Cheap Summer Fun

May 31, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Staycations

Not getting away this summer? There are so many things to do during the summer months to occupy your time. You can pick an array of things ranging from fairly inexpensive to as costly as you like, all without leaving the comfort of your own home or town. We’ve got some great ideas for very cheap summer activities to fill some time during your summer staycation.

1. Plan a Day at a Pick-Your-Own Farm

Fresh fruits make great pies and jams during the summer. Kids love to pick them. Check your area (Chamber of Commerce) for local farms for strawberry or other berry picking. Plan your day accordingly. Wear sunscreen and clothes that you don’t mind getting stained. Once you’ve taken your berries home, you’ll be set to make jams, jellies, and pies of all kinds!

2. Host a Bike Parade

Gather up the neighborhood kids on a weekday afternoon for a grand event. Encourage each child to decorate their bike beforehand. Once everyone is gathered up, the parade can begin and all the bikes can trail throughout the neighborhood. All the kids are sure to love this. At the end celebrate with popsicles (they tend to be fairly inexpensive, so if you have a lot of participants you won’t be breaking the bank).

3. Tour a Fire Station

Have toddlers or preschoolers at home? Touring a fire station is one of the coolest things you could do with a little one. The firemen are usually very gracious and let all the kids try one uniforms, go in the big trucks, and tour the whole fire house.

4. Have a Family Movie Night

Nothing beats a good, old fashioned family movie night. Order pizza and pick a old movie to watch. Can’t decide on a movie? Here are our Top 10 Best Movies for Families.

5. Visit a State Park

State Parks offer a great scene, perfect for hiking, biking, and camping. If you can’t get away for an overnight camping trip, even for just a day you could experience so much. Pack a picnic lunch and don’t forget your camera-you never know what you’ll see!

6. Town Festivals

Check your newspapers and local listing for town festivals. Each city has unique events so be sure you’re not missing out!

Have you had a great staycation? Share you experience with us!

Sweet Potato Chips

May 27, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Meals In Minutes

If you haven’t noticed, sweet potato fries have taken the restaurant menu over! It seems every where we go they are offered and if they aren’t offered they are being offered in a test market in a larger city. Kids love sweet potato fries. Are they more healthy than white potatoes? Just by a little. They are a great source of vitamin A and have a little more vitamin C than white potatoes. We think they taste a little better and offer a little more color at meal times too. Here is a super quick and easy recipe for sweet potato chips, a perfect pair for your grilled burgers, ham sandwiches, or pb&j’s.

chips

Sweet Potato Chips

What You’ll Need:

2 medium sweet potatos

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Fix it Fast:

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut into thin slices and place in a large bowl.

3. Pour oil into your hands and gently rub onto potato slices. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Toss gently to coat evenly.

4. Place slices as a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Check for desired crispiness. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.

**For a spicier version try seasoning with garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and chili powder

Memorial Day 2011 Sale Codes

May 27, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals

If you’re doing some online shopping this weekend don’t miss out on these money saving codes!

Children’s Place: Great $5 deals, plus free shipping (thru 5/30/11), PLUS an extra 15% off thru June 19 with code W7D2011 at checkout

Bath and Body Works: $1 shipping with any $25 order use code MEMORIAL25 at checkout

CWD Kids: 20% off you entire order TODAY ONLY 5/27/11 enter code CHWFFY

Disney Store: Free Shipping with Code MEMDAY (ends 5/28/11)

Company Kids: 20% off your entire order with Code DAISY

PBTeen: enter code EXTRA15 to save an extra 15% off (ends 5/30/11)

Oriental Trading: Free Shipping + $10 Gift Card when you spend $49 or more (thru May 31) enter Code WCE1863 at Checkout

Bloomingdales: Take an extra 20% off using promo code BIGSALE

The Company Store: Extra 10% off already reduced prices (ends 5/30/11) enter code F10CLEAR

What We Love Right Now May 25, 2011: White Hot Summer Fashion

May 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Fashion Trends, Girl Talk

One thing we LOVE for summer is the color white. It’s easy, crisp, and pairs well with lots of colors. Here are a few of our favorite white hot finds for Summer 2011:

1. Ruffle Blouse, NewPort News, $29.00

Ruffle Blouse, 29

Perfect match with khaki capris or black bermuda shorts!

