Organizing and DIY Link Party – Week 5

Dresser Drawer Organizing and DIY ideas

You can get some ideas for organizing and DIY ideas from checking out the links others have linked up on the linky list.

organize and DIY button

Do your dresser drawers look like this?

Organizing and DIY

 

Or do they look more like this?

Organizing and DIYIt isn’t hard to organize your dresser drawers.  I did a post on Organizing Your Dresser Drawers and showed you how easy it is to do.  I used organizers that I found at Ikea and a few I also found at Old Time Pottery, but you could also use shoe boxes or other boxes that fit into your drawers and achieve the same thing.

Share your DIY, crafts, decorating, organizing projects!

You can find the link for my button on my top “Buttons” Tab. (right now I only have the Organizing Mission Monday button, so it is fine to continue to grab that) 
1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View
This party will be open until Feb 5, 2012 at 11:59pm

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Fav Pinterest Pin Friday – Link Party

Link Up A Post You Would Like Pinned on Pinterest

Check out those that have linked up their posts on the linky below and pin them on Pinterest.  Link up what you’d like pinned also!

pinterest linky party

There are SO many fashions that I see on Pinterest that I wish I could wear! The shoes… the dresses and darling outfits! But I can still add them on my board as things I like!

Look at this black and white beautiful dress!! I love it!

pinterest

I found this on pinterest, but it originally came from the Lace & Tea blog

I’ll add one to get things started.

Guidelines

1) Add a link from one of your blog post you want pinned.
2) Be sure to use the picture you want pinned for the picture we see on here.
3) Would love for you to tweet this out, or stumble or pin it. lol
4) Be sure to pin a couple other pins you see on here too!

If you like the pinterest parties you can go to Kim’s at Crafty Mama of 4. She has Pin it Friday 

If you need some help knowing how to link up, this link party tutorial should help.

If you would like an invitation to join Pinterest, please let me know in the comments and I’ll invite you.

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Disney World

Who Doesn’t Love to Go To Disney World?

Just about one year ago today I was posting about Disney World on a trip with Murphy USA and Collective Bias.  This post was originally posted on my Chat with Sandy blog on 1/30/11. Enjoy the sites of Disney again.

disney worldI was asked to attend the Murphy USA National Manager Meeting in Orlando FL (Disney world Coronado Springs resort to be exact) this last week, you might have seen my last post.
They asked six blogger to go to their meeting so we could help educate and sign up their mangers with whrrl and discuss how social media could benefit their business.

We were all paired up with a manager from Murphy USA that we would be traveling with. We were asked to be sure to take lots of pictures and whrrl them along the way. I was paired up with a manager from my area and met her at the airport. Jennifer Davis was my manager.

Disney WorldI had no idea there were 40 Murphy USA gas stations in Ohio. I only know of 2, one in Newark in front of the Walmart and one in Whitehall.  (I’ve not been to that one)

We arrived in Orlando and were all staying at the Coronado Springs Resort. There is a convention center attached to it, so it was perfect. It was so beautiful.

coronado springs resortWe had a meet and greet with some of the managers before dinner the first night. I am not sure if it was the regional managers, but it wasn’t a huge group (and there were over 1000 managers there). I know the president Hank Heithaus was there and the new president Tom (from Scotland) was there. Hank is retiring and just announced it. This picture was at one of the general sessions where Hank (left) is basically saying goodbye and introducing Tom on the right.

Disney WorldTheir theme was “We The People” because they were making sure their managers knew that it was all of them that made Murphy USA successful.

murphy usaJay Staggs who I had a picture of in my last post, was in charge of running the show.  They had a good time with it, bringing in Tammy and Tommy through out the conference along with “their parents” for comic relief.

Disney WorldThey had a speaker Peter Wahl do a speech/painting… lol  He is a motivational speaker and he painted these 3 paintings during his talk. He would have a music video on the screen while he was painting (in like 2 min) these paintings. He used his fingers (Bruce Springsteen’s hair) and spattered paint… really incredible to watch.

peter wahlEach of us bloggers had to work a 2 hour shift in the Murphy Whrrl booth in the expo hall on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun. Teaching the mangers how to sign up for Whrrl and helping to try to get them to understand how it could help their business. This was my manger Jennifer on the left.  She had been signed up for FB already and I think even signed up for whrrl.. or did it at the airport. But she was all for it and was great to travel down with. We ended up not getting to really see each other much once we were there. It was crazy for both of us.

murphy usa boothWe had managers signing up via their smart phones, via text on their phones, or by computer. They could also sign up for a Facebook or Twitter account.

Melissa Garcia from the Consumer Queen had several managers recognize her from her picture being on the pumps or her fun Murphy videos.  Ok.. Melissa on the left.  The Red Strike girl on the right. Disney World

John Kim from Whrrl was there to help the managers and he also helped me… as usual with my problematic phone.

john kimThe managers could win a $50 gas cards and chances to win this autographed  Slash guitar worth over $900 just for signing up and checking into Whrrl.

murphy usaI took this picture of Casey from Murphy USA with the Slash guitar and then posted it to Whrrl.  The screen it came up on was just outside the booth in the expo hall.

murphy usa We had time to go and check out the rest of the expo hall. It was really huge and there were a lot of fun things to do. Wii games were set up, prizes to win… hippies to see

hippiesMars Candy  and Wrigley’s were there in a both together. Neither of them knew much at all about social media or how it could help their business.  Melissa and I talked to them about it and told them bloggers would love to work with them!

