Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Susie's Holidaze Fudge


SUSIE'S HOLIDAZE FUDGE

I've been making this fudge since I was 12 years old. I only make it at Christmas time.

Susie's Holidaze Fudge

1/2 c. butter
1 c. milk
4 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. small marshmallows
13 oz Hershey chocolate bars, broken into pieces
2 oz unsweetened chocolate squares
12 oz chocolate chips
1-2 c. chopped nuts of your choice

Melt butter and milk. Add sugar, mix well. Mix in marshmallows. Keep stirring until a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add rest of ingredients. Pour into a butter jelly roll pan. Even out quickly. Harden in fridge, cold porch or outdoors!

This is a no fail fudge and it is so yummy. It will melt in your mouth. I give it away as gifts.




A Live Christmas Tree buying guide


Oh tannenbaum, oh tannenbaum, how lovely is thy tax situation.

Less than 24 hours after the Department of Agriculture announced they were slapping a 15-cents per tree tax on Christmas tree growers, the Obama administration backed off on the plan
So NO extra TREE TAX! The idea, hatched by the tree growers themselves was to fund a promotional push similar to the successful "Got Milk?" campaign from dairy producers.

Naturally, consumers would get stuck paying any such tax, bloating tree prices even further. Maybe it's time to try that Festivus aluminum pole from "Seinfeld," instead of a tree? Or maybe it's time to consider these guidelines for buying that Christmas fir.

1. Ask Where It Came From
Some Christmas tree lots buy trucked-in trees before Thanksgiving, meaning they'll drop needles faster than airlines can raise their baggage fees. Weeks may have passed since those trees were originally cut, so always ask the vendor where and when they buy their trees.

2. Check for Freshness
Is the tree green and healthy with a fragrant scent and moist, flexible needles? Does it have damaged bark or broken branches? When you bounce it lightly on the ground, does it shower you with needles?

3. Weigh It
A heavy tree -- proportionate to its size -- means it contains a higher water content, and is therefore fresh.

4. Buy Locally Grown
Is there an area farm that sells freshly cut trees? You'll still want to give them the bounce test, but just the fact they were cut on-site means the trees are fresher. Enter your zip code under "Find My Tree Now" on the National Christmas Tree Association's website to find your nearest provider.

5. Cut Your Own
It takes some effort and a good axe or saw, but there's a great deal of satisfaction in harvesting your own tree, from an approved location, of course. Finding just the right tree and tackling the job as part of a team also makes for a fun outing.

6. Buy Online
You can buy anything online these days. Companies like Christmas Trees Galore offer free shipping and you won't have to cart the tree home on top of your car. Check FreeShipping.org for delivery deals and while you're there, find free shipping offers on ornaments and other decorations.

7. Treat It Tenderly
Keep the tree outside in a shaded, cool place for a couple days, preferably standing in water. Before bringing it indoors, cut half an inch or so off the butt end to open up its pores, much as you would with cut roses. Once inside, remember to keep the tree stand topped up with water each day. For more information about caring for your live tree, check out The Ohio University's Extension Fact Sheet.


Thanks to Andrea Woroch for providing this guest article. She is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. and has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more.

Monday, November 28, 2011

You've Been Sentenced & Twisted Fish Games


One of our favorite games by McNeill Designs is You've Been Sentenced. The other one is Twisted Fish. You've Been Sentenced is now found in schools all across the U.S.A! It has won 17 national awards and is available at Barnes & Noble, Kohl’s, Toys R Us and 100’s of independent stores and catalogs. So if you are looking for fun games for kids and families this season these are two that you will want to consider.


For 3 to 10 Players / Ages 8 and up

Play Time: 30-45 minutes
CONTENTS:
540-card word deck
Score sheet pad
Sand timer
Pencil
Rules sheet

Overview/Object of Game

You’ve been Sentenced!TM by McNeill Designs for Brighter MindsTM is a completely original game system which utilizes pentagon-shaped cards containing conjugations of funny words, famous names, and familiar places. With a hand of 10 cards, players build sentences, challenging their ingenuity while trying to score the most points per round by constructing a grammatically correct and sensible sentence. Most words are worth 5 points, but some of the more unusual conjugations are often worth more, based on usage difficulty in a sentence.

