Thursday, March 20, 2014

Being Heart Healthy

For the longest time I had my head buried in the sand. I felt fine so nothing could be wrong with me, right? Errrrrr. Wrong. We have a history of high cholesterol and heart problems on my Dads side of the family (and with him being the youngest of 13 kids, there is plenty of data to go on).

At the ripe age of 37 I got my cholesterol checked for the first time. Eeep! Not so great. Actually pretty bad. Time to take my head out of the ground and start being smart about being Heart Healthy.

Now I try to eat as much fresh food as I can but I do buy other things too. I make sure to check the labels for the amount of Saturated Fats and make sure to always purchase "Heart Healthy" options when they are available. Campbell's makes it easy by putting "Heart Healthy" right on their labels. I've also spent time trying new recipes that are much better for heart health. Below are some of my favorite from the "American Heart Association Certified Recipes".

Broccoli and Cheddar rice. Yum and you can get me to eat just about anything if there is cheese involved.

Creamy Chicken and Vegetables over spaghetti squash. I've recently become addicted to spaghetti squash, it is so yummy and I love finding new ways to eat it.

Pork Medallions with Spinach and Barley. Very filling and "down home" tasting!

Creamy Turkey and Vegetable Lasagna. A healthy twist on every ones favorite dish

Pasta Primavera with Cauliflower Crust. Cauliflower is another vegetable that I love!

Do you want to try some of these recipes and get money saving coupons and tips? Sign up with Campbell's here:

About Campbell's Address Your Heart:
Health is foremost on people’s minds, keeping your family in tip top shape can be a challenge in these busy times. Campbell’s Soup wants you to “Address Your Heart” with Heart Healthy Tips, recipes and more!

Visit to get heart-healthy tips, including 21 Campbell’s recipes that are certified by the AHA and product coupons, as well as for the latest Campbell’s recipes and offers.

This post is sponsored by Campbell Soup Company

Friday, February 28, 2014

Alpo Party #HappyStartsHere

It's no secret I love my dogs and probably treat them a little too much like human children but that's how we roll in my house.  Naturally when I was asked if I wanted to host a dog party featuring Alpo products I was all "who wouldn't?" While we waited eagerly for our packages to arrive, we designed and mailed the invitations! (just kidding, I totally sent text messages to some friends.....I'm crazy but not that crazy)

Party Favor Bags Ready to go!
Alpo sent us an AMAZING box of goodies to share with our furry friends including:

          Samples of ALPO for the dogs (enough to get your party started as well as some for favor bags to keep the party going after your guests leave)
-          A premium ALPO place mat and bowl for your dog
-          Disposable bowls and mats for pups at the party
-          NestlĂ© coupons to get food for your human friends
-          Dry-erase thought bubbles to write what the dogs have to say about ALPO
-          Favor bags to give your party guests (supplies for up to 10 favor bags, including ALPO samples, coupons, bandannas  and Kong toys)
-          Streamer decorations and banners and more

Whoa! I was truly amazed at the generous amounts of treats, toys, food and other items included. Everyone would get full sized products to take home and I still had enough for all they furry guests to get a "meal" and some "appetizers" at our party!

I'll give you a quick run down of Alpo nutrition before the dogs take over this post!
Nutrition. To be healthy and live a long life your dog needs 100% balanced nutrition and human food doesn't cut it for furry ones. Alpos' food is made with high quality protein products and essential vitamins and minerals that your pet needs. The ingredients are all sourced from a supplier that meets Purina's high standards for quality, safety and manufacturing.  The high quality of Purina and Alpo can support your dog from the inside out-- healthy bones to a shiny coat.

WOOF! The pups say get to the party pics!

 This is Zena, she's a tad bigger than the other guests. She is posing with her goodies (I think her mom kept her product coupons)
Zena seems to be getting tired of photos and is about to open her own box of snacks
Roxie is 14 and has some kidney problems so she didn't get to have her own bowl--although she certainly tried.
Spike is turning 15 in March. He doesn't mess around. Head down and eat his Alpo quick in case one of the whippersnapper party guests get the idea that idea that they could swipe his. (pretty sure he likes it)
Meet Chester and Buster. (that's Roxie off to the right trying to sneak a bite). These little guys loved it. In fact they were so enthusiastic their bowls were half way across the room when they were done!

Ginger (black), Trixie (white) and Molly brown emphatically declined bandannas. Nor did they wish to eat around the other dogs so they had paper plates in the other room. They did clean them up. You can see how serious they are about their chow!
Here are two pups checking out the snacks or what I liked to call "alpo-tizers".
One of the little guys checking out a stuffed Kong!

Everyone one had a great time and left happy! Furparents took home coupons for some Alpo products in addition to what was in the goody bags.

