Friday, November 26, 2010

My Contribution To Thanksgiving Dinner ~ Sweet Potato Casserole

6 cups warm, mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups brown sugar
16 tbsp melted butter
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/3 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup flour
8 tbsp melted butter
dash salt

Combine all ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into buttered 9x13 inch baking dish. (I sprayed mine liberally with cooking spray)

Mix topping ingredients together and drop on top of potato mixture.

Bake at 350* for one hour.

I know this isn't exactly a healthy recipe, what with all the sugar and butter, but I only make it once a year, and my family loves it.  I don't like sweet potatoes so I don't eat it.  I should also mention that when it comes out of the oven it is a little poofy and shaky, but it sets as it cools. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goodbye For Now, Duff

I read some sad news the other day...Food Network has canceled Ace of Cakes after 10 seasons.  I love this show!  I mean, who doesn't love Duff, Geoff, and Mary Alice?  And the cakes!  They are always pretty awesome.

Now, I will admit that I never really watched it on Thursday nights when the new episodes aired.  I watched them in reruns over the weekends. But I always enjoyed them.  I also read that this is not the end of Duff.  Apparently, Food Network has other plans for him.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see what those plans might be.

Luckily, there are several other shows on food network that I love to watch.  Last Sunday they crowned the new Iron Chef, Marc Forgione.  I was glad he beat out Chef Marco Canora.  For some reason I can't quite explain, I never really liked him.  I also love watching the Challenge shows.  There is something about watching bakers stress for 8 hours over a huge cake that makes me happy.  Yeah, I'm a little weird that way.  I also want to be one of those baker one day.  Brandi says I could do it with my mom, and we would win.  She's my biggest cheerleader!

Then there are the actual cooking shows.  Those chefs always use the best cookware and kitchen gadgets.  I love Racheal Ray's spoons that have the slots in them to rest on the side of the pots. Whoever came up with that idea is a genius.  Oh, and I can't even tell you how much I love Alton Brown.  That guy is a walking encyclopedia of food knowledge, which I think is awesome.

So, as much as I will miss Duff and the gang, there are enough other shows to keep me tuning in to Food Network.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finding The Freebies

 I love free stuff.  I really do.  I get emails every day letting me know about free offers.  I have gotten some pretty good stuff, too.  I have gotten enough shampoo and conditioner to last me for a year.  Deodorant, too, which is pretty cool because that stuff is kind of pricey.  The only freebies I shy away from are watching Free Movies Online simply because I have no idea which are the legal sites, and which are the ones that will get me into trouble. 

Finding Free Samples online is pretty simple.  I am friends with a lot of people on Facebook who spend their days finding the free stuff, and then passing the links along to their friends. Sometimes, the "freebie" is something you can download, but most of the sites send you Free Samples by Mail.  It's fun going to the mailbox every day, not knowing what will be inside.  

The other day I got a sample granola bar. (I'm not going to say the brand name) Now, I have been hearing how "natural" these bars are, and let me tell you, it was kind of gross.  I think if I was used to eating more fruits and nuts, it would have tasted better to me.  Or maybe it was the fruit and nut combination I didn't like.  All I know is that I won't be buying them myself. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The New Duncan Hines Cake Mix And Glaze

As delicious as this cake was, I am more impressed with the picture I took.  I mean, you can seriously see all the yumminess.  Anyway, last night, my dad and his wife came over for dinner (they bought the pizza...thanks Dad!).  I decided to make dessert, and since I had bought this new cake mix last week, I wanted to try it out.
I love, love, LOVE the glaze.  The cake was delicious, don't get me wrong, but that glaze was phenomenal!  Next time, I am going to use the vanilla glaze on the chocolate cake...I bet that will be delicious, too.

Butt Paste

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

I remember when my baby sister was pregnant for the first time, she was making out her registry list online.  I think this is awesome, by the way.  Being able to make a list of all the things you would like to have from the comfort of your own living room instead of having to walk around the store, scanning each individual item is like the store's little gift to a pregnant woman.

Anyway, I remember her telling me that she was letting her husband help her pick out things, and as soon as he saw the Boudreaux's Butt Paste he said he had to have it.  According to my sister, he had no idea what it did, he just wanted it because of it's name.  So she put it on her list.  Little did she know that it would be the best diaper rash cream.

