Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reading Harry Potter

This is a proud mom post.  I am so proud of my son!!  He is in Kindergarten and reading the first Harry Potter book.

How this all started was, each night the children in his class bring home an easy reader to practice reading out loud.  Well, one night he was particularly disgusted because they sent home an Eloise book.  Apparently, it was an insult his manhood,  that his teacher would dare to send home a "girl book"
  "I don't want to read a girl book!" 
After a some going back and forth, I said, "FINE! What do you want to read?"  
His reply.."Harry Potter!" 
I said, "Ok, but you know its a long chapter book. "   
"I know."     

So we went and got the book from the book shelf and started reading.   He has amazed me!   He has taken to this challenge and has stuck with it.  He reads 2 to 3 pages everyday, which is a pace he seems comfortable with.   Words that he doesn't know, we circle and I help him look up in the dictionary.    Both my husband and myself have read the books, so we can have a nice discussion about the book with him.

I realized that I have an unlimited teaching opportunity basing different activities off of Harry Potter.   This week, he and I made a Monster journal.   We took a sketch book and covered it with faux fur and gave it some green teddy bears.   I made one of these for Halloween.   If you are interested, you can check out a full tutorial for the monster book. 

I am going to be sharing more of our activities in future posts while we read Harry Potter. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Circus (picture post )

My family and I had a great time at the circus tonight.   This was the first time that the kids had been to a circus.It was just a small circus, not Ringling Brothers.  We are calling this our warm before going to the big show.  It wasn't the greatest, but it was entertaining.

   My daughter was happy because it ballerinas.  She loves all the glitter and feathers.   Her favorite performers were the rope acrobats. 

 My son loved the clowns.  I have never seen him laugh so hard!  He also really enjoyed the jugglers.  I think they had him when they lit them on fire.  

Egg-travaganza: Chinese Tea Soaked Eggs

 This is the kick off post for my Egg-travaganza.   I am going to be posting different egg recipes and ways to decorate eggs up until Easter.  

Last week at my children's school was their annual International Festival. The children all dress up to represent different countries, have a parade, and put on a wonderful program.   Each group of classes is assigned a continent.  Then parents volunteer to make a dish to represent the continent for a tasting garden.
 My good friend Laura, introduced me to Chinese tea soaked eggs.   She taught English for several years in Taiwan and this is a recipe that she learned while there.

Five-Spice Tea Eggs

eggs, a dozen or so
black Chinese tea leaves, 3-4 tablespoons
whole eight-star anise, 3-4
five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon
thumb-sized piece of ginger
soysauce, 3 tablespoons
salt, 1 teaspoon

1. Make soft-boiled eggs and immerse in cold water (this makes for easier peeling later.)
2. Gently tap the eggs with the back of a spoon so that the shells are cracked all over.
3. In a pan cover the eggs with water, add the tea leaves, spices and seasonings. Simmer for an hour or two, adding water as needed. Soak overnight.

When the eggs are peeled they will have a brown crackled pattern on the inside.

It was really funny to see how people reacted to the eggs at International Festival.  People were afraid to try them!   They are just hard boiled eggs, but with all of the spices and tea give off a beautiful fragrance.   You can serve them warm or cold, eat them as a snack or served with rice.

We are planning to do some this Easter as a little twist on deviled eggs.    This post is linked to Learning to be Thrifty's Easter Link Up
and Craft-O-Maniac Monday. 

Wordless Wednesday- Admiral Ackbar!!

              and Yes, I am giant nerd!

I recently won this amazingly crafted Admiral Ackbar mask off of  Ebay.  Well, it was kind of my anniversary gift.  I have talked about my Star Wars costumes before, so I get to unveil my newest one.  

If you aren't familiar with the character Admiral Ackbar is from Return of the Jedi.  

I am currently searching for a set of hands and getting clothing to complete my costume. 

One of my favorite Robot Chicken sketches is the Admiral Ackbar Cereal.   If you have never seen it, check out Youtube.

