Saturday, August 7, 2010

Don't Miss Out!!

Don't forget that today is Week 2 of our new Spotlight Saturday Blog Hop!  We would love for you to join us for the blog hopping fun.  Just link up in the post below! Have a fantastic weekend!

Spotlight Saturday Blog Hop #2

It's Spotlight Saturday Hosted By






Between the Lines



Welcome to our new blog hop with a twist!  Every week swing by to link up your blog and one you want to spotlight!  Did you find a new blog you liked this week?  Is there one you visit on a daily basis?  Well, simply link up your Spotlighted blog right under yours.  We will Spotlight our favorite blogs of the week in spots 4, 5, and 6.

How it Works

1) Link up your own blog.
2)Link up a blog you want to spotlight for the week.(ex. Spotlight: I Spot You)
3) Follow your three hosts.
4) Grab our button and post it on your sidebar or a Spotlight Saturday Post.
5) Follow as many blogs from the list and leave a comment so they know you stopped by.
6) Return the favor by following blogs that followed you.
(Be aware that URL's cannot be duplicated so please have a second spotlight choice in mind. If your blog's URL has already been spotlighted, just add one you'd like to spotlight. )

 Don't forget to leave a comment for the blog you spotlighted so they can come join the blog hopping fun! And don't miss next week's Yummy Spotlight Saturday. Come join the blog hop fun and Spotlight your favorite Food Blog! 





Another Fun Blog Hop you may be interested in!

That Girl's Deals

Friday, August 6, 2010

Soda Stream Winner!


Congrats to dolls123!  You are the lucky winner of the SodaStream giveaway!  Out of 273 entries, dolls123 won with comment #211. "Blog Follower #2".  The winner has 48 hours to claim her prize before I randomly select a new winner.  Thanks to all that entered and I hope you keep reading Between the Lines.

Fabulous Food Friday with The Domestic Engineer

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 Stacia from The Domestic Engineer. When you get a chance, swing by Stacia's yummy blog. I’m sure you’ll find a recipe you and your family will love

I'm Stacia from The Domestic Engineer. I have always loved being in the kitchen creating delicious food for my loved ones. Now that I'm married, I have an amazing man to cook for. Creating food to match what's in season, or in this case, how hot it is outside ensures that we are trying new recipes all of the time.


What's better than a nice cool treat on a warm afternoon? What frozen confection brings you back to childhood?  And what's a tasty way to use up some very ripe bananas when you're tired of banana bread?
I'll tell you. It's banana fudgesicles. :)

Last summer I began my search for popsicle molds. I didn't find them, but luckily the hubby and I recieved a pack of 6 as a wedding present. Yay!

Now that the weather is warming up, I knew it was time to break out the popsicle molds and make something tasty. What is tastier than chocolate? Not a lot. What goes great with chocolate that I happen to have a few of? Bananas!

The banana makes it healthy, right? ;)

I found these fudgesicles to be so nice and refreshing on a warm day! The chocolate is just strong enough that it compliments the banana perfectly, and I am so glad I didn't have to make more banana bread!

My recipe makes 6 popsicles. Each hold about a half cup of popsicle goodness. You can use small dixie cups with posicle sticks, or even double it up to make a bunch. Yum.



Banana Fudgesicles

2 tbl. cornstarch
sprinkle of salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
heaping 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 very ripe banana, mashed up good.

Mix together the first five ingredients in a saucepan. Once combined, bring to a boil over medium heat and stir for one minute, or until the mixture has thickened up. Congratulations, you just made a really quick and easy pudding.

Turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they have melted completely. Then mix in the mashed banana.

Like a good gravy, this stuff will thicken up fast as it cools down. You can put piece of plastic wrap over it, touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming and stick it in the fridge if you don't want to make the fudgesicles right away. Otherwise, fill up your molds or dixie cups with the pudding. Stick the tops on the molds, or put plastic wrap over dixie cups and stick a popsicle stick through the plastic wrap. The plastic helps to hold the stick upright.

Freeze for at least four hours and enjoy!

Note: If the fudgesicles don't come out of their molds easily, run a little warm water around the outside and they should pop right out.

Still Leaking!

Thanks to everyone who sent me emails or left comments regarding our underground pipe leak.  Unfortunately, the problem has not been resolved.  Yesterday, we lost over  a thousand gallons of water!!!   Not good under any situation, but with our county in near drought like conditions, this is especially bad.  We have someone coming back on Saturday to try to fix it by digging up our lawn, but if the problem isn't there, someone else will have to come make holes in my house.  (aaahhhh!)  Apparently our builders had a super idea when they designed these houses.  Why not lay the pipe under the foundation??  Sound good?  Uh, no...not so good.  (Breathe in....breath out...)  I will update you all Saturday or Sunday.  I hope you join us for our Spotlight Saturday Blog Hop and our Simple Sunday Twitter Hop.  We had a lot of fun last weekend.  See you then!

