Archives for July 2009

Family Updates

So much to catch everyone up on….

First, we’ll start with Parker. Yesterday, he had his 9 month well visit. I love the 9 month visit, because it’s so easy. No shots. Just a developmental check-up. Easy-peasy for everyone involved.

Parker did great. He threw a nice little temper tantrum for the doctor and showed her just how well his lungs are developing. He weighed in at 18 pounds, 1/2 an ounce, and was 28 3/4 inches long. He’s only in the 8th percentile for weight. He’s just a smidgen bigger than Ash was at his age. She was 17 pounds, 3 ounces and 28 1/4 inches long. All the other kids were all well over 20 pounds by this point. But, the doctor isn’t concerned at all. Parker’s always been such a peanut, that it seems he’s just going to continue down this path. He is really long, though, so I have a feeling it will all even out soon – just like it did with Ashley.

The doctor was also surprised at how big Parker’s soft spot still is. She said she won’t worry about it until he’s 2, but it should be smaller than it is right now. She’ll be keeping an eye on it during each of his follow-up visits, but she’s hopeful that everything will be fine by the time he’s 2.

Now, on to other news…. for the 3rd time in his life, my husband called into work. The man is like a machine and has to be on his death bed before he will take pain medicine or miss work. But, the other day, his face swelled up really big while he was at work. We were pretty sure that he had an impacted tooth, and every website we found said to get to a doctor and get on antibiotics. He went to the ER on Monday night, and ended up with the same stupid doctor that was convinced Lucy’s arm wasn’t broken. He told her he is allergic to penicillan, and the moron prescribes him amoxicillan. Good Lord, someone really needs to revoke this woman’s medical license. I think she got her degree off the internet or something. The pharmacy called her to get a new Rx, and it still didn’t help. Yesterday, it was even more swollen than before, and hubby went to the walk-in clinic. They prescribed him a better anitibiotic and some pain meds. For the first time in his life, hubby took a pain pill. (And you should have seen how stupid it made him! So hard not to laugh!)

Hubby was in so much pain last night that he had to call into work. I have seen this man go to work half dead with the flu, but this has really hit him hard. I’ve never seen him like this. I don’t like it. I’m forcing him to call the dentist today and see how soon they can yank that tooth. We can’t have a repeat of this.

If he’s not feeling better soon, I’m going to be outside mowing our lawn… and what a sight that will be, since I’ve never used a lawn mower in my life! 😉 BUT, we are getting television installed this afternoon. We haven’t had tv since we moved down, and we were able to get a really good deal with Dish Network. So, no more running to my MIL’s house to watch the shows I want to watch. (She’ll be thankful for that!) Now I’ll be able to catch the new season of all my favorite shows on every network! YAY!!! (And I’ve got an AWESOME post about some of these new shows coming very soon!)

That’s it for the updates. For my blog readers, I apologize for the novel. I just know that family and friends like to keep up on all the happenings around here. I gotta put a post like this up every once in awhile! 🙂

Honey Kix Prize Pack Winner!

The winner of the Honey Kix Prize Pack is…….

131. Heather22 said… button’s on sidebar


Wordless Wednesday: It’s Using It’s CLAWS!

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, sign in here!

Rock of Ages (Review)

New Line Records just hammered the in-store release of the Original Broadway Cast Recording of five-time Tony Award nominated “ROCK OF AGES.” For those of you not in the know, Rock of Ages is the new Broadway musical starring American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis. Set in 1987 in a legendary Sunset Strip rock club, a small-town girl meets a big-city dreamer, and they fall in love to the greatest metal songs of the 80’s. The musical is an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and more.

One2One Network recently sent me a copy of Rock of Ages – the Original Broadway Cast Recording to review. I will admit it, I love 80’s music. There’s just something about that big hair, and funky sound that makes me want to sing along at the top of my lungs.

My first impression of the CD itself – before even listening to it – was that someone behind the CD was a creative genius! They made the CD look like an old record. Talk about bringing back memories. I still remember the HUGE record player that my best friend’s parents had at her house. We would have so much fun dancing and singing along with the records that were played on that old thing. So, I just knew that I was going to love this CD.

