May 31, 2012

Walt Disney Pictures, presents" Frankenweenie”

A stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” will be filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience.


Genre: Animated comedy
Rating: TBD
U.S. Release date: October 5, 2012

Voice Cast:
Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell

Director: Tim Burton
Producers: Tim Burton, Allison Abbate
Executive Producer: Don Hahn
Screenplay by: John August
Based on an original idea by: Tim Burton


From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.


I'll update when I have some more information about the film, but so far it looks good! 





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May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -


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May 29, 2012

Disney Junior's "Yo Ho, Let's Go Summer!"

Disney Junior's interactive multi–platform "Yo Ho, Let's Go Summer!" programming event returns with new episodes of "Doc McStuffins" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," cable TV's #1 and #2 series among Kids 2–5 respectively, as well as other favorite Disney Junior series including "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," "Jungle Junction" and "Octonauts"

 The "Yo Ho, Let's Go Summer!" programming event will take place across all Disney Junior digital platforms including Disney Junior On Demand, Mobile and iTunes, as well as an immersive online super–site on DisneyJunior.com featuring new games to "unlock" each week and a printable summer scrapbook. Additionally, new interactive iOS apps for "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" launch today.

 "Doc McStuffins"

Disney Junior's "Yo Ho, Let's Go Summer!" programming event kicks off on Monday, June 4 with a week of new "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" episodes airing on both the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) and the new 24–hour Disney Junior channel (5:30 p.m., ET/PT). Also beginning June 4, kids and their parents can log on to DisneyJunior.com/Summer to print out pictures of their favorite Disney Junior characters to take along with them and include in photos of their summer adventures. Â Parents can then upload the photos of their child with their character for the chance to be seen on Disney Junior. The site will also feature a printable summer scrapbook, with new pages added each week through August 24.

Beginning Friday, June 15, new episodes of favorite Disney Junior series will air every Friday throughout the summer on both the Disney Junior programming block and the Disney Junior channel. During each episode premiere, kids will see a featured Disney Junior character of the day and can go online to DisneyJunior.com/Summer to unlock a new game based on that character.

In anticipation of this summer's programming festivities, the network  launched two new iOS apps, the "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally" appisode app on iPad and "Jake's Never Land Pirate School" gaming app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally appisode brings viewing, learning and interaction together into one cohesive, fun–filled iPad experience. Fans 2–7 years old can touch, tap shake, swipe, drag and talk through an entire episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The activities presented in the "appisode" include valuable counting, critical thinking and problem solving skills. This is the first in a series of Disney Junior Appisodes to be released this year.

Using the "Jake's Never Land Pirate School" app, preschoolers can become completely immersed in Never Land, completing pirate–themed challenges presented in Sailing, Music, Flying, and Map and Spyglass classes. Features include: hunting for doubloons on Doubloon Beach; a customizable pirate certificate signed by Jake; and the ability to import a child's photo into Pixie Dust flying class.

Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2–7. Disney Junior's series blend Disney's unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.
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May 28, 2012

Spoil those plants!


Been spending more time in the garden lately, have the sun burn to prove it! Planting is at a high peak right now and sadly I've lost several plants due to issues with weather and wind. I may be a few weeks behind on posting about hardening off plants but for future reference read on!

Hardening off transplants- Simple definition is when you take your seedlings that have been started indoors and bring them outside a few hours each day. By doing so you are letting the plants get accustom to both sun and weather. Sun, wind and cold can kill them in just a few short hours and you may or may not be able to save them.

Things to remember while Hardening of your plants-

  • The best time to start hardening off your seedlings is when they have 4 or more leaves and are a good 4-6 inches tall. 
  • Do not let the plants wilt, make sure you have watered thoroughly before you set them in the sun. They will dry out quicker than bigger plants, so keep an eye on them. 
  • On the very first day place seedlings in a shaded area this way they won't go into shock from direct sunlight. Gradually move them out into the sun over a span of a few days
  • 2-4 hours in the sun is a good time frame to start out with on the first couple days. Increase over the next few days. 
  • Don't set your plants out on a heavily windy day
  • Protect your seedlings against rain, remember a couple week old plants aren't sturdy enough to be taking hits by weather I have lost many this way in only a few minutes of a rain shower. 
  • Bring plants in at night until they are used to the cooler evenings. 


Quick Fact-
 If you nice lush green leaves suddenly turn white it's because they are being scorched by the sun. Remember it's always a good idea to place them in an area out of full direct sunlight the first few days. Slowly move them into the sun, and again only for a few hours at a time. A seedling less than 6 inches and with only four or five leaves can easily go into shock within hours..


 Gardeners have the difficult task of first, getting their seeds to germinate then dive into the seedling stage where just about anything can and will happen. You can lose plants at any stage but the most difficult is the hardening off and the next stage of transferring. This is the time when young plants can go into shock more easily than you would think. Even if you follow every garden tip you know you can end up with a pile of dead plants. I know, cause it's happened to me. Take the time to let them adjust and you'll have some happy plants on your hands.




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May 26, 2012

Take the Next Step #NoKidHungry




If you have already pledged to fight childhood hunger a huge thanks! If not,you can take the pledge right now using this button!


