January 30, 2011

Progresso Souper You Debut {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

It's winter which means cold and rain in my neck of the woods.  When winter hits, I crave soup because it warms me up from the inside and is a great way to keep those extra pounds off that I would be gaining if I was eating the foods I really wanted to eat like cake and cookies and all those other carbohydrate-laden delicacies that tend to sound so tasty when it's cold out.  One of my favorite brands of soup (if I'm not making it at home from scratch) is Progresso.  I love the fact that they have so many different varieties of soup and they even have a line of lighter soups!  These lighter soups have all the flavor of the regular ones but less fat and calories so I can eat lunch and not feel weighed down by extra fat and salt.  Don't get me wrong, the regular soups are excellent as well, but if I can have that same satisfied feeling with less fat and calories, I jump right on it!

Not only does Progresso make amazing soups, they also sponsor a contest called "Souper You Debut" where they send three lucky fans to New York for a full makeover!  I mean, really, who wouldn't love to go to New York and be pampered for 2 days in New York City?  Here are the details:

Three grand prize winners will be awarded a trip for two to New York City from May 20th-22nd. The prize includes round trip airfare, a two-night stay in an NYC hotel, a full makeover, a guided wardrobe shopping spree with a personal consultation at a New York City department store, and $1,000 in spending money.

A makeover and spending money?  You know how they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach?  Well, the way to a woman's heart is through her wallet!  Give me a spending spree and I'll love you forever!  Oh, Progresso, you have won my heart and my stomach!  How do you enter, you ask?  It's easy!  Just do the following:
  • Go to Progresso on Facebook before March 16th to learn more and enter the contest
  • Submit your essay (200 characters or less) telling Progresso why you love their soups that contain 100 calories or less, and why you deserve a chance to win a trip to NYC for a full fashion overhaul
  • In addition, please submit a photo of yourself that visually reinforces the theme of your essay
Once the 10 finalists are announced, you can visit Progresso on Facebook from March 30th through April 13th to vote for your favorite. If you are one of the finalists, make sure you tell all your friends and family so they can go vote for you (P.S. Let me know, too, and I'll spread the word here)!

In the interim or if you don't want to enter, you can visit the Facebook page to download a coupon for $1.00 off four (4) cans of Progresso Soup and to check out makeover videos provided by MyStyle.com and the Style Network. Be sure to also "Follow" Progresso on Twitter to keep up with the latest news from Progresso.

I also have a great prize for you to win from Progresso right here!  One of my lucky readers will win the prize pack shown below which includes a yoga mat, water bottle, wrist bands, exercise bands and a coupon for free soup!

Mandatory Entry

Head over to Progresso's website and tell me which flavor you are looking forward to trying the most!  (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)


Additional Entries (Make sure you leave separate comments for each entry.  For example, if you post my button on your blog, leave three separate comments letting me know you did.)

3 entries - Become a public follower through Google Friend Connect of Giveaways and More or let me know if you already follow this blog.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and Progresso. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More! on Facebook.
1 entry - "Like" Progresso Soups on Facebook.
1 entry - Follow Progresso on Twitter.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment.  Feel free to use this tweet:  


Win a prize pack from @Progresso and enter to win a makeover in NYC! http://goo.gl/fb/ZVxyt Ends 2/13 #giveaway RT @curlyq776 #myblogspark


This giveaway will close on February 13th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.


Thanks to Progresso and My Blog Spark for sponsoring this giveaway! 


Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample of product to review from Progresso and My Blog Spark and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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January 29, 2011

Who won the Tropical Traditions giveaway?

Sorry I'm so late getting the winner's post up but I have a good friend who is getting married today so the past couple of weeks have been filled with planning the bridal shower and helping her get centerpieces and favors done.

So, without further ado....the winner of the Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent is:

#25 - Annie1

Congratulations!  The winner has been notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or I will choose another lucky reader to take home the prize.

