Sunday, March 29, 2015

6000 Piece Loom Band Kit

My boys love making crafts and the big thing the last year or so has been loom bands. Every where I go kids are wearing them, making projects, and asking for them. So, when Tomoson gave me the opportunity to work with and get the 6000 piece Loom Band Kit for FREE in exchange for my honest review, I quickly accepted.

Is 6000 pieces a little excessive? Maybe, or maybe not. This can be the perfect gathering activity for scouts or a birthday party, a play date, or rainy day afternoon project fun! Even though there are a lot of bands, I have no doubt they will get used. Especially when you consider most project take several bands to complete.

The bands come packaged by color. 600 each of red, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, black, and white. Each color bag has it's own small bag of clips. There are 200+ clips in the entire kit. And you can find them at my favorite store in the world... Amazon :)

This is an amazing deal. When you consider one pack of 500 bands is about $5.00 at most stores, and in this kit you are getting 6,000 bands. This is by far the best way to buy them. Plus, with the kit you get a variety of colors to make all the fun projects the kids pick out.

The bands are latex-free. Stretchy and soft. Perfect for kids and (parent helpers) and compatible with all major rainbow loom brands. Plus, they are 100% guaranteed!

Since my boys were off playing with their Dad this weekend I sat down on the floor, and picked two projects to make with the bands. 1st I made two cute little Pokeball charms for them to hang on the zipper of their backpacks. Then I made two quick and easy little Easter Eggs to put in their baskets.

I found the video instructions for this charm at They have a whole collection of fun projects to make with your bands. Most do require a loom so if you don't have you will need one and a hook to make the two projects I did.

Yeah! Two pokeballs down and it only took me an hour to figure out how to use the loom correctly... If my boys would have been here I swear these would have only taken about 10 minutes a piece! So much for quickly making a surprise. I will save you the sad pictures of me pulling everything off and trying again and again.  Thank heavens for the pause and rewind feature on youtube!

The second project was much quicker. I was getting the hang of using the loom and there weren't any crazy knots, just straight forward weaving.

This project was taken off the Rubber Band Bracelet website.  So, in addition to supplying you with this fabulous kit, they have a blog with several Loom Band projects.  They also have a Video Project Gallery if you sign up for their club/newsletter. This video doesn't have as much detail as the Pokemon project, however it was an easier project so it didn't need as much. For this you will need a loom and a hook, and some fiber-fill stuffing or cotton balls to make the eggs puffy. (The trick is keeping your puppy from thinking that the stuffing is really his to play with...)

Two projects down and more to come!

These bands will be perfect to make scout neckerchief slides... Blue and yellow!

Yummy Yammy Sweet Potato Salsa Review + Giveaway!

As a Tomoson Blogger I get some amazing opportunities to try out new products for FREE! I was excited to be introduced to Yummy Yammy. This women owned New England based company makes healthy sweet potato salsa's in three flavors: Mexican, Moroccan, and Tuscan. In exchange for an honest review, I received sample jar of all three!

These salsa's truly are a "Vegan Superfood Meal in a Jar." They are full of good flavor and good for you!
  • These salsa's are the only sweet potato salsa's in the world!
  • No fat
  • No sweeteners of any kind
  • 250 calories in an entire jar! The Moroccan only has 200.
  • Gluten free
  • Non GMO corn and citric acid.
  • Woman-owned company
  • Vermont-based company
  • Available in 100 stores from Wisconsin to Florida

The only thing I have an issue with these salsa's is the name. Salsa to me brings to mind images tomatoes and a fairly liquid dip/topping. These sweet potato salsa's are thick and creamy almost the complete opposite of what you'd expect in a salsa. They are more the consistency of a bean dip than that of a salsa. But I suppose that problem is based merely on semantics...

Regardless of the name, the flavors of these salsa's are absolutely amazing.  I love that they are amazingly healthy for you, and I love that they are full of flavor without any unnecessary ingredients.

I loved the depth of flavor in the Mexican salsa. Chipotle and black bean are a classic combination and great on tortilla chips.  This would be fantastic on nachos or in a quesadilla. I thought I was getting the medium strength so when I realized it was hot I was a little nervous. It was still great.  My kids wouldn't try it because it was hot, but had I received the mild or medium version of the salsa I know at least my oldest would have devoured it with me.

The Tuscan salsa has the sweetest flavor of the three, even though there are no additional sweeteners added. Balsamic vinegar is pared with the amazing flavor of roasted red peppers, white beans, and basil. It is like Italian food in a jar minus the tomatoes. In my opinion this is the most kid friendly, with familiar flavors and a sweeter rather than spicy flavor.

