I confess…I actually made more Jello!

October 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Recipes

Well I hadn’t taken it out of the pan until this morning so I left off the fact that with the extra Jello from the skulls and pumpkins (plus a few extra boxes) I made a layered Jello as well. Next time I will have to measure the amounts so each layer is the same thickness but I love how it looks and will definitely be making it in rainbow form next.


October 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Recipes

So again I am sharing pictures that aren’t the best quality BUT oh well! I have been into Jello a bit lately and I made the coffee jello I found on this blog a few weeks ago. I ate almost all of it myself because I am also very into coffee! I really like the broken glass Jello and want to make that but yesterday I needed to do something in the Halloween spirit and used the condensed milk part of the recipe along with regular flavored Jello to make skulls and pumpkins. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to use orange tinted milk jello first in the pumpkin and then use the use the green melon Jello as the second/back layer (because the opaque green overpowered the translucent orange first layer the way I made it – when I do it with the opaque layer first next time they will look a lot better). For the condensed milk layers I mixed 2 knox packets in 1/2 cold water, waited a minute and then added 1 1/2 cups boiling water and a can of sweetened condensed milk. For the regular Jello I just used a  box of Jello  (the 4 serving size) mixed with 3/4 cup boiling water (basically the jiggler recipe). Oh I almost forgot my best idea: I use a huge syringe to get the Jello in the little molds without making any mess! So my Halloween Jellos don’t look pretty but they do look Halloweeny and I think they were pretty yummy! Another thing I almost forgot! I really really wanted to make these Jello blood worms but I didn’t have any straws!

Halloween bats (and sick days)

October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Art Projects, Kid Creations, Our Life

It was a busy week with the boys home sick from school sick most of it! Both boys got bad colds, Ethan’s was much worse but Ben had a bad ear infection too. Somehow the girls both stayed healthy though! I tried to keep them quiet so they could rest but Ethan got super Halloween crafty and (with a just a little help from Jamie and Ben) he filled the living room with a ton of bats and one spider. He made everyone in our immediate family and then branched out to add the extended family. I LOVE them and wish I got better pictures but I just had the little camera out at the time. They really look neat in person (and I’ll be sorry when I need to take them down for Christmas decorating in Dec). I love how he used deep yellow and red paper instead of black. I also love it that he thought the whole idea up himself and I could just sit back and watch the production of a huge colony of bats (yes I had to look up what a “flock” of bats is called since I didn’t think flock was right)!

Powermat: charge up gadgets as you travel or at home!

October 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Sometimes we are extra lucky with products we get to review! I hadn’t heard of Powermat before but now I’m a big fan! Powermat hooked us up with all the power charging equipment we need for our electronic gadgets and phones (or as I call them John’s toys)! Ever go on vacation and have your camera run out of batteries? NOT FUN especially if you’re a nutty person like me who wants to document every little place you go or silly thing your kid does. Packing all the chargers and wires can be a pain and you can easily mix up your cords and grab the wrong one. A charging system like Powermat (that is so versatile and able to charge a huge variety of devices) makes things much more convenient traveling with electronics but I love how it has allowed us to streamline charging everything at home now too! It would also be  great to send with kids going to college.

Powermat is very easy for me to use but I’m not so good at describing tech-stuff (I call John’s new Droid his “toy phone”) so here is John’s take on it:

“I’m a gadget geek and jumped at the opportunity to try out something new especially if it helped us get better control of our power cord jungle.”

Well there was supposed to be more of “John’s take on it” BUT this review has been sitting unpublished since AUGUST and that one line was all he added so far! I’m not bothering to nag him about it anymore and am just giving up! I’ll just add a few more things that I like about our Powermat system. Despite John’s lack of posting, he has been charging all of his gadgets with the Powermat since the summer and so have I. I love that I have it on top of a cabinet in the living room where it is out of reach from the kids,  it does not look cluttered and I feel no need to hide it away when its not in use. The more I use it the more I am really happy with it! The kids use my Ipod so much that I am constantly recharging it and I never have to search for the charger in the junk drawer like before. We have been using the Powermat multiple times a day and it has held up very well and has given us no problems. So I may not be able to describe it as good as John would have but I can finally cross this off my to-do list and post my review!

Click here to better see how Powermat works!

Visit  Powermat on Facebook!

*We were not paid to write this review however we did receive free products to review  through M80 and Powermat.

Win a gift package with Betty Crocker Boxed Instant Mashed Potatoes

October 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Contests, Reviews

Betty Crocker and My Blog Spark sent me some Betty Crocker Boxed Instant Mashed Potatoes in both the creamy butter and the roasted garlic flavors along with a nice bamboo bowl, serving spoon and silicone pot holder AND I have the same set to give away to one of you! John and I both really like mashed potatoes but I never make them aside from holidays because NONE of my kids will eat them. Isn’t that crazy, they like things like salad and tuna fish but get picky on me with things most kids love like mashed potatoes, rice and spaghetti sauce. Anyway, I am not going through the effort of making homemade mashed potatoes for just two of us, so I was eager to try these Betty Crocker potatoes. John and I ate the roasted garlic last night and they were really good. I like my homemade better but they are a lot of work. These are great for just John and I when I need a quick and SUPER EASY side dish. I will stick with homemade mashed potatoes for holidays but I do think these would be a great back up to have on hand when holidays get too stressful sometimes!

Oh wait a minute, I have to confess that I did make them using skim milk since thats what I buy for the kids and I am sure if I used regular milk that they would have come out  more like homemade.


  • Leave me a comment letting me know how often you make homemade mashed potatoes
  • Open to US mailing addresses only
  • Contest ends Sat November 6th 2010

Win some Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill Dry Dinner Kits to try at home!

