First of all

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Tuesday, let's talk about food.

Since we are in the throws of reduced income due to The Man's current unemployment, there is no eating out. Now if I could eat out tonight, I'd love to grab some lemongrass chicken. I'd go over to Chi-Tung in Evergreen Park, IL and get that along with a tossed salad with their amazing ginger dressing and big Mai-Tai.  I hope your mouth is watering!  I know mine is now! 

Clearly I don't get out much because when I went to their website to grab the link above, I see that they have built a Hibachi Steakhouse since I've been there last.

All is not lost however, I can start a "Going Out To Eat" fund with money I earn from reorders and make plans to go to Chi-Tung in February.  In the meantime, I found a relatively easy recipe at Food & Wine Magazine for Lemongrass Chicken that I will share below Wish me luck, I think I will attempt to pull it off on Saturday this week, or maybe even on Superbowl Sunday.  We don't have plans for the Superbowl.  We'll just stay home.

Turns out Americans take in an average of 2700 calories (which includes an average of 6 beers consumed) at a Superbowl  Party. I'll just take a pass on that and save those calories for another day or two. 

And in the world of Stuff-Kids- Like-To-Eat, I got a great email from Psst..from General Mills. It is something I signed up for and they send out newsletters and coupons for General Mills products. In today's email it said:

"Moms know that "Trix are for kids," but now she can give them a snack that she'll feel good about too. Yoplait Trix yogurt has been reformulated and now has no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup. "

Great news for me. The kids love the Trix yogurt and I don't like buying food chock full of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and HFCS. Plus I think there was a link to print a coupon!  Wahoo! Yogurt is on the top five favorite snacks at this house.


  1. 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  2. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  3. 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  6. 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  7. 3 tablespoons water
  8. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  9. 2 fresh lemongrass stalks, tender inner white bulbs only, minced
  10. 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  11. 3 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
  12. 5 cilantro sprigs
  13. Steamed rice, for serving
  1. In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, garlic, curry powder, salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar. Add the chicken to coat.
  2. In a small skillet, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon of the water and cook over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring until a deep amber caramel forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Transfer to a very small heatproof bowl.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the lemon­grass, shallot and chiles and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and caramel and stir-fry over moderate heat until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and top with the cilantro. Serve with rice.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The little things

Sometimes it is the little things. The little things that you can scribble down in your gratitude journal.  The little moments you just want to box up and put on a shelf and open up a grey day down the road.

In the laughter department, here is something that just makes me laugh and laugh--in my head.  I really should correct the kids on this; however, I don't. For no reason, Anna and the B Man think that the word for nipples is nibbles.  This comes upfor example when one of the kids wonders why boy have nibbles since they don't need them.  I mean nipples.  Kids, as we all know, say the funniest things.

In the awesome deals department, Jewel had special coupons in the paper today that you can use to double your coupons.  Double Coupons!  It never happens at Jewel. This is huge.  The question now is, what should I use the special coupons for?  Chocolate or Prego Spaghetti Sauce?  *Sigh*  it's going to have to be the Prego.

In the TGIM department, that would be Thank God Its Monday, The Man has an appointment with an outplacement firm.  Wahoo!  Hopefully this will help him to uncover the next phase of his career.  I have been giving him all kinds of motivation advice and goal setting books to no avail. I'll bet if the outplacement firm tells him the same stuff, then he will try it.  Men.

In my work department, I'm wrapping up a good January sales and parties-wise.  This is really good because January can set the pace for the year.  If you don't have sales in January, it's much harder to reach your sales goals the next month.

And lastly in the yummy department, I've discovered a new breakfast:

Take 2 corn torillas, warm them in the toaster oven for 4 mintues.
spread liberally with Peanut Butter. We have Smart Balance Creamy Peanut Butter on hand because it is on sale this week, plus there are coupons for it as well.  Just click the link above this and you can get some coupons as well.

And top it off by spreading on the Tripleberry Fruit Spread!  It's delish and much more filling and lasting than when I have oatmeal.  Oatmeal doesn't stick with me. I'm hungry in about 1 hour if I have Oatmeal for breakfast.  Weird, right?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Veggies, Veggies, Veggies

Before I go into my 3 veggie related items, I have to share excited news!  I got this email today:

"Welcome Victoria701,

Congratulations and welcome to Top Mommy Blogs! Please take a moment to read over this email."
and then there was a bunch more stuff, but the point is my blog was accepted!  Yippee!  I have a link on the left where you can click to 'vote' for me if you like this blog and also you can check out many other great blogs by moms!

