The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: July 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

INTO THE WOODS!! Opens December 25th!

Ever since I saw "Into the Woods" live on stage, I have wanted it to become a movie. Now it has!! I am so super duper excited about this movie. It is really a great story about what happens to all the fairytale characters we know and love. It also has great music!!

Because hubby works in the theatre, I have become a total theatre geek! And this brings both theatre and movies together! WOO! Plus, it is directed by Rob Marshall, who I adore! And who made my favorite musical, Chicago, into a great movie!








“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.

Rob Marshall, the acclaimed filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directs the film, which is based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics. Produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall, “Into the Woods” will be released in theaters Dec. 25, 2014.

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INTO THE WOODS opens in theaters everywhere on December 25th!

Giovanni Rana Pasta & Sauces Review and Giveaway!


It is no secret that I love pasta. If there is one thing I could never give up it is pasta. We have pasta a few times a week at our house. I make it several different ways but I find myself just focusing on spaghetti, rigatoni, fettuccine with a meat or cream sauce.


I've made pasta once in my life and that was at a cooking class. It was delicious. There is nothing like fresh pasta but I don't buy it or make it. It is something that has to change. I keep hinting that I need a pasta attachment for my KitchenAid mixer but hubby is ignoring me!

Luckily, I can have fresh pasta anytime now because I have discovered Giovanni Rana Pasta and Sauces!

I received a variety of pasta and sauces that included:
Ravioli Spinaci e Ricotta
Ravioli Mushroom
Caprese Duet
Tagliatelle
Fettuccine
Paglia e Fieno
Gnocchi
Spaghetti
Basil Pesto
Bolognese
Marinara

I was not sure how they would taste. I have bought fresh pasta at the store before and have been disappointed. Plus, my hubby does not like store bought sauces. He lies the ones I make. I have to say that I was a little skeptical that we would like these products.

I was wrong.

They were delicious! The pasta tasted fresh and the different varieties were so good. I especially liked the gnocchi because that is something I never make so that was a treat. The fettuccine was so good. And the Mushroom ravioli was another of my favorites. For store bought pasta, this was really good.



I also put some in the freezer and then used it and it was still delicious. My favorite this though was the Bolognese sauce. I did not tell hubby it was pre-made and he actually liked it better that he bolognese I make!! It was thick and savory. It was perfect.



Would I buy these products again? YES! I already found the local grocery store that sells the products! It is so much easier to buy fresh pasta than to make! You can find Giovanni Rana Pasta and Sauces at your local grocery store. Click here to find the closest location.

I have a variety of Giovanni Rana Pasta and Sauces for one lucky reader. Trust me, you want to try these products! For a chance to win, just enter below on the Rafflecopter widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GoPicnic Giveaway!





There are days when I am so busy, I almost forget to eat. Almost. Sometimes, it is because I have to run errands and I lose track of time. There are days when I don't eat breakfast because I have to run out early. On days like this, I need Go Picnic.

GoPicnic provides a variety of ready to go meals. Go Picnic has introduced a new line of breakfast items. GoPicnic breakfast is made with simple, great tasting ingredients, and none of the bad stuff you may used to finding in a convenient breakfast to go, like artificial colors & flavors, trans fats, HFCS, or added MSG.

GoPicnic breakfasts, ready-to-eat meals & snack kits are filled with the very best foods from our GoPicnic brand family, including Copper Cowbell cheeses, Sweet Perry Orchards fruits & nuts, Little Bread Hen baked goods, GoPicnic Garden dips, & Professor Zim Zam's Extraordinary Sweets confection perfection.


These tasty go-to-meals are great to have around the house. The Creamy vegetable spread with multigrain crackers make a great snack or lunch as well. The Croissant and chocolate almond butter was great to have as a fast breakfast.

GoPicnic also has other meals for you to try. Check out their website and see the variety of over 30 goodies you can find. I love GoPicnic meals for picnics and snack. I love to have them when I travel since they are allowed on the plane. Why pay a fortune for airline snacks when you can buy GoPicnic? Many are great for for special diets, like gluten-free, vegan, & kosher.

