Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weight Watchers Crock Pot Recipe-Lasagna

Made this the other night. It's very good and we had TONS of leftovers!

POINTS® value

Preparation Time
20 min
Cooking Time
360 min
Level of Difficulty

No need to cook the noodles first or stay home while it bakes. Just let it sit a few minutes before serving so it can firm up a bit.


* 1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)

* 1 small onion(s), chopped

* 1 medium garlic clove(s), minced

* 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes

* 15 oz canned tomato sauce

* 1 tsp table salt

* 1 tsp dried oregano

* 1/2 tsp dried basil

* 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

* 1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese

* 1 1/2 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided

* 6 item(s) dry lasagna noodles, no-cook

* 1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

* Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
* Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

* Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.
* Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.
* In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.

To boost your vegetable intake, add a can of zucchini in tomato sauce to the meat mixture. You can also add 2 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms to the beef mixture.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What to Pack for Beach Vacation?

Here's some of the things I don't want to forget to pack for our beach vacation. Do you have any other suggestions?
Things to pack:
ipod and ear phones and charger
phone charger
camera and charger (we just orderedthis one for my new "diaper bag" camera and to take on the trip so we didn't have to lug our big one to Mexico)
flip and extra batteries
dollar bills for tips
books (I ordered this one and this one) and magazines
swimsuits (I just got this top and this bottom in navy and this one in brown)
shorts and shirts
flip flops
huggies (for keeping those beers cold)

Things to do:
copies of passports
emergency authorization and insurance card to give to grandparents as well as contact numbers
call banks and let them know we'll be out of country

Just in Case:

Would love any other good travel tips you might have!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beach Book aka Pink Book Recomendations?

A and I are heading to Mexico on Saturday! Wow! Baby J and I leave on Wednesday to head to my parent's in Alabama. I will meet A in Atlanta on Saturday to fly to Mexico with him. Sweet Baby J will stay with my Mom and Dad for FIVE nights. I have only left him once for one night his entire life, so I'm a nervous wreck. I know he'll be fine with my parents and I know, even more, that my sweet husband and I need some time "off" for rest and relaxation. I have to admit 5 mornings of sleeping in are sounding pretty appealing right now.

I haven't read a book (besides ones that are child related) really since before J was born and I need some good pink books. Pink books are what my friend Sarah calls, good and easy beach reads because most of them are pink! I love it! So what are your recomendations? I can't wait to hear them.

I also mentioned in the previous post that I need some drink recomendations. Mama can't wait to celebrate on the beach! What's your favorite beach drink?

Sunshine Paperie Sippy Cup Label Giveaway Winner

Congrats to:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

26 Timestamp: 2010-04-17 23:32:36 UTC


Please email me at magnoliasmarriageandmanhattan@gmail.com and I'll get you all set up!

Thanks again to everyone that entered. If you would like to buy your own labels (or anything else) then Sunshine Paperie has very generously offered to give MMM readers a 15% off discount with the code MMM15. The discount is good for anything on their site except for Tiny prints.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Questions for you and Questions for me!

Over the past few weeks a few of you have emailed me or left me questions in the comments so I figured I would answer those here and also open the floor to any other questions you might have for me!

1) Where did you get Baby J's Easter basket?

I bought J's basket from this store: http://www.meandmommytobe.com/products/personalized-easter-baskets/.  We love the basket and got so many compliments on it.

Here's the post I did on it last year on sear: http://magnoliasmarriageandmanhattan.blogspot.com/2009/03/easter-basket-hunting-for-baby-j.html

I even have a pic of him IN it from last year! They grow up so fast. I hope they stay in business a long time so they can do my future kids baskets...in 10 years or so. =)

2) Where did you find all of your Red Wagon party decor? Especially the mini wagons? I bought the stuff from all over, but the mini wagons and a lot of the paper products came from my1stbirthday.com

Here are the mini wagons: http://www.1stbirthdayparty.com/radio-flyer-snack-dish.html

and here is kit you can buy: http://www.1stbirthdayparty.com/red-wagon-kit.html

3) Did you ever find a white sweater for Baby J?

I did! Thanks for all of your help. I bought mine from the Kangaroo Pouch in Atlanta. That is where I got J's Easter Outfit, so they sent me one too!

I also have a few questions for y'all!

1) Can anyone recommend a great pool float for 15 month old?

2)What sunscreen do you use on your little one?

3) Favorite mixed drink and favorite tropical drink? We leave for Mexico in a few days and I'm going to try them all! Ha, Ha!

4) What are you getting your Mom for mother's day?

Happy Friday!

Tivoli Couture Stroller Liners vit Totsy

I'm in the market for a stroller liner! This winter we used the bundleme in our Bugaboo to help keep Baby J warm and it was so nice to be able to just throw it in the wash and have a clean stroller again. Since introducing the snack cup and sippy cup as regular parts of our walks, my beautiful brown Bugaboo just doesn't look the same with milk stains and smashed up cheerios and goldfish. While you can take the fabric off and wash it in the washing machine, it is kind of pain to take it a part. I was excited to see that Tivoli Couture Stroller Liners were being offered today on Totsy. Now which one to choose? Do you use a stroller liner? The Today show featured fun stroller accesories today. I couldn't live without my stroller hooks and cup holder and
sippy cup holder. What's your favorite stroller accessory?

Are you a member of Totsy? If not, send me an email at magnoliasmarriageandmanhattan@gmail.com and I'll hook you up!

Don't forget to sign up for my Sunshine Paperie sippy cup label giveaway! Time is running out!


