Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Work It Wednesday: Summer's Bold Color Trend

Have you noticed some of this summer's hottest colors? They're the bold ones that seem to pop!

"Seminar Sassy", created by fleurdelove on Polyvore

I love the bold color of the skirt along with the contrasting boldness of the shoes & earrings. Everything else is understated to showcase the bright colors.

"Coral and Blue Ensemble", created by styleofe on Polyvore

This look has quite the nautical vibe with the blue striped tank. But the nude shade of the heels & clutch, really let the coral take the stage.

"Untitled #119", created by paypay22597 on Polyvore
The color of the skirt is a bright pink, but red would also be a great match to compliment the layered turquoise necklace.

"Coral & Green", created by karrina-renee-kreuger on Polyvore

Then you have your all over bold color combo. I really love how the only subtlety is the gold on the accessories. 

So if you've been eyeing that necklace that's considered a total statement piece, get it. You don't have to go with the ever classic neutrals, whites or blacks to wear with it. Add another bright, bold color to really make a statement! 

Need some inspiration? Peruse Polyvore & see what you can find!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Lemon Pepper Chicken

In a rush for dinner & not sure what to make? Well have I got something for you!

How To:

•boneless skinless chicken breast halves, sliced thin
•Worcestershire sauce
•lemon pepper seasoning
•seasoned salt
•dried parsley flakes
 •nonstick cooking spray

 •Lightly spray a glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
•Pat chicken dry with a paper towel & place in baking dish.
•Sprinkle with desired amounts of lemon pepper, seasoned salt, parsley & lastly, Worcestershire.
•Place in a preheated 375 degree oven & bake 20-25 minutes until cooked through (Flip over & season opposite side after 10-15 minutes).
•If your chicken seems like it's beginning ti get dry at any point, spoon some of the pan juices over top.

Served with a side of sweet rice (butter & sugar added to taste) & dill carrots (butter & dill added).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY Furniture Polish

I'm not a fan of dusting, by any means. But a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. That means I use polish so I don't have to dry dust every day (that's just torture). But those pressurized cans, you guessed it, not my fave. I happened to come across some all natural polish in a spray bottle at the store, but they seem to almost always be out of stock. So I usually go the DIY route (as if you didn't know).

How To:

•2Tbsp. oil
•1Tbsp. vinegar
•1tsp. lemon juice
•warm water
•spray bottle

•Add oil, vinegar & lemon juice to spray bottle.
•Fill remainder with warm water & shake to mix.
•Light spray on surface & wipe with a cotton cloth.

Purina Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations! Be sure to check your email. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Fried Zucchini with Horsey Ranch

Zucchini. Either you love it or you hate it. or so you think. I've been known to make a few change their minds (not to mention their palettes) about this yummy vegetable. Just remember, everything tastes better fried. (Well, just about anything. And in moderation of course.)

 How To:

*Remember to use desired amounts

•bread slices (best if left out for 1 day)
•seasoned salt
•black pepper
•garlic powder
•splash of water
•zucchini, sliced however you like it
•oil for frying
•ranch dressing

•In a food processor, process bread slices with seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder & parsley. Transfer to a shallow dish.
•In another shallow dish, blend eggs with a splash of water.
•In the last shallow dish, blend flour with paprika.
•Take zucchini slices & dredge in flour mixture, dip in egg wash & coat in bread crumbs.
•Fry in oil on both sides until golden.
•Lay on paper towel lined plate to cool slightly.
•In a small bowl, mix horseradish (remember a little goes a long way) with ranch dressing.
•Dip zucchini in Horsey Ranch, be amazed & repeat last step...repeatedly.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun Friday: Sidewalk Paint

Sidewalk chalk is fun, but if you have a bumpy surface, it can be difficult for your little ones to perfect their masterpiece. And let's not forget the aftermath that may possibly ensue after the piece dubbed as "the favorite" breaks. (Please tell me I'm not the only mom to ever witness that.)

Don't worry, sidewalk fun will never be the same again. Imagine bright, neat pictures, no broken pieces & sounds of laughter!

