Cincinnati Chili Recipe

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About a week and a half ago, we celebrated the 11th birthday of our twins. Each one wanted a different birthday dinner and my son, as usual, chose homemade "Skyline" chili. If you have never been to Ohio, you may have never heard of Skyline Chili but if you live in or near the Cincinnati area, the restaurants are all over the place. The chili is unique as is includes cinnamon and cocoa in the recipe. It's served on top of spaghetti and topped with a finely grated Cheddar cheese ( a 3-way), over spaghetti and beans or onions, topped with cheese ( a 4-way), or over spaghetti and beans topped with cheese and onions ( a 5-way). Oyster crackers are served on the side. The chili is also awesome over hotdogs on buns topped with cheese and/or onions or used to make chili dip (mix the chili with cheese and a block of cream cheese) for corn chips or tortilla chips. We have actually also used it on pizza in place of the sauce and topped it with onions and cheese!

To view the real deal, visit Skyline Chili HERE.

Here is a recipe that I found on Cooks.com and adapted it to make a milder chili.

Ingredients:

2 Qts. Water
1 & 1/2 Tbsp Dried or Minced Onion
14oz Can Tomato Sauce
1/2 Tsp Ground Allspice
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Tsp Ground Cumin
3 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 & 1/2 Tbsp Unsweetened Chocolate
2 Lbs. Ground Beef
2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp White Vinegar
1 Whole Bay Leaf
4 Whole Cloves
2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 & 1/2 Tsp Salt
1 & 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

Add ground beef to water in large pot. Stir until beef separates to a fine texture (I use a potato masher). Stir several times to make sure there are no clumps. Boil slowly for 30 minutes. Add all other ingredients. Stir to blend, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 3 hours. Pot may be covered the last hour after desired consistency is reached.

Chili should be refrigerated overnight, so that the fat can be lifted from top before reheating but we've eaten it without doing that. Using a leaner ground beef will cut down on the fat. Also, if you see the bay leaf or cloves, remove them!

This is definitely one of our faves!

Friendly Friday Follow Blog Hop

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Please make sure to leave a comment so I know to follow you back. Also, if you don't have a blog URL attached to your profile, make sure to leave your blog address!
Happy Friday!

My Poor Neglected Blog

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The past week and a half has been jammed packed with the birthday celebration of my twins, sleepovers to celebrate birthdays, birthday parties of friends, church pizza party, church roller skating, wicked sinus infection, teething baby, needy toddler, upcoming birthday parties, doctor appointments, and just life as a mom of 5 kids and a wife. Needless to say, my blog has been somewhat neglected lately. Not to mention reviews that I am working on. It's so easy to get behind.

I've also not participated in the blog hops, that I have come to love, in at least a week. So, if you have followed me and aren't seeing that I am following you back it is from one of two reasons: 1) I just haven't had time yet to see that you are following me and follow you back or 2) You did not leave a comment and your blog URL isn't in your profile and I have no way of following you back. Thank you for your patience!

I am hoping to get back on track by this weekend! I'm planning on posting the Skyline Chili recipe that I made for my son's birthday dinner as well as a Glee Gum Review (and hopefully a few more) with pictures.

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Really Woolly Bible Stories Review

Excerpt:
Through these stories you will discover
That God is faithful and true,
And Jesus, the Good Shepherd,
Will always take care of you.
Really Woolly Bible Stories, Introduction.
Really Woolly Bible Stories, by Bonnie Rickner Jensen, is an adorable way to share God's word with your little ones aged 5 and under. I love the cheerful, and sometimes whimsical illustrations that capture the attention of the youngest reader and the sweet rhymes that retell some of the best-loved Bible stories.

In this padded board book, you will find favorites from the Old and New Testament such as Creation, Father Abraham, Joseph's Coat of Many Colors, Daniel and the Lion's Den, The Good Samaritan, and the Miracles and Life of Jesus. Each chapter contains the passage in the Bible where the story can be found as well as a corresponding illustration. Really Woolly Bible Stories is the perfect size for smaller hands and the sturdy pages ensure it will hold up to the youngest reader. Little kids love to be read to and this is one book that can be read over and over again, without getting old. If you want to instill in them the love of the Lord while they are young and give them the desire to learn more, this book is a sweet, lovable way to do it!

