The kids are grown, now what?: December 2011

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review and Giveaway My Memories Scrapbooking Software

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to try out My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Suite. I have heard a lot about it from other people and really wanted to give it a try myself. You are given two options after purchasing your software, you can either download it right away or you can have a disc sent to you. You can even download it and pay for a backup disc to be sent to you.

It is so easy to use. You just pick your background, upload your photos and add embellishments. It is that simple! Now this was my first try, so don't judge!

Gift Card Giveaway

We have teamed up with all these great blogs to bring you this wonder New Years Gift Card Giveaway. What could be better then starting off the New Year with a $100 gift card
Please enter below for your chance to win and good luck!

Disney Musical Family Night Giveaway!

Who Wants to Win Some Family Disney Fun?

Disney Family Movie Musical Night


Start off the New Year with a tradition to keep Family Movie Night going, with this Disney Musical Movies Giveaway from Kat's Cafe and The Kids are Grown, Now What?, as well as several other amazing blogs!


We want you, our amazing readers, to have a chance to win a great duo of Disney movies, perfect for the musical lovers out there - Disney's High Shcool Musical 3 & Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure!


Both movies are actually three movies in one! You will receive a Blu-Ray, DVD, AND Digital copy for both of these amazing Disney hits!

Happy New Year!

Review and Giveaway: Savvy Saving, Couponing Secrets from the Stockpiling Moms

When I heard about Savvy Saving, Couponing secrets from the Stockpiling Moms, I was intrigued. I watch Extreme Couponing. I read all the savings and deal blogs. I want to save money too! Here is a synopsis of the book:


 Working to stretch your budget? With their expert coupon strategies, menu planning, and other household management skills, Stockpiling Moms are the answer! Straight from their award-winning blog to your hands and home, they’ve compiled their best loved tips and tricks just for you. They know what it takes to live a frugal lifestyle within a budget, and now you can too!


This is a wonderful book and there are some great tips in it. You can learn how to shop with your kids without buying a bunch of stuff that was not on the list. Build a spreadsheet of pricing at different stores so you can compare prices before you head out to the store. How to stockpile, what to stockpile and why you should stockpile. 


I found this book to be very useful and I will definitely be implementing many of the money saving ideas.


Buy it! You can purchase Savvy Saving on Amazon.




Win it! Cedar Fort Books the publishers of Savvy Saving are giving away 1 e-book to one of my readers.

Friday, December 30, 2011

And the Group A winner of 12/30 $50 Friday is...

Congratulations, Jeryl T !

Review: Bacon Jam!


Yes, you read that correctly! I did say Bacon Jam! I have to admit I have been very curious about this since I first heard about it. When I was offered the opportunity to review it  I jumped at the chance! Yes, I love all things bacon. I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could.


I was hoping I would receive a full size product so that I could really give it a go. I wanted to try it in a few different recipes. But instead I received a small sample so I only had enough to spread on one egg sandwich. I will say that it does taste pretty good. The taste is not overwhelming and it was a great on my egg sandwich. It is something I would definitely put on my list of products I would like to try again. If you are a bacon lover you won't be disappointed, give Bacon Jam a try! If you have questions about the product you can contact Skillet Street Foods at eat@skilletstreetfood.com

Try it you'll like it!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cashin' in the New Year!

Hostessed by Home Grown Families and Mama to 4 Blessings with the help of several other fantastic group of bloggers we bring you Cashin' in the New Year! This giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on Friday 12/30 and will run until Monday, 1/2 at 11:59 PM (all Eastern times). One winner will receive $190 Cash into their paypal!

$50.00 Fridays is here! Group A


Everyone loves cash, right? How would you like a chance to win $50 EVERY FRIDAY? Well, I am very excited that I have joined with an amazing group of bloggers to offer you a WEEKLY cash giveaway! Cool, yes? 


Well, there is only one catch, the giveaway is ONLY opened for ONE DAY! BUT - I am very excited to let you know that YOU have two giveaways to enter - meaning if you are REALLY lucky, you could win $100.00!!!




This week's $50 Friday Group A & B will be for Facebook Follows! 




BLOGS to Follow via Facebook 




This giveaway is for $50 Friday Group A




Keenly Kristin


Adventures of My Family of 8


My Tots Exactly


Life’s Cheap Thrills


Insights by April


Going Crazy!!! Wanna Go?


Saving and More


Africa’s Blog


Debbie Does Coupons


The Kids are Grown, Now What?


