Saturday, July 2, 2016

KITCHEN SELECT Russian Icing Piping Tips Reivew

I love to decorate sweet treats. I have to say that I need a ton of practice when it comes to piping. I have just always tried to stay away from the piping part by decorating with candy, or sprinkles. When it comes to things like Cake Walks at school I always wished I was better with piping. I now have the tools to get better. Kitchen Select gave me a Russian Icing Piping Tips to review.

The set comes with 25 pieces. The cost is $25.99. It comes with 23 tips, 1 silicone bag, and a coupler. I didn't know what a coupler is. It fits on the tip with 3 sections. You can put in 3 different colors in 3 different bags. I'm not that fancy, yet.

Everything fit in one small box:

Here's some close ups of the tips:

I had some pink frosting I needed to use up, so that's what we used. It's important to keep your icing cold before making the flowers! If it's room temperature forget pumping out anything that will stay.

Put the cold icing on clear plastic wrap, and have a scissors and twisty tie handy. 

First we put a tip in the reusable silicone bag. We had to cut a bit of the bag, which is normal. It stretches a bit, so we made it smaller than needed. 

The next step is to roll the icing into a sausage type roll, cut the tip off and twisty tie the back. That went in to the silicone bag.

Then we were ready to pipe. I used one of the star tips because it's 4th of July time, but it didn't look like a star at all. It ended up looking more like a jelly fish.

I ended up doing most of them like this:

It was simple, but I didn't have a lot of frosting. I certainly didn't want to make more. The cupcakes are lemon.

The boys helped me. It was a fun family decorating event. I'm having company over tomorrow, so this will be a nice treat. 

I can't wait to dive into using other colors.

Do you like to decorate treats?

Disclaimer: I received this Kitchen Select Russian Icing Piping Tips set for a discount in exchange for an honest review.

SYB Clip-on Phone Pouch Review

I'm really sick and tired of women's pants not having deep pockets, or worse yet no pockets at all. Since I'm a teacher I need to turn my phone on silent a lot. I want it to stay on because I need to know if someone is trying to get ahold of me due to an emergency. Now I have a SYB Clip-on Phone Pouch. My phone is clipped to me.

I love their disclaimer that the phone is not included.

My phone feels pretty safe, and protected.

One really great thing about SYB Clip-on Phone Pouch is that it protects anyone wearing it from harmful radiation.

When I first got my phone I never thought about radiation exposer. This pouch blocks up to 99% of cell phone EMF radiation. I certainly want my body protected. Cell phone EMF radiation is linked to infertility and cancer. Cell phone companies like Apple warn you to not keep your phone in your pocket because of radiation exposure. 

The pouch stretches a bit to fit different sized phones with or without a case. 

Mr. Mica is my model, so I could get pictures of it on. I do need to trim that thread that's hanging off the velcro. I like to leave the products as is, so you can see them for what they are. I also with the velcro was sewed closed to the edge. Otherwise this pouch will work great with black pants.  

With out the phone in it the pouch is pretty flat, so it doesn't take up a whole lot of space. It's 6.75" x 3.75" for the large one I have. The large pouch is $19. The small size is 5.75" x 3.25". The small pouch is $9.50. 

The clip is really sturdy. I did not feel like it was going to come off at all.

Do you carry your cell phone in your pocket? 

Disclaimer: I received this SYB Clip-on Phone Pouch for a discount in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Anti-bacterial Body Wash with Tea Tree Oil

I love using products on my skin and hair that have no harmful chemicals. Keeva - Argan Oil | Tea Tree Oil | Coconut Oil doesn't appear to have any bad chemicals.

Pro: The ingredients do not have any sulphates. Products without sulphates are hard to find. My body doesn't like them. 

Con: The ingredients does not have listed Argan Oil, Tea Tree Oil, or Coconut Oil. They are all on the front. I'm confused. I hope they are in there. These oils are great for your skin.

  • Water
  • Lauric Acid
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Glycol Distearate
  • Lauryl Alcohol
  • Cocoamidopropyl DEA
  • Menthol
  • Sodium Chloride Alcohol
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Citric Acid
  • NMF50
  • Essence (of what?)
  • Tocopherol Acetate
  • Salt

The bottle has a nice design. It's plastic, not glass. I actually like that it's plastic. Glass can break in the shower. 

It has a black plastic part that has to be taken off to use the pump. The black plastic part was easy to take off.

