Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Decorating

Wow has this month has flown by!  I have been busy for the last few weeks getting our home ready for Christmas. We go out pretty big on the decoration.  Even if you haven't had a chance to decorate, there is still time! 

I had an opportunity through Smiley360 to receive a gift card to do some shopping at Sears.  If you are still doing some last minute decorating and shopping, the The Sears Holiday Shop is your ticket.  I was able to go on their website and order a Gingerbread Man Nutcracker. I thought this guy would make a great addition to my nutcracker collection.  I started my collection 11 years ago. Nutcrackers are a nice, inexpensive item to start collecting so that in a few years you'll have a great display.

When I ordered my Gingerbread Man Nutcracker on the website, I found it to be an easy process.  Also, Sears is part of the ShopYourWayRewards program. That is a great program where you can earn points to use to get money off future purchases. I use this program through Sears, as well as Kmart.

So, here is a picture of our Gingerbread Man, which my boys flipped over.

Hope you and your family are having a blessed, holiday season!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Where in the World...

I'm happy to be back blogging today.  Since September, things have been crazy in so many ways. But the most life altering situation I've dealt with occurred in October when I found out that I have been diagnosed with food allergies.  I am allergic to peas (how random), wheat, and baker's yeast.  My symptoms have progressed so much that I now have to have an epi pen and Benadryl.  I'm scared to death to eat anywhere.  The wheat and peas have been the easiest to deal with, but the baker's yeast is so difficult.  I've been losing weight since I can't have any breads of any kind. There are pros and cons, believe it or not.

So, along with being busy as a room mother to my kids and just figuring out what in the world I can safely eat has been a challenge. But, I am hopeful that it will all come together soon.

Also, we are finally getting a new laptop. Yay!  So I hope that will allow me the chance to get back to blogging.  I have been decorating my house for Christmas and will start sharing pictures. 

So, that is where in the world I have been.   Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nursery Rhyme Character Costume

Happy Halloween everyone! I consider myself blessed that my area was spared during Hurricane Sandy.  We were on pins and needles, but had no storm damage. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the storm.

Today my son's kindergarten class had to dress up as a Nursery Rhyme character.  We chose the Baker's Man from Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake.  I found the chef's hat at Kmart and the apron at A.C. Moore.  He will be a Baker's Man by day and tonight he will be Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  My youngest son is going to be Lightning McQueen. 

My youngest son's birthday was Monday during Hurricane Sandy, but we decorated and made the best of it.  He was happy because I had mini cupcakes and of course the presents helped. 

Wishing you a safe and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bootiful Halloween Decorations

As you can see from today's post, I've been busy over the last few weeks.  I've had a number of different appointments, but I've also found time to decorate for Halloween. I wanted to share my decorations with you.  You can easily decorate for different holidays without breaking the bank.  Some of my decorations are new, while others I've had a few years.  I recommend starting out with a budget and adding to your display each year.  It is also nice to change things up from year to year.

It wouldn't be Halloween without my Peanuts gang Great Pumpkin wreath.  I got these supplies about 2 years ago at Michael's.

This is one of my new decorations. I bought 2 of these topiary holders to flank the front door.  The wrought iron looking holder is from Better Homes and Gardens.I found them in the garden section for $7.  I didn't want to put live plants in my pots, so I filled them with floral foam and put fake moss and pumpkins on top.  I have really enjoyed these and the little pumpkins show a nice pop of color from the street.

These scarecrow friends greet our guests. They are sitting in little adirondack chairs I bought for the boys years ago. My dad did some work on them and fixed them up, so I didn't want them out in the elements. So they are on the front porch and the boys loving seeing the scarecrows in them.

I got this wooden pumpkin at Ross last year and it rates up there as one of my favorite Halloween decorations. 

These cats are a purrrfect addition to our front foyer.  I got them in the Target dollar spot this year.  Can you see my Boston Terrier, Miss Zoe, peeking out?  She matches the decorations. LOL

We have a box to help boost up our Giant Great Pumpkin who glows in our front window.  We used a table cloth to cover the box.  And that cool Trick or Treater we got a number of years ago at Target.  The cat I snagged at Kroger after Halloween last year. 

I got these spiders at Dollar Tree last year and the spider web on sale after Halloween last year. My boys have loved having them in our kitchen.

Here is my kitchen bay window.   I got those pumpkins in the windows at Dollar Tree and the felt garland came from Target a year or two ago.  All of those little solar folks in the windows came from Dollar Tree.

