What Was I Thinking?

I thought I was being all cool when I decided no more boxed meals for this family, we are going to start eating more home cooked type of meals. I used to cook but that was before I had one child, then I cooked your basic pasta dishes and now I have three children so I just felt boxed meals of some sort were way faster than trying to cut up a bunch of veggies, meat and actually have to pay attention to what’s cooking along with three munchkins.

This past week I went grocery shopping but before I did I wanted to make sure I made a grocery listed based on actual cooking recipes. Since my daughter has a full schedule on Mondays, it means my sons and I do as well. Literally running from school, home for homework then to soccer and then to girl scouts til past dinner time. I decided Monday nights will be my crock pot night for sure along with Wednesdays too when we have a pretty busy evening with soccer.

This week I made a Brandy Beef Stew. I didn’t want to go with the regular beef stew recipe because I am not a big fan of beef stew, at all! I purchased beef stew meat, onions, and potatoes. I diced up onions and potatoes placed them in the bottom of my crock pot, then browned the cut up beef stew meat in vegetable oil and from there added it all together in the crock pot with garlic powder & onion powder. Smelled so yummy! At that point I had to determine what I was going to use for the broth or liquid. I had some steakhouse marinade so I placed that into the crock pot and mixed it up with the onions, potatoes, beef pieces and herbs from there I added some more water to just cover the ingredients in the crock pot.

I let this cook for between 7 and 8 hours in the crock pot. It was really yummy smelling but when I actually served the kids this with breadsticks and broccoli all they did was complain and say icky. This made me feel bad, like I shouldn’t even take the time to cook home cooked, healthier than our normal meals, but I did what any parent would do, I politely responded “you need to at least try it and if you do not eat this then you are going to end up going to bed hungry because this is what is for dinner”. My kids had never heard me say that to them and so what did they do? My children reluctantly finished most of their plates and went to bed full.

How do your kids respond to meals you cook that they are not used to eating?

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Merchant Services For Your Business

As a work at home woman I am always on the lookout for merchant services that will assist in making my transactions smoother and allow me to have a residual income source. Think about it, who wants to have to invoice people when they are selling products like ebooks or ecourses online? Merchant services help businesses process credit cards faster with little time spent from the business owner.

I have researched many merchant services in the years past when I was looking into being a reseller of ebooks, however, I decided to simply start my own business and sell a few ecourses here and there instead of having something set up for a residual income based on what other people wrote. I currently have a marketing ecourse and am working on a self esteem ecourse that is certainly something that would need the best merchant services possible to help process credit card payments from my customers.

So do you have a merchant service for credit card transactions? What do you like best about merchant services?

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Please Don’t Let Winter Come

Oh my gosh it’s already September, to think next month I will be 29 and my daughter will be 8 and it will be the season of Fall which means Winter in NH isn’t that far behind it. I love Fall, it’s my favorite season and no it’s not because that is my birthday month but Fall is a warmish cold season, not too hot and not too cold usually. Right now it’s the beginning of September and we are in the mid 80′s though so who knows what Winter has in store.

I started unpacking my Winter Hats and realized I have so many hats and mittens for the kids but not so many for myself nor Justin. Even Baby K has like one hat that will actually fit him. I am not a huge hat person but I am smart enough to realize that most of your body heat escapes through your head which means Miss Brandy Ellen better be getting out to the store some day to check out the selection of Women’s Winter hats around the area!

Winter time in NH is very pretty but oh so cold and hopefully I will survive because I know my children won’t let me hibernate. I request hibernation every year and still I end up outside to build snowmen and slide down our backyard hill, I guess that’s what being a parent is all about, right?!

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Hootsuite Helps You Multi-Task

As a virtual assistant who handles multiple clients social media accounts I have found that Hootsuite has solved a lot of things for me and helped consume time which means my rates get to stay lower than average! I am always on the look out for new ways to make my clients paying hours more efficient. I am a go getter and like to give my clients what they deserve for their dollar and Hootsuite has become my best friend and certainly helps my clients stay happy with my level of work!

Why do I love Hootsuite?

  • Add multiple social media accounts; currently I use Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn but there are more to add.
  • Monitor, interact and network through this one platform on multiple accounts at once.
  • Schedule updates to your social media accounts to post at a specific date and time.
  • Assign administrators to your accounts so that someone can easily monitor your accounts but allows you the access to review what they have done or have scheduled.
  • Plus much much more!

I am still in the process of learning most of Hootsuite’s features but at this time I am very impressed and have found it cut my time in half when it comes to social media work for myself and others! Hootsuite is on Twitter as @hootsuite and I tweeted them the other day with a problem and received an answer, that worked, fast! I would give them an A++ for efficiency and customer service skills!

I am not affiliated with Hootsuite, I am merely sharing this as a good tool for those who work with multiple social media accounts!

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CLOSED Yoplait Splitz Giveaway

YoplaitSplitzLogoTalk about yogurt and a sundae wrapped into one product, that’s what Yoplait Splitz is all about! Totally yogurt but tastes like a sundae, delicious! Yoplait is always coming out with fun, great tasting products for my family to enjoy, I must admit the kids always go for Yoplait treats when we are grocery shopping.

You know what’s even cooler? For an extra special cool treat you can pop Yoplait Splitz into the freezer for a frozen yogurt treat. The kids would love this type of thing but unfortunately in my house this didn’t last long enough for me to taste test it frozen!  Yoplait Splitz has a variety of flavors to include Strawberry Sundae, Strawberry Banana Split, and Rainbow Sherbet. I love sherbet, so you bet I had to taste test that flavor, I am not a big banana type of person, the kids are so we will have to taste test that flavor next!

I loved this treat very much and the kids felt like it was a super sweet treat when it was really yogurt, I think this is a worthy product for back to school treats too! My daughter can bring these with her in her new lunch box she has from Frecklebox! Although now I will have to go out and buy more of these yogurts on my next shopping trip, as I totally forget to buy them Tuesday on my weekly shopping trip, bad Mama!

Be sure to visit this link to get a coupon for $0.75 off any flavor of Yoplait Splitz.

Now what I would like to do with help from MyBlogSpark is to offer you a fantastic giveaway package …

Winner will receive ….

Yoplait_Splitz_Prize_PackA sample of Yoplait Splitz, an insulated carry tote and a roll up fleece picnic blanket.

Giveaway will close at 11:59pm on September 17, 2010

Open to US


  • Tell me what flavor you would like to try if you won? Leave a comment below.
  • Like Yoplait on Facebook. Leave a comment with your profile name.
  • Follow @yoplaityogurt and @brandyellen on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter username.
  • Tweet up to three times max per day and leave a comment below with the link to your tweet. Please include #myblogspark hashtag in your tweet(s).
  • Follow Happily Blended Blog through Google Friend Connect and leave a comment with your GFC username below.
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended via email or RSS (see links in right hand sidebar). Leave a comment telling me which method you subscribed.
  • Read and comment on another non-giveaway blog post such as Who’s this Brandy Ellen Anyways? or What’s your Parents Business? or any other one is fine too! Then leave a comment below telling me which blog post you left a comment on.

Good luck and have fun entering!

Disclosure: The giveaway package and sample has been provided to me for free in order to facilitate this review and giveaway fully. All opinions are  based on my own and are not that of My Blog Spark nor Yoplait.

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