Awesome People!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

How lucky are you?  Have you won very many things over your lifetime?  Bingo?  Lottery?  Raffles?  Radio contests?  When I was younger I used to win quite a bit of different things.  Winning is fun.  It's also very addicting.  One day a couple months ago I watched a show on I think TLC (could have been A&E) called Extreme Sweepers.  Have you ever heard of extreme sweepers?  I hadn't either until that day, and then after the show I went to my computer and started right away because it seemed like a lot of fun on the show.

So what is it?  People who make a living off  entering all kinds of sweepstakes and contests.  It's mostly done by internet, but there are still mail-ins and local businesses will often have give aways for products or services.  So I spend about 2 hours a day on the computer and I enter about 175-200 contests every day.  Sounds like a lot?  There are short cuts to make it speedy like automatic form fillers so you just click a button and your info gets filled in on the form. Then there are websites that list contests and allow you to keep track of single, daily, weekly, and monthly entry contests. 

A lot of people say it can take 6 months to a year to start seeing results from your efforts because the contests often last a long time before they close.  Some people enter every contest imaginable because whatever they win that they don't want they turn around and sell on ebay for cash, which is how they make a living at this.  I don't enter everything.  If I don't particularly want the prize, then I don't enter.  I also don't enter sweepstakes for trips unless it's to a college football bowl game, a trip to Ireland, or a trip for the family to Disneyland.  But even though I've only been doing this for 2 months, I already have some small wins under my belt.  I even got another one this afternoon. 

So far I have won a $25 Visa gift card, a prize package from V8 worth about $100 (includes products and a $25 WalMart gift card), a full size tube of fancy mascara, a free movie ticket, (hehehe...get this one) a decorative toilet paper roll canister, a bottle of carpet cleaner and today I won a fleece throw from Sealy Mattress.  My winnings come to a retail value of about $180.  The only only prizes I've actually received so far are the movie ticket voucher and the Visa card, and the rest of the stuff can take up to 10 weeks to arrive.  But when my things start coming in it will be like Christmas when the mailman comes.  And I'm actually looking forward to seeing what design I get on the silly little toilet paper canister.  lol

All of these little wins I'm hoping are a good omen of bigger prizes to come.  I'll keep everyone posted periodically on what I've won.  It's fun!  You should try it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Dinner Night

I want to thank Carol so much for sending me the idea for this dinner.  Last post I asked for suggestions, and she was quick to respond.  (btw...kipper, I tried to respond to you, but you have your email set to "no reply".  If you read this, I would like your recipe, too.)  Carol suggested Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies.  We've always got Bisquick at our house, and "easy" sounds good to me!  I went and googled it, and a ton of recipes came up.  I had no idea there would be so many variations!  The one that stood out to me the most was for Chicken & Broccoli Impossibly Easy Pie.  Chicken, check.  Broccoli, check.  Bisquick, check.  Cheese, definitely a check.  And then the staples, eggs, milk, salt, pepper.  Oh, and some onion.  For sure these are easy ingredients!

Instead of making mine in a pie plate, I doubled the recipe and made it in a casserole dish.  My boys eat a lot, and a little ol' pie just wouldn't do.  Here's the cooked up pie...
Chicken & Broccoli Pie
Sami's Vegetarian version using Quorn brand chicken instead of real meat...
Hers had lots of cheese on the inside, so I didn't put any extra on top.  It looks a little plain on the outside, but it's definitely cheesy and yummy on the inside.
We don't worry about pretty plates in our house.  I just scoop it up and it lands on the plate as is...
My hardest child to please is Sami.  Matthew, he likes just about anything I put in front of him.  Sara is a little hot and cold.  But Sami?  She's a tough one!  She took a few bites and I asked her how she liked it, and she said, "It's deliciousness!"  Yea!!!!  EVERYONE in the family loved it.  EVERYONE had 2nds.  In fact, they all liked it so much that this is what the pan looked like a few minutes later....
Hardly a crumb left!!!  In fact, Jeff even finished off the edges Sami left in her dish.  This dinner is most definitely getting added to my menu list!  Thanks so much, Carol, for the great idea!

