Saturday, November 30, 2013

Edwards Review and Giveaway

The holidays are about surrounding yourself with delicious food, friends and family, and warm conversation.  When I think of this time of year, I think of overindulgence.  Cakes made with rich chocolate frosting, perfectly baked biscuits spread with honey butter, and plenty of wine.  Food brings people together and who doesn't want to be enveloped by fabulous food?



Edwards frozen desserts offer unique little indulgences that enrich our everyday lives.  The company produces full-sized frozen pies and dessert singles.  With fabulous flavors like Hershey's crème pie, Reese's crème pie, key lime pie, and banana crème pie among many others, how can you go wrong? The pies pack a big flavor and certainly don't lack taste and sweetness.  They go from fridge to table in a short time.  Don't forget to accompany your slice with a steaming mug of coffee or tea. 

My parents came to visit for Thanksgiving and I knew I had to serve them something out of this world.  Everyone in my family loves chocolate, so a pie bursting with chocolate flavor would be the ultimate dessert for them.  I finally decided on the Hershey's crème pie.  As soon as I selected it, I knew it was the perfect pick.

This incredible dessert is layered with delicious Hershey's chocolate.  From the chocolate crumb crust to the chocolate and vanilla crème fillings with chocolate chips and drizzle on top, it's a chocolate lover's dream.


How amazing does this pie look? I want a piece right now.  From the moment I put the pie on the table, my family couldn't wait to dig in.  The pie sliced easily and flawlessly and soon each family member had a slice of heaven on their plate.  From the moment I sampled my first bite, I was in absolute heaven.  The cool chocolate was rich and sweet. I quickly ate the rest of my piece in seconds flat. I didn't even want to speak in between bites.  It was that good!  My taste buds burst into a song honoring the chocolate gods.  I truly loved the combination of the sweet and creamy chocolate and vanilla crème together.  It was magical.  The chocolate chips and drizzle on top was just an added bonus.  The best part of all was the chocolate crumb crust.  It was a thick sweet blanket that hugged the chocolate pie in a warm embrace.

My entire family devoured their first piece and quickly asked for seconds.  They said it was the best piece of pie that they've had in a very long time. It was also asked if the dessert was made from scratch, since they had a hard time believing that it was frozen.

If you're looking for a fabulous pie that will leave your family speechless, I recommend any choice from Edwards.
 
Check out the 12 days of Edwards Song:
 

The 12 Days of Edwards

 

On the first day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

A single serving of glee

 

On the second day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Two Turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the third day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Three Key Lime Singles

Two Turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the fourth day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two Turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the fifth day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two Turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

And a single serving of glee

 

On the sixth day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Six pies a-drizzling

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the seventh day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Seven days enjoying

Six pies a-drizzling

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the eighth day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Eight ways a-slicing

Seven days enjoying

Six pies a-drizzling

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the ninth day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Nine minutes indulging

Eight ways a-slicing

Seven days enjoying

Six pies a-drizzling

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the tenth day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Ten pies for-tasting

Nine minutes indulging

Eight ways a-slicing

Seven days enjoying

Six pies a-drizzling

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Eleven cookies crumbling

Ten pies for-tasting

Nine minutes indulging

Eight ways a-slicing

Seven days enjoying

Six pies a-drizzling

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas

Edwards gave to me

Twelve crème pies thawing

Eleven cookies crumbling

Ten pies for-tasting

Nine minutes indulging

Eight ways a-slicing

Eight ways a-slicing

Seven days enjoying

Six pies a-drizzling

Five Hershey's creme pies

Four tasty layers

Three Key Lime Singles

Two turtle Pies

And a single serving of glee








 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Looking for ways to use that leftover turkey?

If you're looking for some delicious options on what to do with that leftover turkey, check out this link.

I can't wait to have a turkey sandwich, myself!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What Type of Person Starts a Business? #Franchising


When I think of the type of person who starts a business, I picture someone with intense training and schooling.  This person has studied business in their undergraduate degree and possibly even received a masters in it.  A normal person may feel that their goal of owning their own business is unreachable.  You may be surprised at just how easy it is to own your own franchise though.

