Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Harlequin series - A Cold Creek Christmas Story

Next in the December blog tour series, I am featuring is the book: A Cold Creek Christmas Story, by RaeAnne Thayne.

The author would like to share with you a Holiday Bon Appétit and a Book

Luxurious Hot Chocolate

4 cups of milk (whole is best)

8 ounces of high-quality chocolate … I like Guittard semisweet chips. White chocolate works too, for a different taste.
3 teaspoons of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (pure, not imitation)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Finely chop the chocolate. Even if using chocolate chips, the smaller the pieces, the better it will dissolve in liquid. On low heat in a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a low boil, whisking occasionally to keep from scorching. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, salt and chocolate and whisk vigorously until the chocolate has melted. Heat for another 4 minutes, constantly stirring. Serve with a dollop of real whipped cream.
You can add lots of things to this recipe: Mint, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick. Whatever your preference. Just add herbs or spices to the milk while simmering. After it boils, remove from heat and let the milk steep for 10 minutes then strain off your add-ins and return to simmer before adding the chocolate and other ingredients.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Her Mistletoe Cowboy #Giveaway

The next book on the December Harlequin series, Blog Tour is: "Her Mistletoe Cowboy," by Marie Ferrarella.

image courtesy of

Holiday Bon Appétit and a Book: When I think Christmas and everyone I know thinks of my mint chip brownies and my marzipan bundt cake. The brownies are more or less a standard recipe, except doubled (so the brownies are nice and thick) and add in lots of mint chips.  Here’s the marzipan cake:

Marzipan Cake

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blog Tour "An Amish Noel" by Patricia Davids & #giveaway

Hi, I am participating in the blog tour for the  December Harlequin Series Program.

Today's book is An Amish Noel. Below is the author's recipe and playlist to enjoy while reading this book.

Holiday Bon Appétit and a Book:
Merry Christmas from me, Patricia Davids. If you love pecans the way I do, you'll want to enjoy this delicious holiday recipe all year round. They are called Kentucky Pecan Bars and they are YUM. Pair them with a cup of hot peppermint cocoa and you'll have a real treat to savor while you enjoy my latest book, An Amish Noel.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Colorful Utensils to Make Eating Frozen Desserts More Fun

Ice cream invokes memories of your childhood. Even while eating it as an adult, you may remember times when you ate it as a child, perhaps at your birthday party or on vacation with your family. When you own a business that serves and sells ice cream, you may want to create the same memories in the customers that you serve. You can enhance people's ice cream eating experiences by providing fun and colorful utensils like ice cream spoons and forks to your clientele. 

Colorful Table Settings for Any Clientele

You may question whether or not colorful spoons are right for your client base. You can answer your own question by realizing that ice cream, 
Gelato products, and other frozen treats are nearly always eaten in the most relaxed and informal of situations. People who attend a high-brow and fancy dinner party, for example, typically do not eat ice cream or gelato for dessert. Instead, they seek out this treat when they want to relax, have fun, and mingle comfortably with those attending dinner with them.

As such, it can make perfect sense to provide colorful utensils for them to use when eating their treats. You can find colors that appeal to clients of any age. For example, if your business is a family-friendly eatery, you may find it suitable to buy spoons that are blue, red, yellow, green, and other basic colors. They appeal to children and adults alike. 

However, when you want to appeal to a bit more of an upscale crowd, you may find it better to buy pastel colored spoons. You can find heavy-duty sundae spoons and forks in pastel hues like soft purple, neutral eggshell, and light blue. The pastels put your clients at ease without seeming too whimsical or off-putting.

Other Restaurant Necessities

Along with spoons, you may also consider investing in some of the other restaurant utensils and necessities available to you. For example, if you need to replace your restaurant's spatulas, you can find these kitchen essentials for sale on the website.

Likewise, when you want to make kitchen cleanup easier for you and your crew, you may select pan liners. These liners are easy to clean and priced affordably.

