Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When the day goes from great to not so great...

I will be posting up some reviews later today, but for now I just need to get this out.

Dustin my 2 year old has an appt. today for a play based evaluation. I was all set for this appt. up until about 30 minutes ago when the Hubby Man told me that he can not watch the other 3 kids because he has a lot to do today. REALLY? This appt. was already rescheduled, today is the day of the new appt. So I called a few people but they are all busy so I called the school district.

No answer there so I left a message. I hate when I don't know how to fix a situation. I mean I would just bring all the kids, set the older 2 up with some quiet activities and put the baby in his stroller, but the letter specifically said to only bring the child who has the appt. So a little over an hour before the appt. I may have to cancel.

Oh I wonder what they must be thinking. "Look this one can't keep an appt." "Oh look how reliable this one is." or "She must not want to have the help for her son."

Seriously, I feel like a horrible parent today. I wish I didn't have to go to appts. like this one, but I will do anything I can for my kids. Days like this make it impossible. I can already hear some of my family members. They would say to just put the older 2 in school and then you would not have this problem. Well sorry but I home school for a reason and just because sometimes I have days like today when only 1 child is suppose to be at a certain appt. and the others are not welcome doesn't mean I am going to give up homeschooling.

Okay, sorry, but I am just frustrated today.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Where does the time go?

9 years ago at this time I was trying to lay down to go to sleep. Just to be too uncomfortable to sleep. I thought I was just having cramps, I must have tried to go to the bathroom a million times. 2 hours later and the perfect circle path wore in my living room, I finally made the call.

I called the OB to try to get something for the "cramps". LOL The nurse said "Sweetie, those are not cramps, those are contractions and I have been timing them" I say " Really, are you sure?" She laughs and says "Yes, Really, Your contractions are 4 minutes apart and you NEED to get to the hospital as soon as possible" We hang up and I go into my bedroom to wake up the Hubby Man.

I woke him up and said "Get up, we have to go to the hospital" He tells me to "go back to bed" LOL But after doubling over at the foot of the bed, he knew I meant business. He go up and off we went.

After we got to the hospital at around 2am, they wasted no time getting me into a room. My first born was welcomed at 7:11am When they said what time he was born I really thought they were talking about going to 7-11 the store. LOL He weighed 7lbs and 10 ozs. He was perfect!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLAKE!!! I can not believe the young man you are turning into.

Memory Clinic Review

I had the opportunity to review Memory Clinic for the PC. Overall this was a great game. This game has no story line so you can easily play for just a few minutes or for a lot longer without feeling obligated to keep going.

A little about the game

Join Dr. Summerland at her exclusive Memory Clinic to improve your memory through a variety of hidden object-based challenges. "Memory Clinic" features familiar hidden object content with an added memory training aspect. Each hidden object scene is based around a specific "brain training" activity. As you progress in the game, puzzles become tougher and more thought-provoking. Throughout "Memory Clinic", Dr. Summerland monitors your performance and presents harder challenges until you master the skills taught at the clinic. Thanks to a wide range of brain training mechanics, "Memory Clinic" also brings loads of replay value.
"Memory Clinic" Game Features
• The first hidden object game created to improve your skills and memory!
• Train in attention, speed, memory, and problem solving.
• Time Attack Mode! For true experts only.
• Over 60 levels of hidden object gameplay
• 9 variations of hidden object gameplay
• Specialized mini games to add a new challenge.

Advantages:
Okay Graphics
Get your mind working
Stop at any time
Great Mix of games

Disadvantages:
Some mini games are rather boring
Some objects have to be clicked on "just right" while others do not

This is a game that had I not been given this opportunity, I would have most likely bought for myself. I love that the puzzles progressively get harder, makes the game even better at least to me.

I was given the game to download to do my review by Game Review Network no other compensation was offered or accepted. The opinions above are my own and I know not everyone will agree.

Tiger Eye Curse Of The Riddle Box Review!



I had the wonderful opportunity to try out and review this game for your PC. Tiger Eye Curse Of The Riddle Box is a game that is still in the making. Hidden object games are one of my favorite types of games. This game not only has that aspect but also throws in some mini games. Believe me for a game not quite finished (the dialog areas were still drawings) this is such a great game. Once again my children "helped" me, as they always do if they catch me playing a hidden object game. We all had fun searching for the objects and playing the mini games in between.

One thing about this game is that it keeps moving at a wonderful pace, not too slow that you get bored, yet not to fast that you feel like you are rushing. This game has the perfect mix of hidden object fun and mini games.

Play as the beautiful and psychically-gifted Dela Reese, who is hurtled into an extraordinarily dangerous situation soon after purchasing an ancient riddle box in a Beijing dirt market. After Dela arrives back at her hotel room and manages to open the riddle box, she is shocked to encounter a gorgeous 7-foot tall warrior, who had been imprisoned in the box for 2,000 years. The warrior, Hari, has been cursed to serve as a slave to whomever opens the box. While Dela, a strong 21st century woman, is repulsed by the idea of controlling another human being, there are others who desperately seek the box’s power and will stop at nothing to obtain it. Help Dela escape assassins, win the respect and love of Hari, and lift the evil curse that strips Hari of his freedom.



