100% Real

If we walked into a grocery store together and I asked you to point me into the direction of real food…where would you point? Frozen Food? Can goods? 90% of us would point toward the vegetable department or maybe the meat department. Real food doesn’t come from a bottle or a package. Real food is something that is grown or raised, not created. Sam Talbot, chef, author, philanthropist, and television personality, has created a five-step guide to keeping it real when it comes to food.  Let’s take a look into 100% Real.

Cookbook Cover

(I did receive a free copy of this cookbook in exchange for a review. See my disclosure page for more information regarding this information)

100% Real 

100% Real: 100 Insanely Good Recipes for clean food made fresh. Released April 4th, 2017 by Oxmoor House,

A new full-color cookbook by Top Chef  favorite Sam Talbot that shows you how to make wildly delicious, nourishing food using healthy, wholesome ingredients. 

100% Real proves that cooking and eating clean can be satisfying, indulgent, and surprisingly simple. With fresh, seasonal ingredients and easy to follow recipes, you will swoon over each and every dish. His healthy ingredient substitutions for white flour, refined white sugar, and lists of kitchen, fridge and pantry must-haves, this book is a practical guide to un-junking what we feed ourselves. All the recipes in 100% Real are noted to be either vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or dairy free for fans with dietary restrictions or those interested in eating more wholesome real food. Whatever category you belong to this book is for you.

Keeping It 100% Real 

The pictures in this cookbook are amazing. Even if you are a skeptic on healthy diets its hard not to take one look at this book and not want to try something.

I am a lover of all things chocolate, more so chocolate with nuts, but chocolate none the same. So of course the recipe titled Ripe-banana and Dark Chocolate pancakes would be right up my ally. I rush so much in my daily life that breakfast is not something I get to indulge in very often. This seemed to be the right time.

The other part of this recipe that was intriguing to me was the coconut cream that went on top.  The recipe called for a can of coconut milk to make the coconut cream. The directions say to refrigerate the can for at least 4 hours and not to shake it. The cream will be on the top. I wasn’t sure about it. But Guess what? It really was! I was able to open the can, scoop the cream off, and save the milk for later. I whipped the cream just like whipping cream and was so excited  to give it a try. The flavor hooked on the flavor from the first taste. So super yummy.

The pancakes were a little different. They were made out of eggs, oatmeal, and ripe bananas. It was difficult at first keeping them together in the pan. I think that I wasn’t waiting long enough for them to cook.  These took a couple of minutes to cook on each side, but once I figured out the trick I was able to get a nice consistent pancake. The end result, I think, turned out pretty well.

Ripe banana and dark chocolate pancakes

Overall, I really enjoyed the pancakes. I think the coconut cream was my favorite part. Totally plan to use that on other dishes besides the pancakes.

I did try one other recipe, a snack recipe. Plantain Chips.

The plantains are thinly sliced and saluted in a pan with coconut oil. Season with pepper and red chili flakes. So very tasty. I went out and bought more the next week. I think they really could be seasoned with just about anything. Totally my new favorite snack.

Plantains Fried plantains

tMy favorite part of trying recipes, or whole cookbooks for that matter, that are out of my comfort zone in terms of ingredients or preparation methods is the chance to try new things and find that I really like them. I can tell you right now I would have never tried whipping coconut cream that came from a can of coconut milk to put on my pancakes!  Plantians were new to me.. I had seen them at the store but didn’t really know what they were or how they were different from bananas. Only that they always seemed bad. They turned out to be my new favorite snack. Step out of your comfort zone. Make this year the year you try new things. Feed your body some REAL food and see the difference it makes.

Take a chance and try something new today! Pick up a copy of this cookbook today! https://www.target.com/p/100-real-100-insanely-good-recipes-for-clean-food-made-fresh-hardcover-sam-talbot/-/A-51531312?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Entertainment+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Entertainment&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9030493&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-bDHuq2V2QIVXbbACh3WVQKlEAQYAyABEgInw_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Look below for the pancake recipe with the yummy cream (Excerpted from 100% Real by Sam Talbot. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corp. New York, NY. All rights reserved.)

Ripe Banana-And-Dark Chocolate Pancakes  With Maple Syrup And Coconut Cream

Hands-on: 15 minutes  Total: 20 minutes  Serves 4

These moist, flourless pancakes keep you feeling satisfied without the midmorning crash that refined carbs can cause. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure to buy non-contaminated gluten-free oats.


1 (13.66-ounce) can coconut milk, chilled at least 4 hours

3 large egg

Pinch of fine sea salt

3 ripe bananas, mashed

¾ cup uncooked quick-cooking oats

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated, plus more for garnish

½ cup pure maple syrup, warmed

1 Without shaking or tilting the can, carefully open the coconut milk. Remove the solidified coconut cream from the top, and place in a chilled bowl. (Reserve the liquid for another use.) Beat the coconut cream with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

2 Whisk together the eggs and salt in a medium bowl; whisk in the bananas, oats, and 2 ounces of the chocolate. Let the batter stand  5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

3 Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter for each pancake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high until the edges appear dry and bubbles form on the surface, 2 to  3 minutes. Turn the pancakes over, and cook until firm and golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Serve the pancakes topped with the maple syrup and coconut cream. Garnish with the grated chocolate.


Want more coconut flavor? Sprinkle shredded coconut on the pancakes while cooking for  extra texture.

Check out some of my other awesome cookbook reviews from Oxmoor House here:



Everyday Vegetarian

If your into watching your weight or just into a healthier lifestyle you would have heard by now that going meatless once or twice a week is the thing to do! Honestly though, going meatless brings people to thoughts of fish or salads, which most people are not fond of to begin with. I have a solution for you. Everyday Vegetarian. .

(This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure page for more information about those links. I did receive a free copy of this cookbook for this review)


Everyday Vegetarian is a delicious guide for creating more than 150 meatless dishes, presented by the authors of Cooking Light. Featuring more than 150 recipes and full-color images, Everyday Vegetarian will help vegetarians and meat eaters alike transform fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains Ito nutritious healthy and heartily meals.

This book will guarantee you add more vegetarian dishes to your weekly meal plans or transition you to a full time vegetarian diet in no time.

My Experience with EverydayVegetarian 

I lived a vegetarian lifestyle for a few months and it was really hard coming up with recipes that sounded good and looked good. I wasn’t even sure what some of the ingredients were when I was looking at the recipes and I was reluctant to go looking for it at a store. If I am being honest with myself, I was afraid to venture out and since I was going it alone I pretty much gave up. Truly I wished this book had entered my life when I was ready to make that jump  into a vegetarian lifestyle. I think I would have been more successful that my previous experience.

I really felt like this cookbook could make it into any household, whither a beginner or an experienced vegetarian cook. There were recipes for all levels. I choose to try out two of the more everyday recipes I felt any reader might be willing to try. I also choose to try out breakfast foods because I feel people are more likely to ease into a meatless day starting with breakfast options. At least in my experience thats were I succeeded the most when it comes to making healthy options.