Now back to Veggies X 3:

This morning I got my daily email from Freebies 4 Mom and she shared that you can get a coupon good for a free can of Red Gold Tomatoes when you go to their facebook page and like them!  Here is the link to her post.

Veggies #2
 I was on Pinterest and thanks to Glenda of I found the most wonderful site for starting a garden.  On a scale of 1-10 this website gets an 11 for ease of use.  It's called Sprout Robot . You put in your zip code and tell the site if you want to have a container garden, a small garden or a large family sustaining garden.  Next you pick what you want to grow in your garden and it sets up a time line detailing when to plant and how to plant based on your zip code.  Best part, step by step illustrations!

Simple, Easy, Do-able!  Yesterday I added "cultivation: vegetable garden in 2012! Arugula,Herbs and more!" to my 2012 Vision Board, so finding this site was perfect timing!

Finally on my Veggies theme, Last night I made Roasted Brussel Sprouts with a super simple recipe from Ina Garten.  Click or read below!


  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.
Serves: 6; Calories: 109; Total Fat: 7 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 4 grams; Total carbohydrates: 10 grams; Sugar: 2 grams; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 269 milligrams

Scroll to Top

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Frugal and Green

I was reading the blog Busy-at-Home and she did a review and is doing a giveaway for a great product that is all the things I love:
1. Locally made in the USA by a working at home woman! (and she is from Hoffman Estates, IL!)
2. Frugal,the wool dryer balls last for years and helps not only get rid of the dreaded curse of static cling--but it also reduces your dryer dry time! Thus saving you $$ on your electric/gas bill and reducing energy consumption.
3. Its all natural! the balls are made from wool sheared off sheep. A renewable resource!

So click below to check out the review of this product and enter her giveaway. You could win some nice woolen balls. *insert giggle here*

Maple Hill Wool Dryer Balls: Our Review and Give Away!!! @MapleHillDryer

Two weeks from tomorrow, I'll be at the only thing I look forward to in the dreadful month of Feburary.  Tastefully Simple On Tour!  This is where we get to see other consultants we haven't seen in ages, get great training to help increase our income and the most fun thing of all--we get to try the new line of Spring/Summer Products!  I can't wait!  I love the Spring/Summer unveilings, it makes me start getting so excited for Spring and Summer.  Remember when it used to be sunny outside and you could have a nice salad with chicken kabobs off the grill.  Ahhh yes.  And frosty drinks..

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wahoo Wednesday!

Today is Wednesday! Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. Why? Because on Wednesday I schedule my life so I don't have to leave the house. Many people, such as The Man, don't like to spend the day at home and like to go out at some point during each day no matter what the weather. That is so not me.

Now just because I am home all day and wearing 'loungewear' doesn't mean I don't do anything. Earlier today, I clean out all my file folders in preperation for taxes and set things up for 2012 paperkeeping. This evening I will make business calls. I make most of my client calls during the day, but make it a practice to make calls one evening a week. The reason for this is common knowledge says that more people are available to talk in the evening. Mostly I leave messages, I think that common knowledge may very well be outdated. No one answers their phones much anymore.

I also spent some time today trying to figure out how people earn money via their blogging. I have to say, I wouldn't mind making some money for blogging. We could use it, The Man is still job hunting and career re-thinking. So that is why I put a link on the top of my blog.  I like coupons, maybe people who read my blog will use the link and I'll make a few cents. Speaking of alternative ways to make money, here is one for you.

On Facebook I belong to a local buying and selling group. It's a brilliant idea, and I'm sorry I don't know who to thank for it. The group covers a smaller geographic area and people post albums filled with pictures of items they are looking to sell, such as clothes, toys, appliances, etc. It's perfect for stuff you have laying around that is worth too little to list it on ebay or craigslist.

Then members post if they are interested in an item and make arrangements to pick it up from you the seller (for the most part). Payment is cash, no shipping fees and less 'stuff' taking up your space. Via this group is how I bought my last 2 pairs of shoes and how we got our latest washer and dryer. There is no overhead for the group, it's easy to participate, earn some money, you can also post "In Search Of" for stuff you need.

Oh, plus it is green! Gotta love that! It's reusing and repurposing!

So far this week the mailman has brought me 2 freebies--coupon for a free Twix bar and a free Schlick Razor. Want something for free? You can click below and get a free mini pack of Kleenex and give a pack to a friend at the same time. Perfect if you and a pal are going out to see "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" or is it "Incredibly Close and Extremely Loud"?

