Six months...

My cousin, my only cousin so far, turned six months old today. I don't think I can really wrap my head around that. You see, I flew out to California, where my family lives, to see my family before my baby cousin Jon Michael was born. I was there the morning he came into this world & I held him, only hours old. How, in the world, is that little boy six months old? 

Horrible picture, yuck! But it's the only one I have holding little Jon Michel. The day he was born.
I flew back to Pennsylvania shortly after this little guys day of birth. Which means, I have been home from my family in California for almost six months now. It's amazing how six months can feel so short & yet so long at the same time. On one hand, I can't believe that six months have passed to make Jon Michael a half of a year old... on the other hand, it feels like forever since I saw my family.

My 24th Birthday spent in California, 2012.

It really sucks living 3,000 miles away from the place where not only your family lives, but where you grew up your entire life. Winter enhances the homesick blues as winters in California are a completely different ballpark than the winters we have here in Pennsylvania. Even the sun feels different here. It's muted.

Pool side at my Dad's apartment complex. Summer 2012.
Plane tickets need to be cheaper. It's not fair that one family member or another, has to shovel out their savings for me to come visit each time. This year, I don't believe I will get to visit, due to finances & the planning of my wedding in 2014. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my family & wish that there was some way I could have them & Mr. B in my life simultaneously, have my cake & eat it too. The reality is, we can not afford to move to California, nor could we afford to live in California even if we did move. The cost of living is much too high. So we'll just continue to cross our fingers & play the lotto... something good has to happen right? Haha.

Double Rainbow outside of my Dad's apartment, Summer 2012.
It's just part of growing up I guess.

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Oil {Review}

I was so excited to try the new Triple Nutrition Miracle Oil by Garnier Fructis!

What Garnier had to say about their new Triple Nutrition Miracle Oil:

It isn’t every day an innovative and sexy multipurpose product is made available to you. But an all-in-one product that delivers silky, shiny hair and soft, supple skin? That’s sexy by association. NEW Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil is a breakthrough multiuse formula that delivers rapid-action nourishment to treat your hair, body and even dry areas on your face with no oily residue. Combines three weightless oils – olive, avocado and shea – to transform dry hair and skin Made for everyday use on your hair, body and face Instantly absorbs in a touch with no oily residue Can be used on damp or dry hair Available for suggested price of $5.99

What I have to say about it:

Upon receiving my bottle free, thanks to BzzAgent, I jumped into the shower & once out I towel dried my hair. I followed the directions on the bottle spritzing it onto my hair in various spots & combing through. I then spritzed my legs, arms & dabbed a bit on my face.
I love how the miracle oil worked on my dry skin! It looks amazing on your legs! The smell isn't too terrible & it doesn't feel greasy to the touch. However, I must say I am not impressed with it in my hair. My hair looked unwashed once my hair fully dried. It looked greasy & quite frankly, I couldn't wait to wash it out. My hair did look fantastic after washing the oils out, so maybe it helped leaving it on over night & washing it out. The bottom line, this product is amazing on your skin, but I had to give it a three star rating based on the fact, it was kind of a let down in the hair department.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find it at stores like Walmart & Target, & you can get a coupon to get $1.25 off by clicking here!

*I was provided a free bottle of this product from Garnier through BzzAgent. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions stated are my own.*

Lady business...

This is the post where I might say too much & get a little personal. It's real, raw, & true. Although it might not be a fun as the hundreds of blog hops, the giveaways, reviews, or the "favorite color" question & answer sessions, it serves a purpose. I have deleted & re-written this post a number of times in the past couple days, due to not truly knowing where the blogger line is drawn. Then, I realized, even though I appreciate every single one of my readers, the true purpose of this blog is for me to vent when I need to. Not all topics are rose colored & happy, & even though my main intent behind this blog is staying positive, to post only life's positive punches would be cheating. Things will get real from time to time & I hope you will stick with me through those times as well as the good times.

This week has been pretty unbearable. As many of you know already, I am one out of ten women that is currently battling Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS.  It's so sad to think that in America one out of every ten women will be diagnosed with this incurable disorder. What is even worse is how it affects every woman differently & no two cases are the same. A medication that works for one, can fail another. It is a constant trial & error with no true cure.

Due to my insurance companies rules & their playing around with the medication I take for my PCOS, I went sixty-one days without a cycle, after three months of regular cycling. Three months of my body trying to figure out what it is supposed to do, & bam, medication not covered, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  My insurance company, even though the medication I was originally given works, has decided that before they will cover it, I have to fail at least two more medications of the same nature. On what planet does this make sense?

I must now switch to a new medication with hopes that it will work in the same way my previous medication did. I'm still on the old medication, thanks to a sample pack given to me by my amazing doctor, but I had skipped the medication for two months while the insurance company made their decision to make things more difficult. This lapse in medication is what caused my lack of cycling & in turn has made my current menstruation to be one of the hardest cycles I have ever experienced. 