M&MI mean.. really? Who doesn’t love M&M’s?  They had a new candy bar for us to try, actually 2.  There was the new 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp and the Peanut Butter Snickers.

3 musketeersHere is my verdict.  Loved the 3 Musketeers.  I was actually surprised. Well… I mean I love # Musketeers anyway, but when I first broke it in half. It didn’t seem gooey and it almost seemed… well…boring inside. But… I took a bite and it was so light and it was like the chocolate was so creamy and just filled the whole taste. I loved it!  It gave you the feeling of Dove chocolate (not sure if I should say that or not… but that chocolate is about my favorite.. so it is a big compliment) creamy and light… oh… I WILL be buying more of these. Just not in high numbers since I have really been trying to not eat as many sweets.

I tried 1/2 of the Snickers bar. It was actually in 2 square pieces, so unlike a normal Snickers. I ate half on the plane on the way home and was saving the other half to take a picture of when we got home. But …. my dog found it first in my purse. Oh yeah.. nice.  It was good… the peanut butter wasn’t over powering. But do I think I would pick it over a traditional Snickers… no, probably not. I love the regular Snickers too much.

wrigley's and marsHere are the 2 reps that were in the booth. Nice guys, but they need to realize how social media can  help them!

Wrigley was giving out packs of their new gum, Prism.

prism gumThere are 15 pieces of sugarless gum in the pack. This was electric watermelon. I will tell you what. The smell of watermelon is strong, you can smell it as soon as you take the wrapper off the box.  The green foil that wraps the piece of gum looked kind of cool too. Different you know? My mouth was watering before I put the piece of gum in. I thought it was really going to be a gum for kids…. sour and all. But it wasn’t. As strong as the smell was, the taste was nice. I mean it was totally watermelon, but not a sour one. It is good… and with just a hint of that gum mint to it after you chew it for a little bit. (does that make sense).  I know the kids will love it, but it is a refreshing favor for adults.

iceeThere were ICEE’s there. I love Icee’s! I have always liked the Coke best. They are coming out with Root Beer float and a blueberry one (oops forget the name of it). I tried the root beer. It is awesome! It really tastes like a float. The foaminess of the Icee is just the right consistency.  I do have a new favorite favor.  You will have to watch for them to be released. (Try the root beer!!)

Dr. PepperDr. Pepper was there… giving away guitars and pictures with a couple cute girls.  What did I like? They had diet Dr. Pepper. It is one of my favorites. Really nice people too… also learning about social media and how it could benefit them. (Yes…. I had 2 diet Dr. Peppers that afternoon.. although there were other drinks I could have picked from.)

murphy usaAre you used to seeing gas pump handles?  I wasn’t.. I thought they were cool.

disney worldWhat about a full size gas semi?  I wanted to get in and see the cab… but I didn’t.

John Andrews from Collective Bias was there. This is who these people need to talk to about social Media.. he knows first hand how the power of bloggers and social media can benefit the Brands. (That is what Collective Bias is all about)

John Andrews

The announced to the whole group of managers that they were taking us all to Disney World on Monday evening. That was about 3:30 and we had about 45 minutes to get ready to be on the buses.

sandy with piglett

I got to have dinner with the Collective Bias team that was there, Jerra and John and also with Casey from Murphy USA and John Kim from Whrrl. Also Kerry and Kristine from Nomadic were there.

mamabzzUs bloggers ran around together at Disney. Mel Lockcuff from MamaBuzz and Leigh Caldwell from Theme Park Mom

collective biasAlong with Courtney Solstad from My DFW Mommy and Melissa Garcia from Consumer Queen, Jerri Ann from Mom~e~Centric was on the trip but didn’t come to Disney.

dole whipMel introduced us to Dole Whip.. it was good.

I also got a picture with Eeyore. what fun!  I don’t know… I guess there is still kid in all of us!

Disney World

Jerra from Collective Bias looked so cute with Piglet.

piglettWe had a full day on Tuesday and they announced all the Murphy USA Circle of Winners. After that they again surprised everyone with a trip to Sea World. I felt terrible because it was pouring rain, and storming.  But they had rented out half of Sea World and 2 roller coasters and I think everyone had fun anyway. Thanks so much Murphy USA, Collective Bias and Whrrl.. it was great fun!

Disclosure: My trip was sponsored by Murphy USA and Collective Bias.

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Cubby Storage

January 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Bedrooms, Blog, Closets, DIY

Using Cubby Storage In Your BedRoom

I LOVE cubby storage, as most of you know who have followed me for awhile, so I decided to utilize them in our bedroom. I am in the process of slowly making over our bedroom.

cubby storage

We don’t have the finances to go into a beautiful bedroom set (that happens when you have eight kids right? Everything else like college and food come first! lol) so we do the best we can with what we have.  I also love Ikea, and I found some tall cubby storage units that we could use to help with our clothes storage.

