Monday, July 27, 2009

Free Kids Activity Pack!

Do you have a child who's starting school soon, or maybe you're planning to home school?
It's never too early to give them a head start. School starts in only a few short weeks, which means you still have time to help them get prepared.

To help you out, Kid's Activity Calendar is giving away a pretty nice kit of activities around the letter 'A'.

This pack includes:

Fun alphabet snacks that start with the letter A
Letter A coloring sheets
Letter A search worksheets
Letter A trace sheets
Letter A flash cards and
Game of out of the week idea around the letter A

You can download them for free from this page.

~ Menu Plan Monday~

My menu plan this week is nothing to get excited about. We head out this week on a little mini vacation. So we will be doing simple things the few days we are here to eat. Sorry I have nothing exciting going on for you guys! I did post a new recipe though, so check it out here.

Monday- Chicken and cheese tostadas, beans and rice

Tuesday- Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sammy's

Wednesday- Out of Town- Galveston

Thursday- Out of Town- Galveston

Friday- Out of Town Galveston (technically we will be back in time for dinner, but I doubt I will be cooking)

Saturday- Tacos with queso and rice.

Sunday- Sausages on the grill with baked potatoes.

Don't forget to head over to The Organizing Junkie to see her menu plan and other great bloggers menus for this week! You could get some new ideas!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Asian Chicken Skewers

We tried out a new recipe this weekend. I got it from the trusted Babycenter Cooking for your Family Board. I am very rarely disappointed when I head to this board in search of a new recipe!

Everyone at my house loved this! OK, my self made vegetarian son did not, but I never count his vote when there is meat involved. He just wont even touch it.

As you can tell from my picture, I left them as whole breasts. I did not have skewers and I was not going back to the store for some! I let them marinade for over a hour and then grilled them. I did not use the cilantro leaves because I was out and again...I was NOT going back to the store today!

Asian Chicken Skewers
Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Cilantro leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts halves, cut into 3/4 in strips

1. Mix soy sauce, orange juice, honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil, cilantro, garlic and ginger in a medium bowl. Place chicken strips in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade and toss to coat well.
2. Refrigerate 15 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Thread chicken strips onto metal skewers .
3. Broil on high or grill over medium high heat 4 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through.

Half Price Cheesecake!

Oh how I love Cheesecake.

And I love it even more when I dont have to make it...and when I can get it for a great price!

Thursday, July 30th, be sure to visit The Cheesecake Factory! They are having HALF PRICE CHEESECAKE! (dine in only)

They'll also be premiering the new Stefanie’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake™. As a huge Red Velvet cake fan, I must try this!

For every slice of Stefanie’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake™ sold over the next 12 months, we’ll donate 25 cents to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief charity.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crayola Sand Giveaway

I found a great kids giveaway going on right now at Mom of 2 Boys, Wife of 1!

Crayola sent her their new play sand to review and also a few bags for a giveaway! My kids are always asking if we can buy a bag when we see it at the store! It looks like a ton of fun and a great change from the boring regular sand!

So head on over there and check it out! It is super easy to enter so take some time and comment on her blog post to get your chance to win this great giveaway for your kids!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Top 10 Reasons I am Excited to Stay Home with My Family this Coming Weekend.

Cozi is sponsoring 15 moms NOT going to BlogHer this weekend!

The Girls at the Not Going to BlogHer Party believe that just because we are not going to be at BlogHer it doesn't mean we should count or have a good time right?! Well Cozi heard our cries! Cozi is going to pick 15 Moms and sponsor them with $100 each!

So, here are my Top 10 Reasons why I am not going to BlogHer

1. If I was at BlogHer, I would miss the great opportunity Cozi is offering us and I would not be able to set up my great new Cozi account! It is amazing!

2. I would miss out on helping my daughter pick out the rest of her school supplies!

3. I would miss out on finally decluttering my house and making my life "simple". (Well as simple as it can get with 3 kids!)

