Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sparkling Ice: Passion Fruit Punch. YUMMY!

Preston, WA (August 2, 2018) – After months of speculation, Sparkling Ice®, part of the Talking Rain® Beverage Company portfolio, is excited to reveal the flavor of its limited-edition Mystery Flavor – Passion Fruit Punch!

"At Sparkling Ice, we're excited to share that the Mystery Fruit Flavor our consumers have been drinking all summer long has been revealed as Passionfruit Punch," said VP of Community and Customer Relations of Talking Rain Beverage Co., Nina Morrison.  "In fact, our fans and followers have been enjoying the flavor so much that they've made it one of our top selling Sparkling Ice products of the summer."

As part of the Mystery Fruit Flavor launch back in June, Sparkling Ice challenged fans to taste, debate and ultimately cast their flavor picks via social media using the hashtag #WhatTheFlavorSweeps for their chance to win over $45,000 worth of prizes, including a Bose Sound System, Sonos Wireless Speakers, iTunes gift cards, a year of FREE Spotify and more. Fans across the country cast their votes on social media, and winners were announced on a weekly basis from May 15th – August 7th.

"As a company, we've been anticipating the big reveal for months," added Nina Morrison. "Over 245K fans and followers participated in the social media contest, making it one of our most successful promotions to date. We had guesses ranging from Blueberry Lemonade to Watermelon, Fruit Punch and more. Even I guessed wrong!"

In addition to the weekly contest winners, Sparkling Ice will also be announcing a grand prize winner of the social sweepstakes on August 8th who will win an all-expense paid VIP trip to California to attend a major music festival in April 2019.

For more information about Sparkling Ice products and flavors, please visit www.SparklingIce.com, www.facebook.com/SparklingIce, www.Twitter.com/SparklingIce and www.instagram.com/SparklingIce.

About Sparkling Ice Beverages
Sparkling Ice beverages are made with zero sugar, and combine sparkling water, real fruit flavor, vitamins and antioxidants to offer great tasting, lightly carbonated beverages. Available in sixteen fizzy, fruity flavors, including: Black Raspberry, Orange Mango, Pink Grapefruit, Kiwi Strawberry, Coconut Pineapple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Peach Nectarine, Lemon Lime, Crisp Apple, Classic Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, Strawberry Watermelon, Black Cherry, Grape Raspberry and new in 2018, Ginger Lime. Sparkling Ice is part of the Talking Rain family of beverages and retails for $1.19-$1.29. To locate Sparkling Ice, visit www.sparklingice.com/locate/.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

My New Favorite Moscow Mule!

Red, White and Blue, Berry Mule

Recipe Credit: Brooklyn Crafted

2 oz berry Vodka (blueberry or raspberry)
6 oz Extra Spicy Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer Mini

Muddle blueberries and blackberries in shaker.
Add vodka and shake.
Fill Moscow mule mug with ice.
Pour in muddled berries and vodka and fill with Brooklyn Crafted (roughly 6oz).
Garnish with blueberries and blackberries.

Dom and I had a couple of these last night.  WOW!  I love this Ginger Beer!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

More Raccoon Fun Today!

Mama and her babies have me trained! 

Mama and Her Babies Feasting Today

This Little Gal is my Favorite.  Climbing up to get my attention from the Living Room window.

Are they CUTE, or what?  I'm like Pavlov's Dog when they appear!

Monday, July 23, 2018

July 29th is National Lasagna Day!

Explore Cuisine should be on your radar as a healthy addition to the classic comfort food. Explore Cuisine's Organic, Non GMO, Gluten Free Green Lentil Lasagna features 11g of protein per serving.

Dom and I LOVE Explore Cuisine.  I'll be making this on the 29th...  looks delicious!

Spinach Mushroom Lasagne


16 oz cottage cheese
1/2 c fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
1/2 c fresh parsley
1 t garlic salt
1 t Italian Seasoning
1 egg
1 T oil
2 c fresh mushrooms, quartered
2 c fresh spinach
8 oz of uncooked lasagna from Explore Cuisine
32 oz of spaghetti sauce
2 cups (or more) of shredded mozzarella cheese
Garnish: additional basil cut into ribbons


In a medium bowl combine cottage mix, basil, parsley, garlic salt, Italian Seasoning and egg. Mix together and set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Saute the mushrooms until they soften and they are starting to shrink. Add in spinach to wilt.

Combine mushroom and cottage cheese mixture.

Using a 9X13 baking dish pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom.

Add half the uncooked noodles, top that with 1/2 the mixture and 2/3 c of cheese. Repeat. You will end with a third layer of sauce.

Cover casserole dish with foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil after 35 minutes.

Garnish with remaining/additional cheese and basil.
Let sit and rest for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.


