Friday, October 29, 2010

{Guest Post} A Chicken Classic

This is a guest post from Amanda over at A Sink Full of Dishes.  She is just getting her site up and running and would love more followers!  Her site is all about the life of a working mom.  She plans on sharing a little bit of everything but has some amazing recipes up right now and has been nice enough to share one of her favorites with us.  She will also be co-hosting the 30 Days of Christmas event with me where we will have recipes, home decor/craft ideas, product reviews to give you great ideas for gifts and some fun giveaways.  I hope you will follow each of us so you don't miss out!   Thanks- Jessica 

A Chicken Classic

I remember when I was a little girl standing at my mother’s side while she was cooking dinner. One of my favorites that she prepared quite often was baked chicken. It sounds plain, simple, and just ordinary but it’s far from boring.

You will need:
• 3-4 pound whole chicken, cut into 8 parts (2 breasts, thighs, legs, and wings)
• Olive Oil
• Salt
• Fresh ground pepper
• ½ cup chicken stock or white wine for the gravy
• 8 red potatoes
• ¼ milk
• 2 tbsp. butter


• Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse chicken pieces in water and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil. Rub some olive oil over all of the chicken pieces in the roasting pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the pieces skin-side up in the roasting pan so the largest pieces are in the center (the breasts) and there is a little room between pieces so they aren't crowded in the pan.

• Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F. Then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for 10-30 minutes more (approximately 14 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time) until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165°F and the thighs 170°. If your chicken pieces aren't browning to your satisfaction, you can put them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking, until browned sufficiently.

• Remove roasting pan from oven. Remove chicken from roasting pan to a serving plate. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

• To make gravy for the chicken, take the roasting pan with its drippings and place on a medium setting on the stovetop. Use a metal spatula to scrape up the drippings stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add a quarter cup of white wine or chicken stock* to the pan to help deglaze the drippings from the pan

• Pour the wine/stock and dripping mixture into a small saucepan and heat on medium high to reduce to desired thickness.

• Clean and cube potatoes

• Place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water

• Let boil until soft

• Remove from heat and strain water

• Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl

• Add milk and butter

• Either by hand or electric mixer smash to desired consistency.

• Salt and pepper to taste

I hope you all will enjoy this fast simple recipe and it will become a part of family favorites.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Activeion ionator HOM Review & Giveaway ARV $180

I think every mother's dream would be to find one product that takes care of ALL cleaning needs.  A tool that will eliminate the need for all other cleaners, especially harsh cleaning chemicals.  What would you say if I told you Activeion has made this very tool?

That's right!!  Activeion created the ionator HOM.  This is a handheld appliance that alters regular tap water- it converts it into ionized water that will clean AND sanitize all without ever using and harsh chemicals.  This is a great multi-surface cleaner and kills the 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Influenza A virus and more than 99.9% of most harmful bacteria (E. coli, VRE, Salmonella, MRSA, Pseudomonas, Staph, Listeria and E. coli O157:H7) when used as directed.

I am so excited to see just how much I will save from not purchasing cleaners anymore.  The Ionator HOM replaces the need for every cleaner imaginable- glass cleaner, carpet cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, granite cleaner, leather cleaner, wood cleaner, etc.  These are just a handful of the products I will now be able to throw away.  I love the fact that not only am I saving money but I am also getting rid of these cleaners that come with warning labels.  You know, the ones that say may cause harm to skin, eyes when ingested or inhaled.  It is so nice to not have to own a product with a chemical-related health warning.  This should be a main concern with parents.  I feel a lot more comfortable knowing I am not creating a harmful environment for my children.  Activeion products carry no health related warnings.

Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell tested Activeion technology against the leading chemical cleaners. Its conclusion – Activeion cleans as well or better than general purpose and specialized chemical cleaners. Our own tests have reached the same conclusion over and over again. 

There are a few major kinds of problems the ionator cannot deal with like synthetic oil spills or heavy calcium deposits- Activeion states the ionator HOM and ionator EXP are general purpose cleaners, not miracle cleaners.  I disagree!!  I love the Ionator HOM and think it is a miracle.  I can deal just fine with the heavy duty oils and calciums another way but I am so happy to be able to get rid of all the nasty chemicals from under my sink!

How it works as well as proof- (from Activeion site)
The human eye can't see germs—nor can it see Activeion technology killing the germs. This killing process, called "irreversible electroporation," sends a low level electrical charge into germs and bacteria that permanently ruptures their cell membrane.

