August 29, 2011

Technology issues so, story time...

I seem to have lost my digital camera as well as my memory card for my "good" camera.  SO..I have no photos to post, which is sad because I have two great reviews and giveaways just waiting to be posted.

SO, instead of the typical review, tutorial and photos, I have a story (actually two).

This past Saturday night, around 10:30pm, hubby and I were canning salsa.  I was also folding some clothes in our bedroom.  I heard our mini-dachshunds barking like mad outside but didn't think much of it because of all the deer and other wildlife around the house.  We live right off the interstate, but yet still in the country and, our house is the only house on a dirt road. 

A few minutes later, I walked through the living room (we have no blinds) and saw a flashlight on the front porch.  Immediately I saw that it was a police officer.  Of course I immediately ran into the kitchen to tell hubby the cops were on outside. At first he didn't believe me or that I was joking, until the officer walked up to our back door.  The back light was already on so hubby saw him immediately and opened the door.

Officer:  Good evening.  Sorry to bother you.  I had trouble locating your front door. (Probably because we have three bikes, an air compressor, an antique cart I plan to eventually refinish as well as a coffee table) Have you seen anyone or heard any strange noises?

Hubby:  No. What's going on?

Officer:  There was an accident and a criminal has taken off on foot.  He is in this area and we were checking to see if you had heard or seen anyone.

Me:  Our dogs have been barking like crazy up in their building.  I thought it must have been an animal or something.

Officer:  Where is your building?  Will you take me up there to show me the location?  There was an accident and a criminal got away on foot.

Hubby:  Sure.. (he puts his shoes on and goes with the officer)

After a few minutes they return and the officer tells us to make sure all our doors and windows are locked.  I'm not sure what happened or who they were looking for.  I watched the news-which was only about 15 minutes later and of course there was no story about a wreck or a missing criminal.

Being the gun aficionado's that we are, we starting packing heat after the cops left and went walking around the house to make sure the coast was clear.  We never saw or heard anything else thank goodness.  I haven't seen anything on the local news or in the paper about what might have happened but an interesting salsa making session it was.   I'm just happy that we are all safe, human and furry.  Thank God for watching out for us and having such a good and considerate police force in the area.

I guess we just live in a bad location for incidents such as this.  A couple years ago hubby and I were in the back yard with our dogs out when a man came walking up our road.  Hubby walked down the driveway and met him to see what was wrong.  The next thing I know they are taking off down the road in hubby's truck.  I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, but they were already gone.

After about 20 minutes they return and I see a black older model mustang drive down the road.  I remember it because of its tan top, custom markings and dent in the drivers door.

The next day I get to work and check my email.  There was an email sent out telling everyone to be on the lookout for that car.  The man had assaulted a girl at a local college, stolen her car and was armed.  He basically got into a high speed chase with the cops, pulled off the interstate onto our road where he could hide the car in a curve and took off on foot. 

When he got to our house, he said he "ran out of gas" so hubby being the trusting, helpful person he is, took him to the local gas station with a jug.  Thank God that he had a 45 revolver lying in the passenger seat when the man got in.  He might have high jacked his truck, or worse. 

Most of the time I feel really safe in our small town in the country; especially with so many family members nearby (most of which have their concealed weapons permits) but, because of our location, I'm glad we have a LOT of guns and a LOT of dogs.  No one will ever burst into this house without recourse.  It's kind of a joke at work that you don't visit me unannounced, but they also know why. 


August 25, 2011

Another Winner and busy busy!

I promise I be a better blogger this next week.  I have 2-3 new giveaways to review/post as well as some tutorials and refurbed items hubby and I have been working on.

But first, a winner to the iHerb giveaway for the Madre Labs, Cocoa Cardio

The winner is...................

Congratulations Eddie!  Please send me your contact information so that I can have your goods sent to you! 

Stay tuned for much more coming up.  Who knows...maybe today is a two-post day.  : ) 

August 19, 2011

Dharma Glass Straws

Dharma Glass Straws are just that, glass straws. 

Did you know that in 2008 McDonald's served an average of 56 million meals per day (per their website)?  Not to mention all the other restaurants that are passing out drinks!  How many straws could the world possibly use in one day?  

David Leonhardt and his wife decided to do something about it.  They created the GlassDharma line of glass drinking straws to help reduce the use of plastic in our society.  Not only are they environmentally friendly but, they are beautiful and soo useful. 

