The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: November 2014

Visit My Other Blog: Carolyn in Carolina!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA: French Bistro Cookbook Giveaway

I rarely review books because I never have the time to read them and then write up a review. It seems the only time I ever read anymore is when I am traveling! But the other day I was asked if I wanted to review the "French Bistro: Restaurant-Quality Recipes for Appetizers, Entrées, Desserts, and Drinks" by Maria Zihammou. I said yes.


This is a first for me. But I looked at some of the recipes and it took me back to last year when I visited Paris for the first time. I was enthralled with Paris and the food. I have been tying to learn how to cook some French dishes. This book made it easy to do.

The instructions were easy to follow. There are very difficult recipes and easy ones. Highlights include: oysters au gratin with garlic butter; buttery crepes with lemon sugar; chicken with lavender honey and lemon sauce; mango sorbet with pineapple, caramel syrup, and sea salt; sole with butter sauce and butter-fried capers; pain bagna filled with tuna salad, vegetables, olives, and Dijon; and much more.

I tried the French Onion soup and Croque Monsieur because that was the first thing I ate in Paris and I will always remember that. The recipe was was and the meal delicious.



If you have a foodie on your gift list, this book is a must buy. I think anyone who enjoys cooking would enjoy learning how to make French classics.


I am going to be using this book, a lot! I am going to tackle mussels next! Now I have an extra copy of this wonderful book for one lucky reader. If you want to win, please enter below on the Rafflecopter widget below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Maria Zihammou is a freelance journalist and food creator. In her inspiring cooking philosophy, the raw ingredients are key, the cooking is simple, and the food is a delight to eat.

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, November 25, 2014

Thanks to IGIGI for my Latin Grammys dress!

I needed a really nice dress for the Latin Grammys and IGIGI came through for me. They sent me the beautiful Francesca dress to wear for the evening and I loved it. I love all the IGIGI clothes though.

Because I am plus size, sometimes it is hard to find really cute clothes especially evening wear. But when I need a fancy dress for a special occasion, I always head over to IGIGI. I can always find something special and beautiful. The clothes fit perfectly and always makes an impression. There is so much to choose from that I know I will find the perfect outfit.

I also love shopping there for work clothes. I have a few jackets and casual dresses that I can wear to work. It is one of the best plus size sites I have ever shopped at.

My dress for the Latin Grammys was amazing. Here are some pics of me rocking the red carpet!






Monday, November 24, 2014

Pacific Rim Riesling and Sara Lee, the Perfect Holiday Pairing + giveaway!


During the holidays, I serve a lot more wine than usual. My guests love it so I always have it handy. I am not a wine expert so I am always a little unsure what wine to serve with my meals and desserts. Luckily, this holiday Pacific Rim Riesling wines and Sara Lee desserts are making it easy.

I received 3 lovely bottles of Pacific Rim Riesling wine and recipes for desserts using Sara Lee products. The information I received also gave me the pairings, which was so helpful. This is fantastic because I never have any idea what wine to serve with each meal or dessert. So this makes my life so much easier.


I love the holidays because I love cooking. I love making a whole Thanksgiving dinner. I love cooking for Christmas and New Year's as well. What I don't like about the holidays is making dessert. I can cook almost everything but baking is something that I don't do very well.

So sometimes, I get a little help by picking up ready made pies and sweets. It makes my life so much easier and my guests really have no idea if I made it or not. I always come clean but after they have the dessert. One of those products that I always go to is Sara Lee frozen desserts and now I can impress my guests by pairing these goodies with the Pacific Rim wines.


I really loved the Pacific Rim wines. The wines came in dry, off-dry and sweet. I am all about sweet wines. I love them as a cocktail with fruit or with dinner. And the sweet wine was absolutely delicious with my Sara Lee cheesecake with strawberries on top. Delicious. Check out the website for more pairing that will make your holidays so wonderful.

There is a wine for every palate and a wine for every dish. Pacific Rim Riesling wines are the perfect wine for the holidays. I know I will be serving these wines with my Thanksgiving dinner and also with my New Year's Eve meal. You can find Pacific Rim Wines at your local grocery and liquor stores.

So remember this holiday season, bring a little Riesling to the party!

I have 2 full value coupons to giveaway to one lucky reader! Just enter below on the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can follow Pacific Rim Riesling on Twitter or like on Facebook!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Star Wars Rebels Activity Sheets! #starwarsrebels

If you haven't seen Star Wars Rebels, you should. It is a great little show and great for the kids and Star War fans like me. Luckily, I have some activity sheets for you to print our for your kids. I love these activity sheets. I print them out when my friends come over with their kids so they have something to do. Since my house is kid free, it is great to have these sheets for kids! Enjoy them!