  Are you interested in starting your own business, or know someone who is? 1,000 people with a net worth of over $200,000 were surveyed and the results were very interesting.



  • 56% are planning on opening or starting a business in the next 12-18 months. (Either alone or with a partner.)
  • 25% are females looking to start their own business.
  • 56% looking to start a business are planning on having a business partner.
  • 31% of the people looking to start a business are planning on going into business with a spouse or domestic partner. (That’s roughly 10% of all respondents.)
  • 30% of respondents looking to start a business are going into business with a friend and 26% are going into business with a colleague.
  • Females are more likely to go into business with a spouse or domestic partner than males.

  • Some might be scared to go into business alone and would like the help of a business partner.  This chart lays out the facts of how business partners are usually related.


    If you're researching franchising opportunities, Supercuts is always a fabulous one to get into.  It's extremely rewarding.  Don't let your business ownership dreams go to waste! It's never too late.

    *DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post in conjunction with a Supercuts campaign.  All thoughts are my own. 

    Monday, November 25, 2013

    Excedrin's Take a Holiday from Headaches Giveaway

    I've mentioned recently that the holidays can be extremely stressful.  Thanksgiving is almost here and all of the cooking prep ahead of me is definitely headache worthy. I'm trying not to think about it!  The holidays begin soon after Halloween and we all just seem to be constantly on the go until New Year's Eve.  I absolutely love the holidays and all of the joy and festivities.  Not to mention that I love spending time with family and friends.  All of this combined can definitely bring on a migraine or headache though.  It's important to take some time for yourself and not get stressed out.



    Excedrin is an over-the-counter headache pain reliever, typically in the form of tablets or caplets. It contains acetaminophen (paracetamol), aspirin, and caffeine. It is heavenly headache relief in the form of a small tablet. Excedrin is the first non-prescription medicine approved by the FDA to treat all the symptoms of a migraine. I rely on Excedrin for relief and it's the only medicine I will take for a migraine.




    It's a fact that nobody enjoys having to deal with a migraine or headache.  That's why the makers of Excedrin invite you to take a holiday from headaches.  To find relief, all you have to do is follow these simple steps provided by Dr. Keri Peterson, M.D.

    • Stick to your regular routine.  Eating, sleeping, and exercising as you do the rest of the year can help reduce the chances of getting a headache.
    • Manage your time and plan ahead.  Coordinate plans and responsibilities in advance with relatives, compose set menus when hosting a party and try to purchase gifts early so you're not rushing at the last minute.
    • Stay in ventilated spaces. As you browse through the mall, watch out for those scented candles or perfume if you're sensitive to smells.
    • Eat and drink in moderation. Eat, drink, and be merry, but try not to consume sweets or alcoholic beverages in excess as they could trigger headaches.
    If you follow these simple steps, you'll be on your way to a headache free holiday season!

    Don't forget to visit Excedrin's Facebook page between November 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014 to enter the “Take a Holiday from Headaches” sweepstakes.  You'll be eligible for a chance to win daily prizes including gift cards to popular retailers. One lucky grand prize of $25,000 to help with shopping, travel and other holiday expenses! See official rules here.

    One lucky winner will win a $100 American Express gift card to help with their holiday shopping!







    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Soothie Massager Giveaway

    The holidays can be a stressful time for most.  You're running around buying gifts, planning holiday meals, entertaining friends and family, and just constantly on the go.  Some dread the chaos of the holidays and are happy when it's all over.  It's important to make some time to for yourself to de-stress and relax, even if just for a short period of time.

    Soothie Massager offers a heatable massager made from a custom-designed, high density polymer that contains the ideal moisture content to be heated safely in a microwave.  The product applies soothing heat and pressure directly to tight muscles and painful knots.  Just lean into any wall and feel your aches and pains disappear in a flash.  The Soothie Massager offers a full body massage starting from your head and ending at your toes.  The heat will provide a more enjoyable massage.  Can't you just imagine coming home from a long day at work and massaging away all tension in your body? You'll feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle a new day! The best part is that you don't even have to leave your home for a fabulous massage.

