Saturday, September 28, 2013

Taking a leap

You may have noticed that its been a little quiet around here this week. It's for a good reason. I made a decision to change my life. In this process, I am hoping to change other lives as well. Most of you know that I work full-time, behind a computer, in marketing, with no real impact on anyone's lives. I have been craving for something more. I want to believe in something, I want to be motivated and I want success.

I took the leap to join as a Brand Partner with Nerium International. Have you heard of it? It was recently featured on the tv show The View. It was also handed out at the Emmy's. It's also a major life changer in the world of skin care.

How is this changing my life? And how will this change the life of others? Well, let me tell you. In the short week I've been apart of this company, I have learned amazing life lessons, gained new friends, and have begun to see myself as a businesswoman who wants to build a team based on the common values of love, respect for others, and financial success.
NeriumAD is a breakthough product that dramatically reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, improves skin tone, enlarged pores, aging or loose skin, discoloration and more. THIS STUFF WORKS! 30 day money back guarantee! #nerium #skincare #anti #aging

Not only that, but this product is simply amazing. It is proven to drastically reduce the appearance of:
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Discoloration
  • Enlarged Pores
  • Uneven skin texture
  • Aging or loose skin
This skin cream's main ingredient is NAE-8, an extract from the Nerium oleander plant, it's a nature-based product that has no harsh ingredients and is noncomedogenic.

This company is different. They have core values that represent something you can be a part of and believe in. And they are providing an opportunity of a lifetime!They have real science behind their product that deliever real results.
I'm proof of this. In just 6 days, here are my results. This picture is unedited (and unflattering):
Unedited photo of REAL RESULTS from using NeriumAD for just 6 days. This is like "botox in a bottle!"

I'm not here trying to sell you on this. Just wanted to share with you what I'm up to these days. If you are interested in improving your skin (face, neck, hands, tummy), this IS the product to try. It is easy to use, it's just one bottle and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. Visit my website to learn more about the product, the company and the Nerium Ripple by clicking here.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--Old Fashion Caramel Corn

Remember awhile back when I made S'more Popcorn? The base of the recipe called for caramel corn. Well, I made the caramel corn but failed to take pictures of the process. BAD BLOGGER!! Anyways, over the weekend, I finally made a batch. YUM. Enjoy!
Old Fashion Caramel Corn--super easy! Just like grandma used to make
Old Fashion Caramel Corn
From my mom's kitchen

5-6 Quarts of Popcorn
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. oleo (aka butter)
1/2 c. ligh t corn syrup
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

Bring all ingredients, except for popcorn AND Baking Soda, to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add baking soda and stir. Remove from heat. Pour over popcorn in a large roasting pan. Stir to cover all popcorn completely. Bake at 250 degrees for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Old Fashion Caramel Corn--super easy! Just like grandma used to make
Stays fresh in air-tight container for about 5 days...if it lasts that long! For a printable recipe, click HERE.


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Monday, September 23, 2013

THE Ultimate Vacation Packing List

If you've been following along for awhile, you know I recently went on a family vacation to Europe! It was fabulous. Check out the posts here, here, here and here for the complete details, trip itinerary suggestions and travel tips!

To stay organized, I developed a Vacation Packing List. I knew my mind was going to be all over the place the few weeks and days before our trip. This really helped each family member think about that to bring in their bag! AND, it took the pressure off of me to remember everything!

I'm sharing it today as a FREE PRINTABLE.
Please help me share it and PIN IT!


So, are you traveling anywhere anytime soon? Drop me a comment and let me live a dream through your upcoming vacation!!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Crazy Ingredient Challenge--Tomato & Coconut

Today I am so happy to share with you a recipe that I made for a monthly challenge I participated in that my pal Jutta from Hungry Little Girl put together. If you know me, you know that I am a VERY picky eater. You also know that I am not an adventerous eater/cook. I stick to things I know. So, when the Crazy Ingredients were announced, I freaked out. How in the world I am going to put these together to make something tasty? I dug into some cookbooks and searched a little online. Come to find out, these aren't that crazy of ingredients afterall, in some cultures, anyways. Here is my take on the challenge. At the end, you will find other bloggers that took part in this challenge and a link to their creation. I encourage you to check it out!