Friday, November 21, 2014

AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Collection Giveaway!


During wintertime, my skin get really dry and I need to step up my skin care routine. Of course, that includes Aveeno products. My skin gets really dry but, luckily, it never gets so bad that it interferes with my life. Unfortunately, there are others whose skin does cause them problems.

Did you know that approximately 35 million children and adults in the U.S. suffer from eczema, a chronic skin disorder resulting in intense itching and overall discomfort? When it comes to Hispanics, eczema severity increases among children ages 0-17.


A lot of factors can exacerbate the symptoms of eczema. things like heat, sweat, sudden changes in temperature, stress, anxiety and exposure to certain chemicals such as secondhand smoke or personal hygiene products like shampoos, soaps or perfumes are some causes.

Do you have eczema? If you do not know check out the symptoms of Eczema:

  • Dry and sensitive skin
  • Intense itching
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Rough, leathery patches
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Dark colored patches of skin


If you show signs of eczema or suffer from eczema, you can follow these tips to prevent or relieve the eczema:

* Take lukewarm baths and showers using mild non-fragranced soaps and moisturizers. Afterwards, gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Apply moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated.

* Wear cotton or soft fabrics. Avoid wearing wool and polyester clothing, rough, scratchy fibers and tight clothes.

* Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather.

* Keep fingernails short in order to help prevent from scratching and breaking the skin.

* Some people with allergies find it helpful to remove carpets from their homes and give pets a dander treatment.



AVEENO® Eczema Therapy Collection is a great way to relieve or keep eczema in check. I love AVEENO® products and they really do well for my skin. You can trust in AVEENO® Eczema Therapy products with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal, because they help moisturize and alleviate irritated, extra-dry skin. This line of creams and bath treatments is clinically shown to soothe eczema symptoms. They were developed with leading dermatologists and pediatricians and have been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.

I also have a basket full of AVEENO® Eczema Therapy products for one lucky reader. 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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bojangles Offers Seasoned Fried Turkey + GIVEAWAY! #TisTheSeasoning.


You all know I love Bojangles’ chicken! It is one of my favorite places to go when I need a fast and tasty meal.

What I bet you don't know is that Bojangles' offers Seasoned Fried Turkeys for Thanksgiving! Oh my, how wonderful. This is a delicious solution to help people save time over the holidays in the kitchen, leaving more time for what’s important—family & friends!

You can pre-order Bojangles’ Seasoned Fried Turkeys by visiting one of the participating stores. If you take home the turkey the same day your order is placed you will also receive a bonus $5 Bojangles’ gift card. If you can't take it home the same day, you can still pre-order the Turkey and pick it up as late as noon on Thanksgiving Day.


I had no idea you could order a fried turkey and now I am dying to try it! I also did not know that these turkeys sell out before Thanksgiving so you need to order your turkey ahead of time!! The turkeys are sold for $39.99. Each turkey weighs in at 10 to 13 pounds and feeds six to eight people. The turkeys come ready to cook—customers can simply take it home, heat and serve.


How easy is that? If you aren't cooking this year or hate to cook, Bojangles Fried Turkey might be a great option for you. You can also pick up some yummy sides as well! I love Bojangles mashed potatoes and Cajun Pintos ®. Bojangles also offers mac ‘n cheese, green beans, Seasoned Fries, and Dirty Rice®. And pick up dessert as well. The Bo-Berry Biscuits®, Cinnamon Pecan Twists and individual Sweet Potato Pies are also available. I LOVE the Bo-Berry Biscuits®. Yum!



To see if your local Bojangles’ is offering the popular Seasoned Fried Turkeys just visit the bojangles.com/locator and call the store and see if you can order it up!

In addition to Seasoned Fried Turkeys, customers can add the delicious taste of Bojangles’ seasonings to every holiday meal by purchasing Bojangles’ pre-packaged French Fry Seasoning at participating locations beginning Monday, Nov. 24. Follow Bojangles on Twitter and share your seasoned dishes and holiday memories with the hashtag #TisTheSeasoning.



Thanks to the great peeps at Bojangles, I have a $20 Bojangles card for one lucky reader! WOOHOO! They have such great food! If you want to win, 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, November 19, 2014

Conversemos de Tus Finanzas ~ Let's Talk About Finances! #WellsFargo #sponsored

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Wells Fargo.



