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Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit Bag O' Gold Giveaway

I am very pleased to announce that Today's Farm has offered one lucky reader a Bag O' Gold which contains a package of each of the four flavors! See my review of Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit for more information.

CONTEST DETAILS...

Contest begins Thursday, August 20 at 12:00pm and ENDS on Thursday, August 27 at 11:59am.

The winner will be posted (in the "GIVEAWAY WINNERS" on the right side of my blog) within in 24 hours.


Winner will also be notified either through blog or e-mail and will have 72 hours to claim their prize. Time begins when I post the winner.

{Please remember, if you are using anonymous to comment, you MUST leave an e-mail address so I can contact you. I do NOT spam or sell your address!}

If the prize is not claimed within this time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Entries will be entered into and chosen by Random.org. I have NOTHING to do with choosing the winner. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments and tips.love


*An additional note...this giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorrysedih*

HOW TO OBTAIN ENTRIES:

Each item counts as one entry only. Please leave separate comments for each entry.

  • Visit Today's Farm and tell me which flavor you would like.
  • Leave a lunch box tip, recipe, idea...these can be anything pertaining to a lunch box. {You may do this as often as you like!}
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow my blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter (EcOnomicalMom)
  • Follow my blog in Facebook followers.
  • Retweet this giveaway. (Just click on retweet at the top of the post.) You can do this as often as you like, just comment for each tweet!
  • Add my button to your blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog. ( I will be randomly checking.)
  • OR
  • If you don't have a blog or just want more entries... E-mail your family and friends the link to this giveaway. CC my e-mail address ecOnomicalmom@gmail.com. (If you don't CC my address, I won't know you sent them, and they won't count.)
  • Add this to your Facebook status


Healthy Lunch Box Snacks...Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit (Giveaway)!

I would love to tell you how wonderful these snacks are, but... my son ate all four bags upon receiving them. Okay, to be truthful, he did give me one TINY piece from each bag. What I can tell you from those tiny pieces when I use the word tiny, I mean that he took a huge bit and then gave me what was left between his fingers tiny! is that they were packed with flavor and fabulous. It took Xr less then 5 minutes to finish all four bags! (Strawberry, Cinnamon Apple, Pineapple, and Peach) Needless to say, he had his full servings of fruit that day! The fact that he finished them off in such a short time is testimonial in itself!

Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks are wonderfully light and crispy. When you think of dried fruit, most of you are probably thinking of the leathery, chewy fruit that comes out of a food dehydrator. Not these snacks! Because they are freeze dried they are not exposed to the damaging heat. Instead they are exposed to super cold air that zaps out the moisture, but which leaves all the vitamins and minerals and flavor remaining in the fruit. That's why they print right on the bag has all the goodness of fresh fruit. They really do. One bag provides 1 1/2 to 2 servings of fruit!

Also because these fruit snacks are freeze dried, they are extremely light, virtually weightless. This makes them an outstanding snack to add to your child's lunch box! Since freeze dried fruit is constantly looking for moisture to rehydrate, they are packaged in quick to eat size packages, perfect for kids.

Hungry for some freeze dried fruit?? You can purchase them at Today's Farm or Amazon or enter here for a chance to win a Bag O' Gold.




Healthy Food For Lunch Boxes...Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips

Move over PB&J sandwiches...here comes a new lunch box favorite! Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips are a versatile lunch box addition. They are great as part of the main food or splendid as an added snack.

When my family tried the Guiltless Gourmet Yellow Corn Tortilla chips we were pleased. Although we haven't been wild about baked chips before, we were really pleasantly surprised with these. Most baked chips that we've tried have been bland or completely tasteless, but not the Guiltless Gourmet. They have a nice bold taste and are crisper than others. Not only do they taste good, they are good for you at least as far as chips go. All of their tortilla chips are baked, not fried and they are all natural, no preservatives or artificial ingredients! Click here to see their nutritional facts.

We have only tried the Yellow Corn , but they carry many other bold flavors that we're anxious to try... Black Bean, Mucho Nacho, Chipolte, Chili Verde, Chili Lime. If you child likes colorful food, try their Blue Corn chips.

The Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips were a fabulous addition to my Mexican Skillet Meal. (It's a wonderful, versatile taco type creation I concocted one evening in my kitchen. Ground hamburger, taco seasoning, corn, and black beans are the base of the recipe) My son loves to eat the left overs as a cold dip. The Yellow Corn tortilla chips stood up to his scrutiny, they remained crispy under all that he piled on top. In his lunch box, I know I can safely pack these chips along with the MSM, feel secure that they will be completely devoured, and know that I have provided a healthy and pleasing lunch!

Here's a little more information about the Guiltless Gourmet Company...

Guiltless Gourmet pioneered baked, not fried, tortilla chips 20 years ago. In addition to their chips, Guiltless Gourmet also offers a variety of "better tasting, better for you" dips, frozen wraps, and dessert bowls. For more information about these or any other Guiltless Gourmet product, log onto www.guiltlessgourmet.com. Guiltless Gourmet is a wholly owned subsidary of The Manischewitz Company which offers a diversified line of premium kosher food products that covers over 60 different categories.

Wondering where you can buy these wonderful chips...Shoprite, Wegmans, Kroger, Safeway, Giant Eagle, and Albertsons are a few of the stores nationwide that currently carry them. They retail for $2.79, but if you buy in bulk from Amazon you can get a good deal on them. (Click on the flavors above to see them on Amazon.)

Also happening at Guiltless Gourmet is their "Go Guiltless in Sin City" sweepstakes. Until September 30th each of the eight flavors of Guiltless Gourmet chips will have a unique code that can be redeemed at www.guiltlessgourmet.com. You can win prizes on a daily basis and find out if you have instantly won! Each person that redeems his or her code will then be entered in the drawing for the Grand Prize trip to Las-Vegas (valued @ $5,600) which includes a 4 day/ 3 night stay at a 5 diamond resort, a $1,500 gift certificate to a world class spa, and $1,500 in cash! Check out the site for details, there are more prizes to be won!








Lunch Box Tips


Throughout my online lunch box adventures, I have learned a great deal more than I thought possible about packing a lunch. I have been packing my husband's lunches for years now. After supper I place the left-overs in a rubbermaid lunch container, put it in the fridge, and I'm done. Packing lunch for my son is going to be a completely different ball game!

While packing Xr's lunch, I not only have to find a way to keep it cold or hot until lunch, I have to try to ensure that he eats it! Slight Panic! I can't rely on his kindergarten teacher to make sure he eats. Although she is wonderful, I do NOT expect her to be SUPER-TEACHER...up up and away! Coming back to reality though... I have found quite a few fabulous blogs and websites that have provided me with fabulous tips.

The best tip I have found so far is to include your child when packing his/her lunch. It makes sense, but honestly I hadn't even thought about it! Just like with a vegetable garden, if your kids help with it, they are more likely to eat it. My son loves all kinds of foods, but he is a kid...there are days that he just doesn't like certain foods. Which brings me to the next tip...

Don't pack something your kid has never tried...or doesn't like. No matter how wonderful and nutritious a lunch is, if he/she isn't going to eat it,
there is no point in packing it! Not only will your kid go hungry, but it's also wasteful. Make sure to taste test any packed lunch unless you already know your child likes it. It can take many tries before a kid will like it. The same rule for babies holds true for kids...and some adults too!

Variety may be the spice of life, but not all kids like spice! If your child wants and will eat the same thing packed day after day...pack it. My son has already told me that he just wants cold lemon pepper spaghetti for his lunch. He's the type of kids that likes to eat a certain food for days. However, when he's done with that food, he drops it and moves on to the next.
I will gladly pack him the same thing day after day as long as it's what he wants and he will eat it. What I plan on doing, with his help and cooperation, is pack the same thing a week at a time. Which leads me to the next tip...

Make a lunch chart. I have read in quite a few places that moms make a chart for their kid to choose from. This such a great idea on many levels! You could list his/her favorite lunch and let them choose. Or you could list individual foods in groups and allow them to pick from each group. My personal favorite is Liz Ruff's chart idea on Family Fun. She has her kids list their favorite foods and then she chooses what to pack for the day.

