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#40Days, a time to change

Posted March 4, 2014 By dealinanddishin

Tomorrow is the start of Lent. Growing up Catholic, Lent was always about giving up something. One year my Mom and I gave up candy. Now we also had a loop hole, because Lent is 40 days only if you exclude the Sundays. I don’t know if this is a rule, but at home it was said that you could have what you had given up on that day. Maybe this is why I like to have my day of bad eating (Cheat Day..well weekend of bad eating if we are having full disclosure here)when I’m watching my calories.

Another approach to Lent is instead of giving up something to try to do should be doing but aren’t. Instead of giving up chocolate exercise each day, or do a good deed each day, get your home organized, etc.

One would say giving up helps you to understand (in a very minor way) the sacrifice Jesus made. All people have a hard time giving up what they like. The other approach to me is just as applicable since you are trying to better yourself whether your physical, mental, or emotional well being and in the end be a better person. Either are a challenge, since we all have “reasons” why we can or can’t do something.

I am choosing to get my fitness on track this Lent, and hopefully keep this with me. This Lent I will be exercising everyday for at least 30 minutes a day. I will keep eating properly with occasional cheats, but no weeklong eating all the crap I can stuff in my mouth.

Why exercise?
I have been slacking badly in my fitness and diet, which makes me feel bad about myself, be anxious, and in general not a very nice person. I let life get to me this Fall and Winter (neverending Winter). Once the fitness slacks off everything follows. I don’t care to look nice, take care of myself, do anything I should, etc. I am not going to be the best mom and wife or daughter or friend that way. So I have started last week trying to getting going with my workouts again and get through all the soreness, uncoordination, and out of breath moments and get ready to go for this challenge. No, I won’t be taking the Sundays off!

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DIY Zumba Socks

Posted March 3, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I am working really hard on getting back in shape again. I really love doing Zumba Rush on our Xbox 360. Somedays 20-25 minutes is all I have to spare, and I know with Zumba I will get a great sweat producing workout.

The problem for me is our berber-like carpet. I have a lot of tread on my shoes so I can’t twist real well, or my foot gets caught and it hurts my knee. You ask: “Why not do it without shoes?”. I wish I could. I can only use the stationary bike without shoes on. Otherwise it makes my archs and feet hurt a lot. Plus I have been fighting Plantar Warts on the bottoms of both feet for the last year, and walking in just socks hurt. I just had those lasered (painful experience..never delay seeing a foot doctor like me!), and healing up now.

I had seen dance socks online, and kept saying I would buy them. I believe they were about $10 for one or two pair. I never got around to it, and when I did really start to decide to just buy them I was reading they were for wood floors. That wasn’t my issue, and I didn’t know if they would help me with my situation or would it be a waste of money.

I read people talking about putting panty hose on their shoes. That intrigued me, and when I was at Dollar General I remembered that. I bought some knee highs, but also bought the footy pantyhose (I have not tried the knee highs). I thought the footies would be easy to slip on right away.

I bought 2 pair of footies for $1, and went home to try them out. I put two footies on each shoe. I really didn’t know if they would hold up or not, and thought the double layer would be slicker.

Here is before Zumba

And After workout

They did not rip. They did make my foot slide easier on the carpet.
The second pair on each foot was a good idea, because one pair started to slip off a bit during the workout. I was able to stretch it back over easily.

Speaking of slick…be careful of wood and linoleum! I went to the kitchen with them on (forgetting I had them on), and yeah they are slick!

I have used them twice now, and still no runs or holes. Pretty great for a $1 investment!

I even made a little video so you could hear them on the carpet.

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Getting Fit with the Kinect

Posted February 24, 2014 By dealinanddishin

We got a Xbox 360 and Kinect after Christmas last year. It seemed like it would have some games my now 5 year old could play. Here is a list of games we like, and now we added Skylanders to that.

I wanted it for Zumba Rush  originally. I did buy Zumba Fitness Core, but let me tell you that it’s hard! It is a lot of standing with jumps and other knee work. My knees can’t take that a lot so it’s not one I like that much.

Then Zumba Rush came out, and I LOVE it!! The music is great as always. There are new dancers, but my favorite is still the creator, Beto Perez, to dance with. It is an exercise that I may start off all bitchy and not wanting to do it (I exercise 5 days a week), but by the end I’m pumped and smiling and a sweaty, gross mess.
Right now I really really want Zumba World Party . I can’t wait to see the new dances and music. I think my daughter would like the Zumba Kids. She has tried to join me when I Zumba, but it can get a little hazardous!

