Bringing in the holidays with Smirnoff Vodka

Like the rest of you, I have been incredibly crazy busy...running from this holiday event to the next and I am actually hosting one plus Christmas Eve dinner! Its madness but fun! The one thing to keep you in check is some sort of plan of where you are going with all this nonsense...before you lose your holiday mind!! 

Baby it’s cold outside and the jingle bells are ringing, but the night is far from silent because this time of year brings the most festive parties of the season.

Whatever the occasion, the key to a good party is knowing how to whip up THE perfect cocktail of the season. And if you’re looking for the perfect host gift, we’ve provided three thoughtful, yet simple options from SMIRNOFF and Sterling Vineyards that won’t break the bank and will satisfy any palate. 

Below, two of SMIRNOFF’s winter cocktails that will make your holiday celebration the best of the year.

SMIRNOFF Wish You Were Here

·         1 oz. SMIRNOFF Wild Honey Flavored Vodka

·         2 oz. Dry white wine (such as Once Upon a Vine Sauvignon Blanc)

·         3 oz. Lemon-lime soda

Glassware: Martini glass or Collins glass
Preparation: Add ingredients to an ice-filled stemmed glass.
Garnish: Lemon and lime wheels.

Ginger Twist

·         1 oz. SMIRNOFF No. 21 Celebration-Edition Vodka

·         0.5 oz. STIRRINGS Ginger Flavored Liqueur

·         4 oz. Lemonade

Glassware: Collins Glass
Preparation: In an iced filled shaker combine all the ingredients. Shake vigorously. Strain into an ice filled collins glass.
Garnish: Lemon wheel

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Oh Hi There!

Good lord! It's been a week! But what a week it has been! I turned 40! And I only cried once..good reason, I always miss my dad terribly during my reason really but I get a little weepy.

Thanks to social media, I was thought of by many many many! Almost every single person that matters to me reached out in some way to send me a well wish! A few select didn't, but I guess that's on them. 

My friend Knuckles said oh you are one of those girls who celebrates for a week...well, kind of..why the hell not? Ill tell you why the hell not ( that is a snl reference, one of the best skits ever with Garth Brooks). I've always had this birthday mantra-No matter what age you are, if you can't celebrate yourself, what kind of girl are you? 

I'm writing you in the car on the way to the airport! My husband and I are going to nyc for the rest of the week. I can't wait for some serious downtime. We are gonna do this and that and live in an apartment in the West Village that I rented from AirBNB. I'm so stoked! I think I am gonna visit my Instagram/ Twitter friends from Flour NYC...what would you do in the city? Always looking for ideas! 

Some prayers for us would be appreciated... We did IUI #2 a week ago..wouldn't that be the greatest gift of all? 

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Sunday Social-I am Thankful

Time to be thankful! Instead of boring you every day on Facebook for 30 days (that is so so dumb and I wish it would stop).... here it all is, in one place why I am thankful! In no particular order!

My blog. 
I am thankful for this outlet and the fun I have had this year making friends on my blog. I really the love the fun products that I have been offered to try and a really good place to tell you exactly how I feel.

My Twitter account
Speaking of saying exactly what I think...God, I love Twitter. If you follow me, its an intimate peek into my head. I love that it isn't completely populated with people that I know intimately like on Facebook...but its my favorite social media by far.

My business-Even though I have struggled this year with the guilt of not working 12 hours day, I love the freedom that this job gives me and what it has developed over the last three years. I love being  in business for me!

My thirties
In nine short days, my thirties will go bye bye....and for whatever reason, I could care less. It has been a good run...this decade and I have learned so so much. But at 40, I am in a really really good place.

My husband
I am so thankful for this man. I realize how lucky we are to have such a non-dramatic relationship. We make fair and balanced decisions on everything and we laugh every day. This journey (my best friend says it is a journey, so it is written) to parenthood is sprinkled with stress and some sadness but is so much better with him by my side.

Near death experience
I know that this is weird but I am thankful for my hydrocephalus and my brain surgery. It changed my life, but in a clearer way. It made me realize what is important. Not that I wish that you have to go down that road to get should try yoga or something a little less invasive.

My wonderful friends
Hands down I have wonderful friends. Period. Amen.

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Soy Protein For Your Run #Giveaway

I'm going to admit something to you, I have lost my love for whole milk. It makes me feel like a bad child but I just don't like it. I am however addicted to soy milk and soy products. They taste so much better and are so good for you.

