Monday, December 22, 2014

Sugarless Cheesecake recipe!

Mini version: I halved the recipe,
which made two small ones like this. One I kept raw in the fridge- shown above- and the other
I cooked for the next day! 

  • Finally: a healthy cheesecake made by Mazzou for Valentine's Day 2013! (thanks to Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions for the original recipe!)
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups nuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
  • 1 cup pitted dates and/or raisins (you could even use figs or apricots- whichever you prefer/whatever is cheaper! I used dates and raisins)
  • 4 cups cream cheese softened
  • 4 organic or free range eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, preferably raw milk
  • 2 tablespoons gelatin
  • 1/2 cup raw honey (I used about half the amount called for because I'm trying to eat a very minimal amount of sweet things.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (sugarless; preferably homemade!)
  • pinch sea salt
  • some raspberries (to taste!)
  • unsweetened dark chocolate or pieces of an organic chocolate bar (to taste!)
In a food processor, process dates (and/or raisins) and almonds (and/or walnuts) until they form a sticky mass. (if not sticky enough, you could add some melted butter and/or honey! Also consider flavoring your crust with lemon zest or cinnamon...) Press into a buttered 9 inch by 13 inch pyrex pan to form a crust. (Next, I did bake my crust for 10 minutes in a 325 F degree oven just for fun, and then cooled it in the freezer while I prepared everything else!)
Put egg yolks and milk in a sauce pan, beat lightly, sprinkle with gelatin and warm slightly until gelatin is dissolved. In a food processor (or mixer), combine cream cheese, honey and vanilla and process until smooth. Add yolk/milk mixture and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place in refrigerator while beating egg whites. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, fold into cream-cheese mixture along with your desired amount of raspberries and chocolate pieces/crumbles and pour into crust. Chill several hours before serving. Garnish with extra raspberries and chocolate pieces.
Optional, but not as healthy: I cooked my second mini cheesecake in a 325 F degree toaster oven until it was set and golden on the top. Pictured above is the raw version.
With the minimal amount of honey which I put in the recipe, the raw version was sweeter than the cooked version, which was more like an Italian cheesecake appetizer!

Sonic shakes 1/2 off on December 22nd 2014!

sonic shakesSonic is offering 50% off shakes on Monday, 12/22 only.
This offer is available all day long.

Free Nursing Pillow- pay $12.95 shipping

Get a free nursing pillow by using the code MYSAVINGS at checkout at Nursing The total will be $12.95 on account of the shipping cost. 

Free fabric samples from In Weave

In Weave is offering up to 6 free samples of their fabrics. 
Fabric, Wholesale Fabric, Bulk Fabric, Fabric By The Pound
Samples are approximately 2 by 3 inches. Not all fabrics are available; yet many are so I encourage you to browse a bit!

   This is a wonderful way to explore the beautiful options this fabric company provides, and to see for yourself samples of your favourite looks!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Free Twinings Tea sample pack! Limited offer December 18th 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 9.48.45 AMTwinings Tea is offering free samples (3 different tea bags per person) for a limited time! Don't pass up this chance to try their delicious teas...from Organic Jasmine to Spiced Chai, they have a lovely variety of herbal and regular teas! 

Blogging for books for bloggers! My top 9 favorite book reviewing programs!

Originally published in 2012, this post is due for an update!

How and why you should BLOG FOR BOOKS!
The first pile of books...I dare not tell you how many dozens
I have gotten since! Read my reviews here

Do you love to read? And love to write reviews? are several great ways to get entirely  FREE  print or electronic books for yourself!
 (of course writing a 150-200 word review isn't work!)
Each of these sites has their qualities....I love the books I have received from each of them!

Step One:
Set up a free blog through, Wordpress, or any other free blogging site!
You will also want an account to post your reviews and perhaps a account! These are all free and fun to use. Your blog can be primarily for reviewing books, or- especially in order to gain followers- can be about a variety of topics!

Step Two: Sign up for as many of the following sites as you like! You can even bookmark this page and sign up for a new site every day...choose your pace but make sure you check out each of these wonderful programs!

