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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Five Question Friday On Saturday : Easter



1. What is your favorite Easter tradition?


I love the church service, coloring eggs and egg hunts I guess you can say there are many things that i love about Easter


2. Are you a "shower" or a "long, hot bath" kind of person?

take showers most time because of time limits of life but love to soak in the tub as well and do so whenever possible

3. Can you parallel park and if so when is the last time you did it?

I do not drive so this is not a question I can easily answer


4. What is your favorite Easter candy?

Peeps and jelly beans





5. Easter: do you go all out with the Easter Bunny or focus on the religious part of the holiday?
 
we have always did a combination of it all

Friday, April 22, 2011

Aloha Friday : Weather

Aloha Friday a fun meme hosted on the blog An Island Life where bloggers come together to share easy questions that require easy answers. Today my question has a lot to do with what we have been experiencing as far as weather with storms, winds, rain and possible floods My Aloha Friday Question is

What is the weather where you are like

Book Review and Giveaway: Inside the Minds of Car Dealers



Recently my son purchased a car off of craigs list. He was fairly lucky and found an awesome car at an awesome price. My daughter on the other hand has had her ups and downs with cars and salesmen and trying to find a great deal. When I was contacted about reviewing the book Inside the Minds of Car Dealers: How to Buy Your Next Car without Fear Ray Lopez is a 30+ year veteran car salesman turned consumer advocate and author of Inside the Minds of Car Dealers: How to Buy Your Next Car without Fear. In 2011, Ray Lopez launched a consumer awareness campaign to teach savings tactics, and confident car buying practices for the new economy. He shares his knowledge on an open, real-time Q&A consumer forum via a blog and Facebook community page to further help consumers overcome the car buying hurdles they face today. Please visit www.raythesalesguy.com for more information

I was lucky enough to have a few questions answered by Ray in this post I will share with you the information that I received.



When “Ray the Sales Guy” (Ray Lopez) was asked how he thoughts “Online Dating and Car Buying – Beware Before You Test Drive!”

Many individuals shy away from buying a car online and the reason being that they are not sure what the car will be like. The truth is that it may be a bit better to shop for a car online than to see it in person. Just like some individuals prefer to date on line so that they can get to know the person they are thinking about dating shopping for a car online offers the buyer an opportunity to look over all the potential car models as well as dates on their own time frame in their own private place. There is no salesman pressure to go for a test drive (a trial date of sorts ) Shopping online never places the buyer in an uncomfortable to check out the standard equipment of the vehicle (the persons's bio) and options (hobbies and interests) The online shopper is allowed to shop safely in a secure place without pressure for a commitment to buy (go on a date) One important thing for the online shopper to remember is to never fill out a credit app online! That supplies too much personal information that could get into the wrong hands A credit form should only be filled out at the dealers when you are sure you want to buy the car.

Ray also shared why he recommends shopping online for cars and researching information on the Internet before buying a car in person?


There is no high pressure salesman in your face when you shop online. You have the luxury of spending as much time as you want, uninterrupted, to research many different brands and models at once. And the added bonus of this, of course, is it saves a lot of your time ... and gas. Two things that are important to us as a family saving time and money that we spend on gas. (my opinion)

Ray cautions that shopping online can lead to a false sense of security. The reason is that to get the best deal of any transaction it takes real negotiating and maintaining control. Shopping online should only be the first part of the event it allows the buyer to research the car online but leaves the knowledge of car price, dealer cost and dealer mark-up information out. The knowledge the buyer thinks they have of the actual price of the car becomes a tool for the salesman rather than the buyer. The mistake of thinking that you know how much the vehicle is before you shop in real life is something that could end up costing the buyer hundreds or possibly even thousands of dollars more than they would have paid.

We asked Ray where the best places to search for the best information are. He suggested the manufacturers' websites will share model information on the vehicles you're interested in. It should also share a list of dealers in 100 miles of you. The website edmunds.com is a great place to find incentive information available. Your local Sunday newspaper is also a great source of information The dealership ads are not the best source to look at though but check out the classified section and look for want ads car salesman wanted These ads offer key words and phrases to look for  If the dealer you located a car at has an ad with those red flags in it, cross it off your list immediately! That is a dealer that applies heavy, unrelenting pressure to everyone who walks onto their lot. Never buy from a dealer that still thinks it's 1950 and every customer is a sucker.

As a final note Ray offered a few tips before hitting the virtual or real world car lots (1) if you have your heart and mind set on a certain car then it is not the correct time for you to be shopping. Just like we have been told not to go shopping when we are hungry the worst time to shop for a car is when we are set on a certain style and model of a car. Our emotions are running high and salesman can smell this like a shark smells blood. NO car is an absolute must-have. No matter how awesome you think it is. Be patient and wait until you can shop with a clear head. It will save you a lot.


