Are you looking for a party?

Here’s where you need to go to be a part of my Pampered Chef/Avon live blog. Come join us as we make Ham and Cheese Calzones and check out some Avon products. You can place orders tonight with both and have them shipped to your door in time for Christmas. So come party with me. There’s going to be some freebies for you too so for that alone it’s worth checking out!
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It’s my birthday

And the party goes on. After a crazy past four days we have made it to my birthday and the power came back on. I thought my Pampered Chef/Avon party was going to have to be canceled, but a pleasant birthday surprise at 3 a.m. this morning a mere 84 hours after losing power originally the power came back on.

My poor children have had to deal with a lot over the past 84 hours. Right in the middle of my sons 4th birthday party the power went out. We continued to have a great time though. And when everyone left we sat in the dark. We expected the power to be back pretty quick being that we live in a very commercial area. There’s a huge shopping plaza across the street from us. But Sunday morning things were looking grim with reports that it could be a week before we got power back.

We ventured out in looks of warmth and some food. We walked across the street to the grocery store where we were evacuated because they thought there was a gas leak. So we walked back home to clean off the car and find another grocery store. The kids tried to build a snowman, but ended up getting into a snowball fight with daddy. Then we got in the car in search of an open grocery store. With traffic lights out everywhere that was quite the adventure. We made it to a store and found candles and batteries and some food to heat up on our stove. We spent another cold and dark night in the house cuddled under blankets playing word games.

Monday our neighbor was in search of a phone so she could call work. So we let her use ours. She had no luck getting through. We sent the girls down to them with some hot chocolate though and they ended up hanging out in their toasty kitchen. Their gas oven wasn’t electric start like ours is so they had heat in their kitchen. So we ended up spending most of the day on Monday with them playing card games and board games in their warm kitchen. Sadly the kids had to miss out on trick or treating. But hey, there was no school.

Tuesday was my sons 4th birthday. We got up and had some breakfast and went out in search of a birthday present for him, some gas, and a cake for the birthday boy. Our refrigerator and freezer stuff was all shot and obviously I couldn’t bake anything. We found a gas station that was accepting credit cards because we had no cash and was also not too expensive. We got my son a whole huge package of cars and a cake for his birthday. We came home and hung around for a while. Cooked up something on the stove top for dinner and brought it down to my neighbor for a little birthday celebration and warmth. We had another game night and found out the children were going to be out of school for the rest of the week. There went all of their snow days. And we haven’t even gotten to the snowy season yet.

I was starting to feel less and less optimistic about our power actually returning anytime soon. It was a huge shock when at 3 a.m. all the lights in the house came on. What a wonderful birthday present. So today I am cleaning out my refrigerators and trying to restock a little. And tonight I am going to have my Pampered Chef/Avon birthday party. It’s great to be warm again and to have all of the comforts we are used to. I’m tired of cooking by candle light and washing diapers by hand. So this has been an amazing birthday present. The only thing left is to have a great time celebrating with everyone and getting to jump start the holiday shopping season.

Here are the gifts I am giving away to my party goers. Some are going to be given away on my blog here and others are going to be given away here at my home…

A set of 5 glass storage bowls

4 Super Stay lipsticks from Maybelline

Loreal the one sweep eye shadow and Loreal double extend eye illuminator mascara

I don’t think you are going to want to miss it. If you are coming to my house and don’t have power in yours and want to shower, then you can use mine. Just come for some yummy food, warmth, and great conversation. I am looking forward to having a great time tonight. My children have been spoiling me with homemade goodies so I’m feeling pretty good.
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Sorry for my absense

So creatively I am drained right now which means my writing suffers. I have been busy creating invitations and party games for not only my son’s 4th birthday party which is tomorrow, but also my Pampered Chef/Avon party next Wednesday. So I haven’t had much time for the computer or much inspiration to write. So I’m going to show you what I’ve been up to instead…

My son wanted a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse birthday party so here are the invitations I made for that

My Pampered Chef/Avon birthday party invites

This is going to be a bean bag toss game for my son’s birthday. This was after just one coat of paint. It looks better now. I’ll share the final product after my husband cuts out the hole in the mouth there and we get the box all taped back together.

There are more creations going on. Including a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake that I will be making tonight and an ever popular game of Pin the Hat on Goofy. I have to get the poster board tonight for that and draw Goofy. And of course goody bags need to be put together and then the usual picking up around here.

While I’m away I’m going to encourage you to go sign up to attend my birthday party on Wednesday November 2nd at 6:30. I will be live blogging the party and you’ll get a chance to win prizes and of course get a head start on your holiday shopping.

Also don’t forget about my giveaway for Diana Raab’s book Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journal.

