Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Magic Cookie Bars!

Always a hit, these cookies are made with butter, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk.

Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutesIngredients:

•1/2 cup butter

•1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

•1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

•1 pkg (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

•1 can (3 1/2 ounces) flaked coconut, or about 1 1/3 cups

•1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over melted butter; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Top evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool magic cookie bars before cutting.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Great deals of the day!

Canon PowerShot SD1300IS + 4GB Memory Card + $25 Gift Card

$179.99 $109.99 Free Shipping at Amazon.com

Amazon has this Canon PowerShot SD1300IS camera bundled with a 4GB Memory Card and a $25 Gift Card for $109.99. Add the 4GB Memory Card and $25 gift card to you cart to see the discount. The 12 MP camera has a 4x zoom, 2.7-inch LDC screen, and 28mm wide-angle lens. Just the camera sells for $129 at newegg. Shipping is free.


Burberry Brit Perfume Spray for Women

$89 $28.99 Free Shipping at Amazon.com
Amazon.com has this Burberry Brit perfume for women on sale for $28.99 with free shipping. The 1.7 fluid ounce bottle, which is smaller than this one, sells for $70 at Sephora.com. This scent received excellent reviews from customers.


Dockers Bay Bridge 5-Piece Luggage Set

$300 $82.49 at Macy’s 

Use Macy's coupon code MACYSFF during checkout. Macy's has this Dockers Bay Bridge 5-Piece luggage set for $82.49 after coupon code. The luggage set includes a 27" upright, 20" upright, 22" rolling duffel, 18" duffel and travel kit. Shipping is free. (Expires 12/06/10) TODAY!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cut that Grocery Budget...

Every Working Mommy would love to hear how to cut the family grogery budget. In this article, the author claims you can feed a family of 4 on less than $10 a day. What do you think...?
Share your favorite budget friendly dishes!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Great New App for your Smartphone

Finding the right gift this Holiday season can be hard. Well now it may have just gotten a little easier! With the brand new app ToyHopper, you can do all your Holiday shopping right from your phone. Use it to find hundreds of family-tested products organized in smart and helpful ways. You can filter items by price, age, or theme. You can also create wish lists and purchase products on the spot through Amazon.com. You can also let your kids make their own wish lists on your phone and share them with relatives. This is an app worth jumping on!

The Dog House

The perfect gift buying guide to show the special someone in your life :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dance Star Mickey

If you are looking for a great holiday gift to get your preschooler, the new Dance Star Mickey is it! When dance star Mickey does the moonwalk your child can't help but get up and dance with him. Press his foot and Mickey walks, talks, moves, and grooves to six different disco, Latin, and techno tunes. Squeeze his paw for a rockin' game of Mickey says freeze dance! He is super cute and any 3-6 year old would love to have him :)

Hallmark recordable storybooks

Just in time for Christmas, Hallmark has their Voice Saving Technology available in a new Christmas recordable storybook. You can record yourself on every page and it will play your voice back wherever and whenever so the story never ends! This is a wonderful Christmas gift that any mommy can make for her children! You can use the coupon below for a $5 savings.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

$5 off $5 minimum purchase HALLMARK

Hallmark just released a printable coupon for $5 off your purchase of $5 or more at Hallmark Gold Crown! This coupon is valid through December 5th.
Think: Stocking Stuffers, Cards, Ornaments, oh my!

A Quote For Your Day

The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. ~ Jill Churchill

EASY Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

Chinese Chicken Salad

3-4 chicken breasts cooked and cubed
1 lb spaghetti, cooked al-dente (drain and rinse in cold water)
2 pkg cole slaw mix (diced cabbage, carrots & red cabbage/no dressing) found by the salad mixes
2 small cans of mandarins, drained
2 bunches green onion, chopped
1 1/3 cup slivered almonds (6 oz package)
1 bottle Newman's Own Lighten Up Sesame Ginger Dressing

Toss everything together and enjoy!
Warning, this makes a HUGE batch! Like enough to feed an ARMY. I usually make a 1/2 batch, halving all the ingredients, but using the full pound of spaghetti.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chocolate mint cookies

One of my favorite things about this time of year is holiday cookie exchanges! Here is one of my favorite cookie recipies to share!

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, Press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half.



EMU Boots Only $39.50 (Free Overnight Shipping!)

Endless has a deal on the EMU Australia Women’s Rosie Button Low Boot (Adorable! Holla!). They are priced at a low $39.50 – down from $79! PLUS, these boots qualify for FREE overnight shipping. Hurry and order… I’m guessing popular sizes and colors will go quickly!


**Go through Ebates for 7.5% cash back**

25 FREE Christmas Music Downloads!

In the MOOD for Christmas Music?

Thank you, Amazon!

25 Days of Free
Every day through Christmas, we're unveiling a new holiday song available to download free for a limited time. Check back daily to see what's next.


Click on the link above each day Dec 1-25 to get a FREE Christmas song download!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Take a Moment to Make a Difference

Wounded Central Oregon Marine Seeks Support

I was really touched when I read this story. If we could all take a moment to add this soldier to our Christmas List then he'd get a bunch of cards from all over the place. We are all busy moms so this is just a simple thing that will make all the difference in the world!

Pillow Pets are Killin' Me!

Okay, I’ll admit it, I LIKE A GOOD SALE. But, this year I can’t find these darn Pillow Pets on sale anywhere! They are just about $20 bucks everywhere I turn.

Well, have I got news for you! Let the dreamin’ begin because at this price everyone in the house is gonna get a Pillow Pet for Christmas!

Wanna know how to get one shipped for $15.99? Follow me:

Go to Kohls.com

In the “search” field type: Pillow Pet

There are several to shoose from. Add it to your cart. Go to checkout. After entering your credit card info, BUT before completing the transaction there will be a place to enter PROMO Codes.

Enter these CODES: EXTRA20 (this gets you 20% off your order), then enter: CONTACTFR (this gets you free shipping). You’ll have to pay tax if you have a Kohls in your state.

Ha! Now no more crying, we don’t have to pay full price for those Pillow Pets!
Now, here’s another option for you B&M peeps (those of you who get the thrill of the shop and have to have your little hands on the actual product instead of trusting the cyber world.

Bed Bath and Beyond has Pillow Pets for $19.99 AND there is a $5 off $15 purchase coupon out there. If you have one or have saved one, or can beg one off of somebody the you are in like Flynn! By the way, they do take coupons that have expired.

Muah! Enjoy!

10 minutes to clean

My friend Rae had the greatest post on her blog the other day called, "the 10 minute cleaner". I loved it so much I had to share. The idea is to pick a room in your house that needs to be cleaned and set a timer for 10 minutes, then clean! You will be surprised how much you can clean up when you focus on one room and know you are only giving yourself 10 minutes.

As a working mommy I love this idea! I definitely would rather be playing with my kiddos than cleaning the house. This way I could give myself a time limit. When the 10 minutes is up I'll stop, whether the room is clean or not. Could I really clean up in just 10 minutes? Yesterday I put it to the test.

