Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Uriyah's Opera Debut

Uriyah was in his first Opera performance a few weeks back. The Opera was The Cunning Little Vixen and was put on by the University of Minnesota Opera Theatre. He has been provided with so many unique opportunities thanks to the Metropolitan Boys Choir. Uriyah has been a member of that choir for almost 6 years now! Time is really speeding by fast when it comes to our kids!

In the Opera Uriyah played a rabbit & a fox cub. Both of which he was amazing at. It's so humbling to see him so focused and tuned in when he performs. Nate and I are not huge fans of Opera and will admit to struggling to sit though it all, but watching him up on that stage was a proud moment for us.

I don't have any photos from the actual performance but I do have two adorable photos of Uriyah backstage in his costumes. The University let us keep them so we will be getting some more use out of these come Halloween time :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Love With Food Subscription Box Review

Love With Food is a fun monthly food subscription box that lets you discover new & exciting all natural and/or organic snacks. Subscriptions start as low as $10/mo and with every box purchased, a meal is donated to a food bank. You also get to review every item in your box to earn points. These points can then be used in the Love With Food store to purchase more of what you love!

Each box also has a theme and this month the box is about Flower Power. "Take the time to smell the roses and enjoy the spring thaw with these flower inspired treats."

Here is what was in the box:

Info card, Coupon & Contest Info:

Popcorn by Crave Canyon in Aged White Cheddar & Hatch Green Chile: I don't know about this. I gave it a go and honestly tried to like it but it's not good. It's way too spicy without the salt to back it up. To me it tasted like I was eating hot dry popcorn but my kids ate it up and I guess that says something. Would have loved to get another flavor.

Sahale Snacks in Almonds with Cranberries, Honey & Sea-salt: OMG these are AMAZING! I cried a little when I had reached the end of the bag. I rushed to buy more but these are EXPENSIVE... and mama's not made out of money. Especially with all these new subscription boxes I'm subscribing to.

Meli Honey Waffle: Sweet Belgian goodness! I've had honey waffles before. We used to purchased the Swedish kind from IKEA on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes it's the simplest concoction that leaves you wanting more. I will be getting my hand on more of these babies shortly.

Bumble Bar Organic Energy Bar: This one is strange, very strange. You open it and it looks like birdseed. I hesitated to eat it and threw it in my work bag. I caved when at work and I was starving. It's good! The birdseed texture is a little tough to get through and you will have seeds for hours stuck in your teeth but the taste makes up for all of that.

Vintage Bee Creamed Honey with Chocolate Mint: I adore creamed honey and was super excited to try this since I'm a sucker for chocolate mint but these two do not go together for me. The texture of the honey was off with the added chocolate. It was very grainy and rough. The kids sucked down the rest though and declared that we needed to purchase more immediately.

Rigoni Di Asiago Fiordifrutta Organic Fruit Spread: I liked this a lot. Unlike most fruit spreads this was not cloyingly sweet. It had a nice tartness to it that I really enjoyed. Also plus points for making the sample pouch look like a fruit jar. Bravo!

Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. Heart-tee: I love tea. Have never had hibiscus tea before but I am a fan of floral teas. I haven't tried this yet as I'm still trying to decide which preparation I would like to use. LOVE the little card that came with that gives different options. I'm kinda interested in trying the Popsicle!

Sensible Foods Orchard Blend: We got the corn version of this in a previous box and we all loved that so I was very excited to try a fruit version. I'm both sad and happy to say I was the only one that liked these. I now have one more thing to add to my snack list that I can purchase and not have gone in a matter of minutes!

So what do you think about Love With Food? We have had our subscription for 6 months now and it's easily one of my favorites. I've discovered so many new snack products thanks to this little box.

Disclosure: This post contains referral links.

Friday, April 18, 2014

KLUTCHbox Best of Box Review

I recently became a subscriber of KLUTCHclub's KLUTCHbox. You can read my first review here. I recently was emailed the opportunity to get a Best Of Box for free, I just had to pay the $8 for shipping. This Best of Box promises $75+ of the latest and greatest favorites culled from each month's regular KLUTCHboxes. Because of this the products are always evolving so each Best of Box is different. Of course this was an opportunity I could not pass up!

Here is what was in my box:

jaali bean Lentil Soup Kit in Savory & Spiced:  Aaliyah blurted out that she loves lentils when she saw this in the box. I have never given the girl a lentil in my life so I was shocked. Turns out a member of the community co-op comes to her school and cooks little know grains/veggies for her class to get the kids to be open to trying & eating new things. And here I thought I had the pickiest eater ever! I usually stay far away from soup kits because the end result is less to be desired (think freeze dried wall paste). However, this kit has nicely preserved ingredients (meaning I don't have to guess what they are) and I'm excited to make it for a lunch one of these weekends soon.

