Maybe Monday, Meal Planner

Errr, see, what had happened was... I forgot to hit publish. Color me surprised when I saw no post for Monday. Here it is just a bit late.

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Here's an inside look at how I'll feed my family, this week anyway!

Monday: Chile with Rice and cornbread muffins.

Tuesday: Chinese Take-out. (Everybody does it!)

Wednesday: Pork chops, corn-bread stuffing, and steamed veggies.

Thursday: Chili Dogs with oven fries. (using Monday's leftover chili.)

Friday: Chicken and Broccoli in Garlic Herb sauce.

Saturday: Egg, Bacon, Cheddar and Hash-Brown Burritos. (Oh, yum.)

Sunday: No Fail Spaghetti and meatballs.

I'll post Sunday's recipe later for those who might be interested.
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Handbag Heaven

Literally!

I love purses. (Vast understatement.) When asked to review a bag of my choice by Handbag Heaven, I nearly swooned with joy. Then came the hard part. Which one? (Seriously, choosing just one bag was incredibly difficult, but I knuckled down to the hard work, and dedicated myself to the task.) There were so many styles, from classic to on-trend, from work to play, from animal prints to patent leather and everything in between! I love that you can shop by style, trend, size, color, or price range.

(If you're curious about pricing, oh... you're gonna love it!) Currently, through the end of the month, Handbag Heaven is running a March madness promo, featuring 10% off all bags, and free shipping on any order over $50. The pricing is pretty great, and the options are fantastic. They have so many choices!

A few weeks back, I received the Taylor Cinched Tote from Handbag Heaven, and I was stoked. (To begin with, the shipping was incredibly fast. They ship same-day (if ordered by 2pm)! Much kudos for that.)

I love a big bag, and the current trend for oversized handbags perfectly suits my fancy. The Taylor was huge! Even bigger than I expected and sooooo pretty. I loved the neutral taupe color and faux-ostrich look immediately, and the casual slouchiness along with the simple but attractive hardware.
And look how much it holds! That's my organizer (red), Lil' Man's diaper bag (green) & my clutch bag (black). What you aren't seeing is my make-up bag, sunglasses case, first-aid kit (I know!), big ole key ring, two sippy cups (in the side pockets) , and coupon organizer. (Notice the attractive lining!)
Which is a lot of stuff- and it's heavy! Not to mention that on Sundays I add my bible and notebook. (Please finish laughing about my can't-leave-the-house-without-the-kitchen-sink-syndrome. Now, then.) My point is the incredible construction of this bag. To hold this much and still look so good is very impressive. The wipe-clean exterior, even more so. (Little boys who get ahold of dry-erase markers are just plain evil.)

I carried the Taylor everywhere. Grocery stores, restaurants, church, the circus...everywhere. It looks just as good with jeans as it does with heels. I love it, love, it, love it! Now, I fully expect you to head over there and get your own. Want my picks?

Here a few on my own personal wish-list:



Get thee to Handbag Heaven, and have some fun!
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About that Digi-Scrap

'Cause This Is So Cool:

For those who care, or perhaps even are dying to know, I'll throw a little bit of myself out there, in the form of digital scrapping. (I am a beginner, mind you.)

One of the reasons why I fell for it, is the fact that I've always wanted to be one of the creative people. You know who you are. (Or, if you're like me, you know who you really...aren't.)

Anyway, Scrapbooking seems fun, and relatively easy. Pick cute stuff, arrange in a pleasing way, add photos. (Not quite that simple, but you get the idea.) It's also fairly expensive. And I hear the hardcore scrappers have tons of tools, embellishments, etc, and it takes up a whole lot of space. Well, I have neither the money or the space to spare. What I do have is a computer with lots of memory, a passion for finding freebies, and the willingness to try.

Yay, Digital Scrapping! For the super-duper beginner, I suggest CropMom. It's an online scrapbooking site. Free to register, lots of designer collections to play around with, even templates to help you get started. It's very simple to navigate, and a great way to learn what digi-scrap is like.

Here's one I did this morning in about 15 minutes, using about four different collections.
Cute, yeah? (Um, feel free to feed my ego down there in the comments section. Don't worry. I'll wait.)

