Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas 2018


Love is in the air with Valentine's Day just around the corner!  Did you know recent surveys show U.S. consumers will spend a total of $18 Billion dollars on their Valentines?  To make it easy on you this year, I have partnered with the following 3 brands to bring you some great gift ideas.





Share some special downtime together with your loved ones by playing video games on your TV at home or by getting together for a gaming date. Nintendo Switch it's the hottest video game system on the market today. It’s the only system that you can play at home and then take on the go. With games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it’s a great system to play solo or with your sweetheart.
Hardware: $299.99 (games sold separately) 
Software: $59.99 (each game) 




Based on The New York Times best-selling book, Same Kind Of Different As Me tells the true story of a couple whose lives are transformed by an act of kindness.  A recipient of the Dove Foundation seal of approval, the film is an inspiring and beautiful story about love starring Renée Zellweger and Greg Kinnear.  This uplifting drama is available on Digital February 6th, and on Blu-ray and DVD February 20th.  Watch the Trailer below...




          SameKindOfDifferentAsMeMovie.com




It’s not only Valentine’s Day in February – it’s American Heart Month!!!  So keep your Valentines’ heart healthy with one of these Garmin gifts -For the fashionista in your life, the vivomove HR is a stylish hybrid smartwatch that includes fitness and wellness monitoring, it looks like a classic timepiece. The Forerunner 35 is perfect for any runner…with built-in GPS and wrist-based heart rate. For the kiddos, the vivofit junior 2 is an activity tracker with themed app adventures from Marvel, Star Wars and Disney. For those who’d rather hop on a bike, the Edge 1030 is the ultimate GPS cycling computer with enhanced navigation and safety features. www.garmin.com 




























Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Holiday Gifts and Stocking Stuffers




It’s the most wonderful time of the year, to wish others good cheer!  This year don’t be a Bah Humbug stressed with those last- minute gifts to buy.  Here’s a few of my favorite gifts this year, all under $100, easy to find and sure to please someone on your shopping list!




SMIRNOFF PEPPERMINT TWIST VODKA

Back in time for the holiday season, SMIRNOFF Peppermint Twist Vodka is a delicious vodka specialty made with natural peppermint flavors. This limited-time offering begins with SMIRNOFF No.21 Vodka, which is triple distilled for smoothness and ten-times filtered, delivering a mouth-watering taste of sweet holiday candy, balanced by a soothing, cool peppermint taste.

The vodka specialty comes in a festive bottle, wrapped in its season’s best stripes, and features a unique “Scratch and Sniff” packaging releasing hints of peppermint and holiday cheer simply by rubbing the outside of the bottle.

Price: $15.99 Available Nationwide Smirnoff.com Twitter: @SmirnoffUSInstagram: @SmirnoffUS Facebook: @SmirnoffUS




Husky Universal Mechanics Tool Set from Home Depot 







This 60-piece, all-encompassing toolset provides a variety of ratchets, screwdriving bits, and sockets that will help get the job done. The dual-pawl technology of the 100-position ratchets feature multi-directional rotation for access to hard-to-reach areas and compatibility with several bolts and fasteners. The sockets included feature a knurl ring, making it easier to grip and spin. Pieces are stored in a durable case with stamped markings for easy identification.

Price:  $59.97 Available at HomeDepot.com or at your local The Home Depot store






              


Wahl Gift Ideas
Wahl has a full line-up of gift ideas to meet any guy's specific grooming needs.  For guys sporting facial hair, the Wahl Lithium Ion Stainless Steel Trimmer has a sleek body, powerful motor and a series of interchangeable heads.  It's an all-in-one arsenal for trimming, shaving and detailing.  The Lithium Ion technology delivers a 4-hour runtime and 1- minute quick change.  Guys who cut their own hair will want the Wahl Elite Pro Clipper, it has a classic design and Wahl's most powerful motor for goof-proof haircuts, or quick touchups.  Its self-sharpening precision blades stay sharper longer. The new Wahl LifeProof Shaver is perfect guys on the go as it’s virtually indestructible with a shock-proof and waterproof housing. You can just throw it in a gym bag, brief case or glove compartment. It also has both symmetrical and asymmetrical foil patterns to lift and cut hairs no matter which direction they are growing to give you the best shave with the fewest passes. Wahl products are available at online retailers such as Amazon as well as select retailers nationwide and at WahlHolidayGifts.com.

