Monday, December 31, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 12/31/12

Well, hello there! December just got away from me! The toddler has been waking up 3 to 5 nights a week screaming like he's being tortured :( So exhaustion has reined around here with not much getting done. And the candies and cookies I made for Christmas all failed, so I didn't want to post about them! However, January is right around the  corner, and with it comes resolutions. We are setting up a play area in the basement, and I am planning on getting some blogging done while the toddler is playing. I still have reviews that are overdue :( I also want to blog more about him - he certainly cracks us up these days!

But step 1 is to get back to menu planning!!

So here is this week's menu:

 Monday: NYE appetizer fest: pizza quesedillas, pretzel bites, hot corn and cheese dip

Tuesday: corn chowder from the freezer

Wednesday: Cheesy Chicken and Stuffing

Thursday:  leftovers

Friday: Taco Pasta

Saturday is leftovers and Sunday we are celebrating DH's grandma's birthday!

Dessert of the Week: I made chocolate chip banana bread and peanut butter banana muffins today, plus we still have stuff from Christmas!! I will make something for Sunday, but I am not sure what yet.

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 12/3/12

Wow, life really falls apart when you don't plan your menus! It has been a struggle to catch up with life since the hurricane, and to budget in all of the extra money we were not expecting to spend, along with Christmas gifts! But with the craziness of Christmas coming, I know that having a menu plan set will help keep things under control!!

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! My parents came out, then we all went up to my brother and sister-in-law's for a few days. It was such a great time, and we even went Black Friday shopping! Love it.

It is also the week of Jeff's play, so he will be home whenever he is home lol  So this week will be easy to throw together at the last minute meals and crock pot meals that can sit for awhile.

Here is this week's menu:

Monday: quick burritos (just rice, cooked chicken, cheese and sour cream heated up and rolled in tortillas)

Tuesday: Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

Friday:  Pizza night!

I try not to cook on weekends, so Saturday and Sunday will be leftovers.

Dessert of the Week: a quick bread or muffins... peanut butter banana muffins possibly.

(P.S. It is almost impossible to create a blog post with an almost 20 moth old climbing all over you and getting into everything he shouldn't!)

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops Review

When I was younger, I loved going to the convenience store which, no lie, was called Convenient. One thing I loved buying was packages of cough drops. And my favorite cough drop, by far, was Pine Bros. I really liked how it was soft and it was not minty. It was soothing but not overpowering.

I had not had them in years, so I was so excited to get the chance to try them again. And a week after they arrived I happened to get a nasty cold with a sore throat - which I still have!! Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops were just the way that I remembered. They were soft and a little chewy, and they melted in my mouth. The Natural Honey flavor was so soothing and the Wild Cherry flavor tasted like cherries! I love that they come in pucks - so easy to keep in the diaper bag. No more loose cough drops, no more digging to find them in the bottom of your bag.

Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops are available nationwide at CVS Pharmacy and retail for $3.49.  Flavors include Natural Honey and Wild Cherry with Licorice available in limited quantities this holiday season. Lemon-Citrus will be available next year. Connect with Pine Bros. on Facebook and Twitter - they have a number of contests going throughout the year.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and My Apologies

Well it has been quite a few weeks! Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island hard. We were lucky that there was no damage to us or our house, other than a piece of siding. We lost power for 7 days... and many other still don't have it or are just getting it back. We lost power again during the nor'easter - thankfully just for a few hours. We had a tree fall during that, but it just brushed the house.

However, the Verizon box that serves the neighborhood was damaged when a tree fell, and they had to wait for the power to be back on to that area before it could be fixed. So finally 7 days more we got our Internet, TV and phone services back.

That is why I have been gone so long. I have several reviews to write - most are overdue - and I will try my best to get them posted this week. A week from tomorrow my parents arrive for Thanksgiving, so I will have limited time for the following week. I do apologize for the delay! Trust me, I wish that Internet had come back with our power - but power and heat are the most important things!!!