During the holidays I tend to overspend. Besides the multiple gifts I buy, I also have to spend more on groceries and gas. Because of this, I always try to prepare in the months ahead buy cutting my budget and saving here and there so I can have the extra money needed for the holidays.

In the months prior to the holidays, I cut out all unnecessary expenses. I make a plan and a budget and start saving. I make sure to stop using my credit cards and start using cash so I can better control my spending. I learned this from my parents who always talked to us about finances and being responsible.

We had a savings account by the age of 5 at Wells Fargo. My parents would take us to the bank and really showed us the importance of being fiscally aware and responsible. They told us to save and always have money put aside for a rainy day. It was a wonderful lesson they taught us. And, to this day, those lessons have helped me in my life.

That is why I am glad that Wells Fargo has collaborated with Telemundo for the "Conversemos de Tus Finanzas" campaign. This campaign is committed to making financial education and in-language resources available to Latino consumers. By giving Latinos those tools, it empowers the community. These essential tools will help people take control of their finances and make informed decisions on how to manage their money.

The Wells Fargo site provides customers with bilingual online tools, Spanish Text Banking, Spanish account statements, Spanish-language call centers, Spanish-speaking bankers in stores across the nation, and more. With these resources Latinos will be able to learn about money management, credit, and other important financial topics.


These tools can be used by anyone as well. Finances are something that are often ignored until something happens but it is a topic that should be discussed.  Here are just some tips that might help you these holidays and all-year round:

Credit Tips
Establishing and constructing your credit is important in reaching your financial goals. Follow these tips to establish, improve and maintain your credit:

Check your credit report annually
Make sure your credit report contains current and accurate information. Errors could negatively impact your credit score and even be a sign of possible identity theft. Request a free copy of your credit report at least once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.

Pay your bills on time
Your payment history is one of the biggest factors in your credit score – including things that may surprise you like on-time payment of your rent and cell phone bill. Using free online tools, often available through your financial institution’s online banking, can help you develop a budget and create an automatic bill payment schedule.

Set up alerts
Set up email and text alerts, as well as autopay, to help ensure that you pay your bills on time and build positive credit history.

Pay more than the minimum
Paying more than what's due on your credit card helps you pay down debt faster and can improve your credit score.

Keep debt at no more than 35 percent of your gross monthly income
Lenders look at the amount of debt a consumer has compared to their monthly income when making credit decisions.

Contact your lenders
If you ever have trouble paying a credit account, contact the lender rather than simply not paying. Oftentimes, they can work with you.

Think before closing accounts
Closing credit card accounts may lower your available credit and could hurt your credit score in the short term.

Understand how strong credit impacts your bottom line. 
Your credit score influences the interest rate you qualify for. The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll pay in interest over time. Many sites, including Wells Fargo, offer calculators that help consumers understand how interest rates impact their payment and the total cost of the loan.

Establish and maintain healthy credit – even if you don’t need a loan.
Lenders aren't the only people who use credit scores to make decisions – many insurance companies, cell phone providers and landlords do, too.



Money Management Tips

Money management is also very important when it comes to reaching your financial goals. Follow these tips so that managing your money is simple and effective:

Learn where you can put your money

Learn the types of accounts that are available and how to determine which ones you need. Here are some definitions to help you navigate your banking needs:
     o Checking account
     o Savings account
     o Certificate of Deposit (CD)
     o Money market account
     o Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

     o Before opening an account, it's important to understand the terms and features. When you are             thinking about opening an account, you should spend some time reviewing the features and                 requirements associated with the accounts you are considering.

     o Learn how the FDIC safeguards your funds. The FDIC insures deposits and assesses the health          of financial institutions across all 50 states.

Prepare a budget

     o Understanding your income sources is one of the starting points towards creating a budget.
            * Your annual gross income represents your total income before any taxes or other                                  deductions.  “Take-home pay” represents your net income, specifically your income minus                  taxes, credits, and deductions.

     o Tracking your expenses will help you spend your money more wisely. If you take the process              step-by-step, it can be surprisingly easy to find out how you're spending your money. Here's                how:
                 * Gather your financial statements.
                 * Create a list of monthly expenses.
                 * Examine your expenses.
                      • Fixed expenses
                      • Flexible expenses
                      • Discretionary expenses

     o Saving for life's special moments. Set your sights on specific goals to effectively target your               savings strategy. Look for an online budgeting tool that helps you identify and track multiple               goals at once.

     o Putting it all together in a budget. Create a budget in five easy steps.
                *  Step 1: Organize. At its core, a budget is a worksheet with two columns: one for income                       and  one for expenses.
                * Step 2: Track. For one month, keep a detailed log of all your spending habits.
                *  Step 3: Analyze. At the end of the month, total your income and your expenses and then                      subtract your expenses from your income.
                *  Step 4: React. After looking at all of your expenses, separate them into categories and set                     a budget for each.
                *  Step 5: Review: Make a habit of reviewing your budget every month, particularly in the                       early stages.