Facebook: Wahl Grooming
Twitter: @WahlGrooming
Instagram: @WahlGrooming


THIS BLOG IS A GIFT LIST OF MY FAVORITE PRODUCTS AND THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MINE.  I HAVE PARTNERED WITH THESE BRANDS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.  THIS BLOG IS SPONSORED BY SMIRNOFF, HOME DEPOT, and WAHL.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

4 Holiday Entertaining Tips




The holidays are officially here and it's time to take a break from the hustle bustle of life and enjoy family and friends.  No need to be stressed and overwhelmed,  just enjoy the season and make your home inviting to guests.  Here's a few of my entertaining tips to make your home a warm and inviting place this holiday season. 





Create a Welcoming Entry Door

   The entry door is the first impression your guests have upon arrival, so make yours stand out!  Lights and holiday decorations let your friends know you look forward to their visit.  Greeting guests with festive lights, and holiday décor, just sets the stage for a warm welcome!





Create a new Kitchen Finish 

Holiday guests always spend time in the kitchen. If yours is looking a little outdated, GE Appliances is bringing more wows to the kitchen with the largest selection of premium finishes on the market. Available on select GE®, GE Profile™ and GE Café™ products, owners can now choose the new black stainless, stainless, Black Slate and Slate finishes. Black Stainless is a high-gloss, tinted clear finish, the black slate offers a dark matte finish and the Slate is a matte that hides fingerprints. GEAppliances.com 







Create Welcoming Aromas

Holiday Scents like pine, and apple create an aromatic ambience that welcomes guests the moment they walk through the front door.  Every home as it's own scent, that's why I like to "freshen" the smell of my home with Air Wick Limited Edition Seasonal Scents.  They come in the form of scented oils in the welcoming scents Woodland Pine and Warm Apple Crisp. These scented oils contain natural essential oils and provide long-lasting fragrance to your home. They provide up to 45 days of continuous and long- lasting fragrance per refill based on low setting, and the scented oil warmer has adjustable fragrance settings. They’re ideal for any room in the house!  $4.88 Amazon, Walmart, Target https://www.amazon.com/l/2581871011  @AirWickUS 





Create Holiday Cooking Hassle-Free and Flavorful 


This holiday season, leave the complicated, overwhelming recipes at the door and say hello to your new best friends!


Just Mayos and Just Dressings from Hampton Creek are the must-have, hassle-free holiday food products for effortless, delicious cooking and entertaining. These chef-crafted, non-GMO and better-for-you products add instant flavor to any dish without a long list of ingredients or complicated and tiring prep work.


Hampton Creek's products are highly versatile in all holiday cooking and meal prep so you can use one product in many different dishes.


Just Mayo holds up in high heat cooking and baking which makes it ideal for whipping up a tasty, easy cake or pie crust like for my favorite, Sweet Potato Pie. Just Mayo also mixes in perfectly with one or two other ingredients for impressive apps like Crayo Dip!

Just Dressings are so much more than your everyday salad topper. Use them as an instant marinade or in this easy, mouth-watering Green Onion Ranch Biscuits recipe.

See these delicious, hassle-free holiday recipes below. For more flavor varieties and recipes, check out www.eatjust.com! For holiday cooking inspo, follow @hamptoncreek on Instagram and Facebook. 



