Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Influenster Spring VoxBox- Part 2 (Secret Outlast Clear Gel)

On Thursday, I shared a review of the first product I tried from my Spring Fever VoxBox from Influenster.

Again, I will be reviewing these products as I give them a try. Here's what's in my box:

Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant
NYC New York Color Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm
OSIS Rough Rubber
Tastykake Kandy Bar Kakes- Peanut Butter
Today's review is of Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant:
It's kind of strange to talk about deodorant, but I'll come right out and say it.  I have always had issues with underarm sweat.  I don't get smelly, but I do get sweaty.  As in, it's-so-hot-on-the-stage-where-I-sing-at-my-church-I-wear-dark-tops-or-tops-that-won't-show-sweat-marks, sweaty.  I've been a Dove user since college.  I like the scents, and most of the time it does the trick.  But I was willing to give something new a try. 
I thought the clear packaging is kind of cool.  I like the ability to see how much product you have left.  I also really enjoy the scent of this.  I'm not sure if mulitple scents were distributed by mine is called "Completely Clean."  This does seem to do a decent job of curbing sweat for me.  Though I can't honestly say that it does better than what I currently use.  I also like that you don't have to use a lot.  Just 2-3 clicks is what the packaging directs.  I usually only need 1-2 clicks.
I wasn't really a fan of the peel off seal under the cap.  That's not a deal breaker or anything, I just found it odd.  It also took an excessive amount of clicks to bring the gel to the top of the package--so much so, that I actually thought it was broken.  As this is a gel, there is a wetness after the product is applied.  I do not like that feeling.  It does dry quickly, however, and because it is clear, you do not get marks on your clothing if applying prior to dressing.  (I hardly ever put on my deodorant and THEN get dressed.  I usually get dressed and then apply.  I did it the other way to test it!)
Overall, I would say that I do like Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant.  I may even consider switching brands!
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
These are my opinions only. I am not compensated by Influenster or Secret for my thoughts on this product.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dinner Time Tuesday 5/28

It's Dinner Time Tuesday! 

Have you seen this?

Obviously, Taco Bell is probably the worst place not the healthiest of places a person should eat.  But one time, when I was living at home with my parents, there was left over taco meat but no taco shells.  There were Cool Ranch Doritos, though.  I figured, "Why not?"  I just made my taco salad with those instead.  SO I technically had this idea first, Taco Bell. 
Anyway, you're probably wondering what this has to do with Dinner Time Tuesday.  Well, Scott has been a bit....ummm...addicted to Cool Ranch Doritos lately.  And let me just say, it's hard not to be.  Have you ever just eaten ONE Cool Rand Dorito???  The answer is no.  Because it's impossible.
I decided that rather than getting a Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell, I would make my taco salad with those Cool Ranch Doritos.  (know these are not the healthiest of choices either, but gosh, they're SO good.)
I would be lying if I said that this wasn't the best taco salad I've ever had.  Seriously.  Do this.  You can thank me later. ;)
Tell me about what you had for dinner!  Link up below!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Menu Planning Monday

It's been awhile since I've linked up with Elizabeth & Jane for Menu Planning Monday.  I've been a total slacker in regards to both blogging AND meal planning lately.  Summer is almost here, and I'm feeling revived about my blog again, so I'm excited to be linking up this week.

Monday: Memorial Day
On this speical day to honor the men and women who have laid down their lives for our freedom, I am also thankful to spend time with my family.  This morning, I sang in a Memorial Day parade.  At 2:00, my family is meeting for a cook out.  I'm sure the menu will include but not be limited to: hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato casserole.  I know the casserole will be there because I'm bringing it.  lol  My family always makes a bunch of great food, so I'm excited!  I will probably not feel the need to eat dinner after this.  :)
BBQ Ribs with Corn on the Cob
I will be at a state conference with some other teachers on Wednesday.  Scott is on his own.  I'll be eating at a restaurant.
Salsa chicken with corn and mashed potatoes
I feel the need to have lasagna.  I'm thinking of making it on Saturday.  I LOVE lasagna, and I haven't made it in awhile.
I'm not sure exactly what we're having yet, but I bought ingredients to make potato salad.  I plan to have something with potato salad on the side. 
What will be cooking in your kitchen this week?

