Friday, August 31, 2012

Belated Birthday Post (I'm 40!!!)

With the hassles and disasters of moving and pup's emergency surgery, which all happened either ON or immediately following my 40th birthday, the pics from that day and subsequently this post got pushed to the back burner. But HELLO, I'm FORTY!!!!! How the hell did that happen?  Seriously, how has 40 years gone by already? Especially the last's like a freakin' blurrrr.  And add kids to the mix, and somehow time speeds up that much more.  *sigh*

Too all you young'uns out there, just remember, time is precious. And fleeting. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one, so I am thankful for my 40 years, however quickly they have passed.

On that better go make this cake today, b/c it is something you do not want to miss out on. Provided you like chocolate. If you don't like chocolate, uhmmm, you may be at the wrong blog ;)
For my 40th, my dear mommy had a cook out for me, and my dear little sis made me this fabulous cake. I don't know how she knew I would love such a thing (other than she knows I am a chocolate freak, and I pinned it with the caption 'I want this for my birthday'. Because I'm subtle and suave like that.)
Me, being a big fatty, with my awesome cake (and awesome daughter, Number One)

The cake is made with cake mix, brownie mix (family size), TWO cans of frosting, and chocolate chips. wowza!
For the complete recipe and great step-by-step assembly pics, go HERE!

Not only did my sister make me a super, duper, chocolate brownie cake, she also gave me something every food blogger covets....
A light box! Or more accurately...a Deluxe Table Top Photo Studio Light Box!  I am so excited! I can't wait to start using it, especially since it is already getting darker much earlier and has been impossible to get natural light at dinner the last couple of nights.  I will be setting this up ASAP! I've just been trying to clear out enough boxes...and I am finally getting there!  Yes, everyone needs an awesome sister like mine.  She also gives me will have to read her blog to understand why that is such a wonderful thing.

To work off all that cake, my parents gave me a kayak (since we now live on the sound)...

But they didn't want me to lose too much weight, so they also gave me....
an ice cream maker!!! Yay! 
(Sorry for the blurry pic, one of my kids was in charge of the camera)

My brother gave me a super cute casserole dish and candle from the Polka-Dot Palm. And when I say my brother, I mean my brother's girlfriend, thanks M.! My brother always gives me liquor when left to his on devices...which I am SO not complaining. I mean really....hauling kids to the liquor store? I don't think so.  (However, you never know, desperate times call for desperate measures. lol)

So - that's the OH MY LORDY, I'M FORTY wrap up.  It was a great bday, and quite the milestone. I don't feel like I should be 40, I mean, I still listen to Metallica & AC/DC for goodness sake.  Aren't old people supposed to listen to....uhmmm....well, I have no idea.  My own mom has a more awesome (& current) CD collection than I do.

Of course, I'm feeling the eye strain from staring at the computer. 
Damn, I am getting old.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crayola, GM, & Target GIVEAWAY!

It is back-to-school time, so let's review.  

Crayola + General Mills + Target = BIG back-to-school savings!! 
(Yes, I even highlighted it for you. Ahhh, I miss school! Okay, not really. I just love school/office supplies!)

We all know that Target has pretty much everything that we want (plus a lot we didn't know we wanted), and back-to-school items are no exception. Everything from school supplies to breakfast in a hurry...Target has got you covered.  (And now that I live near a Target with a full grocery store, a Starbucks AND a Pizza Hut inside....I am one broke happy mommy!)

As I have mentioned before, I love school supplies.  As adults, we call them 'office supplies', but really, it's all the same thing. So when Target sets up an entire section dedicated to back-to-school, I pretty much go nuts.  My kids get all new school supplies each year, with all the extras that they probably don't even need, mainly due to my inability to resist all the tempting colorful markers and binders, folders, etc.  And each year, I find myself amazed at all the NEW products. Where was all this cool stuff when I was in school?  The most exciting things we got were super colorful unicorn folders and fuzzy things to go on our pencils.  Now, Crayola has amazing stuff like washable markers and crayons (a mother's dream come true), and this year, Dry Erase Crayons!!  How cool is that?!  Dry erase boards are the modern day chalkboard.