Click here to receive a Target coupon! If you want a chance to try these GoPicnic breakfast items, then enter below on the Rafflecopter widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Top 5 Most Remarkable Hot Springs in the World!

While there’s nothing better than soaking in one of the Hot tubs from ArtesianSpas you might want to experience it on a larger scale and hot springs are the perfect way to do it! This handy guide on the world best natural hot springs, from New Zealand to Norway, show you the very best hot springs from across the globe.





Courtesy of Artesian Spas


Plush Grumpy Cat Giveaway!!

If you know me, you know I LOVE the Grumpy Cat. I cannot get enough of that grumpy kitty. I picked up these two Grumpy Cats on sale. One is for me and one is for one lucky reader.

I was this close to the Grumpy Cat when I went to the Disney Social Media Moms event this February. She was in the same room with us.  I wish I would have been able to get a photo with her. She is adorable!!


I have one Grumpy Cat plush for someone because that's how I roll. Check out this beauty. It can be yours!! Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below! 




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wet-Nap Helps Me with My Summer Messes! #showusyourmess #pmedia #ad

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


During the summer, we like to go out an enjoy the warm weather. We just moved to Wilmington last month and there are so many places to visit and explore. We find that when we move, it is important to check out the city before life becomes too busy to do so.


One thing I love about Wilmington is that there is water. The beach is 15 minutes away and the River is only 10 minutes away. I also love that it is warmer than the mountains of North Carolina where we used to live. We still have to get used to the heat but we are very happy here.

The other night we decided to head to Downtown Wilmington for dinner. We found a great Southern Food restaurant and had a great meal. Then we headed out to explore the area. There was a film crew working on the new Nicholas sparks movie. We went by the riverside and saw the Battleship North Carolina. We also stopped to get some ice cream for dessert.


Thank goodness I always keep Wet-Nap towelettes in my purse because after walking for a few minutes with our ice cream, it started melting. Of course, if melted all over my hands and face. It was inevitable. The ice cream was so good but the heat won over. The napkins hubby had picked up were not helping. Then I remembered I had tossed in some Wet-Nap towelettes into my purse earlier that day.





I had gone to Walmart and picked some up. Luckily, I immediately took some out and slipped them into my purse. I pulled them out and we were able to enjoy our ice cream without too much mess. The Wet-Naps are strong so you only need one to clean up. I also love that the Wet-Nap towelettes are moisturized with aloe because I don't have to worry about the towelettes drying out my skin.


I love having Wet-Nap towelettes handy. I keep them in my purse and my car. I have the canister at home in the kitchen as well. If you are messy like me, you need to buy some Wet-Nap towelettes and keep them handy. You can find Wet-Nap products in the health and beauty sections of your store but you can also find them in the napkin aisle as well.

If you need to pick up some Wet-Nap products, click here to get a $.55 off any of the products while supplies last. Head over to Walmart because they have everyday low prices and the coupon is a great deal. Remember, to stock up this summer because if you make messes like me, you will need them!

Friday, July 25, 2014

What Bite Takes You Home? The Hundred Foot Journey Recipes!

As you all know, I have been sharing recipes from The Hundred Foot Journey. I cannot wait to see this movie. It opens August 8 so it won't be long until I can see it. What has me intrigued about this movie is that it is about food and so much more. One of the themes in the movie is "Every Bite Takes You Home."

It's funny because there are times when I smell or taste something and it automatically brings me back to another time. Thinking about what takes me home was difficult because there are so many flavors and tastes that take me back when I was a little girl or to certain periods on my life.

One of the bites that definitely takes me home is Shake "n" Bake chicken. I know this is weird for someone who is a wannabe foodie but it will always remind me of my grandmother. I even wrote a post about it on my other blog. The funny thing is she was the most awesome cook ever but every so often she would use Shake 'N Bake because it was something they did not have in Costa Rica. So she would make the chicken and yellow rice and a green salad with Bob Big Boy's bleu Cheese dressing and we would love it. Sometimes when I miss her, I make Shake 'N Bake chicken, yellow rice and salad with bleu cheese dressing. It always comforts me.

