Thursday, January 28, 2010

Add More ~ing Review & Giveaway

I'll admit it...I'm a self-help book junkie! Most days I would pick up a self-help book before any others. It's not that I always follow their advice, but they fascinate me. For whatever reason, I always get wrapped up in them, and in the end, I always take something important from within the pages.

Add More ~ing To Your Life by Gabrielle Bernstein is one of the more upbeat, positive books I've found lately. With a tagline that reads: A Hip Guide to Happiness, should I have really expected any differently?! (Okay, and it has the cutest, eye-catching cover ever.)
I started reading the book while waiting for my computer to get cleaned early this week. I was frustrated after getting hit with a computer virus, annoyed that I had to spend my day running around trying to get it fixed. Luckily, I had brought along my copy of Add More ~ing To Your Life, because it got me through what could have been a maddening afternoon. Honestly, I didn't even realize I had been at the computer shop for almost two hours because I was so absorbed in the book.

About the book:
Become a glass-half full kind of person with Bernstein’s "~ing Equation." It’s a thirty-day adventurous repetition of physical activity, positive affirmations and creative visualization that will bulldoze your negative thought patterns to create constructive change and move you forward. From releasing romantic illusions to stretching beyond your ego, the ~ing Equation can be applied to an infinite number of areas to reach serenity and set yourself free.

Test-drive the three simple steps of the ~ing Equation:
  • Rethinking – Retell your stories and actively replace negative thoughts with upbeat ideas. Unhealed issues are the ego’s playground for nasty self-beliefs – don’t let these beliefs overpower your new thoughts.
  • Moving – Match up a physical activity with each area of life that needs a makeover to allow a change in those negative aspects on both a mind and body level.
  • Receiving x 30 days – Start by meditating to let go of the left brain’s practicality and welcome the right brain’s intuition and creativity. Immediately following, do a stream-of-consciousness "~ing writing" exercise, an opportunity to spill those unconscious thoughts onto the page. The thirty-day repetition of the ~ing Equation will allow you to truly experience results.
I love the real life experiences Bernstein provides throughout the book. And at times, it was almost as if she could read my mind. While reading about forgiveness, I kept thinking of situations where I wouldn't be able to forgive a person. But within just a few pages, she had addressed the concerns in my head.

Add More ~ing To Your Life provides such an easy to follow, positive spin on life. This is one self-help book that I've taken quite a bit from. I'm excited to put her ideas into practice and see how beneficial it can be in my life as well. I can't wait to turn myself into an ~ing girl too.

Buy It:
Add More ~ing To Your Life retails for $14.99

Win It:
One lucky reader will win a copy of the book.

To enter: Visit Add More ~ing and tell me one thing you learned.

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Giveaway ends 2/6 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.

A copy of the book was provided for review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fiber One: Review & Giveaway

Since my quest to get healthier started, I have tried my best to choose healthy snacks. I've eaten a ton of fruit and veggies with the occasional bowl of Cheerios. It's really hard to find prepackaged snacks I truly enjoy that fit in with my eating habits right now.

I was recently introduced to Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars. They are available in both chocolate and chocolate peanut butter and contain 2.5 grams of fat each. Plus, each bar contains 5 grams of fiber, or 20% of the daily recommendation, which leaves you feeling full and satisfied.To be honest, I don't have much of a sweet tooth. Which is good for me. However, there are times when I crave something sweet or really want to indulge without adding a ton of calories to my daily intake. The Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars are perfect for that. I pulled one out as a snack this afternoon, but soon lost it to my 5 year old. He thought it was delicious, and so did I (once I retrieved another from the pantry).

My only complaint? I wish the boxes had more than 5 bars inside! With Little One fighting me for them, we'll be running out in no time!

Buy It:
You can find the Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars at your grocer

Win It:
One lucky reader will win a gift pack from MyBlogSpark that includes a sample of the bars and other items to help you stick to your weight management plan.
To enter: Tell me how you snack healthy or leave me your best workout tip.

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Giveaway ends 2/6 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.

