Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Product Review: Duncan Hines Decadent Cakes and Glazes

*I didn't receive the carrot cake mix, but this picture was so pretty and professional looking that I wanted to use it here*

I can't tell you how excited I was to receive these in the mail to review! It was right up my ally, unfortunately I had just started Weight Watchers a few weeks earlier, so I had to wait and try them when I had enough points to cover my "treat". Of course I went for the Chocolate cake first :) I hadn't really eaten anything sweet in a month, so I was really excited to try this, sadly, it just didn't taste that good to me. Maybe I've become spoiled by my homemade death by chocolate cake, but this chocolate cake tasted like it came from a mix and just didn't taste all that good. The kids said it was okay and didn't ask for seconds. I had tons of leftovers that went in the trash.
I was still very eager to try the Apple Caramel cake, it took me about 6 weeks later. The kids were sick, then it was finals time for me, then Christmas! I fixed this on Christmas Eve and let me tell you, it was very yummy!! I was pleasantly surprised about how the cake had a homemade taste. I would definitely buy this cake mix at the store!
The glazes were both very good. I would buy both of them!

I just love Duncan Hines products! In fact when I'm making a cake from a box, Duncan Hines is the brand that I always buy. I'm not sure what was up with the Chocolate cake, but I would try it again, that's how much faith I have in Duncan Hines products! To set the record straight since it seems like I'm working for Duncan Hines here, LOL! I did receive the 2 cake mixes and 2 glazes for free, but everything that was said is my honest, humble opinion!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Since the big kids are now officially on Christmas Break and my husband is off work too, I won't be on the computer much. Christmas day is my most very favorite day out of the entire year! It's truly magical to see the kids open their presents and just have the joy of their excitement fill the room! This year they're predicting a white Christmas, how wonderful will that be? I can't recall the last white Christmas we had! I'm SO excited!

I'm normally in the kitchen the entire day, but I don't mind it one bit! I always fix a big ham dinner with the works. I asked everyone if they wanted anything special for Christmas dinner, and all the kids said my homemade rolls with the honey butter! So out of everything that is what they have remembered from past dinners! I asked if they wanted to fix their own homemade pizzas like they did last year for Christmas Eve dinner, they all looked at me and said, "I guess". Like it was just something they would do if they had too, I guess we do homemade pizza too much for it to be a real treat for them! I may have to come up with something else to do, or add something "cool" or "fun" to do with it.

On Christmas Eve the kids always open their presents from each brother. I started that years ago when the kids didn't have much money (still don't at such young ages), so they would always be super excited to open any present before Christmas. You wouldn't believe how amazing a $.50 toy or a $.25 book looks on Christmas Eve, LOL!

Someday I hope I will see this little perfect thing underneath my Christmas treewhen my real babies are big, then I can go back to dog babies, LOL!

I hope your house is filled with that magical feeling that only Christmas through the eyes of a child can bring! Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The long road ahead is hard...

Does anyone notice the extreme happiness that is on this lady's face? If I were getting ready to eat that I would be happy too, hmmm, maybe that's the reason I'm overweight! I eat because I'm happy, not because I am sad or depressed. Too many good things are linked to a good meal. My biggest problem isn't emotional eating, it's portion control! Too much of a good thing turns out to be a bad thing!
Last weekend we went out of town and I ate whatever I wanted too, sure I cut down on my portion sizes and showed restraint from drinking pop, but I didn't count any points and basically was eating like before. We got home Sunday and I hopped on my treadmill, desperate to "undo" what I had done in the previous days. I was full of optimism when I awoke on Monday, only to find out that my eating whatever I wanted over the weekend mindset was still with me! Not to mention that I'm pms'ing and having food cravings!
My Weight Watcher's meeting is tonight, but will be cancelled due to inclement weather. I'm very glad, because that gives me a week to get back in control and take off these additional pounds I gained. My husband was running out to the store to get contact solution and always asks me if I need anything. I informed him I did need something, an Almond Joy chocolate bar. He looked totally shocked and asked if I was serious. I told him yes I was. He asked if I was quitting Weight Watchers. I said I would if I hadn't just paid for another month. He told me that the program's not working because I haven't changed how my mind thinks. Ah, the wisdom of skinny people, who have never had to deny themselves a morsel of food their entire life! It's just like anything in life, Weight Watchers or something else, if you work the program, then the program works, it's as simple as that!
I know my sweet husband will never understand what dieting entails, I mean how could he since he's never had to deal with something like this before? Even someone that only needs to lose 10-20 pounds will never understand my personal struggle with weight loss. The road ahead of me is very long and hard, indeed! But it's the path that I've chosen to walk down to improve my life and the life of my loved ones! I just need to block out these road obstacles, LOL!

Next week I'll be posting about my weight loss and will be incredibly happy. I just remembered all the Holiday baking I must do, ahhh it never ends!! :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Movie Review: The Expendables

We watched this movie last night and it was just okay for me. Normally I love action movies, but this one was just too gory for me, I can tolerate seeing someone shot, I just don't want to see blood everywhere and see all the gross detail. Yeah I'm aware that is what happens whenever someone is shot, LOL! But I just don't want to see it in detail! The storyline was decent, the casting was superb. Although we were left wondering what qualified the one guy from White Chicks to be an action hero. Every time I look at him I see him driving down the road singing that song from the movie, ROFL!! For those of you that have seen White Chicks, I'd bet you money you're hearing that song in your head right now and laughing hysterically :-) For those of you that haven't seen it, well you are sadly missing a funny movie and bare with me in this review!
The most exciting part of the movie was when I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger come on the screen, no, not because I have some weird obsession with him, but because I thought there was going to be some Terminator crap going on and got excited, LOL! Sadly, it was very brief cameo and then he was gone! Stallone delivered some funny lines, but frankly he will never top Rambo in my book! Over all it was kinda boring for me.


