Thursday, September 30, 2010

Popping up a Give-away with CSN Stores!

Have you shopped CSN Stores yet? If so, then you already know how Fantastic the
deals are and how exceptional the selection is. If you haven't shopped CSN... Well,
then you're Missing out. Big time! CSN Stores truly is one great, on-line shopping
destination - No matter what's on your need or Wish list. Need a beautiful round
coffee table? They have them in every style to fit every budget. Personally, I am
in love with this little number; however, it'd require a complete Decor overhaul!
But whether you're in the market for a $10,000.00
coffee table or a $139.00 coffee table, like this one...
Or you're not in the market for a new coffee table at all but want to Shop for something
else to enhance your kitchen, garden, bedroom, bathroom, fitness or you fill-in-the-blank,
life, you'll want to make CSN Stores your next shopping stop today! So what about
that Give-away, you say? Well, the nice people at CSN Stores asked me to invite
you to show some love to their coffee table store, and in
exchange, they'll provide one Lucky reader with a $20 credit off any order
placed with any of the hundreds of retailers partnered with CSN Stores!    
I placed an order with CSN Stores for this Super-fun popcorn maker! Why? Well,
except for the obvious reasons... We love popcorn... I found that by ordering this
popcorn-cutie through CSN Stores, I got a great deal, (meaning nice discount)
superb customer service and Free shipping! Now, what's better than Free?
Let's start Popping, shall we?  
 This machine arrived assembled, (Whew!) and is so easy to use. Even I can do it!
 I wish the boys were home... They both love popcorn!
Can you imagine how fun this would be in a home-cinema
or game room? Little kids would go crazy for it too!
 This so beats the Microwave stuff! This sweet machine brings my popcorn
popping to a whole other level. It's an experience, really. The sound, the
smell... The anticipation of fresh, hot popcorn makes this a must-have!
 Popcorn just like at the movies... Or the snack-bar at Target!
I think it's Movie-time!
 To enter the Give-away for the $20 CSN Stores credit, tell me which
coffee table at best suits your home's decor in the
comments section. For extra entries, tell me you've Tweeted my
give-away and/or linked to it at your own blog. Winner will be
chosen at random and announced Wednesday October 6th!

A big Thanks to CSN Stores for providing this give-away to one of my readers!

In the interest of Full Disclosure
I was not compensated for this review. CSN Stores offered to allow me to use the $20 credit toward my own order or give it away. I elected to purchase the popcorn maker at my own expense so that I might provide you with a completely unbiased opinion of the selection, value and quality of the merchandise offered through CSN Stores. CSN Stores passed my tests with flying colors, and that's why you're hearing about them here!

HUGE thanks to all that visited my blog, and took the time to enter!
Congratulations goes to reader, Michele!

The Coupon Goddess and Yours Truly!

I'm guest-hosting today for The Coupon Goddess so do check us out, here!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Someone was Bitten...

... by the Fall decorating bug today!
I can't blame him though. It was a Winnie-the-Pooh kind of day... Windy, chilly
and raining - Off and on. Had I been home all day, I might have done the same!
Now excuse me while I adjust a few things!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy Monday evening Pasta

After seeing all this gorgeous Basil in the garden yesterday afternoon,
I just couldn't stop thinking of ways to use it for Dinner this evening
As soon as I walked through the door from spin class tonight, I asked him
to please go out into the Rain for me, and bring in a few bunches of basil... 
Then he did what he always does when I mention Cooking with basil, and told
me not to use it in his dinner, because he doesn't like basil. At all. Yes, I have
considered divorce; however, ignoring him, putting Basil into his dish, despite
his Objections and then hearing him apologize later is always way more fun!
Speaking of fun... I gave The Pioneer Woman's bread a try. See the recipe here
Attending spin class after work sucked all the time out of any opportunity I
might have had to make my own Pasta... So tonight it's pasta by Buitoni!
The sauce I made time for... Seeded roma tomatoes, a can of crushed tomatoes,
garlic, Olive oil, a pinch of sugar and a dash or three of kosher salt is all it takes
Add the cooked Pasta to the sauce and pronounce them man and wife
Cook on medium/high heat until bubbly. Turn off heat and add 2 tablespoons of
unsalted butter, and a handful of Parmigiano-Reggiano run through the mini-chop
Then finish with the Basil he doesn't like. At all.
Pull the bread out of the oven...
And, serve it!
And, because he says a pasta dinner can't be a Pasta dinner without meatballs...
I added a few Meatballs!
Take that, busy-Rainy-Monday!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Autumn Leaves... Inside and Outside the kitchen!

