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Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am Thankful for...

My family and friends

Good health


And complete Thanksgiving Dinners that I don't have to cook.


Just wait until it's all heated up and placed into pretty dishes...I'll have to add that photo later!

Girls wanted to share what they are thankful for so I let them vlog it.
video video
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Janine

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't buy your kid a cell phone until you see this

Do you know who's going to be texting your child?
What happens when they misplace the phone?
How can you realistically set limitations as to when they use the phone?

(Feel free to jump to video farther down this post)

I never gave this topic much thought until I came across a phone service called Kajeet who impressed me not only with the parental controls that can be applied to any of their phones, but also because they recognized the power behind moms as decision-makers, and savvy shoppers.

I then applied, and was accepted, to be on the Kajeet Mom Team. They sent me a phone to demo and now...

I believe in:
1. GPS locator....seriously, this is to locate the phone, not necessarily your child, but I can't tell you how many times I've lost my phone. Now I can log in online and find it!

2. No contracts or termination fees...monthly plans are available for as los as $5.00 a month (adding a phone to your existing plan is about $9/mo) or you can pay just 10 cents a minute.

3. The kajeet configurator....to easily and flexibly configure parental controls including
how much money is spent
what time the phone can/can't be used
and who can call or text your child!

Plus...kids really love it! They can take pictures, text, download ring tones and games - all the things they love but with limitations they set along with their parents.

Here's a short video that shows how all the limitations can be easily configured online.


All my friends and family (ie: my faithful readers) can get an additional 15% off the cost of your Kajeet phone when you sign up here: www.kajeet.com/JANINE (Many phones are already on sale for the holidays and this is 15% off in addition to the discounts listed online!)

PLUS - leave me a comment here when you've signed up and I'll give you a promo code to save $10 when you activate your phone!

I hope this is helpful to you parents trying to navigate the world of mobile phones for your kids. I was certainly impressed. Happy shopping!
Janine



Monday, November 24, 2008

PARENTise = Parent + Wise

Compare and contrast - we all do it. Especially when it comes to things relating to our kids. It helps us make wise choices.
"What music class did you like?"

"Which swim instructor is the best?"
"Did you like the soccer program?"

Thanks to a new site, PARENTise, you can view and submit ratings for all kinds of services including classes, schools, sitting services, pediatricians, and lots more. It's free and shows local services based on your zip code.

Plus - to celebrate the beta release of the PARENTise site, they are having a 14 Days of Giveaways blog tour! Each day there is a new giveaway announced on a new blog and today I have the honor of celebrating with Ellie Bellie Kids!

Go to the PARENTise blog for details on how to enter to win either an
EBK reversible lavender/lime tutu
or an
EBK mini messenger bag

Then join PARENTise and let me know if you leave a review - or if you win a giveaway!

Janine

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A booster seat's best friend

Since we already know how neurotic I am, it's no surprise that I spent months researching booster seats and finally found one with latch, AND a 5 point harness that works for kids up to 65 lbs. Of course, this is no $20 booster seat, plus I had to buy two of them. But at the time it was the safest option I could find for those 6 hour drives to Grandma's house.

We do, however, have the cheaper, lighter boosters in Mr.'s car for quick trips around town and for carpools.

Which is why after watching the first 10 seconds of this short video, I was sold. (Watch the video here: www.seatsnug.com)

Thanks to Mom Central I was given the opportunity to test the SeatSnug child stability device and discovered that this nifty device can secure those less expensive booster seats for half the cost of the boosters in my car!

SeatSnug gets that annoying slack out of the belt, and prevents the booster seat from bouncing around, rocking, and tipping as can happen even during normal driving conditions. Those that live in and around DC can vouch there is no "normal" because people are always late, weaving in and out of traffic, and slamming on breaks (not yours truly, of course).

Installation:
It just took me less than 10 minutes (in the freezing cold so my fingers were a little slow) to install. I realized the "off" switch makes the tongue and strap slide easily and then the "on" is what locks it in place.
The BEST part? When Mom Central told SeatSnug I had twins, they sent me a second one right away! Not that's a company that CARES.