A scanning electron microscope at a major university studied the effects of electroporation in Activeion technology. The images below show representative Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria before and after applying the Activeion device in a 2 second spray. (WARNING: LOTS OF GERMS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE PHOTOGRAPHS.)

Note: These electron micrographs were obtained by the Characterization Facility at the University of Minnesota, pursuant to a study conducted by Orbio Technologies, a Tennant Company Group and licensing partner of Activeion.

Bacteria cell walls are clearly compromised and these germs are dead, along with the their chance of causing sickness or infection.

For Activeion to legally claim that the ionator EXP and ionator HOM kill germs, the United States EPA requires that every claim be validated by proper testing at an independent laboratory. The testing must comply with a specific EPA protocol, called the Good Lab Practice (GLP) protocol. According to the lab results of Activeion's testing, when used as directed the Activeion ionator EXP and ionator HOM kill more than 99.9% of E. coli, staph, salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, pseudomonas, listeria, MRSA, VRE, and the H1N1 virus. And the lab didn't even see our pictures!

I haven't noticed a MAJOR difference between cleaning with the Ion HOM compared to other cleaners.  I tested it out on my counter and wiped the top three times with 409 and the bottom with the Ion HOM and it did wipe up a little better.  Thes best part is knowing it is killing germs!  We have used this on our fridge, dresser, carpet, entertainment stand, table, and many more places!

The ionator HOM is so simple to use.  You fill it with tap water and push a button to spray.  It plugs in to recharge when needed.  I only have needed to once!  It lights up green (picture below) to let you know it is charged and ready to go.

This is definitely something I would recommend to everyone!!  Why have all of the harsh cleaners in your home when you can make a large purchase ($180) one time to have a safer atmosphere and save money in the long run.  I would especially recommend this to those with children or who may be allergic to other chemicals/cleaners.

BUY IT:  Find out where to purchase Activeion products HERE

WIN IT:  If it wasn't enough to make your day just leaning about a safer, easier way to clean your home, Activeion has offered one of The Simple Things readers their own ionator HOM!!

1. Limited to US residents; 18 years old and above
2. You must do the mandatory entry for any other entries to count
3. Leave 1 comment for each entry including e-mail and/or link (ie if you blog about this for 3 entries you need to leave 3 comments)

Mandatory: Let me know one thing you have learned about Activeion (the company, products, technology) OR tell me how your household could benefit from having your own ionator HOM

Additional Entries:
1."Like" The Simple Things on Facebook (1 entry-leave a comment with your fb id)
2. "Like" Activeion on facebook (1 entry- leave comment with fb id)
3. Follow The Simple Things on Twitter (1 entry-leave a comment with your twitter id)
4. Subscribe to The Simple Things (2 entries-must verify email)
5. Follow Activeion on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (1 entry per day- leave link)
Feel free to use:
·         Clean& sanitize your home using only H2O with the @Activeion ionator HOM! #Win one @ashlesmommy07 RV $180 #green #nontoxic
6. Follow The Simple Things on GFC (1 entry)
7. Post this giveaway on ONE giveaway linky (2 entries-leave linky url.  Only one giveaway link for a total of three entries throughout the whole contest)
8. Entered the Entry Butler Giveaway (2 entries-must have been completed while the giveaway was still open)
9. Blog about this giveaway- leave links to The Simple Things & Activeion (3 entries)

This contest will end Wednesday, November 24 2010 at 11:59 p.m. PST. The winner will be chosen using Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If the winner(s) do not claim their prize in the 48 hour period, a new winner(s) will be chosen at random

Disclaimer: I did not receive any form of cash for this review and this is written based on my own honest opinion (other people opinions may vary). I was provided with an ionator HOM to be reviewed but this does not affect my review and opinion of the product(s)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I am a big fan of Curel lotion. Although we don't have many skin issues in our family I do notice my children get dry patches, especially during the winter. I just heard about Curel's new lotion-Sensitive Skin Remedy Lotion™ and I can't wait to try it out! With the weather changing I am sure I will need to find something that works well on our skin-especially my legs.


Sensitive Skin Remedy Lotion is a breakthrough sensitive skin treatment. Not only does this lotion fix the problem short term, it actually goes beyond to target the source. "Individuals with sensitive skin have a weaker skin structure than those with healthy skin, allowing environmental irritants to penetrate the skin and cause dryness, stinging and irritation." The problem is caused from a compromised barrier depleted of Ceramides. Curel's new lotion replenishes the Ceramides which works to not only hydrate skin and relieve irritation but also strengthens the skin and reduces future sensitivity.

