Archive for September, 2009

Taco Del Mar: Have You Eaten Here?

September 30, 2009
$19 for all 5 of us to eat?
That’s a pretty good deal!

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5 GoodNCrazy Thumbs Up!
Way up.

Kid Quotes:

Sadie 11yrold: “I might burst.” “Luved it, it wasn’t spicy.”
Sassy 8yrold: “Why is it all decorated in Hawaiian?” “Good. I’d like to have it another time.
TK 5yrold: “Look at the SHARK mom!” “Yup. I loved it!”

And the Dad said:
“Fresh, with the right amount of spicy—the chicken was tasty!”

I shared my Mondo Fish Burrito with the 11yrold, cuz I could tell it was going to be WAY too much for me. And WOW. I don’t usually order Fish burritoes but before we went I asked the Twitter world to tell me what they liked the best and several tweeps said DO NOT LEAVE without at least tasting the FISH Tacos.

I am officially camped in the Fish Burrito/Taco side. I don’t know what was in the White Sauce, but make sure you get it on yours!!

Kids Meals $3 (great deal huh)?
Mondo Chicken Burrito $6
Fish Burrito $5
(And more than enough to share)!

We ate at the Newly Opened Wilsonville, Oregon Taco Del Mar. It’s right off the Boone River, what a pretty little suburban town. It’s 4 miles south of the Fancy Schmancy Portland Bridgeport Shopping area, and 11 miles north of Woodbridge Outlets (much more my kinda style).

Oh and cuz it’s totally important to my world: The bathrooms passed the smell test!

TK: “I didn’t like it. I LOVED it!”

Disclosure: Lunch was ON Taco Del Mar…

Negotiating Tween Tantrums

September 29, 2009

But MOM!!
NO ONE ELSE has a bedtime!

It’s here. It’s official.

Negotiating tween tantrums: the bedtime

She’s convinced we are the meanest parents on the block. Only took her 1.5 weeks of Jr. High to figure it out. After a longer than usual day. Trying out for volleyball, attending her youth group activity and completing homework (mostly algebra—oh joy) she was grumpy and exhausted.

We encouraged her to hurry & shower then get ready for bed. (Can you imagine anything more cruel?)

Her response {IN ALL CAPS}:

YOU ARE SO MEAN!
NO ONE ELSE HAS A BEDTIME!
I’M NOT A LITTLE KID!

I looked at my husband. He looked at me.
We were baffled? Where did THAT come from?

After my own rotten day I quite honestly couldn’t deal with her tween tantrum at the mommy witching hour. The dad helped her understand it wasn’t a good time to have a shouting match.

Later after she was asleep, we talked about what she really needed? Was there more to her tween tirade than a set bedtime? —She was overtired, possibly nervous about volleyball, and for sure Jr. High was completely new to her —maybe tween stress issues?

Do we care if she stays up later than the younger kids?

No.
As long as any ‘extra’ time staying up later isn’t spent watching TV, and of course as long as she is still able to get up early enough to get herself moving for the bus.

What we really want her to understand is how to negotiate what she wants (or believes she deserves). Because it’s kind of hard to prove to us that she is responsible and capable of determining her own bedtime while in the middle of an “IlooklikeI’m5” outburst.

The next night Dad took her out for a one-on-one Dad chat (including Chinese food). They talked about school and the anxieties in her life. He gave her a chance to plead her no-need-for-a-bedtime case. And they arrived home with an acceptable compromise.

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Her new ‘bedtime’ will now be an hour later than before. And if she’s finished with homework she determined that she’d be happy to read or do something quiet in her room during her extra time.

Problem solved. Now the question is will she understand how to negotiate the next time the “meanest parents” come to town??

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*I polled some of her friend’s parents. They ALL said their kids have ‘bedtimes’. We in fact, are NOT the meanest parents on the block.
So THERE.

Shred Sled, Awesome Kid Skillz

September 28, 2009

Does she make this look easy or what?

We pulled the Shred Sled out of the box and I thought: Uh Oh, what have we done? Can we really use this thing? The kiddos took it straight out to the driveway and um…

Let’s just say we sucked.

Sadie (my 11yrold) tried it and she gave it a great effort but couldn’t see how to start-or move-or even get on it! My 8yrold is our more coordinated kid and even when I held her up to start out, it was a no go. (I admit I gave it a tiny effort, but dude, it’s harder than it looks!)

shred sled

At this point we pulled out the instructions… ahem..
OH.
It says:
use a wall when you are starting to Learn.
Well duh, that made sense!