Thanks to all for entering this giveaway!  Tropical Traditions is an awesome company and I will be back with more giveaways from them in the next month or so!
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January 27, 2011

$25 Gift Code at 365Hangers.com {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

I'm not much of a fashionista but I do know that whenever I can find a good deal on designer clothing, I take it!  Imagine getting 70% off designer pieces everyday in sizes that fit most women.  365Hangers.com is the site to visit for these amazing deals on a daily basis.  You can find clothing from Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg and French Connection.  Ladies, these prices are incredible so get over there and take a look around!

365Hangers is a Los Angeles based company, established in 2009 to provide discount sample sales on women's designer labels. We not only provide our shoppers with clothing from brand names such as DVF, DKNY, Marc Jacobs, and French Connection, but also give them a visual of how it will look on them by using models of different body type and size. By doing so, our shopper gets a feel of how a dress will look on their body, assuring them of their choice. In addition to that,365hangers.com guarantees 70% off, ALWAYS, on every designer label on the website. What better way to shop than from the comfort of your own home and with the assurance that you are getting the best deal. 

I was lucky enough to receive a French Connection dress specially picked out for me by the stylists at 365Hangers.com.  Isn't this a great dress?
The picture doesn't really do the dress justice.  The colors are so vibrant and, being that it is a designer dress, it is very well made.  There are also so many different styles of clothing available on 365Hangers.com that range in price from as low as $20 to as high as $100+ however they are all 70% off!  Shipping is $7 within the US and $13 to Canada and 365Hangers.com makes sure to get your order shipped out within 48 hours of your order.

Here's some good news!  You could be going shopping at 365Hangers.com with a $25 gift code!  Thanks to the wonderful people at 365Hangers.com, one of my lucky readers will win a $25 gift code to be used on any outfit on the website.

Mandatory Entry

Head over to 365Hangers.com and tell me which outfit you love the most!  (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)

Additional Entries (Make sure you leave separate comments for each entry.  For example, if you post my button on your blog, leave three separate comments letting me know you did.)

3 entries - Become a public follower through Google Friend Connect of Giveaways and More or let me know if you already follow this blog.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and 365Hangers.com. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More! on Facebook.
1 entry - "Like" 365Hangers.com on Facebook.
1 entry - Follow 365Hangers.com on Twitter.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment.  Feel free to use this tweet:  

Win a $25 gift code at @365Hangers and shop the sample sales 365 days per year! http://goo.gl/fb/rtaOF Ends 2/10 #giveaway RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on February 10th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to 365Hangers.com for sponsoring this giveaway! 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample of product to review and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

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January 26, 2011

My ideal family getaway!

Since my immediate family currently consists of my husband and myself, we can go anywhere and have a great time!  Our favorites must include lots of sunshine and outdoor activities like Phoenix, San Diego, Hawaii, Florida, etc.  Couple-only vacations are boring, though.  I really can't wait until we have children!  That's when the fun and interesting vacations begin!  SocialMoms and Alamo are looking for some of the most interesting and ideal getaways in the US.  This got me thinking about what my ideal family getaway would be when we have more members of our family.

I would love to take a few weeks and drive across the country to Orlando, Florida to visit Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios Orlando.  My kids will have to be old enough to know and love the Disney characters we will meet in Disney World as well as enjoy the quality time in the car.  One of my favorite vacations was when my family drove across the country and visited family as well as stopped at famous parks and monuments along the way to learn about American history.  We had such a blast in the car (not without many arguments about the seating arrangements) and we also had plenty of laughs along the way.  I would love to give my kids this experience.

A few of the places that I would stop would be Yellowstone Park, Grand Canyon, the Alamo, New Orleans and NASA headquarters.  We would probably have to add in a trip to the golf hall of fame in Florida for my husband.  Along the way, we would also stop to visit family.  I have cousins in Texas and Georgia.  They would probably disown me if I didn't stop to visit while I was in the vicinity!  I really want my kids to build relationships with their relatives even if they don't get to see them often so a trip like this would be an educational as well as enjoyable experience for my family.  In my opinion, families really come together when they spend the quality time together like a very long road trip requires.  There are so many stories and inside jokes that create a bond between family members!