Manage cashflow and savings

     o Track your spending. Online tools can make the process of tracking your spending completely             automatic. If you choose to track your spending manually, get in the habit of consistently                     following a few basic practices:
                * Save receipts
                * Use your credit card
                * Update your records
                * Review the results

     o Pay yourself first. If you're having trouble finding ways to pay yourself first, try taking these               steps to get into the habit:
               * Figure out how much you can afford
               * Set a personal payment goal
               * Create a savings strategy

     o Reduce your debt. If you find that you’re paying down your debt each month, but your balance           doesn't seem to budge, you may want to take a look at your payment strategy. Here are a few               tips to help you make more headway:
              * Organize your debt
              * Prioritize your payments
              * Consolidate your debt

     o Save for an emergency. Learn how much you should save in case of an emergency.

     o Keep track of your account. An important step in managing your finances is consistently                     tracking your account activity.

     o Avoid overspending. Keeping an accurate record of your transactions is the best way to avoid             spending more money than you have in your account.

These are just some tips that everyone should know. The importance of learning how to manage your money is something everyone should master. Not everyone learns these tips and then they get in trouble.

This holiday season take a little time to make sure you are making the right decisions when spending. Take advantage of sales and discount coupons. Only buy what you need. Use cash instead of using your credit cards. Make homemade gifts. And make a BUDGET and stick to it!!

Talk about your finances and make sure to take control of your money so it does not control you.

Headed to Vegas! #mimusica #vzwbuzz #mimusica


As you know I am a member of the #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger. And thanks to Verizon Wireless, I am headed to Las Vegas to cover the Latin Grammys! I was there last year and had a blast! I am excited because it will be so much fun!!

Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram because I will be posting pictures and information!! I will also be writing about my adventures there!!

Very excited!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Northpole products at Hallmark + Giveaway!

One of my go to stores for the holidays is Hallmark. I always love going there to find cute cards. I also love the unique gifts that you can find. I have several family members who collect tree ornaments and I know I will always find an special ornament at Hallmark.

This year Hallmark is offering a line of new products called Northpole. Northpole products are all about Santa, Mrs. Clause and the elves. Take a first look into Santa’s magical city called Northpole: check out a behind-the-scenes video and discover the winter wonderland at Northpole1820.com!



These gifts are adorable. They will bring a little holiday magic into your home. Or you can give a little holiday magic to your friends, family and anybody else who deserves a little holiday cheer!

I received a few of the new Northpole gifts available at Hallmark and they are amazing. Not only are these great for me but they are great for gifting. They can also be used as stocking stuffers, teacher's gifts, as a hostess gift or a gift for friends.



The Snowflake Hostess Set is so pretty. It is the perfect holiday gift for teacher or for someone who loves to host parties. The Red Stitchery Note Cards are cute. It is a perfect stocking stuffer.


If you have someone on your list who loves to write cards, this is the perfect gift. Of course, you can also use these to say thank you for the gifts your received.



My favorite gift is the Three-Stack Tower of Memo Pads. I am crazy about note pads of all kinds. These are so cute and perfect for my desk. These make great gifts for co-workers or students. And it makes the perfect teacher's gift!



How adorable are all these gifts? Plus, there are so many more over at the Hallmark Northpole site!
And while you are there, take a magical tour through Northpole and see all the site has to offer. There are lots of things to do and see!

And thanks to the great peeps at Hallmark, I have a set of Northpole gifts for one lucky reader! These will delight anyone! 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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

LUBRIDERM® ADVANCED THERAPY MOISTURIZING LOTION GIVEAWAY!!



Since we moved to Wilmington, it has gotten chilly. Now, it is not as chilly as when we lived in the mountains of North Carolina but even here at the beach, it get cold. And when it gets cold,  my skin gets dry. This year it has been really rough because my skin had to get used tot he heat here are the beach and now it has to deal with the cold.

