Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pretty Little Princess - Almost Wordless Wednesday

It is February 26th, Hump Day and Almost Wordless Wednesday! Yay! I love Wednesday which means we are halfway to the weekend and then we can put the week behind us.

My "Almost Wordless Wednesday" photo for this week is one that I took of my little grand daughter who was playing dress-up, a Princess of course! I swear she must own at least a dozen different princess costumes and loves to wear them several times a week.

She got all decked out in her costume including sparkly shoes, tons of beaded necklaces, bracelets and even a sparkly tiara. She makes for a beautiful little princess!!! I am going to surprise her this weekend with a brand new costume and I know she is going to squeal with delight when she sees it.

Well, there you have it! Another almost Wordless Wednesday post for this week. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Grandma's Chocolate Gingersnap Cookies Recipe

My Italian grandmother was a great baker! She would spend hours each day cooking and baking for her large family. She was fabulous at making homemade breads, pies, cakes and of course...cookies! As she got older and her abilities more limited, she turned to "cheater" recipes to help provide tasty treats for her family.

Today I wanted to share with all of you her recipe for these tasty cookies that utilize a boxed chocolate cake mix as their base. Just toss in the rest of the ingredients and you are good to go!

Chocolate Gingersnap Cookies Recipe

1 box regular chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
nonstick cooking spray

Spray your baking sheets with the nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl combine together the box of chocolate cake mix, the ground ginger, the two large eggs and the vegetable oil until well blended. You will want to use an electric mixer on low speed for a minute or two.

Place the granulated sugar on a dinner plate. Shape the cookie dough into 2 1/2" diameter balls and then roll the balls into the granulated sugar. Place balls onto the baking sheet about 3" a part, they will expand during the baking process. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Remove and let cool. Store the chocolate gingersnap cookies in an airtight container.

TuneCore Premier Digital Music Distributor Infographic

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TuneCore works with some of the most successful digital stores like: iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, xbox Music, Juke Mymusic, Music Unlimited, Shazam, Gracenote, Slacker, Bloom (the music app), Beats Music and more!!! These are digital stores that music lovers are flocking to, to get their favorite tunes and to discover new ones.

The company makes it really easy and affordable for you to share your "art" with the entire world. They are experts and know how to get it done. The type of experts you need on your side when you are starting out in the music business. Plus, you can make money on YouTube too!

To learn more about this awesome company, I invite you to look over the infographic above and to visit their online professional site for additional information. TuneCore will give you a fair deal and you get to keep 100% of your sales revenue. As a musician, this is one resource you definitely need to check out.

"This post was created in partnership with eAccountable. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Keeneland Breeze Cocktail Recipe

Women have never been more powerful or more celebrated in our history than they are today. This year, International Women’s Day is March 8th and there is no more perfect way to honor the rich heritage of Maker’s Mark than by paying homage to the woman who put her “mark” on what has become one of the most iconic bourbon brands.

Margie Samuels, wife of founder Bill Samuels, played a major role in branding Maker’s Mark by creating the name, label, and bottle design (including the iconic red wax) which has been around ever since 1953.

International Women's Day has been observed since the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Margie Samuels is the perfect example of a woman who has made significant contributions to not only the future of Maker’s Mark, but to history. Join us in celebrating this holiday with Margie Samuels’ favorite Maker’s Mark cocktail, below.
Keeneland Breeze Cocktail Recipe

· 1-1/4 parts Maker's Mark® Bourbon
· DeKuyper® Orange Liqueur
· Ginger ale
· Orange wedge

 Fill rocks glass with ice; add MM, splash of orange liqueur & a squeeze of fresh orange. Top off with ginger ale and garnish with an orange wedge.

Disclosure: This recipe and photo is courtesy of Maker's Mark Bourbon. You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly. 

Great Gift Ideas for Sportsmen

Men are typically very hard to buy for. Every year when Birthdays and Christmas roll around, I struggle to find the perfect gifts for the men on my gift-giving list. Many guys enjoy spending time in the great outdoors and today I wanted to share some great gift ideas for sportsmen with all of you.

