Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's that time of year again...

Monday night I went grocery shopping with my daughter, and came home to a Christmas tree in my living room.Yay! I had been asking the hubby when we were going to get our tree this year, but he likes to wait until the last minute for things. I like to get my tree as early as possible. It just doesn't feel like the Christmas season until the tree is up.

So Tuesday night, this momma had a glass(or two) of wine and decorated the tree. Every year I get sentimental over the ornaments that the kids have made. I snapped a few pictures of my favorite ones. A photographer I am not, so these pictures are not the best. I snapped them quickly with my Ipad, so the quality is poor, I'm aware of this. I just really wanted to blog about my favorite holiday decorations. Clicking on them will make them bigger.

I have a thing for snowmen. Ever year I pick at least one new snowman ornament. This is my absolute favorite snowman.

snowman

I have 3 of these guys, fun little snowmen playing in the snow

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This is my newest snowman, bought last year at Kohls.I absolutely love Kohls Holiday selection, I can always find something that I need there!

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Of course, I love all the homemade ornaments from the kids over the years. A few of my favorites...

My daughter in 2nd grade. She's 14 now.

photo8

My son made this in Kindergarten. I love it, mostly because it looks like you would expect an ornament a 5 yr old made to be.

photo7

I made this one with the kids in 2005. It was such a fun project, I have made it over the years with my daycare kids.

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I love this one, it was a gift from one of my favorite daycare moms years ago.

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Did I mention my love for snowmen?

photo2

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I need a reason to dust, I admit it!

I'll admit it, I hate to clean. I hate dusting and mopping and scrubbing fingerprints off my walls. I'm not saying I don't clean, because i do, but its not something I look forward to doing.

I had a call last night for someone looking for daycare and they'll be coming to meet me tonight. I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but my first thought was "Gee, I really should dust before they come over". Yes, that right, I need a reason to clean. Please don't judge me.

One thing I don't mind doing is mopping because I have a really great Freedom Mop from Libman. So when I do have to clean, the first thing I do is mop. But when the floors are clean, I notice how there are dirty finger prints on the walls, so I'm forced to scrub them. Surprise! I don't care for that either, but its something I try to do every time I mop. Mostly because I have kids here all day and they are messy, and we have light colored walls.

I'm not a slob, really. I do my basic everyday cleaning with vacuuming(easy!) and sanitizing toys for the daycare. My kitchen counters and dishes(I hate doing dishes too by the way, thank God for the dishwasher!) are cleaned through-out the day and sanitized too. I'm kind of a germaphobe when it comes to cleaning the kitchen.

I don't know what it is about the dusting that I don't like. I will swipe the top of the TV and notice how dirty it is sometimes, and think again, "Wow, I really have to dust this crap soon". But then the thought fades when a kid yells or needs something. The dust is always there when I get back, waiting and taunting me.

I'd love to be more on top of all this housekeeping stuff. My grandmother would roll her eyes at me if she heard me say any of this out loud. I have memories of being a child, walking into her home and the first thing you could smell was lemon pledge. The smell still reminds me of her. She was always cleaning something it seemed like.

Sigh, maybe for Christmas, Santa will bring this busy mom a cleaning lady!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Back to blogger

I just spent an hour of my life switching all my recent blog posts from wordpress.com to this blog on Blogger. Why? I don't really know. I used to blog a lot before, and I always used Blogger so I thought it would be a better platform for me. I couldn't figure out how to add content on the wordpress.com blogs. I could add a post, but I couldn't figure out how to add images anywhere. It really frustrated me, so I came back here.

So here I am.

I am a PR friendly blogger, I like to blog about my life, write reviews and recipes. I also love to be able to recommend great products to my readers. I have a review coming up that is very interesting, and I have a great giveaway opportunity to go with it...just in time for the holidays!

I'm also a mom of two kids and I blog about what its like to be a thirty-something mom to a tween and a teen. I'll give you a little spoiler..it doesn't get any easier as the children get older! Being a parents is ever changing, with every stage coming with its own set of challenges. Sometimes a mom just needs to vent and ask "Why me?!"...

I also like to enter contest and win things. Coming soon, I'll be posting daily deals and easy to enter contest that I find online that anyone can enter. Entering and winning contest seems to be my addiction. The very first thing I won online was back in 2006, when I won a $150.00 gift card on blingo.com

After that, I started entering every contest I could find. I found a great website, sweepsadvantage.com where they have a great list of tons of contest. I also won $1,000 from gsn.com radio a few years ago. Anyone can win! You just have to keep trying.

So that's a little about me. Stick around, I promise you won't regret it :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday Shopping....Online!

I'm a big fan of Black Friday shopping. I love getting the good deals on what I want to buy for the holidays. What I don't like is the crowds. I hate how rude and pushy people can be. And don't even get me started on finding parking in the crowded stores! I've been staying home more and doing a lot of my shopping online.

A lot of my favorite places to shop online have some great deals this year. Some are even getting a jump start on Black Friday and starting their sales early! I can't even explain how excited this makes me, because its almost embarrassing.

