4/29/11

Pull Up a Chair

A few years ago, I won a dining table with chairs in a local sweepstakes. I was so excited, until I found out the dining chairs have fabric seats. I have teenagers and toddlers, both of which can easily make a meal into a mess. Now that several years have passed, the stubborn stains are beginning to bother me and I've decided it's finally time to replace my dining chairs.

I've always used a very traditional style of decorating so I'm thinking I will go more modern this time around. I found some really unique dining chairs that I love. They have such a sharp, streamlined look about them and I really need a dining chair I can clean easily. If I want to dress them up a bit for special occasions, I can simply add seat cushions! Aren't these a great look? I will definitely go for the darker dining chair to match my table.


I received compensation for this post. Opinions are mine.

Easy Banana Bread

The other day, one of my daycare moms brought me some bananas on the verge of going bad. She thought I could serve them to the daycare children. Knowing these picky little kids won’t eat bananas with any type of brown on them, I decided to make banana bread from scratch. Anyone who knows me, knows I avoid anything complicated in the kitchen; cooking is just not my thing. I married a man who loves to cook, so he cooks and I clean. I found and modified a very simple recipe for banana bread, then bravely tried a piece. It was absolutely delicious! Everyone loved it, so I’m sharing it with you.



Ingredients
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8x4 inch loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, dry mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, smash the bananas and stir in the eggs and sugar, mix well.
  4. Stir the dry mixture into the banana mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour. Remove from oven, cool on wire rack 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely. Slice bread and serve.

4/28/11

Weekend Hop!

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Preparing for an Emergency

My heart is so sad for all the Americans dealing with tornadoes and floods throughout the country. I just cannot imagine the hurt and shock and frustration they must be feeling. So many people have lost their lives and their property and I pray they find a way to get through this difficult time.

The natural disasters have drawn more attention to emergency preparedness and I think it's very important to have a plan in place just in case. Here is a list of items for a basic emergency kit:
  • Food and water for at least 3 days for each family member
  • Radio
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Mobile phone
  • Copies of important documents
If you have specific needs in your family (such as an infant) then adding diapers and formula to the kit is recommended. Extra prescription medications is another consideration.

Each family should also have an emergency plan with options for meeting up at home and at an alternate location. Family members may be separated at the time of an emergency, so it is a good idea to have a plan for contacting each other. Cell phones are an excellent tool for emergencies.

Stay informed in advance and in the wake of emergencies. Listen to the radio and local officials, heeding their warnings about flooding or dangers, to keep your family members safe and sound. Say a prayer for those who have lost so much and hug your family a little tighter today.

Two Awesome Giveaways Ending on April 30

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Thursday Blog Hop

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4/27/11

Mr. Postman, What Did You Bring Me?

Keurig Coffee sent me this great Brew Over Ice cup for being one of the first 10K to sign up for their sweepstakes!


I also received my Happy Owl Ipad Case from Sammi's Blog of Life! I love it. The leather is beautiful and the construction quality is excellent.


Remember, if you want to win sweepstakes prizes, you need to enter on a regular basis. I've won trips, electronics, cash, clothes, musical instruments, and so much more. Enter, enter, enter!

Wednesday Hop!

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4/26/11

Tuesday Hop!

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Giveaway - Boston Legal Season Three 7-Disc DVD Set

Win a copy of Boston Legal Season Three 7-Disc DVD Set!
Here's the rules!

YOUR FIRST ENTRY (mandatory or other entries will not count) - Please publicly follow my blog via Google Friend Connect. Leave a comment below that you are following.

One random winner will win Boston Legal Season Three 7-Disc DVD Set. This contest ends at midnight (CST time) on May 6, 2011. Want some bonus entries? Keep reading!

BONUS ENTRIES (after you complete entry above) - For each completed task below, please leave a separate comment as a bonus entry into this giveaway.
a. Follow my blog via RSS. (one bonus comment entry)
b. Subscribe to my free daily emails. (one bonus comment entry).
c. Vote for me by clicking the On The Fence button (one bonus comment entry per day).

