Wordless Wednesday- Autumn Add your link here.



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Fun games for everyone- many free or with free trial.

Hi there gamer girlie here I think it's time I get more active in the Loonyverse so I have decided to share my favorite family friendly games with all of you. 

These games will be rated E for everyone, and are generally non violent, some may have monster bashing but nothing horrible or gory. 

While these games may be E, that doesn't mean those of us a bit over 10 wont enjoy them, in fact some of them are going to be very familiar.


I'm starting you off not with a game but a company, PopCap Games.

PopCap games makes some of the most addicting , colorful and fun pick up and play games out there. whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours to sit and play there is a pop cap game for you. Most of you problaby know their more famous ones, Bejweled, and Peggle- heck they even made versions of these for World of Warcraft. 

If these aren't your style, you're in luck- there are a lot of other games.  Feeding Frenzy, Bookworm, and Plants vs Zombies, are among my fave. 

PopCap offers a free web version of many of their games, or a dowloadable free trial. All of their games are affordably priced, and they sometimes offer specials and discounts. If your looking for something to do for a few moments to relax or new puzzles to tease your brain with give them a look. 

Gamer Girlie out.
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Menu for week of 9/27 - 10/3

I am hungry just thinking about this weeks menu.  Now that it's getting cooler (except those couple of excruciatingly hot days that slipped in last week) we're really enjoying making- and eating- dinner again.  Here's what we have planned for this week.  Whatcha got cooking at your house?  If you are playing along, leave a comment I'll stop on by and check out your menu to get some more ideas. :)

Oven fried parmesan chicken fingers, broccoli, pasta salad with lots of veggies

Slow Cooker pork roast with potatoes, carrots and onions, fresh baked bread, green beans 

Angel hair pasta with marinara, sliced tomatoes, hand rolled proscuitto and fresh mozzarella served on baby spinach and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Pulled pork sliders made with leftover pork roast and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (the honey chipotle is wicked good if you can stand a little bit of heat), coleslaw, sweet corn

Easy fried rice, stir fried vegetables

Ian is still obsessed with How To Train Your Dragon -  please please hurry and come to video, please I beg you for the love of God!  (and yes, Gigi - aka me, the diva is still the idiot teenage boy viking Hiccup) so for Ian:

Dragon food (Gorton's battered fish portions) sandwiches served on fresh kaiser rolls with choice of hm tarter sauce or ketchup, lettuce and tomato served with hush puppies since the boy also loves those and probably french fries or tater tots-  may or may not be able to sneak in a veggie but he LOVES the little tiny bananas and they are 99 cents for a bunch of 8 or so at Kroger so we can get him to eat a couple of those. :)

Breakfast for dinner-  blueberry muffins with streusel topping, scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit
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Lunchables review

Lunchables are a big hit at our house. Ian loves them when he comes over, and I eat them... well, constantly. Anyone who thinks they're just for kids is dead wrong... my high school friends literally fight each other for pieces of my lunch! They're both affordable and delicious.

And it gets even better! Lunchables have been getting more and more healthy, using more whole grains, less sodium, and cutting down on calories and fat. Some of their options now include Jell-O, fruit, and spring water.

For the purposes of this review, we tried two kinds: Deep dish pepperoni pizza, and ham & American cracker combo. The pizza came with mini Cheese Nips, Chips Ahoy! cookies, spring water, and a Kool-Aid Singles. It was made with 2% cheese and whole grains.

The ham and cheese cracker combo came with sugar-free Jell-O, Chips Ahoy! cookies, spring water, and a Kool-Aid Singles. It was also made with 2% cheese.

The consensus? Delicious! I'm in love with the water concept, because I can close the bottle back up and take it with me to class--I usually don't drink while I eat, but get thirsty later. There's plenty of food, and all of it yummy. We'll definitely buy them again... and again... and again...

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Lunchables and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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We've been invaded with BUGS!!!!!

I'm here to report that the Loonyverse has been infested. At this moment our house is being overrun with creepy, crawly, buzzing bugs. The skitter everywhere, running around all over the place, even fighting one another. And you know what we LOVE them. That's right we love our new Nano hexbugs, created by Innovation First Labs Inc. 

We received a party pack to play with/review, so the divas and Ian, along with guests got to play with bugs.  Yeah, even mom who had the little incident with the spider

These little critters are adorable computer chip looking bugs that come in a variety of colors. You can buy Tracks and habitation areas for them, and let me tell you it is fun watching them run around the track. You can battle them, set two or more on a track area and the first one to get knocked over loses. 

OR you can do what we did, set up a massive track, and turn them loose and watch them go. Everyone in the house had a blast with them, From Ian and his cousins, to mom and Ken. The only down side to these bugs is that the buzzing they may get a little annoying after a while, especially if you have alot of them going at once.

