Saturday, July 2, 2011

Spotlight Saturday

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 blueviolet from A Nut in a Nutshell!
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, July 1, 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 and Guest Host Beauty Brite 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 Ninth Street Notions

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 Amanda from Ninth Street Notions.  Amanda is an awesome blogger exploring new projects. She has some wonderful recipes and crafty ideas that you definitely should check out.  While you are there, don't miss her yummy Banana Bread recipe.  You will fall in love.  When you get a chance, swing by  her Facebook Page and join up so you don't miss any of her great idea.

Hi everybody! I'm Amanda, from Ninth Street Notions blog and Etsy shop. I'm so excited that Kelly has invited me to share this trio of recipes. They're inspired by Greek flavors, so they're light and refreshing and perfect for summer.

Plus, I personally relish any time I get to use the grill, summertime or not.

Grilled Kebabs

2 pounds steak
1 cup beer
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 onion

Cut steak into bite-size pieces. Mix beer, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and hot sauce in a large bowl and toss steak to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes.

Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces. Thread the vegetables and marinated meat onto skewers.

Preheat grill. Grill the kebabs until meat is done, about 12-15 minutes. Let rest under aluminum foil about 5 minutes before serving.

Greek-Inspired Couscous Salad

1 10-ounce package plain couscous
2 roma tomatoes
1/4 fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare couscous according to package directions. Let cool to room temperature.

Chop tomatoes. Mix tomatoes, herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, feta cheese, and couscous together in a bowl.

Quick Tzatziki

1 cup plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve the couscous salad alongside the kebabs with the tzatziki for dipping. I really would have liked to use red onions for the kebabs, but apparently they don't sell those in the small town in which I live. ;)

These recipes are quick and simple, so you can try them even on a busy weekday night. 

Thanks again!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

NeoStrata Giveaway!

The NeoStrata Company creates and sells dermatology approved skin care products from Neostrata, Exuviance, Coverblend, and Neoceuticals. Without animal testing, Dr.Eugene Van Scott and Dr. Ruey Yu have produced “the dermatology developed skin care collections recommended and highly regarded by skin care experts around the world”. They sell various collections that meet the needs of everyone‘s specific skin type.

NeoStrata is about to launch a new line of Exuviance SerumsExuviance serums are the perfect way to supercharge your daily skincare regimen!  They have created four concentrated problem-solving essentials to target specific skin concerns including lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, dullness, oxidative damage and loss of elasticity.  Worn alone or layered to boost the benefits to your complexion, our serums combine active science and proven botanicals to offer multi-action coverage. 

NeoStrata has graciously offered a lucky reader a chance to try their new Exuviance Vespera Bionic Serum.  It concentrates potent Alpha Hydroxy and Polyhydroxy Acids to significantly improve seven signs of photoaging including lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, loss of firmness, uneven pigment, dullness and rough texture.  Our patented Bionic and AHA/PHA blend is enhanced with a multivitamin complex and marine botanicals for added brilliance.   This Serum has been clinically proven to restore youthful radiance 212% in only six weeks*.

Mandatory Entry: Visit NeoStrata and join their email list. Come back and leave a comment that you did so.
Extras: (Remember each entry must have a separate comment and an email address is needed to contact winner.)
~Like NeoStrata on Facebook (2)
Follow NeoStrata on Twitter (2)
~Follow Between the Lines (2)
~ Subscribe to my email (5)
~ Like Between the Lines on Facebook (5)
~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 July14th @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 no compensation in exchange for my honest review. The opinions & thoughts expressed are my own.  I was under no obligation to give a positive review. Prizes are sent out by sponsor.  Between the Lines cannot be held responsible for prizes not honored.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Recipe Corner: Zucchini Bread

Yesterday, my girls and I went on a baking frenzy.  We wanted to try out a bunch of new recipes.  Unfortunately, not all of the recipes turned out very good.  This delicious moist zucchini bread, however, will have all members of your family asking for seconds! If you don’t want the temptation of eating the entire loaf, the bread freezes well. Enjoy!!

Do you have a mouthwatering recipe you would like to recommend? Shoot me an email at  and I can post it for all to enjoy!

