Who Am I When I’m Hungry? You Don’t Want to Know!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #WhenImHungry #CollectiveBias

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It is SO a word! This is how I had to explain to my kids that HANGRY is really a word. As in… I’m so hangry I need a SNICKERS® Bar! They didn’t believe me… as if their Mom (who might be old but is still hip to the current lingo) doesn’t know what it means to be so hungry that you turn downright angry. They know I don’t do well when I’m hungry… my husband thinks I turn into a child.

When David and I met (all those years ago) we found out we had something in common: our love for SNICKERS®. I am not a nut-lover and if you handed me a bag of peanuts or almonds or walnuts, I’d probably hand them right back to you. I don’t like nuts, except when they are surrounded by caramel and chocolate… like in a SNICKERS® Bar. Still… there is nothing I want more when I’m really starving than to stop into a CVS somewhere and pick up a SNICKERS®. I never really outgrew my candy fixation. If I have some in the house, I have to hide it really well. My kids can sniff out a morsel of candy hidden deep in the crevices of a piece of furniture. It’s scary.

Back before kids, we would spend a lot of time in the car. First there was the driving around town looking for wedding venues. Then we drove around looking for rental houses. Eventually, the drive headed in the direction of permanent houses… and it took 6 months to find our house. That is a lot of looking… and spending time in the car… and a LOT of getting hungry… because going in and out of houses is tedious business. And I’m not much fun when I’m hungry. Yep… I kind of do act like a child and get cranky and grumpy. When either one of us started to get that look… you know the one… we would pull over and head for the chocolate.

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Even now when we’re out with the kids and we all get crazy hungry, we make a beeline for a SNICKERS®. Of course, now we have way more choices:

SNICKERS® EXTREME

SNICKERS® PEANUT BUTTER

SNICKERS® ALMOND

You know what my favorite time of year is? It’s Halloween, when I can steal all the kids’ mini SNICKERS® bars and hide them in the freezer. There is NOTHING better than a frozen SNICKERS® bar. Shhhh… don’t tell them! It’s our little secret.

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Even though we don’t normally spend hours in the car anymore, I still spend hours working on my laptop. Sometimes I work through lunch and before I know it it’s time to pick up the kids. Talk about hangry. Hopefully I’ll be able to uncover some hidden SNICKERS@ in the house so I don’t have to spend the afternoon all grumpy.

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Enter the SNICKERS® “Who are you when you’re hungry?” contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Facebook, Instagram or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.

See more great SNICKERS® recipes and fun stories on the SNICKERS® social hub.

And don’t forget to pick up some bars for the next time you are hungry.

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If you are enjoying the #WhenImHungry campaign, check out more fun videos on YouTube and follow SNICKERS® on Facebook and Twitter.

What is your go-to snack when you’re hungry?


From Old to New: Recycle – Upcycle – Reuse

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias

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We’re a family of 5 and that really only means one thing… we go through A LOT of stuff. And when I mean stuff, I mean we generate a lot of trash. We do a lot of recycling and our big blue bin (recyclables) usually gets filled up before the green trash bin does. I’m talking cardboard boxes (we do a lot of online shopping), glass jars (we do a lot of cooking) and the weekly newspapers… because I just can’t bring myself to read my Sunday paper online. Not the same.

I hate throwing things out… and while I’m happy that a great deal of what we get rid of can be recycled, I try really hard to re-use what we have if at all possible. I thought I’d share some of my favorite projects to recycle, upcycle, and reuse the products we have lying around the house.

I usually pick up most of my craft supplies while I’m in Walmart doing my weekly shopping. I needed to get some spray glue and chalkboard paint for the crafting I had in mind. I also needed to replace some batteries… oh who am I kidding, I ALWAYS need to replace some batteries… and I came across these new Energizer EcoAdvanced batteries. What? These batteries are actually recycled from other batteries and materials – the first battery of it’s kind on the market. I love that they have figured out a way to recycle batteries. Never liked having to just throw them out. What a waste. I picked up a pack of AA (remote controls, flashlights, Wii remotes, chargers) that we go through all the time. These are Energizer’s longest lasting alkaline ever! Wow… EVER! They come in AAA size as well. They also hold up to 12 years in storage which is phenomenal because I’ve been really concerned lately about having batteries in our emergency kit… and regular batteries don’t last that long.

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Looking for batteries at Walmart? Sometimes they are hard to find. Check out the Video Game/Electronics section of your store to find the battery kiosk.

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I have so many glass jars and bottles around the house. I really hate throwing them out, but they don’t really look all that pretty. Growing up, my mother was a painter and she always used glass jars for her pain brushes. I love anything that is rustic looking or shabby chic, so I like being able to reuse the jars in different ways.

I’m going to show you how easy it is to make your old jars beautiful… and functional again.

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Supplies:
Glass jars or bottles
Spray primer (any color)
Spray chalkboard paint (or any other color of paint you choose)

1. You can use any glass jar or bottle you have around the house. Glass milk bottles are a lot of fun (if you get them) and I know you always have some pasta sauce jars or pickle jars. Even baby food jars are really fun. I’ve done this with wine bottles as well.