    I'm ready to kick those aches and pains to the curb!

    If you're looking for stocking stuffers for Christmas, a Soothie Massager would make an ideal one.  If you want to make the massager a full present, why not pair it with bubble bath, candles, and a gift certificate for a facial for the ultimate relaxation gift? The recipient will love it! 

    Whenever you need a pick-me-up, just pull out the Soothie Massager and be prepared to feel like a new person afterwards.







    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    Kohl's Review

    Fall is here and in full swing. While I hate the cold, I do love the cooler weather fashion.  Furry boots, belted cardigans, riding boots, and sweaters are all on my list of Fall favorites.  There's just something so comforting about an oversized sweater and boots.  I enjoy starting off each new season with new clothes.  I feel that every person should regularly treat themselves to wonderful clothes or accessories.



    Kohl's is your one stop shop for women, men, and children's clothing.  Kohl's also features accessories, housewares, shoes and much more.  It's truly a shopper's paradise.  Need a new outfit for your upcoming Christmas party or maybe your son needs a new pair of jeans for school?  No problem,  Kohl's has you covered.  They have the latest fashions at unbeatable prices. The clothes are made well and last.  Christmas is rapidly approaching.  Do you have all of your decorations ready to display in the next few weeks? Make sure to consider purchasing your Christmas tree and Santa decorations from Kohl's if you're still looking for decorations! Keep them in mind for your Christmas gift needs too.  As you can see, Kohl's really does have it all.

    What I love most about Kohl's is that they always have something that I love each time I walk into the store.  I sometimes lack self control and purchase things I don't truly need, but just like.  I'm working on that issue. :) They have affordable prices with items always on sale, which is another plus of why I enjoy shopping there.

    Kohl's was kind enough to allow me to pick some Fall pieces for review.  I've worked with Kohl's so many times now and I really enjoy partnering with them.  It's always a fun experience.  I browsed their website and fell in love with practically everything I saw.  Since it wasn't possible for me to choose everything, I had to narrow it down to just a few items.  That was a hard task and it took me a while to make my final decisions! I finally settled on five items that I truly loved.  I tried to choose versatile pieces that were unlike anything I currently owned.  Fashion is something I'm passionate about and I'm always up for trying new patterns, styles, and colors.
    I come in red, white, black, and blue!


    The Elle crochet overlay top was the first item I put into my cart.  The second I saw it, I knew I had to own it.  It had a vintage vibe that I absolutely loved.  I contemplated choosing the black color, but I own so many black tops.  Color is important for livening everything up in the Fall.  The top fits me well and is comfortable on.  It's form fitting, but not too clingy.  I love the crochet flowers, it reminds me of the 70's. The flower detail is only on the front, which I actually prefer.  I think it would be too much to have it on both the front and back.  The flowers are securely adhered to the top.  The red is more of an orangey red which is perfect for Fall, but it is slightly brighter in person.  I can wear the top to work with dress pants, and also have it work well for an evening out with jeans and brown or black boots. 

    Roar!


    I'm the queen of leopard.  I love anything featuring leopard print and will actively seek it out.  I think animal print is important for jazzing things up in moderation in a wardrobe.  The Apt 9 essential cheetah tee was right up my alley.  The material is very soft, comfortable, and seems well made.  The colors are bright and vivid.  I love that the leopard print is completely all over the shirt, instead of just in certain areas.  I can picture going out with my husband or friends for a night out wearing this top with skinny jeans and black or brown riding boots. I might even wear this with black dress pants and gold jewelry to work.  Leopard print adds an element of fun to any outfit.

    The flower print is so easy to fall in love with.


    I own many tops from Daisy Fuente's line at Kohl's.  She always has adorable tops at fantastic prices.  When I saw the Daisy Fuentes favorite scroll tee,  I knew it would quickly become my favorite tee too! The cute black and white flower pattern is very pretty.  The top fits me well and isn't too clingy, which I like. I think it looks good on me.  The colors aren't bright and bold, but more muted.  I wouldn't think to pair the top with a necklace like the model has on in the picture.  I thought since the print was already busy the necklace would be too much, but I think it works well and I will consider wearing a necklace with it.  Pair this outfit with skinny jeans and riding boots, or even bootleg jeans and clogs for a fashionable look.  Black or gold jewelry would compliment the top well.

