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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! #maptruvia ~Yummy with Coffee

Here is Steve's daily vlog for his Truvia 30 Day Challenge. He is enjoying it with his yummy coffee!



Product Review Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of our own. Want a free sample? visit http://www.maptruvia.com Please contact us if you would like us to do a product review for your company.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Freaky Friday!

Let the Halloween Fun Begin!

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! #maptruvia

Steve has been a little under the weather this past week affecting his truvia 30 day challenge, so his mini-me Tyler decided to help him out. I thought it was so funny because Tyler even smacks his lips just like Steve. You can see that it tastes really good by Tyler's candid reaction.



Product Review Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of our own. Want a free sample? visit http://www.maptruvia.com Please contact us if you would like us to do a product review for your company.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! I'm Back!

Here is Steve's daily vlog for the Truvia 30 Day challenge:



Product Review Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of our own. Want a free sample? visit http://www.maptruvia.com Please contact us if you would like us to do a product review for your company.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Today for Wordless Wednesday I am going to show you a video I took this weekend instead of a photo. It is amazing and took my breathe away....

~Shelby

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! Day #6 ~ Attempting the skinny jeans

There has been so much buzz on the Internet about Truvia helping people loose weight. I decided to test it and see if after my first week I may of lost enough weight to fit back into my old High School pants. Here is my vlog, check it out and see.

~Steve (Reality Dad)

The Ocean Institute Marine Mammal Cruise

 On Sunday we had the most wonderful opportunity to take the kids on a marine mammal cruise at The Ocean Institute in Dana Point. The kids have never been on a whale watching cruise before and they were super excited about the opportunity of seeing a whale. It was a gloomy misty day and we were worried that it would start raining any second. When we asked the kids if they wanted to stay home, their immediate response was NO!

When we first boarded the boat we were not sure if we would get to see many animals. Steve has been on tons of whale watching cruises when he was younger and he told me that the most he ever saw was a "foot print" of a whale.

Once we got out to sea, we were amazed when we first saw a pod of dolphins! We were so excited and as we began to cruise further into the ocean the pod kept getting bigger and bigger. At one point we were surrounded by hundreds of dolphins. The kids response, "Amazing!". There was a part of the ship that had a grated floor so we could see the dolphins right under our feet. We could even hear their whistle as they were talking to each other. "Amazing!" We have seen lots of dolphins at Sea World, but this was totally different. Seeing a pod of wild dolphins was a life changing experience and one that we will all will never forget.

After we saw the dolphins and spent over an hour enjoying their company we went further into the ocean to visit seal rock. We got to see lots of sea lions and birds. Once we were done they stopped the boat in the middle of the ocean and dropped a crane to the ocean floor. They brought up a sample from the ocean and let the children on the boat sort through all the different types of animals that were in it. This was the best for Andrew! He just loves science, and loves animals even more!



Andrew had such a great time on his adventure and was grinning from ear to ear even the next morning. He wants me to take him to the library tomorrow so that he can get some more books on ocean life. I am so happy that The Ocean Institute has sparked his interest in learning more about the ocean.



Thank you Ocean Institute for an amazing day!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! Day #5 ~ The Taste Test


Today Steve did the taste test challenge. First he did it with his daughter to get a true honest opinion, and then he followed with his own taste test.


Steve's taste test:

 Product Review Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of our own. Please contact us if you would like us to do a product review for your company.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! Day #4

In today's review Steve tackles the issue of allergies. A lot of people are allergic to aspartame and Steve stresses the importance that there is no aspartame in this product. It is an all natural product that comes from the Stevia plant. Although Truvia is all-natural and made from the Stevia plant, people can still be allergic to it, much like anything in life. Please consult your physician before using the product if you are concerned about allergies.



Steve did consult Andrew's physician on the best method to introduce Truvia to Andrew.

Product Review Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of our own. Please contact us if you would like us to do a product review for your company.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! Day #3


Steve...Steve...Steve...That is all I can say!

There is a reason that I fell in love with this guy, and his sense of humor was in the top five! I have done so many product reviews that I think I could write one in my head and after awhile they all seem to sound the same. When this review came along it was the first review that I could not do and give an opinion, because I just don't use sweeteners. I turned to my #1 to help me out on this one, and he sure did.

