Wednesday, May 25, 2011

what appeals most to my family about Verizon FiOS

We use the internet a lot in this household.  I really mean A LOT!!! My husband works from an in home office so he uses the internet all day while working.  My children are enrolled in an online school and do their work from our home so they spend many hours a day connected to the internet.  Our family not only enjoys the internet for recreation, we actually rely on it.  If our internet is down no one works and no one can go to school.  We also have our phone service through the internet, so again, without the internet we have no phone service.

Having Verizon FiOS is truly a dream of my husband's.  He would love to have it.  While its not currently offered in our location, if it were he would sign up immediately.  What attracts him and the rest of our family to the FiOS service?

First and foremost, it our need for speed!  Verizon FiOS is blazing fast.  Much faster than anything offered to us right now.  When your family is running 5 or 6 computers at a time for hours a day, slower speed connections can be a real downer!  Since we have 3 children that can be doing online classroom meetings at a time, plus my husband conducting online business meetings slow speeds can really interfere.  There are occasions when our connection speeds are running so slow that we will all have to get off our computer for a time while my husband conducts and important meeting without sharing our bandwidth.

There are times when our phone just can not be used do to the terrible reception due to our overly slow internet.  I have had to use my cell phone on more than one occasion to make calls I would have preferred to do on our home line because I simply could not hear a thing over our phone line.  I hate straining to listen to someone talk over then phone getting broken bits and pieces of what is being said as the phone fades in and out.  We could totally eliminate that bother from my life with Verizon FiOS.

The next big advantage of Verizon FiOS is the ability to receive HDTV.  We often experience problems with our satellite dish tv stations.  We just had a repair man come out last week because we were not getting many channels we should be.  The problem?  Our dish needed repositioned....again.  With FiOS you have
massive bandwidth of a 100% fiber-optic network connected directly to the home.  Because of that you get very reliable reception.  We get lots of outages to our TV channels when we have storms (which is not a good thing with the weather we have had this year!).  That would not be an issue with FiOS.  We even have our satellite interrupted when snow gets on the dish.  Someone has to run out and clear it off.  Verizon FiOS TV was rated #1 in value, overall quality and customer loyalty, according to the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Survey for the largest subscription TV service providers.  That says a lot right there.  FiOS even has Flex View.  With Flex View, you can buy, rent and watch on-demand video titles on your FiOS TV, on your computer or on your mobile phone.  We would use that a lot.  We are picky about choosing appropriate entertainment for our children.  When we want to watch a movie as a family it would be great to have that option.

We are definitely sold on FiOS in this family.   If/when it becomes available to us, I can guarantee our household would sign up that very day!!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Verizon FiOS blogging program for a gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

About Verizon FiOS
Modern consumers enjoy the ultimate digital lifestyle at work, home and play with Verizon FiOS advanced and integrated TV and broadband services.  The speed and intelligence of the nation’s largest all-fiber-optic network lets FiOS customers create personalized, integrated entertainment and information experiences that connect them to everything they care about -- anytime, anywhere, on a multitude of devices.  FiOS helps make life easier, more productive and more fun.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit

More info on Verizon FiOS:

Verizon FiOS on Facebook:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My signature pasta family recipe...And Carrabba's Pasta

I think everyone likes one form or recipe or another!  Really the possibilities are endless when it comes to pasta, I think.  You can make it as healthy (or indulgent) as you want.  You can go spicy or mild.  Pasta can be hot or cold.  You can throw a quick dish together in a matter of minutes when dinner time is imminent, or, alternatively, you can slowly simmer a sauce  all day long.  So many, many choices.

I love going to Italian Restaurants to eat.  I think its because there are so many choices available.  Whatever my mood I am sure to find a dish to match.  My children love pasta and Italian cooking, also.  We all leave happy when we choose a restaurant like Carrabbas!

Right now on the Carrabbas facebook page you can take a quiz to find out your pasta personality.  You will be asked 5 simple questions ranging from what you would most likely wear to what your perfect day would be like.  What were my results?

"You’re truly one of a kind, like Carrabba’s Penne Franco. You like to keep things fresh and exciting. So next time you want to try something new, choose our unique Penne Franco: penne with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and ricotta salata."

It sounds good to me and if I went to Carrabba's I would be definitely tempted to give it a try!

So what's your Pasta Personality?  Why not go to

take the Facebook Carrabba’s Pasta Personality quiz, and give it a try???

