Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Party in Your PJs #167

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at thecookiepuzzle@gmail.com

Lynda's Features!

 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hula Hana's Blue Banana Cocktail - Dirty Dancing #foodnflix

1 comment:

After a few months of playing with the Food n' Flix cooking challenge, I'm starting to regard them as a highlight of my month! It helps a lot that, as he came to understand what it was we were doing, my husband has been an enthusiastic participant, helping me catch food references while we watch the month's movie and making suggestions for how to interpret it in a dish.

This month's challenge, hosted by Chef Sarah Elizabeth, is based on the movie, "Dirty Dancing" - yay! An old favorite!

Other than the reference to a watermelon (the battlecry of awkward brave girls everywhere - "I carried a watermelon!"), I didn't have much notion of this movie as being particularly food rich before watching, but we did find a few:

- During the dance class at the front of the movie, Penny encourages everyone to 'Stomp those grapes!'

- While setting up the dining room, Johnny tells rich boy Robbie, "You just put your pickle on everybody's plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me."

- Dinner table discussion of Baby sending her pot roast to Asia.

- "I carried a watermelon!"

- the song "Mashed Potato is playing where the staff is dirty dancing.

- raiding the kitchen, Baby is offered a variety of leftovers including a brownie, rice pudding, beets, sweet gherkins, cabbage roll, milk...

- Robbie rejects responsibility for Penny's pregnancy, saying "'I didn't spend the summer toasting bagels just to bail out some dumb chick that got knocked up!"

- The family is shown eating breakfast. The women are all having a half a grapefruit, while Dad has a plate of eggs, lox, bagels and schmear. There's orange juice.

- Lisa's entry into the Talent Show is a silly song about Hula Hana, who wants - among other things - a blue banana.

- Kellerman offers Dad a danish.

- at the Talent Show, the family is seen drinking what looks like a cola based cocktail - given the timeframe, this is likely a Cuba Libre.

Additionally, there were a few less direct points of inspiration: the early 60's timeframe made anything retro a good choice, the song the 'Twist' suggesting something twisted in some way, and most importantly, the key point that Kellerman's was a Catskills resort for Jewish vacationers, so the food itself would have been New York Jewish friendly.

I knew I wasn't going to do anything with the watermelon - my husband is not a fan of melons of any sort, and this is intended as a fun thing for us both.

After thinking through all the possibilities that this presented, the final choice had to do with my being mystified about just what on earth was Lisa singing about?  I went to look into the lyrics, and it turns out it is actually follows a pretty classic folk song motif about a woman demanding impossible gifts from her suitors:

Hula Hana of Kamana Whala Hula Bay

Who’s this hula hana, of Kamana Whala Hula Bay?
She will hula when you have a lovely gift she wants, you’ll hear her say,
Bring me a pineapple that doesn't sting 
a bird that swims 
a fish that sings,
I wanna, I really wanna,
Bring me a volcano that blows up all the molten jama and a blue banana,
I canna canna,
Bring me a pineapple that doesn't sting 
a bird that swims 
a fish that sings,
I wanna, I really wanna,
Bring me a volcano that blows up all the molten jama and a blue banana,
I canna canna,
And you can wackle all you wanna, while I hula all the day away....

Even more interestingly, I discovered Jane Brucker, the hilarious actor that plays Lisa in the movie, actually wrote the silly song she sang, while killing time on the set.  Additionally, Brucker was born in Falls Church, VA - the town where we live.

That settled it! We had to do something based on Lisa and her song. Pseudo-Hawaiian/Tiki themes were also very popular in the early 60s, so something retro and over-the-top cheesy would be perfect, but no ham or Spam or pork of any sort, because it should be something that would be at home in the Kellerman dining room.

Which led me back to a 'blue banana' and what made the most sense to me was a ridiculous Curacao-based tropical cocktail!  My lovely husband (who is teaching himself ukelele and gamely practiced playing "Hula Hana" for me) is also my live-in bartender, so I left it to him to figure this out, as long as I could provide a crazy garnish and some umbrella straws.

