Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Happy Friday everyone. It is hard to believe that we've made it to the end of the week. It always seems like weeks where there is a holiday last longer.

I'm sad that tonight is Jay Leno's last evening hosting The Tonight Show. I am glad that he will be continuing on with a new show. So, that is something to look forward to for the fall. Thanks for the memories Jay!

Today for my Fabulous Favorite Friday post, I'm posting something that I think everyone can
agree on and that is Cool Whip. As I mentioned in my Two Tip Tuesday post earlier this week not only is Cool Whip yummy to eat, but I've been saving the containers to use to put paint in for Sawyer. I thought we could also use them this summer for making sand castles.

On Monday we went to a Memorial Day cookout and I made this recipe which uses Cool Whip and Chips Ahoy cookies. It is super easy to make. All you do is dip each cookie in milk (don't soak them, just quickly dunk) and then line your dish with the cookies. Once you have a layer of cookies then cover it with a layer of Cool Whip.
Continue doing that until you have your dish filled.

As you can see from the picture, I used a disposable metal pan and to fill that up it took a whole container of Chips Ahoy cookies and then about half of a sleeve of a second container. I also used two of the smaller containers of Cool Whip. If you like lots of Cool Whip and are using a container like this then I'd recommend getting one of those larger sized containers and maybe a small one with it. That way you can make sure you have plenty. It just depends on how thick you want to do the Cool Whip layer. I had enough by using the two smalls, but I think I would have liked having a little bit more. It would have made it a tad easier to spread.

This is one of my husband's favorite desserts. My mother in law makes it and she shared the recipe with me a few years ago. When she gave me the recipe, she did say it makes a difference on whether you use Chips Ahoy or not. Chips Ahoy cookies seem to dunk in the milk the best.

This recipe hits the spot when the weather is hot. Keep it in mind for any summer cookouts you might have.

Just in case you missed it somehow, Kraft Foods has had some great printable coupons recently and you'll want to jump on printing them today. A lot of times they will reset the coupons at the beginning of the month. I used mine to get a great deal on the Cool Whip and Chips Ahoy cookies to make this dish. Check out Deal Seeking Mom's post to see where you can get your Kraft Coupons.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Bye, Bye Miss American Strawberry Pie

Happy Thursday everyone. I thought I'd first start off by acknowledging that after my post yesterday I received a Twitter message from Gymboree. Here is the message I received "@chiccraftychick check out You shouldn’t have any stroller problems there. :) Plus, there’s free shipping right now!" I give Gymboree props for responding to my post in less than 24 hours. But, I don't always want to have to shop online, I'd like to actually be able to go into the store to shop. I shouldn't have to struggle to get in to the store.

Since I've had shopping issues with my stroller, it has made me more sympathetic to the plight of those in wheel chairs and those nanna's on Jazzy's. If a nanna is going to miss her stories (like Young & the Restless my favorite) to go out and buy her grandbabies some clothes, the least the store could do is make it so she can get through the door. That's all I'm saying. Aren't those Jazzy's the coolest? I think they should come in pink. What Nanna wouldn't love a pink Jazzy? All tricked out. But I digress.

I don't expect stores to change over night because I know stuff like that costs money and takes time, but I hope they'll just start at looking at ways to make shopping in person easier. That's all.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post...

This is a picture of the awesome pie I had over the weekend. I wish I could take credit for it, but my sister made this. We celebrated my mom's birthday and when we were growing up our neighbor, Ann would always make a strawberry pie for my mom's birthday since strawberries were in season. It is a family favorite and so my sister thought she would make it.

I thought y'all might like to see it and to get this recipe since a lot of folks have been picking strawberries. We are supposed to go Saturday so I'm hoping to make one of these over the weekend.

Ann's Strawberry Pie

1 cup sugar
1cup water
3 tbsp cornstarch

Cook until it thickens & changes from white to translucent. Remove from heat. Add a few drops of red food coloring & 4 tbsp of strawberry jello. Stir well.

Pour over strawberries in baked pie shell.

Chill in refrigerator before serving.

Have a great Thursday y'all!

Happy Thursday Y'all!

