Please Head To Our Real Location On Blogger


I opened a WordPress account a while back, to back up my blog. I am considering moving to WordPress permanently. For now though, please be sure to follow along at A lot of great recipes, crafts, giveaways, and more are happening on our blogger site. I am also sharing my battle to beat breast cancer. Please join me won’t you. 

Avocados Can Replace Butter and Oil When Baking!

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

The holidays are here and it’s time to celebrate with tasty treats! Did you know that Avocados from Mexico can make these great foods even better? When using avocados in baked goods, just replace the butter or oil with an equal amount of pureed avocado. It’s that simple. Your goodies will come out richer, healthier and more moist than ever before. Seriously, Better Baking is a piece of cake with Avocados from Mexico! 
Also, right now Avocados from Mexico is running a Better Baking with Avocados From Mexico sweepstakes! Just visit the Avocados From Mexico Facebook page and enter there for a chance to win one of over 500 prizes! Prize details below:
(1) Grand Prize – $2,500 iCard Gift Card
(10) Second Prizes – $100 iCard Gift Card
(500) Third Prizes – $25 iCard Gift Card
My family loves avocados. They are healthy and delicious. Last Winter my boys and I made a Guacamole Grinch and Christmas tree with Avocados from Mexico. 
Guacamole Tree Recipe
4 Avocados from Mexico
4 ounces of Bold and Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
Juice of Half a Lime
1 Pound of Pico De Gallo
1 Pretzel Rod
1 Cup White Shredded Cheese
8 ounces of Sour Cream
5 ounces of Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
Red Food Coloring, optional
1 yellow Bell Pepper
Tortilla Chips
Mash avocados with, lime juice, and jalapeno sauce until creamy. Place into a pipping bag.  Place your Pico de Gallo onto your serving plate. Pipe your creamy avocados on top of your Pico de Gallo in the shape of a tree. Top with some shredded white cheese to resemble snow, and sliced tomatoes to resemble ornaments. Add food coloring to sour cream, and pipe onto tree like garland. Cut a star out of your bell pepper for the top of the tree, and place the  pretzel stick at the base of the tree for the trunk. Serve with tortilla chips. 
I entered the sweepstakes and I hope you will too. Good luck, and happy holiday baking with avocados. Remember you have until 12/31/12 to enter the Avocados from Mexico’s Better Baking Sweepstakes. I sure would love to win a gift card, how about you?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish Pies and $50 Gift Card Giveaway

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



We always serve pie over the holidays. On Thanksgiving we have to serve pumpkin pie. On Christmas, Dutch Apple Pie is my families favorite. Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish pies are just as delicious as homemade pies. They have four new different tasty varieties of pie, that you can find at a retailer near you, including Walmart Supercenters nationwide. The Signature Deep Dish Dutch Apple with Caramel Sauce is my families favorite. What pie do you think your family would love best?  Besides the Apple, they have a Signature Deep Dish Cherry Pie with Butter Fudge Sauce, Signature Deep Dish Peach Pie with Cream Cheese Icing , and a Signature Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Icing! I don’t know about you, but I am drooling over here. I love that these new pies are so unique and easy to customize with sauce or icing.  What I love even more is having free time out of my kitchen to enjoy playing with my boys. Christmas especially can be such a busy day, I love to have an easy dessert like Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish pies up my sleeve, and in my freezer. These pies taste just as good as any I could make from scratch.


For a chance to win a $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card, and coupon for one FREE Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish pie, please leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what Signature pie you would like to try first, and what you would purchase with your gift card. Please include your email address in comment too.    For a second entry you may follow Mrs. Smith’s Pies on Pinterest, and leave a comment below letting me know that you do. For a third entry you may follow Mrs. Smith’s Pie on Facebook, and leave a comment below letting me know that you do.   You may purchase these new signature pies at any of these retailers.

Giveaway is open worldwide, and will run for five days. A winner will be contacted via email within 24 hours of giveaway ending. 

Happy Holidays!

Get Your Nominations In For 12 Days of Giving Campaign

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


Tis the season to be thankful and giving. You can start making a difference right now by nominating a local non profit organization. This holiday season, Walmart will be giving a total of $1.5 million in grants to benefit local communities across the country and provide basic need items like food, diapers, coats, baby formula, and other cold-weather clothing to those in need. 

