Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flurry Deals at Amazon

Since most know that I love shopping on the internet, I'm going to start posting super finds.

Flurry Deals

Gotta love Amazon for nearly everything from coffee (I get a monthly delivery of coffee syrups - sugar free - and they make even cheapy coffee taste great)

Torani Sugar Free Coffee Syrups

to Splenda (again, a monthly delivery assures that I won't run out, and the price is very comparable to my local Sam's Club)


I also picked up this London Fog jacket for my husband. Our anniversary is in January - perfect gift. It's back up to $150 now, I picked it at $89 - so it'll probably go back on sale again before the holidays.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Malware, Virus - System Restore

My oldest daughters' laptop got hit with some type of infection last weekend. All files gone, computer wouldn't start, and a pop up box kept telling her she needed to perform a System Restore, and it would cost $$$. Of course, I knew that System Restore should not cost anything - so figured it was some type of virus. I ran McAfee full scan, didn't find much, but found enough to get her back up and running, but didn't find the answer to where her files went.

Fast forward to yesterday - my own computer, infected with the same virus, but my computer has tons more information that can't be lost. Of course, I have a removable hard drive where I back up my info, so I wasn't so worried, but I need my computer everyday for work related stuff. I had McAfee running 24/7 - so knew it wasn't going to help. On to the net for a fix, and stumbled across Malwarebytes Anti-Malware download. Skeptical, I downloaded it. OMG - it not only found the problem, the forums took me step by step on how to "un-hide" all my files. Went to dd's laptop, unhid her files, downloaded the same Malware software, and wham, she's all good too.

Right now I'm using the free Pro edition of Malwarebytes - but when it expires in 14 days, you can be sure I will be purchasing the full edition. Thanks Tech Spot for providing help when I really needed it !

Friday, November 4, 2011

Amazon - Count Down Pages -

OK - the push is on from major retailers to get your hard earned money before the Christmas season. A friend of mine just forwarded a wonderful email - talking about buying gift certificates to American run business this Christmas - a gift that can keep on giving. Some things mentioned in the email like haircuts and snow removal - really gets you thinking. But, I always like to have a few gifts in the closet for unexpected guests, or someone I forgot - so here's Amazon's Count Down to Christmas sale. Each week the sale changes, and they've had some really decent gold box items lately - so check in everyday !

Shop Amazon's Holiday Countdown Store

Friday, September 30, 2011

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
Mini Muffins from

1 large egg
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 can of pumpkin puree
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat egg with brown sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin and milk, and mix. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to wet ingredients. Mix well. Slowly add in whole wheat flour, mix until well combined. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Spray a nonstick mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Fill muffin tins 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 10-15 minutes until a toothpick poked into the muffin center comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tins for 5-10 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and completely cool.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Successful Weekend in some Ways

And in some ways - not. I gave up my WW meeting to take Adam to Lowes to build a fire truck. I had promised him, and my kids know I always try very hard to keep my promises - so I had to go. DH did say he would, but after some sighs and ummmmms, I decided he probably really didn't want to - so I did. Not a great start - I've been a WW member now for 2 weeks, only made it through the initial meeting, went back the second week, got weighed in, but was called to duty immediately thereafter and didn't get to stay for the meeting, and then this week - nothing. Right back on track though!

I did find time to sew this weekend - made a pretty neat table runner entirely out of scraps - just need to make a binding and get it put on the table !

Monday, September 5, 2011

Farewell Summer 2011 - thanks for the memories


- we had a blast this last weekend of summer - we spent a day with the Jessie O crew and did a little deep water fishing. The water was rough, but all the kids handled it well - good to know. We went bowling - and both Adam and Nadia did surprisingly good. Of course, they had gutter guards in and used them creatively - but their scores were impressive. Then our last trip of summer - Six Flags Great Adventure. WE usually try and go one last time during the Muslim Days which mark the end of Ramadan, but because Ramadan is now in the summer - they cannot hold Eid at the park since it's open for it's regular season. Muslim Days this year falls on a school day - and since it's not "really" the religious holiday (that was this past week) - I won't let the kids miss school to go (mean mom that I am). So, I took them yesterday. They had a blast. I even rode the Congo River Rapids with them twice (I had brought a zip lock baggie for my phone) Adam was a little sad that he didn't get soaked, but he quickly got over it .... because this is the first year he was TALL ENOUGH to ride EVERY SINGLE RIDE ! Yep, he hit that all important 54" mark. Where does time go ? Anyway - 6 Flags now sells USB drives - for $25 you buy the drive, and then can add pics on it for $6 each - sounds expensive - but not when you consider how much they want for one sheet of prints ($13!) Plus, you can use your USB drive again all year. Next year I may invest in a season pass - the kids had that much fun ...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another School Year

Wow - this year it'll just be Leenah and I at home, as Nadia has also decided to try her hand (and head) at public school. Knowing Nadia, I know she'll do great. Adam will be entering 3rd grade (YIKES - how did that happen) and Mona will be a Sophomore in High School. I don't know how my kids are getting older (and I'm staying the same)

While it'll be quiet around home with only the 2 of us here - I'm pretty sure we'll be getting lots more done, as well as having lots of free time to hit the beach (and swim practices) Speaking of swim practice - we've been off 2 weeks already, and she's more than raring to go. Luckily the coach just posted her new schedule, and with some days having a 3 hour practice, I'm sure she'll be right back in shape pretty quickly !

