Saturday, June 12, 2010

Giveaway Ending Tonight!

Don't miss your last chance to enter the fantastic giveaway from Giggle Junction. Their soft Spy Bags are fun and challenging for kids of all ages. If you haven't had a chance to enter yet, go here for your chance to win.

Pool Safety

The pools are open, the schools are closed, and summer is upon us! What a perfect time for a little refresher on pool safety. I always take the time to remind my kids of safety rules before each visit to the pool, but I think that it is important to at least review them once with your kids at the start of pool season. Most kids don’t like to listen to rules, but if we make sure we know it is to keep them safe from harm, they may listen better.

One of the simplest rules, that is broken probably every hour at every pool, is to not run around the pool. I have seen so many kids slip and fall. Luckily the children I’ve seen have only ended up with scraped knees or bumped heads. However, I have read articles of kids slipping and falling into the water or even knocking themselves out. It is also important to make sure your kids don’t jump into the pool head first unless they are in the deep end (and it is allowed by the pool). Head first diving can cause serious injury or even death.

Another important rule that many parents break, is not to allow your young children to swim unsupervised. They may have learned to swim on their own, but what happens if they get tired or get a cramp. They could slip under the water and you wouldn’t even notice. Even if there is a lifeguard on duty, it is hard for them to keep up with everyone. It is also important to remember that kids can still drown with a life jacket on. Some children are not strong enough to right themselves if they flip (trust me, I’ve seen it with my own girls). Of course, if you are standing close by it is no problem. Make sure to encourage frequent breaks to avoid exhaustion. What other important safety rule do you have for your family? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Tricky Trivia

In the United States, approximately ____________ pounds of chocolate and candy are manufactured each year.

Take a guess in the comments below.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Giveaway Ending Tonight!

Don't miss your last chance to enter the fantastic giveaway from Easy Lunch Boxes.  These eco-friendly lunch boxes are both easy and convenient .  If you haven't had a chance to enter yet, go here for your chance to win.


Fabulous Food Friday with Adventure in All Things Food

Welcome to Fabulous Food Friday! While exploring the blogosphere, I realized that there were many great recipes to share. So every Friday, I am going to try to feature an awesome blogger with their great recipe! Today’s feature blogger is Andrea from Adventure in All Things Food. When you get a chance, swing by Andrea’s yummy blog. You’ll love it.

Pop Up Pancakes with Strawberries & Whip Cream

I love pancakes and I love strawberries so I thought I would share this fabulously simple recipe with you. I am Andrea from Adventures in All Things Food. From my garden, through the kitchen and then to the table, it is all an adventure. So join me... you won't regret it!

I adore strawberry season. I have so many recipes to pack into the short season and this recipe tops the list of favorites.These Pop Up Pancakes are similar to an individual sized Dutch Baby, which is always a big treat in our house. They are really simple to whip up, look great and taste even better. Small and light they would be fabulous for a brunch.
You Will Need:
1 c. milk
1 c. flour6 eggs
1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter
a dash of saltfresh strawberries - I cut mine up with a little sugar fresh whip cream
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease your muffin tins well. These little beauties really want to stick. Then get out your blender...

yeah, no bowls even! I told you this was simple. When your oven is preheated, put everything in the blender and whip it up! Don't do this step ahead of time because the butter will stick to the blade as it cools. Don't do it... I made this mistake once. Fill your muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes. They will start to turn golden brown and be puffy. Let them cool for a few minutes and then use a knife to help pop them out of the pan. As they cool they will deflate, forming a little cup for your strawberries & whip cream.

Enjoy! This makes 24 muffin sized pancakes.

Girls Night Out!

