Archives for May 2011 Can Help Make Cooking and Shopping A Piece of Cake!

Make Time For Family - E-Mealz Blog

I love to cook…problem is, I tend to make the same things over and over again…I tend to get (and stay) stuck in a cooking rut! I try to prepare a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Going to the store for a few things here and there gets very expensive, and I always cook from recipes so for me there’s no grabbing a few things and whipping up something wonderful.

But looking through recipe after recipe is time consuming, and while I love to do it, I just don’t have or make the time to sit down, go through recipes, and then prepare a grocery list to pick up everything I need.

Hence the reason why I end up making the same things over and over.

Enter I had always thought about trying a menu planning service, but never got around to actually using one. So when they asked me to review their service, I jumped at the chance!

E-Mealz has more than 20 meal plans to choose from for families of two and all the way up to six. The various plans include low-carb, low fat, point system, vegetarian, and gluten-free meals. Not only do they give you meal plans, but you can choose your meals based on a variety of different grocery stores.

I tried the low-fat meal plan for any grocery store (meaning not for a specific store like Wal-Mart or Ralphs). Not only do you get a low-fat menu, but you also get simple, easy to understand instructions with each meal as well as side dish suggestions. There was a note on top of the menu that stated: “This low-fat plan is NOT a weight loss program! This is a BASIC low-fat, family friendly meal plan based on the GENERAL GUIDELINES found in most low–fat eating plans.” And while it stated it was low-fat, there wasn’t any nutritional information on the plan. That being said, after a bit of research, the low-fat menu did fit in with my weight loss goals.

The menu also comes with its own grocery list ready to print off and go. I was able to cross many items off the list because I already had them in my pantry. Because I picked the any-store meal plan, prices weren’t included. But if I had picked a specific store, prices for each item would be listed. The list was broken down by various sections of the grocery store – meats, frozen, produce, etc., and made shopping a snap!

As I mentioned, the recipes themselves were super easy to make: the directions for all 7 dinners fit on one printed page, so I just hung it on the side of the fridge for easy reference.

It was SO great NOT to have to worry about the “what am I going to make for dinner?” question every night of the week! I’m looking forward to also trying the low-carb plan as well.

I am really glad that I was able to test out E-Mealz – the process from start to end was really easy and I highly suggest you give it a shot! For just $1.25 a week, you can try out for yourself – and it’s worthy every penny!

Guess what? One of you is going to win a 3-month subscription so you can try out E-Mealz for yourself! All you have to do is go visit the site and tell me which meal plan you’d like to try out.

For additional entries, you can:

*Visit the E-Mealz blog and tell me one thing you learned

*Follow @emealz on Twitter (please leave a separate comment)

*Like E-Mealz on Facebook (please leave a separate comment)

Good Luck!

I received a free subscription to for hosting this review and giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by any other source. I was not compensated to provide an opinion of the products. This giveaway is open to US residents only. It begins on Monday, May 29th and will end on Sunday, June 5th, 2011 at 8:30 pm. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using The winner will be announced on Sunday and must respond within 48 hours to claim. Otherwise, another eligible entry will be chosen.

Monster Mommy Moment – Heather Style

I am SO excited to have Heather from Life as We Know It With Two Twinkies and a Tater Tot here today! She’s a mom of twin girls and a little boy…just like me! And all of our kids are just about the same age, so we can really relate to each other‘s day-to-day pain.

Heather is funny, witty, and very honest. And she has an Etsy shop called Momma’s Itch to Stitch (don’t you love that name?!) where she makes the cutest blankets (and other stuff) EVER!

So please help me welcome Heather so she can share a Monster Mommy Moment with us! No idea what a Monster Mommy Moment is? You can read all about how my weekly feature came to be here.

Go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!


Ya’ll, tonight I lost it.

I mean, screaming & yelling in his face, throwing things into the bathtub & making his bare bottom sit on the tile floor while I cleaned the mess up.

It was like the scene from Daddy Daycare. You know the one & if you don’t, here it is.

Yes. Tucker peed all over my bathroom floor. When I say all over, I mean ALL over. It was a puddle on the floor below him, dripping off his foot, and even pooled on the wooden stool & basket of toilet paper sitting directly across from his spot on the toilet.

