Friday, September 30, 2011

Pork Roast Fail or aka what to do if your food catches on fire on the grill

Ok, so, I had the big idea that I would smoke a pork roast. My smoker is close to my house and on my deck. Bad idea, ya think? Everything was going great until my mom dropped by. Lots of talking and distracting taking place. I see smoke going by my back door. Uh oh. I hopped up, while she was mid sentence and said I have to check on my dinner.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WFD? What's for dinner? and Orchard Chicken Salad Sandwich...again

Last night I roasted some broccoli, garlic and onions. I also baked potatoes and added some roasted butternut squash. I was hoping to use the butternut squash for butternut squash soup. But we ate it for dinner. And man it was sooooooo good. The soup also looks good. I love this weather and being able to eat soup for dinner. Here's the link to the recipe.
And finally, the picture of the soup that I wanted to make but didn't (pic on recipe from all recipes. com.

So went to Subway for lunch the other day. Wanted my usual Orchard Chicken Salad Sandwich...they took it off the menu...again. Said it's a spring item. Um, excuse me I eat chicken salad year round. Hmmphf!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dance with me?

There's something so simple you can do to keep the spark alive in a marriage. My hubby and I went to take dance lessons last night. We were both worried that we wouldn't like it. I knew a bit about it as I have taken line dancing in the past and loved it. Each time I went they would even teach us the steps of a waltz or rhumba. Worried for nothing. It turns out it was the best thing I have ever done with him. Our instructor was a very funny lady and she did a great job. She kept us laughing and everyone else as well. And we weren't laughing about our dancing either! :) They taught us how to hold each other so we know where the other person will lead us to (called lead and follow). It all made so much sense. We are going back tonight for another class. You know my husband liked it if he was even willing to pay for more lessons.

After being married for 18 years, it's good to know there are still things we can learn together. It's important for us and our marriage that we take time to have nights out. As a mom of 3 children, I know how hard it is to leave them and go on a date. But it's so intrinsically important to your relationship and your marriage. It's worth it so you can have a good relationship as a family, not just as husband and wife.

What do you do to keep the spark alive?

Monday, September 26, 2011

UPromise 10 year anniversary and Dream Wall contest

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

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UPromise is doing some cool giveaways to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. UPromise, you'll remember,  is the company that made it so easy for us to save for our kids college by simply using our credit card and donating a percentage back towards college. Thank you so much for helping us put our kids in college. Now their idea of celebrating their anniversary is to give away money to help others make their dreams come true. All I can say is very cool UPromise! Members who belonged to UPromise in the past have received more than $600 million in college savings through their reward program. Now UPromise wants to light a spark into a fire for the ones who were there to support the children to achieve their dreams. 

What should you do? Share a story of how a parent supported a child's dream on their dream wall. Then by liking the stories you will be choosing the winners and UPromise will be giving out $20,000 in prizes! One prize worth $10,000 and then 10 $1000 prize packages. So come with me and let's join in sharing our stories on the dream wall.

When we go to the dream wall, we can share our own stories of how an adult inspired us to achieve our dreams. Then post about your dream and get your friends to like it and comment on it so we can get this post moving! Don't forget to share, post, and vote. Be the adult that inspires someone to dream today! I shared my dream. Now, go and share yours!

Thank you for all the years of allowing us to dream, UPromise. 


Check out the official rules here: dream wall official rules

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My friends are so happy with their Straight Talk phones!

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

They changed carriers a few months back and all of the family got new phones with Straight Talk. They talked to me the other day and this is what stood out to me. They are saving about half of what they're bill was with their previous carrier. That's quite a chunk that they are now putting into their savings account for a rainy day! While listening to them talk they had me Hook, line and sinker! What could you do with the amount of money you could save? Save it, use it for breathing room or just pay off another bill.


They went with the All You Need plan that has 1000 minutes of talk, 1000 texts and 30 mb of web data. It really is Everything you need. Unlimited plans are $45/month or $499/year.  My friend's sister lives out of the country and she's able to call her regularly from her home, cell or office at very low rates! Such a great value when you have family out of the country. Make sure you don't forget to Call a friend.


Why would you be on a contract when with this company you have free 411, free nationwide calling, no credit checks, no activation or termination fees and absolutely no surprise bills. They have great choices of phones for you to choose from. You can get Android on Straight Talk, as well as LG, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. Basically all the phone brands you trust. You can get a reconditioned phone for $10. Their reconditioned phones have mp3, web, Bluetooth, camera, video camera, smart phones, touch screen and navigation. These are all the phones that teenagers want! My friends got one for their son who is 13. They are happy that their bill will not change unexpectedly. That was a definite worry with a teenager. 

