Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna Cups

     Here are some "lasagna cups" I made for a party I went to last week This was the first time I'd ever made them, so I still need to refine the technique. This was more time consuming than regular lasagna, especially since I usually use oven-ready noodles and I had to use the regular ones for these.
     First, you need to make a meat sauce. Ground beef, onions and green peppers added to a jar of spaghetti sauce or can of tomato sauce. Then boil the noodles according to package instructions. 
     I broke them in half so they would fit in the pot. Once boiled, I cut them length ways.

     Some of those I cut in half and some in thirds. The thirds for the bottom and the halves for the sides. I laid two smaller pieces in the bottom of a (greased) muffin tin. I used three of the longer pieces to make a "cup." I did this in each of the holes in the muffin tin.

     Next, I put a heaping teaspoon of ricotta cheese in each of the cups.

     Then I topped off the cups with the meat sauce.

     Finally, sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake at 350 degrees about 25-30 minutes.

     I was in a bit of a hurry, so I probably didn't let them sit in the pan as long as I should have. I think if they had been allowed to "crisp" a little more, they would have been better. They still kept their shape, but I couldn't just pick one up like I imagined. They are still great for a party, though!

Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy

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     What? Never heard of Pharmaca? Well, I hadn't either until recently. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy was founded in 2000 in Boulder, Colorado and they offer both traditional pharmacy services and holistic remedies. 

     At Pharmaca, you will have access to credentialed pharmacists, nutritionists, neuropathic doctors and herbalists so that no matter which method you choose to use, you will have the support you need. And they offer over-the-counter medications, alternative remedies and natural beauty and care products. 

     If you don't have a Pharmaca store near you, don't worry--they still have a huge selection of products on their website. They have products for personal care, beauty, children and babies, herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, home care and over the counter medications. in short, everything you would look for at a traditional pharmacy and more! And the brands they offer are eco-conscious and natural brands. 

     They offer "bag credits" for customers who bring in their own bags--like this cute apple and bee tote available on their website. For those who don't, they provide biodegradable bags. 

     If you want a great selection of natural and eco-friendly health and beauty products, you might consider Pharmaca for your preventive healthcare needs. You'll be doing your body and the earth a favor!

Disclosure: This sponsored post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. I was compensated for my time investment and work on this campaign. Thoughts are my own.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

White Apricot Green Grab Bag #Giveaway

     If you enjoy natural, vegan and eco friendly beauty products, then this giveaway is for you! Pinterest Fanatic has been kind enough to let me participate in her giveaway and offer my readers a chance at a 3 month's subscription for a White Apricot Green Grab Bag.
     You never know what you'll get in the Green Grab Bag, but you do know it will be natural and eco friendly. If you are in the market for such personal care and beauty products, and would like to try them out before buying a full size item, you might be interested in a Green Grab Bag subscription.

     The Creative Team behind White Apricot understands the difficulty in purchasing full size beauty products without having tried them before. That's why they decided to start Green Grab Bag and deliver a bag full of samples to your home once a month. This subscription service provides you with some of the best hair and skin care products, makeup and fragrances for only $15 a month. All of these beauty product minis are all natural, vegan or eco friendly products.
One Lucky Reader will receive their very own Surprise Assortment of beauty goodies from Green Grab for Three Months!!! 
    Terms and Conditions:
  • This Contest is Open to U.S. Residents Only.
  • This Giveaway is being brought to you in association with Pinterest Fanatic. The participating bloggers cannot be held responsible for the delivery of this item, as that is the responsibility of the sponsor.
  • Disclosure: I (Pinterest Fanatic) received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

BzzCampaign: Bic Soleil Savvy Disposable Razor

This review has been moved. You can now view it HERE.

Free Blogger Opp: Preschool Giveaway Blast

Tots and Me

     Want to help promote a fun event? Here is an event geared toward parents of preschoolers, amidst the many "back to school" giveaways currently going on. Tot's and Me is hosting the event, which will begin August 1 and end on the 18th. Get a free facebook link for promoting the giveaway, plus a twitter link for announcing sign-ups. 
     Sound like something you're interested in? Go here to sign up and don't forget to mention I sent you!

Swagbucks is Going Mobile!