Enter the Baby Einstein: All About Baby Sweepstakes Today!


Baby Einstein has launched the All About Baby Sweepstakes! Moms and dads can enter for an amazing chance to win a $2,000 U.S. savings bond for the little one in their life along with special Baby Einstein product package prizes. You can enter now through August 20th at http://babyeinstein.com/sweepstakes . Winners will be chosen at random.
One grand prize winner will win a $2,000 Series I U.S. savings bond. One first prize winner will receive a $500 Series I U.S. Savings Bond. Two 2nd prize winners will receive Baby Einstein Product packages valued at $300 each and five 3rd prize winners will win Baby Einstein Product Packages valued at $100 each.
Baby Einstein has even more exciting news! Fans are also invited to visit the new Baby Einstein Facebook Page http://www.Facebook.com/BabyEinstein. This, Baby Einstein Company’s first official Facebook Page, is a place where parents with a passion for sharing the arts with their baby can share real life experiences and tips. Baby Einstein will also regularly post useful advice for encouraging discovery, information on new products and exclusive offers.  And don’t forget to follow Baby Einstein on Twitter http://twitter.com/BabyEinstein for tips, contests and more.
 Baby Einstein, loves babies and creates DVDs, CDs, books, toys and activity items with every baby in mind every day.  Enter the Baby Einstein: All About Baby Sweepstakes today for a chance to nourish your baby’s tomorrow  http://babyeinstein.com/sweepstakes.

© The Baby Einstein Company, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.  Baby Einstein is a trademark of the Baby Einstein Company, LLC. EINSTEIN is a trademark of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 U.S./ D.C., & Canada (excluding Quebec), 18+ (not a minor in state/ province of residence) and be or sign up to become a registered member of the Baby Einstein site. Sweepstakes begins 12:01 p.m. PDT, 7/19/10 & ends 12:01 p.m. PDT, 8/20/10. Subject to the Official Rules. Sponsor: The Baby Einstein Company L.L.C., Burbank, CA.    
All About Baby Sweepstakes:
Official Baby Einstein Facebook Page:
http://www.facebook.com/BabyEinstein 
Baby Einstein on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/BabyEinstein
Official Baby Einstein Blog:
http://www.baby-einstein.net
Official Baby Einstein Site:
http://www.babyeinstein.com


Disclaimer: I was asked to share this Sweepstakes with my readers.  I agreed because of my kids' love of Baby Einstein. No compensation was received.  None of the above wording is my own.  This post was provided by a rep for Baby Einstein.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Magic Warble Review and Giveaway

When Victoria Simcox, the author of The Magic Warble approached me to do a review of her fantasy novel, I was very excited.  Not only do I love reading children’s fantasy books to my kids, but I also enjoy writing them.   The Magic Warble follows a young girl on her adventures through a new land.  Along the way she meets fairies, gnomes, dwarfs, and even an evil queen.  Her journeys immediately reminded me of the Pevensie children and their adventures through Narnia.  If you enjoyed the adventures in Narnia, you should definitely read the Magic Warble.
Summary from the author:
Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and the evil Queen Sentiz.
In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Magic Warble” in its final resting place. And she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.
The Magic Warble
Victoria Simcox was kind enough to share a little bit about her writing experience on The Magic Warble.  Continue on to the next page for the interview and for a chance to win your own autographed copy of The Magic Warble.

Major Leak!

Due do a major leak under our house, I'm a little busy and won't have time to post today.   In the meantime, have fun entering my giveaways and leaving me comments about how much you miss me!  ;-)   Take care and have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Photacular Review and Giveaway

I love items that have a personalized touch.  It makes them unique and more special. Like most mothers, I am also addicted to taking pictures of my adorable children!   Photacular is a great online company that provides you the opportunity to combine ordinary products and your most important photographs to create unique and exceptional items.
At Photacular , you can turn those precious memories into tee shirts, mugs, calendars, jewelry, ornaments, and so much more.  Their website is easy to use and all products are custom-made and printed here in the U.S.    They also offer a 90 day guarantee.   If there is a problem with your product they guarantee to try to make it right.  If they can’t fix the problem, they will give you your money back.