Planet Weidknecht


Bay Area Mommy


Deal Doll


Cheap Mama Chick


CMM Style


Crazy Coupon Train


Beach Monkeys


Upcycled Scrapbooking


Gone Klippin’ Krazy


The Dad Blogs


Teach Me 2 Save


1FrugalMom


Shore Savings with Patti


Photo and Film Transfer Services


Coupons & Freebies in Texas




Here's what you need to do to ENTER - Go through the list above and LIKE EVERY SINGLE BLOG - then go through the entry form below, fill in MY Blog as the Blog you are entering on, then continue down the line  clicking the "do it" button(remember, since this is a mulit-blogger event, you MUST like EVERY blog ABOVE to be eligible to win.... but the cool thing is, that it also gives you 25 extra entries) 


Good Luck!!




For another chance at $50, you can enter $50 Friday's Group B, by Clicking HERE!

What We're Cooking! Ham Soup #Gluten Free

Cooking a ham in my house means that one or two days later I will be making ham soup. My family loves soup but ham soup is a favorite. I don't really measure with this one. I feel a soup recipe is subjective (well all recipes are) but soup even more so. To me, homemade soup conveys love.

1 ham bone (with ham left on the bone)
3 or 4 medium potatoes, chopped
2 or 3 leeks, cleaned and chopped (every store in town was out of leeks this time. Guess I am not the only one making soup!)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 or 3 carrots, sliced
2 or 3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 pkg split peas
1/2 pkg lentils
garlic powder
onion powder
parsley
salt
pepper

I like to start off with just the ham simmering in water for a couple of hours. Then I slowly add my other ingredients beginning with the peas and lentils. Simmer everything until coked through and yummy! Then I serve them with bagel chips. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Starting the New Year with a BANG! $60.00 Amazon or PayPal Cash #Giveaway



Coupons and Freebies in TX and Suburban Coupon Mom have teamed up with 28 other bloggers to bring you a giveaway for $60 in Amazon money or Paypal Money, the winner gets to pick which they want.  The giveaway goes for 48 hours straight with a winner picked on Friday by midnight central time and will be announced on Coupons and Freebies in TX website .
  
Once the winner is announced they will have 48hours to claim or a new winner is picked.  To claim you need to emaililovemycouponfans@yahoo.com as soon as you see your name announced.  Good Luck to everyone entering the giveaway.

So You Want to be a Blogger!

Me too! I have been blogging using various mediums since about 2000. Longer if you count the BBS that I owned way back when in the late 80's early 90's. I have written about a lot of things, but mostly about life.

What do you want to write about? I decided I wanted to write gluten free recipes and offer product reviews and giveaways.

What platform do you want to use? I started on Wordpress, but the free blog option was not giving me the tools that I wanted for my blog so I switched to blogger. You can download the Wordpress software and do a self-hosted blog that will give you more options, but I am not ready for that yet. Self-hosted is down the road for me.

Decisions, decisions! There are so many things to decide when starting a blog. What should I call it? My first choice was, Viewing Life from the Toilet Seat (since I have ulcerative colitis) but can you believe that it was taken?

Here are some things to know:

Networking is important. You want to hook up with other bloggers. Bloggers are a wonderful supportive group. They will answer your questions, help boost your blog as well as celebrate and commiserate when life hands you lemons or lemonade!

Please check out the other wonderful entries in this meme. A meme is a collection of similar thoughts and ideas. I hope you enjoy it.

What We're Cooking! - Ham Quiche with Potato Crust #Gluten Free

I love quiche! In fact I made a quiche immediately after giving birth to my daughter Ryan. Ryan was born at home and I was HUNGRY after giving birth. There is something so satisfying about a quiche and it's perfect for any meal.

2 medium potatoes, sliced thin
1/2 C ham, chopped
1/4 C onion, chopped
1 1/2 C cheddar, shredded
4 eggs
1 C milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pie plate. Line pie plate with potato slices. Sprinkle ham, onion and cheese over potato slices. Beat eggs with milk and pour over cheese. Bake for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Looking Back

Wow! The year has gone by so fast. This has definitely been an eventful year for us.

In January we found out that Ryan has a gluten sensitivity so we started the gluten free diet.

In May I became seriously ill and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I did not respond to treatment so my doctor started the referral process for the Mayo Clinic. BUT, I lost my insurance and then I lost my job. Mayo won't see me without a way to pay! But, that's OK. Really. While I am still pretty sick, I am not as bad as I was back in May. I am learning how to keep myself hydrated when I am at my worst.

I may not have a job, but I am starting to earn some money. I even paid my own car insurance this month! Baby steps!

In October I started this blog. I can't believe how well it has been received and I am thankful for all of you for that.

