Mome reads Mommy, My daughter's way to spell it when she was younger... It stuck. My son calls me Mome... just like it looks. I now sign all my notes to them "Love, Mome". It's our inside secret and makes them smile. I always want them to smile.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday, Handsome

Dear Handsome,

At exactly 4:30 today you will turn 8.  The time has gone by so fast.  You promised me, at two, that you would stay small and yet you continue to grow.  What's up with that?  I love you more each and every day.  It's because of you that I am called "Mom".  I waited my whole life to be "mom" and yet never imagined how happy and proud you would make me.  My heart is full.

Almost 2

This year you have accomplished so much.  Training wheels off your bike, Rides at Busch Gardens you never would have dreamt of riding a year ago, Straight A's, a new love of reading and ice skating.  You are all boy with a collection of guns, swords and light sabers that continues to grow.  You love to play with Legos but would rather create your own than build a kit.  Your imagination is incredible and you can spend hours building.

First day of Kindergarten

You are the love of my life.  The reason I am.  There is NOTHING I wouldn't do for you. 

Here's a birthday wish of many more new experiences, lots of love, and an amazing future.  You can do and/or be anything you wish.  Go For It!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Verizon FiOS Test Drive~ Part One

I was asked by Verizon and Mom Central to Test Drive Verizon FiOS' Triple Play package and give my honest opinion of what I think.  I was happy to join this program for several reasons.  I'm an Internet and TV junkie so theses services are important in my life.  My old cable company was doing OK but I had started to begin having problems with my Internet connection and was getting dropped regularly.  This has happened in the past and on one occasion I was told we had an out dated modem which we replaced for $150 and on another occasion I was told that they (the cable company) weren't showing any disconnects on their end.  This past episode went unresolved as I never even attempted to contact the company and, instead, decided to try other options.  Enter Verizon FiOS.

I have been a customer of Verizon for my wireless phone plan for more than 10 years.  Any issues we have had concerning billing, phone purchases, or plan changes have always been handled in a professional manner either in store or by phone.  Their customer service is top notch and we have never been unsatisfied with any dealings with the company and usually end up praising the level of service we've received.  I've never considered going with a different service and probably never will.

The initial install of the Triple Play package (phone, Internet, Digital cable) was quoted to take 4-6 hours.  that was a little daunting but ended up only taking 3.5 hours for the entire job minus the burying of the cable which is still in the process of being done.  Every company has to send someone out to mark where their lines and pipes are so it takes a while to coordinate.  The wire isn't bothering me.

Switching services always takes some getting used to.  I left the channel guide (paper copy) next to the kid's TV and highlighted the kids shows.  I quickly realized that Verizon is the first company I have ever used that is smart enough to bundle like programming.  The kids channels, Nick, Teen Nick, Cartoon Network, The Hub. Disney, etc. are all on channels 150-169.  TV movie channels like USA, FX, and TNT are also bundled together.  Makes tons of sense and yet I've never seen this done before.

Our first impression of Verizon FiOS is very favorable.  We will continue to play with all the features and report our finding.

To find out if Verizon FiOS is available in your area click HERE.

I wrote this review while participating in a Test Drive campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Verizon FiOS and received a free trial of the products and services necessary to facilitate my review.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Want something different? How about Zacapa Premium Rum?

This post brought to you by Diageo. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer time is a great time to break from regular drinking habits.  Hot weather lends itself to cooler drinks and nothing refreshes like iced or frozen drinks made from any variety of fruit juices and liquor combos.  Rum is a mild flavored liquor that goes well with almost anything.  Making fancy fruit and rum concoctions is not only fun but makes your home feel like an Island oasis... screaming kids and all.
Zacapa premium rum is aged at The House Above the Clouds, one of the worlds highest ageing facilities.  Found 2300 meters above sea level in the beautiful highlands of Quetzaltenango.  The cool temperature slows the aging process while the thinner air found at this altitude helps intensify the infusion of flavours from the barrels used.
Zacapa premium dark rum uses a Sistema Solera process for aging.  Originally developed 500 years ago as a way to age Sherry, this process involves blending rums of various ages in casks that were previously used for whiskey, sherry and wine.  Every drop flows through each type of cask allowing aromas and flavours to be shared with this maturing liquid.
Zacapa 23
A blend of rums aging from 6 to 23 years.
Best served alone over ice in a rocks glass.
Zacapa XO
A blend of rums aging from 6 to 25 years with an extra ageing stage in oak barrels that previously housed cognac.
Best served in a Riedel glass, neat.
To find out more about these fine rums and other recipes join the Zacapa Society.  I did!
Visit Sponsor's Site

I Can Grow Anything... as long as I'm not Trying.

It's true.  I've killed or allowed to die every plant I have ever bought or been given.  I grew a Chia herb garden that did really well indoors but died shortly after I transplanted outside.  I received another herb garden last Mother's Day that did really well until it got cold and then nothing grew back.

