Wednesday, March 31, 2010

(not so) Wordless Wednesday..part two..

Click to open in a full window, so you can see it out of my layout.
I had to post this, as my sequel to today's WW.
Check out this dudes toes!

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Calling all health enthusiasts!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

I know I've mentioned several times lately, that a bit of weight loss & regaining better health in general, is something I've been recently taking an interest in, and apply in my life.

Two weeks ago, I came across  then today, I was given the opportunity to tell you guys, about

Designed to provide the guidance and community support needed to begin or maintain a healthy lifestyle, is a comprehensive, online destination to simplify personal health and wellness management., is a new, online community that collects the latest news, healthy living blogs, expert opinions, easy, nutritious recipes and videos on a variety of topics including weight loss, healthy eating, exercise and mental well-being. From weight loss to stress relief to eating right, the site provides a central hub for anyone looking to get or stay healthy. also enables users to create a customized personal health and wellness news feed so that they receive the most relevant news possible.

Awesome, right?

My favorite part of is the recipes. I love to cook & have been trying to gather new recipes, ideas & tips to bring a healthier meal to the table.
I love that its one collective place to search for & find new ideas recipes & also know they are selected recipes with health & wellness in mind.

Carrot cake, anyone?
I really want to try the jicama salad with cilantro & lime. Yum-o!

My down fall in maintaining a healthy daily lifestyle is totally Easter candy. I am fairly sure I have consumed a small child's body weight in Hershey's chocolate eggs, this year.
Oh Easter, how I love you, and how I NEED for you to be over!!!

Anyway, I love that you can also find coupons & deal from companies & brands that help reflect healthy diet choices, like Jennie-O. I substitute Jennie-O turkey for beef all the time, in an effort to cut calories, fat & eat healthier.

As a member, I can move the layout of the site, to fit my needs, so I place recipes on top, for example. It's a one stop, easy to read & access site for all my health & wellness needs.

I know many of my readers & I have chatted about our thoughts & trials, failures & successes of diet & exercise, as well as all over balanced health, I really encourage you all to sign up and to be part of

Check it out & let me know what you think, and uh, link me to any recipes you find that involve chocolate,ok??

Visit my sponsor: Attention all you health enthusiasts!
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Wordless Wednesday. The Zoo in March.

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Kissimmee Florida.

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Kissimmee Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you ever been to Kissimmee Florida?

Mike is from Fort Myers, he lived most of his life there. Andy was born in Cape Coral, actually.I lived there for a bit over a year, with Mike.

I'm no native, but after living there, I do know a bit about what Florida has to offer.

Kissimmee is the Heart of Florida. Next to Orlando, close to everything, including the beaches (Atlantic Ocean is just about an hour away; Gulf Coast less than a 2-hour drive). Staying in Kissimmee lets you enjoy ALL the things you want in a Florida vacation -- theme parks, beaches, outdoors, relaxation.

I've been to Kissimmee, while in Orlando.
I have seen what the area has to offer.
Love it!

We've spent time at Old Town, it was one of Mike's step fathers, favorite places to visit. We checked out Epcot, for a fun food & drink tasting from around the World.
We lounged at the pool, ate good food & had some family fun, right before Mike & I got engaged in 2005.
From airboat rides, zip-lining, horseback riding, hiking, birding, biking. to shopping in quaint downtown Kissimmee. Boutiques and eclectic shops, super restaurants. Kissimmee has something to offer everyone.

If we were to visit now ( which, we may be, next year!) we'd definately check out Disney World, with the kids. I've never been, myself. I suppose it's something I'd potentially enjoy, I've never thought too much about it in depth.

But let's face it, who doesnt, or wouldn't like Disney World, right?
Isn't it the happiest place on Earth for a reason??

Of course, when traveling with kids you have to research for a child friendly (and fun!) hotel to stay at.

We stayed at the Orlando Radison Resort, which I loved, they had a great pool! I would definitely stay there again, it's close to everything, was a great accommodation with nice amenities & was a lot of fun. Ah..memories...

I'd definitely take our kids to Old Town, as it holds a lot of memories for Mike, as they've gone there for years, before we ever met. 

One of my favorite pictures, of Mike & I, looking over our shoulders, on a scrambler ride as the sun sets, in Old Town. I'll have to find it & scan it in ..

They have TONS of of shops there, and I really want to go back because they had the biggest crystal, gem & stone shop ever, I have a gorgeous piece of citrine, from that trip & I always wish I'd gotten more, at the time.

If you were to visit Kissimmee what would you want to check out, to make a dream vacation?

The amusement parks?

Would you go the Nature route & do an air boat ride?

Share your thoughts with me, so I can add them to our itinerary for our next trip down to Florida!

Visit my sponsor: What's Your Kissimmee Story?

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Monday, March 29, 2010

High Sierra Sport Review & Giveaway

Since Mike & I first started dating, we've always spent a good amount of Spring & Summer, outdoors, hiking, walking trails, checking out different parks & scenic outdoor areas.

We used to toss a water bottle in the back of the Jeep, with the top down & the most we worried about was running out of water for me, cigarettes for Mike & gas because we spent all our cash on beer the night before.