Now each little hex bug also comes with an online code that give you access to games and activities on their web site. The site also provides information on the science behind the bugs and other educational fun. So I do believe we'll be letting this infestation stay, as long as the don't start breeding....... computer bugs can't breed can they?...... uh oh umm I'm going to go check their habitat...... 

We have absolutely had a blast with these little robotic bugs and feel they will make a great gift, as well as provide hours and hours of entertainment.

Gamer Girlie out

Pictures and vid (hopefully) to come soon-  Geeky Mommy and Ian took the set-up to play and share with some of their cajun cousins and we never received the copies/links to pics and vids that we were supposed to get. 

Although we received the party pack to facilitate our review, the opinions are 100% ours and were not in any way influenced from receiving the product.
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How to: add a custom favicon to your blog.

It's relatively easy to make your button/banner or any other image into a favicon (that little image up in the address bar to the left of the url).  With blogger blogs, until or unless you change it, it's the big orange and white B.

A custom favicon will set your blog apart (and get your *brand* out there).

The first thing you want to do is make your favicon-  16x16 pixels.

You can easily create one for free at either favicongenerator.com or do what I did and make my own in Xheader.    The free version of Xheader is also what I use to create my buttons, banners, etc.

When you are done, save it as a jpeg or jpg and put it wherever your image hosting service is.  I use photobucket.

Now it's time to install your favicon.










Click preview-  now when you see your blog in your browser you should be able to see your favicon to the left of the web address.  Once you click save, you (and anyone else who visits your blog) will see your favicon in the address bar.

 If you find this easy tutorial useful, feel free to spread the word, we'd really appreciate it.  Knowing we helped someone avoid the headaches and hassles really brightens our day.  :-)
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Commonly used measurement equivalents


Here is a quick guide to various common measurement equivalents to make your baking and cooking easier.

General:
Dash = less than 1/8 teaspoon
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons = 1 ounce
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
2 cups = 1 pint
1 pint = 1 pound = 16 ounces
2 pints = 1 quart = 4 cups
4 quarts = 1 gallon

Butter:
1/2 ounce (1/8 stick) = 1 tablespoon 
1 ounce (1/4 stick) = 2 tablespoons
2 ounces (1/2 stick) = 4 tablespoons
4 ounces (1 stick) = 1/2 cup
16 ounces (4 sticks) = 2 cups

Yeast: rising times may vary depending on which form you use.
1 envelope of Active Dry Yeast, Instant Yeast, Rapid Rise Yeast, Fast Rising or Bread Machine Yeast =
2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams =
1 (0.6 ounce) cube Fresh Compressed / Cake Yeast

Sugar:
1 pound brown = 2 1/4 cups
1 pound confectioners' = 4 1/2 cups, sifted

Flour:
1 pound = 4 cups

Eggs: (using large eggs)
1 egg = 1/4 cup
1 cup whites = 8 -10
1 cup yolks = 10 - 12


Nuts:
4 1/2 ounces, chopped = 1 cup

Fruit:
Lemon: 1 medium = 3 tablespoons juice + 1 tablespoon rind, grated
Orange: 1 medium = 1/3 to 1/2 cup juice + 2 tablespoons rind, grated
Apples: 1 pound = 3 medium or 3 cups sliced
Bananas: 1 pound = 3 medium or 1 1/2 cups mashed

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Homemade dry onion soup mix


Homemade dry onion soup mix = 1 envelope
4 teaspoons beef boullion granules
8 teaspoons dried minced onion (onion flakes)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt or celery salt or seed
Pinch sugar (optional)

Mix well and use in place of 1 envelope.

Homemade dry onion soup mix 2

2/3 cups beef boullion granules
1 1/2 cups dried minced onion (onion flakes)
2/3 cups onion powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt or celery salt or seed
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.  4 heaping Tbsp = 1 envelope. 


Homemade Onion Soup Mix 3

3/4 cup instant minced onion
1/3 cup beef bouillon
4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp celery seed, crushed
1/4 tsp sugar

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.  4 heaping Tbsp = 1 envelope. 


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Homemade taco seasoning mix


Homemade taco seasoning mix = 1 envelope
2 tsp instant minced onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
1/2 tsp instant minced garlic
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Homemade taco seasoning mix 2 = 1 envelope
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Onion Powder
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne

Homemade taco seasoning mix 3 = 1 envelope
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Homemade taco seasoning mix 4 = 2 scant Tablespoons = 1 envelope
6 ts Chili Powder
5 ts Paprika
4 1/2 ts Cumin
3 ts Onion Powder
2 1/2 ts Garlic Powder
1/8 ts Cayenne Pepper

Homemade taco seasoning mix  5 =  2 Tablespoons = 1 envelope
1/3 cup instant minced onion
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon crushed dried red pepper
1 tablespoon instant minced garlic
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano

Mix all ingredients well - any not used can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.  Stir or shake well before using if stored.


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Homemade salt-free seasonig mix

Use in place of salt.

Salt-free seasoning mix 1
3 teaspoons onion powder
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon pepper

Salt-free seasoning mix 2
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons celery seed
1-1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
2 teaspoons dried finely chopped (powdered) lemon peel
1 teaspoon pepper

Salt-free seasoning mix 3
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
2 teaspoons paprika

Salt-free seasoning mix 4
2 tsps. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. dillweed
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried finely chopped (powdered) lemon peel

Salt-free seasoning mix 5
1/2 cup crushed dried minced onion flakes
3 tablespoons crushed dried vegetable flakes
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons crushed dried orange peel
1 tablespoon fresh (coarse) ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried savory
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened lemonade drink mix (such as Kool-Aid)
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Homemade Shake & Bake mixes


Homemade Shake & Bake mix 1
4 cups flour
4 cups cracker meal (we use crackers, crushed)
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
3 tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix well and store indefinitely in fridge or freezer

Homemade Shake & Bake mix 2
4 cups dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced onion
1 pinch dried basil leaves
1 pinch dried parsley
1 pinch dried oregano
Mix well and store indefinitely in fridge or freezer

Homemade Shake & Bake for chicken 1
2 cups flour
2 cups crushed crackers
2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme
Mix well and store indefinitely in fridge or freezer

Homemade Shake & Bake for chicken 2
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons crumbled dry parsley
2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
Mix well and store indefinitely in fridge or freezer


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Super easy blog tutorials to customize your blogger blog

If you've been here for any length of time, you know I play around with the blog a lot and frequently mess up the whole thing and spend forever trying to get it right.  (Everyone needs a hobby, eh?)

While I know lots of people put up tutorials, most are either way too technologically advanced for what I want to do or don't work or make me lose things or...  you get the idea.

After much trial and error, once I have them figured out so that any moron (meaning me, not you) can do it, I'll post the links here so you can customize your blog to your liking and not be stuck either paying someone or using the templates as written.

You are more than welcome to comment and question, but please realize everything I've learned has come at great cost (headache and time wise) and I am not in any danger of being hired on by geeksquad or hacks r us. ;)

One caveat-   always, always, always back up your work.  It's fairly easy- log into blogger, click design on the blog you want to change (if you have or are a team member of more than one), click edit html and then either download full template (and save it somewhere you can find it again) or even easier imo, click the expand widget templates box, copy and paste it into word, notepad, whatever you use to create documents and minimize it until you make sure it works and you didn't royally screw things up.

I hope these mini-tutorials are useful to you-  they are extremely basic and user-friendly so if you are into coding and such you probably aren't going to get anything out of them.  If, however, you're like me and would rather have the shortcuts to what really works, then these will be right up your alley.









If you find these easy tutorials useful, feel free to spread the word, we'd really appreciate it.  Please don't steal though, we work really hard learning the stuff and a link back would be appreciated.  Knowing we helped someone avoid the headaches and hassles really brightens our day.  :-)

XOXO Dddiva





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How to: make your clickable links open in a new window


I have no idea why I had to try so many things and could only find ways to make each specific link open in a new window, but if you want all outgoing links to open in a new window, it's pathetically easy.














And there you have it, once you click save all your outgoing links should now open in a new window so you aren't sending your visitors away.

 If you find this easy tutorial useful, feel free to spread the word, we'd really appreciate it.  Knowing we helped someone avoid the headaches and hassles really brightens our day.  :-)


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How to: number your comments

If you do many giveaways on your blog, you know one of the most tedious things is counting out the comments to get to the winner after the randomizer chooses one.  After many, many failures here's what works for me.














This is a VERY basic numbering, if you want fancy you will have to look elsewhere.

If you find this easy tutorial useful, feel free to spread the word, we'd really appreciate it.  Knowing we helped someone avoid the headaches and hassles really brightens our day.  :-)
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How to: make your link list scrollable

Tired of your blog list taking up half your sidebar?  Here's a super simple way to put that list into a scroll box in blogger.



Identify which widget is going into a scroll box.


Find the widget ID.


Go back to Dashboard > Design > Edit HTML. Find this line of code in your template:

  < /b:skin >

without the breaks

Add the code below immediately before (above) the line.

/* Scroll box by Blogger Sentral START */
#YourWidgetID .widget-content {
height: 200px;
overflow: auto;
}
/* Scroll box by Blogger Sentral END */
]]>

Replace YourWidgetID with the widget ID you got in step 1.


Click preview and you should see a scroll box with your link list, if it shows up fine, click save template.

There you have it-  super simple and you won't have a long *ss list of blogs that you read cluttering up your sidebar.

If you find this easy tutorial useful, feel free to spread the word, we'd really appreciate it.  Knowing we helped someone avoid the headaches and hassles really brightens our day.  :-)
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Menu for week of 9/20 - 9/26

Before we get on to the main event, I'll tattle on myself - I know, not like you need it or anything, but here is even more proof I'm a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

The joes were sloppying (simmering on the stovetop) and I realized the buns were missing.

Remember, one of our dogs, Kitteh, will take bags of bread and rolls off the shelves or counters- not to eat, but to carry around until she leaves them unattended and dude steals them so this isn't all that unusual in the loonyverse.

I may or may not have offered them on hot dog buns to the girls but we were a tad testy and not having any of it and I either didn't have a car or didn't want to drag the 4 of them out at rush hour (which at that point was a joke in our little town of Conway, my how we've grown in 10 years) so I got out a big platter and slapped it on half the slices of bread and folded them over then I set the platter down in the middle of our awesome round coffee table.

I put out plates for the girls and told them we were having a slop-eating contest to see who could eat the most without using their hands.  They had to sit on them or keep behind their backs except to grab another one to put on their plate when it was empty.

We had more fun with that, and I don't even remember whether Devii or Casey won, but I know it turned the cranky bugs into giggles and laughter and is a really good memory for us- you would be surprised how often one of them will bring it up...   Hey guys remember when mom had us...

Although I doubt she had this in mind or would approve, as Martha says, It's A Good Thing!

Sloppy joes served on kaiser rolls, corn  (The divas do not like the sauce in a can or the envie mix, so we were making up a really good one from All recipes, but one day I forget what we didn't have and I just dumped some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (OMG try the new honey chipotle one you won't be disappointed- wait til Kroger has another 10 for $10 sale) and now we prefer it.)

 Easy lo mein, stir fry veggies

Butternut squash soup, grilled cheese or panini of choice

Pork chops and applesauce (our little homage to Peter Brady), green beans,  buttered egg noodles

Breakfast for dinner-  bacon, egg & cheese sammiches served on English muffins along with fruit, yogurt & granola parfaits

Slow cooker beef stew, dinner rolls

Oven baked *fake fried* chicken breasts coated in panko bread crumbs with sesame seeds and Asian spices, steamed Cali blend (broccoli, carrot and cauliflower) veggies.

I know most of these are really easy, but soooooo yummy and we're looking forward to another excellent week of eating.  And prolly adding another notch in the belt. ;)  What's cooking at your house?  Are you doing heavier foods now that the weather is turning cooler?  Or lighter if you live on the other side of the globe?


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Sloppy Joes Our Way - another story to file under she's not quite right

Before the girls get to it, I'll tattle on myself - I know, not like you need it or anything, but here is even more proof I'm a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

The joes were sloppying (simmering on the stovetop) and I realized the buns were missing.

Remember, one of our dogs, Kitteh, will take bags of bread and rolls off the shelves or counters- not to eat, but to carry around until she leaves them unattended and dude steals them so this isn't all that unusual in our world.

I may or may not have offered them on hot dog buns to the girls but we were a tad testy and not having any of it and I either didn't have a car or didn't want to drag the 4 of them out at rush hour (which at that point was a joke in our little town of Conway, my how we've grown in 10 years) so I got out a big platter and slapped it on half the slices of bread and folded them over then I set the platter down in the middle of our awesome round coffee table.

I put out plates for the girls and told them we were having a slop-eating contest to see who could eat the most without using their hands.  They had to sit on them or keep behind their backs except to grab another one to put on their plate when it was empty.

We had more fun with that, and I don't even remember whether Devii or Casey won, but I know it turned the cranky bugs into giggles and laughter and is a really good memory for us- you would be surprised how often one of them will bring it up...   Hey guys remember when mom had us...

Although I doubt she had this in mind or would approve, as Martha says, It's A Good Thing!

Sloppy joes our way-  the girls do not like the sauce in a can or the envie mix, so we were making up a really good recipe from All recipes, but one day I forget what we didn't have and I just dumped some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (OMG try the new honey chipotle one you won't be disappointed- wait til Kroger has another 10 for $10 sale) and now we prefer it.)


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I love to LOL!

You know what I love? Funny songs, funny parodies… Well, anything funny is good really. So, this is a post dedicated to a few of my favorite YouTube videos!

If you like Katy Perry’s hit song “California Gurls” then you will LOVE this parody by Barely Political!

I listen to it so much that when I’m driving and the real song comes on, I’m usually mixing up the lyrics… Ok, I’m always mixing up the lyrics.

