Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween is here... 2 parties down and only one more to go!

I love Halloween and have tons of fun with it, but I'm so ready for it to be over this year! So far I've thrown a party for my Girl Scouts and a Halloween dinner party for some friends. Tomorrow is the class parties at school, then trick or treating, then we're done!

But for now, this is what I've made in the past week:










A pumpkin cake















With an orange and purple swirly center...







Moostaches to wear if you don't have a costume (and to eat too!)







Brain dips for snacking








Monster eyeballs







Shrunken heads in apple cider








A heart for dipping your apples into.








Ghosts (and Boos) for decorating







Glue ghosts (make a glue ghost on parchment paper and let dry, then peel paper off)







Jello brain (of course, we have to have a Jello brain!)
 Pumpkin tangerines










Apple slices with holiday cutouts







Ghost jugs (lasts longer than pumpkins and recyclable when you're done!)








'Eye of newt' soup





Human body for dinner (before ribs were added and as served)

What great ideas did you have for Halloween? Please share and give me ideas for next year!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I did it!!

I conquered my fear of the Crockpot (at least step 1 of conquering it!) Last week I spent one day cooking 10 meals for my freezer. Most of them are Crockpot recipes, which is amazing!

 I took this (and a lot of meat!):


and made it into this!


7 Crockpot meals and 3 pot pies, all of which went straight into the freezer. All I have to do is dump the bag into the Crockpot along with whatever liquid the recipe requires, and I have dinner ready with literally no prep!

It took 3 1/2 hours of solid chopping and pre-cooking, but that's only about 20 minutes per meal! Plus it only dirtied 1 pot, 1 skillet, 2 cutting boards, 2 knives, 3 bowls and a handful of utensils. I normally make more dishes than that cooking one meal!

Once I taste them all I'll post the recipes and a shopping list (I saw several other blogs that had done this and later posted that the recipes were bland and I didn't want to do that to you.)

In the meantime, here's a yummy Crockpot breakfast recipe:


Breakfast Casserole

1 pkg bacon (or ham or sausage, the bacon got lost in the dish)
1 onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
32 oz frozen hashbrowns
2 1/2 c shredded cheese
12 eggs
1c milk
Spices/seasoning as desired (I used seasoning salt, fresh ground pepper, onion and garlic powder and chipotle)

Cook bacon and chop.
Saute pepper, garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
Place 1/3 hashbrowns in Crockpot. Add 1/3 bacon, 1/3 garlic and onion mix and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat. 

Mix egg, milk and spices (make sure to season heavily enough for the potatoes, I seasoned based on the quantity of eggs and it was bland because I forgot about the potatoes). Pour over layers in Crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until 160 degrees. (Mine was done in less than 8 but my Crockpot runs hot).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Step into Fall... Huge Giveaway Event!

Welcome to the Step into Fall Giveaway Event!

Hosted by Mom to Bed by 8
Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts Mom Blog Society and Giveaway Bandit!
From Slatkin & Co. {available at Bath and Body Works}
-14.5oz Candle ~ Three-wick candle burns approximately 30 to 45 hours. Includes elegant lid to keep your fave fragrance fresh, while adding a touch of d├ęcor.
- Novelty Wallflower ~ Combine with Wallflowers fragrance plug, sold separately to scent any room with 24/7 with noticeable freshness for up to 8 weeks.
-Wallflower Bulb ~ America's favorite fragrance plug! A quick twist of the rotating plug lets you choose a vertical or horizontal outlet.



The Children's Place is a leading specialty retailer of children's merchandise, ages newborn to 10 years old. The Company owned and operated 995 The Children's Place stores in North America and its online store, www.childrensplace.com. As seasons change so do the styles and lines available at The Children's Place. So from sparkles to prints, neutrals to fabulous brights, they have a bit of it all. Here are just a few of our favorite looks available in-stores and online now:






I adore this rosette fleece coat!  It would be perfect for my littlest one.





This is one of my all-time favorite hats! I saw this at Children's Place yesterday and almost bought it for my daughter!