Coupon and Freebie Roundup 3/30/11

1.) The Earth Fare coupon this week is a bag of Tia's chips or Earth Fare Tortilla chips with $5 purchase. You will have to sign up or login to your account to print the coupon.
2.) Chance to win $500 VISA, iTunes Gift Cards, & Wii in TONY’S® Pizza Instant Win Game! PLAY DAILY! #tonys99days
3.) If you have not signed up for the Sample Showcase, HURRY! Sign up so you can request yours in 5 days. These are great! They usually have between 6-12 different samples.

Buddy Up and Win Contest sponsored by Wholly Guacamole

Feel like you need reinforcements in The Battle of the Bulge?
Does The Biggest Loser®  give you inspiration?
Wholly Guacamole is celebrating Battle Buddies with an awesome giveaway!
Go to and, in 200 words or less, tell them how you and your Battle Buddy inspire and support each other in your weight loss journey.

They're giving away tons of prizes including a trip for 2 to attend  The Biggest LoserCouples season finale, a trip for 2 for a week's stay at The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge Malibu® and airfare allowance!  And don't forget to watch The Biggest Loser: Couples, Tuesdays 8/7c!
Click here to learn more!
disclaimer:  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Batman: Brave and the Bold, Season 1 Part 2 on DVD

 Batman has always been my favorite superhero.   I have to say that I really have enjoyed watching this new Batman cartoon series.   If you have a Batman fan in your life,  this is a must have.   Check out

Synopsis:  Batman wings into an exciting new era, teaming with a mighty honor roll of DC Comics Super Heroes in this action-packed series. Through the show’s final 13 Animated Adventures in this 2-Disc Collection, the Dark Knight allies with Aquaman, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle, Red Tornado, Green Arrow, Wildcat, Deadman, Bronze Tiger and Atom to take on an array of evildoers ranging from mad scientists to intergalactic crooks, from power-mad dictators to out-of-control teenagers. He even travels to a parallel world, becoming the villainous Owlman! In this cool, cutting-edge and often funny series bringing back old-school comic-book styling and dry wit to crimefighting, Batman faces any peril – including other heroes stealing the show – in his relentless pursuit of justice. 

Available on DVD:       March 15th
Own It on DVD">name="allowFullScreen" value="true">"; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">

Rude Comments

Please know that rude comments will not be tolerated on this blog.   If you do not like a product I promote or an opinion that I express, that is fine.    I do not expect everyone to agree with me.  I am not a member of the food or fashion police.  Please make your own choices accordingly.

I am open to respectful debate, but I will not tolerate rudeness.    Comments will be deleted.

Thank You

Bare Escentuals

 Bare Escentuals is introducing its new line of skin care products.    Experience the revolutionary new skincare line powered by a proprietary miracle ingredient RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex-clinically proven to deliver brighter, younger-looking skin and that famous bareMinerals Naturally Luminous glow.

 I have been pleased with the other Bare Escentual products I have used in the past.   I can't wait to try these new skincare products.    Follow Bare Escentuals on Facebook and/or Twitter.   

disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Bare Escentuals. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. 

Nutella Party

 Mornings are crazy at our house!  We hardly ever get to sit down to breakfast, it is always grab something and eat it on the go.   That is why it is important to me that I have breakfast  food that can be prepared quickly.    We all know that eating a balanced breakfast is the best way to start your day and your child's day. 

A balanced breakfast gives your brain and body the fuel it needs to get going in the morning. Nutella hazelnut spread on your favorite whole grain bakery item with a glass of skim milk and a serving of fruit is a quick and easy solution for a balanced breakfast.

I was recently selected to host a Nutella party.  I was able to share with moms (and dads) some ideas for a nutritionally balanced breakfast using Nutella.  

Breakfast Roll Up
      Spread a whole wheat tortilla with Nutella spread and sprinkle with dried cherries and chopped apricots. Roll up and eat on the go!  This can be done with a variety of fruit (dried, stewed, or fresh)

Breakfast Sandwich:
Toast a whole grain honey English muffin and spread half with Nutella.  Then top with fresh sliced strawberries.  Place the other half on top and enjoy a delicious breakfast sandwich. 