2.Crochet-trim Dress, GAP, $34.95

dress 3495

A relaxed fit and super cute crochet trim makes this dress adorable and perfect for day or night time wear.

3. Cropped Cardigan, Old Navy, $19.50

cardigan

Gotta love this white, flowy cardigan. It’s marked at a great price and will look so summery with a bright tank underneath.

4. Cover Up, Victoria’s Secret, $35.50

cover up

Maybe you’re a little shy to bare a white bathing suit, but a cute white cover up never hurt anyone! We love this terry cover up from Victoria’s Secret.

5. Calvin Klein Sandal, Zappos.Com, $58.00

calvin

White sandals are hit or miss, but we do love these patent leather sandals from Calvin Klein.

6. Fossil Watch, Macy’s, Prices Vary

watch

Gotta love a great accessory you can wear all summer long!

Creating a Marvelous Memorial Day Menu

Planning a big Memorial Day bash? Maybe you’re just in need of a good recipe to take take over to a potluck celebration? Either way this menu plan will be sure to satisfy everyone during your Memorial Day festivities!
Honey Chicken Skewers
chicken skewers
What You’ll Need:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves – cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic
5 small onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
skewers
Fix it Fast:
1. In a large bowl whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce and pepper. Before adding chicken reserve a small amount of marinade to brush onto kabobs while grilling. Place chicken, garlic, onion, and peppers in the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator at least two hours.
2. Preheat the grill to high heat.
3. Drain marinade from chicken and vegetables and discard. Thread chicken and veggies alternatively on skewers.
4. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook skewers 12-15 min. until juices run clear. Be sure to turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently.
Serves 12
Super Simple Picnic Potato Salad
We love this recipe from Betty Crocker.
potato
What You’ll Need:
1bag (32 oz) frozen southern-style diced hash brown potatoes
1/4cup water
2tablespoons cider vinegar
1tablespoon yellow mustard
1 1/2teaspoons salt
1/4teaspoon pepper
5eggs
1cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2cup chopped celery
1/3cup chopped onion
Paprika, if desired
Fix it Fast:
  1. In ungreased 3-quart microwavable bowl, mix frozen potatoes and water; spread evenly in bowl. Cover tightly with microwavable plastic wrap. Microwave on High 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are hot and tender, stirring once halfway through cooking.
  2. Add vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to hot potatoes; mix well. Spread evenly in bowl. Cover, refrigerate at least 5 hours or until completely cold.
  3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, place eggs in single layer. Add enough water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat to boiling. Immediately remove from heat; cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Place eggs in bowl of ice water; let stand 10 minutes. Drain. Peel eggs. Reserve 1 egg for garnish; chop remaining 4 eggs.
  4. Stir mayonnaise into cold potato mixture. Add celery, onion and chopped eggs; toss gently to mix. Spoon mixture into large serving bowl. Slice reserved hard-cooked egg; arrange on top of salad. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Serves 16

Raspberry Sweet Tea

For your nonalcoholic drinkers this is a yummy, refreshing tea to serve up with your Memorial Day menu.

tea

What You’ll Need:

4 quarts water

Sugar substitute equivalent to 1 cup sugar

10 individual tea bags

1 package (12 ounces) frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and undrained

3 tablespoons lime juice

Fix it Fast:

1.In a large saucepan, bring 2 qts. of water to a boil. Stir in sugar substitute until dissolved. Remove from the heat.

2. Add tea bags; steep for 5-8 minutes. Discard tea bags.

3. In another saucepan, bring raspberries and remaining water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Strain and discard pulp. Add raspberry juice and lime juice to the tea.

4. Transfer tea to pitcher and refrigerate until chilled. Serves 15

Super Duper Strawberry Shortcake

Top off your meal with this delicious shortcake!

strawberries

What You’ll Need:

1 quart fresh strawberries (or more if you like)
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping
1 (14 ounce) angel food cake, cut into cubes (make it easy and buy the cake already made!)

