Gettin’ Geeky With It Throughout the ‘Verse

I am a sucker for all things geeky, nerdy, and surprisy.

I flippin’ LOVE surprises. Which is why subscription boxes appeal to me. So when I found Loot Crate, I was all, “OMG! Geeky! Nerdy! Surprisy!” Yes. With that many exclamation points. And yes, I kind of hate exclamation points.

But I love Captain Mal.

Especially this version of Captain Mal

Especially this version of Captain Mal

And so when I found out the September Loot Crate was full of top secret Firefly exclusives and all things galactic, I was all in with all the chips.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Loot Crate Review

As a grown-up collector (we’ve gone over this: “hoarder” isn’t a very nice-sounding word, but “collector” totally is), I love toys and games and things. The Loot Crate is full of toys and games and things for grown ups who play like kids. So it’s kind of perfect for me.

September Galactic Loot Crate

Here’s what the September box included:

Captain Mal Funko Mystery Mini – A mini Mal just for me. Can I keep him?

Firefly currency – Can I just say how pretty Firefly money is? I love the money in my Firefly game, and I love this too.

Firefly money

Star Trek Tribble – Isn’t my cute little Tribble buddy precious? I just want to snuggle it.

Han Solo Poster – Trapped forever in carbonite ON MY WALL.

Star Wars magnet – I love magnets. Especially now that I’ve got a house with a fridge coming soon.

Pop Rocks candy – They’re going to sugar me up, too?

Funko Alien figure – If I told you I’ve never seen Alien, would you take away my geek card? (This is going in Brian’s stocking. Hopefully, he opts not to read this post. I’m going to count on the fact that he’s super busy with all the things that are work and house and not Chrissy’s little ole blog.)

Loot Crate button – I love buttons. I don’t know why… coughcollectorcough

Halo Escalation #1 Halo Comic Book Digital Redemption Voucher – Fancy code for more things! (Okay, I’m not a HALO person, but my I’m pretty sure this is something that would fall into the godsons would enjoy this camp.)

All in all, I would say that Loot Crate could very well be worth $19.37 (including S/H) depending on the month and your geeky preferences. In this box, there were some serious wins for me (Cap’t Mal and the Tribble) and a couple meh’s (Alien and Halo), but I’ve got some Christmas presents out of those, so it worked out well for me.

The October box (FEAR) sounds tempting what with an issue of The Walking Dead comic book, a mystery t-shirt and the promise of FEAR (we all know how much I love Halloween…).  So it looks like I may be adding another monthly subscription to my life, though I think I’d keep it at a per month subscription in order to make sure it’s a theme that interests me.  A lot of the past crates look awesome (Villains, Dragons, Heroes), but there are a couple that wouldn’t have interested me at all (Adventure, Transformer).

While this is not a sponsored post, I did receive a complimentary Loot Crate for honest review purposes. I was not compensated for my thoughts, and I really did want all the galactic things…and I really did get multi-exclamation excited about geeky, nerdy, surprisy goodness.  

What do you think, Blog Friends? Is this box up your alley? Would you be as excited for play money as I was? Which of these items would be highest on your yes-please list?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tell Me Your Password And No One Gets Hurt…

The following story about password security is true and real and SCARY. So listen up. Don’t do what I did.

While we’re here, I figured I should mention that I’m a brand ambassador representing F-Secure KEY in the effort to change the way people think about passwords and security. While I have been compensated for my time, all opinions, stories, and ideas expressed are still my own.

Password Safety KEY app

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

A story about giving away my password

A while back, I committed the ultimate password sin. My then-boss called me on my personal cell phone, while I was at lunch. “Quick! What’s your work password?!” The panic in his voice and the anxiety in my system (which gets even more GAAAHHH! when I’m put on the spot) responded immediately and completely stupidly. I gave him my password.

Not only did I give him my password, I clued him into the type of password I was, at the time, prone to using. THANKFULLY it wasn’t the password that I was using at the time for anything but my work log-in, but it was MY password. The password that I’m not supposed to give to ANYONE.

Even worse? I found out later that he was on speakerphone.

