Friday, November 26, 2010

Fun Idea Friday! Picture Perfect

Looking for something to do today? It is "Fun Idea Friday!" How about playing around with your camera for some feel good photos :) I found this article in Parenting magazine, October 2010 issue.

Picture Perfect

Give these sharp ideas a shot and you will have a blast!!

Shoot the Art. Instead of saving your kid's crumbling clay creation or messy finer painting, take a digital photo of it. You save space while still documenting her journey as an artist.

Family Portrait. Can't get the whole gang to sit for a family photo? Have your child draw stick-figure pics of everyone, then let him cut out the heads of all of you from old photos and paste them on.

Birthday Beauty. Clip photos of your child from the past year to a long piece of string, then swag it between walls so partiers can see how far she's come since her last birthday bash.

Stick 'em up. Glue a photo of your child's choosing to a piece of cardboard that's slightly bigger than the photo. "Frame" it with twigs collected together from the yard and glue them on.

Give Mom a Mustache. Gather outtakes you don't need and let the kids go to town giving you horns and facial hair. Post them on the fridge to show you're a good sport.

Face Time. Fill a cheapie photo album with images of family and friends who live far away. Flip through it daily with your kid so that the next time Auntie Karen visits, her face will be familiar.

Photo Hunt. If you trust your kids with the camera, send them on a photographic scavenger hunt. Come up with items around your house or 'hood--a pink flower, a broken toy--that they need to snap.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday! Celebrity Thanksgiving Quotes

Today is a day to be thankful for everything wonderful and blessed in our lives. One of the things I am extremely thankful for is a sense of humor and the freedom to have it. I love to laugh!!! Here are some quotes that made me crack a smile quite a few times :)

P.S. I simply adore Kevin James!

I love Thanksgiving turkey. It's the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. ~ Johnny Carson

Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants. ~ Kevin James

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~ Erma Bombeck

My mother is such a lousy cook that Thanksgiving at her house is a time of sorrow. ~ Rita Rudner

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. ~ Jon Stewart

My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor. ~ Phyllis Diller

Thanksgiving, when the Indians said, "Well, this has been fun, but we know you have a long voyage back to England". ~ Jay Leno

It took me three weeks to stuff the turkey. I stuffed it through the beak. ~ Phyllis Diller

Coexistence... what the farmer does with the turkey -- until Thanksgiving. ~ Mike Connolly

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wellness Wednesday! Diet Danger Zones

It is "Wellness Wednesday"! I fount this article in Parenting magazine, September 2010 issue.

Diet Danger Zones

There are certain times in life when blowing your diet seems inevitable, Heidi Skolnik, New York City nutritionist, author of Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance, and a busy mom, tells us when to tread carefully.

A short night's sleep. A new study has found that people eat an additional 560 calories (the approximate amount in a venti Java Chip Frappuccino) during the day after getting four hours of sleep as compared to eight. So when you shortchange yourself on shut-eye, go ahead and snack a bit more between meals, but reach for low-cal, high-fiber items (such as air-popped popcorn) and fruit (like strawberries and blueberries.)

Birthday parties. There's rarely healthy food available for the adults, and that cake looks sooooo good. Try filling up on a satisfying meal beforehand: helping to plate the cake (your hands will have a job to do that doesn't involve your mouth): or standing far from the table and engaging another parent in some delicious conversation.

That time of the month. Appetite does increase slightly in the week before your period--but luckily, so does your metabolism. (The key word here is slightly: it doesn't justify a pantry raid.) To tame cravings, increase your lean protein an ounce or two at each meal. And plan snacks so you don't get famished between meals: a small handful of nuts paired with a piece of fruit, or carrot sticks and hummus.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tips Tuesday! Make the Most of Vet Visits

We all adore our little furry family members :) Here is an article I found in AllYou magazine, August 27, 2010 issue that ensures your pet gets the best treatment.

Make the most of vet visits

Call Ahead: Contact the vet's office to ask if you should bring anything (such as stool samples if your pet is having stomach issues), so you won't have to go back again a few days later.

Shoot a Video: Capture your pet in the middle of a health or behavioral issue (like continually licking one spot on its paw) with a camera. This can help your vet diagnose the problem.

Ease Fears: Does your pet see its carrier and run away? The day before the visit to the vet's office, pull out the crate and let your pet explore it. That way, the carrier probably won't seem as scary.

Bring a Notebook: It's a good idea to take notes at the visit to help you remember your vet's recommendations. Also bring any questions you have about your cat's or dog's health.

Pay Close Attention at the Appointment: A cell phone is a common distraction. Turn it off so you're not tempted to answer it or text during the visit.