We were storing our jeans, sweaters and sweatshirts on wire shelves in our closet. I tend to be more practical & functional than decorative, so I didn’t have a problem with open clothes storage in our room.

We have three of these cubby storage units in our rooms.  They are five shelves tall, with Dave having two of them and I have one.  This one is on the other side of the room from the top picture.  I got him two baskets also to help out with socks and T-shirts.

cubby

We also got two smaller cubbies that are on either side of our bed. We each have two baskets in them.  Yes that is my gun safe if anyone is wondering. You can see my cool pink gun on my pinterest board. (no nasty comments about me having a gun please)

cubby storage

There are plans to paint and also plans to make one of the cool headboards that I found on Evolution of Style  blog. Isn’t this awesome? I pinned it on my DIY pinterest board . This is in her little girl’s bedroom.   I loved it because it is right inbetween two windows which is the exact set up we have in our bedroom. I am still trying to decide on a paint color (not pink, I love it.. but poor Dave) and think my headboard will be the brown/black to match my Ikea pieces. Thoughts?

diy headboard

 

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Organizing and DIY Link Party – Week 4

Organizing and DIY and Cute Hats

Have you seen some of the cute hats? What do they have to do with organizing and DIY? Well, if you are talking about organizing them or making them, then you have a valid statement. But I just thought they were cute and wanted to share them with you all.

organize & DIY button

Aren’t the hats that are out now SO cute?  My step daughter asked for a panda hat for Christmas. I had no idea what she was talking about. She went on to explain that it was white and had a scarf attached that had paws she could put her hands into. She also told me it was at Kroger (grocery store) of all places.  Sure enough… I went in and found it.  She was thrilled!
panda hat
We also found this had for one of my step sons.  An OSU mohawk hat. He LOVED it! lol

I  know these pics aren’t organizing projects, crafts or decorating projects…. but I thought they were fun for today.

Share your DIY, crafts, decorating, organizing projects or hat posts!!

You can find the link for my button on my top “Buttons” Tab. (right now I only have the Organizing Mission Monday button, so it is fine to continue to grab that) 
1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link 
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View
This party will be open until January 29, 2012 at 11:59pm *Closed*

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Cold and Flu

Cold and Flu! Has it Hit Your House Yet?

(Originally Cold and Flu was posted on Chat with Sandy 12/30/10. I am bringing it back because I like these products. I am no longer a GT VIP blogger and I’m not getting compensated in any way for this post. But I do believe in these products and use them myself and wanted to let you know)

Cold & Flu  has hit mine… several times.  We have had colds, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, strep throat, sinus infection in the last 3 months between the 10 of us.

Genesis Today

Not fun is it?  Yuck!!

What have I had?  I will tell you that I thought 2 different times that I was getting sick. But it was like 1 day of a little sore throat and then it was gone.  Last night was the first night that I wondered about a cold. My nose was stuffy, but so far today it seems fine.
You know.. I hate even writing this! Because as soon as I start bragging that I haven’t gotten sick… I’m going to get whammied!!

I was going to put this video at the end of this post….but I want you to see this.  Dr. Lindsay Duncan was on the View and did a great job explaining some of these… After the video… check out the rest of our adventure with these juices. Consider this a commercial break! lol

What have I been doing that the rest of my family hasn’t been?  I’ve been drinking Omega Orange Juice from Genesis Today.  Do I know that is why I haven’t been sick and they have been?  Nope, I don’t.  Could it be?  Sure…

cold and flu

My boys got home from the first 3 weeks of basic, both with congestion and the beginnings of colds and coughs.  I started them drinking the Omega Orange and also the Resveratrol, Acai juices along with taking the new Vitamin C and Acai chews that I received from them.

cold and flu

Neither of them have gotten worse like you would expect with a cold. They are both doing great. The first several days that took Nyquil at night and Dayquil during the day. But then that was it. About 3 days and they are better.  Again… can I say it is from the Genesis Today products that they are better?  No… I can’t.

cold and fluWe had several different juices from Genesis Today to try.  The favorite of my older boys (we were out of Omega Orange) was the Pomegrante & Berries with Resveratrol. We also tried the Cranberry Goji and the new Veggie Blast.

genesis today

genesis today
cold and flu

genesis today vitamin c chews

The Vitamin C chew has 200% of vitamin C in it, along with some other great stuff.  It tastes good, reminds me of a starburst piece of candy.

genesis today vitamin c chewThe Acai chew is the same size. The consistency is slightly different.  It is just a little firmer. The taste is very much the same as the Acai juice. It is a little tart, and I like to have my coffee to drink after I eat it.  It doesn’t taste bad, but my mouth is actually watering as I type this. lol

genesis today acai chew
My thoughts on the new Cranberry Goji juice – taste wise, I don’t care for it. But… remember!!! The Genesis Today products are about the health benefits for you and what they can do… Let me tell you… the pure form of these things do not taste good. You can get the concentrated form and take 1 oz a day.. and it is terrible! But they have made these juices in a diluted 8 oz serving form that I get at Walmart. So those of us who want the health benefits but want a better taste.