The Holidays are coming up, and while this book is a bit too big for a stocking stuffer, it would make a great gift for any child. We loved it!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself, thanks to the Booksneeze program. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are my own.

Amy Adele - Review

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If you are looking for cute, stylish stationary, cards, invitations, and more....Amy Adele is the place.

I was able to choose 2 items for review. That was a difficult decision as everything is adorable! I chose:
Baby's Christmas Gift T-shirt

and

Reindeer Calling Card


Although my daughter is not yet into size 18-24 months, she will be by Christmas, so that is the size I requested but it seems to run a bit large. I don't mind that though as I plan on having her wear a long sleeve shirt underneath it. The shirt is a VERY soft cotton, not in the least bit scratchy and is made in the USA. The lettering on the shirt is exactly what I requested and looks very nice. It would make an excellent gift for a baby's first Christmas. 

Below is a picture of the shirt I received. (For safety reasons, my daughter's name has been blocked out.)

Sorry for the picture quality. Both of my cameras have bit the dust and all I have is my cell.

Here are the calling cards I ordered. They came in a darling little green bag with a ribbon tie. I can think of several creative uses for the bag!


The cards are 2"x3.5" and in green lettering say "To:" and "Merry Christmas from The XXXXX Family". I plan on using them along with the homemade baked goods that we make for people like our Mail Lady, propane delivery man, Sunday school teachers, etc. They are the perfect size and I love how vibrant the colors are in person. I also didn't realize when ordering, but they come with envelopes as well! The cards are the perfect thickness- not too flimsy and not too stiff- and are made from 100% Post Consumer Recycled Paper.

I received excellent customer service from Amy Adele and would highly recommend them to anybody looking for personalized items. Along with my order, was a Thank You card that was hand signed and addressed. Now, THAT is personalization!
For customers who want to order baby announcements and request the envelopes early so to address them prior to baby being born, you can log in after baby is born and fill in the remaining information. Once the announcement is complete, they will process the order immediately, at no additional shipping charge. They have some beautiful announcements for both girls and boys as well as twins. Check out their baby calling cards & waterproof labels and stickers too.

They currently have SALE items up to 50% off. Check out the great deals on Flat Cards, Recipe Cards, Birthday Invitations, Valentine's Cards, Christmas Photo Cards and more HERE.


*I received items free for review purposes. I was not paid to write a positive review, nor influenced in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Winner of 250 Die Cut Business Cards!

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And the winner is...........

#5 Sherry said...

    following you on twitter - sherwalk88

    sherwalk at yahoo dot com
    October 7, 2010 6:57 PM

Thank you to all who entered!

The winner has been contacted and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen by Random.org.

Play-Doh Creations Review

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Play-Doh is a staple at our house. Really, it is. If I had known how much my kids would love playing with it, I would have bought stock in the company. As a homeschooler, I have plenty of recipes to make my own, but somehow, that's just not the same. Play-doh has it's own unique smell and texture that just can't be duplicated.

My children, from my 12 year old to my 2 year old, will literally play with this stuff for hours. I love how there is no age limit or boundaries with it, and it is kid powered. Whatever you imagine, you can make. Play-Doh makes that easy with their new creation: Hasbro's Play-Doh Creations - Make 'n Color Creatures.


My kids loved the markers and body part accessories that came in the set with the bright colored Play-Doh.

They really had a blast designing their own creatures and the markers even work on the Play-Doh itself, as well as the body parts and comes off with a damp cloth. Be careful about getting it on skin though as it's not too easy to get off right away.

My son, almost 3, had to be the first to write on the Play-Doh!

Product Description:

With the Make 'N Color Creatures set, you can create animals, insects, or any other creature you can come up with! Make the body with the  PLAY-DOH and then, choose from 16 reusable body part accessories and color them with the markers. Add them to the body and then create eyes, antennae and more. The set includes 16 reusable body parts, 4 wet-erase markers, a playmat and 5 two-ounce cans of Play-Doh. Meant for ages 4 and up.

While the product description does state that it is intended for ages 4 and up (perhaps because of the markers?), my son had a blast with it as you can see in the pictures. He would play with it all day if he could. I love how there is such a wide variety of Play-Doh colors to purchase separately that can be used with the set and that the parts are reusable. They are so easy to wipe clean. There is also a Play-Doh Creations Activity Book that can be downloaded HERE which I plan to do soon!