Some facts about soy protein:

•       Soy protein is a high‐quality, plant‐based protein derived from soybeans
•       Soy protein preserves lean body mass, promotes fat loss, and boosts satiety during weight loss
•       A blend of proteins – soy, whey and casein, prolongs muscle building after exercise and increases recovery compared to whey alone
•       Soy protein promotes muscle growth and development
•       Soy protein is equivalent to whey protein for building muscle when consumed as part of a resistance training program
•       Soy protein has the ability to displace fat and sugar calories

In my opinion, soy protein is easy on my stomach and really makes a difference when I am running. I usually don't eat a meal before my run and don't want to feel full with a protein shake but I have discovered a great bar to grab before I go. Eat-Smart Bars, Nogii Protein Bars and NOW Energy Bars are a couple of choices that help make sure I am  getting the nutrients I need before or after a long workout with a key ingredient for success: soy protein. These bars taste delicious and have made a difference in my energy levels to get through a long (or short) run.

Whether I am going for a run or doing yoga, a smart fitness routine incorporates protein to aide in muscle building and recovery. Yes, stretching is important but nurturing your insides with soy protein is a must!
Also, Soy protein is a high-quality, plant-based protein which promotes muscle growth and development and can help preserve lean body mass during weight loss.

Christmas is coming early! I have a giveaway! I was sent a killer package with these bars plus a traveling exercise kit and I have one to give away!

-Eat-Smart Bar
-Nogii Nutrition Bar
-Now Energy Bar
-“Powered by Soy Protein” Traveler Exercise Kit (its got a jump rope, a pedometer and more!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The products, information and two gift packs have been provided by DuPont Nutrition and Health

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Taking Movember to a Whole New Level

I saw this picture the other day and had to laugh-

I am really enjoying the Movember movement, even tho I am grateful my husband hasn't embraced it-its exciting to watch people on the Today Show grown in some beardage and the movement is really catching on. Even the NASCAR industry is getting hairy with it (I can't believe I just wrote that). My friend had an engineer on his race team that is raising funds online for the cause-Check him out here.

Can we just say Thank God this is a boys only promotion? Although winter gives us a little relief with our hair removal habits...I said a little...a no shave movement is a no no-BUT if you have great products from Completely Bare, you can give your razor a break with some great results.  

Unless you live in Daytona and go to Donna at Skinn-you don't have the pleasure of a nearly pain free experience. I am not saying that it is my favorite time but her methods are in drast comparison to the first time I did the deed...her name was Vera and she was Russian and yelled at me when I yelped. I wish I was kidding.

So even though Donna has to drag me in a little for my appointments, I found with some ibuprofen and a line of products that I am obsessed with (Completely Bare) makes the experience a little less oh my god, someone kill me.

The holidays are approaching and it is important to keep your body looking it’s best for all the fabulous upcoming parties! This includes getting rid of those unwanted hairs!  Completely Bare has the best hair removal products to get rid of hair painlessly in some of those difficult areas.  Apply the numbing and cooling spray pre and post hair removal to cool,  soothe and numb your skin. This is a lifesaver, trust me!

If modesty prevents you from seeing a professional try Ready set wax with the hypoallergenic wax strips for face, bikini and body is awesome. They are easy to use and custom shaped for all body parts.

All completely bare products are available at CVS and target nationwide

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Lindt Chocolates Make Great Holiday Gifts

I am sure everyone has a process of buying holiday prizes (you may call them presents). Although I don't officially start till this time, I plan all year long using Evernote and Remember the Milk. If you are near me and utter any words like "You know what I really need/like/want?" You can guarantee I am sending myself a note to remind myself when the time is right. 

After I have sectioned off all of those people, there is usually room on my list for some ideas for people that just need to be remembered with a little something at this time. My cleaning lady, the girls at the doctor's office, my receptionist at the place where I rent an office...Something quick and thoughtful and this year I have some great ideas! Especially with Lindt Chocolates!  

My favorite? Christmas Tree Gift Bag is a delightful way to spread chocolate cheer this holiday season. Everyone loves LINDOR truffles, especially when they are delivered in this festive bag. You can fill with your three favorite flavors or enjoy our “Ultimate” Assortment (milk, white, dark, extra dark and peanut butter). Check out the entire catalogue here. You can order online or visit them what I really suggest is you check them out in person using their store locator! Its all instant gratification! When I was at Disney earlier this month, I wanted to live here!! 