The game is brought to you by PassionFruit games You can find out more information at the site They have a blog and even held a contest to find just the right character drawing for one of the characters in the game. how awesome is that?! You can follow PassionFruit games on Twitter, become a fan on FaceBook, and even sign up for the newsletter.

I really can not wait to see this game when everything is complete, it will make playing the game that much more exciting!!


I received a copy of the game to download and play so that I could do the review from Game Review Network No other compensation was offered or received. All above opinions are my own and I know not everyone will agree.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Such a FULL week!!

Make sure you check back everyday this week. I have so many fun things to share with you all.

4 children's books, including a giveaway!

Cool stick figures that are as of today on my Van's back window including a great discount for those that use a custom coupon code!

2 computer game reviews!

Betty Crocker prize pack and a post about an awesome thing that Betty Crocker is doing including a giveaway!

I did not forget. I will post up who the winners are in my Business Casual contest and post a picture of the prizes!!

As you can see this will be a busy but FUN week and I can not wait until tomorrow to start sharing all these wonderful items with you all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pizza Morgana PC Game Review




Pizza Morgana is a 2.5D point and click episodic adventure game that lets you play the charming tale of a young girl who is accidentally teleported into a magical dimension filled with monsters, vampires, faeries, and daemons, which all just happen to be employed as pizza delivery guys. And they all work for an arch wizard (and chef), named Morgan!

I had the opportunity to review Pizza Morgana Now this is just 1 episode with more episodes currently in the making. Even though it was only the first episode, I have found that this game may not be for me. Once I finally got the hang of it, I had completed the episode. A few minor changes could really make this game stand out.

1. While looking around for things or ways to help the main character repeats the same thing. After hearing it a few times it can get rather annoying.

2. Maybe having a hint button or a something similar would be of great help.

The graphics are pretty good and this is a game that I would like to have in its entirely. I feel now that I got the hang of it, it could be a lot more fun for me.

All in all it is a very interesting game so far and I can't wait to see the next episode.

To learn more about the game go here

I received this review as a member of the The Game Review Network

The above opinions are my own and I know not everyone will agree. I was given the information and permission to download the game for free. No other compensation was offered or received.

How To Train Your Dragon!!

This is a show that my son has been talking about since he first saw the preview. You would think he wants to go see it or something with the way he has been reminding me every day exactly how many days are left before it should show up in theaters. Ha Ha!!

Get Tickets to How to Train Your Dragon Online!
Visit the Official How to Train Your Dragon Site


If you live in select cities, you are invited for a sneak peak Mom viewing of the movie this Friday morning!! I know I wish I lived in one of the cities listed. If your city is listed below, call or check your local theater for viewing times.
* Chicago (suburbs only)
* Denver (Douglas County, Boulder Valley, Littleton)
* Los Angeles (Inland Empire ONLY)
* Miami (Broward County)
* Minneapolis (Rosemount & Bernsville Egan)
* Orlando (Orange County, Brevard, Volusia)
* Portland
* Sacramento (Stockton, Lodi & Vacaville Counties)
* Salt Lake City (Weber, Toolele & Murray Counties)
* Tampa (Mantee, Sarasota, Hernando & Citrus County)
* Washington D.C. (Prince Georges County & Spotslyvania)

A little about the movie:

From the studio that brought you “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda” comes “How to Train Your Dragon.” Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.
DreamWorks Animation's “How to Train Your Dragon” was produced by Bonnie Arnold and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. Rated PG.

I was given the information and the permission to post the trailer by Paramount through Twittermoms. I was not compensated in any way for posting this info.

Monday, March 22, 2010

REALLY need to get this out...

Something happened right here on my street in my Military housing area a few weeks ago. A little boy was approached by a car and the driver stated that the little boy's mom had told him to pick the child up, supposedly a gun was even shown. The boy ran away and Thank Goodness he did not get hurt.

This is where my anger comes in. My friend from down the street heard it from her across the street neighbor. I even said out loud that "IF" this really happened surely we all would have been notified..

Fast forward to tonight when my neighbor and I stopped an MP and asked. You know what? YES this did happen and no one was notified. The MP asked if we were at the last town hall meeting, to which both my neighbor and I said "what town hall meeting?" Yup, we were not even notified of a town hall meeting. The MP was even shocked that no one in the area was notified.

Heads are going to start rolling around here. I keep saying that they need to start checking IDs at the two areas that you can enter this area. I know when there was a shooting in a nearby area they were checking everyone coming into ours.

I no longer feel safe and I am so glad I home school because this happened as the boy was walking home from school.

Thank You for letting me get that out...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Business casual?! Contest!!

Okay so I am ACTUALLY going to leave the Hubby Man and the kidlets for about 6 hours next Saturday. I will be going to An Operation Homefront Celebration!! At first it would have only been a couple hours, but I have been asked to volunteer and I gladly accepted!

