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Showing posts from October, 2011

Crock Pot on a Budget: Black Bean & Chicken Salsa Soup - Under $10

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As soon as the leaves start to turn, it's soup season to me. This recipe will warm your whole family up (serves 6). The best part is it's a full family meal for under $10, and it can be adjusted according to your tastes (if you like it mild or like to heat it up!)

Disclaimer: The prices shown below are what I personally paid for each product, and may differ from what you are able to find in your grocery store.

Black Bean & Chicken Salsa Soup

Ingredients:
Half-Pound Boneless Chicken (breasts or tenderloins) - $2.69
1 Large Can of Black Beans (26.5 oz) - $1.59
1 Small Can of Whole Kernel Corn (8 3/4 oz) - $0.89
1 Jar of Salsa - however hot you prefer (16 oz) - $2.59
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped - about $0.50
1 small red onion - about $0.30
1 Jalapeno Pepper (add whqole for mild taste and take out at end, or chop for heat) - about $0.28
4 Chicken Bouillon Cubes - about $0.32
4 Cups of Water
TOTAL PRICE: $9.16

Optional Ingredients: (NOT included in price list)
Cumin (I used about 1 …

My Toddler Thinks that Matt Lauer is her Daddy

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After the last couple days we've had at our house, I think it'd be therapeutic for me to write about something light-hearted. After I get my whine out, of course.

I don't know why, but I find pregnancy to be pretty stressful. I feel like I'm always on my guard and on-edge about something. Right now there is a little boy just north of where I live who has been missing in the woods since Sunday. Four days. Over a thousand people searching. Temperatures in the low 40's overnights. Oh yea, and he is autistic and non-verbal, meaning that he is unable to call for help. This, of course, is news that I would follow as a concerned citizen. But as a mom? I'm practically obsessed. I find myself checking the news every 15 minutes or so to see if there has been an update. Have they found him yet? I'm extremely hopeful, and my family and I have been praying for his safe rescue, but the whole situation has a lot of people on pins and needles. If you're interested, yo…

FREE Chips Ahoy Cookies Coupon on Facebook at 12pm - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

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Here's another Halloween treat for you! Head on over to Facebook to "Like" Chips Ahoy. From now through Thursday at 12pm EST Chips Ahoy will be giving away 20,000 coupons for their deliciously famous cookies. The coupons are for $1 and will be sent directly to your printer.
Make sure to stop by around noon to see if you can snag one today!
Happy Halloween! :)








FREE Mascara from L'Oreal Paris on Facebook - First 1,000 Daily!

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L'Oreal Paris has a deal for you! A FREE, full-sized sample of their newest mascara - Voluminous False Fiber Lashes. They are giving away to the first 1,000 entrants daily from now until November 7th, so don't miss your chance! I snagged mine this morning, and the confirmation says it should arrive in 8-10 weeks. Just in time for the holidays. :)


Here's How:

1. Visit L'Oreal Paris on Facebook and "Like" them.
2. In the left-hand column, go to the "Never Fake It Again" tab.
3. Click either "Take the Pledge" or "Skip the Pledge and Enter Now"
4. Fill out the form and see if you are a winner today!

Don't forget, they are only giving away to the first 1,000 daily. If you don't get your free mascara today, try again tomorrow! I entered at about 8:50am this morning and made it within the first 1,000. I hope you do, too!


Let us know if this offer worked for you! Have a great weekend!



Deck the Halls with Cards from Shutterfly! {Have a blog? Get 25 Cards FREE}

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It's official. I seriously saw egg-nog at the grocery store this week, so therefore you cannot tell me that it's too early to start thinking about Christmas cards. These holiday greetings (especially Christmas photo cards) are one of the most special blessings of my holiday season. Being that we live about 800 miles away from our families, the cards are a wonderful view into the lives of loved-ones that we miss. My husband and I display the cards all over our home for the season, bringing in love and warmth from all across the US.

I have to admit that opening a Christmas card these days is much like when you're a child excited to see if there is any money in your birthday cards - is it a photo card!? To me, photo cards are a very personal way to share the holidays with friends and families. Each one is a little treat!

And let me tell you, nobody does holiday photo cards like Shutterfly. Shutterfly is an affordable way to easily find the card to suit your family's nee…

Crock Pot Pecan-Cinnamon Pudding Cake Recipe - YUM!

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Lately I've been feeling like the year is shuffling by pretty darn quickly, and I think it has to do with how fast each Wednesday seems to roll around. Wednesdays in our house are currently "Crock Pot Wednesdays" and the beginning of a new week to my pregnancy. Today I'm 26 weeks pregnant with our second child, a baby boy. Our daughter (almost 2) is just starting to get it, and has begun kissing my belly and calling out her baby brother's name. It melts my heart?

What better to go with those sweet sentiments than a sweet Crock Pot dessert for today's recipe? This Pecan-Cinnamon Pudding Cake comes to you from the book Rival Crock-Pot: 3 Books in 1. This dessert is perfect if you have it cooking while a small dinner party is eating their dinner. Your house will smell amazing, and shortly after your guests will have a warm, delicious treat.

Pecan-Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Ingredients:
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powde…

Send a FREE Halloween Greeting Card from Tiny Prints!

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Head on over to Tiny Prints for a FREE Halloween Greeting Card. Simply add Promo Code: AUTUMN11 at checkout once you've picked and created your custom card. Woohoo! As with their past promotions, I do believe a valid credit card is required during checkout - but you will NOT be charged for your FREE card. Also, have the card mailed directly to you or you will have to pay the 44 cents postage.

