A Recipe for Survival: Gluten-Free Recipe Book (Review and Giveaway)

A Recipe for Survival is much more than just a cookbook. It’s a story. It’s a testimony to faith. It’s a guidebook. If you have by necessity or by choice decided to go gluten-free, then this manual is well worth purchasing.

(Go to the bottom of this post to learn how you can win a copy!)

The book begins with an introduction about Freda and her husband Brody. You hear their love story and the trials and heart-aches that ensued soon after they were married. Health problems abounded. Both Freda and Brody were plaugued by ailments causing not just physical stress, but emotional and marital stress as well. They were desperate to find a solution. I greatly enjoyed reading this portion of the book. Freda has a warm engaging writing style that draws you in. (It was also kinda fun to see another couple who also met on eHarmony and married the same month and year as my husband and I did!)

Part I of the book is a testimony to the faith of Freda. Freda uses the Word of God to encourage and uplift the reader, particularly those readers struggling with illness issues or caring for others in the midst of a health crisis.

Part II’s focus is on practical aspects of gluten-free living. If you are new to gluten-free living, you will find that Freda discusses a number of essential topics that can help you on your journey. Topics like cross-contamination, eating out, and how to replace gluten in recipes are all explained in detail among many other topics vital to learning how to live a gluten-free lifestyle.

And finally, Part III of the book is filled with recipes. She has recipes for hard to replace gluten-free foods like waffles, breads, and desserts as well as main dishes, sauces, and side dishes.  Continue reading

Storage Boxes for People Low on Space

I recently had the opportunity to check out Packaways Plastic Storage Boxes. They are a pretty unique storage solution. If you need boxes that are heavier duty than cardboard, but don’t take up as much room as plastic totes when not in use, this is the solution for you. Packaways set up easy and fold down flat just as easily.

I received both a large pink box and a medium blue box to review. I was immediately impressed with how easily they set up. No monkeying around with tape, I was able to intuitively set the boxes up by just pressing on the corners. The boxes also have wipe-away marking panels you can write on with a dry erase marker for labeling purposes. Boxes, totes, and under the bed boxes are all available on their website.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Packaway boxes. My Packaways will be put to use storing little boys’ clothes in the basement. If you’re looking for a storage solution, it might be worth your while to check out what they have to offer. Free shipping on orders over $49 certainly sweetens the deal a bit too!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Copy Kids DVD: Get Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies! (Review and Giveaway)

Do your kids like to eat their fruits and veggies? I have one that loves veggies (broccoli being his favorite), one that loves fruit, and two unknowns (they mostly like breast milk)! Copy-Kids is a DVD that seeks to encourage kids to explore and experience the vast array of fruits and veggies.

I was given a chance to review this DVD, which has won three excellence awards, one from Dr. Toy, one from MACT, and another from Parent Tested Parent Approved. The DVD is aimed toward children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years and retails for $19.95 on the Copy-Kids website. Perfect for my family, because I have 3 in that age range! Unfortunately, my two youngest are just 1 year old and we attempt to keep their screen time at zero. (There have been too many studies that have come out in the last decade that show correlations between children under the age of two watching television and the development of ADHD and learning disabilities.) I did make an exception to review this DVD though.

Copy-Kids is not a flashy DVD. There aren’t boisterous characters, animations, or extravagent special effects. Copy-Kids is simply a DVD of kids having fun exploring and eating different fruits and vegetables. From a parent’s perspective, the kids are quite endearing.

My Kids Reaction

Dylan and Elliot (1 year old), were largely disinterested and did’t pay much attention to the screen while it was on. Cameron (3) enjoyed parts of the DVD, but was really only interested in watching the parts with fruits and vegetables he knows he likes. He always protested during the sections featuring food he doesn’t like.

Copy-Kids is a really cute idea for a children’s DVD, but I don’t forsee that it will make much impact on the eating habits of my children. I’m totally open to the possibility that it might surprise me, and I’m all for trying!

If you would like a chance to check out Copy-Kids, be sure to enter our giveaway!

Enter our Giveaway

You have the chance to win a Copy-Kids DVD. For everything you do below, get one entry in our drawing. (You must comment below this post and let us know what you did to get credit). This giveaway is open to our friends worldwide, not just in the US.

  • Subscribe to our blog (and if you are already a subscriber, let us know that).
  • Like Intoxicated on Life on Facebook (and if you are already a fan, let us know that).
  • Follow Intoxicated on Life on Twitter (and if you are already following us, let us know that).
  • Like Copy-Kids on Facebook.
  • Follow Copy-Kids on Twitter
  • Unlimited bonus entries every day! For every blog post from IntoxicatedOnLife.com you SHARE on Facebook, you get an entry into the drawing (post up to 2 per day). Leave a comment here telling us what posts you shared.

This giveaway will end on September 15, 2012.

Panda Boy: Challenge Accepted (Review)

If you are in the mood for an old-school 2D platform game and didn’t get enough of the London Olympics, then Panda Boy: Challenge Accepted might be for you. It is pretty much Sonic the Hedgehog meets Alex Kidd.

