The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: January 2015

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Friday, January 30, 2015

PassionRoses.com Valentine's Day Rose Giveaway!



It's almost Valentine's Day! And, for me, there is nothing better than receiving roses from my hubby. You can keep your chocolate and jewelry. I love having roses all around my house. They represent love to me.

This year I am also trying something new. I am looking for recipes that I can incorporate roses. I make a basic rose water tea but I think I want to make rose cupcakes with rose icing. rose water is pretty easy to make and can be used in a variety of ways. All you need is rose petals and water.

You boil some water then steep the rose petals in the hot water until it cools. I often place something on top of the roses like an inverted lid so the roses can really steep into the water. Once the rose water is done, you can use it in recipes such as tea, icing, sauces etc. Rose water is also great for as an astringent and fragrance. rose water always reminds me of my grandmother.

Image courtesy of Praisaeng at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I think adding rose water to the batter of my cupcake mix and icing will give it a little flair and flavor. I also am thinking about decorating the cupcakes with rose petals. You can even candy rose petals by dipping the rose petals in beaten egg whites and then dipping them in sugar. Once they dry, you can eat them!

PassionRoses are a good way to give some love to your significant other. PassionRoses are grown in the fields of Colombia, hand-picked by the farmers, and flown OVERNIGHT to the US. There is no higher quality rose in existence, and their beauty is spectacular.


If you need to order roses this year, check out www.PassionRoses.com. Use discount code for VDAYLOVE to receive 15% off. If you want to win a 2 dozen roses from PassionRoses, 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, January 29, 2015

Target's Wedding Registry helps you "Be Yourself, Together" #TargetWedding #Sponsored


Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.



Another year and more weddings are happening in our family! All our nephews and nieces are starting to get married. My advice to them is always REGISTER!

I always say to register at Target because target has such great products and it makes it easy for people to buy exactly what the couple wants or needs! Choosing items that you need for your new life together is tough but Target makes it easy.

This January, Target Wedding Registry Theme is "Be Yourself, Together". This is such a great theme because it urges couples to celebrate their uniqueness together. And that helps when choosing registry gifts because you have to compromise and mix your tastes!

There are such great items on the Target  registry and items should be picked that complement each other.  Registering is also easy at Target. All you do is head over to the website and add items or head to the store and add items.

It is always good to go together and choose items that you both like! I know if I were creating a registry now, I would take into account my hubby's taste as well as mine. We can be ourselves together and a registry can help couples do that. Couples can do that by making good choices in the registry. If I were creating my registry, I would definitely choose items that would make my home more comfortable. I would chose a mix of practical items and a few fun items.

My first choice would be a KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer. everybody needs a KitchenAid mixer. I would also buy a set Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware. One of the most important things I have learned about setting up a home is to have good cookware!


I also love the Threshold Bar Cart. It is not a necessary item but a great item for anyone who loves entertaining. Another item that would be great for any entertainer is the Disney Classic Mickey Kettle Popcorn Maker! It is also for movie nights!




Having a great set of speakers for movie night is a must. The SONOS PLAY: 5 Wireless HiFi System is perfect for any media room! And don;t forget to look through the items to find the perfect Blu-Ray player!


The Target Wedding Registry is easy and it can help couples engage. The registry also offers inspirational starter lists. Plus use the wedding registry and you'll receive a coupon for saving 15% on remaining registry items in store and online. Target also make returns easy!

If you have a wedding coming up, make sure to go register at Target!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter ~ New and Improved + Giveaway!


Get ready because I Can't Believe It’s Not Butter! has a new recipe made with real, simple ingredients that include a delicious blend of plant-based oils, purified water and a pinch of salt and no artificial preservatives. The new flavors include: Original, Light and Olive Oil. It is also the first Unilever spread that to be made with non-GMO sourced ingredients.

