Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spotlight Saturday Blog Hop

It's Spotlight Saturday Hosted By

Between the Lines

Welcome to our fun 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.  

This week is I'm Spotlighting Jodi from the Magical Mouse Schoolhouse!
How it Works

1) Link up your own blog.
2)Link up a blog you want to spotlight for the week.(ex. Spotlight: Roslyn's Closet)
3) Follow your three hosts.
4) Grab our button and post it on your sidebar or in a Spotlight Saturday Post.
5) Follow as many blogs from the list as you like 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. And don't forget to leave a comment with the blog you spotlighted so they can come and join the blog hopping fun! )

Friday, June 10, 2011

Don't Miss Spotlight Saturday!

Between the Lines

Don't forget tomorrow is Spotlight Saturday!  Hope you all come back in the morning to join us, along with Survey Junkie for our fun little Blog Hop with a twist!!!  Link up your own blog and another that you would love to share with the rest of us!  Linky opens at midnight!

Fabulous Food Friday with the Fresh Plate

Welcome to Fabulous Food Friday! While exploring the blogosphere, I realized that there were many great recipes to share. So every Friday this summer, I am going to  feature an awesome blogger with their great recipe! Today’s feature blogger is Liz from the Fresh Plate.  Liz is a mother of 4 who tries to feed her family from the freshest local food.  She has some wonderful recipes that you definitely should check out.  One of  her newer recipes, Stuffed Strawberries, had my girls and I drooling!  When you get a chance, swing by Liz's yummy blog.  I’m sure you’ll find a recipe you and your family will love. 


Hi everyone! I am Liz from Fresh Plate. My goal in authoring my own blog is to post relevant recipes, do it yourself projects and my favorite products to share with the blogosphere. I try to post recipe that are current for today's busy lifestyles, yet comforting enough to remind us of our childhoods. I am forever trying to create meals that get my kids to the table every night with anticipation and eagerness to try new things. I hope you will stop by my blog and say hello.

A bit about me. I am a thirty-something married mom of four boys. They range in age from 5 to 17, so I stay busy most of the time. Our family currently lives in Pennsylvania, but I was born and raised in North Carolina. It was only after my husband and I were married that we relocated up north. I learned to cook from my nana, mother and aunts. They are all southern cooks, and that is where my background lies. I can make a mean fried chicken, collards and buttermilk biscuits. But lately I have switched my focus to healthier fare, using as many organic and sustainable foods that I can get my hands on. We grow a vegetable garden and the boys and I pick our own berries , shuck our own local grown corn, and purchase local honeys, butters, cheeses and meat. I am focusing on teaching the boys how important it is to eat local.

The recipe I am going to share with you today is my nana's ground beef spaghetti sauce.A food that everyone seems to have their versions of. This is the best spaghetti sauce that I have ever tasted. I have never tasted another remotely like it.Everyone that has tasted it has enjoyed it and gone back for seconds.I make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for busy weeknights.Serve with a salad and big,crusty bread and you have a complete meal.Nana's recipe calls for ground beef but you can certainly lighten it up with ground turkey.And please don't leave out the Heinz 57 sauce.It is crucial to the outcome.My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Nana's Spaghetti Sauce

3 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Heinz 57 steak sauce
1 teaspoon italian seasoning

Brown onion and green pepper in a large skillet in a small amount of oil.
Add ground beef to the onion and green peppers; cook until brown.
Carefully drain the hamburger mixture and return to the skillet.
Add the tomato sauce, onion salt, salt, garlic salt, oregano, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Heinz 57 and Italian seasoning.
Stir well and simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours.
Serve over your favorite pasta with garlic bread and a salad.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later Review and Giveaway

Author: Francine Pascal
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: March 2011
Connect with the Author:
About Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later
Ten years after graduating from Sweet Valley High, the Wakefield twins have had a falling out of epic proportions. When Jessica commits what can only considered a complete and utter betrayal, Elizabeth flees to New York to escape the pain and immerse herself in her lifelong dream of becoming a serious reporter. Things seem to be going well: new job, new friends, new romances, but still there’s a burning anger inside that won’t die.

Jessica remains in California, dealing with the fallout of her heart-wrenching choices and holding onto what semblance of normalcy she can. She has a career she loves and friends she’s known forever, but she misses her sister, her oldest and best friend. Sweet Valley remains the beautiful California home of her youth, but passions are beginning to arise that will likely cause earthquakes in this otherwise peaceful town.

Despite the distance between them, the sisters are never far from each other’s thoughts. Jessica longs for forgiveness, but Elizabeth can’t forget her twin’s duplicity.

Uncharacteristically, she decides the only way to heal her broken heart is to get revenge. Always the “good” twin, the one getting her headstrong sister out of trouble, Elizabeth is now about to turn the tables…
SWEET VALLEY !!!!   Where to begin?   Growing up, I followed twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield on their journey through Middle School (Sweet Valley Twins), High School (Sweet Valley High), and College (Sweet Valley University).   My little sister was lucky enough to enjoy Sweet Valley Kids as well.  Together we owned every book in Francine Pascal's series.  Until recently, I had no idea that Ms. Pascal was publishing a new book.  But when I found out from a fellow blogger, I was so excited.  It is funny how much we connect with characters in a story and can't wait to see how their lives turned out.  I have to admit, the book wasn't what I expected.  Of course, I knew from the summary that the twins had a falling out, but I never expected what it was.   At first I was heartbroken for Elizabeth and angry at Jessica, but as the back-story evolved, things started making a little more sense.  I don't want to give anything away, but I can say that die-hard Sweet Valley fans will be in for a surprise.  Not only about what has been going on the last 10 years (all I can is WOW), but also about how much the twins have changes over the years. Grab your copy today from your local bookstore or order it from Amazon!

