Sunday, June 30, 2013

Middle Aged Men and Little Red Sports Cars

I honestly don't have to write too much about this one... I think the photo says it all! Lol...
Do I see a middle aged crisis coming on? Maybe... (and no, it's not pick on hubby day) His birthday is coming up July 4th and I think he is feeling his age, but even though I looked in the mirror and cried when 30 years came along, and then cried again when I hit 40, I realize there is no fountain of youth that will magically bring me to a nice age (as in 21 and thin and youthful again) so I just live life for each day and appreciate the wisdom I have gathered over the years. ;) But-if anyone of you finds that Fountain of Youth, be sure to let me know so I can be one of the first in line! Happy Sunday everyone, enjoy the upcoming week!

Monday, June 17, 2013

McDonald's Egg White Delight McMuffin Review

I will be honest. I don't like eating healthy or low calorie food. To me, it just doesn't taste good. However, when I noticed even fast food restaurants such as McDonald's (where I love to eat!) are also coming out with healthier options... well, let's just say I decided it was time to take the taste test and find out for myself if I'd be sacrificing taste by eating a healthier option on the menu. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals at McDonald's-especially when I am working (which is about 9 months out of the year). My co-workers know that I usually arrive at work McDonald's breakfast in hand so the first thing I wanted to try was their new Egg White Delight that I'd seen advertised while going through the drive-thru earlier in the week.
I am going to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the taste-it was not at all like I was expecting. It tasted great, AND was only 250 calories! It is definitely something that I would order again and again-for the great taste AND the lower calorie count. My husband even tried one (I didn't tell him anything about it until he had already eaten it.) and before he was done, he asked me what kind of sandwich this was since he'd never had it before and it was pretty good. I also liked the fact that this sandwich didn't have any trans fats. One thing I didn't know was that the egg whites are grilled right in the restaurant, and that other egg and cheese sandwiches can also be made with egg whites and white cheddar, saving 50 calories per sandwich or even your Breakfast platter can be customized adding the egg whites instead of scrambled eggs, saving you 100 calories. Since I order those items often, I think I am going to customize my sandwiches and platters to include the egg whites since they tasted so good.
Hey, if you live in Maine leave me a comment below with your email... I was lucky enough to get a few coupons via the Maine McDonald's PR team to share with you all. (one free Egg White Delight McMuffin with ANY purchase!) I also received FREE coupons for myself so that we could try the product as well and give our opinion on it. Even though I received free coupons, the opinion given above is mine based on my own experience with the McDonald's Egg White Delight McMuffin. (and believe me, I probably would have tried it even without the coupons!) Thanks to the Maine McDonald's PR team for giving me the opportunity to review this and offer my opinion-head on over to McDonald's and get one yourself, I'd be interested in knowing what YOU think about it!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lisa's End of the World Party