Information, free samples, and the gift pack for review and giveaway was provided from Fiber One through MyBlogSpark.

OxiClean Blog Tour

Laundry is never ending in our house. It seems like the second I think everything is clean, more piles are magically appearing.

With two boys in the house (one little and one not-so-little), I also see my fair share of stains. I often wonder which of them misses their mouth more often. Seriously, I've seen more ketchup, chocolate, and juice stains than I would've ever imagined.

Towards the middle of February, OxiClean will be releasing two new new stain-fighting products. The OxiClean Max Force Pre-treater Gel Stick is designed to attack the toughest stains. In our house this usually entails grass stains, mustard, and chocolate milk. The Gel Stick has "stain grabbing nubs" designed to break apart and remove stains. And it's so simple to use. Just rub on, let it stand, and wash in warm water.
The second product to be released is the OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Fighter & Booster Power Paks. Designed to remove tough stains, like grass, blood, dirt, and grease, the Power Paks are simply dropped into the washer with your detergent. The Power Paks also help make whites whiter and keep brights looking bright.

I love how easy to use both of the products are. Because who wants to spend more time in the laundry room than they have to?! And they have both done what they promise: tackle tough stains. I'll definitely be adding both products to my laundry shelf permanently.

Buy It:
Look for the new OxiClean products mid-February where ever you buy laundry supplies.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of OxiClean and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

More From Just Jen

Not long ago, I told you about the custom shirts from Just Jen. I'm thrilled with the Loved tee I received and have worn it several times since it arrived. Even after many washes, the color has held fast and the Swarovski crystals sparkle just as well as the first day it arrived.

I had so much fun deciding on how I wanted my custom tee to look the first time around. If you remember, at Just Jen, you can create your own custom rhinestone t-shirt online with text and symbols in 22 crystal colors, on front and back. With so many choices, I would love to design another tee.

So what will be my next pick?

I'd love to use the Pink and White 3/4 sleeve Raglan tee and have my name printed on the front, like on the Personalized Name and Initial Tee.
Very cute!

This post is an entry for the Just Jen $100 GC Blogging Contest hosted on (Which ends tomorrow, so you still have time to enter!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Forgotten


Working Out with N-Fini: Review & Giveaway

Over the past month, I've been getting myself back into shape. I started right before New Year's Day, but I've tried to focus on this being a goal, not a resolution. I know that it's just a term, but for me, having goals makes me work harder.

My workouts usually consist of a variety of activities, from jogging and dancing to kick boxing and pilates. I'm willing to try just about anything. One of my favorite activities (and Little Man's) is jumping on our newly acquired trampoline.

Since I mostly workout at home, I can easily get away with a pair of sweats and a tee shirt. However, I did quickly realize that I haven't bought a sports bra since high school. (Yikes!)

Luckily, N-Fini Shapewear came to the rescue. They offer a variety of shapewear made with Lycra freshFX fabric, designed for moisture management, and Lycra fiber for shape and comfort.

About N-Fini, from the company:
Say goodbye to your grandmother’s girdle, suffocating spandex, and old-fashioned corset bras! From the thigh, buttocks and waist to the torso, chest and upper arm, N-fini has a shapewear solution for every problem area of the body, providing for the utmost lift, shape, support and comfort for its wearer. The line offers ultra-flattering styles, ranging from strapless, tank, , and cami styles to shaper bras, bustiers, torso trimmers and long-sleeve tops. For the lower half of the body, thigh shorts, capris and leggings come available in both regular and hi-waisted styles.

Innovative features such as Non-Invasive Micro-Fiber Elastic Trim, Diamond Support Panels, Anti-Curl Comfort Hem with Serpentine Gel, Breathable Upper-Arm Plush Adjustable Straps, Vented Upper-Arm Trim Shapers, 4-Way Stretch Comfort Gussets and more can be found throughout the collection. Made with LYCRA freshFX fabric for dry, comfortable shaping, each style comes available in S/M, M/L, L/2XL, 2XL/3XL and 3XL/4XL to fit every body type, in black and nude to be worn unnoticed under any garment. Practicing quality production techniques, N-fini is proud t
o manufacture all products in the USA, in-house at the brand’s Tampa Bay, Florida plant. Pieces retail from $55 - $130 in numerous specialty stores, boutiques and online retailers throughout the United States, including
I've been lucky enough to work out in one of the sports bra from N-Fini's 2009 Sports Bra collection over the last few weeks. Not only is it comfortable and supportive, it also has adjustable straps, making for a great fit.

