Pshew! I almost didn’t make it this week, but I’m so glad I could. A friend of ours is getting married this weekend, so I’ve been getting ready for that and for her shower (which was last night). And now my hubby is working an earlier shift, so we’re having to go to bed earlier. (If you’ve noticed, most of my posts are written at night, so it’s definitely an adjustment for me.) There are quite a few things that I really wanted to share (and a couple are time sensitive), so I definitely wanted to get a post in this week.
If you text SCREEN to 727272 between now and Saturday, you should receive a Redbox code for a free 1 night video game rental. I like the idea of being able to test a video game before I buy it, so this could be a good chance to do that.
Until Friday, you can enter the code MP3S4ALL at Amazon to receive a free $2 MP3 credit. I love it when they give these out, since I can download some new music without worrying about buying a whole album. (Instructions are here, if you aren’t sure where the code goes.)
And through July 11, you can like Essie’s Facebook Page and click on the “Exclusively Essie” tab to enter their giveaway and play their instant win game. I’m hoping to be one of the 360 people who are going to win a free bottle of Essie nail polish, but you also have a chance to win some TKEE sandals. I love painting my toes bright, summery colors, so this would be a lot of fun to win.
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to participate in a BzzAgent campaign, but I recently got accepted to another one that I’m very excited about. They’ve sent me a pair of Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Insoles to try out, and I am very pleased with them so far. They have marking on the back which show you where to trim them to fit your shoe size, and then they slip right into your chosen pair of shoes. I decided to put them into my walking shoes and try them out while exercising. They are very comfortable and make a definite difference in how tired your feet get. BzzAgent also sent me several $5 off coupons, so I’m planning on using at least one to get my husband a pair of the insoles to put in his work shoes. (Just so you know, I did get the insoles for free as part of a BzzAgent campaign, but the opinion I gave you is my own. I wouldn’t recommend something if I didn’t personally like it.)
It’s also been a while since I mentioned the L’Oreal Consumer Testing Program to you. I check their site often, but so far I haven’t been able to participate in any of their testing programs. However, they do periodically have informational surveys on their site. Once you complete 5 of these surveys, they send you a thank-you gift. I just recently got my first thank-you gift for completing these surveys. They sent me a full-sized Maybelline mascara and a full-sized Vichy cream cleanser. I’m very excited to try both of them, and I’ll be sure to let you know if they’re fabulous.
Not too long ago, the hubby and I got around to watching Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Though it doesn’t use all the same people, it is a sequel to the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. While I enjoyed the first movie, I think the second one might be a little better. The scenery is beautiful and the acting had just the right amount of silliness. It’s a good family movie to relax with.
I mentioned in the intro, that I was involved in a bridal shower last night. One of my good friends helped me plan the games that would be played. The bride-to-be had let us know that she wasn’t a big fan of silly games, so we decided to do a name scramble, a purse scavenger hunt, and a gift bingo. If you’re planning a shower and these games sound interesting to you, comment on the post and I’ll give you some more specific information.
Of course, I also watched another movie this week for our series. This week’s movie was all about gourmet cooking, No Reservations. This movie stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as an uptight chef named Kate who doesn’t have room in her life for relationships. While she takes a little time off to mourn the death of her sister and get used to taking care of her niece (Zoe – played by Abigail Breslin), her kitchen is invaded by a sous chef, Nick (Aaron Eckhart), who is her polar opposite. Where she is orderly and regimented, he is spontaneous and goofy. The movie is a lot of fun to watch (see the trailer here), but it did make me a little leery about what to make. So many of the recipes use ingredients that are too expensive or hard to find. But I’ll talk about that in a bit. Some of my favorite parts of this movie are Nick getting Zoe to eat, Zoe’s encounter with truffles, Zoe and Kate’s day off together, Zoe’s wish, and the ending. I also really enjoyed the music in the movie. They use a lot of beautiful opera, but also some other fun songs that set a great mood. My two favorite lines are “I’d love to. I thought you’d never ask. You’re on fire.” and “Zoe, I am now going to kiss your aunt.” “This is so embarrassing.”
They do make a lot of yummy looking food in the movie, but like I mentioned before, a lot of the ingredients are out of my league (scallops, truffles, quail, etc.). However, you’ll see that some of the happier parts of the movie have simpler foods, including one of my all time favorites: pancakes! I’m not going to count how many pancake recipes I’ve already discussed on this blog, the answer is probably a little embarrassing, but I really do love them. I was trying to do something a little different this time, but it didn’t turn out quite like I’d planned. I’m not giving up on my idea, but I’m going to refine it a little more before I debut it. However, the basic recipe that I was tweaking is certainly worthy of your time. They are called Old Fashioned Pancakes, but I would call them simply delicious. The one thing that can really make or break these though is how long you mix them. I’ve learned that you don’t want to mix pancakes hardly at all because the more you mix, the harder and denser they get. I barely mixed these together and they came out fluffy, buttery, and delicious! Needless to say, they didn’t last very long.
Old Fashioned Pancakes (from All Recipes.com)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 c. milk
3 tbsp. melted butter
1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the remaining ingredients; mix til smooth.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 c. in the pan for each pancake. Brown on both sides.
If pancakes are a little too plebian for you, you could mix up a batch of crepes instead. I just used this easy recipe to make crepes for the bridal shower, and everybody seemed to enjoy them, though that could have been the Nutella they were spread with. 🙂
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. club soda
1. Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside at room temp for 1-2 hr. Just before cooking, stir in the club soda.
2. Heat a 7-8 in. nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 1/2 min. Spray lightly with oil. Pour a scant 1/4 c. of batter into the bottom of the skillet and immediately tilt and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom. Cook until the edges look dry and the top is set, about 1 min. Use a spatula to lift and turn the crepe. Cook the other side until it is splotched with golden brown spots, about 30 sec. Remove, spread with your filling and enjoy!
I hope you have a fun rest of the week!