Red Velvet Cookies

I'm very hesitant about putting pictures of my children on the Internet, but that doesn't stop me from talking incessantly about them :) The weekend before last my little 4 year old, Evan, entered a cookie contest and won 2nd place!! I honestly do believe I was more excited than he was, LOL! He worked so hard on his red velvet cookies. The only thing I did was to do the proper measurements and put them into the oven and take them out, he did everything else! I guess that is why it was even more special to me, that he cared enough to want to do it by himself. Sure he helps out to lick the batter or sneak a bite of this and that, but this time he was determined to make "his" cookies! I was just as proud as a peacock when they called to tell me he had won! He won $20 and immediately spent it on a Buzz Lightyear Snuggie for himself, and a Cars Snuggie for his brother, another big smile on my face for his generosity!
Did I mention that his 10 year old brother also entered the contest? He didn't even place, nor did my chocolate cake. But it doesn't matter, the fun we had that day makes it worth a million bucks to me!
I just hope he continues to want to bake with me, I would never pressure him into anything. The older 2 rarely want to bake anymore, so I'm just biding my time with Evan, silently holding my breath that he will continue to go grab his little apron whenever he hears me digging around for my pans! Well, I've done went and made myself teary eyed!
Here is his cookie recipe:



2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon red food coloring
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) with the rack in the middle position. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Break the chocolate squares into chunks, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High until the chocolate melts, about 90 seconds. Stir the chocolate until smooth and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy; pour in the egg and beat until smooth. Mix in the red food coloring and chocolate, scraping the bowl down regularly, until evenly blended, about 30 seconds. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients, stirring until well incorporated. Beat in the sour cream and mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake one sheet at a time in the preheated oven until they spring back when pressed, about 9 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the cream cheese frosting, whip 1/4 cup butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Blend in the powdered sugar in half cup portions until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.

*TIP* If you want the kids to do the icing, just put it into a decorator set like this
and put a large star tip on, we used a size 1M for this. It's very kid friendly and they really can't mess it up! I have the old plastic one. This one looks really nice!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing beats homemade, this is especially true with cookies! In just a few minutes I whipped this up and put them in the oven. I got to thinking, it really didn't even take me any longer to get all the ingredients from my pantry and throw this together than it would've taken me to walk out to my freezer and get some frozen store bought cookie dough and throw it on the cookie sheet! This recipe is super simple and super easy! My favorite type!

-1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
-1/2 cup shortening
-3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. In another bowl, cream softened butter with shortening, add sugar (both kinds) and vanilla extract. Beat until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually add flour mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes. (I do 6 min. for small cookies)
*Take out of the oven before they start to turn dark, unless you like your cookies to be extra crispy, I prefer to take mine out of the oven while they are super soft, not completely cooked, they finish cooking on the hot cookie sheet and they just melt in my mouth, yummm!!!

Another benefit of making everything homemade, or some may say, from scratch, is that you can make them any size you want, add any extra ingredient to the mix too! I like to make cookies of varying sizes, that way when a little one wants 2 cookies, he can have two little ones, that would normally equal 1 big one, LOL! Or if you're trying to lose weight like I am, you can sample a little one too!

*I didn't have any little helpers in the kitchen today, they were busy playing with their handheld video games. But as soon as they smelled the cookies they all came running into the kitchen, LOL! It's a snow day here and I wanted to make them something to go with their hot cocoa!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TV stands

The Holiday season is upon us and Christmas is fast approaching! I look around and notice the kid's could use a new tv stand. One of my favorite places to look is through CSN stores.
CSN has over 200 stores with some super cool stuff... you can get shoes, dishes, cookware and even super chic tv tables! They have so many to choose from, the hardest part is making up your mind!

Looks like I'll be busy today looking at all the cool stuff over at csnstores.com!


Holiday Weight Gain...

It's that time or year again, time for Turkey, dressing, ham and sweet potato casserole and rolls, and much more! I don't even want to start thinking about all the sweet treats in fear that I will gain weight just by thinking of them!
I have a Weight Watchers Meeting in 2 days and I have gained 2 lbs, not sure if it's just my scale and weight fluctuating, but I really need to get serious and get back focused on my weight loss effort. I've lost 22 pounds so far and I have a ton left to lose! If I quit WW's right now, by the first of the year I would in all seriousness, gain back the 22 lbs. It's so hard to get off and so easy to gain!
I'm so thankful that I have a treadmill to walk on with the cold weather here. I never thought I would be that thankful for my dust collector, LOL!
So I want to encourage you to get on the healthy bandwagon with me BEFORE the New Year so you can ward off those Holiday pounds! Weight Watchers just came out with a new program yesterday. I'll hear all about it at my meeting Thursday and fill you all in on it. There's an old saying, nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I guess they never ate chocolate cake before, LOL! Speaking of cake, I'm entering a bake off this weekend, gotta go plan things for the kids' to bake! Wish us all luck!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has plenty to eat and has some extra special time with their family, and remember those loved ones that can not be with you. Most importantly, remember to count your blessings and think of all the things you have to be thankful for this year! You won't imagine how many there are until you start writing them down!

