Saturday, September 29, 2012

MCO's Spooktacular Contest

Halloween is one of MCO’s favorite holidays (really though, I love all of the holidays, but Halloween just puts a smile on my face!) and this year, I want to celebrate MCO’s first official Halloween by holding a contest for my amazing readers.

For the month of October, MCO is inviting you to upload a picture to our Facebook page of your house all “Halloween-ed” out. I want to see how crazy you go with your Halloween decorations or how you fulfill your Halloween with simple and fun d├ęcor. No matter what you use to decorate with, MCO wants to see it!

Contest Begins: October 1st at 12:01AM PST

Contest Ends: October 30th at 11:59PM PST

The winner will be announced on October 31st- Halloween!

One photo entry per person! Winner will be chosen through careful consideration of myself and two guest judges.


Now, what will you win for all of your uploading efforts?

YOU CHOOSE between a Starbucks Card or a Amazon Gift Card!
The prize will be purchased by MCO and sent via e-mail to receive. You must have a registered Starbucks Card or Amazon Account to redeem.




Official Rules:
Any photo submitted before or after the appropriate contest times will be disqualified. One photo per person HOWEVER you may use a photo frame application (found on smartphones or Picasa) to create a multiple imaged photo. If you are the winner, you must redeem your prize no later than 48 hours after MCO has announced the winner otherwise your prize will be offered to the runner up. The prize will be purchased by Mommys Craft Obsession in the winners gift card of choice. The prize will be redeemable for the amount of $5. Facebook, Starbucks, and Amazon are in no way affiliated with this contest. Must have a valid email address to redeem prize. This contest is open to US and Canada (if applicable) residents only.


Homemade Chicken Salad

I hate hate hate hate hate tuna, so as an alternative I really enjoy my chicken salad! I would always buy the cans of chicken from Costco and make it and throw it on a sandwich for a delicious and quick meal. Trying to be more health conscious, I've always wanted to make it homemade in hopes to cut down on the sodium and additives that are most likely in that can of Kirkland chicken. So today I did exactly that. It was SO easy and it makes the perfect meal for work, for the kiddos at school, or even just on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

What You Need:

2-3 Chicken Breasts (thawed)

1 Can of Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1 Can of Water (reuse the can from the broth)

Salt, Pepper, & Garlic Powder to Taste

Mayonnaise

Mustard


What You Need To Do:

In you crock pot, combine the chicken broth, water, chicken breasts, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook on high for 4 hours.

Chicken in the Crock Pot
 
At about the 3 1/2 hour mark, test your chicken by trying to pick it up with a fork, if the chicken falls apart then it is done! Take the chicken out of the crock pot and put it into a bowl or on a plate to cool off.
 
MMMMMMMM....
 
 
Once the chicken is cool, use a fork to shred the chicken up. Add mayonnaise and mustard until you receive a creamy consistency. Add a teaspoon of water to loosen it up as your chicken may be looking a little dry. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Serve with crackers or on a sandwich.
 
 
*MCO Tip: Make a sandwich by using Wheat bread and mozzarella or cheddar cheese, broil (or use a toaster oven) until the cheese melts. Its AMAZING.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Halloween Decorations

Okay, so it's not quite October yet.. But I'm so anxious! I decorated the outside of my house today! I usually don't go to over board just because I think less is more when it comes to outdoor decorations but here's what I did do! (Minus the purple lights that are in our front window)



Do you have decorations up yet?



Gooey Pumpkin Bars

Fall is here, which means that pumpkin everything is amongst us. I personally love pumpkin so this makes me ecstatic that I can readily retrieve anything I may want in pumpkin flavor. My friend and MCO reader Rebekah sent me a pumpkin recipe for Gooey Pumpkin Bars and they are absolutely amazing. I made them last night and after my first bar I was hooked. She originally found the recipe from The Food Network  but it seems as though they have changed the name from bars to cakes. I personally like them better as bars. The consistency is that of a cheesecake and it is so delish it will make you come back to the pan for more!

