12/31/12

New Year's Eve Silliness - starring my son







I love you Ryan.
~Love mom

Our Game Room - Coca Cola Style














Empty Nest Home To-Do List

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Last Day to Enter to Win a Surprise Gift Basket


Active D'Lites Chocolate Candy Bar - Review

How about some guilt-free chocolate for the new year? Active D'Lites candy bars are an all-natural, low-sugar, low-calorie, low-carb, fiber-rich, GMO-free, probiotics-powered chocolate treat. Designed to assist in digestion and enhance your weight loss, these candy bars were chosen by top natural food retailers as the Best New Product of 2012.
The Active D'Lites Chocolate Candy Bar tastes good. It's a firm chocolate bar that can be broken into five pieces. As a chocolate-lover, I think it is a good alternative for the new year that allows me to continue to enjoy chocolate without all the guilt of high-sugar treats.
You can find out more about their chocolate bars on the Active D'Lites Facebook page. They also offer frozen treats, so be sure to check that out too!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Easy Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe

Being the queen of easy recipes, I wanted to share this one with you. What you'll need - a 9x13 baking pan, three packages of refrigerator buttermilk biscuits, sugar, cinnamon, a stick of butter, and kitchen measuring tools.
First I sprayed my baking pan with olive oil spray, so my monkey bread won't stick to the baking pan. I also preheated the oven to 350F degrees.
Then I measured out about a cup of sugar and about two tablespoons of cinnamon, dumped them both into a zipper closure plastic bag, and shook it up.
Once the cinnamon sugar mix was well blended in the bag, I opened the three packages of refrigerator biscuits.
Anyone else totally hate that popping sound when biscuits are opened? Scares me to death every time!
Then I cut each biscuit into four pieces with a knife. I was fortunate this time in that I didn't cut my fingers. I'm not always that lucky.
Then I dropped the biscuit triangles by eights into the plastic bag and shook up the bag to coat them with the cinnamon sugar.
Once they were well-coated, I used tongs to move them from the bag to the pan. I discovered this step was taking me too long, so I eventually increased the number of pieces added to the bag.
The result of that was the pieces didn't get as much cinnamon sugar coating, so they look lighter in color than the first pieces. I was sure they'd still be delicious though.
Once the coated biscuit pieces were all in the pan, I melted a stick of butter in the microwave in a glass measuring cup. I poured the remainder of the cinnamon sugar mix from the bag into the melted butter and stirred well.
I poured the cinnamon butter all over the biscuit pieces in the pan. I wanted to make sure I coated the lighter colored pieces since they had less cinnamon sugar on them.
Then just to make sure they were all swimming in cinnamon, sugar, and butter, I grabbed a spatula and smooshed it all down in the pan a bit.
Once I was satisfied with it, I put the pan in the 350F degree oven for 35 minutes to bake. The house smelled incredible!
After baking for 35 minutes, I removed the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Using a trick my mom taught me, I placed a clean kitchen towel over the pan, flipped it upside down, lifted the pan perfectly, set the wire rack on the bottom of the monkey bread, then grabbed the corners of the towel to flip the entire bread onto the rack to cool.
My monkey bread turned out perfectly and I totally blew my no-carbs rule. I'm not even going to tell you how much warm, delicious, monkey bread I ended up eating.
It would be perfect for a dessert or a breakfast item! Give it a try and let me know how yours turns out!

12/30/12

Fiction Untitled - A Novel Update

3.1

The door flew open and fear burst into the room as the girl appeared. Another white face, a bit younger, appeared behind her.

“He’s dead. He’s dead. I shot him. He’s dead.” The older girl spit out the words as she dragged the younger girl into the room. “What do we do now mom?”

All three girls searched her face for the answer, with eager anticipation. Yet, she could also see terror in their faces and she reached out her arms, inviting them all into an embrace. They came immediately, desperately seeking comfort. “What will we do now?” she wondered silently.

Missed the beginning? Find it HERE.