Right now, you can save money on all these awesome Crayola products by purchasing items you use everyday.  On specially marked boxes of General Mills products at Target, you can score big savings!

  • Purchase specially marked Nature Valley® Crunchy Granola Bars, Pillsbury® Toaster Strudel® Pastries, and Big G Cereal packages and you could save up to $5 on Crayola products
  • Participating Big G cereal boxes will feature a fun Crayola coloring activity on pack
AND you can save on your favorite General Mills products with Crayola when you buy specially marked Crayola 64-count Crayons! It's a win-win combo!  For even more savings, go the the Grocery Savvy website. They have more coupons for back-to-school, recipes, and a special 2012 “Grocery Savvy Crayola® Back To School” Sweepstakes! Enter the sweepstakes for your chance to win one of the 700 Crayola® 8-count Washable Dry Erase Crayons or one of 20 Crayola® Dry-Erase Activity Centers Zany Play Edition.

To help with all your back-to-school needs (even if you think you have bought everything, there is always more you find out the kids need after those first few days!) I am having a giveaway for this super fun prize pack-
The giveaway prize pack will contain:
  • A box of Cheerios
  • $20 Target gift card!
  • 8-CT Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons
Just enter via Rafflecopter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Crayola, Target, and General Mills through MyBlogSpark

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Elmo!

Wednesday flashback!
{I came across this pic from Mr. Three's 2nd birthday...before my blogging days :-)  Thought I would share!}

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Something new

I have started something new! I am now a contributing writer over at the wonderful site Eat at Home!  If you are not familiar with this blog, you should definitely check it out. Especially if you are interested in meal planning, quick family dinners, freezer meal ideas and much more!
Today was my first post, so head over and check out my Chicken Casserole - Lightened Up! With all my moving/puppy drama, I have needed some comfort food!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chopped Salad

This is my new favorite way to eat a salad....

I have found that I can eat more veggies if they are chopped up into teeny tiny little pieces! The smaller they are, the less you have to actually taste them.  Yes, you guessed it, I'm not much of a veggie lover. This salad however...this salad is the bomb.  There is no real 'recipe' just take whatever veggies you like in a salad...and maybe a few that you don't like too much (like broccoli!) and dice them up - 
I usually use everything I have in the vegetable drawer.

This salad has spinach and arugula as its base.  I chop that up as well.
After you have everything cut up, dump it all in a bowl and give it a toss.
Add your salad dressing of choice....I usually just make something up. In this salad I went with a little olive oil, lemon juice, splash of Worcestershire, and just a little honey. I also added fresh basil and salt/pepper. Pour dressing on salad (you don't need much) and give it a good toss.

Makes a great meal or side - 
I enjoyed this salad with my favorite 'smashed potatoes'.
If you do all your chopping ahead of time, then the salad comes together in a flash. I keep saying I am going to pre-cut lots of veggies to have them ready to go...but I have yet to accomplish that.  The chopping is a little time consuming, but I figure if it gets me to eat more vegetables, then it is worth it.

Now I am starving! But no time to eat...more boxes to unload :P  
I need to keep busy anyway, b/c my girls started school today.  4th & 6th grade. Yes, I now have a middle school-er   It is amazing the difference in the 6th graders and the 8th graders at school. I almost cried leaving my baby there. Not to mention, since we have only lived here a couple of weeks, neither of them know anyone. I SO hope they have a good day! It is so hard being the 'new kid'.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sam's Club Bonus Box Tops for Education & a GIVEAWAY!