What You Need:
Cake

1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix
1 Egg
8 Tablespoons of Butter (melted)

What You Need:
Filling

1 Can of Pumpkin (15OZ)
1 Package of Cream Cheese (8OZ) (Softened)
8 Tablespoons of Butter (melted)
1 Box of Powdered Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla (I eyeballed as usual)]
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon (I eyeballed again)
1 Teaspoon of Nutmeg (I ignored that part)

What You Need To Do:

Start by preheating your oven to 350*. Next, I sprayed a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Although the original recipe did not call for it, I hate when things stick.

In your KitchenAid or by using an electric mixer, combine the cake mix, melted butter, and egg and combine until smooth. Pat the cake mix into the bottom of the pan until it covers the whole thing and is flat.

Cake Mix Patted into Pan

Once the mix is in the bottom of your pan, combine the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Next add in the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon and mix until that creates a smooth consistency. Finally add your powdered sugar and mix until you no longer see sugar clumps. I left my mixer on high for about five minutes. Once everything is mixed together, pour over the cake mix!

Yum Right?
Bake on 350* for 40-50 minutes or until the top doesn't slosh around. For me I had to cook it for about 55 minutes so judge off of your oven. Once it is done, let it cool on your counter top until you feel as though it isn't to hot to stick in the fridge. Put your Gooey Pumpkin Bars into the fridge until it is cool. This will allow your amazingness to settle into a pie like consistency. Once it is cool, cut into bars and serve with whipped cream!!
Fresh Out of the Oven

Only After I Ate a Few Bits Did it Occur To Me To Take  A Pic!


MCO wants you to go make this immediately! It is absolutely amazing. Thanks again to Rebekah C for sharing this recipe with me!




Friday, September 28, 2012

Baby Beanzy GIVEAWAY!!!

Did you love love love love love the baby blanket from Baby Beanzy's product review on Monday? Oh, you don't recall the absolutely gorgeous satin, minky, and fleece blanket that Baby A was lucky to recieve? Let me refresh your memory!


Yep, that's it! Gorgeous right? Cozy.......soft......what could be better! Am I tempting you yet?
How About You Win One?
Baby Beanzy wants to give one lucky MCO reader a baby blanket of their choice! Yep, that's right, whatever blanket you want from the shop! Enter below to win!


The Giveaway will close late on the evening of Friday October 5th and the winner will be announced no later than the morning of Saturday October 6th. The winner will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter which uses Random.org. The winner will be announced both on the Rafflecopter and MCO's Facebook page and the winner will be emailed by Baby Beanzy  to redeem your prize!
Have Fun & Good Luck!

DIY Mickey Mouse Decorations

Hey there Folks! Mickey Mouse here! Okay, not really, but it is MCO! Earlier today I gave you a preview of everything that I did for Baby A's Mickey Mouse Birthday and as admired earlier, it was a ton of work. But it was also a lot of fun and I would recommend making your decorations over buying. It may be more time consuming but it is such a great feeling to know that you worked our butt off for your baby!

The Basics:

1. Purchase card stock in red, black, and yellow. You will be using a LOT of card stock for these projects.

2. Download a Disney font onto your computer. I used Waltograph from Dafont, but be careful because a lot of the font websites carry viruses. I have used Dafont before and I know people that use it frequently and so far no problems. However, use at our own risk.

3. Use your word processor and type up whatever Mickey catch phrases you would like to see around your home. I used "Meeska, Mouska, Mickey Mouse", "Oh Toodles", and "We've got ears! Say Cheers!". For the banner I used "Happy Birthday Aiden" and I also made a sign for my door so I typed up "Welcome to the Party Folks" to make people feel welcome and excited to enter Baby A's Mickey Mouse party!

4. Print your phrases and set aside for later use.

The Shapes:

1. Refer to my DIY Mickey Mouse Invitations posting for instructions on how to create the Mickey shapes. Once you have your template, cut the desired amount of Mickeys out of your black Card stock.

