Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful

 

    I think I am only going to write today what we should all remember this week. To be thankful. I am so very lucky and am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for my family both immediate and extended. I am thankful to spend holidays with family and friends. I am thankful that we both work and live out of our home now to be together. I am thankful we have a decent sized house that we do not kill each other in it all day long. I am thankful for the many possessions and privileges that I have and the rights have been fought for in my country.
     Most of all I am grateful for life. I am glad I am alive, healthy and happy. I wish you all a healthy, happy and fun Thanksgiving. This is my last post for the week as I am taking Thursday and Friday off to be with my family.

    Monday is the end of my Epilepsy Awareness campaign for Epilepsy Awareness month. We are no where near our goal of raising $1000. I would like to thank the two families who did donate to this cause. It is not too late. Every little bit helps. Remember 1 in 25 people will have epilepsy in their lifetime. 65 million suffer from this worldwide and there is no cure and not even adequate treatment. There are not enough resources for those of us living with it and we really need people to step up and donate! Please donate! Deductions are tax deductible from the Epilepsy Foundation. Read the Epilepsy Awareness Posts and DONATE!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

   If you are still unsure on what you are going to cook for Thanksgiving. Here are a few of my favorite recipes many are quick, and even one I am taking to Thanksgiving dinner. Feel free to check them out or pin them to your Pinterest boards. Also, always check out the Recipe Tab as I log all my recipes on here on that tab. You are sure to find something that will please the relatives!




Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Apple-Sweet Potato Bake

Crockpot Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Cranberry Apple Pork Tenderloin

Cheesy Squash Bake

Easy Lemon Bars

Dutch Apple Cake

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Chocolate Date Bites


If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Anniversary Trip To Myrtle Beach SC

  

    Since last week was our anniversary of three years, (Read, Happy 3 Years!) we decided to do a nice family vacation and get away for a while. Both of us working and living in the same house day after day is wonderful, but can be a lot so we figured before things get hectic during the holiday season we would head out of town for a little while just to relax together as a family.
    We ended up bringing Xavier with us. We like to believe that our anniversary is really when we started our family. We made a pledge to forever be together no matter what comes a long and Xavier is now part of our family. Although I cannot say I will always feel this way. I'm sure for our ten year anniversary I would much rather have a vacation with just Nick in the Caribbean somewhere like we did for our honeymoon.

    We decided on Myrtle Beach, SC because we had gone there before a few times with my sister and her family plus it is only about an hour and a half from our house. So it was nice to eat breakfast at home pack the car, eat some lunch and head out to vacation and after a little while we were there and ready to play. It was nice not to lose a whole day of your vacation driving or flying. Plus, since we had been there before we knew pretty much our way around. However, this was our first official vacation completely by ourselves. We usually go visit relatives and stay with them but this time it was just the three of us exploring.



     We ended up staying at the Ocean Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. We had stayed there before and liked it and they offered great out of season prices, plus they have a ton of amenities and they are right on the beach. We were able to get a king size bedroom suite with ocean front views. It was breathtaking. The rooms are nice because they have a fridge, stove, microwave, sink and washer and dryer so it's like a mini condo on the beach. Which definitely comes in handy when you have children.



     We ate at some great places including a burger joint in walking distance from the hotel, Captain George's Seafood Restaurant and Horst Gausthaus, a German restaurant. Even though it was much colder then normal for this time of year, it was still sunny. We were able to walk on the beach and collect shells and stones. We played in their pool area. They had a lazy river and a toddler splashing area as well as a regular pool that Xavier loved swimming in every night.



            We even hung out on the lounge chairs outside in the garden over looking the ocean one morning. One of my favorite places to visit was Barefoot Landing, they have some really neat shops there and we were able to give Xavier his first carousel ride! I was very excited. Probably more then Xavier but he did seem to enjoy it!






We also stopped and visited The Ripley's Believe it or Not museum. Xavier did not enjoy it much as he was in the stroller, but Nick and I liked it and down the street from it was a nice playground by the library that we took Xavier to afterwards and he worked out all his energy at the playground.



    Having a suite was nice because we could put Xavier in one room and we slept in another which helps because Xavier talks in his sleep which leads us to checking on him constantly. So at night when it was quiet we would sit on our balcony over looking the ocean and talk. It was like a second honeymoon with our kid and it was exactly what we needed.
      The Ocean Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC is a place I would highly recommend you visit. They offer a wide variety of rooms at reasonable prices. They are located directly on the beach and have a ton of fun water slides and things for children. (seasonal hours vary for the water park, though we were there in the off season and thought there was still plenty to do). The staff is very friendly and the resort is extremely clean. In fact my sister pointed out to me that they have "no encounters on record" for bed bugs from the bed bug registry. Something many southern beach hotels get a lot of is bed bugs you have to be careful when traveling not to get them into your items and things to bring them home with you. There are not many hotels in Myrtle Beach, SC that are NOT on the bed bug registry.     



