Month: April 2014

Just One Bite – Works For Me And… Mother’s Day * Birthdays * Holidays

IMG_9791I am a firm believer that a sweet tooth is hereditary and I have no doubt that I got mine from my Granddad.  He was a man who often said “you only live once, eat dessert first” and he never met a dessert he didn’t like.  At Thanksgiving as dessert plates were being filled the question would be asked “Pumpkin, Pecan or Apple?” to which he responded “Yes please”.  Translation: he’ll take one of each and don’t forget the Chocolate that wasn’t even mentioned.  My sweet tooth doesn’t quite have the same appetite.  Just one bite works for me.

If you are someone like me or know someone like me who has a bit of a sweet tooth and enjoys an after dinner treat then you need to know about Just One Bite.  This small business offers a variety of single serving desserts that can be prepared and ready to enjoy within a matter of minutes.  They mix fresh dry ingredients and package them ever so sweetly to be opened and prepared by their customers by simply adding a couple “wet” ingredients then microwaving.

Just One Bite has a variety of flavors as well as six different gluten free mixes.  My personal favorite is “It’s Practically My Birthday” Cake.  My husband is a huge fan IMG_9787of their Chocolate Lava Cake and as far as my teen goes, well, he shares the same middle name as his Granddad and lives by the same motto of eating dessert first so he’ll take one of each!  Just One Bite has a S’more Brownie mix that is one of their top sellers as well as a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake, Pumpkin Spice Cake, Streusel Coffee Cake, Crustless Pecan Pie, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Peanut Butter Chip Cake.  All of these mixes are delicious and can be purchased off of their website for $2.50 each along with a five inch whisk for $1.25 and a four inch Ramekin to bake in for $2.75.

Just One Bite doesn’t just work for me, it works as a gift for others!  It’s a perfect birthday gift, Mother’s Day gift, surprise treat, and is a great thing to keep in the pantry for those nights that a sweet tooth flare up occurs.  If you’d like to send this sweet treat to a friend Just One Bite will gift wrap ($2.25) your selections and your thoughtful tasty gift will be ready share with a very lucky person.  These delicious mixes make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift.  For orders to be received by Saturday, May 10th be sure to place your orders by Monday, May 5th.

IMG_9792Just One Bite will be happy to receive your orders and fulfill them year round.  Be sure to LIKE them on Facebook and bookmark their website so that you have a yummy gift idea ready to order for Father’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays, “Works for me Wednesdays”, and every other day.

For other fantastic ideas check out more It “Works for me Wednesday” posts on Kristen Welch’s  blog site “We are that Family” or search Twitter for #wfmw.
-T

© 2014 All opinions are my own. www.tagsthoughts.com
I did not receive goods/funds/sponsorship to write this review.

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Breakfast or Dessert: Donut Bar

Blog - DB02WHEN IN SAN DIEGO… A MUST make stop is the Donut Bar in downtown at 631 B. Street.  If you live in San Diego, then make it a weekly stop!  I LOVE THIS PLACE.  This is by far the very best donut breakfast and dessert EVER.  However, if you plan on it being your dinner dessert you’ll need to pick up your donuts of choice in the morning because they sell out fast.  These donuts are the #bestdonutsintheworld.

The Donut Bar opens at 7am on weekdays and 8am on Saturday & Sunday.  Their closing time varies as they close once they sell out which could be as early as 10am or as late as 1pm.  Don’t chance it – go early!

Blog---DB06_thumb6The menu at Donut Bar changes daily.  They post their menu each evening on different social media outlets to inform their customers of which of their favorite donuts will be available the following day.  Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and check their Website for more information.

To read about my family’s favorite Donut Bar Donuts click here or go to the San Diego link at the top of this page.  Happy Monday!
– T

No Sand Box? No Problem. Sand fun!

blog sand fun 02

At our last house we had a wood sandbox complete with an attached blue & white striped umbrella.  It was quite the gathering spot for my morning tea with my little man as well as play dates with his friends.   Unfortunately the wood didn’t hold up so well and neither did the umbrella in the valley of the sun.  Our current home is on a hillside on stilts and rather than a grassy back yard we have two separate large wood decks.  We have a beautiful view that my older son’s friend refers to as a “casual forest” and outside of missing the grass and the sandbox we really enjoy our days and evenings on the deck amidst the Eucalyptus trees.