I wanted to pump it outside to get better lighting. Isaak was in the bathtub, so I ran in to have him use it. Later I used it in the shower.

It washed well. I think it works best if you have some type of scrubby with it. We both felt clean after using it.

Cost for 28 ounce body wash: $25.95, but on sale for $24.95

What kind of body wash do you use?

Disclaimer: I received this body wash for a discount in exchange for an honest review.

Random Tid Bits

  1. It's hard to believe it's Friday already. I took Tuesday and Thursday off of work. The boys don't have camp this week and next. On Tuesday we had fun. I took the boys to take pictures. They turned out just ok. I take them every once in awhile thinking that they can make my boys smile better together than I can. I generally end up with better pictures on my own. Of course it works out better to take pictures when the sun is just about to go down. That's not always ideal considering that we're eating, taking showers, and reading books during that time of day.

    The fun things were eating at Subway, and playing at Alley V. We had extra points on our Alley V gift cards, and we used them up. I was digging the air hockey that particular day.

    On Thursday I informed them that we were cleaning. I washed all the bedding, and cleaned up the area where all the cans, extra baking stuff is and tins are. Travis came home and said, "I can't even tell what you did all day." He may not of been able to tell, but I assured him that I was busy I still have more work to do...

  2. I've been suffering from night time asthma for weeks now. I've talked to a lot of people about how their allergies are at an all time high this year. :( 

  3. On Wednesday night I went out to dinner with some co-workers to Flagship Commons. I don't hang out with them - like ever. I'll back up: There's 2 sides to the company I work at. One side has my boss, his wife, the Education Director and the teachers. The other side has the Financial Aid Director, a Librarian, the Director, recruiters, and the Office Manager. I don't hang out with the other side because my office is no where near them. I do however walk around the school with the Financial Aid Director. It was kind of nice hanging out with them.

    I told Travis and the boys to go to, but to act like they don't know me. It was just for us girls. Mica road home with me. He noticed the sky was really dark. I asked, "Do you want me to stop, so you can take pictures?" He did. One turned out pretty cool!

  4. I don't wear very much makeup. One thing I hardly ever wear is mascara. Putting mascara on just weighs my eyelids down. I feel tired when I wear it. I can't even begin to imagine what it feels like to wear fake eyelashes. 

  5. At work there are some Mulberry Trees. I take 1/2 hour lunches during the summer, but sneak in at least 10 minutes of Mulberry picking. Each day I get a handful of Mulberries.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CubeCraft 11-Piece Detail Paint Brush Set Review

I started a painting awhile ago, then it got put on hold, and now I'm painting on it again.

CubeCraft 11-Piece Detail Paint Brush Set is what I'm using to paint with. Their brushes are A*M*A*Z*I*N*G. 

They just stay shaped really well, and not one bristle became loose. I hate when I'm painting away, and a bristle is stuck in the paint.

The set comes in a sturdy box. I love this for going to paint on location. It makes it easy to wrap if it's going to be a gift to.

The brushes simply slide out the bottom of the box.

The tips all came with protectors. That's not always something I see on brushes. I can tell CubeCraft cares about maintaining the quality of their product. I'm not always the best about putting the tips back on when I'm finished. I do however keep my brushes clean, and shape them back up with my fingers to maintain a good point. 

Cleaning Your Brushes:
  • Always wipe your brush on a plain rag (one you don't care about), or paper towel to get all the paint out before cleaning it. This is less hard on the drain. 
  • If you are using a water based paint then rinse it with water. If you are using a oil based paint then rinse it with mineral spirits, or turpentine. I use a product called Gamsol. It's allergy safe.
  • There are brush cleaners that you can buy at any craft or art supply place. Read the instructions because some have you leave the cleaner in your brush because it's a conditioner. 
  • A mild soap works well to clean with to.
  • Always clean your brush until all the color is out of it. 
  • Reshape the brush when you are done.
  • Dry your paintbrush flat. If you dry it standing up, the water seeps into the brush breaking up the glue, which the bristles will come up eventually.  

These brushes are fairly small for detailed work.

They can be used for any media:

  • Watercolors
  • Pen and Ink
  • Acrylics
  • Oils 
They are also separated in the packaging.

I'm working on a painting of the back side of a sunflower. You can see my reference right there. I haven't started paining the actual flower part yet. The steam was painted with something I've never painted with before. It's painted on corn husk. I used the matte medium to adhere the husk to the canvas, and painted on top. I'm still not done, but it's getting there. 

