Monday, February 18, 2013

The Taste: Tuesday at 8/7c on ABC

I'm not a huge fan of reality shows, but I am a huge fan of food. However, combine the two & I'm most likely glued to my couch watching & taking mental notes. (OK, sometimes I actually grab a pen & paper too.)

The newest hors d'oeuvresThe Taste on ABC (Tuesdays at 8/7c). The Taste consists of 4 judges/mentors, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre & Brian Malarkey; which eliminate contestants by a blind judging. No, they're not blindfolded, but they don't know who's food they're tasting, what it is exactly or the ingredients.

Now, I'm not sure if it's the "simplicity" of the challenges (I use that term lightly) or the non-diva-esque vibe that draws me in every Tuesday. But regardless, I know where to be...on my couch (with pen & paper.)

Did you miss last weeks episode, "Dairing Pairings"? (Wine pairing is definitely something I need a few lessons on, but 5 ingredients I've got down.) Don't worry, you can catch it here

Don't forget to tune into The Taste on ABC at 8/7c this Tuesday (2/19/13) for "The Art of the Sandwich". After all, what kind of a chef are you if you can't make a sandwich?


Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Day of Hearts

Happy Valentine's Day!

It was a day of hearts for my loves (mostly my little ones). Even though there was no cooperation on their part for any decent pictures. Oh well, maybe next year.

Paige's sign language valentine, "I love you"

The heart shaped cinnamon rolls didn't turn out as planned, so hot pink sugar did the trick. After all, WWMD? (What Would Martha Do)

PB&J anyone?

Who doesn't love some Jello Jigglers?

Mmm, cake batter popcorn. With red sprinkles of course.

Busy weeknight with 3 kids, heart shaped Hawaiian Pizza it is!

And the day isn't complete without some Pillsbury holiday cookies & some chocolate candies. (As you can tell my camera had quite a day with it's dying batteries & lack of flash. My apologies.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beautiful Incentives: The "I Love Me" Giveaway

Since I've really gotten into this world of blogging, I've also discovered a world of Giveaways. Which is quite nice if you win (although not a big deal if you don't). I tend to think of it all more as a game, like Candyland if you will. You see some really neat things along the way in hopes to make it to the end. If you don't, you just play again. Or maybe it's the whole Valentine's Day celebration which has me thinking of candy (thus Candyland). 

Anyways, as I was meaning to say before I flashed back to my childhood, there's some pretty awesome giveaways going on right now with a Valentine's Day theme. Coincidentally, I just so happen to know of one. 

The "I Love Me" Giveaway

Presented by: Beautiful Incentives

"Welcome! This is where I want my readers to relax and enjoy low entry giveaways in all things comforting & pampering for Valentines Day. I've put together a bunch of items that I thought you guys would appreciate and get a lot of use from. This is jam packed with more than one winner for several of them, so your chances are much greater!" 

Please Scroll down to see the prizes and enter the Giveaway tools below! 

Eye of Horus: Pamper yourself with high end cruelty free cosmetics. See the REVIEW to find out how unique and beautiful this line is! 

Thermal Aid: Sooth your aching muscles and chronic pain with this deeply penetrating hot & cold pack! See the REVIEW on how it can help you! 

          KIND Bars: Treat yourself to healthy snacks! See the REVIEW on how great these are for you!

Smushion Cushion: Rest your tired sore feet on this comfy cushion while you watch TV or read.
See the REVIEW about how comfy this is!


Treat your body to some very unique and healthy foods & vitamins! See the REVIEW on the HUGE variety they have in store for you!

So go on & show yourself some love! And while you're at it, visit Beautiful Incentives on Facebook & be sure you say "Thank You" for such a wonderful giveaway!

*Giveaways will conclude on Thursday, February 21st, beginning at 9:00 PM est

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Busy SAHM's Guide to Working It

Let's face it, you can chase after kids all day long, but it's not the kind of workout you need. But then there's the problem of the kids constantly running around leaving you little to no time of a good workout. My trick: make it count when you can.