Yogi Detox Tea: I like the idea of detox but have always been too chicken sh*t to try it myself. In all the stories I've heard, the amazing results always seem to come at a horrific price. Weather it's crapping your pants or passing out from lack of subsistence... it all sounds a bit too extreme ya know? I do love a good cup of tea so maybe this would be a good gateway to the full detox experience.

Crum Creek Mini-Breadsticks: I got so excited when I saw these. I'm a snack girl and love nothing more then to slouch on the couch with a snack in hand zoning out to the television. I ripped these open pushed a stick into my mouth hole and then... struggled to get in down :( These are so GROSS! They are extremely dry and there is not a lick of salt to be found. I couldn't run from these fast enough!

Penta Ultra-Purified Water
: Nope! I'm sorry y'all I can't. What in the hell is ultra-purified water??? Tastes just like good 'ol tap to me and at $34.95 for a 24 pack, I can't afford to drink this holy than thou water anyway. It feels like something Oprah would hand out in one of her giveaways that would be greeted with this reaction:

Dr. Schulze's Oral Therapy: The ingredients in this herbal mouthwash read like the ingredients for a witch's brew. But hey, I like to think that I'm adventurous enough... the habanero pepper listed doesn't sound pleasant. Maybe I'll pass this along to one of my more crunchy friends. I think I'll stick to my Scope.

Eclos Daily HydraPrimer SPF 30 Broad Spectrum: I'm not a girl who paints her face. As I'm getting older however I've started to realize that I look a wee bit better with some coverage. Enter the handy primer/bb cream. This primer is thick which is great for my skin in the dry winter but won't hold up in the humid summer. Luckily I live in Minnesota where it's winter 9 months out of the year so I'll use this up in no time. I should give a word of caution, this is a tinted primer and it's tinted a chocolate milk brown so I'm not sure how well it would look on a fairer lady. 

Soleil Bella Disposable Razor: Just a run of the mill disposable razor. Nothing to see here folks. I am however very greatful that this baby showed up as I had just used my last one. Still don't know how this fits into a health & wellness box though...

Puracyn Wound & Skin Care Solution: My kids have this thing where they fall down for no apparent reason. Do yours have this too? This causes lots of scrapes and ouchies. Also we are finally going to teach the kids how to ride bikes this summer (I know, I know... Uriyah is 9... No judgements!). This will come in handy for those moments. We usually use the antibiotic ointment but I think the spray might work better. The less you touch a scrape the less you have to risk ear drum rupture from the panicked screams of your little one.

BOPS Organic Potato Snacks in Sour Cream & Onion: These are baked and with all that healthy info you look for (Non GMO, organic, gluten free). These just don't do it for me. I have yet to find a healthy potato chip that tastes like a potato chip! Also the fact that they can't even call them a chip irks me. What is that about?

Gnu Foods FiberLove Bar in Cinnamon Raisin: This was great but it had a weird aftertaste... almost acidic. I try to follow a high fiber diet and this fits right in but I don't think this flavor is for me. I think I will have to give one of the other flavors a try.

So that is that. Whew... that was a lot! I just might have to order another Best of Box in a few months after they have time to rotate out the items.

Disclosure: This post contains referral links.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Surprise Ride Subscription Box Review


I couldn't get into the subscription box game as deep as I have without including every family member in it as well. This ensures everyone is happy and no one is keeping a side eye on how many of my boxes are coming through the door :) I decided to subscribe to this box for Aaliyah. I love this box for Aaliyah as it is well balanced. It hits both her love of discovery & love of art/projects.

Surprise Ride is a monthly subscription box which promises to deliver a Monthly Box of Adventure. The boxes are designed around a theme and include fun travel inspired categories such as:
Checked Bag: All the supplies needed to complete projects that explore the month’s    theme.
Carry-Ons: A book, a snack, or other fun surprises to go along with the ride.
Travel Guide: Our famous Surprise Ride booklet with lessons on the theme, interesting facts, and ways to continue the exploration.
Pricing for the Surprise Box is $29.99/mo but can start at $24.99/mo with a yearly subscription. The April box was Ancient Egypt themed. Here is what was in the box:

Flamous Organic Original Falafel Chips: Aaliyah was not featuring these chips and truth be told, neither was I. We had to dig out the salsa to eat them and with salsa they weren't that bad.

