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May 31, 2011

Sweet & Spicy chicken and cabbage {recipe}

I posted a photo of this dish on Facebook and got several requests to post the recipe. I will start by saying that I am not a recipe person unless we are talking baking. I am a 'throw in a little of this and dash in a pinch of that' kind of home cook. I will do my best to average the amount of ingredients you would need and of course you can alter it to your taste.

Sweet & Spicy chicken and cabbage

What you will need:

~1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast sliced thinly into strips (I recommend slicing while still a bit frozen for precise strips)
~1 small head of green cabbage sliced into strips (not thin like coleslaw)
~1 tbsp of very finely minced fresh ginger
~sesame oil
~canola oil
~1/8 tsp of Chinese 5-spice powder (omit if you don't have it)
~Mediterranean sea salt
~freshly cracked pepper
~any type of blended seasoning (I use Badia Complete Seasoning)
~few dashes Worcestershire sauce
~about 1/2 cup or a scooch more of Frank's Red Hot Sweet Chili sauce
All you do is take your sliced up chicken and lightly season with your dry seasonings being VERY careful with the salt. I don't think I used any on the chicken since the other seasonings had some salt in it. I then heated about 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp of canola oil in a pan. I threw in 1/2 of my ginger (don't brown it) and then my cabbage. I seasoned cabbage with a little of the dry seasonings and the few dashes Worcestershire sauce. If you freak out because it is too dry then add a few tablespoons of water. I topped it up and let it cook on medium heat. I heated a non-stick frying pan on high heat with 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp canola oil. I threw in my seasoned chicken breast strips and let it cook until it was very brown. I turned the heat down to medium low and added my Frank's Red Hot Sweet Chili sauce and a few tablespoons of water. Be VERY careful because when that sauce gets hot it pitches out at you and burns! I tossed it around for no more than a minute and added the chicken to the cabbage. I tossed it up and tasted for seasoning. Serve with rice (I prefer Jasmine).

Please let me know if you try this! Enjoy :)

Shelly, Mom Files

May 30, 2011

The finished teacher gifts

I spent the morning baking up these lovely little mini-loaves of blueberry crumb cake for the girls' teachers. By the way, the cake tastes even better the next day! I wrapped each cake (once cooled) in plastic wrap before putting them in the cello-bags. Brie chose the color and although it does not match the tags she did not seem to mind. Actually the whole family thinks it looks cute this way. The girls wrote their own personal message in the cards.

We even stuck a plastic knife in the bag just in case the teacher wanted a little snack. I sure hope they like them.

I can't believe this is the last week of school. I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend.

Shelly, Mom Files

May 29, 2011

Blueberry crumb cake {a must-try recipe}

I was trying so hard to come up with something yummy to bake for the girls' teachers as an end of the school year "thank you" gift. Since I have a dozen+ teachers to give a gift to I figured baking was the most economical choice. I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. I followed the recipe exactly as she stated except I got confused and I think there was a typo about adding cinnamon in the cake part. I only put the cinnamon in the crumb topping and it was perfect. I think if I added it in the cake it would have been over-kill.
I actually made this cake for us to test out before I go nuts baking a ton of cakes that were not very good. I will separate the batter into individual mini pans for the teachers. I think they will love it. My family really enjoyed it and I really liked the fact that the only ingredients I had to purchase was the blueberries and butter. I had everything else in my pantry/fridge. I tell you what, that Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman certainly knows her stuff!

Shelly, Mom Files

May 27, 2011

May 25, 2011

Mmm, glazed chicken {giveaway}

**Contest Closed**
Winners are #33 darrinmckoy and #56 Deadmonkeys90~ Congratulations!

I was so lucky to find split chicken breast on sale for 98 cents a pound. I prefer my chicken breast with the skin and bones because it makes it more juicy and flavorful. I decided to make some roasted chicken glazed with Country Bob's All-Purpose sauce. I had never tried that sauce before and I was anxious to see what all the hoopla was about. I have seen it in the store over the years and I always thought it was one of those watery sauces much like the consistency of soy sauce. I was shocked to see it had the body of a steak or barbecue sauce. Okay so I washed up my chicken and patted them dry. I dry seasoned them with my favorite spices and roasted them in the oven using a broil/bake method.

