Wordless Wednesday – First Birthday Cake!

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Congratulations!

Congratulations to Tracye from Tracyecakes.blogspot.com . She was the winner of the 25 custom photo invitations that we gave away during the Ultimate Blog Party. Thanks for playing everyone! It was great to meet you all! Keep visiting our blog for more fun contests and giveaways!

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30 Minute Meals

Don’t you wish you had all the time in the world to cook a healthy and delicious meal for your family every night of the week? Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in today. Most of us are rushing from activities with our kids, to a second job, to the gym, or some other must do item, which leaves us very little time to spend in the kitchen. If your life is too hectic and you feel like you don’t have enough time to make a good meal in the evenings, Rachael Ray might have the answer, 30 Minute Meals! On her show, 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, Rachael prepares a healthy meal from beginning to end every night of the week. The show airs on the Food Network from 6 to 7 pm.

This Rachael Ray show is absolutely fantastic for many reasons. Rachael spends her time in the kitchen explaining to the viewers exactly how to prepare each dish. She is sure to share information about the ingredients that she uses, which can all be easily found in local grocery stores. Most meals consist of a main course and a side dish. Occasionally, she will prepare a dessert or a cocktail to make the meal a little more special. Rachael keeps the show interesting by sharing interesting family facts and stories. The viewers easily learn a lot about her, her family, and the foods she grew up with. The thing I like most about this show is how simple it is to prepare these dishes in my home. Rachael explains the steps she takes in the kitchen so clearly, it is easy for the viewer to take notes and prepare the dish at a later time. I constantly find myself in front of the tv, writing down ingredients and methods, and then creating the dish in my kitchen later in the week. If, for some reason, you cannot take notes you can get on-line and look up the detailed recipes (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_tm).  If you are interested in cooking at all, I strongly suggest that you check out Rachael Ray’s show. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised!

It’s Party Time!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Welcome to the 2008 Ultimate Blog Party, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom! Be sure to check out all of the GREAT prizes you can win by participating!!

 Well, obviously, since our Blog is relatively new, this is our first year partying, but we are excited!! You can learn more about my sister Joy and me by visiting our About Us page. We work hard, and we like to play hard (especially her).  🙂 I am a mom to two, work full-time and operate Announcements Galore, an online business for custom photo cards and announcements. Check us outm we’ve got some great promotions on invitations going on now!

It’s nice to meet some fellow bloggers; I have to admit that I am still learning but am totally amazed by all the great blogs I’ve come across so far. You women are amazing!!  

So, we debated how we were going to throw our own party here at Three of a Kind……. Well, what does every great party need? People and food! So, Joy is contributing one of her favorite party recipes, yum! And, I’m going to do my first ever giveaway on Three of a Kind, and it’s a biggie ……. You can win a set of 25 custom photo invitations from Announcements Galore!! Whether you are throwing a birthday party, an anniversary party, a shower or a luau, we can custom design something just for you!!  I’ve also donated a prize to the party, but wanted to give something away here too.

So, here are the rules, it’s a scavenger hunt of sorts. To be eligible, you have to visit Announcements Galore and find the hiding ‘secret question.’ Then, come back here and leave a comment and include your one word answer. One comment per person, please. You can enter twice by blogging about this contest; just make sure you let me know. Have fun, and good luck!! I’ll announce the winner here on Monday, March 17. (Hint: blocks and dots)

It’s nice to meet you, so come back and visit our blog anytime! If you’re interested in getting updates and coupons for Annoucnements Galore, sign up here. If you are a blogger and interested in joining our affiliate program, email us!

Our top three prize picks are: 24, 34, and 15

We’d also love to win: 11, 13, 46, 50, 59, 67, 70 or 36

And, now on to Joy’s recipe.

Chicken Quesadilla Pinwheels
This is one of my favorite Rachael Ray recipes!

Ingredients:
4 large flour tortillas (10-12 inch diameter)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
1 cup chipotle salsa
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken meat, shredded, still warm from store or warmed in microwave
Directions:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a flour tortilla and blister it on one side, then turn it over. Scatter cheese on top and cook one minute. Remove to cutting board. Top the tortilla with 1/4 cup salsa, spreading it
gently with the back of a spoon to the edges. Top with 1/2 cup chicken, then roll tortilla into a log. Let stand a minute before cutting. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make a total of four tortilla logs. Cut pinwheels
into 1/2-inch slices and arrange on platter.
 

