Sunday, August 31, 2008

You Don't Need to Dress Up; This Party's Virtual!

First things first. Click here to get in on the ground floor of The Great New Pop'rs Giveaway. Enter today; please don't delay!

Second things second. All my Bloggy Friends are Sooooooooooo Generous! Based on yesterday's nominations, Veggie Mom, Moker, Uncle Lynn, Aunt Julie and All the Pop'rs Cousins are happy to present the Kick-Ass Blogger Award to the following:

  • A Day in Rhonda's Life: Rhonda is generous and prolific. We love what she has to say!
  • Matt, Liz and Madeline: Nominated by Rhonda, Matt is raising Madeline on his own after his wife died. A poignant story, worth following!
  • My Charming Kids: Also nominated by Rhonda, the MCKS family of six includes the mom, who's 29 weeks pregnant and has been hospitalized with complications.
  • Dawn's Place: Dawn's one of my New Bloggy Friends! I met her through Blog Around the World. She hails from the Great State of Lousiana, and she's a hoot-and-a-half!
  • This is the Life: The Home Blog of Debbie, the Great Gal who brought you BATW a couple of weeks ago. 'Nuff said!
  • Don't Get Married...You Won't Like It! Always asking the perennial question, "Does Anybody Hear Me?", this Bloggy Friend recently purchased some Pop'rs and says she's Popping with Joy!
  • The Scholastic Scribe: What can one say about good ol' Melissa B.? She's a high school journalism teacher, with a classroom full of "Cherubs." She's got some HighLARious action goin' on today, so check it out!
  • Zander & Me: What's not to love about Z's Mom? BTW, Zander's in a Cutest Baby Contest, so please vote for him--early and often!
  • The Fun House: Jen was nominated by Z's mom, who says she "always has a good story to share." Check out this Fun House, and let us know!
  • Pak Adventures: Marla has just redesigned her blog, and it's cute as a bug! She also gave me my first Bloggy Award, so she holds a special place in Veggie Mom's heart!

The Party's over, but hope the good feelings remain. Don't know about any After-Parties...You'll have to inquire at the door. Congratulations, ladies, and don't forget to Pick Up Your Award on the way out!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Roll Out the Red Carpet, Please

Before we get going on today's post, let me remind you, Dear Readers, that you have Six. Days. Left to enter The Great New Pop'rs Giveaway! Don't delay; enter today!

I'm all agog and agape, everybody! I've been presented with another award, and don't quite know what to make of it!

The presenter is a Rather Prolific Blogger named Blogstalker. And, all things considered, he's got a Pretty Interesting Blog out there! So, on behalf of the Academy, I accept this Great Honor. Thanks for thinkin' of me! If you'd like to read Blogstalker's thoughts on this award, please click here.

Blogstalker seems intent on promoting what he terms "the coolest blogs on the Web." Don't know if little ol' Veggie Mom really qualifies in this category, but I'd like to pass on this Bloggy Award to those whose blogs might fit that description. So, I'ma gonna take a page from my "mentor's" Blog Book, and set out the award criteria right here:

1. Tell me what YOU think makes for a good blog/post
2. List any blogs you would like to nominate for my consideration.
3. Sit back and enjoy the wait while I sift through the nominations and come up with a list of awardees.

This Bloggy Biz is all about Sharing the Comment Love, right? That, plus lots and lots of good ideas, intrepid insights, and thoughts that may tickle our imaginations. Not to mention tickling our funny bones, for sure!

So, please comment here and nominate a Bloggy Friend. You'll be Glad. You. Did!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Foto Fiesta!

An Outer Banks, NC, sunset can't be beat! Please join Candid Carrie and Share the Friday Foto Fiesta Love! PS: Don't forget The Great New Pop'rs Giveaway!! PPS: Have a FanTAbulous weekend, one and all!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

They're Hoppin' to Get Poppin'!

Take a gander at Big Bear, Shark Boy, and Uncle Lynn, Sharing The Pop'rs Love early this summer at the Institute of Food Technologists trade show in New Orleans. The trio showed The Biggest Names in Food How to Get Poppin'! Smile, Boys!!

And, speaking of Pop'rs, it's time to enter our Great New Pop'rs Giveaway! Share that Comment Love and win you some of the most delightful, fun and nutritious seasonings around!

BTW, three--Count 'Em!--of our Bloggy Friends are Singing the Praises of Pop'rs!

Hoagie, The Coach over at DC Sports Plus--and also our only Giveaway Winner of the Male Variety so far--loves him some Pop'rs! Here's what he had to say:

"Try this Product!" Hoagie enthuses. "I recently won a contest where I received two flavors of Pop'rs. Pop'rs are essentially awesome-tasting, good-for-you Pop Rocks that you sprinkle on foods. They're mostly marketed toward families (so moms can get their kids to eat their veggies), but with my two flavors (Chocolate and Taco), I can add both flavor and nutritional value to my ice cream and Ramen Noodles. They're really worth trying out...To borrow the catchphrase from Pringles: Once You Pop'r...well nevermind."