During play, any player can object to another player’s sentence. For example, is the sentence’s grammar correct? Is its meaning understandable? The defending player and the objecting player must argue their points to the rest of the players, who form a “Jury.” The Jury votes on whether or not the sentence is acceptable. Hilarity ensues when a player tries to defend, explain, and justify a completely ridiculous sentence to the Jury. Only accepted sentences score points. The first player to reach 200 or more points wins! 

  

Our Take On the Game:  This is a crazy game.  The box and cards are shaped like pentagon.  I love weird shaped games and cards.  It can be difficult to "shuffle" the cards like a normal set of cards. If you try and do this, you will drive yourself batty!  Just put them all on the table and spread them around to get them mixed.  Then put them back into formed piles!  I say crazy because it is unlike any game that we already own.  You have to somehow form a sentence using 10 random cards that is also grammatically correct (yeah right).  We get a lot of laughs out of our "sentences."

The first two times that I played this game with my 11 year old, my old 40 something head was hurting me!  She was whipping out sentences and I was going "huh?" The game is all about fun and being crazy! On the third hand (ok so I'm a slow learner?) I was into it 110% and determined to make my sentence before she did and use more cards to get more points.  My daughter will tell you that I'm very competitive and will strive to win whatever game I'm playing.  
The funny thing with this game is that it puts every player on the same level.  No one really has an advantage over anyone else because the cards that you get are all you have to form your sentence.  If you love making long, meaningful sentences you'll learn to love short, quirky sentences with high points! 

This is a 3-8 player game but my 11 year old and I play this all the time.  It is more crazy-fun when you have more players but two can play it just as well.  I love games where you have to make words with your letter tiles.  I'm thinking that this sentence making game ranks up there with my word games and even passes up my love of Monopoly (which is my most favorite classical childhood game).  

The game has add-on decks, too! Besides the basic cards, you can add-on Sci Fi/Fantasy, Nasa Space Terms, Pop Culture, Gourmet Cuisine, Sports Highlights and Brain Busters. 
The other hot game, which is great for a $10 and under gift exchange is Twisted Fish.
For Ages 8 and up, 30-40 min, 3-6 players
13 unique Fish characters in five different colors, plus 8 unique "Zingers" that allow you to break the rules, makes "Twisted Fish" a unique game experience. The real challenge takes place when asking for the fish cards you are collecting. Now you have to be specific about the type of fish and color you are seeking. "Twisted Fish" challenges you to remember every question asked at the table. It is challenging and fun right down to the very last card!
We promise you'll fall hook, line, and sinker! "Twisted Fish" offers laugh-out-loud fun for the entire family.
Will you be the family card shark? Or will you be the lowly shrimp?
  • Twisted Fish's game play takes the traditional game of Go Fish and adds new, essential twists. The familiarity of the rules allow for quick learning.
  • Unique Zinger cards ensure that the game is always exciting and fresh.
  • Developed by toy and game veteran Martin Uniacke and Hollywood special-effects artist Jody Fedele.
  • Humorous, original illustrations created by Jody Fedele keep players laughing at the fishy antics of an aquarium full of comical characters.
  • Suitable for ages 8 and up. The whole family will love Twisted Fish for its hilarious game play and outrageous characters.
  • Cultivates memory skills as players track cards that "swim" around the table from player to player.
  • Both Skill and Luck are needed, making it fun for all ages and skill levels. 

Our take on the game: This is a very quick playing game. It is a fast moving and will keep you afloat for some good old family fun! We found that this game is a great ice breaker game. Pull it out when you have new people over and before you know it everyone will be talking, laughing and just being plain silly.

Check out both these games online as well as their other games AND look for them during your holiday shopping at Barnes & Noble, Kohl’s, Toys R Us and 100’s of independent stores and catalogs. 

We received these games from the company with the intention to write a tasty, honest review. Our own opinions are expressed here.

Join the Holiday Tips, Crafts & Recipes link up!

These cheese balls are so yummy! They are also very festive in color!  I made them into 4 large balls but you could make them into smaller size balls.  This was a big hit at my last open house.  So we are going to make them again!