I can’t Zumba every day. The body needs variety and I really wanted a boxing one. I loved the Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout for Wii, but they do not have an Xbox version, and with the Wii in the basement I don’t exercise down there anymore. The Gold’s Gym had crappy music, but I would put on my iPod shuffle and jam to my own stuff.

YourShapeWe went to Super Mega Replay in Evansville by Chuck E Cheese, and I found
Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012there. I knew nothing about it other than what the booklet and cover said. I did see there was Cardio Boxing so I figured for $17 it was worth a shot. At this point I had almost talked myself into an elliptical ($400) so I was more than willing to try something cheaper that didn’t weight 200 lbs to be carried up our stairs!

I am really enjoying Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012! There is cardio boxing that has punches, kicks, and! There is jogging that is set in London and New York which is pretty nice, and the perfect time to listen to my tunes. I really enjoy a little yoga at the end of my workout to stretch and cool down good.

(Post contains affiliate links)

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Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze #Review and #Giveaway

Posted February 9, 2014 By dealinanddishin

As a  Purex® Insider I received a bottle of  Purex® Crystals to try, entry in a giveaway, and product coupons to giveaway in exchange for my honest opinion about their product.

I am in Southern Indiana, and it has been the LONGEST winter! If it had been fun, fluffy snow I wouldn’t mind, but it’s been below zero temperatures and ice! I look outside and see this. My poor ice coated clothesline.

So, what does this have to do with Purex®? Well, I can’t have my fresh smelling laundry from line drying so I get out the  Purex® Crystals and use those to add some freshness.
Along with the nasty cold weather I have a kid with Strep. Fun stuff, and when the antibiotic doesn’t go down good that leaves a lovely odor on the clothes. It was the perfect time to get out the Purex Crystals and add some good scent to those clothes plus her favorite blankets she’s cuddling with on the couch.

What can I say? I have been a big fan of all the Purex® products and even if I am not doing a review I buy them. I have many bottles stocked up right now, since you can find a lot of good sales at CVS, Walgreens, Priceless, etc. on them.

I enjoy this product as well as all the others. Is it something you need everyday? Probably not, but it is something I really like to have on hand when I need things to be fresher. When you have kids and pets…it is a good thing to have!

Learn more about Purex® on the web or visit them on Facebook.
If you would like to win a coupon for a free bottle of your own (US Residents, 18 and older) enter below! 290x-188-Fresh-Mountain-Bree

Giveaway runs from 2/9/14—–2/13/14!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Chore Chart Craft

Posted February 9, 2014 By dealinanddishin

ChoreChartCraftI love crafts, and I especially love frugal crafts! The Daisy Scouts are going to be working on their Mari Petal (Responsible for what I say and do). A good way for them to earn this is with a chore chart. (This of course would work for boys as well!)

The girls are in Kindergarten so I am keeping this fairly simple. We will discuss chores they can do, and narrow it down to at most five. I don’t think at this age there is a huge amount they can do, but they can certainly have some chores. Ones I would suggest: Pick up Toys, Pack/Unpack Backpack, Put away your laundry, Put dirty dishes in sink, Help put away groceries, Help sort recycling, Dust, Do Windows (my girl’s favorite job), etc.

Materials for this project are very simple:

Colored Cardstock (Pink and Purple are most popular with our girls)
Jumbo Craft Sticks (Tongue Depressor Size) These came in a pack of 75, and easy to find at craft stores.
Envelopes, One for each Chart (Smaller, 3 5/8 inch  x 6 1/2 inch size, but longer ones could be cut down to work as well)
Tape (Sealed the envelopes with it, and could be used to attach to chart)
Glue (Sticks work easiest with least mess for kids)
Stickers (optional)
Checklist (Three Week Checklists)

1. Pick your color

2. Seal your envelope with tape. Cut in half. Now you have two pockets.Pockets

3. Attach the pockets (flap side down) onto the card stock with glue. These will be labeled: To Do and Done

4. Write chores on the sticks with pen/marker

5. Label and Decorate your chart with markers, stickers, etc.

The Checklist has three weeks on it with the days listed. So each day as the girl complete a chore she moves the stick from “To Do” to “Done”. At the end of the day Mom or Dad can check off the day on the Checklist if all chores were completed.

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Teaching Chess to Kids

Posted January 28, 2014 By dealinanddishin

This week in Cub Scouts (Webelos I) we will be working on our Chess Belt Loop for the Scholar Activity Pin. I am also keeping for when I teach my Girl Scouts to play.
It was looking like I would not have enough boards for my Scouts, and I have Scouts who will not be at the meeting. So I needed some resources to cover everyone. This way whether or not you have a board you can play Chess at home.

