Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Free Cold Stone Ice Cream September 30, 2010 from 5-8 pm

Visit Cold Stone Creamery on September 30, 2010 and get a Free 3 oz Kate's Creation: Caramel Apple Ice Cream from 5-8 pm. Limit one per customer. Join Cold Stone Creamery in celebrating its 9th Annual World's Largest Ice Cream Social to support Make-a-Wish Foundation. You may purchase a Make-a-Wish paper star for $1 to show your support.

Kate's Creation consists of: Caramel Apple Ice Cream mixed with chocolate shavings, graham cracker pie crust and apple pie filling.

Free Skillet Queso and Chips at Chili's

Join Chili's e-mail list and receive a FREE order of Skillet Queso and Chips at Chili's Restaurant.  After you sign up, you will receive a coupon for Skillet Queso and Chips with an order of an entrĂ©e. By signing  up, you will receive exclusive offers from Chili's. However, you can always unsubscribe after you receive your coupon or just use your dummy e-mail address so your inbox isn't inundated by e-mails from Chili's. Chili's has GOOD chips and I love FREE appetizers!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Carrot, Tomato and Spinach Quinoa

Josh's tomatoes became ripe enough to pick from the garden, finally! I wanted to make a new recipe to showcase the splendid flavor of ripe tomatoes, so I decided to make "Carrot, Tomato and Spinach Quinoa," from

I changed the recipe just slightly and added a quick mix-in at the end. I toasted up some pine nuts (probably 1/4 a cup or so) and stirred them in at the very end, after I wilted the spinach into the mixture. I added two cloves of chopped garlic and a whole onion since I love onions. Instead of the bouillon and water, I used  organic chicken broth. Also, I did not split up the boiling/simmering time. I just threw the onions, garlic and carrots in the pot, toasted the quinoa and then added the chicken broth, brought it up to a boil and lowered it to a simmer for 20 minutes. I seasoned mine with plenty of salt and pepper while I sauteed the veggies and then again at the end to taste.

Overall, I am very thrilled with how this recipe turned out because it was hearty and healthy! It was really simple to make and took no time at all to cook! Plus, it really filled me up, which is a hard to do!

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetarian chicken
-flavored bouillon granules
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 carrot, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup baby spinach
1.Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat; cook and stir the onion in the hot oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, stir in quinoa, and toast, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in the water, bouillon granules, black pepper, and thyme; raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
2.Stir in the carrots. Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted and the tomatoes have given off their moisture, about 2 minutes.

I served this Carrot, Tomato and Spinach Quinoa with Trader Joe's Chicken Mango Sausage, but you could certainly eat it all by itself! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spotted George Lucas!

I was picking my mom up at the airport yesterday and as I walked through the parking lot, I spotted a man that looked like George Lucas. I didn't think much of it because he seemed pretty "normal" (he didn't have a body guard or anything like that and he he was dressed in a plaid shirt and pants). Then, as I approached my mom standing on the sidewalk, she asked me if I knew who that man was. I didn't know for sure, so I just said, "No, who is he?" She said, "That's George Lucas." 

I had to do a double take and scrambled to get a better look at him again. I did not have a real camera with me, so I just pulled out my cell phone and tried to take a picture without looking too obvious. I couldn't get close enough to take a good picture, unfortunately, but at least I got to see George Lucas and his girlfriend get into their black Lexus and drive away. I didn't have the nerve to go up to him and ask him for an autograph! He didn't seem like he wanted anyone coming up to him, and neither did she, for that matter. She had something of a glaring look on her face (she didn't seem to be in a good mood as she strutted through the airport with her fancy, red leather purse) and I had a feeling she was irritated because she thought I was going to take a picture of them or something.  Neither one of them smiled, anyway. I realize they might be sick of people taking their picture, but what they don't realize is that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to get a picture of them and see them in real life! But to them, I was probably just another annoying fan attempting to get a picture of them. They might have been hoping no one recognized them enough to ask for an autograph. I lost my one and only chance to ask George Lucas for an autograph because I was trying to be polite and just leave him alone, since he probably prefers to be left in peace.  While I was standing next to their Lexus, I had to pretend I was talking on my cell phone so they wouldn't think I was trying to hold up my phone to get a photo of them! I was just surprised he didn't have a driver or an assistant with him! Wouldn't it just be easier for him to hire a driver and not have to deal with bay area traffic himself? 

