Friday, May 30, 2008

I Got a Spark From SocialSpark!

As the title of my blog states I'm a Stay at Home Mom. So I've been trying to find ways to make some extra money. With food prices and gas prices going up, every little bit can only help. The following is my review which is Sponsored by Social Spark.

So I found a great site to join. Its called SocialSpark. What's great about SocialSpark is it's not only is a place where you can find some jobs to make money, but it's also a great place to read other bloggers profiles and find other blogs that might interest you!

When you join you create your profile. Which includes facts about you and your blog. You can view my profile here. What's great about SocialSpark, and different from other sites, is you find others blogs and view their profiles and even maybe make some new friends.

A blog I've discovered since I joined is Roxiticus Desperate Housewives. You can view her profile here. This is a great blog by a mother of two talking about life in Roxiticus Valley, New Jersey. This is a very entertaining blog, I may not have discovered unless I joined SocialSpark.

So if you're looking to make some extra money and also find a great community of blogs to discover then I would suggest checking out SocialSpark. I'm glad I did.

Four Things Meme


I was tagged to for "Ten Random Facts About Me" meme, by Dette at Dance of Motherhood. But I already did "7 Random Facts About Me," so I don't think you need to know 10 more facts - lol.

I was also tagged by Catnip at Catnip & Coffee for "Four Things Meme," so this is a little different so thought I'd try it. I just love being tagged - (sarcastic lol!)


Four Jobs I’ve Held:

  1. Dunkin' Donuts
  2. Nuring Homes (dietary aide)
  3. Cashier at a Farm Stand
  4. Insurance Agency
Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:

  1. Wizard of Oz
  2. Sound of Music
  3. Star Wars Series (the original 3)
  4. Indiana Jones Series

Four Places I Have Lived
(This could be boring I only have lived in 2 diff. states)

    1. Arlington, Massachusetts
    2. Burlington, Massachusetts
    3. Pepperell, Massachusetts
    4. Nashua, New Hampshire

Four TV Shows I Like

  1. American Idol (this year's anyway)
  2. Medium
  3. Men in Trees
  4. Survivor
Four Favorite Foods (all foods I barely ever get, but I love them)

  1. Chicken Parmesan
  2. Scallops
  3. Lobster
  4. My Mom's Homemade Potato Salad!


Four Places I would Rather Be

  1. Fenway Park, watching the Red Sox
  2. Florida
  3. Arizona (one day I want to see the Grand Canyon)
  4. Australia (I'd love to go there, too)
Four People I am Tagging (four lucky gals)

  1. Rachel
  2. Cascia
  3. Amy
  4. Donna Reed in Blue Jeans

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WW 11- "My Daughter & Raggedy Ann"









(This a Raggedy Ann doll my daughter just had to have. Well, at least she paid for it with her own money - mostly)



See more Wordless Wednesday's Here :

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hiking & My Husband's Discovery of a Great Website

My family is planning some camping trips for this summer. While camping we also are going to do some hiking. My husband has been searching online for a backpack we can use. Last year we did some hiking and didn't have a good backpack, we barely could carry any water! So this year it is essential that we find a proper backpack.

While doing an online search my husband came across a website called LA Police Gear. They sell everything from backpacks, footwear & boots to tactical gloves.

It's not just for policemen, they sell their products to the general public. It looks like we might be able to go hiking this summer after all, with a nice backpack.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spilt Pea Soup


My mother had a party last week. She served spiral ham as one of the dishes. I was lucky enough to get the left over ham and ham bone! I immediately thought of making Split Pea Soup, which I haven't made in years. Due to the fact that a whole ham can be pretty expensive.

I know what your thinking, "Split Pea Soup, it looks gross, yuck, etc." Or it reminds me of The Exorcist when Linda Blair spews Split Pea Soup all over the place! But Split Pea Soup has a bad rap, and is actually delicious!

pea soup

So if you're lucky enough to get hold of a ham and ham bone, think of making Split Pea Soup. I cooked it in my crock pot! Which I dug out, after not using for a long time. (This inspired me to start using it again more.)

