Sunday, September 19, 2021

New Shirt for Mica #review

Taking photos of a 16 year old is crazy. He wouldn’t stand still, and kept making faces. When is point out for him just to relax he’d hunch down. These are the best shots I could get of silly Mica man in his new shirts. 

The 6 Colors They Offer the Shirt in: 

Black | Dark Grey | Light Grey

Blue | Fluorescent Yellow| White 

Mica got blue. I kind of wish when clothing goes up for review companies would list the colors in the description. We kept missing each other in emails. Out of those colors offered I would have gone with either grey. I like blue, but more of a bright true blue or navy. 

The 4 Sizes the Shirt Comes in:

Small | Medium | Large | Extra Large

Mica got a large. He fits in most larges, but the arms are sometimes too short. I kind of wish sleeves were longer. My Dad and I have this problem as well. We could always have an 1” added to our sleeves. 

Do you have long arms? 

The shirt washed up well. No wrinkles. Mica loved it for the outdoors. The fabric is meant to keep you cool, and it works. We put it to the test. He chopped down a bush. 

Where to get it: 

This shirt can be found on Amazon, for $16.99

They also have a 10% off coupon right now. A great deal for a cooling shirt! 

Do you ever get any clothes from Amazon? 

Disclaimer: I got this product for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Cuddle Up With This Blanket #review

Isaak gave me something not so wonderful, a head cold. It came on so fast. One day I was sneezing up a storm, then that night my head started killing. Isaak was like that a week prior, and I blamed allergies. I’m at the end stage of it now. With any cold it’s important to get more rest and drink a lot. Really I haven’t taken the time to do either. Travis had his huge art show this weekend. It wasn’t until today I laid around. 

I’ve been cuddling up with this soft fleece star blanket I got for Mica’s room. It’s so soft and cozy.

It will be perfect for Mica’s room. He loves space and galaxy themed things. The only downfall that I can think of with the blanket is that one side is white. I’d love to have stars on both sides. 

The blanket washed up nice. I always worry about materials loosing their soft feeling after being in the wash. 

It’s a great size: 



$22.99 with a clip coupon for an extra 10%. 

You can pick up this blanket and another design they have here:

Have you had allergies or a cold, since school started?

I’m just glad it’s a cold I have, and not Covid. 

Disclaimer: I got this product to review in exchange for an honest opinion post. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Chicken Florentine Soup Recipe + a Bowl Review

It’s been crazy at the Apel house! 

I have been working 40+ hours at work at Schemmer, did freelance for my last job AIM, and started teaching my Midland class this week. I was loving the work I was doing for AIM, then too many cooks in the kitchen happened. They wanted me to change things. I had to change a whole campaign. When my supervisor at Midland hit me up for 2 classes in the spring I was like - Not even going to go there yet. I told her I understood if they pick up another teacher. Now she’s asking when I’ll know if or when I can. I just don’t respond because I felt like I already did. It’s too soon for spring. I’ve flat out felt like I’ve done too many things, and none of it am I all that excited about. I just really want a work home. A place I can get excited about daily. I want to create more. I really do believe such a place exists. 

Travis has been swamped at the dental lab he works at! They started a new schedule. Long days, but off on Fridays. Well he’s pretty much always had Mondays and Fridays off. He jumped on board this schedule to get more vacation time. He’s the only one that knows how to use their 3D printer well, and has had to take work home to get jobs ready to print for the next day. He has a huge 1 man art show coming up. Every night he’s been working until midnight.

There are some nights where I hardly sleep, and other nights where I sleep all the time. I take over dinners and lunch prep. 

I made Chicken Florentine Soup last night. It’s super easy! 

Recipe + Instructions. Just add in the order stated. 

-2 tablespoons of butter

-3 diced garlic cloves

-1 diced onion

-2 diced carrots

-2 teaspoons Italian seasonings

-4 cups of chicken broth

-1 cup heavy whipping cream

-1 pound cooked, shredded chicken

-10 ounces of chopped spinach

-1 can of artichoke hearts - drained

-Salt and pepper to taste

It’s so good! 

The bowls I served it in are 8.7”x1.7”. They are perfect for salads. We have salads often.  

It’s a set of 6 that’s dishwasher safe, microwave safe, oven safe and freezer safe. 

All for $27.99. 

Where to get the bowls:

I think my only criticism is that I wish they would have had more colors and patterns to choice from. I like them otherwise. 

