Wednesday, November 30, 2011

GravyMaster Barbecue Sauce - YUM!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of GravyMaster for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We use a lot of barbecue sauce in my house.  I put it on everything from chicken to french fries.  I also love adding it to baked beans.  I do have a favorite brand I use, but I have been searching for a recipe to make my own.  I was checking out the GravyMaster website and I found a recipe for barbecue sauce.  I can not wait to try it out. 

All-American BBQ Sauce

Servings: 4 cups
Cook time: 60 minutes
Prep time: Less than 15 minutes


1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 can (14 ounces) whole, peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 cup tomato catsup
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup dry mustard
1 tablespoon chili sauce
2 tablespoons GravyMaster®
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed to measure
Dash cayenne pepper


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, sauté onion, peppers, celery and garlic in olive oil until tender. Use low heat, vegetables should be cooked through with little browning.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Makes about 4 cups sauce. Good on all meats.

Sounds delicious, right?

GM_Bottle.jpgI used to think that GravyMaster was only good for making gravy, but there are so many different uses for it.  You can use it caramelize food and add it to sauces and marinades.  Their website offers so many ways to Master the meal.  I know that with the Holidays coming up, lots of people are cooking big meals, and if they are like me, they are tired of eating the same things over and over again.  Why not try something new this year, and let GravyMaster make your meal a little bit more delicious? Make sure to come back and leave a comment letting me know how you added GravyMaster to your Holiday meal!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011


 I need to go shopping.  A lot of my winter clothes no longer fit, which is one of the many drawbacks of losing so much weight.  Don't get me wrong.  I am more than thrilled with my drop in weight.  I just don't have the money to invest in a whole new wardrobe.

The good thing is, my boss recently gave me some company sweatshirts, so on cold days I just throw on one of them with a pair of jeans.  I didn't even have to pay for them.  I know a lot of jobs where you need to be in uniform require you to purchase the uniform yourself.  When I worked at McDonald's, if I wanted a new shirt or pair of pants, I had to buy them from the company.  That seemed a little unfair to me, but I needed that job, so I spent a ton of money on clothes I never got to wear again once I left. 

Nurses and doctors have to wear scrubs, and I have a feeling they go through quite a bit of them.  My mom is a nurse, and though she says nurses make pretty good money, I am sure they still look for clearance scrubs when they need to buy new uniforms. I also know women who wear scrub tops everyday who are not nurses simply because they are comfortable.  You can find quite a selection of scrub tops at  

I think I am going to hit up a thrift store for some jeans.  I don't want to spend too much money on clothes since I do plan on losing another 50 pounds or so.  Once I get to my goal weight I will buy myself an entire new wardrobe.  I can't wait!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


My kids are slobs.  Seriously.  I could spend an entire day cleaning my house from top to bottom, and in half an hour they will have it a mess yet again.  Just the other day they they were home from school, so I left a list of chore I wanted done before I got home from work.  You would not bieve the phone calls I got from them that day.

The first time, Brandi was mad at Kasi so she sprayed her with a cleaning product that contained bleach.  Then Ryan got mad at Brandi, so he sprayed her with water from the prayer in my sink.  The thing was, Brandi was sitting on my couch at the time, so it got soaked along with her.  I am glad it was only water, because had it been the bleach solution, I would have been searching online for furniture cleaning tips, though I am pretty sure there is no way to get bleach stains out of anything.

The carpet in my apartment is also a mess, though not all of it is from us.  Sure, the apartment manager had the carpets cleaned before we moved in, but I think they did it themselves, so you can assume that they didn't do a very good job.  I want to have someone like come in and do it right, but I have to wait until after the first of the year, because right now I just can not afford it.  

In the meantime, I am going to continue to try and keep the mess to a minimum around here.  Anyone have any idea how I can do that?

I Heart Caller ID

Post contributed by Hilton Miranda

Last year, after a long illness, my mother-in-law passed away. My father-in-law, who my kids call Grandpa, was suddenly alone after more than 60 years of marriage and very sad. Grandpa is a retired truck driver who drove a big rig around his small North Georgia town. But, being in his eighties and not having good health, now restricts him to staying around his house. Gone are the days that he used to work on cars with my husband in his garage behind his house. There is one thing that he can still do that has not been taken away. That is watching professional baseball. My husband tries to go see his dad as much as he can and watch a good game on TV with him. For his birthday, my husband decided to contact and set Grandpa up with many channels to watch the sport he loves so well. I know baseball can never fill the void that losing a spouse can leave, but it can help pass the time and gives him something else to think about. Now he will call us up and ask if we are watching the Braves. I know it seems weird, but baseball has given him a new lease on life.


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Norton Small Business by Symantec for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you spend a lot of time online?  I know I do.  Is your computer fully protected against malware and viruses?  I'm pretty sure mine is, but I still have a tendency to pick up viruses every now and then.  To me, it's nothing more than an annoyance that my dad has to come over and fix for me.  For small business owners, it can be devastating.