Canvas Bag, Fabric Markers & Egyptian Stencils Booklet: Aaliyah got to make her own Adventure Bag with markers and stencils. There were special instructions included to design the bag according to Ancient Egypt ways but if there is one thing Aaliyah is not having, it's rules about how she creates. She just went and did her own thing, making her artist mama very proud in the process.

Flat Stanley Book, Hieroglyphics Postcard & Papyrus: Aaliyah squealed when she spotted the Flat Stanley Book. Apparently she is a big fan of these books at her school and she has yet to read this one. She also had a lot of fun with the Hieroglyphic alphabet and plans to make copies of these cards to give to her friends so they can write secret notes to each other. The Papyrus while cool was kind of a dud for Aaliyah. She asked me what to do with it, I suggested cutting it up into shapes and using it in a collage. She didn't seem all that interested so I plan to use it in my scrap booking.

GeoCentral Pyramid Dig Kit: Oooh we were so excited for this kit. It looked so amazing but then we opened it and got started. WARNING: If you are extremely anal retentive like me and can't stand the thought of rust colored dust on every surface of your home... this may not be the kit for you. It was truly a gigantic mess. Oh and Aaliyah has that dreaded squirrel syndrome where she gets bored quickly and so she was leaving the table and touching her face, the couch, the keyboard... I let her have about 10 minutes going to town on this thing and then mommy took over and put it under the sink to soften the clay and get the treasure out.

Harney & Sons Camomile Tea Sachet: This tea is made from chamomile flowers from Egypt. Mommy will enjoy this this evening before I go to sleep.

Aaliyah is in love with this box and can't wait to see what will be the theme for next month. I also love it and think it's the perfect balance of education & fun activities. Do you subscribe to Surprise Box? What do think of this month's box?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Things I'm Loving & Hating At The Moment

I thought I would take the chance to rant about the things that I am loving & hating at the moment. Mostly because I don't want to annoy my Facebook friends but also because I like sharing and maybe one or more of these will end up being a new discovery for you!

MorphLove: SVEDKA Strawberry Colada Vodka. Usually I know exactly what I want when I go to my local liquor store (fancy box wine anyone?). But there are other times when I'm in the mood for something different and wander the isles until something catches my eye. This my friends is my latest find and it's AMAZING. It tastes like summer in a glass! I pour a shot of this into a glass of OJ & splash of Sprite and I got myself a happy place cocktail.

MorphLove: Mothers Who Drink & Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind. This goes pretty brilliantly with my first listed love. I recently gave in and purchased myself a used Kindle Touch. I held off so long because I have an iPad and could read on that but after experiencing a friends Kindle I was hooked. There is no comparison to reading on an iPad vs. a Kindle. It's like apples to oranges, really beautiful easy on the eyes oranges. I'm a new fan of Nicole Knepper and find her style of parenting and observation right on par with mine. It's so refreshing to find someone who just gets it. I've purchased this book on Friday and I'm already half way done. It's laugh out loud funny and a brilliant read for those mamas out there who don't take themselves too seriously.

MorphLove: Red Hot Sweet Chilli Sauce. I'm a sucker for a good sauce. Recently while clearing off the refrigerator I found a pretty sweet coupon for $2 off a bottle of this stuff. Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot pass up a good coupon and said coupon had two days left before it was expired. I ran to the store, bought this baby home and have been adding it to whatever I can since. It's been on my morning eggs, leftover spaghetti and even over vanilla ice cream (I know I lost a lot of you on that last one).

MorphLove: Girls Don't Poop Poo-Pourri Commercial. OMG, I was messing around on YouTube yesterday and this commercial came before one of my vids. I can't explain it but I love poo humor... yeah I'm real juvenile like that. Coincidentally I'm now interested in the product and I think a lot of people feel the same way. A discreet spray that makes the restroom smell like a garden instead of a farm after you drop your children off at the pool... TAKE MY MONEY NOW!

MorphLove: Anna Kendrick Little Mermaid SNL Sketch. I love Saturday Night Live but almost never watch it live. My life just doesn't allow me to stay up past 10:00 anymore *sigh*. I watched last nights show this morning and Anna Kendrick was the host. She did a great job and my favorite skit of the night was this one where she played Ariel with a hideous voice. Just laugh after laugh.