Here are a few pics of my area... but it does nothing to really show how badly some areas got hit, especially on the south shore. I also added a few of the toddler :) I tried to organize them, and they got all messed up so they are a bit out of order.

helping pick up branches that fell
a tree across power lines... this one actually blocked the street before they cut it
eating breakfast in the dark

Halloween sock monkey... we went trick or treating at the outlet mall
more trees down

HUGE tree. Amazing how this tree just ripped out of the ground

helping to rake leaves

He loved all of the flashlights!

Ready to go explore in the snow!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Printable Halloween Party Pack Review

Halloween is almost here!!! I am so excited to see the kids dressed up and to eat candy :D Every year, one of my friends has a family friendly Halloween party.These printables from Python Printable Games are perfect for any Halloween party.

The pack retails for $19.95 for 40 games. Some of them are: Crafty Pumpkin Decorating Ideas, Pin The Head On The Monster, Werewolf Spot The Difference, Halloween Costume Word Search, Halloween Coloring Pages, Halloween Synonyms For Kids, Chew On This Candy Names Game, Halloween Scavenger Hunt, Halloween Memo Match For Kids, Halloween Crossword For Kids, Halloween Maze Game.... and many more.
There are games for adults, kids, teens and mixed age groups.You can keep these games forever and reuse them on other occasions.

 I printed out the coloring pages, word searches, Pirate Language game and the Werewolf Spot the Difference games. All of the pages printed out crisp, and the colors were vibrant. They worked well in both color and black and white - even the spot the difference game. Jeff really enjoyed the Pirate Language game, and I can't wait to color with E. The answers and solutions are all included too.

Fee fall printable downloads are available at:  Subscribers also get coupons and other fun freebies.
There is also a SPECIAL MYSTERY coupon code running all through Fall: MYSTY. The percentage saved changes every few days!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling review

The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was not what I was expecting. The end is still making me think.

It starts with the death of Barry Fairbrother, and all of the characters are introduced in the first few chapters. There are A LOT of characters, and I had a horrible time of keeping them straight. They all had different personality types, and each was well written. Every one had their own flaws. There were just a lot!

Then the book goes into why Barry's death is such a big deal, setting up the main plot point which so much of the book revolves around. It was a different type of storytelling, and I enjoyed it.

At times, the book was just too much - too many storylines, too many people, to much going on. Towards the end, I was getting a little impatience for the book to be over ans wondering if the conclusion would be satisfactory. Then, boom, a big old surprise came and suddenly I had to see what happened!!

This book showcases what a good storyteller JK Rowling is. It is a long read, sometimes a maddening read, but it is a good read.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cravebox Winner!

And the winner of the Back to School Cravebox is
Shirley L!!!

Congratulations!! You have been e-mailed and have 24 hours to reply!

Thank you to all who entered!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Glade Expressions Collection Review

I am a huge Glade fan! They make yummy fragrances for great prices - and they always have coupons available!! I have only used their candles, so I was so excited to get to try the oil diffuser and fragrance mist from the Glade Expressions Collection! Yes, I am that excited!!

The Glade Expressions® Collection is inspired by art and designed to be left out on display. These authentic, easy-to-use home fragrance products release scents that open up note by note, filling your home with lightly layered fragrances and inviting life in. The breakthrough line includes two unique, refillable products:

The Glade Expressions® Oil Diffuser releases authentic and exotic fragrances without having to plug it in or find batteries. The trendy holder matches décor perfectly - and is also refillable - making it an effective, stylish option for layering true-to-life fragrances in all of your living spaces.

Glade oil diffuser... looks like art!

I chose the Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice scent  for the oil diffuser and put it in E.'s room. We keep the door shut, so his room can get a little stale and stinky! I am so impressed by the way the smell has lasted for over 2 weeks. The smell itself is wonderful - it smells like fall every time I go in there. I also love how it looks so stylish. I could put this out in my living room, and it would look just like my regular decor. It is also has a spill-free design so I don't have to worry if E gets his little paws on it!

