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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Farchioni European Extra Virgin Olive Oil Product Review

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)  is the freshly pressed juice of olives, without heat or chemicals.   Did know know that there is a panel of expert trained testers that test for defects and the presence of positive attributes of fruitiness, bitterness, and spiciness?  If the oil doesn't pass the test, it won't pass as extra virgin.   

We love cooking with EVOO and there are so many ways to use it.  One of of the most common ways we use it is in our pizza dough.  Replace vegetable or canola oil with EVOO and you will be shocked with the difference in taste.  EVOO is perfect for sauteing vegetables with or using over pasta instead of butter.  We also liked to dip crunchy Italian bread into the oil and use it to compliment a spaghetti meal.

The Flavor Your Life campaign is dedicated to providing the latest news on European Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  It's the voice of production quality control and wants consumers to be educated so we can make informed decisions when purchasing our EVOO. 

There are so many health benefits to consuming EVOO.  EVOO is right in good fats which helps lower bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.  EVOO contains polyphenols, Vitamin E, and other natural antioxidants that are the oil's own natural preservative.  When consumed, these antioxidants combat waste produced by metabolism which is linked to longevity and good health.

We loved our sample of Farchioni Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the olive oil dipping dish was a great extra.  We added some salt and pepper to our oil and it was the perfect dipping combination for our Italian bread.  The EVOO was so light and fresh with the signature fruity taste and balance.  What a difference quality European Extra Virgin Olive Oil can make!  You can find your own bottle of Farchioni EVOO at your local Whole Foods Market!

**Disclosure - I received this product for free from Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog.  The opinions posted are my own.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Doles Orchard and Savannah's First Strawberry Picking Experience

Savannah and I went strawberry picking yesterday at Doles Orchard in Limington, Maine.  It was our first time at this orchard and we loved our experience there!  This orchard was very well maintained, easy to find, an abundance of sweet, delicious strawberries,and super friendly staff.  I loved how the fields were small and easy to navigate through.  The aisles were very wide for easy walking.  Port a potty's are conveniently located.  They accept cash or card for easy payment.  Bring your own bucket for a price discount!  Thank you Doles for the wonderful experience yesterday making sweet memories with my daughter!  We will be back again next year!

It was the perfect morning for strawberry picking with overcast skies.

Picking strawberries is so much fun!

Keeping these out of her reach was quite the chore!

Discovering strawberries for the first time.

Time to sample the strawberries.

She's now hooked on strawberries!

Find Your Brave by Holly Wagner Book Review

Find Your Brave by Holly Wagner is a very encouraging book for those of us going through any storm in life trying to keep our head above water.  Your storm could be a job loss, new baby (ahem, speaking for myself) kids going off to college, health decline, recent loss to your family, etc.  Whatever it may be, we all have a choice as to whether we will rise to the challenge or cower in fear.
Holly uses the story of Paul in Acts 27 to uncover truths that will guide you safely through life's difficult storms.  I love her uplifting encouraging spirit in this book.  It's filled with awesome verses that speak to your soul and remind you of God's faithfulness even during some of your darkest battles.
There are also questions in the back of the book in case you want to use this book as a devotional or for a small group study or discussion.
To read more about this book or the author, Holly Wagner, click here.
Disclosure - I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kangeaux Walkabout Review & Giveaway

Meet the Kangeaux Walkabout:  an entirely new carrier concept that's giving new meaning to the phrase "Carry On".  Kangeaux Walkabout is great for keeping your essentials within easy reach.  Visit their website to watch a great video on all the different uses for these walkabout carriers!

I found two ways that I loved using the Kangeaux Walkabout.  Our umbrella stroller doesn't have a cup holder.  This product was perfect for carrying my drink with me on my walk.  It easily attached to the stroller and the grip around my bottle was so tight I wasn't worried about it falling off.  The other way I found it useful was strapped to my purse.  I'm always thirsty so I'm always bringing some sort of drink with me wherever I go.  I can easily attach the Kangeaux Walkabout to my purse strap and my drink is within easy reach wherever I go.   I also love that my phone can easily be secured in the carrier and it can attach to my purse or belt clip.  It was very secure and I didn't worry about it falling out.

The only place I couldn't use this product was on my husband's bike.  He doesn't have a drink holder on his bike and I thought this would be perfect for it.  Unfortunately the clip is a little too small for the bike but the clip will fit on my husband's belt buckle loops on his shorts so he can still have a drink with him when he rides.

Would you like to try a Kangeaux Walkabout out for yourself?  Leave a comment on your favorite outdoor activity where you might find this product handy to use and you will be entered into the giveaway.  One winner will be chosen on July 5th.  Giveaway ends at midnight on July 4th.

Our Weekend Recap

Bradley is at morning VBS each day this week so I was thinking I might catch up on a lot of blogging while Savannah took her morning nap.  She obviously has other plans for me t his week!  Oh well...a day late but here's our weekend recap.

