Archive for June, 2012
So by now I’m sure you’ve heard me ramble on about how good my chili is. How everyone likes it and asks for more.
We even eat it during the summer – when I’m not too hot to cook and eat it. So, I decided I should make it this week’s Foodie Friday recipe!
Really, the secret ingredient is the chili seasoning. Everyone thinks I use my own seasonings – I don’t.
What You Need:
- 2 pots
- 2 bags of boil in a bag rice (or any instant rice, I just use boil in a bag)
- 1lb ground beef or ground turkey
- 16oz can of kidney beans (optional – many people don’t like beans)
- 16oz can of diced garlic and olive oil tomatoes
- 8oz can of tomato sauce
- onions (optional)
- 1 packet of low sodium McCormic chili seasoning (this is my secret ingredient)
- 1 Basil Leaf
- salt & pepper (if desired)
- garlic powder (to your taste)
- Sour cream & shredded cheese
What To Do:
1. If you’re adding onions, dice them. Start a pot of water for your rice
2. Brown ground beef – add onions when over half of the meat is no longer pink
3. Start cooking your rice add a pinch..or 2 of salt
4. Once all the meat is cooked & the onions are getting soft, drain the grease – if you’re using ground turkey you shouldn’t have much to drain…so don’t
5. Add you can of beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pot. Stir in well then add the chili seasoning, pepper, basil leaf and garlic powder
6. Turn chili down low and simmer for 15 mins – drain rice (if you’re using boil in a bag you’ll have to drain it). Remove basil leaf
7. Put rice in the bowl then add chili on top. Top with sour cream and shredded cheese.
A Few Tips:
- Turkey or beef can be used in this recipe. It tastes really good either way.
- I also have shredded carrots and zucchini and put it in before – they’ll never know!
- I buy the HEB brand of almost everything (especially the tomatoes – they have TONS of flavors).
- I buy the low sodium seasoning because I add salt to the rice.
- I will NOT buy the generic brand of chili seasoning – not sure why, but nothing tastes right.
When I was in middle school I wanted braces so bad. That was until a few friends started getting them. They complained about what they couldn’t eat, when food was stuck in their braces and how it hurt when they were “tightened.”
Fast forward a few years. Invisalign was made available to the public in May of 2000. At that time, it was only available for adults. After all, adults want to have a nice smile – right?
Well, now teens can have have a nice smile too – with Invisalign for teens!
Believe it or not, I was a teen girl once. I remember going through peer pressure, puberty and crushes. I couldn’t imagine having the extra stress from crooked or spaced teeth. The chart below is really an eye opener!
Okay, so enough about me rambling about my childhood dreams! Let me tell you more about Invisalign.
How Invisalign Works:
Invisalign uses a custom-made series of aligners that are made specifically for your teeth. The aligners are made of smooth, comfortable and almost completely clear plastic. All you have to do is slip them on your teeth. Overtime, your teeth shift. Each set can be removed and is to be replaced every 2 weeks. No brackets or wires!
There are virtually only 5 steps in this process.
- Talk to an Invisalign provider
- Get started – take x-rays and map out a plan
- Get your custom aligners
- Occasionally check in with your provider and change out your aligners every 2 weeks
- Reveal your new smile!
If you want to get a head start, feel free to take the self assessment now!
So, how about some goodies?
You can print out this awesome coupon (by clicking the image above) and bring it to your nearest Invisalign Provider. Providers are listed on the same page as the coupon so make sure you check before you print.
How about a giveaway?! Invisalign is giving away an Invisalign Prize Pack. So, enter the Invisalign Giveaway now! Good luck!
I have yet to find a Tim Burton movie I don’t like.
Well, today they released a trailer for the new movie Frankenweenie.
From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.
A stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D. The talented voice cast includes: Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder.
Presented by Disney, “Frankenweenie” is directed by Tim Burton, produced by Tim Burton and Allison Abbate, from a screenplay by John August, based on an original idea by Tim Burton. “Frankenweenie” releases in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2012.
So today I received my very first VoxBox from Influenster!
Here’s my YouTube video of each product.
I have to say, I am very glad SoyJoy wasn’t included in this box. It was in the last 2 or 3 boxes and I was hoping for something different.
I don’t like Oatmeal cookies and I really don’t like raisins, BUT I will give it a try anyways. After all, I really liked the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies from Newman’s Own Organics.
The tea will be fun to try, there are sooo many different flavors!
I was glad to see the nails in there. It’s always nice to pamper yourself, but hard to get your nails done when you have a child tagging along.
I don’t know what to say about the Nektar yet. I know it’s honey crystals. Which is like sugar…right? I’m assuming so.
The DenTek Flossers are my favorite. We have been using them forever. They only cost about $2 (They’re only $1.72 at HEB). So my $1 off coupon will make them less than .75 cents! Woohoo!