Glade Expressions® Fragrance Mist comes in a chic holder that blends with your décor for a burst of fragrance that's always out and available. Simply squeeze to release a long-lasting, light mist of fragrance; then refill the holder with your favorite true-to-life scent.

The label comes off of the fragrance mist bottle so it fits your decor. And yes, those are Glade candles next to it!

I went tropical with the fragrance mist - pineapple and mangosteen. The pineapple scent is right on - it makes me crave pineapples!! This fragrance mist is  also long lasting. I use a lot of fragrance sprays, and I have used a lot with bad scents or that didn't last long. Not with Glade! I also like how it is refillable - less waste and so easy to choose a new scent.

for more information, visit

I received coupons from bzzagent to try these products for free. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 10/7/2012

Yay it is finally fall!!! We went from high 70s to high 50s and rain!!! Hooray!! In honor of the weather, I am making soup this week :) I really would like to make more soup this season. We'll see if that really happens!

Monday:Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup (halving the recipe)

Tuesday: Chicken with Kraft Fresh Taste

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday:  Creamy Baked Ziti

Friday:  leftovers

This afternoon I made this week's dessert - Brown Sugar Cookies
We are having lunch out with Jeff's parents tomorrow nad dessert at his grandparents, so I made these to bring :)

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Win a Back to School Cravebox!

Guess what? The awesome people at Cravebox liked my review so much that they are letting me give away a Back to School Cravebox!!! WOO HOO!!! If you want to know all of the awesome products in this Craavebox, check out my review here.

Win everything you see here!

Entering is easy! Just fill out the the form below. If you have any issues, please let me know! Giveaway is open to U.S. only and ends at 12:01 a.m. October 11th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tiger lil by Jodi Lynn Anderson Review

Tiger LilyTiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a huge Peter Pan fan, and I try to read and see everything related to the story. I was excited to read this book because it looked like a different take on the well know adventures... and it was. Narrated by Tinker Bell, having a detached yet emotional narrator worked perfectly. Tiger Lily herself was was well drawn out, and it was interesting to see the way she was with Peter. Peter was exactly the way I expcect4ed him to be. I enjoyed all of the main characters in their own way - there is no real "villain" to root for or against. The characters change and gro throughout the book.

This book has many messages and undercurrents, and Anderson does a great job of guiding the characters into the choices they make. Those choices, even small ones that aren't really thought about at first, change everything. The messages aren't preachy or heavy handed. They just happen as Tiger Lily and Peter go about their lives.

I loved this book, and was wondering how it would end, even as I was reading the ending! Endings make or breaks books a lot of the time, and this ending really made the book. It actually makes you think!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back to School Cravebox Review

I can't believe that I have not blogged about Cravebox before! For $10 to $13, you get a box full of goodies! Subscriber boxes come every 6 to 8 weeks. The boxes can contain anything from food to beauty products to health, office, laundry... you never know what you are going to get, but it is usually pretty good stuff by brands you have heard of and some you haven't.

Cravebox also has limited edition boxes that anyone can apply to get. They are similar to the subscriber boxes, but if you are chosen to receive one, you will get  box full of goodies based on a single theme, topic or interest. Them most recent limited edition box as called Back to School, and it was pretty great!!

Cravebox Back to School Limited edition box

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera - soothing and cooling, I use aloe vera for sunburns, but it has so many uses. This is in the front of my medicine cabinet.

Bic Atlantis pens and mechanical pencils - Bic is seriously my favorite pen brand, and I have always loved using ink that is a different color than regular blue and black. The pens are awesome, and they write so smoothly. Jeff can always use more pencils.

yummi bears DHA supplements - I was so excited to try gummy vitamins LOL These are actually a supplement, but they are also good for you! They are made with fish oil, so they do have a slight fishy taste, but it is still fun to eat gummies! (as you can see from the photo... I have eaten several!) A coupon for $1 off was also included.

