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Remembering to Play #ShaunWhiteSupplyCo #CBias

Life gets so full and busy that sometimes I need to schedule play time. I’m not sure how this happens. I really believe in unscheduled lives, but somehow reality is often different than I have pictured, especially right now. Trying to homeschool, garden, teach college classes, blog, and help out with our home-based business, Oak Tree Homes, has me running ragged. My poor kids are dealing with a tired, grumpy Mom, and I  need a break! Sometimes I just need to drop the mess at home and take the kids to do something fun.

So, when I was recently given the opportunity to try out Shaun White Skateboards I jumped at the chance. My kids were so thrilled with the idea of a skateboard that they begged me to head to Walmart to pick one out! Locating the skateboards was not hard, but digging the Shaun White varieties off the shelves did take some doing. I expected to see a big, prominent display, but that was not the case at my Walmart. We found 4 varieties of Shaun White skateboards, ranging in price from $39.97-$69.97.

My kids loved all the skateboards, but they really liked this Thrash version pictured above. I’m not sure what the draw to skeletons is, but they thought it was too cool, so we got it. The Shaun White skateboard itself is very sturdy and larger than the other skateboards for kids that we saw. I thought maybe a larger board would help them as they learn. Always practical, I liked that at $39.97 they picked out the cheaper one. ;-) Since my kids haven’t been on skateboards {oh…ever}, I also picked up a helmet and safety pads. I really  like how big and sturdy the safety equipment is!  My kids always wear helmets when on their bikes, but my oldest daughter’s helmet is too small. So this helmet will serve double duty!

And then we headed to the skate park. I thought perhaps a non-skate park would be best, but my kiddos were bound and determined to go to the real deal. Once we got there, they mostly rode around on their bottoms and pretended to be great skateboarders. It was pretty cute! They will need years of practice before they can attempt the ramps at this skate park, though. It’s clearly for advanced riders.

Cora was just as determined to give it a go as Ben. She actually threw a pretty big fit when he got to ride it first. I was surprised how much she enjoyed it too, but I should have known better because she’s actually more adventurous than her older brother.

While one kid was on the skateboard, the others were running the ramps. It was pretty funny watching them run up and down. I wish there had been some experienced skateboarders there so we could have seen someone riding! It’s so much fun to watch people who know what they’re doing.

We’ve been out several times on the skateboard so far, and Ben can ride it a few feet before he falls off. It’ll be quite a while before he’s got the moves down, though. All in all, we are quite thrilled with our new Shaun White Supply Co. skateboard and I look forward to watching my kids actually learn how to use it. For now, though, we are taking it slow and being careful! If only the skateboard could also cook and do laundry…I’d be a whole new woman! :-)

You can find more information on Shaun White Supply Co on Facebook,Twitter, and Youtube.

And, watch for special ads in the 10/28 papers about the very same Thrash Skateboard that we got!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Shaun White Supply Co #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.

Makeover Fun with Elf Cosmetics’ Mineral Line #EyesLipFace #CBias

I am getting ready for my 20th high school reunion in a few weeks! I can’t believe I am that old…but it’s true!

To prepare of course, I ordered a bunch of new make-up – which I rarely wear. I got my hair trimmed up and my eyebrows waxed. TMI?? ;-)   And the other day I invited a good friend over to help me with my new make-up. Since I don’t wear it very often, I thought it might be fun to invite someone over who actually has a clue!  We had a great time watching make-up tutorials, messing around with make-up and hair, and talking outfits. I don’t take time for myself very  often so all of this attention on little ole me was quite fun and refreshing for a change.

A few weeks ago I ordered a bunch of elf cosmetics at eyeslipsface.com. I first heard of elf everyday cosmetics several years ago on money saving blogs because of their very inexpensive line of make-up – with many items priced at only $1 – their products are quite affordable for the bargain shopper. Well, I’ve used a lot of their $1 makeup in the past, but I recently found out they also carry a more natural mineral line!

I was excited because since learning about all of the toxic hazards we expose ourselves to, I have been trying hard to clean my home and life and make-up is one area I haven’t really changed. Elf’s Mineral Makeup is 100% mineral-based with no parabens, no preservatives, and no chemical dyes. Best of all, it is inexpensive – anywhere from $3-8 per item. It’s nice to find greener make-up products that don’t break the bank. Additionally, elf does not test their products on animals {they feature PETA’s seal on their website} and their products contain no animal derived products.

Since I live in the middle of the boonies {and it’s not that relaxing to cart 4 kiddos to Target}  I decided to order my make-up on line. Have you ever done that? It was pretty intimidating, I’m not going to lie to you. I was worried about picking the right color and products. I like to touch and feel things to know what I’m getting, but that’s pretty impossible when ordering online. I was also concerned about color distortion on my computer screen. It took me two days to place my order!

