Sunday, January 30, 2011

Semi Homemade Triple Chocolate Cupcake

Today is my husband's birthday!  So the kids and I got up early this morning to bake cupcakes.  I cheated a little bit by not making the cake from scratch.

I used the Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate cake mix, which I have to say is a pretty good cake mix.  I was pleased with its overall texture.   I baked the cake according to box directions.   For cupcakes it takes about 20 minutes.

Once we took these out of the oven, we allowed them to completely cool.   We took a small apple corer and made a hole in the center of each cupcake.   After that was done, I used a piping bag to put the marshmallow creme into the center.   This is another place you can cheat by using store bought marshmallow fluff .



My pictures are terrible from this morning's baking.  I used my camera phone, but you will get the idea.
  
For the homemade White Chocolate Buttercream  this is the recipe that I used.  

Ingredients

  1. 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  2. 12 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  3. 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, using a hand held electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.

This recipe is fast, really easy to make and most importantly delicious.   I have been trying to experiment more with making homemade frostings.   The finished product was delicious!   We decorated with a Darth Vader pick from the Williams-Sonoma Star Wars cupcake decorating sets. 

Coupon and Freebie Roundup

1.  Right now you can request a FREE Maybelline FitMe sample from Target
http://samples.target.com/

 2.  Subaru is having a Game Day Dog Walk event. If you pledge to walk your dog on Super Bowl Sunday then Subaru will send you a free doggy gift pack containing a frisbee, blanket, dog toy, water bowl, and personalized engraved dog tags (limit 1 per household while supplies last). http://www.subaru.com/dogs/index.html

3.  On February 6th, Mr. Peanut’s Facebook page will be giving away 25,000 coupons for Free Planters Flavor Grove Almonds 4.75-6oz (up to $3.49)! http://www.facebook.com/mrpeanut?v=app_121043307955586

 4.  Become a fan of Baskin Robins on facebook and print a BOGO coupon for an ice cream cone. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1617551662&sk=photos#!/baskinrobbins Check their status and click play, the coupon will show up to print. 

 5.   Become a fan of Downy on Facebook, they will be giving away Downy sleep shirts today at 12 NOON EST.

 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

K-Y Brand Kissable Sensations and Intense for Her Review and Giveaway!

Valentine's Day is quickly headed our way!  I wanted to share two products with you from K-Y Brand.  Of course, as you can imagine this post is for adults only. 


My husband and I had the pleasure of trying both, K-Y Brand Kissable Sensations and K-Y Brand INTENSE for Her  .   You can visit the K-Y website to learn more about other products.



K-Y Brand Kissable Sensations:
For more play during foreplay. Take time to explore and stimulate each other's body. Enjoy the sensual, arousing pleasure of foreplay with decadent chocolate and refreshing strawberry sensations for the body. Together, share a fun, delicious, multi-sensory head to toe experience – enjoy foreplay like never before!


My husband and I really have loved the Yours & Mine products.   Kissable Sensations gives you the taste combination of chocolate and strawberries!   What could be more romantic?  and of course you decide where to kiss and be kissed.

  K-Y INTENSE for HER:
K-Y® Brand INTENSE® is a female arousal gel scientifically proven to intensify female satisfaction. The patent pending gel formula was shown in a clinical study to enhance female arousal and satisfaction. In consumer studies, 75% of women reported heightened arousal, sexual pleasure and sensitivity where it counts most. K-Y® Brand INTENSE® allows a woman to experience a new level of sexual satisfaction and helps her partner enjoy a more intense and pleasurable sexual experience.




 Combine these two products for a romantic Valentine's night!  of course, you don't have to wait until then!   Spice up the middle of the week or anytime!    You and your husband or partner will love it!

                                                            BUY IT!

You can purchase both the K-Y INTENSE and the K-Y Kissable Sensations online and everywhere K-Y products are sold!


                                                          


K-Y has generously offered to give 5  readers an awesome K-Y product to help make your Valentine’s Day more special!


Mandatory Entry:

To enter this giveaway please visit K-Y’s websiteand have a look around, come back and leave a comment on this post telling me which K-Y product you would like to try (besides the 2 listed above!)  This is mandatory and must be completed before any extra entries are allowed!


Extra Entries:  
Become a fan of K-Y Brand on Facebook. 
Become a follower of The Squeaky Grocery Cart with GFC
Become a fan of The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook. 
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter.