I'm going to use tissue paper to paint on the petals. *Note that colored tissue paper is not light safe. I'll use white, and color it with acrylics.

I have the underpainting done of the steam, but will be going in to touch up lights and darks. Before I do that I'll start in with the underpainting of the flower petals first.

Above the flower will be a honey bee with a gas mask on. The piece is about the mass decline in the bee population.

The brushes worked great. I'll be using them more and more with the detail work. 


$19.95 on Amazon. 

Do you like to paint?

Disclaimer: I received CubeCraft 11-Piece Detail Paint Brush Set for a discount in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

WW: Superheroes {Linky}

My nephew Emerson has Trisomy 18. He wasn't expected to live. In the hospital they call his condition incompatible with life. He just turned 5. He walked all over during his birthday party; with a superhero cape on the back of his walker.

Happy Birthday Emerson!

Here's his family. My sister, nephews and brother-in-law:

My nephew Evan and Elijah. My boys are close to them because they are the same ages as them.

My son's Mica and Isaak.

My youngest nephew that gets all the attention because he copies whatever the boys say or do, Edison.

I convinced my dad to get a picture. ;) What a sport!


Monday, June 27, 2016

I Ruined Someone's Dying Wish

This weekend we celebrated my nephew Emerson's 5th birthday. Pictures will be posted tomorrow.

My sister had a special party planned because we never thought he'd live this long. He keeps going and going. I say that because throughout his party he showed off the whole time by walking with his walker. He had to be so tired by the end of it. My sister kept offering breaks for him, but he kept on walking.

Ok here's one photo. It's hard getting photos of him because he's constantly moving, and hardly keeps his head up. I won the cape from Mail4Rosey. :)

I was asked to take pictures at a booth they had set up. I have to be honest I wasn't too thrilled when I got this job, but it ended up not being so bad. I tried recruiting kids over to take photos with superhero masks and capes. Some wanted to take part in it, while some were too shy.

I showed up right when the party started, so I could get a lot of photos before the kids were too busy playing. That ended up working out great!

In the room walks a distant relative. She's tried to get my husband to fix old costume jewelry for her for free before. 

She had a manuscript, a Shutterfly book, and some sketches in her hands. She walked right over to where I was at. 

Freebie Person: "Alissa I have to tell you all about this lady who drew my cats for me. You see her husband is so sick that they have his body opened up. He's been in the hospital. I don't know what's wrong with him." 

Me trying to listen: "Oh I'm sorry to hear that." Thinking, What does this have to do with me?

Freebie Person: "Since she can't draw cats for me anymore I'd like you to." 

Me looking at the Shutterfly book: "Have you tried sending your manuscript to a publisher? They set people up with illustrators that match the writing style." 

Freebie Person: "Oh I don't want to do all that. I just want a few books printed. You can go to Amazon, and make books right? You know about that stuff. I just don't. I just need you to be just as excited about this as I am." 

Me: "I'm afraid I don't draw in a cartoon style. My work is more about collage, painting, and layers. It's not going to match the style of this other illustrator. I think it would be best if you tried to submit it into a publisher. You'll have better results in the end. This other book is from Shutterfly, not Amazon." 

Freebie Person: "It's my dying wish to have this done. I think you'd be perfect for this." 

Me Thinking, But Not Saying: You came to this party to try and get free work done for your book. You didn't come to see Emerson at all. 

A Few Other People Came to Talk to Me...I wanted to hug them for interrupting the freebie person. Our conversations couldn't last the whole time.

Freebie Person: "You see this is my dying wish to have this book."

Me: "I'm sorry it's not going to work." 

I walked away. 

She was notably upset. 

Later on...

Freebie Person: "If you know of anyone that can do this book, or if you change your mind please let me know." 

Me: "I'm sorry it didn't work out. I really don't know anyone that will work for free."

I was thinking: Never would I have my students do this kind of work for free. 

Why is it that people often want an artist to work for them for free? 

When a toilet is jammed up no one expects that to be fixed by a plumber for free. 

I'll do things for my immediate family, like taking photos at my nephew's birthday, I've done many invitations for birthday parties, but beyond that I don't want to do free things. I'll sometimes do an exchange. My cousin wanted wedding invitations made. I did them. That was her gift from us. 

I may consider doing something for a nonprofit that doesn't have the funds for much. It's because I believe in the cause. 


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