Max’s Weekend with Mr. Monkey

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Ok, so I am (predictably) a bit behind this week.   Our Boston Market feast was suburb and we inhaled it so quickly that I forgot to get a picture.


Boo Dizee!


I also put away 8 loads of laundry (like actually placed them in the dresser instead of living out of laundry buckets) and we did a bit of holiday shopping….  At least I was productive!


A few weeks ago, Max was Friend of the Week at School.  He got to color and fill out a big page with his favorite interests (Drawing Monsters & Playing with Friends), list his favorite food (strawberries) and colors (This week is was Blue & Red).


He also got to hang with Mr. Monkey for the weekend.  This is much better than having to be in charge of an actual class animal for the weekend.  Although, I kept worrying that one of the dogs would behead him or rip his arm off.  I had nightmares of tufts of Mr. Monkey’s innards would be scattered around the house.


Each “Friend” of the week gets a chance to take home Mr. Monkey and write about all the adventures they experience that weekend.


We actually had a busy weekend and Mr. Monkey got to do a lot of fun things.   Also, it doesn’t help that Craig is uber competitive and wanted to have the best Mr. Monkey Experience of the class:


Mr. Monkey went to a party at Laser Bounce




Mr. Monkey also went to the Riverhead Aquarium and met a long-lost cousin





And no weekend would be complete without going to have Friendly’s!



What a lucky monkey.


When Mommy Needs a Break…

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Picture It.  Sicily, 1912…


Whoops!  What can I say?   I do love me some Golden Girls references….


Let’s start over.


Picture It.  It’s Snowing, the kids have been inside all day.  Tempers are starting to rise.  Nerves are starting to fray.  There is no wine in the house…


The horror!



Assuming there is power and internet in this scenario, I usually break out the lap top and head over  to Nick Jr.




Because sometimes Mommy (or Grandma or Auntie) needs a little break.


Their games are cute (and relatively easy, even for me), the videos are all available on demand (even Wow Wow Wubbzy which they removed from their lineup- BOOOO!) and there are even some enjoyable crafts and printables.  In fact, sometimes I print these out to use when we go out to dinner.


I appreciate that the content is safe and mostly educational.


Actually, back when Hurricane Irene hit, Max and I made some enjoyable no-sew crafts, including this Felt Boots


Ahhhhh- Good Times…. much better than Hurricane Sandy, at any rate.


The only negative is the excessive commercials…. But, since the site is free, I grin and bear it….



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Build a Bear Coupon & McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

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Do you have a Build-A-Bear fan in the house?


I have two.  Oy!


Both little men decided they wanted to go to Build-a-Bear to build a Frosty the Snowman.  And they wanted to use their own money!


Figuring this was a good life lesson we decided to grant their request and planned to head off to BaB  on Sunday morning.

Saturday afternoon, Max wanted to see all the different options Frosty could come with.   He is a details man.



Guess what I discovered – McDonald’s was offering a coupon for $10.00 off your $30.00 order.  (FYI – your order will always be over $30.00).


Well, I always look for an excuse to head to McDonalds (even if I should know better).


However, did you know you could buy the happy meal toys without actually having to PURCHASE a happy meal?


This is one of those times this knowledge came in handy.


Not because we didn’t get a kid meal – we did.  But my boys are not fans of being the “recipient” of a girl’s toy.


(I guess the McDonald’s brass never realized that boys are Build-a-Bear fans too?).  So, for $2.50-ish I purchased two girl toys in addition to our meals and I received two $10.00 coupons.


Our boys ended up loving their Frosty’s!

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!


I am thankful for my two little boys, three crazy beagles, my husband of 10 years (today, actually), my family and friends…


This year, though, I am extra thankful.  Why?



Because a selfless person in Germany registered to be a bone marrow donor.


Because this man saw fit to fly across an ocean to donate his bone marrow to a man he will most likely never meet.


Because this man has helped save my father’s life.


Thank you to all who donate, never knowing exactly whose life you are saving.


If you want to register, head over to Be The Match to request your free swab kit.  It may be the only chance you get to save a life.

Paper Plate Gourmet : Easy Skillet Potato, Onions & Ham

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When I make Potato and Eggs I generally leave out the eggs… What? Yup, you read that right.



But it got a little boring eating only potatoes and onion.  Until one fateful day when  I got a little creative (what can I say, Ham Steak was on sale).


I would argue Denny’s makes something similar and probably calls it home fries, or hash browns or something equally exotic.


Either way, I was thoroughly excited with this simple Potato, Onion and Ham skillet sensation.