     
    Let's party!


    This is my absolute favorite top of all for sure.  The Daisy Fuentes floral knot-front top is so flattering on, and perfect for holiday parties.  I know I made a great choice when I chose my second Daisy top! I really like the cute dark blue and black floral pattern.  The colors pair excellently together and the print is very feminine.  It fits me well and I'm happy with how it looks on.  The knot detail on top helps bring an added element of style and completes the look.  I would wear this outfit out to dinner or to a party with black or silver jewelry, skinny jeans and boots,  You could even pair it with a black skirt for work. 

    Finally, I settled on something a little bit different than the previous pieces I've mentioned.  Since it's chilly outside, I wanted to choose something to help me stay extra warm.  I debated on choosing pajamas, but I have so many pairs so I figured that wouldn't be a smart idea.  I knew a belted cardigan would be a wise choice.

    I'll keep you comfy-cozy!

    What's cozier than a sweater in the Fall? That would be a belted cardigan of course! The rewind geometric cardigan is the perfect pick.  I was drawn to this cardigan because the pattern reminded me of a Native American style.  The cardigan fits me well and is extremely comfortable.  It is slightly baggy under my arms, but I can't figure out if that's the style because it fits well everywhere else.  The belt is easy to tie and the cardigan stays securely closed when tied.  The black color is deep, rich and beautiful. The tan compliments the black nicely.  I love the pattern that is featured all over the cardigan.  You can wear a black or grey shirt underneath.  Either color works fine.  I can't wait to wear this with bootleg jeans and stiletto boots.  I think it would be a really fun outfit.  Don't forget gold or black earrings!

    As you can see, Kohl's has some wonderful pieces that any lady would appreciate having in her wardrobe.  Head on over to Kohl's today for some retail therapy.

    *DISCLOSURE* A big thank you to Kohl's for supplying me with a gift card to cover these items.  All thoughts are strictly mine. 

     

    
    



      

    Have you heard about LillyD's Craft Supplies?

    While the holidays are fun and festive, they can really take a toll on one's wallet.  Buying gifts for friends and family doesn't come cheap.  I love to give gifts and I tend to overspend on each gift, which can be a problem.  There is an alternative though.  Why not create a homemade gift that is filled with thoughtfulness and love? The recipient will surely love and cherish it for years to come.  A wonderful gift doesn't have to break the bank.



    LillyD's Craft Supplies is an Etsy shop that was founded by owner Lilly, but is now operated primarily by her daughter Sonya and son-in-law Brad.  The shop primarily sells various craft supplies including pendant kits and trays, glass cabochons, pendant necklaces, keychain kits, photo tray kits, and much more.  If you love walking into a craft store and spending time admiring everything, this shop is like an online craft store.  You never know what goodies you'll find! Why not use the items for sale and create a fabulous Christmas present for your grandma this year? She'll love a keychain with a photo of her grandchildren in it.  Don't forget mom's gift either.  How about a vintage pendent necklace for her? The best part about Lilly D's is that they accept custom orders.  Let your creativity soar and order the perfect gift for that special someone.

    Here are some examples of what you'll see at Lilly D's Etsy shop.




    As you can see this is a craft lover's paradise.  Why not stop by today and get those holiday craft gifts going?


    Check out the Etsy shop on Facebook.  

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Baklava King Review

    What do you think of when you envision holiday desserts? I think of pumpkin or apple pie, cinnamon cakes, and of course peppermint bark, among others.  One seasonal treat that people don't always consider a part of the holidays is baklava. It is a wonderful holiday dessert.  Go ahead and delight your guests' stomach with this sweet and nutty treat.  It certainly deserves a spot on your holiday dessert table this year!



