Friday, July 25, 2014

Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen #90:Crepes with Apple Cinnamon Filling

Time for Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen
(A weekly linky to share what you and your children have created in the kitchen.)


The linky is at the bottom.

We are continuing to review Lightning Literature Grade 1 from Hewitt Homeschooling with the Schoolhouse Review Crew. The second book we looked at was Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. For our Breakfast for Dinner Thursday I decided Amelia could help me make Crepes with Cinnamon Apple Fillling. We found the recipe for Basic Crepes at and the idea for the filling was found in the reviews of the recipe, written by Tristia 11 years ago.

Apple Cinnamon Filling

(I quadrupled the recipe to make enough for all of us)

4 apples
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Amelia helped to chop the apple into fine pieces.

Then she added the apples and butter to the pan.

And we added the cinnamon,  nutmeg, and powdered sugar.

We fried the mixture up until the apples were soft.

We then set it aside while we made the crepes.

Basic Crepes 

(This recipe is doubled from the recipe found on

2 cups flour
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla (I added this, it wasn't in the original recipe.)

The instructions said to whisk the flour and eggs together. We don't have whisk anymore, so I used electric beaters. This appeared to be a mistake as the batter clung to the beater. 

We gradually added the water and milk while stirring. Then we added the salt and melted butter. We beat it until it was as smooth as we could get it, though there were still quite a few lumps.

We used cooking spray to lightly oil the frying pan and then heated it over med high heat. To cook the crepes does take some time because we can only do one at a time. We poured 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle and tilted the pan in a circular motion til the batter formed a circle (or close to it). I cooked it for 2 minutes then flipped for another minute and a half.

When we were ready to serve the crepes we placed a small amount of apple cinnamon filling in the center of the crepe, rolled it up and topped with Reddi Whip. We served them with sausage links.

Do you have your children help you in the kitchen?  What lessons do they learn? Do you have any kid friendly recipes to share?

I'd love to see your posts, whether you have done something this week or some time in the past. Just link up below. This is a weekly linky.

I am linking up to:
PhotobucketMore the Merrier MondayFull Time Mama

Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Try a New Recipe Tuesday at Home to Four Kiddos
The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane
Friday Food Frenzy at Close to Home
Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs
Foodie Friends Friday at Robyn'sView
Family Fun Friday at Happy and Blessed Home
Find a New Recipe Friday at Almost Supermom

And here is my Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen linky

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #7: July 24, 2014

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around July 24th from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook. 

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts. Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted July 21, 2013
R is for Rice and Rainbow Sensory Fun

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Jen from Chestnut Grove Academy shared her Revisiting the "WHY" and "HOW TO" of Workboxes post.

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Learn Piano at Home with HomeSchoolPiano {A TOS Review}

Homeschool Piano Review
Music is something both my husband and myself want our children to love, both listening to and being able to play it. I know one of the reasons he hesitated when I suggested homeschooling our children was that he wanted to make sure they had the same opportunities we had for learning music. I knew I wouldn't be able to teach them, as my musical skills are almost non-existent, even though I did take trumpet while in band. Fortunately, even though the children's musical future was up in the air, he agreed to let me start homeschooling. Though he has been pleased with our homeschool experience so far, I am sure he has still been concerned about their musical future. This was confirmed, in my mind, when he jumped at the chance to review HomeSchoolPiano for the Schoolhouse Review Crew. We were given a LIFETIME subscription for up to 5 students to HomeSchoolPiano-Complete Set of Books
We can access the online lessons on our computer or on a mobile device, for us, that would be our Android tablet. In addition to a computer or mobile device to stream the lessons you will need a piano or keyboard with at least 61 keys, plus a printer and ink to print out the lesson pages. 
Let me share a little more about what HomeSchoolPiano is.

This self-paced online program uses a 6 step cycle that helps meet the National Music Standards. 

There are 3 levels of books, in addition to the CorePiano level for absolute beginners or those needing a quick refresher. 

  • CorePiano is a great place to start, especially if you have no piano experience. The 33 lessons begin, well, at the beginning, teaching Notes of the Piano, Low and High Notes, The Musical Alphabet and even How to Sit at the Piano. Toward the end of CorePiano the student will be learning about the Major 5 Finger Scale and the Minor 5 Finger Scale, along with Chord Symbols and Key Signatures. 
  • Book 1 is also designed for the beginner. The student is taught proper technique, along with learning rhythm with vocalizations, ear training, reading music and expanding into creating their own music. 
  • Book 2 helps to build a foundation by continuing where Book 1 left off. More advanced techniques will be taught.
  • Book 3 allows the more advanced student to create rich piano arrangements using original musical pieces.
You can read more of the details on each book at the HomeSchoolPiano site.