I know I have said this before, but I can NOT believe summer is over and back-to-school time is here.  I also can't believe I am getting ready to say this...but I'm not ready for my kids to go back! However, that may change once they wake up ;)

Even though it has been summer break, we have still been saving our Box Tops for Education. Are you familiar with this program? If not, you should definitely talk to a PTA/PTO representative to make sure your child's school is participating.  (No kids? You can still donate those box tops! Give them to a niece/nephew, grandchild, neighbor, etc. My mother-in-law saves them for my kids!) All you have to do is collect the Box Tops for Education labels that come on lots and lots of General Mills products that you use everyday. The labels are turned into school, and the school turns them in for MONEY! How easy is that to raise money for your school of choice?! One of our local schools raised over $4000 last year! The money went directly to the teachers to buy extra instructional supplies.  Do you know how many teachers spend money out of their own pocket to provide for their students?!

So what does this have to do with Sam's Club?  They are providing more opportunities to earn cash for your school than ever before. Not only can you collect Box Tops for Education on your favorite General Mills products, but you can also earn even more with these great opportunities:

 *Sam´s Club is giving away 500,000 eBoxTops® (Limit one earning opportunity per email address. Limit of 100,000 earning opportunities thru 9/30/12) . Members can earn 5 eBoxTops when they shop at Sam´s Club until the 500,000 are gone. Earn your 5 eBoxTops (a .50¢ value to any BTFE participating school) by following these simple steps:
  • Purchase any product at Sam´s Club and save your receipt
  • Log in or register at and enter the code found at the bottom of your Sam´s Club receipt
  •  Answer a few survey questions and earn 5 eBoxTops for the school of your choice!  (Offer valid only with original receipt of purchased Membership taped to certificate. Only available in-Club. While supplies last.)
*Box Tops Membership Bonus (until 9/1/12)
  • New Plus Members will receive 100 Bonus Box Tops.* (a $10 value to any BTFE participating school)  
  • Upgrade your current Membership to a Plus Membership to receive 50 Bonus Box Tops.* (a $5 value to any BTFE participating school)
  • New Advantage or Business Members will receive 25 Bonus Box Tops.* (a $2.50 value to any BTFE participating school) 
* Offer valid only with original receipt of purchased Membership taped to certificate. Only available in-Club. While supplies last.

To help get you started with back-to-school shopping & collecting your Box Tops for Education, I am giving away a $25 Gift Card to Sam's Club!

Enter via the Rafflecopter form - 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The gift card, information, and additional sample have been provided by Sam´s Club and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Curd filling

I'm not sure why, but I always take the WORST pictures of the BEST food! I would love to have gotten a pic that could convey how scrumptious these were. But....maybe you will take my word on it?!  If you love the combination of blueberries and lemon - these muffins are for you.

First, I was out of eggs (I was trying to use up all my perishable items before moving, & didn't want to buy more), but not an issue - I just followed this vegan blueberry muffin recipe.  The muffins turned out great...not too dense or crumbly.  However, I used a prepared lemon curd for the filling, so they were definitely not vegan. (The recipe link has a vegan lemon curd recipe too if interested.)

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Curd Filling 
  • 1-1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (orig.recipe calls for canola or other light tasting oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd, chilled 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a 12-cup regular muffin pan (or use cupcake liners).

In a medium bowl combine milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let stand about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl mix together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk sugar, oil and vanilla into milk mixture until well blended.
Add wet mixture to the dry and stir just until blended. In a small bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour to coat, and then fold the blueberries into the batter (flour prevents them from sinking to the bottom).
Divide half the batter evenly among the 12 prepared muffin cups, making a slight well in the center of each. Spoon 2 teaspoons of lemon curd into each well and top with remaining batter. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the tops of the muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 24 minutes or until tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. 
Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Do not try to eat immediately. This will cause serious burning of the tongue from the very hot lemon curd filling.  Not that I know this from personal experience, I'm just sayin'. *ahem*
Verdict - As I have already said....these were the BOMB! Oh so good, and it makes me sad that I am all out of lemon curd.  When my kitchen is in order, I will have to make these again with the homemade vegan lemon curd. to do some unpacking.  Anyone wanna help?!  Especially since my girls just informed me that half the stuff that belongs in the house (my son's clothes, their bathroom items, etc.) were just found in the storage area above the garage.  Hello?! When it says on the box....'BATHROOM'....WHY would you stick it in the garage?!  Don't EVEN get me started about my moving experience.  I'm sure I will rant about it in another post :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good news! Updates.

