Saturday, October 4, 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.

I saw a video this week that just knocked me off my socks. Is it sing, songy? No. It does have dance, but mostly this girl is a gymnast. To me dance, painting, choreography, and more are all related. They often times influence each other in ways.

Here's the dance video:

Jen Bricker is the one and only featured this week. The video above isn't the one that captured my attention. The one below is.

I'm not going to tell you a lot about her because the video below covers it.

She was born with no legs. Her parents abandoned her in the hospital. A couple adopted her, and told her that they never want to hear the words I can't. Despite her disabilities she became a gymnast.

Why did this appeal to me? Well my oldest sister is adopted. I strongly believe that things happen for a reason. Even within my own sister's adoption crazy things happened. Her biological Dad went by the name of Red, our Dad goes by Red. My sister has always been so talkative. Her family is the same way. There's more to that story.

Here's the video that is so interesting: 

Check out Jen Bricker's Twitter page, and Facebook page.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Random Tid Bits

  1. My boss was on The Price is Right. He had to keep it under wrap before it aired. When he was going to be on he prerecorded it, and asked all our classes to come watch it. I kind of rolled my eyes inside my head. It's close to midterm time here. Everyone is pretty busy. He left it optional.

    It's much different watching that show when you know someone that's on it. It's really different watching it when you know they didn't want to be on it in the first place, and their wife and kids were so excited to be on it. It's really amusing to know that their wife made custom Nebraska shirts for the show; that Drew Carry happened to notice. You can imagine my boss was totally shocked when he was called up. I was LMAO. He didn't know that the wheel could only be spun twice. He's at work all the time; he hardly watches the show.


    In the end he won a 3D flat screen TV, and a new washer and dryer.

    If you could automatically be on a game show, which one would you pick?

  2. I had a huge critique session this week on a big project that the students were working on. One of our top students didn't do well with this project. Let's just say that she was livid that she got a C. She came up to the critique saying, "I just didn't like the way this turned out. I wasn't very fond of this technique." I explained what she could do to make it better. When she saw her grade she went off. I'm thinking, You don't like this assignment, BUT you want a good grade? I said, "Well you have a week to apply the changes I suggested to make your grade better." She said, "I just don't think you have a good reason to give me a C." I said, "It's interesting that you said that because I had 3 teachers look at these projects, and we all agreed on the grades. I'm sorry you feel that way." Off she went. Many students come from high schools where they were the BEST artist there, and had all the time they wanted on projects. They don't have that here. We have tight deadlines, and most everyone was the best artist in their high school class. The best are up against another best.

    I'm sure things like critiquing will get better. They always seem to. I teach 2 first year classes. The male teachers here teach 2nd year classes. They have no idea what it's like to train them with critiquing, and not always getting A's. Let's put it this way: I'm not here to coddle them. I'm not here to trash them. I'm here to make them employable, and I want them to get better. In the graphic design industry you have to have a backbone, and stand out among others to get a job.

  3. Leaves are already all over my driveway. It rained though. They are a sloppy mess. I'm not going to be able to suck them up any time soon.

  4. Part of me loves fall. I like Halloween, and the holidays that are in winter. I just dislike that everything is dark early. The fact that all the leaves have lost their leaves, the grass is brown, and flowers are gone kind of reminds me of death. Spring and summer are alive, and happier.

    What season do you like best?

  5. The boys had class pictures the other day. Mica wanted to wear his suit jacket, and Isaak wanted to wear a tie. Daddy didn't want them to wear either. I didn't really care. In the end Daddy said, "You know what? We're paying for the pictures. Last year you wore your suit jacket. This year you are wearing nice button down shirts." Daddy won that one.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Insta Natural Deep Cleansing Facial Oil, Moroccan Rose Water, and Vitamin C Serum Review

I really love to use product on my hair and skin that do not have harmful chemicals in them. It's hard to find products like that in most stores. I have so many allergy issues with sulphates, that I have to be careful about what I use on my skin.

The last time I used a product that had sulphates in it I broke out in hives so bad that I had to go in to get a steroid shot to get them to go away.

I'm happy there are companies out that that have products I can trust. 

The company Insta Natural sent me 3 products: Deep Cleansing Facial Oil, Moroccan Rose Water, and Vitamin C Serum to review!