In the last 15 minutes of cooking I brushed a generous amount of Country Bob's sauce on to glaze my chicken. The aroma in my kitchen made your mouth water. My family could not wait to eat. I also cooked some black eyed peas, green beans and rice to go with the chicken (sorry forgot to take a picture of that part). We all loved how beautifully the sauce stuck to the chicken and it tasted delicious! My 14 year old called it "scrumdiddlyumptious". We had some extra sauce on the side and my husband already asked me to get some steaks for the weekend. He knows this sauce will be a great match with steak. I was thinking it would be great on salmon too. It has the perfect blend of sweet and tangy.

Country Bob's sent me a couple bottles of sauce to try out and has offered to give away two (2) bottles each for two (2) Momfiles readers.

To enter: Let us know if you have ever tried Country Bob's before.

For additional entries:
~ "like" Country Bob's and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Follow Country Bob's and Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet this giveaway (once daily) Be sure to leave the link to your Tweet
Win 2 bottles of @countrybobs All-purpose sauce @momfiles #giveaway
~ Follow this blog via GFC and/or add the Momfiles button to your blog

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on June 10, 2011 at 9:00 PM EST. Two winners will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Please leave your email if you do not have a Blogger Profile. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received product samples to review and all opinions are 100% mine as always

Shelly, Mom Files

Wordless Wednesday

He still holds on to his Carmex no matter what...

Shelly, Mom Files

May 24, 2011

Homeschool or public school?

I am still trying to decide what to do with William. There is a HUGE part of me that wants to home school him. Then there is a tiny part of me that wants to send him to school. If I do send him to school then I would more than likely need to put him in preschool to get him used to a classroom setting. Oh what to do, what to do... This is one of those things I think about most of the day. I just don't know what to do!
Shelly, Mom Files

Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs

If you have been reading Momfiles for some time now, you will know how important it is for our family to understand money. Our girls are doing an outstanding job in the money management department and are very smart shoppers. I received this wonderful book called Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs by Lori Mackey. It came with an audio CD that you can listen along to with the book. It's so cute because the narration is in children's voices. William is a little too young to follow along with the CD so I opted to read it to him instead. He was immediately drawn in from the great illustration. Although he does not have an understanding about the teachings of the book, he will get it over time. Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs explains all of the aspects of money management in a child-friendly way. I was thoroughly impressed with this book and I think it would make an excellent addition to any child's book collection. It would make an excellent gift for birthdays, holidays or as a "just because" gift.

In order for a child to learn about money, they must be taught early on. They will have a greater likelihood of making better decisions about finances when they are adults. You can purchase Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs here. Be sure to check out Prosperity4Kids, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter.

I received a copy of the book to review. All opinions are 100 % mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files

Father's Day gift idea- Books! {giveaway}

**Contest Closed**
Winner- #39 Joanna~ Congratulations!

It's hard to believe that Father's Day is just around the corner. It is not always easy picking out just the right gift for the important dads in our lives. My husband is a simple man and he is a big lover of books. Not just any books~ Business related books. He has a collection of business books he has acquired and gained a lot of knowledge from over the years. I really think it is the key to what has made him an expert salesperson and speaker. I received the 3 books pictured below. My husband was thrilled and has already cracked open Mind Gym. I know he will enjoy taking some important lessons from all 3 books. Why not give dad the Gift of Eloquence, Entrepreneurship, and Savvy Investment Strategies this Father's Day?!

Banker to the World / William Rhodes: A highly respected global banker who has been a major player in every global financial meltdown for the past 50 years, shares his 8 leadership lessons, demonstrated by compelling stories from the front lines.