Fix it Fast:

1. Wash, stem, and cut strawberries in half.
2. Add sugar; toss and mix well.
3. Chill.
4. Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar well.
5. Fold in whipped topping and cake cubes.
6. Spread cake into an ungreased 13×9 dish.
7. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
8. Cut cake into squares and top with strawberries (add blueberries and whip cream too!).

Serves 12

Do you have a great recipe you’re cooking up for the long weekend? We’d love to hear about it. Leave us a comment!

Regal Summer Movie Express 2011

May 22, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

regal

image via Regal Entertainment Group

Looking for something fun and inexpensive to do this summer to beat the heat? Meet up with some friends for Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express 2011. It’s a 9-week festival held at select Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres that offer selected G or PG rated movies for only a dollar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am.

For more info visit Regal Entertainment Group.

Beach Craft Activities

May 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts

If you’re lucky enough to hit the sand this summer, collecting shells and other beach treasures will more than likely be one of your child’s favorite activities. All those shells will probably make it home with you and then you may be left wondering what to do with those them. Here are some super cute and easy seashell craft ideas.

1. Seashell Mobile

This would make a great addition to your child’s bedroom or playroom for the summer!

shell mobile

What You’ll Need:

Shells

Two dowel rods equal in length

String

Craft Glue

Make it Fast:

1. Use the string to make the dowels into an X shape.

2. Glue the shells onto different lengths of string.

3. Allow to dry several hours to ensure the shells will hold on string.

2. Beach Memory Jar

Fill a large jar with all your treasures and keep them (safely!) forever! Best of all your child can rearrange and move things around whenever they like, creating almost a whole new look.

memory_jars

image via Martha Stewart

3. Shell Frame

If you are going to the beach chances are you’ll snap more than one Kodak moment! Your child can put their favorite picture in a great seashell frame.

frame

What You’ll Need:

5×7 Frame or larger, with wood trim

Small shells

Hot glue gun

Make it Fast:

Arrange shells on frame and glue. Let stand several hours so glue can set.

*for added use foam pieces or letter stickers to personalize with your child’s name

Summertime Paper Plate Crafts

May 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts

We love anything you can make with things you have around the house. Some of the best crafts are made from paper plates. If you don’t have these at home-stock up! Here are a couple of super cute paper plate beach crafts.

Sea Turtle

So simple! Simple paint your paper plate or cover in torn pieces of construction paper. Then make some legs, head and tail. Add a wiggly eye and draw a mouth!

turtle2

Fish

Again, all you need is your plate, some paints and paper!

fish

Sun

Make this cheery sun with handprint rays. Sure to brighten up your child’s day!

sun

What to Buy Organic: Shopping for Organics the Smart Way

May 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Diet & Weight Loss, Girl Talk

With summer like weather here and Farmers’ Markets all around our area we’ve been thinking about healthy meals and the best ways to feed our families. Buying organic has crossed our minds, but some of us may be n new to the organic game. Where do you start? Here are a few tips on what to definitely buy organic and things that you should skip and save your pennies on.

organic

Foods You Can Buy Non-Organic:

Avocado: Thick skin protect the fruit from pesticide build-up.

Bananas: The banana peel isn’t eaten and its where the pesticide stays.

Pineapple: It has a rough and spiny skin that protects it from pests and pesticide residue.

Kiwi: Its fuzzy skin acts as a barrier to pesticides, but be sure to still give them a rinse before use.

Mango: Thick skin protects it from pesticides, but you still want to rinse before use.

Papaya: Pesticide residue stays on papaya skin, but  give them a rinse before using.

Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Onions: These vegetables face fewer threats from pests, therefore needing less pesticide use.


Foods to Buy Organic:

With fruits and vegetables, many of them contain thin or edible skins than can contain pesticide residue. In addition, some of them have to be heavily sprayed due to the high level of pests in the area.