It took me some time to get used to the CD. After all, these are songs I’ve listened to forever, only now they’ve got a different spin and very different voices. I have issues with change, apparently. But, they did a great job with the songs, and I love how they incorporated the Broadway Play into the CD. It starts out a little rocky for my taste. (Duh, it’s called Rock of Ages. I should have figured it would be at least a rocky!) But, the ending is fantastic. I can’t pick just one favorite song on the CD, since there are so many great ones, but the songs you can find me singing along with every single time include “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,”
“Can’t Fight this Feeling Anymore,” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.” What a fun CD!

I have really enjoyed the Rock of Ages CD, and have added my favorite songs to my iPod. I just hope I don’t start singing along out loud while I’m listening to it, and scare anybody off!

And I’m sure you’re dying to know the Tracklist of the CD, so here it is:
Just Like Paradise / Nothin’ But A Good Time
Sister Christian
We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands
I Wanna Rock
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Wanted Dead Or Alive
I Want To Know What Love Is
Cum On Feel The Noize / We’re Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)
Harden My Heart / Shadows Of The Night
Here I Go Again
The Final Countdown
Any Way You Want It / I Wanna Rock (Reprise)
High Enough
I Hate Myself For Loving You / Heat Of The Moment
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Can’t Fight This Feeling
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Oh Sherrie
The Search Is Over
Don’t Stop Believin’

Want to know even more? You can view the Making of the Soundtrack video by clicking here, and you can purchase the CD for yourself here.

Only in the Mountains #7

No words. I’m just completely at a loss. All I can say is, “Only in the Mountains.”

GATHER POINTS™ The Need-to-Know Info!

I’m on Gather! You can see my profile here, read my posts here, and see my photos here. I’d love to have you join me, and be sure add me as a friend!!

Want to know more about Gather, and how you can earn money just by sharing? Keep reading!

Milestone Validates Gather as a Place Where Members are Creating Great Experiences

Gather, the leading social network to make new friends and form new social circles, today announced that its members have exceeded $500,000 in total earnings by redeeming Gather Points™. Since the beginning, the Gather Points program has been a popular site feature that rewards members for creating great experiences for the community. With the economic downturn, Gather Points has become an even more important member benefit. Since the start of 2009, members have redeemed over $85,000 in points they have put towards everything from home improvement projects and family vacations to summer fun for the kids. Members also donate points to not for profit organizations they support.

Members earn Gather Points for creating high quality content that drives site participation and attracts new audiences. Those points can then be exchanged for PayPal™ payments and gift cards that can be used to shop online or in popular retail outlets.

Key facts:

  • Gather is the leading social network to make new friends and form new social circles
  • Gather brings people together around the things they love to do and want to talk about
  • Gather members earn Gather Points™ for creating great experiences and conversations on the site
  • Gather Points can be exchanged for PayPal payments and gift cards that can be used to shop online or in popular retail outlets


“Our members create the Gather experience for one another. The Gather Points system was developed as a way to reward members who spend time bringing people together around the things they love to do and want to talk about,” says Tom Gerace, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gather ( “The experiences they create serve as ice breakers that allow people to easily make new friends.”

“Gather Points have helped me buy the extra things that my kids have asked for without having to break the bank!” said Bridget A., a Gather Member who has earned $2,460 since joining the site in 2007. ( “I used my earnings from Gather Points to entirely fund our 2008 summer vacation to the Oregon Coast, where I also got to meet a fellow Gather member.”

“I have been a cash earner since Gather rolled out points spending in 2006,” said Monica Kennedy of Tennessee (, who has earned over $2,800 sharing her crochet expertise with the community. “The money I have earned at Gather — doing what I love and had done elsewhere for free — has become more than extra cash for family fun. It has turned into a real, viable business for me.”

Gather Website (
About Gather Points (
How to Earn More Points (
CEO Blog (
Gather Moms on Twitter (
Tom Gerace on Twitter (

About Gather
Gather is the leading social network to make new friends and form new social circles. Most people want more friends to share some aspect of their lives and Gather brings people together around the things they love to do and want to talk about. Gather is a privately held, privately funded company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Investors include Allen & Company, The American Public Media Group, Hearst, The McGraw-Hill Companies, and Southern California Public Radio. For more information, visit

All Children’s Furniture Toy Giveaway! (CLOSED)

As a mom of five, no one understand more the importance of finding good, quality toys at a reasonable price.