Not only would we enjoy the sightseeing and learn about American history, but I also plan on eating amazing food in all the cities where we stop.  My husband and I love to eat so I expect that when we reproduce, we'll have pretty good eaters on our hands!  American history doesn't only consist of monuments and parks but food has always played a major role in America.  I would love to stop at some of the most obscure restaurants and sample the local fare in the purest form.  I've always said that the best food comes from the most original restaurants and I've witnessed this first hand!

What are your most ideal getaway spots in the United States?  Tell me all about your dream vacation with your family!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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January 22, 2011

Valentine's Cards from Pear Tree Greetings {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

Do you remember how Valentine's Day felt when you were a kid?  I remember being so excited because of the party at school and giving out all of my Valentine's cards to my classmates.  I would work tirelessly for the weeks before Valentine's Day making sure that I was giving the right card to the right person.  I can't imagine if I had one of these cards to give out to my peers:

These are so cute!  Pear Tree Greetings has plenty of other Valentine's designs to choose from, too.  Not only do they offer holiday cards for almost every holiday in the year but they have graduation announcements for the proud graduate as well as all things wedding including save the date cards, invitation sets and thank you cards!

I received a sample pack of some of the Valentine's Cards from Pear Tree Greetings and am so impressed with the quality from this company!  The card stock is substantial and would hold up to a good beating by kids.  I also love the choice of colors and how vibrant those colors are on the paper.  Pear Tree Greetings does such a nice job with the design and coming up with some pretty clever wording on the cards so that some are cute and funny while others are meaningful.   There really is something for everyone at Pear Tree Greetings!  Head over to the Pear Tree Promo Code page where you can find coupon codes and special deals for cards.

Here's your chance to try out Pear Tree Greetings for yourself because one of my readers will win 24 FREE Kid's Valentine's Day cards!

Mandatory Entry

Head over to Pear Tree Greetings and tell me which Kid's Valentine's Cards you will choose if you win!  (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)

Additional Entries (Make sure you leave separate comments for each entry.  For example, if you post my button on your blog, leave three separate comments letting me know you did.)

3 entries - Become a public follower through Google Friend Connect of Giveaways and More or let me know if you already follow this blog.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and Pear Tree Greetings. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More! on Facebook.
1 entry - "Like" Pear Tree Greetings on Facebook.
1 entry - Follow Pear Tree Greetings on Twitter.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment.  Feel free to use this tweet:  

Even your kids can choose @PearTreeGrtngs cards! Win 24 Kid's Valentines cards! http://goo.gl/fb/sXxoP Ends 2/5 #giveaway RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on February 5th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to Pear Tree Greetings for sponsoring this giveaway! 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample of product to review and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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January 20, 2011

"Working Class" on CMT! {REVIEW}

I don't know about you, but over the past few years I have felt that television shows have really gone downhill.  Maybe that's because I'm from the era where we watched shows like The Cosby Show and Family Ties.  Sitcoms have been replaced by reality shows and that's really sad.  I've always felt that sitcoms (the good ones, at least) are great because they are usually about real life but have some added comic relief built in.  I just finished watching the premiere episode of CMT's new sitcom, Working Class.  This show is a refreshing look at life for Carli (Melissa Peterman from Reba), a single mom of three kids, who decides that she wants to give her kids a better life by moving to the suburbs.  She works in a specialty grocery store deli and ends up with a crush on her boss.

I really like the idea behind this show.  I mean, who of us doesn't want a better life for our kids and is willing to work harder than we ever thought to give that better life to them?  The writing on the show is very cute and the characters, while a little over the top, are fairly true to life.  Carli's kids are just like most kids, completely unaware of the sacrifices that their mother is making to keep them fed and clothed.  I also love the relationship between Carli and her co-worker Hank (Ed Asner).  He is very funny as the war veteran turned deli worker!

If you are looking for a show that is more real than any reality show out there, tune into Working Class on Friday nights at 8 pm ET/PT on CMT.