Still have more questions. Check out these helpful videos.

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Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blog news

The blog will still be here but we will be adding a Vlog to it as well. More to come. Here's a funny sample of my children.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What happened in my life

about a year ago? Here's what was posted. BedBugs
We've been bed bug free for 10 months now. They say you're not truly free of them until a year has passed. I hate to feel happy since that year is not up. But very hopeful that we are through dealing with bed bugs!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Take a cue from our pets and let's go outside and play!

Take a Cue from our Pets and Let’s Go Outside and Play!

Have you ever noticed how our pets love to go outside. When they go outside they get happy and playful. They want to chase sticks, go for walks, play with and retrieve balls and play with each other. My family is trying to take our cues from Snickers and Snowball, our pets, and go out to play. We already are walking two to three times per day with our pets. If it’s good for our pets then it must be great for our children. Now we are getting our children in on the walking, playing and staying outside.

Last weekend we played football in the yard for hours. It felt like the families you see on tv, like a commercial for what families should look like and do. The kids were so fun to watch. They become more animated, happy and smiling when playing. Even though you know they would rather be inside talking to their friends or playing online games, they can’t help smiling and having fun when we all go outside. I love to just sit back and observe them playing. As parents, the best thing we can do is to get active with our kids. The more active we are the more active they will be as they get older.

If we aren’t walking or playing football, you can often see us riding bikes on our greenway. We specifically bought our house because it is close to the park and close to a greenway so we can walk and bike. My neighbors are outside a lot walking and exercising as well. I love our neighborhood! In our ‘hood we also have a creek running through it. On Sunday afternoons we love to get some worms and go fishing on the banks of the creek. We always throw back what we catch. But the memories will remain.

You don’t have to just be recreational outside. We are exactly a mile from a grocery store. Why not make it a family errand to walk to the store, get your groceries and then walk back home. You’ve combined fun, errands and physical activity. What a great combination and you managed to do three things at once. You don’t always have to be doing a sport. Just walk. Walking as a family is the perfect time to talk about your children’s day. What do they want, dream about or live for? Really listening as you walk will teach you so much about your children.

As a Tennessee family, we love it when the fall weather gets here. Our summer days tend to heat up in the 100’s. But now that our days are in the 80’s we are loving moving ourselves outside to play. Families that play together stay together. Make sure you are enjoying the members of your family. They grow up so fast and leave our nest before we blink. Make memories that will last a lifetime. Get up, get outside and play! Take the pledge here: Your family benefits when mom and dad take the children and the pets outside to spend quality time together. Being active with your family is not just a benefit. It’s a memory that no one can take away!

I wrote this blogpost for Chlorox2 and SocialMoms. If chosen I will receive a $40 gift card as payment. All opinions are mine. For more information about how you can get involved click here:

Watch Your Weight Now, Don’t Put It Off Until The New Year

Welcome Bobbie Ann to our little world. Thank you for the guest post! You can find my post on her blog today at

Watch Your Weight Now, Don’t Put It Off Until The New Year

The holidays will be here before you know it. That means lots of goodies and treats coming along with those extra holiday pounds! I am following the weight watchers plan right now so those “holiday extra pounds” won’t affect me as bad. Lots of people say, Halloween is almost here, I’ll eat candy and then I’ll start my diet. Oops, it’s Thanksgiving now, can’t start my diet yet. Well, Christmas is the season to be jolly and that comes along with holiday treats, so that will be my New Year’s Resolution.

It is very important not to keep putting this off and just do it! Start watching your weight now and it won’t affect you as bad when you start making that Christmas Fudge. Yes, I LOVE peanut butter fudge and make it every year, but I have to watch my weight and not go overboard. I have learned only to make this fudge when company is coming, that way I have to share and can’t eat it all myself! Every year I put on additional pounds, but this year I am ahead of the game and am losing weight now instead of putting it off. Weight watchers allows me to eat what I want without starving myself. I have learned how to use portion control and which foods to chose while at restaurants or the grocery.