All Children’s Furniture offers high quality kids furniture, kids decor, and even toys! I guess you could say that they sell everything from bunk beds to Tonka Trucks! I love when I can get everything I need in one shot. And I love how easy it is to browse their website. You can shop by product type, brand, and price. They’ve got a fantastic selection of products, and the prices can’t be beat! (And believe me, I’ve looked!) Plus, they have lots of items on sale, so you’re getting an even better deal.

Also, be sure to click and visit their Special Savings section. You won’t believe the fabulous deals you’ll find there!

Want to Try All Children’s Furniture for Yourself?
I am SO excited! All Children’s Furniture is letting me give away a fantastic toy to one of my readers. The best part is – You get to pick the toy from the following 3 choices!

Choice #1 –Musical Activity Ryan Rocking Toy by K’s Kids

  • Music and activity play all in one
  • For ages 12 months and up
  • Plastic shape sorter and 4 color shapes included
  • Puzzle game board
  • Removable rocking musical base
  • 3 music modes to choose from
  • Requires 3 “AA” batteries (included)

Choice #2 – Easel For Two with Foam Magnets by Step2

  • Two-sided easel features one metal dry-erase board and one chalkboard
  • Includes 77 foam magnetic letters, numbers and signs
  • Paper clip on each side holds craft paper for drawing and painting activities
  • Middle storage area hold art supplies and for easy access from both sides
  • Deep trays and pencil ledges keep paint, brushes, markers, chalk and erasers within easy reach (art supplies not included)
  • Sets up quickly and folds flat for easy storage
  • Ages 3 and up
  • Minimal adult assembly

Choice #3 –Art Master Activity Desk in Teal by Step2

  • Features large work surface that lifts to reveal an efficient storage area
  • Desktop is a dry-erase writing surface that wipes clean easily
  • Includes a 15 inch stool that is sturdy and comfortable
  • Two deep molded-in side compartments and rear compartment are perfect for storing books and other materials
  • Raised shelf can hold a wealth of art supplies that are easily accessible to your artist
  • Desk also has a push button light that automatically shuts off after 5 minutes (AAA batteries not included)
  • Ages 3 and up
  • Art supplies not included

Can you even believe your options? I’m so incredibly jealous! I’ve already ordered the Easel For Two with Foam Magnets by Step2 for my crew. The other 2 items are next on my list. I love them!

Here’s How to Enter:
Visit the All Children’s Furniture website and tell me one item that they sell that isn’t listed in this giveaway.
*Mandatory. This must be completed or other entries will be deleted.

Want Extra Entries?
1. Leave a comment telling me which item you would pick if you won – Choice #1, #2, or #3 – and why.
2. Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is having a great toy giveaway sponsored by All Children’s Furniture who carries everything from bunk beds to toys. Stop by before 11:59pm ET on August 10th and enter to win!

3. Subscribe to us via email or reader. (Leave a comment for each that you do.)
4. Use any of the buttons at the bottom of this post, just leave an individual comment for each one that you complete.
5. Follow us on twitter.
6. Tweet about this contest. (Unlimited – just leave a comment for each tweet!)
7. Grab our button and put it in your sidebar. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
8. Follow our blog – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. Leave a comment for each one that you do.
9. Comment on any post (other than a giveaway post) on my blog, then leave and comment here and let me know which post you commented on. (Unlimited)

Fine Print:
Contest is open to residents of the US & Canada! If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. The contest will end Thursday, August 10th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winners will be selected via Winners will be announced by Monday, August 10th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or it will be forfeited.

Got an Angry Kid? (Book Review)

Got An Angry Kid? Parenting Spike: A Seriously Difficult Child
by Andrew D. Gibson

Practical, down-to-earth help for parents who have a child with unmanageable behavior issues.