Ingredients:

1 ham bone with lots of meat left on it
1 pkg. dried green split peas (1 lb)
1 onion (chopped)
carrots (I cheated and used some frozen baby carrots - about a handful)
1 chicken bullion cube
2 quarts water
salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

It's pretty easy. You just throw everything in the crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hrs. Or on high for about 5-6 hrs. I cooked it on high. Cook until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. Remove bone - (you may have to cut some of the meat off the bone.)

Any left overs can be frozen too! Give it a try sometime. You'll be surprised how good it is!



(Also, on a different note, Happy Memorial Day! God Bless all who have served our Country and all who have lost a loved one that has served our Country. My father was a Korean War Veteran. He survived the war, but unfortunately died almost 15 years ago. I miss you Dad!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins



( Here's a cool meme I came across Friday Fill-ins, click photo above to go see more playas. The words in bold are my fill-ins)


1. On my laziest day I like to: sleep late & stay in my pj's late & read a good book!
2. Mopping my kitchen floor makes me feel like I'm being productive.
3. I love little kisses and big hugs.
4. This summer I want to do a lot of camping!.
5. Trying to make some extra money online made me start my blog. (How's that working out for ya - lol)
6. Red Sox! and orange soda.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching Red Sox game, tomorrow my plans include taking my daughter to all her Saturday activities! and Sunday, I want to go to the new Indiana Jones Movie!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Love of Museums

Growing up in Massachusetts I was exposed to a lot of great Museums. At least once a year, either through school or with my family we would visit the Museum of Science in Boston. I loved going to this museum! From the huge dinosaur to the interactive exhibits for kids, visiting this museum is one of my favorite memories from my childhood. I went to the Children's Museum in Boston too, on a couple of field trips as a kid and I remember how fun that was!

Another museum I have also gone to a few times is The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Which I loved! I remember the first time was on a 6th grade field trip. We were studying art, and we went to the museum. Even as a kid I remember thinking how remarkable the art was.

When doing an online search about museums I came across the website for The Stark Museum of Art.





The Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas has one of the finest collections of 19th and 20th century Western American art and artifacts in the country. Among the collection is paintings and sculptures portraying cowboy life and Indian imagery at the turn of the last century. To learn more about the artists and their work visit The Stark Museum website.

There is also a Decorative Arts collection that features glass and porcelain. It includes numerous items from Steuben Glass.

The American Indian collection has objects made by by members of the tribes of the Great Plains, Southwest, Eastern Woodlands and Northwest Coast.

They also have a Rare Books & Manuscripts collection. The collection includes The Birds of America by naturalist John James Audubon. Being a bird lover, as I stated in one of my previous posts, this would especially interest me. I would love to see the original work of Audubon, and view his beautiful illustrations.

The Stark Museum also has a foundation. The Stark Foundation carries out their mission of encouraging, promoting and assisting education, the arts, and health and human services, through programs at The Stark Museum. They also encourage and assist education through grants and through a scholarship program.

The Stark Museum looks like a great place to visit. I would also love to travel to Orange, Texas. If I'm ever in Orange, Texas I'm going to be sure to check out this museum!



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Remembering My Trip to Los Angeles

I was thinking recently about one of my wildest vacations. About 17 years ago, right after I had graduated college, 3 of my friends and I went on vacation to Los Angeles. We all sat down before we left and reviewed our list of Things to do in Los Angeles.

When we arrived there we realized there was so much to do. My friends and I spent every day doing something fun and exciting. One day when we were there we went to Universal Studios Hollywood. We had a great time going on the Universal Studio Tour. I remember seeing "King Kong", "Jaws", and the "Psycho" house, it was really cool.

While we were in Los Angeles we also saw the "Hollywood Sign", and the "Hollywood Walk of Fame," which I've always dreamed of seeing and finally got to see! Somewhere near the Walk of fame I remember going into a Wax Museum! It was the first one I've ever been in. It was so neat. They had replicas of everyone from Elvis to Madonna! Some of them looked so real, you felt like you were really seeing the real celebrities!