Last Saturday, a few of us girls went out to celebrate our friend’s birthday at P.F. Changs. I had never been there before, but everyone I know is always raving about it so I was really excited. Unfortunately, we had to drive an hour to get there, but it didn’t seem too long with all the girl chatter going on. If you have not been to P.F. Changs, I really recommend you giving it a shot. Every dish that went by our table looked and smelled absolutely delicious. There were of course so many great items to choose from, but in the end my friends and I decided to just order a bunch of appetizers to share. We ordered crispy green beans, crab wontons, spicy shrimp, and…..LETTUCE WRAPS! I was so excited to try the lettuce wraps because I had been hearing about them for so long. Everyone assured me they were the absolute best thing in the world. Now I will admit, they were pretty good (maybe not the best thing on Earth, but close). But they just couldn’t compare to the dessert that followed our meal. Our waiter, who looked and sounded like Seth Rogan, brought out a display of about 8 different cakes in shot glasses and I had to stop myself from drooling (over the cake, not the waiter). All the choices looked so good that I was tempted to order one of each. They were only tiny little things, right!?! In the end, I ended up ordering a lemon cake and a carrot cake. Each little shot glass had only about three tiny bites, but each bite was beyond delicious. If you get a chance to go to P.F. Changs, don’t forget to save room for dessert. You will not be disappointed. Where did you go on your last girl’s night out? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Tricky Trivia

What is the smallest mammal living in North America?

Take a guess in the comments below!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blogmania Preview: Red Harp

It is time again for another sneak peak at an awesome Blogmania Sponsor. Red Harp is a wonderful Etsy shop created and run by Kate. At Red Harp you will find a great variety of handmade items, such as fabric bags, journal covers, and pendants.

All items from Red Harp are designed and created in a smoke and animal free home. All fabrics are prewashed in detergents that are free of all dyes and perfumes. Not only are all the products made by Kate herself, but she also uses her leftover fabric to create bears for Teddy Care, a small nonprofit who sends bears to the children of deployed military parents.

As an awesome Blogmania Sponsor, Red Harp will be donating an item to Between the Lines’ gift pack. I’m not revealing any of the prizes just yet, but swing on over to Red Harp and check out all of Kate’s wonderful creations. You will not be disappointed!

The End Of Kindergarten

Tomorrow is the last day of kindergarten for my baby girl…technically. Tomorrow I will drop her off one last time, for a day that will last 1hour and 45 minutes. Not sure why, but I think it’s better to just follow the rules. It seems like just yesterday I was heartbroken as I watched her walk through the doors to that big school alone. I couldn’t believe that she would be ok without me there to help. I couldn’t believe that I was going to lose her for four hours of the day. Luckily for both us, it all went smoothly and she loved Kindergarten. Of course, there were the days where she begged to stay home with me and her little sister, but once she saw the school, independence took over. I am so thankful that she had a wonderful Kindergarten experience. Her teachers have primed her to love school and I pray that this will stick with her forever. I still get nervous sending her to school alone every day, but I felt better knowing that she had teachers I could trust to take the best care of her. Now that she is leaving their care, I can only hope that next year’s teacher will be just as good. Did your kids have a good school year? Are you ready for summer or are you wishing for more school time? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Tricky Trivia

What is the snowiest city in the U.S?

Take a guess in the comments below!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Simple Sunday Twitter Hop Coming Soon!

Starting this Sunday at 12:00 am est & every one after..
Join Survey Junkie and Between the Lines for a
Simple Sunday Twitter Hop..
Grab our button, a cup of coffee and gain some followers

See Ya Sunday :)

Pocket Referee Review and Giveaway (3 Winners)

With summer starting and all the kids home from school, I have the perfect product for you! The Pocket Referee is a great tool that was created about 30 years ago by George Vraney to help his children learn the importance of compromising. In 2006, George teamed up with his daughter Jennifer to create the Vraney Inc., in order to share this great product with the world.

“The Pocket Referee is designed to give kids a fun fair way of taking turns getting their way.” One side of the coin has a picture of a referee and the other side has a picture of a treasure chest. Let the kids choose a side and flip the coin to see who gets to be the coin holder first. My girls love that the coin comes with its own cute bag with a carabineer. The coin holder holds the power to make a final decision. Kids can’t decide which game to play next? Let the coin holder make the choice. Once they make their decision, they must pass the coin to their sibling so they can be the new coin holder. If the coin holder doesn’t want to waste their turn on this particular argument, they must pass the choice to their sibling, but they get to keep the coin. With the Pocket Referee, the parent no longer has to pick sides or be the bad guy. They even have a variation that works when you have more than two kids!