I could see the sparkle-determination-in-her-eyes and Sadie spent another 30 minutes trying to teach her feet to say on the twisty-turny-not-quite-a-skateboard! Within about 4 days of her after school attempts. Sadie had it down. She can start (without the wall), navigate circles, and is having a blast!


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GoodNCrazy Thoughts:

They claim you can ride the Shred Sled uphill? So far she’s awesome on a very slight incline, and she’s dying to try it on a local skate park! She’s happy to zoom around with it most afternoons, and I don’t think she’ll really outgrow it any time soon. Which is awesome because it’s getting really hard to find fun gifts for her anymore?

It’s really only for older kids, my 8yrold still hasn’t mastered it, and that drives her kinda crazy. My 5yrold plays with it but only under serious supervision… And believe me you do not want to trip over this thing (ask me how I know…)!

Cost: $119.99 and comes in red, blue and black.

Erase Teacher-Funded Classrooms-contest closed

September 27, 2009

Did you know teachers spend an average of $1200 of their own money on classroom supplies each year?

NOTE: Contest Closed

When I was asked to get involved with Office Max’s campaign to end teacher-funded classrooms. I was all… HECK yeah! Call me a Max Mom, call me a pooped out tired grouchy mom, but PLEASE let me help out with this! My dad was a teacher… with 10 kids in my family! Believe me… I get what it means to help a teacher out. And now YOU can help simply by nominating your favorite teacher in the comments!

Teachers spend $4 billion annually! That’s why OfficeMax joined with Adopt-A-Classroom to create “A Day Made Better“—a national cause event founded to erase teacher-funded classrooms. This year, “A Day Made Better” will take place on October 6 where 1,000 teachers will be surprised in their classrooms each with $1,000 worth of essential supplies from OfficeMax. That’s more than one million dollars donated to help teachers! Principals at needy schools nominated the teachers for demonstrating dedication, innovation, and passion.

To pay-it-forward, OfficeMax and Mom It Forward have teamed up to create awareness about the issue of teacher-funded classrooms and to give you the opportunity to get involved and help a teacher in your community on behalf of the “A Day Made Better.” Here’s how…

Simply nominate a teacher of your choice to win this giveaway by following the entry requirements. Be sure to check out the prize and criteria!

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PRIZE
One exceptional teacher will receive a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR gift card to OfficeMax. This can go a long way when it comes to classroom supplies!

CRITERIA

This is a giveaway that is meant to be given away. What does that mean? You get to nominate a teacher by sharing why this person is exceptional and deserving of this giveaway. The best part, every story told helps raise awareness in an effort to erase teacher-funded classrooms. The winning teacher will be chosen based on the following criteria, so be sure to tell us why your teacher is most deserving:
  • Dedication: does everything in his/her power to deliver the best possible education for his/her students.
  • Innovation: thinks outside the box and engages his/her students through creative learning activities & programs.
  • Passion: expresses a genuine passion for education and shares this enthusiasm in the classroom.
  • Need: demonstrates a need for essential classroom supplies.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

To enter your teacher, you are required to do TWO things.

(Note: post a separate comment for each entry.)

1. Nominate him or her in your comment
(or you may link to a blog post if that’s easier)

Please keep your nomination comment (or blogpost) under 400 words.

2. Post at least one of these messages on Facebook and/or Twitter.

(Note: Be sure to leave 2nd comment here with link to your message.)

More than 30 sites are participating in this campaign between now and Sunday, October 4. Visit http://momitforward.com for a list of all the giveaways! You may enter a different teacher on every site, but you may only win once!

Thanks so much for helping pay-it-forward to teachers in your community! Please join us on Tuesday 29 from 9 to 11 pm ET for Girls Night Out (#gno) on Twitter if you’d like to meet the team behind the cause: @officemax, @adaymadebetter and @Adopt_Classroom. Hope to see you there!

*disclosure: I received A small financial compensation from OfficeMax which I spent on supplies that I donated to the teacher my MaxMom group supported.


FINE PRINT

Entries are due Sunday, October 4 by midnight PDT. No purchase necessary to enter. Winners will be selected by me based on the entry that in my opinion meets the above criteria. OfficeMax, Adopt-A-Classroom and Mom It Forward play no part in choosing the winner of this giveaway. OfficeMax, Adopt-A-Classroom, and Mom It Forward employees are ineligible to enter. In a spirit of fairness, my personal friends and family members are also ineligible. Entries that do not follow all of the entry requirements will not be considered. The winner will be notified and have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If no response is received within 24 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to participants in the U.S. 18 years and older.

