January 31, 2012

Lack of Posting

I hate to say I've been too busy or negligent in my blogging.  I'm afraid due to life, work and other things, I've been preocuppied and neglected the blog.  I hope to get myself back on track because I have some new product reviews/giveaways that I am excited to post as well as some other things. 

So, look out for those in the next few days!

January 26, 2012

Pure Bliss Energy Bars

I was given the opportunity to try out Pure Bliss Organics Energy Bites.  They are bite sized (well, probably more like 2-3 bites) granola type bars that are gluten free and full of 'good stuff' that give you loads of energy and keep you feeling full for quite some time.  AKA the perfect food for breakfast, before a run, or workout.


The flavors I tried were PB&J (of course an automatic favorite) and also Appleachia-what a cute name.  They were both savory and delicious.  They use yummy organic ingredients such as dates, seeds, fruits, nuts, etc.


Look at all that yummy stuff packed in that little bite.

Nice nutritional info.

I shared them with my brother's girlfriend who has to eat gluten-free. She had this to say about them:

"I loved these! Not only are the ingredients amazing (healthy, simple, and organic), but at right around 120 calories per serving, they make the perfect snacking food. These have been great for when I need a little something to tide me over. Whether it is after a tough workout or an hour before dinner, they are perfect for a little boost of energy, and they taste great! I love how crispy they are, which is not a characteristic you see a lot in gluten-free foods. They also come in a small pouch, which makes them easy to carry. I will definitely be taking these on hikes, runs, and road trips!" 

Right now you can save 25% on your ENTIRE order of Pure Bliss Products by using the code: tiffdeal12

I really want to get their mixed package of energy bars so I can decide which ones I like best.  The Mocha JavaNaughty but Nice and Lemon Cranberry all sound amazing.

Their prices are already so low considering the high quality ingredients used in their bars and granola but an extra 25% off?!!?   Get on over to Pure Bliss and you won't be sorry, or hungry, or get diabeties from those candy bars and sugary stuff you've been putting away.

January 19, 2012

National Poporn Day Winner of Dale and Thomas Popcorn!

As if you don't already know, today is
National Popcorn Day!

So, in honor of National Popcorn Day, Dale and Thomas Popcorn sponsored a giveaway of their Traditional 12 Bag Sampler!


I have gotten the great opportunity to try out Dale and Thomas's Popcorn twice!  I have been overwhelmed by the taste, flavors and size of their popcorn.  It is phenomenal and I would recommend it to anyone to eat or especially to give as gifts as they have such uniquely decorated gift boxes, tins, etc.

But, without further adu, the winner of today's National Popcorn Day giveaway is:

#15:  MANDY 83!

Congratulations Mandy! Please email me your contact info so that Dale and Thomas can send you your wonderful popcorn.  I can't say that I'm not super jealous of winning this myself.  I am dreaming of cinnamon and creme. ; )

For everyone who didn't win, there will be a couple other giveaways coming up SOON, as well as a great company who is going to be giving readers 25% off on their fantastic products.  Stay tuned for some interesting reviews.  As well as some rambling of my own.  



January 17, 2012

National Popcorn Day!

In case some of you aren't aware of this, January 19th is:

NATIONAL POPCORN DAY!

In honor of this tremendous occasion, our friends over at Dale and Thomas Popcorn are offering a giveaway of their traditional 12 pack sampler!  This sampler includes some of their most DELICIOUS flavors such as the peanut butter and white chocolate drizzle, and my new favorite the cinnamon creme drizzle corn. 

Dale and Thomas Popcorn are so generous I have had the opportunity to do not one, but TWO reviews on their delicious popcorn known as the "Rolls Royce" of popcorn.




Sign up now for your chance to win their incredible 12 pack sampler.  Just leave a comment saying which flavor you would like to try, or if you've had Dale and Thomas Popcorn which is your favorite

The winner will be chosen via Random.org on January 19th in honor of National Popcorn Day!  As always, if you are follower of the blog you can leave two additional comments.

Good luck!

January 11, 2012

How to Make Homemade Wine, I think...

I made some homemade Mulberry, Mulberry-Raspberry and Raspberry wine for Christmas gifts (please God don't let any of my family or friends die or get sick from this fermented concoction that I have put together, amen).

It turned out to look pretty nice since I used gallon jugs and a recipe split between the word of mouth between my grandmother, mom and a good friend.

When it came time for bottling, Hubby took me to a local beer/wine making retailer to purchase some bottles and a corker.  I ended up getting an entire wine making kit!  Its so cool!  And, I also got the "correct" kind of yeast and other ingredients I should have used the first time (sorry guys, the next batch is already going better.) I feel like a chemist.
 

