Clean Bzz

Another Bzz Agent report but this time not about food yet about something we must do before eating: wash our hands! Back in the “old days” we used bar soap and it hasn’t actually been that long since we started using the convenience of liquid soap. Now, clean is all about Foam; which is actually liquid in the bottle until the dispenser magically turns it into foam to clean your grubby hands. Science!

Lysol foam

Lysol is a brand name we’ve all come to trust with it’s claim to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria in all of it’s products which offers 10x more germ protection than the leading national competitor. This is actually the first foam dispenser I’ve tried because I’m still using the budget brand liquid soaps. Lysol claims antimicrobial properties are built in to protect the pump and resist odor-causing bacteria as well. I don’t own a blacklight to test the germ elimination claims but I do like how the foam is thick enough to coat my little one’s hands as she washes. The foam contains micro-bubbles of hand softener yet I keep hand lotion nearby as a habit. The foam does rinse cleanly off while liquid soap sometimes takes quite a bit of rinsing and rubbing to wash away. The scent provided free to me as a Bzz Agent is Vanilla Orchid and while Lucky Cricket likes it, I don’t care for scented products and it appears they do not have an unscented version. The Lysol website has a contest to design the label so check it out.

I have not compared pricing so I’m not sure if foam is economically better than liquid or vice versa. The most important value feature is the amount of germs eliminated of course! Not sure if the small bottles are refillable or if they must be disposed of because of the dispenser eventually developing germs with prolonged use. I have coupons to pass along so you can try it for yourself!

Bee Hive

The Lucky Cricket and I spent a day off of school last week availing ourselves of our craft supplies to make all manner of goodies. We have been art journaling in our books and trying new mixed media techniques; it is indeed true what they say: creating every day does wonders to improve your skills! I came across some white sculpey brand polymer clay I still had so we got busy kneading it to elasticity. I pulled off a dollop and started coiling it as I learned many, many! years ago in art class.  When the Lucky Cricket asked, “Watcha making mommy?!” I had to think fast, so I decided it was going to be a wonky bee skep. She immediately made a bee – with a prominent stinger – and attached it to the side; so adorbs!

It had to be painted after baking and cooling so I didn’t get around to that until I was stuck inside while watching the white-out blizzard of sparkling snow swirl around outside. This tiny sculpture so delights me! Do I have to tell you I accidentally dropped this? more than once? of course I did, and it didn’t even break – amazing. It is so light-weight too. 2 1/2 inches tall and 1 3/4 inches across of cuteness. I used gleaming gold acrylic paint on the outside with a dash of walnut stain distress ink, and on the inside it is sunny yellow with sparkly glitter. Our wee bee has a silver stinger and antennae.bee skep

inside the hive

Having a successful experience creating makes me so H A P P Y ! Polymer clays come in different colors so next I’ll have to try my hand at using the colors for the desired effect. Does this sound like play dough for grown-ups? I’ll also have to post my daily art journaling for you to see!

Journal of Love

I’m tewtally addicted to making journals! This one is for a recently married cousin that was sent out this morning. I enjoyed finding items in my stash over the weekend that coordinated together to create this lovely book of love. I then started working on another journal but as soon as I held 6 pages together and accidentally punched the holes in the wrong spot – aeii! – I called it quits for the day. I will pick it up next weekend and fix it all. Enjoy this pic for now…

Lindsay Journal

Ski Bums

After I’ve put up the tree and decorated for Christmas, I love to work on a puzzle during the weeks to keep me busy…and drive myself insane. It’s tradition! This year’s puzzle is another great Goodwill find – brand new and unopened – by the Great American Puzzle Factory. The illustration is by John Holladay circa 1987 of a blissful snowy day on the ski slopes. And yes a lot of white to stir the crazy talk inside my head: “Wha? I’m totally missing edge pieces!” “Okay, now this piece certainly doesn’t belong to this puzzle…oh wait…it fits right here…nevermind.” It is no wonder that Irene begs me to stop collecting puzzles already! So fun and I think I recognize some of those dudes.

Ski Puzzle

Gourmet Entertaining

I’m a Bzz Agent and I had another opportunity to taste test yummy Private Selection brand foods! My official kit included Classic Water Crisps Crackers and Costa Rican Tarrazu Coffee with coupons to aquire free samples of cheese, olives, marinara sauce, and yogurt. It took me so long to actually get this review posted because the products are not widely stocked in the King Sooper locations I shop at – go figure!

