Piggy in a Blanket Bento

veggie piggies

Yes, these are veggie piggies!!! I cannot believe Gwenda has been vegetarian for at least a month now. She saw me putting together her EasyLunchBox this morning and immediately asked for assurance that they were Smart Dogs and not “an animal product.”

The piggies in a blanket are made with a smart dog, wrapped in crescent dough and baked per the crescent roll directions, and then cut into bite-sized pieces. I gave them ketchup in those cute heart containers. They have hard boiled eggs made with the egg molds and placed in the flower cups. Little Dude has pears and yogurt. Gwenda has pears, a plum, yellow bell peppers, and laughing cow light cheese. She also has a green smoothie with fruit, yogurt and kale. It tastes like berries and she loves it!

Did you enjoy our blog hop yesterday? Please check it out if you have not already done so! Tomorrow is my last school lunch for the summer!!! This year has flown by!


This stand mixer is my baking friend

A mixer is your only friend in a baking kitchen. It should therefore be reliable, convenient and effective. It doesn’t only reduce the time required to make thick dough but also effectively takes out the muscle required to knead bread. Being a baker, I have always been choosy on stand mixer that I use, previously I used hand mixers to make dough but although they were powerful enough, they were only suitable for small jobs or quick works that are overkill to the stand mixer. From my experiences with the best stand mixer for home use, here are my top three recommendations.

stand mixer for home

1. The Kitchen Aid Artisan

It is the popularity of this product that had me trying it. The mixer can handle thick bread dough with incredible ease and whip the delicate frosting easily. Additionally, the tilt head design of this product makes accessing the needed ingredients an easy task. The mixer is durable with some of its models going for years. The product comes with a wide range of colors to choose from.

2. Hamilton Beach electrics all metal stand

The stand mixer is essentially for bakers like me who are on a strict budget. This stand is affordable as it comes almost at half the price of the competing stands. Hamilton beach is excellent in performing tasks such as whipping and mixing. Moreover, the head lock handle bowl is easy to use. The product comes with a three year warranty which is a better offer than the one year warranties that are offered for similar products.

3. Bosch Compact mixer

I was amazed by the incredible ability of the mixer to push the ingredients around its slick plastic bowl until the dough came together into the perfect ball. The unique design and the kneading capabilities of the mixer makes it fit for small kitchens with large jobs. The mixer is fantastic for thorough mixing and whipping.

With either of the three products, I am always sure that my baking will be a lot less stressful but with amazing results..

Read also: Reasons why your stand mixer is versatile

Juicer machine: Healthy lifestyle made easy

When I realized that my diet needed much more vegetables, I became worried that I would never have the time to learn how to cook and prepare all these new meals. Fortunately, after consulting friends and a quick internet search, I realized that I was not alone in this situation and many intelligent people already found a solution! My savior took the form of a juicer machine, a simple tool that can let me, you, and anyone who wants to have a healthy diet, accomplish their goal in a very simple way. Simply wash the vegetables or the fruits, remove the non-comestible part, put everything in your juicer and enjoy the almost-divine feeling of being overflowed with vitamins and nutrients while sipping on your glass. Not sold on buying a juicer yet? Ok, what if I told you that you can also make smoothies and ice cream with it! An easy recipe for banana ice cream, which is delicious, is simply to put your peeled bananas in the freezer until they are frozen solid, use your juicer (it needs to have a homogenizing function), and voilà! Enjoy your delicious ice cream with no added sugar!

banana ice cream

Now, you are probably wondering the same thing I was: which one should I buy? There are probably as many juicer machines as there are fruits and vegetables, so the choice is not that simple. First, you need to decide what kind of features do you want? Do you simply want to make juices? Or do you also want to process food? Second, you need to decide which mechanism to choose for your juicer. A centrifugal juicer is usually cheaper but does not have the homogenizing function, whereas a geared juicer has it. Third, the price. A quality juicer can range from $100 to $1,650, so you should definitely see how much budget you have.

Once you have sorted out all these questions, you are ready to buy your own juicer machine. Fortunately for you, I have a few recommendations to help you make that decision. The Breville Compact Juice Foutain is a quality budget centrifugal juicer. Its replaceable parts and ease of use make it one of the best budget options. If you would like to invest a bit more and have more features, I would recommend the mid-priced Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer. It is a great product with a lot of power, that can even transform your nuts into nut butter (infinite natural peanut butter!). Finally, if you are dedicated to having the best of the best, and pay the heaviest price, you should go take a look at the Super Angel SS Twin Gear Juicer. It possesses all features you dreamed of, and even more.

