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We've all had our new gifts from Christmas and the things we've started using as part of our New Year Resolutions for 2021 for a month now! There are some things that we are really loving, both old and new that we want to share with you! Maybe you have been wanting to try some of them but have been waiting to make the plunge into a new product. Hopefully our reviews will help you our!
Fitness and Well being Products
My girls all have fitness watches that they love! They have been having "step" competitions all month! (So far, Lindsey has been the winner). Here are their products:
Lindsey and Alicia love their Fitbits! I don't know if they each have the same style, but you can find them on Amazon. Here are a couple of choices, just click the picture to go and see them.
Maddy has the ITouch Wearable. It is a little more affordable and she says that she likes it because it has a buzzing alarm that she uses in conjunction with her alarm clock. She can also time herself with it when she is working out and it helps her keep track of her sleep habits and counts her steps.
Maddy also loves her hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock. She says that it helps her get ready for sleep with the sunset setting. For the sunrise, you can choose from multiple colors. She chose blue because it isn't so harsh on her eyes early in the morning. You can also turn off the sound of the alarm so it's just the light, which she likes to do, but it also has nature sounds to wake up to that aren't so jarring, but more natural. Also, if you have to sleep in total darkness, you can turn the clock face off so that the time doesn't show.
Alicia really likes her Contigo AUTOSEAL Fit Water Bottle. She is working hard to drink plenty of water this year and this 25 oz. bottle is helping her with her goal.
Kitchen Aid-We love them! If you don't have one, they is truly worth the money! Here are some options:
If you keep your eyes open, you can find them on sale at various times of the year! There are also refurbished ones that are a great value!
Instant Pots-An oldie but a goodie now, these are also loved by many of us! If you haven't jumped on the Instant Pot train yet, they are just so convenient and time saving. Perfect for when you forget to get dinner started in time. There are so many great recipes out there to use in them now! We have a couple on the blog, here and here!
Now, this may seem like a little thing, and maybe a little pricey for a little thing, but Lindsey loves this OXO Peeler! She says that it works so well and peels so smoothly! Every so often, you just need a new peeler. They get dull or broken and it is nice to have a nice one when you need it!
I blogged earlier this week about one of my new favorite kitchen gadgets! I used it to bake bread! It is this Hamilton Beach Food Processor!
Obviously, our kitchen gadgets are our favs! Alicia is loving her hand wheat grinder! It is perfect for your preparedness items, in case your power is out! I have the same grinder, so I know that it is also perfect for grinding all kinds of grains. You would be surprised how easy it is too use and how much you can grind without getting too worn out! The grind is adjustable and you can get a very fine flour from this little grinder! The price has gone down since I originally purchased mine!
At the beginning of the year, we posted about hobbies that we want to try this year. I've gotten started on a couple of things and I am having so much fun!
First of all, photography! Mainly for the blog of course. I have two things that are helping me tremendously and they are so much fun to use! (My kids have been so generous to me! )
My Camera-Maddy got me this last year and I am still learning all of the ins and outs of it, but I love it! It is an Olympus OM-D. I am having trouble finding my exact model, but you can find similar ones at that link.
My Light Box-Christmas 2019, My son and his family gave me a light box for my photography! It is the ESDDI LED Photo Studio Light Kit. I love it! It has improved the quality of my pictures so much and as I learn more ways to use my camera, I think the combination of these two products will only improve my photos in the long run!
Resin-I have just started trying my hand at resin! It is so much fun! It is so simple to get a great result. I've only made a couple of things so far. Here are pictures, (taken with my camera in my light box), taken of my first attempt. I'm making necklaces for my granddaughters:
The resin, glitter, sequins and jewelry supplies used here all came in this kit! I was amazed at the value and at the larger sized bottles of resin compound! I can't wait to learn and make more so that I can share it all with you!
2 more things, 1 phone and 1 personal
My Phone! I've been living with a cracked, barely any space phone for some time now. But at Christmas, Lindsey and family got me a new one! It is awesome and it is amazing how having a good working phone can make your life easier. It is the Samsung Galaxy J7 Crown. It has a nice camera, too!
Alicia's One Step Hair Dryer/Volumizer- Alicia has a lot of thick, curly hair! Right after Christmas, she found this Revlon Hair Dryer, Volumizer on clearance for $10! That was a smokin' deal because right now on Amazon, it is $41.88! Maybe you can find it on sale at Walmart if you are as lucky as Alicia. It has been a game changer for her. She can dry her hair and straighten it all at the same time! Look at this screen shot of her with her hair so straight! My daughters are so beautiful, I know.
There you have it! 13 products that we are loving right now! Some have been on the list for quite a while! What are you loving so far this year? Have you tried any of the items we've mentioned? Drop us a comment! We love hearing from you!