Lula, Our Gal over at Lulaville, cooked her up a DyNaMite Dish the other day and added Pop'rs to the recipe. "Buffalo-flavored Pop'rs enhance chicken casserole. Delish! Thanks, Veggie Mom!" Lula's also the one who's trying to convince Uncle Lynn to e-mail Ellen DeGeneres to Get Poppin' with Pop'rs on The Dancin' Queen's show. Lula has all kinds of ideas to get that to happen. She's So Enthusiastic, that we Just. Might. Do. It. "Why aren't y'all on Ellen yet?" Lula wants to know. We're workin' on it, gal!

Mannequin, who is anything but at Fractured Toy, placated Mr. Man the other day with a Strong Dose of Pop'rs. Uncle Lynn's fun seasoning came to the rescue over at Mannequin's place.

"And have you tried Pop'rs?" Mannequin asks. "I was lucky enough to win some a couple months ago (Thanks, Veggie Mom!) and I'm greedy enough to enter for another giveaway! They were a big hit here! Mr. Man loves his chocolate milk but is VERY picky about which brand. Having run out one morning, I popped into my cupboard and popped out my Pop'rs (yes, very clever, huh?). Mr Man loved it! We used Taco on tacos and then per Uncle Lynn's suggestion, we used it on corn ( I added diced red peppers to mine also. Yum). We loved every one of the eight flavors; this is a giveaway you don't want to miss! The ColorBurst came in handy this weekend again! I had only plain vanilla yogurt in the fridge and wanted a treat. What better to use than my Pop'rs? What a yummy treat!"

Thanks to everyone who's been Sharing the Comment Love! You're all So Dear to our Little Ol' Bloggy Hearts. *Group Hug*!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On, Wisconsin!

Thanks to Debbie over at Blog Around the World for the great chance to showcase my Guest-Blogger and Hubby, Moker, and all the Wonders of The Badger State. I've responded to everyone's comments, except for the couple of you whose blogs weren't accessible. I've had So. Much. Fun visiting everyone and blog-chatting the last couple of days!

Don't forget, everyone, to enter The Great New Pop'rs Giveaway. It runs through September 5th. Remember: You can't win if you don't enter!

As Aunt Julie, The Pop'r Queen, correctly pointed out, Moker left out a couple of key points yesterday. To recap:

  • Moker, along with Aunt Julie and the rest of their family, hails from Chippewa Falls, WI. CF is the home to Leinenkugel's Beer--Grab a Leinie's today! This Northwest Wisconsin burg claims to have the "purest & softest water in the world, from the Big Eddy Springs" just outside of town.
  • Chippewa Falls is also famous On the Big Screen. CF was the movie hometown of Diane Keaton in that 1970s classic, "Annie Hall." And who could forget that Leonardo DiCaprio's character hailed from Chippewa Falls in "Titanic"?
  • Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn now live in Neenah, WI, home of the Rockets, and Lynn's hometown. It's also where Kimberly-Clark was born, on the shores of Lake Winnebago in Northeastern Wisconsin. Many of the "Paper Baron" mansions still line the lake, including the manse of the woman who once controlled the corporation, and who referred to herself as "The Kotex Queen." Seriously!
  • Pop'rs are made in Uncle Lynn's plant, up the highway in Wrightstown, WI, near Green Bay. And remember: The Only Place you can buy Pop'rs is online from Uncle Lynn. Click here to find out how!
  • Yup, All The Pop'rs Cousins are Green Bay Packers Fans! There's still a little bit of debate about the consequences of Brett Becoming a Jet, but All Six of the PC will be wearing the Green and Gold this season!
  • Moker also forgot to mention that College Girl will be a senior at Lawrence University in lovely Appleton, WI, this year. Her little sis', The Wild One, will be a freshman. We Love Larry U.! Goooooooooooo, Vikings!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome to Wisconsin!

Hi, there! I’m Veggie Mom, the proprietress over here at Eat Your Veggies! Nice to meetcha! I started blogging back in June, at the behest of my BIL, Uncle Lynn. Lynn, also known as The Pop’r King, is a Wisconsin Legend in his Own Time. He makes Pop’rs, but that’s another story. Let’s just say he’s on a Quest, and it all revolves around his fun new product. If you have time after the tour, please drop by Uncle Lynn’s Great New Pop’rs Giveaway. You’ll be glad you did!

For those of you new to the Pop’r Family’s Story, let me introduce you. There’s Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn, the Pop’r Queen and King, respectively, and their four boys: Big Bear, Shark Boy, College Boy and Soccer Boy. I’m Veggie, and I’m married to Aunt Julie’s bro, Uncle Mark. We call him Moker, and he’s our Guest Blogger today. That’s him in the photo above, tailgating at the famed Lambeau Field in Green Bay. We have two daughters: College Girl and The Wild One. The six kids together constitute the entirety of that Famous Northeast Wisconsin Gang, The Pop’rs Cousins.

Before we embark on our tour, we’d like to thank Debbie and all her friends at Blog Around the World, for this chance to showcase the Great State of Wisconsin! So sit back, relax, grab some snacks (the cheese curds are fresh!) and pay close attention, as Moker takes us on a tour of our Upper Midwest Home.

Moker, here, with all the news that's fit to print, and then some! Wisconsin has many mottos. Some of them, like "Forward,” “America’s Dairyland,” and the “Badger State,” are official, steeped in tradition and history. But most residents understand that the best descriptive slogan is “Eat Cheese or Die!”