125 x 125
A variety of books
Print and Ebooks
Joining this program is quite simple. As is the process of entering your review links, and requesting your next book.
   Since I originally wrote this article, Blogging for Books has expanded their inventory and now offers dozens of books from Penguin Random House! Because I love cooking, I have been able to choose over a dozen cookbooks so far from them!
 I do want to say that they have been restricting my request options since I don't have an e-reader. And they don't have as many Christian book options as the other sites.

I review for BookSneeze®
Christian and Catholic literature
Print and Ebooks
Christian books published by Thomas Nelson publishers.
Bloggers get free books- signing up is very easy; you give your blog address where you will be posting the reviews. This is the easiest site to request books on, as well as to send in your review since you just post the links to your review on their website....and they have had a large variety of not only e-book, but also print books available in the past! I have enjoyed and kept most of the books which I chose from them. 

Christian literature
Although the literature is older than 2014 (big deal, right?) there are hundreds of books to choose from! Actually one of my favourite sites. I've loved most of the books chosen from here. Sign up so you can start browsing!

Christian (primarily Reformed) literature
  This is one of my favourite programs because they offer literature from publishers I trust, including Reformation Heritage books!  Their process is simple as well, but you have to make sure you are a part of their email mailing list as that is how they notify you about upcoming book tours!

Christian books
I know I'm listing quite a few groups so far...but this really is one of my very favourites! They host blog tours which means they send you emails with available books and you sign up to get the book, read it and post your review by a certain day! The time frame is always reasonable and I love the books I've received. Litfuse Publicity Group | - Something is always stirring here!

Christian literature
I have gained some treasured books through this program! It's also easy to understand; they send you emails with available books and you sign up for what you wish to review. One bonus about this company is they allow you quite a good amount of time to read and review the books!

Christian literature
Christian books from small companies- It's safe, although it's not as professional as the other companies.  When you sign up, you have to wait for an email, and to request a book, just visit their page of available books (link provided in an email they send you) and click on the request button under the book you desire to review: this will open up an email to send to them; make sure you include your mailing address. 

I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network
(click on icon above)
TYNDALE Blog Network
Christian Literature
Print and Ebooks

 (Christian books- system works through your email: you sign up, they decide if you qualify, then they send you names of books available through email. Pretty good, although there aren't many books available.)

Christian and Catholic literature
My least favorite program, this one is pretty simple as well, although I haven't cared much for their books. They always notify through make sure you check your email if you want to know about books! They will also send you an email when you request a book, and they will tell you where to send your review....

LASTLY....what do you do with these books if you DON'T want to keep them after reading them? Why....SWAP them, of course! :)
Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

Signing up:
When you sign up, through the below link, they will ask you on the page if anyone referred you. I would be SO happy if you would say I referred you! my name on the site is ''Mazzou'' and you have to enter that into the appropriate part of the sign-up page.
Go to the website now!

More about the site....
You simply join, just start listing books you have which are in good condition, and when a book is requested from you, you package the book and pay for its shipping. When the book is received by the other member, you will get a credit (1 credit per book!) to use to request any book off the site for YOURSELF! :)
As a special incentive, when you list 10 books, the company automatically gives you 2 credits as a gift.  And the referral system gives you 1 credit every time a friend lists 10 books.
I must admit that not all your favorite books will be available immediately. However, each person gets to add as many as 200 books to their wishlist which will enable you to keep in line as you wait for your desired book to be posted by another member. (I am sure this sometimes takes years....but oh well! I am grateful for the wishlist system.) I actually have received a couple books already from my wishlist!

Book quality:
 I have, so far, received over 4 great books in like-new condition! Very exciting. (if you do not want any books worse than ''new'' condition, you can specify that on your paperbackswap club account!) You can swap books which are in good condition, or newer. There is even a forum on the site for swapping damaged books.

My success story:
In fact, two like-new Christian historical fiction books which I recently received I would have paid over $12.00 each if I had purchased them from the company we usually do....through PaperBackSwap I ended up paying only $3.17 for both!(where do I get this $3.17? from the cost it sent me to mail out 2 books previously in order to obtain the 2 credits to spend on these two books I requested!) See what I's great!

Choosing books to swap:
Note: If you don't have books in your home which you want to get rid of on PaperBackSwap, you can always purchase books from your thrift shop, library, etc. I suggest you look out for lightweight books, so you can spend less for your credit. Also, you might want to contemplate which books are highly desired in the can find this out, and more, on the site!