Movie Review- Splice

I have to first say that Science Fiction movies are my least favorite out of all movies. Even saying that, I try to keep an open mind and watch different things. My husband had this sent to us from NetFlix. The preview looked interesting, they spliced genes from many different things, animals to a human and created this creature. I was fine with the movie up until the creature matured to an adult and the man (Adrian Brody) had sexual relations with it, ewwww. It was just so disgusting! It was just gross and sick! Definitely not a movie for me! I was just disappointed that I wasted almost 2 hours of my life on such a stupid gross movie! I would not recommend this movie to anyone!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Product REVIEW and GIVEAWAY: Bondi Band

This is the headband I chose. It took me forever to pick out my favorite headband and after I saw the hearts I was in love :-)

My Review: I was excited to review this headband. I've recently started walking daily on my treadmill to help speed up my weight loss. I'm lucky in that I don't really sweat that much, but when I do, I absolutely hate it! This headband is totally lightweight and stretchy, which I loved! Most importantly, it actually does the job! No more yucky sweat beads on my forehead! Not only did it not slip and not drip, but it was soooo comfortable to wear! I don't think I will work out again without my Bondi Band on! They have many different bands to chose from, different patterns, colors and solids and some with sayings on them! They offer head bands according to your sweat level, from light to heavy. They even have them for men and children! They have so many incredible bands, that you really need to look at them for yourself, click here

The Bondiband Story:

The simple premise of Bondi Bands is to offer comfy, colorful, and creative headbands to fit every lifestyle and personality.

By using stretchy and breathable material, we allow Bondi Bands to fit virtually every head size comfortably and fashionably

All of our products are proudly Made In Maine!

*Now for the GIVEAWAY:
For one lucky reader, you will win one of these amazing headbands from Bondi Bond!

If you are interested, please follow the contest rules. Good Luck!
Contest ends on December 3, 2010

*US only please

*To Enter contest you MUST be a follower of this blog.

*Please leave all extra entries in separate comments to let me know.

*Winners will be notified by e-mail.

*Email Address must be visible in comment so that I can contact you.


+1 for following me on Twitter here

+1 for following me on Facebook here

+5 for following my friend's blog Mom's Magical Apron here

+10 for sharing this contest on any social site and leaving the link in your comment

+50 for subscribing to this blog via email.

Good luck!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Our house has been hit full force with Strep! I will try to be on here by the weekend if everyone feels better. I have many reviews and giveaways to add, so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cocoa Banana Muffins

I thought I had posted this recipe before, but I can't find it on here, so I guess I didn't. This is the most fixed muffin's at our house. The main reason is because I can't stand to eat ripe bananas and hate even worse to waste food so this is how I use old bananas up! The kids' prefer these muffins to banana bread.

-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 Tbls cocoa powder
-3 bananas, mashed
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
-1 Tbls flax seed (optional)
-sprinkle cinnamon on top before baking

*Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
* In large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In another bowl beat bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter.
*Stir in the banana mixture into the flour mixture, just till moistened.
*Bake in pre-heated oven for 16-18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing.

(Weight Watchers Points = 4)

NOTE: You may have extra batter depending on how many bananas you actually throw in there, I usually do mini muffins also. For some reason anything miniature gets eaten a lot faster around here!


Chicken Caesar Wraps

My kids' just love these! I have to admit it was my husband who actually fixed it the very first time. I wouldn't have thought the kids would ever even try these, let alone love 'em! But they did and now it's a favorite! The best part of this is that is super quick and easy and it's basically a chicken salad, wrapped in a tortilla shell. Did I mention it's quick and easy, my most favorite recipe :-)
-1/2 cup cooked chicken, cubed (I buy Shortcuts on sale and freeze it, so I always have seasoned, cooked chicken in the freezer!)
-1/2 cup Salad dressing (I have used Caesar, Ranch, Creamy Italian)
-1/2 cup Croutons
-1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
-Lettuce (depends on how many people you have)
-Tortilla shells

Just mix it all up in a big bowl and roll up in tortilla shell, burrito style.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

My grass is totally greener...

Weird title for my post, don't ya think? How many times have you heard that old expression the grass is greener on the other side? Well I've been thinking the grass is pretty green on my side of the fence and I like it here :-) I've had a lot of free time to be thinking (well maybe just 30 extra minutes, but that's a lot for me!) since my husband has been out of town on a business trip. I started missing him even before he left! Now I REALLY miss him, just the little things that he does for me that I take for granted. Like when I've been typing my homework on the computer and my neck and back starts hurting, he's always there to give me a massage. Always there to run a quick errand for me. He'll buy anything at the store, except for maxi pads, he does have limits, LOL! Whenever I have some silly idea of some sorts, he's always there to support me even if it's the most ignorant thing I've ever said! I may not say it a lot, but I'm truly a lucky woman!

He may not know that tomorrow he'll be coming home to a special meal with his favorite dessert, but he knows that he'll be coming home to a messy, disorganized house full of screaming kids and a thankful wife, who think he's the most important man in the world!
So you see, the grass is totally greener from my side of the fence...


Fried Apples...

