Month: May 2014

“Diet” Coke….Misleading or truth?

I happen to come across a bottle of Diet Coke the other day. I am sure you are wondering what I was even doing by one of these. I was food shopping and I was curious to see what was in it. I can tell you with 100% honesty that I have only tried soda once in my life. That’s right, only once. And I can still remember the taste. It is engraved in my taste buds’ memories. It is certainly not a pleasant one at all.


So here I was, looking at a Can of Diet Coke. Of course, my son thought it was something shiny to play with and wanted to shake it. That would have been hysterical. Anyway, I looked at the ingredients and it is so true: There is nothing natural about this product. Every single ingredient was unnatural.  I don’t even know what they are to tell you the truth. I guess it is up to everyone individually to decide whether they will drink it. But I am not sure how someone can drink something with chemicals.  Here are the ingredients:


carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium citrate, natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine.


I also found this article that breaks down what each ingredient means. Again, no one should be told what to drink. However, this is just disgusting to me. There is nothing “diet” about it and it surely is misleading with its claim of zero calories.


Hopefully this will inform those who may not realize what they are drinking.

Here are some healthy alternatives to help kick the soda habit! Enjoy :).

You can also contact me at

Another 50 word Challenge

These fiction in 50 words challenges are the best! Here is my latest from  The Bookshelf Gargoyle:

A picture is worth a thousand words. You must have heard a million. A sigh. Tears. A smile. Fear. Confusion. Pure joy. Do you ever wonder how it all turns out? Those words you heard were the beginnings of something. Do you ever wonder: What comes after all of this?


This was inspired from a picture I posted a few days ago. Here it is:




You can also contact me at

A wonderful way to remember our fallen heroes

I hope everyone had an amazing three day weekend with family and friends. If you had to wind up working, I hope it was as stress free as possible!

I came across this wonderful story on the news yesterday and wanted to share it with all of you. It was about a woman who lost her son overseas. He was a soldier for the United States. She created a teddy bear out of her son’s uniform as a reminder of him. She now makes these bears by hand for other families who have lost someone in battle. According to the site, the family members do not have to pay anything for the bears.

I saw this and was practically in tears. She says that it helps her overcome her grief of losing her son. And she gets to put a smile on someone else’s face who is going through a similar situation.  Talk about amazing!

Here’s to hoping this put a smile on your face. Share with your friends! It is such a great cause!

You can contact me at

A Bonus Kitchen Tip!!

I wanted to share this with you. So, today you get a bonus Kitchen Tip! 

Even though I love a good hot dog on the BBQ (so yummy), in actuality hot dogs really gross me out. When you think of what is in them, it really depresses me. However, today I came across this post on another blog that I frequent and it answered a lot of questions that I had about hot dogs. I hope you enjoy it! I figured it is appropriate since many of us will either be hosting or going to BBQs this weekend.

Happy 3 day weekend!!

Mrs. Z’s Kitchen Tip Friday: Rice and Beans

Mrs. Z’s Kitchen Tip Friday is here again!

This recipe that I want to share with you today I found a week after my husband and I came home from our honeymoon. As a newlywed, I wanted to make something that I know my husband would love! It has since become an almost weekly meal in our home. My son even loves it! I have added to the recipe over the years and I am sure you can find other things to add to it as well. Without further ado, here is my favorite recipe to make.

Rice and Beans (Don’t laugh at it. It really has such wonderful flavors and is so tasty!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2- 15 oz. Can red kidney beans
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 cup white rice
**it’s not in the original recipe but I add a pound of steak strips or ground beef  to make it a heartier meal.

20140522_171949 20140522_172009 20140522_172043

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Saute garlic, onion, celery, and bell pepper until tender. Stir in kidney beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and let mixture simmer slowly while you cook the rice. Stir every so often.

2. Cook rice according to directions.

3. Fold rice and beans gently together and transfer to a serving dish.

See! It is so simple to make. I have thrown in a bag of frozen stir fry vegetable mix to add more vegetables. The ingredients also call for white rice, but I usually use brown rice. It is all a matter of preference.  When it comes to the meat, if you decide to add it, I usually cook it before everything and put it into a plate to keep warm while I follow the recipe. I then add it in at the end. And, I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Oops! I promise you it looks amazing!

I am not sure where I got this recipe from since my original is handwritten. I would love to give the person or site credit. However, all I have is the handwritten paper.

Enjoy this tasty kitchen tip! And have an amazing three day weekend!!

