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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The 4 Gift Rule - How to not spoill your Children at Christmas.



            If you read my blog regularly you would know that we are taking our Vacation to Disney World, soon! I know, I can’t help that I talk about it so much, but were so excited! – with that going on in February- and anyone that has been to Disney would know the cost, we didn’t want to have a extravagant Christmas this year like all the others. Not to mention that Christmas cost so much for everyone and it really shouldn’t be like that. Now yes we all love getting presents and giving presents to our kids but think about if for just a second…. You bought your kid a Wii last Christmas and about 10-15 toys… what has your kid played with most?? Go ahead admit it .. it was that expensive electronic that you bought them that takes up most of their free time, and theres nothing wrong with that because most our “me” time is spent on our electronics as well. This year we wanted to do something different that would still make our kids excited it was Christmas but not to spend a fortunate and then when we go to Disney have to battle the “ I wants”, so we have decided to do the 4 Gift Rule, and will probably continue this tradition because it is such a great idea and could be used for the whole family not just the kids.
Here is the 4 Gift Rule:
      These 4 gifts, I believe cover all the bases of things you buy for at Christmas but instead of trying to get EVERYTHING just pick out the number 1 on your list and save some money! When I Christmas shop, no matter what it is I always buy buy buy from Black Friday through the week before Christams. Usually anything and everything I see that I want to get for someone and then we end up with a ton of gifts, that really are unnecessary and the kids on Christmas morning really just have a race to see who can open everything the fastest. In addition to the 4 gifts the kids will also get their gifts from Santa, their stocking, and their gift from Fred ( the Elf on the Shelf).. We started last year, (I have no idea why we would give another imaginary being credit for the awesome gifts mommy and daddy buy but we did) giving the kids a gift from their Elf on the Shelf, they named Fred, for being so good and not touching him or playing with him (the rule of the magic elf) and that he would see them next year. So the kids will also receive their gifts in addition to the 4 Gifts from Mommy and Daddy. That sounds like a wonderful Christmas and not a lot of clutter either! Also if you can get family members that may tend to over buy on board, it would not only help everyones wallet and your home, but your children wont be spoiled and expect a mountain of toys every year from everyone. Maybe you can even put all the money your saving towards yall’s next family vacation!

Sugar Pecans

      Depending on where your from you either say Pecan as Pee-Can or Pee-Con we say   Pee-Can! I don’t know it that is a Southern thing or it just depends on what you’re taught they are called. My daughter use to refuse to say Pecan she just called it a nut. Where we live we have about 5 large Pecan trees in our yard and every year they produce so many pecans that we do not have to buy them ever. I noticed this year that Pecans for 2 cups were $6.00 that is absolutely way to much for only 2 cups. You may be able to get them from your local farmers marker or look for someone who may allow you to come out and pick up your own for a cheaper price. The downfall is that you do have to shell them your self but the money savings and quantity you get is, to me, worth it especially with all those Pecan Pies and Sugar Pecans that are made this time of year.
Im not a Pecan Pie person but I do love Sugar Pecans! I’ve made these a few times for family member and they absolutely ate them all and then asked for more. My sister/best friend considers these her “favorite” and has asked me to send her some. I always joke with her because she lives about 2 hrs away and we don’t get to see each as much as we like that she has to come get them… well she decided she would just ask for the recipe! Smartypants! :p So here it is! Let me know how ya’ll like them. They are very easy and can be a go to for a quick party snack or you can even place them in a mason jar, tie a pretty bow, and send to family or friends this holiday season!

What you need:
-1 egg
-1/3 cup of sugar
-1 tablespoon of Cinnamon (we use 2- if you want more Cinnamon flavor)
-3 cups of Halved Pecans

-         Heat Oven to 300 degrees
-         Place pecans evenly on baking sheet
-         Beat Egg in bowl, pour over pecans, mix up to make sure all are covered
-         Pour Cinnamon Sugar mixture over pecans, mix to make sure all are covered
-         Bake for 15- 20 min… remove immediately from pan, allow to cool before storing them.

Dorito Taco Bake



     One of our favorite meals for Dinner is Tacos! They are Quick and easy and that is exactly what us moms are looking for, especially after a long day of work. However, I have gotten tired of eating the same things the same ole way. So we started trying different things like tacos and spaghetti in different ways. One of our favorites is a Taco Bake. I have picky eaters so things are made very simple and traditional in this house, so feel free to add your favorite taco toppings in with this recipe, layered however you would like. So get creative and make it your own but always keep the bottom and top layer the same. 