Serving ice cream to any client is easier and more fun with colorful utensils. You can find spoons and more for sale online. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to Get Involved with Animal Welfare from Home

Getting involved with animal welfare and helping endangered species doesn’t always have to be about taking long trips to other countries to volunteer or donating large amounts of money to a charity or foundation. Although both of these things definitely help and make a difference, they are sometimes impossible for a number of different reasons. However, if you are still interested in making a difference and getting involved with animal welfare and protecting endangered species, you’ll be glad to know that there are a number of simple things that you can do from home.

Volunteer Locally

If you can’t pack your bags and jet off to an exotic country to help protect endangered species, the next best thing is to volunteer locally at an animal sanctuary or wildlife park. These organizations are set up usually for the sole purpose of protecting wildlife and endangered species in the area, and provide a haven for these wild animals who normally would have to fend for themselves in an increasingly hazardous environment. However, these organizations often run off charitable donations and the help of volunteers, and your contribution could make a massive difference.

Make Regular Donations

If you’d like to contribute to the protection of endangered species worldwide, there are a number of reputable charities and foundations which you can make donations to, such as the Dancing Star Foundation. Even if you can’t donate a large amount of money, committing to making a donation of just a few dollars a month will still be much appreciated and will go towards the cause.

Make Your Home a Wildlife Haven

Making your home into a wildlife haven doesn’t mean that you have to have bunny rabbits and hedgehogs running around your home, but having them living in your garden and being safe there is a meaningful contribution to the welfare of local wild and even endangered animals in your area. Thanks to increasing building developments, wildlife are faced with more and more hazards. Keeping your garden a wildlife friendly area by ensuring that all trash is stored in lockable trash cans, keeping pets inside at night and planting plenty of local vegetation will give wild animals in your area a safe and habitable place to live.

Drive Safely

Even something as simple as driving safely can help to protect endangered species and contribute towards animal welfare. The number of wild animals killed on the roads is on the increase, and although some of these accidents were unpreventable, some would have been avoided if the driver was more careful. Keeping your eye out for animals on the road and driving carefully could save the lives of many a wild animal, especially if you are driving on rural roads. Not only that, but steady and careful driving releases less carbon emissions, which in turn is kinder to the environment as a whole and reduces the amount of pollution, which in turn contributes to animal welfare.
Would you like to share any more ways in which you can get involved with animal welfare at home?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ApparelnBags Review { compression shorts #review }

Hi, I was given the opportunity to review a product from ApparelnBags.

Here's some info about the website Inc, is a making of one of the most customer centric enterprise where we promise to offer great shopping experience and post order delivery services to our customers. carries wide variety of named brand apparel and takes pride in carrying merchandise of choice for more than 99% of United States residents is committed to offer you affordable and “tailored to perfection” customization services. Our portfolio of customization service includes but not limited to: Embroidery Services, Screen Printing Services. Appliqué / Reverse Appliqué, Laser Etching, Decals and Stickers.

my thoughts on product:

Like many times before, I give my 15 yr. old daughter a choice of what she would like on a review for companies. So she looked over the site and was debating on a few of the items, like maybe sweatpants. But then she decided to pick some compression shorts:

She got these because she wears these for her dance classes: hip/hop, jazz, and contemporary classes. She got them in black but they come in different colors too. These came the other day, and they fit great she said and are very nice, and are made out of nice material. The compression shorts will come in handy for her dance. And are priced at approx. $13.95 a pair.

If you are looking for some gifts for your family and friends or even yourself this holiday season, then check out ApparelnBags, for sweatshirts, pants, bags, etc. With fast shipping and reasonable prices.

Including this in my #giftguide2015 list:

*disclosure: free product received to review only*

Monday, December 14, 2015

Spotlight Post: Grant Spradling’s novel David Goes Home

David Goes Home is a mystery novel and a semiautobiographical memoir about growing up gay in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.