I think that Steve may of just found his natural calling...product reviews! I have gotten some large pay-outs on reviews in the past and feel I did my best to deliver a good review. With this review the pay-out was nothing more than a couple of samples, and Steve is delivering the most amazing review. (I don't think I have ever seen a blogger give a review this detailed??)

I found myself hiding in the back of the coffee shop today while Steve is talking to the manager about switching their product line. The funniest part was...the guy actually agreed!! (I could of never been able to do that?!?!) While Steve is eating his breakfast the manager was actually packaging up his supply and exchanging with Steve! Steve went from product reviewer to salesman today. It was too funny to watch!

Honestly I think he is on a mission. How many coffee shops can he convert.

Here is his video diary from today. I warn you...be prepared to laugh!


Product Review Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of our own. Please contact us if you would like us to do a product review for your company.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant! Day #2

Today was Steve's 2nd day on the Truvia Challenge. Here is his video diary:




The Ocean Institute Family Fun Night at Chick-Fil-A (Laguna Niguel)

This past Tuesday night the family was excited to go to our local Chick-fil-A (Laguna Niguel) where they were hosting a family fun night. They had The Ocean Institute come and bring some of their sea life to help teach the children about our special ocean creatures. Plus they were giving away a free kids meal for every adult meal purchased!

From the minute we pulled into the parking lot the kids went crazy when they saw a break dancing cow. Andrew of course ran right up to The Ocean Institute ladies to start learning about the animals. He has always been our "mad scientist" and a huge animal lover! The kids learned all about some neat sea life and asked about a million questions.





 After the presentation we went inside to eat at Chick-fil-A. We are not big on eating out with Andrew's allergies so it was a treat to bring the kids to a restaurant. (Andrew of course packed his own dinner). We were so amazed at how delicious the chicken was. Steve even went up to order seconds...yum!

They have a really nice set-up inside their restaurant for families like us. Yes, they had a play place...but not like the play place you would expect. It was a closed in play place, so Steve and I could still see the kids playing...but got to enjoy eating in peace. (I know...a quiet dinner...rare!)

My most favorite part of the dinner at Chick-fil-A was that instead of giving the kids a junky toy with their meal, they were given a book...that's right A BOOK!! I LOVE IT!! They got two copies of If You Give A Cat a Cupcake. We must of read these books a gazillion times since we got home and then Ella donated her copy to her teacher.

If you live in Orange County you should consider looking into The Ocean Institute children's programs. The kids have been begging us since we got home to take them to The Ocean Institute this weekend. We will have to make a special outing and send you more details in the future! For more details on any future events at the Chick-Fil-A make sure and visit their facebook page!

The kids loved making these video's when we got home with their highlights of the night!






Later that night...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge Day #1...Steve vs. Stevia Plant


It's looking like Steve might just have to be our new blog product reviewer. He is having a great time doing the Truvia 30 day challenge for me. I guess he has created a huge buzz in his office and everyone is curious what made "Mr. Pink Packet" change??


You can see his update in his video diary Day #1:

Product Review Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of our own. Please contact us if you would like us to do a product review for your company.


Wordless Wednesday

Doctor Andrew is here to help cure anyone who is sick...he..he!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Truvia 30 Day Challenge...Steve vs. the Stevia Plant!

Truvia recently asked us to swap out our sweetener for 30 days and try Truvia! We were so excited when our package came in the mail today with our samples.  When I learned that truvia is a sweetener made from the stevia plant I knew right away that my husband Steve had to be the tester. (Steve eating something from the stevia plant...I love it!) I have never really used a lot of sweetener myself, but my Steve is always filling his coffee with tons of those pink packets. I asked him to do the trial for our blog and he is very excited about it. We will be updating how Steve is doing on our twitter page. @ glitterfulfelt.

When reading about Truvia we learned that it is a natural sweetener born from the stevia leaf with zero calories. Each spoonful of sweetness begins with rebiana, the best tasting part of the stevia leaf.

