Archive for the ‘Borrowed Posts’ Category

Giggles

Friday, March 14, 2014 @ 09:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

kids-on-grass-2

Some days I get so wrapped up in life and in what’s going on in the world of kids belts, that I totally forget to sit back and enjoy life (not that I don’t enjoy kids belts). I know I’m not the only one who does that, at least, gets wrapped up in life, not the world of kids belts, that would just be weird if you were all wrapped up in kids belts, too.

Anyway, the point is I get caught up in rushing through the day to day and hurrying the kids along that I tend to forget to sit back and just watch them being kids.

Last night as was putting the kids to bed and I let them tell me jokes and stories, I tickled them and we cuddled. It was pretty great and it made me think of a poem that Jen wrote a few months ago on her blog, titled I Am Made. I hope you enoy it!

i am made for smiles
made for laughs
made for giggles
i am made for hugs
made for snuggles
made for wiggles
i am made for dirt
made for rocks
made for balls
i am made for scrapes
made for bruises
made for falls
i am made for running
made for jumping
made for biking
i am made for digging
made for building
made for hiking
i am made for soaring
made for flying
made for reaching
i am made for loving
made for caring
made for teaching
I am made for helping
made for doing
made for giving
I am made for serving
made for aiding
made for living
Now, go do something child-like with your little one. I promise you won’t regret it!
Blessings,
Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor
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Pasta-less Lasagna Recipe

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 @ 11:08 AM
posted by mrscaz

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? If that’s the case, then you should know by now that I think the world of my kids belt assistant, Jen, especially her recipes. I decided to steal borrow another one from her blog (Coffee Beans & Daydreams). You can follow her on Facebook too…

Ok, shameless plugs aside, I really want to try this recipe. It’s similar to my vegetarian lasagna, only no pasta, which seems healthier. I’m excited to try it, I already picked up all of the ingredients. However, here’s a caveat from her about this “recipe”,

Ok, I know I’m not the only one who loves Italian food but doesn’t want the carbs from pasta. Soooo, I threw together a recipe using no pasta. I use the term “recipe” loosely because as anyone who knows me knows I never follow a recipe to the T and if I’m winging it, I don’t write it down. It drives my husband crazy, because we never get the exact same meal twice.

Here’s how I feel, though, food is a feeling, you just have to go with it. I find that I improvise a lot depending on 1. my mood and 2. what’s in my pantry/fridge/freezer….

And now, without further ado…

Pasta-less Lasagna

Sauce Mixture (throw it all in a skillet minus the sauce and cook until meat is cooked thoroughly, you may need to add a splash of olive oil for a little fat. Once the mixture is cooked, add the sauce and heat through.)
1/2 lb Ground Turkey
1/2 Medium Onion Chopped
4 oz (or 1/2 package) Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 Chopped Frozen Spinach (or 1 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Spinach)
1/2 Chopped Broccoli Florets
1 Jar Classico Tomato Sauce
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cheese Mixture (while the above is cooking, mix all of the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
1 Cup Low-Fat Shredded Mozzarella (set aside about a 1/4 cup or so for the top of the lasagna)
1/2 Cup Part Skim Ricotta
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/2 Tbsp Basil (I used the stuff in the squeeze tube found in the produce section)
Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Blend, Oregano, Salt & Pepper to taste

Pasta Replacement
1 Medium Eggplant Peeled and Sliced into Faux Lasagna Noodles (not too thick)

Preheat oven to 375. Take a baking dish (I used 9×9) and add a layer of the sauce mixture, then a layer of raw eggplant “noodles”, then smear a layer of the cheese mixture on top of the eggplant then another layer of sauce. Repeat until you have either filled your pan or run out of ingredients. Top with a final layer of sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is nice and brown!

Ok, here’s a secret, you don’t want the eggplant sliced to thin because they will over-cook and be to mushy, but you don’t want it sliced too thick because it won’t get done. There’s a fine line, but you do still want it to have a little bite so it mimics al dente pasta. It’s also nice because this lasagna recipe doesn’t get watery which is sometimes a problem with lasagna.

