Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hoppy Easter

Well today sure was a hubbub of activity! Between the hubs leaving for a week due to work, the last day of Spring Break for my 1st grader & of course, Easter.

And the Easter Bunny brought a few things (of course). Good thing he finally figured it out & kept it to a minimum! 
Goodies from the Easter Bunny

Cinnabunnies before...
Cinnabunny after
Some adorable Bunny Bread
Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs (amazing!)
There was also an improvised egg "hunt" (more like a free for all with a big pile since it started raining), dying eggs with Kool-Aid & plenty of yummy food.

I hope everyone had a fun-filled & "Hoppy" Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps Giveaway, by Beautiful Incentives

I'll admit, we are a snacking family. But sometimes it's hard to find even a couple of snacks that not only does everyone like, but are healthy. Of course fruit is perfect for a time like this, but it doesn't always keep long enough for all to be eaten. Which makes me so glad I found something on one of my favorite blogs, Beautiful Incentives.

Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps are freeze dried, full of nutrients & perfect for snacking. Be sure to check out the full review, here

Another reason why I love Beautiful Incentives...her amazing giveaways! Just like the one below!

Grey's Anatomy: "Can't Fight This Feeling"

Tonight is a bittersweet victory for all parents of KD (Kawasaki Disease) kids. And we have Grey's Anatomy along with special guest Sarah Chalke to thank. Yep, it's that epic!

Sarah Chalke, a KD mom herself (her son was diagnosed a year ago), relives her experience of getting a proper diagnosis in tonight's episode, "Can't Fight This Feeling". (View the sneak peek here.)

Sarah Chalke starring on Grey's Anatomy

While many of us will be thrust back in time reliving our own experiences with our KD kids, we will also be smiling ear to ear for KD having such a large recognition. On a #1 show on primetime television! Eeek!

To celebrate, share stories & raise awareness; the KD Foundation is hosting virtual "viewing parties" on facebook & twitter.

twitter: #KDGA #KawasakiDisease

"The one thing that was important to me was that the symptoms would be mentioned and shown so that as a parent when you're watching, you're able to see the symptoms and have this visual trigger,"
~Sarah Chalke

So please, even if you're not a Grey's Anatomy fan, tune in TONIGHT at 9/8 central. And be sure to tell everyone you know too. You never know when you might hold the knowledge to save a child's life.

For more information on Kawasaki Disease, please visit The Kawasaki Disease Foundation and The Faces of Kawasaki Disease.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Daddy Diaper Pack Review & Giveaway!

I have to admit, I gave up on diaper bags about halfway through my 2nd baby. I found that my big purse (affectionately dubbed "Mom's suitcase" by the hubs) worked just as good for me. But what happens when Dad has the kids & needs to go somewhere? I know my hubs wouldn't be caught dead lugging around one of my purses. Even though I'm pretty sure he'd make our oldest attempt to carry it (she's only 7.)

That's where the Daddy Diaper Pack by Daddy Scrubs comes in.

"The Daddy Diaper Pack is the ultimate pack for Dads with full straps and clips to lock it down, and to take it off quickly and easily.  The custom design allows less fumbling through deep pockets and eliminates struggling to take off the pack while holding baby."

 I was amazed at just how much this Daddy Diaper Pack could hold. The hubs was pretty amazed too because he told me how comfortable it was to carry around, never straining.

 This is just some of the basics I take with me; an outfit for the youngest, toys for the younger two, pull-ups, dipes & wipes. As you can see, they barely fill half of one of the main sections.

The back section has plenty of room to hold dirty duds, more toys, or even a tablet (hubs fave accessory to bring.)

On the front side are 3 separate sections. A fleece lined pocket perfect for sunglasses or cell phones (top). An organizer pocket to hold your debit card, cash, keys, or anything else that's small & can't get lost (middle). And an insulated pocket perfect for juice boxes & baby carrots (bottom).

And of course you can't forget the mesh side pockets for bottles or sippy cups. (As I tell my hubs, you can't buy a filled sippy cup at the gas station. Don't forget to take one with you.)

With wide straps & hook closures on both front & back, it's easy to wear while carrying a baby. Or a toddler. Or both!

So if you're looking for an expectant father gift, new dad gift or even an experienced dad gift, I highly recommend the Daddy Diaper Pack (retail price: $69.95) And I can say that the hubs favors this over any other diaper bag or carrier we've had over the last 7 years!