You can purchase them as singles, with carrying cases for travel and also have little brushes to clean them with.  They also have a LIFETIME guarantee.  I'm sure by now you all know that I'm a little accident prone, I've dropped my straws at least twice.  They did NOT even come close to cracking.

I was sent four different types  and sizes of their straws to try out.  One of the long straight ones called "simple elegance" for tea, colas, etc.  One that is curved called "beautiful bends" (also tall) and then a "decorative dots" that has little brown bubbles on the outside (so cool) and then a short "decorative dots" little blue bubbles.  They come in six different colors (so you can keep track of who's drink belongs to who if you have company over, or just for fun.)  

Love the short blue one.

The brown decorative dots.

I am loving the straws.  I take my tall, simple elegance, straight one with me in my purse and each time I take it out and use it I think I'm saving at least ONE straw each time.

You can also order them in full sets.  I'm thinking of ordering a full set, or a few to give away as gifts.  They are so elegant and such an innovative idea I think everyone that tries them would love them. 

Glass Straws are an excellent choice to promote reusable vs. “disposable”.  In a perfect world, single use plastics will cease to exist.  A straw is one small step that creates a spiraling thought process toward other re-usables.  Together, we are making a difference that greatly impacts our environment!  We guarantee that GlassDharma products will stand up to surpass your expectations in quality and durability.  You can also read an article by clicking here about how glass is better than plastic for you anyway.
If you leave a comment below about what a difference these straws could make you could win a $25 gift code to shop at .  You can leave two additional comments if you are a follower of my blog.  The winner will be chosen next Friday, August 26th, so comment below!

August 18, 2011

Another shot at winning....

Because it's been sooo many days since I announced the winner of the Big Kitchen Giveaway for the Emeril Grill Pan and have received no response from the winner, I will be choosing another winner.  (Please folks, if you win a giveaway, contact me with your shipping information so that I can have the goods sent to you!)

And, because I've slacked off this weekend and went out of town, I didn't get to announce the winner for the Denby Giveaway of the James Martin Casserole dish. 

SO, without further ado...the winner of the Big Kitchen giveaway is:

Next, the winner for the Denby-James Martin Casserole Dish is:

Congratulations to our winners!  PLEASE send me your contact information (shipping address, etc.) so that I can get your products sent to you!

If you were not selected, there will be another one coming up on Friday for the iHerb Cocoa Cardio and $25 shopping spree. Make sure you have signed up.  It is an awesome giveaway and they offer so many great products on their site.  Check it out!

August 16, 2011

Hey Baby Let's Go to Vegas...or Harrah's Cherokee Casino?

This weekend we took a little road trip to Cherokee and Pigeon Sevierville, TN with my family.  We met up with my parents for a little gambling at the big casino in Cherokee.  It was a lot of fun.  I came back with a small piece of paper worth a penny.  Hubby ended up in about the same boat.  Thankfully we were smart enough (I guess) to know when to say when.  At least we had money to get food & gas. ; )

My parents have been a couple times this year and they are getting pretty good at those machines.  They both won a little chunk of change and we left before things got out of hand.  It was a blast! 

We then drove across the mountain to Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area to spend the night.  They had rented a three bedroom house with an indoor pool and hot tub.  We have stayed there so many times its beginning to feel like home away from home.  First we played a few games of pool.

Hubby, racking 'em up!

Blurry shot of lil' bro. (Not sure who won this round)

Daniel and I played a game.  I won, but only because he scratched on the 8 ball. 
He would have beaten me otherwise.

Dad, chillin' on the couch, texting as usual.

Then we headed out to the pool and hot tub.  Mom laid in the sun to catch some rays, for about 15 minutes until it came a downpour.

Zach and Ashley swimming in the pool.  The indoor pool there is awesome. 

Hubby chillin' in the hot tub.  I couldn't wait to join him-hence no more photos.

After a hard day of sleeping late, swimming and shooting pool we headed over to The Chop House where my wonderful parents treated us to a feast.  We ate a huge plate of the biggest onion rings I've ever seen and then seafood bisque or salads.  Most of the guys had steaks as well as Ash (she has to eat gluten free so any of companies out there want her to try out your products, just send them this way!).  Mom had tilapia and I had the seafood fettuchini with lobster, shrimp and scallops..mmmm divine!   Then we headed back to the house for a movie and bed.  It was a great weekend. 

