Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to ME!!

Happy Halloween!!
Are you dressing up this year?
We have a party on Saturday--can't wait!
The hubs and I are dressing as Gilligan and Ginger!
I'll share pics on Instagram, so make sure you are following me there!

Today is my birthday, too!! (WAHOO!)
Yep, every year, I get to celebrate with the ghouls, goblins and witches! It's my last year in my thirties, so I'm going to LIVE IT TO THE FULLEST!!

Here are a few things on my birthday wish list.
(this contains affliate links)

Fitbit One:
Exercise Capri's:
Exercise Gloves:

Winter Boots:

Friends Season 1-10 DVD Complete Set:

Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great day!


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tasty Tuesday -- Homemade Croutons & A Cooktop Challenge

It's only 2 days until Halloween!! Are you excited? Are you ready?

Today on Tasty Tuesday, I am sharing an easy recipe for Homemade Croutons. These are seriously simple and you can adjust the seasonings to whatever you enjoy. I typically make these with old, stale bread. This batch I actually used buns that were in the freezer too long. Once I made them into croutons, you never knew! Love not having to waste food.
Homemade Croutons--don't waste stale old bread--easy recipe!

Homemade Croutons

1 loaf of bread or package of buns
olive oil
herbs such as italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper

Cube bread/buns and put into bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Toss to cover bread completely. Sprinkle with seasonings. Spread on rimmed cookie sheet in a single layer. Put into a pre-heated 375 degree oven. Bake 10 minutes, turn/toss, bake 5 minutes longer. Check to see if the cubes are toasted.
Homemade Croutons--don't waste stale old bread--easy recipe!

Remove when toasted and allow to cool. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

For a printable recipe, click HERE.

Now...for something fun!! I'm here to let you know about a really cool live cook-off challenge and you could win an awesome prize!
Join the Electrolux Live Cooktop Challenge and you could win!

Electrolux and Food52 will pit three influential chefs against each other in a live cook-off challenge hosted by Food52’s. This cook-off will be live on Food52’s website for a half-hour on November 6 at 12 pm CT. Viewers can engage with the chefs by answering questions and joining the chat. How cool would it be to learn a few new cooking techniques? Just log in via Twitter or Facebook to participate!
When you join in the conversation, you could win an Electrolux Induction Cooktop (worth $2,199!) or Electrolux Induction Range (worth $3,749!)
You could win one of these awesome cooktops...I think this would be the one I would pick!
Induction Cooktops: They range in price from $1,999 (30") to $2,199 (36") 
•Power Assist: Boils Water in 90 seconds.
•Precision Cooking: Control of a gas cooktop in an electric range.
•Keep Warm: Indefinitely hold food at the perfect serving temperature.
•Exceptional Temperature Control: Adjust heat with greater accuracy than gas or electric cooktops, especially at lower settings - perfect for melting chocolate and cooking delicate foods and sauces

So, tune in to on November 6th at 12 noon and you could win!

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Monday, October 28, 2013


This time of year makes me think a lot about change. I love falltime. I love watching the colors change. I was home sick last week and found myself staring out the window. I had a nice view of one of my trees from the couch. I posted it on instagram,here it is again:

So pretty. Thing is, I probably wouldn't have noticed it hadn't I been sick and laying on the couch all day. I'm glad I caught that picture and was able to really enjoy the beauty around me that day.

I've been thinking about positive change in my life a lot lately (mostly because of Nerium). I saw this quote at a gift shop a few weeks back and snapped a picture of it. I decided to turn it into a fun printable for you. Haven't done one in awhile, so I think it was due. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you find it striking and true, just as I did.

Change your thoughts and you change your world. Free Printable.

Click HERE for your Free Printable.

Just think...if we all had more positive thoughts, what a better place our world would be.

Thanks for stopping by. Please share this post with your friends.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Outdoor Space, 3 Different Ways {Guest Post}

I'm thrilled to have another guest post today on Crazylou! I love exposing my readers to new people that can share great tips and ideas! Enjoy!

There are a lot of factors to be taken into account when choosing your outdoor d├ęcor. Along with the obvious considerations of colors and styles, it’s also important to think about how you like to use your patio or porch. Add your climate and budget into the mix, and it can be hard to settle on anything! But don’t get bogged down in the details; one of the best ways to get started is to think about the mood you want to create in your outdoor space. Once you’ve decided on that, you can choose pieces that fit with your vision as well as your practical concerns. Take some inspiration from these very different, but equally appealing spaces:

Fun and Vibrant

This style includes the perfect choices for a hot climate and a laid-back atmosphere, and is a great setup for parties and outdoor dinners. Adirondack chairs and a thatched umbrella keep the feeling relaxed and casual, while a colorful rug and ceramic planter add energy and warmth into the space. 1. Adirondack Chair 2. Thatched Umbrella 3. 4. Outdoor Rug