What you need:
-1 lb. hamburger meat
-tacos seasoning (make your own or buy a packet)
-1/2 cup of taco sauce or salsa
- 1 to 2 cups of Cheese (your preference)
-1 can Crescent Rolls
- 1 bag of Doritos 

  • Brown the hamburger meat, drain
  • Add Taco Seasoning and Taco Salse/Salsa, cook as normally would to make taco meat.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray the bottom of your 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray
  • Line the bottom of your 9x13 casserole dish with Crescent Rolls, just roll out dough to make a crust bottom.
  • Add Hamburger meat, and then layer with cheese. ( if you are adding additional toppings began to layer here)
  • Crush ½ bag of Doritos into a bowl, and top Casserole with Doritos
  • Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes and serve

     This is one of my go tos especially if we have a very busy week because I always have half a casserole dish left over. This is very easy to reheat. I put in the oven at about 200-250 degrees so it doesn’t cook it and burn it.. its just reheating it and I leave it in for about 25-30 minutes, and it taste just like you made it! Also make some Spanish rice to go one the side! YUMM—this post is making me hungry! Enjoy!

French Toast Breakfast Bake


            Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, however its usually made for dinner because I do not like getting up and going straight into the kitchen to cook. I may love to cook and we may live our life a little old fashion but because that’s something I do constantly, I do not like it first thing in the morning! I really don’t like doing anything first thing in the morning except staying warm in bed. When I do cook in the morning I like to have something I can throw in the oven and cook, honestly, canned biscuits, cinnamon rolls, or even sometimes make some waffle mix and pour into the waffle maker, something quick and easy! I have recently found some recipes that I can start in the crock pot the night before or do all the prep work the night before and have an amazing breakfast!
            My mother came home from being on vacation for 2 ½ weeks to Las Vegas and we needed to get together to plan Thanksgiving, Christmas, and do some planning on our Disney Trip in Feb. so we decided to get together for home cooked breakfast Saturday morning, which was fine however Friday night is date night for me and the husband… so I saw this French toast bake earlier in the week and remembered it could be prepped the night before and just baked in the morning (so thankful my oven does the cooking in the mornings with no help from me- I just gotta put it in and get it out.. couldn’t ask for easier) If mornings started later in this house then I could probably cook a full feast of a breakfast like dinners usually are.. but they don’t they start anywhere from 5-7 usually, if were lucky sometimes 8, and I am not in the mood for cooking or doing anything! The easier the better especially if you wanna eat something other then cereal or pop tarts. The French Toast Bake turned out to be the best French Toast I have ever had… I could probably eat the whole casserole dish! I also made the favorite Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins! (previously blogged, but I will include the recipe under the French Toast Bake!) Hope your family enjoys!

French Toast Bake
-12 slices of Bread (white/wheat/oat – whatever your preference)
-1 cup of Brown Sugar
-2 teaspoons of Cinnamon ( we like cinnamon so I used 3)
-1 cup of Pecans or Walnuts
-8 Eggs
-1 cup of Milk
-2 teaspoons of Vanilla

-Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and line a 9x13 casserole dish with one layer of the bread cubes.
- Mix Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and Pecans or Walnuts together in a bowl, sprinkle half of mixture over the first layer of bread.
-Add remaining Bread cubes to make a second layer, sprinkle remaining Brown Sugar/ Cinnamon mixture over the second layer of bread cubes.
-Mix Eggs, Milk, and Vanilla together. Beat until well mixed
- Pour over Bread and Brown Sugar Mixture. Press down slightly over the bread to make sure all is coated in Egg Mixture.
-Cover and place in the refrigerator over night or go ahead and bake.

-When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees, bake for 20 mins covered and then uncover and bake for additional 20- 25 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven, allow to cool!

--You can sprinkle powder sugar over the top to give it a snowy look and serve with syrup. Hope everyone enjoys!


Turkey Day - Gobble till you Wobble

           
      9 days until Thanksgiving! WOW, where has this year gone? I really can remember last year like it was yesterday! As an adult time flies, but when your a kid it always seems to go so slow. With only 9 days left we are all or at least should be getting ready to spend time with our families, eat some amazing home cooked food, and being thankful for all our blessings that we have had over the past year, as this year comes to a end, and then there are some of us (like me) that know we are cooking, what were going to be cooking but we have yet to get our “plan” ready, make the grocery list and beat the rush to get the shopping done. So I am doing that today- well the planning part not the grocery shopping, my husband does that! (yes, I said my husband! & he does it perfect every time) My blog needs to be added to this week so I figured I would make a Thanksgiving one to first say WOW where has the time gone, and to maybe give you some ideas of what to make or you send me your favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
            We always go to my mothers on Thanksgiving, we eat there for lunch and she cooks the works and I always make deserts and some sides. This year I have no idea what I am going to make but I want it to be something different and were going to let the kids get into cooking and making some stuff too. Now anyone that has picky eating kids knows how hard it can be to make stuff they eat at Thanksgiving. My son usually ends up with just sides like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls. This year we are going to let them make something fun for their Thanksgiving Dinner and also they can have any sides they want but just like all of us adults are busy cooking away the night before and the day of, the kids should have something fun to do too and why not have them join in on the “cooking”? 