    Baklava King is truly the kingdom for all of your baklava and borek needs.  If you aren't familiar with baklava, you're in for a true treat.  Baklava is a dessert originating in the Middle East that's made from phyllo pastry, filled with chopped nuts, and soaked in a honey syrup.  It is absolute heaven.  Boreks consist of thin pastry dough filled with cheese, spinach, or ground meat.  They are either baked or fried.  Baklava King was founded in San Diego in 2002 and has been serving gourmet baklava and borek pastry varieties made with the finest all American ingredients ever since.  If you're looking for unique baklava flavors, how about delighting your taste buds with walnut, pistachio, or chocolate pistachio baklava? You can't forget to try the almond, cinnamon, or hazelnut flavors either! If you're looking for a savory borek, why not try a spinach and feta flavor, or a kalamata borek puff? There are so many flavors available for anyone's tastes and preferences.  The baklava and boreks are shippable which can make perfect Christmas presents for the foodie in your life. 

    My love affair with baklava started only last week! It was on the dessert menu at a restaurant I was dining at.  I've always heard good things about the sweet treat and I wanted to try it.  From the minute I stuck my fork into the dessert and brought it to my mouth, I was in love.  The kind of love where you know you're head over heels instantly.  From that moment on, baklava was all I could think of.  When I was told I would be receiving a shipment of baklava from the king himself for review, liquid honey syrup pumped through my heart in place of blood.  I was so excited!

    Not long after, two boxes showed up containing a half order of spinach and feta boreks, and a large assorted sampler of various baklava! What more could you want out of life? Nothing. Each box was wrapped with care and the contents arrived quickly and in perfect condition. 

    I planned my dinner around the boreks, because I knew I couldn't control myself from trying one.  They come pre-cooked, you just have to heat them for 15-20 min in the oven at 350 degrees. 

    This box holds the key to my heart.

    Spinach and feta makes everything better.


    How awesome do these boreks look? They made my kitchen smell delicious.  My husband came home when these were almost finished heating up and wanted to know what I was cooking because it smelled amazing! He was very delighted when he found out what was in the oven.  I love the beautiful golden brown color on top.  You can see the individual flaky layers inside too.  These boreks were square slices of heaven.  I couldn't believe how fresh they tasted for traveling over 3,000 miles! It was like they were baked moments ago and given to me. The pastry was flaky and buttery and melt in your mouth delicious.  The inside filling contained a generous amount of spinach and feta.  Spinach and feta is a fabulous combination that you can't resist.  The feta was tangy and blanketed my taste buds with rich, cheesy flavor.

    Soon after, the box of baklava was calling my name.  I couldn't resist its phyllo spell over me and I knew I had to oblige.  The problem was that I wasn't sure which one to choose first.  Each one looked better than the last. The instructions said to keep the baklava in the fridge for as long as possible as the flavor gets even better if kept cold.
    Keep your hands off the baklava and nobody gets hurt.

    Have you ever seen anything so gorgeous in your entire life? I haven't.  It's like I won the baklava jackpot! The various flavors in the box included: pistachio, walnut, chocolate, almond/pecan, and cinnamon/walnut.  If you know me, you know I'm a chocoholic, so if you assumed I tried the chocolate first, you're right.  As soon as I took my first bite, I was on a rocket ship straight to planet baklava. You really can taste all of the flavors at once instantly.  The many layers of chewy phyllo, the crunch of the chopped nuts, the sweet sugar lemon-juice syrup that they use, and the light chocolate drizzle.  It was incredible.  My taste buds exploded like the fourth of July! I like that the baklava was made into "sticks" instead of the large triangles.  This is a scaled down version of the dessert and you don't feel as guilty for eating it.  The treat was extremely fresh and I had to control myself from digging in and just going nuts! Baklava goes excellently with a cup of tea.

    I look forward to trying the rest of the baklava soon. I have no self control against it and I'm sure I will be enjoying many more pieces in the near future.  If you're looking to treat yourself this holiday season, the Baklava King is ready to have you join him in the baklava kingdom.

    *DISCLOSURE* I received complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own. 


