Saturday, May 8, 2010

Giveaway: Whoops Bunny Meal Planner & Grocery List


I am so excited about the giveaway this week! This is a great product from a company called, Whoops Bunny.

Whoops Bunny got it's name from the cute song.... bunny, bunny, bunny, bunny... whoops, bunny! If you don't remember this hand song... go to their site and you can see it in action!

On their site their sell a variety of Whoops Bunny products in their boutique such as: accessories, hair products, hair and make-up, eating and drinking products and even play apparel. Their products are all bright and display their signature bunny image or hand print.
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Whoops Bunny products and their company is also committed to improving the environment.

Check out their awesome commitment below:

"We are proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet and are committed to donate 1% of our sales (that's sales, not profit) to audited grass-roots environmental concerns.

An environmental whoops is something we take very seriously at Whoops Bunny. In our own small way, we try to minimize the whoops to the environment.

Here at Whoops Bunny HQ, we recycle all our plastic, paper and glass, even driving miles to the glass recycling plant. We try to minimize our use of paper and if we can, we’ll reuse scraps of paper for our scribbles. We only print using 100% recycled paper or using paper that is FSC certified.

We also use low energy lighting. Did you know that a single low-energy bulb can save a heap in energy costs over its lifetime and also avoid hundreds of kilograms of CO2 emissions?

We will always attempt to package your products using packaging that is either re-usable, biodegradable or is made from a sustainable source."


I have been using the meal planner and grocery list at my home for the past few weeks. The meal plan is a magnetic 9'' x 12'' pad that contains 25 sheets. Each sheet contains a space for you to write your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert choices for one week.

At first I didn't think I would like the fact that there was a box for a snack choice for each day. Currently, on my meal planning sheet, I have just been listing a variety of snacks we have available and then choosing what I wanted each day from that master list. I actually LOVED the fact that it made me write down a snack for each day. It made me check to be sure I was providing a variety of healthy choices during the week for snack time. It also eliminated the "choice" option for my girls!

For us, having a dessert box for every day of the week is not necessary as we only have dessert twice a week or so. Therefore I used it sometimes for "extra sidedishes" like jello, pudding, breads, fruit etc.

I really like that the meal planner is a notepad of 25 sheets so I don't have to print out a new meal plan schedule every week. I also like that the meal planner sheets are bright green and colorful! They have a very cute design!

The Shopping List contains fifty 9" x 5.5" sheets and is also in a bright green color. It has boxes that divide your grocery list into: fruits/vegetables, frozen foods, dairy, canned food, condiments, meat/poultry, baking, deli, cereal/grains etc.

The size of the shopping list is great if you grocery shop weekly. I think, however it would be too small if you grocery shop every 2 weeks or more. I liked that the categories were divided, but I am used to my grocery shopping list that allows me to just circle what I need. I actually had to go back to my original grocery shopping list to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything that I needed.

If you would like the chance to win either the Weekly Menu Planner and Shopping List pack here is what you need to do:

1. For one entry, leave a comment with your name and tell us:
if you grocery shop weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc.

2. For another entry, join our group of Followers!

3. For yet another entry, join our Facebook group!

4. For one more entry, go to the Whoops Bunny site and tell us what product is your favorite!

*** Please submit one comment for every entry***

Giveaway will be open until May 15th- 6 p.m. I will announce the winner shortly after.

Good Luck!

If you don't win, don't worry! For $10.99 you can purchase your own pack to try out!

Rainbow Cupcakes



This is a FUN project for your Saturday! My girls helped me with it and they loved it. The idea for Rainbow Cupcakes actually came from my 3 - 3/4 yr. old daughter. When it was my birthday, my husband asked Addie what kind of cake they should make mommy for her birthday. Her answer- RAINBOW! Rainbow is her absolute favorite color right now. Well, they didn't get around to making mommy a Rainbow cake, but I thought this would be a great baking challenge to do together anyway, since I was so interested in how how these were going to turn out myself!

