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 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 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 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

After that, I started entering every contest I could find. I found a great website, where they have a great list of tons of contest. I also won $1,000 from 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, 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 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, 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.


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!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Green Mountain Coffee® Wellness Collection

I love to try new things, and one the best ways I've been able to do that is by being a bzzagent. I've been a bzzagent since 2006, and I've been able to try a bunch of new products, for free!

The newest campaign that I have joined is for Green Mountain Coffee® Wellness Collection. This collection is really neat. It features two new coffee blends, an Antioxidant Blend and a Focus Blend. They are both have a medium-roast-taste, which is just perfect for me! The Antioxidant Blend is a good source of antioxidant vitamins C and E, while the Focus blend contains 50mg of L-Theanine per serving.


I was excited to try these because I am a big coffee drinker. I have at least 3 cups in the morning, and often more throughout the day. I thought this was a great idea because I'm going to be drinking coffee, so I might as well get some extra benefits from it...right?

In my bzzkit, I was lucky enough to get 3 packs with 4 samples of the coffees! Today I sampled the focus blend. It was really good, with no bitter aftertaste. I'll admit I was a little worried that these would taste different, but they really didn't. I love Green Mountain Coffee, they never disappoint! 

You can visit Green Mountain Coffee website to learn more about these new coffee blends.
If you are interested in becoming a Bzzagent and be the first to know about exciting new products, check out!

Disclosure: I am required to tell you that I am a BzzAgent. I received free products from to test and review. All opinions in this blog are my own :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Uh oh, someone's busted.

Who keeps playing with the water, I asked myself.... Not even potty trained and already causing a mess in the bathroom :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Another weekend gone, but there was pie

Ahh, its Monday again! November is already almost half over. Somebody please tell me, where did the year go?!

This weekend went by way to fast, like most of them do. Friday was my birthday, but in all reality, it was just a normal Friday. Saturday, we had a nice big dinner and Sunday I did pretty much nothing. It was nice to get caught up on some reading and I finally got to watch Magic Mike, so it had it high points.

Laundry was done, dishes were cleaned and floors were mopped. That was the extent of my weekend. I did make a yummy pie on Saturday. Apple pie is a favorite here, but we aren't having it on Thanksgiving, so I made one on Saturday. I have a great recipe for apple pie, I'll share it below.

I like to make everything home-made when it comes to pie. Crust is super easy. The easiest way to make a crust is to use a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, it's still pretty easy. For the crust:
  • 1 1/4 cup flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ice water
In a food processor, mix the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse it a few times. Add butter and pulse until it's all incorporated. Add water slowly, until a dough forms. Use a bowl and a pastry or dough cutter if you don't have a food processor. Put the dough on a floured surface, and make a ball out of it. Throw it in the freezer to get cold while you work on the rest of the pie. Make two if you plan on making a pie with a top crust.

I like to use two different kinds of apples for pie, just to switch it up a little bit. I like to use a sweet kind mixed with a more tart one. I usually use a few Fuji or a Gala apples and a few Granny Smith. That's just what we like, experiment and find what works for you.

For the pie, peel and core the apples. Cut them into slices and put them in a big bowl. Add 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 tablespoon of flour. Toss it all together and let it sit for about 15 minutes. While it's sitting, I roll out the dough

On a floured surface, roll out the dough and add it to the pie tin. Press down gently and poke a few holes in it with a fork. Now to pre-cook. There are a few ways to pre-cook a pie crust so it doesn't poof out of the pie tin. You can use beans to keep the crust in place. If you don't have beans(I never do), you can use an oven safe dish or pot that fits into your pie tin. Anything oven safe that fits works. Cook at 350 for about 15 minutes then add the apples.

Dab the outer pie crust with water. Add the top crust and press the edges together either with a fork or with your fingers to seal the pie. Add a little egg wash on top to make the shell nice and brown. I add a little cinnamon and sugar to the top crust too and then cut out a few steam wholes. Cook at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 325 for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and you see the yummy goodness coming out of your steam wholes.

A crumb top is easy and good too. For that I use:
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
Mix all of them together in a bowl with a fork and add to the top of the apples. That's all. So easy, and so good!

I have a lot more recipes coming up for the holidays. This is defiantly one of my favorite times of the year!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

And then, my kids grew up

I was looking at baby pictures today and a thought hit me. My kids are growing up, and they are doing it way too fast!

When you are a new mom, its hard to imagine your child as a teenager. You anxiously await that first smile, the first tooth, first steps....ect. You can't wait for them to sit up on their own, or to start to walk and talk. But what you don't think about when your child is up all night crying from teething, is how your going miss this time so much. Sleepless nights, tantrums, potty training...its not always fun that's for sure.