Sleek and Modern

If you prefer a contemporary look, then pieces with simple lines and graphic patterns are what you’re looking for. In this version, coppery outdoor sconces play off the wood frame of the uniquely shaped folding chairs (which are perfect for quick storage if rain comes your way). A sunny garden stool provides a pop of color, as well as a place to set drinks or planters. A boldly striped umbrella finishes off the look, and can be placed inside a simple outdoor table for the perfect dining setup. 5. Wall Lantern 6. Ceramic Garden Stool 7. Striped Umbrella 8. Folding Chair

Elegant and Traditional

For a soft, French country effect, use pieces with organic, feminine lines and lighter colors. The sage green hue and vine pattern on this outdoor rug provide the perfect base for a set of weathered wicker seating. A pretty wreath plays on the green of the rug and adds in an accent of lavender tones, while the classical urn-shaped planter would be perfect paired with a topiary or small lemon tree. 9. Lavender Wreath 10. Outdoor Rug 11. Planter 12. Wicker Loveseat
outdoor spaces, 3 different ways
 Dagmar Obert is a designer for Balsam Hill with over two decades of experience transforming homes into spaces that reflect comfort and elegance. Surrounded by family and friends, Dagmar takes delight in turning her own home into a venue where wonderful occasions are made more memorable. More of her how-to guides and inspiration articles on decorating and entertaining can be found here. You can follow her on Pinterest and Houzz.
So what kind of style do you fit into? I tend to lean towards the fun and vibrant style for my outdoor living areas. Hope you picked up a few tips today! Thank you Dagmar for stopping by!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Live Happy. Join the Movement.

It's Tuesday, but today, is not Tasty Tuesday. I'm taking a week off to share some very cool news with you today!

If you read the post awhile back when I told you about taking a leap, you know that I have my own business with Nerium International. You can read more about that leap here. Ever since the day I joined this company, I've been motivated to make a difference in other peoples lives.

Just a few days ago, Nerium International launched another company, Live Happy. This has totally blown me away. The belief is that if we choose happiness, it will spread and this world will be a much better place in which to live. How cool is that? They are publishing a monthly magazine, Live Happy, that will be available on magazine shelves starting today, October 22nd. Better yet, if you are Preferred Customer of Nerium, you will receive this magazine for FREE, as long as you remain a loyal customer.

Join the happiness movement! Go to: to join for FREE!
Are you ready for a HAPPIER World?

I am!

This is from my Live Happy Website:

Live Happy is a place where you can claim responsibility for your own happiness while becoming a catalyst of happiness in the lives of others.

If we want things to change, we have to create the change - and we start by choosing positivity and happiness. Collectively, our commitment to long-lasting happiness can change the world.

Just imagine the possibilities if there were more happy and positive people in this world.

A world with more peace, optimism, and compassion is possible.

Like a pebble thrown into pond, it only takes one person to create ripples of happiness.

Happiness is so contagious and infectious, that one positive person can spread happiness to more than 1,000 people!

That means all it takes to create change on a global scale is...ONE PERSON


YOU can be the catalyst to spread it directly and indirectly.

Are YOU that one?

It STARTS with you, yet its BIGGER than you.

So are you ready? Join the movement. It's FREE. Click HERE NOW to join! Please spread the word, too and create your own happiness movement!

Order your own Live Happy Magazine subscription here. It's only $29.95 for 12 issues--that's a 60% savings off the newsstand price. This would make a perfect gift for the Holidays, too!!

Leave me a comment that you are committed to making the World a better place!


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Giveaway!

In just 10 short days, it will be my last birthday in my thirties! So...why not celebrate with an awesome giveaway of some of my favorite things? It may be my birthday, but one of my lucky readers will win all of these great items!

Favorite Things Giveaway!
Please share the love and visit their website, follow them on Facebook and let them know your visiting from Crazylou--I'm sure they'd appreciate it!

My friend Christa has a great business going with these cute blocks! She also does amazing things with vintage dishes! Check out her Facebook Page: Scripts & Scraps.

My Friend Tracy has an embrodiery business that is booming! She is donating a custom monogrammed garden flag to the winner! Check out her Facebook Page: Embellish Star.

My other Friend Traci sells the popular Thirty-One Bags. She donated a Thermal Tote and Mini Zipper Pouch--totally love these! Check out her Business Website by clicking here. They have an awesome fall line-up and patterns!

My friend Sheri sells L'Bri. Have you heard of this all-natural skin care line? I love the facial cleanser and masque. She is donating the Body Butter to the lucky winner. Check out her business website by clicking here.