 
This giveaway will end February 9, 2011.   This giveaway is open only to U.S residents, 18 and older.  Please leave a separate comment with a valid email address for each entry.  Five winners will be chosen via Random.org and announced in a separate winner’s post.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim his prize, failure to do so within 48 hour time-frame will result in winner forfeiting his prize and me choosing a new winner.



Disclosure:  I received sample products for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.   All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

I won a Snuggle Bear!


I just found out that I won a Snuggle Bear from a contest that Snuggle hosted on their Facebook page.   If you entered this contest as well, be on the look for an email!  

Congratulations!  You’re a winner in the Snuggle® Bear Sweepstakes sponsored by The Sun Products Corporation!

Your prize, a 10” Snuggle Bear, will be shipped to you within 4-6 weeks.

Thank you for sharing your “Snuggle Moment” with us.  We hope you enjoy snuggling with your new Snuggle Bear!

Coupon and Freebie Roundup

1.  Become a fan of the Olive Garden on Facebook and enter in their 1 million facebook fan contest. They will be giving away prizes for 10 days to celebrate. http://www.facebook.com/OliveGarden?v=wall

 

2. Check out Coupons.com There is a printable coupon for $10 off Rack Room Shoes, as well as several printable coupons for $3, $5, $10 off selected Blue Ray movies. There is also some great coupons for Valentine candy. http://www.coupons.com/couponweb/Offers.aspx?pid=14505&zid=py13&nid=10&bid=alk012905011688237223318714

 

3. Get a printable coupon for $1/2 Butterfinger Snackerz coupon. There is a deal on the Snackerz at Walgreens starting Sunday if they carry the small bags. http://www.coupons.com/couponweb/Offers.aspx?pid=14505&zid=py13&nid=10&bid=alk0129050103a13e36d8818714

 

Check out Downy's facebook page today at 4pm EST. They will have more "I Slept With Downy" t shirts to give away. http://www.facebook.com/downy

 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated Vol.1 on DVD




 As a child, I loved the Scooby- Doo!   Now Scooby has been reinvented to interest a whole new generation.   My children have become fans of Scooby with both the old and new cartoon versions.



Synopsis: Hop in the van for Mystery Inc.’s new, cool series of spooky capers. Like, it’s an all-new Scooby-Doo TV series for families who want their mysteries like Scooby-Doo and Shaggy want their pizza … spicy with extra sauce! Join the gang in Crystal Cove – the most haunted place on Earth – to solve creepy cases packed with fearsome spooks and frights, exciting chases, terrifying surprises and of course, Freddy’s ingenious traps. But the gang doesn’t fall for that ghost stuff anymore. They know there’s always a bad guy behind the monster suit, until they receive a cryptic clue from the mysterious Mr. E, who challenges them with their greatest mystery yet – to uncover the secret behind the curse of Crystal Cove! Get trapped with Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Freddy, Daphne and Velma in four action-packed adventures from the cool, new show that’s a lot of doggone fun!

Available on DVD: January 25th
WBShop Product Page: http://www.wbshop.com/ScoobyDoo-Mystery-Inc-Vol-1/1000155580,default,pd.html?cgid=&adid=WB_ADS_WBE_FB_Scooby-DooMysteryV1








Swingsets !

This has been a tough winter and my family and I don't even live in the North! We had snow for Christmas and then another week off from school because of snow and ice shortly after Christmas vacation. My children tend to get a little stir crazy if they are stuck indoors for too long.

With Spring and Summer just around the corner, my husband and I are seriously in the market for swingsets. I have been searching CSN perfect one.

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be swingsets, fitness equipment, or even cookware. I can spend hours searching their site! But, I always know that I will find the perfect items.

Autumn Romance- Book Review



I wanted to share this wonderful book with my readers.  Autumn Romance is written by Carol Denker.   This book is a collection of stories that features couples all over the age of 50 years old.   Carol spent two and half years traveling the United States interviewing couples who had found love later in life. 

When I was presented with the opportunity to review Autumn Romance, it reminded me of my wonderful Aunt Kay.     She found love later in life, the same as the couples interviewed and featured in Autumn Romance.   
My aunt was in her mid 50's when she got married for the first time.   She and her husband Wofford, had a beautiful but all to short marriage.   They were married for 6 years, the last two years were very difficult.  Wofford suffered a major stroke, my aunt took care of him until he passed away.   During their marriage, they enjoyed traveling, just being together, and embracing life.

I think that one of the most important messages that we younger readers can take away from these stories, is that love is ageless.   I am planning to share this book with my aunt, I think that she will really enjoy the stories and relate to the couples.  