These new spreads can be incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet and provide a source of good fats similar to those found in avocados, walnuts and almonds. Unilever has a newly renovated facility in New Century, Kansas, which currently sends "zero waste" to landfill, with a commitment to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2020.


The packaging has been redesigned. The package is now more space-efficient in the refrigerator. It is also designed to be dishwasher safe so you can reuse it. I know when I was little, we never had Tupperware. My mom would reuse margarine containers for leftovers. So this is great because I have picked up that habit as well! We this new redesign, Unilever hopes to eliminate about 552,000 pounds of plastic from the waste stream per year.

The flavor of I Can't Believe it's Not Butter is delicious as well. I like it because it is easy to spread unlike butter. It is great for toast and bread. You can also use it in a variety of recipes. Sometimes I use this instead of butter because of its ease.


It is a great alternative to butter if you are watching the fat in your diet. Now that the ingredients are plant based and non-GMO, it makes it so much better. If you would like to try the new I Can't Believe it's Not Butter products, head over to your local grocery store. You can get more information on the website. Foll ICBINB on Facebook and Twitter.


I have a wonderful basket for one lucky reader. The basket includes a wooden cutting board, spreader and full value coupons for ICBINB. 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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GoGargle! Soothes your Sore Throat + $20 CVS Gift Card Giveaway!


A few months ago, I went to Los Angeles on a press trip. When I returned home, I had a scratchy throat. It turned into a full blown cold with the worst sore throat I have ever had. But I got over it only to get sick again after a press trip to Las Vegas. It was terrible. When we went on vacation for Christmas, we returned to our house in chaos after some remodeling. The contractor left it in a shambles. There was dust everywhere and we had to clean it. Since then, I have had a scratchy throat because of the dust.

I have tried a lot of things to help my throat. I have gargled with salt and lemon. One of my grandmother's remedies. I sip at lemon with honey. I have honey water tea every night. Some of the helps but my throat is still scratchy and that causes me to cough and it is irritating. I am pretty much over it.

So when I had the opportunity to try a new product made especially for sore throats, I had to try it because for the past few months, I have been one of over 15 million people who have had to visit a doctor because of a sore throat.

Unlike colored sprays and drops made with scary sounding chemical ingredients that only hide the pain for a while, GoGargle! is made up of salts to treat the sore throat and soothing ingredients like honey and aloe to moisturize. This combination of ingredients both reduces inflammation but also soothes and moisturizes making GoGargle! a more natural way to treat a sore throat.


What I loved about GoGargle! was how easy it was to use. Open it, pop it into a warm glass of water and it fizzles. Then you gargle and it soothes your throat. It soothed mine! I usually use salt water to gargle but oftentimes the taste is so horrible that it makes me worse. GoGargle! has a subtle minty taste so it is not as bad. It is also very smooth so when I was gargling, it didn't hurt my throat either.

GoGargle! doesn't just mask the pain. The healing power of salt works to reduce inflammation, while the honey, aloe and chamomile soothe throat tissue and provide long-lasting relief. The special blend of salts reduce painful inflammation and bacteria in the back of your throat by drawing fluid out of swollen tissue, while the aloe, chamomile, honey and zinc soothe and moisturize it.

GoGargle! is going to be in medicine cabinet from now on. I wish I would have had this months ago! During cold and flu season, you should as well. Head over to the GoGargle! site and grab a coupon so you can try it. You can use the shopping app  Checkout51 you can go here and get a coupon as well. If you and/or your followers are familiar with the app, feel free to share the link to this coupon as well!

You can follow GoGargle! on Facebook and Twitter.


