Friday, February 17, 2017

Random Tid Bits

  1. I finally broke down, called my doctor's office and said, "Here's the deal: I got sick shortly after Christmas with a cold. I got put on antibiotics and cough syrup from your office. The antibiotics did nothing. It went into asthma. I still feel like crap. It's a revolving door of not being able to breathe. I need your advice. Do I see your office for a full check-up, an Ears Nose Throat Specialist, or an Allergy Asthma Specialist? How does that work with insurance? Do I need a referral for a specialist? I'm sick of not having any energy."

    Thankfully I had a nurse call back with all my answers. I'm seeing a Allergy Asthma Specialist towards the end of the month. I feel like I'm taking 5 steps back in life because I used to see one in the same office when I was a kid, but it's needed. 

  2. I spotted the t-shirt below. I can't stand shirts that make it seem like someone does nothing wrong. It's one thing to have an empowering message, but another to send a message like the one below.

  3. I love my first year students way more than the class I had last year. They are just so attentive, respectful, and we can still joke back and forth. It's such a relief because I was beginning to think it was a generation problem. Not so! So I'm sorry if I complained a lot last year. Now I get to hear other teachers complain that teach them now.

  4. I give my students podcasts to listen to in one class. I have worksheets that they have to answer questions about what they listened to. Illustration books kept going out of print for me. This way they don't have to pay for a book. The podcasts are interviews with illustrators, art directors, editors, designers, and stock houses. I found them interesting. I ask the questions in order, so they can work and listen at the same time. I found that the ones that actually listened were getting all of them right. The ones that were not listening missed about 1/2 of them. We had a talk today about guessing, and copying. I can't prove that they are copying. They could listen in a group, and fill out the answers together. It just so happens that they all in a group get really wrong answers. Today all of my students got most of the questions right. YAY!

  5. It's supposed to be in the 70s this weekend. Is it nice where you live?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Juicy Skin Care Gold Glitter Up Review

I'm always pretty careful about what I put on my skin. I have a ton of allergies, but one that gets me is my allergy to sulphates. Sulphates are in a lot of skin care products.

Gold Bond Lotion & Body Glitter Lotion has nothing harmful in it. I love the way it looks on my skin!


  • Water
  • Ribes Nigrum Fruit Extract
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
  • Actinidia Chinensis Seed Oil
  • Betaine
  • Aloe Barbadensis Extract
  • Cucumis Sativus Extract
  • Raffinose - It's a galactose, glucose, and fructose. It can be found in beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Carbomer - This one threw up a bit of a red flag in my mind. It's a thickener. WebMD said to consult your Pharmacist before using it.
  • Triethanolamine - Used as a buffing agent.
  • Allantoin - Prevents acne.
  • DMDH Hydantoin - Another red flag. This is formaldehyde. It can cause skin cancer over time.
  • Apple Fragrance 

There are a few ingredients I don't like.

Here Comes the Sun:

This product works best for after being in the sun.

How it Looks:

I put some on the right side of my hand to rub in. Then I added a blob, so you can see what it looks like when it's not rubbed in.

I do love how it looks! It adds a shimmer to the skin that's pretty/not flashy. I'm not a girly girl, but I do like pretty things from time to time. Since Isaak's favorite color is sparkly shimmery shiny gold, I thought this product would be fun to try.


There is 5.29oz. for $24.99.

Have you ever used a lotion with a sheen or glitter in it?

Disclaimer: I received Juicy Skin Care Gold Glitter to assist with this review. I wrote this post, and was not influenced at all with an opinion. I only review things that I find interesting, or that would benefit my readers or family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

WW: District Spelling Bee {Linky}

Mica had his District Spelling Bee last week. I was more nervous than he was. 

We had no idea what to expect in a lot of regards: How many kids was he up against? How long would it take? What would happen if he did happen to win?

We walked in, and registered him at 5:45. Since he's an Apel, he was #1.

The program answered that he was against 29 students.

Practicing moving the microphone up and down:

During the Spelling Bee they wouldn't let us take photos. 

The Bees:

Mica's the third one in the back. That's as close as I could get.

Written Round:

He went through the written round. It was nerve racking because he was not asked a single word on his study packet. The packet was pages long, and he knew every word from it. We're still wondering if he even got the correct packet to study from.