One day we even had a wild day in Tijuana, Mexico, since it's so close to Los Angeles, we took a bus tour there. We had a very exciting day shopping and seeing different sites in Mexico!

Remembering my trip to Los Angeles makes me want to plan another trip. I was recently looking at Trusted Tours & Attractions for some ideas on where to go. I was looking at sightseeing tours and Things to do in Las Vegas.

I've always wanted to go to Las Vegas and see some shows! I also just learned that if you sign up for Trusted Tours & Attractions newsletter you will be be entered to win a $150.00 iTunes gift card! My husband would love that!


Do you have your next vacation planned?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Go Red Sox!








Here's a cute email I received from my Sister's Boyfriend. Great for all Red Sox Fans, or anyone who likes a joke. Go Sox! :


On the first day of school a first grade teacher explains to her
class that she is a Yankees fan.
She asks her students to raise their hands if they, too, are
Yankees fans.
Wanting to impress their teacher, everyone in the class raises
their hand except one little girl.
The teacher looks at the girl with surprise,
"Janie, why didn't you raise your hand?" "Because I'm not a
Yankees fan," she replied.
The teacher, still shocked, asked, "Well, if you are not a
Yankees fan, then who are you a fan of?"
"I am a Red Sox fan, and proud of it," Janie replied.
The teacher could not believe her ears. "Janie, why pray tell
are you a Red Sox fan?" "Because my mom is a Red Sox fan, and my dad is Red Sox fan, so
I'm a Red Sox fan too!"
"Well," said the teacher in a obviously annoyed tone, "that is no reason for you to be a Red Sox fan. You don't have to be just like your
parents all of the time. What if your mom were an idiot and your dad
were a moron, what would you be then?"
"Then," Janie smiled, "I'd be a Yankees fan."
-----------------------------------------------------


A family of New York Yankee fans headed out one Saturday to shop
for the youngest boy's birthday.
While in the sports shop the son picks up a Red Sox jersey and
says to his older sister, "I've decided to become a Red Sox fan and I
would like this Boston Red Sox jersey for my birthday."
His big sister is outraged by this and promptly whacks him
upside his head and says, "Go talk to mother."
Off goes the little lad with the jersey in hand and finds his
mother. "Mom?"
"Yes, son?"
"I've decided I'm going to be a Red Sox fan and I would like
this jersey for my birthday."
The mother is outraged at this, promptly whacks him around the
head and says, "Go talk to your father!"
Off he goes with the Red Sox jersey in hand and finds his
father. "Dad?"
"Yes, son?"
"I'v e decided I'm going to be a Red Sox fan and I would like
this jersey for my birthday."
The father is outraged and promptly whacks his son in the back
of his head and says, "No son of mine is ever going to be seen in THAT!"
About half an hour later they're all back in the car and heading
towards home. The father turns to his son and says "Son, I hope you've
learned something today?"
The son says, "Yes, Dad, I have."
"Good! And what is it you learned?"
The son replies, "I've only been a Red Sox fan for an hour and I
already hate you Yankee bastards!"
--------------------------------------------------------------------




Four baseball fans - a Cubs fan, a Cardinals fan, a Red Sox fan,
and a Yankees fan - are climbing a mountain and arguing about who loves his team more.
The Cubs fan insists he is the most loyal. "This is for the
Cubs!" he yells, and jumps off the side of the mountain.
Not to be outdone, the Cardinals fan shouts, "This is for the
Cardinals!" and throws himself off the mountain.
The Red Sox fan is next to profess his love for his team.
He yells, "This is for everyone!" and pushes the Yankees fan off
the mountain.
--------------------------------------------------------------------




A Red Sox fan liked to amuse himself by scaring every Yankees
fan he saw strutting down the street in an obnoxious NY pinstripe shirt.
He would swerve his van as if to hit them, then swerve back just missing them.
One day while driving along, he saw a priest. He thought he
would do a good deed, so he pulled over and asked the priest, "Where are you going, Father?"
"I'm going to give Mass at St. Francis church, about two miles
down the road," replied the priest.
"Climb in, Father. I'l l give you a lift!" The priest climbed
into the passenger seat, and they continued down the road.
Suddenly, the driver saw a Yankees fan walking down the road,
and he instinctively swerved as if to hit him. But, as usual, he swerved
back onto the road just in time.
Even though he was certain that he had missed the guy, he still
heard a lou d THUD. Not knowing where the noise came from, he glanced in his mirrors but still didn't see anything.
He then remembered the priest, and he turned to the priest and
said, sorry Father, I almost hit that Yankees fan."
"That's OK," replied the priest "I got him with the door."