Parent Reviewers recently gave me the opportunity to review the book mentioned above. I actually requested to review it because I am worried about Jace. Jace is a very difficult child. One minute, he can be as sweet as can be. The next moment, he’s ripping the heads off of Lucy’s Barbies and throwing them at Zander. Most days, I just don’t know what to do.

When I received the book, Got An Angry Kid?, I dove in.

The book is mostly geared toward parents who have very difficult teens and don’t know how to reach them. The important thing is to start parenting your children early. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

The book includes a self-help program called P.A.C.T. This stands for Parenting Angry Children and Teens. Easy enough, right? Well, when you look at the list of “Don’ts” they expect you to follow, you want to cry. But, if you determine to stick with it, it will have a HUGE impact in your life… and in your child’s life.

I started on the PACT program with Jace, and I’ve already seen such a change in him – and he’s 4! I can’t tell you how it will work with a teenager, but by practicing this on all of my children, I’ve noticed that they listen more, and Jace isn’t nearly as hateful as he was a few weeks ago. By consistently following the PACT program, I’m showing Jace that *I* am strong, and he can’t manipulate me into being angry, and thereby giving him the right to be angry.

I’m not saying that this book will work miracles. You can’t buy a book to fix a flat tire and expect it to change the tire on your truck for you. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. This book is the same way. It’s not going to be easy. There are going to be fights, and you are going to fail. But if you give up, you’ll never have a successful relationship with your child. If you are willing to work at it, you can parent an angry child, and you can learn to love and respect them for who they are.

I will warn you, though, that this book contains very strong language. The book is geared toward parents with difficult teens and it gives you the viewpoint from the child’s mind in many instances. Beyond the language are some very valid points, and some from which every family can benefit.

To purchase your copy of Got An Angry Kid?, click here.

Ebeanstalk & International Playthings (Review)

Picking out toys for your kids is not easy. You want something high quality, educational, and won’t break the bank. And, you don’t want to buy items that are educational, but your kids don’t enjoy. No one wants a box of learning toys that sits in the closet until you finally decide to sell them in a yard sale for pennies on the dollar.

Well, I want to tell you about a toy website called ebeanstalk. They are dedicated to selecting good, safe learning toys and baby gifts. And they want help from moms like me to help pick the toys.

The toy ebeanstalk sent me to review is called The Swirly Orb from International Playthings, a company that makes fun and educational baby toys.

My Review of and International Playthings
The first thing I noticed when I visited the ebeanstalk website is how focused on learning they are. They want their toys to be fun, of course, but even more than that, they want their toys to be educational and help children developmentally also. What mom wouldn’t love that? They even have a team of experts to help select the very best learning and developmental toys!

From their website:

Our team of child specialists brings a comprehensive approach to child development. Using their collective experiences – Shari, Andy, Deanie, Jenn, Barbara, and Gopi – ensure each and every facet of child development is covered. Specifically, they looked at over 10,000 toys, selected the best learning toys and matched each to a stage of development. They also create graduated play ideas for each toy, author the eBeanstalk instruction cards, answer great FAQs, and much, much more.

For great information and guidance on child development, please read their
FAQs, articles, and learn about the developmental milestones of children.

Now, I know you’re dying to know what Parker thought of the Swirly Orb that ebeanstalk sent us to test out.

I am happy to say, he LOVED it. He’s finally at the stage where toys just fascinate him, and this one was no exception. He had a ball picking up the ball, dropping it, and slamming his hand against it to make the end of it squeak. I also noticed his fine motor skills getting a workout as he would guide the objects along the swirls, and use one little finger to spin the ball on the end. And his sensory development also got a workout as he was just in awe of the movement of everything on the ball. Another great point? No batteries. I love toys that don’t require batteries!

Overall, I am quite please with everything about ebeanstalk and with International Playthings. I would definitely recommend this website and these toys to any mom who is looking for high-quality, reasonably-priced, educational, and FUN toys for their children.

Many thanks to ebeanstalk for allowing me to test out the Swirly Orb. Parker enjoys it so much, and I love how educational it is!

I also wanted to let you know that right now, ebeanstalk is offering FREE shipping on orders over $65. Just enter code FREESHIP$65 at checkout.