Make sure the food you pack is easy to eat. This holds true especially for kindergartners and younger kids! Big bulky items are difficult for some kids to handle. Cut sandwiches into smaller portions or fun shapes. Cut up fruit into fruit salad sized bites. Don't pack food in difficult to open containers. There are certain times when they will have to have help from the teacher, but you should try to minimize it.
I read where the average eating time is only about 15 minutes and this has to include many, many distractions!

With all of the distractions in the lunch room, we not only need to be concerned about nutrition, we need to make their lunch fun too! Once again, the possibilities for this are endless!! You could cut their sandwiches into fun shapes...make unique lunch recipes...choose a theme lunch...add a note or a Kids Lunch Box Card...add a desert... the list could go on forever, but you get the idea.

Earlier I mentioned the fridge/microwave dilemma. Here are two of the best ideas and the simplest that I have found. Keeping Xr's lunch cold until lunch was a very large concern of mine. It would be HORRIBLE to pack his lunch and then have it go bad because it wasn't kept at a proper temperature. The easiest way to solve the fridge dilemma is to freeze their drink. This will keep their food cold until lunch time and the drink will thaw by that then...hopefully. One idea I read was to freeze half the drink and then in the morning add the other half. Then he/she would be sure to have something to drink. I personally like my ice packs. I'm going to place them on the bottom of his lunch box...just as a little reassurance.

I didn't think it would be possible to pack him a hot lunch. However, I found that using a thermos will provide a hot lunch. This thankfully solves my microwave problem! Just make sure to add boiling water into the thermos to heat it up. Pour the boiling water out and then add the heated food. VOILA a hot lunch!

There are sooo many wonderful tips out there... I hope these help ease any worry you have about packing a lunch for your child! These few tips have really helped me!






Lunch Box Recipes


Getting my son to eat a nutritious lunch at school is a huge concern of mine. Who am I kidding....just getting him TO eat there is a huge concern. So... I have spent hours searching the web for nutritious lunch box recipes. Throughout my journey I've found a few great sites with recipes on how to make lunch box food fun and nutritious along with tips on how to make sure they eat it. In this post, I will be sharing links to some fabulous lunch box recipes. I'll share the tips in a later post!

I've always packed my husband's lunch... but he has access to a fridge and a microwave. This was going to be a dilemma for Xr's lunches, but... some really creative moms have solved this problem for me! In some of these recipes they will share how they've overcome keeping their kid's lunches cold or hot. With these tips, lunch box recipes are as endless as your imagination!

Now onto the recipes...

The first place I looked was AllRecipes.com. Although they don't have a lot of lunch box recipes, they do have some very creative ones. This is where I learned how to pack a lunch without worrying about a fridge or microwave.

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Super Hero Sandwich

Chicken Pops...this one has to be my favorite! So creative!

Quiche...the possibilities are endless!

Chili... or any other soups.

Lunch Box Hot Dogs

Lunch Box Special...an updated, unique twist to regular PB&J!

Lunch Box Pizza...topping possibilities are endless!!

Lunch Box 'Handwiches'

Another favorite site is Family Fun...LOVE the magazine too! Instead of giving you individual recipe links there are a plethora of them on this site here is a link to the recipes for back to school page! I will add some of my favs though!

Homemade ABC Noodle Soup and Rainbow Kebobs

Crackers and Fixings with Cream Cheese Glue

Soccer Ball Subs

Sandwich on a Stick

There are millions of recipes out there. Get creative with your kid's lunch! But make sure whatever it is your making, your kids have already taste tested it at home! Check back later for Lunch Box Tips.

If you have a lunch box recipe you would like to share, please use the McLinky below.







EcOnomcial Family's Menu Plan for week 34.

I'mmm baaack!! Have you missed me?? For those of you that have, thank you and I'm sorry for being gone so long. For those that didn't, thank you too! (I don't feel quite so guilty.) Computer problems aren't quite fixed yet, but I'm doing the best I can.

