Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wal-Mart, gift cards, and a Christmas DInner for $20!!!

Ah, Wal Mart, how do I adore thee?? Let me count the ways. Not only do you allow me to shop for school craft supplies, a car stereo for Sassy for Christmas, a curling iron for Bitchy and that game for the Playstation for Golden Boy, I can also stock up on my HUGE supply of Ramen Noodles!!!

And NOW, did you know that Walmart can help you with a Christmas Dinner for Eight for as low as $20 and the New Year’s Eve meal for 10 under $40 as well as the ways you are saving time and money during holiday planning? Have you seen the commercials on TV???? They want to know what some of your best tips and tricks are? Do you have any favorite holiday meal memories or a special dish that you prepare every year? If you go to this website, and come back and leave a comment, I will enter you to win one of two $30.00 gift cards.

I will draw a lucky winner Monday using nothing but a stick with a piece of tape on the end, and will ship the card in the mail THAT DAY! It should get to you before Christmas, so you can finish any last minute shopping.

You can enter as many times as you want, and will receive extra credit if you twitter or mention this on your blog. Also, if you do 20 jumping jacks and 15 boy pushups, I'll double your entries. (not really.)

(Also, please let me know if you are really in need. )

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Walmart. In addition, I received a Walmart gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate and two to offer as a giveaway.”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Is Something All Parents Need to Know About...

Do you remember when your child rode a two-wheeler for the first time? I do. I put my little Bitchy on the bike, pushed her and watched her go. Something in my heart gave a little lurch, and I wanted to just run with her and protect from and falls that might occur. Well, I couldn’t, and what tremendous falls she had!

I remember one nasty fall in particular that occurred after she went flying down the hill on the bikepath behind our house. I heard a crash and her screams and flew down that hill like I’ve NEVER flown before, in bare feet no less!

Now that she’s driving, however, my fears are ones that only a parent with a teen driver can understand. It’s a fear that grips your heart with an icy hold and doesn’t let go. It knows that your little girl out there driving with a weapon under her control that could not only kill herself, but others as well. This fear knows that her many friends and classmates, as inexperienced as she, are out there driving, too.

I know, I know, we all went through it. I remember those years of being invincible. Do you? We were to young, at 16, to really understand the consequences of the quick turn of the head, of grabbing for an eight track tape on the floor, or of a moment of being caught unawares.

These days, the people at AllState are doing their very best to help spread the words about measures that teens, and all people, frankly, can take to ensure safety while on the road. Cell phones have become a teen’s right hand- and we know that there is nothing that anyone of us can do about it.

However, as parents we are bound to educate our children who drive about the deadly consequences if they choose to use their phones while driving.

Many of us are hoping to get the word out about the dangers of texting while driving and The Allstate Foundation’s “X the TXT: Thumbs Up for the Safest Holiday Ever” campaign. Studies have shown that teens are particularly susceptible to dangerous distractions while driving, especially from the use of their cell phones. But parents have a tremendous ability to influence the driving habits of their teens, making it all the more important to sit down early on with them to discuss safe driving behavior.
Please join me, and many others, by visiting the “X the TXT” website so that you can learn about the 30-city tour and download the family pledge. I've signed it! I hope you all do as well.

As many of you know, my dear sister and her husband lost their young driver at 16. We grieve for him every day, and pray that others do not have to go through this same devastation. We are committed to helping others in any way, to be safe while on the road.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of The Allstate Foundation. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, and don't tell them, I would have done this for free. THAT'S how important it is to me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Self Esteem, Dove and Sassy. I'm all over it.

Some bloggers can identify with advertising campaigns for various reasons. I was VERY excited when I was notified that BlogHer was allowing me to participate in the Dove Self-Esteem program for one important reason: Sassy.

Self-esteem in young women is an important topic for me, as I am not only a mother of two teenage girls, but also a teacher. I teach this ALL THE TIME in school, and as educators we all realize how very important self-esteem is to a young person. As a mother, it really hits close to home. My 17-year-old daughter (Sassy) was a chubby, awkward girl until she turned 16, and has since turned into a gorgeous swan. However, when she looks in the mirror she still sees the little fat girl. We work on this issue every day.