What Works on Wall Street / James O'Shaughnessy: One of the bestselling investment books of all time—completely rewritten to provide the newest, most innovative strategies for the market as a whole, as well individual sectors. The fourth edition – completely revised and updated to reflect new statistics and information – will be released this fall 2011! More to come.

Mind Gym / Gary Mack and David Casstevens: Drawing on his work with some of the top teams in professional sports, noted sport psychology consultant Gary Mack shares with you the same techniques and exercises he uses to help elite athletes build mental "muscle." These 40 accessible lessons and inspirational anecdotes will help you gain the "head edge" over the competition.

How would you like to win all 3 books? Just leave a comment letting us know which title looks the most interesting. If you would like additional entries you can also:

Follow Momfiles on Twitter and tweet this giveaway
"like" Momfiles on Facebook
Follow Momfiles via GFC and/or add my button to your blog
~ leave an individual comment per entry method.

Giveaway ends June 10, 2011 at 9:00 PM EST. Please leave your email address if you do not have a Blogger profile. Open to US Residents only. Winner will be chosen via random and will be contacted via email. Good luck!
Shelly, Mom Files

May 23, 2011

Pedigree Ambassador dog food trial {final update}

Hey guys! I wanted to give you one last update on how Milo had been doing with the Pedigree dog food trial. If Milo could speak he might tell you "My mommy needs to give me MORE!" I don't know what it is but ever since he started eating the Pedigree small breed formula it is as if his appetite has grown. He already is a voracious eater but he has gotten downright greedy! He practically stalks the side of the pantry where we keep his food and makes sure we don't forget when it's mealtime. At 8 am and 3 pm you will find him sitting in the same spot waiting patiently to be fed.

When we first began feeding him the Pedigree food he had just had his thick coat shaved down. We do that when the weather warms up (it helps with excess shedding). We have noticed that his fur has grown in really quickly and it is very soft and shiny. His teeth seem to be about the same which is average considering how old he is. Thank goodness he continues to do very well in the digestion department since his "potty time" is very regular. He is in great health and we love the fact that he is spending a lot more time outdoors with his dog friends. He normally is a bit of a couch potato. I really don't know if it has anything to do with his diet but I will take it!

We have decided to continue feeding Milo the Pedigree food and are considering purchasing the weight control variety since we have noticed he is slightly plumper than he should be. Of course when you have a really small dog you must watch their weight closely. After participating in this trial I would absolutely recommend Pedigree dog food to all my friends and family. Be sure to get your coupon to help save a few bucks. Did you know Pedigree was on Facebook and Twitter? Be sure to follow them for great tips and advice for keeping your dogs healthy and happy. Throughout the month of June, dog lovers can help dogs by logging onto Facebook and Twitter (#everydogdeserves) to say why they think “Every Dog Deserves” the very best. For each Like, comment, @reply, re-tweet, photo upload, etc. directed at Pedigree, they’ll donate one pound of food (up to 100,000 pounds total). Every single engagement with Pedigree on Facebook and Twitter helps feed dogs! I know I will certainly participate. We have been so pleased with knowing our furry family member is healthy and happy! #Pedigreerocks

I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Pedigree and received dog food to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Shelly, Mom Files

My Internet is rude

I wanted to let you all know that I have been experiencing some issues with my internet. We are thinking it is our wireless router or maybe one of the cords. Dwayne will try to troubleshoot it tonight. I have had intermittent service so I try to do all I can whether I get on for 5 minutes or an hour. Seems like every time I have attempted to comment on blogs I get the boot. I try to be a consistent commenter so it bothers me to not be able to do so, especially to my regular spots. Just know that I have been reading blogs from my phone. I have at least 7 posts to get up so I better get cracking while I have this little window.