"In clinical studies, participants experienced significant improvement in skin texture and hydration after two weeks of using Curél® Sensitive Skin Remedy Lotion™. In addition, skin strength was restored and skin sensitivity was dramatically reduced. After four weeks, participants saw improved skin structure and refined texture."

The Sensitive Skin Remedy Lotion contains a Ceramide complex that mimics the effect of natural Ceramides found in the skin. This then acts as a gatekeeper by locking in moisture as well as keeping any irritants out.  Like many other lotions, this is fragrance-free, dye-free, hypo-allergenic moisturizer.  The difference is that it works to help reduce future sensitivity unlike other moisturizers.
 This sounds like the lotion to buy and I can't wait to try it!! I don't know why you would want to use any other lotion that only works to mask the real problem. Have you had the chance to try Curel’s new lotion yet?

The Curél® Skincare collection includes:
• Curél® Daily Moisture Original Lotion
• Curél® Daily Moisture Fragrance-Free Lotion
• Curél® Ultra Healing Lotion
• Curél® Itch Defense Lotion
• Curél® Skin Nourishing Lotion
• Curél® Sensitive Skin Remedy Lotion™
• Curél® Hand & Cuticle Therapy Cream
• Curél® Foot Therapy Cream

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuesday Blog Hop

Happy Tuesday to everyone!!!  It is still Monday here but close enough :o)  I have a pillow pet giveaway and miracle jeans giveaway going on if anyone is interested!  

I am also hosting a 30 Days of Christmas event with A Sink Full of Dishes.  You can find more information on my top tab.  We would love to have some guest posts with anyone interested in sharing a good holiday recipe, craft, money saving tips, etc.  This can be done anytime from Nov. 15 through Dec. 15 and can coincide with something you are doing on your own site already.  We have some really great sponsors and I cannot wait!!  More details to come.....

These are the cupcakes I made for my sons Preschool party tomorrow-  They are not the greatest (I was in a hurry!) but I still thought they turned out cute.  There were super easy- frost cupcake- frost nutter butter and stick in cupcake.  Use decorating gel for face. 

Tuesday Tag-Along

Sally Beauty Supply Deal

There are three great codes that you can combine that get you free shipping, $5 off and a free product.  These are good until Oct 31st.

  Here's how it works:

1. Select over $6 in product or the free shipping will not work.  I found a timer for $6.49.  I lost my old one and loved using this to get the kids excited to help around the house and somewhat keep me on a time schedule when cleaning.

2. Enter these codes-
555202 = free shipping on any order (Make sure it is over $6)

555655 = $5.00 off any online order that is $5.00 or higher

444368 = Free ASP Liquid & Powder Sampler Kit ($12.95 value)

Here is how mine worked out:

Thanks Deal Wise Mommy for sharing this!

Sweet n Sour Meatballs on Rice (crockpot recipe)

It was really cold out today and I wanted to make something in the crock pot for dinner.  My oven is still broke :-( but I love using the crock pot!!  I found a recipe for Sweet n Sour Meatballs that sounded really good.  It was super "Simple" to make and I only had to buy a few things I was out of.


1 pound ground beef, lean
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dried chopped onion
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 can pineapple, chunks (15 ounces)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce, low salt
1 large green pepper, cut into pieces
hot cooked rice

  • In a bowl, combine ground beef, egg, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, salt, pepper, and onion. Shape into 1 1/2 in balls. In a large skillet, lightly brown meatballs in oil. Drain fat. Transfer meatballs to Crock pot.
  • Stir together in a small bowl, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, remaining cornstarch and green pepper. Pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours or on High for 2 to 4 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in can of pineapple. Serve over hot cooked rice.
I did not use onions or green peppers.  When I used 1 lb of hamburger meat it didn't seem like much so I ended up using X4 of everything.  We ended up with enough for everyone plus some (about 24 big meatballs)

Let me know if you try this or make something similar.  I would love to hear!! :o) 
~Keeping Dinner SIMPLE~
Thanks to CDKitchen for the recipe

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pillow Pet Review & Giveaway

By now, I am sure most everyone knows what a Pillow Pet is. If you have kids, you probably even catch yourself singing the catchy tune now and then ;o)- It’s a Pillow, It’s a Pet, It’s a Pillow Pet.

If not, let me fill you in. Pillow pets are adorable pillows that fold together with Velcro and can also be used for play. You undo the little strap for a full size pillow and fold it back up to make a cuddly animal. They are great quality and I can tell you from experience, they keep kids entertained for hours. You can choose from many different very soft animals.

