Saturday, September 19, 2020

A Face Covering Review

Do you think masks and face coverings help fight the spread of covid? 

I think it helps. I have both asthma and allergies, and need my lungs to be as healthy as possible. 

Recently when I went to get my allergy shots, I asked my nurse if he knew anyone with this invisible beast of a virus. He told me his son’s best friend has it. He’s needing lung support, is near death, is young, and had no other health conditions.

I do have issues with breathing at times, so things tight against my face can be a problem. I do have some solutions:

• Coconut Oil with a Q-Tip in the Nose - ok via my ENT Doctor

• More Ginger Intake - Ginger Helps With Inflammation 

• Face Shields, for People that Can Breathe Well

• Face Coverings VS Only Masks

This face covering is more breathable, then most masks. There’s over 40 designs to choose from. I chose this thinking Mica would like it. He said he feels like he’s wearing a hijab. Had I known he didn’t like it, I may of picked a different design. 

I did have trouble with it being loose on my face. A few things to try with this: 

• Wash any mask or face covering. Many shrink slightly, making them fit better on skinny faces. 

• You can twist the ear piece. 

• Knot the ear loops.

Where to buy it:

It’s $11.99 with a 10% click coupon + free shipping. 

Do you have a favorite mask, or face covering? Have you tried a face shield?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fall Clothes for a Baby

I just got this cute baby girl outfit to review, for my niece Margaret. 

She has Trisomy 18 like her big brother Emerson does. She's still in the hospital. Only my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law have been able able to see her. That's not counting the numerous doctors and nurses that have helped her. 

She's had a MRI, EEG, and a sleep study done. She's for the most part doing well. We've known that she needed jaw surgery, but after the sleep study that doctor wants to make that happen ASAP. Lots going on, for them. It's a good thing my parents are retired, and can help out.  

When I get the opportunity to review clothes for Margaret, I jump on it! They've only had boys this far, so why not get neutral or girl clothes? All baby clothes are so cute. 

Recently I got a fall outfit to review. You can get it here:, for $10.98-$11.98.


  • Mustard Yellow
  • Pink
  • White

I thought with fall, the mustard color would be great. Plus we've been having this discussion - do baby girls have to wear pink? Some family members say, "Yes", while other family members say that color has no gender. I don't think pink always needs to be on girls. I watched an old video once that said pink used to be a boy color, and blue was for girls. Before that all babies wore white gowns to make it easier to change diapers, and bleach out stains. What do you think? Is pink a girl color, and blue a boy color? 

It Has a Hat, or Hair Tie

That's yet another thing we disagree on. Travis thinks big bows, flowers, and ties on babies look so dumb. I don't mind them. I just can't tie them all pretty like.  

Sizes, for This Outfit:

  • 0-3 Month
  • 3-6 Month
  • 6-12 Month
  • 12-18 Month

I love that it doesn’t have built in feet. Often times babies have smaller or longer legs that just don’t fit right in them. I like the snaps, that make diaper changing easier. 

Are you ready for fall?

Disclaimer: I got this product, for a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Random Tid Bits

  1. I wasn’t ready, for the slap of cold. I guess I am thankful that we didn’t get hit with snow. Western Nebraska had snow. 

  2. Mica is going to be in a club at school called STEM Advisory Board, which I guess is like Student Council. 

  3. Travis said, “Hey Mica, since you’re in a smarty pants club at school, how about you open this dip the smart way. We all looked at him, and he was trying to stab the plastic film with a blunt carrot. The day and life with Mica. He said, “What?! I don’t want to use my finger. It will get messy.” Travis snapped, and told him to cut it.

  4. The other night, my last customer was this old lady. I said to the manager that she may not of heard the closing announcement on the intercom. She took like 10 min. looking through flowers. The manager looked annoyed.

    When checking out she told me that she has an MRI happening soon. She said, "I think the doctors think I'm crazy in the head. I think I just have a lot going on. My brain just needs a cleaning. They can do that ya know. Just like they do with hearts." I wanted to take her home. She shouldn't of been out that late, by herself. I wish brains could be cleaned like hearts.