Gotta jet this a.m. but I have an awesome post coming for you after lunch. Please check back. You are gonna love. A great recipe for all those strawberries you've been picking. Oh, and more commentary from yesterday's post!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dear Corporate America here my cry...

Over the Memorial Day weekend I attempted to do some quick shopping (whatever that is) with my two year old and 7 month old in tow. They can be good for quick trips, especially if Sawyer has his Snack Trap to keep him occupied. The only way for this even to be remotely possible is for me to have them in the double stroller. I have a Graco double stroller that is the long kind. When we knew we would need a double stroller, I knew I wanted one that didn't go side by side because it would be hard to get them through doors. I'd observed other moms with the side by side strollers have a hard time. So, I tried to find an option that would fit my needs and hopefully allow for as much flexibility as you can have with two small children. My Graco double stroller is my saving grace when I'm trying to go out.

I tried to go into the Children's Place and ended up walking in and walking out. This is not the first time this has happened when I've tried to do clothes shopping for my kids and thus I feel the need to say the following:

Dear Children's Place and Gymboree Stores:

As the mother of two small children, I find your stores very difficult to patronize. When I had my first child almost three years ago, I was so excited to finally be able to shop at your stores. This quickly changed when I found out what a nightmare it is to take a stroller into your stores. While I appreciate your efforts to provide me with a great selection of clothing, that is diminished by my constant bumping into bulky rounders and t-shirt tables that are low to the ground and easily catch on stroller wheels. And now that I have two small children and a longer double stroller, shopping in your stores happens even less. To try and back up a double stroller in your stores is like trying to back up a Greyhound Bus out of a parking deck. Shopping with children is like having a ticking time bomb and making my shopping experience even more difficult does nothing to enamor me to your stores.

I ask that you please hear my plea to address how you set up your stores to make them a more "mom friendly" environment. I am a fan of the clothes in your stores, you've got that right with your cute things, but it does me no good if I can't get to them. So, please consider putting the racks up higher to save my sanity.

Many thanks,

A mom trying to stay sane while shopping with tiny tots.

And now back to my blog post...

I know there are other mom's out there who must deal with the same frustrations. So moms out there, what do you think?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Two Tip Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope you had a nice weekend. We were very busy and had fun taking the kids swimming. They both are like fish in the water. They love it and have no fear of the water. Which sometimes scares me I must admit. All that splashing wore them out. This might be a very good summer. LOL

Big Button News!
I am so excited that last night I was finally able to add to the blog my very own button. I finally got every thing straight and it is on the right. Ta da! I wanted to do something vintage looking so I took a picture and uploaded it to Photobucket and tinted it with Sepia. This is a picture of me with my grandmother. I called her Gang Gang. My mom said that I was only a few months old and she was giving me my first lollipop. That is what we are holding in case you couldn't tell. I wanted to pick this picture because I was very close to my Gang Gang so I thought it might be a great way to honor her by having her featured on my blog. She passed away about 15 years ago and I miss her. I know she would be amazed to see things like blogs and she would have loved the dvr. LOL So, I'd love it if you'd grab my button and add it to your blog.

Tip #1
For my Two Tip Tuesday post, I have my model, Mr. Sawyer here to demonstrate. For my first tip, I wanted to suggest that if you have a little one that is learning to use utensils you consider using the plastic picinic forks for them when they are learning to eat things like waffles. I've purchased the plastic kids forks, but they just don't seem to work well and are too rounded for kids to be able to stab into foods like waffles. One day it occured to me that a plastic picinic fork would work well. It is light weight enough for them to hold and it has enough of a point at the end they can stab at the food.

Tip #2
I had to make a number of dishes this weekend that called for using Cool Whip. With the great Kraft food coupons I've been able to print recently, that really helped out when buying Cool Whip. BTW, if you want to get in on this great deal, check out the Kraft Foods website. They've had a bunch of great coupons. Or, check out Deal Seeking Mom's website (her button is on the side of my blog). A lot of times she has a button which will let you scroll through and see coupons.

After empyting the Cool Whip containers, I threw them in the dish washer. Of course they are great for storing things, but I have saved them because I am going to use them to hold different paint colors to let Sawyer paint outside later this week (provided it doesn't rain). Another idea I have is to use them as sand castle molds when we go to the beach later this summer. I'll be sure to post pictures later this week if we get a chance to use them. BTW, I am sure I've seen posts in the past on doing other fun crafts with Cool Whip containers on the Make and Takes blog. Her button is on the right, so if you are looking for other ideas check her out. She does awesome projects with her kids.