“We are committed towards researching and developing the BEST natural and organic skincare products, so you can feel comfortable and proud about what you put on your body. We at InstaNatural value the safety of our customers, therefore we reveal every single ingredient included in our products on the label. We wake up each day with a vision to provide the maximum value to you, our beloved customer. We are so confident in our products, that we back them all with our lifetime satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied for ANY reason, all you have to do is contact us and we will take care of you, no questions asked. Even though we have thousands of customers from all around the globe, we promise to treat you as if you’re our only customer!” 
AJ, Founder – InstaNatural 
Deep Cleansing Facial Oil

Deep Cleansing Facial Oil is $49.95, but marked down to $29.95 on Amazon

It's a makeup remover. I have to be honest that I get lazy in the day, and sometimes forget to wash my makeup off. Not only that I have sensitive skin where my face doesn't like harsh soaps. Now that I have a product that's geared towards taking my makeup off I'm changing my ways. 

You just apply a little bit to a washcloth, pad, or cotton ball. I've actually been using a baby washcloth on my face. They are not being used on baby's, a so soft, so why not use them on my face? :) Wipe off makeup. Rinse with warm water, and pat dry. 

All Ingredients are Natural and Organic:

Organic Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil (Olea Europaea), Lavender Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata), Hemp Oil (Cannabis Sativa Oil), Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Tamanu Oil (Calophyllum Inophyllum), Sea Buckthorn Oil (Hippophae Rhamnoides), and Wheat Germ Oil (Triticum Vulgare). All ingredients are to be used on skin only. 

I was worried about the scent because there's lavender oil in it. I just don't like the smell of lavender. It really doesn't have a strong odor. It most certainly left my face feeling soft.

Moroccan Rose Water

Moroccan Rose Water is $24.99, but marked down to $12.97 on Amazon

It's the ultimate facial toner. 

Avoid contact with your eyes. This product has many uses. It's meant to maintain the PH balance in the skin. It tightens the pores in your face. Apply in an upward fashion with a cotton ball on your face or neck.

You can use it on your hair to make it shiny. I haven't used it this way just yet. Apply into your scalp, let it sit for 20 minutes, and was your hair with your normal shampoo. 

You can also add it to your bath. This slightly scents your bath water, and makes it much more relaxing.

Other uses: Acne, Sunburn, Aftershave, Blemishes, Aromatherapy, and more. 

All Ingredients are Natural and Organic:

100% Pure Moroccan Rose Water (Rosa Damascena). All ingredients are to be used on skin only. 

I love that there's so many uses for this product! 

Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C Serum is $49.95, but marked down to $16.97 on Amazon. That's quite a savings.

It's used under makeup, and can be applied morning and night.

This product acts as a follow-up to the toner listed above. Apply with a cotton ball on your face or neck.

All Ingredients are Natural and Organic:
Deionized Water, Organic Aloe, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, Plant Stem Cells, Algae Extract, Japanese Green Tea Leaf Extract (Camellia Oieifera), Organic Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Sea Buckhorn Oil, Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil, Carbomer, (2s) -2-Amino-5-Guanidionopentanoic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Pomegranate, Organic Carrot Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Organic Gotu Kola, Wildcrafted Horsetail, Wildcrafted Dandelion, Wildcrafted Wild Geranium, Phenoxyethanol, and Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin

All the products go so well together. They seriously make my face feel like it's glowing!  

Like Insta Natural on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

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I received Insta Natural products in exchange for writing this post. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Last week we had some awkward moments. 

Awkward Moment Number 1:

The boy's school has different nights set aside for parents to get to know one another. Isaak's class had their night last week.

They have popcorn set out, and different puzzles for kids to do with one another. We brought some puzzles of our own.

For a brief moment the parents got called away to talk about what goes on in the classroom.

Isaak was all about wanting all the phone numbers to every kid in class he saw.

Towards the end of us being there Isaak said, "Mom there's Jada. I need to get her phone number!" I've heard him talk about Jada a time or two. He was too shy to go up and ask himself. I tried that last year, and I found that kids didn't know their phone numbers, so it is best that I got up to ask the parents myself.

Jada's Dad happens to be blind. Jada went running off with another kid when we asked for her phone number. Her Dad asked Isaak, "Sweety do you know what kid Jada ran off with?"

Isaak looked up at me and said in an awkward voice, "Mom he's staring at me funny! Why is he looking at me funny?" 