    Have you ever had anyone in your life loose it mentally?

  5. Travis begged to go hiking on Labor Day. I really didn’t want to because my allergies and asthma have been so bad! I went anyhow. We got so twisted and turned around, that we had to walk for a long time on the highway to get back to our car. Travis has a habit of taking something quaint, and making it massive. < br />
    On his birthday he was going biking with friends. He was going to be back by lunch, but wasn’t back until dinner. He biked 23 miles.

    When we lived in Pine Lake, GA he wanted to take a “small walk” to Stone Mountain. It was midnight before we got back. 

#backtoschool With #ZOHAN

I've mentioned before that Isaak's oh so slow when it comes to doing homework. It's great that he can now listen to his teachers, with little to no distractions. They are still remote learning. He also gets involved in less drama. 

I don't know, maybe he does have some form of ADHD, but he's not the type of kid that's bouncing off the walls. I'd rather deal with his problems in other ways, then with medicine. He still gets distracted even with us. 

I'm pretty sure he gets this trait from me. I was/am a horrible test taker. That's part of why I don't want to go back to school to get my Education Certificate. I'm a mega hard worker though. I catch on to things quickly. Process things are easy, for me to understand. 

Thankfully I got noise headphones to review. 

Zohan Has Four Different Designs to Choose From:

  • Nebula
  • Rap
  • Unicorn
  • Flamingos
I was between the Nebula and Rap designs. The others are more girly of prints. Isaak would have liked the Rap one, but I chose Nebula. Last year he picked out a shirt at Christmas that had that pattern. Why not stick with what I know he likes? I honestly wanted it to be a surprise for him. 


$14.99 for all of the different designs. You can get them on Amazon Prime:


They are kid sizes. BUT Isaak and I have skinny heads. I often have to tie or loop my masks. These fit just fine. They even fit me. Of course they are adjustable too. 

Do They Work?

I put them on, and they do block out noises. Not totally. I can talk, and hear my own voice. It makes all sounds seem like I was underwater. 

What was your biggest struggle in school?

Disclaimer: I got this product for a discounted price, for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Random Tid Bits

  1.  I had a phone interview yesterday. He said that he asked me to think about a funny vacation story in his email to me. I never saw that, looked back, and didn’t see it there at all. It’s ok...I have plenty of vacation stories.

  2. At work we were told to make sure that all employees checking out, have red stickers on their items. That way no one thinks the items are stollen. I do just that. One employee doesn’t like waiting. Who enjoys waiting? He huffs under his breath. One day he was doing this huffing and puffing right in front of customers. I could have chosen to ignore him, but it was like listening to Mica, when he was 13 and 14 - juvenile! I looked at him and said, “ I’m sorry you dislike this policy. If you’d like to have it changed, I encourage you to go to management to discuss it. I was trained to do what I do. I’m just doing my job. Please don’t huff, puff, and blow the work place down.” Do you think I handled that correctly, or not? How would you have handled it?

  3. A lady wanted to make a return, that was a Kroger product. I kindly told her that she didn’t buy the product from our store. She got mad, and told me it was all over in the back. She said it was awful, and sour tasting. It was buttermilk. 

  4. A cashier was glancing at her phone between orders. I didn’t think too much of it. She was new, and it wasn’t a consistent problem. A person that works in the back came and told in a mean way that - my cashiers shouldn't be using their phones. - It kind of took me off guard. 1. I don't own the cashiers. 2. For all she knew this cashier already taked to me about let's say her Mom was in the hospital, and she was checking her phone. 3. I have enough bosses, and don’t need another. - I told the lady I’d talk with the cashier. She stood there eyeing me. This lady didn’t like that I didn’t drop everything to talk with her. She told not 1, but 3 managers about this small issue. 

