Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Last day to 'Round up' and help Boys & Girls Clubs of Amercia #Tools4BTS #sponsored

I'm so excited to be a Boys & Girls Clubs (BGCA) Back-to-School Ambassador. I have always been a huge fan of this organization for all that they do in the communities which they serve and also on their website. Are you familiar with BGCA? I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Funding is always needed for community groups like BGCA. Right now jcpenney is making it possible for you to help by their 'jcpenney cares round up campaign' which ends today. Sorry that you aren't finding out about this sooner but today is your last day to head to jcpenny and round up your purchase to the nearest dollar amount. All these round up donations will be given to BGCA. For more information on this, check out BGCA Great Futures

Do you have a BGCA in your community? These are safe places for kids to go to after school and provide numerous resources for kids and families. The clubs are go to spots for homework help, advice for the future, development of art and sport skills and more! I learned on their site that 3 out of 10 kids (that is 30%) will not graduation high school on time. Such a sad statistic. 

If your family isn't in need of the local offerings I want to encourage you to pop in at their website and check out the resources that they have online for you to use at home on bullying, fitness, homework help and more. Also, your support in anyway will be greatly appreciated. So if you have time today, go shop at jcpenney and participate in the 'jcpenney cares round up campaign'.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Family Taco Night Giveaway #MyBlogSpark

We love Mexican food! Either I cook some sort of Mexican recipe once a week or we eat out at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. How about you? Does your family like Mexican food? We love sweet Mexican corn cakes, tacos, nachos, salsa, refried beans, fajitas, tostadas, "Deep Fried" Mexican Ice Cream and more! Since we are such huge Mexican food fans I was excited to try out the new Stand 'N Stuff Soft Flour Tortillas and Mexican Cooking Sauces from Old El Paso. Have you tried them?

Family Taco Night just got easier with these new products from Old El Paso. I'm excited to bring them to you today! The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark for me and for one of my blog readers. My own tasty opinions are expressed here.

We love Mexican food! Either I cook something Mexican once a week or we eat out at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. How about you? Does your family like Mexican food? We love tacos, nachos, salsa, refried beans, fajitas, tostadas and more! Since we are such huge Mexican food fans I was excited to try out the new Stand 'N Stuff Soft Flour Tortillas and Mexican Cooking Sauces from Old El Paso. Have you tried them?


Family Taco Night just got easier with these new products from Old El Paso. I'm excited to bring them to you today! The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark for me and for one of my blog readers. My own tasty opinions are expressed here.


Gift Pack:

1 container of new Old El Paso® Stand 'N Stuff® Soft Tortillas
1 of each flavor of new Old El Paso® Mexican Cooking Sauces – Chipotle, Roasted Tomato, Chile & Roasted Garlic
Collapsible Colander
Veggie chopper
Chop turner utensil
$10 gift card to buy additional taco ingredients

Retail Value: $60



Here is information on the new products! The Stand 'N Stuff Tortillas are AMAZING! I wish that I would have had known about these for my teens graduation party where we had a Mexican Taco and Nacho buffet. The sauces are all tasty and great for quick family meals. The sauces spice up our family taco night and give a little bit of variety to our already favorite taco recipes.


Stand 'N Stuff® Tortillas are so easy to fill, hold, and eat that your kids might even leave less food on the floor!
Stand 'N Stuff® Tortillas make it even more fun to spoon in your favorite fillings.







New Mexican Cooking Sauces bring you complex Mexican flavor that would take days to make from scratch, delivered simply via roasted vegetables and traditional Mexican spices. These versatile cooking sauces taste great with your favorite meats or veggies, and are perfect for traditional Mexican meals or for adding a Mexican flare to other recipes.

Want to enter to win a Family Taco Night Giveaway Gift Pack? I'm so excited to bring you another giveaway for my Birthday week! Make sure you enter all the tasty giveaways this week.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click photo to enter more Birthday Party Giveaways!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan with Easy Family Meal Recipes

I don't always like easy recipes but in the summer I do! I love trying out new recipes which require a lot of new ingredients when I have the time. Those type of menu plan recipes seem to get made in the fall and winter. How about you? This week is one of our busiest of the summer so easy family meals it will be! 


Welcome back to Menu Planning Monday


It is my BIRTHDAY WEEK so check out all my giveaways I'm sharing with even more to come this week!

These are quick and easy meals which require little prep and easy to cook. Some use the crock pot which will provide a full, warm meal yet took little time to actually prep. Enjoy! 

MondayFiesta Burger and SPICY RANCH Dip and Flower Power Artist Veggies
TuesdayScallopine with Peppers, Mushrooms and Tomatoes and a huge salad
Wednesday-Crockpot Cranberry BBQ Chicken and Mom's Cheesy Hash browns
Thursday-Leftovers or crockpot Pizza Soup (depends if we have enough leftovers or not)
Friday-Thai Green Curry Chicken 
Saturday-Speedy Sausage Muffins
Desset- I'm picking a Cake from this collection of 43 Best Ever Cakes. Which one will you try?