You can also make a donation, an no gift is too small. When you make your first gift to support the No Kid Hungry campaign, you will join thousands of other supporters dedicated to the cause. Here are just a few things we've accomplished together in the last year:
  • Launched an aggressive campaign to reach children during the vulnerable summer months when free school meals are not available. In fact, in six of our No Kid Hungry campaign states, we increased the number of meals served by nearly 1 million compared to the year before!
  • Dramatically increased the number of children receiving a healthy breakfast by providing grants and supporting school breakfast challenges. As a result, 128 schools in six No Kid Hungry campaign states started alternative breakfast programs and ensured that thousands of children at risk of hunger started the day ready to learn.
  • Provided nearly $7 million in grants to more than 400 community organizations nationwide working to ensure that kids receive nutritious meals on a regular basis.
  • Taught nearly 18,000 families how to get more food for their money and cook healthy meals through Cooking Matters.
While we have many successes to celebrate, we have much more work to do to bring an end to childhood hunger. That's why we need your help today. Missing meals on a regular basis bears long-lasting and harmful effects on a child. It can stunt their physical growth, compromise their immune system, and distract them from school work and other activities.

Imagine the difference you can make in a child's life when you join Share Our Strength and help connect children facing hunger to healthy meals where they live, learn and play!
Here's a video you can share or watch in your spare time. 




Rmember every $1 equals 10 meals for a hungry kid.



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May 24, 2012

Friendship Bread by Darien Gee- Review

An anonymous gift sends a woman on a journey she never could have anticipated.


This is a wonderful book about life, death, friendship food and family,  most of all community. It's an uplifting story where three women come together offering support for each other. A book just as good as the bread that keeps on sharing. 
The entire idea behind the bread itself was the reason I read the book. It's always intriguing to think something as simple as bread and dough starter can cause a rippling effect everywhere. It starts with the three women and soon enough the entire town is baking and marveling at the healing process it brings along the way. A true heartwarming read. The characters are believable and the setting is perfect, it just has a wonderful flow about it. I've read it twice unable to put it down and will enjoy it again soon enough. 

A little about the book- 
__
Julia Evarts and her five-year-old daughter, Gracie, arrive home to find an unexpected gift on the front porch: a homemade loaf of Amish Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you enjoy it. Also included are a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread herself, and a request to share it with others.

Still reeling from a personal tragedy that left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend, Julia remains at a loss as to how to move on with her life. She’d just as soon toss the anonymous gift, but to make Gracie happy, she agrees to bake the bread.

When Julia meets two newcomers to the small town of Avalon, Illinois, she sparks a connection by offering them her extra bread starter. Widow Madeline Davis is laboring to keep her tea salon afloat while Hannah Wang de Brisay, a famed concert cellist, is at a crossroads, her career and marriage having come to an abrupt end. In the warm kitchen of Madeline’s tea salon, the three women forge a friendship that will change their lives forever.

In no time, everyone in Avalon is baking Amish Friendship Bread. But even as the town unites for a benevolent cause and Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.

__

 I'll be sharing both Friendship Bread, book and bread with friends as I know they will enjoy it. You can pick up a copy from Amazon.com here for $10.20. There's a Kindle version for $11.99 For those that are after the recipe, you'll have to read the book to get that! :) You'll enjoy it.

Friendship Bread by Darien Gee
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345525353
ISBN-13: 978-0345525352

**Disclosure- I received the products mentioned above , in order to write an honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this post. I did not have to write a positive review, Any and all opinions are and will always be my own.*
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May 23, 2012

Cook'n Recipe Organizer Review/Giveaway

You know me and cookbooks, I just can't get enough! My bookshelves are full and I have my sticky notes sticking out of nearly every book I own. Every time I look at them it gets me thinking of how to organize it all better. Or perhaps even be able to search for a recipe I know is in one of those hundreds of books I own. There's been several software programs I've tried for organizing recipes. Some do this, other's do that, either way they were always lacking in what I needed. I'm thrilled to share with you a program that has not only gone above and beyond what I need but keeps offering more each week, it's called Cook'n Recipe Organizer



I love entering my own recipes in this! Now I can keep them all in one place, plus it let's me print out whichever way I like. Meal planning family? This is a helpful program when it comes to creating your weekly, or even monthly meal plan. Simply set it up, click and drag the recipe you want in for each meal and then print it out. It will also set up a list of ingredients you need which can be printed in a snap.





Here's a quick glance at what Cook'n Recipe Organizer has- 

1) Recipe Manager

  • Easily add your own recipes
  • Capture hundreds of internet recipes
  • Create and organize cookbooks with different chapters
  • Search for recipes by what foods you have on hand
  • Easily change recipe serving sizes to automatically convert ingredient amounts
Stop wasting time trying to find a good recipe in the piles of cards or internet print-outs laying around the kitchen. Now you can organize them easily on your computer!

2) Menu Planner

  • Use your recipes to make meal menu plans
  • Create your own weekly, monthly, and yearly menus
  • Automatically generate a shopping list from your menus
  • Print your menus and stick them on the fridge

3) Grocery Shopping Assistant

  • Compiles your family's shopping list automatically
  • Organizes shopping list items by aisle
  • Converts to package sizes (e.g., tablespoon tomato paste to 8 oz. cans)
  • Choose which brands you want for your foods
  • Calculates your grocery cost

4) Personal Home Nutritionist 

  • Analyze the nutritional elements of recipes and menus (even the ones you add!)
  • View standard nutritional labels for every food and recipes
  • Choose between brands to satisfy dietary needs
  • Include nutritional info on recipe and cookbook printouts
This is one of my favorite features because not every cookbook has the nutritional value. Now even with a recipe I make up, I can have my own nutritional label to view. This comes in handy considering my husband is diabetic. I have to pay attention to labels as it is, so creating a new recipe must also be done with this in mind. 