Move update - This crazy, long drawn out B of a move is almost complete!  Our stuff is scheduled to be delivered this morning....albeit in the rain as of right now (of course!) but once that is done, I will be relieved. Then comes the hardest part, unpacking everything and trying to decide where it all should go! I will be relying heavily on Pinterest for design ideas!  Suggestions are welcome.  We are living on the coast now, so that is where my mindset is for decorating. (that is where my mindset has always been for decorating! Until now, it just hasn't fit in anywhere we've lived!)
so weird seeing your house empty!

Puppy update - my little booger bear (yes, that is a term of endearment) is doing very well! He is eating great & uhm, you know, getting rid of it well too! Thank God!! I still can't believe my little 6 month old puppy went through all that. (You can check the previous post if you don't know what I am talking about). He is getting lots of extra TLC (which is spoiling him even more!) and gets his staples out this week.  Everyone who has a pet, beware if they are chewers or canine garbage disposals.  My sister's dog had to have this same surgery to remove a sock, my dog had various pieces of stuffing/plastic/paper stuck in his intestine (which the vet offered to give me to take home....uh, no thanks!), and I have heard from several others since my last post about other things dogs have eaten and either gotten very sick b/c they couldn't digest it, or worse, they died b/c the owners didn't know until it was too late :-( Not to mention the surgery is thousands of dollars. Yes, plural.  Sorry Disney Land fund.
He is giving me the 'ha ha, I'm on the couch' look

I should be able to get recipes and giveaways up and going again very soon.  Sorry this has taken so long, but hang with me, b/c I have two giveaways coming up asap that contain gift cards! Everyone loves gift cards!
Our first "real" meal...meaning we ate on real dinner plates! I picked up a rotisserie chicken from the local Food Lion, opened a can of green beans, nuked some kind of potatoes in a bag, had some bagged salad and canned biscuits! Gourmet :D  As you can see, my son would have preferred (another) Happy Meal.  There is only so much fast food I can take, and I am over my limit.  
To coerce my son to eat, we said, 'eat your carrots and green beans and you will grow big and strong like Daddy', so he picked up his biscuit instead. I said 'eat your biscuit, and you will be big and fluffy like Mommy'.  Guess which one he remembers? Yes, last night while I was brushing his teeth...he said, 'I eat my biscuit and be big and fluffy like Mommy.'   Nice. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mo'Betta Drama

So you know the saying...'when it rains, it pours'?  Well, that pretty much sums up this past week.  I have had so much going on, that I haven't even had time to have the mini-nervous breakdown I deserve.  Hell, I haven't even been on Pinterest!  You know things are hectic when that happens!

Since I am super organized, and pre-scheduled all of last week's posts, (hahahaha....okay, so it was a total fluke that I managed to get that done) no one was the wiser of all the drama pouring down on my head.

Such as moving.  We have moved a couple hours East and now live very close to the BEACH! *happy dance* Except our furniture can not be delivered until the 20th, so we are sort of camping out in our house.  The house in which the previous owner decided he would leave absolutely as nasty as possible.  ugghhhh.  I have been cleaning like a mad woman.  I think I have inhaled too many bleach fumes.  Also, in said "new" house...we had our first heavy rain...and guess what?! It rains inside our sun room!  So not cool.  Roofer coming today. *sigh*  The list of petty things with the house could go on forever, but they aren't that big a deal.