I've linked up at OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday link up. I will pin some of the below post on Pinterest as I have time this week!! I usually share a recipe & menu plan each week and will resume that next week. If you do pin my post, please leave a comment and I will be sure to get yours pinned. Thanks! Have a super week.

Stitching for the Kitchen Gooseberry Patch Giveaway

My favorite cookbook company, Gooseberry Patch has released a delicious Stitching for the Kitchen book which has 30 easy projects for the "Heart of Your Home" and involves sewing and cooking!
Let's make this clear up front, I do not sew unless I have to which usually means I need to add a button to my husband's work shirt. Other than that I avoid it like you would not believe! I do readily admit that I'm a quilter-wanna-be (involves sewing, right?) and plan on taking it up someday in the well off distant future. I do think sewing is a talent or a basic skill everyone should have so much that I've encouraged my daughters to take sewing classes over the years! Maybe if I would have been exposed earlier in life I would have liked it more. Who really knows!

So to prove to myself that I could sew if I needed to or if I really wanted to, I jumped at the chance to review this Stitching for the Kitchen book because it stated that it had 30 EASY projects! I was provided a copy of this book to review and my own tasty opinions are shared here today and a giveaway copy to one of my readers.

Guess what? I wanted to make just about every craft project in this book for myself or for gifts. Little did I know the book also had tasty recipes included which was an extra bonus surprise! Each project is easily explained and requires very little supplies and very little time to create.

The book contains adorable sewing, patchwork, applique and embroidery projects which are perfect for your kitchen or for gifts for friends. I fell in love with the napkins, tablecloths and runners, sweet potholders, trivets and warmers, totes and organizers as well as the tasty aprons for cooks of all ages! Remember I don't sew but found this book easy to follow and it inspired me to sew more. I love the Tips and Techniques What You Need to Know section and full size patterns and traceable patterns.

My project that I picked to create was a Recycled Sweater Wine Bottle Cover. This project required a sweater as the sleeve would be needed to create the project. I just cleaned out 3 large bags of clothes to take to Goodwill that are way too big for me and decided to pull out a sweater that I really loved to make this craft. Another idea would be to hit up garage sales and your own local Goodwill or Thrift shops to make this project. I also included one of the recipes in the book (I'm a foodie after all!) Skinny Granola.

Recycled Sweater Wine Bottle Cover

Supplies
1 sweater sleeve
Needle and thread
Scissors
Ribbon or yarn

Directions
1-Measure and mark 13" from the end of one sleeve. Cut off the sleeve at the marking. If you want to make 2 bottle covers, cut off both sleeves.
2-Trim and clean the cut edge of the sweat to remove leftover bits and pieces. 
3-Thread a needle with regular sewing thread and knot off one end. Turn sleeve inside out. Secure the knot near the cut end of the sleeve.
4-Run the needle and thread through each loop of the sweater sleeve or just thread in and out of the fabric to gather it together at the bottom.
5-Pull the thread tightly to cinch the sleeve end together.
6-Knot the thread securely and tie off.
7-Add the wine bottle (or a bottle of flavored coffee syrup) to the sweater cover.
8-Weave your ribbon or yarn through the holes in the sweater at the top of the wine bottle. If you can't weave then just wrap the ribbon around the neck and tie off with a bow. You can hand tack the center of the ribbon to the back of the bottle cover so the ribbon stays attached once it is untied. 
9-Knot, hem or use fingernail polish on the ends of the ribbon so it doesn't fray.
10-Tie the ribbon into a bow. 

Kitchen Note-
This project took me 5 minutes from start to finish! I was amazed at how easy it was and that I actually sewed a project! I pulled out all of my sweaters for Goodwill to make more of these for gifts! Yay me!

Skinny Granola

Ingredients
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. water
1 t. almond extract
4 c. long-cooking oats, uncooked

Directions
1-In a large bowl, mix together honey, water and almond extract.
2-Add oats; mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
3-Transfer mixture to a 15" x 10" jelly roll pan; spread to about 1/2 inch thickness.
4-Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brow and dry. Stir after 30 minutes.
5-Break into pieces and store in an airtight container. Makes about 4 cups.

Kitchen Note-
This smelled so good when it was baking. I used vanilla instead of almond extract. I also used a variety of oats to use what I had on hand. Some of my oats had flax seed. This turned out great and would be a wonderful gift idea given in a beautiful container made from this book. I loved that the granola wasn't super sweet.

Want to win a copy of the delicious book? Enter on the below Rafflecopter form. Open to USA and ends 8/16/13



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 28, 2013

43 Best Birthday Cakes Ever!

Happy Birthday to me! In celebration of the young me, here are 43 tasty birthday cake recipes and mini cakes (cupcakes) from all over the internet. What is your favorite birthday cake? I honestly do not have a favorite but if I had to pick a dessert recipe, it would be something that included a brownie, hot fudge, pecans and ice cream! Yum!



Best Ever Cupcakes- chocolate or yellow cake







Blue Ribbon Cake (no link - cousin's cake from Facebook!)


Cake Batter Martinis (couldn't resist sharing this one!)













(deceptively easy)Ice Cream Cake























So out of these 43 cakes which one do you want??? 


It's my party!!! Click below to enter my birthday giveaways!




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