I have greatly missed Menu Plan Monday and am glad to be back! This week is EcOnomical Mom's Heading Off to Kindergarten Event. (Due to computer...I'll call them issues, I haven't been able to do a lot of advertising.) So this is probably news to most.

I will be adding two menu plans this week. My first, this one, is our weekly menu. The second menu plan will consist of wonderful lunch box recipes/ ideas. I will be posting that one tomorrow. So don't forget to check back!! Oh, and if you have any great lunch box recipes, tips, or ideas...PLEASE e-mail me!!

On to this week's menu plan...

Monday
Lunch:
Eating Out
Dinner: Grilled Ham Steaks, Grilled corn on the cob, Grilled cabbage
Tuesday
Dinner: Chinese Meatballs w/ rice noodles
Wednesday
Dinner: Easy Chicken Bake
Thursday
Dinner: Pasta Night.
Friday
Dinner: Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday
Lunch: Left Over's Lunch
Dinner: Campground get together making Green Beans w/ Ham
Sunday
Lunch: Grilled Ham & Cheese sandwiches
Dinner: Homemade Pizza




TIPsy Tuesday is back!!!

Welcome back to TIPsy Tuesday!! As most bloggers know, Mr. Linky just isn't the same and doesn't always cooperate. I have been forced okay so I chose to look for an alternative. Lucky, a wonderful guy named Brent chose to create McLinky. Finally there is an alternative that and the fact that my internet seems to be fixed so I can assuredly bring back TIPsy Tuesday!! Doin' another happy dance! Now on to today's tip...

Did you know that, during the summer, children can forget many skills they learned in school, a trend called the “summer slide.” According to the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, two-thirds of the summer slide can be directly linked to a child's summer learning opportunities. Or should I say lack of learning opportunities. Research has shown that if you don't keep your child's brain working during the summer, he or she could lose, on average, 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math skills and as much as a year's reading level.

My tip for you today is to take every possible opportunity to teach your child during the summer. And throughout the year for that matter. When our children were babies and toddlers, we did everything we could to teach them. Their mind is like a sponge. Sometimes, when children head off to school, parents tend to stop teaching their kids and put that sole responsibility on the teacher.

Teaching our children is NOT solely the teacher's responsibility. As a parent, it is our responsibility to provide our children with every learning opportunity, reinforce what they are learning in school, and take the time to teach them one-on-one at home.

I know this might sound like a huge responsibilty...raising a child IS a huge responsibility!! Teaching them, however, can be easy. Teaching our children how to do chores and basic life skills will help teach them basic academic skills...like math and reading.

Take a look at your everyday life... you can find at least one teaching opportunity.
Take that opportunity and teach your child during the summer. Let's diminish the summer slide!!

Today you can either link a wonderful tip OR you could link a teaching opportunity!







Menu Plan Monday for Week 29 with Grilled Ham Glaze Recipe.

Happy Menu Plan Monday!! This morning I am doing the happy dance!!! For the past few days the internet has been hit and miss here. One second I have it, I try to do something, and then it's gone. While I know my computer is screwy and problematic right now, this is Embarq's problem. It seems that I'm not the only person experiencing this malfunction (with Embarq in Pa). That said...I apologize for not getting all of my grill recipes on this past week. I will be sharing them this week...if I have the internet. Now on to my menu...

Monday
Dinner
: Grilled Shrimp w/ Chow Mein Noodles in Black Bean Sauce & Sugar Snap Pea Stir-fry veggies.
Tuesday

Dinner: Quick and Easy Individual Meatloaves with noodles and carrots.
Wednesday
Dinner: Beef Stroganoff
Thursday
Dinner: Pasta Night.
Friday
Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken
Saturday
Dinner: Left Over's Day
Sunday
Dinner: EATING OUT!!

