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Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Bye-Bye Kraft

Cheese… Mmmmm! Yummy, dairy goodness.

So why are my daughter and I both desperately gluten-poisoned after eating a big cheese-y meal?

Having eliminated all the other ingredients beyond doubt, I was left starting at a package of Kraft cheese. A block of cheddar cheese, not slices, or shreds, or anything “fancy.”

Cheese shouldn’t have gluten in it. Cheese should be in the category of “naturally gluten-free.” Let’s see…

Ingredients: Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized nonfat milk and milkfat, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto [color]), natamycin (a natural mold inhibitor). Contains: Milk

Doesn’t sounds like gluten, does it?

So I called Kraft.

First, I got transferred from the regular Customer Service desk to a specialized department because I made the mistake of saying that I had had a bad reaction. And the woman at that department didn’t have lists of ingredients for given products, so was not actually set up to answer my question.

I grabbed the block of cheese and read her the ingredient list, and she confirmed that none of those ingredients were glutinous.

In the way of all the “good guys” big food companies these days, Kraft would have labeled anything that had wheat. And even anything that was “processed in a facility that produces things made with wheat.”

But gluten is not a “Major Allergen.”

They have no requirement to list any possible exposure to other potential problems, like rye, barley, malt, or oats.

And furthermore? They don’t care.

Really?

Well, that’s good to know.

All Kraft foods are now making an exodus from our home. There are other brands that do care about my health in this regard, not to mention the tasty option of making many of these products myself.

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Book Review: Blind Hope

Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued

An inspiring true story told through the engaging voice of Kim Meeder, Blind Hope reveals poignant life lessons Laurie experienced from her ailing, yet courageous canine friend. Despite the blindness of her dog—and her own heart—Laurie uncovered what she really needed most: authentic love, unconditional trust, and true acceptance, faults and all.

A lot of reviews of this book fault it because it is a faith-based story, and not an animal story, really – they find the cover photo and descriptions misleading. Perhaps that’s so, but since I received this book to review through a Christian publishing house, I knew what I was in for from the beginning, and this didn’t bother me.

I still didn’t adore the book, however.

Somehow the way it was written didn’t ring true to me. In a work of fiction, perhaps. But in a true story, to recall every instant of every conversation with the clarity to say, “I tucked my hair back behind my ear…” at that moment? Nothing wrong with artistic license, of course, but I can only express that I found the writing style a distraction from the message.

The message itself was a good one, but again, failed to engage me. It came across a tad preachy, a little too cliche, and a little too neatly all tied up in a bow. Real life just doesn’t work that way.

* * * *

Everyone who ranks this review at the Waterbrook Multnomah website has a chance to randomly win a free copy of the book — Note that you’re rating my review, and not rating the book in question. (Plus, I appreciate you letting them know that you appreciate me!)



.

I received this product free from the publisher as part of their Blogging for Books review program; I was not compensated in any other way for this review. This review has not been approved or edited by anyone.
I was “disclosing” before it was cool. See my Review Policy for the full scoop.

Extending Your Modest Wardrobe – and a Giveaway!


When I think of the times I’ve sewn a big ruffle onto the bottom of Jewel’s skirts…

Or passed on a skirt that might have been good for me “if only it was a little longer”.

Whew!

As a tall family, that is a constant battle.

I knew genius the moment I discovered Make Me Modest. :)

A mother and daughter team designed and created these amazing little numbers, which are thin and lightweight in the top portion, then add length in a great variety of colors and styles.

They’ve even got some new things working, like sleeve extenders!

Make Me Modest sent me an extender to review, made to my specifications. They were amazingly helpful and patient in figuring out how to accommodate all of my various questions and special requests.

The extender is amazing! The design is clever, the workmanship is excellent… Even the packaging was a treat to receive.

I did decide, after trying it on, that I had picked entirely the wrong extender for the skirt I wanted to extend. Ah, well. I’m definitely ordering a different one, and one for Jewel as well!

The good news for you is that I’m going to give away the extender I received!

Sadly, the lovely packaging is gone, but you will receive a like-new (tried on but never worn or washed), white, Eliza style extender, Size XL, made extra long to 36″, with extra coverage upwards (to account for a slit or kick-pleats in your skirt).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the above-referenced product free from Make Me Modest for the purpose of a possible review on this blog. I will ship the prize directly to the winner at my own expense.

Winner will be contacted by email. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your costs will be the same but As For My House will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support.

Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe may be good products/services for my readers.

I disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Snugg in the Car


Previously, I wrote my thoughts on the Snugg iPad case.

Now we’re taking it on the road, with the Snugg iPad 2 Car Headrest Mount Holder.