5) Cookbook Publisher

  • Print recipes on various card and paper sizes
  • Print entire cookbooks with title page, table of contents, and index!
  • E-mail recipes to friends
  • Export recipes to your website or blog
I made several recipes using this program so far, one was Apple garlic Pork Chops. 

I added the stuffing in and cranberries but it came out great. Easy directions for all recipes, easy to read, some come with pictures and it's just all around fun to use. I'll be enjoying it for years to come! 

Want to try Cook'n Recipe Organizer yourself? Now you can, enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a free copy of Cook'n




**Disclosure- I received the products mentioned above , in order to write an honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this post. I did not have to write a positive review, Any and all opinions are and will always be my own.*
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Wordless Wednesday - Food Tease


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May 21, 2012

The many stages of my garden

The garden is in several different stages right now, winter plants are going to seed, spring plants are being harvested and summer plants are finally starting to bloom while a fresh new batch of seedlings is sprouting.

My kids find it fascinating day to day, they help plant the seeds, transfer seedlings or help harvest the food and or collect the seeds. On any given day we are doing all of it and never seem to slow down. That's the whole idea on my four season garden. Constantly rotating and each section of garden is at a different stage. It takes constant planning to keep the garden moving in order to have a never ending harvest. It's one big circle and I'm enjoying it even though there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to get things done. Here's a peak at a few things around the garden. 

My Scarlet Runner Beans will be flowering now till very late November. 

Chives have started to flower and go to seed, these will be growing year long

Mustard Seed, pods. Different from the Large Broad Mustard Leaf. I have hundreds waiting to dry up and collect for seeds. 

Squash has gone from sleeping to flowering in a few short weeks. 

Always busy, always thriving just like my kids! 
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May 20, 2012

Annular Solar Eclipse- How to make a viewer!

We are in the perfect location to view the Eclipse tonight!

The moon will slides over the sun, blocking out the center and leaving a glowing ring called an “annulus.”. Or as my kids are completely excited to view "The Ring of Fire" Those of you who have watched Finding Nemo probably just said this in the voice of Bloat ;-)

On to the Eclipse! It isn't easy to explain to young kids how viewing the sun during this Eclipse will damage their eyes, but it needs to be done. Young children and even young adults are the most likely to do just that during the eclipse, so you need to be prepared. Gather the kids or your group if you plan on viewing the eclipse together and start making your own view boxes! This is simple, quick and a perfect science craft for the entire family.

What you need!

Grab some shoe boxes (Capri sun boxes work perfectly, and even cereal boxes)
Tape,
Foil
White piece of paper
Scissors
A pin needle,
cardboard cutter knife

Directions
  • Cut a small hole (about 1 inch across) in one end of the shoe box, near an edge.
  •  Tape a piece of tinfoil over the hole.
  •  Using a pin or needle, punch a hole in the center of the foil.
  •  Tape a small piece of white paper to the inside of the box, at the opposite end from the foil-covered hole. The paper should be positioned so that light entering the box through the pin hole will hit it. This is where you'll look for the sun.
  •  Cut a 1 inch-diameter hole in the box near the image screen (the white piece of paper), but on a different side of the box — the side adjacent to the screen. This is your viewing hole; it must be positioned such that you can look through it at an angle and see the image screen.
Our Box! 

Pretty easy! 
The eclipse starts tonight at 5:17pm with the best viewing around 6:30. It will end by 7:30
 I'll update if I can get any pictures tonight!
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Chamomile Herbal Bath Salts

We all like to enjoy and relax at the end of the day, but there's also really no reason to be spending a lot of money on it to make that happen. Bath salts are one of those easy to make products you can use to enhance a bath you crave for at the end of a long day. While there are plenty of boutiques and local shops that offer the most wonderful scented salts I've come across in my area I keep to making my own.
   There's a couple reasons besides the obvious one, you save money by making things yourself but that's not the only reason. I have sensitive skin, so reading label after label for something as simple as bath salts I get tired of not being able to find something I can use. Whether they added coloring or other ingredients that irritate my skin it's just not something I'm willing to pick up anymore. I can easily make my own blend and adjust everything down to the oils I put into it so it will fit perfectly for me. Since growing and collecting my own herbs it's become even easier to do. Two of my favorites to use are Chamomile and Lavender which carry their own scents and make a very relaxing mixture. Here's an easy soothing Herbal recipe to try at home.


Chamomile Herbal Bath Salts
3 parts Epsom Salts
3 parts table salt
1 part powdered milk
Finely ground chamomile or lemon balm (you can even use lavender if you have that)
Your choice if any fragrance
* optional coloring, use only coloring used in soap making

Directions;
 Ground up your choice of herbs. Stir together the two salts and powdered milk. If using dye/coloring leave this to last. Add in your choice of fragrance, in this case it was my own Chamomile oil made using the flowers. It won't be as strong as store bought oils but that's fine with me. Add in 2 drops of oil, stir until combined and . Once you have the scent you like add in the coloring if you are using. Always make sure you start with one drop and mix throughout. Add in one drop at a time till the color is what you desire. Add in the ground herb of choice, mix and test to see if it's to your liking. Poor and or scoop into your container of choice and label.