And here's one using a premade template, (I added her name, though.):
See? Fun, easy. Later on in the week, I'll give you more beginner tips, but for now, check out CropMom online scrapbooking. I think you'll have fun there!
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Menu Plan on Maybe Monday (My 1st!)

Oh, I love other people's memes. I really do. Hence this attempt at being as cool as Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. (Remember on Friday, at my Ultimate Blog Party post when I mentioned how much I like to read about organization? Her blog is one of my faves.)

On Monday, you should plot your meals for the week. (This is called good advice.) I actually do this before every grocery trip. It's been a long, long time since I could afford to fill up a cart without bothering to compare price difference per ounce, plus coupon savings, vs. generic brand, and take as much time as I please strolling the treat-filled aisles for whatever catches my fancy. Ahhh, the good old days.

Here's an inside look at how I'll feed my family, this week anyway!

Monday: Pita Pocket Turkey Sandwiches and soup. (I'm cheating, but it's the Campbell's Select Harvest Light, which was on sale, and I had coupons, so don't judge me!) I'll be having Italian Wedding, yum.
*correction* I ended up making a frittata instead. Bacon, Potato & fresh Spinach.

Tuesday: Herb Roasted Chicken w/ root vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes...the classics.)

Wednesday: Calzones (pizza dough wrapped around ricotta & mozzarella cheese, and leftover tomato sauce I made on Sunday) and spinach salad.

Thursday: Chicken & Roasted Pepper Quesadillas with refried beans (from Tuesday's leftover roasted chicken.)

Friday: Cashew Chicken, jasmine rice, stir-fry vegetables.

Saturday: Shrimp Scampi with Linguini. (Super fast, super flavorful. Always a hit.)

Sunday: Pork chops, corn-bread stuffing, and steamed broccoli & cauliflower.

Huh. Looks like I'm tring to cover all the major food groups. Italian, Mexican, American and Chinese! Sadly, not a new recipe in the whole group. Maybe next week.

I'm committing to more postings. I know you all are dying to read more of my barely comprehensible thoughts, and I'm complying! Sheesh!
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There's a Party in my Tummy, So Yummy, So Yummy!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009


For those in know, I apologize for stealing from Yo Gabba Gabba. (I've got a 4 year old and 22 month old. 'Nuff said.)

Welcome to my Blog Party, courtesy of the fab people at 5MFM! Woo-hoo! Yeah! All-right, get down,...okay,...hmmm, phew. Now that we've got that out of our systems, how 'bout a brief intro? (Please, return the favor in the comments section!)

My name is Tina, pleasure to meet you. What do I do? Um, this and that, mostly that. I'm a SAHM, who occasionally lights up Web 2.0 with my brilliance. Oh - you haven't heard of me, or my blog? Huh. Well, I've got two wild and crazy kids, they keep me pretty busy, you know.

I occasionally post product reviews, some solicited, some ... not. I am currently a volunteer for waaaay too many things, lol. I also do some virtual admin work on an extremely part-time basis. (Thanks alot, bad economy!)

I'm a beginning Digi-Scrapper, which is soooo fun and soooo frustrating at the same time, and I'm a declutter and organize-your-life junkie. Not that I am any less cluttered or more organized, I just love reading about how to do it.
I listen to the blues (but have been known to reminisce with the all '90s music channel!) and read at an unholy rate of some six to eight novels per week. (I know that's a lot, but I read really fast. Like really, really fast.) I'm scary addicted to Rob Bell's podcasts, which I listen to on my Zune. And... oh, I'm sorry. You wanted to speak about yourself. Oh, ahem. Well, I do tend to go on...and on....

Intro's made? Excellent, let's get to the food! ('Cause that's my fave part of any party.)

Some of my best:

Buffalo Drumsticks (which I have recently renamed Hot Legs, sounds kinda, you know, sexy. Well, as sexy as chicken legs can really be.)

"Super" Chili Cheese Fries (which goes to show that I love cooking for Super Bowl...)

Balsamic Strawberries and Ice Cream (Sounds wired, but tastes completely amazing!)

