Friday, December 28, 2018

Healthy New Year's Drink Recipes

So New Year's is this Sunday and we all know that New Year's equals booze. So I've compiled this list of boozy recipes that'll let you get a jump on your resolutions before 2017. Now you don't have to feel bad for indulging a little or a lot on New Years night. Just remember please drink responsibly, designate a sober driver, and never drink and drive.
60 Healthier Drinks for Boozing
60 Healthier Drinks for Boozing : This article offers healthier versions of classic cocktails like a Bloody Mary or Mojito, plus many more.
11 Skinny Holiday Cocktails: A collection of 11 yummy drinks like Holiday Raspberry Shooters there only 90 calories per serving.
Sparkling Pear and Pomegranate Sangria: "A light and delicious cocktail, Sparkling Pear and Pomegranate Sangria is the perfect festive drink to serve for the holidays." From Lively Table
Berry Pomegranate Vodka Spritzer Recipe: This festive looking drink is delicious and easy to make. From Smart Savvy Living
Tequila Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate:  A Boozy hot coco that is vegan, paleo and gluten free friendly. From Diary of an ExSloth
The Ultimate Holiday Sangria:  "Filled with citrus, pomegranate, crisp pear, and cinnamon for one irresistible sip!" From Joyful Healthy Eats Do you have a favorite healthy drink to add? If you visit the sites and create these amazing drinks please make sure to leave a little comment love.  Pictures belong the their respective copyright holders.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

{Recipe} Healthier Sugar Cookies with a Peppermint Twist

J has been pestering me for these since Thanksgiving. I only make them around Christmas as a special holiday treat and she loves them. 
Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 Cup Crushed Peppermint Candies

Directions: Crush peppermint candies (I find this the fun part as I put them in a baggie and take a hammer to them, but you can put them in a food processor instead.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Stir flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl set aside.
Beat butter, yogurt, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add egg allowing it to blend into butter mixture. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extract.
Mix in flour mixture until just incorporated, then add half the crushed peppermint candies.
Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, roll balls in rest of crush candies, and place 2-inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove immediately to cool on wire racks. 

Notes: If your not into the peppermint flavor omit the the peppermint extract and candies for a delicious sugar cookie. Candies are going to melt, I have tried lining the cookie sheets with both wax paper and aluminum foil and both have stuck to the cookies ruining them. The best and easier way to get the melted candies off the cookie sheet is to use very hot water and some good old fashion elbow grease. Serving: 1 cookie @ 69 calories a serving.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

{Recipe} Pre-Workout or Breakfast Green Smoothie


As much as I like my pre-workouts, I don't always want to use them. I prefer to use them when I need a little umph, like weight training or long runs. I wanted something to get me through a short run, yoga or pilates. I was also looking for something that could double as my pre-breakfast on work days. When making this I didn't really have anything specific in mind other than it needed a little caffeine, some protein, and to keep me satiated, vitamins and etc would be bonuses. Yeah, I know, then I probably should just toss some protein powder in my coffee and be done with it. Right? Eh been there done that, so over it.
First thing I did was check my supplies. Of course, I had protein powder. I found a box of Asian Pear Green Tea. I had some wilty baby spinach and a couple overripe avocados, that needed to be used up. Lots of fruits and veggies.




Here's what I ended up using...

Ingredients:
1 Cup Green Tea
1 Cup Spinach
1/2 an Avocado
1-2 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder


Place everything in the blender and mix well. 

Now I like to mention in a pinch I've substituted banana for the avocado, kale for the spinach and almond milk for the green tea. The flavor stays pretty much the same but if you use a banana you get a sweeter smoothie and with the almond milk, you get a thicker one.

Friday, November 30, 2018

{Book Tour} The Devil's Son by Charles Kowalski

The Devil's Son

by Charles Kowalski

on Tour November 19 - December 21, 2018



Synopsis:

The Devil's Son by Charles Kowalski

The son of a notorious Nazi fugitive is running for U.S. President. A Secret Service Agent sworn to protect him meets a beautiful Mossad spy determined to stop him.



