Sunday, November 15, 2015

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. I have several friends and family members that have been touched by adoption. Their families were complete by adoption.  My friend Kelly used to joke she knew her parents wanted her because they picked her and didn't make her after a drunken night :) 

November is National Adoption Month and I’m reaching out on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council to ask for your help in spreading the word about a new PSA campaign that encourages prospective parents to adopt older youth from foster care.

The theme for National Adoption Month is, "We Never Outgrow the Need for Family." That's because older children and youth still have many big milestones in their life they need a family for.

There are 415,000 children in the U.S. foster care system and 108,000 are waiting to be adopted. AdoptUSKids’ maintains a national photo listing service for children waiting to be adopted. Since the project launched in 2002, more than 25,000 children who were once photo listed on have been adopted and nearly 38,000 families have registered to adopt through the website.  Nevertheless, older youth are disproportionately represented – approximately 41 percent of children and youth photo listed on are between 15 and 18 years old, but only 17 percent of those adopted have been in this age group

Older youth and teens have lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted. But no matter their age, all kids need a supportive, loving home and the teenage years are a critical period for growth. The new TV PSAs, which were created for the campaign probono, portray a dad giving advice to his teenage daughter after her first breakup, and a mom giving her son a haircut at home. The humorous, lighthearted scenarios aim to overcome fears adoptive parents may have regarding their own imperfections. The PSAs end with the tagline, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent,” reassuring prospective parents that even if they are not ‘perfect’, they have the ability to provide the stability and security that older youth in foster care need and deserve.

The PSAs direct audiences to visit or to call 1-888-200-4005 (English) or 1-877-236-7831 (Spanish) to receive the latest information about the foster care system and the adoption process.

Here’s how you can help:
  • Use #NAM15 and #perfectparent to share your experience or the new PSAs on social media.
  • Spread the word! Let us know if you know a blogger who might have a place in their hearts for the Adoption from Foster Care campaign. 
For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.
Why Older Youth?
  • All of us – and that includes older youth in foster care who are waiting to be adopted – need and want families throughout life to support us and to share important life events. Learning to drive a car, applying for higher education, and birthday and holiday celebrations are just a few examples of the times in life we need and want to share with family. 
  • Older youth are overrepresented in the foster care population, as they generally wait longer to be adopted, and have lower overall adoption rates.    
  • On, roughly 41 percent of the children and youth actively photolisted are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old. About 58 percent are male. (Most recent stats as of May 31, 2015) 
  • Families who adopt older youth, are providing them with the support and stability of a family during a critical period of normal adolescent concerns and additional self-identity issues.
Some of the Misperceptions about Adoption from Foster Care: 
  • Adoption is expensive.  Unlike the private adoption of an infant or adopting internationally, there are virtually no costs associated with adoption from the US child welfare system. In addition, the vast majority of youth adopted from foster care are also eligible for monthly adoption assistance up to the level of the foster care rate. 
  • You have to be married. You do not have to be married to adopt in most states. Many children have been very successfully adopted by single parents. Single-parent families accounted for 29 percent of all adoptions from foster care in 2014 (AFCARS). 
  • You have to have a college degree. Having a high school diploma or college education is not required. What is important is that you are stable, flexible, and compassionate, and that you have a good sense of humor. Most importantly, you must have the support and commitment to raise a child and to be there for him throughout his life. 
  • You have to own a home and each child has to have their own room. You can rent your home or live in an apartment or a mobile home so long as your living situation is a stable one. 
  • You have to be of child-bearing age to adopt. Experienced parents and empty-nesters are encouraged to adopt. In most instances, you’re eligible to adopt regardless of age, income, marital status or sexual orientation.  
  • You can only adopt a child who is the same race and ethnicity as you. Federal law prohibits the delay or denial of an adoptive placement based on the race or ethnicity of a child in U.S. foster care and the prospective parent or parents who are seeking to adopt them. The only exception to this law is the adoption of Native American children where special considerations apply.  
  • You can’t adopt if you’re in the military. Military families stationed overseas and within the U.S. are eligible to adopt children from the U.S. foster care system. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Olde West Port Yumm