Now, he didn’t think twice of it as something he was doing wrong. He genuinely did need my password to get into a computer for something. But he should have waited the 10-15 minutes it would have taken me to return and input my own password without giving it out.

After the chaos, I politely sent my boss an e-mail explaining how uncomfortable his request made me and that I felt it was a little inappropriate, and I would prefer not to be put on the spot like that ever again. It was then that he realized what he had done, and he did apologize profusely, promising not to compromise my personal security again.

Since that day, I’ve come to adopt a system of creating new passwords for different log-ins to ensure that I’m keeping myself digitally protected.

F-Secure KEY

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Let’s talk about F-Secure. I’ve been using the app for about a week and a half, and I still haven’t integrated all of my passwords yet. But I’m getting there. And oh-my-God, I’ve had to change 3 passwords already so that I could input them into KEY – but I’ll never have to change them because I forgot them again! Obviously, I’ll need to change them every 6 months or so, but with KEY, I’ll have access to all the up-to-date passwords without a whole heck of a lot of effort. THAT’S what I’m talking about.

I’m not going to lie, you guys. This app? Totally not sexy. Although I’m AM a huge fan of the delicious purple color. But what this app does? TOTALLY important. One might say necessary, depending on how many times you have to key in your password before you get it right…which for me is often quite a few. KEY stores all of your passwords in ONE place, so you never have to remember the 27 billion passwords for all the sites you utilize. With the free KEY app, you can store your passwords on a single device, but with KEY Premium, you can use the app on ALL your devices, whether you’re a PC/Mac/Android/Little i. You won’t have to try to remember all the passwords, as the app will keep them for you. You’ll only need to remember your KEY password.

So who needs another flashy app when the function is what keeps you safe?

Just for you, I’ve got a code to try KEY Premium for two months, so you can see if less than $2/month is worth it to keep your passwords safe across all your devices. Download the KEY app and use the code PREMIUMKEYOFFER14 to check it out.  And even better? A giveaway.

Free KEY Premium for a year & iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi Giveaway

Oh look! The lovely people at F-Secure want to share their wisdom (and give you another device for storing your passwords)! All you have to do is enter, and we’ll do the rest. The Giveaway Tools form below will be open until September 30 at 9:00 PM Central Standard Time. Good luck!

Blog Friends, have you ever accidentally given out your password to someone? How would you have handled the situation if your boss asked for your password?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Living Proof That I Don’t Have to Wash My Hair Every Day #mc #sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Living Proof. I received free products to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.

Living Proof is co-owned by Jennifer Aniston, who truly believes in the products and uses them for herself.

Living Proof is co-owned by Jennifer Aniston, who truly believes in the products and uses them for herself.

So you know how sometimes you just do NOT want to go through all the trouble of getting in the shower, washing your hair, drying your hair, stylish your hair and doing ALL THE THINGS that encompass hair care every. single. day of your life? I know I’m not alone here, people. Not to mention, with my fake ginger mop, I need to wash it less often just to keep the color alive. Well, when Mom Central came to me with a campaign for Living Proof, a hair care system that makes it easier for me to wash my hair less often AND grabs my hair by the ponytail (or double ponytail) to get it under control, I was absolutely in.

I’ve done all sorts of things to combat needing to wash my hair, from baby powder to remove some of the oil to testing out that dry shampoo phenomenon (am I doing it wrong? Is it even working?), I figured trying a new hair care brand couldn’t hurt!

I received my Living Proof PhD shampoo, conditioner, and styling products in the mail last week, so I’ve had a little time to test them out, but I’ll be back in a few weeks to give you a full report on how well it works for my hair. But I CAN tell you about my first impressions and observations.

Living Proof

So far, I’m loving the  smoothness and frizz-reduction which I noticed immediately. I love sulfate-free products because they’re also fab for colored hair. I haven’t used heat on it yet (because I don’t often have time to blow dry my hair when I’m racing out the door to work), but I will soon. Scout’s honor. My hair feels lighter (and I have a LOT of hair). The products have a light citrus smell (probably some type of orange or tangerine), which I don’t love (I’ve always had a weird aversion to citrus smells), but Brian insists that my hair smells really good. PhD doesn’t keep those pesky allergens out of my hair, so I still need to wash every other day to avoid the allergy death match with my eyes.