European families have been enjoying Nutella hazelnut spread for 40 years as a breakfast staple.  Nutella  spread is made with more than 50 hazelnuts in on jar.  It does not contain any hydrogenated oil or trans fat and is very low in sodium compared to other nut butters.   It does not have artificial colors or preservatives.  It does not contain peanuts or peanut ingredients, nor does it come into contact with peanuts during manufacturing.  Nutella does not contain any ingredients derived from gluten and it is also kosher.

If you are looking for something different in the morning, you might want to consider trying out Nutella.

disclosure:  I was provided with samples for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All nutritional information was provided by the sponsors.   All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

I love my husband dearly, but sometimes......

I do love my husband dearly, but sometimes I just want to choke him!!

This week our children have Spring Break and I am at home with them.  Don't we all just really love it when our precious children sleep in?   I love it and live for that time!!  My little girl is a one woman wrecking ball, so when I have a few uninterrupted minutes of peace, quiet, and a reasonably clean home, I am a happy woman.
So for the last 2 mornings, he gets up at his usual time.    Now with the time change, when he gets up it is light outside.   You can see in our bedroom, bathroom, and living room without really turning on lights.    I guess as a mom, I am used to tiptoeing out of bed and dressing in the dark.  

Not my husband!  Every light, EVERY LIGHT was on this morning!  The overhead light in the bedroom, the overhead light in the living room and 2 lamps!  The lights in the kitchen and dinning room! Really, you need that much light!?  After about 20 minutes or so, a few lights go off, but others remain on.   Namely, the overhead light in the bedroom.   I am being selfish, because I WOULD ENJOY SLEEPING IN ONE DAY!

Then the next thing I hear is the ungodly battle cry of duct tape.   That tape has a sound all its own when it is being torn off the roll. Of course, I wouldn't care at 7 at night.  But at 7 in the morning, it echos through our house.  If I could figure out how to adequately recreate the sound with consonants and vowels, I would demonstrate it.

I am lying in bed thinking WTH??  What is he doing?   This is the point that I get up and confront the offender.    Can you not get dressed in the dark, just for this week?  Next week, I don't care. We will all be up.  Turn every light on, I don't care.  We will all be running for the door at the same time.  But, lets do it next week.   

What are you doing with the duct tape?  This is what he was doing:  repairing his work pants! That's right.
My husband works predominately outdoors, so his "work" clothes do take a beating.  He rarely is ever in his office.   

Several things at this point go through my mind:  A.)  I could sew those for you, B.) Maybe we should just put that pair out of its misery.   And lastly, C.)  Could you not do that outside? in the garage?  somewhere other then the living room?

He was just confused as to why I was a little disturbed.  I kiss my loving husband goodbye for the day, going out the door the alarm sensor chimes.   I am thinking how much time do I have before they get up?   My question is soon answered.  Just as his truck leaves the driveway,  NONE!

 Does he not understand the small joy I get from sleeping in once in a while?   GRRRRR   lol I love my husband but sometimes......

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lower your Alexa Hop

Real Mom Reviews is having a lower your Alexa rating hop.   This is a great idea! especially to help new bloggers.   I had no clue what an Alexa rating  was until sometime last year.  So if you are wanting to lower your rating, install the tool bar and join the hop.  

To everyone stopping by from the hop, thank you for visiting and following.  

Spring Cleaning!! uuggggg!!

I have started spring cleaning this week.   Every year, I try to tackle small projects, one at a time, you know like all of the organizing experts say to do.   But what I end up with is a house that  is a disaster area for at least two weeks!
I really just want to call up those people that you see on Hoaders to take everything away!!! Just be done with it.
I have 4 boxes lining my hallway to donate and I know that before I am done there will be more going to charity. 

Does anyone else have the Spring Cleaning uuuuggggs?

