Monday, March 14, 2011

Just A 'Swingin!

Being a mom of a little boy I've learned a lot, especially about how active boys are! Jackson can go full tilt until he crashes, usually right after he protests about how "not tired" he is! I love that he is an active little boy, and that he would much rather play outside than sit around in the house watching yet another movie or TV show. Jackson doesn't have any kind of electronic games yet, so we definitely are all about encouraging good family fun outside for several reasons:
  • Outdoor activities are good for him by keeping him active and encouraging his imagination. He can pretend to be anything he wants to be, and with just a few props at his disposal he can play forever. Between bicycles, bubbles, his sand box, chalk and his fort, he has no reason to ever be bored!

  • It keeps my house clean! The more time he spends outside, the less I have to clean inside!

  • It's free and in this economy, free is always good! We can go in our back yard and play with his wood swing sets for hours which means that I'm spending quality time with my favorite kiddo in the great outdoors, and not spending money, which makes me very happy!

  • Most importantly, it's just plain fun! Playing outside brings out the kid in me, and let's me have fun with my child which is a win-win for all of us. I have found that it's during those times that he opens up to me the most, which in turn means that I get to be "part" of his world in a way that wouldn't be possible if we were just watching TV.

    And anytime I can spend with my favorite little man, is time well spent for me!

(*This post is being sponsored by CSN and their family of fabulous online stores. Click the link to check out one of their high quality online stores.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earth Fare Winners!

It's time to announce the two winners of our $50 Earth Fare giftcards!!! The random number generator picked numbers 3 and 7, which were Soyna and Trish. Congratulations ladies! We'll get your cards out to you, and we hope you love Earth Fare as much as we did!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I have been craving it for days. So last night I broke down and made one.

Sadly, I didn't take pictures of my art work because the pie crust procedure just wasn't pretty.

Here is the recipe I used:

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 large (28 oz.) can of Veg-All, drained
2 chicken breasts, boiled and cut in small pieces
package of refrigerated pie crusts (2 per box)

I boiled the two chicken breasts and then mixed it with the Veg-All and two cans of soup. Then I attempted to follow the directions for the pie crusts according to the box. It didn't work out as well as I had hoped but the end result was delicious!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Earth Fare

A little over a week ago, Amy and I were invited to attend the grand opening of a new grocery store in our area.

Earth Fare opened out at East Chase in Montgomery, and we went that Saturday morning with all three kids in tow. We learned a valuable lesson that when shopping a new store with three small children, it can be very tiring! But we managed well.

We received an email from Earth Fare rep Corley May, who invited both of us to shop at Earth Fare and as an added bonus she presented each of us with a $25.00 gift card! All we had to do is share our thoughts and opinions on our visit to the store with our fellow blog readers! Awesome, right?

Here's some of what we learned about Earth Fare: They sell food that is as close to the ground as it can get, which means that they have very high standards for what goes on their shelves. They have store locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The food and groceries that Earth Fare sells contains no trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors or preservatives, antibiotics or growth hormones, animal by-products, and absolutely no inhumane treatment of the animals used to provide dairy, meat and eggs.

What's not to love about that?

In this day and age of trying to eat as healthy as possible, it was so refreshing to walk into a store and know that you are being offered the healthiest choices possible.

The second we walked into the store, the smell of all different kinds of food welcomed us.

The first display case we walked by was the bakery. They were sampling cookies that were absolutely wonderful, and the display case was just awesome!

Talking about every single aspect of what I experienced would be way too much for one post, so here are the highlights!:

Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade:
I was introduced to this marinade by a friend whose family is gluten-free! This stuff is absolutely wonderful, especially for grilled chicken! Wal-Mart carried it once but I was disappointed to find they don't carry it anymore. When I realized that Earth Fare had it I snatched up two bottles and have already finished off one! If you like flavorful sauce this is definitely a winner! The chicken I have used it on is always moist and it doesn't just marinate the outside of the chicken but the inside as well!

Goat Cheese:
Now I didn't buy any of this but I did manage to sample it on a pesto chicken sandwich at the hot bar (where they also sell pizza) and I was actually impressed with how good it was!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad:
I seriously debated about buying a pound of this after the sample I had, but decided against it at the last minute.

Filet Mignon:
Love at first bite. I'm sure Amy will tell you more about this one!

Those are not the only samples Earth Fare was offering at our visit but just some of the ones I wanted to rave about!

An added bonus is that when you sign up at the website, you receive a coupon for a free MEAL when you spend $10 on items within the store. Amy and I both got a whole chicken, a bag of baby carrots, and a pound of rustic mashed potatoes just for making a purchase of $10!

And an "Honorable Mention" to a special photo I snapped!:

Bento Boxes!!!
I have never seen them in literally any store I have shopped in or even seen anything that comes close to it...but I have adored these neat little lunch boxes since I stumbled across Wendolonia's blog. I haven't been nearly as consistent with my bento boxes as she has been, but it was nice to find a store where I could purchase more bento items if I needed them!

And because we want to share Earth Fare with friends we have an even bigger surprise for two lucky blog readers!! But Amy will tell you more about that....

Amy here!
Like Miranda said, taking 3 kids grocery shopping was rather exhausting, but I was so impressed with Earth Fare. Normally I'm a Walmart kind of shopper, just for the convenience, but when Corley invited us to come check it out I was thrilled, especially when I realized that it was going to be my first time checking out a more earth friendly type grocery store. When we first walked in we were greeted with super friendly employees, a very clean and inviting grocery store, and the most amazing smells!