Send a Pack, Get a Pack

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gluten Free SOTU

As I mentioned on Facebook already, I like a good State of the Union (SOTU).  I was actually looking forward to enjoying it with a nice cheap glass of Cabernet Savingnon this evening. My opinion is that it's nice to have the President, whether Democratic or Republican, give a rousing speech focusing on what is going right and what we are going to do next. To be sure, much of what the President says is going to happen most likely won't, however I like a good dose of flag waving when the gloom of January is upon me.  To that end, I think we could all do without the rebuttal speech that follows the SOTU.

You might say, "Please, you are only saying that because you are a democrat."  Tis not true, I didn't like when the democrats came on and bashed George W. Bush's SOTUs either.  It's a real bummer to have the opposing side knock down all the positive spin. It's so much the worse when it is an election year.  I wonder if anyone in the Congress will figure out that we the people are tired of the fighting and not getting anything done. It's not looking good.

Another thing that I find myself doing at the beginning of most years, is trying something dietarily (is that even a word) different.  A couple of weeks ago, when I was researching Patrick's allergy to cold, I noticed that some thought there is a link between gluten intolerance and this weird allergy to cold.  I decided to try and eliminate gluten from Patrick's diet as much as possible.  Basically just reading labels and if a produce contains wheat, I don't offer it for his consumption. This is not a big deal for him as he doesn't like bread, cookies, cake, pasta and mac & cheese. Coincidence? Probably not.  Good thing we have an appointment coming up with the allergist. 

When I decided to eliminate gluten from Patrick's diet, I thought it would be good for me to do the same, so I would get a feel for what contains gluten and what doesn't. Guess what?  It's so not easy for me!  I like bread, pasta, cookies, cake and mac & cheese.  I am giving it a go however, maybe I'll lose weight as a result--or go completely off the gluten-free thing and start an all pizza diet. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Of all the shows on Television...

Of all the crap on TV,  why I am letting Anna and Tom watch The Bachelor? I should really put a stop to this and change the channel.  The Bachelor is not only lame because the relationships are just set up for failure in 'the real world' it also and more importantly does a disservice to all women everywhere.  I don't think that is an understatement do you?  Okay, channel being changed.

On a completely different topic, Patrick has to go to an allergist and the soonest we can get him is 2/10.  In the meantime, we are supposed to keep Benedryl on hand and the doctor advised that he not drink or eat cold drinks/food to avoid anaphylaxis.  I know. I'm a bit freaked out and he is bummed he can't have any Sprite. Good news on the Sprite front is that since we are working on budgeting and living on less--no restaurants + no fast food x I stopped drinking reg and diet pop= Patrick hasn't had any opportunities to drink some nice ice cold Sprite.

Friday was the biggest snow of this winter *so far* so I made a nice Pantry Vegetable Soup (Pantry as in I used what I had in the Pantry) Here is what I did:

1 tbsp Tastefully Simple Roasted Garlic Infused Oil in a nice stock pot, heat on high and then turn down and cook for a few minutes 1 chopped onion, 4 stalks chopped celery, 4 chopped carrots.  Then add 2 cups choppped potatoes.  Then I added 6 cups of vegetable stock (just bullilion and water) and 2 cans of diced tomatoes. The diced tomatoes I had were fire roasted and diced w/basil/garlic & oregeno.

Mixed that all together and then added 1 1/2 tbsp Garlic Garlic and 1 tbsp Seasoned Salt .  Then I added a new secret special ingredient...ready for it?  1/4 cup mild Giardinera.  Simmer for 45 minutes and serve in bowls with bread if you please!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Renew Your Intentions

I signed up to get a Conscious Box you can click that link to see more about it and here is a blurb from the company:

Conscious Box is a monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products that are handpicked from businesses that care for the planet—just like you.

It's a box full of cool samples of green/sustainable products I wouldn't likely run across and it was great fun to open the box. It's like when you have a stocking full of goodies on Christmas.  I signed up to get the box because I had a discount from a blog or a webpage, or mamapedia or something.  However, I can't remember where the heck I found it...

In the box was this card, I share the words of wisdom now with you :-D

January is a time for celebration, reflection and renewal.  Take the month to acknowledge the accomplishments & challenges you experienced last year. Create new intentions for a future filled with your dreams of today--manifested into the realities of tomorrow.

"Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. --Mary Anne Radmacher.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


When the fall was here, Patrick went to the nurse's office during Gym because he broke out in hives.  I figured it was a laundry detergent reaction. Then it happened a couple more times, and both times he went inside (because Gym was outdoors) and down to the nurse and was better in about 40 minutes. Time passed, Patrick complained the he didn't like walking to school because he got super itchy and when he got to school kids would make fun of him because of his face being red.  Tom lost his job, and needed stuff to do, so he began taking  Patrick to and from school.