I have great kids. I have spectacular grandsons. I have wonderful, supportive friends. I have a kitty that alternately loves me and then wants to kill me. All in all it's been a pretty great year! I am looking forward to 2012! How about you?

Pigs in a Blanket and Italian Sausage Balls #Gluten Free

Years ago I decided to have a New Year's Day Potluck. The first year everyone moaned and groaned about getting up, getting dressed and going out. Flash forward a year and people were asking if we were going to do it again. It became a tradition that we held for ten years.

Both of these recipes are perfect for to use as appetizers for any party. The first one is quick and easy. Pigs in a blanket, we all know how to do it. Since they are gluten free I used Chebe All Purpose Bread Mix. Prepare the mix according to package directions, roll out the dough, slice, cover your little smokies and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

This second one is my favorite! I love the Bisquick Sausage and Cheese Balls. I made a few changes and they are delicious!

2 C gluten free Bisquick
1 lb sweet italian sausage
1 C grated parmesan cheese
2 C grated cheddar
2 eggs

Mix together all ingredients except for eggs. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Roll mixture into balls. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Coming! $50.00 Friday!




Everyone loves cash, right? How would you like a chance to win $50 EVERY FRIDAY? Well, I am very excited that I have joined with an amazing group of bloggers to offer you a WEEKLY cash giveaway! Cool, yes? 





Well, there is only one catch, the giveaway begins THIS FRIDAY and is ONLY opened from 12:01 am  and will close at 12:01am on Saturday, so it is only OPENED ONE DAY!




Will You Take a Stand for a #BraveWoman? #CBias

Earlier this month I asked Are You a Brave Woman? Today I want you to take a stand for a Brave Woman. When you are a victim of domestic violence you feel like you are the loneliest person in the world. Do you know what it is like to be yelled at or hit in public and have everyone else pretend like nothing is happening? I do.




If you see or hear a confrontation, call 911. Don't endanger yourself, but please don't ignore it. If you know someone in this situation please offer to help. Find the nearest shelter and offer to give them a ride. If you are in this situation please know that there are others who have been where you are and we want to help and support you.

Take The Brave Woman Pledge:
 pledge to honor and respect brave women and children who tackle the difficult journey of change from domestic violence to a new life. I acknowledge my own moment-by-moment bravery, will remain aware of what is happening to others around me, and speak up against violence in any form. I will stanId up for human dignity and safety for women and children.


Connect with Brave Woman on Facebook
Follow Brave Woman on Twitter

This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study by Collective Bias. All opinions are 100% my own.

Want to win a Toshiba Laptop?

The Portégé R830 is a fast, powerful, and secure business machine that offers all the power you need. A smart and fast processor provides powerful performance, and Airflow Cooling technology keeps the laptop cool while advanced internal honeycomb structure keeps your laptop protected from the knocks of mobile use. A tough magnesium body includes a durable honeycomb structure under the palm rests, protecting internal components from the wear and tear of everyday use. A 3D HDD impact sensor protects your data from the knocks and bumps of mobile working. Toshiba's PC Health Monitor alerts you to issues before they become problems, constantly gauging your machine's temperature and power usage, while checking the hard drive to help protect against shocks. A 33.8 cm (13.3") non-reflective display with LED backlighting is the perfect platform to view and amend documents and presentations when on the move. Built-in webcam and microphone let you chat face-to-face, collaborate with classmates, videoconference, and generally improve the way you interact with the world around you.

WIN IT!



What We're Cooking! - Bacon Spirals #Gluten Free

Remember those yummy spiral appetizers made with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls? Yeah, we really miss those. Guess what? I came up with a gluten free version using Chebe All Purpose Bread Mix! These are delicious and everyone will love them.

1 box Chebe All Purpose Bread Mix
4 slices bacon, cooked
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
granulated garlic
parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare bread mix according to package directions. Roll dough into a large rectangle. Spread cream cheese over dough leaving a 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle garlic over cream cheese. Sprinkle a layer of parmesan over garlic. Sprinkle bacon over parmesan. Roll dough. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Slice and place on baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Letdown Giveaway Hop

Want to enter to win a LOT of giveaways! Here's your chance! It's the Christmas Letdown Hop! The Hop is hosted by Planet Weidknecht and Going Crazy! Wanna Go?

Savior Cents 27th Birthday Giveaway!



To bring the New Year in with a BANG and to celebrate my (Savior Cents) 27th Birthday12 bloggers have teamed up to offer this wonderful giveaway!


The winner will receive a $60 gift card to their choice of Walmart, Target or Amazon or PayPal Cash!