IF YOU ARE A TRUE RED SOX FAN YOU WILL SEND THIS TO OTHER PEOPLE....LETS SEE WHO IS

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

WW 9 - "China, Mushu"









See more Wordless Wednesday Participants Here:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Renuzit TriScents HomeMakeover

Have you heard about the $20,000 Renuzit TriScents Home Makeover Contest? The entrants had to create a short home video or take a photo and then write an essay that explained why they were in need of a Home Makeover and how Renuzit® TriScents™ could help.

They've narrowed it down to the semi-finalists and now it's time to vote. You can be the judge. You can help a lucky homeowner in the Renuzit TriSents "Transform Your Home with Tanya Memme" Promotion win the grand prize home makeover worth $20,000!

My favorite semi-finalist submission is the one where a little girl named Ashley talks on the video how her family needs a makeover. Her parents and triplet baby brothers are in desperate need of a home makeover. Go check out this video entry! This family really needs a home makeover, and the kids are so cute! The house has peeling fixtures, bare walls and little space. This family got my vote!

Go to the semi-finalist gallery once per day through June 7th to vote for your favorite. It would be great to help out someone to win this great prize! The semi-finalist with the most votes will win a $20,000 home makeover with Tayna Memme!




7 Random Things about Me




I was tagged awhile ago for two different memes. One by Cascia from The Healthy Moms, and one by Amy from Adventures in Being. So I decided to combine them into one post.


The rules:

a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write seven random things about yourself.
d. Tag seven random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

About Me!


1. I love birds. I love to feed the birds, bird watch, and can identify most birds.

2. I am the "Baby" in my family, I have two older sisters.

3. I lived in the same house all my life, (until I got married) which is in Massachusetts. My family never moved! And my mother still lives there.

4. I attended a Catholic College, St. Anselm's College, Even though I'm not Catholic - lol!

5. For various reasons, I didn't get my drivers license until I was 24 yrs. old!

6. I love soap operas.I don't know if I should admit this, but I have watched the ABC Soaps since I was like 9 yrs old!

7. My favorite show on TV is Survivor! I have watched every season since it started and I try not to miss any of the episodes. I tape them or watch them online too! Don't tell me who won Sunday night because I didn't watch the Season Finale yet! (hope that doesn't make me a geek - lol)

***UPDATE! I just watched the Survivor Finale. I'm so mad. I wanted Amanda to win! Any other Survivor Fans out there feel the same way?

So that's 7 random things about me. Like I saw on someone else's blog, I am going to just keep this a self tagging meme. Since I've noticed most bloggers have already done this one. If you haven't already done it and want to, leave me comment after yours is up and I'll include your link :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Family'sTrip to Disney World (Part II)


On my trip to Disney World my family and I "hit" all the Parks they have. We had the "Park Hopper" passes, so you can go from park to park in one day. Some days we did two to three different parks in one day!

When we first arrived, my son and I especially, felt somewhat sick. We had kind of a turbulent flight, my son was sick a few hours after we got there. He didn't really like the plane ride! But he started to feel better and we were able to get to the Magic Kingdom on our first day. Let's just say it was super crowded! Being a Sunday, I think when a lot of other people start their vacations, and the Magic Kingdom was open to 2 am that day! We saw the (I think it's called) Electric light Parade. Pretty cool! But kind of hard to see through the crowd!

The next day we went to the Animal Kingdom, awesome! I loved it the "Safari" they have it is so cool! You get to see the animals so up close in natural surroundings. We actually did the Safari two times throughout our stay. They also have a trail where you can walk around in see other animals. I especially loved the Gorillas. They have a whole area where there are Gorillas and they are so close to you with only a small barrier dividing you. It was so awesome!

