Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Harvest Snaps Review and Giveaway

I'm always looking for snacks that have these three things in common: tasty, healthy and fun. 
I was excited to receive this box of Snapea Crisps and Lentil Snaps to try from Harvest Snaps:

I love the fact they are baked, a non-GMO product and a gluten-free snack offering. They are baked and I enjoyed each of the six flavors. They made a great post-workout snack, a fun and crunchy salad topping as well as a great side to a lunch sandwich.

I love that the flavors are not your usual flavor choices. My favorite Tomato Basil. My husband's favorite is the Caesar flavor. 

Wasabi Ranch


Onion Thyme

Tomato Basil

Black Pepper

Lightly Salted

To see lots of fun ideas on using these tasty snacks with your meal time, you can find "Lunchspiration" by clicking below:

You can also visit the website for Harvest Snaps

Here's a fun flash giveaway:

One of you will win a Harvest Snacks snack box. To enter, leave a comment below letting me know which flavor you would most like to try. Giveaway closes tonight at 11:59 pm.

This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Uncharted Course

To My Dear Readers,

When I first started this blog in 2011 after making the cross-country journey as the lifelong Oklahoma girl to a new life in New York, I made a point to share slices of my life with you. This past year that began to change as one of the toughest years of my entire life unfurled. Now I will once again be sharing glimpses into my life with you, this time for the purpose of awareness.

Last week, I went home to Oklahoma for a dearly needed visit to see my friends and loved ones there, also spend cherished moments visiting and lovingly decorating my mother and maternal grandparents' graves. While I was in Oklahoma, I shared with my closest loved ones about a life-changing event that has come to pass as the month of July began a time of devastation in mine and my husband's lives, as well as the lives of people I have counted so dear to me as I lived life through a veil of sadness and despair. One loved one I did not get to see when I went to Tulsa, but very much felt her presence, was the late, great Susan Ponville, Tea and Magnolias shop maven who was a member of the SFB Family. I stopped at the store to pay my condolences to her daughter Jamie in person, and I couldn't help but wish Susan were here to give me some of her advice as I go through this heartbreaking season in my life. I looked up as I approached the cash register station and saw a book they were showcasing called, "Jesus and Me". I saw that as my answer to what she would share with me and I bought the book. I began reading it on the plane journeys back to New York and I have been tremendously blessed and encouraged by the author's anointed words.

In order to concentrate on my priorities of my family and Faith, I will be taking a break from this blog and what's become the SFB community that I so dearly love. I cannot say when I will return, but I will be chiming in from time to time to share updates with you. What I would ask of those of you who pray is that you would please lift up a prayer for me and my husband during this time and for loved ones affected by this heartbreak as a journey with an uncharted course begins this coming week.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July! "Easy No-Bake Apple Pie"

The 4th of July is here! One of my favorite traditions on the 4th is making an all-American dessert: apple pie. This apple pie is a no-heating-up-the-oven required recipe perfect for this hot summer weather. It is a lightened up treat that can be enjoyed by diabetics as well as those who strive for healthier eating. You can substitute any of the lightened up ingredients in this recipe for the regular version, but I love the flavor created with the sugar free versions. I'm getting ready to come home to Oklahoma for a visit and I'm sure excited. 

Happy 238th Birthday America and I hope y'all have a "blast" on the 4th! 

“Southern Fried Bride's Easy No Bake Apple Pie”

 5 medium apples, peeled and sliced
 2 cups water
 1 package (4-serving size) sugar-free JELL-O lemon gelatin
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon brown sugar
 1 package (4-serving size) sugar-free JELL-O cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
 1 (8 inch) Keebler reduced-fat graham cracker pie crust
 Optional: 1 cup Cool-Whip Sugar Free whipped topping

In large saucepan, combine sliced apples, 1 1/2 cups water, gelatin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4-6 minutes or until apples are tender. Combine dry pudding mix and remaining ¼ cup water. Stir into apple mixture. Cook for 2 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Pour into crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish, if desired, with a dollop of whipped topping before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, June 30, 2014

""Be Yourself, Together" with #TargetWedding and a Giveaway- Sponsored Post

#Sponsored: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Target. This could include Target providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Wedding season is in full swing! Have you already been to a wedding this summer, or looking forward to going to one? 

