Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Making Life Better For Yummy Easter Treats and Beyond!

YIKES! April 1st is here in just a couple of hours...and no April Foolin' I'll be going crazy for the next two weeks...
Cameron's birthday will be on April 10th and Easter Sunday is April 12th so there will be a houseful of guests...I need inspiration instead of perspiration~
I'm visiting www.MakingLifeBetter.com for some great recipes and ideas:

MakingLifeBetter.com has great holiday and everyday meal ideas. With a combination of trusted brands that offer great quality at affordable prices as well as plenty of recipes and tips to help make everyday life better, Moms now have an easily available resource to help with meal prep any day of the year.

Whether you're planning the perfect Passover or cooking a delicious Easter feast, keeping your pantry, refrigerator and freezer well-stocked can save you time and money. Here are some of my favorite brands and recipes:

Easter Dinner:
  • Shedd's Spread Country Crock: Make your Easter main course a D-light, with this super-simple recipe for Country-Style Glazed Ham made with Shedd's Spread Country Crock Calcium plus Vitamin D. For a great holiday meal offer, check your April 5th Sunday newspaper! You can get up to $20 back on your ham or turkey purchase by mail when you buy $40 in Unilever products like these during the month of April.
  • Bertolli Sauce: If you usually dine out for your Easter meal, but are trying to save money this year, serve a restaurant quality feast at your own table with Bertolli Premium Pasta Sauce. A delicious recipe for Lamb Chops a la Pizzaiola from top chef Rocco DiSpirito will have your family wondering if it came from an Italian restaurant.
Passover Meals:
  • Ragú: Ragú Old World Style Pasta Sauce has a full serving of vegetables in every half-cup of sauce and is a good source of Vitamins A and C. For a family-friendly Passover dish, try Matzo Pizza with Ragú.
  • Shedd's Spread Country Crock: Add a little nutrition to a Passover favorite, Matzo Brei, with Country Crock Calcium Plus Vitamin D, which provides 20% of the necessary daily value of Vitamin D in each tablespoon.
Everyday Ideas:
  • Knorr Sides: Spend less time in the kitchen by making a quick one-dish meal in three easy steps. Simply add your favorite cooked meat or chicken to Knorr Rice and Pasta Sides to make your family a satisfying one-dish meal, like Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo.
  • Recipe Secrets: Creating a Country-Style Pot Roast is as simple as combining a few ingredients in the Dutch oven to roast , including Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix, which provides the perfect blend of seasonings to create delicious, affordable meals and great recipes for every occasion.
  • Breyers: Bring a sweet ending to your Seder with a classic Hot Fudge Sundae using delicious Breyers All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream - a family-favorite made easily (and more affordably) at home!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ballas Hough Band CD Contest

Ballas & Hough- On TV and In Stores

Dancing With The Stars Season Premiere was last night - DID YOU CATCH IT???

Dancing with the Stars
DD Kristen and I tuned in to ABC at 8/7c to watch the two-hour Season 8 Premiere of Dancing With the Stars to check out Mark Ballas and Derek Hough.

Derek danced with multi-platinum artist Lil' Kim and Mark's partner was Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.

Derek and Mark have dominated the past two seasons, having led their partners to victory, and the fabulously coveted Mirror Ball trophy. Derek and Brooke Burke were the winners last season and Mark claimed the trophy in season 6 with Kristi Yamaguchi.

It was awesome! Today the new CD from Ballas Hough Band has launched! One2One Network has graciously provided me with the new release to check out and review. I just received it tonight, so I'll post tomorrow with more details! However, I've heard very positive reviews so far so I'm super excited to share my thoughts.

Here's the contest information:

I am hosting a contest open to all U.S. residents. Please post your thoughts on the new season of Dancing With the Stars including your favorite pick for the winner at this point. If you like, please share about Make Ballas and Derek Hough...One winner will be randomly selected from all completed comments. Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win! The contest will conclude 11:59PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2009. Winner will receive a copy of the new Ballas Hough Band CD, including postage via US regular mail delivery.

Thank you for visiting my blog and participating! Good luck.

Financial Peace for Tweens and Teens (...and Moms and Dads!)

Today's economic downturn (or whatever term you want to insert here...) continues to provide additional "opportunities" for our family to reduce spending, increase saving, and help our children grow to become fiscally responsible adults. *SIGH*...not an easy task but certainly one well worth the undertaking!