Tip: If you are staying at one of the Disney Resorts, there are special hours for
the parks. For example Animal Kingdom on the Monday we were there was open at 8:00 am, an hour early then the general public can get in. And Epcot was open 2 hours late another night. I highly recommend taking advantage of this, you can really get a jump on the crowds this way.


We pretty much did all the parks one to two times each, while we were there. Besides Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, we went to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Which has the Tower of Terror and The Rock n' Roller Coaster! Which my kids chickened out on both! We didn't really even consider the Tower of Terror, but we were in line for the Rock n' Roller Coaster when my daughter said she was scared and both kids decided they didn't want to do it, we headed to the exit, while Dad did it on his own! It goes from 0 to 60 in like the first 3 seconds! My husband said it was cool. That was one thing while we were there that my husband & I did, if the kids didn't want to go on a ride we tried not to force them, we encouraged them to give them a chance especially one's I knew weren't scary but if they really didn't want to do it we didn't make them.

Epcot I think was actually the kids favorite park. There is a lot to do and see there. There favorite ride out of all the rides at Disney World was in Epcot. "Test Track," which is a car ride, in which you "test" a car. You test the brakes, etc., ending with a 60 mile an hr. loop around a track! It was so cool! Another really cool ride at Epcot Center was Soarin'. This is a ride where you feel like your hang gliding. It's hard to explain (check out the link for a better idea) but believe me it was great!

Tip: At the parks they have something called "Fast Pass." At first we were skeptical about using it. But by the second day there we used it a bunch of times. "Fast Pass " lets you essentially get a pass on a ride. You get your pass then it gives you a time (usually about an hour later ) to come back, you get in a special line and get on the ride with little or no wait , and in the mean time you can go do other things instead of waiting in line. It's great and really came in handy for some of the more popular rides like "Test Track."

We also went to two water parks Typhoon Lagoon & Blizzard Beach. Which were both great and the kids loved them! My son even did the Humunga Kowabunga, which is a huge water slide with like a 60 foot drop!


A few more tips:


1.Buy an autograph book. One of my kids (especially my daughter's) favorite part about the trip was seeing the characters and getting her picture taken with them. We also bought her an autograph book so she could get their signatures.
2. Buy the refillable cups. At the hotel they sell cups that you can reuse to buy drinks. This came in handy for extra drinks throughout the day (even most importantly coffee for Mom & Dad - lol)

3. Disney's Photo Pass. This is a cool service they have now at Disney. Photographers throughout the park will take your photo. Then they put it all on one card. When you get home you can view them online. And purchase the photos you want. It's great for getting the "whole" family in the photo. I might purchase a few good ones that came out of all of us.

4. Buy Disney Dollars. Before we left I bought the kids $25.00 each in Disney Dollars. If the kids have some money saved or Grandma or Auntie want to get them something tell them to get Disney Dollars. You can purchase them at any Disney Store, and they're good on buying souvenirs, while you're there.

5. Book your own vacation. I planned the whole vacation myself right online, at Disney World.com I think it saved me some money doing it myself. But if not check out your travel agent & compare. Look at all options.

That's a few tips I have. Hope it helps anybody planning a trip to Disney World. Also above is only some of the highlights of what we did, we actually did even more than I'm saying. And there was also a lot at Disney World we
didn't do. You really can't do it all! Before I left I said this might be the last trip there, but we had such a great time, maybe we will go back in a few years.

Here's a few more pictures:







Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Family'sTrip to Disney World (Part I)

(***As I started to write this I realized that I have a lot to say on this subject, so I decided to break this up into at least two posts. Continue reading for Part I***)

My family's trip to Disney World was great! We had so much fun. The weather was perfect (at least for me) 80-85 degrees everyday! I loved it! Summer is my favorite month, and it was like Summer down in Orlando everyday! I could totally live down there! I love the weather. When we got home we found out it was raining the week we were gone and in the 40's! I was glad I missed that.