Here is my own home video of the SeatSnug in action!

video
So thanks again Mom Central and SeatSnug for keeping the Twofer safe & snug, and me a little less neurotic.

Janine

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is it a "Mom" cut?

A little over a week ago I posted a video asking for some help on deciding what I should do with my hair.

Today was the day, and with a little help from my amazing stylist (and his colorist), I am back to my old red-headed self with a cute little cut to boot!
It's NOT a bob, for those of you who voted, but it's also not short-short (he suggested I wait until the weather is warmer as it was snowing today).

It's somewhere in the middle but he, along with a room full of 19 year-olds, assured me it's definitely NOT a mom cut!

So here's the before:



And Voila, the after!



PLUS - it's red (strawberry blond) again! No more, "Where did your girls get their red hair?" Because honey, it's obvious now that they got it from me!

This, by the way, is no small feat. Three colors help make this possible. I don't even think that's in their price list (I see 2-step color but not 3)! I wish my Mac's photobooth picked up the depth of color but you can definitely see the difference.

Here are some pics of me and L so you can really see that we match.


Thanks for all your help, support, or at least faking interest in my BIG decision!

Whatcha think?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A slice of apple pie to celebrate 400 followers on twitter!

This one's for you twitter friends!

My grandmother's famous recipe for apple pie, including home made crust.
Please note: there is an element of trial and error here.
Sometimes the apples are really juicy. Sometimes you need to add more oil to the dough. It's a lot of eyeballing, getting a feel for consistency, and learning more, the more pies you bake.


Enjoy and PLEASE come back and let me know how your pies turned out!
And extra credit (vanilla ice cream) if you digg, stumble, or kirtsy, this post.

Crust
Stir together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

Chill then mix with fork until creamy:
1/2 cup oil (safflower or Mazola)
1/4 cup milk
Pour over flour mixture all at once and stir with fork until blended
If dough is too dry add tbsp of oil (oil is key)

Bottom Crust
Roll 2/3 of dough between 2 sheets waxed paper
Make sure to roll out bubbles and even thickness (approx. 1/4 inch)

Remove top piece of wax paper and invert the crust and press lightly into pie pan
Remove the second piece of wax paper, press evenly up, and just slightly over edges of pan (you can "patch" any holes with remnants of dough)



Apples
Peel core and slice 6 cups of apples
Mix 1/2 cup white sugar with 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
(if you use tart apples add more sugar)
Add
1 tbsp tapioca or cornstarch (juicy apples
require more)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
You should have about 1/4 cup of liquid at bottom of bowl (if not, add tbsp water)
Mix gently and place in pie shell
Dot with butter or margarine

Top Crust:
Roll remaining 1/3 dough and cut strips for top
Strips are crisscrossed at an angle like this:


Or place as a solid piece and cut out holes for steam like this:


Pinch together edges of top and bottom crusts.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes
Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 35-45 minutes until bubbly

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Miley Cyrus isn't the only one with 7 things

Sorry, you have to have 5 year old girls, and specifically girls who love Radio Disney to know the Miley Cyrus song "7 Things" so I hope that title didn't lose you.

But it's appropriate because
The Coupon Coup tagged me with a meme called Seven Things.

So here are the 7 things about me:
1. I know all the words to Don McLean's American Pie

2. I've always wanted to join Stacy & Clinton's as the third Style Guru on TLC's What Not to Wear

3. I didn't have a middle name until I got married.

4. I hate spiders but ALWAYS put on a brave face and play it cool for the benefit of my kids when there is one in the house.

5. Our 2 cats are named after Grateful Dead songs

6. I've been inside the Pyramids in Egypt and all I could think about was how hot and stinky it was, but I was floored by the devotion I witnessed in India.