Earlier this year, a co-worker of mine who is really into freebies (as in she goes home on break to look for freebies and coupons etc...) entered a sweepstakes on a Pepsi site as a whim, never thinking she'd win anything. She forgot about the sweepstakes and got the freebie associated with Pepsi and just went on with life until she happened to get an email. Now as you all know with emails, we've all got some rich relative or unknown person willing to send us money for free or we've won the Nigerian lottery even though we never really entered it. The email said something about Pepsi End of the World and we all wondered what it could be. She called the toll free number associated with the email after we'd googled it to find out if it was legit or not and they told her pending confirmation she was a grand prize winner and would receive paperwork in a few days. She was shocked I think and forgot to ask what the prize was... it drove us all nuts until she got the paperwork via Fedex a few days later. She had won some cash (always helpful since layoff was coming) and an End of the World Party hosted by Pepsi for her and 10 people. We were all happy for her and anxious to hear about the party-we kept in touch after layoff and with a week to go till the party someone had decided they did not want to go and she called me to ask if I wanted to go in their place. Wow! She didn't have to ask me twice. Apparently she was going to be picked up at her home, taken to a local bowling center for some bowling, fun and games, and then we'd head back to town for an awesome dinner. I got to her house shortly before the bus came, and once everyone got on board off we went to have some fun. While I would have liked to bowl, my shoulder problem wouldn't let me do so-and rather than attempt anything like that I sat back, chatted, and watched everyone else. The Pepsi rep was fantastic and let us order whatever we wanted for refreshments ;) and he also ordered some pizza. Everyone took off, either bowling, playing arcade games or playing pool. We stayed there for a few hours and then it was time to head back to town for dinner. Since the place we'd be going to dinner was a public establishment, hubby decided to meet me there. We were pleasantly surprised when the Pepsi rep also ordered him a meal as well. The table was LOADED with food, there were so many appetizers going around and everyone was enjoying each other's company. When the food came out, I couldn't believe it... I'd asked for chicken and steak tips and it was two whole meals (one of which I took home for the next day) hubby had lobsters which he had to eat there, and steak tips to take home. Lisa had boxes and boxes of appetizers left over as well... and the Pepsi rep gave us each a Pepsi insulated cup (which I love!) and a Pepsi End of the World t-shirt (which hubby loves and everyone wants!) I can tell you if it was truly the End of the World, we were going in style courtesy of Pepsi. Tons of food, great company, and lots of fun too. Finally, it was the end of the night and the bus brought everyone home (except for hubby and I since he met me up there we drove home in our own car). The world may not have ended, but I don't think we would have cared very much if it did, we were so stuffed and happy after a great day altogether. Big thanks to my co-worker Lisa for inviting me, and to Pepsi for sponsoring such a fun event!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Review-Out of the Box Sampler

I love sample boxes-I don't know what it is about them... I just find it super fun to open up a box filled with surprises and maybe even find a new vendor or two that I really love. I love buying handmade items and discovering new vendors as well. A couple of years ago I ordered a couple of the Out of the Box Sampler boxes for myself and my daughter as a treat. I immediately fell in love with all the awesome products I found in my boxes, but it had been awhile since I last ordered and was thrilled when I was lucky enough to win a blog giveaway featuring their May box! One thing I love about this box is that there is a sheet enclosed that has the vendors that are in the boxes (mine was the regular box, which had some samples from some vendors, but not ALL vendors-rest assured, they DO have a few of those super big boxes too that have something from every vendor but they go quick!) I was able to compare the vendors I had in the boxes along with the sheet enclosed and see if the vendor was offering any specials on the products. Often times along with the sample you also get a business card stating who the vendor is, and they might even have other offers or coupon codes for future purchases there too. As you can see, the box comes loaded with samples and goodies-lots of surprises for everyone. From full sized votive candles to earrings, magnets, bottle cap necklaces, generous sample sized portions of soap, cards, and other fun items (candy and lollipops too!) there is something in the box to make everyone happy. I was glad to see that although I hadn't ordered myself in a while the quality of the boxes was the same as I knew from before, and although there are always a few samples you may not like or enjoy, someone else may so you can always give them to someone who may enjoy them. The good thing is that you can review the items you received in your box and get in the running for a contest to win a free box the next month. Sometimes even the vendors graciously donate additional items as part of their blog giveaways too. You can actually find their website here which will give you more information about their boxes. You should be aware that the boxes usually come out around the first week of the month and go quickly, so if you sign up for their emails (which I already receive) you get a heads up about when they are up for sale and also any contests they may have going on. Disclosure: I received a free May 2013 Out of the Box Sampler as a blog giveaway prize. In the past, I have also ordered from them personally and enjoyed my experience/products received.

