#CyberMonday – Time To Shop!

In an effort to make your shopping experience a little easier, I have compiled a few links to share with you for your Cyber Monday shopping needs.

Fandango has great deals on gift cards. For all the Star Wars & hunger Games fans on your list. Enter promo code WINTER15 at checkout to get 15% off gift card orders of $75 or more.

Chicago Steak Company has incredible deals that are just too good to pass up. Use promo code FREEGIFTS and receive 12 Steak Burgers, 1 Bottle of Steak Seasoning Plus Free Shipping on this order. They will also include a $25 Gift Check for your next order.

Cell Phone Cases has something for everyone…and I mean everyone! Need a case, tablet, cables, or accessories? They have it all. Use promo code CYBER15 and get 15% off your order plus free shipping.

Sur La Table has so much to choose from, I can spend hours browsing and still not see it all. If you shop their Cyber Monday sales, use promo codes SaveBig for 20% off your order and if your order is $59 or more, use SHIPFREE.

Amazon is having their Cyber Monday spectacular and it is even bigger than before. With new items added every 5 minutes on Monday only, the opportunities to save are limitless. Having the option to purchase gift cards is easy gift giving. From department stores, restaurants, spas & salons and even airlines, the choices available will cover just about anyone on your gift list.

So what are you waiting for? Get shoppin!

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Sunday Funday – Blog Promo Fun

As I cuddle up on the couch and watch my Fantasy Team work, I thought I would share a couple of blog networking opportunities you may enjoy. I am all about sharing with one another and helping to lift up my fellow bloggers so I hope you find this helpful.

Some of you may already know about these networking links but for those who dont, I would like to invite you to a couple of mine. The first I would like to share is SVerve. With a name that was derived from their tagline, Unleash Your Social Verve, SVerve is a site where business & blogs come together. Their mission statement is clear.

We love connecting influencers and businesses for win-win partnerships.

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I am excited to be a part of SVerve for several reasons. They help you monetize your blogs with relevant campaigns, they assist in boosting your social presence, and aid you in building a better profile or as they say, a LinkedIn for Influencers. If you want to grow your blog, check out SVerve.

Anotpicket fenceher great resource is Picket Fence Blogs. Self titled as a free ranked blog directory, I would say they are a Yellow Pages of blogs. You can share your page with other registered bloggers, accrue votes through a button you can add to your site, and advertise with them to increase your social media footprint. You can even enter giveaways for items from other bloggers. Its a great option to consider when you want to expand your network and get to know others not only for their posts, but for the authors as well.

Check out both and share your experience with us!

Homemade Holidays

The leftovers are gone, Black Friday is over, the neighborhood is starting to look festive. Its time to kick the holidays into high gear! Some of you have it all together and may already have the magazine style decor out and your homes may already smell like gingerbread and pine. You are my heroes! My house has some of the decorations out and its starting to come together, but its far from magazine ready. My intention is to create a holiday ready home with decor and gifts that are homemade. Yup…the rest of 2015 is (hopefully) going to be all DIY style!

I have taken some inspiration from Vicki Johnson’s boards on Pinterest. With soothing items like bath bombs and salts, to seashell crafts, she has lots of ideas to share. That is just one board! She pinned a great craft of glitter ornaments made from Pledge & glass paint. How pretty!

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There is a simple and beautiful craft I want to try. With the options to change colors and sizes, I can see these pom balls as tree decor and hanging throughout the house.

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One that I know for sure is a must have in my house. I need to make this wreath. So simple and yet so festive. Clothespins hold your holiday cards in such a unique and chic way…who wouldn’t want to try this out?

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You have to check out her boards. With nearly 14k pins, there is plenty to see!

#BlackFriday

It has arrived. The day shoppers wait for. Discounts and sales have been reviewed, studied and compared. Greenbacks will be spent, plastic will melt, wallets will shrink. Yes, today is the day. Its #BlackFriday!

Personally, I cannot do the overnight camping thing to get a deal on a tv. My temper just isn’t what you need when people are in the everybody for themselves mentality. Crowding my personal space and getting rowdy is not my idea of a good time for the holidays. I prefer online shopping.