Now onto the question at hand. LOL What is Business casual to you? I am all about my jeans, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, so I now have to figure out what I should wear. I want to be comfortable, but know I have to dress the right way.

Give me some ideas!! The Hubby Man told me I can get a new outfit. So have at it, Please help me figure out what I want to wear.

You never know, I may offer up a special prize to the comment with the idea I end up using!!

Ideas could be a certain color, type of pants, type of skirt, type of shirt, type of shoes, etc..

Remember you could win a surprise if I choose your idea, so please make sure I have your email address as a way to get in contact with you. Don't worry I know I will most likely use a few of the ideas, so there will be up to 5 winners!!

I will be getting my outfit on Friday and will post a picture of it and the winners on Saturday afternoon!! I will hint as to the prizes throughout the week!!

You have until Thursday the 25th to leave your comments.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Handy Manny's Big Race.



My kids have been counting down until tonight. Why? The Handy Manny Big Race will premiere tonight at 7pm/6c on The Disney Channel. They are so excited and have planned it all out. We will eat rice crispy treats and drink fuel (a punch made with juice and sprite). Right now they are trying to figure out what Race clothes they are going to wear. LOL It is too cute watching them.

About the show:
Guest stars Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Lance Bass join Wilmer Valderrama (the voice of Manny) and the rest of the "Handy Manny" gang as they prepare for the famed Wood Valley 500 race. Manny and the tools team up with Eliot to revamp his used race car, as race time approaches, Elliot's nerves get the best of him. Famous race car driver, Chase Davis (Earnhardt, Jr.) and Manny both jump in to help.

My 2 year old LOVES Handy Manny, his favorite part is the talking tools. The older 2 like handy Manny but shhhhhh. They think they are getting too old for the show. LOL So if you ever see them, don't mention the count down to tonight, the planning, or the fact that they wanted race clothes on. As I have just been informed that "Mom, we are only showing excitement for the 2 year old." Yeah Right!! I think they saw me at the computer and had to come up with another excuse.

Today we have a busy day with the watching of the premiere and a House party to pull off tonight, I know I will be back with some pictures later on.

Have a great day and don't forget to watch Handy Manny's Big Race!!

I was given the info about the show from mom central. I received no compensation for this post. All above opinions are my own.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Mmmm Beef Chimichangas!



I made Beef Chimichangas for dinner tonight and oh my goodness they were so delicious! The recipe is out of the book: Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer I made a few changes to the recipe. I omitted the chile's because my Husband doesn't really like anything spicy. For some reason I had enough meat mixture for about 12 chimichangas instead of the 9 that the recipe said it would make.

On cooking day you will need:
1 t salt
2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used crushed garlic from a jar)
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. oregano, crushed (I used oregano flakes)
1/2 cup canned green chile's, chopped (I omitted these)
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cider vinegar


Sprinkle salt in a medium skillet


Place over medium heat. Add meat on top of salt.


Add Garlic and spices.


Cook until the meat is no longer pink.


Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Remove from heat and cool.


Freeze the meat mixture, don't forget your label!!

On serving day you will need:
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
9-7inch flour tortillas
Some shredded cheese (I used cheddar)


In an 8 inch skillet, melt butter


Dip both sides of 1 tortilla into butter; drain off excess


Mound 1/3 cup of meat mixture in center of tortilla.


Fold tortilla like an envelope and place seam side down in ungreased 11X7 baking dish.

Repeat with each tortilla.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees


Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.


Sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven for a few seconds.



You can top them with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. We only used cheese and sour cream. They are quick and easy to make. I love that out of 6 that I cooked up tonight, I have 2 left. I also have enough meat mixture in my freezer for 6 more chimichangas.

Enjoy!!

How do you get the kids moving?


Today was a slow start around here. We still have some school to finish up today, but I decided a break was needed and some fun was to be had. Music is a BIG thing in this house. So here we are Rockin' out to Hannah Montana, windows open, and having fun all while doing some life skills(see that laundry in the background, yep we folding it). That's right, life skills with music and fun all in the same sentence. This is one thing I LOVE about being able to home school my children. When I look over at them and can see they need a break, I can just walk over to the radio, turn it on, and change up our day.

So what do you do to change up your day and get the kids moving? Dancing is a great way for the kids to not only express themselves but also to get some exercise. I have also found that music can change my mood around. I could be having a bad day, you know one of those days where nothing is going right, the kids are fighting, or I could just be down in dumps. When I put a CD in the player and turn it up, I am amazed how just singing along and yes dancing around, can make me feel like a whole new person, ready to take on the rest of the day.

Just a heads up tonight I am beef chimichangas out of the cook book Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer. So check back tonight for pictures and see how they turn out!!

Oh and I also have 3 reviews, some with giveaways to post today, so keep a watch out for them!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finger Painting and Irish Stew



Today I def. felt the luck that this day is suppose to bring. I made this
Irish Stew for dinner. It turned out wonderful and I love the way it filled my house with an amazing scent.