Lindt Chocolate on Urbanspoon

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Tea at Two At Polly's Tea Room

I have a new friend Rachel who is not only very sweet and dear but she is full of fun ideas to get us up and out. She hosts the Daytona chapter of Dining For Women, and she has brought a breathe of social fresh air to our little town. A couple of months ago, she had a friend in town and asked a couple of us on a random Tuesday to come meet us at one of my favorite restaurants...just to get together. This time, she organized a group of girls to get together to Polly's Tea Room at the River Lily Inn. Its nice to pull us out of our rut and go do something different with not just the same people in attendance.

I have known Polly for quite a while, and have held a bridal shower as well as a retreat at the River Lily, It was nice to see Polly and her husband Art still do so well. It was funny, I was certain that the tea crowd would be good but not wall to wall packed-there wasn't an empty seat in the house!

We were served a traditional high tea, with moscato and soup and a sandwich. Not to mention the house is gorgeous and full of history! It was delicious and I highly suggest getting your girlfriends, your mom or sisters together for the occasion! Can't wait to go back!

Polly's Tea Room on Urbanspoon

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Sunday Social

It's Sunday Social time! Hope everyone has had a great week!

1. Name 4 jobs you've had in your life.

1. Junior Buyer for Belks
2. I was a beer girl/bartender at the biggest bar in its Daytona Beach Spring Break hey day
3. On Air Morning and Weekend Talent
4. Advertising Sales Person

2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over.  

Talladega Nights
You Got Mail

3. Name 4 places you have lived.  I am happy to say that I have lived in Ormond and Daytona Beach my whole life, if you don't count that time I ran to Atlanta for nine weeks.

4. Name 4 of your favorite foods.  penne ala vodka, a big fat steak, corned beef hash and anything Italian.

5. Name 4 things you always carry with you.  my Iphone, my Ipad mini, lip gloss and my wallet!

6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation. My last four-NYC, Boston, Washington DC and San Diego

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Fertility is No Joke

I have been struggling lately and sadly for you, you have to hear about it. Just like every breakup that I have ever had, I have penned quite the letter to send them away...the boy and the feelings of anger, hurt, etc.. I never sent it, and sometimes I would keep it just to remind myself, in ten months is this gonna matter? Raw emotion that make you a little psycho but it gives you a clean slate to move on.
I am a control freak, I am used to going out and getting what I want. I have been disappointed plenty, for sure...but there was always another option to get it done....if that doesn't pan out I would just shift direction or focus. When I had my brain surgery, it changed a lot about my behavior. I sometimes wonder why some of my friends still stick with me. Everything is now black and white, there is no gray area. Sometimes that comes off as not as kind as you would think. Don't get me wrong I am not a complete asshole, I have a huge heart and would give the shirt off my back if you needed. Helping people and making them happy fulfills me. But, sometimes I look at things and vocalize my honest and sometimes not "to be unkind" perspective. Anyway, I am when you want something you go to get it, right? I want a baby.
Things we know
Don't have sex without a condom, you will get pregnant! 
First Comes Love Then Comes Marriage then comes Darlynn with the baby carriage.

Things people have said to me
Why is a woman at a funeral I have never met asking me when we are gonna have children?
Just relax and don't stress and you will become pregnant.
You are thinking about it too much
Just have a lot of sex and then you will get pregnant 

Today will begin the fifth month of fertility treatment. It hasn't been aggressive, only last month did we seek a fertility specialist and I am really glad that we did. As much as I worship (no, really) worship my OBGYN-she will be ready when I get pregnant...a FIRM (thats the name, how cool) that specializes and this makes me feel confident.
This was our first IUI, and I had such high hopes. For a clockwork girl I spent twelve hours yesterday being pretty happy....not so fast said my stupid body. And it failed. And I feel like I have failed. And everyone who is been so great and supportive and been waiting on every moment for this journey, I have failed them too. There is so many people vested because the first new person you see, how is married life, are you all having children...wait you are not drinking-ARE YOU PREGNANT?
 Someone HAS to write a book to make people STOP doing that.
 It would be great and I would do it again and again if I wasnt so physically ill all month long. Or bloated. On top of feeling like a 60 year old woman with hot flashes, I have gained six lbs and none of my pants fit properly.
Because I refuse to be doom and gloom for very long...let me think hard of the positive...I have strengthened bonds with people that I would have never expected. It has been good for our marriage to take this journey and not in that boom chicka bow wow you think (because that scheduled nonsense is the worst). Oh, and I have learned so much about Biology that high school or college could ever teach me. My kitty cat hasn't left my side in twelve hours, so there is that to fall back on...and my incredible mood swings have given me an opportunity to say things that are on my mind without apology.
Oh, and my 40th and a NYC trip will go forth without wondering if I will be tired or sick-Woo Bonus!