As a family, we have spent a great amount of time talking about what being a “healthy young woman” looks like. We spend time together participating in outdoor activities, and invite her friends and their families to join us as well. We subscribe to magazines that promote health and wellness, and often talk about issues relating to this in the car or at the dinner table.
Additionally, I spoke to our school counselor about strategies to help Sassy overcome this distorted image of herself. (I want to stress the fact that your school counselor has a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips on so many issues that young people face. If you are unsure about where to go for advice, they are a valuable tool.) Not only did she recommend some great reading material and speaking points, she also was able to connect us with some young people from the nearby university who were working on this particular topic! It was Serendipity at its best. And now, Sassy knows how beautiful she really is. Inside AND out.

I am encouraged by the fact that Dove is committed to a self-esteem project for young women!

The Dove Self-Esteem fund is committed to helping girls build positive self-esteem and a healthy body image, with a goal of reaching 5 million girls globally by 2010.

Every time you buy Dove, you help us provide self-esteem building workshops. As part of this specific program, we are asking consumers to enter their UPC code on to donate $1 to self-esteem programming through our partners – Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Girls Inc.

Dove is also collecting video and photo testimonials from women who have helped build positive self-esteem in a girl in their life.

People, there are so many ways that you can help with this mission – and you can find them at .

Do you have suggestions, recommendations, and personal experiences on how YOU have helped a young person develop good self-esteem? We would love to hear your stories so that we can share with all of our bloggy friends!

Please, visit here to find out more, and for chances to help and win from Dove!

Friday, September 11, 2009

MSN Homepage: Another Great Resource For Parents!!!

I was so excited when Mom Central notified me that I would be participating in the Frosted Mini-Wheats blog tour that would be showcasing a cool new website called MSN Mom's Homeroom.

I was excited initially because Frosted Mini Wheats have been a staple in our house for years and years and years. Tightwad would eat them for breakfast daily, and Sassy would often join him. After The Golden Boy came along - he eventually joined them in their adoration of the whole mini wheat family. (We never discriminated - they loved ALL the flavors!!)

As a teacher I was doubly excited about getting a chance to visit and blog about the cool website for parents!

The site provides and AMAZING wealth of information. They have articles written by moms and other "experts" (although we KNOW that we moms are the real "experts"); an online community to tap into; videos and plenty of tools to help your child succeed in school. Fortunately for ME, the site is very easy to navigate.

As a mom AND a teacher, a I know how important it is to use as many resources to help our children succeed. Check it out - then let me know what you think.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Step away from the chips...


Why is it, that everytime I TRY to sneak a chip, Bitchy catches me????

"B., I am JUST having ONE."

"Mom. You've been doing this whole Crystal Light thing this week, and you are doing SO well. Do NOT mess up by eating those chips."

Honestly, sometimes I wish she could just be a engineering major, or an education major, or a math major, or ANYTHING other than a NUTRITION major at Oregon State University.

"Mom, we are putting those chips down, and going to a bike ride. Right now. COME ON!!!"

And off we went.......

God Bless Her. I think she might want her mom to hang around a while.

Oh, and Crystal Light? Please send me some MORE PACKETS!! My girls are stealing all of mine, and we love them!

Psssst. Win $1,000.00 OVER HERE!!!

Even Sassy likes Wendy's...

When I announced to Bitchy and Sassy that we would be trying some food from Wendy's, they were SHOCKED!!

They knew I was on a health kick, and couldn't believe I would be going to Wendy's for healthy food! I love to shock them.....

However, when I was told by the good people at Wendy's that they had new boneless chicken wings, made with 100% whole chicken breast, and were hand tossed in one of three sophisticated flavors: Bold Buffalo, Honey BBQ, and Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken - I KNEW I had to try it!!

