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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Time to Save As You Start Buying for Christmas!

Happy to announce that SmitCo is offering their promotion again! And in perfect time for purchasing Christmas gifts! 

Quality, affordable gifts for girls ages 2 to 12. SmitCo has several different diaries with lock
and keys as well as diary sets for girls in Emoji and Diva themes. Even better are the light up diaries that provide hours of fun.

A huge hit is the new Pony and Mermaid themed scrapbook kits. SmitCo products also include very popular stretch jewelry sets for little girls - all packed in cute gift boxes.

Find all the great products here:


We trust you will find some or all gifts here for the princesses on your list!
My readers get to save!
Get 20% off entire cart of gifts! Go to: http://amzn.to/2a3d3v8 and use coupon code N3CQD6AE upon checkout. 

I got the Horse Scrapbooking Kit for my little sister. She loved it! 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Going Without Salt CAN Taste Great!

Going to a low sodium diet has been an eye opening experience to say the least. It was very stressful in the beginning. Looking at all the labels and trying to piece together 3 meals a day without going above 1,200 mg per person. But I think I'm getting into a groove I can follow. For the sake of my boys, I have to. I read all labels now. Every item I would normally buy, I look for a lower sodium version. I search for new recipes. So thankful for Pinterest! 

My first truly low sodium dinner was this fantastic Balsamic Chicken and Veggies meal I found. The kids complained about the asparagus, but who cares? They have to eat more veggies and this was so delicious! As I find more recipes that we love, I'm going to share them with you all. 
Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

1 lb chicken breast tenderloins
10 oz fresh asparagus
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small tomato
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp red pepper (optional)
Saute the veggies in the olive oil, together. Get them soft, but a little crisp still. Cook the chicken in the balsamic, honey and Italian dressing until completely done. Mix it all together and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Voila! Dinner is served. No salt needed. I served rice with it. Brown rice is advisable.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Low Sodium Italian Pasta Salad

I found another great recipe. Kids didn't like it much, but my husband and I did. I highly suggest eating it as soon as you cook it as it dries up a bit during being stored in the fridge. We ended up adding a little Italian dressing to moisten it up, but that adds to the sodium. 

Happy eating! 

4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup bell peppers
4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons Mrs. Dash tomato basil garlic seasoning blend (I mixed my own spices)
1 package of rotini pasta
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes

Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain, do not cool. Combine olive oil, vinegar and Mrs. Dash® Tomato Basil Garlic Seasoning Blend in a large bowl; mix well. Add remaining ingredients; stir in warm pasta. Cool to room temperature, serve or chill for 1-2 hours.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Getting Into the Steampunk Spirit

I've always known I was a nerd, but I didn't always know just how big a nerd I was. As I got older, I developed my tastes and interests a bit more. I branched out from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and discovered other cool things. Cosplay and conventions and such. But my favorite being Steampunk. Where the past and future collide to create amazingly detailed designs. Victorian styled clothing with steam-driven gadgetry and plenty of gears! It is absolutely beautiful. Which is why I have decided to design and create not only a costume to cosplay in, but even a purse that I can wear around daily. I scoured the internet for ideas. Pinterest was a big help, of course. I found one pin that showed how a lady transformed a regular purse into a steampunked piece of art! Mine may not be so decorated, but it is my own work-in-progress. One that I hope to keep working on as I get the supplies.
"Everything begins with an idea." - Earl Nightingale

Step one is always to have the idea. My purse is not the first thing that I wanted to embellish for my cosplay. Originally, my husband and I wanted to give a couple Nerf guns a makeover. Which is still on the agenda. Just taking the back burner at the moment. We will also try to get some top hats to fit our characters. I've decided to go along the lines of time travel.  He's still deciding on his. Then there is the need of a bustled skirt.... Well, you get the picture. We have an idea in our head of what we want. So now for the next step.
With the vision in my head, I have started gathering pieces to bring it to life. My Mom has helped a lot. She shops at yard sales and thrift stores in St. Augustine. Plenty of older things that fit my needs there. 
Following the birth of an idea comes the path of design! 
Creating the designs has been the biggest reason it has taken me so long to get this much done with it. First of all, I'm not much of an artist. I hold the vision in my head, but can't seem to transfer it so easily to my hands. And then I am never truly satisfied it is done. But I look at it this way, as long as new pieces come my way, it can always be a work in progress!
I practiced with painting on paper first to make sure I was able to get the look I wanted, then I started painting the purse. Unless you have multiple purses and don't care about trashing some, I suggest you take this route too.

Then I practiced laying out the pieces I wanted on it to see where things fit best.
Not everything I originally wanted, had a proper place in my designs. No worries, I'm hanging on to them for future uses. I settled on a clock design, directional star (or compass star) and a key element.
For the most part, I love them all. The star came out a little shaky, but not too bad. As I get certain other materials, I plan to add to the purse. For now, however, it is ready to be shown off as is! 

And the fun has just begun! I am thinking that in what little free time I have, I might start working on other parts of our costumes. Not sure I'll be ready for Halloween, but eventually I'll be rocking it!
Are you a steampunk fan? I'd love to hear your ideas. Share them in the comments below!