Wholly Guacamole & The Biggest Loser

Wholly Guacamole is proud to have been chosen the official guacamole of The Biggest Loser. The Biggest Loser TV program is all about making better choices. Small changes can often turn to big results when you choose their guacamole and salsa to dress your salad, top your chicken sandwich or pair with veggies, you're making a better decision. With 20 vitamins and minerals, all-natural ingredients and no preservatives or additives, it's a great choice to make. So put down that mayo and lay off that ranch! Find new ways to look at guac and salsa for a new you!

Sign up for their newsletter and download a coupon.   You can also follow Wholly Guacamole on facebook and twitter. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

St. Patrick's Day has finally ended at our house.

St. Patrick's Day comes and goes at our house with little fanfare.  But this year, my kids were like mom," What are we doing for St. Patrick's Day?"  my response was, "We will eat Lucky Charms and drink green Kool Aid."   Of course, that didn't go over too well.  They were expecting St. Patrick's Day to come with some sort of  gift giving opportunity.  Sadly, I disappointed them.   So since that idea was not well received, I came up with a couple of things for us to do during the week.

We went on a green scavenger hunt.  We snapped pictures of green things that we found during the week.  Which has actually gone on now for more like 2 weeks.   These are a couple of our favorite pictures.

This is Gorn, we spotted him walking down the street with his Klingon companion.  Not something you see everyday! This picture also made an appearance for the Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

Then we spotted some little clovers peeking out of a crack in the pavers.  
These screamed St. Patrick's Day. We will probably do this again next year.   The kids seemed to enjoy it. 

We also participated in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Atlanta, which I posted about earlier.   Lastly, I pranked the kids.    We really love the book Elf on the Shelf and have fun with it during Christmas.  So, I decided that I would put green food coloring in the toilet, with a little glitter for extra effect.  I told the kids that a leprechaun visited us and used our potty.  They seemed to get a good laugh out of that.   

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It has been a while since I have been able to participate in Scavenger Hunt Sunday.   These are my pictures for this week.  

This isn't really decay, but interesting texture and ground cover.  I guess the leaves count as decay.  

Groups of 3
These are jelly fish from our trip to the Aquarium. 

 I love to bake, so I snapped a quick picture of rainbow cakes just out of the oven.

Things that make you go hmmmm....
This is Gorn and a sort of Klingon walking down the street in Atlanta.  It is just not something you see everyday. 

ME time

I love to paint so this is one of the abstract paintings I have been working on.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Celebrating Earth Hour Tonight!

My family are celebrating Earth Hour again this year.   If you are not familiar with Earth Hour, here is a little information about it. 

Earth Hour is driven by the global community’s will to protect the planet we share. Earth Hour’s exponential growth – from a single-city initiative in 2007 to a global movement across 128 countries in 2010 – is indicative of the growing desire for a cleaner, healthier world that is gathering momentum by the hour.  At 8.30pm on Saturday 26 March 2011, Earth Hour will mark a moment of global contemplation to go beyond the hour; a collective commitment by individuals throughout the world to be the ongoing change they want to see in it.

Earth Hour 2011 will ask the world to:

Switch off your lights from 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Small steps add up!  How will you sustain your actions beyond the hour?   Visit   and add your small steps. 

Involve your children! By using a fun activity book, promo, screensavers and wallpaper they will learn how they too can help make small steps around their home and in their communities.  Visit   to find activities.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scarecrow and Mrs. King season 2 now on DVD

I used to love watching Scarecrow and Mrs. King  with my mom.   I always loved the crazy situations that Mrs. King always manged to get herself  and Scarecrow into.   If you love 80's TV series you will love watching these episodes again.  