Each of these books (except for CorePiano) is broken down into 6 units, the lessons of which follow the 6 step pattern with an additional bonus lesson to equal 7 lessons per unit.

Each lesson teaches:
  • Technique
  • Rhythm
  • Ear Training
  • Reading Music 
  • Song and
  • Improvisation 
HomeSchoolPiano is like having a piano teacher right in your home, ready to teach at the pace you are comfortable going. Willie Myette teaches directly to the student as he sits at his keyboard. As he plays, a virtual keyboard lights up and labels the note played. These lessons are augmented by pages of the book we have access to in PDF format. We can download and print out the same pages Willie is sharing on the screen. 

Each of the children (except little Harold), plus myself and my husband, has an account which will keep track of which lessons have been completed plus the results of the quizzes taken. When a student first logs in, they will be given the choice of which book to work in. This screen also shows where the student left off. There is also a tab to click on to manage the student accounts if it is the parent account.

Once the student chooses the Book they are working on, they will be prompted to choose the unit they are working on. Again, the student could just click on the "Where You Left Off" tab. From here I can download the PDF pages and Jam Tracks.

The unit is laid out for the student to work their way through by reviewing each lesson and taking the quizzes where applicable.

Each student also has access to their records that show which lessons have been completed plus the results of the quizzes. 

As a parent I have access to all of my students' records. 

These records can also be printed out for record keeping purposes, such as inclusion in a portfolio.

How did we use HomeSchoolPiano in our homeschool?

HomeSchoolPiano is for use with all ages, though younger children will need more supervision. We have been using the program primarily with Tabitha, who is 7, and myself. We both needed to start in the CorePiano section, though we didn't quite finish it before starting Book 1. Amelia didn't show much interest in the lessons until just recently. Perhaps it was listening to her sister actually playing a song that piqued her interest, I am not sure. I allowed Tabitha to watch the CorePiano lessons by herself, and I think that was my first mistake. I think if I had been in the room with her, she would have been more focused. Partway through we started watching the videos together and I made sure she was following along with the printouts. 
Each lesson is up to 10 minutes long. As Willie teaches the lesson, we play along when prompted. We use the lesson pages we printed out to follow along. Speaking of which, I am so thankful that those are included, it would be very hard to follow along with the small page shared in the corner of the screen.  

After the streamed lesson is over, Tabitha and I work together on the lesson, using the pages I printed out. I have been sneaking time here and there to work through my own lessons.

Here is Tabitha playing her first song, Steady Fred.

What is my opinion of HomeSchoolPiano?
This is a great, affordable way to offer a family piano lessons. Up to 5 people can have accounts with this program and each one can go at their own pace. Though the way I remember learning about reading music is a bit different, following along with Willie has been educational. There are times what he is teaching is above Tabitha's head, but the wonderful aspect is, you can replay the videos as often as you need to in order to truly understand what is being taught. The short quizzes have gotten her to focus on reading music, rhythm and training her ear to hear the melodies.
We have had problems with videos not playing, and sometimes I have to log out and log back in to make them play. However, I think that is our internet connection, and nothing to do with the actual program.
You can purchase unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all the bonuses (including downloads, jam tracks, and sheet music) for up to 5 students for one payment of $299. They also offer a payment plan of  three monthly payments of $99.97.
You can find HomeSchoolPiano on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- July 22, 2014

Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me and Emily @ Emily Reviews

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

Our co-hosts this week are Ashley from Forgetful Momma and Mellissa from Something Like Life.

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaway
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me & Emily @ Emily Reviews along with Ashley from Forgetful Momma and Mellissa from Something Like Life.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to School/5 Year Blogiversary Celebration: Weekly Giveaway #2

Welcome to the Celebration! I am so glad you are here. We are headed for the Grand Prize Giveaway which is slated for August 17-August 31, and along the way I am thrilled to be able to bring you some extra giveaways, along with reviews of all these great products.

Not only are there going to be reviews and giveaways, but if you are a blogger, I will be offering you an opportunity to join in with the Grand Prize Giveaway. Details will be coming soon on how you can be involved.

