Monday, October 20, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch and Keeping Portland Lost Corn MAiZE in Sauvie Island Oregon

We received free media passes from US Family Guide to facilitate this review and post.

We sure had a lot of fun last year at The Pumpkin Patch and The Corn Maize on Sauvie Island Oregon. My whole family was excited to go again. We had planned to go on the 11th of October, but bad weather and a family mishap pushed it to the 18th. The staff at The Pumpkin Patch was wonderful in working with us to reschedule a better time and day.

I wanted to make sure that we didn't miss the Corn MAiZE and also see some things we hadn't seen in years past. The market was definitely on our radar so that we could partake of some of the awesome bounty that Sauvie Island had to offer. I was also hoping to go through the Corn MAiZE completely with the girls as we didn't get to last year.

Sauvie Island
Sauvie Island Oregon is a large island bound by the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. It comprises of approximately 30,000 acres of land and lakes. The scenic drives wind around through farm and dairy lands. The gorgeous Sauvie Island Bridge crosses the Multnomah Channel of the Willamette River near Portland, Oregon, United States. This 1,198' (365 m) truss bridge was built from July 2004 - June 23, 2008. I got to see it in construction.

Corn MAiZE entrance.
The entrance to the Corn MAiZE is a covered area with picnic benches and places to take photos. There are also interesting things to read about the maze. There is a whole board filled with past MAiZEs, a large corn cutout, carved pumpkins, a sunflower cutout to poke your head in, a rule board, a large ruler cutout to measure how much you've grown since the last time you were there, and other things as well to keep you occupied while waiting for others to finish the maze.

Corn MAiZE Passports.
Grab a Corn MAiZE passport card before the you start through the maze. They have different categories to choose from, each having their own set of questions to solve. We think they are a lot of fun and very educational. When you get to a checkpoint (numbered sign) along the way, stop and look for the same numbered question on the passport. Answer it and it will tell you which path to take. If you answer correctly you will be on the right path. A wrong answer could get you very lost, so choose wisely.

The girls and I went through the first half of the Corn MAiZE without any trouble!
My daughters, Teela and Zari braved the mud and went through the first half of the maze without any trouble! I remember last year getting very lost and having to turn around and go back the way we came. I am so glad that we made it this year.

Corn MAiZE Fun
While in the corn maze there are 2 points where you go up stairs and over a bridge and then down again into the mud. Yes...I said mud! At first there was a little mud and then there was a lot of mud! I saw people come out of the maze covered in it. I was glad we didn't get too muddy. Next time I think we need to invest in some muck boots for the kids. Also you can see for miles when you are up on the bridges and you can sort of get your bearings. We saw The Pumpkin Patch from one which looked like a dotted orange part of the field from afar.

2nd half of the Corn MAiZE. We made it all the way to the end! Yay!
Feeling rather bold and proud of ourselves for finishing the first half we even decided to go further and try the second, apparently harder path through the maze. We made it all the way to the end and although the whole maze took us a while to go through because I took a bunch of pictures we were so glad we persevered and got to finish!

We love the silly brain teasers called CORNundrums that are throughout the Corn MAiZE.
Along the way through the maze we had fun solving corny brain teasers called CORNundrums. These are silly signs with pictures that represent funny play on words. We laughed so much! It was a great activity and good for the soul.

The Pumpkin Patch Animal Barn
 We love to go in the animal barn at The Pumpkin Patch to see the animals. It is a small barn with a few animals. There are bunnies, chickens, a cow, sheep, goat, llama, etc. There are animal facts posted by some of the animals. I learned that rabbits can purr just like cats do and chickens have more bones in their necks than giraffes. I love the mural on the back wall inside of the barn. It is old and flaking off in spots, but still nice.

Pumpkins from The Pumpkin Patch
This year we didn't visit the pumpkin patch like previous years, mainly because we wanted to go look inside the market. I got some pictures of the kids as we were on our way over to the market. Jaedan wouldn't smile for me in these pictures...oh well.

The Pumpkin Patch Market
We checked out The Pumpkin Patch Market next. There is a fabulous selection of flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs and other local homegrown or homemade treats. Someday I am going to have to buy a Bolga Basket here because I absolutely love them! Maybe I will buy two or three because my girls also found a cute one in their size. They also had some of the largest sauerkraut cabbages I have seen. I love their wall of locally made honey, dressings, sauces, spreads and syrups. They have a wonderful variety of items made of pumpkin. You can pick out a nice pumpkin here or at The Pumpkin Patch.

Our market finds, Jaedan using a cabbage leaf as a hat, and Delbin's pear.
We bought two regular size cabbages, a large mesh bag of hot peppers we are going to dry into pepper flakes, a Blue Hubbard squash to possibly make into a pie, some pears: including a gigantic one Delbin picked out, and some apples with our WIC farmers market coupons before they expired at the end of this October.