I am a Target fan. It is my go-to website for gifting across the miles and I can be found perusing my local store on any given day. One of my common gifting pursuits at Target is shopping for an ideal wedding gift for a special couple in my life. 

This year's theme at Target Weddings is "Be Yourself, Together". I love that this theme celebrates the distinct personalities of each person in the relationship and combines to make something truly unique for the couple.  Target Wedding Registry has so many possibilities to find unique and memorable gifts for special couples in your life.  

I know just the gifts I would pair to make a memorable summer wedding gift for a special couple. 

1. I'm crazy about this Menu Chalkboard, one of June's featured registry items. The 14x30" black wooden board is available at Target for $34.99. features unique hand-lettering by graphic designer Dana Tanamachi plus plenty of space to write the day's menu, party drink selections or a cute message for your spouse to find when they come in the kitchen.  

2. I swear by cast iron for my cooking. I'm loving seeing it once again rising in popularity. The Lodge Logic Cast Iron Set is available through Target's website for $64.99 and I think the 5 pieces in this set make it a great cooking resource for a couple's kitchen. It comes with a Dutch oven and several different skillets. I love it that they come pre-seasoned and are oven-safe.    

3. The Pyrex Smart Essentials Mixing Bowl Set has my go-to bowls for so many different uses in my kitchen. They are available in stores and online for $13.19. They are odor and stain resistant, come in a variety of sizes, each with a BPA-free plastic lid. I love the color coding of the lids and the fact they are dishwasher and microwave safe. 

4. The finishing touch to this pairing of swaggin' summer gifts is one of my most-used kitchen utencils. I'm topping things off with their own lovin' spoonful served up with love with the  Wood Spoon and Turner Set by Calphalon. Made of sturdy bamboo and dishwasher safe. Available in stores and online for $9.99.   

How about a giveaway? Leave a comment below and let me know your favorite item on the Target and one of you will win a $25 Target gift card! Giveaway closes Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at noon EST.

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Recipe Corner: Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Muffins

Rhubarb is in full season here and I pair it with strawberries plus add a new favorite ingredient, chia seeds, to make a tasty muffin with healthier ingredients. These are perfect for a Mother's Day treat. potlucks and church socials, as well as a great snack at home.   
       "Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Muffins"

2 cups whole wheat flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup 2% milk 
3/4 cup diced strawberries
3/4 cup diced rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with liners or grease generously with butter or coconut oil. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, chia seeds and salt. Set aside. In separate large bowl, mix together egg, vanilla and sugar until well-blended. Stir in coconut oil. Add yogurt and mix well. Add dry flour mix to egg mix in thirds, stirring between additions. Add milk and stir until just combined. If batter is too thick, add additional tablespoon of milk. Add strawberries and rhubarb. Stir only enough to  combine. Pour batter into muffin cups. Bake 20- 25 minutes or until golden brown in color. Allow muffins to cool in pan for a few minutes, then invert muffins onto cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#RaiseYourVox with Sean Astin

I am honored to partner with Sean Astin to promote his radio show. I received a gift from Sean in appreciation of my support for his show. All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are my own.

My aim as a blogger is always to show you slices of my life. Oftentimes in doing so, you see people and things I love, causes I believe in. In preparation for celebrating my milestone 40th birthday at the end of this year, I have been looking back on a number of these people and things through the years that have shaped me into the person that I am today.

Among my foremost reflections from my "tween" years is the movie, "The Goonies". As a small town Oklahoma girl, when my mother took me to see this movie it had a profound effect on my life. It was a stepping stone that truly encouraged me to step out and show the independent side of my creative self and my artistic and creative mother who had long since her childhood had this same kind of spirit within herself, knew this. This movie was one of our most memorable mother-daughter bonding activities that would invoke sweet and special memories right up until the day she passed.

