Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cryptic Food Packaging? Nobody's Got Time For That?

Food Labels, Demystified.....Cryptic food packaging?  Nobody's got time for that.  I do my best to eat healthy, but sometimes it is so hard to figure out what the food labels are trying to tell me!  Here, what some of those health-food terms really mean, so you can move on the next isle already. 

Cage-free or free-range - The chickens were raised un caged inside or outdoors.  Sounds good, but neither guarantees that the birds actually went or were fed a diet free of pesticides and antibiotics.  (Pesticides have been linked to cancer, while antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.)  For that, buy poultry and eggs labeled as "USDA Organic,"  I am lucky enough to have friends that raises range-free chickens that are also fed a diet free of pesticides and antibiotics. 

Sprouted - This label is used for grains, legumes and seeds that have been left in a warm, moist setting until they literally start to sprout little tails.  they tend to be easier to digest and are higher in some nutrients such as vitamin C.  You can throw sprouted beans in a salad for extra protein.  Another option is make a fast, fiber packed side for dinner by tossing sprouted whole grains with olive oil, lemon juice, nuts and parsley.  YUM!

No added Nitrates or Nitrites - Most Nitrate and nitrite free processed meats are free of synthetic versions of the chemical preservatives , but not the naturally derived ones that come from celery, salt or powder.  Since high levels of either my be linked to cancer, bacon and deli slices shouldn't be on your menu everyday.  When they are reach for meats with no added nitrates or nitrites. 

Hope this helps clarify just some of the very many confusing food labels you see and feel more confident in making better food choices.  It can be a lot to remember, at least for me. There are many other confusing words and phrases that I try to keep straight.  What I do is wright them all down. That way when I go shopping I can pull out my list and I won't be struggling to remember what is "good" and what is "bad."  Plus it will save time! 

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Homemade Dill Pickles - YUM!

I am so excited to share this super easy and fun recipe with all of you!  My sweet Grace loves pickles so when I came across this recipe I know this was perfect for the two of us!  I love anything that saves time, is healthy and is a fun project.....Project!! 

These pickles are crazy easy to make.  My daughter is 11 and this is something she could do with her baking buddies.  They literally take minutes to make plus dill pickles are our favorite so this was just a perfect match. 

The only challenge is you need to find the perfect cucumber.  Thanks to My Frugal Adventures for the cucumber tip and this great recipe!  You want the best cucumbers that don't have that wax-y stuff on the skin.  You also don't want standard English cucumbers.  You want to find the smaller cucumbers. 

I bought 6 cucumbers which were approximately 5 inches long.  I used (2) old pickle jars (pictured above) to soak my pickles in.  You could also use (2) large mason jars. 

Homemade Dill Pickles

  • cucumbers
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or cloves
  • peppercorns (this is to taste but about 20 per jar)
  • fresh dill

  1. Start by cutting the cucumbers to your preference- into chips, spears or keep them whole.
  2. Add the water and vinegar to a saucepan over high heat and bring to boil.
  3. Add the sea salt.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Add the fresh dill into a large mason jar.
  6. Add the pickles in chips or spears or whole and cram as many as you can fit in the jar.
  7. Next add the whole garlic or minced garlic to the jar.
  8. Add the peppercorns to the jar.
  9. Once the vinegar and water has cooled completely- dump it over the cucumbers in the jar.
  10. Seal the jar with a very tight lid and shake to mix all the ingredients together.
  11. Pop in the fridge for 24-72 hours and Boom! All done

We made these last night and have not had a chance to try one.  Grace did take one for lunch.  I am super excited to hear her reviews when she comes home from school!! 

Make sure all you ingredients are out and you have everything. 

Grace slicing the cucumber.  I think it's a great idea to teach our children to be hands on when cooking and baking. 