No, what has caused all my heartache and drama.....
You know this little little 6 month miniature dachshund?  Well, turns out that not only does he like to chew on everything, he likes to actually EAT everything.  Including pieces of plastic, bedding, paper, etc.  Well, that stuff isn't digestible, and can't always get through the digestive tract.  My little pup got very sick and I took him to the vet, not sure what was wrong....he was rushed into emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction.
Post-op :(
The vets who operated did not know if he would make it or not b/c of the location of the obstruction and the length of intestine involved.  I was a basket case. My children were devastated.
However, today is the 4th day out from surgery, and he seems to be doing very well.  He was definitely more of his lively self this morning *another happy dance*

Soooo, please watch your pets very carefully!  I thought chewing on stuff was relatively harmless, and I always tried to take stuff away once it was chewed into pieces...but not good enough.  I have felt like the worst dog-mom ever.

Donations are being accepted.  You can donate to the money pit or the surgery fund if so inclined ;)  (I swear, giving birth to my children didn't cost as much as having surgery on my 10 pound dog!)

If you have read all the way down to here, thanks :) and my point of this post was supposed to let everyone know that with roofers and carpet cleaners and movers scheduled this week, I seriously doubt I will be blogging.  I have a couple of giveaways I need to get posted, otherwise, I will probably not be back until sometime next week. Plus, I have no new recipes.  Can't cook without pots and pans!  The kids think it is awesome...frozen pizza, canned soup, take out....yikes!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Sometimes you just want pancakes. Sometimes you want pumpkin pancakes, even if it is the middle of summer.  With my canned pumpkin stock pile I have going on, I can eat it all year long!
and as an added bonus, these are good for you! So if you are one of those brave enough to put on a bathing suit, these pancakes won't give you a muffin top (pancake top?) to worry about. 

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes 
from Vegenista 
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 2 1/2 cups water 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (makes 'buttermilk')
  • 2 tbsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1/4 tsp allspice 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. Combine almond milk with the tsp vinegar in a separate bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle (this is like using buttermilk).  
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a separate medium size mixing bowl. 
  3. Add water, pumpkin, spices, and vanilla extract to your milk mixture.  Stir to combine. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until moistened.
  5. Let batter sit for 5 minutes, then lightly stir again. Let rest 5 more minutes then cook them up. 
*Makes about twenty 4” pancakes. (I made my pancakes a little larger, so I didn't have that many.

These pancakes were much better than some other whole wheat, egg free recipes I have tried.  They were not too dense and had a good flavor from the pumpkin and spices.  No, we are not vegan, but I like using vegan recipes b/c they do not contain eggs.  My son is allergic to nuts and eggs, and if he were going to eat these pancakes, I would just swap out the almond milk for cow's milk.  On this particular day, the pancakes were all mine!  And I may have thrown a little cinnamon butter on top....

Linking up at Eat at Home for Ingredient Spotlight - Pumpkin!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cookie Butter Cheerio Treats

Speculoos, Biscoff, crack....whatever you want to call it, the stuff is delicious. And addictive.  I can dive into a jar with a spoon and do some damage.  Recently, I tried Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter and decided to actually make something with it instead of consuming it straight from the jar. (My son eats Biscoff sandwiches almost daily! I know it isn't the healthiest thing, but that is another post altogether!) 

As I was obsessively casually stalking perusing Pinterest, I saw Peanut Butter Cheerios Treats from justJENN recipes.  I decided to make them immediately, but with a couple of changes.

Cookie Butter Cheerio Treats

6 cups Cheerios cereal
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Cookie Butter
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Grease a 9x13 dish, set aside.  Melt butter and cookie butter in a large pot on medium heat, add marshmallows.  Stir until marshmallows are melted.  Remove from heat and add Cheerios.  Stir until cereal is completed coated in gooey marshmallow cookie butter goodness.  Quickly spread cereal mixture into greased pan. (I like to spray my hands with a little cooking spray and mash the cereal into place. Be careful, it's hot!) It is going to be sticky. Once cereal is in pan, sprinkle chocolate chips on top if desired.  Let cool (yeah, right!) and cut into squares.

