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I keep hearing coconut oil being touted as beneficial for cooking and health.

Honestly, I was not sure about it. I googled a bit and found this article in the NY Times. My curiosity was piqued when I heard it produces yummy, flaky baked goods.

I had to check it out.

I read about Tropical Traditions and requested a jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. I felt daring, only a bit behind all the foodies!

32-oz. – Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil – 1 quart

I am glad I was curious. This stuff smells fantastic and is certified organic and produced by hand in the Philippines, using a wet-milling process of extracting the oil from fresh coconuts.

So how do they do it? Well, wet-milling is way of shredding coconuts. In the Tropical Traditions (TT) process, organic coconuts are shredded and cold-pressed in their own milk. After a little bit, the oil separates out naturally and can then be filtered from the coconut solids. This natural way of processing leaves an oil with no trans fatty acids. While so natural this oil has a long shelf life because of the inherent high level of antioxidants.

Here is what TT says: “As a cooking oil, its chemical structure is kept intact and therefore is resistant to mutations of fatty acid chains even when used in higher cooking temperatures, unlike most vegetable oils. Research shows that the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil boosts the body’s metabolism, raises body temperatures, and helps provide greater energy which can lead to weight loss. Also, Virgin Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a nutrient that supports the body’s immune system.”

Well, when I first got this coconut oil, I still wasn’t positive what to do with it. So I played with it. I switched it out for my regular cooking oil when sauteing, made some chocolate/pistachio candy and pumpkin muffins. The candy and pumpkins muffins were delicious. I am sensitive to smells and I found the coconut scent very pleasant.

I really enjoy the versatility of using the coconut oil. It lends a sweetness to my gluten free cooking and now I have several choices I feel are good for my family in the kitchen.

In my quest to use all organics in the kitchen, I am becoming a much better cook!

For recipes and ideas for ways you can cook with coconut oil, visit the Tropical traditions Coconut Recipe blog found here:

You can purchase TT Coconut Oil here (and they are having some sales, too!):

32-oz. – Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil – 1 quart

And, I get to giveaway one 32oz. Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, with a retail value of $40!

You really have to try this!

To enter, please click on More, below:

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Cranium Brain Breaks Giveaway!

Heather —  October 5, 2011

Oh, this game suits me perfectly! Years ago, we got our first Cranium Game. The kids have always enjoyed these…but this new one is fun for all of us (even Mom, the multi-tasker).

Cranium is known for super creative game play and this version is no different. The difference?

 You only need a minute to play Cranium Brain Breaks! Or, play for an hour…your choice. But you have to go quickly either way.

There are 200 mini-games, outlined on little cards with super easy directions. Now, just because the directions are easy, doesn’t mean all the games are. But, many had us laughing, rhyming and having a blast. Much of the content is educational as well—because you need to think and create as you play.

The game includes classic cranium categories:

  • Creative Cat
  • Word Worm
  • Star Performer
  • Data Head

Seriously, this family game is adorable.

What else did I love about this?

Well, the players work together. Yeah for the no-fighting aspect as I have some super competitive kids—where DID that come from??

And the game is neatly packaged up in a permanent brain shaped case. And it stays neat. There are little spots for all the pieces. It is so nice when things work and do not get lost!

My original thought when I got to review this was that it would make a great Christmas gift (and it would) but now that I’ve seen the case, well it would also be a great non-sugar treat for Halloween! Ha. Love it.

Even little ones can play

  • Players: 2 or more (although my daughter likes to complete activities all by herself against the clock)
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Approximate Price: $14.99
  • Available at mass merchandise retailers nationwide, or online at Hasbro Toy Shop.

Want ideas for hosting your own Family Game Night?  Like them on Facebook:

Or, if you’re a tweeter, follow them on Twitter: @familygamenight.

AND, I get to give one CRANIUM BRAIN BREAKS GAME away!


Please click on MORE to enter via rafflecopter.

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Yes, I did put my feet on the coffee table. But,'s just to show y'all my boots!

I bought my first pair of really comfortable shoes about six and a half years ago.

