Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sing, Sing a Song

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.

Who likes the band Tool? My husband does. We ran across a bunch of kids that redid one of their sons. It's so amazing. The lead singer has an amazing voice.

The students for all their hard work: Curtis / Drums, AJ / Bass, Olivia / Piano, Kala / Vocals, Jacob / Guitar, Chris / Guitar, Geoffrey / Claves, Kane / Bongos, Jack / Djembe

They are from the O'Keefe Music Foundation. It's a nonprofit that helps children to record their musical performances for free. 

 Photography / Videography: John Quinto

Mastering Engineer: Steve Nagasaki 

The Nagasaki Sound mastering studio is located in Southwestern US. Phoenix. It has a desert setting with earth and stone walls. He tries to mix an industrial sound with a Japanese flavor, and adds a creative spark. 

Nagasaki hand-built much of the things in the studio for a perfect atmosphere.

Mixing Engineer: Dan Agee

Lead Engineer: Zach Allen

Assistant Engineer: Jarad Clement

Cameramen: Simon Marts and John Quinto
Jeremy Singer at Maineville Music Academy

Tool, for writing an incredible song!

O'Keefe Music Foundation has done other covers. Here's Dream Theater Pull Me Under.

No More Tears By Ozzy.

It's amazing what you can do with talent when you work with kids. It saddens me that art and music are being pulled from schools.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Beef Stronganoff

I try to make recipes better for us to eat. 

I had most of the stuff to make Beef Stronganoff. I replaced the sour cream with plain Greek Yogurt, and instead of topping it on noodles I topped it on a grain I've never tried called Freekeh. Freekeh is supposed to be better for you then rice.

I have to say that Freekeh wasn't too bad. It's a grain that has protein in it.

It turned out to be really good! The boys liked it.

Random Tid Bits

  1. Mica said to me, "Mom I know Sophie likes me." I said, "How do you know?" He said, "She told one of her friends. That same friend told me." He knows he's too young for a girlfriend.

    I respect him for confiding in me that he has a crush on a girl he barely knows. She's new this year, in the other class, cute, and the main reason he likes her is because she's smart. She's had a few Principle's Awards and goes to the honor's club with him. 

  2. I could not figure out why my pen kept slipping out of my ear. I went into the bathroom, washed my hands, looked in the mirror, and saw a pencil in my ear, and a pen slipping out of my ear. Apparently 2 writing utensils just wouldn't fit.

  3. We took the kids to Bounce-U for a fundraiser my niece was a part of. I looked at the floor and turned to my husband to say, "I know the floor is supposed to look like confetti, or something like that. To me it looks like pills. Maybe they are subliminally pushing for parents to give their kids Riddlin."

    Hey your kids are hyper, that's why you have them here to bounce off our walls. Sedate them a little - before you bring them to our establishment next time. Of course I'm making all this up, but doesn't their carpet look like pills?

  4. Isaak must have been going through a growth spurt. He has been ultra clumsy. The boys has bruises all over. He's also been wetting his pants. Not to the point where there's a puddle. Just a wet circle around the area where he pees.

    At first I got after him. Then I read about how it's best not to bring attention to it. Bringing attention to it may make the problem worse. Boys in particular sometimes miss the cue of needing to go. It's true when I see the wet circle Isaak acts as though he didn't know it was there. I've noticed a pattern whenever he grows a lot he eats a lot the week before, is clumsy, and either has wet accidents at night, or the starting of an accident in his pants. Luckily he has had no pee accidents at night this time. I've dropped the issue, and just tell him to go more often. Luckily I haven't noticed him coming home from school that way.

  5. I thought this was really cool. A designer designed shoes that can grow 5 sizes for underdeveloped countries. I think these shoes should spread to everywhere. Although I think my boys would wear them out before the 5 different sizes have hit.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bully Much?

Isaak came home worked up yesterday. 

He said, "Mom I have to tell you something." 

I said, "What is it?" 

He said, "Some kids were doing things in the boy's bathroom doing things that they weren't supposed do. They were climbing on this wall in there. I told them to stop. Then I went, and told my teacher.

Later at recess the same group of kids started chasing me saying, 'It's payback time!'

Luckily I'm a pretty fast runner, and they just couldn't catch up to me. I told a teacher. She told me to just ignore them."

Mica said, "Isaak you should have found me. I would have gone up to all of them and said, 'Leave my brother alone!' Since I'm older I would have made them listen to me."

I was surprised that those words came out of Mica's mouth. The boy tries to ignore Isaak as much as humanly possible. 

My older sister was the same way, mean to me at home, and cool as a cucumber to me at school. *Except for the one day she decided to hold my hand, and pretend we were an item just to piss me off, and embarrass me. That's a different story.