I started with my super messy kitchen

and even though you are supposed to pick just one room,

I added my family room since it wasn't too bad.
I set the timer for 10 minutes and........

did it!!

I did still have some stuff on top of the fridge, but left it for later.

Then my 3 year old and I did our makeup together.

I think she did pretty good ;)

Thanks Rae for the GREAT Idea!!

} My home is filled with toys, looks like a preschool, has fingerprints on everything. And never is quiet or clean. My hair is usually a mess and I'm always tired, but there is always love and laughter here. In 20 years my kids won't remember my house or my hair, but they will remember the time we spent together and the love we felt. Children only get one childhood. Make it a good one. {

ready? set. go!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies - seriously, you'll never know they're vegan.
4 1/2 tsp of Ener-G Egg Replacer (equivalent to 3 eggs)
6 tb of water
1 cp non-dairy butter, softened (we use Earth Balance)
3/4 cp granulated sugar
3/4 cp firmly packed lt or dk brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-2 cps non-dairy chocolate chips
1 cp nuts (optional)

375 on oven
Whip egg replacer and water in food processor or blender until thick and creamy.
Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl.
Add egg replacer mixture and combine.
Seperate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into wet mixture until it forms dough.
Stir in chips and nuts.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.

The Early Burn

I understand the lack of motivation to workout, especially for a working mommy. I mean really, who has the time?..... YOU DO! I had the hardest time rolling out of bed this morning at 4:15. Is that even considered morning? Isn't that still the middle of the night? Whatever you call it, it was early, and it was difficult. Still, I did it. I got up and I went to the gym. Granted I had a 5:15 am boot camp class to teach which made it a lot easier to make myself get there, but the class was full of working mommies who pushed themselves to get up and get there! Let me tell you though, on days that I don't have a class to teach, I still get up at the crack of dawn (or before) to workout, and here are a few reasons why:

1. Getting your workout in before you have eaten a bunch of "junk" all day means you are burning pure fat calories and not just the sushi you had for lunch.

2. While it's hard to get up and out of bed, I have so much more energy all day.

3. I get in a full workout, shower & my morning coffee all before my hubby and the kids even wake up.

4. When I push myself to just "get up and get it over with", I can't find excuses all day not to workout. It's done!

Even if you can't make it to the gym early, or are just frightened at the thought of stepping foot in a gym, get some home workout DVD's. Get up early and get er' done. Or not. Wait till later when the kids are napping or at school or even for 30 minutes when your hubby gets home from work, or here's an idea, workout WITH your kids!! Have a dance party, or go on a walk or bike ride. My point is there is NOT a lot of time to do things for yourself as a "working mommy", but there IS time. You just need to find it, it's there!!! Whatever your job may be, "mommy" is the most important. It's important to keep a healthy mind and body not only for you, but for the little ones who look up to you.

Here are some DVD's that I would suggest for a good at home workout. All can be found on http://www.amazon.com/ :

Try to make time for at least three 30 min- 1 hour workout sessions a week to start. Try and do 30 minutes of cardio (jogging, running, dancing, jumping jacks, eliptical, step, bike etc.) per workout. As your fitness level increases you should add more workouts per week and more challenging exercises.

A couple tips:
Make healthy choices today. Order your salad dressing on the side. Order fruit instead of fries. Only eat half of your sandwich, save the other half for tomorrow and load up on some fruits and veggies. Drink lots and lots of water. Water helps fill your tummy and make you less hungry. If you feel the need to snack, pop in a piece of gum and go do something to get your mind off of snacking!

Have a wonderful and healthy day!!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday $ Save some Green!

Here are just a couple of CYBER MONDAY DEALS

Baby Legs – 3 Pairs of Leg Warmers for $10 Shipped

Baby Legs has a “Cyber Monday” deal – right now they are offering select sets of 3 pairs of leg warmers for $10 shipped. Shipping is FREE! Baby Legs typically cost $10 each, so this is an awesome savings! This is a great gift for anyone who has a baby or toddler.


We love Baby Legs – all of my girls wear them (check out the styles for boys, too!).

Cyber Monday: AVON

FREE Shipping– No Minimum

**Think Stocking stuffers**

*Winter Treats Lip Balms $0.49

*High School Musical Hand Cream $0.99

*Peppermint Mini Bubble Bath $0.99

*Holiday Mini Hand Cream $0.69

*NATURALS Papaya & Kiwi Rejuvenating Body Polish $0.99

*Foot Works Vanilla & Brown Sugar Foot File $0.79

Use coupon code Free2010 at checkout!

For a more complete list of CYBER MONDAY deals go here: http://www.cybermonday.com/shopping/sh___Cyber%20Monday%20Deals%202010_.htm

You can search by Store/Website OR by product type to see who has the lowest price.

Remember to be a SAFE consumer out there and check to make sure sites are SECURE before entering your credit card and personal information.

Happy Monday! Have fun shopping!

Turkey, Deals and S-T-R-E-T-C-H-Y Pants!

What’s the best way to WAKE yourself up from that post-turkey coma? Throw on some S-T-R-E-T-C-H-Y pants, grab your ads and your $ GREEN $ and head out for some Black Friday Shoppin’!
So, all you Black Friday Shoppers, tell us about your LOOT that is more precious than SLEEP! Did you get some good deals?
We were amongst the CRAZY masses who stood in line for the 10pm opening of Toys R Us. It’s a little bit about saving money for us, but it’s ALL about the experience! The anticipation of searching the ads and coming up with a game plan, the jammin’ to Christmas Carols on the way to the store, the rush of adrenaline when you enter the store and begin the mad dash. Then there is the finding of the product before it runs out or better yet, getting the LAST product. Even if you didn’t really want that last ZhuZhu Pet, I’m sure you’ll buy it now because you got the LAST ONE! Ahhh…did I mention I could go for a nap right about now?
As a working mom, I rarely have time to browse the aisles of the stores dreaming about what my child might like for Christmas. What’s more, I rarely have a shopping moment without children with me. This year Black Friday Shopping was a childless luxury and we took advantage of the moment to do almost all of our Holiday Shopping.
So what are you looking for? Anything left on your list after today’s shopping extravaganza?
On that note, here are some ideas to help you save some GREEN this season:
Free Vaseline Intensive Rescue Lotion Sample:
Free ORLY Nail Polish (*think stocking stuffer*) at ULTA beauty:
Free Handmade Bath Salts from Cl9oud Salon Spa:
Free Krispy Kreme Doughnut:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!

Make these yummy pumpkin whoopie pies with your kiddos!!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.)
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For cream cheese filling: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts:

Servings Per Recipe: 36
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 130
Total Fat: 6g
Total Carbs: 18.2g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5g
Protein: 1.5g

Great Family PJ's

Looking for fun and cozy family pajamas? Look no further! Company kids has sleepwear for the whole family, and if you order by 12/28/10 you can use the code FUN10 and get an extra 20% off your entire order. This is a great place to get your child's Christmas PJ's, and they have a variety of sizes and colors!

