Thursday, July 30, 2009

(CLOSED) Imagination Box Co. Review and Giveaway

As many of you know money is tight and I try to do as many fun things with the boys as I can. One thing I like to do is to pick up different crafts for the kids to do, you know me it's always what is on clearance or at the dollar store. The only thing about these is one they are out of season so putting them up adds to the wacky theme of me or the cheap ones I buy don't last long. A while back I had the opportunity to share with my boys the Imagination Box Company Barn. The cool thing about the Imagination Box Barn once the kids paint it they get to play with it! I know isn't that an awesome idea.

As we all know that the when Christmas comes around the boxes are more of a highlight then the actual toys. So check it out you get the best of all worlds, a box that is reusable PLUS they get to design it! The Imagination Box even comes with paints, I'm telling you this is the best gift of all time! Plus if your kids are anything like my boys they painted for like 20 minutes and then moved on to something else, so I let the paint dry, put it back and out it came for the next day! So not only did I have a 1/2 hour of quiet time it was several days in a row before it's ready to be put together for even more fun! I was so impressed with Imagination Box and all the choices they have and how nice they where! Guess what they are putting up pictures of the boys decorating their barn. Once your kids design their Imagination Box they love to see pictures and if you would like they love to show them off on their site. Yup we all can be famous!


What makes me love Imagination Box Company:

At Imagination Box Co, we are committed to producing award winning, green, socially and environmentally responsible toys that will ignite your child's imagination. We have Created a series of eco-friendly paintable arts and crafts toys that will allow your child to 'paint the town'!

What to expect:
  • Free Set of Watercolors Included
  • 100% Recyclable
  • Made from 45% Post Consumer Materials
  • Made from a renewable resource
  • All non-toxic dyes and materials
  • Made 100% Made in USA

BUY IT: Imagination Box products range from $24.95 - $29.95. For my readers Kim at Imagination Box Company was so nice and is offering my readers a $5 off coupon just use the code 1-444 it is good July 27 until Aug 15, 2009.

WIN IT: Imagination Box Company has very generously offered one of my reader a Imagination Box of their own! To enter head over to Imagination Box Company website and tell me which one you would choose if you won. If you're not a blogger, please make sure that your email is public so I can contact you.

EXTRA ENTRIES:
  1. Be a follower of this blog ~ 1 Extra Entry
  2. Subscribe via email ~ 2 Extra Entries
  3. Have my button up ~ 1 Extra Entry
  4. Blog about the giveaway with a link to Imagination Box Company ~ 3 Extra Entries
  5. Tell me a story about what you do to make being at home fun ~1 Extra Entry


    GIVEAWAY OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENCE - ENDS 8/16/09 @ 11:59PM PST.

Pee and Electrical Outlet DON'T Mix

Caught you attention didn't I? So before I tell you what I mean (I know what a tease) I wanted to say sorry that I'm not putting up day 2 of Great Wolfe. Today it reached a very warm 102! I know I live in Washington we are known for cool days and rain, some how someone didn't get the message and we're dying here! So needless to say the 2 1/2 hours I spent trying to figure out how to do a stupid slideshow, anyone know an easy way please let me know. So I'm giving a peak into my Monday instead.

So Mondays I work from home, it was a crazy day to begin with the boys we running around being crazy and just driving me nuts. I was listening to myself doing calls (yikes don't recommend that) and comparing myself to another gal. Rick was on the way to work and just happened to come back and go to the back of the house, mind you I was in the front with headphones on. All of I sudden I hear Rick screaming (ok saying not very nice words), Cole came running to me that daddy was saying bad words. I had to run back where I found Rick screaming about a fire! WTH?

He walked by the boys room and smelled something burning, thinking it was a hot day that the TV needed to be turned off. Then he heard a hug pop and moved the dresser to find flames shooting out of the outlet! After putting the fire out and taking the outlet cover off he asked me why is the outlet wet? I'm not sure maybe condensation from it being so hot in the house and musty? Then he got on the floor and saw a bunch of stains and it was wet. At closer inspection yes he made me get down on the floor and smell it. Yes it was Pee! After looking at the boys it was obvious who had been doing this! Yes Cole who is fully potty trained has been peeing behind his dresser every once in a while! Thankfully he didn't get shocked and thankfully it didn't happen while we were on vacation. Yes I took pictures even when Rick gave me that crazy look like hello the house almost burnt down and you're worried about pictures for your blog? Yes I am!!

