Monday, May 31, 2010

Blogania and life update!

Man, this week just killed me. I don't know why, but it was a crazy week, and it seemed like I had no time to get anything done! Then this weekend J and I have gone to two outlet malls and seen a movie, plus run a few other errands. No time!!

My biggest announcement is two NEW BLOGMANIA sponsors!! Easy Lunchboxes is compartmentalized food container, that, combined with the cooler lunchbag, is an easy, eco-friendly way to prepare lunch. A full review will be posted soon.

My other sponsor is bradens grace wall art from etsy. I will be giving away a set of 12 3-inch circle chalkboard vinyls. These are perfect for labeling jars, glasses and  other containers!

My giveaway now has a title - FROM OUR KITCHEN TO YOURS, thanks to Gina  at crush. I just love it :D I am working on getting more sponsors! If you have kitchen, baking, cooking themed product, please e-mail me. Just click on Contact Info up at the top of the page. Thanks :)

In personal news... J and I joined Weight Watchers. Finally, I say LOL I have done WW before, but it is kinda different nowadays! J's brother has lost 73 pounds on WW!! Amazing, man. So hopefully this will jump start something good. My biggest problem is willpower, so hopefully doing it with Jeff will help me stay on track :D

One of the reasons why I wanted to join is the the TTC is still not happening. I'm hoping that my weight is the issue, so WW should help. i KNOW that stress is a big one too, but other than keep on trying to get a new job, there is nothing I can do. Frustrating. We will see how June goes, then see if we need to go a step farther to see a dr or someone. :\

So, that is what is going on! Happy Memorial Day - and a big thank you to all the soldiers out there.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

General Mills Sweet and Salty Prize Pack Giveaway! --CLOSED!


Today's Radical Review Wednesday post includes a giveaway :)

Jeff LOVES is when he comes home from work, and I say, "I have surprise for you!" ... especially when it involves food! And he got a big surprise when the Sweet and Salty prize pack arrived!

The first item I made him try was the Bugles Hot Buffalo, since he is a much braver man than me! His initial reaction was "Woo. Wooo hooo." I was only brave enough to try two, and they were HOT! He ate half the bag and said he was done... then an hour later ate the rest lol!! He loved these, since he loves hot stuff,.

Nature Valley Oats `N Dark Chocolate Crunchy Granola Bars: We tried these the next day, and they were pretty good. I am not a huge fan of crunchy granola bars (hey this WAS a prize pack for Jeff after all!), but these weren't too bad at all. He liked them too, said they had a nice crunch and good chocolate taste.

Saving the best for last, we tried the Cocoa Puff Treats Triple Chocolate. Oh. My. God. Jeff's quote:  This is the single best thing I have ever eaten in my entire life. This bar is amazing. It is so,so chocolaty in the delicious chocolate way, and the coca puffs are an extra chocolate explosion. I had to force myself to stop eating it so I could save some for later.

All of these items you can ONLY buy at convenience stores.... and this cereal bar I would go to a convenience store just to buy! It is that delicious!!

Our prize pack also included  a Bugles t-shirt and a Nature Valley insulated travel mug. Everything you see here:

 AND YOU CAN WIN IT!!!! I have one prize pack to giveaway.

Entering is easy.

Mandatory Entry:
1. Tell me which of these products your man (or you!) would like to try the most.. (1 entry)

Bonus Entries:
*must do the mandatory entry first*
*for items with more than one entry, leave a separate comment for each entry*

2. Subscribe to me via e-mail. (2 entries)

3. Subscribe to me via Google Friend Connect ( 1 entry)

4. Subscribe to me in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow Me on Twitter. Leave your Twitter name in your comment (2 entries)

6. Tweet this giveaway, using the following tweet or your own that includes a link to this post and @lbandj.
    "Win a General Mills Sweet and Salty prize pack @lbandj"
(2 entries for the first tweet. Can be done daily for one additional entry per day)

7. Add my button to your sidebar. Leave link to your blog. (1 entry)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway, with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post.