At first I was worried that the N-Fini Sports Bra wouldn't offer enough support, as it's designed with spaghetti straps versus the typical wide straps. However, I was surprised at just how supportive it is to work out in. Even the trampoline is no match for N-Fini. I also love the bright colors. It comes in red, lilac, blue, pick, and of course, black.

Buy It:
You can purchase the N-Fini Sports Bra for $24.95.

Use the code save10 for 10% off your N-Fini purchases now through March 31st, 2010.

Win It:
One lucky reader will win a $50 gift certificate to N-Fini.

To enter: Visit and tell us which shapewear item is a must for your wardrobe!

Want extra entries? (Leave separate comments for each)
  • Follow me on Blogger
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Giveaway ends 2/5 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.

Thanks to N-Fini for providing the product for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Get Financially Naked Book Review

In our house, momma is in charge of the money. My husband will fully admit that I take care of our finances. I created the budget, I pay the bills, I make sure the money is where it's supposed to be, when it's supposed to be there. If it were left up to him, my guess is, it wouldn't take long for our lights to get turned off!

We have very different perspectives when it comes to money. He's a spender. I'm a saver.

Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money With Your Honey
, by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar provides the down and dirty on how to discuss finances with your significant other. Written by two financial analysts, the book provides tips and tools on how to minimize financial stresses that can come between a couple.My hubby and I have been married for almost 6 years, and I don't remember us ever really talking about our financial situation. I often tell him what he can spend, or not spend, but we never get into an in depth conversation about it.

Get Financially Naked discusses how to own your own finances, discuss the topic with your partner, and plan for the future. One chapter of the book, "How Financially Compatible Are You?" offers a quiz to take with your partner. I made my hubby answer the questions, and I was very surprised at some of his answers. While I knew we had our differences, I never knew just how "out of the loop" he felt when it came to our finances. The quiz really opened up communication between us.

I appreciate how the book is laid out in step by step form. It not only focuses on current finances, but also on saving and investing. I learned quite a bit of new information from Get Financially Naked, and I hope to talk my hubby into reading it as well. I think it would really help him to understand my point of view a little better.

I would recommend this to new couples and those struggling to understand their finances. The real-life advice Thakor and Kedar offer can definitely change your thoughts on discussing money with your partner.

A copy of the book was provided for my review. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Race Car Button

Why is it that any time I have a blemish on my face, someone's got to point it out? Like I'm not self-conscious about it already?!

Momma, you need some lotion for your face, you've got a big red spot.

It's okay, it's just a boo-boo.

Oh, it looks more like a race car button.

Seriously? Thanks, kid.

Well, at least I got a giggle out of it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Year Apart

He might get a little taller, but he never changes.

Around the Web

A few weeks ago, I was excited to offer a giveaway from Skin MD Natural. They are currently hosting a huge Valentine's Day giveaway over at their site. It's so easy to enter, just type in your name and email.
You could win a prize basket worth $100, which includes:
  • A Bottle Skin MD Natural shielding lotion
  • A Bottle Skin MD Natural + SPF 15 shielding lotion
  • One pound of See's dark assorted chocolates
  • 12 Starbucks VIA Ready brew coffee pouches
  • A "Kiss Me" mug
  • A Cuddly teddy bear
  • Lollipop Bouquet
  • All in a lined wicker basket
The giveaway ends 2/7, so head over and enter soon!

* * * * *
Over at Kraft, they are currently on the search for a dynamite kid that wants to explode Texas Stadium? One lucky kid (ages 9-12) who has made a positive, explosive impact to better their community will win the chance to push the button that will implode Texas Stadium in Irving, TX this spring.Kids across the U.S. can apply by sending in a 300-word or less essay that details their story and a picture illustrating their story from January 7- February 5, 2010.