These last two pictures are of my fireplace mantle.  I put all kinds of little nick nacks up. I especially love pumpkins and have picked some up at different places.  My husband thinks that the black cat that is the mascot for fireworks is hilarious, so over the last few years I've picked up some black cat decorations as I've seen them.  The sparkley cat in the second picture was in the Target dollar spot this year.

So there is a peak at my Halloween decorations.  Do you decorate for Halloween?  If so, do you have a theme? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktail Pouches

Recently I've had the opportunity through SheSpeaks to try some new frozen Wine Cocktail drinks by Arbor Mist.  I was very interested in trying these because last summer I tried some other frozen pouch drinks by a few other brands. 

These Arbor Mist frozen Wine Cocktail pouches are unique because they are wine cocktails.  All the other frozen pouch drinks I've tried have been margarita or pina colada flavored.  The Arbor Mist pouches come in Blackberry Merlot, Strawberry White Zinfandel, White Pear Pinot Grigio. 

The first pouch I tried was the White Pear Pinot Grigio. I have to admit I'm not a fan of pears, so I wasn't sure I would like this one. But I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked it. I found it to be a light, refreshing taste.  I would definitely try this one again.

The other flavor I tried was the Blackberry Merlot.  When I do have a glass of wine, if given a choice I usually go for red wines.  So I was interested to see how this would taste.  Red wine can have a full bodied taste and that definitely came through.  I found the taste of this one to be a bit heavier than the White Pear Pinot Grigio.  I think this flavor might be better with fall coming up and the cooler temperatures.

I'm such a strawberry fan, I can't wait to try the Strawberry White Zinfandel next.

Be sure to check out these pouches the next time you are in the store.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pirate Party

Arrg. Today is Talk like a Pirate day.  So what could be better than sharing ideas on how to throw a cool pirate party? 

Over the summer I decided I wanted to throw a pirate play date, so we picked a day after my son's birthday and invited our friends to come over.  We let the kids play in the back yard in the swimming pools and we had bubbles and our play set.  We were lucky that the weather cooperated and it was perfect weather to be outside.

Many of my pirate supplies came from Wal Mart, Target, and Oriental Trading Company, Dollar Tree, Party City, and Michaels. 

Here is a close up of the front door of the wreath I made.  I wish this picture showed up better, but I bought little pirate finger puppets from Oriental Trading and I wired them on to my wreath.  I got the fishing net from Dollar Tree and the ribbon for the bow is from Michaels.  They should still have the ribbon because I purchased it from the Halloween section.  I like that I can also use this wreath again with Halloween coming up.

Here is a treasure chest I got for the goody bags I we made up for our friends.  I had little bags with spy glasses, treasure maps, and other goodies.  I also got some bags of Pirate's Booty snack to give each of our little pirates.  I will say that I didn't have a very good experience with this inflatable treasure chest from Oriental Trading.  The top came with a small hole in it, so it didn't inflate well.  It did make a cute prop.

This pirate flag I got on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We needed a way for our pirate crew to find the house, right? LOL  My boys loved this flag and I have to admit it stayed up on the front of my house well into August.  They were disappointed to see me take it down.

Here is the table with some of the things set up.  I got my table cloth and plates from Wal Mart.

This pirate ship and the figures I purchased at Old Navy near their registers. It was a little kit that was $5.00.  I purchased the gold coins from Party City.
These are some pirate rubber duckies that Oriental Trading sells that I got to put in the kiddie pools.  They were so cute, but they didn't float correctly. It looked like these pirate ducks walked the plank.
One thing I didn't get to take a picture of was the fruit and veggie tray I made.  I got small swords for guests to use.  Mainly the adults used those since we didn't want the little ones playing with them.
I hope this gives you some ideas if you decide to do a pirate party one day.  I think I would like to do this theme again when my kids are already and we can do treasure maps with a scavenger hut. 
Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the ocean, matey! Arrrgggghhhh!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Girl Scout Samoa Substitute

I thought once my kids went back to school it was going to slow down a bit for me, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  So I am tickled pink to get a blog post in today.

Today I wanted to share about some cookies that I've recently discovered.  In the past I've blogged about the Girl Scout Samoa cookies.  I know they have different names of their cookies depending on which part of the country you live, so the Samoa ones are the cookies that have the coconut, caramel, and chocolate. I love that combination. 