I hope this article convinced you that having a healthy diet is not that hard if you have the right tools! Do not hesitate to make your own search like I did to find the best juicer machine, and let me know if you have any good recommendations or recipes!

First Chapter Book: Magic Tree House #1

We’ve reached an exciting new milestone in our house: the start of chapter books! Gwenda loves reading and can retain a story’s details for a long time and make predictions about what might happen next, so I decided she was ready to move on to chapter books. I was not sure at first how she’d feel about waiting a few days to complete a storyline, but she loved it! We had a great time talking about the characters and what was going to happen to them over the period of a few days while we read the book.

We started with The Magic Tree House because we heard it was popular with the kindergarten set. We borrowed book # 1, “Dinosaurs Before Dark,” from our local library and it did not disappoint. The story was full of action that was easy to follow and each chapter included at least one illustration, which made reading fun and helped complement the descriptions of the dinosaurs.

dinosaurs before dark

We read two chapters a night and finished the entire book in under one week. We started each nightly reading session by reviewing what had already happened in the story line and what we thought might happen next. After reading our two chapters, we discussed the kids’ decisions and what we might have done differently or done the same and then made predictions about what we’d discover when we resumed reading the next night.

To celebrate the completion of our very first chapter book, I made Gwenda a Magic Tree House bento to eat in the car on her way to Musical Theater last night.

I made her a PB&J tree house, using bread crust for trim, a pretzel rod for the tree trunk, and lettuce leaves. I attempted to make a cheese stegosaurus and a cheese T-Rex, but you can imagine for yourself how those turned out! I set some blueberry dinosaur eggs at the base of the tree. Her fruit compartment has kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, and grapes. I packed the small compartment with carrots, sugar snap peas, and a hello kitty hard boiled egg.

Gwenda was very excited to see this bento dinner and it definitely helped her re-energize herself after a full day of summer camp to make it through her Musical Theater evening dance class. She loved all the fruits with their pretty colors and she discovered that she could hold the tree house by the pretzel trunk and eat it like a “sandwich lollipop,” which made her giddy.

Have you read the Magic Tree House books? The library does not have book #2 in stock, but they do have #3. Does it make any difference if we skip around? I can see there is something about collecting medallions that leads me to believe the order may be important, but I may be wrong. If you have advice on this, please post a comment. No spoilers!!! :)

If you have not read the books, click here to learn more about this fun children’s series, which chronicles the adventures of a brother and sister who visit a magic tree house stocked with books and travel to historical times and places, kind of like a kiddie version of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Party On, Dudes!!!! :) Have a fun and safe 4th of July, everyone!

Sharing my food processors experience

There are a number of food processor reviews out there, but in this food processor review I just want to share my own experience and story. As a single man who has to prepare his own food I have tried a few food processors and believe I can offer good recommendation.

Depending on your budget you can go for a high end food processor like the Kenwood Food Processor Multi Pro Compact 700W; which will cost you just over $200. Kenwood is a solid brand associated with quality appliances and this food processor performs on an elite level.

If your budget is low you can go with a Breville Food Mini Whiz Food Processor which costs around $60. Although Breville isn’t as high quality as Kenwood the brand still has a decent reputation and can get the job done. High end Kenwood products generally last longer and perform better than Breville.

food processor

On a personal note, I have used both the Breville and Kenwood products and have had excellent experiences with both of them. Obviously the Kenwood product performed at a much higher level in terms of speed and quality, but the Breville food processor still got the job done for me. (Check out this link)

Another food processor I heard about from a friend was the Kitchen Aid Artisan Exact Slice Food Processor. This food processor has an outstanding reputation and comes with all kinds of fancy accessories. The processor allows you to change the thickness of the slicing with an adjustable slicing disc. The product overall is built with top quality components, and comes with numerous adjustable features to satisfy a regular food processor user. This particular food processor will cost you around $400 depending on where you get it from.

If you are presently shopping for a quality food processor you can definitely find some good ones online. Check different online stores if you don’t want to overpay and make sure you choose a reputable brand so you’re not disappointed.

Have a great juicing experience with the best juicer

I have got a family that really loves fruit juice. For that reason, I have tried multiple juicers in my attempt to find a juicer that is efficient in producing the highest quality fruit juice ever. 2016 has been a nice surprise for me as I got to test and work with few of the best rated juicers 2016. Amongst the juicers I used, the one that really took my heart was the Hurom HH Elite Juicer.

