Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Fools' Day- Fun Ideas

     April 1st is recognized as a day to play jokes on each other. Making the target of the joke or hoax the "fool". At one of my past jobs, coworkers would plan weeks in advance to ensure the success of the prank. For some, their goal was not only to trick their target but for bragging rights and revenge (from previous years pranks) as well.
     Some elaborate schemes would involve assistance from unsuspected individuals such as managers, spouses, and employees of different departments. While others would be small like switching sugar and salt in the office kitchen or changing a few letters on someone's keyboard. It was a fun day to be in the office, as long as you were not the targeted fool.
     One year I took a pregnancy test, on April 1st, and it was positive. I was so eager to share the news with my husband. That night he kept telling me about the April Fools' pranks what were carried out at work that day. Bursting at the seams, I waited until 12:01am to tell him. He still thought that I was joking, even after I showed him the test. That was not the reaction that I was expecting nor anything that I would joke about. He learned quickly about my pregnant mood swings.
This year I have been asked for assistance in helping trick my husband. Kids love Aprils Fools' Day and any reason to do something silly. They get a big laugh out of the littlest of things. Although I can't share what we are doing (incase my husband reads this), I am sure that we are going to great day. Here are a few fantastic April Fools' Day ideas that I have found on PinterestPlease share your favorite pranks or gags. Have fun!

10 Awesome April Fools Day Pranks for Kids

fools cafe surprise dinner tradition
april fools prank cards

joke on the water
Model Parent
printable alien birth certificate
Link to a few more April Fools Day Ideas:

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Positive Energy!

Everything around us is made up of energy. 
To attract positive things in your life, start by giving off positive energy!!

I saw this posted on John Edwards's facebook page and I wanted to share it. 
I think that it is extremely important to have positive people, positive thoughts, speak positive words, and do positive actions. My life has improved since I made a commitment to eliminate negativity in my life. It is not always easy but try it and let me know.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Birthday Chronicle Giveaway! Two Winners!

Because I Tried It offers amazing and unique personalized gifts. A personalized gift can be sent via email with in 48 hours or choose your stationary for mail delivery. There is even an option to have items framed.

Any occasion is a great occasion to order from Because I Tried It. They have something special for Birthdays, Anniversary, New Babies, Christmas, Easter and much more.

You have a chance to win a Birthday Chronicle personalized just for you or that special someone in your life.  Because I Tried It is so generous that I am able to give TWO of them away. Please use the rafflecopter form to enter the giveaway below.

Please read my full review :Birthday Chronicle Review

No Cost Blogger Opportunity – Rainy Day Facebook Frenzy – April 4th – 11th


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Signs of Spring- Purple and Yellow Johnny-jump-up Flowers

Johnny-jump-ups found in my yard. Spring 2012

Every year I find more Johnny-jump-ups flowers in my lawn than in my garden. Their colors range from purple, purple/yellow mix (with varying percentage of each color), to yellow.  These little pansy flowers will takeover my front yard by summertime, even when mowed over.  Although I don't remember planting them, I love to see them where ever they pop up. 


Yellow Johnny-jump-up found in the snow. Winter 2010

Johnny-jump-ups (viola corunta) grow in North America in zones 3-9.  They prefer rich, moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. In the wild, they are commonly seen in fields, woods, or by the side of the road. These cold-season annuals grow in 3-6 inch clumps reaching up to 6-12 inches tall.  Due to reseeding and spreading they also can be considered a perennial. 
You can grow Johnny-jump-ups from seeds directly outdoors in the spring or fall or seeded  indoors for transplanting later.  These flowers can be purchased from the lawn and garden center and nurseries.  
Johnny-jump-ups bloom from spring to fall. They are very easy to grown and are low maintenance. A great border or container plant that is mostly disease and pets free. The dainty 1 ½" flowers are edible, used in salads or sugared for decorations for deserts.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Children's Story about Spring - Lost In the Woods -Review

lost in the woods 

Carl Sams II & Jean Stoick 

Lost in the woods is based on the children's book by the same name by 
Carl R Sams II and his wife, Jean Stoick.
 Lost in the Woods, book has received four prestigious awards: 
the Independent Publisher Award (IPPY Award) for 
Best Children's Picture Book
the 2005 Earlychildhood News Director's Choice and Judges' Award 
and the Best Children's Picture Book Award from USA Book News. 
Lost in the Woods: The Movie is the winner of 12 National and International Awards. Panda Award Winner-Best Children's Wildlife Film World-Wide.