Mona's got her second scrimmage game tomorrow - and it's Eid - the end of Ramadan. I think I may skip all the celebrations for the day and go watch her play.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Oh, I love when the postman comes and leaves an envelope with Ebates as the sender. I know my BIG FAT CHECK is inside. When I first started online shopping, my BFC's were less than $20 each - nice, but nothing noteworthy. Today's BFC - $99.72. Now I can do a bit of shopping with that one. Added to the $18.47 I got back from Ace Hardware last week, and I can take the kids out fishing again - for free. Very nice.

Sign up through my link, and I get $5 for each of you. Then you can add a link on your own blog, and you'll get $5 for each of your friends that signs up. Refer 3 friends and get a $30 bonus. Refer 10 friends, and get a $100 bonus. If you have lots of friends, you can get an iPad2 for 50 new friends that become Ebates members. It's free, you get money back for the shopping that you'd do online anyway, and you can still use coupon codes and promo's as well. Nothing to lose !

My Link (and when I use my $5 bonus to get a cappuccino - I'll thank ya !)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ramadan Mubarak

First week of Ramadan has already passed us by - time goes very quickly.  I've had people here in the States wonder where I get clothing for the girls and me.  Yes, sometimes we do bring outfits back from Egypt, but most everything we have in Middle Eastern fashion was purchased here in the States.  One of the best places online is East Essence - there is always a link on the right of my blog, as well as a link here that will take you directly to the Abayas and Jilbabs - starting well below $20 each.

Abaya & Jilbab

Sunday, July 17, 2011

So Proud -

Now that Sham is due back from Egypt - I'll have time to keep the blog updated.  We did lots the 2 months that he was gone.  The first thing that we'll share with him is that Adam came in FIRST PLACE for the Grandparents Day contest held in our county.  There were over 1200 entries - and he received first place for his 2nd grade entry.  Along with the award, he also got a $25 gift certificate - that he can use anywhere in the mall !  He wanted to wait and go shopping with daddy - I wonder what they'll bring home !  Great Job Adam

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer is 1/2 over already

Wow, time does fly.  It's been a hard summer so far - dh left at the end of May for what was supposed to be one month overseas.  If he does come home next week - it'll have been 2 months !  That's 2 months of having 4 kids involved in 2 sports, and umpteen tenants.  I handled a couple of evictions, and inspection, purchased one new property, and made a few repairs here and there.  I learned how to take out windows and reinstall them, as well as keeping our own grass cut, and having a wonderful veggie garden this year.  We spent the 4th of July out on a boat - watching the fireworks in Atlantic City - that was awesome and certainly memorable.  We're planning on taking the same boat fishing this Friday - hoping we can stock the freezer with fresh fish before hubby gets home !
Also had a great time last weekend at Princeton University.  Leenah swam some awesome times, and I'm beginning to see the wonderful young lady she is going to become.  So talented, and such a hard worker, very proud of her !

Friday, May 20, 2011

Adam's Birthday Cake -

I have to give it to the lady at Shoprite  - she did an awesome job with Adam's birthday cake.  They didn't have any pirate cakes that really struck me as something I'd want - so she said she could make one up - from leftover Halloween stuff.  I think she did an amazing job ... I need to drop by one day and leave her a tip!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Adam -

Can't believe my littlest has turned 8 ... pretty soon everyone will be in double digits .... I think I'll have a break down then. 

We had a wonderful birthday at Hershey Park.  The rain held off long enough that everyone got to ride every ride they wanted to - we saved the water rides until the end - knowing we would get soaked, get cold, and want to go home (and that exactly what happened !) 

Of course, we also had to have birthday cake when we got home (even though he had birthday cake and singing for breakfast on the way to Hershey, as well as birthday cake and singing for dinner on the way home from Hershey)  He hasn't gotten a gift yet - probably this weekend ... oh, to be young again !

Healthy Turkey Spiral Skillet

This makes about 8 servings - 3 out of 4 kids loved it.  The other one helped make it - so knew about the veggies ... had she not seen the veggies, she probably would have loved it too !