The other wonderful thing that happened today is something we have been working on for quite awhile. My almost 3 year old finally used the finger paints. Not only that but he had fun. This may not seem like such a huge thing for most, but in this house this is an amazing accomplishment for my little man. This is a child who has to have clean hands and just before he painted, he was using markers. While using markers he had wrote on his hand and refused to do anything else until I wiped his hand clean. So to be able to snap these beautiful pictures that show in his words a "mess" I feel so very blessed.







He has been working with his OT for the past few months and I am sad that on his 3rd birthday all his therapists will be switched since he will no longer qualify with ECI and we will have to work with the school district.

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

No you didn't miss everything; I did not post a dinner yesterday. It had turned into a crazy day with appts. so we just ate out. For tonight I will not be making a recipe out of that awesome new cook book I have, but since I have to feed my family, I will be cooking dinner tonight.

I will be making THIS Irish stew. I had searched and searched for a recipe for Irish Stew that I liked. Best thing is that this recipe is also Gluten Free. This is important as we are still in the process of switching over. Someday we will get there.

I have a few more things planned for today for the kids, but only time will tell if we actually get them done.

Don't forget to check back later tonight for pictures and the post about the stew.

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone, may this day be a lucky one.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tonight's Dinner!! Italian Stuffed Chicken Breasts



This is the first recipe out of the book Don't Panic Dinner's in The Freezer that I choose to make.

Seriously this dish tasted heavenly!!

Here is the the process:



On cooking day you need:
6 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (I had whole chicken breasts, so I only used 3)
Salt and Pepper
Thyme
Marjoram
6oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1oz sticks (I had a lb, so I just cut 6 sticks from that)
6 thin slices prosciutto ham (this is found in the delicatessen area)
12 pcs oil packed, sun-dried tomatoes, drained



Flatten chicken breasts to 1/8-inch thickness



Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, thyme, and marjoram.



Wrap each cheese stick with 1 slice of prosciutto.



Place 2 sun-dried tomatoes and 1 wrapped mozzarella stick in center of each chicken breast. ( I used 1 on each)



Roll chicken breasts around filling.





If freezing, wrap each chicken roll in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag. Don't forget to label the bag.



On serving day or in my case tonight and again on serving day. LOL You will need:
3-4 T. butter, melted
For the sauce you will need:
2 T. butter
1/2 - 1 T. tomato paste
2 T. flour
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. salt
Dash of pepper
1 cup light cream or milk (I used milk)



Thaw completely. Unwrap chicken breasts, place close together in baking dish, and baste with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, basting every 15-20 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the tomato cream sauce.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Add tomato paste and blend until smooth. Stir in flour, garlic powder, basil, salt, and pepper. Add cream or milk all at once. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly about 2 minutes.



Spoon sauce over chicken right before serving.

I served it with green beans and garlic toast, but you can serve it with many other options. Enjoy!!

The Shopping Trip!!

I don't know about you but I have a hard time justifying driving around to different stores in order to get all my groceries. I know I could probably save a little more if I did, but gas is not cheap and until we get a new battery for the mini van, we are driving around in the Suburban.

Yes I am an Army wife, but I choose not to shop at the commissary. Why? That is simple, I do not and will not buy name brand items unless it is during a case lot sale. In other words I have no reason to step foot in the extremely busy commissary where I have to pay a surcharge (yep tax free, but...) and feel obligated to pay the bagger, when I can go to my local Albertson's buy off brand items and save even more by bringing my reusable bags.

So here is the run down of my shopping experience yesterday:
Don't freak out when you see the total cost. HaHa This is a months worth of stuff.
Spent $329.31
Tax: $4.22 (The surcharge at the commissary would have been triple or even quadruple)
Great Deal Savings: $50.15
Promotional Savings: $12.30
In store Coupons: These would be the ones I got by playing the monopoly game they have going on: $23.86
Total Savings: $86.31 Woo Hoo!! My bill would have been over what I budget had I not had the savings.

Here is a list of the extras non food stuff: Q-tips $2.99, Disney 3-pack pens $3.29, toothpaste 2/$6.00.

I did allow a few extras, but 98% of the items bought were on my list. I forgot my bags, but the other day I ran into Albertson's real quick using 2 of my bags and saved 15 cents. So I missed out on the bag savings this trip. To my defense I just recently bought the bags at a price of 10/$10. I love that they can put more into them and they are easier to carry. I also do not let them put juice, milk, pop (soda), and a few other things into bags. It is just not necessary to waste even more bags.

Do you use the reusable bags? Does your local store give you a bag credit as such for bringing your own bags?

Anyway, I did make my list into categories this time and it was so much easier. I also was not running back and forth because I had forgotten something in another aisle. I now have everything to make up my dinner dishes, a couple breakfast dishes, a few lunch dishes, rolls, and some desserts for a month.

Starting tonight I will post up what I make with pictures, so don't forget to check back or follow me so you don't miss it!!

Word of The Day: THE

My daughter is just learning to read. She is having difficulty with some words because of the way they are spelt.

Today's word is THE.

Every time she gets to this word I can see her mind working extra hard to figure it out.

She has brought it to my attention and I can see why this word is hard for her to learn.

