Friday, April 29, 2011

Naps are for mommies!

Today has been a whirlwind of activity rounded out by a quick, not so painless trip to the grocery store.  We have had a turn of cooler weather and well I figured it would be a sin not to bring Sam to the playground.  So after a few loads of laundry, alot of writing work and pulling out food for dinner tonight we venture out.  I still have a small dog walking business and had to walk on of my dogs so I did that first and we headed out to the park.  It wasn't long before Sam's diaper leaked and we had to leave.  I needed to pick up some things for dinner so I stopped by Kroger where as we are trying to check out, Sam has a total meltdown.  The poor kid behind the counter made her a balloon to cheer her up and she just continued to scream.  Finally we make it home and I just put her down for her nap.  The house will be silent for the next 4 minutes until Jake gets home.  So for the next four minutes I might have peace....oh wait, no groceries to put away and laundry to do....forget that thought!  LOL.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Have you heard abou GiveBack's 100 Days of Giving Campaign?

I am always looking for ways that I will be able to donate to causes that I am passionate about.  Earlier this year I won a sweepstakes that allowed me to give a 1000.00 donation to the charity of my choice.  Boy was I stoked when I found that one out!  Well I found this new opportunity that I wanted to share with you.

On GiveBack's site, every day for 100 Days through July 16, 2011, one GiveBack member will be randomly chosen to win $1000 which will be contributed to their personal foundation.  They have also created an Impact Points system to track members who spread the word about GiveBack and get others to join.  At the end of the 100 Days of Giving campaign, GiveBack will award a $50,000 prize for the member who has earned the most Impact Points. Winners will have the money deposited to their GiveBack account and can then donate it to a charity or charities of their choice.    

These were the numbers after just four days!  Now it has been nineteen and they have increased substantially!

How to Earn Impact Points on GiveBack:

1. Log into
2. Create an account (if you aren't already a member). It's totally free and you can even do it with one click through via Facebook.
3. You'll see your personalized link on your home page.
4. Share your personalized link with friends via Facebook, Twitter, email or any other social media sites.
5. Earn Impact points when your friends join using your link and when their friends join, and when their friends join!

Not only are you doing good, but you're also increasing your chances of winning more money for your foundation

Promoting this cause just makes me feel good!  If you want to feel good to, go ahead and GiveBack!

I was not compensated for this post, but did post because I am a member of One 2 One Network and will be entered into a drawing.

Don't Fret The Sweat!

Do you have tweens or kids who are quickly approaching tween years?  If so you know how critical self esteem is at this tender age.  Unilever, the makers of Degree, Dove and Suave deodorant offer support for these difficult times.
The tween years are full of changes.  Whether or not parents are ready, their kids’ bodies are trying to tell them something. Increased hormones are causing noticeable differences like growth spurts and strange new odors. But don’t let the unexpected stink scare you; it’s just a sign of great things to come

Unilever - the maker of Degree, Dove and Suave deodorants - wants to ensure parents and kids remain cool, calm and confident throughout the day - especially during those sweat-inducing moments.
Check out for money saving offers and expert tipstools and real life stories about how parents are communicating and transitioning their tweens into confident and self-reliant teens.
I published this post in order to participate in a partnership with One 2 One Network and Unilever.  I was not compensated for this post, however will be entered into a drawing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

YAY! Easter is almost here!

I would have to say that I just feel like a kid again every year that Easter rolls around.  I took Samantha to our Easter Eggstravaganza here at the neighborhood and just love the petting zoos and the Easter egg hunts.  I also love that we have created a tradition to go out for brunch on Easter, so I don't even worry about cooking.  I love the dresses and the pastels and hopefully the cool weather is still here.  Well it was 90 today but we aren't going to think about that.  I just did the children's Easter baskets and have those ready now me even though the religious meaning of Easter is way more somber, I just think it is so much fun.  My daughter is two and half this year and even though she got into it last year, I just can't wait for her to get into it this year.  She fell in love with the baby chicks and baby ducks at the petting zoo.  This is just a great time of the year.  I guess I really have nothing profound to say!  LOL  Happy Easter to you all and I hope that you truly have a moment to enjoy your family and cherish these special times.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cooking with Coke!

There really is something fun about cooking with ingredients that you really wouldn't think of adding into your dinners.  Now that Easter is getting closer, I know that I start thinking of my sweet and sticky glazed ham.  You know what my secret ingredient is?  It is Coca-Cola Classic.  The sweetness of the coke makes this delicious sticky glaze on the outside of my ham that my entire family finds addictive.  Isn't that what you want your food to be?  Addictive and craveable?  Well that is what my ham is and it is super easy.  I have to admit that I do cheat a little.  I only buy a spiral ham.  Yes they are more expensive but the fact that I do not need to slice it, well that is just worth the extra price.

