Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reflections of Christ Website and Slide show

Check out this beautiful slide show on the Reflections of Christ blog. I love the music. The whole thing is inspiring and spiritually uplifting. I especially enjoyed how they made Jesus Christ and John the Baptist smile while in the waters of baptism. I'm sure it was a joyous as well as a spiritual experience for them both.

Reflections of Christ is a traveling fine art photography exhibit. Currently, it's located at the Temple visitor center in Mesa, Arizona. This is a beautiful exhibit not only for LDS members, but for anyone who is Christian. Check it out!

P.S...Thank-you to my friend Nancy for sending me the link in the first place :)

Try it Tuesday.....Lays Cracker Crisps

Warning: This is a pick yer nose boring review. Quite simply, these cracker crisps are nothing special. I wanted to try them because the commercial made it sound like they would have all the taste of a chip, but in a baked cracker. I've never ever tasted a cracker that remotely resembles a chip. Still haven't. These crisps were "ok", but certainly nothing special. I tried the regular and the garlic parmesan. They also make a cheddar. The only thing I liked about them was the bag! I liked how the top comes right off instead of pulling apart the whole thing and risking them flying all over. When I first tasted them, they had an oddly familiar texture and taste to them. Then I figured it out. They tasted a bit like Flat Earth crisps. And then I found out why. Both are made by Frito-Lay! Figures. The Flat Earth has better flavors than the crisps in my opinion. Plus Flat Earth has veggies :)

My 3 WW pts wasted on the cracker crisps? (Original was 2pts)...I'd rather spend them somewhere else. Like on pizza flavored Pringles Stix or Ruffles cheddar and sour cream light chips which is also made by Frito-Lay). I can have a whole ounce of those for 1pt. The Pringles Stix are 2 pts and I did a review about them a while back. On the bright side....my 11 month old likes these cracker crisps, so all is not lost.

So what should I try next? Anyone have any thoughts? I might try some of the new Smart Ones Fruit Inspirations. I don't usually like to waste points on packaged meals like that though. They tend to be small with high sodium and low fiber. But once in awhile I find something I like regardless.

If you know of a yummy food product that I should try, pleeeeease enlighten me! How about some yummies in the freezer aisle since summer is on it's way? Well, I guess it doesn't have to be food. I can try other things like cleaning products etc. It gets tiring to see the same old things lately. I wish someone would come out with something that really makes me want to blog all about it. Time to research huh?!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

You *must* check out the Bakerella blog!

While I was looking for instructions on cutting cake made with the humung-o Wilton Cupcake Pan, I stumbled upon a fabulous blog for baking! While I won't place a picture of the cutest bake goods you'll ever see (because I think she might get mad at me for it, I have to say that you MUST, MUST, MUST see the cupcake on a stick recipe! Think cake dipped in chocolate..mmmmm. They are sooo cute and would be perfect to give as VT'ing gifts or for any other occasion! Looks like she got the idea from Martha Stewart, but she, herself, shows the step by step instructions. I think I'm in love with Bakerella's blog!

Oh, by the way...if you are trying to figure out how to serve a giant cupcake, then here is the link to the instructions for cutting the beast. I've heard it's not as big and intimidating as it looks, but I still really want this pan!


I loooove this bath-time picture of Ava. I made copies to send/give to the grandparents. I also blew it up to frame, but haven't gotten around to actually framing it yet. Ava loves to take a bath. The kids love to give her baths, so it makes a nice break for me. Actually, the kids help out a lot with her. I'm very grateful for caring kids who love their baby sister. A lucky Mom I am! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Try it Tuesday.....Wildly Cherry M&M's

I saw these Wildly Cherry M&M's in my local gas station (same spot that I saw the Razzberry M&M's awhile back). I had to try them of course. I've been nibbling on a couple here and there out of the small bag for over a week. I still can't tell if they are milk chocolate or dark! I'm thinking it's dark, but the package doesn't say. I suppose if I ate more than 1 or 2 at a time, I'd be able to tell huh? But I'm stingy with my calories each day now that I'm trying to lose weight (again!) after having a baby. According to the website, they came out in February, but I'm just seeing them for the first time. Like the Razzberry, they are a limited addition.

Anyway, my review is this:
If you like cordial cherries, then you will probably like these Wildly Cherry M&M's. They are similar to real cherries and not the fake cherry flavored candies that you might expect. I really really like Cella chocolate covered cherries, so I like these M&M's. I don't "love" them though. I'm guessing they must be a slight dark chocolate although the package never says. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my opinion that they are dark chocolate.