Tomato & Coconut Rice  I Crazy Ingredient Challenge

Tomato & Cocount Rice
adapted from DivineTaste Recipe
6 servings

1 ½ cups Basmati Rice
1 can  Coconut milk
1 can Tomato Puree
6 cloves
1 “ piece cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp salt or to taste

Wash and rinse the rice in a colander under water for about a minute or until the water runs clear. Next soak the rice for 30 minutes, with enough water to cover the rice.

In a medium sized pot with heavy fitting lid, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf, stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the spices release their flavors into the oil. (remove cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon before adding rice) Change the heat to medium-low, strain the rice and add into the spiced oil. Stir for a few minutes. Pour in the tomato puree and coconut milk, add the salt, cover the lid and cook on low heat for 25 minutes. When the rice is cooked, remove lid, allow the steam to escape for about 2 to 3 minutes, fluff with a fork and serve hot.

So, I ended up taking this to a family gathering to celebrate my husband's grandpa's 89th birthday. I figured I would get "real" responses on the dish. Well...EVERYONE brought side dishes galore!! My rice dish was barely touched. Was it bad? No. Was it amazingly delicious? No. Would I make it again? Probably, with a few tweeks. I think it needs the chile pepper that the original recipe calls for but the grocery store I visited didn't have them. I couldn't taste the coconut in the rice. It was like a "sweet, spiced" tomato rice. The cloves were more apparent then the coconut. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Now, go check out the rest of these dishes:

If you have problems with the linky above, you can try this one:

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fun Friday Blog Hop!!

I am so thrilled to be part of this Blog Hop this week!
Here is your chance to follow other amazing bloggers!

The Pink Momma

Meet our lovely Co-Hosts for this week: 

First of all, thank you for joining us every week. 
Please follow the hosts and the co-hosts, there are many ways to follow us.
(GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Email

Grab our party button and share the love. It's not required but it's greatly appreciated :)

Please leave a comment with your blog address if you are a new follower, we'll be glad to return the favor.

Every week we will choose one featured blogger. 
The chosen one will get a FREE one month ad space from 
The Pink Momma and Home for 4 Sweet Home.

Congratulations to our Featured Blogger of the Week! 

Britiany of Military and Pearls

Grab the featured button and share the love :)

The Pink Momma

Link up your blog, visit other blogs, make friends and have fun!

If you would like to be a co-host, email at

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40th Birthday Gifts for Men

Remember last week when I shared with you that it was my husband's 40th birthday? Poor guy had to share that milestone with Friday the 13th! I still think he had a great day!

My ideas all came together as soon as he went to bed Thursday night! Thankfully he goes to bed early enough when he works the next day. We had lots of surprises for him to show him how much we love him.

The kids and I came up with 40 Reasons to Love him. I was going to make it a printable, but I decided that we would get some posterboard and cut out a 4 and a 0 and hand write all 40 reasons. Hailey and I did this while the boys were at football practice. After he went to bed, I found the perfect place for it so he wouldn't miss it in the morning. (he goes to work at 5 am)
Forty Reasons to Love, great for the man in your life, from the kids

The next surprise waiting for him was something I had to do when he went to bed. It was fun to do--I forgot how much I love sidewalk chalk! The outside garage lights were bright enough for me to see most of the way down the driveway! He saw this when he got into his car. (his police squad is parked outside) It read Happy 4-0 D-Rowe. Most of his friends call him that!

