Today I am writing the Foodie Friday at Oklahoma Women Bloggers. I am sharing my Chocolate Gravy recipe, the story behind it, and what may the beginning of how the next generation will carry on this tradition.
Here is the recipe. Now head on over to OkWB and read the story. Be sure to comment!
As you know, last year Santa granted special permission for the scout elves to visit their families to celebrate their birthdays. If you remember, Malia Peppermint Pattie paid our nest a visit first on my 39th birthday. You can read all about that visit here.The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition became a BIG hit with my family. Especially our littlest Crow. She's only 7!
Now, the creators are so excited to announce the following new birthday products:
The Elf on the Shelf®: Birthday Countdown and Game
& The Elf on the Shelf®: Birthday Chair Decoration Kit
The Birthday Countdown and Game includes TWO ways to celebrate birthdays North Pole-style! Each kit includes a display-ready felt wall hanging with a delightful, 28-pocket Advent-style calendar for counting down to the big day! Simply place the cupcake in the pocket that represents how many days are left until the birthday arrives, and each morning the child can move the cupcake ahead, one-by-one until the big day. When the birthday arrives, simply flip the board over to play the Birthday Game – a North Pole favorite! Children will wear a blindfold and take turns trying to place special birthday candles on the giant cupcake.
In the book, The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition, scout elves love to decorate special chairs for birthday girls and boys – and their creativity is limited only by their imagination (and the supplies they have to work with). The Elf on the Shelf® Birthday Chair Decoration Kit gives scout elves an extra hand when a birthday comes around! Each kit includes everything a scout elf needs to design a birthday seat that will delight any birthday girl or boy on their big day. The chair can be customized with the child’s name and age, if desired.
Our birthdays begin in the Fall, so I have to put these things away until then, but I did pull out the countdown and game and let my little Miss see it. The workmanship is of great quality and detail. The colors very bright and cheery. Exactly what I would expect from the North Pole.
She is so excited to add this to her/our birthday traditions. Just wait until she sees the chair decorated! I am saving that one for a Scout Surprise other than my own creativity. Thank you The Elf on the Shelf® for coming up with products and ideas to help make life easier as we make more memories with our scout elf.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to The Elf on the Shelf® for providing the products in exchange for this review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and not influence by any monetary compensation.
As the weather warms and everyone becomes more active, it's always great to find a new protein beverage. Rockin’ Refuel is a line of protein beverages made with real milk designed to help everyday athletes build lean muscle. It is made by Shamrock Farms, a nationwide dairy located in Arizona. Rockin’ Refuel is developed to provide those looking to stay in shape with a great tasting and more natural way to develop lean muscle mass.
Rockin' Refuel sent our family 7 bottles of their great tasting protein milk beverages. We all loved the taste, but my 13 year old athlete dominated over the drink. The drinks arrived the week of 8th grade basketball tryouts. His first year of school ball. We live in a huge school district. About 130 boys tried out. 32 spots for 3 teams were filled. He made it. WooHoo!!! When he got home both days from school, he carbed up and drank a Rockin' Refuel. Then again after he finished with his tryout for the night.
The flavors they sent us are chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. His favorites are the Chocolate Muscle Builder and Recovery. Why chocolate milk? Based on recent research, chocolate milk is shown to help people recover after exercise. It helps refuel exhausted muscles, making energy available nearly twice as effective as commercial sports drinks. As a mother, here are the things that caught my attention: NO high fructose corn syrup, 20 g of protein (muscle recovery), natural electrolytes, low in fat, full of flavor, made with real milk and 9 essential vitamins.
After reading those nutrition guidelines, I was very eager for my young athlete to drink Rockin' Refuel over some of the other leading sports drinks. Especially, if the protein is going to help fill him up.
Rockin’ Refuel is made up of world-class athletes, respected organizations, and top-level universities and high schools that demand the best. That’s why they don’t settle for anything less than the right kind of protein beverage for their training needs. To find out which Rockin' Refuel is right for you, go to this link.
