Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New calendar~ check this one out!

OK~ I kept looking at this school calendar that we have on the fridge.  I finally figured it out- look at this!  Do you see 31 days here?  Mind you, this is a school calendar...........As far as I know school starts August 17th for Freshman and new students- I guess I'll really check that out when we get a new calendar for the new school year. Anyway- I guess I'll start July out on Thursday anyway!  How about you?  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Don't open that window

OK~ Well, nobody told me NOT to open the window!  Due to the fact that a wonderful cool front moved through the area~ it was time to open the windows yesterday.  Well, this Mom didn't look before she opened a window.  This was the note that my 19 year old son left me.  Trust me, I NEVER saw a spider!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Garrett & Skipper

OK~  What's a Mom to say? I am speechless.  Entertainment for both!

I think we need a little more water, but Skipper doesn't seem to mind.......With so much rain in Iowa, as of late, our lakes and streams are bursting!

He's now in the house~ I think it's time to head down to the creek and go for a swim!  I think "G" is more interested in this than Skipper is!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CSN Store $40 Gift Certificate Giveaway to a lucky reader/Pie Dish Review

OK~ CSNstores  is offering a $40 Gift Certificate to one of my blog readers!  You may be asking what is this store?  They offer everything from lights to home decor, and the list goes on and on.  Good luck to all of you and special thanks to CSNstores!

Now, on to YOUR opportunity to win a $40 Gift Certificate~Yes, you can choose any item with this $40 Gift Certificate! This Emile Henry Pie Dish in Cerise Red intrigued this Mom!  It's available in 8" or 9"- and sells for $31.00 and $39.00 respectively.

With the upcoming July 4th holiday~ this could serve as a wonderful table centerpiece filled with candy for the holiday as well!  The color red is also fun to have in the month of December~ but, of course one should attempt to make a pie with an actual pie dish!  This pie dish not only distributes heat evenly, it is durable, easy to clean, heats up quickly AND retains heat!  Definitely, a pie dish for the seasoned baker or novice! So, if you have a few fruit trees awaiting harvest or are hitting your local Farmer's Market, this pie dish could be your saving grace.  This is just one of the numerous items that you can find over at CSNstores- From furniture, home decor, housewares, outdoor, baby & kids, to pet items~ this store has something for everyone!  

How to Register for the $40 Gift Certificate from CSNstores~(Leave a comment for EACH)
* Mandatory Entry:   Leave a Comment telling me your favorite kind of fruit pie~ fairy easy, don't you think?

*Extra Entries:
1- Head on over to CSNstores and find an item that you can really use in your home
2- Follow my Blog through GFC
3- Follow me on twitter @saramomof2
4- Follow @CSNstores on twitter
5-Tweet this giveaway on twitter (1x per day)

There ya go! You have 6 unique opportunities, plus daily tweeting if you choose to enter this fun giveaway from CSNstores.  

You can enter NOW~ and Random.org will choose the winner on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.  Last entry will be Midnight (CST)  Monday,July 12, 2010.  GOOD LUCK!!!!

A special shout-out to CSNstores for offering this $40 Giveaway to one of my lucky readers!

*I did not receive any compensation for this post.  The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guest Blogger~Chris Perrin from a Blog Well Done

                     Photo from A Blog Well Done- Guest Blogger Chris Perrin!
       This chef has a few good recipes to share~ so glad he could share with all of us~

By Chris Perrin
So I was given a challenge: write up a simple dish anyone can make and enjoy.  I got to thinking about what I’d make and suddenly, I didn’t have one dish.  I had three.  I figure I might as well do a whole meal that’s simple and delicious, right?
The idea behind this meal is that we’re going to cook it in phases.  About 6-8 hours before dinner is served, we’re going to sear off the beef and start it in the slower cooker.  About 40 minutes before dinner is ready, we’ll make the mashed potatoes.  Right before dinner is ready, we’ll dunk the asparagus in boiling water and get it dressed.  Then we eat. 
Let’s get started.
Slow Cooked Pot Roast
Pot roast is one of the classic slow-cooked meat dishes.  It’s hearty, it’s delicious, and sadly, it’s kind of been done.  That’s why we’re going to change it up a little bit, add in some different spices and completely change the flavor.
4 ounces olive oil (divided)
1 large onion, diced
Salt and pepper
1 two pound pot roast
1 cup beef broth
4 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ancho powder
Warm a skillet over medium-high heat and then add two tablespoons of olive oil.  When it is hot, add the onions and a healthy pinch of salt.  Cook the onions 8-10 minutes or until opaque.  Set aside.
Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and get it very hot over high heat.  While the oil is heating, sprinkle the beef liberally with salt and pepper.  Then cook the beef 1-2 minutes per side or until brown.
Finally, put the broth, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, and ancho powder into the slower cooker and stir to mix.  Add the onions and the beef and then cover.  Set for 6 or 8 hours.
Also, if you want, right before serving the dish, put the remaining liquid into a skillet and boil it down until the sauce starts to thicken.
Mashed Potatoes As Unhealthy As You Want Them to Be
The perfect traditional side dish to go along with pot roast is mashed potatoes.  The good news is that while pot roast is a little played out, no one ever gets tired of mashed potatoes.  Still, don’t think of the following dish as a recipe, it’s more of a template.  It’s got some different flavors to make it go with the pot roast, but really, make these potatoes yours.  Add as much cheese, butter, and cream as you want.  The more, the merrier!
8 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese
4 ounces butter
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon ancho or chipotle powder
Put the potatoes into a soup pot and cover in well-salted water.  Cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mash.  Test to make sure you are happy with the level of sour cream, cheese, cream, butter, etc.  If not, add more.
Asparagus with Citrus
A Special Shout-out to Chris for sharing these recipes here at All In an Iowa Mom's Day!  

