Archive for August, 2013

The Boys’ Favorite Apps

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 How did parents make a phone call before the invention of the tablet or eat dinner in a restaurant before a smart phone? 

 

Obviously I am being silly (or am I???).    

These are the apps Dizee my kids can’t live without.  And I am sure they are teaching the boys excellent hand-eye coordination…  

 (And they are all free- but be sure to shut off your in-app purchases.  Another little lesson I learned the hard way): 

 

Minion Rush

 

This is my absolute favorite!! We fight over who gets to play.  So easy – my 3 year old routinely beats me.  Actually, he beats me at most of these games….

 

Jet Pack Joyride

A fun game where the object is to not crash into things… (much like how my dad drives his car)

 

Monster’s University

 

The boys love chasing after the mascot!   I am terrible at this game.   

 

Temple Run 2

 

Doesn’t require too much thinking –  my kind of game

 

Temple Run – Brave

 

Excellent for the Disney Fan.  Sadly, I am not even sure what her name is.  Mierda?  Maybe? 

 

Sonic Dash

 

My boys’ new favorite game.  They even take turns to play.  It could be considered the Treaty of Versailles of apps…

 

Sundae Maker

 

(or any of the ‘Food’ Maker Apps)  The kids love creating beautiful sundaes (some of which contain maggots or nails… yes, they are part of the extensive choices available).  Delish!

 

Ant Smasher

 

You literally squash bugs with your finger. Some are very realistic.  NOT my favorite game.  But the boys love it!

 

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Freebie: P&G Sample Box

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I love the P&G Sampler Box!  This one has a sample of Gain, Cascade, Pantene and a coupon book.

If this is your first time, you will need to sign up to the P&G site.  I always use my alta-ego - coupon.jedi

Thank you Coupon Pro!

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Food For Thought: GM-What? Genetically Modified Organisms & Your Food

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 Alright, so bear with me while I start to lay this out.  It was like writing a term paper….

Just remember, I share because I care…

 

 

Genetically Modified Organisms are the new buzz word around the Food Industry. Have you heard of them? 

 

This is a hotly debated topic with proponents on both sides.  Those who are anti-GMO have been labeled Anti-Technology orAnti-Science by GMO advocates who say there is nothing to fear… Yet over 60 countries have banned some or all GMOs from their food supply.

 

Here is what I discovered in a nutshell….

 

What are GMO’s

 

The Non-GMO Project defines GMO’s as:

“…plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.”

 

Sounds tasty.   

 

In theory, this cross-mutating of crops should result in an increase in the yield of a plant, make it more drought-hardy and possibly increase the nutrition of a given food.  Sounds like an answer to famine and malnutrition throughout the world, right? 

 

Let’s take a look at corn.  Corn which has been genetically modified will withstand copious spraying of weed killer while everything around it will shrivel up and die all the while retaining the same  nutrition of regular corn.   

 

Yet, despite what is being touted by bio-tech experts, there appears to be no substantial increase in crop yields.  GMO corn was also found to contain dangerous levels of chlorides, formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals.  

 

Did I mention the company who is producing the weed killer is also the same company producing the genetically modified corn (Monsanto)?

 

Regulation and Testing

 

At this point, I am sure you are asking yourself the same questions I did.  If the FDA approves the use of GMOs, aren’t they okay to eat?   Or my personal favorite – “I have been eating this stuff since I was a kid and I am fine!!!”  

 

 First off, GMO’s have only really entered the food supply since the ‘90’s.  Secondly, it seems like the FDA’s analysis is inherently flawed

 

 Per the FDA‘s website,  (Note:  I like how they use the term ‘developer’ instead of ‘farmer’… )

 

 “The developer produces a safety assessment, which includes the identification of distinguishing attributes of new genetic traits, whether any new material in food made from the GE plant could be toxic or allergenic when eaten, and a comparison of the levels of nutrients in the GE plant to traditionally bred plants.  FDA scientists evaluate the safety assessment and also review relevant data and information that are publicly available in published scientific literature and the agency’s own records.  The consultation is complete only when FDA’s team of scientists are satisfied with the developer’s safety assessment and have no further questions regarding safety or other regulatory issue.”

 

Regulation and Testing In Reality

 

 

Basically, the company developing the genetically modified food is also responsible for providing the tests that show the food is suitable for our consumption. My mind is officially blown….  Where  is there accountability ?  

 

The studies preformed are incredibly superficial (say, testing for only a few days with minimal exposure to the genetically modified substance).   There have also been no real human trials.  Most of the studies are done on rats.

 

 It should be noted that independent testing has found GMO’s to  be linked to intestinal damage, increases in allergies, inflammation and infertility – just to name a few.  Sounds like good times…..

 

Interference by Big Business

 

Furthermore, evidence has been provided that shows FDA’s own scientists repeatedly warned of possible adverse side effects.  However, the FDA’s  official in charge of policy at the time, Michael Taylor, ignored his own scientists.  Mr. Taylor was a former Monsanto Vice President and is now the US Food Safety Czar.    I am sure there is absolutely no conflict of interest there….

 

So, now I bet you are thinking you will just buy food without genetically modified stuff in it… well, it’s almost impossible. 