Wisconsin, where one congressional district has more cows than people, is a national leader in the production of milk, butter and cheese, especially cheddar. Fans of the Green Bay Packers (12 NFL championships) are known as “Cheeseheads” and wear yellow foam rubber wedges on their heads. BTW, one of those foam cheeeseheads once helped prevent serious injury to a victim of a small plane crash!

Wisconsin also is famous for its beer and bratwurst, delicacies that celebrate the German and Polish immigrants who settled in Milwaukee. The Scandinavians–Norwegians, Swedes, Danes and Finns–who immigrated to the rest of the state brought along lefse, lutefisk and sandbakkels.

Living so close to two of the Great Lakes (Superior and Michigan), Wisconsin residents are hardy souls who enjoy delightful summers and falls and endure sometimes brutal winters. Only in Wisconsin can you have a White Christmas as well as a White Halloween and a White Easter all in the same year. No wonder the state leads the nation in per capita brandy consumption!

Wisconsin gets its name from an Indian word of various origins–the Algonquian word for "long river" or the Chippewa/Ojibwa Tribe word that means "grassy place" or "gathering of the waters." The towns of Oshkosh, Menomonie, Menomonee Falls, Oconomowoc, Aswaubenon, Kaukauna, Mukwonago, and Chippewa Falls, among others, are of American Indian origin.
Politically, Wisconsin is viewed as a progressive state that produced Gov. Robert M. “Fighting Bob” La Follette, maverick Sen. William Proxmire and Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the Father of Earth Day. Wisconsin also is the birthplace of the Republican Party (Ripon) and gave the country that infamous, disgraced “Commie Hunter” of the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy.

Wisconsinites love their sports, especially the outdoor variety, including hunting, fishing (muskies), snowmobiling and skiing, and residents enjoy thousands of lakes, although they do grumble about the number of Illinois residents who head north and bag black and white Holsteins instead of deer every year!

Notable Wisconsin personalities include architect Frank Lloyd Wright, super computer inventor Seymour Cray Jr., pianist Liberace, actors Orson Wells and Spencer Tracy, astrologer Jean Dixon, and magician Harry Houdini, whose most famous trick may have been escaping from Appleton!

Well, that concludes our tour of The Badger State. Hope you enjoyed yourselves and Moker, our Guest Blogger! Please feel free to snag some more snacks (we’ve got plenty of lutefisk left!) on your way out, and Don’t Forget to Share the Comment Love Before You Leave. Pretty Please?

Monday, August 25, 2008

What a Pair!

Before we fill you in on the scrumptious creations pictured above, we want to remind you about The Great New Pop'rs Giveaway. Remember--You. Can't. Win. If. You. Don't. Enter!

As some of our long-term readers know, my SIL, Aunt Julie (also known as The Pop'r Queen), is a quilter. She started a lovely tradition three years ago, when our oldest, College Girl, graduated from high school. Auntie J. quilted a Beautiful Blue Keepsake, formally known as Those Fabulous Blues. The next year, when her son, College Boy, headed out the door, his Mom presented him with a Texas Hold 'Em Quilt.

Well, The Wild One has been waiting patiently, and her patience paid off during our beach VAY-kay, when Aunt Julie gifted her with another Off-to-College Masterpiece. The photo above, snapped by Photographer Extraordinaire Aunt Julie, of course, shows both girls at the beach house, exhibiting Auntie J.'s extraordinary handiwork. The Wild One's quilt is the same pattern as her sister's, only in accents of pink.

"I loved seeing the two quilts together," Julie says. "I wonder how many hours of work they represent! I do know that each of them is made of 1,384 two-inch triangles."

Even though she sometimes calls these projects "The Quilts from Hell" because of various techinical difficulties, Julie also recognizes these would have been even more difficult to turn out in her great-grandmother's generation. "Thank goodness for today’s modern cutting and piecing methods," Julie says, "not to mention sewing machines. I cannot even imagine how quilts were made 100 or more years ago! And those women made several, too! They had no books with patterns and directions, or fancy, well-equipped fabric stores, either. Wow!"

Both my girls don't know what they'd do without their Aunt Julie, either. Here's sending all our thanks and love her way! She's a pretty amazing gal, isn't she?

PS: Just got word that the Blog Around the World crew is visiting The Great State of Wisconsin tomorrow! Stay tuned--we've got a lot in store for you, and a Guest Blogger, too!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Veggie Mom Exposé: Six Random Quirky Things

It's that time again, folks! Angela, over at Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy, got the ball rolling by *tagging* me for a "Six Quirky Quirks" *meme.* I'd been dutifully compiling my list, when Channah, of Get a Grip, Mom! got in on the action, too, *tagging* me for "Six Random Things." Similar, but totally different, if ya know what I mean!

You know where this is headed, right? How 'bout a "Six Random Quirky Things About Me" *meme*? And I'ma gonna take it this time, folks, since Aunt Julie is resting up for the onslaught of entries to our Great New Pop'rs Giveaway. Didja see that Uncle Lynn's Giveaway was featured on SITS this morning? You Rock, Ladies! And remember, Faithful Readers: You can't win if you don't play!

So, without further delay, here are the Rules for our Little Ol' *Meme*:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules to your blog.
3. Write 6 random, quirky things about yourself and post 'em!
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Six Random, Quirky Things About Moi? Let's see now...