This baking challenge is not only FUN to eat it is also great to use when teaching your toddlers about colors in general, mixing colors and the rainbow! ROYGBIV all the way! (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)

It is a really simple recipe, but it can be a bit time consuming. The cake batter doesn't take long to mix up, and dying the batter is quick, but filling muffin tins layer by layer with all 6 colors- does make the minutes add up! I don't think this is something I will do all the time, but for special occasions or when teaching the girls about colors or Noah's Ark, this is a great recipe to use!

Here is what you need:

White Cake Mix, 3 eggs (egg white only), applesauce (We use this instead of veg. oil (equal proportion to oil)- it is better for you and it makes your cake so moist!), cupcake liners, white icing and a rainbow of food dye

Step 1:
Mix your white cake mix, applesauce and 3 egg whites together. (I didn't write down how much applesauce, but use the directions on the back of your box and substitute equally applesauce instead of oil). My daughter, Addie was SUPER excited to be helping me bake. I tried to let her do as much as a 3 3/4 year old could do by herself.


Step 2:
Divide your batter equally among 6 bowls (we did not make the "Indigo" color, as the blue and violet blended together anyway to sort of make indigo). I just used a measuring cup and kept diving it until there was no batter left!

Step 3:

Now take a look at the back of your food dye and it will tell you exactly how many drops to put in each bowl to dye it the shade you want! It was so fun to make the purple and orange b/c we mixed two different colors and my girls LOVED seeing it turn from yellow and red into orange.

Step 4:
Put a portion of each colored batter into a ziploc bag. You will then want to make sure to get most of the air out of the bag and seal it shut. Next, cut the corner of one of the ends of your bag. You will want to cut a small size opening.

The first batch up Rainbow cupcakes took me a very long time to make because I used a spoon instead of doing the bags. After taking 45 minutes to fill 12 cupcakes I thought, THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS! That is how I came up with the ziploc bag idea! It works so much better than the spoon b/c it is faster and you can make sure you get all the way to the edge of the cupcake a lot easier.


Step 5: Build your layers of cake batter (Remember ROYGBIV)



The first picture is when I used the "spoon method." Notice how I was not able to get to the edges. I had to use the spoon to spread the batter around, try and get it to the edges without mixing the 2 colors!

The second picture shows the MUCH EASIER WAY when using a Ziploc bag. I started by "drawing" a circle w/ the batter around the edges. Then I just filled it in with the batter. It is important to reach the edges, so that when you take the cupcake out of the wrapper, you see the Rainbow!

It was also much faster to do one color at a time. So start with Red and do 12 cupcakes, then orange on top of that, then yellow and so on. You do not bake in between! You are simply layering the colored batter on top of each other.


Step 6: Bake according to package directions. Then ice with white icing.

This is Addie, who gave me the idea in the first place to make Rainbow Cupcakes. She is so proud!


This is Sophie, who also loves cupcakes... but really loves the icing most of all. She eats her cupcakes icing side first from top to bottom.


Here is what the inside of the cupcake looks like:
Pretty cool, huh?!?


Another great teaching tool to use these cupcakes is to talk about love and the joy of giving to others! After working so hard on our cupcakes, the girls came up with 3 people to go and take Rainbow cupcakes. Others enjoyed our hard work and our girls were shown how much joy we can give others!

I hope you enjoy the cupcakes!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Katie's Apple and Carrot Muffins

These muffins are fabulous! Not only are they pretty healthy for you, they are so yummy. They are so yummy, in fact that my girls call them "cupcakes!" They are great for breakfast, snacks, dessert and they even freeze great! It would be a great idea to make a double batch and freeze the rest in a Ziploc. Then you take out how many you need from the freezer, warm it up in the microwave and wha-la!

Here is the pic of the muffins I made w/ Katie's Recipe:

You can click here to view Katie's full recipe.

One more Mother's Day deal...FREE Fazoli's. :0)


Just got this in an email. Free spaghetti or fettuccine alfredo with the purchase of an adult entree. Available Friday (today) to Sunday (Mother's Day).

Friday: Waffles with Strawberries and Turkey Sausage

Yummmmmm waffles! Especially waffles with fresh fruit. It can't get any better than that.... oh wait, add some whipped cream or powdered sugar and it gets better!