I said, "Who's the teacher you talked to on the playground?" Isaak didn't know. I said, "Mica can you go get your Yearbook, so Isaak can point out the teacher he talked to." We figured out it was an aid that we also don't really know. I wrote down her name, and the kid's names to email his teacher what had happened. 

Our night got busy, and I forgot. Mom Fail! Then I remembered today. The teacher was emailed. I redeemed myself.

This is only the 2nd time I've emailed her all year. 

I don't go running to the teachers every time something happens at school, but I do want to let them know the whole story with things. Then everyone's on the same page. I especially hate when one of my son's are doing something respectful, and to the rules, and punk kids are being bullies.

Let's face it the lack there of respect in this world is going downhill. If I can raise my kids to be honest, respectful, and responsible I'm a happy camper. I'm not saying that they should be snitches all the time either. They however do know right from wrong. 

On the upside one kid is in Kids Club that Mica says could go down the wrong path. His words - not mine. I said, "Mica everything happens for a reason. Maybe this boy needs someone like you in his life. Mica said, "You know you're right Mom."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

WW: Star Wars {Linky}

I used to love Star Wars when I was a kid. When I got to college there were some serious Star Wars fans. We're talking about figurines in their dorm rooms. I decided that I really didn't love Star Wars anymore.

I checked out the 3 from the 70s at the library. Mica was in love with the series. One of my friends saw that I posted that Mica was so into Star Wars. She wrote me to ask if we wanted the whole series? I of course said, "Yes please!"  I'm indeed thankful for friends (blogger friends included), and family.

Mica said, "She must look exactly like Princess Leia to give me the whole Star Wars set!" 

We've watched the very first one. Mica's read all the backs of every DVD.

Isaak took his bubble wand he got for Easter, and kept swinging it around calling it his lightsaber.

Please Check Out My Giveaways on the Sidebar. 

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

Monday, April 13, 2015

NuNaturals Review + Giveaway

I got a lot of stuff in the mail from NuNaturals to try and out. It's all so good.
I was very excited about their new industry first Cocoa Syrup, Simple Syrup, and Cocoa Mint Syrup. They are:
  • Stevia Based
  • "0" Calorie
  • Sugar-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
The morning after I got these products I made a Cherry Smoothie.

This is for a family of 4. The adults get medium sized glasses, and the kids get tiny glasses.
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 1 bag of frozen dark cherries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (the amount can very depending on how thick or thin you like your smoothies)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 teaspoons of NuStevia Cocoa Syrup
I paired this up Cherry Smoothie up with our breakfast:

1 Buckwheat Waffle (Not Dad's favorite, but I enjoyed it.), Steamed Collard Greens, 1/2 a banana, a small amount of blue berries, a small amount of dark chocolate covered almonds, and coffee for the adults.

 The smoothie was so good!

The next day I made Cocoa Mint Smoothies.

This is for a family of 4. The adults get medium sized glasses, and the kids get tiny glasses.
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 4 frozen bananas - basically fill up most of the blender with frozen bananas
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (the amount can very depending on how thick or thin you like your smoothies)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons of NuStevia Cocoa Mint Syrup
The boys went and bragged about their mint drinks to Grandma and Grandpa.

I also got a lot of flavored Pure Liquid NuNaturals NuStevia. I use either the orange flavor or the lemon flavor to make lemonade, or limeade.

The next day I made Sparkling Limeade.

This for a full sized pitcher.
  • Squeeze 1 lime
  • Add 2 cans of lime sparkle water
  • Fill up 2 droppers full of NuNaturals Pure Liquid Lemon NuStevia
  • Fill the rest of the pitcher up with water and ice
This is so good on a hot day.

Other flavors of  Pure Liquid NuNaturals NuStevia are: Vanilla, Cherry, Unflavored, and Peppermint.

I also made up a recipe for Sugarless Cookies. I was so nervous that I'd majorly mess this up, but I didn't. I looked at other recipes online, and based mine off of some I saw. I have to admit sometimes I don't know what this or that is when I look at gluten free recipes, nor do I have everything mentioned.

I used the following NuNaturals products in this recipe:

Recipe for Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies:
  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour blend. I get mine at Costco.
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of NuNaturals Oat Fiber
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Chia Seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 Tablespoons NuNaturals NuStevia No Carbs Blend
  • 1 Tablespoon protein powder or powder peanut butter 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans 
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter, or peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 local honey
  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 
I'm not entirely gluten free. I just try and watch it. I know oatmeal, and chocolate chips you have to buy special if you have Celiac Disease.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I used my 1 inch scoop, flatten them with a wet spatula. They do not spread. You can place them really close together on the cookie sheet. Cook two sheets at a time for 7 minutes, and switch the sheets to cook for another 7 minutes. Total baking time = 14 minutes.

