Enter the Walmart + Kraft Foods Sweeps + A Giveaway


Special thanks to Lunchbox for sponsoring this post. Opinions and thoughts are, as always, my own.


Do you love cooking up tasty treats for your family? Maybe it’s experimenting with something new at dinner time, or whipping up an awesome spread for a big sporting event. Maybe you’re a major recipe collector, and you have nine million ideas for future meals. You know who you are! If you keep going “hey, yeah, that sounds like me!”, then I have something fun for you.

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5 Tips for Cleaning Hidden Dirt and Grime

This post brought to you by BISSELL Homecare, Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.

Most people are pretty good at keeping their house clean.  They may have clutter, but their houses aren’t dirty.  Or are they?  Did you know that there are tons of places in your house where dirt and grime are hiding? 

Where are the secret places that dirt and grime are hiding in your life?

Ceiling fans.  Even though a lot of designers say that they are passé and no self-respecting home should have one, most people have ceiling fans.  They can easily cut your utility bills.  And they are horrible collectors of dust and dirt.  If you really want a scare, climb up on a step-ladder or chair and have a look-see.  You’ll never forget to clean up there again. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment, a wand duster, or even an old sock on your hand.

Your computer keyboard.  Yeah, it’s kind of gross to think about.  One of the things you touch the most has the most dirt and grime.  Your keyboard is full of dust, debris, and skin cells that have shed.  Add in the random stuff that falls in there like cookie crumbs and little potato chip bits, and you’ve got a real mess.  A combination of canned air, a vacuum, and keyboard sanitation can work wonders.  A co-worker cleans her keyboard twice a month with cotton swabs and alcohol.  Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!

The Dishwasher.  It seems counter-intuitive, but your dishwasher is probably harboring all kinds of ickiness.  Think about it – it’s a hot, steamy environment that gets lots of food debris passing through. There are dishwasher cleaning products out there, or use a bleach solution.  Be sure to run an empty cycle after cleaning your dishwasher, though!

Your car.  Think about all the times you get in and out of the car in a day or a week.  You’re tracking so much stuff from the outside into your passenger cabin.  If you’re anything like me, you toss spare change and other oddball things in your cup holder, and you rarely really clean those suckers out.  Don’t even get me started on the door handles and other parts of your car.  A car wash, vacuum, and a little elbow grease can work wonders.

Your carpet.  Yep.  Even though you vacuum regularly, there are still all kinds of horrible things in there.  Pet dander, dust, and allergens are just a few of the things hiding in your carpets.  That’s why people shampoo their carpets. 

Do you know what most of these places have in common?  The BISSELL Powerglide line of vacuums can help you keep them clean.  There are additional cleaning tips on the BISSELL website.

The new PowerGlide® with Lift-Off® Technology is powerful yet lightweight enough to tackle the home’s toughest messes, including stairs, drapes and other hard-to –reach places.

Key Features:


  • No loss of suction and sealed system
  • One-step removable pod for portable cleaning
  • Long-stretch hose
  • Lightweight
  • Swivel steering for maneuverability
  • Adjustable handle for easy use and storage
  • 12-inch foot for stability
  • Large capacity dirt cup
  • 27-foot cord
  • Included TurboBrush® and crevice tool

 For a limited time only, BISSELL is offering $20 + free shipping off select items.  The discount code is good through November, 30, 2013.    

BISSELL is also running a photo contest.  Check out their Facebook page to enter to win.

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6 Ways to Get Better Gas Mileage

This post brought to you by Pep Boys and Techron. All opinions are 100% mine.

I like to drive.  I drive a lot, headed wherever the open road takes me.  I’m pretty sure I inherited this from my mother, who regularly packed a lunch, and us, into the car and we would head off for parts unknown.  She always said that gas was cheap and adventure is priceless.  

Fast forward 20 or so years.  The lust for adventure still lives on, but gas is no longer so cheap.  When you’re pushing $4 a gallon, you’ve gotta make sure that you get your money’s worth.  There are a few ways that you can make sure your car is getting the mileage you deserve.  

Check your tires.  When your tires are inflated to the proper air pressure, your mileage improves.  Your vehicle is also easier to handle and the ride is smoother.  

Get rid of the extra weight. Each extra 100 pounds that you’re hauling decreases your mileage by up to 5%, according to some reports.  Clean out the extra junk that you’re hauling around.  

