Aug 29, 2010


While "I Love These Products" had a short but good run, I'm done.  I no longer have the time, money, or interest in continuing to blog about stuff to buy.  I have spent the last two months desperately trying to simplify, organize, and eliminate excess in our home.  All of a sudden, this blog seems like a conflict of interest. 

Maybe I'll start a new blog someday.  Who knows.  I love to write without any restraints or obligations.  I can't see myself staying away from it for too long.  But most likely it will just be some daily rantings about whatever's on my mind at the time.  Hardly anything anyone else would want to read.  And as a true introvert, that's just fine with me.  Take care and...

Jul 7, 2010

What's Been Happenin...

Since I haven't blogged in almost a month, I decided to let those of you who are still remotely interested in my blog know why.  It's been a really busy couple of months and unfortunately,  blogging has taken a back seat as of late. 

To give you an idea of what we've been up to, here's a glimpse...

...the purchase, cleaning, painting, and general repairing of a cute little rental house in Temecula that will hopefully be the beginning of our real estate empire (hahaha) or at least a little money in the bank in the very long term.

...the decision to homeschool my two oldest in the fall and starting some of the curriculum with them in July to get a head start.  I'm already feeling overwhelmed.

 ...quitting my day job and starting a career as a freelance writer for (and hopefully other nutrition-related sites in the future).

...visits from various family members from up north.

...swimming lessons for all.

...trying to finish up various sewing, decorating, and home improvement projects. and running the Camp Pendleton 10K Mud Run in June, and now training for the Camp Pendleton half marathon in September.

...and of course caring for 4 kids and a house while my hubby is gone 12+ hours a day.

Whew!  I'm tired from just typing it all.  I'm still hoping to dash off a quick post now and again when I come across a great product.  And maybe someday I'll get back to doing this more regularly. 


May 19, 2010

Bilibo...A Very Versitile (and Unusual) Toy

I was recently given the opportunity to visit CSN Store's website and pick out just about anything I wanted to review for you.  Once I saw the Bilibo, I knew I had found something worth blogging about.
You know how very often, your kids have more fun playing with the box a toy came in than the actual toy?  In many ways, the box is better because in order to play with it, your kids need to use their imagination to define what the box is, what it does, and how to play with it.  The Bilibo is very similar in my mind.  At first sight, it's not obvious what it is or how a child might play with it.  But that's the beauty of it.  It can become so many different things for different children.  All four of my kids like to play with it and they range in age from 1 to almost 9.

Just a couple things my kids like to do with their Bilibo.

My son was pretending to be Darth Vader, but I think he looks more like this guy from The Return of the Jedi.  If any of you actually know this character's name, you are a big nerd I'll be really impressed.

The Bilibo comes in 6 bright colors and sells on CSN Stores website for $28.99 and right now, this item ships for FREE!  The recommended age is 2-7 but a one year old can have a lot of fun with supervision.   Enjoy!

May 8, 2010

Hercules Hooks Put To The Test

As usual, this post is long overdue.  I've decided that if I'm going to keep writing this blog (which I LOVE to do) I've got to stop feeling guilty about not posting as often as I think I should, and just go with the flow, letting the posts come as they may.  If that means I only post once every week or two, so be it.  I promise I'll do my best to make reading them worth your while! :)

So, as promised, I'm reviewing the "As Seen On TV" Hercules Hook.  In my teaser post, I revealed that I have a phobia about putting holes in my walls.  I'm so scared that if I hang something on the wall, I'll hate it and then I'll have an unsightly hole left behind.  As a result of this fear, most of the walls in my home are bare.  Case in's my living room... kitchen...

...above the piano...

...and even my bedroom. 
 Sad, I know.  My photographer friend has chastised me severely.

Just to prove I'm not a total lost cause, here are a couple pics of the kids that I hung in the stairwell using Hercules Hooks.  
Good for me!!!

So instead of using Hercules Hooks to cover my bare walls with an amazing display of decorating prowess, I decided to venture out to the garage where no one will care if I leave a few gaping holes behind.

To test the claim that the Hercules Hook can hold an incredible amount of weight without tearing through drywall, I pushed two hooks into the wall about 6 inches apart, and hung a bag I bought on clearance at Target for $8.  Nice.

...then,I started filling it with my free weights (and, yes, I actually use them so don't mess with me:).