About the Author:
 FRANCINE PASCAL is the creator of the Sweet Valley High® series and one of the world’s most popular fiction writers for teenagers and the author of several best-selling novels. As a theater lover and Tony voter, Ms. Pascal is on the Advisory Board of The American Theatre Wing. Her favorite sport is a monthly poker game.
One lucky reader of Between the Lines is going to win their own copy of Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later.  Simply comment below about your favorite Sweet Valley Memory.  Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.

Extras: (Remember each entry must have a separate comment and an email address is needed to contact winner.)
~ Like Sweet Valley Confidential on Facebook (2)
~ Follow Between the Lines on Facebook (2)
~Follow Between the Lines (2)
~ Subscribe to my email (2)
~Add me to your Blogroll and leave a link (5)
~Follow me on Twitter (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)

This giveaway will end on June 23rd @10p.m Eastern
*This giveaway is open to Continental 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:  The opinions & thoughts expressed are my own. I received a copy of the book for my review but was under any obligation to give a positive review. Prizes are mailed out by the distributor and Between the Lines cannot be held accountable for prizes not sent.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Vacation: Part Three

There are so many fantastic theme parks around the world. For anyone who knows me personally, they know that Disney World will always be my number one choice. If you visit Disney during the right time of the year, it is indeed as magical as they lead you to believe. A huge benefit of Disney World is that there are so many places to visit. Our family favorites are the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, but you can also visit the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, Downtown Disney, Disney’s Boardwalk, and many wonderful resort and restaurant locations.

Universal Studios in Orlando is another must visit theme park. Universal offers their Studio Park, Islands of Adventures, and Universal City Walk. Universal Studios not only offers you an inside look at how movies are made, but also has fun rides and show for all ages. Islands of Adventure is absolutely the more exciting of the two parks. With their Marvel Comic Island, Jurassic Park Island, and their new Harry Potter World it is positively one you don’t want to miss. While Downtown Disney showcases Cirque Du Soleil, Universal’s City Walk features the Blue Man Group.

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA is another must visit theme park. Busch Gardens has rides designed for children of all ages. From the Sesame Street themed area to the Big Bad Wolf Roller Coaster, there is something for everyone. For those of you who wish to walk around and enjoy the scenery, take a stroll through a French Village or swing in for a quick beer at Oktoberfest.

After surfing the net, I came across some other theme parks that look like tons of family fun. Take a look and see if you’ve ever been to any. Were they as fun as they look?

1. Dreamworld in Australia

2. Carowinds in North Carolina

3. Legoland in Denmark

4. Thorpe Park in England

5. Freizeitland Geiselwind in Germany

6. Cedar Point in Ohio

7. Sea World in Florida

8. Disneyland in California

9. Hershey Park in Pennsylvania

10. Holiday Word in Indiana

What other theme parks should not be missed? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Learning Series: Spelling 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 Tuesday 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 have you Guest Post on Between the Lines.   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 seven 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 5 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 crows, 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!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Looking For Guest Bloggers!

Summer is here and it is time to bring back Fabulous Food Friday and the Summer Learning Series.  For those of you who are new to Between the Lines, let me give you a little background.   Fabulous Food Friday is a fun weekly guest spot where you wonderful chefs and bakers out there get a chance to share your Fabulous recipes.  Last year we were lucky to find some awesome bloggers with great recipes to share.  I still use many of their recipes and hope this summer I can find some more to add to my expanding recipe box.  If you are interested in sharing a recipe and being featured on Fabulous Food Friday, send me an email at betweenthelines-kam at hotmail dot com.  So far, only one week has been claimed.  If you want to check out a few examples, click HERE

Our Summer Learning Series is just what it sounds like.  Summer, unfortunately is 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.  So check in each week if you are looking for some activities for your kids. Also if you are interested in doing the same thing, I would love to invite  you to guest post on Between the Lines to share your fun and educational activities. Just shoot me an email and let me know you are interested. (betweenthelines-kam at hotmail dot com).  Let’s work together to help our children have a fun, but educational summer!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pink Dandy Sunday Blog Hop

Welcome to the Pink Dandy Blog Hop!

This blog hop will be up for 3 days! From Sunday the 5th-Wednesday the 8th.

I will start a new blog hop every Sunday.

Between the Lines



How does this blog hop work?

1. Make sure to follow Pink Dandy Chatter and Between The Lines so that we can follow you back!!

2. To ensure that Pink Dandy Chatter will follow you back, you need to make sure and leave a comment (below on this post) saying that you are a new follower and also leave a link to your blog.

3. Add your blog name and the URL to one of your favorite posts on the Linky below.

4. Please follow at-least 2 blogs on the list that appeal to you

5. Your blog must be family friendly ONLY. Explicit sites will be removed from the list.