2. Make sure you have taken off every inch of paper labels the jar has. I usually soak them in really hot water or run them through a hot dishwasher… but only if it’s full… you don’t want to waste water on just jars. I live in California, we don’t waste ANY water if we can help it.

3. The glass has to be completely clean. Free from paper, liquid, lint, anything that would prohibit a smooth finish.

4. You want to do this project outside since you are going to be spray painting.

5. Just stand the bottles or jars upright and you are going to cover them in a VERY thin coat of the primer. I’ve spoken with several painters and when you are painting glass you absolutely need primer or the paint will eventually peel off the glass. But… you don’t want a thick layer of primer because that will peel off as well. Just a super fine mist of primer is what you want. Make sure you do cover ALL the glass, however. Just lightly.

6. Let dry completely.

7. When dry, you are going to spray on your chalkboard paint. Now, you CAN do this with a paintbrush, but it’s going to be more time consuming and you aren’t going to get the super sleek finish you want.

8. Let dry completely. Again.

9. Decorate… or leave as is. Up to you.

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I have these great chalkboard markers that are perfect for a craft like this. You can write anything you want on the bottles and no chalky mess. If you prefer the regular chalk look, you can absolutely use those as well.

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Pretty cute, right? Want something even easier to do with those left over cereal boxes and magazines? Make bookmarks!

Between the kids and me, we have tons of books that are in the process of being read at any given time. And… we never can find anything to use as a bookmark. Seriously… you’d think we’d have things but we don’t. I usually end up using a hairband or something. Ugh!

These, however, are super fun and easy… and you can make as many of them as you like.

Supplies:
Empty cereal boxes
Magazines
Spray glue
Scissor or utility knife for cutting
Cutting board (so you don’t slice up your table or floor)
Straight edge/ruler
Hole Puncher
String or ribbon

1. Cut your cereal boxes apart so the cardboard if flat.

2. But pieces that are about 1 1/2″ x 7″.

3. Tear out pages of the magazines that you really like and cut them to the same size.

4. Spray the cardboard on the colorful side since that will be covered.

5. Carefully place your magazine cut out over the glue.

6. When dry, punch a hole at the top to tie a string or ribbon to.

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I found this ad for Cinderella in one of my magazines and thought it would make a great bookmark. Unfortunately, all THREE of my kids wanted it for themselves. So, now I’m on the hunt for more Cinderella ads.

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These are great gift ideas because you can make a bunch of them with the most adorable images on them.

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I’ve also done some other really fun crafts that I still have around the house.

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These are some other of my favorite projects. I attended a really awesome painting class at Boho Upcycle in Atwater Village here in Los Angeles. We learned how to use different types of chalk paint and milk paint to paint on glass mason jars. It was fabulous and I love how the jars came out. I’d much rather have a bunch of pretty (and useful) jars around the house than just tossing out old pasta sauce containers or pickle jars.

I made this adorable newspaper gift bag at another craft class I attended a few years ago. Who wants to spend money of gift bags when you can make them yourself from your old newspapers?

The twine pears I made last fall – the perfect way to recycle light bulbs. A big bowl of these would look so great on your coffee table. I think I’m going to do some more with different colored twine.

Enter Energizer’s GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway. They are giving away $1,000 in Gift Cards.

GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway – $1,000 in Gift Cards

How do you recycle, upcycle and reuse objects around your home? I’d love for you to link up in the comments so I can see your projects.

Learn more about the NEW Energizer EcoAdvance Batteries on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Welcome to Valencia a.k.a. “Awesometown”

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You all know I live in Awesometown, right? Seriously! Someone, somewhere decided a few years ago that they would nickname Valencia Awesometown. It was quite the concept and had some people snickering. After the laughter wore off, we realized that it was kind of cool to be known as Awesometown. I’ve been living here 16 years and it’s been the perfect place to raise my family.

Since we moved here from the San Fernando Valley we have seen immense growth in the shopping, restaurants and variety of housing that is available. Of course, we moved here specifically for the affordable homes and the amazing school districts. It also doesn’t hurt that we are minutes away from Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. Oh yea… the season passes are the best deal around.

Want more things to do? We’ve got a phenomenal Aquatic Center, a huge Sports Complex, an Ice Rink, 2 Bowling Alleys, and the best parks and hiking trails in Southern California. And the building isn’t stopping. More communities, more retail, and I hear we are getting another movie theater as well. We even have an In-N-Out!

I hear about more people every day who are moving up hear… and I say UP because everyone things we are SO far away from LA. We aren’t… we’re just “up the 5″ a short drive. Intrigued yet?

I’m co-hosting a Twitter Party on March 24th from 6pm – 7pm and would love to have you join me, as well as my friend and business partner, Melissa Dell from MellissaDell.com and Caryn Bailey from Rockin’ Mama as we show you how much we love our city and why YOU should be our neighbor. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about living in Valencia.

Oh… and there will be prizes! Did I not mention that? One grand prize winner will receive a $200 American Express gift card and six trivia prize winners will receive gift cards to local restaurants and activities. How awesome is that!?

Make sure to follow us all on Twitter and RSVP to be eligible to win prizes.