I was in Wal Mart about two weeks ago and discovered Keebler sells a cookie just like these. I got a pack and I'm in love.  They taste a lot like the Girl Scout cookies.  So if you like this flavor, you might want to check them out. 

Hope you are having a great day in you neck of the woods!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to School

Oh summer and the month of August, where did you go?  The last few months have been very busy at my house. This week was an especially big week since my oldest went off to kindergarten.  My youngest started preschool and for the first time since I had my children, I have time without kids. I am excited that the new found time is going to allow me to get more blogging time on a regular basis.  And to also get my house cleaned. LOL

I have so many wonderful things I've wanted to blog about, but blogging has had to go on the back burner for me to take care of my family.  I hope to get some regular posting going starting next week. 

Here are my kids on their first day of school. 

He did such a great job of trying to hold still and say cheese.  LOL

Hope you are having a great September in your neck of the woods!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Here is how my pup likes to beat the heat.Zoe

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer white wine recommendation

My husband has been working on my lap top for weeks, so that has made it difficult to blog. I hope it will be ok. It is hard not having it. Today I wanted to share a wine that I discovered that I really like. It seems like most people I know are white wine drinkers. I usually prefer red, but I decided to try a moscato wine when my sister in law told me about a moscato she tried. So that is what I'm reviewing for you today. Last week I was in the wine aisle at Target and saw a moscato by The Naked Grape. I have to admit I am someone who likes funny names on nail polish and wine, so the name struck my funny bone and I purchased a bottle. I am now a moscato convert. The temperatures have been so horribly hot here. I found this wine to be light and refreshing. It is great cold. It has a slight sweetness to it which I enjoyed. And the bottle was priced under ten dollars. So it won't break the bank. Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods. The Naked Grape BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Today I'm thankful for power since we lost it over the weekend. Here is how I used 4th of July decorations to give us lights. I got the lanterns at Pier One last year after the 4th.

I'm praying for the folks who still don't have power.

Wishing you a happy and safe 4th!

BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer time fun

We have been busy, so today is a pool day. The kids are loving this pool we got on clearance at the end of the year last year. We are looking at triple digits here for the next few days. Stay cool and safe.Pool side BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fern Care

Summer is officially here and where I live that means ferns on your front porch.  I have to admit that I love having them hanging on my front porch.  To me ferns are welcoming, like little green smiles hanging up waving at you to come on up on the porch.  I know every time I go out or I pull up to my house, my ferns make me smile. 

I've had an opportunity to watch some FoodNetwork shows this week and I've caught a couple of Paula Deen's shows. If you watch her show, when she cooks in her kitchen in Savannah, Georgia she has a large brick fireplace that is right behind her.  And in the fireplace they've placed a large fern.  I love that look. It is amazing how a plant as simple as a fern came be such a decorative item.  That leafy, pop of green can add so much to a space. 

Today I want to share a tip about caring for ferns that has made things so much easier for me.  I bought my ferns last month and up until this week our temperatures have been a bit mild since the humidity has been down.  Now the humidity is up and the heat too.  Yesterday, some of the areas around me had a heat index of over 100 degrees.  When the weather gets that hot it can be hard to get motivated to water plants. Even at eight or nine or ten o'clock at night it can feel like a sauna outside. 

My mother in law shared that her brother shared a great watering tip with her for keeping his ferns lush and green even at the height of the heat and humidity we get here.  His tip is to take your fern and submerge it in a 5 gallon bucket.  Let the fern soak for a while and then take it up and hang it. This way the roots get a good drink.  The great thing about this is you don't have to lug a heavy hose and stand there and watch the water go through.  You also don't loose as much water this way.  The thing that has been great for me has been that I can put my ferns in the bucket and go off and get other projects done and then come back and switch them out. I'm all about multitasking, so this works great for me.  Some of the ferns I purchased were on sale and they were stressed from not being watered properly at the store.  They have really perked up since I've started the new watering process. 

Here is a picture of one of my ferns enjoying their morning drink.  My porch gets afternoon sun, so having the ferns soak either in the morning or after the sun goes down works best for me.

Do you enjoy ferns and have them at your house? If so, where do you have your ferns?

I hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mini Peach Cobblers

Hello middle of June. How did you get here so fast?  And I thought things would settle down once preschool ended, but little did I know that my son would come down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth over the weekend. So, I've had a cranky guy who is itchy.  But we are hanging in there.  My laptop has also been acting up, so that has limited my blogging.  It is good to be back blogging today.