The hooks held 49.5 pounds with no problem.  Impressive!  I thought I'd leave the bag for a few hours to see, if over time, the dry wall would give a little.

The result...
There was a slight give in the dry wall above both hooks, but I attribute that to the fact that I yanked pretty hard on the bag, just to see what would happen.   In my opinion, they held up really well.

I would definitely trust these hooks to hold up the heaviest picture, mirror, or anything else you decide to hang on your walls, as long as you use two or more for anything over 40 lbs to distribute the weight, as recommended.

I bought my Hercules Hooks at an "As Seen On TV" store in the mall and paid $12.99 for 20 hooks.   Amazon sells a 20 pack with a handy little laser marker for $12.86, not a bad deal.  They are also available at Bed Bath and Beyond for $14.99.  Whatever you do, don't order them from the "As Seen On TV" website.  Their price is higher and their shipping costs are pretty steep. 

Maybe someday, after much professional counseling, I'll get up the courage to use Hercules Hooks to adorn my empty, pathetic walls.  In the mean time, I'd like to wish you all a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!  Now go eat some chocolate.

Apr 23, 2010

Hercules Hook Teaser And...Shopping For A Bed?

Have you been in one of those "As Seen On TV" stores lately?  They sell much more than Chia Pets and Flowbees these days.  One of the coolest new products that caught my eye is the Hercules Hook (they're also sold at Lowe's under a different name).  I picked some up a few weeks ago after watching the infomercial (in the store) since my bare walls are in serious need of some decorating.  I have this fear of hanging things on my walls that I need to get over.  I've got some plans in the near future to put my Hercules Hooks to good use, and when I do, I'll tell (and show) you all about it.

BTW, (I'm totally changing the subject here) have you been looking for kids beds or any other children's furniture lately?  Then you've got to check out the above link!  They've got over 360 different types of beds for kids and you can shop tax free with free shipping on orders over $69, which can save you some serious coin!

Have a great weekend!

Apr 20, 2010

The Many Faces Of Magic Eraser

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a product I'm sure most of you have tried and love.  But did you know that this white, rectangular-shaped, spongy bar of magic can be used for soooo much more than just erasing your kids' works of art off of the wall?  You know that I love my multitaskers, and because the Magic Eraser is such an effective and versatile cleaner, it ranks near the top on my list of fave cleaning products!

I've compiled a little list of some of my favorite uses. 

Scours sinks, counter tops and cook tops
Cleans the inside of the oven door
Cleans textured handles and doors of appliances (mine are white and get so dirty from my kids, the magic eraser is the only thing that gets them clean)
Cleans the grease off the top of oven hoods
Removes scuffs off of floors and baseboards
Cleans white tennis shoes and doll faces
Cleans the grout in between tile floors and counters
Cleans any painted wood surface (it works wonders on my girls' white bunk beds and desk)
Cleans mini and wooden blinds
Removes hard water spots off of bathroom and kitchen faucets and fixtures
Cleans the greasy knobs and buttons on virtually anything we touch often (ovens, microwaves, computers, light switch plates)

The Magic Eraser is made of melamine foam, which, once dampened, disintegrates as you scrub and leaves behind a gritty film, so make sure you wipe the surface with a damp cloth after cleaning.  I would not recommend using this product on a wall or surface painted with flat paint.  It will remove some of the color.  To make your erasers go farther, cut them in half or in thirds and use in smaller sections.  I've tried no-name brands of this product and some work as well as Mr. Clean and some do not.  I've been most impressed with Target's version.

If you've discovered any other cool uses for Magic Erasers, please share!  All moms love a good cleaning tip.
Am I right!?

Apr 19, 2010

Food Pod Giveaway Winner! (better late than never)

This post is a few days overdue.  After 3 days away from reality, it was really hard to get myself back into gear.

Before I announce the winner of my latest giveaway, I just have to gush about Palm Desert.  I would avoid this place like the plague in the summer, but in the late winter and early spring, the weather is AWESOME!!!  Beautiful blue skies, bright sun and an abundance of wild flowers makes the desert an ideal place to rid yourself of those winter blues and get your body cranking out some serious vitamin D.  Throw in the great restaurants, fabulous shopping and an abundance of day spas, and you've got yourself a getaway fit for a goddess...which is what we all are, right?

I want to thank everyone for the kind things you said about my blog.  I really wasn't fishing for compliments, I just wanted some honest opinions about how I can improve my blog, but I'm grateful just the same.