Floral gardens and leaving Sauvie Island with a Pumpkin Truck.
As we left The Pumpkin Patch and Corn MAiZE on Sauvie Island we passed some of their pretty flower gardens. Maybe next year we can explore more things we missed in the past years we have been. We were also following a large semi truck filled to the brim with pumpkins across the Sauvie Island Bridge as we drove back home. We had a very fun day at The Pumpkin Patch and Corn MAiZE on Sauvie Island and we hope to get to go back next year.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received free tickets for my family to go to The MAiZE at The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island Oregon to facilitate this review. Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free tickets. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Just Pretend Kids Tutu and Fairy Wings Review and Giveaway

Just Pretend Kids Monarch Butterfly Tutu and Fairy Wings in Wrap

I received this costume for free to facilitate this review. I was also given an opportunity to do a giveaway for my readers for free as well.

Halloween is around the corner and the hunt for great costumes is on. Just Pretend Kids has an adorable collection of tutus, fairy wings, bodysuits, wands, headdresses, headbands, hairpieces, tights, legwarmers, and other accessories to complete the look that are a must have for any little girl. They also come in a range of different designs: from fruit to insects to flowers to mermaids to fairies, you have a great selection to pick from. They not only have those items, but they also have many other costumes like: furry animals, princesses, queens, mermaids, brides, witches, etc. Just Pretend Kids has infant romper costume sizes in 0-6 months to 6-12 months, toddler sizes in animal costumes for 1T-2T and 3T-4T, toddler sizes in fairy costumes for 2T-3T and 4T-5T; and kids sizes from size 2, 4, 6 and 8 in some costumes. They also have whole themed party boxes with a costume to match that come with everything you need to host a wonderful party - from invitations to tableware and decorations too.

My daughters love to dress up regardless of whether it is Halloween or not. They love to pretend that they are someone or something else. I think their imagination is wonderful. I love watching them play.

3 year old Zari wearing the tutu and wings.

We received the Monarch Butterfly Collection tutu and wings to try out and the packaging was well thought out. Inside the box the wings were separately wrapped inside their own bag so that they would not snag on anything. Then they were placed in a larger bag with the tutu. As soon as I opened the package and showed my daughters they wanted to try on the lovely costume.

The tutu and wings are perfect from the back.

The Monarch Butterfly Collection Tutu is a lovely bright orange tulle skirt with a black bow, orange butterfly, black pom pom, and orange polka dotted black ribbon embellishments. The skirt has an elastic waist so it fits both my daughters well. My daughters both had fun twirling in it.

6 year old Teela wearing the tutu and wings.

The Monarch Butterfly Collection Wings are the black and orange color of the Monarchs' and bejeweled with orange jewels and glitter. On closer inspection the black sparkly paint on the wings was a bit smudged on the left wing and some was where it wasn't supposed to be when you see them from the front. We had to adjust the bands that go around the girls' arms so that the wings would stay in place and fit better. My daughters were happy enough with these new wings though. With them their imagination took flight.

From the front you can see the black paint on the left wing.

You can get the whole Monarch Butterfly look with Just Pretend Kids. They have Monarch Butterfly Collection Boppy, Monarch Butterfly Collection Wand, Monarch Butterfly Wand, Monarch Butterfly Collection Tights, Monarch Butterfly Legwarmers, Monarch Butterfly Headpiece, Monarch Butterfly Collection Bodysuit, Monarch Butterfly Alex Bodysuit, Monarch Butterfly Ruffled Tutu, Monarch Butterfly Collection Tutu, and Monarch Butterfly Collection Wings.

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Prize: Win Just Pretend Kids Tutu and Fairy Wings (winners choice).

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to facilitate my review and an opportunity to giveaway some free too. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff Review and Giveaway

We received this product free from Shadow Mountain to facilitate this review, an opportunity to host a giveaway and participate in the blog tour. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

One of my favorite blogs to read is the Six Sisters' Stuff blog. This blog was created by 6 biological sisters: Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra that wanted to stay in touch and share recipes, crafts, projects and neat ideas with each other while apart. Growing up with just sisters and no brothers in my family I can relate with this blog a lot...even though I only have 2 younger sisters. These sisters also share another similarity with me...they are all of the LDS/Mormon faith. Their blog is also in the "Why Are YOUR Favorite Bloggers Mormon?" list of blogs that I frequently visit.