Online specialty Food Company stands the test of time - Spice Company creates custom spice blends, sesonings and dry soups. Olde Westport Spice & Trading Company is a 33-year-old spice manufacturer that is still going strong. This online company operates a small plant in Goodland, Kansas, and knows a thing or two about spices, seasonings and soups. This family owned and operated company was originally founded in the Kansas City area and has stayed true to its mission of making custom spice blends for main meal dishes and appetizers as well as nearly 20 varieties of dry soups. The products are available online at; at food-related craft and trade shows throughout the Midwest; and at gift and gourmet food shops. Olde Westport's spice blends and seasonings include Italian, Cajun, Taco, Fajita, Chili, Jalapeno, Beef Sauce, Salsa, Garlic and many more. All of the products use quality ingredients for a balanced flavor that compliments meats, pastas and vegetables. The company also invented dry soup mixes that are simple and easy to make including Antonio's Minestrone, Country-Style Creamy Potato, Chipotle Black Bean, Creamy Broccoli and Cheese, Kansas City Steak & Ale, Gold Coast Garlic Pasta Alfredo, Mesa Flats Chicken Enchilada, New Orleans Red Bean & Rice, Southwestern Tortilla, White Chili Soup and more. Olde Westport Spice and Trading Co. is owned and operated by Bill and Judy Petersen, who along with their daughter, Ann Myers, also own and run a restaurant (Westport Grill) in Goodland featuring the products. Bill first custom created all of the spices and seasonings in the kitchen of his home. Today the company has a manufacturing facility where Bill still researches and develops new recipes and dishes for future products. For more information or to place an order, please visit or call 1-800-537-6470.

CHAMPIONSHIP CHILI SPICE BLEND - This championship spice has helped chili creators win 12 state and national championships throughout the years and all over the US! But what is most important to us about our Olde Westport Chili Spice Blend is that our customers love to use it in their chili whether it's for a national championship cook-off challenge or simply for their own family in their cozy kitchen on a cold winter's night. We've heard from countless customers that our attention to detail and quality is what makes this chili spice blend stand out above the competitors. We know you might put beans in your chili or maybe you add apples and sausage or perhaps you have a special recipe that is top secret but starts with thick-cut bacon... however you concoct your chili we hope you'll try our chili spice blend.

GOLD COAST GARLIC SHAKE - Gold Coast Garlic Shake spice blend is truly one of those special blends of garlic, herbs and spices that our customers use in sour cream dips, sprinkle over steamed vegetables, fresh vegetables from your garden, garlic mashed potatoes or steak on the grill. There are more than 50 recipes in the Olde Westport Gold Coast Garlic Cookbook that will give you lots of ideas for quick simple meals with that high-end restaurant flavor. A garlic experience you will never forget. Check out the Olde Westport web site for a few recipes and placing orders.

Readers would get 10% off of their order. @usfg

Brick Swag

I have an 8 year old , soon to be 2 year old daughter and husband that are all obsessed with building toys. I was so excited to hear about Brick Swag. It is the perfect gift to give to the person in your life that has everything. A gift that keeps on giving!

Check it out!
BrickSwag is the #1 membership for LEGO fans. Each month includes official LEGO kits to build and keep, exclusive t-shirt, Build magazine, Funky Fig trading cards, and more surprises.
Mission: To Inspire, Educate, and Entertain with LEGO bricks. My readers receive 20% Off their BrickSwag subscription with this exclusive promo code: FAM20

This is NOT my child but check out this video.

Monday, November 2, 2015

BrickFest Live

 My family has attended this event in Philadelphia over the summer too!