Creamy Goat Cheese Balls

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz semi soft goat cheese (chevre or crumbled feta cheese)
24 pickled, finely chopped jalapeno pepper slices or small, chopped pimiento stuffed green olives, well drained (I do both)
1/2 c. dried red sweet pepper, finely chopped (or sweet paprika)
1/2 c. snipped, finely chopped fresh cilantro(or chopped dry cilantro)
1/2 c dry dill (or fresh finely shopped)
1/3 c. chopped toasted pumpkin seeds (out of shell) or dry onion flakes

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together the cheeses until smooth.  Cover and chill for 1 hr. 


 For the small balls use a rounded tablespoon of the cheese and form it around a chopped pepper or olive. This recipe will make up to 24 small, individual cheese balls.


 If you want to just make large cheeseballs then this recipe will make 4.  Just divide the dough into 4's. (Note the cheese mixture will be sticky. You can wear kitchen gloves)



The last step is where you use the spices, nuts, herbs & seeds. To make them look festive you have the green of the herbs and the red of the pepper flakes or paprika.  Set up each spice/herb/seed/nut in a bowl and roll one ball in a spice.  Have fun with it and feel free to experiment with other ingredients.
Join in the Holiday Tips, Crafts & Recipes Link up! 

  • For every 50 link ups I will have a giveaway for those that link up. I will pull a number and that will be the winner. So enter as many links as you want. Please let others know about this, too! What will you get? Various prizes include gift cards, codes, coupons, candy, holiday goodies and more!

  • Several times a week I will draw numbers for ideas posted and feature that blog. So again, link up so you can be featured.
  • In return, I just ask that if you link up please consider following my blog, leaving a comment and making an effort to visit friends who link up!  Check the tag for Holiday Tips, Crafts & Recipes to see more post. 
  • The link is set up to post the newest link on the top. That way all the wonderful Thanksgiving ideas are on the bottom and the fresh Christmas & New Year ideas are on top!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday Early Bird Deals

Forget Black Friday. Major merchants are racing to see who can open earliest on Black Thursday.
Kmart has taken the lead this year, opening at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. Toys R Us pulls into second place with a start time of 9 p.m., one hour earlier than 2010. Walmart takes third, opening at 10 p.m. on Turkey Day.

Doesn't anybody "Respect the Bird" anymore?

For those willing to brave crowds on a turkey-filled stomach or rise well before dawn, here is a list of opening hours for 15 major merchants, along with a special deal each is offering. Keep in mind that hours are subject to change and some states don't allow stores to open on Thanksgiving Day. For a comprehensive guide to Black Friday store openings and hours, check out CouponSherpa.com.

Ace Hardware - Midnight Friday
Enter to win a Craftsman 5-drawer Tool Center.
A.C. Moore - 5 a.m. Friday
Free $10 gift card to the first 50 customers.
Bealls - Midnight Friday
First 100 customers per store have a chance to win an iPad2, $250 gift card or $5 Bealls Bucks.
Best Buy - Midnight Friday
Best Buy will distribute entry tickets up to two hours before midnight.
Half Price Books - 7 a.m. Friday
First 100 people per store receive a tote bag and $5 gift card.
JCPenney - 4 a.m. Friday
Free collectible Disney snow globe, while supplies last.
Kmart - 6 a.m. Thanksgiving
Earn 20 bonus points for every $1 spent (twice the normal amount).
Macy's - 4 a.m. Friday
Shop online all day Thanksgiving.
Office Max - 6 a.m. Friday
Save $15 on a $100 VISA or MasterCard gift card.
Kohl's - Midnight Friday
Receive $15 Kohl's cash for every $50 you spend, through Nov. 27, with coupon from Black Friday flier.
Old Navy - 9 a.m. Thanksgiving and midnight Friday
Free Kodak Easyshare Sport waterproof digital camera bundle with $40 purchase (while supplies last).
Rite Aid - 7 a.m. Thanksgiving (at select stores) through 11:59 p.m. Friday
$10 reward when you buy a $50 Home Improvement gift card.
Sears - 4 a.m. Friday
Pick up a Real Deal Coupon Book with over $3,000 in savings that start Nov. 27 (while quantities last).
Sports Authority - 5 a.m. Friday
First 80 people in line at each Sports Authority receive Bonus Bucks valued between $10 and $500.
Target - Midnight to 11 p.m. Friday
Learn about unadvertised deals by texting "MORE TVs" to "Target."


CouponSherpa.com is one of four websites operating under the brand name The Frugals and is dedicated to helping consumers save money and live more frugally. They provided all this data for the post.