I’m going to keep it up and keep you posted in a few weeks.

Here are some of the basic deets:

 PhD Shampoo and Conditioner

  • PhD (which is OBVIOUSLY short for Perfect hair Day) includes a shampoo, conditioner, and 5-in-1 styling treatment designed to do all the things! It’s supposed to deliver smoothness, volume, conditioning, strength, and polish with one simple routine
  • The PhD shampoo and conditioner are designed to keep hair cleaner, longer  so that lazy busy girls like me don’t need to wash our hair as often
  • The products are sulfate-free, oil-free and silicone-free, giving you the freedom to use them without worry about less-than-awesome ingredients 

 PhD 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

  • After using the PhD shampoo and conditioner, applying the styling treatment to damp hair (with or without that pesky blow dry)  will  pretty much accomplish everything you want from a hair care product from creating smoothness, boosting volume, and strengthening hair to providing heat protection, UV protection, and static control
  • The styling treatment is oil-free and silicone-free
  • Blow drying with a round brush will enhance volume and body
  • Blow drying with a flat brush will create a smooth, polished blowout

You can take the PhD challenge with me by signing up on the Living Proof website.

Blog Friends, what products do you use to keep your hair under control? Have you heard of or tried Living Proof?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Get Where You’re Getting With Curb

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Curb. I received a promotional code to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

I love it when an app makes my life easier. I love it even more when it involves me not having to walk a mile in my shoes or anyone else’s.

Curb_RGB

In case you were unaware, I live in suburbia and work in downtown Chicago. The Loop. Smack dab in the middle of everything awesome. And about a mile away from the train that brings me in and out of this beautiful city.

Curb, formerly known as Taxi Magic, is a super useful app that helps you get a cab when you need it. I’ve been using Curb, and their network of more than 4,000 taxis in Chicago, for several weeks and I’m never looking back. The drivers are licensed, commercially insured and have all completed thorough background checks. That’s a program I can stand behind.

In the past, I would hope and pray a taxi would show up where I needed it, when I needed it, and more often than not, cabs driving by were already full with people (the perks of working two blocks away from one of the biggest Chicago tourist traps – Millennium Park). When I’m in a hurry, I want to know that a cab is going to be there when I need it. Especially if I’m trying to make a train. Cue Curb, where I can order a cab to pick me up now or plan for later! The process is simple and made my life so. much. easier.

App_Map

Recent occurrences when Curb has been a lifesaver or just plain convenient:

  • When my train was 30 minutes late getting into the city. I was only 15 minutes late for work.
  • When I left work just a few minutes late. (I have my walk time scheduled to a TEE. Any later, and I’m usually out of luck.)
  • When I met Brian for drinks in River North after work.
  • When Brian and I left the aforementioned bar and went to an event hosted by my website host. I love them.

I have yet to plan my next Curb adventure in advance, but I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl. As if you didn’t already know. You can get started with Curb, and as an added bonus for you, my lovely readers, you can get $15 dollars off your first ride! Just use the code: CurbMom14 To use this code, download the Curb app on your Android or iOS phone. Then, follow these instructions:

  • Open the Curb app
  • Tap the gear symbol in the top right corner
  • Tap “Promos and Credits” on the dropdown menu
  • Enter your code and tap the “enter” key on your keyboard
  • After entering the code, $15 will appear on your “Promos and Credits” screen.
  • Full details on using the Curb coupon code can be found here:http://bit.ly/1CnLGVc 

Do you take cabs anywhere? When? How do you call for cabs? Have you used Curb or as its previous name, TaxiMagic? Will you? Tell me all your secrets.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Say Hello to my New Best Friend

Full disclosure: no one is paying me to say nice things. I received the product free from Keurig to review.

Keurig Recall UPDATE 12/23/14: If you have a Keurig K10, please note that specific model has a recall due to overheating and potential burn injury – If you have a K10 machine, call Keurig Green Mountain Inc. of Waterbury, Vermont, at 1-844-255-7886.  

