Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Honey-Mustard Baked Chicken

Honey-mustard baked chicken is an easy way to bake chicken breasts. While it does require an hour of cooking in the oven, the marinade preparation will only take 10 minutes.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Place chicken in a large shallow baking pan.
2. In a saucepan, melt the butter; stir in remaining ingredients and heat through
3. Brush glaze over chicken.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or 1 1/4 hours or until the chicken is golden brown.
5. Baste chicken frequently with sauce while baking. There may be some burnt sauce around the edges of the pan.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

M&M Cookies

I love these cookies and have been making them forever. When I was little, my mom always made them and let me help and now I enjoy making these cookies for my own kids. It is so easy to coordinate them to whatever holiday is around the corner with the various holiday-colored M&Ms.

M&M Cookies
Makes about 5-6 dozen

1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups M&Ms
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1. Blend shortening and sugars in a large bowl.
2. Beat in the vanilla and eggs.
3. Mix together the dry ingredients.
4. Add to the sugar mixture, blending well.
5. Stir in 2 cups of candies.
6. Drop by teaspoon on an ungreased baking sheet.
7. Decorate the tops with the remaining candy.
8. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

5 FREE Things To Do in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge

The Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is chock full of activities and fun family adventures. The good news is that there are quite a few FREE places to check out. I have highlighted 5 below.

1) The Smoky Mountains National Park- Duh!! This beautiful expanse of park providing the scenic backdrop for the area seems like a no-brainer, but quite a few visitors to the area never step foot in the actual park. We took a narrated tour in to the park and our guide told us that it is approximated that half of all visitors to the area don't actually go to the national park. Cades Cove, Clingman's Dome and Sugarlands Visitor Center are just a few of the highlights to visit while in the park.

2) Visit The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. This mega-store features anything and everything Christmas. The kids will love perusing the many displays and enjoying the Christmas spirit all year long. Across the street, The Inn at Christmas Place is a Christmas-themed hotel that is also fun to explore to check out the displays.

3) Stroll the streets of Gatlinburg. Taking a walk down the quaint streets of Gatlinburg is great for people-watching and checking out the fun trinket shops and candy-making stores. Head on over to the riverwalk along the Little Pigeon River, right off the main drag in Gatlinburg. A little quieter stroll and lovely scenery.

4)  Old Mill/Patriot's Park. The Old Mill Shopping District features the Old Mill itself, which sits along the Little Pigeon River,and some cute shops including the Old Mill's general store. I enjoy the restaurant at The Old Mill, although this is not free, it is definitely tasty. Walking around the grounds is free, but if you want to take a tour of the inside of the mill, there is a small fee.  Patriot Park is next to the Mill and is a nice park featuring displays pertaining to American heritage and patriotism. It was a perfect place to let the kids run off some energy.

5) Drive the Arts and Craft Loop. This loop has a plethora of handmade arts and crafts from local artisans. Take the loop and check out painting, pottery, wood crafts, leather crafting, candles, glass-blowing, basket weaving, quilting and more. There is no fee to just take the loop and stop to watch the artisans at work; however, if you don't wish to drive it yourself, there are trolleys available for a nominal fee that will take you along the loop.

The Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area has so many fun family activities- many of which are free or very budget-friendly. Take some time to check them out on your next trip to the Smokies.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Take a few minutes and check out UPromise, which is a program specifically designed to help parents save for their child's college education. The money you can receive in your UPromise account is accumulated through the products and services you might normally be purchasing anyway.

Take a look at their website and see if the program might be a good fit for your family to save a little extra towards higher learning.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Helpful Mom Books: Learning About Birth Order

The Birth Order Book, Updated Edition   -     
        By: Dr. Kevin Leman
A terrific book that is very helpful as a mom in understanding your kids' birth order roles in your family is The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman. I found it to not only be helpful with the kids, but also gaining insight in to my own behaviors and those of others. The book provides fascinating insights into how birth order affects personality, relationships, children, career prospects and parenting styles. It is one of those books that will have you reading a chapter and thinking, "Well, that explains a lot!"

 I highly recommend reading it and adding it to your bookshelf as a a useful parenting resource.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Greetings From Santa

Delight and surprise your child this Christmas season with either a letter or video message from Santa Claus. I have always used the free versions of each service although they have additional services for a fee if you want to add to your letter or video. I appreciate the fact that even with the free option, there are many ways to customize the message for your child and it is easy to use, taking only a few minutes to put together. We have done this for a few years and the kids are always so happy to get a personal greeting from Santa.

Free Letters:

Free Videos:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Try Start Sampling For A Stockpile Of Sample Size Products

Start Sampling is a website where you can go and request free samples of products to be sent to your home. Make sure to check out the forums where people will post other free sample opportunities, coupons, savings websites and much more. It is a great way to get free travel-size products and try some new things out. I have amassed quite the stockpile of toothpaste!