Thanks to Darla, the founder of Photacular, I was able to explore and purchase an item from their site.  With so many choices, it took me a long time to choose.   I eventually settled on the premium tote bag with green straps.  I was actually surprised when it came in the mail.  For the price they are selling it for, I figured it would be a pretty flimsy tote bag.  But instead, it lived up to its premium name.  The tote is made out of very soft, but thick canvas material.   We have been using it all summer for trips to the library, visits to the pool, and as an activity bag for long car trips.   Even through all our abuse, the picture on the tote is still of the highest quality and without any scratches.

I would definitely encourage everyone to go explore their site.  With such a great variety of products, you are sure to find something you like.  And thanks to the generous people from Photacular, one luck reader of Between the Lines has an opportunity to win a $25 gift certificate (plus free shipping)to use on their site.

Mandatory:  Visit Photacular and leave a comment on which item you would like to buy if you won.
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 me on Twitter (2)
~ Like Photacular on Facebook (2)
~Tweet this giveaway leaving me your link. (3x a day not back to back) (1 entry each)
~ Enter any of my other current giveaways (1 each)
~ Grab my Twitter Hop or Blog Hop button and leave a link (3 each)
~Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link (10)
~Make a purchase from Photacular (10)

This giveaway will end on August 19th @10p.m Eastern
*This giveaway is open to US 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 $25 gift certificate 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.

Super Sisters Activate!

I bet you all didn't know my daughters were superheroes!   Here they are to save the day!

Tricky Trivia

How far must you walk to burn the calories of one plain M&M?

Take a guess in the comments below.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Museum Fun!

This past weekend, my family traveled to Richmond to help my sister move into her new apartment.  But before the moving "fun" started, my husband and I took the girls to the Richmond Science Museum.  The girls had a blast exploring space, experiencing optical illusions, learning about exploration, studying the human body, petting snakes, and much more!

On the main level of the museum, the girls learned about  space.  They played a game that taught them about different orbits. They learned about the power of pressure as they launches their own rockets. They were even able to experience what it felt like to squeeze themselves into a little lunar module.  After testing every thing out.  They were really excited to go to the IMAX planetarium show.


Also on the main level of the museum, they learned about exploration.  We practiced using different maps and even how to read map symbols.  They tried on different outfits to match different exploration sites.  The girls even learned how to build a pyramid.   We actually had to build it twice so they could take turns putting the top on.  After building the pyramid, we had a pretend snack in  African explorers tent while listening to the wildlife around us.  When we went out to explore, we discover elephant footprints as well as a strong elephant odor.  Stinky!  We finished up the main level by pretending to fly a plane around the world.  From what I observed, I'm not sure if either of my girls should take up flying lessons. 


 On the second level of the museum we discovered snakes, turtles, fish, and rats that can play basketball.  The girls explored the junior ecologist lab and viewed crayfish and other small water animals under a microscope.  They didn't really have any desire to touch these animals, but when we into the next lab full of reptiles they decided they wanted to touch a snake.  So brave!  After the animal labs, we went through about 30 different hands on activities that explored the human body.

The basement level of the museum was probably the most fun for them.  There were many hands on activities for kids that invited them to explore and solve problems.  Their favorites included building an arch and blowing huge bubbles.  Building the arch was actually pretty tough.  It took all four of us to complete it.



The basement level also had a beach theme where the girls could watch waves, explore and touch sea creatures, and dig for seashells or shark teeth.

If you are ever in the Richmond area, I would definitely recommend the Science Museum.  We had so much fun and will definitely be back!

Recipe Corner: Corn and Zucchini Side Salad

Here is an delicious simple side to add to your weekend BBQ.  I know everyone has been saying they have zucchini coming out of their ears, so I hope this helps you use some of it.  If you need more ideas, swing by Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  SnoWhite has some wonderful ideas.  And don't forget to visit Crazy Daisy's Tuesday's Taste Party for more yummy recipes.   Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Directions
  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. Drain bacon, chop, and set aside.
  2. Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Saute the zucchini, corn, and onion until tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Spoon vegetables into a bowl, and sprinkle with chopped bacon and shredded cheese.

Tricky Trivia

In what country can drunk drivers be punished by death before a firing squad?

Take a guess in the comments below.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Guest Feature: Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
[By Jodi Whisenhunt for Between the Lines blog]

MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE is a unique new blog that plusses the homeschool experience and prompts home educators to think outside the textbook. Our bi-weekly posts cover teachable moments in Walt Disney entertainment, from the history of Walter Elias Disney to animation techniques, from Disney Theme Parks to Disney books, from Disney conservation efforts to audio-animatronics. Each article leaves readers with creative takeaway applications for kids preschool through high school.