It is day nine, I've gone as long as fourteen days in the past. I am miserable, irritable, & hungry for all the wrong things. The pain during the first few days was beyond anything I have ever experienced to where I could do nothing but sleep to ease it. I felt it mainly on my right side, & I felt my entire ovary seize up & let loose, seize up & let loose, until I was curled up in a fetal position in tears. Thankfully, that part has seemed to pass only leaving my ovary dull & achy. I only hope for this to be over soon & that the new medication that I start next week, will not fail me. My weight is yo-yoing & I don't really feel like weighing myself again until this has passed. Though, it seems that I have only gained .2 of a pound since my last weigh in & I'll take it!

There is a silver lining to this dark cloud. Today, I pushed myself to take Odin out for a walk. I need to get my body moving more. I used to walk over two miles a day to get to work a couple years ago, I know I can do it! I just need to get that motivation. This morning I filled up my MP3 player & I downloaded an app for my phone called Runkeeper. Now, I don't run... I never have as I am very awkward, but this app has a setting for walking as well as running, bicycling, hiking & more. I set it, started it & took Odin out. Upon arriving home, I stopped it & was very impressed to see that I walked a little over 1.2 miles in less than 29 minutes. This might seem slow to all you runners out there, but it's something!

It's a start.

And the winner is!!!

I am so amazed by the response my first giveaway had. I am even more amazed by the fact that just a short few weeks ago, I was celebrating 50 followers & today, there are nearly three times as many of you! Thank you so very much for following along with me. I do hope to get to know each & every one of you as time goes by. You guys rock!

With over 1300 entries, I believe this giveaway was quite a success & I plan on doing a few more in the future. :) Thank you all so much for entering! So without further ado, I would like to announce the winner of some nifty crochet items, ad space, a blog restyling, & the Men In Black III movie prize pack!

CONGRATULATIONS taylor, You are our winner! Please check your email & reply within 48 hours to claim your prizes! :)

Truth be told, I'm lion.

While reading through the thousands, yes thousands, of posts I have in my Google Reader, I came across this adorable little link up. The link up is called, Truth be told, I'm lion & it is hosted by Sarah over at Life of Love. It's a one time only link up that revolves around the game, two truths & a lie. How freakin' fun is that? So, I decided I was just going to have to join in on the fun! :) Here we go!

1.) I'm related to Roger Williams, the man who discovered Rhode Island. I am his great great great & quite a few more greats after that Granddaughter.

2.) The last couple times I went to Disneyland, I got in for free. My Dad has friends in high places. :)

3.) I don't have any tattoos, but I have a few in mind that I would love to get.

So there they are, which are true & which one is a downright dirty lie! You decide & tell me in the comments below. And, don't forget to check out the linkup! :)

Tuesday's 10 Day YOU Challenge {2 songs}


Today's challenge is two songs. Wow, & I thought movies were hard, this one is nearly impossible! My music interests are not only vast & full spectrum, but they also change depending on the day. So instead of trying to narrow down my favorite songs, down to just two. I am going to post a recent favorite of mine & one that is currently stuck in my head. :)

2.) Better Dig Two - The Band Perry

I'm not a psycho, I swear! This song is just way to catchy & I just love it. I came across it while listening to Pandora the other day. I believe it's so different & kind of dark for a country song. lol.

1.) Anything But Mine - Kenny Chesney.

This song has been in my head all week. My goodness. Funny that both my songs happen to be country right now. :P Could be that trip to Cabelas over the weekend. :)


No longer wanting, but needing...

My want for winter to be over & spring to begin has transformed into a need. I need to snow flurries to stop & for the sun to start warming up the earth. I need for the pipes to thaw so I can run the hose again. I need the life & colors to return to all the dormant plants & trees. Yes, I need spring!

I want to start gardening. I would like to expand my little garden this year, so that I can include more vegetables than last year. I have grown tomatoes & bell peppers the last two years, & now I absolutely hate buying them in the store. They are so overpriced it is ridiculous. Last year, I also gave Zucchini a go & I have to tell you, it was the most amazing Zucchini I have ever had in my life, though the poor little plant could not grow the wonderful squash faster than I picked it.

I already have planned what I want to grow this year, now, I just have to wait for the most horrible season of the year, winter (yes, it is the worst!) to give way to spring so I can get everything ready to plant. 

This year I plan on growing:

-Tomatoes, two plants, one full size & one cherry tomato.
-Bell Peppers, I usually plant two plants, I might plant three this year. I freeze them & use them when the season is over.
-Zucchini Squash, will be planting two this year in hopes to keep a well stocked kitchen this year.
-Spaghetti Squash, if I can find it... I am going to be planting it!
-Jalapenos, my bell peppers do amazingly well here, going to give jalapenos a shot if I can find them.
-Cilantro, I plan on making tons of fresh salsa, yum!
-Salad Greens

Pictures from Spring 2012
I can't wait! Do you do any gardening? If so what are you planting this year?