  5. I thought remote learning was the answer, for Isaak. Turns out I got a message on my phone saying he had some missing assignments in Math class. We had a talk about accountability. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Protect Your Eyes When Going #backtoschool

Everything with remote learning is going fairly smoothly. I was expecting some major bumps. There was only a few slight issues.&n

The boy’s school district got new iPads, for all the students. The trouble was that they didn’t come in until after school started. That was in general a hiccup. Some in our area have had problems with internet connection, but not us. 

I do worry about the boys being on screens all day long. I know others have jobs, where they are on their computer all day. It is important to protect ones eyes. 

Thankfully a company sent me a pair of glasses, to block harmful screen light. You can get these glasses on Amazon:, for $15.99. They do go on sale a lot. 

Mica was happy to get them! Isaak’s regular glasses came with a feature to block harmful light, so he uses them, when he is on a screen. 

I remember my students wearing theirs. They always had really funky colored lenses. These aren’t that noticeable, unless they are sitting alone on a table. 

I typically me “crazy”, that people turn on their smart thinking cap, when they put on glasses. The boys also have special spots, where they do their studies. 

Have you tried special glasses, when you’re on a screen a lot? If so did it seem to help? Have you gotten anything new, for back to school time? We haven’t gotten very much at all. 

Disclaimer: I got this product, for a discounted price. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Living in Their Robes


I don’t know why I bothered to buy clothes this year. Both boys have mostly lived in their robes. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees outside; they’ll still be in their robes. Travis has to beg them to get dressed at times. 

Mica’s shorts are looking a bit too short, but they still fit around the waist. He’s so tall! Isaak’s going to be tall to!

I was shocked on the first day of school..,I was ready to spot the boys still in their robes. They got dressed + did their hair!

Do you even bother to get dressed in actual clothes, when you’re at home day in and day out?  

Random Tid bits

  1. This week my sister had her baby girl. What I thought would be a really positive experience has flipped into being difficult. Margaret (my niece) was breech. They got her flipped, so my sister was induced. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her legs and arms. Off to an emergency C-Section she went. My sister lost a lot of blood.  

    They took Margaret, and put her in the NICU. She was having mini seizures, so she got put on a cooling mat. I thought in the photos she looked more like her brother Emerson that has Trisomy 18, than her other brothers. 

  2. When my sister was pregnant she got a blood test. All results showed that Margaret is normal. We now know she does have Trisomy 18 like Emerson does. 

  3. I've been feeling excited with a new baby about to happen, sad that she had to be taken via c-section, angry that her brothers that have no chromosome problems will have even more attention taken from them, and not knowing how to feel. I love my nephew Emerson,  but he's a lot of of work. He has had tons of medical issues. He’ll never know what it’s like to live without pain. 

  4. If someone taught a Psychology family that has at least 3 carriers of Trisomy 18 would be a great topic. Should someone that wants to have kids, have them if they carry this to pass on? So much could be brought up: God, Life, Quality of Life, Medical Needs, Late Term Abortion, and so on. Late term abortion would have never been an option, for my sister, but it’s a topic that would be brought up. It's hard to know how to feel and talk about. We put other animals down that are in pain, but we don't with humans. I'm not saying we should. I just don't know how I feel about it all. 

  5. To make this random, online learning is going to work...I think. We've had our bumps. I took Isaak in twice, for tech support. I thought it was his account. Turns out he was using Teams in the browser, and not the downloaded app. Errors occur with that. He's good now. What's really wonderful is that he got a new ipad on Friday. It will work so much better than the old PC they gave him. Isaak likes that he can hear the teacher! No random kids talking. Homework is all put in one place.

    The district has made adjustments along the way. Kindergarten, first and second graders now have 1/2 days, with bigger breaks. I think that's a smart move.

    What do you think about online learning? Is it working where you live?

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

#WW Tomatoes {Linky}

Processing tomatoes is almost an everyday thing. I'm pretty sure we go through the longest way to process them. 