Here are some of the things she has said to me:
T.H.E. does not spell "the"
Mom are you sure it is not Tha
No, the E is making the wrong sound, short e is a "eh" sound that would make the word sound like theh.
No, the "e" is not silent, that would just sound like TH
Mommy, this is just not right, why do some people say it like Thee, that first e is not the long e sound.

So you can see my frustration and hers. This child over analyzes everything, so just telling her how to say it and then how to spell it, does not work. I may end up losing my mind before she learns to read.


No wonder the poor kid is having so many problems in the reading department. So what were some hard words for you and your little ones to learn?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shopping List Time!!

Well we sprang ahead and today in El Paso it is a beautiful day. At least for now until the wind starts up again.. Ha 3 out of 6 of us are awake and ready to start the day.

It is list time.. Do you make a grocery shopping list? Do you just write stuff down or do you organize your list? I have to have a list, if not I spend way more than I want and without the list I can't tell the kids that we can't get something because "It is not on the list".

I feel I could be more organized with said list. Currently I just write everything down, but today I want a change. lol

Today I wrote down categories and underlined them, then I am writing down what I need to get in each category.

Here is a list of common categories:

Baby Items~

Baking~

Spices~ I put these here because spices are usually found in the baking aisle.

Beverages~

Bread/Bakery~

Canned Goods~ with sub lists to include, well everything that comes in a can. Veggies, Fruits, Soups, Sauces, even Tuna fish and some olives fall into the canned goods category.

Cereal/Breakfast~

Condiments~

Dairy~

Deli~ this would not only include potato salad and such, but also any meats you get cut at the Deli counter.

Frozen Foods~

Meats~ Just remember that any canned meat would go under the Canned Goods section, any frozen meat would go under the Frozen Foods section, and any luncheon meat you get cut would go under the Deli section

Pet Food~ The animals need food also.

Other~ This includes plastic wrap/bags, aluminum foil. I put this right with the food products because with Freezer cooking, bags and such are just as important as the food itself.

Pasta/Rice~

Produce~ this includes all fresh fruits and vegetables

Chips & Crackers~

Other Snacks~

Since you never can go grocery shopping without at least getting a few miscellaneous or non food items, I like to have them on my list.

Miscellaneous~ gift cards/wrap, batteries, etc.

Non-Food Items

Paper Products~ such as toilet paper and paper towels
Cleaning Supplies~
Health & Beauty~ this includes girly products for the not so great week, pharmacy items, and shampoo and such.

Do you have other categories that you write down?

Today while I am at the store I plan on mapping out the aisles. Writing down the aisle numbers and what is down each aisle. I think my next list will be split by aisle number. It is worth a try, it may or may not make it easier.

So how do you write your lists? Are you a just jot it down kind of person or are you organized like I am trying this week?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Your grocery bill... and other stuff.


I am curious. What do you spend on average per month on groceries and how big is your family?

I don't need exact numbers, just a round about number. On just groceries alone I spend about $350 per month. We are a family of 6 to include 2 adults, an almost 9 year old boy, a 7 year old girl, an almost 3 year old boy, and the baby boy who will be 1 next month. Obviously for the baby, formula is still a constant, but we have added a lot more foods to his diet.

I budget $400 per month and with the extra we are able to go out to eat at least once per month. I don't use a lot of boxed and canned items, except for some veggies and fruit. I love being able to provide good food for my family without it costing me an arm and a leg.

I have had a few comments lately (not here) that because I don't spend a lot on food that I must not be providing enough for my family. What do you think? I have found it to be cheaper to provide home cooked from scratch meals cheaper then buying all the prepackaged crap.

I love cookbooks and I love easy to prepare meals. I just recently bought myself a new cook book and I plan on going through the cookbook and bringing you all along for the ride. I am going through the book today to make up my list for the next 2 weeks. So starting Monday (maybe tomorrow) I will be sharing with you what I cook and bake including a picture. The cookbook is Don't Panic, Dinners in The Freezer

My plan is to cook for 2 weeks put have enough food for the whole month, give or take a few staples like milk, cheese, fruits, and veggies while still keeping within the budget.

I hope you all enjoy this mini excursion into my kitchen.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Food Stamps.. Seriously?!

Warning this is a vent, not meant to make anyone feel bad. This is just something I NEED to get out.

I recently read an article This one in fact and I just can't let it go.

So here are my thoughts... NO ONE can live on Food Stamps alone, it is just not possible. Well maybe you can but it involves living with someone else or having some kind of address to call your own. The fact is that you NEED a residence to get help in most states. I was reading this article and reading all the "stories" and I am just amazed that some of the people could get the help in the first place.

I may be a bit frustrated with the system in the first place and that may be where this post is coming from. Many years ago when my husband and I were first starting out and after our first child was born, back before the Army became our family, with both of us working, we applied for help. Why? because sure W.I.C. made it possible for my son to have food and helped while I was pregnant, my husband and I lived in a trailer with no car payments, and still were having some problems in the money department.