11 year old Mimi loves Play-Doh too!

Mimi's Creation

Because of all the loose parts, you will definitely need a ziploc type bag to store the accessories in, unless your kids are easier on boxes than mine are! My kids had such a blast playing with the Play-Doh Creations, that I think I'll be purchasing some as gifts for certain nephews of mine. I'm sure they'll enjoy it as well.

The Play-Doh Creations line also comes in 3-D Flash Art, Creation Caddy, and Squish 'N Stamp Scenes. Learn more about them HERE .



*I received a kit, at no cost, for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not influenced in any way to write a positive review.

Happy Birthday!

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That was THEN


It's hard for me to believe, but 11 years have gone by since this picture was taken. My twins, my middle children, will be 11 years old tomorrow. Where has the time gone? You blink, and they are half grown. My oldest, the one in the middle, just asked me today if she could start wearing mascara. Just yesterday, she was playing with dolls. Wasn't she? Before I know it, they will be driving and (gasp) dating. Then they will be gone. I know they need to spread their wings and fly, but I will miss them. I already do just thinking about it.

My children have always been homeschooled. They don't get on a bus in the wee morning hours, spend all day at school, and get home late in the afternoon. They are here with me, driving me nuts. Just kidding! Well, kind of. When you have 5 kids, they are bound to get on the nerves occasionally. But, I love them dearly and I am grateful for the time I have with them, watching them grown and learn. But, seriously....they will be 11?

At ages 6 1/2 & 8 1/2

Were they really that little and cute? 

I guess it wasn't exactly "yesterday". LOL But still, mascara?


Once you have twins, life is never "normal". These two are such hams. Well, when they aren't fighting, that is!

This is NOW:

La La


Mimi
Happy Birthday to you both! I love you and I hope your day is as special as the both of you are!

Uncommonly Cute Review & Giveaway


I love this company! I was given  my choice of shirt or onesie to review and I chose the long sleeved "Miso Cute" in size 18-24m.


Each garment is made of 100% combed cotton and is very soft. I was pleasantly surprised to see a "Made in USA" label inside the shirt. Their website says that their garments run a bit small but I didn't find that to be the case with the shirt I chose. Out of all the shirts my daughter owns, this by far is my favorite!

I think she's pretty keen on it as well!


They have so many designs to choose from in sizes for boys and girls up to size 6, newborns, and twins! I wish they had been around when my twins were younger. I definitely would have purchased these:


Check out some of their other designs:






Each design is available in a onesie, short sleeve shirt, or long sleeve shirt. Wouldn't these make awesome Christmas or Holiday gifts? The folks at Uncommonly Cute are great to work with! Good customer service is hard to find these days, but this place has it going on!

A bit about Uncommonly Cute:

Because your little one is so incredibly special and unique , Uncommonly Cute items are a perfect choice for their individual personality. You'll find the Uncommonly Cute brand is built on the premise that "your child is way beyond cute".

Originally founded in 2004, Uncommonly Cute specializes in making sure our individual little people have little individual clothes that match their personality.

Our t-shirts and onesies not only afford our little ones a sense of individual style-be they a Diva, a Rock Star or the "boss"-but comfort as well. Each garment is made of 100% combed cotton and is super, super soft.

In addition, sure to delight the babies' no-fuss, socially conscious moms, the clothes are all machine washable, safe, durable and made in sweatshop-free studios!

Room To Grow Room To Grow Uncommonly Cute is dedicated to supporting charities like Room to Grow and R Baby Foundation . You too can become involved in helping these cuties in need by simply clicking on these links.

Have an idea that would be perfect for Uncommonly Cute? Want to share pics of your little one in Uncommonly Cute fashions? Have feedback for the Uncommonly Cute Team? We'd love to hear from you, so please just click here and give us your input!


You can find Uncommonly Cute on Facebook where you can find:


  •  Special Codes to save money!
  •  Updates on new designs and product offerings.
  • Chances to win in our many giveaways!

 And also on Twitter! 



Uncommonly Cute is sponsoring our Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway coming up November 21 to December 5. Check back soon to find out how you can enter to win a Onesie or Shirt of your choice.

I received a free t-shirt for review purposes. All opinions are my own. I was not paid nor influenced in any way to post a positive review.