That was the day after I fell down the stairs, at six months pregnant and broke my tailbone.

Ouch. I know. I was so worried about the baby! It was awful.

The day after, my husband pointed out that I needed some stable shoes, not just “pretty” shoes. I was worried “stable” meant ugly. But, I agreed and we went shopping.

Turns out, comfy and gorgeous shoes DID exist! Ever since, I really hate wearing any pinchy or unstable shoes. I know I can find beautiful and solidly made shoes.

Sometimes it is hard to find them. But not so much anymore. And it is so worth it to find some!

I have seen some nice Naturalizer shoes in stores, but had not yet tried them. I was curious about the brand as they felt soft and well padded. Then, recently, I got a chance to review the new Fall lineup from Naturalizer. They have some really nice styles and I chose a fantastic pair of boots, called The Arness.

Leather upper in a dress knee-high boot style with a round toe, Buckle detail at the ankle, Smooth lining, cushioning insole features N5 Comfort System

I feel hot in these things! They are very attractive, perfect for our area in Fall and Winter and oh, so comfortable. I think it is neat you can order online and see loads of pictures to choose from. Nice.

I actually wore these when we went on an impromptu hike this week. No Joke! They felt great. I wore them the whole day. That is unusual for me. I may just get some heels from Naturalizer next time!

Guess What? I get to give a reader a coupon for a pair of Naturalizer shoes!!

Read on and think about which kind you would choose!

“The Official Word:
Kick up your heels, and live it up! With Naturalizer shoes on your feet, there’s no need to choose between comfort and style.

  • Since 1927, Naturalizer has proven that wearing the latest footwear fashions can be comfortable, stylish and affordable all in one.
  • With rich leathers, soft suedes, and beautiful, trend right details, Naturalizer shoes provide the ultimate in style + comfort.
  • Exclusive to Naturalizer is N5 Comfort –five distinctive features that provide flexibility, lightness, balance, softness and breathability in every step—so Naturalizer shoes feel as good at the end of the day as they do at the beginning.
  • Available in a broad range of sizes and widths from sizes 4.5 to 12 with narrow, medium and wide widths in most styles. Naturalizer boots are also offered in Wide Shaft so women with fuller or athletic calves can find tall boots with a perfect fit.
  • Backed by research from “Style & Trend” experts, the Naturalizer line offers the influence of current fashion, blended with the enduring style women have come to expect from the brand.
  • Naturalizer offers a variety of styles including tall boots, loafers, wedges, pumps, platforms, flats, booties and oxfords. The fall collection from Naturalizer has something for everyone, with feminine details and styles inspired by a range of classic and contemporary trends.

Naturalizer delivers shoes that make you look good and feel good – always, so you can live your life and love your shoes.”

For more information, see:

Now for the giveaway! Click on More, below to enter via Rafflecopter.

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From Dad’s Desk:

Since the creation of “Business Casual”, it has been a struggle to balance the fine line between too formal and too casual.  The polo shirt does an excellent job of filling in that gap–it can be worn with jeans, khakis, and in some cases, dress slacks.

Land’s End is introducing their newest member of the polo family–The Original Mesh Men’s Polo.  This is the first major overall since they introduced their version of the polo shirt in 1981.  I think it is reasonably priced and comes in lots of great colors.  It is guaranteed to become a staple of your wardrobe.

lands end clip

I was lucky enough to get one to field test, and I have to say it performed flawlessly. When I first opened the package, you could see and feel the difference compared to the competitors–some of them very well known names.  In the Virgina heat it kept me cool.  The color was bold (blue), there was enough material to tuck it in, and the collar didn’t curl up–like some of my other shirts.  It laundered well and looked as great as when I first got it.  There are so many new features that you need to go to Land’s End and check them out for yourself.

So, now for the Giveaway.  This will run until June 22, 2011.

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment

For additional entries, you can:

Leave separate comments for each entry method.

Again, a winner will be chosen on June 22, 2011.   If you are chosen, you will be contacted for your shirt size and address.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to choose the color or pattern, but you will be getting a great new polo and addition to your wardrobe!