What would you have done in this situation?  Should I have just gone up to him and asked him for an autograph? 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Elephant Painting

Okay, it's official: this elephant in Thailand paints way better than I ever could! This is utterly amazing!

If you are interested, sells these paintings for $19.95 to support "Starving Elephant Artisans."

According to : "These Original Elephant Paintings were painted by elephants in Northern Thailand. Of the 65 elephants at this well managed elephant camp, only nine elephants paint. Hong, the now world famous elephant painting elephant, was using a stick to "draw" in the dirt when she was very young. Then opening car doors and being very inquisitive. She was easy to teach how to paint while her art teacher used bananas and sugarcane as a reward."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Japanese Rube Goldberg Contest

This is a fantastic video showcasing a Japanese Rube Goldberg contest to cook ramen noodles!

Hope you enjoy this video as much as I did! It's so clever and fascinating to watch! I only wish I could understand Japanese, so I could follow the commentary (but the commentator's voice is so enthusiastic, it transcends any language barriers!).

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Frozen Lettuce

As I was trying to prep the veggies for our turkey burger dinner last night, I pulled out some frozen lettuce from the bottom drawer of my refrigerator--the setting was way too cold for that drawer and actually froze the lettuce! Anyway, I scratched my head and wondered what I should do with this brand new lettuce, so I just left it on the counter overnight.  To my surprise, this morning, the lettuce was perfectly okay! I did not know that frozen lettuce was salvageable! I thought it was ruined for good. I am so glad I did not throw it out last night! I gave it a chance to revive itself and it did!

I literally learn something new every day! I just had to pass this on in case this has happened to anyone else.

Who knew frozen lettuce is not automatically destined for the compost, after all?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Try-Rex Pencils

Try-Rex Pencils are very helpful if your child is challenged by holding a pencil or pen correctly, or if your child is just starting to learn to write (i.e., your child holds the writing instrument with a fist or with four fingers, etc.). Try-Rex pencils are the perfect pencils to help improve your child's grip because they have three, well-pronounced, flat sides to guide the fingers where to hold. Consider using the jumbo size pencil for kids in preschool or Kindergarten because the bigger size, or circumference, is easier for their small hands to grip. I love these pencils for my own use, too, because they are comfortable to hold! Plus, the graphite is so strong, it doesn't break easily if you press too hard (which some kids tend to do!).

I have been able to find Try-Rex pencils at Office Max and Amazon. My son's teacher actually had them in her classroom and gave us one for home use.  Now that I know about these great Try-Rex Pencils, I am passing this knowledge on to fellow parents who are teaching their kids to write. Alas, I wish someone had suggested these pencils to me a couple years ago!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OK Go, "White Knuckles" (Official Band of Yip Yap Go!)

Yip Yap Go! has just embraced OK Go as their official band! Check out OK Go's super cute music video, "White Knuckles," featuring some of the coolest dog tricks around! These dogs are so talented and sweet! I wonder how many takes it took to film this music video! It's so precise and intricately choreographed! Any dog lover would appreciate this video for sure, just as any dog lover would appreciate the pet care provided by Yip Yap Go! 

Hope you enjoy this video by OK Go ("White Knuckles"):

Don't forget to check out Yip Yap Go! for all your pet care needs! The owner of Yip Yap Go! is fabulously caring and loves all animals! Your pets will be in good hands at Yip Yap Go!, serving the greater Oakland area and Berkeley (and some other places, as well, just ask!).

Become a fan of Yip Yap Go! on Facebook!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Free Sample of Crest Scope Outlast Toothpaste

Walmart is giving away a FREE sample of Crest Toothpaste with Scope Outlast. Just fill out the form and you will get a free sample of Crest Scope Outlast Toothpaste. This is a nice, little freebie to put in your travel toiletry bag!

Happy Freebie!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Christina Perri: "Jar of Hearts" (official music video)

Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" music video has finally been filmed and released! I love how she included some of the dancers from So You Think You Can Dance in her video, since that is the show that launched her career! It's so powerful to see how the dancing in the video embodies the expression and emotion in the lyrics of her song!

I'm still in love with this song! Can't get enough of it! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

20% off coupon

Here is a coupon for 20% off with code: 1CAAU2 (enter this code at step 3 of checkout).