A small 1.5 ounce bag is 5 WW points just like regular milk chocolate M&M's. I'm happy to report that they do have 2 grams of fiber :)

Try a bag for yourself and then tell me if you think they are dark or milk chocolate okay? Try them if only because you think the little M&M guy hanging off the cherry stem is cute cute cute on the package!

PS...speaking of M&M's...I'm going to order some of the personalized ones soon. I'll take a picture and share it later. I won't say more than that, because they are for a gift :)

PPS...speaking of gifts...I owe my MIL a gift since her birthday was last Saturday. But she was sick and so were we. I'll catch up to you later Mom! Happy Late birthday! My Dad shares the same birth date, but he isn't a computer person, so he won't see my birthday message, but still...Happy Birthday Dad!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

When you wish upon a.....catalog

It seems like every day I receive a catalog of some sort in my mailbox. I like to flip thru them knowing full well that I'm not going to buy anything. It's fun to have a "wish list" though isn't it?

I also google things so much that my "wish list" is growing! Here are a few things that I've seen lately in catalogs, flyers or online that I really like.........

Who doesn't like cupcakes? How about a giant cupcake?! This large cupcake pan would be soooo fun! I would love to decorate one for a birthday. It would even be fun to make one for a church potluck.

Speaking of cupcakes.....

This pan would be fun too. I haven't made cupcakes in an ice cream cone in a long time. Making those are fun, but these ice cream cone cupcakes are so darn cute aren't they?

And how about this cake pan?


My niece bought a

 shaped bundt pan to make her son's birthday cake this weekend. I bet that one would be fun to decorate too.

What a cute....

Spring has finally arrived here, so now I'm gravitating towards my outdoor decor. I wish I could afford one of these Teak Lutyen Benches from Sam's Club for my front porch. It's sooo pretty. I love the arch look.
Instead of buying the bench, I'll have to settle for spray painting a wicker chair that I have for my front porch. It's currently a natural color and I'd like it to be a sage green.

Speaking of spring...
I just received my order of....

.... and....

 I've seen plenty of hibiscus plants, but when I was in Nauvoo, I saw the plate sized ones and knew that someday I wanted them in my yard. I'm just a novice at flowers, but I'm getting better as each year goes by. I just hope that I can get them to thrive. I don't usually do mail-order plants, but for the price, I thought I'd try it. The hydrangea trees are coming in a variety of colors. I have 2 hydrangea bushes that seem to do well each year, so I'll try my luck at the trees and hope for the best.

Back indoors now....
I saw this sweet little chair and ottoman at the Target website....

Ava would love it.

There is also a cute little arm chair on sale in the current Target flyer. I saw this chair (below pic) at the store today ($59.00, and it's also the same price online) and it's just the sweetest! It's much prettier in person. I wish I could get it for Ava's 1st birthday. Maybe she will still like it when I can actually afford it.

I'm thinking of ditching our wobbly coffee table (I'm sick of retightening the screws) and replacing it with something like this....

It would be a softer and safer option for Ava. If I could afford it that is! Remember, this is just a "wish list". It's actually not too expensive from Furniture Central
I'm thinking it might be too small though. I'd want a bigger one in a darker beige perhaps.

Ok, I'm done wishing for today. I'm sure tomorrow I will get another catalog in the mail and I'll have more wishes to dream about. *sigh*

Monday, April 14, 2008

Try it Tuesday.....A&W Float

While in my local gas station this past week, I saw the A&W Float. Since I love a rootbeer float, I thought I'd try it. The kids were with me and they wanted to try the Sunkist Float, so we picked that one up too (2 for $3.00). Normally I would shy away from the Sunkist brand since the regular Sunkist soda has caffeine in it. But I looked all over the bottle and couldn't find that the Float had caffeine. Strange that the soda would, but the float wouldn't. Hmmm. A mystery never to be solved I guess. :)

Ok, here is my opinion:
The A&W Float was too sweet. It didn't really remind me of a good old fashioned rootbeer float. It just seemed like flat rootbeer mixed with cream. It also had a strange taste to it in my opinion. Not what I expected nor hoped for.