MD Moms Promotion Code!

Everyone is looking to save a few dollars these days, and nobody can understand this better than mothers with multiple children. They acknowledge the importance of buying bulk.

MD Moms also know this, which is why it is offering a promotion to its most loyal customers. If you order six or more of an MD Mom Baby Silk product and enter the promo code, LOVEYOU at checkout, you receive 25 percent off your entire order. Some staples moms can stock up on include: Gentle All-Over Clean Hair and Body Wash, Gentle All-Over Clean Cleansing Towelettes and Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes.

It’s that simple.

MD Moms are pediatrician mothers who have created the first personal care line for babies’ sensitive skin.

(Look for my review of MD Moms soon!)

A New Family Portrait

I have been trying for months to get a family portrait done, and I finally did it! Hubby was off Tuesday night, so he was home all day yesterday. We ran some errands, paid some bills, and then set up all the photography equipment in our little house. I set the self timer, and away we went.

I am SO happy with what we got! Here’s my favorite shot:

I’ll have LOTS more photos to share over the next few days. Just need to find the time to edit them! 😉 Blog Tour (Review)

Mom Central invited me to try out and tell you all about it. Oh.My.Gosh. This site is addicting! I’ve spent the last few days making friends, reading some incredible posts, uploading pictures and videos, and sharing some posts of my own.

Over the years, I’ve met many ladies online. Some of these women have become my very best friends. We’ve been talking for years, and even though we’re hundreds of miles away, we’re still always there for each other. We’ve taken trips just to visit each other, and our kids can name every single person in each others’ family. These ladies are so special to me, and I’m thankful for the website that brought us together.

Now, I’ve got another website to make new friends and hopefully build life-long relationships with other moms. Gather is a great way to meet other moms who are going through exactly what you are. Do you have a toddler who is in the thick of the terrible twos? (I do!) Then head on over to the Toddler Moms Group and talk about it. It’s nice to see that you’re not alone, and the ladies in there will provide support and advice to help you survive those terrible twos.

Maybe you’re a single mom and just need someone to talk to who understands. There are quite a few single mom groups on Gather. Just find the one that you feel the most comfortable in.

Gather hosts thousands of groups – topics include gardening, parenting, exercise, reading, cooking… the list goes on and on! I’ve already added a bunch of groups to my favorites, and I can’t wait to add more!

Want to know the best part about sharing things on Gather? You can earn reward points! Those points can be redeemed for gift cards to stores like Gap, Target, Home Depot, or you can opt for PayPal cash. The more stories, photos, tips, recipes, and advice you share with others in the community, the more points you can earn. So, you can buy yourself a latte, or you can put a new deck on your house. You get to decide how much content you want to publish. What a great incentive, though.

I hope you’ll stop by Gather. Be sure to visit my profile and add me as a friend. And I’d love it if you’d comment on this post entitled Mom Really Does Know Best.

I can’t wait to see you over there and get to know you!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog and giveaway campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Gather. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Only in the Mountains #6

They aren’t afraid to tell you exactly who they’ve got working in the kitchen.

Trix are for Kids! (Review & Giveaway – 8/6)

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than the Honey Kix gift pack, MyBlogSpark also sent us a way-cool Trix Swirls® gift pack.

Included in the gift pack was a tie-dyed kid-sized apron, a HUGE spiral pad of paper, an art box, watercolor pencils, watercolor paints, paint brushes, and, of course, a box of Trix Swirls®. My kids all love art, so you can imagine how they flipped over this!

Trix Swirls® combines two mouthwatering fruity colors into every fun puff that will satisfy kids´ taste buds and spark their creativity! A good source of calcium and vitamin D, the Trix Rabbit won´t be the only one who can´t resist these fruity combos, which include lemony green, berry berry blue, and rasporangey orange!

Monkey Mama’s Review of Trix Swirls®
I have been eating Trix since I was a kid. I’ve always been a big fan of that Silly Rabbit. When I moved out of my parent’s house and on my own, Trix was a favorite meal – any time of the day or night.

