Friday, May 22, 2015

Hillsong United's "Empires" CD review and giveaway



I've been patiently waiting  ok that's not true because I've actually been running out to the mailbox everyday anticipating the arrival of Hillsong United's newest album Empires that's being released on May 26th, 2015. Yippee skippee I get a copy of it to review and giveaway.  I absolutely love them, their music is amazing and always takes me to that place of worship.  I can play their song Oceans (Where Feet May Fall) over and over. Unbelievable, it's probably my all time favorite worship song EVER until I listened to the new CD EMPIRES and now I love Touch the Sky it's a song of redemption that moves me to my core.
Yesterday, Flyby Promotions gave some of us bloggers the amazing opportunity to chat with Taya Smith for an hour.  She really has a heart for worship and for choosing excellence in her music.  We were all blown away as she spoke about how it's our responsibility to be the very best that we can be in the house of God, for God.  She also said, "Don't put God in a box". Just because worship has been done one way or God has done something a certain way doesn't mean He always should and we shouldn't box Him in.  Taya also said, "The gift God has given me is my voice and it's my greatest weapon!"  Wow, our voice can be a weapon, I hadn't ever thought of it that way.  We were really inspired by everything Taya had to say and learned a lot from that fantastic opportunity.  Oh, Taya's all the way on the other side of the world from us so it was 4:00pm in Oklahoma and it was something like 7:00 am in Australia. Thanks for waking up to chat with us Taya!


OK, on to my thoughts on the newest album.  I'm sure you read that it's name is Empire's and the band is called Hillsong United.  There are 12 unbelievably amazing songs on this new CD and I love them all.  Another thing I really like is that they made the CD cover into a little book with all the words to the song in it.  I love it when they do that, sometimes I need to know what a specific word is and can't understand the singer.... yep I'm that girl that makes up lyrics if I don't know them.
Now for the giveaway, I normally do a Rafflecopter form but I just want you to comment and tell me what your favorite worship song is and who sings it.  I need that info people, if you don't leave who sings it I might not be able to find it and music rocks my world so I'll be checking all the songs out.
For an extra entry tweet something about the newest album and this giveaway using hashtags #Empires #Flyby and #Justwedeminute Giveaway ends 5/29/2015 at midnight CST


Connect with Hillsong United

Twitter: @HillsongUnited
@Taya_Smith
@Hillsong

Google+: +Hillsong United
+Hillsong Worship

Facebook: Hillsong United
Hillsong Church
Taya Smith

Instagram:
Hillsong United
Hillsong Church
Taya Smith


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thanks for reading,
 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Casey & Friends book and toy review and giveaway

Books for the youngest tractor fans
Real equipment and cartoon characters converge in new children's series that makes 
modern farming the hero.

One of my pics of Kevin's family's farm in Iowa

Here we are riding snowmobiles on the farm.  You can see the silver grain bin in the background.


My husband was born in Iowa and then moved to Oklahoma when he was just a little guy but he has continued to go back to Iowa to visit his family.  Almost all of his Iowa family are farmers.  I'm talking corn and beans people and not just a little garden patch in the back yard.  We head out and check the crops and we've taught our children how to drive at ages 12 and 13 on the farm roads.  We love going to the farms and riding four wheelers, driving tractors or the gigantic combines and just enjoying farm life away from the city noise and traffic.  I was so excited to see this series about tractor.  Even though my son Kylan is getting older he still wanted to look at the book and he brought up the fact that most of the tractors we've seen are green and not red but I told him I think it's just a different brand. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the books as much as we are!


Casey & Friends published by Octane Press 
Literature for little tractor fans just got smarter. A new series brings children interested in farming and farm equipment an educational and entertaining look at how tractors, combines and tillage equipment operate together on the farm.

Published by Octane Press, an independent publisher known for award-winning tractor books, the Casey & Friends series uses photographs of CASE IH equipment in real farming situations with cartoon characters to explain how modern farm equipment works in a factual and fun way. Holly Dufek, a seasoned educator and national curriculum writer, joins Pixar “Cars” artist Paul Nunn to help kids make the connection with the farm equipment they see in the countryside and the food on their table.