“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of Lands’ End and received a polo shirt to facilitate my review, one to giveaway, and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Join Us!

Join In!

The challenge:
For a full week, make a conscientious effort to save money by using some of the tips below. Then shift your savings to organics!

So how did I do? Well, we do already use all organic foods. I made that decision last year. So, that helped with this challenge! But, honestly, I could do better to save more money and be less wasteful in many ways and so this Challenge is a wakeup call to me.

All on sale!

All on sale!

I want to share that my experience in going organic was NOT as hard as I thought it would be. Our food budget has increased some, but also, I have changed how I buy and what I buy. I do buy things in bulk and on sale, for example. I buy more produce and we do have more spaghetti! I am learning to scour my stores for organic offerings and even to ask lots of questions at our local Farmer’s Market (this is hard for me, an introvert!)

One thing that unnerved me when we first began considering organics was all the information available. It was hard to have a clue what I was doing and talking about—I would research one thing, and end up overwhelmed. But, then I would do something like watch Food, Inc. and remember why I wanted change for my family—to protect them.

Anyway, here I go: below are the things we were to do for a week, to save money and make the shift to organics. I have to say #2 and #4 on this challenge seemed meant for me!

  1. Buy in bulk I do buy in bulk for many things. We have a local Costco that carries organic milk, ground beef, chicken, eggs, frozen veggies, peanut butter…even jam and a couple of cereals. These are many of our staples.
  2. Eat your leftovers. Oh, I do badly on this one. But, the leftovers are not the problem. Instead, I often end up throwing out good food that I did not prepare for the family. I feel horrid about this. I will have all these plans to fix a bunch of veggies or a big salad…then I’ll be tired and just do spaghetti—or, the kids will come in and want meat. And, I’ll cook that, because that is easier for me—I know what I am doing! Learning to make quinoa palatable to my boys is harder for me. Shoot, anything new is harder. So, if I don’t get it cooked…no one does. The week before this challenge I threw out a bunch of expensive salad greens and a $4 head of cauliflower. I also thawed out some chicken in the fridge, then got busy and didn’t cook it. That ended up in the garbage as well. So, for this challenge I made sure I used up all our veggies. In fact, I cut up a head of cauliflower and left in out on the counter for the kids to find and snack on. It stayed there much longer than say, cookies would have, but in the end, everyone ate it!! I had plans to feed everyone a quinoa salad, but I did not get to it. Next week…
  3. Opt for water. We do use tons of water. I bought a Brita Water filter/dispenser for the fridge and the kids use it like crazy.
  4. Choose whole chicken. Yuck. I hate cutting up meat. My mom showed me how to cut up whole chickens years ago, but I still hate it. I bought some whole chickens for the challenge, but ended up just roasting them. Ironically, the kids ate every bite of those chickens. So, I guess my advice is, buy the whole chicken, throw it in the oven, cook it and then cut it up!
  5. Buy fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. I try to do this. Now, the Farmer’s Market is getting going for Spring and my husband is excited to try using a CSA
  6. Eat less meat. We try to do this, too. I think I would be fine without meat and I rarely eat red meat, myself. But, again, my boys would (supposedly) die if they could not have meat. What I have done is lessen the portions of meat I feed everyone. Rather than giving each person an individual chicken breast, I will cook the chicken and cut it all up and then serve over rice, etc. And, for this challenge, I pulled out my cookbook and tried a few bean recipes as sides for this week. As summer approaches, my family knows to expect more salads and stuff like that.

I know some of my readers do many of these things already, so good for you! If you want to do a challenge, go for it! I am excited to see some of my friends participating!

You can read more and see how some of the other easy living organic bloggers are doing with their challenges at the Organic Challenge Group.

And, please let me know how you think I am doing. Any tips appreciated!


This post is part of the Easy Organic Living program co-hosted by Baby Center and Healthy Child Healthy World and sponsored by Stonyfield. For participating, I will receive a tote bag of organic products and I will be giving away an additional bag of organic products.