Monday, November 15, 2010

V. Reader

Testers of the new V. Reader had nothing but wonderful things to say about it. It allows children to read stories at their own pace and follow along with a narrator. It can also play games, and has a dictionary! This system allows your child to bookmark pages and download more stories via the family computer. It is priced at $60 and that comes with an additional book which is well worth the money. The only downside is that additional books cost $20 each.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Quote For Your Day

Sweater; n.: garment worn by child when it's mother is feeling chilly. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Disney Cruiseline!

The new Disney Wonder has a new home in California. Go aboard the ship in L.A. and experience a cruise Disney style! Each ship is built with Disney magic, and this one is no exception. If you are looking for a great family trip for both adults and kids the Disney Cruise line will not disappoint. Call 1-888-875-3077 or go to www.disneycruise.com/discover for more info.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Newest Contributors!!

The Working Mommy would like to introduce you all to two very special people! Kerri Young and Katie Cook!
Kerri Young is my sister in law and she will be adding amazing posts on the great deals, craft ideas, and recipes she has to share with you all. She is a mommy of four beautiful children. Seraya is 7, Kaija is 5, Liam is 3, and baby Calista is 4 months old. She is also a working mommy!
Katie Cook is also one of my awesome sister in laws! She will be adding equally amazing posts on working out, craft ideas, and recipes. She is a mother of two wonderful kids. Austin is 5, and Ayla is 3. She is also a working mommy!
Let's welcome the two of them! Their amazing ideas and incite will be a wonderful addition to this ever expanding mommy blog.

The Working Mommy~ Melissa Cook

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Quote For Your Day

A woman's work is never done, especially the part she asks her husband to do. ~ Unknown

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dreamy books for Bedtime

Looking for a good bedtime story? Here are six great reads for bedtime bliss!
  1. Tuck me in! by Dean Hacohen
  2. Switching on the Moon: A Very First book of Bedtime Poems by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters
  3. The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
  4. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
  5. A Book of Sleep by II Sung Na
  6. A Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gratitude jar

This Thanksgiving give your family the gift of great conversation. Get a jar and cut out some cute leave shapes or turkey shapes. Write one question on each shape of paper. Place them in the jar. During your Thanksgiving dinner pass the jar around the table and have each person draw a card and answer the question. It is a great way to learn even more about the people that are most important to you!
You can find cute templates on www.familyfun.com/magazine

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hidden Treasure

Kids get bored during the fall and winter months when it gets darker earlier, and it is raining and cold! You can challenge your young prospectors to search for treasure. Paint rocks with gold paint, and purchase a few fake precious gems. Hide them around the house and make a scavenger hunt, or map. Your kids will have a fun time searching for their hidden treasure.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good behavior gets Gold!

To reward your kids for good behavior go to the dollar store and buy a package of plastic gold medals. When your kids behave exceptionally well at the grocery store, or do well in school, give them one of these medals. It has to be something that is rewarded right away so carry a medal in your purse with you if you plan to go to the store. The medal is a great way to reward your child, and it makes them feel very proud. Let your child put them on display for a few days!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rediculously Easy Spicy Chicken Torilla Soup

I love me some spice! Here is a fantastic Tortilla soup that you'll love!

Puree 2 seeded, soaked ancho chiles, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes and 2 garlic cloves; fry in oil. Add 6 cups chicken broth, 4 torn corn tortillas, some shredded cooked chicken and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer until thick. Add salt; garnish with crisp tortilla strips, Mexican cheese, avocado, cilantro and lime juice.

Bada Bing! Done! Easy and delicious. May be a little too Spicy for the kiddos.

Adios!! ~ Katie

Monday, August 16, 2010

Collect small toys for special outings

I saw a great article in a magazine about how a Mom stores her kids little toys. You know the ones I am talking about... Happy Meal toys, birthday giveaway toys, etc. She keeps these items corralled in a plastic container. She has two boy containers and two girl containers which she fills with odd and end little trinkets and stashes away. Anytime she goes out to eat, goes to the Dr and has to bring the kids, or goes on long car trips she packs these containers. Since the kids haven't seen the toys in a long time, it is a new and exciting to them, and it can be a great way to entertain your child.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Push back bedtime

Once a week you should let one kid stay up 15 minutes past their bedtime with Mom and Dad. Each week it will rotate. The rest of the kids have to go to bed on time, no chatting, no interruptions. The kids who gets to stay up can choose how he/she wants to spend their time. My son likes to read a story just the three of us. My daughter likes to watch a show with us and snuggle. Each child is different, but the kids will look forward to this fun reward!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Twofer Tuesdays

Are your kids craving some one on one time with you? Every Tuesday evening you could have a Twofer Tuesday! The object is to get one on one time with each child individually. Tuesday evenings each family splits off. One parent and one child do one activity, while the other two do something else. The next week, each child goes with the other parent. This tradition guarantees each child some alone time with Mom or Dad. You will learn a lot about your child during this time, and it helps with competition between siblings!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Time in a bottle

You can make a homemade hourglass and it can help your child visualize the concept of time. You'll need two clean and dry 8 oz plastic bottles. Pour 1/2 cup colored sand (you can find at the craft store) into a bottle. On top of one of the bottles place a two hole button that's large enough to cover the opening. Add the second bottle to the top of the button you just placed on the sand bottle. Tape the bottles together with any secure tape. Use a clock to figure out how much time is in your bottle (it should be about 10 minutes). To adjust the time peel off the tape and add more sand, and then replace with new tape. Now when you tell your child "You have 10 minutes before the bus comes", she can set her sand, and know exactly how much time she has!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture me cooking

Looking for a great gift for your mom or grandma? Picture Me Cooking is a cookbook, photo album, and activity book all in one! Create easy recipes with your children and take pictures. Slide the pics into the pouch provided and give these away as gifts. They are super cute and they are sure to be an Heirloom!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dentist Approved Soothers

MAM is rolling out super soft silicone soothers designed by dentists and Orthodontists with generous air holes to keep baby's skin dry. They come in many cute colors!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Great Toothpaste for babies 1 and under

How can you insure that your babies have healthy brushing habits for a lifetime? With baby Orajel tooth & gum cleaner! Babies teeth still need to be cared for because their is sugars in formula, juice, and other foods. These sugars form plaque on the teeth that water alone cannot remove. Baby Orajel tooth cleaner contains a special ingredient to remove plaque and is safe for babies to swallow because it is not loaded with Fluoride. Start cleaning your babies teeth as soon as they grow in and you will teach your child healthy habits for life!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Great new mommy gift

Looking for a gift to give a new mommy? Help her celebrate the special day with a birth day keepsake! These beautiful prints have the babies name, birth date, and "all about me" info. Plus special facts about the day they were born. It is a great keepsake for under $10.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Great Go Green water bottles

Sip in style with these eco friendly water bottles. Simply fill the BPA free plastic bottle with tap water and let the filter do all the work. They are reasonably priced at $9-13!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Quote For Your Day

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did like pie. ~ Tenneva Jordan

Monday, June 14, 2010

Protect your crawling babies knees

These thick, but lightweight padded knee pads feature silicone prints for super baby traction, and great cushioning while baby crawls. They come in a variety of cute colors.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Great Gifts

A great way to give back is to send the gift of fruit! Order gifts from Donatefruit.com and for every purchase the company will donate an equal amount of fresh fruit to food banks!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Secrets of Healthy Moms

Here are a few ways to get your kids to eat what's good for them.