Looking for a daddy to be gift now? Head on over to & use coupon code: BLOG13 for a 10% discount.

How could Daddy Scrubs get better?

Daddy Scrubs will drop ship one lucky winner a Daddy Diaper Pack!

Giveaway will conclude on Saturday 3/30/13 at 12:00 a.m. est. Winner will be announced via blog post & on Smith and Blessings facebook page (don't forget to "like" us!) by 12:00 p.m. est on 3/30/13
*Open to U.S. residents only*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interested in how Daddy Scrubs got started?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Stop Spring Sickness with Boogie Wipes Giveaway WINNER!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, March 21, 2013


It's about that time to start planning the garden for this coming season. Which makes me think of all the yummy dishes I can make with my harvests. Zucchini bread, cucumber salad, buttery sweet corn on the cob... & Bruschetta. Of course it's more cost effective to grow your own ingredients, but when I want some Bruschetta the most I can wait is a few days.

There are so many ways you can serve this, on grilled chicken, over pasta, on a salad, or even in a sandwich. But my go to is always on a roll of some sorts.

You'll need:
•Roma tomatoes, finely diced
•fresh basil, finely chopped
•red onion, finely diced
•garlic, minced
•olive oil
•Balsamic vinegar
•cream cheese, softened
•roll of some sorts, unsliced (sub bun, French bread, Ciabatta, etc.)
•salt & pepper

Slice your bread at an angle to make your pieces slightly larger & toast in a 400 degree oven until just slightly browned.

Spread with cream cheese & place back in oven for just a few minutes.

In a med.-lg. bowl (depending on how much you're making), combine remaining ingredients in desired amounts. This is the best part, give it a quick taste & adjust to your liking. I always put in quite a bit of garlic & balsamic vinegar. OK, & onions too.

Now is the time to top your crispy bread coated with creamy goodness, with your mouth watering Bruschetta. Yes, you'll be amazed at how much a difference that cream cheese makes.

Enjoy & make sure you plant tomatoes, basil, red onion & garlic in your garden. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stop Spring Sickness with Boogie Wipes Giveaway

Spring has sprung! Officially, anyways. But from some of this crazy weather we've been having, it sure doesn't seem like it.

And with so many feeling under the weather right now (like my nephews who have been passing it around for weeks!) it makes it difficult to be excited for this time of year. So let's take a stand & Stop Spring Sickness! (I know that's a bit corny, but it's cute...right?)

 One lucky winner will win a Boogie Wipes care package containing:
•Grape Scented Boogie Wipes
•Kandoo Foaming Hand Sanitizer
•Kandoo Bath Pouf

Just a few things to help stop/prevent sickness so spring can be enjoyed.

*You can find my review of Boogie Wipes here.

 Giveaway will conclude on Tues., 3/26/13 at 12:00 a.m. Winner will be announced via blog post & on Smith and Blessings facebook page (don't forget to "like" us!) by 12:00 p.m. on 3/26/13

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patty's Day

Today I was Irish. Slightly. At least in the kitchen.

Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage with Beer.

Layer large chunks of potatoes, carrots & onion. Followed by water, corned beef brisket (fat side up) & beer. Sprinkle the seasoning packet from the brisket evenly over the fat. Cook on HIGH 6 hours (or so). Brush off seasoning & remove fat as best as you can. Top with sliced cabbage, salt & pepper. Continue cooking on HIGH 30-60 minutes or until cabbage is wilted.
 (*measurements based on personal preference.)

  Irish Soda Bread. This recipe was amazingly simple & delicious. 

And then there was dessert.

A Green Velvet Cheesecake Cake. Let's just say that Recipe Girl is a genius. And I'm officially addicted.

There was also a homemade "Shamrock Shake" made with vanilla ice cream, a bit of milk & some Torani Creme de Menthe syrup. (They were slurped up before I could get a picture.)

Did you have any festive food?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Smoked Turkey Rachel

This has to be one of my favorite sandwiches. Ever. I could go on & on about how good it is, but instead I'll just tell you how to make it.

