Saturday, November 24, 2018

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen 5qt Stainless Steel Saute Pan with Lid Review

We received this product free to facilitate this review and also posted this review on Target as well.

The Cravings by Chrissy Teigen 5qt Stainless Steel Saute Pan with Lid is a gorgeous pan that will become a favorite in your kitchen. It is polished stainless steel which makes it very attractive. It has lovely champagne gold accented stainless handles on both the lid and pot that are corrosion and wear resistant. These are riveted to the pot and lid for extra security. These distinctive touches give it, and other pots in this collection, a certain charm that is unique in my kitchen. I love how stunning it looks on my stovetop.

Bottom of pan has the Cravings by Chrissy Teigen logo stamped into it.

Five quarts is a wonderful size to cook all sorts of food. This is a versatile pan that you can use to sear, sauté, deep-fry, braise, etc. It has a great weight and depth to it as well. I love its clear glass lid that I can view through while I am cooking. The handles stay cool to the touch for safe and easy handling. I can pull off the lid to stir the food or take the pan off the burner straight to the table without hot pads and without getting burned. After Thanksgiving I had a lot of turkey that I decided to make into Turkey Tetrazzini, one pot style. I used this pan to make it in. I found that this is the perfect pan to use for one pot meals, especially for my family of 6.

Turkey Tetrazzini in the pan.

It has an aluminum core which ensures great heat conduction and it cooked everything evenly. It comes with use and care instructions and a delicious looking recipe that I cannot wait to try. In the instructions it says it is dishwasher safe, but hand wash is recommended. The pan has a nonstick coating that will not react with foods so it is tremendously easy to clean. I did notice that it had burn marks on the bottom of the pan after I cleaned it, but in the instructions it gives ways to combat this as well as to maintain luster. It also has a limited lifetime warranty.

Burn/scorch marks from cooking in the pan. These will shine up with the recommended additional methods of cleaning.

I think this pot will become my go-to cookware. It is a lovely addition to my kitchen. I highly recommend it!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this 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.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible Review and Giveaway

I received this book free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) (in)courage Devotional Bible is a lovely Bible for women that is all about finding your own story within God's story of redemption. It has 52 reflective devotions that begin each week of scripture reading. These reflective devotions include questions and space for journaling. Each book of the Bible has an introduction which includes historical background, the message of the book, and why the book is important and applicable today. There are also ten themes within this Bible each holding a message. These are color coded and marked with a design. Each theme corresponds with reading plan, devotions, women of courage, and two beautifully designed scripture verses. Each theme has one verse from both the Old and New Testaments. These verses have artistic touches to aid in memorization and represent the beauty of God's word. Each theme has a specific reading plan that corresponds with Bible passages and devotions. These go from 5 to 7 weeks. Fifty women throughout the Bible are highlighted and these are connected with the themes.

"The CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible's original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture's life-transforming message and to share it with others."

Features include:
  • 312 Devotions by 122 (in)courage community writers
  • 10 distinct thematic Reading Plans 
  • 66 Book Introductions connecting each book of the Bible to the whole biblical narrative
  • Stories of courage from 50 women of the Bible
  • Journaling space
  • Topical index
  • Two-column text
  • Theme verses
  • Specialized presentation page

What I Thought:

I received the green cloth over board version without tabs. The cover is embossed with silver lettering and has a partial slipcase. It has 2 ribbon bookmarks, one is dark green and one is cream colored to match the book. Having two bookmarks is a nice touch.

The pages are thin and delicate like many Bibles. This Bible starts out with a commitment page to sign and write in. Then the table of contents shows a letter from the editor, how to read the Bible, God's story of redemption, features, devotional theme guide, introduction to the CSB, and introduction to Bible serif...all in the beginning of the book. Both old and new testament are present. There is lots of margin space to write notes and at the bottom of the verses there is lined journaling space to write thoughts or feelings. Then at the end of the book there are multiple reading plans, women of courage index, topic index, and meet the (in)courage Devotional Bible team and authors.