And it was no accident. I know this because he’s been potty trained for quite sometime. Normally he stands up to pee, and will only sit when going number two. He knows to tuck it in when doing so and chose not to this time. He thought it was funny.

I, on the other hand, did not. & that’s when I lost it. Refer to sentence two above again for said scene that took place. He just stared at me while I turned into this monster of a momma. I stomped all around saying how disappointed in him I was and what a bad boy he was. If you’re wondering where hubs & the girls were while all this was going down, the girls were in bed and Mike was on a milk & gas for my van run. It’s probably good he wasn’t here to witness it because I think I would have been in more trouble by him than Tucker was by me for making such a big deal of it.

I held on to my grudge until after Tucker was in bed. He wanted me to lay with him (isn’t it amazing how forgiving children can be and how they love us despite our flaws?) but I told Mike I was still mad so he’d have to do it instead.

I took that time instead to go for a run and that’s when it hit me. Only a little over a day after this happened I was mad over some pee on the floor. How stupidly selfish of me? Hell, I’d let him pee on every single inch of floor in our house if it would bring Grace back or take away all the pain & suffering my friends have gone through. But it can’t & I now feel like the most horrible mother in the world.

I cried through my shower that night thinking about it all and how grateful I should be & when I was done I went to Tucker’s room and watched him sleeping so peacefully. I kissed his cheeks, almost wishing he’d wake up so I could apologize, and then promised myself to offer it up next time.

Because God & I both know that a little pee never caused as much pain to anyone as what happened with sweet Grace just the day before.


Thanks Heather, for sharing your Monster Mommy Moment with us…and for reminding us to keep things in perspective. Those little day-to-day messes may drive us crazy, but at least we still have our kids TO drive us crazy.

It’s so important for us all to share them with each other and learn and grow from other’s experiences. Thank you for sharing your moment of clarity with us.

Now go swing by Life as We Know It With Two Twinkies and a Tater Tot and say hello to Heather, and if you’re new there make sure to tell her that I sent you. I know you’ll really enjoy her blog!

Also…I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be in the Hot Seat over at Jessica’s place, Four Plus an Angel. Hop on over to see my answers to your burning questions, and to see who I put in the hot seat for next week!

Last but not least, Mr. Bubble (yes, Mr. Bubble as in the bubble bath we all used as kids) is turning 50 this year! He’s having a Twitter party on Thursday, June 2nd at 12:00 PST and you’re invited! Yours truly is the host, and I’d love to chat with you! The hashtag is #BubbleBash…please help me spread the word!

Monster Likes #20


Every Saturday, it’s Monster Likes time! I list my favorite selection of posts I found throughout bloggy land over the past week.

If one of your posts is listed below and you want the badge, just shoot me an email or leave me a comment and I’ll send you the badge to put on your post!

And now on to the good stuff….

Yes, I was PMSing this week, and it’s obvious by all of these food suggestions I have for you!

I got this Taste of Home Saucy Garlic Chicken recipe out of one of their magazines, and let me just tell you, it blows my Chicken Da Bomb out of the water! It is AWESOME.

I don’t know if you’ve seen this site or not, but fresh365 has some amazing recipes…all vegetarian. But don’t let that scare you away! I am a meat lover and devotee, but during the hot summer months, it’s nice to have a refreshing light meal that doesn’t weigh you down. And if that meal happens to be meat free and I don’t even notice? Bonus, right! Or if you have to have meat, just add some in.

And my friend Amelia from Eating Made Easy tweeted about a Grilled Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich…are you kidding me? I can’t think of one thing that might be better! Except maybe if it had bacon on it? (I’m only kind of kidding…)

Cheryl from Mommypants wrote about how much dieting sucks, but what she’s learned from it. I can relate.

I love Naomi from Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip, and she recently guest posted over at another favorite of mine – Debi’s The Truth About Motherhood. Her post was all about 5 things you need to know before you have a baby – they’re spot on and hilarious!

The Empress from Good Day, Regular People wrote a post about how perfectly imperfect she is, and why blogging has changed her.

I LOVE Sellabit Mum’s vlogs!! She’s frickin’ hilarious!!! Go watch it…and I’ll see you in hell! And the swinging! Oh, the swinging and the cat comparison!

