Monday, November 29

Review: Duncan Hines Decadent Cake Mixes and Glazes



The girls and I love baking so we were all very excited when we received two boxes of Duncan Hines Decadent Cake Mixes and two of the new Amazing Glazes. Of course we made the Triple Chocolate first. What can I say we love chocolate. It was just so yummy and it really does taste decadent. My husband thought I made it from scratch and that it took a long time. The girls had to show Daddy the box before he believed it was from a box. It really took some will power to not finish it off that first night after everyone went to sleep. I did have a small nibble but stopped myself at that point. We saved the second one for Thanksgiving. I also made a sweet potato pie (my first one ever) for dessert which my husband and I loved but the girls not so much. They were very happy we had made a second dessert. I do make made dessert items from scratch but when making a cake I use a mix (and when making brownies.) A mix is just so much easier, especially if I am making a chocolate cake. These new Decadent Cake Mixes are a step above. They are just so yummy and the glazes are even easier to use. Perfect for those holiday potlucks. If you bring one of these everyone will think you slaved away in the kitchen and be impressed. I have always been a fan of cake mixes but now Duncan Hines has raised the bar!






This post was written for Family Review Network & Duncan Hines who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Thursday, November 25

Wednesday, November 24

Snow Days!!

Monday was a late start so no school for Princess G but Princess A did attend.
Tuesday and Wednesday were snow days.
Princess G had no school this week and Princess A just half a day.
They having been loving all the snow!

Monday, November 22

Snow!!!

This morning before school started.
More snow fell and school has been canceled tomorrow.
Last year we had snow for about 20 minutes and it never lasted once hitting the ground!

Wednesday, November 17

Giveaway: Old El Paso Family Taco Night



When I was growing up Tuesday was our Taco night. We even had special bowls for each of the ingredients. We had four bowls, one for the taco meat (ground beef), lettuce, tomato and cheese. We also had salsa and sour cream. We put it all on the table and we each made our taco the way we liked it, lots of sour cream for me.


Last Friday was our first Family Taco night. I made our tacos in the kitchen, I can just see the mess if I let the girls make their own taco at the table. We all had grape tomatoes (cut in half), lettuce, and shredded cheese. The girls and I also added sour cream. The girls were so excited for our taco night and can't wait for next Friday to do it again. I have made soft taco (really burritos) before but this was the first time for them to eat a hard taco shell. They really loved it and each ate two tacos.
Do you have a taco night?
Once a week or once a month?

Old El Paso offers a variety of seasonings, sides, sauces, and meal kits as simple solutions for a family taco night. dinner. The Old El Paso® products includes chilies, dinner kits, dips and sides, enchilada sauce, refried beans, seasoning mixes, shells, taco sauce and salsa. The Old El Paso taco seasoning mix selection includes flavors like Burrito, Cheesy Taco, Chili, Fajita, Taco, Mild Taco and even a seasoning with 40% less sodium. There are so many ways to enjoy Taco night, you could even use precooked chicken for a new twist.

Make Family Taco night even more fun and play the only game created for Family Taco night. Visit http://www.eltacodor.com/ to download instructions, a score card, and a challenge sheet for even more fun on Family Taco Night!

Interested in your own Family Taco night click here for a printable coupon for $0.60 off any two Old El Paso products today!


Giveaway:

One of my readers will win an Old El Paso “Family Taco Night” prize pack which includes a packet of original Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase your taco fixings.

To enter: please leave a comment about whether you had a family taco night growing or which night you would make your Family Taco night.

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 12/1/10 at midnight PST.
Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)

1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
2.Follow me @SillyMommy on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
3.Blog about contest (2 entries, leave link in comment)
4.Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by MyBlogSpark on behalf of Old El Paso and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review.

Tuesday, November 16

Little Star Children's Book Review


Ever since Little Star arrived Princess G has been asking someone to read it to her. She has been able to get her big sister, Mommy and Daddy to read it to her at least once a day. Luckily the story is very sweet so we don't mind reading it over and over.