So...the winner of the totally cool, jellyfish-like, extremely useful Food Pod is...


Congrats Krystal, and have fun cooking things in boiling water!

Now that my blog is gaining a little momentum, I should be able to have these giveaways more often.  
Yeah for you!!!

Apr 10, 2010

Rest For The Weary

In exactly 34 hours from now, I will be headed out to the desert for some well-deserved R & R with my old college roomy who I haven't seen in 14 years!  So stoked!!!  For those of you near the Kansas City area, check out her blog.  She is an extremely talented and award-winning photographer, and I'm so excited she's agreed to take our family photos before she and I head out.  As for my wonderful hubby, please keep him in your prayers over the next few days.  Actually, maybe you'd better just pray for the safety and well-being of my children.  Thanks in advance. 

Don't forget about the Fusionbrand Silicone Food Pod giveaway that ends April 15th.  For details, click here.  I'll announce the winner when I get back.  I'll be thinking of you all while I'm getting my 1 hour massage.  Well, probably not, but I hope you all have great few days!

Apr 6, 2010

Invasion of the Food Pods and Giveaway!

My last post was a while ago thanks to one of the craziest weeks I've ever experienced.  If something could go wrong, it did, from my hubby's car getting stolen to our computer dying.  On the up side, I'm typing this on our brand new laptop!  Woohoo!  It's about freakin time.  Our last computer was actually a really old computer that my hubby decided to rebuild to save $$.  I love my hubby dearly, but that was not his best money-saving idea.  Sometimes in marriage, you just have to nod your head, smile, and keep your opinion to yourself.

So if you've been on my FB page, you know I've been searching for a store nearby that carries the Fusionbrands Food vain.  I finally just gave up and ordered it from Amazon.  When I opened the box from and pulled out the long-awaited silicone food pod, my first thought was that it looked like a cross between an upside down jellyfish and a ufo.  I mean, look at it!
Who would think that this odd-looking thing would be an incredible time saving kitchen tool?

Fusionbrands Food Pod Silicone Cooking Vessel (phew! that's a long name) was actually just the tool I was looking for but didn't know existed until I got an email about some new products on the market.  Eureka!!! 

So let me ask you.  How many times have you hard boiled several eggs at a time and cracked one or two while transferring them from the hot pot to an ice bath?

Or, how many times have you tried to blanch some fresh veggies in the pasta pot during the last couple minutes of cooking, and then had to spend several minutes fishing the veggies out so you could finish cooking them in the saute pan or wok?

Or, how many times do you cook shellfish?

Well, the answer to the last one for me is "Never!" but my hubby does and I'm sure some of you do too.  No matter how little or how much you cook, chances are you'll want to cook something in boiling water at some time in your life, and chances are, if you do, the Food Pod will make that process much less laborious and even downright fun!

The Food Pod holds up to a dozen eggs, is heat resistant, and has a cool little hook on the end that hooks onto the top of the pot.  It steams, boils, blanches, and drains all in a nonstick silicone bag that is food safe and BPA free.  Fusionbrands sells this product on it's website for $15.00, or you can use the site to locate a retailer near you.  I ordered mine off Amazon for $15.99 (but I got free shipping).

The best news is that I ordered one for you too!  If you'd like enter the giveaway to win your very own silicone jellyfish Food Pod, just leave me a comment below this post.  What you put in your comment is entirely up to you, but  I would loooove some feeback about this blog.  And I mean, any feedback...the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Just lay it on me!  Of course it would be nice if you are a follower, as well.   And, don't forget your email address.  I'll announce the winner next Thursday, April 15th.  Happy blanching!

Mar 25, 2010

Guest Post: Laptop Lunches by Amanda from Lunchbox Limbo

I have so much to tell all of you!  First of all, I apologize for neglecting my blog as of late.  Between 3 sick kids, a stray cat who decided to give birth in my garage, and a crisis at work, blogging, as much as I love it, hasn't made it into my busy days lately.  But I'm making it up to you with an awesome guest post from Amanda at Lunchbox Limbo.  She comes up with the most amazing, healthy, and fun lunches for her kiddos and she agreed to blog about a product she loves, the Laptop Lunches lunch box.  Enjoy!

