Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Can I Have Some Apple Dippers?

Last weekend, I went to Super Walmart. I was there for what seemed like 3 eternities, scouring the Valentine’s clearance, finding every Wilton product on clearance in the store, which I was able to score some good deals.  After my what felt like 6 years in Walmart, I was famished. There is a McDonald’s in that particular Walmart so I decided to get a snack. Now, before all the Mickey D haters come out of the wood work, I eat it in moderation.  I got a cheeseburger and a small fry. I had sworn McDonald’s off for a month after coming home from my best friend Brandy’s house in New Hampshire; this was well after that time period was up, so I figured it’s OK.  I had to get Noah something too; I mean that would be mean not to, right? So, I order him some Apple Dippers.  The manager informs me that they discontinued the caramel cup.  At first I was like no big deal, because my son doesn’t eat that part.  It dawned on me, while watching my fries cook that I ate that part.  I wanted to cry, that was the best part. I ate it with a spoon. That was my special treat, and now it is gone.

The more I think about it, I wonder why. Sure it’s got sugar in it, really all it is sugar, but what is like 2 teaspoons of caramel going to do? You get three dips out of it and it’s gone. Let’s do some McMath shall we? There are approximately ten apples in a package and you get three dips. So ten minus three equals seven, that is seven apples without caramel.  I wonder what pack of angry parents threw a fit about a little caramel; it isn’t like the ratio of caramel to apples was outrageous. I wished the cups were bigger, but never complained that it was bad. It really makes me flabbergasted that it was that big of a deal.  Last I checked, and I have had plenty of Apple Dippers in my life, that it is in a separate cup, not poured over like molten lava. I need to buy some caramel and apples now.  Parents could have said please no caramel or not let their child have it. Maybe a better solution would be asked would you like the caramel cup? So, it’s not wasteful when they order their happy meals.  Let’s face it; it’s still healthier than fries.  I mean remember it is two teaspoons full.   I highly doubt that could do any harm. Maybe if you filled a bathtub full of it, but its moderation folks.

So, once again, an angry parent mob, more than likely has ruined something I love, because they are on a warpath.  Rest in Peace Apple Dippers. You are just now sliced apples in a bag.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kids Shell Collection Craft

Most kids love shells. I know Noah thinks they are the coolest thing ever. He loves going on mud walks with my mom and finding shells anywhere he can.  We have a million of them.  My mom has been collecting them for years and years.  We went to the Saint Petersburg Shell Show today, it was a lot of fun and they had an absolutely brilliant craft idea that I had to share with you guys.   Most kids don’t really know the difference between the different shells. There are hundreds maybe thousands of different types of shells.  Instead of gluing shell bits on paper, or whatever easy craft they could have provided for kids, they decided to do something different.  They obviously put a lot of time and work in to the craft provided. They also offered a couple coloring sheets for those who weren’t interested in the main craft, but Noah was thrilled. He was so excited, it was so cool to see how shell smart he is.

This craft would be perfect for kids that just got home from the beach with a bunch of shells.

Kid’s Shell Collection

Shells you found at the beach- Different types
A clean egg carton
6 cotton balls
Two pieces of construction paper
School Glue
Thin Labels
Shell identifying book or the internet


Cut out two shapes that will fit the outside and inside lid of the egg carton, make sure you cut a hole for the ridge of the inside of the egg carton lid. On the piece of paper with the hole draw 12 boxes.

Glue the pieces of construction paper to the top of the lid and the inside of the lid.

Take the 6 cotton balls and rip them in half so you have 12 cotton ball pieces

Put a small dab of glue in each egg spot and press in a cotton ball

Choose your shells and identify them

Write the name of the shell on the label and put it in the corresponding hole.  Place the label on the inside lid of the egg carton and Voila you have your very own shell collection.

How cool is that? Noah loved it.  I am sure if you have a shell you can’t identify you can email me and Noah and I can figure it out for you.

A special thanks to the St. Pete Shell Club for sharing this craft idea with us, and of course making my son’s week for loving shells as much as he does.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Dream Backyard

In almost every house I have lived in has always had a deck. One of the houses I lived in growing up had a deck with a built in hot tub.  We never used the hot tub because it was broken, which was sad because I love hot tubs.  In the house I live in now, there isn’t really room for a deck because the yard is kind of on a hill and there are also trees in odd places. I would never cut a tree down, in fear of my five year old tree hugger yelling at me to “Save our trees”.  In my next house I would love to design my dream backyard. I would want a huge deck with a spot for a hot tub. I would be able to splurge on a hot tub with some good research of composite deck prices.  Did you know that if you have a hot tub, they have specific requirements for the place of the hot tub?  I found that out when my old best friend bought one and they couldn’t deliver it.  That way I can relax every night and look up at the stars on my beautiful deck.