The Moroccan salsa has the most flavor. The roasted sweet potatoes are mixed with curry spices, lentils, and kale. This is absolutely delicious on pita bread or would be amazing mixed in a soup or served over rice with lamb or chicken.  Adults are sure to love this one! My kids are a little reserved in their cultural cuisine so this was the one of the three that was too spicy for them. I am totally on a Mediterranean food kick right now, so I thought it was absolutely amazing.

The salsa's can be used as a traditional salsa/dip, added to a finished entree, or as the base of a meal. Use it as filling in a burrito or wrap, topping on a pizza, sauce for pasta or rice, as a nacho topping, or to flavor the main protein in your dish.

If you like what you see, Yummy Yammy is currently looking for fellow Yambassador's on their website. As a Yambassador you receive the best deals and specials, plus news and recipes, and a special thank you gift of a free shipping code for one order!

The website has a blog and a recipe collection for you to browse and get great ideas for your salsa's.
Some examples of recipes are:
  • Quick Tuscan Pasta
  • Simple Tuscan Wrap
  • Fast and Nutritious Moroccan Breakfast
  • Moroccan Lamb Stew
  • Superfood Nachos
  • Instant Mexican Soup
Head on over to the Yummy Yammy website and join the Sweet Potato Revolution :)

A little excerpt about the owner from the website:

Hi! I am Lisa Johnson, the Yambassador at Yummy Yammy. I have chosen my business name and corporate title to celebrate how declicious, healthy and fun our sweet potato salsas are.  Yummy Yammy's mission is to help busy people eat better by delightfully bringing sweet potatoes to the nation.

Why Sweet Potatoes?
  • Sweet potatoes are delicious
  • Sweet potatoes are gorgeous, with their sunny orange color
  • Sweet potatoes offer great mouth-feel, velvety texture, and smooth creaminess
  • "Yam" is a fun name to work with
  • Sweet potatoes are so undervalued in our busy, hectic, and fast-food culture and...
  • Sweet potatoes are so incredibly healthy fur us to eat!
Whether you already love sweet potatoes, or have never liked them, or don't even know what they are, you should try our salsas. They're delicious, they're new, they're fun, and they're so healthful you won't believe it.

Many people enjoy yams with brown sugar, butter and marshmallows.  That's certainly how we had them when I was a kid, at Thanksgiving dinner. And now you can get rich, scrumptious sweet potato fries at any restaurant.

But here's what I do differently: I have a hundred new, different, and exciting ideas for making them savory, taking them from the side dish to the center of the plate, and keeping them the amazing nutritious powerhouses they naturally are.

My background:
  • 12 years at natural food stores in Vermont & New Hampshire
  • 10 years helping people find fresh farm products and build meaningful economic relationships with farmers (for instance, we helped Dartmouth College buy more local vegetables for their kitchens)
  • Lots of stints working at restaurants when I was younger
  • Cooking for 36 hungry apple pickers
  • Several years of work on organic farms: planting, weeding, harvesting fruits and vegetables
  • Living all over the US and in Mexico
  • Gardening and cooking all my life for the sheer joy of it
Mostly, though, what you want to know about me can't fit on a resume or list of accomplishments. I am irrepressibly entrepreneurial and my mind is constantly filled with possibility.  People have told me I'm a leader and a visionary, and I can at least say that all my life I have desired those qualities.

This business is possible becuase my husband cheers me on constantly (and does a lot of dishes), my kids draw delightful artwork and taste all my food, and I am surrounded by skilled and inspired friends and professionals who give me lots of feedback.  I know there is no such thing as a "self-made man." We are supported and sometimes carried by the ones who love us, and without that, no business idea ever sees the light of day.

One last thing: please tell your friends about us! Your positive experience is by far the best marketing there is.

So, spread the word - that makes YOU a Yambassador too!

Yammily yours,
Lisa & Family

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cinnamon Life Muffins

Ready for some color? Tomoson and Sunsella have sent me 12 silicone baking cups for FREE to review. As many of you know I am a baker, and as much as I love fun paper baking cups, if I'm just baking for me and my family I feel bad throwing all that paper away. So, the idea of having these great cups caught my attention quickly.

My kids loved the bright colors and the best part is that 1) it didn't affect the baking time at all and 2) they just popped right off the bottom of the muffins without breaking them and I didn't have to use any non-stick cooking spray. They were simple to clean and I totally wish I would have had a set of these when my kids were little because they would be the perfect little snack bowls...

Regardless they are amazing. My kids loved them so much that they asked me to buy a set for their Grandma for her birthday next week.  So shhh, don't tell :)

There is a link to amazon at the bottom as well as a 20% off coupon code!

Be sure to check out the Sunsella website for FREE recipes and see what other fun and colorful products they have for you!

Cinnamon Life Muffins

3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup Cinnamon Life cereal
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg beaten
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
1 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup whole milk

Place oats and cereal in a large mixing bowl; cover with boiling water and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and flax seed. Mix well.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the oat mixture alternating with the milk until moistened.