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2 1/4 cups white sugar
• 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups grated zucchini
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. (I sometimes sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar too)
4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is it better to save or repay debt?

Most financial advisers agree that it's a good idea to have at least three months' salary set aside, ready for a rainy day. Judging by recent headlines, though, many people are finding it really difficult at the moment to put money into savings.  

'Only a third of people saving for their pension'. 'People cutting back on spending to repay debt'. 'One in three households saved less over the last month'. These are the kind of headlines we see so often when we read the news these days. 
[Soft Break]Families all over the country are making difficult choices every day. Generally, it's better to pay off debt first before saving - but not in all circumstances.  
[Soft Break]The 'better off' argument 

Imagine your savings account has a 3% interest rate and your credit card charges 17% APR. 

If you put £500 into that account, you will earn around £15 in interest over one year. In the same period, £500 of debt on that credit card would cost around £85 in interest. (Note that this is a simplified example that doesn't take into account the effects of repayments over that time.) 

Put simply, that credit card would cost you more over one year than you could earn in interest on money in that savings account. So you would be financially better off if you were to repay your credit card first. 

Repaying a mortgage or loan early 

If your mortgage tracks the base rate, it's likely you're paying a low interest rate at the moment. You could take that opportunity to 'overpay' your mortgage while it's less expensive. By the time interest rates rise, you will have reduced the amount you owe by more than if you had just made your regular payments every month.  

However, if your mortgage - or any other debt - charges fees for early repayment, repaying early could work out to be the more expensive option. 

Consider the consequences 

There are strong arguments for saving - savings can deliver peace of mind and act as a safety net. Imagine a sudden drop in income or unexpected expense - without savings, you might well have to borrow.  

However, repaying your debt more rapidly than you actually have to can also make a lot of sense. Repaying a debt more quickly can drastically reduce the amount of interest you pay in total. Just make sure you make all the payments you actually must make in a month before you think about overpaying any of your debts. 

Related resources: 


Summer Learning Series: Children Museums

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.  Hopefully, they will have so much fun they won't be worried about practicing their reading, writing, and arithmetic! If you are interested in guest posting for this summer learning series, just shoot me an email at betweenthelines-kam at hotmail dot com.


Children Museums are great ways to encourage learning during the hot summer months. Not only are they a great break from the extreme heat, but they also encourage exploration and discovery. This past week the girls and I traveled to a discovery museum in West Virginia. Although, it isn’t as big as the ones in Richmond or Baltimore, it is an excellent place to set the kids loose and learn.

This particular discovery center is broken down into different themed rooms. The first room the kids explored was the air and water room. Here the kids learned about the water cycle, rivers, waterfalls, and the power of wind. I think they all had the most fun playing in the water, but they also enjoyed using air tubes to make music and ping pong balls fly.

The second room the kids discovered was all about sight. There were various rainbow activities to explore, optical illusions, and light activities. The girls particularly loved the light exhibit. In this exhibit the girls would stand in a dark room and strike a pose. Then a light would flash and their shadows would appear on the wall for them to see. Unfortunately, I couldn't take a picture of their fun shadow poses because of my flash.

The third room they explore was themed around space, gravity, and magnets. They had a lot to explore, but the girls spent the majority of the time dropping golf balls down a long winding ramp. So fun and so loud! They also enjoyed the exhibit where they could create their own constellations. My eldest daughter made a constellation that spelled her sister’s name.

The next room was a big hit. It was themed around plants and minerals. The kids were able to plant their own vegetable and flower garden. After harvesting their crop, they were able to take it into the playhouse and cut them up and serve them. The room also was full of “jewels” that they could explore with magnify glasses.

The fifth room was themed around animals. The kids explored the life cycle of a butterfly, the foot prints of many local animals, and the life of a honey bee. In this room, they had a “hive” of bees working to make honey. The girls enjoyed using the magnify glasses to get a close of view of the bees at work. They even found the queen bee!

The sixth room was dedicated to birds and the animals of the sea. There were various eggs to examine and sea creatures to explore. They enjoyed pretending to sit in the giant nest and listening to bird calls. My youngest found an eye spy tube and sat content for quite awhile.