Fried Egg Salad

My first recipe was a fried egg salad. I know you just re-read that last line. YES I said salad for breakfast. I know what your thinking. You read in my first paragraph that salads turn people away, and to be honest I am really not much of a salad person. But, I am always running late in the morning and need healthy options that are quick to make. This fit both of those categories. The most important part though is that it didn’t disappoint! I have actually had this salad a few times since trying it out! I cook a soft fried egg so that the yolk runs into my salad, and the dressing of oil and vinegar is just enough of a tang  that it works as a pick me up! The best part of this salad, for me anyway, is the breadcrumbs. I could eat those breadcrumbs all day!! This has truly become one of my most favorite breakfast item of the work week! (here is my recreated picture =)

Fried egg breakfast salad

Avocado Toasts

One of my favorite times of the year to visit California is the winter, (I have family there) because it is Avocado season! They are cheap and they are everywhere! I live in New Mexico, where avocados are not everywhere and they are not cheap, so you really have to buy them for special occasions. In the past I had tried avocado toast in California one winter but apparently I was eating it wrong because I just smashed my avocado onto the toast and didn’t do anything to it. I didn’t really think there was much more to an avocado toast than that, but I was so wrong! These were amazing! I really never thought to add sprouts and and egg on top! I did have some difficultly finding the sprouts in my town, I finally found them at Natural Groceries, our only health food store. I have also had these a couple of time after making them the first time. So yummy!! A definite recipe for my breakfast routine.

Avocado toasts

This book is really a must have for anyone looking to vamp up their lifestyle into something healthly. Again, whither it’s to move into a full vegetarian lifestyle or to just replace one or two days a week with meatless options, this book is your ticket to living the Goodlife. Look below for the recipes I tried out and pick out the book today from Amazon!

Recipes for Fried Egg Salad and Avocado Toasts

Excerpted from Everyday Vegetarian by the Editors of Cooking Light. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Oxmoor House CL Everyday Veg
Photography Mary Britton Senseney; Food Styling ?
Prop Styling Lindsey Lower


If you have access to whole-grain rye bread, definitely give it a try here; it’s so flavorful on its own and adds a special lift to this salad. You can make the toasted breadcrumbs up to two days ahead; just store them in an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag until you’re ready for them. Hands-on: 11 minutes   Total: 11 minutes   Serves 1

1          ounce whole-grain bread

1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1          large egg

11/2   teaspoons white wine vinegar

1/8     teaspoon kosher salt

1/8     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

11/2   cups salad greens

4          radishes, halved

  1. Tear the bread into small pieces. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to the pan; swirl to coat the pan. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan; cook for 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the oil to pan. Crack the egg into the pan; cover and cook for 11/2 to 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Combine the remaining oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add the greens and radishes; toss to coat. Top with egg and breadcrumbs.

CALORIES 250; FAT 18.9g (sat 3.5g, mono 11.7g, poly 2.5g); PROTEIN 9g; CARB 14g; FIBER 5g; SUGARS 2g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 186mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 389mg; CALCIUM 163mg


Sunny-side-up eggs, fresh sprouts, and salsa amp up avocado toast for a fast, no-fuss meal. It’s a sure winner at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Hands-on: 12 minutes   Total: 12 minutes   Serves 4

1          teaspoon olive oil

4          large eggs

1          ripe peeled avocado, mashed

4          (1-ounce) slices hearty whole-grain bread, toasted

1          cup alfalfa sprouts

1/4     teaspoon kosher salt

1/4     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2     cup refrigerated fresh salsa

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Crack the eggs into the pan; cook 2 minutes. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until the desired degree of doneness.
  2. Spread one-fourth of the mashed avocado evenly over each toast slice. Arrange 1/4 cup sprouts over the mashed avocado on each toast slice. Top each toast slice with 1 fried egg. Sprinkle the eggs evenly with the salt and black pepper. Top each assembled avocado toast with 2 tablespoons fresh salsa.

(serving size: 1 toast): CALORIES 245; FAT 14.9g (sat 2.8g, mono 8g, poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 11g; CARB 19g; FIBER 7g; SUGARS 4g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 186mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 422mg; CALCIUM 57mg

Looking for other cookbooks? Check out these reviews from It’s a coupon clipping, garage sale shopping kinda life

Cooking that Counts



Cooking that Counts

Cooking That Counts 

An all new cookbook offering smart, satisfying, and sustainable meal plans, perfect for starting your New Year off on a healthy foot.

Cooking that Counts by the Editors of Cooking Light offers 1,200-1,500 calorie-controlled meal plans that meet daily calorie goals, as well as providing simple serving suggestions for sides to help you stay on track without feeling deprived.

This is no ordinary cookbook. It offer MEAL PLANS to help you keep on a 1200-1500 calorie diet. The book contains breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes and then pairs them together for you to create a ready meal plan. If your not keen on the idea of the meals they have paired for you, you are free to pair up the meals yourself. The recipes are broken down into breakfast, lunch and dinner and then each recipe give the serving size and calories of each serving if followed and prepared the way it suggests.

It also give inspiring stories throughout the book about individuals who have lived on a cooking light diet and come out on top. I liked that aspect of the cookbook. It added a real quality to the recipes as well as motivation to keep trying, which so may people need (especially me!) when starting a new lifestyle change! This cookbook is really designed to help you live a healthy lifestyle not just start a diet.

Experiencing itforMyself

So I decided to put this cookbook to the test and come up with my own meal plan picking a recipe from breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have a family of four, and I often try to incorporate healthy recipes into all of our diets because frankly being a working mom and trying to fix two separate breakfasts, lunches and dinners gives me all kinds of anxiety. So most importantly recipes have to be something my family is willing to try and willing to eat.


For breakfast I decided on the Tuscan Lemon Muffins. I am not a huge breakfast lover and I usually have to grab my breakfast on the go, so muffins seemed a great choice for me. They were pretty tasty. The turbanado sugar that goes on top added a tasty twist.

Tuscan lemon muffins Tuscan Lemon MuffinsTuscan Lemon Muffins


For lunch I decided on the Tart Apple Hazelnut Chicken Salad. As a teacher I am always on the go, a lot of the time eating while I am working or moving around so I need a portable lunch. Salads and sandwiches seems to be my goto. Chicken salad sandwiches are one of my favorite things to eat so I was supper excited to try this out. This did not disappoint.when we were finished one of my boys said “I am stuffed. Thanks for a tasty lunch!” Enough said 🙂

Chicken saladChicken saladChicken salad


For Dinner I choose the One Pan Broccoli Mac and Cheese. I have small boys ages 7 and 9 and so this seems a no brainer. They love Mac and Cheese and I figured they would jump at the chance to have this for dinner since I don’t serve this kind of thing for dinner often. I was a little worried about the ingredients, and that they might figure out I had hid something healthy in there. But, they didn’t! The recipe was really easy to follow and really fast to make. The most important part is that it was a crowd pleaser! I didn’t reveal that there were veggies other than broccoli in there and I even had someone ask for seconds! Overall a successful dinner and a tasty one at that!

Bacon Mac and cheeseBacon Mac and cheeseBacon Mac and cheese

I was pleasantly surprised at the meal I had put together for my family, and the taste and appeal of all that I made that day! I plan to use this cookbook regularly and incoorporate the recipies into our daily routine.