Here's the easy recipe (this is for a pie plate portion.  double if you want to do a 9x13):

1 box (9 oz) frozen broccoli cuts, thawed, drained.
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 Cup cooked chicken, cut up in bites, or 2 cans (5 oz each) chunk chicken, well drained.  (I don't know about you, but I think fresh is the only way to go.)
1 medium onion chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs

1.  Heat oven to 400F.  Spray 9" glass pie plate with cooking spray.
2.  Sprinkle broccoli, 1 cup of cheese, chicken and onion into the plate.
3.  In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients with wire whisk or fork until blended.  Pour over other stuff in pie plate.
4.  Bake 35-38 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer until cheese is melted.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

It sure does live up to its name...IMPOSSIBLY EASY PIE.  I hope you will give it a try.  Look up some of the other variations, too.  There are a ton!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quiet Weekend

Do you know why it's a quiet weekend?  Because the Nebraska Cornhuskers had a by week!  My dh is an absolute fanatic when it comes to  Nebraska football.  Oh, my Lord.  You just don't even know.  Or maybe you do.  Maybe you or your s.o. is a maniac fan of some team too.  As soon as Nebraska football comes on tv my peaceful husband turns into a raging lunatic.  And it's not in a good way.  He screams at the tv (I'm sure all the neighbors can hear, he's so loud), he cusses, the veins in his temple pump and pulse.  He turns angry.  His team isn't as up to par this year as he would like.  And all this screaming and yelling causes soooo much tension in the house.  Sara wants me to take her out somewhere.  She hides in her room and occasionally yells at him to stop.  So do I.

But this weekend I got a break!  There is no Husker football on this weekend!  Now I just need to prepare myself for next Saturday.  oy. 

Sara had a soccer game yesterday morning, and her team won 5-2!  Yea Knights!  I don't particularly care for her coach.  He doesn't really teach them anything, and he favors the boys of a certain ethnicity and rarely changes them out of the game for other players.  Sara played goalie the 4th quarter and she made a really great save, but my camera work is not the best.  you just catch the end of it.  It was a high kick that would have gone in the net over her head, but she jumped and stretched and pushed it over the goal.  It was pretty sweet.  No goals were scored on her that quarter!
She hates that goalie jersey!  It's a hideous yellow and green plaid.  She hates having to wear it, and Jeff said maybe he'd take her out and get her her own goalie shirt that she can wear and be fashionable in.  lol

It's going to be a fun night tonight, too.  Our family has been waiting sooooooo long for this night to come.  Why?  Because we looooove the AMC show "The Walking Dead".  And tonight is the 1 1/2 hour season premier!!!!  You can bet we'll all be glued to both tv sets.  The kids will be sprawled out in front of the one in living room, and Jeff and I will watch in our room.  What happens, though, is that the kids tend to migrate onto our bed after a creepy scene with lots of zombies.  I am entering a contest every day for a trip for 2 to visit the set and become a zombie for a show taping for next season!  I would soooo love to win that!  I put it in Jeff's name, though, and the kids would have to fight it out over who would get to go with him.  If you like zombies you have got to check out AMC's "The Walking Dead" on Sunday nights!!!

That's my weekend.  What are you doing this weekend?  Anything fun?  Drop me a line to my email or leave me a comment here and let me know what's up!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ma's Diner

I feel like my best contribution to my family is the food I feed them.  Since going on disability and my slow recovery from terrible agoraphobia, my main goal is to remain stable mentally.  My main jobs are to do the grocery shopping, cook dinners, make home made lunches for the kids to take to school, and playing taxi driver.  It doesn't seem like much, I know.  But you have to understand that my agoraphobia first started with an anxiety attack in a trip to the grocery store.  So that has always been the hardest place for me to go since then. 

My family loves my cooking, and it's so important to me that they enjoy their food.  They say that a lot of it looks like cat puke, but it sure does taste good.  And Matthew (11) says all the time that I would win if I were on the Food Network's "Chopped".  He says I just need to add a leaf to finish off my dishes.  lol


I am sooooooooo sick of my overly done menu.  I'm so over everything on it.  I have a list printed out with the main meat categories of chicken, beef, pork and "other stuff" (like breakfast for dinner).  Then I list the meals that I make with each of those meats.  THEN instead of me going crazy trying to figure out what to buy each week I take the list around and tell everyone to pick something off the list.  Mexican chicken is one that everyone picks, so that has to stay on my list.