Legoland or BUST!

September 26, 2009

Join us in Southern California.
Beaches. Legoland. Sealife Aquarium.
And family vacation memories!

More stories at Legoland SealifeAquarium
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I dreamed of driving to Southern California with the whole family. This time the one place I was NOT going to miss was Legoland! Especially while my kids were still young and would enjoy the wonder and creativeness of the place. And bonus! I didn’t know SeaLife operates as a sister venue INside Legoland! {I do now.}

We absolutely adored the whole trip.
Well.. minus the broken arm but I’ll save that for later…

We stayed in a hotel near Legoland in Carlsbad. Making it simple and easy to get to the park right when it opened. We picked up our tickets (A BIG BIG thanks goes to Rebecca of SeaLife for providing them, and to Charity of VirtueIMC for making the connection to GoodNCrazy!) You can bring in your own lunch and cooler and that made it a lot easier for us to not worry about food. We have one diabetic in the family and 3 kids, so we really like having our own water and snacks with us.

We happily rented a double stroller even though we don’t have toddler kids anymore. Everyone gets tired sometimes and now we had room to hold the cooler and the camera and the phones and… you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

I was impressed with how easy it was to rent everything and even when we left the park for a short break and siesta time(another reason to stay close by), they put our stroller on hold and made it easy to get back into the park including parking.

Some of our favorite things in Legoland were:

  • The Coast Cruise and all the mini landscapes in Miniland
  • Aquazone
  • Technic Rollercoaster
  • EVERYTHING in Pirate Shores (BRING your swimsuit!)
  • Hideaway Slides and Play House (especially my 5yrold)


From my 11yrold who was happy and amazed at the creative use of Legos and fun rides all over the park, to my 5yrold who could ride most of the rides and loved the interactive water music areas… we all had a great time.

The park was clean and had plenty of shade with large trees everywhere.

Right now they have Brick or Treat going on… talk about a blast! Dress up and go play!

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In the hot afternoon we opted to head inside to SeaLife Aquarium. And my kids are such troopers. The oldest got totally into the scavenger hunt trivia game. The other two were happy to run around and ooh and ahh at the fish and other fun slimy things. Tidepool starfish anyone!

About half way thru SeaLife in a Tidepool exhibit area, a Lego Castle was set up and they allowed the kids to ‘help’ work on it. My two youngest stayed there and ‘worked’ for nearly a half an hour. We had to drag them away! This was easily the most liked and remembered part of the whole park, Legoland and Sealife combined!

Dad was a trooper too!

Can’t travel to San Diego and not visit the beach!

We had such fun, enjoying amazing things: the ocean, Legoland, Sealife AND then my little boy breaks his arm climbing a tree in our friend’s yard… oh joy. Welcome to our GoodNCrazy vacation!

Link Round-Up! Yee Haw.

September 25, 2009

Good finds: Crazy daisies

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My 8yrold recently discovered her quirky side. She dresses shall we say… eclectically? I’m buying her the brightest patterned tights I can find. I found these patterned tights at CelesteStein.com $16.


My friend Gretchen of Chichiboulie.com only lives a few THOUSAND miles away… over in FRANCE… you simply must see her artwork. I’m in love with the Safari prints and the fairies are fab! $18


While I was jogging at the gym I found this idea in a magazine: Active Edge Easy Catch…. the ball is foam so it’s indoor friendly! Cuz I swear sometimes my 5yrold is NOT!! $28.99.

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My 11yrold is currently reading/devouring/inhaling the Percy Jackson Series of Books. Book one is The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan. She came home yesterday whining that her school library does not have the fifth one. Can you say BDay present?? $7.99

I just bought her a pair of converse shoes a lot like these and look(!) here they are 20% off. (We were able to use our 20% coupon plus my $15 rewards gift card on TOP of the buy one get one half off! I call that a good shopping day.) $39.99

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I dare you NOT to love the contemporary furniture on AllModern.com. Plus…CSNstores has a living room makeover giveaway going on.. HELLO! *BONUS*!


I just made this TONIGHT for dinner: Roast Pork Tenderloin w/Apricot Glaze: recipe from Chow.com. {YES. I’ll share.} Leftover suggestion? Shred pork and simmer in BBQ sauce and 1 can tomato sauce, voilá pork sandwiches!