Disclosure:  I wrote this post in order to receive a chance to win a gift card on One 2 One Network.  This post includes my own personal opinions about this television show.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review of the show.
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January 18, 2011

Tutu winner!

My sister-in-law unfortunately was not chosen as one of the Mamavation Moms but we still appreciate your voting for her!  She's going to go on and change her life in the Move It & Lose It Challenge!  We've chosen a winner for the tutu and it is:

#23 - Jan

I've emailed the winner and she has 48 hours to respond or I will choose another winner.
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January 14, 2011

Eden Fantasys Winner!

After such an amazing response to this giveaway, I've finally chosen a winner!
Congratulations to 
#80 - Tiffany!

The winner has been contacted by email and has 48 hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner.  Thanks to everyone for entering!  Stay tuned because I have some fun giveaways coming up!
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January 12, 2011

What to choose?

It's time again for another CSN Stores review and I'm not sure what I'm going to choose this time.  I have some pretty modern dining room furniture so maybe a new tablecloth or place mats to enhance the modern theme.  Maybe I'll get a small appliance for my kitchen activities or go with something completely unrelated to the kitchen like a new lamp for my bedroom or sheets for my bed.  There are so many things to choose from when you are looking at over 200 stores!  Yikes!  I'm sure that I'll come up with something, although it may just take some agonizing over for a few days.  Either way, I'll be posting a review once I've decided to let you know what I chose and all about my experience with CSN Stores.  Stay tuned!
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HK Anderson Pretzels {REVIEW}

I'm not a big fan of salty snacks but when I crave them I love pretzels because they are much lower in calories and saturated fats than potato chips!  Let's face it, most of us need to worry about calories and fat so pretzels are a good alternative to chips.  HK Anderson is a small company that offers a modest but incredibly tasty selection of pretzels including peanut butter filled nuggets, ultra thin salty stix, honey wheat braids and double baked pretzel butter balls.  I think if you're going to only offer a few options, make them the best there is to offer and HK Anderson does just that.

What makes H.K. Anderson pretzels special? We've taken a time-tested winner in the traditional pretzel and made it a unique snacking experience. We combine the wholesome simplicity of the pretzel with an added twist for a memorable snacking treat. You can satisfy your cravings for taste and flavor without having to sacrifice by eating unhealthy. With H.K. Anderson pretzels you can enjoy a guilt-free snacking experience with great taste!

I was fortunate to receive a bag of each of these 4 flavors of pretzels from HK Anderson.  I have to tell you that they were all amazing!  If I had to choose a favorite it would be a difficult choice.  They are all wonderful for different reasons.  The peanut butter filled nuggets are a perfect balance of salty pretzel and smooth peanut butter.  It's a great snack to fill you up and tide you over until your next meal.  I also loved the double baked butter balls.  They tasted, well, like butter!  They were so rich and flavorful I couldn't believe it and I couldn't stop eating them once I started.  Up next was the ultra thin salty stix.  I love that they are so thin and salty.  Perfect for when you are just looking for a typical salty snack.  Last, but certainly not least, is the honey wheat braids.  If I had to choose a favorite, it would be these braids.  They were such a glorious blend of sweet and salty and I could go on eating them forever if I had to.

So, now that I've got your drooling all over your screen with the thought of yummy pretzels, where can you buy them?  Here's one of the best things about HK Anderson; you can buy these pretzels right from their website!  I know, awesome, right?  You can also use the search on the website to locate the closest retailer who carries HK Anderson if you can't wait for them to be shipped to you.  I found that Walmart, Staples and Big Lots all carry these pretzels.  All I can say is that these definitely warrant a quick trip to the store.  HK Anderson has pretzels down!

Disclosure:  I was provided free samples of the product in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to provide a positive review or offer a giveaway in exchange for the free product.
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January 11, 2011

For all the little girls out there! {GIVEAWAY}

Do you have a little girl in your life?  Well, if you do, I'm sure you have seen all of the cute tutus that are really making a comeback.  My niece loves her tutu so much that she just glows when she's wearing one!  Look at her!  Isn't she the cutest thing?
Tutus are such a fun way to dress up your little girl and they invoke some of the most wonderful comments out of complete strangers.  How can you not stop and stare at such an adorable picture?