The wit, pathos and intellect of the young, gay minister, David Ward, in David Goes Homeis revealed in the mystery and nightmarish search for the murderer of his hometown sheriff in the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma which has haunted him in recurring dreams.  David’s love for men, self-doubt, fear of being outed, and the struggle against the religious right of his upbringing are examined in this powerfully written book.

Returning home for his mother’s funeral, and during this spiritual quest and journey to self-acceptance,David stumbles across clues about the sheriff’s murder and discovers that many of the people he had so feared growing up had far more to hide than he did.

In this powerfully written book, one can almost hear the wind and taste the sandstorm grit.

Grant Spradling, a retired United Church (formerly Congregational Church) minister, is also author of From High in The Mulberry Tree, a collection of short stories. The character of David Ward also appears in two previous mysteries -- Maya Sacrifice and Palenque Murder, mysteries set in Mexico. Spradling is also co-creator of two volumes of Imaging the Word, collections of art and literature corresponding with the church lectionary. He lives with his recently married partner of forty-seven years in Amarillo, Texas and Merida, Mexico.

For more info and to purchase visit

*joining blog tour - no compensation given * may contain affiliate links 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tips to Recover More Quickly from Lipo Suction

Liposuction is the third most popular cosmetic plastic surgery in the United States. According to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, 210,552 people received the procedure in 2014. This is a 5% increase from the previous year. Liposuction has become incredibly popular because it is one of the easiest ways for people to lose weight.

Recovery Tips from Liposuction Surgery

However, it is still a surgery that requires recovering afterwards. Here are some tips to make the recovery more bearable.

Get Plenty of Fluids

Dehydration can make recovering from any surgery more difficult. You need plenty of fluids to keep your immune system strong. Experts at WebMD say that you will need to drink enough water to keep your kidneys functioning properly. This is even more important after a surgery.

Minimize Stress

Stress can be toxic and overwhelming in today’s hectic work environment. You may want to consider taking at least a few days off work to rest after liposuction. Keep in mind that you did just undergo a major surgery, even if it was a cosmetic procedure.

Avoid Exposure to Water

You need to avoid getting your wound wet after any type of surgery. It is best to use a sponge bath rather than showering or bathing and avoid swimming.

Change Bandages Regularly

You need to keep your bandages fresh and sterile to prevent infection. Your surgeon will give you some tips on how often they should be changed and what types of bandages to use.

Avoid Excessive Sodium

Sodium keeps your blood pressure high, which can create excessive pressure on your wounds. You will want to minimize this risk by eating foods that have less sodium. Try to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid processed foods and red meats.

Use Stretching Exercises

Stretching is a good way to improve circulation, which helps repair damaged tissue. You will want to do some light stretches while recovering. However, you need to make sure that the stretches don’t create any tension around the site of your wound. Speak with your surgeon to find out what stretches will work the best.

Wear Light Clothing

You want to wear light clothes that allow your skin to breathe and don’t create too much friction around the wound. This is especially important if it is hot and humid where you live, because perspiration can make it difficult to keep your wound sterile. The most important thing is to be comfortable.   

Consider Your Surgical Options First

You need to consider all of your options before choosing a liposuction treatment. Some surgeons such as SmartLipo use body sculpting instead of weight loss. You may find that this is a better option if you are happy with your weight, but want to change the contours of your body.  You can avoid the recovery challenges of liposuction if you go that route.
If you do need liposuction, then you may want to find a less intensive option. Speak with your surgeon to find out what your options are.