Also sharing at Mostly Homemade Mondays on Homegrown & Healthy

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Influenster Spring Voxbox: Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure

Ok, people, words cannot express how excited I was to be selected to receive a Spring Fever VoxBox from Influenster

Maybe I was a little too excited.  haha  But either way.....Influenster is a great site where people can post reviews, participate in contests, and share their thoughts on many different kinds of products on the market.  By connecting your social media accounts and blogs, you can earn points.  The better Influenster score you have, the more likely you are to receive free products to try.

It really was exciting to get this box in the mail!

My box of goodies! :)
I will be reviewing these products as I give them a try.  Here's what's in my box:

Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant
NYC New York Color Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm
Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure
OSIS Rough Rubber
Tastykake Kandy Bar Kakes- Peanut Butter
Today, I'm sharing what I thought of the Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure.  Let's start with the packaging.
I think this is one of the cutest ways I have seen press-on nails packaged.  I really loved that it was in a package shaped like a nail polish bottle.  I thought the design that I received was really pretty.  I liked the lacy, "fishnet" look with the flowers.  The nails were easy to put on, and they were also easy to remove.  They were not too long, although they were longer than I have been wearing my nails these days.  (I keep my fairly short.)  But I didn't poke out my eye when putting in or taking out my contacts, so I consider that a win.  I loved the look of them on!
These weren't perfect, though.  The package states that the press-on manicure should last for up to a week.  Mine didn't last 24 hours.  In the product's defense, I screwed up when I put them on.  Someone was a dummy and didn't read the directions.  I assumed that the tab on the back of the nails was the top of the nail.  When I put the nails on, they seems strangely bendable at the top.  Turns out, I had them upside down.  I had to pull them off and turn them around.  (The picture above is when they were on wrong.)  So the fact that I already messed with the adhesive probably didn't help the longevity of my press-on manicure. 

I would be willing to give these another try.  I'd like to see if they last longer if I put them on right the first time.  :)

Next time, I will share my thoughts on Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant.

You can read my review on Inluenster here

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. 
These are my opinions only.  I am not compensated by Influenster or Broadway nails for my thoughts on this product.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dinner Time Tuesday 5/21

Ok.  I realize that the last time I posted was Dinner Time Tuesday last week.  Please forgive me.  Before I share some dinner, here are my excuses for slacking in blog land.

Last week, though I shared it on Tuesday, I had dinner on Monday with Kristin and her husband.  I came home, and quickly assembled last week's post because I was so excited about it.  Tuesday night was the Ice Cream Social for the Kindergarten through 3rd grade students at my school.  Long story short, students who demonstrate good behavior and excellent grades get invited to the ice cream social with their families.  I was the main person in charge, and by the time I got home, I was EXHAUSTED.  (AKA...I came home and went to bed.)  I don't really have a good excuse for Wednesday other than just being tired.  On Thursday, I came home and Scott and I took care of some garbage in the garage.  On Friday, I headed to Rochester, New York with two friends from work for an amazing professional development conference about The Daily 5.  It's a teaching structure that is just wonderful.  (Teachers look it up!)  That was all day Saturday plus traveling home.  Then I was gone with my parents and brother to a surprise 50th birthday party on Sunday.

Truth be told, I'm writing this on Monday night. 

If that doesn't sound busy to you....*whew*  I don't know how YOU do it!  :)

Here's a yummy (but healthy!) dinner for you today:

I've shared that I've had chicken salad before.  Usually, that includes french fries.  I was a good girl this time, and kept the fries in the freezer. 

This salad is green leaf lettuce and spinach leaves, 1 chicken breast tender, some chopped up baby carrots, a small handful of croutons, and some poppyseed dressing.  I realize I could probably eliminate the croutons and use a low fat dressing of some sort.  But what fun is that.

Life is too short to not have croutons on your salad.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dinner Time Tuesday 5/14

Today, I bring you an extra-special edition of....

Don't be disappointed by the fact that this happened yesterday and not today.  :)

Yesterday, I had the chance to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers for dinner!  Kristin from Kristin's kNook has finally gotten out of Alaska!  :)  She and her husband, Scott, are actually from a town not far from me.  (In fact, it's the town in which I currently teach.)  So after their long drive from Alaska to Missouri, they drove up to Pennsylvania to visit their families and see their moms for Mother's Day.

