Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dinosaur Approved Dinners - Pizza

PIZZA PIZZA We made pizza... PIZZA! Dinosaur LOVES pizza. Making the pizza is ALMOST as fun as eating it.

We add some Ragu pizza sauce, pepperoni, and left over meatballs. Pizza is a great way to use leftovers in the house. Toppings can be chicken, broccoli, sausage, carrots, pineapple, pork, green beans, hummus, olives, or any toppings you like. That's what's great about homemade pizza, there are NO rules and you make it the way YOU want.

If I don't watch dinosaur he'll eat all the toppings and try to eat the sauce all before we finish the pizzas. He's a hungry dino.

In our electric stove it only takes twenty minutes until they are perfectly ready for a hungry dinosaur with a huge appetite. I put them right on the rack, to ensure the bottom is crisp but not burnt.

Mini pizza's are perfect for Dinosaur to hold and take a crazy dinosaur bite. It is important for dinosaurs to try to fit the whole slice in their mouth. YUMMY!

What dinners do you love to make with your kids? How much do they help?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday - Mommy's Savings

Guess how much I paid for all this?

I only paid $0.43. Yes! FORTY-THREE CENTS!!! I added a copy of the coupon below if you don't believe me.

I had bought Huggies pull ups at Rite Aide two weeks ago and each package got me $5 in up rewards. I saved it for when I needed something else.

$2.22 Kellogs Raisin Bran
$2.22 Kellogs Raisin Bran cinnamon almond
$2.99 M&M cookies
$1.00 Honey Nut Cheerios single cup
$1.00 Honey Nut Cheerios single cup
$1.00 Special K single cup
MINUS $10.00 in coupons
TOTAL = $0.43

Now if I had planned ahead I could have brought coupons for the items I bought and and got even more products for a low price.

Go to Hip2Save for great store lists and coupons, the site tells you just how to save money and gets tons of groceries for extraordinarily low prices. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New Products and Store Frustrations

I found this new product, well it's new to me. I have always liked Skippy peanut butter, but can't always bring it to daycare since they restrict peanut products. At home I can eat it every day for lunch; adding apples, bananas, mangoes and other fruits to the sandwich to mix it up and add nutritional value.

I've used a lot of jelly and preserves over the years, but after finding Mango Butter in Trader Joe's I am hooked. It doesn't clump, fall out, and get sticky like jelly, jam, or preserves. I will have to save up and get more.

Since my local health food store doesn't carry any sunflower butter, I also use Trader Joe's sunflower butter for daycare. It does get a little greasy, but keeping a paper towel underneath it helps. 

I am disappointed in my local stop and shop store. They have just left a sour taste in my mouth. First their brand of freezer bags opened up too many times at the WORST times. Then they had expired almond milk products out for over a month. Yesterday they a had NO almond milk products at all. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. They are reorganizing the store and forgot to order more almond milk I guess. 

It's frustrating because they will double coupons up to 99c, but that is just not enough to keep my loyalty. Now I have to find a local store with good savings that accepts coupons. I do a good deal of shopping in Walgreens and Rite Aide because of their deals, coupon rules, and money back in the form of register rewards and up rewards respectively. But they don't sell meat, almond milk, fresh fruit and veggies.

Trader Joe's has lower prices than the supermarkets. Instead of buying frozen meatballs I'll buy the ingredients and make my own. The brand of almond milk and rice milk was cheaper than the local supermarket. They have a pre-made  guacamole and hummus mix which is AWESOME! Dinosaur and I love hummus and guacamole, but I CAN NOT make hummus and suck at making guacamole. 

And I just found http://healthylifedeals.com this site lists the deals and manufacturer coupons each week for Trader Joe's. How cool is that! 

Where do you shop for fresh foods? How many stores do you use for grocery shopping? Do you use/like Trader Joe's? 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dinosaur's Side of the Story

So my mommy has been doing a lot of complaining lately and I think it's time I tell you my side of the story.