The other bite that takes me home is Gallo Pinto (recipe here). When I was a little girl, we had this all the time in Los Angeles. And then when we would visit Costa Rica to see our family, we would have it there as well. Because this dish is so typically Costa Rican it is something that takes me back to being a little girl and also back to visiting Costa Rica. Even now when I go to Costa Rica, I make sure to eat this a few times while I am there.

I could name a few more but that would be a very long post. I realized food is a huge part of my life and I am most happy when cooking for the ones I love. I love sharing food with friends and family. I think that is why I am do drawn to this movie. Food is so important in all our lives and I think that The Hundred Foot Journey will show that.

I know I will be in line the first day this movie is out. I hope you will check it out as well. Here are some more recipes from the movie. These are from Food Network star Chef Bar Arneson who was inspired to create 6 absolutely delicious dishes after she saw the film. There are so many of these recipes that I want to try! If I do, I will make sure to let you know!

Tell me if there is a bite that takes you home. Buen Provecho! 












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THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY arrives in theaters everywhere on August 8th!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

National Tequila Day! Celebrate with Herradura!



Did you know today was National Tequila Day? Neither did I but now I do. I am not a huge drinker but I do love my margaritas!! In honor of National Tequila Day, I am bringing you some delicious recipes using Herradura tequila. Herradura is a fantastic tequila. We are having a housewarming party next month and I think I might add these to our cocktail list! YUMMO!


Pineapple Serrano Margarita

Ingredients
2 oz. Herradura Silver
3 cubic inches of pineapple diced
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
3 slices of Serrano chili with seeds.

Instructions
Crush pineapple and chili slices in the base of a shaker with a muddler. Add cubed ice and remaining ingredients; shake hard and strain over ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a chili and a star Anise pod.




Easy Tiger

Ingredients:
· 1 ⅓ oz. Herradura Blanco
· 2 slices of ginger
· 2 tsp agave syrup
· Squeezed fresh lime juice
· Ginger Ale

Instructions:
In a shaker, crush the ginger and blend in the agave syrup. Add ice and remaining ingredients. Shake and strain into the cocktail glass and cap off with ginger ale.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tips from Hispanic Dermatologist Dr. Francisco Flores and Aveeno Giveaway!



Renowned Hispanic Dermatologist for AVEENO® has teamed up with renowned Hispanic Dermatologist,  Dr. Francisco Flores to share essential tips for summer skin care. Dr. Flores is making sure that Latinas and everyone else has the information to keep every one's skin looking good this summer.

Here are some tips from Dr. Flores:
* Always Use a Moisturizer with Sunscreen – It is important to use daily sun protection. Not only will you be preventing the dreaded dark spots or hyperpigmentation, but also premature wrinkles, which are 90% sun induced. 
* Keep Your Neck and Chest Protected at All Times – We tend to miss these areas when applying sunscreen during the summer, and since the skin is thin on those areas, it is more susceptible to sun damage. Following are some great ways to quickly renew your skin after a day in the sun:
  • Clean and exfoliate your neck and chest to get rid of makeup, dirt and excess oil
  • Buff your neck and chest with facial scrub once a week, and
  • Extend your daily application of sunscreen and face lotion down to these areas.
*  Revitalize Your Body – Chances are you are spending countless hours under the sun leaving you with very dry skin, even your feet from wearing flip flops! Pamper yourself by taking short, lukewarm showers while using a moisturizing cleanser that will help revive your skin. Rely on natural ingredients such as oat to help improve the health of your skin. 
* Treat Your Uneven Skin Tone – Sun damage can cause uneven skin tone and dark spots. Use a moisturizer with soy and sunblock to help even out skin tone.

*  Drink Lots of Water – Keeping ourselves hydrated during the summer is of vital importance, therefore, drink lots of water and very frequently.


These are fantastic tips. I found the second tip so helpful because I never ever put sunscreen on my neck or the bottom of my chin. And when I think of it, I always have my chin in the sun if I am relaxing by the pool. Luckily, I drink plenty of water and always use sunscreen.

I hope these tips are helpful. I know they made me think twice about my sun regiment. Now that we live by the beach, I am getting more sun than usual.

To help you out during the summer, I have a set of some great Aveeno products for one lucky reader. The winner will receive a variety of products similar to the ones I received. These are great. And if you read my blog regularly, you know I am a huge Aveeno fan! For a chance to win, just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nakano and Holland House Review & Giveaway!


