Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Surf Sweets - Gluten-Free, Organically Sweetened Candy Just In Time For Easter! #REVIEW

I'm SUPER excited to tell you about the amazing new candy I found through Surf Sweets!
Not only is Surf Sweets GLUTEN-FREE, but it's also oranically sweetened, which will make your Easter snacks a whole lot healthier!

Surf Sweets products are:
~Free of Artificial Colors and Flavors
~Non-GMO Project Verified
~Gluten-Free
~Corn Syrup-Free/ Dairy-Free/ Casein-Free
~Allergy Friendly - Free of the 10 Most Common Allergens
~100% recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C per serving
~Made with Organic Fruit Juice and Sweeteners


So, let me get straight to the good stuff and tell you about all the amazing products they sent me to review you can stuff your kids' Easter baskets with! (Don't worry, I taste tested EVERYTHING for you, so you wouldn't wonder whether or not they were really good....cuz they are....and they may all be gone, just sayin'!)


Oh MAN, do I LOVE a good jelly bean!!!  These are top notch jelly beans, and this is coming from a Jelly Belly addict.  They are absolutely perfect and they have THE BEST crunchy little outer shell a jelly bean could ever have.  These are the Organic Spring Mix Jelly Beans which include Tropical Punch, Lemonade, Mixed Berry, Pineapple, Tangerine and Watermelon!  YUMMMMMMMY!!!  These are my new favorites!  

These are the regular Organic Jelly Beans and the Organic Fruity Bears.  The jelly beans include Cherry, Grapefruit, Grape, Lemon, Strawberry and Orange.  Let me tell you, they are incredible!!!  Again, the best jelly beans I've ever had!  Not a bad flavor in the bunch!

The Fruity bears TOTALLY take me back to my childhood!  They're delicious and lightly sugar coated.  They coming in several flavors, including Cherry, Grapefruit, Grape, Lemon, Strawberry and Orange.  They're vegan too!





I don't think I can stress enough how delicious these gummy treats are.  Back when I was in high school, I used to stop and get a bag of peach rings every Thursday on my way to Chamber Singers practice along with a French Vanilla Cappuccino.  (Healthy, right?!)  This TOTALLY brought me back!  These did not disappoint!  I was a little hesitant trying the watermelon rings for some reason, but you know what?!  I LOVED them...even more than the peach rings and I didn't think that would ever be possible!
They're vegan too!




If you're into the not-so-sweet type of treat, then the Organic Original Fruit Chews are TOTALLY for you!  These are soft and delicious.  They are lightly sweetened and won't break your teeth if you know what I mean!

The Choco Chews are definitely chewy.  They are the perfect amount of chocolitiness in your mouth! (I think I just made that word up and I'm keeping it!)  They definitely soften up as you chew and are extremely addicting!  (You've been warned!)



Surf Sweets are available in natural and organic grocery stores across the country including Whole Foods and online at Amazon.com and NaturalCandyStore.com.  Visit www.surfsweets.com

*DISCLAIMER: I was sent all of the above photographed products for free in exchange for this review.  I was not given any monetary compensation otherwise.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Red Wine and Garlic Sirloin Tip Roast

I love when I walk into the meat market and the butcher tells me what's on sale because it provides such inspiration!  Plus, I like to save a buck or two!  Who doesn't, right?!

Red wine.  Let's talk red wine.  I needed an excuse to break open a bottle.   Truly, I did.  I used half for this roast and the other half?  Well, let's just say it was put to good use ;)

If you've never had a sirloin tip roast before, you're missing out.  They are super lean and cook up beautifully!  This recipe is fool proof.  I mean, seriously, it's one of my easiest recipes to throw together, so ANYONE can do this!