The kids usually make a Pumpkin Turkey and have for years and years. <insert picture> They love doing this and it is very very easy to do: You only need a few simple things for you turkey and it can also be a snack for the children and/or adults.
 This year I think we will switch it up and have them make this and then also a craft for them.
Great to keep the kids busy while your getting the table set!





Great to make one each year with the family to show how the kids have grown!








For me this year it has been very hard to decide what I am going to make because of Pinterest!!! Its very addicting and has so many wonderful ideas and recipes that it’s a little overwhelming. As soon as I think okay I have figured out what I’m going to make I find something else. I am absolutely making my homemade Mashed Potatoes! That is something that has to be made every year, no exceptions! I also plan to use my Bella Pie Maker and make an assortment of mini pies… Apple, Pecan, and Peach. I also plan to make Corn Casserole, Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie, and Rice Krispy Turkey Pops, and Rolo Cookies ( Especially for my husband)  
Recipes will be added between now and Sunday so you can get whatever you may need or want to make for your Thanksgiving Day Get together! Please share your favorite recipes you can add them here in a comment or email them to us at RaisedSouthern.KariScott@yahoo.com

Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving and remembers what this day is all about and give Thanks to all the people in your life everyday! Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll and don’t Gobble till ya Wobble! J

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Candy Overload- What are we going to do with all this Candy?


We all know that there is no way our kids are going to eat all the candy they got for Halloween, unless we want tummy aches and rotten teeth!  So what to do with it?? More then likely its going to end up being thrown away, but this year why not try to do something else with all that Candy. Here are some ideas to help get rid of all that candy without throwing it away and without your kids setting a goal to eat it all!
n                          Donate – One thing you can do with all that Candy your kids got yesterday is Donate it! There is a program that allows you to donate your candy and they send it to the troops overseas! This program is called operationshoebox.com Please visit their site for more information!
n                          Lets Cook Something--- Use the Candy to make something with your kids or for your kids. Many kids love ice cream toppings one way you can get rid of all that candy is to pick out some of your favorites and chop them up into toppings and use them to add to your favorite ice cream… Another Idea would be to use the candies and add them to your favorite Cookies or Brownies for a great desert.
n                          Save it and Reuse! --- The Holidays are coming up and the season for lots of baked goods and gingerbread houses! Save some of that candy for your holiday baking and decorating!! The kids will love that they have “extras” to add to their gingerbread houses! You can also plan to have a gingerbread house decorating contest between your family and friends and all the extra candy will be great to help with the add ons!

    Instead of letting your kids eat all that candy or throwing away 80% of it, get creative! If you are going to throw it away, please go ahead and donate it! Not only will you be donating to the troops but you are also teaching your children about donating!  Try one of these ideas out and enjoy some time with your family!
     Hope all the little ones enjoyed their Halloween and trick or treating, I know mine sure did and this year was different then any other. My son is 8 and my daughter 5 and for the first year they walked up to the house by their selves with their daddy and I standing in the driveway waiting for them. I felt like my babies were grown up cause last year my daughter still wanted us to walk up there with her. They all grow so quick! Happy Holidays!

Be Great Parents- Gross your Kids out!




      Ewwwww!!!! That’s usually my son and daughters response when they see my husband and I kissing or hugging. I believe my son is at the “cootie” stage of starting to like girls but “they have cooties”  J My daughter of course follows in her big brothers shoes and does whatever he does. I think it’s cute when they say ewww and giggle but I also think it is very important that they see their parents kiss and hug each other (appropriately) and see the love we share for, not just the love we show them.



     This picture floated across Facebook and belongs to http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/ and made me immediately think “ain’t that the truth!” So I started reading more into PDA in front our children and just like with anything else there are different opinions but I believe that it is very important for my husband and I to model a healthy, loving relationship for our children. It sets a good example of how people should treat each other. Not just kids respecting parents and parents respecting kids, but also adults love and respect each other the same way we do the kids. I believe children find sense of security in knowing that their parents love each other. In the world today there are many different statuses of home life for children and children can worry about things the same way us adults do especially, if school they have a friend or see another kids going through a rough time with their parents divorced or a step parent, stuff like that can give our kids the same type of anxiety that we as adults get. Showing that we love them by kissing and hugging is no different then showing them that we love their daddy or mommy by giving a kiss or a hug! I think it could also be detrimental to your marriage if you don’t hug and kiss in front of your kids. The majority of the time that my husband and I spend together is with and in front of our children, minus the one night a week the kids stay with their YaYa (grandma). I think it could be unhealthy to our children to not see the love that we have for our spouse. They may feel once they grow up and start their own relationships, that they shouldn’t have to show love because they didn’t see it in their home, that’s not what their parents did, and in society all any of us want is to be loved and shown love.  Do you think it’s healthy to do PDA in front of your children? If not, Why? 