Giveaway will last for two weeks & after the giveaway has ended the winner will be contacted within 24 hours. At that time they will have 48 hours to claim their prize or otherwise it will be forfeited & a new winner will be chosen.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

SOOC Christmas Eve with Friends and Family

Clint with his new Doggie Doo game! A present from Tara. Who could ask for more?

This is Tara!

Molly is upset because something is in her favorite spot.

Ryan pretending to peak at Eli's present. Yes, we wrapped it in three different papers on purpose!

Me kicked back. What a horrible angle!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lemonhead Superfan Contest

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Lemonhead Superfan?

Brickfish

Happy Holidays!

I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays. Yes, I said it. The dreaded Happy Holidays. The United States is a nation of varied cultures and beliefs all celebrating different things during the month of December. My children have one Jewish parent and one Christian parent, so they grew up celebrating Christmas and Chanukah. I have friends who celebrate the Solstice and I know others who celebrate Festivus. So, yes, I wish you Happy Holidays. I wish you a blessed time with your family and friends. I wish you joy. I wish you good health. I wish you peace.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies #Gluten Free

There is a bit of controversy regarding oats. Bob's Red Mill certifies their oats as being gluten free. This means that they are grown in a field that is dedicated to oats and no other grains are grown there. This eliminates the risk of cross contamination. However, some people do react to oats as well.

1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C gluten free flour (I used Namaste Perfect Blend)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 C gluten free oats
1/2 bag chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix. Fold in oats and chips. Roll dough into balls and bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Goodies! I have goodies! #Gluten Free

As you can see, we have been busy! See below for links to all of the recipes.
Original Chex Mix (Gluten free version)

All of these treats are gluten free and all are super yummy! Give them a try. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

$50.00 Fridays is here!


Everyone loves cash, right? How would you like a chance to win $50 EVERY FRIDAY? Well, I am very excited that I have joined with an amazing group of bloggers to offer you a WEEKLY cash giveaway! Cool, yes? 

Well, there is only one catch, the giveaway begins THIS FRIDAY and is ONLY opened from 12:01 am  and will close at 12:01am on Saturday, so it is only OPENED ONE DAY!




This week's $50 Friday will be for Google+ Follows, so if you have yet to set up your Google+ Account, click HERE for information, then go on to add the following pages to your Google+ Circle. 




BLOGS to Follow via Google+




About A Mom


Keenly Kristin

Adventures of My Family of 8



My Tots Exactly

Debbie Does Coupons

Week 99er

Pretty Pink Momma

The Coffee Chic

Africa's Blog

The Kids are Grown, Now What?

My Crafty Life

Bay Area Mommy

Insights by April

Koupon Krazed

Gone Klippin' Krazy

The Dad Blogs

Beach Monkeys

Upcycled Scrapbooking

the Blog Cafe

Hott Mama in The City

Martinsville Macaroni Kid

Gypsy Mama Logs

Sweeping The USA

Planet Weidknecht

Penny Pincher Jenny



    ONE DAY to ENTER!

    Entering is easy, just add each of the blogs in the entry form below to your Google+ Circle then click I did it! Now, to be eligible to win this giveaway, you MUST add ALL 25 Blogs to your Google+ Circle!




    Don't forget to put Adventures of 8 as the Blog who referred you, in Entry #1!





    a Rafflecopter giveaway







    Cook'n Giveaway!



    The Deals and More has teamed up with DVO to bring you Cook'n Recipe Organizer Software. This software is very easy to use and has many great benefits.

    Here are some of the benefits to this program...

    Find the Best Recipes on the Internet
    Capture and Save Internet Recipes
    Enter Your Own Personal Recipes
    Sync Recipes with iPhone, iPad, & Android
    Print a Family Cookbook
    Analyze Nutritional Values
    Make Menus, Shopping Lists & More!

    This software's list price is $99.95 but can be purchased from their website for $79.95. Now for the best part, please enter for your chance to win a copy of Cook'n.


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    #Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cordial M&M's Cookies

    In October we made The Ultimate M&M's Cookies recipe that I found on the M&M's web site. Well, M&M's has some new holiday M&M's out and I wanted to use the Cherry Cordial. We took the same recipe and added  1/4 cocoa and used the new Cherry Cordial M&M's. Give it a try! These turned out super yummy!

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    And the winner is...

    Congratulations, Crystal! I hope you and your family have a blast at the show!

    Thirsty for Comments Thursday, Blog Hop

    Welcome to Thirsty for Comments Thursdays

    Grab our badge for your sidebar or post:
    Acting Balanced
    Our Featured Blogs for this week are:
    First Comes Baby...  and  The Kids Are Grown, Now What?