Yesterday was an overcast day here and we were stuck in the house with my little guy being sick.  Fortunately, I had purchased some ingredients to make a recipe I found on Pinterest.  The recipe is for mini peach cobblers and they did not disappoint.  They are so easy to make.  If you have any fresh fruit right, I thin you could put in strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries and they would work great.  I love the fresh fruit and vegetable options that are available at this time of the year.

The pin I found on Pinterest led me to alli-n-son blog.  One of her guest bloggers, Melissa from Sugar Derby shared her take on mini peach cobblers.  I remember having cobblers when I was growing up, so I was excited to try this recipe.  It was so easy.  I did change the recipe and instead of just using cinnamon, I used Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend.  It really added a nice flavor to the cobbler.

I will warn you if you decide to make this, you can't eat just one. 

Here is a picture of my cobbler.  The dollop of vanilla ice cream is a must. 

Be sure to visit Alli's blog for the full recipe.  So, what recipes are you finding on Pinterest that you love?

I hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Marinated Cucumber Salad

Today I wanted to share a recipe that I made the other night that is a good one to put away if you are having lots of cucumbers this summer.  I know from growing up that once cucumbers take off, you can really get a lot of them coming in all at once.

I remember going to a food car when I used to work and they sell a fabulous marinated cucumber salad.  Remembering that great salad, I recently decided to try and find a similar recipe via the Internet.  I stumbled across this one from and thought I would give it a try.

The recipe doesn't specify the type of vinegar to use.  I had white vinegar on hand so I used that. I think you could use apple cider vinegar.  I may try this recipe using that kind next. I think the apple cider vinegar will give a bit sweet taste which I would like.

I did not add onion to my recipe. If you don't like onions you can omit them and the recipe will be fine. 

What I like about this recipe is it is an easy recipe to put together the night before a picnic and it doesn't call for any crazy ingredients.  You can make a big batch and it will go a long way. 

Since it can be a challenge to find cool foods to eat during the summer time, this is a great recipe. It would be so easy to put a freezer pack or bowl of ice under this during your festivities. 

So file this one away with the Fourth of July coming.  I can guarantee this recipe will add some fireworks to your festivities.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Marinated Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber
1/2 c. vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. water

Thinly slice your cucumber.  In a bowl add the 1/2 c. vinegar, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1/2 c. water.  Then pour the ingredients over the cucumbers.  This can be marinated as short as an hour, but is better if it is allowed to marinate a couple of hours or even over night.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hello June!

Well, I'm happy that it is June and I can stick a fork in May.  May was a stressful month for me.  I've had a lot going on with one of my kids and multiple doctor's appointments. So I was glad we took a great family vacation last week to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We all needed to destress.

This week I hope to share some posts about a few of the places my family likes to visit and eat at while we vacation in the Outer Banks.  Last year I shared a post about a place my family likes to eat called Spanky's Grille. This trip we went to Spanky's twice.  They have such great hamburger's that I had to get another one.  It is a very reasonable place. 

Since we went twice on our trip last week, I decided to branch out get ordered their roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy.  That plate was a great deal at only $4.99.  So I would continue to recommend Spanky's Grille if you are going to be visiting the Outer Banks any time this summer.  The food is great and they get your food out quickly.  Which for us is very important because my two boys are not patient waiting at a restaurant. 

I hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice

Every year I watch Celebrity Apprentice and this season was no exception.  I haven't had a lot of time to blog on it, but I wanted to comment on the finale.  This year it was nice to have two finalists who both seemed like great folks and had wonderful charities that they were supporting. 

As it came down to the wire, I was pulling for team Clay Aiken and his charity National Inclusion Project. It you aren't familiar with it, which I wasn't, it is a charity he started almost a decade ago after his experience with working with special needs children.  The charity works to help kids get to participate in programs in their community.  "Our mission: The National Inclusion Project serves to bridge the gap that exists between young people with disabilities and the world around them. We partner with communities and inclusive programs creating awareness about the possibilities that inclusion can bring."

I love the work this charity is doing. I have mentioned before on the blog that my oldest son was a 25 week preemie.  He has some issues as a result of his premature birth, and I have felt left out as a parent that he isn't always able to participate in the same activities as his peers.   So far he has been too young to realize this, but I know with him going to school next year, I am staring down the barrel at him becoming more aware of this.  And as a parent it hurts your heart. So the idea that there is a charity out there who can help make your child feel included and in a way that isn't awkward, or separated is a wonderful thing.