  1. Pick Them
  2. Sun Bathe Them in the Windows
  3. Slice Them
  4. Boil Them
  5. Put Them in an Ice Water Bath
  6. Peel Them
  7. Deseed Them
  8. Put Them in a Big ZipLoc Bag
  9. Deep Freeze Them
  10. Can Them When the Deep Freezer is Full
I'd skip the deseeding part, but I'm an ultra allergy sufferer. I've read that the seeds are what bother many with allergies. They get stomach aches, and don't even know why. Tomatoes were on the list of foods to avoid - from my allergy | asthma doctor. I only am supposed to avoid them during the season, when they grow. The same goes with squash. 

If you are ever frustrated with - LIFE, just go through the whole process. Read my captions, and you'll understand. 

The Attack of the Killer Tomato

The Sacrifice

Bobbing for Tomatoes

Peeling Some Skin

Naked Tomato Nest

Squeezing Some Guts

Are you growing anything in your garden this year?

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

#WW Rotary Honor Roll #Linky

I got a call last week. Ring Ring...Hello is this Mrs. Apel? Do you still live on such and such street? This is King Science Middle School, and we want to drop off an award for Mica. 

I wasn't crying. Really I wasn't. ;) I shut myself in my room, and let it all go. It was a flood of emotions. I was proud of Mica! At the same time I was scared for the boy's future. I was sad that Mica won't be starting high school in a building, making new friends. Usually I'm getting ready for school. Since 2002 August meant school was starting for me. I had Mica the second day of school August 10, 2005. This year I'm not a teacher. I lost my job in May. I just got word that the college I worked for will close. How could they possibly stay open, when all of high school is remote. All understandable. If universities and community colleges are hurting, technical and art school are really struggling! 

With all the craziness in the world right now, what is something that has been the hardest on you?

Mica said, "Mom don't take a picture, when they get here!" Oh I wanted to!

The councilors don't even know how much I appreciate them dropping off this piece of paper to my son. He got all A's and one B+ last semester. He did everything he was supposed to do; even though they weren't grading his work.

The award stands for:

•Leadership: Works well with others | Respects opinions of others | Honest, dependable and reliable

•Character – Kind and courteous | Responsible | Demonstrates respect for others and respect for the environment

•Scholarship –Demonstrates thirst for knowledge | Shows ownership of academic outcomes | Respects teachers & the learning environment

•Presence – Behaves appropriately | Respects self and others in dress, speech and actions | Responsible for portraying positive self-image

Processing #tomatoes

Per usual Travis has a lot going on in the garden.

Things we grew:

  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Popcorn
  • Different Types of Dried Beans
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • A few Types Peppers
  • Strawberries

...and more

He plants it, and for the most part I process it. 

We have a system with tomatoes:

  1. We bake egg shells, grind them in a coffee grinder to sprinkle on the ground, where the tomatoes grow. They love the calcium! 

  2. I have 3 windows where tomatoes go. 1 is for green and yellow ones, another is for orange ones, and the last is for almost ready ones. Once the almost ready ones are ready it's time to move on to the next step.

  3. I slice the tomatoes in a cross formation. That makes them easier to peel. It feels a bit odd, like I'm sacrificing something. Ha! I find that ceramic knives work so well to do this. They are sharper. I don't want to cut into the tomato, just the peeling.

  4. I boil a big pot of water, to put the tomatoes in for 2 minutes. 

  5. Then it's time for the tomatoes to move to an ice bath. They sit in there, for a minute or two.

  6. They peel so easily!

  7. After they are all peeled, and the peeling has moved into the compost pile I cut them, and deseed them. Anyone with allergies should deseed tomatoes. The seeds are what many are allergic to. You wouldn't even know that you're allergic to them. You just get common allergies all the more, with ingesting the seeds. 

  8. It's time to cut them, and put them in a silicone reusable bag, or ZipLoc bag. 

  9. There is a ton of tomato juice. Travis used to dispose of it. One year I was like, "Let's keep it!" I have to say that I'm glad we started doing that! I use the cubes for soups, and any dish that requires chicken or beef broth. It adds flavor!