Cranberry Mayo


Serves 14-16

½ cup (leftover) cranberry sau
1 cup Just Mayo

Directions:

1.       Mix ingredients in a food processor or whisk thoroughly with a fork. Add salt to taste.

2.       Use on seasonal sandwiches or salads, or include as a dip in a holiday appetizer spreads. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Sweet Potato Pie

Serves 8-10

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (4 oz) Just Mayo (refrigerated)
2-4 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 4-ounce stick salted butter or margarine, melted
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (homemade or canned, see note) 
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
¼ cup almond milk 
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

Pie crust

3.       Preheat an oven to 400F.

4.       Add the flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, baking powder, Just Mayo and 2 tablespoons of the cold water in a bowl or, even better, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse or mix until a loose, crumbly dough comes together. If needed, sprinkle on additional cold water by the ½ tablespoon the dough is lightly moistened enough to gather together into a ball. Don’t overmix.

5.       Cut two large pieces of parchment paper. Transfer the dough mixture on top of one piece of the parchment and pat the dough into a thick disk. Place the second piece of parchment on top and use a rolling pin to roll out to a 1/4-inch thick circle.

6.       Peel the top parchment off, then slide your hand under the first bottom piece of parchment and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim any excess dough with a small sharp knife and crimp the edges of the crust as desired.

7.       Brush the inside and edges of the pie shell with a little of the melted butter. Don’t prick the shell, but if you have pie weights or some dry beans, use them now (on top of a circle of parchment or foil in the center of the crust.)

8.       Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 350F.

Pie filling

9.       In a medium bowl, standing mixer or blender, mix together the melted butter, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, sugar, almond milk, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla until fully combined.

10.   Evenly spread the mixture into the par-baked pie shell. Put a pie crust shield in place if you have one, to keep the crust from browning too much.

11.   Bake the pie for 55-60 minutes until the center of the filling has set and the top is lightly browned. Cool to room temperature before serving, so that the pie has time to fully set.

12.   Garnish with a few toasted pecans, and serve with whipped cream topping and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

Note: To prepare homemade sweet potatoes, roast 3 medium-sized, whole sweet potatoes in the oven at 400F until tender, for about 1 hour. Then peel and mash until smooth.




Green Onion Ranch Biscuits



Serves 9

6 tablespoons margarine or salted butter

½ cup milk (your favorite type)

1½ teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup Just Ranch, plus more for brushing

⅓ cup green onions, thinly sliced (~3 green onions)

Directions:

13.   Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. While the oven is heating, cut the chilled butter into 1/2-inch cubes and freeze for 15 minutes.

14.   Make the “buttermilk.” Mix the milk and lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.

15.   Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Scatter the chilled butter cubes over the flour mixture and toss to combine. Use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into pea-sized pieces, working quickly so as not to melt them. Alternatively, you can pulse this mixture together in a food processor.

16.   Add the "buttermilk," Just Ranch, and green onions to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a moist dough forms.

17.   Scoop dough onto the baking sheet with a 1/4-cup measure, spacing each biscuit at least 1 1/2-inches apart. Flatten each biscuit slightly with your palm, so that it cooks evenly through.

18.   Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes, then pull from the oven and brush each biscuit gently with a thin layer of Just Ranch using a pastry brush. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until golden brown. Let the biscuits cool for a few minutes before serving.





Create A Self-Serve Coffee Bar Your Guests Will Love!

What could be better than the gift of great coffee this holiday season? Guests love hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate around the holidays. This year you can be the hostess with the mostess with a self-serve coffee bar.  When hosting a holiday party, set up a festive Keurig coffee bar complete with seasonal coffees, teas and hot cocoas, with popular brands like REVV® coffee and Swiss Miss® Hot Cocoa. Guests will have the beverage choices they love all in under one minute – that means less time in the kitchen and more time.

Place Peppermint spoons or sticks and honey spoons, surrounded with little jars of  toppings like marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Your guests will be impressed and feel pretty special.  I use the Keurig® K-Compact ™ Coffee


This space saving coffee maker brews your favorite beverage in under a minute at the touch of a button. Perfect for the busy host, the Keurig® K-Compact™ brewer features Smart Start technology that heats and brews in one simple process. 


Whether it is for your own kitchen or for the coffee lover on your list, the Keurig® K-Compact™ coffee maker is the perfect holiday gift that will be enjoyed year-round.  AND this coffee maker is available exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com for under $50 this holiday season!