Comment on this post if you have any questions, or if you already use PaperBackSwap!

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

Get free natural and organic sample packs! Dec. 18th 2014. Available while supplies last.

Free Natural & Organic Sample Packs

It's time for some learning.
....about health!
Take part in these interesting and informative steps on Naturally to learn about a variety of health topics including how to avoid artificial sweeteners to earn free sample packs
   You can request 1 pack for each quiz you take. Choose from:
Pack 1: Barlean’s (Omega-3 Fish Oil Swirl x2 ), Barbara’s (Puffins Cereal) & Goddess Garden (Sunscreen)
Pack 2: Barlean’s (Omega 3 Fish Oil Swirl x2 ), Yummi Bears (Gummy Vitamin for Kids), Lily of the Desert (Aloe Mix ‘n Go)
Pack 3: Glee Gum, Barlean’s (Omega-3 Fish Oil Swirls x2 ) & Now Foods (Slender Sticks).
Pack 4: Uncle Matt’s (FREE Coupon), Barlean’s (Omega-3 Fish Oil Swirl x2 ), and Barbara’s (Puffins Cereal)
These will be available while supplies last. They will never use your primary email address when signing up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Free Trans-Siberian Orchestra Album download December 17th 2014

Cover artClick HERE to get a FREE download of the Trans- Siberian Orchestra's album  ‘The Christmas Attic’ at the Google Play store. 
   This offer will be available for a limited time only. Only the album is free, individual song downloads are $1.29.

Limited time! Free Italian Cookbook December 17th 2014

                                          Click here 

to take part in a short, easy survey and simply 
fill out a form to get a 

FREE copy of Fabrizia Tasca's cookbook, 

"Coming Home

 to Sicily." 

Offer available 

while supplies last! Enjoy

Free Maven makeup at! Just pay $5.00 shipping! December 2014

Join Julep Maven   Today I discovered a really neat deal for a free box of one beautiful nail polish or lipstick at!
    What a fun deal for the may even get it in time for Christmas, and definitely for the festive New Year's time!
Here's what to do, ladies!

1. Sign up for a free account at

2. Sign up for a free account at

3 . NEXT (after you've signed up through my referral link above), go to the home page of Swagbucks and look at the featured deals they offer.  Click on the image with the holiday nails that says ''JULEP earn 800 Swagbucks''

4. Complete the short, fun survey thingy on Julep's web page (which you will have clicked onto from Swagbucks)

5. Complete your order by using the code SWAGBUCKSFREE to get your 1 box of makeup free! Shipping is technically free, but since the total does come out to $5.48, I consider that the shipping cost. :) (It's psychologically more pleasing).

6. Now, if you like, you can refer your friends to earn $15.00 credit for future use!

You can't go wrong with free! I'm considering reselling my free bottle of nail polish!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Earn money for free! My top favorite free money and survey sites! These are safe easy ways to earn giftcards or cash!

    Living frugally and on a budget can be hard!
With this looming large in my thrifty mind, I carefully researched and found several sites and programs which allow me to gain points which transfer into cash, cash, or rewards. Each of these sites gives me useful rewards for things I normally would be spending otherwise earned money!

  These  quick and easy points are so exciting and  handy for redeeming in the form of Amazon, or GrouponEbay to name a few ! I have definitely earned enough this year to cover many of my personal expenses, so I'm pleased!
  Without further ado, let me share links to all these great sites with you so you can start earning points and cash to spend!

    As you may already know, this program is super fun to use! You earn points merely by searching through their toolbar. This is my favorite site for earning money because I love seeing the ''swagbucks'' when I randomly win them just by searching! Use their toolbar for every website you visit, including your regulars such as your email or the weather! You'll never know how much you can earn until you try it! My only regret is that I wasn't consistent with earning through Swagbucks during the first year I had it!
   I am just now exploring more options on earning with this great site. They include: watching movies (movie trailers, cooking shows, fashion tips and more!), visiting websites, answering surveys, and of course shopping through Swagbucks!
 Just think- all your online purchases could be giving you about 8% cashback through Swagbucks points!!! Don't wait to sign up for this site.

And keep in touch- if you win the 1,000 hourly Swagbucks I'd love to hear about it!