Now here's some good news for you my readers here at Annies Home. One of you will be able to get the same book that I received that shares many great tips that you may need, know someone who may need or can help you build up the knowledge to share when needed.
To enter this giveaway share with me a time that you could use knowledge you will find in this book

Extra Entries
  • follow my blog
  • like Ray Lopez on facebook (3 entries)
  • comment on  Ray Lopez blog    let me know which post you commented on      (3 entries)
  • like me on twitter
  • tweet about this giveaway
  • comment on any post on my blog (3 entries per comment) 
Giveaway starts now and ends May 6, 2011 Open to U.S. entries only sorry Good Luck Email must be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count

Thank you to Ray for allowing us to review the very useful book and sponsoring this giveaway

Repeat Post: Easter Egg Cupcakes by Duncan Hines

Wow!!! Duncan Hines has done it again. Not only do they have delicious easy to make products but they also have great ideas. With Easter coming soon in less than 2 weeks away here is a great recipe you may want to try as well.
Easter Egg Cupcakes


•12 unfrosted Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake Mix cupcakes baked in white paper liners
•12 honey graham crackers
•2 cans (16 ounces) Creamy Homestyle Classic Vanilla Frosting
•Green, yellow, orange, blue, purple, and pink food coloring
•2 tablespoons each mini and regular white, pink, green, and blue decorations


1.Tint 2 cups of the frosting light green. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the light green frosting into a zippered plastic bag. Tint 1/2 cup each of vanilla frosting pink, light blue, light purple, orange, and yellow. Spoon 2 tablespoons each into zippered plastic bags. Press out the excess air in each of the bags, seal, and set aside.
2.Using a serrated knife, trim the graham crackers into an egg shape 3 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Snip a small corner (1/4 inch) from the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of green frosting and pipe a small dollop on top of each cupcake and place a graham cracker on top, pressing down to secure. The cracker will hang over the edge of the cupcake. Freeze the cupcakes for 10 to 15 minutes to set.
3.Place the remaining 1/2 cup of each tinted frosting into a separate microwavable bowl. Working with one color at a time, microwave the frosting, stirring frequently, until it is the texture of lightly whipped cream, 20 to 30 seconds. Holding a chilled cupcake by the paper liner dip the graham cracker into the melted frosting to coat, turn right side up and let stand. Continue with all of the cupcakes and graham crackers making two eggs of each color.
4.Snip very small corners (1/8 inch) from the bags with the 2 tablespoons of frosting. Pipe decorative dots, lines, and dashes on top of the frosting-coated crackers. Using the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of light green frosting, pipe dots of frosting around base of each egg always pulling the peak away from the egg (be sure to cover any exposed cupcake).
5.While the frosting is still wet add candy decors to create decorative patterns









Repeat Post : Egg Coloring Tips and Tricks and Two Great Easter Books

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Feed Me Books Friday theme this week is Easter and Spring. I wanted to share an old favorite, a new book to us as well as a few Easter Egg coloring tips with you.




I have another book by Gail Gibbons to share with you today. Gail Gibblons is a favorite author that I shared with my little ones often. I love how she shares concepts in ways that children can understand. The religious aspects as well as the common Easter ideas are covered in a way that children can easily get the concept without going into great detail.



Another great Easter Book to share with you child is the Curioius George Happy Easter Book. Curious George always has lots of fun and so do we when we read what he is up to.
Here are some ideas for coloring Easter eggs something we always look forward to:
1.Instead of dealing with those awful punch-out circles in the dye box, dry your eggs sideways in the egg carton.
2.Rubber bands around the eggs make nice stripes -- on plain eggs for a white & colored egg; or dye once, rubber band, and then dye again.
3.Crayons of any sort can make wax resistance for writing names or making decorations.
4.Buy both white and brown eggs for dyeing -- you'll have bright colors and natural looking colors with no extra work.
5.Julia Child's recipe for boiling eggs is a lot of work, but they come out very well and are easy to peel.
6.Don't worry about cracked eggs -- egg dye is food safe, so the worst that will happen is that some of the dye will color the whites. (Do eat the cracked ones first, though

these tips were found on Parent Hacks

shared on Frugal Friday

http://500dollarwedding.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Old London Review and Sweepstakes announcement


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I will always remember learning about Melba toast. I was told the story by my elementary music teacher. She shared many stories with me many of which have stayed with me since the first time I heard them. The story about the Melba toast stuck because I thought that it was so wonderful to have food named after you. If you all are not familiar Melba toast was named after the stylish and talented opera singer miss Nellie Melba who in 1897 complained about that her bread was too thick to the Parisian chef Auguste Escoffier. The chef then created a thin bread wafer that he termed Melba toast and that term has stayed even to this day. Thirty years later Old London would be able to use the Melba oven and be able to create melba toast packs to serve in public. Old London now has over 20 flavors of authentic original crunchy taste rounds and toasts. My grandmother would serve such tasty rounds with salad as well to simply serve along side dips and such. Old London is available to us at home to allow us like Mrs. Melba herself to keep our stylish trim fit.

