October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

My favorite Halloween joke so far:

A cabbie picks up a Nun.
She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her. She asks him why he is staring.

He replies:'I have a question to ask you but I don't want to offend you.'
She answers, 'My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.'
'Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.'
She responds, 'Well, let's see what we can do about that: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic.'

The cab driver is very excited and says, 'Yes, I'm single and Catholic!'
'OK' the nun says. 'Pull into the next alley.'
The nun fulfills his fantasy, with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.
But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying. 'My dear child,' says the nun, 'why are you crying?'

'Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess,
I'm married and I'm Jewish.'

The nun says, 'That's OK. My name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party.'

 
I hope everyone has a spooktacular Halloween!  I'm so cheesy and unoriginal.  Last night was Beggar's Night (Trick-or-Treat to most people) in our town.  We have always taken M to her Grandma's town to Trick-or-Treat, this year that town and our city were on different nights. So for the first time in a few years we were actually able to hand out candy!  Tonight we are taking her to the other town for a night of freaking-cold-candy-gathering.  She is a cute little bumblebee this year and K is a monkey.  Of course I will post pictures after we done!
We've had our fair share of tricks in the past two weeks, we are certainly ready for a treat. Thanks to a lovely leak in our roof (rolling my eyes) we spent the past few days rearranging our entire house.  The leak is in the room  where we had nearly all of our electronics.  It's not a bad leak...yet...but we are being proactive and moved it all out of there.  Now K has his own room that is pretty much empty, except toys, where he is free to roam!  It's actually quite nice for him.  Fortunately our house has two living room areas so we just shoved everything into the other living room.  Bring on the treats!

October 28, 2009

Isn't this beautiful!

Let's see, currently we have a leaky roof and a beaten up car (Jason was in an accident last week but is OK) which, as you can imagine, are not cheap to fix.  So as you can also imagine, getting deals on my Christmas shopping are not only great, but necessary.  So far, this is pretty much the best deal ever!  I just ordered 3 toys for K for Christmas from Amazon.com.  And thanks to my account with Opinion Outpost, this is what I paid for them....



How beautiful is that???  I love Amazon, you just have to be careful to watch where you are actually buying your items from.  If you buy directly from Amazon.com you generally get free shipping on orders over $25.  So on top of getting the items free, I saved over $15 on shipping cost.   I actually still have a couple bucks left in my Opinion Outpost account too.

A week of achievements!

For the kids that is.  I haven't achieved anything this week....nothing...diddly squat.  But my kids have been busy!  K is now crawling, very slowly but it still counts!  He also claps his hands now.  He did it before but mostly by accident, now he does it when I do it.  He is a little copy-cat, he even fake coughs when I cough.

M has been busy too!  She is definitely learning a lot, she just read 25 pages from the Dr. Suess book Hop on Pop!  All by herself!  Ok, I helped her sound a couple of the words out, but she pretty much did it all on her own.  She is really enjoying kindergarten.  We couldn't ask for a better shcool or teacher.  I also really love the fact that her class is very diverse.  She has children of several different races, which I think is great.  I grew up in a school that was 100% white, no joke.  She also has students of varying special needs in her class.  I remember growing up, the special needs kids were in some of my classes and everyone enjoyed it.  I think it defenitely helps the children understand that not all kids are the same but they all can play together and enjoy each other's company.

Sorry, that's all I got today!  I have to take time to brag about my kids once in awhile.

Everybody say "awwwwwww"

October 25, 2009

Sunday recipe

Since it's cold outside and football season inside, I'm going to share the recipes I use for some yummy comfort food!  Baked Chicken Fingers and Fries!


Oven Baked Chicken Fingers
Ingredients

1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Directions


In a plastic bag, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; set aside. In a small bowl, combine garlic and oil. Flatten the chicken to 1/2-in. thickness; cut into 1-in.-wide strips. Dip strips in oil; coat with crumb mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Seasoned Fries

 Ingredients

1 large baking potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).Cut potato into wedges. Mix olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and onion powder together. Coat potatoes with oil/spice mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven.  Turn the potatoes halfway through baking. 

