Home Cooked~ Book Review

Home Cooked~Anya Fernald

Unfortunately, Home Cooked by Anya Fernald came into my life at a time full of chaos. I didn’t have a chance to actually cook anything from it. But am so excited to add it to my collection. As a homesteader, this is going to be a great book to help me once we start raising our own meat. This book had everything from making your own broths and pasta to fresh tomato risotto.

But the recipe that I got the most excited about was rendering lard. Just days before this book arrived, I was saying how I wanted to make my own lard that I can use to season my cast iron. My family hates the smell of the store-bought stuff. So this is the recipe I will be trying as soon as possible. Along with the homemade pasta, just another thing I’ve been dying to learn.


Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

#DisneySide @Home Celebration


As everyone that has ever met me knows, I love Disney. I have been going to Walt Disney World as long as I can remember and have had an annual pass for about 20 years now. It is my first choice for a vacation spot. I have passed this love on to my children. Hubby is not so much on board with it. But the kids and I will go every chance we get.

Sadly, our passes expired in January and renewal is not in the budget for us right now. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got picked to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration! Because I have mostly teenagers, I got the teen theme which was villians. This was perfect because we just got done watching Maleficient a million times and absolutely loved it!!

When our box full of goodies arrived, it was like Christmas all over again! There was so much fun stuffed into one box!

Goodies in our box #DisneySide @Home Celebration

Goodies in our box #DisneySide @Home Celebration

So we invited some of our closes friends and started partying!

My cake decorating daughters made and iced some cupcakes. We used the Duff Tye Dye cake mix that came in the box. But my daughters chose to use only the purple and green to represent Maleficient. Then we let everyone go to town decorating with the colorful sprinkles they provided.


Cupcake Decorating #DisneySide @Home Celebration


Then the kids were off to play various games. The Maleficient nail polish was a big hit with the teenage girls. But not so much the bracelet maker. The pictures were to kiddie for them. And not all of us had an I-phone or I-pad to download the app. So the girls had fun making bracelets for the little ones.

Some of the games were a little too kiddie for tweens and teens. Bingo was basically just a game of who can yell Bingo the fastest because everyone got Bingo at the same time. Wordsearch and Matching the quote to the ride was a big hit also.


My youngest loved pin the smile on Mickey. #DisneySide @home Celebrations



I worried about the pin the smile on Mickey. Because come on they are teens! But it was perfect for the younger siblings in attendance and surprising some of the older ones wanted in on the action too. We also added in a Beat the parents game~ Disney edition, which ended up being older kids vs younger kids, and some Disney Infinity 2.0 fun.


And older kids too! #DisneySide @Home Celebration


Overall, it was a lot of fun! We got to see some friends we haven’t seen in forever and had some great activities to keep the kids busy.


Disclosure: I have received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Have you heard of the new addiction? Pinterest.

It’s a fun website where you can keep all these ideas that you find on the internet into one organized site. It’s a M~ADD mom’s memory. At least for me it is.

But has the thought~ Does that really work? ever crossed your mind.


Which is why I am putting some of the things I see to the test.

So here are things that have worked!


Growing your own celery using the bottom of the celery that you usually throw away. This did work as you can see here I stuck mine in a cup of water and within a few hours it started growing. My mistake was getting so busy that I didn’t get around to replanting it in a pot. So don’t make that mistake.




Putting a wooden spoon over a pot really does keep it from boiling over.







Making my own vanilla with Vanilla beans and a (free, thanks to one of hubby’s customers) bottle of Vodka.






More will it work projects coming soon. Until then you can follow me on Pinterest.







UPDATE~ Product Trial Batter Blasters

After my post I emailed the company to let them know about the defect. They were very apologetic and said that this does happen from time to time because of mishandling during shipping or stocking the shelves. But have offered to send me 2 VIP coupons. I thought this more than makes up for the half of can wasted.

So in the end I give this company an A+ for good tasting pancakes and amazing customer service!

Product Review~ Batter Blasters

This morning I decided to try out my Batter Blasters. This is a product I wouldn’t normally buy due to my large family. But I saw a buy one get one (BOGO) deal plus had coupons making it a dirt cheap deal. So I thought “why not, sounds like fun.”

For those of you who don’t know what Batter Blasters are, they are pancake or waffle batter in a Redi-Whip type spray can. The price for one can is about $3.99. With my BOGO deal and coupons, I was able to get 2 cans for $1.99. But was it worth it?

The directions on the can state to shake can, turn upside down and push nozzle to spray batter on hot griddle or skillet.

I did this but the can didn’t state how much to put on the griddle so in my opinion the pancakes turned out a little small compared to what I usually make.

Another thing, the batter didn’t bubble up the pancake batter usually does, telling you it is time to turn so the first batch came out a little too dark for most of my family. Thank God for Bri who likes them dark!

I have 7 people in the house to feed breakfast too. So I didn’t think 1 can would be enough with the pancakes being smaller.  SO I got out the second can.

Half way through the second can, disaster struck! The spout wouldn’t quit spraying out batter and then it started sputtering and then it burped and then died. The spout wouldn’t do anything. I lost half a can of batter because of a packaging default.

The good news is while the can was uncontrollably spewing batter I moved the batter along the griddle enough to make my lil man a hummingbird pancake. He was thrilled!

In the end, the pancakes tasted good but the batter was very sticky and hard to flip over. The cans were fun until the volcano erupted then disappointing because my money went in the garbage. The pancakes came out significant smaller causing my large family to eat more and the leftovers were much less than if I made my homemade pancakes.

For my family this deal was not worth it. Maybe if I had younger kids, but I have 1 teenager and 2 preteens that eat like horses. So batter blasters is one item I won’t be buying again.