When I'm NOT trying to grow stuff it's amazing what happens.  I posted here about the pumpkin we grew completely by accident.  My In-laws regularly comment about the grass we grow... on the sidewalk and driveway.  And you should wee the weeds that grow as big as trees in no time at all.  Every seed dropped from every tree becomes a tree until we cut it down.  It took forever to cut down all the oak trees that were growing through the deck last year, making me more determined to remove it and pour a cement patio.

The other day my neighbor commented that he believed the growth over the fence is poison Ivy.  Leaves of three, let it be, right?  These have leaves of five so I believe we are safe.  As I was determining the leaf count I saw another strange growth.  I pulled back some taller tree sized weeds and discovered this... on the side of my house.

Can you tell what it is?

That's the supposed Poison Ivy coming over the fence.  Feel free to weigh in on what it really is and if it should be removed.

Let's take a closer look at that other cool thing.


Yep.  I'm growing corn... without even trying.  I have seven more ears in the back yard that I came across while cutting the grass.  Rock On!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Comic Con 2011

Comic Con 2011 is wrapping up today.  I've had so much fun keeping up to date on all the happenings from the WB booths and events through their site WB Comic Con 2011.  It is a star studded event and it appears as though it was a packed house all weekend long.  Being able to see what was happening without fighting the crowds was amazing.  I secretly wished I was there, though.

The ability to check in for updated pictures and videos made me (almost) feel as though I was there with a front row seat.  I am really looking forward to the premier of Person of Interest and followed along the team through signings and info sessions.  Tell me your opinion.  Is this a show you'll be watching when it airs in September?

If you missed out on Comic-Con and want to know more about it.  You can follow the Warner Brothers on Twitter or search #WBSDCC for all the updates on this event.

*I have been hired by Warner Bros WBWord division to promote Comic-Con 2011.

  All opinions are solely mine.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

David Stone Cabernet and Shrimp/Spinach Salad

So.  It's been a while since I've had any wine.  I was trying to give up (temporarily) red wines while using a teeth whitener.  I purchases some whites and a few blush's but then never really felt in the mood to drink them.  I did drink them though, eventually, but neglected to take notes as I was enjoying them with company.

Today at Walgreen's while picking up some pictures I came across a collection of wines by David Stone Vineyards.  The label was clean and crisp and intrigued me, the price was 2 for $10.  Sweet.  Nothing better than trying a new wine with little investment... just in case, you know, it sucks.  I'm not a wine snob, my wine reviews started with an interest in finding and sharing good/great wines under $5.  Most said it couldn't be done.  I found some decent ones.  Then people offered me the opportunity to sample wines in a large variety of price ranges and I got a little spoiled.  Fact. A $5 bottle is never going to match up to an $85 bottle of GREAT wine.  It just won't happen.  Now there could be $85 bottles of wine that some would not  like, but I think no one wants to admit they made that big an error in purchase.  All the wines I've sampled have been good.  I'm not picky.  I find that sometimes I'm in the mood for complexity and several layers of flavor.  Sometimes, I just want to drink without analyzing what I'm tasting/smelling and just enjoy the softer flavored wines, so as to not to distract from what other things I may be doing while consuming.

Back to David Stone Cabernet....

Not overly complex like some cabs.  Taste of green pepper and cherries.  Unlike most cabs the flavor stays the same throughout the experience, not opening as one would expect.  Nevertheless, this wine is very enjoyable and extremely smooth.  Great for sipping alone or pairing with lighter fairs such as this shrimp salad.

Spinach, tomato, Colby cheese, homemade garlic/onion croutons, shrimp and a cranberry vinaigrette. 
 Perfect pairing if I do say so myself... and I do.

Great wine for the price.  Don't believe me? Check out these other reviews on Snooth.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Babycakes Cake Pop Maker... Good for Lots More Than Just Cake

When I got an invite to participate in a new blog tour from Mom Central and Babycakes I was so excited I started telling everyone I knew about this appliance... before I even tried it out.  I've never been disappointed by any product I've promoted through Mom Central and knew this would be no different.  I'm already the Queen of Cakeballs so my mind started spinning on all the "other" things I could make.  My neighbor showed up a couple days after I showed her the site.  She couldn't wait for me to get my cake pop maker and ordered her own.  She had already tried several batches of the cake pops before I actually received mine.

We tried ours out after the kids got back from and extra long weekend with Daddy.  I had already stocked up on stuff I wanted to try.  First we did traditional cake pops, with brownie mix.  We dipped them in white chocolate and sprinkles.  I prefer the plain brownie balls.  Every thing tastes better shaped like a ball.

Brownie mix, white chocolate candiquick and sprinkles
cooked in about 6 minutes

Next I mixed up some biscuit mix (store brand pouch that just requires water to be added) with liberal amounts of garlic powder ( 1.5 Tbsp) and a handful (about a cup) of cheddar cheese.  Oh my!  I immediately called my neighbor to come sample and we agreed that they taste like Red Lobster's garlic cheddar biscuits, but they are more fun being bite size, and round.