Some of the things that we felt were drawbacks have nothing to do with this particular product, rather than with this type of product in general. For instance:

  • Having the iPad mounted on the seat makes for great viewing for one child, but not so good viewing for their seat-mate. When they hold the iPad, they achieve a much more neutral position. (Obviously, this is only a factor if you have more than one potential viewer)
  • Unless you have headphones for the viewer(s), you will be playing sound directly behind the ear of the front-seat passenger. Grrr!

As far as this particular apparatus, it is specifically designed to work with the Snugg case, and does a great job of holding it securely. It is easy to mount and remove, and we had no issues with its functionality on our recent road trip.

I also had considerable frustration in dealing with the Snugg folks from the time we agreed to do the reviews to the time (now) when our business with each other is complete. Presumably as a retail customer you would never have to deal with that set of folks, so whether that’s a concern is up to you.

Given the functional limitations mentioned above, for our specific situation, as well as my concerns with having the iPad in the Snugg case to begin with, I do not this we will continue to use this product.

Your mileage may vary!

**

Disclosure: I received one or more complimentary products or services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it on my website and/or in social media. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe may be good products/services for my readers. I disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Good Raw Milk News

Hopefully you’ve all noticed the none-too-publicised admission by the powers that be that raw milk is, get this, a safe and healthy food! (If not: Raw Milk is a Safe and Low Risk Food info at Weston A. Price Foundation has all the particulars)

So if you live in a state where your access to raw milk is legally limited – it’s time for action! Call your state legislators and tell them to get things changed!

Anyone who would like to see raw milk available in Mississippi, here’s the point of contact: Taylor@mspolicy.org.

I emailed our governor and my state representatives, and one response I received was this:

“Good stuff Tiffany! I suggest you contact Jameson Taylor of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, as he’s shown an interest in this topic. His email address is below. I hope your contact will get this ball rolling!”

GO GO GO!

The adorable photo is not mine, but was featured at HealthyVibrantHappy (a website with which I’m not otherwise familiar) in a terrific post, The War against Raw Milk… Really.

Review: the Snugg

We’ve had the “iThing” for a while, and have all grown quite attached to it. We’ve always had it in a case, and have been blessed not to have any accidents that have damaged it.

Recently I was sent a Snugg iPad 2 Distressed Brown Leather Case for review – as shown in the photo here.

The Snugg seems to stand quite – ha ha – SNUG-ly, compared to the ridged stand on the case we’ve been using. I do wonder, though, how the little tab to hold it in place will hold up over time.

The magnetic closure is also very nice, and I prefer it to the elastic band on our previous case.

Problem: No corner protection.

This case holds the iThing in place for viewing, but it does nothing to protect against those little everyday slips and bumps.

I’m not sure I’d trust myself with it, and I definitely won’t be trusting the kids with it.

Overall: Satisfactory, but highly variable rating depending on your specific needs in a case.

**

Disclosure: I received one or more complimentary products or services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it on my website and/or in social media. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe may be good products/services for my readers. I disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Visit the Carnival

Carnival of Homeschooling

Don’t miss this week’s edition of the Carnival, hosted over at Home Spun Juggling:

Carnival of Homeschooling: Amazing Superpowers edition!

Okay, yes, it features one of my posts, too… But the super hero theme is adorable!

Healthy Discounts

Would you spend $4 to save hundreds on stuff you already plan to buy?

Of course! That’s why people pay for memberships at “wholesale clubs” like Costco.

Village Green Premium is a lot like that—except there’s no junk food or junk stuff you don’t want — it’s all 100% real food and healthy products people like us want (and buy anyway!), from reputable small companies we want to support!

Here are just a few of the deals going on this month:

  • Free $10 gift card to Get Kombucha
  • $10 off at Lucky Vitamin
  • 15% off your order of gourmet spices from AcroAma Blends
  • $200 off a whole home water filtration system from Radiant Life Company
  • 15% off your entire order from Perfect Supplements (great place to get fermented cod liver oil)
  • 10% off your entire order from Jovial Foods
  • A FREE bottle of magnesium oil from Radiant Life Company

Check out more deals from the club — Visit Village Green Network

Disclosure: In some cases, there are affiliate links, where clicking through one of my links would earn me a small referral commission – in which case, I am very grateful.

Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe may be good products/services for my readers.

I disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Resource Roundup

I used Grammarly (www.grammarly.com) to grammar check this post, because evidently grammar mistakes enjoy taking advantage of migraine-brain!

I’ve run across a number of cool resources online lately, so in the interest of minimizing the illness delays I’m presenting them all to you here in one handy-dandy list.

And yeah, this is a really old picture of the two older kiddos. Hard to believe they were once that size!

