, and this year we used Stanley Steemer for the cleaning.

Seabear Ready to Eat Wild Salmon Review

RTESmokedSockeyeWe eat quite a bit of seafood in our house, and salmon is one of my favorites.  It is healthy with lots of Omega 3 fatty acids, it is easy to cook and it tastes great.  So I was happy to receive a package of Seabear’s Ready to Eat Salmon to review.

This ready to eat salmon comes in a portable sealed package, and it is fully cooked, boneless, skinless and lightly flaked.  I thought it tasted much, much better than canned salmon, and it was very moist with excellent flavor. The packages are single servings of 3.5 ounces.  I used mine in a salad, and it made plenty for two servings, but how many it serves will depend on how you use it.

Swiss Premium Teas and Lemonade Review

Swiss Premium Teas and Lemonade

Swiss Premium Teas and Lemonade are available at retailers throughout the Northeast.  I recently had the chance to buy try some of their Lemonade and Iced Tea.  It is certainly much easier to buy these drinks ready made than to mix them up at home.  I like the fact that Swiss Premium is made without high fructose corn syrup or preservatives, so it is just like I would make it at home.  The ingredients for the Iced Tea are water, tea and sugar, which is exactly what I would use to make it. 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

My children like all the fancy Christmas cookies we make this time of year, but they still love the old fashioned favorites we have year round.  So we always make chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies for Christmas too.  This year to make the oatmeal cookies a little more seasonal I added dried cranberries instead of dried raisins, and they taste great.  The recipe is basically a standard oatmeal cookie recipe, although the spices are changed up a little bit to got with the cranberries.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Mango Chicken Quesadillas

Mango Chicken Quesadillas

It is always  good to have a nice, hot lunch as an alternative to sandwiches.  I used to make lunch for my children almost every day, because we homeschooled and I wanted to make sure they got a healthy lunch.  But now my oldest is in college, my middle child is in public school and just my son and I are left at home.  He complains frequently that I never make lunch anymore now that it is just him, and instead we have leftovers or sandwiches. But it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time making a meal for just two of us. This is a quick and easy lunch for us.

Great Gifts for Harry Potter Fans

My children are huge Harry Potter fans, especially my 15 year old.  She changed her Facebook profile recently to list Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as the school she attends!  My children have grown up reading the books and watching the movies, and are always looking for Harry Potter items.  Here are some gift suggestions for the Harry Potter fans in your family.

Harry potter deathly hallows part 2 cover

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2  – Obviously the last movie is a must for any fan.  My children tell me we have to get the Bluray version, because it has lots of extras!

Stampin’ Up Sweet Cookie Stamps

stamped shortbread cookiesNow that Christmas is getting near it is time to think about making cookies!  My children and I enjoy making lots and lots of holiday cookies this time of year.  We try out new recipes, and share the cookies with friends and family.  Even though there are so many interesting and creative Christmas cookie recipes around we always make the old family favorites too, like shortbread and chocolate chip.  I recently received a set of Cookie Stamps from Stampin’ Up to use to make our basic shortbread and sugar cookies look even more festive!

YesVideo Transfer Service Review and Giveaway

My husband and I bought our first video camera during my first pregnancy 19 years ago.  We bought an 8mm camera, and took video frequently when our children were young.  Then the camera broke and technology changed and everything went digital.  As a result we have a huge box of 8mm video tapes that we never even look at.  In fact my 15 year old daughter didn’t even realize we had video footage from when she was a baby, so I doubt we have watched one of those videos in at least 10 years!

Smothered Pierogies with Sausage

I like to cook food from all different cultures, because it is fun to try new things. I don’t get to travel much, but at least I can experience food from all over the world. This weekend I wanted to make a dish with pierogies. Pierogies are an eastern European dumpling that is stuffed with mashed potato filling, and I had a box sitting in my freezer just waiting to be used.  So when I was asked to create a meal with Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations Sausage I thought it would be perfect to combine with the pierogies, because sausage and mashed potatoes are a great combination.