Portion control can be put into force by bagging up your snacks in snack size baggies. For example, I will bag up grapes, and pretzels in the snack bags. The grapes can be easily grabbed from the fridge and the pretzels are set in a bowl on the counter for easy pickup. By reading the nutritional guide on the side of the box / bag you can find portion sizes for your favorite snacks. I bag up miniature marshmallows, goldfish, and animal crackers. If I am running out the door it is very easy to grab one of these bags. Face it, if you are in a hurry, are you really going to take the time to count out 17 mini marshmallows?

Get started on portion control by picking up some snack bags, stock up on some frozen Smart Ones / Lean Cuisine meals and a kitchen scale for measuring out portions from food labels such as meat products that can’t be easily counted. While at restaurants, order kids meals if that is allowed. After you’ve made it through the first few days, it will be easier and you won’t find yourself feeling as hungry. You can do it! For weekly motivation, read my Weight Watchers Weekly Journal dedicated to a Christmas Party Dress. I also post my diet update every Monday on

Good Luck,

Bobbie Anne

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just another manic Monday

Monday is here whether we are ready for it or not. We had a wonderful weekend celebrating my hubby's birthday. It reminds me I have been with this man for 21 years. How is that possible? I love celebrating birthdays. It's a lovely reminder that life is for the living. It's another day to be thankful and grateful that we are here.

I am loving that Fall is here. My windows are open today and I am listening to the rain as I get all my writing for the day finished up. My day has been spent writing and waiting. Waiting on the cable guys to come and install it again. We've been without cable for almost a year. It's been an ok year. My kids miss it, my hubby misses it. I can say that at times I miss it too. I don't think it's necessary though but I'm sure I will be happy to see it in the middle of the night. ;)

My dog is getting better about his accidents. I went to a lovely field trip on Friday and had to leave my teenager to get to school without me there. He did great. But he forgot to put our new baby up. So the new baby proceeded to make accidents all over the house. He has had 3 owners in the last 4 weeks. I think he's a little anxious, don't you? It's also understandable. So we began walking him twice a day and his accidents are almost completely gone. I guess they were walking him, but no one told us. Hopefully we can get this straightened out. Because like it or not the whole family is already attached to the little guy! Love him to pieces. Any tips from my fellow dog lovers on house training a dog? We think he only seems to do it when we leave him. He doesn't have accidents when we are home. Poor baby!

Have a great day friends. Muah!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I am...I mean...I was a diet soda addict

loved it. Couldn't get enough. Noticed I hadn't been feeling well. Happened upon an article here: What does sugar free mean? I noticed, as I was reading this, that I had been feeling nauseous quite a bit. If I wasn't nauseous I was tired and sleepy. As I read this, I realized that more than likely I was feeling the affects of the sweetener in my drinks. I quickly cut them out. It's been a week and I did slip one time and have one.

As the article says, it's better to drink sugar than to have the artificial sweeteners. I used to sweeten everything with artificial sweeteners. Now, I will stick to less sugar. For the amount of sugar in one sugary soda I can drink tea all day with a half a cup of sugar per pitcher and get the same amount of calories. That's what I'm going to do. For the longest time, I was using artificial sweeteners to cut calories. Now I'm going to either have to increase my workouts or decrease my calories elsewhere. It doesn't matter though. I will do it gladly so I don't get the fake sweetener syndrome. Be sure you know what you are drinking.

Make sure you always do what's best for your body. It's the only body we get! My other option is to sweeten my drinks with stevia. Which I had tried but did not really care for. It's got a very powdery taste to me. So, I purchased plants thinking maybe that would help. Boiled stevia leaves and added it to my tea. Still not a big fan. I will keep trying and if I still don't like it then I will stick with my half a cup of sugar in a pitcher of tea. Do what works for you! I don't want to gain weight because I gave up diet drinks. I will do whatever I can to prevent that! I am trying to get healthier and this road will be a long one. Eating right, drinking right, exercising and getting enough sleep. All good ways to live a longer life by having a healthy lifestyle. What's one thing you've done to make a healthier you? I love to hear what others are doing so please share! :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Have you seen the new Molasses Cookie Mixes from Betty Crocker?

This giveaway/post is sponsored by Betty Crocker but all opinions are 100% mine.

Betty Crocker has once again made it easier and quicker to make spice cookies. I made these yesterday and they were so good! Here's some funny pics of us making them.
I call this my son's action 8 year old took the pic!

Can hardly wait...they are almost ready to go into the oven. Note the nice pan, apron, spoon and the mix...that's all in the prize package! Enter by using the form below. I've made it as painless as possible to do a lot of tasks in a short amount of time!