Book Details:

Genre: Political, Espionage thriller
Published by: Seabridge Press
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Number of Pages: 333
ISBN: 1724248731 (ISBN13: 9781724248732)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads



Read an excerpt:

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

1960

Azriel “Azi” Horowitz grimaced as his partner’s Zippo flared in the darkness beside him. He had never been a smoker, and in the confines of the Ford Mainline – a clunker, but the best rental they could find, and not out of place in the working-class Olivos neighborhood in Partido Vicente Lopez – the fumes from the Lucky Strikes nauseated him.

“Yaki, you know I have a little problem with noxious gases in closed spaces.”

Yaakov Lavan shrugged, with his usual easygoing grin. “We’re just two old friends having a chat, right, Azi? And we have to do it in the car, because my wife won’t let me smoke near the baby.”

Horowitz had to concede the point, although he still thought it was a rather thin cover story. One small mercy of operating in Argentina was that the sight of two men conversing in a parked car at night was not altogether uncommon, but every little extra touch of realism they could add was vital. If anyone accosted them, they would have a lot more explaining to do than either of them could manage in Spanish.

Lavan took a deep drag from his cigarette, held it for a moment, and slowly exhaled a white cloud with a look of supreme contentment. As much as Horowitz hated the smell of tobacco, he felt a touch of envy for his partner, and wished he had some similarly portable means of calming his own nerves. His mind continually flitted over the long journey that had brought them to this moment – the years of detective work that had traced their targets to Argentina, the months of secretly stalking and planning in their theater of operations – and all the hundreds of things that could still go wrong.

In addition to the unease in his mind, Horowitz felt another kind in his body: he desperately needed a bathroom break. Thanks to one of the men they were waiting for, his kidneys had stopped growing at the age of seven.

Their targets called themselves Carlos Vasquez and José Mendoza, and had the identity cards to prove it, but Horowitz had first made their acquaintance under different names. One was SS Hauptsturmführer Karl Weiss, #7278, the sadistic Lagerführer – deputy commandant – of Auschwitz. The other, holding the same SS rank, was Josef Mengele, #317885, a living desecration of the title of “doctor.” Anyone who had ever passed through the gates of Auschwitz knew him by yet another name: der Totesengel, the Angel of Death.

If all goes well, Horowitz thought, tonight will be a night for the history books. With luck and the blessing of the Almighty, they would soon have their targets in hand and be on their way to the safe house code-named Tira – “castle” in Hebrew – where Mengele and Weiss would go straight into an improvised holding cell, to join the worst of the worst: SS Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, “the Master,” architect of the Holocaust, personally responsible for the murder of millions.

The Israeli government naturally regarded Eichmann as the grand prize, but Horowitz had a personal score to settle with Mengele and Weiss. As soon as the cattle car arrived in Auschwitz, Weiss had sent Horowitz’s mother and father directly to the gas chambers, but knowing Mengele’s notorious fascination with twins, kept Azriel and his sister Rachel alive as subjects for his experiments. Mengele had tried to change Rachel’s eye color by injecting her eyeballs with a substance that left her blind, and then infected her with typhus, keeping a careful record of her wasting away. When her end was near, rather than let the disease claim her, Mengele passed her on to Weiss, who used her in one final experiment to see how long it would take to die from a new type of lethal injection.

It had taken twelve minutes and nineteen seconds before she stopped screaming.

“Look,” came Lavan’s voice, bringing Horowitz sharply back to the present. “Is that them?”

Horowitz gazed through the windshield and saw two figures staggering tipsily along the route from the Hofbräuhaus, the German restaurant Mengele and Weiss were known to frequent, towards the guest house where they lived. At first, the darkness and distance made it impossible to make out their features. Then they stepped into the light of a street lamp, and Horowitz risked a quick glance through his binoculars. At the sight of their faces, he felt a sudden burning pain in his left forearm.

Fifteen years had passed since Horowitz last saw those faces, but there could be no mistaking the granite jaw and ice-blue eyes of Weiss. Nor was there any doubt about the gap-toothed smile that gave Mengele the appearance of a little boy – one who delighted in torturing anything smaller and weaker than himself. Many children in Auschwitz had seen that smile on the face of their self-proclaimed “Uncle Josef” as he sat them on his knee, gave them sweets, stroked their hair – and in a soft, soothing voice, ordered an aide to inject them with poison.