My girls are a little young to be coin holders, so we created an alternative way to use the Pocket Referee until they get a bit older. Mommy holds the coin until it is needed. When they can’t agree on a toy, game, book, or show, we pull out the Pocket Referee. We take turns on who gets to flip it. The person flipping gets to make the choice if it lands on the referee and the other gets to make the choice if it lands on the treasure chest. This method has worked well for us, but I will definitely change it up once they can understand the other way better. The girls love the Pocket Referee and I love squashing argument quickly and quietly! Does your family need a Pocket Referee? Well, the generous people from Vraney, Inc. are going to give three lucky readers of Between the Lines their very own Pocket Referee! Can’t wait to win it? Buy it today at

Mandatory Entry: Visit Pocket Referee and leave me a comment on something you learned.

Extras: (Remember each entry must have a separate comment and an email address is needed to contact winner.)
~Follow Between the Lines (3)
~ Subscribe to my email (5)
~ Grab my button and leave a link of where it’s displayed (5)
~Add me to your Blogroll and leave a link (5)
~ Follow 2 Teach is 2 Touch Lives Forever (3)
~Follow me on Twitter (2)
~ Follow Pocket Referee on Twitter (2)
~ Like Pocket Referee on Facebook (2)
~Tweet this giveaway leaving me your link. (3x a day not back to back) (1 entry each)
~Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link (10)
~Make a purchase from Pocket Referee (10)

This giveaway will end on June 23rd@ 10p.m Eastern

*This giveaway is open to US and Canada only. Winner will be chosen randomly. An email notification will be sent to the email address provided by the winner. The winner must respond within 48 hours. Failure to do so will result in being disqualified and a new winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary Pocket Referee in exchange for my honest review. The opinions & thoughts expressed are my own. I received no other compensation for my review nor was I under any obligation to give a positive review.

Recipe Corner: Pepperoni Caesar Pasta Salad

Now that the grills are being fired up, it’s time to start thinking of some new side dishes. A cold pasta salad is always a great addition on a hot summer day. Enjoy! And don’t forget to contact me if you are interested in having your blog and your yummy recipe featured in a Fabulous Food Friday Post. Whether you bake it, sauté it, or just microwave it, send it in! Share your yummy food and you may find yourself with new visitors. Please email me directly if you are interested. ( )


• 1 1/2 cups uncooked medium pasta shells
• 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
• 1 (3.25 ounce) package sliced pepperoni, quartered
• 1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
• 1/2 cup prepared Caesar salad dressing


1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and broccoli. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; add to the pepperoni mixture. Drizzle with salad dressing; toss to combine. Refrigerate until serving.

Tricky Trivia

The healthy human eye can distiguish about __________ different colors.

Take a guess in the comments below!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Learning Series: Learning with Cheez-its

Every child loves summer. Summer is a time for playing outside, swimming in the pool, and hanging out with your friends. Unfortunately, summer is also a time when kids lose a lot of what they learned during the previous year of school. As an elementary school teacher, it was frustrating to watch my students struggle at the beginning of each year with objectives that they had mastered the previous year. As a parent, I want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to my children. This summer, I will be setting aside a little time each day for some fun learning activities for my kids. Starting in June, check in each Monday if you are looking for some activities for your kids. I will be posting a few things we did the previous week to share. Also if you are interested in doing the same thing, I would love to link up with all you creative moms out there! Just shoot me an email and let me know you are interested. ( ) Let’s work together to help our children have a fun, but educational summer!

This week the girls and I did a fun little exercise with our Cheez-its. That’s right, I said Cheez-its. If you go to your local grocery store, you will notice that they have many different types of Cheez-its. Last week, I picked up a box of Scrabble Cheez-its. Every cracker in the box looks like a Scrabble tile with a letter on top. This activity can be done in many different variations depending on your child’s age. First, give each child a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and a pile of Cheez-its. For my six year old, I told her to make ten words out of her Cheez-its. Every time she found a word, she wrote it on her paper so that she could use her Cheez-it letters again.

She had a lot of fun and got so excited every time she discovered a new word. Although she only wrote her ten down, she continued finding words after the activity was done. For my 4 year old, I altered the activity a bit. Since she can read most three-letter words, I gave her one word at a time to find. This was easier for her than pulling a random word out of her head, but she was still practicing her letter sounds and spelling words. After she found her words, she also wrote them on her paper (very proudly, I might add).

