Tuesday, August 25, 2015


  • 4 Boneless, skinned chicken(or get rotisserie chicken from the store
  • 1/4 Cup Prepared Pesto
  • 1 (12 Ounce) Jar Roasted Red Peppers, drained and cut into pieces
  • Grated Parmesan for Serving


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Warm oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook until no longer pink, for about 5-6 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces.  If using chicken that's already been prepared, just quickly warm up as needed.

Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until done, for about 11 minutes or as the directions say.  Drain well, then return to pot and add the pesto.  Add chicken and red peppers.  Toss and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  When ready to serve, add the grated Parmesan.


Remember those gift cards you never got around to using? Use www.giftcardgranny.com, www.cardpool.com or www.raise.com to buy or get rid of them for something you can use.

Call to schedule your appointment to sell last year's Fall clothing at a local consignment store, then just sit back and wait for the cash to come in.

If you live near a Carlie C's (IGA), (they currently have 17 stores in NC)take advantage of MAJOR meat deals by shopping no later than 9am! Steaks, hamburger meat, etc. are so deeply discounted on a daily basis that you won't believe your savings! Check with your butcher in other grocery stores to find out which days meat will be marked down.


The other day I visited a blog where someone innocently asked a question about a topic, and within seconds all hell broke loose on that site.  The cruel comments were batted back and forth like tennis balls and no one thought about letting up. Needless to say, the administrator kicked off both people and they were blocked. A few followers moved on as well due to the drama.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when character assassination rears its ugly head, that seems like a little too much.  What I hope would happen is that even though this is an on-line relationship,  those two could reconnect to apologize,agreeing to disagree, but I'm not sure that may ever come to fruition. Has this ever happened on your blog?  How was it handled?

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Before we get started, let's give a super shout out to my girl Kim of http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/, who lovingly does her weekly meme every Sunday about news, reviews, books and great info.  

Do you ever have that feeling when you can't wait for summer, then when it's almost over you're thrilled?  I feel that way because the new Fall programs and returning favorites are right around the corner.  What do I eagerly await the most? The Blacklist, Gotham, Scandal and new episodes of Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. I'm not answering the phone, opening the door, or checking e-mails when either of those programs come on.  They deserve my undivided attention.  What about you?  Is there something you've been waiting for to come back on this season?

As usual I don't remember what happened last week except for two things.  I re-opened my Twitter account, which is totally different from Facebook AND my phone which had been reported as stolen (not by me) was received in the mail.  Yep, someone really needed a phone and decided it was best to use my name to get another one fraudulently.  Meanwhile, MY phone was deactivated! Took a while to get straightened out, but finally received my new phone.

Take a lookie see at the cucumbers that have come out of the monstrosity I call The Front Yard Garden and be amazed my friends.  Can you believe it?  Two more are almost ready to be picked and I will attempt to turn them into magical pickles. 

Almost done with David Silva's latest novel, The English Spy, which has taken me a little longer than normal to finish.  That doesn't mean the suspense isn't keeping me on the edge of my seat. 

Don't forget if you live in the NC area and like spicy food, visit the CCB Plaza in Durham for their second annual Jerkfest on September 12 from 9am - 8pm.  They're having a Jerk Wing Eating Contest and a Jerk Cook Off along with LIVE music, kids' activities and plenty of food.  Admission to the event is FREE.

Many people may not know that my boyfriend Jason Statham from Transporter, Spy and other movies, is an excellent driver and performs almost all of his own stunts.  Despite that, he actually failed his driving tests about 3 times.

Have you ever had a really good book that you put on your TBR pile which keeps growing and growing, only to find it years later?! (lol) That just happened to me the other day, and I felt truly nutty.  How about you, have you lost any books lately?

Saturday, August 22, 2015


One of Jan's personal photos from her blog.
Earlier this morning while visiting a few blogs, I noticed one that I normally follow had disabled her comments and contact section because of public disinterest.  When I saw that, it made me sad that a person who had started her blog about 3 years ago felt that no one cared.  Her posts are about lovely photos that she takes, and thought-provoking poetry, and to me they make an impact.  

In January this year, my New Year's resolution was to visit new blogs because I felt that if someone was willing to put their thoughts  and lives on display for the world to see, he or she had something to say.  For the first time ever, I've been able to keep a resolution because I wasn't crazy enough to do the dieting thing again that had always been an epic fail every dang year! 

Some topics from blogs and social media fit in with my lifestyle, and a few do not.  For me, it's the kindness shown, the finding of a new novel, the pics or places, the kookiness of the person, the outright anger that a person feels or simply the fact that I always learn something new that keeps me hanging out in other places.  

Dress designed and made from nature

Dress designed and made from nature

So this Saturday is all about sharing some of the things I've seen throughout the blogosphere or social media as a shout out.  If I'm behind on  visiting your blog lately, or I'm late on commenting back, I haven't forgotten you and will get back on track soon.  Meanwhile, I hope this blogger friend sees this post and reactivates her comments again.  I see you Jan, and I care. 
Golden African sunsets on Masai Mara.
Walkway on the Grand Canyon

Apples and Pears

Lion made from a watermelon

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Chocolate Chip Brownies
This chocolate treat is so simple to make and once they taste it, your friends will love you!

Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars


Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
One 6.5-ounce box brownie mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil with a 2-inch overhang. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium-high speed with a mixer until fluffy. Add 2 eggs, beating until well blended. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until the mixture forms a soft dough. Stir in the chocolate morsels.

In another large bowl, combine the brownie mix, oil, 1/4 cup water and remaining 2 eggs, beating until well blended.

Spread the the cookie dough in prepared pan. Pour the brownie mixture over the dough. Using a knife, swirl the mixtures together. Bake until the edges start to pull away from sides of the pan, 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Cut into bars.

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Do you like going to the movies?  Did you know you can earn cash just by doing special assignments while there?  Check out www.marketforce.com to sign up.  Scroll down to Shoppers , then click on "Become a Theater Checker" for a list of available assignments.  You'll be contacted by a representative to go over the job.  How much can you earn?  $50 - $75!

If you signed up to do some extracurricular cheating over at Ashley Madison, the gig may be up. The hackers, The Impact Team, who wanted the Ashley Madison site to be taken down or else, have now exposed 30 million names, including Josh Duggar, (allegedly) from the now defunct TLC program 19 Kids and Counting. Many may or may not agree, but I consider cheating to be an abusive act towards a spouse or significant other, so the fact that this site literally has millions of subscribers is very disturbing. Instead of spending money trying to hide an affair, why not pay some bills, or use it for something special for the person you actually married or profess to be in love with. I'm just saying...

NC State Fair Teen Reading Challenge for grades 6-12  is effective September 1 - September 30, where readers can win 4 State Fair Passes.  Sorry, but this won't include rides. Register on-line at www.ncstatefair.org .

Have you ever fallen in love with the work of an author, then had to own everything he or she has ever written?  That's definitely me! It's taken me about  2 years, but I finally completed my Catherine Anderson library by snagging Switchback from 1990 and Cry of the Wild from 1992.  Yay!

Did you know that according to the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, women who ate 3 ounces of tomatoes before a meal can actually lose nearly 2 1/2 pounds in just one month? The nutrients inside a tomato help to speed weight loss.

Do you remember the Rubik's Cube?  Were you ever able to solve it?  I sure never did!  He didn't break the world record of American Collin Burns, but Feliks Zemdegs from Australia shocked everyone by solving the cube at the Rubik's World Championship in Brazil for the second time, in less than 6 seconds. Wow!
See the actual video -  click here)

Monday, August 17, 2015


Are you a lover of books and just can't get enough?  Enter for giveaways from these sites and you'll be amazed.  Some authors offer not only books, but gift cards, chocolate, jewelry and lots more!
You'll never win if you don't give it a try.

http://www.epicreads.com/contest/ - Teen Books

http://www.yabookscentral.com/ - Young Adults + Kid Books

http://bookdivas.com/ - A Mix of Books

http://www.freshfiction.com/contests.php - specialize in books 
from various genres (romance, thrillers, horror and other 
        types of neat prizes)
Hammock in a Bag so you can read anywhere!
http://leitesculinaria.com/category/giveaways - win cookbooks 
        and cooking related prizes like dishes, pots, etc.


I'm giving my buddy Katherine P. a shout out because her blog http://iwishilivedinalibrary.blogspot.com/ actually captures how I've felt on a few occasions.  Hey there Sarah!  I'm also waving big to my friend Red Iza of https://theereaderjunkie.wordpress.com who actually has the very cool job of being a librarian.

In my lifetime, I've lived in about 12 different states, and every arrival meant a new library card.  I would grab an armful of books, choose a comfy chair and read through many treasures for hours.  

But libraries today have changed.  A lot no longer the rule of speaking quietly while others are reading.  Many have reading events for children or teens. Some have closed due to budget issues, a few have minimized their hours, and still others have embraced the culture of reading, offering new concepts to attract customers.

If you're ever or live in Barcelona, they offer large kitchens in both of their facilities,  The Biblioteca del Fondo and The Central Library of Castelldefels.  These libraries actually provide cooking classes!

Back here in the states, Meadowridge Library at 5726 Raymond Road in Madison WI expanded their library to include a very large kitchen.  

And in Hartford, CT,, they are doing it big with a kitchen that provides gourmet meals to the public.

There are plenty more places that provide kitchens for employees that aren't really publicized, making it simple to have special parties or mini events at minimal costs.

In addition to easy access to all the books we love and enjoy, libraries are making it even more likely that we can move in at our leisure.  Kitchens, bathrooms and large couches, computers and books.  Yay!!!

What about you?  If the decor was right, would you live in your local library?

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Before we get started, let's give a super shout out to my girl Kim of http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/, who lovingly does her weekly meme every Sunday about news, reviews, books and great info.  Last week she celebrated her 4 year blogoversary and we're super proud of her hard work and dedication. Stop by to wave at Kim when you have the chance.