October 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Contests, Reviews

We do not get to go out nearly as much as I’d like and lately cooking dinner is so not fun for me (I’m much more of a baker), so I was glad to get the chance to try Wanchai Ferry® and Macaroni Grill® Dry Dinner Kits. They must know a lot of parents feel the same so their new slogan is “stay in and go all out!® Make your meal an experience by perhaps adding some ambiance with candles and flowers.” Something new and easy is definitely a good thing for me right now since a real date night hasn’t happened for us in MANY years! For these dinner kits everything is included except for the protein of your choice so even if the package says chicken you can be like me and make “Orange Shrimp” or even “Orange Tofu” (can you guess I don’t eat chicken)! I have to confess that I haven’t actually made these yet because I keep forgetting to buy tofu and shrimp but I didn’t want to be too slow with my “review” and contest so I am just posting anyway!

Enter to win two dinner kits to try for yourself:

  • Leave me a comment with your best at home date night tips!
  • Open to US mailing addresses only.
  • Contest ends Friday November 5th 2010

Win a $20 CHILI’S gift card!

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Contests, Reviews

I was sooo happy to get the chance to do another review of Chili’s and this time I get to do a giveaway as well! I’m slow though because sometimes it seems that we live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest Chili’s is close to an hour away. I used to live a lot closer to a Chili’s and have always liked it so we try to stop there when we are in the area. The new $20 dinner for two deal certainly makes me want to find an excuse for taking the drive to Chili’s! For $20 you get an appetizer to share and two entrees, sounds super good to me! This Fall has just seemed crazier than usual so I haven’t actually made that trek to Chili’s yet 🙁 but I wanted to post about it and do my contest before their contest ended:

Chili’s new Shout Out To Eat Out Take 2 promotion, located at www.shoutouttoeatout.com.  The original Shout Out was a tremendous success with over 220 videos posted.  Now we’re making it easier to participate with a grand prize at the end of the contest.  Users will upload a photo of themselves and a person they want to bring to Chili’s and briefly tell us why they want to bring them, and we are giving away a $20 Chili’s Gift Card every day until October 31st.  Additionally, viewers of the site can vote for their favorite photos and at the end of the contest the person with the most votes will have their photo immortalized by being drawn on a Chili’s chalkboard.

Lets just pretend that I did actually get myself to Chili’s for the $20 dinner for two, here is what John and I would have had:

Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole appetizer, the CLASSIC BACON BURGER for me, and probably the MARGARITA GRILLED CHICKEN for John! That guacamole looks delicious and is giving me the late night munchies now! We will have to get to Chili’s BEFORE winter, one last trip there to see the nearby waterfalls and then eat!

*Join Chili’s email club and get free chips and queso!

Oh almost forgot:

TO ENTER to win a $20 Chili’s gift card:

  • Leave me a comment with your favorite thing about going to Chili’s
  • Contest ends HALLOWEEN Oct 31, 2010

Hexbugs are a HUGE hit at our house!

October 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Birthday Parties, Reviews

Ethan’s birthday party was last weekend two weeks ago and we were lucky enough to have been given a Hexbug Nano party kit for the kids to enjoy. We had the party at the gym in our local town hall and it was a great great great great party (according to the birthday boy). It was a Lego themed party but we set up a big Hexbug Nano table and it was a very popular spot at the party. We had 18 kids total so the Hexbug table was never empty! A few of the boys said they had some Hexbugs at home but I think Hexbugs were a new thing to most of the boys because several moms were asking me where to buy them! In case you haven’t heard of them either, Hexbugs are a neat little “bug” that is sort of like a toothbrush head that buzzes around and you can run them through neat tracks and have them battle one another (I know they have them in Toys R Us and I bet they can now be found in other toy stores as well). We  had a huge Hexbug track system set up for them at the party. Well actually the kids made and remade and remade again a huge set up! At the end of the party the kids were excited to get to bring home their own Hexbugs and Lego figures. Now that the party is over, we have the Hexbugs on the coffee table in our family room and they are actually playing with them now as I type this review. I’m late posting this because our Mac died after the party, John got it fixed but we lost some of our recent pictures and it annoyed me not having good pictures from the party. But back to the Hexbugs, I am really happy with them because they keep all 4 of my kids busy, they are holding up extremely well and we haven’t even had to replace any batteries yet, the tracks are very well made and the kids love building new track layouts. They are a cute toy but also let the kids be creative constructing the habitats for their bugs. These Hexbug Nanos are such a hit at our house and Hexbug also makes other types of “bugs” that look fun!

my BABY is TWO!

October 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Birthday Parties

Happy Birthday Jillian! I can’t believe that you are 2 today! I am not crying about it like I thought I’d be but I really wish you could have stayed a little baby a lot longer. Instead you are the one who grew up the fastest.  You have been out of diapers for months, are so independent and you talk a ton. What a grown up little girl you were crawling through the big kid tunnels at Chuck E Cheese today. Love you! Just wish I got a video of you singing “happy birthday to you ME”.

Oh yay you can win some V8 V-Fusion +Tea too!

October 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Contests

I am S-L-O-W lately…sorry! I was slow posting my review of the new V8 V-Fusion +Tea so I wasn’t sure if they still had another gift package of it set aside for me to giveaway BUT they do! So one of you lucky friends can win a nice green V8 cooler shopping bag and 3 of their new Fusion-Tea varieties to try! We really liked them!


  • leave me a comment telling me something you like about any V8 product
  • open to US mailing addresses only
  • contest ends Wed 10/27/10

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