Enough about the weather. Like I said in my previous post (I Got a Loan, Now what am I Going to do) we stayed at Disney's Pop Century Resort. Which was quite nice. The kids loved all the funky decor they have around the hotel. It was actually a lot bigger than I had expected. We stayed in the "90's," with a big cell phone stairway (we walked up to get to our room), floppy disk, and walkman surrounding us. Cool! Before I left I thought there was only 1 pool. But there was at least 3 or more pools, throughout the hotel. So we had a "computer" pool very close to our room. And it wasn't ever that crowded. My daughter, especially loved the pool. And would even be swimming at 9 o'clock at night!

The Pop Century Resort also had a very nice fast food type restaurant and gift shop area. So you could get some of your meals there and even some souvenirs. As I mentioned before included in my package was the "Disney Meal Plan." If you are going to Disney World I highly recommend purchasing this. I know this saved us a lot of money, and I'm not lying when I say that I think it saved us maybe up to $1,000.00 of our own money in food costs.

How it works is as part of your package you can purchase the Meal Plan. I think it cost me around 740 dollars. Then when you get to Disney World they give you what they call "Your key to the World." You use that as your ticket for entrance in the Parks and for your Meal Plan. With the plan we had you get one meal (per person) a day at what they call a "Quick Service" restaurant, one meal a day at a "Sit Down" restaurant, and one snack a day. And you can use them in any combination throughout your stay.

Before I left I was worried about if this would be enough food for everyone. But believe me it is! The quick service places serve everything from Chicken Salads to Burgers. And The sit down places are everything from Italian Restaurants to Buffets. You can really get a lot to eat especially at the "All you can eat" Buffets! Probably too much! You also get non-alcoholic drinks included and desserts. (And what we would do is desserts that we didn't finish like packaged cookies or brownies, we would save for later and the kids could eat them as snacks later) And you get snack a day too extra (that you can purchase at your hotel or at various vendors through out the parks) anything from big soft pretzels to ice cream!

One thing I was wrong about before I left I thought "tips" were included. They
are not at the "Sit Down" places. On your "key to the world" though you can add your credit card info. and then any extra charges (like tips) you make can be added on. Even with paying our own tips we still saved a lot of money with the meal plan, because the food down there is fairly expensive a quick service meal for four (if you pay with your own money) will cost you at least $40.00 and sit down meals cost at least $100.00-$150.00! So by my calculations I feel we saved at least $1000.00 with the meal plan!

Also another thing about the restaurants, for the "sit down" places a lot of them require reservations. Before I left I did make reservations at the Contemporary Hotel for the Mickey and Friends Character Breakfast.(See pictures taken from that breakfast Here) Because I heard it's quite popular. So if you want reservations, especially for any "character meals" you can make reservations up to 120 days in advance! So if you are super organized you can make all your reservations before you even get to Disney World! If not when you get there you can call a 1-800 number they give you to make your reservations. There are over 100 restaurants to choose from in the meal plan!

So thats a few tips and information about my fantastic trip to Disney World, for now.
Stay tuned for Part II about my trip!

Below is a few more pictures (my husband took with our new Canon DVD Camcorder, that also takes stills)


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

WW 8 - "Mickey, Minnie, Donald & Goofy - Oh My!"






(Check back tomorrow for a complete post about my family's trip to Disney World!)

See more Wordless Wednesday Participants Here and

Here:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Top 10 Entrecard Droppers

EZWealthSolution
26
EzGreatLife 25
nofaceberg 24
Bloggin-Ads 24
The Sewing Mom 23
According 2 Nessa 20
Bakedblog 20
Absolutely Mom's 19
Pixelated Thoughts 19
Chica & Pumuckl - Living with Cats 16

Above is a list of my top EntreCard Droppers. Thanks all for your loyal dropping! Sorry I haven't been able to drop back on anybody in the past 8 to 9 days. But I was away at Disney World! I just returned from a great trip last night! I will try to get a post up about it this week. But right now I'm too tired and have lots of unpacking, laundry, etc. to do, to do any more posting than this. So thanks for all Entrecard droppers this week and I will try to play "catch up" this week.
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