I think my Nicholas could eat these by the buckets! I've never seen a kid eat fried apples like him before :) Saturday morning I got up really sick, I had been sick the entire week with stomach issues (think it's from changing my diet) and Saturday morning I spent the entire morning in the bathroom. There I was sitting thinking I could just die in here and no one would notice, LOL! So a little dramatic on my part, but I got over it! No more stomach cramps and issues anymore!!
Anyway, I came in here and fixed the kids a big breakfast, scrambled eggs, biscuits, bacon (substituted turkey and they didn't even notice,shhh!!), and hash rounds. I just knew I should've fixed apples, well I put everything on the table and sure enough Nicholas said, "You didn't fix any fried apples??". Ahhh, you would think he wouldn't notice, but he did, so I fixed them the very next morning and all was well in his little world once again, oh to be 7 again...

I had fried apples growing up at my house frequently, but I didn't care that much for them. My Mom had 2 seasonings in her kitchen, salt and pepper, beyond pulling out sage for dressing, nothing else was ever there! So cinnamon wasn't a frequent visitor there and here I put cinnamon in just about every thing I can think of!

-4 or 5 apples (whichever kind you have on hand, I use any, red or green; peeled,quartered
-6 Tbls butter, or you can use the whole stick!
-1 cup sugar (more or less, depending on the sweetness/sourness of your apples)
-1 tsp cinnamon (please don't leave out!)

Melt butter and add cinnamon in skillet. Add your apples. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir and then add white sugar, cover and cook another 15-20 minutes. Depending on how soft you like your apples. Stir occasionally.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Holiday Cards...

Since it's November now, it's time to start thinking about the perfect holiday card! Every single year I want to have an incredible picture of the kids' and put it on a greeting card and send that with my Christmas cards. But usually I never get around to it, I have big plans though! This year I've made my mind up to get on top of this and just do it! Sounds like a cliche, I know, but I love the Folded Greeting Cards from Shutterfly. There are so many designs to choose from it's going to be hard to pick the right one! Here's a selection of their Christmas Cards.
I have a dilemma because I'm totally in love with their Story Cards too! That would be so amazing to get those!

I think I will start picking out matching clothes for the boys and take a wintery picture and pick out a card! I'm really gonna do it this year :-)

While I'm on there looking, I found you can even personalize thank you cards with your very own pictures! How cool would that be?

Be on the look out for that special Christmas card with 4 gorgeous little faces on it!!


Business Cards!

Since I have officially been bitten by the "blogging bug", I've been thinking about getting some cards made up and putting my blog name on them. Just something that would get my blog name out there and maybe get some more followers to sign up. A good way to get traffic drummed up for any business is by having business cards. There's so many on-line places to create cards like craft business cards. It will be a hard choice! I'm so happy to start this process! Many of you may not realize that I created my own badge for my blog. I saw a cute idea on the internet somewhere and being the frugal person I am (cheapo!) I decided to do it myself with my own personal touch on it (the heart shape)! So I laid out all the stuff and took my own picture. So naturally I want my own picture on my business cards!! I still can't believe how far I have come with my blog. For those of you that don't know me, before this blog, all I could do was turn on the computer and surf the internet. Now I'm uploading, writing computer codes, doing all kinds of weird stuff, LOL!!
Look out, you may see a card coming your way, very soon...


Some of my favorite appliances...

I can't begin to tell you how much I love having a big freezer! Thankfully it's getting stocked back up now! If you read my earlier post about the marinade going every where from the cheap bags, you know I was making a marinade to pour over chicken and throw it in the freezer! I LOVE marinated chicken, but refuse to pay high price for the ones already made from the store! If you're still on the fence about getting a freezer, they really do pay for themselves, check out some of these freezers.

I also love having a grill! Grill + My husband = Me not having to cook!! We are pretty traditional around here, my sweet husband does all the grilling and it's sooo tasty! I love chicken and pork chops on the grill along with the favorites hamburgers and hot dogs! He even does corn on the cob and we've had hobo packets on their. You know, you just throw in a meat with some potatoes and veggies and wrap it up and cook it! Having a grill means more enjoyment for me :) Remember, you can even use your gas grill in the winter time! Every time we went to visit my Grandparents they would grill out for us in the dead of winter!! You can find some amazing prices right now, just look at these grills.

I would LOVE to have a new kitchen range! Unfortunately since we rent this house due to my husband's job (we pay very low rent) that also means that I never get a say so in what's inside my home, as far as major appliances go. So if you want to dream right along with me, check out some of these amazing kitchen ranges.

Monday, November 1, 2010

You get what you pay for...

This old saying applies to anything in life! This hit me like a ton of bricks last night, or should I say splattered! I made a homemade marinade and cut up 3 packages of chicken breasts (on manager's special from Kroger!) and I was putting it in a plastic bag to freeze. The freezer bags were the dollar special from the Dollar Tree. What was I thinking buying bags from the Dollar Tree? To my defense, I always double bag, so I assumed they would be okay, WRONG! I had 4 (1 gallon size) bags and happily put the chicken pieces in them and pour the marinade, one by one, then one bag starts to leak, then another, then another, well you get the point! UGH! I was so mad at myself for buying such cheap bags. Scott said by the time I had to double and triple bag the meats it would cost as much as Ziploc! Now I know that! Oh, the splatter came when the flimsy bag fell over and the marinade splattered out before I could grab it. It was a big 'ole mess at 11:30 at night! Don't ask me why it was that late! I get easily sidetracked during the day and have to do stuff when the kids are in bed! So after cleaning the floor up several times and still having to mop again today, I will no longer buy cheap freezer bags at the Dollar Tree :)