The outlet after the fire was put out.
Yes that would be the behind the dresser
Yes more food and Pee!
Do you see the underwear in the corner?
Rick testing the new outlet and wires.
Thankfully we had a power strip that saved the TV & DVD player
It's a goner!
What is left of the old cover and outlet

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WWW ~ Great Wolf Lodge Stay Day 1 of 3

I'm happy to say we made it safe to Great Wolf Lodge, we of course got off to a late start which put us into some lovely traffic! Our 45 minute drive took around 2 hours! During this time I had a nice little nap, which of course made Rick upset but deal with it dude it's finally my time! I did call the lodge before we left to see if they had refrigerators in the rooms. Guess what they have them in EVERY room! Yes they understand that times are tough and people are trying to make the most of their bucks. They actually encourage you to do this, isn't that fabulous!

A quick stop at Wallyworld and we're off to Great Wolf Lodge. I was so excited and so were the boys they did the whole are we there yet! Finally we got to Exit 88 and right off the freeway we found the Great Wolf Lodge. I couldn't get over how full the parking lot was, it was great to see that everyone else was enjoying family time.

You walk in and just have this warm feeling, it just had this home feeling. We checked in and got our little wrist bracelets that is your room key! You could even put money on your wristband to use around the park. Don't worry you can put a cap on the kids one if you want :).

We walked up to our room and found the most amazing Kids Cabin. The boys had an amazing room with bunks and another bed, even their own TV. Yes Cole thought it was so cool, and climbed up to the top bunk. Caden of course wanted to do whatever big brother did (just wait for day 2 story on what happened there.) While they were checking out their room I found the amazing treats that were left in the room for us! Oh yes (see picture) of fudge, cookies, marshmallows treats and other yummy goodies. I'm sad to say my diet went out the door and I ate a little too much. There was even a personal note from John the director of sales, wasn't that sweet! Yes I kept the card, I'm crazy like that! Yes it will go into the scrapbook ;). Not only did they leave treats for me (yes those where just for me) they left Paw Passes for the kids! Let me tell you this is the coolest thing ever for like $80 you get a pass to do all these amazing things around the park it worth like $150! The boys had a BLAST doing all the things on the pass, don't worry I took pictures!

After bouncing on the beds we got the boys into swim trunks and to the water park we went! Ok hold on for this they have a 60,000 sf Indoor Waterpark, the temperature is a warm 82 degrees and the water is 84 degrees. The thing that really impressed me is 95 percent of the water is reclaimed! Talk about a GREEN way of doing it, yes they are 100% GREEN Certified. This is the way they keep the cost of electricity down and pass that along to you. And don't worry about safety they have 24 to 25 lifeguards on duty at all time! They are double certified (yes I asked).

At first Cole was a little scared but then after one ride he was a champ and we had a hard time getting him off the water slide. He went down the biggest one there, as he will tell anyone listening he went down the BLUE one and LOVED it! There was only one he couldn't do but he made use of the other 2. And for those who want to go outside they have a Tadpole pond outside with a BBQ pit! Yes we did it all and were so wore out, that when I went down to meet my girls Shannon and Mona I didn't take our pictures. Might also be that I was sitting in 82 degree waterpark and had no make up left on my face! LOL, don't worry I have more pictures to come!

Enjoy some fun pictures of our 1st day, I'm breaking this up into 3 post since we did so much I don't want to overwhelm you :).

So check out my pictures from the car ride (traffic) to driving up, checking in, our room, the treats, the note, the kiddies section, the huge water tower in the middle with a HUGE bucket that fills up and then dumps down (watch for 2 pictures of that). Thank you again to John and Jennifer at Great Wolf Lodge for inviting us mommy bloggers to come stay with you. We had so much fun and I can't wait to share Days 2 and 3 with you soon!



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - Breakfast Casserole

Just a quick and easy one to share with you today. Didn't have a lot of time so I threw together this quick breakfast casserole. Super yummy and easy, enjoy!