Mica sat there with his hands folded, and two of his fingers crossed. He was just hoping they'd call his name off.

They called Mica's name!

Oral Rounds:

Oral Round 1:

Again there were no words called off from the pages of words he knew. 

I don't even remember the word on this round. He did get it right! 

Oral Round 2:

Another word not from the packet. The word was Automaton

Mica had the guy say the word 4 times. I was thinking, What in the heck is Automation anyhow? I had no idea how I'd spell it. 

He spelled it right!

Oral Round 3:

Another word not from the packet. The word was Stipple

I know what stipple is. I'm an art teacher, my Dad was an art teacher. It's an image done in dots. I was thinking, An easy word. You've got this Mica.  

He spelled, Stiple - Incorrect.

He was in 10th place. 


Mica's in 5th grade. He beat out some middle schoolers. We're super proud of him. He felt like the whole thing was unfair. Many acted as though they knew the words. Much like he knew his whole packet. We're still wondering if he got the right packet to study from, or not. It is what it is. I said, "At least you don't have to study for another Spelling Bee this year." He said, "True!" I said, "Maybe you can kick my butt in Scrabble. Now you know so many words, beating me is a given." He said, "Mom you know I don't care for that game." I said, "You can give it a chance though." 

He was really worried about what kids at school would say. I said, "You got further than any other kid at your school. You were their star when you won the all school Spelling Bee. Plus your teacher said you got farther than anyone at your school in history! Don't worry about it! You did your best." He said, "True." He was happy to show off his medal the next day. All the kids wanted to see it. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Natural Whitening Teeth & Gum Powder Review

I love cleaning my teeth with charcoal powder. It sounds so crazy to say that. I've tried going back to the toothpaste that's typically found in the store, and it tastes so fake. My mouth doesn't feel clean all day. Recently I got Natural Whitening Teeth & Gum Powder to review.

This is a powder you can use right on you wet toothbrush. 

When I took off the lid it looks like this:

It's an inner lid that pops off easily. The scraper is just meant to put the charcoal on your toothbrush. The only downfall of charcoal is that it can be messy. It's messy when I take this inner lid off, and I get black speckles here and there from brushing. Speckles happen with any toothpaste, but it's more noticeable when you're brushing with something black.

Why Charcoal?

It's a great natural cleaner. It cleans off tea and coffee. With whiteners I always worry about the enamel of my teeth going bye bye. Not with charcoal. I've been using charcoal tooth cleaners for a few years, and I haven't had one cavity. Why? Because it cleans.

Charcoal Powder or Paste?

You can use this charcoal powder on a wet toothbrush. It will do its job. If it seems too strange, you can make a paste. I used:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Charcoal Powder
  • 5 Drops of Essential Oil (I prefer orange, lemon or peppermint)
  • 7 Drops of Liquid Stevia 
There are other paste recipes online. There's some that contain turmeric and baking soda.

There is no need to worry about using an essential oil that can swallowed. You're spitting it out anyhow.


$15, but on sale for $12.50 with Prime. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way!

I notice some people cringe when I tell them about using charcoal on my teeth. Have you ever used charcoal to clean your teeth? 

Disclaimer: I received Phaii Natural Whitening Teeth and Gum Powder. I was not asked to review this product. I wrote this post, and was not influenced at all with an opinion. I only review things that I find interesting, or that would benefit my readers or family.

Tools4Wisdom Planner - Premium Hardcover Edition Review

I'm happy to share with you a new planner I got from Tools4Wisdom. It's called: Always Believe in Yourself.

Why Keep a Planner:

I never really was a planner type person. I tend to be the type that just makes lists, and remembers things I need to do. Don't get me wrong, I like planners. They are stylish, a way to store your thoughts, and a way to check things off that you've gotten done.

Last summer I kept the boys on task with a planner. They do things if they are written down. I think it's important to have realistic goal that can be achieved daily. This planner gives space to write down anything that you need to remember.

Tools4Wisdom Offers Lots of Planner Options:

There are a ton of options that they carry. Variety is the spice of life.
  • Always Believe In Yourself
  • Asian Art
  • Beach With Quote
  • Blissful Walden
  • Chillax
  • Journey of Life
  • Lightness of Being
  • Paris
  • Passion
  • Professional Black
  • River of Dreams
  • Serene Blue
I Heart the Positive Message This Has!