My little guy loves building sand castles, roads, and sand race tracks.  He spends the majority of his time during our days at the beach playing in the sand while ignoring the ocean waves and water play that his big brother partakes in.  To bring some sand castles and road construction into our daily life I came up with a very simple solution.  A tub o’ sand.  That’s it.  A tub + a bag of sand = FUN.

This perfect solution sits out on the deck off of our family room and serves as my tot’s chosen play place several times throughout each day.  Because there is a lid there is no worry that cats, squirrels or anything uninvited will find it’s way into the sand.  The cost is just at ten dollars to purchase the tub & sand and most importantly, this tub o’ sand serves as learning and sensory time too.  Remove the buckets and trucks, then burry magnet letters off of the refrigerator and you have a place for your child to work on fine motor skills while sifting through the sand (shovels optional).  As the letters are uncovered discuss the letter, sounds it makes, and objects that begin with that letter.  Do the same with wooden puzzle pieces – shapes, farm animals, numbers, etc.  Depending on the age of your child they can guess what is in their hand before pulling it out of the sand and revealing the object.  Sand play is a great sensory activity for developing fine motor skills and makes for a fun learning time for little ones.

For more Nifty Thrifty ideas, join hundreds of bloggers by clicking here and LIKE Nifty Thrify Things on Facebook.

Here’s to days on the beach with sand between your toes and days on the deck with sand between your fingers!
– T

Note:  On rainy days that we stay indoors we fill a tub with colored rice to enjoy sensory play by burying objects in rice – if you put a sheet down first the rice mess is easily collected.  Enjoy!

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Five Minute Friday: “Friend”

Blessed.  That’s what I am.  Blessed for my circle of friends and the family that I am surrounded by who are the best of friends.  And I strive to be more like these beautiful women.

My baby sister is one of the bestest friends any girl could wish for.  She believes in me no matter what.  She offers the most unconditional love.  A love that is second only to my Grandma’s love.  I’m blessed to have aunts who are my friends, my role models, and the women God intended to guide me when my Grandmother would no longer be around.  And they have.  They give me more grace than I deserve.  The world’s sweetest friend is my little cousin whose calm brings warmth & peace to my heart; she knows and offers an unconditional love that matches my baby sisters.  I’m so grateful for the women in my family who are my friends.

2014.03.23   (28)SQAnd I’m grateful for my friends who have become my family.  My best friend.  She shares my past, believes in my future, and always reminds me of my faith.  She knows the good, the bad and above all else she knows my heart and I know hers.  She is my family.  I have an amazing friend who has been there to nanny both my boys, been to church camp with me and offers a smile and an ear that is unmatched to any other.  My real life cheerleader in Arizona who cheers for me, supports me and is 100% on my side. Always. Without fail.  We share similar parenting styles, tea, tears, and so many laughs.

I thank God for all of my mommy friends (near and far) who have shared the stages of pregnancy / birth / infancy / toddler & beyond with me.  They accept me for who I am – a momma with sleepless and scattered thoughts who loves them, appreciates them, wants good for them, and enjoys sharing their tots & this stage of life together.

I want to be the friend to each and every one of my friends that they have been to me.  A blessing.  My five minutes are up – time to post without editing (eeek).  There are so many others I’m grateful for!!  Thank you all.  You women noted above know who you are.  I love you!
-T

Note:  Five Minute Friday is where hundreds of people come together in a kind of writing flash mob.  We write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt that is posted by Lisa-Jo Baker, author of “surprised by motherhood” .  We connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty.  There is no extreme editing, major grammar or punctuation correction.  Just happily free writing.  Unscripted.  Unedited.  Real.  And in support of each other.  Read more “Friend” posts here.

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Framesi Color Lover–Works For Me

 

framesi color loverIt “Works for me Wednesday” hosted by Kristen Welch of the blog/website “We are that Family” is a great place to find reviews of ideas/projects & products that WORK for others.  Consider #wfmw a hidden manual of sorts that will offer tips and tricks you may not have discovered as well as products you must try.

My recommendation that I believe anyone with color treated hair MUST try is the Color Lover Line by Framesi.  This shampoo, conditioner, and primer works for me on Wednesdays and every other day of the week.