Want to throw an Alpo party for your dogs and their friends? Enter to win a prize package like the one I received!

Thanks Alpo! All our dogs agreed that with Alpo #HappyStartsHere!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mini Himalyan Salt Lamp Review

Mini Himalayan Salt Lamp $29.99

I was recently contacted by and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their Mini Himalayan Salt lamps. Since I had previously heard of these and thought it would be an interesting item to add to my home, I quickly agreed.

You might be wondering what is the purpose of a salt lamp, is there something special about it? The answer to that is yes! Besides being aesthetically pleasing and a unique household decor item Himalayan Salt lamps are believed to have many health benefits.

You see, millions of years ago the subcontinents of India and Eurasia collided which cased the ocean beds to elevate high into the air, creating the Himalayan Mountains. Salt crystal from the ocean beds remained deep inside these mountains for centuries This salt is from a time when the earth was in a purer state, contains no chemical impurities from pollution and has one of the worlds highest elemental concentration of 84 minerals and trace elements.

Himalayan salt lamps have been said to have similar effects as ionizers. The natural salt lamps bath their surroundings in negative ions which are believed to kill bacteria, sooth the mind, body and soul, and purify the air. Some people have reported that salt lamps help relieve fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, bronchial colds, allergies and more.

I placed my Mini Himalayan salt lamp in our living room. Larger spaces should have larger lamps, but my living room is pretty small so it works out well. We've been using it daily for about two weeks now. It emits a soft orange glow that is a nice ambient light in the room. I've left in on for at least 8 hours at times without worry, it gets just a bit above skin temperature so it is warm to the touch but not hot. I can honestly say that when  I spend time in that room I have noticed that my indoor allergies seem to calm down and I breathe a bit easier. I may have to move this one to the bedroom purchase a larger one for our living area as I imagine the benefits would be felt even more!

Himalayan Carved Cross Salt Lamp
I think the above pictured carved cross Himalayan Salt lamp would be beautiful in any room (photo is from the website) Each lamp comes on a beautiful rosewood base with a 6 foot cord and a 15 watt bulb. There are a variety of shapes including the ones pictured above, animal shapes, globes and more. If you are looking for a unique gift or just have been wanting to try one for yourself, I highly recommend visiting, they are affordable, quality and offer free shipping in the continental United States.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Orkin: Time To #BugOut

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Orkin Ecologist for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Bugs. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. However, that is the main gist of this post so I will try to refrain from running screaming from my keyboard whiile randomly swatting at my arms. I can't promise to succeed but I will try.  See, I have the firm belief that bugs are gross, yucky and should be no where within a 10 mile radius of my personal space.  Apparently the people at Orkin feel differently (weird, right?).

Orkin believes that everything (including bugs) has its' place in the environment and that the best way to control pests is to understand them. So for the past 100 years they have been studying insects. They even keep scientists on staff so they can stay up to date.

Orkins desire to spread knowledge about bugs has lead them to create "The Ecologist" webiste, a fantastic educationl resource for both novice and experienced science lovers. I just finished reading some of the articles on the site and find that they are very informative. They are full of informationa and facts, yet written in a way that does not bore or confuse the reader with a bunch of unpronouncable scientific terms. These articles could easily be read by young teens and adults alike.

After reading about scariest and deadliest bugs in the world, I know that the Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula has an 11 inch leg span, mostly eats lizards, snakes, frogs and insects and that its venom is not lethal but it does have fangs. I also know that I want to be absolutely no where near where ever there is a spider with an 11 inch leg span.

Off the top of my head I can think of numerous personal #BugOut moments. One that really sticks in my head happened about 15 years ago right before my husband I got married. We had seperate apartments, his was a basement one. He was out of town and I went there after work to feed his evil chinchilla. Since it was late I just slept there. Early the next morning I felt something "tickling" my face. I slapped it and tried to sleep. Felt it on my arms. Finally opened my eyes and discovered a bazillion tiny ants had decided his water bed was the place to be. I drove home faster than you can imagine, swatting myself the entire way and took the longest shower EVER. *shudders* I can still feel them.

Learn more by keeping up with Orkin Ecologist on Facebook and Pinterest

So tell me, do you have a #BugOut moment? Is it worse than a bed full of ants! Share it below!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whirlpool False Advertising? Thumbs Down

Those weeks where it seems like everything is just wrong? I'm having one and I'm sharing it with you.

My clothes dryer has been slowly but surely dying by inches. Right now it takes me about 3 hours to dry a load of clothing (ridiculous)!  So in light of that I decided to take advantage one of the numerous offers that Whirlpool VIPLink sends me almost weekly. I couldn't log in, so I contacted live support. Let's just say it didn't go swimmingly.