Avoid visits in the first place: Call your vet before treating your animal yourself (such as with human painkillers), so you don't end up with a crisis on your hands.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Makeover Monday! Feed Your Face

Found this small, but helpful passage in Parenting magazine. Maybe this could help out our teenagers?!

Feed your Face

A Norwegian study found that eating six servings of raw veggies a week reduced pimples by 30 percent. Tomatoes and avocados have pretty-skin potential, too, says Paula Simpson, a celeb nutritionist. The lycopene in tomatoes helps prevent inflammation. And, thanks to their omega-3 essential fatty acids, eating about two avocados a week boosts moisture in the skin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stuff to Do with Your Kids Sunday! Pilgrim Hat Centerpiece

With Thanksgiving fastly approaching, how about working with your kids to do an awesome centerpiece? Here is one I found on that is sure to be a hit with everyone old and young :)

Pilgrim Hat Centerpiece

Filled with potted mums or other fall flowers, this fun centerpiece will top off your Thanksgiving table in fitting fashion.


Black felt, square yard
Terra-cotta pot
Permanent red marker
Black poster board
Carpet tape
Yellow poster board


Tape a square yard of black felt to your work surface and set a terra-cotta pot (ours is 7 inches tall and 7 1/2 inches across) on its side at one edge of the felt, as shown. Roll the pot, tracing along the top and bottom edges with a permanent red marker as you go, then cut out the felt arc.

Next, cut two 15-inch circles, one from black poster board, the other from the remaining black felt. Set the pot upside down in the center of the poster board circle, trace around its rim, then cut out the inner circle to create a large ring. Now trace the rim of the pot in the center of the felt circle and cut an asterisk in the center.

Tape the felt circle atop the poster board ring. Set the bottom of the pot on the asterisk and slide the brim up to the rim of the pot. Attach strips of carpet, tape to the outside of the pot, then tape one end of the felt arc to the side and wrap the arc around the pot, sticking it to the tape.

Trim away any excess felt. For the finishing touch, tape on a buckle cut from yellow poster board.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Swap a Recipe Saturday! Corny Cookies

I found these unique cookies on

These candy-topped treats are a blast for kids to help decorate for your feast -- or a Thanksgiving school party. You can use our sugar cookie recipe here or store-bought dough.


1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vanilla frosting
Green fruit leather
M&M's or Reese's Pieces candies


Using an electric beater, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the flour a little at a time until the ingredients are well combined. Chill the dough for several hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Working on a floured surface with one part at a time, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a knife, cut out corncob shapes about 4 inches long. Place the cookies on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 9 minutes or just until the edges brown. Let the cookies set on the sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost the cooled cookies. Next, use kitchen shears to cut husks from the fruit leather to fit the sides of each cookie. Press the husks in place atop the frosting, with the tips down a bit. Now fill in the middle with candy kernels gently pressed into place. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Frugal Friday! Live Well for Less

Here are some random facts, etc.. that I found in AllYou magazine, August 27, 2010 issue.

Live Well for Less

Save on Travel: Most airlines charge for checked bags, but if you pay the fee online beforehand, you might receive a discount. For example, get $5 off on for the first checked bag on a domestic trip.

Did you Know? The average couponer can save $1,000 each year by clipping offers for just 20 minutes a week.

Indulge on a Budget: Create a Refreshing Low-Cost Summer Treat-Love those fun, fruity concoctions from Sonic and similar joints? Skip the drive-through and make your own. Try our recipe for Ginger Limeade: In a pan over medium heat, mix 8 cups water and 2 1/2 cups sugar; stir until sugar has dissolved. Let cook. In a pitcher, mix sugar syrup with 2 cups fresh lime juice and 4 cups chilled ginger ale. Serve over ice.

Extra Savings! Make this easy swap to save a few dollars.
Do you have a recipe that calls for a little white wine but you don't want to buy a whole bottle? Substitute chicken broth, the results will be similar.

Expert Tip: Streamline food shopping. is a free service that lets you build your grocery list online or on your cell phone (text to add items or have the list sent to your phone when you're at the store). If you like a recipe on the site (or anywhere else on the Web), the service can automatically put the ingredients on your list. When you're ready, print it out and take it (or your cell phone) with you.

Dinner Under $10: Quick Garbanzo Bean Dinner

Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 13 min.
Serves: 4
Cost per serving: $1.55

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup jarred banana pepper rings, drained
2 15 oz cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp turmeric
Salt and Pepper

Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute' until tender, about 5 minutes. Add pepper rings and beans and saute' until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes.

Add turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over basmati rice, if desired.