They really do have the delicious taste of boneless wings you might get in a sit-down restaurant, and, paired with a side salad, it's a great fast food alternative for us Moms! Better yet - the wings remind me of that commercial where the kids scream out: “Mikey likes it!” – a delicious protein alternative for those kids who would rather live on French fries.

Now that school is starting, as well as football and field hockey, I know that this is the place you will find us at LEAST three nights out of the week!

Thanks, Wendy's!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Water really IS good for me

Today I was using the Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea. It is a drink mix- and you mix a pitcher of it and then it's available ALL DAY LONG!!!

It's very refreshing, and I am loving it!!!

I've decided that the widget helping me track my progress ROCKS and I can't believe it took me two days to figure it out.

yeah. I'm a bit slow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!!

Let it NOT be said that I can't learn!! Bitchy has been helping me with this challenge, and said "WHy aren't you tracking your water over on the Widget???"

Um. Well.

"Yeah, mom. The WIDGET. Did you read your own directions? Cheeze-us, do I have to do EVERYTHING for you???"

So there you have it. Today's lesson? Read ALL the directions, and take other people's advice. Sometimes they are right.

(I am LOVING the Natural Lemonade mix. )

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Excuse me, where's the bathroom?

Day two of the Crystal Light water Challenge! This is what I've learned.

1. Try to drink as much water before lunch as possible. I am not as thirsty in the afternoon, and it's a little harder to get it all in.

2. I LOVE the Skin Essentials Pomegranate Lemonade - it's my favorite so far! It's a on the go packet that you put right in the bottle.

3. Make SURE you are in close proximity to bathrooms during the day. and night.

4. I have NOT been as hungry as usual. This has to be a good sign.

5. I mark on the wipe off calendar on the fridge each time I drink a bottle of water.

6. I am more apt to follow the rules when PEOPLE ARE WATCHING.

Now wish me luck again....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Crystal Light Challege!

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Crystal Light Water Way Challenge...

As many of you might know, I have been struggling to lose these, um, ten.....twenty....okay, maybe 25 pounds for at least a year now. I have talked about it, stressed about it, cried about it and have finally decided to DO something about it. (A good friend of mine from high school just lost 106 pounds since last August. Her first piece of advice??? Drink a TON of water.)

My darling daughter Bitchy (the chemistry/nutrition major) has insisted that I not only begin a more rigorous workout routine, but that I incorporate drinking as much water as I can during the day. She has been doing this for several years now (She and all of her 105 pounds) and has been a loyal Crystal Light drinker. She has packets of every flavor strewn across her dresser!

When I was offered a chance to participate in the Crystal Light Water Challenge, I jumped for joy! Bitchy was ecstatic, and frankly I've had to hide MY packets from HER. (They are for ME to try, for ME to use, and for ME to write about. )

The fun part of this challenge for me, is that it gives me another way to connect with my health conscience daughter, and moms- we ALL know that the more things we are able to talk about, the better.

So, I am committed to drinking at least eight, eight ounce bottles a day, using the various flavor packets provided to me by Crystal Light. I am going to weigh myself each morning (That might be the screaming that you hear) and I am going to increase my exercise by at least five minutes each day. (Baby steps people, baby steps.)

Being a woman approaching fifty (I can't believe I said that!) I know how much harder it is to lose weight and remain healthy. I love the fact that the Crystal Light people are going to support us in this quest.

I am going to post about my progress, the conversations I have with Bitchy,and let you all know what flavors I love the best. What can you do???

1. We would love for you to join this challenge! If you haven't already done so, go to BlogHer and create a profile.

2. Then, join the Crystal Light Water Way Challenge Group at BlogHer. They are also hosting a sweepstakes for $1,000 in the Water Way Challenge group!! Who can't use One Thousand Bucks????

3. Come back if you can, and keep me posted on your progress, as I keep you posted on mine! Any additional helpful hints would be appreciated!!