I don’t use bar soap…or Ivory in general – but since it’s here and it was free, I’ll give it a shot! (:
Finally, the dish mat. I am SOOO excited for the dish mat. Like I said, I have a dishwasher, but I also hand wash dishes. My dish drying rack just sits in the other sink for the dishes to dry – so this will open up my other sink (:
Well that’s it for now. I’m going to go eat my cookie and have a glass of tea. Check back throughout the next 2 weeks to see what I think of each product!
Want to know how to sign up to receive a Voxbox from Influenster? Visit Influenster and sign up! You don’t have to be a blogger.
Have you ever been at a loss of words to describe chocolate? Neither have I.
When I received my chocolate, I couldn’t decide where to start – there were so many choices! So while Cody was gone, I ripped open a small box of the truffles and went to work.
The truffles are so rich and creamy. I almost didn’t want to eat them because they’re so cute!
I have to admit, I ate 2 packages before Cody got home. Each package only had 2 truffles AND I had to share with Landon – so I’m sure after sharing I only got to eat 3.
Yes, I’m giggling right now thinking “ONLY 3″. Hah!
Anyways, once Cody got home I decided to break open the Dark Chocolate No Sugar Added Chocolate Bar. WOW! I was in heaven! Remember when I did my review on Newman’s Own Organics and I had the dark chocolate bar? Well, I didn’t like it – it was WAY too bitter. Guylian’s chocolate bar was bitter (like dark chocolate is) but it was rich. I didn’t share any with Cody. I let my mom have some though – being diabetic and all I knew her opinion would be HUGE.
Next I tried the Milk Chocolate Bar. It was so smooth. Just like good chocolate should be.
I made s’mores with the Milk Chocolate Bar. I like to try different chocolate on my s’mores and I am SO glad I used the Guylian Milk Chocolate Bar – I am getting more for the 4th of July.
I was on their website a picture of coffee & the truffles on a plate. I decided, why not put a truffle – or in my case 2 – into my morning coffee?! It was good, but a little sticky LOL. Meaning, the truffle melted to the bottom of my cup and I had to stir it a lot to mix the truffle well. The work was worth it though.
Cody says, “All of the chocolate was decadent, smooth, delicious and nothing like the others. I know not one chocolate it could be compared to. It’s a chocolate you can appreciate and taste even after swallowing.”
He also said that out of all 3 samples, his favorite was the truffles.
My mom said, “Very creamy…perfect combination of sweetness and chocolate flavor. A real treat.”
So now that you have heard me ramble on about what I think of their chocolate, why don’t I share a little more about the history of Guylian Chocolates.
I have to say, I always thought that Guylian was named after the founder Guy and the fact that it’s Belgian Chocolate. I was wrong – and I feel a little silly admitting it.
In 1958, Guy and Liliane joined their names, both in marriage and in their company name creating Chocolaterie Guylian; a small, artisanal chocolate maker. Today, Guylian crafts the finest authentic Belgian chocolate truffles, selling them to chocolate lovers in Belgium and in more than 100 countries across the world.
If you look at the first picture above, you will see the signature ‘G’ stamped into the truffle. Each truffle is stamped with that ‘G’ which holds their guarantee that “each Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolate Truffle is made just the way our founders Guy & Liliane intended.”
Did you know, Guylian participates in Project Seahorse?
Guylian has been the major sustaining sponsor of Project Seahorse since 1999 donating more than $1.5 million.
“This organization is committed to conservation and sustainable use of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems. Saving the seahorses means saving our seas!”
One lucky Written By Mama reader is going to win a package of goodies like I received. You can enter my Guylian Chocolate Giveaway and find out more about the prize.
One winner will get (1) of the following products:
One - 22 piece box of Guylian Artisanal Belgian Original Chocolate Truffles
Two – 6 piece Original Chocolate Truffle Box
Four – 2 piece Original Chocolate Truffle Box
Before entering please read all the rules. By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to each and every rule, no exceptions!
This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Twitter, Facebook or any other social media site.
You must be 18+ at the time of entry. You must enter via Giveaway Tools to be eligible to win. This giveaway is open to the US only. All entries are verified before a winner is emailed. If you put in a false entry, all of your entries will be removed. If you ACCIDENTALLY submit a false entry, please let me know. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be drawn. This giveaway will end on July 11th at 1pm EST.
The prize will be shipped from Guylian, Written By Mama is not responsible for shipping any prizes.
I love puzzles and mind games. Ever since I was little I have always had success with mazes and those “Find The Hidden Object” games.
So when I was given the opportunity to review the Perplexus Original, I was pretty stoked. Cody was more excited though – but sshhh I’m not supposed to tell y’all.
Cody wasn’t home when it arrived, so I opened it up and started playing. It’s pretty self explanatory on how to play – but if you don’t know how I’ll explain it real quick.
You find ‘Start Here’ and get the little marble in the groves. Once you get the marble in the groves, you steadily roll the maze around (in your hands) so the marble stays on the plastic path. If the marble falls off the path, you start over.
Sounds easy right? Well, it was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. That’s a good thing though!
The Perplexus Original was a big hit at my Boogie Wipes party. Bobby liked the Perplexus the best.