1. I can say the alphabet backwards. My Nana taught me when I was 4.
2. I detest lima beans. Absolutely abhor them. Won't even look at them! If some are sitting on a plate near me, I. Will. Leave. The. Room!
3. I am a Cat Lady Extraordinaire. If it weren't for The Hubby, Moker, I'd have a lot more Feline Friends than two! One of my kitties, BTW, is pictured for this post. And you need to stay tuned this week...Moker's gonna be my Guest Blogger on Tuesday. It'll be a wild ride, for sure!
4. I put peanuts in my Coke. Seriously. Did you ever hear the song "Country When Country Wasn't Cool" by Barbara Mandrell? That's Your Veggie Mom, in a nutshell!
5. I usually count the stairs that I'm either ascending or descending. Some say I might be a tad OCD. Ya think?
6. I used to adore the Green Bay Packers. But Brett's a Jet now. So I've ordered my #4 jersey, in a different color green. Go, Jets!

That's all, folks! Except for that *tagging* business, which is such an important part of *memes*! So, then, here we go. Tag, You're It!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tasty Taffy and a Great Giveaway!

While The Pop'rs Cousins were at the beach, they clamored for a batch of Aunt Julie's Taffy Bars. "These are my kids' favorites, and extra easy," she explains. As you may recall, Auntie J. really knows her way around a kitchen!

So, without further ado, here's a Tasty Taffy recipe. It goes well with our Great New Pop'rs Giveaway, don't you think? Please enter today--don't delay!

Aunt Julie's Taffy Bars
1 cup butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar. Cream the sugar with the butter, then add:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups flour
Press into sprayed 9 X 13 pan. Bake 20 minutes @ 350
Melt 1 bag semi-sweet chips on top. Cool. Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beat Those Back-to-School Blues With a Giveaway!

As promised, Dear Readers, it's that time again--Time for another Great Pop'rs Giveaway! This one's simple, since you're right in the middle of that Most Bittersweet time o' year and some of you, most likely, are fighting those Back-to-School Blues.

Here's the deal. Leave a comment here, explaining what this time of year (end of summer, back to school, seasons changing--whatever tickles your fancy!) means to you. That's it! At Midnight on September 5, EST, we'll select Two Grand Prize Winners by random drawing. What do you win? Why, a complete box of Pop'rs--All eight flavors!--that tasty and fun seasoning that really encourages kids to Eat. Their. Veggies!

Above, BTW, is a Parting Shot of the Pop'rs Cousins at the beach. We haven't done it in years, but we used to line them up here every year for a photo-shoot. We renewed the Family Tradition this year, before the kids get too old for going to the beach with the Old Folks!

Pictured, from the left, back row: Big Bear, The Wild One, College Boy, Shark Boy; front row: College Girl, Soccer Boy. For those of you who are new to the Pop'rs Family, The Wild One and College Girl are mine; the four boys are the Number One Sons to Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn. And, to the Uninitiated, the answer is "no." Veggie Mom and Aunt Julie aren't the same person; Veggie is married to Auntie J.'s brother, Uncle Mark, also known as Moker. And who could wish for a better SIL?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dirt Farmer

My Nana used to get down and dirty in her garden. When she was done, she was sometimes so filthy she'd have to hose off out by the well before she came in the house. I felt that way today!

Day #2 of "tidying up" before the end o' summer comes, and there still seems to be No. End. In. Sight! Finished up dividing and transplanting daylilies, and creating a new bed by the side of the house. Waiting for The Hubby to come home from work so that we can play Nuke the Honeysuckle. I do love that plant, but it's out of control this year. I think I'm gonna give him permission to wield the pick axe any way he wants--Damn the Torpedoes and Full Speed Ahead!

Feeling slightly anxious to get this done, 'cause school starts next week and then all Heck is gonna break loose. Which reminds me: Another Great Pop'rs Giveaway starts Friday! It's gonna have a Back-to-School Theme, and you're gonna love it!

One of the really good things to come out of all of this Daylily Surgery is that I moved a treasured plant that Aunt Julie gave me last spring. It's called Mary Todd; no relation to Big Bird or Stargazer, but another beauty just the same. I planted it right next to the Chicago Apache I got on sale today. Can't wait to see how that one blooms. I only wish I had the green thumb that Auntie J. has!

In the meantime, I must get my messy self back to gardening. Could someone please untangle the hose for me?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Star Is Born

Here's another contestant for the Aunt Julie Lily of the Century Award. It's called a Stargazer Lily, and Auntie J. loves this flower for both its beauty and its scent. I think we should award Aunt Julie a prize for photography, too, don't you?

I have to say, Aunt Julie has the patience of a saint when it comes to using her Green Thumb! I just spent all day separating and transplanting day lilies--gardening defnitely is a Labor of Love!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One Word Wonders

Hey there, folks! I'm soooooooooo happy about all the new friends I'm making by Blogging Around the World. Welcome, everyone! When you guys get to Wisconsin, you're in for a very special treat!

Nonna, the proprietress at Nonna's News, has a super *meme* out there. Aunt Julie, our Resident *meme* Expert, tried to answer these questions with One Word. It's a lot more difficult than you think!