This coupon is good for 20% off select regularly pried items. This is a one-time promotional code, so the first come, first served! Coupon code is valid 08-23-10 to 10-31-10 11:59 pm PDT.

Visit to browse their selection of shoes. offers free shipping and free exchanges. 365-day Returns. 110% Price Guarantee.

Feed Your Piggy Banks: RECYCLE!

Josh's piggy bank has been hungry lately, so I thought we could feed it by recycling! I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but I am going to try to start saving my bottles and cans in a separate bag instead of just putting them in the recycle bin for the recycling truck to lug away each week. I want to take Josh with me to the recycling center and let him recycle the cans and bottles, so he can start saving up his own money in his piggy bank at home. That way he can earn his own money and save up for a special toy or book that he's been wanting and he can learn the value of what it takes to save money. What an easy way to teach recycling and the benefits of saving up money for something special...or just for the sake of saving money for later!

Find a Recycling Center near you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rachael Ray's Macaroni and Cheese

I haven't made Rachael Ray's Macaroni and Cheese in a long time, but I felt compelled to make it last weekend because it was cold and gloomy outside. I decided to try to make a "healthier" version by using organic quinoa elbow pasta, which has more protein in it than regular pasta and is made from quinoa and corn flour instead of wheat products. It turned out really good and I couldn't tell the difference! This is a good way to sneak in quinoa (a complete protein on its own) to your kids for a boost of extra protein without them even knowing it! Plus, the quinoa helps you feel fuller, longer and you might not end up eating the whole batch in one sitting!


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2 percent milk
  • 3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, a couple pinches
  • Salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked 8 minutes or to al dente, with a little bite to it


Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter melts into the oil, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook, about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time. Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne. Taste and add a little salt, if you like. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely by turning over and over in the cheese sauce. Transfer to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place baking dish under a hot broiler and brown the cheddar cheese on top.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

6th Annual FREE Museum Day September 25, 2010

Sign up to get FREE tickets for Museum Day! Ticket is good for general admission for two people, per household, per address. Just enter your information and your tickets will be e-mailed to you. Simply print them out and bring them to the participating museum for free admission for two adults on Saturday, September 25, 2010.

This is a great opportunity to explore a new museum around you absolutely FREE!

Find a participating museum near you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mini Turkey Meatloaf with Tangy Glaze

Last night I made turkey meatloaf with a tangy glaze from Since I was short on time, I just made mini turkey meatloaves in a 12 count muffin tin! The muffin tin worked nicely for this recipe and I was able to cut the baking time from 40 minutes (first round of baking without the glaze) to about 20-25 minutes and then I baked the glaze on the loaves for an additional 10-15 minutes instead of 20 minutes. What a timesaver! The time doesn't have to be exact and you can "hold" them in the warmer if you aren't ready to eat right away--they will be ready and waiting when you're ready to eat them. But if you have more time, you can use a standard meatloaf pan. I just like how they bake up so nicely in perfect portions (I can eat two turkey meatloaf muffins easily!). I did add some extra ingredients when I made my mini turkey meatloaves--I added half a chopped red bell pepper to get more veggies in there and a tablespoon or so of Worcestershire sauce. I served these mini turkey meatloaves with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. YUM!!! 


1 pkg. ground turkey
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/3 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
1 sm. onion, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. poultry seasonings
2 tbsp. catsup

3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. catsup
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. dry mustard

Combine bread crumbs and mix in a bowl. Add turkey, egg, onion seasonings, and catsup. Mix well and pat into small meatloaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Combine glaze ingredients and spoon over meatloaf. Bake 20 additional minutes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Whole Foods Coupons

Here's something I did not know: Whole Foods Market has printable coupons online! Simply click this link to print out Whole Foods Coupons. That is so convenient and best of all there were actually coupons for items I buy, like: $0.50 off Clif Organic Z Bars or Clif Organic Twisted Fruit; $1.00 off Indiana Kettle Corn (which is absolutely yummy!); $1.00 off any 2 Annie's Homegrown Snacks (Bunny Crackers, Grahams, Fruit Snacks or Snack Mix with minimum purchase of $1.99). Check online frequently for Whole Foods Coupons. I just love how you can print just the Whole Foods Coupons that you want!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Google Instant with Bob Dylan

OH this is way too cool! Check out this ad for Google Instant with Bob Dylan! Love, love, love it!!!