I start preparing my ham by packing on some brown sugar on the outside of the entire ham.  I then take spiral ham and cover it with pineapple slices.  The easiest way to do this is to grab a can of the sliced pineapples and they secure them to the ham using toothpicks.  I don't use the capers or the maraschino cherries because I just don't care for the taste.  Once I have both my brown sugar and my pineapples on the outside, I take an entire can of coke and pour it all over my ham.  I make sure that the coke gets into the creases and crevices of the different slices of ham.  That way when it cooks, the sweetness is infused through out the entire ham and not just on the outside.  I warm it in the oven according to the regular directions of the ham and when it comes out a few hours later it is a sweet and delicious dinner for my entire family and then left over sandwiches later.  If you have never tried it, you would be shocked at how juicy and wonderful it comes out.  They have all kinds of neat recipes on Coke's new website I can't wait to pick out my next delicious "go to" recipe.

I love cooking with coke because I love the flavor of coke.  I remember when we were kids how my mom would buy an eight pack of coke bottles.  It was such a treat to have her go and get the bottle opener and let us drink one on a hot day in the summer.  Also if we were really lucky she would take us to the local 7-11 for Slurpee.  My sister always got the cherry one, but to this day mine has always been the Coca-Cola flavored ones.  On occasion if I happen to see the opportunity to get a Coke Slurpee I will get on and I am transported back to those summer days as a kid.   Does drinking an ice cold coke remind you of anything nostalgic?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Coca-Cola® blogging program. If I am one of the first 100 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 gift card. For more information on the program, click here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Have you heard about the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest

Pillsbury is looking for original recipes that taste and look delicious, are easy to prepare and that families across America will love to eat. Consumers can submit recipes in one of four recipe categories:

  • The Breakfast & Brunches category includes casual brunch or weekend family breakfast ideas. For example, sweet rolls, pull-aparts, pastries, breakfast breads, egg dishes or breakfast sandwiches.
  • In the Entertaining Appetizers category, entrants can submit appetizers and snacks to serve at casual gatherings with family and friends or for holiday entertaining. For example, bite size appetizers, tartlets, pinwheels, puffs, bruschetta or focaccia.
  • The Dinner Made Easy™ category encourages home cooks to create easy-to-prepare main dishes that will delight your family. For example, pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, foldovers, casseroles, chilis, soups or savory pies.
  • Quick and easy treats for anytime celebrations can be entered into the Sweet Treats category. For example, cookies, pies, tarts, brownies or bars.
Entries are being accepted online between now and April 18, 2011, at One hundred lucky finalists will compete for a chance at the grand prize during the contest finals, which take place March 25-27, 2012 at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Florida. You’ll also find contest details, including eligible products, prizes and the official rules, on the web site.

The recipes will be judged for 1) taste, 2) appearance, 3) creativity and 4) consumer appeal. All entries must meet the requirements of the recipe category and appropriately use two of the eligible products in at least the quantity specified.

Wanna participate?  Well MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury has provided me with some goodies to get me started and they have also set up to have an addition one sent to one of my readers!  All you have to do is enter and you could possibly win
a Pillsbury Bake-Off® gift pack that includes a Pillsbury Bake-Off® apron, recipe book, pen and notepad.

Mandatory Entry:

What do you think goes into coming up with a winning recipe?

Additional Entries
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect
  • Follow me on twitter
  • Follow me on Networked Blogs
  • "Like" Homemaker in Progress
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page  (attach the link in your comment post)
  • Blog about this giveaway and post the link on your blog  (attach the link in your comment post)
  • Tweet about this giveaway using the tweet below.   (Max 3 entries per day at least one hour apart.) 
 "I entered the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest on Homemaker in Progress and you should too!  #Myblogspark"

One winner  will be randomly selected from all valid entries using, and that winner will have 48 hours to respond to their prize winner email notification.  If winner fails to respond, within that time period, a new winner will be selected.  Contest April 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm CT.  Open to US residents, age 18+.

Yanni's newest word....enlightening!

By nature I am more of a rock and roll kind of gal, but I was given the opportunity to review Yanni's new album.  It is named "Truth of Touch" and I am not sure if you have every had the opportunity to listen to his music but I found this album truly enlightening.  The music was anything but sleepy.  If anything I found it motivating and energizing at the same time.  This is Yanni's first instrumental release of original compositions in over eight years and is a return to the genre Yanni helped create and advance.  I found this music perfect for well writing my blog of course, but also doing housework and paying bills.  I almost feel that I had gotten more done because I had it on.  If that isn't a recommendation, I am not sure what is!

On March 22, Yanni launched a 40-date tour of the US. The tour will take him through theaters in major cities across the US including Radio City Music Hall in NYC and the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.  I was really excited to see that he will actually be visiting Houston on his tour.  I think it sounds like a rather romantic evening with the hubby, don't you?

