Friday, September 30, 2016

Recipe Weekend: How to Keep Eating Healthy This Holiday Season (Cookbook Reviews)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these books free of charge,from Parragon Books, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them, and all opinions are my own.

Today I have not 1, but 2 healthy eating books from our friends over at Parragon, 
and their Kitchen series!

whole food kitchen cover


Superfoods are nutrient-dense foods that can boost your energy and vitality. The Superfood Kitchen shows you how to tailor your diet to give you whatever boost you need with this invaluable guide to superfoods and their qualities. There are 50 nutritious superfood-packed recipes, including Gingered Salmon with Stir-Fried Kale and Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Orange. Superfoods are great for your immunity, wellbeing, and health. This book is a great starting point to living a healthier lifestyle.


This is an updated version of the first book in the series from 2014, with more than double the amount of recipes! The book focuses on 20 superfoods- greens, sunshine fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, green tea, chocolate (!!), turkey, artichokes,  allums (onions), red fruits and veggies, autumn apples and pears, eggs, fish, legumes, whole grains, artichokes, bananas,seed sprouts and even avocados!

 The recipes included cover Breakfast (Jumbo Carrot Cake Cookies make perfect on the go breakfasts for hte kids!), Lunches(Sweet red pepper and tomato soup), Snacks (Guacamole Dip), Main Dishes (Stuffed red Peppers), and Desserts and Baking (Warm Walnut and Orange Cake). The recipes are all very easy and have ingredients most people have in their pantries! If you are looking for fresh ways with the holiday leftovers, or at eating healthier during the upcoming holiday season, this book is a great way to bring the helthy eating of Summer into Fall and beyond!

the sugar free kitchen cover


The Sugar-Free Kitchen shows you how easy it is to cook with sugar-free recipes and reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet while still enjoying fresh and tasty dishes. This cookbook is packed with information on how both refined and natural sugar affects the body, how it has snuck into our food, and the health benefits of eating more quality protein, whole foods, and good fats. Advice on stocking your pantry, as well as how to deal with sugar cravings, gives you a head start toward changing your eating habits. 

Exciting sugar-free recipes like Really Rich Avocado Chocolate Mousse and Sweet Potato Soup cover every mealtime, snack, and sweet to take the hassle out of eating sugar-free. Sugar – whether refined or natural – is in almost everything we eat, from processed and fast foods, to everyday staples like rice and pasta, and even seemingly innocent fruit and vegetables. This book provides an alternative guide to eating that will help you take your first step toward a sugar-free lifestyle, with recipes to improve your well-being as well as your waistline. Reducing – or even eliminating – sugar from your diet doesn’t have to be difficult.


This cookbook had a great introduction that gives a good short course on why sugar needs to be taken out of your diet and how you CAN substitute healthier ingredients and get the same richness in foods that you love. Recipes are included for Breakfast (Coffee and Pecan Mimi Breakfast Muffins are too die for good!), Lunches (Beef and Herb Soup) and Snacks (Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Energy Balls), Main Dishes (Hearty Beef Stew with Herbed Cheese Dumplings and Kale), and Desserts (Lemon Cheesecake with Almond Crust) and Baking (Sweet Potato Brownies). If you are on a low carb/low sugar diet, THIS is the cookbook for you! It also makes a super hostess present!

avocado chocolate mousse


I had to share the Avocado Mouse! It is so unusual, yet yummy! Your kids won't know there are avocados in it, until you tell them! Or maybe you won't! LOL

avocado chocolate mousse recipe

Take YOUR Breakfast to a NEW Level with Fiordifrutta Italian Jam!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Rigoni Di Asiago, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

Fiordifrutta Jam

Prepared with perfectly ripened organic fruit, Fiordifrutta Jam is a unique, light jam (no citric acid, no additives). It simply contains fruit sweetened with organic apple juice, providing a completely natural, healthy, low-calorie spread.

It's a difference you can SEE:

Fiordifrutta Jam 2

Fiordifrutta fruit spreads come from organic farming. Each 8.82 ounce jar is made exclusively from over three pounds of selected organic fruit using using a patented low-temperature cooking process. Their exclusive recipe preserves the nutrients of the natural fruit, while significantly reducing the sugar substance content (30% or more compared to other spreads) and contains 30% fewer calories than most others.

Fiordifrutta Jam on toast

Which means you can enjoy it more often!

And trust me, you will WANT to eat it. A LOT!

We were sent the Wild Strawberry to review. I'm not sure how loved it more! It got high 5s from everybody! Just like the jam grandma used to make it is bright red, meaty, sweet and so lovely looking, you can just want to look at it for a few minutes, before diving in!

Fiordifrutta Jam on toast 2

With 20 varieties, like Wild Blueberry, Apricot, Peach, Seville Orange, Fig, Ligonberry and, Pear, there is a jam for everyone in your family to love!

These Fiordifrutta Jams can be used for traditional breakfast toppings, in pies and cakes, or even on their own with fresh cheese. For example, the Wild Strawberry is divine on heated Brie (I just forgot to take a pix! WAH!). 

the jams can now be purchased via Amazon or Jet, for 'to your door' convenience! They may seem a bit pricey, but once you taste them. you'll understand why everyone is talking about them being the premier jam brand!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

As National Preparedness Month Ends, ARE Your Kids SAFE? (Giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this giveaway, free of charge,from Save the Children, via Mom Bloggers Club, for giveaway purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

Did you know:

- Every day, 69 million U.S. children are separated from their families while they are at school or child care.