  • Encourage your kids to cook a well-balanced meal and invite friends over to eat it together.
  • Make grocery shopping fun by sending your kids on a scavenger hunt in the store in search of healthy foods
  • Use fruits as an alternative to sweet desserts by making fruit smoothies
These tips are fun for both you and your kids!!

Weekly Recipes

Monday: Shrimp Skewers, salad, rice

Tuesday: Balsamic Glazed Salmon Patties, Salad


6 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2.Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook and stir garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
3.Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with oregano.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. Brush fillets with remaining glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving platter, leaving the skin behind on the foil.

Wednesday: Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken and Caesar salad

Thursday: Sloppy Joes, fries, corn

Friday: French bread Pizzas, salad

Saturday: BLT's and steak fries

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekly Dinner Menu

Monday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 canned chipotle chilies, seeded and minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
16 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes
Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.
Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chilies. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.
Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.
Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.

Wednesday: Salmon Patties (from Costco) with salad, and rice

Thursday: Crispy Fish Tacos

1 1/4 pounds tilapia fillets, about 5
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
3 cups canola oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
8 corn tortillas
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (reserve remaining half for Round 2 Recipe, Bean and Cheese Chalupas) Directions:
Cut the fish into 1 1/2-inch chunks. (Reserve 1 fillet and refrigerate for the online Round 2 Recipe, Ceviche.)
To make the batter, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in enough water, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups, until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.
Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat to 360 degrees F.
When the oil is hot, working in batches, dip the fish pieces into the batter and carefully add them to the hot oil. Cook the fish until golden brown on both sides and the fish is cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes total. Remove from the pan and drain on to a sheet tray lined with a paper bag or paper towels.
To make the sauce, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce, lime juice, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cilantro in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Wrap the tortillas in a damp towel and microwave on medium for 1 minute to warm. Put about 1/4 cup of the shredded cabbage on each tortilla. Put 3 pieces of the fried fish on top of the cabbage, then top with some sauce. Arrange the tacos on a serving platter and garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve immediately.

Friday: Spaghetti and meat sauce with Caesar Salad and french bread

Saturday: Shake and Bake chicken breasts with mac and cheese and veggie medley

Happy Mothers Day 2010


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekly Dinner Menu

Monday: Shrimp Skewers, salad, rice

Tuesday:  Balsamic Glazed Salmon Patties, Salad

6 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2.Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook and stir garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
3.Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with oregano.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. Brush fillets with remaining glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving platter, leaving the skin behind on the foil.

Wednesday: Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken and Caesar salad

Thursday: Sloppy Joes, fries, corn

Friday: French bread Pizzas, salad

Saturday: BLT's and steak fries

Quote of the Week

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."
~ Tenneva Jordan

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My crazy, happy life!

11 years ago today, I married my best friend! I know it sounds cliche, but it is true. I still remeber the day I first met Mark. He walked up the stairs of his house where I was hanging out with my friends, and his beauty took my breath away. It was an instant attraction that we still have to this day. When they say everyone has a soul mate, I believe it, because I married mine. Here's to 50 more wonderful, crazy, and happy years together! Happy Anniversary Mark!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Chore Dice

Doing the same chores over and over is slowly driving my kids, and myself insane. There is more bickering over doing chores than anything else in my house. Colby is tired of always taking out the trash, and Kaylee is whining when it is time to empty the dishwasher. I had to come up with a solution to this problem and quick. What does any blogging mom do when she needs an idea? I went to google and searched as many family fun sites as I could. I came across a great site called "Disney Family Fun" I searched the site a little and came across a fun way for the kids to do chores. My kids love Yatzee, Bunco, or any other game that uses dice. There is a fun way to do chores by using Chore Dice. Materials, instructions, and a printable template are all available to construct your dice. It was easy and fun to do. My kids' get excited to roll the dice everyday and see what new chore they will get! Colby discovered he loves to empty the dishwasher, and I discovered that my kids doing the chores doesn't always have to be a fiasco.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Great way to manage your money

My friend introduced me to a free website that links to your bank account, credit card account, and all auto or home loans, and keeps track of them on one handy site. The website is called mint.com. It is awesome! You have to take about 30-45 minutes to initially enter your information. Once you are set-up, managing your accounts is a breeze. I get weekly email updates, and texts if I make a purchase on my account over $50. It is great for keeping track of credit cards, so that you will not become a victim of identity theft. I highly recommend this site to everyone. I have been using it for almost a year and it has helped me budget, and has shown me where I spend too much money or where I am saving money monthly!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ten Dollar Dinners

I have been watching a great new show on the food network called Ten Dollar Dinners hosted by Melissa d'Arabian. It is a really great show for a mommy on a budget. It's on Sunday's at 12:30 on the food network. You can also check out the recipes online at http://www.foodnetwork.com/ and search for Ten Dollar Dinners.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Have a Family Movie Night!

Family movie night is a fan favorite in our house! Here is a list of the top 10 best movies for family movie night.
  1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  2. Ella Enchanted
  3. Shrek 1, 2, or 3
  4. Toy Story 1 or 2
  5. The Sound of Music
  6. Finding Nemo
  7. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder)
  8. The Wizard of Oz
  9. A Bug's Life
  10. Monsters, Inc.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Great New Gadget

Not that we have many leftovers in my house, but when we do, it is nice to find a product that makes storing leftovers easier! Kuhn Rikon Magic Covers ($18 for two at Amazon.com) is a reusable silicone lid that fits over plates, and bowls. Just press down on the center to get a tight seal, that keeps the food fresh in the fridge or the freezer. It is great for pre meal prep and food storage for the week. I highly recommend this product, and know that it keeps lettuce fresh for a week!

Kuhn Rikon Magic Cover, Set of 2

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekly Dinner Menu

Quick and Easy! That is our theme this month isn't it. All recipes can be made in about 30 minutes or less. Just enough time for the busy working mom to prepare a great meal!

Monday: Garlic Lime Fajitas (seasonings and recipe by McCormick Recipe Inspirations)

Tuesday:  Black Bean and Corn Chicken Chili (recipe by McCormick)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
4 teaspoons McCormick® Chili Powder
2 teaspoons McCormick® Cumin, Ground
1 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) great Northern beans, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, bell pepper and onion; cook and stir 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Heat small nonstick skillet on medium heat 2 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and garlic; toast 30 seconds or until aromatic, stirring constantly. Add to chicken mixture.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes

Wednesday: Stove-Top Tamale Pie with veggies
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 packages Taco Seasoning Mix
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, undrained
1 package (8 ounces) corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1. Brown ground beef in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
2. Stir in Seasoning Mix, tomato sauce and beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare corn muffin mix as directed on package. Drop small spoonfuls of batter over meat mixture. Cover.
4. Cook on medium-low heat 15 minutes or until corn bread is cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese and green onions. Cover. Cook on low heat until cheese is melted.