AngryHate: Skylanders. Because of pure laziness I took the kids to McDonalds this weekend and low and behold there was a $10 coupon for the new Skylanders starter pack. My kids have begged and begged me to get this game but I strongly resisted as it's obviously a gigantic money pit with GPS set to my wallet. However I was feeling some kind of way and with my annoying quality of not being able to pass up a good coupon... I purchased the game. Now my kids started off sweet and innocent playing well together and electing me the Best Mom Eva but that lasted about two hours before they were at each others throats and battling like it was DEFCON 1. So this week I hate Skylanders even if it's my fault that it exists now forever in my home.


Well now that that is off my chest I feel so much better! What are some of your loves/hates?

Friday, April 4, 2014

KLUTCHbox Subscription Box Review

KLUTCHbox is a monthly subscription box which promises to deliver $50+ worth of health & fitness products and services for $18/mo. I recently received an email invite to try my first box for $2 so I jumped. I chose the KLUTCHwomen's box instead of the KLUTCHmom's box as there seemed to be more in the women's box that I would use. I assumed since I ordered in March I would get the March box but they sent me the February box instead?

First thing I noticed is how nice the inside box was. Its got these fun triangle cutouts which help you separate the inside box from the outside. Since these are blue I plan to give them to Uriyah for sorting out all the pieces of electronics he has in his room. Yeah... Uriyah is in the phase of his future engineering career where he takes all the broken electronics in our house apart to attempt to make new designs. It's been so much fun going into his room to put laundry away (insert sarcasm here).

Here is what was in my box:

Neuro Drink Sleep:  This is formulated to provide you with the best night's sleep. It contains melatonin & 5-HTP. I totally believe the claims as there was a short period of time last year when I was suffering with insomnia. It was suggested to me that I try a supplement of 5-HTP and that stuff worked like a charm. I got the best sleep of my life while taking that supplement and would still be on it if I could deal with the crazy dreams it makes you have. You are to drink Neuro Sleep 30 minutes prior to sleeping. I will be trying this out over the weekend when I'm able to sleep in a bit.

Popchips in BBQ Potato: These chips are never fried and never baked. According to the website they use a method they've coined as popping, where they use heat & pressure. I love that a whole bag of these are only 100 calories, and they taste great, but the aftertaste may kill these for me.

Runa Focused Energy Tea in Mint Guayusa: This tea boasts as much caffeine as one cup of coffee with twice the antioxidants of green tea. That sounds great! I've never had Guayusa which is apparently a caffeinated holly tree native to the Ecudorian Amazon. I'm worried about the taste and that it will taste too medicinal, however I like tea and I'm excited to experience it.

Hemp Hearts & Protein Powder from Manitoba Harvest: First time I'm hearing about hemp hearts which are apparently the inside of a hemp seed. I've been using flax seeds on the recommendation of the Abs Diet for Women that I've been following. I imagine these are very similar. Hemp is a complete plant based protein so it would be great for the days I choose to follow a vegetarian diet. The literature suggests using the hearts on salads, cereal or yogurt. This should be easy enough to incorporate into my daily routine. I have a protein shake every time I've completed a weightlifting workout. This protein powder isn't flavored so I'll have to throw in a banana or strawberries but it should workout just fine.

Oogave LOCA Diet Soda in Ginger Ale: Oooh I was so on board when I spotted this in the box. I love a natural soda and love it even more when a new one crosses my path. But this soda right here is GROSS. I've had other stevia sodas which I tolerate just fine. I think this one may have too much stevia in it. Stevia is great if used sparingly but too much and it tastes like you are guzzling cough syrup...

Zarbee's Naturals: We already use the Zarbee's cough syrup in our house for the kids so I was excited to see allergy pills. Uriyah & Aaliyah both have seasonal allergies courtesy of Nate and the drugs we normally use sometimes make the kids drowsy. However when I look at the package it says for adults and children 12+. Shoot, I guess this will go straight to Nate. Fun fact, Nate once sneezed for 20 times straight during a high pollen day. It was quite the sight to see.

Smooch Pouch in Strawberry, Blueberry & Banana: I love smoothie pouches and was so excited to try this one out. Uriyah snatched it and sucked it down before I even had a chance to blink so we'll have to take his word for it. He says it's super delicious but he could do without the seeds. I guess these have chia seeds in them. I think I would agree. I don't think I could handle the texture f%$k of having seeds in a liquid.

According to the literature brochure I was supposed to get a sample of Bottle Bright & a Raw Revolution bar but those are missing Sad  Still trying to decide if I'll bother the company about it. I'm almost positive this box didn't reach the $50+ promised even though I'm pleased for the most part with what I received. I will probably continue my subscription at least for a few more months.
Disclosure: This post contains referral links.

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