Thankfully it was loud in the room. I quickly said, "Isaak's being kind of shy tonight. He wanted me to come over and ask you for Jada's number. You'll have to excuse him." 

Later on we had a talk about blindness, and disabilities. Luckily they are both familiar with Little House on the Prairie, and how Mary was blind. In all reality people that are blind have a different look in their eyes than they do when they act on TV.

Awkward Moment Number 2:

I took the boys to get their hair cut. Mistake number 1: I shouldn't go alone to get their hair cut. Daddy is much more in tune with boy hair cuts than I am. I've learned that their hair should not be rounded in the back; it should instead be squared off with the corners rounded. He's picky about the blend to. To me if it's straight we're good. Mica's bangs seriously grow angled. I've experienced crooked bangs before. 

Daddy didn't have time to go with to get their hair cut. The boys have school pictures this week.

There's one place I go that has 1 really good barber that's from India, and one really bad barber that's African American. I'd call and make an appointment if I knew the good one's name.

I walked in, and didn't see the good barber. The bad barber was sweeping up. He was ready for someone new. Last time Mica got up in his chair he had crooked bangs, and the guy blended one side, and not the other. It was a bad hair cut.

What's a girl to do in this situation?  I surely couldn't say, "Sorry I can't have that guy cut our son's hair." They'd think I was being racist. I have friends all different colors; I honestly don't care what color someone's skin is. I plopped them up in their chairs, and hoped for the best. Thinking back maybe I should have said I left my credit card behind, and never went back.

I went home, and listened to Daddy say, "Man I should just cut their hair from now on."  

Awkward Moment Number 3:

Daddy...Daddy...Daddy he's such a pain with picking out pants and boxers. He picked out 2 new pairs of pants recently. Then at his sister's reception he says to me, "We have got to take these pants back. They are so uncomfortable." 

We get home. I told him, "Can you try these other pants on, so I can take them back together?" Never mind the fact that he tried them on in the store. He had all the time in the world to try them on, while I hauled two crazy boys around. 

He put the next pair of pants on, and goes to rip the tags off. I said, "Oh no you don't." He said, "Well I've got to wear them all day to see if they'll work or not. I can't leave the tags on for that." We both exchanged dirty looks. 

Sure enough the 2nd pair of pants are just not right. I actually sewed the tags on with a thread and needle. *Shaking my head. Thankfully they took both pair back. I was worried they wouldn't when the guy behind the counter was looking for the tags of the other pair of pants.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WW: Yellow Stripe {Linky}

Isaak got his first yellow stripe in Ju-Jitsu. They test for 4 yellow stripes before the test for a new belt. He was pretty excited to get his stripe and certificate.

Other kids tested to. Some were tasting for the 2nd yellow stripe, and some were testing for the first. Proud parents, proud children, and proud Sensei.

Isaak's such a stinker for being over dramatic.

The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel'sThe Apel's

Tips For Successful Shopping With Kids

There have been shopping battles in our little family. 

Mica used run from me laughing when Isaak was a baby.

Isaak liked to pretend our cart was the Polar Express train. He'd yank on the safety belt and make a hideous noise like a train hitting it's breaks. The cart would be yanked back towards me. It was possibly funny to others, but it annoyed the heck out of me.

6 Tips I've Found for Successful Shopping:

  1. Have the child write your list. This not only helps you, but it also helps with their handwriting and spelling.

    *Note Mica wrote this list, while in a moving car. I don't know how much this list helped his handwriting. He did draw a little cart on the list for me. Also "Shells" are tortilla shells. I abbreviate a lot.

  2. Have the kids look for the items you need. Treat the stop at the store like a scavenger hunt.

  3. Have one kid get the produce bag, and the other one get the twisty ties. Trade kids for this task. The last thing you need is them arguing about who's turn it is to get the twisty ties. *We've been there.

  4. Let them weigh in on an item they want. Talk to them about nutrition.

    Isaak always asks for 1 grapefruit. Mica, well he's more of a human garbage disposal. He asks for Luchables. I got one once for a field trip. Mica said it was gross. I refuse to get Lunchables. Mica sees other kids with them at school. I tell Mica to pick out a fruit, or veggie he wants. The bottom line is that it's a great time to have dialog with your kids about what's healthy, and what's not.

  5. If you get the newspaper, have them clip out the coupons. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ghostbusters Goof

I send movies, swimming suits, and Legos with the boys when they stay and Grandma and Grandpa's house.