Cody got discouraged after a while, he didn’t get very far in the 3-D maze. Eventually he stopped playing. I am still playing though. I have made it to the second level. Sure, it’s not very far but it’s farther than Cody got – and if you know how competitive I am, you know that’s a real accomplishment (:
I think the only thing negative about the Perplexus is, the maze is made of very thin plastic. Landon threw it one day – during one of his fits – the plastic caved in a little. The new blemish doesn’t change how it works though.
Here’s a few facts about the product:
- No batteries required – I love toys that don’t require batteries.
- Suitable for ages 6 and up.
- Over 23 feet of track in each Original Perplexus – it doesn’t look like it, but once you’re playing you see it
The creator of the Perplexus is Michael McGinnis, a 3D design teacher. He originally created the Perplexus in the late 1970′s for a project in Art Class. After 20 years, he finally met the KID Group inventors. They marketed the original product as Superplexus.
In 2008, Perplexus got it’s final name after Perplexus, LLC. acquired the rights to the Perplexus.
Overall, I think my Perplexus is great! I play as often as I can and get better each day. One day, I’ll master level 3.
I received an email today letting me know I have been accepted into the Kolcraft Mom’s Blogging Program.
I get to work alongside Kolcraft and other amazing bloggers.
I am so excited, it reminds me of the feeling I had when I was accepted as a Saline Ambassador.
I absolutely love being the first to know about new and exciting news, products and events. So naturally, when I get the opportunity to work closely with a company, I jump at the first chance I get.
I love that I have started blogging. I don’t stick to “hobbies” for long. Most of the time I start something and end it long before I walk out of the store with the products in hand.
I think, just having somewhere I can put my thoughts and share my opinion on products I love makes me keep going. It’s my own place. My “happy place” – yeah, yeah, I know. It’s lame – but I’m a huge dork and that’s why y’all love me (:
So make sure you check back often throughout the year for updates, reviews and possible giveaways brought to you by Kolcraft.
This week’s Foodie Friday recipe is Tater-Round Casserole. Just like last week, I don’t have any pictures for this – it’s been a few weeks since I last made it.
My mom sent me this recipe one day. It’s probably one of the best meals I’ve made. Well, I guess Landon and I are the only ones that think that, because Cody didn’t like it.
So the next time I make it, it’s because Cody has made me angry
1 lb Cooked Hamburger
1 bag Tater Rounds (2 lbs)
1 can Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 cup dried minced onion (regular onion does not give the same flavor)
1 container of Sour Cream (8 oz)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1. Take tater rounds out so they are room temperature – you really want to make sure you do this step
2. Cook you hamburger and drain
3. In separate bowl mix together soups, sour cream, melted butter, cheese and minced onion
4. Layer your ingredients in a 9×13 pan in this order …
5. Bake in 350 degree oven about 45 minutes until center is bubbly and brown
A Few Tips:
Tater rounds are different than tater tots. Tater rounds are flat and about the size of a quarter. You’ll know it when you see it – trust me. I use a cup and a half of grated cheddar cheese. 1 cup for the sauce and 1/2 cup for the top of the casserole about 30 mins into cooking. If I’m in the mood for crunchy, I add 1 cup crushed corn flakes.
These tips are to MY liking, that’s why they’re not in the recipe. It doubles very well, and cooking time doesn’t change much, but make sure you thaw the taters!
If you have any tips or want to write a review about it once you try it, feel free to! Enjoy.
I love Target. I mean, what’s not to love? They have clothes, baby stuff, wine, electronics and more. For the most part, they also have decent prices. Although, my favorite part of Target is the “Value Section” at the front of the store.
When I found out about CouponCodes4U I was super stoked. They have almost 80 active coupon codes for Target! Talk about a gold mine.
Like most of you, I get Target alerts to my phone every morning. Occasionally, there are coupons sent to my phone also. I thought I had it all, but I was wrong. There are coupons on CouponCodes4U that I have never seen before. So, I spent the better half of 20 minutes looking at all the codes.
While searching, I found that kid’s Speedo Swimwear has a coupon code for $3 off $15 or more. Landon is definitely in need of a new floaty this year and there are a TON of cute ones priced under $20.
So enough about Target, let me tell you real quick about CouponCodes4U.
CouponCodes4U is an online coupon database. They have more than just coupons though! Among the coupon codes and printable coupons, they advertise each store’s deals, discounts and sales. Not only do they have Target offers, but they also have pet insurance deals, vacation deals and grocery coupons – who doesn’t love saving money on food?
Right now they have over 200,000 coupons, deals and discounts for hundreds of companies.
There are a few features that really caught my eye. The first thing that stuck out is, you can request to add a coupon or store to their database. Another feature that I really like, is each discount has an expiration date that is easy to find – not that it matters, if it’s expired then it’s in a whole different category.
Each deal, coupon code and sale is all color coded in different colors, making it that much easier to find what you’re looking for.
You can also sign up to receive weekly emails with the newest coupon codes and discounts, all sent straight to your inbox.