Read Review

Friday, March 16, 2012

Copycat Recipe for McDonald's Shamrock Shake

McDonalds Shamrock Shake
I love Shamrock Shakes
McDonald's is only offering it's Shamrock Shake until March 25th. 
This recipe will satisfy your Shamrock Shake cravings until next year. I'm going to make them tonight when we build a trap to catch the leprechaun.  

McDonald's Shamrock Shake Copycat Recipe 
(makes 1 giant shake, or 2 generously sized shakes, or 4 leprechaun sized shakes) 

3 cups good quality vanilla ice cream 
1 3/4 cups 1% milk 
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 
Green food coloring, if desired 

Top with whip cream and a cherry,  if desired  

Blend all ingredients in a blender until completely thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and serve!  

This recipe can be modified to accommodate Organic, Low-Fat, Sugar-Free, and other dietary restrictions. 

Original recipe source shamrock-shake-copycat-recipe 

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Feature and Follow #88

Q: What is the best book you've read in the last month? What is the worst book you've read in the last month?                                                 The Best:

Ghosts Among Us: Uncovering the Truth About the Other Side 

by James Van Praagh 

It really opened my eyes and changed my thinking regarding life after death. 

Summary: With incredible true ghost stories and surprising details about how ghosts actively participate in our lives, James Van Praagh challenges you to question your perceptions and shows you how to live more fully through understanding the world of spirits. Including eerily accurate readings, James' development as a medium, and detailed how-to information, Ghosts Among Us is an all-encompassing guide to the supernatural.

What is the worst book you’ve read in the last month? none :)

Affordable Family Vacations - Review

       I'm always looking for affordable vacations for my family. I search all the big name travel websites,  subscribe to all the last minute deals, and spend hours reading reviews and comparing prices. I weigh the pros and cons of locations, amenities, and accommodations.  I considered myself a "thrifty" traveler.  I shamefully admit that I have never considered timeshare rentals until now.
       I believe is the answer to affordable family vacations. At, timeshare owners post their units for rent or sale directly to its members (and over 1.5 million registered users). Travelers come to to rent or buy timeshares units directly from the owner, often at tremendous savings compared with hotels or dealing with the resort itself. A membership gives access to all of the information on timeshare rental listings on its website, including reviews, and the ability to engage in rental agreements with great budget-friendly offerings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes- St. Patrick's Day

This super easy and fun recipe adds a little magic to any boxed white cake mix*.
This recipe is fantastic for celebrating events such as St. Patrick's Day, Birthdays, or First Day of Spring. These rainbow cupcakes were a big hit at the last school's bake sale. You can also modify this recipe to showcase your child's school colors.  Although they may look difficult to make, all you need is food coloring.

You will need:
Taste a Rainbow Cupcakes 
  • One Box of White Cake Mix (eggs, oil, water according to package directions)
  • Food Coloring (red, yellow, blue, & green)
  • Cupcake liners (16-24)
  • Whipped Cream or Frosting
  • Sprinkles (optional)  
  • 6 small bowls and spoons (teaspoons)
  • 2 Cupcake/ Muffin pans
  1. Preheat oven according to cake mix directions.
  2. Prepare your white cake mix according to directions on package. Divide batter evenly among 6 bowls. 
  3. Add food coloring to each bowl to achieve desired color. Stir color into batter.  See below
  4. Line pans with 16 liners. Gently spoon the purple batter into each of the liners. Next spoon the blue batter on top of the purple, continue through the rest of the colors (reverse rainbow). Use the back of the spoon to help evenly spread the batter to cover previous color. 
  5. Bake cupcakes according to your cake mix directions package.
  6. Once cupcakes are cooled remove liner. Frost and decorate as desired. 
Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops
Blue 12 drops
Green 12 drops
Yellow 12 drops
Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops
Red 18 drops

*Gluten free, organic, or other dietary restriction type products may be substituted. 