You can order Rockin' Refuel online or find a store near you. The drinks are also at your area QuikTrip, Wal-Mart and 7-11 stores.
2:1 carbs to protein – optimal ratio for muscle recovery
100% great tasting, real low fat milk
Excellent source of protein and calcium (not found in traditional sports drinks)
How cool is that? All you have to do is answer the following question. What SPORT do you/your family member that will be drinking this protein milk beverage participate in?
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Rockin' Refuel for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
Do you love Hallmark movies? Do you love the Hallmark channel? When we cut back on the cable bill it was the one channel I, my husband didn't want to lose. We were blessed. If the luxury of having cable and the Hallmark Channel can be considered a blessing. Hmmm...
But, I will be honest with you, I missed out on knowing about the new Hallmark television series Signed, Sealed, Delivered created and Executive Produced by Martha Williamson, who also created Touched By An Angel. I found out my mother in law hasn't missed an episode.
I was sent this Sunday's episode, "The Future Me" to watch. All I can say before the next episode, my family will be sitting down to watch ALL of the episodes. I laughed and even shed a tear or two during the show. I have written this time and time again, we cannot have enough of these shows in our homes.
About the Series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal detectives who transform themselves into a team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow always on time. The team includes charming Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), the group's leader is a man of faith who prayerfully approaches his work with the goal of making a difference in people's lives; new team member, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), a technophile who brings 21st century sensibility to the group; free-spirited, “girl next door” Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) who has a photographic memory; and lovable Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), a master in conventional research methods.
Isn't that great? A seven-day Bible reading experience to dig deeper into the meaningful biblical themes revealed in each episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered. The Bible Reading Experience is free and currently available for one week only.
Have you seen this show yet? Be sure to tune in this Sunday. You can catch the other episodes at this link.
A proud mother of two current Oklahoma Public Education students, a graduate of Oklahoma Public Education, a graduate of an Oklahoma State College, and a registered Oklahoma voter who is concerned about the future of Oklahoma and its students.
This is how I have been signing every email lately that I have sent to the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate. This is how I explain who I am when I make a phone call to one of them or to the Governor's office.
Why? Because over the past year something has happened to me. Something I never thought or even imagined has taken place. I have learned that I have a voice in the education of my own children and other children in our great state. A voice that I must use to advocate for their rights.
The latest buzz is over HB 2625. This bill was vetoed by our Governor yesterday. This bill passed both chambers- House (89 to 6) and the Senate (44-0). The bill didn't do away with the Reading Sufficiency Act, but simply would allow a team consisting of teachers, the principal, a reading specialist and a parent to decide whether or not a student would be promoted to fourth grade. Oklahoma had 7,970 third graders that failed the test this year. The first year that the RSA has been enforced. Unless these nearly 8,000 students meet one of the good cause exemptions they will be forced to repeat third grade. Signing HB 2625 into law would at least put the team that knows the child in charge of the decision to retain. Makes sense to me.
One test cannot determine pass or fail. Yes, I agree that our kids need to be proficient readers in order to succeed in school. But, think back to your own school/college days. We all have failed a test. If my one and only F I received my sophomore year in college would have kept me from graduating with my degree in Business Management, I wouldn't have gone on to be a Bank Manager. I learned from that grade. I learned a lot. I wouldn't have been able to make the decision to become a stay at home mother and make sacrifices for my children each day.
I encourage all of my readers to email or Call your Representatives, ask them to override the VETO of HB 2625. Start with Speaker of the House, Speaker Hickman, (405) 557-7339. Calling is easy. You may have to leave a message. I actually spoke to a live person who was friendly and receptive.
I also encourage my readers to get involved, use your voice. You also are a parent, resident, graduate, business owner, or voter. You can make a difference.
I like makeup. I wear makeup. Okay, not as much as I did pre-WAHM. Maybe, only 5 out of 7 days. I also used to spend a little more money on my cosmetics than I do now. Motherhood kind of does that to a girl, or at least that is my case. The five basic needs of life have kicked in: FOOD, SHELTER, CLOTHES, SCHOOL and SPORTS.