Fill your tank in the morning.  Molecules expand when they’re warmer, and gas is no exception.  In the morning, the molecules are smaller, so you’re getting more for your money.  It’s not considerably more, so don’t stress over it, but it can add up.

Maintain your car.  Routine maintenance can increase not just your mileage, but also the life of your car.  Go to a reputable shop, whether it’s a mechanic or an auto parts store like Pep Boys.

Get quality gas.  I don’t know about where you live, but we have some janky gas stations here.  They get water, dirt, even mud in their holding tanks, which then gets into your car.  No one wants that.  I’m not saying you have to buy premium, either.  Just be wary of the ‘bad gas’ stations.

Fuel Cleaners.  Fuel cleaners can help clean your engine, which will help use gas more effectively.  A product like Techron Fuel System Cleaner is a great additive. It's easy to use, as you can see in the video. 

For quality auto parts and additives, try Pep Boys.  Find a Pep Boys Near You


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Otter Pops for a Classic Summer Treat #OtterSummerScramble #YOLO

This post brought to you by Jel Sert. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you know what one of the best parts of summer is? It’s when Otter Pops show up on store shelves. That’s the first real siign of summer. One of the great things about Otter Pops is that you can take them everywhere! Go to the beach? How about the park? Are you just kicking it outside in your own yard? Otter Pops are a great treat in all of these situations. There’s no big package or dangerous glass bottle to throw away. Just a tiny little plastic tube that can be disposed of practically anywhere.

Even as an adult, Otter Pops are still one of my favorite summer treat. You know what Otter Pops are, right? They are those frozen slushy popsicle treat that come in plastic tube. You take them home and freeze them. There’s something about sucking that slushy mixture out of the tube that makes me happy. Personally, I like the tropical flavors. Mainly because I have to be different. [Read more…]

Elliptical machine

My Fantastic Fitness Voyage

Elliptical machine

Elliptical machine

I am making another go with getting fit.  I have said this for a while now, but this time, I’m going to do it.  For reals. 

I really don’t know why it’s taking me sooo ling to get back into it.  I can use the excuse that it’s been cold outside, which it has.  Or I can use the excuse that I was pretty sick for a while, which I was.  Well, that’s actually a really good excuse, now, isn’t it?  But the real thing is, I’ve just been a slacker. 

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Oh My It’s Chilly!

We had a few days of really nice Spring weather, and today we are back to the cold and dreary rain.  I am looking forward to Spring – the calendar says it will be here next week, but I have my doubts.

I can keep my apartment pretty cozy, but if my feet get cold, I am cold all over.  Nothing will change that until my feet are warmed up.  I don’t like wearing socks around on the bare floor, but I do love slippers.  I have a pair that I got from that I have been wearing lately – and after being on my feet all day at my job, they are really comfy and cozy.  It is like having little warm clouds on my feet!

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Avocado Sugar Skull Tee

An Ode to Avocados

Avocado Sugar Skull Tee

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Avocados from Mexico. All opinions are 100% mine.


Oh, avocados, how do I love thee?  I love you in salads like a Cobb.  I adore you in sandwiches like turkey and avocado on a croissant.  You are the main ingredient in my favorite dip – guacamole.  Furthermore, you were the basis of one of my favorite grade school science experiments.  You know the one, where we try to sprout your pit and plant it?

I’m not sure when our love affair began, but I do know it was love at first bite.  Growing up in California, we had Avocados from Mexico quite often, and with just about everything.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has this love/love relationship with avocados.  If you have a friend that feel similarly to how I do, share the avocado love!  With the Share the Avocado Love Facebook app, you can send your avocado lovin friends all kinds of things, like screensavers, ringtones, and badges that proclaim their love for avocados.  

If you feel the need to share your love of avocados with the world, you are in luck.  There’s an Avocados from Mexico Cafe Press store that has all kinds of avocado branded merchandise.  Yes, you heard, errr…read that right!  There’s the normal things like tote bags, and I love Avocados tee shirts, even aprons.  You can also pick up a serving tray or a coffee mug.  

However, I saw this avocado Calaveras de azucar (sugar skulls) tee shirt, and I knew it had to be mine.  

I mean, seriously – how great is that?  I especially love the avocados as eyes!  I think that you could share your avocado love without it screaming “YO!  I LIKE TO EAT AVOCADOS.”   Of course,  they also have a shirt that has an avocado dressed up as Santa Claus, and both a stocking and a trick or treat bucket filled up with avocados.   Sounds like a good holiday to me!