The Veggie blast tastes like cold tomato soup.  I personally have never liked V-8 because of the peppery taste. The Veggie Blast did not have the peppery taste when I was drinking it. Now – what I did notice was an “after burn” in my throat – not really my tongue. Kind of strange really – but a good way to get your veggies in!

I have to start eating healthy and this year is going to be kicked off right. Genesis Today is going to be part of my healthy lifestyle for 2011 and beyond!

Disclosure: I am on the Genesis Today VIP Superfood blogger team. I did receive samples of the Veggie juice, Goji juice and chews to try. I was allowed to use the video if I wanted to (which I did). The pictures are my own and opinions are my own.

(Update 2012 – I’m no longer a GT blogger and did not get compensated with any product to repost this blog)

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Fav Pinterest Pin Friday – Link Party

January 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, DIY, Favorite Pin Friday Link Party

What Do You Want Pinned from Pinterest?

I have been having so much fun with pinterest and wanted to figure out a way to share it with you.

pinterest

My first week I asked you to link up your pinterest board links, and that didn’t go over so good. Last week I decided to just share my favorite pins for the week (that was kind of boring for me.. I want to see your stuff too!) … but my friend kim from CraftyMamaof4 got it right. She started Pin it Friday last week. What she did different was just so simple. Link up the pin you want us to pin for you! Duh!? (Just shoot me in the foot because I didn’t think of that!)

I want to show you one of my favorite pins this week that I repinned.  This is so cool… use the chalkboard paint on the bottom of your wine glasses… then you can write your guests names on them! How clever and fun for a party? Make sure you stop by my board and repin this so it will help Deb who did the original post.

pinterest

You can find the original post at Deb’s blog Just Short of Crazy 

I’ll add one to get things started.

Guidelines

1) Add a link from one of your blog post you want pinned.
2) Be sure to use the picture you want pinned for the picture we see on here.
3) Would love for you to tweet this out using #FavPinFriday
4) Be sure to pin a couple other pins you see on here too!
5) Stop by CraftyMamaof4 Pin Me Friday for even more fun!

If you need some help knowing how to link up, this link party tutorial should help.

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Twitter Party Tutorial

 Want to Join a Twitter Party? Not Sure How?

I’ve designed this twitter party tutorial to help those of you who want to join in, but not sure how to do it.

Twitter parties can be really crazy and fast.  I think mine will be a good one to start with.  It won’t be as big as some of the others.  But I did want to give a little help for those of you who are new.  I have my tutorial and there are a couple links for other tutorials that might be of great help too.

There are many different avenues you can use to follow a twitter party. I am going to show you my favorite.  I use Tweetgrid.com

The reason being is that I can see several screens going on at once.

Step 1:  Go to Tweetgrid.com and look at your options.

twitter partyThe 1×1 and 1×2 are the number of columns across and down.  I like the 1×4.  Single columns – 4 across.. It is lower on the page and I have it highlighted.  But see what you are comfortable with.

There are helpful links at the top of the Tweetgrid page that can help you too.  Here is the 1×4 tweetgrid set up.  See… just 1 column down and 4 across.

twitter party tutorialYou can delete the info in the “tweet” area at the top.  Then fill in #MonopolyStreet (or what ever your hashtag for your twitter party is – if you are looking at this for another twitter party) This way you don’t have to keep adding the hashtag for every tweet and that saves a lot of time.

Filling out the column headers

Column #1 – Delete the current info in that header (I think it is like @twitter) Put in your hashtag #MonopolyStreets   and hit “Search”   This will now show you every tweet that is being tweeted that has the #MonopolyStreet hashtag in it…so you can follow our party.

2nd column - You can add @OrganizerSandy in there.  You will be able to follow my tweets and it will also show you ppl who are tweeting me.

3rd column – Add @EAPlay there.  That is the Brand following for EA Games/Hasbro who will be joining us tonight.

4th column – This is where you will put your own twitter name @(and your name).  This way you can see if someone is talking directly to you.

After you have this filled out you have to log in (or you can log in before filling this out too) Look right above the columns and underneath where you tweet your message from.  You will see user … look over to “log in”.  Click that.

twitter party tutorialHit “allow” and it will take you back to your tweetgrid page. You name will then be in the “user” space. You are ready to go.

I will be tweeting out several questions.  They will be labeled Q1, Q2 etc…  This is discussion.  This is not going to be a race to answer the question type of twitter party.  So relax….

I’d love it if you would RT the questions too.

I will be picking winners 2 at a time.  I will use Random.org to pick the winners.  It will be off the rsvp list.  I will check to make sure that person is actually attending the party. So even if you are overwhelmed…be sure to do some tweeting so that I know you are here.

You won’t be able to read every tweet – things move fast.  Just do your best, follow what you can and look for the questions to answer.

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Favorite Pinterest Pin Friday

Love Pinterest? Love Hot Chocolate/ Hot Chocolate?

I found several really yummy looking mugs of hot chocolate and coffee on pinterest I wanted to share. It is cold and snow outside, I mean seriously below zero cold…. what is better than to come in and sit by a hot fire, and cozy up with a mug of hot chocolate or coffee? I want to share some of my Favorite Pins this Friday with you!