Great Tips for Kids Cell Phone Safety

A phone is not a toy! I love that books can be read on our phones and we even let kids read books on their phone. Does that mean all kids should have a phone? lol Read the below article. There really are a lot of great tips and things to think about before rushing out to get your little one a phone.

Can you hear me now? According to research, 22 percent of young children own a cell phone (ages 6-9), 60 percent of tweens (ages 10-14), and 84 percent of teens.

Now that it's back-to-school time, many parents make the decision to arm their kids with cell phones. Parents generally say they do so for safety reasons; they want to be able to reach the child anytime. Cost is also a factor. Cell phone industry experts say phones and family plans are both becoming more affordable. Also, as adults swap out their old devices for newer smart phones, it is easier to pass down a used phone.

But for children, it is all about social life. A Pew study found that half of 12- to 17-year-olds sent at least 50 text messages a day and texted their friends more than they talked to them on the phone or even face to face.

Of course, owning a cell phone comes with possible outside threats. 

Here are 10 tips from SafetyWeb.com to help keep your kid safe while using a cell phone:

1. Get Educated and Prepared. Talk to your kids about the dangers and consequences associated with inappropriate cell phone use. Discuss topics including sexting and texting while driving. Make sure you get caught up on the lingo of popular acronyms and initialisms. Ask your kids to save any abusive or problem messages to show an adult.

2. Select Appropriate Phone Features. If your child is under 10, they probably don't need a phone with unlimited social networking or email capabilities. Likewise, the actual phone itself doesn’t need built-in features like a web browser or video messaging. For a young child, look for basic phones. Review all pre-programmed apps and phone capabilities beforehand.
3. Use Parental Controls. If your child’s cell phone has access to the internet, find out if your service provider offers some sort of parental control feature to which you can subscribe.

4. Limit Usage. Designate time slots for talking — perhaps after homework and chores are completed, or before dinner. Don't let constant calls interrupt family time. It's easy for a chatty teen to cuddle up to a phone at bedtime, so check periodically.
5. Consider Monitoring Services. Perhaps your child is older, but you’re still not comfortable with him or her texting and emailing unmonitored. SafetyWeb provides parents with comprehensive alerts and reports on their child's cell phone calls and text message activity. This allows you to keep track of when they are using the phone (during school hours or late at night), and who they are communicating with most frequently.

6. Wait - Before Answering. Instruct your child not to answer calls or text messages from numbers they don't recognize. If it is important, the caller will leave a message and then he can decide how to respond. Explain how to block calls from unwanted numbers.
7. Pre-program numbers. To help keep your kids safe, make sure their cell phones have all important phone numbers preprogrammed into it so they can always get a hold of someone if they’re in trouble.

8. Stay Organized. Always keep your child's cell phone charger in the same place. It's best to find a central location — like maybe the kitchen counter, or a table by the door. Mark the end of the monthly billing cycle on a calendar to remind her how long those dwindling minutes have to last.

9. Practice Privacy. Tell your teen to use caution when giving out a phone number. Make sure they don't publicize their number on the Internet or social sites like Facebook.

10. Be Careful of Download Overload. Fun ringtones, games, and backgrounds - oh my! But, be careful. These such features can come with potential bugs or hidden fees.


Guest article provided by Ann Noder, PR Specialist for SafetyWeb.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Host Out-of-Town Guests (Without Going Insane)

Aunt Jean is coming to town. You've known about it for months, but you're days away from her camping out in your guest room with a plethora of denture accessories. And she knows just how to cook your turkey. Face reality and get a game plan, because compensating with bourbon refills can get pricey.

Sharing your home can be an awesome experience, even for folks who prefer themselves to non-resident relatives. But it just wouldn't be the holidays without stuffed turkeys or stuffed houses--so cozy up with these sanity-saving tips.

1. Make a meal-sharing spreadsheet.
After a decade of gathering for Thanksgiving with my mother's extended relatives, we finally wised up and started assigning cooking and cleaning to each family. We went OCD on the plans and made sure each group knew what they were responsible for. Make the most of Facebook to send out small group messages.

2. Stock your guest's area with necessities.
Include two towels, an extra blanket and enough toiletries to get them through a weekend--then let them know where they are. Don't forget to leave a few bestsellers and magazines on the nightstand for late-night reading.