Five lucky readers will receive a $50 The Children's Place Gift Card &

Five more luck readers will receive a Slatkin & Co. Prize Package including 14.5oz Candle, Novelty Wallflower and Wallflower Bulb!

Giveaway ends November 14th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Sanity is for those without children is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

Step Into Fall F8

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I have a confession...

I'm afraid of my Crockpot!

I'm not afraid that it's going to become animated and eat me, or that it's going to burn my house down (although I do have that thought sometimes...).

I'm afraid because I don't use it enough. I haven't figured out how to convert recipes to work in it. My kids aren't big fans of one-pot meals, so often all that work is wasted. Plus, I'm a taster when I cook. I taste, mess with the seasoning, taste, etc... which you can't do with a Crockpot.

So I'm on a mission. I'm going to use my Crockpot at least once a week. I'll post the good, the bad and the ugly. Plus tomorrow I'm doing a massive food prep day (like cooking a whole month's worth of meals in one day), almost all of which are Crockpot meals. Chop everything in advance, bag it, freeze it an dump it in the Crockpot. So I'll share those recipes once we taste them.

Here's dinner from a few nights ago. It came out pretty well, although I'd much rather use it as taco filling than eating it over rice.



Crockpot Salsa Chicken

2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
2 cans Rotel tomatoes (or 1 lg jar salsa)
1/2 cup chopped onion (skip if using salsa)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 can chopped green chiles
½ cup taco seasoning
1 TB garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t cumin
2 t chipotle powder (optional, unless you like heat!)

Put chicken in bottom of crockpot. Add all other ingredients and cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred chicken and add 1 c sour cream (optional). Serve over rice or use as taco filling.

 Before Cooking
 After Cooking
 After shredding and adding sour cream (possibly skip the sour cream and 
put it on separately, it makes it a little weird if you reheat it).

Let me know if you have any favorite Crockpot recipes! I need inspiration. Please!




Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fujifilm FinePix S4250 Digital Camera Giveaway!

Welcome to the Creating Holiday Memories Giveaway Event!

Hosted by Mom Blog Society

The versatile and functional Fujifilm FinePix S4250 14MP Digital Camera gives a sensational shooting experience. The Fujinon lenses are used popularly in numerous situations including satellites in outer space, TV, film, surveillance and compact cameras. With the highly adept manufacture of Fujifilm, high precision optic and technology are provided for the best 24mm wide angle and 24x optical zoom. The lens elements used in the FinePix S4250 have been treated with multilayer Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating), the same process used for Fujinon broadcasting video lenses and large-format camera lenses acclaimed by professionals. Reducing ghosting and lens flare, the treatment promises clear image quality. The powered 24x zoom features smooth 42-step zoom control, giving you the ability to frame every shot with precision accuracy.

This is such a cool camera! I'd love to be able to try it for myself (and finally update my camera that I've had for years!)

One lucky reader will receive an Fujifilm FinePix S4250 Digital Camera!

Giveaway ends October 28th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Sanity is for those without children is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pink Apple iPod Touch - Free Blogger Signups!

Plum Crazy About Coupons is having a great giveaway and Bloggers can join the fun!


This awesome giveaway is for an Apple® iPod touch® 32G 5th generation (latest model!) 
in PINK! RV $299.99!

This will be crazy hot at Christmas, and it's preordering now.

Bloggers can join for FREE here. Please tell them Sanity is for those without children sent you!

Monday, October 8, 2012

What an awesome weekend!

Even though hubby and I were both sick with a nasty cold/flu all weekend (and still are!), we had a wonderful weekend!

Friday night/Saturday morning was "Lego Saturday" at our house, when we pull out mass quantities of Legos and go wild! This week they decided the theme was Castle, although they never built any walls, just the city inside the walls.


Saturday night Bok Boy and hubby slept on the USS Hornet with our Cub Scout Pack! They had a blast and learned a lot! Plus it made for a very very quiet night here.



Sunday morning the girls built a fort and played blocks and read books (and played doctor, Doc McStuffins is HUGE in our house!)


