Thursday, July 31, 2014

READ: 4 Delicious Romances to Enjoy for the Summer to Fall Transition

Delightful, time-travel romance meets Warehouse 13.  Really good, captivating and safe for young adults.
Available here now.

One of my favorite authors with a new HQN story.
Available here out 8/1

A baker with a gift for magic, Mondays and true love.  Lots of fun and delicious.
Available here on 8/1 

Can a shipwreck lead to true love?  Absolutely!  A winner by Elizabeth Essex.
Available here on 8/26

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SCOOP: Straight Talk About Straight Teeth with Invisalign #InvisalignTalk

It's that time again to get check ups, dental cleanings and to brave the jungle for school clothes shopping. So when the opportunity came up to learn more about Invisalign Teen, I jumped on it as we have had the talk to think about possibly needing braces for my oldest in the soon-ish future.  Z was slightly horrified, and I as a mom and former middle school teacher was concerned and have started to do the research so that we can make an informed decision as the time comes closer.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Here's the scoop on Invisalign.

  • Invisalign is a braces alternative designed for straightening teeth, available to pre-teens and teens as soon as all baby teeth are lost.
  • Invisalign Teen aligners are clear and removable --- to allow for easy cleaning, brushing and flossing and allow for a more 'you' look minus the wires and brackets of traditional braces.
  • Invisalign costs about the same as traditional braces and is covered by most major dental insurance companies and up to 50% of the cost can be covered by your Flexible Spending Health Savings Account.
  • Invisalign Teen also has an innovative Compliance Indicator System with small blue dots that fade to show whether or not your teen is wearing the removable system enough to be effective.  
  • Invisalign Teen eliminates emergency ortho visits for broken wires and requires few appointments since several aligner sets are provided ahead of time.
To learn more about Invisalign and the service that it provides, visit here

Check out the Invisalign Sweeps below from now until September 30, 2014 for a free Invisalign Treatment by entering on Facebook here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

TASTE: A Drool-worthy Recipe from Cooking Channel's Rachel Khoo and trekking down memory lane

We've already established that I have direct obsession with cooking, food, recipes and the shows that relate to them.  When I was a kid, of course I watched Saturday morning cartoons, but when the Texas afternoons grew too hot to sweat in the heat and my parents didn't want a couple of kids with heat strokes laying out about the backyard.  We would slip inside and watch cooking on PBS or college football.

There was the fabulously Southern Nathalie Dupree, my favorite Frugal Gourmet, eating with the globe-trekking traveler Burt Wolfe and my sister's fave "Nahr lehns" (New Orleans) Cajun chef Justin Wilson and his famous, "I guarentee."

These days, I still spend some Saturday afternoons with PBS playing because I really like cooking shows where they are actually cooking..... and eating.... and then cooking some more -- preferably in pretty settings or settings that remind me of my own kitchen.

Credit: Rachel Khoo

One of my new discoveries is Rachel Khoo -- an adorably normal, petite British chef that makes easy to enjoy dishes in an itty-bitty kitchen that look elegant while being people friendly at the same time.  I ran across her first show, Little Paris Kitchen, one afternoon while I was waiting for Nigella to come on.  I adored it show much that I promptly whipped out my kindle and ordered the cookbook.  She now has a new show, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: London, where she revisits her culinary roots and takes in the scene around her city.  It's delicious fun.

Image credit: www. with Seasonal Berries and @BritishBerries
With summer yumminess like the photo above, you won't want to miss her site, but trust me her potato au gratin in LPK is good enough for neighbors or to use to bribe children into cleaning their room with.

To your happy eating,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MIND:Three Lovely Lady Inspirational Leaders that I Adore: Marie Forleo, Regena Thomashauer and Danielle LaPorte

Over the last two years, my life has changed in unforeseen and unimaginable ways.  I am grateful for the journey and for the new lives that have crossed my path.

The Light Brings Changes (credit: Teia Collier)

As the journey continues through divorce, birth and rebuilding, I have some fabulous new-ish inspirational leaders keep me fueled with wisdom, inspiration, innovation and mojo-fueled grace. They are virtual members of my tribe and help me be the best that I can be.

Here are three that are on my radar these days:

Business advice and straight-talking advice for modern women: Marie Forleo, founder of B-School and the award-winning web series MarieTV.