    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    #CountryCrockCasserole Post #3-Thanksgiving Giveaway

    Thanksgiving is on everyone's mind these days. It's getting so close! Most of us are starting to food shop for the holiday meal, or are already in the process of.  Like any holiday meal prep, Thanksgiving can be hectic.  Wouldn't it be nice to create a crowd-pleasing dish that takes minimal time to make?


    Country Crock buttery spread has 70% less saturated fat than butter and 30% more fewer calories. The spread contains 30 calories per serving and comes in many different flavors.  This is a guilt free spread that will liven up your foods and make your taste buds sing.  What I love most about Country Crock is that there are so many uses for the spread, why not experiment with a new way today? How about using it in a casserole dish that will become a family favorite, or on fabulous freshly baked bread? Whatever way you use Country Crock, I can guarantee you will enjoy it.


    This is my last and final kit as a member of the Country Crock Casserole Club.  This time, I was sent a kit that revolved around Thanksgiving. The kit contained panko bread crumbs and a Wusthof chef's knife.  A recipe card was provided for me that I was to make my own.  The initial recipe was a Thanksgiving family fave veggie casserole.  It included ingredients such as chopped onions, mixed veggies, cheese, and panko bread crumbs.  I am not a fan of onions so I knew right away that I didn't want to include those in the recipe.  Since there was no meat in the initial recipe, I felt that it wasn't a very hearty Fall meal. With just veggies in it, it seemed like more of a side dish than anything else.  To take it from a side dish to a main entrée, you need to include more of a substantial, filling ingredient. 

    I thought about what I wanted to include in the recipe and I ventured off to the store.  I purchased ground beef, shredded cheese, corn, lots of broccoli, and shredded carrots.  I then got to work that evening preparing the casserole.  Casseroles are something that I make a lot of.  They are very easy to make, incorporate items everyone loves, and take little time.  My husband usually eats practically the entire casserole dish too.  What more could I ask for? I cooked and drained the entire pack of ground beef, while I chopped the broccoli. Since it's just my husband and I, I cut the recipe in half and used only four cups of mixed veggies.  Next, I assembled the ground beef into the casserole dish and poured in the veggies.  Then, I added about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and corn.  I mixed everything together and then topped generously with the provided panko bread crumbs.  I absolutely love panko bread crumbs.  They have a bigger crunch than just regular bread crumbs and they bring a lot of texture to a dish.  I popped the dish into the oven and baked it for 25 minutes.



    Thanksgiving, here we come!

    What I like most about this dish is how colorful it is.  The corn, carrots, and broccoli really look beautiful together.  I also love how healthy it is since so many veggies are incorporated.  The ground beef truly ties everything together and kicks the heartiness up a notch.  I think the cheese also adds a nice hint of sharp cheddar flavor to everything as well.  You can't forget the satisfying crunch provided by the panko bread crumbs.  One of the reasons why I've really enjoyed being a Country Crock Casserole member is that I get to create many dishes that I would have never previously thought of.  It's always fun to experiment and make new meals.  My husband and I really enjoyed the dish and he requested that I make it again soon!

    Moms everywhere will enjoy a quick meal that takes practically no time to make at all.  I think from prep to being on the table was about 30 minutes.  You can't beat that! Another good idea would be to take Thanksgiving leftovers and create a casserole from them.  It makes leftovers a little more fun for children as it's not just the same thing they had for dinner the previous night.  Happy cooking!




    




    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Thanksgiving made easy with Swanson

    Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  If you're in search of a new crowd-pleasing dish to make everyone's stomachs smile, I have some fantastic recipes for you.  Swanson branded chicken stock and broth is a must for the holiday season.  Happy cooking!



     
    Ingredients:
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 butternut squash (2- to 2 1/2-pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
    2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 2 cups)
    1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
    1 tablespoon ground sage
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth
     
    Directions:
    1)      Heat the butter and oil in a 6-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the squash, apples, onion, sage, salt and black pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost tender.
    2)      Stir the broth in the saucepot. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is tender.
    3)      Using an immersion blender, puree the squash mixture.
     