The event supports the launch of Cheddar Explosion, the newest Kraft Macaroni & Cheese that will hit shelves in early 2010.

* * * * *
And Sterling Knight's music video for StarStruck has just premiered on the Disney Channel, and Disney's mobile site! The title track from the brand new Disney Channel Original movie starring Knight, Danielle Campbell, Brandon Mychal Smith, and Chelsea Staub will appear on the film's soundtrack due out on February 9th.

Little Man loves Knight's music.

Thanks to Skin MD Natural, Kraft, and Total Assault for letting us know about these exciting events!

Monday, January 18, 2010

WordWorld: My Fuzzy Valentine DVD Review

I've mentioned WordWorld in the past. My five year old and I love watching the show on PBS Kids, but now that he's in school, he misses seeing it on TV. That's one of the reasons I love that they've put the episodes out on DVD.Recently released, My Fuzzy Valentine contains two full episodes from the Word friends. The first, which the DVD is named after, follows Sheep as she tries to create a special Valentine's song for Bear. Along the way, she gets help from her Word pals to create just the right words.

In the second episode, The Love Bug, Frog shows Bug a little encouragement and helps him to spell his name, allowing him to sign a Valentine card. (Little Man loves Bug, so he was excited that he was the "star" of this episode.)

As always, I love the skills WordWorld teaches, as well as the social lessons. The episodes focus on improving literacy skills, friendship, and determination. The messages the Word friends send out are perfect reinforcement for my 5 year old, as he develops and maintains friendships at school.

My Fuzzy Valentine can be purchased at NCircle Entertainment for $5.99 (on sale now) or Amazon for $6.99

Thanks to NCircle Entertainment for providing a copy for review. All opinions are our own.

Eating from the Pantry: Meal Plan

Over the last two weeks, we've been eating from our pantry. After assessing all our options, we created a list of 20 or so options for dinner time.

Now, I'm awful at having a set meal plan for every day or the week. It's much easier for me to decide in the afternoon what to cook, depending on what every one's hungry for.

Over the past two weeks we've had:
  1. Taco Salads with corn
  2. Burgers and oven fries
  3. Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots
  4. Pancakes (chocolate chip for the little one)
  5. BBQ Pork Chops with rice and veggies
  6. Chicken with broccoli and rice
  7. Chicken over salads
We've also had several days of leftovers, as well as meals at my moms (who even sends leftovers home with us).

In the days to come, our meal plan include:
  1. Beef stew
  2. Blueberry french toast
  3. Steaks with veggies
  4. Pancakes with fruit and sausage
  5. Eggs, bacon, and potatoes
  6. Hawaiin chicken with rice and veggies
  7. Chicken stew
  8. Chili
  9. Broccoli and beef
  10. Shepard's pie
  11. Meatloaf with mashed sweet potatoes and veggies
  12. Pork chops and pasta
  13. Grilled shrimp with rice and veggies
  14. Broiled fish and veggies
  15. Spaghetti and meat sauce
  16. Pizza
  17. Steak sandwiches
  18. Sweet and sour meatballs over rice
  19. Waffles with strawberry syrup or chocolate chips
Since checking out our pantry and freezer, we've headed to the grocery store only once to pick up fruit, veggies, bread, milk, and cheese. All in all totaling about $75 for the last two weeks. We've also added about 15lbs of ground beef, and will be getting quite a bit of pork this weekend. {Because my parents have a farm, we get most of our meat from them. It's leaner than anything I could buy at the store, which I love (and free).}

Overall, we're doing well eating from the pantry, but I think we'll have to replenish Little Man's lunch supplies soon. If only he wasn't so incredibly picky!

Personalized Calendars from Tukaiz: Review

Since my son started school this year, he has been obsessed with tracking what day it is. We have several calendars in our house, because each person likes to keep track of their own schedule, as well as a family calendar with all the major events marked on it.