(Arranged in order of highest to lowest pesticide load) Fruits: Peaches, Apples, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Grapes, Pears, Raspberries, Plums, Oranges, Tangerine, Cantaloupe, Lemon, Honeydew, Grapefruit, Watermelon, Blueberries

(Arranged in order of highest to lowest pesticide load) Vegetables: Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Lettuce, Spinach, Potatoes, Carrots, Green Beans, Hot Peppers, Cucumbers, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Winter Squash, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes

Milk: If you’re interested in taking the plunge into organic dairy, check this site for a rated list of organic milk and other organic diary products.  http://cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html

Meat: This is one organic product where the you can really taste the difference! Organic meat is free of antibiotics, added hormones, and human growth hormones (GMO). These animals are raised more ethically and humanely, meaning they are allowed to range freely and not confined to pens. In addition, the land that they eat from and live on uses no or less chemicals as well. Buying organic meat may be more expensive, but definitely a healthier choice.

Don’t forget to check your local paper for a list of Farmers’ Markets in your area. You can also check your local super market for organic foods. And remember, if you can’t afford organic food try to at least buy things that are lower in pesticide loads or just try a few organic foods to start and see if you can taste a difference!

Summer Pasta Salad

May 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Meals In Minutes

This makes  a great, healthy meal for a night when you’re in a hurry!

Summer Pasta Salad

salad

What You’ll Need:

Romaine Lettuce
Cucumbers, cubed
Red Onions, diced
Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
Hard Boiled Eggs, sliced
Mini Rigatoni, cooked aldente
Black Pepper
Ranch Dressing
Fix it Fast:
One step: Layer ingredients in large bowl or individual bowls, top with dressing and pepper, and eat! YUM!

Sweet Jalapeno Ribs

May 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Meals In Minutes

We love this recipe courtesy of Southern Living. It’s cooked in the slow cooker, but we like it for any time of year!

Sweet Jalapeno Ribs

What You’ll Need:

2 (16-oz) cans pinto beans, drained
3 lbs country-style pork ribs, trimmed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.5 oz) jar red jalapeno jelly (I used Braswell’s brand)
1 (5 oz) bottle A-1 steak sauce
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

Fix it Fast:

Place beans in slow cooker.  Set aside.

Cut ribs apart, if necessary.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt & pepper.  Place ribs on a rack in a broiler pan (If you do not have a pan,  just use a foil-lined cookie sheet with a lip).

Broil 5-1/2 inches from heat (with electric oven door partially open) 18-20 minutes or until well browned, turning once.

Add ribs to slow cooker, and sprinkle with onion.

Combine jelly, steak sauce and chopped peppers in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat until jelly melts.  Pour over ribs and stir gently.

Cover and cook on High for 5-6 hours or on Low for 9-10 hours.

Serve it with: cornbread muffins and twice baked potatoes or mashed potatoes.

Cute End-of-the-Year Teacher Gift Ideas

May 21, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

As a mom it’s important to show a little extra appreciation to the teacher whose been there for your child all year. Even if it hasn’t been the best school year ever (hey, it happens), a small gift is a great way to show teacher’s you appreciate all they have done. Teachers love restaurants and shopping, so giftcards to those kinds of places work really well, but if you are looking for something a little more fun or personal, we’ve got a few suggestions!

1. Fun Jar Filled with Treats

I think every woman loves a little something that looks cute. We found these precious jars filled with cookies at a local boutique in our town, but they look pretty easy to recreate at home with some ribbon, a jar, candy of your choice or the teacher’s favorite, and a fun label made on the computer.

teachercookiejar

2. Monogrammed Key Chain

We love Esty.com and found these super cute monogrammed key chains-perfect for holding those classroom keys!

To purchase these key chains on Esty CLICK HERE

chain

3. Lilly Pulitzer Stationary

Why buy the dress when you can have a fun print notepad, photo album, ink pen, or file folders? Gotta love the Lilly P. designs and any teacher would love these added accessories on their desk or in their purse!

sticky notes

For these and more CLICK HERE

4. A Night at the Movies

We love this idea because it works out well whether your teacher is male or female. Everyone loves a good movie so buy a giftcard to a local rental store, some popcorn and candies and fill a fun bucket or basket as your teacher’s end of the year treat!

movie

image via

5. Organize a Class Gift

Something coming from the whole class will mean a lot to your child’s teacher. While gift cards are great and useful, something personalized will leave a lasting impression.