The fries are NOT spicy at all.  We all loved them.  I used  4 small potatoes and doubled the other ingredients.   If you cook both recipes at the same time, cook the potatoes for about 25 minutes before adding the chicken fingers, then cook another 20 minutes.  We always put them  under the broiler for a couple seconds/minutes so they will be extra crispy, but be careful because the broiler works fast!  Enjoy!





October 23, 2009

A week of deals!

I have had a great week as far as saving money. Everything else about the week sucked, but this part was good!  I added it up, I got $150 worth of stuff FREE this week.  Ok, I did pay shipping on three of the things, for a total of $20.  Here is what I got:

I talked earlier about this code for a  free E.L.F. make-up kit.  I bought a $1 bottle of nail polish, so for $7 (shipping plus the nail polish) I got the free make-up kit, nail plish, and they threw in a free lip gloss, full-size even!

When I became a friend of Edible Arrangements on Facebook, they gave me a code for a free 6-piece chocolate covered fruit box.  It was a $15 value and I opted to pick it up from the store, so no shipping!  I don't think this offer is available anymore though :(

We bought the Guitar Hero 5 video game in October and it came with an offer for a free video game.  You had to buy the game by the end of September so it's not valid anymore.  We got our free copy of Guitar Hero Van Halen in the mail yesterday, and it's a $60 value!

I won a giveaway on Love To Shop Mom and scored a free DVD.   It's a cute My Little Pony movie!

The other two things I got are top secret since they are gifts for someone who may or may not read this!  One was a $30 value and the other was a $15 value..and both completely free!!

October 21, 2009

Something I want to share

I really want to share this blog post with everyone that will read it.  I stumbled upon a blog from a link provided by a friend on Facebook.  The post has really stuck with me, probably because of what we have been through with losing a newborn.  The woman writing the post lost a son, after he was just 2 minutes old.  In her state (Tennessee) he was not alive long enough to be considered a live birth, and stillborn babies are not able to get birth certificates.  It may seem silly to some people, but that one piece of paper is very important to parents.  It's a small piece of paper but it is an acknowledgement to the world that our child really did exist.  She has a petition going to change the law in her state.  I know Tennesse is not the only state that has this law, it should be changed everywhere.  Please check out the blog and sign the petition if you feel the same way.

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

It seems as though it's been a few days since my last post!  Time just got away from me I guess.  I can't really say I was "too busy" to write because, well, that is never true.  I started some major fall cleaning this week along with my blogger friend Chelsea.  So far I've just gotten our bedroom and M's bedroom done.  I'm saving the horrific rooms for later, I gotta work my way up to them.  We did clean out the garage though. After a day with snow last week, I realized it was time to make room for the car in the garage.  I'm sure that probably makes it seem as though we are really messy people, but the truth is that our garage is so small.  If a hammer falls off the shelf onto the floor, the garage is too dirty to park the car in.  No joke.  We have a teeny tiny Kia Spectra and when we park in the garage, the doors on both sides of the car hit the wall when we get out of the car.  It's what you get when you buy a house from the 1940's. Our garage is the size of most peoples bathrooms, and our bathrooms are the size of most people's closets.  But I love our house anyway.

Although I can't say that I've been overly busy, it does seem like there has been a lot going on here lately.  I found out Monday that my uncle Ed passed away.  Last night was the visitation.  I can only hope that I have 1/4 as many people at my funeral when I'm gone!  He was a great guy, and I know people always say that about someone that dies, but he truly was one of the most genuine people you'd ever have the privilege of knowing. He has been battling prostate cancer for several years now, he was told 5 years ago that he only had months to live.  I feel better knowing that he is no longer going to daily chemo treatments and is no longer constantly sick.

