Monday, October 26, 2009

Thrifty and Chic Giveaways This Week

This week Thrifty and Chic mommy is giving away Michael Buble's Crazy Love CD. Love Michael Buble! Perfect for cleaning and getting in a good mood!

She is also giving away some beautiful Pearls from Pearl Distributor!

Muffin Tin Monday

I've seen this on a few blogs and decided I would join in. I am so glad I did - because my two year old Mini Diva LOVED it! She ate much more for her snack than she typically does and we had lots of fun doing it. I think we will keep it up!

This week's theme was Fall/Halloween and I found this darling monster over at Picky Palate that i wanted to try for our first Muffin Tin Monday. Mini Diva ate the monster almost as quickly as we made him so here is the picture from Picky Palate:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thrifty and Chic Giveaways

These are fantastic giveaways by Thrifty and Chic Mom!

I am definitely in need of the chic nursing blouses from A Mother's Boutique. They have a large selection of nursing friendly garments. Looks great for the holidays, too. You can enter to win a top here

Thrifty and Chic is also giving away a Halo Sleep Swaddler. We have one for our son and we love it! Let me tell you, it has made all the difference in his sleep habits. Because the swaddler has velcro - it is much harder for him to get out of it. It keeps him warm and secure all night long. Plus I have the peace of mind knowing that he his safe and I don't have to worry about blankets getting stuck over his little face.

You can enter the giveaway here:

Menu Plan Monday

Birthday Dinner at California Pizza Kitchen

French Toast and Pears
Dinner at the Zoo

Sunshine Toast and Peaches
Black Bean Burritos
Birthday Dinner for Johnny

Oatmeal and Pears
Lunch in Park City
Sweet Pork Salad with Cilantro Dressing

x Black Bean Soup and Cheesy Bread
x Birthday Cakes and Olives



Banana Bread

Chicken Tetrazzini (make enough to freeze)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Aveeno Giveway!

I am always on the look out for the latest in hair care! I recently was given the opportunity to try shampoo and conditioner from the AVEENO® NOURISH + Hair Care Collection via Bzzagent. I tried out the Nourish + Volumize. I have used the Aveeno brand in the past and have loved the results. After only a few days use, my hair has felt soft and definitely has more volume.

I am giving my readers the chance to win a miniature bottle of the shampoo and conditioner!

Here's how you can win. Post a different comment for each entry.

1. Leave a comment with your name and favorite hair care tip.
2. Visit and tell me what your favorite product is.
3. Follow my blog

Here is more information about the fantastic product!

Now you can banish bad hair days for good with the AVEENO® NOURISH + Hair Care Collection. No matter your hair type, AVEENO® NOURISH + has a product for you. These products work to help repair strands and nourish hair back to life in just three washes.

What makes the NOURISH + products different is their ability to help restore the healthy look of the hair? Using the AVEENO® ACTIVE NATURALS® technology, the AVEENO® Brand has captured the natural benefits of wheat protein. The result is a cutting edge Nourishing Wheat Complex Formula that targets damaged areas of the hair shaft, leaving hair restored and revitalized. These formulas with wheat germ oil and wheat protein have the power to help hair resist future damage.

And because NOURISH + is from the AVEENO® Brand, you can trust the science behind the line. AVEENO® is a pioneer in the study of natural ingredients, always standing by the belief that botanicals have the power to soothe and heal. For over 60 years, the AVEENO® Brand has been blending the best of science and nature to create skincare products that dermatologists trust. With the NOURISH + hair care line, they followed their time-tested method of developing products that really work, relying on a team of experts that included a leading hair stylist and dermatologist.

You are just about ready to hop into the shower right now and start washing your way to healthier looking hair. We've lined up some general information on each NOURISH + Shampoo and Conditioner along with some haircare tips from a celebrity stylist, so keep reading. With AVEENO® NOURISH +, you'll be on your way to happy hair days in no time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I am huge into contests! Occasionally I win something fun :). Here are the contests I entering this week:

I have always loved Vinyl! Slave to save is having a giveaway featuring Studio JK Vinyl. Isn't it darling?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

This week I am using up leftover vegetables from last week. I am happy to say that I can make everything on my list without going to the store :). The breakfast menu is a bit repetitive, so I may pick up something from the store on Thursday to get us out of the muffin rut.