Trix is also a favorite of my kids. Lucy loves the commercials, and she’ll laugh and say, “Silly Rabbit” every time she sees him. It’s obvious that he’s no stranger around here!

I think I like Trix Swirls® even better than the original ones. There’s a burst of flavor in every spoonful. And the kids love the swirls. Lucy had a ball naming all of the colors she saw in every bite. Fun and educational, can’t beat that!

The art supplies were also a hit! The kids took turns wearing the apron, and they all had fun painting. The watercolor pencils were awesome. Zander loved using them. He drew with the pencils, then he took a paintbrush and went over his drawing with water, and the colors just popped! It was the coolest thing I have ever seen!

I asked my kids how they thought the swirls got on each puff. Zander emphatically told me, “The Rabbit did it. He wanted to freak the kids out and decided to use special food paint to make the puffs different colors. Maybe now they’ll share with him.”

Well, Zander, I’m not holding out hope at that poor rabbit getting any Trix Swirls®….. After all, Trix are for kids. So while Mr. Rabbit can’t get any, we’ll just be sure to enjoy them around here!

Trix are fun, tasty, and good for my kids. It’s a cereal that I’m proud to give my kids any time they ask for it!

For more Trix fun, you can visit

Want to try Trix Swirls® for Yourself?
MyBlogSpark is letting me give away a Trix Swirls® prize pack (pictured above) to TWO of my readers! Time to let your kids get creative!

To Enter:
Leave a comment and tell me how your kids think Trix Swirls were created.

For Extra Entries:

  • Leave a comment telling me your favorite things that you’d like swirled together. (Feel free to leave as many favorites as you’d like, just use a separate comment for each.)
  • Subscribe to us via email or reader. (Leave a comment for each that you do.)
  • Use any of the buttons at the bottom of this post, just leave an individual comment for each one that you complete.
  • Follow us on twitter.
  • Tweet about this contest. (Unlimited – just leave a comment for each tweet!)
  • Grab our button and put it in your sidebar. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Blog about this giveaway. Include a link to If you don’t have a blog, send an email to 5 friends, telling them about this giveaway. Be sure to CC me in your email (angie [@], and you will qualify for the extra entries. (Leave 5 extra comments if you do this.)
  • Follow our blog – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. Leave a comment for each one that you do.
  • Comment on any post (other than a giveaway post) on my blog, then leave and comment here and let me know which post you commented on. (Unlimited)

Contest Details:
If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. The contest will end Thursday, August 6th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winners will be selected via Winners will be announced by Friday, August 7th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or it will be forfeited.
Also Note: If the winner(s) selected by doesn’t claim their prize, the new winner(s) will be selected based on the uniqueness of their mandatory entry. The more creative, the better your chances of winning (if the random winner doesn’t claim their prize!)

Smelly Washer Winners!

The winners of the Smelly Washer Giveaway are……….

101. Kelly F said… I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than a smelly washer. It feels almost contradictory to put clothes in a washer to get clean when the washer doesn’t smell clean itself! I would love to try this product out!

32. Courtney said… I subscribe by email.

Please use the form below to contact me and claim your prize- or email directly to angie[at]5vinezmonkeys[dot]com.

Prize Won
Details (Prize choice, Color, etc.)
Full Mailing Address (No PO boxes, please)
Image Verification
Please enter the text from the image
[ Refresh Image ] [ What’s This? ]

(Please note: The form does not work if you are reading this post in an email or reader. You must come to the blog to use the form. Simply reply to the email or send your information to me directly.)

If the prize is not claimed by noon [ET] on Friday, July 24th, a new winner will be pulled.

Interview with Food Network’s Claire Robinson

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Claire Robinson of Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix. The new season of her show is starting on Saturday at 12:30 pm ET/PT, and I got to talk with her about it!

Claire is amazing. She was so much fun to talk to, and I had a great time on the phone call. When it was my turn to ask questions, my first one was this:

“With 5 kids, I have a lot of mouths to feed around here at dinner time. Are your recipes easy to double or even triple?”

Her answer was a very enthusiastic yes! I’m still only going to need the 5 ingredients, but I’ll just need more. She also said that most of her recipes store well in the fridge or freezer so that you can enjoy them time and time again without needed to go through the process of fixing them over and over again.