Brick Fest Live is coming to Timonium November 14th - 15th.
Get inspired, educated, and entertained with LEGO bricks! Play with huge attractions built to set your imagination free and witness mind-blowing creations made entirely of this timeless toy at Brick Fest Live. My readers Save $5 off Brick Fest Live Admission! with code: FAMGUIDE - Timonium Nov 14th - 15th

It is a fun family experience. Do it!

Monday, July 6, 2015


Believe It or Not!, Ripley's is now located at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Come see over 15,000 square feet of the odd and weird world of Ripley's Believe It or Not! where truth is stranger than fiction. See a real shrunken head, Hogwarts Castle made of matchsticks and much much more! Along with incredible artifacts and artwork from all around the world and over 100 "interactives" take a ride on our 4D Moving Theatre and get lost in our Marvelous Mirror Maze. You can also take home your very own wax hand that you create. Ripley's has been proudly freaking out families for over 90 years. Why just say it, See it!

Buy Two Attractions, Get the Third One Free! Code: USFAM®ionid=387 @usfg @ripleys

 Special Exhibit!
Oh Baby! Ripley's Believe It or Not! Fertility Statues to Go on Display at Ripley's Baltimore Odditorium - Hundreds of women believe that simply touching the statues helped them get pregnant

If you believe, you may conceive. That's the belief of thousands of women who have touched the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Legendary Fertility Statues.

The statues will be on display in Ripley's Baltimore Odditorium starting Friday, June 19 and can be seen - and touched - for several months, free of charge. Baltimore is the first stop on the fourth world tour of the Legendary Fertility Statues.

The history of the statues
The statues were hand-carved by the Baule, who live in CÃ�ï¿ 1/2Ã�´te d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in West Africa, and probably date back to the 1930s. Ripley's acquired them in 1993 and put them in the lobby of the company headquarters in Orlando. Within months, 13 women, including staffers and office visitors, were pregnant.

Following a December 1995 story in the Wall Street Journal chronicling the phenomenon, the demand to touch the statues became international news. In the ensuing years, the statues made three trips around the world. Women routinely made special visits just to touch them. Some who couldn't make it in person faxed copies of their handprints to employees, asking them to rub the handprints on the statues.

Hundreds of women reported that they became pregnant shortly after touching the wooden statues, even those who had been told by doctors they would never be able to conceive. Some are very serious about touching the statues, believing in their powers to help them conceive. Others want to avoid touching the statues - for the very same reason!

How to touch the statues in Baltimore

The statues will be on display in the lobby of Ripley's Believe It or Not! Baltimore Odditorium during regular business hours, Monday-Thursday from 10 am - 9 pm; Friday-Saturday from 10 am - 10 pm, and Sunday from 10 am - 8 pm. There is no charge to see the statues, but tickets will be required for visitors who wish to tour the Odditorium.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mail Call ! Non Insert Coupons!

Today's Non- Insert Mail!

1.Apple Gate Farms Sent 3  $1.00 off coupons.

These are great for the Harris Teeter double coupon event starting on Wednesday! Products found here!

2. Mt Olive Pickles sent 2 $1.00 off coupons and a magnet.

3. Pacific Foods sent 2 $1.0 off coupons

4. Johnsonsville Sausage sent 2 $1.00 off coupons

5. Jones Sausage sent 2 $1.00 off coipons and a $0.75 off coupon

6. Pepperidge Farm sent 2 $0.50 off coupons

7. Eat Smart Sent $1.00 coupons, $1.50 off any salad kit, $0.75 off any salad kit, $3.00 off a veggie tray, $0.50 off any veggies

8.Tofutti sent several $1.50, $1.00 and $0.55 coupons

9. Brianna's Dressing sent several $1.00 off coupons

10. Smithfield sent $1.00 and $0.55 coupons

11. Nathan's Famous sent 2 $0.55 coupons

12.Aidells Sent 2 $0.50 coupons

13. Cabot Cheese sent 3 $0.50 off coupons

14. New Star sent 2 FREE product coupons and 1  $0.55

15. Crunch  Pak sent several FREE coupons and a few $1.00 off coupons

16.Turkey Hill sent several $1.00 off coupons, $0.75, and $0.50 off coupons

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Have the ultimate fame experience at Madame Tussauds Washington D.C.! Here, you can snap the perfect selfie with your favorite music stars, film legends, sporting greats, historical icons, and local heroes. We are also the home of the President's Gallery, which features all 44 U.S. Presidents.