I was recently introduced to Tukaiz Products. Tukaiz offers very unique personalized calendars. Each page of the calendar can be personalized with your name or your child's name. There are two "Smile Sets," or groups of photos, to choose from. And choosing is the hardest part of the process.
We received a personalized calendar with my 5 year old's name written on it. He was absolutely thrilled to see his name on the pages. I honestly heard him gasp when he spied his name written out by fish in the May photo. It looked like it could be straight out of Finding Nemo.

I'm impressed at how well the names blend into the photos. It looks as though each name really does belong there. The wall calendar we received from Tukaiz came spiral-bound, making it easy for little fingers to flip through over and over, and the high-quality paper looks like it will do exceptionally well from the force that is my 5 year old.

Tukaiz offers both an 11"x17" wall calendar ($19.99) and a 5"x7.5" desk calendar ($14.99). They also carry 5"x7" cards and invitations, which include holiday, baby shower, and birthday images, among others (starting at $21.99).
Thanks to Tukaiz for providing a calendar for our review. All opinions are our own.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Norman PhartEphant (Vol 1) Review & Giveaway

***Closed: Congrats to Beeb!***

Do you remember Norman? He's the lovable farting elephant that arrived at our house last summer.

Norman is an African elephant that was recently adopted by a US zoo. Unfortunately, in being transferred to the zoo, Norman's change in diet caused him to become rather gassy. Norman PhartEphant Volume 1 by Angela Larson follows Norman's experiences at his new zoo.
The book discusses the embarrassment of his gassy issue, the anxiety related to being in a new home, and the other animals he has met. Norman learns about other critters and is able to compare himself with them to see both their similarities and differences.

I had the opportunity to read Norman PhartEphant with my 5 year old. He has been a huge fan of the Norman plush since the day it arrived and was so excited to read about Norman's adventures. Little Man loved looking at the zoo illustrations and seeing all the different animal pens. (He still dreams of being a zoologist some day.)

The book caused several giggles, and it held my son's attention from start to finish. He was actually rather upset that there is currently only one Norman book. (Though two more volumes are in the works.) He can't wait to see who Norman meets next at the zoo!

Buy It:
You can buy Norman PhartEphant Volume 1 for $9.95

Win It:
One lucky reader will win a copy of Norman PhartEphant Volume 1

How to Enter:
Visit Norman and tell me something you learned about him.

Want extra entries? (Leave separate comments for each)
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Be sure to leave a way to contact you! Giveaway ends 1/24 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.

Thanks to Fierce Fun Toys for providing a copy for review. All opinions are our own.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Valentine's Shirts from Just Jen: Review

I love being festive. Most of February, you'll find me in red or pink. Call me a nerd, but I really do love it! Most of my Valentine's-colored shirts are very basic, just plain tees or sweaters.

I recently learned about Just Jen, the online source for custom Swarovski Crystal rhinestone clothing, and was thrilled to pick one of their Valentine's t-shirts to add to my wardrobe. Just Jen offers many choices for the upcoming holiday, from their Conversation Heart shirt to the His Girl shirt. Both of which are very cute.

However, the Loved tee caught my eye right away. I love the simple, straight-forward design and the message it conveys. Created with the new 14 facet Swarovski crystals that "out-sparkle all others," the tee is classy and fun.
With Just Jen, you are able to create truly custom t-shirts. When deciding on my tee, I picked the shirt style and color, as well as the crystal color, and I was surprised to see that most orders ship within 1 to 3 days.

After it arrived, I was impressed with the quality. Far too often, I have ordered shirts and found out they were incredibly thin and see-through once it was too late. I didn't have that problem with my Just Jen shirt. The Loved Tee, which I received in the fitted short-sleeve style, is a high-quality 100% cotton tee.
Along with Valentine's shirts, Just Jen offers a huge array of custom tees, from bridal and birthday shirts to holiday and cheerleading tees.

Thanks to Just Jen for providing a custom tee for my review. All opinions are my own.