How To:

•1 part cornstarch
•1 part water
•few drops of food coloring (I used neon, can you tell?)
 • sponge tipped brushes

•Stir cornstarch & water together thoroughly. Add food coloring & stir again.
•Don't be stingy with the paint! Go ahead & pile it on for a more vibrant look.
•FYI: The color brightens as it dries.
 •Have fun!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Think It Thursday: Kids & Separation Anxiety

It's almost time for back to school! Paige will be in 2nd grade & Damien will be in Pre-K. Which leaves me with just Hayden in the afternoon. Oh the things I will get done!

I even contemplated getting a family membership to the local YMCA. (We've put it off for far too long.) We could do a light lunch, head to the Y so mama can get in a little workout (with machines) while Hayden plays in the child care room, head home for a snack before her nap time & my extra cleaning time  till the bus comes. At least 2-3 days a week (the rest saved for appointments & errands). But then it dawned on me. There's no way Hayden would go for it. She's a little...attached. The only one of my kids to get like this. The older two couldn't have cared less (at least a majority of the time).

Since this is all new territory for me, I'm realizing I have no clue what to do. We try to leave her to socialize with other people for 5-10 minutes, mostly friends & family members. But on a bad day, even Grandma can't console her between cries for "Mama" & "Dad". Complete strangers at a place she's never been before without me in sight, forget it.

But I have to figure it out soon, because my hopes for a couple afternoon workouts a week would be good for both of us.

How do you help cope with a child's separation anxiety?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Purina's Healthy Hundred & a Giveaway!

When it comes to feeding your canine friend, it's much like feeding a child. You try to find the best food that comes packed with nutritional benefits that doesn't upset their digestive system. Basically a game of trial & error, especially when it comes to the pickiest eaters. Like mine.

Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy Blend is made with real chicken & comes in crunchy & tender textures. Which Miley loves. It also has 22% fewer calories than Purina Dog Chow to support a healthy weight & help maintain a lean muscle mass. Which I love. And it also supports a healthy immune system. Which we both love.

Miss Miley

But how did Miley like it?  
She loved it! We've always been fond of the Purina brand, but the Light & Healthy Blend seems like the perfect fit for her active lifestyle. (Not to mention perfect for our wallets!) We slowly transitioned her over (force of habit) during the first week. And I'm happy to report that there was no digestive issues at all. Actually, she seemed to be a bit more energized if anything.

I also received a box full of doggie goodies as part of the Healthy Hundred program. 

Clockwise: digital video camera, pet pedometer, doggie water bottle, bandana, leash, journal, dog bowl

And now I have the opportunity to share with you!

One lucky winner will receive a prize pack shipped directly from Purina which will include:
•4lb. bag of Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy dog food
•product brochure
•dog bowl
•doggie water bottle
•pet pedometer
The giveaway will conclude on at 12:00 a.m. est on Monday 7/29/13. Winners will be announced via rafflecopter & in a separate blog post which will be published no later than 9:00 a.m. on Monday 7/29/13. Winners will also be notified via email & announced on the Smith and Blessings facebook page. Winners will have 24 hours to submit shipping information which will then be passed directly to Purina for product distribution. If 24 hours has lapsed, a new winner will be picked & then will also have 24 hours to submit their information. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Work It Wednesday: Solo One-Step Soak Off Gel Polish by The Rosy Snail