This is a classic recipe using Bisquick and fresh strawberries. It shouldn't take much explanation, but I will share my pictures with you!


Here is what you need:



Bisquick (don't have Bisquick? Use our recipe to make your own!), Strawberries, 2 TB vegetable oil (or applesauce is always a great substitute when baking for oil), 1 1/3 cups milk, 1 egg

Step 1:

Slice and wash your strawberries. Even if you don't think you will use the whole container, it is a great idea to go ahead and wash/slice them all and then stick them in the fridge so they are prepped for when you need a quick snack!

Step 3: Mix your Bisquick and Make your Waffles. I have always wanted one of those fancy waffle makers you see in hotels. You know, the ones that have a handle and you flip them! How fun! We just have a simple 2 square Belgian waffle maker. It works great still!

Step 4: Serve waffles topped with strawberries, syrup and powered sugar (or whipped cream!) We chose to add some protein with turkey sausage. Yum!


What is your family's favorite waffle topping?

Give us your creative ideas!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dining Out Deals


I'm sure many of you will be eating out for Mother's Day! Wahooo!!! Here are some deals at restaurants for moms this Sunday:
  • Smokey Bones is offering a FREE entree for Mums when one is purchased with this coupon.
  • Coldstone Creamery: Participating locations will be giving away free scoops of ice cream to Mums.
  • TCBY: Free cone or cup of yogurt at participating locations.
(Thanks Mummy Deals!)

And now, onto our regular restaurant deals:
Quiznos is offering up a “Kids Eat Free” program where kids can eat FREE all day, every day!

For every adult entree purchased (Sub, Toasty Torpedo, Chopped Salad or Choose 2), you can snag one FREE Quiznos Kidz Meal:
* Kidz Meals include Kidz Subs, Sammies & Pizzas
* Offer is valid for children aged 12 and under (child must be present)
* Begins May 3rd with no end date as of yet (be sure to call your local store to verify their participation)!

(Thanks, The Frugal Find!)




Free coffee for signing up for Dunkin’ Perks! Just for signing up, you’ll get a FREE medium beverage of your choice (iced or hot coffee, tea, latte, hot chocolate or Coolatta)! Plus, you’ll also get another FREE medium
beverage on your birthday!

(Thanks, $30 Weekly Grocery Challenge!)



Head on over to the Denny’s Facebook page and create a Mother’s Day card to send to your mom. Just for doing so, you’ll score a coupon for FREE pancake puppies! Plus, your mom will get a card with a FREE Pancake Puppies coupon too!

(Thanks, The Thrifty Couple!)



Buy any Grande Specialty Beverage and get any beverage free at Biggby Coffee with this coupon. Valid May 5-9, 2010.

Thanks, Savvy Spending!


Starbucks is offering Half-Priced Frappuccino Blended Beverages from May 7-16, 2010 during their afternoon Happy Hours (3-5 p.m.). More details here.

Thanks, Clippin’ With Carie!

Also, May 6th-May 12th, ALL Cinnabon locations are offering up completely FREE Classic Rolls when you show your Healthcare ID! Check out all the yummy details here.

The Freebie Blogger!)

Bob Evans is offering up a yummy new coupon! Just go to their Facebok page and click on the coupon link on the lower right hand side to print a SmartSource coupon valid for a FREE wrap ($5.99 value) with the purchase of one Farm-Fresh Wrap, a side and a beverage! You’ll also get to choose between 3 different varieties of wraps: Turkey Club, Chicken Caesar or Chicken Salad. This coupon is valid through 6/2/10, so you’ll have plenty of time to make use of it.

(Thanks, Savvy Spending!)

Restaurant.com is slashing 70% off any gift certificate via coupon code "MOM". Although we've seen better coupons, Restaurant.com restocks many of its certificates at the first of the month, meaning that this weaker coupon is potentially more useful. It cuts $25 dining certificates to $3 and $10 gift certificates to $1.20. Restaurant.com's gift certificates are redeemable at local restaurants across the United States. Some gift certificates have restrictions, like dinner-only or a $15 minimum. (Each restaurant lists its individual restrictions.)

(Thanks Dealnews!)