A random winner will be selected by May 9, 2011. The winner will be emailed. Winner must respond within five days or prize will be forfeited. At that point another winner will be randomly selected and emailed, same rules apply. Click the Legal Stuff tab for disclosure and privacy policy. Prize shipped at sponsor's expense. Open to US and Canada only. Must be at least 18 years old. MSRP $29.98.  Make sure you leave appropriate contact information with your comment so I can let you know if you win!

Giveaway - The Mummy Returns DVD 2-Disc Deluxe Edition

Win a copy of The Mummy Returns DVD 2-Disc Deluxe Edition!

Here's the rules!

YOUR FIRST ENTRY (mandatory or other entries will not count) - Please publicly follow my blog via Google Friend Connect. Leave a comment below that you are following.

One random winner will win The Mummy Returns DVD 2-Disc Deluxe Edition. This contest ends at midnight (CST time) on May 6, 2011. Want some bonus entries? Keep reading!

BONUS ENTRIES (after you complete entry above) - For each completed task below, please leave a separate comment as a bonus entry into this giveaway.
a. Follow my blog via RSS. (one bonus comment entry)
b. Subscribe to my free daily emails. (one bonus comment entry).
c. Vote for me by clicking the On The Fence button (one bonus comment entry per day).

A random winner will be selected by May 9, 2011. The winner will be emailed. Winner must respond within five days or prize will be forfeited. At that point another winner will be randomly selected and emailed, same rules apply. Click the Legal Stuff tab for disclosure and privacy policy. Prize shipped at sponsor's expense. Open to US and Canada only. Must be at least 18 years old. MSRP $19.98.  Make sure you leave appropriate contact information with your comment so I can let you know if you win!

Giveaway - Imagine Me and You DVD

Win a copy of Imagine Me and You DVD!
Here's the rules!

YOUR FIRST ENTRY (mandatory or other entries will not count) - Please publicly follow my blog via Google Friend Connect. Leave a comment below that you are following.

One random winner will win Imagine Me and You DVD. This contest ends at midnight (CST time) on May 6, 2011. Want some bonus entries? Keep reading!

BONUS ENTRIES (after you complete entry above) - For each completed task below, please leave a separate comment as a bonus entry into this giveaway.
a. Follow my blog via RSS. (one bonus comment entry)
b. Subscribe to my free daily emails. (one bonus comment entry).
c. Vote for me by clicking the On The Fence button (one bonus comment entry per day).

A random winner will be selected by May 9, 2011. The winner will be emailed. Winner must respond within five days or prize will be forfeited. At that point another winner will be randomly selected and emailed, same rules apply. Click the Legal Stuff tab for disclosure and privacy policy. Prize shipped at sponsor's expense. Open to US and Canada only. Must be at least 18 years old. MSRP $14.98.  Make sure you leave appropriate contact information with your comment so I can let you know if you win!

Giveaway - Facing the Giants DVD

Win a copy of Facing the Giants DVD!

Facing the Giants

Here's the rules!

YOUR FIRST ENTRY (mandatory or other entries will not count) - Please publicly follow my blog via Google Friend Connect. Leave a comment below that you are following.

One random winner will win Facing the Giants DVD. This contest ends at midnight (CST time) on May 6, 2011. Want some bonus entries? Keep reading!

BONUS ENTRIES (after you complete entry above) - For each completed task below, please leave a separate comment as a bonus entry into this giveaway.
a. Follow my blog via RSS. (one bonus comment entry)
b. Subscribe to my free daily emails. (one bonus comment entry).
c. Vote for me by clicking the On The Fence button (one bonus comment entry per day).

A random winner will be selected by May 9, 2011. The winner will be emailed. Winner must respond within five days or prize will be forfeited. At that point another winner will be randomly selected and emailed, same rules apply. Click the Legal Stuff tab for disclosure and privacy policy. Prize shipped at sponsor's expense. Open to US and Canada only. Must be at least 18 years old. MSRP $14.94.  Make sure you leave appropriate contact information with your comment so I can let you know if you win!

Giveaway - The Last Kiss DVD widescreen edition

offer expired

Review: Martha White Blueberry Muffin Mix with Whole Grains

Martha White products are some of my favorites. The muffin mixes are so quick and easy, as well as affordable. As I've made changes in my family's diet, I've looked for more products with whole grains. I was so excited to see Martha White Blueberry Muffin Mix with Whole Grains. I decided to test the product out on my group of daycare children, ages 2-5 years old.