The boys absolutely loved them. My main critic (Travis AKA Dad) came back for a second one.

I also got 100 packets of White Stevia Powder.

Overall I love the NuNaturals products. They ship fast and taste really good! The owner always gives a lot, which is so nice! 

Win It! You to can win all the products I reviewed! 
Us only 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out their facebook page, twitter page and recipes

Disclaimer: The opinions on the post are my personal take on the product. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I am not compensated to provide my opinion except for receiving the products themselves to test out. I received samples from NuNaturals to assist with this review. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review.

MakerStudio Propellers Set Review

We got MakerStudio Propellers Set By ThinkFun. This can be purchased on Amazon as well. 

ThinkFun has MakerStudio Gear Set and MakerStudio Wrenches Set to. 
All of the MakerStudio Sets are $19.99. 


Maker Studio is meant to inspire the imagination for budding engineers. In this set featuring propellers, you can build: 
  • A Chopper
  • A Biplane
  • A Windmill 
  • A Plane 
Isaak made a Chopper with Dad.

For Each Build the Child is Given Engineering Challenges:
  • Experiment with friction
  • Torque and propulsion  
  • Skills in Science
  • Skills in Technology
  • Skills in Engineering 
  • Skills in Math (STEM) 
  • Stimulates Imagination and Creativity 
Once you’ve mastered all four builds, get creative and design something that’s all your own!  

Isaak and Dad kind of built something all on their own due to the fact that there was a few missing things in the kit. They couldn't make the back of their Chopper. That's ok they still had fun.

  • 1 X-Linkage
  • 1 Spool
  • 2 Exra Long Connectors, 3 Long Connectors, 4 Short Connectors
  • 2 Small Wheels
  • 1 5.5" Rod, 3 4.25" Rods, 5 1.5" Rods
  • 24 Hub Caps
  • 1 Hole Punch
  • 3 Rubber Bands
  • 10 Engineering Challenges
Make sure after opening the packaging the pieces are cross-referenced with the instruction booklet. The pieces are lightly colored and blend in easily with the cardboard. Also, some of the items, which can be seen in the window on the front of the packaging, aren't included with the majority of the pieces inside the box. If you open the box too quickly or throw out the packaging, you may miss them given the separate location.
Top View

Back View

Side View

3 Quarter View

What We Thought:

This set was harder than we originally thought it would be. I think it should be for ages 8 and up. Isaak's almost 7, but thinking back to when Mica was that age I don't know if he could have done it at age 7 by himself. Both our boys are good at building things. It was really hard when we noticed a bag a parts were missing. I know that happens. It's just makes it hard to review when that happens. 

Isaak did however have fun making this with Dad. He had to show it off to Grandma and Grandpa. He was proud of his new made toy. 

I liked that it is creative, makes kids think, fun, and resourceful. You use things in your house to complete the construction. 

Check out that smile on Isaak's face! :)

Like ThinkFun on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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

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


One thing I won awhile back was a freestanding Badminton set from Lizventures. I hang on to things I've won for holidays. Easter seemed like a great time to give it. The Easter Bunny left it as the kid's big prize. 
I tell you with Travis' job loss, and other downfalls in income I'm so happy that I've won things and reviewed things. Thank you bloggers!
They had no clue what it was. Once we told them they couldn't wait to set it up. They kept asking over and over again to set it up to play.

They had a lot of fun playing with their cousins. Only 2 things went wrong - 1. Isaak got nailed by a racket because he got too close to his cousin when he was serving. I saw it coming, but couldn't react fast enough. No worries, he's ok. 2. It was windy. It's best to play when it's not so windy. The birdie wasn't going straight. 

They loved it regardless of the wind!

Over my own kids I liked watching my nephew Elijah play. He's big into sports, and the birdie matched his outfit perfectly. He also was facing me, which made for better pictures.

Have you ever played Badminton?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Egg Toss

My Aunt Sam loves Easter. It's one of her favorite holidays. She divides the kids up into two groups - including the biggest kids in college, and high school. They have to take a spoon with an egg in it and go touch my Aunt Becky, and go back to the next person in line. The process continues. If they drop their egg, they get another egg, but it slows them down. Whichever group is done first wins.

That's not the only game played. Our generation has to throw an egg back and forth to our husband. After each throw we have to take a step back. If someone's spouse isn't there a high schooler steps in. 

I got hit hard. Travis' nail hit it, and I caught it, but it broke in my hands. Talk about a mess! I even had egg in my hair. Yuck!

The kids have an egg hunt. It's mostly eggs filled with money, and random prizes. Some I've donated in the past with blog winnings.

Run Mica run!

Isaak runs from the camera. That kid only poses for pictures on his terms these days.


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.

If you have any questions about this blog, or want to get in contact with me please email me at: