Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Whale

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tell Me Thursday - Rite of Passage

This picture was taken last week outside of our local public library.

The boys each got their own library cards when they were 4 and able to sign their name legibly.  Lydia has been able to write her own name for a while now, but we don't visit the library as often as we did when the boys were tiny. (Not because we read any less -- it's a combination of having more than a thousand children's books in our house and limited library hours and me working most of the hours the library is open.)

BUT, last week we went to the library and Lydia was able to receive her very own library card.  The boys were both disappointed when they learned that library cards are no longer signed on the back.  (I was, too, since now I don't know how to keep track of whose is whose.)

You can see that she was pleased as punch to check out a few books with her very own card.  She even used the self checkout herself!  She chose some early readers as she has decided that it's about time she learned how to read for herself.

Review: Disney on Ice Toy Story 3 in Phoenix

We just got home from the Phoenix opening night of Disney on Ice presents Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3 show.  According to Nate, it was "fleeping amazing!"  I would have to agree, although I'm not sure what fleeping means.  He tells me it's an adjective that makes it even more amazing.

I wasn't sure how they would translate the Toy Story 3 movie to ice, but after watching the show, I think they did a fantastic job!  There was enough of the movie plot to be familiar, but the choreography and the music made it an excellent ice show.  The music chosen was upbeat and fun, and went perfectly with the scenes and the skaters.

One thing that I noticed that was even better than previous shows was the use of lights.  The lights helped set many of the scenes and really brought the set to life.  At one point, the center of the stage looked like an old-fashioned TV set and during another point, the ice was flooded with rainbows.

The skaters were fabulous.  They have so much talent, and athletic skill, that it is fun to watch them skate. There were so many great numbers -- and we all chose different favorite parts when we were talking in the car on the way home.  The aliens and the Barbies were definite hits!  I'm also amazed at how well the skaters do in the elaborate character costumes.

One thing that I love about these shows is that they are wonderful for all ages!  My 4 yo daughter has a great time, but my 9 and 11 yo sons also had fun and laughed and clapped throughout the show.   Bo is in Florida for work today, so my mom was able to come with us and she thought it was terrific.

I know that when we attend one of these shows, that everyone will leave feeling that they had been entertained for 2 solid hours.  Every show seems better than the last!

While I was writing this post, my giveaway winner sent me a thank you email.  In part, she said:
I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed Disney On Ice Toy Story 3 last night. The skaters were fantastic, the costume colors were brilliant, and Barbie and Ken a hoot! *** really enjoyed himself, and laughed during the alien performance. It was a perfect evening and I enjoyed sharing it night with my little man.
 She even shared a picture of her and her son at the show!

Disney on Ice presents Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3 is in Phoenix through this weekend.  You can still use the discount code MOMMYDEAL to purchase 4 tickets for $44.  (this post explains the details of the discount code) It's an amazingly fun show, and I know you will have a good time! 

*Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and sharing my opinion, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld Shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-show events.  No additional compensation is provided.  All opinions are my own.*

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -- Rite of Passage

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Portuguese Chicken Soup

I make a lousy food blogger because I have no pictures to share with you of this yummy soup I made last night -- but trust me that it looked and smelled as wonderful as it tasted. 

I picked up the latest copy of the Food Network magazine because I wanted to check out the chili recipe on the cover.  That turned out not to interest me, but a Portuguese Chicken Soup recipe by Emeril Lagasse did.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly (I rarely do) but I kept the essence and everyone enjoyed the soup.

The original recipe called for a whole chicken -- but nobody in my house will eat dark meat -- so I substituted bone-in chicken breasts.   The recipe's yield was 6 servings, which may have just fed my family, but I wanted to share with my parents and I wanted leftovers . . . so again I veered away from the recipe.  The recipe also called for mint, but I didn't have any and didn't want to make a trip to the store for mint. Enough talk of what I didn't do, here's what I did.

3 bone-in chicken breasts
3 stalks celery
1 large onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
liberal sprinkle of red pepper flakes
zest from one lemon (from our backyard!)
juice from 2 lemons (again, our yard!)

juice from another lemon

Cover chicken breasts with about 2 extra inches of water in large pot.  Coarsely chop celery and onion.  Add spices to taste.  Add lemon zest and lemon juice.  Bring to boil and then turn to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Remove chicken breasts and set aside to cool a bit. Strain broth and discard vegetables.  Return broth to pot and bring to boil.  Add rice (the recipe called for 1/4 cup, which didn't seem like enough to me.  So I threw in a cup, which was too much, but it was what was left in the bag I had in the cupboard.  Luckily, I also had chicken broth in the cupboard, so I just added more broth later and it all worked out fine.  I should have done 1/2 cup)  Simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Remove chicken skin and shred chicken.  Add to broth.  Add juice from another lemon.   Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.  Enjoy!!

I really enjoyed the zing the lemon juice gave the soup, and the soup received a thumbs up from all 5 members of my family.   If I would have had any carrots, I would have added them in as well. 

And, now that I've read through this post, I also realize I'm not a food blogger not just because I forget to take pictures . . . but also it's hard to put down all the steps in a recipe when I just wing it.  Oh, well . . . if nothing else . .. throw some lemon juice in the next chicken soup you make.  It's yummy!

Giveaway: Ocean Spray Fruit Snacks

True Story!

Lydia and I were in the grocery store early last week and she saw an end cap full of boxes of Ocean Spray fruit snacks.  My kids all love Ocean Spray juice, and they all love fruit snacks.  When she saw the boxes, she said "Oh!  We need to get these!"

I looked at them, and then said "No, I think we're going to get some in the mail soon."  She gave me that look that she gives me when she thinks I'm pulling her leg, but we moved on to finish our shopping.

Sure enough, when we got home, there was a box waiting for us with boxes of Ocean Spray fruit snacks!  She was rather amazed (as was I, since I wasn't really sure when they would arrive!)

All 3 of my kids (okay, and me, too) have tried them and think they are delicious.  I like that they are not as sticky as other brands on the kids' teeth.  The flavors are bright and fruity.

Each package is only 80 calories, contains a full day's requirement of Vitamin C, and the first ingredient is juice. They're easy to throw in my purse for snacks for the kids and I don't have to worry about them crumbling or melting.

If you would like to try them the next time you go grocery shopping, click this link for a coupon good for $1.10 off TWO boxes.

If you think it would be fun to come home and find a box on your doorstep containing 6 boxes of fruit snacks in assorted flavors, then please enter my giveaway!

Entries for my giveaway are completed on my giveaway form.  Take a look at the required questions below, then CLICK HERE to pop over to the giveaway form.  Fill in all the information and I will use to choose which entry will win the giveaway.  Comments left below will not be included in the giveaway. 

NAME OF GIVEAWAY: Ocean Spray Fruit Snacks
MANDATORY QUESTION: What's your favorite fruit flavor?

**Thanks for reading!  The giveaway has ended & winner has been notified!**

The giveaway will end February 2, 2012.  Good Luck!

*Disclosure: Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks, information, and giveaway have been provided by Ocean Spray® through MyBlogSpark.*

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Tell Me Thursday - Band

That is my new wedding band, a Christmas gift from Bo.  I haven't worn my wedding set since I was pregnant with Colin.  I kept thinking my fingers would shrink back down so it would fit again, but they never did. 

Every once in a while I would think about a new one, but it wasn't really a priority. I knew I was married -- I didn't really need a ring to prove it to anyone.

In the last couple years that I've been traveling for business, though, it came to mind more often.  I ran into 2 situations -- either the people who searched for a band and assumed that I could travel for business because I wasn't married OR the men who would try to pick me up thinking I wasn't married.  It was just slightly annoying, but I started getting the feeling that people didn't believe me when I said "No, I'm married -- I just don't wear a wedding band."

I'm super happy with the band Bo chose.  It was a wonderful surprise and now when I travel I have that physical reminder of our love, our marriage, and maybe a few less inquiries as to my marital state!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Band

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