"We love our laptop lunchboxes.   The kids love the different containers and fun colors.  I love the ease of cleaning, that the containers are SAFE (BPA free), how they conserve excess lunch trash and how they allow me to be creative with lunch!  It was a big transition at our house at the start of the school year, but Icky school lunches don't compare to packed lunches anymore!!  Lunch from our house is so much more than a bunch of prepackaged items thrown into a sack.  At our house, lunch is healthy and fun! 

Many adults use and love these boxes, since they really help with portion control and variety in your meal.  In our house though, the kids have taken them over!  They have really helped make lunch fun, exciting and healthy.  Having the food out of any packaging forces me to really see what I feed my children.

Laptop Lunchboxes, made by Obentec, Inc. are available directly through the manufacturer at  Use the code - LunchboxLimbo at checkout to receive 10% off of your order!"  

Ok, it's me again.  Aren't those the coolest?  I love how Amanda's lunches are incredibly nutritious, fun, and filling.  Bento boxes, of Japanese origin, have been around for a long time, but are becoming more and more popular because of the natural portion control built right in to each container.  Laptop lunches makes bentoware fun and functional as each piece has it's own tight fitting lid so you can pack salad dressings and dipping sauces with no worries about spilling.  The Bento Set 2.0 sells on the website for $24.99, but don't forget about the coupon code!  Thanks for the great guest post, Amanda!

I've got a couple great products that I'm trying out for you.  Hopefully life will give me a bit of a break so I can tell you all about them.  Have a great weekend!

Mar 18, 2010

A Quick $$ Saving Tip

A friend of mine gave me this tip, so many thanks to her!!!

What do you do with a new kind of hair conditioner that you bought on a whim, but then realized it's awful stuff and a huge waste of money???

Do you...
A.  Use it anyway and walk around with hair that feels like straw so you don't waste the money you spent.
B.  Let it sit in your shower for months because you feel too guilty to throw it away and waste the money you spent.
C.  Say, "To heck with it!" and throw it away and waste the money you spent.
D.  Shave your under arms and legs with it.

I'm not going to tell you the correct answer, but I will tell you that, I'm now saving a bundle on shaving gel and the huge bottle of Pantene conditioner in my shower is actually getting used up! 

Do you have a favorite product that works great for something other than for what it's intended?

Mar 15, 2010

Soy Wrappers = I Like Sushi

Living in southern California is great!  The year-round sun, the beach, the humongous budget deficit...sigh.    Well, if you leave politics out of it, SoCal is a pretty great place to live, and I've always felt at home here.  But there's one thing that in the last several years has made me feel a little like a fish out of water.
I don't like sushi, not even California rolls. (gasp!)

Being a southern Californian who doesn't like sushi, I never hear the end of it from my sushi-loving friends.  I've even felt the disdain within the walls of my own home.  My foodie husband loves the stuff and has his own sushi making paraphernalia, but rarely makes it because his unsophisticated spouse won't eat it.  Maybe it's because when I was growing up, the only kind of fish I was ever served was frozen, breaded, and in the shape of a stick. 

In desperation, Hubby began looking for a way to make sushi more appealing to me, trying out different, more mild ingredients as the innards, but to no avail...until he brought home these:

These colorful wrappers are made out of soy beans and are also called soybean paper or mamenori.   The vivid colors are courtesy of natural ingredients like spinach, turmeric, and paprika.   Once I tried them, I realized that what I disliked about sushi was not what was on the inside, but on the outside.  Nori (or seaweed) sheets that are traditionally used to wrap sushi have a distinct fishy taste that I just could not get past.  Soy Wrappers have a pleasantly mild flavor that doesn't overpower the flavors of what's wrapped inside.

 Check out these vegan Easter eggs using mamenori from Vegan Lunch Box.  So cute!

Each wrapper contains only 20 calories and they can be used for much more than just sushi rolls.   With a little creativity, a soy wrapper can become the base for appetizers, sandwiches, or desserts.   Soy Wrappers are available at most major grocery stores and Asian markets as well as online for around $3.30 for 5 sheets.  Have fun!

Mar 10, 2010

Happy Registered Dietitian Day! I Wrote A Song About It

I'd like to give a big shout out to all of my fellow RD's out there and wish the rest of you a very healthy and happy day.

In celebration of this extremely important holiday, I wrote a song.  Yes, I am that talented.  I hope you like it.