As I mentioned in my last post, my sister-in-law applied to be a Mamavation Mom and is now a finalist!  She is so excited to make some healthy changes in her life and really wants to win but she needs our help to do it.  The winner is chosen by a public vote and the voting is only open for a week, so we are teaming up to offer you one of these adorable tutus for free!  My sister-in-law ties these tutus by hand so you know they are made with love and care.

Here are the details:

One of my readers will win a hand-tied tutu for a little girl in their life up to child's size 6.  We were thinking that a Valentine's Day themed tutu would be great but you can choose from any of the fabrics in this picture.

My sister-in-law will contact you once the winner is chosen to get the measurements for your little girl and get started!


Mandatory Entry

You must visit the Mamavation website and vote for my sister-in-law, @notimemom. (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)

Additional Entries (Make sure you leave separate comments for each entry.  For example, if you post my button on your blog, leave three separate comments letting me know you did.)

3 entries - Become a public follower through Google Friend Connect of Giveaways and More or let me know if you already follow this blog.
3 entries - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and the Mamavation website. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment.  Feel free to use this tweet:  

Vote for @notimemom for Mamavation Mama and enter to win a handmade tutu! http://goo.gl/fb/1JkT9 Ends 1/17 #giveaway RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on January 17th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.
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January 10, 2011

Please help?

My sister-in-law was picked as one of the 12 finalists for Mamavation and she's very excited!  A lot of women applied for these spots so to be chosen as one of the finalists is quite an honor.  She would really appreciate your help by voting for her over the next week.  Just click on this link and vote for notimemom.    Thanks for your help!
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Eating Out on the Naked Fitness Nutrition Plan

Eating Out on the Naked Fitness Nutrition Plan
By Andrea Metcalf,
Author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body
It's normal to want to get out of the kitchen occasionally and let someone else do the cooking. But what about sticking to the plan? Will dining out strike a fatal blow to your resolve? Not necessarily. Most restaurants cater to health-conscious diners, it's not that difficult to find low-fat cuisine while dining out.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans eat out 4.1 times a week. And many of those meals are eaten at fast food restaurants, where food is typically high in fat and sodium. But dining out doesn't have to spell dieting disaster. One of the many advantages of the Naked Fitness Nutrition Plan is its adaptability to any eating-out situation. These days, healthy foods are served practically everywhere.

You don't have to be a recluse while on the Naked Fitness Nutrition Plan. You're free to go out to restaurants, even fast-food places, to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with your friends, family, or business associates. Nor should you pass up invitations to parties or other social events just because you're on a healthy eating program. What follows are some practical guidelines for making healthy choices at any type of restaurant, as well as for enjoying parties and other events.

