Archive | October, 2012

What’s For Dinner This Week- “Spooktacular”

If you’re a subscriber to The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System, we have something “Spooktacular” for your family dinner menu this week:


Ghostly White Turkey Chili

Day 1: Ghostly White Turkey Chili



Day 2: Candy Apple Pork Chops with Easy Rice Pilaf



Graveyard Chicken

Day 3: Graveyard Chicken over Penne Pasta



leftover chicken recipe

Day 4: Day 4: Cilantro Green Chile Pork Penne



quesadilla bar

Day 5: Quesadilla Bar


Watch The Video:

Our video from this Weekly Meal Plan is for our Candy Apple Pork Chops:

Weekly Meal Planning For Busy Families:

Weekly Meal Plan


More Halloween Fun

Halloween crafts

Halloween DIY Treats and Videos


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Donation Drive with Dial Soap and Champions For Kids

Simple Service Project

Today was our bi-annual trip to donate items to Child Haven.  This time, instead of donating just our routine clothes, toys and books, we collected soap and other essentials as part of a Simple Service Project with Dial Soap and Champions For Kids.

Earlier this month I wrote about turning any event or party into an opportunity to support the children in your community by holding a simple donation drive during the event- see Champions For Kids Donation Drive.

My girls enjoyed participating in the donation drive by first shopping with me to purchase soap items, and then later by collecting donations from guests as they arrived like soap, shampoo and toothpaste.  The guest who brought the most items to donate to support the children in need in our community won a prize of a custom framed art piece to take home.  For more photos from our shopping trip and preparation for the party and donation drive, visit my Google+ photo album here.


Peggy’s Attic

Today we loaded up the SUV and drove to Peggy’s Attic at Child Haven.  I chose this charity because my donation is directly helping children who are removed from their homes or placed into protective custody with few few- if any- personal belongings.

Peggys Attic Child Haven

Peggy’s Attic at Child Haven


Located on the campus of the Child Welfare Department, Peggy’s Attic resides separately on the far side of the parking lot and is decorated to look like a small boutique.  Caretakers of these children can enter Peggy’s Attic and shop for these children with dignity.  Unlike other larger charities that take donated items and resell them, all items at Peggy’s Attic are free of charge.

Donation Drive


It was participating in the Champions For Kids campaign that brought to my attention the need for essentials like soap, shampoo and toothpaste for these most vulnerable children.  Hand washing is a necessity and by donating these needed supplies, I’m helping these children and families.

Child Haven Donations


In addition to boxes and boxes of clothes, toys and books, we were also able to donate bags and bags of toiletry items like soap, shampoo and toothpaste thanks to the many friends who supported our donation drive.


Hand Washing To Help Prevent Disease

After reading this article, Hand Washing To Help Prevent Disease, I will plan again for future events to have this same type of donation drive for the children in our community

Helping 20 Million Children By 2020

For ideas about how you can hold a simple donation drive for the children in your community, visit the Champions For Kids website for inspiration and information on how you can participate in the Dial Into Giving SIMPLE Service Project in your own community.  When you have your donation drive, you can report it directly to Champions For Kids website.


For more information about the Dial Into Giving SIMPLE Service Project, follow Champions For Kids on Twitter and Facebook.  Also, follow Dial on Twitter and Facebook.

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Champions for Kids, however the views and opinions expressed here are very much my own. #DialCFK #CBias

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The Most Powerful Force In American Schools Today

In August I briefly mentioned and described the “most powerful force to enact change in American schools today”.  Do you know what that force is?  It’s you, “Mom”.

Help me Obi Wan Kanobi you’re my only hope….

Now, I want to elaborate and take this idea a few steps further.  Not only are moms the most able to create change in today’s school system, but I believe are the only force that can lead to change.

Let me back up.  Did you know that out of 30 developed countries, America ranks 25th in math and 21st in science?   Relax, though because Americans do rank #1 in something- confidence…. blissful ignorant confidence.  What this means is that in ten years, American businesses will not have enough skilled labor to fill jobs in the U.S. and will need to look to bring in educated workers from other countries.

If you are among the millions of Americans who have yet to watch the Paramount Motion Pictures movie “Waiting For Superman”, watch the trailer here for a glimpse of how much you may not know.


I’ve Got Mine

I’m blessed and fortunate as a mom to have my children in one of the top schools in our state with some of the best teachers I’ve met yet.  This doesn’t mean, however, that I can sit back and and do nothing about the millions of moms who are watching their children fail in their local schools.

This year’s good fortune doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a taste of the fear and unpleasantness that can come when dealing with the school district as I wrote about last year in, “First Day of School in Sin City”.