            I would have to say the only draw backs were that there is no dishwasher in the rooms and the maid service do not do dishes so you are on your own for dishes. Even just a coffee mug. Which I did find a little annoying. Plus, they could use some new upgrades, televisions were box televisions. The furniture was big and bulky and took up a lot of room when instead newer more modern furniture would streamline the rooms better and give you more space. All in all for the price it was far superior than we expected and we will definitely be returning.

See also my post Mini Vacation Time about when we went here last year!




If you are interested about learning more about the Ocean Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC check out their website or pay them a visit!

Ocean Reef Resort
7100 N. Ocean Blvd.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
www.oceanreefmyrtlebeach.com


Disclosure
   No products,compensation or services were given to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC guidelines.



 If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Picking A First Friend



Mr. Elephant
     I always imagined that some day we would bring Xavier into a toy store and he would instantly pick out a teddy bear or stuffed animal that he would fall in love with and he would be attached to, but it had yet to happen. The closest he has come is who we call Mr. Monkey. Mr. Monkey sleeps in the crib with Xavier. I have no idea who gave him to us, but he is soft, cuddly and safe so Xavier and Mr. Monkey have been sharing a crib for quite some time.



    However, Mr. Monkey does not leave the crib. He is only something Xavier sleeps with or plays with only in his crib. (Mr. Monkey does come on sleep overs with Xavier). Xavier has a few stuffed animals he loves he has an Elmo, Mickey, a couple giraffes, a couple of monkeys and he loves Scout. He does not play much with them. He likes them around and once in a while he will hug them or dance with them. He likes to snuggle with Scout and play with his buttons. However, he never really liked them to begin with except Scout and that is because he talks.



     The other day when I was changing him on the changing table directly across from his vision is a shelf with two stuffed animals on it. They are both elephants. His room is a jungle theme. I had given him both of these elephants to play with at one time or another and most of the time he seemed disinterested in them and like he could care less, so I just left them on the shelf as I thought they looked nice there.



        We have been working on learning our animals and animal noises. Elephant is one of his favorites. Suddenly, Xavier threw his arm up and made the elephant noise and pointed at the elephants on the shelf. After changing him I took one down and showed it to him. To my surprise he seemed a little scared. In fact I had to hold his hand to even touch it. I did not think much of it so I put it back and did not bother getting the other elephant as I assumed if he did not like one why would he like the other. Of course, he got upset and pointed at the elephants again and wanted the other one. So I grabbed it. Granted this one when you pull it's tail it plays a lullaby and flashes a little but he fell for it before he knew that. As soon as I gave it to him his little eyes lit up and he kissed and snuggled it.



   He carried around Mr. Elephant all day with him. They did everything together and he even figured out how to pull his tail for the music to play. It is amazing to me that something that has been in his room for ages, that is a hand me down that I do not even remember who gave it to us, and he has never seemed to like before, he can be so enamored with so quickly. I found it adorable and I hope Xavier and Mr. Elephant become long time friends.

Xavier dancing with his new friend, Mr. Elephant!


I hope you all have a great weekend and go out and have some fun with your friends! Stay tuned to next week's blog and find out how our anniversary vacation went!



If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Epilepsy Awareness: A Disability With Wings

  If you are a regular reader you will notice that I changed the template of the blog just for November for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Check out the Epilepsy Awareness Tab to read all posts that have been posted about epilepsy, my story and others' stories, etc. If you or someone you love have epilepsy please email me your story at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com stories can be anonymous and do not worry if you are not a writer I do not mind editing.
       Please remember to read and share these stories with your friends and family to make them more aware of epilepsy. Coming from someone with epilepsy it means a lot! Also, please donate to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation by clicking here for the blog donation page. We are trying to raise $1000 dollars for our goal for the month. Remember you can donate to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation all year round and many places of work will contribute to your favorite charity. Please help us find more information and a cure for this condition.