Luckily, I have my LUBRIDERM®. LUBRIDERM® is my lotion of choice when it comes to dry skin. When I get that crocodile skin nothing works better. LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy Lotion restores the moisture in my skin and helps bring it back to life.


LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy is specially formulated with vitamins and nutrients naturally found in healthy skin, LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy Lotion provides immediate and long-lasting relief for extra-dry skin. The nourishing formula leaves skin soft, smooth and comfortable and is clinically shown to moisturize and restore healthier-looking skin. LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy Lotion is non-greasy and gentle enough even for sensitive skin.

LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy Moisturizing Lotion: Clinically shown to provide relief for extra dry skin, making it healthier-looking and more resilient in just one week. The formula, infused with Vitamins B5 and E as well as essential lipids naturally found in healthy skin, soothes and moisturizes, leaving skin soft and supple.

I know it works for my skin. LUBRIDERM® is long-lasting relief for dry skin and I cannot do without it! If you get dry and cracked skin, check out LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy Lotion!

LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy Moisturizing Lotion is available at national food, drug and mass merchandisers and sells $6.99 for 16 fl. oz.; $2.99 for 6 fl. oz.; $1.99 for 3.3 fl. oz.; $8.99 for 24 fl. oz.

If you want to win a set of LUBRIDERM® Advanced Therapy Lotion 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.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Disney's McFarland USA!



Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school, with whom they ultimately bond to build not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.

I am a sucker for sports movies. I am not a huge sports fan but sports movies get me every time. Next year, McFarland USA opens and I know this will definitely be on my viewing list. I also love movies that are based on true stories as well. I am also a sucker for Kevin Costner! Check out the trailer because, folks, this one looks good!!



Follow MCFARLAND, USA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcfarlandusa

Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypictures

McFARLAND, USA is rated PG and opens in theaters everywhere on February 20, 2015!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The LG OLED TV is Now Available at Best Buy!! @BestBuy #HintingSeason #OLEDatBestBuy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.


I cannot believe that the holidays are here! It's time for me to get on the ball and start my holiday shopping. For all the techies on my list I head over to Best Buy to check those gifts off  my list. I also love getting those techie gifts from Best Buy.

Last year, we got a few goodies like a new TV, Blu-ray player and some cool accessories. This year, I am hinting that I would love new TV for our new house. It's #HintingSeason and I am making sure hubby gets the message.

One of those items on my list is the LG OLED TV. This baby has it all. It features picture quality including Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color that delivers a greater sense of realism and depth, enhanced color range and accuracy, super thin design and the intuitive webOS™Smart TV interface that lets you find content faster.


Because the LG OLED TV is only 0.21" thick at its thinnest point, the picture quality is amazing! LG's exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors. The colors are are deeper and richer, the contract is clear and the curves screen enhances your viewing. The LG OLED TV features:
* Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color - delivers more natural, lifelike viewing.
* 4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.
* Super thin design (consider how to show visually)
* Find content faster with webOS


You can learn more about the LG OLED TV at LGOLEDatBestbuy.com. Best Buy’s everyday price of $3499.99 (save $500).

Join Best Buy on Thursday, December 4th at 7PM CST. The LG OLED Twitter Party will be fun and you can join and win some amazing prizes! Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy

Friday, November 14, 2014

Get Your Eyes checked during Diabetes Awareness Month #TransitionsLens


November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day. While I do not have diabetes, I know people who do and it is not a good thing.

It is important to spread awareness about diabetes because Diabetes is often called the silent enemy because people have no idea they have until it is too late. It can also cause severe vision loss and blindness because of diabetic retinopathy.

I recently got new glasses and when I was speaking with my doctor, he said that from a simple eye exam you can tell if someone diabetes. He said changed in the eyes give clues. Luckily, he did not find anything during my exam but he urged me to go get my blood checked. I did and I was fine.

My new glasses

Having an annual eye exam is not only good to check your eyes but also because it might find other ailments like diabetes. I hadn't had my eyes checked for years and my eye doctor was not happy. He informed me that I should have been getting my eyes checked annually because it is not only good for good eye health but because the eyes can also give indication o other problems. Suffice it to say, I will be scheduling yearly eye exams.

You should be too. Check your health insurance and see if it covers a annual eye check. Many do. Sometimes, you can even find places that offer eye exams at a reduced rate as part of their optical screenings. It is something I put off for years but no longer. In the Latino and African American community it is especially important because diabetes is very prevalent. For more information visit the Latino Visual Health Resources website.