Enjoy and feel free to improvise! Live a little!!

I’ll put this to the test tonight. Jen says her 3 year old and husband LOVED it. Moose (her 3 year old) ate an adult size portion and her husband ate all of the leftovers the next day.

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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I Feel Like Such a Fool!

Thursday, September 1, 2011 @ 08:09 AM
posted by mrscaz

I should’ve moved this post over from my old blog a very long time ago, but I forgot about it until the topic came up in a mamapreneurs group I belong to. I was young in the toddler belts realm back then and didn’t know any better, but I should’ve. This was originally posted June 10, 2009.

I feel like such a fool. I am disappointed. Beyond disappointed really. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t write this post because a) I will look like a fool to everyone else, b) I should have known better. You be the judge… (all names have been omitted or changed to x’s to protect all involved…well except me that is.)

I couple months ago, I got on a website to help me get contact info for celebrities. My hope of course was to send Dapper Snappers to these people and either have my product spotted on their children or at least have something from them saying how wonderful they think my product is. I still haven’t sent any out…ugh. Anyway… I saw the Celebrity Gifting Opportunities and thought, Hey! This could work. I send them product and for a nominal fee I get the opportunity I’m hoping for…right?
I contacted the celebrity gifting company and got caught up in the excitement of gifting an Anonymous celebrity (no, they wouldn’t tell us who it was for – just adding to the suspense) who was expecting a baby boy. I did the works with customizing and quadruple checking quality of the Dapper Snappers. I sent special packaging with it and a self addressed stamped envelope with nice blank note card so they could write back those words I longed for (I just LOVE the Dapper Snappers! Thank you so much!!! etc). And I paid the not so nominal fee of $75.00 that I really couldn’t afford, but I was taking a gamble. Anyone who knows me, knows I do not gamble…ever.
The possibilities were endless. I just didn’t think about the other extreme “possibilities”. So imagine my disappointment today when I finally got my note back, and it was signed by some guy I’d never heard of. I looked him up and he’s one step above an extra. He’s not even a B-list celebrity. I feel cheated, misled, and stupid.
What was I thinking? I won’t put a quarter in a slot machine, but I give this company $75?
I decided to write an email. I haven’t sent this email yet and am not sure it would even do any good. When I started the email, I was very angry. I rewrote it until I came across as more sensible and understandably upset. Hubby said it sounds like I’m acting as an upset mom and not a business. I’m not sure it matters. They didn’t make any promises other than I was guaranteed a response. I have no legal recourse. All I can do is be angry.
Here’s the email. Again, name’s protected, etc.
————————
Mxxxxxx,
I received the reply today. Who is Sxxxx Txxx? I thought all the secrecy was because it was an A list celebrity. I can’t use his autograph for anything. I basically wasted $75 and product for this note back to me:
Toddler Tech,
Thank you for your lovely gift.
All the best.
Cheers.
Scribbled autograph
That is unacceptable. I, like other product-based businesses that gift celebrities, had hopes that Dapper Snappers would be given to someone well-known, and that maybe someday their child would be spotted wearing a Dapper Snapper, thus promoting my brand, and of course all the wonderful success that follows a product spotting. I also had hoped for a better response (something I could use immediately on my press page) than “Thank you for your lovely gift.” It doesn’t even mention what I gave him. I am so disappointed.
No one knows who he is. I can’t even find any information about his family, or any new baby boy. Your service has done nothing for me but waste my money. I feel like such a fool.
Needless to say, I won’t be doing business with your company again.
Sincerely,
Michelle
————————
So I am a fool. It was a dumb thing to do. I am going to go kick myself for a while. And maybe pout a bit. Yeah…pouting sounds good. Sigh…
toddler belts gift
Update: Just so you know, the company that scammed me was…
I did write them and they never replied to me. They ignored every attempt to contact them. They’ve got their money, why would they want to give it back? Whatever…
The celebrity I had gifted has since become a B+ish celeb, but he never takes his son out in public. I’m not even sure he has a son. I can’t even find any evidence that he and his wife have had any children. So what was that gifting worth to me? Absolutely nothing!
But since then, I have used another company; KT Giftings. While I still got a generic note back (from Alyssa Milano), I knew who I was gifting and the price was very reasonable. I’m not sure she’ll ever use the Dapper Snappers Moms belts or the Dapper Snappers Toddler Belts I sent, but she did get them.  And I’m pretty sure she’ll be out and about with her little boy a lot. I will gift through them again. If you want to get in on the action, check out the KT Giftings Facebook page. I’m hoping to gift more celebs that take their kids out a lot. Maybe eventually, someone will notice a Dapper Snapper on a mini-celeb and a photographer will get a snapshot to put on the front of People Magazine so I can put a little blurb on my Press Page for “As Seen On” blah, blah, blah. Maybe it’s all just for bragging rights.
What do you think?
Blessings,
Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