Fortunately for me, they took time out of their busy schedule to have dinner with me.  They were also very gracious and wouldn't let me pay for mine.  (Thank you both so much.)

We had dinner at a little Italian place in the town where I teach.  It's called Lia's.  I had a cheeseburger with fries.  Kristin had a ridiculously large calzone (for a medium) and got to take the left overs!  haha

I have mentioned before, I think, that I have actually met Kristin in person before.  She was a sub in my school district before she got married.  I always say that I wish I had gotten to know her better then, but I have gotten to know her so well through her blog, I think.  It was great to sit down and chat in person...we talked a lot about teaching things.  First graders and fourth graders are not all that different, it turns out.  AND I'm pretty sure we bored Scott to death.

So anything special or yummy happening for dinner in your life this week??

And it was super awesome that our colors coordinated very well.  Puple and pink makes me happy! :)

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Today I move over one more Bean Pot recipe from old blog:
This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman's new cookbook.
I also didn't take any pictures because Scott helped me make it, and I knew he'd make fun of me for taking pictures. :-p If you'd like, you can read her original recipe here. It's actually supposed to be spicy, but I had forgotten to buy the chipotle chiles at the store.
Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 whole pork butt (pork shoulder roast)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 12 oz Dr. Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 300*
  2. Put the onion quarters in the bottom of the pot. (I used my trusty bean pot because it needed a pot with a lid, and that's the only one I have!)
  3. Put the pork on top of the onions and add salt and pepper to taste. (By the way, Scott and I were kind of unsure about how big a whole pork roast should be. I don't know if the size really matters in terms of how much liquid we put in or not....)
  4. Pour in the Dr. Pepper.
  5. Add the brown sugar to the liquid and stir it a bit to combine.
  6. Cover the pot and cook for 6 hours turning a few times while it's cooking.
  7. When it's done, it should be fork tender. You can keep in in the pot or take it out and shred it with a fork (or forks).
I thought this was good. It was a little bland, which I'm sure the chiles would have helped with. I've never actually had pulled pork before, so I really don't have anything to compare it to! I toasted some hamburger buns and ate mine as a sandwich.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's Ok Thursday 5/9

In case you didn't know, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week!  So my "It's Ok Thursdays" this week is teacher-themed!

It's ok... let teachers have fun.  The PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) at my school is great.  They plan fun dress days for the week, and they give us treats and a catered lunch.  Monday was hat day.  On Tuesday, we could dress like our favorite Dr. Seuss character (our theme this year is Dr. Seuss).  Wednesday was "Wacky Wednesday," today is Pajama Day, and tomorrow, we get to dress like our students.  I teach first grade, so dressing like them is super fun...and borders on things I could have worn for Wacky Wednesday.  haha

...that it's Pajama Day.

...that my class won a viewing of The Lorax today!  Teachers were encouraged to decorate their doors with our favorite Dr. Seuss book.  Mine is Green Eggs and Ham.  The kids made green eggs and ham from paper and glued them onto a paper plate with a paper fork.  Then I asked them all to make a face to show if they liked green eggs and ham or not and I took their pictures.  Then they wrote in a speech bubble, "Yes, I like green eggs and ham." or "I do not like them Sam I Am."  The art teacher chose a winner from each grade level!  I didn't expect to win because my teacher-neighbor's door was pretty awesome, too!  (If I can, I will update this post with a picture later.) be excited for summer vacation.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my job.  I've had a rough year, though, and I'm ready for a break.  We are down to 23 school days!! make a change.  I don't think I've announced it here yet.  While an official decision has not been made, I told my principal that I wanted to move to 6th grade.  It's a HUGE leap.  I never, ever, ever wanted to teach above 3rd grade.  But I'm really excited about it, and I hope I get to move. 

What's ok with you this week??

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Harry Potter Fix: Week 30

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Today we tackle Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  However, I do have some sad news.  Kim, Tarole, and I have agreed to take a break from the My Harry Potter Fix link-up for a little while.  We decided that everyone could use a break as summer approaches.  We FULLY intend to pick back up in the fall.  So please join us one more time, and we all hope to see you this fall!