3. Practice sharing a room before guests arrive.
Most of us don't have spare rooms lying around throughout our house--your guests will most likely need to encroach on current inhabitants. If those evicted youngsters are under three, let them share a room with their older siblings a couple nights ahead so they will sleep well when company arrives.

4. Plan family walks.
Two big ideas here: you will eat far more than you should (despite your steely resolve) and cabin fever leads to badness (as dramatized in The Shining). It's not an option. Everyone goes, rain or shine. This year, your clan can even walk to the nearest Best Buy or Walmart to protest early Black Friday deals. Doesn't that sound like fun?

5. Make a list of things to do in town (and not in your house).
If taking a brisk post-turkey walk outside isn't an option, have a list of fun activities read to suggest for weekend guests. Think movies, bowling or, for the thrill-seekers, Black Friday shopping. Free is good, but it needs to be done away from the house at times.

6. Text or email directions ahead of time (with a map included).
While many of us have good access to immediate maps with our smarty-pants phones, older folks would rather have clear, printed directions before taking to the road. Rather than playing GPS for multiple parties on the night of arrival, send out an email with a map of your place and typed directions on how to get there. Include other need-to-know stops nearby, like grocery stores and pharmacies.

7. Invest in a good air mattress.
If you aren't a fan of air mattresses, you haven't slept on a good one. But you'll have to pay more for a bed that doesn't leak. They will run you over $100, but if you buy a discount gift card to Sears from sites like GiftCardGranny, you'll save around $10 on a queen-sized bed.

8. Ask about food allergies.
It seems most of the world is now deathly allergic to at least one food (or food group), but as the host, you have the responsibility of accommodating for preference and allergy. Eating With Food Allergies has a fabulous guide to preparing a quality Thanksgiving meal sans EpiPen.

9. Buy several plastic-lidded cups.
Unless you'd like a mass of unidentified cups sprouting around your house, watering the carpet, get a batch of souvenir cups with lids to contain the mess. Let each guest autograph their own cup with a permanent marker and let them take a piece of the holidays home with them.

10. Ask big groups to bring their own pillows, blankets and towels.
Yes, this is normally understood, but everyone needs a reminder. If your overnight guest list is really long, suggest bringing towels and sheets as well. Put a hamper in a central location near the bedroom so guests who strip the sheets don't have to wonder where to put them.

11. Make plans for visiting pets.
Our furry friends seem to be more than just four-legged friends these days. If your cat-crazy relatives can't make it through the weekend without toting Whiskers along, address it ahead of time. Consult this list of Thanksgiving safety tips for dogs, and make sure you, as the host, know if the animal is quiet. A barking dog can kill the holiday cheer in five minutes.

12. Enjoy the moment and don't stress over plans!
These holiday memories won't roll around forever--have some perspective and be a gracious host. Be thankful you have a generous space to share and let your cooky relatives enjoy it as well!

###
Guest article written by Ashley Grimaldo who comes from a long line of penny pinchers and enjoys blogging on money-saving tips and advice for frugal-minded parents. She lives with her husband and three children in Bryan, Texas. Ashley has been featured among such media outlets as Redbook, The Chicago Tribune, Time.com, and CBS News-Houston.

Say NO to Thanksgiving Buzzed Driving & Recipe


Thanksgiving
In 2009, there were 411 motor vehicle traffic fatalities on our nation’s highways during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Whether at a Thanksgiving dinner or catching up with hometown friends, many of us will be on the road this Thanksgiving weekend. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council are reminding everyone that the best way to stay safe is to plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you head out for your festivities. This Thanksgiving, help spread the joy; give thanks to life by not driving impaired.

Besides choosing a designated driver, think about alternative drink options that do not involve alcohol. Here is a link to 50 tasty drink recipes. I'm loving this one:

Sparkling CranRazzy

1/2 cup(s) fresh or frozen raspberries for garnish
2 cup(s) cranberry-raspberry juice
2 cup(s) seltzer
2 tablespoon(s) lime juice, plus 4 wedges for garnish

Instructions:

If using fresh raspberries, freeze them in a single layer for about 1 hour (or overnight) before proceeding. Combine cranberry-raspberry juice, seltzer, and lime juice in a pitcher. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with frozen raspberries and lime wedges. (Courtesy of eatingwell.com)
http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/sparkling-cran-razzy-recipe-ew0410



Check out this this Powerful Video which is a testimonial from Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, about a tragic alcohol-impaired crash over the holiday season that killed several children.