St. Ives Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract {Health Review}

Stock Photo
This winter has been really tragic to my skin. I have never felt my skin so dry in my life. I, the girl who never buys lotion, decided to give in & reluctantly pick up a bottle. Why do I have such a strong dislike for lotion? That's an easy answer! Usually, lotion is sticky, greasy & smelly, despite the clever fragrance names they attach to the bottle. I'm the girl who usually leaves off the sunblock, burns to lobster crisp in 10 minutes & then sit miserable & coated in Aloe Vera, all because I didn't want to wear the sunblock in the first place. I know, it doesn't make any sense. But, what can you do about it.

So while doing a small shopping trip at Walmart, I decide that I am going to just have to pick up a bottle of lotion because my skin was starting to get painfully cracked. I looked at the aisle full of choices & smelled about ten bottles before deciding on St. Ives 'Naturally Indulgent' Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract body lotion.

Upon arriving home, I gave this new lotion a try. Before opening it, I read the back & was pleasantly surprised to read that it wasn't only not tested on animals, but it contained no animal ingredients. Who would have thought, the first lotion I decide to try & it's Vegan. Pretty nifty. 

It is also formulated without Parabens & Phthalates, okay, that's a good thing, right? Honestly, I had no idea until I Googled what those non-pronounceable words were. First off, I discovered that Parabens are chemicals used to preserve certain products. It's usually found in anything from shampoos, to shave gels & even toothpaste. Alright, so what's wrong with it? Here is the scary part folks, studies have linked Parabens with the big 'C' itself, Cancer. Okay, so not having Parabens, a chemical, that has been linked to cancer, soaking into our skin. Yes, I say that is a good thing!

So what about Phthalates? Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics like PVC... okay, before we go further, eww! Okay, moving on... Phthalates are found in food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray & shampoos. Phthalates have been found to disrupt the endocrine system. Okay, so what is the endocrine system? Our endocrine system is the system of glands that secrete certain types of hormones into the blood stream. It is basically a information signal system like the nervous system. So we can all agree that messing with any type of informational system in your body is a bad thing! Not only do Phthalates disrupt your endocrine system, but they can reduce sperm count, cause testicular atrophy, & have been linked, once again with the big 'C', Cancer of the liver.

Alright, so now that we know what Parabens & Phthalates are & what they can do to our bodies, we can safely say that by St. Ives formulating their lotion without the two, is a very good thing! I now know that when ever I buy a product, I am going to check for the two P's or lack thereof. Now that I am in the know, & you should too! Knowledge is power after all! ;)

Okay, but how did I like the lotion? I know, I said an awful lot about what is not in the lotion & not nearly enough talking about the lotion itself. I found the lotion rather thick, but it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It's really creamy without feeling sticky & it soaks into your skin fairly quickly without leaving your hands greasy. This was a huge plus for me, as I can not stand greasy hands!

The smell of it was strong, quite powerful, but amazing none the less. If you are a coconut fan, like myself, you would rather enjoy the thick sweet aroma of the coconuts. The scent of Orchid is light, just enough to soften the blow of the coconut. The scent lingers on your skin for quite a few hours, which I love because I think it smells amazing.

My skin has never felt softer. The lotion does it's job in that category. The painful cracks that once covered my hands & elbows vanished after one use. I use the lotion once or twice a day, depending on how much I need it, & also on how much I just want to smell the lotion again. It's that good!

To sum up, the St. Ives 'Naturally Indulgent' Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract body lotion lives up to it's name & does so without animal ingredients, animal testing, or cancer causing chemicals.

Who has two thumbs & loves this product, this girl! 

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Marinara {Recipe}

Have you ever thought something sounded amazing, but could not find a recipe for it no matter how long you looked. It just won't appear! You find things similar, but not quite what you are really wanting. I went through this recently!

Mr. B really wanted stuffed peppers, but we are trying to stay away from red meat & that is usually how I make them. So, I thought about what I had in my kitchen. Bell peppers, brown rice, marinara sauce... That's when it hit me! Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Marinara! So, I ran to Google & found, nothing. Hmm, okay. So I convince myself into believing that it's probably because the flavors don't mingle. I decide to make something else for dinner & save the bell peppers for another day.

However, the recipe that I had been forming inside my mind was not leaving me alone. The flavors in my mind were perfect, so I was just going to have to make it & find out. I mean, isn't that how new recipes are created? Trial & error.

So, ladies & gents, I give you... Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Marinara! Could easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese. :) It's really easy to change up & make your own.