Recently we were able to try a few different products from Old London. One of these delicious and tasty snacks that we were able to try were the bagel chips flavored with garlic and herb. Talk about tasty the chips surprised me with the powerful taste that they possessed. I paired them with a recipe refereed to as the Entertainer  that I found on the Old London website.

1/4 Cup Light Sour Cream


1 Tablespoon Green Onion (green part only), finely chopped

1 1/4 Cup Fresh Spinach, well-cleaned and finely shredded

1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder

pinch of EACH: Dill, Basil, Salt

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl Keep chilled until ready to eat with Garlic Melba Snacks For extra-bold flavor, try adding a pinch of ground white pepper, paprika, and a splash worchester sauce Keep chilled until ready to eat



My teens thought they went together great and they loved the taste of the dip on top of the tasty chips. Another tasty treat that we were blessed with the chance to try were the spicy cheddar bagel chips


Again inspired by the recipes found on Old London and the flavors I know my teens love I took a chance on the recipe Pizza Pomodoro The chance paid off and all thought the combination was delicious. The spicy cheese flavor went well with the spread and the crisp of the chip made it all go over well.

Now while I am not a lover of whole grain chips or toast I have to admit they tasted great with a simple topping. I believe that I would prefer the sesame or rosemary flavors so I have something that I would love to look forward to trying.

Now that I have shared with you about the taste that Old London offers let me tell you about a contest that they are sponsoring.

Old London is sponsoring a great sweepstakes where the prize is the chance for one winner and a guest to beautiful Oahu, Hawaii for an all-expenses paid, Hawaiian vacation. The winner will be invited to soak up the sun, enjoy the spa and the surf, treat themselves to private cooking lessons, and just breathe during the four-day, three-night, all-expenses-paid trip. Enter the sweepstakes now through June 30th, 2011 at www.Facebook.com/OldLondonFoods




*I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Old London and received product samples and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate*

Hi There Have You Checked Out These Giveaways

Welcome to my blog and while your here take a look at my current giveaways

Scentsy where the winner will get a full size warmer and 3 bar scents of choice
On The Go Designs baby wipe case
Bonita J Bridal Jewelry drop earrings giveaway
Crane Frog Air Purifier
MiracleBlanket giveaway




A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design Friday Blog Hop

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coffee Brined Chicken Legs


The question is what to make when chicken drumsticks are on a great sale my answer is this recipe Have you seen it? You may have since I have shared it at a previous time last dated Jan. 2011


Thanks for hopping by I just love to welcome new friends. This post I created is for a delicious chicken recipe I hope you enjoy. If you stop by please leave a comment and let me know you was here I will gladly visit your blog and follow you as well

One of my great shopping finds yesterday was a pack of 14 chicken legs for $4. Yeah that was a score for me and I plan to have this recipe from All You October 2007 rather soon

1 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee


1/4 cup salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

8 chicken drumsticks (2 1/2 lb. total)


In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups water, coffee, salt and sugar until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Stir in chili powder, red pepper, garlic and cinnamon. Add chicken. Top with a small plate, if needed, to keep chicken submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Preheat broiler. Lift chicken from brine and place on a broiler pan. (Discard brine.) Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source until browned, about 10 minutes. Turn chicken pieces and broil until second side is browned, 10 minutes more. Set oven to 350°F. Move pan to a rack in middle of oven and bake until drumsticks are no longer pink at bone (cut to test), 10 to 15 minutes longer. Serve hot.



sponsors this week include Barefoot Books,    Balboa Pillows   Aurora Gifts  Little Ones    Happy Baby Foods   Zutano     and PawParrazi

Bacon Cheese Pull Aparts

2 cups grated cheddar cheese


8 pieces cooked bacon, broken into small pieces

Cut each roll in half. Pour butter into a 12-inch Dutch oven. Roll cut rolls in butter until coated and arrange in Dutch oven. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon. Cover with lid and let rise until double. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes

source: Rhodes

shared at foodie friday and
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Come CheckThem out

Want to know what the hot reads are here on Annies Home? Well no need to wait no more here is a short list of them Feel free to check them out or browse around for yourself

Easter Bird Nest recipe
Adorable Easter Cupcakes
On The Go Designs giveaway
MiracleBlanket Giveaway
Crane Frog Air Purifier giveaway
Scentsy giveaway
Bonita J Jewelry giveaway


Be-Bop-A Blog Hop Wednesday

Easy Cheese Ball Recipe

.Ingredients






◦16 oz. cream cheese



◦8 oz. Colby jack cheese, shredded



◦4 tbsp. of Cajun seasoning spice



Mix and form into ball. Serve with crackers.