Cucumbers all sliced up and ready to become pickles!!  YUM!!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey - Onward Christian's Soldiers -

My heart is pounding.  My legs are pure jelly.  I'm a quivering mess.  Christian Grey is sitting across from me. 
He's so good looking, it's unnerving.  His hair is tousled.  is gaze is steely, like molten gray fire. 
Oh my.  I swallow my Diet Coke convulsively.  What's happening?  What's he going to do now?
His long-fingered hands reach for the cheese plate.  I gasp and flush scarlet as he piles Manchego and chorizo on crusty bread.  "Mmmm, " he says.
He looks up at me, his eyes full of some unfathomable question.
Holy cow.  Could this be more erotic?
"Is this the whole-grain mustard?" he asked.
My heart pounds faster.  The blood thrums in my ears.  I go into cardiac arrest.

Takes me back to months of reading the best trilogy of books I have ever read.  Many BFF's and couples will be filling the movie theaters to watch the one of the top movies set to release Valentines Day 2015 and I am sure you are as excited as I am.  Fifty Shades of Grey has finally come to the big screen and I cannot wait!!   

After much debate I am honestly excited about the main actors.  As everybody knows.....Christian Grey is being played by Jamie Dornan and Anastasia Steele is being played by Dakota  Johnson.  Did you know Jamie was not the first choice for Christian Grey?  Charlie Hunnam was their first choice.  Many fans love this decisions and Charlie also felt excited for the role.  Unfortunately with Charlie's intense TV schedule it did not workout and he needed to decline the role. 

Their next and final pick was Jamie Dornan.  This made Grey fans not happy and many are still unhappy with the decision.  The hashtag #NotMyChristian started trending on Twitter and is still ongoing.  Some even refuse to see the movie but I bet some will find themselves standing in line just like me.  Even the release of a steamy trailer failed to placate the true diehards.  Many feared the baby-faced, former Calvin Klein underwear model was too adorable to truss anyone up.  My thought is get over it and enjoy the movie.  Not everyone will feel the same way about every man or woman.  Not every man is your leading man so let it go and just enjoy the movie for it's passion and true meaning.  I have a feeling this is one movie you don't want to miss!!

So tell me, after all the months of waiting, discussing and now seeing the different trailers with our Christian and Anastasia are YOU pleased with the picks?  I would honestly say I am.  At first I was not sure about Jamie Dornan as Christian, but I now see him as Christian and cannot wait to see their chemistry together!! 

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Six Winter MUST Haves for Your Skin!!

Every winter I say the same thing, " I hate how dry and itchy my skin gets!!"  I have literally tried every product out there.  My skin not only gets dry like I'm sure many of yours does, but it cracks and bleeds too.  Totally gross and so painfull!  It got to the point where I was having to keep Band-Aids in my purse for ME!  Not the kiddos. 

Over the years I have actually gotten a collection of my winter "Must Haves" and want to share it with YOU!  Not only does my skin get very dry, crack and itchy it is also very sensitive to many products.  The products listed below help with not only dry skin, but help keep my skin feeling soft, rejuvenated and they do not cause redness, itchiness or irritation.  Perfect for those with a brutal winter and dry skin!! 

  1. AVON Skin So Soft  - A favorite of thousands for many years and for good reason.  Not only can Avon's SSS help with your dry skin it makes an awesome bug repellant!  Check out the 30 plus reasons you need to have Skin So Soft in your home HERE.  I always make sure I have a back up bottle in my home!!
  2. AVON Skin So Soft Winter Soft Body Cream - With Hydroseal Complex this body cream is non greasy, goes on smooth and makes my entire body feel soft and smooth.  Love the scent! 
  3. SPECTRUM ESSENTIALS Organic Coconut Oil - This is the perfect choice for a natural body care.  It does have a strong coconut scent which I love.  It can be greasy when first applied, but it really helps dry, itchy skin. 
  4. O'KEEFF'S Working Hands - Made just for the hands and it DOES work!  What I love is I can apply it and go on with my daily routine.  It is NOT greasy, wet or sticky feeling.  It does not have a strong scent so it is great for men or women.  It is made for dry hands that crack or split. 
  5. AVON Naturals Hand and Body Lotion - You cannot go wrong with Avon Naturals Body Lotions.  Many great scents to choose from plus leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and smelling great!  With the great low price they also make great gifts!  I love the convenient travel size perfect to keep in your purse or anywhere. 
  6. AVON Lip Balm - A Must Have every winter is lip balm.  My favorite has always been Avon.  Any kind really will do but be sure it has SPF 15.  We need to protect our beautiful lips from those nasty rays.  Avon Care is one of my favorites.   