Bing and I were up with the Birdies this morning...
Baking up the autumn leaf Wedding cookies I created after work on Friday!
There are almost as many Leaves in the kitchen as there are outside in the yards!
Well... almost!
Okay... There might be a Few more leaves out here!
What I do know for sure though is that Autumn has begun!
Back in the kitchen, another sweet batch of Leaves are just out of the oven!
And while more bake, I'm back outside...
Feeding my Pond babies!
Leaves on the water means that not much longer, and they'll be asleep for winter!
And, I'll be missing them again!
I do hope the Bride-to-be likes the ribbon I picked out for her Cookie favors...
Because I think it's Perfect!
Speaking of Perfect... Can you believe the Garden is still pumping out
all this beautiful basil? If I didn't already have six quarts of Pesto in
the freezer, I'd be making it right now! If you need Basil, see me!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wedding Cookies!

Honestly, I am the Luckiest cookie-maker in the world! I have an amazing
friend with a Commercial kitchen who doesn't mind me exercising his Hobart!
And, tonight I gave it quite the work-out. You see, I'm busy Creating cookies
for a client in Ohio who'll be married on October 9th! She thinks my colorful
maple Leaf cookies will be the perfect favor at her Autumn wedding!
I love that she is will be married on the very day we will be boarding a Cruise ship
in New York to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We'll be sailing on what
is called a New England/Canada Fall-leaves cruise while a wedding party enjoys
my Autumn-inspired maple leaf cookies. Does it get any more perfect than that?
Except for this amazing walk-in Freezer that almost instantly
freezes my Cookies for storage until baking day, I think not!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

For Kristen...

I received a comment from Kristen on this post that went like this: forget everything! except the unique way you are using your old wine corks!! I love that. Could you post a photo of the top? How do you get the corks in there!!

So I snapped a few photos and sent them to her. Then, five minutes after the
photos were transmitted, I received an e-mail from another reader asking
me the same thing. So... Just in case there is anyone else out in there in
blog-land wondering... This is what the Tops of these boxes look like!
I believe I've mentioned this before, but we don't drink alcohol. It's not a religious or AA thing,
it's just that it puts me to Sleep, which tends to suck all the fun out of any social gathering
where adult beverages might be served. So... My cork collection comes from our winery
tours - Because although I don't drink wine, I appreciate the Culture/lifestyle of wine!
When I saw these keepsake boxes at Pottery Barn a few years ago I knew they were the
perfect storage/display solution for my wine bottle corks and my Matchbook collection here
in the dining room. Most of my matchbooks are from family vacations to Vegas, when the
casinos still gave out Interesting looking matchbooks. There are also a few in there from
the Bell phone store in Junction City, Kansas from 1982 when my parents took me there
to pick out a phone for my bedroom. I picked a Cherry-red wall phone. It was neat-o!
I can't tell you how many times I've considered taking them Down in favor of
hanging something else less modern and frankly, less odd in the dining room... But
then someone tells me how cool they are and I forget about Tossing them in the trash!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Detox Update and the Winner announced!

I cannot believe it... However, the numbers on
my Calendar do not lie so therefore, it must be so!