It is also really important to have good railing so you don’t have to worry about falling off the deck. When I was 14 I was babysitting and the family didn’t have very safe railing on their deck and I fell off the deck. I didn’t break anything thankfully; I just ended up with a few cuts and bruises.  I was thankful that it wasn’t the child I was babysitting.  I still remember that day and so I am very careful when it comes to decks now. Not only am I careful about the construction, but the composite railing prices. I wouldn't want to skimp when safety is a concern.  I would hate for Noah or anyone for that matter to fall off a deck like I did.  It would be very dangerous and could cause serious injury.

I would also love to have a big fence. I like privacy and I would want to keep animals like dogs and raccoons out of my yard. I also like the added security that a fence provides my family. I always thought that a big fence would be more expensive than a short one. Composite fencing pricing is comparable to other types of fencing. After visiting my friend Brandy in NH, I really want a pug. I don’t really like the idea of chaining up a dog outside, but of course you can’t let them roam free. That means a fence would be a must, if I ever want to get the pug I want some day.

I would also love to have an outdoor heater, a fire pit, and possibly an outdoor kitchen.

What would be in your dream backyard? I look forward to hearing your ideas.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Simple and Stylish Sandals for Men

When it comes to sandals for men, The All Terrain Lite Strap Sandals by Ecco are available in a woodsy, dark brown. The shoes are imported and have a simple style. There have flexible black rubber soles. The shoes are light and are able to bend with the motion of the foot. The soles are thick with traction underneath.
The shoes' traction allow movement and flexibility while walking or running. The shoe has decorative slits on them that form a simple design. There is stitching detail on the straps in tan threading which contrasts with the brown and black of the rest of the shoe. The upper strap has additional decoration in the form of three tiny black circles.
The design does not overpower the shoe and the shoe is still woodsy brown with tiny accents. Typical of sandals for men, the leather strap comes with adjustable Velcro for closure. Unlike other sandals, both leather straps on the sandal are adjustable. The upper leather strap bears the red Ecco logo in small red stitching. There is a rubber sole and leather straps. Both materials are durable and water resistant. The footbed is cushioned and black. There is cushion in the heel strap.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Five-Course Dinner for a Five-Star Date

It’s Date Night, and you’re bored with the usual restaurant-and-a-movie routine. If your relationship is in a rut, don’t ignore it; oftentimes, monotony can cause partners to lose that lovin’ feeling. Tonight, change things up with a candlelight dinner at home. Surprise your sweetie with tunes softly playing, conversation (and wine) flowing, and a five-course meal prepared to enjoy together. Even better, plan your romantic evening ‘just because,’ with no other reason than to express your love. The following recipes make up a delightful five-course dinner—it’s up to you, however, to make it special. Bon appétit!

Course 1: The Appetizer
Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon Seafood Sauce
Servings: 4
16 frozen cooked cleaned shrimp (6 oz.), thawed, drained
Lemon Seafood Sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. zest and 1 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon

Mix first 5 ingredients.
Serve with shrimp.

Course 2: The Salad
Fruity Spinach Salad
Servings: 6
8 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup halved seedless green grapes
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup sliced red onions
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup Asian Toasted Sesame dressing

Combine all ingredients except dressing.
Add dressing just before serving; toss to coat.

Course 3: The Soup
Creamy Asparagus Soup
Servings: 4
3 Tbsp. butter
1 leek, sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, each cut into thirds
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup (1/2 of 8-oz. tub) Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1/4 cup milk

Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add leeks; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add asparagus, broth and water; stir. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Stir in salt and pepper.
Mix cream cheese spread and milk until well blended.
Process asparagus mixture in food processor until smooth. Pour into 4 soup bowls. Add cream cheese mixture; swirl gently with spoon.

Course 4: The Main Entrée & Side Dish
Bacon-Covered Pork Tenderloin
Servings: 6
5 slices smoked uncured bacon
1 pork tenderloin (1 lb.)
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. apple juice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
Dash ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 400ºF.
Wrap bacon around meat. Place in foil-lined pan sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with pepper.
Bake 20 minutes or until cooked to 135ºF. Meanwhile, bring remaining ingredients to boil in saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Brush meat with glaze. Bake 10 minutes or until done (145ºF); cover loosely with foil. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Balsamic Green Beans with Cranberries
Servings: 6
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. butter
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onions
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Cook beans and cranberries in simmering water in skillet 4 to 5 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Drain; rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Melt butter in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onions and sugar; cook and stir 5 minutes. Add bean mixture; cook and stir 3 minutes or until heated through.
Stir in dressing; cook and stir 1 minute. Top with nuts.

Course 5: The Dessert
Easy Dark Chocolate Mousse
Servings: 6
4 squares Baker’s Select Bittersweet Chocolate
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Microwave chocolate in microwave-safe bowl on high 1-1/2 minutes, stirring with whisk every 45 seconds until melted.
Add 1 cup whipped topping; stir until blended. Stir in remaining whipped topping.
Spoon into dessert dishes; top with raspberries.