Look below to get the menu I put together for myself and try them out! Let me know in the comments how you worked them into your daily schedule and which one was your favorite! To get a copy of the cookbook click here.

(This contains an affiliate link. See my disclosure page for more details.)

Catherine’s Cooking That Counts Menu 

Tuscan Lemon Muffins
photographer:Jennifer Causey; prop stylist: Kay Clarke; food stylist: Margaret Dickie

Hands-on: 13 minutes  |  Total: 34 minutes  |  Serves 12 (serving size: 1 muffin)

Using ricotta cheese ensures a light and fluffy texture while also yielding a moist and delicious muffin. Enjoy these lemony treats for breakfast or a sweet snack.

Cooking spray

7.9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 13⁄4 cups)

3⁄4 cup granulated sugar

2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

6 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese (about 3⁄4 cup)

1⁄2 cup water

1⁄4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place 12 paper cup liners in the muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour and the next 3 ingredients (through salt). Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine the ricotta and the next 5 ingredients (through egg). Add the ricotta mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the batter. Bake at 375°F for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.

CALORIES 186; FAT 6.2g (sat 1.5g, mono 3.4g, poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 30g; FIBER 1g; SUGARS 15g (est. added sugars 14g); CHOL 21mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 160mg; CALCIUM 81mg

Tart Apple–Hazelnut Chicken Salad

Oxmoor House, Cooking That Counts, Photo: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist; Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Hands-on: 10 minutes  |  Total: 10 minutes  |  Serves 4 (serving size: 1⁄2 cup)

Rotisserie chicken makes this recipe a cinch, but feel free to use any leftover cooked chicken you have on hand.

1⁄4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmann’s)

1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons water

1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped rotisserie  chicken breast

1⁄2 cup chopped Granny Smith apple

3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts

Stir together the mayonnaise, tarragon, 2 teaspoons water, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken, apple, and hazelnuts; toss to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

CALORIES 198; FAT 9.7g (sat 0.9g, mono 5.8g, poly 2.2g); PROTEIN 23g; CARB 5g; FIBER 1g; SUGARS 4g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 66mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 361mg; CALCIUM 22mg

One-Pan Broccoli-Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Hands-on: 25 minutes  |  Total: 25 minutes
Serves 6 (serving size: about 11⁄3 cups)

Butternut squash puree enhances the color here without distracting from the cheesy flavor, and it sneaks in another serving of vegetables. If you can’t find frozen butternut puree, swap in an equal amount of mashed sweet potato or
canned unsweetened pumpkin.

2 slices center-cut bacon, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

1 (10-ounce) package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed

10 ounces uncooked large elbow macaroni

3 cups chopped broccoli florets

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 11⁄4 cups)

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon from the pan.
  2. Remove all but 2 teaspoons of the bacon drippings from the pan. Add the garlic to the drippings in the pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add the stock, milk, and squash to the pan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the pasta; cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broccoli; cover and cook 3 minutes or until the pasta is done and the sauce is thickened. Stir in the salt, pepper, and 4 ounces of the cheese. Sprinkle the bacon and the remaining 1 ounce cheese on top. Cover; let stand 1 minute.

CALORIES 339; FAT 10g (sat 5.7g, mono 2.8g, poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 18g; CARB 45g; FIBER 4g; SUGARS 5g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 29mg; IRON 3mg; SODIUM 566mg; CALCIUM 267mg

other cookbook reviews I have completed can be found here:



What Were You Thinking?

What Were You Thinking?

Looking to learn more in 2018? On January 12th, Audible will release WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? A fascinating new audio series that profiles adolescents who made astonishing choices – from joining ISIS to planning a school shooting – and strives to understand what they were thinking.

 Journalist Dina Temple-Raston, the show’s host, talks with friends, family, and the teens themselves, and also dives into the latest science on adolescent brains to explore innovative ways to help them – and others – choose more wisely.

Here is a brief overview of each episode:



Abdullahi Yusuf went from winning Minnesotan high-school football player to ISIS recruit in less than a year. He opens up publicly for the first time on how his search for identity ended up in radicalization. Plus, leading scientists explore why Abdullahi’s brain may have been hard-wired to make these decisions.


Ryan Green explains how the thrill of hacking and being considered “elite” prompted him to hijack 77,000 computers at once. And a look into how the adolescent brain’s hunger for the “feel good” chemical, dopamine, drives young people to push boundaries and take risks.


Seemingly happy high-schooler Riley Winters, killed herself at age 15. It was one of many suicides in Colorado Springs that year, a sharp increase that showed no signs of slowing. In this episode, we travel to Riley’s hometown to talk to friends and family, and find that suicide is more complicated than depression.


Hear the private thoughts of Felix Graham, a British teen struggling to redefine himself after quitting the internet games he spent countless hours playing. Plus, we travel to South Korea where the government is providing programs and feedback to young people who are over dependent on smartphones and internet gaming. And finally, we hear from neuroscientists about how neuroplasticity may make adolescents susceptible to addiction, but also more likely to be able to rewire.


Dillon Cossey felt isolated and alone… until he turned to the internet to connect with other victims of bullying which led to him poring over sites about school shootings. Not long after, he was arrested. In this episode, we see how chronic bullying can change the adolescent brain and, along with other significant factors, can lead to violence. Also, we hear from Sue Klebold, mother of one of the Columbine High School shooters.


We visit programs that help adolescents make better choices, including a Moroccan morchidat center that helps counter Islamist radicalization and a NYC high-school teacher focused on “mindful fitness.” Finally, we go deeper into the science of the adolescent brain and the role white matter plays in its evolution.

I can’t say enough of how awesome this series is. I have been wondering for a while how to tap in to the world of podcasts and this was a great way to start. I am a lover of all things true crime and the stories just kinda hooked me and drew me in. Each story is about 45 minutes in length, and mixes interviews of the subjects and the reporters thoughts as well as medical information on the adolescent brain and why the brain is wired or what happens in the Brian for these events to take place. I know we have all had times in our lives where we thought…Why would someone do that? Or I would NEVER do that, but this series describes reasons why adolescents make irrational choices when faced with hard choices.

If you are a member of audible do not miss this program. Click here to access it here; http://www.audible.com

If you are not a member of audible sign up here for your free trial. You won’t be sorry. Plus, you get two free book for just trying it out!  (This is an affiliate link. See my Disclosure page for more information on affiliate links)

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Unique Stocking Stuffers

Looking for some unique Stocking Stuffers this season? Here are two products that would make a great stocking stuffers for anyone on your list.