These quesadillas are great to make and serve for any occasion. They are easy to prepare and easy for guests to munch on throughout the whole party. You could present these quesadillas on a platter with some fresh salsa, quacamole, and sour cream. If you were serving a meal at your party, these would go great with a mexican style soup!

Works for me Wednesday – Backwards

Ok, I’m a rookie. This is my first time posting works for me …. I thought a ‘backwards’ edition would fit me perfectly 😉 Make sure to check out a ton of other posts at Rocks in my Dryer.

WfmwheaderOk, so what do I need tips on? Well, a lot of things actually, but I think today I’ll go with online shopping. I LOVE online shopping, and do it quite a bit. With a 27 and 11 month old sometimes actual in-store shopping is unrealistic. So, I love to browse online while I’m at work, and order things in a peaceful, non-stressful environment.

So, the only thing that I think stinks about online shopping are the shipping charges. Some online stores are pretty reasonable, but when I’m paying near $10 to ship a small item, I just don’t think it’s worth it. Are you with me?

Oftentimes I try to scour the internet for deals, or coupons, etc. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes I’m not. Some sites list a bunch of coupon codes good for free shipping or a discount, but they don’t work!! So, where do you go for coupons? Are there good websites or mailing lists out there that offer legit coupons and discounts for online shopping? I’d love to know about them …. because I definitely don’t want to give up my online shopping 🙂 Looking forward to your responses!

Have a GREAT Wednesday!!

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Dear John: Book Review

If you are a Nicholas Sparks fan, you are sure to like Dear John also. Sparks captures the emotions of true love and heartache all in one story. John, who is enlisted in the Army, returns home one summer to visit his father. During his trip, he meets Savannah, a college girl who was in town working with a group of students to build houses. John and Savannah spend a great amount of time together and quickly fall in love. As John returns to the Army, they leave each other with the promise to write and keep their love strong. Things are going as planned until 9/11. John feels a strong desire to re-enlist and the distance begins to wear on their relationship. Eventually, Savannah sends John a letter informing him that she has fallen in love with another man. The relationship is over. After some time has passed, John must return home to bury his father. During this trip, he is compelled to visit Savannah, despite the fact that she is married and living a happy life. When he arrives, she is happy to see him, and they both quickly realize that the love they shared is still there. At the end of the story, John is faced with the most difficult decision of his life.

Personally, I found this book to be a great story. I like reading romantic love stories, and the desire of wanting to know how the relationship ended, kept me from putting the book down. The story of John and Savannah’s relationship kept me interseted; however, the ending left me slightly disappointed. Sparks makes it easy for the reader to identify with the characters and want the best for their relationship. The emotions that the characters experience are clearly related to the reader. I found myself ‘feeling’ the emotions as the characters were. Even though I enjoyed reading this story, I found that it lacked some substance. The plot was somewhat predictable and there were not many complex ideas involved. There were some parts of the story that I thought were dull. I found myself quickly skimming these sections to get to the more exciting and interesting parts. Despite a few downfalls, I would recommend this book. Those who enjoy simple love stories or those who like other Nicholas Sparks novels are sure to enjoy this book as well.

My baby girl is “1derful”

1derful.jpgFrom the minute I saw this t-shirt I knew I had to have it for my baby girl. I was perusing babystyle.com and came across this adorable 1derful t-shirt. My pumpkin is turning one in a couple of weeks (Wow, has it really been a year?!) and I couldn’t let her big day pass without this attire!

 I’ve already had it on her at least five times. We had to try it on of course, then she had her photos professionally taken in it … then I successfully attempted to take her picture myself for her party invites.  Baby girl is pretty much a peanut; she’s not quite 18 lbs., which I think is pretty small. She’s still wearing some 3-6 month sleepers and a lot of 6-9 and 6-12 month clothes. So, when babystyle only offered a 12-18 month and an 18-24 month size I was a little worried it wouldn’t fit. No worries, it was perfect. Since it’s still freezing cold here, I layered a long-sleeve t-shirt under it when I took her to have her pictures taken. I’ll probably do that when she wears it for her birthday party too. She looks adorable in it! See? 

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And, since the t-shirt doesn’t directly reference her birthday, it just says 1, she’ll be able to wear it all year long! It’s not a one-time wear that so many special occasion things are these days. To top it off, the t-shirt was reasonably priced. Only $18, plus S&H. What a deal!

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