I came to pick them up, and find some contraption that Mica made, and some paper collage that Isaak put together. I'm not complaining. I just find it amusing.

The last time I picked up Mica he made this:

My Dad AKA Grandpa said that Mica wasn't into the juice bottle. It's all they had. He wanted something better. He wanted to paint the box black, but didn't have time to do it. He wanted the hose off his air compressor, but my Dad wouldn't give that up. Gee I wonder why? ;)

In the car ride home Mica rattled on and on about how he wanted to find some way of getting colored lights in his juice container.

We have a little creative perfectionist.


Making a Difference in Your Community

Whether you've just moved to your community or your family has been living there for generations, it's important to stay active and involved. Today's citizens are leading busy lives. It's easy to get so caught up in your family activities and work obligations that you ignore what's going on around you. However, you shouldn't complain about what's going on in your area if you're not willing to do anything to change it.

Make Your Voice Heard

Even if you're living in a wonderful area, there are most likely improvements that you'd like to see in your community. You don't have to obtain an official government position to make a difference. It's important to remember that the government is there to meet the needs of the people.

If you see a real need in your community, make your voice heard by contacting your local government. Even if you're making a complaint, make sure that you remain polite and professional in your communication.

It also helps to provide possible solutions instead of just registering a long list of complaints. For instance, perhaps you are concerned that it's difficult for your children to play on the community playground because dogs are running around without leashes. You could recommend that dog park equipment be installed in a separate fenced area so both parents and pet owners are happy.

Get Involved

Volunteering in your community is a wonderful way to make a difference. Sure, you're leading a busy life, but it's worth it to make time for others. Set an example for your children by getting the whole family involved in a cause that is important to all of you.

It can seem intimidating to make a long term commitment, so start by just focusing a few hours on one weekend to volunteerism. You'll remain more committed to your cause if you're passionate about the mission, so choose an area that is close to your heart.

If your family loves spending time at the beach, you could all volunteer to help at the coastal trash pickup event. If you love animals, offer your services at the local animal shelter. Residents who enjoy working with children can volunteer to tutor underprivileged kids or organize a toy drive during the holiday season.

Regardless of your current circumstances, there is always a way that you can make a difference. When you're involved in your community, your family and the other residents will benefit from your participation.

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I received a PayPal payment for posting this through LinkVehicle. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Organic Spirulina Review

If you love smoothies you have to try out Organic Spirulina.

It's a new product to me. It's marked down on Amazon from $45.00 to $25.95.

It also comes with a PDF book full of recipes. I tried out their chocolate smoothie. We had breakfast before the light was out to take a decent photo, so this is from their PDF book:

Chocolate Smoothie:

Serves 1-2 people
  • 1/2 cup quick oats - cook and set aside.
  • Their recipe said 5 Tablespoons of fresh Spirulina powder, but I'd knock that down to 3. Ours was a little too green. We're a family used to greens.
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate.
  • 2 large frozen bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (You can substitute with another kind of milk.)
Note: Put in the freezer for long enough to freeze up for an alternative to ice cream.


Our Organic Spirulina Is great for the immune system. This is the time of year where people get sick. The product is filled with greens, and is nutrient-packed. 

You can use it on:
  • Smoothies
  • Juices 
  • Recipes 

Adding Spirulina to Your Diet Will Help:

Strengthen Your Immune System:

A very dense nutrient food. It works miracles in the body by helping to balance your pH and reduce Inflammation - which is the root of most disease. This nutritional content provides protection from colds, flus, allergens, other contractable illnesses… & even cancer.

Fight Aging and Free Radicals:

It has more antioxidant activity than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and 3900% more beta carotene than carrots, packing a powerful antioxidant punch that promotes skin health and cell regeneration while providing protection from cell-damaging molecules absorbed by the body through pollution, poor diet, injury, or stress.

Optimize Your Health With Nature's Most Perfect Multivitamin:

With over 100 naturally occurring and bioavailable vitamins & nutrients, Organic Spirulina contains more than 60% protein and is a non-synthetic source of iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, beta-carotine, B12, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, antioxidants and essential amino acids (GLA, Omega 3, 6 & 9's).

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way:

Spirulina is really dense. I added too much in our smoothie this morning. It was just too strong. 1 scoop will be plenty for a smoothie in our house. This is so healthy, and has such great antioxidants in it. I love that it helps boost your immune system. 