I love cooking. I always make sure to have all sorts of cooking supplies in my kitchen. I have oils, vinegars, wines, spices and gadgets. One of cuisines I have not mastered yet is Asian food. I have tried and tried but can never get it right.

But now, with a little bit of practice and Nakano and Holland House products, I am doing so much better. I recently received some Nakano and Holland House products to review and put them to good use. I have always used Nakano and Holland House in my kitchen and I will continue using them. I adore the Nakano Rice Vinegar and the Holland House cooking wines.



I had never tried the other flavors of the Nakano Vinegars and they have quite a few. I tried the samples I received and I really like them. I found a recipe for a stir fry sauce and it worked really well with the Nakano and Holland House products.The sauce included fresh ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, honey, rice vinegar and white white. I used the Holland House sake instead of the white wine and it was delicious. The quality of these products is what I love. They are always good.



The vinegar is so tasty. I now use the Rice Vinegar with roasted garlic in my vinaigrette instead of regular red wine vinegar. It gives my food a pop. And, I cannot live without my Holland House cooking wines. I use regular wine sometimes but I like using the cooking wines because they are less harsh and give my recipes a smooth flavor. If you use regular wine, you have to be careful of a bitterness you do not get from the Holland House products.



I am a fan and will continue using these products. I am hoping that one day I will master the art of Asian cooking. These products are definitely a help!

I have a great giveaway courtesy of Nakano and Holland House. I have a variety of Holland House and nakano products for 5 winners!! Trust me, you want to enter this giveaway. You know the drill, enter below on the Rafflecopter widget.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Balance Bar and Walmart Help Me Shape Up This Summer! #BalanceShapeUp #spon

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Balance Bar and Walmart.



This summer, I am getting fit. Yes, I always say that every summer but this year, I have really started working out and trying to eat better. My downfall is always snacks and not eating breakfast. I have to get used to eating early. I also have to start choosing my snacks a little better than I have been.

The other day I headed to Walmart and picked up some Balance Bars. I am going to try the Balance Bar Summer Shape Up Challenge and get fit this summer. The 40-day Challenge is filled with 30-minute workouts, healthy eating tips and multiple social media giveaways on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Holly Del Rosso, an NASM certified personal trainer, created the exercise program which includes 18 different 30-minute workouts focused on different parts of the body such as abs, legs and back.


I have already started on the exercise part and now I have to focus on the food part. I need to eat less but better. I need to eat smaller meals Balance Bars® are available in four unique product lines (Original, Gold, Dark and bare) that offer more than 20 delicious flavors based on the 40/30/30 nutrition model – a proven formula developed by scientists to help maintain blood sugar levels already within a normal range and that represents the caloric ratio the body needs to enjoy lasting balanced energy and help satisfy hunger for longer; 40% of total calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and 30% from dietary fat.


I chose the Peanut Butter flavor because I love peanut butter. They were chewy and delicious. They also helped my appetite remain low. I have one after I exercise and sometimes I have one at breakfast if I am in a rush. Eating healthy is the key to weight loss and I am on the right track this summer.


You should check out Balance Bar if you want to lose weight. Also check out the 40 day Challenge and see if it works for you. You can follow Balance Bar on social media. Follow on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Come and join the #BalanceShapeUp Twitter Chat on July 31 at 3pm ET to chat about healthy eating and working out this summer. You will get valuable information that will help you shape up this summer.  I also have a great giveaway! One lucky reader will win a $10 Walmart card and a variety of Balance Bar products! Just enter below on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crème brûlée Recipe from The Hundred Foot Journey!

One of my dreams is to go to culinary school. I dream about making wonderful food that looks beautiful. I have to admit though that I am already a pretty good cook. There are a few things I can never master and Crème brûlée is one of them. I am going to try this recipe but I am not sure if it will turn out. My other attempts have not been that great.

Of course, this is another one of those fantastic recipes that I have been sharing from The Hundred Foot Journey movie. What can be better than a movie about food? I hope you enjoy it!






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THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY arrives in theaters everywhere on August 8th!