I blew up balloons (again after he went to bed) and filled his squad card. I hid our little gift to him in the back seat. He found the balloons and gift right away and brought everything back into the house. Thankfully, he didn't recruit me to help! He did miss some in the far back of the hatch (he drives a Ford Escape). While he was driving around with the window down, the balloons started dancing in the back. He got a big kick out of that. You may recall the other 40 Blows gift I made for friend. I wanted to do something different, special for him. This is what I came up with:
40 Chances Your Birthday is has Good Luck, perfect for gift for men

I included $40 worth of scratch off lotto tickets, his favorite snacks, gum and candy bars. What guy wouldn't want that??? It was a BIG HIT! Here's some close-ups:
40 Chances Your Birthday is has Good Luck, perfect for gift for men

40 Chances Your Birthday is has Good Luck, perfect for gift for men

I am even sharing a FREE PRINTABLE for you, should you decide to make this for your favorite guy friend, husband, brother or neighbor!

40th Birthday Free Printable, cool gift idea for men!

If you like this idea, I'd love for you to share it on Facebook, Google + or Twitter or even Pin it to Pinterest! I'd also love for you to leave me a comment--how have you celebrated the BIG 4-0 for the men in your life?

Thanks for stopping by,

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tasty Tuesday -- Smokey Chicken Wrap

Welcome to another addition to Tasty Tuesday. I hope your week is off to a great start. Since we still have a few weeks of quality grilling left, I thought I would share with you one of our family favorites. You could also prepare this on an indoor grill, too. This is perfect for a quick dinner. I always grill more chicken than we need to use in lunches during the week.
Smokey Chicken wrap--perfect quick dinner for busy school nights

Smokey Chicken Wraps


1 Tbls. brown sugar
2Tbls. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground chipolte pepper
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

1.5 lbs. chicken breasts
6 -8 flour tortillas, warmed
Shredded Cheese
1/4 cup Low-fat Ranch Dressing

Preheat Grill. Combine rub ingredients into large Ziploc bag. Remove 1 tsp of rub mixture and add ranch dressing, set aside. Add chicken to Ziploc bag and toss, cover chicken completely. Remove chicken from bag and grill. Watch closely that it doesn't burn. Cook until juices run clear, approx. 12 minutes.
Smokey Chicken wrap--perfect quick dinner for busy school nights

Allow chicken to rest for a few minutes. Slice thinly. Spread ranch dressing mixture on tortillas. Add chicken, lettuce, cheese and tomato. Roll and serve with tortilla chips and fresh pico de gallo.

Smokey Chicken wrap--perfect quick dinner for busy school nights

For a printable version of this recipe, CLICK HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer European Vacation, Part 4--Paris

He turns the big 4-0 today!
I can't wait to share with you the gift I made for him. You may remember my 40 Blows post, if you missed it, click here.
Now, I wanted to share with you my last post regarding our Summer European Vacation. You can check out the previous posts here, here and here.

Summer European Vacation part 4 Travel Tips & Itinerary Suggestions (Paris)
I loved this leg of our trip. Paris was everything I was expecting. So romantic, so rich in history. I absolutely loved every single second of was worth every penny!
Now, you might remember that it was only my hubby and I that took this little trip, which was to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary (read about our love story here.). We left the kids with Grandma and the rest of the family in England (so nice of them!) while we took the trip to Paris.
I did a lot of research. A lot. I had visions in my head of what to expect and I felt prepared. Until we arrived. Oh, that's right. I don't speak French. Yikes! But thanks to the Forum on Trip Advisor, I knew the appropriate ettiquite. And it worked.
So here are the pictures and a little commentary of our romantic rendezvous to Paris:
It started to rain as soon as we got off the subway. Welcome to Paris!

Must see: Effiel Tower
Our first stop was a few blocks from our hotel. It was of course to see the Eiffel Tower.
No, we didn't climb up it. No, we didn't go up the elevators either.
Yes, I have a husband that doesn't like heights.
We still enjoyed it from the ground.

