Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Thanks A Million" Program from Banquet Meals

When my friends at MomCentral found out how many Banquet chicken nuggets my daughter consumes in a typical week (WAY TOO MANY!), they thought I wouldn't mind sharing a new promotion from Banquet Meals with you.

"As a way of saying "Thanks a Million" to their loyal customers over all these years, Banquet is giving away more than $1 million worth of redeemable cash prizes this February through April. Beginning February 8, look for Banquet frozen dinner meals with the "Thanks a Million" logo on the box. Each of these specially-marked packages will contain a special game piece, either one of over 16,000 redeemable cash prizes worth anywhere from $10 to $100,000, or a Banquet coupon. What's better than that? A quick dinner on the table in minutes and a chance to find the equivalent of the "Willy Wonka" golden ticket."

I priced these meals out at both Wal-Mart and Publix and both stores carried them for around $1. We don't eat too many frozen meals around here, but I do keep some on hand for lunches or crazy nights when there just isn't time for a big messy kitchen.

As my friends at MomCentral said, "For nights like these, it helps to have some great rescue meals on hand, like Banquet frozen entrĂ©es.  Dinner that the whole family will enjoy is on the table in minutes. Banquet offers more than enough single-serve dinner varieties so each family member is covered – whether you have kids who are picky eaters and only like Macaroni & Cheese or Chicken Fingers, or adults who prefer more sophisticated options like Chicken Pasta Marinara, Sweet and Sour Chicken or Creamy Pasta Carbonara."

You can view details of the "Thanks a Million" promotion at

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Banquet and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How We Celebrated Valentine's Day 2010

No, it wasn't texting status updates to Facebook. At least not for me.

But it did involve standing around and watching some random Kiwanis member make us 6 pancakes the size of our plate.

And then topping those pancakes with some huge sausages.

But it did involved us sitting together while we ate those pancakes and sausages, talking about whatever came to mind. Without having to remind a toddler to use her fork.

Then, we celebrated by spending a little time at a local shooting range. First Bruce.

Then, Jennifer. I find it disarms the target a little bit to see so much hostility from a girl with a flower in her hair.

Especially when she is this good. :)

Happy Valentine's Day Bruce!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How We Make Time For Our Marriage

I was talking to my mom this week about coming down to babysit the girls for us. She mentioned that Bruce and I probably don't get much alone time together these days and that she was happy to spend time with Charlotte and Mary while we went out.

And while in some ways she is right, Bruce and I have managed to go on more "date nights" since Mary was born 5 months ago than I think we did in the entire 12 months prior. Part of that was because, before Mary was born, we had found ways to have dates at home, after Charlotte went to bed.

We made time during naps to sit and eat a quiet lunch together. Sometimes a shared sandwich and bag of chips is better for talking than the much-hyped candlelight steak dinner.

We rented movies that one or both of us wanted to see. And we kept it cheap by returning those Redbox DVDs before 9 pm the next day!

No matter how you and your spouse find ways to spend time together, I know we can all agree on how important it is. Now that we always have Mary downstairs with us in the evenings, seeking attention or food, we have to work harder to steal moments alone.

I received an email recently about a new Facebook group that has information about maintaining a healthy relationship and even has a contest to find "America's Top Couple."

I am not sure how they are defining "Top Couple," but I think we might have a shot at it so long as it is okay to have disagreements about parenting, finances, and who is the better driver. :)

What do you think makes someone a "Top Couple?"

“I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of K-Y Brand and received samples of the Yours + Mine and Intense products. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Valentine's Day Gift Idea

I have a gift idea for Valentine's Day that can be used for just about anyone in your life.

Young and old will appreciate it.

It is personal, handmade, and fairly inexpensive.

Plus, it doesn't take long to put together.

You don't need to buy any fancy craft supplies. Just some double-sided tape.

It is a Valentine's Day Candy Letter.

I made one for Bruce. It was a lot of fun to browse the candy aisle and think up funny ways to incorporate the names of the candy into a love letter for my husband.

Here is the result:

As you can see, you might need to take some artistic license with the candy names in order to make it work.

Here is the text in case you want to play around with it for your own version:
Extra! Extra! Extra!
There are Good & Plenty reasons for me to love Bruce to Pieces. You see, we are Sweetarts and I’m his Sugar Baby. No Mike or Ike could ever replace him. He might be a Nerd, but my heart lights up like a Starburst when he walks into the room. I go Crazy to the Core when he is around because Bruce is one Hot Tamale!

And don't forget the cute Valentine's Day Mice I made a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Charlotte & The Alligator

It started slowly. Last Fall. There were the occasional references to an alligator. It didn't make sense to any of us, but Charlotte often blamed her owies on "the alligator."

Then, eventually, the alligator began chasing our car. Fortunately, my Ford Focus is faster than the alligator and we remained safe. Finally, one day, the alligator was in the house.

He chased us. He ate with us. But he was a nice alligator. So no one minded. Now, he lives with us on an almost daily basis.

But at least now, his mouth is taped shut.

Monday, February 01, 2010

20% off at Old Navy

This isn't a frugal blog, or even a deal blog, but I do love a good sale! Until February 14th, if you shop at Old Navy via Ebates, you will get 20% cash back! That is an awesome discount on Old Navy.

I looked around and found clothes that would make Charlotte the dancer happy. The pink ballet leotard is also adorable. And, it comes in sizes that both Charlotte and Mary can wear. I think I'll be using my Old Navy gift card to stock up on some matching outfits!

Maybe I'll get this rash guard swim suit for both of them. Wouldn't they look cute at the pool or on the beach together in their blue floral swimsuits? I always prefer the shirt style tops for my girls because it protects them from the sun better and is more modest.

To take advantage of this deal, all you have to do is sign up for Ebates and then do a search for Old Navy. Once you click on the Old Navy result, wait for the page to load and start shopping. Ebates puts a special tracking code on your visit when you link through their site and you will receive your money via either PayPal or a check once a quarter.

(FYI, the Ebates link is a referral link. If you click it, sign up, and then make a minimum purchase of $20 through Ebates within 90 days, then, and only then will I get a $5 account credit. No pressure, just wanted you to know I might benefit if you click.)