Please follow your hosts, post about Harry Potter, visit others, and share the love on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I think Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite books in the series.  I also really love this movie.  Here are my likes and dislikes for this one.

~This book is SO important, in my opinion, because it introduces us to Sirius Black.  Harry gets to learn more about his parents and their friends.  I LOVE the shocking revelation that Sirius is not the murderer everyone thought he was.  Imagine Harry's crazy feelings when he goes from hating the man to finding out his godfather is actually innocent!

~I also really enjoy the relationship that Harry builds with Professor Lupin.  Lupin is my favorite Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.  I think it's so wonderful that while he's finding out these supposedly horrible things about Sirius and his parents, he's getting good memories from Lupin.

~Speaking of Lupin being my favorite DADA teacher.  One of my favorite chapters is the lesson with the boggart!  This is where the movie fails us a bit.  I wanted to see more!  They don't do nearly enough of the students' fears before Lupin steps in.  I also really love Neville in this scene!

~I could go on forever, but I'll do one more of my favorite things.  TIME TURNER!!!  I love, love, love the subject of time travel.  I love reading about how certain things happened the first time around because Harry and Hermione went back in time, and I love how they're able to change the fates of two characters.  :)

~Malfoy is such a baby.  What makes me so mad is that if he wasn't so arrogant, he would have believed Hagrid that there is a special approach one must take with Hippogriffs.  And the way he milks the injury like he's dying.  I would've scratched him, too, Buckbeak.  GRRRR....

Oh yeah, and he deserved to get punched by Hermione, too.
~It kills me every time that Pettigrew gets away.  I know that it's important to other stories, but even though they end up saving Sirius, he can't live free.  Which leads to all that pent up anger and devastation in The Order of the Phoenix.  So this is two dislikes in one, I guess.  I hate that Pettigrew escapes, and I hate that Sirius has to go back into hiding.

That RAT. ha. ha.

What are your thoughts on The Prisoner of Azkaban??  Link up below!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I just had to share this quickly. 

Thanks to Susannah over at Simple Moments Stick, Scott and I just spent about a half-hour playing around on

After playing around with different pictures and messing with genders, this is what our daughter could like:

Not that we're having a baby any time soon.  So don't get your hopes up.  lol

ALSO, it was interesting, that every time I chose to have it morph the pictures for a boy, we got baby pictures.  But when I chose girls, sometimes we got babies, and sometimes we got older kids, like her!

This was our favorite one.  :)

Not that we're showing any favoritism towards our hypothetical children or anything.

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Dinner Time Tuesday 5/7

Hello out there in blog-land.  I'm back this week with Dinner Time Tuesday.  As you know, I've been less than thrilled about my own blog lately, so I'm just taking things one day at a time.  I'll be here tomorrw for My Harry Potter Fix with Kim & Tarole, too.  I hope you'll join me today and all of us tomorrow! 

Confession.  Scott and I haven't been eating very well lately.  Now, we haven't really been eating "bad" stuff, but we haven't been following a very good routine.  If we eat unheathly things, we are eating them in moderation.  We need to go grocery shopping, too.  I have not been making anything new or exciting in the kitchen.  I have been trying to take at least one snack to work so that I'm not starving by the time I get home.
Anyway, I made this chicken salad.  I used green leaf lettuce, spinach, carrots, grilled chicken, and a handful of croutons.  (Sorry, Insanity, but salad isn't nearly as good without croutons.)  I used my poppyseed dressing (mmmmmm).  It was scrumptious. 

Anything good in your kitchen this week?

Link up below to share! :)

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bean Pot Chicken Pot Pie

I love my Bean Pot. If you've been around here for awhile, you know a couple of things. 1) I used to blog on WordPress.  Yes, I am still moving posts over from there.  This is one.  2) I am a designer with the company Celebrating Home.  3) A bean pot is not just for beans.  In fact, I've never even made beans in my bean pot.  4)  You can check out recipes for the Bean Pot in my Celebrating Home tab. 

This is what my bean pot looks like:
This Bean Pot is from our Simply Summer Collection.  It is a 3.5 qt. bean pot.  Cost $39.