4. I would miss out on doing laundry so we had clean clothes to pack for our mini vacation next week.

5. If I was at BlogHer, I would not be able to finish reading Eclipse for the 6th time. *blushing*

6. If I was at BlogHer, I would miss my kids, doing great kid actually playing nice together or my 6 month old sticking his tongue out at me(something he just learned to do today).

7. If I was at BlogHer, I would miss out on watching my kids and husband have a hula hoop contest on the Wii Fit!

8. If I was at BlogHer, I would miss Texas Weather...sweltering hot during the day and then evening showers.

9. If I was at BlogHer, I would miss cooking for my family. Its the one thing I love to do every day.

10. If I was at BlogHer, I would not be able to follow @cozicape on twitter!

So, those are my reasons that I'm Happy that I'm not going to if you can please leave me a comment...I need lots and lots of comments in order to have a shot at winning...just post away..tell me what you are doing, what you are cooking, whats on your weekend agenda....anything! Help a momma out!!! can post more than once! The more the merrier!

Non Blogher Party

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

McAllisters Deli

I am not a tea drinker, but far be it for me to deprive my readers of a opportunity to get a free tea from McAllister's Deli!

This Thursday, July 23rd, you can get a free tea from McAllister's Deli!

So all you tea drinkers can get out on Thursday and have a little meeting!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Lego Storage Giveaway

Feisty, Frugal, and Fabulous has a great product review and giveaway right now!

It is a Box 4 Blox! The ultimate storage solution for the Lego Blocks Lover in your house! I am constantly stepping on Lego's here at our house and this would be the ultimate solution!

So head on over to Feisty, Frugal and Fabulous and see how you can win one today!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

~ Menu Plan Monday~

It is that time again, time for another menu plan. This week was harder for me to get planned. I think I am getting tired of the same foods so it makes menu planning difficult when I get like that. Luckily I have a computer full of recipes I want to try and I'm getting back into trying at least one new recipe a week. This week, the new recipe will be made on Saturday.

As always, this menu plan is posted over at The Organizing Junkie, so head over there and check out her menu plan and a lot of other great bloggers.

Monday- Eggplant Parmesan(made with eggplants from my garden) and some homemade garlic bread.

Tuesday- Pancakes, bacon, eggs, and cantaloupe(from my garden)

Wednesday- Roasted potatoes and sausage (cooked in a onion soup mix), rolls

Thursday- Quesadillas, rice and beans

Friday- Broiled Parmesan Tilapia, couscous, and broccoli

Saturday- Asian Chicken Skewers, rice, and a veggies(TBD)

Sunday- Homemade pizzas

Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets Winner

It is that time again...time to announce a winner! This time it is for the Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets.

I used to get a random winner.....and the winner #...


And post # 27 is.........JESSICA!

Jessica said...

I already follow your blog. have 48 hours to contact me or I will have to chose a new winner! Congrats! And thanks to everyone for playing!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Starbucks Free Pastry

Starbucks is making a change: your food not only tastes better, it is better. To celebrate, they are inviting you to bring this invitation to a participating U.S. Starbucks store to enjoy a FREE pastry* from opening** until 10:30am on July 21st, 2009 with the purchase of any beverage*.

Click Here to print your coupon

Or open this page in a mobile device and show your barista:

* Pastries included in offer are: Muffins, Scones, Bagels, Croissants, Rolls, Breads, Pound Cakes, Morning Bun, Coffeecakes, Cheese Danish, Apple Fritter, Doughnuts, Tarts, Pies, Gluten Free Orange Valencia Cake, Tropical Paradise Bar.

