Archive for April, 2009

American Girl Dolls Are WAY Too Expensive…

April 30, 2009

And I Like It That Way!

I’m not so much frugal as really —I’m just plain CHEAP.

Please meet Sassy.

2 years ago my then 7 year old wanted an American Girl Doll for Christmas. She couldn’t understand if she was asking for it from Santa why something so expensive was a big deal? “His elves will just make it right?” Well, NO, sweetie, turns out Santa has a budget as well, especially when there are two other kids in the same family…

Well how much IS that doll then, she asked? Over $100. WOW! She said, and did some serious 6yrold soul searching.

She decided yes she still wanted THAT doll, and was there anyway she could help Santa with his budget problems? Maybe leave some money out for a portion of the doll? Maybe not ask for anything else that year? Maybe help pay for some of her siblings gifts that year? (She had a $3 allowance after all wasn’t that worth SOMEthing??)

We all agreed to think it over.

Fast Forward to this past holiday season. Yes she got the doll, NO Santa did not extort the 7yrold’s money.

However.

Now the SWEET people at the American Girl Doll Usury Factory send out a lovely magazine each month that should be titled:

“Ways to Make a 7yrold Jealous and Covetous and Unhappy With the Doll She Currently Owns.”

She began really hoping and asking to buy some of the ‘accessories’ in those magazines. A television? Are you SERIOUS?? A bed for the doll. Some other various perfectly ridiculous A.G.D. crap. We talked about the price of those DOLL accessories. And she agreed they were kind of expensive for what they were? $50 for the ‘TV’ ! Come ON!?

We decided that she could figure out how to make some of those things. And you know what? She WENT TO TOWN! She created a ‘TV’ She created a dresser with drawers, she created chairs and beds for her stuffed animals that served as ‘pets’ for the doll….


But.

There was a new problem.

CLOTHES. Yes. At eight it’s already started. Only. It’s about the dang DOLL’s clothes. Okay people I’m going to tell you something and you might have to sheild your eyes for a second. The American Doll’s Clothes cost more than pretty much any outfit I’ve ever bought for my kid!! Heck, they cost more than most items I buy for MYSELF! And don’t get me started on the matching ‘clothes’ you can buy for your child… um…WHAT??

And we solved it again, she began ‘making’ her own doll clothes. She describes how she does this in the short video below:

But….

Christmas was coming and even though she had awesome designer fabric scraps to ‘make’ her doll clothes (perks of having a mama who sews!), she still really, really wanted REAL doll clothes. I’m not kidding, the least expensive ‘outfit’ was $34. Think about that for a second?? $34! That’s half a grocery trip. Lately, one mom-van filled with gas. April’s Water Bill! And poor on a budget Santa Claus is getting hit up for million dollar doll clothes?

We made it clear that the doll clothes were just too expensive. She understood. She really did. But she still secretly really wanted those fancy outfits.

Target to the rescue. I found full outfits to fit an 18inch doll. (And Please Oh Please Let Them Fit Friggin’ Nikki!) Still. Those Target 18inch doll outfits were $10 a set.

She found 3 of them under her stocking Christmas Morning. Would they work, Would she know they were knock-offs, Would they even FIT? They did and she couldn’t have cared less if she did know!

What bliss to watch an 8yrold love on her doll, and change her clothes and create more and more outfits and room decor and play in her room for hours on end with that doll.

She creates whole worlds for this doll. And as long as she doesn’t want ANOTHER one, I like the lessons she is learning about the value and worth of her toys. Her world.


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Sloppy Joes: My Mom’s Recipe

April 27, 2009

Only… we always called this Barbecue.


You know how you can follow your mom’s recipe EXACTLY and still it does’t taste the same?? This is one of those examples. We love it, but it never comes out quite like I remember.

Ingredients:
Brown 1lb hamburger with half an onion, chopped.
Add 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
Add 1 can Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup (I know, just trust my mom here)
Add 1-2 tsp. Cumin

That’s it. My mom usually makes 3 or even 4 times this amount for giant family gatherings. Once everything is added she throws it all in the crock pot and keeps it on warm till needed. I usually just simmer it for 20-30 minutes and then serve.

We eat our Sloppy Joes open face style on toasted buns. And we always called it ‘barbecue’ I don’t know why? How do you eat your Joes? And what other Cambell’s soup recipes do you love?

AND… I put in a call to my BlogWellDone pal, Chris, he says he has a veggie version of sloppy joes, I’m getting ready to go vegetarian for the summer, wanna join me?