Readers follow Casey the farmer, Tillus the worm, Big Red the tractor, and a whole cast of cartoon equipment characters who teach important life lessons gleaned from the farm, like thinking ahead and working as a team. Each title is licensed by CASE IH and highlights a different aspect of farm equipment and technology with educational sidebars, picture glossaries and fun farming facts for added learning possibilities. 

A Year on the Farm (Jan. 2015) introduces children to the world of modern farming by teaching them about the different jobs a farmer does each season. Casey and her team show how tractors, combines and other equipment: plant and harvest crops, work in the farmyard, and care for animals. Learn how farming involves planning for the year, reacting to the weather, and working as a team.
Big Tractors (Apr. 2015) shows how the biggest, most powerful tractors handle the demanding jobs of pulling and powering on the farm. Find out how Big Red and Sammy – the biggest tractors on the farm – use their powerful muscles to work in the field with the rest of the team. Learn about the science of farming and discover how advanced technology makes Big Red and Sammy special.
Combines (June 2015) explains the step-by-step processes used to harvest crops by the most complex machines on the farm. Follow Cody and Kellie—the combines of Happy Skies Farm—as they do the work of three machines: gathering, separating, and unloading grain and corn.
Planters & Cultivators (Sept. 2015) features the specialized farm equipment used to cultivate, plant and spray crops. Learn how Tammi the Tiller, Evan the Early Riser Planter and Peter the Patriot Sprayer work together to make this year’s crop bigger than ever. Explore the science of soil and discover how Casey’s team keeps it healthy.



Meet the Author & Illustrator
Holly Dufek has spent nearly 15 years writing and working with educational curriculum for publishers such as Holt McDougal, National Geographic Education and Riverside Publishing. Holly has worked to develop content to enrich the National Common Core Standards for elementary through high school classrooms. She holds a master's degree in Education and lives in Kenosha, WI, with her husband, Matt, and their three children. 

Paul E. Nunn is a full-range artist who has worked for Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. He lives in Racine, WI, with his wife, Amy, and their two children.

Thanks for reading,
 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Plumb "Exhale" CD Review and Giveaway




About PLUMB:
Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better-known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, co-penned songs for numerous other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Velasquez, and Natalie Grant, and had music placed in many films and television shows.Originally signed as a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) recording artist in 1997, Plumb is now known as well as or better in alternative rock, electronic dance music, and for the use of her music in film and television than she is in the CCM market.

About the album:
EXHALE, the seventh studio album from acclaimed multi-genre singer, songwriter and author PLUMB, expresses a new focus and vision. After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW (the album, title track and book), which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and ultimately healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.

The defining concept of EXHALE was born from a sermon at Plumb’s home church, wherein her pastor Pete Wilson expressed the notion that the Church doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, believers come to church to breathe in grace and truth, be changed, and then go out and “exhale” that hope into their surrounding community.

“That idea of exhaling hope hit me right away and I couldn’t get to the Notes section on my phone fast enough. I started writing the chorus of Exhale right then and there,” explains Plumb. “I have been made new by the ultimate hope, and I want to share and exhale that hope in everyway I can.” 


My Opinion

I enjoy listening to Christian music while I try to fall asleep at night, when I'm cleaning house or jamming out in the car. So, I was excited to receive Plumb's newest CD "Exhale" and as soon as I heard it I felt like I'd heard her somewhere before and then my daughter said she reminds her of Barlow Girl (another CD we love) and I agree. I was excited to find a new artist that I enjoy and can't wait to see what she has in store for the future. Oh, BTW my favorite song was Champion! Do you have a favorite Contemporary Christian band or singer?  When I was a teenager we mainly had Amy Grant and Petra, they were both great but CCM has really come a long way since my teen years.  Anyway, one of my readers will win a Plum CD of their very own just fill out the form below!








a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for reading,
 
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”