So we go in and apply for help, yeah that was a total waste of my time. You know what they said we could get. A HUGE $6.95 per month. It was horrible, so it was then that I decided a change was needed. Apparently I was wrong about what Food Stamps were all about. I was under the impression that they were there to help when people needed the help. NOPE apparently my whole view was just plain wrong. Seriously, what can $6.95 buy in terms of real food per month.

So reading this article where people are saying that Food Stamps are their only source of income and they had to move in with family, or god forbid sell a few weapons to make a little money, or the number of other stories they talk about with in that article just rubs me the wrong way. I just can't believe in the system anymore. I know when we applied it went by income and household size. I guess maybe we were too honest because we were told to sell our second car, mind you we DID NOT have any car payments and the fact that if we were to sell one of the cars I would have no way to get to work. Sure that would have been a wise decision, but hey maybe if we would have done that, then with me having no job because I would have no way to get to my job across town, maybe just maybe we could have reapplied for food stamps and been approved for more, Heck maybe even $20.

Anyway, back to my point, if I really have a point.. How the heck can someone claim that food stamps are the only source of income they receive? How does one person receive so much in food stamps and the next only get approved for $6.95. The whole thing just does not add up..

U.N.I.Q.U.E. and U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS review!!


No matter what you do in your daily life there are times you either trust yourself or run away within yourself. It is true, Think about it...

Do you want to learn what it is that holds you back from being 100% confident with your decisions and actions. I know that I have had days where I took a step back instead of forward. Are you the who you always wish you were? Maybe you are like I was, something from my past was holding me back. This something was a tragic event that until working with this book I had no idea just how much this was holding me back.

First I want to tell you about the author of U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing the Leader Within and U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids Growing My Leadership Garden.

Debra Slover is an educator, author, and child advocate whose mission is to plant the seeds of the next generation of world leaders. She is a graduate of Oregon State University and her experience includes seven years teaching in public schools and 20 years as Director of Oregon Student Safety On the Move. Slover established Leadership Garden Services in 2003 and later formed Leader Garden Press in 2006.

The books:
First off you are probably wondering what the heck U.N.I.Q.U.E. stands for? The answer is this. U.N.I.Q.U.E. stands for Understanding, Nurturing, Inventive, Quality, Unstoppable, Expression. One letter at a time, Slover walks the child or adult (depending on who the reader is and which book) through harnessing the six qualities together to form a "Leadership Garden Legacy" based on mutual respect, cooperation, teamwork, and other values.

Never has a book made me think about things from this perspective. The book allows you to look deep into yourself to find out what things and what actions are seeds and which are weeds that need to be cultivated out of your growing garden. I along with my two oldest went through the books together (sort of). The kids obviously were using the book intended for the kids and I was using the book for adults. After each chapter I had exercises and the kids had to answer the questions that Hugh wanted to know. We each had a journal to keep track of our answers.

Just so you know that the children's book is written like a fable, I know my kids LOVED how it was written. Both books are easily read and easily understood. The hard part is allowing yourself to look at things from a different perspective.

I had a few moments where after doing an exercise I had to have a few moments of "me time" usually done by going for a run because of things that came up.

All in all these are wonderful books and I think many could use the books to help them plant the Leadership Gardens that they so desperately need, but don't know it yet.

To find out more about the books or the author go here

To order your own copy of U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing the Leader Within click here

To order a copy of U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS Growing My Leadership Garden click here

I was given a copy of both books along with information about the author from prbythebook. No compensation was offered or accepted during any time for this review. The above opinions are my own and I know not everyone will agree with me.

Just a heads up!!

I have been dealing some crazy stuff here at home, but don't worry I am still here. LOL In fact in just a couple of hours I will be posting up a review of 2 great books about learning leadership.

So a little about what has been going on at my house..

We have worked so much with my 2 year old that now he is on track (almost) with his age group. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I love watching him do things that a child his age is doing. He is so amazing! It is a curse because now we do not have a diagnosis, which will make it harder to get him help with the things we still have to work on.

The baby of the family has had a lump in his cheek since just after he was born. The lump consistently grown and instead of having to press to feel it, now it is noticeable to the naked eye. We will have the first visit with the surgeon on little man's first birthday, not what I expected to do on that day, but none the less at 9am that is where we will be.

I found something new to use with our home school. Time4Learning has been a god send for me. The kids now love to do their school work. We were in a rut and the kids just needed something to get them excited again. Time4Learning did just that. My daughter had no ambition to learn to read, but now she IS reading and is so very proud of herself as am I.

So with the bad things that have been happening (all the sickness) we have had some amazing things happen also.

Watch out for new posts daily, as I think I finally have a schedule made up. lol Hopefully..

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Winner to Announce!! (CSNStores)

I know many of you are waiting to hear who won my CSN Stores giveaway. I now have the answer...

The Winner is.....Wendi P said...
I follow CSN stores on twitter.

Random.org chose #6 out of 53.

Congrats to the winner and thank you to everyone who took the time to enter, You all Rock!!

and the Winner is...

Congrats to throuthehaze who is the winner of the Box Tops for Education, $25 Kroger Gift Card.