Sunday evening was a massive Nerf war at our house! We had one Nerf gun and my brother decided that wasn't enough, so he bought 2 more and we had a major battle.

All in all, it was one of the best weekends we've had at home in awhile, mostly because we weren't overbooked! I'm looking forward to the rest of the month... at this point our weekends are COMPLETELY clear until November! Woohoo!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Delta Glider and Ottoman Giveaway

With all of my babies I desperately wanted a glider to help make nursing easier but never had room for one (until my youngest was a few months old). Instead I was stuck with a vintage rocker (which doesn't work for nursing very well!). I found out that my comfy leather sofa works well, but nothing compares to using a proper Glider and Ottoman!

Here's your chance to win one...


This event is hosted by Bella Savvy and sponsored by Delta Children's Products!
Delta Children’s Products offers a wide range of the finest children’s furniture to fit nearly any nursery decor — from cribs, to dressers and gliders, they have it all in beautiful styles and finishes.
Want to know more about these amazing products? Check out my recent review!

WIN IT!

PRIZE: Eclipse Glider & Ottoman combo (in the stain/color of your choice) -- $200 value EVENT DATES: October 5, 2012 – October 19, 2012 Open to US residents ages 18+. To enter, please use the rafflecopter form below. And don’t forget to come back daily to gain additional entries. The more entries you have, the better your odds of winning.
~ A huge thank you to the lovely bloggers who are helping to promote this fabulous giveaway! ~
~Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Sanity is for those without children is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. ~

Good luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What happens in Vegas...

Makes for VERY vivid dreams!

Hubby and I escaped to Vegas this past weekend for our anniversary, and we had a BLAST!

But ever since we got on the plane home I've been dreaming crazy stuff. On the flight home I crashed out (which I've never ever done before... I may snooze on a plane but I've never slept the whole flight or slept through the flight attendants serving beverages!) I was dreaming about driving down the freeway at normal speed and coming up on totally stopped traffic. As I was slamming on the brakes in my head the plane landed, and I almost woke up screaming! It took me a good long time to calm down after that.

That same night I was dreaming I was in a Top Chef-style cooking competition (I know hehe!) and the other contestants were belittling me for my skills. I actually woke up crying! REAL tears, all because my feelings got hurt in a dream.

There have been several others since then... I don't know if it's because all of the fakeness in Vegas that it makes my dreams seem more real, or what?

Any ideas? And no, there were no drugs or anything hinky involved. Maybe Penn & Teller hypnotized me during their show?

iPad3 Giveaway!

Welcome to the iPad3 Holiday Giveaway Event!

Hosted by Mom Blog Society
Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts Mom to Bed by 8, Thinking Outside The Sandbox, Moms Living Thrifty and Food N Service for their help bringing this giveaway to life!

Apple iPad Wi-Fi 16 GB – 3rd generation

Pick up the iPad and suddenly, it’s clear. You’re actually touching your photos, reading a book, playing the piano. Nothing comes between you and what you love. To make that hands-on experience even better, they made the fundamental elements of iPad better – the display, the camera, the wireless connection. All of which makes the third-generation iPad capable of so much more than you ever imagined. Everything you do with iPad, you do through its large, beautiful display. And when the display is better, the entire iPad experience is better. The Retina display on the iPad features a 2048-by-1536 resolution, 44-percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1-million pixels – in the same 9.7-inch space. That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad and a million more than an HDTV. Those pixels are so close together, your eyes can’t discern individual ones at a normal viewing distance. When you can’t see the pixels, you see the whole picture. Or article. Or game. In ways you never could before.

Product Features

  • 9.7 Retina Display; 2048 x 1536 Resolution
  • Apple iOS 5; Dual-Core A5X Chip with Quad-Core Graphics
  • 5 Megapixel iSight Camera; 1080p Video Recording
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); 16 GB Capacityes: 1 x Headphones – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, 1 x Docking / port replicator – 30-pin dock connector
  • Up to 10 Hours of Battery Life; 1.44 lbs
I want this for myself so badly! I've had such fun playing with my MIL's iPad (and so have the kids!), and I'd love to have one for myself. 