What you'll need:
-Bell Peppers (I used four red bell peppers, use as many as you might need for your family)
-Onion (1 used a white onion, about 1/4 cup's worth)
-Garlic (We love garlic in our house, so I used five cloves, use less or none, depending on taste)
-Cherry Tomatoes (These were all I had, I liked that they added a little more flavor)
-Mushrooms (I used about 8 or 9 mushrooms)
-Parmesan Cheese (Leave out if you wish to make it vegan!)
-Olive Oil (To saute the onion & garlic in)
-Marinara (Just use your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce. Kirkland brand is my favorite!)
-Mozzarella Cheese (Not pictured, it was a last minute add. I chopped up a few skim milk string cheese sticks. lol)
-Brown Rice (We use organic brown rice from Costco. I made about a cup & a half cooked.)

Cook your brown rice according to package directions. I use a rice cooker, I adore my rice cooker. I love that it takes the guess work out of it. Though, I have noticed that I have to start the brown rice a lot earlier than it's white counterpart. My rice cooker takes nearly two hours to cook two and a half cups of brown rice. While your rice is cooking chop your vegetables. As you can see in the picture, I have bell peppers whole with the tops cut off & strips. The strips are actually cut from the tops. :)

Pour a little olive oil into the pan you are going to be cooking your veggies in.

Toss in your garlic & onions. Just to sweat them a bit, not too dark. We don't want them burning.

Once your onions & garlic start to sweat a bit, add in your chopped bell pepper tops.

Once your bell pepper tops cook down a bit, add in your mushrooms & tomato.

Once your veggies are cooked, add in your brown rice, parmesan cheese & mozzarella (or String Cheese, lol)

Then mix in your marinara or spaghetti sauce. I added about half a jar.

Place your peppers in an aluminum lined (or greased) baking dish & fill with rice mixture. Top with a spoonful more of marinara sauce & a sprinkle of parmesan. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 40-60 minutes, until desired doneness.

Let cool, serve & enjoy!

Guest Blogger over at Blue Eyed Beauty Blog!

Hey guys! Today I am over at Helen's blog, Blue Eyed Beauty Blog! Helen got married yesterday & I am honored to be a guest blogger for her adorable piece of the bloggerverse! I have put together a quick photo tutorial on how to crochet a Granny Stripe blanket like the one I am currently working on!

So why don't you stop by Helen's, learn something new, say hello, & congratulate her on her big day! :)

Looking for a Guest blogger? Look no further! Just let me know, I would be more than happy to help! :)

{P.S. - Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY going on right now!}

Weigh In Wednesday!

The last couple weeks were pretty bad. It was close to shopping day & our cupboards were getting bare. And, like always, I decided that it would be so much easier to just order in. Bad, bad, idea! Because of that, & starting a new medication, my weigh in last week was actually up 1.4 pounds, yikes! I realized, that eating healthy all the previous week was completely wasted when I decided to order from our favorite pizza restaurant. I was so angry with myself....

How angry was I? Angry enough to go grocery shopping, watch my intake closely & drop 5.6 pounds this week! Yes. I knew I would beat the scale this week. This 5.6 loss, put me over 15 pounds lost since January 9th. Just a tad over a month. That's right, 15 down, 95 to go! :) I no longer have 110 pounds to lose! I still have a long journey ahead of me, but I do feel that having my blog helps. Even if no one would ever read past the title of my posts, writing it down, getting it out there helps.

I've changed a few eating habits this past week & for the remainder of the month, & possibly longer. I switched from skim milk to Almond milk. I am still getting used to the texture difference, it still seems way too rich to be good for you. lol. But I find that it is really yummy as a snack with a banana. I also kicked our white rice out for some organic brown rice. I had never had brown rice before, so I was a bit worried that I wouldn't like it. However, I actually like it a lot better than it's white starchy counterpart. Speaking of starch, I've limited my bread to a slice or two of whole wheat & have completely done away with potatoes. You have no idea how much of a triumph that is for me. Potatoes are a huge weakness for me.

Meals this month have consisted of either hearty salads with spinach, like the one from my recent post & a mixture of stir fry vegetables & salad shrimp served over brown rice. Yum! This has become my favorite. I also created my own recipe for a Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper that came out pretty darn good. I will be posting about that as soon as I can get my laptop up & running. The AC adapter decided to crap out on me, so the pictures to go with the recipe are stuck in limbo. Poor laptop, it should be fixed by the weekend. I'm currently using Mr. B's computer, which is over ten years old & takes another ten years to get anywhere. I'm going to start pulling my hair out if I have to be stuck with this much longer! ha-twitch-twitch.