A little boy dressed in a panda costume is running from China to London carrying an eternal flame to restore the recently extinguished Olympic flame. He needs to jump over a bunch of obstacles using colorful rings (strategically placed by you, the player) to swing over these obstacles.

My kids like it; that much I can say. On the iPad the controls are extremely easy to use: just tap the screen where you want the ring to appear, and if you time it right, Panda Boy will hurtle himself higher and higher over bottomless pits of doom. When he reaches the end of each level, Panda Boy lands on a poll and slides down (Mario-style) to the bottom. Ring. Rinse. Repeat. Over and over and over.

Did I like Panda Boy? Not really, but then I believe my patience for these sorts of games has sort of run out for me. My 11-year-old alter ego liked it, but he doesn’t come out to play much these days.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The Child Training Bible: Review & Giveaway!

I was so excited to have the chance to review the Child Training Bible (CTB). I am always on the look-out for resources that can assist Luke and I as we seek to raise our four sons in a way that will glorify God.

More specifically, the integration of Scripture into the lives our children is something we continually seek after. It’s not always easy having Scripture on the tips our tongues that correspond with behaviors and attitudes we see in our children though. Continue reading

Affordable and Contextual Grammar Program: Fix-It (Curriculum Review)

As I’ve posted before, the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year brought a number of changes, namely the addition of twins to our family, which in turn caused this mama to substitute out some of the more teacher/time-intensive curriculums in favor of easy-to-implement curriculum choices.

Fix it! Grammar and Editing Made Easy with the Classics is a grammar program from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) that I didn’t even know existed until the middle of last summer. My interested was piqued. I checked it out. I found a winner!

The Program (5 Levels)

This year we went through the first story in the book, Tom Sawyer. IEW says this story is appropriate for kids in grades 3-6. There are 5 stories in all:

  1. Tom Sawyer
  2. Frog Prince, or Just Desserts
  3. The Little Mermaid
  4. The King and the Discommodious Pea
  5. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Each story gets progressively more difficult and introduces more advanced grammatical concepts. The recommended level for the final story are grades 9-12. Continue reading

Fun and Accessible Art Class for Kids and Adults! (plus, a giveaway)

How is a Christian homeschool mom, who is not particularly artistically inclined and doesn’t have much art history knowledge, to give her dear children some culture and art education? I’d suggest she check out See The Light’s Art Class. (Yeah, you might have guessed… that mom is me).

I was so excited the kind folks at See the Light gave me a chance to review the first DVD in their Art Class series. I’ve not been so great at providing my kids with an education in the arts, and I feel I really need to try to better with Bradley, and especially Cameron, my 3-year-old. Cameron seems to be naturally much more artistically inclined, enjoying drawing and coloring from a very young age, so I’d like to continue to encourage him as he gets older.

1st DVD Preview

Art Class is taught by master artist Pat Knepley. This curriculum is recommended for children 6 and up. There are 9 volumes, containing 36 lessons. They cost $99.99 if purchased all together. There is a bonus lesson from another See the Light artist on the first 4 DVDs.

I previewed the first DVD, which contains four basic drawing lessons and a bonus chalk art lesson.

Lesson 1: Tools of the Trade – In this lesson we learned about the types of tools needed for art class. There was also an introduction to two types of pencil grips: the basic grip and overhand grip. This lesson was by far the least interesting and least engaging lesson. Nevertheless, these are good foundational concepts with which to start a series like this, even if it doesn’t make for the most exciting first lesson.

Lesson 2: It All Starts With a Line – This lesson was an introduction to contour drawing. We practiced making a continuous line by drawing an apple. The goal of this lesson: training your hand to draw what you see.

Lesson 3: Contours and Composition – We continued learning about contour drawings in this lesson, but also added some stylistic techniques to our repertoire. The importance of placement on the page was addressed. She taught on techniques for adding depth. Finally we were encouraged to experiment with different writing utensils to observe the differing effects. It was during this lesson that I became more interested and engaged.

Lesson 4: Draw What You See – During this lesson we were instructed to only draw what we see. This might seem intuitive, but only drawing what you see is not always as easy as you might think. You see, our minds often know there are elements of an object hidden from our view that we might sometimes be inclined to draw. Other major themes of this lesson included the meaning of “eye level” and the importance of  spending plenty of time observing what you are going to draw and paying attention to detail.

Bonus Lesson: Chalk It Easy with Gloria Kohlman – The bonus lesson was instruction on making a chalk drawing. I didn’t have the kids watch this lesson with me because I didn’t have the appropriate materials to complete the lesson. I don’t think my kids could have completed this project. It moved quite fast for an 8 year old and was very involved. In fact, had I attempted the project, I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep up without pausing the DVD a lot! What Ms. Kohlman drew was beautiful, but I doubt this is a lesson for your elementary aged children. Continue reading

Economics for Everybody (Review)

Economics for Everybody is a new video curriculum produced by Compass Cinema in conjunction with Ligonier Ministries. The materials are taught by Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr., and presented in a fun and captivating way. Dr. Sproul is an engaging and knowledgeable instructor. He is particularly suited to teach this series given his teaching background and his knowledge base in the Bible, different worldviews, and economics.