  They were a huge hit and the entire pan lasted less than 12 hours.  I may have been largely responsible. Maybe.

Have you tried cookie butter? Do you love it?!

I'm linking this recipe up with Gooseberry Patch

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds; and a GIVEAWAY!

I know, I have been all about the giveaways recently.  But hey, everyone likes free stuff right?!  Not to mention, most everything I do revolves around food - so reading my blog and entering giveaways will help save on your grocery bill. Right?! Right.

So what's new?  Fiber One has come out with a new cereal, Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds. What is so great about that you ask?  How about 11 grams of fiber (43% of the Daily Value), 23 grams of whole grain (at least 48 recommended daily), and 180 calories per serving?!  Yes, almost half of your daily recommended fiber and whole grain in one bowl of cereal!  

It also tastes good, even my middle child has been eating it for breakfast!  But don't take my word for it, try it for yourself.  You can either download this coupon and save $1.25 or you can enter this giveaway! (or you can do both!)

General Mills, through MyBlogSpark, is giving away the following prize package to one Mo'Betta reader:
  The prize pack contains - 
  • (2) boxes of Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal
  • ‘Nut’ Bowl & Spoon
Just enter the giveaway with the Rafflecopter form!
Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Crash Hot Potatoes

I've been calling these 'smashed potatoes', but realized when I looked up the recipe for this post, they are actually called Crash Hot Potatoes.  According to Pioneer Woman.  And who am I to go against Mrs. Ree?!  All I know is, whatever you want to call them, you can also call them 'damn goood'.  They are my new favorite way to eat potatoes (not that there is a way I don't like), and I have my middle child hooked as well.  They are so easy, yet so delicious!

I didn't get very good pictures, but don't let that deter you from trying these!

I'll give you the quick and dirty version, then you can hop over to Pioneer Woman if you want lots of glorious detailed pics and directions.  I ain't got time for all that.  I would say I'm just kidding, but seriously, I have a 4 y/o literally tugging on me right this very moment b/c he wants a snaaaack.  Again.  What is it with kids wanting to eat all.the.time.  {What is it with ME wanting to eat ALL.THE.TIME?!}  Anyhoo...back to these taters.  

Crash Hot Potatoes from Pioneer Woman
-potatoes (I used red, you can use whatever you want)
-olive oil
-salt and pepper
-herbs/spices of choice

I didn't put quantities b/c it just depends.  Use however many potatoes you need for your family. The original recipe recommends boiling the potatoes, but I just cook them in the microwave in a steamer bag. It takes less than 10 minutes.  Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet and place your cooked potatoes on it.  Use a potato masher and smash your taters! Seriously, press down and smash each potato about half way down, then rotate your potato masher and smoosh it a little more. Then...this is important....drizzle olive oil over the tops of your potatoes and use a pastry brush to get the oil all in those crevices.  Liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add either fresh or dried herbs.  I usually use basil, rosemary and a little oregano.  

Bake those bad boys at 450 for 20-25 minutes.  The end result is a golden brown potato with little bits of crispy edges and creamy center.  They are sooo good!  Of course, I do love my carbs. It's a curse.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hooded Baby Bath Towel

One of the most used gifts I received after my son was born was a handmade hooded towel. The little infant hooded bath towels are great....for a few months. However, when you have big ol' babies like I did, it doesn't take long for them to outgrow them.  The handmade hooded towel is actually made out of a regular size bath towel, with a hood sewn on it, making it useful for years.  My son is now 4 and we still use it.
My big blue eyed boy

Because I like to start my sentences with prepositions these towels so much, I often give them as baby gifts.  They are easy to make even with my limited sewing skillz. I just recently made this one for my cousin's baby shower.
Her colors for the nursery are black, white & turquoise; and since we don't know if it is going to be a girl or a boy, I tried to keep it gender neutral.  