The winner was chosen with Random.org, which choose Lucky number 1
throuthehaze said...
I have a Kroger only about 10 minutes away from my house

Congrats!! Thank You everyone for entering.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Coupons, Coupons, Get Your Coupons!!


We all (most of us) live by using coupons to keep our cost of food and supplies for our families down. Every little bit helps and I have found coupons to be an easy item to use. I don't go crazy with them but if I am going to be buying the product during my trip to the store, why not save a little.

Today March 7th is one of the best days to go out and buy a newspaper. Why? The answer to that is easy.


Procter and Gamble otherwise known as P&G will be releasing its BIGGEST coupon booklet ever. Just how much could you save? You could save about $160 with this coupon booklet.

Not only can you save, but redeeming the coupons you can also help out someone else.

For every coupon redeemed, P&G will provide one day’s worth of clean drinking water to a child in need through the Children's Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) Program, P&G's philanthropic cause aimed at saving lives by providing clean drinking water to children in developing countries.

Need to find out if your local paper will be carrying this Great coupon booklet? Click here to find out!

I was given information about P&G from One2One network No compensation was offered or received for this post. The above opinions are my own and I know not everyone will agree with me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Looking for Book Sales?

If you are looking for book sales and wondering if there happen to be any coming up in your area, you can go to one site instead of having to search all over the net.

BookSalesManager.com has just redesigned the site. Now it is much easier to find what you are looking for.

Some of the new features on the site are:

~A brand new design! They have redesigned the look and feel of the site. The people that run the site that has been in operation for a year really listen and have taken all the feedback provided to heart. BookSalesManager.com hopes that everyone will like the new site, but if you don't, please leave feedback so they can make any other changes.

~They have implemented 2 new account features that many users made a request for.
1. Outlook Support: Now you can export sales right to your Outlook Calendar.
2. GPS Support: Now you can export the database of sales to your GPS device. This makes it so much easier to find any sales while you are on the road.

~New Sharing Options: Did you find a sale that you just have to share with friends and family? Now you can easily share on FaceBook, Myspace, and Twitter. Not only that but you can also tag sales with Digg, Delicious, and more.

~Google Map and Directions: Now every sale listed on BookSalesManager.com will now be fully integrated with Google maps and directions. All listings will show the location of the sale via Google maps directly within the page. Also, below the address for each sale is the option to quickly and easily get step by step directions from any location.

As you can see not only have BookSalesManager.com listened to all the feedback given, they have implemented it. Giving you a much better site.

I was given the info about the redesigned site from BookSalesManager.com All opinions are my own and there was no compensation offered or received for this post.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Youda Fairy Review!

I love to be able to sit down at the computer and relax for a few minutes. This is usually done by playing a game or two. I had the opportunity to review a really great game that is perfect for me to play while relaxing.

Youda Fairy has the perfect mix of beautiful graphics and nice music. The music helped me to relax and I was able to concentrate on the game itself. While it does start off slow, within a few levels you find yourself with more challenges. Just as I thought that the game was moving quite slow, I found that the next level was just what I needed as being challenging. The whole game seems to move at that rate. The following level has just enough more challenges and fun to keep you interested to try to get to the next level and the next one after that.

I love the colors used for the graphics. The main thing I like is that the fairies look decent and are covered well. I am sure most of you can see what I really mean, if not just ask. LOL I did have to laugh when my 8 year old son "took over" the game on me while I changed one of the babies diapers. I have to say he was doing quite well and he was def. using his mind to best handle the different obstacles thrown at him. His favorite parts were when he was able to save a village.

Youda Fairy Description:
The wise old forest wizard has provided a watchful eye over the kingdom for over 1000 years. Together with his fairies he has been protecting the innocent villagers from the strange and dark forces controlled by the evil witch. This epic battle between the forces of good and evil is as old as time itself, but now the kingdom is danger. The Forest Wizard must leave the kingdom and he is now seeking a replacement. He wants you to become the new forest wizard and guard the kingdom against the wicked enchantments and spells of the evil witch. The forest wizard relies on fairies to help guard the kingdom and to begin your new life, you must first learn how to create them in the magical pond. Using lilies, fireflies and a bit of special magic you will create the special fairies and learn to send them to protect the villager’s houses.

System Requirements:
Operating system: Windows 98SE, 2000, ME, XP , Vista, 7Processor speed: Pentium II, 1000 MHzRAM: 1024 MB RAMDisk space (uncompressed): 100 MBGraphics Card: 16 Mb 3D video cardSound Card: onboard soundcard or soundblasterDirectX version: 9 or later

Overall, I feel this game is a good one to have in your collection, as long as you can get past the fact that the first few levels feel overly easy. Once you get past that the game is perfect and the levels move well from there.

I received this review as a member of the Game Review Network

I received a code to enter to play the game on my computer free of charge. No other compensation was offered or accepted. All opinions are my own and I know not everyone will agree.

Fun Night Out!!!