Now, we have kids.

Do they have socks? Shoes? Bug spray? Diapers? Extra diapers?  A blanket? Is everyone changed & dry to go?
I mean.. come on.. getting out the door is half the battle & then when we get to the park, someone doesn't want to do in a carrier, or they don't want to walk, or they don't want the sun to shine because they don't like the sun.

I mean..ohmygod...

Then there is me, who is like "ok, where the hell do I put my keys? Ugh I HATE carrying water bottles.. I like my hands free, to hop over things & take the long routes. Then I need somewhere for a kids hat, because if I don't bring it, someone will want it.

High Sierra Sport sent both Mike & I the Spire 2500.

This is a hiking backing with an internal frame.

 Check out it's features:
  • 25-Liter, panel-load main compartment.
  • Quick-release, adjustable tuck-away webbing straps for vertical snowboard carry.
  • Adjustable webbing straps on top and bottom for diagonal ski carry.
  • Large zippered front pocket holds a shovel blade and essential snow tools.
  • S-shaped shoulder straps with high-density foam padding, adjustable sternum strap and removable media/cell phone pocket.
  • Internal hydration reservoir sleeve and insulated hydration tube pocket on the shoulder strap helps keep water from freezing (reservoir not included).
  • Single, contoured aluminum frame bar can be adjusted to fit the shape of your back.
  • Padded back panel with adjustable waist belt.
  • Tricot-lined accessory pocket holds goggles or other necessities
  • Soft lashing hardware holds an ice ax or hiking poles.
  • Dual side pockets hold beverages or gear.

Let's break that down, it's quite a load of information. There is a spot for everything.
If your a SERIOUS climber, or hiker, there is a spot for all your equipment to be readily available as you climb, hike or participate in any outdoor sport.
I love the water reservoir, as I said, I hate carrying bottles but I get dehydrated really easily. I have since I was a kid, I over heat & because I'm nursing, my water intake is pretty high.It's an easy system to maintain hydration, hands free, even!
I have a spot for kids stuff, a spot for my stuff, hands free for climbing & even some nifty little pockets that I don't even know what I can put in, yet!!

Check out Mike, modeling the bag.

Mike actually wears his to school. The hard, support in the back helps him, as he has a degenerative disc syndrome. He is able to keep all his books & school items in it, right down to writing utensils. So, this isn't just for hiking, it could be a multi use bag, a school bag,whatever!

I pack mine with kids "back up items" for being out & water & a diaper or 2, when we went to the zoo, last weekend. Its comfortable to wear,while walking around on family outings, even if your not hiking & climbing!

One reader will win a bag, from HSS. The bag is the choice of HSS, not the reader.
I guarantee, whatever you get, will be awesome. I haven't been disappointed yet.

1.) Become a Fan, of High Sierra Sport on Facebook. HERE.
     (Leave me your FB user name in your comment/entry)

Additional entries
-Become a Fan of my page, on Facebook. HERE.
-Follow me on Google Friend Connect.
-Subscribe to my RSS Feed.
-Follow me on Twitter.
-Leave me a comment, in any other post on my blog. After you do so, come back to enter & tell me which post, you left it in. You can do this unlimited times.
-Suggest my Facebook Fan page to 10 friends.
 -Vote for me, in my contest. It's only about 4 clicks, no e-mail sign ups, etc. Directions are HERE. Come back & leave me your FB user name telling me you completed this entry. 



Oh Dear.

Or, as Pooh would say, Oh bother!

I have now learned how to use my FTP.
On the down side..
I also learned how not to use it.

Now, my poor father in law has to find time to not just reinstall but completely re do a apparently rather large ( from the use of large words I don't know) boo boo I made.

I feel like crap.

So, let's have a giveaway, shall we??

We will celebrate being here on the safe ground of Blogger, a bit longer!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Eggplant Chili

This is a re- post, back from some time ago.
I wanted to re post & add to a new Recipes section ( up top) as I hilariously attempt to learn some new cooking skills.

This is one of my favorites! A mom friend online, gave it to me, when Andy was a baby. I've made it differently each time & every time I just LOVE it.

Eggplant Chili

6 tbsp olive oil
unpeeled Med. Eggplant, cut into cubes
1 cup chopped yellow onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup green pepper, cubed
2 cups tomatoes, canned & crushed
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, minced ( I used dried)
S& P to taste
2 cups beans ( kidney, garbanzo, etc, drained)

Chop veggies-

Heat EVOO in a skillet, add eggplant, onion, garlic & green pepper. Saute 10 minutes until softened.

Garlic. Little trick for those of you with garlic troubles.

Lay the clove down, on a hard flat surface. Use a large, wide knife, lay on top of the clove of garlic, like a sheet of paper & hit with the palm of your hands.

Be careful! I am not responsible for any damages you may incur while using sharp knives.

The clove is smashed, and easily comes out of the "wrapper" that some people struggle with.
I also recommend a stainless steel "soap" bar, for removing kitchen smells, like onion, fish, garlic & other food handling odors that soap just doesn't get out.

Transfer to saucepan & add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, parsley & S & P.