Remember* Some oils are stronger than others, start small mix and test.  If the finished batch does come off two strong, mix in more salt to even it out. If it needs more add one drop at a time.

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May 17, 2012

The Time To End Childhood Hunger In America Is Now!- #NoKidHungry campaign



Children won't grow, develop or learn like other kids when they are going hungry. They are at a great disadvantage while they can't focus, fall behind and aren't hitting those milestones as other children are at the same age. It's not just school they fall behind in, they fall behind in every way possible.

It doesn't have to be this way.

There is plenty of nutritious food in America to make sure every child grows up healthy and thrives. What’s missing is access to this food. If families don’t have reliable access to healthy, affordable food, they can’t possibly feed their children well.

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® strategy provides that access to families all across the nation, so that every child, regardless of circumstances, can get the healthy food they need to thrive.

Solutions To Help Feed Hungry Kids

Food events are the cornerstone of Share Our Strength's fundraising efforts. Each year, they engage millions of people across America in Share Our Strength's solution to childhood hunger.

What are they?

 Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, Great American Bake Sale, Dine Out for No Kid Hungry (formerly Great American Dine Out), and a growing collection of localized dinners and festivals - raise funds to support Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.

Together, these partnerships and local grants...
  • Give more kids a healthy start to the day by supporting effective school breakfast programs;
  • Ensure kids have food at home by helping more eligible families enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps);
  • Keep hungry kids fed outside of school hours by improving access to afterschool programs that provide snacks or meals, and increasing participation in summer meals programs;
  • Teach low-income families how to cook healthy, affordable meals through Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters™ program and by funding other nutrition education programs.
What can You do to help?

Donate Today! 

Tell Congress: Protect Federal Nutrition Programs That Feed Our Nation’s Children

Head to Foot Network and watch the Documentary. There's also several others ways to help, you can find them using the links right against the movie 

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May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -


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SwimSpot.com Giveaway!

Summer is on it's way! Are you ready for it?

What better way to get ready for summer than picking out a swimsuit? I'm excited to share this giveaway with you amazing readers because if there's one thing I don't like about summer is swimsuit shopping for myself.  Say what you ask? Hear me out,  as a Mom the suits I see aimed for us in the stores, lack everything that I want. They aren't fun, aren't stylish and they tend to be lacking any variety. Just because we're Mom's or parents doesn't mean we can't have a flirty, fun stylish swim suit to wear throughout the summer.

Which brings me to why I'm so excited to share this with you, Swimspot.com has changed my views on swim wear. The site doesn't just offer you suits, they offer designer swimwear. Variety, styles, and more!  I actually got excited skimming through the site, that says something if you knew me and shopping!

SwimSpot offers a great selection of designer brand swimwear plus special features which you will love just as much as I do! They have a concierge service, the Fit Specialist, and the Bikini Builder that helps you choose the perfect swimsuit for yourself. Fun right? It is, you can really put together your own style and be that trendy Mom at the beach or pool.  Check out the video real quick -




They've made it easy and fun to pick out your own style. Why settle for something that will just fit, when you can put together something that you would enjoy wearing all summer long?

Swimspot.com will help you find the right fit, the right style and is offering one of my lucky readers with a  $75 gift card to use on their site. Swimsuit shopping just got even better didn't it?

Contest Rules- Open to US only, must be 18 and older. Please follow the Rafflecopter below and enter truthfully. I check your entries, and will not allow cheaters. 




a Rafflecopter giveaway
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May 15, 2012

Lazy Day Chicken Soup

 No one is hungry when they have a cold, but we do love to slurp up some soup. This is my go to soup when someone comes down sick in the house and I just don't have time to slave over a pot all day long.   You can thicken the soup if you like, my kids like it either way, and I bet you could toss this all in a slow cooker for an even easier day of cooking.



Ingredients:
1 (32-ounce)  carton chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 or 2 cups  pasta for noodle soup or rice (adjust the amount of stock/water to the amount of pasta your using as this is going to be used to cook the pasta)
2 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preparation
Combine 2 cups water and chicken stock in large pan, and heat through. Add Pasta if you having them and bring to a boil, cook till almost al dente (7-8 minutes) Or add cooked rice.  To short cut the cooking time of carrots and celery, heat in another pan for a couple minutes till almost tender and then add it to the pasta and broth.
Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley. *I add more stock once in awhile, as well as add peas for a change*

You have Chicken soup in under 30 minutes!

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May 14, 2012

UPrinting.com Giveaway!


I love UPrinting! I've used them a couple times myself and am very happy with the products I receive. I'm happy to offer my readers a chance to make their own custom business cards!  What better way to spread your blog or bussiness then with Business cards online?   
 UPrinting makes it easy to customize any of their products and there's plenty to do with your business cards. Don't want standard square cuts for your business cards? No problem, the site offers several cuts, designs and fun fonts to add flare into personal or business card. You can even upload your own photos or designs to keep it real and just how you want it to look!  