This is what he came up with:

Hula Hana's Blue Banana Cocktail

Equal Parts:
- DeKeyper Blue Curacao
- Vodka
- DeKeyper Creme de Banana
- Pineapple Juice

Seltzer water to taste

Fruit Kebabs:
- Pineapple Chunks
- Banana Chunks
- Maraschino Cherries

Orange Slices

For the drink, combine liquors and pineapple juice in a shaker with ice, and shake to blend.  Pour into ice filled glasses and top with seltzer water to taste.

Garnish each glass with a fruit kebab, an orange slice, and an umbrella straw.

To go along with our silly drinks, we ordered take out from a nearby New York-style deli, Celebrity Delli.  Michael chose the Celebrity Club, while I - still thinking about how the women all just had grapefruit for breakfast while Dad chowed down on lox and bagels - selected their optimistically named "One Scooper" from their Healthy selections - Watergate chicken salad with grapes, cranberries and almonds, with plenty of cucumbers, slices of tomato and hard boiled egg and cole slaw all on a bed of lettuce, with four wedges of fat pita bread to go with it.

It was quite tasty although there was enough mayonnaise that I question the sincerity of its being the healthier choice!

We brought out take out meals and Hula Hana cocktails onto the balcony and pretended we were vacationing in the Catskills pretending to vacation in Hawaii, until the humidity reminded us both that we were really in the DC region in July and not on vacation at all.  Back indoors to finish eating!

So one last word on this cocktail - it is a TrOpiCaL high octane, kick you in the face with its fruity sweetness drink.  I kind of forgot that I don't like tropical cocktails at all.  Michael liked it (but agreed that this is a very occasional bit of ridiculousness - the hangover caused by more than one would be enough to turn anyone off forever) but it took removing all but about a half a shot of the cocktail blend and filling the glass with seltzer before I could enjoy it enough to drink it.

Even then, it was pretty to look at - a clear pale blue alcoholic sweet punch soda.  A little off key, like Lisa, this drink tries hard to be the 'fun one'.

I did love the garnishes, though!

I can't wait until the end of the month to see how other bloggers are interpreting "Dirty Dancing" - what would you make to go along with it?

Food 'n Flix Club Logo

Friday, July 21, 2017

Neocell Ceramides Skin Hydrator (Review/Giveaway)


I'm at it again, partnering with Neocell to try out a new product, and give my candid opinion of the results, and my experience with said new product. And, once again, Neocell did not disappoint!

I received a bottle of Ceramides Skin Hydrator, with a picture of a beautiful woman submerged in water - she definitely looks hydrated! So, lets see how this works…

The bottle contains 60 capsules, a 30 day supply. Instructions are to take 2 capsules per day. There is not a specific time of day that is better, so they can be taken at any time.

I do suggest making a routine, however. I was not consistent at first with the time of day that I took Ceramides Skin Hydrator, so I missed a few days.

I thought that might effect my results, however it did not - in spite of my own inconsistency, the results were noticeable, as I'll show you shortly.

When looking up some of the impressive stats about Ceramides Skin Hydrator, I noticed 85% of subjects noticed a reduction in scales (rough skin), 80% of subjects felt less pulling sensations, and 80% of subjects felt an improved skin appearance.

I definitely noticed a reduction in scales (apparently I was slowly turning into a dragon!) and much improved skin appearance.

I am really bad about moisturizing regularly - I usually slather lotion on when I notice I am already too dry. You know - reactive vs. proactive! I moisturize my face consistently, but not my hands and body. Oops.

Lately I have noticed that I am more dry than usual. Not only has it been getting hotter and dryer as we move deep into summer, but I have been working out pretty intensively 4 to 6 times a week, getting ready for a fitness competition later this year.

I noticed dry irritated skin all over, including the  palms of my hands, super peely and rough. I just figured that was a part of heavy lifting. Turns out, that is not the case.

If anything, I have been doing more lifting while using Ceramides Skin Hydrator, so I should have what my friends joke about: "man hands." There is a group of 5 of us, and we workout together.  We talk about all sorts of silly things, one of which is the effect of all the hard work we put in: from diet changes, smaller waistlines, defined muscles, looser skin, and dryer skin.

And yet, my hands are far from manly now! Ceramides Skin Hydrator is keeping them soft and supple! For the looser skin, I am going back to Neocell Collagen bursts and my all time favorite, Neocell Collagen protein! They are great for skin elasticity, and they taste great!