Offer available at participating U.S. stores with the purchase of any handcrafted beverage (handcrafted, brewed, iced). Limit one free pastry per customer. Offer good between opening and 10:30 a.m. or until pastries are gone, whichever comes first. Opening hours and pastry selection vary. Supplies are limited. Offer not valid in Hawaii, airports and travel plazas or at Barnes & Noble cafes. Starbucks reserves the right to cancel, amend or revoke the offer at any time due to business considerations or circumstances beyond its control. Starbucks is not responsible for errors, omissions, malfunctions, interruptions, deletions, delays or failures of operations. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Cash value 1/20 cent. Not valid if photocopied, altered or reproduced. Barista, please ring discount code 563. Our new food is not yet available everywhere; ask your barista for details. **For 24 hours stores – opening is 4 a.m.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mocha Mondays

Every Monday between now and August 3rd McDonalds is offering a free sample size iced or hot McCafe' Mocha between the hours of 7am-7pm

Sausage Stars

Here is a fabulous appetizer for any party! We even have a few kiddos in our playgroup that enjoy these bad boys!
Those my friends, are called Sausage Stars. And if you like sausage, cheese, and ranch dressing you will be in HEAVEN with these!

Sausage Stars

1 Package Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1 lb Jimmy Dean Sausage
1 Bag Mexican 4 Cheeses
1 Package Wonton or Pasta Wrap’s

Fry sausage and cook until done. Mix dressing according to package directions. Mix sausage, dressing and cheese together and chill for 30 minutes. Place wonton wrappers in muffin tin. Bake 5-7 minutes until lightly golden. Add a couple tablespoons full of sausage mixture. Bake 5-7 minutes until cheese melts. Makes 2 – dozen Sausage Stars.

Monday, July 13, 2009

~Menu Plan Monday~

I am trying to be better about planning our menus out for the week. I used to be a pro at this...I'm talking I could do a month worth of menu planning. But having a 3rd kid has made it difficult for me to even plan a day ahead!

So I'm doing my best to get back at it. Starting out slowly is the key. Usually I would do breakfast, lunch and dinner menu plans, but since this is a new start I'm just going to do dinners for now and slowly build up.

I'm going to start doing my menu planning with the blog I'm a Organizing Junkie. She and other bloggers post their menu plans on Monday. So check out my menu plan and then head over to MPM to see what other people have cooking this week!

Monday- Pork Chops and Baked Potatoes

Tuesday- Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic bread

Wednesday- Homemade pizzas

Thursday- Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Friday- Eating Out

Saturday- BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Baked potatoes

Sunday- Chicken Cheese and Bean Tostadas

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Winner

I had to choose a new winner for the Cheerios Spoonful of Stories giveaway.....

I used and the number it picked tonight was.....

#7....which was Candice!

Candice said...

What a great giveaway!! Aiden loves for me to read to him before bedtime or anytime for that matter. I try to read to him every night before bed but on occasions it does not happen. Our favorite book to read together is called The Biggest Bear by Adam Relf. Super cute book!

Congrats Candice! You have 48 Hours from the time stamp on this post to contact me for your bookset!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Where Is Our Moment?

** This blog post is from a fellow blogger and dear friend of mine. I am posting this because I feel that it should be posted anywhere and everywhere. Everyone needs to read this. You may not agree 100% but it needs to get out there. You all have your own opinion and I have mine. My friend Lindsey has worded it just perfectly for me(and for so many others). I have no doubt that I will probably get a few hateful comments for this post, but again...this is my opinion and you have yours. Let's keep our discussions very civil.

So, this guest blog post is by Lindsey over at That Lin Chick. I am posting her blog post here, but you can also check it out her blog as well.

Also known as: Michael Jackson vs The Military

Michael Jackson was known as The King of Pop. He lived an extraordinary and luxurious life once he rocketed to stardom as a musical performer. Throughout his career, he was a troubled person, struggling with abuse, addictions and various other issues. He contributed much to the music industry, to include dance moves like The Moonwalk and various other hit songs, albums, and advances in musical styling. Jackson also donated to many charities, created NeverLand Ranch and dealt with accusations of child molestation which were subsequently paid off and swept under the rug. He died suddenly at the age of 50 of a heart attack. Thousands will show up to his funeral and celebrities have and will continue to express their condolences to the Jackson family for their unfortunate loss.