Oatmeal Muffins and Fruit
Toast and Fruit
Oatmeal and Fruit
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Bread Machine Cinnamon Buns


Mozzarella and Tomato

Thinly slice two large beefsteak tomatoes. Layer the slices with 4 ounces thinly sliced part-skim mozzarella and 12 basil leaves. Sprinkle the stacks with 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
POINTS value: 4

Black Bean Burgers and Salad
Cream of Celery Soup and Cheesy Breadsticks (Tuesday)
Soy Sauce Chicken and Vegetables in the Crock Pot
Chicken with Broccoli and Garlic Sauce
Sloppy Joes with Homemade Buns
Dinner at show for date night :)

Tot Week 3

This week's Tot School was pretty simple as we adjusted to Savvy Dude's new work schedule and his having Jury Duty. This next week we should be back to normal!

Mini Diva (and ME!) loves Melissa & Doug's word puzzles. The box says it is for 3+, but she does very well with it. She picks out most of the letters on her own. It is a fantastic way to introduce spelling words.

I decided to get Connect 4 back down for some play time. Mini Diva likes to put the pieces in the slots. She counts them and tells me what color they are. She does great with numbers (can count almost up to 20), but is still working on colors.

A life skill she did good on this week was sharing! She loves giving mini-dude stuffed animals.

For a field trip we visited a local corn maze and children's activity place. Lily is pretty interested in different sizes and relationships right now. She told me that this pumpkin was the little baby one.

The place had a Princess Pumpkin patch to play in. Mini Diva loved her dress (even though with her bear on her back she looked a little like a hunchback).

A night with cousins and aunts is always fun!

This is Mini Diva and her Aunt looking at the moon. Mini Diva has always been very interested in the moon. I think I'll have to do a unit on it soon. Any ideas?

Her favorite part hands down was the jumping area! She jumped for about half an hour.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

Our first year of gardening was a semi-success. Semi-success=at least some produce! I've never gardened before so it was an adventure. Our tomato plants thrived and did awesome! We did get a few small onions. Unfortunately, my niece was helping with weeding and pulled most of our carrots when they were just little and coming up from seed. Next year I think I am going to do all starts.

So now we have massive amounts of tomatoes! What to do? We've been enjoying salads and tomato sandwiches. Today I decided to make some spaghetti sauce that I can freeze and use later. Next week I think I'll can my own salsa.

I used this recipe from My Food Storage Deals. It was super easy and it is VERY GOOD! I halved the recipe because I am saving the rest of my tomatoes for the salsa. Still I got about 9 quarts!

Here is the recipe:

Marinara Red Sauce (great for freezing!)
Makes 18 qts. (can 1/2 recipe for a smaller batch)
4 lb. ground Italian sausage (spicy is optional)
1 8 oz. pkg. mushrooms, sliced
3 large fresh garlic cloves
1/3 c. salt (or more depending on taste)
1 T. pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional—to taste)
1 1/2 lb. mini carrots finely blended/diced
1 bunch celery finely blended/diced
3 medium white onions/diced
Other vegetables-optional (zucchini, peppers, etc.) (I did zucchini and peppers)
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 T. basil (Add at the end of the cooking process to retain it's flavor)
2 T. sugar
30 cans of stewed tomatoes (15oz.), with juices (whole) or frozen/fresh tomatoes from your garden-if they are fresh, add a little more sugar and salt to balance the acidic flavor. If you use only fresh tomatoes you will need anywhere from 40-50 tomatoes (depending on their size).
4 cans tomato paste for thickening

Use food processor to dice carrots, onions and celery (and any other vegetables) into small chunks. Sauté all above ingredients (carrots, onions, celery, sausage, mushrooms & spices) in large saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add tomatoes including juice from can. For a smooth red sauce, puree all tomatoes and ingredients together in blender (or use blender/wand-- they work great!). Or, for meatier sauce, puree tomatoes only, and leave other ingredients in chunks. Allow sauce to simmer 2-5 hours on low with out the lid, sauce should reduce about one third. Add basil right before serving. Taste to make sure sauce does not need any more salt, sugar or seasoning. Simmer on stove or in roaster pan until thick. Let sauce cool and then freeze sauce in Tupperware’s or freezer bags for later meals.