Playing “Telephone” with Google

Saturday, August 20, 2011 @ 11:08 AM
posted by mrscaz

Telephone game

Remember way back when, in grade school (elementary, primary, what-have-you), playing “Telephone”? It’s amazing how saying something like “Did you have all your meals?” can turn into “Do you wanna hear me moo?” (Huh Honey?! LOL)

Some time ago, I wrote copy for Dapper Snappers toddler belts to better  explain how these kids belts work. It’s amazing to see the translations that copy is in now (Spanish, French, Korean, etc). What’s even more amazing? When someone uses Google Translate to translate that same copy back to English. You would think someone would have proofed this:

Special Price Dapper Snapper Baby & Toddler Adjustable Belt (Hot Pink)

Dapper Snapper Baby & Toddler Adjustable Belt (Hot Pink)

Price: $11.95

Fix Droopy Drawers in an instant! It’s not often you find the slim pants that fits your child’s life. Each often, the length of the pants is perfect and life is too great, causing Droopy Drawers. Until recently, options were limited to a belt that bulky diaper changes and potty training almost impossible adjustable belt or pants that cost twice as much as normal trousers. With fast as children grow, they could afford it? Now, with Dapper Snappers, while those falling drawer is a breeze! Dapper Snapper is composed of a short piece of flexible hinge with snaps that fit into the back loop 3 pants and grabs the child out 2 loops to cinch the pants and prevent them from falling. In a sense, Dapper Snappers are some belt child. If you are looking for a child seat belts, belts for children, boys belts, belt or a child, we are sure to find Dapper Snappers are the best choice!

Thanks to Google Alerts, I had this little gem delivered to my inbox. I needed a good laugh! Hope you had one too!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor



PS. Check the star rating! AWESOME!!!

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New Year, New Rules 1: The Fellowship of the Tweet

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 @ 11:01 PM
posted by mrscaz

You know you want to Follow me!

I’ve been trying for a while to put into words my Twitter philosophy. It’s hard to explain when, where, why, or how I decided to follow someone. But I came across this article by Mitch Joel of Twist Image which lists most of the reasons I wouldn’t follow someone. Here’s a part of the story as quoted from Mitch’s article:

The type of people I will never follow on Twitter…

  • No bio. If you can’t even bother to write 140 characters about who you are and why anyone should connect with you, then ask yourself, “why would anyone follow me?”
  • No picture. This is baseline stuff. It’s an online social network. I’d like to know that I’m connecting to a fellow human being and I’d like to know what you look like.
  • Not in the same language(s) I speak. While I can appreciate that you are competent in English and interested in following me, I simply don’t have the skills to follow someone who tweets in a language I don’t speak.
  • Playahz. Anyone who changes their “s” to a “z” doesn’t get followed. I’ve seen bios like: “followz me for the goodz.” And all I can think is, “ummm… no.” I get that it’s friendly and fun… it’s just not my style.
  • MLM. I’m sure there are many happy Multi-Level Marketers who see the Internet and Twitter as an amazing business opportunity. More power to you, but it’s simply not an area of interest to me and the majority of tweets are self-serving.
  • Get rich quick. From helping someone get more followers to making millions online, I’m simply not interested in these types of tweets.
  • Life coach. Tweets filled with inspirational quotes and peppered with “buy my system” messages are real turn-offs. While I value those who work in professional development, the majority of life coaches I come across on Twitter are pretty snake-oil salespeople-like.
  • Motivating women to be their best. I’m all about equality. Period. From race and gender to sexual preference, but I’m not interested in tweets to empower women… though I am sure that there are many women who will be. I just don’t happen to be one of them.
  • I’m a nice person. If you have to say – right off the bat – in your bio that you’re a nice person, that’s a personal red flag. I’m sure you are very nice, but use the limited space to tell me what you’re about and what you’re up to. It’s like a business saying they have “integrity.” If you have to say it, you usually don’t have it.
  • If you follow me, I will follow you back. I see this more and more in bios on Twitter. That’s a turn-off. I want to follow people of quality not quantity. I’m not looking for more followers or to follow more people. I’m looking for quality people to connect to. Not number jumpers.
  • Social Media Guru. So much has been written about the “Social Media Guru.” I’m fine following people who have self-anointed themselves like this. That being said, I won’t follow any guru, expert or specialist who only has 40 followers. If you’re an expert (in whatever industry you serve), you should have more people interested in what you have to say… especially if what you have to say is about how to engage people using Social Media.
  • Realtors. No offense to the realtors of this world, but the majority of them are just leveraging Twitter to post their listings or scour for more opportunities. If that’s working for you, then great. I’m not looking to buy a home or a commercial property. There are also a slew of realtors who are interesting and use Twitter to connect in a more human way to the mass populous (those folks are great and should be followed!).
  • If you don’t follow anyone back. If you don’t follow anyone back (we see this with a lot of celebrities and television personalities), it’s hard for me to be interested in following you. The message I’m hearing is, “this is a one-way broadcast” and I’m not interested in any interaction. As with everything, there are exceptions to this, but if you’re on Twitter, it would be wise to look at it as something more than another blow horn.

While this explains how I feel for the most part, there’s more to it for me. I’m a consummate researcher. I want to know if the person whom I’m following is going to tweet junk all day and clog my Twitter stream or if it’s someone worth connecting with. I, like many of you, want to make new friends and share the trials of parenthood or entrepreneurialship or driving behind the really slow person. So I’m adding to the rules!

I will not follow you if:

  • You only tweet links of stories. Whether you’ve written or read them, I am not going to follow someone who won’t be bothered to interact with me. Which brings me to the next rule:
  • You don’t interact with anyone else. As I said, I like to do my research. Twitter has a great feature where if you are looking at your followers and you click on a name, it will show the last 3 tweets for that person. If you haven’t interacted with anyone (replied to a tweet or retweeted) in the last 3 tweets, I probably won’t follow you. But I like to research, so I most likely will click on the “more tweets from” link to make sure I’m not missing anything. I want to give you a chance.
  • You have a low follower to following ratio. If you are following the maximum 2,001 tweople and you have 36 followers, it ain’t happnin!
  • You are following and being followed by an insane amount of people. Obviously, if you are following 20k+ tweople and are being followed back by just as many, you won’t be interested in anything I have to say and vice versa. You can’t have any meaningful conversation like that.
  • You retweet horrible things. I don’t watch the news for a reason. I am not interested in hearing about horrific things that should have never happened but they are only talking about to get viewers. That means if you tweet a lot of that crap, I’m not following.
  • You unfollowed me. I mean…c’mon! If you follow me and then unfollow me the second I follow you back, I will know. I’ve got resources. I get alerted when these things happen. Plus, every once in a while I do a good Twitter housecleaning.
  • You never tweet. That’s just…well…dumb.