What’s your favorite way to have avocados?

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Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

I love chili.  I like it in the winter when it's cold and dreary outside.  It's a kind of stick to your ribs meal that leaves you full and satisfied.  Of course, I also like it in summer because I'm weird.  I make this Vegetarian Chili at least once a month.  I load it up with whatever vegetables are in season at the time.  In the summer, it's fantastic with zucchini.

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients

  • 1 Large onion, diced
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, smashed
  • 3-4 TBSP oil
  • 2-3 Stalks Celery, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 Large Carrots, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 Cups Broccoli, chopped (I used one large crown fresh)
  • 1 15 oz can Sweet Corn
  • 1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 15 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans Beans (I used a can of vegetarian pork and beans, and a can of chili beans)
  • 1-2 TBSP Chili Powder (I use a mild one)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I use a seasoned salt blend)

Of course, if you like it spicy, you can adjust for your own flavorings.  We're mild food eaters here.

Vegetarian Chili Directions

Place your soup pot (at least 5 quarts) on medium-high heat and add the oil. 

Chop the onion and put it in the pan.  It should be sizzling, but not burning. 

Start chopping the mushrooms, and add to the pan as you chop them, along with the garlic. Stir a couple of times as you are chopping each vegetable to add in.

Chop/slice celery and carrots next, add to the pan. 

Chop the broccoli (or add a bag of frozen chopped broccoli). 

Stir every 2-3 minutes, and cook about 10 minutes.

Open your cans and dump them into the pan. 

Add a couple of cans water. I usually use the tomato sauce can, and rinse the extra sauce out of it. 

Stir.  Taste for seasoning. Add salt, but with a light hand. You will be cooking the broth down, and you don’t want it too salty.

Add the other spices; bring to a boil.  Turn down heat to medium, where it should simmer.  Simmer uncovered for a total of about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.  After a half hour, taste for seasoning.  Add more of whatever it needs – salt, chili powder, cumin.  Continue cooking for another 15 minutes.  It should be slightly thicker, and will thicken more upon standing.

Serve with optional garnishes – shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, jalapenos.

It tastes better the second day – it makes leftovers!

Total time: 90 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes



New Years Eve Tolerate Fools quote

Celebrate with New Years Quotes

New Years Eve Tolerate Fools quote

New Years Eve is nearly upon us!  Can you believe it?  Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!  Here's a collection of fun and frisky New Year's quotes.  Some are serious, some are tongue in cheek.  Some are New Year's Specific, while others are more about renewal.


PJ O'Rourke New Years Eve Quote

New Years Eve Tolerate Fools quote

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Made With Love Celebrity Cookbook Giveaway – US/Canada

Have you heard of the Made with Love celebrity cookbook?  It's a fantastic, gorgeous cookbook filled with recipes from your favorite celebrities, including Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, First Lady Barbara Bush, and more.  The best part is that the proceeds go to benefit Meals on Wheels.  How awesome is that?

Read my full review here and check out a recipe from the book here.

Wanna win a copy of your very own?  Enter in the Rafflecopter after the jump!

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How to print on fabric to make a Christmas sachet

How to Print on Fabric to Make a Christmas Sachet

How to print on fabric to make a Christmas sachet

How to print on fabric to make a Christmas sachet

Have you been looking for a quick gift  for some friends that is totally different?  Everyone needs sachets for their drawers, closets, and chests.  These are especially great, as they’re filled with Moth B Gone, which keeps moths away from your wool items. 

These sachets are also special, because we’re going to print our own image on fabric! Yep, that’s right!  No store bought fabric for us.  Okay, that’s not totally true, but it’s close enough.

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Ghiradelli gift basket

Ghirardelli Chocolate Gift Basket Giveaway #payitforward

Ghiradelli gift basket


Mmmm….chocolate!  Who doesn't love chocolate?  And Ghirardelli Chocolate is pretty dang awesome chocolate at that!  I love going to Ghirardelli square in San Francisco, when I get the chance.  It's like a chocolate lovers paradise!

About Our Sponsor

Ghiradelli Chocolate Logo

Incorporated in 1852 and in continuous operation since then, Ghirardelli has the richest heritage of any American chocolate company. Ghirardelli continues to honor its heritage to this day. Ghirardelli Chocolate is one of the few companies in America that controls the entire chocolate manufacturing process, from cocoa bean to finished product. This control over the manufacturing process, combined with Ghirardelli's proprietary bean blend and unique methods of roasting and processing, ensures that you are rewarded with the highest quality and richest products.  