2. Using a ruler create a triangle shape out of printer paper as a template for your banners' flags and your Mickey head backgrounds.

The Banner:

1. Count up how many letters will be on your banner and add an additional five. This will be how many flags (triangles) you will need. For example, "Happy Birthday Aiden" is 18 letters, you will want one flag for Mickey prior to the H in happy and after the Y in birthday, plus a space between Happy and Birthday. For the second banner (the name) you will want one flag for Mickey on either side of their name.

2. Alternate the cutting flags between red, black, and yellow card stock.

3. Cut out the letters for the phrase you will be using on the banner, getting as close to or cutting the letter out completely as possible.

4. Lay your flags out on the floor (I used my living room since it had the most space) alternating the colors of the flags.

5. Using a ballpoint pen, poke holes in the top corners of the flags so that you can string ribbon through them. I say use a pen rather than a hole punch because the hole is smaller and the flags won't move around.

6. Using ribbon (I used curling ribbon, you can use regular ribbon, string, or yarn) string it through the holes until all of the flags are being held together.

7. Use glue to adhere the letters and the Mickeys to the flags!

8. Hang on the wall for the party!




The Decorations:

1. Cut the phrases either as close to the word as you could like or by cutting the letters out.

2. Attach Mickey heads to triangles in colors of your choice

3. Using scotch tape, attach the phrases and the Mickey shapes to the wall in desired places.






The Door Sign:

1. Cut your door phrase into a perfect square.

2. Using a full page of card stock (in your desired color) attach the phrase onto the card stock using a glue that drys clear.

3. Attach your Mickey.

4. Hang on the door and enjoy!



I hope all of these DIY's made sense!! Feel free to ask any questions that you may have in the comments below and I will answer them as quickly as possible. Stay tuned for DIY Party Foods this weekend!






Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

Since the day that Baby A was born, I knew that I was going to throw him a fun first birthday party that I did myself. A DIY birthday party. Little did I know that it was a TON of work to DIY a birthday party! It literally took me weeks to make the decorations and hours of preparation for the food. I thought that at least the food would be a quick process since it was all finger foods but to my dismay, it still took a lot of preperation to get the party ready. So I bet you're wondering what the heck I made for the party right? The best part of DIY decorations is that you can reuse them! I'm reusing the wall decorations for the Infantino Squeeze Party & Review that I'm hosting! I love multifunctional. Everything posted will have it's own DIY post in the near future.


I started with making the wall decor. My house is fairly bare. We rent our home and we decided not to go overboard with decorating since we are not sure what the layout of our future purchased home will be. So I took this oppertunity to make some wall cut outs for the party!

This picture has been altered by Instagram.
Follow Mommyscraftobsession to see more photos.



 


The food is what took the most work but it was also a lot of fun! I made Mickey Oreo Pops, Mickey Oreo cookies, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with an Oreo buttercream frosting and Mickey ears, funfetti cake batter dip with pretzels and vanilla wafers, fruit salad, chips and french onion dip, cheese, salami, and crackers, and I purchased a veggie tray. We had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse plates and napkins, along with Mickey Ears for all of the parents and kiddos to wear while they were at the party! Baby A dressed in his Mickey Mouse onesie and had his ears on as well!






As I said above I plan on posting DIY posts throughout the weekend on everything that I made so please stay tuned for that!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dapple Surface & Toy Cleaner Review & Giveaway

What two words go together better than mess and baby? The words mess and baby friendly surface cleaner! When you're at the supermarket, what household cleaner do you typically reach for? Did you know that most cleaners aren't baby friendly? Seems like a no brainer right? Well, what if you're actually wiping down your babies toys, high chairs, and other things they constantly touch with a product that may not be good for your child? Before I discovered Dapple, I was cleaning everything with Clorex wipes and Windex Multi Surface. Dapple has changed the way I clean Baby A's belongings, so let me tell you all about it so you can change the way you clean your little ones things too.