Explore Cuisine is known for its protein-packed plant pastas that are high in fiber, naturally gluten free, simple to prepare, organic, and delicious.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 24th is National Tequila Day (and conveniently also Taco Tuesday!)

Hi gang!  Thought I'd share some of these fun drink ideas from Sparkling Ice.

Sparkling Paloma:

½ oz Tequila
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Agave Nectar
Splash of Sparkling Ice Pink Grapefruit
Grapefruit Peel for garnish

Combine tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass over ice. Add a splash of Sparkling Ice Pink Grapefruit. Garnish with grapefruit peel and serve.

Spicy Sparkling Margarita:

2 parts Blanco Tequila
½ part Cointreau
3 slices of JalapeƱo pepper
Juice of 1/8 lime
1 ½ parts Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime

Shake Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and peppers with ice. Pour into rocks glass with salted rim and lime wedge. Top with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime.

Sparkling Tequila Sunrise:

2 oz. orange juice
2 oz. tequila
½ oz. grenadine
2 oz. Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, then the orange juice, and tequila. Top with Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade and grenadine, then garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange slice and serve.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

12 Days on the Beach- and my New Raccoon Family

Hi, gang!  As Dom is getting along so well, I felt comfortable enough to head to PCB for 12 days. 

I was joined by a Tennessee girlfriend, Patricia for about a week.  She and I lived it up with gift cards given to me for Carrabba's and Seafood Grill.  She took me to Dee's Hangout twice.  We had big fun-  hadn't seen each other for more than a year.  It goes without saying that we did Happy Hour at the LIQ across the street daily.

After she left, I spent my solitude on the beach, at the pool, and on my balcony.  Didn't even leave the condo property.

The water was AMAZING!  Some of the nicest that I've seen over the years!

Rain Shower in the Distance

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mama Raccoon brings her 4 babies every day for a meal.  When I'm home, I'm constantly looking out the window for them.  "Good Racoon Mommy".

When I'm not here, Dom feeds them when he thinks about it.  "Bad Raccoon Daddy".

The female normally knocks on the door to alert me that they're hungry.  Apparently, she was knocking and not getting a response.  So, Dom is sitting across the room watching tv.  Our of the corner of his eye, doesn't he see feet, then finally a head climbing up the screen window in the living room!

The adorable little shit knocked out the screen!

Dom proceeded to find a squirt gun, crack the window and blast her in the face. 
"Mean Raccoon Daddy".  (Kind of amusing, though)

Mama with 1 baby a few weeks ago

All 4 babies yesterday.  Growing fast!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

750 Best Appetizers: From Dips and Salsas to Spreads and Shooters

I was tickled to receive this cookbook from the publisher the other day!  It's a large 576 pages.  Loaded with recipes and full-color photos.

As Dom and I entertain often, I'll be using this publication for my party menus. I've always been one to make our food prior to our guests arriving, thus being able to join in the fun.

This book is PERFECT for our lifestyle!

The quintessential book of appetizers for any occasion.

There are more than 750 recipes to choose from because we’ve tried to make sure you have a selection to suit every possible occasion — from a dress-down backyard barbecue to the most elegant sit-down dinner. We’ve also considered the need to satisfy a variety of dietary preferences, from strictest vegans to wide-ranging omnivores. And since we know you’re probably doing lots of things at once, many recipes can be prepared ahead of time or made in your slow cooker while you’re busy with something else.

The book is structured to cover a broad range of options. There are 16 chapters built around specific types of dishes, such as Dips and Spreads, or specific ingredients, such as Fish and Seafood or Cheese. We’ve also categorized by presentation, since it’s an integral component to appetizers, so you’ll find chapters like Wraps and Rolls.

A tray of appetizers always seems celebratory, and there is nothing like home-cooked food to make people feel welcome. Use this book to create hors-d'oeuvres that will delight your family and friends — then relax and enjoy the party yourself.

With so many recipes to choose from, home cooks have got the basis to get any gathering off to a lively start:

*Easy tahini dip, tuna tapenade, roasted beet and goat cheese spread
*Feta-spiked watermelon salsa with chili, apple salsa, Bloody Mary salsa
*Watercress gazpacho, broccoli pesto shooter, shrimp bisque, cumin mint cooler
*Pepper-wrapped chorizo, duck confit quesadilla, cannoli, beef sushi
*Pancetta and potato bundles, buckwheat blini, spinach and artichoke tarts
*Uptown croque monsieur, pinwheel party sandwiches, salmon sliders
*Spicy sizzling shrimp, smoked salmon and avocado tartare, beer-battered oysters.

You can pick up this beauty here:


Friday, June 29, 2018

A Couple of Fun Drink Recipes from Sparkling Ice!

Dom and I are absolutely hooked on Sparkling Ice.  They're so refreshing on these sweltering days.  Our heat index has been well over 100 degrees down here for the past week or so.