I still have been fairly lazy & not exercising like I want to. I am sure that the pounds would fall off faster if I would get off my but & actually do something. Blogging & crochet don't burn nearly enough calories. ;)
LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Tuesday's 10 Day YOU Challenge {3 films}

Hello everyone! It's Tuesday, so it's time for Tuesday's 10 day YOU Challenge. We're getting pretty close to the ending here! Today's topic is three films. Boy, is this a hard one. I absolutely love movies! Movies are big in my family. Yes, we are the type of family that can sit in a room & list off loads of actors who played in different movies with the actors of the movie we are currently watching. So, I'll see if I can limit it to just three.

3.) Fools Rush In, I have always loved this movie. It's pretty cheesy & is definitely a chick flick, but hey, I am allowed to have at least one. :) I think most of it has to do with Matthew Perry. He completes me. Haha. ♥

2.) Saw, not just the first one, but the whole series. I love gory horror movies & this one was truly one of my favorites. It really is hard to pick only three movies, so I'm trying to only post my top favorites.

1.) History of the World Part 1. Sometimes you just can't beat the "classics". Mel Brooks at his finest in my opinion. I can pretty much repeat this movie line to line throughout the entire thing. Loved Madeline Kahn as well, she truly was an amazing actress.

Like I said, I have a ton of favorite movies, & it was really hard to only pick three. I also love all of the Disney Pixar Films. The amazing musicals RENT & Phantom of the Opera. Anything with Johnny Depp, Matthew Perry, Jack Lemmon, Anthony Hopkins, & Bruce Campbell. Anything made by Tim Burton or with the music by Danny Elfman. The list goes, on & on, even if I had to list twenty, I would still have trouble picking. Television shows would be even tougher! You know Doctor Who is one of the first ones on there!

I Love My Online Friends 'GFC' Blog Hop {Guest Host}

Happy Monday Guys! Today I am really excited to be a part of the I Love My Online Friends 'GFC' Blog Hop!

If you are interested in learning more about the hop & guest hosting, please read HERE.

rules for the hop...

1. Please follow your host & the fab five on Google Friend Connect (GFC). They are Numbers 1 through 6 on the linky. 

2. Link up your homepage & start hopping around. Remember, this is a blog hop, you've gotta do some hopping in order for it to truly be worth your time. When you get a new follower it's always nice to return the favour. Visit their blogs, leave them a comment and/or return the follow. 

3. You are not required to, but it would be great if you could tweet/like/pin/share this post and/or grab the button and share it on your blog. The more people that see this hop, the more blogs for us to visit and the more followers we gain.

thanks & happy hopping!

The Things We Find Inside

{Also, make sure to check out the Giveaway that I am currently hosting, HERE!}

Sunday Social

Once again I am linking up with Neely over at A Complete Waste Of Makeup.

Today's questions are:

1. What was your first car?

Honestly, I never even had the chance to drive my "first car". It was a something-eighty-something Hyundai that was bought for $200 from some people at our church at the time. And let me tell you, even for $200 that car was a lemon. We never were able to get it registered, just like the past four people who owned it, because it wouldn't pass smog. Actually, it never even made it to smog. After pushing it in (literally, the car died on the way to get it tested) the auto mechanic told us he would just run the pre-test, because he was pretty sure that the car was not going to pass. It failed the pre-test right off the bat. So, we half drove, half pushed it back home & there it sat. Until I was able to sell it to one of our neighbors for $100. Good riddance! lol.

2. Who was your favorite childhood teacher?

I had a couple, one was named Mr. Chase, he taught sixth grade history. He was funny & actually had a way of making us kids care about what happened in the past. Plus, when he saw how insecure I was about myself, he told me what a smart young lady I was & that I could do anything I put my mind to. I'll always remember him for that.

The second was Mr. Penfold. Mr. Penfold taught high school agriculture. He was the absolute best teacher I had my entire life. He was so laid back, kids from other classes, that were not even in his class, would ditch just to go sit in his room. Tests were not really formal, though he did expect everyone to learn. And we did, because he found ways of making it fun without being super lame, and we all respected him for it.

3. Were you involved in any sports/extracurricular activities? Share pictures if you can!

I totally wasn't. I was the fat kid that had the worst luck when it came to sports. Seriously, I can't even tell you how many times I have been hit in the face with basket balls & soccer balls. I avoided & still avoid sports like the plague!

4. What was your favorite birthday party?

I honestly didn't have too many birthday parties. The only one I can actually remember was when I was either twelve or thirteen. I had a few girls from school over for a sleep over. We ate pizza & popcorn while watching movies about N'*sync. lol. We then stayed up until 2am playing Monopoly. Ah, the good ol' days. 

5. Who was your teen celebrity crush?

Speaking of N*sync. As a teen, I apparently had the worst Gaydar ever...

6. What show/movie did your parents not allow you to watch?

I was not allowed to watch South Park for obvious reasons. lol. I also was not allowed to watch the movie Jumanji for my mom was worried that I would get too scared. :P

Thanks for reading, please make sure you checkout the GIVEAWAY!

Where have you been my whole life?