(This is a sponsored post and may contain affiliate links. I did receive free products for this review)

Dr. Plotka Toothbrushes

  • DENTIST DEVELOPED – Dr. Ronald Plotka designed this innovative toothbrush as part of his thriving 40+ year Boston-based dental practice. Its technology has helped hundreds of his patients prevent cavities and achieve better oral health.
  • NATURALLY ANTIMICROBIAL* BRISTLES For Better Health – Infused with silver to naturally eliminate 99.9% of bacteria that grows on the bristles between uses, this innovative tool is always clean and ready for the next use! Doctor Plotka™ helps achieve better overall health by not reintroducing harmful bacteria into your mouth and body.
  • FLOSSING BRISTLES™ – Revolutionary, dual-layered bristle structure provides superior cleaning: the outer bristles, thin as a human hair, gently brush away food and plaque in places other brushes miss! Getting deep down the groves, this toothbrush cleans where 90% of cavities form! With thicker inner bristles, you’ll get a complete cleaning of the teeth and gums every time.
  • LONG LASTING POLYESTER BRISTLES – You’ll get up to one extra month worth of use thanks to the polyester bending and upgraded properties. (The ADA – American Dental association recommend changing your toothbrush every 3 months. The Doctor Plotka’s brush will last about 4!)

Being away from home during the holidays can take a toll on your teeth. Start your new year with a clean bill of oral health – pack an extra Doctor Plotka™’s Travel Toothbrush!

Toothbrushes come in Manual and Power, available in Adult, Youth and Travel sizes and range in price from $4.99 to $24.99 for the power pack.

These toothbrushes are awesome! I have been using the toothbrush for about a month and I can’t believe how awesome my teeth feel. I am not a person who likes to floss, or dare I say even makes time to floss,. These toothbrushes give you a two for one deal because they brush and floss your teeth at the same time. I really don’t think I can go back to a regular manual toothbrush after using this. You can find them at https://www.mouthwatchers.com or check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MouthWatchers which is featuring a family pack of toothbrushes (16 toothbrushes for $59.99.

Bump It Off

BUMP IT OFF is a reusable silicone sleeve that fits on your hand in multiple positions, enabling you to concentrate scrubbing power in the palm of your hand or on your fingertips. With gentle silicone bristles on one side and smooth bumps on the other, BUMP IT OFF has endless cleaning applications in every room of your home! (taken from the website http://www.goddessofgadgets.com)

Bump it off can be used in the laundry (pictured above), the kitchen, on your pets, and on the body. I tried out two of the four possible ways to use it.

First I tried it on my dog who shed regularly and hates to be brushed. Surprisingly she didn’t try to run from me when I started using it on her. She turned over and wanted me to scratch mer belly with it. It removed quite a bit of hair in the short time I was using it and the best part…it washes right off and looks like new when your done using it!

Then I tried it in the shower for exfoliation and my skin turned out again surprisingly soft and my elbows were a lot less rough. I could see myself using this regally in the shower.

Overall I think I would really like to own more than one of these just because it has so many different uses and it could be used in so many different areas of the house. This product has so many uses that it really fits anyone on your list. It can be found here from amazon. 

Need more stoking stuffer or gift ideas check out some of my book reviews for the book lover in your family.




Books for Book Lovers

26 Books That Could Make Any Book lovers list

Need a book for the book lover in your life? Look no further! Here are 26 books published in 2017 sure to make someone very happy.  You are sure to find something for everyone on your shopping list! From crossword puzzle books to cookbooks there are books for every type of reader. Look below for an inside look into three of the books on the list.

Taste of Home’s 365 days of Cookies

This is such a beautiful fun cookbook. The pictures are so vibrant and the recipes are easy to follow. There are cookies for every traditional holiday as well as some non-traditional holidays like Hedgehog Day (Feb. 2), Waffle Day (March 25th), Rootbeer Float Day (Aug 6th) and National Brownie Day (December 8th) The book has an easy-to-use flat binding, prep and bake time, great photos and step-by-step instructions. It also gives you gifting and display ideas. Such a fun cookbook to add to any collection. Check out my Facebook page for a chance to win this book! It’s a Coupon Clipping Garage Sale Kinda Life Facebook Page

Cookie cookbookRecipeRecipeRecipe

Photo Credit: Taste of Home 365 Days of Cookies

The Edge of the World by Jimmy Chin

This book is a visual adventure to the most extraordinary places on Earth. The photos are amazing and beautiful and you just can’t stop looking through them. There are four sections in the book; Rock and Earth, Snow and Ice, River and Ocean and Air and Space. Each section is amazing and captivating. Wether you have a photography lover or a adventure seeker this book will captivate anyones attention!

Book coverPhoto from bookPhoto from bookPhoto from book

Photo Credit: The Edge of the World by Jimmy Chin

Thrift Style: The Ultimate Bargain Shopper’s Guide to Smart Fashion by Allison Engel, Reise Moore and Margaret Engel 

This is an inside guide to the world of thrift storing. Thrift storing has become a major phenomenon all over the country. Whether you decide to shop at Goodwill or online looking for vintage finds this book will give you the upper hand when navigating thrift stores and recognizing worthy bargains. It teachers you how to shop for quality handbags, jewelry, belts and shoes. How to date vintage clothing and to put together an awesome outfit all from shopping second hand. This book would be great for any thrift store shopper whether well seasoned or just starting out. It would also be good for someone who loves fashion and the looks of vintage clothing.

Book coverVintage looksConversion chart

Photo Credit: Thrift Style: The Ultimate Bargain Shopper’s Guide to Smart Fashion by Allison Engel, Reise Moore and Margaret Engel

(This post contains affiliate links. I received these three books in exchange for my review) 

26 Books for Book Lovers and Where to Find Them 

Mind Stretchers Vol 1

by Readers Digest

Mind Stretchers Vol 1ACTIVATE your thinking muscles. It’s too easy just to turn on the TV and let the images of the day wash over us, leaving brain cells unchallenged and a bit sad. Keep your brain happy with this mind stretching collection of puzzles. Crosswords, word searches, trivia, logic and numerical games—these teasers are all designed to inspire and stimulate the mind. So turn off the dreaded box and turn to Mind Stretchers—you’ll be entertained, learn new things, wake up your brain and it’s definitely more fun than watching the news.

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Mind Stretchers Vol 2

by Readers Digest

Mind Stretchers Vol 2 CoverGet a full-brain workout with a new collection EVEN MORE mind stretching puzzles Now in its second volume this beloved series offers more teasers all designed to inspire and stimulate the mind. Switch off the TV, put down the phone and embrace Mind Stretchers—you’ll be entertained, learn new things, wake up your brain and it’s definitely more fun than watching the news.

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Taste of Home: Most Requested

by Taste of Home

Taste of Home: Most RequestedThis treasure trove of top reader picks is packed with all the delectable homemade dishes you’ve come to know and love—comforting casseroles, delicious mains, simple sides, hearty soups and stews and delectable desserts. • 400+ most–loved recipes & tips from home cooks like you! • 240–page hardcover edition with easy–to–read type. • Gorgeous, full–color photos show you the simply scrumptious results! • BONUS CHAPTER: packed with top seasonal specialties. • Prep & cook time provided for every dish. • Double–indexed for fast, easy lookup.

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Taste of Home: 365 Days of Cookies

by Taste of Home

Taste of Home: 365 Days of CookiesWhen it comes to smile-fetching sweets you can’t go wrong with cookies! From soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy, the buttery sensations always get thumb-up approval. This new book features hundreds of full-color photos, this must-see edition offers after-school snacks, coffee-break bites, classroom treats, bake-sale favorites and holiday delights that are perfect throughout the year. You’ll even find cookies that celebrate days such as National Potato Chip Day (March 14), Jelly Bean Day (April 22) and National French Toast Day (November 28). Best of all, a Christmas Cookies Bonus Section makes this cookbook a home baker’s dream come true!