One of the most exciting things happened when I was at BlogHer last month. I was given the opportunity to join some wonderful reps from Keurig and several bloggers for a special preview of the new Keurig 2.0 with a delicious breakfast. After breakfast, I, along with the other guests, discovered that I would be receiving my very own Keurig 2.0 K550 to review and share with you lovely people.

The other day, my replacement Keurig arrived, and now I’m totally ready to show you what it’s all about.

Keurig 2.0 Review Keurig 2.0 Review

The new Keurig has a lot of fantastic features, the most important of which is the ability to brew 4 cups of coffee. I received the Keurig 2.0 550 which comes with the machine, a filter and filter cartridge, a coffee carafe and samples of coffee to use with the machine. Obviously, as soon as it was set up, I knew I needed to try it out.

In the simplest form: I really love it. It puts my old Keurig to shame with its sleek design and touch screen. The modes and functions are all more advanced than my Platinum Brewer. The fact that I can have a stronger cup or a full pot to share (or not share) makes me immeasurably happy. Amazing small kitchen appliances make my day. The new Keurig 2.0 is no different.

Keurig 2.0 in actionI do have a few concerns, like what to do with the 50 billion old K-cups I have sitting around my kitchen, since I can’t use them in the new Keurig. (My solution is to obviously keep both machines – and potentially put one on my desk at work.) There’s also a funny noise that I’ve noticed when it’s operating, so it’s a bit louder than my old machine.

Look! I made it easy for you. With bullet points!

Reasons to upgrade to a new Keurig 2.0

  • The brewer can make a single cup and a carafe with the push of a button
  • Quality control with the new Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology that only brews Keurig-approved K-cups
  • Brews a stronger cup and saves your preferred coffee strength preferences
  • 80 oz water reservoir
  • Customizable brewers with changeable water reservoir illumination colors, night light colors (exclusive to the K550), and coming-soon skins for the Keurig 2.0
  • Hot water on demand (exclusive to the K550). This model brews up to 6 oz of hot water at a time (I use this to make tea and LOVE it)
  • Fancier space-age design with touch screen functions

Reasons you may want to hang on to your original Keurig

  • Because of the quality-control feature, your vast collection of old Keurig-approved and knock-off K-cups will not work in the Keurig 2.0 (of course I tried – wasted one of my favorite Brew Over Ice K-cups too!)

Can't use old K-cups in new Keurig 2.0All in all? This Keurig is fantastic. So if you’re in the market for an upgrade (or you’re not and you think this newbie is the bee’s knees), go forth and invest in one top notch piece of kitchen machinery.

What do you think? Are you as excited about the Keurig 2.0 as I am? Will you be upgrading to the new Keurig?

UPDATE (09/03/14): If you decide that the Keurig 2.0 is for you, the lovely people over at Keurig Customer Support are available to help you swap out your stockpiled old K-cups with new ones that will work in your new brewer!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Makin’ Breakfast with my Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan AKA Corned Beef Hash JOY

I recently had the opportunity to work with Ozeri, who sent me a free 8″ Green Earth Ceramic Non-stick Frying Pan to test out in my kitchen. The product was free, but as usual, no one paid me to say nice things. Those are all me.

I was super excited when this pan arrived in the mail. I’ve been jonesing for a new pan for quite some time now, and when Ozeri asked me to work with them I was all, “HECK YES!” Plus, I’ve been having some SERIOUS trouble with my cast iron skillet, so this was a nice vacation from that.

The color is a happy shade of green, which just makes me smile, and the textured coating is unique. I was concerned by it at first, but I rapidly discovered that it was not a problem at all. When they said non-stick, they meant it!

I decided that I’d be making breakfast for you, since it’s kind of my thing. And with St. Patrick’s Day, I had a corned beef from the Irish deli just waiting to be used. This recipe is SUPER easy, so get ready for it.

Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 thick slice of corned beef (simmered the night before)
  • 5 canned whole potatoes (cooked in the corned beef pot)Corned Beef and Potatoes
  • a pinch of onion powder
  • a pinch of thyme
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Tbs Kerry Gold Irish Butter with Garlic and Herbs (you can use regular butter…but why?)

Kerry Gold Irish Butter with Garlic and Herbs

That’s all.