One more deal worthy of mentioning:
ENTERTAINMENT BOOKS chock full of awesome coupons for eating out are marked super down right now! Entertainment.com is offering its 2010 Entertainment Books for all cities for $15 with free shipping. That is up to $35 off the regular price. Entertainment Books contain hundreds of 2-for-1 and 50% off coupons valid at many restaurants, hotels, and services in your area. (You choose the specific book for your city or region.)

(Thanks Dealnews!)

Family Fun Idea: Camp Out... In your BACKYARD!

My husband and I love to go camping, but truth be told... we haven't seen a tent since our kids were born! Our goal is to go camping next month as our family vacation. Therefore, we wanted to test it out in our backyard to see how the girls would do. Despite the tent collapsing on us at 11:00 p.m. (It was a tent we borrowed from someone else that was missing poles... we made it work for awhile!) our girls did pretty good!

Instead of just sleeping in the tent, we made a night out of it and you can too! You really don't have to go all out, you don't even HAVE to set up a tent (but your kids would love it!!).

We have a fire pit, so with that you can roast hot dogs, do smores... all the fun camping out stuff!

I have found a great resource that I would love to share with you! It talks about camping with little kids, especially toddlers/preschoolers. They include great camping books to read to your kids to introduce them to the idea of camping and lots of great ideas/activities to do with your kiddos while camping in your own backyard. Check it out here!

Here are some pictures of our family camp-out. Enjoy!

Sophie picking the bark off the tree to find bugs. She LOVES to squish bugs!




Having fun playing Ball!


I love my husband for setting up a tent that wasn't ours and was missing lots of pieces!




Yummy, Smores Time! I remember when I was little my uncle used to tease me and say "You know why them call them Smores? Because you always want Smore!"


Getting ready to camp out for the night. Good night everyone!


Have fun... and Remember the purpose of Family Fun Nights is to just ENJOY EACH OTHER!


Our family is going to go camping next month... do any of you have any great Camp Fire recipes to share? I would love to have some to try out! Please post a comment and share!

Winner of the LETZ TALK GIVEAWAY!!



Our winner for the LetzTalk Giveaway is......


Stephanie from Misadventures of a wannabe cake boss, who said,

"I would go for the 5-8 set and give it to my friends who have 2 kids. I think it would be a great family present for them to share."

So nice of you Stephanie!! Congratulations! To everyone else, do not be dismayed...Sarah is posting several other giveaways this week, so stay tuned!

I also just wanted to send some love to Stephanie, our winner, by posting one of her adorable cakes that she made for her dad's (a pilot) birthday. Check this out:

Great job Stephanie, and good luck to you as you work toward your goal of making cakes your career!

Thursday: Baked Chicken Marsala and steamed broccoli





This was a great meal I found at 5dollardinners.com. This is the website that correlates with the awesome book I reviewed on Tuesday of this week. You definitely want to check out all the great recipes she has!

I have never tried to make Chicken Marsala before, so I wasn't quite sure how it was supposed to turn out. I will tell you we did like it, but we both felt that there wasn't quite enough of the Marsala sauce. Next time we make it, we will double or triple the sauce!


Here is what you need for a family of 4:

*
1.4 lb package boneless skinless chicken breast ($2.64) On sale regularly for $1.89/lb
1/2 cup flour ($.10)
1 tsp Italian seasonings ($.05)
1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
1 Tbsp olive oil ($.10)
1/3 cup marsala cooking wine ($.50)
1 4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms, drained ($.49) On sale regularly at Walgreens
1 cup white rice ($.20)
2 large heads broccoli ($.79)

*Please note this is taken from 5dollardinner.com

Step 1:

Mix together the flour, seasonings, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Step 2:

Coat your chicken breasts in the flour mixture

Step 3:

Place into a casserole dish

Step 4:
Drizzle with Marsala Wine and Olive Oil.

I would double the sauce recipe. However, I am wondering if I would of covered the dish with foil, would that of prevented so much of the sauce from drying out?

Also, on this step I feel like I messed something up b/c all the flour came off of the chicken! Was that supposed to happen? Maybe I should re-coat the chicken after adding the wine and oil.

