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McCormick Grill Party

Did someone say Grill? And Party? Mike must be involved!! 🙂

Crowdtap sent a  big package with all sorts of cool seasonings and sauces in it. So Mike set to work and made: hot dogs, burgers, chicken, pork chops, and potatoes. The burgers were the BIGGEST hit. He made them with the Molasses Bacon seasoning and they were *so* good! (Someone even asked where he bought the burgers, LOL!)

We had 48 people here. Yes. *48*!! In all honesty, since it was all in the back yard, it really didn’t seem all that crowded. And since they’re all my friends, everyone got along fantastically! (I have to admit…I was a bit worried since it was people from all areas of my life!) The kids were all fantastic. The older ones were entertaining the littler ones – and actually enjoying it 🙂 At one point, I believe Logan had all of the 6 year olds held “hostage” up in the tree house with his tiny little water gun. that was empty. LOL!! That kid. 🙂

We Made Christmas Crack!

Hm. Wonder how many “strange” searches THAT will generate…

Anyway…my friend Lori mentioned Christmas Crack on FB the other day…which of course had me intrigued. A nice link to the recipe and a sample brought to the Kindergarten Holiday concert, and I’m hooked.

And what did I do? I took pictures of the product…not of the kids making the product. (Nice, Nance.)

Sugar and Butter over Saltines

Smothered in Chocolate and Sprinkles

A Tasty Piece


Friday’s Fotos: Swinging, Praying, and Cooking

The kids decided that all 3 of them would fit on this swing…

Sharing the Swing

…and it worked! (For a little while…)


When I pulled up to our town’s ATM, I noticed a little critter attached to the side of it.

Praying Mantis

(Good thing no one was behind me in line…)


I made a double batch of Shepherd’s Pie in my new Calphalon 5 QT Dutch Oven!! Yum. 🙂

Shepherd's Pie

(It was awesome to brown the meat and then not have to transfer it to a casserole dish!)

Saturday Snapshot: Stick-to-Your-Ribs Good

We went to the Bison County Grill for lunch today. A much loved placed before we had kids…looks like we need to start frequenting it more often as the kids seem to share our sentiments.

Cheryl over at Twinfatuation hosts this one. Go over and have a look at what others are doing on this thank-goodness-it-only-rained-a-little Saturday.

Saturday Snapshot: Almost Annual My Street BBQ

When we first moved to our town, we wanted to meet our neighbors, so we held a BBQ and invited everyone on our street.

We meant to hold it every year, but last summer slipped by way too fast and we didn’t get one in.

Today was our 2nd My Street BBQ. We had neighbors from 1 year old all the way through (I’m guessing) mid-80s. What a blast! 🙂

I remembered to take a few shots at the beginning, but I dropped the ball and didn’t get everyone…or any action shots of the kids. (Bad Nancy!)

18 adults and 11 kids total.

Cheryl over at Twinfatuation hosts this one. Go over and have a look at what others are doing on this thank-goodness-it-only-rained-a-little Saturday.

Random Reviews: Water, Food, Make-up, and Hair Care

I’ve been meaning to write about each of these for a little while now…so I figured I’d just lump ’em all together into one big post. Hold onto your hats – it’s gonna be a long one…I’ve put links in to get you to where you want to go: Water, Food, Make-up, Hair Care.


A few months ago, Maureen from Callanan & Klein Communications sent me a bottle of water. The water is called Native Water (from the Berkshires)…while the water itself isn’t all that fascinating, it’s the bottle that grabbed my attention. It’s made out of 25% recycled plastic, and it’s biodegradable. How cool is that?! I’m a huge water snob…I have my brand that I like (and I’m even picky enough that it’s got to have a sports bottle top…I know, shoosh!), so I was apprehensive at first. The water is actually pretty good! It’s 100% natural spring water – not that filtered water crap that some companies try to pass off as good bottled water. And while it’s not available in most of the places I shop, if I ran across it, I’d wouldn’t hesitate to get some more.

(I do have to add one comment though – apparently, the bottlers don’t know how to spell biodegradable … they’ve added an extra E in the middle!)