CARRABBA’S PASTA: Carrabba’s makes every pasta dish by hand with the freshest ingredients.  Pasta is cooked perfectly every time and signature sauces are made from scratch daily. Creative flavors and combinations of ingredients are part of Carrabba’s authentic family recipes as well as new creations.

Right now Carrabbas has some great specials going on. They have Signature Pasta Meals, featuring seven distinctive dishes served with choice of soup or fresh salad starting at $10. Check this mouth watering list out:
LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Now through July 2011.
Featured Signature Pasta Meal:
Pasto Rambo – Named for the chef who created it, it’s made with shrimp tossed with imported Italian linguine, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes sautéed in our basil lemon butter sauce. Lobster is available instead of shrimp for an additional cost.

Other Limited Time Offers:
Parmesan-crusted Chicken – Topped with fresh arugula and grape tomatoes tossed in a hand-prepared lemon vinaigrette, served with choice of side. Substitution of wood-grilled chicken also available. Pairs well with Estancia Pinot Grigio.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin – Three pork tenderloin medallions wrapped with prosciutto, wood-grilled and topped with an apple and fig infused port wine sauce, served with the vegetable of the day. Pairs well with Coppola Pinot Noir.

Limoncello Bread Pudding – Back by popular demand! Brioche bread pudding made with fresh Madagascar vanilla beans and a rich custard, served hot out of the oven. Topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and drizzled with Carrabba’s homemade Caravella Limoncello liqueur sauce.

Now Introducing:
Peach SangriaCarrabba’s new light and fruity Peach Sangria blends Copper Ridge White Zinfandel, Absolut Apeach vodka and Patrón Citrónge with a splash of citrus. Topped with a fresh lemon wedge and strawberry, it’s a taste of the Amalfi Coast in spring.

There’s no better place than Carrabba’s to enjoy a complete Italian meal – any day of the week.  I am sure something sounded just fantastic to you.  To me the Parmesan Chicken sounded yum yum delicious!  Keep in mind specials will run until July 2011.  You might want to go soon and often.

So what's my personal signature pasta dish?  I actually fix pasta dishes quite often.  I have a great recipe for Manicotti.  I like to make up a quick pasta using a variety of fresh veggies sauted in Olive oil and topped with a generous amount of home-grown tomatoes.  This is a great option for hot summer days when the tomatoes are plentiful!  One real standout that I make, however, is my spaghetti sauce.  I have tried many recipes over the years and have never found one better!  Give it a try.  I think you will agree its fantastic!

Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage(if there are no objections in your family, try using a hot, spicy variety!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup diced green pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
3 Tbl olive oil
32 oz whole canned tomatoes, undrained
16 oz tomato sauce
12 oz tomato paste
3/4 Cup water
1/2 Cup Chablis or other dry white wine
2 TBL sugar
1 1/2 tea dried basil
1 1/2 tea dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 tea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried ground thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper

cook ground beef, sausage and chopped onion in a large dutch oven.  When meat is browned drain and stif r in green pepper, mushrooms, and garlic along with olive oil.  When these veggies are tender, add  all remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes.  Uncover and cook 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Cook up your favorite pasta.  Spoon generous amounts of sauce over pasta and don't forget to top with fresh ground Parmesan!

I make this sauce for guest often and it never fails to get rave reviews.  Its very filling, too, which is great if you have a big, hungry family like mine!

Our family will be going out of town this weekend and will be eating out.  I am definitely putting Carrabbas on my restaurant suggestion list now!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Carrabba’s blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Locations: Visit for the closest Carrabba’s location. There are more than 230 locations nationwide.

About Carrabba’s:
Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola founded the first Carrabba’s Italian Grill in 1986 in Houston, Texas. Today, there are 232 Carrabba’s Italian Grill locations around the country, run by passionate local proprietors focused on delighting guests with fresh, made-to-order Italian cuisine and the ultimate dining experience. Carrabba’s serves dinner seven nights a week in a casual environment that pairs innovative dishes and a complementary wine list with abundant hospitality. For on-the-go guests, Carrabba’s also offers convenient Carside Carry-Out. To learn more about Carrabba’s, please visit

Carrabba’s Pasta Personality Quiz on Facebook - Take the quiz to see how your personality compares to some of Carrabba’s signature pasta dishes!

Monday, May 16, 2011

36 weeks pregnant.....

My Doctor did an ultrasound and estimated the baby's weight to be 6 lbs 8 ounces.  I laughed.  She said its really only accurate for very average sized babies.  I don't have average sized babies.  I have been told I was having an average sized baby before and ended up birthing an 11 lb 22 inch child. 

Does this look like an average baby in there to you?