Friday, June 7, 2013

It's time for Maine Seafood! Local Business Post-Belanger's Drive-In

Maine and fresh seafood go together. I mean, who doesn't know about Maine lobster, right? (tidbit about me... I am from Maine and have never eaten a lobster! Yikes!) Earlier this week I finally got a chance to go to Belanger's Drive In, which is a local family owned business that usually closes up in the Winter months and opens up right around Memorial Day. In addition to selling seafood baskets, they also sell chicken baskets, burgers, fries, hot dogs and ice cream-so something for the whole family. (you can find them on facebook here) While I love to eat there, I had to hurry home for an appointment-so brought my whole fried clam basket back with me and took a photo for you all :) This clam basket usually goes for around $11 or so... with fries and a dinner roll, it is the perfect size and although that might seem pricey for a basket, it really isn't-if you go to those fancy restaurants on the coast you will easily pay double. (tourist fees I call them!) Did you know Maine also has native shrimp? Usually when you buy a shrimp basket at a seafood place here in Maine you will get the Native shrimp, not the other types of shrimp the big chains use. Native shrimp are smaller and have a sweeter flavor. My two favorite things at Belanger's are the Native shrimp basket and the Fried Clams (whole bellies) or fried clam strips baskets. Pair it with one of their delicious milk shakes and you are good to go! So folks, if you are ever in Maine and want to head inland a bit, you might just find a few local gems waiting for you to try out.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ah, the joys of parakeets!

Sorry for not having written in awhile, I figured with my layoff in March I'd be filling this blog with tons of thoughts but that is just not the case. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I had an accident that put me out of commission at the beginning of March. I did do a few blog posts after the fact, the good thing being that with blogger I can write a few words, rest, ice, repeat lol. Work starts up again in a few months, and lots of typing and writing are involved so I am trying desperately to build up my stamina so that I can work the full 8 hours with no pain. All I can say is... soft tissue injuries suck. That being said, let me introduce you to the newest members of the family. Previously I had 4 cats, 2 lived outside and in the basement and 2 indoors. On my birthday in January I had to put down one of my cats because she was sick (even though she stayed in the yard the other outdoor cat wandered and he definitely got into something, he was sick about a week, and smelled dead and looked horrible-as soon as she started to exhibit signs of what he had, off she went to the vet to be put away humanely. Unfortunately as sick as the other one was, he took off as we were rounding up Cat #1 and we never found him so I assume he went off to die someplace before I could get him to the vet.) I think we figured out what happened-there was a squirrel that was half eaten in my basement-said zombie squirrel did not look too healthy himself and while it was not rabies we think it got into some D-Con and my hunter cat brought home his kill to share with the one who stayed close to home. I already have 2 cats indoors so my daughter decided she wanted birds this time around. My co-worker Deb was sweet enough to give me a cage that she had from when she had birds herself, and my other co-worker Sarah (the resident bird expert lol) told me all I needed to know and provided me with a couple of books for my daughter to read. On Feb. 1st Kiko (the blue parakeet) arrived. We had gone to Petco to choose one and my daughter said he seemed calm and was staring at her intently so she chose him. (we are still not sure of its sex, but think he is a HE) He came home and was quiet and withdrawn. He seemed to perk up only when we listened to Spanish Cumbia music and would chirp excitedly. I'd put other budgie sounds on my computer from Youtube and he was quite talkative to my computer too, but he seemed lonely... A month later, hubby and I are getting bird food again at Petco when he decides it is time for Kiko to have a girlfriend. He looks at one mostly white with blue parakeet squawking up a storm and kissing another one and decides he wanted that one. This bird is smaller than Kiko and I am concerned they will fight, but amazingly they got along just fine. Deja seemed to think it was a girl bird and named her Keera. Now the two of them don't shut up. When I want to watch TV, they are squawking away-when I shush them they just make angry budgie noises at me and keep on going. My cats want to eat them...literally. For awhile my cat Stubby would gaze intently at them through the living room door window and lick his chops. Lately my cat has been coming in the living room when we are in here and gazing intently up at them. They of course sense danger and move away quickly, taunting him as he tries to get a closer look. He of course knows that they are off limits but doesn't mind watching them-and he seemed almost bored at times with them which is a good thing. But I still won't let them out of the cage when he is in the room ;) So here they are.... the latest additions to the Kiko and Keera!