Ten #Recipes for French Fries

In honor of 
National French Fries Day, 
July 13, 2014, 
here are ten mouth-watering recipes I found online!

by http://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/

by http://picky-palate.com/

by http://campingcafe.com/

by http://www.adventures-in-cooking.com/

by http://layersofhappiness.com/

by http://www.cookandcraftmecrazy.blogspot.com/

by http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/

by http://cookingontheweekends.com/

by http://heatherchristo.com/

Baked Lemon Pepper French Fries
by http://somethewiser.danoah.com/

and here is a bonus 
sweet potato french fries recipe:

by http://www.savoringthethyme.com/


Exclusive #UnderTheDome Photos - Season 2 Week 3 #DomeAmbassadors

 Under The Dome takes it up another notch this coming Monday!
 Check out the next episode of Under The Dome on CBS on Mondays at 10/9c.
See more photos from this upcoming episode HERE.
Follow the Dome Ambassadors HERE all season long!

My Journey #UnderTheDome On Location #DomeAmbassadors

Our wonderful journey Under The Dome began with wonderful gifts from CBS.
We both received the book Under The Dome, autographed by Stephen King.
The morning location shoot was in a small field in Wilmington, NC.
A staggering number of people and truckloads of equipment are needed for each shoot.
We got to sit in the shady director's tent during the scene filming.
Di Ranere and I were selected as the Season 2 Dome Ambassadors.
The directors and writers were very focused on their work.
Each scene is filmed over and over until there is satisfactory footage.
Actors, directors, writers, and crew all work together to bring you the best show.
Everyone was so welcoming and happy to answer our questions.
The beautiful Laura Passero coordinated our entire journey.
Norrie sighting! Norrie is played by Mackenzie Lintz.
Writer William Kendall with Mackenzie Lintz (Norrie) and Max Ehrich (Hunter).
Mackenzie is so sweet and gorgeous! She hugged us both and posed for a picture.
Max Ehrich is a hunky sweetheart. He stopped for a photo with us too!

And then we were whisked off for a trip to the studios!
Stay tuned for more photos!

Don't miss Under The Dome, Mondays on CBS at 10/9c.

How To Make a Perfect Smoothie - #Recipe #Dynablend #Linwoods

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Smoothies are all the rage and it seems like some of the recipes are super-complicated, so I decided to create a perfect recipe that works every time. I've tried this basic recipe with several different fruits, fruit blends, and fruit/veggie blends and each one has been perfect.
I use the Tribest Dynablend with this recipe because it is very powerful and will blend everything, including ice and frozen fruit. On a side note, I've found it's also an excellent blender for my custards, creme pie fillings, and scrambled eggs recipes. It's easy to clean and the uniform width of the pitcher allows the ingredients to blend together quickly.
It features variables speeds with settings for 60 second blend, 30 second pulse, or a 60 second combination of both. For my smoothies, the 60 second combination setting at the second-lowest speed is the best one. The red band around the dial button flashes when it's plugged in, but not on, to remind me to save energy by unplugging it. When it's on, it's a steady red color.
The Dynablend comes with a handy stainless steel scoop spoon that features a metal plate that fits perfectly over the hole in the top of the lid, if I choose to use it instead of the tight-fitting hole cover, which is also included. It comes in handy when I'm adding ingredients during blending, like when I'm mixing salsas.
One of my favorite things about the Dynablend is the tight-fitting bottom seal, so I never have to worry about leaks. Tribest even includes extra seals and a special tool for their Dynablend that is required to loosen the seal from the glass pitcher. Overall, it's an excellent blender and I'm thrilled with it!
Now onto the perfect smoothie recipe!
First, you need one cup of liquid. You can use milk, juice, yogurt (a semi-liquid), or even water. I like to use milk because I'm not a big milk-drinker but I know I need the calcium to keep my bones strong and healthy.
Next, you need 1 cup of fruit, vegetables, or a combination of the two. I have tons of blueberries on hand right now, so I've been drinking blueberry smoothies. You can either use fresh or frozen fruit. It's better to use fresh vegetables if you're adding veggie ingredients to your smoothie.
Next, you'll add one cup of ice. My ice maker makes smaller pieces of ice, but if yours makes huge pieces of ice, I recommend you blend just the ice first, then add other ingredients. If you are using frozen fruit, you can reduce the amount of ice by 1/2, but I don't bother because I like things simple.
To get the most out of your smoothie, I recommend using Linwoods flaxseed packets. You only need to add 1 tablespoon of whichever flavor you want. I love the Linwoods Flaxseed Cocoa and Berries the best because it adds a touch of chocolatey-taste to my smoothies.
Then, add 1 tablespoon of sweetener. You can use honey (my preference because of the thickness), or agave, or sugar. I recommend using a natural sweetener rather than a substitute, because your body can more easily process something natural.
Then just put the lid on and turn on the Dynablend. I usually blend for about 2 minutes, then pour my smoothie into a glass. This recipe makes one large smoothie or you can share half with someone you love. You can always make more too!
So, quick recap on the Smoothie Recipe:
  • 1 cup liquid
  • 1 cup fruit, veggie, or combination
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener
Get the Dynablend High Power Blender HERE.
Get Linwoods Flaxseed and more HERE.



From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy's fate in the balance.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st!

Giveaway Linkup! Wednesday Wealth (July 9-15)


Giveaway - Home Sweet Home - Chicken Soup for the Soul

Disclosure: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Our homes are the centers of our lives. They bring together family members and are the stage for the theater of most of our days. I truly loved reading Home Sweet Home, one of the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Including over 100 stories about hearth, happiness, and hard work, this book brought me to tears several times because it inspired me, touched my heart, and brought many memories back to my mind. One of my favorite stories in the book is More Power by Anne Gibbons. In it, she talks about her husband's clean-up job following a carpet replacement home improvement project. I laughed aloud when she described how she found all floor debris perfectly cleaned up, then discovered the dust that covered all of her dishes because her husband had cleaned up using the leaf blower. Home Sweet Home is a wonderful collection of stories and I'm excited to offer YOU a copy of the book, sponsored by Chicken Soup for Soul. Enter below!