I was annoyed enough to screenshot the conversation:

 Here is where Latisha asks for my corporate email and doesn't seem to grasp that I am giving her my corporate blogger creds :P
 AGAIN, she does not grasp that I have already given her my email. I repeat myself hoping a light bulb goes off.  My email doesn't help so she asks for a link, which I copy both from the email and send them too her. They work fine on this end but are miraculously blank on her end. I ask for her email so I can forward one of the emails I received to her but that is a no-no!
 Whelp, no group code for me. I think I started receiving these emails as part of the Purex Insiders group..... but like most people I don't buy appliances just willy nilly so never logged on until I had a need.

Latisha apologized and basically told me I'm outta luck. Looks like I will not be getting a whirlpool dryer after all. FYI? Here are the emails I've received from them just this month:


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Therafit Shoes, Review and Giveaway

Have you heard of Therafit shoes? No? Okay, well they were co-developed by Dr. Lisa Masterson of the hit show "The Doctors". Dr. Lisa knows that women are on their feet all day long and wanted to develop a shoe to help empower women, whether at the gym, work or grocery store and combining comfort with style.

Therafit shoes have been developed around 4 key principles: comfort, customer, charity and community. Therafit shoes have also been endorsed by the National Posture Institute because they provide the cushion and support that is so critical in alleviating the aches and pains of being on your feet and wearing poor shoes.

Therafit shoes contain a personalized comfort system (PCS) that allow you to adjust the level of impact protection to what is best for you. This is definitely something I have never heard of in another brand of shoe!

I received the Deborah in blue and silver and have been wearing them almost non stop for the last two weeks. (FYI, definitely order a half size up, they run small). Personally, I have not felt like I needed to remove any of the PCS "pins" as I like the impact protection just like they came. I've found the shoes to be lightweight, yet supportive. I don't feel like I have lead weights at the end of my legs, but still get fantastic support. The rubber soles make for great traction control and the design is attractive.

I've worn my to work, to Zumba, walking around the track and on errands and can honestly say that my feet feel great and I think even my back appreciates the extra support. I like my new Deborah Therafit shoes so much I am about to donate my old shoes to the dog....or save them for grass mowing.

Connect with Therafit on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to keep up with the latest news. To purchase a pair of these fab shoes for yourself, visit

Want to win a pair? One US reader will do just that! Please use the form below and good luck!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall, Review


Dahoud is a troubled hero with a dark past. As a siege commander, he once razed, raped and killed... and he enjoyed it. Now he needs to atone. 
He has sacrificed everything to build a new identity and a life of peace, and he devotes himself to protecting women from harm. 
But Dahoud is not alone. Inside him lives a devious demon, a djinn that demands he subdue women with force. It torments him with pains and tempts him with forbidden desires. 
When the women in Dahoud's life repay his kindness with betrayal, his hard-won control over the djinn breaks. 
Would you dare an alliance with this man? Could you forgive his evil past? Could you trust him with your life, with your freedom, with your love? 
Storm Dancer is a dark-epic fantasy novel. It deals with dark issues and may not be suitable for young readers. 450 pages. British English.
About the author

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).

She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.  

Rayne has lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal and  has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England.

MY Thoughts:

I am a readaholic, there are always books waiting in line on my kindle and if there aren't I get antsy. I enjoy everything from YA to SciFi to Romance and even will pick up an old copy of Anne of Green Gables and reread it. So I am always excited to be able to do a book review for the blog.

Storm Dancer is a Dark Epic fantasy that is set in a vaguely medevial Middle Eastern type of setting. There are soothsayers, some elemental types of magic, a demon and scheming monarchs. 

The hero of the story used to be a bad person who committed atrocities during war and raped many women because of the evil dijiin demon inside of him. Now he has hidden his identity and trying to atone for his mistakes. He wants peace and a wife to love. He ends up facing many trials through out the story and at times I want to smack him for being a niave idiot in his dealings with others. One would think that someone who was a feared general previously would be more savvy to what is going.

The heroine, Merida, starts out (as I see it) as a selfish, spoiled little girl who lets her pride get her in some really bad situations. She eventually learns and by the end of the story isn't quite so bad.

The first part of the book was extremely slow going for me, I personally would have enjoyed it more if Merida and Dahoud had managed to connect earlier and spend more time interacting.

Don't get me wrong, this is a well written book, a good plot and great writing. I have seen tons of 5 star reviews for it. I just personally didn't connect with the characters, which sometimes happens-- each person connects differently with a story.

If you enjoy a well written Dark Fantasy, check it out on Amazon. The first couple of chapters are easy to explore by chosing to "send a sample" to whatever device you are using and if you choose to buy, right now it is on sale on Amazon for $.99.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.