For the past few years I would ask my stylist to add lowlights to my hair.  I love being a natural blonde however just like those with curly hair who want straight hair and vice versa I wanted my hair to be a little darker than my natural base.  Time and time again I would walk away from the salon feeling confident that my color was “just right”.  And it was on day one.  In fact, week one was always exactly what I wanted – blonde with dark blended in adding the contrast and dimension I loved.  Yet by week two and especially week three my brunette strands had faded.  I finally decided that it was time to embrace my blonde.  Or was it?

Enter Framesi Color Lover.  The answer to keeping my color.  It works.  The last time I had my hair color treated I faithfully and strictly used the Framesi Color Lover line to care for my hair.  Framesi Color Lover prolonged my color and in fact I still had those brunette locks on week eight!  Overall the lowlights had faded a little however it was still evident that my blonde had dimension.  I’ve been using the Volume Boost shampoo & conditioner and I love the weightless product as well as the volume it creates.  The Color Lover line also includes a Moisture Rich, Curl Define & Smooth Shine.  Along with the shampoo and conditioner I have also been using the Primer which is a light leave in conditioner that not only detangles but it leaves my hair shiny and without static.  I use the Primer on wet or dry hair.  It is made of a Quinoa Protein and plenty of vitamins and serves as a thermal guard when it comes to drying, curling and straightening my hair.  I owe a huge thank you to Annie Fisher of AFH Salon in Seattle for introducing me to the answer for prolonging my color treatment.

I’d love to hear what works for you; comment below or contact me on Twitter.  And follow We are that Family on Twitter for more #wfmw.
– T

framesi byNote:  The Framesi Company does not test on animals.  The Color Lover line is FREE of Gluten, Sulfate, DEA, Paraben, Sodium Chloride, and 100% Vegan.  Framesi packages their products in recyclable plastic.  Click here to find a salon near you that offers these fabulous products.

Tip:  Framesi’s BY (Be Yourself) line has a “light” gel and “light” hairspray that WORKS perfect with long hair styles that don’t require a super strong hold.  They are necessities for my hair.

© 2014 All opinions are my own. www.tagsthoughts.com
I did not receive goods/funds/sponsorship to write this review.

Click on the image below to “LIKE” Framesi USA on Facebook.  framesi fb

Green Smoothies

Tip for a Monday afternoon boost:  Make a Green Smoothie! 

Green Smoothies are a simple and quick way to get your daily nutritional dose of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.  This blended frozen treat serves as a snack or a meal and is the perfect boost anytime you need a healthy pick-me-up. 

banana smoothie 001-wlAt our house our “go to” simple green smoothie recipe includes a total of five ingredients:

2 Cups Almond Milk
1-2 Hand Full Spinach
2 Bananas
1Cup Frozen Pineapple
1 TBS Chia Seeds (soaked in 2 TBS hot water) 

It is toddler & teen approved and serves three.

 

banana smoothie 002-wlIf  you are not a fan of Bananas then replace the banana with Avocado.  The Avocado adds a creamy texture to the smoothie which is my second favorite way to enjoy a green smoothie. 

We add Chia Seeds to our smoothies to up the protein value but we’ve made this same recipe without the Chia Seeds and it’s just as good.  If you are not a fan of Chia Seeds or if you do not have any on hand, no worries.    You can skip the seeds or add your favorite vanilla protein powder in place of the Chia Seeds.

Below is an easy to follow list for creating your own favorite Green Smoothie.  When making a smoothie for one person start with 1 cup liquid, 1 handful of greens, then add 1 1/2 cup combined fruit, ice if you are not using one frozen fruit along with your protein, oats, or seeds.  After blending you may want to add liquid, ice or more greens to adjust the consistency.  Get creative!  And share your favorite combinations – comment below or contact me on Twitter.
Happy Monday
– T

Green Smoothie List

Happy Easter To You

blog easterOur Easter began with our traditional Easter morning quiche, hunting eggs, then over dosing on sugar.  To burn off some of the sweets and the extra energy we spent family time walking around the lake and giving thanks for our beautiful surroundings.  (Our tot spent his time at the lake on his trike.)  Thanks be to God.  And thank you Jesus for your sacrificeHe is risen!

It’s nap time now.  And as I sit here enjoying my Easter dinner appetizer of wine & jelly beans with the scent of spiral sliced ham in the oven I wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a very Blessed Easter.