“It’s them,” Horowitz said.

“You’re sure?”

“Positive.”

Lavan stubbed out his cigarette. He turned around in the driver’s seat, pointed a hooded flashlight at the car behind them, and gave it two quick on-off bursts. The crew in the second car would relay the signal to Tabor and Rosen, who were waiting around the corner.

Right on cue, they appeared a moment later, Tabor in a suit and fedora, Rosen in a coat that would allow her ample freedom of movement. They sauntered toward Mengele and Weiss, with the same relaxed, unsteady gait as their targets, pretending to be absorbed in conversation, occasionally leaning on each other for support. To all appearances, they were a couple coming home from a party with a few too many drinks under their belts, too wrapped up in each other to take much notice of their surroundings.

They would maintain this masquerade until they passed their targets, right between the two cars. Then they would turn and grab them from behind, as the driver of the rear car switched on the high beams to blind them. Horowitz, and the other strongman in the rear car, would jump out and help Tabor and Rosen subdue their targets and bundle one of them into each car. They would apply an ether mask to knock them out, and the two cars would take off on separate routes to Tira, where they and their captives would stay until the plane was ready to take them all back to Israel.

And then, Horowitz thought, all the stories you thought would lie buried with your victims will be told to the world, from a courtroom in Jerusalem. The world will know what we mean when we say, “Never forget.”

He pulled on a pair of gloves. The May night was chill enough to warrant them, but more than that, he might have to use his hand to muffle Weiss’s screams. It revolted him to think of his bare hands touching the mouth that had ordered his parents gassed and his sister tortured to death.

Tabor and Rosen were fifty paces away from their targets and closing.

Forty paces.

Thirty.

Horowitz heard the roar of a motorcycle approaching from behind. He tensed, and took an anxious glance in the rear-view mirror. The last thing they needed at this moment was for the police to pass by. The upcoming celebrations for Argentina’s hundred-fiftieth anniversary, which had all of Buenos Aires in a festive mood, had proven to be a double-edged sword for Horowitz and his team. The diplomatic entourage from Israel, one of many visiting from all over the world, had provided the perfect cover, but the influx of high-level international visitors also meant the constant menace of police patrols and checkpoints. The Mossad team was conducting this operation without the knowledge or approval of the Argentine government, and if they were found out, they might well go to jail. And, far worse, their targets might well go free.

The motorcycle passed by the lead car. Horowitz took a sidelong glance and saw no police insignia, just a single rider driving rather unsteadily. He breathed a little easier, but his heart was still pounding.

Twenty paces.

Ten.

“Get ready to meet the real Angel of Death, you sons of bitches,” Horowitz muttered aloud.

***

Excerpt from The Devil's Son by Charles Kowalski. Copyright © 2018 by Charles Kowalski. Reproduced with permission from Charles Kowalski. All rights reserved.





Author Bio:

Charles Kowalski

Charles Kowalski is an active member of International Thriller Writers. His debut thriller, MIND VIRUS, won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold Award, and was a finalist for Killer Nashville's Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller of 2017. His latest, THE DEVIL'S SON, was shortlisted for the 2018 Adventure Writers' Competition Grandmaster Award. He divides his time between Japan, where he teaches at a university, and Downeast Maine.

Catch Up With Charles Kowalski On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!





Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Kowalski. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on November 19, 2018 and runs through December 22, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Motivation Monday!

I'm reinstituting Motivation Monday in an effort to inspire myself to get my butt in gear.




Tuesday, November 20, 2018

{Podcast Review} Mind Pump

Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth
By Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer, Justin Andrews, Doug Egge
Category: Fitness & Nutrition

Mind Pump exposes the RAW TRUTH about health, fitness, nutrition and more... Hosts Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer & Justin Andrews pull back the curtain on the mythology, snake oil and pseudo-science that pervades the fitness industry and present science-backed solutions that result in increased muscular development and performance while simultaneously emphasizing health. No fitness institution or fitness "truth" is safe from their quick wit and over 40 years of combined experience in the fitness industry. Produced by Doug Egge.