My friends have been showing off their new eyelashes on Facebook. Some are actually salon paid eyelash extensions, and others are from Younique. Younique's 3D Fiberlash Mascara is simply put- AMAZEBALLS.
Check it out.
Now I am going to admit. When I first heard about this stuff a few months back, $29 for mascara was a big FORGET IT!!! But after using all week, I am in love. The tubes last a couple of months with regular use.
Take a look at this video I put together.
Younique has a full line of cosmetics including their #1 best seller, the 3D mascara. I just opened up a Virtual Party and would love for you to join me to get your hands on this product. It is going on now through May 24, 2014. Be sure to like my friend Mary Kay's Facebook page!
Disclosure: Younique by Mary Kay provided me with the product to review and write an honest post. No other compensation was received.
Aioli is a creamy mayo-like sauce that is used as a sandwich topping, dip or spread. It is usually made with mayo, tomatoes and other herbs and spices to give it a signature taste. It can be used on a variety of foods and adds a delightful taste to crab cakes, tacos, breads and more.
Red Gold Tomatoes sent me a 5-pack kit of different types of tomatoes, a red apron, a spreading knife and TEN of their new aioli recipes, as they are hoping to introduce more home cooks to aioli, and though many know and love such flavorful spreads, many are also unaware of how to make or use aioli.
The 5 cans included: 2 cans of diced tomatoes with Garlic/Olive Oil, 1 can of diced tomatoes with Lime & Cilantro, 1 can of diced tomatoes with Green Chilies, and 1 can of petite diced tomatoes. The recipes they sent me can be found here. They include: Best Year Round BLT, Flatbread Veggie Pizza, Fish Tacos. YUMMY! I have even included the recipe for the Best Year Round BLT below, because I know there are a lot of bacon lovers out there, right?
The other night, I just wanted some dip. I opened the Lime & Cilantro and mixed it with 1/2 cup of light mayo and used tortilla chips. The kids loved it!!
BEST YEAR ROUND BLT with TOMATO AIOLI
MAKES 4 SERVINGS PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES
1⁄2 cup light mayonnaise 1 (14.5 ounce) can RED GOLD® PETITE DICED TOMATOES 8 slices bread, variety of choice 4 large lettuce leaves 12 slices bacon, cooked and drained
Ground black pepper to taste Combine mayonnaise and RED GOLD® PETITE DICED TOMATOES to make the Tomato Aioli.
Place lettuce on 4 slices of bread and then add three strips of bacon and top with Tomato Aioli and black pepper. Place slice of bread on top. Cut in half and serve.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING Calories 320Fat 15g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 740mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Fiber 4g, Protein 15g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 25%, Iron 10%
Which aioli are you? Red Gold is hosting a Facebook campaign from May 7-27th, where fans can win aprons or even a $250 prize pack that includes a Cuisinart Panini Grill and other great prizes. Just go to https://www.facebook.com/RedGold and select which aioli you think you are most like to enter.
Disclosure: Red Gold sent me product to review and write an honest post. No other compensation was received.
Since this is a family blog, it pleases me to no end to actually be able to share my own children's writings, with their permission of course. Braden wrote the following poem this year in his 7th grade English class. He had to read it/perform it in front of the entire class to be chose for the school's Poetry Slam. His poem wasn't selected, but he read it several times to us. (I'm even going to try to talk him into a video, that hopefully he will let me share.)
by Braden C. Crow
Basketball is a sport I have passion for, but everytime I go down the court I try to score.
When I go down the court to score, I dribble as I run, I release as I shoot.
Again, I love basketball, but there is more than just passing the ball or being tall.
The crowd roars when I score. When you get down the court to play defense you got to stop the offense. When I'm on defense I rebound bigger than a town. When I block it sounds like a rock hit the ground.
The third time I say this, I hope I make it clear, because you are my peer. It's my favorite sport, no one is going to change that. Basketball.