Friday, May 28, 2010

Winners of Scrubbing Bubbles Coupons!

All winners have been e-mailed.  


Winners be sure to e-mail me back!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Buyer Beware

Last we our grocery store had strawberries on sale for 98 cents a pint.  I was about to pick up two when I read the sign and it said "Limit 1.  All other purchases 2/$3."   As I finished my shopping I kept looking at other shoppers to see that many had two pints of strawberries in their cart.  Yes, $1.50 each is a little cheaper than normal but I wonder how many people thought they were getting each for 98 cents.  Remember to read the limits on really good deals.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flour Recommendation -Gold Medal Better for Bread

I don't have a recipe to post this week, but I did want to share a new product that I tried.

I've been struggling with bread and roll recipes lately.  They seem to be too dense.  I concluded that it was the flour I was using.  So, I tried Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour and the results were outstanding.  They flour has more gluten making the bread and rolls better.  It's a little more expensive than regular flour, but not much.  And you can use it exclusively for bread and rolls while using your regular flour for all other uses.

Highly recommend!

**The views here are my opinion and I did not receive any compensation for them.  I just wanted to share my opinion**

Sticker Fun

I've posted in the past about how I believe that coloring sheets are useful for children.  I think the same about using stickers as "creative art."  Lately, to pass the time our daughter has been requesting stickers and paper to stick them on.  She will spend 20 minutes peeling the stickers off and creating stories about what she is sticking.  I have overheard her talking about the animal stickers and how they were going to the "Lamb Look Class."  I asked her what they do in the class and she told me they go swimming and go poopy (we are almost completely potty trained).  So, I argue that yes maybe she isn't creating something from scratch, but she is definitely using her imagination (and fine motor skills).

Cheap ways to get stickers

  • Dollar Store
  • Junk Mail 
  • Garage Sales (often people will sell partial sheets for next to nothing)
  • Dollar Spot at Target
  • Walmart
  • After the holidays (wait until they go 75% off and use for next year)
  • Teacher stores
  • Michaels (they have a lot of dollar bins)
  • Oriental Trading

Monday, May 24, 2010

A cleaning tip

Here's a tip I read a while back that can be really useful for cleaning.  I buy scrubbing pads at the Dollar Store and cut them in half. Often when I use my scrubbing pads for doing dishes with sticky food, such as cheese I end up having to toss after cleaning.   You can get 5 large pads for $1 at the dollar store. By cutting them in half, I actually get 10 scrubbing pads for $1.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Product Review and Coupon Giveaway-- Closed Winners E-Mailed

I am a Bzz Agent and recently was given a sample of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Power Sprayer to try.  I also was given some coupons to give away for five winners.

Here are some highlights of the Scrubbing Bubbles Power Sprayer

  • The spray trigger is battery operated and allows for one touch spray to be continuous.
  • The solution foams up and is easy to clean off with a cloth.
  • Great for the bathtub or sink.
  • Active cleaners work for up to four days
  • For additional information, go here
There will be five winners.  Each winner will receive these coupons:
  •  $5/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Power Sprayer, exp. 7-31-10
  •  $1/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Power Sprayer Refill, exp. 7-31-10

Simply leave a comment below or e-mail why you want to win.  The five winners will be chosen by on May 27 and will  e-mailed, so be sure to leave a way for me to contact you.  Good luck!

By the way, these sell for $7 to $9, but are going on sale in many stores.  Also, you can use it with the SC Johnson Mail-in-Rebate that is buy 3 SC Johnson products and get $5 back.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's cookin' - Balsamic Shrimp Spinach Salad

This was a super delicious salad.  Maybe it was extra good because I have been trouble eating salads since my daughter was born.  My oral allergy syndrome symptoms make it hard for me to eat raw fruits and vegetables without some discomfort.  I recently realized that raw spinach doesn't bother me that much, so I am eating salads with limited toppings again!

Balsamic Shrimp Spinach Salad
This is a small serving -- easily double or triple for larger serving.

2 cups spinach
1 cup cooled cooked shrimp, cut into small pieces
Grated Parmesan cheese, or crumbled feta cheese or both

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix salad ingredients together.
2. Mix all vinaigrette ingredients together. Whisk or shake in bottle.
3. Pour vinaigrette over salad.

Hint: Top with bacon or homemade croutons!

For more great recipes, go to the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Paint Like Van Gogh

Our daughter really enjoys watching Blue's Room.  It's a take off of Blue's Clues, but we like it a little better.  She loves learning from the show and they do things a little more in depth with purpose.  Our favorites right now are Little Blue Riding Hood and Masterpiece Museum.  After we watched Masterpiece Museum we painted like Van Gogh.  Pretty good for a 2 1/2-year-old!

Save those muffins or cookies

Here's a great tip to save muffins or cookies.  Use a 13x9 pan with a lid.  It works great to store and keep food items fresh.  

Friday, May 14, 2010

Garage Sale Find

Ahh, we have been hitting the city-wide garage sales like crazy.  I wanted to share with you my 50 cent find -- a clown costume.  A sure winner of fun for a couple years to come.  I always buy dress-up clothes a size or two too big so that our daughter can easily put it on and take it off.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's Cookin' - Homemade Croutons

I've been experimenting with salad that are safe for me to eat (I have allergies to raw fruits and vegetables). I have found spinach to be the best option for salads without too much discomfort.  I wanted to add something else to the salad without spending a lot of money.  I found this great homemade crouton recipe.