I wish I this garden! I picture from a recent trip to Monticello.

What a garden~Picture from a trip to Monticello.

I’m so glad you have come by to check out the Organic Living Challenge! I hope you are enjoying some of the tips and challenges!

I am thrilled to be able to giveaway a Tote bag full of Organic Products!

Mandatory Entry: Participate in a Challenge! Do one…or all four, then share about it on the Baby Center Easy Organic Living threads, and leave a link to Faith, Family and Fun. Then, leave a comment on this giveaway post, letting me know that you did!

(I will keep links to the challenges posted as they come up–here is BabyCenter Thread link to challenge thread:

There are tons of ways to get additional entries!

  1. Post your activities on the Healthy Child Facebook Wall
  2. Talk about it on Facebook. Share a story about this challenge using @healthychildhealthyworld and/or @stonyfield and @quinnschilling
  3. Tweet about it. Include @quinnschilling and the #ezorganic hashtag to give a quick example, tip, or link
  4. SHARE it in other ways: you can choose ways to share, blog, FB, tweet, Dig It, share on a forum…Plurk it…just leave me a comment and tell me what you did—ONE comment for each share—and one entry per type of share per day!
  5. Like  Healthy Child Healthy World and Stonyfield on Facebook
  6. Follow Healthy Child Healthy World and Stonyfield on Twitter
  7. Follow Faith, Family and Fun through RSS and/or GFC
  8. Follow me on Twitter @ quinnschilling, and tweet the giveaway (1x daily). You can use the following: –You can use this:                Join the Organic Living Challenge and Win! @ quinnschilling #ezorganic
  9. Follow Faith, Family and Fun on Facebook and share the giveaway

Remember to leave separate comments for each entry method.

I will choose a random winner on April 30, 2011!


This post is part of the Easy Organic Living program co-hosted by Baby Center and Healthy Child Healthy World and sponsored by Stonyfield. For participating, I will receive a tote bag of organic products and I will be giving away an additional bag of organic products.

Lemon_Pepper_Panko-WEBGiveaway Closed. While I turn into an escapist during the Summer…Fall really brings out the homemaker in me. These cooler days are the ones that have me, once again, trying to become a masterful chef.

The only trouble with this…is that I am not such a great cook. I do try, but somehow, I tend to hurry and…well, I’m just not that into it!

I think that is one reason I love simple, healthy, fresh ingredients…using these type things, I can’t go wrong. One of my sons, however, has that magical knack for creating delicious dishes. He is still young and never fails to amaze me with his luck in the kitchen. After watching him, I now truly believe being a great cook is a gift…

Nevertheless I try. I like to collect cookbooks and new ideas for recipes. The fact that I’m not the best cook doesn’t stop seven people from being hungry around here. And now, my son often cooks as well–which is an amazing blessing.

One thing I usually never do is fry things…even though I’m a Georgia girl, I know most fried foods are bad for you. I have often used items like nuts, breadcrumbs and panko to bread chicken and sometimes fish, but that’s about it.

I am really excited to tell you about a Blogspark that has already made me a better cook!

I just got a gift pack including one package of Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko and an autographed copy of chef Chiarello´s new cookbook: Michael Chiarello´s Bottega.

The cookbook is gorgeous! It is signed by Michael, with tons of recipes and beautiful illustrations…it so nice that I gave it to my son, who plans to “make every recipe.” Haha. I bet he will, though.

We already used the panko for some easy recipes, like chicken tenders. I like the lemon flavor and the light crunchy texture of this panko. But, in addition to some of Michael’s fancy uses for panko, he mentions some ideas on the Progresso website that are easy enough for me! One of my favorite ideas:

“Lasagna is twice as good with panko on top. Mix 50 50 with parm cheese and parsley. Will stay crunchy for ever.”