1 box spiral pasta (healthier if you use whole wheat)
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms sliced
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
14 1/2 ounce can of Italian stewed tomatoes (do not drain)
14 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
dash of pepper
2 1/4 can of sliced olives (these you do drain)
fresh grated Parm cheese

Pretty simple really - cook the pasta, in another pot cook the turkey, orange pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic all together until the turkey is done (no more pink).  Drain.  Add the tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and pepper and bring to a boil.  Simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes, then add the drained pasta into the same pot along with the olives.  Once it's heated through, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

1 1/2 cups is a serving - about 350 calories, 5 gm fat (only 1 gm. sat fat) 25 mg cholesterol, 542 mg sodium, 53 g carbs, 9 g fiber (if you use whole wheat pasta) and 26 g protein.

This recipe was adopted from one found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spiced Zucchini Bread

Really not sure what magazine this came from - I tore out the page and have made it so many times, it's getting harder to read.  This recipe makes 2 loaves, but I usually always double it.

3 large eggs
1 large zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup oil (I use canola)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Beat eggs until foamy, add sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla.  Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.  Mix on low until just blended.  Add in walnuts by hand.  Pour into greased loaf pans and bake for about an hour at 325*.

If you make each loaf into 16 servings (yeah, right) each slice will have about 145 calories, 2 g protein, 18 g carbs, 8 g total fat (only 1 sat fat) 1 g fiber, 20 mg cholesterol, and 95 mg sodium

This really is good enough for a desert !

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sahara Sam's in NJ

Our second trip during Spring Break 2011 included a trip to Sahara Sam's - an indoor water park in West Berlin, NJ.  Everyone had a blast.   I had tickets leftover from December of 2009 - so the trip was free (I like free).  I had to sign waivers so the kids could ride the "flow rider" - sorta like an indoor way to surf.  Of course, since we're just at the beginning of the long course swim season, I reasoned with them that they could learn to boogie board on the flow rider, but no standing - there is no real need for broken  bones this season, right? 

They took quite a few spills before they figured out what they were doing.  There were a couple of older dudes there that obviously spent way too much time at the water park - they were able to do all types of tricks, but each session always ended with them wiping out (the wipe outs amused me for most of the afternoon - people would get thrown up the wall of water, and stand up trying to pull their swim suits up at the same time.  I saw one bloody nose, but that seemed to be the extent of injuries the entire afternoon.  I'm happy to say that except for a bump on the head that my oldest received - on a tube ride, not the flow rider - everyone remained injury free!)

Adam goes first - of course
Wayyy to easy mom!
He wipes out about 2 seconds after this picture was taken

Nadia goes next

Trip to the Zoo

Spring Break used to mean nothing to us home schoolers.  If we wanted to take a day off to visit the zoo, we could.  Now with 2 of my 4 in public school - Spring Break took on a whole new meaning.  We crammed lots in during this week, including lots of tennis practices and swim practices.  We also took 2 road trips - one to the local zoo in Cape May County, NJ.  Love the zoo !
Wonderful weather for a trip to the zoo !
Best of Friends
These goats had the prettiest eyes.
Wonderful opportunity for them to see a real bald eagle.
We've discussed getting grandma a monkey as a companion - this would work!
This bear was swimming laps - the girls' coaches would be proud !

New Life -

I've had this plant since we moved into our house 5+ years ago.  It was a bit more than I usually pay for a hanging plant  - but it was an unusual color, and it flowered.  It has survived winters in my laundry room, where I was lucky to water it once or twice during the entire season.  Every spring it would come back as full as when I got it.  This year I put it outside, watered it, and watched it come back to life .... but then ....  a friendly bird decided that our front porch was just the spot for her nest.  Being the home school mom that I am, I figured it'd be a great opportunity for the kids to watch how a bird intricately weaves a nest.  Of course, we helped out by putting out hair from our brushes for the nest, and bird seed to give her strength.  She worked hard on that nest, and then - she sat in the nest.  She flies away when we open our front door - but comes right back as soon as we leave the porch area.  So I held my camera up high to see what was going on in the nest ...

Looks like we'll be adding 3 new birds to our backyard collection !

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2010-2011 Winter Swim Banquet

What a Beautiful Family

DD #1 and her best friend

DD #3 and my sister

Adam is very proud of his award

Not just a trophy, but also best attendance !

DD #2 with her coach, his son, and her sister
 Kids had a wonderful time at the swim banquet this weekend.  My sister Gige from Phila. drove straight down after a long day in the O.R along with her friend Peggy (another favorite Aunt of the girls') just to see the girls and Adam get their trophies.  Since this was Adam's first full year, and his first big banquet - it was extra special. 
How blessed am I ?