InboxDollars   My second favourite site, this allows you to turn actual cash just by clicking ''confirm paid email'' on sponsored emails which arrive in your inbox daily. This takes less than 2 seconds, and is very rewarding to me.
Once you reach $30.00, you can request a payment, which is mailed as a check to you! Very easy site to understand. I also gain quite a bit of cash from doing these surveys and you can also watch movies and play games for cash. And like with Swagbucks, you can shop through this program for discounts and cash back!
You really need to sign up for at least one of these programs!

MY POINTS: your daily rewards program
(This link will lead you to my facebook post with my referral link!)
   For shoppers, this is just as good as Swagbucks! They give over 8% cash back on purchases, and they have absolute ton of online stores to shop through...including unusual health food sites like!
They also let you earn points through surveys and searches and a bunch more things! Also, just like with inbox dollars, you can gain points just by clicking on emails! You need a program like this! Why would you shop online without a program like this? Why would you spend money online (as we have done for years-how I wish we knew about this before!) without a rewards program?

This doesn't give me a referral link, so if you want me to gain points for referring you, please comment below with your email address and I will send you a sign-up link! I will keep your email private; meaning I will definitely delete your comment ASAP!
This site offers rewards for surveys. I really love their surveys and have been able to participate in many of them!

VIP voice surveys:
   They don't give me a referral link; I have to send you a link through your email. If you care enough about me to want me to get extra points for referring you, just comment with your first name and email address and I will send you a link! I will also promptly delete your comment from the public's eyes!

   This is for those who are willing to do surveys only. You get points to spend on bidding or sweeps for a variety of products including coupons.
I have gained 30,475 points since I signed up in April 2014. I haven't used my points yet. Example: In bids, A Home Theatre Speaker System is currently going for 82,615 points with 5 days left. I have decide to save up my points for something big!
My favourite part of VIP was that they send you survey links to your inbox and thus I have qualified over 6 times to take part in a week-long food and beverage survey which paid $25.00 each time! Thus, I have an online Visa card with $130.00 free money to spend!

Music lovers, you are going to love this one!
Get paid cash simply for listening to tracks from budding musical artists which match up with your musical interests and quickly typing up a short review on the music you just heard! Each review pays between .11-.20! (11 cents- 20 cents). Once you reach the gold level, you get 20 cents per review! Of course, this works best for those of you who are speedy thinkers and typers! And it is great to multi-task while doing this.

For more similar deals, visit my blog post below:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cranberry Morning Streusel Coffee Cake recipe

                  Cranberry Morning Streusel Coffee Cake:
   What a delicious Christmas morning dessert, or accompaniment to tea-time this cake makes! Although fairly easy and quick to make, it turns out beautifully! Our Grandma used to bring it all the way from Canada every year for Christmas morning; and we still love making and savouring it any special day!

-½ cup butter
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp. Vanilla
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp. Baking powder
-1 tsp. Baking soda
-½ tsp. Salt
-1 cup sour cream
-2 ½ cups cranberries fresh or frozen

For Streusel:
-¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar
-½ cup all-purpose flour
-1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
-¼ cup butter (more if needed)
Mix together and blend in butter until crumbly

For Cake:
Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.
Spread half the batter in a greased and floured pan ( 10 inch springform or angel food) Sprinkle with first with half the streusel mixture, follow with half the cranberries, then the remaining batter, remaining cranberries, and the rest of the streusel mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F. about one hour, till skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.

Serve warm, with butter. (optional) Makes about 12 good-sized slices.
Note: Can be frozen. Let cool suspended on glass bottle, remove cake from pan, wrap well in foil paper, freeze. When the time comes for enjoying it, simply re-heat in 250 degrees F. oven for about 20 minutes.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Winter parties: A Viking feast

Inspired by the excellent book Hand of Vengeance by Douglas Bond, we created a Viking/ Saxon birthday for a party in October 2013!
This theme appeals to children and adults of all ages and genders! In fact, this particular birthday was for a teenage brother and sister and they both had a blast with it! Let's start with a concise look at the party: 

Sliced Ham
Pork and Chicken portions cooked in apples
''Harvest'' muffins (see below for recipe)
Hunks of bread
''Meade'' (apple cider- see recipe below)