I have found pinterest to be a really great source of ideas. I mean really, who would think to make homemade marshmallow hearts to put into their hot chocolate?  I wish I would think of it normally, but I certainly didn’t.  I have seen homemade marshmallows before, but I’ve never attempted them myself. Have you?  I get so cold in the winter, that half the time when I cozy up with that hot mug of cocoa or coffee, it is to also warm up my hands! lol I’d love to see what you pin!

pinterest

I decided that making this a linky party maybe wasn’t a great idea. I had several people tell me they had a hard time linking up their pinterest handles. So I thought I would can the linky party and invite you to leave your pinterest link in the comments!

Here are a few of my favorite pins this week. Enjoy! You can see all these pins on my pinterest boards 

hot chocolate

 

pinterest

pinterest

 

coffee

International delight iced coffee

coffee bean candles

Aren’t these great?  Please follow my boards, and let me know your link and I’ll follow you back.  When you go to my #FavPinFriday board, if you like these pins, please repin them! It will help the original poster of the picture.

Please leave your pinterest board links in the comments so I can follow you back and others can follow you too!

OrganizerSandy Pinterest Board 

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Healthy Smoothie

January 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Food, Health & Safety

Super Healthy Smoothie that taste good!

I’m like things to taste good, especially a healthy smoothie and often when I see or hear of “healthy” food, it doesn’t taste good.  Here is something that that I like and is really healthy for me. 

healthy smoothieMy sister gave me the recipe for this shake that she has been having in the mornings. She started drinking it in January of this year and has lost 11 pounds, just because she isn’t hungry during the day.  She is still eating.. but she isn’t snacking.  {perfect!!}

I made it again today, and other than my Lean Cuisine that I ate for lunch, I have been great with water and now a piece of gum. It is 3:54pm (and that 3:00 hour usually kills me) and I’m fine. So really hoping this works for me too.

healthy smoothie

Here is the recipe:

1) 1 cup Omega Orange Juice (you can use any juice here. My sister uses a juice with grapefruit etc..)
2) 1 cup Frozen Fruit (mixed)
3) 1 cup Greek Yogurt
4) 1 cup fresh spinach (I just use a big bunch)
5) 2 Tablespoons Flax Seed
6) 2 Tablespoons Metamucil (I didn’t have for first batch. My sis recommends the berry favored. I could only find orange)
7) ice – optional

healthy smoothieJust measure everything out and put into the blender

Greek Yogurt

greek yogurtFrozen Fruit – My husband went to the store for me, and got blue berries instead of a mixed frozen bag of fruit. No complaints.. the blue berries are good.  But next time I’m going to try the mixed fruit.

These are frozen.. not sugared as they appear
frozen blue berriesNext I added the Omega Orange Juice from Genesis Today. Love this juice! You can get it at Walmart. I drink it every morning, so I wanted to use it.  (update July 28, 2012 – I’ve not been able to find Omega Orange anymore at Walmart. Not sure why and I’ve not checked into it. But this was my fav!

omega orange juice
Add your fresh, washed spinach

fresh spinachMy sister just said to take a big bunch of it. Hard to really measure a cup

healthy smoothieAdd your 2 T of Flax seed and 2 T of metamucil

flax seed

flax seedThen you turn on your blender and blend it all together

healthy smoothieI had to stop once or twice to get stuff off the side and move the spinach down, but it mixed pretty well.

healthy smoothie

healthy smoothie

You can add ice if you want.  I don’t know that it needs it, but I did add a few cubes each time I made it. Of course you can add the ice in at the beginning.. I just forgot.

shakeThen blend some more

healthy smoothie

I originally poured it into a 12 oz glass. That was too small. I needed a bigger cup.

omega orange shakeI have had things with flax seed in them before… so I wasn’t too sure about this. I was a little scared to try it.  I thought…. spinach, flax seed .. oh no.  This shake did not have the metamucil in it.

healthy smoothieBut this really was good.  I was so pleased!  It wasn’t one of those that I had to hold my nose and force down. I enjoyed it.

I made it again today with the Metamucil.  It was thicker.  I noticed that right off the bat.  If I would have taken a picture, you wouldn’t have seen all the bubbles, it was more like a thick milk shake. I got a straw.  It was also very good. I didn’t really notice any change in taste adding in the Metamucil.

Some of it was left at the bottom of my cup.. maybe about 1/4 of a cupful… and I went to wash the cup out a little later and it had really thickened up. I defiantly think that was the Metamucil at work.

I’m going to keep drinking them. I’ll try some different combination’s with the mixed fruit, and maybe I’ll try another one of the Genesis Today juices in it… but for now I am wanting to stick with the Omega Orange.

Update: I posted this originally on my Chat with Sandy blog 2/7/11. I have not been able to find the Omega Orange juice for awhile when I go to Walmart. You can use any juice, and I’ve made it with Acai or Resveratrol from Genesis Today also. I’ve inspired myself by reposting this. I’m going to get these started again. They are good… and good for me.

Disclosure: I have done some work with Genesis Today in the past and love their products. This post was not done as a review, promotion or even the knowledge of GT.