Six Sisters' Stuff is back for the holidays with their third book, 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff. This book is loaded with creative ideas for Christmas. There are 144 recipes, DIY crafts to Deck The Halls with, homemade and handcrafted gift ideas, party ideas, ways to serve, family traditions, tips, and more. This book is split up into 12 topics having 12 different fun ideas underneath each. It definitely is a great way to organize the book. It has 143 pages packed with full color easy recipes, crafts, projects and ideas similar to the ones on their blog. These were all compiled as a collection of their family favorites. You can make all kinds of things from it that are simple to create and easily affordable too. Both their blog and the book reminds me of the many creative things we made at Young Women activities and still make in Relief Society. A table of contents in the front and an index in the back keep it simple to find everything. I will definitely be keeping this book on hand as a go to book for helping me: create yummy meals and desserts quickly, decorate my home for the holidays, and create unique one of a kind gifts for friends and family.

The recipes in this book look so delicious! I can't wait to try out these desserts: Cherry Chocolate Muffins, Nutella Banana Bread, Eggnog Gingerbread Trifle, and Almond Joy Bars! Yummy! Again the Six Sisters' Stuff does not disappoint when it comes down to slow cooker meals. I love my Crock-pot and use it a lot! I will be trying out the Slow-Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup and the Slow-Cooker Ham and Pineapple Sandwiches soon.

I love that this book makes it easy to make so many neat things for the home and others. I love to throw together cookie plates for neighbors and friends and this cookbook makes it easy to do so because it has 12 to pick from! Not only that, but the 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff has wonderful ideas for gifts that are inexpensive and easy to make. I love the Burlap Handprint Tree Skirt, the Wood Photo Blocks, and the Christmas Monogram Hanging.

This book is wonderful to get us in the holiday spirit, deck the halls, and get together with family and friends in "The Most Wonderful Time of Year!". Celebrate the joy of the season with the Six Sisters' Stuff.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
12 Christmas Cookies
12 Days of Christmas for Your "True Love"
12 Family Traditions
12 Christmas Brunch Recipes
12 Sanity-Saving Christmas Tips
12 Christmas Party Ideas
12 Spectacular Christmas Treats
12 Ways to Give Back
12 Gifts for Neighbors
12 Quick and Easy Family Dinners
12 Homemade Christmas Gifts
12 DIY Christmas Decorations

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Prize: 4 entrants will win a signed copy of The 12 Days of Christmas with the Six Sisters.

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received products for free to facilitate my review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Immune Boosting Fire Cider Recipe for Colds and Flu

Fire Cider

Prepare this fall and winter season before things get too cold by making a batch of Fire Cider a.k.a. Master Tonic or Flu Shots. Fire Cider, an all natural cold and flu folk remedy, has been a tradition passed down through the ages of time. This fiery concoction is an immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, warming, decongestant, and helps with circulation & digestion. Its flavor is potent, hot, spicy, pungent, sour and sweet all mixed together.

There are many ways to make this recipe, but most agree upon the basic ingredients of ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, and chile peppers or cayenne powder. These ingredeients are infused with apple cider vinegar, which is strained and mixed with honey. Rosemary Gladstar, a well known herbalist, coined the term Fire Cider over 35 years ago and published her recipe in her book, Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs on page 74. My recipe is adapted from Rosemary Gladstar's version with some added extras of my own. I would encourage you to experiment and make your own according to your own tastes and available ingredients. I have included my recipe below with a few variations and other optional ingredients. The outcomes range from super spicy to something that gently warms. It is fun to play with the mixture of the ingredients and see what subtleties you can taste from the differences.

My Fire Cider Ingredients

Ingredients (* = an optional ingredient I used in mine)

  • ½ cup ginger root, pealed and grated or pealed and diced (great for stomach problems, digestion, blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis)
  • ½ cup horseradish root, pealed and grated or pealed and diced (great for a number of things including digestion, blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, tonsillitis, sinus infections and bronchitis. anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-septic, stimulant)
  • 1 medium onion, pealed and diced (great for a number of things including blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough. anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant)
  • 10 cloves of garlic, pealed and minced or pealed and diced (great for a number of things including coughs, colds, sore throats, blood circulation, viral infections, and bacterial infections. anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-viral)
  • 2 chile peppers like jalapeño, cayenne or habanero peppers, chopped or ¼ tsp ground cayenne or pinch of dried chillies (vitamin C-rich, anti-inflammatory, vasodilator for healthy blood flow)
  • *1 lemon, juiced and zested and/or quartered and thinly sliced crosswise (vitamin C-rich, aids digestion, and anti-oxidant)
  • *rosemary, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (great for a number of things including digestion, cough, stimulating immune system, increases blood flow. anti-inflammatory)
  • *1 tbsp turmeric or ¼ cup fresh grated or pealed and diced turmeric (great for a number of things including stomach problems, digestion, cough, and bronchitis, colds. anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, adaptogen - lessens stress and helps boost immunity)
  • *cinnamon, to taste or a couple of cinnamon sticks (great for a number of things including coughs, colds, sore throats, viral infections and bacterial infections. anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial)
  • raw unfiltered unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity) (great for a number of things including digestion, sore throats, colds, flu, infections. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, energy booster, pro-biotic)
  • raw local honey, to taste (to be added after a month when herb infused vinegar is ready to be strained to complete the Fire Cider) (great for a number of things including sore throats, colds, coughs, infections. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, pro-biotic)