Other "Favorites" Posts We've Shared:
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Maddy and my daughter from another mother, Charly, gave me this new food processor for Christmas. My old one worked, but you had to literally stick a fork in it to make it go, (because I dropped it once.) This new Hamilton Beach processor is amazing! It has 2 bowls, so you can use it for more than one thing in a recipe without having to clean it in between. I haven't done that yet, but I am definitely on the lookout for a recipe where I can use that function, just because I can!
One thing that I had been wanting to try is mixing yeast bread in my food processor! I had seen it done on an old cooking show years ago, but I hadn't tried it. Since I wasn't going to have to stand there holding a fork in the machine while it mixed up the dough, I now had the perfect opportunity to try it!
We were going to have some of our family over for a meal shortly after the New Year and I was putting out sandwich fixings for everyone to make their own sandwiches. My SIL has to eat gluten free, so I wanted to give him some options. In my experience, store bought gluten free bread is usually dry, weirdly textured and expensive. I decided to try the food processor bread for him first. I looked through a ton of recipes and then I put together what I thought would work. I have to tell you that I have become a fan of xanthun gum. Even though the gluten free flour mix says it has it in it, use more! It really will help your bread!
The wonderful thing about this bread is that it mixes up so quickly and then it only has to rise for 25 minutes, once! It is amazing! When the first loaf that I made came out of the oven, I was so happy with the soft texture and the great taste. My SIL liked it so much that he asked for another loaf, which I baked for him, and he asked Lindsey to be sure to get the recipe from me. As a matter of fact, it came out so well that I decided to try the recipe again with regular flour and the results were equally amazing. I will tell you about that after I finish with the gluten recipe for you.
When I decided to try this recipe to make a regular wheat flour loaf of bread, all I did was substitute all purpose white flour for the gluten free flour mixture. I still added the xanthun gum just to see what it would do. The batter was slightly thinner than the gluten free batter, so I had to bake it a little longer. The results were amazing, just look:
This recipe is becoming my go to bread recipe for when I need a gluten free loaf or just a quick loaf of bread for dinner. Let me know if you give it a try!
If you liked this recipe, here are some other gluten free recipes you may like as well:
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking them, we will be compensated, but there is no additional cost to you. All opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for your support.
This blog post was originally published 7/9/2018. It is being republished on 1/25/2021 with updated photos, notes, and recipe instructions. Thanks!
I truly admire my daughter, Maddy, for her ability to choose a vegan lifestyle and stick to it the way that she does. We have a lot of family dinners around here and there are sometimes very few choices for her to eat, even though I try to make sure there are some vegan choices. Also, there are a lot of temptations!
Just yesterday we had a big dinner and there was delicious Texas Sheet Cake! Definitely not vegan and Maddy had to pass on it as she ate her rice and fruit choices. I felt bad for her, even though she was uncomplaining. I know that I do not have that kind of will power. Well, while I searched for my Texas Sheet Cake recipe, I came across another old recipe that I had forgotten about. It is this Goofy Chocolate Cake that has no eggs, no milk and can easily be sweetened in a vegan way. Since there were many people here yesterday and the Texas Cake is just about gone, I decided to make up this cake this morning as a surprise for Madalynn! She deserves a reward.
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I am not usually a huge raspberry fan. I prefer blackberries, as many of you know if you have followed us over the years. But, when raspberries go on sale for a fantastic price in the grocery store, you can't pass them up!
I've eaten in the Blue Bayou Restaurant at Disneyland exactly once in my life. It is pretty pricey and you have to make a reservation way in advance. Years ago, it wasn't quite so pricey or hard to get into and my husband and I didn't have children yet. On a trip with my sister and her husband and some friends, we took the splurge. The ambiance was amazing and the thing I remember most about my meal there was that for dessert I had Peach Melba! Peaches, vanilla ice cream, raspberry sauce with a few whole raspberries. It was simple and delicious. Ever since that memorable moment, when I think of raspberries, I think of Peach Melba.
The problem I see with Peach Melba is that right now, when the raspberries were on sale, the peaches were not. Luckily, I have home canned peaches! Problem solved!
But wait! Did you know that January 23rd is National Pie Day? (Seems weird, I know, after the holidays are over when we have just eaten a ton of pies.) So, the girls decided that I should come up with a new pie recipe to share with you in honor of National Pie Day. Can you guess what happens next? You're right! The idea for Peach Melba Pie popped into my head!
Come to find out, I'm not the first person to come up with this idea. Although, I don't recall seeing a recipe that contained a mixture of canned peaches and fresh raspberries. I mean, this is real life folks, we don't always have access to all of the fresh things all year long, especially if we are trying to be frugal. The best thing of all though is that this pie came out so good and I know it is something anyone can make! Here are a few tips before I share the entire recipe.
Don't forget the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
If you have already purchased our For the Love of Pie ebook from our Etsy Shop, you can print off this recipe and add it to the many pie recipes already contained in that thing! If you haven't purchased your copy yet, give yourself a gift for National Pie Day! You will be a pie expert by next Thanksgiving!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!