Let's talk garlic now.  I absolutely adore garlic.  Garlic and red wine make a mighty fine team, let me tell ya!  I left all my garlic cloves whole for this recipe, but I kind wished I had thrown them into my food processor and SLATHERED the yumminess all over my roast.  When I make this again, that's what I plan to do.  So, make this recipe as is below, OR do as I just mentioned.  I think you'll find the extra step totally garlicriffic! ;)


Servings: 4-6 

Ingredients:
24 oz. mini yellow potatoes
2.5 lb. sirloin tip roast
20 garlic cloves
2 cups baby carrots
1 head green cabbage, cut into chunks
2 cups red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: (Use a 7 quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.)
Place the potatoes and half of the garlic cloves into the bottom of your crock.

Next. place the sirloin tip roast on top and salt and pepper well on both sides.

Place the remaining garlic cloves on top of the roast.

Place the carrots around the roast.

Place the cabbage on top and salt and pepper it.

Pour the red wine over the top.

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
Enjoy!





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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

3 Bean and Ham Soup - Gluten-Free

It's been a while since I've made a soup THIS delicious.  No, seriously.  My husband is very honest.  He tells it like it is....even when I don't want to hear it.   He said, and I quote, "Usually your soups are just, well....they just taste 'blah.'  (Gee, thanks honey! LOL)  This time, however, I heard "wow, this is good!" at least 6-7 times.  It was so good there are absolutely no leftovers after the second night!  Not a drop.  I'm pretty sure he licked his bowl clean as well...just sayin'!

How did I make this delicious magic happen?  It complicated, really.....no, not really.  Honestly, I grabbed some beans from my cupboard, took a ham bone from Christmas out of my freezer and added in some veggies from my fridge.  The rest, well, it magically just all came together PERFECTLY!  I would give this soup a 10/10.

Am I suggesting you make this instantly?  Why, yes.  I certainly am.  You can drool over the pic first, but then off....off you go!  Go make this! ;)


Servings: 8-10 Servings

Ingredients:
1/3 cup dry black beans
1/3 cup dry black-eyed peas
1/3 cup dry pinto beans
water to soak the beans in
1 ham bone
1 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
6 cups water

Directions: (You will need a 6 quart or larger slow cooker for this recipe)
The night before you want to make this, place your beans (sorted of course) in a pot and cover them with water by a few inches.  Let them soak overnight.  In the morning, drain and rinse them.

Place your drained and rinsed beans into the crock.

Add in the ham bone with the onions, carrots and celery.


Next, add in the garlic, salt, basil, onion powder, herbes de provence, and pepper.

Finally, add in the chicken stock and water.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.
Remove the ham bone, scrape off all meat and discard any bone, cartilage or fat you find.  Place all of the meat back into the soup and stir.
Serve and Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Snapware® Total Solution® Collection Review, Sweepstakes AND GIVEAWAY!

I am in LOVE with my new Snapware® Total Solution® 10 Piece Collection!!!

Do you know what I love most about these?  They are SO easy to use.  Seriously!  The top just "clicks" on in about 2-3 quick seconds.  No more second guessing whether or not the lid is actually on.  (That's not a fun game especially when you have liquids inside.  OYE!) I made a super quick video to show you how incredibly easy and quick these are to use...check it out!


To inspire at-home cooks and families looking for hearty and delicious soups this winter, Chef Lagasse will be sharing some of his favorite soup recipes on www.facebook.com/snapware, along with tips and tricks for perfecting soup. Prep, storage and transportation is a “snap” with the Snapware® Total Solution® collection, which combines an air-tight and leak-proof, four-latch plastic lid with either a plastic or Pyrex® oven-safe glass vessel. Soups, sauces and more can be transported on-the-go without worries of leaks.  I have been using my Snapware for a couple of weeks now and have been 100% satisfied with how these perform.  

Sweepstakes Information:
January 7 through January 31, 2015, fans can visit the Snapware brand Facebook page to enter the Snapware® Winter Warm-Up Sweepstakes daily for the chance to escape the cold with a trip for four to Orlando, including airfare, accommodations, dinner at Emeril’s Orlando restaurant, tickets to local attractions, a suite of Snapware and more! Weekly winners will also receive a Snapware prize pack to prep and store with ease.