Restaurants for Breakfast
  • Order scrambled eggs. Request that the eggs be cooked without added oil.
  • Fresh fruits are excellent choices to round out your breakfast. 
Asian Restaurants 
  • Select entrees made with lean proteins (such as chicken and fish) and vegetables. Some good suggestions are Moo Goo Gai Pan, Szechwan Shrimp or Chicken, and sushi.
  • Request that the sauce be served on the side or forgo it altogether.
  • Asian restaurants serve generous helpings. Consider ordering one entree and splitting it with a friend, unless you want to take the leftovers home. 
  • Enjoy sushi and sashimi. 
Italian Restaurants 
  • For an appetizer, try vegetable antipasto (if available), with dressing on the side.
  • Look for entrees such as grilled chicken and fish, as well as Italian dishes that are marked as low in fat. 
  • Avoid entrees prepared in cream sauce or Alfredo sauce. 
  • Ask the waiter to leave the rolls and breadsticks in the kitchen. 
  • When ordering a dinner salad, request dressing on the side. 
  • Opt for steamed vegetables as your side dish rather than pasta. Make sure the vegetables are steamed. 
Mexican Restaurants 
  • Grilled chicken, shrimp, or lean meat entrees are good choices.
  • For extra veggies, request pico de gallo (a mixture of chopped tomatoes, green peppers, and onions). 
  • Mexican rice or black bean soup are nice accompaniments to a Mexican meal. So are refried beans, but check first to see whether they are prepared in lard, or baked or boiled, and seasoned. If they aren't refried in lard, enjoy them. 
  • A dinner salad with nonfat salad dressing is a healthy meal-starter.
Steakhouse 
  • Order grilled lean meat, chicken, salmon, or other fish (prepared with- out oil).
  • For a side dish, select a steamed vegetable such as broccoli. 
  • At the salad bar, stick to fresh vegetables. Many salad bars serve fresh fruit too, which makes for a great dessert. 
Homestyle or Cafeteria Restaurant 
  • Request grilled or lemon chicken, turkey breast without the gravy, or white fish prepared without sauce or oil.
  • Select steamed vegetables (no sauce or butter), salad with nonfat dressing, or a vegetable medley prepared without butter or margarine.
  • Look away when passing by the dessert line. 
Fast-Food Restaurants 
  • Most fast-food establishments have salads on their menus; grilled chicken salads are your best bets. Order reduced-fat salad dressing with your salad. If there's a salad bar, stick to fresh vegetables and fat-free salad dressing. 
  • At fast-food restaurants that serve fish, order baked fish, steamed vegetables, and a salad.
Parties 
  • Eat a meal before you go to the party to fend off hunger pangs and cravings.
  • Snack on fresh vegetables and fruit (but pass up the dip).
  • If you're going to dinner with a group of friends and are concerned that you'll overeat, eat some natural high-fiber foods (like raw vegetables or fruit) before you go.  You'll be less likely to pig out later.
  • Offer to bring a couple of your own dishes (low-fat, of course) to the gathering.
  • Instead of a cocktail, drink a diet soda or carbonated water with a twist of lemon or lime.
It may not seem like fun to limit yourself to certain foods when eating out. But the ability to make healthy choices at restaurants is one more positive step toward getting a beautifully naked body. You'll feel better, and your body will love you for it.

The above is an excerpt from the book Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body by Andrea Metcalf. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.
© 2010 Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body.

Author Bio

Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body,  has been teaching fitness, training clients, and coaching on subjects of nutrition and health for the past 27 years.  Her inspiring and approachable personality has helped build her reputation as a nationally known fitness expert.  Andrea is a regular contributor of MORE, Self, and Women's World, among other magazines, and a regular blogger on Oprah.com. She frequently appears on Today, Good Morning America Health, NBC5 in Chicago, and the nationally syndicated Better TV.
Andrea holds a BS in Exercise Science and has grown her career by creating unique programs of her own including Paws-ilates, Sil-ilites, and Live-ilates, featured on Oprah.com.  Over the years, Andrea has written numerous articles on health and fitness.  She is a national fitness presenter, motivational speaker, and has a series of fitness DVDs.

She also counsels and trains individuals, leads "Naked Fitness" groups, and speaks to companies across the country, and is a national spokesperson for Sketchers Shape-Ups, Elations, Sears, The American Heart Association and others.  Andrea has three children and lives in Chicago.

For more information please visit: http://www.andreametcalf.com and follow the author of Facebook and Twitter.  Learn more about Naked Fitness at http://www.nakedfitness.compost signature

January 9, 2011

Wilton Pops in a Post Contest - Early Valentine's Day!

One of my favorite ways to spend a rainy, cold weekend is baking although my husband doesn't appreciate the extra 10 pounds he always puts on in the winter.  Hey, we live in Oregon and need the extra padding for the cold, wet winters!  I'm even hoping to take Wilton's cake decorating classes with some of my friends soon so that I can learn all the tips and tricks to decorating cakes.  I would love to be able to create beautiful birthday creations when I have children someday.  It's something I've wanted to do for some time now and have found a few friends who also want to learn how to decorate so we are going to be putting a class together and broadening our horizons!  After hearing about the Wilton "Pops in a Post" contest, I instantly pre-registered hoping it would give me the push I needed to try my hand at cake pops and it did!  If you haven't already heard about them (if this is you, you must be living under a rock) cake pops are the newest craze as the cutest little desserts that taste delicious!  The trick for me was coming up with some original designs.  I'm not very confident in my creative abilities but I think I did ok.