Win Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA. Only one entry is mandatory to be entered; bonus entries increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends on 7/20/2014. Good luck!
Enter my other giveaways HERE.

Blueberry Muffins #Recipe

#contains affiliate link
Blueberries are one of North America's native fruits. Blueberries rank in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA.
Source: The George Mateljan Foundation

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, blend butter, sugar, vanilla extract, egg, and milk. In a larger bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour contents of medium bowl into large bowl and blend together. Fold in blueberries, spoon into muffin cups, about 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. Enjoy warm or at room temperature!

Print this recipe HERE.
See my other recipes HERE.

Get a heart-shaped pan HERE.

Six Ways to Protect Your Home

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 2 million homes are burglarized each year, and that number is only expected to rise as thieves become smarter and more tech-savvy. What measures can you take to protect your property from these alarming crime rates? Here are just six ideas.

1. Secure Your Doors and Windows
Some of the simplest ways to stop break-ins are also the most overlooked. Don't leave your windows open at night, don't forget to lock patio or second-story doors, and don't depend on simple latching mechanisms to safeguard your sliding glass. Everything should come with an actual lock or bar.

2. Trim Your Hedges
Bushes and shrubs will conceal a thief as they approach your home in the dead of night. Dark shadows will provide excellent hiding places. Get out your clippers and start landscaping with security in mind. If you think something could offer cover for a criminal, cut it with impunity.

3. Invest in a Good Home Security System
While any home security system is better than nothing, it's worth the effort to go out on a limb and find something with comprehensive, floor-to-ceiling coverage. Even better is a system that can be remotely accessed with a smartphone or tablet. Look into brands like Titan Alarm for a 21st-century solution to a timeless problem.

4. Hide Your Valuables
Don't put your plasma screen in front of an open window, and don't leave your garage door open so that the entire world can see your cars, bikes and jet skis. Showboating is one of the easiest ways to get yourself targeted by burglars.

5. Join the Neighborhood Watch
Are you frequently away from home for work or travel? Let the community be your eyes and ears while you're gone. Not only can they pick up your mail and water your plants, but they can also alert the authorities in the event of a disturbance.

6. Give Up the Fake Rock
It may have been a good idea once upon a time, but everyone knows about fake rocks to hold spare keys. The same goes for hollow bricks, plastic lily pads and other items. If you really can't stand the thought of being locked out of your house, give your spare key to a trusted neighbor.

If you're serious about protecting both your property and your family, these are just six things to keep in mind when improving home security.

Bonding With Teenagers - #HawaiianFalls #Texas

Bonding with your teenagers can sometimes be a challenge. The older they get, the more they feel the need to pull away from parents. As parents, we're torn between letting them grow up and wanting to keep them small forever. A day at Hawaiian Falls Water Park is a great compromise for everyone!
By spending quality time together, parents and teens can set aside everything else and just have a fabulous time. Hawaiian Falls is a wonderful family environment for adults and kids of all ages. There is something for everyone, from the shallow beach for toddlers to the fast slides for older, more adventurous kids.
I followed my husband Johnny and my son Ryan around Hawaiian Falls water park in Pflugerville, Texas, over the weekend to journal their bonding time together. They climbed the steps to the top of the tallest slide for a race down, and Ryan not only beat Johnny's time but everyone else's time on the slide.
Being able to hang out without electronics, without the demands of work and school, and without the typical parenting issues, my guys had a fantastic afternoon. Since it was a crowded holiday weekend, they had some extra time to stand in lines for the slides and just talk to each other.
It's amazing how much teenagers will open up and talk to their parents when they are having a good time! It also gives adults the chance to act like a kid. We stopped to eat some delicious hot dogs and burgers too, which gave us a chance to rest in the shade and just enjoy the live music on the stage.
A mom is never happier than when her family is happy. Seeing my husband and my son bonding means the world to me. If you need to get away from day to day life and just soak up some sun and some family time while connecting with your teens, Hawaiian Falls water parks are the perfect place to hang out!
Celebrating more than a decade of bringing families closer together, Hawaiian Falls operates several water parks throughout Texas - in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke, Waco, Pflugerville and White Settlement. Have you been to Hawaiian Falls yet?
Get more information at hfalls.com and facebook.com/hfalls.


Elemental T's for Kids - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Do you have children that ask you a billion questions? Elemental T's are perfect for your curious little girls and boys! These wonderful, educational children's shirts feature detailed images of both wildlife and man-made objects in the style of line drawings found in classic science textbooks while keeping the fun and vibrant color combinations that kids really want to wear. As an early childhood specialist, I absolutely LOVE this idea!
Plus, each shirt comes with a toy magnifying glass and little fact card that introduces some interesting details about the animal or object depicted. Each design is sketched by a local artist and every shirt is screen printed by hand in New York City. Send your kids back to school in these great shirts that will fascinate them and all their friends!
Elemental T's is a new Brooklyn-based, mom-founded and run, kids' t-shirt company that embraces the enthusiasm for what we affectionately (and sometimes exhaustedly) refer to as the WHY?/WHAT? phase of childhood. Kids see the world on a more magnified scale and are naturally curious. Every stick, bug and flower is fascinating to them. They are riveted by animals and by machines and by the mechanics of how they work. It is that way of seeing the world that inspired Elemental T's.
Visit www.elementalts.com today and take advantage of their amazing sale! You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to be first to hear about special promotions.