Norton Small Business by Symantec can keep all your information protected.  They just launched their Norton 360 and the Norton Internet Security 2012 this past September.  Did you know that almost six out of ten small business owners (59 percent) admitted to having experienced some sort of malware (malicious software on their computer) in the past three years, and half of them (51 percent) had to pay an expert to resolve the problem?  That's quite a statistic.  I bet these business owners now have better protection, and that is what you can get from Norton.  They can get 30% off Norton Small Business Products now and maybe breathe a little easier knowing they are protected. 

Norton also offers regular people like me the protection I need for everyday computer use.  I'm sure my dad will appreciate me being proactive, since he's the one who has to clean up my viruses.  You should check out all the programs Norton offers for yourself.  Make sure you come back here and leave me a comment letting me know which program you think would work best for you and why.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Changing My Style

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zenni Optical for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have two different pairs of glasses.  Both are wire frames, but one is black and the other is gold.  I wear the gold ones because I broke the nose piece on the black ones. I like the black ones better, but it will cost me too much money to have them fixed.  I would rather go to Zenni optical and but a brand new pair.  In todays economy, saving money is a must for me, and getting  brand new pair of eyeglasses for under ten dollars fits perfectly into my budget. 

The biggest problem I am having is picking one pair I love, because there are so many that I do.  I guess since they are such cheap eyeglasses I can get more than one pair, but narrowing it down to even two r three will be difficult.  I really like this pair:

but I'm not sure if I could pull them off.  I am more of a single color, boring kind of girl.  Maybe it's time for something different though,  I mean, I have changed so much here lately, why not change my style as well?  With all the money I save at enni, I could get some new clothes, too.  That would be awesome!

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Love Bread

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Schar for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I often ask people a weird question.  I ask them what is the one food you would eat every day if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?  For me, the answer would be one of three things; chocolate, peanut butter, and bread.  The problem with the chocolate and peanut butter is that I would need both.  With bread, I could have a different type for every meal and still be happy. 

Screen Shot 2011-10-12 at 10.37.57 AMI feel bad for the many people who can't have bread due to medical reasons, like gluten allergies and intolerance.  Thankfully, advances have been made and there are options available.  Schar is the leader in gluten-free foods, and they have re-launched their Sub Sandwich Rolls, Ciabatta Rolls, and Baguettes.  All three of those sound so yummy!  Right now, if you are one of the first 2,000 people to join the Schar club, you can sign up to receive a free sample of their ciabatta rolls.  These rolls are the first gluten-free heat and serve ciabatta rolls in the United States.  To me, there is nothing more delicious than bread right out of the oven. 

I could eat bread as a meal alone, but we all know how delicious it can also be as an accompaniment to other foods.  If you are one of the 2,000 to receive the free sample, how will you try it?  Alone or as a way to make a regular meal a whole lot better?

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PackIt for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love this!  Brandi has taken her lunch to school with her every day since her first day of kindergarten.  We have gone through countless ice packs trying to keep her lunches cold.  She has accidentally thrown some away, and we even had one that completely fell apart.  The gel inside was everywhere.  It was pretty gross.

Picture 17

With PackIt lunch boxes, it's the tote itself that you put in the freezer to cool off, and it stays cold for up to 10 hours.  When Brandi finishes her lunch, she can fold it up and stick it in her book bag.  Check it out:

For a limited time, you can visit their website and buy one of these lunch boxes for only $19.95, and as a bonus you will get one free.  That means I can get one for Brandi and one for myself.  I know I have spent more than $20 on ice packs and lunch boxes over the years, so I would consider this a great investment.  I love the pink one, and that just so happens to be Brandi's favorite color.  I'm thinking about wrapping her's up as a Christmas gift!

How would you use a PackIt?  Leave me a comment letting me know if you would use it for yourself to take lunch to work, or carry baby bottles (which is an excellent idea for all you mom's out there with babies), or as a lunch box for your child.  Also let me know why you think these are better than regular lunch boxes.  Thanks!Advertisement

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Puppies Or Babies - Which Are Cuter?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Yes, I want you to tell me which you think are cuter, babies or puppies!  I have my own opinion, of course, and I happen to think babies are cuter.  There, I said it.  As adorable as puppies can be, there is nothing sweeter than a baby smiling and cooing.  And the smell!  Babies always smell so good.  Puppies tend to smell like, well, dogs.  The one thing puppies do have over babies is that when they grow up, they don't turn into smart mouthed teenagers with mood swings.  And they don't talk back.  They do chew up your shoes, but hey, you shouldn't be leaving those laying around anyway.

If you want to have your say in this issue, vote in the Puppies vs. Babies online contest.  The submission phase is over, and I wish I had been able to submit a photo of my favorite baby, my niece Lylah.  I mean, tell me she is not adorable.

But, since she is not in the contest, feel free to check out all the entrants and vote for your favorite before November 23rd.  The wining baby (or puppy if you happen to think they are cuter!) of this Puppies vs. Babies contest will win $5,000.  That's a lot of money for simply being adorable. 

What do you think?  Leave me a comment telling me which you think is cuter, babies or puppies?

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