Reading Basket

For primary school teachers this is a great idea! Reading is key to learning and all teachers of young children push a love for reading. Wouldn’t it be neat if each child in the class donated a copy of their favorite book to their teacher’s class reading corner or book collection? Each child could sign their name inside and leave a little note for their teacher.

Quilt

A handprint memory quilt is also a great gift. This is one the teacher can take home or hang in their classroom as decoration!

quilt

What We Love Right Now May 18, 2011: A Juicy Giveaway!

May 18, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

It’s midweek and of course we are all about sharing what we love at the moment. Did you know May is National Hamburger Month? We love a good, juicy burger! There are so many great places to get just the right burger, but one of our favorite spots is Red Robin. Why does SharpMoms love Red Robin? They have a great kids menu offering grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, baby carrots and more! It’s a family-friendly restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere (your little ones can even snag a balloon on the way out the door-LOVE!). And, did you know any menu item can be customized? Want your burger on a whole wheat bun? No problem! S0, we thought what better giveaway than a Red Robin gift card and free kids meal coupon so that one lucky SharpMom can close out May and celebrate National Hamburger Month at one of the 10 Best Restaurant Chains for 2011!

red

Entering is Easy!

1. Leave us a comment on this post telling us your favorite burger joint!

2. Blogging Moms, write about your favorite burger joint and add our giveaway in a post of your own with a link to this giveaway and then comment to this post (make sure to leave a link to your blog post in the comment also). There’s nothing like spreading the word about a yummy giveaway-plus you’ll earn a bonus entry for blogging about the giveaway!

3. Tweet to SharpMoms telling us your favorite item on the Red Robin menu. Be sure to leave a comment here telling us you tweeted!

You have three ways to enter and three tries to enter (four entries total if you blog too!), so be sure to comment more than once if you use more than one entry method!

Giveaway ends Sunday, May 22, 2011 at midnight EST and a winner will be posted Monday, May 23, 2011.

We only have one thing left to say…YUUUUM!

$10 Red Robin gift card good for any items on menu. Free kid’s meal coupon expires 12/31/11.

A winner will be contacted via their SharpMoms account, so be sure you’ve started a Membership with valid email before you enter (it’s free and we do not spam or giveaway your email address!).

Cobb Salad~Perfect for Summer!

May 16, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Meals In Minutes

We love a good salad! Cobb salad makes a dish for a potluck gathering or a perfect lunch meal on a summer day. Easy prep and ready within an hour-it doesn’t get any better!

Cobb Salad

salad

What you need:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch-style salad dressing

Fix it fast:

1. Place eggs in saucepan; cover completely in cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and let eggs stand in hot water about 10 minutes. Remove from water, cool, peel, and chop/slice.

2. Fry bacon in large skillet. Cook over medium/high heat. Drain fat. Crumble bacon and set aside.

3. Divide shredded lettuce and place in large bowl or individual plates.

4. Evenly divide and arrange chicken, eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, avocado and green onions in a row on top of the lettuce.

5. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

Image credits eater.com

Baked French Toast

May 16, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Meals In Minutes

This casserole like dish makes a yummy breakfast. Just chill overnight, then bake and serve.

Baked French Toast

What You Need:
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cubed

8 slices heavy bread, cubed

1 doz. eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Fix it Fast:

In 9 x 13 inch baking dish, combine 1/2 of bread cubes all cream cheese cubes and add remaining bread cubes.

Mix eggs, milk, syrup together in large bowl. Pour over cube mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in refrigerator overnight. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve with warm syrup. Serves 6 to 8.

What to Watch: The Best TV Shows for Preschoolers

May 16, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Allowing a little TV each day isn’t such a crime. In fact, if you choose the right shows your child can learn quite a bit. Children really shouldn’t watch more than two hours of TV a day and with so many cartoons and characters on different channels you may be wondering where to allot the tube time. We all know you can’t go wrong with a great, classic show like Sesame Street, but what about the other programs out there today? Here are our best picks:

Sid the Science Kid (PBS)

This show has been kid-tested at our house! Preschoolers are curious and Sid and his friends are a fun-loving bunch who are trying to figure out how the world around us works. Science skills are so important and often forgotten, so this program is a great way to instill an early “science start” with your child. Each week has a  theme such as weather, the human body, or growing mold, so if you want to do some extra projects at home to go along with the show planning activities would be simple! You can also take the show to another level and play games with Sid and his friends at PBSkids.org.