3. You can take a Water Assessment, and get your OWN widget at this link!

4. Here is the link to the official Crystal Light official site">Crystal Light Site - go on over and visit!!!

5. I would LOVE some advice, comments and suggestions from all of you! How do YOU use water, and Crystal Light to help in your quest to be healthy??

(People...YOU could win $1,000 from Crystal Light!!! Go over!!!)

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Does PeterPan eat at Wendy's??

On many summer nights where we’ve lingered longer than anticipated at the pool or soccer fields, fast food offers up a treat in which my kids delight. And I have to admit that breaks from cooking (and especially cleaning up) deeply appeal to me and my husband! For these quick-stop meals, Wendy’s has come up with a summer alternative to the usual burger fare, adding restaurant-style boneless chicken wings to their summer menu, along with hearty salads and chicken sandwiches.

Wendy’s new boneless chicken wings, made with 100% whole chicken breast, get hand tossed in one of three sophisticated flavors: Bold Buffalo, Honey BBQ, and Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken. They have the delicious taste of boneless wings you get in a sit-down restaurant, and, paired with a side salad, offer a great fast food alternative for us Moms! Better yet - the wings remind me of that commercial where the kids scream out: “Mikey likes it!” – a delicious protein alternative for those kids who would rather live on French fries.

Do you enjoy Wendy's? What do YOU order there that helps with your hectic life? If you want to win a Wendy's girft card, leave a comment below!!!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog and giveaway campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Wendy’s and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sassy and the Stuffing...

Sassy has been on a mission to cook meals with Stove Top Stuffing for under TEN dollars! Last night, she was successful yet again!!

She bought a package of 12 drumsticks that were on sale for .79 cents a POUND! Here’s the list of what she purchased for her meal from our local Wegmans.

Chicken Drumsticks…………..……………..……….$3.07

Salad bag……………………..…………....…… …………..$.99

Stove Top Stuffing……………………………………..$1.49

Fresh Corn (5 ears for $2.00)……………….$4.00



Fresh raspberries from behind our house……FREE

Vanilla Ice Cream……………In Our Freezer…..FREE

She cooked the drumsticks on the grill with olive oil and salt and pepper.

She opened the corn, shucked the silk, wrapped it back up and soaked it in water for 30 minutes or so. (She CLAIMS she saw Paula Dean do that. I am suspicious.)

Then she put salt, pepper and butter on the corn ears, wrapped it back up in the husks, wrapped them in foil and put them ON THE GRILL!!!

The meal was delicious, and I am very proud of all of these lessons that she is learning.

Thank you, Stove Top…..

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sassy get Suffed for under TEN BUCKS!

Now that we’re back from vacation, Sassy has begun her quest to make a meal for fewer than ten dollars, and is planning a meal for dinner for the next three days!

We had one last night, and these were her ingredients!

1 package of ground hamburger. (2 lbs at 1.99 a pound)

1 box of Stove Top stuffing (beef) ($1.49)

Sweet Corn (10 ears for $2.00)

Onion (we had one in our pantry thank God)

package of generic pre-made salad. (.99)

Total cost of Sassy’s meal? Are you ready????

A whopping $8.46!!

She mixed the meat, along with salt, pepper, onion and meat tenderizer. Then, she mixed up the stuffing. She rolled the meat out into a rectangle, and then spread a layer of stuffing down the center. Kind of like a tube of stuffing- according to HER.

Then she rolled it into a cylinder, and clamped the ends together. Voila! A stuffed meatloaf. She put a line of ketchup across the top, and placed onion rings in a line on it as well. (She said it had to not only TASTE good, but LOOK good as well.

She baked it at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes. Along with the meatloaf, we had fresh sweet corn and a lovely salad.

Yeah For Sassy!! Of course she’s getting herself into trouble, because now we KNOW she can cook. She’s got herself a NEW chore around the house!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stove Top Challenge

Is there a God? Well yes, Sassy, there is! And He LOVES stuffing...

A week ago we were contacted by STOVE TOP STUFFING to try to make FIVE meals for ten dollars each!!

