Monday, April 16, 2018

Why I bought an Apple Watch...

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When Series 1 Apple Watches were introduced, I didn’t get it.  Why have a watch when you have to still have to carrry your phone around with you?  Then along came Series 2, and I still wasn’t onboard.  And then here comes Series 3 LTE, finally, it’s available with celluar capabilities, you don’t have to be tethered to your phone, you just have to cough up a few bucks a month for cellular service.  I’m with Verizon, so for me it’s $10 a month.

When they introduced it last fall I liked it but I still wasn’t onboard.  And then this spring I rethought it.  Even though all the features are nice, calls, text, email, Siri, that’s not why I bought it.  I’m getting older, not quite ready for the Life Alert, but if I fell and nobody was around, I could just use my watch to call for help.  And while I hope this won’t happen, it’s an added layer of security and much better than that stupid “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” crap.

So I bought it, the bigger one, the 42mm, because I like big watches, and then I went on Amazon and bought lots of bands, and okay, I admit it, it’s fun to just change Minnie’s outfit colors to correspond with the bands.  And I love the convenience, no more worrying about having your phone on you, your watch rings, you answer, easy peasy.  And if you lose your phone, which I do multiple times daily, you can ping it with your watch.

Hubby and the boys were gone for a guys weekend and I was home alone.  It was great having the watch, it was always on me so I was always in touch.  It’s a little spendy, but the Life Alert system costs between $95 and $198 with a $49.95 monthly fee.  This is by far a better alternative, and it’s cute!

And about the bands, I have several now, but the best deal was a package I bought from YOLO that has 8 bands in different colors.  They look and feel like Apple Sport Bands that sell for $49 each, but the entire pack was $32.99 Prime.  What a deal.  Want to see them? 

Here’s the link...

So if you’re getting older, or if you’re younger and have mobility issues, this is a great alternative to Life Alert.  And I’m Jan, I can justify anything, it’s what I do. ðŸĪŠ 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Drugstore Foundations, I've got some good ones for you,

The ladies of YouTube rave about these two foundations so I decided to try them.  And the results, surprisingly good. Also,  I have really sensitive skin, and both of these foundations are non-irritating.

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Wet ’n Wild Photofocus Foundation.  This is a medium coverage foundation, it doesn’t oxidize on my skin and ladies it’s fantastic.  And the price, $4.99 on Amazon.  Yep, this isn’t a typo, it’s $4.99.  I bought the color Golden Beige and it’s the closest color to my skin that I’ve ever found.  I really really like this foundation.  It goes on smoothly, has a soft-focus look, it’s just da bomb.  The only negative I have about it is the applicator, it’s okay, but I wish it would have had a pump.

Interested?  Sure you are for $4.99 - here’s the link  

I know, it seems to be good to be true, but for the price of a latte at Starbucks you can have this great foundation.  And did I mention that it’s not oily, no shiny face after you’ve had it on for hours.

 

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And the second foundation is Milani Conceal Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation Concealer.  I’m a huge fan of Milani products.  Great price point, great products, I love their lipsticks, eye shadows and most of all their bronzers and blushes.  This foundation was also highly recommended on YouTube and it doesn’t disappoint.

If you like a full coverage foundation, this one is it!  It’s reminiscent of MaxFactor Pancake Makeup, remember that back in the day, but it’s liquid so it goes on smoothly, and it has a pump, which I love.  This too has staying power with no oil, I bought the color Warm Beige, and it’s a little dark for me, but I think it will be fine this summer.

Again, great price point, this one is $9.99 on Amazon.  Shocking isn’t it, that you can get these great products for so cheap!

Here’s the link for the Milani 

At these prices, you can try them both and toss them or give them away if you don’t like them, but I have a feeling you are going to be shocked at how well they perform.  You don’t have to spend $20-50+ on foundation, these are excellent dupes for high end products.

I also have several other products for you, but that’s for another day so check back with me to see what else I’m loving these days.

What a deal these foundations are!  Enjoy ~ Jan

Friday, April 6, 2018

Thoughts during a sleepless night...

 

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The Good:

It’s 2am, the house is quiet, I’m awake, and with crystal clarity I easily solve all the world problems, my problems, my family and friends problems, the national debt, you  name it, I have an answer for everything.  Heck, I solve problems for people that don’t even know they have problems.  I plan wonderful menus, I think of ideas for witty blog posts, I plan trips and fun things to do with the Grands.  I’m a freakin’ genius at 2am!

The Bad:

It’s 2am and I’m awake.  Fast forward to 3am, then 4am, yep, still awake.

The Ugly:

Ya know all the things I’m so brilliant at solving and planning at 2, 3 and 4am?  Yep, you guessed it, at 7am when I wake for the day, every . single . thought I had in the middle of the night has totally disappeared.  It’s gone, poof, vanished forever, never to be remembered again.  Well, until  tomorrow at 2, 3 and 4am when I can’t sleep.  I should tell my thoughts to a tape recorder in the middle of the night, but poor hubby wouldn’t appreciate that, it’s bad enough that he’s trying to sleep while I’m tossing and turning, if I start talking too, well it wouldn’t be one of my better ideas.