If you missed my post “I Was A Senior Hottie (And Didn’t Even Know It)” and/or if you graduated in the late 80s/early 90s, you are gonna want to check it out. And then head over and check out Ali’s Senior Hottie post over at My Suitcase Full of Tricks…my fave Senior Hottie post!

Many of you know I write over at and I’m sharing all sorts of info to help moms everywhere. So if you have a minute to head over and take a look at the sites, I would love to hear what you think! Also, if you start seeing tweets from @smartmomtweets, that’s me too! Don’t hesitate to follow and/or say hello! And if there’s every a product, trend, or topic you think would be great to cover, please let me know!

Have a great weekend!

Just One More Time

If you’re looking for Lila and Mia Host ‘The Bidness’, they’ll be back next week!


This was absolutely the last time that she would do this. It was all too exhausting, too degrading. But the money kept sucking her back in. Where else could she work just a couple of nights a week and make enough money to pay her rent and buy her groceries for a month?

School was expensive, and her parents could barely afford the tuition costs. She told them that she had a part time job and a roommate to help her pay the rent. She told them that she worked in a busy restaurant not far from campus. She didn’t want them to worry, and she didn’t want to disappoint them. They wouldn’t understand or approve of what she was doing.

The club was just a step above being called ‘seedy’. With a mixture of working class locals, students from the college, and tourists, there was money to be made. Men would spend their last dollar on a beer and a chance to have a beautiful woman pay attention to them. They wanted a fantasy, and she could be that fantasy, but it would cost them.

She had been working here now for almost 9 months. As many of the girls did, she started out serving cocktails. The “uniform” was a bikini top and shorts that didn’t leave much to the imagination. She remembers back to the first night of work…how she was mortified to walk out in front of people wearing those shorts and too-high heels. She was so embarrassed. But at the end of the night, she had gotten almost $400 in tips, and decided to work one more night…

Less than a month later, her boss had asked her if she wanted to fill in for one of the regular dancers. He said that she didn’t have to remove any clothing, just wear a skimpy bathing suit and dance suggestively. After a couple of shots and a “bump” as the girls called it, she put on the barely-there-covers-nearly-nothing swimsuit and stepped on stage.

The attention was immediate and gratifying. To have so many men desiring her was almost erotic.

But over time, the novelty wore off and the dread and disgust set in. It was the same man wanting the same things, only their faces changed. They always wanted more, “extras”, they wanted her to do things that she’d never even heard of. They tried to touch her, bribe her; a few even started waiting outside of the club for her.

She only had a month of school left. She could quit now and she would be okay. Sure the money would stop coming, but she could find something else over the summer.

She could feel the rythmic bumping of the music. She smelled the stale alcohol. The air was electric – as if the desire coming from them all was alive.  She looked at herself one more time in the mirror after she heard her name called.

She was going to give up the money. And as she stepped onto the stage and saw the packed club and all of the dollar signs where their faces should have been, she knew that she was wrong.


Just for the record, this is fiction.

Con-crit (constructive criticism) appreciated! Please feel free to leave any suggestions you think will help me improve my writing!

This post was written for the red writing hood at the red dress club. The prompt: Write a short piece – 600 words max – that begins with the words, “This was absolutely the last time” and ends with “She was wrong.”

I’m Cheating

I love Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, and try to participate anytime that a prompt catches my eye. This week, this is the prompt that caught it:

1.) Write about a time you got in BIG trouble as a kid.

I immediately thought of the time that I hit…wait…I already wrote about it last summer for a Mama Kat prompt! So I’m cheating and sending you back to the post Swing Batter, Batter…SWING! so that you can read the story for yourself and decide if I should’ve gotten in trouble for what happened. I stand strongly by my original pleas that I did NOT in fact deserve to get in trouble!

Mama’s Losin’ It

In case you missed my I Was a Senior Hottie post, you should really check it out. You’ll even get to see a Glamour Shot (remember those?!) of me looking like I’m 40 although I was only 18.

Last thing…I wrote a post on Tuesday about Klout and understanding why it’s important if you use social media. If you use Klout and/or need help understanding it, can you pop over and leave me any questions you might have about it? I’m doing a follow-up post next week.