I wish you could smell my house right now! This took less than 5 minutes to make and 8 minutes to cook. My kids gave them an A+ rating. They loved these cookies. I was pleasantly surprised. I don't often make spice cookies except at Christmas. When is your favorite time for spice cookies? I know one thing, we will be having these cookies a lot more!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Here I sit crying again...

it's like I'm right back there at 9/11. I was running a small home daycare and having a good day. The kids were playing with cars and trikes and riding all over the yard. Then I got the phone call. It made me want to send them all home, curl up in my house and not ever leave. I didn't know a soul on any of those planes or in the WTC. But it didn't matter. To this day it's hard to think about and not cry. The grief I feel can't even compare to the loved ones that lost someone. I can't even imagine how those that had family and friends in NY and on those planes that day must feel. It's just mind boggling and soul crushing.

I went into the house with the children and for the first time parked them in front of cartoons. I then went into the kitchen and watched it on my small tv for the rest of the day. Somehow I made it through lunch, nap and pick up. The children had no idea what was going on. I knew they wouldn't understand it so I tried to protect them as much as possible.

I'm so thankful as the 10 years have past that healing has happened. I only pray that the ones that were affected by it (families, fireman/police/ambulance workers, and anyone else that was near there) have experienced some healing too. It's going to be a rough weekend. But as Americans, we can get through this!

Whew. We're going to need more kleenex for the weekend! Praying for continued healing and less grief as the years go by for these families directly affected by the 9/11 tragedy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!

The newest member of our lil ole family.....Snowball. He's such a sweet boy!

Forks over Knives

well I've been semi vegetarian for a few years now. My dh made the mistake of showing me that this movie, Forks over Knives, was on netflix. You can't ignore this movie or it's message. It was jaw dropping in a way that Food Inc, Fast Food Nation and Skinny Bitches was for me. My dh said after watching that movie that he wished he would have said, "no, we will watch a comedy." Well we didn't. So, today my job is to search and find good vegan meals that the entire family will eat. I'm not saying we will end up cutting meat out entirely. However, the fact that meat puts your body in a state of acidosis makes me ponder why I would eat meat. I struck a deal with my dh that we only eat meat 2-3 nights per week...if that. I have enough inflammation in my body that I don't need meat causing more.

The movie is thought provoking in a mind blowing, your body can heal itself with food not chemo, kind of way. (PS I'm not telling anyone to not take chemo, just explore your options and know your facts). If you have netflix I'd check this movie out. I'd also watch the other ones I mentioned too. Fast Food Nation and Skinny Bitches are both books and well worth a read. If you see what meat does to your body you will decide you have to make some kind of change. Even if it's like me and you go semi-vegetarian in that you try to cut way down on meat, you are doing yourself, the earth and your body a favor.

Check them out and see for yourself. Then come tell me what you think!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Homestead Company

so this week I began my new job working for Homestead Company. It's been a great week so far. I've gotten one of two articles written and have done quite a bit towards optimization. The biggest thing I notice about this company is how they teach you to live a more chemical free lifestyle. They sell chemical free skin care and baby care products. But yet they tell you why aspartame is bad for you. I also found this article on what mom should eat when breastfeeding your baby.

Timely and important information for mamas, babies and families!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Trying this recipe today.

one onion thinly sliced
5 chicken thighs layered on top
3 cloves of garlic grated
mix together 6 oz tomato paste, one can rotel, two banana peppers, 1/2 tsp basil and oregano both 2 cups red wine (I'm out at the moment so I'm leaving out the best part of the recipe! doh!)

Do you have a favorite song that you

just have to sing when it comes on? This one is mine. I read the lyrics and it's kinda depressing! But such a great song.

Offspring: Keep em separated

Happy Friday friends.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I start a new job today. One that I am very excited about and know that I can do well. I'll be writing and search engine optimizing a site (also known as search positioning). The site is The Homestead Company: Natural Skin Care that works. I'm especially thankful to have a job working for a company I can totally get behind based on their values, products, family life and the way they are building their company. Exciting things are happening!

Thankful also for my blog this is the first month that I will have made money off of it! Love a job that gives me creativity and flexibility to be with my children. Today I am so thankful!

I'm also thankful for the lunch I had yesterday with my friends from my old church. We had such a nice time getting reconnected and are already planning another day for us all to do it again. Love my old church and was missing my friends, well actually truth be told, my family. Thank you God for all you give me on a daily basis. Friends, family, job, children, a place to lay my head, food to cook, faith and so much more!