Search & Win

     Have you joined Swagbucks yet? If not, you should! For those who don't know, Swag bucks is a rewards program that gives you "swagbucks" for things like searches, watching videos and taking advantage of various deals on the Swagbucks site.
     This week Swagbucks has launched a mobile site for iPhone and Android users to make it easier to earn Swagbucks. And in honor of this new feature, Swagbucks is offering an extra 60 Swagbucks to new members in addition to the 30 all new members receive--so if you sign up now, you will get 90 Swagbucks. Just use the code SBISONTHEGO upon sign up. This code is valid through August 3rd, one week from today. 
     450 swagbucks will get you a $5 Amazon gift card--or you can pick from tons of other prizes in the Swagstore. You can read my previous post about easy ways to earn Swagbucks. And don't forget today is Megabucks Friday, which means there are even more ways to earn Swagbucks. So wait are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: We Did Something Extreme

     ...Or, at least we took the first step in doing something extreme. We bought an old van in hopes of selling our new(er) van we bought last year. 
     About a year ago we decided we needed to "upgrade" our vehicle, since we were expecting our second child, so we traded in our paid-off car and got a mini-van. It was from the previous year and had fairly low miles. The car payment was close to the maximum we thought we could afford. 
     So we've been paying on it for a year. While we can "afford" it, it doesn't give us a whole lot of space and certainly isn't helping us in our plan to get debt free. Besides, who know what will happen in the next couple years?
     So we've been examining our debt snowball and really thinking about stuff and we figured out that if we no longer had a car payment, we could potentially (assuming we still put the same amount toward debt) be debt free in two years. If we keep it, it adds another year to our debt.
     As it stands, the KBB value of our car is a couple grand more than what we owe, so we are pretty certain we can break even at the very least. We got a van--still didn't want to go back down to a car--and while it isn't glamorous, it seems to be a pretty sound vehicle and we hope it will last us a couple years. 
     All that's left is to put our minivan on the market in the next few weeks and working toward paying off our debt (which is mostly student loans. And if you would like to start a debt snowball yourself, you should check out this site. They have a great snowball calculator there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weighloss Wednesday: Rough Start

     Okay, we have been pretty busy the past few days and my "new start" in weight loss is not such a great start. This week's weigh-in was 177.4--up 2 pounds from last week.
     I have been eating too much "junk" (what's new huh?) and not always drinking enough water. I start the day out pretty well, but it kinda goes downhill later on--especially if I don't drink enough water.
     Also, I haven't been walking in the mornings or doing my Wii Fit, when I should probably be doing both. No matter how much I intend it, I never seem to be able to make it to bed at a decent hour. So of course I don't set my alarm for when I need to, in order to be able to walk before my husband goes to the office. And when I don't walk in the the morning, I tend to be more sluggish throughout the day. 
     On the days I do manage to drag myself out of bed, I generally feel more energized throughout the day. Of course I know this. But it is not always easy to go by what you know when your body is begging you to stay in bed. Thus my dilemma. 
     So, wish me luck this week in my efforts to drag myself up for my daily (well, four days a week) walk and hopefully I will have time to get in a half hour of Wii Fit during (the kids') nap time. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SAVE on Your Next Trip to San Antonio!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of SAVE . All opinions are 100% mine.
     Have you ever been to San Antonio, TX? Ever wanted to go? I do! Especially after checking out all the awesome info on the SAVE website. SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience is a website where you can find all kinds of great deals for hotels and attractions in San Antonio.
     Whether you're a history buff, thrill seeker or food connoisseur, San Antonio has something for everybody. I am really just overwhelmed by all the thing San Antonia has to off. I don't think I could fit it all in one week, which would be a typical vacation period. But say I was going to plan my San Antonio vacation and take advantage of some of SAVE's great offers--here is what I would like to do:
     1. First off, I would have to choose my hotel. The Menger hotel looks like a neat option, since it's from the 1800's. The SAVE discount makes the King bedroom $119/night, which is $30 cheaper (per night) than the "best rate" of $149/night. So if we stay 4-5 nights, that's a savings of $120-150!
     2. I would like to go to Sea World. I think our daughter would love it and the baby might like it too. We always enjoyed the one in Florida. Since both of our kids are under 3, the $10 off ticket price would probably be best for us. But if you have teenagers, the 4-pack would probably be best for you!
     3. I would love, love, love to go to Six Flags. Since we have 2 young kids, that's probably not realistic for us, But if I were going to go, SAVE has some coupons available.
     4. The Natural Bridge Caverns is something that would be really neat to see. And SAVE offers $2 off children's tickets.
     5. If you like Laser Tag (and I do!) Laser Legend offers a second game free! And it seems more involved than any laser tag I've ever played. But I would love to try it out!
     6. The North Star Mall offers a free premier passport. I know the mall seems a rather anti-climatic destination, but we always seem to end up at one when exploring a new town!
     7. Finally, what is a trip to San Antonio without a visit to the Alamo? That really is a must! Alamo Sightseeing Tours allow you to See the Alamo, take a riverboat ride, visit Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Japanese Sunken Gardens, Buckhorn Museum and the Market Square. SAVE offers a $2 discount for kids and $5 for adults!
     And there is tons more to do in San Antonio. I can't cover it all. There are zoo's, gardens, waterparks, shopping, dining and historical places. You should check out the SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience website to see what San Antonio has to offer and check out the Limited Time Offers. Also, follow @SAVEinSA to receive updates on deals, limited time offers and trip planning.