What I need are some new and fresh ideas.  I sure would like some input from you out there on your favorite go-to meal.  I have been searching the internet for new ideas and found a Tex-Mex Chicken & Rice casserole that was a hit that I'll do again.  And last night I did a Mexican Minestrone (vegetarian) that my vegetarian daughter didn't touch and I think what made it a hit with the other 3 was that I served it with my famous guacamole and some tortilla chips.  I don't think I'll add that one to my cookbook or my list.  Do you have a recipe that you have served in your house for your family or for guests that is always a hit?  Please tell me!!!!! 

I also have to make 2 separate dinners every night.  I make the original recipe for 4 of us and then a vegetarian version of that recipe for my non-meat eater.  At first that was such a hassle, but I continued because I love and now it's just second nature.  The only problem is this...I have 1 skillet, one pot and 1 little saucepan.  And a couple mixing bowls.  I have plenty of casserole dishes in several sizes and I have a big crockpot.  Is there anything you can contribute to the cause?  I'd love to hear from you! 

Tonight's dinner was a family classic.  Bean slop.  Sounds yummy doesn't it?  Not! lol  But it's ok.  All it is, is 1 pound of ground beef browned, add brown sugar (maybe 1/2 Cup) to the beef and stir it up so the meat is coated in carmelized sugar, and then add a large can of baked beans.  For Sami I use Quorn brand "beef" crumbles, brown sugar and vegetarian baked beans.  Then when it's bubbly you serve it open-faced on hamburger buns and eat with a fork.  It's one of Sara's favorites.  But I'm tired of it and didn't eat dinner. 

I need help!  Please share your recipes!  But NO FISH!!!!  eegads I don't like fish.  Or innards.  I don't think I could make liver or anything like that.  ick.  We eat mostly chicken, pork and sometimes beef.  And the one thing I have no idea on how to cook is steak.  I'll try making what you share, take pics and post on it.  :)  And I'll share some of my family's favorites with you too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Little Politician

Well, I would like to start off my new adventure in blogging by showing you a video clip of my 9 year old, Sara.  She came home a couple weeks ago and told me she needed help writing a speech.  I asked her what for and she said that she was going to run for 4th grade Vice President.  I know you're thinking the same thing I asked..."Why Vice President and not President?" 

"Because everyone is running for President!  I'll have a better chance of winning if I run for Vice President."  And you really can't argue with that logic, can you?

I decided to surprise her and go down to the school the day of speeches and video tape her giving it to the school.  I was a little surprised at what technology is like these days.  They no longer stand up on the stage in assembly at a podium and talk into a microphone, staring at hundreds of blank gazes.  Nope.  Not any more.  Sara and about 6 other kids came into a small classroom with just a few chairs in the middle of the floor.  I was pretty confused.  The kids came in and the teacher started giving them the instructions.  They would each have a turn to sit in front of the laptop on the table in front of the webcam.  Then they would read their speech that the teacher typed in on the teleprompter.  Then the videos of all the speeches would be shown at a later time over the school's internal TV system.  How crazy is that???!!!

I video taped her video taping her speech. lol.  Here's the clip I took...

She's a little hard to hear, but it's only a minute and 17 seconds long, so go ahead and listen to what she had to say.  That was on a Wednesday.  They didn't show the speeches until that Friday.  But guess what!  Yep!  My girl won!  She is now part of her school's Student Council and goes to meetings and all those things.  What a great start for her!  If she keeps it up, being on the Student Council in High School looks good on scholarship applications.  I know, I think too far ahead, but this early intro to those types of things is priceless.

I'm soooo proud of Sara!

Monday, October 10, 2011


For those of you who know me from my Indigo's Beads blog, thank you for stopping in at my new digs.  If you are new, thank you too for coming by, and I hope to get to know you.  I invite you to visit my Indigo's Beads blog if you want to get a good background on me and my bead hobby.

Why am I starting a new blog?  As much as I enjoy blogging about beads, I was feeling very restricted and claustrophobic.  I felt I was too limited as to what everyone wanted to hear from me, so I decided to create something that was a little more all inclusive and true to me as a whole person.

I will include beads here, but I also want to feel more free to talk about my family and other hobbies too.  Just an overview of everything that's going on.  I hope you will stick around and see what I have to share.  Hopefully you will have fun reading my blog, visiting me and getting to know me.  I love meeting new 'net friends!!!  As always, feel free to email me at indigosbeads(at)live(dot)com anytime.  I would love to hear from you!