This cream is awesome because it goes on and comes off easily.  If you are a mom, you know how important it is to be gentle on irritated skin.  Nothing breaks a mom's heart more than seeing their baby in pain.   Butt Paste was formulated by a pharmacist and a pediatrician, two people who also know how important it is to use a gentle product on tender skin.  It has also been featured on several television shows, like Oprah and While You Were Out on TLC.  It not only comes in the tub, but also flip top tubes and travel sizes. 

You can try it for yourself by going to their website and requesting a sample.  Trust me, once you try it, you will not want to use anything else.

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How I Fed My Babies

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am a big believer in breast feeding.  I planned on breast feeding my children, but when the time came, I couldn't.  I'm not sure if it was the size of my breasts (they were very large) or that Ryan just wasn't interested, but no matter what position I tried, nothing worked.  I eventually had to accept the fact that he would not be breast feeding, which meant I had to use formula.  Even back then, I knew that the store brands were just as good as the name brands.  In fact, all infant formulas have to meet the same nutritional guidelines, so why spend money on the more expensive brands when the cheaper ones are just as good for your baby?

The store brands don't have to spend money on advertising, and they don't give their products to the hospitals for free, so they can keep their products reasonably priced.  In fact, some studies show that you can save about $600 a year simply by switching to store brand formula.  For new parents, that's a big number.  Imagine how many diapers and wipes that money can buy.

I will always be a believer in breast feeding, but it's nice to know that there is an affordable alternative for mothers like me.

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Yum. That's All.

Breakfast.  Sometimes, it just has to include peanut butter.  That's all I'm saying.

Do You Know Which Vitamins You Should Be Taking?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

Trying to decide which vitamins to take can get pretty confusing.  Their are individual vitamins for every nutrient you may be lacking, from vitamin A to zinc.  There are also lots of multi vitamins geared towards men or women, or older men and older women.  Standing in the vitamin aisle can be very intimidating if you don't know exactly what you are looking for.
I went to and took their simply survey to see what vitamins I should be taking on a daily basis.  It took less than five minutes for me to answer a series of questions that asked everything from how many veggies I eat every day to whether or not I'm a smoker.  I had to include my height and weight, and I was seriously prepared for them to offer me up some diet pills.  They didn't.  They did, however, offer me a list of vitamins i should be taking to supplement my diet.  Check it out:

I was not at all surprised about the fish oil, because i do not eat any fish.  I am not sure what the natural sterols and stanols are, so I have to do a bit of research before taking those.  Apparently, since they have me taking four of them, it must be something important I am lacking. also offers free live chats with Registered Dieticians, so I may hop back on their and ask what those sterols and stanols are all about.
Hopefully, I will feel more confident in the vitamin aisle from now on.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Chocolate Covered Worms

Brandi is reading How To Eat Fried Worms in her gifted/talented class.  As a project, they had to pick three different things to do with worms.  Her first project was a game she had to make up that she called How To Eat Vocabulary Worms (you can check it out here).

For her second project, she had to make an original recipe using worms.  She decided to make chocolate covered gummy worms.  I melted the chocolate, but she did everything else, and they came out great.  They tasted kind of gross, at least to me.  The kids in her class liked them, so i guess that's all that matters.
Her final project will be an experiment of some kind.  Junior is going to help her with that one.  I don't touch real worms.

Do You Have A Cheap Cable Television Deal?

I used to live in New York, and I still have a few friends there.  My sister still lives there, too.  From what I have been hearing from them, a very popular cable television provider has been yanking channels off the air due to contract issues.  I remember a few months ago they took Food network off the air, and a lot of their customers were really upset.  TI know of several who went looking for better Cable TV Deals.  I don't think I could stay with my current cable provider if they took Food Network off the air.  I mean, we're one episode away from finding out who the new Iron Chef is going to be.  I have to admit that I was a little happy to see Chef Tsai go last night.  He seemed just a little too cocky to me.

Anyway, I love my cable provider.  I also have my home phone and High Speed Internet through them. I don't know enough about internet speeds and things, so not having to search for Internet Service Providers on my own is awesome.  I am a big fan of the bundle package, which allows me to only have one bill every month for all three services.  I know a lot of people are shying away from having a home phone and only using their cells, which is a good choice for some.  Since I work from home, I like having a land line.  