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Thrifty Thursday: Freezer Inventory

This post has been moved. You can now view it HERE.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free Blogger Opportunity: $40 Amazon GC

     Here is a free blogger opportunity for a $40 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is being hosted by Mama Papa Barn and sponsored by Unique Vanities. Bloggers will receive one link on the rafflecopter in exchange for posting and promoting the giveaway. One additional link offered for promoting sign-up. Go here to sign up!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Starting Over

     I know I haven't posted about my weight loss lately. I kinda took a break from it, I guess you could say! We had company for nearly two weeks last month and we've been busy trying to catch up with everything and get back on track and so forth.  But I'm staring over now, and hopefully will do better than last time around. Feel free to join me!
     Let's just say I've hovered, more or less, weight-wise from where I was when I left off before. Gained a couple, lost a couple. Back and forth. You know how it is. Maybe. So, this week I started off at 175.8. 
     I'm not actually going to post pictures of the scale anymore. The only reason I was doing that in the first place was because I thought I was going to be part of another blog's weight-loss challenge and I needed the "proof." But that didn't work out. So since I'm doing this solo, I'm not posting the pics anymore!
     As I go along (hopefully with some success!) I will try to post with some fitness tips/products and will try to get back on track here.

Product Review: UGLee Ergonomic Pen

This review has been moved. You can now view it HERE.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Free Blogger Opp: Baby Party

     Here is another free blogger opp. This one is for a Baby Party giveaway at Pregnancy Forum. Giveaway is August 12-September 10. There are three pretty big prizes. You get 2 FREE (facebook, twitter or Pinterest) links for spreading the word (a blog post). Additional links are $1 each and you must promote twice a day. Go here to sign up.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FREE (or low cost) Blogger Opp

Pregnancy Forum

     Okay, fellow bloggers. Here is a really great blog opp for you. Joys of Life Pregnancy Forum is hosting a $1,000 paypal cash giveaway. You can get facebook and twitter links FREE for posting, OR pay $2 for the same two links, plus $1 each for additional links. And $1/link is about as cheap as you're going to find anyway, especially for a giveaway of this magnitude. Also, you must be willing to promote 3 times a day for the 2 week duration of the giveaway. So, if you are up for that, this will be a great opportunity to gain exposure for your blog. Go here now to sign up! And don't forget to mention An Ordinary Housewife referred you!

Food Waste Friday: Raider of the Lost Food

     So, I cleaned out a bunch of junk from the fridge this week. You know, that stuff that gets "forgotten" in the back of the fridge and freezer and by the time you find it, it has mold. So, I decided to examine everything that I hadn't opened/used in a while, and unless it was a condiment, or I knew I had put it there the last couple days, it got tossed. 
     Here it is: 
     1. Part of a ham. This was actually in the freezer and looked kinda frostbitten, but my husband wanted to cook it and see if it truly did taste bad. So we did. It was okay, but not great. We ate what we culd and tossed the rest. Pretty good, I guess, considering I was going to toss it anyway. I couldn't put it back in the freezer after defrosting once.
     2. Strawberries. These I had put in the freezer when they were on the brink of going bad before. I took them out thinking I was going to use the juice. It didn't take long for them to finish spoiling and grow mold. 
     3. Expired coconut creamer.
     4. Homemade chicken broth. I didn't freeze this after making it a week and a half ago as I should have. I thought I'd use it, but I didn't use it in time.
     5. Homemade hummus, growing mold. Just about 1/4 cup left. 
     6. Evaporated milk that's been "lurking" in the back. 
     7. Tomato juice, again, growing mold. 
     8. A rotten tomato. 
     9. Some bad cherry tomatoes. 
     10. Some canned whipped cream and pancake batter. I think those might have been pretty much empty, though. That's the main reason I tossed them.
     Wow, that was a lot. A nice, round number. I don't know what else to say, except: see you next week!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Food Waste Friday: Company's Gone


     Well, I have not really been keeping track, or necessarily even having much control of what food has been coming in and out lately. First my parents were here for a few days, then my in-laws came in the evening of the day my parents left. I'm really still trying to recoup from everything and get back into the swing of things. 
    So, we've been company free about a week now, but honestly my  head is still spinning and I can't be 100% sure what got tossed this week. I don't think it was too much. Here is what I vaguely remember. 
     1. A couple pieces of bread. 
     2.Leftover mashed potatoes. 
     3. Leftover carrots. 
     4. 1/2 pack turkey lunch meat. I was dubious about it since it had spent a day in the cooler (when not out on the picnic table) and ice was almost melted when we got the stuff out at home. 
     5. DH tossed a couple of pears he insisted were no good, though I thought some parts could be salvaged. But he was in "purging mode" and I don't mess with him then. 
     Hopefully now that we are getting back into the swing of things, I will do better this week. So, check back next Friday!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012