Steps

  1. Dice corned beef into tiny pieces
  2. Dice potatoes into tiny pieces (they should be a little sticky)Homemade Corned Beef Hash
  3. Mix potatoes and beef together
  4. Sprinkle seasonings and salt over mixture
  5. Mix well
  6. Melt butter in Ozeri Green Earth Frying PanKerry Gold Butter in Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan
  7. Add corned beef mixtureCorned Beef Hash in Green Earth Frying Pan
  8. Fry until golden brown (or preferred crispness)2014-03-20 08.00.18

The pan was AWESOME to work with. I walked about for about 5 minutes while the corned beef hash was frying and sizzling in the pan and nothing stuck to the pan, nothing caused problems. You’ll even see in the video that I created for you how easily everything cooked up in my Ozeri pan.

Of course, it’s important to clean the pan well. It came with all sorts of instructions to make sure that I keep it in top notch condition. Obviously, Brian’s not allowed to play with this one. Yet, anyways. So I made sure that it was cooled down before I cleaned it, as recommended by the product guide. I don’t want to chance it in our shoddy apartment dishwasher, so I have hand washed it every time I’ve used it so far.

Look, guys! I made you a video! You’re welcome.

If you click on the links to Amazon products above, and buy things, you will be supporting my cheese habit. And you’ll be buying a rockin’ awesome pan. So there’s that.

Blog Friends, do you have a favorite pan at home? Or a love of corned beef hash? Or breakfast in general?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How GE Lighting Brightened My Reading Spot

I was offered the opportunity to give a room in my home a mini-makeover with lighting from GE, and I thought to myself, self, this sounds like a great excuse to clean your apartment.

And then it took me several weeks to clean my apartment.

Are you surprised? Me neither.

The One Change I Made to Brighten Our Family Room.

So when GE sent me free light bulbs to test out the difference between soft white light and GE Reveal bulbs, and when I finally cleaned the disaster of an apartment (and put away the Christmas village), I took it upon myself to spruce up my favorite spot in the apartment (aside from my cozy squishy bed…), my reading chair.

GE Lighting
The bulbs looked pretty sweet to me. Brian was just excited to have acquired more free things we need for our home (or maybe I was excited. One of those.). I’m sure he can’t wait to see what happens when we get a house later this year…Then again, neither can I…well, whatever. This is the Chrissy Show anyways. But for now, we’ll have to settle with lighting up the apartment.

I love this chair. I learned to read in this chair. I remember being a tiny little (FINE) chubby little girl who could sit in the chair with her entire collection of Barbie dolls and read a book or put together a puzzle of the United State while watching Faerie Tale Theater’s Sleeping Beauty or Rainbow Bright on laser disc. (Yeah, I had a sweet childhood.) Anyways, I figured it was the perfect place to add a little bright lighting. And I was most certainly right.

 

Below, I’ve taken a few pictures of my reading chair to showcase the difference with before and after shots of the lighting.

Please forgive the barren nature of my walls. With Christmas just recently departed and plans to move soon, I never got around to adding a splash of color to the giant wall behind my reading chair.

And actually…One of the things that I think is really cool about lighting is that it not only brightens up a room, but it can also add depth and texture to your walls. Sure, I don’t have fancy art on the wall above my chair, but look at the way the lamp shadows behind itself when the light is directly on the area. It looks awesome, right?

Before:

When the light is indirectly shining on my reading chair

When the soft white light is indirectly shining on my reading chair

After:

When the light isn't directly aimed at the spot, it's still brighter and more natural

When the GE Reveal light isn’t directly aimed at the spot, it’s still brighter and more natural

Before:

This is what soft white lighting looks like on my book chair.

This is what soft white lighting looks like on my book chair.

After:

Shining the GE Reveal Light on my favorite spot

Shining the GE Reveal Light on my favorite spot

So you can see that it doesn’t look bad with the soft white lighting, but the GE Reveal is actually super bright and makes it feel like natural lighting. I’m a huge fan of the new lighting. And so is Staley the Bear.  We’ve been using the new lighting for a few days now, and it’s really picking up the mood around here, too. Winter may be long and depressing, but spring will be here soon, amiright?!