(in)courage Devotional Bible Women of Courage - Meet Naomi.

Since it is coming up on Thanksgiving I found the gratitude plan in the back to start out my devotional study. I love how this book is set up with God's word, authors devotionals, and lines to put in your thoughts and stories. This Bible is great for women who need some encouragement in their lives.


Buy CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible, HERE.

Prize: CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible
Host: B&H Publishing and FrontGate Media.
Who Can Enter: Open to US Residents 18 years or older.
Selection Process: 5 winners will be selected on 12/15/2018 and notified by email.
Where to Enter: Go to this link and fill out the form to enter.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this 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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Guitar 360 Method Review

Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog. I had the privilege of trying the Semester 1 Bundle (including 5 weeks of Absolute Beginner bonus content + the 13 weeks of Semester 1) from Guitar 360 Method for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

The Guitar 360 Method is an online guitar video course taught by Krisz Simonfalvi. Krisz started playing guitar at age 6, played for 6 years, but never got into it until in his late teens because his teacher never taught him how to understand the instrument. He has since toured with bands, recorded in studios, and produced his own music. Krisz has a unique approach to teaching guitar that he started teaching others in 2009. He has mentored hundreds of students in North America and Europe, ages 4-74. He has taught everyone from the absolute beginner to the professional and everything in between. In 2016 he started teaching at Visible Music College and launched the Guitar 360 Method in 2017. He is expecting to be putting out more courses in 2019, such as Keys 360 Method, Drums 360 Method, etc.

When you login you will be directed to "My Library".

The Semester 1 Bundle includes 5 weeks of Absolute Beginner bonus content plus 13 weeks of instruction in Semester 1. This is an online course, not a subscription, so the content doesn't expire. This content is best for those ages 15 and up and is especially good for those that have personal desire and drive to want to learn guitar. This course is perfect for kids who want to play in a band or write their own music. It is great for those that are absolute beginners to guitar players that might have been playing for a while, but want to understand better what they are doing. This course builds musical confidence, freedom, and creativity. Krisz is working with Visible Music College to get Dual Accreditation for Home Schoolers for this course (available 2019).

Krisz's unique approach to teaching this course is built around non-linear, Cyclical Pedagogy, so that all of the knowledge acquired connects to everything else that the student is learning. This is not just learning the songs or just guitar musical theory. The lessons build upon the last and provide the information again, but a more in depth version.

Free Guitar Course for Beginners Week 1 Overview and Layout. These lessons are check marked once done.

In the Absolute Beginner bonus content (free guitar course for beginners + songs) you will get comfortable with the guitar, how it works, how you play basic notes on it. After completing the beginners course there are two bonus songs you get to learn as well, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey and "Rejoice" by Israel Houghton. The bonus lessons parts are based on the songs sections, for example: introduction & verse, pre-chorus, chorus, practice, and performance.

Bonus Song Lesson #1 Overview and Layout.

Overview of FREE Guitar Course for Beginners:
  • Week 1 - Basics: Parts of Guitar, Left Hand, Right Hand, Tuning, 4-Finger Warm Up, etc.
  • Week 2 - First Chords and Strumming Patterns
  • Week 3 - Everything Learned into Playing Our First Song
  • Week 4 - Bonus Song Lesson #1
  • Week 5 - Bonus Song Lesson #2

Semester 1 Week 1 Overview and Layout.

In the Semester 1 course you learn more music theory, how to combine notes together, and creating your own music. Semester 1 students go from beginner level to playing confidently in any key, anywhere on the neck in the 13 weeks of instruction.