Why we like Compass Cinema

Luke and I have had the opportunity to use a number of products put out by Compass Cinema and have come to expect high caliber products from this company. Compass Cinema produced a Latin course from which my son and I have learned a lot and have greatly enjoyed called Visual Latin (if you’re considering a Latin curriculum, you should check out my review of this resource). Luke used the film Seek Social Justice as a supplement in teaching his Sunday school class and also plans to use their series Modern Parables this coming Fall. Needless to say, we have both been impressed  by the quality of materials put out by Compass Cinema and were excited to be given the opportunity to preview their newest project. Continue reading

The Case of the (almost) Missing UGLee Ergonomic Pen (plus a giveaway)

Nope, I didn’t spell “ugly” wrong. The pen really is called an UGLee pen (even if they are ugly). The ‘U’ in UGLee stands for “ultimate,” the ‘G’ for “grip,” and ‘Lee’ is the last name of the pens creator, Dr. James Lee. These pens do have a very unique grip. I’ve never owned a pen quite like this one, or quite as expensive as this one either!

Dr. Lee set out to design an extraordinarily comfortable ergonomically designed pen, a pen that wouldn’t make your hand cramp. The pen weighs a mere 11 grams (that’s super light, even for a pen). The ink writes very smoothly, too. But what I like best of all about the pen is the comfy, squishy grip on it. Overall, I really like the pen, but at $19.99 for a three pack, I seriously doubt I’d ever purchase the pens on my own. I will certainly enjoy using the pens while I have them though!

Apparently Luke liked the pen too, because he was toting the pen through the house. I asked what he was doing with my pen.

He casually stated, “I thought I’d take it to work.”

Oh no! This was not going to happen! My husband was not going to kidnap one of my fancy, expensive, new pens and hold it hostage at work…or worse yet, lose it at work! I calmly but firmly let him know I would not appreciate him doing that.

To which he responded, “Why not? I’ve taken some of our other pens to work.”

Ah ha! Now I know where all of my good pens have gone, you know the ones that actually write without having to scribble on the side of the page first. A bit agitated, I now scolded my husband, “You better not take anymore of my pens! Covenant Eyes can buy you your own pens for work, but you leave my pens alone.” He seemed a bit perplexed by my discomposure.

If you’re a Covenant Eyes employee and if you see one of my lovely pink UGLee pens at work, don’t give it to Luke! Be sure to bring it directly to me. Oh, and if you happen to be one of Luke’s supervisors, would you please purchase a few decent pens for him to use at Covenant Eyes so he doesn’t feel tempted to steal my pens.

If you, too, would like to try out a three pack of these fancy, expensive pens, but you’re like me and much too cheap frugal to purchase them, you’re in luck! We’re having yet another raffle giveaway and all you need to do is complete at least one of the following items below, or complete several of them for more chances to win. This giveaway will end 7/31/12?

Leave us comments to let us know what you’ve done!

  1. Leave us a comment telling us one thing you learned about the UGLee Pen by going to their website.
  2. Like UGLee Pen on Facebook.
  3. Like Intoxicated on Life on Facebook (and if you already ‘like’ us, just say so below).
  4. Follow UGLee Pen on Twitter.
  5. Follow Intoxicated on Life on Twitter (and if you already follow us, just say so below).
  6. Daily bonus entries: tweet about one of our posts and/or share a post on Facebook, one post per day. Don’t forget to let us know in our comments each day what post you’ve shared!

Unfortunately for our friends around the world, this giveaway is only for those residing in the US. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Fun Education Website for Kids: TropicMinds.com (Review)

Recently I was shown the website TropicMind.com, an educational and interactive online experience for children ages 6-12. Over the last week or so I’ve had an opportunity to explore, and watch my oldest son explore, this website, and am very excited about what it has to offer.

Kids can hop in their speedboat and cruise from island to island, seeing what adventures each location holds. Upon arrival at each island kids have choices between different cartoons or games they might want to play. While it might look fun, don’t let the talking parrot and giraffe fool you: this website is packed with educational information.

We’re doing a giveaway: The winner will get a free 12-month membership on Tropic Mind (a $50 value). Click here to enter our drawing.

. . . .

Things I Like About Tropic Mind

Incentivized Learning – Just about everything kids do on the islands (watching the videos, winning games, etc.) earn them “tropic coins” which give them the ability to purchase virtual items. They can beef up their own “personal” island with these items, such a putting in furniture, decorations, and even taking care of virtual pets. By providing kids with these incentives, they are compelled to keep exploring the islands and learning.

Creative setting and characters – Making each educational module its own little “island” is a very creative way to engage kids with the educational content. The entire experience feels more like a game than doing lessons, which will make a lot of kids very happy.

Safe social network – Kids have the ability to interact with other “boaters” who are accessing the different islands. Naturally, parents should be cautious about their kids connecting with total strangers online, but it is comforting to know that the entire community is being monitored for inappropriate content or suspicious activity. I would have very little hesitation allowing my kids on Tropic Mind because I know it was designed with safety in mind.

A growing catalogue of new islands and games – The makers of Tropic Mind are adding more learning experiences all the time. The island format will allow them to build endlessly on it. Continue reading