And, after reading Chef Chiarello’s cookbook, I see I am in good company and actually doing what he recommends…as he is: “A chef known for his emphasis on creating delicious dishes with fresh, premium ingredients, Chef Michael Chiarello uses panko as his go-to bread crumb for a crunch that won´t quit. An Emmy-award winning TV chef and cookbook author, Chef Chiarello is the tastemaker behind Bottega Napa Valley Restaurant, NapaStyle and Chiarello Family Vineyards, and appears on The Cooking Channel and Top Chef Masters only on Bravo.”

Chef Chiarello is helping cooks everywhere use Progresso´s panko to make flavorful, flawless recipes including Crispy Seafood Salad, Mama Chiarello’s Stuffed Eggplant and Turkey Scallopini and Squash Ravioli with Cranberry Brown Butter.”

Visit the Progresso website for additional recipes, tips for cooking with panko, video and a coupon for $1 off any panko flavor.

Check out the Progresso’s Wine & Dine with Chef Michael Chiarello Sweepstakes. Now through December 31st, participants can enter for the chance to win a trip for two to Napa Valley to attend the Spring Bud Break Party, an annual dinner and wine tasting event taking place on May 7, 2011. In addition to two tickets to the party, the grand prize also includes roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations. Visit or the sweepstakes rules and entry form.

I have a gift pack to giveaway!! This pack includes one package of Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko and an autographed copy of chef Chiarello´s new cookbook: Michael Chiarello´s Bottega. (This would make a wonderful gift!)

For the mandatory entry, just tell me what you would make with Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko!

For additional entries, you can:

I will choose a winner on 11/17. (so you can use asap!) Giveaway is for USA and Canada only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments.

I received a Lemon Pepper Panko Gift Pack to review, and one to giveaway from General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Sponsored by Tomoson.comI have always adored putting my hair up. I love the look of up-dos and just feel more put together and more comfortable with my hair up. I enjoy getting new hair items. Lately, though, I’d been doing the lazy updo—a quick twist into a claw type thing or a bun using one of my daughter’s bands. How sad is that?

When I saw a photo of the Flexi8, I was curious about it. They look very attractive and seemed to have tons of styles and sizes. I thought if they worked, they would also make nice little gifts for my girls…

The Flexi 8 was invented by a husband and wife team and on their site they describe them as:

a completely unique, flexible barrette that holds thick, thin, curly, straight, fine and coarse hair. The Flexi 8 comes in a variety of sizes and hundreds of ever changing styles. Flexi 8 uses an ingenious patented locking mechanism to secure it in your hair. It’s such an attractive and unique accessory for your hair, once you try the Flexi 8, LOOK OUT! (you’re in love).

They were right. I really like these. These give me a dressy, delicate looking style, while the Flexi8 is sturdy enough to keep my hair in place all day. I like the flexibility—the design does not look flexible, but it is (I guess that’s the Flexi part…) It does not hurt my head and they come in beautiful designs. I love the silver type I received, but with my red hair, I’m looking to buy a few in gold—like this one:


Or this one:


They have some beautiful ideas for hair styles with the Flexi8 page. The Flexi8 comes in 6 sizes, and you will want to check out the sizing charts to get the correct size for your hair type and your style.

You can purchase Flexi-8 at

Use coupon code 543626, to get your choice of either10% off or Buy 4 Flexi-8″s and receive the 5th FREE!

And, I get to giveaway 2 Flexi-8s to one winner!

Mandatory Entry: Go to and watch the video for sizing, and then comment on which size you will need.

Additional Entries:

  • Tell me which design you like and why
  • Follow Faith, Family and Fun in Reader
  • Follow Faith, Family and Fun in Google Friend Connect
  • Follow me on Twitter @ quinnschilling (+2)
  • Follow Faith, Family and Fun on Facebook
  • Share this giveaway! (+3) If you publicly Tweet, Facebook share or blog about this giveaway, give yourself 3 additional entries. (Please give yourself a separate comment for each—total of 9 extra entries just for sharing🙂
  • You CAN Tweet once daily for more entries.

I will choose a winner on 10/1. Giveaway is for USA and Canada only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments.

I received samples of the Flexi8 for my review. I have given my opinion.

This Product Was a Free Giveaway