The baby has a well baby check up today and it's in the same town that has a Dollar Tree, and yes it has already crossed my mind that I need more bags, AHHHHHHHHHH! The insanity never ends, LOL! But I just won't use them for liquids :-)


Friday, October 29, 2010

Game Review: My Weight Loss Coach for DS

My husband saw this in Game Stop and mentioned it to me when he got back in the car, he thought it would be something I would like. My first question was, "how much is it?". It was only $6, used of course. He described it to me and I thought I could really use it. The amazing thing is it comes with a pedometer, something that I've wanted for a year now! It plugs into the DS and uploads your steps from the pedometer. It has the cutest little stick figure coach you've ever seen! I've had it a couple of weeks now and it really has motivated me to get my steps up every day! Here are some of cool things you can do on it:
*Product Features
-Create your personal profile and evaluate your improvement potential; then set up your objectives following the recommendations based on your personal profile
-Input reward system on a daily or weekly basis, overall, per input category via a pedometer, physical activity and nutrition
-The pedometer - free with the game and easily updated through your DS, it’s the best way to control your daily physical effort, challenge yourself and balance your food intake
-All physical activities you achieve and good nutrition habits you acquire are converted into distance
-Developed in collaboration with a fitness coach and a nutritionist

* Every day I upload my steps and input what I've eaten for the day. It tells me if I'm in balance or not according to my physical activity. It even has nutritional coaching sessions, quiz's and much more!
* I really do enjoy having this game and I would highly recommend it to anyone just for the simple fact that you can keep track of your steps. It records it daily and you can go back to review the different days of the month. It even records and tracks your weight! It's great!


Trick or Treat?

That question is a no brainer for me, treat of course :-) It doesn't matter what type of sweet treat it is, I'm not picky with sweets! Unfortunately my sweet Evan isn't picky with his sweets either! At age 4 he is a self proclaimed NandyHolic (I will miss it when he says it right later on!) Last night it was Trick or Treat night in our county and boy was the excitement on an all time high level yesterday! Evan got his costume out the night before and as soon as waking tried to put it on!
Fast forward to trick or treat time! I weighed in at Weight Watcher's (Lost another 2.4lbs!!) and then we took them to a Trunk or Treat at the church where they got lots of candy and headed off for a treat and took them to eat inside McDonalds. I knew they only way to get them to eat was to do it BEFORE trick or treating :) So after dinner we started on our quest! Out of the car, costumes on, quick picture for Grandma, and we were hitting the streets! After a few houses Evan noticed he was only getting one piece of candy at a time so he started to Double trick or treat people! We told him he couldn't double trick or treat, but that just got us more evil laughter and he was wild! A lot of people let him even after hearing us tell him no, hey, it's hard to resist a 3 ft tall cutie that is dressed like Mario! LOL! One house let him triple trick or treat her she said he was so cute!
We came home last night and they ate a little bit of candy before bed. So another Halloween has come and gone, well the trick or treat aspect has! This weekend I have planned to make a Halloween treat with the kids since we haven't done that yet (I've kinda slacked off on baking since starting WW, it's so tempting!) and maybe watch some scary movies with my husband when the kids are in bed! Sounds pretty boring to some, but to me sounds perfect :)

Wishing you all a safe and Happy Halloween!!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parent/Teacher Conferences...

I had a parent/teacher meeting last night for my 7 yr old Nicholas. He is in the 2nd grade. I know most of you probably wouldn't agree with me, but I'm one of those parents that just love parent/teacher conference's! It's a time when I get to go here someone else (that is non-family) brag incessantly about my sweet boy! So for 15-20 minutes I hear how wonderful he is, how incredible he is, how perfect of a student he is, how they wish they had a whole room full of students, yep, you guessed it, just like him! This occurs yearly with both of my kids, Nathan and Nicholas. Remember, these aren't my words or their Grandma's words (although we do think it!), this is a teacher speaking so wonderfully about my children. Not to mention he is already reading beyond his grade level and same in math!!

So if you think I'm bragging, well I'm definitely bragging!!

Vicky (a very proud Mommy to 4 amazing boys!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It has happened...

I knew this day was inevitable, me being the only female in a house of 5 males! Normally Scott and I watch TV together after the kids' go to bed. If ever they are up we watch something family oriented, like kiddie movies, stuff about animals, things like that. Tonight Scott turns the TV on and I'm thinking he must want to watch Disney Oceans DVD he got from Netflix, WRONG! He turns it on basketball and the kids' just flock to him like white on rice! They are watching it right now and it's 8 o'clock on a school night! He did ask me if I wanted to watch something else? I do believe that was a trick question, LOL! So in order to save myself from a lynch mob of ankle biters, I said go ahead and watch it :-)

For some of you this may be a normal occurrence, but for us to allow the kids' to watch TV of any type during the school week is odd. On weekends they barely watch it and they are allowed too. I guess basketball is something they can't miss (said with a tiny amount of sarcasm here). But who am I to come between a boy and his sports, at any age??

Fall is here and that means one thing to males- BASKETBALL! They are Louisville Cardinal fan's! Not the kitties (UK), LOL!