If you’re interested in learning more about GE Reveal, you can visit GE’s website at www.gelighting.com/reveal.

*These opinions are all my own. Other than the complimentary light bulbs, I was not compensated in any other way to write nice things in this post. I truly love the way the Reveal lighting looks in our home.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Love Letter. To Denny’s.

Yes, yes…Denny’s occasionally sends me gift cards to test out their tasty treats, but if I wasn’t a fan, I wouldn’t say yes. So, just because I got to enjoy the following breakfast sandwich at no-cost to me, doesn’t mean I don’t go there on my own. Because I do.

Dear Denny’s,

Thank you so much for creating a most-delicious breakfast sandwich. I feel like you can read my mind. It’s like you KNOW how much I love breakfast. And breakfast sandwiches, in particular. And a good deal on top of that! Even more so, I feel that you’re really trying to be innovative with your breakfast options. You accommodate the foodies with unique ideas and flavorful combinations. You accommodate the breakfast traditionalists. And most importantly for this girl right now, you accommodate the healthy eaters.

Just because I’m starting a healthy-ish eating plan today doesn’t mean I intend to banish dining out from my routine. Nor does it mean that I can’t indulge in a breakfast sandwich every now and then. But if I can enjoy a healthy alternative that doesn’t make me FEEL like I’m giving anything up? Awesome. That’s where you come in, Denny’s. Because your new fit fare breakfast sandwich? To die for.

Denny's Breakfast Sandwich

Look at that healthy plate of joy. It looked just like the picture on the menu! And nooo, that isn’t a side of hashbrowns that I ordered to go with my healthy breakfast (OK, fine. Yes it is. But I didn’t eat them all…OK, fine. Yes I did. Gosh!)

Now if I was rolling on a budget, and didn’t want the healthy fruit and yogurt side, I could also have gotten a sandwich and hashbrowns for $4. Um, tastier than fast food with higher quality ingredients and…wait for it…cheaper?!

Sold.

Denny’s you’re getting better every day.

I look forward to more delicious adventures with you in the very near future,

Sincerely,

Me.

Denny's Fit Fare

Of course, for those of you who aren’t trying to eat healthy and don’t want a breakfast sandwich loaded with egg whites, turkey bacon, spinach, tomatoes and pepper jack cheese, you can get a deliciously loaded meaty-cheesy-eggy sandwich instead. Either way, you’ll be pleased. I was.

Blog friends, do you have favorite breakfast combinations? Comfort food for the morning soul? Keep the conversation going on Twitter with @DennysDiner

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sometimes I Get So Hungry I Almost Eat Brian…

For the record, y’all…this post is brought to you by the tasty treats that are Gorton’s Seafood. Just because Brian doesn’t eat fishies doesn’t mean I won’t. And so I bring you joy. And a REALLY freakin’ easy, FAST meal. Because Gorton’s gave me some coupons for free fishies. And then I ate them. Not the coupons. The fishies.

Things you aren’t allowed to judge in this post

  • The fact that I tried to hide the dirtiness of my kitchen with close-up images
  • My use of holiday dishware in mid-January
  • The microwave that I quickly rinsed off so you wouldn’t see what a mess it was
  • The fact that I may have slightly overcooked my fishies, but ate them anyways

So…If you recall the last time I worked with Gorton’s, I reviewed their Simply Bakes Tilapia and Shrimp Scampi, which I made for the parents and mom’s bestie. Everyone was a fan. Gorton’s has since become an easy peasy staple in our freezer.

I’m serious when I tell you that Brian won’t eat fish. He doesn’t even want to smell it. Luckily, when I make Gorton’s, he barely even notices. Except for the fact that he has to cook his own dinner. (Except that one time that I actually cooked him something, too. And he was all, “you didn’t have to.” So the next time, I was all, “I didn’t.”)

So last night, when I got home I was FAMISHED. Starving. And I needed food immediately. Brian had already been informed that he was on his own for dinner, so he had prepared himself his favorite nasty frozen garlic chicken pasta thing that stinks up our entire apartment (and then he complains about fish?) I think he did it on purpose actually. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Gorton's Grilled TilapiaAnyways, I got home and took out the Gorton’s Grilled Tilapia, which is one of my faves. Not to be confused with the Simply Bakes Tilapia, this one is microwavable. Usually I bake this in the toaster oven, but I was on a time crunch. It was nuke it or eat Brian’s arm…I like two-armed hugs, so you can see my dilemma.