Here, then, without further ado, are Aunt Julie's semi-Monosyllabic Pronouncements for the Day:
1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Adventurous
5. Your father? Wry
6. Your favorite thing? Dogs
7. Your dream last night? Weird
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. The room you’re in? Sewing
10. Your hobby? Quilting
11. Your fear? Loneliness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Alive
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Insensitive
15. One of your wish-list items? Money
16. Where you grew up? Wisconsin
17. The last thing you did? Breathe
18. What are you wearing? PJ’s
19. Your TV? Big
20. Your pet? Labrador
21. Your computer? HP
22. Your mood? Serene
23. Missing someone? Mom
24. Your car? SUV
25. Something you’re not wearing? Bra
26. Favorite store? tjmaxx
27. Your summer? Short
28. Love someone? YES
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Haven’t
32. Who do you want to *tag*?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ode to Vanna White

The Pop'rs Cousins, along with Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn, left the beach this weekend, headed for home. After an overnight stop at our house, they were on their way back to Northeastern Wisconsin. Their 14+ hour trip was made more comfortable, of course, thanks to Vanna White.

We're not talking about the "Wheel of Fortune" star here. We're talking about a big ol' white Econoline Conversion Van, with close to 260,000 miles on it. The Pop'rs Family bought Vanna in 1994, when the boys were little and Soccer Boy wasn't yet digging the sod out of his cleats. Vanna has traveled to DC, OBX, and Florida too many times to count. She's also always up for ski trips at the blink of an eye! The shot above shows Vanna in her younger years, with Shark Boy, Aunt Julie, Moses, Uncle Lynn and College Boy ready to embark on another Vanna Voyage.

Vanna is outfitted for the Traveling Life, you betcha. She has four sets of headphone jacks in the back for iPods and personal DVD players. "We laughed at first when we’d ask the boys a question and they would yell because they were wearing headphones," Aunt Julie says. "College Girl has a habit of getting carsick in Vanna, with the movies playing and all the junk we eat on trips, so she is banned. The dogs see us loading Vanna up for a trip and will jump in if we leave the door open. They know we are going away!" Both Trouble Elizabeth and Moses have made multiple trips to the beach in Florida in Vanna. "Trouble Elizabeth had to go on his first beach vacation when he had a broken leg, and needed physical therapy," Julie recalls.

Then there was the time when Auntie J. was seven months pregnant with Soccer Boy. "We got to Milwaukee and I made Lynn stop," Julie explains, wincing at the memory. "I felt closed in, uncomfortable and trapped (much like College Girl feels when she gets Vanna Sick), so he pulled over at a rest stop. He called my OB, who laughed when told I had only been on the road an hour-and-a-half! So I took some Dramamine and slept the rest of the trip. When we got to the hotel for the night, I was amazed at how good the boys had been. Lynn retorted that I could have slept through an atomic bomb!"

Vanna showed her advancing age during this last beach trip. Just outside Milwaukee, she blew a tire. Near Louisville, she overheated. And when Vanna and the Gang reached my neck of the woods, she had to go to the mechanic for a radiator problem.

Everyone made it back to Wisconsin safe and sound, though. But Uncle Lynn is thinking about retiring Vanna. He's got his eye on a successor--another white Econoline Conversion Van. Vanna White the Second, I suppose?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grab Your Cyber-Passport and Let's Go!

Debbie, over at This is the Life, has a fanTAbulous idea! What if you took the saying "Surfing the Net" seriously? Like, chit-chatting between Bloggy Friends, only better: really opening up your eyes to all that the Blogosphere has to offer!

Deb is having a House Party over at Blog Around the World, and the title of her newest Bloggy Endeavor means what it says. This fab idea started percolating in Debbie's Bloggy Brain: What if she tried to get a Bloggy Friend from All 50 States? What if she expanded that idea, and went international? Well, she's done all that, as she explains in her first post on her new blog.

"So what's this party all about? Last week I attempted to get a blogger from all 50 states just to see if I could," Debbie says. "Plan A was to to link up all commenters by state in one post. But Plan A only took into consideration that I'd get 30-40 replies. Umm, I received over a 100 responses. Rut roh. Plan A. Aborted. What's Plan B? I dunno. I guess I better buy a place and run it. Run it where? I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing. But, I think I've just declared myself the directory of blogs by state and country. Yay, me."

Debbie isn't doing this for the blog roll. She wants a genuine commitment from her newest Bloggy Friends. "Alas, this isn't gonna be just a white pages for bloggers," she cautions. "We are gonna have fun over here. I plan on having guest bloggers, selecting a state/country and its bloggers to feature daily just to ram traffic through your sites, and starting next week I will spotlight and interview a particular blogger. And no questions like 'where do you see yourself in five years?' will be asked. Blech ick. If you want to be included in the listing or individually spotlighted at some point, go to your state/country of residence and sign in. I'll link you up."

Sounds like an ambitious undertaking. So, to add a little flava to the pot, Debbie's holding a contest. No, this isn't just a shameless blog promotion. Debbie sounds a lot like my SIL, Aunt Julie, The Pop'r Queen. Deb's a downright friendly kinda gal. Must be all that down-home Old Dominion Hospitality she exudes!

"Go mingle with the bloggers from your state/country and leave 'em some comment love! If not, travel to a place you've never been and leave them some comment love," Debbie enthuses. "Hopefully, all kinds of new traffic will get pushed through your sites."

Sounds like it's all about Sharing the Comment Love, and getting to know lots of new folks. And, as you know, I'm all in favor of that!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Brett's a Jet!