 

It is estimated that over 70% of prepackaged food contain ingredients which have been genetically modified!  Beyond that, the failure to require labeling means you are usually in the dark as to what is actually in your food. 

 

There have been many notable pushes for labeling with some successes.  I just want to note, though, big business spent over fifty four million dollars to help ensure California Prop. 37 (Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food) was not passed.   The biggest contributors were Monsanto and  DuPont with PepsiCo, BASF Plant Science, Bayer Cropscience, Dow Agrosciences LLC, Syngenta Corp., Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola rounding out the group.  

 One last note – these same companies do not use GMO ingredients in their products overseas…

Now What 

 

Whew! That was like running a 5K…. How many of you read to the end?  Sorry if I sound preachy – isn’t it nice you can skim it instead of having to listen to me?  I don’t know, this stuff seems very scary and underhanded.  If just don’t understand – if GMOs were so safe why fight labeling them?  It is mind boggling

 

The next post will be shorter, I promise!  It will be about what foods to watch out for, which ones definitely contain GMOs and how to avoid them.   

 

 

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Paper Plate Gourmet : Super Easy Lemon Garlic Dressing

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I have stopped buying pre-packaged dressing.

 Why?

Because I can make awesome, fresh dressing in no time flat.  Easiest Dressing Ever.  Yeah, I said it. 

Totally scalable too – make as much or as little as you want.  This makes enough for my salad.

 

Ingredients:

1 Lemon

1 tsp – ½ tbsp. Olive Oil

Salt (to taste)

Garlic Powder (to taste)

 

Directions

  1. Find a container with a top (I love my Ball Glass jar.  Isn’t it pretty?)
  2. Squeeze Lemon, take out the pits
  3. Add Olive Oil, salt (I add a little bit) & garlic powder (I add quite a bit….)
  4. Shake, Shake, Shake
  5. That’s it!!!!!  It’s meerkat approved….

Check out my Salad in a Jar… It’s all the rage now.

In theory, you can keep a week’s worth of salad fresh.  I am testing it now, will let you know how it goes!

 Update:  The salad lasted a week! 

 

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Little Victory : Tackling the Linen Closet

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My husband has a new woman in his life – Jennifer Lopez.  Yes, as in J.Lo aka Jenny from the Block. 

Ok, more accurately it is Jennifer Lopez’s towels he is smitten with.  And no, that is not a euphemism.   She really does make some spectacular towels

They are available at Kohl’s and while they seem pricey, there are times when you can get a sale and use a 30% off code coupon.  We  paid $6-8 each for most of them.  It’s an even better deal  if you can get Kohl’s cash back.  

 Now, in true Dizee Fashion I ended up having a very sloppy linen closet crammed with too many towels (Yes, I will admit it.  I have an obsession for ‘theme’ towels – Disney, Sesame, etc…. what can I say, it’s a sickness)

 

I ended up carving out a half an hour and BOOM! Look at what ensued. 

I found a can of powdered formula that expired in 2009….  seriously… classic….

But I was able to make significant progress!

 I can now actually put all my towels in the closet without a crowbar and WD-40.  Score one for Dizee.

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Freebie : Garnier Triple Nutrition Sample

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Click here to sign up for your Garnier Triple Nutrition Sample (and remember – make sure you set up a email for freebies)

 

Thanks Freebies For Mom

 

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DIY : Kiddie “Fine” Art

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 Picasso?  Monet? Renoir? They have nothing on these kids…

 

 

A few weeks ago AC Moore had a crazy canvas sale.  I paid four smack-a-roos for these two canvases and the paint was on sale at Walmart for $.80 each.  (I saw them even cheaper this weekend at AC Moore… Love that store!  Remember to sign up for AC Moore Rewards!) 

 

 

I purchased only colors I liked and would go nice in the living room with our Misty Green paint.  This left no room for queries such as “Mom, I think we should paint this orange like a pumpkin.’  I would have been hard pressed to say “No” to the budding artist.

 

I was hoping to do some cool hand-art, kind of like these great ideas.  But the kids, as usual, had their own ideas.  I still love the outcome, though! 

 

I wasn’t sure if these were washable, so I stripped them down to their underwear and had them paint outside.    They were easy enough to hose off afterwards.  I hung them with 3M tabs – good to go!

 

Max painted a monster catcher- notice all his arms!

 

Cooper went with a more abstract approach.

 

I haven’t given up on the hand print animals… but that is for another day!

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Simple Ways to Save : Junk Mail, Skunk Mail

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See this wad of mail? I  commonly refer to it as “Junk Mail”.  It goes right in the trash.  Ok, maybe it sits on my table for a week day or two and then I dump it in the circular-file (aka garbage).

 However, I recently started perusing these documents before throwing them out and look what I found?  Jackpot !  Coupons to our favorite destination – Friendly’s.

Another hidden gem – my friend told me about the Valpak Website.  You can print coupons to restaurants and stores.  Some are local  (like  my favorite pizza place- Gino’s of Bethpage) and others are for national places (like Home Depot).

So, the moral of the story is – keep your eyes peeled for the good stuff.

 

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