Disclaimer: I got this product for a discount  to help with thins review. All opinions s are my own. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Colorful Resin

My husband has a birthday tomorrow. A great gift for any artist is art supplies. I know, not the typical gift for a guy. My dad always liked garden stuff for his birthday. That too isn’t typical. 

Travis has been working with nature, and recently made a sculpture with pieces of charcoal in bedded in resin. 

I know he will love to add translucent colors to his art.

It could also be used to make jewelry, coasters, and other small things.

I am really happy to gift him this set of translucent colors to add to resin. 

This set comes with 28 bottles, 24 colors. They put more bottles of white and black in the set. I’m assuming because those values get used the most. 


Lots of colors to choose from!

A few browns. One is like burnt umber, while the other is more like burnt sienna. 

5 in the red family. I do think they will all be fairly pink because they are translucent. 

A few purples. 

Four different greens. One is a blue-green. 

Three yellows and two oranges. 

Four blues. 

I know liquids are easier to blend than powdered pigment is. 

They all fit well in the box. 

I could see that if one comes out because it gets used up, that they no longer fit all snug. It would be great if they had crossing cardboard pieces to help hold them up. I just thought about this because they are liquid, and could leak if a lid isn’t screwed on tightly. I've had that happen with other art supplies.

Cost is reasonable. 

This set is $25.99, but on sale for $18.59 + a 5% clip coupon. That is for 28x10 ml. If I went up a to 28x30 ml the cost would go up to $39.99, but they do have a clip $3.00 coupon.

If you got into art, what art supply would you want to buy?

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Random Tid Bits

1. Isaak has been talking about his friend David, since last year. He’s the one that stood up for him with the bullies in gym. We’ve had him over a few times. 

His parents work a few retail jobs, so I told Isaak we can do all the driving. I know what it’s like working retail. Schedules are all over the place! 

The boy couldn’t be a better friend. The song They Might Be Giants songs over the phone. He has empathy for others, is always thankful, and a good, not picky eater. I don’t know why, but picky eaters annoy me. 

I just hope he doesn’t move. They are from California, and move quite often. I would blame them for moving, but please stay for Isaak. 😂 

2. My niece Margaret turned 1. We got together outside + still wore masks. Kind of extreme when all the adults are vaccinated, but with 2 kids in the family that have trisomy 18, one has to be oh so careful. Good news: Those old enough yo get the vaccine, that have trisomy 18 have done well with it. If the open it up to kids under 12, Emerson and Margaret will get theirs. 

3. We keep trying to convince Mica to ask a friend to come over. He’s only friends with some girls, and thinks it will be odd to ask them over. I get it. 

4. Mica’s out driving with Travis. Somehow I’m not the one to teach him. I guess I’m ok with that. Less stress. 

5. We’ve been having bean popping nights. Pop them out of their pods that is. Travis grew a butt load of beans. I hardly use them, but he’ll make soups, refried beans and more. 

I thought Warhol matched the beans to a T. No worries, the beans get washed. 

He also grew green corn. He’ll make tortilla shells out of them. Nom nom! What did you grow? Anything?

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Dear Mica,

You turned 16 today. 16 years ago I I had a c-section because I was low on fluid, you were breech and refused to turn. 

About a week later we bought a car that would in fact fit a car seat. The 2 door Subaru I had wasn’t going to cut it. The Pilot is long since gone, but we still have our Civic today. It’s on its last leg, but cars are expensive with the pandemic. On Friday you’re getting your drivers permit a year late. Last year DMVs were closed. 

You’re excited to go in to high school. Most of the previous year you were remote. You are not excited to wear a mask, and have others wearing masks. You just want to see people’s faces, but you know it’s important to stop the spreadYou’re more open to try new things this year in school. Tennis was going to be a sport you wanted to play. After learning it would never be at school, and there was no late bus we said, “No.” 

Last year we struggled with your crooked back. The specialist said your growth plates are close together, as long as you’re not in pain you’re fine. 

You’re taking your first college course this summer, Philosophy. Our conversations have been interesting. 

Birthday gift: A new phone. Gifts get more expensive as you age. 

I haven’t taken you out for photos, but here you are getting your phone, and at Olive Garden for your birthday meal.

Creepy face just to mess with me.


Sunday, August 8, 2021


We’ve had a few storms that killed off some things, but not the beans! We always get tons of beans. 

I should mention that Travis took a leap year in the garden. He did so much last year and the year before. We still have plenty of canned tomatoes and tomatoes cubes in the deep freezer, saved for soups. 