I love the idea of "Work it Wednesday" but let's face it, who's got the time!? As a young mother of two toddler boys, a beauty blogger AND a part-time Prestige Consultant with Ulta, my spare moments are scarce. I'd be lying if I said that ever stopped me! When I think of really working it, my nails come first! Where a man will notice another man's shoes, I believe a woman will notice another woman's nails. When I'm feeling down, I just love to work it with fierce finger nails.
There are a lot of steps to getting healthy, long finger nails. I won't get into all of that today, but I will say one of the most overlooked steps is moisturizer. That goes for most of my beauty routine! (Someone tell me I'm not alone!) Cuticle Oil isn't something us women always remember but I highly recommend you invest in a good one. My current favorite is by Pure Organics. Their current Organic Spa Cuticle Oil comes in 5 scents: Cucumber Melon, Citrus Orange, Green Tea & Acai, Hawaiian Orchard and Lavender Blossom. I chose Citrus Orange recently as Cosmoprof at the suggestion of Rose Valez who I had the honor of meeting. This cuticle oil not only smells amazing, a light, sweet orange smell that cuts through any nail polish scent lingering on your fingers. (think mandarin oranges over large oranges that have more of a bite to them.) This bottle has a great glass applicator, a great size bottle (30ml) and the results are long-lasting. For this manicure, I applied cuticle oil BEFORE, let it set for about 20 minutes, then washed my hands with cold water and soap.
By washing my hands, I get most of the oily off of my nails. I'm planning on doing a gel manicure. Traditionally, with gel nail polish, you want your nails to be completely dry and free of oils. That helps the polish adhere to the nail better. With Solo one-step, I found that it's not something you have to worry about as much, this polish will stay even on healthy, hydrated nails.
Solo one-step Soak off Gel Polish was one of the exciting new products I stumbled upon during my recently trip to Cosmoprof North America. This polish has not hit the shelves yet and I got some inside word that they might still be tweaking the packaging and formula (though I find everything about the polishes I received to be spot on!). No word yet on the entire release but I absolutely cannot wait! Solo one-step is different from traditional gel nail polish application in that is it literally only one step. There is no need for a base coat, top coat OR a cleanse.
DSCN9998I was given 5 colors of my choice while in Las Vegas for the convention and one I chose was this beautiful green-turquoise called "Coast to Coast". All the colors I received are true to the label on the outside with the exception of glitters or colors with shimmer. All the labels are printed in a solid color giving the appearance that the contents in a creme finish. In this case, "Coast to Coast" is a super opaque creme.
I opted to apply a VERY thin coat. With these polishes you can apply a thicker coat and cure for a few extra seconds to finish your manicure in just one coat! You can sure Solo one-step with either UV or LED. Once cured, there is no sticky residue to clean off or top coat to apply. The color is already super shiny! As a parent, I found gel nail manicure to be a step up from traditional polish because I no longer had to wait for my nail polish to dry BUT the sticky texture left on my nails in between coats was sometimes a pain. My finger nails became magnets for dust, dirt, hair and more. It made doing things between coats impossible. Now, my nails are glossy, hard as rocks and never sticky even in between coats.
DSCN0005After a second thin coat and an application of sweet-smelling cuticle oil, my nails are ready to tackle whatever! I'm a habitual nail painter so I change my colors (too) often, but I wore another color from the Solo one-step line for 4 days and literally had NO clips and absolutely NO tip wear. I've gotten great results from a few gel nail companies but nothing that good! This polish is meant to last for up to two weeks.
I cannot wait for the official launch of Solo one-step and for now, I'm keeping an eye out on their Instagram. Nothing gets me more excited that stunning nail results that are easy to come by! By eliminating the extra steps in a gel mani, Solo one-step is making the gel manicure practical and helping all women to Work it this Wednesday...and next Wednesday...and probably the Wednesday after that ;)

Thank you, The Rosy Snail

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Bacon Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles

It's a genius idea, adding crumbled bacon to your waffle mix. It's good (great actually), but using a cornmeal batter & adding some cheddar cheese is...well, I'm at a loss of words. And that, folks, speaks volumes!

