Monday, April 30, 2012

Pinata Cookies


All credit goes to She Knows
for these festive Pinata Cookies!! 

It wouldn't be a pinata without a candy surprise in the middle!  These multi-striped, burro pinata sugar cookies are frosted together in sets of 3's.  The middle cookies have hollow centers so that you can fill them with a secret stash of mini M&M's.  That way, when you break open or bit into the cookie, the M&M's come spill out. Just like a real pinata.  Ole'!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Healthy Hair

Why does society fuss so much about hair?   Its either too much hair or the lack of.  Are we vere satisfied?   Just when I think men are so lucky because they don't have to worry about hair, I come to find that they too think about it.  If men would listen to me, I would say to them not to worry about it.  Look at these hot gorgeous men.  Who cares that they don't have hair. Their demeanor, confidence, and success are what makes them handsome and sexy.
Should I cut, trim, color change?   I'm getting frustrated with my hair because I've over worked it with too much heat from the blow-dryer, curling iron, and straightener.   I'm just one of those women that has to do her hair every day.  I need to trim the split-ends.  I also need a trim to lighten the weight of my hair.  I'm set with leaving it brown because that's my natural color. Oh, the fuss..... 
It's easy to see how hair is susceptible to breakages and frizz (hello, flat irons, daily blow drying), but that doesn't mean your tresses are damaged goods. Use these products and you'll feel like an undiscovered shampoo-commercial model. Thanks to argon oil and strengthening protein, "after just one wash, even color-damaged hair looks better".   Chose a hair color that is  loaded with olive and avocado oils, leaving hair shiny and healthy looking,"   Apply the hair color using a wide-tooth comb.   After 10 minutes, rinse your hair until the water runs clear.“To prevent the new color from washing out, skip the shampoo and instead distribute a hydrating conditioner from your roots to your tips.  Blow-dry in sections, wrapping each around a round brush and holding taut until hair is dry. Hair is more reflective when it’s smooth, so your new shade will look brighter if you straighten your hair. Once hair is dry, smooth on a serum or balm with a UV filter to prevent color from fading. 
Health magazine

Friday, April 27, 2012

Crispy Turkey Pepperoni Pizza

I love pizza.  I'm on a new health revolution so I'm glad I heard about this.  Harley Pasternak from ABC's The Revolution and 5 Factor Diet has a simple recipe for pizza.   I personally love the crunchy tortilla crust.  It is very artisan, which for me is part of the fun.  I want to enjoy what I'm eating and take the time to savor the food.  Before I used to chow-down without stopping to taste.  Now I try to slow down and explore the flavors.  A great thing about Harley's pizza, and most of his recipes, is that they do not take long ot make at all.  They are quick, healhty, and satisfying.
Harley Pasternak's Healthy Pizza

1 Whole wheat tortilla
1 cup tomato sauce
Sliced roma tomatoes
3/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced low-fat turkey pepperoni
fresh basil leaves

Ladle half of the tomato sauce over the tortilla and spread the cheese.
Ladle on the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle tomatoe slices and turkey peperoni.
Bake in skillet until the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hide a Tummy

So many women feel that their stomach is a region that they’d rather people didn’t notice. Whether it’s expanded due to childbirth, was never there to start with, or just age and those extra glasses of wine and chocolates have taken their toll.  If your tummy gives you trouble, a flowing tunic should become your new BFF. This feminine style is lightweight, embroidered and, best of all, hides all kinds of sins.  Stick to your size and your body structure. Wearing something too small and too tight will only accentuate the problem and wearing something that is too large for you will only make it obvious that you’re trying to hide something. Instead, stick to a happy medium: your true size!

If You Need to Hide a Tummy

Fabulous for "I-feel-fat" days, this breezy body skimmer ($138, Muse Apparel) helps hide a protruding pooch. The drawstring detail suits any size of stomach, and the cinching creates a waist for anyone with an apple shape. Bonus: The refreshing orangeade shade proves that dressing slim doesn't have to mean defaulting to black.
Beware of wide belts in high-contrast colors — they visually chop you in half, showcasing your stomach in the worst way. Smarter: a thin belt in a hue similar to that of your dress. Choose dresses with ornamentation on top (like the flap pockets here) to de-emphasize your middle.
Accessorize with statement scarves or necklaces to direct focus to the face.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vegetarian Burritos

Try going meatless at least one night a week. Going meatless can be a delicious change of pace when you dine out on tasty vegetarian dishes. You can find bean burritos at many chain restaurants or you can make them at home.  Burittos are good at any time of the day. 