Of course back to the Celebrity Apprentice, Arsenio Hall's charity, The Magic Johnson Foundation has a great cause as well.  And I have to say he is such an interesting, likable character, I'm sure a lot of good will come to his charity as a result of his winning the Celebrity Apprentice title.

So those are my thoughts on the recent Celebrity Apprentice. How about you, have you been watching the show?  Which of the finalists did you want to win?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Love the moment in Virginia Beach!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, things have been a bit stressful around my house so naturally as I'm having a "Calgon take me away" moment, my mind turns to thinking about vacations past and future. 

So today I wanted to share with you some information about a great destination to consider for your next trip, whether it be a quick weekend get away, or a week long trip with your family or friends.  Virginia Beach is a wonderful travel destination to consider.  I've teamed up with SocialMoms and the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau to share my experience with vacationing in Virginia Beach.

I have to say I'm proud to live in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Living here we have access to so many historical and cultural attractions. It is so nice to have so many wonderful places to visit.  Virginia Beach is one you should definitely consider, especially if you are a beach lover. 

The last time I visited Virginia Beach, my husband and I went for a weekend get away.  It was so nice to get some rest and relaxation.  At the time we went, the North American Sandscuplting Championship was taking place.  As someone who likes to build sandcastles, I can tell you that this was an incredible site to behold.  Teams enter this competition and the sculptures they make out of sound are nothing less than pure genius.  I was amazed at the level of detail they were able to achieve out of sand.  And some of the tools they used were pretty incredible as well.  If given the opportunity, I would highly recommend checking out that event.  Of course that is just one of many activities and events going on in Virginia Beach.

During the summer, there are a myriad of things that you can do when you go on a trip to Virginia Beach.  One thing I found on the website is that you can take a culinary tour of Virginia Beach with Coastal Food Tours.  As an avid watcher of Top Chef and the Food Network, this sounded like a fun thing to do and right up my alley.  I can just imagine a girls weekend getaway eating my way through Virginia Beach.

Or, if your trip is going to be family based and your little one is into cooking, the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau website has information on getting your little one to attend a Young Chefs Academy where kids three and up can taste and create recipes.  What a great experience for them. Can you imagine the cute photo op for your trip scrapbook of your little chef making a new recipe?

A great way for the whole family to experience fun and learning together would be to visit the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.  Can you imagine the awe and wonder you'll experience as you learn about all those things you've been swimming with during your time at the beach?  And if your husband is like mine and swims out, it might make him think twice before he swims out too far. LOL

So, have you ever been to Virginia Beach and if so, what do you like to do when you visit and where do you like to eat? 

Be sure to "Like" the Virginia Beach Facebook page so you can be in the loop on all the great things going on at the Beach. 

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach blogging program. For more information on how you can participate click here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Strawberry Pie

Oh blogging, how I've missed you.  We've had a lot of stressful doctors appointments recently, so things have been a bit chaotic.  For those new to my blog, my five year old son was a 25 week preemie at birth. So as you can imagine, there are lots of things we deal with as a result of his prematurity.  I could write a book.  And may one day.  But in between all of that stuff, we had a chance to go and pick strawberries at the strawberry patch over the weekend. 

In years past, I've posted about making freezer jam with the strawberries we've picked at the patch.  This year I made a batch as well, but my favorite thing I made this year were 4 strawberry pies.  Two we ate, one we gave away, and one went to Bunco with me. 

I love having strawberry pie at this time of the year. Recently I shared a recipe and a story about my childhood neighbor and friend, Ann.  Well, when I was growing up my neighbor Ann would always make this pie for my mom's birthday.  We had a neighbor who live beside Ann who had a large garden.  He would always plant strawberries and plant them at the end of the garden closest to our house and Ann's house.  So we all could go and pick strawberries whenever we wanted.  It is one of my fondest childhood memories. 

So here is Ann's Strawberry Pie Recipe

Ann's Strawberry Pie


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tbsp cornstarch

Cook until it thickens and changes from white to translucent.  Remove from heat. Add a few drops of red food coloring (I omit this and it is fine).  Add 4 tbsp of strawberry jello.  Stir well.

Pour over strawberries in baked pie shell.