Thursday: Ultimate Barbecue-Rubbed Chicken with corn and cole slaw
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, warmed
1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika, cumin, garlic salt and chili powder. Rub both sides of chicken with seasoning mixture.
2. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).
3. Serve chicken with barbecue sauce.

Friday:  Grilled Chicken Kabob Caesar Salad
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 medium green onions, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into wedges
3/4 cup fat-free Caesar dressing
1 bag (10 ounces) ready-to-eat romaine lettuce
1/2 cup croutons
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Thread chicken, onions and bell pepper alternately on each of four 10-inch metal skewers, leaving space between each piece. Reserve 1/2 cup of the dressing for serving. Brush skewers with remaining 1/4 cup dressing.
2. Cover and grill kabobs 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
3. Arrange kabobs on romaine; top with croutons and cheese. Serve with reserved 1/2 cup dressing.

Saturday: Sloppy Joes, steak fries, mixed greens

Quote of the Week

"My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it."

~ Buddy Hackett

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great New App for your Smartphone

Find a deal on your phone! The ShopSavvy app shows you where to find an item for the cheapest price online and in stores. You use your phone to scan the barcodes to find the best prices! It's that easy, and I love it!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

McCormick Recipe Inspirations

A few days ago I came across a new product that is perfect for any busy mom. It's McCormicks NEW Recipe Inspirations! Each package includes all the  pre-measured spices you need, and a collectible recipe card. It makes cooking fast and easy! They have many flavors to choose from.
  1. Apple and Sage Pork Chops
  2. Garlic Lime Fajitas
  3. Quesadilla Casserole
  4. Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
  5. Shrimp and Pasta Primavera
  6. Spanish Chicken Skillet
I tried the Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and it was fantastic. I am going to make it again this week and add it to the weekly menu! I can't wait to try the other flavors. You can go to http://www.mccormick.com/ to find out more about this product! Happy Cooking!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Helping Your Family Go Green Checklist

Since it is Earth day, I thought it would be fitting to post a checklist that can help you start GOING GREEN today!

  1. Save water by decreasing your shower time -- or rather take a bath, which uses less water than a shower.
  2. Get in the habit of brushing your teeth with the water off, and encourage your children to do so, as well.
  3. Switch from paper and plastic bags to reusable bags and totes.
  4. Opt for direct deposit, online banking, and paperless statements to reduce your paper usage.
  5. Unplug all of your appliances when you leave the house to save energy (and prevent a fire hazard).
  6. Keep one set of dishes at the office, including: a cup, utensils, bowl, and plate. This will prevent you from reaching for disposable utensils, cups, and plates.
  7. Use rechargeable batteries -- Duracell now has a line of pre-charged rechargeable batteries!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

21 ways to enjoy being a mom!

From The Fun Book for Moms by Melina Gerosa Bellows. copyright 2007 by Melina Gerosa Bellows. To be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing in May.

21 ways to enjoy being a mom

1.When you're tired, hand your kids a brush, point to your head, and tell them to play beauty parlor. When you're really tired, pretend that you're Sleeping Beauty.

2.Take your mother to a spa. While you're both getting seaweed wraps, tell her all your favorite memories of growing up.

3.Take a bath with your infant. Make sure your husband is around for the handoff, so you can relax until the last minute. (Don't forget to smell your baby right afterward. Heaven!)

4.At the end of every summer, take a family photo for the holiday card (you'll be happy to have this accomplished once December comes). Every year, add a framed 11-by-14-inch print to your front hall. Your kids will be proud now and laugh later at the funny styles.

5.On St. Patrick's Day, dye the milk and eggs green and turn the furniture upside down so your home looks like total chaos. When your little ones wake up, tell them that the leprechauns came.

6.The next time you have to go to a boring kiddie activity, invite another mom-friend along. Hide wine in sippy cups for the two of you to nurse undercover.

7.Play Freaky Friday with your husband and switch roles for a day. Enjoy his renewed appreciation for his Super Mom wife.

8. In the dead of winter, fix some snacks, get under warm quilts, and watch Happy Feet on DVD. Tell your kids you love them even more than the penguins love their chicks.

9.Go to the beach in the off-season. Throw rocks in the water and collect shells. Put them in a vase and use it as shelf decor in your living room.

10.Skip the Raffi and Barney. Turn your kids on to Bob Marley, They Might Be Giants, and Gwen Stefani.

11.Take your baby out to the movies at night. (Infants love the dark, and loud trailers make them snooze immediately.) Then you can sip your soda and munch your popcorn in peace.

12.Buy yourself that fancy watch, strand of pearls, or whatever piece of expensive jewelry you've been lusting after. Justify your purchase by rationalizing that you'll pass it down to your daughter (or son's wife) eventually.

13.Take your kids to live music performances from very early ages. Cheap ones outdoors are great to start with in case you need to make a hasty exit (like when a diaper explodes).

14.Use your kids as an excuse to do the things you want to do, like going to silly feel-good movies, eating mac and cheese for dinner, and jumping in the moonbounce. Use your kids as an excuse to get out of things you don't want to do, like going to a wedding or office party.

15.Every Mother's Day, have a picture taken with your kids. Keep the photos all together - along with special cards, ticket stubs, mementos, and anything else that makes you feel good about being a mom - in a shoe box. (Of course, you must get those new shoes you love in order to do this correctly.) Every year, look through your Goddess Mom box and see how much your kids have grown.

16.Give your kids quiet time every day. Let them learn to be by themselves with books, crayons, or blocks.

17.Let your whole family take a day off and hang out in pj's all day long.

18.Rent Sex and the City on DVD, and reminisce about the days when you were single and the biggest problem you had was whether the "He" of the moment was going to call. Let the romance of your youth seduce you. Then remember that, despite your freedom, all you really wanted was to fall in love and have beautiful babies.

19.Pitch a tent in the backyard. Use it as your outdoor reading room. Or when there's a full moon, plan a family campout with sleeping bags, a transistor radio, and s'mores, of course.

20.Invent a house fairy. Give her a name, and tell your kids that she is always watching them and counting up their good deeds.

21.Listen for the deep, happy sighs that come after your kids play or laugh really hard. Tuck them away in your heart.
Being a mom is the best blessing in the world. Learn how to enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eat together, Eat better!

Do you want to make a real impact on your family today, and for years to come?

Eat together! Research shows that kids and parents are more emotionally fit if they eat regularly scheduled meals together. Kids who eat regular meals with their families are less picky, and eat more nutritious food, have higher grades, and are less likely to get involved with alcohol, and drugs.