Mom with her Kindle...

Zach and Ash on the couch.  Nice face there Zach.  I think they were all a little tired of me taking pics.  Hey..I like to preserve memories. : )

All in all it was a pretty fun weekend.  Hope we can do it again sometime.  Maybe next time we can bring home some winnings! 

P.S.  I was suppose to pick the winner of the Denby dish on Friday but forgot due to my gambling. guys have until around 6pm to get signed up for the giveaway.  As well as the Big Kichen giveaway because I was never contacted by the winner.  SO...get to leaving comments!  There's also the Cocoa Cardio giveaway but you have more time for that one.   I also have another giveaway coming up this Friday so make sure to check it out as well.

August 12, 2011

iHerb-Madre Labs Cocoa Cardio Blend

iHerb is an online retailer who specializes in vitamins and natural products. Currently, they carry over 1,000 different brands and over 25,000 products.  iHerb is also the sole distributor for Madre Labs.  They are the manufacturer of Cocoa Cardio, as well as lots of other "super foods" and products to keep our bodies healthy.   I was sent over a package of the Cocoa Cardio to try out and see what I thought.

CocoCardio is a premium, 100% natural/organic (non-alkalized) dark cocoa beverage enriched with freeze-dried beet juice powder. Its main purpose is to support cardiovascular health and free radical scavenging.  It includes cocoa, beets and hibiscus sabdariffa. 

Their certified organic natural (Non-alkalized) cocoa powder has been made to exacting standards. "Natural Process" Cocoa retains higher levels of naturally-occurring polyphenols compared to Alkalized (Dutch Process) Cocoa. NOTE: The more Polyphenols, the more Bitter - And it is Better!
It is very quick and easy to mix and a perfect drink for breakfast.  Although I still enjoy my coffee I have been drinking this as well and I have been feeling great.  I have a lot more energy in the mornings and I don't know if it has anything to do with the Cocoa Cardio, but the burn on my arm is healing VERY quickly.

To mix just get around 8oz. of warm to hot water.  Stir in a scoop of Cocoa Cardio and mix:
(It's a really small scoop so a little goes a long way)

Stir well!  

The first time I tried it, this was my face:
Haha!  It is very bitter, but semi thick (depending on the amount of water you add, and very filling).  With only 20 calories per serving, its fantastic.  But, I added some Agave Nectar to mine to sweeten it a little.

Just a little of this goes a long way.

Delicious!  It is very much like a glass of extrememly healthy hot chocolate, that still tastes good.  I think kids would be happy to drink this.  Especially if you mixed in a few marshmallows or some whipped cream.  Mmmmm!

iHerb is the sole distributor of this product and first time customers who wish to purchase this item can go to the Madre Labs Cocoa Cardio product page and use coupon code WOW123 to get $5 off!

One lucky reader is going to get to enjoy their own bag of Cocoa Cardio themselves or with their families as well as a $25 SHOPPING SPREE for any products on the iHerb site.  What an awesome and generous giveaway!
To enter, leave a comment below stating why Cocoa Cardio sounds like a good product for you.  Also, as always, you can leave two additional seperate comments if you are a follower of my blog.

The winner must be a US residents or be responsible for any additional customs taxes and/or duties if it can be shipped to your Country.  Good luck!  The winner will be chosen, next Friday, August 19th!

August 10, 2011

Where does time go when it flies away?

I feel like such a slacking blogger lately.  But, I do have one awesome giveaway for this Friday, so hurry and get signed up:  The Denby USA Casserole Dish

Other than that I've been licking my wounds (not literally) and dealing with WAY too many veggies.  My kitchen looks like this every night:

I have canned over 40 pints of green beans, frozen over a dozen squash casseroles, and chopped peppers of all varieties, not to mention cooked TONS of them to eat.

I'm just now beginning to gather tomatoes.  Then its time for spaghetti sauce, salsa and homemade veggie soup.  I'm going to have to take some time off!

We do have some incredible watermelons and pumpkins growing this year too.  The biggest I've ever had and they still have quite awhile to go.  I'll be posting pictures soon I'm sure.

My arm is getting better for those of you who read the burn post.  Hubby and I have just been really busy with the garden, work and our puppies.  We are also working on a little project I will be posting soon.  It was a really neat find.  So don't get bored and run away.  I've got too much more to say and three other product reviews and giveaways to post in the next week.  Stay tuned!  ; )

August 5, 2011

Big Kitchen Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of the fabulous Emeril Griddle Pan from is:

drum roll.......