First of all, it is not my fault that the plexiglass over the screen door is so cheap and breaks easily. All I did was hold on to it and it snapped in half on its own. I must be a strong dinosaur.

~duct tape over original crack~
 Then mommy puts that gray tape on it, but it snaps in half again. I think she should blame the company that makes the plexiglass and not a three year old innocent little boy.

~more duct tape on second crack~

Do I look like I am capable of doing that damage? Look at my sweet innocent face.

~sad face when he broke the plexiglass~

Then mommy and daddy put tape on the screen door lock and wooden door lock, because they think I am going to lock them out of the house. Is it my fault that the locks are fun and exciting to play with? Again, mommy is blaming the wrong person.

~duct tape over screen door lock~
~packaging tape over door knob lock~

I have a few questions of my own. Why is not okay for me to drive a car? They look so fun with all their buttons and big steering wheel.

~jumped from car seat into drivers sea and insisted on driving to store~

Why can't I put sticks in a car's tailpipe?

Why can't I put rocks in wheels of a cars?

Why can't I throw toys at the TV?

Why can't I drink out of Balboa's water bowl?

Why can't put toys in people's drinks?

I think mommy makes all these rules up to just be mean. I bet you all can do those super fun things? What mean rules do you make your kids follow?       

Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Question Friday

My Little Life

1. What is the funniest thing you saw on Facebook/twitter this week?  I like all the fake greeting cards, they crack me up. This is one of my favorites. I crack up every time I read it. 

 2. What is your favorite Olympic event? I find the diving and sprints amazing. I am not athletic at all and am in awe of their exceptional athletic abilities. The determination and strength to train for that is something I don't have in me. I walk for five minutes or swim with my son at the beach and I'm done for the rest of the day.

3. Do your kids to chores around the house? If so, what are they and how old are the children? Do they get paid for them? My son is three and has chores with help of course. He feeds the dog, puts away his toys before bed, puts his clothes in the hamper, and set the table for dinner. He gets paid in half his age every week, $1.50. I put it in his bank or in his wallet so when we go shopping he can buy what he wants if he has the money.

4. If you get bad service/food do you complain or keep quiet?  If I'm at a restaurant, I will do my best to be kind and respectful unless its harmful to me or my family. Then I will contact the main headquarters and let them know and review online. If it's a food product I will most definitely stop using and contact the company.

We recently went to big-name food chain on vacation and they ONLY had three items with no dairy! While the server was helpful, she rushed me to make a decision and I ordered something I didn't want. I HAD to contact the company to let them know and explain why they should also offer more choices and give customers time to make a decision when ordering food.

5. If you could pick ONE frivolous item for your home, what would it be? (massive room sized closet? swimming pool? greenhouse? etc. We rent the lower floor of a two story house. It's only 950 sq feet, but I love it and don't need for much except for an updated kitchen. The current kitchen has old outdated appliances. They work but waste energy and space. I'd love to have modern appliances and a stove with five burners. Imagine the meals I could create for my
family with that stove.

Head on over to answer the questions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Never again will I...

...let hubby plan and book a vacation, no matter how hard he pleads to help me. Hubby  meant well, but we are staying at the hotel in hell. He booked a package deal for Sesame Place and got the hotel in the worst part of town with NO pool. What was he thinking.. or rather NOT thinking? The first room didn't have a working fridge and the second room was missing a desk. There bathroom was not cleaned well and there was hair on the floor. I spent half and hour cleaning that bathroom before I would let my boys step one foot in there. The people who work here are clueless, seriously. One person said she never heard of any diners in the area! Isn't she supposed to know the area?

If we ever do this again, we are going to stay in a hotel closer to Philadelphia so we can visit both Sesame and Philly. I will plan it out and make sure its a great hotel and itinerary.

On the bright side, Dinosaur loved Sesame Place. He was in awe of the character breakfast and rocked all the water rides. I thought he would be scared but he was crying for more. Even though the heat was a killer, being soaked from the water rides helped us stay cool. When the heat got to be too much for dinosaur and he started to get tired we put him in his strolled and covered him with a wet blanket. That was his personal AC and he LOVED it. Soon he was off to dream land and we got to relax in the shade near our car.