Now the Sunkist Float was another story altogether! YUM! It was like a creamsicle. Delicious...mmm. Then again, I'm a big fan of orange flavor, so that might have been the clincher. But it was just creamy enough to make it have a big yum factor for me. I say it was worth trying.

As far as calories for each flavor goes....ouch. Both are high in calorie.
The website claims that the A&W Float has 230 calories and 54 grams of sugar, but the actual bottle says it's 260 calories and a whopping 63 grams of sugar! Either the website was wrong or they are using a different sized bottle to figure the nutrition facts. Doesn't matter though...each of these drinks are 5 WW points and WAY too much sugar. Luckily, the kids and I shared them (I peeled them off the walls later), so I only tested these drinks instead of drinking both bottles.

The Sunkist Float had the exact same calorie content and sugar content as the A&W. Funny that I didn't think it was as sweet as the A&W. Oh, and with so many calories and sugars, you would think it was high in fat too...nope. Only a 1.5 grams. But I certainly wouldn't call it a "lowfat" drink! Lol. With all those calories, you'll still gain tons of weight if you drink one of these suckers frequently. But it would still make a nice little splurge if I want a creamy orange drink. Mmm. I don't know about you all, but when our family takes a trip in the car somewhere, we consider it a junk food fest. The Sunkist Float would be a perfect junk fest drink wouldn't it?!

As disappointing as the rootbeer float was, I guess I'll stick to making my own with a diet A&W and
Breyers fat free double churned vanilla ice cream. If I only use 1/2 cup of the ice cream, it's a 90 calorie 1 pt drink. YUM!

PS....one of my kids picked out A&W flavored ice cream (also made by Breyer's) while we were in the ice cream aisle of my local Meijer store. I'll fill you in on how that tastes later. Personally, A&W is my favorite brand of rootbeer. I remember when the A&W restaurant would sell jugs of it (looked like a milk jug). My Dad would get us a jug or 2 while we were visiting family in the Soo (Michigan).
A&W is also the only soda that I actually like when it's FLAT. I'm a weirdo...I know.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Try it Tuesday.....Hershey Bliss

Well, I thought that I would excited to try the new Hershey candy Bliss, but it wasn't anything to jump up and down about. Don't get me wrong...I loooove anything that is milk chocolate, but I guess I expected more. It resembles a Dove chocolate (square with a rounded top)and tastes quite similar in my opinion. I really like the flavor of a regular Hershey bar, so I guess I was expecting it to tastes a little bit like it. It was creamy and has some yum factor, but not any more different than a Dove. Wonder why Hershey is just now trying to come out with something that rivals Dove?

I didn't try the dark flavor, since I don't care for dark chocolate and I didn't try the one with the meltaway center. Wonder if those might be better. The plain milk chocolate was 1 WW pt each. Worth it? I guess it is if you can stick to only a couple at a time. I usually freeze chocolates like these before I eat them. Frozen chocolate takes longer to eat so I can savor my point.

Anyway, if you are expecting something out of the ordinary with Hershey Bliss, than you are out of luck. This isn't a baaaad review...like I said, they were still good, but not what I was hoping for. -sigh-

Oh! On the bright side........I ran across information about a Hershey Bliss Chocolate Party! If you like chocolate and want to invite some friends over to munch on chocolate, then you could possibly be picked as a hostess for a party. The parties will be at the end of April. To sign up to be a hostess in your area, apply here. If you are chosen, you’ll get your FREE party package including three varieties of Hershey’s Bliss Chocolate about a week before your party.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Odds & Ends

Here are some random pictures that I've taken recently...posting them just for the heck of it. After all, this blog is my journaly type thingie..so I like to focus on what interests me and then print it all out for a keepsake. I don't think I get many visitors anyway by the looks of the comments, but I bet my kids will enjoy looking at the posts later in a big 'ol book.

Oh-and expect a major over-haul of my blog soon. I'm bored with the look. I'm not that creative, so I think I'll just have to find a template that I like and go with it.

Here is Brycen receiving his Bear badge in Cub Scouts a few months back. Doesn't he look thrilled?! Figures. Actually, he was excited, but he doesn't like all eyes focused on him. That's Holly's husband giving him the badge. He is Brycen's den leader. Brycen is now in Webelos. Much harder work and time consuming!