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LightAir Ionflow 50 Signature Air Purifier Revisited

Recently, I had friends over.  When they saw my LightAir Ionflow 50 Signature Air Purifier system, we had a very intriguing and intellectual conversation that went something akin to this:

Them:  “What is that?” 

Me: “What?”

Them, a little louder “What is that?”

Me, rolling my eyes: “What is what?” 

When I went into the living room, I saw that they were checking out my LightAir Ionflow 50 Signature Air Purifier system.   They were also trying to figure out how to turn it on, as they thought it was a lamp.  Once I explained that it was an air filter, my friends wanted to know more.   

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Are You Thinking About Moving

Moving and Storage


I’ve always moved a lot.  It seems that as long as I can remember, the longest we stayed in one area was about 2 years.  I suppose it was the restless spirit that kept us on the move.  The most traumatic of these moves was when we moved to Hawaii. 

I was 5 or 6, and we got rid of absolutely everything we owned.  We literally moved with just a couple of suitcases.  Our condo was furnished, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.  Anyway, I had this tiny fold-up table and itty bitty school chair that I just adored.  My mom got rid of them, and I thought my heart would break.  I mean, you can tell that 24 years later, I still have issues with it, right? 

There was an opportunity about 6 or 8 months ago where it looked like I might re-locate to Canada.  While it was more of a lark that was pursued than a really serious opportunity, I imagine that move would have been somewhat similar to the Hawaii move.  I’m sure rather than garage sale-ing and donating everything, we probably would have put it in storage. 

Had we moved to Quebec, we’d need to know moving terms in French, too!   Déménagement Montréal  is Move to Montreal.  Entreposage Montréal is Montreal Storage. 

Now you’re prepared for your move, too!


Brought to you by your friends at ADT moving.  All opinions are mine.

Tail Towns Friends Facebook Game Review + Giveaway

Tail Town Friends Facebook Game

Do you like to play games?  I do, and I always have.  I loved board games as a child and progressed into computer games.  Computer games have since progressed into online games.  One of the things I really enjoy about   online games is the fact that if I’m in the mood to play a new game, I just log on and go find one!

Whether it’s downloadable or playable online, there’s a myriad of games out there.  One of the newest is Tail Towns Friends.   Tail Towns Friends is a new Facebook game that‘s free to play.  I know, I know – we’ve all had our feeds  inundated by Facebook friends that play their social games.  I’ve been playing Tail Towns Friends, along with a few of my friends, for about a week now.  During that week, I haven’t noticed any game updates coming through my feed. 

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$100 Lowes or Ikea Gift Card Giveaway US/Can

Enter to win a $100 Lowes Gift Card

Hey bloggers!  Are you looking for a new company to work with?  How about you brands?  Wanna connect with some super awesome cream of the crop bloggers?  Well, I've got a solution for you!  Introducing Simply Sassy Media

Simply Sassy Media was founded by two of the awesomest bloggers around – Stacie from Simply Stacie and Yoli from Sassy Mama in LA.  So you know they know what they're doing!

Enter to win a $100 Ikea Gift Card

To celebrate the launch of Simply Sassy Media, we're having a giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive a $100 Lowes giftcard if they're in the US.  You're in Canada?  Oh.  Well, then, if you win, you'll get a $100 gift card to Ikea!  Pretty great, eh? This is sponsored by Simply Sassy Media.

Enter in the Rafflecopter Form after the jump

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Open road

Inspiration, where art thou?

Open road

People often ask “Where do you find inspiration?”  Well, I have a confession to make.  My inspiration comes when I’m driving.  It doesn’t matter what I’m trying to work out, if it’s not coming, I hop in the car and go somewhere. 

My mom is the same way.  Maybe she made me like this, I’m not sure.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving along and have to pull over to jot my thoughts down.  If someone is riding with me, they get to be the note-taker.  Lucky them!  Of course, I’ve spent many years being the note-taker myself. 

Over the weekend, I had a road vision – that’s what I call it – of how to set my garden up this year.  Off into a parking lot I went, to sketch the plans out.   Seeing other sights just seems to help me dislodge the block.  Perhaps it’s the slight meditational feeling of the road. 

I’ve been struggling with a couple of craft projects.  I think a little road trip may be in order.