Christmas is coming and this would make the perfect gift! If you remember last Christmas, it was a mad dash to get one of these and they ended up being backordered. Now is the perfect time to think about buying Pillow Pets.

My 3-year old son loves frogs so we decided to get him the frog Pillow Pet. It is so stinkin cute. When I first brought it home I had the box barely opened and had set it on the couch. I was thinking about possibly giving him this as a Christmas present. Not 5 minutes later my husband is telling me to come in the living room. Kasen runs up holding his Pillow Pet (which he opened all on his own). "Mommy, Mommy, Look- It's my Pillow Pet!!!" He was so excited there was no way I could take it away from him. For the past week his frog has went EVERYWHERE with him. He refuses to sleep without it. We plan on taking our Pillow Pets on our drive to Disneyland next month. They are perfect for traveling.

As a mother, I love the fact that Pillow Pets can be washed. They say surface washable but the site has instructions for how to wash if when necessary. You simply put it in a white pillow case, tie the open edge, wash on cold/gentle and do not dry.

Before you buy- make sure you're getting a real Pillow Pet. Sadly, because of the high demand many people are selling "knock-offs". To make sure you are purchasing an authentic Pillow Pet here are some tips-
  • Most importantly, be sure to check that the sewn-in label on the back leg of the animal says “My Pillow Pets®”, “My Pillow Pets ™” or “Pillow Pets™”.
  • Open the Pet up to its pillow form and confirm that the “My Pillow Pets®”, "My Pillow Pets™” or “Pillow Pets™” plush folding stuffed animal sewn-in label is on the lower left corner as shown on the company’s website.
  • No other brand name should appear on an authentic “My Pillow Pets®” or “Pillow Pets™” plush folding stuffed animal.
  • Ordering online at guarantees that the consumer will receive an authentic product. 
  • If a consumer has any questions about My Pillow Pets® plush folding stuffed animals, they should call our toll-free customer service line at 1-800-318-7926.
View the full article HERE.

Buy It: You can purchase Pillow Pets online. Your first Pillow Pet is $19.95 + S&H with each additional one being $15.95 + P&H (up to 5)

Win It: Pillow Pets has generously offered to give a Simple Things Reader their choice of Pillow Pet!!

1. Limited to US residents; 18 years old and above
2. You must do the mandatory entry for any other entries to count
3. Leave 1 comment for each entry including e-mail and/or link (ie if you blog about this for 3 entries you need to leave 3 comments)

Mandatory: Let me know your favorite Pillow Pet & who you would give it to

Additional Entries:
1."Like" The Simple Things on Facebook (1 entry-leave a comment with your fb id)
2. "Like" Pillow Pets on facebook (1 entry- leave comment with fb id)
3. Follow The Simple Things on Twitter (1 entry-leave a comment with your twitter id)
4. Subscribe to The Simple Things (2 entries-must verify email)
5. Facebook, and/or Tweet about this giveaway- (1 entry per link- You can do each once a day for a total of 2 entries per day) Feel free to use: I just entered to #Win a Pillow Pet on The Simple Things Ends 11/13
6. Follow The Simple Things on GFC (1 entry)
7. Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (3 entries-leave linky url)
8. Entered the Entry Butler Giveaway (2 entries-must have been completed while the giveaway was still open)
9. Blog about this giveaway- leave links to The Simple Things & Pillow Pets (3 entries)

This contest will end Saturday, November 13 2010 at 11:59 p.m. PST. The winner will be chosen using Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If the winner(s) do not claim their prize in the 48 hour period, a new winner(s) will be chosen at random

Disclaimer: I did not receive any form of cash for this review and this is written based on my own honest opinion (other people opinions may vary). I was provided with a Pillow Pet to be reviewed but this does not affect my review and opinion of the product(s)

Easy Parmesan Chicken Recipe

I really like making "simple" dinners.  I don't have the time to cook elaborate meals (maybe someday!!) and like anything that takes only a few ingredients and I can make quick.

Parmesan chicken is really easy and my whole family loves it!!  I do not measure anything so I can't give you specifics-  But really that is just how easy this is to make.

You will need:
Chicken (I like drumsticks or the picnic packs)
Parmesan Cheese
Saltine Crackers
Butter or Egg

  • I get a big Ziploc baggy and put a bunch of saltine crackers in and mash them up.  The kids love to help with this!  I then add shredded Parmesan cheese to the bag mixture.
  • Dip chicken in the melted butter or egg then put it in the baggy and roll it around so it is covered.  Repeat until all chicken is covered, stick in cake pan.  I always sprinkle a little more cheese on top.  Bake on 350 until finished. 