Design Wall Monday

Actually found time to sew again this weekend, and made my decision - I'm going to put 2 borders around the outside of the stars, and then add the garden maze blocks.   I don't think it's going to end up as large as I wanted, but I don't know about adding more borders .... waiting now for more of the 1895 Hoffman black that I ordered from ebay ...  then I can start on the borders.

I do like how it looks without borders around the stars, so glad there were so many that suggested that last week!  To see what others are working on, check out Patchwork Times !

Monday, April 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I am so happy to have something to share this week.  About a month ago, I received some inspiration from another blogger on Design Wall Monday - hosted by Judy at Patchwork Times.  I immediately fell in love with the star quilt that Kate from Life in Pieces  had put together using the pattern from Country Junktion.  I knew immediately that I could use it as the center of a quilt, and finally use those garden maze blocks that were sitting in my UFO pile.  What do you think ?
This is the quilt made from the BOM pattern alone

This is that same quilt surrounded by my garden maze blocks

I started sewing the garden maze blocks together to see how big of a border I will be needing around the star blocks.  Now to figure out if I should border around each block, or just around the outside of the stars - what do you think?

Art Show

I've attended a couple of Adam's art shows now. Last year he did an amazing drawing of a teapot - I had it matted and framed and it is the only thing gracing the dining room walls.

This year I'm not sure what artist they were imitating, but he drew himself, cut it apart, and pasted it back together every which way. I can see him in the picture, but I sure would have loved to see it before he cut it apart. He's proud of it, so I am too !

He also participated in a class project - this was done with bingo dabbers !

Friday, April 8, 2011

Exciting News

Some excitement going on here in Jerzyland - there is a chance that MIL may come for a visit, and if I have my way, she'll stay. 

I know, some of you may thing "oh, I would die if my MIL came to live with me" - but my MIL is an awesome woman.  One - even though we don't speak the same language, we have always managed to get along.  Two - even though we don't speak the same language, she always manages to side with me when dh and I disagree, which is amazing, because she has no idea of what I'm saying, so she has no idea if I'm right or not (of course, I'm always right.... she's super intelligent and just knows that LOL)  Three - when dh and I do argue, she'll take herself somewhere else, she has never, ever gotten in-between us, she really does mind her own business, and FOUR - most important - she loves to cook, and is pretty good at it.  Here's my favorite story -  about the first trip to Egypt, when we took some legs of lamb and a huge turkey with us.  After a 12 hour flight, and a 4 hour car trip, everything was still frozen solid.  A few hours later I knew I smelled the turkey cooking.  Wondering how she managed to do that .... I asked dh.  She's making it into soup !  Great !  I love turkey soup ... but how did she managed to get the bag of insides and the plastic stuff that holds the legs together out of the inside of the bird?  Hmmmm .... she didn't know about those things.  Me to dh "I'm wondering if the plastic will melt.  Perhaps we better show her?"  dh to me "I'm too tired to walk downstairs, you go tell her"  Me to dh "She doesn't speak English"  dh to me "figure it out"  OK - so I go downstairs where this wonderful woman is preparing an entire meal for 20 over a propane flame.  So I grab to huge wooden spoons, and proceed to take the turkey out of the boiling broth.  She looks at me (having just met me for the first time a couple hours previously) but doesn't say anything, just jumps in to help me take the turkey out and put it in a nearby pan.  I reach inside the bird - which is still cold inside, but not frozen, and pull out the neck, as well as the bag of insides.  I have never seen someone truely laugh at themselves as she laughed at herself that night.  Each year when we go back, I take a turkey.  Each year as soon as she unwraps that turkey we laugh and laugh.  Then she'll cook it halfway, then take out the bag of stuff, then finish cooking it.  It has never dawned on her to let it sit a couple days to thaw ... probably because it's too big for her fridge.  Doesn't matter - she's about the greatest MIL a girl could have asked for - and I'm excited she's coming !

MIL with 2 nieces washing potatoes

MIL with Adam - learning how to paint

MIL with Mona - reading  
MIL with his "eeeia"

Mama Fawkia and her special fly

Moma eeia and Adam, sorting rice or beans

This summer we may also have dh's brother, his wife, and their 3 kids as well - so we'll have a houseful - but it'll be full of laughter.  I miss having my own family around like that, but we've never been close.  I'm hoping that surrounding my own children with family and friendships, that they'll learn why it's so important to always stay close to your own kin. 

So that's the news from the Jerzy shore.  We've already figured out sleeping arrangements, 3 of mine will share one room, the oldest will get to keep her own room, one bedroom will go for 2 of BIL's kids, the 2nd master bedroom will go for BIL, wife and remaining child, and we'll screen off 1/2 of the dining room downstairs for MIL - and if she decides she'll stay, we'll put in a more permanent wall.  I've already run cable so she can have her own TV, so it'll all work out well. 

Oh, and one more great thing - with someone else cooking ... I'll be free to sew !