(The TV is not a family member! Turn it off and enjoy eachother!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Send what kids like

Ask your kids to make a list of their favorite lunch items from each of the food groups. Then use their list to create lunch menus. Send them to school with a healthy home lunch that you know they will enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekly Dinner Menu

This week is another busy busy week for me. I am really relying on making meals that are fast, healthy, and somewhat kid friendly!

Teriyaki chicken, salad, and rice

Tacos with black beans

Wednesday: Herb Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
4 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
2 cups fresh or frozen whole baby carrots
4 bone-in chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Mix soup, water, 1 teaspoon oregano, potatoes and carrots in shallow roasting pan.
Top with chicken. Sprinkle with remaining oregano and paprika.
Bake at 400 degrees F 50 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir vegetables.

Thursday: Mahi Mahi with Quinoa, and a salad

BLT's with homemade fries

Homemade hamburgers with chips, and baked beans

Quote of the Week

"Working mothers are guinea pigs in a scientific experiment to show that sleep is not necessary to human life."

~ Anonymous

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Family Mailboxes

Kids love getting mail and as long as the mail isn't bills, parents love mail too. Add some fun to your family communications by making a family mailbox. Great for leaving messages of encouragement, love, and support for family members. It's also a great way for kids to "vent" and get some things that may be troubling them, and are unable to express verbally of their chests. A great activity for family nights. All of the supplies for this activity can be found at your local hardware and craft store.

You will need a steel mailbox. You can purchase a regular steel mailbox at your local hardware store for around $10-$15.

Wood cut out shapes (you can find these at your local craft store) one for each member of the family.

Acrylic Paints (don't use Tempera paint.) It won't stick to the steel.

Mini Wood Clothes Pins


Paint Brushes

Markers and Pencil

Begin by having every family member choose a wood cut out shape. After they have chosen, let them decorate them with paint, or markers. (If more than one person has chosen the same shape be sure to write their names on them.)

Next using the pencil, pencil in the design for the mailbox, making sure to get everyone's input and thoughts.

Once the mailbox design is penciled in, paint over it with the acrylic paints. More than one coat may be necessary. Let dry overnight.

After the wood cut outs have completely dried, glue a small wooden clothes pin to the back.

Place the mailbox in a central location and begin leaving mail for each other. When leaving mail for a particular person in the family raise the flag and clip on their wood cut out. This gives notice that someone has mail!

This is a great and fun way to give the kids allowances, birthday cards, and small surprises. Don't forget to encourage your kids to use the mailbox when something is troubling them. Kids often have difficulty expressing themselves verbally and would feel more comfortable writing it down. Have fun with this family fun family project!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bye Bye Smelly Kitchen Sponge

At work the other day, a few of us were in the break room for some much needed down time. I could smell this stale smell coming from the sink. Come to find out, it was the sponge. It doesn't get used that often, and it smelt really bad. One of the Dr's I work with suggested wetting the sponge and putting it in the microwave for 20 seconds. He stated that the radiation in the microwave would kill any bacteria on the sponge. We did it, and it worked. The sponge did not smell as bad any longer. I haven't yet figured out how often this has to be done, but I suggest if you are going out of town for a week or so, and you don't want a smelly sponge when you get home, try it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Art of Juggling

As a full time working mommy, I find it incredibly difficult to find time to really clean my home. After a hard day's work, my feet are killing me, and I don't really feel like scrubbing toilets. After working all day I miss my kids, I miss my husband, and I miss the comfort of just being home. Bottom line moms is this... you are not going to be able to do it all. I would love to vaccum everyday, but realistically I don't have time to do that. I would love to be able to eat off the floor, but that is not going to happen. Instead I do what my husband refers to as surface cleaning. I run through the house every night before bed like a Tasmanian devil, and put away everything on the floors, and counters that are visible to the naked eye. I make sure the dishes are done, and the laundry is at least in a hamper to be done whenever. This routine helps me manage my home, so that I am less stressed. On my Friday's off, I do the deep clean, so that I can enjoy my weekends at home with my family!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pay ahead on your mortgage

By paying an extra $100 a month toward the principal on a $150,000, 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate of 6.5 percent, you’ll save more than $51,000 in interest and be able to retire your mortgage nearly seven years early. An extra monthly payment of even $20 or $25 can make a surprising difference. Granted, you’d stand to benefit more if you could invest that extra payment in an interest-bearing account offering a guaranteed higher rate of return than your mortgage rate. And paying off your mortgage early means you won’t have the tax benefits of home ownership for the same number of years. But if you’re after the psychological benefit of owning your home outright and spending far less on interest over time, then the extra-payment approach is the way to go.

Read more: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/16369214/#ixzz0kO9JT3gp

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Take Care of Yourself, Too!

While taking care of parental, relationship, household and workplace responsibilities, it’s easy for mothers to put taking care of themselves last on the list. However, not only is taking care of yourself a good idea for physical and emotional health, it’s a good time management tip for moms as well. When we’re tired or haven’t had enough healthy food to function at our best, we’re often less productive and organized, and this lack of clarity can translate into more time wasted throughout the day and less time available to get everything done that needs doing.Get quality sleep, eat a healthy diet, and find quite time for yourself, and you’ll be operating at your best, and be less stressed.
Mothers are so busy taking care of everyone else in the family, mothers often put themselves last on the list, or leave themselves off the list altogether! However, since the rest of the family relies heavily on moms, they need to take care of themselves, and accept help from others as well. The following are self care resources for mothers:

Body Care: Mothers need to keep their bodies in prime condition, or suffer some potentially serious consequences down the road. And aside from avoiding illness, moms who eat right, get enough sleep, and in other ways take good care of their bodies experience greater levels of energy, lower levels of stress, and good feelings of self esteem. In fact, some forms of exercise can be fun to do with kids, so everyone gets the benefits.

Home Spa: Moms deserve pampering, but don’t always have the time or budget to get away for some spa time. Fortunately, it’s easy to turn one’s bathroom into a home spa and enjoy the relaxation and beauty benefits of a sublime soak.

Time Alone: Again, while mothers usually have very busy schedules, fitting in even fifteen minutes a day for some quite time alone can bring valuable benefits. Taking time out for journaling, meditation, or just being alone with one’s thoughts are all important ways for mothers stay in touch with who they are outside of their relationship rolls.

Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother's Self-Care

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pay yourself first

With a weak economy, and bad economic news via the media, its a great time to learn how to save for your future. This is a good time for an honest self-analysis: What have your saving habits been like in the past year? If it seems like all the money you make falls straight through your fingers, and gets gobbled up by bills and other expenses, think hard about a reasonable amount you could start to view as yet another monthly bill. Could you handle one more $50 bill? How about a $200 bill? Even if you can't handle one more bill, try saving $15 or $20 a month, that’s better than nothing. Start putting that money away for yourself, pronto.