Chipotle Bean Burritos

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained
3 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
6 (10-inch) reduced-fat flour tortillas (such as Mission)
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese $
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 3)
1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
6 tablespoons light sour cream


1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with a fork.
2. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon onions, and 1 tablespoon sour cream; roll up.
Serve with Guacamole and Chips: Place 1 ripe peeled avocado in a bowl; mash with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon minced ­onion, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 minced garlic clove, and ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced. Stir until well blended. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Pig in a Blanket Day

Pig in a Blanket Day is always April 24th.  No one really knows if this was made up as a restaurant promotion or if somewhere decided that this was a very special treat to them.  Pig in a Blanket Day is a day to eat a sausage wrapped in a pancake, add maple syrup, and chow down.  This was a huge favorite for my kids when they were growing-up. 
Hogs in a Sleeping Bag
A manly take on the traditional ‘pigs in a blanket’ recipe.
This hearty version will be a big hit at your next tailgater.
1 egg
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and lightly rolled out
1 package Polska Kielbasa
honey mustard, barbeque sauce or apricot jam, for serving, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut kielbasa into 6 (4-inch) pieces. Cut puff pastry sheets into thirds (6 strips). Roll each piece of kielbasa in puff pastry and place on a baking sheet.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Mini Me

A minidress with sleeves!  I love the look.  Isn't perfect for a beautiful summer day.  Its a bit short for my taste but I can see myself wearing it for dinner the beach.  I've got to find a way to capture some looks.... LOL :-)

Fantastic for playing up your legs, but not so bare that you feel like a showgirl
— and now you can relax in this Josie dress by Nieves Lavi,

Fruit Cocktail with Margarita Dressing

Instead of chopping fruit, we cut it into long, easy-to-pick-up pieces. Serve the extra fruit as a side salad or save for breakfast the next day.  Its the perfect twist on the tequila Margarita drink.  I love watermelon and pineapple, and I like Margaritas, so why not combine the two. 


16 watermelon sticks
16 pineapple sticks
8 jicama sticks
1 mango wedges
8 large strawberries, halved
1 lime, juiced and zested
3 tablespoons silver tequila
3 tablespoons juice from pinapple or agave nectar
1. Arrange 2 watermelon and pineapple sticks in a glass; add 1 jicama and 1 mango piece, then 2 strawberry halves. Repeat with 7 more glasses.
2. Mix lime zest and juice, tequila, and agave nectar and spoon about 1 tbsp. over each glass of fruit.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Tex-Mex Party

The secret to throwing a no-fuss fiesta party is simple.  Being a Hispanic from south Texas, I grew up putting these together on a moment's notice. I come from a large family to any gathering was had was like a huge fiesta, with cousins and sibilings running all over the place.  It was a fiesta every weekend at someone's house.  A good thing is that its very cheap to make Mexican food; rice, beans, enchiladas, corn tortillas, etc.  Also, all we had to do was turn on the radio and the fun started.  A fiesta is about having fun, relaxing with family/friends, and not fussing about the details.  I truly hope you put one together and don't worry if it isn't perfect....just have fun.

First, creative color scheme and dramatic decor.  Set out masses of flower market-fresh carnations .  Hang festive flags made out of flirty "papel picado" (perforated-paper banners).  Save yourself from mixing drinks through your whole party by sticking to one cocktail for everyone.  Stick to large quantities of just a few snack items. No one’s going to miss a thing once you bring out a platter of taquitos and sides.  Put out a few dips and nibbles to go with your main dish. For this fiesta, guests will love guacamole, salsas, jicama strips with lime and cayenne, spicy toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and jalapeño-stuffed olives.  Get in a festive state of mind by cracking open some piñatas.  Send a "Take Home Treat: with your gues by giving themed items like saint candles.

 Pink Saturday at How Sweet The Sounds 

Villa Getaway

AMAZING!!!  This villa is so beautiful and the view is spectacular.  I wish I could get away to a place like this to find some quiet time to relax and taking views.  Getting away from it all is a very important and healthy way to gain balance in one's life. It not only allows your mind and body the chance to decompress but also brings you perspective. I know I can't afford the expensive villa in Greece but I can get away to my neighborhood river park where I can enjoy nature and find tranquility.

Located on the largest of the Ionian islands in Greece, this picturesque compound could well belong on a postcard, thanks to its shuttered pink stucco facades and jaw-dropping views of the nearby sea. Rustic touches, such as terra-cotta-tile floors and painted wood-beamed ceilings, abound in the pair of cottages on the premises.
Nestled on a verdant hillside, this serene twin-villa property of 230m2 is located on the pristine coastline of northeast Kefalonia. Standing above a secluded pebble beach with sapphire waters, the villas afford sublime views over the Ionian Sea and the island of Ithaca. Surrounded by luxuriant greenery they exude wonderful charm. Each house is 115m2 and includes delightful high wood-beam ceilings, an open-plan living area with a fireplace and a kitchen, a guest wc, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.
A refreshing simplicity and modern finesse define the decor. Broad terraces of old brick and terracotta encircle the houses and provide relaxing spots for enjoying the nature and the sea views. The forest garden of 8.000m2 is tiered with steps leading to the beach below. This property is a very private haven and yet is within easy proximity to the cosmopolitan fishing port of Fiscardo. The international airport of Argostoli is 40kms away.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