I was super impressed with the produce and meat departments. The produce looked amazing; very fresh and well stocked. They were offering samples of pineapple and clementines, and I feel the need to confess that I took the kids back 3 times to the produce department because their samples were so delicious. I told you that I'm used to shopping at Walmart where the produce leaves much to be desired, and more often than not is wilted or damaged, and not at all appetizing. This was not so at all at Earth Fare. The produce was beautiful, and the prices were very competitive.

When we got to the meat department, this pregnant mama was in Heaven! They were giving away samples of the best filet mignon that I have ever tasted in my life! The meat literally melted in my mouth, and even Jackson loved it. The prices were good for the meat, and next time I'm hankering for a delicious steak, I know where I'm headed.

One of the meat cases, with some specialty meat items that Earth Fare carries.

Also, by the deli that Miranda showed you a picture of, there is a great salad/food bar. The food looked amazing, and every Thursday night kids eat free from 4-8 during their Family Dinner Night with an adult purchase of $5. Pretty nice, huh?

All in all it was amazing grocery store, and I'll definitely be back. Everything I got was fresh, tasty, and reasonably priced. I loved the atmosphere, and knowing that I'm making healthy choices for my family was definitely a plus.

Because Miranda and I were so impressed, and Earth Fare was so generous, we're offering two lucky readers a chance to each win a $50 gift card to Earth Fare! Here's all you have to do to win:

1. Head over to Earth Fare and check out their website. Then hop back over here and leave us a comment telling us what you think you would like the best about Earth Fare.
2. You can earn an extra entry by becoming a follower of Cheese Grits and Jesus.
3. You can earn another entry by becoming a follower of Wade's World and/or The Princess and the Porkchop.
4. And you can earn yet another entry for tweeting about this giveaway and posting the link.
5. And because we're complete pushovers, you can earn another entry by blogging about this giveaway and posting a link.

As always, you do not have to have a blog to win, we just need to make sure that we have a valid email address that we can use to get in touch with you if you win. The contest will run from Wednesday, March 2nd until Friday, March 11th at midnight. The winners will be randomly selected, and will be contacted after the contest is over.

The "Because We Have To Say This" FTC Disclaimer:
Miranda and Amy were each given a $25 gift card for visiting Earth Fare and reviewing their store and products. They were also each given a $50 gift card to give to blog readers. Their opinions as always are their own, and they were not required to say anything specific about Earth Fare or their products. They just really liked it! The end.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Okay so a friend of mine by the name of Brooke got married not too long ago! Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Spivey! Anyhow, Gracie was the flower girl in her wedding. So at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, we had wonderful BBQ and beans and such and then low and behold, someone had snuck in a dessert that was one of the groom's favorites. The culprit appeared to be the groom's twin brother! Ryan told me that if he shared the recipe, he would have to kill me. He just said he could not tell me what was in the chocolate eclair cake. So I googled it. Courtesy of, here is the link to one such recipe.

I would be willing to bet, after tasting it, that this recipe is as close to the real recipe as possible. Ryan said he would charge me $50.00 for the recipe. But thanks to the internet, I got it for free!

Friday, February 19, 2010

New recipes!!

Be on the lookout....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two Family Favorites: Toasted Cheerios (Stay With Me Here!) and Tomato and Rice Soup

In my life I have found that some of my very favorite recipes are those that have been passed down from family member to family member. I have two of those recipes to share with you today. The first is my Great grandmother's recipe for Tomato and Rice Soup. Big Granny taught my Mom how to make this soup and it really has come to be one of my favorite comfort foods when I'm feeling sick, or when it's really cold outside or when it's a day that ends in "Y.". You get the idea. Believe it or not, I had never made it for myself until the other day. I was sick and Mom's Tomato and Rice soup popped into my head and Jeremy was so sweet to go get the ingredients for me. It turned out delicious, so much so that we made it again the next day!

The soup sounds unusual, or maybe not, but not many people have had anything like it. It really couldn't be easier to make, and with only 2 main ingredients, you can just about make it from what is in your pantry. Here goes:

Big Granny's Tomato and Rice Soup
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 - 3/4 cup of uncooked rice
1 can of water
Salt (To taste)
Pepper (To taste)

Bring the diced tomatoes, water, salt, pepper and a big pat of butter to a slow boil and the soup is really frothy looking. Add the rice and cook on low until the rice is plump and tender, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

That's it.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches for the perfect easy winter meal! I promise that you won't be disappointed with how easy and delicious this soup is, because seriously, if someone named "Big Granny" used to cook it, you know it's good!

And for my next recipe I thought I would share one of my Dad's favorite things to eat in the entire world: toasted cheerios!

Not only that, but they are toasted cheerios with garlic! Like I said, stay with me here.

My Dad's Mom, my Granny Betsy, used to make Toasted Cheerios for my Dad. They really are an acquired taste, but even Jeremy has come to enjoy eating a bowl of them every now and then. I had a hankering for them the other night and Jeremy and I enjoyed them, despite the fact that Jackson was not so keen on the fact that I was cooking "his" cheerios!

Granny Betsy's Toasted Cheerios
Regular cheerios
Garlic Salt

Put the cheerios into a skillet with a really big pat of butter. Then add more butter because seriously, can you have too much butter? I measure how much I want to cook by first pouring the cheerios into serving bowls to guesstimate serving sizes. Then I add more. Add garlic salt to taste (I love a lot of garlic) and cook (stirring frequently) until the cheerios have absorbed the butter. You want the cheerios to look golden brown like this:

Serve hot. Now, considered yourself warned that your breath will be kicking after eating this, but my oh my is it worth it! The best cheerios are the really tiny ones because they just soak up all the buttery, garlicky goodness. Delicious! It's totally a yummy snack and it's worth giving it a shot, even if you have to skip your goodnight kiss afterwards!