LEAVE YOUR EMAIL IN YOUR COMMENT SO I CAN REACH YOU IF YOU WIN!  Giveaway will end on Thursday, 6/10. Open to U.S.
Good luck! :)

The prize packs and information were all given to you from General Mills through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 24, 2010

You Shave Product Review

They Say:
Imagine getting a closer, smoother shave while effortlessly protecting the environment and saving hundreds of dollars every year. YouShave™ products do exactly that! In fact, we guarantee you’ll shave closer, eliminate razor burn, and keep bucket loads of plastic razors out of landfills.
We have engineered our products to suit an array of shaving needs, and to extend the life of your razor blades. Virtually all of our customers have experienced a smoother, closer shave and 100% of our customers are spending less on replacement razors or blade cartridges.

Why should you shave with our YouShave blade lubricants?
No other product, gel or foam, will give you as smooth of a shave, leaving your skin incredibly soft and supple while looking and feeling great. Whether you're shaving your face, legs, underarms, bikini area, or anywhere else on your body, YouShave™ lubricants treat your sensitive skin to the soothing relief it deserves. YouShave™ lubricants are also a great solution for anyone suffering from pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB). All of the YouShave™ lubricants are naturally moisturizing and protect your skin while shaving.
  •  Specifically formulated for shaving course hair.
  • All Natural (non-toxic) YouShave™ lubricants avoid irritation, especially for sensitive skin.
  • Protects your razorblade from getting mineral buildup.
  • Moisturizes, softens, conditions, cleanses, and forms a barrier between the razor blade and your skin while shaving.
  • No more nicks and cuts, eliminates razor burn, prevents razor bumps, stops razor rash and shaving irritation.
  • You save hundreds per year on replacement blades, and your blades last longer.100% natural, does NOT contain any synthetic additives, chemicals or preservatives.

I Say:
I really liked this product. I was not brave enough to use it without shave cream, however, my shaves are smoother and the blade works a lot better. Jeff has been using the lubricant by itself, and he loves it! It gives him a really smooth shave. The oil is a little greasy at first, but that doesn't stay greasy long.  He also has noticed that his razor has less"gunk" on it.

My only real issue was the shavebox (see pic below)

It does come with instructions on how to hang it, but I guess i did it wrong, because my box stayed up for a few seconds - then fell to the ground, where the little pins holding the clear part in broke. I crazy glue'd them back in, but its now a bit too hard to open lol BUT as you can see, the ShaveBox stands up on its own, so we keep it on the sink counter, and that works just fine.

I give this product 4 stars and a recommendation!

Buy It:
You can buy it direct from You get one bottle of lubricant and one box for $14.99. They also have a special now - FREE priority shipping to all U.S. states or $5 off shipping for everyone else! This link will take you straight to the order page!

I was given one bottle of lubricant and one shavebox to review from Business2Blogger, no other compensation. All opinions are my own or my husbands and were in no way influenced..

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baking Fail = Baking Win!

I  have never, in my life, burned cookies or had to scrape off hardened ANYTHING from a baking pan. Never.
Until Thursday night.
I was attemptig to make the Chocolate Chewies from How Sweet It Is' blog. I think I didn't use enough powdered sugar. Ad I also used the wrong implement to mix it. And the wrong kind of cocoa. So almost every batch was too dark or stuck on the pan. It was a disaster!!!! I added more and more powdered sugar, and ended up with a batch that wasn't at all like it should have been but was all right... more candyish than cookieish. It was still totally wrong, though.

As dumb as it might sound - I was embarrassed. Jeff, he doesn't care, but I knew I could do better. So I decided to try another new recipe, one that HAD to be no fail because....

It used brownie AND cookie mix!! you can't mess that up... right? THE first recipe I bookmarked in my new recipe folder in Firefox, Choc. chip cookie brownies from Bakerella, adapted from good ole Betty Crocker.

These are so easy to make! Preheat oven to 350. You make one package brownie mix as directed and pour  in a greased 13 x 9 pan.Then you make one package cookie mix as directed (choc. chip is traditional - I used a pumpkin spice mix I had leftover from the holidays). Drop the cookie mix my spoonfuls on the brownie batter. You might have to press them down - I used thinner, regular brownie mix so mine kinda sunk on their own.