Last night we dropped the 4 kidlets off at the neighbors and headed out to Las Cruces, NM. Why, did we go to Las Cruces and not do something right here in El Paso, TX? We bought tickets to go see Zac Brown Band at the Pan American Center. This was not just a concert where the artist comes out and sings a few songs, this was 4 hours of complete entertainment.


Joey and Rory were the Special Guest MCs and they are so darn cute. Seriously! Rory wears overalls and that is how I recognized them. Ha! I have seen them on CMT before, but I could never remember their names, but as soon as they walked on stage last night I turned my Husband and said "They are good, just listen!" They came out a few times and not once disappointed us. One of my favorite songs from them was Cheater Cheater. That one is hilarious.

There were 3 Artists joining Zac Brown Band. Once again every single one of them was wonderful.

Levi Lowrey was out first. It was said that he takes the worst of times and writes amazing songs about them. That is so true! Levi's songs are about normal things that have, can , or will happen to any one of us.

To my surprise Zac Brown came out and sang a song with Levi. He just walked out on the stage and they started singing. It was amazing to say the least! At most concerts you have a band or an artist that will play before the main artist comes out, not with Zac Brown Band, they play right along with every single artist on tour with them.

The next artist that was up was Sonia Leigh. She is amazing and I can def. see why she was picked to be one of the ones that were there on the tour. She had so much energy and just like with Levi, I did not dislike any song.

The last of the 3 on the tour was Nic Cowan He played Gutter Song, which really took me back and made me laugh. He has this sound that although different is wonderful. He seems to pull you in to his music.

The thing that stands out about this concert to me is the music, not just the words to a song, but the way everyone plays their instruments. Jimmy De Martini has a way with the Violin like I have never seen before. John Driskell Hopkins on Bass, Coy Bowleson Guitar and Organ Clay Cook on a range of instruments including; Guitar, Organ, Mandolin, and Pedal Steel, and Chris Fryar on Drums!! There were times that I was listening in amazement when no words were being sung. They are wonderful musicians!

Want to follow along with the musicians:
Follow Joey and Rory on Twitter
Become a Fan of Zac Brown Band on FaceBook
Follow Zac Brown Band on Twitter
Follow Levi Lowrey on Twitter
Follow Sonia Leigh on Twitter
Become a friend of Nic Cowan on FaceBook
Follow Nic Cowan on Twitter

They were all wonderful and if you get the chance to see all or any the artists listed above, you will not be disappointed!!

The above is an account of my own personal experience. All opinions above are my own and I know not everyone will agree with me. I was not compensated in any way to write this post.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Glasses and Kids! Oh and Mommy too!




Yesterday while we were out and about my Husband decided to surprise my daughter and I with a trip to the eye doctor. Yeah what a wonderful treat. LOL


My daughter did really well during her eye exam, she was a little nervous and got really quiet a few times, total opposite of her normal extra loud self. As soon as the eye doctor said "Yup, you will need glasses". Natalee went from quiet to overly excited and kept repeating "I want a pink pair." It was too cute. She didn't even want the stickers offered to her, she just wanted her glasses.


We went next door to Lenscrafters, where she proceeded to pick up every pink pair of frames. Daddy helped her narrow down her choices to 3 and then she was able to pick just one from there.


While Daddy was helping Nat, I was also trying to pick out new frames. With my new haircut and the fact that the frames I was currently wearing were 6 years old, I knew I wanted something different. I really can't believe how much the frames have changed in 6 years. Some of them were so tiny and yet others were extremely huge. LOL They have wonderful people working in the store and with some help from them. I found the perfect pair!! The best part was that they were not pushing the most expensive frames on me, I really appreciated that. I got my choices down to 2 and the man (sorry forgot his name) had me put them both on a few times, then he suggested the pair I picked in the end.


Natalee wanted her new glasses like yesterday, so when the man said they would be ready in about an hour, Natalee's smile turned upside down. Daddy suggested we go and grab something to eat because with there being 6 of us it would take just about an hour. She finally agreed and we left to go eat.


All through dinner Natalee was in a hurry, it was too funny watching the excitement on her face. Once we were done eating, we made our way back to Lenscrafters and low and behold they had all 3 pairs of glasses done, Yup mommy got her first pair of sunglasses to go a long with the new pair of glasses.


I remember not being very excited at all when in 5th grade I had to get glasses, so it was so much fun watching my daughter going through this process with a smile.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Today Only!! Free Cookies from Nabisco!!




Today ONLY become a fan of Nabisco Cookies on FaceBook and download a coupon for FREE cookies!! Yes I said FREE!

There are a few things you should know about this coupon. It is ONLY available for download and to be printed off TODAY!! Also you have 4 days to go and use your coupon. The coupon is for a FREE package of cookies with the purchase of a package of cookies and a gallon of milk. We all know that Milk and Cookies go Great Together.

So what are you waiting for?

Head over to
Nabisco Cookies Become a fan and then click on the Milk and Cookies tab to download your coupon.

Download great savings starting Today, March 1st (and the first Monday of each month for the rest of 2010) while supplies last.

I was given this information free of any charges from one2onenetwork.com The above opinions are my own and I know not everyone will agree with me.