I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.   I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coupon and Freebie Roundup

Here are a few great freebies coming today and this week.  

Herbal Essence shampoo - they are giving away 6,000 coupons tomorrow (Sunday - 1/23/11) starting at 12 p.m. EST. http://herbalessences.com/en-US/hair-care

 

** From Jan. 24 through Jan. 27, 2011, Clairol will be giving away 25,000 of their new Color Blend Foam each day http://www.facebook.com/clairol

 ** "Like" Downy on Facebook, starting Monday (1/24/11), they will be having giveaways as well. http://www.facebook.com/downy?v=wall

** Get a free sample of ear plugs http://www.hearos.com/

 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another week with no posting

With blogging you wouldn't that think that you get behind.     But this week has just been another crazy week.  I am hoping that things at work will calm down and my family and I can get back to normal.   I have lots of great Valentine ideas to share.   I am hoping tomorrow, I will have more time to post everything.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fun and Flirty Valentine Gift Ideas- JustPaperRoses Review

For the next 2 weeks, I am going to be posting some ideas for a Fun and Flirty Valentine's Day.  My first gift idea is from JustPaperRoses.com .

JustPaperRoses offers a unique assortment of gifts for every special occasion (Valentines, Weddings, Anniversaries, etc).    One of their most  unique Valentine's Day gift ideas is toilet paper.     It is printed with the message, "I love you from top to bottom."    I recently had some friends over and everyone loved the toilet paper.   My kids are thrilled with it too.    Who says toilet paper can't be romantic?   It is just too cute of an idea to pass up. 

  They also offer a selection of other Valentine's Day gift ideas from adorable teddy bears to home run baseballs. 

If this is something that you want to order, don't wait too long, it sells out quickly!!   Last year, JustPaperRoses sold 300 rolls!  

JustPaperRoses has generously offered one of my lucky readers a $50 gift certificate!


Mandatory Entry:

Visit JustPaperRoses and tell me which Valentine's Day item(s) you would like to give to your partner.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry, with a valid email address.  

Follow JustPaperRoses on Facebook
Follow JustPaperRoses on Twitter Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart with GFC
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter


This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on February 6,2011. The winner will be chosen using Random.org, with the winner will be notified by e-mail.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond, if there is no response another winner will be chosen.


I received a sample for the purpose of writing this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Coupon Roundup

  Here are a few coupons to print out. 

*Getting ready for some football this weekend? There is a great Wholly Guacamole coupon. $1.50/1 http://www.eatwholly.com/getofftheranch/assets/WG_Coupon.pdf

*printable coupon for Horizon Organic , with no size restrictions http://coupons2.smartsource.com/smartsource/index.jsp?Link=KIAJVLNALVTDE

*Orbit Gum is going to be on sale buy 1, get 1 free at CVS. You should be able to print 2 coupons. That would make 4 packs for free. Not sure how long this coupon will be available http://coupons2.smartsource.com/smartsource/index.jsp?Link=BZCWKSUS3L5EK

 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Free Eggbeater coupon now live!! HURRY

sign up to get a free coupon for eggbeaters. Limited amount available, so HURRY!!http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid94572.aspx

itsThoughtful.com is offering $20 Amazon GC

itsThoughtful.com is offering a $20 Amazon.com gift card if you can get 15 friends to join by 11:59 pm on February 14th.

If you get 15 to join under you, your gift card will be mailed on February 21st. Go here to read the official rules. http://www.itsthoughtful.com/gift-contest/40775/ln/

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Episodes of Dinosaur Train

All new episodes of Dinosaur Train will be on PBS starting Monday, January 17th.   Be sure to check your local listings for times.



In the all-new episode, “The Good Mom;” “Diamond Anniversary,” Mrs. Pteranodon meets fellow mom Millie Maiasaura, who is a little too over-protective of her kids. The two moms share some time comparing mothering methods in a play date at the Big Pond.  And, Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon decide to surprise each other with gifts on their anniversary.


My children really love Dinosaur Train, and I have to admit, so do I.   I can't wait to see the new episodes starting next week.   With the cold weather, it will be nice to snuggle up in new Dinosaur Train pjs and watch this new episode together. 


Now available at Kohl’s are the “Dinosaur Train Striped Footed Pajamas,” these are great for keeping toddlers warm and cozy during the winter months! The dinosaur appliques and striped pattern on these footed pajamas offer timeless touches, and the footed design keep toes toasty. SRP is $26.00, available in sizes 2T-5T.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I am a featured blog this week!!