I tried to time myself on this shiz, but then I realized I was spending more time taking pictures of my food than preparing it, so timing was damn near obsolete. It all worked out though, because in 15 minutes (including photo op time), I had a healthy and tasty dinner for me.

So while the fish fillet was nuking, I was prepping my salad. Super easy. Chop the romain, halve the ‘maters, slice and quarter the cukes, measure out some dressing. Take a veggie photo shoot. Mix contents in Pyrex. Done.

Gorton's Seafood Salad

Why yes, I did add blue cheese to a salad that was going to have a Greek feta dressing. And it was delicious. Duh.

 

Tilapia salad with Greek Feta dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers and blue cheese

The flaked fishies made it kind of pretty, right? I cooked the single fillet for 4 minutes, and it probably could have been done in 3.5, but I wanted to give myself more time to prep the salad. Whatevs. I still ate it all.

Gorton’s is all about getting you to feel your best, so they’re working with bloggers and cool people like me to promote their Real Fabulous Sweepstakes where you can enter to win a $1,000 makeover.

So go try them out for yourself. You can even visit Gorton’s Seafood and get yourself a coupon for fishies.

Keep the conversation alive on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag, #realfabulous.

Not that I feel like you need this, but the FCC does…All of the opinions expressed here are mine. If you don’t believe me, step into my kitchen.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Dear Brian, Don’t Read This One. Please? It’s a Product Review of Your Christmas Present.

Greetings Blog Friends!

Brian if you’re still here, you need to leave. Go read this post about my Christmas Wishlist instead.

Seriously.

Go.

Now.

OK, now. Where were we?

Oh right. Christmas gifts. I was recently contacted by a unique company called Heartfelt Books to try out and review their very cool product. As you well know, all opinions are completely my own, but the book I received was free.

Instead of spending hours organizing photos and creating collages for a photo book, they offer you the chance to create a special keepsake book for the people closest to you. With WORDS, y’all. You know how much I love words, especially words like “cheese.”

By asking simple questions, Heartfelt Books works with you to design unique and personalized gifts for your favorite person or people. Obviously, my favorite person on the planet is Brian…and so I made a Heartfelt Book for him. The site was SUPER easy to use, and they offer a variety of options for friends, family and significant others. I chose a gold foil embossed heart design, but there are others available as well. The book is hardbound, so the quality is much like a fancy journal.

Heartfelt Books gold foil heart book

One of the things I liked most about the Heartfelt Books was that even though they offer a variety of types of questions (including short response, long response, multiple choice, and fill in the blank), you have the free reign to be completely creative with your answers. I, of course, had a lot of fun with an uber cheesy declaration of my adoration of Brian. But I think he’ll laugh. And cherish it. As well he should. I’ll let you take a peek into some of the pages I created for him.

Heartfelt Books dedication page

Heartfelt Books Review

Heartfelt Books short response Heartfelt Books long response Heartfelt Books long response questions Heartfelt Books Review Heartfelt Books Review Heartfelt Books ReviewHeartfelt Books create your own

Obviously, I filled the book with cheese. Both shmoopy love cheese and actual real delicious edible cheese. But only in words, not physical cheese. That would be…well I can’t say gross because nothing involving cheese is gross…Oh just go with it.

As you can see, the book has a single page for each response. My book is about 40 pages, because the back of each page is a simple and elegant design. I think that based on my responses (and there are other pages, I only showed you some of them…Don’t be greedy. Some of this has to be a surprise for Brian.)

Heartfelt Books also offers professional editing (to make sure your grammar is perfect like mine) for only $10. They can even ship as soon as the day you make it, depending on what time you complete your order.

So once I took all of the pictures I needed…it was time to wrap it and put it under the tree.

2013-12-07 09.28.10

Blog Friends, what do you think of Heartfelt Books? Is this something you would make for your love or your bff?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!