What's the giveaway about? One winner will receive -

Prize Information
250pcs Customizable Die-cut Business Cards for one winner
2x3.5" Rounded Corners, 2x2" Rounded Corners, 1.75x3.5" Rounded Corners,
2x3.5" Leaf, 2x3.5 Rounded one corner, 2x3.5" Half Circle Side, 2x3.5" Oval, 2.5" Circle
14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated
6 Business Days Turnaround time
Free US shipping only

Please before you enter the Rafflecopter read through the restrictions of this giveaway
Restrictions 
This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years old and above.
2. No prize substitutions allowed.
3. Winners are allowed to win once over a six-month period.
4. Only email addresses used for the giveaway will be eligible to claim the prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway


“You should assume that the owner of this blog will receive free print products in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions. Interested to hold a giveaway like this? Please sign up here.”
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Deadheading Flowers- To do or Not to do?

Who likes looking at these nasty looking dead flowers?
No one really, most pick them well before they get to this stage, but I leave them. Why? Because I want the seeds.

The definition of Deadheading flowers is the act of removing spent flowers or flower heads to prolong bloom for up to several weeks or promote re bloom to the plant and prevent seeding.

My take? Why would you want to prevent seeding? I don't want to have to buy seeds next year or the next year, it's the same reasoning behind harvesting my own vegetable seeds. To keep them going, to persevere and even be able to customize my garden. I could really get into this because it's a huge passion of mine, being able to preserve the heritage of  heirloom plants, something that has been around longer than you or I have been alive. I will save you the huge lecture and just say this, it's a lost art seed savings from any kind of plant. Heirlooms are endangered, these are the varieties that have been handed down from generation to generation. Commercial seeds, are bred by the thousands, and lose traits from seed to seed. Which can be an entirely different discussion but I will get into that some other time. Back to the deadheading flowers and why I won't do it-

 Seeds, they are important to save. You only really need to collect form a few plants at a time, leave the rest to deadhead and you can have your pretty flowers blooming longer, a win win in this case. As long as you know what your looking for you could have yourself a wonderful collection of seeds.
No it's not pretty, but the seeds are curled up where the flower petals used to be. Once the petals die off you will see green curled seed pods to this flower. You wait till they are brown, and dry like the picture at the beginning of this post. Simply snip it off in a bag and take it apart later on. 

If you don't catch the flower at the right time your seeds may already be gone. Flowers purposely either spring or burst open so the seeds scatter around, it's their own way to survive. Your job is to simply catch it before that happens. Take California Poppies, these seed pods dry then burst open to spread their seeds sending them every which way.

These are already splitting open and ready to spread their seeds. 

So the question is, do you or don't you deadhead your flowers? That's up to you. I leave half of them to dry so I may collect their seeds while the others are snipped and keep blooming throughout the season. I don't mind looking at dead flowers because of what's to come later on. Find all my seed saving posts here






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May 13, 2012

Newly released Mother’s Day preview from Disney/Pixar's BRAVE









Happy Mother's Day!! 

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Psi Bands- Review

My kids get car sick in the car even on the shortest rides. It's not fun to deal with in any way and i have and always will refuse to give out medication to my children. I have forever been in search of a green and non medical aid to help my family with their motion sickness.  Which brings me to the Psi Bands, that have graced our house as well as our travels. 




Psi bands (pronounced Sigh Bands) Help relieve nausea. Made from medical grade synthetic rubber and latex free , they are reusable for constant use.

They adjust around the wrist at the acupressure point, making it easier to cope with nausea.  We already use other bands for this,so we knew what to expect and loved these bands right away. Each of my kids has a set and they like that they come in different styles. My girls enjoyed the flower ones while my son likes plain black or red.  These are completely drug free so there's no fear that they interact with anything you are taking. There's no effects other than relief for those suffering from any sort of motion sickness, morning sickness, even chemotherapy and anesthesia. 

If anyone in your family suffers from one of the above, I highly recommend these Psi Bands, they have helped enormously. 


"I received a product to review as a member of the Living Your Moment {http://livingyourmoment.com} review team. All opinions are mine and mine alone. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising."
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May 12, 2012

18th ANNUAL EIF REVLON RUN/WALK FOR WOMEN LOS ANGELES 2012


Today I am walking in the Revlon Run/walk for Women! I have teamed up with some locals to walk in the event and we can still use some donations! You don't have to donate, but we would also love your encouraging words! Make a difference in the fight against women’s cancers today!

About the Walk -

The nationally acclaimed Entertainment Industry Foundation Revlon Run/Walk for Women has touched the lives of millions of people through increased awareness, education, research, and diagnostic treatment services.

Created in 1994 by Lilly Tartikoff, Ronald O. Perelman and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the EIF Revlon Run/Walks (Los Angeles & New York), along with our sponsors and participants, have distributed over 65 million dollars in the fight against women’s cancers. Thanks in part to these funds, new treatments are being developed and lives are being saved.

The EIF Revlon Run/Walk For Women continues to unite men, women, and children of all races and ages in the fight against women’s cancers. Support your friends, family or those that are in the walk by looking up their names through the participant section of the Revlon Run.walk website.

You can view my personal page for the walk here, Thanks for your Help in the fight against Women's  Cancers!





