Monday, February 21, 2011

Free Ocean Spray sample on Facebook.

Ocean Spray's facebook sample is open for today!! They are giving away samples of their new sparkling drink!! HURRY!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog Hop Follow Us Monday

Join in the fun over at Frugality is Free!  This week's question is: 

When was the last time you went bowling?

We went in December for my son's birthday!   We took him playing during the summer for the first time and he loved it.  So we had a small bowling party for him. 

Today is Hoodie Hoo Day!

I had forgotten about doing this, but my kids and I are heading outside in just a few minutes to shut HOODIE HOO! 

Hoodie Hoo Day is February 20th, you head out side at noon, wave your arms around and shut HOODIE HOO!   it is supposed to help chase away winter and bring on spring!  Although, I think spring is already here in the South.  Yesterday it was 70 and beautiful!  

I am turing on my lights!

We have all had those moments when you feel like you either have to sink or swim.   Lately, I have felt that all I was doing was sinking.   The last couple of years have not been kind to my family.   We were faced with illness and death, the loss of a job, and coming very close to losing our home.    Those things really take a toll on you. I have been looking back trying to figure out if I could have done anything differently.    I don't think so.  You roll with the punches and take each day as it comes.  

I have struggled with depression and I am just tired of it!   I rarely post anything that is deeply personal, because that is not why I started my blog.  But, sometimes I need a venting spot and I guess this is it.  
I have been feeling intensely emotional, basically crying all of the time.    I have realized that it is not doing me any good!   I have to make the choice to be happy.  One of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter is :
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

I am turning on the lights! I am going to make being happy and living in the moment a priority.   I am going to have a larger attitude of gratitude, and I have made the decision to go back to school.    I gave up on my dreams, life got in the way, and I shut myself off.    I realized that I am not doing myself or my family any good being this way.  

If I am not living as fully as I can, how am I any good to my family?    I am so thankful that my husband is supportive, when others are not.   Without him, I would be totally lost.  

I am thinking that my blog focus will be changing slightly now.  I had kind of given up on my blog, because I just was not feeling that I could do it anymore.  But, I am not giving up!  I can not do that anymore.   

Friday, February 18, 2011

I have been MIA

I have been MIA  for awhile.   Please hang in there with me!!   It seems like right now the only time that I have to blog is on the weekend.   But I am hoping that things will settle down soon.    I have not forgotten about my giveaway winners.   I will be emailing everyone tonight!   

I hope everyone's Valentine's Day was filled with love.  My ideas for Valentine posts was kind of a flop.  But I am trying to get back in the swing of things and will have more post up soon.  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Denise Austin's Get Engery! Book Review

With busy schedules, demanding careers, and little time, many of us battle just to stay awake. But energy is something that is in our control, even when time is short. Now 50 years young, fitness guru Denise Austin shows readers how to super-charge their lives, using her innovative lifestyle plan. She eats the right foods at the right time of day. She uses the power of stretching and breathing to feed her body with energy-enhancing oxygen. She uses mini-workouts to get energy even on her busiest days--and now you can too!

Denise shows how simple changes can add up to increased energy levels throughout the day. From the foods they consume to the way they sit in their chairs, readers won't believe how Denise's quick and easy plan will dramatically increase their energy levels. In as little as a week, results will be felt: radiant skin, more restful sleep, and a sharper follow Denise Austin and prepare for a fitness wake-up call!

I really enjoyed reading this book.   It is not a diet book, but talks about the importance of a well balanced diet and nutrition.  Both of which, as we know, play a huge role in improving energy levels.   There are questions for you to answer as you read the book.  Depending on how you answer these questions, it will provide you with tips.   

I have really needed this book!  I have found that since the beginning of the year, I seem to be lagging in energy.  I have worked on a personal plan, which the book helps you create and am working on sticking to it.   In just a few days, I really have seen a difference in my energy levels.   