Overview of Semester 1:
  • Week 1 - Learn Fundamental Chord Shapes and a Textural, 16th Note Approach to Strumming
  • Week 2 - Learn Basic Music Theory
  • Week 3 - Learn the First Scale, Foundational Element in Practical Music Theory, & Improvised Solos
  • Week 4 - Adding Texture and Variety to Rhythm Guitar Playing
  • Week 5 - Adding the Minor Scale & String Bending
  • Week 6 - Chords, Chord Progression and Musical Keys
  • Week 7 - Application of Understanding Intervals, Chords and Scales (G Key)
  • Week 8 - Extending Rhythm Guitar Range and Tonal Options
  • Week 9 - Learning to Play Any Key
  • Week 10 - Playing Scales (Melodies) in a Variety of Approaches Across the First 12 Frets
  • Week 11 - Apply All Knowledge From Previous Lessons in Any Key, Any Situation
  • Week 12 - Final Rhythm Guitar Practice Week (Available Soon)
  • Week 13 - Final Lead Guitar Practice Week (Available Soon) 

Me learning with Krisz and the Guitar 360 Method.

How I Used This and My Thoughts:

I had been given a really nice used Starcaster Fender Guitar a long while ago and it unfortunately has just been collecting dust just sitting because I hadn't had the time to actually learn how to play it. When I learned that the Homeschool Review Crew was reviewing Guitar 360 Method I was very interested. I was super excited to try these lessons and since they are online and never expire I can take all the time I need to learn. Also, after I learn, my children can also since we only have the one guitar.

I started with the beginners course because that is what I am with the guitar. I have had previous music lessons with learning on a violin and singing. Guitar, I learned, is very different from the violin. Although the steel strings of my guitar didn't hurt my fingers because I am used to playing a violin, I did have to get used to holding the guitar and placing my fingers on frets, which since my hands are small is a bit of a challenge reaching them all.

Me practicing my warm-ups 🎸 and posing for a quick picture 😀

I loved that all of the courses are divided out into smaller lessons. These bite size video lessons are about 2-7 minutes long. This is so you can go back and find a section easily instead of having to rewind through a long video to find it. I regularly went back and forth through the lessons to practice a section more so I could perfect it or to help me remember something better. I found that I really enjoyed these short videos better than really long ones. In the beginners course you even get to learn how to play "No One" by Alicia Keys on guitar. After each lesson you can either mark it as completed or it does once you have watched the whole video. You can see this with orange check marks beside the lessons you have completed.

I did look ahead to see whet Semester 1 has in store for me. In these weekly courses they each have a goal at the beginning and practice at the end. Some of them also have listening by ear lessons and quizzes too. The content will expand your learning even more about how to play better on the guitar.

I still need a lot of work and practice getting up to speed and skill on the warm-ups and chords before I am going to try to delve into the lessons deeper, but I am getting better at getting fingering and strumming down and I can hear my progress happening. Krisz is a very thorough teacher and his methods have been very rewarding to my learning guitar. I am very excited to further my guitar music education with Semester 1 once I feel I am ready.

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The regular price of the Guitar 360 Method is $149, which includes the 3-week Beginners' Course, Semester 1 (13 weeks long), and the 2 Bonus Song mini-courses.

Kris Simonfalvi, the instructor and author of these guitar lessons, is offering a discount to my blog readers, 20% off the same lessons we reviewed! Just use the coupon code HOMESCHOOL20 when you check out. With the Coupon Code, your investment will be only $119.20 for 10+ hours of video content!

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Guitar 360 Method...
Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018 Master Kitz The Starry Night Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Master Kitz The Starry Night from for this review to use in conjunction with our own art homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. is a children's art company that is devoted to education and inspiration of young artists. Their Master Kitz line exposes kids to the great painters of the past and their history by giving them tools to make a similar art piece and read about the artist. This hands-on experience is great for people ages 5+!

Master Kitz The Starry Night is a Master Kitz that teaches about Vincent van Gogh, his art piece The Starry Night, and other contributions. You or your child can create your own version of The Starry Night with the included contents and instructions in the kit. Then you can read about the famous painter in the learning materials that are provided. All the materials for two paintings are included. The box it comes in can also be used as a art storage box when the art pieces are completed and the left over supplies can be used for other art projects as well.

Top: Contents, Bottom: learning materials opened up to show instructions.