Bean Pot Chicken Pot Pie


-2 lbs cooked chicken (I bought a rotisserie chicken and tore it apart.)
-2 cans cream of potato soup (only 1 can of water)
-1 small bag frozen veggies (mine had peas, corn, carrots, and green beans)
-1 can crescent rolls

1. Preheat the oven to 375*. If you saved yourself time and hassle, like me, and bought a rotisserie chicken, cut it/pull it apart/mutilate it, and throw the chicken into the bean pot.


2. Put the rest of the ingredients in the bean pot (make sure you only add one can of water for the potato soup), and mix well.


3. Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on.

4. Place the unfolded crescent rolls on top of the mixture. (I think this recipe was actually asking you to use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls because it refers to all 6 of them fitting. I bought a generic brand and there were 8. I still used all of them. But also let me caution you. If you haven't already experienced enough terror from opening the crescent roll can....

20120627-143336.jpg now need to place the dough in the bean pot without burning yourself. I didn't get burned, but I just wanted to give you my safety warning!)

5. Bake without the lid until the crescent rolls are golden brown. If you overlap them too much, you may need additional time. Some of my more layered spots didn't quite cook.

This is the after AFTER picture. In other words, I had already taken out my serving when I realized that I hadn't taken a picture of the final product.
That's it! I'm loving the bean pot because it's so easy just to throw ingredients in and let it go! If you don't have a bean should. Follow my link under the bean pot picture if you'd like to change that!  haha :)

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Swap Reveal!!

So the wonderful Ashley from Being Ashley set up a book swap for her readers.  I couldn't resist signing up!

I was paired up with Julie from Love, JulieBug.  I am so happy that Ashley paired us.  Since we were "set up," I've been getting to know her, and she's great!  I enjoy reading her blog and learning more about her.  We shared a little about our reading preferences, set up our price limit, and then we got to work! 

So here's what came in the mail for me:

I can now add The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers to my summer reading list.  Based on the back cover, both books sound amazing!  :)  In fact, I am thinking of getting my summer reading list off to a start sooner rather than later. 

Thank you, Ashley for setting up the swap, and thank you, Julie for the books!! :)

Speaking of anyone interesting in swapping blog buttons with me??  It's totally free!
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Harry Potter Fix: Week 29

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I really do love "My Harry Potter Fix" days.  I can't wait for summer vacation.  I plan to reread the books and have a movie marathon.  *sigh*  At least tomorrow is the first day of May and there are only 29 days left!!!
Ok, so don't forget the rules for getting in on the fun:
  1. Follow your hosts: Kim, Tarole, & me.  (Seriously, I love them.  You should follow them because you'll love them, too.
  2. Post about Harry Potter, and share the link to your post.
  3. Visit other blogs to read their Harry Potter thoughts.
  4. Spread the love on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest...whatever social media floats your broom.  ;)
  5. We'd LOVE your ideas for questions, projects, & other Harry Potter topics for the link-up.  Fill out this form, and let us know if you'd like to guest post!
This week, we're talking about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  You can share your thoughts on the book and/or movie in any way you choose.

I'm going to stick to my favorites and least favorites. 

~I love that this is the book where we first meet Dobby.  Dobby is one of my favorite characters.  I just tweeted this after rewatching The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 the other day:

So I may not have appreciated Dobby then as much as I do now.  But I love looking back at this book and knowing that this is where we met him.  :)

~I also really enjoy that Ron & Harry flew the car to school.  Ok, maybe this didn't all really work out well, but it's so fun to think about a flying car, isn't it?  I can't figure out why they didn't just wait by the car for Arthur and Molly to come back, though.  I don't see fascinated-with-muggle-items Arthur leaving the car there....  BUT at least they did manage to get to school safely, minus getting a bit banged up by the Whomping Willow.

~I liked this encounter with Voldemort better than in The Sorcerer's Stone.  The idea of the diary coming "alive" through Ginny really sets things up for later in the series.  It's also incredibly exciting (AND also important later) when Harry battles the basilisk and rescues Ginny.

Least favorites:
~Why are those kids always in the wrong place at the wrong time??  It makes me feel bad when everyone thinks that Harry is the Heir of Slytherin after he speaks Parseltongue....which he didn't even know he could do! 

~Gilderoy Lockhart.  I'm pretty sure that I need say nothing else.

~And also spiders.

Next week, we're going to talk Prisoner of Azkaban.  Don't forget to link up below! :)

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