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Sunday Social

Sunday Social time and the theme is Thanksgiving! My absolute FAVORITE holiday! LOVE LOVE LOVE so so so many things about this time. For one, the food that is served at Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite and all the traditions and the things that my family does every year makes it a perfect day.

When I was a going out queen, the night before Thanksgiving was always a really fun time. I have memories galore from each year. Now, I rather wake up at the crack of dawn, check on my cooking and crack open that champagne-there is a parade to watch! Don't judge its Thanksgiving!

This Weeks Questions:
Favorite Thanksgiving Memory: Oh how does one pick just pick A memory! I have so many! The going out the night before has always led to some stories to tell for a lifetime. One year, I woke up at 4a on Thanksgiving Day in a houseful of friends and thought it would really nice if I gave everyone some water and Tylenol-Florence Nightingale style. Turns out it was Tylenol PM. Yup, I was cursed up and down that day but now we can laugh about it.  
Favorite Thanksgiving Food: For the past five or so years I have been in charge of our family recipe stuffing. Its completely from scratch and there is a labor of love involved but it is worth it. Also even I am the only person in my family that eats it-pearl onions please
What is a Thanksgiving Tradition you and your family have? Family meaning me and the kitties is to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. It is hard to believe I have never been! Every year I cry when the Rockettes perform, I have no idea why! Last year was special because I had the chance to perform with them in rehearsal that fall. Last year my girlfriend Kym who shares my passion for the parade came over and we had a mini pajama party! I hope she will come over again! I also watch the musical parts with complete concentration...I am so obsessed.
Show us a favorite Thanksgiving picture(or 5) from years past:
So this is me making said stuffing. Yes my hands are surgical clean but it is the only way to mix all this awesomeness properly! 
This is the year that was full of laughs and fun in my sister's new house. My jacket I had just received from raising over $2500 in our local American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Walk.
What are you most looking forward to about this Thanksgiving? Oh! How much time do you have!?
My first Thanksgiving as a married lady! 
My last Thanksgiving (and week as it is) in my 30's!
I hope we will have good news to share! 
In two days from Thanksgiving, we go to Gainesville to watch FSU and Florida, the biggest rivalry of the season, this one more important as the Seminoles make their way to the BCS bowl. I hope!! 
And in two days from that I will be 40, in three days-we will be in NYC! How awesome and exciting! 

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Making Feedly Work For Your Social Media Content

I have obsessive compulsive disorder of the worst kind. As I lay here working in bed on a Saturday morning, there is laundry to put away, kitty litter to clean, etc....there is prob a dirty dish in the sink. So, when I claim that I have OCD, it is selective. The worst OCD I have is in my work life. I actually think that this is a good thing because it keeps me incredibly organized, and streamlined. I am constantly trying to find different ways to simplify my work process. If nothing else, prob a part of me wants to work smarter not harder. Who wants to wants to work harder, or more? Not this girl.

Flipboard is a RSS platform that is gaining a ton of popularity. It has replaced many a Google Reader and has hit almost 90 million users. From Wikipedia, Flipboard is a social-network aggregation, magazine-format application software for Android and iOS.It collects the content of social media and other websites and presents it in magazine format and allows users to "flip" through their social-networking feeds and feeds from websites that have partnered with the company. It is primarily used for your iPad or iPhone but there is a Flip It widget that you can add articles from your PC.

As an information reading junkie, I found Flipboard to be a little overwhelming at first. I would really love the opportunity to put all my subscriptions into a magazine I choose and let it populate automatically instead of having to do it manually. This morning, with very little coffee, I found a good work around that will give me one magazine with all the sources that I want in it.