Your average military service member is anywhere between the ages of 18 to 25 upon first enlisting. They are usually fresh out of high school or college. Most likely their extensive job history includes stints at fast food joints, convenience stores, or wherever they could get a job to pay for the limo for their senior prom or buy books for next semester.

They enlisted for various reasons, most of which are personal, many of which involve a desperate need for money to help with the ever-increasing costs of a college education and the insanity of repaying student loans.

All of them, whether they enlisted for it or not, grow to take pride in serving and giving back to the country that has given them the freedoms they enjoy.

Many have families. Spouses and children who must wait on the home front when they are deployed overseas, fighting for our country. People who love them dearly and pray daily for their safe return.

If the service member is killed in action, their body is returned home to be buried by their family. Their life is celebrated and their death is mourned, families and friends express their condolences. Fellow service members grieve the loss of someone they had never thought this would happen to. Those still overseas grieve and in the middle of the night, they can't help but wonder... am I next? Should it have been me?

The service member is not mourned in an arena, with thousands of wailing, weeping fans who paid a cover charge to be allowed access to see the body just one last time.

The service member is not given extensive media coverage. There are no biopics made of their lives.

Celebrities do not send condolences to the families.

Congress does not stop for a moment of silence.

The service member grappled with life or death situations on a daily basis. Saw things that they will never tell you, not only because they can't, but because they went over there so you didn't have to. They fight to find support when they come home, they struggle with post traumatic stress disorder and grieve for their fallen brothers and sisters.

They are deployed overseas multiple times. Their deployments are extended. Families don't know exactly where they are at and communication is spotty at best.

If anyone wanted an update on Michael Jackson, all they needed to do was Google his name. Military families don't get that kind of information. They can't have that. They live in quiet pride and express their grief quietly when they receive that knock on the door. Cameras do not follow them around.

E News doesn't ask for their thoughts or opinions on the death of their loved one.

Today, thousands of fans will show up to Michael Jackson's funeral and they will openly weep. Media crews will fight for space and servers will crash over the high traffic to the live web stream of the services.

And military families will pay their last respects, their only prayer that no one shows up to protest their loved one's funeral.

Sure, MJ donated to charities.
Service members are donating their lives for you.

Where is our moment of silence?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dominos American Legends Pizza Party

I was selected by House Party to host a Domino's American Legends Pizza Party.

We had planned a July 4th get together anyways, so that is when I decided to host my party. House Party and Domino's sent me a gift card to purchase their American Legends Pizza with.

I bought 4 of the 6 pizzas. We got the Memphis BBQ Chicken, Cali Chicken Bacon Ranch, Philly Cheese steak, and the Honolulu Hawaiian. The top 2 pizzas were the Memphis BBQ Chicken and the Philly Cheese steak. Those went super fast! I should of ordered more of those!

I will totally be ordering these pizzas for often instead of just our regular pepperoni.

So, take the time to check out Domino's and try something new!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cake Balls

Cake balls are one of the most magical, delicious desserts known to man kind. And I don't even like cake! But these cake balls are Divine!

My friend Tiffany makes them all the time, they are gorgeous when she makes them. The chocolate is all nice and smooth and covers every inch of the cake ball.

When I make them, they are all rough looking. I have yet to master the chocolate covering perfection that Tiffany has mastered.