Truvia has an e-club that you can join called the Honestly Sweet e-club. You can register with them for offers and recipes. Learn more at truvia.com.


Disclosure: Truvia provided us with a 30 day supply of Truvia, coffee mug & coupons at not cost to us. The opinions expressed in this posting are of my own.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Have you decorated yet?

We did!
 We love every holiday and tend to find ourselves going a little overboard with our decorations. (even connecting lights going roof-to-roof with other neighbors) The kids have so much fun decorating and we love to see them getting so excited about it. This year we actually toned down our Halloween decorations, but we still have our favorites up. We love to get a lot of trick-or-treaters on Halloween so we can see all the kids in their cute costumes. Hopefully we will get a lot of traffic with our decorations.
 This pirate ship in the box is our newest addition to our decorations. It lights up and the skeleton goes in and out of the box. Super cute!
We hope that you all have a fun time decorating for the holiday this year! Happy Halloween!

Fun Free Family Night at Chick-Fil-A Laguna Niguel

We love The Ocean Institute and Chick-fil-A . Tomorrow night at the Laguna Niguel Chick-fil-A location they are having a great family fun event not to be missed!

Clear your calendars for Tuesday night's Kids Night from 5-7pm! The Ocean Institute will be bringing local marine life to Chick-fil-A in Laguna Niguel to teach everyone how to become responsible stewards of our ocean. PLUS you get a FREE kids meal when you purchase a combo meal! Come join the fun!


Roma Tomato Crock Pot Pasta Sauce

Running my own business...being a full-time Mom to three busy kids....makes dinner time a challenge.

I feel the importance of growing most of our own produce. Especially living in Southern California and having the perfect weather to grow year round produce I feel it is an obligation to my children. This summer we had the most tomatoes ever. For about a month all we ate were tomato recipes. This seems to be our last week of the tomatoes (phew) and I am making my favorite recipe I found this summer. It is sure to be a hit in your house and super easy to make!

It took me about 10 minutes to cut and prep before I tossed everything into the crock pot. Last time I made it I let it cook on low overnight. It was rich and delicious, but waking up to such yummy scents made me over eat all day (he..he). So today I am cooking it on high just for the day. I will post a finished picture tonight!


Roma Tomato Crock Pot Pasta Sauce

10 Roma (plum) tomatoes - peeled, seeded and crushed
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 tea red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch cinnamon


1.Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, and olive oil in a slow cooker. Season with oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and cinnamon.

2.Cover, and cook 10 to 15 hours on Low. The longer you simmer it the more flavorful it becomes. At 10 hours it's really good, but at 15 its even better.

Winner of our Halloween lot Felt Story Set

The winner of our Halloween Lot Felt Story set is:
True Random Number Generator
Result: 6
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

swankmama said...
Would love to win this!!

Congratulations Swankmama! We will be contacting you today with instructions on how to redeem your prize!




Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homemade Hot Pocket Recipe

This is the yummiest...easiest recipe! I can tell you that it is not super healthy, but the kids will keep asking for more and dinner will be made in a snap. I could not wait to share this recipe with you.
Homemade Hot Pockets

Ingredients:
* Crescent Rolls
* Black forest ham
* Chopped frozen broccoli
* Shredded cheese
* Mustard


Directions:

1. Chop the frozen broccoli, ham and mix together in a bowl.



2. Take 2 parts of the crescent rolls and pinch together
3. Spread some mustard on the crescent roll
4. Add a little cheese
5. follow with some broccoli and ham
6. Then fold over the crescent rolls to make a pocket.
7. Cook and enjoy!

Cook at 350 for 14-16 minutes

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Ocean Institute Laguna Beach Million Dollar Home Raffle


Last night Steve and I had the great opportunity to attend The Ocean Institute Reveal event. It was so much fun and nice to go out and have FUN for a date night. We always seem to go to the same old restaurant for date night and then quickly come home. It was nice to mix it up last night and go meet lots of fun OC people!


While we were there we enjoyed the food that many fantastic Orange County restaurants had brought for us to taste! We got to enjoy yummy Chick-fil-a, Sarducci's, Sundried Tomato, Divine Desserts Etc, and many more. They also had great live entertainment and dancing. (What an exciting night!)