I find myself either getting up extra early (depending on the amount of cooperation at bedtime the night prior) or simply doing what I can, when I can. Like when the kids are playing nice in the bedroom, it becomes crunch time. Or leg time. Or arm time. Or, well, you get the point. It may take me the course of a whole day to get in my workout, but as long as I get it in, I'm a happy girl.

12 Minute Ab Workout consists of windshield wipers, bicycle crunches & side plank lifts (both sides)
•basic crunches with a stability ball

•basic push-ups

•basic squats
•jumping jacks

*Goal is at least 2 workouts from each category

And for those moments that I actually have time to workout, I pop in a DVD or VHS (yes, I still have those).

Great workout in just over 10 minutes!
I love this!
I have to tell you, the warm-up kicks my butt!
Nothing like dancing some 90's moves to remind you how cool you are!
Even cooler with two!

And one little thing I've learned is to always change it up. Do something different every day. When a move becomes super easy, find something harder. You have to make it count remember...

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Take On Dieting

It seems like everywhere I look, there's someone on a diet. I've seen shakes, meal plans, even fasting. But let's face it, I don't have the money or the willpower for any of it. (Huge kudos to those who do.)

Of course that doesn't necessarily mean that I don't make an effort of some sorts. A few healthy choices, plenty of water, watching portions & a small (yet highly effective) workout. I'll share some of my favorite moves tomorrow, but for now a typical weekday in the eating department (weekends vary.)

Breakfast of the champions. Cereal is usually my go to (with the occasional quiche or cinnamon roll). And always one K-cup of coffee. I need my coffee.

It's lunchtime! Soups, salads & sandwiches are staples for me. This just happens to be a veggie burger from MorningStar Farms. Lettuce, tomato, red onion & some Dijon made it utterly delicious! Oh & some sweet potato chips. Does it count if I only got to eat 3 before my youngest two kids devoured them? (And a cup of water, of course.)

Afternoon snacking is essential. I usually try to grab something small, but healthy, like a Larabar (or any other awesome bar.) Fruits, yogurt & nuts are always on hand too. And just like the morning coffee, afternoon tea is a must.

Dinner varies every night, but I always get my veggies in. With these chicken gyros on homemade pita bread, there's no need for a salad. But as always, it's all about portion size folks.

This has to be one of my #1 rules...always indulge. Slightly. It was only a couple bites worth, but this sliver of Chocolate Crumble Bar kept me out of the kitchen come bedtime.

Pretty simple & it works for me. The weight is slowly coming off & I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. Which, according to my thinking, is the key to keeping it off. So if you don't think that a mainstream diet is for you or you are not a calorie counter (I don't think I could ever count calories), just make a few changes & see what happens.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I'll take a bite: Newmans Own Organics Giveaway!

I love to snack. There's no denying that. Although I will admit that I feel better about snacking if it's at least healthy or organic. Enter Newman's Own Organics.

I discovered this yummy line of snacks such as chocolate caramel cups, dried apricots & sour apple licorice twists on a blog, I'll take a bite. I swear, the review I read had me not only loving their packaging, but craving some goodies. Luckily for me, I discovered there's a store not so far away that carries Newman's Own Organics (insert big happy face here.)

I'm loving the vintage vibe these tins have.

You know what else I discovered?

Brie, from I'll take a bite is rewarding one lucky winner with 4 of the exact same Newman's Own Organics products she reviewed and one SURPRISE item!  

Just be sure you head on over & complete the entries on the Giveaway Tools form to get started. Giveaway will end on 2/14/2013 8:00 PM EST.

Good luck & keep snacking!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beautiful Incentives: Five Finger Tee Giveaway

We all know that we have 5 fingers. But, how many Five Finger Tees do you have? If the answer is a big fat ZERO, then you need to get some. 

My fave! & my son loves dinosaurs too.

That about sums it up. But not the tee of course.

Oh the wit!
But the best one of all...