The end of my CLEAN 21-Day Detox Kit Cleanse has come, which means two very important things... First of all, an Update on my progress and experience using the kit, and second... The announcement of the Winner of the FREE CLEAN 21-Day Detox Kit that the fine people at CLEAN have so generously provided.

So first, the update. Now, while I would love to entertain you with a flowery and detailed description of every aspect of this cleanse, the bottom line is that the process was effortless. And, I feel AMAZING!

CLEAN is truthfully the only way to describe how I feel following my experience with the CLEAN 21-Day Detox Cleanse. I did not deviate from the plan once during the 21-day process. I ate only from the Elimination diet, which reads more like the menu of a 4-Star, gourmet restaurant than a recipe guide.

Seriously, if you are considering a cleanse, this is my Best advice to you... Everything you've ever heard about detoxing being Unpleasant, forget about it with CLEAN! While it might be a bit pricey, to me the plan is worth its weight in gold. Even at today's gold prices, you're getting a heck of a deal considering how this program will make you feel!

This will sound totally unrelated to you, but indulge me a story... I haven't thought about this in a million years, but as I was detoxing with CLEAN I kept remembering bits and pieces of the stories my Oma would tell following one of her Kurs. Basically, Kur is German for a health-spa holiday. It is the only aspect of socialized German medicine I wish for all of us, (learn more about Kur here) I mean, who wouldn't want to be encouraged (meaning forced) to go on an all-expenses paid spa-holiday whenever their doctor or their employer deemed it necessary? Any way, having come through the CLEAN 21-Day Detox, I can tell you that I am feeling all, (and more!) of the same healthy, refreshed feelings my Oma used to relate following one of her Kurs... And, I didn't have to leave my life, my job or pay anyone to feed my cat!

There simply isn't one negative thing to say about this cleanse. You take your supplements, you drink your morning and evening CLEAN shake and you enjoy a Fantastic meal, of real food in between. I slept like a teenager, I have energy to burn, my body feels light and my mind stays clear and sharp. What's not to love?!

Boiled down, this detox has been the best experience of my life in comparison to every previous plan I've tried to improve my wellness. Truthfully, except for how I feel, this cleanse was a non-event! Add back in how the CLEAN Detox makes me feel today, and my story gets a little more emotional and fantastical... Simply put, this was a, Life-renewing, awe-inspiring, motivating, and dare I confide in you to admit, spiritual awakening that I have just experienced.

If you're searching for a way to alert your senses, spirit and body, and a method to finding a way back into balance with the rhythm of your total-self, then you simply must cleanse with CLEAN. It's as simple as that!

Now, I know the CLEAN 21-Day Detox Kit and all the benefits I've received from using it is a completely separate animal from the CLEAN diet program I put myself on in June to lose weight - However, I simply cannot mention one without the other. Because while the CLEAN 21-Day Detox Kit is a temporary and occasional wellness tool, I can tell you that I will be continuing with my CLEAN diet shake regime indefinitely. In fact, I placed an order last week that will stock my pantry with all of the NOURISH and MOVE shake powders I'll need for the balance of this year. Additionally, I will continue to eat from the CLEAN elimination diet for the rest of my life to help maintain a healthy weight! Yes... It is, that good!

I believe that by discovering CLEAN shakes I stumbled on the secret to weight loss and maintaining weight loss. At last report to you I'd lost 51 pounds, (since June 1st) using the shakes. And, I told you at the beginning of my detox that although the CLEAN cleanse isn't meant for weight loss, weight loss might be a side effect. Well, today I am down an additional 13 pounds since beginning the cleanse on August 30th. That is a total of, three, plus one is four, carry the five - wait, I have a calculator right here... Wow, that's 64 pounds!

For me, the CLEAN shakes are pure magic. Now, before you lump me in with the nut-jobs selling Hula hoops for instant stomach flattening, hear me out. I say, magic only because I lack a better way of describing them. But it's true... Nothing I have ever tried before curbs my appetite and cravings more completely or naturally than my CLEAN shakes do. I drink one shake in the morning and there isn't anything afterward I would compromise my plan for.