Gotta go.  30 Minute Meals is on, and I need my Rachael Ray fix.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Is Teaching In Your Future?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of 2tor. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.  Yes, I know I am almost 40 years old (did I really just say that?) but some days I feel like my life may just be beginning.  For the past fifteen years, I have done the wife and mother thing, which I love.  Lately, though, I feel like there may be something else I was meant to do.  The problem is, I have no idea what that is.

These thoughts led me on a search for an online school that is affordable and accredited.  One of the programs I found was the USC Rossier School of Education’s MAT@USC, which "offers current educators and aspiring teachers the prestige of earning a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from an elite research university with the convenience and flexibility of studying online".  Of course, this is not a viable option for me since I am not in line to become a teacher right now, but if you are, this could be the program for you.  The thing that stood out for me was the ability to take advantage of their accelerated program, which makes it possible to graduate in as little as twelve months. You can also apply for their tuition reimbursement and scholarships. 

You can find out more program information to see if this is the program for you.  If you are a work at home mom like me, taking classes online is a great way to get the education you desire.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making Bagel Pizzas

I just had to get a shot of Brandi helping to make a quick supper of pizza bagels tonight.  Of course, she had to ham it up a bit.  God, I love that smile.  It's great when she helps in the kitchen.  It's fun for her, and it makes for some pretty special bonding time.  besides, the bagel pizzas were her idea, so it's only fair that she make them. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Should I Study Nutrition?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ashworth College. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have been doing a lot of research lately about taking classes from an Online College.  Even though I live about a minute from USCS (University of South Carolina, Spartanburg), taking classes on campus is not a good fit for me.  The fact that I don't drive factors in, but my main reason is that I still want to be here at home when the kids get off the bus.  I think it is important that I am here to help with homework, and to also make sure they do not get themselves into any trouble. 

I want to be able to take classes online from a good school, and by looking through the Ashworth Video Gallery  I can see that this school may be a good fit for me.  One of the things I like best is that the cost of tuition includes all books and materials, and they offer interest free financing.  This eliminates the need for student loans, so their students can graduate without that hanging over their heads.  Ashworth College Featured by National Education Report "for its distinguished contributions to the advancement of distance education, both nationally and internationally".  They offer more than 100 different nationally accredited career diplomas, so I am sure I can find something that would interest me.  I have always wanted to work with kids, so that is something I will look into further.  I also think studying nutrition will help improve my eating habits.

I wish I could go to culinary school from home.  Now that would be awesome.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe at, and they turned out yummy!
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
You can find the recipe here also.  These cookies did not last long at all in my house.  Next time, I am going to double the recipe.  My only complaint was that the cookies never browned.  I thought it was because the cookies were so big, so I did a few little ones, and the same thing happened.  Anyone have any ideas about why that happened?  I've never had this problem before.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I can not take credit for this giraffe cake.  It was made by my mom for my niece's first birthday.  I think it came out amazing.  Great job, Mom.  Again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Top Droppers ~ October

My top droppers for the month of October ~ The view from my window.
Symbian Freeware ~  Free Symbian GPS, VoIP, text reader software, free themes and games
my kids are my world ~ This is a blog about my life as a wife and mother of three kids, who are, obviously, my world.
 comatised ~ Dreaming in digital
bethere2day ~ bethere2day is a personal blog about anything and everything, fun, humour, randomness and rants
 Da Dude's BBQ Thought ~ Da Dude's BBQ Thought & other things. The thoughts and rantings of a Barbecue God Wanna be! 
Women's Fitness Videos ~  Womens Fitness Videos, workout videos for women, exercises for women, get fit, tone your body, lose weight, with these super aerobics videos for women, exercise routines, fun and enjoyable exercises for women.
Men's Fitness Videos ~  Men's Fitness Videos, get fit, build strength, tone your body and build muscles with super workout videos for men, men's workouts, exercise routines for men, bodybuilding videos. tips and advice for men
 JoeTaxpayer ~ A personal finance blog, topics include investing, taxes, finance, debt, retirement. Your EC ad will appear above the line on my blog
Thanks to all of you who drop every month.