For the Guy Who Loves to Fish

* Water Resistant or Waterproof Waders
* Tackle Boxes with Accessories
* Fishing Tools - Knife, Scaler, Net
* Waterproof Boots
* Sunglasses
* Waterproof iPhone and iPod Cases
* Ice Coolers
* Headlamp (for night fishing)
* Camping Lanterns and Waterproof Flashlights
* Fishing Vests
* Fishing Lures and Tackle

For the Guy Who Loves to Hunt

* Sunglasses
* Hunting Vest
* Hunting Cap
* Camo Shirts and Pants
* Camo Jacket
* Knives and Tools
* Camping Lantern and Flashlight
* Gun Safe
* Binoculars
* Mudd Hogg Camo Boots
* Gizmo Headlamp
* Spotting Scope

There are many things that a sportsmen would enjoy receiving as a gift but the list above should get you started.

If you are looking for a great online store to do your shopping, you should check out Pro Guide Direct for your shopping needs. Plus, for a limited time only they are giving shoppers 20% off all Sitka Gear and if you place an order for $100 or more you can get free shipping! Now is the time to stock up on all of those great sportsmen gifts that you will need this year.

"This post was created in partnership with eAccountable. All opinions are my own"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

6 Important Cold Weather Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Dogs and cats are very sensitive to the cold and winter weather. When letting your pets outside during the winter season, you need to take some easy precautions to help protect them from the cold, ice and snow.
Here are 6 important cold weather safety tips to remember:

1. Pets like dogs and cats have very sensitive paws that can freeze or get frost bitten in cold winter weather. You want to limit their time outdoors and in extreme weather purchase booties for their feet which will help to provide some warmth and protection.

2. Dogs and cats (just like humans) lose a lot of their body heat via their head. Cover their heads up with specially made knit hats. When they return from being outside, dry off their heads completely so that they can warm up quicker.

3. Make sure your pets are well fed and properly hydrated so they can efficiently heat their bodies. Feed them smaller meals throughout the entire day along with a constantly filled water dish.

4. Limit their time outdoors! Take them out more frequently for shorter periods of time. Don't let them out there in the frigid weather for hours at a time. If your animal is an "outdoor" dog or cat, bring them indoors until the frigid weather passes.

5. Since your pet can't burn off "energy" outdoors like they usually do, have plenty of activities for them to enjoy indoors. These can include new toys, bones, dog chews, treats, ropes, etc. Keep them busy to bust the boredom!

6. Do not bathe your pet and then let them outside to do their business in cold icy temperatures! Let them completely dry off and warm up for at least an hour before letting them outside.

These are all important tips to remember this winter season to keep your pets healthy and safe. If in doubt, always consult a license veterinarian for advice and help.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Two Healthy Homemade Juice Recipes

We have a juicer and use it almost every day. We rarely purchase store bought juice which is loaded with a bunch of sugar and preservatives which we certainly don't want. Making your own healthy juices at home is a really easy process and trust me, your juice will taste a lot better than one purchased in a plastic bottle or carton!

Today I wanted to share these two healthy homemade juice recipes with all of you from the great folks over at Omega juicers. Enjoy!
Very Berry Blueberry Juice Recipe

Health Benefits: Blueberries contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, anthocyanin, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. So with these “shields” you are helping to enhance your body’s immune system. With a healthy immune system, you can help to ward off illnesses such as colds and the flu.

2 cups Blueberries
2 Kiwis
10-15 Strawberries
1 cup of Mint leaves

Wash all produce well. Cut produce to fit into the hopper. Juice in an Omega juicer. Serve and Enjoy!
Carrot Juice Recipe

Health Benefits: Carrots contain high-levels of beta carotene, which is a powerful nutrient that boosts the immune system’s production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T cells. These cells are healthy and attack and kill off disease-ridden microbes.

5 Medium Sized Carrots
½ Lemon
¼ Lime
12 Green Grapes

Wash all produce well. Cut the carrots, lemon, lime and grapes to fit in the hopper. Juice in an Omega juicer. Serve and Enjoy!