Using Twitter lists, I have created a list of all the Twitter accounts that I want to follow and then made a magazine from the account section of Flipboard. In hoping that the sources that I choose are savvy enough to push the content that they write to Twitter, I should be able to capture most of my information in one place. I also will be able to adjust my social feeds and weed out subscriptions that are not working for me.

What are your experiences with Flipboard? 

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Thursday Thoughts

Hope everyone is having a great week! I have been working hard on getting organized with work and life lately. I have been making a bunch of headway, its been very cleansing. I like when I get in this mode, very focussed on making my life work better. I would like to inform you that I just wrote more better, but erased it.

Maybe its the change of weather or the changes we have been making to our future (news on that soon!) but it has been a great week.

A couple of things moved me this week and I posted them to Facebook in hopes it would inspire others.

I swear I have said "We'll figure it out" more times than I could ever count. It really is a good mantra because it means, lets not freak out or bring the drama...lets just put our heads together and figure it out.

This is a beautiful saying and it goes along with the week I have. I wish I could read this every day. 

There is a girl I have never heard before, her name is Hannah Brencher and I came across this article about 25 things women should know. There seems to be a resurgence of 25 things for this or that, so I didn't think I would be so blown away. I am looking forward to reading more things from Hannah and probably beat myself a little for just now getting on her train. Please take five seconds and click on the link and learn.

I recently made a new Twitter friend in Melanie, from What The Rep Should Do. She and I share an admiration for Bethenny and she headed me up to a ridiculous Omarosa interview....she wrote a great blog about it here. Check it out! 

Here's for a great weekend!! 

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Pumpkin Cocktails with Alibi American Whiskey

Now that our trick-or-treating days are over, the Halloween themed drinks and dishes are the best part of the spooky holiday. Alibi American Whiskey has created the perfect Pumpkin Patch Julep to add to your holiday inspired menu.

My husband is a big fan of Alibi American Whiskey, Alibi American Whiskey is a smooth 90 proof blended whiskey that is easy to drink; any way you want to drink it. Alibi is excellent for shooting, sipping with your favorite beer or mixing with your favorite juice, soda or as a key ingredient in a great cocktail.

Alibi is different than many of the small batch, single barrel, or micro distillery whiskeys that have come to market in recent years – no offense to them. Alibi is not there to be fussed over, debated or used as a muse for a seminar. It is not about its age or aroma – heritage or flavor notes. Alibi is there to be a part of a great night with friends, a night that hopefully ends up with a great story and probably the need for, well, an Alibi.

Find them on the web, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Pumpkin Patch Julep

2 oz Alibi American Whiskey
1.5 oz homemade pumpkin butter (see below recipe)
1/2 oz orgeat syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake vigorously with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass or hollowed pumpkin. 
Garnish with a slice of pear, a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of nutmeg

Pumpkin Butter
makes ~2 pints
3-4 pound sugar pumpkin (aka pie pumpkin)
1 chopped sweet apple, skins removed
3/4 cup demerara sugar (sugar in the raw)
4 tablespoons real maple syrup (not maple-flavored syrup!)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

1.     Cut stem off pumpkin and slice lengthwise. Clean out inside of pumpkin and brush with neutral oil (canola). 
2.     Roast pumpkin facedown in preheated oven at 350F for approximately 45-55 min.
3.     Let cool for 10 minutes and remove skin with spoon.
4.     Add pumpkin meat, apple, sugar, maple syrup, and spices into blender. Blend until smooth.
5.     Spoon mixture into medium sized pot. Make sure there is enough room to top of pot for boiling. Cover with lid and prop open a bit with wooden spoon so that steam can escape. Over med-high heat, bring to a low boil. Reduce to low-med heat and cook for 10 minutes until mixture reaches desired thickness.
6.     Cool completely and stir in lemon juice and salt. 

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First Tastes Fall Menu with Carrabba's

As a blogger, I get a lot of fun opportunities! Last week, I was invited to my favorite restaurants to preview their fall menu. I think I literally heard angels singing when Carrabba's emailed me. No way of them to know, but as a crazy Italian food lover-they are always my go-to when I don't want to cook. I have a million of wonderful memories at our Carrabba's in Daytona and the food is always always good! 

I visited their Sanford, Florida location which is brand new, they opened this summer. I was really loving the new atmosphere & design which was different than the one in Daytona. This new design features an open kitchen, relaxed and casual dining room and bar. The new Carrabba’s look also features a mix of traditional and contemporary design that includes family tables, a kitchen counter and an indoor/outdoor bar. 