Review:
These guys are funny, smart and not half bad to look at. Let's face it any fitness show that references Volton and has a host posing as Wolverine is going to have my vote.
I went back and began listening from episode 1, these guys have just blown my mind. They produce facts and statistics to back what they do. I found them hilarious, but it's in a crass way that might not be for everyone. Yet they did have me laughing so bad that my boss came up and asked what I was listening to.
I like that while these guys are all in the fitness profession they don't seem to take themselves overly seriously. Their regular guys talking about this stuff, and they don't make it overly technical. It's a show anyone from a causal fitness person to the profession will find interesting.
Now I'm not going to sugar coat this they are trying to make a brand and sell a product with the show. Yet they are are also really informative while doing so, which mean personally I forgive those promo drops.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

{Recipe} Butterscotch Cinnamon (Mini) Pie

I'm totally blaming J for this recipe, she really wanted to give it a try as she's an Undertale junkie. Now I have not played this game, but the kids love it and J's played through most of the modes. For the uninitiated, like myself, here's a quick overview.

You are a human child that falls into the Underground, which is home to all sorts of monsters. The monsters were banished there after a war between them and the humans. One of the first monsters you run into is Toriel, a motherly goat-like monster. She takes you in and teaches you how to protect yourself from the other monsters. One of the things she gives you is a butterscotch cinnamon pie which heals all Hit Points. Then you go off to find a way home.



What I said it'd be quick.
Now I can't make pie crust to save my life so we went with a graham cracker crust and because I'm cheap we went with an instant pudding mix.  If you want to go all out check out the Geeky Chef's post.

Ingredients:
Crust-
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Filling-
1 box Butterscotch Instant Pudding
2 cups of milk (or per the box)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Topping:
Whipped Cream

Directions:
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended. Press mixture into 8 mini pie or dessert dishes (you could also make a 1 8 inch pie). Place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Make pudding per box instructions and add cinnamon. Let set in fridge with crust. Pour filling into crust and top with whipped cream.


The kids loved this and being able to have their own individual pie was a bonus.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

{Pre-Workout Review} ProSupps Mr Hyde CUTZ (Blue Razz)




This pre workout has a chemical mix that also help with cutting or losing weight. I didn't get a big enough sample to be able to attest to that particular characteristic. What I can tell you is that this tastes pretty good, I liked the blue razz. It didn't mix very well though leaving some granules in the bottom. 



Based on some recommendations I'd read I added some water and drank these, this was a bad idea they wound up burning my tongue. It gave me a pretty good energy boost, that lasted a good while and no crash after. I didn't have the crappy side effects that other pre workouts have had either. Overall I liked this pre workout very much.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

{Recipe} Peach Green Tea Smoothie

I've had these bags of green tea sitting in the cupboard for awhile now and I was trying to figure out what to do with them, I came up with this.
It's a great breakfast smoothie as it fills you up and gives you a caffeine boost. 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups frozen peaches
 2 tea bags green tea
1 cup coconut milk
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (optional)

Directions:
Brew green tea and let cool. Place green tea, coconut milk, and protein powder in a blender mix. Then add peaches, blend until smooth.
This makes 4, 8 ounce servings @ around 109 calories depending on your protein powder.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

{Protein Review} Vade Dissolvable Protein Scoop Combo Pack

I received the Vade Dissolvable Protein Scoop combo pack in one of my JackedPacks. This came with vanilla and chocolate packs, one of each flavor. Each pack is 90cal and contains 20g protein, 3.8g BCAA, 0g Sugar, 1g Fat and 2g Carbs.  
Now, these are a great idea, but poor execution. The idea is to have a compact, easy to carry pack of protein powder so you can just toss it in your liquid of choice and go. While the packs are convenient and easy to carry there are other issues with them. They don't shake up for shit. The vanilla clumped, and the chocolate ended up a ball in the bottom of my cup. Seriously it was just gross. 
I was disappointed with this taste wise as well, the vanilla had no flavor what so ever. The chocolate had a slight flavor, but I don't know if this is due to it not shaking up or what. I have to add in full disclosure that after the disaster that was the vanilla, I added some Alias Mint flavor to the chocolate. It sort of overwhelmed the chocolate so that could have been a factor too.
I was really disappointed with these pouches it was such a neat idea, but it was like the company put to much focus on the pods and not enough on the protein powder. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday Cup of...