A few weeks ago while on our way back home from a get together at Mr. B's brother's house, we decided to drop by Costco. While we were speed walking to the back of the store to pick up a few bags of fruit for the following week's lunches, I realized it was already 5:30pm on a Sunday, & we had not been home all day.

I asked Mr. B what he wanted for dinner, I really wasn't in the mood to cook anything. Mr. B responded with his typical, "I don't care, anything is fine.". Seriously, I am not sure how this man ever gets dressed in the morning without taking forever to make a decision on what leg to put in first. Gah! Any who, we walk past their pre-made "fresh" section. I scan through the take-&-bake pizzas, macaroni & cheese dinners & rotisserie chicken, & I come across these really huge beautiful salads for $7.99 each. 

I show a couple to Mr. B. He doesn't look impressed, but manages to grunt out a "that's fine" ... "I guess." I ask him again, "Well, what do you want to eat for dinner?", he again tells me that it doesn't matter. Anything is fine. Alright then, this was going no where & it's just getting later. I hand out two options & tell him to pick one that he would eat for dinner tonight. He reluctantly chooses one & we are on our way to the check out line. On the way home, he admits that he didn't mind getting a salad for dinner, but he thought that "eight bucks is a lot of money for weeds". Ha, for weeds! What a dork. 

Anyway, we get home & get bowls out for our expensive weeds. ;) He chose a Caesar salad, I chose the Spinach salad with poppy seed dressing. It turns out these salads, were a LOT bigger than they looked in the store. They were over two servings a piece! So, in reality, $7.99 wasn't too expensive for what we will continue to call weeds.

My salad was made with baby spinach, dried cranberries, red onions, a halved hard boiled egg, & a sprinkling of cheese & bacon bits. It also came with a container of poppy seed dressing. I had never had poppy seed dressing before, & I honestly was a bit weary of it. Now, let me tell you... It was the most amazing salad I had ever had in my entire life.

Where was this magical dressing my entire life? You always hear of ranch, blue cheese, thousand island, french, but... poppy seed? That was just unheard of! Our next trip to Walmart had me looking down the dressings aisle for poppy seed, as I am sure Mr. B wouldn't be too happy if I bought $7.99 salads every couple of days from Costco. lol. 

Not only did I find poppy seed dressing, but I found it in lite! My heart was a flutter. Not only could I enjoy this amazing salad dressing at home, but I can actually enjoy it with half the calories. That's a win-win right there! I now have all the ingredients, aside from the bacon, it really doesn't need it, to make this yummy meal at home. :)

Do you have a favorite dressing or salad topping of your own? Are you an Iceberg or a Romaine kind of person? I actually prefer Artisan Romaine & spinach above them all. :)

Looking for Sponsors, let's swap!

Good evening fellow bloggers!

So I am sitting here, editing some photos for future blog posts, while waiting for this snow to start stickin'. And, I thought I would put out a button swapping offer.

I am currently looking to add a few more sponsors to my page, I currently only have two! *sadface*

So, how about it? Let's swap! :D

Keeping Plus

Friday's Letters


Dear Groundhog, 
I hope you are right this year, even though the whole idea of a rodent predicting the weather is lunacy. I very much need some sunshine & warmth coming my way. This California girl is getting more & more homesick with each below freezing day. I find it very difficult to get motivated when it's so warm under the blankets & so cold outside.

Dear Mr. B, 
I'm so very proud of you this week. You have been so bummed out by winter lately yet you are trying to not be such a downer when we are together. I appreciate the fact that you know how down I get when you aren't in the best of moods. I'm so looking forward to our date night coming up on Valentine's day. It's our very first Valentine's day in four years that you don't have to work. I'm so excited, even if it is just a commercial holiday exploiting love. ;)

Dear Scale, 
You won this week. But don't be fooled into thinking that you have beaten me. I always get restless at the end of the month & end up eating things I shouldn't, especially as its gets closer & closer to shopping day. I will beat you next week, you will see!

Dear Budget, 
We make a great team. Even though I am not putting as much money aside as I would like to, I am at least putting something away. And we all know that something is more than nothing. :)

Dear Health Insurance,
I don't even think I have words for you. You make me so angry, yet I am very happy to be one that actually has insurance. If you could just give me the medication my doctor prescribed for my PCOS, that would be fantastic. If a medication works, why would you make people run in circles trying other medications before allowing the person to have the medication that we already know works? It is just so ridiculous.

Dear Blog, 
You got yourself a nice little face lift. I promise I will leave you alone for a while. Besides, I am going to be putting some of my creative focus into my Designs for Donations experiment. :)

Dear Readers, 
There are so many of you now! I can't believe it! Thank you so much for following me & my not-so-exciting at times journey. There will be new things to come with my blog as I try to find my way into the review circuit. In the mean time, make sure you get your entries in at my first giveaway by clicking, here!

