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  1. Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Time to ‘swif swif’ with the Swiffer Wet Jet!

    The Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge is literally right around the corner! I can’t believe it’s already here…and I’m getting super excited. The music playlist is ready, my SINGLE dress has arrived (it’s lovely!) and I’m ready to party!

    Swiffer® is the title sponsor of the event. As part of the sponsorship, they sent each of the hostesses the newly redesigned Swiffer® Wet Jet® with Antibacterial Solution. Cate and I gave our new Wet Jet a test run today, with great success! Here are the reasons I am really liking this new Swiffer Wet Jet:

    1) The pole is stronger. You can get much better leverage and it just feels nice and sturdy. I am so happy they made this improvement!

    2) The scrubbing strip has been moved to the front of the mop, which is nice and handy.

    3) It’s battery operated! I had a similar wet mop years ago that had tubes I needed to rinse out, and the little trigger that was kind of ‘iffy.’ The Swiffer Wet Jet has a nice, simple, battery-powered button that sprays the soap through dual-action sprayers (fancy!).  There are no tubes, no messy bottles to pull in and out spilling all over the place. It’s just smartly designed.

    4) Cate is in love with it and wants to clean all day long!

    Seriously, she loved “Swiffering” the living room and would have all day if we didn’t make her stop to eat! And look at all the dirt she cleaned up! The floors were mopped just three days ago with a traditional mop…I can’t believe all the dirt the Swiffer Wet Jet picked up! (Should I be embarrassed for sharing this picture? Oh well!)

    Big THANKS to Swiffer for a great Wet Jet and for being the title sponsor for our party!

  2. Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Don’t Miss It! Fun Summer Dessert Recipe on Make and Takes

    My second guest post on Make and Takes is up! You won’t want to miss it…I actually did something creative and artistic with food…rather than just preparing and eating as quickly as possible! Click here to read about Watermelon Pie…it’s adorable AND yummy. What could be better in the summertime? Maybe running through the sprinklers, but that’s it.

  3. Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Olallieberry Picking!

    We recently went olallieberry picking! You may be thinking, “Olalawhat?” You’re not alone – I just discovered them myself. Olallieberries are grown primarily in California and are a cross between the loganberry (which is a cross between raspberries & blackberries) and the youngberry (which is a cross between blackberries & dewberries).

    Now that you know the olallieberry’s genealogy {yawn}, on to the fun stuff! We picked our olallieberries at Phipps Country Store & Farm in Pescadero, CA…a lovely spot nestled in the hills near the ocean. How beautifully northern California is that view?

    Phipps Farm was so fun, a great place to take your kids. Old tractors all over the place and more chickens than you can imagine (Anna’s favorite attraction by far). We went with one of Cate’s little friends and his family. It was just a really happy afternoon.

    The kids had a BLAST picking berries, which are ripe when they are BLACK. Needless to say, Anna was almost exclusively attracted to the bright red berries…which sadly were as sour as could be!

    Phipps had the largest assortment of beans I’ve ever seen. They were beautiful and I had to resist the urge to photograph every bean I saw.

    There are two sure signs that berry picking was a great success.

    Sign #1: Ridiculously dirty kids.

    Sign #2: Ridiculously delicious homemade jam.

    In case you’re wondering…for my olallieberry jam, I followed the freezer jam directions for raspberries from the pectin box.

  4. Monday, July 13, 2009

    Free Random Giveaway: Calling Cards

    This Giveaway is now Closed. Thank you!

    In addition to “mom” and “food blogger,” I am also a graphic designer…a title that actually pays some of the bills! 😉 is one of my fabulous graphic design clients. They are a mom-owned business and sell personalized calling cards, thank you notes, gift labels, address labels and MORE! just relaunched their website, and I wanted to make sure you see it…both because I had a big hand in the site design (ain’t it cute?) and they have great products that you NEED! In fact, use the code TWFD 20 to get 20% off your order from now until Noon PT on July 31!

    In honor of the site launch, is giving away one FREE set of CALLING CARDS! (Retail value $65.00) There are oodles of adorable designs to choose from and the print quality is amazing. These are great to have in your purse, instead of having to jot down your email and phone number on the back of a receipt! Or get a set for that teenager in your life with a babysitting business!

    To enter for your chance to win a set of fabulous calling cards, simply add a comment to this post. Only one entry per person, please! Please comment before Midnight, Friday July 17 to enter. I will announce the lucky, random winner on Saturday, July 18.

    And don’t foget to use the code TWFD 20 to get 20% your purchase.  Good luck with the giveaway!

  5. Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Week 129 Menu…and Snackpicks

    I recently wrote some articles for Kellogg’s new and improved Snackpicks site…and the site launched this week! I’m one of the “Snackpicks Moms” and am even featured on the home page! So far I have two articles on there – tips for Sumer Party planning and Kid Birthdays.

    Time for this week’s menu!

    – Leftovers (we have quite the assortment of random leftovers right now!)