Pay Yourself First - A Guide to Financial Success

Momma Always Said, "Pay Yourself First"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekly Dinner Menu

This week I am super busy, so my dinners will be quick and easy! I went to Costco and did my monthly meat shopping, and came home to promptly prepackage all my meat in meal size vacuumed sealed packages.

Monday: BLT's on Wheat Bread, Steak Fries, frozen sweet corn

Tuesday: High Fiber tomato bisque soup (from Progresso) on sale at Fred Meyer, grilled cheese sandwiches

Wednesday: Pot Roast w/pot, carrots, onion, and a salad
Pot Roast
12 cleaned red potatoes
1 sweet onion sliced
4 cups washed baby carrots
1 package onion soup mix
1 package brown gravy mix

In a skillet, brown your pot roast. Place browned meat into crock-pot. Add red potatoes, and baby carrots. In a measuring cup mix 2 cups water with onion soup package. Pour over roast. Next mix brown gravy mix with 2 cups water and pour over roast. Lay sliced onions on top of roast, cover, and cook for 6 hours. ENJOY!

Thursday: Sloppy Joes, and salad

Friday: Marinated Chicken Breasts, chicken flavored stove top stuffing, veggie's

Saturday: Crock Pot Shepherds Pie
1 lb ground beef
2 cups frozen peas, and carrots
10 potatoes to mash
1 12 oz jar beef gravy
1 package shredded cheddar cheese

I a medium skillet, over medium heat, crumble and cook ground beef. Peel and mash potatoes. Place ground beef in slow cooker. Add peas and carrots. Add mashed potatoes. Pour gravy on top of potatoes. Pour cheese over top of gravy, cover, and cook for 6 hrs.

Quote of the Week

"I know how to do anything—I'm a mom."

~ Roseanne Barr

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Date Night

My husband and I have been married for almost 11 yrs. We have consistently went out on a "Date Night" at least 2-3 times a month since we have been married. We try new restaurants, go to happy hours, or take a nice walk. This is our time to be with one another alone, and it is a great way to reconnect after our busy week. We talk about everything. I find that I still learn a lot of interesting, and funny things about my wonderful husband that I never knew. It helps strengthen our bond, and makes us better parents. I think all couples should dedicate a few nights a month to "Date Night". It could quite possibly become your favorite night of the week!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Life Is for Living

This is your life, right now. Would you rather spend it rushing around to finish your to-do list, or actually enjoying yourself? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll relax once you reach the bottom of the list because there will always be something more to do. Instead, prioritize and eliminate tasks that don’t absolutely have to get done.

If you’ve having trouble carving out time for yourself, start small. Say you always wanted to do yoga: wake up twenty minutes early for some deep breathing and sun salutations. Or if you miss exercising regularly, schedule a once-a-week power walk during lunch. If it’s on your calendar, you can plan work around it.

And the next time you have some breathing space, don’t fill it with errands. Instead, just breathe.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bounce Dryer Bar

It's been around for a few months, but I am here to tell you about my first hand experience with the Bounce Dryer Bar. I have been using it for 3 months now, and I love, love, love it! It works like this: The bounce dryer bar comes with a sticky pad, that you adhere to the inside wall of your dryer. The bar lasts for 2 or 4 months depending on the size you get. (I got the 4 month version.) It has an indicator bar that shows you when you need to purchase a new bar. I do a ton of laundry (about 8 loads a week) and my bar looks fairly new! It eliminates the need for fabric sheets, and it leaves my clothes smelling fresh wash after wash. It does not stain my clothes. I highly recommend this product for any mom who loves great smelling laundry, without the hassle of dryer sheets. You can purchase your Bounce Dryer Bars from the link below, or at any grocery store. Happy drying!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Great new application for your smart phone

I found a very cool application that would be great for "Date Night" with you partner! This application is free for your iPhone, or Blackberry. The app is called "GOOD FOOD NEAR YOU"
How it works: The GPS function will pinpoint your location, and you'll get a list of the 20 healthiest meals at nearby restaurants.
It's worth checking out... and it's FREE!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cut back by a few dashes

Did you know?

92,000 numbers of lives can be saved each year if everyone curbed their salt intake by 1/2 teaspoon per day! By cutting back on a few dashes of salt, you can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. You should stay below 2,300mg of sodium (which equals about 1 teaspoon of salt a day!)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Weekly Dinner Menu

Here's the dinner menu for this week. Don't forget to shop in your cupboards before you head out to the store. Check coupons.com and local ads for great coupon savings!

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk

2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
2.In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
3.In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
4.Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday: Mickey Chicken Nuggets(from Costco), mac & cheese, and a veggie

Crock Pot Meatloaf
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
3 tablespoons ketchup

1.In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, 3 tablespoons ketchup, onion soup mix and steak seasoning using your hands. Pat lightly into the bottom of a slow cooker. Spread remaining ketchup over the top. Cover, and cook for 6 hours.

Crock Pot Taco Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)

1.Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
2.Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Shred the chicken and stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

Marinated top sirloin steaks with baked potato, and salad

Homemade French Bread Pizza
French bread loaf x 2
1 jar pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (mix together)
any pizza fixing's you desire

Cut french bread in half length wise. Then spread a generous amount of pizza sauce on the loaf halves. Put 1 1/2 cups of your cheese mixture on your pizza halves. Layer your pizza toppings. Bake at 350 degrees C, until cheese is a light golden brown. Cool and enjoy!!

Quote of the Week

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things, and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
~ Agatha Christie

Saturday, April 3, 2010

FUN Easter craft to do with your kids

My kids really enjoyed making these paper cup Easter treat holders. They are fun and easy to do!

You'll Need:
yellow or white paper cups
construction paper; pink, white or orange
2 wiggle eyes per cup
white or pink pom-pom - for bunny
white or pink pipe cleaners for bunny whiskers
craft feathers for chick
scissors, glue, stapler

How to make the Chick:
From the construction paper, cut an orange triangle for the beak
and a heart for the feet. Staple a few feathers to the back edge of the cup.
You'll want them sticking out from the top of the cup. Now glue the beak and the eyes to the front of the cup. Glue the base of the cup to the heart so that the edges stick out in front to create feet.

How to make the Bunny:
From constuction paper, cut two white ovals, two smaller pink ovals and a heart from either color. Glue the pink onto the white and set them aside to dry.
Use a pipe cleaner for the whiskers. Glue the whiskers on the cup, and then the nose on top of the whiskers, and then add the eyes. Glue or staple the ears to the back edge of the cup. Glue the base of the cup to the heart so that the edges stick
out in front to create feet.

Fill your new Easter friends with grass and fill with treats! SO MUCH FUN!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eat this and you will spend less

Have you ever spent more at the grocery store than you planned? It has happened to the best and most disciplined mom's. I spend time every week on a detailed grocery list, but there are many times that I come home with extra items. Stores strategically place impulse items at the end of the isles, so that we will be more likely to purchase them. Many times we are on the run as working mom's, and go to the store hungry. That is when I tend to buy the impulse items!
A recent University of Utah study suggests you may want to eat tryptophan rich foods two to three hours before your next trip to the grocery store. "We found that a combination of tryptophan rich foods (like nuts, meat, and dairy) and carbs can increase your levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that may make you less prone to make impulse buys," says researcher Himansha Mishra, Ph.D. So eat a turkey sandwich, or pack a few nuts in your purse the next time you shop!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Common places where GERMS LURK!