So, here are some photos of my next ongoing batch of wine.  This time I used grapes purchased at our local Sams Club.  I'm afraid all my free berries are dead.

The kit really didn't come with any directions except the names of the different pieces included and some recipes so I still feel like I'm kind of "winging it". 

First, I washed grapes and remove any that didn't look so great.  Allow them to dry.

Next, I put the grapes (including stems; according to a wine making book I read on my new Kindle Fire) in the fermenting bucket.  I must admit, I only used about 1/2 the stems. 

I then used a potato masher to mash up each and every grape until juicy (and part of the stems).  
 Then, I began to boil  3 cups of sugar and a gallon of water in a large pot. After the water boiled and the sugar dissolved I allowed it to cool completely. 

Then, pour the sugar-water into the fermenter with the grapes and stir well.


Next you add your packet of yeast.  One pack is suppose to be enough for 5 gallons of wine.


Finally I had this mixture.  Hope I'm on the right track.  

The kit came with this little neat device called a fermentation lock.  Basically you fill it half full of water and it fits into the lid of the bucket to allow carbon dioxide to escape.


Now I have this:  

The recipe I am using says to continue to add sugar water every few days for around 10 days to allow the sweetness of the grapes to come out as well as letting it completely ferment.  Then I transfer it to the carboy for more fermenting.  Its been almost ten days so I will keep you posted on the transferring results soon.  It smells delicious!  Any tips would be appreciated. 
  

January 5, 2012

Memories of Christmas Past and back to work

We are very fortunate where I work to get an entire TWO weeks vacation around Christmas and New Years.  I took a break from blogging to spend some much needed time with my hubby and family.

We had a wonderful time at each of our family gatherings and get togethers as well as received some wonderful gifts.

Although for me it began with a minor dental surgery that left me unable to eat anything for around 10 days, it probably helped my waistline bypass a lot of the food I would have eaten.  I did make some things to fatten up everyone else.

Peanut butter cookies with mini Reese cups


Yummy peanut butter crackers dipped in white chocolate


Then I put up the tree and spent hours wrapping gifts.

Diesel wanted his picture in front of the tree.  He was totally posing.


In honor of Sheila, here are our "my" deer in their santa hats.  All of them like to wear 'em every year.  I sooo wanted to buy the camo ones with orange trim but couldn't see paying $75 for more santa hats for 7 deer. 

I did however splurge for 3 camo stockings.  ; )

We first had a great dinner at my grandmothers house on Christmas Eve and then went home to exchange gifts with each other and, of course Diesel.

Hubby gave me a Kindle Fire.  I LOVE it! 

I gave him his first laptop. 

Hubby also got me the Shark Steam Mop.  I put on the yellow shirt to match the woman on the box.  Just kidding.....really.
Now I'm addicted to mopping.  I'm constantly wanting to mop. Its so much fun!  The infomercials are so true with this one. : )

Diesel was thrilled when he opened his stocking to find BONES
in all sizes shapes and flavors. 

Christmas Eve was my parents 41st Anniversary. 
Yeah, they got married when they were 5. ; )

My mom is sew (sorry, couldn't resist) talented.  She can sew, crochet, or knit anything.  She is also learning how to make her own yarn.  She made me this beautiful poncho type sweater from Alpaca (which is very expensive) and other yarns.  It also has two cotton roses stitched on.  Believe me, the picture does NOT do it justice.  It is gorgeous and warm.

She also made me this awesome vest.  I had a brown/yellow one she made (and I hijacked) before and now I have a white one!  I just adore it as well. 
I can't wait to wear them (for more than a few seconds).

I gave the greatest gifts ever.  Garlic Gold for everyone!

My first batch of wine!  I waited over three months to bottle and give it away.  I'm not sure if anyone has tasted it yet (they are probably a little scared) but, I made it and its Mulberry!
Dad looks a little surprised in this picture, or maybe scared. 

My parents gave us so many great gifts, one of which was a Keurig coffee maker. 
Now I'm hooked on Cafe Mocha.

Christmas Dinner was spent with hubby's family at my brother and sister-in-law's house.  She is a fabulous cook and prepared a gourmet Italian meal. Mmmm....

My niece is adorable.  At the time was fixated on the TV before dinner.


After gift opening she was super excited.   


My brother and his girlfriend (hope to someday to be sister-in-law) came over after Christmas because they were out of town.  We did more gift giving. 

I finally got a Trader Joe's tote.  The closest one from us is over two hours away (sigh).  But, she was sweet enough to get me a bag and some yummy coffee cake. 
I can't wait to try.

I am so fortunate to have such a large, caring family.  We all live close together and can enjoy the Holiday's together.   I hope everyone else had a great time as well. 

Happy 2012!