Here are a couple of fun ideas to help you cool down:

Citrus Freeze

1 oz tequila
8 oz. Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime
1 oz lime juice
1 lime wedge

In a blender, add one cup of ice, tequila, Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime, and lime juice. Blend until smooth and pour into a glass and serve with a lime wedge.

Black Cherry Float 

Vanilla Ice Cream
2 oz. Sparkling White Wine
Sparkling Ice Black Cherry

Pour chilled sparkling white wine into a chilled glass and add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. Top with Sparkling Ice Black Cherry and serve.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Red, White and Blue Cocktails for Independence Day

I'm headed to PCB this Thursday.  As next Wednesday is the Fourth of July, I'm going to play with these amazing sounding cocktails from Brooklyn CraftedSparkling Ice, and Purity Vodka.  I really love these products!

**Red, White and Blue, Berry Mule


2 oz berry Vodka (blueberry or raspberry)
6 oz Extra Spicy Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer Mini


Muddle blueberries and blackberries in shaker. Add vodka and shake. Fill Moscow mule mug with ice. 

Pour in muddled berries and vodka and fill with Brooklyn Crafted (roughly 6oz). Garnish with blueberries and blackberries.

**Soaked Watermelon Slice Popsicles


¾ cup tequila

½ cup Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon

¼ cup lime juice

1lb watermelon


Stir together tequila, Strawberry Watermelon Sparkling Ice, and lime juice in a large bowl. Cut watermelon into wedges and soak in Sparkling Ice mixture for 15 minutes. Insert popsicle sticks into wedges then freeze on a rack-lined baking sheet for 1 hour.

**Purity Berry


3 parts Purity Vodka
1 cup mixed berries
1 long piece of lemon zest
4 parts distilled water


Combine the ingredients in a glass pitcher and let sit, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours – or preferably overnight, before serving.

Serve the vodka mixed with the berry water either shaken or served strained or combined over ice.

Rip Currents- Illustration and Photos

Hi gang.

This summer alone, there have been 7 or 8 drownings in Panama City Beach.

We've owned our condo since 2010-  I've seen illustrations all over the place.

But I've never seen actual photographs.  Looking forward to spotting them from our 22nd-floor condo!  (Just a few years ago, I saw the tide "roll" in from our balcony for the first time)

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Great American Family Reunion Cookbook: Activities, Recipes, and Stories from All 50 States

Hi, gang...  I LOVE cookbooks.  I cook often BY CHOICE.  I love to try new recipes.

Familius Publishing recently sent me this.  It's great!

It's packed with recipes and fun ideas for your family reunion.  You'll find appetizers, dips, sauces, breads, breakfasts, brunches, main dishes, side dishes, burgers, soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, snacks, and desserts.

They also suggest "Themed Reunion Menus" which are a lot of fun.

With more than 150 recipes from across America, The Great American Family Reunion Cookbook provides a culinary, coast-to-coast adventure and helps families of every background and every size provide the most important element of any reunion—the food. Author Lori Nawyn spent over a year interviewing residents from each state, exploring their stories and their food to identify what was the quintessential recipe for that perfect family gathering. Whether from the Louisiana Bayou to the Black Hills of South Dakota or from the rugged landscape of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to the beautiful farmland of New England, the recipes capture the essence of what it means to renew family love and relationship. Nawyn has also coupled the recipe collection with practical advice and creative activities to help organize and host an unforgettable family reunion.

This is a big 256-page cookbook that I'll be using often!

Get your copy here:


Helping families be happy

 About the Publisher: Familius is a family and parenting media publisher devoted to creating content that helps build strong values and happy families. As a digitally savvy, multi-media publisher, we share our family-driven content in multiple formats, including print, e-books, videos, articles, and apps.

Through Familius.com, we also provide an online community where parents can seek out and share advice and access a wealth of contemporary parenting content, tools, and resources rooted in traditional family values. Let’s Talk Family. http://www.familius.com

Thursday, June 21, 2018

101 Amazing Uses for ESSENTIAL OILS

The good folks at FAMILIUS were kind enough to send me this little beauty.  It's a sturdy 6 x 8-inch paperback that is divided into four separate sections featuring guidance for HEALTH, WELL-BEING, BEAUTY and HOME uses. 

As some of my friends are both using and selling essential oils, I was tickled to receive this!

Helping families be happy

 About the Publisher: Familius is a family and parenting media publisher devoted to creating content that helps build strong values and happy families. As a digitally savvy, multi-media publisher, we share our family-driven content in multiple formats, including print, e-books, videos, articles, and apps.

