Awesome Amazon Giveaway


My blogger friends and I have come together to bring you another Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway! This month we’re giving away a $750 Amazon gift card to one of our lucky readers!

 Want a chance to be the lucky winner? Here’s what you need to do – bookmark this page and come back every day to enter and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!



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“Home is Where the Heart Is”. I guess that means home is where the people you love are. I have lived in Ohio 12 years now and it is basically home. My husband and kids are here and friends. I sometimes still feel like a transplant, but we have built a life here.
A part of me will always be that California girl. My mom and family are still out there. We visited last May, but San Jose doesn’t feel quite like home anymore. It will always be my hometown, and I will have a special connection to the Bay Area.
My home of choice would be by the beach, around Monterey. When we visited there, I did really feel at home. I guess my ultimate goal would be to retire by the beach at some point. It is that, or Tuscany, so let’s see what happens!
Home can be wherever you are happy. I will be happy wherever my family is. I don’t think a specific place matters as much. I always tell people a place is just a place. No matter where you live there are good and bad things. You just make the most of wherever you land. If you are lucky, then you find “home” along the way.

Yes, You can Still Stay Involved

Family moving boxes into a dormitory at college

When kids are little, it is so easy to be involved  in their lives. I remember many days of volunteering at school, baking for parties, and field trips.

By High School, there were just not so many opportunities to be involved on a regular basis. I still got involved as I could, and donated time and food! I also chaperoned orchestra trips and had fun, too.
Now that both of my kids are in college, I did not think much about doing something with the school.
College is a time for young adults to be on their own and grow as a person, and mom needs to back off, right?
Well, that is true somewhat, but I try to be available for my kids and help them if they need it.
I can’t exactly volunteer, but this year I found an opportunity to be involved.
I got an email looking for parent volunteers to join the Parent Advisory Group. The university actually wants the opinions of parents!
I attended my first meeting with my husband, and it was really interesting.
We got to meet with the President of the University and his wife. The parents got to learn about issues and news, as well as give our suggestions. This has been a great opportunity to learn what is going on at the school and again, give input to the leaders at the university.They served us a pretty awesome lunch,too!
Anyway just wanted to let parents know that although you have to let your children go out on their own, you can still be a presence in their lives and even have a chance to get involved (from a distance!)

15 Nutty Recipes

15 nutty recipes collage

Pumpkin Nut Roll:

Pecan Stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon:

Carrot/Banana Pecan Bread:

Sausage Couscous with Spinach and Pine Nuts:

Pecan Pie Bars:

Cardamom Pecan Pound Cake:

Vanilla/Maple Granola:

Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps:

Brownie Bites:

DIY Peanut Butter:

Blueberry/Pecan Squares:

Basil Pesto:

Homemade Granola:

Cashew/Sausage/Basil Pizza:



Ragweed Allergies- Helpful Hints

ragweed allergy collage

Things you might not know about Ragweed allergies

If you are unfortunate enough to be allergic to Ragweed, like me, you are definitely not alone. Symptoms may be just a runny nose or watery eyes, but can also be more severe. There are some things you might not know about Ragweed allergies, though, and in this case, what you don’t know CAN hurt you!

You might not know that certain foods can trigger your ragweed allergy. Fruits and vegetables that are harvested during the Fall season can be triggers. Melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon can cause oral allergy symptoms, like a scratchy throat. Zucchini, cucumber and sunflower seeds can also have this effect.  Some foods that are not as common may include bananas, dandelion and chamomile tea. Just be aware of this so if you eat these foods and notice some allergy symptoms, you can avoid these items during the ragweed season (typically August through the first frost). I find that I usually can’t eat a lot of these foods during the allergy season.

Some folks wear a mask when they go outside. Unfortunately this does not work. There are 17 different species of ragweed in the U.S.  It is estimated that a single ragweed plant can release one billion grains of pollen over a single ragweed season. The grains are so light that they float easily even on gentle breezes. Ragweed is hard to avoid, but there are some things you can do to help yourself.

Pollen counts are highest during the middle of the day (approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Try to stay indoors and use your AC! Even when the temperatures get cooler and there is a nice breeze, do not open up those windows and let that ragweed pollen inside. Remember to change the filters in your cooling system regularly, too. HEPA filters are even better to use.

If you do have to be outdoors for any length of time, try to change your clothes. Taking a shower before bed also helps, because excess pollen can cling to your face and hair. On high pollen days, you can help yourself by pulling your hair back and not using hair spray. I have found this really does help! Nasal rinses or saline nasal spray help nasal irritation, too.

The Ragweed season seems to be getting longer every year, so arm yourself with some knowledge (and maybe medication) to fight this big, bad weed and all the misery it brings.