Cake pops are pretty easy to make once you get the cake made and everything mixed together.  It's basically a box cake with instant pudding added and then baked in a 9x13 pan.  Once the cake has been baked and cooled, you crumble it up and mix in some ready-made frosting.  It's easy as that!  Forming the balls is just like making meatballs, which is in my blood as I am 1/4 Italian.  Once the balls are formed, they have to be chilled (this is a must, people).  This was one of the mistakes I made with my first batch because if the cake balls aren't cold, the melted chocolate will slide right off.  I put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes before rolling them in the melted chocolate.
Once I realized that I needed to chill the balls prior to rolling them in chocolate, the process went much smoother.  First, you take one of the Wilton sticks and dip it in some of the melted chocolate.  By the way, Wilton makes an amazing electric chocolate melter that saves you the effort of putting together a double boiler and heats the chocolate up to the perfect temperature.  Cool, huh?  I'm thinking I may use mine for fondue as well. But, I digress.  Back to the sticks.
Dip one end of the stick in the melted chocolate and push it into the cake pop until it's about half way through the pop.  Once you've got the stick pushed into the cake pop, the chocolate will harden and the pop will stay on the stick until someone rips it off with their teeth. Believe me, they will rip them off, too.  There are that good.  From here, you just cover them in yummy, melted chocolate!  Wilton makes a few different colors of melting chocolate to choose from depending on the occasion and what design you are creating.  I chose the red melting chocolate because I decided to make Valentine's Day inspired cake pops for this contest.
Because the pops are chilled, the chocolate will set almost immediately.  Make sure you tap the stick on the side to smooth out the chocolate layer.  Wilton also has these great stands for cake pops to set up.  You set the sticks in the holes and they stand up on there own while the chocolate hardens.  Decorating is a breeze with this stand since the balls are round and it's hard to lay them flat.
As you can see I have a Valentine's Day theme going on.  I even added a little food coloring to the frosting that I mixed into the cake so that it would have a slightly pink tint to the cake.  I think they turned out pretty cute, don't you? Not only are they cute, but my husband placed his seal of approval on the flavor. He thinks they're pretty delicious!
I received a box full of goodies from Wilton to help me get started including that amazing chocolate melter! Most of the decorations that I used for my Valentine's creations including the candy melts were purchased by me at a few local stores.  Here's what I found:
Thanks for reading about my fun experience with cake pops!  I had a blast trying to come up with some original and creative ideas and then using the decorations I found locally to create my own confections!

Disclosure:  I was sent free products from Wilton in exchange for a post about my own creative cake pops.  10 finalists will be chosen and those finalists have a chance to win the grand prize of a $500 Visa gift card while the other 9 finalists will win a $100 Visa gift card.
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Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

Laundry is one of those necessary evils that we all have to deal with in order to keep ourselves and our families looking and smelling good.  I am always on the lookout for new detergents that clean well and don't overpower me with fragrance.  Detergents that are made without any of those toxic products such as phosphates and dyes are even better!  Tropical Traditions not only makes some amazing coconut food products but also some incredible nontoxic cleansers.

Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent cleans and removes stains from your laundry with the power of Oxygen Bleach Destainer and Deodorizer. Powdered Laundry Detergent is safe and effective at ALL temperatures on whites, permanent press, bright colors, pastels, prints, and delicates in hard or soft water. (Not suitable for Silk or Wool) Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent is non-toxic, environmentally safe and contains no phosphates. Powdered Laundry Detergent cleans and safely bleaches your clothes with the added power of Oxygen Bleach Destainer and Deodorizer.