I’m super excited! I just found out I get to be a judge for a contest LeeLouBlogs is hosting for the amazing Memory Mixer products… Go check out the contest and even if you don’t own Memory Mixer Software you can use a 30 day free download to create your scrapbook entry! {There’s a laptop as first prize…!}

*disclaimer: affiliate links included

Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge

September 23, 2009

When you have a new camera to play with…
And you have quite possibly one of the most breathtaking sights you’ve ever seen.
And your husband has surprised you with an anniversary suprise like THIS.

What do you do?

Enjoy Every Second.

Snoqualmie falls, Washington

I think I enjoyed editing these images every bit as much as taking the shots in the first place. Welcome to Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. Outside of Seattle by about 30 minutes. The AH-mazing Salish Lodge is perched at the tippy top of the falls. Apparently Twin Peaks was filmed here… any guess why?! The falls are nearly 300 Feet HIGH.

Footbridge, snoqualmie falls Salish Lodge

Which one do you like better… the real life with a bit of color popping?
Or the hint of Sepia…?

Footbridge, snoqualmie falls Salish Lodge b&w

snoqualmie falls water plant color

I loved this image of the water plant outside our hotel room. I played with it and honestly couldn’t decide which I liked better. The Black&White gives off creepy vibe? But the color is so striking?

snoqualmie falls water plant

We walked down the foot path to the bottom of the falls, and this covered part was waiting for us. Doesn’t it look like fairies live here? Yes I tweaked the colors completely.

Do Fairies Live there?

GIVEAWAY: Frito Lay Tailgating Party

September 22, 2009
Frito Lay wants to host YOUR next Tailgating party.

At your favorite team’s parking lot, or near your neighborhood big screen… Either way. THIS Party is ON Frito Lay! {Yay!}

{Contest is CLOSED}
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I have been dying to write about the weirdness in this part of the country between the Ducks and the Beavers… even my KINDERGARTNER the other day asked me.. in ALL seriousness:

“Mom. Are we Ducks, or are we Beavers?”

This was in a voice akin to istherereallyaSantaClaus? Because apparently even 5yrolds are dividing up on one side of the crayon box and the other side of the paint easel according to whether they sleep in green or orange flannel PJs…!

When I replied to him.. um… “we’re UTES..” he was so very confused. I explained.. “as in UTAH..” He grinned ear to ear and sighed.. “Oh, we’re for Utah?” He was so relieved to have a team to root for. How funny is that!?

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Recently I had a big old hankerin’ for some sort of a chipotle flavored dip… the problem? How to make it? I ended up heading to a local restaurant to buy some way too fattening onion rings and their sauce.

Not anymore! Thanks to @BlogWellDone, I created my own better than the restaurant and SO much less fattening Awesome Chipotle GoodnCrazy Chip Dip!

Here’s how you can make it too!

Buy a can of chipotle peppers
(Who knew so easy to get?)

  • 1 Cup Low Fat Sour Cream
  • Blend up 3 peppers add to Sour Cream
  • Add 1-2 Tbls of the sauce the peppers came in
  • A few shakes of onion powder
  • A few shakes of garlic powder
  • A squeeze of Lime juice

—This was altogether WAY WAY too spicy for me… I ended up adding mild salsa to my portion of the dip… but WHO CARES! It was awesome!
We LOVED this with Tostitos Whole Grain Chips AND Veggies!
Now it’s your turn.

*What’s your most creative HEALTHY Game Day Snack?*

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One GoodNCrazy reader will win a Frito Lay Tailgating Kit! Worth $50. Including:

  • Three bags of Frito Lay Chips
  • One Fab Foot’bowl’ to hold your yummy chips and dip
  • One $25 American Express Gift Card
Enter To Win
  • Comment on this post:
    include your recipe {or link to a blogpost with your recipe}.
  • Each recipe must contain either a Frito Lay product (think Frito Pie..)
  • Or must Use Lays chips for Dippin’ and Snackin’.
Feel Free to Share!
TWEET This Giveaway! {click to tweet}


Contest ends Sunday September 27th at 9PM Pacific.

winner will be chosen based on creativeness and healthy ingredients
must leave an email address for contact
winner must respond within 48 hours
must be 18 or older to enter
email me with any questions
contest ONLY open to US residents

Moxie Mona Lands In Oregon!

September 20, 2009

Hi! Welcome to My World.
Where the town is tiny and the air is clean.
The Fighter Jets Train and The *Ducks Reign.

Where Good is Crazy & Crazy is Good.