Well, Sassy was jumping for JOY because stuffing is her FOOD OF CHOICE! You know how Bitchy is a salad junkie?? Well, Sassy is the stuffing junkie and to be quite honest, is almost as TIGHT as her dad, Tightwad.

I gave her $50.00 cash, and told her that she needed to plan and purchase items for FIVE meals with this money. She was allowed to use the spices and some things from our pantry, and she just went to town.

She decided to do stuffed chicken breasts, with carrots and a salad. I made her keep the receipt and PROVE to me that she met the cash limit. Smart-aleck that she IS, she kept this meal UNDER ten dollars, proving to me at last that she IS an over-achiever.

Chicken Breasts - $5.00
Stove top Stuffing (on SALE) $1.59
Frozen Carrots (also on sale) $.89

Total amount spent??????? $7.48!!!!

She put the boneless chicken breasts between Saran Wrap, pounded them to make them thin, and then after mixing the stove top stuffing up, she placed a large scoop inside each one. She rolled them up, put toothpicks in them and baked them on an oiled casserole dish. After baking for 35 minutes, she sliced them and put them on a plate.

Our meal was fantastic!

If you want to win 10 coupons for Stove Top stuffing, simply leave a comment and I will put your name in some kind of scientific raffle thingy.

And when I say scientific, I mean Sassy will draw a name out of a hat.

For more entries, you can twitter, post a link, do a cartwheel, stand on one leg and sing me a song.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I want the wishbone!

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Wish-bone.

Do you want to hear a 19-year-old health-nut/nutrition major scream?? Do you want to see her do the happy dance?

Have her open a HUGE box from the UPS man marked Wish Bone salad dressing in the corner. That will do the trick.

When I got home from school yesterday there was a box on my dining room table. Bitchy was home (after trying to kill me yesterday…) and after she received permission, she immediately opened the box, peeled back the bubble wrap and TA DA!!! Wish Bone Salad dressings. Yep- you heard me. A CASE of Wish Bone Salad dressings! There was Italian, Ranch, Lite Ranch, Blue Cheese, Lite Blue Cheese, Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Dijon Mustard. She literally screamed at the top of her lungs.

Needless to say, we are a family of salad eaters. We have SOME kind of salad with our meals each night – and I also love, love, love to throw something into the fridge to marinate that I can quickly throw on the grill when I get home. Bitchy decided that she needs to not walk me to death, but now wants to be in charge of our meals. THIS idea I loved. (She is a great cook- and CLEANS up after herself. Yep, you heard right…)

She made three dishes for us over the weekend. According to her, they were fairly quick and easy.

Italian Chicken Kabobs marinated in Italian Dressing.

Ranch Chicken and Bacon Salad (Ranch dressing) (They put ranch on EVERYTHING; AND hot sauce - it's the secret weapon ladies...)

Antipasto Salad (with the Balsamic Vinaigrette) (This was my personal fav.)

The good news? The great people at Wish Bone salad dressing have given me a chance to host a giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a $100 Grocery Gift Card (ONE HUNDRED BUCKS, people) and a Wish Bone prize pack valued at 46.10. And (drum roll please...) here’s the contest!!

What's your favorite way to use Wish-Bone dressing? (Will you cook it for me?)

To enter, leave me a comment below telling us about how you use Wish-Bone Salad Dressing - or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. The contest will begin at May 18, 2009, 9:00 a.m. PST and will end June 30, 2009, 5:00 p.m. PST. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.


* No duplicate comments.

* You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.

* You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.

* This giveaway is open to US residents; 18 and over

* Winners will be selected via random draw using a random number generator, and will be notified by e-mail.

* You have 48 hours to get back to me; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

* Please see the official rules here:

Check out the other BlogHer Reviewer's Wish-Bone recipes successes and enter for an additional chance to win a $100 Grocery Gift Card and Wish-Bone prize back at the BlogHer Special Offers Page.

Upgrade your salads with Wish-Bone® Dressings. Visit the Wish-Bone site for great recipe ideas for your family.