I recently read and article in Real Simple magazine and I wanted to share the data that was written with all my MOMS out there! These numbers represent colony forming units (CFUs) per square inch. A CFU is a measurement of a microbial organism. The surfaces tested in this study contained everyday bacteria; most of which are not harmful to healthy people, and have no traces of serious germs, like E. coli.

Store shopping cart: 2
Restaurant restroom door handle: 4
Children’s library book: 7
Stuffed toy in a doctor’s office: 8
School desk surface: 12
School computer mouse: 23
Store floor: 33
Public park swing: 59
Restaurant tray: 204
School musical instrument: 262
Video game controller in an arcade: 551
Public park sandbox: 7,440
Classroom faucet handle: 32,000
Cafeteria water fountain spigot: 62,000

Just another reason to keep hand sanitizer handy at all times!

(Research was performed by NSF International Swab Testing, with thanks to Greta Houlahan and Robin Bechanko; article courtesy of Real Simple Magazine)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Make time to workout!

As a working MOMMY I know it can be hard to find time to take care of yourself. With all the demands our families can put on us, how can a mom ever find time to fit in a workout?

I tried to workout after work, but my kids and my husband are ready to have mom time, so that hasn't ever worked out well for me. I tried to workout when the kids have gone to bed, but after working all day, I am absolutely exhausted, so my workout's really suffer.

Recently I have started working out in the morning while my family is still warm and cozy in their beds. It's hard sometimes to wake up and run at 5:00am in the morning, but I have found that I have more energy throughout the day when I do my workout's before everyone wakes up! By the time my family has gotten out of bed, I have ran 4 miles, made and packed all the kids lunches, and had my first cup of coffee. I feel focused, and energized!

What makes working out in the morning really great is that I get time to myself, and I don't have to feel guilty about working out while my family is awake. They are none the wiser, and they have a healthy and happy mommy!

So workout before dawn... It does your mind, and body good!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Perfect Brownie Pan

I know you have seen it... the "Perfect Brownie". It is the world's first bake and slice brownie pan. It claims to bake each piece separately so that they are flaky on the outside; yet moist, and gooey on the inside. The verdict: It works! The brownie is flaky and crispy, and the inside is soft. My kids thought they were really yummy, and it was nice because all the pieces were the same size (so no fights over who had the bigger piece!!!) I think it's a winner! There are a lot of imitations. I have not tried any of them. Perfect Brownie can be bought online and range from $14.99-19.99. I hope this review helped! Happy Baking :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Seventh Generation Products

As a mom, I am the cook... the house cleaner... the laundry maid... and the shopper! I have been concerned for years about the household products that I use to clean my home. Are all those chemicals doing damage to the environment? What am I putting into the air by using some of these household products, and how do they affect the air my children breath? These are some of the questions I ask myself. I have been wanting to GO GREEN for a long time. As a mother who had a sick child with a compromised immune system, I don't want to put unnecessary chemicals into the air. Some of the online suggestions for natural cleaning products don't necessarily work well for cleaning. Some of the homemade products leave streaks on the windows, and stains on my clothes.
Then, I heard about SEVENTH GENERATION products! As a frugal mom I was sceptical about purchasing some of these products. "I am sure they are expensive" I told myself. Upon doing further research, I was surprised to find out that most all of these products are comparable in price to the products I currently use. Since I was low on TIDE, I decided to order the Natural Laundry Powder online.
I was pleasantly surprised by the product. I am a mother of three active children, and I have a firefighter for a husband. I do a ton of stained clothes! My laundry came out smelling clean, and fresh. As a tip: on some of your more set in stains, make a paste using your Natural Laundry Powder and a little bit of water. Place the paste directly on the stain and rub the fabric lightly. Wash immediately. You will be happy when the stain is out... and you will feel WONDERFUL knowing you are doing your part to save our planet EARTH!

Did you know?
If every household in the U.S. replaced just one box of 48oz petroleum-based powder laundry detergent with seventh generations vegetable-based product we could save 96,000 barrels of oil! That is enough to heat and cool 5,500 U.S. homes for a year! (stats come from seventh generations website)

Natural Powdered Laundry:
Effective in both high-efficiency and standard machines.
Tough on stains and keeps whites and colors bright. Also gentle on your fabrics and the earth. To conserve water, please run full loads

Natural Fabric Softener:
For naturally soft and fluffy laundry. Palm-derived softener makes your laundry naturally fluffy, cuddly, and static-free. Add to your final rinse cycle when machine washing.

The cheapest place I have found online to buy seventh generation natural powdered laundry soap is at shoplet.com. Shoplet sell a 112 oz box (which does about 42 full loads) for $13.11 a box, and shoplet.com has free shipping.

You can buy seventh generation products in bulk and individually at Amazon.com. Amazon is good about giving you a price per unit breakdown. It's typically $0.12 per ounce for the laundry powder.

GO GREEN! It is our job as MOMS to buy products that will help save the Earth for our children's future.

Look for future posts on other Seventh Generation products!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekly Menu

This week is a busy week for the Working Mommy! It is Spring Break for my kids, and I have to work Monday - Thursday. My husband will be here to hold down the fort, but with the kids home all day I need to do my best to help him out! Crock Pot cooking is my new best friend this week. I will be doing my weekly shopping today, and doing as much of the food prep today as I can.
Marinating the steaks and chicken today, and then packaging them in freezer bag will make it easier. I will also make my noodles for the spaghetti today, and package them in a freezer bag as well. I am going to chop, package in a zip lock bag, and label all my veggies for the Tortilla Soup.
Doing the prep on Sunday's will save you about 45 minutes of prep time during the week, and you will feel less stressed! Your family will also thank you for the wonderfully yummy meals!

Monday: BBQ Pork for Sandwiches (in your Crock Pot) w/Mac & Cheese, and corn

1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
3 pounds boneless pork ribs
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
1.Pour can of beef broth into slow cooker, and add boneless pork ribs. Cook on High heat for 4 hours, or until meat shreds easily. Remove meat, and shred with two forks. It will seem that it's not working right away, but it will.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Transfer the shredded pork to a Dutch oven or iron skillet, and stir in barbecue sauce.
3.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Tuesday: Chicken Breast with Chicken flavored Rice a Roni, and salad

Wednesday: Broiled Sirloin Steaks w/baked potato, and veggie medley

Thursday: Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green Chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil
1.Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green Chile's, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3.Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
4.Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup

Friday: Spaghetti with meat balls, french bread, and salad

Saturday: Crock Pot Black Bean Chili

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
1 (15 ounce) can canned diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Garnish: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1.Combine all ingredients except garnishes in 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours. Top individual bowls with sour cream and Cheddar cheese.