While I don't think I will ever love basketball as much as they do, I know I'm totally outnumbered on this one and I happily smile, don't say a word, and go about my business :-)


Monday, October 25, 2010

The many different hats we wear...

We've all heard or read this somewhere, but it's very true. Mom's wear many different hats in life, from the obvious hats- Cook, Maid, Chauffeur, Nurse, Teacher, to friend! I was thinking about this yesterday as I was giving my crew haircuts! With 5 boys' (gotta include my husband here too!) I would have to get a part time job just to afford their hair cuts! So naturally with me staying home, I had to put on that hat also and take on the role of barber too! I've been doing this for over 5 years now and I still don't enjoy it, but I do enjoy the savings it provides!!

So until a barber is willing to trade me hair cuts for desserts, I will keep on clipping :-)


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Counting down to December...

What does December make you think of? Do you have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head? Presents, Santa Claus, shopping, definitely Holiday baking! I'm thinking of finals, ugh! As some of you may know, this semester I went back to college to work on my Bachelor's degree. Going to school full-time has been extremely hard this time around, much harder than I remembered. Sure I could blame it on my extreme hard nose instructor, but I suspect it's because I have too many irons in the fire! So what's a Mom to do with her little ones watching? Keep on trucking and give it my all, no matter how tough the going gets! So I will be counting down the days to Christmas along with my sweet boys, but I'll have another goal in mind, finishing this semester! Come December I'll be one happy camper :-)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Handmade Toddler Aprons

I've offering a lucky reader a chance to win a handmade toddler apron by me :) You get your choice of either an apron for a boy, or for a girl. Toddler aprons look so adorable on the little ones! Not only can they be used for cooking, but you can also use them for art/craft projects, anything that requires covering for messy things! 100% cotton, just throw in the washer like normal clothes.

For the little boys...

For the little girlsU.S. Only.

If you are interested, please follow the contest rules. Good Luck!
Contest ends on November 12, 2010

*To Enter contest you MUST be a follower of this blog.

*Please specify which apron you would like to receive (Boy OR Girl)

*Please leave all extra entries in separate comments to let me know.

*Winners will be notified by e-mail.

*Email Address must be visible in comment so that I can contact you.


+1 for following me on Twitter here

+1 for following me on Facebook here

+5 for following my friend's blog Mom's Magical Apron

+5 for following my friend's blog Color's of a Family Heart

+10 for sharing this contest on any social site and leaving the link in your comment

+50 for subscribing to this blog via email.

**To post a comment,(if it's not showing up below), please click on the title of this post which is always in pink.


My Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 23 October 2010

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact me at my4pickles@yahoo.com

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Friday, October 22, 2010

FREE Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop Oct.23rd

We usually take the boys to this at Lowe's every chance we can. They just love it! All the kids that attend get a free little work apron and project badges after each craft! They have little hammers for the kids to use, it's really nice. It's all 100% free! In our area Lowe's offers it twice a month. All the projects are made out of wood. Tomorrow they'll be able to build a Flapping Bat, complete with glow in the dark stickers!! Sounds Halloweenish :-)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

GIVEAWAY- Charm Factory, Charm Bracelet

Fortunately I was a giveaway winner from another blog and got one of their amazing bracelets! I just love it! I think everyone should own one! The folks over at Charm Factory, were nice enough to offer one of my lucky readers a chance to win one of their beautiful bracelets. Please click here to see which one you could win!

U.S. Only.

If you are interested, please follow the contest rules. Good Luck!
Contest ends on November 5, 2010

*To Enter contest you MUST be a follower of this blog.

*Please leave all extra entries in separate comments to let me know.

*Winners will be notified by e-mail.

*Email Address must be visible in comment so that I can contact you.


+1 for following me on Twitter here

+1 for following me on Facebook here

+5 for following my friend's blog Mom's Magical Apron

+5 for following my friend's blog Color's of a Family Heart

+10 for sharing this contest on any social site and leaving the link in your comment

+50 for subscribing to this blog via email.

**To post a comment,(if it's not showing up below), please click on the title of this post which is always in pink.


TGIF!- Let's talk sweeper!

Today I'll be talking about the Cordless Swivel Sweeper.

I received this as a birthday present this year (thanks Dad and Regina!!) and let's just say I have a new love, LOL! For those of you that don't know me, I vacuum obsessively. It's not that I really enjoy it, I do it because I have a pug. If you've ever been around a pug you will know that all that short hair on them is deceiving! They are one of the worse shedding dogs around. *Note, do not say that sentence out loud really fast in public, people will think you're cussing :-)
I can't stand feeling anything underneath my feet in the kitchen, so I have to get the 'ole broom out and sweep, ALOT! I could blame all the dirt on the kids and the dog, but I'm a messy cook and I drop things!

For those unfamiliar with the Swivel Sweeper, it's a cordless vacuum stick. It comes with a re-chargable battery, it's lightweight (2lbs), it swivels and it has a touchless dirt tray that I just adore!!! Yes, I love and adore a Swivel Sweeper! I love how I can just start it up and clean up that spilled flour in the kitchen or those cracker crumbs on carpet! Yes it even goes on carpet! I zoom it through the entire house about twice a day now. Even the bathrooms get swept with this thing! I have found it sucks up things like paper, crayons, pencils, shoe laces! I could go on and on, but you get the point!

