Saturday, November 27, 2010


Sorry for the delay! But it's winners time!

Since there was only one person entering on the Lemon Pepper Panko and autographed cookbook giveaway, Congratulations Vanessa! An e-mail will be going out to you in just a few!

Annnd for the Hershey's Moderation nation, picked comment number 2!

Congrats to Cheryl F. The Lucky Ladybug! Email will be going out in just a few minutes!

You ladies have 48 hours to respond! Thanks for reading and entering!
All prizes will be shipped by myblogspark :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Timeeee Of The Year! Holiday cards ahoy!

I have a confession. I have never once sent out photo cards for any occasion. I have always loved receiving them, and this year, I'm going to do it! We are taking a family photo and I am going to be sending out actual photo cards, instead of the plain ol' cards you can buy from the store. And I'm excited. We just need our first snow, because I can't have a family holiday picture without snow! And I think there is a better chance of snow coming before us actually getting a christmas tree set up. 

What woke up this need you ask? I discovered through Kate over at Some Dreams Come True that this year, Shutterfly is offering 50 free photo cards to bloggers! This is a great opportunity to see if I will be joining the ranks of the photo cards this year, as I have been impressed with everything I've ordered from them thus far.

The first step for me was to browse the internet and see what was out there! I could just make my own in photoshop, but I'm so busy I forget to sleep half the time. I've ordered from Shutterfly in the past, prints of photos, and a photo book, and the quality has always been superb! And their holiday cards do NOT disappoint! So many designs to choose from! I'm going to have a hard time deciding! I made some test cards on the site, since we don't have our actual photo yet, and I love the way they turned out!

Everyone loves wedding photos!

Or maybe cards with our dear dogger Riley!

 The possibilities are endless. I hope that we are able to take our photo soon, so that I can get to the task of choosing my design! Or designs... since I'm really indecisive sometimes!

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly  

You can also make tons of fun gifts for friends and family to go with your cards, such as:
Calendars and Personalized Mugs.
Who doesn't love something a little more personal?

I received a promo code in exchange for creating this post, but all the opinions are my own.

Also, if you haven't entered yet, I have 2 giveaways going on right now that end this coming Saturday, and VERY low entires on them = higher odds of winning!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko and Chef Chiarello CookBook Review & Giveaway!

Another giveaway?! Really?!?!
The chef’s secret is out – panko is in! A longtime secret of Japanese cuisine, panko is now a pantry staple for creating perfect crispiness in any dish. This October, Lemon Pepper will join the ranks of Progresso’s line of panko bread crumbs, which includes Original and Italian flavors. 

Whether frying, baking or broiling, this culinary superstar adds a flavorful crunch to create simple, savory recipes. Made from the soft, tender centers of the bread, Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko combines the perfect crunch with effortless flavor to give any dish that extra punch. The large, flaky crumb has a coarser texture than traditional bread crumbs, delivering a lighter, crunchier coating or topping. I have been using panko in place of breadcrumbs in my recipes, and you can most definitely tell the difference, taste and appearance wise!

A chef known for creating delicious dishes with fresh, premium ingredients, Chef Michael Chiarello uses panko as his go-to bread crumb for a crunch that won’t quit. An Emmy-award winning TV chef and cookbook author, Chef Chiarello is the tastemaker behind Bottega Napa Valley Restaurant, NapaStyle and Chiarello Family Vineyards, and appears on The Cooking Channel and Top Chef Masters only on Bravo.

Chef Chiarello is helping cooks everywhere use Progresso’s panko to make flavorful, flawless recipes including Crispy Seafood Salad, Mama Chiarello's Stuffed Eggplant and Turkey Scallopini and Squash Ravioli with Cranberry Brown Butter.  His cookbook Bottega features some drool-worthy recipes that I cannot WAIT to make, such as Potato Gnocchi Ravioli with Egg Yolk and Sage Brown Butter and Roasted Branch of Brussels Sprouts with Fennel Spice. YUM! Don't those sound delicious?!

Visit the Progresso website for additional recipes, tips for cooking with panko, video and a coupon for $1 off any panko flavor.

Be sure to check out the Progresso's Wine & Dine with Chef Michael Chiarello Sweepstakes. Now through December 31st, participants can enter for the chance to win a trip for two to Napa Valley to attend the Spring Bud Break Party, an annual dinner and wine tasting event taking place on May 7, 2011. In addition to two tickets to the party, the grand prize also includes roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations. Visit for the sweepstakes rules and entry form.  

The book is not only beautiful, but FULL of delicious gourmet recipes. The Lemon Pepper Panko is delicious, and a welcome addition to Progresso's line of panko! Who doesn't love nice crunchy food?!

The kind people at General Mills and MyBlogSpark provided me with a prize pack containing a package of lemon pepper panko, and an autographed copy of Chef Chiarello's cookbook Bottega to facilitate my review. 
Not only that, but they are also providing another prize pack to one of my lucky readers!

How To Enter:
(mandatory entry, +1) - Become a public follower of my blog (if you're already a follower, just state that in a comment as well)
(2 entries) - Tell me what kind of dish you would create with lemon pepper panko?
(2 entries) - Post my button on your blog, then come back and leave the link where it is posted!

That's 5 chances per person to win this amazing prize pack!

Contest will end on Sunday, November 21st, at 9 PM CST, and is open only to US residents!

Good luck!

DISCLOSURE: The information and giveaway were given to me from General Mills through MyBlogSpark. I was provided with a gift pack for my participation.