Chicken alfredo spaghetti squash

  • 2  Spaghetti Squash already cooked
  • 2 Medium Sized Chicken Breast, Cooked & Shredded
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic 
  • mushrooms
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • onion
  • 4-5 artichokes
  • 3 eggs-2 you just need the yolk 
  • 4 pieces no sugar bacon
  1. In a dutch oven or steamer, begin by fully steaming the spaghetti squash. Once it is steamed, scrape out the seeds with a fork. Then, use a fork to scrape out the remaining spaghetti squash and set aside.  I was in a hurry this time so I popped mine in the microwave for 5 minutes each and that was it.
  2. Next in a large skillet or large stock pot, cook bacon until crispy
  3. Next, add in the onions and garlic and after 1 minute add the mushrooms, artichokes and tomatoes (I simmered them in the bacon fat). 
  4. While everything is simmering I beat the 2 egg yolk and 1 full egg together and then added 1 cup Parmesan cheese to this mixture.
  5. Poor 1 full can of coconut milk into simmering mix after about 3-4 minutes of stirring I added the chicken and spaghetti squash into the pan and cooked until everything was piping hot.
  6. Now, turn off the stove top and pour your cheese and egg mix into pan but don't let the eggs curdle just keep stirring until everything comes together and forms a rich sauce.
 At dinner I asked my kids what they thought it was.  They said angel hair pasta.  Score 1 for mom!!  That's a boatload of veggies that I packed into one meal and they didn't even have any idea it wasn't pasta.  Next time I'm adding spinach, I think the green will really pop and give it an extra punch of nutrition.  I'm really enjoying the Paleo lifestyle and my body is thanking me (I know some don't use cheese but this recipe called for it).
Thanks for reading,
 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Lemon coconut copycat bars (Homemade Larabars)

Since I'm trying to stay away from processes foods and only eat whole, real food I've found Lara Bars.  These are Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, kosher and soy free bars that I keep in my purse in case we're out and about I feel hungry.  With one of these I'm less tempted to stop at a fast food joint and pick up a greasy cheeseburger and fries.  Plus, these bars taste great!  My favorites are the Key Lime Pie and the Coconut Creme.  I really enjoy the bars but I don't love the price, they can run about $2 each, but I've been finding them at Sprout's for $1.25 which isn't bad but I thought I could make them inexpensively and put my own twist on the flavors.


















If you're on the Whole30 meal plan then these are the only Lara Bars you should be eating.
Others have things that are not Whole30 compliant in them.

First gather all of the needed ingredients.  I found mine at Sprout's Farmer's Market but you might find them at
Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and maybe your local grocery store.

Printable Recipe click here

Lemon coconut bars



18 pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt (if needed)

Line a 8x8 baking dish with wax or parchment paper so that the paper drapes over the sides.

Pit the medjool dates by splitting open with a serrated knife and taking pit out.

Soak dates in bowl of warm or hot water for 5 minutes.
While the dates are soaking add the nuts to food processor or blender and chop (I reserve 1/2 a cup chopped nuts).

Next put dates, lemon in food processor and blend with the nuts.
You can add chia seeds if you want to and then pulse once or twice. 

At this time I add the 1/2 a cup of chopped nuts that I had reserved and 1/2 cup coconut
and hand mix it in the sticky dough.

Dump it out on your wax paper
I usually use a small piece of wax paper on top to spread and even the dough in the pan.
If you like coconut you can sprinkle a little more on top.
Pop in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes until the bars harden.

Store in a container with a lid at room temp or in the refrigerator. 




This is what the container of Medjool dates looks like and the price.  I used about 1/2 the container so I can make 2 different flavors.


This is what the date looks like cut open, just pluck that seed out.  You don't want to leave those in and end up breaking a tooth on it!

As you're pitting the dates drop them in some warm/hot water to they can soak.
While the dates are soaking I blend up the nuts


Make sure to reserve about 1/2 a cup of the blended up nuts for use later on.
 

Next I add the nuts and the blended up dates together. I found this works best in a high powered blender like a VitaMix.

Squeeze some lemon in and pulse.


I usually add  a scoop or 2 of Chia seeds.



I throw in coconut because I love it but it's just as good without it.

Then I hand mix it all together and it looks like this.



Make sure your pan is lined with parchment or wax paper and drop your dough in.  Then, I take another piece of wax paper on top and smash it around with my hands until it fits the paper and is nice and even.  Peel the top wax paper off and sprinkle with coconut...or not if you're not a fan of coconut.