If you have a child that is just learning letters and sounds, you can simplify this activity even more. For the younger kiddos, write the words on the paper for them. Then have them search through the pile of Cheez-its and find the matching letters. If your child is more advanced, challenge them to find 4-letter and 5-letter words. This activity also works real well with Alphabits. When the activity is done, let the children eat their well-deserved snack!

Tricky Trivia

According to the Red Cross, how many lives can be saved from just one pint of blood?

Take a guess in the comments below!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Solay Wellness Review and Discount Code

Solay Wellness is a family run, small business located in Illinois. Founded by Isabella Samovsky, Solay Wellness was developed out of concern for the environment, as well as all that live in it. Isabella states that her “…intention is to become a brand that is known for its true therapeutic values, products with heart and soul that provide real benefit to the customer.“ At Solay Wellness, all products are hand-made and never mass produced. They also donate a percentage of their profits to non-profit organizations that benefit the Earth.

When Solay Wellness contacted me asking if I’d be interested in reviewing samples of their products, I went directly to their extraordinary website. I was honestly in shock by the number of products they offer. They offer wellness products for the body such as, salt lamps, organic skin and body care, all natural cleaning products, gourmet food, pet supplies, and much more. Although I did not review a salt lamp, it definitely has me intrigued. “An environment rich in negative ions has a wonderfully positive effect on your physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual health. The healthy ions that you experience after a rainstorm or near a waterfall, can be yours anytime. Solay salt crystal lamps and candle holders made from natural and ancient crystal salts, produce a pleasant and soothing light. They also gently and naturally cleanse the air and restore ionic balance, while improving your energy, mental alertness and well-being.” I would encourage you to check them out.

I was lucky enough to be able to review three great products from Solay Wellness. As birthdays pass and gray hairs appear, little wrinkles have been finding their way onto my face. My most troubling area is around my eyes. For the last two weeks, I’ve been testing out Solay’s Aging Beautifully Face and Body Soap, Solay’s Organic Moisturizer, and Solay’s Undereye Cream. I have very sensitive skin, so I tested each product first on my hands before continuing. When I decided I was safe, I moved on to my face. I can honestly say that after two weeks of use my face is softer. My undereye dark circles have also lightened and are less puffy. I can’t say for certain if my wrinkles have decreased, but I’m pretty sure that after a few more weeks, I will see a noticeable difference.

All of the products that I reviewed are 100% organic and safe for not only you, but also for the environment. If my skin liked it, it should be great for everyone. And don’t forget the calming scent of the soap. Every time I step into the shower, I can smell the sweet mixture of vanilla and lavender. If you would like to try one of the great products I reviewed or any of the other wonderful products they sell, take advantage of the discount code Solay gave Between the Line readers. Simply enter “Himalayas” when you are ready to purchase for 10% off your entire shopping basket. Don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter to receive updates on new products and sales.

 Disclaimer: I received complimentary samples in exchange for my honest review. The opinions & thoughts expressed are my own. I received no other compensation for my review nor was I under any obligation to give a positive review

Recipe Corner: Sweet Potato Fries

Now that the grills are being fired up, it’s time to start thinking of some new side dishes. Sweet potato fries are a healthy alternative to the traditional French fries. My kids eat them and don’t even realize anything is different. Enjoy! And don’t forget to contact me if you are interested in having your blog and your yummy recipe featured in a Fabulous Food Friday Post. Whether you bake it, sauté it, or just microwave it, send it in! Share your yummy food and you may find yourself with new visitors. Please email me directly if you are interested. ( )


• 4 sweet potatoes, cut into large French fries
• 1 tablespoon water
• 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
• 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
• 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Place the cut sweet potatoes into a microwave-safe dish with the water. Cook on in the microwave for 5 minutes on full power. Drain off liquid, and toss with Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Arrange fries on a baking sheet in a single layer.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once, or until fries are crispy on the outside.

Tricky Trivia

All coffee is grown within ____________ miles of the equator.

Take a guess in the comments below!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We Have A Winner!

 Congrats to Glogirl who won the Orglamix giveaway with comment #41 (Tweet:  Glogirl has 48 hours to email me before I randomly select a new winner.  Thanks to everyone who entered and thanks to Orglamix for sponsoring such a great giveaway!  Keep reading Between the Lines!

Silent Sunday

My New Four Year Old!!!