During the 12 Days of Giving campaign, Americans will have an opportunity to voice which organizations they feel need support and deserve to win a portion of the $1.5 million in grants.

Between November 1 and November 18, Americans can vote for local nonprofits on Facebook. On December 10, Walmart will start the “12 Days of Giving,” by announcing funding to the winning nonprofits that were nominated on Facebook.
 Go on and vote for your local nonprofit!

Please visit the Live Better application on Walmart’s Facebook page and submit a nomination for a local nonprofit today. I nominated Shriners Hospital For Children in Sacramento California. I am so thankful to have two healthy boys, and am grateful Shriners is working hard to heal our precious children. 

It is easy to nominate a local non profit. All you need is their name, address, phone number, and web address.  You can submit a photo if you like too.  You have until November 18 to get your nominations in! Please share in a comment below who you are nominating.  Thank you for taking the time to care.  It really only takes a few minutes to nominate the local nonprofit of your choice. Think how great you will feel if your non profit is one of the lucky winners. 


Behavior Management For Your Dogs and Cats

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


     My family has two pets, my husbands work partner and search dog Joker, and our family lab Doug. Both dogs are well trained, but they can become stressed over simple things. For example, Joker can get stressed when she is away from my husband.  She will pace, and wait by the door,until he returns.  Doug is easily excitable, and has an annoying tendency to cry when he doesn’t get his way. During the holiday season, family pets  environments change often. They may become irritated or stressed with large family gatherings, travel, kenneling, being left alone, or change in their regular meal and walk times. All of these changes can cause stress for your pet and trigger pets to misbehave.
Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® helps reduce stress-related behavior in dogs by mimicking
their natural pheromones. These pheromones help them feel calm and comfortable in their environment, reducing bad behavior such has crying, chewing, yelping, digging, wetting, excessive drooling, scratching, panting and more.  It helps manage stress-related behavior in dogs caused by thunderstorms, loud noises like fireworks, adjusting to a new environment, transitions, being left alone or traveling.  It can also help to manage nighttime whining during puppy transition from the shelter/breeder to a new home.  Cat lovers there is help for you too. Their products are 95% effective at relieving stress-related bad behavior in cats as well. You can find Comfort Zone®  products at pet specialty stores including PetSmart and Petco, independent pet stores, and online.

     We have been using Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® for over 30 days now, and already see our dogs calming down. It is recommended to wait 90 days, to see the full effect of Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.®. Since we live in chilly Northern California, in Fall and Winter, we kennel our lab inside the house, over night. He loves to be outside, and can sometimes yelp at night when we bring him in. Since using Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® the yelping has ceased. I simply plug in the air diffuser in the closest outlet to his kennel.

    If you have a pet that could benefit from Comfort Zone®  products, and their easy to use calming pheromone air diffusers, please leave a comment below. You may stay up to date with Comfort Zone®  products by visiting their Facebook page. 

New No Calorie Natural Sweetener and Free Sample

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


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Fall just got a whole lot sweeter! I just tried the popular journalist Lisa Ling’s favorite sweetener and its wonderful.  What makes this new product special is that NECTRESSE™Sweetener  is made from the goodness of real fruit – monk fruit extract! It is 100 percent natural and zero calories per serving too! I can’t wait to use it in all my holiday baking.

Here is what America’s favorite journalist, Lisa Ling, had to say about this new product,“From the moment I tried NECTRESSE™ No calorie Sweetener, I loved it. Not only is it all-natural and calorie free, it was incredibly delicious! Made with deliciously sweet monk fruit extract, NECTRESSE™ Sweetener tastes like sugar and satisfies my sweet tooth in a way that fits my healthy lifestyle and is yummy too. In fact, I love it so much that I bring it with me everywhere I go. If you were to look inside my carry-on, you would find packets of NECTRESSE™ Sweetener!” – Lisa Ling

From the maker of Splenda® Sweeteners, this brand new product derives its natural sweetness from the monk fruit, a small green melon that has grown on lush vines in remote mountain regions in Asia for hundreds of years. Deliciously sweet monk fruit extract is combined with the perfect blend of other natural sweeteners to bring you and your readers the rich sweet taste of sugar without all the calories.

  Lisa Ling has diabetes in her family history, like I do, so she watches her sugar intake.  You can watch her testimonial video below.