So, what are ceramides, and what do they do? 
I believe it is time again, for another lesson at the SCHOOL OF JEN.

Ceramides are lipids naturally found in the skin's outer later that retain moisture, and assist in cell regeneration. When ceramide levels are low, our skin has a hard time retaining moisture - it works as a protective layer to retain moisture. Ceramides are part of the glue that holds the surface of skin cells together.

Dry, irritated, and sensitive skin often lack ceramides - leaving skin more susceptible to environmental factors, just like I had been experiencing with the season changing, which is usually not an issue for me.  Maybe I'm getting old!

I did notice, a few weeks into taking Ceramides Skin Hydrator that I was looking less scaly on my palms and shins.

Does scaly shins sound weird? I notice that after shaving my legs, my shins looked dry and flaky - but the scales lessened as I continued taking Ceramides Skin Hydrator. Also weird, I check out my palms all the time now, and they're baby smooth!

As usual, with everything that I have tried with Neocell, I am impressed. I really did think that "man hands" was an inescapable part of working out hard. Doing the amount of back squats, pull ups, chin ups, t-bar rows, the list goes on, my hands were definitely starting to look rough.

Seriously, they're like butter now!

My husband was absent-mindedly petting my foot the other day, as we watched TV. I looked over at him, and he quietly said "What!? I can't help it, your skin is so soft, like everywhere!"

Now that is what I'm talking about!

If you wish to purchase Neocell Ceramides Skin Hydrator, you can do so at Walgreens, CVS, and Sam's Club to name a few for only $17.99.

Oh, I forgot to mention! Coming soon, to a tummy near you: Neocell Collagen Cookie Bars. They are due out soon, and scrumptious.

I was able to try both flavors, coconut chocolate crunch, and Peanut Butter crunch. I was surprised to find I like the coconut more. I'm not usually a coconut fan, and it has a definite coconut flavor, but the chocolate had me going in for bite after bite!

The peanut butter crunch is also good, my husband finished that one for me. Sharing is caring!

Boasting 13g of protein, only 2g sugar, and collagen infused - how do you go wrong with a chocolate bar that is a true snack and makes your hair, skin, and nails better! Too good.

If you've read my past reviews, you know Neocell always takes care of our readers with a great giveaway, and this time is no exception! THREE of our readers in the US will each win a 30 day supply of Neocell Ceramides Skin Hydrator to try out for themselves.  Read on to see how one of them can be you!

One winner in the US will receive a one month supply of Neocell Ceramides Skin Hydrator at the end of the giveaway.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to the US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 8/5. 

The winner will be notified by email 24 to 48 hours after the end of the giveaway by email. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #121

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

This week we are full of GIVEAWAYS!  Yay!  And by tomorrow there will be four! For now, check these out and enter to win some great swag!

So, now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!

Blackberry Cobbler in a Cast Iron Skillet // Simply Stacie
"This simple blackberry cobbler in a cast-iron skillet is the closest you can get to the Old-Fashioned recipe while staying 100% healthy. Made with only 7 ingredients and whipped up under 10 minutes, you can have this delicious dessert ready within the next hour."

Fairy Garden Cloche Decor // Live Craft Love
"I came up with this fairy garden cloche DIY project as a new spin on the classic fairy garden.  It is a quick and easy project and I even added a solar light."

Easy Tricolour Pendant with Nail Polish // White House Crafts
"I had no idea what to expect or what the turn out would be.  But I had a leftover pendant from a previous necklace project, and nail polishes that I didn't wear all that much, so I decided to put the two together and see what would happen."

DIY Jewelry Storage Box // Creative Kadija
"This teeny tiny box decoupaged with a scrapbook paper sheet & a piece of paper doily. Half pearl bead is just a cherry on top of the cake. Right?"

Pucker Up: Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Parfaits // Live Love Texas
"With July being National Ice Cream Month, it only made sense to make an already amazing key lime pie taste even better on oppressively hot days by adding a little ice cream to the mix."

Zesty Fiesta Ranch Dip // I Thee Cook
"I may have a sight ranch infatuation. Ever since I was young. It may also have spilled over to my kids.  If you are looking for a quick and easy dip recipe this ones for you. It's creamy and cool with a little kick from the heat of the jalapeno."