Getting the kids to eye doctor is a must! I remember when I was little I was having eye problems for a few years before the eye doctor found out I needed glasses. My studies suffered and I could not follow what the teacher was writing on the blackboard. Luckily, my parents listened when I talked to them and took me to the eye doctor. I have worn glasses since I was in the 4th grade! Kids don;t always recognize this but an annual eye exam will find any problems. A great resource is the "Eye Didn't Know That" website for kids. Head over and take a look.


One way to keep your eyes healthy is to try out Transitions® lenses. Transitions lenses block 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays helping to protect the health and wellness of your eyes so you can see better. They enhance your vision by providing more clarity and better contrast, and reducing glare, eye fatigue and strain for more effortless sight.

If you never tried Transitions® lenses, you can sign up for a free trial of their products! I know that I am going to consider a pair of Transitions® lenses the next time I need new glasses. I probably should have gotten them this time but never thought about it!

Make sure your eyes and your family's eyes are taken care of this season. Since this is Diabetes Awareness Month, it is a good time to go get your eyes checked, just in case.

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Transitions Optical. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Swanson Cream Starters and Swanson Flavor Infused Broths + GIVEAWAY!!!

Disclosure: I received samples from Swanson® for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

I love Fall and Winter. This time of the year means holiday parties, delicious holiday meals and hunkering in at home and keeping warm. It's no secret I hate cold weather. And with the cold weather creeping in, nothing is more comforting than a bowl of warm soup. Oftentimes, I love making soup and a sandwich for dinner.

Growing up in Los Angeles, we didn't eat a lot of soup but every once in a while when we were sick my mom would make us sopa de fideos (chicken noodle soup). We also had a soup called Olla de Carne (pot of beef) which is a Costa Rican soup that is made with short ribs or oxtails. Then you add all types of vegetables like carrots, yuca, potatoes, and more. Then you serve it with rice and tortillas. YUMMO!

Now, I make all types of soup but it can be time-consuming especially during the weekdays. So I am always looking for better ways to make a tasty soup. Luckily, Swanson makes stocks and broths that make my soup-making easier. The best thing is that there are new products that are even more amazing. Swanson Cream Starters and Swanson Flavor Infused Louisiana Cajun and Tuscan Chicken broths, will definitely make it easier to make tasty soups for my family.


I received some samples of the new Swanson products along with some classic ones like the chicken broth, which is always in my pantry. Since I wanted to try the Cream Starter I decided to make potato soup because it seemed like the perfect recipe to make. I had never made potato soup and thought it would be too hard but it wasn't. I used a recipe that I found on the Pioneer Woman's website. The recipe was quite easy. Here is how I made it:



I started out cooking up some bacon. Once it was cooked, I took the bacon out to drain. 



I cut up one onion, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks. I also cut up 2 potatoes. 




I sauteed the onions, carrots and celery in the bacon fat until a little soft. The I added some fresh thyme and minced garlic (2 cloves). I also added a little salt and pepper to taste. 



I added the potatoes and sauteed them. I also added more salt and pepper to taste. 





Then I added the Swanson Cream Starter and mixed it in with the veggies. I also added a little Swanson Chicken Broth because it was a little too thick. I got the soup to the right consistency and then took my hand held blender and pureed it until it was smooth and beautiful! 


Doesn't that look amazing? It was one of the best things I have ever made. I added some cheese, chives and leftover bacon as toppings. I served it with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and hubby loved it. The Swanson Cream Starters made it so much easier and tasty. I am definitely keeping these in my pantry because I think I will be making this again this winter!!

If you want to try Swanson Cream Starters and the Swanson Infused Broths, check out your local grocery store. And thanks to the peeps at Swanson, I have an amazing giveaway for one lucky reader. This is such a wonderful prize that you definitely want to enter. This is what you will receive:

* One elegant, white soup tureen
* 4 white soup bowls
* 4 chevron cloth napkins
* One carton of each of the following Swanson products:
* Swanson Chicken Broth, Swanson Chicken Stock
* Swanson Cream Starter Traditional
* Swanson Cream Starter 25% Reduced Fat
* Swanson Flavor Infused Louisiana Cajun Broth
* Swanson Flavor Infused Tuscan Chicken Broth


The tureen is so beautiful and the soup bowls are wonderful! Plus, you receive all these delicious Swanson products as well! Enter below on the Rafflecopter widget for a chance to win!

What would you make with these tasty new Swanson products?

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.