Dapple is a company that focuses on baby safe cleaning products so that moms like you and I can feel better about what our little ones touch, use, and play with. Dapple was created by using the input of Chemists who are experts in green technology and pediatricians with our little ones best interest at heart. Dapple supplies us with baby safe surface cleaners, dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, pacifier wipes, and other things that make our life a little bit simpler! Dapple is USA made and does not test their products on animals!

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to test out Dapple's Surface Cleaner for Highchairs, Toys & More. Esthetically, Dapple is adorable, if a household cleaner can be such a thing. It comes in a clear bottle with a brightly colored label that reminds me of a something that would be in the baby section. Dapple, kudos to creating such a cute cleaning product!

 Bottle of Dapple's Surface Cleaner
Brightly Colored Label- Love it!
Dapple Ingredients

Upon receiving the product to test out I will admit that I was a little nervous! I'm so set in my ways of Clorex wipes and Windex that I left it sitting on my kitchen counter for a couple of days, letting it taunt me into trying something new. Finally, I gathered my courage after a particularly sticky baby food mess compliments of Baby A and decided to dive head first. I sprayed the high chair a couple of times and wiped it clean. I was amazed at how clean the high chair was! It wasn't left sticky, there wasn't a residue, and it pretty much sparkled.

 Ew, Thanks Baby A
 Dirty High Chair but Wiped Free of Yuck
 High Chair Sprayed Clean With Dapple Surface Cleaner
Sparkling Clean High Chair After Dapple Use!

After having such a sparkly high chair, I was hooked and needed to clean more! I moved on to Baby A's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Car that he had gotten cake on at his Birthday Photo Shoot. This time, I tested the surface cleaner by spraying it on the paper towel first. I then cleaned Baby A's Mickey Car and it wiped the cake off perfectly! It didn't sparkle, but I take it it was just because of the type of plastic on the car!

Dirty Car, Please Note The Frosting in the Cracks


The Car After Being Cleaned with Dapple

Did wonders right? I have used this surface cleaner even on ordinary household things such as counter tops and door knobs and it has worked great!!
Overall: I am very pleased with the Dapple Surface Cleaner and will continue to use it on a daily basis! It cleaned to a shine and it got rid of stickiness and didn't leave a residue. I feel great about it being baby safe and I love that I don't have to worry about it being harmful if I clean Baby A's toys with it. A downfall for me (which may be an absolute plus for some people) is that the scent of this surface cleaner is lavender. I, unlike many of the worlds population, am not a fan of lavender and can only handle it in small doses. Thankfully, it in the form of a household cleaner does not bother me however I would love if Dapple would make an alternate scent!
Interested in purchasing Dapple for your cleaning needs? You can get it directly through the Dapple website or at a popular location such as Babies R Us.
OR
You can win your own Dapple product here! MCO wants to give one lucky reader Dapple Toy & Surface Wipes!






The Giveaway will close late on the evening of Sunday September 30th and the winner will be announced no later than the morning of Monday October 1st. The winner will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter which uses Random.org. The winner will be announced both on the Rafflecopter and MCO's Facebook page and the winner will be  emailed by MCO  to redeem your prize!


Click HERE to become a fan of Dapple on Facebook!


*This review is 100% original and in my own words. Everything written is from my own personal view point and opinions. All photos have been taken by me unless stated otherwise. I have been provided with product to review by Dapple however I have not been compensated monetarily for this review.






Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rockin Green Review & Giveaway!

*I received wall decor for review in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions*

After surveying a handful of moms (some family, some friends, some MCO readers) to find out what laundry detergents they used on their clothes, their children's clothes, and cloth diapers (if applicable) I found that quite a few of them use Rockin Green. I had heard of Rockin Green prior to my little survey but I had never tried it and knowing that it was popular I was instantly intrigued.