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May 11, 2012

Sweet Treat Friday- Strawberry Cupcakes

This is my treat for Mother's Day this weekend, a simple Strawberry cupcake! I want simple but sweet and of course a real treat. I also posted my simple meal for this weekend as well, I guest post for Sam over at Have Sippy Will Travel so if you don't happen to follow her, I would! You can find the sandwich I plan to spoil myself with right here.
The frosting was a bit of a mess, it has been hot here so in turn it makes making frosting difficult at times.. Or maybe perhaps it was the fact that instead of preserves which the recipe called for I used fresh cut strawberries and made it much more of a liquid frosting than anything. Either way the frosting was messy.  I had to add more sugar to make it thicker. In the end the frosting came out great, it's just messy! I can live with a little messy if it tastes like this!

Yumm

This recipe is a Basic Cake Recipe, creates 4 equal portions of cake mix.

Ingredients for mix
9 1/2 cups flour
6 cups sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups shortening, softened (not melted)

Directions to make mix
In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the softened shortening, cutting it in and mixing till the mixture resembles a crumb like appearance. Divide mixture into 4 portions measuring at 4 and 1/2 cups each. Place in sealed zip lock bags and or airtight container in a dry place for up to 2 months. You can put this in the freezer as well, it will hold up to 6 months.

Directions to make cake or cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 Prepare your cake pans, or muffins tins just as you would any box cake mix.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Beat until smooth for about a minute. Pour into prepared pans, muffins tins or sheet cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. A 9x13 cake comes out at about 25 minutes, cupcakes about 12 minutes.


Cream Cheese Icing-
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter
1/4 cup preserves
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
Directions to make frosting-

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add preserves and vanilla , and beat until well combined. Add in sugar and salt beating until smooth.
Spread Strawberry Cream-Cheese Icing between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.

~Enjoy!

Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely Ladies!
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May 9, 2012

Peppered Turkey sandwich with Parsley Aïoli


The weather is getting hot, and so is my kitchen. During the first few waves of heat and straight into summer my kids fall back on eating more sandwiches than ever. This also means I need to make bread more often, which I don't mind at all. Keeps me busy, this is the first batch of today's breads cooling off.


 Making bread makes me hungry as well so I needed something fast! With the last few slices of sour dough bread I put together a Peppered Turkey sandwich with Parsley Aïoli. I love mixing up different sandwiches, one of my favorite sauces or dressings is fresh Aïoli, of any kind really. Depends on what I have on hand honestly, today I had plenty of fresh picked parsley. This sandwich is super easy, grab any deli meat you want.

I chopped up tomatoes and jalapenos for the sandwich too. 

 Parsley Aïoli

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup mayo (fat free)
Pepper to taste

Take all the ingredients and put them in a food processor. Process until it's blended well. I don't have a processor so I chop everything then add it to the other ingredients to stir and mix. Keep refrigerated and make sure you use it up in a few days. 
 Easy right? Dress up any sandwich with this easy dressing and enjoy!



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Champneys, New bath and body spa collection- Review




There's still time to get something for that special someone in your life for Mother's and even Father's Day! With the new bath and body spa collection from Champney's you can treat yourself or give away an excellent gift for someone to pamper themselves with. I recently reviewed several products in the new collection and enjoyed them very much. Here's a quick skim of the products which you can get at either Target stores or even online at Target.com 


Champneys Exotic Retreat Bubble Heaven ( $12.99) 



This  bubble bath is formulated with tropical Mango Butter cleansers that creates a rich foam and leaves the skin soft and clean.  The scent is not overpowering, but relaxing with 
sandalwood and palmarosa essential oils.  With the added bonus of coconut milk it leaves your skin soft and fully moisturized. Easily transform your bathroom into a spa with this and simply enjoy! 


 Champneys Exotic Retreat Body Cream ( $9.99 )


This ultra creamy body moisturizer leaves your skin delicately scented with a sensuous blend of exotic Ylang Ylang, relaxing Sandalwood and fragrant Palmarosa essential oils. The same as the bubble bath.  Super antioxidants Vitamin E and Acerola Cherry extract will help protect skin as well. Rich and nourishing  with a blend of exotic Passionflower and Coconut Oils keeps your skin moisturized and conditioned. 


Champneys Foot Scrub
 ($7.95)
We all need a foot scrub now and again, this is just the thing  to pamper yourself with ! This scrub softens and revitalizing your skin with Olive Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint and Orange. A little goes a long way so don't over do it with this. The scent was strong but the oils themselves are strong so again a little goes a long way.  It really leaves your skin feeling refreshed!


Champneys Foot Butter(
$8.99)
I wish I had this during the winter months! This Foot Butter leaves your skin hydrated, soft and looking good. This also has  Shea Butter, Vitamin E and energizing Peppermint and Orange essential oils. Anything with essential oils should be used in small amounts, again as the scent can get strong. It was a nice blend though, very enjoyable! 

You can pick these up either at the Target store or Target.com. Not sure just what to get for that special Mom or Dad? Give them a gift card so they can pick out which Champneys products they'd like. These would all make a wonderful spa basket to treat someone with!



**Disclosure- I received the products mentioned above , in order to write an honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this post. I did not have to write a positive review, Any and all opinions are and will always be my own.*
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Wordless Wednesday - My Heirloom Tomatoes






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May 7, 2012

Garden Update- It's a Jungle of Strawberries!