Yo Gabba Gabba (Nick Jr.)

Every episode begins when DJ Lance opens his magical boombox so that your child can explore Gabbaland with his colorful friends Muno, Foofa, Toodee, Brobee, and Plex. It’s a musically focused show that invites your child to get their groove on while they learn important life lessons like taking turns, having fun, and being a good friend. The show is jampacked and nonstop, full of music segments, cartoon clips, dance moves, and even a talent segment called “cool tricks” where kids (and even adults!) show off their best skills from bubble blowing to piano playing.

Olivia (Nick Jr.)

One of the literary world’s favorite book characters comes to life in her own show with her two brothers Ian and William-Oh, and her beloved dog, Perry. The show follows Olivia, a 6 year old spunky little pig who has a BIG imagination! In each episode she encounters many woes but finds they can all be resolved with a little imagination and a lot of heart. Her big dreams may take her away to far places, but she always returns home with a fresh outlook on the day and a solution to her problem.

Special Agent Oso (Disney Jr.)

We love this caring, quirky panda name Oso who comes to the aid of kids in need with everyday troubles like cleaning their room, making lemonade, or planning a special surprise for mommy. He can solve all these problems with the help of his high-tech gadgets like his trusty Paw Pilot. We think this show is great for preschoolers because is uses an interactive format that will allow your child to problem solve on their own and pick up some other great preschool skills along the way as well.

Super Why! (PBS)

When problems arise in Storybook Village it is up to the Super Readers to save the day. Each Reader-Red, Littlest Pig, Princess Pea, and Wyatt Beanstalk-all transform into superhero attire to leap into the pages of a book and solve the problem. Each character has a special reading based skill, such as spelling power. This show is one of our picks because it will encourage your preschooler to expand their early literacy skills through word games, spelling challenges, and interactive reading.

Tinga Tinga Tales (Disney Jr.)

We love this show because it is quality entertainment in small doses. Only 15 minutes for each show, Tinga Tinga Tales is a colorful, beautifully animated short story program that brings African folklore to life. Stories like “Why Tickbird Sits on Hippos Back” and “Why Lion Roars” will teach your child about sharing, being humble and kind, and having courage. There’s always a positive message and we guarantee you’ll have plenty to talk about once you turn the TV off!

What We Love Right Now May 11, 2011: Burt’s Bees Products

May 11, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

It’s getting so close to summertime and a lot of the country is already feeling the heat. One of the brands we love, love, love is Burt’s Bees. Have you tried it? If you haven’t, you are missing out! All their products are almost 100% au natural…Ahhhhhh! We especially love their products for summer because they are perfect for moisturizing and nourishing your skin after a long day in the sun and heat. Here are just a few of our favorites that you can find at your local five and dime, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, or the official Burt’s Bees Webiste.

1. Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil

lip balm

You just can’t beat this lip balm. It goes on smooth and with a hint of pomegranate the smell is not too overwhelming, leaving your lips just a smidge of color.

2. Coconut Foot Creme

footcreme

In between pedicures your feet might be feeling the heat. Walking around barefoot by the pool and in your house can cause some extra dryness and cracking. Fear no more! This foot creme is wondrous and will leave your feet so smooth!

3. Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

cuticlecreme

Love your nails? They will love this cream. Apply daily or even twice daily to give your cuticles an extra dose of moisture.

4. Baby Bee Diaper Ointment

diapercream

Love your baby’s bottom with this 100% natural diaper ointment. Made with sweet almond oil and hypo-allergenic. Your baby will thank you!

5. Natural Remedy Outdoor Survival Kit

outdoor kit

Summertime means more time outdoors and if you plan on being at one with nature this kit will save you from bites and burns of all kinds! Its contents include:

  • All-in-One Wash (1 fl. oz.)
  • Hand Salve (.30 oz.)
  • Healthy Healing Carrot Nutritive Body Lotion (1 fl. oz.)
  • Beeswax Lip Balm (.15 oz.)
  • Poison Ivy Soap (.80 oz.)
  • Res-Q Ointment (.30 oz.)
  • Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar (.80 oz.)
  • Therapeutic Bath Crystals (1.5 oz.)

Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour May 6-15 3-5pm

May 7, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

Starbucks lovin’ Mommas this one is definitely for you! If you need an afternoon pick-me-up between work and home, school pick up and home or just because then you’re gonna love Starbucks half-price Frappuccino Happy Hour!

Visit any Starbucks between the hours of 3-5pm on May 6 through the 15 and get ANY Frappuccino for half price! Our favorite blend? Chocolate Heaven…YUM!

9e1e04b30c90465798d8446ad548a938_desktopFull

What’s yours?

Scrumpticous Cinco de Mayo Recipes

May 5, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Meals In Minutes

Cinco de Mayo is one of the most fun holidays to celebrate here in the states. What better excuse is there to have some yummy Mexican cuisine? If you plan on staying at home instead of dealing with the crowded hot spots this Cinco de Mayo, we have a few recipes you should try!

Shredded Beef Chimichangas

chimichangas

These are so yummy and easy to make–oven fried vs. deep fried for easy home cooking!

What You Need:

1. 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat

2. 1/4 cup water

3. 1/2 cup beef broth

4. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

5. 2. tablespoons chili powder

6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin

7. 4, 8 in. tortilla

8. 3. tablespoons butter, melted

9. 1 cup salsa

10. 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

11. 1/2 cup sour cream

Fix it Fast:

  1. Place beef in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Pour in water. Cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove cover, and cook until liquid has evaporated, and beef is well browned, about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine beef broth, red wine vinegar, chili powder and cumin. Pour mixture over beef. Cover, and cook until meat is very tender, and pulls apart easily, about 2 hours. Allow to cool, then shred and mix with pan juices.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
  3. Brush both sides of each tortilla with melted butter. Spoon shredded beef filling down center of each tortilla. Fold ends over filling, then fold sides to center to make a packet. Place chimichangas, seam side down, in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Serve with: chips and salsa

Quick Chicken Enchilada Casserole

enchilada

We love a good casserole because it is one of the simplest way to cook!

What you need:

1. 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2. 18, 6 in corn tortilla cut in half

3. 1 28 oz can green chile sauce

4. 1 16 oz package shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

5. 1 oz container low fat sour cream

6. garlic salt, to taste

Fix it Fast:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. Season chicken with garlic salt. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. Bake 45 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cool, shred, and set aside.
  3. With metal tongs, char each tortilla half over the open flame of a gas stove burner for about 1 minute, until lightly puffed. (If you do not have a gas burner use grill or just warm in microwave a few seconds)
  4. Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish, and arrange 6 tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the chicken, 1/3 cheese, 1/2 the sour cream, and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat. Coat remaining tortillas thoroughly with remaining enchilada sauce, and arrange on top of the layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with any remaining enchilada sauce.
  5. Cover, and bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly before serving. Top with sour cream (or your favorite salsa!).

Serve with: Mexican Style Rice

Cool Coconut Margarita

CocoMargarita

What You Need:

2 cups ice

3/4 cup coconut cream

4 1/2 oz tequila

1 1/2 oz triple sec

1/4 cup sweetened coconut flake

Fix it Fast:

Fill a blender with ice; add the coconut cream, tequila, and triple sec; blend at high speed until smooth. Scatter the coconut onto a plate. Wet the rims of four glasses. Dip the glass rims in the coconut. Serve the margaritas in the prepared glasses.

Recipes adapted from allrecipes.com

RECALL ALERT: Kiddieland Lights and Sounds Scooters

May 4, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Kiddieland Toys

RECALL SAFETY NOTICE

Laceration Hazard

Kiddieland Recalls “Lights & Sounds” Scooters

Kiddieland-Scooters

The steering column hinge button can be released by a child causing it to fall back on the platform, posing a pinching or laceration hazard.

Model #044255

Model #043174

For additional information, contact Kiddieland toll-free at : (800) 430-5307 anytime or visit the company’s web site at www.kiddieland.com

Next Page »