**You can add in spices, salt, pepper or substitute bread crumbs for crackers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Miracle Jeans Review & Giveaway

MiracleBody is from the creators of MiracleSuit (see the review and giveaway here).  I was lucky enough to receive a pair of Miracle Jeans to review and I love them!!  They are my new favorite pair of jeans to wear.

I tried the Samantha Jeans, Boot Cut, Classic Pocket pictured above.  I was so excited to try these jeans on and I was very impressed with the quality (although I wouldn't expect less from this company).  They were super soft and you can tell they are very high quality jeans.  The waist is mid-rise.  I have never worn mid-rise before but it did not bother me at all.  They are actually my favorite pair now because they keep me from having a pooch.  The color is perfect!  They are great for casual wear and also for a night out.  They can be paired with a cute top and heels or boots and look very dressy.  I honestly have no complaints about this jeans.  I like the length and after getting used to the fact they go up a little higher than I am used to, they are perfect!


10” Mid-rise: sits on the hips to create curves, higher in the back for additional rear coverage

Boot cut: subtle flair in the leg helps creates a balanced appearance

Embroidered pockets: Classic style, designed to give the illusion of a slimmer backside

96% Cotton, 4% Spandex: comfortable fit with breath-easy stretch

32” Inseam: regular length

Machine washable: inside out, gentle cycle

Made in the USA of imported fabric

MiracleBody Jeans come in a variety of colors and styles which can be purchased for around $110.  This is a little higher than I would normally pay for a pair of jeans but I know these will last a very long time!

MiracleBody's slogan is look 10 lbs lighter in 10 seconds!  Although I don't know that I look 10 lbs lighter when wearing these, I can tell a big difference in how flat my stomach looks which is a plus!!

Buy It:  You can purchase MiracleBody products online.

Win itMiracleBody is giving away a pair of jeans to a lucky reader of The Simple Things!  You will receive your choice of Samantha (boot cut ) classic pocket, Skinny Minnie (skinny jean) classic pocket, or denim leggings


1. Limited to US residents; 18 years old and above
2. You must do the mandatory entry for any other entries to count 
3. Leave 1 comment for each entry including e-mail and/or link (ie if you blog about this for 3 entries you need to leave 3 comments)

~Mandatory~:  Go to MiracleBody and let me know which jeans you would love to have this fall/winter

~Additional Entries~:

1."Like" The Simple Things on Facebook (1 entry-leave a comment with your fb id)
2. "Like" MiracleBody on facebook and let them know The Simple Things sent you (1 entry- leave comment with fb id)
3. Follow The Simple Things on Twitter (1 entry-leave a comment with your twitter id)
4. Subscribe to The Simple Things (2 entries-must verify email)
5. Facebook, and/or Tweet about this giveaway- (1 entry per link- You can do each once a day for a total of 2 entries per day)  Feel free to use: #Win a pair of jeans from Miraclebody & The Simple Things ($110 value) Ends 11/19
6. Follow The Simple Things  on GFC (1 entry)
7. Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (3 entries-leave linky url)
8.  Entered the Entry Butler Giveaway (2 entries-must have been completed while the giveaway was still open)
9. Blog about this giveaway- leave links to The Simple Things & Miraclesuit (3 entries)

This contest will end Friday, November 19 2010 at 11:59 p.m. PST. The winner will be chosen using Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If the winner(s) do not claim their prize in the 48 hour period, a new winner(s) will be chosen at random
Disclaimer: I did not receive any form of cash for this review and this is written based on my own honest opinion (other people opinions may vary). I was provided with a pair of MiracleBody Jeans to be reviewed but this does not affect my review and opinion of the product(s)


I am behind on posting winner's and I apologize!!  Life has just been really crazy :-P  Here is a list of recent winner's and they have all claimed their prizes already!  Congrats again :o)

Thanks to everyone who entered and to the wondeful sponsors!!

3X3 Entry Butler giveaway:

#15- Emma B. said... Definitely my entryway needs the most help. I love the bamboo dry•erase entry butler! 

Bendaroos Giveaway:

#109- Joni D.

GG4 Prize Pack:

#20- Kerry B

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Easy Money Makers (I actually use!)

I don't have a lot of extra time.  I have tried surveys and although great for some people I just don't have the time to do them right now.  I have seen people talk about so many numerous ways to earn a little extra cash or gifts and had never looked into it.  I am writing this incase there is anyone out there like me-  that sees all of these and does not take the time to really look into them or understand how easy they are.