Anyone have any advice?


Step 5:
Add your mushrooms. I just used a can of mushrooms, but I bet fresh would be even better!


Step 6:

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes

Step 7:
Make your rice and broccoli. I chose to use brown rice which takes about 40 minutes to make.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy!


According to 5dollardinners.com this meal costs $4.87 to make!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dessert: Peanut Butter Pie







My husband has been asking me for months to try and make him a peanut butter pie. To be honest, I love pie- but I really don't make it very much at all. I think I have made 3 pies in my lifetime, this being one of them!!

My husband is a super picky peanut butter dessert guy, so when he said it was awesome and ate 3/4 of the pie himself.... I guess that means it is pretty stinkin' good! And did I mention it is SUPER EASY to make?!?

Here is what you need:


1 8oz package of cream cheese-softened, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 8oz containers whipped cream, thawed, 1 9 inch pie shell- baked (I used graham cracker pie crust instead), 1 TB, softened butter, 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Step 1:


In a Mixing bowl, whip butter and sugar until blended.

Step 2:


Add your peanut butter (don't you love the handy dandy measuring tool from Pampered Chef! It is so easy to use w/ peanut butter!), cream cheese, and vanilla...
and mix until blended!
Step 3:



Add your thawed out whipped cream and fold into the mixture.

Step 4:
Pour into your crust. Let Refrigerate at least 1 hour and then enjoy!

There are a number of toppings you could add if you wish... chocolate shavings, chocolate cookie crumbs, chocolate peanut butter cups, chocolate syrup.... the list goes on!



This recipe was found at allrecipes.com

Wednesday: Pizza Duo with Mixed Veggies

I have always wanted to try and make a white sauce pizza. Seriously, white sauce pizza's are AMAZING! I also wanted to make a pepperoni pizza for my girls... Thus the Pizza Duo was created!

Here is what you need:

Pictured is everything to make the pizza dough: Flour, Sugar, Salt, Garlic Salt, Olive Oil, Italian Seasonings and Fast Rise Yeast. (not pictured- Parmesan Cheese)

Not Pictured: Pizza Cheese (whatever you like!), toppings (we used spinach on the white pizza and pepperoni on the red sauce pizza), Pizza Sauce, Alfredo Sauce.



Here are the steps:

Step 1:

Mix 1 TB dry active yeast (1 small packet) with 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F). Let dissolve.
*Kitchen Tip* To save time the next time you make pizza, you can double this batch and freeze the pizza dough to use for later!


Step 2:
Once the yeast has dissolved, add 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 TBS vegetable oil, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning and 2 TB Parmesan cheese.

Step 3:

Mix and then knead for 5 min. I was able to use my handy dandy mixer to knead the dough. To knead it by hand, put the dough on a floured surface and knead for 5 min or until you have a smooth dough.

Step 4:
Grease your pizza pan and then add a little Garlic salt before putting your dough down.

Step 5:

Spread your dough out on your pan.

Step 6:

Get your spinach ready for the white sauce pizza. Drain and squeeze out excess water to prevent sauce from becoming to runny.


Step 7:
Heat up your spinach and Alfredo sauce in a pan. To make 1/2 a pizza with Alfredo Sauce I used about 1/2 a jar. A couple of nights before we had Fettuccine Alfredo, so I saved the extra sauce to use on our pizza.


Step 8:
Spread your sauces on your pizza. Notice that I left about 1 inch between the sauces. I just put cheese there so that the two flavors wouldn't run together. It worked perfectly!


Step 9:

Add your Cheese! We used mozzarella cheese. The girls LOVE helping make pizza! Get your whole family involved!

Step 10
Add your Pizza Toppings to the red sauce pizza. We didn't do this, but I think grilled chicken would be great on the spinach pizza!


Step 11:

Bake at 450 for 13-15 minutes. Top with Parmesan Cheese, Serve with Mixed Veggies and Enjoy!


Cost of this meal for a family of 4: $5.00 (depending on what you already have on hand!)
Cost per person: $1.25


I would LOVE to hear what creative pizza recipes you have come up with.

Leave a Comment and share your favorite pizza combination!