M has also had a lot going on at school lately.  We had conferences last week.  This week she has/had Happy Bear visit her class, school pictures, and a trip to the pumpkin patch!  It sounds like there are a lot of illnesses at her school too, so I'm just waiting for us all to get H1N1.  All of us, except Jason, have been sick for a few days now but I am pretty sure it's not the flu.  Usually the flu hits hard and is very sudden, the nasty illness we have has been lingering for over a week and is just stuffy noses, sore throats, coughs, and sneezes.  None of us had (or will be getting) any type of flu shots this year, so I hope we can stay clear of it for as long as possible.

Jason's Extra Life charity gaming marathon was this weekend.  It is nice to have it done with, since I know it was not easy for them to stay up 24 hours, staring at a TV screen.  Jason loves video games more then anyone on the planet, but it is still hard to stare at a screen that long.  Not to mention the fun carpal tunnel that comes with the territory. Jason and his friend Chad raised $330 for the charity, which raised $140,000 overall!  Not bad for a few guys playing video games!  We'll be doing it again next year, but have some fun activities planned to making it an even bigger event next year.  I might even join in!  And, because I love adding pictures to my posts, I leave you with some video gaming fun.



funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures




funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

October 18, 2009

Sunday recipe...and a great giveaway!

So I am totally cheating on this Sunday recipe, because I'm "stealing" it from a great site, Recipe Shoebox.  Look at this amazing recipe for an apple pie.  I have to say, I have never attempted to make a pie, but this recipe has me sold.  Here's the recipe for the crust and the pie filling.

While you're there, scroll down and check out the giveaway!  She is giving away some really wonderful items, including an apple peeler/corer, pastry mat, and stoneware.  I've entered a lot of giveaways, but these are some of the best items I've seen!  Besides, I never win anything, so you  might as well go try to win them too!

October 16, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

My poor little blog has been suffering from an identity crisis lately.  If you know me in person you will know that I am alway re-arranging things, I guess I need a therapist.  I think I finally have the blog that I want, for now.  I'm sure I will update the photo at the top so each of my children get equal blog time.  Hope you like the new look!

My first Etsy product

It may not be the fanciest thing I've made so far but it is the softest!! I made a couple little stroller blankets using an animal printed fleece and a striped green minky. It's amazingly soft! I had a little screw-up on the first one, I was able to fix it but I'm not selling something that's not exactly the way it should be, so K gets it! Woohoo! Anyway, here is the blanket:












































And of course I have to have a picture of my adorable little model!! Nevermind my disgusting foot, it looks like it's part alien. And don't worry, I won't use these pictures when I actually sell it! I hear items sell better on Etsy without creepy alien body parts in the photo.




















Awwwwwwwww

October 13, 2009

A productive day..finally

And I really needed one because I have been slacking lately! You'd think with four hours each day completely to myself (while K naps and M is at school) that I would get something done! Nope. I do all of the housework, dishes, etc before taking M to school so that I can work on my craft projects while K naps....somehow I never seem to get any projects done! Today I got 3 sewing projects done so I'm on my way to being able to open my store. I got a deal at Jo-Ann's fabric. I made two really, really cute stroller blankets. They are minky on one side and fleece on the other side so they are super soft. I almost dozed off twice while I was sewing them. Ok, not really, but I did stop sewing a couple times to feel the fabric. Call me weird. Go ahead. I also got a burp rag completed. It's cute, but it's a burp rag so I can't really make it sound all that exciting.

Today was a super Swagbucks day too. They reached 100,000 Facebook fans so they celebrated with bunches of codes. I was a little slow on some of them but I did end up bringing in 7 bucks today. So, for my grand total of Swagbucks so far....drumrolll....












And on an even better note, I scored $50 today for doing absolutely nothing. Really. I mentioned the survey site Opinion Outpost earlier. Well today I got my regular email telling me there was a survey available. After answering the initial questions I was told I didn't qualify. Boo. But, since they want you to be happy, they offer three options. You can donate a little to charity, enter a sweepstakes for $850, or take your chances at an instant win. Well, being the greedy little person I am I decided to do the instant win. And I won 500 points!!! That's $50 people. Each survey usually gives me 20 points, which is $2. So on top of the $9.00 I've earned so far, my grand total is....