I'm deciding between this one and the one below.

I'm leaning towards this one, we have an all brown Bugaboo Cameleon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easy and Yummy Crock Pot Recipe-Cream Cheese and Black Bean Chicken

My friend Sarah sent me this crock pot recipe. It was WONDERFUL! We both made it the same night and both of our husband's went for seconds!

Cream Cheese and Black Bean Chicken

4-5 chicken breasts

2 cans of rinsed and drained black beans

4 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat)

2 cups salsa (I used spicy)

Spice Options:  taco seasoning, chili pepper, garlic powder, crushed red peppers

Throw salsa, chicken and beans into crock pot for 6-8 hours until chicken is falling apart. At the very end, add cream cheese until it melts. Stir. Serve.

We served ours plain, but you could use it as a filling in a tortilla or over rice. I counted the Weight Watchers points to be about 7 (with reduced fat cream cheese and 4 chicken breasts). GREAT MEAL!

Have you signed up for my sippy cup label giveaway? See below for details or click here to sign up!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunshine Paperie Sippy Cup Labels Giveaway

I've recently been on a search for sippy cup labels that do not fall off and rub off due to daily dish washing. Sunshine Paperie invited me to try out Cherry Hill's sippy cup labels and fellow Mamas...we have found a winner! Not only are the labels cute, they are well made and so far doing their job! You can find all of Sunshine paperie's  Cherry Hill sippy cup label options here. They also carry other sippy cup label brands including Kelly Hughs and Inch Bugs.

Here are a few of their adorable options:

Does your child have allergies? These are a wonderful idea to help give you peace of mind!

So want to win some sippy cup labels for your little one's stash of cups? Well, today is your lucky day! One lucky MMM reader will receive a set of vinyl sippy cup labels!

1) Go to Sunshine Paperie and check out the cute designs for the vinyl sippy cups
2) Pick your favorite label
3) Come back here and post your favorite and tell us who you would give it to or why you need it for your little one

For additional entries (and please remember to post each of these in a SEPARATE comment or the random number generator won't count it):
1) Become a follower of my blog or let me know you are a follower in a separate comment
2) Blog about this contest and let me know you did in a separate comment.
3) Become a fan of Sunshine Paperie on facebook. Follow this link. Let me know you became her follower in a separate comment.
4) Follow Sunshine Paperie on twitter and let me know you are her follower in a separate comment.
5) Tweet about this contest and let me know you did so in a separate comment.
6) Join Sunshine Paperie's email list.

Be sure to check out Sunshine Paperie's blog too!

That is a potential for SIX additional entries!! Good luck ladies! The random number generator will pick a winner on Saturday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Toddler Meals and Din Dins Review

For the past couple of months, we have been doing all table food for Baby J. He will be 15 months on Sunday!
He currently enjoys:

mini pancakes
mini waffles
mini bagels
cut up strawberries
cut up grapes
cut up blueberries
cut up bananas
mandarin oranges (one of his fav, I try to buy the kind where they are in water)
hummus (he liked this for 2 months and now won't touch it)
animal crackers
gerber yogurt melts
gerber puffs
earth's best puffs
graham crackers
bits of turkey, ham, cheese
bits of grilled chicken or chicken nuggets
fish sticks
cut up pbj
cut up grilled cheese
cut up quesadillas
sweet potatoes
french fries
turkey or regular hamburgers
veggie burgers
broccoli pancakes
spinach cakes
green beans
edamame (used to like these for a few months)
diluted apple juice

He does not like:

watermelon (or any other melons)
certain foods that he loved for 2 months???

Do you have any toddler friendly recipes? Any other ideas of foods I should try to give him? Veggies are SO HARD! I would love your ideas!

There is one very innovative lady, Jodi Greebel, recently started a company called Din Dins and she has some great ideas of nutritional foods that you can feed your little one. You can join them on facebook here. 

Baby J had the opportunity to test out the goods recently. Here he is enjoying a cranberry zucchini muffin and some milk. I tried the muffins and let me tell you, I feel like I should order a few in the future for me too! J loved them so much that he knew where I put them in the fridge and everytime I opened the door he went to grab for one!

Here is what came straight to our apartment:

Cute little packages that go right into your refrigerator with cooking instructions and ingredients listed on the sides.

This is the artichoke, corn and chicken quesadilla.  J LOVED these!

Another pic of the yummy muffins!

Unfortunatly, my son is not a big pasta fan. I've tried several times, but I just can't seem to get him to eat it!

He did enjoy a couple bites though.

We enjoyed trying out Din Dins. My husband works very long hours and is not often home before J goes to bed so J eats separate meals from us and I always have to figure out what I'm going to feed him. It was SO NICE to have a few days worth of healthy and yummy food in my fridge so I didn't have to worry about it. What a wonderful service! We will defintely be trying it again in the future.

For those of you that live in NYC, DinDins currently only delivers to Manhattan zip codes, but maybe they'll expand to your area soon! Ordering info can be found here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Recap

Sorry I've been away. We went to Alabama to see A's parents for Easter and then before I even finished unpacking Baby J was sick again. It seems to happen each time. He was around a lot of other kids and on a plane, so what did I expect. He's napping now, so I have about 5 minutes to give y'all a recap in pics. Please excuse the spacing and alignment, I just don't have it in me right now to make it all pretty...that's what being up all night with a screaming 14.5 month old will do! Enjoy the pics though, we had a wonderful time! I'll be back soon with more!

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