Description:
“I think I understand!” Little Star cried out. “The baby Jesus is a king! He’s
just little!”

A king is about to be born! The stars in the heavens are
competing to shine the brightest to celebrate his birth. But when they see the
poor family, the donkey, the shabby stable, the stars all think, That can’t
possibly be a king. We’ve been fooled.

All except one. The smallest,
loneliest star in the sky, Little Star, is the only one to understand what the
king was about to bring to the world. But what can Little Star do for him?

Little Star really is such a sweet book and my girls are even making plans to make a special star for the top of our tree. I can see us reading this book every year around the holiday but since my girls like holiday books year round we will be enjoying this book all of the time. A great book to read Christmas eve!


This post was written for Family Review Network & Little Star who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Sunday, November 14

Art Docent Examples

A parent at my daughters' school has started an Art Docent program.

Basically a parent volunteer teaches an art concept to a class.

A list of projects, supplies and instruction are provided to the volunteer and they teach it to the class.
I am going to be the volunteer for both of my girls' classes.

I also volunteered to make some of the example the Art Docents will share with the class they teach.
Here is the project Princess G made. She made different patterns on strips of paper and then she glued it on the black paper.
For Princess A's project she traced cardboard shaped to make a building and then colored it in. The girls actually made each of the projects but I showed the example they made for the art project appropriate to their grade. We had so much fun and I can't wait until I actually teach a class.

Friday, November 12

Giveaway: Nature Made Prenatal + DHA plus Cloth Diapers and Food Processor


It is so important to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need when you are pregnant and if possible before you even start trying. When my husband and I decided that we wanted to start our family I started taking prenatal vitamins before we started trying. I wanted to do everything I could do for the health of our future baby. Nature Made has a over the counter Prenatal Multivitamin with 200mg DHA in one single softgel so pregnant (or nursing moms) can take just one softgel per day. According to Nature Made each softgel contains: 200mg DHA, 800mg Folic Acid, Vitamins A,C,D and Zinc, Iron, B – Complex (Vitamins B6, B12), PA/DHA, Niacin. I have been taking the multivitamin softgels easily and it is nice to only have to remember and swallow one pill. The only draw back is that the bottle of softgels does have a slight fish smell when opened. DHA is an omega-3 fatty which can be found in fish so that makes sense. Now the smell is very slight and did not bother me. When I was expecting Princess A I could not stand the smell of fish but with Princess G fish did not bother me at all. If you are sensitive to certain smells just don't sniff the bottle.

Giveaway: The of my readers will win a 9 month supply of Nature Made Prenatal + DHA vitamin, 2 packs of cloth diapers and a food processor (see the pictures).

Main Entry: Please leave a comment with one thing you did or will do to prepare for your first child.


(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 11/18/10 at noon PST.
Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)

1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
2.Follow me @SillyMommy on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
3.Blog about contest (2 entries, leave link in comment)
4.Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central on behalf of Nature Made and received the products necessary to facilitate my review and giveaway.

Thursday, November 11

Giveaway: $25 to Safeway and Fiber One Review

I always make a point to have breakfast every morning but sometimes I just don't have enough time and still get the girls to school on time. On mornings like that I grab a granola bar to eat in the car. Once the girls are at school I then come home for a real breakfast. I admit I really like chocolate in my granola bars so the Fiber One Chewy Bar was perfect, lots of chocolate! I also picked out the Fiber One Raisin Bran Cluster since Princess G and I like raisins in our cereal. The funny think is that Princess G will not eat raisins in anything but cereal. We both liked the little clusters too, they are so yummy.


Giveaway:

One of my readers will win: two Fiber One VIP coupons (one for cereal and one for the bars) and a $25 gift card to Safeway(also valid at Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi’s).

To enter please leave a comment with your favorite Fiber One product.

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 11/25/10 at midnight PST.
Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)

1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
2.Follow me @SillyMommy on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
3.Blog about contest (2 entries, leave link in comment)
4.Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by MyBlogSpark on behalf of Fiber One and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review and a gift card to Safeway.