One last thing~ You see the computer William is playing with? It is the most annoying thing! It plays music and makes all kinds of noise. The batteries must be really good in them because he plays on the darn thing ALL day long. Does anyone need a computer?! Of course there goes a Carmex stick within reach. That's my boy :)

Shelly, Mom Files

May 21, 2011

Go Brie!

We attended Briahnna's middle school athletic banquet last week to recognize all students that participated in the sports programs. For each sport the coach gave out 3 plaques to the athletes they thought were most deserving for a specific area. Briahnna was given the 'Coach's Award'. Her coach was pleased with Brie's readiness to work hard, perform well and be a team player. We are so proud of Brie and she certainly deserves this great honor. What a nice way to close out her middle school volleyball career. Next stop high school!

Shelly, Mom Files

May 18, 2011

WTH Wednesday

I bet you are looking at this picture thinking WTH? My husband asked some random lady who owned a few trees that bare this fruit if he could have a few. She told him to take as many as he wanted. He tells her that he used to eat these "Chinese plums" as a kid growing up in Miami. She then tells him that if you drop a seed in the ground it will grow into a plum tree. Why the hell did she tell him that?
Now we have to keep these horrible looking things for him to plant. I am so annoyed because we already have some American plum trees in our yard that are getting ready to removed and now he wants to go plant more? WTH! I wish there was a way I could trash these things! I suggested he plants a couple in a big pot and go from there. I will kick his backside if we end up with a grove of those things! Has anyone even seen these doggone plums before?

Shelly, Mom Files

May 17, 2011

Fun in the kitchen

On the Saturday before Mother's Day I got all my ingredients to bake up some loaves of pound cake for my neighbors. I used a Jacques Pepin recipe so I just knew it would be perfect. William was acting like a donkey that day. I called him into the kitchen and asked him if he wanted to help me bake a cake. He shot around the corner and back with his step stool in hand.

I had all of the ingredients measured out and ready to go. He enjoyed helping to add things and of course to mix them all up. He smiled the whole time. Sometimes during the day I will take the remote control and change the channel from Nick Jr. to the Cooking Channel or Food Network. William loves to watch Aaron McCargo Jr. and Guy Fieri (they are the only manly man chefs my husband approves of). William always yells out "He's cooking yummy food!!"

Although this photo is not all that great, it still warms my heart to know that my kid loves doing things like this with me. Guess what? The cakes came out delicious but sadly you needed a sip of water or milk after each bite. It would make you feel like you were about to choke. I will not be sharing this recipe with anyone! I was so disappointed that it was not what I was expecting. After all the butter and eggs that went into it I surely knew it would be moist. Nope, not this time. I did have fun with my boy and the girls gladly ate the cake. My ingredients and time did not go to waste :)
Shelly, Mom Files

May 16, 2011

I am thinking about reusables

William has been potty training for several months now and it has been interesting. He has his good days where he will stay dry all day and even all night. Then he has those days that he just decides he will go in his pants. We have been using Huggies brand Pull-ups training pants. We tried a couple other ones but I like these the best and I find coupons more often for them. I have noticed something odd though. They have the regular ones and the overnight ones. I have found that the overnight ones are a little thicker which makes a lot of sense but they are cut shorter.

The training pants on the left are the regular and the overnight is on the right. If I use the overnight and he has a wet night, he wakes up soaked through to his pajamas. This does not happen when I use the regular ones. That makes no sense at all! I even get a couple less in the overnight pack. I am really thinking about purchasing the reusable trainers since it looks like this little dude will be taking his sweet time. Any suggestions?

Shelly, Mom Files

May 14, 2011

Mezzetta Review and Giveaway

**Winner is #107 Lois S**
Congratulations! Those daily Tweets helped!

I am such a fan of savory food and love to have a little extra zing on the side of my meals. I am also a big snacker. Mezzetta food products really do a little of both for me. I recently tried out the Mezzetta Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olives and I am hooked! I was a bit hesitant since bleu cheese tends to be a bit stinky. These olives were so not stinky~ they were a great blend of salty, tart and "meaty" at the same time. I have eaten them with cheese and crackers, on the side of beans and rice and also just by themselves {with wine} as a snack. I really like them a lot and think they would make a nice addition to an appetizer tray along with the Mezzetta Italian Garden Vegetables.

