The Summer Sun is Shining! {Purity Organic Juice Review}

 
Ahhh. . the sun is finally shining here in Michigan. I am loving it! Nothing like spending my days outside in my yard and garden. The sun regenerates me! With the sun shining and the season warming up I am already feeling the urge to drink lemonade and tea. I just don’t know what it is about warm weather that makes me want these tart and refreshing drinks, but I do. Am I alone on this?
 
Either way, the other day while I was at the grocery store I found an organic drink that was on sale. So I picked up a few bottles. Holy Yumminess! This was the best organic fruit juice I have ever had! My family is making a real effort to eat (and drink) organic, so this is perfect. The juice was made by Purity and they had several flavors to choose from. My favorite was their strawberry lemonade. I dont know if you have ever been to Red Robins, but they have a drink called a freckled lemonade and this tastes just like it to me! Ohhhh sooo goood!
 
So today I wanted to share with you my new found love, Purity Organic Juice. It is sold at most grocery stores and if it isn’t then I recommend asking they get it in stock and give it a try.
I contacted Purity and told them how much I loved their products and that I was going to tell my readers about it and they sent me a box to test out all of their flavors! How nice is that! Let me tell you, no matter what flavor you choose you wont be disappointed.
 
Flavors:
Strawberry Paradise <—this one is my favorite, the strawberry lemonade
Lemonade
Pomegranate Blueberry
Orange Mango
Grapeade
Ice Tea and Lemonade
Orange Juice
Cranberry Cocktail
Apple Juice
Coconut Water
Mango Coconut Water
 
 

If you find it in your local supermarket and give it a try, let me know what you think! Find more information about Purity below:
 
 
<3 Dick and Jane
 
Disclosure: Purity Organic did not sponsor this post, but did provide me with a sampling of their product when I told them I was going to post about them. Thank you Purity! We <3 You!

 

Garden Markers {DIY} #TBCcrafters

Last week I became tired of the boring old glassware in my kitchen. There was nothing special about it. It was just clear, plain glassware. I am so much more of a colorful person than that!
To my luck, a few days ago I was browsing the internet and came across Balls’ new vintage throwback canning jar and it was like fireworks went off. Of course! We drink out of mason jars all the time, and now these ones were pretty enough to place on display in a gorgeous vintage blue color. I ordered a few cases and lined them up in my window style cabinet.
Perfection 🙂
Now what to do with the lids? I obviously didn’t need them since I was using the jars as my everyday glassware. There was no way I was throwing them out though. . I could find something to do with them. Then I had my Ah-ha moment. Its spring and I am working on starting my garden. These lids would make perfect garden markers.
Want to know how I made them? Of course I am going to tell you!
What I used:
Canning Jar Lids
Small Wooden Dowels
Chalkboard Paint
Paint Pen
Screwdriver and bit
How I made them:
I Began by painting only the inner disc of the lid with chalkboard paint. It will take several coats to cover. This takes time. . .
Using a screwdriver and bit, I screwed a small hole in both sides of the outside lid. Make sure the holes line up. You will be pushing your wooden dowel through the holes. I made mine small, just big enough to slide the dowel through, but it was tight. I didn’t want my lid to slide down the dowel.
Once the inner lids are dry, place the lid back in the outside shell with the painted side facing up. I slid the dowel in behind the inner lid to hold it in place.
Now I can write on the chalkboard paint with chalk (it will wash away if using outside) or a paint pen (which is what I used).
How fun! Now I wont forget what I planted where. I just love re purposing!!
Let Your Garden Grow
<3 Dick and Jane

Is That? Can it Be? {Wordless Wednesday}

 
Each spring my children and I enjoy filling our numerous bird feeders full of bird food to help the birds traveling back to Michigan after the cold. Its always exciting to see them fill our yard as it signals the beginning of Spring and a break from the cold Michigan climate. Yesterday morning I looked out my kitchen window to see. . . is that? Can it be?  YES! ITS A BIRD.. . in my tree! YEAH!!!! Spring is finally here. Let me tell you, once that first bird came, more followed. We went through an entire bulk bag of bird seed in one day! Whew. . looks like its back to the store for me. 🙂

 
This weeks Wordless Wednesday post is a feature of my favorite Instagram photo from the week proceeding. Not yet following me on Instagram? Join me at http://www.instagram.com/raisingdickjane
 
<3 Dick and Jane

My Secret Love Affair {Sweet Potatoes}

 
Right now I am on a sweet potato kick. I am craving them like crazy! (No, I’m not pregnant) I just get on these kicks where for a few weeks I will eat the same thing over and over. . last time it was broccoli. I sat and ate an entire broccoli head raw one day. Yes, I do understand how crazy this may make me sound. So since sweet potatoes are on my mind again today I decided to share with you may favorite way to cook these delectable potatoes to make them extra yummy!
 
