Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Party in Your PJs #166

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 Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma Ideas and here!

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.

Before we get started, let's give a big welcome to our newest co-host, Donna from Two Chicks & a Mom!


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.

Blind Date with a Book: Review/Giveaway


It has been many decades since I last went on a blind date - remember those?  A friend decides to set you up with someone they know, and sells you on the whole idea by listing a few qualities they hope might appeal to you.

"He's tall." "He is a great conversationalist."  "He comes from a big family and loves to cook!"

Sometimes the description gives you a reasonable idea of how you'll like him - often it leaves out a few key qualities ("He picks his nose and wipes it off on his shirt!"), and of course in the end there is no way to ensure that elusive quality of chemistry between the two of you.

If you didn't pour a whole lot of expectation into the experience, and planned a reasonable escape if need be, it could be fun.  Even if nothing came of it, you likely at least wound up with a good story to tell.

I pretty much only ever came away with good stories with an odd blend of slapstick humor and horror so I was quite happy to leave that whole game behind me - but now I've found a much better way to guarantee a good story through a blind date, and no possibility of having to say an awkward goodbye if things go awry!

Blind Date with a Book is a brilliant idea from Elizabeth's Bookstore in Australia that has spread to Waitrose stores in England, and around the world online via blinddatewithabook.com.

The details are as simple as they are brilliant - playing the part of that old good friend, Blind Date with a Book curates a few titles in various genres, describes them with a few key descriptions and wraps them up neatly in a plain brown wrapper, for the customer to purchase without knowing exactly what the book is.

On the website, there are always at least a dozen or so blind dates to choose from, divided between New & Quite New.  It took a little while for my American brain to sort out  that "Quite New" is older than "New" - sort of like we'd say "Pretty  New".

I'm glad the selection wasn't much larger because I had a very hard time choosing between things that sounded a little familiar and comfortable and things totally outside my normal wheelhouse, because why not live a little?!

Ultimately I chose one in a genre I enjoy that I could think of a few titles it might be.  I figured, if it's one I've read, I'd be happy to read any of these again - and if it was a new one in my old favorite genre, then jackpot!

The checkout process was simple - you just select the book or books you'd like, along with your payment method (Paypal is one option). Each book is listed at £7.99 but they are available for purchase worldwide. Then select your shipping method, and check out.  To where I live in the DC region, the estimated shipping time was 8 days, and that was accurate to what happened.

As soon as you've checked out, you'll get an email confirmation number and I found the staff to be very responsive as needed.

With just a bit over a week to anticipate I was very excited the day my package arrived!

I loved the packaging - and that tag makes for a great bookmark, too!  I slowly started to open it and just before I got it opened my husband triumphantly declared,

"I think I know what it is!!"  And then he guessed RIGHT!

Yes, I've read it - except not, because this was a newer edition than the one I've read and includes a rather extensive additional forward.

Mystery Date!
No, I don't own it.

Yes, I'm thrilled to read it again - and it was pretty coincidental because I just recently rewatched the movie based on it.

Yes - happy blind date!  And yes, I will be happy to send for another at some point, because the entire process was great fun.

So.... do you know what it is?  Because I'm not going to tell you, at least not today!  This selection is still available on Blind Date with a Book, and I don't want to spoil anyone's surprise.

Instead - how about a Giveaway??  Blind Date with a Book will send a Blind Date selection of the winners' choice to TWO of our readers worldwide!

Let me know in comments what book you think this is - and check out their website and tell us which book you'd be willing to give a spin?  Alternatively - how would you describe your favorite book if you were trying to set up your best friend with it?

Read on for further details on how to enter - and I'll post a review (and reveal!) of my Blind Date when the Giveaway is over.


Two winner will each receive a Blind Date book of their choice from among those available online 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 WORLD-WIDE and will end just before midnight ET on 8/2. 