Photobucket





I just wanted to say THANK YOU to Frugality is Free for featuring me as the Hot Blog of the Week.  I didn't realize I was featured until I went back and was reading comments.   


This week's question ( a day late) is: 
Do you have any specific blogging goals for 2010, or do you have anything you would like to change or learn about blogging in 2011?


My blog started out of boredom and has changed over the course of the year.   I started out just doing coupons, but I got kind of bored with that.   There was more I wanted to share on my blog.  I think I am doing a pretty good job of offering a mix of posts.   I am hoping that my blog will continue to grow and that I improve my writing skills.  

Purex Complete Crystals Review

I was recently invited to become a Purex Insider.  As a Purex “Insider”  I had the opportunity to review a new product that was just released, Purex Complete Crystal Softener.     I have to admit that I do not use fabric softners often.  I always forget!   But, I really like this new product from Purex.      



Purex Crystals can be added directly to your laundry at the beginning of every wash cycle.  This means no more waiting for the rinse cycle, no messy residual gunk in your washing machine, and no more stains from spilling liquid fabric softener.    This makes doing laundry a little bit easier for a busy mom like me.    I was really pleased with how fresh and clean my family's clothing smelled.  The fragrance was not over powering compared to other brands I have tried.  



Purex Crystals is not like your traditional fabric softener.  Almost all traditional liquid fabric softeners are oil based and can coat your fabrics with oil.   Over time the residue builds up and decreases the lifespan of your clothing.    Purex Crystals are 92% natural they work by penetrating the fabric and infusing the fibers with freshness that lasts for weeks.  





If this sounds like a new product you would like to try out.  The Purex Complete Crystals Softener is available in three on-trend fragrances: FreshSpring Waters, Lavender Blossom, and Tropical Splash.
Suggested Retail Price:  from $3.99 to $5.99 depending on retailer  and will be available in food, drug and mass retailers nationwide.  



I did receive a free sample of the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Peace and Plenty Book Review



This book is a must read, especially during the current economic atmosphere.  It is uplifting and really will help you find Peace and Plenty in your life.  
Book Description
"When money is plentiful, this is a man's world. When money is scarce, it is a woman's world." Unearthed in a 1932 Ladies Home Journal, this quote is the call to arms that begins PEACE AND PLENTY, Sarah Ban Breathnach's answer to the world's-- and her own personal-- financial crisis. As only Ban Breathnach can, she culls together this compendium of advice, deeply personal anecdotes, and excerpts from magazines, books, and newspapers-- particularly those of the Great Depression-- to inspire readers who are mired in today's financial difficulties.

Focusing on her own personal path, Sarah Ban Breathnach will relate never-before revealed details about how she fell from the financial top to the bottom. Readers will immediately see how deeply she understands the plight of those trying to maintain a happy and comfortable home, while at the same time not even knowing if they will be able to make the mortgage to keep that home.

Sarah has proved to be the voice of comfort for years to women who are spiritually bankrupt, and now she will reach to those who are financially strapped, showing them how to pull themselves out of their psychic and fiscal crises while providing deep comfort and reassurance throughout.



I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

FREE Dog or Cat Toy

Visit Paws.com and fill out a short form to get either a free dog or cat toy!   Offer valid to the first 20,000.

Wonka 3 course gum could be a reality. Interesting article

One of my favorite movies is Willy Wonka.  One of  my favorite scenes, is when Violet turns into a blueberry.   It was because of that gum that changed from tomato soup, to roast beef, to blueberry pie.  Well, something like  Wonka's flavor changing gum could be a reality in about a year, according to this article.  http://www.foodnavigator.com/Financial-Industry/Revolutionary-Willy-Wonka-style-gum-could-hit-market-by-2012-says-developer


Would you want to try it or buy it?   I think it would be interesting.  Hopefully, no one would turn into a blueberry after chewing it.

SNOW DAY!!!

This winter has been fun in the South.  We got a white Christmas and this morning we woke up to a more snow, about 6 inches worth.   It is still snowing as I type this, so who knows what we will end up with.  Plus, the weather forecast says that we will also get some ice on top of the snow.  

Of course, whenever snow comes into the forecast, it strikes fear into the heart of many.   There always seems to be a mass exodus to the grocery store.    We need bread and milk!!  is the survival mentality.    My husband just cracks up, he grew up in MN.  So of course, 6 inches is nothing.   Me, on the other hand, I need bread and milk!  