If you find yourself in a situation where you don't have a designated driver check out the  Alternative Ride Locator — We’ve created a Facebook tab with a list of nationwide alternative ride programs that can help keep you safe and off the road if you are buzzed. 

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving website — Pledge not to drink and drive; play “Spot the Difference,” an interactive game that simulates the effects of buzzed driving; and watch a real-life video about how buzzed driving changed one woman’s life.



Don’t ruin Thanksgiving with a DUI — or worse.

This post is part of the Global Influence campaign with the Ad Council and their Buzzed Driving Outreach program. It is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu (click for printable copy)


Ingredients

2 tablespoons margarine
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste
.87-oz chicken gravy mix
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. dry white wine or apple juice
1/4 c. deli ham, chopped
1/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese

Directions

In a skilled over medium heat, melt margarine. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until browned; drain. In a bowl, combine gravy mix, water, wine or juice and ham. Pour gravy mixture over chicken in skillet. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a broiler pan; sprinkle with cheese and broil until cheese is melted. Serve chicken with gravy mixture. Serves 4-6.

MY KITCHEN NOTES: I used butter instead of margarine. I also used a sweet red wine instead of the dry white.  This recipe would be great to use the leftover holiday ham for sure.  I've always loved Chicken Cordon Bleu but have never made it from scratch because I thought it was too much work.  Just a month ago we had some premade and I was making a comment on how it is too much work to make.  This recipe solved my problem because it is SO EASY to make and SO TASTY! Love it and will make it again and again.

This recipe is from Quick & Easy Christmas by Gooseberry Patch. Click to find more tasty recipes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

RSV/Preemie Awareness Blog Tour from MedImmune

I'm a mom of twin preemies. They were born at 34 weeks and weighted in at 2# 5oz and 4# 3oz. Their birth was a scary time because they were so tiny. Lung development and potential infections were a concern. At the time, I didn't know much about RSV but knew that preemies were at a high risk for the virus. This is so because they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection and are at an increased risk for developing an RSV-related infection, often requiring medical attention or hospitalization.

Since then, I have learned that nearly every baby by age two gets RSV. Please speak with your pediatrician to find out if your baby is at high risk for developing severe RSV disease, and how you can prevent against RSV this winter. Did you know that November 17th was RSV prevention and Preemie Awareness Day? Click the link to learn more information. Don't let this season sneak up on you and not be prepared. Read below for more information:
RSV Quick Facts:
 RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.

RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America. 

Certain regions have longer RSV seasons than others, with the season beginning as early as July (e.g., Florida) or ending in April.

Despite its prevalence, one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV.
Prevention is Key:
 
There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:


·    Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
·    Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
·    Avoid large crowds and people who may be sick
·    Never let anyone smoke near your baby
·    Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available

Be Aware of Symptoms:

 
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
·    Persistent coughing or wheezing
·    Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
·    Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
·    High fever
·    Extreme fatigue
·    Difficulty feeding




I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Crunchy Biscuit Chicken by Gooseberry Patch

  Crunchy Biscuit Chicken

Mary Makulec of Rockford, Illinois shared this stick-to-your-ribs recipe. She writes, "Chicken, beans, cheese and biscuits...what more could you want?" We couldn't agree more!

2 c. boneless, skinless chicken,
       cooked and cubed
10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 c. canned green beans, undrained
1 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c. canned mushrooms, undrained
1/2 c. mayonnaise-type salad dressing
1 t. lemon juice
10-oz. tube refrigerated flaky biscuits
1 to 2 T. margarine, melted
1/4 c. Cheddar cheese croutons, crushed

In a medium saucepan, combine chicken, soup, green beans, cheese, mushrooms, salad dressing and lemon juice; heat until hot and bubbly. Pour hot chicken mixture into an ungreased 13"x9" baking dish. Separate biscuit dough into 10 biscuits. Arrange biscuits over chicken mixture. Brush each biscuit with margarine; sprinkle with croutons. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep, golden brown. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

CLICK The Big Book of Home Cooking to get more tasty recipes and click below to order!
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiny Prints Christmas Cards are top notch!