After dinner and before the dancing started they did a door prize raffle. As many of you who "know me", I am not the one who ever wins anything. To my surprise and Steve's....we won!! I was so excited that I almost fell off my chair. We were even more surprised to have won a weekend stay at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach! It is the perfect prize for us. With three kids we almost never get a weekend night away by ourselves, and now we can! We can still be close to home, but enjoy a special weekend together.


While we were there we got an opportunity to find out more about their famous million dollar (Laguna Beach home) raffle! We could not believe that for only $150.00 you can purchase a ticket to possibly become a millionaire!! You can also be a possible winner of a Toyota Prius, $10,000 dream vacation or many more fantastic prizes. Your odds of winning this are much higher than going on Survivor...that's for sure!

So if you are interested in the raffle. The ticket money goes to a great cause, teaching children about the ocean! You have until October 20, 2010 to purchase your raffle tickets!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Ocean Institute Reveal Event

Steve and I don't get many opportunities to go out for a date night. When we found out about this fun event we were immediately on the phone looking for a sitter. The Grandparents never seem to let us down and eagerly accepted to watch the kiddos.

So tonight we get to go to this great mixer. They are going to have lots of local food vendors and live music. This is a  great organization that the children love to go and visit during the summer. There is only a $5 cover charge which will go to benefit the organization.

Don't have any plans tonight? Make sure and come and join us tonight!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Calling all OC Kids! What would you do with $1 Million Dollars?


Well we have been sick for most of the week, so we are last minute participating in this fun event. You still have until the end of the day today to enter. The kids had so much fun making these videos of what they would do with $1 Million dollars!

Enjoy watching~

What Ella would do if she won $1 Million Dollars

What Andrew would do if he won $1 Million Dollars

What Tyler would do if he won $1 Million Dollars

FAAN New Food Allergy Camp for Children


As most of you know Andrew suffers from severe food allergies and is allergic to 90% of all foods. He has suffered from many severe anaphylaxis attacks. He also has the most severe type of allergies called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, where the food allergies are causing reactions in his esophagus. (causing pain in his throat & trouble swallowing) We make all his food from scratch!

As he is getting older he has been having a tough time fitting in at school. All school parties and celebrations are centered around food, and Andrew struggles with it everyday.

Andrew is part of a great organization call FAAN. He actually raised over $1,000 last year and participated in a food allergy walk to raise funds for research. We were so excited to find out that they are going to start a summer camp for children like Andrew!! The closest one to us is San Francisco, but we will make sure and vacation in San Francisco that week so he can attend. Andrew has never been able to attend summer camps in the past and he is so excited about this new opportunity!

It is going to be called Camp TAG, a 5-day, half-day camp for ages 3-12 that will launch in summer 2011. It will provide a safe place for children with food allergies and their siblings to have fun with no worries about having an allergic reaction, as well as give them an opportunity to meet other children who share the same conditions and know they are not alone!


FAAN is currently in the running for a $250,000 grant for from the Pepsi Refresh Project. Please show your support by visiting www.refresheverything.com/camptag and voting for Camp TAG today! Plan to vote for FAAN’s Camp TAG idea once a day for the month of October, and encourage everyone in your personal network to do the same. They are currently ranked 26 and they need your help!

Camp TAG will provide community outreach and educational opportunities for children with food allergies, their siblings, and parents. It will be 95% fun and 5% educational with age-appropriate activities and games each day on food allergies, anaphylaxis, nutrition, the emotional impact that food allergies have on the child and family, and how to stay safe at school and at home. An educational curriculum is being designed and will be reviewed by FAAN’s Medical Advisory Board.

The 11 cities chosen for the summer 2011 launch are: Joliet, Ill., Oak Brook, Ill., Minneapolis, Minn., Houston, Texas, San Francisco, Calif., Raleigh, N.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Fairfax, Va., Sandy Spring, Md., Long Island, N.Y., and North New Jersey/NYC.

We will update our website with information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Eleanor Garrow at egarrow@foodallergy.org.