Take a sneak peak at the book here!  or buy it here!

disclosure:  I did receive a copy of this book for the purpose of review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Coupon and Freebie Roundup

  Here is a collection of coupons and freebies for today!


1.) FREE Staples Stickies 3″x 3″ notes, 12 pack ($11.79 value!) This coupon is only valid through the end of today 2/5 and is limited to 2 per customer. Plus there are some other great coupons

2.) Get a free Pyrex pot holder, first 120,000

3.) P&G Brand Sampler Site has reset with new freebies:

* Free Head & Shoulders sample
* Free CoverGirl Natureluxe Silk Foundation sample
* Free Always Ultra Thin and Dri-Liners Plus sample


Superbowl Party Eats!

If you are tailgating or hosting a SuperBowl party, food is just as important as a great game.   I am prepping as much as I can today, so that everything will go smoothly tomorrow.    We are going to be hosting a party of  somewhere between 20-25 people.   

 I have decided to kind of break down the menu pre-game, 1st half, half time, and 2nd half.    It seems like a ton of food to prepare, but I do have a lot of help in planning and preparing the menu.

For the pre-game, we are going to keep it simple with chips, dips, and crudites.   I am planning to make a spicy bacon guacamole and homemade pico de gallo.   I am also going to make one of my favorite dips, it combines all of wonderful tastes of hot wings into a warm dip, that is great served with tortilla chips.  


Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

5 or 6 chicken breasts, baked, cooled, and shredded
1/2 of a 12 oz. bottle of Buffalo Wings Sauce ( I like Louisiana Hot  wing sauce, but you can use any brand)
1/2 of a 16 oz. bottle of ranch dressing
 8 oz. cream cheese
 2 cups shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.

Mix chicken with Buffalo Wings Sauce. Spread in bottom of prepared pan.

Melt cream cheese and ranch together in a saucepan over med-low heat until smooth. Spread over chicken. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

For the 1st half and half time:   I am thinking that we will do heavy finger foods. 

Nacho Bar-  Since we already have some guacamole and pico de gallo.  Nachos is a great way to feed a crowd.    I am going to prepare a pot of chili, shredded lettuce, tomato, onions, a blend of cheese, pickled jalapenos, sour cream, etc.   Whatever you like to put on nachos.

Sliders-  I love to make these because you really can feed a crowd easily.  Everyone can fix it to their personal preferences.   With the sliders, I am thinking about using Rachel Ray's recipe for onion rings with a spicy dipping sauce. 

And of course, we will have to have some hot wings.   Instead of frying the wings, I like to roast them.   I season my wings with an all purpose seasoning, but I do add a little extra pepper and garlic.  Then slow roast them in the oven until done.     Then I will toss them in a traditional hot wing sauce, a homemade peach BBQ sauce, and Terriyaki sauce.

For dessert, I am planning to keep it simple.   Hot brownie sundaes!  Warm brownies, ice cream, and toppings.  Quick, simple and yummy!   I am thinking that I might make Turtle Brownies. 

Turtle Brownies
 1 Box Betty Crocker Brownie mix
water, vegetable oil, and egg called for on brownie mix package.

36 caramels, unwrapped

3 tablespoons of whipping cream

1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chunks

2/3 cups chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 9 inch square pan with baking spray with flour. Make brownie batter as directed on box, using water, oil, and egg. Spread half of the batter in the pan. Bake for 18 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large microwave safe bowl, microwave caramels and whipping cream uncovered on high for 2-3 minutes. stirring occasionally, until smooth.

3. Pour caramel over partially baked brownies; spread to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of chocolate chunks and 1/3 cup pecans. Drop the remaining brownie batter by small spoonfuls onto caramel layer. Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup chocolate chunks and 1/3 cup pecans.

4. Bake 34-37 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour. Cover, refrigerate 1 hour. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered and serve at room temperature.

If you are having a SuperBowl Party, I hope that you have a great time.    I am not fan of either team this year, but I am looking forward to having a great time with my family and friends.