My friend Barb has put together a nice little gift bag with a bunch of Scentsy goodies! This is valued over $50! I love Scentsy and treated myself to a new All Hallows Wrap for my Silhouette! It's totally cute! Head over to her website to check out the monthly specials by clicking here.

Last but not least is a donation from ME! I am donating these cute Believe and Dream Blocks from Signature Homestyles. Check out my business website here. We have so many cute decorating items for your home as well as organizing baskets, too!

Now--it's time to enter! This giveaway runs from Monday, October 21st to Thursday, October 31st. Good luck!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Immune Boosting Tips for Cold and Flu Season

I've got a special guest visiting today to give us tips on the Cold & Flu season. Let's see what we can learn!
Immune boosting tips for cold and flu season

Statistics show that roughly 80 percent of the population will catch at least one cold during the cold and flu season. The statistics for the flu are a little lower due to the flu shot. 

However, a flu shot does not guarantee you will not get the flu – each year scientist’s develop the flu shot based on three of the most “popular” strains of the flu virus. If you happen to catch one of the viruses that are not included in the flu shot then you are going to get the flu. 

Another factor to include in your fight against colds and the flu are the age of your child. You taught them to share and they love to share everything, especially the germs they bring home from school!

By boosting your immune system, you should be able to fight off those nasty cold and flu germs with a few simple tips. Even if your children are grown or you have no children, you are still exposed to germs every time you go out in public or someone enters your home that has been out in public where germs are spread.

Tips to Boost Your Immune System
        Eating a well-balanced diet, following the food pyramid is a great place to start. You already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a pastry is not the type of breakfast I am talking about. Your  lunch should have protein, dairy, vegetables and a fruit. For example, a chicken salad with a piece of fruit and a 6-ounce glass of milk is a perfect lunch and the same applies to dinner. If you need a snack, veggie sticks and peanut butter or broccoli with a little onion dip is a good choice.
        Drink plenty of water, water is necessary to keep your cells hydrated so they can help in the elimination process of toxins in your body. A build of toxins (which most people have) is a breeding ground for those nasty germs that cause the flu and colds.
        Get enough sleep while you sleep your body recharges itself. People underestimate the power of sleep. A lack of sleep puts a strain on the immune system.
        Exercise is also important. It does not have to be a strenuous workout that you dread, it can be something as simple as taking an evening walk.
        Keep your stress level under control. Stress is one of the first things to cause your immune system to break down. Learn to meditate, take a yoga class, and ask for help with household chores, at work or whatever you need help with.

Be sure to include a daily vitamin and mineral supplement just to make sure you are getting the amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. If you start to get the sniffles or any cold or flu symptoms start treating them right away, this can cut down on the severity and length of time you have the cold or flu.

Tammy Mahan has worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years. In her free time, she writes articles for Healthline.Com

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tasty Tuesday -- Chicken Apple Panini's

Yesterday was my son's 8th birthday! Where does the time go? We had a super fun bowling party with a few of his school friends. I even made a cool cake that looked more like a ghost than a bowling ball, but it was still a hit! I'll be sharing the party with you later on...but now, it's time for Tasty Tuesday!

I'm a big believer in Panini's. Sure, its just a sandwich, but it's extra special. With fall in full swing around here, this tasty creation is sure to hit a home run! You can change it up anyway you like, but I enjoyed mine like this:
Chicken & Apple Panini--perfect fall time sandwich

Rotisserie Chicken, sliced thin
Apple, sliced thin
Bacon, cooked
Cheese, I used mozzarella, but next time it will be apple jack cheese
Romaine Lettuce
Tomatoes, sliced thin
Ciabatta Roll/Bread


Assemble your Panini by layering it with all the ingredients listed above. If you wanted to add a sauce to it feel free (I didn't because I'm trying to watch those extra calories). Next, carefully add it to a hot, grill pan and set your Panini press on top. I got mine from Pampered Chef. If you don't have one, simply use a heavy pan and set your flour canister on top! Grill for about 5 minutes and flip over. Grill for another 2-3 minutes. Slice and serve.

This is a quick and easy meal to put on the table. The great thing about these Panini's is that you can make them for each family members tastes. My daughter just wanted the apples on the side, not with the sandwich.

What kind of quick sandwich does your family enjoy?

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Into Cash Giveaway! $750 CASH!!

I'm so excited to participating in another awesome giveaway!
I'm certain all of us could use a little extra cash with the Holidays quickly approaching! Be sure to enter and tell your friends to come back here to enter, too!
$750 CASH Giveaway! 5 Winners!
Welcome to the $750 Fall Into Cash Giveaway!
We've joined forces with a great group of bloggers to bring you this fabulous giveaway.
One lucky person will win $500 cash and five others will win $50 cash!