I did not know this but besides olives, peppers and vegetables, Mezzetta has a line of pasta sauces. They are made from all natural ingredients including fresh Imported plum tomatoes, locally grown herbs, onions and garlic as well a variety of other unique ingredients. Something I really love about Mezzetta products is that there are serving ideas on the jar labels in case you are unsure of what to do with that particular food. You can also go here for some great recipes & tips. I have been purchasing the Greek peppers, Banana peppers and Cocktail onions for years now as salad toppers and add-ins for rice dishes, sauces and soups. I am really impressed to see the different varieties that Mezzetta offers. They even offer gift baskets online. The prices are way less that what I would have thought considering the high-end quality of their products.

Speaking of gift baskets, Momfiles is giving away one Napa Valley Bistro gift basket to one lucky reader courtesy of Mezzetta Foods. This basket contains Homemade Style Marinara, Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce, Porcini Mushroom Pasta Sauce and Homemade Style Basil Pesto. The featured olives are Pitted Bistro Blend and Garlic Stuffed olives, as well as a wood pasta spoon and a stainless cheese grater. This is a $25 value. All you need is pasta!
*Mandatory: Enter to win by letting us know what Mezzetta products you would like to try.

For additional entries you can do any of the following:
~ "like" Mezzetta and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Follow Mezzetta and Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet this giveaway (once daily):
Enter to win a @Mezzetta_Foods Napa Valley Bistro gift basket @momfiles #food #gifts #giveaway
~ Grab the Momfiles button and place it on your blog
~ Follow Momfiles via GFC

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on May 30, 2011 at 9:00 PM EST. Please leave your email address if you do not have a Blogger profile. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Good luck!

I received sample products from Mezzetta Foods to review and all opinions are 100% mine as always

Shelly, Mom Files

May 12, 2011

Keep your family's skin safe from the sun

The temperatures have been turned up in many states across the US recently. I literally feel my skin baking from the shortest amount of sun exposure. This is a great reminder about how important it is to protect my skin against the harmful rays of the sun. I recently tested out JĀSÖN™ Natural Sunblock in the Family formula with SPF 45. I am always leery of what any sunblock will feel like and even smell like. The scent was really light with a hint of citrus. The feeling was very smooth and light and it absorbed quickly. It did not have that typical heavy feeling of most sunblocks.

JĀSÖN™ Natural Sunblock is made with natural antioxidants from extracts of Açaí, Grape Seed and Green Tea to protect skin from sunburn and reduce harmful free radical damage. It's great for the whole family. I really could use this when I am working out in the yard!
Since it is sweat-proof and water-resistant, it will be a pool side must have for my family. I might need to wear some when I am driving the mom taxi since I sit in the sun waiting for the kids to get out of school and practice. You don't realize how much you are exposed doing general, everyday tasks.

I also tried out the JĀSÖN™ Natural Lip Balm SPF 25. I was surprised to see a lip balm with such a big SPF. I am used to only 10-15. This lip balm was really smooth and creamy with a hint of mint. This again will be good for when we are working out in the yard.

JĀSÖN™ Natural sun protection products can be purchased here as well as some natural foods retailers. You can search for a retail location here.

Disclosure: I received products samples to review and all opinions are 100% mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files

May 11, 2011

It's always the little things that matter

Today was a full day for me. I drove kids all over the place, ran errands, picked kids up, took one to the doctor, potty training and teaching boy, dropped girls to practice and then picked them up~ Well it was something like that. I know I must drive about $10-$12 worth of gas each day. It's worth it though. I love the time I spend in the car with the kids. We talk about serious issues, crack jokes and talk about the most random things! The highlight of my hectic day today was when William thanked me for each meal I gave him. Then he thanked me for teaching him his school lessons. He is so compassionate (all 3 of my kids are). I am a proud momma. **Now back to cleaning up the 50 million toys he left all over the place and the mountain of laundry that is stalking me**
Shelly, Mom Files

Oooh Goody!!!