Tuesday, November 9

Wordless Wednesday: Fairy House

The girls made this fairy house all by themselves!
To make the fairy feel more at home they also decorated the outside with leaves and flowers.
(And used a lot of Mommy's tape!)
They wanted to leave it outside hoping a fairy would move in overnight.
They even left some candy as a treat.

Monday, November 8

Giveaway: Lawry's Seasoning Mixes


As a kid I remember my parents using Lawry's. I remember seeing that red swirl sitting on our counter. Since then I have been a fan and when I moved out on my own I always made sure I Lawry's in my spice cabinet. Now I have a new Lawry's favorite, their new Seasoning Mixes. I was sent four yummy flavors:

Asian Style Beef & Broccoli – This easy to prepare stir fry meal will remind your family of their favorite Asian restaurant. The dish combines beef, broccoli and seasonings with a hint of garlic. Serve it over rice for a complete, satisfying meal.

Chimichurri Burrito Casserole – Lawry’s gives the Burrito casserole a new twist with this traditional Latin American sauce. With a few simple fresh ingredients, mealtime just got a lot more exciting.

Mediterranean Sundried Tomato & Garlic Chicken – Add a taste of the Mediterranean to your family’s casserole. This easy to bake casserole combines chicken, pasta, tomatoes and Feta cheese for a flavorful meal any night of the week.

Tuscan Style Chicken Marsala with Garlic & Basil–This effortless version of a restaurant favorite comes together on your stovetop with just a few fresh ingredients. Flavorful garlic and basil gives this meal its own Tuscan flair, perfect for serving over pasta or rice.

They are really so easy and the part I like best is the additional ingredients you need are listed on the front. I made the Chimichurri Burrito Casserole first since I already had the additional ingredients on hand. I did not have tomato sauce but I substituted with tomato paste and water. The recipe calls for flour tortilla but I did half flour and half corn tortillas since that is what Princess A and her Dad like. Princess G and I ate the flour tortilla ones. It was just so yummy. We had plenty leftover which my husband took half to work and the rest I had. I was not sure if the girls would like it and if it would be too spicy. It did have spice in it but it was not too much for the girls. I served it with a bit of sour cream and the ate it all. I can't wait to try the other 3 flavors!

Giveaway:

One of my readers will win the same package I was sent: Lawry’s “Complete Meal Ideas” gift pack that includes all four of the new Lawry’s seasoning mix varieties – Asian Style Beef & Broccoli, Chimichurri Burrito Casserole, Mediterranean Sundried Tomato & Garlic Chicken, and Tuscan Style Chicken Marsala with Garlic & Basil – in addition to a marinating dish.






To enter please leave a comment with your favorite Lawry's product.

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 11/22/10 at midnight PST.
Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)

1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
2.Follow me @SillyMommy on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
3.Blog about contest (2 entries, leave link in comment)
4.Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)


I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by MyBlogSpark on behalf of Lawry's and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review.

Sunday, November 7

Rock Collection

Princess A's class had a mini fair and each 2nd grader brought in a collection, bakes goods or something they made. Princess A decided to bring in the rocks she received mostly from Santa last year.

The fair was about 30 minutes and ended just as Princess G's kindergarten ended, perfect timing. Princess A had a blast talking about her rocks and naming the types of rocks that she knows.

Saturday, November 6

5K Race for Princess A

Princess A ran another 5K.

She and Daddy ran the race together, and I am told they ran most of it.

Princess G kept me company as we waited for our runners to return.
Here they are, a little over 30 minutes later (her official time was 34:40). Of course Daddy got to carry all of Princess A layers as she got hot. She had to dress warmly as the temperature at the start of the race was just above freezing.
My runner!! She just loves running and wants to run more races but I think 2 or 3 a year is good at her age.