Thanks to the great peeps at GoGargle! I also have a 10-ct GoGargle! product & $20 CVS gift card for one lucky winner! YAY! If you want 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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What we are Watching 1/26

Selma
I LOVED this movie. And I learned a little history. This is such a great movie that takes one period of time in the civil rights movement and focuses on a turning point in history. The talk that this movie makes LBJ look bad is rubbish. He is the president and the president cannot do everything and it makes sense that he did not want to push voting rights when there were other things he wanted to do. The whole movie is beautifully shot. The direction of this movie is amazing. The acting is top notch. I cannot tell you how this movie touched me. The sad part is that what was going on back then is still going on now. And that is heartbreaking. I am SHOCKED David Oyelowo did not get an Oscar nod for playing MLK. I am shocked the director was shut out as well. GO WATCH THIS MOVIE! And take the kids!



The Imitation Game
I had no idea what this was going to be about. But Benedict Cumberbatch is in this movie so I knew I had to see it. I have a love for old Benedict. I have no idea why but I adore that man. Anyway, without giving anything away, the movie is about Alan Turing who broke the code of the German's Enigma machine during WWII. Sounds boring, right? It's not. It's fascinating. I would highly recommend this movie! Go see it.

Unbroken
Good movie. It is a story of overcoming dire circumstance but I felt it lacked something. Even though, I would tell people to go watch it. If I had not seen an interview with the real Louie Samparino, I might have not liked it so much. Angelina Jolie does a good job directing the movie and the acting is solid. Some parts are tough to watch but it is worth a look. If you like movies of triumph, watch this.



Into the Woods
One of my favorite movies this year. I had seen the musical live a few years ago and when I watched the movie, I realized it was not as dark ad the musical. I think it got Disneyfied, which is perfectly okay because it is wonderful! The acting is amazing. Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep are fantastic. So is the rest of the cast. The music is great and it's great fun! I love the motto of the film: Be careful what you wish for!

Wentworth
This is the Australian version of Orange is the New Black but so much better. I don't know which show came first but this show is a little grittier and more realistic. We loved it. It is a MUST WATCH!


Peaky Blinders
This is a Netflix streaming show. I saw a few of my Facebook friends talk about it so we decided to watch it! OMG, loved it. It is about a family in the olden days in England. They are gangsters. But it is so well written and well made that you root for the bad guys. Plus, it has Cillian Murphy who I have loved since 28 days! Worth a watch if you have Netflix streaming.

Broadchurch
We watched this on the recommendation of my friend John. It was not bad. It is a BBC murder mystery. A boy is found dead on the beach in Broadchurch and it is up to the new detective in town to figure it all out. There is intrigue and a few plot twists. I didn't figure out the killer until the the second to the last episode. It was terrific.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Strange Magic movie Fun Recipes for Kids! #strangemagic

The movie Strange Magic looks so good! It actually opens today so check it out!! I know it's on my list of movies to see this year! I have some great recipes from the movie for you to enjoy with your kids. Let me tell you that these look so good. I am so trying the Cookie Bars!










“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects. Directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”) from a story by George Lucas, “Strange Magic” will be released by Touchstone Pictures on Jan. 23, 2015.


Like STRANGE MAGIC on Facebook: http://facebook.com/StrangeMagicMovie

Follow STRANGE MAGIC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StrangeMagic

Follow STRANGE MAGIC on Instagram: http://instagram.com/StrangeMagicMovie

Follow STRANGE MAGIC on Vine: @StrangeMagic

STRANGE MAGIC opens in theatres everywhere on January 23rd!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bojangles Cheddar Bo Biscuit + $10 Bojangles Gift Card Giveaway! #ItsCheddarBoTime


Y'all know that I love Bojangles. It is my favorite chicken place. I don't eat much fast food but when I need a quick dinner, I drive over to our local Bojangles and pick up some chicken and fixings!

I have one more reason to love Bojangles. Bojangles now has a Cheddar Bo biscuit. The Cheddar Bo has two slices of thick, aged-to-perfection cheddar cheese melted inside a Bojangles’ made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuit.


Did you know that National Cheese Lovers Day was on January 20? How perfect is it that Bojangles has introduced the Cheddar Bo. More than 500 participating Bojangles’ restaurants will carry this limited time offer through the end of March 2015.