- After Hurricane Katrina there were more than 5,000 reports of missing children. It took 7 
months to reunite the last child with her family.

Even at something as basic as a Fall festival, or a pumpkin patch, our kids can get separated from you. While they may know what to do, what if they still can;t FIND you?

That's where a little bit of prep can come in handy! Because Children are the most vulnerable in emergency situations.

How do you get YOUR family ready, and ensure that YOUR kids feel safe?

Save the Children has a 3 step plan for you to follow!

Prep Step #1 = Make ICE (in Case of Emergency) cards for your kids.

By having an ICE card, your child can provide any adult the details to find YOU. And the quicker you get reunited, the better emotionally for EVERYONE involved!

And did you know you can literally make an ICE card for your family in 5 minutes? Yup, thanks to Save the Children's FREE and easy peasy ICE templates, it has never been easier to provide your kids with peace of mind!

As you can see above, the template has your child's information, a photo of them, 3 emergency contacts (including an out-of-town contact, because during emergencies (like our recent Louisiana flooding) local communications, like phones, are often down, and you won't be able to reached like normal.

The best part about the Save the Children ICE template is that you can fill out one form for your whole family online, then you download the cards to YOUR computer. YOU keep the info! All you need to do then is to print the ICE card straight to your computer (you’ll get two copies for each child), and then you just cut and fold, and have your copies ready! Plus you can use the same contact info for your kids, without having to repeat all that typing! 

Why do you get 2 copies though you ask? You get one to place inside your child’s bag/backpack/purse and another to keep the other copy in your wallet. That way, you'll have their info to share with emergency personnel quickly and easily too (admit it, you just MIGHT be a tad hysterical and not prone to answering questions).

Prep Step #2 = Make an emergency plan and practice as a family. Check the Save the Children website for checklists and tips , if you don't already have a plan. 

Prep Step #3 = Make an emergency plan and practice as a family.

Save the Children wants to encourage everyone to act to better protect kids BEFORE disaster strikes. So they came up with a fun song and dance called “The Prep Step” to help kids learn the 3 important prep steps every family should take. Check it out!

Isn't that fun?
You and the kids can learn all the steps from the Prep Step Dance Tutorial video

So what are you waiting for? Head on over and created your ICE card today and start your family planning, and then come back here and enter to win!


You can win one of these great Safety Bags for kids by simply creating an ICE card (In Case of Emergency) by Sept. 30 (tomorrow) and comment below that you did, to be entered to win. It's just THAT simple!

Book Review: The Hope That Kills by Ed James

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Thomas & Mercer Publishing, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

This is the first in a new series featuring DI Simon Fenchurch,
 set on the gritty streets of East London.

the hope that kills cover


The body of a young woman is found on the streets of East London, in the shadow of the City’s gleaming towers. No ID on her, just hard-earned cash. But there is no doubting the ferocity of the attack.
DI Simon Fenchurch takes charge but, as his team tries to identify her and piece together her murder, they’re faced with cruel indifference at every turn—nobody cares about yet another dead prostitute. To Fenchurch, however, she could just as easily be Chloe, his daughter still missing after ten years, whose memory still haunts his days and nights, his burning obsession having killed his marriage.
When a second body is discovered, Fenchurch must peel back the grimy layers shrouding the London sex trade, confronting his own traumatic past while racing to undo a scheme larger, more complex and more evil than anything he could possibly have imagined.


This is a new series, but James is crafty enough to start out with characters already having issues and drama, so that the reader feels like they have literally just dropped in to watcher the character's lives, and all is not being set up for them on page 1. Rather the reader gets to learn and decelop a feel for James' flawed and likable characters, through their actions and words. And just when you think you have them figured out, he throws something new in their path, that makes the reader understand them better. 

Fenchurch is haunted by the disappearance of his young daughter 10 years ago. It destroyed his marriage and has brought him to the brink, with the current case. How Fenchurch works around his internal turmoil and takes on the case, will have the reader turning the pages until the book is finished! The team surrounding Fenchurch is full of normal police team drama and realism, so that when the book is finished the reader is quite satisfied indeed, and looking forward to the 2nd book in the series, Worth Killing For (which I am already reading and will share about soon!). Do note know that some of the crime seem passages might make light weights a bit quesy, but they are realistic and true to the genre. If you are looking for a new series for Fall reading, be sure to check out this one!

About the Author:

Ed James writes crime fiction novels. His Scott Cullen series features a young Edinburgh detective constable investigating crimes from the bottom rung of the career ladder he’s desperate to climb. Formerly an IT manager, Ed began writing on planes, trains and automobiles to fill his weekly commute to London. He now writes full-time and lives in East Lothian, Scotland, with his girlfriend and a menagerie of rescued animals.

It's National Coffee Day!

So basically it's like Christmas, Halloween and Mardi Gras rolled into one for coffee lovers, as you'll either get FREE or reduced price coffee just about anywhere you go today...


So in honor of java, which we can't get through the day without, some favorite coffee pins, from my Java board for you...

coffee pin 1

coffee pin 2

 coffee pin 3

coffee pin 4

coffee pin 5

coffee pin 6


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