Old Fashioned Cooking

My husband and I met at a very young age I was 15 years old and he was 18. I was still in school a very innocent girl whose parents had moved to a new larger town than the one we grew up in. I met my husband and we became best friends I really loved his grandma. Having to leave mine behind when my family moved One thing that I admired most about her was the way she could cook. Oh my there was a way that she could tell stories and cook a meal no measuring required. My husband loved and still to this day has never been able to find gravy liked his grandma fixed. Recently while looking through the web I found a recipe like that  my husbands grandma would have loved and thought I would share it here with you all.


Red Eyed Ham Steak and Cheese Grits

3 tablespoons butter


1 large ham steak (1 1/2 pounds)

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons grainy mustard

1-1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup hominy grits

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

A few dashes hot pepper sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 pound Swiss chard, stemmed and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons cider vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook, turning once, until browned, 2 minutes on each side. In a small bowl, mix the coffee, maple syrup and mustard and pour over the ham to coat. Cook until the sauce reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook, turning the ham once, for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water and the milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, add the grits and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the cheddar, hot pepper sauce and paprika.
3.While the cheese grits cook, in a skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium high heat until it ripples. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and chard and cook, tossing constantly, for 3 minutes. Douse the greens with the vinegar and toss with the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm. Cut the ham into 4 servings, discarding the bone. Serve with the cheese grits and chard.

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Water In Solid Form

This was what my friend experienced during the storm lastnight. We had hail but nothing like this.

http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/

Healthier Version of A Favorite Recipeb : Monkey Bread

1/4 cup sugar


2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated reduced-fat buttermilk biscuits

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

3/4 cup fat-free caramel topping

2 teaspoons vanilla




Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with cooking spray.  In 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix sugar and cinnamon. Separate both cans of dough into 16 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Add biscuit pieces to sugar mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Layer biscuit pieces and pecans in pan. In small bowl, mix caramel topping and vanilla. Pour over biscuit pieces. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: Eat Better America

shared on





Thursday 2 Questions



1) How much TV do you watch daily?


2) Who is your favorite actor or actress currently?
 
1. a few hours not as much as I once did actually we went without cable for 2 years just recently hooking it back up
 
2. I like many of the older ones believe it or not Lohan is actually one of my favorites but she sure did mess her life up hope she some day gets back on track

Destructive Winds and Tornados was What We Experienced Last Night






Thank God no one was in this mobile home during the storm last night the battered after beat of it makes me wonder what would have happened if someone was
this is a new building (no more) that had planned an open house well the roof blew off in the storm last night

check out other outdoor pictures at http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Adorable Easter Cupcakes ----- This Weeks Sunday's Best

http://hoosierhomemade.com/peeps-cupcakes-for-easter-cupcake-tuesday/
”Cupcake

I just love adorable cupcakes. Recently while hopping around the great www. (you get it hopping LOL) I found some great Easter cupcakes and thought I would share them with you


found here

found here

found here

”Cupcake



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Shared as my Sunday Best here where you can read other bloggers Sundays best as well

Monday, April 18, 2011

Learn Something New Tuesday

Are you annoyed by people who don't type correctly?

no not really it takes us all a while and after a bit of practice perhaps they can type correctly


Are you a grammar freak?

I have had some teachers education so it does some times bother me

Do you love the popcorn at movie theatres?

yes I do

Where is the best place to go buy pizza?

In our town Morellos



What was the last award you received?

versatile blogger reward sometime back

Are you a beach person or a mountain person?
 
mountain is where my heart is while I love the beach it is just not the same

http://www.lifewiththeds.com/

Any Time You Need A Friend




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Get To Know More About Me

1. Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?


2. Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?

3. Last thing you spent lots of money on?

4. Window seat or aisle seat?

5. Do you know your blood type?
 
 
1. garden salad if in season otherwise caesar salad
2. I will be at work
3. groceries
4. aisle seat
5. no I do not

Mellow Yellow Monday



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