I read through so many reviews like the one pictured above – I couldn’t believe the helpful reviews on elf’s website. There were literally hundreds! After obsessing for two days, I finally placed my order and just hoped that I picked well. You can walk through my ordering process at my Google + album.

This is my make-up haul!! I was thrilled when my products arrived! My order consisted mainly of eye products, but I also got new blush and lipstick, new mascara, eye shadow, eye shadow primer, eyebrow filler & tamer, an eyebrow kit. I mostly ordered from elf’s mineral line, but they didn’t have mineral eyebrow products. Since they were very important to me, I ordered the regular line for those items.

Because I ordered over $20 worth of product, I was able to get an enormous kit called their Fall Collection for free. It included all of the brushes shown above and I am in love! Elf always runs specials and each one seems a bit better than the last.

I also got these really fun lip sticks. I love the color. I love the way they feel on my lips. I love that they are long lasting. In fact, I was really impressed with everything I bought! I enjoyed most of the colors I ended up with. My girlfriend, Melanie, however, thinks I should have ordered bright red lipstick {but red really makes me shudder}. I just don’t think it’s right for my complexion. I’m happier with browns and lighter shades.

And now I am showing you something I never show anyone – me with NO MASCARA! You can see that my eyebrows blend right into my forehead. They are my most challenging feature and I was excited to try a few of elf’s eyebrow products. I’m serious when I tell you the only makeup product in my bathroom until I got this order was mascara. I massively purged my makeup about a year ago and never got around to replacing it.

A closer look at some of my favorite new eye products! I especially love the eye shadow primer. It feels luxurious and does a good job at keeping eye shadow in place all day long.

My old daily routine consisted of mascara. It took about a minute and the result was reflective of my effort. I’ve added a few more items since my elf purchase: eyebrow primer, a bit of eyeshadow, the eyebrow kit, blush, and lipstick. It now takes me about 5 minutes to put on my makeup {totally doable, I think}, and I’m worth the effort!

After Melanie and I were pleased with our appearances, we went outside for a quick photo shoot! I love my new look. I think I still need to do a bit of work on my eyebrows, but overall I am very pleased with my elf makeup haul!

Thanks, Melanie for teaching me about makeup! And thank you elf and CBias for making this makeover possible.

Connect with e.l.f.  on facebook and twitter

 
 I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. and e.l.f. #CBias #SocialFabric

Easy Lemon Chicken for the Crockpot

Moms Meet & Kiwi Magazine recently sent me a copy of their new cookbook, Allergy-Friendly Food for Families to review. I’m always on the lookout for fun, delicious new recipes so even though we are lucky enough not to have any food allergies, I was happy to take a look through their new cookbook.

Moms Meet & Kiwi Magazine recently sent me a copy of their new cookbook, Allergy-Friendly Food for Families to review. I’m always on the lookout for fun, delicious new recipes so even though we are lucky enough not to have any food allergies, I was happy to take a look through their new cookbook. And I found a lot of recipes I’d love to try, but their recipe for easy lemon chicken really sounded quite delightful. So, I gave it a whirl – but first, I turned it into a crockpot recipe and the chicken literally fell off the bone after my beloved crockpot slaved all day to make me effortless dinner! YUM!!Here’s the original recipe and my adaptions:

Easy Lemon Chicken for the Crockpot

Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Allergy Free Food for Families
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 4
Easy, one pot meal with a quick prep and few, simple ingredients!
Ingredients
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs (and or legs) ~ I used about 3 lbs of leg quarters
  • 1 pound new potatoes or baby Dutch yellow potatoes, halved ~ I used 1.5 pounds new tri-colored potatoes (purple, yellow, white)
  • 1 – 12 ounce baby baby carrots ~ I used 1 lb regular carrots, sliced to about the size of baby carrots
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the oil, garlic, thyme in a small bowl.
  3. Place the chicken on one side of 9×13 baking dish. Place the potatoes, carrots, lemons on the other side.
  4. Drizzle the oil mixture over the chicken and veggies and toss well to coat.
  5. Turn chicken skin side up. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  6. Roast, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, stirring the veggies and lemon wedges once or twice. Remove the veggies and lemon wedges if they are tender and golden-brown before the chicken is fully cooked.
  7. {Or, you can cook in a crockpot on low, 6-8 hours.}
  8. To serve, allow the lemon wedges to cool slightly, then squeeze them over the chicken and veggies.
 Allergy-Friendly Food for Families includes 120 gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free recipes. Not all of the recipes are -free from everything – but the book is nicely organized by colored tabs on each page so it’s very easy to find what you’re looking for. For instance, the French Toast Kebabs have a gluten free option and are dairy, nut, and egg free. The book also has tips for fun ways to involve kids in the kitchen and gorgeous pictures I loved looking at. One of my favorite pages is called: “recycle your food! five ideas for leftovers!” Reducing food waste is one of my passions so I was thrilled to see these ideas for using up leftovers instead of throwing them in the trash.