I convinced my husband that we should do some shopping Friday evening.  That way we can beat the bread and milk rush.  I always feel sorry for  those poor folks who waited till the last minute, faced with the choice of rye bread or hot dog buns beat so badly, they are hardly recognizable.      This is what the bread isle looked like at our local Walmart yesterday.


Today, I am trying to make the most of my snow day!   So far we have been out playing, made muffins and soup, and just spending lots of time with the kids.       If you are having a snow day, I hope you are enjoying yourself as well.

Peanut Butter Jelly Surprise Muffins



One thing that my children love is PB & J sandwiches.   These muffins are a great twist on that.


Your family will love the jelly surprise in the middle.   These are extremely easy to make and delicious!

Here is the recipe:









Peanut Butter Jelly Surprise Muffins:

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup  organic creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup organic strawberry jelly  ( you can use any flavor of jelly that you like.  These are also delicious with grape or raspberry jelly)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 muffin tin with muffin papers. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix the peanut butter with the egg. Add the milk, a little at a time, then mix in the butter. Pour the wet batter into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. The batter will be stiff.
  2. Put a heaping tablespoon of batter in the bottom of each muffin cup. Use a finger to make an indentation in the center and put a teaspoon of jelly in the hole. Cover with another heaping tablespoon of batter or enough to fill each cup about 2/3 full. Spread the batter gently until no jelly is visible. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the muffins onto a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes. Be careful: the jelly centers can get hot. Makes 12 muffins.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Long work week

Sorry for no post lately folks.   It has been a crazy week for me as far as work goes.   I rarely talk about my work on my blog, but I guess today is the day I do that.

I am a Montessori educator.  For those of you who are not familiar with Montessori education, I will explain a little bit about it.    Montessori is an educational philosphy that was started by Maria Montessori.  She was the first female physician in Italy.   Through her observations, she created an educational environment with self directed learning materials.   The teacher's role in the classroom is to observe the children at work and give lessons on how to use the materials.

Most people are more familiar with the Montessori method for children ages 2-5. But there are also programs for infants and toddlers,  I have been a Montessori teacher now for 9 years, with most experience being with children ages 2-3.   I am currently working with a school to help them create a Montessori infant environment.  

This school will have the only Montessori infant environment in our area.   This project is really a labor of love.  Our goal is create an environment that will provide infants with a home away from home.  Allowing them to have a trusting bond with their caregivers.   We are also working with a designer to help us create an area within the environment for nursing mothers.   It is our goal to provide them with an area, where if they choose,  can come in as time in their schedule allows and nurse their child.

Right now, we are putting all of the finishing touches into the room.    I am also working on writing a "curriculum" for this program.   We are wanting to include baby sign language and Spanish.   These will be incorporated by singing and speaking to the child.  

It is our hope that the environment will be ready for children by the end of the month.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wholly Guacamole Coupon $2 off

There is a great Wholly Guacamole coupon to print! $2 off any product.
You might be able to stack this coupon with a BOGO sale. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Follow Us Monday


Welcome to Follow Us Monday.  If you want to join in on the fun, visit Frugality is Free.

Question of the Week: Did you make any New Years Resolutions?
This is a popular question this week especially.  I did make a few New Years Resolutions.  
  The first one is that I want to work on personal growth.  I would like to learn something new or try a new hobby.   I have a friend who is trying to get me more involved in a roller derby team.   Roller derby is soooo much fun!   It is just that I am not sure if I have the time to dedicate to it. 

The second goal that I have for the year, is to continue growing as a blogger.  I would love to improve my blog and gain more followers.  

My third goal, is one of weight loss.   I made excellent progress this past year.   My goal is 60 pounds.  I have already lost 20.   I am not trying to do it fast.  I want to make healthy choices and lose it slowly and keep it off.    My biggest challenge is that when I have had set backs in my goal, I get kind of discouraged.  So I am going to work really hard this year to overcome that discouragement. 

No Scavenger Hunt Sunday today

Usually on Sunday's, I try to participate in Scavenger Hunt Sundays hosted by Ramblings and Photos.  Since, there is not one this weekend, I decided to post some of my favorite pictures from past hunts and photo challenges.  Most of them are generic because I rarely post pictures of my family.  

Colorful: 
















Landscape:



















 Bokeh:
















 Night:













Eco Friendly:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year!  I am looking forward to celebrating my 1 year blogiversary this year.   Thank you for following The Squeaky Grocery Cart!