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Wild Zoo Train by Carmela LaVigna Coyle – Illustrated by Steve Gray

Wild Zoo Train CoverThis zany Wild Zoo Train is off on a mysterious adventure! Choo-choo-choo goes the Wild Zoo Train. Ding-ding-ding goes the bell on the roof. clickety-clack go the wheels on the track. A zoo train full of children takes a mysterious turn into the wilds. As each train trip becomes more and more wild, curious children observe the whimsical world around them. Wild Zoo Train takes readers on a wild, animal-filled adventure through canyons, jungles, the arctic poles, and more!

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The Diehard Football Fan’s Bucket List Blitz CoverThe Diehard Football Fan’s Bucket List Blitz by Steve Greenber The first and only all-inclusive, fully illustrated football fan’s bucket-list book. Here’s a full-color, full-speed ride through 101 must-see and must-do gridiron experiences—from the NFL to college football’s greatest venues and rivalries, from coast to coast, from must-have eats to the game’s best seats, from the sport’s greatest meccas and museums to its rowdiest tailgate parties. This book—filled with photos, sidebars, and loads of football attitude—is an essential guide to any football fan’s fantasy (or real!) road-trip and To Do list.Category     Price:  $22.95    Purchase Here

Soups, Stews & Breads

by Gooseberry Patch

Soups, Stews & Breads CoverWith more than 350 of the most delicious recipes you can imagine,Soups, Stews & Breads makes it easy to whip up a batch of homemade chicken broth, a party-size crock of spicy chili, quick breads, crackers and croutons…all from one handy cookbook. Also included are quick-fix and slow-cooker recipes. Filled with photos, tips and serving ideas, this is the last soup cookbook you’ll ever need!

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Edge of the World

by The Editors of Outside Magazine

Edge of the World CoverWith a foreword by world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin and an introduction by Outside magazine’s editor Christopher Keyes, The Edge of the World is a stunning collection of the best photography ever published by the leader in outdoor adventure photography and journalism. Created in partnership with Outside magazine for its 40th anniversary, this includes Outside’s most compelling stories from throughout the years and offers readers an inside and dramatic look through the lens of the world’s top adventure photographers.

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A Taste of Latin America

by Patricia Cartin

A Taste of Latin America CoverAcclaimed chef Patricia Cartin cooks with Latin America’s history and traditions in every recipe. Ten Latin American countries are represented, including Patricia’s native Costa Rica, with dishes that are savory, sweet, spicy, mild, and everything in between. Tempting options for main dishes, vegetables, sides, and desserts, everyone can get creative in the kitchen with flavorful recipes for every part of a successful meal. Food is the perfect gateway to gaining an understanding of cultures and breaking bread with the people of the world.

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ThriftStyle by Allison Engel, Reise Moore, and Margaret Engel

ThriftStyle CoverVeteran thrifters provide a must-have guide for bargain-hunting fashionistas looking to make a statement without sabotaging their budgets. Shoppers learn to navigate the racks of their local consignment shop, spot name brands like Versace, Dior, and Burberry, select the best quality items, and repair secondhand clothes that need some love. Includes tips for distinguishing genuine articles from fakes, and explains what makes a damaged piece of clothing worth renovating. This trending topic is perfect for folks on a budget, creative trailblazers, and environmentally conscious shoppers.

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Finally, A Parade for You

by Molly Burton

Sample ImageFinally, A Parade for You is a collection of mini-biographies of United States war veterans who served their country during the Vietnam War. These brave people sacrificed their peaceful lives and joined one of the many life-changing cultural upheavals of the mid-20th century. They were not famous, nor from privileged backgrounds and the stories in this book are an act of faith on the part of the veterans who shared them. Let their tales be inspiring and healing. This ‘Parade’ is for all of us.

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Cocktail Chameleon

by Mark Addison

Cocktail Chameleon CoverCocktail Chameleon is award-winning designer and producer Mark Addison’s invitation to join him as he dresses up twelve cocktails in twelve unique variations resulting in 144 signature takes on the classics. Mark tantalizes with molecular mixology to create the Anti-Gravity, reinvents the beloved Bloody Mary with sake, and invokes the famed royal rose garden with the Versailles. Inspiring the creative mixologist in everyone, this beautiful book will become an instant hit with hosts looking to elevate an occasion and entertain in style!

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The Think Big Movement

by Jon Dwoskin

The Think Big MovementThe Think Big Movement gives readers the tools, best practices, and step-by-step guidance they’ve been craving to move their businesses forward. What makes the book unique is the way real-life problems manifest through and are solved by Jacob, the protagonist of this business fable. The book teaches, inspires, and structures the reader’s mindset to dramatically shift the paradigm. By crushing the obstacles holding them back and re-learning the value of consistency, readers will see, feel, and experience BIG results in their businesses through the valuable epiphanies they’ll have – just as Jacob has in the novel.

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Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms

by Amanda Steinberg

Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms CoverMillions of women want to create financial stability and abundance in their lives, but they are stuck in overwhelming confusion and guilt, driven by internalized “money stories” that have nothing to do with what is really possible. From the founder and superstar CEO of DailyWorth.com—the go-to financial site for women with more than one million subscribers—comes a fresh book that redefines the relationship between women, self-worth, and money. Worth It shows women how to view money as a source of personal power and freedom—and live life on their terms.

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Pantry and Palate

by Simon Thibault

Pantry and PalateJournalist Simon Thibault explores his Acadian roots by scouring old family recipes, ladies’ auxiliary cookbooks, and folk wisdom for 50 of the best-loved recipes of Acadians past and present. Recipes run the gamut from Acadian staples such as potato pancakes, Rappie Pie, Chicken Fricot, and various forms of meat pies; old-fashioned foodways, such as how to render your own lard, and make the most of out a pig’s head; and sumptuous sweets take the form of Rhubarb Custard Pie or a simple Molasses Cake.

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Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook

by May Fridel

Indian Cuisine Diabetes CookbookIndian cuisine combines fresh, seasonal ingredients with aromatic spices to create hearty dishes that are perfect for anyone who is trying to eat better and add variety and excitement to their meal plan. This book was designed to help home cooks of all skill levels prepare bold, delicious Indian meals that meet the American Diabetes Association nutrition guidelines and includes practical tips and techniques for the modern cook who doesn’t have hours to spend in the kitchen.

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If You Are What You Eat Should I Eat a Skinny Girl? by Nathalie Botros

If You Are What You Eat Should I Eat a Skinny GirlPsychotherapist, certified health coach, author, and ex-serial dieter Nathalie Botros is all too familiar with the struggles of weight loss – she herself fought that battle for years before adopting a new mindset which she calls the “bon-vivant” lifestyle. Translated from French “bon-vivant” means “well living” and Nathalie has made it her mission to help others live well – just as she has. Her new book is the roadmap to the bon-vivant lifestyle and will help readers everywhere change their own relationship to their food and their bodies.