Beat up Eggs
Add Bisquick
Add milk
Brown bacon and put on the bottom of dish
Add Cheese to the Bisquick mixture
Pour over bacon
Set oven for 400 for 50 minutes
Out of the oven
Yummy!
1 lb. browned & drained breakfast sausage
5 eggs
1 1/3 c. milk
1 c. Bisquick baking mix
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish. Mix eggs, Bisquick, milk, salt and pepper. Beat 1 minute. Pour into dish and add cheese. Stir in sausage and onions. Bake uncovered 50 minutes or until center tests clean. Cool 5 minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Make Something Monday ... Sausage & Egg Biscuits

Make Something Monday

Each weekend I try to make something taste for breakfast. 1 to save money and 2 as a little treat for the rushed mornings during the week. A few weekends ago I got the idea to make sausage & egg biscuits. They turned out super yummy and were just the right size so you didn't gorge yourself! To go with my small plate concept that I've been doing at meals I'm also try small portions. Hope you enjoy the boys really loved them and actually had seconds, don't think this is a common thing see I only pick items to fear on Mondays that are huge hits ... LOL


My helper poured the Bisquick in the bowl.
Then he added the water.
Momma kneaded it into a ball.
Mama also do the rolling out.
Pick a cup to make the circles.
LOL don't you love my choice.
My Helper really getting in cutting them out.
Ta Da Sausage & Egg Biscuits.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge Bound .... Oh lord give me strength to get there


Are we leaving, yet? Yes that is what I've heard since 7:30am this morning!!! Yes it never stopped, I thought I'd get to sleep in have so peace and quiet do a little working and then get everyone up. But no such luck both boys some how ended up in my bed this morning which a huge thing since Caden still is in the crib, yes big brother "helped" him out. Wasn't that sweet? I then tried to get to work on some data entry to get caught up. By the time I finished I think I threaten that we weren't going around 12 times! I was begging from strength not to pull out my hair or duct tape them to the wall. What Rick bought the pretty pink kind, it would be ok right?


So I think I have the boys packed, one broken DS later, a lot of crying oh yeah the boys were crying too! Oh I guess I need to get packed myself right? They'll have an iron there right? Ok I'm getting off right now, I'm going to finish packing and get in the car. The idea was to be there at 1pm right? LOL I know it's after 2pm now and it's 45 minutes there and I still need to stop by the grocery store to get some food oh yeah and some deodorant! Yup I'm ready to go!


Check out see I really do use all the items I review, check out what I packed:
Left to Right (no order of what is best, just what I arranged) -
Ok I'm going for real now! More pictures to come, you know this crazy picture taking mom!

Flushable Doggy Review

Under heavy protest from me we don't own a dog. I know I'm a horrible mom, but come on 3 jobs 2 little boys and one big (DH). Yes one day we will have one but that will be when I can make people pick up the poop! Well since we don't have a dog you would think I don't have to have this job, WRONG!!! I have a lovely neighbor that lets her little dog come over to my front lawn and leave me nice little presents. Now don't get me wrong I LOVE dogs but not so happy to pick up after someone elses dog.

Now most of you know I have 2 boys and things being flushed down the toilet has lead to my husband saying some choice words and snaking the toilet to find things I won't even begin to say. You thought the stuff under the bed was bad you haven't seen the toilet ... LOL. So to find an amazing product like FlushDoggy that can help me clean up this little treats in my front lawn and to be able to flush these same treats is a godsend!

Some fun facts from FlushDoggy website:

America's 71 million dog produce 29,000 tons of waste each day!

Use 100% biodegradable flushable dog waste bags!

Studies show that 4% of landfills is dog poop (Isn't that crazy)

  • Sturdy for long walks
  • Flushable
  • Won't clog toilet pipes
  • Eco-friendly Good for our environment
Check out FlushDoggy where you could for as little as $5 a month you can have piece of mind, be green and heck have a clean hand! What you all thought the same thing! Say NO to garage bags that fill up our landfill and head over to FlushDoggy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let the Packing Begin ... Great Wolf Lodge Here We Come (hope they are ready for my boys!)

I'm so excited tomorrow we leave to meet up with a few of my favorite mommy bloggers. Shannon over at The Mommy-Files set up this wonderful adventure and invited me and my family to tag along with 2 other mommy bloggers! I'm so excited to go on a mini vacation, yes it's like 45 minutes from my house but still Great Wolf Lodge is an amazing lodge that get this is a water park also! Ok the ones that know me are going your excited about a waterpark? Wouldn't that mean a bathing suit? In most cases that would, in my case that means suits for the boys and shorts and tank top for me to sit by reading a book! Thankfully I've been sent about 10 to review so I'm super excited to get some rest and relaxation!

I even took Friday off so we could head up early to let the boys hit the water! We check in Friday night and don't have to leave until Sunday! Yeah I'm so excited I haven't even packed yet! LOL I did start to pull the boys clothes out, so my mission is to pack tomorrow ... ok Friday morning? It's only 2 days how much does that have to be right?

Yes I'm so cheap I hope that we have a fridge in the room so we can stock up ... LOL! I've heard they do have amazing restaurants and a buffet that we'll have to work into the budget also. I did look up the prices and was excited that it was actually pretty inexpensive. Plus they have a game that is like Harry Potter that you carry around a wand and wave it infront of different things thru out the hotel to find clues etc! You know I'll be making the boys do that, even though Rick is not a Harry Potter fan. He's just going to have to deal with it!

So the funny thing I must share is Rick has been complaining about all the blogging I've been doing. Then the items to review came in and he was well it's not too bad but now we have a lot of items taking up space ... LOL. So he's been asking for years to go to Great Wolf Lodge and I'm like hello when do ever take vacations? So when the opportunity came around he and I actually moved around work and guess what, we're going to Great Wolf Lodge so in your face .... LOL.

Oh plus it's our 6th Anniversary on Sunday so check it out it's a all in one kind of deal! We haven't taken a vacation since our 1 year anniversary were we stayed ONE night at a B&B. So check us out 5 years later we're taking TWO nights! Yup we work slowly up to things! Heck the last real vacation was our honeymoon, where we had fun and Cole became my souvenir I took home ... :).

So yet another night I'm blogging and not packing ... LOL! Have a wonderful weekend, I hope to post a few reviews and another giveaway before I leave. But don't worry this crazy picture mom will be taking a lot of pictures to show off! No bathsuit for this girl, but don't worry it will still be a GREAT time!

Thank you again Great Wolf Lodge and Shannon @ The Mommy-Files for this amazing weekend away! I even took Saturday off! Do you realize this is the first time I haven't worked a weekend in a very long time (well minus computer issue) but this is for fun stuff!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weekend Wrap Wednesday ~ Graduation and Just Hot Days!!

First off I start out with pictures of the car that my grandfather bought for Cole on his 2nd birthday, before he passed away. Yes it has been sitting in my garage since then on a top shelf too high for me to reach. After 3 YEARS! of begging Rick finally built the car! Thank the lord now we have 2 so the boys will stop fighting over the cop on, right? Yup I'm laughing too! But it was super cute watching the boys face light up and Caden running around with a wheel, sing "Wheel, Wheel, Wheel". LOL It was perfect!

Well it wasn't a slow weekend yet again! Friday was a busy day at work and when I was done I picked the boys up and went up to my parents to find out what special treat my mom has for Cole. That would be a new Spiderman Bike! She pickup a bell ... thanks mom just what I need more noise in this house! She previously bought him a spiderman helmet and pads when she bought him a razor. Can you say first grandchild and spoiled rotten. Well we already knew he was rotten but to give him gifts on top of it? Now only I could get my parents to be those grandparents that have sleep overs and babysitting ... LOL. LOVE my parents and they take very good care of my boys, just not many babysitting hours there. Hey I will take what I can get! Cole gets items I could never afford and Caden gets them passed down! Can't beat it!

Saturday got up at 5am to work for the call center it was the first weekend of getting my calls recorded and I was so nervous! I know my script and try to stick to it as long as my callers stick to it where doing well. But you know my life it never goes that way, so of course almost every caller wanted to get me off track. LOL at least I had a good amount schedule, so off the calls I went and get everyone dressed and ready was the name of the game. Of course the monster escaped out of the house after I got them out of the tub. Caden the no shoe boy, Yup you put them on he throws them off. So guess what happens he got splinters. Yes I'm a bad mom I took pictures of him while he was screaming. He wasn't that bad!

After rounding up the crew rewashed them and even ironed their clothes yes you read that correct I ironed their clothes. I was so frustrated and sweaty from running around that I totally forgot to take their picture. Believe me they were super cute! I got down to my grandmothers house to pick her and my mom up to go to a graduation party. We were early you have to mark that one down! Got to GG (what my kids call great grandmother) and hung out for a while. I LOVE my grandmother but we're just not super super close like how she is with my cousin. So it was a little sad to see toys for her kid there, when we never really went down there when the boys were babies but it's nice that they are that close just sad that my kids aren't really that close. Maybe the future!

The party was fun but it was super hot and the ride up there was oh so much fun! LOL we have GG in the front seat and mom in the back with the boys. Yes that would be a fun ride, those of you that know my family are giggling. Between directions being yelled from the back from mom and GG keep telling the boys to be quiet and behave. Yes it was the longest hour and 15 minutes of my life. Did I mention Jubilee was going on in Seattle and that meant 20 blocks were blocked off to go where we had to go! UGH, it was so hot and the day flew by we stayed a little later then planned and I must say the boys did very well for 4 hours and being the only kids (yes no kids). Oh did I mention the boys got up at 6am and had no naps! Yup I say we did very well for no naps and just little snacking here and there! So congrats to my mom cousin's daughter that is going to Korea to teach English. She may go to where our exchange student was from!

Sunday was a nice day I had the chance to talk to an old friend and was able to talk on the phone for an hour! It was fabulous catching up. We even hung out at my parents house to get the Bell I "forgot" for Cole's bike. Thanks again mom! Visited with some of my favorite gal pals too! Even had a picnic outside I think the gravel in the kids playbox ate more of the mac n cheese while they dug for the hotdogs ... LOL.

REMINDER!!! I have an AWESOME Audio book giveaway up that is a book I would recommend for everyone! It's a true reminder of 2nd chances and the angels that are around us to slow down and appreciate what is important in our life!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Win Jewelry @ LuShae Jewelry

Promise Rings

Check out Jewelry by LuShae for a chance to win $200 gift certificate! All you have to do is grab one of their buttons like the one above put it up on your site then go back enter your name and blog so they can find it and your done! Did I mention you can enter as many times as you like? So check it out you receive unlimited entries which enter you into their MONTHLY entry! Go check it out! How hard is it to put up a button, hello I have so many of my favorite peeps!
I think this one maybe my favorite of all time, what do you think?



Promise Rings

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - Guinness Bread with Molasses

I've been getting emails from SimplyRecipes.com for a while now and have just drooled over the recipes thinking those are out of my league. This time I saw this recipe and was like I could make that. But we don't drink beer so I didn't have any on hand and really didn't want to buy a six pack of something I would only use once. I passed it on to two of the engineers at work, knowing they both like beer and bread. Guess what one of them made it Brian who's wife is super sweet check her out @ Rachael's Space. Check out the yarn she makes, I know it's crazy! Well back to my story, he made it and like it and brought me a can of beer to try it myself! Yeah so here it is. It's a sweet bread I think best with out butter, I took Brians advice and added a little extra sugar.

What you'll need
Add Flour (I used regular so did the extra steps)
Using my new Pampered Chef measure cup
Add the baking soda
Add the salt
Add the Sugar (I did 3/4 cup)
Add the Guinness
Ok don't worry about the thing rattling in the can it's suppose to do that.
Add the Molasses
Pour into the loaf pan
In the oven
Out of the oven

Guinness Bread with Molasses Recipe
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This is fantastic eaten fresh, and nearly as good the next day toasted with some more butter. Do not use stale beer for this recipe, you want the carbonation.

Ingredients
3 cups self-rising flour*
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup molasses
A pinch of salt (roughly 1/8 teaspoon)
12 ounces of Guinness beer
Butter for greasing the pan and painting the top, about 3 tablespoons

* If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute using a ratio of 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt, for every cup of self-rising flour. Have made both ways though and got better results from the self-rising flour.

Method
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan well with butter.
2 Pour the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3 Slowly pour the Guinness into the flour mixture. (The “pub cans” are larger than 12 ounces, but they have better carbonation, so I pour most of it out and leave a swig to drink. This has never failed me, but if you are a stickler, use a 12-ounce bottle of Guinness instead.) Start stirring the beer into the dry ingredients, and when you are about halfway done, add the molasses. Mix well, just to combine. Don’t work the heck out of the batter – because that’s what it’ll look like – but you don’t want lumps, either.
4 Pour into the loaf pan to no more than 2/3 full. Pop into the oven immediately and bake for 50 minutes. Since ovens can vary, check the bread after 40 minutes and see if a toothpick inserted into the deepest part of the loaf comes out clean. If it does, you’re done.
5 Let the loaf cool a bit, maybe 5 minutes, and then turn it out onto a rack. Paint it with lots of soft butter, which will melt as you go.

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