Enter to win $500 or $50 cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.
Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on October 27th, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.
If you're a blogger and would like to participate in a future giveaway event like this one, sign up for Giveaway Promote's weekly giveaway events newsletter.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

A box full of goodies #voxbox

Happy Friday friends! Are you loving this fall weather? I sure am! It has been such a picture perfect week here in Illinois. Couldn't ask for better weather! I'm so excited to share with you a few reviews on some products I received from Influenster. I was surprised with the goodies in the mail awhile back and have tried each and every one of these. These opinions are mine.

Influenster VoxBox

BelVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuit
Let's start with the BelVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuit

I was looking forward to this the most in all of the items I received. I'm always looking for nutrious and quick breakfast items for our busy mornings. I popped my biscuit in the microwave for about 10 seconds (this is not mentioned on the package) and it was warm and delicious. I paired it with an apple and a hot cup of Green Tea. Great taste! One thing I do need to warn you about, and this may only be my case, but about a half-hour after eating this I needed to make a trip to the bathroom. I don't think my body can handle that much fiber in one sitting! Here are more details about the product:
  • 20% Daily Value of FIBER, 7g Fat Per Serving
  • 11g delicious WHOLE GRAIN per 50g serving
  • Good source of B-VITAMINS
It does not contain:
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • partial hydrogenated oils
  • artificial flavors or sweeteners
Belvita Breakfast Biscuit

The next product I tried was the Pond's BB+ Cream.

I have to tell you that I was a bit confused at first about what this product actually was. I headed over to their website and this is what I found: Pond's BB+ Cream has an unique pigment system is designed to immediately conceal imperfections for natural-looking coverage. It also:
  • Visibly reduces the appearance of dark spots to even skin tone in two weeks
  • Superior* coverage of imperfections
  • Superior* visible dark spot reduction
  • Superior* non-greasy feel with a matte finish
  • Tone Perfecting Complex formulated with:
    • Vitamin E Acetate – an antioxidant known to protect and repair skin
    • Glycerin – helps increase hydration
  • Brightens and hydrates with lightweight moisture
  • SPF 15 protects against harmful UVA/UVB rays
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
  • Reduces the number of beauty and skin care products required during a daily beauty regimen
So, this little bottle not only protects you from the sun, but gives you a great look. It's lightweight and goes on smoothly. I think my make-up applies better and stays longer since I've been using it. Gonna keep this for sure!

Annie's Homegrown Macaroni & Cheese
At lunchtime, I tried the Annie's Homegrown Macaroni & Cheese.
Annie's Homegrown Mac & Cheese

Being completely honest with you, I was not looking forward to trying this. I even brought a back-up lunch just in case I didn't like it. Why? I'm not a fan of microwaved mac & cheese. I've actually never tried anything from Annie's Homegrown, although I've seen their products frequently at Target and Woodman's where I shop.

Can I tell you how surprised I was. This was GOOD. No, GREAT. I would eat this again in a heartbeat and I will buy it for my kids to try. I love the fact that it is all natural, too. Here's a bit more about the product:
  • One of the first microwavable cups with macaroni & cheese made with 100% real cheese and high quality organic and natural ingredients
  • The microwavable cups are made with 100 percent real, rBST-free+ cheese, and without artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives
  • Made with organic pasta and the Real Aged Cheddar flavor has eight grams of whole grains per serving

Dr. Scholl's Comfort fo Her
Finally, I couldn't wait to slip the Dr. Scholl's Comfort for Her insoles in my work heels!

Many of you know that I have problem feet. I have had two surgery's on my right foot and a bunion on my left. Not only that, but I have very long and boney feet, too. I slipped these easily into my work heels and they fit comfortably. Slipped my foot in and could feel the difference. I wear these shoes often, so I am looking forward to the days where I am on my feet for long periods of time to see how they feel afterwards. Now you and your friends can get all-day comfort for less – by saving $2 on any Dr. Scholl’s® For Her product today!
Here's more details on these amazing inserts:

  • Uniquely designed for all-day comfort
  • Absorbs shock and impact on heel, and helps protect the sensitive ball of foot area
  • Works great in flats and boots

    What a fun surprise in the mail and even more fun trying them all out! I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. Hope you enjoyed reading some of these reviews and perhaps you found a new product or two to try out!

    Have you found any new product you'd like to share with me?


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    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Belt Friendly Simple Swaps

    If you are like me, you are always looking for little ways to change things up to make them better for you and your family. Food comes to mind first for me. Here are a few simple swaps to make that are good-for-you (and your belt!)!

    Belt friendly simple swaps you can make that you will never notice! #free #printable

     I even made it a printable! Click here to print it off or right click the picture and select to print.

    What swaps have you made that made a difference, but was hardly noticeable?

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