I am hoping to get more posts in this week and to share some great recipes that I made over the holiday weekend. So be sure to check back. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fabulous Favorite Friday


Happy Friday everyone. It has been a tough go in our house this week. The two precious angels pictured here have been cranky sick kids. Bless their hearts they both have had sinus infections and unfortunately the antibiotic they were put on appears to not be working. So, I am hopeful the doctor will give them something else that will work. We want to enjoy the holiday weekend. Especially since the weather is supposed to be so nice. We can't wait to see these two in the swimming pool. Sawyer has loved it and I think Logan will too.

Today for my Fabulous Favorite Friday pick, I'm sharing the DiGiorno Italian Style Meatball and Four Cheese Flatbread Melts. I received a coupon in the mail to try this for free, so I decided to try this flavor. In the past, I've tried frozen meals that have a meatball base to them and I haven't liked them. So, I was interested in seeing how this one stacked up.
I have to say that I did enjoy this for my lunch. For being a frozen meal, it had a good flavor.

The other thing that impressed me is that the instructions on the box were so great that this product actually turned out close to what it looks like on the box. I took a picture to show you. A lot of times when I've tried different frozen flatbread or panini products they don't get that toasted look like you see on the box. But, as you can see from my picture this one did.

Since I am usually trying to get lunch for Sawyer at the same time I want to eat, I like being able to grab something like this that can cook in the microwave while I'm getting his lunch fixed. He isn't patient, so being able to free up my hands while I get his lunch helps me multi task.

The other thing I found interesting is that they had instructions on the box that told you exactly which way to fold the melt. So, you can't mess this one up. LOL
There are a couple different flavors, so if this one doesn't appeal to you I'd suggest checking out one of the others. I think there is a Chicken with Bacon & Ranch and I couldn't remember the other flavors. I want to say there are four different flavors total. I want to try that Chicken one next.
If you are interested in giving this a try, here is a link that should let you go and print off a $1.50 off coupon. When I got mine at Wal Mart this week, they were $2.50 so $1.50 off would be nice.

I'd love to hear if you have tried any of these, or if you do end up trying them.

So, that is my review for this week. I hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Two Tip Tuesday

Oh what a week already. I took the boys to the pediatrician yesterday and they both have sinus infections. I think I am getting one too. We all haven't had much rest recently, so we are pretty wiped out. I thought things were supposed to get better once the winter weather cleared out? I'm keeping my fingers crossed things will dry out soon. I think that with all the recent damp weather we all must have mold allergies.

Tip #1
I was trying to think of some things that would be helpful for you today for Two Tip Tuesday. With my allergies acting up and lack of sleep, it was a challenge, but hopefully these are things you'll find helpful.

My first tip is for cleaning the stubborn stains that you get on your flat top stove. I have been so annoyed since I moved in my house almost eight years ago because it seems like even if you just boil water over on the flat top stove, it leaves a mark. When we first moved here I would buy the special cleaner for the stove at the grocery store, but it seemed like I would just kill myself scrubbing with it. Then I was watching a show one day and they said you could sprinkle baking soda on the stove top and then pour a little bit of vinegar to make a non abrasive paste. I gave it a try one day and it worked great. I've never gone back to using the store cleaner and just make a paste to get the tough stuff off my stove top.

Tip #2
My second tip today is to let you in on a secret you may not know about. Did you know that Target stores have their own coupons which you can stack with manufacturer's coupons? I've been getting some awesome deals at Target that way. In my Two Tip Tuesday post last week, I mentioned the A Full Cup website. This is a great resource for learning the ins and outs of using coupons. You can use their Target coupon generator to print off the coupons that Target has available. If you are not a member of A Full Cup, please use my referral link if you sign up. To easily find the Target Coupon generator once you sign up, find the Coupon link at the top of your screen. Then the third drop down will take you to the Target coupon generator. I have always loved shopping at Target, but the coupon generator has made shopping there even more pleasurable.