The truth about being a pop star…I love this video for how true it is. Seriously, watch, laugh, and enjoy.

That one is another parody by JamesatWar and again about celebrities, this one is still funny, but it has a good, moral message behind it.

This one’s just because I know way to many people who remind me of that song-If you like Halo 3, or know someone who likes it… dude, you’ve gotta watch this one!!

BarelyPolitical does it again with their Key Of Awesome segment, and this time it’s Eminem and Rihanna’s Love the way you…….like! =D Just watch it and you’ll understand.

For the next one all I can say is AHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG LOLZ!


I love the Key of Awesome!!

I have many more funny videos, but if I put up many more then this post will be way to long. Comment and tell me which one is your favorite!

Also, as a bonus, I’m going to share with you my FAVORITE YouTube star! I absolutely love her and have been watching her since she started this! She shows you how funny life really is…

http://www.youtube.com/user/communitychannel?blend=1&ob=4
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Super easy Amazon GC giveaway

We are constantly trying to improve and in light of my own personal annoyance with some entries getting way out of hand, I have a super-easy poll I'd like to ask you to take.

 Hopefully, I have figured out how to put the form here.

To thank you for your time, we'll have random.org choose one of our fabulous entrants to receive a $20 Amazon Gift Code.  Giveaway will run through 9/29 at 11:59pm CST and is open to anyone who can use an Amazon code and is legally eligible to enter (ie: if you aren't old enough, get mom to enter).

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Camping, Diva Style


There are, to our way of thinking, 3 styles of camping.

The first is roughing it-  you know, what outdoorsy type people do.
A sleeping bag under the stars, some fishing our hunting equipment so they can catch dinner, a few provisions for *just in case* so they don't starve to death, a change or so of clothing (which they probably won't use, no matter how long they are out there.
Perhaps a bar of soap and a towel if they are going to be longer than a week.
A cooler full of beer is a must, maybe some cokes.
They consider campers who have a tent, perhaps a roll of toilet paper spoiled.

Next there are the average campers.  Typically your average camper has a tent or one of those trailer thingies.


They will be in an area that has electrical hook ups, if they aren't fortunate enough to have their own they will use the communal potty and shower, and there will most likely be a recreation area so they can hang with other campers.


They often overpack and have most of the comforts of home, and are considered sissies by those campers who enjoy roughing it.

Finally you have your divas.  (Guess which category we fit into.)
Divas despise camping.  Loathe camping.  Bitch and moan about everything that has to do with camping including dirt, bugs, nature, animals, lack of civilization, etc.
Divas camp in hotels.  For them, roughing it is staying in a 3 star or below hotel or God forbid, a motel.
Divas whine and complain about the lack of 24 hour room service (how dare they stop serving at midnight!), lack of valet parking, not having anywhere good to shop, having to go off the premises for spa services and the like.


Divas should not forced to go camping, ever.  Trust us when we say that it is better to ship them to their favorite spa or resort, your sanity is worth every penny it will cost you.  And, you won't end up facing murder charges.

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WW Ian at Toad Suck Daze Link Up Here.












 Just a couple of random pics from Toad Suck we didn't get to blog due to illness, life and general laziness. ;)


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Mom Wisdomisms or what 25 years of being a mom taught me - a post I wish more people had read.

As I told you yesterday those crazy SITS gals are at it again.  This week they're hosting a Back To Blogging event sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances
and have a fabulous prize just waiting to be won...  a gorgeous turquoise washer and dryer set from Electrolux.

Interested in playing along?  Each day this week they have a prompt and todays is:   Re-upload a post you wish more people had read and explain why it was important to you..  Join in here.

I chose this post because I think as parents we are bombarded by so called experts with all the crap we are doing to screw up our kids.  I think they are full of it-  remember, I am the generation raised on Spock and my kids and their friends are the generation raised on the you're perfect nothing you do is wrong bs. ;)  I think it shows my humor and that nobody is perfect and it's okay to go with your own instincts-  promise that whatever the *experts* think you should be doing, by the time your kids have kids it will have been all wrong anyways.  

Mom Wisdomisms or what 25 years of being a mom taught me.

I have been a mom for a quarter of a century. I know, I know, nobody thought I could stick with anything that long- and who knows, if they had let me run away I probably wouldn't have.

However, since I did put in my time... err I mean I loved every minute of it... I figure that gives me the right to label myself an expert and pass off my unwanted advice to all my blogging buddies.

Here are some of my best mom wisdomisms (I am making up a word here cuz I don't know what else to call them). What are yours?

1) Letting the kids dance on the coffee table did not turn them into strippers despite the dire warnings of *those people* (although if you want to work at Coyote Ugly and dance on the bar, girlies, go for it, you won't shame or embarrass me).