This recipe was originally found at FamilyFun
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nude and Pregnant Jessica Simpson in Elle Magazine

 Photo: Carter Smith; styled by Joe Zee
Jessica Simpson Poses Nude &
Very Pregnant for Aprils Cover of Elle Magazine.

Mirroring Demi Moore's famous Vanity Fair cover, Jessica Simpson barely covers her jewels wearing only jewelry. The soon to be mother and host of the Fashion Star also reveals the sex of her baby with fiancé Eric Johnson, it's a girl. Simpson due this spring, looks absolutely gorgeous and radiant. 
If I looked this good pregnant, I would pose for a photo like this. What do you think?

Read the full interview in Elle's April issue on newsstands March 20!
For additional pictures and behind the scenes information:
(Pictured above)Simpson wears only yellow sapphire and diamond earrings and a yellow sapphire ring with peridot, turquoise, sapphires, and diamonds from Van Cleef & Arpels.

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Wordless Wednesday- Santorini, Greece

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Favorite Red Carpet Looks

 2012's Academy Awards
My Favorite Looks of the Evening

The Academy Awards' red carpet never disappoints fashion lovers such as myself. Stars strut like peacocks in gorgeous couture gowns, dripping with millions of dollars worth of jewels.  For a moment, you dream about what it must feel like to walk in those Jimmy Choos, having all eyes on you. I know I do. How about you?

Here are some pictures of my favorite looks of the evening. I also included the designers  who are responsible for the beautiful dresses and accessories.  Who was your favorite of the night?

·         Milla Jovovich makes a stunning entrance wearing a white beaded one-shoulder Elie Saab Haute Couture Gown, Jacob & Co.  jewelry, and an Edie Parker clutch.

·         Stacy Keiber  was mesmerizing in a metallic gold strapless Marchesa Haute Couture Gown with a gathered rose detail on the hip.  Shoes: Rene Caovilla, Bag: Judith Leiber,  Jewelry: Lorraine Schwartz .

·         Giuliana Rancic looks classy and elegant wearing a Tony Ward Spring 2012 Couture dress Jacob and Co. jewelry. This breast cancer fighter has never looked better.

Lastly, there is one that I still haven't  made up my mind about. Although Angelina Jolie looked amazing there is something "strange" about the poses with her right leg. It throws the whole look off for me.  It seems that I am not the only one who noticed the leg. Her right leg now has its own Twitter account. @AngiesRightLeg 

·         Angelina Jolie wore black velvet Atelier Versace Haute Couture Velvet Gown; with $2.5 million worth of Neil Lane diamonds. Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo Peep-Toe Pumps.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

I Love Hot Chocolate!

When I drink a cup of coco, I am magically transformed back into my childhood. Drinking hot chocolate following an exhausting day of sledding or ice skating. Cheeks rosy, fingers and toes stiff and cold, and freezing and sweating simultaneously. I waited all winter for days like this, snow days.

This winter, although it hasn't snowed much, I'm still drinking plenty of hot chocolate.  Here are a list of items to add to Hot Chocolate to make it even more fabulous.  Feel free to share any ideas that you have.

Picture found on Pinterest
Start with a cup for your favorite Hot Chocolate* then add:

Frozen Hot Chocolate Add Ice and Hot Chocolate to a blender and mix (on high speed) to the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Hot Chocolate Float: Top Hot Chocolate with Ice Cream. Flavors such as Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, Mint Chocolate Chip, Fudge Brownie are fantastic but really any flavor do.

Mint Hot Chocolate: Float add sprig of fresh mint and use any Mint flavored Ice Cream. Or use a Candy Cane to stir your Hot Chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Sundae: Top Hot Chocolate with Ice Cream then add your favorite Sundae Toppings. Hot Fudge, Raspberry Sauce, Butterscotch, Peanut Butter, Strawberry Syrup, Caramel,  Marshmallow Cream,  Whip Cream, Cool Whip, Sprinkles, Candy Pieces, Cookies, Brownies...