Skipping School

Once in awhile it's okay to skip school and hang out with mommy and daddy.
It's more exciting to goof around, but learn a ton of new things.
And it's perfect to drive home and hear a little one say...Today was soooo much fun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: In Memory

How do you get that lonely, how do you hurt that bad
To make you make the call, that havin' no life at all

Is better than the life that you had

How do you feel so empty, you want to let it all go

How do you get that lonely... and nobody know

-Blaine Larsen

If you or someone you know needs help, reach out. Don't go through it alone. There are people to help. There are people who care.
Suicide Hopeline:

Karissa, you will be missed.

Penguin Luck: Book Review

It seems that lately I can easily lose myself in a good book. I find myself feeling a connection to the characters, reading as quickly as possible just to see what happens next.

Penguin Luck is the debut novel from Kay Mupetson, a journalist turned lawyer. Mupetson graduated from NYU Law School and has practiced law for over 25 years. She has served as grand counsel for a telecommunications company in New York and reported as a journalist in the Middle East.

Penguin Luck follows the story of Doreen, a young associate at a New York law firm. Doreen is the type of girl who always pleases her family, who does what is expected. That is until she meets a banker who changes it all.
Doreen's life is complicated by three spirits who regularly visit her, pleading with her to carry on for them after the Holocaust. Doreen must endure their pleas and learn to embrace the path she has chosen in her life. She must find a way to balance the internal and external struggles she feels.

Penguin Luck is a wonderful read. It's filled with joy and pain, love and heartbreak. It contains family situations that so many of us can relate to. As a reader, I could easily connect to some of the struggles Doreen was experiencing and the feelings that went along with each one.

I received a copy of the book for review, but all opinions are my own.

Dandelion Wall Vinyl

Thanks to Chickadee Vinyl and Just for Me...And You, I now have the cutest hallway.
I love it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What's in the Freezer?

I hate to say it, but I'm almost as ashamed of our freezers as I am of our pantry. And right now they aren't nearly as full as they usually are. But the goal is to have them close to empty as we cook our way through the month.

So what's lurking in there?

Blueberries: 3 bags (we picked this summer)
Blueberry Jelly

Corn: 5 bags (from summer)
Pepper & Onion Mix
California Mix
Peas & Carrots
Green Beans
Soup Mix

Fish: 2 filets
Diced Chicken
Chicken Breast (3)
Whole Chicken
Pork Chops (11)
Ground Beef (2 lbs)
Hamburger Patties (2 packs of 8, 15 packs of 4)
Stew Meat
Steaks (8)
Roasts (4)
Chicken Fries
Chicken Nuggets

Sausage Links
Mini Pancakes
Mini Waffles
Blueberry Pancakes
Bagel-ful (1 lonely one)
Strawberry Twist (another lonely one)

Popsicles (4)
Ice cream (1/2)

Tater Tots (3)
Garlic Bread
Leftover Chicken Stew
Leftover Chili
Pizza (5)
Healthy Choice Meals (7)
Flatbread Melts (4)
Broccoli & Beef Skillet
Chicken Skillet

Whew! Now I just need to figure out where to start.

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

We are officially eating from the pantry this month. Well, not too officially, but hubby has been forbidden from making 22 trips to the store this week. I've limited him to once a week. With a list. A list that must be followed.

My goal is to use up much of what is in the pantry and freezer, but also to be creative with it. I'm so tired of having the same meals day after day. We have plenty of choices to get us started. Our pantry seems to be overflowing and our freezers are stuffed full. So, I've taken inventory to get us started. It took me over an hour. And I'm so ashamed at how much we have (and how messy it is right now)!
Cereal: 6 partial, 2 full
Muffin Mix
Pancake Mix: 3
Strawberry Syrup
Fruit Bars: 2