OK, Sports Fans--Brett Favre's a Jet. We're getting ready to watch his debut in New York (well, actually suburban Jersey, but who's counting?) against the Washington Redskins. Can't quite believe that Ol' Number 4 is going to be wearing another shade of green After. All. Those. Years with The Pack. Unbelievable.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Crunchy Sort of Salad

The night before we left the beach, Aunt Julie, she of Blueberry and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie fame (not to mention Summer Block Party Chicken Salad, Strawberry Salad with Caramelized Nuts, Sherbet Watermelon, and Fruit Pizza) whipped up this delicious Broccoli Slaw Salad for The Pop'rs Cousins, Aunts and Uncles. The crunchy, slightly spicy addition of the Ramen Noodles gives this dish a very special kick!

Aunt Julie's Broccoli Slaw Salad

Salad mixture
1 bag broccoli slaw mix
2 bunches green onions
1 cup chopped celery

¾ cup oil
½ cup sugar
Seasoning from two Beef Ramen Noodles packages

Mix the dressing together. Pour over the salad mixture. Add two packages of crumbled Beef Ramen Noodles and one cup salted sunflower seeds just before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to an Old Dog!

Aunt Julie is on vacation, which means she's missing a Major Milestone back home. Trouble Elizabeth (remember, Julie has no girls, so had to grant the family surname to someone, even if he is a male dog) turns 16 today. Little Red, Julie's soon-to-be DIL, is dog-sitting while The Pop'r Queen is at the beach.

Julie picks up the Trouble Elizabeth tale: "We found him from an ad in the newspaper. There were lots of Springer Spaniel ads that week, and most were $350 or so. The ad for Trouble said $50. I called, to see if it was a typo. No. Why so cheap? Turns out the owner had 12 puppies to find homes for."

Trouble Eliz turned out to be a rabbit-chasing machine. "Almost every morning we’d let him out and he’d take off and not come back 'til he could hardly move, and the neighborhood was free of bunnies for another day," she remembers. "My kids were late many mornings for school because we were scouring the streets in our SUV, calling 'Trouble! Trouble!' and eventually 'Trouble Elizabeth! You get over here right this minute!' "

Julie and Uncle Lynn, The Pop'r King, came up with a great way to wake up their boys in the winter. "We had a habit of taking him outside to play and then letting him jump on the boys' beds to wake them up. Cold toes, cold nose…"

Trouble Elizabeth's alarm clock duties, however, were numbered. "One Sunday morning he jumped off the bed, but his leg got caught between the mattress and footboard, and snapped," Julie says. "Since we lived in a rural area, the local vet was a large animal vet, and his suggestion was to shoot him and get another dog! Good thing we lived near Madison and the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine! One day and $1,000 later, he was good as new!"

There are too many Trouble Elizabeth stories to tell here, "but needless to say, it was the best $50 we ever spent!" Aunt Julie declares. "He's an old doggy, but all we want is another 16 years. What a great dog!"

Like a lot of 112-year-old men, Trouble Elizabeth has become mostly an indoor doggy, and leads a pretty pampered life. His various ailments come and go; he has a "dribbling" problem, among others, and wears a Doggy Diaper. The Pop'rs Family calls him "Captain Underpants"!

Auntie J. says Trouble's aches and pains are pretty minor, though. "As long as he still barks at the mailman and wags his tail when we come home, we can cope!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

College Boy Catches a Wave

Aunt Julie, The Pop'r Queen, pointed out this morning that College Boy is the only Popr's Cousin who hasn't been featured in this blog. Well, it's your day, CB!

College Boy has been itching to catch a wave since he was a little boy and first started going to North Carlolina's Outer Banks with his cousins. Well, at first he wasn't too receptive to the OBX Coastal Culture. We do remember him arriving at the beach as a 6-year-old, in his jeans, T-shirt, socks and sneaks. It took him a couple of days to ditch the Upper Midwest Gear and make a beach-type fashion statement.

Since, then, though, College Boy has been boogie-boarding through life. Check out the pure joy in his face as he catches a wave with his cousin, College Girl, on his way into shore. His Mom, Auntie J., snapped this with her new digital camera. Life is sweet, ain't it?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two Winners, and an Award!

I know you've been perched near your laptops All. Night. Long, in great anticipation, to learn the Winners of The Great Pop'rs Giveaway. Last night Aunt Julie, The Pop'r Queen, selected two Bloggy Friends by Random Drawing. Congrats to Lula, who lives over yonder in Lulaville, and Corey, she of the incredibly artistic photos on Living and Loving Every Minute of It!

What do these gals win? They each get a Complete Box of Pop'rs--all eight flavors of this amazing and good-for-you seasoning--to savor with their families. Thanks again, Dear Readers, for Sharing All the Comment Love this past week. We've had a blast--hope you have, too!

Now, if you could please turn your attention to the podium--Veggie Mom has won another award! Mama Rose bestowed the Brillante Award on moi the other day, just because! As a recipient of this Bloggy Award, I'm required to do the following:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs for the award.
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

So, Drumroll, Please! Veggie Mom hereby, officially, and into perpetuity awards The Brillante Award to:

There you go, ladies! Congratulations, and have a Lovely Bloggy Day!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

JAWS, Part 2

When we left you last, Dear Readers, we were telling you a Big Shark Story. Let's catch back up with Aunt Julie, and see how the story ended.