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Donating

Donating Clothes & Toys After Christmas

You house just became a crazy place again didn’t it?  Now you have all these NEW things to find places for!  I will be many of you still have new clothes sitting in boxes full of tissue paper, still not put away. The drawers are full, closet is full… where will they go?

Toys sitting on the floor because the toy box or shelf is already over flowing with toys. Right?

Now.. I want you to be totally honest with yourself here.  I want you to go look at that closet, those drawers, those toys.  How many of those things have been sitting there, untouched for months? Maybe even years.  We all do it. We hold onto things.  That dress that looked so awesome, 50 pounds ago; that baby toy that we got and loved for your son that is now 10 years old. You know what I mean. It’s difficult to give things up.

Now, I want you to think about that family that has a father who lost his job, or that single mom who is working two jobs to help feed her three kids, that family that had a fire (probably in the news in the last week huh?) and lost everything.

donating                                                             (picture from google picasa)

Look again at your closet…. think about those who can really use those things…. look at those toys…. think about those kids who got absolutely nothing for Christmas.  Can’t you make some room in your house?

Selling Them?

I know of many people and hear many people who plan to sell everything.  I understand that, I get it – but… how long has that plan been in place? Have you ever executed it? Have you gotten that ebay store going like you keep saying you will?  When can you have the garage sale? In the summer… 6 months away?

Garage Sales - I have had garage sales in the past, I think they can be great. I can always use the money too. If the time of year is right, you have the motivation and time to do it… great – great… get ‘er done! If you can’t have one for months, then forget it.

I say – donate it and take the tax write off.  Help others and clear your house NOW!

Where do you donate?

Good Will
Local Shelters
Check with your Church or a local church
Check with your local Food Pantry
Check online for many resources

This is a food pantry that isn’t far from me.  I had a friend who used to work here. Most donate their time.  They had food that they gave out to those in need.

donating

They also have a clothing thrift shop.  As I remember anyone could come in and purchase the donated clothing & toys at very low cost and for families in need, things were free.

thrift shop

Here was the pile of clothing and items that people had donated that the staff had yet to go through for the day.  You can’t see, but that pile was up to about my waist. Awesome!

donating

When Donating 

Please don’t give them broken toys or toys missing pieces
No torn or damaged clothing (if you can’t wear it because of damage, others can’t either)

Donate and feel good, knowing you have just helped yourself and your family (by creating needed space, teaching valuable lessons to your children, helping with taxes, doing the right thing) and also knowing you are helping those in need.

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Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh

Visit to Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh

I drove about 3 hours to Pittsburgh PA last December 2010 to go to the Giant Eagle Market District Store.  I wasn’t even sure that it was the actual grocery store that I was going to, until I was there. (shows what a dingy I am).  I just knew it was called the Market District and I also knew that I was going to do some cooking!  There were five bloggers,  Kim from www.Crafty Mama of 4.com and Beth from www.The Plus Size Mommy.com were both there, and they were from the Pittsburgh area.

giant eagle

I loved the candy section, can you tell?

candyand one more!

Sugar Daddy candyOk… now for some healthy stuff!

Giant Eagle growing lettuceThe store was pretty amazing.  Of course you had your normal food items, but then there were so many speciality foods – get this… they grow their own lettuce there!!  They also sell other lettuce, but isn’t this cool?

sugar caneHow often have you seen sugar cane at your grocery store?  Beth was laughing because her husband is from Jamaica and she said she wanted to get him one for Christmas.

giant eagle sausageJust how items were displayed was unique. I loved this sausage … it reminded me of garland.  Maybe I’m just a little too much into the Christmas decorations right now?

coffee beansThis was a bin of coffee beans…oh did it smell good there.  There are things like oil and vinegar bars there. You purchase your bottle and you can come back and refill it from all the different kinds of oil and vinegar. Who knew?  Not I…. I don’t use enough oil and vinegar to even think about it.  Obviously…. gourmet cook I’m not.

cheese wheelThere is an entire area for cheese!  I looked at what looked like some really crazy fancy dessert and asked about it.. it was a dessert cheese! Never would have thought!  I am realizing I am just a regular ol’ gal! LOL

picklesJust had to take this picture!!  I just thought it would be a cool picture.  Big barrel of pickles….. now I do know what those are!

We toured around this massive grocery store, stopping at the beginning of our tour for a smoothie. I got a peach one and had supplements added of antioxidants and protein.  It tasted pretty good… maybe a little too yogurtery for me (in other words…. it had that healthy taste to it – although it was still very good)

There is a restaurant in the store. You can sit down and eat a meal – tour the open food bars, get a piece of pizza or make a crepe – and then sit down with a glass of wine and eat.  In Pittsburgh being able to buy alcohol in grocery stores is something unusual. But they got a permit with some very stringent regulations. The alcohol has to be rung up on separate cash registers and there has to be a separate entrance – those are just two of them, I’m sure there are others.