Who do you want to meet?

KIDS GO FREE! Free Child (Ages 4-12) Ticket to Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C. with purchase of regular same day adult admission. Present this coupon at the Madame Tussauds box office to receive one free child admission with every purchase of a regular same day adult admission. Valid for up to 6 people. Not valid on online, advance or combo ticket purchase or with any other discounts. Restrictions apply. Promo Code: V373.

I can't wait to check this out! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Campus Book Rentals

This is the time of year high school seniors are picking which college to attend and then soon they and their parents are SHOCKED by the price of expensive test books. When I was in college a book that was hardly used in class could cost $200 or more to buy from the campus book store. Campus Books has a great solution to this problem! For a small fraction of the cost you or your child  can rent books from Campus Book Rentals!

  • You can save anywhere from 40% to 90% of your college bookstore prices
  • Free Shipping both ways
  • Non traditional schedule? No Problem!Flexible rental times
  • You can high  light in the text books! 
Check then out here Campus Book Rentals  
Campus Books also donated to a cause called Operation Smile. They are dedicated to helping children born with Cleft Palates! I bet your school book store doesn't do something that awesome with their profits! I know where I went to college didn't donate from ook sales!

How does it work?:
 Accidentally Domesticated AKA me has been compensated for this sponsored post. But I would not post or support a company that I do not fully support.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Harris Teeter Doubles Non-Insert Matches!

I suspect Harris Teeter Doubles will be coming up soon. It is time to prepare by emailing your favorite companies for coupons just by complimenting them.

  1. Tyson sent several $1.00 off coupons

Tyson Grilled & Ready Southwestern Chicken Breast Strips

Price          Coupon      Doubled      Total
           $1.00        $2.00           $1.99

 2. Smithfield sent several $1.00 off coupons

Smithfield All Natural Sausage 12 oz
           Coupon    Doubled        Total

$2.99         $1.00        $2.00           $0.99

Monday, March 16, 2015

Harvestland Review

  Mom's Meet gave our family the chance to review Harvest Land meats! I am now a HUGE fan!  Harvest  Land doesn't use ANY antibiotics in their meat products.
  • No Antibiotics Ever
  • Fed All-Vegetarian Diet With No Animal By-Products
  • Raised Cage Free

I was nervous when I saw the association with Perdue, because in my mind Perdue represents processed, dry chicken nuggets. This was not the case. The boneless chicken thighs were so easy to cook. I just grilled them with a little seasoning. Everyone in our family LOVED them. 

Our dinner was boneless thighs,roasted fresh veggies and a sesame cucumber salad. My kids and husband loved it. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Easy Cheap Ham BBQ

  • Ham BBQ,
  •  1.5 chipped ham
  • , 2 bottles heinz chilli sauce
  • , 1 pint diced tomato,
  • 1 green pepper, 
  •  1 tbsp brown sugar,
  •  1tbsp spicy mustard, 
  • 1 tbsp relish and
  •  1 tbsp chilli powder.

 Put in crockpot on low and let cook for a few hours. Serve on rolls. ( This is great when you have a large amount of people to feed and don't know when they are arriving.

Pictures coming later!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Green Mountain Chips & Giveaway.

I owe an apology to Green Mountain, my entire family has been sick since Dec off and on. This review just didn't get written in time.  It was suppose to tell you to give this as a Christmas gift. I still say give this to someone you love or keep it all for yourself..