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Lucky Tackle Box XL Bass (Review/Giveaway)


What comes to mind when you hear Summer? For some it is the beach.. the lake.. BBQs.. Well, in our family, it is camping and fishing!

We love to head to the lake for the weekend and camp out. My husband will wake up at a god awful early time and head to the shore to get his poles in the water! He can sit there for hours on end, casting and recasting until he snags that perfect fish. Most of the time with great success!

So I was really happy when I was given the chance to review the #1 subscription box for folks who fish - Lucky Tackle Box!

This is a monthly box you can receive that is jam packed with fishing goodies like Lures, Jigs, Bait, etc.

You get to choose between several different types of fish that you were shooting for on your fishing trip.

Each type of box is designed with the tackle that is best for that specific fish type. You can choose from: Bass, Bass XL, Catfish, In-Shore Saltwalter, Multi-Species, Panfish, Walleye, Trout and Fly Fishing!

Each box comes with around $50 in merchandise  to use. I'm not sure if each box or month comes with different values. as I could not find that on the site but my particular box, when priced out by item, was worth $50!

The cost of the subscriptions are as follows: 1 month is $14.99 or $24.99 for the XL boxes, 3 months is $14.39 or $23.99, 6 months is $14.24 or $23.79 and 12 months is $13.75 or $22.92 per box.

Not a bad deal for new tackle each month!

I was given a few things in my box to add to my husband's tackle box. The card that comes with the box lists each brand included, along with their website addresses so that he can purchase more of the ones he likes best.

Among the items in the box I received are a package of Hammerhead Crank Bait, Assorted Crank bait, Flat Wild 4", Fat gap flat nickel hooks, Link top-water bait, and Chatterfrog.

Now to someone who doesn't fish, this is all a bunch of gibberish and possibly made up words, but for someone who fishes, this is some pretty top quality stuff!

The cool thing about this box is that once you receive it (shipped every 10th of the month), you can go onto their website and watch a video on how to use everything that you received in your box! How cool is that?

Also included in the box is The Biggest Little Book on fishing, a small guide to the items that are included in your box as well as some little tidbits that are fun to read.

So we live in Sunny Southern California where as of late our lakes and rivers have become more abundant. We are finally starting to get through the dreaded drought and our lakes are flourishing.

We took our Lucky Tackle Boxes on two separate trips to the lake.

Our first trip was to Lake Dixon in Escondido, CA. This lake is known for their Bass and Catfish.

We had two days of fishing and were in a pretty secluded spot in the shade where normally the fish would migrate to.

Day 1, we had no luck, nothing even bit. It was a really hot day so I'm assuming that the fish were all in the deeper water.

The second day we were able to catch a nice sized Catfish (with the bass tackle, using the worms).

I will not blame the product whatsoever for the lack of catching fish because we even switched out to our typical lures and bait and still were unsuccessful.  Just a bad trip apparently.

Even a bad day fishing has its consolations.
Our second trip was to Lake Hemet in Mountain Center, CA. They are known for their Bass, Blue Gill and Catfish. I knew I should have gotten the Catfish box too!

This trip we were also unsuccessful on catching anything worth noting. I look forward to trying this gear out again on our next trip to the lake.

Would I recommend this box to my fishing buddies? Of course! Who wouldn't love to get new fishing gear each month to try and up their fishing game?

Now would I recommend this subscription box to my stubborn grandfather? Probably not! We all know that the old timer fishermen have their ways of doing it and have learned their ways over the years of fishing.

I feel like he would look at some of the stuff and think 'what is wrong with my old lure?"

But for the fisher looking to get to know some of the products out there, I think this would make a great gift for the fathers and brothers in your lives - as well as the mothers and sisters who fish! I wish that I had had my hands on this box in time for Fathers Day - this would have made a stellar gift for my husband.

Give them a look at their social media pages and see what they are all about. I think you will be thoroughly pleased by their products. I know that we were.  And then read on to see how you can enter to win an XL Bass Box from Lucky Tackle Box!


One winner in the US or Canada will receive a one month subscription to Lucky Tackle Box XL Bass version at the end of the giveaway.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to the US AND CANADA ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 8/4. 

The winner will be notified by email 24 to 48 hours after the end of the giveaway by email. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck!