Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Favorite Beauty Websites

I have found two new (to me) beauty websites that I wanted to share.

Daily Makeover is the first website. If you are looking for a new hair style or information about new trends this is the spot for you. You can look at different celebrity hairstyles and it even gives you directions for the same look. It also has a place where you can upload a picture of yourself and try different hair and makeup. It's a lot of fun to play with!

MakeUpAlley is all about product reviews. Different users add a product or write a review for something. I don't know about you but I always look for great reviews before I spend my money on anything, so I love this site.
You can also find message boards where you can discuss pretty much anything.

With both of these websites you have to join to see certain information, but both are Free, and we all know how I love free things.
These websites work for me, for more Works for Me Wednesday check out We are that Family.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, 8th Week

I am so excited because Sunday my husband and I leave for a five day cruise! I'm really scared about leaving Addie, I've never been away from her for more than one night. I'm going to go through withdrawal. On that note, if anyone has ever been to Key West or Cozumel and knows any great places to eat or/and suggestions on what to do there for a few hours let me know! I would love any recommendations!

Monday: Pineapple Pork Chops

Tuesday: Pancakes

Wednesday: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito (still haven't tried these)

Thursday: Guiltless Fettuchini Alfredo with asparagus

Friday:Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers or something easy

Sunday:Leave for Miami

For more Menu Plans visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Save on Laundry

I live in an apartment with a coin operated laundry; and I hate it. We never seem to have enough for the machines, so to save on quarters I've started using a drying rack. My mom bough me this drying rack from Ikea and I LOVE it. It holds a full load of laundry and when I'm done it folds flat for easy storage. Right now I save half the amount of money just by using this rack, it also has other benefits like being gentle on the clothing and creating a fort for my daughter when covered in clothes.

For more Frugal Friday ideas visit Life as Mom.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Free samples & coupons

I love getting the mail everyday. I have signed up for so many free magazine subscriptions and free samples that I get something fun in the mail all the time. One of my favorite ways to get free products and coupons is from word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth advertising is where companies give you free products or coupons to try in hopes that you will spread the word. Best of all everything is free for you! Before you apply for any of these let me give you a few tips I've learned along the way.
  • Open a separate email account to give all of these companies. I have a friends/family email address and a spam email address. They will send out periodic emails.
  • Log onto these different websites a few times a month just to make sure you aren't missing anything.
  • Fill in surveys and other information they ask for. Most are short and only take a few minutes.
  • Enjoy the free samples and coupons!

Here are some of my favorites:

Vocalpoint is my favorite one. I have received so many different free items and coupons. A few weeks ago I was sent a sample of the new Kashi cereal and a coupon for a free box. They seem to send out the most free stuff and you don't really have to do very much. They also have fun articles and information on the site. Just click Here to sign up.

Kraft First Taste program sends out coupons for new Kraft items. I received a coupon for a free Velvetta Mac and Cheese a few months ago. Click Here to join.

General Mills Psst..... is the next one. Just today I got a package with one free bag of Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters and 9 high value coupons. This program is just starting but I'm excited to see what else they send out. Click Here to join.

I got a free Fitness Magazine subscription from Shespeaks and samples I've requested. It is also a fun website where you can get product reviews and other information. Click Here to join.

BzzAgent is the last one because you have to do the most work to get anything. You have to complete a lot of reviews and and surveys to get anything but once you have done that you can become part of a "campaign" where they send you a box full of a new products and samples to give out to people. Right now I am involved in the Burts Bees Acne Solution campaign and have been trying it for free, so far I love the product so if you want to put in a little extra work join BzzAgents. They also use a different points system called MyPoints to award you. Click here to join.

If you have any questions or would like further information on any of this just leave a comment or email me!

For more Works for me Wednesday go to We are that family.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, 7th week

New week, new menu. I can't believe how fast each weeks is going! Christmas will be here before we know it!

Monday: Black Bean and Rice Burgers

Tuesday: Mad Dog Cycles Team Meeting with Dinner!

Wednesday: Chick Beef Chicken

Thursday:Quinoa Salad

Friday: Cheese Enchiladas

Saturday: Left overs

Sunday: Steak, Potatoes, Rolls

For more menus please visit I'm an Organize Junkie.

Amazon Gift Card

A few weeks ago I decided to trade in some of my Swag Bucks for a $5 amazon gift card, I was curious to see what would happen, and maybe a little skeptical it wouldn't actually work. I clicked on the $5 Amazon Gift card and it gave me a screen that said it would be added to my account on the 16th of the month. I then waited until the 16th and was sent an email that said I had been given one gift card; which is actually a code you will use on the website. Here is the screen shot of how to use that gift card link. (Click to make larger)

I then went to Amazon following the instructions and it was pretty easy. You can just add gift cards until you are ready to purchase something. This should work really well for Christmas.
(Click picture to see links)

If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks yet click Here to start earning. Or for more info click Here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Favorite Cookie

Sorry about the bad picture, I forgot to take a picture of the cookies until all that was left was this sad cookie.

I saw this recipe on This Week for Dinner and I feel in love. I love chocolate chip cookies but I am very picky about them. They have to be soft and chewy, I don't like hard cookies. They also have to have great flavor. Well these are them. They taste like a mix between a snickerdoodle and a chocolate chip cookie. After my husband ate one he said: "these are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had", I had to quote that. I've been looking for THE chocolate chip cookie my kids would remember and I think I've found it.