2) You do not go to hell for skipping parts when reading the same f&#$%$#$& bedtime story for the 80 gazillionth time... although if the kids catch on to you, you might consider hell a reprieve.

3) Just because I don't have millions of baby pictures doesn't mean they aren't mine or that I love them less than their sisters- it means the older ones kept me too busy to preserve every second of the littles' life. Blame them. (A little sibling rivalry is a good thing).

4) Losing my temper and letting the kids hear me cuss and rant and rave did not turn them into foul-mouthed sailors, the worst it did is scare the sh*t out of them temporarily which is not necessarily awful. Especially when it stopped whatever caused me to go off in the first place.

5) Watching R-rated movies and listening to questionable music does not turn kids into rapists, murderers, haters or any other thing- and only partly cuz most of the words we don't understand and make up our own.
While some kids cannot handle these things, I am thinking these are kids who have NO GRASP on reality. Open dialogue and just plain living and talking about what you see and hear teaches them right from wrong, and if they don't get that it's a mental issue, not because you let them watch an action flick.
Besides if you don't watch together how do they know when you get to the mushy gushy sex scenes to say ewwwwwwwwwwwwww is it over yet? If they have to sneak they will sit with eyes glued to the set and learn what you are trying to keep from them.

6) While they say you get no second chances, every day with your kids is a day to start anew and do better. They are very forgiving and want to love you, so admit you are a screwed-up human and do what you can to right things and try better next time.
If that fails, pay them to say how awesome you are and blog with you so you can keep up your delusions and present a united front to the rest of the world.

7) Not putting your kids in every sports/music/social program does not make you a bad parent- in fact if you ask the kids, it is only the other parents you are impressing. They are overburdened and desperate for free time to just be a kid.
Besides, it is not the ones who had 15 years of whatever and and and who make it to the finals of Coyote Ugly (see 1) or the next Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader anyways. ;-)

8) Pick your battles. Little tiny holes or blue hair won't matter 10 years from now, brain fried from drugs or liver shot from alcohol or teen pregnancy or std's will affect them for the rest of their lives.
When *they* tell you how wrong you are and how your kids will end up in cults or jail or as druggie hookers thank them very much and snicker behind your hand cuz you know their *perfect* child who was raised "right" is doing things that would cause a coronary at the very least so you know you hold the power to crash their little Utopia's around their ankles if you really were the b*tch they say you are.

9) Deny, deny, deny. Your kids will embarrass you like no-one else ever could. They will repeat every bit of sensitive information they hear. They will mimic your every less than stellar action.
Deny they are yours. Swear you don't have any idea where the little monster spawns of Satan came from even though they look just like you. Walk away and don't look back when they scream "mommy, mommy, don't leave me, mommy".

10) Everything you do as a parent is wrong to someone so just smile and nod and yes them to death and if they won't quit say you had your chance to screw up your kids, now it's my turn.
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Menu for week of 9/13 - 9/19

It's a soup kind of day and we have several made up so choice of chicken gumbo made with our easy oven baked roux, lentil or tomato bisque served with hot fresh bread or rolls

Easy pepper steak stir fry served over rice

Slow cooker stuffed cabbage, bread or rolls

Pork and apple cheddar melt served on delicious homemade toasted honey oatmeal bread

Amazing chicken parmesan, fettuccini alfredo, broccoli

 Breakfast for dinner-  breakfast burritos made with hash browns, veggies of choice, ham or bacon for those that want it, eggs, cheese and salsa  (my fave is eggs, pepperjack, peppers, onions, mushrooms and salsa)

Country style pork ribs in the slow cooker, mashed potatoes, sweet corn -  yes, every bit of this meal is messy and fattening and we love it!

 Still loving the cooler weather-  whatcha got cooking at your house?


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Back where it all began

Those crazy SITS gals are at it again.  This week they're hosting a Back To Blogging event sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances
and have a fabulous prize just waiting to be won...  a gorgeous turquoise washer and dryer set from Electrolux.

Interested in playing along?  Each day this week they have a prompt and todays is:  Re-upload the first post you ever wrote on your blog.  Join in here.

I actually started the blog so I could tell family and friends about the trip we won to Walt Disney World and share pics-  they were taking forever to upload for each email etc.

Without further ado, here's the first post I every wrote.


As most everyone who knows me is aware, I won a trip to Disney. An amazing trip that far exceeded our expectations. Yes, I know it took forever- but I am finally getting to the details and pics that I have been promising forever.
The skinny: I won a trip for 8 to Walt Disney World from Georgia Pacific, an amazing, wonderful sponsor. We spent hours and hours looking up different things to do and shopping!!! for new clothes and whatnot. Ended up hubby couldn't come, so it was me, the 4 girls, the grandson, the son-in-law and son-in-law's father.