{GIVEAWAY} to Celebrate 50+ Followers!

Hello there! Thank you for stopping by & joining in on the fun of Keeping Plus' very first giveaway! There are lots of goodies to be one & a few new friends to make. So why don't you stay awhile, & don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this page. :)

Don't want to wait to see if you are a winner of the Crochet Cozies? Or maybe you just want one customized in the colors of your choice! You can buy yours today! Only $7 for the set, plus shipping! :) Message Krys for details,!

***mug & cell phone not included***

Helen says: Hi all! I’m so very excited to be a part of this giveaway that Krys is hosting!! I’d like to introduce you all to me: I’m addicted to Pinterest & Blogging! I have 4 blogs that are currently in working order and I contribute to a fifth blog for about 4 months now!! My main blog is Blue Eyed Beauty Blog. On there I write about anything and everything from religion to politics to recipes I create myself…I also write about being frugal, blogging tips, and I also modest outfit posts! I love blogging and I love blog design too which is why I’m giving away a free Blog Restyle here today at Keeping Plus!

Tara says: Tara is a busy 20-something young professional working in academia. Her blog at Second Chances is about healthy weight loss, nutritious eating, and all around fitness. She laments the fact that she is giving away junk food... but all things in moderation, she says.

*Open to the United States only. Winner will be selected randomly via Winner will be contacted via email. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize. If prize has not been claimed within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn at random.*

Tuesday's 10 Day YOU Challenge {4 books}


Today's 10 Day You Challenge is four books. Here are a few of my favorites.

4.) Dave Pelzer Series (A Child Called 'It', The Lost Boy & A Man Named Dave): I'm fairly sure everyone has read this book at least once in their life. If you haven't you should. After reading it, you should then read other the other books by Dave Pelzer, The Lost Boy & A Man Named Dave. These books are truly heartbreaking & at the same time, very empowering. They were for me at least.

3.) The Twilight Saga: Yes, I happened to like the Twilight books. However, I have not seen any of the movies because I had have a huge problem with the casting of Edward. Yuck!

2.) The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series: I have read nearly all of these books, I think there are currently ten & I am just finishing up book nine. This series isn't for everyone. I know there are a lot of bloggers here in Bloggerland that like a more wholesome book. I on the other hand don't mind a "smutty" book everyone once in a while & this just happens to be one, or nine, of those books. lol.

1.) The Hunger Games Trilogy: Okay, I love these books & even though I have not finished Mocking Jay just yet, I already know that these are some of my favorite books. I read half of Mocking Jay & I am finishing the other half on audio book while I crochet. It works really well that way. I like to multitask sometimes. :) Upon finishing Mocking Jay, I will watch the movie(s). I wanted to make sure I finished all the books before doing that.

I don't read a lot, mostly because I hate buying books to read them once & then have them sit there collecting dust. I really need to buy a kindle, I know that I would read more if I had the opportunity to take my whole library with me everywhere I go. I keep entering giveaways in hopes of winning one, since I am broke & can't quite justify or afford one right now. My birthday is coming up in August, maybe someone will be awesome & gift one to me. :)

So those are my favorites... what are yours? :)

{Make sure to come back tomorrow, as I will be hosting my very first giveaway!}

Motivation Monday

found via Pinterest.
I really liked this when I came across it on Pinterest. One part more than any of it, I love the fact that you should ignore the unhealthy examples that were once feeding you. I feel that I, personally, must remember this every time I start to doubt myself & fall back into those habits that are oh so comfortable. These what I am going to call "braxton hicks hunger pains" will fade if you give them enough time to. Drink water, they do go away, & when you are truly hungry, you will know. Your body will tell you.

As a society that tries to make life as painless & comfortable as possible, I feel that we have lost touch with our own bodies. We don't realize how amazing the machine that is running inside us is. We take it for granted & take every cure all pill that comes along. Just today, I learned that having a temperature actually fights viruses & bacteria. Coughing actually rids your body of bacteria & viruses by way of the lungs. But instead of letting our bodies do what they do best, we load up on Nyquil & Tylenol which only makes our bodies work longer to rid us from disease & can actually add more serious problems.

I understand though, I really do. It's easier to be numb. It's easier to sit on the couch with a bowl of warm macaroni & cheese while watching infomercials than to eat healthier & move your body. I struggle with this everyday & can only hope that it gets easier. 

But we can do this, after all... like our motivation for the day states... YOU are worth more than you realize. So ditch the haters, the doubters & the unhealthy examples that were once feeding you. You are awake now, you are aware, & you are stronger than you have ever been. You are amazing.

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Life lately...