It appears the local squirrels and cats are having fun with my garden as each day I go out and find another plant missing. We are now down, 6 squash plants, and four bush beans. I'm beginning to wonder if they think this is funny or something. It's getting on my nerves and it's not fun to deal with what so ever. I've set my dogs out front to stand guard, maybe that'll help.

In other garden news, my Strawberries are bursting out of their containers!



That's not even half of them either! 


I love picking fresh strawberries, they are warm and ripe from the sun, perfectly sweet! I'll be planting bush beans in with the strawberries they are awesome companion plants, plus I hope by doing so the squirrels and cats will stop tearing them up. Why they like bush beans I will never know! 

Strawberries are great for pots or containers, so if you don't have that much room don't fret, you can easy have some fresh berries just like any other. Pick a spot, and  a pot then grab some plants. I made another post awhile back about strawberry plants, it can get you started, check it out here.

Happy Monday!


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It's Giveaway Time!! - Win a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card **CLOSED**

You are all awesome! Today I reached 800 followers via GFC. It's taken me two long hard years to get here and couldn't be more happy that I have such loyal readers! You email me, Facebook me and more, I love the shared recipes you send, and comments you leave me :) Thank you! 

This giveaway is for all of YOU amazing and wonderful readers, hope you enjoy and keep coming back because I wouldn't be blogging with out you! There's tons of new opportunities coming as well so stay tuned.


Enter the Rafflecopter below, for a chance to win (1) $25 Amazon.com Gift Card. Open to US only.


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May 6, 2012

Father's Day Giveaway- Char Crust ® Dry-Rub Seasonings! **CLOSED**


We love cooking around here, no surprise there! With Summer on it's way though it's prime time for grilling, and I'm always on the look out for some different ways to spice up food we grill.
We were lucky enough to review some Char Crust ® dry-rub seasonings  which are full  of premium herb blends, spices and other natural ingredients that can be  rubbed onto the surface of your choice of meat, fish, or sprinkled over even raw vegetables then broiled, baked, grilled, pan-seared, roasted, or sautéed.



We made several dinners with these rubs, side dishes, grilled steaks even baked chicken, all of which were fantastic! I love the Roasted Garlic Peppercorn the most. Each rubs seals in the juices and brings out the bold flavor of both meat and rub making your taste buds go wild. A quick run down on the seasonings we tried- 

Roasted Garlic Peppercorn features the robust flavor of roasted garlic and onions with the zing of peppercorns and a hint of Worcestershire and lavender. Its versatility has made it a best seller. It complements steaks, lamb, seafood, pork, poultry, and potatoes.
Ginger Teriyaki is a balance of sweet teriyaki, fragrant ginger, plus a tingly touch of wasabi that lends a new dimension and creates a modern teriyaki interpretation. It complements chicken, fish, and steak.
Amazin’ Cajun is a spicy-sweet blend of piquant cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, oregano and a mélange of other Mardi Gras flavors. It brings the sublime heat of New Orleans to catfish, chicken, shrimp, and even “dirty” rice.
All American Barbecue takes the best flavors of American barbecue and blends them into a tangy-sweet, slightly spicy rub. It has rich molasses from Memphis, tangy tomato from Kansas City, mustard, pepper and vinegar from the Carolinas, plus a wisp of smoke from Texas.

 With most seasonings I normally get a very strong taste of salt, which I do not enjoy one bit, the Char Crust dry rub seasonings didn't have that at all, it was bursting with flavor all around. The All American Barbecue is perfect for grilling chicken , but it also tasted great on potatoes! My computer crashed last week and I lost the dinner pictures sadly, but they all came out great! One of my favorite recipes was one from Char Crust website,  it really brought a new flare to the fish!


Pan-Seared Tilapia (I used Snapper) 

Ingredients:
Tilapia fillets -- about 6 oz per person
Char Crust® Amazin' Cajun -- about 1/2 Tbsp per fillet
A little oil, canola is good
A little butter (optional), at room temperature

Directions
Heat a cast iron pan on the stove until very hot. Season one side of the fish with Char Crust® Amazin' Cajun Dry Rub Seasoning, generously covering the surface. Drizzle a little oil all over the seasonings, using your fingers to rub in and distribute evenly. Seasonings will look moist and darken a bit. Place the fish, seasoned side down, into the pan. It should sizzle immediately, and you may get some smoke. Cook a few minutes until just cooked through. Transfer to plate with seasoned side up and place pat of butter on top. You can use this on Catfish as well, I happened to have Snapper on hand and used that.

I'd like to try mixing this rub in with batter to make fish sticks or even homemade chicken nuggets, the ideas are flying at me with this stuff, you must try it! Char Crust dry rub seasoning is perfect for summer time and even better, perfect gift for Father's Day! Now's your chance to win a box full of these amazing Char Crust Rubs

Giveaway details, (1) Winner will get a Prize pack of Char Crust®  which includes 4, 4 oz boxes (retail price of $5.49 per box) Box details are above. Open to US only.

**Disclosure- I received the products mentioned above , in order to write an honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this post. I did not have to write a positive review, Any and all opinions are and will always be my own.* 

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May 4, 2012

New Year’s Eve on DVD and Blu Ray is now available


 Are you on your way to making the most out of 2012?  With the New Year’s Eve Resolution Reset Blog App you can find out if you are on the right path to making your resolutions come true!