This week, I would like to again offer a giveaway for The Reading Game, 2nd Enhanced Edition.

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. There are only 3 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning.

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over.
The giveaway runs July 21 through July 27.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

Disclosure: I received the above products mentioned above for free.  I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review. As with all my reviews, the Back to School reviews will reflect my own honest experience and opinion. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own.

Mealtime Fun with FunBites {A Back to School Review}

Photo credit FunBites

I love making meal time fun for the children. In fact, my journey toward homeschooling started with fun meals focused on specific subjects or letters I was trying to teach Tabitha, way back when she was just a toddler. A couple of years ago I was introduced to FunBites and discovered a new way to make the children's meals a blast to eat. You can check out my review of the Squares Cutter here.  Since then we have also received the Hearts Cutter and just recently their newest addition, the Triangle Cutter.

Photo credit FunBites

So, what exactly are FunBites? 

FunBites cutters are the brainchild of Bobbie Rhoads, a mom of two girls who was looking for a way to encourage her youngest daughter to eat different foods.  If you have picky eaters, you can probably relate to Bobbie's struggles. She would cut food into small pieces for her daughter, but that of course can be very time consuming. Perhaps one could use small cookie cutters to cut the food, but have you ever tried that and had the food stuck in the cutter? I have. That is the ingenious nature of the FunBites cutter. 

As you can see, there are two parts to each cutter, the curved cutter and the popper top.

In just a few simple steps you can use these two parts to cut out fun shapes for your child's meals and snacks.

Just place the curved cutter on the food you are preparing, hold onto the handles and push down while rocking side to side several times, and then place the popper top into the cutter and POP the food out.

I love using our FunBites cutters to create muffin tin meals for the children.  
This was our Tornado muffin tin.

FunBites cutters can be used on a variety of foods. I primarily use them to cut sandwiches, cheese and melon (watermelon and cantaloupe are favorites in our home). 

However, they can also be used to cut pancakes, pizza, omelette...just use your imagination and see what you can cut into fun shapes for your child's meal.

This was our Madeline/France Muffin Tin.

I also gave them a fun cantaloupe flower and sun for dessert the other day.

I cut up watermelon in triangles and squares for them to create patterns.

There are so many fun ways that FunBites can be used, and now they have gone a step further and created this awesome packaging. What a cute gift this could be for a child and a wonderful way to encourage your child to help out in the kitchen. 

I guess it is obvious that we love these FunBites cutters. They are simple to use and spark the imagination. Food time doesn't need to be boring and better yet, picky eaters can be encouraged to eat a variety of healthy foods. Though it looks like there may be food wasted as you cut the shapes out, let me tell you my secret. The food scraps from cutting out food become my lunch. I've also been known to cut out shapes for myself. I love having watermelon pieces in a bowl to grab to eat, instead of having messy slices. I know, I know, part of the fun of summer is getting all messy from watermelon slices. That is great if you are outdoors. I would much rather have my kiddos eating pieces of melon at the table. 

Are there any concerns? Well, I am not sure if you noticed, but cutting out peanut butter and jelly/apple butter can be a bit messy as the filling occasionally wants to ooze out. This has has not been a big concern though. You will also want to make sure to wash your cutter right away or put it in soak, so food does not harden in the crevices. Here's some more wonderful news, FunBites cutters are dishwasher safe!

I absolutely love these award winning FunBites cutters. I am so thankful that I was given a chance to review and share the newest cutter and new packaging. Here, would you like a peek at all the members of the FunBites Gang?

Eddie the Explorer, Jackie the Dreamer, Harry the Hungry, Dylan the Chef, Peter the Picky and Lola the Princess

You can check out all the products they offer at the website
Each individual cutter sells for $12.99, but there are special savings if you purchase different bundles or sets. 

 One of these great FunBites cutters can be yours!
FunBites has generously offered to include a FunBites cutter in my Back to School/5 Year Blogiversary Celebration. The Grand Prize Giveaway will start August 17th and is worth over $300. 

How would you like some extra entries into this giveaway before it even starts? 
Head on over to FunBites Website and tell me something about the awards they have won or where FunBites have been featured. Leave the answer here in the comments with your email and when the giveaway is live I will email you the secret code to place in the Rafflecopter for a bonus 10 points. 

Don't forget to stop back between August 17th and 31st to enter the giveaway.
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