Want More?
If you need additional ideas to turn up the heat in your relationship, check out these romantic activities. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make Date Night unique and memorable—show your loved one he or she is totally worth it with these simple ideas.
  1. Give a Massage – Buying a gift card at the local spa is considered cheating—give your sweetheart a 30–60-minute massage, complete with fragrant oils, lotions and soft music. Then, finish it with a hot bubble bath prepared for him or her (champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries will win you extra points!).
  2. Watch the Sun Set – There is something incredibly calming about watching the sun set, and you and your lover can enjoy this lovely moment together. Keep the chatter at a minimum—just relish each other’s company and the beauty before your eyes.
  3. Make S’mores – Sometimes a romantic gesture can involve embracing the little child within. Build a cozy fire for your darling and make s’mores together. Get even more creative by pouring a glass of milk in a wine glass—it shows him or her that you’re playful and fun!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bunk Beds for Teenagers

Bunk beds might seem like a great choice for younger children who love to climb and commonly share bedrooms with their siblings, but you might not think of bunk beds as an ideal option for furnishing a young adult’s bedroom. When you consider that they save space, are available in a number of styles and configurations, and tend to be highly affordable, a bunk bed set might be just the ticket for your teen. Considering several factors, such as who sleeps in the room and other ways your teen uses her bedroom or dorm room, will help you choose the best furnishings.

Futon bunk beds are practical for teens that live in a dorm or enjoy entertaining friends in their bedrooms. The lofty top bunk serves as the primary sleeping spot while the futon mattress and frame on the bottom act as both comfortable seating during the day and folds down into a second bed when friends spend the night. This option is also useful if your teen spends hours in his room playing video games or simply enjoys having his own private space.

Loft beds are another type of bunk bed that teens enjoy. Although some simply offer a single bed on a lifted frame with a ladder or steps up to it, others also provide supplementary features that are beneficial to young adults. For example, beds with a mattress on the top and a desk below make dorm living easier to handle or give a high school student a quiet place to study, do homework or journal. Similarly, loft bunk beds that include closet space and shelving on the bottom present extra space for clothing and shoes or video games and DVDs --and what teen wouldn’t love more reasons to shop?

Some futon bunk beds allow you to set them up in a number of different configurations, so that your teen can decide what works best for now and then rearrange the furniture later on. For example, you might be able to put the set together as a standard set of stacked twin beds, switch to two side-by-side twin beds down the road, change to an L-shaped arrangement at another point and even connect the two frames and mattresses to make a king sized bed in the future.
Determining what types of bunk beds might best suit your teen is a personal choice. Be sure to involve your teenager in the process so that you pick a set that works for his or her lifestyle.

Actors in Different Roles on the Same Show

I love watching TV. It is no big secret as I have talked about TV quite a bit on my blog. I sometimes notice when I am watching I get to see actors that I know from shows now, which is really cool. I have noticed some of the guest stars who are now well known actors have played different roles on the same show. I find it funny because you would think they would notice. I know it is just TV and not real but if someone who looked like my mom and was my mom showed up at the grocery store saying Winner Winner Chicken Dinner to a stranger I would notice. OK so my mom really did that.  In her defense she thought I was behind her but had wandered off somewhere else.  I would definitely notice if someone was trying to claim to be someone else, so why don’t the TV characters?

Dann Florek most known as Capitan Craggen from Law and Order guest stared on Roseanne as a couple different characters.  First he was the principal at one of the kids schools and then he was Darlene’s Doctor when she was pregnant and went in to labor.

Speaking of Law and Order SVU Diane Neal who is best known for playing ADA Casey Novak was also a guest star as a stripper that was accused of raping a man.

Jeffery Tambor has had like ten different roles on Three’s Company. No one has ever noticed that he has been two different doctors, and a stuck up real estate agent, to name a few. IMDB doesn’t have all the roles he played on Three’s Company listed.

Then you have the actors that replace another actor’s characters, like Dick Sargent replaced Dick York as Darren on Bewitched.  It also happened on Roseanne twice.  Lecy Gorgson was the original Becky, then Sarah Chalke took over her role. Later Lecy came back as Becky and the show ended as Sarah Chalke as Becky. Of course they made fun of it on the show, by asking the original Becky where she has been, and spoofing The Patty Duke Show in the end credits. This would happen all the time on soaps. You miss a couple weeks of a soap and you have no idea who the new person is supposed to be. I remember on Passions sometimes they would say the character would be played by someone else. Why can’t they just send them out if they are on maternity leave or kill off the character when they leave the show?  The weirdest thing was when I watched Passions there was a character named Timmy and he gave his heart for Charity and died on the show, the day the show aired the actor died. It was very sad.

What are some actors that play different roles in a show or an instance where they replace a character with another actor?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Enter to Win a Teeth Whitening and Trip from Top Dentists

Who Makes You Smile?!  wants to know!

Enter a photo of the person who makes you smile for your chance to win!

The grand prize is a teeth whitening session in NYC with one of our Top Dentists plus all expense paid trip, $1,000 in spending money and photo session for you and your guest. There are also daily teeth whitening kits from Love That White Smile and chances to win teeth whitenings in Aventura FL, Austin TX, Beverly Hills CA, Philadelphia PA, and Troy MI from our Top Dentists in those ares!

All the details can be found here on Top Dentists

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