Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday is all about me discovering something that is different. I don't want to post things that you and I have more than likely heard before. I want to find something different. It could be from another country, someone singing from the streets of NY, and more.

This week I found out about an instrument that I had never heard of before. It's called a kalimba. I heard about it through Cheapskate Blethering.

A kalimba is a thumb piano - an African instrument

The musician I'm going to feature is Wambali Mkandawire. He is a Malawian jazz musician. He was born in the Congo to Malawian parents from the Mlowe village in the north and then later lived in Mzuzu.

 His music is really calming. He uses a kalimba. It's nothing like I've ever posted.

Like Wambali on Facebook

Friday, July 18, 2014

Arches National Park - 911?!

Daddy wanted to check out more of Arches National Park. I said, "Go ahead and go. I know the boy's want to go swimming, and we haven't had a chance to do that much. You go, and we'll swim. Our pass is for 7 days anyhow."

If you want to find hiking trails and get information on tours please visit this link:

After dinner he got some water, had his cell phone, and left to go on an adventure.

It was 8:30 and he still had not gotten back. I didn't want to worry the boys, so I kept leaving our hotel room to call him. Of course the reception is horrible in those parts and when you are roaming. He didn't answer at all.

I was questioning if I should call 911, or if I was over reacting. Then I decided that him leaving for Arches National Park by himself was a bad idea! I'm pretty sure that if we were playing a survival game we would have lost in what we chose to do.

I was thinking the worst: Either he was lost, killed by some animal, killed by some person, or hurt.

Of course there was that other side of my brain saying: He's just fine, he's just driving around and lost track of time, he'll be here any minute.

He had our vehicle. It's not like I could go driving around to find him. I'm not good with directions anyhow.

It turned out he was just fine. It really took him a long time to drive up Arches National Park. He decided to try and go on a trail to see a certain arch, and it was a difficult trial. When it got too hard he decided to turn around to go back. He didn't see any people around, and noticed it was getting later. He had no clue what kind of animals were in the area, so back to the vehicle he went.

I was so glad he decided to come back to the hotel. I felt much safer. No 911 call was needed.

Fresh Fruit Vinegars by Mange Review

I had a wonderful chance of reviewing 2 samples of Fresh Fruit Vinegars by Mange.

I chose to review: Green Apple - Pomme Verte and Blackberry

I have to be honest - the only thing I wished was that the samples sent to me were bigger. It takes time to take pictures, write, and post reviews.

  • With Fresh Fruit Vinegars you can choose to serve them so many different ways. I decided to use my samples in salads. 
  • You can also use them to flavor marinades.
  • Mixing them with liquor and pouring over ice for a refreshing cocktail would taste good to.
“If you’ve ever tried cooking with a fresh fruit vinegar, chances are you weren’t able to stop,” says Christopher Spivak, owner and founder of Mangé, a Massachusetts-based company that specializes in gastronomic cuisine.

“Most people think that if you’ve tried one vinegar, you’ve tried them all – I certainly felt that way,” recalls Spivak. “That was until I traveled to France and experienced a real fresh fruit vinegar. At that moment, I knew there was an undeniable difference between fresh fruit vinegar and every other vinegar on the market.”

I decided to take the Blackberry Fresh Fruit Vinegar to make a Zesty Quinoa Salad. This filled up a medium sized mixing bowl. It's a great recipe for a party. If you want less, you can divide the recipe in 1/2.

Here's a Downloadable Recipe to Zesty Quinoa Salad:

I used the Green Apple - Pomme Verte in a green leafy veggie salad. I just mixed some with olive oil. Boom - I had a healthier dressing.


Fruit vinegar dates back to the 18th century when berries were preserved in vinegar. Today, Spivak is putting a modern twist on the classic with Mangé’s line of exquisite fresh fruit vinegars. Unlike infused or syrup-based fruit vinegars, Mangé’s fresh fruit vinegars are made using fruit that has been picked at its peak, puréed and preserved in vinegar.

“Our process allows the vinegar to capture the true essence of the fruit’s natural flavor,” explains Spivak.

These vinegars are simple to use and highly versatile, fresh fruit vinegars are light enough to drink from a spoon, yet strong enough to marinate a ceviche. From home cooks to professional chefs, Mangé’s full line of fresh fruit vinegars offer eleven flavors that are sure to please every palate,


Blackberry, Blood Orange, Cherry, Fig, Green Apple, Mango, Passion Fruit, Pear, Raspberry, Red Pepper and White Peach. Unlike other infused or syrup-based fruit vinegars, Mangé’s fresh fruit vinegars are made using fruit that has been picked at its peak, puréed and preserved in vinegar. The process allows the vinegar to capture the essence of each fruit’s natural flavor, creating a brilliant burst of fruitful flavor that can be added to any appetizer, entrée, dessert or cocktail.


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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Random Tid Bits

  1. I've been thinking about the Malaysia plane that got shot down. I have a few blogger friends from there, and Singapore, which isn't far from there. News close to home impacts people. My thoughts are with them at this time. Virtual hugs! I cried for the victims, their family, and friends. It's a horrible feeling to have something bad happen. :(

  2. Both of my boys have had really bad allergy eyes since the 4th of July. Their eyes just get red, and itchy. Isaak's eyes in particular gets bad. It's not pink eye. It comes and goes, and gets better when they get allergy meds.