You Are What You Eat
by Angie
(Sing to the tune of Yellow Submarine)

You are what you eat
from your head down to your feet
head down to your feet
head down to your feet

Eating good food will really
put you in the mood
put you in the mood
I hope that's not too crude

Eat lots of whole grains, legumes and beans,
if you want to look hot
inside your jeans

Snack on veggies and yummy fruits
and you'll love trying on
your bathing suit

You are what you eat
from your head down to your feet
head down to your feet
head down to your feet

Remember to enjoy
an occasional treat
we all need to cheat
to make our lives complete, HEY!

Grammys, here I come!

Mar 8, 2010

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix

I'm always wary of food products whose labels bear claims like "reduced guilt" because it implies that I can scarf down the entire contents with abandon, and not regret it in the morning.  Even though you and I know that's not true, I still just had to test it out.  Ha ha, gotcha!!!  You thought I seriously ate the entire pan of brownies!!  Silly you, I only ate 75% of the pan of brownies.  Big difference!  

Ok, I'll admit I fell off the calorie wagon a bit that day, and despite the "reduced guilt" claim on the box, I still felt pretty guilty about it. 

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "You're a dietitian!  You should know better!"  Well yes, but knowing and doing are two different things entirely.  You see, dietitian or not, I have sweet tooth the size of Willy Wonka's Chololate Factory and so I typically keep foods like brownies completely out of the house until the weekend, when as a family, we enjoy a treat together.  It's typically gone by Monday morning, or we throw it away.  But, this particular box of brownie mix had been sitting on my kitchen counter staring at me for several days until I finally caved, baked it up while my kids and hubby were gone, and ate most of it before they even knew it existed.  Take home lesson: put the stupid box away in the cupboard where it can't be seen!

Now that I'm done confessing, I guess I'll let you know what I think of this product.  Thanks to the vanilla yogurt, which is the only ingredient added to the mix, the brownies were extremely moist and fudgy.  They also had a nice strong chocolate flavor, which is a brownie must in my opinion.  My main complaint was that the sweetness factor was cranked up a bit too high.  Not surprising, considering the #1 ingredient listed is sugar.  However, for a fat-free brownie, these were definitely a good substitute for the real thing and not at all rubbery as most fat-free baked goods are. 

Bottom line:  If you are looking to have a brownie and save a few calories or fat grams, Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix is a good way to go.  However, if you're concerned more about sugar or carbohydrates, just make your own and reduce the sugar by 1/4 to 1/3.  They'll turn out great.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go run off some guilt.


Feb 26, 2010

Plink Your Sink

After I clean my kitchen from top to bottom, I usually stand in the middle of the floor and admire the cleanliness for awhile, basking in the glow of my tremendous accomplishment...but one thing always ruins it.  That would be the unmistakable odor wafting out of my garbage disposal!!!

I've tried dumping tons of baking soda down it and grinding up lemon peels.  I even took the advice from a "professional" I found online who recommended filling the sink with hot, soapy water and then as you unstop it, run the garbage disposal to create a cleaning whirlpool inside the disposal.  But, none of these things could get rid of the smell.  I think I just neglected it for too long and now I have enough disgusting microorganisms growing in there to make a petri dish jealous.

Bed Bath and Beyond is always a good place to scout out new products to try and that's where I discovered PLINK, a garbage disposal cleaner and deoderizer.  The package of 10 little colored spheres costs $3.99 and the instructions say to drop one in your running disposal twice a week (while running hot water) to "break up fat and food particles, wash away foul odors, and freshen your whole kitchen".  I was definitely skeptical, thinking that the foul odors in my disposal would be no match for a tiny yellow ball, the size of a marble.
also comes in orange citrus and lavender
I am delighted to say that I was wrong!  I "plinked" my sink 4 days ago, and haven't wrinkled my nose since!  It fills your home with a very pleasant lemony scent for a while after plinking.  I thought for sure that once that scent had faded, the odor would return.  No-siree-bobski!  I keep sticking my head in my sink and sniffing, just to make sure, and all I smell is nothing!!!  And, nothing never smelled so good!

Feb 20, 2010

Sassy Training Spoon & My First Blog Award

I don't know about you, but watching a baby first learn to feed himself with a spoon is difficult for me.  I mean, I really feel badly when he's worked so hard to get darn thing into his mouth, only to realize that it's empty because the contents fell off a split second before entry!   I've seen and tried several different training spoons with my kids, and haven't been particularly impressed with any of them...until now.