Here are samples of what you’ll find:

• Watch Dumbo and learn about aviation. Build a paper airplane with an elephant’s proportions. Discuss fuselage size and shape. Ask students if large wings (or ears) help or hinder flight.
• Ride Disneyland’s Alice in Wonderland and Wonderland’s Mad Tea Party. Stop the math frustration spinning in your child's head. Have a Mad Math Fractions Tea Party!
• Observe Tinker Bell’s flight from a castle turret during Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in person or by embedded Youtube video. Following instructions at the Science Buddies website, measure the intensity and duration of light produced by glow sticks.
 Non-homeschooling parents can employ takeaways to supplement their children’s schoolwork or to keep their kids from stagnating during summer break or other time off from class
Classroom teachers can also utilize the blog to enhance their lesson plans and offer additional course work.

We encourage you to stretch the boundaries of your home classroom and embrace the teachable moments that take the guise of Disney movies, Disney theme parks, Disney story books, Disney art, and more!

You can learn while you play when you discover that Disney IS school!

MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE will host GIVEAWAYS each weekday August 2-6, 2010, to celebrate its 6-month birthday and on every Wednesday throughout the rest of the month.

NOVICA Review and Giveaway

I am very excited to introduce you all to an amazing and unique website. NOVICA, in association with National Geographics, is a company that works with artisans from around the world to bring amazing products to you and me. “It’s a place to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow. At the deepest essence of our philosophy, we want to create a bridge between you and the many talented artisans across the globe. We want you to know about who you’re buying from. We want you to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it. In the spirit of the Internet, let us bring you together. NOVICA. The World is Your Market.” (taken from site)

Alok Jain
The wonderful people from NOVICA gave me an opportunity to explore their extensive website and choose something around $30 to review. NOVICA has a great variety of Unique Gifts, including gifts for her, corporate gifts, and Handmade Jewelry. They also have Home D├ęcor, paintings, and apparel made from all over the world. After browsing their site, I decided on a new necklace. However, there were so many wonderful choices that it was very difficult to choose. I ended up purchasing the “Angelic Bouquet” Necklace shown above. This beautifully, hand-crafted, pearl pendant was designed by Alok Jain from India. The clusters of pearls represent purity, honesty, and innocence.

 This beautiful necklace came snuggled in a lovely jewelry box and was accompanied by an artisan story card and a thank you post card from Alok Jain. When you have time to explore NOVICA’s site, be sure to check out more beautiful jewelry from Alok Jain including the beautiful bracelet shown below.

Thanks to generous people from NOVICA, one lucky reader of Between the Lines will win a $30 gift certificate to use on their site. And if you really love what you see and want to support these wonderful artisans, visit HERE, to see how you can help.

Mandatory Entry: Visit NOVICA and leave a comment telling me something you may use the gift certificate on if you won.

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 me on Twitter (2)
~ Follow NOVICA on Twitter (2)
~ Like NOVICA on Facebook (2)
~Tweet this giveaway leaving me your link. (3x a day not back to back) (1 entry each)
~ Enter any of my other current giveaways (1 each)
~ Grab my Twitter Hop or Blog Hop button and leave a link (3 each)
~Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link (10)
~Make a purchase from NOVICA (10)



This giveaway will end on August 17th @10p.m Eastern

*This giveaway is open to all. 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 $30 gift certificate 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.

Tricky Trivia

In what country is tipping at a restaurant an insult?

Take a guess in the comments below.

Tricky Trivia

Do penguins live in the north or south pole?

Take a guess in the comments below.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Lip Stuff Winner!


Congratulations to j.nes!  She is the winner of the My Lip Stuff random 6 pack of lip balm.  J.nes won with comment number 128, "I also entered the SodaStream giveaway."  J.nes has 48 hours to claim her prize or I will randomly select a new winner.  Thanks to all that entered and I hope you keep reading Between the Lines!

Silent Sunday

Summer Days


Simple Sunday Twitter Hop

Welcome to the New & Improved
Simple Sunday Twitter Hop .
Its Me Melbie & Crazy Daisy.
With this weeks Guest Host Mommy Loves Stilettos.



Photobucket





 
Grab a cup of coffee & join us every SundayYou can gain new Twitter followers, find some great blogs & bloggers in the process.
Have Fun !!!
Plus every week we will draw a random guest host to fill our #5 seat :)
How it Works
1. Follow blogs 1 -5 ( we will follow back )
2. Add your Twitter URL ( not your blog url or giveaways)
3. Snag our new button to use in a post about the Simple Sunday Twitter Hop
4. Follow as many ppl. as you would like & follow everyone back that follows you :)
( This is not a giveaway linkup & anything other than your Twitter url's will be deleted )
 
Link up every Sunday at 12:00 am est !!