Fill your Sunsella silicone muffin cups using a large cookie scoop until 2/3 full.  

Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 18-20 minutes until the tops are lightly starting to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

 Cool for 2-3 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

I love these silicone liners because they just pop right off the bottom. No need for non-stick spray, and no paper to peel off!


20% off coupon code 'JJORSB8D'

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Great Idea Thursday's - 91

Welcome to:

Welcome to Great Idea Thursday's! 

Well it's official! Spring is here. The daffodils are all in bloom and my boys are starting to sneeze so I'm guessing the trees will all start getting blossoms soon :) What are your plans for Spring Break? Are you making something fun? Going on vacation? I'm looking forward to sleeping in, but who knows if that will actually happen!  Anyway, thanks so much for coming to party! You're the best :)

If you haven't already, please give a big hello to my fabulous Co-Host Miss Joy!

Joybee, What's for Dinner?

See Great Idea Thursday's There too!
Follow Miss Joy Bee:

Come share what you have been doing every week! If you are interested in Co-Hosting this party with us, shoot me an e-mail me:  kristascookin {at} gmail {dot} com.

Great Idea Thursday #91

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cotton Guitar Strap

I have been playing the guitar since I middle school. It is something I love to do and have wanted to devote more time to it now that my kids are getting a little older. For Christmas I was given an amazing new guitar and I love playing it. But without a strap, I have been limited to sitting down whenever I play.

So when Strap Snake and Tomoson offered me this beautiful brown cotton and leather guitar strap for FREE I was super excited!

I absolutely love it. Since it is an acoustic guitar, I was curious how it would work, since there is only one strap button. But it attached beautifully above the neck. Strap Snake does also sell a Head Stock Button but I just used the included string and it worked great for me. Now I can stand up to play and not be hunched over trying to read my music and tab notes.

Check out how gorgeous my guitar looks! Yeah :)

My son, when he got an Electric guitar for Christmas a few years ago, had a nylon strap that came with it. I used it a few times then gave it back because I didn't like it at all. It wasn't comfortable at all. It kept digging into my shoulder, it kept slipping, and it just felt cheap.

This cotton and leather strap on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. It is comfortable. It's easy to adjust and stays put. And it is quality, with real cotton and leather. I plan on buying one for my son so he doesn't have to keep using the other one. Plus it is 100% guaranteed.

The Guitar Strap works for Acoustic or Electric Guitars. It works for Men, Women, Kids, Girls, and Boys.

The soft cotton is thicker, tougher, and stronger than nylon or pollypropylene guitar straps. It cinches down to 33.5" for young kids and teenagers, so they can be comfortable playing on bigger guitars. The strap extends to 56" for larger players and those who prefer a low hanging, full arm strumming, guitar style.

Here is a snipit from the Strap Snake website about the benefits of using a strap.

Play Standing Up Like a Rock Star or Country Star

How long have you been playing guitar? And do you still only sit down to play? If you ever want to perform on stage or rock the house, you gotta stand up and deliver.
It’s time to get a good quality cotton guitar strap and learn how to play your instrument without the safety of a seat. There’s big differences between sitting down and standing up. Here are just a few things to consider:
  • Whether to hold your guitar position high or long
  • How to place your wrist angle
  • How the guitar hangs on your body
  • How you see the fretboard

Advantages of Choosing Our Cotton Guitar Strap

image 4
Most beginner guitar straps are cheap because they are made of thin nylon material and
plastic leather ends. We do not think saving a few dollars is worth the risk of buying a
lousy strap that might break and damage your instrument.
  • Compatible for most acoustic and electric guitar models
  • 2-inch Wide Strap Keeps Guitar Stable on All Body Shapes and Sizes
  • Secure Fit Leather Ends Prevent Guitar Drop Accidents
  • Durable Cotton Webbing Prevents Slippery Cross Body Movements While Playing
  • Solid Black Strap Sets Off Classic Appearance of Most Guitars
  • Adjustable Non-Slip Buckle Makes it Easy to Change From High to Low Position
  • Choose Between Fitting to Strap Buttons or Use String Tie Above Neck
  • Adjusts to Minimum Length to be Kid Friendly (Down to 33.5 inches)

Start Performing and Command Attention

The only way to get better is to practice. That includes practicing standing up to get ready for your debut on the stage. Getting a cotton guitar strap helps you out in many ways:
  • Making sure you have good posture while playing, whether standing or sitting.
  • Making sure you play with the guitar in the right position for strumming and other techniques.
  • Getting used to seeing and reaching the neck positions with your non-strumming hand.
  • Allows you to find the sweet spot between higher and lower positions.
*images from StrapSnake website

If you are in the market for a new guitar strap. I highly recommend this one from Strap Snake. You can find the link from their website or buy it on Amazon here:

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