Ten Ways to Get In Shape for FREE

Thinking of losing a few pounds? Want to get back in shape? Considering spending hundreds of dollars on a gym membership or exercise equipment?

Here are some tips to help you get in shape for FREE!
  1. Take a daily 30 minute walk around your neighborhood.
  2. Every time you sit down, stand up, then sit down again.
  3. Park farther from entrance doors at stores when you go shopping.
  4. Take the stairs instead of the elevators or escalators.
  5. Stop snacking and don't eat between meals.
  6. Choose water for your drink instead of anything else.
  7. Eat fewer carbohydrates and sugars, or give them up all together.
  8. Don't eat anything between 6p.m. and bedtime.
  9. Eat lots of protein and vegetables daily, plus a serving of fresh fruit.
  10. Practice positive self-talk fives times a day.
Think it won't work? I lost 17 pounds in one month!


Primp and Prep with Hpnotiq

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Faux Fur Infinity Scarf Winner

Catie Russo - Congratulations!
You are the winner of the
Faux Fur Infinity Scarf!
Your winning email is on the way!

Check out more giveaways HERE!

White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes - Review

Have you made a New Year's Resolution to quit smoking? Maybe you'd rather not give up smoking? Consider making the switch to White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes! Ecigs give you the freedom to smoke nearly anywhere with no stink, no dangerous smoke, no yellowing teeth, no ashes, and no dirty cigarette butts!
I've been enjoying White Cloud ecigs for about two weeks. They have an amazing selection of flavors that I've seen nowhere else. I really enjoyed the Espresso and the Moscow Mule smooth draw cartridges, but the Lime and Coconut Cartridge was incredible! I loved the Apache flavor too because it's a rich, robust tobacco taste.
White Cloud offers lots of options and accessories, including ecig starter kits, cartridge packs, disposable ecigs, shotgun tips, and even chargers that charge up to three batteries at one time. I had to giggle at the three-tip shotgun tip though. I mean, who really needs to hit on three at once???
I had never tried a disposable ecig before White Cloud, nor had I tried a Banana flavor, and I was surprised at how similar the disposable is to the rechargeables. I was a bit leery of the Banana flavor, but it's really good!
The best part about switching to ecigs is that I smoke without feeling guilty about polluting my own body or anyone else's air. The smoke from an ecig is simply vapor and I get to choose how much nicotine is in the cartridges I use. Plus I don't have to stand outside in the freezing cold to enjoy one.
Check out all the options at www.whitecloudelectroniccigarettes.com and make a resolution to switch in 2013. Throw out all those nasty traditional cigarettes for good! They are also online at Facebook and Twitter so go link up and say hello.
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

12/27/12

Better Baking with Avocados from Mexico

This post brought to you by Avocados from Mexico. All opinions are 100% mine.
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Have you ever used Avocados from Mexico in your baking? They make great foods taste even better! For baked foods, just replace butter or oil with an equal amount of pureed avocados and you'll have richer, moister, healthier treats. It's that simple! Better baking is a piece of cake with Avocados from Mexico!
I tried using avocados in my brownies instead of the butter the recipe called for and they came out simply perfect. The brownie recipe was one of those simple mixes you buy in the grocery store, add one egg, one cup of milk, and one teaspooon of butter, stir and bake for 30 minutes. These brownies turned out better than any other brownies I've ever made and my family finished the entire pan of brownies in one evening. They didn't even know I changed the recipe but they sure raved about how delicious they were!
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Right now, you can also go enter the Avocados from Mexico's Better Baking Sweepstakes on their Facebook page and you could win one of over five hundred awesome prizes. The grand prize is a $2,500 iCard Gift Card, plus there are ten second prizes of a $100 iCard Gift Card. There are also five hundred third prizes of a $25 iCard Gift Card to be given away. The sweepstakes run until December 31, 2012, so hurry over there and get yourself entered to win. I sure hope to win the grand prize, don't you?
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