     
     
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
    1 cup thinly sliced shallots
    1 jar (7.4 ounces) roasted peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
    16 dried figs, stems removed, cut in quarters (about 1 cup)
    2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
    2 tablespoons honey
    4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth  
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 package (12 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Herb Cube Stuffing
     
    Directions:
    1)     Heat the oven to 350°F.
    2)     Heat the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots, chestnuts, figs and celery and cook until the celery is tender, stirring occasionally.
    3)     Stir the honey and broth in the saucepan and heat to a boil.  Remove the saucepan from the heat.  Add the parsley and stuffing and mix lightly.  Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole.  Cover the casserole.
    4)     Bake for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.
    *Disclosure* I was not compensated by Swanson for this post, I am only sharing holiday themed recipes. 

     

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Amplicom Review and Giveaway

    There's nothing like the jarring ring of an alarm clock in the morning.  We're all too familiar with that noise of doom telling us it's time to get up and ready for the day.  Now that it's cold outside, we want to stay in our warm and cozy bed more than ever.  It's important to make sure you have an alarm clock that will wake you up on time so you're not late for work or school.



    Amplicom offers quality amplified telephones and accessories for a better quality of life.  As we age, our hearing is not what it used to be.  We might have to raise the volume on our TV or phone over time.  This is hard for some to accept, but it's nothing to be embarrassed about. The corded and cordless telephones, along with the amplified alarm clocks are made for those who are hard of hearing and sight impaired. The phone's ring is extra loud and the buttons and display screen are enlarged.  The digital and analogue alarm clocks offer big number displays as well as the option to announce the time.  There's no way your elderly parents or grandparents will miss a phone call or wake-up time now! This is a great way for them to keep on track and keep their independence.  Amplicom products make wonderful presents for the upcoming holidays or any occasion. 

    While Amplicom's products are ideal for the elderly, they are not solely targeted for them.  The alarm clocks are perfect for sleep deprived high school and collect students who are trying to establish their independence.  Also, for anyone who has ever slept through their alarm and missed an important flight, meeting, or class.  

    My husband has trouble getting out of bed in the morning.  The alarm clock will ring and he will turn it off and go back to sleep.  This is dangerous because he has to get up and get ready for work.  Luckily, I wake up before him and always pester him about getting up.  Sometimes I go to work before he gets up and then he's on his own.  He needs the equivalent of someone blowing a whistle directly in his ear.  Fortunately, an Amplicom alarm clock is the alarm version of that.

    He received the TLC 200 Digital Alarm Clock from Amplicom.  The alarm clock includes a chargeable pad that slips under the pillow and vibrates to wake the sleeper up.  It also has an extra loud 90dB ringer, so there's the option to use either the shaker pad, ringer, or both at the same time.  I can't guarantee that the sleeper will be happy about both options at once though!

    Wake up! 

    The alarm clock is fabulous so far.  I've set it up on my husband's nightstand and he likes how it looks. The large number display is convenient and I like that I can easily see the time from far away.  Since it's black, it easily blends into any decor in your bedroom.  I prefer the digital version rather than the analogue.  A loud voice announces the time and alarm time in 5 selectable languages, depending on what your preference is.  The most convenient feature is the dual alarm time setting, if you and your spouse get up at different times.  There are many other features like selectable ring patterns, wake-up daily, weekdays only, or weekends only, and more.  

    The alarm is loud and will wake you up instantly.  You don't have to worry about being late for wherever you're going anymore! My husband's not a fan of the shaker pad, he feels it's a harsh way to wake up in the morning, but others way find it necessary for the wake-up process.  Since he recently received it, he's still figuring out all of the options.  He really is enjoying the clock so far and hopefully will have no more issues with waking up on time in the future.  

    The only thing I would change about this alarm clock is including a radio in it.  Most alarm clocks feature a radio, and I was surprised that this one did not feature one.  

    If you're looking to revolutionize your wake-up routine in the morning, Amplicom is ready to get you out of bed!