However before we get to the recipe, I did a little research on sweet potatoes to find out just how good for my body they were. Sometimes when I am craving something so intensely, I believe that my body is trying to tell me something. So I look up what nutrients are in the item I am craving to see what my diet must be lacking at that time. Did you know that sweet potatoes (yams) are full of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron and Magnesium. They also contain fiber and beta carotene. See, this is why I like to eat fresh, organic foods. There is nothing better than eating yummy food that I love and having it be helpful to my body.
 
Ok, here is how I cook my sweet potatoes.
 
 
You will need:
 
3-5 Yams
Paprika
Cumin
 
Directions:
 
1. Begin by removing the skins from the potatoes and chopping them into bit sized pieces.
2. Lay the chopped potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Sprinkle with Paprika and Cumin.
4. Using a spatula, toss the potatoes to coat.
5. Cook in the oven about 10-15 minutes on 400 degrees or until slightly browned.
6. Enjoy!
 
<3 Dick and Jane

POND’s New Luminous Face Care Line {LOVE IT!}

 
 
POND’S recently sent me a box of products to test out with hopes that I would post about it on my blog. As many of you know, I only post about things I like and use. . so here I am posting about POND’S. My entire life I had beautiful, youthful skin. I never needed facial products, just water worked fine for me. That was until I hit my late 20’s, early 30’s. What is going on here? Its not bad enough that I no longer have time to take care of myself, feel less than beautiful after having two kids and am putting on weight like I eat donuts for every meal. Now, I also have to deal with less than stellar skin? NO FAIR!
 
Lately I have tried using harsh products to combat my skin problems, but the feeling I was left with was raw. My skin felt tight, like the moisture was also swept off my face along with the dirt. I didn’t much care for that. Ive tried several products to try and find the right one for my skin, one product (I wont give names) even gave me a chemical burn! That was painful.
 
Its sad, but my time in the shower is really the closest thing to “me time” that I get each day. With all the stress I face each day, I need for this time to be relaxing and luxurious. That is why I am so happy with the POND’S line of skincare products. The face wash is soft and gentle. The smell is completely luxurious, like a day at the spa. After showering and cleaning my face my skin felt BETTER than before. This is something I did not get from the products I used in the past. There is no tight feeling, no chemical burn, just squeaky clean luminous skin.
 
So, yes POND’s, I will post about your product because I LOVE it! It is definitely worth sharing. Did you know that by sharing a photo of you looking luminous you can be entered to win $500 from POND’s plus their entire product line to try? Its a photo contest that POND’S is hosting on their facebook page and totally worth entering.
 
The complete line of POND’s Luminous Line is available at mass retailers, drugstores and supermarkets nationwide for the low suggested retail price of only $4.99-$5.79.
 
<3 Dick and Jane
 
I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. By posting, I am eligible for incentive. I received product to facilitate my post, but all opinions stated are my own.

 

Lasagna ~ The Most Versatile Dinner {Ever}

 
Lasagna has got to be the most versatile dinner option ever. All you need to know is the basic for preparing it and you can swap out the ingredients over and over. No two lasagnas are the same. For instance some nights I will make our lasagna with sausage meat, other nights with spinach and carrots, and some nights with chicken. There is no end to the possibilities when it comes to lasagna.
 
This was also the very first meal I learned to prepare as a newlywed. I felt so accomplished to have made a homecooked meal. It was so easy and a great starter dish to learn.
 
In order to get started making homemade lasagnas you will need to know the basics.

Basic Ingredients:
Lasagna Noodles
Sauce
8 oz. Ricotta Cheese
hand full of Parmesan Cheese
1 bag Mozzarella Cheese
 
Basic Directions:
 
*NOTE: Below are the basic directions. Feel free to add ingredients that you like (i.e. meat, veggies) into the sauce before making your lasagna. Then you can proceed with instructions below.
 
– Begin by preparing your cheese mixture. Combine 8 oz of Ricotta cheese, a handful of Parmesan cheese and a handful of mozzarella cheese in a bowl. Mix until combined.
 
– Spread a spoonful of sauce on the bottom of a large glass baking dish. Lay out a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles to cover the sauce on the bottom of the dish.
 
– Spread a spoonful of cheese mixture on top of the dry noodles. Cover again with sauce and repeat. Sauce, noodles, cheese mixture until you reach the top of the dish.
 
– Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the foil top with remaining shredded mozzarella cheese and bake another 15 mintues.
 
– Be sure to test your noodles with a fork for doneness. They need to be soft. If they are still hard, continue cooking with foil on until they are fork tender.
 
This is one of those meals that you can have fun with. Here is a list of optional additional ingredients.
 
– Ground Beef
– Sausage
– Pepperoni
– Olives
– Chicken
– Spinach
– Green Peppers
– Mushrooms
– Carrots
 
Hopefully this list will just get you thinking. However the possibilities are endless! You can also change up the sauce types. I typically use a marinara sauce, but you could make yours with a fettuccine sauce or  pesto sauce, really any style you prefer.
 