A wonderful resource for learning about Chess and printing (PDFs) your own Chess set is at  Activity Village.
Here is the link to Chess For Kids. I am using the Chess For Kids booklet (I need a refresher). I also printed the pieces and large board so I will have enough for my Scouts.  I also will have a real board there for them to see as well. Our Library has Chess sets too, so that is an option for some of them to play as well.

We will talk about the pieces and how they move, but the main plan is for the Scouts to pair up and have a parent helper. We will be playing a learning game not a “win/lose” game. There is a lot to learn, and learning as they play I think will work best with my boys. The parent will be there to help point out moves that will be good or bad ideas.

Since, this is not a game you will learn immediately practice is needed. Some can play at home against a parent, sibling, or friend, but that’s not always an option. So here are some websites to go play. Please talk to your child about Internet safety. They should never give out personal information or meet someone in person. They should practice netiquette and not be rude to others online (or real world). Parental supervision is always recommended when online. Almost all sites have ads and/or commercials.

Personally, I like to learn how to play games online. Playing with against the Computer Player or in an online setting helps me to learn what I can/cannot do during games.

My favorite game site for learning games and playing is Pogo
There are free games and a paid membership option. To play free games you will have to register and there will be commercials. I warn my parents that I recommend playing against the Computer or turning off the Chat. There are people in these game rooms, and Parental Supervision is needed for children playing there as well. In the players window of the game table there is an option button (looks like a gear) that you can click and Hide the Chat.

If you want to avoid that more then check out or SparkChess. Both sites you can play without registering and against the computer. Both also show you how your piece can move. I prefer SparkChess. It has better graphics and easier to start a game.

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Crock Pot Taco Soup

Posted January 27, 2014 By dealinanddishin

Taco Soup has to be one of the easiest and most versatile soups I have made! My first taste of it was at our Cub Scout Fall Campout. It was great for a super cold night to have some hot soup to warm us up. They simply  used pots on the fire or camp stove and canned ingredients for the meat that I remember.

I been freezing meals for easy dinner nights since we are running a lot now that we add Girl Scouts to our schedule as well!

I love Chili, but mine has elbow macaroni and does not freeze well. So back to the taco soup.  The first test batch was so good and froze/reheated so well I made a full Crock-Pot of it.

What goes in it? Truly pretty much whatever you like!

Here is what I put in my 5 Quart Crock-Pot. If you prefer more, less, or different beans..go for it!


Crock Pot Taco SoupCrockpotTacoSoup


1 Can of Pinto Beans (drain liquid and rinse)
1 Can of Black Beans  (drain liquid and rinse)
1 Can of Red Beans  (drain liquid and rinse)
2 Cans of Tomatoes w/ Chiles (Brandname is Rotel)
1 Large Can of Corn (drain liquid)
2 Packages of Taco Seasoning
1/2 of the Quart Can of Vegetable Juice (or Tomato Juice)
1 lb of browned hamburger

Optional Toppings

Corn Chips
Shredded Cheese

Brown your hamburger and drain grease. While cooking open up all your cans.  Simply dump it all in the crockpot! I used half of my vegetable juice because I like more of a stew consistency. Let it cook on high for 2-3 hours.  The cooking time is highly adjustable since everything is cooked once you put it in.Soup If you want more spice add more taco seasoning. Either eat right away or freeze. Top with some shredded cheese and corn chips!

Here is what I got from my batch. If I had to guess I would say about 12 bowls. We eat just one bowl each at a meal (so 6 meals for 2 of us)..very filling. If you don’t like meat or need a Lenten meal just skip the hamburger. Beans have a lot of protein and fiber on their own.FreezerContainers

Cost? Without my coupons and having to guess about the seasoning (I always keep it in the pantry) I would say $15 at most to make this batch!

*post contains affiliate links, but all my own opinions and ideas

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Monster Jam Evansville, IN 2014 #review

Posted January 11, 2014 By dealinanddishin


*Tickets were provided to me to attend the event and then to share my honest opinions about it at US Family Guide

We went to our first Monster Jam (thank you to US Family Guide for the tickets) in Evansville, IN at the Ford Center last night (January 10, 2014). Our arena is not a huge one, so I didn’t know how well trucks would do in there.ArenaCollage

It worked really well! Six of the trucks(32 total I believe) were there: Mega-Bite, Quadzilla, Nitro Hornet, Spike, King Krunch, and Mechanical Mischief. The trucks competed in Wheelies, Races, and Free Style competitions. Inbetween events there were be the Quad Wars and the FMX (Freestyle Motocross).LRQuadzillaWheelie

I will say it is LOUD!!! We knew to bring ear plugs thanks to a friend who went last year. Talking to each other was tough, so there was a lot of gesturing and I even resorted to texting my husband! They did have some cute tire ear muffs you could buy (at the event kind of prices around $23 I think). They also had hats(with cotton candy) and mugs(with snowcones) for $15. There were flags for $5 that vendors carried through the stands.

