Saturday, September 17, 2011

Moved to WordPress!!

Just in case you've stumbled upon this blogspot site...
at the beginning of August 2011, we switched over to WordPress!
There's a whole new look and updated posts there, please head on over! :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Help: Book Club or Movie Party Kit

Have you read The Help? I haven't yet, but so want to. In fact, I'm hoping I can at least start it during our road trip to San Diego next week. While in San Diego for BlogHer'11 next week, I'll be attending an advanced screening of the film with the Disney/DreamWorks team and I'm super excited! I think the movie looks great and I've heard RAVE reviews about the book from just about everyone I know who has read it! 
Here's the movie preview in case you haven't seen it yet: 

With the movie opening in theaters on Wednesday, August 10th, there is just enough time to read the book before seeing the movie. How fun would it be to even get a group of girlfriends together for a 'The Help' Book Club or Movie Party?! Well, DreamWorks put together an adorable Book Club Kit so that you can do just that!
How 'bout serving up some southern sweet treats like Pecan Pie, Pineapple Cake, or Cream Cheese Blueberry Pie? Or, some fun drinks inspired by each of the main characters?

The “Skeeter:” Sweet, strong and a little spicy.

1 oz. José Cuervo’s Platino silver tequila
1/2 oz. Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz. cranberry juice
1/2 orange, squeezed
2 thin jalapeño slices

The “Aibileen:” Subtle, smooth and strong.

1/2 oz amaretto
1 1/2 oz Kahlua
1 oz cream

The “Minny:” Strong, with a kick.

2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
2 Dashes Lemon Juice
1 Dash Simple Syrup

The “Hilly:” Sour and chilled, with a sharp twang.

2 oz apple brandy
1/2 tsp powdered sugar
juice of 1/2 lemons
1/2 slice lemon
1 cherry

The “Celia:” Sugary sweet, a true Southern treat.

1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Rum, light
1 oz. Schnapps, peach
1 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Yukon Jack
1/2 oz. Grenadine

So, which character's drink sounds most appealing to you? I'm thinking I'd like the "Celia" best! :)
The entire kit (courtesy of DreamWorks, which you can download here) has full treat recipes, non-alcoholic drink versions, plus a book club guide with questions.

Have you read the book? Do you plan to see the movie?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Couch Critics Pop Up and Win Sweepstakes

So, remember earlier this year when I shared with you all about the new Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowls? Since then, they are seriously the only type of microwave popcorn we buy! We love them and even have some of our friends hooked on them too! ;)
So, I just thought I'd share something a little fun going own right now-- a facebook sweepstakes for Orville Redenbacher Pop-Up Bowls on the Couch Critics page! They're giving away a prize every week (up to a $500 gift card!) and you get an extra entry for EVERY friend that you invite who enters!! 
Here's the scoop:
Prize Details (cause that's the BEST part, of course):  
Retailer gift cards will be given once per week over the course of 6 weeks to one random winner. FOR EVERY FRIEND YOU INVITE THAT ENTERS, YOU'LL RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL ENTRY! 
Instructions for Entrants:
Like the Couch Critics page and tell them at which Walmart you found your Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowls for a chance to win shopping gift cards every week! Store numbers may be found at the bottom of your Walmart receipt or here 
Remaining drawing dates are:
  •   Monday, August 1st
  •   Monday, August 8th
  •   Monday, August 15th
  •   Monday, August 22nd
Find the sweepstakes on the Couch Critics page, here:

Do YOU like Pop-Up Bowls?

Disclosure: This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries with Maple-Cinnamon Dipping Sauce #OreIdaFries

This weekend, we headed to Sam's Club to stock up on some things we needed, as well as some items for our big California trip coming up! Like always, we found some interesting things we wanted to try, like these Lemondrop Melons! Have you ever heard of them before? Tried them?
We were so intrigued that we had to get one! And, we also decided that we had to try Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries by Heinz! They sounded good and I thought they would be something a little different that the boys would like. I often used sweet potatoes for homemade baby food for both the boys, but have rarely served them lately. So, I thought it would be something fun to get! You can check out my Intersect story for our whole Sam's shopping experience with more fun things we found! 
Since we were trying new things, I came up with a different type of dipping sauce to go with the sweet potato fries. And, since the kiddos love the marshmallow/maple syrup/cinnamon type seasoning on them at the holidays, I thought we'd go with a sort of sweet dip!

