Category Archives: Reviews

Cats in Hats, by Sara Thomas

lg150325a1Another cutie-pie project book that I was fortunate enough to receive for review from Running Press, Cats in Hats, 30 knit and crochet patterns for your kitty. Don’t tell anyone but my 13 year old loves kittens and this book had him squee-ing as we turned the pages. The poor kid is very allergic so he has to settle for Youtube videos for his doses of cuteness. Cats in Hats gave us a little time together to see all the cute kitties and their equally as adorable head gear.

The hat projects are just as adorable as the cats and I can’t wait to try my hand at crocheting them. We have plenty of friends we can give them to, if the kids don’t keep them for their stuffed animals. I might want to try and adapt a design or two for a kid-sized hat.

The book is beautiful and the directions are easy to follow with print that is easy to read. Thirty fun patterns from Santa to one with a heart that hovers overhead like an antenna. Our favorite is the shark fin. Perfect for if we did have a cat so it could watch our Beta fish in the tank.

See what other bloggers on the tour are saying and be sure to enter the contest:

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3/16 Scooter Knits

3/17 Yarning 4 A Smile

3/18 Wendy Knits

3/19 In Stitches

3/20 Polka Dot Cottage

3/21 FaveCrafts

3/22 Recycled Crafts

3/23 Lorelei’s Blog

3/24 CraftSanity

3/25 Lori Greenberg

3/26 Crafting a Green World

3/27 Gaea Handmade

3/28 Pretty Things Blog

I feel like the Energizer Bunny

And now I know why bunnies have so much energy…or so they say. Greens.

I have been getting so much done and have been so motivated that I started to wonder what the heck is up. Then I realized that I had changed my morning smoothie recipe. While the others have been very healthy, one day I didn’t have my handful or two of spinach to put in so I added a packed of Green Superfood – Cacao Chocolate Infusion flavored from Amazing Greens to my peanut butter banana morning drink.

Chocolate and greens…sounds gross, I know. But you can’t taste the greens.

I don’t think it’s a caffeine buzz from the chocolate that has me zipping around…there isn’t THAT much in there. It’s the greens. High octane fuel for the body. They have other flavors too but I’m pretty happy with peanut butter, chocolate and banana in the morning. Who wouldn’t be? I’m thinking I could get into a Bloody Mary flavor too.

green superfoodHere’s my recipe if you’d like to try it:

8 oz coconut water
2 T smooth peanut butter
1/2 banana
1 scoop or 1 packet Amazing Grass Chocolate Greens

Blend it all up until it’s as smooth as can be. Cold coconut water helps, if you like it cold but I use room temperature a lot of the time. I guess you could freeze the bananas too. Or even freeze a couple cubes in a tray of the coconut water.

Add an optional 1 t psyllium powder because it’s a good source of fiber but even without it, this will be a filling protein drink. Protein from the peanut butter. And I I don’t usually like peanut butter.

I also like to drink it through my glass straw, from a nice blown glass tumbler. It feels so sexy.

There are individual packet sizes you can get either online or probably at any health food store if you want to try it without investing in a larger container. If you try it, let me know what you think…I’m interested to see if it gets anyone else going to this degree.

Now…off to make the second half of a 400 bead order. Vroom vroom…

 

MyNetDiary

While I eat a healthy diet, I haven’t been able to shed the last of the pounds that I’ve wanted to and I just don’t get it. Somehow I ran across this little app for my iPhone (available for other systems too) and in just two short days my eyes have been opened to what might be the problem. (other than the fact that I refuse to get off my butt and exercise, hmmm?)

I can read all I want about cortisol levels, insulin resistance, etc. but, when you actually see the numbers of what, exactly, you are eating, it is a different experience.

My Net Diary logo

I work well with educating myself. I cannot just take someone’s advice and implement anything without knowing how it works or why it should be good for me. MyNetDiary shows you in real time what is going on with what you are putting into your mouth. I mean, everyone knows that too much sodium isn’t good, or too much fat, etc. Using this app shows you how much is “too much”. You really won’t believe it. Enter everything…my Trader Joe’s unsweetened, herbal peppermint tea is 6 calories. I thought tea was a freebie!

With this app (I got the pro version) you enter your weight, height, age, desired weight, your activity level and the date you’d like to reach your goal. The app calculates how many calories, fat, carbs, protein and sodium you need to eat per day to reach that goal. It also tells you how much you should expect to lose a week.

You then enter what you eat  for meals and snacks, how much water you drink and any exercise you might do and it tracks how many calories you have left for the day, how many carbs you’ve eaten, fat, sodium, etc.

With each meal or recipe you enter, you can see how much of your daily allotment you have used and how much is left. You can also scan barcodes of packaged food and they’ll get the nutritional information into the program.

lg130220a1Today, as I was going about entering my info, the information I saw before my eyes helped me to make some better decisions. Such as, two tablespoons of peanut butter is just fine in my smoothie, instead of three. Calories saved! Maybe I only need one tablespoon of ground flax in my salad instead of two. Calories saved! Mixing my tuna into my salad might be sufficient instead of drizzling on some bottled salad dressing or my favorite high sodium hot sauce.

Last night it helped me decide that no, I did not need that vegetarian noodle Pho from the Vietnamese restaurant. A salad from Whole Foods with vegetables is just fine for tonight. I will plan differently another time so I can eat that pho with 84 carbs and 1400 mg of sodium! Maybe. Now that I know what is in some of these things, it makes me wonder if it’s really worth it. Maybe after I’ve reached my goal I will indulge more but for now, while not feeling deprived, I am just making different choices.

Then, after all is said an done, it will put the info into a report if you want to look at it and even give you some tips. Such as, me getting my hand slapped just a little bit because I didn’t eat breakfast. The app told me that I might be more successful if I make sure to have breakfast. Or, that if you eat under your daily caloric target you could be stalling weight loss. Two things that might seem counterintuitive, but very valid points, well taken, MyNetDiary.

You can also enter exercise. Bleh. I entered 100 jumps on my rebounder and burned 20 calories yesterday!

I have until June 10 to do this to reach my goal. That is a long time, it seems like, but it creeps up on you. If all goes according to plan I should be skinny minnie by then. I’ve probably overstated my goal but I still want to reach for it. I’m just glad this isn’t a talking app.

p.s. for a monthly fee I guess you can get your fitbit and things like that hooked in and there is also diabetic diet monitoring. I’m sure there is much more that I haven’t discovered. We’ll see!

p.s.s.  I don’t get anything for this. Just thought I’d pass it on. If you try it, let me know what you think. If it is as eye opening as it is for me.