EBATES-  I never would have thought about using a site that pays you for your purchases online.  In August, we made a $300ish purchase from Home Depot & I decided to try it out.  I received a $10 Home Depot gift card for signing up (There are a few you can choose from) and I made $11.20.  Not a ton but it is money.  My plan is to stick this into savings for a trip or to help out if needed later on.  I just recently purchased Halloween costumes through Ebates.  I paid $86 and will be receiving a $12 check in November.  I don't purchase offline a lot (except Amazon which is one of the few places not included :o( ) but even the couple purchases I have made have been worth it.  You simple find the store on the Ebates site, click it and it takes you to the store web page while tracking it.  Payment is received as below
Purchases Posted Between Big Fat Check Sent
Jan 1-Mar 31 May 15
Apr 1-June 30 Aug 15
July 1-Sept 30 Nov 15
Oct 1-Dec 31 Feb 15
There are 4 ways to receive money- Check, Paypal,  Charity/Organization/Family Member and they are trying out prepaid Visas. 
You can sign up for Ebates HERE.

SWAGBUCKSThis is an online search site just like Yahoo or Google.  I often search for things and you get rewarded for searching here!  You can sign up for an account and automatically get 30 swagbucks.  You then can earn swagbucks for searching (I normally get 7-15 swagbucks).  They just randomly are awarded for a search every so often.  You can also take a daily poll for swagbucks, do offers, watch videos, etc.  My favorite thing about this is with 450 swagbucks you can get a $5 amazon gift card code and they are stackable!!  With all of my Amazon purchases these will really help out and all for doing what I do everyday anyways.  They also offer other giftcards and prizes you can purchase.  You can sign up for Swagbucks HERE.

I just wanted to share these in case anyone is like me.  I seriously never would have thought about doing these normally but they are super easy and have already paid off!  I am all for "SIMPLE" and these make the cut :o)

*These do include my referral links.  The only reason I am promoting these sites is because they have worked great for me and have already paid off.  In no way was I compensated for anything posted above*

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Play Station Move

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PlayStation MOVE. All opinions are 100% mine.


As a family we love anything that gives us a reason to spend time together and the Play Station Move  does just that!  The Play Station Move will take gaming to another level.  "PlayStation®Move redefines motion gaming with the most immersive and realistic gaming experience only possible on the PlayStation®3 system. The simple, easy-to-use controller captures a full range of motion giving you ultimate control over how you play the game. With a diverse selection of games and new ones launching all the time, you can enjoy hours of fun with friends and family."

The Play Station Move is a gaming system that gets EVERYONE involved.  If we were given one of these, I know we would be spending even more time together than we already do.  I am positive this would be every one's favorite thing to do!  One of my favorite activities for our children are the ones that get them working out and they don't even realize that's what they are doing.

The Play Station Move has games that would appeal to everyone from golf to working out to party games!  A couple of my favorite Play Station games are included that I can't wait to play on the Move- Sly Cooper and Little Big Planet 2. 

If you don't already own this you can bring motion gaming exclusively to your existing PlayStation®3 for only $99 with the MOVE bundle package!  What an awesome Christmas present this would be!!  You could spend your holidays doing something everyone can enjoy.

Visit my sponsor: PlayStation®Move

Low entry giveaway ending and upcoming giveaways!

The Three by Three Entry Butler giveaway ends tonight!!  This giveaway only has 70 entries.  You can enter HERE.  If you enter this giveaway you will also recieve 2 extra entries into any other giveaway this month!!

Upcoming Giveaways include Pillow Pets & Miracle Jeans!!  All of these would make great Christmas gifts (if you don't want to keep for yourself ;o)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I quit!!

OK, So I am completely aware that this is not really an option, nor would I want it to be but it felt good to say!! 

I didn't get quite enough sleep last night but I woke up actually feeling pretty good.  I got work issues taken care of and then rode up town with my mom to pick AshLynne up from school.  My new calendar and chore chart I ordered came in and I was really excited to get home and get everything set up.  

When I got home I really didn't have much work and I took some time to do the dishes, try and pick up a little and I got the chicken defrosting for dinner.  I came back in my office to do a little work and that's when it all started....

"Mom!  Come look at what Kasen did!!  Enter kitchen-  My floor is flooded with water from the fridge.  I am sure it was not JUST Kasen.  I am positive someone was an instigator.  Threw a towel on it and came back in office.  