Travis typically throws them in a gigantic pile on a towel. Leaves and grass is all over. I’m not complaining. He plants them and picks them. 

We had some company coming over, so I weeded the grass and leaves out, shook the towels, and sorted the kind of neatly. 

What did you grow this year? 

Backsplash is Done

We finished the backsplash last weekend. I ended up returning one thing I bought; in the process I found something that matched our floor exactly. I kept thinking…where was this product when I needed it? 

Isaak helped minimally. He kind of gets excited about projects, then lazy soon after. It’s either his slight ADD, or just being a thirteen year old boy. 

I did most of the spackling, sanding, cutting, and placing.  

I know…we still have crappy old countertops. I’d love to find plates I like. As soon as I’d find one I liked, they would have one of our others that was similar. 

I got a ton of peaches to make smoothie prep bags. 

Isaak did sign and date his photo to put inside the backsplash; just like the previous owner put a photo in there for us to find. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Random Tid Bits

I’ve been feeling down lately. I have many reasons to look up, but hey it life goes up and down. 

1. Someone dear to me had a miscarriage. 

2. Covid and its awful, never ending game. In fact one person we’ve known for years has it. Their blood is being recycled, they’ve been on a vent, and have a hole in their lung. Things aren’t looking great for them. They have 2 kids a year older than our boys. It’s really sad that their family won’t admit it’s covid. 

3. I had a student that posted how she adopted a cute little boy after they’ve fostered for a few years on the 20th. The Saturday after her husband got in a motorcycle accident and died. So sad! 

4. I’ve had trouble getting info for a proposal I’ve been working on. I don’t know what they want in it. I’m past the stage where I’m new, but am still new enough where I don’t know shit. 

5. I was excited to do freelance work for AIM, my old work. It was with a program I love. I was supposed to work with just that team. Well…their HR person retired, so I had to share with my old boss what I’ve done. She issuing the check. 

They’ve had a bit of a program name war going on. Upward Bound is known all throughout the US. AIM decided to call them Youth Academies. It’s a bit like Girl Scouts in one area going by Girl Academies. No one would know what they are. I’ve managed to be in the middle again. Middle should be my middle name, 

6. I found out that my kid’s friend AKA my husband’s boss’ kid dove into the pool, heard a snap. He broke his neck. Thank goodness he’s ok. But he has to wear a brace, for a long while. 

What has you down and out these days? 

Des Moines State Capitol

We went on our one and only full family trip this summer. Sadly it was only a day. 

Travis took the boys to New Mexico to see their grandparents on his side. Because I got a new job again I didn’t have vacation time saved up. Off they flew. In a sense I had a vacation without them. 

We went to Des Moines, Iowa. I always want to say it wrong just for the fun of it. 

It’s only 2 hours from Omaha, and has quite a bit to do there. 

I would have loved to of shopped around downtown, but the boys weren’t interested. 

We went to their State Capitol. 

The outside was pretty. At first we thought we weren’t getting in. The main doors were locked. Oddly a small door located on the side of the building was open. They checked our stuff even though one can bring a fully loaded gun in. I have nothing to hide, but thought that was odd. 


Mica and I were mixed about the tour guide. Mica thought he was great. I thought he was hard to hear and said odd things from time to time. 

A family was from India. A few times they were slow. They were the only ones with small kids, anyhow the tour guide looked and said, “Oh of course it’s them.” I wanted to say, “Oh of course you’d judge them like that.” But refrained. 

Later he said school children used have to wind down the chandeliers if they got in trouble at school. He said, “They got something that doesn’t happen now a days called, ‘discipline’.” I wanted to say, “Ya living in a pandemic, hearing people fight about politics, and having more single parents raise their kids isn’t enough now a days.” Again I refrained from saying all that. He is right we do lack respect, but hey that’s on adults just as much as kids. 

Enough from my soap box. He did tell us some interesting stories. This floor below was replaced on the first level with 50s style tile. What a shame. 

There were 2 girls below that used to face each other. Now they look straight ahead. That happened when they put in electricity. 

He swore the paintings move. It’s just odd perspective. I was more fascinated by the tile detail of the art. 

The best room was the library. It had super old books that went up 3 levels. This would be Mica’s dream house I think. 

Onward to where important decisions were/are made. Here we learned that the capitol was once on fire. The electrician accidentally bumped into his lantern. The same guy that saved the capitol fell to his death a few days later. He fell off a scaffolding. 

We did get to go up to the ceiling, but not up to the roof. Insert Grover’s near and far act. 

Just a few random shots I like:


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