Recently I was excited to find news surfacing in social media that there may very well be a "Goonies 2" sequel with much of the original cast returning. I am beyond words excited at this possibility. One of the joys that came from what has become a beloved 80s classic has been watching cast member Sean Astin not only continuing his acting career into adulthood including such memorable roles in "Lord of the Rings" and "Rudy" but along with that, he is proactive in sharing causes he believes in to make a difference in our world.

Sean is beginning Season 2 of his political radio show for "the occasionally interested people" on May 1st. This season, he will be on a new network, TradioV

His interest in politics and representing the people's voice is infectious, and he genuinely wants people to understand what is happening with the government, even when it seems too complicated. An aim of the show is, "Whether you are or aren't interested in politics, he offers an intellectual discussion and doesn't just want to be heard, he wants to hear the people and their concerns, all while keeping it civil." 

I believe that a political voice is an important part of our world today. I truly believe in America that we have the power to impact laws and legislation through exercising our rights to vote and to petition our legislative leaders to voice our opinions on current and proposed laws. There is power in numbers and each voice is important, which is one of the reasons why I am so happy to see Sean offering this radio show format for a place for people to discuss politics, whatever your political opinion. I really enjoyed tuning in to Season 1 and I hope you will join me in tuning in for Season 2.

His broadcast airs live on Thursdays from Noon-2:00 pm Pacific/3-5 pm Eastern time on TradioV.comYou can follow Sean on Twitter on Facebook and on his YouTube Channel here.

You can visit Sean's website for Vox Populi Radio here and the hashtag is #RaiseYourVox.

If his radio show has caught your interest, you should join us tonight for a #RaiseYourVox Twitter party at 5:30 pm Pacific/8:30 pm Eastern time. 

You can RSVP for the Twitter party here.
Hosts will be @HostVoxPopuli @crazyadventures and co-hosts: @seanastin @LindaofNote @ENMNetwork and @Leah_Cevoli.
Panelists will be @MamaDweeb @StacieinAtlanta and @1momof5.
Prize Patrol is @SincerelyG with some fun prizes to be given away of two personalized autographed pictures, one autographed poster, and a grand prize "prize pack" with an autographed picture and Vox-branded items, including a Vox t-shirt!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Recipe Corner: "Easy Hot Cross Buns"

A beloved Easter treat, hot cross buns are a popular during Lenten season and a Good Friday tradition to many, including in our household, where I baked them today for our Good Friday breakfast tradition.  

The preparation process with the rising of the yeast, mixing and all-around hoop jumping to get the dough just right can leave some frazzled and tired. I use an easy and time-saving shortcut method by using Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls and make use of  candied fruit leftover from making fruitcakes during the Christmas season. My family and I were happy with the results. 

For the history of hot cross buns, marking crosses on baked goods such as breads and buns dates back to pre-Medieval times and was meant to be a visible sign that the bread was “blessed” and had the power to ward off evil spirits and help the longevity of the bread by stopping it from molding or becoming stale too quickly. One story says hot cross buns origins date to the 12th century when an Anglican monk placed the sign of the cross on the buns to honor Good Friday. I came across a fun old rhyme about hot cross buns that says, "Half for you and half for me, between us two good luck shall be".  

"Easy Hot Cross Buns" 

1 can Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing

1/2 cup candied fruit 

Egg Wash Glaze: 

1 egg
1 tablespoon milk 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare egg wash glaze by whisking together one egg and one tablespoon of milk. Set aside. Remove each roll from can and place each on wax paper. Take each roll and gently knead dough together to form a ball of dough. Place each back on wax paper. Make a well in the middle of each ball of dough. Place 1 tablespoon of candied fruit in the middle of each ball of dough. Gently knead candied fruit into each ball of dough just enough to combine candied fruit into dough. Place back on wax paper. Place each one on baking sheet. Coat each with glaze. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown in color. Remove from oven and cool. When cooled, drizzle icing in cross shape on top of each. Enjoy!   

Disclaimer: This post is not a sponsored post by the Pillsbury company. I was not financially compensated by the Pillsbury company for this blog post. All opinions stated in this blog post are my own.