Jan, feeling tired and frustrated today because of all of those great ideas that I can’t remember. And they were good, too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Waiting on spring...

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It’s early for warm sunny days, only April 4th, but we had a tease of spring in February, the daffy’s started blooming, buds were appearing on the trees, silly me switched out my closet and then BAM!  Every day I think today it will be warm, today the sun will shine, and it does occasionally and then it’s cold a and dreary again.  Freezing temps again tonight, sweater weather, gray skies, March wind in April.  

Wah-wah, at least we didn’t have snow on Easter, but the wait for warm weather and blue skies and less sinus issues is moving forward at a snail’s pace.  Spring where are you???

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The best K-Cup I've ever had...

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Fruity and winey, with medium to heavy body and a rich blackberry finish, this is the best coffee EVER. From the slopes of Mt. Kenya, through the Rift Valley, to the shores of Lake Victoria, the Kenyan coffee farmers patiently nurture coffee trees that produce some of the world's best coffee beans.

It’s SO good, just had to share this with you.  Amazon Prime has it, grab it here… ~ Jan

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Getting the most from your strawberries...

 

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It’s all about strawberries on The Dish this morning.  Mother grew strawberries when I was a little girl, we would pick them in her big stainless steel mixing bowl that I still have in my kitchen and them she would stem them, feed the stems to the chickens, give them berries one quick slice and chop them with a slicer exactly like the one above.  If you want maximum flavor from fresh strawberries with little effort, this little chopper is invaluable.  Chopped berries release far more juice than sliced berries, and this chops them in a flash.

And the best part, it’s only $7.73 on Amazon Prime.

You can grab one here, it’s a cheap thrill ðŸĪŠ

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But wait, I’m not finished yet, these Rubbermaid Freshworks Strawberry Keepers are awesome, they really do keep your berries fresh.

You can buy it here...

 

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 And finally, you really do need a strawberry huller if you don’t have one.  You can find it here... 

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Or if you really want to spend your money, you can get this combo huller and slicer. 

Do you really need all this stuff?  Of course you do, it just makes life a little more simple, and it’s fun to have these tools.  Jan, the Gadget Queen totally approves of all of this.  After all, it will soon be strawberry season, and who doesn’t love strawberries, and gadgets. 😉

Gadgets always make me happy, and especially in bright colors.  I know, I’m hopeless, but this stuff is really good! ~ Jan


 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Chile Lime Cod, where have you been my whole life?

 

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I’ve recently been eating more fish, a lot more fish.  I have hubby onboard, too, so that makes it easier.  We were eating Tilipia until I realized that it was imported from China and that they often feed animal feces to the Tilipia.  Now we’re checking country of origin before we buy any type of fish.  Here is an article if you want to inform yourself about fish from China.

I’ve always loved Cod, it’s my favorite and after a recent trip to Trader Joe’s I bought their Chile Lime Seasoning.  TJ’s always has something new to try, and I came home, brushed my Cod with butter, seasoned it first with lemon pepper, and then sprinkled on quite a bit of the chile lime seasoning.  Oh my, is it ever yummy!  I still need to tweak it a bit though, I need to buy lime pepper and a fresh lime to squeeze on it after it’s baked, that will take it to still another level.  I cook it on parchment paper for 20-22 minutes at 400 degrees and it’s perfect.  my friend Nisha grills fresh pineapple and sprinkles this seasoning on it when it’s cooking.  They suggest on the bottle to put it on pineapple and mango, I’m going to try that next!

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If you’re lamenting the fact that you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, no worries, you can get it on Amazon.  Here’s your link.

And while we’re talking about Trader Joe’s Seasoning, I have another favorite, it’s their Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.  It’s absolutely delicious, too.  Refinery29.com has some great suggestions for using this seasoning, here’s the link to their slideshow.

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You can buy this on Amazon as well, in fact, here is a link for both seasonings bundled together.  Or you can buy it separately here.  It’s a much better deal when you bundle, though.  

And I have one more Trader Joe’s find for you.  It’s their 21 Seasoning Salute.  My son, Ryan, introduced this to me, he is a huge fan and puts it on everything.  I love it, too.  It’s great on meat, veggies, salad, it has so many spices, onion, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, lemon juice and lemon oil - it’s just a great blend.  

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It’s on Amazon as well, everything is on Amazon.  You can buy it here. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your town, grab these spices, they’re all good, and especially the Chile Lime.  Oh wow, it just bursts with intense lime flavor.  And if you don’t have a TJ’s, just scoop it up on Amazon.  Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner on all of these spices.  ~ Jan

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Grascosy Vintage Flower Backless Slip-Ons

 

 

 

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Oh, how cute are these.  They’re amazing in lime green and red, too.  

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Do you like them as much as me?  Here’s the link ladies...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The BEST Sunglasses I've ever owned!!!!

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Hands down, these are my favorite sunglasses of all time.  I love the shape, love the size, not since I was a teenager and wore big round tortoise Jackie O’ sunglasses have I had a pair that I loved as much as these.  I’ve had them for several years, I broke them, hubby repaired them many times, and on a whim today, I looked at the label, still faintly visible on the glasses, put it under a magnifying glass, and wouldn’t you know, they are on Amazon!  I put these puppies in my shopping cart so fast.  And they’e only $14.95 Prime.  Oh Amazon, how I love you, let me count the ways...

Here’s the link if you like them, too - I’m tellin’ ya, they are awesome.

They also have them in black...

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Same price, $14.99 - what a steal...

Here are the black ones

And yes, I’m snapping them up, too.  These might not be around forever...

Perfect Panera Bread Black Bean Soup

 

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I was thrilled to find the perfect dupe for my very favorite Panera Black Bean Soup.  You can make an entire pot of soup for what one serving in a bread bowl would cost.  And its SO easy. 

Ingredients

1 Onion finely chopped

4-5 Cloves Garlic minced

2 Ribs Celery finely chopped

1/2 orange or red bell pepper

1/4 Cup Chicken Stock

3-3/4 Cups Chicken Stock (this is the remainder of the 32 oz. box)

2-1/4 Cups Water

2 Cups Black Beans dried

1 Can Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles 10oz

2 tsp Mexican Oregano, I didn’t have Mexican Oregano, I used 2 tsp. of Italian Oregano

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

Directions:

Finely chop onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper and add to Instant Pot.  Saute veggies using SAUTE MODE until they are limp, using 1/4 cup of broth to saute them instead of oil

Stir in Oregano, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper.  Slowly add remaining 2 cups of broth and the 3-1/4 cups of water and stir well.

Rinse 2 cups of dried Black Beans, removing any debris, and add to pot.

Pour the Rotel Tomatoes into the CENTER of the soup and DO NOT STIR.  The Rotel Original gives this a little kick, not a lot just a touch, but if you don’t want the heat, use Rotel Mild

Attach lid, make sure vent is set to SEALING, and set timer for MANUAL MODE for 50 minutes.

Allow to naturally vent for10 minutes before CAREFULLY releasing whatever steam is left - I just make early in the day and let it set for awhile

Using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the beans & veggies and set side.  Using a immersion blender (or regular blender) carefully blend the remaining soup until smooth.

Add the beans & veggies you set aside back in and stir well. 

Notes

Jan's Notes - these were AWESOME.  Next time  think I will use Vitamix instead of Immersion Blender to get smoother consistency.  I followed recipe exactly, used regular oregano, didn't have the mexican..  Fantastic Recipe - SO GOOD! 

Garnish with Salsa, Lime Wedges, or Green Chile Sour Cream if desired. 

This is so simple to make in an Instant Pot.  I have the new 8 qt. Plus size, even for two people it’s not too big.  They’ve been out of stock everywhere in this new version, but you can find the 8 qt. Duo on Amazon.  Same pot, the newer version just has a couple more settings.

Here’s the link if you’re interested, this 8 qt. is a better price than the plus.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, soak beans overnight and cook on low all day in slow cooker...

Friday, February 16, 2018

I'm a sucker for kitchy salt and pepper shakers

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Pioneer woman sold these these fried eggs and toast salt and pepper shakers at The Merc last year, and now they’re unavailable.  But I found them on Amazon.  These are just so cheerful, and they look like spring.
 
Such a silly little thing, but they make me smile.  Do you like them, too?  You can grab them here.
 
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These little polka dot chicks from the Abbott Collection are adorable, too.  I’m also a sucker for polka dots.
 
 
I think I’m just desperate for cheerful, bright colorful anything.  We’ve had so many cloudy, rainy gloomy days this month in Middle Tennessee, I’m weary of it all.  I’m tired of winter clothes and ready to break out the pastels.  I want to grow herbs and plant flowers, but it won’t be long.  Forsythia was blooming today at Panera Bread when we stopped in for lunch.
 
 
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I’ve had a set of these fried egg breakfast plates for several years now and I might just need to treat myself to those S&P’s to go with my plates.  Yep, I think I need these…  ðŸ˜‰ðŸ™ƒðŸ˜‹ðŸ˜ðŸ˜œ

52 Week Money Challenge

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I’m so impressed with this idea.  It’s very doable and then if you reward yourself with a long weekend trip, or a splurge that you haven’t been able to quite justify, you’ve got the funds.

The idea is simple: You start by socking away just $1 in the first week of the year, and then gradually increase your savings by a dollar a week throughout the year. So you save $2 in Week 2, then $3 in Week 3, and so on, until you’re stashing away upwards of $50 a week next December.

By the end of the year, if you complete the challenge, you’ll have saved $1,378.

I found this on The Simple Dollar, you can read all about it here...

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