Mineral Hygienics Review & Giveaway

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Although I was looking forward to trying out Mineral Hygienics mineral makeup, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. They claim that their makeup is "perfect for all ages and skin types", that it "provides complete coverage that feels as light as air", as well as giving "a natural luminosity that lasts all day long." Yes, I was skeptical!

When the samples that I was provided for this review arrived within a few days, I was pleasantly surprised. I was equally pleased after opening the box. This is how my items were packaged:
I love the black crimped shredded paper with the delicate pink bag containing the cosmetics nestled inside.




These are the FULL-sized "samples" that I was provided to do my review:

Kabuki Brush, Light & Fairly Light Foundation, Cool Kiss Bronzer, & Translucent Finishing Powder.

It also came with these:
From top to bottom: "Tips, Tricks, Colors, Brushes, How to's...Everything You Need to Know...", Application Guide, and Product Information Guide.

When I was younger, I used to work at a cosmetic company as a trained color consultant, customer service rep, and I also handled consultant orders. Needless to say, I wore quite a bit of makeup while working here. I did get it at a discount, after all! I wish I could find one of my older pictures to show you just how much! As the years went on, I had children and started wearing less and less to the point where I was only wearing tinted moisturizer on my Rosacea red cheeks along with a bit of foundation and powder with a bit of mascara if I went out. As a trained consultant, I KNEW the importance of wearing a foundation to keep pollutants out and moisture in. I KNEW the importance of SPF protection. But, I was no longer heeding it!

I needed to know immediately if this product really worked like it was supposed to. My curiosity was getting the better of me. So, I opened it all up. My cameras have died on me so I'm using my cell to take pictures. They aren't the best and somehow, because of the angle of the phone, the lighting is different in the before and after picture. The pictures were taken within a matter of minutes of each other though. I could really tell a difference in my cheek area especially!

This is what my face looked like before-hand:
 This is what it looked like after applying the Mineral Hygienics:





There is still some noticeable redness from the Rosacea, but I think if I had used the Belmish (counteracts Redness) Wonder Concealer, it would have almost covered it completely.

I have nothing but good to say about Mineral Hygienics. I am hooked. I thought it would take a long time to apply it with all the buffing, but it literally only takes several minutes to apply the foundation, enhancer, and powder. I have an oily T-zone which normally requires several powder touch ups throughout the day. The first day that I used the mineral makeup, I had to reapply the translucent powder on my nose. From then on, I have not had to touch it up AT ALL! My makeup looks as fresh at night before I go to bed as it did right after I applied it. I also forgot to wash my face before going to bed one night (I know, I know...shame on me), and in the morning my face still looked natural and glowing and didn't feel goopy at all. Normally when I wash my face, my snow white washcloths are covered in makeup from the foundation. Not so with the Mineral Hygienics. Most of the minerals are absorbed into the skin, so there is hardly anything to come off onto the washcloth. I have 2 younger children who both frequently touch my face. With the minerals, I wasn't worried about them rubbing it off. My son got my face wet while wearing it, and it stayed put. It also didn't rub off on my clothing at all like regular foundation has a tendency to do.

I also want to state that this company has some of the best customer service that I have experienced in a long time! I asked more than a few questions about the product and all of my emails were answered in a very timely manner and all of my questions and concerns were addressed way beyond my satisfaction.

Another thing I want to point out is that the minerals have no shelf-life. Since they are all pure minerals, there are no fillers or additives in the foundations to "go bad". Sounds good to me!

The Mineral Hygienics Difference

What makes Mineral Hygienics better?

This is the most sought after question… and the most important!


This answer is simple, but requires a little reading. Every makeup company says they are the “BEST”. So we are going to break down all the claims and let you decide!

Most professionals will agree that mineral makeup is leaps and bounds better than traditional makeup for most individuals. With that said, The focus on this page will be about “mineral makeup” in general, but can be applied to traditional makeup as well.

The Claim: Long Lasting Coverage

How Long is Long?
  • Mineral makeup in general:
    This is one of the most common benefits of mineral makeup. It lasts so much longer and continues to look so much better than traditional makeup, so this feature gets a lot of attention. What you don’t know is: How long it lasts?
  • The Mineral Hygienics Difference:
    Ask anyone that uses Mineral Hygienics how long our foundation lasts when compared to other brands. The most heard phrase will be: “Twice as Long” Most mineral makeup starts to get heavy and separate around 3:00 O’clock in the afternoon. Our foundation lasts till the very second you are ready to go to bed. Go ahead; wear it in the tanning bed over lunch. You still won’t have to touch up anything!