So I confess. Green Mountain chips sent aweseome  chips and salsa. The problem is my family ate them before I could get good pictures. Then I bought some replacements and it happened again. My son, husband and myself really enjoy the products from Green Mountain a little too much. 

These are perfect as an unique teacher gift. Teacher don't want random crafts. If they saved every homemade craft from Pinterest they would need another floor to their home, second garage or random storage building. Everyone else does chocolate . So give them something they can have in case a random holiday guest! Awesome for both genders of teachers too!

Green Mountain had sent me a jar of salsa and chips but that didn't last a day in my house. So I went to whole foods to stock up. This  didn't last a week in my house....

Check out the Green Mountain Story here
They are a great natural brand that doesn't get moldy fast. ( The whole foods brand of Salsa became moldy after 3 days in my fridge, 3 different containers.

If you want to win Green Mountain Chips and Salsa enter here! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Coupons in my mail...Produce and meat coupons too!

Check out my mail
Awesome mail the past few days!

  1. Badia Spices  sent 3 generous sized samples of their products
  2. Aidells sent a free sausage coupon and several $0.50 off coupons
  3. Pero Family Farms sent several $0.50 off their product coupons
  4. Cabot Cheese sent several $0.50 off coupons
  5. Amy's organic sent several $1.00 off coupons
  6. Frontera Seasoning sent several $1.00 off TWO coupons. 
  7. McCormick sent several $0.75 off any one product coupons
  8. Snow's sent several $0.35 off any clam or chowder product
  9. Mission sent several $0.75 off coupons
  10. Simply Asia &Thai Kitchen sent several $0.50 off coupons
  11. BelGiooso sent several $0.55 coupons
  12. Pacific Foods sent $1.00 off coupon for completing a follow up survey 
  13. Tumaros sent a $1.00 off coupon
  14. Old Croc Cheese sent several $0.55 coupons
  15. Heinz sent several $0.50 off ketchup and $0.75 off Ore Ida coupons
  16. Trans Ocean sent several $1.00 off coupons
  17. Pier 33 sent a coupon for FREE BOX of Muessells and several $1.00 off coupons

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

City Chicken- Great Freezer Meal! Kid Food!

Kids will eat almost anything if you put it on a stick. There is just something fun about eating off a stick. City chicken was one of my favorite meals as a kid. I knew my siblings were all coming home from college when my Mom made it ( I am 11 years younger than my siblings).

Ingredients are simple

  1. Pork Roast 
  2. Flour
  3. Eggs
  4. Milk
  5.  Italian Bread Crumbs
  6. Sticks 

1. Cut the roast into cubes

2. Place the pork cubes onto the sticks

3. Dip in Flour

4. Dip in Egg/Milk mixture

5. Dip in Bread Crumbs
6. Fry on each side at 350 to brown it.

7. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Then serve !

When I make City chicken I make an entire pork roast and freeze several additional meals for my family.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mail call! Several Free coupons!

Our family has been hit by the winter colds and virus plague, which means I have been lazy emailing companies and posting what comes in the mail.

This was today's mail.

1. Taylor Farms sent coupons for TWO FREE PRODUCTS
2. De Wafelbakers sent 1 FREE PRODUCT 1 $1.00 off and 1 $0.50 off coupon
3.Al Fresco sent 2 $1.00 off coupons 
4. Amy's Organic sent 3 $1.00 off coupons
5. McCorrmick sent 3 $0.75 off coupons
6. Cabot Cheese sent 3 $0.50 off coupons
7. Pepperidge Farm sent 2 $0.50 off coupon
8.Zatarains sent 2 $0.50 off coupons
9. Heinz sent 2 $0.75 off TJ Friday's, 2 $0.75 off Ore Ida, 2 $0.50 off Bagel Bites, 2 $0.50 off Heinz Ketchup
10. Coke Rewards sent 2 $5.00 McDonald's gift cards. ( Great for teacher gifts )