Chill in refrigerator before serving.

If you are wanting to make this recipe and use store bought, a pint of strawberries will easily fill one deep dish pie shell.  That is what I used. And I don't recommend over filling because when you pour the liquid in, it will overflow. I'd recommend having your baked pie shell on a small sheet pan in your refrigerator. 

Have you had strawberry pie before?  Do you like it?

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tilapia Fish Tacos

I don't know how we've gotten to Wednesday already.   I had intended on putting up this post last week, but obviously that didn't happen.  I'm not blogging as much as I'd like because I'm still going through sleep issues with my oldest son. We do know about melatonin and we are working with our pediatrician on the sleep issue.  Just thought I'd throw that out there because every time I've spoken to folks, they mention melatonin.  LOL  It is very slow going and needless to say I'm exhausted a lot because this has been going on for a long time.

But back to the fish tacos.  Last week I decided to try this recipe because my husband had been to a local Mexican restaurant and ordered fish tacos. He hasdecided he loves fish tacos and I need to learn how to make them.  Funny how I'm the one that is supposed to learn this dish. LOL

I found this recipes on All Recipes for Tilapia Fish Tacos.  I was a little hesitant with the recipe because the sauce for it calls for using chipotle chilis and I know they have a kick. But I forged on and made it.  I had to laugh because last week my husband started with a sinus infection and was all stopped up.  Well, when he took a tiny dip of this sauce his sinus cleared for a few minutes. LOL Yeah, this sauce has a kick. 

I have to admit we are both wimps and eat very mild food.  We were both saying how we loved the smoky flavor the chipotle chilies had, but the extra kick was a bit much for us.

The ingredients used to season the tilapia were fabulous.  They are ingredients that I have in my pantry and the cinnamon is a surprise ingredient that gives it a warm taste.  I didn't know how I was going to like having it in the recipe, but it was great.

One other thing I'll mention, I made this recipe a bit too early before my husband got home. It doesn't take long to pull together at all, so I'd recommend waiting until you are close to serving dinner to make it. My fish sat in the oil (which I think I used a tad too much because I eyeballed) and that took away from the meal. But not horribly.  We both liked it and I'll make it again. And that is saying a lot from me because I'm not a big fish person.  This recipe is a great one for going into the warm weather months where you want something kind of hearty, but not heavy.  It has a real fresh, crisp taste with the cilantro and other ingredients. 

Click here if you want to see this recipe.  Since AllRecipes has their stuff copyrighted, I wanted to be respectful and shoot you over to their blog to see the recipe.

This is my last post for this week.  I'll be back next week sharing some great details on a recent trip we took the kids on to visit Thomas the Tank Engine. 

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Clorox Lounge and the Last Comic Sitting

I have to admit that things have been a little tough around here lately.  I am in the midst of the terrible three's with my youngest.  Many days it is a battle of wills.  One minute I look down at that sweet cherubic face and the next minute something has set him off and he looks like Lou Ferrigno turning into the Incredible Hulk.

Like many moms, I sometimes need a time out from the craziness of the day and the only room in the house where I can get some peace is to duck into the bathroom.  So when I was approached by SocialMoms to blog about Clorox's new Clorox Lounge and their Last Comic Sitting contest, I knew this was right up my alley.

I first went and checked out this website a few weeks ago, and I've already participated in their contest to pick the Last Comic Sitting.  I've really enjoyed their website, so here is the scoop so you can check it out too.  The Clorox Family of Toilet products on-going Ode to the Commode campaign is a community hub designed to be a mom's gotta go place for comedy.  Hosted by comedian Sherri Shepherd, the site found at The Clorox Lounge features hilarious anecdotes, fun contests, exciting give aways, coupons, and just the right amount of comic relief.  And who doesn't need some comic relief during the day?

Over the course of the last few weeks, some of the funniest mom and dad comics have been going head to head in a stand up throw down for the chance to sit on the throne and be crowned the Last Comic Sitting.  Each week they face a new challenge and based on consumer voting one will be eliminated.  The grand prize winner will receive $10,000. 

You have the opportunity to win $10,000 in the last Comic Standing sweepstakes.  Simply visit The Clorox Lounge to sign up and be automatically entered for a chance to win the top prize.  You can generate up to two additional entries each day, per day, by logging in and commenting until April 22, 2012.  Fans can also enter for a chance to win cool prize packs. Ten will be given each week until April 22, 2012.  I don't know about you, but I sure could use an extra $10,000.