  3. I've seen back to school ads already. Where did the summer go? Are you ready for school to start?

    Sometimes I wish there was year round school. I'm friends with a family that has year round school. They still have the same amount of breaks that we do with not having year round school. The breaks are spread out, and the one in the summer there, but it's smaller.

    I know some people are anti year round school, but I think they may think it's literally all the time. I think A) Kids forget a lot during the summer. B) Kids in general do better with consistency. C) Kids need more breaks at different times.

    Like everything I can see the flip side: A) Some parents like to take big vacations. If you had family in say China, it's not like you would want to go there for a week or 2. You'd want to be there for an extended time. B) Summer time is a great time for making big memories. C) It's a parent's job to continue their kid's education. That's what they have workbooks and library for. Clearly many parents do not work with their kids.

    Are you pro, or against year round school? 

  4. Warren Buffett lives here. Last weekend he was spotted hanging out with Paul McCartney. Of course I didn't see them.

  5. This kid took a selfie with them in the background. Source

  6. I got trapped in a news case once again. Sometimes 1 case sucks me in. This one is about a mom Lacey Spears that supposedly wanted attention so bad online. I was interested at first because she was labeled as a blogger mom. Her blog only has 4 posts total on it. It was medias way of getting the case attention I'm sure. She posted a ton on Facebook to seek attention. The seeking of attention through a child is called: Munchausen by proxy. She labeled 2 boys that she cared for "Her Sons" when they weren't at all. She had her own son. Then she lied saying that his father was dead; when in fact his father was alive. He was just not the prominent person she made his fake dead daddy out to be. Her son was in and out of the hospitals 23 times in his 5 small years of life. All because he couldn't keep his food down. A nurse cared for him, and he ate whatever she gave to him. She said he had no problem keeping food down. Fake vomit was found in his hospital bed. When the hospital wouldn't give him a feeding tube, she went to another hospital. Later on he died from too much salt ingested from his G Tube. They found the salt both at the hospital, and at a home where she was caring for him. She called a friend to ask them to get rid of the feeding tube bag at her house. Her friend turned the bag into the police. It effected his ears, then his brain. There's much more to the case. If you want to read about it, you can here.

  7. I look at this little boy (below), and feel for him. He was Isaak's age when he died. He has those same gaps in his teeth. :( Do you feel like me - like there's not enough done for mental illness in this country? I know we can't catch all the crazy people out there that do horrible things. It would be nice if there was more help for the people that claim they need it, or families that turn them in. At this point there is no ruling. Things point to her being guilty. I'm not on that jury about to hear what's going down. I've read much about the case. It's packed full of lies on her part. I don't think she hated her son. So many said they felt like he was her world. I just think from what I've read that she's messed up. It's just so hard to understand how a life so beautiful can be taken away so easily.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Arches National Park - Sand

While we were in Arches National Park I was taking a needed rest with Isaak. Daddy was hiking with Mica. They both came out of the spot they were in and said, "You guys have to see this! It's like a mini paradise in there. So Isaak and I went to check out the paradise. Mica and Daddy went a different way to look at some additional arches.

After you get into this small space, there's soft sand, and rock. The sand isn't hot.

Isaak took off his shoes and ran in the sand.

There were all kinds of hidden spots - like this one:

There were also arches like this:

Isaak made a sand angel:

When we left our little paradise this is what we saw:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Arches National Park

Onward we went to Arches National Park in Southern Utah. I've always wanted to go to Utah. The pictures I've seen just look so amazing. We really only had time to hit a few key spots: Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. Arches will take up 4 posts.

Have you been to Utah?

On the way to our destination:

One car can get into the park for $10, for 7 days.

What I liked was the landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world.

Just look at the vast colors:

The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. We didn't see all there is to see.

I had Mica pull a Grover, "Near" and "Far".


I have to say I have a tendency to get hung up in seeing one area of the park, wearing myself out, then loosing energy to do the rest. We were at Mesa Verde the day before, Chaco Culture before that, hiked in Santa Fe before that, The Great Sand Dunes National Park before that, and Garden of the Gods before that. All those places had hiking involved. Yes we got exercise, but we spent a lot of time in the car to. At this point I was way off my diet. My stomach was saying, "I hate you!" There's usually some point in time where trips put a toll on my tummy. I'm just not used to eating out so much. The breakfasts at the hotels are wonderful in their taste, but not good for you!

There was one point I opted to stay in the car, but Daddy yanked me out when he saw how pretty it was. 

Isaak to was wearing thin. He was like me, he did well in the beginning, then he was hot, the sun was in his eyes, and his feet hurt. There's only so much walking a 6 year old can do with their little legs. He had done so well up until that point.

Sitting down for a rest.

Isaak became my partner, and Mica became Daddy's partner. Hence the reason why I have more pictures of Isaak.

Mica is like Daddy, he could go and go.

Despite Isaak and I being oh so tired, we loved the scenery. I don't want to down play this park. It's super amazing!

This red rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.

The next spot we visited in the park looked phalic. I giggled a few giggles.

Have you been to Arches National Park?


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