imageIf you haven’t checked out your local library lately, you may be missing out on all the free digital media they have available, including FREE digital magazines through Zinio!

To see if your library offers Zinio, go to their website and do a quick search. If they do, you will need to make sure you have a current library card, and if you don’t already have one, this may require an actual visit to the library to get one set up.

Once you have your library card, the next step is to set up a Zinio account and then follow your library’s instructions to connecting your library account with your Zinio account.

So, the initial set up can be a bit tedious, but once it is set up, the rest is a piece of cake. You just click on the magazines you are interested in every month and they download directly to your Zinio library to view for as long as you want.

And, we are talking about some of the worlds top magazines like Forbes, Newsweek, O, National Geographic and ConsumerReports, just to name a few.

If you love to surf though the new stands, and want to save some money, this really is a no brainier.

imageI found myself mulling through jars of nut butters at my local grocery store the other day,  intrigued by all the different varieties that are now available.

Nutella seems to be the most popular one, however, upon comparing the label to other chocolate nut spreads, the first ingredient in Nutella is sugar.  Well, if I am going to indulge in something that sweet, I may as well just go straight for the chocolate bar.  Then I came across MaraNatha’s Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and the first ingredient on the label was actually dry roasted almonds and it had less than half the sugar as the Nutella brand, so I threw a jar in my cart to try.

I have been eating it in the mornings spread on apple slices, and it feels like I am having desert for breakfast.  I wouldn’t describe it as creamy because it doesn’t spread on smooth, however, the coco is really rich and if you like dark chocolate, this is a delectable treat.

I brought it to work for my coworkers to try right before Halloween and it was a big hit.  I thought it would be a healthier alternative to candied apples, you just need to be careful not to overindulge.

Let me know if you’ve tried it, or other things you may have paired it with.  My imagination doesn’t venture much farther than apples, well maybe a glass of red wine.

imageI have been buying these Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n tenders by Gardein for over a year now and my husband just discovered that they were meatless.  They are really that good.

If you like Panda Express Orange Chicken, but are fearful of the 420 calories, 21 grams of fat and 43 carbs that go with it, these meatless chicken tenders are a very healthy and tasty alternative.

The package has 3 servings and each serving has 150 calories, 0 grams of fat, 6 carbs and 17 grams of protein.

So forget take out and stock your freezer with a few bags of these for a quick meal.  Throw them in a pan, heat them up and they are done in about 8 minutes.  The orange sauce comes in a small pouch that you heat up in warm water and pour over the chicken right before serving.

I haven’t tried any of their other products yet, but my grocery store only offers 3 and the other 2 don’t look as appealing to me.  However, I think I will try seeking them out in other grocery stores to see if they carry a bigger selection.

If anyone has tried any of their other products, I would be interested to see what your take is on them.


imageThis is my dog Cody  after spending a week in the kennel.  He must have cried the entire time he was there as he couldn’t  bark for three days after we brought him home. Poor thing has horrible separation anxiety.  I hated to leave him, but it would have been too stressful for both of us trying to find a place to drop him off everyday while we were traveling.

We boarded him at the Pebble Maryland Animal Hospital on the south side of Las Vegas. They are an awesome group, fairly close to home, have great hours and are reasonably priced. I think we only paid about $17.00 a night and they gave him a free bath after the third day.  They have a great offer for new clients of either a free exam or free vaccines.  I like that they are also open on weekends.

Cody is the most spoiled dog we have ever owned.  But with both of the kids out of the house now, he has become our third child.  He just kind of fell into our lap this year when a coworker of mine was needing to find a new home for him.  I guess he was just meant to be Our dog.

I look forward to him sitting in my lap after a stressful day of work, as he just seems to make all that melt away.

One good thing is that the next time we have to board him, he may not stress as much knowing that we will be back to get him.

head in the clouds


It is said when you are stressed, you should find that place in your head where you feel at peace. What better place than high above the clouds, away from the problems of the world, yet grounded by a mountain peak.

127 Hours

Do you remember what you were doing from April 26th to May 1st in 2003?

Ask Aron Ralston what he was doing, it is five days that he will never forget and almost didn’t live to tell about.

127 Hours is based on Aron’s book “Between a Rock and a Hardplace”  and is one of the most amazing story’s of survival I have ever come across.

James Franco, who played the part of Aron, was brilliant and his performance was definitely worthy of an Oscar, and I love director Danny Boyle’s style as it is most engaging.

In case you hadn’t heard  Aron’s story on the news, he is a rock and mountain climber and was climbing alone in Utah’s Blue John Canyon.   While climbing, a boulder became dislodged, and fell pinning his arm to the canyon wall.  After five days of being stranded, he ended up self amputating his arm with a cheap pocket knife.

The scene where he performs the surgery was quite realistic and I could feel myself wincing as if I could actually feel his pain.  I halfway covered my eyes and peeked through my fingers trying hard to divert my attention anyway that I could because it was most overwhelming.

There is a point in the movie where he is contemplating on his ill-fated situation, and  he thinks to himself   “You know, I’ve been thinking. Everything is… just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all this. This rock… this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It’s entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface.”

Upon hearing it, I remember repeating it to my husband to see if it had the same profound effect on him as it did on me. On a quick Google search, I  discovered it is one of the most referred to quotes from the movie.  Obviously it had the same impact on many.

An incredible story, lovingly portrayed and beautifully shot.  It will keep you thinking for days.

I don’t read as often as I would like and I am reminded of that every time I pick up a good book.

While surfing for cookbooks on my local library website, I happened to catch out of the corner of my eye,  a review on the side column for this  book called “Packing for Mars” by Mary Roach.  The review stated that the  book was quite funny, and I just so happened to be in the mood for funny,  so I clicked on it, ordered it, and forgot all about it.

About two months later, I get an e-mail from the library telling me that the book was ready to pick up, and I though, wow, if it took that long to come in, it must be good because I was on quite the waiting list.

Having never read Mary Roach  before, I was expecting to read more of a novel about traveling to Mars, when actually Mary Roach is a scientist and the book was more of a dissertation about all the engineering and planning and science and quirky type things that actually goes on behind the scenes in planning a trip for months on end in zero gravity.

I have always been fascinated about space travel and took many trips with my kids to the Johnson Space Center while living in Houston.  At the time they had an exact model of the space shuttle that you could walk through and get an up close and personal glimpse of what it is like inside.  The only thing missing was the sense of zero gravity.

Mary Roach was not only funny,  she also gave you quite an all around eduction on the up close and personal of life in outer space, like how one must smell after so many days without bathing.   I particularly was amazed that in zero gravity even the organs inside your body would float, to the point that you may not even feel the weight of your bladder filling up  and could forget to pee.  I was talking to my boss about the book and was telling her that in space you can grow 2 to 3 inches taller because there is no gravity to compress your back.  She thought for a moment and then exclaimed, “wow, how good would that feel on my back”.  Personally I was thinking more on how good that would make my boobs look.

If you have ever had the curiosity about what it is  really like to travel and prepare for travel in outer space,   Mary Roch seems to cover everything that NASA purposely leaves out.  A refreshing quick read that will lift you off your feet.


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