There's also Personal New Year’s Eve Tips! Just click the pink button under the quiz button! So go ahead and get some awesome tips to jump-start your resolution this year!
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Sweet Treat Friday- Apple Coffee Cake from" The Mom 100 Cookbook"


Want a fun cookbook that makes you smile, laugh and drool all at once? The Mom 100 Cookbook is perfect for just that. Katie Workman put together one of the best cookbooks I've ever come across. It's down to earth with ingredients everyone has, solutions that everyone needs and food that could even make your picky eater give you the thumbs up. Sounds good doesn't it? Well I'm telling you as a Mom of four who has been through her share of cookbooks, you should pick this cookbook up today and I'll tell you why.

First skim through the book had me walking into my kitchen to grab things from the cupboard. There should be a rule not to look at a cookbook while your hungry, honestly you end up wanting everything right then and there. You also end up cooking till your full, which isn't such a bad thing. My kids know when  cookbook arrives they get to be the taste testers so you won't ever hear a complaint from them.

I love the captions Workman put in, it really makes the book stand out as well as keeps humor page after page.  The recipes are so easy and most all come with tips or even variations on how to change things up. That's important to me, some days those "hectic-crazy-kids are in your face days" where you can't even think, that's where the listed variations come in handy. You need to be able to change things up, put some flare into a dish that may just keep those monsters- I mean kids at bay for awhile.

With recipes from breakfast, snacks, your variety of meat, even potluck you have a full range of ideas to bring to your dinner table. I've made several recipes from this cookbook, it's got sticky tabs throughout it now. My favorite sections are the vegetables and the mixed company dinners. The Mixed Company dinner sections bring  new ideas into simple meals. Take for instance the "Teriyaki Chicken and Beef Skewers" or the "Shrimp Risotto", which has three different ways to cook it. The Vegetables are new, creative and just all out fun. Let's face it sometimes the same vegetables dishes can get boring, Workman brought the spunk back to corn with her "Sauteed Corn, Spinach, Bacon and Scallions" My kids ate more than I did!

One of the recipes I made was the Apple Coffee Cake which went fast as well. So simple to put together!I didn't chop my apples up that much instead I layered them in there then tossed in raspberries. It came out wonderful !
 I cut a big piece out for myself! Can you really blame me? 

Ingredients for Coffee Cake

8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperate, plus butter for greasing the baking pan.
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk
1 large apple , peeled cored and coarsely chopped

For the cinnamon sugar topping
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions.
 Put together the cinnamon sugar topping. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to mix up. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 9 inch square or round baking pan. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Set the aside. Place the sugar and butter in a medium sized bowl and beat them until fluffy about three minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating between each additions until well mixed. Add in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately beating after each addition until almost incorporated. At the end you still want to see streaks of flour and milk. Using a wooden spoon fold in the apples until everything is just combined. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top out. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar topping over the batter. Bake the coffee cake until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It should take about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in pan on wire rack just a little. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

It's a wonderful cookbook which I encourage you to pick up, you'll enjoy it! You can find the Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman on Amazon.com for $11.53

**Disclosure- I received the products mentioned above , in order to write an honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this post. I did not have to write a positive review, Any and all opinions are and will always be my own.*


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May 3, 2012

The Pocket Referee- Review


Ever have one of those days where the kids just can't get a long for two minutes without arguing? It can be about anything and everything too. The kids just keep calling your name, begging for you to help settle the argument between the kids. You end up thinking or saying to them, settle it yourselves but that just makes the troubles even bigger. Until that is, the Pocket Referee! 

We got two Pocket Referee's to review and I love them. No it doesn't make arguments settle themselves, no it doesn't end all the disputes , so what does it do? It teaches the kids to let something go, and move on. Instead of calling a parent in the middle the kids have to face the conflict by themselves. Here's how it works

Basic rules for the Pocket Referee- 

Choose the first coin holder with a flip of the coin, ones side has a Ref on it (heads) Tails side has a chest on it. Who ever wins the toss gets the coin.

When a conflict comes up the coin holder may get his way but then must pass the coin to the other party. If the coin holder would rather keep the coin for a later conflict then they other party gets their way with the current one. 
My son keeps a hold of it the longest as he just doesn't want to give it up! 

But there are times he just doesn't want to give in and let his sister get her way, so in turn has to give up the coin in order to win the dispute.  

Making the kids choose whether or not they want to hold on to the coin or not makes them face the conflict.   The kids learn how to start settling their conflicts and a bit about deferred gratification. They are forced to ask whether or not an argument is worth it or not. My two oldest kids (9years old and 6 years old) are the only ones that use the coins, my other two are much too young. The Pocket Referee has helped in most cases. It's helping them to think before they jump into an argument because they don't want to give up the coin.
This saves me the trouble of asking them myself, "Is this really that important to you? Does this really matter or can you just let it go?" When the kids can ask as well as answer that themselves, it cuts disputes in half if not more. It also boosts their confidence when they realize they can handle a problem themselves. This is a great thing to have among siblings and even friends. 


Each Pocket Referee comes with a velvet carrying pouch as well, and a carabiner to clip it on a belt loop or back pack easily. 

Disclosure: I received a product in order to write my review as part of a promotion with Living Your Moment . All opinions are mine and mine alone. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255 concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. 

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