Thursday, September 29, 2016

Awesome Life Friday #81

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Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's what some of us have been up to here:
We hope you'll check them out if you haven't already!  Don't forget to peek at the sidebar and check out what other giveaways we currently have going.

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES!  We missed the party last week, so these are from two weeks ago.  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!

Spicy Thai Red Curry Chicken Drumsticks // Strength & Sunshine

Spicy Chicken & Sweet Potato Casserole // Tabs Health & Fitness

Fall Sign // Muchmore Creative

Honey Tarts with Macadamia Nuts // Something Sweet: Winnie's Blog

10 Homemade Mixes That Need to Be in Your Pantry // Little House Living

Slow Cooker Pear Butter // Stone Cottage Adventures

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Party in Your PJs! #125

Welcome to Party in Your PJs!

Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.   In addition to Kim from The Cookie Puzzle, you'll also find Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma IdeasWood of Bell Trees and... here!

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

Kim ~ The Cookie Puzzle | Facebook | Pinterest 
Nina ~ Grandma Ideas | Pinterest | Twitter
Lynda ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos | Facebook | Pinterest
Heather ~ Woods of Bell Trees | Facebook | Instagram

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle 

Kim is a small town girl who love simple things. Simple cookies, simple crafts and simple people. She is a wife, mother to one son and two adorable fur babies. Slightly addicted to reality TV and sitcoms, but she loves curling up with a good book or a good walk while listening to podcasts. You can find her at The Cookie Puzzle, where she shares her love for cookies and crafting. 

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

How is this: Nina is wildly in love with her grandchildren. She delights in doing activities with them that strengthen their relationship –- playing games, doing crafts, snuggling, reading stories to them, and cooking together. She enjoys reading, technology, and traveling. (Tahiti is her most favorite place on earth!)

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda lives outside DC with her husband Michael and elderly beagle, Sadie. She and her daughter Jackie started RCHReviews as a way to spend time together in spite of living across country, and along the way they've added several friends as regular contributors. Between them all, they bring together many different perspectives and lifestyles with one common philosophy - try new things, have fun, and remember you are awesome!

 Heather @ Wood of Bell Trees

Heather is a wife of a peanut butter fanatic and mom of one silly human and one furry canine, wrangling life on 2nd shift and glitterizing everything as she goes!

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at

Features from Last Weeks Party!

 to see their features - we each pick our own!

Were you Featured? Grab a button!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment, we all love comments
-If you were featured, grab a"Featured" button, found below.
-Consider adding our Party button to your Party Page or Post.

Review: Mumma's Little Helpers

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If you have children, you know that this is true: Tiny humans = big messes.

Seriously, how does that happen? Big messes in their bedroom, big messes in the living room, big messes in the bathroom, and big messes around the kitchen table. What baby has not dropped food off of the high chair to see what happened? I know that both of mine have and the one still does!

Being parents, we are always on the lookout for the next thing to help contain the chaos, and we found a good answer with Mumma's Little Helpers. Mumma's Little Helpers is an Australian company that makes high chair bibs that fit around most any four legged high chair or dining room chair. These bibs are easy to care for, with most cleaning being a simple wipe down, although they are machine washable as well.

I got my gorgeous red and black helper in a convenient matching pouch and knew that I had to put it on our high chair right away.

It was a little confusing at first by just looking at the product itself, but once I actually read the included directions, installation was super easy. There were three bits of Velcro that had to be applied to the high chair, and were as easy as stickers to get on.

 Unfortunately after only a couple weeks, two of the three bits of Velcro had come off of the chair, leaving the bib a bit....floppy. This was easily enough fixed with some sticky back Velcro I got at the craft store.

Boy, does this thing really help cut down on messes from meals!

When my daughter decides that she is done with eating, or that she does not care for apple slices today, and drops her food to the floor, it is instead caught in this ingenious little bib, and I don't have another gigantic mess on the floor to clean.

All I need to do is to drop the back portion of the bib and let the debris pour into the trashcan. 

It also is handy for catching dropped cups and plates, reducing the splatter mess.