The Claim: Allows your skin to breathe

Can you breathe under water?
  • Mineral Makeup in General
  • The Mineral Hygienics Difference:
    Our makeup allows your skin to breathe all day because it doesn't absorb your oils and moisture. This keeps you looking perfect til bedtime.

The Claim: Fewer Ingredients

What does "Fewer" mean to them and you?
  • Fewer might mean more!
    While most mineral products have fewer ingredients than traditional makeup, this doesn't always mean that it is healthier for your skin. Many mineral products have 10-20+ ingredients in their product. Some actually have more than a traditional liquid. From an ingredient standpoint it is important to see what ingredients are actually being used. Pay particular attention to Bismuth Oxychloride, a very common ingredient found in most mineral makeup. To read a quick article on bismuth oxychloride Click Here.

    B.T.W. Just in-case you want to count ingredients, Mineral Hygienics only has 4! Lowest in the industry!

The Claim: SPF Protection

True and very similar for most brands
  • Virtually every mineral product is made from Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Both of these ingredients are highly regarded to be the best form of protection from sun, other than wearing clothing and staying out of the sun completely. They all have SPF Protection! You can verify this information on Wikipedia. (Click on the pink words)

The Claim: You'll have a Natural Glow!

Sparkles are not "NATURAL"
  • Mineral Makeup in General
    The the natural glow that mineral companies talk about is not natural at all. This claim was made up to compliment an ingredient that gets bad attention. Bismuth Oxychloride reflects light and can make your skin shiney.
  • The Mineral Hygienics Difference:
    When we say that we provide a perfect air brushed finish, that is what we mean! Our minerals do not make your face shine. They are designed to mimic the color of your skin and make you look naturally beautiful! If you want to add a little bit of fun, grab a bronzer, blush, illuminzer, and eye shadows. They will bring out the extra spark you are looking for!

The Claim: Perfect for Sensitive Skin

Your makeup shouldn't add to your problems
  • The Mineral Hygienics Difference
    We have new customers ordering from us everyday that have tried all sorts of different brands. They all make them itch, give them redness and even cause acne. After switching to us, with in a week almost all of their problems are gone! We have the purest makeup available. we suggest you read this Article about Bismuth Oxychloride the most common ingredient found in other brands.


A Final thought: Money Back Guarantee

Completely Risk FREE
  • There is so much to compare when talking about Mineral Hygienics. The few things we've mentioned provide a good insight to our minerals. If you want further clarification or more detail about the subjects above and below send us an email. We'll get back to you promptly!

    We offer a 60 Day Money-Back Guarantee for a reason! We know we have the best product. If you don't like our minerals return them for a full refund Hassle Free! Click Here for complete details on our Guarantee.



Natural Ingredients

Better Coverage

Non - Acnegenic

Non - Comodogenic

Anti-Inflammatory

Water Resistant

Younger Looking Skin

Feels Better

Doesn't Streak

Will not leak into your Body or Bloodstream

No Nano particles

Will not rub off on clothes

Better Colors

Even Skin Tone

HD Ready

Quick and Efficient



To read more about Mineral Hygienics, read my earlier blog post HERE and also visit them on their website at www.mineralhygienics.com .

To purchase a starter kit like this:

Click HERE to get started!

Some of the other products they carry are: Wonder Concealers

Multi-Tasker Under Eye Concealer


Multi-Tasker All Over

Wonder Concealer - Blemish

Bronzers which I mentioned in my previous post as well as Illuminizers which can also be used on legs for a sun-kissed look!

Radiant Illuminizer
Glow Illuminizer
They also carry a nice variety of eye shadows, eye liners, mascara, eyebrow color, blush, lipstick, lip liner, and brushes to apply it all. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift for a teenage girl, your grandma, and every woman in between! I love it so much, I am going to buy several items and try them out. I will be sure to post a review on them also, so check back!

Mineral Hygienics is also a sponsor for our Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway coming up November 21 to December 5th. Check back to see how you can win this:
Mini Starter Kit

It would make a great stocking stuffer!

All opinions expressed are my own. I was given free product in order to conduct this review.