Well, that’s my take on it. Follow or don’t. :)

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama signature


PS. I follow Ellen and she follows me back!!! HA!!!

PS.PS. I forgot to mention Kids Belts!

Borrowed Post: A Charming Thanksgiving Tale

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 @ 10:12 AM
posted by mrscaz

This post, while not about Kids Belts (oh c’mon, you know I had to), is hysterically funny. It also happens to be written by my favoritest blogger in all of the world whom I love and have a blog crush on, San Diego Momma. She is a fantastic writer, and I would swear that I = her + meds – writing talent (the math looks more difficult that it is. Go ahead. I’ll wait). Oh, and we look nothing alike. But we share A LOT in common, more than she knows.

Anyway, back to the post. I found this so funny that I had to post it here. Of course I have her permission silly!

A Charming Thanksgiving Tale by San Diego Momma

64_1

I walked into Jimbo’s, armed to the gills with my new turkey knowledge, ready and confident to order a bird that would adequately feed 12 adults, four kids.

“One pound of turkey per adult, one-half pound per child,” I repeated over and over like a neophyte’s mantra. “I can do this, I can do this….”

I held my head high as I sauntered to the refrigerated meat section. I would pretend that I knew what I was doing, and people would believe me.

But as I eyed the vast mountain of turkeys, trussed and wrapped, I began to lose my nerve.

The magazine said to buy fresh, right? I asked myself. And organic? Nothing like an organic turkey, that’s what the article said, didn’t it?

Mom?” My six-year-old goth daughter interrupted my reverie. “Are those frozen headless babies?”

No of course not!” I quickly answered. “What would make you think such a thing?”

I took stock of the fat turkeys with their bulging tummies . Well now that you mention it…

Can I help you?” The butcher made his way around the counter. “Any questions?”

I had this, I could do it. I didn’t need help. I’d read my Cooks Illustrated all night.

So…it’s one pound of turkey per adult and one-half pound per child, right?” I repeated just to be sure.

How many you feeding?”

I told him.

You’ll need at least a 20-pound turkey.” He patted his portly stomach.

What? According to my calculations…” Boy, did I sound lame. Even to myself. “I need a 14-pound turkey.”

You got some big eaters in that family? Because 14 pounds isn’t going to do it.”

I mentally scanned the guest list. I guess maybe there were some big appetites in the bunch. But wasn’t Joe on a diet? And Susie never eats more than a bite of anything. But then again, I’ve seen Bob take two plates or more

Miss?” The butcher asked, waving his hand in front of my eyes.

Right. Well…I suppose we have a couple of big eaters…”

Twenty pounds.”

Twenty pounds?” I repeated.

At least.” He pointed to the meat case. “I don’t think we have a 20-pounder in there. Let me go in the back.”

I waited. Twenty pounds? Is he sure? I know he’s the meat guy, but 20 pounds sounds like an awful lot. He does do this for a living though, he would know. But what about what the magazines said? I’m just going to tell him I’m going with the 14.

But it was too late. He came out with a box, wrapped and ready to go. “Nineteen-point-three-six,” he told me. “Best I could do.”

I nodded. “Is it fresh? Organic?” I tried desperately to sound like I knew what I was doing.

Yep.” He put the thing in my cart. A humongous Artic baby.

Next thing I know I’m at the cash register. “That’ll be fifty-five dollars.”

Are you freaking kidding me? Weren’t these things just on sale at Vons for seven bucks?

I handed over my debit card. It sucks to not know how to buy, prepare, and cook poultry.

**********************************

I took the thing home and stuck it in the garage fridge. I didn’t want to see its massive girth for awhile.

Now what? I asked myself as I once again scanned 25 recipes in quick succession. Brine? Marinate? Grill? Roast? Bake?

My cell phone rang. “Nan and Mo said they’d deep fry your turkey if you want,” It was my friend Gloria.