    Holiday Meal Prep Made Easy with the new Food and Drink App

    If you're getting ready to cook a large meal for friends and family for Thanksgiving, you really need to check out the new food and drink app.  It's free for Windows 8.1.  The app provides you with a comprehensive guide for instruction and inspiration from your tablet to the table.  It features recipes, an extensive wine guide, tutorial videos, and hands-free interaction with recipes while cooking.

    I had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Colicchio, best known as a judge from Top Chef, this morning.  I was able to ask him questions about the app and learn more about it.  Check out my interview below.  It's very informative!



    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    Mujus Giveaway

    Holiday shopping is in full swing! I know it's hard to believe, but Christmas is truly around the corner.  Parents and families around the world are crossing gifts off their lists for friends and relatives.  Are you in the process of searching for a gift for that certain someone, but don't know exactly what to buy? Skip the requisite gift card or candle present this year and give them something they'll really love!

    Mujus designs and handmakes earth-friendly accessories that stand out for their vibrant colors and elegant, yet rustic beauty.  Their goal is to show the combination of man and nature can be used to create iconic and elegant designs.  Mujus aims to hire and train young Peruvian women so they can learn a craft and also provide them a source of income.  The jewelry collection includes necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, earrings, keychains, pins, and rings.  All of the pieces are full of life, color, and beauty.  There are many different styles for everyone's taste and preference.  If you're looking for a piece of jewelry that is unlike what everyone else is wearing, Mujus is the brand for you.  The jewelry also makes an excellent gift for practically any occasion.

    The ABC bracelet is beautiful! Mujus takes the bangle look back to basics with a strong geometric shape and bold colors.  The cuff showcases the unique bark of each tagua seed, making each bracelet truly one of a kind.  It's an eco-conscious design made for the modern woman, and a great way to add a splash of color to your look.


    Can't you just picture wearing this bracelet now? It comes in a range of different colors to suit anyone's style.  I love the dark and light color elements throughout it, it's certainly a unique look! All you have to do is figure out what outfit to pair it with now. 


    

    

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    Mother's Therapy Organics Giveaway

    We've hit that time of year where sickness is prevalent.  We are taking preventive measures to protect ourselves against sickness. It's vital that we constantly wash our hands or sanitize them when water is not available, and cover our mouths when we sneeze. This is especially important for children.  It seems like everywhere we turn, someone is sick.  It's time to keep those germs at bay and have a healthy and happy holiday season.  



    Mother's Therapy Organics are natural cleansing products for young, sensitive skin.  The product line-up includes kids hand sanitizer, germ fight'n hand lotion, baby lotion, and travel size hand sanitizer.  The sanitizers have a 99.99% germ-kill ratio.  The company uses the purest organic and natural ingredients that have quick-dry properties.  As the natural alcohol evaporates, it leaves behind a skin-softening aloe vera based lotion which become infused into the skin.  No extra rubbing is required.  The best part is that since this is non-greasy, it can be used as often as needed without the worry of damage to sensitive skin.  Trust Mother's Therapy Organics to keep the germs at bay.


    Nothing is easier and more convenient than throwing a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or book bag for on-the-go use.  Clip it onto a purse or duffel bag.  Don't worry about touching something dirty and having to wait to wash your hands, those germs will be killed and replaced with the pleasant scent of cucumber.  These hand sanitizers come in a handy pack that will keep the whole family safe from germs.





    Saturday, November 9, 2013

    Have a Blast at Medieval Times

    Are you looking for something fun to do in Orlando, Florida? If you want to take the whole family to something entertaining and affordable, I have just the option for you!



    Medieval Times comes to life inside the stone walls of their 11th century style castle.  Medieval Spain is presented as six knights donning authentic armor, clash in a jousting tournament for the title of King's Champion.  You are served a full meal while you enjoy the show too.

     

    Now through December 1st, there's a special on tickets for Florida residents.  Adult tickets are $33.95, with a savings of $26, while kids tickets are $29.95, with a savings of $6.  Use code FLRBLG when booking tickets.  You can purchase tickets here.  Get ready to have a jousting good time!

    *DISCLOSURE* I received complimentary tickets in exchange for this post.