World Class Pork Chops
(DH's total fave, I make this at least twice a month.)

If you've got some fun recipes, feel free to point me to them. I love trying out new stuff.

Now for the music....


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones



I love parties, and I especially love parties with door-prizes! Here are my faves:

Uno: Prize # 58, The KitchenAid Stand Mixer (gorgeous!) from Moms Who Think.

Dos: Prize # 89, a $100 GC to HomeGoods, courtesy of HG Openhouse. (Um, so cool!)

Tres: Prize #53, The Signing Time Parent Success Kit from Signing Time. (We've been library borrowers for a couple of years, it'd be sooo nice to actually own one!)

Quatro: Prize # 40, The BocaBeth Grande Bag, courtesy of BocaBeth LLC


Also Prize #'s 106, 80, 83, 113, 96, 88, 15 & 81. Oh I want it all, why lie?

Wanna join in on the fun? Just head over to 5 Minutes For Mom's Ultimate Blog Party Page, get the button, banner and whatnot, write up your party post, add it to the appropriate Mr. Linky and attend as many other parties as you can handle! (And then go to ten more, lol!)

Awesome! Thanks for stopping by! Make sure to include your blog info if you'd like for me to come by your party!
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We Haf A Winnah!

Hooray! I've got a winner for the Great Circus Giveaway that I've been running all week. I'm a little sad, though. Ah, endings....

As for all the other entrants, don't forget that you can get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" in the MomCentral promotional box when purchasing tickets at www.ticketmaster.com. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Gold Circle Seating, Circus Celebrity Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combined with other offers. Other Restrictions May Apply.

Okay - let's get down to business! The winner of four tickets to opening night of the the Ringling Bro.s and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents "Over The Top" is commenter #6, Pete!

Pete said: i really get mesmerized by the acrobatics, be it the trapeze artists, the hanging twirlers, or the dogs! i'll take the Patriot Center tix if I happen to win. Thanks for the chance to win!

Congratulations Pete! I am thrilled for you and your family. I hope that you have an amazing time.




Many Thanks to all who entered, I hope to see some of you At The Circus!
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The Circus is coming! (A Giveaway)


Oh my golly! I loooooove the circus. When I was a kid, I was going to be a carny and it was going to be completely awesome. Travel, greasepaint, exotic animals, performances, oddball family members... (Of course, I eventually realized that I was already living the life of a carny, minus the bright lights and glamour. *sigh*)

Still - I've never forgotten the excitement I felt when, for my 10th birthday, we went to see the "real" circus, Ringling Bro.s and Barnum & Baileys "Greatest Show on Earth". I remember dancing around all the way to my seat, waaaaay up in the nosebleeds at Madison Square Garden. It was undescribable. The color! The flash! The sheer athleticism! (how do they do that?) Oooh! tigers...oh, and elephants! Elephants doing tricks? That's amazing. As I type, I'm getting the chills - it was that exciting.

And the Circus is coming to our town! Yeah! I can't wait to share the spectacular with my own children, at 1st Mariner Arena here in Baltimore. Here's the lowdown:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top

"A wacky and whimsical circus spectacular featuring the ultimate tug of war between Ringmaster Chuck Wagner and clown eccentric Tom Dougherty over a magical top hat that controls the circus. Watch dogs fly, Asian Elephants skip, hop, and groove and one courageous man stand eye to eye with a pack of powerful Bengal tigers. Circus celebrities help rev-up the motorcycle madness featuring one cycle on a high wire and seven speeding riders in a Globe of Steel. Extraordinary aerial acts fill the arena sky with a rare double-decker trapeze and Chinese acrobats propelling through the air. This show really goes OVER THE TOP!"

Baltimore, MD show dates:
March 25 through April 5
Baltimore, MD location: 1st Mariner Arena http://www.baltimorearena.com/
Fairfax, VA show dates: April 8 through April 19
Fairfax, VA location: Patriot Center http://www.patriotcenter.com/
Washington D.C. show dates: March 19 through March 22
Washington D.C. location: Verizon Center http://www.verizoncenter.com/

Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels**. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Gold Circle Seating, Circus Celebrity Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combinable with other offers. Other Restrictions May Apply.