After our tour we went up to the cooking school as you saw on the video. That is something that I would take advantage of if I lived close. What a fun evening for a group of ladies or several couples to have a date night. They also have kid classes – we saw the beginnings of the gingerbread houses that were going to be decorated the next day by the young class.
filet mignon sous vide
Our cooking class was fun! There were two teams of 4 people each. We each had our own stove tops and food trays. I did some cooking, but I was having too much fun taking pictures to cook much.
risotto
My favorite was the Porcini scented mushroom risotto. I’ve never made it. After you sweat (yes sweat.. a new cooking term for me too) the shallots – you add the Arborio rice. It has to toast and the shell start to crack….you then add in the broth slowly… I mean really slowly. You add 1/2 cup and then stir, until it soaks in… another 1/2 cup…and so on and so forth – until you add 4 cups. It took us about 20 minutes to make it. Then you add in heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese.
Then cooking sous vide was of course all new too. Sealing your food in a bag… then cooking in a hot moving water bath… just seems almost simple to me. I mean, it makes me think of cooking frozen food – like vegetables. But the water bath units are very expensive, and they move the water around. The advantages – you can cook the food all the way through evenly adn uniform every time. So for the filet mignon, if 4 people want medium rare steaks – you just set the temperature to the specific temp to get that done and they will all cook the same, all the way through.
Donna from Giant Eagle and Chef Scott
Donna was such a great hostess to us! As we toured Giant Eagle we had several people behind the counters telling us we couldn’t take pictures. All I had to say was, “I’m with Donna” and point to her. They would all say, oh.. ok. LOL
Collective Bias crew
I always love to do things with Kim and Beth. We have such a good time together.

Disclosure: I was sponsored to go to the Pittsburgh store for the night I had to stay over by Giant Eagle.  I also received a gift bag.  I did not receive any cash compensation for the actual traveling to and from Pittsburgh. The pictures, video and thoughts are all my own.

(Reposted from 1/9/12)

 

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From Babies to Adults

January 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Memorabilia & Keepsakes

My four boys “Then and Now”

While my two oldest boys were home from boot camp I did what moms do.. took pictures. On Christmas Eve while at my Dad’s house, they got goofy while I was trying to get a family picture. They remembered a picture of the 4 of them, lined up in a picture from when they were smaller. They started cracking up and lined up on the floor.  I still don’t remember the picture myself, but I will have to search for it.. just to be sure.

boysAfter they did that I said to them that I wanted to dig out some of their old pictures from when they were small and have them get in the same positions for pictures!!

About 10 minutes before I was to take my 2 oldest to the airport to go back to Basic training in Ft. Sills, OK I said, “Hey guys… we never did the pictures” and I took off for the basement.  I grabbed their old pictures and told them to just give me 3 of them… “Please!!!”

Boys being boys… they will do anything for their moms.. (most of the time) and they did.

boys collage 1994Keep in mind we didn’t have a lot of time to really pose… but they sure had a good time doing it!  They were almost 2, 6, 9 and 11 on the left. Now they are 18, 22, 25 and 27.

My youngest was not quite a year in this picture…

LOL.. cracks me up!  You can’t even believe how hard they were laughing for this one!

Then I asked them for a nice one of them…. My boys are so great!

Then we went outside… to get a few more with Joe & Drew in their full uniforms. They can’t wear their hats inside.

I asked Joe and Drew to get together for a shot.. and this is what I got…

John says… I”m ready…. take the picture!

Then we get… “Fine… I’m off to boot camp!”

and this is what he was doing to his brothers…..


My boys…. Then… and Now! I’m so Proud of all of them! Wow… (Joe & Drew are switched in this picture..)

I reposted this post from my Chat with Sandy blog. It was originally posted 1/4/11

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Favorite Pin Friday Link Party – Week 1

I’ll Share My Favorite Pinterest Pins with You, Please Share Yours With Me!

Favorite Pin Friday Button

I have been having so much fun with Pinterest  lately and I know many of you have been too.  I wanted to be able to share some of my favorite pins with you and I wanted to be able to follow your boards, and of course have you follow mine.

I am taking screen shots of my favorite pins and linking them back to my pinterest boards I have them on.  My suggestion to you, if you like them, go to the board and grab and repin it. You will see who created the pin (these are NOT from my blog.. I found these pins on Pinterest and love them) It will benefit the person who originally posted the picture on their blog and you can credit them for their awesomeness!

shoe on pinterest

You can see this pin on my “Fashions I love but Can’t Wear” board (click on picture),  but it is also on my Favorite Pin Friday Board

 

I love this idea.  How simple and useful.  She took shower curtain rings and put them on a sturdy hanger. Great way to hang your scarves!

scarf hanger

You can find this pin on my Closet pinterest board (click on picture) but it is also on my Favorite Pin Friday Board

This is a great way to use space, keep things organized and also a cheat sheet for your measurements.

measuring cup cabinetYou can find this and more on my kitchen pinterest board (click on pic) but it is also on my Favorite Pin Friday Board 

 

This is such an awesome way to store the kids balls in your garage! So simple… so cheap and yet so useful!

sport ball storageYou can find this pin on my Mud Rooms and Garages board (click pic) or you can find it on my Favorite Pin Friday Board 

Link Up!!

I would encourage you to create your own  ”favorite pins board” OR I’ll be happy to try and link you up to mine (we have to follow each other, but sometimes it still won’t let me find you (any hints I’d appreciate it)  OR make a post on your blog like I did (with a different name please) and link.