They also had an indoor/outdoor bar gives guests the option to sit inside or outside on a patio and may I say I heard some as always great music, Frank Sinatra especially. How can you not eat Italian without Frank? (You can't).

We were sat at family tables which are large tables that seat up to ten people and are perfect for large gatherings of family and friends, a deep-routed Italian tradition. All of our First Tastes came out family style.

When we arrived we met with Virgil Morar, Managing Partner. He told our group a quick history of the restaurant which you can find here. We ordered some house red wine, my favorite and started to get excited for the new items. 

Fire Roasted Mushrooms

First up were the Fire Roasted mushrooms. Fire-roasted cremini mushrooms stuffed with sausage, red bell peppers, fennel, sautéed onion, brioche breadcrumbs, artichoke hearts and romano cheese. They were great! 

Nonna Testa 

Of course every good Italian knows Nonna is grandma in Italian. This pasta dish was creamy and delicious, Penne pasta with wood-grilled chicken, housemade pesto cream made with fresh basil, pine nuts and walnuts, spinach and zucchini, topped with mozzarella and baked until golden brown in our wood-burning oven 

Bistecca Ardente

Hands Down, my favorite! This was so so so good!!! USDA Center-cut sirloin wood-grilled, topped with imported blue cheese, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. It was unbelievable! 

Cedar Planked Fire Salmon 

Pan-seared salmon topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and fire-roasted on a cedar plank, topped with our lemon butter sauce. Served with roasted asparagus, mushrooms and red bell peppers. This was really good! 

Rigatoni Al Forno

I am such a HUGE fan of pasta with lots and lots of ricotta cheese. This was delicious! Rigatoni pasta tossed with our housemade marinara sauce, romano and mozzarella cheese, topped with Italian fennel sausage, mozzarella and fresh milk ricotta cheese then finished in our wood-burning oven until bubbly hot 

Créme Brülée 

This was off the chain! I wanted this dessert to last forever! A rich custard prepared with Madagascar vanilla bean and topped with torched sugar, whipped cream, and strawberries

Check out the First Tastes Menu here and be sure to visit Carrabba's on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you for the wonderful time!! 

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National Apple Month with WearEver Pure Living Bakeware

Not only is harvest season for apples upon us, but October happens to be National Apple Month.Apple Turnovers – the perfect snack to prepare in celebration of Fall. WearEver’s Apple Turnover recipe is easy and quick to prepare, and is sure to be a favorite among your family and friends.

These delicious Apple Turnovers are perfect for baking after your next apple picking trip. They will spice up your kitchen this fall and leave your home smelling wonderful while you feel healthy and happy.

Remember that using the proper bakeware is essential to making recipes perfect! The NEW WearEver Pure Living Bakeware collection features ceramic coated surfaces, which are free of PFOA, PTFE, and cadmium - a safe, eco-friendly alternative to nonstick. Durable and easy-to-use, the bakeware is dishwasher safe, scratch resistant, stain resistant and high temperature resistant, as well as suitable for use with metal utensils.

Apple Turnovers Recipe (courtesy of WearEver)


·         2 tablespoons lemon juice

·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

·         4 cups water

·         1 tablespoon cornstarch

·         4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

·         1 tablespoon water

·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter

·         1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff

·         1 cup brown sugar, packed

·         Pastry sheets, thawed


Preheat oven to 400°F. Use two large ungreased WearEver Cookie Sheets.
Combine the lemon and 4 cups water in a large bowl. Place the sliced apples in the water to keep them from browning.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain water from apples, and place them into the hot skillet. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Pour into the skillet, and mix well. Cook for another minute, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
Unfold puff pastry sheets, and repair any cracks by pressing them back together. Trim each sheet into a square. Then cut each larger square into 4 smaller squares. Spoon apples onto the center of each square. Fold over from corner to corner into a triangle shape, and press edges together to seal. Place turnovers on a baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch between them.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until turnovers are puffed and lightly browned.

Find them on Facebook and on the web or on 

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The World Is Your Oyster for Vivacious Readers

A really cool new app has come my way and if you like to read, this is for you! With Oyster, you can read as many books as you’d like from our ever-growing library of over 100,000 titles, share your activity with friends, and discover your next favorite book. 