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Harris Teeter Day one

Today at Harris Teeter. My total before coupons was over $67.00 I paid $27.90

Monday, January 5, 2015

Harris Teeter More Non Insert Matches

Mrs. Renfros sent 4 $0.55 off coupons

You can find several of their awesome Salsas here at Harris Teeter

Bush's Baked Beans sent  1 $0.55 off Any Bush's Baked Beans or Bush's Grillin Beans any size any variety and 1 $0.55 off any 2 Bush's beans

Some beans found here will be as low as $0.05  with the coupon

Jone's Sausage sent two $1.00 off coupons. ( This sausage is amazing, natural and I buy it when I don't have coupons in large bags at Costco)

All varieties seem to be $2.99 and can be found here a

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Baby in Stroller a Health Code Violation Say What ?

I am currently at Let's Dish and won't be returning. We had the baby in a stroller no where near the food but was falling asleep in her stroller. This business could be amazing for new Moms but I wouldn't return. My husband and I had to take turns fixing meals which takes away from the experience. The meals are made from frozen not fresh ingredients as well, so there really isn't much here if you don't get the experience. More to come later.

1. When we entered we asked if it was okay to bring kids to the establishment. We we told of course they even had a kids club. 

2. Then I asked what would be easier with the baby, a stroller or carseat. The first person didn't seem to care. 

3. My husband and son were dishing as I was taking a few pictures, because that is what I do when we go places.   Soon the manager came over and pointed to the baby calling her a health code violation. ( I would have understood more if they said a fire hazard since she was in our stroller, even though there was plenty of room and not a lot of patrons. 

4. So my husband and I had to take turns assembling meals. A lot of the items are pre-frozen which is concerning because I don't exactly know how letting something go from Frozen to cold to Frozen again isn't a health code violation, especially meat. 

5. The meals were okay, but honestly I can make a lot of them cheaper, faster, with higher quality ingredients and more efficiently in my own home.   

  Examples of what we assembled to freeze: 

I bought the Groupon because I wanted to try this for several reasons,
1. share something with my son who desperately wants to be on a kids cooking show like Rachel Vs Guy or Master Chef Junior. 
2. I wanted something that will make our lives easier in the summer when we get extremely busy enjoying our new city. ( I live near Baltimore and there is more than The Wire here, in fact there is a ton to do and I plan to do it. 

I now know this is not something I can do alone with two well behaved children, even one safely strapped in the stroller and an older child that is extremely responsible and well behaved.

This was the CEOS response, which makes me think there was a major lack of communication in this company.. As one person tells me the baby is a health code violation and  CEO says this.  

Most places don't count a baby as an extra person for things that are family friendly. I am more offended they told me my baby was a health code violation when she indeed was not. This pretty much was the reason I won't go back to the store, because normally I have two kids alone during the day and I am not going to leave my baby in a waitng area while I dish meals. I also WOULD NEVER TAKE CHILDREN TO A PLACE THAT IS NOT KID FRIENDLY, but THEY HAVE A KIDS CLUB! Which made me think it was okay to bring my children. 

 I bought the groupon for the experience, but none of the meals are worth what they charge if you are paying full price, due the lack of fresh quality ingredients. I usually pay for the leanest beef possible, but I doubt that is what they use. 

In-Store Session
Choose a 4, 8, or 12 dish session. Each dish has six servings. (Sound like too much food? You can split most dishes in half.)

  Cost Per Session Per Dish Per Serving  
1 Dishes $29 $29.00 $4.83  
4 Dishes $114 $28.50 $4.75  
5 Dishes $141 $28.20 $4.70  
6 Dishes $168 $28.00 $4.67  
7 Dishes $195 $27.86 $4.64  
8 Dishes $210 $26.25 $4.38  
9 Dishes $237 $26.33 $4.39  
10 Dishes $264 $26.40 $4.40  
11 Dishes $291 $26.45 $4.41  
12 Dishes $300 $25.00 $4.17  
13 Dishes $327 $25.15 $4.19