I do just as much work prepping for the sales as anyone setting foot in the stores. I know what I like and I want the best possible deal. I use coupon codes and shop at premium times. I get deals on free shipping and BOGO items too. So when I tell you I know what I am doing, its because I have years of experience. Just ask my husband! (You don’t have to really ask him…I actually don’t want to bring up my shopping habit if you know what I mean!)

One of my absolute favorite sites is Ebates. I shop all of my favorite stores and get to select the discounts I want to use. For example, I love Kohl’s and they have loads of discounts available. You can get 15% off plus $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend PLUS you get your Ebates discount of another 8% just by clicking through the link and shopping online.

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Shopping in my pj’s while sipping my coffee and saving money…proof that I am a multi-tasking queen! Now to be fair, I am not getting paid by Kohl’s for any sort of promotion whatsoever. I just wanted to share their storefront as an example. Do you prefer to shop JCPenney? They are offering 10% cash back plus $10 off a purchase of $25 or more if you shop through their Ebates links. Want to buy a special piece of jewelry for someone? Use the Jewelry.com link here for 14% off. Need a new piece of furniture from Ashley? Get 15% off here!

Just head over to Ebates and register today and you will get $10 back just for making your first purchase at ANY of their stores. Ill make it easy for you…here is the small print:

*To qualify for a Welcome Bonus, you must be a new member and make minimum qualifying purchases totaling at least twenty-five dollars ($25) within ninety (90) days of becoming a Member.

Happy Shopping!

One Dish Dinner

With all the cooking (and cleanup) for Thanksgiving dinner, prep work for meals in the days before should be quick and easy. My favorite types of quick meals are one dish dinners. Something you can prep in either one skillet or even a baking dish. Its fast, cleanup is a breeze and all the flavors blend so make a delish meal.

I did a littl20151117_142146-1e dish of my own with what I had on hand and I have to say, it was yummy. I grabbed some white rice, baby potatoes, frozen brussels sprouts, baby carrots and a can of chicken broth. I layered it all in a 13×9 pyrex dish and seasoned with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. I layered boneless, skinless chicken breasts on top and seasoned them with grapeseed oil, salt & pepper.

 

 

Toss it in the oven at 350 for about an hour & take it out to turn the chicken over, stir the veggies & add more broth if needed. Bake it for another 20 minutes or so and serve with warm rolls. Deliciousness!20151117_150517

Recipe E-Book

With so many sites offering recipes, keeping the public’s interest is key. Think about it…you have Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, Food Network, Cooking Channel and countless more…it’s dizzying! I found a site that offered free e-books of their recipes and wanted to share them with you.

bbq_page_001If you check out Cook Dojo, prepare to be flooded with hundreds of recipes all sorted alpha style. I was so pleased to see they offered e-books of some of their most popular recipes. I am a huge breakfast person. I mean, you had me at eggs. When one of the options was a free breakfast e-book, I was practically giddy! They also shared a bbq e-book and I have to say, I am already anxious for springtime to fire up the grill and get down!

There aren’t any pictures so you will have to imagine the yumminess that will ensue but it’s worth the clicks to browse through all the options. Enjoy the attached e-books and let me know if you try out any of the recipes!

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Keeping with the holiday theme, I wanted to share a gem with you. It’s a site targeted to those interested in gluten free diets but the info definitely has mass appeal. Of course, I initially found this when I was happily pinning, and was pleasantly surprised at the content available on the native site. You can tell time, effort and care has been put into producing a quality site. Introducing Fave Gluten Free Recipes.

While cruising through the info they share on all the deliciousness you can create on a gluten free diet, I was pleased to see they also offered a detailed grocery list to make shopping a no-brainer.

‘Your gluten free Thanksgiving should be stress free, and this ultimate grocery list will help to make your holiday shopping completely painless.’

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Stress free? Yes please! I mean the detail they go into is incredible. They provide a store bought option for each item listed and in turn, also offer a homemade recipe. They cover all bases and show options for not just the main course, but the sides we all know and love too.

Want to download the info? They have free e-cookbooks. We all love free stuff right? Are you a visual learner? They have how-to videos. They even have a test kitchen. Knowing its not just a list that is compiled from info across the internet gives it legitimacy not seen everywhere online. Fave Gluten Free Recipes take their site to another level making it interactive…yes, you can share your recipes and blog along with them too.