To learn more about the Snapware Winter Warm-Up, enter to win and view the official sweepstakes rules, visit the Snapware Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Snapware.

Would you like to win a Snapware® Total Solution® Collection for yourself?!
Comment below with what your favorite leftover food is?  What do you think tastes even better the next day?
This giveaway will will close on January 31, 2015

*Disclaimer: I was given this product in exchange for this review and giveaway.  My opinion may differ from others'.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mexican Shredded Beef

After the "race to the finish line" with the cookbook, I was exhausted.  I literally took 2 weeks of from any cooking whatsoever!  My husband is a saint.  He took care of it all for me.  

When I got back to cooking (finally!) I decided something super easy was a great way to dip my toes back in ;)  So, I came up with this SUPER easy Mexican Shredded Beef!

You throw a few ingredients in your crock, shred the beef when it's done and dinner is ready!  This beef is so versatile you can eat it many different ways.  You can eat it on nachos, in tacos, burritos, on a salad, over rice, over quinoa, etc.

Did I mention it's only 4 ingredients????  Just sayin'!


Servings: 10-12 

Ingredients:
3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies (hot or mild)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cups salsa

Directions: (Use a 3-4 Quart slow cooker)
Place the roast into your crock and pour the contents of the green chilies (juices too) over the roast and add the garlic.

Pour the salsa over the top.

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, r on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
After the cook time is up, remove the beef and shred it between 2 forks.  Stir it back through the juices or for a lower fat version, just remove the beef, shred it and add in just a little juice. (That's what we did)

Serve this however you would like!
Enjoy!


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Monday, December 8, 2014

An Update on the new Cookbook!

First, I have to apologize for being MIA for so long!  I promise you, I think about all of you every day!  I'm SUPER good at over-extending myself and I REALLY over-extended myself these past 3 months.  Choosing to write a cookbook in 3 months is one of the most insane things I've ever done....all while working full-time, being a mom, being a wife, teaching FitAddict Training Classes, teaching Essential Oils classes, helping direct the Children's Choir at Church, preparing my school kids for their winter performance, joining the church choir and conducting the Christmas Cantata and trying to SURVIVE!!!  So yeah, I was in survival mode.  I'm still coming down from all of this because I'm still knee deep until the Christmas season is over.

So, I'm sure you want to know what's going on with the NEW cookbook!  Well, I'm here to tell you that last Monday, Dec. 1 at 1:00 a.m., I submitted my final manuscript.  The photographer is shooting for the book this week and I'm now working with the copy editor.  It's all very, very exciting and an incredible whirlwind!!!  I don't have a date on when the cookbook will be released, but from what I was originally told, it should be in the Fall of 2015.  So, not terribly far away, but still a ways off.

Let me tell you a little bit about what it's like to cook and create over 100 recipes in 3 months while working full-time.  LOL  The first thing I will say about it is, OMG!  LOL  It's not as fun as you might imagine, LOL!  Or rather, it's fun because I like a good challenge!  I really haven't met a challenge yet I haven't met or exceeded.  That's just how I roll! ;)  Thank GOODNESS I have like 10 Slow Cookers!  I have used them all to their maximum potential!  My neighbors have received food, my freezer is stocked and the teachers at school are pretty much all my new besties!  They've been eating well ;)  Below is what I like to call my "grand finale" which occurred on Thanksgiving.  I had a Cranberry Glazed Turkey in the oven (but a version of this will go in the cookbook,) stuffing (because you have to have stuffing on Thanksgiving!) Crustless Pumpkin Pie, Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes, Brown Sugar Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Honey Lemon Glazed Carrots, Apple Berry Crisp and a Strawberry Orange Sauce!  PHEW!!!!  We ate really well on Thanksgiving and the days after!