Really?” I couldn’t believe my luck.

Yeah, they’ve offered to deep fry people’s turkeys since they have all the stuff and the fryer will be set up.”

Does this mean I don’t have to do a thing with the turkey?” My heart began to swell with relief.

Other than inject it with marinade, nope.”

Do what?”

She told me what I had to do and next thing I know, I’m at the grocery store buying a giant syringe for my giant baby turkey.

Don’t forget to take the giblets and turkey neck out,” she told me later. “The turkey usually has bags of innards stuffed in both its ends, so take those out.”

BAGS OF INNARDS? BOTH ENDS?” What is with these turkeys?

OK,” I mumble. “I won’t forget.”

So the night before Thanksgiving, my husband and I wrestle the turkey to the kitchen counter and prepare to shoot it up with some lemon-garlic mixture. “Hold it still!” He demands, trying to slip the plastic needle into the turkey’s thigh. Marinade spurts everywhere.

Don’t forget the breast!” I remind him. “That’s the most important part.”

He shoot-spurts some marinade into the general breast area. I look closer. “I don’t think that’s the breast.”

“I know breasts!” He chastises me.

No honey, look. I think that’s the turkey’s back.”

It’s the breast! Look at the divet! Those are two breasts!”

Those are vertebrae!”

Breasts!”

Vertebrae!”

Breasts!”

Innards!”

What?” Our conversation lost its sexy momentum.

I forgot to take the innard sacks out!”

Oh for God’s sake.” We both dug into the turkey’s head hole and pulled the neck out, along with a slippery bag of organs.

Gross.” I say. “And we’re supposed to eat this thing?”

We ready now?” My husband sighed. He doesn’t know how to prepare or cook poultry either.

There’s supposed to be one more bag we pull out of the uh...” I poke the turkey’s butt, but it appears to be stitched up tight.

There’s nothing there.” My husband began to inject more marinade into the vertebrae.

No, it’s pouchyThere’s something in there.” I continue to pat and poke. “It feels bouncy, like there’s something in it.

My husband tapped the turkey’s behind. “There’s no opening, honey. Nothing’s in there.”

By now, we were joined by our overnight house guests and soon we all crowded around the turkey’s butt, poking and prodding.

Nope, nothing there.” My husband again picks up the syringe, but I’m not convinced.

Sensing my hesitation, our guest grabs a knife and makes a butt cut. I put my fingers inside the opening and pull out another bag of turkey parts.

“See?” I say triumphantly. “It had stuff in its butt!”

Our guests slink away.

“I think you’re right,” my husband admits, turning the turkey over with Herculean effort. “That was the vertebra.”

Do you think we’re ruining this thing?” I ask. “Half the marinade is on the floor, the other half is in the turkey’s spine, and I just pulled a plastic bag out of our dinner’s ass.”

My husband would have none of it. “We’ve got 20 pounds of bird here. And by God, we’re going to eat it.”

“I’m not eating a baby for Thanksgiving!” My daughter yelled from the couch.

It’s going to be good, sweetie. And it’s not a baby.” I look at the turkey. “Right?” I whisper to my husband who was wiping marinade out of his eye.

Probably not,” he says while I survey the turkey’s split butt, its organs housed in little baggies strewn across our counter, and lemon-garlic marinade spilled on every available kitchen surface.

Baby, baby, ba—beeee!” My daughter chants in the background.

“Honey?” I ask the vertebra injector.

He looks up, weary, defeated. “Yes?”

Forget it” I didn’t have the heart to tell him he’d just injected a the roll of paper towels we had set underneath the turkey. I smiled instead. “Let’s have tacos for Christmas.”

He looked at me gratefully. “As long as whatever we eat doesn’t weigh 20 pounds and have a butt.”

“…Or is a baby,” my daughter helpfully adds.

“Deal,” I say. Because I was too tired to argue and because if I can’t even fix a turkey, there’s no way I could cook a baby.

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