I don't know how long Sassy has been making the Less Mess Training Spoon, but it's new to me and I love it...and so does my babe!
 (That kid will NOT wear a bib!!!)

It's unique design first caught my eye in Target and as I studied it, I realized that it had several features that other training spoons lacked.  For starters, baby can grasp it from either end or with either hand because the spoon is on both ends.  The large guard acts as a visual cue to help the baby guide the spoon to his mouth and then keeps him from shoving it in too far.  The holes in the spoon keep the food from sliding around and falling off.  And, it's made from a soft material that won't hurt baby's gums.

Gerber and Babyhuman sell spoons with a similar guard on the end, but the spoon is only on one end and there are no holes in, they're more expensive.

The Sassy Less Mess Training Spoon cost me $2.59 at Target and sells on Amazon for $2.49 (it's also eligible for free shipping).

Not to change the subject,'s my very first blog award!!!
Shelley of Shelley's Swag choose to pass this award along to me and I am truly flattered!  

Since starting this blog, I've discovered that mommy bloggers are a community of 
I'll-scratch-your-back-if-you'll-scratch-mine gals who enjoy sharing wisdom, followers, and awards and I am so glad to be a part of it all.  

I'll be passing this award along to some fellow bloggers that brighten my day in my next post.  Have a lovely day!!!

Feb 11, 2010

"Out D@!# Spot!"

A humongous "THANK YOU" to my good friend, Megan, who told me about this product.  She and her husband own a carpet cleaning business and swear by this stuff.  If I had known how awesome it is, I wouldn't have passed it by a million times in the grocery store.

I'm not going to go on too much about my experience with Folex because it wouldn't do it justice.  Just hop on down to your local supermarket and pick up a bottle ($5.99 on sale at Albertson's) to try for yourself.  You'll be glad you did!!!
Here's a little info from Folex Company's website about this impressive spot remover:

FOLEX is not a soap, so you do not need to add a defoamer.
FOLEX will not leave a sticky residue, so you do not have to rinse.
FOLEX is not a solvent, so your carpet backing will not be damaged.
FOLEX is “Non-Ionic”, so it will not attract dirt back to the cleaned area.
FOLEX is “Non-Toxic”, so your newly cleaned carpet is safe for your children and pets.
Removes: FOLEX is effective on these and many more spots and stains...

Ashes Crayon Grass Many Inks Soft Drinks
Auto Oil Dirt Grime Pet Accidents Tea
Beach Tar Fireplace Soot Household Grease Potting Soil Tobacco
Blood Food Ice Cream Road Tar Toothpaste
Car Grease Food Oil Ketchup Rust Urine
Coffee Fruit Juice Lipstick Sauces Varnish
Copy Toner Furniture Polish Makeup Shoe Polish Vomit

Works on:
FOLEX is not just for carpets! FOLEX is safe for any material that is both colorfast and color stable, including hard surfaces, that can be safely dampened with water, such as...
Upholstery, Clothing, Draperies, Car Interiors, Walls, Woodwork, Floors, and More!

Your Safety and Comfort: FOLEX is...
completely non-irritating to normal skin
Non-Flammable, contains no solvents of any kind
Odor-Free, no unpleasant chemicals
CFC and Petroleum Free

Feb 9, 2010

Want Shine Free Skin??? Try MOM

Just a quick FYI.  
Did you know that applying a small amount of Milk of Magnesia to oil-prone areas on your face (after the moisturizer and before the makeup) will keep you mattified and oil-free all day??? 
Neither did I, until I tried it, and low and actually works!!!!  I feel so foolish for spending so much $$$ on skin care products and cosmetics that promised to do the same thing, but never delivered.  I guess it just goes to show that the only one we can always count on, is MOM.

Feb 8, 2010

Giveaway Winner Announced

A great big THANK YOU to all of you for entering my giveaway and letting your friends know about my blog.  I'm hoping I can begin having these more frequently, and since my following is still pretty small, your chances of winning one are pretty darn good. 

So onto the good stuff.  The winner of the Original Sprout Miracle Detangler is...

Shelley of Shelley's Swag, an awesome blog for frugal moms.  
If you like saving money, check out her blog when you have the chance.  Watch for my email, Shelley.

I'll be reviewing an amazing spot cleaner for carpets and upholstery within the next day, so be sure to check back to find out what it is.  Have a fantastic day!!!

