Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creating Your Own Cartoon Character

I see more and more blog headers with the owner of the blog being portrayed by their very own cartoon characters. I think it is quite cute. I use FireWorks as my photo editor. Yes, I know I am ancient. I actually think it is now owned by Adobe which is known for the the more popular image editing program, Photoshop. I can edit photos, but am not that creative in generating drawings of my own.

In my googling search, I found several sites that charge to create a cartoon character using a photograph. However, yahoo has a program that allows you to create your own character using their wide range of selections including hair styles, skin color, backgrounds and clothing. I thought it was really great. Here is what I created for myself.

So does she look like me? If you find yourself bored and wanna create your own cartoon of yourself, go here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cool'n Easy Strawberry Pie Recipe

I had a heavy sweet tooth this weekend and starting searching for some kid friendly sweet recipes. I found several that I decided I wanted to try. The Cool 'n Easy Strawberry Pie was the first recipe I wanted to make.

The recipe was super easy and it was absolutely delicious. Creamy, but light. The kids had no complaint finishing their plate. They even asked for more. If you want something sweet, light and refreshing this is definitely the recipe to try.

There are only four major ingredients to this recipe.

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, divided
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
  • ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 1 ready-to-use reduced-fat graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)

SLICE 1 cup strawberries; refrigerate for later use. Chop remaining berries; set side.

Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved.

Add enough ice to cold water to make 1 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened.

Remove any unmelted ice.


Stir in chopped berries.

Refrigerate 20 to 30 min. or until mixture is very thick and will mound.

Spoon into crust.

REFRIGERATE 6 hours or until firm. Top with sliced berries.

Now doesn't that just look yummy?

Monday, June 28, 2010


A couple of months ago, my hubby surprised me with tickets to see Wicked. He knew it was my all time favorite musical so when they announced they were coming in town, he decided to surprise me by purchasing a pair of tickets. We saw it again last night.

Although, I have seen this musical before and I have heard the sound track countless times, it was as though I was watching it for the first time again. The music gives me chills, especially the song, "Defying Gravity." I simply love the lyrics and music. If you have never seen it and were ever thinking about going, I say go for it. It is absolutely fantastic and it is one that I would definitely see again.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Free Frappe Today

On Fridays from 7:00 a.m.-7:00p.m. at participating McDonalds you can get a FREE sample size of one of their frappes!

This Saturday, Lowe's Kids Build and Grow clinic is building this Monster Truck. Bring your kids in at 10 to build one for free. Plus get a cute apron and a pair of goggles as well. Sign up here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Microwaving Bacon

Our family loves bacon, but I hate cooking it. Even though we don't have it very often, cooking over the cook top and having all the grease splatter out isn't that great. What's worse is all the clean-up afterward.

I've tried cooking it in the oven as well. My hubby didn't like the dryness of the bacon when cooked this way. This past weekend, I decided to try to cook it in the microwave. My friend told me to try it, but I was rather skeptical. I followed the instructions on the package by placing a paper towel underneath to absorb the grease. I also placed the bacon on top of skewers so that it wouldn't sit on the grease as it cooked.

The results were that it turned out perfectly and best of all, the clean up was a cinch. All I had to do was throw away the paper towel! This is definitely going to be the cooking choice for bacon for us from now on.

Add the eggs and I am ready for breakfast. How about you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lego Day at Toys R Us

This past weekend, we went to Toys R Us Family Lego Creation Day. The kids got to play the new Lego Creationary Board game.

A group of kids were given a picture which they needed to recreate using Legos.

There was one kid who had to guess what the other kids created. J. volunteered to be the guesser.

After the item has been guessed correctly, the kids got to build a creation of their own to take with them! It's like the Lego Store Mini-Build Day. They absolutely loved it.

Here are the results. Yay!

Two more weeks until Lego Mini-Build Day. The kids are looking forward to that one. If you have kids like mine who loves Legos, on the first Tuesday of every month, the Lego Store offers kids to come and build a monthly creation of their own. My kids look forward to it every month.

It usually correlates with the theme of the month. Last year, we built an American flag in July. This year it is this watermelon. As Rachel Ray says, "YUM- MO!"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our New Tree

We have been in our home for three years now, but our trees in our front yard look ever much like when we first moved in, if not worse. We get more dead branches each year, making the tree look pretty horrible so we decided that we would replace our tree in the front yard. We went shopping at a tree farm and selected a beautiful Red Oak Tree. When we got home from our tree shopping, we took a look at our tree without the dead branches and I felt a little sad. I got a little buyers remorse, not for spending the money on a tree, but more so for removing something that was still alive. Thus, we contemplated canceling the order, but then decided that we would try to transplant our tree to another location in our yard.

Here is our very bare tree in its new location.

