Scenes from Halloweens Past


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My cleverest costume yet: I was “Styled by Helen Keller.” Get it? A mismatched mess because she couldn’t see what she was doing or hear my protests. Not very PC, but I did win a costume contest for Most Creative.

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Me and Sassy Sarah, the Purple Spider Fairy.

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Zombie Luvahs!

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Mama and Minnie.

Happy Halloween, all! Be safe and have fun.

YUM! Orange Chicken


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We love Chinese and Asian-inspired food around these parts but it is so hard to find a good place to get it. I’ve had to do a little experimenting to satisfy our cravings.

This recipe for Orange Chicken is a definite winner. We like ours spicy but you can easily adjust the heat level according to your taste preference. Serve it up with some steamed rice (I used instant rice, shhhh – don’t tell) and you may never go out for Chinese again.

Orange Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts – about 1 1/2 pounds, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (light or dark is fine)
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp Fresh Ginger, finely minced or grated
  • 2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Scallions, finely chopped
  • Splash of Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup of Oil for frying, I prefer coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl with lid mix together cornstarch and flour.
  2. Add the chicken chunks, cover and shake to coat all the pieces.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet and add the chicken when the oil is ready. Test for readiness by looking for bubbles when a wooden spoon is put in the oil. Be careful not to crowd the pan with the chicken. You may need to cook in batches.
  4. When chicken pieces are golden brown remove them from oil and allow to drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked. Set aside.
  5. Add the garlic to a wok or large skillet with a small amount of oil. Brown the garlic slightly over low heat. Do not burn.
  6. Add the ginger and chili flakes cook for about one minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  7. Add the orange juice and sriracha, stir to mix it all together.
  8. Add the brown sugar and mix. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, allowing sauce to reduce and thicken.
  9. Add a splash of soy sauce.
  10. When sauce has thickened, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat, let it all simmer together for a few minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and add the scallions.
  12. Serve over steamed white rice.

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The Fysiko Lash Growth Serum Challenge: Week 8


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Longer lashes after only 8 weeks of use.

Today marks week 8 of my 16-week  Fysiko Lash Growth Serum Challenge. I put the serum on my lash line every night before bed and although I’ve accidentally forgotten a few times so far the results are amazing. My once sparse lashes are noticeably longer and thicker!

Hooray! Learn more about Fysiko Lash Growth Serum here

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This is what my lashes were when I started thin, sparse and short. Can’t even see them in the photo.

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These are my lashes today, after 8 weeks of using Fysiko Lash Growth Serum. Obviously longer and thicker.

I have not been financially compensated to write this post. Fysiko provided a sample to use for test and review purposes. All photos, opinions and statements here are entirely my own. 

It’s Potty Time


She’s not quite 16 months old but we’re going to give potty training a try. Jax seems more than ready and wants so badly to be a big girl and do everything herself. She is very interested when mommy is on the potty, tries to inspect what’s going on and is very inquisitive. She also pulls at her diaper when she’s wet and gives us plenty of signals when she’s relieving herself. So we’re giving it a go.

I’ve read some parents start as early as 6 months and have their child diaper-free at a year. WOW! That is aggressive. We’re not going to push it or rush it, we’ll take it one step at a time at her pace. I bought a potty last night and she’s so excited. It sings and lights up and she already loves to sit on it.

Right now her potty is in the living room so she can get used to it and not be afraid of it. We’ll move it to the bathroom over the weekend. My plan is to set her on the potty without a diaper every time I go to the bathroom and whenever she makes her poop faces.

I don’t have any goals or expectations on when she should be diaper-free, we’re just testing the waters (pun intended).

Wish us luck!

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October Citrus Lane Box


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October is the fifth month we’ve received our Citrus Lane box. I reviewed our first and second boxes but skipped posting about our third and fourth (click here and here for previous reviews).

The past two months were somewhat disappointing, and I wasn’t inspired to write about them, but the October box came with redemption in the form of bath toys and a tambourine! This box couldn’t have been better suited for Miss Jax, she lives for bath-time and music…and boob, but I digress.

Hooray – because I was considering cancelling.

We received:

Toddler Tambourine from Hohner Kids. It’s super cute and smartly designed for the littles – no sharp metal discs on the outside. It’s sized just right for chubby little hands and best of all the sound is light and lilting instead of harsh and crashing. The tambourine retails on the Hohner website for $12. Fun Fact: Hohner created the first harmonica 150 years ago!

Scrubble from Boon. Little egg-y-shaped, squirty bath toys, also perfectly sized for toddler hands. These toys unscrew to fill with water and are dishwasher safe. Cool! The tops feature fun textures in bright colors. Scrubbles retail for $11.99 on Boon.com.

Cool It Buddy Instant Cold Pack from Me4KidzNot gonna lie, kinda disappointed with this, but only because we’ve received it from Citrus Lane before. I wasn’t thrilled to receive a duplicate product when part of the fun of these monthly boxes is to try out something new. Oh, well, you never have a cold pack handy when you need one and now we have several. A pack of two retails for $2.99 on the Me4Kidz website.

Little Yums from Plum Organics. Eh. Jax doesn’t love baby/toddler snacks unless she steals it from another baby or toddler. Also, I find it weird that Citrus Lane only includes one snack in the box. I wish they’d send a few or at least one in a couple different flavors so you can gauge if your kiddo will like it. When I gave Jax her snack she dropped it on the ground before she had a second bite. Since toddler snacks are hit or miss with her I won’t buy these unless i know for sure if she likes them.

The box also included a free three-month digital subscription to Babybug Magazine. I have yet to take advantage of the offer and I am not sure if I will. I myself use a reader but I want Jax to grow up feeling and flipping pages of actual books and magazines. There will be time for downloading later, for now I want her to appreciate pages. I may download it and and save for later, as that is an option with the offer. It may come in handy for travel instead of packing bulky board books. Well, there ya go I just talked myself in to it. Ha!

Another plus of the October box is the support Citrus Lane showed for two great causes: the box decor was pink instead of the usual yellow in support of Breast Cancer Awareness and it also had mustache shapes perforated into the bottom in honor of Men’s Health Awareness Month in November.

Nice job, Citrus Lane.