Cameron, teen son, has secured a great part-time job assisting the facilities director at our church through the week, after school. He's gearing up to purchase a used car and save for college - so this is a huge contribution!

Kristen, tween daughter, has viewed all her fav Disney Channel and Nickelodeon stars "shop til they drop" with their parent's credit card and frequently inquires as to the status of her own.... *SIGH AGAIN!*

Hubby Ken and I are tag-teaming our efforts to work out a reasonable family budget given the mounting financial trials and tribulations here in the U.S. as well as globally.

We're working with our kids to help them see the value of a hardworking, well-spent dollar by clipping coupons, recycling, shopping with lists, and identifying the "WANTS" versus the "NEEDS". They're mildly interested but we can lose them if we get to intense.

Cameron is at a turning point as his teenage period draws to an end over these next few years. We have done some significant web crawling on financial literacy, and we were drawn to the Current by Discover Card and related web site. The Current Discover Card is for teens. The website provides great tools on discussion topics for families.

Discover Card developed this great debit card with kids ages 13-18. The Current Card helps us teach our kids how to manage spending by allowing parents to establish limits, block specific categories (i.e. ATMs, adult items) and track your teen's spending online or via email and text message alerts. The fail safe is that it's a debit card that will not exceed the total funds available so no overspending!

Check out the website for more information:

A teen card with grown-up benefits

For Parents:

* Easily add funds from a credit card or bank account
* No effect on you or your teen's credit
* $0 liability guarantee
* Set your teen's spending limits
* Restrict teen card use in unwanted shopping categories

For Teens:

* Your cash is safe if your teen card is lost
* Withdraw cash at ATMs
* Unique card designs
* Get exclusive discounts at your favorite merchants
* Disable teen card if lost, reactivate when found

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Don't Want To Miss....PSA Contest for Teens

No teen wants to miss out on all of the fun - from a friend's Sweet 16 party to a big home football game - because of being sick at home with the flu. That's why singer/songwriter and former American Idol finalist Brooke White has teamed up with infectious disease specialist and author of Germ Proof Your Kids, Dr. Harley Rotbart, and The Clorox Company to launch I Don't Want to Miss..., a national contest that puts teens in the spotlight to talk about flu education and prevention.

The heart of the program is a PSA contest in which teens can submit a short 45-60 second video entry to IDontWantToMiss.com, sharing what they most don't want to miss out on and why that makes flu prevention important. What a fun, creative challenge for our teens and their friends!

For the first time this year, the CDC expanded flu vaccination guidelines to include all children six months through 18 years old. However, a new national survey shows that only 16% of parents with teens are aware of this new recommendation.

The winning contestant will win an acoustic concert from former American Idol finalist Brooke White at his/her school! The second place winner will receive a guitar autographed by Brooke White herself, and three runners-up will win autographed photos.

I'm encouraging my teen son, Cameron, to enter - go ahead and submit your family's entry today! Deadline to enter is March 11th!

Family Traditions~Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus

Just wanted to give everyone the scoop on a sweet deal for Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus Tickets! Visit their website and enter your zip code to find the tour coming to your area...

Here's a special coupon code available which is a great opportunity to take the family for a wonderful time together!

Visit http://www.ringling.com/
Offer #1: Use the Code Word: MOM to receive the special discount of FOUR TICKETS FOR $44. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Circus Celebrity Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combinable with other offers. Other restrictions may apply.

Offer #2: A select amount of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for you to buy before they go on sale to the public - just enter to code "MOM" when purchasing these seats. Dates and cities where families can use the national MOM discount code this spring are:

Newark/East Rutherford/Uniondale/NYC
March 5 - April 13
Offer not valid on performances from April 10-13 at Madison Square Garden

Washington DC/Fairfax, VA/Baltimore, MD
March 18-April 19

May 13-May 25

June 24-June 28

July 15-July 26

July 8-August 2

San Francisco
August 12-August 23

Dallas/Ft Worth
July 26-August 16

August 27-August 30

Kansas City
September 16-September 20

To see which Ringling Bros. tour is coming to a town near you, visit www.Ringling.com. Visit www.ticketmaster.com to use the 4 tickets for $44 code, MOM.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THEIR OUTSTANDING PROMOTIONAL OFFER OF "BABY'S FIRST CIRCUS". Start your own family tradition early by submitting your child's birth information before their first birthday to receive a free ticket voucher for their first circus performance! No expiration date.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009