Congtrats to Michele, please email me your contact info and I will get your new Grill Pan sent over to you! 

For those of you who did not win, you still have time to sign up for the Denby USA-James Martin Casserole dish! 

I Hugged the Pressure Canner

I had planned on doing a great post regarding how to preserve green beans via canning them.

But, It didn't turn out so grand. I could quite possibly have permanent damage (meaning a big scar).

While I was doing the canning part, I "hugged the canner" as my dear husband likes to put it.  I was actually trying to stir something on the burner behind the canner and well, my arm isn't as long as I thought it was.  It stuck to the side of the steaming canner and...

I was left with this:  

The photo is kind of backwards but, its my forearm just up from my wrist.  

Here is the other arm that I must have jerked into the canner while peeling my forearm off the other side.  Hence "hugging the canner" . 

After a few days it now looks like this: better but still hurts like hell. 
And, the antibiotics I'm on are making me sick as a dog. 

I'm gonna hold off on the bean canning tutorial until I am less mad at my canner.

I did pick up some totally cute pink camo wrap to keep it bandaged up in.  Turns out this stuff comes in a variety of colors so I've been able to coordinate it pretty well with my outfits.

For those of you who haven't signed up, you still have time for the Emeril's Griddle Pan giveaway and the Denby USA giveaway.  Go sign up.  I will be drawing the winner tonight!

August 3, 2011

Denby USA Cookware

I have been so lucky lately to get to work with companies who make such incredible products.

Denby USA is another of those companies who produce exceptional products and care for their customers by using top quality ingredients and the best customer service.  I know I sound like a commerical but it is true!

I was offered the opportunity to try out one of their James Martin Dine Cookware dishes.  "Denby and James Martin have come together to create the perfect tableware range. Beautifully crafted with stylish and innovative features."  They are oven, dishwasher and microwave safe but, the best part is NOTHING sticks to them.  You could make anything in them and bake it for hours and literally rinse it out in the sink.

I got to try out the Cook Divided Dish which allowed me to bake two different casseroles at the same time in the same dish!  It was awesome!  I made a broccoli casserole in one side and a squash casserole in the other.

For the squash casserole:
2-3 yellow squash
1/4 yellow onion
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 tbs. butter
1/4 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
1 egg
10 Ritz crackers (crushed) 

First, cut up your veggies.

Next, mix them together and add salt and pepper: 

Then, add the egg and stir well: 

Pour in your cream of celery soup and mix: 

Then add cheese and stir it all well.  (okay, that might be a little more than a 1/2 cup)

Finally, top with butter and Ritz crackers: 
Then just pour that into half your James Martin Cookware:

NOW..for the Easy Broccoli Casserole:

1/2 cup rice
1 cup broccoli
1/2 cup cheese

Add rice, broccoli and water in cook pan to boil:

After cooking for a few minutes you can add the cheese and milk if desired.

Finally add the cheese and pour into other half of casserole dish (yes, these were two cheesy dishes).

They both baked up perfectly!  Yummo!

But, the best part was, after we ate all the food, I literally rinsed the pan with the sprayer from the sink and it looked like this:

Then, I rinsed it once more with a little bit of soap just to make sure it was bacteria free, but it wouldn't have been necessary.  There was absolutely NO scrubbing involved.  I am in love with this casserole dish.  I wish I had the one big enough for lasagna.

The best part is, the great folks at Denby is offering up one of these casserole dishes for one lucky reader to try in your own home.  Just visit their website and see what you like.  Leave me a comment telling me which of their products you would like to try.  Then next Friday, August 13th I will draw a winner via

As always, if you are a follower you can leave two additional comments saying so which will give you THREE chances to win the Denby cookware.  Good luck!

August 1, 2011

Equal Exchange Winner

Sorry for the whole MIA thing the last week.  Especially forgetting to draw the winner of the Equal Exchange giveaway!  I know I've sure been enjoying their coffee and chocolate (all too much!)  So, without further ado...the winner is:

Congratulations Choppy!  Please email me with your contact information so I can have your deicious coffee sent to you from the good folks over at Equal Exchange. 

For everyone else, yes go check out the giveaway for the Emeril's Griddle Pan.  It's awesome!  And you have 2 more day's to enter the giveaway!