About TigexPro Silicon Ice Cube Trays:

You can get them on Amazon: 

Cost: $11.99 

Included: A red and black silicone deep ice cube tray, with lids. 

What Else the TigexPro Silicon Ice Cube Trays Can Be Used for:

  • Homemade Baby Food
  • Frozen Fruits for Smoothies
  • Frozen Veggies for Soups
  • Ice
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • These are deep enough, where dried snacks could go in each one, for little kids
Popping Out the Cubes:

They easily pop out if you run the bottom of the tray under warm, or hot water in the sink. They do have lids to prevent anything from getting freezer burned + to cover the cubes, so they don't fall in the sink + to pop out the cubes. 

I pop them out, once they are frozen, and store them in a big ZipLoc bag or reusable silicone bag. Then use them when I need them.  

What would you use silicone ice cube trays for?

Disclaimer: I got the silicone ice cube trays, for a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Happy 15th Birthday Mica!

Today we had an odd storm roll through. It happened very suddenly, and left many in the Omaha area, including us with no power. 

Your birthday didn’t really start out on a positive note. You were brushing your teeth in the dark. 

We are in the middle of a pandemic. I have to say out of all of us in the Apel house you’ve adapted the best to solitude + change. You said that this pandemic gives you time to self reflect.

You were supposed to start high school today. North High Magnet School focuses on Biomedical and Engineering. We found out just two days ago that classes are going to be held remote, for the first semester. You were excited that school wasn’t going to begin on your birthday.

What you got, for your birthday:

•A room makeover - You would have never asked for a room makeover. Why? Because it required work. Ha!

•You also wanted something on the PS4, but missed playing time with your cousins due to the power outage. 

•I got you some candy. I know jellybeans are one of your favorites, but you never get any because Isaak can’t have them, due to his braces. The Dentist may not thank me, but you’ll enjoy them. 

•I made you an ice cream cake, and got Chinese take out. 


•Eating! I went to get a snack, and the whole pan was empty. It threw me because the foil was still on the pan. You're growing like a weed, so I get why you're hungry all the time.

•Battlefront - A PS4 game

•You liked the show Hunters on Amazon Prime

•You still enjoy reading

•You often are listening to music



•Getting your hands dirty in the kitchen


•Scoliosis is our main scare with you right now. You didn't do well at the doctor's office, they sent you to get a scan, and you didn't do great on that either. I'm hoping you just grew too fast. You have to get yet another scan in three months. 

•You have no interest in driving. We shall see. 


You got a big award sent your way from school last year. More on that in a big.  

Overall you're a pretty darn good kid, and I love you!

Happy Birthday Mica!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Carrot Cake #doughnuts

Typically I wake up before everyone else. I lay there pondering about what I should make.

This morning I was thinking, What do we have that needs to be used up? We have lots of carrots, and raisins. No one in our house likes raisins all that much, except in desserts, or breakfast goodies like this. 

They were easier to make, then my Dark Chocolate Doughnuts, or the Lemon Doughnuts I've shared with you. They were just as good as both, but I have to say it's hard to pass up chocolate! 

Carrot Cake Doughnuts by AlissaSpiehs-Apel on Scribd

Sometimes I skip the glaze. It's not because it's not good. It's just that we don't need the extra sugar. This time I decided to add it.

What I Paired the Carrot Cake Doughnuts Up With:
  • Spinach Leaves
  • A Date
  • Bing Cherries
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Emergen-C Drink
It was a hit with everyone. Mica per usual on a weekend morning asked, for seconds. 

What kind of homemade doughnuts do you prefer?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Random Tid Bits

  1. I know it's been awhile since I've posted a random post. Working from 4:30 AM to 1:30 PM isn't too bad. What's bad is working from 1:30 PM to 9:30 PM a few days later. I feel like I have no routine. I'm tired ALL the time!

  2. The boys were supposed to start school next week. Omaha is doing so bad with COVID! The teachers got on the news, and talked about how they don't feel safe going back. I have a few thoughts on this. First I agree with them, second I see groups of kids all over hanging out without masks on, and with their parents out and about without masks... How is going to school any different?