Feb 7, 2010

Last Day for Original Sprout Miracle Detangler Giveaway!

Just a Reminder

Thanks to everyone who has already left their comments.  For those of you who haven't yet, please leave your comments by midnight tonight (Pacific Time Zone).  To be eligible for this giveaway: 
1.   Be a follower AND
2.  Become a new facebook friend, or add this blog to your blogroll or, add my button to your blog, or  tell a friend about this blog. 

Please leave me a comment indicating which of the above makes you eligible and include your email address so I can contact you if you win.  I'll announce the winner tomorrow!
Good luck!

Feb 4, 2010

Soup's On!

I loooove beef and barley soup.  I really love just plain barley, but the combination of the flavor from the beef paired with the earthiness of barley is sheer heaven.  Not to mention, barley is an uber nutritious grain that's high in soluble fiber, even if the bran has been removed.
A few years ago, a friend taught me how to make an easy beef and barley soup.  She even came over to my house with all of the ingredients and showed me every step, while I watched and took copious notes.  Since then, I've made her wonderful recipe...hmm, let me see.....carry the one....oh, that's right, NEVER!!!  You see, I have a love-hate relationship with cooking.  Love to eat, hate to cook.  Maybe hate is too strong a word.  I think I might actually like to cook if I had a kitchen with easily accessible ingredients, the proper equipment, ample counter space, and without four needy kids bugging me the entire time I'm trying to prepare dinner.  But alas, that is not to be.  So at this time, cooking is more of a chore than a pleasure.
So you can imagine my delight, when I discovered a way to make beef and barley soup, with very little effort, and for only a few bucks.  Streit's is a food company that's been making kosher products since 1925, but since I'm not Jewish, I'd never heard of them until I stumbled upon their dry soup mixes in the grocery store.  I bought the Barley Mushroom Soup Mix after I read the label and discovered that making it involves simply simmering the contents of the box for 45 minutes.  Well, that's not entirely true.  At minute 30, you add the contents of the seasoning packet and then continue to simmer.  Whew!  That part was tough!  Striet's also makes other soup mixes like Split Pea and Minestrone, which I haven't tried yet, but intend to.

Horrible picture, I know..but it's the best I could find since I didn't take pic of the package I bought.  So sorry!

During the last few minutes of cooking, I threw in some left over flank steak from the night before and my lovely husband chopped up some carrots (more effort than I would have made) and steamed them a bit before throwing them into the soup pot as well.  The result?  An incredibly filling and delicious beef and barley soup, and all I had to do was boil water...which I can handle.
See below for the nutrition facts and ingredient list.  The sodium content is quite high, but it's all in the separate seasoning packet so to cut back on the sodium, just add less than the whole packet, or simply leave it out and add your own seasonings.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 0.25 pack
Servings Per Container 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g1%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 113mg5%
Total Carbohydrate 22g7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 21%
Sugars 2g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A1%
Vitamin C2%
* Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Total FatLess than65g80g
  Sat FatLess than20g25g
CholesterolLess than300mg300mg
SodiumLess than2,400mg2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate300g375g
  Dietary Fiber25g30g
Ingredients: Barley, Green & Yellow Peas, Dextrose, Salt, Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Turmeric.
Usage Directions / Dosage: In a medium sized pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add contents of the large bag containing peas and barley. Cover pot and simmer over Low heat for 30 minutes. Add the contents of the seasoning bag and continue to simmer 15 minutes.
Warnings/Caution: Process on equipment used for wheat.
©2010 Aron Streit Inc.
New York, NY 10002

*Just a quick reminder about my Original Sprout Miracle Detangler giveaway that ends on Feb 7th.  Click here for more details.

Jan 30, 2010

Blog Makeover Reveal and Original Sprout Giveaway

My blog is officially made over and I love it!  Diana did a great job.  So to celebrate this momentous occasion, I'm giving away a 12 oz bottle (the BIG bottle) of Original Sprout's Miracle Detangle, a $25 value! 
Just to let you know, this awesome detangler is great on big people hair too.  It leaves it sooo soft!
To be eligible for this giveaway:
Follow this blog 
Simply tell a friend about this blog and leave a comment about it.  You're on your honor for this one ladies.  I don't care if you text, tweet, email or tell someone face to face.  Just leave me a comment saying something like "I told a friend about your blog".
Become a fan on Facebook, link to me from your blog, or add this blog to your blog roll and leave me your blog URL in a comment.  If I'm already on your blog roll (you know who you are), thanks a million and just leave me a comment if you're interested in this give away.
Don't forget to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win.
You have until February 7th to enter and I'll announce the winner the next day.  Remember, the more people that read this blog, the more I can host great giveaways so, help me help you.  I get nothing out of it except the fun of researching and writing this blog and making your day by giving you some free stuff that I know you'll love!