As a mom of 5, I am definitely a busy mom. I love the idea that her dishes all contain 5 ingredients or less, and most are super easy to make. The best part about having 5 ingredients or less? Clean up is a whole lot easier! Who wouldn’t love that?!

One recipe that kept coming up was one that will be included in her very first show (this Saturday!):

Grandma Moore’s Creamed Corn
Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson

6 slices bacon
8 large cobs fresh corn, preferably white, shucked and cleaned
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a large skillet, (seasoned cast iron does well here) cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Turn off the heat and transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve the drippings in the pan.

On a cutting board, cut the stalk ends of the corn cobs to make a flat surface; stand them up and shave the corn from the cobs with a sharp chef’s knife. Return the skillet to medium-low heat, and add the corn kernels. With the back of the knife, firmly scrape the cobs over a shallow plate to extract as much liquid (milk) as possible and add it to the skillet.

Season corn lightly with salt and pepper and cook until broken down and creamy, about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often; add water if the pan gets too dry.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Note: Crisp bacon can be crumbled over the creamed corn when serving or reserved for another use. If you have bacon drippings on hand, use 1/4 cup for this recipe.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Ease of preparation: easy


I can’t wait to try out this recipe with my kids. She sure talked it up enough, and she was making my mouth water the entire phone call! She also mentioned a recipe for grilled watermelon. I definitely want to know more about that one!! (That recipe will air on August 1st at 12:30pm.)

The first 6 shows will all be a Summer theme. She’s also got some holiday shows this season, with each dish having 5 ingredients or less. I can’t wait to see those!

Be sure to tune into Food Network on Saturday, July 25th at 12:30! I have a feeling we’re all going to learn a lot from this show!

Many thanks to Michelle, my amazing PR rep for introducing me to Claire, and to Claire for giving up her time to meet with us mom bloggers!

Let the Cooking begin!!!!!!!!!!

Wordless Wednesday: Send me Higher!

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, leave your link here!

Only in the Mountains #5

I have no idea what to even title this one. I will simply tell you that this sign drives me insane every time I drive past it. (It’s on the way to our Walmart, so I drive past it way more often than anyone ever should.)

And I will also tell you that the sign has had the same numbers on it since we moved here – almost 2 years ago!

Birthday Party Bash Game (Review)

Mom Central recently sent me a copy of the Birthday Party Bash Game to try out on our wii. Since we’re in the middle of “birthday season” here in the Vinez household, I figured this would be tons of fun for the kids to try out, and a great way to keep them all entertained.

First, some facts about the Birthday Party Bash Game:

  • The birthday boy/girl chooses the party theme, anything from pirates to princesses. (There are 10 themes available.) They even get to create their own virtual character, as well as characters for all of their guests!
  • Up to 12 party guests can join in on playing the Wii games.
  • When it’s time to serve the cake, “Happy Birthday” will play karaoke-style while a virtual cake appears on screen.
  • The game is rated E for Everyone

Our Review of the Birthday Party Bash Game:
My kids had a ball with the Birthday Party Bash Game. Because it was recently Zander’s birthday, we let him go first at choosing the party theme, inviting guests, and setting everything up. It was so easy that he was able to do it all by himself. I just sat back and watched.

He picked the pirate theme. After each game, a new decoration would be revealed in the party room. At the very end, they lit up the cake and everyone sings happy birthday! Talk about fun!

The games were easy enough for my 5 & 6 year olds, but still fun for my 12 year old (and me!). They take party games that we’ve all played for years ( like Hot Potato, Red Light, Green Light, and Pin the Tail on the Donkey) and give them a fun, virtual spin.

Ashley liked the Birthday Party Bash Game so much that she asked if she could use the enclosed invitations (Yep! It comes with invitations!) to invite some of her friends from church over for her birthday party next month. She can’t wait!