"When Shark Boy’s big shark was pulled in, he was lying on the deck of the pontoon. Joey instructed him to keep his foot on this beast, which was fighting like all get out to get back into the ocean, 'Don’t let him wiggle back into the water!' Joey shouted. He then reached up into an overhead compartment while we were all focused on the shark."

Those of you who love real-life drama should read on. Those who are of sensitive dispositions should close your eyes for this next part. "All of a sudden, we heard a 'pop!' and looked up to see Joey holding a handgun," Aunt Julie says, picking up the narrative. "He’d shot the shark! Well, the girls were all screaming, and there was crazy pandemonium; way too much drama for a pontoon boat! Joey apologized, after a fashion, saying had to do it to kill the shark, because we wanted to keep him. Yikes!"

That night, Shark Boy and his girlfriend took some of the meat to a local restaurant, and the chef prepared it for them for dinner. "The Shark Adventure was easily the best single day of the trip," Julie enthuses. "We took the rest of the shark home frozen, and put in our basement freezer. The power went our briefly, and the fridge stopped. Days later, we were met with the pungent odor of melting shark. I am still trying to get the stink out of the fridge!"
Before The Pop'r Family left for the beach on Friday, Auntie J. scattered containers of charcoal throughout the fridge, in yet another attempt to freshen it up. Forty pounds of charcoal might do the trick!

Just a friendly reminder, Sports Fans. Today's the last day of the Great Pop'rs Giveaway! Make sure you get your entries in by 8 pm. EST today. Extra entries for comments on the past week's posts--be there or be square!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat"

Remember that famous quote from "Jaws"? Well, Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn were saying just that last year on vacation in Florida, when Shark Boy caught this monster.

"Last summer, we postponed our spring break until August, and still went to Florida," Aunt Julie explains. "Three of the boys brought along their girlfriends. Well, six 20-somethings aren’t happy walking the beach and shell hunting (there are none that time of year, anyway!), so we needed a plan. Not to mention that it was extremely HOT."

Aunt Julie got one of those ideas that come along with the cartoon lightbulb that goes on above your head. "I had taken a 'shuttle' across a narrow stretch of water to an island for shelling on previous trips. The shuttle was run by a college kid and his pontoon boat. He charged $10 and I am so cheap, I told Joey, the kid, that I could swim it and save the $10! He said he wouldn’t do that, because of the sharks. Yeah, right. Anyway, he also charged to take tourists fishing, so I set it up for early the next morning."

The Pop'r Boys were a little disappointed when they saw the pontoon boat the next day. "They were expecting a fancy fishing boat, but it was Joey and the pontoon that met us," Julie says. "One of my boys whispered, 'Mom, Joey isn't a college boy! I’m a college boy!” So I asked him how old he was. Turns out he was my age! I guess the folks down Florida way are better preserved than we are up north!"

What about the sharks, you ask? I'm getting to it! "Anyway, we followed a shrimp boat for a few minutes and saw lots of dolphins. About 10 minutes out, well within sight of the shore, we stopped and Joey went to work baiting the hooks. We asked what we were fishing for and he said 'sharks'. Great. We were out about 2 1/2 hours and it was constant action. Shark Boy caught this 6-foot, black-tipped reef shark, and everyone else caught at least two smaller sharks."

Even the GFs got caught up in the action. "There was a seat bolted to the front of the pontoon, where there was no railing, where you sat to reel," according to Aunt Julie. "Joey held onto the back of the girls' T-shirts, so they wouldn’t fall in. At one point, a hammerhead circled the boat, close enough to the surface that we could see him very well. Joey thought he must have been 15 feet long! He tried to catch him, but no luck. We would have had to drive to boat back in, dragging that huge shark!"

Even though the sharks were pretty scary, Julie's glad she went on the expedition. "It was exciting enough just to see such an amazing creature!" she says.

We'll have more of this Shark Story tomorrow. In the meantime, have you entered the Great Pop'rs Giveaway? You have until Monday at 8 p.m. EST; it's really easy--just click here--no gear or pontoon boat required!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

You Asked? We Answered!

Unless you ask Veggie Mom and The Pop'r Family! You asked, we answered! Day 2 beachside with Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn, who are answering Your Bloggy Questions today. Now, just 'cause we're on VAY-kay, doesn't mean that we're forgetting about our Great Pop'rs Giveaway, which ends on Monday. Please join the fun and enter today!

Ticopi, over at Nonchalantly Treading, wants to know about Pop'rs and dorm food. "How could college students use Pop'rs in college food to make it healthier/more appetizing? I do have a kitchen, but school is rapidly approaching and the meal plans are upon us!" Of course, Ticopi! As Aunt Julie likes to say, no kid’s too old for Popr’s!! They can jazz up any dorm-type food, from spaghetti to mac 'n' cheese to Jell-O—and don’t forget the frozen yogurt!

KKJD1, who has Farmgirl'inGa. Style, is concerned about diabetics eating Pop'rs. "My comment or question for the day is can a diabetic use the Pop'rs?" Uncle Lynn says that these fun and good-for-you seasonings have a sugar content of about 15 percent. He also says that since you'd be shaking Pop'rs on food, that would dilute the sugar content even more. And thanks for the positive thoughts as we commence our Beachy Week, KKJD1!