Then, pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes so it'll harden up.  Slice and store in a container with a tight fitting lid.
















































Thanks for reading,

 


I was not compensated in any way for this blog post!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Boom!!! I finished Whole30


As I've been telling you about my Whole30 journey I kept wondering what will happen when I finish?  Will I slip back into my old habits of eating sugar everyday, pasta, bread, oats, and all of the other delicious yummy treats that you can't eat on Whole30?  Nope, I decided that I'm going Paleo now at least 80-90% of the time.  I've been doing really good in my transitional phase and still enjoy making my meals.  You can follow along on Instagram I'm JustWedeminute and also on Twitter @JustWedeminute.  I've tried to post daily pictures of my meals to help keep me accountable and also to encourage others that Whole30 and Paleo don't have to be boring or yucky meals.  Paleo isn't quite as strict as Whole30 so I'll have a little more freedom to play around with ingredients but basically you're not supposed to eat anything that a "caveman" wouldn't eat.  If I'm not sure I usually google it...LOL I'm kind silly like that.




I love making an egg frittata and just adding whatever veggies I have available to it.  This one was tomato, spinach and onions and was delicious.

As most of you know, my children are adopted from South Korea so we eat a lot of Asian food.  Which  means rice, rice and more rice.  Well, one minor detail...no rice allowed on Whole30!  I was really struggling with this rule because we eat a lot of rice at our house and I felt deprived.  I'd make rice for my family and sit and jealously watch them eat it until I found out about cauliflower rice.  I felt like a ray of sunshine was sent down and I was all happy and smiley.  All you do is chop up a head of cauliflower and add to blender, chopper or whatever you have that can chop it up into rice sized pieces.  I make a container a week and then just fry it up in some coconut oil with some garlic and whatever spices I feel like using.  Sometimes I also add a little coconut milk(no added sugar) to make it nice and sweet.  It's an easy way to get a helping of veggies in.

We usually order a Bountiful Basket once a week so we always have plenty of fresh fruit to make different types of fruit salads.

I do love to make pancakes on the weekend and sit around for a family breakfast, but nope you can't have traditional pancakes on this. So, I found a recipe that calls for a really ripe smashed up banana and 2 eggs and then fry in coconut oil. YUM!  I usually add some fruit and a dollop of cashew or almond butter to top it off because syrup has sugar or sweeteners in it.

\
To go with many of my items I needed some bacon.  I searched all over the place for this Pederson's bacon with NO SUGAR.  It was well worth the search, I finally found it at Sprout's.





I just found out about using a sweet potato as a bun for hamburgers and I have to say that it's really delicious and I don't miss the buns at all!



Thanks for reading,
 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

When Calls the Heart- season 2 premiere






Thanks to Flyby Promotions I'm one of the newest Hearties, which means I totally binge watched the first season of When Calls the Heart that's on the Hallmark Channel.  I fell in love with this series and think you will too (if you already aren't swooning over it).  I'm a little bit obsessed with everything including the impressive wardrobe from that time period.

 A couple of days ago I was fortune to be in on a live conference call with Erin Krakow, the actress that plays Elizabeth Thatcher, we were able to ask her questions and hear her thoughts on the new season.
A special thank you goes out to Heidi over at Heidi's Head for asking this question.

 Your wardrobe on the show is fabulous, but I’m curious if the dresses are constricting and hard to work in?  Do you have a favorite dress that you have worn on the show?

  Erin clued us in that the dresses are very constricting to work in and that she does indeed wear a corset under those gorgeous gowns.  Erin mentioned that this was one of her favorite dresses while working on this season of WCTH.  





As a young teenager I read  Janette Oke's book series Love Comes Softly series and loved it.  So I was excited to find out that When Calls the Heart is loosely based on a series of books by the same name.  

About the series:
The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.




Here's a sneak peek at some of the scenes from the new season!


Be sure to tune in and watch the season 2 premier of When Calls the Heart on Saturday 4/25/2015 at 8/7c


You could WIN the complete first season on DVD by entering below!


Giveaways valid in US & Canada only.

For More info about When Calls the Heart click on any of the following links

Twitter

Facebook


Be sure to tune in if you can during the live premiere (April 25th) on Hallmark Channel — there will certainly be activity on Twitter amongst the hearties!  I'll be Tweeting live and would love for you to join in I'm @JustWedeminute on Twitter and you can look for hastags #hearties and #faithTV to join in on the fun!





a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


Thanks for reading,