Included in the Master Kitz The Starry Night:
  • Reusable Artist’s Tool Box
  • Three Custom Paint Colors (acrylics, child friendly)
  • Custom Van Gogh Paint Roller
  • Five Artist Quality Oil Pastels (child friendly)
  • Two Pieces Deluxe Art Paper – 16″ x 20″
  • Reusable Composition Stencil (Starry Night Cyprus Stencil)
  • Sponge Paint Roller
  • Low Tack "Mesmerizing Stars" Mask Sticker Sheet
  • Van Gogh Learning Materials
  • Easy-to-follow Instructions

Zari getting Master Kitz The Starry Night for her birthday and her ready to do art!

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

We received a gift card to purchase Master Kitz The Starry Night ourselves from Amazon to facilitate this review.  It shipped out in a timely manner so that my youngest daughter, who is 8 now, could receive it in time for her birthday party on October 20th. She had ample amount of time to also do the project as well.

The box that the kit came in was very nice. It had a rope handle to carry it and flipped open when the tape on the sides was removed. It is sturdy with magnetic closures. When we opened the box we saw that the art paper and stencil were rolled up so they would fit better in the box. Everything was included to make two art pieces if we wanted to.

My youngest daughter Zari did the art project for this review. We were instructed to place something down to minimize the mess, but my kitchen table is old and has had many an art project grace its surface, so we opted not to. Zari needed assistance doing the Master Kitz The Starry Night because she has trouble reading, so I helped her by first reading the learning materials about van Gogh and then read the instructions, helping her step-by-step through them.

The Vincent Van Gogh Learning Materials that I read to her were short and to the point, but still very informative. We learned about Vincent van Gogh, his life, and his art. We also were given a sort of timeline about his art style and how it changed throughout his life. Inside this pamphlet, if you were to unfold it, were the step-by-step instructions in English in color for the project. A black and white copy of just the step-by-step instructions in other languages was also present (French, German, Italian, and Spanish). If I were doing this project in a different language I would also want not only the instructions, but the learning materials to be translated as well, but they were not.

Zari doing the steps to the Master Kitz The Starry Night art project.

The instructions were very straight forward and easy to follow. The first instruction tells us to tape down the art paper to the surface. Since it was rolled up we had to first "put the stencil in between the two sheets of paper and roll in the opposite direction a couple of times to straighten them" like it said to. This straightened it a little, but we needed to tape it down pretty well in order for it to not creep out of the tape and try to roll back up again. I liked that this art project uses different art tools and applications for doing the painting. Although this wasn't really how Vincent van Gogh himself did the swirling layered brush strokes for his own The Starry Night painting, it made the project more interesting. The star mask stickers once applied, were a bit difficult to pull off without destroying them, so I would suggest to to make a second set of these as well for the kits so the second painting can be made without fuss. Also, I suggest to the people who buy one of these kits to not wash the stencil or even wipe to clean because it falls apart, instead just reuse after the paint has dried onto it. Thankfully I was being lazy, so I didn't wash mine. My daughter liked the paint roller parts the best. I had to hold down the stencil in places so that when the paint was applied it didn't seep under where it shouldn't be. The paint dried quickly and she had fun with the oil pastels doing the finishing touches her own way.

Master Kitz The Starry Night finished art piece.

The Master Kitz The Starry Night is a wonderful art kit with lots of potential. If added another star sticker sheet and the learning materials in the other languages then it would be so much better and more inclusive. We loved learning more about Vincent van Gogh and my daughter had a lot of fun making the art. She definitely put her own flair into making her own version of The Starry Night. She even added some wind/clouds like the original has I can't wait to have my other daughter, who is 10, do one for herself to see how she will make hers different. These come out so good that I will be framing them for the girl's room. I recommend this to others that want to offer art instruction at home. These are great for gifts as well. I can't wait to try out their other Master Kitz.

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You can purchase Master Kitz The Starry Night on Amazon or from here.

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Master Kitz The Starry Night { Reviews}

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