How Twitter Saved a Captive Reporter

This is a remarkable story about how Twitter helped save a Japanese journalist from being held captive in Afhanistan. I had to pass this story on because it just goes to show how knowledge is power, especially when it comes to technology!

According to The Lede, blog for the NY Times by Robert Mackey:

A Japanese journalist who was released this week after being held captive in Afghanistan for five months explained on Tuesday how he had managed to post two updates on Twitter from the phone of one of his captors.
Kosuke Tsuneoka, who was freed on Saturday, told reporters in Tokyo that one of the militants had asked him to help set up his new mobile phone while he was still in captivity. Mr. Tsuneoka used the opportunity to post two brief messages from the phone to his Twitter account on Friday morning. The first update said that he was alive but in jail; the second added his location, the Afghan city of Kunduz, and the name of the commander who was holding him captive.
In an article published by PC World, Martyn Williams explained that the Twitter updates had initially caused confusion:
Tsuneoka hadn’t been heard from since disappearing on April 1, so the messages gave hope to family and friends, but were also greeted with skepticism by some who questioned aspects of them. Why were they sent in English when Tsuneoka had been using only Japanese on his Twitter account?
Mr. Williams reported that, on Tuesday, Mr. Tsuneoka explained how he had managed to convince his captors to give him access to the Internet.
It began three days earlier when one of his captors, whom he identified as a low-ranking soldier, was showing him a new cell phone. The phone, a Nokia N70, is advanced compared to what many are using in Afghanistan and the soldier didn’t know how to use it. “He asked me if I knew how to use it, so I had a look and explained it to him,” said Tsuneoka.
The soldier had heard of the Internet, but he didn’t know what it was. When Tsuneoka mentioned it to him, he was eager to see it, but the phone wasn’t signed up to receive the carrier’s GPRS data service for accessing the Internet. “I called the customer care number and activated the phone,” he said. Soon after he had the captor’s phone configured for Internet access.
Mari Yamaguchi of The Associated Press added:
A couple of days later, the militants — whom Tsuneoka said identified themselves as members of Hizb-e-Islami but posed as Taliban to the Japanese government — set him free in part because he is a Muslim. He had converted to Islam in 2000.
The Japanese government said it paid no ransom to free Tsuneoka. He said he believes that because the captors didn’t seem to be overjoyed at the time of his release or suggest they had received any cash.

FREE Amazon Prime Two-Day Shipping for Mothers: Amazon Mom!

My friend just told me that Amazon is offering FREE Amazon Prime two-day shipping for mothers and caregivers, called Amazon Mom! Join Amazon Mom and you also get 30% off diapers and wipes through "Subscribe and Save." That's a huge savings, especially considering the time and gas you will save from having to go buy these supplies at the store. I LOVE Amazon Prime two-day shipping! It really makes life so convenient!

Spread the word about Amazon Mom, because any extra help that mothers and caregivers can get is SO HELPFUL! I'm not sure how long this promotion is lasting, so sign up now to reap the benefits of Amazon's most convenient two-day shipping, absolutely FREE!


Who is this program for, and do I qualify?
• Amazon Mom is a free membership program aimed at helping parents and caregivers, from the prenatal days through the toddler years, use Amazon to find all the products their family needs. To join, simply sign into your Amazon account and tell us whether you are a Mom, Dad, or other caregiver of a child. By providing some optional information about your family, you can help us personalize offers, e-mails, and product recommendations to help you find exactly what you need at just the right time. Read the full FAQ.
I am a Dad (or Grandma, or Aunt) - am I eligible?
• Yes. Despite the name, Amazon Mom is open to anyone who is responsible for caring for a baby or young child--“Amazon Primary Caregiver” just didn’t have the same ring to it. Kidding aside, we chose this name because we noticed moms in social communities (like our Amazon discussion boards) looking to connect and share information about products and problems with other moms. We wanted a name that would let these groups know that this program was created with their unique needs in mind. Read the full FAQ.

Sign up for FREE Amazon Prime Two-Day Shipping for Mothers and Caregivers:

Fax Zero: Send Two FREE Faxes a Day

My friend just told me about Fax Zero, a FREE way to send a fax! Fax Zero is a great option for people who do not own a fax machine at home, but still need to send a fax (max 3 pages) anywhere to the U.S. and Canada. The only other limitation with Fax Zero is that you can only send two free faxes a day. But hey, if you only need to send out one or two, then Fax Zero is the perfect solution to faxing your information to places that only accept fax transmittals (especially for businesses that request faxed resumes and applications). I think the only issue with Fax Zero service is that you have to be able to tolerate a small advertisement on the bottom of the fax.