Cook over low heat, uncovered 10 minutes, Stir in beans & cook 10 more minutes on low.

If you don't want a vegetarian meal;
I browned some ground beef, took a spicy sausage out of the casings & cut up pepperoni & added it all, browned to the mix as well.. I HIGHLY recommend this! It adds a real spice that's just perfect!
It also makes the meal a bit heartier, for those men who don't want to eat chili based out of vegetables.

I also added an extra can of crushed tomatoes to the mix, adding the meat it needed a little extra moisture/mush to make it *chili*

And of course..everything looks better with a bit of cheese on top!!!




Thursday, March 25, 2010

Only a few days left, keep me in first place for $500!!!

Okay NOW I'm begging.. If EVERYONE reading this could PLEASE take like, 2 seconds & help me..

Seriously, I'm pathetically begging.. please....???

I'm in first place for a $500 gift certificate.I need to stay in first place.. This will take seconds & be reasonably painless, ok??

Step 1,) If you have a Facebook,  Visit the Childrens Orchard Green Mom contest HERE.

Step 2,) Become a FAN.

Step 3,) Scroll down to find my entry, Claire Hale. It's 3 pages down.

Step 4,) LIKE my post.


That's all you have to do, is be a fan, so then you can LIKE my post.

Like me, please.

Then come back here & tell me that you did it, so I can publicly express some love for you.
Or privately, if your embarrassed & would prefer my PDA's be kept to a minimum.

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Check out Plan Toys new toys.

If you guys remember, we are huge fans of Plan Toys, over here.

They recently launched some new items & we got to check out this great new click clack toy called the Clatter!

It's a simple wooden toy that can make noise any way you wiggle, shake & rattle it. It's definately better for a younger child, I think Ryan would have really enjoyed it around a year old.

It's a great quality toy that I feel safe about giving my children & it reminded us its time to start shopping for Ryan's up coming 2nd birthday.

I'm looking at getting some little cars & people, so far. I love these little wooden guys;

Ryan has been into small figures he can hold & carry around and make "dance & stuff"

What I'd REALLY like to get for both boys is the table set,with the top & the drawer. Oohh..or THIS.

Maybe for Andy's big 4th birthday, we'll finally get a train table & set!

Check out the new selection of Plan Toys, because we all only want the best toys for our kids & Plan Toys has something for each child, no matter their age or interest.

What do you think Ryan would like best for his birthday?

Or a selection of mini cars & trucks, like this one?
What about you? 
What is your favorite, new, or not, Plan Toy?

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Rock On Mommies - Sponsored Post

Rock On Mommies -
I'm a mother, and a wife, then I'm me. Last.I love seeing other mothers help me remember that it's ok to still be ME!

sponsored like
Claire Hale's profile on MyLikes


Have you ever needed to translate something from one language to another? I know I have. I know someone out there is staring at that Chinese symbol tattoo they thought meant "love" wishing they had  translators then, huh?

I recently came across Translia for my translation needs & wanted to tell you a bit about what I learned of them.

"Translia is an innovative translation service platform. It's unique collaborative translation technologies enables hundreds and even thousands of translators to work together for delivering translations in a manner better and quicker than ever before.

Registering is free. There are no minimum word count or minimum charge limit. That means clients can translate as many as million words or as less as one word or a sentence, saying a name, brand, business card.

Translia maintains the world's largest professional translator network. The outcome is the clients may get their contents translated from/to any major languages. For the same reason, all jobs are done by the translators who possess the necessary subject expertise, from business, finance to electronics and mechanics.

Translia streamlines the processes in such a manner that the clients can get translations with just a few clicks and the turnaround is shorter than any other services. For small translation jobs, clients may get finished translation on the same day or even in several hours.

Translia offers a set of unique services that help clients set appropriate price and time, choose right translators for their translation projects. Regardless you're an experienced client or buying translation service for the first time, you can get the job done smoothly.

Clients can always obtain the best prices on Translia for their translation projects. They can even get free translation – it sounds incredible but Translia provides free translation by professional translators.

Translia assures timely delivery. Translators always commit to meet the deadlines. In case there are any deadlines slip, clients will be offered with remarkable discounts on translation fee."

Basically, it's an easy to use, simple to navigate website.
Clients can register & know that they aren't getting a shoddy translation, because "Lost in Translation" isn't just a movie, it happens.
Believe me.
I dated a a guy on & off over several years who was originally from France. As luck would have it, I was taking French at the time we originally began to date.
I remember one morning he sneezed & I pulled out my French skills to tell him bless you. I must have been tired, yeah, that's it, because I told him to "stand up"

Another French story, a year after graduation, I was seated next to my 2 sheets to the wind French teacher, at a wedding.
She was a lipstick on teeth, spit when she talks kinda lady who I had a few "back talk" incidents with.
HELLO. You don't NOT let people URINATE ok??? Geeze.
That was awkward. to say the least.

Of course, I still find myself unable to remember the correct translation, as an adult when I look for a French statement or quote, or translation in my daily life, which happens more than you might think.

If your looking for a translator, like I was, at an affordable price for anyone to use, look no further than Translia.

This was a sponsored post, on behalf of Blogvertise and Translia.
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