The only supplies you need are
regular size bath towel
hand towel
ribbon or fabric for trim (optional)
sewing machine

I followed one of the many on-line tutorials - Hooded Baby Towel.  This tutorial gives you step-by-step pictures, so if you don't like to read through directions, you have a visual! (I hate reading directions!)

I pinned everything in place to make sure I had it correct, b/c I've been known to sew things on backwards and have to start over!  
Once everything was on (and yes, I had to start over once), I sewed the ribbon to the hood (aka half of a hand towel), then sewed the hood to the towel.  Pretty quick and simple.
I even had Mr. Three model it for me, with my little pup peeping around to see what is going on!  I want to make some hooded beach towels for me the kids too.  Oh yeah, and if you are really crafty (or you pay someone) you can have the child's name, monogram, etc. placed on the hood - super cute & really personalizes the gift.

What do you think? Do you like to receive homemade gifts?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bare Fruit Snacks & a Giveaway!

I recently had the opportunity to sample Bare Fruit Cinnamon Apple Chips. Talk about a healthy snack! This truly is! I don't know what I expected when I opened the bag for the first time, but I was definitely in for a pleasant surprise.  First of all, I looove cinnamon & when you open the bag they smell heavenly :-)  But what amazed me the most was how crispy they were!  They crunch just like a chip, but they are sweet from the cinnamon, and a little tart from the apple.  After tasting these, I immediately checked the ingredient list again, thinking I must have missed something...but no!  They contain nothing but Organic Apples and Organic Cinnamon!  This is a snack that I feel good about my children eating, as well as, my diabetic husband.  He enjoyed them b/c they crunch like a chip (which he rarely eats), and have no added sugar.
I love that they are organic too!

Have you tried any Bare Fruit products?  Do you want to?!  The company has been nice enough to offer a Mo'Betta reader an entire CASE of Cinnamon Apple Chips!  

All you have to do is enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter.
Don't want to wait to see if you are the giveaway winner?  After 'liking' Bare Fruit on Facebook you will have access to great coupons!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer - I received a bag of cinnamon apple chips free for review. No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to School Boost for Moms eBook

Back to School Boost for Moms 300x250
Can you BELIEVE it is already time to think about back to school?!  As a matter of fact, some schools are starting back today.  Yikes!  The summer has flown by so quickly...and I am just not ready to think about school schedules, school lunches, extra curricular activities, rush to get dinner on the table and homework done...and the list goes on. However, it doesn't matter if I am ready or not...because here it comes!

Lucky for us, there are a group of fabulous bloggers who have put together the 'Back to School Boost For Moms' e-book.  Not 1, not 2....but FIVE e-books that are being bundled together into one fabulous package of information that will help get us ready, and dare I say, ahead of the game during this hectic time of year.  Better still, they are offering the bundle at a very reduced price!

The 5 books available in this bundle are:
  1. Create Your Perfect Cleaning Schedule: So You Can Get More Done In Less Time ($5.99) by Christine at I Dream of Clean.
  2. The No Brainer Wardrobe: Get Dressed with More Confidence and Less Fuss ($7.99) by Hayley at The Tiny Twig.
  3. Cupcakes: 12 Months of Hapiness! ($4.99) by Liz at Hoosier Homemade.
  4. Feast in 15: Speed Cooking Weeknight Dinners ($4.99) by Tiffany at Eat At Home.
  5. Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free ($4.99) by Yours Truly (Amy Lynn Andrews) at Blogging with Amy.
So what's the catch you ask?!  The catch is this is a ONE WEEK ONLY SALE!  That's right, it is only available for this week, Aug. 1 - Aug. 8.

So how do you get in on this great deal?  Just Click here to visit Eat at Home.  The price is only $10 (total value: $28.95), but remember, the bundle is only available this week.  Get great information, and support some great bloggers!

Disclaimer - As part of the affiliate program for this special deal, I will receive a commission on books sold. 

Wordless Wednesday - Going Batty!

This is what we found hanging out (literally!) above the door to my porch yesterday....eek!


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