You'll need:
•Focaccia Bread: you can make your own by placing basil, oregano, rosemary & parsley on top of Italian bread dough lightly brushed with olive oil. Bake as directed.
•Coleslaw: I use this recipe, but it's really up to personal preference
•Smoked Turkey, chipped (make sure it's smoked)
•Swiss Cheese, sliced
•1000 Island Dressing

*A griddle is the best place to prepare this sammie, but you'll have to work fast. 

Taking a sandwich size piece of focaccia bread, slice it in half & lightly toast. When toasted, top each end with Swiss cheese & a bit of 1000 Island.

Heat a serving of turkey & coleslaw (combined). When heated through, place on bottom half of bread. Replace top. Eat & enjoy.

 Great with a side of sweet potato fries sprinkled with a bit of seasoned salt.

*NOTE: I always dip mine in extra 1000 Island. The messier, the better in my book.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Andrea's World: Lugz Gypsum Review and GIVEAWAY!!

 It's that time again folks! No, it's not bedtime, or dinnertime, but time for me to share another great giveaway I've come across. I've become a huge fan of Andrea's World & this just happens to be yet another awesome review & giveaway she has going on right now.

Don't forget to stop by Andrea's World on facebook & say thank you for the Lugz giveaway you saw on Smith & Blessings! 

Best of luck! 

By now, most of you probably know about my love/hate relationship with shoes. I love the way they look, but hate the way they feel with a passion.

If shoes were not so cute, I would probably go barefoot all the time. That is why I always have to pick the cutest styles to justify me wearing them.

That is why I love Lugz so much. All of their styles are fabulous. I love that they have something for everyone. Men, Women and Kids can all look stylish and still be comfortable.

I love all of the Lugz styles, even the Mens ones. As a matter of fact, the pair I just got for myself is actually a Mens pair.

I chose the Gypsum Sneakers in Red/White, and I love them.

Everything about these sneakers is perfect.

I love the shape. They are not too low cut, but not quite hi tops either.

They fit super comfortable on my ankles, and do not run or feel restricting at all. The width is perfect too. My fit are a little wide, and I think since these are Mens shoes, they are wider than a Womens pair would be.

They are so cushiony and give great support.  The do not restrict or bind at all, and are so much more comfortable than like every other sneaker I own. I actually enjoy wearing them, which is so rare for me.

The textured material is really cool. I love that they are not the standard leather or suede type shoes, and they are not just a cloth like fabric either. They are thick and tough but look really unique.

The white accents on these shoes really put them over the top. I love the contrast of colors. Having the white on the stitching, soles, heels and laces makes these really stand out.

The bold, red color all make these shoes POP! I love the way that these can brighten up any outfit or totally compliment any red clothes or accessories. 

I wore these with a red shirt, and I think it looked really cute.

Me and my shadow(lol, she always wants to be with Mommy)

These sneakers look so good with jeans. So much better than the black shoes I normally wear. 

I used to shy away from brighter colors for some reason and stay to mostly neutrals, but I love these, and I am dying to get them in a couple other colors too. They com in 9 colors(patterns). I love the Camo ones, and even the yellow ones are awesome.

I love that there are so many choices. The brighter colors are so perfect for Spring. So fun and uplifting.

They are so durable too. These are shoes that you can really put to work without worrying about them getting scuffed or damaged. They hold their own, That's for sure. I bet they will still look like new even 6 months from now.

I have to get a pair of these for my husband too, because he is totally jealous. He loves his Allerton Hi Tops Sneakers, and he wants the Gypsums too. So I guess we will be buying these again really soon.

If you are planning(or even not planning) to get new shoes for Spring or for any time. I HIGHLY suggest getting a pair of Gypsums or any other fantastic Lugz Style. Comfort, Style, originality, Durability, what more could you want in a sneaker?

How about free? Because Lugz has been generous enough to offer all of you an awesome giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a pair of Red Gypsum Sneakers. Enter Below. Good luck.

*Although I received these at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 11, 2013

Crimes of Fashion Series

I have a confession to make. I once watched a Lifetime movie & I loved it. OK, it may or may not have happened more than once. Actually it was at least twice, but that's all I'm going to divulge.

Back to the movie(s) in question: Killer Hair & Hostile Makeover. I don't remember many details of them, except that Maggie Lawson (Jules from Psych) played the main character of Lacey Smithsonian. So of course I ended up on Amazon, searching for these movies. I was a bit bummed at first that I couldn't find them, but then I realized I found something even better!