Synopsis:  American spy Lee Stetson and his housewife sidekick Mrs. Amanda King are really going places in Season Two, fighting the Cold War in London, Munich, Salzburg and the Caribbean! Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner again play the mismatched operatives, mixing laughs, intrigue and battle-of-the-sexes verbal jabs in this collection of 23 Episodes on 5 DVDs. Amanda is targeted by a white-slavery ring. Lee and his mentor, dithery Lady Emily Farnsworth, hunt for stolen plans for a top-secret plane. Amanda is the other woman in a headline-grabbing sex scandal. And Mrs. King becomes Mrs. Scarecrow on a romantic wedding cruise, complete with veil, vows and smooch at the altar – all in the line of duty, of course!

Own it on DVD:       March 22nd">name="allowFullScreen" value="true">"; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review: The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet

I have been working as a consultant to a Montessori school that is opening a new infant environment.   Along with creating an infant room, I have also been working with the school and families to create new parent education opportunities.  

One of the workshops that I have been working on creating is one about nutrition and making your own baby food.  We want to start at a young age giving our children the best possible nutrition and to begin developing healthy eating habits that will aid in the child's physical and mental development.   In the workshop, some of the topics we discuss are organic vs. conventionally farmed foods,  healthy and safety tips, and of course recipes. 

 I have had the opportunity to review a book called, The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet Although my children are long past the baby food stage, I had the opportunity to test recipes with other mother's whose children were just starting baby food.  This book has been an amazing resource not only to myself, but to the parents that I work with as well. 

The book is filled with recipes that take 10 minutes or less to prepare, The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet (Fair Winds Press, December 2010, $21.99, paperback with color photos and illustrations) is a great resource when it comes to establishing a child’s preferences for healthy, nourishing foods.  
The book includes informative sidebars that address feeding challenges, food safety and even traveling with baby. Best of all, each recipe features a nutrient analysis, serving size suggestions and recommended preparation methods - assuring parents baby receives the nutrition they need without any of the additives found in most store bought baby food.
It is the first baby food book to be authored by a Registered Dietitian (Tina Ruggiero) and a Registered Nurse (Karin Knight), the book provides readers with more than 200 baby food recipes that suit every age – from six to 23 months.  Inside readers will find:
·      Recipes from baby’s first purees to meals for active toddlers;
·      Beautiful full-color photographs;
·      An easy-to-spot snowflake symbol next to recipes which can be frozen;
·      The latest information about infant nutrition, oral care, intolerances and optimal development; and
·      A fun recipe evaluation chart, so parents can rate what meals their little one likes best

If you are a new parent or your child is getting ready for solid food, I would encourage you to check out this book.   It has wonderful information!    I wish this book had been available when my children were younger. 
Publishing Information:
Know What Goes into Every Bite with more than 200 of the
Most Deliciously Nutritious Homemade Baby Food Recipes
by Tina Ruggiero M.S., R.D., L.D. with Karin Knight R.N.,
Fair Winds Press
December 2010
$21.99 Trade Paperback
ISBN-10: 1592334237
ISBN-13: 978-1-59233-422-3
disclosure:  I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation.  All opinions expressed in this book are my own. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yoplait- National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month and there’s no better time than now for you and your family to commit to more wholesome snacking options. My favorite is the Key Lime yogurt!  I just could live on it!! 

Explore the many nourishing options that Yoplait has to offer - with varieties like Yoplait Light, Yoplait Original, Yoplait Fiber One, Yoplait Kids and Yoplait Delight Parfaits. Each product offers different benefits, and loads of variety, to make eating well a no-brainer. Here are five great ways to snack with Yoplait this March!
  1. Start spring off right with Yoplait Light’s Two Week Tune Up Plan – Replace breakfast and lunch with a cup of your favorite flavor of Yoplait Light, a whole grain and a piece of fruit and you could lose 5 pounds in two weeks. Go to for full diet details.
  2. Get more calcium with Yoplait Original style yogurt - Now with two times the calcium of the leading yogurt (50 percent of the Recommended Daily Value) in one convenient 6-ounce cup*, Yoplait Original style yogurt is committed to women’s health, offering a product that has even more of the calcium women need for strong, healthy bodies. 
  3. Try the newest flavor from Yoplait Fiber One – Yoplait Fiber One’s new Blueberry flavor yogurt is packed with filling fiber, calcium, vitamins A and D, real fruit and the great taste of blueberries. With only 50 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat, this deliciously creamy yogurt won’t break your calorie bank.
  4. Stress less over snack time with Yoplait Kids yogurt – With a wholesome and fun snack like Yoplait Kids yogurt in the fridge, you can feel good about what your children are eating at snack time. Yoplait Kids provides an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, and has 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt**. With yummy flavors, and favorite friends like Dora and Lightning McQueen on the packages, Yoplait Kids is a hit with moms and children alike.
  5. End the day with a Delight Parfait from Yoplait – Even with two luscious layers providing a double shot of rich and creamy yogurt, these 100 calorie indulgences from Yoplait contain only 1.5 grams of fat per serving. Now available in two new flavors, Chocolate Éclair and Cherry Cheesecake, you can enjoy a dessert that’s 100 percent guilt-free.