I was so very excited when I was offered the opportunity to review some of the new items from Goody. I believe you can't ever have too many hair accessories when you have girls in the house. My daughters love playing around with different hairstyles and they are lifetime users of Goody products. We have tried the off-brand in the past and always regretted it. Goody is the only brand that has been able to hold up well to the girls' thick, biracial locks. It's also the only brand of elastics that will hold my long, heavy hair. Goody has a new Spring Collection called Modern Organica and it is available exclusively at Target. This collection offers all things glamorous, girlie and earthy at the same time. They have your everyday elastics, barrettes, headwraps, headbands, bobby slides and more. We received the following items from the Modern Organica collection as well as a headband that did not make it in the photo but instead on a 14 year old girl's head! I personally loved the "Freshly Picked" bobby slide (pink flower). I have plans to wear it with a sweet little black dress I bought last month for my next date night.

I am loving the Ouchless cushion brush and Detangling comb. The brush has a unique comfort gel grip handle to make brushing more comfortable. I love the retractable cushion pad that makes for an "ouchless" hair brushing experience. The comb will be living in my shower caddy. I love that the teeth are slightly flexible to be more gentle on your hair. I also love me some ponytail holders without the metal. Our hair will break those types on the first wearing!

Lastly, the girls were going nuts for the reversible headbands and the double sided snap clips. I did not even know anyone made reversible clips! These are going to be perfect for the girls during volleyball season to help hold all the stray bits of hair and look cute at the same time :)

I know that Goody hair accessories have been a must-have for me since I was a little girl. I have passed that on to my own girls. I always feel like I get my money's worth when I purchase the Goody brand. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Question: Are you a Goody girl too?

Disclosure: I received items for review and all opinions are 100% mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files

May 10, 2011

A Father's Love | Book Review & Giveaway (closed)

Contest Closed
Winner is #4 Kristin~ Congratulations!

I had the pleasure of reviewing the book called "A Father's Love" written by David Goldman. A lot of you might have followed the story of David Goldman going on a 5+ year crusade to bring his son home from Brazil. This book started out as a love story from a movie and then into a nightmare. Thankfully there was a happy ending for Mr. Goldman and his son Sean.

I am not a reader at all but I read the entire book in 3 days. It really captured my heart and opened my eyes to so much to things that I did not know about child abduction overseas. Mr. Goldman wrote this book in great detail and with such grace and dignity. The way he handled himself when dealing with the authorities was amazing. As much as his world was shattered he somehow managed to keep it together. I am not so sure I would have been able to handle things like he did if anyone took my child away from me. In this case it was his own wife.

"A Father's Love" was the perfect title for this book because that is what you felt from each page you turned. If you are interested in purchasing this book you can find it here. It is available in hardcover, audio CD/audiobook or Kindle Edition. I really enjoyed reading it and I think you will too. Be sure to have a tissue box next to you just in case! I admit I did shed tears, I was really moved.

I am pleased to be able to host a giveaway for one Momfiles reader to win a copy of A Father's Love. I think this would make a great Father's Day gift!

To enter: Please leave a comment letting us know if you followed the David Goldman story.

For additional entries you can Tweet, mention on Facebook, add the Momfiles button to your blog or follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook. Just leave a separate comment for each entry method to count.

Contest is open to US Residents and will end at 9:00 PM EST on May 24, 2011. Please leave a visible email address if you do not have a Blogger Profile. Winner will be chosen via and will be contacted by email. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for review purposes and all opinions are 100% mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files
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