Other MouthWatering Monday Recipes at Rachel’s Place!

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Ode To That Thing We Call Little League

April 24, 2009

Sitting in the bleachers.
Watching little sluggers bat.
Watching little kids watch the pitcher pitch. Watch the catcher miss…
Ball FOUR!
Watch the slugger walk. Again.
Watch the pitcher pitch. Watch the catcher miss…
Surprise! She hit the ball?!

She runs to first! They throw the ball to first.. they miss the ball..
She runs to second! They throw the ball to second.. they miss the ball..
She runs to third! They throw the ball to third.. they miss the ball..

HOMERUN!

Little League is quite possibly the bane of my existence. Is it unAmerican to hate little league?

If you scroll down these really quick it’s like a little video! Notice his eyes most definitely ARE closed! Ha!




This post has been brought to you by #FITFAM from @ChaoticBarb over at We Fit Families!

How would you like to win $200 worth of GROCERIES from your local grocery store? Oh you like that? Then RSVP over at Barb’s place. Wait.. there’s also 25 OTHER giveaways going on over there.. and a Twitter party next Friday. Do we like this? YES.

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Join me for Photostory Friday!

GoodNCrazy JumpStart.com Giveaway! CLOSED

April 22, 2009

See winners announced below!

Time to Jump into A Giveaway!

Watching my kids play around with JumpStart.com has basically made me jealous! I am totally loving seeing what they see. And now YOU can too! JumpStart has generously offered my readers 2 chances to win a 6 Month subscription AND an age appropriate CD game as well. Together these are worth nearly $70!

In addition to the online interactive 3D Jumpstart.com, we received a Kindergarten CD-rom game called ‘The Legend of Grizzly McGuffin’. Each of these types of games comes with 2 levels that work immediately, but you get to unlock 10 extra levels when you have an online membership with Jumpstart.com.

Jumpstart.com Legend Of Grizzly McGuffin

I think I would have to say that my little boy spends most of his time using this game. He gets frustrated when the online game says ‘loading…’! My 8yrold plays the online version more (her patience level is higher huh?) And does the 11yrold use any of this? She’ll tell you no!

But you know how when Barney or the Wiggles are on and even though it’s like scratching a chalkboard, you tend to stop a second and watch the stuff on the screen? And then you can’t seem to look away? This is a little like that for her… not the scratching chalkboard part.. OH, forget the analogy! She ‘helps’ her little brother and then gets pulled in, sometimes I catch her playing and TK has walked off!

~~~~
I want to make this clear. This giveaway is more than just a giveaway. It is round two of this GoodNCrazy Jumpstart campaign!

It’s a chance to hang with the marketing team of JumpStart.com. In fact you will get the chance to run your own review and host a giveaway (if you choose!) If you win my contest I will do my best to help you get the word out about your site and your review/giveaway. And you have two more chances after mine to win with Angie at Seven Clown Circus starting on Friday! There were two winners already over at StopDropandBlog!

So here are the details:

There will be two winners, decided by random drawing from comments on this post.

What each will win~~

  • 1 6 Month Subscription to Jumpstart.com
  • 1 CD-rom game for either {Kindergarten, First Grade or Second Grade}

Qualifications~~

Winner agrees to post a review on their own blog (I’ll help you start one if you don’t have one I promise!) And has the option to host a giveaway as well, after email contact with the Jumpstart.com marketing team.

Rules and all the blah blah blah~~

{Mandatory}
Please become a fan of Jumpstart via Facebook. Come back here and leave me a comment about a discussion you either read about, started or added a comment to. (Leave the url of the discussion in the comment here.) If you aren’t on Facebook.. give it a shot! Still not working? Then leave a comment somewhere on the Jumpstart blog and that will count!

Extra Entries~~

  1. Follow @Jumpstart_erin on twitter. (Leave a comment here when you’ve done that.)
  2. Tweet This Sentence:

    Jumping Into JumpStart: A Giveaway! http://budurl.com/99py

    (Leave a comment here when you’ve done that WITH your username as well.)

  3. Check out the JumpStart Blog and tell me something about one of the articles on the home page. (Leave a comment here about the blog.)
  4. Follow my blog! (Tell me in the comments.)

That’s four extra chances to win! I’m serious about helping create a blog if needed! Good luck, and as always please leave me a way to find you!

Contest will end Thursday April 23rd (that’s tomorrow) @9PM Pacific.

MoziEsme of MoziEsme.blogspot.com has won one of the prize packages.

AND

Joy of All Because Two People Fell In Love won the 2nd package!

Congrats!

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Other JumpStart Posts in the campaign.

Momming It Forward in Portland

April 21, 2009

What a perfect little weekend getaway!

My husband was traveling last week, he landed in Portland one day before we drove in. It was a 5 hour drive for me, but quite possibly some of the most gorgeous country on EARTH! I’m serious. When you think of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. THAT’s where I was! From 5 feet of snow on the top to crabapple trees in bloom down the other side!

Eating lasagna at Cheri‘s house. THANKS so much for letting us stop over and eat your YUMMY food!! {And play with your dog!} How’s this for sweet of her, it was HER birthday and she made dinner for US!!?

The next morning we rocked the Portland Saturday Market, with all the little artisan shops. My husband got a little bored though.. He was all? How many spices, and blown glass can you look at? But my 11yrold was soo in love with these twirling whirly gigs with a large round glass orb in the center. “Only $20 mom! I’ll pay for it, I will!”

She and her sister ended up with cute matching hats instead…