Bake for 35 to 40 mins - until the edges brown a little. Let them cool completely! Bakerella put chocolate ganache on hers, so I had to also! Here is her recipe:
Chocolate Ganache
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp butter
  • In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before the boiling stage.
  • Pour over the chocolate morsels.
  • Let stand about 20 seconds and stir until smooth.
  • Pour over brownies and let set before cutting.


 I am very glad that I made a disaster turn into something yummy. Now we just need to invite some people over to help us eat all these brownies! lol

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Radical Review Wednesday: Pretzel M & M's

Welcome to my new, weekly feature: Radical Review Wednesdays! In an effort to post all the reviews in my head that I need to type out and to get a weekly feature going, I decided to start this one! Some weeks a giveaway will be included - this isn't one of those weeks, but it will happen in the future!

You might have heard that M & M's was giving away bags of pretzel M & M's on their Facebook page. When i first heard this, I was intrigued: Are they pretzels with M & M's on them? M & M's in the shape of pretzels? I honestly was confused! But duh, of course, they are just M & M's with pretzels inside with the chocolate!

And they are pretty darn good! At first biting into them  is strange because you're biting into an M & M... but it doesn't taste like one. It is very crunchy and a little salty, which just a little bit of chocolate taste. They are similar to chocolate covered pretzels but with a little twist. They are definitely more portable and less likely to melt!

I give these 4 stars!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First Blogmania Sponsor!!

Yes, I have my first BLOGMANIA sponsor for September's BLOGMANIA!!!!

You can win a $15 gift certificate to Check out all of their food packaging supplies, including cute straws and disposable loaf pans that you can actually bake the batter in! They have such great and cute ideas to use their products too.

So excited to have them aboard! If you would like to add your product to my kitchen/baking/cooking themed BLOGMANIA giveaway, then please contact me for details!!

(Many thanks to Gina at crush blog for the help!!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Easy Dinner - Cheeseburger Pasta

This weekend was a bit of a spring cleaning weekend for us. We switched out our winter clothes for summer ones (huzzah!), did some yard work, ALL of the laundry and some other cleaning as well.

That left me one tired girl and not in the mood for cooking. Luckily, I had already planned on making this quick and easy Cheeseburger Pasta from Campbell's.

1 pound ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Tomato Soup  (Regular or Healthy Request®)
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups uncooked medium shell-shaped pasta
  • Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.
  • Stir the soups, water and pasta in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender, stirring often.
EASY!!! I loved that i didn't have to pre-cook the pasta. But it was a little bland - I thought we had onion and garlic,but we didn't. So I'd definitely recommend adding some spices, etc.  It also reheats well, and the pasta didn't get too soft or soggy. We served it with corn, and the corn was delicious mixed in with it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spiced WINNER!!!

the winner is....


Carolina Girl Mommy!!!!!


I'll be e-mailing you shortly. You have 48 hours to reply, or i'll pick a new winner.

Thank you to all who entered! Stay tuned because I'll have a new giveaway up in a few days!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Muffins

On the rare occasion when my boss is out of town on a Friday, the rest of the staff brings in breakfast, andwe have a relaxing "weekly meeting"! Last Friday, we had quiche, bagels, french toast, fruit, OJ, virgin bloody mary's, and I brought in cinnamon choclate chip muffins! Delicious!!!

Here is the recipe, and its modifications by me:

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used a whole t.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg , beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I was still out of vanilla, so I used maple!)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chip (I added more as usual!!)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the well of the dry mixture.
  5. Mix until just moistened, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon into greased muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Free Disney Song of the Day 5/10

Walt Disney Records on Facebook has a new promotion called "50 Days of Disney Music."  Today's song is Now or Never from High School Musical 3. I am actually a little ashamed to say that I have never seen number 3! Yes, I like number one and the cheese that is number 2 is awesome, but I just have never caught number 3 on TV... Jeff just can't handle THAT much HSM. Even though it has fond memories for me of watching the debut of number 2 in CA while he was watching in NY, when we were dating long distance... he still can only handle so much! LOL Oh well.

Ohhh... as I was typing this, I was also going through my old e-mails, and I saw that last week Luscious Deals posted the video to NSYNC's I Drive Myself Crazy. Excuse me... I know what I'll be doing for the next few minutes!!

No Menu Plan today!