Disclosure: These recipes and photos are courtesy of Omega Juicers. We were not compensated for making this post & are simply just sharing the recipes & information with our blog readers.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Indie Lee DIY Lavender Winter Hand Salve Recipe

I love homemade bath, body and beauty products, especially ones that I can make myself and do so quickly. The winter has been really harsh on my skin this year and it is as dry as can be! I need a natural remedy and this recipe rolled into my email today for me to share with all of you. It is from the great folks over at Indie Lee. Even though it says for can use this on your elbows, knees and feet too! The recipe and instructions are below. I think these would make great gifts for your girlfriends too! Enjoy!
While everyone knows to bundle up and have supplies on hand, one thing that many people overlook is prepping their skin for this sub-zero weather. To care for our complexion during the big chill, eco-chic lifestyle expert and founder of the all-natural namesake skincare line, Indie Lee, has a great DIY to help shield your skin from these winter winds.

Keep your hands silky and smooth with this simple DIY using some of our very favorite natural ingredients. Avocado oil is a great source of natural hydration, while the beeswax ensures a non-greasy formula that dries quickly and leaves hands looking great. The lavender-infused oil gives this salve a deliciously soothing scent that you won't mind slathering all over your hands!

Indie Lee DIY Lavender Winter Hand Salve:

1/4 cup dried Lavender flowers
5 drops lavender essential oil
2 tablespoons beeswax pastilles (or grated beeswax)
1/2 cup avocado oil (can also use olive oil or apricot kernel oil)

Pour avocado oil and lavender flowers into glass measuring cup or saucepan and heat slowly over lower heat. Once mixture is warm, remove from heat and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the lavender oil to infuse.

Once this has had time to sit, pour the mixture into a glass cup or bowl through a cheesecloth or fine strainer to remove the majority of the lavender flowers. Next you can create your own double boiler by placing a few inches of water in a saucepan and place the cup containing the oil into the pan of water. Warm this slowly over low heat until the water simmers. While you wait for the water to simmer, add the lavender essential oil and beeswax to your oil.

Let this mixture sit in the simmering water and stir until the beeswax has melted completely. Next pour this into a pretty jar or container, allow it to cool, and voila! You have your own all-natural hand salve that can keep your skin soft for up to six months!

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3rd Snowstorm in Pennsylvania

Every year I am prepared for some snow, ice and sleet. We live in south central Pennsylvania and that is the normal every winter season. With that said, getting nasty snow & ice weather every 3-4 days since early December 2013 is NOT the normal weather pattern around here!

Several times this year we have hit sub-zero temperatures of -10 to -15 degrees. If you have never experienced cold like that, let me tell is NOT pleasant! Yes, we can get cold here but we rarely go below zero and certainly not several times in one winter season!
Early this morning around midnight or so it started raining. Then it turned into sleet and then into snow. Lots and lots of snow! In just 8 hours we received 7 1/2" of snow and I am really getting sick of it now. Sure, it looks pretty when it freshly falls, but give it a day or two and it will be muddy & ugly.

I've got SPRING FEVER and I have it in a big way! I am tired of seeing snow every 3-4 days and I am ready for sunshine, warm temperatures and play time in my garden. Heck, I would just settle for 50 degree days but really longing for temperatures to hit the 80's once again.
Yes, I am moaning and groaning about this because I have a "sick" feeling that groundhog Phil was right with his predictions this year. He said we have 6 more weeks of winter and at this rate, I am saying 10 weeks...sigh!

Hope everyone is battening down the hatches because we have another snow & ice storm heading our way tomorrow night and another one arriving this weekend! Pretty soon I am going to need a snowmobile and skis to get around town! Boo!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

During the cold winter months I like to make a wide variety of different hot soups for my family to enjoy. Soup is the ultimate comfort food and everyone in my home loves this homemade chicken tortilla soup. This recipe will make 4 hearty servings.

Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

10.5 oz. can condensed chicken with rice soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup salsa
1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup cooked chicken, diced into small pieces
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
4 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large stock pot combine together the condense chicken with rice soup with the water, salsa, kidney beans, black beans, thawed corn, cooked chicken pieces, ground cumin, parsley flakes and salt. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking process.

Remove from heat and spoon into bowls. Place crushed tortilla chips and sour cream on top. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of that...wait one minute and serve.