7. I was an extra in an episode of Sex & the City.

Here are the people I'm tagging:

Kitrona
MV On the Spot
This Military Mama
The Neurotic Mom
Life on the Run
JerseyMomma
MamaDivas

Let me know your 7 things in a comment and then check back to see who else left some!

Janine (SM)

Neurotic - all the cool kids are doing it



When Kelly over at The Neurotic Mom asked for "neurotic moments" I was happy to share one of my more recent ones about my dread of letting the Twofer use a port-o-potty.

I know I'm slightly neurotic and I spend equal amounts of energy fighting off those neuroses as I do giving in to them. I've also accepted that it's just part of who I am, for now.


Check out my moment and let me know what you think, or if you have any tips to help me to get over it!

Janine (SM)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Caviar vs. Fish Sticks

My twins are not your typical 5 year-olds at least in terms of food.

They would rather eat caviar than fish sticks.

Random photo that came up on search for 'fish sticks'

They also eat, among other things...
grilled octopus
sushi (Cali roll is all I'll let them have)
tofu
eggs with spinach
shrimp
Ms. Vicky's Jalapeno chips Miss Vickie's Potato Chips, Hand Picked Jalapeno, 1.375-Ounce Large Single Serve Bags (Pack of 64)

as well as...
taramoslata (caviar dip)
and just about anything on the CAVA menu.

Take note - they have always eaten stuff like this. Oh, on occasion they've gone through picky periods but it doesn't last long. Most recently M went on an "I don't like peanut butter" spell that had me all worked up because she's been eating it once a week since they were 'cleared' for it at 2! (Plus, PB &J is my go-to food when I have nothing else to make for lunch - you can't take that away from me!!!)

And also note that I'm not counting on this lasting forever. Now that they are in school and exposed to more kids who don't like certain foods, I'm guessing their tastes may change because frankly, it's just not cool to bring in hummus and veggies for lunch...or is it? I noticed the school menu has more exotic offerings than the chicken fricasee from my days.

For now I'll keep offering different foods whenever I can and especially when we are out. I'm going to try and hide the kids menus, and have them pick from the regular menu. Anything to avoid the mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets rut a little longer.

Oh, and for real, they HATE fish sticks.

Do your kids like any unique foods?
Tell me what else we should try!

Janine (SM)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vlog #2 How should I cut my hair?

A quick video so you can help me decide...should I cut my hair short or really short?

Please leave a comment with your vote!
About to take the scissors to my own head,
Janine (ScaryMom)


video

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive

I have been very busy NOT blogging. I wouldn't say I had writer's block, but I was definitely more consumed with twitter, work, planning a holiday shopping bazaar, and keeping up (actually falling behind) on 15 Days of Marketing homework.

Tonight I decided I MUST write a few blog posts for the week ahead. What good is a blog if I don't update it? So when @Robyn of Robyn's Online World sent a tweet asking if anyone wanted a meme I jumped at the chance! Sometimes you just need a little fire under your butt to get the blog posts going and a meme works for me.

Ah - be careful what you wish for! Because minutes after replying to Robyn I checked my email and found I had already been tagged by someone else for another meme!

So now I have twice the inspiration to write posts about my all-time favorite subject...ME!

Today's will be the shout-back to Robyn. Later this week I'll post the other one. But with both, you're going to learn all kinds of juicy things including....my REAL name!

Five Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago
1. Enjoying being a newlywed
2. Trading in my Honda Accord for a Lexus (later traded Lexus for minivan...boohoo)
3. Getting up every day at 5:00 am and heading to the gym before going to work (wish I kept that up)
4. Going to happy hour every-other day (an estimation)
5. 10 years ago we were in the midst of wedding hell - everyone got married that year!