Here's one of my favorites: What to do when you have a Spiritual Smackdown

Tapping into your womanly mojo and reminders that abundance is yours by divine right: Mama Regena Thomashaeur, founder and author of the life-changing Mama Gena's School of the Womanly Arts

Here is a snippet of Mama Gena's TED Talk from a couple of years ago.

The fabulously zen-y creator of inspirational words with soul to help you help yourself to figure it out: Danielle LaPorte.

After my divorce, this short youtube video, Credo to Making it Happen,  reminded me of the gift that Lord had placed with me and that it is a crime to let that talent go to waste.... despite how much things go not according to plan.

Enjoy the videos and be sure to share in the comments who you are listening to these days.  

I always love to tap into the good stuff.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

In Honor of Our Blessings as Americans

A fabulous firework display courtesy of my mom who found it via James Finley via Facebook.

Happy Freedom Days!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

LISTEN: Trolling Audible's Pages for Summer LIstening by Rick Riordan, Julianne MacLean and Jim Butcher

It has been a fabulous day for getting reacquainted with past discoveries.... audible books.  One of my loves from my DC days.  They made my commute so much better.  I would listen to CD after CD on my portable CD player on the Red Line.  Then later when Z was a baby I would stick them in my CD player and listen to stories as I went along my new mommy adventures.

Fast-forward in time, I have been reconnected to my love of the audio book (Thank you, Tyra and Julianne) and now that I've been become firmly addicted to my Kindle Fire HD and introduced into the world of the iPhone (yes, I know it's 2014) -- I'm still discovering new-to-me ways to use the devices.

Here are the new treats that I have found for our reading listening pleasure.

For the Kids (Stories that won't drive you up the wall)

1) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Fans of the Percy Jackson series will love this series by Rick Riordan.  While I was teaching Middle School history, I would read to my students a few times a week from a story that had linked in some manner to the content that we were working on.  They loved listening to me read, and I adored fostering and encouraging a love of learning and the written word in my students.

This summer, I chose to start at the beginning of one of his series for my own short people. Adventure- laden and told through the eyes of a early teen and a tween -- it has been a win for both of mine.  We also picked up The Bailey School Kids: Zombies Don't Play Soccer -- it's short -- just about 40 minutes -- but it is a hoot as well.

Credit: Audible (available here)

2) For the SciFi Fan:  Set in our world, but not exactly...

Storm Front: The Dresden Files Book 1

(credit: Audible -- available here)

I positively adored the one-series cult favorite The Dresden Files about a modern day wizard set in Chicago, IL.  So when my sister gifted me with the Dresden Files audiobook 1, I couldn't have been more delighted.   Voiced by the familiar voice of James Marsters, Spike of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer fame, it's escapist fun to be had.

3) Like a really good Lifetime Movie with a happy ending....

 The Color of Heaven by Julianne MacLean

(credit: Audible (available here))

I am fan of Julianne's historical romances.  I love her light touch, believable characters and sweeping romances that have you rooting for the heroine and happy for the hero.  On a lark after reading her newsletter and adoring the cover, I picked up a copy of the first book in her latest contemporary series -- The Color of Heaven in e-book form.

It's a lovely, sad, happy, absorbing tale that is really, really well done. Recently, I won a drawing for the third book in the gorgeous series, The Color of Hope, that came out on Tuesday, the 24 June.  I'm going to do myself a favor and pick up book two.  Do yourself a favor and pick them up.  I'll bet you'll be telling a friend as well. :)

Head on over and let me know what you find.

Cheers to a happy summer.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

WATCH and READ: Real Girl's Kitchen and Set Apart Motherhood

June is our busy season -- lots of changes, camping it out and exploring the city.  It's also an experience relearning how to juggle everything with a newborn in tow.  I have noticed that it takes me exponentially longer to get out of the door.  Planning helps  --- as does coffee -- and more than a little flexibility.  Also to accept that it is ok to just chill at home and have no -- I'm mean nothing -- planned.

Here are 2 of the fun discoveries of the last week:

Think cool, modern food with normal ingredients and fun show that reminds you of chatting with your best girlfriends while reading OK magazine.  Good times!

Review copy courtesy of  Tyndale House

Touching, real-life advice, wisdom and grace-filled talking from a mom that's been there.  As a mom with 3 under the age of 8, I appreciate her advice and inspiration.  The devotionals that are included at the end of each chapter are helpful, thought-provoking and encouraging.  

Available online here -- out July 1, 2014

What's on your summer read and watch list?