I can spend an hour just writing about all of their features and still not be done. You just have to see it for yourself. There is so much to learn, try out and share with others. Check it out…they are definitely bookmarked for me!

Product Review – Chef Merito Bread Crumbs

Chicken is so versatile yet I find myself always making the same dishes with it so it was time to mix things up a bit. I am a fan of bread crumbs whether they are seasoned, plain or panko so when I discovered Chef Merito a couple years ago, I knew I had to try it out. I have been a fan ever since. When I found they had a spicy version, oh it was on!

20151109_153957Let me tell you, don’t be intimidated by the spicy blend. Its not hot…it has just enough spice to give it a new flavor but not too hot for those sensitive to spicy food. I baked a tray of seasoned drumsticks and they were uh-may-zing!

Simple recipe…add some grapeseed oil to a baking tray & add your chicken. Toss each piece so they are coated. Add salt, pepper and the bread crumbs. Turn them over & do the same. Pop in the oven at 350 for about an hour. Take them out, rotate each piece and pop back in for another 15 minutes or til golden brown. 20151115_143013

I have served this with white rice and steamed veggies, but if you want to amp up the stick-to-your-ribs factor, chop some potatoes, onion & baby carrots and put them in the baking tray first. Season the same way as the chicken and place the drumsticks (or other pieces) on top. Talk about yummy!

 

 

Let the festivities begin!

I am in full Thanksgiving mode! I have most of the groceries needed for dinner except for a few of the fresh items I will need in the days beforehand. Some of the holiday decor is out and making the house feel warm and cozy. The 80 degree So Cal weather helps with that too!

Considering this is my favorite holiday, I am excited not just to cook for my family but to share it all with you. Some will be cooking wins, some may be epic fails but all will be made with love. Rather than post pics of previous years, I will share with you what I want to make this year and once dinner is done, I will share the fruits of my labor.

dinner rolls Dinner rolls…from scratch. Yes I am going to try this so keep your fingers crossed. For me, bread and butter are awesome so if the bread isnt warm and soft, its a fail.

 

 

creamed cornCreamed corn is a step up from the traditional corn served on our Thanksgiving table. Looks delish!

 

 

 

 

sausage stuffing Sausage stuffing is a family favorite. Its a recipe I have done since I was a kid helping my parents prep the night before. Mixing everything together and getting elbow deep as a kid are some of my fondest memories.

 

 

 

slow cooker mashed

 

Slow cooker mashed potatoes are a big deal to some but this will be my first venture into this method. I normally either boil the potatoes or use instant. (Dont judge…instant are yummy too!)

 

 

 

apple pie cake Apple Pie cake is a new addition to this year’s menu. Normally its pumpkin, mince & apple pies but I am going to try this out. Apples & cinnamon are always good!

 

Pumpkin pie dip is a light but sweet addition to the pre-dinner feast. We have made this on several occasions and its a hit!pumpkin pie dip

There are of course other items like the turkey, a ham, some cranberry sauce & gravy too. Just thinking of the way the house smells with everything cooking and the comfort of family by my side…I am truly thankful. Although I wont have all of my loved ones at my table, I am blessed to know they are just a phone call away.

You can view all the recipes for these sides on my boards. I cant wait…

Chicken Scratch DIY

Its #FollowFriday and I am so excited to share this new site with you. Not only is it fun and unique, it also has a wide appeal. Check out Chicken Scratch DIY.

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Kimberly Linville is a wife, mother and entrepreneur with a gift for the daily hustle. She is transparent, genuine and shares her story to give us all a peek into her personal life. Her site has a targeted market yet it has a little something for all of us. Living in Oklahoma, you may think her blog would be targeted to her region however the opposite is true. Kimberly has lived in 4 different states & her perspective is broadened by all of the regions she has called home. The culture differences are enlightening.

What I find the most fun is her chicken coop as I have always been interested in sustainability. She takes us on the journey with her and the kids. I dont know about you but I love saving money and lets face it…eggs are flippin expensive right now! Frankly, I am impressed with how comprehensive her posts are as she includes links to Amazon for the items needed in her projects. Takes the guesswork out of the equation.

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That is one of the 3 main sections to her blog…chicken life. She includes a DIY section for adults and projects for the kids too. With a holiday break just around the corner, I am looking forward to her tips!