Another aspect of the CLEAN (diet) program I've been following that deserves a huge mention and credit is the fact that I've learned to trust myself to prepare my own healthy meals. I used to believe that if I cooked for myself I wouldn't be able to do it in a totally clean way - Or that one nibble of something off-plan would give me license to throw in the towel on the day, jump into the cheesecake, and declare tomorrow as the day to start over.

By the way, tomorrow never comes! On this program I've learned that it's two seconds after a misstep that I need to get back on plan... Yup! I used to be of the opinion that the only way to control my portions and calorie intake was to rely solely on prepackaged diet meals. Well no more! Gone are the days when I believed those meals were the key to any success I might have losing weight. Truthfully, those frozen meals are poison - Not to mention boring; and, given a choice today, I would most certainly rather eat the box than put what they're passing off as food (to us dieters) into my body.

Through the CLEAN elimination diet I've learned that real food can be on my menu without steering me off course. I have this plan to thank for turning me onto quinoa too! I cannot tell you how much Quinoa I've sold for Costco since June... I just cannot stop talking about how much I enjoy eating it. Nutritionally, it's off the charts in terms of fiber and protein. But taste, hot or cold, is where it has me in the palm of its tiny little seed. Last night I made another doubled recipe for this week's meals, and added a couple of cubes each of Durot frozen basil and garlic, which just put my quinoa over the top on the taste-o-meter for me. Better than ice cream I tell you. Waaaaay better!

So I love CLEAN products... I love the way they make me feel and I would happily buy the world a lifetime's supply because I want us all to live Forever! But since I cannot do that, I will simply encourage you, from the bottom of my improved blood pressure numbers, to discover the gift of CLEAN for yourself. Oh! Speaking of blood pressure... On September 9th I visited with my doctor for my annual physical. The fun began when her nurse told me she needed to check their electronic records because there seemed to be a mistake made on my chart. When I asked why, she said that according to the scale, I'm down over 50 pounds since my last visit, which she said, is impossible. I assured her the number was right but she still asked if I'd undergone any kind of surgery!

Later when the nurse took my blood pressure, she didn't go searching for the extra large cuff! Now that's how I measure progress! And, when my doctor came into the room... Well, she demanded to know what I've been doing and then proceeded to pick my brain about CLEAN for the next hour! Have you ever browsed the CLEAN website with your doctor? I highly recommend it!

In terms of the lucky reader that will soon receive the gift of a CLEAN 21-Day Detox Kit to try... That reader is Teresa!

Teresa, your comments about my CLEAN journey filled my heart and touched my soul. I am giving you the gift of wellness, and sincerely hope it embraces you the way the CLEAN program and their network of support has embraced me.

I'm asking my friends, Jenny and Kaya at CLEAN to send your Detox kit to you with a warm hug from me! I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Kaya and Jenny at CLEAN. Jenny is CLEAN's head wellness coach, and I owe her everything for her input as I navigated this cleanse - There simply are not enough hours to express to you the high level of expertise Jenny possesses in the commission of her job or the passion she has for assisting the people that entrust CLEAN with their well-being, or the many ways Kaya provided me with Best-in-Class service as she handled my CLEAN product orders. Bluntly put, you ladies are consummate professionals, and you Rock!

FTC required disclosure: The fine folks at CLEAN provided me with one 21-Day Detox Kit for my personal use, free. I was not compensated in any other way for the promotion or use of their products. The opinions expressed in my reviews of CLEAN are solely my own. All other CLEAN products I use are self-paid.

My own disclosure: The CLEAN diet shake and meal program I am following does not in any way constitute medical advice. As with any diet or exercise program, you should consult your physician for a plan that is appropriate for you and your current state of health. The rate at which I've lost 63 pounds is not typical.