Homemade Croutons
5 slices of bread (you can use any kind or buns)
1/2 cup butter (I used dairy-free Earth's Balance)
1 clove minced garlic

1. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes or size you prefer. You can leave crust on or cut them off and do this.
2. Lay on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes just to get them hard.  You can use day old bread and skip this step.
3. Melt butter and garlic in skillet.
4. Toss bread cubes with butter.  Place back on cookie sheet.
5.  Bake for 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown and crispy.
6.  Stores well for one week in airtight container. Serve with salads.

For more great recipes, check out the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cooking with Kids

Quote of the Day:  I tried a new apple muffin recipe today and as I took them out of the oven I told my daughter that I didn't think turned out the way they were supposed to.  I said "They turned out like..."she finished my sentence by saying "Rice Krispies treats."  I guess to a 2-year-old if they didn't turn out right they would turn out to be something better.

Onto my post for the day.  So often I read or hear people say how they don't let their kids cook with them.  I think that's a shame.  It's such a fun activity and a great learning tool.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Having kids help will result in a messy kitchen, but don't you make a "mess" when you cook or bake.
  • It probably will take more time, but remember you are making memories with your children.
  • If you prep a few thing or line up ingredients it goes a little smoother.
  • Don't get upset if the cup of flour ends up on the floor -- be prepared that this will happen.
  • Have a plan before you start.
  • Smile and laugh together.
  • Take pictures.
  • Enjoy it together and share with others.  Kids love to take credit for their hard work.
  • Explain the importance of adult supervision for stove and oven cooking.
  • Role model proper cooking and baking techniques (ie no licking fingers while stirring batter or using sleeves as oven mitts).
  • Be sure to let children lick the spoon or bowl if no raw egg is used.
  • Be careful when cooking with raw meat and children.

What kid's learn:

  • Different measurements
  • How to work together
  • How to follow directions
  • To enjoy something they made
  • Different ingredients and how they work together
  • Nutrition information
  • How to clean up or do dishes (this is for older kids)

Fun Recipes

Less than 5 ingredients

More than 5 ingredients
See all my recipes here and here!

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's there to eat?

We are really working on freezing meals ahead of time and freezing extra meat for fried rice, casseroles or salads.  Sometimes we have so much we don't know what there is.  My husband will look franticly for something for a quick lunch, but doesn't have time to sift through the freezer.  We also have a tendency to have a serving or two in the refrigerator that doesn't get eaten.

So, I recently created a form to put on my fridge.  It lists what I have for leftovers in the fridge and what frozen meals I have in the freezer.  There also is a column for the date so that I can stay on top of cleaning out the fridge and plan meals from the freezer timely. I laminated the list it so it can be used and reused.  Simple put it on the refrigerator for all to see. Feel free to use it if you like!

Freezer/Fridge List -- print as webpage for larger size.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's Cookin' - Chicken and Biscuits

I adapted this recipe from my Chicken Pot Pie recipe.  It's an easy way to make the same base but serve it different ways.

Chicken and Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup milk

1. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and butter together until mixture resembles cornmeal.
2. Add milk to mixture.  Stir until just combined.
3. Kneed on floured countertop for 15 to 20 times.
4. Roll out or press down dough to one inch thick
5. Cut out circles with biscuit cutter or a glass.
6. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes.

Chicken Filling

1/2 pound chicken (I used leftover precooked chicken and add at end)
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup frozen corn
1 small potato, diced
1 celery stalk
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
14 oz can chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock)
2/3 cup milk

1. Boil vegetables (except onions) and chicken for 15 minutes. Drain.
2. In saucepan, melt butter and add onions until translucent.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder.
3. Slowly stir in milk and chicken broth.  Bring to boil, then simmer until sauce thickens.
4. Mix vegetables and chicken with sauce. Let cook on low for 10 minutes.
5. Pour over biscuits and serve!

Parenting techniques that are working for us

I haven't posted any parenting techniques or information lately.  So I thought I would share some techniques that are working for us.

Super Nanny Sleep Technique:  We struggled for weeks after "Elmo came and took the pacifiers for the new babies" to get our daughter to sleep at night.  Basically, it includes a lot of patience on the parent to keep putting the child back to bed without any conversation.  Also, the parent sits in the room with the child, while she falls asleep but does not look or talk at all. The Super Nanny Sleep technique worked really well for us, however it still took several weeks before it all clicked.

Poop Jail:  We are currently using this one to help our little one poop on the potty.  If there was a kid who is resistant, it's her.  Crying, screaming and downright afraid to poop on the potty.  We've spent hour sitting in there.  Last week I tried the Poop Jail, which was very similar to what I was doing.  It clearly states expectations of not you the parent but of the doctor.  For our active little girl it seems to work because we take her clothes off until she poops so she's can completely focus just on pooping.  Seems a little odd, but it's working for us.

Authoritative parenting;  This is used in both the Super Nanny Sleep Technique and Poop Jail.  Essentially, authoritative parenting is giving high demands of children and high response from the parents.

Love and Logic:  Love and Logic is about showing children that you understand their feelings.  It also explains how important it is to give choices that are favorable to both the parent and child.  Choices should not be threats or punishments.  Here are some free articles about Love and Logic.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, Benadryl Recall

There is a big recall on children's Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl.  See press release here.


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