Thank you for your understanding while I’m making memories for my boy. I’ll be sure to share my party games with you when things settle down.
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2 weeks until my birthday

It’s my weekly reminder that my birthday is almost here! What’s that? Why do I keep reminding you? No, it’s not because I’m excited about turning ahem 33! Hey, I declared 4 years ago that I’m 29 forever. But I decided to throw myself a birthday party. Well, I’m not doing this for me actually. I want nothing out of this other than a good time and my friends, family, and readers to get a jump start on their holiday shopping. Pampered Chef and Avon are coming to my home with plenty of goodies for my family and friends, but I’m opening this up to my readers as well. I am live blogging the show. So you’ll get to read about our experiences trying out Pampered Chef stuff and Avon. And you get to shop too. You really will not want to miss it. It’s going to be a great 33rd birthday party. And I have a few giveaways that I’m working on for that night too. Some for those here in my home and some for my blog readers. So it’s my birthday, but you could get the gifts. So come celebrate my 33rd with me.

When: November 2, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. EST
Location: Right here on my blog
What: Pampered Chef and Avon Birthday party for Monica

Share this with your friends too. The more the merrier. Because I love a full house!
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Just 3 weeks until my birthday

Happy birthday to me, in 3 weeks. I am in the mood to party and give my readers some awesome deals and a gift or two too. Pampered Chef and Avon are coming to my house and I’m live blogging it. Here’s a glimpse of some of the deals you can get from Pampered Chef that night too. FREE stuff! How great is that? And yes, you can place an order right here through my blog that night. Ask the experts questions too! Get a jump start on your holiday shopping this year right from the privacy of your own home while partying with me!

So get your reminder of my birthday here.
November 2, 2011
My 33rd Birthday Pampered Chef/Avon party
6:30 p.m. until whenever
Right here on my blog!

I hope everyone will join me to celebrate my birthday. Just 3 weeks from today!
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My birthday is just 6 weeks away

I don’t think I have done a count down to my birthday since I was 16. But I’m doing it this year. Dare I tell you how old I’m going to be? Well, you can probably figure it out. I will be turning 33 six weeks from this very day. Not a big deal, I know. However, I am throwing myself a birthday party this year which makes it a huge deal! Another thing I haven’t had since I was a teenager.

So on November 2, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. I am inviting all of my readers to my birthday party. I will be live blogging again. But it won’t be just me. I am having Pampered Chef at my house again and Avon is coming too. I am giving my friends and family and even you, my readers, a chance to get an early start to your Christmas shopping. My Pampered Chef consultant and my Avon representative will both be here to answer questions and sell you some great items to help you get gifts for most of the people on your Christmas list. And it’s my birthday so I’ll surely be in a giving mood and may have some stuff to share with my guests here in my home and my guests out there in the internet. So you really won’t want to miss it. It’s my birthday, but I’m giving out the gifts.

So to all of my local family and friends be on the look out for your personal invite to my birthday party. For my family, friends, and my readers who are not local sign up below to get your reminder of my live birthday party and be a part of the very fun day. And please be sure to pass this on to whoever loves Pampered Chef and Avon too. Because the bigger a party the more fun!


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Chicken Fajitas and Salsa recipe

I had a wonderful time live blogging my Pampered Chef party the other night. I wanted to share with everyone the recipes that we made because they were delicious. And if you want to make them too, but would like to make cooking easier you can still place an order through my Pampered Chef party! Any order of $60 or more gets you a free collapsible bowl too. Without further ado, here are the recipes.

Easy Chicken Fajitas in the Deep Covered Baker
Ingredients:

3 or 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1-2 Bell Peppers (preferably red, yellow or orange)

1 large Onion

1 lime

Southwestern Seasoning Mix

6-inch Flour Tortillas

Toppings:

Gaucamole (pre-made or homemade)

Salsa

Sour Cream

Shredded Cheese

Lettuce

Directions:

1. Fill the Mini Baker with 6-inch tortillas, cover with foil, and put in a 250 degree oven to warm. Or, put the Mini Baker in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel for 30-45 seconds to warm the tortillas.

2. Slice the bell peppers with the Ultimate Mandoline or the Forged Cutlery Knife. Slice the onion with Veggie Wedger. Put onions and bell peppers in the bottom of the Deep Covered Baker, sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon Southwestern Seasoning Mix. Add the raw chicken on top of the peppers and onions (leave a little space between the chicken breasts), squeeze lime over the chicken using the Citrus Press and then sprinkle with another tablespoon of Southwestern Seasoning Mix. Add a little bit of salt. Cover with the lid and microwave for 15 minutes.

3. When the chicken is done (cut into a piece or check with the Pocket Thermometer to make sure it is done), cut it up in the baker using the Salad Choppers. Push the veggies to one side of the Deep Covered Baker and put the chicken back in on the other side. Use the Small Bamboo Tongs for serving.

These were really very yummy. All of my children enjoyed them. The peppers were picked out by my youngest and my middle daughter, but other than that they gobbled them up. My 3 year old even had seconds. I think the big girls would have eaten more if they hadn’t enjoyed so many tortilla chips and salsa before these were done.

Salsa
4 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
3 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon Southwestern Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Tortilla chips (optional)

The way we did it at the Pampered Chef party was everything was placed into the Manual Food Processor. My 12 year old and 9 year old had lots of fun using this and it was super easy. We did not use the Southwestern Seasoning Mix in our salsa, but if you want that it’s one of the spices you can buy from Pampered Chef.