How To:

•3/4C. cornmeal
•1C. boiling water
•1C. flour
•2tsp. sugar
•2tsp. baking powder
•1tsp. salt
•1/2tsp. baking soda
•2 eggs
•3Tbsp. melted butter, at room temperature
•1C. milk
•6-8 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled
•2/3C. shredded cheddar cheese
•2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
•butter & maple syrup for serving

•In a large bowl, combine cornmeal & boiling water. Let sit 15-20 minutes.
•In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & baking soda.
•In a small bowl, combine eggs & melted butter.
•Take a break to chuckle because you just thought of Goldilocks & the Three Bears like I did.
•Combine all mixtures & milk in the larger bowl, stir well.
•Add bacon, cheese & green onion.
•Be sure to spray your preheated waffle iron with cooking spray & cook according to manufacturer's instructions. (Or until waffles are a delicious golden color & slightly crispy.)
 •Top with butter & syrup.
•Immediately think of how delicious these would be as "Chicken & Waffles" & vow to make them again. Soon.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY All Purpose Cleaner

I'm in love with tea tree oil. It has many of the antibacterial properties of bleach, but without the harsh smell. I don't want my house to smell sterile, I'd rather have it smell "homey". While still being clean of course. Which is why I love using this all purpose cleaner.

How To:

•15 drops tea tree oil
•3Tbsp. white vinegar
•2tsp. Borax
•18oz. spray bottle
•warm distilled or purified water (I use my Brita pitcher & then boil the water), not pictured

•Add tea tree oil, vinegar & Borax to spray bottle.
•Fill with warm water.
•Shake until Borax is dissolved.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Simple Sunday: Soccer Camp

My soccer star, looking a bit disheveled after her 1st day of soccer camp. bring on the season!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Mountain Munch Popcorn

Let me just jump right out & say it. This popcorn is the perfect blend of sweet & salty. Perfect for afternoon snack time. Perfect for movie time. perfect for that "I just need a handful & I need it now" time. 

But remember, perfection takes time. And it will take a while to make this recipe, but you make a lot at once. Which means if you have a family of five (like I do), you should be good for about a week. Or close to it.

How To:

•Start with about 6-7 quarts of air popped popcorn.
•Remove 1-2 quarts & sprinkle with popcorn salt liberally.

Caramel Popcorn

•1C. butter
•2C. brown sugar
•1/2C. corn syrup
•1tsp. salt
•1/2tsp. baking soda
•1tsp. vanilla extract
•5-6 quarts air popped popcorn

•Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
•Over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, corn syrup & salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
•Carefully boil without stirring for 3-4 min. Remove from heat & add baking soda & vanilla.
•Slowly pour over popcorn in a large bowl, stirring to coat.
•Divide popcorn & place in 2 large & shallow baking dishes. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
•Remove from oven & let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Chocolate Covered Popcorn

•1 1/2C. chocolate chips
•1tsp. shortening
•2-3 quarts Caramel Popcorn

•In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips & shortening for 2 minutes.
•Stir until melted. (You can microwave again for 10 seconds at a time until thoroughly melted if need be).
•Working quickly, stir into caramel popcorn in large bowl until thoroughly coated. 
•Place on waxed (or parchment) paper lined baking sheet & cool completely.
•Break into pieces

Combine salted, caramel & chocolate covered popcorn. (If you're in the middle of a heat wave like I was when I made this, you can leave the chocolate separate. Just store it in the freezer in a gallon sized bag, add to popcorn mixture as needed.)

•Store in airtight containers or bags.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fun Friday: Upcycled Produce Bag

I can always use another bag for the Farmers Market. But it needs to be sturdy & comfortable to carry at the same time. And homemade. (What?!)

It has 3 large apples in it, in case you were wondering.

How To:

•t-shirt (I used an old fitted one that got a bit stretched out from the wash)
•needle & sturdy thread

•Turn t-shirt inside out.
•Cut across, rounding at the ends, below the arms of the shirt.
•Stitch the cut ends together, going over twice (just to make sure it holds up).
•Place bag inside right on work surface.
•Fold in half & cut slightly large slit near the natural seam for handles.
•Using a basket weave pattern, cut smaller slits throughout the bag.
•Stretch the bag to curl the slits slightly.

This has already been stretched, but you can see the basket weave pattern of the slits.

*Note: What's great about this bag is that it can also double as a tote! (It works great for taking all three of the kids, their soccer balls, snacks & drinks to the park.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Think It Thursday: Leave Me a Comment

Stopping by to see what's new on Smith and Blessings? 
Make a recipe I posted?
Try out a cleaning tip?
Love the latest review?

Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know what you thought about it!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Work It Wednesday: Nike Training Club App

So I've been looking into a variety of fitness apps lately. Most doing nothing with. They just didn't seem to have what I was looking for. But now I can quit looking since I've downloaded the Nike Training Club app.

 "Sign up to Nike Training Club to get your own personal trainer, anytime, anywhere. Get lean, toned and strong with more than 100 custom-built workouts. Take your goal further with all-new NikeFuel and calorie data."

Start by choosing your goal, I'm going for Get Lean with a little bit of Get Focused. Then choose your level, I'm sticking to Beginner until I get a good feel for it all. Last, choose a workout. I'm a fan of Sweat & Shape, which is why I have it under my saved workouts. This 30 minute  workout requires no equipment (each workout tells you if any is needed) & I get 434 NikeFuel (yea, still figuring all of that out).

There's also 15 minute bonus workouts from amazing female athletes to download.

Not to mention even more workouts to unlock through badges. I'm on the lookout for any by Rihanna’s personal trainer Ary Nuñez! 

 "Detailed instructions and audio support are on hand to help you perfect each of Nike Training Club’s dynamic drills. Choose a workout that fits your goal. Set it to your music, share your progress, earn your rewards. And just see the results."

You can find the Nike Training Club app on iTunes & in the Google PlayStore.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers

Now that July is in full swing, there's plenty of fruits & veggies at NE Ohio Farmers Markets. So of course I have to load up on what I can. Especially peppers! I use them in eggs, salads, fajitas & just sliced up with some hummus. But I always have to make some Stuffed Peppers, no matter how hot it is.

How To:

•5-6 decent sized peppers, tops & insides removed
•nonstick cooking spray
•1 lb. hamburger
•1 small onion, chopped
•1/2 C. instant white rice, cooked
•6 oz. can tomato paste
•15 oz. can tomato sauce
•salt & pepper

•Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
•Pierce bottoms of peppers 3-4 times with a fork.
•In a large bowl, thoroughly combine hamburger, onion, rice, salt, pepper, tomato paste & about half a can of tomato sauce.
 •Stuff peppers with filling mixture.
•Spoon remaining sauce on tops.
•Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. The tops will look "done" & the peppers will be fairly soft. 

*Note: I decided to take half of a leftover stuffed pepper & put it inside a grilled cheese sandwich. Can we say "tasty"?!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY Daily Shower Spray

Daily shower sprays make cleaning the tub & shower a breeze. But of course most store bought ones can be filled with toxic ingredients. And since I'm not too fond of hacking up a lung from hazardous chemicals, it comes as no surprise that I make my own daily shower spray.

How To:

•large spray bottle
•warm water (not pictured)
•2/3 C. white vinegar
•2 tsp. Borax
•1 Tbsp. dish soap (like Dawn)
•20 drops tea tree oil (roughly about 1/5 tsp.)

•Fill spray bottle roughly 3/4 full with warm water (be sure to leave room for remaining ingredients).
•Add vinegar & shake to mix.
•Add Borax & shake to mix.
•Add dish soap & tea tree oil, shake gently to combine.
•Spray shower, tub & fixtures with solution after each use.

Have everything but the Tea Tree Oil?
Don't exclude it! It's full of antibacterial powers that you need. You can find it at local health food stores & some discount or drug stores. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Simple Sunday: Our New Friend

The kids found a new friend! I had to take a picture of it since I wouldn't let them keep it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Brownie Sundae

A brownie sundae may not seem like a snack, but when you eat it at 2 in the afternoon it is. Which is exactly what I did. For several days. I've never had a pan of brownies and a 5 quart bucket of ice cream disappear so fast!

How To:

•brownies made with whatever extra fixings your little heart desires (I added mini m&m's, white & milk chocolate chips)
•ice cream (I opted for cookies & cream)
•chocolate syrup (I'm a Hershey's kind of gal)

•Top your brownie with ice cream
•Lick the spoon
•Top with chocolate syrup
•Take HUGE bite
•Repeat last step

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fun Friday: Upcycled Bean Bag

Ever notice how kids can have tons of fun with the simplest of things? Well it doesn't get much simpler than some of the hubs old work jeans, dry beans, a needle & thread.