The flight was more or less uneventful, but the grandson didn't much care for parts of it. Since it was in the wee hours, one can hardly blame him.

We had magic passes, and didn't have to worry about luggage or anything, so went downstairs and got in line. Once on the bus we watched the little tv's that showed some attractions. For us, even this was a fun adventure. By this time Ian was getting into it, as were the rest of us. The weariness magically disappeared even though the girls and I had not slept the night before.

Instead of the economy hotel that was specified in the prize details, we were put up at The Boardwalk Inn, which are deluxe accommodations. It was truly amazing, and I would LOVE to go back. Not only was it a nicer hotel, our rooms had a view of the boardwalk.

The concierges were amazing, and even though they knew we didn't drive they gave me a parking pass when they found out my brother was coming for 3 of the days we were there, so that saved him some money, which is never a bad thing. If you let them know it is your first time at WDW you get a special pin.
The rooms were nice and clean. Lots of room to spread out. There were little animals made out of the washcloths, which Ian liked. The balcony had a couple of chairs so you could sit out and watch the goings on down below.

After getting what we had carried on put up we went down to the boardwalk to hunt up a little lunch. We found a bakery that served sandwiches and desserts. Nothing special except for the Key Lime Tart... just the right combination of sweet and tart.

Everyone was a little laggy so we decided to swim at the pool right at the hotel. After reading reviews that said how it was one of the highlights and the pool had an amazing slide we were a little disappointed when we FINALLY found it- don't get me wrong, it was a very nice pool, the slide was fun but it was NOTHING like a water park. And it was very crowded. Very, very crowded. We could not get into the hot tub at all as the people there simply wouldn't budge and there were more than the maximum allowed to begin with. The little middle and I sunned on some chairs and things got a little more fun when the other kids found out that between our loungers was an outdoor shower. A bunch of people came up then, so everyone rinsed off and we went up to change and then go to Epcot and walk around the pavilions, find our dinner there.

We took the ferry outside of our hotel to Epcot- that was FUN!!! I know a lot of people saw it as something to get from point a to point b, but like most things we decided to make it an adventure so it was. Sitting in the open back is loud, but primo space. Suited us since we had the monkey boy's stroller and they are kept right inside the back.

We wandered around a few of the countries then grandpa's back was really bothering him so we just found something quick to eat- so unmemorable we can't even recall.

It was close enough to dark after that that we found a bench to watch the fireworks. They were truly spectacular. Grandson was a little iffy at first, but mostly enjoyed them.

Took the ferry back to the boardwalk and decided to call it a night since everyone was exhausted and our feet were killing us. HINT: Don't just go for cute; go for comfort.

Since dinner was so not fabulous the girls and I ordered a pizza from room service. Fast and delicious and reasonable, considering. They brought up goblets for our Cokes, nice linens and china, the works. Definitely one of our better meals.
There were also gift baskets filled with goodies, chips, salsa, pretzels, mustard, candies, soft drinks and juices. The best thing in there was the box of chocolate covered coconut Mickeys. Since we had an am appointment we put in for a wake up call and took turns using the shower.

I am happy to report that they are doing their part and gave you the choice of re-using your towels and such. We hung ours in the closet on different hangers so we could tell whose was whose.
Crashed like a ton of bricks and that is the end of one very exhausting day.

For more of our trip, see day 2, day 3, day 4, day 4 1/2, and day 5.  You won't want to miss how we were mistaken for characters or got the whole bus to do the *manwalk* from Mulan into the park after hours.
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WW Summer's Last Hurrah! Ian and his Cajun cousin. Link Up Here.











Ki and Ian made an impromptu trip to Louisiana for the long weekend-  here he is with one of the cousins he barely gets to see. And some of the food. ;)

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Menu for week of 9/6 - 9/12

Easy week for us here, but we enjoy them all.  What are some of your family faves?

Lentil soup, garlic bread sticks

Country style pork ribs in the slow cooker, potato and onion packets, sweet corn, cole slaw

Easy fried rice, stir fry veggies

Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato bisque or cream of mushroom soup 

Gumbo made with our easy oven baked roux, hot french bread with butter

Breakfast for dinner-  poached eggs and english muffins, fresh fruit

Big salad with chicken, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and raspberry vinaigrette served with pumpernickel rolls.

Let us know what's cooking at your house- we're always looking for new ideas.


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Win a Yoplait Go-Gurt Keeping Cool In School Prize Pack

Our schools started here when I was in the hospital, but growning up on the East Coast meant we went back after Labor day. For all of you with kids who haven't started yet- enjoy those last few days of freedom and squeeze every drop of fun out of them.