Here is a link to his tour dates:

The album is already available for purchase.  If you would love to check it out, click on it's picture!

I am working with One2One Network on this campaign and all of the opinions expressed in this post are my own.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

With Easter coming soon...what memories are triggered?

Being a mom really brings out my memories of childhood.  At Christmas I think of when I used to set up the Christmas tree with my mom, while I am showing my daughter how to hang up ornaments.  When it is Halloween time, I am thinking about the costumes that my mom made for me, while I am shopping for my daughters newest
costume.  (My mom is much more talented behind sewing machine than I am so in my house costumes will continue to be purchased until my skills improve.)  And so now that Easter is on its way all of the Easter egg hunts that she used to bring to memories are flooding back.  What is the first thing that makes me realize that Easter is upon us?  Well the Peeps start hitting the shelves!

I am at CVS and find the shelves lined with pink, yellow and purple versions of the marshmellowy goodness.  Little rows of chicks and bunnies line the shelves and I am instantly transported to when I was seven years old and just realized that it was Easter morning.  I wake up and decide that I am still tired and roll over to go back to sleep, when all of a sudden I realize what today was!  Then I am mad at myself for wasting so much time laying in bed when there is a basket left behind by the Easter Bunny.  What on earth could I have been thinking!  I creep out of my bed and open my bedroom door only to notice that I am the only one awake.  (Thinking back it was probably like 6:30 in the morning on a Sunday so of course everyone is sleeping.)   I creep and go to the stairs overlooking the living room because I want to make sure that the Easter Bunny hadn't forgotten about us and there they are.  Three big and beautiful baskets filled with all kinds of goodies that I needed to see up close.  So instead I run into my sisters room and wake her up and we go and jump on my parents bed to wake them up.  Finally we get to go down and open our baskets.

Inside there are Chinese jump ropes and stickers and yo-yos, but besides all of the little toys there are always two items.  I large chocolate bunny and some Peeps.  Now the chocolate bunny had to wait, but my mom would sometimes let us eat the peeps before breakfast even!  What a treat!  So when I see the Peeps, I always think of the anticipation of the Easter Basket goodies and the early morning candy.  What else could a kid want?  It wasn't until I was way older when I realized that my favorite Easter treat was also fat free.  Talk about heaven!  Do you have any memories of peeps like mine?  What are they?

Also if you like Peeps as much as I do, check out this great promotional code:

SMSPRING11 for 20% off all of your purchases until 5/4/11 at

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and PEEPS blogging contest, for a chance to get a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Little Switches Make a Big Difference!

So now that my husband and I have been married for some time now, we have finally been blessed to have somewhat of a routine.  If you happen to know anything about our first year of marriage, well lets just say that it was a whirlwind of activity.  We celebrate our anniversary every March and at every anniversary I pray for the same thing.  A "boring' year.  With three children and a husband, my life is never boring but we like it just not super eventful these days.  So since we are enjoying a but of the solitude that comes from a stable income and healthy children we may tend to come complacent.  Sometimes you need to add a little spark to 'switch' things up. 

I do confess that both my husband and I do enjoy watching television.  Usually there is some sort of sports on the television.  Well as I had noted in an earlier post, that I had purchased a trailer for my daughter to ride in while we ride our bikes.  This little switch gives us the ability to go out bike riding as a family.  We are able to get to the pools here and not have to use the truck which is excellent.  It basically makes going to the park that much more fun because getting there is now part of the activity.  I think that this little switch has brought us all together more as a family and I am sure there will be more family moments like that this spring and summer. 

Another little switch that we my husband and I have made, was to make some more nights out for the two of us.  We met playing cards, so now we try to make it to a local lounge to play in a free texas hold'em tournament.  It is fun because we can do something together that we did before we were married with all of these kids.  There is also another bonus.  If you win the tournament, you actually win money to pay for your food and drinks which was great!  I actually won the last time we had gone and we literally had a free night out!  You just can't ask for better than that!  Blowing off a little steams makes us happier in the long run.  So tell me, do you have any little switches that you do that make a huge difference in your life?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do you ever compare?

Do you ever compare your kid to other kids?  I really try not to do this too much but I guess it is pretty much human nature right?  Well Sam and I are getting ready to go to our play date today and she is moody to say the least.  Well we get there and I look at her hair and I am mortified!  Her hair is a mess so I go to the bathroom and try to wet down some of her crazy curls.  It actually helped.  Then I look around at all of the other girls in the room and even though they have been running around like crazy children having fun, their hair is pulled up in pretty bows or brushed out and just looks beautiful!  I do admit, that the "girly-girl" gene passed me by but I wonder if people are as critical as I am.  Do they  look at Sam and think oh what a beautiful little girl, but jeez could the mom brush her hair at least?  I really need to remember to do this before leaving the is just sometimes so chaotic!  Do you have anything that you probably slack on more than you should?  Let me know!