Time to order my Tiny Prints Christmas cards! I am a huge fan of all their cards. I always thought that they were just an online company but a few weeks ago I received their catalog in the mail. I was really happy to get that because I passed it along to a friend who isn't tech savvy like myself.

I am going to order some of these Berry Wonderful cards in cranberry for the older folks on our list. They love getting our photo cards every year and this is one that they can hang on their little tree. I don't know about you, but I save all the photos that I get each Christmas season and we keep them up all year long. This Berry Wonderful card would be a great way to send a card and allow the receiver to keep it hanging up all year long, unlike a regular sized greeting Christmas card.
I was also looking for a different Christmas greeting card for the folks who I know do not have a tree or wouldn't care to have my kids photos hanging up all year. I love this Sprigs of Joy card! Individual photos shots and then one big family shot in the middle! Perfect.This way they can see my kids and file it away with their other Christmas cards!

I do love how you can personalize your cards with Tiny Prints. It is super easy to do and the quality is always top-notch! I love their products and I blog about them at least 2-4 times a year. With my Christmas order this year, I'm also ordering thank you cards to be sent after the holidays are over. This way I will have them on hand and as we receive gifts we can get the thank you note written. I'm going to try and be organized this year.

How about you? Do you order any type of holiday cards? If so what do you order? Do you include photos?

Tiny Prints provides simple, modern, and unique stationery from Christmas cardsNew Years cardsparty invitations, andaddress labels to thank you cards. Once the holidays have come and gone, Tiny Prints will still be here to fill your stationary needs with their exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers.  All year round, you’ll fine business cards,birth announcements and even custom wedding invitations. Come try the easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality for yourself. With Tiny Prints by your side commemorating every holiday and momentous occasion is a cinch!

I am writing this sponsored post thanks to my work with Global Influence. I am participating in the Tiny Prints blog program. I am a customer of Tiny Prints and my own tasty opinions are expressed here. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bacon Horseradish Dip

Whether you enjoy it alongside your breakfast, on your sandwich at lunch, wrapped around your dinner or sprinkled on top of just about anything, BACON makes everything better, doesn't it?

101eer


Here's a warm dip recipe to inspire you from 101 Easy Entertaining Recipes...
taken along to any get-together or party, it's sure to be a hit! 

Bacon-Horseradish Dip

Thanks to Kathy Grashoff of Fort Wayne, Indiana for sharing this recipe!
3 8-oz. pkgs. cream
    cheese, softened

12-oz. pkg. shredded
    Cheddar cheese

1 c. half-and-half
1/3 c. green onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. prepared horseradish
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. pepper
12 slices bacon, crisply cooked
    and crumbled

bagel chips or assorted crackers

Combine all ingredients except bacon and chips or crackers in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 5 hours, or on high setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring once halfway through. Just before serving, stir in bacon. Serve with bagel chips or crackers. Makes 7 to 8 cups.


Here is one of my favorite bacon breakfast recipes: Mini Bacon Butterscotch Breakfast Muffins




Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gingerbread Chocolate Eclair Dessert Recipe

Torani Gingerbread Chocolate Eclair Dessert is one of our favorite holiday treats! Oh my this is one tasty dessert. I've made this dessert several different ways but I have to say the added Torani Gingerbread syrup really kicks this dessert up into high class! Besides being so tasty it is also very EASY to make. I hope you try it, soon.

You do not need to add the flavored syrup to this dessert. It taste great without it, too! If you have Torani Syrup feel free to try different flavors.

Gingerbread Chocolate Creamy Eclair Dessert

Ingredients

2 small boxes of french vanilla instant pudding mix
16 oz Cool whip, thawed
3 cups of milk
1/2 box of graham crackers
2 ounces of Torani Gingerbread flavored syrup
1 can of chocolate frosting

Directions

Mix together pudding, milk, Torani Gingerbread syrup and cool whip.
Take a 9 X 13 pan and line the bottom with graham crackers.
Layer on half of the whipped cream mixture.
Add another layer of graham crackers.
Layer the other half of whipped cream mixture.
Top with another layer of graham crackers.
Melt 1 can of frosting for 30 seconds in the microwave.
Pour frosting evenly over graham crackers.
Cover and put in fridge for 6 hours or over night. The longer it sits the better it gets.

Kitchen notes
This recipe can be made with any type of instant pudding. Try other Torani syrups, too!



More Holiday Drinks and Christmas Goodies




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