I hope these two tips help you out. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Happy Friday everyone. I hope you are having a good day. It is hard to believe that we are half way through May already. This weekend we are off to another graduation for my other sister in law. I believe it is outside, so we are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather. We are excited for her and can't wait to celebrate this wonderful milestone for her.

My Fabulous Favorite Friday pick today are these Lyson Dual Action Disinfecting wipes. I just bought these at Target this week and they are awesome. The best thing about them is they have two sides and one of the sides has a scratchy texture which is perfect for scrubbing. The other side is smooth for wiping. These wipes have been perfect for wiping down the mess Sawyer makes on his high chair when he eats. It makes cleaning up his messes so much easier.

One other small thing I like about them is that the container is sort of oval shaped as opposed to a circle shape. This may not seem like a big deal, but it actually makes storing them under my kitchen sink easier. They don't seem to take up as much space since they aren't circle shaped. So, if you see these in the store I'd certainly give them a try.

I hope you are having a great day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Tip Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope you are having a good week so far. It is hard to believe we are already half way through May. This past weekend we attended the college graduation for one of my sister's in law and my other sister in law graduates this coming weekend. These are my husband's sisters. They are both going to be teachers. We are hopeful that they can find positions. I never thought there would be a time that it would be hard to find teaching positions. We are excited for them and wish them all the best.

About two months ago, I started following a number of blogs that have great information on using coupons. I've found some great information and have really tried to make the effort to save more money in these uncertain economic times. My husband and I have always been money conscious, but it seemed like a good thing to focuse on a little more.

As you can see, I've got a button on the side to the Deal Seeking Mom website. She has great information on coupons and deals. Another great website I've been visiting is A Full Cup. They've got a great community and have a new forum where you can find helpful information on coupons. If you are interested in joing A Full Cup, please use my referral id when you register. I highly recommend that site for finding out about great coupons to print. And I love the Target coupon generator. Who doesn't love shopping at Target?

So, for my Two Tip Tuesday post I thought I'd share two tips that I've learned about related to coupons.

1) If you want to get started with couponing, a system that I've found helpful is to take the coupons and put them in file folders and date the folders. If you visit websites such as a Full Cup, they can help you match up your deals and a lot of times they reference the date that coupons came out. So, keeping them in a file folder by date has made it so much easier to reference. When I make out my list, I will then cut out my coupons.

2) In order to always have all my coupons together, I went to Michael's crafts and bought a really cute plastic tote. It is the perfect size to hold all of my folders. Also, the plastic container fits well in either my double stroller. I have to put the kids in a basket, it fits with the baby carrier on the top of the basket and I can fit the plastic tote beside it.

And, today I'm passing on a bonus tip. If you want some great coupons, go to the Kraft foods website. They have a ton of awesome coupons you can print right now. I was able to print coupons to get a dollar off Crystal Light, Ritz Crackers, and even Philadelphia Cream Cheese. There are a ton of other great coupons. If you haven't registered with the website, you'll need to do that. It doesn't take a lot of time at all. I highly recommend checking it out soon. Apparently they only put out a certain number of these and people print them up quickly.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Happy Friday everyone. This week has seemed to fly by. I can't believe Sunday is Mother's Day. We've had so much rain this week I am hopeful that it will start to clear up soon. I'm ready to start enjoying nicer weather.

Before I share my Fabulous Favorite Friday pick, I wanted to let you all know how I approach sharing information on products. I've seen that this seems to be a big debate right now in the blogging community. I only share about things that I like. Period. If I don't like something I'm not going to pretend to like it. I don't and have not received any monetary compensation for any of the items I've shared about. And any time I've received a sample of something, I've mentioned it in my posts. There have been times I've been happy that a sponsor has wanted to share a sample with you as well. I hope that continues to be the case.

A few days ago I added to the bottom of my blog a disclosure policy to make sure it was clear my policy on the products I review. I thought it might be good today to just reiterate my position. I hope it has been clear in the past, but I just wanted to lay it out again for those who read my blog. I value those of you who come here and don't want to lose your trust.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Fabulous Favorite Friday post. For my Fabulous Favorite Friday pick today, I wanted to share some information about a new product. I was fortunate to be in an exclusive group of bloggers who were given the opportunity to review a new deodorant they have coming out called Dove Visibly Smooth. Last week I received a gift pack in the mail with this deodorant to try.