So now instead of dragging my big Hoover out, I use this lightweight thing for most occasions! Now if only I could find a machine that would pick up after the kids' :)
Underneath all of my messy house is a clean floor that no one can see, LOL!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review: A Guy's Guide To Life

A Guy's Guide to Life -How to become a man in 224 pages or less by Jason Boyett is a wonderful resource for teen guys and the people that love them. The book is specifically designed for teen guys and helping them through all the difficulties they deal with in adolescence.

Since I have 4 boys' I found the title of this book very intriguing. So I knew I just had to read this book. I actually enjoyed it! It was humorous and very easy to read. When my kids' are a little bit older, this will be a must read for them!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free through Booksneeze.com. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.


Book Review: The Prophecy answer Book by David Jeremiah

The Prophecy answer Book by David Jeremiah is a pocket size guide that gathers all of answers to common questions regarding Bible prophecy. It covers current events, the rapture, the tribulation, the Antichrist, the second coming, the millennium, and the new Heaven and the new Earth. Each section lists commonly asked questions followed by a brief 1-2 page answer. The answers are often tied to scripture references and historical evidence where applicable.

I really enjoyed reading this book, it is tiny enough that I just stuck it in my purse and pulled it out to read when I was sitting in car-line to pick up my kids' from school!
This would make a great gift for any occasion!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free through Booksneeze.com. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Ouchies

Bandages that make a fashion statement!
How many of us Mom's only buy certain band aids because of the character or special design on them? I know that is my #1 deciding factor! I looked at all the different bandages on their website and when I saw the ones with the trucks on them, I knew I had a winner!!

Evan (my 4 yr old) could hardly wait for me to get the plastic off this adorable tin of Ouchies! He immediately showed me non-existent boo-boos, LOL! After applying it, he immediately showed his brothers his cool new bandage! He said they were all his, but they could have one :) I placed the Ouchies tin in the cabinet and he wanted to know where his new thing was! So even the tin was a huge hit with him!

I really like how you can do a search by gender on their website (boys,girls,everybody). Since I have all boys' that saves me a lot of time! They even have bandages where you can create your own design on them, how cool is that!

Now for the giveaway! A lucky reader will Win 2 tins of Ouchies Bandages!

U.S. Only.

If you are interested, please follow the contest rules. Good Luck!
Contest ends on November 2, 2010

*To Enter contest you MUST be a follower of this blog.

*Please leave all extra entries in separate comments to let me know.

*Winners will be notified by e-mail.

*Email Address must be visible in comment so that I can contact you.


+5 for becoming a fan of Ouchies on Facebook here

+1 for following me on Twitter here

+1 for following me on Facebook here

+5 for following my friend's blog Mom's Magical Apron

+10 for sharing this contest on any social site and leaving the link in your comment

+50 for subscribing to this blog via email.

**To post a comment,(if it's not showing up below), please click on the title of this post which is always in pink.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Weight Watcher's Points...

Since I started WW a couple of weeks ago, I thought whenever I post a recipe I could also post the WW points, since I'll be calculating for me anyways :)

I've lost 12.6 lbs so far, hoping to lose another 2 this week, we'll have to wait and see on that one! It's Monday, so I'm in crack down mode, like some crazed person drinking water by the gallon, LOL! Thursday will be here before I know it!

If only you could lose weight as fast as you gain it, now that would be great!!

I really should bake a sweet treat for the kids', it will be tempting for me....


*If you want to leave a comment, click on the original title of the post, the title is always in pink!

Movie Review...

I'll be doing 3 movie reviews this time. No, I didn't watch them all at once, I barely have time to watch one movie straight through :)
Iron Man 2, I can sum it up in one word- AWESOME!!! I just LOVED this movie! Robert Downey, Jr. resumed his role of the funny, egotistical Stark. After we watched this movie we wanted to re-watch the 1st one again, but time doesn't permit that!

Babies, this was such a cute movie. I was really looking forward to watching this with my kids', but sadly they couldn't watch hardly any of it. It has a lot of maternal nudity in it. I'm just not comfortable letting my 4 boys see that. So if you don't have a problem with your children seeing nudity (mainly African tribal) then you can easily watch it with your kids'. It was really amazing seeing the different cultures. You really see how pampered we are in the States! In one part of the movie a baby poops on the Mother's leg and she just takes a stick and wipes it off, ewwwww! I don't think I could live the tribal life :-)

Furry Vengence
This was a great family movie! In order for us to allow our kids' to watch a movie, it must follow strict rules. No profanity, nudity, a lot of violence, you get the point! Nowadays it's hard to find movies like that, even movies specifically targeted to children! It's really sad! If my kids' will be watching a movie, I always review it at several different sites reading their reviews first. This movie did have one curse word at the end, during a song, it said the word d*mn. Since I already knew it was coming and where it was, I just turned it down low, it was over anyways :)

How will your filled film house the apparent clause?


My comment box...

For some reason I'm having problems with my comment box showing up after my post every time. If you want to leave a comment on any of my posts, you must click on the original title of the post, it will then pop up a comment box at the bottom of the post. For example if you would like to comment on this post, click on the title "My comment box..."


Friday, October 15, 2010

Raising kids...