Missing Money?

   

     I know most of us have heard about people finding missing money that was theirs but they didn’t get it because they moved, it was a rebate never collected, or money that was owed to them. I personally, really didn’t believe that any of this was real or legit… but I saw one day while working and Rachel Ray was on, a women that had found  a site called missingmoney.com and  all you had to do was put in your name and state and see if you found anything that linked to you and your address. You don’t have to sign up for an account and provide a ton of information you really don’t want to share with a site that your unsure of, all you need is your name and state you live in or may have lived in. I didn’t expect to find anything when I went to the site and was very skeptical, but the fact that it was on Rachel Ray did make me less skeptical then if I would have found the site myself. So I tried it out and what did I find $35.00 that was owed to me from a previous water company in another state. Needless to say once I saw that I was then excited! 

    All that was needed for me to claim my money was that I print out the required form by the state, and include a copy of a previous bill showing that I lived there and my updated address of where they would be sending the money. I have just sent it off and hopefully it wont take to long to receive back. I suggest everyone go check this site out and see if you have free money just sitting waiting on you. With the holidays coming up, we all know how important any amount of money is especially if its owed to us! Go check it out and see if you have missing money waiting for you! Good Luck!

Walt Disney World: Never Settle! - Our Reservations have changed!

Disney: Never Settle- the Reservations have changed!





     Tip #1- Never Settle J We originally started planning this trip because of the new Art of Animation Resort was opening and we wanted to see it and “stay in a story”! We love the value resorts because they are perfect for the kids, the love all the larger then life characters and d├ęcor that is in the Value Resorts. When I originally priced our vacation of 7 nights/8 days, it came out to a small fortunate and we were not willing to do that and looked into other options. We found we could do a “camping” vacation at the Fort Wilderness Resort and we were very very excited about getting a RV and RV’ing and then new special pricing and promotions were offered from Disney. The new Fantasyland Expansion is almost done and the Be Our Guest Restaurant will be opening in just a few days, Disney released special pricing for all the excitement called Play, Stay, Dine, & Save and with this promotion you can save hundreds!!  
            When I received the notice of the new Promotions I immediately checked to see if it would be any difference in our vacation and was very surprised to find that all of original plans were now going to be cheaper then what I had already reserved at Ft. Wilderness, I could add an extra day to our park tickets because we chose to only have 5 day park tickets originally but now have chosen to have 6 day tickets and leave a day for Downtown Disney, we upgraded from the quick service plan (that comes with the promo) to the Dining Plan with Table Service, and I still saved $500!! Can’t beat that!! Of course I immediately got on the phone with Disney, waited an hour and a half, and changed the whole vacation around! Even though I was a little disappointed we were not going to be RV’ing, we can still visit and enjoy Ft. Wilderness because if you didn’t known as a Walt Disney Resort Guest you can visit and look at all the beautiful Resorts they offer! The whole reason we started planning this vacation was to see all the new stuff Disney is offering so I was very pleased I was able to stick to our original vacation plan, and it didn’t cost a small fortune but I actually saved! So Never Settle the best way to save money at Disney World is to plan your vacation a good time in advance, that way you have options and can see what Disney World is going to offer because they always have amazing deals, just have to find what is right for you and your family!

            Also as part of 2013 Disney has released they will have 52 weeks of Limited Magic! What this means is that Walt Disney World is going to offer different themed weeks you can learn more at their website and The Walt Disney World Blog . I’m even more excited about our trip since this was released on October 17, 2012 because the week we are going is Valentines Week and not only that but it will be True Love Week and Disney will Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout the week with special moments and entertainment that is meant for us true love lovebirds! The Disney Princes will be with their Princesses, special menus will be offered at selected restaurants and  special Valentines products and collectibles will be offered. It is so exciting to be going during a special time at Disney World. Usually Disney celebrates big at Halloween and Christmas so I definitely was not expecting a week of special stuff during Valentines! It is such a wonderful thing because not only is being at Disney magical in itself and all the other add ons they offer, they have once again gone above and beyond to make all of us traveling to Disney in 2013 extra magical and Limited just for us during our vacations. I'm very pleased with our vacation plans now and can’t wait much longer!! Our countdown is now to double digits instead of triple and the kids can’t stop talking about it! Here is the link for the new Art of Animation we will be staying at! Check it out, and also check out the special offers available under the packages tab at the Walt Disney Word Website!!!