The final room was filled with live animals. The girls had a chance to watch the caretaker feed the fish, turtles, and birds. They most enjoyed discovering the salt water animals. On the outside of the tank was a list of all the animals, and they turned it into an eye spy game.

If you live anywhere near Inwood, WV, I suggest you check out the Nature center at Jay Dees Fun Center. If not, look up children’s museum in your area. If you are lucky enough to live in an area close to several, they have a hopper membership that is good towards 100’s of museums all over the country. This summer, we already have plans to visit three more .  Have you discovered any great Children’s Museum’s? What was your child’s favorite part? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Monday, June 27, 2011 Review and Giveaway offers an extensive variety of gifts for every occasion.  Whether you are celebrating, congratulating, or wishing someone well, has the perfect handmade gift basket for you.  All of their food products contain award-winning and critically acclaimed ingredients.   With you will never struggle to find the perfect gift again.

Gift baskets prices range from about $34 to around $250.   If you are looking for a gift within a specific price range,’s website is easy to navigate.  You can also search for gift baskets relating to a specific theme or celebration. A gift basket would make a wonderful summer surprise for that special someone in your life!   If you need a gift quickly, offers same day delivery on many of their unique baskets.

Thanks to Brian, from, my kids and I were able to review many of the items included in the Deluxe Summer Fun Camp Care Package.  My kids were so excited to receive a package full of fun summer activities.  There were several items that were for outdoor fun and many for indoor fun.
They both immediately claimed their favorite items.  My youngest is in love with tie-dyed beach ball and my oldest immediately claimed the Rubber Playground Ball and Frisbee.  Check out the other fun items in this Care Package:
· Balloon Launcher - Hours of fun for your kid and their newest best friend.
· Plastic Frisbee –So versatile, this Frisbee is a must for any camp care package.
· Mini Squirt Guns - 4 pack – You may be causing havoc for the camp counselor, but your child will love these!
· Pet Shaped Rubber Band Bracelets - 12 pack – You wouldn’t dare send a care package that doesn’t include these, they are the current phenomenon!
· Splash and Swim Goggles - 2 pack – Don’t be a fool, make sure they have goggles for the pool!
· Glider Airplanes - 19" – Let their imagination take flight with these awesome glider planes!
· Temporary Tattoos – Send these to avoid them coming back with a real one!
· Bubbles with Wand - 8 oz. – Need we say more? Such a timeless classic, fun for all ages!
· Rainbow Yo-Yo - 2" – So simple, yet so much fun. One is never too old for a yo-yo.
· G2Air Rubber Playground Ball – Foursquare, kickball, dodge ball, this ball covers it all!
· Tie Dye Beach Ball - 16" - This dynamic, colorful ball is great for a variety of games!
· Large Football with Tail – Keep that arm in shape for fall football season!
· Wind Raiders Air Missiles – This one just beams with fun, all they’ll need is a partner!
· Glow In the Dark Bracelets - 15 per tube – Light up the night with these fun summer camp care package accessories!
· Glow Bars - 2 per package – These unique glow bars can be used for a variety of fun activities after the sun goes down!
· Wind Raiders Foam Sling Shooter – A great game to play with friends and get plenty of exercise.

Would your kids love a fun Summer Care Package?   Well is going to to give you a chance.  One lucky reader is going to win this fun Summer Care package!

Mandatory Entry:  "Like" on Facebook. Remember to leave you 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.)
~ Follow on Twitter (2)
~Leave a comment on their Facebook page telling them which Gift Basket you loved to give or receive (2)
~ Follow Between the Lines on Facebook (3)
~Follow Between the Lines (2)
~ Subscribe to my email (3)
~ Grab any of my buttons and leave a link of where it’s displayed (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 July 11th @10p.m Eastern
*This giveaway is open to the US and Canada only. No PO Boxes or APO addresses.  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 gift basket in exchange for my review, but was I 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.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pink Dandy Sunday Blog Hop

Welcome to the Pink Dandy Blog Hop!

This blog hop will be up for 3 days! From Sunday through Wednesday.

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.