I just tried Fax Zero out today, but I don't know how the advertisement (i.e., how big it is or if it is just words or words and an icon) looks to the recipient. Fax Zero is fairly simple to figure out. All you do is upload your documents that you need to fax and then input the fax destination information, along with the sender's information. Don't forget to enter the confirmation code on the page. I did not input a sender's fax number and that was okay, it still worked.  Once you click "send free fax now," you will receive a confirmation e-mail telling to you to click on another link in order to finalize the fax. That's a nice safeguard, so you can double-check to make sure the fax number is correct and all your other information is accurate. After that, you will receive a confirmation e-mail indicating that your fax has been successfully sent by Fax Zero! Fax Zero will then send the fax to the recipient's fax machine as though you loaded your documents in a fax machine and sent them yourself! Your sender will never know the difference. Cool, huh?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Willow Smith: "Whip My Hair"

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe Willow Smith (daughter of Will Smith) has an album released at the age of 9! I have to admit, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to listen to her song. She definitely inherited some star quality from her daddy!

Check out Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair":

FREE Graco Liteups Clippers

Sign up at Graco and get a free Graco Liteups Clippers to cut your baby's nails.

According to Graco:

"Our Liteups Clippers are specially designed to help you care for your baby. It features a bright LED light so you can see your baby's nails more easily. Now you can cut your baby's nails in the dark while she sleeps. And the curved clipping edge makes clipping your baby's delicate nails safe and easy. It is sized for an adult hand to ensure a secure grip and extra control. Metal parts are made of stainless steel to ensure long life and easy care."

Once you submit this form (use your dummy e-mail address, if you want), you will receive your free Liteup Clippers in 2-4 weeks. 
(A $5.99 retail value!)

New Google Search Engine: Google Instant


Have you Googled anything lately? Notice anything different? Google has revamped its search engine to include an instant search feature: Google Instant! What does that mean? Well, if you are typing in your key word, Google automatically tries to "guess" what you are going to type and immediately posts results of that search as you type it! Google is basically trying to be psychic! It tries to read your mind or predict what you are thinking, so you don't have finish typing your key word phrase. If you see your key word in the drop down search options, feel free to click on it and Google instantaneously posts your search results below so you are good to go! Now, that's SPEEDY web browsing! 

Is it better or worse than their previous search engine model? I don't know, you tell me!

Try it out:

According to Google Instant, the benefits include:

Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.
Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shortcut for Easy Curtido Recipe

Here's my shortcut for an easy curtido recipe. So I had this hankering for curtido and decided to make a batch. I did a few things differently from the following recipe. I took a shortcut and used the pre-shredded coleslaw mix with cabbage, red cabbage and carrots--what a timesaver! Instead of using a small onion, I just chopped up a green onion, since that's what I had in the refrigerator, though I know curtido is lovely with red onion. I didn't have cayenne pepper for some reason, so I just used paprika. Other than that I had all the other ingredients on hand so I just threw everything in a bowl and started mixing. I did use a bit more salt than the recipe indicated and since I love pepper, I used some freshly ground black pepper to season it up some more at the end. (NOTE: I did not blanch the cabbage in boiling water like the recipe says, either, because I had such finely shredded mix to begin with. I didn't feel it was necessary since the vinegar would break down the cabbage naturally.) It turned out pretty yummy! I just let the mixture chill in the refrigerator and it turned into a nice pickled slaw. The best part is that this curtido lasts in the refrigerator for a few days, and it just keeps getting better each day! I love the tangy, crunchy, pickley bite you get! If I don't have pupusas around, I just eat it with quesadillas or just on its own. It's so refreshing and light for a hot day! YUM!


"This Salvadorean condiment resembling coleslaw is customarily paired with pupusas."


    • 1 medium heads of cabbage, chopped
    • 2 small carrots, grated
    • 1 small onion, sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water


1. Place the cabbage in boiling water for no more than one minute. Discard the water.

2. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and add grated carrots, sliced onion, cayenne, oregano, olive oil, salt, brown sugar, vinegar, and water.

3. Let chill in refrigerator at least two hours before serving.

Curtido Recipe Courtesy of