Biscuit mix, Garlic Powder and Shredded Cheddar Cheese
cooked in 6 minutes

My neighbor (and her husband) really liked these and the "ball war" began.  We spent the next day trying  different concoctions until we were literally stuffed. 

I made pizza bites...
Crescent rolls, spaghetti sauce and Colby cheese
cooked for 5 minutes
I loved that I could use cold spaghetti sauce from dinner the night before and it heated while the balls were cooking.  Easier because the sauce was thicker.

For breakfast I made the kids pancake sausage balls...

Link Sausage and Pancake Mix
cooked for 3 minutes

I cooked the sausage and cut into bite size pieces.  On the first try I poured the batter and then added the sausage which proved to be a little messy.  On the next go I put the sausage in first and then the pancake batter.  Much easier to get the right amount.

My neighbor made corn bread balls, apple donut holes, and a super yummy slider (mini meatball wrapped in french bread dough).  I neglected to take pictures of her fabulous creations.  Sorry Kathy.

The possibilities are endless.

They suggest using a pastry bag to fill the "holes" but this didn't work well with the brownie mix.  Or maybe it was just me.  I found it easier to just spoon it in.

I can't wait to try more recipes as this is my new favorite appliance.  I even moved my microwave to make a permanent space for it on the counter.  My neighbor and I think we have a slight addiction to our Cake Pop Makers.  There are worse things to be addicted to. 

The non-stick coating makes this Cake Pop Maker fun and easy to use and even better, Easy to clean!  It comes with a Cake Pop stand, sticks and a recipe book.  It's affordable and FUN!

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Babycakes and received a product sample and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Friday, July 8, 2011

OneHope Wines. Giving Back with Wine

REPOST (from 11/09)

If your familiar with my other blogs you know I'm a huge lover of wine. I'm not the snobby sort who can only consume the most expensive of varietals and looks down their nose at those with lesser tastes (or budgets). Yes. I am a fan of low budget wines. Some will say it's lack of knowledge, which in part is probably true. I don't taste a lot of high dollar wines so my palate is that of an amateur. It doesn't mean I don't truly enjoy my less expensive choices. Consider my palate untainted by money. The fact that I've never driven a Bentley doesn't mean I can't appreciate my Hyundai. If I drove a Bentley would I like my Hyundai less? Possibly. But anyone who knows me, knows I have never based my opinions on the likes of others. In fact, the opposite is almost true. I make my own decisions. If I say I like something, it's true. If I don't like something, chances are you're not going to persuade me to change my mind. My opinions can not be bought.

I'm also a sucker for a good charity and am always eager to point out folks who are doing something to help others. If we all strive to be the best we can be and look for ways to help others whenever we can, the world would be a much better place.

So what if we combined a love of the grape with a thoughtful nature and a need to give back? What if a group of eight, 20-something professionals got together to share their marketing and wine knowledge along with their passion to create awareness and give back? What if?

In 2007... They did come together.

In 2007...ONEHOPE Wine was created.

Since their inception in June of 2007, ONEHOPE has donated over $100,000 in cash an in-kind donations. They have also participated in over 300 charity events. They donate 50% of their profits to charity.

ONEHOPE isn't satisfied with just one charity. They have created five varietals with each bottle representing a different cause.

50% of the profits from ONEHOPE's Chardonnay are donated to fight against BreastCancer.

50% of the profits from ONEHOPE's Cabernet Sauvignon are donated to fight against Autism.

50% of the profits from ONEHOPE's Merlot are donated to fight against Aids.

50% of the profits from ONEHOPE's Sauvignon Blanc are donated towards saving the Environment.

50% of the profits from ONEHOPE's Zinfandel are donated to support our Troops.

Doesn't this make you want to go buy some? Whether it's for the Hostess of your next Holiday party or something for you to enjoy alone, I urge you to come up with one reason why ONEHOPE wouldn't be your first choice. Of course, I only received these yesterday. Keep an eye out for individual reviews over at Wine at Five?

The Closer. Season 6. Available NOW

Have DVR's and OnDemand viewing made DVD's obsolete?

There are so many ways to view our favorite shows and movies. DVD players are no longer required. Netflix can be rented through your Wii. Movies and Television programs can be viewed on computers and even phones so why purchase DVD's?


The kids love the bonus features on their DVD's and sometimes request just to watch those.  I'm more into the editorial views of the writers or characters.  Getting a glimpse into an actors thoughts on different scenes and episodes is very interesting to me.  Is that odd?  It's makes the actor a person and not a character (to me) and allows me to better appreciate their work.  After all, it is just a job.  A job where you can pretend to be anyone.  I admire that and their ability to create a character that is believable and lovable (or not). 

Watching this clip makes me love Kyra Sedgwick even more...


Do you watch the bonus features?

What is your favorite part of a DVD?  Do you even buy them?

If you are a fan of The Closer,  Pre-order your copy of The Closer: The Complete Sixth Season on DVD here today!

If you don't buy DVD's, tell me your favorite way to watch shows and movies.

I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote The Closer Sixth Season on DVD.