I'd say I had a pretty good day!

October 11, 2009

It's Sunday!

But I don't have a delicious recipe for you. :( I've been slacking on meal planning this week so it has been a week of leftovers and repeat recipes. Sorry. I know that my Sunday recipe is totally the highlight of your weekend.



On a completely different note, I want to remind everyone that October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) awareness day. Please take a moment out of your day to remember. I bet everyone reading this knows someone that has lost a baby, either through miscarriage, neonatal death, SIDS, etc. For those of you that are new to joining my blog, feel free to stop by Alexandria's site. I don't get it updated much anymore but you're welcome to check it out.

Etsy here I come!

I've established my next semi-major goal...open up my Etsy store! For those that don't know, it's an online site where each person can set up their own store to sell their handmade items. I've been wanting to do it for awhile but you have to have a pretty good stash of stuff made up before you open it. I plan to sell baby items such as burp rags, loveys, quilts, etc. I also hope to sell handmade cards and maybe even scrapbooks. I have a pattern for fun diaper bags and cloth diapers too but I have to make a few "practice" ones first. I already have a name picked out and I'm excited to get started!! I have a scrapbook to work on for a friend and a quilt to finish for an order. After that (and probably after my holiday crafts) I am getting started! If you can think of anything you'd like to see in my store, please let me know! Once I get going, look for giveaways of my products on this and other sites!!

Now if I can find a way to afford that embroidery machine... :)

October 10, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like....Halloween?

I for one LOVE the snow, but snow this early in October is crazy! I guess when you live in Iowa you learn to expect anything when it comes to weather. One year for Christmas we sat outside to open presents, many Easter egg hunts have been snow-covered.....

The kids, of course, love this early snow. M has been outside since she woke up. Daddy helped her make this very.....special.....snowman:




<----and yes, that's St. Patrick's Day hat that he's wearing. We call him St. Hall0w-Man...or Patween...or HallowRick. I guess there are lots of combinations of St. Patrick's day, Halloween, and Snowman, so I'll stop.



















K got in on the snow action too. M came in the house and stomped her snow on the rug. This was apparently extremely funny to him. He ate the snow. He played in the snow. And he laughed at the snow. He's a strange little boy.





video

October 8, 2009

8 days!


Thank you to everyone that has helped Jason reach his goal for Extra Life! His team is just dollars away from reaching its goal as well! I am sharing the information again for anyone that is still interested in donating. Also, check out my update at the bottom of the post!


(The following is copied from previous post)

Anyone who knows me or my husband knows how much he loves his video games! Finally! He can put his gaming to good use! From 8:00 a.m on October 17th until 8:00 a.m. on October 18 he will be playing video games (for 24 hours straight!) to raise money for Pediatric Cancer research, with donations going to Texas Children's Hospital. You can be part of this by donating to his team, TeamDarkAngelKain. Any amount helps! You can choose to donate per hour that he plays (ex. donate $1/hr which would add up to a $24 hour donation if he finishes out the whole 24 hours. The max is 24 hours, even if he plays longer then that.) Click on the image below to donate to his team, or you are welcome to join his team to play video games and raise donations! Video games are not limited to the Wii or Playstation 3, you can play solataire on your PC for 24 hours! We are very appreciative of any support we receive!!!


If you've been close to a child that has gone through treatment after treatment, you understand the physical and emotional pain these children go through. Jason grew up with a best friend who had pediatric cancer. He is now a healthy adult but Jason vividly remembers being by his friend's side, and we proudly support charities such as Extra Life and Make A Wish.