You can also contact me at

I challenged my inner Bob Ross last night

“I have not one artistic bone in me.” That is usually my stock answer when people say that I must have done so many art projects with my students. And anyone who has taught with me knows: I am not a fan of art projects in my classroom. Haha! Don’t get me wrong. If someone wants to come into my classroom and create an art project with my students, I would never say no. I would welcome it. However, having to deal with the craziness and mess that comes with just me after do art with my students sometimes messes with my senses.  Call me mean. However, talk to any of my students. They loved my class (at least I think they do 😉 ).

Anyway, I highly recommend attending a paint night with your friends, mom, sisters, etc. My sister gave my mom and I tickets to a paint night and we went yesterday (my sister was there as well). It was so much fun! The teacher literally talks you through step by step. I mean, she tells you where to put each paint stroke. What do you think of my final product:


This is coming from someone with no artistic ability at all. It was great seeing other people’s paintings as well. There were about 50 people in the room and everyone had a different interpretation. This is definitely a must for everyone!

You can also contact me at

Eggs straight from the chicken

There is nothing better than when farmer’s markets are finally open! The fruits and vegetable choices are amazing and they taste so fresh. My post from yesterday showed pictures of where we visited this weekend. Remember the picture of the chickens? Here it is in case you didn’t see it:


We bought a dozen eggs that were laid by those chickens! Eggs straight from the chicken to our table.  They cost $5.00. Which isn’t too bad. The organic, cage-free eggs I buy at the store are $4.19. FOr only $0.80 more, I know where these come from. There was a slight difference in taste ( for the better) and the eggs were much fluffier when scrambled. I also noticed that the eggs didn’t stick to my pan either. Makes me wonder what is in the eggs we buy at the store.

20140520_135300 20140520_135320

(I’m only showing you 6 eggs because my son and husband have already devoured the other half!)

Definitely go and try your local farmer’s market! Not only does it show support for the local farmers, but you know you are getting wholesome food.

What are some of your favorite farmer’s market finds? Comment below!

You can also contact me at

A much simpler life

It’s always nice to get away. Even if it’s just for 36 hours. I am definitely a city girl at heart.  Bugs don’t do it for me. And the quiet, although peaceful for awhile, gets mundane. But everyone needs some time away to recharge their batteries.  And the serenity of the quietness is just what the dr calls for.
Here are some pictures of life in a much simpler place.

20140518_103110   So relaxing

20140518_103130  Looking the opposite direction of the previous picture. I could definitely stand this for more than 36 hours ;).

20140518_103122  Nature at it’s finest

20140518_104337   Chillin’ at the beach

20140518_105128  We went from a beach backdrop to a farm. I love the extremes!

20140518_105204  Lovely

20140518_105453  You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this chair has probably heard a million.

I hope you enjoyed these few moments of calm and you can use the pictures as a source of comfort. I know I continually love to visit these places :).

Happy Monday!

Mrs. Z’s Kitchen Tip Friday!

It’s Mrs. Z’s Kitchen Tip Fridays!

One of my favorite dressings is Caesar dressing. However, it can be slightly unhealthy. My mom bought a cookbook years ago of just salad dressings. It had the most delicious, and probably healthier, Caesar salad dressing I have ever tasted!

Here are the ingredients:

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon orange juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

a pinch of salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

You then combine all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl. Then gradually add the olive oil while mixing with a whisk. Then add it to your favorite salad or wrap! It is absolutely delicious!

This Caesar dressing is just as creamy as the original type. However, it has a kick from the mustard. Try it!  I am sure you will love it :).

You can also contact me at

Say no to bumper stickers!

Some may think I am crazy for saying this but I do not like using bumper stickers on my car. First of all, it leaves a residue on the car if you ever want to take it off. My second reason is where people think I am a little insane. I feel it gives out personal information. For example, the sticker figures that show how many people and/or pets are in your family. I don’t need someone knowing how many children I have. Even bumper stickers that show your child’s school or if they made honor roll. Again, to me, that is too much information for people I do not know.

family-stick-figure-sticker  Not only does this show who is in your family, but it shows their hobbies. Way too much information!

Then, I saw this on the news the other day. Police are urging people to not put bumper stickers on their cars!!! Because it gives away too much information to people who might want to target you for a crime!!! It makes me feel a little better knowing I’m not the only person who feels this way. You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, she has a blog. She already gives out too much information.” I only reveal my opinions and super fun activities. I do not give any of my personal information.  I am actually a very private person.

So, just remember, it is a warning. However, a good warning to keep in mind.

You can contact me at