Then we went to Georgia over the holidays. While we were there, we went on a family hike.  Patrick didn't want to go, but we told him he had to go with us.  So he did, and it was about 48-52 degrees. This time I got to see the hives first hand.  He wasn't exaggerating at all.  He had hives on his face. We had some Benedryl in the car and gave him that to help quell the itching. I didn't 'make' him go outside too much for the remainder of the trip.  Some going outside and playing, but I didn't tell him he'had' to go outside.

This past weekend, I thought to google 'hives in children from cold' and guess what?  It's a real condition--and serious. Here is a link to the info on cold hives:  I'd link to the Wiki page, but Wikipedia is dark today!

Tommorow Patrick has a doctor's appointment, to make sure I am right, but I know I am.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Allergic to cold.  Hopefully he will grow out of it, as that is a possibility.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Freebie from Suave!

I got this in an email from Freebies 4 Mom today:  Suave Beauty is giving away 50,000 full-size Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion line products .  You just go to Suave Beauty on Facebook and click on the giveaway button after you 'like' them.  It took a little while to load, but I filled out the form and looks like I am good to go.  So they are not at the 50K limit yet!

And Speaking of saving money, my copy of  "The Money Saving Mom's Budget" has arrived and guess what chapter one is all about?  Setting Goals.  How timely!  That is what I am working on right now.  So my goal is to implement a budget for our family for 2012.
If you go to her webpage today 1/17 she has a post up to enter to win a copy if her book!  I got mine by clicking her link and ordering it from Amazon with my $25 gift code for Amazon I earned from using My Points--so my copy was free, woo hoo!

I need to work on getting together meal planning, lately I have been trying to figure out a way to organize my coupons....

And yesterday I found a great way to organize recipes, goals and things I want to look into online.  It is called Pintrest.  Online bulletin boards, fun to make, fun to use, and probably a big time waster...

Here is my page.  I do hate the clutter of recipes cut out of magazines, so Pintrest can definitely help with that, as well as keeping an accessable list of books I want to read. So many ways to waste time, so little time to waste. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Giving a Dream a Deadline--That makes it a Goall

Do you do resolutions?  I like the blank slate of possibilities that a New Year brings.  I have found that resolutions dont' seem to work very well for me.  For me, I like a Vision Board to show what I want more of in the coming year.  Now writing that reminds me that I don't have a Vision Board.

Note to Self: Do a Vision Board. 

What is a Vision Board?  Well it can be anything you want that is a visual representation of your goals.  For me it is a 12x12 collage with labels showing what I want to focus on in the coming year.  It encompasses Family, Business and Personal Goals.

This year I've got a big big goal to reach with my business.  The goal is a promotion to Team Mentor.  I've been 'trying' to reach that goal for several years..without success--and that I believe is because it's been a goal w/o a focus. So this is the year!  My team and I are moving up!  We will have fun and much success.  I mean really, when you sell great food, everyone is always happy to see you.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Some freebies to start the week!

Grab the freebies before they are gone.

If you like Crystal Light on FB you can get a free sample of the new Crystal Light Energy!  Only 8043 more samples remain as I type this.

Free Crystal Light

Coffee more your thing?  You can like Hills Bros Cappuchino on FB and get a free sample from them --flavored instant coffee.  Free Hills Bros Sample  You can also give a sample to a friend via their FB page.

Today is National Clear off Your Desk Day!  If you are up for some organizing this 2012, you can score a free ebook !  I heard about this from Freebies 4 Mom  The book is available on amazon for the kindle as well as some other formats.  Absolutely Organize Your Family!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Isn't it Swell? It's 2012!

Tomorrow begins a long awaited day.  The children finally return to school!  This has been the longest Christmas Break, or Winter Break if you prefer, ever. To be sure, we did do a ton during the break.  We drove down to North Carolina & Georgia to see my family. Then we caught a cold for the New Year, drove home and still had a few days left of break! The kids have spent the rest of their break, ahhh fighting.  Super glad they go back tomorrow.  Super. Glad.  Of course this is tempered by the fact that the kids have an early dismissal on Wed and are off of school on Friday --and Monday. 

What I don't think anyone can complain about is the amazing weather we've had up here.  It's a Christmas dream come true for me, one who doesn't care for winter.  I'm not going to focus on the inevitable below zero temps to come.  Is it too early to countdown to Spring? --the days are getting longer! Only a little over a month and it will stop being dark out at 5pm.  WooHoo!

While we were driving home from our trip, to pass the time I was thinking up a motto for me for 2012.  I don't know that much rhymes with twelve, so my rhymes are a bit off.  Here is what I came up with:

Things are gonna gell in 2012!
Don't Dwell in 2012!
Life is Swell in 2012!

or What the Hell, it's 2012!