It was a lot of work digging out a hole for the root ball. I tried to pay the tree movers to dig an additional hole for us, since they had to dig for our new tree, but they wouldn't do it. I don't blame them. Trying to lift the tree with all that dirt by hand was nearly impossible for this 90 lb lady and her hubby so we had to recruit our neighbor for help. Thank goodness for that. Without the additional strength, our tree would still be leaning right now.

Here is our lovely red oak. When we built this house, I was against buying a tree that I would have to worry about raking leaves each year. However, minds change. We are ready for a fast growing tree, but at the same time we did not want something that had a short life span, like the Bradford Pear. We decided upon the red oak for its changing leaf color, foliage, and fast growth.

Isn't this a pretty tree? I'm glad we were able to leave the planting of this tree to the professionals. No more tree planting for us. We are out of yard space! Then again, we might have enough room for a crepe myrtle or a crab apple in the back yard. I've been wanting a hammock so those trees would look lovely by a swinging hammock. What do you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3

We usually only take the kids to the movies once or twice a year. I remember when I was younger, prices were only $3.25 for the first showing. Nowadays, prices have basically sky-rocketed unless you take advantage of going to the first showing.

We decided that we would take the kids to see Toy Story 3 because we all wanted to see it. I scored 2 free tickets when I re-bought Toy Story 1 and 2. In hindsight, we should have bought more. The movies were only $7.00 each with a free ticket. Not bad, when the ticket prices this weekend were $13.00 a ticket.

As I was grocery shopping last week, I discovered an offer from Kellogg's. You can cash in on free tickets to Toy Story 3 with purchases of cereal. I went online and printed out coupons for cereal and then went shopping at Target which had a cereal sale. We scored free tickets for all eight of us (my sister and fiance wanted to join us in on all the fun)!

Here is what our movie vouchers looked liked.

We took the kids to the IMAX to see it bigger and in 3D. At $13.00, we would have paid $104 for all 8 of us to watch the movie plus an additional amount for food. Since we would have paid for the tickets anyway, we ended up getting nearly 40 boxes of cereal for basically free (of course, 12 belonged to my sister and fiance). Am I crazy to even convince others to join in on my cereal madness? I don't think so. With all my cereal coupons, the purchase price of all the cereal was still less than half of the total ticket price AND I got cereal to boot. That to me, is a great deal. We would have purchased the cereal anyway (maybe not that much at one time, but with 4 boys, they will be gone in no time). Plus, I had enough points to redeem for free food vouchers at the theater!

Free movies, free food. Can it get any better? E. in his 3-d glasses before the movie started. For the first time ever, every kid, stayed in their seats glued to the screen. Everyone absolutely LOVED the movie. Can't wait until it comes out on DVD. It is definitely a movie worth adding to our collection.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's day! Our day started out with a huge breakfast. Then each kid presented Dad with a card they made themselves (along with the photo card I had made to them to give).

Dad loved them!

R. and his "rectangle" drawing.

E. presenting his card. They are so tan in this picture.

A. even had a card to give his daddy.

I had to throw this picture of A. in here. Here he is eating his "hot dog" after a swim.
A. puts it perfectly when he says, "I LOVE you Daddy for eva and eva no mit a wut."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Go Lakers!

There is a crazy sports fanatic in every family, right? In our family it would be my hubby. He was raised in CA so his all time favorite basketball team is the Lakers. Despite the different locations we live in, he has remained loyal to his team.

We went to a game once in SA where the entire crowd cheered for the Spurs. Mr. N. had no problem being the only one cheering for the Lakers. He wore his jersey proudly. Out of our four sons, he has converted two of them to march in his foot steps.

Last night, our house was like this.

The Lakers Fans: J., A., and Mr. N.
That's A.'s "cheese" face. I can't seem to get him to smile any other way in front of the camera.

Yay, Kobe!

Watching the game intently. Can't sit on the couch for that.

...and when the Lakers won, A. was the first to cheer, "Go Lakers!"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free Breakfast at Whataburger Next Tuesday

Whataburger will give away free "Breakfast on a Bun" sandwiches for dine-in or carry-out on Tuesday, June 22, from 7-10 a.m. as part of a "Whataburger Serves" customer appreciation event at all of its 700+ locations.

The Breakfast on a Bun comes with a fresh egg, choice of bacon or pork sausage, and a slice of real American cheese served on a toasted bun. During the event, customers can order it "Ranchero Style" with jalapenos and salsa at no extra charge. The Breakfast on a Bun offer is one sandwich per customer, and the customer must be present to receive a free sandwich.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Martha Stewart Living Grilling Book

Martha Stewart posted a copy of her grilling cooking book online a few weeks ago. It has recipes from many different people including Emeril Lagasse. Start your summer with some great recipes by downloading your copy below. It's a rather large file so I have divided the book into chapters.

Chapter 1: Salads &Sides

Chapter 2: Appetizers & Extras

Chapter 3: Main Dishes

Chapter 4: Drinks & Desserts
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