The Crayola Facotry was an awesome place to visit but not for a wild dinosaur who wants to be constantly moving. That place is for kids who like to sit and focus on what they are doing, which is NOT my son. I will do a better job of researching a place before going to it based on its name. I want to make sure my son gets the most of his vacations.

Anyone ever learn from their vacation mistakes?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Taking a dinosaur on vacation

Packing last minute items and trying to load the car with a 3yr old dinosaur is NOT fun, at all. He spilled gold fish all over the rug three times and kept trying to leave the house in the rain. Then laid down in the middle of the floor, exhausted from his destruction.

Then I had to explain to him and answer thirty "whys?" as to why we can not bring ALL his toys on vacation.

When we finally left the house, we had a late breakfast at our local diner. Dinosaur loves to play with his cars, and drawing a road always keeps him busy.

After a few minutes on the road he thankfully fell asleep, but it only lasted an hour.

He DID NOT NAP the rest of the day. Instead he ran around the mall in PA screaming like a maniac and trying to run away form us. Are vacations fun for parents? Maybe I'll feel different when we go to Sesame Place tomorrow.

This photo was taken only minutes after he got to the mall, exactly five minutes later his rampage of terror began. The rampage which left both my husband and I in a state of exhaustion, one that I don't think we will ever recover from.

Now we sit in the hotel bed, playing with the horse and barn set daddy bought him at Cracker Barrel. You would have thought hubby bought him a real horse, he was beyond excited.This came in handy as we had to move hotel rooms since the fridge was NOT working. They moved us to another room with a working fridge, but an old AC and dirty bathroom. I WILL be leaving poor reviews when we leave and on the website. Yes, I will blog about their poor service, after I leave.

Here's to hoping that tomorrow will be a fun day with son at Sesame Place. I can't wait to see his reaction to the character lunch and water parks. Every moment he is thrilled makes me excited, seeing it all through his eyes is a wonderful trip.

How do you all survive vacation with the kids? 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pineapple Pancakes and Egg Cupcakes

Yes, pancakes again...but this time with pineapples. YES, pineapples. They were delicious and perfect. I cut the pineapples into tiny slices and added them into the batter. I did my usual mashed banana's in the syrup. Dinosaur loved them, even my picky dad ate some. 

More leftovers into eggs, only this time I have dinosaur calling them "Egg Cupcakes". Mom's are so good at being deceitful.

As you can tell from my previous recipes, I like to add lots of spices such as curry, garlic, onion, parsley and allspice. YUMMY

We used leftover fries, broccoli and fried chicken.

 Look how great that batter is, now time to cook the egg cupcakes.

Dinosaur couldn't eat them fast enough. Even though he saw green in the cupcakes, he gobbled them up. They were healthy, yummy, and filling.

What breakfast/lunch are you most proud of this week?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday - Dinosaur Says

Finally my chance to speak. ROOOOOAAAARRRR

The only reason I go shopping with mommy is to help her. She would forget half the food if I wasn't there to hold the list, jump around and not listen when she asks me to stay next to her. When we went to the toy store, there were these cool rides, but she said I had to wait till after we were done shopping. Hey if I am going to get a toy, I can wait to ride the elephant and truck.

Well, imagine my horror when she DIDN'T get me a toy and only let me ride the elephant ONCE. Of course I cried and kicked my feet, wouldn't you? I should have at least gotten six rides out of that elephant and four from the truck behind me.

I need to have a talk with mommy about her parenting, one ride was not fair. After all, she bought a gift for another kid and bought me NOTHING. I think I deserved the fun, don't you? Maybe you can all talk to mommy for me?


 My Pop Pop stayed with us this weekend and we went out to dinner. I love my Pop Pop, but he is too nervous. I'm a boy and need to move around. He wants me to sit still, aint gonna happen.