“This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GE, Air Wick, Hampton Creek and Keurig.

All opinions are entirely my own.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

6 Fall Home Maintenance Tips



TIP#1 GET RID OF SQUEAKS AND GRIM


Most people know all about WD-40 Multi-Use Product and how great it is for maintaining and protecting tools, car parts and more.  But did you know it's also perfect for quick fixes around the home?  Use the WD-40 Smart Straw to remove smudges from stainless steel appliances and crayons from walls and floors.  It's great for getting rid of sticky residue-like removing price tags from picture frames.  It quiets my squeaky doors, desk chairs, and my ironing board.  And it easily frees stuck luggage wheels and zippers!  The uses are endless!  And if you want a smaller can in the house for easy storage-check out the 3 oz. Handy Can.

Available at Walmart, Target Lowe's, Home Depot and more!  www.wd40.com
https://twitter.com/originalwd40 https://www.facebook.com/OriginalWD40/    








TIP#2 CLEAN YOUR CARPETS, ESPECIALLY PET MESSES
A lot of us see pets as members of the family—but they do make special messes on our carpet. I make sure to keep the BISSELL® ProHeat 2X® Revolution™ Pet Pro handy, especially as my family enjoys the cooler weather, and as I host guests and prep for holiday entertaining this fall. This carpet cleaner tackles everyday stains like mud, dirt and food spills that come along with the season. And, BISSELL has a line of innovative formulas to use with the machine to clean tough messes pets might make on the carpet, both stains and odors. You can get yours at major retailers and at www.bissell.com for $249. @bissellclean 




TIP#3 CHECK YOUR ALARMS

Research shows that less than half of American households have the recommended number of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.  October is Fire Prevention Month and it is the perfect time to replace or add alarms in your home. Consider upgrading to ones with a 10-year battery for added convenience and the highest levels of safety, such as the 10-Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice and Location Alerts from First Alert, the most trusted brand in home safety.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are crucial for home safety, and need to be properly maintained throughout the 10-year life of the alarm. If you can’t remember when you installed your alarms, then be safe and replace them. 

If you are looking for some added protection, try the 10-Year Atom Smoke Alarm which is as small as a paper clip, or the 10-Year Life Carbon Monoxide Alarm which can sit nicely on any table.  Available at retailers nationwide and at www.FirstAlert.com! Twitter: https://twitter.com/FirstAlert Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/FirstAlertSafety/






TIP#4  CLEAN YOUR CHIMNEY 
Built up creosote can build up in your chimney causing a house fire.  If you don't know how to inspect for build up, it's best to hire a chimney sweep!  You can find a chimney sweep on line or check mail order coupon packs for great deals.


TIP#5  GET COZY AND WARM-SEAL COLD DRAFTS FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS
No one wants cold drafts or cold feet in the winter months.  Check your windows and doors for cold air seeping in through the cracks.  Caulking and weather stripping your outside doors and windows can help keep those expensive utility bills down.  Weather stripping and caulking costs very little compared to your heating costs, and can easily be found at your local hardware store.




TIP#6  CHANGE YOUR FILTERS THROUGHOUT THE HOME & CONSIDER AIR DUCT CLEANING
Fall is a perfect reminder to change the filters in your furnace unit, stove vents, clothes dryers and room fans if applicable.  Clean air filters will keep your family healthier in the winter months.  I prefer the Allergen HEPA filters because they will catch all the airborne particles and trap them in the filters. Conventional filters cannot trap the airborne particulate matter like a HEPA filter traps to .03 micron in size.  Buying HEPA filters is  worth the extra $ to keep your family breathing easier in your home.  Grab a black magic marker and write the new filter expiration date on the side that is visible.  It's a great way to remind you when you should change the filter again.  Indoor Air Quality is important, so it's also a good idea to get your home's duct work cleaned.  You can find special deals online in the Fall, so take advantage if you haven't done yours in years.