One lucky reader will receive an iPad 3 Generation {16Gb, Wi-Fi}!

Giveaway ends November 1st at 11:59pm, open worldwide, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Sanity is for those without children is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MBS iPad3 Facebook 23

MBS iPad3 Facebook 10

** CarenetLA is restricted to US only. If you are outside the US, please like all of the other pages. You will not be penalized for not liking that link.

Mickey Mouse Halloween Giveaway

Welcome to the Mickey Mouse Halloween Event!

Hosted by Mom Blog Society

This adorable 3' Tall Airblown Inflatable Halloween Mickey Mouse self-inflates in seconds. It's easy to set up and store. Stakes and tethers are included.
3' Tall Airblown Inflatable Halloween Mickey Mouse Features:
  • Measures 3'H
  • Lights up
  • Weather-resistant design
  • Self-inflates in seconds
  • Deflates down for easy storage
  • Quick and easy set-up
  • Stakes and tethers included
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Great Clubhouse Hunt is an Halloween themed DVD premiere based on the popular series on the Disney Channel. Mickey takes you on the ultimate adventure to find his friends and to put back together the clubhouse, which has mysteriously broken into parts and disappeared with his friends inside! Featuring favorite characters Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy and Daisy Duck.
Have the happiest candy haul ever this Halloween night carrying the glowing Disney Store Light-Up Jack O'Lantern Mickey Mouse Trick or Treat Bucket. The frosted features of Mickey's pumpkin face light-up in rotating red, green, and yellow tones.

 
$25 Wal-Mart Gift Card

My kids adore Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and my tot would love to have any of these prizes! What a great giveaway!

One lucky reader will receive a 3′ Inflatable Halloween Mickey Mouse, Mickey’s Treat DVD, Light-Up Jack O’Lantern Mickey Mouse Trick and a $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card for Candy!

Giveaway ends October 22nd at 11:59pm, open US and Canadian Residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Sanity is for those without children is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.


 

Bloggers Wanted.. Creating Holiday Memories

Creating Holiday Memories Fujifilm FinePix Event is hosted by Mom Blog Society.

Prize: Fujifilm FinePix S4250 Black 14MP Digital Camera
The event dates: 10/8 - 10/22

Mickey Halloween Twitter 6










Monday, October 1, 2012

Little Tikes Secret Garden Playhouse Giveaway








The Little Tikes Secret Garden Playhouse is creatively charming and will provide fun for hours for both boys and girls. This adorable playhouse can be kept indoors or outdoors. Well-designed and every side offers a different dimension of fun at every turn. The built-in table with stool within the Secret Garden playhouse allows the kids to pretend play as servers of cakes, buns, and other eatables. A child pretending to be a customer can sit on the outside stool and make the purchase. A canopy over the table offers shade and another built in table for the pretend play customers. The re is even a battery-operated doorbell on the side to alert the server.
The Little Tikes Secret Garden Playhouse features a working "dutch" door for easy entry for servers and crawl-through garden gate provides added fun. There is even a play sink with faucet for cleanup time. With all these features, the Secret Garden playhouse not only offers lots of fun to the kids, but also sparks their imagination and helps develop interactive skills while learning good manners.

Little Tikes Secret Garden Playhouse Features:
  • Built-in table with stool
  • Awning over the table for shade
  • Working "dutch" door and doorbell
  • Crawl-through garden gate
  • Built-in role play features
  • Play sink with faucet
  • Assembly required
  • Dimensions: 36"L x 84"W x 65"H
Little Tikes is one of my favorite brands, and my toddler (and older kids) would love to have this! It's a great toy for one or multiple kids to play together and works for both genders and many age groups.

One lucky reader will receive the Little Tikes Secret Garden Playhouse!

Hosted by Mom to Bed by 8 and Mom At 40
Giveaway ends October 22nd at 11:59pm, open US and Canadian Residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Sanity if for those without children is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.