This is just one of the upcycled bean bags I made for the kids. There was no way any of them were going to give theirs up. (Even if just for a picture.)

They've played hop scotch, hide & seek, bucket toss & a few other made up games today. But the best part is, that they'll serve as another craft some other day when the kids get to paint & personalize them. 

How To:

•squares of fabric cut from old clothing (make sure it's not worn through)
•dry beans
•needle & thread

•Working with fabric squares inside out, sew together 3 sides & partial of the 4th (you want to make sure you have plenty of room to turn your square inside right). Don't forget to double stitch on your starting & ending points.
•Fill between 2/3 & 3/4 full with dry beans.
•Folding rough edges in, carefully stitch opening shut making sure to double stitch on your starting & ending points.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Yvette's Creations: Personalized Keychains & Necklaces

When you have kids, you always have to carry pictures around with you. Because there's always someone you run into from the past, wanting to know if they've grown like weeds. But flipping out that mini picture book (I guess that's what you would call it) in your wallet is so 1990's. Which leaves us at the revolutionary smartphone that can chronicle who knows how many years. But what do you do if you actually don't have it with you (gasp!)?

You reach out to Yvette! Yvette from Yvette's Creations makes personalized bottle cap keychains & necklaces that not only serve their purpose, but are able to showcase your favorite photo. And the best part is how durable they are. (My youngest always grabs my necklace & tries to pick at the picture.)

I've gotten numerous compliments on my necklace! So many, that it's now the first one I go for when it's time for jewelry.

And then there's the keychain! Can we say "Christmas gifts for everyone"?

Want one (or more) of your own? You can find Yvette on facebook or email her at Yvettes.Creations(at)aol(dot)com. The prices start at $8 (for the keychain) plus shipping (starting at $2.75). Of course all of her rates are subject to change depending on the size of your order.

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

Think It Thursday: Kids These Days

This may be a bit of a touchy subject, but has anyone else noticed what's up with kids these days? Don't get me wrong, with most, there's nothing up (aside from having a lack of imagination when it comes to playtime). But others...

I see some kids that think they're the parent. They seem to think that they're in charge of discipline when it comes to younger siblings. They seem to think that rules don't apply to them. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want. They know it all. 

I'm not pointing any fingers of blame, but I'm starting to see this way too often. Often enough that I flash back to my childhood, thinking about what I was & wasn't allowed to do. Wow, what a difference!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Work It Wednesday: Simple Ways to Pamper Yourself

Let's face it, we all need a little extra pampering every now & then. But yet we rarely give it to ourselves. (What gives ladies?) Here's a few simple ways to do so without feeling guilty or breaking the bank.
Hit the snooze button one more time. Those extra 9 minutes (a least that's what mine is) can make a difference in how refreshed you feel for the day!
Go for extra reps during your workout. I know this may seem like torture, but don't forget how great you feel after a good workout.
It's mani/pedi time! So you may not be able to get to the salon for one, grab a new polish & do it yourself.
Indulge. That piece of decadent dark chocolate that's been playing mind games with you all it.
Relax. Whether it's on the couch with your fave TV show or in the tub with your fave read. Just take some time to do...nothing. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CardioTech Premium Series BP3T Digital Arm Blood Pressure Monitor by Ozeri

When I was pregnant with my third (& last) child, my blood pressure skyrocketed! So much that I had to take Labetelol to keep it lowered. Flash forward a little over a year later for my yearly exam, my blood pressure is up again. Not as high as it had been when I was pregnant, but still high for me. My doctor wanted me to go back in routinely to get it checked, but with three small kids in tow (attempting to find a sitter for a 2 minute appointment is pointless in my opinion), a high reading would be guaranteed. So I asked if I could get it checked every week at the grocery store using the big machine & that was OK. But I never remembered when I was there. Now you can imagine how happy I was (my doctor too) when I found out the folks over at Ozeri were going to send me the CardioTech Premium Series BP3T Digital Arm Blood Pressure Monitor to review! 