 



The good news is, NEW RECIPES WILL BE COMING SOON!  Ones I can actually share with you! See, I couldn't cook the volume of recipes I had to cook for the cookbook and post new recipes at the same time.  Everything I have made the past 3 months goes exclusively into the new cookbook!  I can't wait for you to see it!  It's going to be amazing!  The recipes are incredible.  Some of my best work, if I do say so myself.

Again, thank you for "sticking with me!"  I know it's been a long, quiet 3 months from me, but I'm working my way back into posting and promise there will be new, incredible, healthy and delicious gluten-free recipes coming your way soon!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Mini-Holiday Gift Guide - For the Whole Family!

Tis the season for giving, right?  I mean, Halloween is just around the corner, but most of us are already thinking about and planning gifts for the Holidays to come.

So, I thought I'd take some of the worry away by sharing a few neat products with you.  There are options below for mom, dad, the kids, aunt and uncles, grandparents...the whole fandamily!

The Kids

 KidDesigns Frozen Magical MP3 Microphone
If you have a FROZEN fan in the house, this is a must-have!  You can use it as just a plain microphone, you can sing a long to the pre-recorded music, or you can plug it into any mp3 device and sing a long with any of your favorite tunes!  My daughter hasn't put it down since it came and when she does, my son picks it right up! You can purchase it here.






Delta Children Cars Deluxe Upholstered Chair



Any little boy in your life would LOVE this chair!  My little guy is 3 and he has been in heaven ever since setting eyes on this chair!  It looks like Mater and Lightening McQueen rolled into one, which is the best part about this chair in my son's opinion.  It's well-made and a nice comfy cozy place for your little one to curl up in and read a book, or watch their favorite TV show or movie.  You can purchase it here



Fashion Delightful Dollhouse
This colorful dollhouse is a HUGE hit in our house!  This dollhouse is around 4 feet tall and has lots of rooms for your little one to play with!  Ella's not so much into Barbie dolls, but this house works for any little friends....like Pooh Bear and Strawberry Shortcake!  The dollhouse is fairly easy to assemble and will provide hours of fun!  For the full review and where you can purchase this product, please visit week99er.com 








LeapFrog LeapBand
 I have to tell you, this device is ADORABLE!  It hasn't left Gavin's side since he received it!  The LeapBand is an interactive fitness band that helps active kids stay active and can help spark that activeness waiting to get out of your child!  It's customizable, parental controlled and water resistant!  For a full review on the LeapBand and for information on where to purchase this product, please visit week99er.com






The Adults

 Proper Pillow
I've been sleeping on this pillow for about a month now.  I'm LOVING it!  It's firm, but yet conforms to help keep your head and neck in the proper position when you sleep so you don't wake up with kinks.  This amazing pillow is washable and dry-able, which keeps it hypoallergenic.  You can purchase the Proper Pillow here.






My Charge Energy Shot
How about grabbing a handy little USB charger as a stylish and useful stocking stuffer!  This little guys packs a lot of punch, with adding up to 9 more hours of talk time!  For the full review and where to purchase this, please visit week99er.com




West Loop Travel Mugs

I know from experience the West Loop travel mugs are the best, as we've used a lot of different brands in this house.  These guys can keep your beverages hot for up to 5 hours, or cold for up to 12 hours.  For a full review and where to purchase these, please visit week99er.com





Hamilton Beach Set n' Forget Programmable Slow Cooker


You can never go wrong with getting someone a new slow cooker.  Let's be real here...you can never have too many slow cookers!!!!!!!  This 6 quart programmable slow cooker is completely digital and programmable with 30 minute increments on high or low.  For the full review and where you can purchase this product, please visit week99er.com

*Disclaimer: I was provided with the microphone, pillow and chair in exchange for this post.  The other reviews were used with permission from www.week99er.com.  All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may differ from others'.
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