    Education should be in my mind set before sports, and the economy. We've made it clear as a society that education is last. If we would have kept all things that we could shut down as long as we could, and had school in session first that would have been ideal. 

  3. Things need to change, and fast! I've been saying this for years. We should move to one person in a family working. Single parents, shouldn't have to work as hard as they do. This would give children a stable home environment, that they need. Then make the price point of everything just a bit cheaper. If everything was cheaper this could be accomplished.

    Kids need home cooked meals, supervision, help with their homework, and someone to talk to.  

    What are your thoughts on all this? I'm not in the position to judge you. I want to know what you think. To me it's crazy how political this has gotten. We need ideas, compromise, and resolution. 

  4. Isaak was cracking me up the other day. He said, "Mica do you think all holiday shows are kind of cheesy?" I don't even know that I heard Mica's answer. Then he said, "Mica do you think it's odd that dogs always talk in cartoon movies and shows?" 

    It reminded me of that seen in Stand By Me...

  5. At home I wear Cheez-it shirts all the time. I literally a walking advertisement for them. They are comfortable. At the store a lady said, "I love your shirt!" I wanted to say, "If you follow me home I'll give you one." I have about seven of them. Ha!


Wagner Smart Roller Review

Recently we've had a few house updates. Both boys needed a room update. 

Mica's always been the type that just has never cared if anything is updated. Reason...he knows it requires work. Can we say, "LAZY"? I think most kidadults would skip out on making things look better if they knew it required work. 

Mica wanted a space theme that's graphic. We struggled because I pictured a galaxy, or star star wall. He wanted an exploding earth. Then I got him a starry bed spread. I'm thinking of getting him a starry blanket to cover his chair too.

Main Color: Red-Orange

Now that Travis and I basically have opposite working schedules, it was hard getting Mica's room done. We had most of Mica's room in our living room, for three weeks.  

I taught Mica how to roll, so we had three people working on this project. You can tell he was oh so excited to start rolling. Ha!

A good way to get a home project going, is having the right tools to do it. 

List of Products to Help With This Job:

  • We had three gallons of paint: Navaho White, Red Orange, and Teal
  • We mixed up two more colors with the three
  • Rollers
  • Paint Brushes
  • Painter's Tape


  • Paint with a base - We used Navaho White
  • Tape with painter's tape - We free formed it
  • Burnish the tape
  • Roll base color on
  • Use a brush to edge the colors
  • Roll on the colors
  • Take away the tape
  • Fix up bleeding paint with a brush

Setting up the Wagner Smart Roller:

The Wagner Smart Roller came in pieces. Travis had the roller set up in minutes.

Where to Get the Wagner Smart Roller:


The roller was fairly easy to use. We picked to use the Wagner Smart Roller, for the biggest area of paint that we needed to cover. 

We did feel like the paint got in the parts, and was a pain to clean. I think I'd want to use this, for a room that's all the same color. 

How to Use:

The paint gets pumped up into the gigantic syringe AKA a fill tube.

Mica at first didn't think it was working, but it was.

There's a release, to work the paint into the roller. We did it over a paint tray; to not make a mess on the floor.

Start to roll. It puts mini dots all over. I know the dots are meant to roll on, and mesh a solid uniform coating. I happen to like them. I could see the dots in a pop art room. 

We were all hoping the paint would cover more area. It didn't seem like it lasted long. I know it's a bright color. With bright colors you do need a lot of coats. It still seemed like with all the work of getting the paint up into the fill tube it would cover a more massive area. 

The mess was less. There was no paint tray really needed. We had one just in case. It was more of a pain to clean the roller out. Way harder than a typical roller. 

The results were great though. Mica's happy with it. This is his biggest gift, for his birthday. 

What was the last room in your house, that you painted? What color did you paint it? 

Disclaimer: I got the Wagner Smart Roller for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


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