Five Things On My To Do List
1. Send my friend Debra $65 for tickets to see an ABBA cover band
2. Clean my house for M's playdate on Tuesday
3. Sew the yellow petals onto Girl Scout Daisy uniforms
4. Return library book I renewed and never cracked open
5. Get tickets to local high school production of School House Rock

Five Things I Like To Snack On
1. Coffee
2. Chocolate
3. Popcorn
4. Cheese
5. Hummus

Five Things I Would Do If I Was A Millionaire
1. Build a closet just for shoes and handbags
2. Travel
3. Invest in bio fuels
4. Build a "green" home with solar panels and wind turbine
5. Donate to my favorite causes

Five Places I Have Lived
1. Seattle, WA
2. Ridgefield, CT
3. Syracuse, NY
4. Washington, DC
5. Potomac, MD


Five Jobs I Have Had
1. Server at Uno's
2. Discovery Toys rep
3. File clerk at doctor office
4. Sales staff in a mall record store (complete with nifty black vest and angst)
5. Copywriter for radio station

Five People I Am Tagging
BizzieMommy
CutieBootyCakes
Missives From Suburbia
PMKU
SuburbSanity


If you were tagged please tag 5 others, and if you weren't tagged, feel free to do this meme and leave me your link in a comment!

And now for the moment you've been waiting for...
My real name....



Janine/ScaryMom

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hi my name is ScaryMom and I'm a twitteraholic...

I've had big plans for blog posts, product reviews, and really great jump-in-the-leaves photos. I have, however, been slightly distracted by the election, and twitter.

Actually, Tuesday night I hardly watched the election on TV - because twitter was way more interesting!

Don't worry, I stopped long enough to drink in Obama's victory, the speeches, and the fact that history was made. But then it was back to my tweeple, and their tweets. Srsly (seriously) - I'm learning a whole new language and that means writing in under 140 characters.

I think I'm starting to talk in 140 characters.

So tomorrow I will limit my tweeting to certain hours. And I'm going to tell my tweeple that now, so that I stick to it.

Here's to more productive days.
Twitter, I'll miss you. But this is best for both of us.
ScaryMom




Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Letting Go this Election Day Tuesday..


Here we go quick and dirty:

Today I'm letting go of...

1) the fact that the Twofer have used up all their "play nice" points and it's only 10:00am.

2) I'll have to wait in line to exercise my right to vote, and then who knows if we'll even have a solid winner tonight

3) 2nd session of riding lessons filled up quickly and I may be making 2 trips in one day, or heading to the stables on Sundays (dreadful)

BONUS 4) the dirty socks that litter my house. For today, let them sit there.

What are you letting go of?
ScaryMom

Make me a STAR Baby!

So I'm currently participating in 15 Days of Marketing over at JessicaKnows.com. Each day I'm learning more and more about branding ScaryMom and marketing this blog.

Today is Day 3 and our homework was to take a risk and try vlogging (video blogging) or write a "confessional" post so that my true personality can come shining through. Since I've already blasted people on this blog and thrown my family under the bus a few times, I figured I'd try a nice peppy video with lots of smiles.

So here goes. Watch, criticize, and learn something new. But take note: I wouldn't have to do this if y'all would just tell your friends to read my blog and click on the ads now and then.

video

Sharing the good with the bad,
ScaryMom

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pull, tug, suck, don't breathe....

That's how you get into your wedding dress after 10 years of marriage and twins.

I did it, I loved it, I took pictures of it, I wore it trick-or-treating...


....WHHHHEEEWWWW! And now I can breathe again.

I'm thinking I should make this an annual thing. You know, motivate me to hit the gym more often. Or starve myself every year before the big holiday season hits.

M told me, "Oh Mommy, you look pretti
er than me!" (is that her vanity or her humbleness speaking?)

L wanted to hold my flowers and kept petting my stomach where the dress was a bit, um, snug. I think she just liked the fabric - course it could be she thought I was hiding something under there.

My husband, bless his heart, refused to video tape it just in case it didn't fit. At first he suffered the wrath because in my language that means he thinks I'm now fat. But then I realized it was just a Cover Your A$$ move on his part. Well when I got it on and came out of the bathroom he had googly eyes for me and said (unsolicited) I looked beautiful!

Then I made him wear a Frankenstein mask for the pictures.




Loving the moment,
ScaryMom