Last week I grilled Pineapple Ham Steaks. I had one of those moments...I went to the cupboard and found that I didn't have any pineapple. NONE...which is a very rare occasion in my home. I always have at least one can of pineapple! This was moments before I was to put the ham on the grill... What was I going to put on the ham steaks?? Thinking cap on, I did find pineapple juice. So, I decided to make my own sauce/glaze whatever it should be called.
My husband tends to give me those looks when I 'create' supper. I'm sure you know the look I'm meaning! He's a simple meat and potatos man and so is my father, who also happened to be there for supper. I like my food to have some flavor and flare...it can be a very hard compromise.
So, I whipped up this concoction with a bit of hesitation. To my delight, EVERYONE loved it. My dad even complimented me on the taste...and my dad does NOT compliment food or cooking. Since it went over soo well, I thought I would share it with everyone.


Casey's Grilled Ham Glaze

  • 1/2 cup applesauce (I used smooth, but chunky would probably be good too!)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple (I poured the juice into a different container and got the 'thick juice' that settles on the bottom.Pureed pineapple would work great too!)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger paste (Since this was my first time using paste, I kept tasting the sauce until it tasted right. I normally use ground ginger and for that it would probably be about 1/8 tsp.)
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • 2 Dashes of Allspice

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Brush on the glaze every time you turn the ham.
  3. Cook until done and enjoy. :)





Grilled Cabbage Recipe

Grilled Cabbage

  • 1 head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
  • Pepper (as per your taste)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine(roughly), cut into pieces
OPTIONAL:
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  2. Place individual cabbage wedges on a sheet of aluminum foil. Top with black pepper, and a pat of butter. (OPTIONAL: Add onion slices, bell pepper slices, and/or garlic) Fold edges of foil together to seal, then wrap entire package again with another sheet of foil.
  3. Repeat for each wedge.
  4. Cook on hot grill for about 30 minutes. (Turn about every 10 minutes.)

My husband loves adding vinegar once the cabbage is cooked. I hope you enjoy trying this grilled veggie recipe!








Menu Plan Monday Grill Style. Week 28.

The beautiful weather has inspired me to grill this week. Thankfully most of this week is to be sunny and finally warm. Although I am proficient at grilling meats, I'm learning to grill veggies as well. Throughout this week, I will be sharing some recipes for grilled vegetables. Now for my menu plan...

Monday
Dinner
: Teriyaki Grilled Chicken w/ Toasted Peanut Couscous and Grilled Cauliflower
Tuesday

Dinner: Grilled Pineapple Ham Steaks w/ Parmesan Potato Packets & Grilled Cabbage
Wednesday
Dinner: Grilled Shrimp w/ Chow Mein Noodles in Black Bean Sauce & Sugar Snap Pea Stir-fry veggies.
Thursday
Dinner: Pasta Night.
Friday
Dinner: Mexican Skillet Meal
Saturday
Dinner: Left Over's Day
Sunday
Dinner: Beef Stroganoff


If you have any great grill recipes, please share them in a comment. Or leave a link to your recipe! I need more inspiration and exciting recipes!!! Thanks.






A Funny Story...with a good moral!

Since my computer and my browser are not cooperating I can't get my 'real' posts to post or even get into copy them and post them a different way, I thought I would share this funny story a dear friend sent to me. If you need a good laugh...read on!


To Be 6 A gain...

A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her Birthday.

'I'd like to be six again', she replied, still looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day!

He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, everything there was.

Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park.
Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.

He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's.. What a fabulous adventure!

Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, 'Well Dear, what was it like being six again?'

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. 'I meant my dress size, you retard!!!!'

The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is gonna get it wrong.

...but we love 'em anyway!





Efficiently Mowing 101: How to Efficiently Mow Your Lawn

How to Efficiently Mow Your Lawn...

  • Keep the blades on your mower sharp and dent free. Dull blades don't clean cut the grass, they rip the grass which is does not promote a healthy lawn.

  • I'm all for DIY!!! However, when it comes to sharpening blades, it really is best left to the professionals. The sharpening itself can easily be done. However, it's difficult for most DIYers to also keep the blades straight AND balanced. I bought a lawn mower blade sharpener attachment for my Dremel with the intentions of sharpening our mower blades and maybe other peoples'. That's easier said than done! It is extremely easy to take more off of one side and throw the blade out of balance. And if blades aren't balanced, the mower will not work efficiently. You will also notice a difference in the cut of your lawn. It will look extrememy uneven.