You can checkout Yoplait on Facebook become a fan and sign up to receive a coupon for a FREE cup of Yoplait Original Yogurt (while supplies last) and a $.50 off coupon for the Yoplait Kids Yogurt.

*Leading yogurt has less than 25% Daily Value calcium per 6 oz.**Yoplait kids has 9 grams of sugar per 3oz. the leading kids' yogurt has 13 grams of sugar per 3oz.***Coupon offers for Yoplait yogurt are not valid in all states.

***Disclaimer All information provided by Yoplait. By posting this information I have a chance to win a Yoplait prize pack, furnished by

Freebie and Coupon Round up 3/19/11

Get a free sample of Mini Wheats Touch of Fruit from Vocalpoints.  While supplies last.

Join Chili's E-club and get a coupon from a free Queso Dip. 

Get a free regular Italian Ice to mark the first day of spring!    Rita’s Italian Ice Annual giveaway will be held Sunday, March 20th from noon until 9 p.m. at all  Rita’s locations.

FREE pint of Breve Crème coffee creamer from Vocalpoint.  Offer valid only in certain areas.

Like Soy Joy on Facebook then click on the Do You Dare? Tab. Take a dare and they will send you a FREE Soy Joy bar.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Felicity: An American Girl Adventure Deluxe Edition on DVD

Synopsis: Meet Felicity Merriman, a 10 year-old girl who’s as spirited and independent as the American colonies she lives in. For the first time ever, Felicity comes to life on screen in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, a full-length live action movie based on American Girl’s best-selling books.

When Felicity meets Penny, a beautiful copper colored mare, she knows with all her heart that she must free Penny from her cruel owner. Felicity desperately wishes for that same sureness of heart about the rumors of revolution swirling through Williamsburg. Felicity’s father believes that the colonies should be free form England’s rule, but her beloved grandfather and her best friend Elizabeth both support the king. With fiercely conflicting loyalties dividing the colonists, something as simple as a cup of tea could divide Felicity from her best friend forever. As Christmastide draws near, Felicity struggles to hold her family and friends close, and to find ways for love and friendship to rise above the growing conflict.

Available Now on DVD!

Tom and Jerry: Fur Flying Advenetures on DVD

 I just love introducing my children to classic cartoons.  Tom and Jerry were some of my favorite cartoons  growing up.   This is a great video to share with the kids in your life.   They will love the classic cat and mouse comedy.

Synopsis: They’re at it again – hilariously – in a new and nutty 14-cartoon collection! In this corner, a perturbed pussycat. In the other corner, a mischievous mouse. Let the comedic mayhem begin with this menagerie of 14 fur-flying dust-ups. The tussling twosome travel through time (Guided Mouse-ille), to Europe (Neapolitan Mouse) and into space (O-Solar-Meow). And it’s two against one when Tom’s scaredy-cat cousin George comes to town in Timid Tabby. But Jerry comes out on top time and again in Pet Peeve, That’s My Mommy and Robin Hoodwinked. This collection’s classic cartoons starring your family’s longstanding favorite cat and mouse duo again prove that as their rivalry is neverending, so are the joy and the laughs they spark!