Not to mention, ALL Halloween Greeting Cards are currently 50% off. Get yours before it's too late. These are a fantastic little treat for Grandparents and party hosts. Enter Promo Code: 50halloween (TODAY is the LAST DAY to use this offer!)

Happy Halloween! :)

We LOVE California Baby Calendula Cream (for toddler AND mom!) {Review}

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My daughter is a victim of eczema. As an infant the breakouts were always on her face, and it was just heartbreaking to look at:

Luckily the facial eczema cleared up around 6 months old, and it wasn't until AJ was about 18 months old that she started getting breakouts on her hands, wrists and inner elbows (which unfortunately she's inherited from both her dad and me).
We're still trying to determine what causes the flare-ups (I have my suspicions on tomato based products) but in the meantime, it's important for us to keep her skin as clear and comfortable as possible. The itchiness is sometimes so unbearable for her that she will rub her arms on her sides or another object, like a chair, literally until they bleed.

My own eczema isn't much better. Since becoming pregnant with baby number two my hands have been so much worse, and for the first time I'm even developing eczema on my face, especially around my lips - which is not only ugly but also painful!
I feel…

Crock Pot Chicken Pad Thai

Upon telling my husband that it was his turn to decide on a Crock Pot meal for our family, he came up with a pad thai dish. I couldn't really find any recipes that I was completely sold on, so I started substituting different ingredients and came up with my own version.

*Disclaimer - though super tasty, my husband and I both agreed that the taste to this Crock Pot dish was not quite pad thai. For a more traditional pad thai taste, try replacing the sauce in my recipe. with A Taste of Thai Pad Thai Sauce.*

I would also like to apologize for not having a picture to post with this recipe! By the time I remember, we had already finished off the dish! Oops!

Crock Pot Tasty Thai Dish
Ingredients:
3 Large Chicken Breasts
Salt & Pepper - to taste
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes -sliced
1 Medium Yellow Onion - chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
1-2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
1 (7)oz Jar of A Taste of Thai Peanut Satay Sauce
1-2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/2 cup chopped, unsalt…

Park Politics - Keep Your Kids Safe on the Playground!

Excuse me for what this is about to become - a rant - but it's one in which I find necessary.

My toddler loves to go to the park. Specifically though, she loves to swing. We often go to the park and I find myself pushing her in the swing for 30+ minutes at a time... which I don't mind. I think it's so satisfying to see how much joy the swing brings her. I know these days won't last for long!

While I'm standing there pushing her, I have plenty of time to look around at what else is happening around the park. And seriously, it worries me. More than once I have seen a group of moms come in and collectively toss their designer purses and diaper bags on a picnic table (which in itself raises a red flag to me - I never leave my bag) and settle down on a circle of benches with their iced lattes, letting their children roam free. This is fine... I often need to sit on a bench while AJ plays, but I never take my eyes off of her, not for a moment.

I should also mention th…

Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

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I think that Wednesdays are my new favorite day. With my daughter in school for the morning, I'm able to run errands and get dinner going for Crock Pot Wednesdays, I get to have a brunch date with my husband every other week, and a couple of my favorite TV shows are on in the evening (Modern Family, Up All Night, and The Middle.)

Yesterday's Crock Pot Wednesday recipe comes directly from the Crock-Pot Website: it's Cashew Chicken!
Crock Pot Cashew Chicken: Ingredients:6 chicken breasts (I used about 3 - 1.5 pounds) 2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
1 cup of mushrooms, slice
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup (10 3/4 ounces)
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups cashews (about 9oz.) unsalted                    

Directions:
Combine ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.

Notes:I was really excited for this recipe. I love cashew chicken, and chinese take-out in general - but these days I'm mu…

Send a FREE Virtual Comfort Package on Facebook and Hanes will donate $1 to The National Breast Cancer Foundation

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Since 2009, Hanes has made donations totaling $1 million dollars towards breast cancer charities. Join them this October as they raise awareness and money (up to $25,000) for The National Breast Cancer Foundation through a social media campaign on Facebook.
Now, when you Like Hanes on Facebook, you can follow the Pink tab on their lefthand sidebar to create and send a Virtual Comfort Package. Using their digital tools, these comfort packages include customizable photos, videos, recipes, T-Shirt designs, music and messages. The Virtual Comfort Packages are FREE to send, and for each package sent Hanes will donate $1 to The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. The money will be used to promote early cancer detection and to pay for mammograms to those in need.  Hanes will donate up to $25,000 in this campaign.
 I am personally really excited about this campaign. We know the other initiatives that have been taking place on Facebook to raise awareness to breast cancer - the little games…

Life Lessons in Action

It's funny how when you're a young child you assume that your parents know everything, and you live by this comforting fact. And then once you become a parent, you feel like you don't know anything and you live day by day "faking it" until you get it right. Life is a learning process at every stage, clearly.

My husband and I are always trying to better ourselves as parents. I have quite the collection of parenting books, and generally try to read up extensively on a subject before we make our decisions on our own parenting styles. (Seriously - if you need book suggestions for any topic at all, feel free to ask me. Most parenting books you can even get for FREE on Paperback Book Swap.)

One of the greatest parenting resources to us has been the Bible. It may sound very WASP-y of me (as my New York friends would say), but it's absolutely true. The Bible is full of little messages that get us through the day, the week, the "stage" in our child's lif…