 

    If there is nothing else our battles with epilepsy have brought me, it is wings. I thoroughly believe that in life we are given certain struggles so that we can learn from them. We are suppose to use them. Use them as a stepping stone to achieve a goal of helping others through something you love.
    Some lessons are short and can happen in the blink of an eye, some are a constant day to day battle that you will fight with every day of your life. All lessons are hard. For what is a lesson if it is not hard? What good would it do if it was easy? What could you possibly learn?
      Learn, there is something unfortunately many do not know or do. When you get a problem, (let's mainly deal with illnesses here for epilepsy awareness month) you need to learn as much as you can about it. You need to do your research, do you homework. Look online, check your library. Visit several doctors, visit the organizations and find people like yourself that you can talk to. That is what you are supposed to do.
           You are to live your life and find a way to improve on your situation. You take that problem and you step on it with your hard high heel (who am I kidding, I wear flip flops but you get the analogy) and you say "you will not keep me down". When you do and say that, you are sending out a message to the universe that you have taken what it has thrown at you and you are not going down without a fight. You say that you are not only going to survive and make it through but you are going to flourish and you are going to help others to flourish as well.
      If you get a disability think of it as a gift and use it as a stepping stone to find your wings so you can soar! Many things will happen to you in your life, good things and bad things. It is up to you to decide what everything is, you decide your reaction to things. Choose the good, it is always worth the extra effort.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy 3 Years!


Renee (myself) and Nick three years ago today!

 Today is my day to be as mushy as I would like to on my blog. It is my three year wedding anniversary! I am still deliriously  and madly in love with my husband, Nick, as I was the day I first met him. He truly is my best friend. He is the one I live with, laugh with, dream with and love! We do that more and more each day.
           I know a lot of couples say they have their ups and downs but they come out alright, but honestly that is not the case with Nick and I. We have been together now for seven years and today married for three of those. I am closer to him now, I love him more now, I respect him and myself more because together we have grown. Together we have made each other a better person. Through all of our tough times, we were together like glue, laughing and doing whatever we could to get through it all. We hunkered down and made shadow puppets underneath all that may have come crashing down and we have slowly rebuilt again and have come back stronger then ever.
      For our anniversary, we decided to go away as a family of just us because we do believe that our anniversary is the anniversary that we really became a family. We decided that we are forever, and that is a family. So hopefully I am off on a sunny beach somewhere celebrating! (you will find out next week) Here is a short snippet of our wedding, which was one of the best days of my life!





HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY HUSBAND NICK I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH! THANK YOU FOR ALL THE YEARS YOU HAVE GIVEN ME THEY HAVE BEEN SPECTACULAR AND I LOOK FORWARD TO MANY MORE! POC (sorry guys the poc is a private thing) :)


I hope you all have a day filled with love maybe on a beach somewhere!

If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: The Climbing Place


           If you saw yesterday's Epilepsy Awareness post, Fundraiser In Fayetteville, you may notice that the Epilepsy Foundation Fundraiser was held at The Climbing Place in Fayetteville, NC.



     I wanted to do a write up about them because they have such an amazing place. They have an 18,000 square foot climbing surface facility which is the largest rock climbing place in North Carolina. "It offers over 40,000 climbing holds, 60 top ropes, a massive overhang area, a 300 foot gym traverse and thousands of square feet of bouldering surface as well as a top-out boulder. And, it even has a retail store to meet all your climbing and backpacking needs." -The Climbing Place.



    I was impressed with the size of the place. It was amazing. They had so many different levels of rock climbing as well as a fun lounge area.



Xavier really enjoyed bouncing on all the mats and being able to run around.



We were not able to do much climbing as we were there for the fundraiser, but my sister came to the fundraiser with her two boys who enjoyed themselves immensely. They were having a blast swinging on ropes, rings and even trying to tightrope walk. They have a very kind and knowledgeable staff that are always willing to help or encourage you!

The Owner, Martha and her daughter


     If you live in or near the Fayetteville, NC area and are looking for something to do you should visit The Climbing Place. It is perfect for adults and children you will definitely all have a great time!



The Climbing Place
436 West Russell St.
Fayetteville, NC 28301
910-486-9638
www.theclimbingplace.com


If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Epilepsy Awareness: Fundraiser In Fayetteville




If you are a regular reader you will notice that I changed the template of the blog just for November for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Check out the Epilepsy Awareness Tab to read all posts that have been posted about epilepsy, my story and others' stories, etc. If you or someone you love have epilepsy please email me your story at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com stories can be anonymous and do not worry if you are not a writer I do not mind editing.
       Please remember to read and share these stories with your friends and family to make them more aware of epilepsy. Coming from someone with epilepsy it means a lot! Also, please donate to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation by clicking here for the blog donation page. We are trying to raise $1000 dollars for our goal for the month. Remember you can donate to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation all year round and many places of work will contribute to your favorite charity. Please help us find more information and a cure for this condition.