Breaking bad & the color pink. It doesn't get much better than that. I actually saw this tee on on another blog, Beautiful Incentives, & vowed to treat myself after reading her review. At $12, I'm pretty sure I can get...what's the magic number? FIVE! Of course the 4 pictured & the tough decision of choosing one more.

But wait, It gets better! The lovely Brie from Beautiful Incentives is having a...

Head on over & complete the entries on the Giveaway Tools form to gain entries to win 1 tee from Five Finger Tees.

Good luck!

Hiding in Sunshine

"Living lives of quiet affluence in a historic, suburban Boston town, Gavin and Lisa Brinkley had no idea how quickly and decisively their lives, and those of their two young daughters, could be upended. A series of events - a mysterious break-in at their home, some menacing tailgating on the highway from Boston, a startling visit from an F.B.I. agent warning of an imminent kidnapping attempt - leads to the family's abrupt uprooting from its comfortable existence into a terrifying new existence on the run, under new identities. This taut thriller by a father-daughter team follows the eleven-year odyssey of an American family on the run, in hiding through the mountain states of the American west, where survival skills and living off the grid are paramount, but so are friendship, cooperation, and resilience. The enemy, always lurking just out of sight, is a foreign cyber-criminal enterprise that launches breathtaking assaults on the American banking system and physical infrastructure, but the Brinkleys also know that the threat is deeply personal, reaching ever closer to them from the shadows of the past. At the same time, Gavin and Lisa discover the perils of wandering too close to the edges of the dark side, in the murky world of cyber-security. A compelling story of suspense and treachery, HIDING IN SUNSHINE is also a celebration of a family's abiding love and courage -- and a young girl's faith in the triumph of the truth." 
 (Amazon book description)

I had the great pleasure of having this book added to my Holiday VoxBox from Influenster. And while I admit that finding the time to get started on it was difficult at first, pretty soon I didn't want to put this book down.

Without revealing too much, this story deals with the resilience of a family on the run & a harsh look into the realm of cyber crime. Everything is laid out in such detail that it is easy to fall into the story. The twists & turns leave you in eager anticipation as you turn the page. But the ending is where it all ties up nicely, all the dots connecting, the total "Aha" moment.

Of course if you're like me, you'll want to grab the next book by father/daughter team, John & Caitlin Stuart. But you'll have to wait a bit for that since it's currently "in the works". How do I know? A Q&A with the authors themselves via twitter (thank you Influenster.) Of course that just left me in greater anticipation!

Find out what others have to say about Hiding in Sunshine on Goodreads & Amazon

**Disclaimer: I received this product to try from Influenster & am simply sharing my personal opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Norwegian "Mommicure"

I know the title is a bit...odd. But there is logic (my version anyways) behind it. I swear.

As a woman, it's my birth given right to love the indulgences of a good manicure. As a busy SAHM, it's my job to make due with what I've got (be it time or supplies). Luckily for me (& my "no longer naked nails"), I finally found what products work best for me. OK, maybe being a BzzAgent had something to do with it, but regardless, here's my "How To".

Step 1: Generally a good soaking of the hands in warm water is suggested. I don't know about you, but my kids will not allow this. So I double up & do some dishes to knock that step out. That right there should sum up the "Mommicure".

Step 2: A quick stroke of the brush with some Cuticle Care.

Step 3: Aha! There's the Norwegian part! And the BzzAgent part too actually. Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Hand Cream is amazing to lock in moisture whether it's for a manicure ("mommicure") or dry winter hands. (Actually it's been my saving grace on the latter.) You only need a small amount of this long lasting, glycerin-rich cream for a good cover. (Those Norwegians are thorough I tell you.)

Step 4: Coat of polish. I just happened to be in the mood for some Essie polish in "Miss Fancy Pants". The fact that it dries fast might have something to do with it too.

Step 5: Second coat of polish.

Step 6: Finish it all of with a top coat.

And there you have it folks! Who would've thought a Norwegian Mommicure was so simple? 

Available in Scented & Fragrance Free

**Disclaimer: I received this product from BzzAgent & am simply sharing my opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.