"The CardioTech Premium Series BP3T Blood Pressure Monitor is an advanced 2-user arm-cuff monitor powered by a state-of-the-art CPU that utilizes a double pulse detection algorithm to enhance pulse wave detection, thereby improving accuracy."

This lightweight blood pressure monitor comes in a portable case. But unlike most monitors I've seen, it truly is portable, running on 4 AAA batteries (included). So there's no pesky cords getting in the way (something I always had a problem with when I had to use my FIL's monitor).

As you can see, it even looks simple to use! Coming with a user manual & an arm cuff designed with clinically proven technology, the CardioTech Premium Series BP3T Digital Arm Blood Pressure Monitor offers advanced one step operation. Designed for two users, you can store 120 readings (60 per user with date & time stamp) to carefully monitor your blood pressure. I can't tell you how much of a lifesaver that part has been for me. I can even call my doctor & give him an average based on my past 3 readings. he really is amazed at how diligent I am with all of this now!

 This monitor also keeps your pulse & will tell you if you have an irregular heartbeat. I love that feature for my husband. He hasn't had an irregular heartbeat yet that we know of, but there are plenty of heart problems on his side of the family. So it's nice to take a proactive approach to my high blood pressure & be on the lookout for any arising heart issues my husband may have.
"Unlike traditional blood pressure monitors that inflate to 170 mmHg or higher by default, the CardioTech BP3T utilizes MWI (Measure While Inflate), a dynamic measurement technology that varies the inflation process according to real-time blood pressure detection to reduce measurement time and increase user comfort."

 Backed by a 5 year warranty, you can purchase the CardioTech Premium Series BP3T Digital Arm Blood Pressure Monitor on Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tasty Tuesday: Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

I love a good tomato from the garden. Just so happens that I prefer them green instead (for the most part anyways). Oh, and fried. But what used to be a summer side dish that I grew up with, has now evolved into a hearty sandwich that I just can't get enough of!

For the Tomatoes:

•seasoned salt
•garlic powder
•ground black pepper
•olive oil, for frying
•thickly sliced green tomatoes

•Combine desired amounts of flour, seasoned salt, garlic powder & salt in a shallow dish.
•Dredge tomato slices through flour mixture, thoroughly covering (If flour is not sticking, rinse your tomato slice under a bit of water & dredge again).
•Fry in a large skillet, heated with olive oil, until lightly golden on both sides.
•Place on paper towel lined plate & set aside.

For the Sandwich:

•desired bread, lightly toasted
•lettuce, rinsed & torn
•bacon strips, cooked to perfection (whatever your "perfection" may be)
•fried green tomato slices (recipe above in case you missed it)
•sweet onion, sliced (optional)
•mayonnaise (I used a Roasted Chipotle)

•Layer desired amount of ingredients in the order listed (obviously topped with another slice of lightly toasted bread of course).
•Eat & enjoy!

*Warning!: This sandwich creates mouth watering effects. To suppress said effects, simply eat another sandwich.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY Weed Killer

Weeds. They're everywhere we don't want them to be. In the garden, in the the sidewalk cracks?! That last one irks me. Unless there's supposed to be grass in the cracks for that "Old English" feel, they really shouldn't be there. Then of course there's how to get rid of those pesky weeds. If you have animals or kids running around, spraying a chemical isn't exactly ideal. 

 This is after less than 24 hours. Boy can you tell the difference! There's still a bit left so another application will be necessary. 

How To:

*Be sure that you only apply to where you don't want any vegetation growing in the future.

•boiling hot water
•iodized table salt
•white vinegar
 •butter knife

•Pouring carefully so as to not splash, pour boiling water onto weeded area.
•Cover in a decent sprinkling of salt, followed by the vinegar.
•Using your butter knife, stab down into crack to allow everything to work down to the root base.
•Allow to sit for 24 hours, although you will notice a difference much sooner than that.
•Repeat if necessary.