~~~
Later that night I ditched the family and went to The Fat Straw Cafe down in the ‘OH.MY.HECK awesome neighborhood of the Hawthorne District’.

I met up with:
Michelle (@DapperSnappers)
Cheri (@nottoosticky)
CC (of If Only I Had Superpowers blog fame!)

And others… We had a great time, talking and getting to know each other.

{And trying out Bubble Tea, very cool, very weird,
who knew tapioca balls would be a phrase I’d say out loud??}

We all tried out the Yummy products from Basa Body. And we all agreed the Lotion smelled divine, and the mint chocolate soaps from the Kiss Me Kit were VERY hard not to outright lick! And… we agreed the best thing in the kit is the Basa Body Stick. It has a subtle smell, BUT OH!…you will be smitten the first time you rub this on your elbows! 100% coconut oil, what’s not to love?

I rubbed the stick on my 8yrold’s atrociously dry hands AFTER she fell asleep and I swear her hands were soooo much better in the morning! Imagine what this will do for your feet!!

We raised over $200 for Yehu.org and the mom entrepreneurs in Kenya that night! And a lot of why we were able to do that was thanks to our sponsors. Will you do me a favor and click over to each of these sponsors and say thanks with your mouse?

  • DapperSnappers.com Have you seen these Toddler belt clips? I promise if you have a toddler you need to SEE these! These are the kinds of thing you will be seeing on Oprah soon, so if you hurry you will be able to say: “I knew about Dapper Snappers waaay before!
  • JumpStart.com.. I’ve already been singing my 4yrold’s praises of this site.. go see for yourself… or wait til tomorrow when I’ll be giving away a 6month subscription!
  • GiftTree.com You absolutely must see the Mother’s Day gift ideas.. I picked this chocolate explosion of a gift! What would you pick out for YOURself!?

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Don’t Know What to Make For Dinner Tonight??

April 20, 2009

CHICKEN WITH ASPARAGUS AND ALMONDS

Got your attention didn’t I!?

I just found a website that provides amazing recipes for you all week long!

A Flash In The Pan

Delivers the recipes, provides a print sheet AND helps you with your grocery list! {I need that part the most.} In fact, I’m havingtheir Chicken Soup with Rice for dinner, and yes we’ll be reading the book!

And this cooksheet thing? It tells you when to start cooking what for each meal! (click that and scroll down to see an ‘example’.) Like this:

  • 5:46 start the chicken
  • 5:51 Start the noodles
  • 5:54 add something else to the chicken…

and so on.


{I’m going to ask them to add in the part where you have to turn the whole meal off and run to pick up your 11yrold cuz you totally forgot her at little league??}

My Friend Shellie over at Blog4Mom has created a giant group of giveaways including 100 FREE Subscriptions! Check out her site to see all the blog participants and to find out how to win your subscription.

Oh and get this….!

THERE IS A GRAND PRIZE.
Better than a full year of meals, suggestions and recipes?

YES.

The amazing and very professional chefs behind A Flash In The Pan, are going to come to YOUR HOUSE to cook for you! They will fly in, do the shopping, do the cooking and the cleaning up (okay you might have to help with that part..) But HOW freakin’ cool is that? If I were to win.. I would soo invite some girlfriends over for a rockin’ girl’s night at MY house! What would you do?

What are you waiting for? Head over to Blog4Mom and check out all the places you can enter!

There will be additional winners and the Grand Prize Winner announced This Wednesday via Twitter. Yup. Earth Day.