Kool Aid pickles??!!

I was reading an article today that was talking about National hamburger and pickle month. Who makes up these designations? Most are never heard of and rarely celebrated. I think there is nothing better then a thick juicy hamburger with some great tasting garlic pickles. The article shared some burger trivia.
Of course none of the trivia was particularly surprising.

*White Castle is the oldest hamburger chain.
*McDonalds is the biggest hamburger chain

But there was a pickle recipe that I have never heard of and frankly, I am a little afraid of! Has anyone ever heard of or tried Kool Aid pickles?

I did a google search to learn more about these. Apparently, they are popular all over the South, especially the Mississippi delta region. I have lived in the south all my life. I have eaten strange things but this one is new to me.

The pickles seem simple enough. You make a batch of Kool Aid (apperently cherry and lemon-lime work best), add sugar and dill pickles(cut lengthwise. It was also suggested that Mt. Olive pickles were the best to use). Let the pickles soak for about a week in the mixture.

According to the article these pickles are a big hit with kids??
I don't know, I couldn't get past the idea of soaking them in Kool Aid. The idea of fruit punch soaked pickle just turned me off. If anyone has tried these I would love to know more about them.   I have to say that my curiosity is getting the better of me.   I think the kids and I might try to make these over spring break.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Parade (picture post)

On Saturday, my family participated in the 129th Annual Atlanta St. Patrick's Day Parade.
I had no clue that this was such a large event!   There were about 200 different units participating in the event.

My  children had some favorites in the parade yesterday.   They loved the dog breeder groups and the Medieval Times knights.    
We were there with the 501st, which is the Star Wars costume group that we are both members of.   I didn't dress up this time, but my husband did.   He wore his Stormtrooper costume yesterday.

   The parade route was about a mile through downtown Atlanta, which ended at The Underground.  The weather was beautiful, so it was a great day for a parade.   These are some of the pictures that we took yesterday.

Aquarium Visit

We have had several busy weekends in a row. So, I am really behind in posting (as always!) Last weekend, I attended a teacher's convention in Myrtle Beach.   My family and I really had a great trip.  One of the highlights was visiting the Ripley's Aquarium.  

One of their special exhibits is all about sea creatures that are "lethal weapons. "


  On display the aquarium had Fugu and Blowfish, along with Electric Eels, and jellyfish.   The exhibit highlights creatures that can release toxins or have special body features that will kill their prey.

We had the opportunity to touch and learn more about horseshoe crabs.   They really are not crabs, but are actually related to spiders and scorpions.    

Rainbow Rock is a colorful exhibit that features all of the beautifully colored fish of the Indo-Pacific coral reefs.  As part of the exhibit, you can see divers hand feed the fish.   It is just amazing, the beauty of this exhibit.

The most exciting part for my children was the Dangerous Reef.

You step onto a moving glidepath that moves through a tunnel.  You can see snapper, sea turtles, and even sharks!   My children were fascinated by the sawfish, which we learned is an endangered species.  

If you ever visit Myrtle Beach, the aquarium is really a great place to spend a couple of hours.   It was very relaxing and our children loved it.   They are already planning another visit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Busy Day -St. Patrick's Day Parade

Today has been busy!  My family was in the Atlanta St. Patrick's Day parade today!  It was a beautiful day and of course great fun.   The only down side is that it has been a long day and I am extremely tired.      I will have a photo post up tomorrow, along with several others.  And, hopefully a photo post from our trip to the aquarium.  

But for right now, it is time for bed!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Coupon and Freebie Roundup 3/8/11

1. If you live near a Panda Express, print this coupon to get free Golden Treasure Shrimp tomorrow (3/9/11)
2. Get 50% off any one regular priced item. Coupon is valid today 3/8/11 through 3/9/11

7 worst supermarket rip offs

 This is an interesting article about 7 items that are rip offs.   Some of them are kind of surprising.