More Chocolate: Stir in or top your Hot Chocolate with even more Chocolate. Such as Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Shavings, Chocolate Sprinkles, Chocolate Sauces, Chocolate Candy, Chocolate Milk, NutellaDark Chocolate, White Chocolate

Milks and Creamers: Whole, Skim, Soy, Steamed, Heavy Cream, Half & Half, Malted Milk Powder.
Flavored Dairy Creamers such as French Vanilla, Cafe Latte, Peppermint, Mocha, Crème  Brulee , Hazelnut, Coconut Cream...(found next to the milk at the grocery store)

Coffee and Espresso: Instant or fresh brewed.  Play with the ratio between the Hot Chocolate and Coffee.  

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: Steamed milk, Mocha Sauce, Toffee Nut and Vanilla Syrups, topped with sweetened Whipped Cream, Caramel Sauce and a mixture of Turbinado Sugar and Sea Salt. (recipe taken from Starbucks)

Mexican Hot Chocolate:  Mix Hot Chocolate with a pinch of ground Chipotle Chili Pepper and a pinch of Ground Cinnamon.  Top with Whipped Cream and sprinkle with a little Chipotle Chili Pepper and Ground Cinnamon.

Also Try: Nutmeg, Vanilla, Ground Chili Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Brown Sugar, Mable Syrup, Toasted Marshmallows (broil Marshmallows in the broiler (30 seconds) or campfire until they are golden brown.)

Cinnamon, Butterscotch, and Peppermint Schnapps, Kahlua, Bourbon, Vodka, Flavored Vodka such as Whip Cream flavored Vodka, Whisky, Brandy, Baileys...

Sandra Lee: Semi Homemade

Makes: 4 servings
4 (1-ounce) envelopes hot cocoa mix, divided use
3 cups milk
3/4 cup vanilla vodka
¼ cup Mini marshmallows, for garnish

Empty 1 envelope hot cocoa mix onto a saucer. Put some water onto another saucer. Dip the rims of 4 martini glasses into the water and shake off any excess. Dip them in the hot cocoa mix. (Save the remainder for garnish.)

In a blender, combine remaining hot cocoa mix, milk, vodka and 6 cups ice and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture among the prepared glasses and garnish with the marshmallows and remaining cocoa mixture.

Sandra Lee: Semi Homemade

Makes: 2 drinks
1 cup half-and-half
1⁄4 cup milk chocolate chips
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11⁄2 ounces vanilla flavored vodka, Smirnoff

In a saucepan, combine half-and-half, chocolate chips, and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring frequently. (Do not boil.) Pour into mugs.Stir in vodka.

*Any variety of Hot Chocolate including store bought powered mixes and homemade varieties. Adjusting the original Hot Chocolate recipe may be necessary when adding additional liquid to your beverage.  

I had a great time experimenting with Hot Chocolate. There are so many different ways to personalize it to your own taste. Have fun!

Final Tips 
The larger the mug, the more "toppings" you can add to your Hot Chocolate.
Powered Hot Chocolate Mixes can be brewed in your automatic drip coffee maker. Usually one envelop of Hot Chocolate = one cup water. Refer back to the package for exact ratio. Great idea for holiday parties or larger families.

Please Drink Responsibly

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

I have a much better appreciation of Dr. Seuss ' s collection as an adult. I love reading and laughing with my own child, as I know that my parents did with me. Dr. Seuss was incredibly witty and wise. It is amazing to see how lines out of children's books have a much bigger meaning in the real world. 

I hope that you enjoy reading these quotes.

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
--Dr. Seuss

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
--Dr. Seuss

And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.

-- Dr. Seuss

A person's a person, no matter how small.

-- Dr. Seuss

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.

-- Dr. Seuss

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go. 

-- Dr. Seuss 

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

-- Dr. Seuss 

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!

-- Dr. Seuss

Today is gone. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. 

-- Dr. Seuss

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.

-- Dr. Seuss

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

-- Dr. Seuss

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

-- Dr. Seuss

If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.

-- Dr. Seuss

From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.

-- Dr. Seuss

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

-- Dr. Seuss

Fun Links 

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