Per Serving: 306 Cal, 6g Fat (1g Sat.), Omg Chol, 11g Fiber, 11g Pro, 54g Carb, 1,621mg Sod.

Kitchen Tip: Switch peppers. Can't find banana pepper rings in your grocery store? Swap in the same amount of pepperoncini. Drain and slice before adding.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things to Think About Thursday! Avoid Smoke, Save Your Sinuses

I found this nice tiny passage in Woman's Day magazine, September 2010 issue...something to think about!

Avoid Smoke, Save Your Sinuses

Most people who suffer from chronic sinus infections (a.k.a. sinusitis) blame them on allergies, genetics or bad luck, but secondhand cigarette smoke is the main culprit in nearly 40 percent of cases, according to a recent study.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wellness Wednesday! No Fish? No Problem

I found this informative article in Parenting magazine, August 2010 issue.

No Fish? No Problem

DHA is good for a kid's developing eyes, brain, and nervous system. but besides salmon, this miracle nutrient is tough to get. Some more DHA-liciuos options:

Sow some seeds. Chia (yep, of Chia Pet notoriety) is a mild-tasting wonder seed packed with ALA (an omega-3 fatty acid that converts to DHA in the body), plus fiber, magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants. Los Angeles dietitian Ashley Koff, R.D., suggests sprinkling raw chia seeds on cereal, yogurt, and soup, or adding them to baked goods. Just one tablespoon of the stuff a day is a great source of omega-3's! Look for chia under the brand name: Salba (at or in Whole Foods stores). Flaxseed is a similar product that's high in omega-3 fatty acids (and if you use the oil, it's super easy to disguise in kids' food!).

Try fortified foods. Many store- and name-brand eggs and mil have been enriched with DHA. Some cookies also have added DHA--a health boost for an occasional treat!

Supplement. They may not be as helpful as DHA in food, but if your child won't try any of these other things, talk with your doctor about whether he needs a supplement. Koff likes Dr. Greene Omega-3 softgels with DHA, and Dr. Sears Family Essentials Omega-3 DHA Soft Chews.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday! Reasons Fall is Fabulous

I found another great top ten list from Parenting magazine, October 2010 issue.

Top Ten Reasons Fall is Fabulous

1. Hello? Do we need to say it? School

2. Fall clothes come in the same colors as your kids' food stains--chocolate brown, fruit-punch red, and mac-and-cheese orange. Way to save on colorsafe bleach!

3. You get to carve jack-o'-lanterns--the only time seeing a snaggletoothed smile in your home doesn't make you fear an $8,500 orthodontist bill.

4. The thrill of new crayons.

5. It gets dark earlier. It's easier to get the kids to bed earlier. You get to go to bed earlier.

6. Nothing smells better than a kid who's just jumped in a leaf pile.

7. All your favorite shows are finally back! Come on, don't you want to know if Will and Emma hook up on Glee?

8. Trick-or-treating, that blessed evening when sleep-deprived moms who look like zombies simply blend in with the crowd.

9. We're suckers for the sight of little kids in footy pajamas.

10. Hot cider, Hot cocoa. And for moms, a hot toddy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Makeover Monday! 1-2-3 Go! Puff Busters

After 6 children and being the age of 34, I have definitely noticed my fair share of puffiness beneath my eyes. What can you do? I found this article under the mom "beauty" section of Parenting magazine that can give you some ideas to think about.

1-2-3 Go!

Puff Busters

Celebrity aesthetician Renee Rouleau, of Renee Rouleau Skin Care Spas in Dallas and Plano, TX, shares her best advice on beating that bane of tired moms: puffy eyes.

Step 1: Keep your cool. But don't bother slicing up cucumbers. They don't have any miraculous puff-reducing properties. What they do have is a gel-like consistency (from the seeds) that retains cold--and that's what reduces puffiness. So you can use anything you have on hand (even a bag of frozen peas) for just two or three minutes and it will do the trick.

Step 2: Watch the salt. Sodium contributes to water retention, so ditching the salt shaker (especially at night) can help prevent under-eye puffiness in the morning. Which type of food hits you hardest? Chinese. It's really salty, and the MSG contributes to water retention, too. If you've got a special event coming up avoid salty foods and drink lots of water (it actually combats bloating) for a few days before.

Step 3: Rethink your eye cream. Many are formulated with rich oils, which can migrate into the eyes while you sleep and cause puffiness. Another problem with heavy eye creams is that they can weigh down delicate skin, weakening elastin fibers and eventually causing premature wrinkles. The bottom line: Steer clear of greasy eye cream, especially those containing mineral oil or petroleum. And don't apply any eye cream to close to the lower lash line.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Something you may not know Sunday! Safe Celebrations

Since the holidays are coming quickly, I thought I would share this article on being safe during celebrations which I found in the December 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

Safe Celebrations

Before you light up the house, take these precautions from Chrissy Cianflone, director of program operations for Safe Kids U.S.A.