National Pecan Month

Pecans - the only native American tree nut – have been a tasty favorite for centuries. The first known cultivated pecan tree plantings are thought to have taken place in the late 1600s or early 1700s in northern Mexico, whereas the first U.S. plantings took place in Long Island, NY in 1772. By the 1800s, pecans were at the heart of a full-fledged North American industry. Pecans have a rich history that goes back hundreds of years, but recent history is redefining how people think about those delicious little tree nuts.   source
        Pecan Coated Lamb Chops                 Dark Rum Pecan Pie
 Recipe                                                    Recipe

Corn and Asparagus Salad

I'm eating healthier, more veggies, less fat.  It feels good to eat right, lose weight, and take care of myself.  There are so many benefits to improving your health.  I found this recipe at Paula Deen and it caught my attention because love asparagus and I have several cans of corn in the pantry.  I would have never thought of combining the two.  I will tweak the recipe because I'm cutting back on sugars and salt.  I will probably add cherry tomatoes because I love their natural sweetness.  Looks simple so I should do well.


6 ears yellow corn, shucked
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
1 small red onion, diced small
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Fill a large stock pot with water, salt and bring it to a boil. Place shucked corn in boiling water and blanch the corn for 3 minutes until bright yellow. Then toss the corn into an ice bath. In the same water used for blanching the corn, blanch the asparagus for 1 minute and toss into the ice bath. For the corn, once cooled, remove the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife and cut the asparagus into 1-inch angled sections. Place both the corn and then asparagus into a medium size bowl.
In another medium size bowl, mix together sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over corn and asparagus. Mix together well and chill or serve at room temperature.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Mother

I am so thankful to God for my mother.  She is the most amazing person that I know.  Her faith gives her strength, purpose, and courage.  She is a woman of honest, devotion, and vision.  Everyone who meets her is blessed by her.  There are few people in this world who have her level of strength and compassion.  I will live every day of my life trying to be more like her.  She taught us when were were young kids so we would be prepared to start school.  She took us to church every week so we had a solid faith foundation.  Through her own example, we learned to be caring and forgiving.  Her life was not perfect and she had her battles, but the life she lives now is beautiful. I am very blessed to have my mother!!!!

Bond Between a Mother and a Daughter
Open her heart to the blessings around her.
Show her that joy and Jesus surround her.
Help her to trust in the bible, not fear it.
Teach her that fantasies are the wings of the spirit.
Guide her with love and quiet persuasion.
For she is the Lord's pleasure, his cloud of creation.

~© Krystal Jablonski


King of the Hill

My brother is the King of the Hill.  He is my only brother.  Growing up he was stuck in the middle between two older sisters and two younger sisters.  He was my partner in crime when we were kids.  I was older than him so I probably bossed him around.  But as we grew into adulthood, I began to respect him very much.  He is such a good man and wonderful father.  I remember when he was going to college, I was so proud of him.  Now that he has done so well for himself and his family, I'm honored to be his sister.  After my father passed away several years ago, we all leaned on him.  He was there for all of us, especially for my mother.  I love my brother with all of my heart!!

Gorgeous nephews, fun and brilliant.

Sister in Family ~ Sister in Faith

 My sister Angela is my angel.  A few years ago she invited me to a woman's ACTS Christian retreat, and it changed my life forever.  That was the biggest gift I could have ever received.  The retreat gave me the peace and courage I was looking for.  I grew-up in a Catholic home so I always had a strong foundation.  The retreat gave me a renewed strength and confidence to face my challenges as a single mother.  I will always be appreciative to Angela for the giving me the gift of faith.
Here are pictures of Angela and her family.  They are such a fun family.  I love that they take the time to do family things together, from traveling to fishing.  Her daughters are amazing young women.  My niece Alyssa graduated from college and Samantha is attending college right now. They are so independent and mature.

Here are my nephews, Rolie and Ray.  They are full of life, busy with sports, and love spending time at the beach.  They love hunting with their dad and going fishing.  They are awesome!!

Sisterly Love

A family can develop only with a loving woman as its center. Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

I'm so proud of my sister Gracie. She is the oldest of 5 sibilings and she is an amazing woman.  Gracie has a beautiful family and loving heart.  She is a woman of faith, respect, and kindness.  The picture above is of her trip to Hawaii with her husband and in-laws.  The pictures below are her children and grandaughter. They are so gorgeous and precious.