On Saturday morning we weren't in any rush so we enjoyed the gorgeous morning and walked to the Farmer's Market.  I have four vendors that I buy from and I'll blog about them soon!  After the Farmer's Market we headed to Lowes to pick up some flowers and mulch.  We volunteered to help with a flower bed at church which needed a little sprucing up.  That took up most of our afternoon.  We had about an hour before we had to get ready to go back to church for the evening service.

I love living so close to town!
Our awesome Farmer's Market downtown Gorham.
Bradley loves being a helper!
His job was harder than ours.  He had to take care of Savannah while we worked in the flower bed.  And she was a hot mess that morning!
I absolutely LOVED Sunday!  It was by far the most favorite day we've had in awhile!  First of all, I love celebrating and when I get to celebrate my awesome husband, it makes it even better!  Mike is an incredible Dad to Bradley and Savannah.  He has so much patience and works hard with his relationship with both of them.  He's the best of the best!  After a yummy breakfast of sausage, egg & cheese muffin (all from the Farmer's Market) we headed to Pine Point Beach.  We stayed there for almost 5 hours.  Our original plan was to get seafood for Mike but Savannah didn't like that plan so we picked up some BBQ chicken pizza and headed home.  The kids took a short nap and then we headed out again for some ice cream.  The kids were back in bed by 7 pm and Mike finished some of a project he's been working on for me.  Another perfect weekend full of sweet memories!

My favorite three people in the world!
This baby girl loves the sand....and eating it!
She would get so angry at us when we tried getting the sand out of her mouth.
There was a small white rock next to Bradley and these seagulls kept thinking it was bread.
What's under the bucket?
This guy is such a ham!
Beach naps are the best!
This is how I do the beach...a good book and yummy granola!
Mike and Bradley loved hanging out in the huge hole they dug.
And another nap for Savannah!
Beach bummin is the best!
Grape Nuts ice cream for Mike and chocolate with sprinkles for Bradley.
I've wanted a picnic table for so long and found one off Pinterest that I really liked.  My awesome husband built it for me.  Now to build the benches and then it will all be ready for a nice coat of stain.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Savannah's 6th Month!

 Savannah you are now half way through your first year!  Six months old and you are becoming little Miss Independence.  You are sitting all by yourself and hate to be confined in any piece of baby equipment.  Scooting backwards while on your belly is one of your favorite things to do.  It will only be a short time before I'll have to go find the "baby jail" from the basement.  You love being outside and swinging makes you laugh so much.  You had your first pool experience and love water.  You are definitely a Mainer because cold water doesn't bother you.  We absolutely adore this new personality you are developing which is so much sweeter and less dramatic.  I'm pretty sure you are starting to like us now.  It only took you six months...

We finally found a blanket that you like to be swaddled in.  I should have known that it HAD to be organic cotton for you to like it!

 You are very proud of your scooting skills!

 That sweet face I could just kiss forever.

Totally rocking the bikini.  Might as well let it all hang out because it's the one age where extra fat looks adorable.

 Even the back fat rolls are cute!

 Your smile changes my world!

  I'm pretty sure you will get whatever you want in life as long as you look at us with those gorgeous sparkly blue eyes!

You've discovered how wonderful toes taste!

Beach bum forever

You get just a little excited about these teething cookies.

Life is only getting more fun with you in our life.  Every day you are showing us more and more of who Savannah is.  I pray that you remain strong spirited, determined, and continue to develop your sense of humor.  You will need it living in our family.  I love you so much dear daughter of mine!  Happy 6 months of life!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bradley's 5th Birthday

Bradley turned 5 years old yesterday!  He chose to have a family fun day and go to farm camp later this month instead of having his usual birthday party.  We had the best day celebrating him and I'm kind of hoping he chooses this over a party ever year!

We started the morning with presents and birthday cake because who wants to wait all day for the best part of a birthday?!  He asked for strawberry cake and that's what he got.  He also wanted eggs with biscuits and sausage gravy.  It was definitely a breakfast of champions!

Mike took the day off and we planned a lot of fun surprises for him throughout the day.  First stop was Toys R Us so he could pick out his big birthday present he's been talking about for the last couple of months....Stomp and Chomp Grimlock.  

Next stop was McDonald's where he's been begging to go.  Of course he ordered pancakes and sausage because isn't that what everyone thinks about ordering at McDonald's?  LOL 

Our next stop was a trip to the ocean.  We relaxed on the beach for a couple of hours before heading to his next surprises of carousel rides and Build a Bear.  Then we finished the night with supper at a Mexican restaurant, another one of his favorite places to eat.

Bradley, we had so much fun spending the day with you!  Watching your excitement over all the little and big surprises made us so happy.   You are so proud of being 5 and are confident that you now run faster and jump higher.  You are our sunshine and we love you so very much.  Happy Birthday Bradley Michael Genovese!