The scent I was given to try is called Wild Rose and I love, love, love it. It is a light floral scent. It smells pretty. This deodorant couldn't have come at a better time because the weather has been yo yoing and we've had some warm, humid weather. A great test for a deodorant. It has worked great and I would recommend it.

They say that this deodorant is supposed to have some kind of technology that makes you feel stubble free longer. With tank top and strapless dress season coming up, this is something for folks to consider.

My husband has sensitive skin and a while back he started using the Dove unscented deodorant. While that is not the same product as the one I just tried, I wanted to share that our family has used other Dove products in the past and had favorable results with those as well. Their items seem to be very gentle for the skin.

Here is a link to Dove's website. There is a great $2 coupon you can go to the website to print off. I highly recommend doing it.

I hope y'all have a great Mother's Day weekend. Happy 1st Mother's Day to my sister and any other first time mom's out there.

Reflections on Motherhood

With Mother's Day approaching, I have been reflecting on how much my life has changed in the last two years since becoming a mother. I thought it would be fun to share some of these discoveries I've made. These are ten things I've discovered since becoming a mom. They are in no particular order.

Discovery #1

If you leave the house with less than three diapers in your bag, a change of clothes, and adequate wipes you might as well be playing russian roulette. They will always have a blow out on you.

Discovery #2

A two year old laughing like a mad man with your cell phone in their hand is one of the scariest things I've ever witnessed. You find yourself praying that they don't figure out how to call 911. Because you can just see in your mind that you'll being featured on the 6 o'clock news and how they'll play the 911 call on the air.

Discovery #3

There is no better smell on earth than a baby who has just had a bath and has Johnson's baby lotion and shampoo.

Discovery #4

I have found myself uttering phrases I never could have imagined including, "We don't throw food" or "Don't put that in your mouth" or "Don't step on your brother".

Discovery #5

Nothing turns a bad day around quicker than the smile of a baby, or a kiss or hug from a toddler.

Discovery #6

Having little eyes that watch your every move makes you want to be a better person.

Discovery #7

Seeing my husband interact with my boys reinforces why I love him so much and why I married him.

Discovery #8

A toddler on the run will give the road runner a run for his money any day.

Discovery #9

Women are the ultimate multitaskers. I've learned to breast feed a newborn, feed a toddler, as well as feed myself all at the same time. And they say a woman can't run this country. LOL

Discovery #10

With all the difficulties I've had to have my children, I wouldn't trade them or the experience of becoming a mom for anything.

So, those are my thoughts today on motherhood.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Two Tip Tuesday Cinco de Mayo Style

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Hope you are having a great Tuesday. The weather is gray and rainy here, but so far we are having a great day.

I wanted to think of two tips to share with you that were Cinco de Mayo related and here they are:

1)If you plan on having a mojito for Cinco de Mayo and you've ever thought of growing your own mint to go in it, I wanted to offer some tips on growing mint. It is super easy to grow, but don't make the mistake I did and plant it in the ground. Grow it in pots. It is very invasive and can be a bit much to control once it takes off. Mint doesn't require a lot of work, just stick it the pot and keep it watered well during those hot summer months. It is great not only for mojitos, but for also adding a little zip to your ice tea.

2)If you are making guacamole for Cinco de Mayo and don't want it to turn brown, add a touch of lemon juice to it. I saw this tip on the Food Network a while back.

So, hope you are having a great Cinco de Mayo and enjoy these two tips for this Tuesday.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Hey everyone. It has been a super busy day, but I wanted to do a Fabulous Favorite Friday post. Today I wanted to share with y'all the orange juice we've been buying. It is a brand called Simply Orange. I think it is the freshest tasting orange juice, it tastes fresh squeezed. They just came out with a Pineapple Orange blend which is great. They also have lemonade and limeaide which hits the spot with summer coming up. Here is a link to their website so you can check it out.

Hope you are having a great Friday. Have a great weekend. Only one more week to count down until Mother's Day!

Coming Soon...

I will have my Fabulous Favorite Friday post up after lunch today. Hope you are having a great Friday!

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