This is a dream for me, because I like to bounce from book to book. The monthly subscription is low and it gives you unlimited opportunities to pick whichever book you are in the mood to read without having to read each one. It has just been released out of beta and they are now offering a free month to try it out. Initially released just to the Iphone, you can now read on your Ipad or Ipad mini!  

I am sure once the service grows, the ability to grab more new releases will be available but their selection already is pretty impressive. After hearing the news of Teavana and Starbucks merging and seeing Starbuck's CEO Howard Shultz describing this awesome new venture, it made me want to grab his autobiography Onward for another read. The download was quick and I was reading about this genius entrepreneur in no time. 

Join Oyster on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to grab your free month here.

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A Girl Looks At 40

Today is 40 days before I turn 40!!!!!

Its been a great and exciting year. In some ways, I made the last year of my 30's really count! I got married! My business grew! I traveled! I spoke and traveled! We are trying to have a baby!

Thirty was a little hard to turn, I was broke, throwing myself at some loser who "didn't want a girlfriend" but I was good enough for everything else and my life was very stagnant.

I was very thankful for the start of my 30's and I always say scream this to whoever will listen.

I don't feel that way about ending the journey of being 30. I mean they were long and tumultuous at times, but in some ways there were also a ton of times in this last decade that I laughed so hard I cried and I will treasure those moments forever. I met some of the most amazing people and I really feel that I came into who I really am, what I believe in forever more and what it feels like to truly have your shit together. 

For my 40th birthday, I am going to live as close to my dreams as possible and spend almost a week in NYC, in the West Village and live like a NYer. I am going with just my husband and I. After the last couple of months and the next couple of weeks..I know we will welcome the break.  

Bring on the 40 days!! 

I'm looking forward to the Lighthouse Loops 5K this weekend!!

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Fall For Dukan Diet: Celeb Nutritionist Simone Gloger Talks Weight Loss Coaching

I had a chance to speak with Celebrity Nutritionist, Simone Gloger about the Dukan Diet this weekend and I am so interested in this diet! The Dukan Diet is a physician-formulated lifestyle / weight loss plan consisting of 4 phases that will help you reach and keep your True Weight for life. Within the 4 phases, you will not have to worry about counting calories and it is a low carb diet. Dukan Diet emphasizes on lean proteins, including an unrestricted amount of 100 healthy foods, drinking lots of water and daily walking. Doesn't that sound easy?

I was looking forward to this opportunity to speak with Simone as I was familiar with the diet. My sister in law's niece had great success with it and recently my sister in law herself lost ten lbs following this method. The book The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever was a great starting point for information.

You begin online by calculating your True Weight based on answers to a few short questions. Before beginning The Dukan Diet members calculate their True Weight - a realistic, healthy weight that can be reached and maintained for life. 

The four phases in the Dunkan Diet starts with the Attack Phase. This phase is also known as the Pure Protein (PP) phase. The sudden change in your eating habits triggers a fast and encouraging weight loss, which works to motivate you for the rest of your diet. Simone described this process works because  protein is thermogentic, meaning it requires more heat to digest and and excels water while doing so. The more protein you eat, the more you calories you burn, causing you to lose more weight. This phase can last from two to seven days, where you eat 68 approved lean meats - all you can eat Filet Mignon? This sounds like a vacation!.

The second phase of the Dukan Diet is the Cruise Phase which reintroduces vegetables and establishes the unlimited allowed foods as a base. This will steady your weight loss until you reach your true weight.

The third phase of the Dukan Diet is the Consolidation Phase which will mark the end of the weight loss phase, while retaining the base of Proteins and Vegetables, plus a gradual reintroduction of starchier foods. The objective of the Dukan Diet Consolidation phase is to preserve and maintain your True Weight reached at the end of the Cruise phase.

Finally, the fourth phase of the Dukan Diet is the Stabilization Phase which emphasizes the importance of Permanent Stabilization after your weight loss. Dukan Diets weight loss coaching program offers optional Stabilization Coaching after completion of coaching through the Consolidation phase.

On the Dukan Diet, consuming Oat Bran is very important. It is eaten daily during all four phases. Oat Bran increases its absorptive qualities and creates a feeling of fullness. It binds with other foods in stomach which works as a calorie absorber. You can use Oat bran to can make pancakes, cookies, muffins, etc. I asked Simone what her second choice of Oat Bran would be if we didn't order online and she mentioned Bob's Red Mill which is one of my favorites.