I hope all of the moms out there had a good Mother's Day!!!

Jeff is working night school and a concert for most of the days this week so no menu plan. Its going to be so chilly this week !!! that I might just make a casserole one day so he can reheat it.

And with no trips planned for awhile, hopefully we can get back into our routine again. It will be nice to not have a mountain of laundry or microwae meals so often!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Winner Chosen!

The winner of the gift card never replied to my e-mail. So I have chosen a new winner:

#234... MARIE!!!!!

Congrats! I am e-mailing you right now.

Little Yaya's and Blessed Giveaways

Just wanted to alert you guys to some of the many giveaways that Little Yaya's has going on right now. I was lucky enough to win her Blogmania giveaway - a $25 gc to ABC Ties (= new tie for Jeff!) and also a 3D bear cake pan from Wilton. (Using it will be a challenge, but I can't wait to try).

Here are the recent ones I have entered - try your luck too!!

Win a bag from High Sierra

Win Pirate Brand snacks

Win a Skoy cleaning cloth

Win a $10 gift card to Cold Stone Creamery

Win Snikiddy snacks!

Win a $100 gift certificate to ATG Stores
See all they have available here

Win a Clipa Instant bag hanger

Those are the ones I entered... but she has more! :)

Quick and Easy Candy

A few nights ago, I felt like making something... except it was 7 p.m.,and I didn't want to get into a big whole baking production.So I searched for "No bake cookie" recipes and  found a lot with oats - which I didn't have. I did find a few that were more like candy, but I didn't have all of the ingredients - so I just made my own, based on what I had and what i wanted to use up lol

No matter what - it was easy and yummy. I took leftover butterscotch chips and leftover chunky peanut butter and melted them slowly in the microwave (30 seconds at 70%, with plenty of stirring). Then I stirred in some frosted flakes and dropped them by chunks on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Try to make them thin. Refrigerate until solid... then eat!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Cheesecake Experiment!!

For avery, very long time, I have wanted a springform pan so I could make cheesecake. Finally I found a special deal on Amazon for a panset that included aspringform pan. I made a cheesecake almost right way!

(Ingredients minus the eggs!)

But which one to make? For arecipie, I turned to my newest favorite baking blog, Brown Eyed Baker
and decided to make the first one she ever made: Oreo! With a twist... I was out of  vamilla!!! So I used peppermint extract instead.

Since this recipie is fro a 9 inch pan,and I have a10 inch, I used a few more cookies for the crust - and no butter. I also used "Lite" cream cheese, which might have been a mistake? It was very, very easy to make though!

In hindsight, maybe I should have used less cookies in the batter too? I'm not quite sure. Looked good on the way in! I baked it for one hour. Mabe that was a mistake too? LOL

Lookin GOOD!! And it was good but... it was kinda chewy. not really light and fluffy. Any ideas why? It was still good but not as good as it could have been lol!!

Here's the recipe, but please go to Brown Eyed Baker and check out all of her other delish recipes!

OREO Cheesecake
(originally posted on The Nest) 
1 cup crushed OREO cookies (about 12 cookies)
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkgs (8-oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
20 OREO cookies, quartered
**NOTE: Regular OREO cookies are recommended, as cake does not set as well with Double Stuff
1. PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees if using silver springform pan (or 300 degrees if using a dark non-stick springform pan). Mix crushed cookies and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes.
2. BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Gently stir in quartered cookies. Pour over crust.
3. BAKE 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with additional cookies, if desired.
Source: Nestie Lalabee0425


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I'm Back and we have a winner!

I am back from California and Disneyland... and want to go back. The good news is that J is starting to see my side of it. The bad news is the economy isn't going to make it easy. We will see what the future holds.

Thank you all once again for the great response to BLOGMANIA. There is a lot more fun and giveaways to come in my blog so stick around!

Onto the Winners!

The winner of the Amazon gift card is:
THE WINNER NEVER RESPONDED.  Please see new post for the winner.

The winner of the Starbucks  gift card is:
Cathy M!

I willbe e-mailing you both in afew mintues. You have 48 hours to respnd or else anew winner will be chosen.

Also, don't forget to enter my giveawty of Spiced! Spiced-book-review-and-giveaway