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Friday, January 16, 2015

AVON!! Bold Lips and Brows

Bold Lips and Brows!

Sultry, smoky eyes are great for festive occasions, but they can be hard to re-create on your own.  This holiday season I found it easier to simplify the primping and put the focus on color-intense lips and full brows.  The look is pretty, polished, and (best of all) easy to achieve. 

One of my favorite lipsticks from Avon is Avon's Ultra Color Bold Lipstick.  This amazing lipcolor line contains 50 percent more pigment than is found in traditional lipsticks.  At only $8 each this is a must have!! 

After years of soft, sheer glosses' dominating the beauty market, strong lips are taking the center stage again.  What the new lipsticks don't share with their older counterparts is a technology to dry out lips.  Today's creamy varieties are packed with pigments (making it possible to get full coverage with one swipe) and often boast moisturizing humectants, like hyaluronic acid. 

One of the best and most popular new lipsticks from Avon is Avon Ultra Color Absolute Lipstick.  Formulated with Color Complete Complex featuring six beauty boosters - Vitamin E, Phytol, Vitamin C, 50% moisturizing ingredients in every stick, SPF 15, and Collagen - this creamy lipstick is rich in moisture, conditioners, and antioxidants.

It continues to work even after you have taken it off and help lips look their best. A clinical study shows that lips look healthier after using new Avon Ultra Color Absolute Lipstick. And with new Color Reveal technology, Avon’s breakthrough self-renewing pigments, this multitasking lipstick also delivers vibrant looking color, in 12 stunning shades.  Regularly priced $9 On sale NOW for $5.99!! 
To balance bold tones, go for equally bold brows.  "Your were born with the brow that was right for you.  Work with that thick thickness to hone the arch," says Los Angeles celebrity eyebrow specialist Anastasia Soare. 

"When your eyebrows look good, people notice," said Maybelline New York's global brow expert, Maribeth Madron.  "when they're wrong-too bushy or overplucked-they pull away focus."  A well shaped brow is the visual equivalent of a face-lift.  Below, are your must have brow-care essentials. 

Arch - Slant-edged tweezers are the easiest to use.  Always keep a pair of tweezers handy to nab errant hairs.  I love my Ergonomic Tweezers from Avon.  Sale - $3.99 (item #790-587)

Accentuate - Also a must have!!  The kit's tinted powder and wax "fills gaps and create structure"  Will find kits similar for $32!!  Avon - $4.99!! 

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AVON!!! -Three More Days - Save Up To 50%!!!


Shop Now


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Monday, December 1, 2014

CYBER MONDAY - Free shipping. 30% off. + FREE 6-piece gift!!

Avon is continuing to have their FREE SHIPPING deals.  I took advantage of the 30% savings Friday.  I snagged myself a few Christmas gifts, some stocking stuffers and a little something for myself.  It is very rare that Avon offers a percentage off for spending such a small amount.  If you love Avon like I do this is the perfect time to take advantage of it! 

Today for Cyber Monday it gets a little better!  


30% Off ANY order of $30 or More!

FREE 6-Piece Gift Set With ANY Order of $50 Or More!  

Use Coupon Code CYBER30FS!!  

Valid 12/1/2014 On Direct Deliveries Only!  

WAIT.......With each $50 Order You will receive this FREE 6-Piece Gift Set

Here are some GREAT stocking stuffer ideas:

Shimmering Body Powder 9 scents to choose from) - Reg $5.50 Sale - $1.99

Haiku or Imari Seduction Parfum Spray - Reg $23 Sale $10

Cozy Fury Slippers - Reg $14.99 Sale $6.99

Flowers and Beads Flip Flops - Reg $14.99 Sale $4.99

Please visit my online website to order all these great items plus more!  Thank you!  
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