     I was extremely thrilled to be able to attend my first Epilepsy Foundation Fundraiser this past Saturday in Fayetteville, NC. The Epilepsy Foundation of North Carolina only has an office in Winston Salem, NC and North Carolina is a big state. It is rare that many of us living here with epilepsy are able to meet with others who have epilepsy and get access to resources and things going on that may be in a city near us.



           Of course going to fundraisers is mostly about being able to tell our stories to others in hopes to inspire others who have the same condition. I always try to inspire in others the motivation to keep on pushing through all the tears, because people do support and care about you. I also enjoy inspiring others to DONATE to such an amazing organization as the Epilepsy Foundation. I am forever humbled at all the hard work that just this North Carolina branch does. They cover this entire state with one full time employee and a lot of volunteers. Luckily, they have an amazing and strong woman who is willing to get out there and fight to get DONATIONS for our cause.

Sue Case who runs the Epilepsy Foundation of North Carolina


              This particular fundraiser on Saturday in Fayetteville was for their Medication Fund; which helps provide funding to epilepsy patients if they cannot afford their medication. I have had first hand experience with not being able to pay for certain epilepsy medications as some of them are over $200 for a month's supply.



       One of the biggest reasons these types of fundraisers are done are to raise "Awareness". So many people assume that epilepsy is someone who sometimes falls on the floor in a full blown seizure and WE are so much more then that and there is much more to epilepsy than that.
      Imagine the eight year old boy who has a seizure everyday and as a result has to be tutored at home and cannot play any sports and can barely be left out of the parents' sights. Or imagine the young girl getting ready to go to college but not sure how her weekly seizures will fit into her life's plan. Or the new mom who always is worried if she happened to have carried that epilepsy gene onto her child because as you probably do not know 70% of epilepsy cases have no cause and they do not also know if it is genetic or not. Now finally imagine that this is a condition that 1 in 25 people have, over 65 million in the world and 150,000 new cases each year in the United States alone. That is the true face of epilepsy. Those facts are real, those people are real and there are many more out there on varying scales. We need help. It is extremely hard to find a cure for an organ that we only use 10% of and, that is the organ we have to use to figure it out with. You can certainly see the need for fundraisers.



     We really enjoyed ourselves at the fund raiser. Xavier enjoyed running around and bouncing on the mats. He even met Smokey the Bear. I met a blog fan who is now a friend, as well as meeting some pretty amazingly strong young ladies.

New friends Hannah and Elaine, some amazingly strong women


 I was proud to have the privilege to meet all the great volunteers and people that did such an amazing job pulling off the fundraiser. Plus, we had a blast at the same time!



        I am proud to have gone to the Epilepsy Foundation of North Carolina's Fayetteville Fundraiser because I know in so many ways I can make a difference. I can write, speak and Donate and so can you!


Special Thanks to The Climbing Place in Fayetteville for hosting such a wonderful fundraiser!
Statistics were taken from the Epilepsy Foundation website.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Playground Fun


  

 One of my favorite things about having a toddler is taking them to the playground. Toddlers really love playgrounds. Their love for them just grows and grows every time they go. Xavier has now been able to play on playgrounds for the past couple of months.
     His favorite part of the playground is the slides! I am forever amazed at how brave and tough my little man is becoming. He will climb all the big stairs all the way to the top just so he can come down the slide! It's a great way to get out side and wear out a toddler.
    So if you need something to do this weekend, try checking out a play ground you may be surprised just how much fun your child actually has. Always remember the slide is worth the climb!




I hope you all have a great weekend!



If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Epilepsy Awareness: Why Donate?

If you are a regular reader you will notice that I changed the template of the blog just for November for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Check out the Epilepsy Awareness Tab to read all posts that have been posted about epilepsy, my story and others' stories, etc. If you or someone you love have epilepsy please email me your story at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com stories can be anonymous and do not worry if you are not a writer I do not mind editing.
       Please remember to read and share these stories with your friends and family to make them more aware of epilepsy. Coming from someone with epilepsy it means a lot! Also, please donate to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation by clicking here for the blog donation page. We are trying to raise $1000 dollars for our goal for the month. Remember you can donate to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation all year round and many places of work will contribute to your favorite charity. Please help us find more information and a cure for this condition.



Epilepsy Awareness: Why Donate?
    If the fact that it is the end of the year and you may need to donate money so you have taxable deductions next year is not a reason you would want to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation. Here is a exert from their website on what the donations are used for and why they are so desperately needed.


"The Epilepsy Foundation is the national charitable organization committed to a better world for people living with epilepsy. Through research, education, advocacy and services, we aim to prevent, control and cure epilepsy, and to ensure a positive quality of life for everyone living with epilepsy.