NECTRESSETM Natural No Calorie Sweetener is 150 times sweeter than sugar and can be used in cooking and baking to add natural, zero calorie per serving sweetness in your favorite beverages and a delicious variety of foods.

• NECTRESSETM Sweetener is available in both convenient single-serve packets (40 servings) and easy to hold canisters (140 servings) with a multipurpose lid for sprinkling, pouring or spooning.

• NECTRESSETM Sweetener is available now in grocery stores, drug stores, super centers and online for suggested retail prices of $3.99 (packets) and $6.99 (canisters).

Nectresse product family.jpg

You can get a FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener too! I enjoy the sweetener so much that I have been using it in my morning coffee. Remember my coffee recipe I shared recently, the one that was just published in the Taste of Home cookbook. Well I substituted NECTRESSE™Sweetener for the sugar in the recipe and it tasted just as good as always. Instead of adding 4 teaspoons of sugar (like my original recipe called for), simply add 2 small packets of NECTRESSE™Sweetener. Each packet of NECTRESSE™Sweetener is equal to the sweetness of two teaspoons of sugar.


Mocha Mint Coffee
Prep:10 Min.    Cook:2 Hours   Yield: 8 Servings
6 cups hot brewed coffee
2 packets instant hot cocoa mix
1/2 cup Nestle dulce de leche
1/4 cup peppermint crunch baking chips or mint chocolate chips
2 small Packets of NECTRESSE™Sweetener
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a 3-quart slow cooker, combine the first 5 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until hot. Ladle into mugs. Top with marshmallows and sprinkle with cinnamon.





Bitdefender Total Security Online

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



Bitdefender Total Security 2013 can keep you and your family safe from online theft.  Keeping your personal information secure is undoubtedly a top priority, and if not, it should be. I myself was a victim of online theft. My internet account was hacked over a year ago, and all my contacts wiped out. It was upsetting to have my friends, family, and clients receive spam mail from my account. I was scarred wondering what personal emails were read, and what other accounts I should worry about. I had to reenter all of my contacts email addresses since they were wiped from my account. I wish I had had Bitdefender Total Security back then. With the internet having replaced our trips to the bank, many private phone calls, YouTube often taking the place of TV for your kids, outside threats easily make their way into your home when you least expect them.

Introducing the next generation and the #1 ranked antivirus technology for 2013, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, takes privacy and security to new levels. Bitdefender’s line of 2013 security solutions provide user-friendly, state-of-the-art, proactive protection from e-threats, such as viruses, spyware, hackers, spam, and phishing attacks. They also offer more advanced safeguards and rich features, including parental controls, online backup, social networking protection, and more!

Here are some of the many great features of Bitdefender Total Security:

1) BitDefender Autopilot: BitDefender operates on its own, without a pop up every 5 minutes. Enjoy your computer experience without constant interruptions!

2) Bitdefender Anti-Theft: BitDefender protects you from more than just online threats; it can track lost or stolen devices!

3) Social Network Protection: Filters the links you receive from your Facebook and Twitter friends and monitors your privacy settings.

4) Parental Control Options: BitDefender allows you to block inappropriate content, restrict web access between certain hours, and it helps you remotely monitor your children’s online activity – even on Facebook!

Did I mention that BitDefender is ranked #1 in Antivirus software, and that Bitdefender earned CNET Editor’s Choice and PCMag Editor’s Choice! You can purchase BitDefender here at Bitdefender Total Security.

One of my favorite and most notable features of Bitdefender is their Safepay™. Bitdefender’s offers a secured browser that safeguards your online transactions and home banking applications from all tampering attempts.

Bitdefender’s 2013 solutions are designed to operate on multiple computer environments, including PCs that function mostly off-line or in a secure LAN, to computers with always-on, unfiltered Internet connections.

This year also comes with an increased focus on useful services such as Safebox, Device Anti-Theft, and Parental Control, but also on the secure and convenient management of your services – with the new MyBitdefender. Its improved dashboard also allows you to view and even control installed applications and mobile devices

In the blogging world alone, I have had my computer warn me of malware software on several popular sites. I am not going to list names, and I believe those sites are probably unaware of the malware on their sites. Be warned there are criminals constantly threatening our online protection.  Thank goodness for Bitdefender Total Security.