  • It is also said that mowing in a circle from the outside in is the most efficient way to mow. garupaleThey say that if the mower clogs, stop, rake the grass, and then begin again. The next best way, "they" say is to mow from inside out in a circular pattern. Mowing in a circular patterns eliminates the corners and turns. Or so they say. Me, personally, I disagree with them. I like my lawn to have the 'golf course' look. I like the pretty lines. And I don't feel that it's efficient to have to rake my yard. In this area, the pattern of mowing, I feel that efficiency is based on personal preferences. What may be efficient to me may not be to you. There is no right or wrong.

  • Using a mulching blades makes mowing extremely efficient...if you keep the grass mowed. Trying to mulch long blades of grass is not as efficient. It makes the mower work harder. Mulching blades virtually eliminate raking. To me, that's extremely efficient!!

  • In my area, PA, it is best to keep the blades of grass cut at about 2 1/2 inches. You don't want the grass to be too short. The blades need to make chlorophyll to keep the lawn healthy. Yet, you don't want the grass to be too long. Higher grass tends to harbor more pests, especially ticks. Check with your local extension office to find out the proper grass height in your area.

  • Do not mow the grass when wet. It makes the mower work harder to cut the grass. Some people even say that it will dull the blades.





Efficiently Mowing 101: How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficienly (part 3)

How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 3)

Today I will give you some tips on what to do before you store your mower for the winter.

  • You will want to make sure that you have cleaned the entire mower. Including under the deck. Any grass clippings or dirt has the capability of causing scratches or rust during storage.

  • After cleaning the mower, allow it to sun dry. Don't put your mower away wet because that too could cause rust.

  • Add a gas additive to the tank to keep the environmental additives in the gasoline from breaking down and harming the engine parts. Then completely fill the tank. This will help to keep water from accumulating in your mower's gas tank.

  • I have read in our mower's manual that you should also spray some kind of oil into the carburetor to remove any gas in the lines. I'm not sure what this does. Maybe by removing the gas from the lines, it will keep from freezeing and bursting the lines? If anyone knows why this should be done or how it helps with efficiency, please let me know.






What's In A Name Review and Giveaway!!!

YouCanMakeThis.com is an innovative company. I used to be an avid sewer, but due to my lack of time, I hadn't sewn anything in quite awhile. My wedding dress to be exact! So when they contacted me about doing a review of What's In A Name, I was excited. I love to sew!

When I went to the website, I was really amazed with everything that they have offer. They have patterns for clothes, toys, hats, etc. And not only do they have sewing patterns, they also have woodworking patterns and polymer clay patterns and jewelry patterns... just to name a few. You name it and it's probably there!

The really cool thing about these patterns is that they're in a down loadable format. One click of the button and I had my pattern. Being an EcOnomical person, I appreciated the fact that I could choose what pattern pages I wanted/needed to print...unlike buying a pattern in the store which not only
has the paper package, but also a lot of printed pieces that I wouldn't use. I don't like waste.

The pattern itself is very simple with easy to follow directions. Even if this would be your first sewing project, you can do it! If you aren't comfortable with more complicated patterns, they have patterns specifically labeled for beginners.

Although the What's In A Name pattern isn't listed in the beginner page, it is easy and fun to make. I started my pillow with good intentions. However, it is still not finished. My son is making the pillow and I will applique his name. He is having soo much fun making this. Much to my husband's dismay and my delight, my son loves to sew!! This would also be a perfect pattern for a little girls sewing project.

I am delighted to tell you that they are offering one lucky reader the What's In A Name pillow pattern.

CONTEST DETAILS...

Contest begins Thursday, June 25 at 12:00pm and ENDS on Thursday, July 9 at 12:00pm.

The winner will be posted (in the "GIVEAWAY WINNERS" on the right side of my blog) within in 24 hours.


Winner will also be notified either through blog or e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Time begins when I post the winner.