  • April 22nd from 7-9PM EST.
  • Hashtag: #FIPan
  • Custom TweetGrid: #FIPan TweetGrid.com

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If You Give a Blogger a Recipe…

April 20, 2009
Kate the Great from Cooking During Stolen Moments
has created an eCookBook. Where did she get the recipes for this eCookBook?
Well, two are mine! She has added my Pistachio Cake and My Veggie Bolonese…

But there are other recipes from online blogging buddies of mine!

  • Daisy (my favorite poet) from CompostHappens has added Mosaic Muffins.
  • @David_Tinney (my awesome Twitter pal) has added T-Bone Steaks.. um.. YUM!
  • Katie (the BuildABear winner) from Good Life {Eats} has added Vanilla Sugar Sweat Bread.

I don’t know about you, but I could be talked into buying the book just from these offerings! But there are over 170 recipes total!

What is the cost? A donation. I’d recommend $20 for the full recipe book, and you decide if you only want the cookes, or breads or even a main dish book! The books are available now, hurry!

All proceeds are going to Share Our Strength, please read more about the virtual bake sale on Kate’s blog!

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TKism

April 18, 2009

Many Faces of a 4YROLD

My baby is almost 5. Sigh.


TK: Mom can I have a Salt Egg?

Mom: A what??

TK: You know. When you put it in the microwave and you put salt on it?

Mom: Ohhhh, Riaaaght, a SALT egg.

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Stuck In The Camera Card

April 17, 2009

The ones that didn’t make it.

I think I’ll make this a regular installment, every 3 months or so… drag through the poor pictures on the card that didn’t get a chance to shine…

Do you have poor lost soul photos too?

From my super uber yummy Thanksgiving Soup. (see recipe link on this post)

red peppers and onions

Was going to be an awesome Christmas present for a friend… but…
I kept these WildTree oils for myself —tres awesome to cook with!

WildTree grapeseed oil

Sassy’s Birthday Cake. Yes that’s an igloo cake. What? Her birthday is Christmas Eve for crying out loud, what else do you want me to make??

Sassy Birthday Igloo Cake

If you pimp yourself long enough dreams really do come true. Thanks to Wal-mart and Rockfish, I finally got a Flip. Flip yeah!

flip ultra video camera what will you see today?flip ultra video camera

{INSERT NOTE!}

It has come to my attention that peeps don’t know what the awesome-ness of a Flip is:
PLEASE CLICK to see for yourself!!
$80

~~~~~~~back to the pictures~~~~~~~~

There sure are a lot of food pictures on that dang card.
Can you tell what these are??

Sweet Potato and Red Beet fries

The kids were NOT impressed. I ate them all myself thankyouverymuch.

Join me on PhotoStory Friday with the Great CecilyR, you won’t be sorry.

Photobucket

And the Sits Girls are holding a gigantamus auction all day Friday!
Have a look!

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GoodNGreen

April 16, 2009

Earth Day is next week
(Wednesday in fact!)

How do you Green your Planet?

  • I grow tomatoes! (This year in pots on my deck, but still that counts right?)
  • I really want to use reusable shopping bags but always forget? Someone help me find a way to remember? Maybe if I attach them to my belt buckle?
  • I was a composting fool. But in my new house.. no yard, very sad about that.
  • We keep filling up the old water bottles, filter the water, works for us!
  • I yell at the hubby when he ‘forgets’ to put the recycle-able things into the recycle bin!
  • I buy locally grown fruit and veggies. You won’t see me buying raspberries in January.
  • I moved to a tiny town, and my automobile gas use? Cut down more than half! (I totally whine when I have to drive a whole 5 miles to Wal-Mart!)

Speaking of Wal-Mart… I am participating in their Earth Month! I even made a couple Vlogs about some great green products.. and I soooo hate my voice!

I think my favorite new items are the new Clorox Green Works cleaners. Oh my gosh these smell sooo good! Real essential oils! They are plant based biodegradable cleaners. I found these on sale and to be similar in cost to other brandname cleaners.

And since I already wash my clothes in cold water, and I already use Tide, trying out Tide for Cold Water? Awesome.. LOVE that. Less natural gas use! Overall this Tide is more expensive per load, but if you save on the gas bill, maybe it comes out closer and you were being green?

Here’s the video.. but I’m warning you. Do NOT make fun of my voice, I swear!!

And how to talk about toilet paper? I guess you don’t. You just post a picture of some of your close friends, who are ‘testing’ it out! Is it soft considering it’s recycled paper TP? Yes. It is!I would buy White Cloud!

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