Want to hear more about Andrew's food allergy walk? Read our blog posting here!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Playdough Recipe

Ingredients:


* 5 1/2 cups of flour
* 2 Cups of Salt
* 8 Teaspoons cream of tarter
* 3/4 cup oil
* 1 container (1 1/12 oz) pumpkin pie spice
* Orange food coloring (2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
* 4 Cups of Water

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together. Cook and stir over medium heat until lumps disappear. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container

Want more unique recipes? Visit our preschool blog: Glitterful Preschool Fun

Halloween Lot Felt Story Giveaway!

Would you like to win this Halloween Felt Story Lot?

To Enter is simple!

Just leave a comment below & your contact info so we can contact you if you win!

Giveaway will end on Sunday October 10, 2010 at 11:59pm winner will be chosen via random.org
Giveaway is open to residents worldwide

Religious Pumpkin Poem

Religious Jack O’ Lantern Poem

I am a Jack O’ Lantern

My lights will shine so bright

For I’m a Christian pumpkin

My symbols tell what’s right


My nose is like the cross

On which our Savior died

To set us free from sin

We need no longer hide


My mouth is like a fish

The whole wide world to show

That Christians live in this house

And love their Savior so!


The story starts at Christmas

My eyes are like the star

That shone on Baby Jesus

And wise men saw from far


My color, it is orange

Just like the big bright sun

That rose on Easter Day

Along with God’s own Son


And so on Halloween

Let’s set our pumpkins out

And tell the trick or treaters

What God’s love is all about!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Tyler

Tomorrow my baby turns 4! I cannot believe how time has flown.

Tyler is our miracle baby. He is our only homegrown child. I went into pre-term labor with him at 12 weeks and stayed at Hoag Hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy until he was born at 34 weeks. He was a fighter and still a fighter today.

Shortly after he was born he developed a bad infection called RSV. It caused his entire body to shut down and he never started making white blood cells after the infection. He was then Neutropenic, causing him to have white blood cell replacement therapy twice a week. For almost a year Tyler could not leave the house having to keep him in a very sanitary environment.

Just this past June he went in for a bone marrow biopsy and he is all clear. He is now producing all the cells he needs and is officially a healthy boy! We are so happy and this great news makes this birthday to be a big one to celebrate!

 When he was born the doctor's were amazing that he could breathe on his own at first allowing me to hold him for about 10 minutes. This was such a great blessing to have that opportunity!
My sick little preemie in the hospital

 Now he is a big healthy wild child! I am so happy and would not want him to be any other way!
Help us celebrate this special occasion and a little life that has fought all the odds to be with us today!

Friday, October 1, 2010

$25.00 Restaurant Gift Cards for $1.50!!


Wow!! I have seen many Internet deals and I was shocked to see this was not a scam. I did not believe it until I checked it out and this one is not a scam.

Restaurant.com has been around for quite some time and then run a lot of specials where you can get $50.00 gift cards for $25.00, $25.00 gift cards for $10, etc. A lot of the specials have fine print for example: Minimum 2 entrees. Valid for Dinner ONLY. Excludes: Other Offers/Promotions. 1 certificate per table. Most of them requiring you to leave a 18% gratuity which most of us do anyway.

I recently learned that if you enter in the coupon code WOW when purchasing one of their gift cards that it will take off a 90% discount. I know that's right 90%!! That's what I call a WOW! If you go to www.Restaurant.com/DailyDeal and enter in your zip code you will get a list of local restaurants.

I tried it myself. Steve and I have been wanting to eat at a local restaurant called Savannah's chop house and the restaurant was listed. I added it to my cart and used the coupon code WOW and it brought the cost down to $1.50!

Here are some important details:

* You can use this discount to buy $10, $25, $50, $75 and $100 restaurant specific gift certificates.

*Not valid on Restaurant.com Gift Certificates, Dinner of the Month Club or Restaurant.com Gift Cards.

*There is a limit of (3) $25 restaurant specific gift certificates per order.

*This offer will expire but the gift certificates you purchase will not. Gift certificates purchased on Restaurant.com at any given time will not expire.

*The Wow coupon discount code is for a limited time
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