Mom of all trades… Jack of NONE.

I’m Carissa. I’ve got three Crazy kids and one Good husband.
Thanks for joining me today… to all you Moxie Foxy Ladies…
A great big Hug and Puffy Heart Hello!

I was OhMiGosh FLATTERED when Francesca and her Moxie Crew asked if I would be the Oregon stop on this bloggy train ride. And then I went.. crap. I live in a tiny becarefulifyoublinkyou’llmissit kind of town. Kind of BORING… But the thing is. Southern Oregon has some AH-mazing things to see.. all I have to do is drive 15minutes in any direction and WOW! Cascade forests. Lakes and more lakes. Fun shopping towns and Southern Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival!

Sit back and enjoy, because I took a ton of pictures, so you and (Moxie Mona) won’t forget your little stopover here in my Land of GoodNCrazy. My kids saw me taking pictures of um… a doll… and said, “Oh.. like a flat Stanley?” Well, yes.. just like that.. only curvier!

If you ever get the chance to see Crater Lake for yourself. DO NOT PASS it up. Seriously, this is like one of the top 10 must-see-Mother-Nature-out-did-herself areas in North America. It really is THAT blue. It really is THAT gorgeous. It really is impossible to explain in words…

Pictures do a MUCH better job.

I promise. No editing was done to the above image.
It’s Straight Out Of the Camera.
That white speck in the middle is a boat.
You walk very carefully on the rim… it’s a long ways down!
Mona Takes it Easy in the tall summer grass of the Crater Lake Rim.

Crater Lake was created from a collapsed Volcano. There are no inlets or outlets; ALL the water is from snow and rain! (I’ve seen it in the winter…absolutely BREATH-taking). It is the deepest lake in North America and that accounts for it’s blue-er than blue color! The Crater Lake area is the only National Park in Oregon. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Portland and only 1 hour from me!

Please Meet My Moxie Kids!

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Hey! It turns out Mona is a great help around the house!

About 3 weeks ago I helped pick pears at a local church owned orchard. I don’t think I can make it clear enough just how cool it is to live in an area where there are more Pear and Peach orchards than PEOPLE!

You know the amazing Harry and David Company? As in Awe-SOME with a capital A! Well get this… they are located just over the hill from us… and they have a retail outlet… and yes. I’ve purchased Moose Munch. So there!

To Francesca and Kacey, Angie, Jill, Kathy and Laura…. This Fridge Art is for you! Thanks for letting me play along and may your new venture MoxieMediaGirls take flight like WonderWoman takes bullets! Pa-chew! Pa-ching!

Follow the Foxy Moxie Ladies on Twitter: @MoxieMediaGirls


*We are NOT affiliated with the DUCKS in any way shape or form. {GO UTES}!

**Should you want more Life In Oregon Posts.. Here they are.

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Other Moxie Mona sightings Today:

California: Forever Folding Laundry, The R Family Diaries, From Dates to Diapers
Oregon: Good N Crazy
Washington: Beauty and the Little Beast
Nevada: It’s a Beauty Filled Life
Montana: Sacred & Profane
Idaho: The Petersons Go Public
Wyoming: A Life Less Sweet
Utah: Pulsipher Predilections and Pooba
Colorado: Cheapskate Mom
Arizona: One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five

Vancouver, British Columbia

September 18, 2009

What would a trip to Vancouver be without a couple of Mountie Sightings?

While on our 15th Anniversary Reunion Tour to Seattle. We took one day and a night and drove to Vancouver, BC. Home of the upcoming Winter Olympics, The Inukshuk Mascot, Stanley Park, Gorgeous Scenery and Rogers Chocolates (who knew we’re so famous!?)!

A photo Journey:

The view outside our hotel window harborview, and the same harbor from the other side of the pond.

Stanley Park Gardens! Is that straight out of a magazine or what? And the famous Gastown Steam powered clock. (The first ever it turns out.. I thought, WOW it must be REALLY REALLY old.. guess how old? 1970s.. huh??) Oh well.. it’s such a fabulous part of the city, walking streets and shopping and cobblestone sidewalks…

I’m completing my collection of flags. I couldn’t resist and have about 100 shots just like this one!
And Ohmygosh… the money! I’m such a geek I know but I love playing with the Canadian money, the 20 with the Queen on it is funny to me for some reason. And don’t even get me started on the whole Looney and Twooney business!

Next up….to complete the big anniversary tour… That Gigantic Surprise… I was going to stick it in this post… but I have a LOT of photos…!