Crackers: 4 boxes
Animal Crackers: 2 bags, 1 bag of mini
Goldfish: 4
Cheese Crackers: 3 boxes
Rice Krispie Treats
Fruit Snacks: 4
Granola Bars
Cookies: 3 boxes
Salsa: 2 fruit, 1 cheese
Raisins: 3
Sunflower Seeds: 2
Pumpkin Seeds
Graham Crackers
Chex MixDinner:
BBQ Sauce: 2
Marinades: 5
Beans: 8 cans
Veggies: 7 cans
Cream of Chicken
Cream of Mushroom
Broth: 5 cans
Chicken Gravy
Tomatoes: Crushed & diced
Soups: 6
Spaghetti Sauce
Sweet & Sour: 2
Pizza Sauce
Seasoning Packs: 9
Pasta: 7 1/2
Flavored pasta/rice sides: 8
Fruit: 8 cans
Applesauce: 2
Soy Butter
Shake N Bake
Stove Top

Cookie Mix
Cupcake Mix
Cake Mix: 2
Jello: 6

We've got plenty of choices. I'll be doing a quick inventory of my freezer before I start planning out our menu for the rest of the month.

My goals are to drastically decrease our spending, as well as get rid of all the junk and start bring less into the house. I'd be fine without any of the junk food, but the boys would have something to say. For the month, I plan to only buy fruits, veggies, bread, milk, and cheese as needed.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Crazy Snowman

POM Wonderful Review & Recipe

I have to admit, when I buy groceries, I often buy the exact same things week after week. It's easy, I know how to serve it, and I know it'll get eaten.

A few weeks ago, I searched to see what fruits were currently in season. I was tired of eating clementines and bananas every day. However, I felt a little overwhelmed. Seems like I've never tried many of the winter fruits. Like pomegranates. I have no idea how to eat it. Is that sad to admit?!

I was excited to learn that pomegranate juice from POM Wonderful offers many of the same benefits as the fruit. POM Wonderful is the only brand that contains 100% authentic pomegranate juice, with no added sugars, preservatives, colors, or fillers. POM Wonderful also believes in going straight from the tree to bottle. Grown in California, pomegranates are handpicked, squeezed, and manufactured in their own bottles.
45 studies have been conducted to show the health benefits of drinking POM products. Drinking only 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day has been shown to have cardiovascular benefits and can positively impact prostate health in men. POM is also a great source of antioxidants, with more potency than red wine, grape juice, or green tea, among others.

We checked out the recipes at POM Wonderful, and were surprised to see so many ways to incorporate pomegranate fruit and juice into meals, drinks, and desserts. Since my 5 year old is smoothie-obsessed, I decided to try a new smoothie recipe.

Our POM Smoothie
2-3 oz of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup milk
Some crushed ice

Then just blend it all together

Little Man gave it the official two thumbs up and has since requested more smoothies several times. I enjoyed it as well, and I love knowing the benefits POM Wonderful can add. I think it will become a permanent staple in our fridge.

Thanks to POM Wonderful for providing us information & product to review. All opinions are our own.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Extraordinary Measures: The Inspirational Quilt

Watching TV tonight I caught a commercial for the upcoming movie, Extraordinary Measures. I commented to hubby that we should go see it when it comes out later this month (Jan 22nd). We rarely see movies by ourselves, but this one looks right up my alley. I'm a sucker for the pull-at-the-heart-strings, powerful, emotional movies.

Don't Hope For a Miracle. Make One. Extraordinary Measures from CBS films stars Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford. It's inspired by the story of John Crowley, a father who risked his family's future to pursue a cure for his children's life-threatening disease, defying conventional wisdom and great odds.To celebrate Crowley’s story, the Inspirational Quilt has been created as a way to support charities and share your story. It’s so easy to take part, all you have to do is upload an inspirational video.
  • Go to the Inspirational Quilt and click on Upload Your Story
  • Once your video is uploaded, you will be entered into the sweepstakes for a chance to designate the charity of your choice to receive $10,000
  • Tell your friends to vote to increase your chances of winning
Videos have been uploaded to the Inspirational Quilt and are already in the running for the $10,000 donation- including the story of Alexandra "Alex" Scott, a young cancer patient who, facing a grim diagnosis, insisted on setting up a lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer before succumbing to the disease at age eight. Her stand evolved into a national lemonade stand initiative and foundation which has raised over $25 million for the cause.

It is truly amazing to see the stories on the quilt.