1 Honey Ham Steak

1 Small Onion

2 Potatoes (I believe I used Yukon Gold.  I got them at the farmer’s market – FANCY!)

1 TBS Olive Oil

Sea Salt (to Taste)

Pepper (to Taste)

Paprika (a heavy handed sprinkle)




1)      Cut everything up (It just makes life easier)

2)       Heat the Olive Oil in a skillet over Medium-High Heat

3)      Add the potatoes and let them start to brown, stirring occasionally (Five minutes-ish)

4)      Add the Onion, let them start to cook, stirring occasionally (Four minutes-ish)

5)      Add the Sea Salt, Pepper and Paprika, another few minutes-ish

6)      Add the Ham Steak, let it warm through



I ate a very hearty portion of this…. and then went back for more.  Doofy Dizee!

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DIY – Hot Oil Treatment for your Hair

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Fresh off my epic Went-to-the-Library-From-Home, I tried a new hair mask (or masque if that makes it sound cooler).


I had read in multiple spots that coconut oil was great for the follicles.  Interestingly enough, most sites also said Olive Oil would work equally as well to moisturize and tame my tresses.



By now, I am sure you know my motto of “Why Not”.  So, I mixed one TBS of Olive Oil and one TBS of coconut oil.


Then I popped it in the microwave.  Why?  I remember as a teenager using HOT VO-5 Hair Oil and I thought this would be cool.  I also couldn’t figure out how to get it on my hair.


My scientific approach was to microwave it at 15 second intervals until it was warm and runny.  This timed out at 45 seconds for me.


I should mention I did this when Craig was out taking advantage of Kohl’s night owl sales.


What ended up happening was comical.  I ended up with slick hair al-la Miley.  I did not rock the look like she did.


I was a little up in the air on how long I should leave the concoction in.  My first thought was to leave it on all night and shower in the morning.



One look at this face quickly solidified the fact I needed to shower immediately.  Otter, like me, has a thing for coconut oil.


In the end, I washed the oil out of my hair in approximately 20 minutes.


I will be honest – it took a lot of washing.  Overall, I think this is a once-in-a-while type of thing.  Or, maybe, if my hair was longer and more damaged.


The plus side was my hair was indeed shinier and bouncier for days.  I finally used a styling product Monday morning.


So, if you are looking for a hair masque for dry, damaged hair, I would give this one a try.


It also doubled as an awesome Baby Oil.  I tried it on my legs and it made them really smooth!

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The Library Came to Me!

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So, I just did something I deem crazy – I borrowed a book from the library.  Online.


I KNOW! How exciting, right?


Look, it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.


I went to the Nassau Digital Doorway and started searching.


When I decided on a Vegan book (something I find very interesting but also very intimidating for someone like me), I simply put in my library card number and my main library location and viola’


Boom!  It downloaded directly to my kindle (which I access through my iPhone.)


My book is good until Dec 3rd and I can access it on my kindle.


The best part – there are no books to return.


Does anyone else’s library do this?  My excitement is palpable.

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It’s a Very Boston Market Thanksgiving… again

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I know there are lots of people who look forward to cooking their Thanksgiving feast.  Maybe they break out their great-grandma’s stuffing recipe and spend hours trimming the turkey.


I give all of them a ton of credit.  A round of enthusiastic  applause.


I am the antithesis of this person.


I get my feast from Boston Market.  I know, I am not perfect….


Seriously.  And guess what – it is delicious and relatively inexpensive.


This year will mark my fourth year of using BM as my go-to Thanksgiving Day chef.  And to celebrate this special occasion, I am sharing with you my menu & cost.  (Anyone else excited?  Anyone???)



There are five carnivores who will partake in this feast.    Note the double stuffing – that stuff takes up a very big portion of my plate.   And yes, we only buy a 3 lb turkey breast.  We all agree the sides are what makes the meal.


My dad is able to attend this year (stupid cancer ruined previous years) and he will be bringing twice-baked potatoes.  Yes, the homemade kind.  Impressive, right?


And for all you skeptics – there is a chance you can still screw up the meal.  Everything is pre-cooked but it does need to be heated through (most of the sides are 30-45 minutes at 350.  I think the turkey takes 90 minutes or so).  As someone who has finally mastered the art of boiling water, I still feel some anxiety at mealtime.


And, would you really expect someone who utilizes Boston Market to use real china plates?  Yeah, me neither.  However, I do like to go a little crazy and get the clear cut Chinet plates.  It makes me feel ritzy.   (You can get a $1.00 coupon by signing up at


Clean up is a cinch too – I buy the aluminum plates from the dollar store and we just throw them out when we are done.


Don’t worry – I will post pictures of our extravagant buffet.   Hey, at least I am not claiming I cooked the whole meal from scratch!!!

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