I love this high chair bib so much, I actually brought it with me on my cross country trip, intending on using it at my father-in-law's house, attaching it with the leftover sticky back Velcro I had gotten earlier.

Unfortunately, he did not want the Velcro attached to the beautiful wooden high chair he had, so I wasn't able to use it. I really wish I could have, because not having it reminded me why I really love it.

I think that every Mumma should have one of these for their kiddos, it really makes life a bit less stressful when you have one less mess to clean!  

Mumma's Little Helper Highchair Bibs are available in several colors and patterns for between 40.00AUD and 65.00AUD, depending on size, and they will ship internationally for a extra fee.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Corndog Muffins

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So here we are, beginning Week Three in school, and my darling daughter is “sooooooo tiiiiiiired of sandwichessss” in her packed lunch.

Unfortunately, she also hates most veggies, so no salad. Chicken was also out of the question. Basically she had turned her nose up at most viable options. Nevermind the fact that she happily ate, sometimes two, sandwiches daily over the summer... Time to get creative!

These very simple Corndog Muffins pack well, can be eaten cold, and work equally well as an afternoon snack.

Corndog Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)

Cornbread mix (I like Krust-eaz, but whichever brand you prefer will do fine)
Hot dogs

I used boxed cornbread mix, but if you have a failproof recipe, by all means!  Prepare the cornbread batter according to directions.

Spray a regular sized muffin tin with nonstick oil, and fill with prepared cornbread mix, roughly 1/3 of the way up the side of the muffin cup.

Slice 4 hot dogs into thirds. Pat dry with paper towel to ensure excess juice doesn’t disrupt baking.

Push a hot dog third into the center of the filled mix. I found that twisting like a corkscrew made this stick a bit more securely in the center of the muffin.

Bake as directed on the package.

When it has finished baking, let it cool for a couple minutes and be sure to loosen edges before yanking out so as not to split muffins.

These are just fine eaten cold, or reheated in a microwave if your child's school cafeteria has one. I haven't specifically tried it, but I think these would freeze well if you'd like to stock up.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Awesome Life Friday #80

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

I got busy last Thursday and totally forgot to set up the Awesome Life Friday Party - and then didn't even realize it until Friday was half over, whoops!  I'll show off a few featured posts from the week before last and here's a bit of what we've all been up to:
We hope you'll check them out if you haven't already!  Don't forget to peek at the sidebar and check out what other giveaways we currently have going.

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES!  We missed the party last week, so these are from two weeks ago.  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!

Caramel Banana Nut Sundae // Simply Stacie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake in a Jar // The Country Chic Cottage

Jewelry Organizer for Earrings // The Boondocks Blog

Apple Pie Smoothie // The Pistachio Project

Enough with the Mommy Mafia! // Housewife How-To's

Farmhouse Tiered Stand // Penny's Vintage Home

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Cool the Back Seat! DIY Air Conditioning Extension Tube


We live in Central Texas where its currently still in the high 90°'s and it gets blazing hot in my car. I drive a 2013 Dodge Journey that doesn't have AC vents in the back seat. It takes a very long time to cool down back there and for a child, any amount of time is too long. My daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder and sitting in her booster with a sweaty bottom is one of her triggers.

I have been wanting to purchase a product that would help get the cold air to the backseat faster, and there are certainly some great products out there. However as a crafty (ahem. . . cheap. . . ) mom, I like to try to make my own, less expensive version of things. So the following is my tutorial for a quick and effective AC Extension Tube.

Shopping list:
vinyl flexible hose
3" diameter 20' vinyl flexible hose (Found at Home Depot for about $10)

1 1/4" diameter Curtain Clip Rings (you really only need the clip but I was improvising)

Roughly 2.5 yards fabric of your choice

16" of 3/4" elastic

Thread to match fabric

Measuring tape

curtain clips


Wire cutters

To begin:
Measure the length of tubing you need to get from your AC vent to your back seat. I went with 8 feet. Use the scissors to begin cutting the vinyl and the wire cutters to complete the cut.

For the fabric cover:
Lay your fabric out on a clean, flat surface. Use your pencil and measure tape to mark your fabric. You'll want about 12 inches of width to be able to wrap around the tube and the length should be about 4 inches longer than your tube.