2 min later-
"Mom!  Kyren pooped!"  "OK, I will come change him in just a minute"  "No his diaper is off and it's all over!"  So I go put him in the tub and turn my back for 2 seconds and Kasen manages to shove the basket of stuff (a full basket of lotion, perfume, soap, hair things, etc) off the toilet into the bath.  I start thinking, seriously??  where did my day go so bad??  I have been cleaning, work is slow today and I am actually getting dinner done and done early for once. 

After bath incident-
So I preheat the oven, finish making my chicken, get it all in a pan and open the oven.  It is COLD.  Not the just starting to warm up kind of cold, the I am broke, not turning on cold  HAHA good luck with dinner now!  So a normal person might have hurried and threw something together on the stove.  Not me, I was finished!!  I fed my kids the jello they had been patiently waiting for :o)  I spent the next ..... very long time messing around with the oven.  Unplugged it for awhile, pressed a million buttons, even said a prayer. NOTHING  Now keep in mind, this is not just any oven.  My parents purchased a new one and gave us their old one which wasn't very old compared to what we had.  I was so excited to have a new oven that I could actually read the buttons on.  :0( 

Thank goodness my mom loves me!  She ran some spaghetti over here for us to eat since we were starving.  During that time Kasen decided to take a jello bath and also smeared it over half of my couch.  Then come to find out, not only was their the stuff from the basket in the bath but also 2 rolls of toilet paper had been thrown in.    

On the bright side, Jason has the next two days off!!! YAY :o)  He now has the privilege of taking over kid, cleaning and cooking duty.  I need time to recuperate!  Maybe work on the chore chart??

Am I the only person with days like this???

Friday, October 15, 2010

Please help me out!

I made a survey for all of my readers!  In keeping with the site, this is a very "simple" survey ;o)  I know we don't all have a lot of time.  I am just trying to get some basic information on my readers to improve my site and also for sponsors.  You know I love to offer you guys great giveaways and sometimes a sponsor wants more detailed information on my readers- ie. age, kids or not, married or not......  I would really appreciate if you would fill it out!!  Please let me know if you have any problems with the survey or if you have anything I can help you with today.  Thanks!!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Celebrating Halloween with Hershey's

I am a HUGE fan of chocolate.  It can't be just any chocolate, it has to be Hershey's.  It would not be Halloween without Hershey's.  So of course we use Hershey's candy in so many ways during October.

Here are a few fun facts:

According to a national survey conducted by The Hershey Company, personal candy preferences may provide insight into Halloween costume choices. According to the survey:

About 30 percent of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Kit Kat Wafer Bar and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate lovers will do the monster mash this year as a vampire, witch or monster.

Fans of Twizzlers Twists may get the chance to show their dance moves as they twist the night away dressed in garb from the 1950s. More than 41 percent stated they plan to dress-up in period piece costumes from different eras of the 20th century.

Jolly Rancher lovers will most likely sport a cape on Halloween, as 23 percent expressed a desire to channel superhuman powers as their favorite superhero.

We will be buying big bags of Hershey's candy to eat share with our trick or treaters.  We will also be passing out Hershey's candy during our church Halloween party and I will be making treat bags for my children's parties at school- Did I mention I love Hershey's !?!

I also love using Hershey's kisses to put in the middle of peanut butter cookies. mmm mmm  I am so excited for Halloween and the chance to spread a little joy!!  What are you using Hershey's for this Halloween?

Make sure to check out Celebrate Halloween with Hershey's for more fun ideas!

I am writing this post to qualify for a Hershey's Halloween prize pack as part of Mom Bloggers Club

Old Navy Sweater Event

It's that time of year again!  I can't think of a better place to buy a sweater than Old Navy.  I LOVE their clothes and REALLY LOVE that I can buy for the WHOLE family there.  If you live by an Old navy store check out this awesome Sweater Event- You can pick up a sweater for just $10- see details below

The early bird gets the warm this Saturday at Old Navy! Most stores open early for the $10 Sweater Event, 7 am – 10 am only, Check your local store for hours. Stock up on select styles of this season’s hottest sweaters for the whole family. But fly in early because this deal will get snatched up fast. Visit for all the details.

While you’re at Facebook click “Barker’s Bones” to dig up this week’s highest-value, unlimited coupon: $10 off $50. Play once a week to score super savings. Happy Sweater Season!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming CSN Review

I will be doing a CSN review this month.  I am so excited to work with this company and wish I would have sooner!  I cannot believe how many products they offer- Everything from baby items to nesting tables and kitchen products.  They have offered to let me do this once a month and I plan on switching off with some giveaways as a thank you to my wonderful readers :o)

This adorable wall art set would go perfect in my house-

CSN stores has over 200 shops!  They offer great prices along with free shipping on tons of things!!  I know this will be the first place I look next time I need anything.  Be watching for my review and don't forget to check out CSN stores :-)

First Family Vacation!