****UPDATE: Follow Jason on Twitter to hear updates! He will update his status to keep us up to date on what games he is playing and even sharing some photos!****




October 7, 2009

Surveys and Christmas shoppping

In the last few weeks I've started spending a few minutes each day trying to earn basically free money. Well, I guess I am using my time so it's not free, but it's all been easy. I talked about Swagbucks in an earlier post. Seriously, all you have to do is search the web like you already do anyway. I've added online surveys to my daily ritual. I never used to be a believer in the online surveys though. I once joined a site, racked up a ton of points, then when it came time to cash in my points...my item never, ever arrived. That was years ago. But I learned about Opinion Outpost from a friend who has received her rewards, so I know it's legit. I joined less then a week ago and have only completed 3 surveys, and today just earned enough to either get a $5 check or a $5 Amazon.com gift card! Seriously. They email you when a survey opens up so you don't have to keep checking the site. I highly encourage everyone to at least check it out. Especially if you are like me and have a baby who takes naps during the day. I can only spend so much of my day cleaning!!!! Between Opinion Outpost and Swagbucks, I've almost earned $10 in one week....with very little effort.

Now, what to do with my "free" money! I've started my Christmas shopping and I feel pretty good about what I have done so far. I like to shop early, I really think the stores have the better deals now plus you can find a lot of stuff on clearance this time of year. They are trying to clear the shelves to make room for all of the Christmas-type items. Everything I've gotten so far has been a really good deal. And as a bonus, I don't have to fight crowds of crazy ladies that will whip you with their purses if you get in their way. When I was pregnant with K (and I had him in December so you can imagine how big I was during the holiday shopping season) a lady almost ran me over in the Target parking lot. Apparently I wasn't walking fast enough, and the fact that I was 8 months pregnant and had my 4 year-old with me wasn't enough to slow her down.

October 5, 2009

Randomness

I really have nothing important to say, not that anything I post is important. Today those unfortunate few of you that read this blog get to listen to my ramblings.

First, today I had to throw out an entire batch of baby food. And it wasn't something easy like apples, it was beef & spinach lasagna. I had it all pureed and poured into the trays. Then I noticed it.....a small piece of plastic missing from my food processor. Sigh. So this little piece of plastic (about the size of a pea, but with jagged edges) was somewhere in the baby food. I couldn't think of an easy way to find the plastic since his baby food is lumpy. So, it's in the trash.

Second, my mom and I are on a mission to find some of those stupid Zhu Zhu pets. I made it 5 years without my child wanting one of the hot toys of the season. No luck this year. Not many stores carry them, and the ones that do are completely sold out.

Third, I cannot believe that I am about to start planning K's first birthday party! He should still be a tiny little baby :( I found the perfect theme so now I have to start getting crafty and making some invitations. I think I will have his party in late November or early December, so I can bypass the Christmas holidays.

October 4, 2009

Sunday recipe

I had a little bit of trouble deciding what recipe to post today. I've done several main dishes so I've decided to post a couple side dishes and a desert today. Again, they are all from Taste Of Home.

Pumpkin Torte

Ingredients
  • CRUST:
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Additional whipped topping
Combine crust ingredients; press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Spread over crust. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until top appears set. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin, egg yolks, milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened; remove from the heat.
Dissolve gelatin in water; add to saucepan. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cooled torte; chill. Garnish with whipped topping. Torte keeps well for several days in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-15 servings.

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Dilly Mashed Potatoes


Ingredients

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp dill weed
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp sald
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain. Mash with remaining ingredients.
Yield: 4 servings
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Chive carrots

Ingredients
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 2-inch julienne strips
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives or parsley
In a large skillet, saute carrots and garlic in oil and butter for 3 minutes. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with chives. Yield: 4 servings.

October 2, 2009

Swagbucks

Ok, so I am just learning how to use this but it seems pretty cool! It's called Swagbucks and all you have to do is search the internet, just like you normally. You can install their toolbar and every time you search you have the opportunity to win Swagbucks, which can be redeemed for gift cards, music downloads, video games, etc. I have a banner at the bottom of my page, or you can click here to register. It's so easy, I have 22 bucks and I have only been doing it for a few days. Check it out and let me know what you think of it! And hurry because right now they are giving away 5, 10, 20 or 100 Swagbucks to random searchers!!!