I went right out and got myself a Cheddar Bo. Okay, I got more than one but don't tell anyone especially my hubby since I did not share! It was delicious. I am a huge fan of the Bojangles Biscuits already and now that the biscuits come with cheese, it's even better.


The biscuit was light and fluffy and the cheese was oozing out. The taste was fabulous! I gobbled 2 of them in one sitting. But in my defense, that is all I had for lunch! I am definitely ordering these again. And who knows, I might even let hubby have one!

If you want to try the Cheddar Bo for yourself, head over to your local Bojangles and see if they are offering these delicious fluffy cheesy bites of goodness! If you want to win a $10 Bojangles card so you can try them, 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.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Melt your Meal with Roth Grand Cru® + GIVEAWAY!


If you know me, you know I love cheese. I can eat it for every course! It is something that is always in my refrigerator and something that I cannot do without. I love all kinds of cheese but not all cheese is great for cooking. There are many cheeses that are great for appetizers or on a cheese board but not great for cooking.

This is why I loved the Roth Grand Cru® cheese I was sent to review. Made here in the USA in Wisconsin, Grand Cru® cheese is crafted by expert cheesemakers and carefully aged by cellarmasters. Roth combines old-world cheesemaking methods with state-of-the-art technology.  Not only is the cheese delicious, but it is so great for for dishes that need melted cheese.


I love making macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes, and fondues. My problem is sometimes cheese is so oily when I make my cheese sauce, it breaks and the dish gets an oily film. I hate that. Luckily, Roth Grand Cru® cheese melts perfectly making my dishes better than ever. To prove this, I made macaroni and cheese for dinner.

My mac and cheese always starts with cheese sauce. This is the same cheese sauce I use as fondue. I also use it in my hashbrown casserole and scalloped potato recipes. It's easy and delicious and can be be made quickly. It is so versatile as well. All it takes is making a roux and flavoring it.


I start with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. I melt the butter, cook down the flour and then add: salt, powdered mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper and grated onion. Then I add 1/2 a cup of beer and 1/2 cup of cream or half and half. I also have extra on hand if I need to thin it out. Once you make the base sauce, you add the cheese. I usually add shredded or grated cheese but to test the meltability of the cheese, I cut it into chunks. You add the cheese and melt it down. Once you have the cheese done, you can use it in various recipes.


The Grand Cru® cheese melted easily and my dish had no oily residue that I usually get with other cheeses. And it was so good! I loved how easily it melted and how smooth my sauce was. I will absolutely buy this cheese again especially when using it for my cheese sauce. Grand Cru® is also delicious on its own. I would add it to my party cheese plates as well.



I also have a great gift basket to giveaway to one lucky reader so he/she can try Roth Grand Cru® cheese. The prize includes Roth Grand Cru cheese, a cheese grater, a turner, a saute pan, and a silicon baking mat.


For a chance 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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2 Minute Mango Ceviche Salsa #makemangosalsa #PMedia #ad

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #makemangosalsa http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

The Big Game is coming up and that means entertaining. Entertaining means food and lots of it. But that also means a lot of work for me. I love cooking but cooking for a crowd is tough and it requires a lot of time.

In the past few years, I have gotten to the point of finding quick and easy snacks that I can make for the Big Game. I don't want to spend all my time making food. I want to be able to serve up something quick yet something delicious and then spend the rest of the time with friends and family.

One of my signature dishes is shrimp ceviche. I make it from a recipe passed down to me from my abuelita. It is one of my favorite things to make and eat for any party. It is a little time consuming. You have to marinate raw shrimp in lemon juice overnight and add the ingredients. It tastes better if it sits for a while so itis not an quick easy dish. I found a way to make it into a 2 minute ceviche salsa instead. It takes no time at all to make. It is still pretty delicious.


I wanted to make it with a twist so I picked up some Del Monte Diced Mangos at Walmart along with the other ingredients I needed. Adding a little sweetness to a spicy dish adds a whole other level of taste to the dish.