Introducing the Crimes of Fashion series by Ellen Byerrum. There are currently 9 books in the series, with the 9th just being released on February 5th, 2013. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that! (Just waiting for it to ship now. Yes, I need all of them.)

Each book (although I'm only on the 2nd) follows Lacey Smithsonian, a D.C. fashion reporter for the Eye Street Observer who always seems to find herself solving crimes. Like murder. And while I'm not too keen on the fashion lingo, I am a huge fan of crime solving novels. Therefore making this series right up my alley. I just hope I can finish them all this year.

Crimes of Fashion Series:

•Killer Hair
•Designer Knockoff
•Hostile Makeover
•Raiders of the Lost Corset
•Grave Apparel
•Armed & Glamorous
•Shot Through Velvet
•Death on Heels
 • Veiled Revenge  NEW!

Friday, March 8, 2013

MorningStar Farms

Let's clarify something. I'm a foodie & I've gotten slightly adventurous over the years.

Moving on, when you hear the term "veggie burger", what do you think? I'll admit that I used to think there was no way I would ever eat one. Then I worked in a small cafe that made their own & they were amazing. Since then I've glanced at the ones sold in the freezer section of the grocery store, pondering. There was no way they could taste as good, right?


MorningStar Farms have been around for over 25 years & are the largest vegetarian producer in the United States. (You don't get stats like that from being mediocre folks!) With products such as chik'n, dogs & breakfast (my pickiest little eater loves the sausage patties) to accompany the veggie burgers, there's something for everyone. The best part, they really are delicious!

Here are some of my favorites:

•Garden Veggie Burger with lettuce, tomato, red onion & Dijon mustard.

•Mushroom Lover's Burger with sauteed onions, Swiss cheese, spicy dill pickle chips & mayo.

•Grillers Prime with smoked cheddar, fresh spinach, tomato, red onion & mayo.

•Spicy Black Bean Burger with pico de gallo, avocado & a hint of ranch.

•And for the kids, mini corn dogs. The color is a bit odd on these, but my youngest two devoured them in no time.

I know, you're totally craving some MorningStar Farms right now. (Would it help if I told you they have 74% less fat than ground beef?) I highly recommend trying any of their products out. I'm glad I did (thank you BzzAgent). I've grown to be quite addicted to them. In case you couldn't tell.

For more information, visit MorningStar Farms.

**Disclaimer: I received this product from BzzAgent & am simply sharing my opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Freebies 4 My Family: Emma & Sana Review/Giveaway

It's about that time I highlighted another beautiful giveaway I came across. (I'm making up for my absence, can you tell?) This one is courtesy of Freebies 4 My Family. Good luck!

Elma & Sana! 

10 Things I Realized Today...

1. It's March. The 5th to be exact. I swear Valentine's Day was just a few days ago. Guess not.

2. Moving sucks. Especially to a house that needs a really good cleaning before you can start moving in. Add 3 kids (7,3 &1), & yea, it sucks.

3. I'm in a salad phase again. I figured this out when I wanted one for breakfast. Although that could have something to do with #4.

4. I'm newly obsessed with smoked cheddar cheese. Plain, with crackers or on a sandwich, it doesn't matter how I eat it. Although after #3, I have to say I love it most on a salad.

5.  It's impossible to save every single paper my kids will bring home from school. Pre-K, Kindergarten & into 1st for Paige (the oldest) & I have boxes upon boxes to go through.

6. I could really use a clone or a personal assistant these days. Between moving, school meetings & doctor/dentist appointments, it's almost impossible not to feel 10 steps behind.

7. I will probably never be able to sit around all day & watch the Twilight Saga (I've just recently gotten hooked. Don't judge.) Unless I'm super sick & in bed. Meh, I think I'd rather watch it bit by bit, here & there.

8. I want a Kindle of some sorts (behind the times, I know.) I prefer physical books, but I still want a Kindle. 

9. I really want to get more organized. Perhaps I'll add another project of getting organized Martha Stewart/DIY style. Sounds like a plan.

10. It really is almost spring, which means I need to start planning my "new" garden. Just no lettuce. That was a huge fail last season. But I will have everything else for my yummy salads. And an indoor herb garden too. Oh I'm getting hungry...time to eat!

Did you have any realizations today?