I'm not just talking about what's on the cover. The inside page has a positive message as well. It talks about goals throughout.

Other Specs:
  • It's dated from January to December 2017. 
  • It has a full calendar in the front. 
  • It's hardbound.
  • It's spiral bound. 
  • It has spots for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals! 


$39. 97 and on sale for $27.97 for the 8x10 planner.

$32.97 and on sale for $24.97 for the purse sized planner. It has a spot for a pen or pencil to slide in.

It's more like a book, so it's not going to get bent up.

Do you keep a planner, journal, or sketchbook?

By this on Valentines Day with the code: MEKEEP50 for 50% off!

Disclaimer: I received Tools4Wisdom Planner. I was not asked to review this product. I wrote this post, and was not influenced at all with an opinion. I only review things that I find interesting, or that would benefit my readers or family.

Red Lentil Dip

This weekend I made a Red Lentil Dip. I got the original recipe here. I found it made too much, so I cut the recipe in 1/2. Two of those bowls full of dip is just too much for my family of 4. You're getting a recipe that makes 1 of them. I also added more spices. To me it just was too bland. With the spices added I love it!

You can dip corn chips, pita chips or crackers into it. It's fairly healthy!

Usually I can't get Mica to have dip at all. He'll eat up our chips, and leave the dip behind. On Sunday he gobbled up much of the dip. 

The best parts are:

  1. That it was super easy to make! 
  2. That it is full of protein. My boys won't be coming back after this snack to say, "I'm hungry!"


We decided to venture to a different part of Omaha this weekend. It's so sad to me that Omaha is so segregated. Talk to anyone that lives here, and they'd agree that it is segregated. I'm sure a lot of places are in fact segregated. There's a guy I ran across online that makes Judgmental Maps of all different places in the US cities, which are segregated.

Just this summer we had the boys in different camps, in different spots of Omaha. It was crazy how segregated the camps were. I'm glad we had the boys in a variety.

I grew up in a district where most kids were caucasian snobs. Before I moved to Savannah, Georgia I didn't even know that my world could be surrounded by a mix of people from all different places. I loved living there. I had a friend from Japan, another from India, another from Mexico, another from Spain, and so on. We used to have pot lucks, and all the foods from different places made it wonderful. I loved the different languages, the different beliefs/thoughts, and so on. I miss those days.

After living in Pine Lake, Georgia - a suburb to Atlanta for a year, we decided to move back to Omaha. Omaha is the place where most of my family lives. Omaha is rated as one of the best places to raise a family. We found a home, and it wasn't in the district I grew up in. My kids go to a school that has a mix of all different kids. I really like that!

In their leadership camp our boys are the minority. They play different music than what my kids are used to. It's in a rougher part of town. They lock the doors, so no one can get in. I'm ok with all of it. The camp kicked out a bully, so I know they stand strong with my little guys. This week they celebrated Black History, and had typical food from the south, and activities around that taught about Black History.

If we're looking for something different to do, we just need to venture to a different part of town. We went to south Omaha. It's filled with Mexican shops, eats, art, and more. 

Travis' Grandpa on his Moms side is from Mexico. No one would ever be able to tell. He's such a mix of so many things. He's thinking of applying to El Museo Latino, which is an artist residency with Mexican decent. That building is around where we were at.

Speaking of which, I'd love to take one of those tests to tell me what I am. Not that it matters what I am, I'm just curious. My Grandpa is fairly dark skinned, and has a wider nose. Everything else points to be Scandinavian. I have a Great Grandma that came from Sweden on a ship to America. I loved the American Girl Doll Kirsten when I was growing up because the stories seemed to line up with my Great Grandma.

In south Omaha we each had a dessert from International Bakery. 

The boys loved their pastry! We had to eat it in the car because it was much colder outside then were were anticipating. 

We scoped out a lot of furniture stores. Not because we need any furniture. It was just something to do. 

Since it was Sunday a lot of stores were closed. We did a lot of window shopping. 

Our last stop was a market called Jacobo's. They are known for their cheeses and meats. We got some prickly pear along with some peppers to grill.

Travis' Sandwich. The green stuff on the side is the prickly pear also known as nopales.

I also got the boys these mixed cookies that came with soup. Such an odd mix, but the soup looked good to me. I know they'll like the cookies.

Have you ventured somewhere different lately? 


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