My husband said something today that made me think! For those of you that are lucky enough to personally know him, you may think he's a man of few words, but the opposite is true! He got ready for work earlier than usual today, or maybe Nicholas (our 7 yr old) was running late, which probably was the case, since he inherited the slow as a turtle gene from me ;) Anyway, he saw me pull out Nicholas' school clothes from the dryer and heard me tell him to put them on before they got cold. He asked what I was doing, I told him Nicholas likes his clothes to be warm from the dryer when he gets up and it's cold! If your child really enjoys something and you can do it repeatedly, then why not? Right? Wrong! Scott said, "Vicky, think about their future wives!". I seriously doubt a future wife would have warm, toasty clothes waiting for my sons when it turned cold outside! I wouldn't want to do that for my husband everyday, (sorry sweetie)!

So I guess the little things we do now as Mother's could greatly impact the relationship expectations our children have as adults!

If anyone out there is raising four perfect girl's to go with my 4 perfect little men, let me know, LOL!



Thanking God it's Friday once again! This is my motto once the kids' are back in school, I start living for the weekends. My wonderful husband and my sweet kids' are home all day and it's meant to just enjoy the days together! I thought I would start something new on Friday's, since I'm trying to devote more time to my blog. I'll be telling you all about things that I love! So for today I will write about my new toy, it's called a Nook. If you're not familiar with this, it's a Barnes and Noble e-reader. You can download any type of book onto it and take it with you anywhere! Every Friday Barnes and Noble gives you a free e-book. Almost every book published has a free downloadable sample, which is usually the first chapter. You can even upload files you already have on your computer, basically anything that is in pdf form. I even upload some of my homework files on there to take with me and study while I'm waiting on my kids' in car line. You can lend eBooks to a friend also.

Almost all the old classics are free to download for the Nook. I even have several children's books on there so if my kids' are bored they can read it also! We are a family of book lovers and what better way to occupy your time then reading a classic!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

My very 1st GIVEAWAY!!

I was recently contacted by CSN stores to host a giveaway on my blog. What fun!

CSN has over 200 stores with some super fun stuff... you can get shoes, dishes, a clock, bedding sets and even a super chic bar stool! So much eye candy that I found myself wanting so many items!!

So, what do you get to win? A $20 gift certificate to any one of their stores!!

If you are interested, please follow the contest rules. Good Luck!

*Contest ends on October, 22, 2010

*To Enter contest you MUST be a follower of this blog.

*Please leave all extra entries in 1 comment to let me know.

*Winners will be notified by email.

*Email Address must be visible in comment so that I can contact you.


+1 for following me on Twitter here

+1 for following me on Facebook here

+5 for following my friend's blog Mom's Magical Apron

+10 for sharing this contest on any social site and leaving the link in your comment

+50 for subscribing to this blog via email.

*To post a comment, click on the title of this post, if it's not showing up below

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

It's finally cool weather, Fall is officially here and it's time for apples and pumpkins! Okay, so maybe I bake all year long with apples (only b/c we love them!), but pumpkin is a different story! Over the weekend we took the kids' to the pumpkin patch and they each picked out a pumpkin. The only rule we have about that is, each kid has to be able to carry their own pumpkin back to the tractor for the hayride back! It's so cute, this year we had 4 pumpkins, large, medium, small and extra small, LOL! I should take a picture of them lined up and put it on here :)
Back at the farm's store, I just had to buy a pie baking pumpkin to make a pie for the kids'. Evan kept asking me when I was going to make the pie with "my" pumpkin, so today was the day! After breakfast clean up I went to work on my pie.
It all started with this!!

Bake or microwave the pumpkin, when tender, cut in half, scoop out all the pumpkin guts and seeds, then you are left with 2 clean halves. Scoop out all of the flesh and throw it in a food processor, puree till smooth.

*Recipe will be at the bottom*
Now mix in all your ingredients, I didn't take a picture of this, just follow the recipe, if you can read, you can do it :)
You can use a store bought pie crust, or make your own, it's very simple to make. I make mine in the food processor.

After letting crust chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes in plastic wrap, roll out and then pour filling inside. As you can see from the picture I used my handy dandy Tupperware pastry mat, LOVE IT! It has different measurements on it, I rolled mine out to the 9 1/2" section.

This is the kid version of a slice, a smiley face on top!!

I had an oven temperature mishap, I kept checking the pie and it was still so jiggly after 55 minutes! I thought what is wrong with this thing and realized that I had the oven temp set on 325 instead of 400! I guess it was all the distractions from the kids' bickering and the baby taking his diaper off over and over again :-) But it turned out fine! I did have to shield the crust edges with foil to keep them from burning. The kids' loved it, especially Nicholas and the baby, Evan said it was okay, you'll notice this recipe doesn't use any type of sugar, instead it uses honey as the sweetener. I suspect it wasn't sweet enough for Evan to love, LOL! He's a self proclaimed candyholic! The verdict is still out on whether this will be a keeper or not. Scott will be home from work in a couple of hours and will have a big slice, he was disappointed it wasn't ready in time when he was on lunch break! Now, on to the recipe.

1 medium sugar pumpkin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup honey, warmed slightly
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Cut pumpkin in half, and remove seeds. Lightly oil the cut surface. Place cut side down on a jelly roll pan lined with foil and lightly oiled. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Cool until just warm. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peel. Either mash, or puree in small batches in a blender.
In large bowl, blend together 2 cups pumpkin puree, spices, and salt. Beat in eggs, honey, milk, and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake at 400 degrees F ( 205 degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

I got this recipe, like all my others I try out, from allrecipes.com