I am not a fan of salsa at all, but I really liked this salsa. I’ve only ever had jar salsa I guess and homemade is definitely better. I think this is something I’ll be making again because everyone liked it. A few of my wish list items are needed for me to make this so I’m hoping to be able to get the Deep Covered Baker and the Manual Food Processor.

I would have taken pictures of the food if I wasn’t so busy blogging, hosting, and stuffing my face, lol. It all looked just as good as it tasted though. I guess you’ll have to take my word for it.
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Pampered Chef cooking show live blog

Don’t forget a $60 purchase from my Pampered Chef show will get you this free bowl!
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Monica’s Musings #3

Time for some more random mom thoughts from me.

*We are currently in the midst of a heat wave here in the North East. We live on the 3rd floor of a 3 family house and to save on our electric bill I have requested that my husband not put our window a/c’s in. Every so often I regret that choice and then I think of all the money I’m saving on my electric bill. But the children can’t stop complaining. During the day we try to find air conditioned places to go, but even walking out to the car instantly cues the “I’m hoooooot!” whines. Oddly enough those come out of my oldest the most. I wonder if I sounded like that as a child. We did not have air conditioning either. I do remember nights being tough for sleeping. I just keep asking my children if they’d rather have the sub zero temperatures and tons of snow that we also get in the winter. Because it never fails, when winter is here all I hear is how cold everyone is. Personally I prefer the heat to the cold. Not sure which my kids like because I usually get the eye roll when I point out we could be in the midst of a cold spell.

*The blogging world is a funny funny place. It’s so easy on the internet for people to make stuff up. But when someone becomes popular sometimes people start to become unsure about some of the stuff people are saying. But I think this is because some people don’t handle the situation well from the beginning. If someone asks you for proof of who you really are in way of some references though, then I don’t really see why you wouldn’t give it up unless you aren’t being completely honest. So people do start to wonder about your validity. For the record, if people have questions I’m happy to answer. All you have to do is ask.

*I think some of the other problems that I’ve seen is people not allowing differing opinions on their blog. If you have a public blog, then you have to expect that someone might feel differently than you about something. Just because we don’t like what someone has to say does not mean that what they have to say might not be a valid point that someone might want to hear. They could be in a different place in life than we are or have a different experience to share. Why not let them have their piece? That’s another thing, comments are open on my blog. The only thing that gets deleted is spam. Well, I wouldn’t tolerate anything threatening on my blog though.

*Why do people seem to think that all moms and parents must think of their children in derogatory manners? I have never once thought that my children are “little $hits” or “little bastards” or a “terrorist”. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever heard a single one of my mommy friends refer to their children in that way. Maybe they are pains in the butt at times, but I’ve never called them a name. Certainly not in writing on the internet for others to see. We have our private family jokes and nicknames and what not, but we don’t share those publicly. There is just such a difference when you put stuff in writing. Something that you can pull off as joking when you are talking to your child doesn’t always come off that way in writing because it’s hard to reflect a sarcastic tone. Even if your children can’t read now it’s on the internet and it can be found later. Stuff I have written has come back to bight me in the butt because someone read something and I forget the exact context of why I wrote it and then it’s brought up to me in real life. So I have to try to remember the situation or why it was written and explain myself. Not easy to do. So I would never put a name like that on the internet about my child even if at the moment I thought that little PITA. Something completely innocent can be taken the wrong way down the road.

*I cannot wait to live blog tomorrow night. I am a little nervous about it, but I’m also looking forward to it. Anyone who orders at least $60 worth of product from my show gets this for free. I hope you’ll all join me.

Until tomorrow night when I’ll be blogging live. I hope you all are staying cool.
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Come to my Pampered Chef Cooking Show

Have you always wanted to go to a Pampered Chef party? Do you not know a consultant or anyone who’s hosting a party? Well, all that is about to change!

I am inviting all of my readers to come into my home for a Pampered Chef Cooking Show. On Friday July 22nd (that’s this Friday) I am having a Pampered Chef party in my house and I am live blogging the event!!! My first experience live blogging, but you can join in and make Chicken Enchiladas and Salsa with us. And you can even place an order as part of my show.

Here are the details:
When: Friday July 22, 2011 @6:30 p.m.
Where: Right here on my blog
What you need: If you want to cook along I will tell you all the steps in my live blog, get these ingredients…
Fajitas:
3 or 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1-2 Bell Peppers (preferably red, yellow or orange)
1 large Onion
1 lime
6-inch Flour Tortillas
Toppings:
Gaucamole (pre-made or homemade, optional)
Sour Cream (optional)
Shredded Cheese (cheddar or similar)

Salsa:
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
3 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice (we will juice a lime if it’s ok)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Tortilla chips (optional)

If you would like to check out my consultant’s page and place an order as part of my party you can do so here. You can place an order anytime up until July 26th. However, if you are not local to me you will have to choose direct ship and pay more for shipping. So please keep that in mind. Pass this along to everyone you know though and come to a Pampered Chef party with your friends! It will be tons of fun and I think the food will be awesome!
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