One thing that stands out in my mind from last week is having a few wrapped candies of Ferrero Rocher®  thrown at me in the store by a really animated customer. The cashier was entering all of the merchandise into the register, when the lady realized she wanted a snack.  In her haste to get that candy on the conveyor before the cashier finished, she grabbed those balls and somehow threw them all over the place, hitting me in the process.  We were surprised to see all those flying balls and giggled hysterically.  She felt really bad and bought me a box of candy, (I tried to decline, but she wasn't havin' it) along with a few others who'd been playfully attacked.  Very cool lady!



graham cracker squares
cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
cup marshmallow creme
gallon brick-style chocolate ice cream (or any flavor you prefer)


  • Arrange 16 of the graham crackers in the bottom of an ungreased jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 inch. Spread frosting on top of each cracker. Spread marshmallow creme on one side of remaining crackers.
  • Cut ice cream crosswise into four 3/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into fourths to make 16 pieces. (Freeze remaining ice cream for another use.) Place one ice cream piece on each cracker in pan. Top with remaining crackers, marshmallow sides down, pressing lightly.
  • Cover and freeze about 2 hours or until firm. Wrap each sandwich in foil or plastic wrap; store in freezer. (Betty Crocker Recipes)

On March 12 of this year, Martha Stewart opened up a cafe in the building she owns.  If you live in New York, or are just there for a visit, be sure to check out her special tea and coffee blends and pastries at  601 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001.

An excellent home chef, my mom did everything she could to teach me to cook when I was a kid and I kept coming up with excuses.  I was going to be a career woman so I wouldn't have time to cook, or I planned to travel and visit lots of exotic restaurants.  She told me that the way to a man's heart was through his stomach, which made absolutely no sense to me.  As a tomboy, all I cared about was climbing fences or playing sports with the guys, and there were no thoughts of romance with any of them! (lol) Needless to say, by the time I did get married, every meal was a disaster.  The noodles for spaghetti were sticky and thick, eggs were burned or brownies were so hard they were used for target practice. The only thing I never screwed up was a cheeseburger! (lol)  I figured it out gradually, but because I'm a Book Nerd, I had to have cookbooks to help.  I don't use them as much now, but over the years, I've managed to collect about 223 cookbooks, some dating back to the 60's.  Now, thanks to the Food Network and all those cookbooks, I can make a zillion types of gourmet cheeseburgers, but I'm not ready for any professional stuff.

Are you a mini master in the kitchen and get complimented on every meal you make?  Ever wondered if you can turn your culinary genius into cash?  Below are 3 upcoming events to enter for the chance to win bragging rights and moola.

August 23, 2015 12pm
Submit your better — more nutritional — sandwich including one or two slices of an Arnold®, Brownberry® or Oroweat® bread product, depending on category. The five categories are: Open-Face Artistry; Breakfast in Bread; Love, Healthfully; Creative Classics; and Fueling Good. Include a short description of how your sandwich is better in terms of health and taste.
The sponsor will donate one loaf of bread to Feeding America for each Entry and vote submitted, up to 100,000 loaves.
Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, DC and PR who are age 18 or older and have reached the age of majority.
Grand Prize: $25,000 check.
5 Category Prizes (1/category): $5,000 check.

August 23, 2015
Enter your original recipe which uses beer as an ingredient.
Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and DC who are age 18 or older.
Grand Prize: $500 shopping spree at Lowes Foods and recipe will be featured in an upcoming Lowes Foods ad in Our State magazine, in addition to being featured on ourstate.com, lowesfoods.com, social media, and on Lowes Foods in-store recipe cards.
Second Prize: $250 shopping spree at Lowes Foods.
Third Prize: $100 shopping spree at Lowes Foods.
2 Honorable Mention Prizes: $20 gift card to Lowes Foods.

September 8, 2015 12pm PT
Create and enter a burger recipe, defined as a grilled patty formed of ground meat or other ground foods, and served on a bread product or alternative wrappings such as lettuce. It may include condiments, sauces, spreads, cheeses, and toppings, all in or on the bread product/alternative wrapping. No side dishes or garnishes are allowed. Size your recipe to make 6 burgers or 12-18 sliders. Recipes must be completely preparable in 60 minutes or less. The use of sustainable, organic, and locally sourced ingredients is encouraged. The sponsor would also prefer recipes that are not overly complicated or costly to make.
Previous non-winning entries may be updated and resubmitted.
Open to legal residents of the United States (excluding PR and other U.S. territories or possessions) who are age 21 or older. Previous finalists and winners are excluded. Check the rules if your work involves alcoholic beverages.
Grand Prize: $25,000.
People's Choice Award: $5,000.
5 "Potential Winning Recipe" Prizes: $1,000 toward the purchase of Weber® products.

Thanks to Contest Cook

Just for today, place all your troubles in the pocket that has the hole in it, then grab your favorite drink and relax with a good book or that movie you've been wanting to see.