Lula, our gal over in Lulaville, says she's interested in Pop'rs, but has "Twilight" on the brain this week. "Here's my question: Have you started reading "Twilight" yet? It is THE summer beach read. You knew I was gonna ask..." Thanks, Lula! All I can say is, we're gettin' to it!

Betty, who's in charge of Betty's Blog, asked three Pop'rs -related questions. You know, those teachers try to be very precise! "Are they diff erent colors? Do they pop when you eat them? Also, are they used on all types of food?" Aunt Julie says that's why Pop'rs are so fun, Betty!Different colors, different flavors—these carbonated crystals pop on contact with moisture, so, of course, Pop'rs pop in your mouth, not (necessarily) in your hand! Yes, Betty, we use Pop’rs on veggies, ice cream, beverages—just use your imagination and let us know what new uses you can come up with!

Gina, who presides over at The Clan McLeod, has flavor-specific questions: "How about some Cheddar Popr's?! And Caramel!" Since Pop'rs are made in Wisconsin, Gina, cheddar sounds like it’s in our future. The company has just developed an intense lemon flavor that Aunt Julie cooked up, so Caramel wouldn’t be out of the question. We’d have to take that one to the lab!

Corey, who's Living and Loving Every Minute of It, says she's sometimes confused about the Pop'r Family Tree. " have you explained who the author of this blog is? I sometimes feel lost with all the characters in this Popr's story. Point me in the right direction to figure who is who is who out. :)"

Corey, here’s the deal. Veggie Mom (that’s me!) writes the blog. My BIL, Uncle Lynn, makes the Pop’rs. Uncle Lynn is married to Aunt Julie, The Pop’r Queen. Their kids are Big Bear, Shark Boy, College Boy and Soccer Boy, and their furry children, Trouble Elizabeth and Moses, The World’s Best Dogs. Veggie Mom is married to Aunt Julie’s brother, Uncle Mark (we call him Moker). Our kids are College Girl and The Wild One. Does that help at all, Corey?

Mary Beth I., who's a Blogmaniac, is curious about Pop'rs availability. "Are Pop'rs available in the grocery stores?" she queries. "If not yet, any plans?" We’d love to get 'em there, Mary Beth. That’s the ultimate goal. Right now, though, the only place you can buy Pop’rs is from Uncle Lynn. To order yours, click here!

Friday, August 8, 2008

We're 50 Posts Young-A Bloggy Celebration is in Order!

When we started Eat Your Veggies! way back in June, we had no idea how many Bloggy Friends we'd make, what wonderful Bloggy Stories we'd get to share, or even How Darn Fun the Bloggy Community could be! But now, 50 posts later, we're still going strong, with great hopes for our future in cyberspace

As we commemorate this milestone, Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn, Pop'rs Royalty that they are, would love for you all to help celebrate with us! So, please, leave us a post today, asking us any questions you'd like to ask. Remember that my family and The Pop'r Family are beach-bound, so we'll be on the road most of today; you have all day long to conjur cute questions to ask us!

And even you, Dear Readers, will get some Frequent Flyer Mileage out of this Bloggy Celebration! Everyone who comments today gets five more entries in our Great Pop'rs Giveaway! Ask a question, learn a little more about us and about Pop'rs and get extra entries in the contest. What could be sweeter?

We'll see you when we reach the beach. Wherever you're going today, we wish you safe traveling. And have fun, too, earning extra entries in the Great Pop'rs Giveaway!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This Pizza's Actually GOOD for You!

I've been trying so hard to get into good "beach shape" for our trip this weekend with The Pop'r Family down to North Carolina's Outer Banks. We've been going to the OBX in the summertime since College Girl was a toddler. Aunt Julie, Uncle Lynn and The Boys started sharing a beach house with our gang about 15 years ago.

Remember that even though we're going on VAY-kay, we'll never be far away from our Bloggy Friends! And don't forget to enter our newest Great Pop'rs Giveaway! The contest runs through Monday, August 11th, at 8 p.m. EST--be there, or be square!

While checking my e-mail the last couple of days, I found out that I'm a winner, too! Amanda, over at, notified me that I won her Baskin-Robbins Coupon Giveaway, which is pretty darn cool! And IHChicky, over at Everything Up Close, just let me know I won The Ultimate Walking Workout DVD, in her First Ever Giveaway, which makes me feel pretty special! Don'tcha think those two prizes were meant for me? You know, they really go hand-in-hand!

Aunt Julie's sad that her Favorite All-Time Quarterback, Brett Favre, has been traded to the New York Jets. What's Lambeau Field gonna be like without Brett? But she collected herself long enough to send me this fresh and delish twist on an old standby. It all sort of works out with my workout routine, too. Thanks so much, Aunt Julie, and see ya soon at our Beach Rendezvous!

Aunt Julie's Fruit Pizza
1 roll Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
1 8 0z. package of cream cheese
12 oz container of Cool Whip (thawed)
Any fruit you like--pineapple, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, kiwi, bananas, etc.

Line a large pizza pan with the dough, pressed to form crust.
Bake the crust @350 degrees for 10-15 min. Cool. Mix Cool Whip and cream cheese, and spread on the crust. Arrange the fruit on top.

½ cup orange juice
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup sugar
Mix the glaze ingredients together, and heat this mixture on top of the stove until it thickens. Cool and pour over fruit. Keep in fridge.