Without any doubt, this is the best fruit extractor juicer that there is in the market today. This second generation slow juice extractor has 43 RPM and a twin winged auger. The reduced RPM increases the juice extraction efficiency mostly for processing the wheatgrass. The juicer is also highly versatile and can therefore handle all types of produce including citrus fruits, all the leafy greens, hard fruits, and wheat grass efficiently. Moreover, the design of the juicer will take your breath away; the juicer has a juicing cap that allows me to mix the juice inside the juicer, a self cleaning system, a sleek and compact design, a ten year
warranty and its BPA free

Closely following the Hurom HH Elite Juicer is the Omega J8007S. This silver fruit masticating juicer is notorious in juice extraction efficiency and speed. Omega J80007s can juice just about everything. Not a single fruit, leafy green, vegetable or even wheatgrass can escape the powerful motor that fires the juicer. Juice extraction is furthermore not all that can be done by this Juicer. Food processing, homogenizing, noodle making and grinding are amongst some of the functionalities of the juicer.

Lastly, the Breville Juice Fountain Multispeed juicer also caught my attention. According to my experience, this is the best centrifugal juicer in existence today. The juicer has five speeds adjustable for precision and a stainless steel finish. This is definitely the best ever machine for anyone who is a beginner in juice making, anyone who wants their juice made fast and also for veteran juicers like I.

With these best rated juicers 2016 you will be guaranteed to enjoy your juicing experience.

What I Did To Land My Ideal Serviced Office Space

I am going to show you some important tips that I used that I hope can work for you too. I found a serviced office space for my business through some tips that I used. Nowadays, it is hard to find your ideal office space due to the increased number of businesses looking for the same. I needed an office that would impress my clients, well maintained and presentable receptions plus meeting rooms. In addition, I needed an office with IT services such as WiFi connectivity for smooth running of my business transactions.

serviced-officeFirst, I considered cost since I was a small business owner, although I would do the same for a larger business. I decided that my rental fees would not exceed 5% of my turnover. I needed to maximize my office space to make sure my profits were enough for the rent. I also needed an office space that allowed flexibility where I would grow and at the same time downsize. I also looked an office space with additional staff amenities such as good kitchen, and washrooms. I found out that finding such an office was vital in boosting my staff motivation and morale.

Before finding my office space I used references where I asked one of the tenants concerning the building plus the office staff. The tenant was pleased with the status of the building plus the staff, thus I decided to rent my office there. The tenant told me that the staff personalities were friendly and easy to work with. I also considered transport network to ensure that my staff and I would easily get into the workplace. I found an office easy to access through taxi services and personal cars. I also needed to cut down on maintenance cost, thus my office space provider promised that cleaning cost and equipment cost were included in my affordable rental fees.

In the building where the office was located I found out that there were similar businesses as mine. Therefore, I had to hire my office space for the purpose of networking. Similar companies sparked off fresh ideas for my businesses. My service provider had no hidden costs in the monthly rent. Any expenses that I needed to meet were well outlined in the contract agreement. Finding that my provider was trustworthy I had to hire the office. I found a serviced office space which was well furnished furniture and good interior design thus, I thought it would be impressive to my clients.

A Look at the Best Home Elliptical Machine

I was scouring the market lately for the best elliptical for home use because I was looking to work out more from home rather than join a gym. I went through a few good machines in my search until I came across one that I consider the best elliptical machine to buy. And that’s the Schwinn 420.

In general the best home machines provide low impact cardiovascular exercise. They build strength in the arms and legs through motions liken to cycling, walking and skiing. With consistent use they improve your health by increasing your lung capacity as well as your heart capacity. Unlike normal treadmills, they provide an upper and lower body workout because of the dual motion of arms and legs you employ.

What I also like about them is that they are suitable for all ages. I don’t have to worry when my niece and nephews come over like I usually would with weight machines. Whenever my grandma visits she’s keen on using the machine because it’s easy on her knees and joints and supports her heels well through the strides.


Moreover, the Schwinn 420 elliptical machine is easy to assemble and it is quiet, so you can watch television, listen to music or a radio program while you use it. I even listened to a physics lecture on my iPod while on the machine once and didn’t get distracted by noise from the machine.

For me the Schwinn 420 Machine is best elliptical for home use because of its fantastic features. These features include 16 computer-controlled resistance levels, 12 workout programs, even fitness tests and custom workouts. The handlebars also have a grip heart rate monitor so you can track your heart rate while exercising. The LCD screen also shows you your time and speed.