@ValenciaSoCal
@CarolynRWest
@Melissa_Dell
@RockinMama

#LiveInAwesometown

Rules & Regulations


Zazzle Fabric Review

Thank you Zazzle for providing a complimentary yard of fabric for review. All opinions are my own.

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I have this weird thing about fabric. I love it. I mean, truly love it. I love new patterns, colors, textures. I think it stems back from when I was in design school, learning all about fibers and different kinds of wool and how nylon and polyester works for certain applications and not others. I studied fabric like a mathematician would study numbers or a chef studies sauces. It was my thing. Fabric.

There was a point where I actually considered myself pretty crafty. I made pillows and tote bags and poured over the bolt options from fabric stores and craft stores. I even made my own slipcovers once. Boy, that was quite the project. When I was young, I was all about Laura Ashley and the incredible floral patterns patterns she created. As I got older, I switched to being enamored by Rachel Ashwell… I’m a Shabby Chic girl at heart. I thought it would be so much fun to design my own fabric. Who on earth does that? Well, I DO THAT!

You might have heard of Zazzle.com – they are this amazing website where you can not only purchase products such as business cards and mugs and t-shirts and iPhone cases and notebooks and now… FABRIC!

But not only can you purchase all of this, you can DESIGN all of this. Yep… even the FABRIC!

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Zazzle makes it almost too easy to design anything you could ask for on fabric. The best part is you only have to order what you need. None of this set up fee and minimum 100 yard order business. There is NO set-up fee (really!!!!) and your order can be as small as a swatch… or as much as multiple yards. You can order a fat square (if you quilt, this is awesome news) and I decided I just needed about a yard.

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Not creative? That’s okay, there are tons of patterns to choose from.

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So… here’s what makes it super easy. You choose your design, your background color, your size, your quantity, and you even have a choice of the type of fabric: combed cotton, pima cotton, cotton twill, polyester poplin, polyester weave, ivory linen, and natural linen. Need some help? That’s okay… Zazzle gives you that too.

I knew exactly what I wanted… my business logo on the combed cotton fabric. I wanted to make some pillows for my new office and this was so perfect for me.

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I couldn’t wait to see the finished product and it did NOT disappoint.

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Shipping was super fast and the fabric was neatly packaged in plastic to protect it from the elements.

The colors were bright and well saturated. There was no fading or discoloration of any kind and I can’t wait to get my pillows made. This is what they’ll look like when finished.

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Pretty cool, don’t you think? This is what our logo looks like…

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I’m so excited to see our logo on fabric. Now I want to put our logo on EVERYTHING! Good thing we can with Zazzle.com.


Ford EcoBoost® Challenge Drive

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We’re a car family. I say that because if there is a free weekend, you can probably find my husband test driving a car at some local dealership. Or, if he isn’t test driving, he is scouring the internet for cars: new cars, used cars, classic cars… he loves them all. Me? I’m more inclined to go for the pretty car. Talk to me about engines all you want, but I want something that drives well, has enough power when I step on the gas, and makes me look gooooood! Am I right?

We’ve had all kinds of cars over the years and we are in the process of replacing two cars. They need to go. Which means, we really need to get serious about what kinds of cars we want.

Ford invited me to test drive their EcoBoost® Cars during the Los Angeles leg of their 17-city EcoBoost® Challenge Tour. Test drive cars? I’m in.

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It was a gorgeous day in Southern California, out at Santa Anita Racetrack. All the cars at the event had the Ford EcoBoost Engine. I could tell you all about it, but I bet you’d rather look at this fun graphic Ford sent me.

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And now to the cars. The ones I really wanted to drive were the Mustang and the Edge.

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I got in line to drive the Mustang first. The Mustang has a new 310 horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost® 14ı and Upgraded 435 horsepower 5.0L V8. Of course I chose the manual over the automatic (sad that more people don’t know how to drive a manual these days). I ended up in the yellow car – my daughter’s favorite color.

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I drove the Mustang around the obstacle course, being able to speed up and take the curves. It handled really well and was an easy car to drive. The only problem I personally had with it was the fact that I’m kind of… ahem… vertically challenged. Okay… I’m short! I really felt like there was way too much “car” around me, which is odd because I drive an SUV, but I felt very small inside the car.

The next car I drove was the Edge. I really like this car and was lucky enough to actually get on the road with this one.

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So, the Edge is completely new for 2015. The standard twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost® four cylinder has fuel economy without compromising power. For even more performance there is an available 315 HP 2.7-liter V6… the most advanced EcoBoost® yet!

There are some great features as well. There is an 180 Degree Camera, Blind Spot Monitoring System (BLIS), Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control. It also is the first Ford to offer Enhanced Park Assist… the technology so the car can back into a parallel or perpendicular parking space. That’s pretty cool.

My opinion: it was super comfortable to drive, plenty of room for 3 kids to sit comfortably in the back, luxurious enough for the husband, and hey… it’s pretty. I like the red. In case you were wondering.

All in all, it was a great experience. If you are interested in trying the cars out yourself, check to see if there is a Ford EcoBoost® Challenge in your city.

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