Friday, February 25, 2011

Announcing the Winner of the Bosch T20 Tassimo....

I used to generate the winning comment number. The winner was comment 111.
Congratulations to Angie who won a Bosch T20 Tassimo for tweeting about this giveaway!!
Thank you to all who entered. Angie has been emailed and has through Sunday to respond.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Just Monkey-ing Around :)

This is one of the orangutans that lives in the Sacramento Zoo. If I believed evolution was real, I might think this is where Natalie came from -- she's always climbing up or hanging off something! LOL!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sea Lions in Monterey Bay, CA

One of the girls favorite parts of Monterey last year was the sea lions. Unfortunately, we didn't really get to see any because it was too late and almost dark when we left the aquarium. This year, we saw tons!!!

Seriously, tons of sea lions - we were able to get pretty close to some when we were boarding the "Sur Randy" to go out on the ocean for our whale watching cruise. We got close enough that when the "big daddy lion" sneezed if we hadn't moved back fast enough we would have been showered in sea lion snot...yuck!!

Here are some sea lion pictures that I wanted to share with you!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Cake

This was Emily's 4th birthday cake. It was the first time that I had used my Wilton's crown pan, hopefully next time the cake wont stick at all. It stuck a little on the bottom of the crown. I can't believe that in only six months I will be making a cake for my baby's 1st birthday!!!
If any of you bakers have advice on cake baking -- or tips that you find useful, please leave them below.
Also, if you have a WW on your blog please leave a link and I will be sure to come by!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bosch T20 -Tassimo Hot Beverage System {{Review & Giveaway}}

What is your favorite hot drink? Coffee? Cappuccino? Macchiato? Hot Cocoa? Tea? Latte? If you answered yes to any of these drinks, or if you like a combination of them, you are going to love the Bosch T20!! 
I am sure that you have seen some form of one cup coffee maker, but the Tassimo is so much more than that -- it is a total hot beverage system. Lattes have the perfect amount milk, steamed to the perfect temperature. Macchiatos, mochas, tea, cocoa, even just a regular cup of coffee -- they are all made perfectly with almost no effort on your part!
The tassimo machines use special disks, called T-Disks, to make the perfect beverage every time. There is a unique bar code on each of the t-discs that tells the machine the the amount of water, steam, etc to add. Because all of the brewing takes place in the pods, there is no waiting between drinks and the flavor of one is not at all impacted by what was made immediately before it (or much earlier.) The Tassimo does not require any time for start up, from the time you switch  the machine on and decide what you are going to be drinking, it is literally about a minute before you can enjoy it!
I love the sleek, compact design of the new T20. I had the T45 machine before I received the T20, and I am loving the counter-friendly size of the new machine. The T20 has all the same capabilities as the (much larger) previous model but is about the size as a regular 12 cup coffee percolator. One of the features that I love is that this machine has a 1.5 L water tank with a filter, so you can make quite a few drinks before refilling the tank. So this new Bosch T20 is smaller (more convenient) and just as wonderful!!

I received the white model T20 and am excited that it has different color inserts available to complement most kitchens. You can see in the photo below the difference the color insert can make. I want to get the red one to match my kitchen!
Honestly, I can't think of anything that I do not like about the machine. At the time I reviewed the previous model, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of availability of T-discs locally, but have noticed them showing up at more and more retailers. They are available at Walmart, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Kohl's and of course online. Tassimo actually offers some amazing deals online and for auto-ship orders of t-discs.

Would you like to have a Bosch T20 Tassimo?
You can buy them at any of the retailers above, on Tassimo's website, and Amazon.
One of you wont have to buy it though, because I have a Bosch T20 Tassimo Hot Beverage System to give away!!

Giveaway Rules
You must be a public follower through google friend connect to win on my blog.
This giveaway is open to legal residents of the US who are at least 18 years of age.
The winner will be chosen by and will have 48 hours to reply to the email I will send them or another winner will be selected.
Please leave a separate comment for each entry (if something is worth 2 entries, leave 2 separate comments.)
This giveaway will close Feb 25, 2011 at 9 PM PST
Good Luck!!