Since my husband and I were married in May of 2008 we have never been on an actual "family vacation".  Between kids being little, working on the house, work, etc we had just never got around to actually planning anything.  We have taken short overnight trips and if you have been following The Simple Things all along you know we went to San Diego at the beginning of summer but that was far from a vacation.  Sure we had fun but he had training and I still had to work :oP  NO FUN!!

We decided about a month ago that we are going to Disneyland!!!  I haven't been since I was pregnant with my 3-year old and my 2 youngest boys have never been.  We have been saving like crazy and trying to get everything planned from how long to go, where to stay, etc.  I think I found a great place that is very kid friendly and I am hoping it works out.

Anyways, I am really excited and just wanted to share!!!! :o)   I hope to have a few travel related posts about what worked for us with three kids, 5 and younger.  I would love to hear any tips, advice or stories you have whether it be on traveling, money saving tips, places to stay or Disneyland itself....... 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10 ideas for incorporating fun and play into your child’s daily activities

I think it is so important for a kid to get to “be a kid”. I always had the opportunity to have fun and just play when I was little. This unstructured free form of play helps children to be creative thinkers and problem solvers. Sometimes I get so caught up in “life” I feel like we aren’t doing enough. These are some things I try to incorporate into our daily lives so we don’t get too bored!

1. Role Play/Pretend: I want my children to be imaginative and creative. We will often role play or pretend. I really enjoy getting down to their level to get to know them better. Some of the best thing I remember from my child years were pretending to me somewhere else or be someone else. It is fun to see what my kids come up with!

2. Cooking/Preparing Food: My children always want to help when we are cooking and preparing food. I think it is great to let them help. They love the quality time they spend with us doing something useful, it keeps them occupied and what better way to learn than by doing!

3. Cleaning: I always try to make cleaning into a game. This gets my kids excited to help and they often end up doing much more than if I just tell them what to do. My daughter (5) loves when I give her two cups. One will be filled with something such as marbles and she has to pick up something for each marble and then move it into the empty cup. When the first cup is empty she will come and tell me and is so excited to show me what she has got done. It makes her feel like a big girl and is fun at the same time.

4. Getting Dressed: My kids are not the best at picking out clothes ;o) Everything is always mismatched and they look ready for Halloween. On laid back days I will let them wear the things they picked out. It doesn’t hurt anyone and that is what they like. On more important days, I will lay out a couple outfits and let them choose. This gives them the decision (but they don’t pick out something scary!)

5. Reading: I think it is SO important for kids to be read to each day. Sometimes it is hard to get the kids to settle down and seems more like a chore. On these days we will go cuddle up in bed or get the blankets out and make a big bed on the floor. This gets them more excited to read and when we lay there they calm down and want to listen to the story.

6. Errands: My husband and I will often pick one of our children to get to go with us to go places like the store or the post office. With all three children it is usually a big headache. When we let one kid come they usually behave better and feel special. There is no fighting over who gets to turn the key or get out first! We all really enjoy this one on one time.

7. Everyone Helps: It is never any fun when it feels like you are doing something all by yourself. When we are having a hard time we like to get the whole family working on it, such as cleaning the living room. It goes by faster and is more fun with someone to talk to!

8. Music: We have musing going in our home a lot. This can be us singing or playing a cd. It is fun to dance around and just let loose. I admit it, I have even jumped on the bed with them!! :o) Music always cheers us up no matter what else is going on.

9. Outside Play: We go outside everyday! I think we would all live out there if we could. Sometimes we will read or do homework outside. This is a good way to get the kids in some exercise and who couldn’t use a little sun!?!

10. Bed Time: We like to make bed time “family time”. We all help the kids get pajamas on, they like to pick a book or two out and we also like to use this time to ask how their day went. I think they enjoy bedtime a little more knowing they get to spend some time with mom and dad. When asked, OK that would be every night, we will time the kids while they get jammies on, brush their teeth etc. They love to race! A little secret I learned from my dad- You can tell them they same time over and over and they don’t notice for a long time! ;o)

These are just some of the things I do to help my kids have a little more fun! These don’t cost and they are not hard to do. I would love to hear your ideas. I am always trying to squeeze a little more fun into our lives.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

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