''How to Train Your Dragon'' by John Powell
music by artist Alexander Rybak

(it is always a good idea to plan ahead so you can keep your eyes open while shopping thrift stores and antique shops!):
For children: 
-How to Train your Dragon items

For all: 
-Brown or green ''beakers'' (mugs from thrift stores (or here  and here on Etsy))
-Unique metal buttons with Celtic designs (antique/thrift stores)
-Unique stone or metal items
-Jewelry made of metal or stone
-Metal or stone drinking cups (antique/thrift stores)
-Maps (create these yourself)
-Poems and hidden messages written in Rune alphabet (see below)
-Woven items such as baskets
-Sea shells
-Wooden serving dishes and utensils

For more inspiration...see pictures below!
Viking gown created using old and new items...see below for more details.

We used a Playmobil character we already owned.
The picture behind is one we found online and printed out. The frame was found at ...a thrift store of course!

Of course candles always lend the perfect atmosphere to every table setting! Here we have a  soy tea light candle perched on some sea shells inside a tiny basket. 

A piece of jewelry entwines an ornate candle holder. To the right, a message I wrote in Runes- the ancient Scandinavian alphabet.
This was a quickly-created craft for the birthday using a Native American canoe we already owned. We added a mast with red and white striped sail, a figurehead and viking! The 'shields' along the side are all metal buttons. I am serious when I say that we find things months ahead at antique and thrift stores! You can probably find them on Etsy or elsewhere online. 

Found this beaker at another antique store! It works as a splendid thermos

In a hurry, Nikola assembled this viking ship prow from a large cardboard box and strips of brown paper. Add a cardboard shield and a plastic piece and you're all set!
Sorry we don't have real instructions.

                                                            As for the noon feast....
We had slices of ham...

...hunks of bread

''HARVEST'' muffin recipe: 
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups applesauce or pear sauce (cook pears just as you would apples and blend)
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves

In a medium-sized bowl, sift dry ingredients. In a mixer, beat sugar and egg together. Add applesauce, alternating with dry ingredients and fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 minutes. 

Optional: chopped walnuts for a great twist!

Heat samples of ''mead'' by placing a bowl above a candle, as shown above!
Bubbling-hot ''Mead'' recipe:
All you need is 
-1 gallon of apple cider, heated up with 
-3 sticks of cinnamon 
-and your favourite mulling spice blend- we used a plum spice variety
 (if unavailable, try adding 1/2 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. ginger and perhaps some dried plums and berries!) 
-about 1 cup red wine (for child-friendly cider either continue to simmer the cider until alcohol has worn off, or use grape juice!)

....and last, but not least: Pork cooked with apples, and sausages!
 As I am unsure as to what recipe we followed, allow me to suggest this one here! Enjoy.

For more inspiration, here are the pictures we took that day...
(if you are looking for a women's Viking-style costume, look no further than your local resale shop! We found this heavy gown at our thrifstore! With altering, it became a convincing Viking lass outfit! We split up the sides of the dress, and then laced it up using twine laced through leather tabs.  Add a metal belt and you're set!)

Of course she happened to have remarkably authentic hair that year!

''To arms! To arms!'' the watchman cries in fear. 
''A sail! A sail! The dragon ships are near!
The shields are set and now the sails are furled!
Now oars extend like claws that rend the world. 
And men, like wolves, they grind us with their keels, 
Our shores, our crops, our homes, beneath their heels...
Hold fast! The saintly warrior king appears, 
And with him valiant thegns who turn our tears
To steadfast courage stout and purpose strong, 
Who steel our will to stand against the wrong.
           To arms! To arms! Let none your valour quake!
We'll fight and die for our Defender's sake!''
-The falcon-eyed watchman by Douglas Bond-

How to Train Your Dragon by John Powell

For the spirit of Norway, Alexander Rybak is amazing!

Excellent historical fiction

A wonderful book for children!
I thought this an interesting introduction to Viking history for young readers 

Edwin: High King of Britain (The Northumbrian Thrones #1)

I have not read many of this genre, as you can tell. 
See this list for more inspiration!


Have you seen Pendragon:Sword of His Father by Burns Family Studios? It is an excellent story, perfect for children of all ages! Very well done especially for an amateur company!

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