If you have issues staying motivated, you can sign up for a weight loss coach for only $29.95 a month, and you are charged on the total amount of weight you need to lose. Your coaches are available by phone or email and can answer questions through all phases of the diet. When I asked Simone further about this coaching, she gave an example that if you are at the grocery store and have a question regarding allowed foods, you can call or email and they will tell you yes or no (with a substitute). Out at restaurant,and want to know what you can eat? Call your coach. 

Save 25% OFF Coaching for a limited time with Code J13BG25

The book is very helpful, and it has recipes and sauces that you can make even during the Attack phase. I am dying to try this diet because its looks very easily manageable. I enjoyed Simone's honesty and she makes a great coach. We discussed the frustration of those last ten lbs but knowing your True Weight via The Dukan Diet gives you the assurance that you aren't being realistic with your weight loss.

One really cool thing compared to other diets I have done is that exercise is encouraged. Keeping your exercise ongoing works with the diet, instead of against it. That is awesome! Coaches tailor their approach to each individual's Dukan Diet profile and lifestyle, which is essential to long term success.
Your Dukan Diet program is adjusted daily based on a short report from the previous day. And = at less than $1 a day - Dukan Diet Coaching costs less than any other online diet program.

Dukan Diet Coaching is the only truly personalized, interactive, daily online weight - loss program. You can sign up for a Dukan Diet at and extend this exclusive promotional offer: 25% OFF Coaching with Code J13BG25

Follow Dukan Diet on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about their diet and products.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this review of the Dukan Diet. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Never Ever Ever

Another linkup for Never Ever Ever!

This week is a lot more sunshine and rainbows than last week! 

Never Ever Ever

Will my brain wrap around the thought that it will be very soon to start thinking about the holidays

Will I stop looking for things to do on our trip to NYC. I want this to be the best trip ever.

Will I organize the back room, it looks terrible!

Will I stop loving this quote from Brené Brown

You can't do anything brave if you're wearing the straightjacket of 'What will people think?'"

Will I not want to get totally organized.

Will I stop liking house hunting, it was so so fun! 

What will you Never, Ever Ever? 

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Guest Blog: A Divine Duo: Denim and Leather

Hi Guys! I am crazy busy today and wanted to introduce you to Lissa Cole, who was nice enough to blog for me! 

Lissa Cole is a fashion major who loves to mix and match trends. When not shopping indoors, she enjoys outdoor activities such as mountain biking, running, and canoeing. 

Some of the fashion world’s most successful trends have come from great pairings. But not just any pairing can withstand the chaotic, ever-changing styles of the ages. Representing a harmonious balance between rustic and chic, the classic combination of leather and denim is one of the few unions, which continues to endure fashion through each decade. 

The new face of denim’s love affair with leather is taking on the trendy role of luxurious, urban cowboy. The contrast between soft, supple leather and distressed denim is bold, versatile and a little bit dangerous. Everyone can afford to incorporate the dynamic duo into their wardrobe with Kohls coupons, seasonal department sales and online promotional codes. 

Here are just a few of the ways to rock this classic combo:


A more feminine way to wear denim and leather is the popular denim dress accessorized with a finely braided, leather belt trend that can be found in stores all over the world. It is also one of the most affordable looks, since denim is much more economical than true leather goods. 


The traditional combination, made famous by bikers mostly, is the infamous leather jacket with distressed jeans or denim shorts look. Mix in a catchy t-shirt and some statement shoes, and you’ve got a staple look to last you a lifetime. Even though leather jackets can be a bit pricey, their longevity makes them worth every penny. 


Many think of vests as being overly proper, but a denim vest paired with leather pants is anything, but prim. It’s daring and original. Only those with a strong sense of individuality and creativity in their style will likely go for this look. Try leather or imitation leather leggings as an affordable alternative to leather pants. 


One of the sexiest leather and denim combos at the moment is the flirty, leather skirt matched with an 80’s style, jean jacket. It’s a fun way to take the edge off of a, traditionally, hardcore look. Leather skirts are now available as mini, pencil, pleated and more! 

Button Up Shirts-

The last look of the day is perfect for slimming any waistline. Nothing creates a clean profile more than a tightly fitted, denim button up tucked in with a wide, leather belt. It’s cute. It’s casual. It’s an easy look to transcend day or night. 

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