Save1

Want to do something great with your searching and shopping and couponing, rather than trying to scrape together enough points with daily gimmicks to earn a little gift card?

Save1.com is a family owned coupon and loyalty site representing more than 5,000 of the top online merchants.

What makes us different is that when someone shops from Save1 to save money, we provide a healthy meal to a malnourished child through one of our non-profit feeding partners.

Since launching 10/01/12, we have provided more than 99,000 meals.

Much nicer to give than to receive, eh? :)

Grammarly

Grammarly is “an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach.” It’s designed to correct up to 10 times more mistakes than your word processor does!

  • Instantly find and correct over 250 types of grammatical mistakes
  • Improve word choice with context-optimized vocabulary suggestions
  • Avoid plagiarism by checking your texts against over 8 billion documents

Doesn’t that make you make you wonder how you ever got along without it? I guess some progress is a good thing.

World of Warcraft

I suppose I’ll find out how many people are actually reading this post by how many comments I get about this entry. No doubt it seems completely out of character for me.

Actually, Nick and I both enjoy playing computer games, and we play World of Warcraft online together.

Does it have some violence and other content that’s not ideal? Yeah. Do people online (you play live with many, many people from all over the country, and even the world) sometimes say things that are inappropriate? Yeah. So? So I don’t let the little kids play. It’s FAR less offensive than many things I see and overhear on my average trip to the store, so I don’t feel that’s a reason to reject it out of hand.

I enjoy it as a mental escape, and I can choose whether to do exciting, challenging things, or mundane and peaceful things, depending on my mood. And I can play cooperatively with my teenager – and that’s valuable all by itself.

Want to check it out? You can play on a free starter account for 30 days; and if you email me at tiffany (at) tiffanyblitz (dot) com, I can send you an invitation link to get even more free bonus goodies.

Whew! I think I’m caught up now… ;)

Disclosure: In some cases, I have received one or more complimentary products or services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it on my website and/or in social media. In some cases, there are affiliate links, where clicking through one of my links would earn me a small referral commission – in which case, I am very grateful.

Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe may be good products/services for my readers.

I disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Changing Gears

Let’s get this awkward new FTC stuff out of the way upfront: I was sent a copy of the book for review. Amazon link has affiliate tracking. See the details at the end of the post. So there.

What would you do if you were not afraid?

That is the very question one mother asked herself one day. What followed was a family journey of epic proportions – a journey of physical challenge, emotional endurance, teamwork, perseverance, and tremendous learning opportunities.

Would the journey be a dream come true – or a mother’s worst nightmare?

Together with her husband and young twin sons, Nancy Sathre-Vogel set off on her heavily laden bicycle to ride from one end of the world to the other – quite literally. Starting in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, they pedaled south for three years. Theirs was a journey of over 17,000 miles through fifteen countries.

Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World is Nancy’s memoir about her experiences on the road. In it, she grapples with the challenges any mother does. When is it time to cut the apron strings and send your children out on their own? How does a mother respond when the tides change and the children are capable of caring for their parents? How does one handle the responsibility of caring for your offspring in unknown and unpredictable circumstances? How do we know we’re doing the best for our children?

Changing Gears is also a book that will encourage you to reach for the stars. It’s a story of discovery of self, of priorities, of accepting hardships, and of appreciating blessings. It will challenge you to look at your own life through a different set of glasses.

Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World is organized as a travel log, with a map showing each leg of the journey, fun photos and facts, colorful anecdotes about people encountered along the way, and more. There’s even a Guinness Book of World Records record – sort of (you’ll have to read for yourself to see what I mean).

But Nancy also candidly documents her inner journey. Even after making the initial decision to embark on the trip, there are many obstacles – inner as well as outside. She has to care for her boys, while encouraging them to grow and mature; find the determination to keep going through the tough times; broaden and change some of her philosophies as she encounters new things. That’s what makes the book a good read – since I, for one, have absolutely zero interest in cycling further than the corner park!

You can grab a copy from Amazon – physical or digital:

Although the book is not particularly “dramatic” or a “can’t put it down” kind of read, I definitely recommend it.

I think it will be fun to browse through as a homeschool tool when my kids are a little older. And it’s a good nudge to help us mamas (and other folks) think outside the box, and outside our fear.

And there’s more about their other journeys (yes, there are!) on their website: Family on Bikes.

I received the referenced items for review purposes. I was not compensated in any way for this review. This review has not been approved or edited by anyone.
I was “disclosing” before it was cool. See my Review Policy for the full scoop.
Some retailers offer affiliate programs, so for some of the products mentioned clicking through one of my links may earn me a small referral commission. In which case, I am very grateful.

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