Jan 29, 2010

Old Navy Jacket in a Packet

Many thanks to Blue Hydrangea (a beautiful blog!) for leading me to this light-weight rain jacket from Old Navy they call a "Jacket In A Packet".  You pull the jacket out of the little pouch and the pouch winds up inside one of the jacket's side pockets.  Ingenius!  It's on sale now for only $19.50 (both in-store and online) and available in several bright colors.  I just ran out and picked myself up one and loooove it!
I had an awesome, light-weight, hooded rain jacket from Land's End for about 7 years that I absolutely loved.  Here in SoCal, when it rains, it's not necessarily cold, so I didn't need anything too heavy.  Well, they don't make it anymore and I had to get rid of mine last year when I realized it was literally falling apart.  Since then, I've been looking for a suitable replacement with no luck...until today!!!  Isn't the blogosphere wonderful?!  Of course, my timing is a little off since all of the heavy rainstorms are over.  At least I'll be prepared for the next downpour.  Bring it on.

As I type this, Diana is working on my blog makeover.  Can't wait to see what she's coming up with! 

Jan 27, 2010

Blog Makeover (Yeah!!!)

I just wanted to let you know that very soon, my blog will have a whole new look, thanks to Diana at Custom Blog Designs.  Since I started this blog back in September, I've received so much positive feedback from all of you that I decided it was time to invest a little more into making this blog one of the best (and a little easier on the eyes).  Once it's finished, I'm celebrating by having a fabulous give away.  Remember the very first product I blogged about????  That's ok.  You can refresh your memory here.

So tell all your friends and check back in a few days.  See you soon!!!!!!!

Jan 23, 2010

Funny T's

There are a lot of websites out there that sell funny T-shirts, but this site made me laugh out loud.   It's called Snorg Tees and they have tees on sale for as low as $9.99.  Check out a couple I like.

And my personal favorites:

Thanks to Cheri at Confessions of an Overworked Mom for reviewing this site!

The Good Kind of Bed Head

I don't know about you, but I find it extremely annoying when actresses on TV or in movies get out of bed in the morning with the perfect head of sexy, tousled hair.  When I wake up, the back of my head looks like someone snuck into my room at night and went at it with a brillo pad.  Now, I know TV and movies aren't real, well...except for about half of all TV shows now, but it still bugs me how witchy I usually look first thing in the morning.  (But isn't it great how our babies are still so happy to see us. Ah, motherhood!)

Well, I discovered the secret to waking up with smooth, untangled locks in the form of a pillow case.  The secret is SATIN! (or silk but it's much more expensive and satin works just as well.)  Just sleep on a satin pillow case and not only will it preserve your hairstyle and prevent tangles, but it will also prevent the damage and breakage that can happen when your hair catches on the fibers of your pillow case as you toss and turn.

I went searching for a store that sells just a single satin pillow case with no luck.  So, of course, I turned to the internet.  Betty Dain Creations, Inc. makes satin pillowcases in a variety of colors that you can buy without spending oodles of money on an entire satin sheet set.  I bought a three-pack through Amazon for $20.24.  The silk pillowcases made for the same purpose can run you $75 and up.  Or, you can just take a trip to China and pick up a few there. Ha ha.  In hindsight, I should have checked Sally Beauty Supply because I think they sell them there also.

Since I bought three pillow cases, I put one on each of my daughters' pillows.  Since they shower at night, I usually have a heck of a time combing through their hair in the morning, made all the worse by the fact that we're usually running late.  Ouch!  I curled my daughter's hair in ringlets using a spiral curling iron (very time consuming), and thanks to satin and some L'Oreal Elnett Hair Spray, the curls lasted for 3 days.  

The pillow cases are machine washable and feel oh-so-nice on your skin.  It's a great way to bring a little luxury into my not-so-luxurious life.  Now, if I could just get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I know, I'm a dreamer. 
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