What I love most about Rockin Green is that they are eco-friendly and dye free which means they are not harmful to your clothing and don't add tons of chemicals to wash. Rockin Green has three types of "Formula's" depending on your water type. Hard Rock for hard water, Classic Rock for normal water, and Soft Rock for soft water. All of the detergents are HE Washer safe and from what I could gather are all in powder form. There are six different scents available for Rockin Green detergents including: Rage Against the Raspberry, Smashing Watermelons, Motley Clean, Earth Wind and Orchids, Lavender Mint Revival, and Bare Naked Babies (Unscented). Along with regular laundry detergents Rockin Green also provides Femme Rock which is a cloth menstrual pad detergent, Funk Rock which is an ammonia bouncer for cloth diapers or other stinky mishaps, Dog House Rock which is for pet beds and toys, and many other laundry accessories.

I was lucky enough to get three samples of Rockin Green to try out. I have pretty normal water (as far as I know) so I chose the Classic Rock and asked them to surprise me with the scents. I was sent Motley Clean, Earth Wind and Orchids, and Rage against the Raspberry. I assigned the Motley Clean to use on cloth diapers since it smelt the most mild and closest to unscented. The Rage Against the Raspberry was used on mine and Mr. Hunkys clothing and the Earth, Wind, and Orchids was used on Baby A's clothes. For the first time in my life, I was excited to do the laundry!!!





 I didn't need to do diapers just yet so I started off with a load of Baby A's cloths. I started the water, threw in the clothes and tossed the powder on top of the clothes. I loved the soft comforting scent of the Earth, Wind, and Orchids. Baby A's clothes came out of the wash feeling soft, smelling great, and looking as vibrant as ever. I was pleased that I didn't have to use a ton of detergent and the clothes came out with fewer stains and extremely clean!


For Baby A's diapers I filled prewashed them in oxygenated bleach prior to washing them with the Rockin Green. I used Motley Clean on the diapers because it had the lightest fragrance and the diapers came out smelling like fresh rather than smelling like ammonia which was a wonderful change of pace! I felt like the diapers came out much cleaner than they do when I use All Free and Clear and they even felt cleaner as well.


For the "adult clothes" I used the Rage Against the Raspberry scent because to be honest, I wanted my clothes to smell fruity! Mr. Hunky has a very physical job and his clothes get super dirty and smelly so I was nervous and skeptical that Rockin Green wouldn't be a strong enough formula to clean his clothes the way we needed. Once I opened the dryer I was pleased to see that my towels looked softer than they normally do and Mr. Hunky's white Undershirt looked brighter than it did when it went into the wash!



Overall: I would give Rockin Green a grade of an A-. I love the fact that its a powdered detergent rather than a liquid, I tend to favor powder over liquid for some unexplainable reason. I love how clean the detergent gets clothing and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it gets the stinkies out of cloth diapers. Clothing goes in dirty and genuinely comes out CLEAN. The biggest con for me is the scents. I really love the names and the scents of Rockin Green detergents however I wished they were a little stronger. There is nothing that I enjoy more than taking hot clothes out of the dryer and smelling their strong yummy fragrances. Yes, Rockin Green smells wonderful but the scents are faint and I was disappointed that our clothes didn't hold the detergents scent. Overall I absolutely loved Rockin Green detergent, it is a great detergent to use on both clothing and cloth diapers and I plan on placing an order for Classic Rock (not sure which scent yet), Funk Rock, and a pail freshener.

You can get your Rockin Green directly from Rockin Green's Website or on Cottonbabies!

OR

 You can win one right now!!!






The Giveaway will close late on the evening of Wednesday September 26st and the winner will be announced no later than the morning of Thursday September 27th. The winner will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter which uses Random.org. The winner will be announced both on the Rafflecopter and MCO's Facebook page and the winners email will be given to Rockin for them to redeem their prize!



 Click HERE to become a fan of Rockin Green on Facebook!




*This review is 100% original and in my own words. Everything written is from my own personal view point and opinions. All photos have been taken by me unless stated otherwise. I have been provided with product to review by Rockin Green however I have not been compensated monetarily for this review.