August 19, 2014

Calf's Liver with Bacon and Onion

Liver is one of those things that you either love or hate. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground when it comes to organ meats. Personally, I love liver of any kind. Chicken, beef, lamb, liverwurst... I eat it all and think it's amazing. My kids are pretty good with it too, though none of them are fans of chicken liver for some reason. I think some of the reason so many people dislike liver is because unless it's cooked properly it can be tough and have an almost metallic flavor. But if you just give liver a chance and try preparing it the way I outline here... you might be pleasantly surprised. Liver made this way is tender, not at all dry and because of the milk bath, that metallic taste is pretty much gone.

August 12, 2014

Expand Your Child's "EQ" with Q's Race to the Top!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and EQtainment, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #Qsracetothetop 

My family LOVES board games. Especially during the cold and snowy winter months, but really anytime of year. We're known for our infamous "Family Game Days." On those days we all gather around the kitchen table with some snacks and have fun reconnecting while playing together. We have a wide age range in our family circle, so finding a fun game we can all play and enjoy is great. My older kids love to play along with the little ones and the game we chose on this game day was perfect and got all of them involved and giggling!
Q's Race to the Top by EQtainment is a game that focuses on developing your child's EQ (emotional quotient.) It's the important skills children need outside of the academic and intelligence realm, such as social skills, motivation, empathy and self control. Studies have shown that having a high EQ improves relationship satisfaction, leadership skills, career success, health, humor and happiness. This game is a great way to help your little ones learn these important life skills in a fun and engaging manner and your family can get in on the fun with EQtainment's Kickstarter Campaign!
The kids had so much fun playing together. They took turns rolling the dice and moving their adorable little monkeys on the game board. Once they land on a space they pick a card in the corresponding color. Each card has a different action... answering a question about how they would help Q the monkey in some situation, answering a question about themselves or doing something, such as standing and balancing on one foot. I loved watching them really think about their answers.
There is also a book that goes along with the game "Q's Wild Ride" that the older kids read for the youngest one. So many giggles! The book focuses on Q and how him thinking before he acts is important. Such a great lesson for kids.
Does you family have a family game night? This game would be a great addition to a family game day because it's not only enjoyable but it also teaches valuable skills while being so much fun. If you would like to know more you can visit EQtainment's Kickstarter page to learn more about "Q's Race to the Top" and how to get your own! I'm planning to get a couple to give as gifts this Christmas because my own children loved it just that much.

You can follow EQtainment on social media too!
EQtainment on Instagram
EQtainment on Facebook
EQtainment on Twitter

Take a look at this video to learn even more:

August 9, 2014

Summer Zucchini Gratin

I didn't realize until this morning that yesterday was "National Zucchini Day." This would have been the perfect thing to post yesterday in honor of the day, but I was busy running around with errands and taking the youngest of my brood to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Which, by the way, got a thumbs up from my TMNT purist... definitely worth seeing if you have kids who enjoy that sort of thing. I was surprised that I actually found myself getting into the movie. My little guy has been waiting for this movie for months! He was so over the moon excited that it made for a wonderful afternoon.

August 7, 2014

Sharing the #SwifferEffect with a #BigGreenBox Surprise

Keeping my home clean and fresh is very important to me. But being a single mom to 3 kids sometimes makes cleaning a real pain! There are only so many hours in my day, so cleaning needs to be fast and efficient. Enter these amazing Swiffer products!

I was so excited to hear I was chosen to receive not one but TWO #SwifferEffect #BigGreenBoxes. One to keep myself and one to giveaway to a friend! I knew right away that I was going to give the second box to my neighbor and dear friend Mindy. She's a mom just like me and having products that help make our jobs simpler is so important. With the right tools, the whole family can get in on the cleaning action. Swiffer dusters make dusting a breeze for the little kids and with the Swiffer sweeper we can let the older kids help with spot cleaning those everyday spills and messes. Let's face it, if you have kids in the household things just have a way of getting messy! Or maybe... it's us parents who are messy and the kids need to clean up after us? If you need a good laugh, take a look at this video to see just what I'm talking about ;)

Everyone wants a clean home and having a way to share the workload with the entire family in an easy and fun way is key. When everyone in the family can help out, there is less stress and more time for the things that really matter. With Swiffer and everyone in the household pitching in to help, you too can pass "The Mom Test!"

The other day I surprised my friend with her own #SwifferEffect #BigGreenBox and caught all the fun in a few photos. It was so much fun to give her and her family a way to keep it clean together as a family.

Look at that smile! You know she's excited!

I caught her here in mid *squee* She was pretty stoked about having a way for her littlest daughter to help with with the dusting! Swiffer dusters are perfect for letting the little ones help because they trap the dust and don't just spread it all over the place.

OMG! This will be perfect for the teenager! She can help clean up now too!

I think she was pretty pleased with her Swiffer box of goodies and I was thrilled to be able to give them to one of my best friends to make her life just a little easier :)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

August 3, 2014

Twinkies Ice Cream Cake

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Twinkies. I received samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating."

Whenever I think of Twinkies, I think of my Grandmother. I was an only child and was blessed to have my Grandmother living with my Mom and I. My Mom was a single parent and had to work some pretty long hours, so many of my childhood memories revolve around my Grandmother because she was ever present with my Mom having to work so much. Grandma loved Twinkies. She always kept them on hand for an after school snack and as a sweet treat whenever my cousins would come to visit. I remember her using them as a base for strawberry shortcake, or drizzling them with chocolate sauce and serving them with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. For special events she would sometimes make this Twinkies Ice Cream Cake and that's what I choose to make for this post because she's been on my mind so much lately and while I have told my kids about it before, I'd never actually made it for them to enjoy. My Grandma had passed on long before my children were born, so they never got to meet her, but passing on her ways through making recipes that she taught me keeps her legacy alive and I hope helps my kids get a sense of the amazing woman she was.

August 2, 2014

5-Hour Energy "Yummification" Contest and Giveaway

I am a single mother of 3 busy children... sometimes I need a little help in the energy department. My days are long and filled with what seems like endless chores and running from here to there. Usually I would turn to a nice strong cup of coffee for a little boost, but sometimes hot coffee isn't what you want and I'm not a huge fan of iced coffee or soda. So when I had the chance to try these 5-hour ENERGY® shots, I figured I would give them a try... especially since right now 5-hour ENERGY® has a neat "Yummification" video contest going on. And as a special bonus, I am excited to be able to give a 10 count variety pack and a $25 Visa gift card away to one of my lucky readers! 

July 30, 2014

Green Bean, Brussels Sprout and Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese


This salad is one of my absolute favorite summer side dishes. I know the combination might sound a bit odd but these elements together are really fabulous. It's so flavorful and fresh. I could seriously eat it every day and not get tired of it. I make this as a side dish for everything from BBQ to roasted chicken and sometimes as a stand alone lunch with some crusty bread. It's a salad that can really go with almost anything. I've also used zucchini instead of or in addition to the green beans here and there when I have had it on hand. I use it raw and diced into small cubes. I am a big fan of raw or very slightly cooked fresh vegetables in salads such as this.