I was in a different part of town when I saw a lovely display of the Private Selection cheeses and deli meats so I picked up some Buffalo Monterey Jack which has a nice zing of flavor but not so spicy it kills your taste buds. The Jalepeno Stuffed Olives were sold out so that is a sure indication of the best flavor choice huh? I picked up the Citrus Stuffed Olives for Martini cocktails as I’m not a Bleu Cheese fan. The Cranberry/Raspberry yogurt was almost depleted but I got one along with the Strawberry which is my favorite. These yogurts can be eaten alone, with steel cut oats for breakfast, or used to add oomph! to pound cake for dessert.

private selection foods

The photo includes many of the other Private Selection products I currently have in the kitchen and suddenly it seems like I all I do is eat, eat, eat! Did you know frozen Wild Blueberries are great to have on hand for pancakes, baking or snacking? Kids love how blue their mouths and fingers get!

Pick up some Private Selection items for easy gourmet Holiday or anytime entertaining to serve your family and friends healthy ingredients with special flavors to make your meal memorable. Look for the black Private Selection label.

Coffee Bzz

Another Bzz Agent report! This time for Green Mountain Coffee which is Fair Trade Certified. A generous package was sent with coffee samples of their very delicious organic house blend which I had never tried before. I use a French press and this house blend was very smooth and flavorful. When I looked for it at King Soopers, it was kept in a different aisle of organic tea and coffee; separate from the larger coffee aisle. And like many organic selections, this was pricey coffee; retailing for $10.39 for a 10 oz bag. From sugar to chickens, consumerism is all about low, low production costs and high profits with little regard for human or animal rights, safety or comfort.

Consumers are demanding high-quality, environmentally and socially conscious products and Green Mountain Coffee delivers! Organic coffee means you are getting a delicious cup of high-quality coffee free of fillers and Fair Trade Certified means the growing and processing of your coffee improves the lives of farmers and their surrounding community. I’m sold.

Great Coffee Good Vibes Green Mountain Coffee

TONIGHT! Oct 24th, 10:30 pm EST: Click over to their Facebook page and watch Michael Franti live in concert! Whoo! Great Coffee, Good Vibes, Pass It On. Also sign up for a chance to win an exciting trip to a Fair Trade source country!

Savings: See all varieties and order online at Green Mountain Coffee and use keycode PASSIT-ON to save $2 until 1/31/2013. I have $1 coupons I am passing out that are good until 12/31/2012 so let me know if you want one!

Travel Tin

Did you know there are a billion uses for Altoid tins? Type it in the internet search and get lost in utter amazement for hours! I actually haven’t purchased any mints recently but I still have a supply of empty tins – mostly the 1.76 oz size. Lucky Cricket loves them and has put to use a mini tin as a bed in her fairy house and stores her Shrinky Dink trinkets in another.

I made a travel watercolor tin for us using one of the many tutorials out on the www! So fun! I used the weekly 40% Hobby Lobby coupon to purchase a small $1.99 square of white Sculpey for the interior. The idea of this is to create indentations to hold gouache in the clay but I already had some watercolor tins pried out of an old Prang set so I pressed those into the clay.

watercolor travel tin

I have an old toaster oven I plug in outdoors and only use for art projects. It was my first time using oven bake clay and probably my last… I’m not much of a sculptor I admit. There is something I want to make using Paperclay so…

Presto Change O

Another Goodwill post! I picked up a shiny brass but a wee bit rusted bar cart for ten whole dollars a month ago. First I thought I would strip it down to the shiny silver chrome but nah….instead I used the Rust-oleum metallic oil-rubbed bronze spray; which I waited to use at night when it cooled down so as not to ignite a blaze in this heat and drought!

I don’t drink because alcohol brings on horrible migraines and I’m not entirely convinced there is any truth to the “one drink a day life longevity” quackery, especially when said migraine makes me want to put a bullet in my skull to stop the pain so…um, where was I?…ah yes…the bar cart is now a family photograph cart. And it’s okay that I have a large family because Goodwill has a large selection of frames!

bar cart before and after

You’ll notice in the after picture that it does not contain wheels because I wanted industrial type black rubber wheels and dang if those don’t fit the cart! I did find something at Home Depot that I might mickey mouse with to make work but it would all cost more than I paid for the bar cart and spray paint! It’s always something! Saturday is 50% off day at Goodwill – see you there!