We use your donation to empower people with epilepsy and their families; to improve epilepsy prevention and treatment; to increase public awareness; and reduce discrimination and stigma.
We use your donation to support clinical and behavioral research. And we help everyone touched by seizures access accurate and current information, and connect with support networks to ease the burden of living with epilepsy. 

We use your donation to advocate in Congress, in the courts, in state legislatures and regulatory bodies for access to health care, protection of civil rights, job training, social security and special education services.

We transform people's lives every day and we need your help.


Here are just some of the ways we'll use your donation to make a positive difference in someone's life:
Your donations helped us play a key role in the passage of the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 so that now nearly 3 million people living with epilepsy are protected from workplace discrimination.
Your donations enabled us to fund promising studies that are moving into the clinical trial stage and could radically improve life for millions who live with epilepsy.
Your donations supported the enhancement of our online eCommunities where those impacted by epilepsy can communicate with others, and find support from friends, experts and more.
This is just a small list of what we've accomplished this year and it is your donations that allow us to touch the lives that we do. Help us continue to touch even more lives with your generous donation today. Thank you!"

In case you have forgotten 1 in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. More then two million Americans have epilepsy and there are 150,000 annual new cases every year in the United States alone. One in ten people have had a seizure in their life and 65 million people world wide have epilepsy. Please DONATE so we can find a cure! Thank you for all the love and support!




If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sponsor Review: Pop Chef

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by FuelMyBlog for Pop Chef and will receive a product sample as compensation and to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed, by the company prior to posting.
       



    One of my favorite aisles in the CVS store is the "made for TV" aisle. Which are products that you see on television commercials that apparently you can only buy off of the television or internet or your local CVS pharmacy.
     I was asked by the wonderful people over at FuelMyBlog if I would be willing to test some of these "made for TV" products. Of course I was excited to try some. I have always contemplated ordering them, but you are never quite sure how good they may or may not be. I was excited to try the Pop Chef. I had heard a lot about it.



   The Pop Chef has the special 3-in-one action which shapes, pops and creates stars, circles, hearts and more without the mess or hassle of knives or cookie cutters. You can design your own eye popping snacks, party platters, meals and even gifts like a pro! It's a snack-tivity that's even safe for kids to use.



     Basically, it looks like a bunch of cookie cutters on a popping mechanism. You can cut up fruits, cheeses, vegetables, breads and more with it and create fun patterns and edible displays. We had a good friend of ours over and she had her seven year old son with her. So her, her son, my husband and I had fun playing with the Pop Chef and making sure it tested well.
     Unfortunately, since it is November there is not a lot of good fruit in season, but we managed to get a small watermelon and honeydew to do the testing. You do have to cut whatever you want to make the shapes with into 1" pieces. So the watermelon and honeydew still had to be chopped into 1" thick pieces.




         I was very impressed with the amount of different designs and even sizes that came with the Pop Chef. In fact it is a 10 piece set. I was disappointed that the popper that I got with the Pop Chef was cracked. Although that could have been done in shipping I still like to know how well a product is made and if the plastic cracked in shipping it is not made with very strong plastic.

Cracked piece, but still worked!
     The majority of it does not go in the dishwasher though I did find them easy to hand wash. Plus, it got harder with the fruit the more you used them. The cutters are made of plastic so you put a bunch of pieces of juicy watermelon in them over and over and it gets messy and does not work as well. Be sure if you are using it for fruit to keep a paper towel handy for drippings.







    All in all it was a fun product. I highly recommend it for creative/crafty people or if you like to entertain a lot. It worked well, we only did fruits but I suspect it would work even better on cheese and sandwiches. There is even a little recipe book that came with it that has some nice easy ideas to make which I definitely liked. Also, it was a fun activity. The seven year old had a blast and it really got him to eat his fruit! So if you have a picky eater this may definitely help you over that hurdle as kids really have fun with the Pop Chef. In fact, we all had some fun creating our own little shish kabobs of fruit designs.
     If you are looking to have some fun in the kitchen or a fun activity for your kids and family to try you can buy the Pop Chef 10 piece set for $10.99 at fine retailers everywhere.



For more information on the Pop Chef you can visit their website at https://www.getpopchef.com


If you have noticed a change in my normal format for my blog it is for Epilepsy Awareness Month. Please check out epilepsy facts and stories on my Epilepsy Awareness Tab. Also, I am collecting donations this month. Your donation goes directly to the Epilepsy Awareness Foundation. DONATE HERE! Also, if you or someone you love suffers from Epilepsy please email me at NextGenerationSAHM@yahoo.com your story to put in a blog post they can be anonymous. (no worries if you are not a writer I can edit it for you!). Thanks for all the love and support!

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