I’m not lying when I say that I cried during the scene in Waiting For Superman when children are waiting for their number to be picked so they can attend a descent school.  And, the movie “Won’t Back Down” with my favorite stars Maggie Gyllenhall and Viola Davis, had me in tears throughout the entire film.

But what can I do?  To be honest, I’m still not exactly sure.  I don’t have the answers yet, but I do know that waiting for our education system to turn around on its own is not the solution.

Are You Waiting For Superman?

So while most Americans are sitting back and waiting for “someone” to do “something” about our failing schools, the reality is bleak. Teachers unions have tied the hands of each and every public school to prevent them from ensuring that teachers are doing the job they are paid to do.  And if you think that any President will create change, think again because The National Education Association is the largest union in the U.S. and one of the most powerful political forces in the nation.  I’m sure most people are familiar with “No Child Left Behind”, a victorious attempt at appeasing parents and teachers while maintaining the support of unions.

According to, former top officers at the National Education Association’s Kansas and Nebraska state chapters summarized their union’s stance on reform in a 1994 issue of Educational Freedom: “The NEA has been the single biggest obstacle to education reform in this country. We know because we worked for the NEA.”

Won’t Back Down

While in New York City this summer I got to attend the movie premier of “Won’t Back Down” with my friends from  This movie is an inspirational story of what happens when that inner passion to create the best for our child is combined with the fury for a failing school.

Won't Back Down Movie Premier

Won’t Back Down Movie Premier


Maggie Gyllenhall who plays a tenacious mom says at one point in the movie, “Have you heard about those mothers that lift one ton trucks off their babies?  They’re nothing compared to me.”

Whether or not Won’t Back Down is based on a true story (I hear both), I think it’s an accurate depiction of the change that can occur when just one or two people believe that it’s possible.

Won’t Back Down was released in movie theaters September 23rd of this year, and if you’re a mom, you won’t want to miss it.

Be The Change…..



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Dippable Appetizer with Kraft Anything Dressing

Home Entertaining

I’ll admit that I do a lot of entertaining in my home.  Whether it’s a “Mom’s Night Out” party or family gathering, I love to share food and time with the people I care about the most.

The fact is, I’m not a “chips and dip” kind of gal.  I can’t set out a bag of potato chips and then call it a party.

At the same time, I’m a busy on-the-go mom with a lot on my plate (pun intended).  Therefore, I’m always looking for delicious and classy appetizers that are easy to prepare in very little time.

Reuben Appetizer

Reuben Dips with Kraft Thousand Island Anything Dressing

Easy and Delicious Appetizers

While shopping for an upcoming get-together, Walmart was hosting demonstrations for Kraft Anything Dressing to use in dippable appetizers.  Prior to the demonstration, I had never really thought of Kraft Dressing for anything but salads.

But the demonstration got me to thinking; and I quickly came up with the idea for my Reuben Dips.  I grabbed a bottle of Kraft Thousand Island Anything Dressing then headed off to the deli for some shaved pastrami and Swiss cheese.  After swinging by the bakery section for some mini bread sticks, I was set for a visually inspiring and delicious snack for my friends… not to mention, easy.

Kraft Anything Dressing

Shopping at Walmart for party food and supplies


Kraft Anything Dressing in Thousand Island

For more photos from my shopping trip to Walmart, check out my Google+ photo album here.


The Recipe

If you’re hosting a party or family gathering, here’s my recipe for Reuben Dips that is sure to not disappoint.

Reuben Dips using Kraft Anything Dressing in Thousand Island


Reuben Dips Recipe:


  1. Kraft Pourable Anything Dressing- Thousand Island
  2. Shaved Deli Pastrami- 1/2 pound
  3. Swiss Cheese- 1/2 pound
  4. Mini Bread Sticks (the perfect ones are found in the salad dressing isle close by Kraft Dressings)
  5. Spring Salad Mix (optional)



  1. Slice cheese into strips
  2. Wrap a cheese slice around the tip of the bread stick
  3. Wrap a slice of pastrami over the cheese; the pastrami is moist enough to stick
  4. Spread salad mix over plate
  5. Place each wrapped bread stick on top of the salad
  6. Pour dressing into dipping bowl
  7. Serve

Kraft Anything Dressing in Thousand Island




To find out if there is a demonstration at Walmart in your are for Kraft Anything Dressing, visit In Store Now.  And, to find more recipe ideas, follow Kraft on Twitter at @KraftDressing or on Facebook.


I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Kraft #cbias #socialfabric.

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