Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Last Bluum Box

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Love My Love Voxbox: Kiss Nail Dress

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

Introducing Keekoo!

       Hey moms and moms-to-be, have you heard about Keekoo? Keekoo is a new website launching this week with offers for pregnancy and newborn. I, for one, can't wait to check it out and see what great deals they have to offer. 
     Keekoo is supposed to be offering products in maternity, nursing, beauty, newborn gifts and accessories at up to 90% discount. Each deal will be limited availability, at a first-come, first-served basis. 
     If you would like to sign up for free, you can do so here. And if you use my referral link, we'll both get a $10 credit, so I would really appreciate it, if you do decide to sign up. :-) And don't forget to like them on facebook, too!
     The first sales event, with huge discounts for everything you need for mom and baby, is this Thursday, March 15th, so make sure you check it out if you're a new mom, or soon will be.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Baking Mix Recipes and Half-price E-book Sale

     Just wanted to let you know, this week (through the 11th) over at Living on a Dime, they're having a half-price sale on their e-books Dining on a Dime and the Keepin' it Clean e-book series. Meanwhile, check out these homemade baking mix (basically like homemade Bisquick) recipes from Dining on a Dime.

Homemade Baking Mix Recipes
by Tawra Kellam
http://www.livingonadime.com/

Baking Mix
9 cups flour
2/3 cup dry milk
3 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening or 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter*
Mix flour and other dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Use a mixer on low to cut in the shortening to save time. Store in an airtight container up to 6 months. This recipe uses a 5-pound sack of flour when doubled.
*Refrigerate if using butter.

Baking Mix Pancakes
2 1/4 cups baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Mix ingredients until moist. The batter should be lumpy. Cook on a hot greased griddle. Flip when bubbles break on the surface and the edges begin to dry. Makes 15-18 medium pancakes.

Baking Mix Biscuits
2 1/4 cups baking mix
2/3 cup water or milk
Mix lightly until dough forms a ball. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 10-12 times. Roll dough about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a 2-inch cutter or the rim of a glass dipped in flour. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. For drop biscuits, use 1 cup water and drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Makes one dozen.
*For cheese biscuits, add 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Baking Mix Muffins
2 1/4 cup baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Mix dry baking mix and sugar. Add egg, water and vegetable oil to dry ingredients. Mix only enough to moisten flour. The batter will be lumpy. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
*For an added surprise fill muffin cup halfway and then add a spoonful of jelly. Top with more batter. Add raisins, cinnamon or nuts for gourmet muffins. Makes 12-15 muffins.

Butterfly Ring
2 1/2 cups baking mix
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
Grease a jellyroll sheet and preheat over to 375. Mix first four ingredients until well blended. Dough will be sticky. Knead on a lightly floured surface 18 times. Roll out into an 11x14 inch rectangle. Spread butter on the dough, then the filling on the dough. Serves 12.
Filling
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup nuts (optional)
1/2 cup cherry jelly (raspberry, strawberry or any other jam or jelly will work)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. flour
Add the ingredients to the melted butter. Blend until smooth. If necessary, heat jelly 30 seconds in the microwave if you need to make it smooth. Spread filling onto dough. Roll the dough lengthwise and seal the edges by pinching them together. Form into a circle on the jellyroll pan. Cut 4 to 5 slits in the top to release steam. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool and frost with butter cream frosting.

Breakfast Puffs
2 cups baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin cups. Mix baking mix, sugar, nutmeg, margarine, milk and egg. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake 10 minutes. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Quickly roll the puffs in melted margarine, then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Makes 24 puffs.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com , sign up for our free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Unhelpful or Annoying Parenting Advice

     Oftentimes when you are pregnant or out with your young child, someone seems to have advice, or a story to share. Sometimes these are complete strangers that wish to pass on their wisdom to a new mom, who must be in need of it. Sometimes they are well-meaning relatives, particularly those of a previous generation.
     Sometimes the advice is truly helpful, but sometimes it is just annoying, or perhaps even frightening. Here are some of my favorites (and by favorites I mean most annoying or frustrating).
     1. Birth horror stories-- This has to be one of my least favorite things to hear about. If I'm eight months pregnant with my first child, I don't want to hear about how you "tore" or about the C-section that you weren't given proper anesthesia for. Childbirth is scary enough without thinking of all that "could" go wrong.
      2. Get your sleep now because you won't get any after the baby comes!--Ok, it might be nice if you could build up "sleep credits" before birth that you can use afterwards, but our bodies just don't work that way. If anything, get as much done ahead of time because you will will need some time to adjust to everyday life with a baby.
     3. Enjoy it while it last, because they grow up so fast!--I guess because we're new moms, we don't realize babies grow. I know this piece of advice is passed on by moms whose kids are much older than babies now and are wondering where the time went. So I can kinda let this one slide. But I still get tired of hearing it.
     4. You shouldn't eat "X" while breastfeeding because it will make the baby constipated/colicky--some babies may have adverse reactions to certain foods, but it doesn't mean all babies will be negatively affected by said food. I was told (not by the doctor) I couldn't eat chocolate while breastfeeding because it would make the baby constipated. Guess what? I ate chocolate anyway and didn't have any problems.
     5. Sleep while the baby sleeps--First of all, when your baby finally goes to sleep, if you are so exhausted your sleep takes precedence over anything else that needs to be done, you won't need to be told to go to sleep. And if you do have other things that need to be done (like tending to another child) you don't always get that option. 
     6. Don't toss the baby like that!"--This was what a certain relative told my husband when he was bouncing our daughter (who was one at the time) up in the air. Something he did quite frequently, and that she enjoyed, but this person thought was going to do some kind of permanent damage.
     7. I can't believe you let that baby have a sip of coke!--Okay, so if I'm at a restaurant I might let my daughter have a sip of my drink because she wants to try it. It's not like I'm filling her sippy cup/bottle with it.
     8. Are you just going to let her keep screaming like that/doing that? (in a tone that implies: what a spoiled, undisciplined brat!)--This one is especially nice when it comes from people who have been protesting whenever you attempt to discipline your child, so when you finally give up disciplining in their presence, your kid does what they want. 
     9. When my kids were that age, I fill in the blank--Okay, it's great to know that whatever-it-is worked for your kids, but what works for your family might not work for mine. And what works for one of my kids may not work for the other. Sometimes you gotta go by trial and error. 
     10. My (non-existent) children wouldn't be allowed to act like that --people who have never had children seem to know everything about how you should raise yours. Whether it's the single person who declares their children (when they have them) won't act like yours or the older person who never had any, somebody always seems to know what's best for your child. 
     So what can you do? Nothing, really, unless you enjoy confrontation. Just smile and nod and do whatever you need to do for your child. After all, you're the one with your child all the time, not them.