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!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Prep Dish GF/Paleo Meal Plan Subscription: Review/Giveaway


For the past three months, I have not had to wonder about what I was going to make for dinner. I know exactly what I need for an entire week at the grocery store and only need to go there once, and the argument about dinner is nonexistent. My life seems to have changed!

How have I reached such a state? Prep Dish.

Prep Dish is a meal planning service that offers meal plans starting at $14/month for both gluten free and Paleo diets. Every week, I get an email with a link to a printable three to four page document that includes a grocery list, step by step prep day instructions, and simple day-of instructions for four dinners, a salad, a snack, a breakfast, and a dessert.

Primarily, we utilize the Paleo menus in my household, and not once have I finished a dinner still feeling hungry.

These dinners even fill up Mischief, who seems to have a perpetual hollow leg, and a deep love of carbs.

These meal plans work well with people dealing with food sensitivities. For example, while the menus often contain a dairy aspect, all dairy is completely optional, which is nice for my dairy sensitive stomach (thank you children for making Mommy lactose intolerant....). Additionally, the nuts in recipes have alternatives if you have a nut allergy in the house.

Each recipe is intended to feed a family of four (two adults and two children), but I have leftovers after almost every meal, even though sometimes I'm feeding three adults.

In fact, I usually have so many leftovers that after a couple weeks I don't even need to go to the grocery store, we just eat leftovers all week!!

I really enjoy being able to now get some of my vegetation from the local farmer's markets, and wish I could get all of it there, but unfortunately it isn't quite the right climate for certain things like pineapples and oranges here in Washington state.

For produce like zucchini, greens, and berries, though, I love supporting the local farms! Prep Dish menus have evolved with the changing of the seasons, and they allow me to get more and more from them!

To give you an idea of what you might expect from a Prep Dish meal plan here's a sample menu that includes our family's favorite Prep Dish meal, Shrimp Cobb Salad:

  • Meal 1: Shrimp Cobb Salad
  • Meal 2: Honey Mustard Chicken w/Tarragon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus
  • Meal 3: Grass Fed Steaks w/Baked Potatoes and Broccoli
  • Meal 4: Mediterranean Frittata
  • Salad: Spinach, Oranges, Fennel, and Avocado
  • Breakfast: Grain Free Cranberry Pecan Granola
  • Snack: Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Dessert: Banana Cookies 

I've actually gone back and made this salad again twice! It is a wonderful salad for the climbing temperatures of summer!

Shrimp Cobb Salad (courtesy of Prep Dish)
serves 4

2 Avocados
1 Head of Romaine Lettuce
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
4 slices Thin Cut Bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 lb Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
2 Eggs, Hard Boiled
4 oz Blue Cheese Crumbles
½ T Dried Basil
¼ c Red Wine Vinegar
½ c Olive Oil

Finely chop one head of romaine lettuce. Halve a pint of cherry tomatoes. Peel and quarter hard cooked eggs. Slice avocados.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add shrimp and cover. Remove from heat and cook for ten minutes or until just cooked.

Whisk oil, vinegar, and basil together for vinaigrette.

Toss all ingredients together and top with vinaigrette.

This salad is wonderful for a hot summer night and even tastes good the next day!

If getting recipes like this every week in your inbox sounds awesome to you, you're in luck! Our RCH readers who sign up using this link will get a two week trial of Prep Dish for free (a $7.00 value). A credit card will be required to take advantage of this offer and the subscription will be auto-renewed at $14.00 per month unless canceled.

We are also having a giveaway for a year subscription to Prep Dish, valued at $99.00 - read on to see how you can enter to win!

I love this subscription and have actually elected to continue getting these wonderful recipe, as I really do find that meal planning makes my life run a little bit smoother and this takes out all the hard work, which makes it great for the busy mom of two wild children!


One winner will each receive a one year subscription to the Prep Dish Meal Plan email subscription service, valued at $99.00.

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 WORLD-WIDE and will end just before midnight ET on 8/1. 

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!