To keep in touch with all the happenings be sure to "Like" the Ode to the Commode on Facebook. I love getting reminders in my NewsFeed.  And you can follow @Clorox on Twitter. 

Hearing some of the funny anecdotes from The Clorox Lounge website reminds me of a time when my youngest son was about nine months old and I decided to save a few bucks and buy a cheaper brand of diapers than I had normally been buying.  I was shopping at Stein Mart with my mom when all of a sudden, I knew my little guy had taken care of his business and it wasn't going to be pretty.  I pushed the stroller as fast as I could to the back of the store to the bathroom.  I got in there and it was awful. Not only had the cheapo diapers failed me, but they failed me in a big way so it was all over his outfit and the stroller.  My mom came in and I had to strip him down and try to get him cleaned up.  I was making wash clothes out of  paper towels.  And of course there was only a t-shirt in the diaper bag and not a whole outfit.  It was such a mess.  I had a Scarlett O'Hara moment and said, "As God as my witness, we will always have portable soap wipes, a clean outfit and at least 5 clean diapers at one time in the diaper bag." And needless to say I went back to using the diapers I had been using.  I plan on bringing this story up when he becomes a sassy teenager and starts dating. LOL

So have you checked out The Clorox Lounge?  How do you escape the craziness of your day?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox® blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic click here.

I hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!  Later this week I'll be sharing a fish taco recipe I just tried. So swim on back to check it out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ann's Coconut Pie

We've had some great weather here and it is almost as though we've skipped spring and jumped right into summer. The boys aren't complaining since I've been able to get out the water table and they get to have ice cream sandwiches outside as an occasional treat.

And speaking of treats, today I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes that is near and dear to my heart.  This recipe is from a wonderful lady who was like a grandmother to me.  Her name was Ann and she was the neighbor who lived behind us when I was growing up.

I had the unusual and wonderful experience of living in the same house my whole life until I grew up and moved out on my own.  And up until about five years ago, my parents were still in the same house.  And up until that time, Ann lived in the house behind until she had some health issues and had to move in with a lady who cared for her.

Ann was a gem and there will never be another person like her.  She was married and her husband passed away when I was about five.  I vaguely remember him.  I loved them both and they were good people.  They never had any children, but Ann was close to us and she had nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews she was close to as well. 

Ann was a wonderful cook and I was so blessed to be in her kitchen and watch her cook.  She loved trying out recipes and was kind and would share her creations with us a lot.  It always smelled good in her kitchen.

Yesterday I made Ann's coconut pie recipe.  My in laws like when I make it, so I shared one of the pies with them.  And we kept one which you see pictured below.  I got a little teary in the car on the way to my in laws thinking about Ann and how much I miss her.  Through her kind actions she touched a lot of people in such a positive way and she was always well thought of in the community.  So I hope you'll give Ann's coconut pie recipe a try.  And if you are like Ann, you'll share one of your pies with someone else. 

Ann's Coconut Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 unbaked pie shells (I find deep dish to work the best)
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons flour
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 small can or bag (7 oz.) coconut (I usually use a whole bag of coconut, sometimes a big bag)  You will need more than 3 1/2 oz to make it thick.

Mix flour and sugar. Stir in margarine. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, and coconut.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until brown.  The center should be set and not jiggle.  (I find I have to bake mine a little longer to get it to set).


Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tropicana Pure Premium Sweepstakes

Happy Thursday everyone!  The weekend is almost finally here. I have to admit that Sunday mornings are one of my favorites because our family gets a chance to all sit down together to eat breakfast.  I usually cook up a big breakfast.  I wanted to blog about how my family brings the farm to the table because I was approached by SocialMoms and Tropicana Pure Premium 100% Florida Orange Juice to participate in their program to tell folks about Tropicana’s fabulous orange juice and their current sweepstakes.   Our family loves and drinks Tropicana orange juice.   I was excited to blog about this and to learn even more about a product we use here in our home.