Here is how I made my 2 minute Mango Ceviche Salsa:


Dice the avocadoes, shrimp, onions and cilantro. 


Add the chunky salsa to a bowl.


Drain the diced mangos.


Add the mangos to the salsa. Add the lemon juice as well. You can also use lime juice. 


Add the diced onions, cilantro, avocados, and shrimp to the salsa. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Since I am using the ingredients from my Shrimp Ceviche, I add a splash of my favorite Costa rican sauce to the mix. (Salsa Lizano is the Worcestershire sauce of Costa Rica. It is used in almost all the dishes and I always have a few bottle at the house!) Mix the ingredients and serve with chips. 


If you are having a party for the Big Game, make a two minute salsa to make your life easier. It is spice and sweet. The diced mango makes it sweet. Adding fresh ingredients like the avocado, onions and cilantro makes it pop! The shrimp make it hearty and adds a nice surprise!

While you are enjoying the game, remember to get some DVDs for the kiddos. One of my favorites is “The Book of Life” available on January 27. The kids will love it. Be sure to check out more delicious recipes on the Del Monte Pinterest page!


Del Monte Diced Mangos mixed with chunky salsa makes the perfect Super Bowl Sunday snack! Convenient, healthy, and easy-to-make. It gives any plain salsa a little bit of sweetness and pizazz!! Jazz up your salsa!!


You can also serve the salsa in the tortilla chips and make mini appetizers! It is the perfect bite!



Remember to head to Walmart stores on 1/22 to 1/25 because there will be a sampling event taking place at select stores. “Book of Life” DVD available at Walmart on 1/27!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Fisher NUT EXACTLY Makes Game Day Better + $50 Costco gift card GIVEAWAY! #FisherNUTEXACTLY


The big game is coming up and I am already planning the menu. Of course, I will have a variety of appetizers and snacks. One of those sweet snacks will be Fisher NUT EXACTLY snack bites. I already love Fisher NUT EXACTLY and now there is a new flavor! The new Almond Blueberry dipped in Dark Chocolate, consists of roasted almonds and blueberries dipped in rich dark chocolate.


These tasty snacks are made with simple ingredients and no artificial preservatives, Fisher NUT EXACTLY is a gluten free snack that you can feel good about sharing with friends and family as part of your game day snack spread. Plus, they are now available at Costco! I got a Costco membership last year so this makes me happy!


If you are looking for a great snack, check out the Fisher NUT EXACTLY Almond Blueberry bites! They are strangely delicious. You wouldn't think all these flavors work but they do. The almonds and blueberries dipped in the chocolate are delicious. Then add a little bit of salt from the pumpkin seeds and you have a great bite.


Have a variety of food
Make sure to have something for everyone. I always have a few appetizers, one of two main dishes and then I always have something sweet. I also always have vegetarian dishes. And I ask guests if they have any food allergies and adjust for those. 
Set up a bar
Set it up away from the food and just keep it simple. Beer, wine and some soft drinks are always enough. 
Have plenty of seating
That might sound weird but believe me. I have had and been at parties where there is not enough seating. Some people had to stand the whole time and eat standing up. Make it comfortable for your guests. 
Keep it Simple and Enjoy
Don't make too much of a fuss. Keep the menu and drinks simple. Ask people to bring a dish and make it even easier. Sometimes, I have friends who offer their house up and we all bring the food and drinks. This makes it easier for everyone! This also gives you and others time to watch and enjoy the game!

Hope these  tips help you! The Big Game always is a fun time to entertain. And Fisher NUT EXACTLY should be part of that! Thanks to Fisher, I have a great prize pack for one lucky reader! The Fisher Nut Exactly Prize Pack includes:

* 20 oz. bag of Fisher Nut Exactly
* $50 Costco Gift Card (can be used without Costco membership)


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.