Thanks to YouCast Corp for sharing the above information with me!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

General Mills Cereal: Review & Coupon

This morning during breakfast, Little Man looked at me and announced: Look at you. You're eating good, you're eating healthy. Is it sad that my 5 year old has taken notice of my morning coffee habit, and was surprised to see me actually eating breakfast?!

I stress to him the importance of breakfast constantly. It helps him focus throughout the day, gives him energy for recess, and keeps away the "grumpies" that sneak in when we haven't eaten well. (Seriously, this little one gets mean if he's too hungry.)

Cereal is a big part of our morning routine, and sometimes even shows up for an afternoon snack. So I was happy when I found out that General Mills is continuing to decrease the amount of sugar in their cereals targeted towards the under 12 crowd. They are also increasing key nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.

At the grocery store this week, Little Man was able to pick two cereals out. His first pick was Lucky Charms. While it has 11 grams of sugar per serving, it also offers 10% of the daily recommended amounts of both calcium and vitamin D. Little Man loves the new swirled marshmallow charms, and devoured his bowl in nothing flat. Lucky Charms are a perfect special occasion breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.
Little Man's second choice was Cheerios. While there were several varieties available, he stuck with the plain Cheerios. A classic favorite. With only 1 gram of sugar, plus fiber and whole grains, they are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Cheerios are a huge hit with the whole family and a very common sight at our breakfast table.

Eating cereal for breakfast includes many benefits. According to studies:
  • Ready-to-eat cereals, including presweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children's diets.
  • Ready-to-eat cereal is the #1 source of whole grains in a child's diet today.
  • More frequent cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights and lower Body Mass Index measures.
You can find more information about kids and cereal at Cereal Health and Wellness. And you can print a $1 off coupon for General Mills cereals.

VIP coupons, information, and online coupon link have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are our own.

Dean's Dip: Dipstakes & A Giveaway

***Closed: Congrats to Jenna!***

With the holidays, comes one get together after another. Seems that we are always heading to someone's house to celebrate, or people are flocking to our door. Sometimes without any notice.

I love having entertaining staples on hand. Cookies, pretzels, chips and dip. They are all so easy to keep on hand, and perfect for times when friends and family stop by without warning. French Onion Dip from Dean's Dips is one of my hubby's favorite to have in the fridge. (Though it doesn't usually stay there too long.)
But did you know Dean's Dip offers a variety of dips?! I knew they made the French Onion and Ranch, but I also learned that they make Veggie, Green Onion, Bacon & Horseradish, Guacamole, and Creamy Taco, among others. Plus they offer two pretzels dips: Cheddar Cheese and Honey Mustard.
Currently, Dean's Dip is in the midst of the Dipstakes! It's simple to play. Just head over to the Facebook page from Dean's Dip. You can submit your picks and earn points.

Just like the Jets and the Giants, there are longstanding rivalries in amongst dips as well. Are you a Honey Mustard loyalist, Guacamole diehard or an Onion Dip fanatic? Vote for your favorite dip and help us settle this once and for all!

During the 15 weeks of winners, you can win a Dean's Dip Tailgate Pack, the Sports Package, or a BBQ Grill Set. A grand prize winner will receive the Ultimate Home Entertainment System.

Buy It:
Dean's Dip can be found in your grocer's refrigerator section.

Win It:
One lucky reader will win a Dean's Dip prize pack, including a voucher for free dip, a dip tray, and a stadium blanket!

To enter: Visit Dean's Dip and tell me which dip is your favorite.

Want extra entries? (Leave separate comments for each)
  • Follow me on Blogger
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  • Follow me on Twitter (Leave your username)
  • Tweet this giveaway (Leave link)
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link to this post. (Leave your link)
Be sure to leave a way to contact you.
Giveaway ends 1/10 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email.
Open to US only.

Thanks to Dean's Dip for providing the product for review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!

Hope everyone has a wonderful start to 2010 today!We have been busy building snowmen, racing cars, and cleaning.
I have lots of goals for the new year and am so excited to have started on many of them already.
But for today, I'm enjoying my little one, spending time with family, and having fun.
Happy New Year!