The mix is perfect to make with young children, as it requires only the muffin mix and milk. The recipe states it makes six muffins, but we always use a mini muffin pan since they are more fun to eat. The kids love to stir the milk into the batter. Licking the bowl afterward is always a treat too. The mix made 16 mini muffins, perfect for each child to have two (with two leftover for me). From the opening of the package to the eating of the muffins, it took us all of 30 minutes. I served orange juice with the whole grain blueberry muffins and everyone finished their snack without a single complaint. Amazing.

I wandered over to the Martha White website and discovered there are also whole grain muffin mixes in Apple Cinnamon and Banana Nut flavors. We can't wait to try the others!

4/25/11

Gasoline Prices Driving You Crazy?

Here are some tips to reduce your gasoline consumption!
  1. Turn off your automobile’s air conditioner and roll down the windows.
  2. Drive 5 miles per hour slower than you normally drive.
  3. Accelerate slowly instead of quickly.
  4. Combine errand runs to reduce your trips to the store.
  5. Turn off your engine when waiting in line at the bank or food drive-through lanes.
  6. Unload any necessary trunk junk to reduce the weight your engine pulls.
  7. Adjust your work schedule slightly to avoid rush hour if possible.
  8. Carpool to work and charge riders a small gas fee, like $1 per way.
  9. Dust off your bicycle. You remember how to ride….try it!
Also, visit www.gasbuddy.com to search for cheap gas in your area. The website is also currently offering a giveaway of a $250 gas card. 

Benefits of Music in Early Childhood


Benefits of Music in Early Childhood
  • Soothes a crying baby
  • Calms an angry toddler
  • Supports creative expression
  • Creates positive social situations
  • Encourages interaction between children
  • Critical component for early literacy
  • Introduces new concepts
  • Reinforces concepts
  • Builds memory
  • Builds vocabulary
  • Improves listening skills
  • Develops large motor skills
  • Develops fine motor skills

4/24/11

Writing is for me

by Von Battle

I’m an author; a children’s book author to be exact. I actually even illustrate my own books which makes me a sort of double threat in this industry, in a good way. I love what I do and sometimes I even get to travel to schools and read to kids to test out new book ideas. What a great way to spend an afternoon! My editors love that I draw right in front of the kids and hence get instant feedback.

I needed to get hooked up with wimax Internet so I could start sending them suggestions and photos while I was at the schools, so I looked into Clear at http://www.wirelessinternet.net/4g-intern! et/ to see what kinds of offers they had that would work for me. Now that I’m connected on the go I can stay in touch with my editor and even email things to author buddies of mine – it’s an instant critique session! I’m really enjoying this type of writing and imagine I’ll be doing it for many years to come.

Memories of Easters Past

I have three sisters and I imagine it must have been quite a juggling act for my parents to raise us on one salary. I’m so glad they did because I love all the memories of spending time with my mom. One of the ways they saved money at Easter was The Hunt. Not an egg hunt in the backyard like most families have, but a jelly bean hunt that encompassed our entire house. My parents would hide individual jelly beans everywhere, in the kitchen, family room, living room, and even the bathrooms. A couple of bags of jelly beans are pretty inexpensive! It would take my sisters and me hours to find them all, unlike the ten minute plastic egg hunts where children stampede all over each other.

Mom would send the four of us girls into different rooms to start hunting and then move us into different rooms to look some more. I suppose this clever move kept us from fighting over jelly beans. We never found them all on Easter. Sometimes, months later, someone would shout out, “I found a jellybean!” and pull a dusty, sticky candy from the top of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom or some other obscure place. Our Easter baskets overflowed with stuffed animals, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps, and lots of other goodies, but the jelly bean hunt was my favorite part of Easter morning. 

After our jelly bean hunt, we’d all dress up in our new Easter dresses, white shoes, and some years even a white sunhat. Then we’d all pile into the station wagon and head to Easter service at church. I remember spending most of my time in church wondering if there were still jelly beans that we’d missed earlier. Memories of childhood are so precious. What do you remember?

Easter Blessings to You!

I would like to wish you and your family a very blessed Easter Sunday. He is risen!