The tickets can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.com and by entering the MOM code in the MomCentral promotional box when purchasing tickets.

Offer #2: A select amount of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for you to buy before they go on sale to the public - just enter the code "MOM" when purchasing those seats.


Barnum and Bailey

Hoo-wee and do I have goodies for you! Want to go to the Circus? I've got a four-pack of tickets for opening night at any one of the three featured venues (Wednesday, March 25th at 7:30 PM at the First Mariner Arena in Baltimore; Wednesday, April 8th, 7:00 pm at The Patriot Center in Fairfax or Thursday, March 19th at 7:30 pm at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.) to giveaway, courtesy of MomCentral... All you have to do is go to Ringling.com, and tell me what part of the show you'd most like to see in a comment here. You must leave an email address so that I can contact you! Contest will run through March 17th, and I'll pick a winner via that fab tool, random.org.


For extra entries:
Leave a separate comment for each action.

Best of Luck!

Special thanks to Prizey, Prize-a-tron, Sweepstakes Advantage, Online-Sweepstakes, & Moms Like Me.
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Mystic Laundry?



One of my very favorite blogs - called The Giveaway, is doing a (you guessed it) giveaway! This one features the Complete Laundry System from Mystic Wonders, Inc. They have three to send off to some lucky people. (I sure do hope I'm one of them!)

With the Wonderball in your washer you don't need detergent. Let me repeat that. You Don't Need Detergent! I know it's crazy, but there you have it.

You have to check out the review from The Giveaway about this product. (Sharla - I feel you girl!)


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It was pretty "great", after all

I Heart Clara!





Now, you know I'm a budget-minded gal, and I am forever trying to feed us as cheaply as possible, and still make good, stick-to-your-ribs food. Clara Cannucciari has got the goods! (I especially love her "low-tech" cooking utensils!


Clara is fantastic, 93 years old, and did I say fantastic?

There's a DVD coming out this month, hopefully a cookbook, and you can link to Clara at Facebook - (Huh, my grandma has a Facebook account, too. What's up with that?) where she's got over 1800 friends.
Her grandson (who makes the videos,) also regularly updates the Depression Cooking with Clara blog, so be a follower! You can get more info about this super lady and how she became a YouTube sensation, at www.GreatDepressionCooking.com

When they come out with a tee-shirt, I am sooo getting one.
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We're moving to New York!

We've gotten orders to Staten Island, the place where I was born. Don't know anything about it? Here's the tourism video for you!

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'Round the (blog) World

Some fabulosity for ya:


A Working Blogging Mommy is havin' a HUGE giveaway featuring goodies from Nimli, an organic retailer. Check it out here. My fave store item? The Mad Imports Opal Clutch, multicolor, please.


Now What Baby
is also having a blowout giveaway as part of their new Guide to Body & Beauty, so head over there for fab beauty swag! I'm all about the My Naughty Mouth Kit from It Cosmetics.

ListMamaBlog has a downloadable Spring Project printout for you folks who are getting itchy to clean up and clear out. I'm a big fan of Jennifer Tankersly, and ListPlanIt in general, so head over for some list-lovin' fun.

Sweet Savings is one awesome go-to for freebies, trial offers, restaurant coupons and all that jazz. Check out her blog, she's a real doll.

5 Minutes for Mom is gearing up for the Ultimate Blog Party. You know I'll be there. Won't you come, too?

An Island Review
is offering a Martina McBride playlist. She's my fave electric-blue-eyed girl, and I thought I'd share.


One last thing...The (always) Glamorous WAHM is requesting a little help with resumes and interviews. If you've got no-fail tips, please share with her!
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a preview




Happy March!

This is a busy month for me - I've got birthdays and parties and baby showers and blogs and websites and reviews and dr.'s appointments and all kinds of madness to attend to.

One big-fat super-duper exciting thing to do this month is host a giveaway for a Big prize for the locals. I've got tickets, I've got tickets, nyah, nyah...
Oh - you want to know what the tickets are for? I can't divulge that just yet. Tee, hee. Just know I'm thrilled about it!

Stay tuned, same bat-time, same bat-channel.
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