A great website that has everything I need in one place, mygofer.com has thier Black Friday adds online already. This year, their sale start on Thrusday with site busters that run from 6am to 4pm, while quantities last.

Click here to see the mygofer.com Black Friday add!

Some of the great site busters include:

Paula Deen 15-PC cookware Set for $89.99
$100 off LG 47" LED 108P HDTV $599.99
9" Multi-touch Android Tablet for $89.99
50% off Vivitar DVR 508 HD Camcorder for $19.99
Fujifilm FinePix AX550 Digital Camera - Black $49.99

How great are those deals!??

They also have some great Black Friday deals that are on sale from Thursday through Saturday! These deals include:

Samsung 32" LCD TV just $329.99
50% off Craftsman Tools and Christmas and Holiday Items
Craftsman C3 2-Piece Lithium-Ion Drill and Impact Driver Kit just $89.99
Garmin Nuvi 40LM 4.3" Touchscreen GPS w/Lifetime Maps just $89.99
Essential Home 5 PC Dining Set just $99.99
Medal Sports 48 In. Air Powered Hockey Table just $39.99
57% off Northwest Territory 10 ft. Screenhouse just $29.99
BBQ-PRO 4-Burner Gas Grill just $139.99
Android 7” Galaxy Tab 2 with Wi-Fi (Titanium Silver) just $177.99
Activision Skylanders Giants Starter Packs just $49.99
50% off Jaclyn Smith Rocker Recliner just $149.99
50% off Northwest Territory 20in Firepit just $37.50
Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3 - Xbox 360 for $29.99

There are so many great deals, and the best part is you can shop from home! I don't know about you, but I love shopping in my PJ's.

If you aren't familiar with mygofer.com, you need to check them out! They are a website where you can get everything you want in one place, from baby items to grocery items and everything in between. You order online and you have the option of having it delivered or you can pick it up at a Kmart near you. How great is that? Most of these Black Friday deals have free shipping too, which makes shopping online so much better.

Happy Shopping!

Wordless Wednsday


Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Homemade pie crust, with pictures

Yesterday, I made my pie crusts for Thanksgiving and then threw them into the freezer until Wednesday night. Pie crust is so so so easy to make! Here is a step by step guide, with pictures(click to enlarge). Yes, I took pictures every step of the way, as I made pie crusts...don't judge me ;)

First things first...the ingredients. There are 5 simple ingredients in a pie crust. I use butter, but you can use lard instead.


  • 1 1/4 cup of flour, plus extra for rolling surface
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick of cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ice water
Mix the dry ingredents into the food processor. Pulse a few times, and then add the cut butter.



Pulse a few more times, until the butter is cut into the flour mixture. Then slowly add ice water, until it looks wet and crumbly. Don't worry if you add to much, you can just add more flour, but pour the water slowly.



Dump out onto a floured surface, and form the dough into a ball.



Now roll your dough. Make sure your rolling surface is floured, and you may need add extra as you roll it out. Start at the middle of the ball and roll outwards.



Now place your dough into your pie tin. An easy way to do this is to roll the dough onto the rolling pin...



...and unroll it into your pie tin.



Crimp the ends with your fingers and trim the extra dough. Poke with a fork a few times to give it some air holes and your done!



Cook at 350 for about 20 or so minutes, until its golden brown. Cook a little longer if you are making a crust for a cream pie, to make sure its cooked all the way.

This is really so simple and takes minutes to make. The worst part is the clean up.



I make these ahead of time and freeze them in plastic bags. Then I'll pull them out the day I want to make a pie and they will taste like I just made them.

For the top crust on the pie, make the crust the same way. Before you roll your top crust on top of your pie, brush the edges with water. Crimp the top crust onto the bottom on before cooking. Cut a few slits on the top for air holes and brush with egg whites for an egg wash. This will make the crust golden brown. For an apple pie, I add a little cinnamon and sugar on top of the egg wash before baking.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My favorite side dish recipe, broccoli casserole

Thanksgiving is just a few days away! Yippee! I've already got my menu planned and one of the side dishes I'm making is broccoli casserole. This is so freakin' yummy, I'm looking forward to it almost as much as the turkey.
What you need for this recipe is:
  • broccoli, steamed
  • croutons
  • butter, melted
  • cream of mushroom soup
  • cheddar cheese
This is so easy to make. I usually make it the night before to save time on the big day. First thing you do is steam the broccoli. While it's steaming, melt just enough butter to coat the bottom of a casserole dish. I do about 2 tablespoons. Next add the croutons on top of the butter, in a thin layer.

On top of the croutons, add the broccoli. I usually add a whole bag of broccoli. Put the cream of mushroom soup on top of the broccoli. I use condensed soup from a can, and don't add any water...just the soup. Then put a layer of cheese on top. You can either use shredded or brick cheese, both work really well.

Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until its hot and bubbly. I keep it covered the whole time I'm cooking it, but you can remove the cover and put it back in for a 5 minutes to brown the top.

This such a good dish. I make it every year at Thanksgiving and I make sure to make a big dish so I have leftovers!