Friday, December 11, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Ken Murray's Powerfully Written Debut EULOGY

Hey guys I am joining the blog tour for the book: Eulogy by Ken Murray. Below is a Q&A from the author:

  1. What inspired you to write “Eulogy?”
Eulogy started quite innocuously, more than ten years ago. On a Sunday afternoon, walking home from enjoying time at a cafe with friends, I became obsessed with the mental image of a boy and his father going to an amusement park, but the trip is neither fun or amusing, something is not right about it.
I started writing that scene – if only to purge it from my mind – but it wouldn’t go away. I needed to know who these two were. Who was this kid? Who was this man? What was their story? What happens to them?
I wrote their story so that I could know it. Their image no longer obsesses me, and I’m glad for that.
  1. Is this book in any way biographical?
The events are not biographical, nor are the people in it. The central struggle about religion has resonance to my life, however. I grew up in a house where we attended churches that preached the bible as a literal document and that were always looking for the end of the world. On the television we had a constant stream of televangelists, and they had all the answers, until I realized the answers didn’t work for me.
So one of William’s central struggles matters to me personally: How do you relate to the world when you come to realize that the beliefs in which you were raised are not acceptable to you?  Rejection alone is not enough. You need to find your own way.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Is Your PPC Campaign Economical?

There are a lot of variables to keep track of when running an ecommerce site. Driving quality, targeted traffic to your site is of the upmost importance. You can have the absolute best site in the world, but you won’t get any business from it if you don’t have interested buyers.
Pay Per Click search traffic is one of the best traffic sources that you can use. Adwords and the Bing AdCenter are probably the best traffic sources, but there are others worth looking into, such as 7Search or Bidvertiser. Before you choose a traffic source, you need to make sure that it is economical and always look for ways to lower your CPC.

Does PPC Offer a Good ROI?

While the traffic from search is among the highest quality, it also tends to be much more expensive than other traffic sources such as PPV or media buys. You need to carefully monitor your costs to make sure that you are generating leads and sales cost-effectively.
You should generally aim for an ROI of at least 20% off of your PPC traffic. This is a good buffer in case keyword bids rise in the future. If the traffic costs too much, there are a few things that you can do.

Lower Bids

Lowering your bids is the easiest way to reduce your costs. However, it should also be the last resort. Lowering your bids usually means that you will receive less volume.

Improve Your Quality Score

Bing and Adwords both use quality scores to determine ad rankings and CPC. You can lower your cost significantly by improving your quality score. There are several ways that you can go about this:
  • Increasing the CTR of your ads
  • Using dynamic keyword insertion in your ads and landing pages
  • Improve the landing page experience by making it more concise, increasing load times and improving relevancy
  • Create separate ad groups for different keywords
The quality score is a very important factor in PPC advertising costs. Try to improve it if it is under 8/10 for any of your primary keywords. Wordstream has some more great tips from PPC experts like Andrew Goodman if you want more details.

Improve the Conversion of Your Landing Page

You need to make sure that the design of your landing page means that your site will convert well. You may want to look into using an ecommerce platform such as 1stshoppingcart to create your sales pages. Make sure that the design matches your brand message and your landing pages are tailored to your audiences.

Look Into Different PPC Traffic Sources

Adwords is the default traffic source that most ecommerce companies turn to. While the volume and quality tend to be the highest, the bids are also much higher. You may be able to get a better ROI on Bing, 7Search or Bidvertiser. You will never know unless you test them. Make sure that you understand the platforms properly first, so you aren’t stuck overbidding for traffic.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Framed Art Review { #giftguide2015 #review }

I recently got a new picture from I am reviewing it for you today.

please read some info about the company first: offers hundreds of thousands of prints in a large assortment of sizes, colors, & styles that can be customized any way you want. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

ww Christmas Parade 2015

It is coming up on 5 yrs since we moved here! wow can't believe it. But anyway, every year since, my daughter has participated in the town's Christmas parade with her dance studio. well expect last year because for some reason we had misplaced the costume. So this year I had to buy pretty much a whole new costume. lol

here are some pics from the Christmas Parade, that was on Saturday.

her in her outfit

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lucky Shot: Book Review, #Giveaway and Blog Tour

I'm joining the blog tour for the book, "Lucky Shot", by B.J. Daniels today. If you recall I read the previous book in the series which was the, Lone Rider.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Hair Growth Botanical Renovation Paraben-free Conditioner #review ‪#‎HairGrowthConditioner‬

Hey guys I got a new conditioner to review for you. This is a nice product and I received it from the company Green Touch Beauty.