First, let me share the exciting details about Tropicana Pure Premium’s sweepstakes.  You can enter the sweepstakes via the Tropicana Facebook page  for a chance to win 100 Florida prizes, including one-year-supplies of Tropicana (in the form of twelve 59 oz Tropicana Pure Premium containers) and a trip to Florida to visit an orange grove.  Ninety-nine winners will get a one-year supply of orange juice in the form of twelve coupons for (12) 59 oz Tropicana Pure Premium® containers. One winner will get a trip to a Florida orange grove and invite three (3) guests for: Round-trip airfare for four (4) to Florida, three (3) night stay at a Florida hotel.The winner will have an exclusive experience at a Florida orange grove. For official rules and regulations, visit the “sweeps” tab on Tropicana’s Facebook page at  I think these sound like awesome prizes and I’ve already entered myself. I can’t imagine how beautiful it must be to walk through a grove of oranges.  Check out this picture of one of the groves.

After hearing that you could win a trip to visit an orange grove, I found these facts to be very interesting.  Doesn’t this make you want to go visit the groves?  I know I’m ready to pack my bags and go!
·         Oranges have been grown in Florida since the 1560s, approximately 147 years before any other U.S. state.

·         Tropicana’s roots in Florida go back a long way. Some of its current grower relationships date to the 1960s.

·         The two major orange types in Tropicana Pure Premium are Valencia and Hamlin. Valencias typically have more intense color and flavor, while Hamlins can be sweeter. They each add unique characteristics to the TPP blend.

·         The different micro climates and soil types mean that fruit reaches peak maturity at different times, allowing Tropicana to harvest ripe fruit throughout the entire growing season.

And just think, someone is going to get lucky and win a trip to see all of that in person!  I imagine the smell in the groves must be heavenly!
As I mentioned in my post earlier, Sunday morning is my favorite morning to cook breakfast for my family.  We are all together and we don’t have to rush out the door early to go in opposite directions.  I usually cook a big country type breakfast. It is my way of bringing the farm to the table.  Of course we have Tropicana orange juice to drink.  The kids and my husband love when I make chocolate chip pancakes.  I personally love to make sausage and bacon because it tastes wonderful.  The smell of them cooking fills the house.  Sometimes I mix it up and I’ll make grits and sausage casserole, or other tasty dishes that I’ve previously shared on the blog.  This has become a family tradition that we all like and I’m hoping it will be a great memory for my boys as they grow up. 
Don't forget to go and enter Tropicana's sweepstakes via their Facebook page and be sure to “Like” their page.  

 And if you win the big trip to Florida or any of the other great prizes, be sure to let me know.
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tropicana blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic click here."

Spring Break and Post Easter

How did it get to be Thursday of this week already?  I don't know where the week has gone.  We went out of town for two days to visit my sister and we've been on the go, go, go. 

I cooked a big dinner for Easter which everyone said turned out great. I don't think I've ever cooked so many items that needed to be cooked in the oven.  So rotating the food was a challenge.  But it all turned out great and we enjoyed the left overs.  I have to say I love having left over holiday food.  And this holiday convinced me that I'm now adding spiral hams to our holiday gatherings.  I had both a turkey breast and ham, plus a number of sides.

So I'm playing catch up today at home.  How are things going for you this week?  Are you doing anything exciting this week?  So many folks are on Spring Break. I love hearing about their adventures!

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Egg Decorating

So we are in full swing here waiting for Easter.  This is the first year that we've had a chance to color Easter eggs where I knew the boys would be old enough to listen and I wouldn't end up with colors spilling all over the place.

After Easter last year, I found a great egg decorating kit at Walgreens that is an egg spinner.  I knew this would be perfect for us to use.  So we got it out of our Easter box and yesterday afternoon the boys and I took it out for a spin.  This was so easy to use.  You put a hard boiled egg in the machine, pour the color in, shut the top and then let the kids spin.  Color eggs on the egg so easy.  The kit came with a plastic bag that has a bunny on it. They called the bag a puppet. You use the puppet to take the colored egg out of the spinner.  I then put the eggs on a piece of newspaper to dry.  It was the easiest way I've ever colored eggs with the least amount of mess. The color easily washed out of the spinner.  I washed between colors.  But you could throw caution to the wind and see what happens with mixing colors. I think that would have been pretty too.

We also used stickers to decorate some of the eggs. My oldest son, Sawyer, decorated his eggs with Angry Birds stickers. Does anyone else see the irony in this? LOL  And my youngest is a huge Lightning McQueen fan and so he put those on his eggs.

Here are some pictures of our egg decorating adventures.

I found out that my Pampered Chef cooking rack when flipped over and covered with newspaper makes a great "holder" for keeping eggs from rolling off the table.

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

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