Maple-Cinnamon Dipping Sauce:

- approx 1 C plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 C maple syrup (real maple syrup would have been better)
- 1 t cinnamon
Directions:  Mix yogurt and maple syrup. Add 1 tsp. cinnamon. Stir together until well-combined. Eat with your sweet potato fries! 
Super tasty! The kids LOVED it!

Do YOU like sweet potato fries? What's your favorite sauce?

Feel free to share in the comments or on the Heinz Ore-Ida Facebook page!
Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a  #OreIdaFries shopping mission for Heinz with #collectivebias. As always, all opinions and experiences are my own.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Makeover Mayhem with a Blog Announcement!

Oh my! This weekend we're in the midst of TWO exciting makeovers around here! I told you earlier this week about the master bathroom! So that one should come as no surprise!
Thanks to all of you that gave your input! We've picked our color, the tape is up, and we're ready to paint! Can't wait to show you everything sometime next week!
Next up....

...the blog! Eek! If all goes well, this will be the last post in Blogger! That's right, Mom Endeavors is making the switch to WordPress! And, there will be a new look when I get there! Say goodbye to the cute brown-haired gal in the red sweater! She's a free Blogger template, so she's not coming with!
So, hopefully there are no major glitches or issues as we migrate everything over, but I wanted to let you know just in case! I'm nervous, yet super excited! 
If you've got any tips or advice (for either of the makeovers), please share in the comments!! 
Wish me luck (and stay tuned for 2 BIG reveals sometime next week)!! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Colorado Vacation: Trail Ridge Road at Rocky Mountain National Park

Finally, a post about one of our favorite places from our Colorado vacation! The first day of our visit we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park and we loved it! After a not too terribly long car trip from Denver, we started our Rocky Mountain National Park time in Estes Park. 
After some lunch there, we ventured into the National Park by way of Trail Ridge Road. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I can certainly tell you it wasn't this!!! I'm mean, I figured there would be a few snow capped peaks and some snow on the ground, but this was incredible! As we climbed higher and higher, we desert dwellers couldn't believe our eyes (or the temperature)! Truly amazing!
This biology nerd was delighted to be in an ecosystem I've never experienced before: tundra (in this case true alpine tundra). We were actually above the tree line!
There are numerous scenic lookout points and a few places to actually park & walk around. This was our first stop:
We continued on to the "top of Trail Ridge Road" and stopped off at the Alpine Tundra Visitor's Center.
Look at all that snow (in July!)!!
In addition to the breathtaking views, we were delighted to see some wildlife up very close, like this yellow-bellied marmot and these elk! Incredible!
We LOVED our drive on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park! The only downside was not having even more time there! I highly recommend that you check it out if you live in the area (we couldn't believe that some of our family members there had never been) or if you're visiting the Denver area during the summer! Beautiful, educational, and relatively inexpensive (just one park entrance fee per vehicle)--it's a MUST see!!

Have YOU been to Rocky Mountain National Park?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wizard Cones

Ok, I promise this is the last Harry Potter post (well, for awhile, not FOREVER... obviously!). But, I had such fun with the Harry Potter roundup post and we had all the great ice cream supplies left over from our little #firststreeticecream clown party, that I couldn't resist!
So, we transfigured some plain 'ole sugar cones into wizard hats! Amazing, right?! :) 
 Wizard Cones
To perform this little magic trick, here's what you'll need:
- First Street Sugar Cones
- 5 squares of chocolate bark coating (or about 2 C chocolate chips)
- sprinkles and/or other edible embellishments

- Melt chocolate in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until fully melted. Avoid overheating.
- One at a time, coat cones in melted chocolate. Tap off excess.
- Stand upright on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper
- Decorate cones with your favorite wizarding hat embellishments (stars, Hogwarts' House colors, sprinkles, etc.)
- Refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

To make a wizard, place your decorated cone on top of a large scoop of First Street Ice Cream. Add a whatever edible goodies you like to transfigure your ice cream into your favorite witch or wizard!
 Just make sure to work quickly before your ice cream wizard melts disapparates away! 

And, remember, if you visit by July 26th, you can enter for a chance to win one of fifteen $100 SmartCash cards (5 winners per week) and 3 Grand Prize winners will receive their choice of "The Ultimate First Street Ice Cream Party!" for up to 50 people or a Gift Card in the amount of $1,000!!!! Wow!  

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #CollectiveBias #firststreeticecream. All opinions and experiences are my own.
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