Welcome to Sunday Cup of... grab your favorite beverage and visit with me for a bit.
Sunday Cup of... is a combination post featuring, 
The Sunday Post Hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer
I share my week, what's going on around the blog, and what books I'm reading or have finished.


On the blog this week!
Monday, October 29, 2018

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Well, I hope everyone had a fun Halloween, we ended up staying home and watching scary movies. C is the only one trick or treating and he didn't want to go out in the rain and cold. So we bought a bunch of candy and snacks and had a little family Halloween party. Oh don't forget to fix your clocks, personally, I'm looking forward to an extra hour of sleep. Ok who am I kidding, there will be no extra sleep but it's nice to dream. 

Other Stuff-
What I'm Reading:
All links go to Goodread pages

Currently Reading:
Hex Marks the SpotThe Silent Grove (Dragon Age Graphic Novels #1)The Stolen Throne (Dragon Age, #1)


What I'm watching:
Lately, DK and I have been watching a couple new shows. We binge watched the new Castlevania series from Netflix (I'll probably have a review up later) and a show called Stan Against Evil. I almost peed my pants I got laughing so hard at the guy who plays Stan. It's kinda a monster of the week type show but super funny. I'm also watching the new season of The Walking Dead, mainly because I really want to see how they kill off Rick. 

Stan Against Evil PosterCastlevania PosterThe Walking Dead Poster


What I'm Playing:
Yes I'm still playing Fallout 4 I fecking love that game, I've also got some fanfiction going on Instagram so I kinda have to. I restarted Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age Inquisition, I'm also playing Dragon Age II but I'm currently stuck. 
Fallout 4 PosterDragon Age: Origins PosterDragon Age II PosterDragon Age: Inquisition Poster




I saw my doctor the 29th and she told me I have moderate depression on top of everything else. Color me not surprised. She says it's situational (duh) and doesn't want to give me meds (good because I don't want them). But does think me getting back into working out will be beneficial so I'm restarting the #Fitreader postings. It's a way for me to stay accountable, and I'm more apt to do it if I know I'm going to be posting at the end of the week. 

Thu 1, 30:13mins Running but my phone was screwy and wouldn't register steps
Fri 2, 3.55 mi 35:34mins Running
Sat 3, rearranged furniture that totally counts

So that's it for this week, hope you'll stop by next Sunday. Have a great week!



Saturday, November 3, 2018

{Book Blitz} Hex Marks The Spot by Ani Gonzalez

Hex Marks The Spot banner


This is my stop during the book blitz for Hex Marks The Spot by Ani Gonzalez. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 29 October till 4 November. See the tour schedule here.



Hex Marks The SpotHex Marks The Spot (Drop Dead Witchy #1)
By Ani Gonzalez
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age category: New Adult, Adult
Release Date: 21 October 2018

Blurb:

Going to Hell is easy. Going back home is a different story.

They say you can never go back. I wish that was the case.
Returning home is complicated when you’re a necromancer and your hometown is the Most Haunted in America. It doesn’t help that your pet hellhound chihuahua thinks the place is a dump, and it gets worse when your high school crush is still there and still dead sexy. Literally, as he’s now a ghost.
Oh, and did I mention that I have to save the world? I tell you, going to Hell is easy.

You can find Hex Marks The Spot on Goodreads

You can buy Hex Marks The Spot here on Amazon


Ani GonzalezAbout the Author:

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal romantic comedy and cozy mystery (whew, that's a mouthful!) set in Banshee Creek, Virginia, The Most Haunted Town in the USA. My books feature feisty, irrepressible heroines dealing with a host of paranormal critters (ghosts, cryptids, pagan gods...the sky's the limit) and mysteries. They find love and laughter (and sometimes corpses) along the way, and readers get to follow them every step of the way.
I love quirky towns with spooky stories, and, thanks to my books, I get to "live" in one year-around. In real life I live in a Virginia suburb (which is sadly lacking in ghosts) with my husband, three children, two cats, and one adorable dog.
You can find and contact Ani Gonzalez here:

- Website

- Facebook

- Twitter

- Goodreads

- Amazon

- Bookbub