Chocolate Chip Amish Puff Cookies
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c chocolate chips ( I used Hershey's mini chocolate kisses)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon (I only used about 1 tsp.)

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed just until combined. Cover dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips. (Stirred in the chocolate chips before the fridge.)

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line several cookies sheets with parchment paper. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. (this step is optional, but it does give a nice flavor)

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown. Cool cookie sheets on wire racks.

I'm linking this recipe to the recipe party over at Shabby Chic Cottage.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Diaper Coupon

Tomorrow you can get a coupon for $5 off Luvs Diapers. If you have a little one using up tons of diapers like I do this is a great deal! Click Here to get your coupon tomorrow, and do it early, they will probably go pretty fast.

You will have to sign up for Luvs Network and then click on "Promotions".

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, 6th Week

I know it still feels like summer outside, I know it is still way to hot to eat soup, BUT I love the Tomato Basil Soup from Zupas and I found this recipe I wanted to try that claims to be very close. I had to try it instantly. In fact I would have made it tonight except I didn't have a few of the ingredients, so I looked up the weather this week and planned it for the coolest night. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday: Chicken California (Make extra one for neighbors)

Tuesday: Tomato Basic Soup, Bread Sticks

Wednesday: Tacos

Thursday: Chicken in Sauce

Friday: Camping!! Tin Foil Dinners

Saturday: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

Sunday: Tortellini, Rolls

Click Here for more Menu Plans.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Embrodary Hoop Frames

Can I even tell you how much I love this idea? I saw this post on Serenity Now and I feel in love instantly. I started thinking about where I could find some hoops for myself. I actually made my sister go to the thrift store that day, but it's now been about three months and I finally took the time to create the hoops.
It was so easy! It only took about 10 minutes, I did it while Addie finished her lunch. I found the hoops for about .50 cents, panted them white to match her crib, and used leftover fabric from the tag blanket I made her. The best part is the possibles are endless, you could put anything in the frames.

Click here for more DIY projects on A Soft Place to Land.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: 5th Week

This is going to be a fun week! I'm excited for the break tomorrow; we'll get to spend more time with family.

Monday:Labor Day family dinner
Tuesday:Chef Salad
Wednesday:I'm at a concert!
Thursday: Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas

For more Menu Plan Monday visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Brown Rice and Black Bean Burger

I was really excited to try this burger because my husband LOVES burgers. I thought if this was good it could be a healthier substitute. I wasn't sure how to eat these burgers because on the original site she just eats them alone with guacamole, but we tried them just like regular hamburgers and they were delicious. My husband said he didn't feel bad about eating two.

Southwest Brown Rice and Black Bean Burgers

  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1-3 tablespoons minced jalapeno or green chilies, (canned is fine)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cheese, if desired
Mix rice, beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic, onion, cilantro, chilies, salsa, and egg white in large bowl. Mixture will be very moist. Add flour, using only enough so that you can shape the mixture into patties. Dust the outside of the patties lightly with flour. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and warm. Add patties and cook until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with cheese, reduce heat to low and cover with lid to melt cheese. Serve with guacamole, if desired.

I found this recipe on Prudence Penny Wise, a really fun site with a ton of good recipes.

Catching Fire

Have you read The Hunger Games? You should. If you have, you should now read Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games). I read it in one day; I had to read it that fast. I get so into books I forget I'm a wife and mother. I was really worried about the second book because usually in a trilogy I get bored during the middle book, however this was a pleasant surprise. I loved this book as much as the first. I've talked about them so much I've even got my husband wanting to read them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Ham Fried Rice

I love this dinner, I think it's one of my favorites to make and eat. I could never pick a favorite recipe but this is pretty close. I don't make very many Chinese recipes so it is always nice to have a little change. The sauce is also a perfect dipping sauce for egg rolls or wantons. For the rice to go really fast and easy make rice ahead of time and just use some frozen carrots and peas instead of the other vegetables.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. water
  • 2 T. butter or margarine
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth or water
  • 1/3 c. white vinegar
  • 1 t. vegetable oil
  • 1 t. soy sauce
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 tomato, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 small green pepper but into 1" chunks
  • 1 20-oz can pineapple chunks drained
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Combine beaten egg with water to make an egg wash. Dip chicken pieces into egg wash and dredge with cornstarch. Melt butter in heavy frying pan or spray and brown chicken pieces slowly over medium heat until well browned and juices are clear. Meanwhile, combine sugar, broth, vinegar, oil, soy sauce, salt and garlic in small sauce pan. Bring to a gentile boil over medium heat. Thicken with mixture of cornstarch and water, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients and return to boil. Serve hot.

Ham Fried Rice

  • 1 t. vegetable oil
  • 1 T. chopped onion
  • 2 T. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped ham
  • 2 c. cooked rice
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 t. soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and ham; stir fry until vegetables are limp. Add rice and stir until mixture begins to brown. Push rice mixture to the side of the pan add beaten egg, stirring until almost set, then combining with other ingredients. Stir in soy sauce and season to taste.

For more favorite recipes click here.


These are the cutest shoes for my little Addie. I would have to buy them for her if they were a lot cheaper.


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