More Optional Additions
  • cardamom, to taste (helps relieve digestive problems induced by garlic and onion)
  • garam masala, to taste (usually a blend of turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, mace spice, cinnamon, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom)
  • curry, to taste (usually a blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili powder or cayenne) (great for a number of things including stomach problems, digestion, cough, and bronchitis, colds. anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, adaptogen - lessens stress and helps boost immunity)
  • cloves, powder to taste or tsp buds (great for a number of things including digestion, blood circulation, coughs, stress. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune booster and stimulant)
  • nutmeg or mace spice powder to taste (great for a number of things including digestion, sleep, blood flow. anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, immune booster)
  • thyme, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (great for a number of things including sore throats, coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, chest congestion, and bacterial infections. anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial)
  • basil, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory)
  • oregano, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, nutrient dense)
  • prunella a.k.a. all heal or self heal, 1 tbsp freshly chopped or dried leaves (anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic)
  • hibiscus flowers, 1 tsp dried (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • rose hips, small handful (great for chest ailments, coughs, colds. vitamin C-rich)
  • elderberries (Sambucus nigra), small handful (great for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • hawthorn berries, small handful (great for digestion, cardiovascular, circulatory, and respiratory, blood flow. vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • pomegranate seeds/arils, juiced (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • sun-dried tomatoes, small handful diced (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • other smallish citrus fruits, juiced and zested and/or quartered and thinly sliced crosswise (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • ½-1 tsp black peppercorns (digestive stimulant and expectorant)
  • other immune system boosting ingredients you want to add

Equipment
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife/peeler/grater
  • canning funnel
  • 1 quart size jar
  • parchment or wax paper
  • cheesecloth or a large ricer (something to strain it after a month or so)

The ingredients before and after Apple Cider Vinegar.

Directions
After preparing; layer and pack all roots, herbs, spices, vegetables and fruit into a clean 1-quart jar. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the contents, making sure they are covered with it. Tap the side gently to make sure the air bubbles rise to the surface and pop. Place a square of parchment or wax paper under the lid so that it doesn't acidify the metal and cause corrosion or use a plastic lid that fits. Tighten lid onto the jar. Shake well. Compost all peals and scraps.

Compost the lovely scraps.
Let the jar sit and steep for a month or longer in a cool dark place, shaking daily. After the month is up strain and decant the vinegar into a clean jar. Add honey to taste. Refrigerate and use within a year.

Serving Suggestions
Take 1-2 tbsp at the first sign of cold and repeat the dose every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside. If you love spicy hot flavors you could even have a whole shot glass full to ward off the nasties.You can also take it throughout the cold and flu season to prevent symptoms from occurring at all.

Make something out of the ingredients you strained out (if you used cinnamon sticks you can grate them as well. waste not want not!):
  • spicy egg/spring rolls
  • a spicy veggie pancake
  • a spicy pizza
  • sautée with meats, tempeh, or tofu for a stir fry, soup, or ingredients for a sandwich or wrap
  • mince and add to a chip dip, marinade or condiment
  • make up your own

Use the Fire Cider herb infused vinegar to:
  • baste or marinate meats, tempeh, or tofu
  • drizzle over salads as a dressing
  • drizzle over steamed veggies or sautéed greens
  • mix it with a condiment like honey mustard to give it an extra kick
  • add in soups or chilis
  • mix with lemonade or orange juice
  • mix with hot water and extra honey to make a warming tea
  • anything you think would be yummy

If you have made your own Fire Cider/Master Tonic/Flu Shot recipe please share it in the comments below!

Other References
February 2nd, is World Fire Cider Day!
Free Fire Cider
Tradition Not Trademark
Petition to sign
Rosemary Gladstar's company, Sage Mountain has Winter Recipes for Health & Well Being
Herbal Roots Zine: Kids Can Make Fire Cider Too!: has a free printable label, card, and 14 page fire cider e-book
Kiva's Gila Harvest Cider: a variation for sensitive stomachs

Rosemary Gladstar making her version of Fire Cider...


You can find Rosemary Gladstar's version along with so many of her other awesome herbal recipes in her book Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs...



DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: The medical information provided on this blog is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). I am not a medical professional, just a mom with a opinion. Even if a statement made about the natural remedy is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms. I am only suggesting that you should try it for yourself and see if helps you. People are all different and outcomes could vary drastically. I am not selling my Fire Cider, I am simply making my recipe available for free to all those who read this post and want to make it themselves.