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Journey from Invisibility to Visibility by Gail K. Harris, Marilyn C. Lesser and Cynthia T. Soloway

Journey from Invisibility to Visibility CoverWho better to write a book on aging than three social workers in the twilight of their lives? This book offers insight into the authors’ personal journeys, as well as the journeys of over 200 women “of age”, as they marched to 60 and beyond collecting a treasure trove of memories. Journey From Invisibility to Visibility guides the reader on a tour of her past with stops at each phase of her life to reflect on the meaning of her experiences and relationships. The reader is prompted with questions that are meant to help focus on the memories of people and events that have influenced her most. Together these memories create her personal narrative.

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Charlie Red Star

by Grant Cameron

Charlie Red Star CoverIn 1975, Manitobans reported UFOs over their province almost nightly. The string of unprecedented sightings launched the biggest UFO craze in Canadian history. With sightings for well over a year, one object seen again and again became known as Charlie Red Star. Grant Cameron was there. He witnessed Charlie Red Star many times, and led tours for others to see for themselves. This is the story revealed by eyewitnesses, photographers, and reporters chasing down the truth behind these still-unexplained encounters with UFOs.

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Real Life Super Heroes

by Nadia Fezzani

Super Heroes CoverIt’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Stuart, the CPA from down the street! Dressed like heroes from comic books and action movies, Real Life Super Heroes dress up at night, fight crime, save people, and some of them even have secret identities. Are they ordinary, mild-mannered citizens, or are they larger-than-life characters, determined to fight crime, risking life and limb to defend victims of violence and injustice? In her revealing new book author and investigative journalist Nadia Fezzani shines a spotlight on the people who come home from work, change into their uniforms (or costumes), and patrol the streets looking for crime to fight and victims in distress.

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Solve for Happy

by Mo Gawdat

Solve for Happy CoverIn 2001 Mo Gawdat, Chief Business Officer for Google [X] — an elite team of engineers that comprise Google’s futuristic “dream factory” — realized that despite his incredible success, he was desperately unhappy. A lifelong learner, he attacked the problem as an engineer would: examining all the provable facts and scrupulously applying logic. In Solve for Happy Mo shows us how to view life through a clear lens, teaching us how to dispel the illusions that cloud our thinking; overcome the brain’s blind spots; and embrace five ultimate truths.

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by Asa Soltan

Golden CoverAsa Soltan — Persian Pop Priestess, Spiritual Gangsta, and star of Bravo’s hit reality show, Shahs of Sunset — was eight years old when her family fled war-torn Iran to seek refuge in Germany. Feeling a need to connect to her culture and herself, she created rituals to practice every day. At first they were a simple way to create a sacred space for herself but eventually those rituals — on beauty, love, career, family, and friendships — kept her deeply connected to the authentic version of herself that existed without ego, baggage, or attachments to material things. in Golden: Empowering Rituals to Conjure Your Inner Priestess Asa shares seven sacred rituals to find peace and self-acceptance.

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Switch It Up

by Corinne Trang

Switch It Up CoverThe biggest challenge facing most people is how to get creativity and diversity into their diet, particularly when they are preparing meals daily. In Switch It Up Corinne Trang has created a treasure trove of core recipes with the goal of achieving a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Corinne inspires readers to break the cycle of cooking “dinner time fixtures” by including some new, and many familiar, ingredients and sharing her unique approach to savoring the methods by which a food is prepared and presented. The book takes readers on a journey of new and bold tastes using ingredients that will elevate creativity in the kitchen, a bonus for family and friends.

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The Sirtfood Diet

by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten

The Sirtfood Diet CoverThe Sirtfood Diet is an international bestselling sensation that will help you lose up to seven pounds in seven days. The revolutionary plan—credited for Adele’s amazing weight loss—features food rich in special nutrients that activates the same skinny genes in our body that fasting triggers. This delicious food group includes red wine, garlic, coffee, chocolate, and walnuts. In addition to Adele, both Pippa Middleton and heavyweight champion David Haye have used the diet for increased energy and improved performance along with amazing weight loss.

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The Man Who Carried Cash

by Julie Chadwick

The Man Who Carried Cash CoverBefore there was Johnny and June, there was Johnny and Saul. The Man Who Carried Cash chronicles a relationship that was both volatile and affectionate between Johnny Cash and his manager, Saul Holiff. From roadside taverns to the roaring crowds at Madison Square Garden, from wrecked cars and jail cells all the way to the White House, the story of Johnny and Saul is a portrait of two men from different worlds who were more alike than either cared to admit. Saul handled the bookings and the no-shows, the divorce and the record deals, drugs, overdoses, and arrests. But in 1973, at the zenith of Cash’s career, Saul quit. Until now, no one knew why.

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The Complete Month of Meals Collection

by American Diabetes Association

The Complete Month of Meals Collection CoverBack in its beloved classic format, The Complete Month of Meals Collectionis the ultimate cookbook and nutrition guide for people with diabetes, containing hundreds of recipes and meal planning tips from the American Diabetes Association’s bestselling series of Month of Meals meal planners. Using a unique, three-part split-page design, this interactive book allows readers to create meal plans instantly. With bonus chapters on salads, sides, drinks, and desserts, the meal combinations are nearly limitless, helping you plan meals that fit your needs.

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Didn’t see what you were looking for? Check out these other book reviews on my site!



or check out Amazon for the top wished for gifts!

Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items

Perfect glasses for your Face Shape

Are you looking for the perfect glasses to give to that special someone on your Christmas List? Or maybe you want to sneak them into your own stocking? Head over to  Sunglass warehouse  and Readers.com and check out the awesome inventory they have for every face shape!

They focus on the four most “common face shapes lined out here:

Common Face Shapes 

  • Square: round, aviator, oval, cat eye
  • Heart: rectangle, retro-square, cat eye
  • Oval: rectangle, retro-square, round
  • Round: rectange, retro-square, browline

I had the opportunity to try out some of the glasses they had to offer from both places and I really fell in love with all the samples they sent me. There wasn’t a pair that I didn’t like! Check out my selfies below!

Sunglass Warehouse Glasses 

This website has hundreds of choices! You can shop by men’s, women’s, trends, frame shape, lens type, frame size and more! Check them out on Instagram using #sunglasswarehouse (you can even have a chance to be featured in their gallery)

Sunglass warehouse glasses

Sunglass warehouse glassesSunglass warehouse glasses

Readers.com Glasses 

Their website is easy to navigate and also has hundreds of frames to choose from! You can shop men’s, women’s, frame shape, lens type, frame size and more! They have been featured several places including the TODAY show and PEOPLE magazine.

Readers.com glassesReaders.com glassesReaders.com glasses

These are readers and sunglasses! By far my favorite combo!

Happy Shopping! Let me know in the comments which glasses you think look best on me.

(I received free glasses for this review)

Sunday Suppers

Sunday Suppers: Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings  Cookbook Review 

Sunday Suppers Cookbook

(This post contains affiliate links. I received a copy of this cookbook for review) 


Cynthia Graubart is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and contributor to SOUTHERN LIVING magazine. She travels the South, inspiring cooks through

her appearances on radio, television and her popular cooking classes. Cynthia is passionate about food— from researching its origins, writing recipes, and teaching technique to bringing families together at the table. She lives in Atlanta, GA, with her husband. Find her on Instagram and Twitter (@cynthiagraubart).