{Please remember, if you are using anonymous to comment, you MUST leave an e-mail address so I can contact you. I do NOT spam or sell your address!}

If the prize is not claimed within this time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Entries will be entered into and chosen by Random.org. I have NOTHING to do with choosing the winner. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments and tips.love


*An additional note...this giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorrysedih*

HOW TO OBTAIN ENTRIES:

Each item counts as one entry only. Please leave separate comments for each entry.

  • Visit YouCanMakeThis.com and tell me another pattern that you would like to make. {You may do this as often as you like!}
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow my blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter (EcOnomicalMom)
  • Follow my blog in Facebook followers.
  • Retweet this giveaway. (Just click on retweet at the top of the post.) You can do this as often as you like, just comment for each tweet!
  • Add my button to your blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog. ( I will be randomly checking.)
  • OR
  • If you don't have a blog or just want more entries... E-mail your family and friends the link to this giveaway. CC my e-mail address ecOnomicalmom@gmail.com. (If you don't CC my address, I won't know you sent them, an they won't count.)
  • Add this to your Facebook status
Good Luck!!!





Effieciently Mowing 101: How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 2)

How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 2)


Today I will give you tips on how to keep your mower running efficiently during the mowing season.



  • Check the oil level after every other run or so. You don't want the oil to get too low. Oil keeps the engine parts lubricated and running efficiently.
  • Low oil=Low efficiency.

  • Don't forget to change your mower's oil... depending on the size of your yard you may have to do this a few times throughout the season. Like your car, you don't want the oil to turn to sludge and ruin the motor. This is one of the easiest, yet least done steps to keep your mower running efficiently.
  • Sludgy oil=Low efficiency

  • Again, like your car, you need to check/change the air filter throughout the season. A clogged air filter will skew the air/fuel balance, thus reducing your mower's efficiency.
  • Low airflow = Low efficiency.

  • Don't forget to clean off the grass that has accumulated on the blades and deck, especially the underside. Doing this not only allows moving parts to move freely, it also helps prevent rust.
  • Clean mower=Happy mower.




Efficiently Mowing 101 {TIPsy Tuesday edition 25.}

Today begins EcOnomical Mom's Efficiently Mowing 101. This is a three part mini-series consisting of 'How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently' and 'How to Mow Efficiently'. Today I will be discussing the former.

How to Keep Your Mower Running Efficiently (part 1)

In order to keep your mower running efficiently, there are certain steps that you need to take. Even though we're already into Summer, I'll begin at the beginning! Before you begin mowing in the Spring you should follow these important steps...


  • After winter storage you should change all filters {air, gas, and oil} and the spark plug. After sitting all winter they may have become dirty or horribly enough chewed by mice. This will help ensure that your mower is running at top efficiency.

  • You will also want to lube any ports or area that need lubed. I can't tell you where or what to lube. I don't know much about doing this, except my husband insists that it needs done to keep the mower running efficiently.

Step two will be continued tomorrow. But right now, I would love to read any tips, tricks, or ideas that you have! It doesn't have to be new, dig deep through your archives! Due to too much spam being sent {it was almost all spam}, I am only accepting links through Mr. Linky. Provided that he works today!kenyit I can't wait to hear from you!






Quick and Easy Sesame chicken kicks off this week's menu plan.

Kicking off this week's menu is one of our favorites...Sesame Chicken. YUM!!! I love it soo much that I've decided to share my recipe after I list my menu.

This week is an extremely easy week for me. XR and I are leaving to visit a friend on Wednesday and won't be back until Saturday! We have an exciting few days planned of hiking and/or kayaking...if the weather cooperates. {Keep checking back though, I have realized that it is okay to write and schedule my posts ahead of time.kenyit }

Monday
Dinner
: Seasame Chicken w/ w.rice and broccoli.
Tuesday

Dinner: Cheesy Hashbrown Skillet w/ peas.
Wednesday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Thursday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Friday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Saturday
Dinner: J's on his own!!!
Sunday
Dinner: Hamburger's, potato packets and carrots on the grill.


Now for the wonderful recipe...