    – Breakfast for dinner

    – Chili

    – Hot dogs/hamburgers/fruit

    – Leftovers

    – Eat out

    – Grilled chicken breasts (either BBQ or honey mustard) with veggie and potato of some sort

    Please share your menus! Fancy or plain, I love reading them! Plus, I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off since the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge is literally right around the corner…so my menus are pretty boring and un-inspiring.  Please inspire each other!

  6. Thursday, July 9, 2009

    I am officially in love with Summer 2009.

  7. Girls’ Night In/Pamper Collection from pingg!

    I know, I know…I keep bugging you about pingg. But until every online invitation I receive in my Inbox is from pingg, I won’t stop pestering you!

    pingg is one of the sponsors of the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge that I am co-hosting in 2 short weeks! I’m excited to announce that pingg has created a girls’ night in/pamper collection of invitations and e-cards inspired by the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge!  How cool is that?

    Here are a few of the designs from the collection. Now, go plan a fun girls’ night…the invitations are ready to go!pamper



    Quick disclaimer: Until now, I have not received a penny from pingg.  And while they are one of the sponsors of the party…I honestly and truly LOVE THEM, sponsor or no sponsor. The more I use the pingg service the happier I am with it. Okay, disclaimer over. 🙂

  8. Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Soo-Wee Sauce for Baby Back Ribs

    Remember the amazing ribs Nate cooked on the 4th of July? The recipe is from the Weber’s Way to Grill cookbook that I {stereotypically} gave to Nate for Father’s Day. Hey, it worked, I’m already benefiting from the book!

    Anyway, the recipe for cooking the ribs is LONG and involved, so I’m just going to share the wonderfully delicious sauce that went with the ribs. I will give a quick overview of the process…the ribs cooked on the grill for HOURS, Nate put a divider in the grill with water under the ribs and coals on the other side, he added hot coals throughout the cooking and he used hickory wood chips for smoking. As for the sauce, when the ribs were cooked, he took them off the grill, laid them on foil, smothered them in the sauce and wrapped the ribs up in the foil for about 30 minutes. Delish!

    Soo-Wee Sauce for Baby Back Ribs
    Sweet and spicy sauce for ribs!
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: American
    • 1 C apple juice
    • ½ C ketchup
    • 3 T cider vinegar
    • 1 T soy sauce
    • 2 tsp molasses
    • ½ tsp pure chile powder
    • ½ tsp granulated garlic (garlic powder)
    • ½ tsp dry mustard
    • ¼ tsp kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
    • ~1 T honey (this is our secret ingredient”¦we added to thicken AND sweeten the sauce)
    • RUB
    • 2 T kosher salt
    • 2 T paprika
    • 4 tsp granulated garlic (garlic powder)
    • 4 tsp pure chili powder
    • 2 tsp dry mustard
    • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
    1. Mix ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes (we simmered longer). Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste if needed. This is NOT a thick sauce, but it was perfect for the ribs.


    The Weber cookbook is a great resource for grilling…click here to check it out!

  9. Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    Learning with Media & PBS Kids

    As a contributor with the SV Moms group, I’ve had a lot of fun opportunities come up…like meeting Maria Shriver and Bill Nye! I recently had the chance to attend a discussion with other SV Moms and the creators of Super Why, a children’s television program on PBS.

    The discussion centered around children and media and was very interesting. For example, when Fonzie got a library card on Happy Days, teen library card sign-ups increased 500%. Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the most important thing I learned that night, but it was a fun fact nonetheless and an interesting commentary on the power of media. Angela Santomero, the producer of Super Why and Blue’s Clues, broke down an episode, explained the purpose of each section, and outlined how an entire episode is developed.

    PBS sent us home with supplemental activities to do with our children in conjunction with watching Super Why. Cate and I held our very own “Super Why Week” and she LOVED it. It was really fun tying in what she had watched on TV with activities I could do with her, reinforcing various reading skills. Click here to download the activities yourself, definitely a great summertime activity! Super Why Week also helped me to be more engaged in what Cate was watching, rather than taking that 20 minutes to check email or work. It was good for both Cate and me.

    If you are interested in reading more about children and media, this PBS webpage is chock full of great information. Happy learning!

  10. Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Week 128 Menu…and Happy Fourth of July!

    Hope your Fourth was filled with flags, food and fun! Ours was filled with all three, especially food.

    Nate and I cooked up quite a feast! Potato salad, fruit salad, corn on the cob and RIBS. Ah, the ribs. Nate spent hours manning the grill and the result was amazing! Click here for the BBQ sauce recipe.

    I’m not going to be very gourmet the next few weeks…the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge is almost here and we are BUSY getting ready!

    Rachel sandwiches

    – Spaghetti
    – Salad

    – Chicken Cordon Bleu (from grocery freezer section)
    – Rice & Veggie

    – Lasagna (with Barilla no-bake noodles)

    – Leftovers

    – Eat out

    – Quesadillas

    Please share your menus for the week, can’t wait to see your ideas!

    One more thing – Keurig is giving away a Platinum coffee maker on the SocialLuxe Lounge website. And there are only 31 comments, so your chances of winning are good!  Winner will be announced Wednesday, July 8, so get over there and make a comment with your favorite flavor!