I fell in LOVE with this cookbook the minute it landed on my doorstep! The quality of the pictures and the material that was chosen for the cover and pages is not like any other cookbook I have ever seen. If I saw this in a store I would have purchased it on the spot from the pictures alone. It’s sophisticated but homey at the same time. As I looked through the book I grew more and more excited to try the recipes.

The book is set up with an author’s note and purpose for the cookbook. Over the years I haven’t spent much time in this area of a cookbook but I did find this story captivating.It also had a section on how to use the book which included how to read a recipe, creating a menu, substitutions and creativity, making ahead, reheating, looking for leftovers, pantry and favorite kitchen tools. The part I found the most helpful was a section that discussed how to create and time a menu. The book is divided into five chapters; Just Us, Great Grilling, Company’s Calling, Litter Suppers, and Sunday Upside Down. Each chapter has several menus that can be cooked as a meal or you can pick any of the recipes and put them together to make your own menu.

Cooking the Meal: 

Since the title of the book is Sunday Suppers, I choose to cook and serve my meal on none other than Sunday! I invited some family to join us and decided to make it a true family meal. I decided on Menu nine from Chapter 1 (Just Us) which included Roasted Chicken, Roasted carrots, turnips and Onions, and Homemade Marshmallows for dessert. I won’t lie the Marshmallos sold me. (I had never made homemade marshmallows and was really looking forward to it!)The process for the meal took me a whole afternoon.

I started with the Marshmallows because they had a three hour resting time.

Mixing the marshmallows

Mixing the marshmallows

Cooling the marshmallowsThe Chicken was next, with a cook and rest time of 3 hours.

Chickens ready to go in

Chicken ready to serve

The Vegetables were last. They cooked quickly and should be watched very closely.

VegetablesIt was time to dig in! The chicken was VERY moist and had a wonderful lemon herb flavor. I even went back for seconds! (This recipe makes two chickens. We had a lot of leftovers which we made homemade chicken noodle soup, and chicken quesadillas out of. Just as tasty in the other dishes as it was by it’s self.) The vegetables were really yummy as well. My kids are a little picky when it comes to vegetables but they really enjoyed the carrots. The turnips were my favorite part and I could have eaten a whole bowl of just the turnips!. I served the marshmallows for desert

We’re ready to eat!

The finished “Sunday “Supper”Serving the marshmallow

Overall the meal was a success! I loved the menu idea! I loved the recipes; they were easy to follow and were star quality! The marshmallows didn’t disappoint either.  Most importantly my family loved it!

This cookbook would make a great gift for Christmas, a birthday or wedding or maybe a just because! To purchase click here 

To Read more about Cynthia Graubart, the AMAZING author of this cookbook look here! http://www.cynthiagraubart.com

Looking for the recipe I couldn’t wait to try? Look below!

Homemade Marshmallows 

Makes 2 dozen

Total Time: 45 minutes plus 3 hours for drying

wax Paper, 1 cup of Powered Sugar, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin, 3 cups of granulated sugar, 1 cup of light corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoon of vanilla

  1. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with wax paper. Combine powered sugar and 1/2 cup cornstarch in a bowl. Sift about 1/2 sugar-cornstarch mixture over wax paper; set remaining mixture aside.
  2. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup of water in  bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 1-minute.
  4. Turn mixer on low speed; add vanilla gelatin mixture. Carefully, add hot sugar mixture in slow steady stream. Increase speed to high; beat for 10 minutes or until thick. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Sift 1/2 cup powered sugar mixture in pan.
  5. Spread marshmallow mixture evenly in pan. Let stand for 3 to 4 hours.
  6. Turn out onto wax paper. Cut into desired shapes. Toss marshmallows with remaining reserved powered sugar mixture in a bowl. Store in airtight container.

Love Welcome Serve


Cook book cover Love Welcome Serve

(This post contains affiliate links. I received a copy of this cookbook for review) 

Amy Nelson Cannon, the owner of Euna Mae’s, a destination kitchen boutique in Northwest Arkansas, has created a new southern comfort cookbook titled LOVE WELCOME SERVE and it is an instant keeper for all chefs alike!

Amy has been a preacher’s wife in the south for more than 20 years. She uses food to Love, Welcome and Serve those around her. Her mission with this cookbook  is to encourage others to open their homes and hearts to connect with others over food and friendship. Her cookbook is designed to offer cooks simple, crowd pleasing, comfort recipes to fit any occasion. Her hope is that she will be able to ignite a passion in young cooks, as well as seasoned cooks, to open their hearts to hospitality and serving others.


First of all the cover of the cookbook is beautiful! It would totally catch my eye if I was walking through a store and saw it. The beginning of the book is an author’s note, really about the hopes she has, for her vision and mission of the cookbook. I won’t lie it’s inspirational. The next section is a set of hints and tips that I found were just the right length and really helpful. She discusses having the right stocked pantry; breaking it up into categories, having a well equipped kitchen, and my favorite part, where she discussed ingredients.

The cookbook is broken up into categories, Since it is turning cold here I choose to make a recipe from the Meats, Mains, and Sturdy Soups section. Living in the southwest I was so surprised and excited to see that there were a lot of recipes that had chili and southwest flavors. One that caught my eye was the White Chicken Chili with Cilantro and Lime. When I looked over the ingredients I was excited to see that I had most of the them, and that made my shopping trip that much easier. I choose to get a Rotisserie Chicken instead of shredding chicken, which was listed in her shortcut tips at the bottom of the recipe. (See recipe at the bottom) The recipe took about 45 minutes from start to finish and was absolutely heavenly. This will be one of my staple recipes from now on. Seeing that this recipe was such a success I am looking forward  to going through the cookbook and finding some more recipes to try.

This cookbook is a mix between budget and gourmet. I didn’t have any difficulty shopping for the ingredients, and the process was detailed and easy to follow.

Cooking chicken chiliFinished product of the chicken chili

Whether you are shopping for a Christmas present, a wedding gift, or simply adding to your own collection, this cookbook is a must buy!

To purchase the cookbook click here:

For more information on Amy and her kitchen boutique Euna Mae’s click here: http://onlyinark.com/arkansas-women-bloggers/faces-of-arkansas-amy-nelson-hannon-of-euna-maes/

Here is an Exerpt from Love Welcome Serve and the recipe I made and totally loved!

Oh my word. Y’all, it’s finally Fall! Fall is my favorite! If I had to list all the things I love about Fall in order of what I love best, it’d be nearly impossible. Football, crisp mornings, jeans and boots, apple everything, pumpkin everything, adding more blankets to the beds, and the anticipation of the holiday season! I mean, how’s a girl to choose?!

One other favorite of mine during this season is sturdy soups – a bowl full of earthy, warm goodness that gets at my soul. What’s the difference between regular soup and sturdy soup you might ask? Sturdy soups have girth. They are spoonfuls of hearty bites. And they fill bellies way up. You know, they’re sturdy. They can stand alone served with only a few fixins on top. Have I got a sturdy soup for you!