Quick and Easy Sesame Chicken
Ingredients:
  • Package of Chicken Nuggets (I use 25.5 oz GV Chicken Breast Chunks.)
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chile paste (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 c rice (Directions for both parboiled and minute rice)
  • 2 c water
  • 1/2 bag of frozen broccoli florets

Directions:

  1. {If using parboiled rice}Add 2 c water and 2 c rice to hot pot (turn on).
  2. Cook rice for 25 minutes. (You will need to keep checking to make sure the water hasn't all evaporated. Add more if needed.)
  3. Preheat oven according to package of chicken nuggets...usually 350.
  4. While oven is preheating gather all ingredients.
  5. Cook chicken according to package directions...usually for 15-18 minutes.
  6. {If using minute rice}Add 2 c water to hot pot and turn it on.
  7. Bring chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat.
  8. {If using minute rice} Add 2 c rice to hot pot, turn it off, and let it sit.
  9. Dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, and stir into boiling sauce.
  10. Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes.
  11. Reduce heat to low, and keep sauce warm.
  12. With about 5 minutes left on the timer, heat frozen broccoli in microwave for about 4 minutes. (It may need more/less time. Depends on the microwave.)
  13. Serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!!






Happy Father's Day '09!!!

I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a Happy Father's Day. This post is dedicated to my dad...the best in the world. I know raising me was not always an easy task. I can be difficult and stubborn at least I get it honest! I didn't always take the road you wanted me to or even the right road sometimes, but I've always found my way back and been able to get find the right road...with your help. Thank you dad for all that you have taught me. I know I don't say it often, but you mean the world to me. I love you.

And to Bapa, you are sadly missed and lovingly remembered.

Here are some great Father's Day quotes I have found...

"When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, 'Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?' He answered, 'If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.'" -- Jerry Lewis


"A father carries pictures where his money used to be." -- Unknown


"Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad" -- Unknown


"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong." -- Charles Wadsworth


"The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!" -- Unknown


"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." -- Unknown


"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -- Abraham Lincoln


You can find these and other quotes here at the Associated Content.





Freebie Friday... Orange Julius Free Light Smoothie!!!


Today, June 19th, is Orange Julius's Free Light Smoothie Day!!
They have three new light smoothies which all sound delicious. So, click here to download your coupon for a free light smoothie and try one today!!!














Wright Group/McGraw-Hill Summer Reading Giveaway!!!

So...has everyone been thinking about their best summer reading tip(s)???
Tonight begins the Wright Group/McGraw-Hill giveaway!!! They are offering one lucky reader a series of three readers! {The books will be grade/age appropriate.}



MY TWO BEST READING TIPS:
1.Read to your child as young as possible. Even in the womb!
2.Let your child see you reading for your own enjoyment! Even if it's only for a few minutes, it will have a huge impact. Monkey see, monkey do!sengihnampakgigi




CONTEST DETAILS...

Contest begins Thursday, June 18 at 10:00pm and ENDS on Thursday, June 25 at 10:00pm.

The winner will be posted (in the "GIVEAWAY WINNERS" on the right side of my blog) within in 24 hours.


Winner will also be notified either through blog or e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Time begins when I post the winner.

{Please remember, if you are using anonymous to comment, you MUST leave an e-mail address so I can contact you. I do NOT spam or sell your address!}

If the prize is not claimed within this time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Entries will be entered into and chosen by Random.org. I have NOTHING to do with choosing the winner. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments and tips.love


*An additional note...this giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorrysedih*

HOW TO OBTAIN ENTRIES:

Each items counts as one entry only. Please leave separate comments for each entry.

  • Leave me a comment telling me your best summer reading tip and the age or grade of the child receiving these books. {You may do this as often as you like!}
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow my blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter (EcOnomicalMom)
  • Retweet this giveaway. (Just click on retweet at the top of the post.) You can do this as often as you like, just comment for each tweet!
  • Add my button to your blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog. ( I will be randomly checking.)
  • OR
  • If you don't have a blog or just want more entries... E-mail your family and friends the link to this giveaway. CC my e-mail address ecOnomicalmom@gmail.com. (If you don't CC my address, I won't know you sent them, an they won't count.)
  • Add this to your Facebook status







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