Thursday, November 4

LISTERINE Oral Care Challenge


The girls were both excited when the package of Listerine and Reach products came. They want to start using them right then. We went to their bathroom and they both used the Agent Cool Blue, a tinting pre-rinse. they both loved that their teeth turned a little blue. They like seeing have different days the blue is stronger in different spots. They then started brushing to remove the blue. I usually brush their teeth after they were done but each time there was no more blue for me to brush off. Next they each get a drink of water and then have the Listerine Smart Rinse. You are are not suppose to eat or drink for 30 minutes after which is why they like to have a drink before they start swishing it in their mouths. The girls have always been good about brushing their teeth but not they are excited to do it.

Now they were not the only ones to get some goodies. I also got to try out some Listerine. I have not used Listerine in a while so the package prompted me to start using it again. I really liked the Listerine Total Care. My mouth always feels so much cleaner after I use it after brushing and flossing.

Listerine and Reach with America's Toothfairy launched "Trick or Treat for America's Toothfairy," a campaign to raise awareness of pediatric dental disease and help provide life changing care to underserved children. Lack of Dental care can be a very serious medical condition and they are trying to help. If you want more information on America's Toothfairy please visit their site.


I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of LISTERINE and REACH and received products to take the Oral Care Challenge. Mom Central also sent me a Global Giving gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, November 2

10 Tips for Bring a New Baby Home

My youngest is not a baby anymore but I remember when I brought her home just over 5 years ago. You will be tired but also very excited. When I brought my first baby home (7 years ago) we lived near family so I had some help. Now with my youngest we had moved a few states away so it was just my husband and I. Here are my 10 tips to make the first few days go smoothly:


  1. Clean the house before your due date or even better get your husband to clean, especially bathrooms you will not have the energy or desire to clean toilets for a while.
  2. Have a full fridge and make sure it is stocked with easy to make meals such as soups, salads, sandwich fixings, cereal and fruit.
  3. Buy diapers ahead of time! You will need many, many diapers so buy a lot or if you are going to do cloth diapers have them ready! You do not want to have to go out shopping.
  4. When people ask if they can help say "YES!"
  5. Set up diaper changing stations in each room and at least on each level, you do not want to go up and downstairs all day to change diapers. You just need a changing pad, diapers, wipes and possibly diaper cream. I usually just changed them on the floor, a bed or the couch but make sure you have a changing pad because they will go while you are changing them.
  6. Forget about fancy clothes for the first few month, babies do not like being changed so the easier the clothes the better, footed sleepers are perfect. Save the cute outfits for pictures.
  7. Babies love to be snug so have lots of receiving blankets, wrap them up like a burrito and they will sleep much more peacefully.
  8. Sleep! When the baby takes a nap it is not time to clean, if you are hungry eat but then lay down!
  9. Turn off your phone and limit visitors. If you do want people to come over pick an hour (best time is right after a nap) and tell everyone they can come at that time but only for that hour, then kick them out. Make sure that everyone is healthy and have them wash their hands. Don't feel bad about asking people to wash their hands, you can always play the new mother card.
  10. Get out of the house! The best is to take a walk and put the baby in a stroller. It will seem to take forever to get everything ready, and it will but still get outside. Obviously it also depends on the weather but if it is too hot or too cold walk around a mall. Bring a blanket to cover the stroller opening in case it is needed.

I could probably think of many more but I want to mention one last thing. ASK FOR HELP! Everyone wants to help and see that cute new baby. Ask them to bring a meal, pick up milk (or fresh fruit) at the store, buy a package of diapers or just to bring you a treat. You are new at this and exhausted so take it easy. The house and yourself will not be the same as before but that is alright. Just enjoy this time, even the up all night times will eventually be fond memories or at least something you can commiserate with other parents.


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Monday, November 1

Trick or Treating!

We started about 5:45, which my husband thought was much to early. The girls went to about 15 houses and they were ready to come home and pass out candy.
They ate a few pieces of candy and then they picked five to save (they ate most of them today) and the rest were left out for the candy fairy.