Here is some product info for you:

POWERFUL HAIR RECONSTRUCTION: Most effective 100% natural hair smoothing and anti-hair breakage deep conditioning mask for men and women. Rich in fatty acids, omega-3 oils and vitamins. 100% ORGANIC INGREDIENTS. PREMIUM BOTANICAL EXTRACTS. EXOTIC ESSENTIAL OILS. ROYAL JELLY. SLS-FREE. NO SILICONES. VITAMINS ENRICHED. NO MINERAL OIL. NO PARABENS. NO HORMONES. ALCOHOL-FREE. Attention Customers: when placing orders, please make sure to select only those items sold by: Hair Growth Botanical Renovation by Green Touch Beauty.We are the manufacturer and the only distributor of this product here, on Amazon. As such, only we can provide 100% money back guarantee and stand by authenticity and high manufacturing standards of our products. We DO NOT have any other distributors on this marketplace. Please pay close attention when buying as it is our top priority to provide you with authentic products.

WHAT IT DOES: This deep conditioning treatment compacts the cuticle layer of the hair, which will result in shiny, bouncy hair that is not weighed down. Much of the shine that makes healthy hair so attractive is contributed to the state of the cuticle. Cuticle is the outermost part of the hair shaft layer. The conditioning treatment forms a protective layer over the hair cortex where the cuticle cells have broken away, which creates a protective layer of coating over these rough edges. Rose Geranium & Cinnamon Deep Reconstructive Conditioner gently treats as it helps preserve the brilliance of hair without weighing it down. This deep treatment works to repair & revitalize the surface of the hair for instant detangling, softness and shine. Designed for weak, dull, thinning hair, this conditioning treatment leaves hair smooth, healthy and strong.

(read more product description at Amazon website)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Aurorae Candle #Review & #Giveaway { #giftguide2015 }

Hi - I was recently sent something from the company Aurorae. They have many things on their website that are useful for yoga. Such as mats, accessories and apparel for yoga. They also have some new products too.

Such as candles, Microfiber Swim & Sport TowelsTote Bag, Yoga Mat Flip FlopsImpressions Yoga Mat. Also new are the Yoga Towel and Mat Wash: These are great additions to your practice; the towel is slip free and dries quickly, and the mat wash disinfects the mat and towel.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Firmoo Review { #giftguide2015 #review }

Hey all. You know how much I love! my daughter needed some new glasses so i was happy to be able to order some new ones from Firmoo! offers a great selection of glasses online. They have glasses starting at just $8.00! These would be great to add to your Gift list for 2015. Next time my husband needs some new glasses i want to order some for him too from Right now they are also having a black Friday sale.

Friday, November 20, 2015

DARK TURNS: Blog Tour & Book Review and #giveaway

Hey everyone, I have a great book review and even a giveaway for a copy of the book for you today too.

I am joining the blog tour for the book, "Dark Turns," by Cate Holahan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Should You Use a Virtual Private Server for Your Affiliate Site?

Affiliate marketing is a tough gig. There are a number of variables that play a role in your success. One of the most underestimated factors is the web hosting you are using. Many new affiliates want to save their money for their PPC campaigns and SEO linkbuilding, which means that they often choose the cheapest possible hosting plan. Unfortunately, this means that they are often going to be bleeding conversions, because the site has poor uptime and a lot of their traffic never makes it to the site.
After you register your domain name, you should seriously think about investing in a virtual private server (VPS) to host your affiliate site. Here are some benefits to be aware of.

Greater Stability

The uptime of web hosting plans has improved in recent years. However, some hosting providers still crash and others take a long time to load. VPS hosted sites are more reliable and load more quickly. This is crucial for any affiliate that is trying to boost their conversions. This stability also helps improve your SEO.