Little Pim Spanish DVD - Very cute DVD to help children learn Spanish.It was more just kids speaking Spanish than an actual learning video, but my son still liked it. I think it is important to expose children to other languages and cultures, and this is an easy way to do so.

Halo oral antiseptic spray - I did not try this yet, but will definitely be bringing it the next time we fly. I am so scared of catching airborne germs on planes, and the idea of a spray to help protect me is great. It would be good if you were in a crowded situation, especially in winter.

Kleenex slim packs - What is there to say about Kleenex, soft and strong! These on the go packs are, well, slim, and they fit perfectly into a pocket of the diaper bag. I hardly knew they were there! Plus the designs are neat!

Lunchables with Smoothie coupon -  haven't used this yet, however I love the convenience and taste of Lunchables. They are easy to bring along on when we are out all day and need to feed the kid lunch on the go! Can't wait to try them with smoothies :)

This was a FABULOUS Cravebox! The best part is that there were issues with shipping, so they refunded our money. They are very engaged with their fans. You can find out more about Cravebox on their web site, Facebook or Twitter.

Radical Review Wednesday: PACKAWAYS Dorm Boxes


I say: I was sent two PACKAWAYS moving boxes to review. First - I love the colors!! Bright, fun and easy to spot. I liked how they were corrugated like cardboard yet made out of durable plastic. They were very easy to "put together" and "take apart" (just push down the bottom or push up the bottom), and they fold down flat - perfect for dorms where you have tight spaces!

Just push to create a box!
 I used mine to hold E's clothes that are too big. They all fit in with room to spare! I know these boxes will hold up for a long time. I am planning on using them when he goes to college! (Yikes!!!)

PACKAWAYS hold a lot of items

They say: PACKAWAYS Dorm Boxes are available in 4 colors and different sizes. The sizes include moving boxes and a large underbed storage size 36L x 24W x 6"H that would be ideal for extra clothes and neat storage where space is tight in dorm rooms. Moving boxes are engineered to erect and collapse instantaneously without tape, these are super for moving kids to and from school. Made from durable polypropylene, these boxes should last the 4 years of moving your children to and from school.
While ideal for this particular application, PACKAWAYS can be used for numerous organizational projects around the home.
Low cost and Proudly made in the U.S.A.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Radical Review Wednesday - Unreal Candy

Hello, my name is LB, and I am a sugar junkie. I know it is a little uncouth to love candy these day, but I can't help out. I have loved it since I was young. As an adult, I don't buy too much candy, usually only for holidays. But now that I have discovered UNREAL candy, I might just have to buy candy more often!

Candy that has no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, no GMOs, no preservatives, and even a low glycemic index... Say what?!?! You KNOW I HAD to try every kind they make! And the taste...

unreal candy coated chocolates - look at those cool colors,

candy coated chocolates -  these have a really nice chocolate flavor, very silky. Jeff said the ones with peanuts had a cherry taste? but I thought they were good. The peanuts tasted fresh.

chocolate caramel peanut nougat bar - very subtle flavor. The nougat didn't really have flavor, but the caramel was chewy and the whole bar came together nicely. Very filling. I would choose this over others.

peanut butter cups -these were good. The peanut butter had a good peanut flavor but wasn't quite peanut buttery enough for me. They were also pretty thin.

chocolate caramel bar - I saved the best for last! This was EXCELLENT!!! The nougat was flavorful - it was soft and chewy.  I did not want to share it with Jeff! I will DEFINITELY get this bar again!

chocolate caramel bar - the best unjunked candy ever!

This might have been my most favorite taste test yet! I recommend this candy, especially if you are jonesing for a sugar rush but want something that isn't quite as bad for you! Junk food that isn't junk. :) For more information, visit or visit UNREAL on Facebook


I am a bzzagent and received coupons to help facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.