Here’s the official stuff:

Native Water is bottled in ENSO Bottles, a biodegradable and recyclable PET plastic bottle.  Made from 25% recycled plastic the bottles are produced with Ecopure™, an organic compound added to the plastic manufacturing process that allows the bottles to be metabolized and neutralized on a microbial level, completely breaking down the plastic. ENSO bottles maintain the same physical properties and strengths as existing PET plastic bottles yet provide a more shelf stable and practical solution than starch-based PLA materials and oxo-degradable plastics.  The bottles are biodegradable in both anaerobic and aerobic environments and can also be successfully mixed with standard PET plastic recycling.

To add to the sustainability of the bottled water, Native Waters sources all water locally in the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts.   The water is naturally filtered through layers of sand, clay, gravel and rocks before reaching the surface source.  Native Waters then uses local distributors to send the product throughout New England, eliminating long trucking routes and minimizing the carbon footprint of the bottled water.

Native Water is available in both 500 ml and 700 ml sizes. The product is available at select retail stores, restaurants and colleges throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire.  Native Water is distributed by Sysco, ghousen of Brattleboro, VT, Nasiff Fruit Company of Fall River, Mass., Great State Beverages of Hooksett, NH, Blue Coast Beverages of Mattapoisett, and Thomsen Food Service of Providence, RI.   For more information on where you can find Native Water,  email info@earthfriendlybottle.com.

Native Waters, LLC

Native Waters, LLC, was founded in 2009 by Steven Nasiff and Rodger Cohen.  The company was founded to provide sustainable product solutions for the beverage industry using the latest technology and a local approach towards improving the environment for current and future generations.  To learn more about Native Water in the ENSO biodegradable bottle,  call 877.228.0711.  Native Waters can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nativewaters.

About ENSO Bottles

ENSO Bottles, LLC, of Phoenix, Arizona is an environmental company dedicated to creating “Bottles for a Healthier Earth”.  ENSO bottles are an environmental solution designed to biodegrade in anaerobic or aerobic environments leaving behind biogases and humus. ENSO bottles with EcoPure™ have been 3rd party tested and validated for biodegradability and recyclability using ASTM standards. To learn more about how you can help to reduce plastic pollution and improve our environment visit ENSO on facebook, www.facebook.com/ensobottles or contact ENSO Bottles at www.ensobottles.com or call 866.936.3676

Disclaimer: I received this bottle of water from Callanan & Klein Communications specifically to write a review.


I received a coupon for 2 free Alexia® Select Sides™. I’d never heard of Alexia before, but when I got to the freezer section, the bags did look a little familiar. I got the Onion Rings and the Olive Oil, Rosemary & Garlic Oven Fries. OMG. SOOOOO good!! The onion rings – baked in the oven – were perfect. Crispy on the outside with actual cooked onions on the inside (instead of raw or partially cooked like you sometimes get). And the Oven Fries were so flavorful! I really need to try some of the other flavors (like the Olive Oil, Parmesan & Roasted Garlic). Check out what they have to offer at http://www.alexiafoods.com/

My only complaint is that the bags are somewhat small. Like, small enough that Mike and I can go through an entire bag for one meal. (I suppose that’s because I’m used to Costco-sized stuff though…) I highly recommend picking up a few of these bags for your next meal.

Disclaimer: I’m a BzzAgent so I received samples and coupons for the above items.


I’m not much of a make-up person. My typical day is to throw some eye-liner on and run out the door. Add some chapstick and I’m good to go. This Bzz is from COVERGIRL. Since it’s a brand I recognize (c’mon, who wouldn’t?) I figured I’d give the ShineBlast lipgloss and the SmokyShadowBlast eye shadow a try. (I mostly wanted to try the lipgloss…)

The lipgloss is really nice! It’s not what I remember from my early days of using make-up (you know, the kind that makes your lips stick together? ya. not that at all!) And it lasts for quite a while.