I went along the fabric, marking out the 12" width along the entire length and then used my scissors to "connect the dots".

Once you have your very long rectangle of fabric cut out, fold it in half along the length and iron it with the design side facing each other. You can pin it along the length to make sewing easier.

Sew one long straight line with a 1/4"seam allowance. At each short end fold 1/4" over and then 1/2" over to create a double fold. Sew along this edge but leave a 1" opening to allow for the insertion of the elastic. Repeat for the other side.

Do not insert your elastic yet. Turn the entire sleeve right side out. Insert the vinyl tube into the sleeve.

Using a safety pin or a bodkin, insert the elastic into the opening you left at the end of the sleeve. I used about 8" of elastic in each end. Pull the elastic taut and sew it together. The elastic should be outside of the tube to protect from any jagged edges.

This next part is somewhat difficult to explain. Take your curtain rings and pry the S hook portion open enough to get the ring off. You don't need the ring portion, just the clip and S hook.

You are going to hook the S onto the elastic and clip the other part on the the vents. I used two hook clips placed about 3" apart. You'll have to refer to the picture for clarification.

I leave the back end of the tube in the back seat and let my daughter hold it so she can place the air where she likes.

Notes: While this works great for cold air, I wouldn't recommend that it be used for hot hair as the steel wire that reinforces the tubing could get to hot to touch. When I made my tube, I used aluminum dryer vent tubing but have since gone back for the vinyl for fear that the aluminum may get too warm.

We were parked in my driveway so no need to panic about the lack of seat belt.

Review/Giveaway: Neocell Move Matrix Advanced Joint Hydrator


A few weeks ago, I shared a review of NeoCell's Tropical Tang Joint Bursts, which were delicious pineapple flavored turmeric chews designed to help keep our joints hydrated.  I am back to talk about the NeoCell Move Matrix Advanced Joint Hydrator supplements, which have a similar function but in a more hardcore supplement form, with a few additional ingredients.

While I'd recommend Joint Bursts for anyone - especially those seeking to reduce the wear and tear of osteoarthritis (OA) - Move Matrix are a powerful tool designed for athletes seeking to protect themselves from joint related injuries that lead to OA as well as those of us already dealing with OA. The 3 ingredients in the Joint Bursts are here as well, in higher doses, and combined with several other things specifically designed to aid joint health.

As someone who has dealt with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) since late adolescence and osteo-arthritis for the past fifteen years at least, I was both hopeful and skeptical.  There are a million 'cures' out there for arthritis and for the most part, they're all a lesson in disappointment.  RA is currently incurable, and OA is a one way ticket - you want to keep damage from happening, because once it's there, you can't undo it. You can only treat symptoms and do what you can to prevent further  damage.

Low impact exercise that strengthens the muscles and increases flexibility, along with the usual common sense lifestyle choices - a good diet, enough sleep, etc, go a long way toward helping keep our joints from painful injuries and degradation, but a well thought out supplement can also be a good part of that lifestyle.

After a month of taking Move Matrix, I not only recommend it, but my doctor has suggested I keep taking it - the results for me have been s sharp drop in the number of Advil, Tylenol or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) I've needed to take this month (from almost daily down to about a half dozen Aleve total), and I've been given the go ahead to wean off prednisone (which worsens osteo-arthritis, but without it, my RA tends to flare a lot).

I know that's putting the conclusion at the beginning, but I if you're needing to try to reduce NSAID dependency, I don't see why you need to be kept in suspense! This works for me, is safer by far than NSAIDs, and now I can explain a bit about what goes into it.

Note: I strongly suggest that if you are taking medication you consult with your doctor before taking any supplement - often, they simply don't play well with other medications, and can interfere with what you're taking medication for, or lead to bad side effects when taken in combination.

What I like about Move Matrix (aside from its having a obvious, noticeable positive impact on me) is that the ingredients aren't at all mystifying - each ingredient in this supplement is known to benefit healthy joints and/or to reduce pain from damaged joints.

Keep in mind that, as with all supplements, Move Matrix and its ingredients have not gone through the same type of FDA scrutiny as pharmaceuticals have.  Do your own research, and make an informed decision.