MyBlogSpark: Hershey's Moderation Nation Giveaway!

Who is ready for a giveaway?!?!?!

Between your busy schedule and responsibilities with work, friends and family – it may be challenging to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, especially while on the go. However, what if you had free easy-to-follow advice and resources right at your finger tips?  

I was approached by My Blog Spark & Hershey's to review the site , and was provided with a free prize pack including a Moderation Nation T-shirt, a Food Journal w/pen & a bag of Hershey Kisses. 

With Moderation Nation, a new national program created by the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition, (HCHN) in collaboration with the American Dietetic Association, you can now have access to a variety of tools that will help you achieve moderation – and you don’t even need to give up your favorite foods! 

The Moderation Nation Web site ( provides a host of new tools for you and everyone you know, including:
  • Recipes and Expert Tips. Here you’ll find advice from Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian (RD) for NBC's The Biggest Loser, award-winning chef and New York Times best-selling cookbook author
    • Additional recipes and tips from Regina Ragone, Food Director at Family Circle magazine; Keri Glassman, author of the O2 diet; and Liz Ward, author of Expect the Best Pregnancy.
  • Moderation Menus. Seven-day meal plans – with snack ideas – that will help you plan out your week. Each menu is based on an individual lifestyle, such as Single, Adults with Kids and Adults with No Kids.
  • Balance the Meal. This cool balancer tool allows you to input your main dish and its preparation method; in return, you’ll receive ideas for complementary side dishes that round out the meal smartly. Trouble making decisions anyone?? I know I have that problem!
  • Useful Facts. Here you’ll find everything from a “portion distortion” guide - providing cues on what actual portion sizes should look like – to a grocery shopping fact sheet – to a guide on how to start and maintain a food journal.
Some of these recipes sound to DIE for! Such as Cheryl Forberg's Caponata (Roasted Eggplant Salad) and Keri Glassman's Banana Pops! Will definitely be trying a few of these recipes out!

My favorite thing on the website was definitely the Perfect Portion fact sheet, which give you portions, and a visual aid to help you maintain those, such as a deck of cards for 3 ounces of meat. Great tool to have around!

Would you like to win one of these prize packs?!
The lovely people at MyBlogSpark and Hershey's have offered an additional prize pack up for grabs to one of my readers! (Same prize pack I received!)

Here is how to enter:
(Mandatory - 1 Entry) - Become a follower of my blog (current followers count too! just leave me a comment saying you follow!)
(2 entries) - Go to The Moderation Nation website, look around, come back and tell me what your favorite feature is, or what you think you will benefit most from
(2 entries) - place my button on your blog, and come back and leave a link where I can find it!

Please leave separate comments for each thing completed. That gives everyone 5 chances to win!

* Disclaimer:  I was provided with a complimentary prize pack from Hershey/MyBlogSpark to use for my review, but my opinion is my own.  I received no monetary compensation for this review.  Hershey/MyBlogSpark is providing the  Prize Pack for the giveway *

Contest will end Sunday, November 21st at 8 PM CST, and is only open to US residents!

Good luck! <3

Friday, November 5, 2010

Life... or Something like it!

BUSY. Anyone feel me?! Life has been crazy between trying to maintain a social life, and working full time hours and going to school. It leaves me with ONLY Sunday off during the week.

The new job is going swimmingly. My orientation is officially over at the end of next week, so I'm pretty excited, as well as nervous to be working without direct supervision, but I know I can do it.

I'm planning to have a DVD release party for the Twilight Saga : Eclipse release on December 4th. I have been gathering supplies, and sent out my invitations yesterday. It should be a blast! I will definitely post pictures when it's all done! Red and black and feathers, OH MY! Definitely looking forward to that night!

I've already got the bulk of my christmas shopping done. All that is left is grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And my work magically gave me Black Friday off! I have not been off on Black Friday in 6 years. I'm looking forward to all the leaks of the ads. I've been eyeballing me the Cricut Expression, and my fingers are crossed that there is a good deal on them that AM! 

I have to run now though! I leave you with a picture of Riley on Halloween! I know it's a bit late, but everyone likes cuteness right?!
He makes such a cute banana split!
Other Halloween photos:
My wolf pumpkin! I'm amazed it came out as decent as it did!
Me and the hubs with our pumpkins :)

Have a great day all! 

Have I Mentioned....

Just how much I adore Swagbucks!?!
I joined back in May of this year, and have been stockpiling giftcards since then. Originally I was going to save up for a Wii Fit package, but I changed my mind not long ago. Today it happened
I placed my order!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

Granted, it's not an expensive lens by any means, but it has had fantastic reviews from everyone I have spoken to. So I ordered it this morning!

Total Price: $99.85 gift cards earned through Swagbucks: $70.00

Leftover balance from old gift card won via blog giveaway : $1.06

Total cost for me: $28.79 

I could not be more excited! 

And Swagbucks has made it even easier to earn! They recently launched Swagbucks TV, where you can watch videos (and they're actually entertaining videos! Not lame advertisements) While you are watching videos, you may be randomly awarded with Swagbucks! My first day watching vids, I earned 15 Swagbucks within 15 minutes. And there are plenty of other ways to earn too!


If you havent' already signed up, why  not give it a try? I love getting deals, and with being able to earn all these gift cards, it makes it easier for me to save money :)

Click the link below to sign up if you are interested!

Search & Win