Mandatory Entry (must be done for any others to count): Tell me what your favorite hot beverage is that you would like to try in the T20. You can see the selections available here.
Extra Entries:
Follow me on twitter (button on right sidebar)
 Like my blog's FB page (box on right sidebar)
Subscribe to blog updates by email, must activate/confirm subscription (left sidebar) 2 entries
Tweet about this giveaway, be sure to include a link to this post. Here is a sample tweet you can copy and paste:  "Make ur own coffeehouse drinks at home, #win a Tassimo T20 beverage system @tinymansmom" (1 entry daily)
Change your FB status to something promoting this giveaway, including a link and tagging @Proverbs 31 Mommy & Wife so I can verify the entry (1 entry daily)
Share this giveaway on any social media - giveaway sites, your blog, etc. Leave a link (2 entries)

Disclaimer: I was sent the Bosch T20 Tassimo machine for review purposes, free of charge. All opinions in this post are mine, and they are honest!

We have a Winner!

The Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, gladware, and $25 Safeway gift card winner is comment #47 Mari who's winning comment was for liking Safeway on Facebook. Congratulations Mari!

Thank you to all who entered, good luck next time! Speaking of next time, I am writing a review and giveaway right now for a Bosch T20 Tassimo Hot Beverage System!! Be sure to enter to win!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dinner Time Etiquitte #KraftHomestyle

How often do you sit down and have dinner as a family? It used to be that was the only way to do it, but now everybody is so busy that it is not that common anymore. Not every night's schedule allows my family to have dinner together - Wednesday's are pretty much out of the question for the remainder of this semester, and Mondays and Fridays are if-y through this semester as well. The rest of the nights of the week are a different story, I believe that sitting down and having dinner as a family is very important for a few reasons.
One of the reasons that it is important that my family sit down to eat dinner as a family is that children learn from their parents -- manners, priorities, healthy eating, EVERYTHING. By turning off the television, not being on the phone, putting down the iPod, leapster, and whatever else and focusing on the family helps reinforce to children that they are important and that the family (as a unit) is important. When supper is a sit-down  event, children get to see how and what their parents eat and they learn about the food-groups and portioning - yes, without even talking about the pyramid. :)
My children love vegetables! One night I fixed corn as the vegetable with dinner. Natalie was about 18 months old at the time, she was getting pretty good at using her fork. She was having some problems eating her corn with her fork. Zack and I both asked her is she wanted help, of course being the independent little lady that she is, she refused the help. We kept eating, and she started watching how everyone else was eating their corn. After about a minute, she realized that Emily had a bit of trouble too and switched to her spoon. AH-HA moment!! I believe that if we were not all sitting there together and Natalie had not had the opportunity to observe how the rest of the family managed to do something that she could not she probably would have given up and used her fingers. Kids are always watching, they are learning from what the people around them do, and the breakfast/lunch/dinner table is no exception! So my advice for all of us is to always use the manners that we expect our children to use!
The most important part of meal time at our house is prayer. Having the prayer before we begin eating servers a dual purpose - thanking God for being a great provider AND making sure that we are all seated and ready to eat before anybody starts eating. That is one of the things that we have the hardest time with, getting the kids to wait to eat until everybody is ready! As they are getting a little older, they understand better that they have to wait until after we pray to start eating, telling them to wait for everyone to be ready did not always work. :)
There are days when we might go through a drive thru or just have a pizza when it has been a busy day. On those days we tend to eat at the table in the living room. I notice that all though most of the same manners are used, not all are. So that is one thing that really does not work well for our family as far as great dinner time etiquette.
One huge piece of advice that I would give to parents is to have your child(ren) help in some way. Whether it is with dinner preparation, setting the table, even if it is just putting a napkin by each plate, have them help. I know that, for my children, when they feel involved and have a sense of pride in their accomplishment, they enjoy dinner time more and are more likely to use good manners without having to be reminded!!
What are some of the things that work at your house? What is your meal time etiquette, any do's and don'ts that you would like to share? I am always interested in more ways to teach the girls manners and enjoy meal time!!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.