Anyways....the recipe..hmmm..really...there is no recipe! Just bake a cake, any flavor you want! Let the cake cool completely. Then you cut off the outer edges and the top since its all crunchy. Then you just crumble the cake up into a bowl and add a little bit of frosting(again, any flavor you want). When I make them, I use a tablespoon or two. You just want the balls moist enough to stick together when you roll them up. Once that is done, pull up your sleeves and get to rolling! Once you have your little balls on a cookie sheet, you put them in the fridge to get firm! I let them stay in there a hour or more....but that's usually because I'm a mom of 3...and I forget things. Right before you take them out of the fridge, nuke some Almond Bark(Chocolate or White)...almond bark is the best! Do not try this with regular chocolate will not work! Ive tried, its not pretty! My friend Tiffany has also used the colored chocolate from Michael's craft store to make red and blue or pink and green cake balls. Anyways, melt your chocolate and get to dunking! I use a regular tablespoon to dunk mine. Then you just put them on some wax paper for the chocolate to get hard. Again, this is usually where I walk away and tend to forget that I have made these bad boys till one of the kids comes around the corner with chocolate all over their face.

And have cake balls! Again, you can use any flavor combo you like! In my pic I have french vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting, dipped in regular chocolate!

You have to give these a try! If you do, come back and report to me! I would love to hear how much you enjoy them!

And thanks to my friend Tiffany for always making these for me for my kid's parties back when I was too chicken to try and make them myself!

Fire Crackers

These crackers are delicious! They are always a hit when I take them to parties! My mom sent me the recipe! Thanks Mom!


1 BOX CRACKERS (regular saltine)
1 & 1/4 TO 2 & 1/2 tsp. CRUSHED RED PEPPER

MIX ALL (except the crackers) IN A BOWL. Cover with another bowl the same size and toss to coat. Drain on paper towels and enjoy. I do not have 2 bowls the same size, so I use Glad Press and Seal and carefully toss the crackers around to coat them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Doing Laundry- Simplified!

I am sure a few of you just had to laugh when you read my blog title. I am sure you are all asking, "Now Lori, how can doing laundry be simplified?"

I too was skeptical with this claim. How can one make laundry something simple?

Well, Purex has figured out how we can do this! They have developed a new product called Purex Complete 3-on-1 Laundry Sheets.

Now, I can hear you asking, " How does this laundry sheet help make my life easier?" The answer is that they eliminate all the waste and mess of pouring detergent into the wash, the need to run back to the laundry room because you forgot to add the softener and you definitely do not have to throw in a dryer sheet! No more large, heavy jugs or boxes taking up room on your laundry room shelf! My laundry room is not big and the shelf I do have in there is even smaller so it is so nice to have room again! Now I can put a money jar on the shelf so when hubby forgets to empty his pockets, I get to stake a claim to the change that comes out in the wash!

It is not often that I find a product that does absolutely everything that it claims to do, but this is one of them. I love how easy it literally just drop a sheet into the wash and you do not have to think about the wash again, not even when you are moving them to the dryer. This one sheet does the job of 3 different products!

I will not push the brand messages onto you, just know that this is my honest review and I truly love this product.

I do want to share with you a program Purex is participating in. Purex is trying to change lives not only with this revolutionary new product but also by helping others. They have teamed up with to support women owned businesses around the globe. Visit PurexChangesLives to view the profiles of women-owned businesses. You can support a female entrepreneur of your choice just by entering the bar code from any package of Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets. For every bar code entered, Purex will make a donation to a Kiva Approved women owned business. Please spread the word about this great cause!

I received my box from Momselect and they have been gracious enough to allow me to giveaway one box to one of my readers!

So here are the rules.
1. OPEN to US and Canada residents.
2. You must make a comment logged into your account! I will not count your post if you post anonymously.

That about sums it up!

Here is how you can enter.
1. Visit Purex and tell me which fragrance you think you would like. (Keep in mind I already have the box that you will win, so you might not get the fragrance you actually want, but hey..its free!)

For extra entries
1. Tweet this giveaway(comment back with the link)
2. Follow me on twitter(just click the little birdy)
3. Follow my blog (comment letting me know you do)
4. Blog about this product review and giveaway on your blog(comment back with the link)

This giveaway will end Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 12:01am

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