Better Customization

One of the drawbacks of regular hosting plans is that you have to wait for your hosting provider to support certain applications before you can install them. One of the benefits of using a VPS is that you have control of your hosting at the root level, which means that you don’t have to wait for your hosting provider to support an application before installing it.

Cheaper than Dedicated Hosting

Many affiliates recognize that shared hosting isn’t the best option. They often try to purchase dedicated hosting instead, which can cost $100 or more a month. VPS hosting is a cheaper alternative that still provides great stability and server space. You can generally get a VPS hosting from the same hosting company for less than half the cost of dedicated hosting. Paul Cunningham told the writers at Problogger that this was the best option for his site.

Scalability Options

Another one of the many benefits of a VPS is that you can easily scale your plan. You can start off by purchasing the minimum resources that you need, which is recommended for new affiliates. However, as your site gains more traffic, you can start scaling it by purchasing more resources.

More Feasible for PPV

If you are buying PPV from Traffic Vance, 50 On Red, or Lead Impact, then you need to make sure that your pages load as quickly as possible. Users are usually disinterested in pops and will close them if you can’t grab their attention in three quarters of a second. It is easier to get their attention with a VPS, because the pages load much more quickly.

Create More Complex Landing Pages

Landing pages are some of the most important elements of most affiliate marketing campaigns. Most successful landing pages are fairly basic, because the users tend to be turned off by a lot of graphics.
However, there are definitely some exceptions to this rule of thumb. Some niches such as gaming and credit report providers do better with very sophisticated landing pages with lots of graphics. The downside affiliates typically face with these campaigns is that they have slow load times, which can decimate their conversions if they are using interruption marketing. This isn’t nearly as much of a concern if you are using a VPS.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

WW: Pecans!

Remember those Pecan trees at my son's school? well I've been picking some over the past month. 

This is some of the pecan's I have (my husband did one day too) picked. This just may look like a big bunch of brown nuts. But there is a lot that actually goes into getting these. lol

Monday, November 16, 2015

Why KISS is the Best Standard for Web Design

The design of your website plays a very important role in your success. Unfortunately, many online businesses make a number of flawed assumptions when developing their site, which ultimately hurts their conversions. The biggest mistake is using a very complex design. You can actually significantly boost your conversions by using a simpler layout. Here are some reasons to use KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid).

Soft Sell More Easily

Visitors are often turned away from websites with very complex layouts. They often seem too commercial and can lead to a similar phenomenon as banner blindness. According to one study, 86% of customers suffer from banner blindness, which is starting to affect their perception of websites.
A 2012 study from Google found that simpler websites perform much better. Consumers actually find websites with fewer visual elements to be more aesthetically appealing, which probably explains why so many of those sites with excessive Flash animation fell off the face of the earth.

Easier Navigation

Ease of navigation is one of the most important things that websites need to be successful. According to one study, 44% of consumers felt website navigation is too difficult on most websites. You need to make the site more accessible to get more people to your money pages.
One of the problems with fancy sites is that they often distract users from the navigation menu or even make it hard to figure out which elements are used to improve functionality and which ones exist solely for visual appeal. If your users complain about accessing your site, then you may need to simplify your design to improve navigation.

What Simple Layouts Work Best?

There are a lot of simple designs that you can try. A site with a soft white background, an organized menu structure, a few image headers and a nice looking logo may be all that you need. This was considered far too basic years ago, but has since become a standard layout for many industries.  You will even notice that major sites such as The New York Times have very simple designs that tend to be much more effective than publishers using loads of unnecessary visuals.
There are a number of resources that you can use to come up with simple designs for your site. You could try to look for free templates from WordPress, but there are a limited number of resources available. Another option is to use a DIY website builder such as this one from It has a number of templates that you can customize, which reduces the time that you would need to spend creating something from scratch.
Of course, you will also definitely need a logo for your online business. If you don’t have one already, then it’s essential that you invest in one to stand out. However, it’s still important not to make your logo so flashy that it distracts users from any calls to action, so it may be necessary to deemphasize it if it was created by a designer with Flash.