When a good friend of mine came over during Thanksgiving, she enjoyed using the machine and was happy that she bought hers when she went back home.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a good machine for your everyday home usage then I’d strongly recommend the Schwinn 420 Machine, the best home elliptical machine in the market. This is the best home machine suitable for fitness enthusiast of any level and what’s more – it comes with a great warranty. The Schwinn 420 is definitely one of the best elliptical machines out there if you seriously want to take up exercising and training at home to improve your fitness level and overall health.

Coffee Grinder: Your Best Home Coffee Brew

Love coffee? Me too. Nothing helps me get started in the morning like a nice, steaming mug of coffee – and it keeps me feeling motivated throughout the day!

Recently, I decided the time was right to invest in a new coffee grinder, but felt pretty daunted by the MASSIVE amount of options on the market. Know the feeling? Well, worry not – my best coffee grinder reviews will help you make the smart choice.

Baratza Virtoso

(Around $200)

Recognize the name Baratza? You should – they’re one of the biggest names in the business. The Virtuoso model might not be the cheapest, but it’s pretty diverse: it’s brews a number of choices, from French press to my beloved espresso. The ultra-strong 480W DC motor is a beast, keeping your beans nice and cool at just 450 RPM.

You’ll definitely see this in other best coffee grinder reviews – it’s pretty amazing.

Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder

(Around $220)

Breville’s another top name in the home coffee-making zone, and they’ve built up a pretty solid name – with good reason.

The Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder a popular model, with a huge 60 different settings. This gives you a quality grind, and Breville have cut the motor volume down from their previous models quite a bit – so you don’t need to worry about waking the rest of the house with that morning brew!

Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder

(Around $35)

This is a drop in price, right? Well, just because it’s quite a bit cheaper doesn’t mean it’s a drop in quality!

The Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder’s portable enough to come with you to the office during the day, but being a manual grinder means you have to put a bit of work in to get your espresso or coffee just as you like it. Still, if you’re on a tighter budget and you need to get your hands on a fresh coffee grinder, this is a great option!

So, this is three of the best coffee grinder reviews – which one suits you?

Shaping My Child’s Sewing Passion

There are several best sewing machines on the market today. However, selecting one of them can be a daunting process. It is worth noting that at first I was very reluctant to choose computerized sewing machine for my child due to the fact that I had not used it before. But Janome Hello Kity 18750 changed my mind completely. My kid of eight years found it simple and easy to use. Therefore young people in school or even some college students can fall in love with Kity 18750. In fact, many children are proud to own and show off this irresistible easy to use friendly sewing machine.


The appropriate sewing machine can be the start of a lifelong passion for sewing in a kid. I remember watching my parents stitching drapery and slipovers for a huge department store near our home. Since I grew up in a family that loved sewing gadgets, I developed interest in those large commercial machines that decorated our dining room. My parents bought me my first sewing machine when I was only 8 years old. I remember it vividly; it was a small gadget with a crank handle. To me, it was a top leading present in the whole world. I used it to make handkerchiefs for my friends and clothes for my beautiful toy.

However, several of the machines for use by the young people are designed poorly and therefore cannot last for long. Fortunately, there are some best sewing machines out there that meet the needs of the young individuals. It is prudent for children to own stitching tools as young as five or seven. Do not hesitate to teach your child to sew because you think he or she is young. Instead of wasting money on toy sewing machines, just invest in sewing machines designed for children. It is advisable to look for a simple to use machine rather than a complicated one for your little one.

Related post:
Sewing with kids projects

Of Mice and Air Mattresses

A few months ago, my friends and I were planning our yearly camping trip. My wife and I went up to the attic to bring all of our camping gear down the week before our trip. She grabbed the air mattress and let out a huge shriek when she found a family of mice that had made it their new home. With a week to go to until the trip, I rushed to the computer to find a replacement. She took the old mattress out to the dump and came back armed with enough mouse fighting supplies to frighten me out of the house for a few hours.


Settling on just driving around to look while she waged war on the mice, I jumped in my car to find out whether or not my old air mattress was still being manufactured. It had lasted several years without more than a couple minor leaks and she had liked it enough to continue to go camping with me each year. Much to my dismay, the mattress was nowhere to be found so I went back to the house to give her the bad news.

When I told her that we wouldn’t be able to replace the old one, she suggested looking at a few reviews before purchasing one. Taking her advice, I entered good air mattresses for camping into the search box and we narrowed what seemed to be too many to choose from down to the one we ended up purchasing. I have to say that the newer mattress that we had held up just as well as the old one and was the talk of the trip. My wife is talking about using the same brand to replace the mattresses in our guest rooms before her family arrives for Thanksgiving.