We walked around on the first day, just to take in the city. We had a late lunch/early dinner a few blocks away from our hotel. It was recommended by the hotel and it was worth every Euro we spent.
Locks of Love: Must do when visiting Paris

We stopped at the bridge titled Locks of Love. We paid 10 Euros for a padlock and put C+D and the date and found a "special" place for our love lock. Next, you are supposed to toss the keys in the river to claim your love with last forever. Only, we didn't know this until the last day and didn't get a chance to go back and throw them in. We still think our love is timeless.
Seeing the Effiel Tower at Dusk, another must do when visiting Paris
We stopped back at the Eiffel Tower at dusk to watch them "light" the tower. It is so cool. Breathtaking. One of my favorite moments. Everyone crowds around in the park and at 10pm, the show begins. It sparkles. Everyone oohs and ahhs. Here is the video I took. (first video I've ever uploaded, so I hope it works!)
The next day we bought tickets for the Batobus and the Red Tour Bus. Both worth it. It's a great way to hop on and off at different tourist locations. We saw:
Norte Dame in Paris

Notre Dame. So beautiful. We didn't go inside, but can just imagine the beauty.

Louve in Paris, home of the Mona Lisa

The Louve. It's massive. We aren't artsy people so we didn't pay to go in. I think you could get lost in that place. It's over 652,000 square feet. The famous Mona Lisa is displayed here.

Arc de Triomphe, another thing to see when visiting Paris

We drove by the Arc de Triomphe and decided to get off the bus to visit it. There was some sort of ceremony going on at the time. We didn't stay long because we didn't want to distrupt the service.

Arc de Triomphe, another thing to see when visiting Paris
This is from the official website: The triumphal arch is in honor of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where the Memorial Flame burns and have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a revered patriotic site. 

Great way to get around Paris, on the Batobus

Here's the Batobus we took around. It's like a water taxi.

Hanging out on the riverfront at night in Paris
Sorry about the quality of the picture. I still wanted to share this with you because I thought it was one of the coolest things (besides the historical sites) about Paris. In the evening, the locals gather on the riverfront and hang out with their friends. Bring a blanket, wine, cheese, bread and just chill. This was on a weeknight, too. The river was lined with people. I wish we had something like that back home.

Take a FREE Walking tour in Paris with Discover Walks

From a post I read online, I found this FREE Walking Tour, given by locals. It's a company called Discover Walks. They wear pink vests so you can recognize them. In Paris, there were several different options, we decided on the Paris Landmarks tour. IT WAS AWESOME! AND FREE! Although, you are encouraged to tip...and you actually want to when it's over. Our guide was great, funny and very socialable. Highly recommend this tour.

Must do in Paris: Have Gelato...Amorino Gelato
After the walking tour, we treated ourselves to Amorino Gelato. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I didn't even think about how many calories there were in that bad boy! The hubs and I shared this, by the way and it was plenty!

Take a leap at night in front of the Effiel Tower

That night, our last night in Paris, we took another walk along the river. Looking up, we saw the Eiffle Tower and Carousel. I've always wanted to do a "fun" picture, so this is what we did! I jumped, hubby snapped the picture! LOVE IT!! Ok, so I am a little crazy! (but FUN!)

Must do in Paris: Visit a neighborhood Boulangerie
Before heading home the next day, we went down the side streets around our hotel. We found some gems! This Boulangerie was one of them. We saw locals going in and coming out with fresh bread, one after another. So, we had to stop in. We opted for a breakfast treat. So good.
Paris was everything I imagined it to be. It was a perfect way to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary.
Travel Tips:
  1. Research, research, research. Try Trip Advisor--it's very informative!
  2. Visit side streets and watch where the locals go--you'll want to follow!
  3. Visit the Eiffel Tower during the day, evening, dusk and dark. It's amazing how different it looks in the lighting.
  4. Comfy shoes is a must.
  5. Take a walking tour.
  6. Say Bon Jour to all store owners, restaurant servers and business people. Then ask if they speak English. Most likely they know enough to help you.
  7. Tipping is different over there. Your bill (especially when you pay by credit card) does not have a line for a tip. It is not expected. Appreciated, yes, but the wait staff and other service people (cabs) don't live on tips alone like they do here in the States.
  8. Book an English-welcoming hotel. This was huge for us. They were so helpful, too.

Hope you enjoyed the little trip to Paris and the highlights!
I plan on putting together a list of travel tips as well as packing tips that I learned from this trip! Anything else you'd like to know? Have you been to Paris? What was your favorite part?

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