We round the meal out with a simple vegetable side.  It’s quick to make and everyone will love how the citrus works with the slight bitterness of the asparagus (yes, even some kids.)  Even better, asparagus is one of those products that you can enjoy year round.  When it’s in season, it’s spectacularly great, but even when it’s not in season, it’s still pretty good.
1 bunch asparagus
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Bring a high sided skillet or sauce pan of well salted water to boil.  When the water is at a full rolling boil, drop in the asparagus and cook 2-3 minutes.
Immediately drain the asparagus and drop into ice cold water.
Sprinkle the asparagus with the zest and lemon juice.
Serve and enjoy!

OK~ Most of you know that I am not a chef, so it made sense to round up a chef to post a recipe ( or two, or three)  on here!  My friend Chris Perrin, AKA, The Original Food Divo, from a Blog Well Done has several awesome recipes to check out.  You can also follow Chris on twitter, for some really fun tweets.  So, hop on over and check his website out- give him a shout-out on twitter~ I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did not receive any compensation for posting any of this.   The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody elses.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Five things that My Dad DID Know~

OK~ Now that I'm let's just say 40 something I will admit that my Dad did know something when I was a teenager!  Here's my take on five things that I will admit he did know~

  • Nothing "good" happens past midnight
  • Drive-Thrus are not meant for drivers at 16 years of age
  • Horses are a LOT of work
  • There are reasons speed limit signs are posted
  • I did NOT die while walking beans
Well, life has changed a little bit since way back then- but, not much!  Here's to you Dad- hoping you had an awesome Father's Day!  You are the best~ I thought you had some crazy ideas. Wow, when a person walks in the shoes of parenting- it's a tough job! 

I will admit, I did test the waters, as I had to find out myself that nothing good happens past midnight- and drive-thrus can be a disaster.  I wore my share of Diet Coke from lunch time on.  Queenie, well let's just say, that's an era my Dad would love to forget!  And the speed limit, I pushed it- there is one less mailbox in this world. And last but not least,  I really did think I would die of sweat while walking beans.  I guess growing up on an Iowa farm was a good thing~ After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We actually have cherries~

OK~ Check this out!  Due to a late freeze that we had here in Iowa, I seriously wondered if any cherries survived.  It appears that they did survive.  I just love the colors of this tree~ Now, anybody have any recipes or ideas of what to do with these cherries!  As most of you know, my cooking/baking skills are horrible.  After All, It's All In a Mom 's Day, Right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can I request a do over?

OK~ We are partially through today and I am already requesting a Do over!  Woke up with a dry, scratchy throat- Ugghhhhhh.... Headed to the kitchen to have a scrambled egg- should have went well from here on out~ WRONG!  Had a couple bites of my egg (the shell was not in it) and I noticed I was missing part of my tooth!  Yes, somewhere between going to sleep last night and eating those eggs, I lost 1/2 of a tooth!

We headed to Mills Fleet Farm to pick up a few needed things for Trap Shooting~ in Old Blue.  Yes, we did resemble the Clampetts!  Todd did say. "Wouldn't you just cringe if you came out and saw Old Blue parked next to your brand new car?"  Well, it got us there and back~ with the crazy weather out there today it made perfect sense to travel in Old Blue!  It's just a minor inconvenience for someone like me- you need pliers to start Old Blue~ so, I don't drive, I just ride!  Do you have an Old Blue?  Lots of folks in Iowa have an Old Blue........

Garrett says, "Move over Mom!"  I'm thinking "Where am I moving to? I am next to the door already."  Guess I'll just watch the dark clouds roll in, watch the lights flicker, admire all the mud in the yard, and wish for a warm, sunny week! I would really like to request a do over for today, can I do that?  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Mom, A Boy, A Dog, AND a Cat~

OK~ I am leisurely hanging out in the hammock.  The only sunny, warm day we have had in approximately a week.  I am listening to all of the birds chirping and looking to see if I actually see any of them.  Then I think to myself, "This is how I know I am getting old- I am now a bird watcher!"

Still sinking further into that comfy hammock and I hear, "Mom, Look here!"  Garrett has tossed Tree Cat up into a tree- yep, we do have a cat named Tree Cat.  Skipper then begins to bark ferociously at Tree Cat~ I am now trying to hear if anymore bird chirps exist amongst the chaos!  Tree Cat does climb up into trees on his own, but Garrett likes to find him his own special hang out! Between these cats, dogs, and a 15 year old, this Mom is having an interesting summer.

Now, if we can actually have summer~ Note to rain and wind- this is not Spring anymore MOVE ON!  The crops in Iowa have had ample rain and are growing rather quickly, warmer weather seems to be what they need. And to add to the chaos~ a new cat has appeared this morning~ Ugghhhh~  After All, It's All In A Mom's Day, Right?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My 19th Wordless Wednesday Post

St. Augustine, Florida and GHOSTS~

OK~ Who doesn't love a good Ghost Story?  My two boys make up a pretty good one.  Here they are in St. Augustine, Florida with one of the famous town folk.  He looks a little ghostly, don't ya think?  A fun time in the oldest city in the United States!  So much to see and do, you will only want to go back for more!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mountains or Beach~

OK~ Summertime is here~ Do you prefer to vacation in the mountains or at the beach?

They both have awesome scenery and fun!  What do you think?  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Boy and His New Best Friend

OK~ Do you remember the days when you had a best friend?  Maybe one, two, three, or four?  And each day you seemed to find a new best friend!  Well, this little boy is "4" and he found his Best Friend~ a green worm!  He found his new "best friend" on the bark of a tree.  He, somewhat willingly, returned him to his home a couple hours later.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to have everyday be so simple?  

You gotta love the simple things in life.  It's too bad we all can't sit back and enjoy these little things.  The little things are truly what make our world go 'round and 'round!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"3" Intriguing things this week

OK~ An interesting week it has been.  I went to Wal-Mart- witnessed people making out in the produce section.  Then glanced over to see a Mother feeding her kid a banana.  Not sure how they will pay for that?  Aren't bananas sold by the pound?

And onto a fabric store last night, which does sell magazines.  The lady ahead of me in the check-out wanted to return a magazine she had purchased on April 28, 2010.  The check out person explained that they did not take returns on magazines.  The lady said OK, and headed out the door!  What????  Have you ever heard of people returning magazines? 

I guess I must live in a closet~ Wal-Mart (my favorite love/hate store) proves to me every time, that those crazy pictures that circulate on the internet are a true representation of what happens in their stores.  I feel sorry for the employees that have to witness this stuff!  I'm just an Iowa Mom trying to complete a little shopping trip now and then.

Maybe I won't witness so many weirdos the next time I'm on a little shopping trip! Thankfully I did not have little kids with me while cruising through Wal-Mart.  How do you parents of little kids deal with this?  This Mom is oblivious to the happenings in 2010! Maybe next week I won't find "3" intriguing things~ After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bass Pro Shop~ Outdoor World

OK~ Yesterday was a gloomy, dreary day in North Iowa.  A road trip was awaiting us.  We headed to the Bass Pro Shop, located in Altoona, Iowa.  Boy, if you are fortunate enough to live close to one of these you are truly lucky!  This was just a two hour drive from our home, not that big of a deal;  but a little more than a hop, skip, and a jump!

From fishing, boating, camping, swimming, clothing, footwear, trapshooting, canoeing gear AND more~ this store is a destination store.  Summer Camp was even going on while we were in the store.  Kids could participate in crafts, practice their casting, attend a family workshop, and even work on Merit Badges for Scouting.  This store is a happening place this Summer.  I am sure that other Bass Pro Shops offer some of the same great ones that this particular store does in Altoona, Iowa.

At one end of the building is a really cool bowling alley, which is priced by the hour!  A great activity for a family to participate in while visiting the store.  Food is also available from Uncle Buck's Restaurant while bowling.  The bowling alley is themed with an underwater, ocean like theme.  Even better~ the boys won a free hour of bowling!  So, I guess we will have to go back sometime soon.

Oh, and the little shooting gallery also offered free shooting during Summer Camp.  My two boys enjoyed the shoot-out that this awesome store offered.  I have to say my 15 year old teen, had a fun day!

If you are a family that enjoys the great outdoors.  You should check out the closest Bass Pro Shop.  With Father's Day just around the corner, this might be the perfect destination for you and your family!
After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did not receive any compensation or product for posting this.  The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's.

My 18th Wordless Wednesday Post

Monday, June 7, 2010

Late to bed~ Early to Rise~ It's Summertime!

OK~ Summer is here- not by the calendar, but by the school calendar.  What's interesting to me......."G" will head off to bed around 11 or later- AND if fishing is on the morning agenda~ it's up and at 'em at 6:30 a.m.~ No problem......Why doesn't this happen with a 15 year old during the school year?  Should prove to be an interesting couple of months.........Summer time in Iowa, you gotta love it~ I can't stand winter, so I'll take each lovely Summer day Mother Nature has to offer~ After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Congratulations~ 6th Place~ State of Iowa!

OK~ This was our week-end!  Congratulations~ Mason City, Iowa, High School (Mohawk) Trap Shooting Team~ 6th place at State!  What a fun season~ you gave this Mom a lot to smile at!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Zibits~ the remote-controlled robot~ (Review & Giveaway)

OK~ My 15 year old son, and a 10 year old had a blast with this new toy! Boys and girls will love this new toy!  Yep, they are small, but they do have fun sites, sounds, designs and colors!  You can collect 12 Zibits, which all have their own unique, individual personalities!  They are only a couple inches tall, but with the touch of a button (What boy doesn't love buttons and noise?) these crazy toys literally come to life! From lights to robotic sounds, this toy rocks!  I have a feeling this is going to be the toy that kids will have on their "lists" next Christmas! "Dex" really rocked it up at our house!

The noise is obnoxious and kind of annoying, but these are the types of toys that kids of ALL ages love!  The age recommendation on the packaging does say for 8 years and up. Younger children would think these are fun, but they would need adult supervision.  After all, they are kind of small, but full of a ton of fun!  When the Z-mote is used~ the fun begins!

Some helpful information: Make sure to have a handy screwdriver on hand to install the batteries in the Z-mote~ kids don't have much patience when it comes to waiting to use a new toy!

The best part of this deal~ they sell for less than $10!  With 12 Zibits in 3 Categories, a perfect gift or toy for the child that loves robots!  You can even find these at your local Toys"R": Us Store.  If you prefer online shopping~ you can visit Amazon.com or  eToys.com.

Special Thanks to Dittoe PR and Senario LLC for allowing me the opportunity to review this fun toy! The best part of this deal~ you can win one too!

Zibits Giveaway~ Here's the scoop on how to enter!  Enter now through Sunday, June 20th, 2010!
Make sure I have a way to contact you, should you win~ e-mail/twitter id.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize after notification.

Random.org will choose the winner on Monday, June 21st, 2010.

Mandatory Entry:  Visit the ScenarioLLC website and check out the Zibits!  Which one is your favorite?  Leave the name of your favorite Zibit for your entry.

Additional Entries: (Leave a comment for each that you do)

Follow me on twitter @saramomof2  
Tweet this giveaway (once per day)- Make sure you come back here to post the URL of your status update
Follow my blog through Google Friend
Grab my button and put it on your blog

Good Luck to each and everyone of you~ Thanks for reading my blog~ because of you~ I keep blogging away!

I did receive ONE Zibit for review and was allowed to keep it.  The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's. 


Thursday, June 3, 2010

My little shopping spree~

OK~ I was off on a shopping spree today~ marine vinyl and foam.  Yep, a coon or a dog (Skipper- maybe? any thoughts?) managed to tear up several seats in our boat over the winter.  So, off to the fabric store I went.  I found the vinyl marine fabric at a fabric store, but the foam seemed expensive.  I knew it might be pricey, but the gal that waited on me said, "Check Menards."  I'm thinking- Menards?'  Well, off I went -marine vinyl purchased and onto Menards.  I found a helpful salesperson at Menards and he looked at me and said, "We carry something like that?  I don't think so."  No such luck- 

I should have known that my favorite LOVE/HATE relationship store would have what I need- Folks, let me tell ya- Wal-Mart never lets me down in a bind.  But man, I really find the experience to be just that.  I know I did not look like a movie star as I ventured through Wal-Mart.  But those pics that float around the internet of Wal-Mart shoppers- I hate to say it, but I saw those people today in the store.  Long story short- I found my foam and onto the project~ should be an interesting one!  I get home, Garrett says, "What took you so long?  I wanted to say I was people watching too long at Wal-Mart, but just couldn't say it!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another great conversation with my 15 year old son

OK~ Here it goes....
 "G: Mom, Can I go to a welcome home party?
Me:  When is it?
"G": May 12th
Me:  I think so.  Who is it for?
"G": Someone
Me: Who?
"G"  It's in Illinois!
Me: What- I thought that girl just moved away from here-
"G": Yeah, but I wanna go to her welcome home party in Illinois

Wonder how soon before I hear more about this one!  After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?