I just created the #FavPinFriday hashtag. I searched for it and there were NO results for that or #FavoritePinFriday… so coolio! So use it when you create your posts or tweet out your board.

1) Link to your specific pinterest blog post
2) Link to your Favorite Friday Pin Board
3) Or link to any of your pin boards – It’s easy!
4) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link -if you can. If you are linking just to pinterest, I would appreciate a tweet instead.
5) Please follow my pinterest page!
6) Follow the Favorite Pin Friday Pinterest Board – and I’ll do my best to add you as contributor if you leave a link below & you have followed it (if it will let me.
7) I in no way am trying to “steal” anyone or not give them credit.  I did a screenshot of pictures I have on my board, you can see the creator in the upper right corner. Their pins will get more attention, and hopefully more repins, which will benefit them greatly! Thanks for repinning them!
8)Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please click at the top of this post to go to my blog. (I end up always messing up that link, so it’s easier to click up top! lol)

This party will be open until Thursday at 11:59 January 12, 2012

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New Year’s Goals

Goals not Resolutions

What is the difference between a New Year’s Goal and a New Year’s Resolution?

A goal is something you are striving for.  A resolution is something you say “will happen before next year”. You are resolved that it is going to happen.  I think that is the reason people don’t like them. There is no “give”.  Then people feel defeated when they aren’t living up to what they want to do, and they quit.

What are your goals?

Goals-Rock-Climber-Print-C10290868

By the way, doing what that guy is doing is NOT one of my goals! lol  (photo from Google photos)

The same thing happens with organizing.  Someone wants it “perfect” and when they aren’t achieving that, they end up just giving up and things get out of control.

I have goals this year. Many of them are things I’m always working on.  But here is a list of my goals:

1) Get up around 6am. Go to bed by 11pm
2) Work on my blog in the morning BEFORE I open any other windows to start my job.
3) Work towards working my job 9-5 M-F instead of 7am-11pm M-Sunday.
4) Exercise everyday. Walking (with goals of jogging 1 mile) and maybe a Zumba DVD the other day.
5) Lose this extra weight I am carrying around (that is heavy to carry! lol)

Sit down today, if you haven’t already done so and write out at least five goals you have for this year. Something to strive for, something to work towards.  Don’t beat yourself up & give up, if you aren’t where you need to be at a certain point.  Work slowly and steadily.

Exercise has always been a thorn in my side. I wasn’t athletic in school and I’ve never had a good routine that I have maintained for any real length of time.  I picture myself as someone in shape who can run! I am inspired by watching the Biggest Loser. I always think, “hey, if people that have that much extra weight can do this, then there is no reason that I shouldn’t be able to do this.”

With work there is so much work to be done, that I could work 15 hours everyday and still have things that I could be doing. That is one down fall of working from home – work is always there. lol  But I think it is about the only down fall I can think of. I love everything else about it. I love being able to sit in my family room with my feet up, with my turtle neck and hoodie and tennis shoes on and working. cool huh? (I’m not a PJ worker).  But I’ve not been able to keep up with my blog and one of my goals is to give it more time this year.

What are your goals for the new year?

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Organizing DIY projects

Organizing, DIY & Craft Projects

I’ve done a couple DIY projects that people have seemed to have really liked.  One of my more popular DIY projects has been my chalkboard labels. I used chalkboard contact paper  and chalkboard markers to create them.

You can use these labels for most anything.

chalkboard labels on kitchen jars

I had so much fun with this project and still love them on my counter.

chalkboard jar labels

I loved my easy and cheap cord organizing solution, using toilet paper rolls and duct tape.

toilet paper rolls to end cable clutterAnd also the organizer I made out of the toilet paper rolls & duct tape to keep all those link cords & connector cords organized.

toilet paper rolls for connector cords

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Happy New Year 2012!

New Beginning, New Start, New Year

ne years eve 2011

I think it is wonderful that we can “start fresh” each year. Make goals (resolutions if you like) and plans for what’s to come.   My husband got me in the habit of actually writing down my goals for the year.  He has done it for years. So I also began doing this several years ago.

I opened up my goals for 2011 the other day and evaluated what I did and didn’t accomplish.  There were several I did accomplish and several I didn’t. (that will be included on this year’s list of goals).  It’s wonderful if you can accomplish everything on your list, but chances are you won’t… and that is ok. Goals are that.. what we strive for.

It is a time of reflection, evaluation, a moment to stop and think what we are doing…. where we have been and where we want to go.

We need to not take our lives for granted.  We all do, it is human nature to get comfortable and think life will never change. But all you have to do is pick up a newspaper, or look at the latest online headlines and we know there is no predictability in life. Life is fragile, it is precious and we need to do our best each day to make our short lives that which would make our children proud, our parents proud, our spouses proud, God proud and ourselves proud.  Most of us (including myself) have a long way to go before we can say that, but it is a goal we should all be striving for.

My suggestion to you today would be to sit down by yourself and write out your goals for the year.  What would you like to accomplish, what would you like to strive for? What would make you feel good next year to see you had worked towards?

Think about it.

Happy New Year!

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