This recipe is an adaptation of one found in my church cookbook. Y’all know that if you can ever get your hands on a church cookbook, then it’s a keeper. Church cookbook recipes are those tried-and-true, time-tested, crowd-pleasing dishes. I know, because I’m a pastor’s wife, and I’ve been feeding people for more than 20 years. So you learn what’s good, what people come back for, and what people request recipes for. And this White Chicken Chili meets the criteria for sure! It is so creamy and loaded with flavor, and the texture is divine with hearty bites of tender chicken and white beans. Sturdy. This recipe is the first soup that my family asks for when the weather officially turns cooler and there’s football on TV. Here’s to fall! And here’s to full bellies and full hearts! – Amy Nelson Hannon, author of Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give



{serves 6-8}

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ – 2 cups yellow onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

3-4 cups chicken stock

½ cup dry white wine like Chardonnay (optional)

1 bay leaf, broken in half

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

3 cans white beans of your choice, drained

3 jalapeno peppers, minced

3 cups fresh grated Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Salt to taste

3 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for topping)

The juice of 3 limes


Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (around 5-6qts). Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until they’re tender and just starting to get color.  Add the garlic oregano, cumin, and ginger, cooking for one more minute. Stir continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn!  Add stock, wine (if using) and bay leaf.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes over medium heat until somewhat reduced.  Add chicken, beans, and jalapenos. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Over low heat add a little cheese at a time, stirring until melted.  Add pepper, and taste for salt; add if needed.  Stir in fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and serve! Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes, green onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, or sliced avocado.

Beyond Reason Book Tour

Beyond Reason Book Tour: Autumn Jones Lake

Beyond Reason Book cover Title: Beyond Reason: Teller’s Story Part 2

Series: Lost Kings MC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Autumn Jones Lake

Release: October 30th, 2017

Photographer: Meagan Harding

Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs

Makeup/SPFX Artist: Liv Zak

Cover Model: Jaxon Human

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36194023-beyond-reason

Book Review: 

I received an advanced copy for review.

I have read all nine books in the series and I just can’t get enough of the series, the author, and the story line. This really is my favorite romance series out there. This book did not disappoint! If you haven’t read the first part of this duo, Beyond Reckless Book #8, please do that first. This was a page turner and I couldn’t put it down. I read the story in one night! It was totally worth the book hangover I had the next day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! Autumn Jones Lake is a skilled author with a very loyal fan base. She writes a world you just wish you could crawl into and stay in forever!  It is intended for a mature audience.

                                                                Book Synopsis:

Beyond Reason starts out where Beyond Reckless left off. Charlotte and Teller are moving forward in their relationship, she has given him a key to her apartment and her heart and he has declared her the one and only for him. He is ready to take the next step, however, Charlotte is hiding a huge secret that she fears will keep Teller from giving her the happily ever after she is dreaming of. Her Uncle Chuck is a member of the Work Knights MC, a friend of the Lost Kings, but is not acting so friendly lately. He has ordered Charlotte to stay away from Teller and she is scared of what might happen between the clubs if Teller finds out. She pushes Teller away in order to protect him from her uncle.

A tragedy happens and Charlotte is lost and shutting everyone out. Charlotte’s brother, Carter, finally intervenes and Teller refuses to let Charlotte be along in her time of need, despite the growing tension between both clubs. A series of events leads Teller to keep secrets from his club brothers and Charlotte in an effort to keep everyone safe. The conflict and tension finally come to a head and Teller is forced to reveal what he knows to his club brothers. Not all his brothers are 100% on his side but he stands his ground and his belief and trust in Charlotte no matter what the consequences. As the secret unfolds, the truth becomes more devastating than Charlotte was prepared for. She falls into a despair, but Teller is there to pull her out of it. This book does comes with a HEA.

                                                                      My Thoughts:

I have never been team Teller. I wasn’t a fan of him in the other parts of the series but I have to say I was won over in this book. He became a totally different person (Character) than I had ever expected. He was loyal to the core to Charlotte and was willing to stand up for her and defend her honor through a situation that had happened years earlier before he had even knew her. I loved him for it.  He is defiantly a character you can never forget and wish would come walking into your life. I have to admit the ending surprised me a little because he was willing to give up something he said he never would for Charlotte. I found that the most surprising part and I think really the part that made me fall in love with him.



Betrayal by blood cuts the deepest.

Teller’s found his ride or die girl. The light Charlotte brings to his life has touched the darkest parts of his soul. But a devastating secret from her past resurfaces to threaten their future.

Every truth can be erased with one lie.

When a sinister truth is exposed, it forces Charlotte to question everything about herself. Even whether she’s worthy of Teller’s love.

The darkest betrayals never come from your enemies.

With Teller’s love roaring louder than the lies, Charlotte can finally put her demons to rest. But has too much damage been done for her to prove her loyalty to the Lost Kings?

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://pxlme.me/OpNr9aXz

iBooks: http://pxlme.me/e8alVzD2

Nook: http://pxlme.me/TYKaR-qO

Kobo: http://pxlme.me/bj9-N-vw


In The Series:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uP9lBk
iBooks: http://apple.co/2vaLQQA
Kobo: http://bit.ly/LKMC8_Kobo
Nook: http://bit.ly/LkMC8_Nook


Start the series:

Slow Burn (Lost Kings MC #1) – on sale for .99 cents

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eFGiEX

iBooks: http://apple.co/1TUbeoq

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fUS9VM

Nook: http://bit.ly/2agl83l


Corrupting Cinderella (Lost Kings MC #2) – on sale for .99 cents

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eFGELM

iBooks: http://apple.co/1X483Lk

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1YvgnBW

Nook: http://bit.ly/1SINO3S



Slow Burn (Lost Kings MC #1)

Corrupting Cinderella (Lost Kings MC #2)

Three Kings, One Night (Lost Kings MC #2.5)

Strength From Loyalty (Lost Kings MC #3)

Tattered on My Sleeve (Lost Kings MC #4)

White Heat (Lost Kings MC #5)

Between Embers (Lost Kings MC #5.5)

More Than Miles (Lost Kings MC #6)

White Knuckles (Lost Kings MC #7)

Beyond Reckless (Lost Kings MC #8)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wE4PXQ

Kobo: https://goo.gl/HXTNvX

B&N: http://goo.gl/Cf8SOo

iTunes: https://goo.gl/VRY8vC


Author Bio:

Autumn was born and raised in Upstate, New York. She spends her free time listening to music, going to concerts and spending time with her family. She enjoys reading, writing, acting and horror movies. Her favorite books are mystery, thrillers, horror, romance, erotica and urban fantasy.


Social Media Links:

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Beyond Reckless Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/autumnjoneslake/lkmc8_teller



Current Goodreads Giveaways:

White Knuckles: http://pxlme.me/pbvHFC08

Beyond Reason: http://pxlme.me/YHPPTTui

Beyond Reckless: http://pxlme.me/xMGE-lBG

Bullets and Bonfires: http://pxlme.me/iVCWOlyt