Kids eat free tonight at Chili's

 Kids eat free tonight at Chili’s when you bring in this coupon. It is only good for kids 12 and under with the purchase of an adult entree. It is limit 2 kids meals per adult entree purchased.

This deal is only valid tonight.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Follow Us Monday

 The Follow Us Monday question of the day is:

 What is the easy meal you always go to, whenever you are in a time crunch, or if you just don't feel like cooking?

I would have to say that my go to meal is something like tacos or burritos.   It is quick, easy, and makes pretty much every one in the family happy.   

If you want to follow along, get in on the fun at Frugality is Free.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tagert Samples! Free Beauty Bag with Samples & $25 in coupons

Target is offering a  great freebie!!!   Fill out a brief survey and Target will send you this beauty bag filled with samples and over $25.00 in coupons. HURRY!! This wont last long!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spicy Basil Hummus

For a long time, I have been on the fence about hummus.   Not all hummus is created equal.  But lately, I have found that I really love it, especially since I have been trying to cut more meat out of my diet.     I found this recipe at Nutritionist Reviews.  

It is really simple to make, which this was my first time trying to make homemade hummus.  But I am really glad that I tried it.   If you are hummus fan, I think you will like this recipe. 

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon Garlic Gold oil
2 tablespoons Basil Oil (if you don't have this, you can use 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon dried basil)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
7 small garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 large lemon

1. Soak 1/2 lb dried garbanzo beans overnight in a pot of water.
2. The following day, cook beans for 15 minutes on high.  Turn off burner and let sit for 20 minutes.
3. Peel garlic cloves and cut lemon in half and squeeze.
4. Combine beans, oils, garlic, spices, and lemon juice in a food processor.
5. Blend for 2-3 minutes. Stir any remaining pieces in and blend for 30 seconds more. 
6. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking. 
7. Enjoy!

Freebie and Coupon Round up

Here are a couple of quick freebies: 

Red Robin is offering a FREE Heinz Tomato Seeds Packet!   The seeds should arrive in 4-5 weeks.  So if you are planning to plant a garden with your family this year, this will help you out. 

The Melting Pot is offering free cheese fondue on April 11-14, 2011. Each free cheese fondue is enough for two people and there is no purchase necessary.
Reservations are required and are limited. If you’re interested in this offer, go ahead and make your reservation now.

Charlie Sheen's crazy train

So the last few days, it has been hard to escape the constant clatter of the Charlie Sheen crazy train.  He pretty much as talked to every media outlet that would listen to him.    And, I have to say that he has become my guilty pleasure of the week.  
Some of my favorite Charlie Sheen quotes have been:

"Winning!"       <----I have incorporated this one into my daily vocabulary.    I think for the rest of us sane people this makes a great daily affirmation.      "I am winning at taking out the trash"    I don't know, I do have to agree with Charlie here.  It just makes you feel better about life.

"I got tiger blood, man. My brain...fires in a way that is - I don't know, maybe not from this particular terrestrial realm."   Don't we all feel this way?

I have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a seven-year-old. --  If you were the interviewer, how do you follow up to something like that? 

I don’t sleep. I wait. Most of the time—and this includes naps  "   So does  Chuck Norris.  

The other thing that I am enjoying about the Charlie Sheen crazy train, is the fact that he is just across the board offensive.    Do I agree with offensiveness?  No, absolutely not.   But, when you are in the business of making outrageous claims, lets not leave anyone out.    Such as the case, that Charlie Sheen has now offend warlocks.    
Yes, that's right.... Warlocks!   Let that sink in for a minute.  

Charlie Sheen said he was a "Vatican warlock assassin"      Which has offended a coven of warlocks in Salem, Mass.  Apparently, they are planning a cleansing ceremony to help Charlie Sheen not offend warlocks in the future.

 I am just wondering who is left for him to offend?  
Will he be making anymore outrageous claims?   

Personally, I am hoping that he will say he invented the question mark or something equally as outrageous.   That would complete me!