Life lately has been pretty simple. It's kind of been the same ol' same ol', one day at a time thing. I've spent lots of time with my furbabies & even more time crocheting. I finished the crochet cozies that I am going to be giving away here on Keeping Plus in a couple days, so keep an eye out for that. :) 
I've also been thinking about starting a new segment here on Keeping Plus called "Designs for Donations". Basically, this segment would be me offering blog graphic services for "donations". I know that the economy is tough right now & people can't afford to be paying an arm & a leg for digital services. With Designs for Donations, you could set your own price. It's still in brainstorming at the moment, as I am not sure just how many people might want to take advantage of this offer. If you would be one willing to be a part of the Designs for Donations experiment, just let me know! :)
Yesterday the Mister & I took Odin to Ralph Stover (not to be confused with Russell Stover) State Park. Odin had a great time fetching sticks as usual. He even learned the lesson of why you don't run on ICE. I felt a little guilty that I laughed so hard, but to see him slide across the ice was truly hilarious. It was pretty cold, only about 28° & a snow storm was coming in, so we didn't stay too long.

We got cold pretty quickly & were shocked to see a man getting ready to kayak his way down the river. My teeth chatter just thinking about it. We said hello as we walked by & told him that we thought he was absolutely crazy. He smiled & said that he had to do it at least once. He waved goodbye & pushed off into the frigid icy water. He made really good timing down the river though, we actually passed him getting out of the river on the way back home. 

Good for you crazy man, good for you! :)

Social Sunday

Sunday Social

Today's Social Sunday is brought to you by the number TWO:

1. If you were stuck on an island what are the two material items you would want to have?
Fishing hooks & a sturdy knife. :)
2. What are two TV shows you’d watch over and over
Doctor Who & Grey's Anatomy.
3. If your house was on fire what two things aside from family, pets, etc would you grab?
Aside from family & pets... Insurance information & photographs. Some stuff just can't be replaced.
4. What are your two most favorite articles of clothing?
I have a black sweater that a friend bought me for Christmas that I absolutely love. Also my Source of Wisdom jeans from Torrid.
5. What two movies that you saw in the past year would you recommend to us?
Wow, I pretty much live on Netflix. So, I have no idea what I would recommend. Probably the Zeitgeist films.
6. What are your two biggest guilty pleasures?
The television show, Glee! That is one for sure! And, caramel drizzled chocolate covered pretzels. Oh, my, God! 

Would you rather...

So I stumbled upon Sarah's blog, Enjoying the Epiphany, the other day & found something fun I thought I would partake in. The post is called Would you rather... & it consists of ten would you rather situations. It seems like such a fun game, so lets get started... I will go first.

Number 1: Would you rather only read all but the last chapter of every book you read or only watch the last ten minutes of every movie you watch?
This is a tough one! I guess I would rather only read all but the last chapter of every book. The sad truth is, I watch movies a lot more than I read books. It would drive me crazy to only watch the last ten minutes of a movie & have no idea how the heck it came to that. :)
Number 2: Would you rather eat something completely disgusting or do something incredibly embarrassing in public?
I guess it would depend on what the disgusting or embarrassing thing was. I guess I would rather do something embarrassing in public since I don't know what the asker of this question finds disgusting. 
Number 3: Would you rather write an awful book that is loved by millions while you are alive or write an amazing classic that is cherished by millions after your death?
I would rather write an amazing classic. Good books come & go, but the classics last forever.
Number 4: Would you rather live life unable to communicate your true feelings or live life unable to filter your feelings (good and bad)?
I would live unfiltered. A life without communication & feelings is no life to live. I am a very passionate person & to take communication from me, would kill my whole being.
Number 5: Would you rather be trapped in a box with a mime or have to ride in a clown car with six clowns?
This is easy, a box with a mime! I don't think I could handle to amount of noise & annoyance from the six clowns in the car. At least the mime box is quiet. :)
Number 6: Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors or go into the future and meet your great grandchildren?
This one is quite difficult. On one hand, I know that I have some fairly famous relatives. For example, I am the great-great-(add quite a few more greats to that) granddaughter of Roger Williams, the man who discovered Rhode Island. But on the other hand, I would love to see where my family line leads in the future. I guess, I would have to choose future, since I couldn't mess anything up with the butterfly effect. lol. 
Number 7: Would you rather have the memories of somebody that you loved and lost or not remember them?
I would keep my memories. They make me who I am today.
Number 8: Would you rather believe in Hakuna Matata or YOLO?
Hakuna Matata all the way. Who ever thought of that YOLO crap should be found & shot. Just saying. :)
Number 9: Would you rather vacation on a tropical island or a cabin in the mountains?
Not fair that I have to answer this when it's only 18° outside. The tropical island sounds amazing! The warm warm sun! However, everyone goes to the islands & it would be crowded with people. I guess I would take a cabin in the mountains. I like my space from the rest of the world. lol.
Number 10: Would you rather eat monkey brains or live crickets?
Ewww! I don't think I could do either. I don't even want to choose. Nope, won't do it! Yuck!
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