The Birthday Party Bash Game not only comes with 12 invitations, it also comes with a “Buy One Get One Free” coupon for Duncan Hines Products! Now kids can have a virtual cake and a real cake, and mom won’t go broke! 🙂

The Birthday Party Bash Game also comes with a guide book that explains how to set everything up and even gives you tons of party tips for making a successful party. Because only 4 kids can play at a time, it gives you ideas on what to do during the down time for the kids who are waiting their turn. It’s a fantastic guide to have on hand for any kind of party.

The Birthday Party Bash Game is a hit around our house. My kids have really enjoyed it, and they play it all the time. Jace jumps and gets really into the game every time it’s his turn. Lucy *loves* the Princess theme, and has to have a Princess Party every time it’s her turn! (Yes, even a 2 year old can play the game – she just needs a little help.)

The best part of it all? My kids actually get along when they play this game. Everyone cheers each other on, helps each other, and gets excited when the other one wins. No fighting over who won what game, who got to go first, nothing. That part right there is enough to make me want to buy several copies to have on hand. 🙂 Now, I know that there’s no such thing as magic, but this game comes pretty darn close in my book!

All in all, this has been an excellent addition to our wii game collection, and one that we’ll enjoy for years to come!

Don’t forget to check out to learn more. Just be ready to sing along as soon as the site loads!

And many thanks to Mom Central for allowing us to try out the game!

Pretty in Pink

When I woke up yesterday morning, the first thing on my agenda was to call the Pediatric Orthopedist about Lucy’s arm. The office that I called is one of the best around, and they even come up to the hospitals in our area. Of course, I couldn’t get in until next Tuesday if I wanted to wait until they were in our area, so I decided to just take her down to their main office. If I did that, they could get her in that day.

I printed up my directions on mapquest, dropped the boys at my MIL’s house, and took Lucy, Ashley, and Parker with me. I knew it was going to be a long day.

I got down to the area where the doctor’s office was, and then the mapquest directions went screwy. They weren’t even close to where I needed them to be. I called hubby in a panic because I was completely lost. He used to work down near this area, and so he was supposed to know how to get me where I was going. Didn’t happen. I called the doctor’s office and the poor receptionist had to take me turn by turn to their office. I was so lost.

Luckily, I had left with plenty of time, so we were still a few minutes early for her 2 o’clock appointment. We sat in the waiting room – along with 800 other people – and at 2:45, they finally called us back. It was after 3 before the doctor came in to look at her.

He pulled up the x-rays on the computer and he showed me where Lucy’s bone was completely bent. There was no crack, but instead it was something they call a greenstick fracture. Because little bones are so soft, the fall Lucy took completely bent her radius bone. Lucy’s little bone came to a v, and it was awful. (The hospital didn’t allow me to look at the x-rays. I believe the doctor was upset that I was right, and she was wrong!) The Orthopedic surgeon told me that they never should have let her leave on Friday night, and this type of break explains why she could still use her arm and wasn’t in constant pain. The only time she would feel pain was if something touched that part of her bone. (Which is exactly right, and exactly what I told the doctors and nurses at our ER!)

It took forever, but they finally took us back to the casting room. (Which has nothing to do with acting!) 🙂 She picked a purple cast. Then a pink cast. Then a white cast. Then a purple cast. Then, as they were getting ready to open the purple cast package, she freaked out and shouted, “I need pink! I need pink!” Thank heavens they were used to dealing with children, because they didn’t give her a hard time at all and put the pink cast on. I opted to pay a little extra and get a waterproof lining inside the cast. That means we can take her swimming, give her baths, and allow her to get wet as often as she wants, and we won’t have to worry about covering the cast. Worth every penny of the extra $20 I had to pay!

She did ok during the entire process, until he had to form the cast to her arm. Every time he came near where the bone was bent, she would flip. It hurt her so badly. She was tough, though, and the moment they let us go, she was showing off her new pink cast to everyone she saw.

We stopped at McDonalds for some chicken nuggets, french fries and hot fudge sundays. Then we headed home, completelty ignoring the mapquest reverse route directions I had printed off.

We didn’t get home until after 6 o’clock, so it made for a very long day. We go back to the office on August 12th to have the cast removed.

I’m just so glad that she’s finally been taken care of, and she’s on the pathway to healing. What a crazy weekend it has been!