When you have babies, you hear so often to cherish this time when they are young. They grow up fast, its true. Too fast in fact. You'll miss the days when mommies kisses made the boo boos better or just a cuddle made the tears stop.

My babies are 12 and 14. I have no idea how that happened because I'm pretty sure I  was just a teenager myself and now I'm attempting to raise 2! And let me tell you....its rough! If you thought being a teen was hard, wait until you are trying to raise one.  I was a horrible teenager, given way to much freedom and way to little supervision. Now I'm trying to raise my kids to be productive members of society that will grow up, get great jobs and be able to survive on their own.

Somehow along the way, my oldest got the idea that its OK to blow off homework if you don't feel like doing it. And my youngest seems to think being a hoarder is a great way to live his life, and refuses to throw out anything when he cleans his room. I have no idea if I'm making the right choices when I discipline them. I can only hope they grow up with a minimal amount of scaring from my parenting mistakes.

Now that they are getting older, nothing is getting easier but it is changing. My oldest babysits, so sometimes she's responsible for other little humans...kind of scary. My son still needs a lot of help with his homework, but he's at the age now where he will start to want to do more of his own thing. Its hard to let go, that's for sure.

I still remember taking each child home from the hospital. Of course I knew they would grow up, but I didn't think it would happen this fast. Time flies people! I know you hear this way to much, but don't take a single moment for granted. One day you'll blink and your 8 pound baby girl will be taller than you and thinks she's has the answers to everything. Sigh...

I'm just feeling a little nostalgic today I'm afraid. Looking at baby pictures will do that to a person. And while I do miss my kids being little, and as hard as it is sometimes, its great to see them grow. To see them mature and make good choices. I just sometimes miss when a hug and band-aide made all the pain go away.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Breakfast, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Weekends are a great time for baking. One of my favorite Sunday breakfasts has to be homemade cinnamon rolls. They are pretty easy to make and taste so much better than the ones that you pop out of a can. They do take a little practice and a few hours from beginning to end, but they are well worth it.

I've been making these a few times a month lately. Not to long ago, I won a great prize pack from @RedStarYeast that included 36 packets of yeast, so I've been doing quite a bit of baking!

For these cinnamon rolls, I use:
  • 1/2 warm tap water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick(1/3 cup) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups of flour, plus extra kneading surface
  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce) of yeast
Working with yeast can be tricky. I think a lot of it has to do with having everything warm. I use hot tap water, and that works well for me. For the milk, I scald it and let it cool until feels warm to the touch. Neither the water or milk should be cold.

First thing I do is dissolve the yeast in a small bowl of warm water. Stir it until all the yeast is dissolved, you will see bubbles start to form...this is what you want to happen. Next, in a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, egg and salt. Add 2 cups of the flour, and mix until smooth. Add the water and yeast mixture, then the rest of the flour. Mix until the dough is easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes. This is the fun part! Kneading dough is easy, but if you don't know how to do it, YouTube has a bunch of great videos. If the dough becomes to sticky, add more flour and keep kneading. Place dough in a well greased bowl and cover it with either plastic wrap or a cloth, or even a paper towel. Leave in a warm place and let it sit until it doubles in size. This can take an hour to an hour and a half.

When its done rising, pour dough onto a lightly floured surface again. Punch it down and roll it flat into a rectangle shape. I use a pizza cutter to trim the edges so it's a perfect rectangle. Now for the filling. I use:
  • 1/2 melted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • raisins or walnuts
Spread melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Add raisins or walnuts if you want them. I personally love raisins in my cinnamon rolls. Starting at the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough tight and press ends together to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices and place them in a buttered 13 x 9 inch pan. I sprinkle some left over cinnamon and sugar on the pan before I add the dough.

Let them rise again, in a warm place for about an hour, or until they double again in size. Cook at 350 for about 1/2 hour. Cool completely then frost with a homemade glaze, that I make while they are cooking. Glaze is so easy and so much better than anything you buy in a store. What I use is:
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup of milk, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Put the softened butter in a mixing bowl(I love my Kitchen Aide mixer for this!) and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low-speed until is well incorporated, then add milk slowly until it looks wet and shiny. Whip on high-speed for a few minutes then add vanilla. Keep mixing until all the sugar lumps are gone. If glaze is to thick, add a little more milk. This is also makes a great butter cream frosting, you just add less milk for a thicker frosting. Once you make this, you'll wonder why you ever bought frosting at the store!

I make these the night before for breakfast. These are perfect a lazy Sunday morning breakfast that everyone will love.