The eye shadow worried me for a bit. It’s a stick … with colors on each end. The rounded end is used for all over color and then the tapered end is used to define. (I only know this because there are instructions on the packaging – thank goodness! I hope I never lose that LOL!) Actually, they were nice enough to point me to the following 1 minute video for how to use the stuff:

Easy, right? Mostly. I mean…I put it on and I think I did okay…but “smoky eyes” just isn’t my thing for working from home 😉 Also, I figure after it gets used for a bit, that tapered tip isn’t going to be so tapered any more…and how do I “sharpen” it? Or maybe it’s so short that by the time it’s not tapered any more, it’ll be gone anyway. I haven’t gotten that far yet.

Disclaimer: I’m a BzzAgent so I received samples and coupons for the above items.

Hair Care

And finally, I received a sample (and coupons) for göt2b® smooth operator hair smoother. WOW! I’m a frizz head, and had serious doubts about how well this would tame the mane without making it look greasy, flat, or like…I was one of those playdough barber shop heads. This product is amazing. My hair was completely tame and I looked like *gasp* a grown-up! The best part? No crunchies and no looking like a grease-ball. And best of all, while not my best next-day hair, using it one day and then having “next-day-hair” the following day is an option! (Not always the case when you use product in your hair.)

I’m so looking forward to trying out more göt2b® products!

Disclaimer: I’m a BzzAgent so I received samples and coupons for the above items.

Weight For Me!

You may remember the documenting of my weight loss (and how dieting sucks). And you may hove notice a lack of those posts recently…ya. well. That’s because I totally fell off that wagon. And then it ran over me. And apparently there were lot of chocolates and other yummy things under that wagon that fell into my mouth as it was rolling over me.

I’ve gained a little more than 1/2 the weight back. So technically, I’m still lighter than I was 2 years ago at this point, but I’m definitely heavier than i was at this point last year. And I’m disgusted with myself.

I can’t seem to stop eating! (She says as she puts another Girl Scout cookie in her mouth…) I love all foods that I shouldn’t be eating. And when they’re around, I have no control over the amount that goes into my mouth. None.

SOMETHING (besides my pants) needs to give. I need to get back on my Wii. I need to start monitoring what I put into my  mouth. I need to stop buying all this CRAP.

And I thought if I wrote it all down, I might actually hold myself accountable. Or at least have you guys to hold me in check…

So…Wagon!! Hold up!! Wait for me!!


The PTO ladies brought snacks to the session last week. One of the treats that disappeared quite quickly (with good reason!) was called “Prolos” – A Rolo sandwiched between two pretzels. HOLY COW, Yu-um. And easy enough to make with your kids!

I lined 3 cookie sheets (mine are stoneware) with parchment paper and put one in front of each kid. Then I put a pile of “heart pretzels” (as Burke calls them) by the cookie sheets and told the kids to spread them out over the cookie sheets.

Placing Pretzels

Once Logan realized he wasn’t supposed to just eat the pretzels, he got in on the fun too.

Then came the Rolos. We unwrapped them and placed one on each pretzel. (Again, Logan had a hard time with the “Don’t eat them yet!” heh)

Rolos on Top

Rolos on Top

Maggie liked putting them on up-side-down. Not sure why… 🙂 After a few tries, Logan would chant “No eat.” each time I handed him an unwrapped Rolo.

Put them in the oven (at 350) for about 2 minutes. Just enough to get them squishy.

Making the Rolos Squishy

2 Minutes is STILL a Long Time to Wait

Be careful when you take the cookie sheet out – squishy Rolos tend to slide a bit…

Sliding Rolos

While the Rolos are still warm, place another pretzel on top and press down slightly. (I did this while the kids watched … Hot stoneware plus 3 kids makes me nervous!)

Pressed Pretzels

Put in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate. After an hour or so, you can transfer them to an air-tight container.

Store in the Fridge so the chocolate doesn’t melt too much, but be sure to take them out a little while before you want to serve them. (Otherwise the caramel is a tooth hazard…)

Saturday Snapshot: Brunch with Friends

The awesome What A Card invited us over for Brunch today. YUMMY!

The food was great, the company was wonderful, and I’m pretty sure that all of the kids had a really good time…and you should have seen/heard Logan wailing on their drum set 😉 I wish I had gotten a picture!


Cheryl over at Twinfatuation hosts this one. Go over and have a look at what others are doing on this chilly Saturday.