    If you want to be featured in the near future, visit your fellow participants and give good comment!  
    Please note that we will be resuming T4C in 2012 after a break for the holidays!

    What is Thirsty for Comments?

    This is a blog hop dedicated to giving good comment - please, when you are visiting, actually READ the post that is linked and make a thoughtful comment!
    This is NOT a hop for "I'm here from the hop, follow me back" comments!

    Link up your own SPECIFIC POST that you'd like comments on - remember - no giveaways!
    *****************************************
    The rules are simple -

    1. Link up a SPECIFIC POST (NOT just your blog URL) that you'd like to have more comments on - NO  GIVEAWAYS or OTHER BLOG HOPS - they will be deleted

    2. Visit AT LEAST THREE other blogs and READ the posts and then comment thoughtfully on the post.

    Extras (nice but not required):

    • Add the Thirsty for Comments button to your post
    • Blog about Thirsty for Comments
    • Add Thirsty for Comments to your Meme List!
    • Leave a comment here on how I can improve Thirsty for Comments :)

    #Gluten Free Bagel Chips

    Have you been missing Bagel Chips? Yeah, so have we! Since we have been missing them so much AND I want to make some Chex Mix so I thought I would give it a try! Let me tell you, they came out perfect!

    Udi's Plain Bagels
    1/4 C oil (I used corn but you can use whatever you like best)
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp salt

    Slice bagels thin. In large bowl mix oil and spices together. Add bagel slices and toss in the oil. Spread on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

    Coming Soon! The Savvy Saving Blog Tour


    Melissa Jennings and Shelly King, authors and award-winning bloggers, announce the release of their first book, Savvy Saving, to be released - January 10, 2012. Their book will be available online at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com (available now) and at select retailers.
    Authors of the award-winning blog "Stockpiling Moms," Jennings and King know what it takes to live a savvy lifestyle within a budget and are now sharing their best tips and strategies in their book, Savvy Saving. Their new book describes expert coupon strategies, menu planning, and other household management skills.
    "Like saving money? Working to stretch your budget?" Melissa Jennings asks. "Since 2009, Shelly and I have blogged at StockpilingMoms.com, making it our mission to save money for our families and helping others do the same."
    Readers will learn from the collective expertise of Jennings and King as they share tips for frugal living and teach how to build a stockpile and how to live a debt-free life.  "Around the new year, everyone wants to start saving money and eating healthy, but few ever do," says Jennings. "Our book has tips and tricks that can really help people achieve their goals."
    Visit savvysavingthebook.com or StockpilingMoms.com for more information.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    And the winners are!

    Congratulations, Everyone! You have all been emailed.

    $50.00 Friday is coming!


    Everyone loves cash, right? How would you like a chance to win $50 EVERY FRIDAY? Well, I am very excited that I have joined with an amazing group of bloggers to offer you a WEEKLY cash giveaway! Cool, yes? 

    Well, there is only one catch, the giveaway begins THIS FRIDAY and is ONLY opened from 12:01 am  and will close at 12:01am on Saturday, so it is only OPENED ONE DAY!




    This week's $50 Friday will be for Google+ Follows, so if you have yet to set up your Google+ Account, click HERE for information, then go on to add the following pages to your Google+ Circle. 




    BLOGS to Follow via Google+




    About A Mom


    Keenly Kristin

    Adventures of My Family of 8



    My Tots Exactly

    Debbie Does Coupons

    Week 99er

    Pretty Pink Momma

    The Coffee Chic

    Africa's Blog

    The Kids are Grown, Now What?

    My Crafty Life

    Bay Area Mommy

    Insights by April

    Koupon Krazed

    Gone Klippin' Krazy

    The Dad Blogs

    Beach Monkeys

    Upcycled Scrapbooking

    the Blog Cafe

    Hott Mama in The City

    Martinsville Macaroni Kid

    Gypsy Mama Logs

    Sweeping The USA

    Planet Weidknecht

    Penny Pincher Jenny






    This is how you can be sure you have the chance to enter this week and each consecutive week–
    1. Sign up for my daily emails – by clicking here… this will ensure that you will get an email letting you know that the giveaway is up.
    2. Like” me on Facebook – by clicking here... this event will be tweeted, posted on my Blog, and on my Facebook Page… (But remember, with all of Facebooks new changes, to ensure you don’t miss it, I would still recommend signing up for my daily emails.)
    3. Follow me on Twitter – click here to get my tweets
    4. Mark your calendar – to come back here EVERY Friday to enter!


    COME BACK this FRIDAY to ENTER!

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