I received a free tub of Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent to use and review.  This product works great for all of my laundry from delicates to my jeans.  The detergent is light and doesn't leave any residue or strong scent on my clothing!  I also love that the ingredients are natural and not at all harsh against my skin.  We have a front loading washer and, as was suggested on the Tropical Traditions website, I used half the recommended amount of detergent to make up for the high efficiency washer.  As I said above, that amount of detergent worked perfect for all of my laundry.  My husband and I don't have very soiled clothing so I couldn't test it out on diapers or anything but it got my towels clean as well as my other clothing.  I couldn't ask for a better detergent.

Tropical Traditions is offering a 5 lbs jug of Powdered Laundry Detergent to one of my lucky readers!
 
Mandatory Entry

You must subscribe to the Tropical Traditions sales newsletter.  Please let me know that you have done this for your mandatory entry in a comment below. (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)

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1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment.  Feel free to use this tweet:  

Win a 5 lbs jug of Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent! @troptraditions http://goo.gl/fb/sw6dc Ends 1/23 #giveaway RT @curlyq776

This giveaway will close on January 23rd at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to Tropical Traditions for sponsoring this giveaway! 

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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January 4, 2011

Money for tweets?

Everybody is always looking for some extra money, right?  Well, now you can earn money for tweeting about great products that you know and love!  My Likes is a great site that offers you cold hard cash just for tweeting about some of your favorite products!  It literally takes seconds to sign up, connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts (you can choose to not post on Facebook if you want) and then start tweeting and earning.  My Likes also offers a referral program every month where you can win more money as well as awesome prizes.  This month there is an iPad up for the person who refers the most people and I would love to win that iPad (pretty please)!

So, click here to head over to My Likes and get started!  You're losing money already by waiting around and thinking about it.
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January 3, 2011

Cinch! by Cynthia Sass {REVIEW}

Ahh, it's a new year and time to start thinking about changing the way you live starting with your diet.  I've always been fascinated by weight loss and the different diets that have been popular in this country because I have seen the incredible results of following one of those diets that was mainly a balanced eating plan.  I especially love it when diet books include eating plans and recipes along with simple instructions so that it takes all of the guesswork out and you are just able to follow the diet while also having some go-to meals at your fingertips.  Cinch! by Cynthia Sass is a great example of just that; a simple eating plan which includes recipes and meals laid out for you to follow.

Cynthia Sass, M.P.H, R.D. (also the coauthor of Flat Belly Diet) has broken weight loss down to a simple puzzle in this book.  You literally will think of the diet as a puzzle and the foods you eat as the pieces.  Cynthia begins the diet with a beginning 5 day Fast Forward plan to help you lose weight rapidly while conquering those cravings for sweets and combating those hunger pangs!  There are 5 foods you can eat - spinach, almonds, raspberries, eggs and yogurt - which can be eaten in multiple combinations.  Cynthia swears that these foods will help you lose weight quickly as well as detoxify your body without leaving you feeling deprived.  Now, I don't know about you, but those 5 foods all sound great to me, the recipes look pretty simple and my favorite part is that Cynthia allows for a chocolate fix everyday!  Obviously the chocolate is eaten in moderation but just know that there is no reason to completely give up chocolate as it does have some healthful properties.  Cynthia even has recipes for different flavors of chocolate truffles for you to make at home.

There are some very helpful tips in Cinch! however it's a little disappointing that the only discussion of exercise is about walking.  Exercise is one of my passions and being that I'm a fitness center owner as well as a certified personal trainer, I feel that some diet books don't stress enough the importance of weight lifting to help keep your body from tapping into it's muscle stores when losing weight.  Weight lifting will also increase your metabolism which helps you burn fat faster.  I will step off my soapbox now.

Check out Cinch! for a great, simple weight loss plan!  Cynthia will be featured on The Rachael Ray Show on Wednesday, January 5th so don't miss that!  She'll be talking all about the book and how it can help you get a jump start on weight loss.  Cinch! can be purchased on amazon.com so get over there and order it up!

Disclosure:  I was not compensated monetarily for this review however I did receive a free copy of the book and have the opportunity to win a gift card.
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