Anyway, here we are waiting for our food. He looks really old in this picture and almost like his head was pasted onto his body. LOL. But he is still my buddy.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Five Question Friday & Car Crazy Dinosaur

My Little Life

1} What do you call them- flip flops, sandals, thongs, or slippers? Flip flops and sandals. I wear slippers in the house. Aren't thongs the skimpy underwear?

2} Are you a "my kids can do no wrong" kind of mom or a "Johnny punched you? Well what did you do to him first?!" kind of mom? I'm a "Well what did you do to him first?" type of mom. The other moms honestly get on my nerves.

3} Would you confront a good friend that looked/looks down on your husband/significant other? OH YES, only I am allowed to do that, LOL. Seriously, my hubby is not perfect, but he's my husband and father to our son, no one is allowed to hurt anyone in my family.

4} Biggest pet peeve? lack of common courtesy. If I hold open the door, say thank you. If I let you get in line in front of me, say thank you. If you see me behind you, hold open the door for me. I teach my son to be respectful, why don't other parents?

5} What's your favorite take out meal? I'm such a bad mom, but we all love McDonald's kid's meals, especially the chicken nuggets. I only let Dinosaur have them twice a month if he is lucky. 

Head on over to answer the questions and join the link. 


He loves his cars, not as much as dinosaurs, but he loves his cars. 

Poor mommy is NOT allowed to touch any of his cars, I have to sit and watch him play. He will ask me questions and see if my full attention is on him, LOL.

He loves the movie CARS and has most of the main cars. When they go missing (no fault of his own) we have to conduct a STOP EVERYTHING AND SEARCH FOR THE MISSING CAR routine. I won't let him take the cars anywhere, because if he loses the special cars in a restaurant, we will NEVER be able to find them.

Do you see all his cars? I swear he knows each and everyone of them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dinosaur approved school lunch

I try to give Dinosaur a choice of two items for daycare food. Today he chose....

BREAKFAST: Turkey bacon, eggs, banana muffins

LUNCH: meatballs, chips, guacamole

Mommy Cleaning Schedule

Over the years I have seen several sites that offer strategies and cleaning routines. Me being me, I need to always create my own that caters to MY needs. Therefore, I created my own easy to use cleaning schedule. I like to do two/three things a day (besides the needed daily routines like washing dishes and tidying up).

So my cleaning schedule is below. I have laminated it and keep it next to my door in my small kitchen. I check off each task I complete and when it's filled up I erase and start over.

I adjusted it for our new apartment, since our 1200sq foot condo had more space to cover. Though, 950sq feet is harder to clean, because one thing out of place makes the entire space look messy.

I have a crazy three year old dinosaur and by no means expect things to be REALLY tidy. Life with my guy has taught me to just let it be. He WILL break the curtain rod, he WILL break the wicker basket, he WILL break the plexiglass cover over the screen door.

I teach him to clean up after himself and so that he feels better about hsi space. If it's messy he will feel messy too. It seems to help, he can find his toys and relaxes in organization.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mini Banana Muffins and Leftover Egg Muffins

Dinosaur loves to eat food he can hold in his hand. He can eat with a fork and spoon rather nicely, but the best way he eats is when he eats with his hands. As moms know, we have to get our kids to eat anyway we can.

I love taking a trusted banana bread mix and using it to make mini muffins. I follow the directions, instead I pour the batter into a mini cupcake pan.
Dinosaur loves to lick the spoon and being an only child you get to lick two spoons! 


After they are done, they look so yummy and smell delightful. They are the perfect size for Dinosaur's hands.


 These are perfect for daycare as breakfast or lunch, or even dessert with coconut or soy ice cream


After seeing this all over pinterest, I had to try it. I chopped up our leftovers from the diner (chicken fingers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and french fries)  and put them in a bowl with four eggs. I added parsley, onion, curry and garlic.

 They came out so unbelievably delicious. Dinosaur ate them right up.

Reminds me of quiche, may have to make these when company comes over. Would make a great appetizer.