That being said...  as you may know, we pack lunches around here.  Dev's every day, and Ian's preschool has once a week *picnic* that they ask you to pack and send in with them.  We try to keep a fairly healthy balance of nutritious and fun.  One thing that is both is Yoplait Go-Gurt, which has both calcium and vitamin D.  They also have Simply Go-Gurt but our stores aren't carrying it yet for some reason.  (Yes, I still love living in the boonies- not.)

Freeze the tube of Go-Gurt and there is no need to pack ice, just pop it in with the rest of your lunch and you're good to go.  Strawberry Splash is the one we chose although I have to admit- we've been enjoying Go-Gurt for years and they pretty much like them all.

Yoplait Go-Gurt and MyBlogSpark sent me a prize pack including a Yoplait Go-Gurt free product coupon, insulated lunch tote, mini water bottle, sandwich keeper, cool breeze pen fan and school supplies for writing about our honest opinion.  Devii (yes, the JR) and Ian had a little set to with the upshot being-  he got the lunch bag and water bottle, she got the fan and highlighters (that's the flower looking thing- very cool as they have all the colors at hand and can easily switch from one to another for different categories).  Dev had no need for the calculator as it's not especially fab and she needs an advanced one but when she found out it bends she had to keep it.  They both got one of the huge swervy pencils.  All in all, they were both happy with the haul. Oh, and they shared the yogurt, but again, we always have several varieties in both fridge and freezer so that was calling dibs just to call dibs.  You may remember they can get a bit competitive and ridiculous with the who dibs-ing thing.  ;)




Now on to the good news-  the awesome folks at Yoplait and MyBlogSpark want to send one of you the very same Keeping Cool In School prize pack we received. 

THE GIVEAWAY: One lucky reader will win their own Keeping Cool In School Prize Pack Courtesy of Yoplait and MyBlogSpark.    US only 18+ ends 9/15 11:59pm CST.

Main Entry: Tell me about your favorite lunch-  might give us some new ideas.  You can do this daily, just make the answers different. 


THAT IS IT-  YOU ARE ENTERED!  Now for the die-hards who really really really want to win here are several more ways you can get entries:  Again, these are NOT NECESSARY


Optional entries- see side or bottom navigation bars for the necessary links if they aren't right in this post.

Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect- 1 entry

Follow me on twitter dddiva - 1 entry

Follow Yoplait on twitter - 1 entry

Tweet the giveaway. Can be done 3x daily with at least one hour between tweets. Leave link in comments. You can use the sample tweet below if you like.

#Win a @YoplaitYogurt Keeping Cool In School Prize Pack from @dddiva  #MyBlogSpark  http://bit.ly/9UvHj7

Become a Facebook Fan. (Like) 1 entry

Become a Facebook Fan of Yoplait (Like) 1 entry

Follow me on Networked Blogs (FB) 1 entry

Subscribe via rss feed.

Subscribe via email - must be verified

Add our CURRENT button- 3 entries- leave link where we can find it- (leave a separate comment for each)

Add our link to your blog roll - 3 entries- leave link where we can find it (leave a separate comment for each)

Blog about this giveaway- 5 entries- leave link where we can find it (leave a separate comment for each)

Promote us on any social networking site- stumble, kirsty, digg, tech fave, etc and leave your user name. (See the share button at the end of this post.)

Add your own (current/live) giveaways or ones you come across (if they aren't already listed) to our perma-link and leave a comment then come back here and let us know- 1 entry each

Comment on any other post and leave a comment letting us know where- 1 entry each

Enter any other active giveaway we are hosting and leave a comment letting us know which one(s) - 1 entry each.

Boost the giveaway up on Prizey
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Easy Lo Mein

As most of you know-  rice is not my fave, so when we have oriental style food I often do things like eat my stir fry on angel hair pasta.

Another thing I like is Lo Mein and if I had any idea how easy it was to make I probably would have been making it for years.

Here's a super simple recipe that is very forgiving-  not using exact measurements because like most of our recipes-  they are better if you adapt them to your tastes.
Easy Lo Mein

Ingredients
  • Thin spaghetti, cooked and drained well, the drier the better.
  • A blob of butter, a bit of butter & oil or coconut oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Veggies (any you like- in the photo we had canned baby corn, drained and cut in thirds, snow peas and matchstick carrots)
  • Any bits of cooked meats, shrimp, etc
Cooking Directions
  1. Brown the spaghetti in a pan in butter or oil. Add soy sauce and teriyaki sauce to taste.
  2. Add veggies, heating just til crisp-tender. Add meats if using.
  3. It's really that simple. In the above version we had the pineapple juice left after draining what we used on the Oriental chicken wings so dumped that in and it was phenomenal. It's a very versatile and forgiving recipe that is very easy to customize with what you have on hand or adapt to what you want to eat it with.
  4. Enjoy.

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