According to WebMD:
"Collagen is a protein that is part of cartilage, bone, and other tissues in animals and humans. People use collagen from chickens for medicine. 
Chicken collagen is used to treat joint pain associated with many types of arthritis and surgery, as well as back pain, neck pain, and pain following injury.
How does it work?
Chicken collagen is said to work by causing the body to produce substances that fight pain and swelling (inflammation), but this is unproven. Chicken collagen also contains ,the chemicals chondroitin and glucosamine, which might help rebuild cartilage."

Yep, three of the main ingredients in Move Matix is the same nutritious stuff we find in our homemade bone broth!

MSM is also often used to treat repetitive stress injuries, osteo-arthritis (and rheumatoid arthritis, although I think research on whether it helps is lacking when it comes to RA), as it reduces inflammatianon and the pain that goes with it.

Hyaluronic Acid is used as an injectible for osteo-arthritic knees to replace lost lubrication. NeoCell not only inludes it as an element of Move Matrix, but also provides Hyaluronic Acid supplements designed to lubricate both joints and skin - another area that loses hydration as we get older.

The Move Matrix Blend is a mixture of herbs and spices known to have beneficial effect.

-- Turmeric (Curcumin C3 Complex) is the main ingredient, and research is continuing to find ways in which turmeric is good for us.  Specifically, as it pertains to joint health, it reduces the pain and inflammation associated with both OA and RA.  The amount taken daily using this supplement is enough to have a measurable effect reducing stiffness and pain for me, and as much as I don't love taking more large tablets, I find it easier than taking an equivalent amount in, say, a glass of milk (I've tried - I don't like it that way), and it's inside the capsule, so no orange tongue!

-- Ginger Root is something I have used to reduce stomach discomfort (a nifty side effect of taking NSAIDs), but I was surprised to learn that there are indications that it also reduces osteoarthritis pain, as well as muscle and joint ache.

-- Boswellia is one of the cornerstones of Eastern medicine, also known as Indian Frankincense.  Like turmeric, it works as well as NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation, but without the damaging side effects to your gut and organs.

-- Resveratrol is the only one on the list I didn't immediately recognize, so I headed to WebMD and read, "Resveratrol is a natural chemical compound found in grapes, red wine, and other foods. As a supplement, resveratrol has been promoted as a treatment for many conditions -- including aging itself."  It has not been heavily studied, and while there are few known side effects, the lack of study does suggest caution is necessary for pregnant or lactating women.

-- Pine Bark contains antioxidants that may reduce arthritis pain and inflammation, and studies have indicated it may work as a COX-2 blocker (similar to what Celebrex does).

-- Black Pepper has also been studied and found to have have anti-inflammatory properties that have a beneficial impact on the sort of inflammation that is accompanied by severe pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Like I said, these ingredients do not have any known major risks, and most of them have been studied and found to aid joint health, and the pain that comes with chronic joint related illness.

For me, it worked, and I'll be taking these supplements regularly now.

The only difficult part for me was that they are in capsule form, and I already take enough medications daily.  I'd love if I could get this in liquid form, but until then, I divide up the five capsule recommendation and take two in the morning with breakfast and the other three at night before bed.  Originally, I tried to do two in the morning, one at midday and two at night, but several days in a row, I realized I had forgotten the midday capsule.

There's no stated reason not to take it all at once (other than that they're big and that's a lot of capsules), but I suspect that doing so may reduce how much gets into your system before it's been passed.

Either way, though, Move Matrix allowed me to almost entirely avoid NSAIDS within a week after starting them, and it's been a month that involved a lot of unpacking and lifting (we moved just before I began the supplement), as well as multiple weekend trips that included sightseeing during August's heat and humidity.

I count that as a win!

Speaking of winning, Neocell is offering a one-month supply of Move Matrix (currently $20.43 on Amazon Prime) to one of our readers in the US.  Read on to see how you can enter to win!

To enter the giveaway, you must leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 10/6. 

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Once the winners have responded and confirmed, their first names will be posted on our Giveaways  page.

Good luck!