If you have a ingredients that you love to combine, share it with us! Just leave it in the comments section. We always read all of our comments. Thanks!
 
<3 Dick and Jane

Create Your Own Custom Wall Art #TBCcrafters

I enjoy changing my house decor for the seasons. Each spring I bring out items to decorate my home that remind me of the beach. Last year after taking a trip to Florida I came home and created one of these wall art piece from the inspiration I felt on this trip. Since hanging it in my home, I have had numerous compliments on this one particular piece of artwork. Creating this piece wall art was super easy! So today, I decided to show you how I made this piece of art and help you create your own custom home decor.
What I used.
– Canvas (any size you want)
– Fabric (large enough to cover your canvas)
– Thick, round paintbrush
– Stencil – I purchased my stencil on etsy
– Hot glue gun
 – Paint (fabric or all purpose)
How I did it.
– Lay out my fabric on a hard surface and place my stencil on the fabric where I want it.
– Tape down the sides of the stencil so it doesn’t move while I am painting.
– Using a thick, round headed paintbrush tap downward with paint to cover the entire stencil. Do not use regular painting brushstrokes.
– Remove the stencil and allow the paint to dry completely.
– Once the paint is dry, place my fabric over the front of the canvas where I want it positioned.
– Flip the canvas over and trim the fabric down leaving just enough fabric on each side to wrap around the back of the canvas and tuck in.
– Using my hot glue gun I placed a line of glue on the back edge of the canvas and pull the fabric around to stick.
– Continue the last step all the way around, pulling and gluing the fabric to the back of the canvas.
– Tuck the remaining fabric under the back tabs. Too much access fabric it will show on the front of the art piece, so trim it down.
– That’s it, its ready to be enjoyed. 
Have any questions about how I made this? Leave a comment and I will get back with you.
Thanks for joining us today! We are anxiously waiting for summer to arrive.
<3 Dick and Jane

Wordless Wednesday {First Day of Spring}

Welcome first day of spring!
 
As I type this post it is actually snowing outside. Hmm…not exactly what I had hoped for after this long winter here in Michigan.  Either way, we are patiently waiting for our fairy friends come back to their summer home in our tree. We’ve missed them while they were vacationing in Florida for the winter. Once the snow melts and there is no longer the worry of their wings freezing, they should be back! 🙂
 
 
This weeks Wordless Wednesday post is a feature of my favorite Instagram photo from the week proceeding. Not yet following me on Instagram? Join me at http://www.instagram.com/raisingdickjane
 
<3 Dick and Jane

Should We Adopt Chickens?

For quite some time I have been toying with the idea of getting chickens.  I love the idea of having baby chicks around to help my children learn responsibility and how nature works to provide for us. This, however, is a big decision.  Sure, little chicks are cute and having fresh eggs would be divine, but don’t forget that chickens are a lot of work. While they are usually quite content pecking away on their own, they still need a lot of care. Here are several things to consider before getting chickens.

1. Does your residential area allow chickens? Many areas, like homes in the city or neighborhoods, do not allow chickens. You could be fined and forced to remove them.
2. What are you going to do with them when they are done laying eggs?
3. What climate do you live in? Cold climates mean harsh winters when your chickens will need extra care.
4. Do you have time to keep their pens clean, water fresh and food available?
5. What do I need to make them a home? You will need a place for them to lay their eggs and get out of bad weather.
6. Will your chickens be free range or have a chicken pen? How will you keep them in your yard and not your neighbors?
 7. What breed of chicken should you buy?
 
After researching chickens in further detail I still want them to join our family. However, I am going to take my time to make sure my preparations are done right and I am ready for them to join us. Ive read that the best time to get baby chicks is mid March-May. Since it is already March and I have not yet preparing a home for them, I will hold off on my plans until next year when I have ample time to prepare for their arrival. Plus, I still have some convincing to do with my husband who is not yet on board with the idea.
 
If you are interested in raising chickens, check out the e-book titled The Urban Chicken. I just finished reading it to help me decide if chickens were a good addition to our home or not. The book answered all of the questions I had that I mentioned above. The book also talks about what breed of chicken are best to get for your overall goals, how to care for them and what to do when things go wrong. I think this book is a great resource for the un-experienced person thinking about whether or not to embark on the chicken raising lifestyle. (Like me!)
 
The e-book The Urban Chicken as mentioned above is available for purchase at the following link.
The Urban Chicken
This lovely book is written by Heather Harris. You can also view her blog at The Homesteading Hippy.

 Any readers raising chickens that can share their experiences with us? I am so curious and want to know more! Please leave your thoughts on raising chickens in the comments.

<3 Dick and Jane

Disclosure: I was able to read this book for free from the writer. I was not compensated for mentioning it in my post. All thoughts in this post are my own and not pursuaded by my free copy to read.