Here is Mr. B again. He looooves his hockey gear. He has a net, hockey sticks and one 'real' hockey stick from the Youngstown Steelhounds team. My nephew was the athletic trainer for the team last season and gave him the stick when we went to visit. My kids got to be stick boys (girls!) when we were there. That was a fun experience! My nephew now works for the Mississippi Seawolves. Brycen has actually only been on the ice with skates once but didn't fall at all. He acted like he had been on skates a zillion times. Too bad we can't afford to let him actually play on a team. It's an expensive sport. Especially when he wants to be a goalie.

Molly had her 11th birthday in January. She had a couple friends spend the night and they decorated her birthday cake. Mmmm. Sickeningly sweeeeeet.

We said goodbye to our much loved doberman, Sweetie in January. She was 13 years old. Last November, she started to get really sick. She wouldn't eat, had diarrhea and throwing up all over the house. I did my best to get her well, but she had tumors that we were told later, were cancerous. We named her Sweetie because she was just that...sweet as ever. She never bit anyone and was great with all of our kids. We miss you Sweetie!

Ava sure loves her G'pa W! Her eyes light up when she sees him. Here they are waiting to get a piece of Jillian's birthday cake. Mmm.

Jillan got a new Canon camera for her birthday. Here she is taking her own picture. Purty. She is 15 now. I never could imagine myself with a 15 year old daughter! I have a kid in High School!! Eeek! I'm old!

This is the cake that I made for Jillian and 2 other girls who share her birthday in March. We served in in our YW opening exercises. It was delish if I do say so myself!

Here is Ava in her Easter dress. Both Macie and Molly wore the same dress when they were babies. It's vintage 90's. Haha.

We snuck (is that a word? Or is it sneaked??) away for an overnight at a hotel a couple weeks ago. We had a good time in the FREE large 2 room suite with a jacuzzi, swimming in the pool, eating FREE food and went on a FREE shopping spree at the gift shop. I won't explain how it was all free ~sigh~ But it was fun!

Here is Macie having a good 'ol time in the pool just before it closed for the night.

Brycen won 2nd place in the Pinewood Derby at the end of March.

Ok..that's all for now. I'll try to post more often. I have some "wishes" I'd like to post and I suppose I should post a little something about my hubby turning ~40~ this past week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No foolin'

I'm not much of an April Fool's Day participator. Other than the time I told my Mom I was pregnant when I was just a young teenager. That did NOT go over well. Duh. I really don't have many experiences to share about April Fools. Do you?

Try it Tuesday.....O Water

I found it! For awhile, I didn't think I would be able to find O Water in my city, but there it was on the shelf at Meijer. I only knew to look there because Holly found it first. She bought some too, but I haven't heard yet as to what she thinks of it (you better comment Holly!)

Each bottle was about $1.39 for 20 oz. I decided to try the Twist of Lemon & Lime and also the Twist of Wild Berries. Other flavors include:

-Twist of Strawberry
-Twist of Mandarin Orange
-Twist of Peach

Now if you go and try this water expecting it to be full of sweet flavor, forget it. It's only got a hint of the flavors. Actually, I find it to be quite refreshing. As far as flavored waters go, for me, it's usually a hit or miss kind of thing. I can't stand most of the Aquafina flavored waters or the Dansai. On the other hand, I love most of the Nestle Pure Life and Fruit 2 O's. Give me any kind of lemon flavored water and I usually like it. The O Water was no exception. It was good, but like I said, only a hint of lemon and lime were present. On the website, it says, "We don't disguise water, we celebrate it", meaning you won't find it to be a sickeningly sweet water.
O Water has electrolytes in it with no sugar or artificial anything. They also make an Infused water with antioxidants.

If you cannot find it in your local stores, you will find that Amazon sells it.

If you prefer to have a hint of lemon or lime in your plain old tap water, try adding True Lemon. It's crystallized lemon in a small packet to add to water. I looooove it. They also make True Lime and True Orange. I haven't tried the orange yet. True Lemon has
all natural ingredients and supplies 25% of an adults daily requirement of vitamin C.

I had recently read an article online about how restaurants frequently allow bacteria on the fresh lemon wedges that we love so much in our water. Ew. I think carrying a packet of True Lemon would be better than risking bacteria in our drinks don't you? Check out the website to learn ways of cooking with True Lemon too. Plus, the website also has free samples to try. Gotta love a freebie! Oh, and get this...if you try a sample, they will also send a sample to soldiers in Iraq. Double bonus!

Ok, enough of the healthy sounding stuff....next week I plan to try the new Hershey Bliss chocolate. Mmmmmm.