Through Familius.com, we also provide an online community where parents can seek out and share advice and access a wealth of contemporary parenting content, tools, and resources rooted in traditional family values. Let’s Talk Family. http://www.familius.com

                          Natural solutions to everyday needs
Simple recipes and tips to swap out chemical filled modern solutions and get back to the benefits of nature's oldest remedies.



Meet the Author 
Susan Branson

Susan has worked in the field of biology and toxicology as a researcher, writer and administrator. She took time off and stayed at home after her second child was born. In addition to the now full-time job of being a stay-at-home mom, she also took violin lessons, took photography courses, earned a diploma in writing, and ultimately became a holistic nutritional consultant. Susan is a member of CSNN’s Alumni Association, Canada’s leading holistic nutrition school.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


As the years pass by, more and more of our friends are eating Gluton-Free.

I make sure that I have Absolutely Gluten-Free snacks on hand for them-

Bayonne, NJ, June 19, 2018 – According to the Celiac Foundation, celiac disease affects one in every 100 people in the United States, about 3 million people. In addition, a growing number of people suffer from gluten sensitivity or allergic reactions to wheat.

As a result, the number of Americans going gluten-free has tripled since 2009.

“More and more consumers are limiting gluten to improve their health as well as for weight loss,” says Charles Herzog, Executive VP of Absolutely Gluten-free (AGF). “That trend is increasingly reflected on grocery shelves and restaurant menus. But it’s no secret that people think ‘gluten-free’ has to be synonymous with ‘compromise.’”

Absolutely Gluten-free packs a flavor-filled punch with its full line of unique and delicious gluten-free products that satisfy everyone’s craving for sweet and savory snacks, whether they’re eliminating gluten from their diets or not. The company received the 2017 Gluten-Free Trailblazer Award from Grocery Headquarters in recognition of its innovation and impact on the gluten-free and diabetic foods space.

The newest Absolutely Gluten Free product taps into two of today’s hottest food crazes: tahini and energy bars. Absolutely Gluten Free's 100-calorie TahiniBars™ are gluten- and dairy-free, vegan, and made with natural sesame seeds, a.k.a. “super seeds.” These grab-and-go bars are available in Vanilla, Cocoa Nib, and Pistachio flavors, making gluten-free living tasty and convenient.

Try Absolutely Gluten-free Flatbread in three varieties (Original, Everything, and Toasted Onion). These flour-free light flatbreads can be used to make pizza, sandwiches, and lunch for kids, topped with just about anything from melted cheese to roasted veggies and sliced fruit.  They are all soy, corn, and rice-free.

Absolutely Gluten-free Crackers are available in three varieties including Original, Cracked Pepper, and Toasted Onion. They are flour-free with no soy, corn, or rice, and are light, crispy, and delicious. Serve them as appetizers with dips, crumbled atop salads and soups, or in place of breadcrumb coating.

For a perfectly sweet and crunchy surprise, Absolutely Gluten-free Blondie and Brownie Crunch snacks don’t disappoint. Blondie Crunch is available in Vanilla Chocolate Chip and Brownie Crunch in Chocolate-Chocolate Chip flavor. They are packaged in a handy resealable bag to eat on the go. And they are great toppers to ice-cream, yogurt, cakes, and mousse desserts.

For those who love a chewy snack, Absolutely Gluten-free Raw Coconut Chews are a great choice. Choose from Cocoa Nibs with Chocolate Drizzle or Cranberry with Chocolate Drizzle. Made with raw coconut, these all-natural treats are vegan and paleo-friendly, and contain no dairy, eggs, or soy.

There’s even more variety for those with a sweet tooth on a gluten-free diet. Absolutely Gluten-free Macaroons are yet another tasty snack from the AGF line, in Chocolate or Coconut flavors.

 “We are committed to the continued development of gluten-free foods that offer great taste, nutrition, and health benefits,” states Herzog. “With Absolutely Gluten-free, consumers on restricted diets should no longer feel left out when it comes to a world of delicious food choices.”

All Absolutely Gluten-free products are all-natural, certified gluten-free, and OU certified kosher. AGF is a division of Kayco Foods based in Bayonne, NJ.  Follow them at http://absolutelygf.com/, on Twitter at @absolutelygf, and on FB at https://www.facebook.com/AbsolutelyGF/.

Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Dom's May Numbers

WBC:  15.2 (H)

RBC:  3.3 (L)

HTC:  32.7 (L)


KAPPA:  14.5

LAMBDA:  13.3

RATIO:  1.09


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dom Has ZERO M-SPIKE- "Remission Boy is Back!"

Our Christine just sent me this shirt.  Perfect timing!  Dom has a ZERO M-SPIKE! 

Life is good.  God is great!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto Last Week in PCB- Kinda Disappointing

I went to PCB for a week.  While I was there, Alberto hit.  BIG DEAL.  No lightning, very little action.  Just some tidal surge-  enough to muck up the water.

Before Alberto