We waited until the end to check out the other merchandise. There were lots of T-shirts (around $25 each), hats, stuffed Monster Jam trucks, diecast trucks, and K’nex sets. I really liked the selection, and these were things that my kids would use. My son got a Grave Digger diecast truck for $10 and a K’nex Grave Digger kit for $10. My daughter got a stuffed Grave Digger. (That of course was with our own money!)

The kids really liked it (My son actually thanked me for taking him!), and all day have either being playing with their own Monster trucks or bringing the big stuffed one with us on outings.

Would we go back? Definitely!! Each year? Depends on if it is different trucks. The trucks themselves are so detailed and cool looking! We got to see some great wheelies, jumps, and donuts.LRRacing

Like I said our arena is smaller so trucks had to back up, because turns were so tight. It could get a little long because of the time it took to move the trucks around, but that’s due to space not the trucks. They had it set up that there really is no “bad” seat in the place. The trucks have the same set up on both sides so and switch sides so you get to see plenty!LRKingKrunchWheelie

I also have to say I was impressed they had staff checking the field constantly and tested the trucks every time (they have a radio shut off). It felt like a safe, well run event with a 15 minute intermission lasted about two hours!

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Make Ahead Monkey Bread

Posted December 12, 2013 By dealinanddishin

Monkey Bread was something I always heard about with Cub Scouts and campouts. I tried once to make a “lighter” version..yeah Monkey Bread with very little butter is not great! Our Fall Campout this yeard had some full on Monkey Bread made in the Dutch Oven (I so want one now!), and it was good (plus crazy easy)! This Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 8-Quart would be one I would want. I don’t know if I want the 8 quart or a 6 instead, but the flat top is a must to put coals on. The even better thing is that is preseasoned! I have heard about the stench of seasoning one of these!

So we go snowed in last week..Three Snow Days plus a weekend. We did not go crazy, but we did start using up whatever I had in the house.

I had three tubes of small biscuits plus margarine, brown sugar, and cinnamon perfect things for any Monkey Bread recipe.

I went to my Happy Place otherwise known as Pinterest. There are lots and lots of Monkey Bread recipes and varieties. The basic idea is biscuits, butter, cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar for one in a Dutch Oven or ones in your traditional oven.

Even after coffee I am not a morning person! I could not see myself getting up and doing this so we did it the night before.



I used my Bundt Pan (no nonstick spray or anything added)
3 cans of small biscuits
2/3 cup sugar (around that)
Cinnamon (I don’t measure..just pour and see if it looks good)

The kids got busy cutting the biscuit dough into quarters.

Quarters Quarters2
We put the pieces in a Gallon baggie with the sugar and cinnamon and shook it up. shakingThen put all the pieces in the Bundt pan plus any sugar/cinnamon and covered with foil and refrigerated overnight.

The next morning I melted the 2 sticks of butter (microwave) and put in the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and poured that on it and baked it until it seemed to longer be doughy inside. At 350 it’s going to take at least 30 minutes to 45 depending. My pan was filled about 2/3 full, and it did puff some but still plenty of space for an even larger batch.

I noticed it was very dry on top and all the gooey was at the bottom. Next time I think I will do it the camping way and cut up the butter and put the pieces on top of the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar on top of that. Or leaving the foil on top next time.

I did whip up a little glaze with just powdered sugar and milk to put on to help with the dryness.outoftheoven

It did help to stir it up some, and the leftovers had the most topping and were really good! It did reheat like a dream the next day as well.

*Post contains affiliate link, but honest thoughts.

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Monster Jam at the Ford Center, January 10-11, 2014

Posted December 12, 2013 By dealinanddishin

*As a member of US Family Guide I will receive tickets for my family to go and review this show plus share a coupon and sponsored post with my readers.

I am super excited about this show! I have never been to any kind of Monster Truck event, but saw pictures from a friend who went last year and been wanting to go myself. I think seeing big trucks jumping and smashing things brings out the kid in all of us, and can’t wait to see what my kids think of this!

SAVE $5 on Tickets! – Save $5 using code: CRUSH.

At the Ford Center January 10-11, 2014 will be Monster Jam.

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, monster trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, monster trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster trucks can fly up to 125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.

Monster Jam, sanctioned by the United States Hot Rod Association, is the most popular monster truck tour, performing to over 4 million fans annually at the most prestigious arenas and stadiums throughout the world. Monster Jam shows consist of three main fan-favorite elements – the pit party, racing and freestyle. Monster Jam at the Ford Center Jan. 10-11

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