Spirulina contains more protein content than any other food source, and, it is biologically complete - containing all of the essential amino acids needed for human health. Spirulina is also the most planet friendly source of protein. It yields 20% more than soybeans with 25% of the water usage and is 5 times more energy efficient!

The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel's The Apel'sThe Apel's

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.

They are Growing Much Too Fast!

Grandpa Spiehs is tall, and Grandma Spiehs is pretty tall for a girl. There are some tall people in Grandma Apel's side as well. Needless to say I'm pretty sure our boys have gotten the tall gene.

Mica's only 9, and he wears size 12 shirts, and 10 pants. He's always been longer in the torso. He gets that from me, and I get that from my Dad. It sucked when he was itty bitty because I couldn't get very many 1 piece outfits, or sets. I always wished they'd carry all the cute sets separately, and at the same price. You know because the world should revolve around me, and my family. Just kidding.

Isaak's only 6, and he wears size 7. He's more proportionate than Mica is. That boy has hips though. When Mica's pants get handed down to Isaak I have to make the pants bigger for him.

Thank goodness for adjustable waists. When I was a kid they didn't have those. My boys are so skinny, their pants would be falling down if they didn't have the adjustable waist to make their pants a little more snug. Even though Isaak has hips, he's still skinny everywhere else.

I'm sad to say, but this is the last year Mica will be able to fit into Gymboree clothing. They only carry up to size 10 in their stores, and some things come in size 12 online. If you go to the store, and order right there, they will order the size you need, and ship it to your house for free.

All summer I wasn't in love with anything I saw in their store for older kids.

Then I saw a line I knew the boys would like: Vikings. I went to the store, and bought 2 shirts, 2 hats, and socks (because they always need socks) for Christmas presents. Everything was 20% off, plus I had a 20% off coupon. Grandma Spiehs bought them off me to give to the boys. She was just as excited about my find.

All images belong to Gymboree, and you can find them here.

This folks will be for Mica. It's perfect for a little boy that still loves to play dress up. He's an actor by nature.
 This is great because Isaak loves to be just like Mica. I don't like them matching 100%.
 I had to get matching hats. They have stocking caps with dragons on them. I like these caps so much more!

This is not a sponsored post. Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

True Synergy - Yacon Syrup Review

I recently got True Synergy - Yacon Syrup Review.

What is Yacon Syrup?
extracted from the tuberous roots of the yacon plant. It's not like maple syrup. That's what first entered my mind. It's more the consistency of molasses. 

It's originally $39.99 and on sale for $17.95. 

Store in the refrigerator after opening. 

Why Yacon Syrup?

Pure yacon syrup assists in weight loss and slimming waist sizes. It helps regulate blood sugar. I love that it has a lot of fiber in it.

The syrup, distilled from the Peruvian tuber yacon -- contains up to 50 percent fructooligosacharides, or FOS. FOS, classified as a prebiotic, is a non-caloric sweetener.

According to a 2009 Scientific study, daily intake of yacon syrup produced a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index. You can take 1 teaspoon 3 times a day. Do not take if you are allergic to yacon or related foods, such as sunflower seeds. Ask your doctor if yacon syrup is ok to take if you are pregnant or nursing.

Yacon syrup Speeds up the metabolism to combat excess fat and regulates the hunger hormone, making you feel full longer.

It's great for diabetics because it's a low-glycemic sweetener.

I used it to make Banana Almond Ice Cream.

  • In a food processor add 1/2 cup almonds. Process to look like almond butter. You may need to pulse a few times. This does take a few minutes to process.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of coconut manna, or coconut oil.
  • Add 1/8 cup True Synergy - Yacon Syrup.
  • Add 2 cut up frozen bananas, and 1 regular banana.
  • Add 1/2 cup almond milk, rice milk, cashew milk, or soy milk.

Keep processing until it's all mixed in, and there are no clumps.

*Optional add in mini chocolate chips.

Freeze for 3 or 4 hours before serving. It tastes like soft served ice cream.

The boys loved it. It's a healthy snack. Much healthier than store bought ice cream.

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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.


The opinions on this blog are my personal take on products and topics relating to motherhood. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me.

I am not compensated to provide opinions on a variety of topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own. If I claim to show knowledge of certain topic or product I will only endorse products or services that I feel, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement.

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