-Keep flammable materials, like hanging stockings, at least three feet from an open flame.

-Don't throw your wrapping paper into the fire. It may contain toxic or explosive chemicals.

-Make sure your chimney is cleaned annually and that you have a carbon-monoxide detector.


-Place them (and matches) out of your kids' reach and 12 inches from anything flammable. Blow out candles before leaving the room.

-Never set them on a tablecloth--your child could pull on the bottom and cause an accident.

-The safest bet is to use flameless candles.


-To avoid overloading the voltage, don't connect more than three strands of mini string sets or more than 50 screw in bulbs.

-Choose lights with an independent testing lab seal (look for "UL").

-Never use lights on a metal tree; it's an electrocution hazard.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Swap a Recipe Saturday! Cute Cornucopia

With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I would seek out some cute recipes. I love the look of this one that I found on

Cute Cornucopia

This mini horn of plenty guarantees that hungry young guests will have something to nibble on. Set one at each place as a meal-starter, or make a bunch to serve as a kid-friendly hors d'oeuvre platter before the big Thanksgiving feast. Be sure to check out more ideas for a fun-filled Kids' Thanksgiving.

Small veggies -- we suggest peas, baby carrots, baby corn ears, grape
tomatoes, and cornichons (or any small pickle)
Dip or dressing


To create each cornucopia, cut a tortilla in half. Roll it into a cone with the rounded edge at the open end. Secure the cone with a toothpick, then fill it with small veggies. Serve with your favorite dip or dressing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Freebie Friday! Score Samples

This is the last section of the "Find Freebies Wherever You Go" article that I found and have been posting over the past few weeks from the August 27 issue of AllYou magazine.

Free! Score Samples

Be the first to weigh in on new products.

SHESPEAKS.COM: Become a member of this forum, where savvy women sound off about their favorite products. The site matches members to sample products and services by their interests and asks them to write reviews.

General Mills PSSST Program: When you sign up at, General Mills will send you free product samples and coupons and might ask for your honest feedback about any of the products you try.

Kraft First Taste: After free registration at, you'll snag new products as they become available.

STARTSAMPLING: This company brings packaged-goods manufacturers together with consumers who want to test-drive new products. Register at, then click on the items you'd like to try.

ALL YOU Reality Checkers: Your favorite magazine features a free sample program! If you sign up to be an All You Reality Checker at, you may have the opportunity to try out complimentary samples from our advertisers--and to have your quote appear in the pages of the magazine.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Through the House Thursday! My House Smells Weird

I took about a week off to get things in order for Halloween, so much chaos here with 6 kids. I found this interesting article about finding smells at the source in the August 2010 issue of Woman's Day magazine. I am only going to list 3 and then will list the final 4 another day when I have more time.

My House Smells Weird!

The only way to remove a smell is to remove the source. This sounds basic, but you'd be surprised how often people spray air freshener and pray the smell will disappear. It won't. Odor experts never use air fresheners: "They mask the source as opposed to dealing with it," says Dr. Shaughnessy. Here's how to handle some common problems.

Smells like: Rotten Eggs-That's hydrogen sulfide coming from your main sewer line. The U-shaped trap in one of your drains may have dried up.

Get rid of it by: Doing a test: Pour a teaspoon of peppermint oil down a drain and run hot water, If you can smell the peppermint in another part of the house, you probably have a bad trap. Dump a couple of cups of water into the smelly drain.

If that doesn't work: Call a plumber. You likely have a crack in the trap that needs to be plugged or replaced. If that's not it, there may be a crack elsewhere in the plumbing system.

Smells like: Unbathed Pets-It's most likely underfoot. Most odors come not from your carpet, but the padding underneath. Pet urine is a common culprit.

Get rid of it by: Steam cleaning--it's the only way to get through to the padding. Or try a short-term solution: Cover up the smell with baking soda (sprinkle it on the rug, then vacuum).

If that doesn't work: You're going to have to pull up the carpet, remove the padding, and replace it with new padding.

Smells like: Decaying Animals-It's amazing how much one teeny tiny dead mouse can smell.

Get rid of it by: Checking behind appliances and in the chimney. If you find the animal, shovel it into a double layer of plastic garbage bags and put it out with the trash. Disinfect the shovel.

If that doesn't work: Call an exterminator. They're experts at locating (and removing!) dead animals behind walls and under homes.