Favorite Things at the Moment & Keurig K-Cup Giveaway

Hey everyone!  It’s been awhile since I did a favorite things post, so I thought it was about time that I did one.

I’m loving my new mini Keurig that my parents bought me for Christmas.  For one, I love that it is a nice & cheery red that adds a little pop of color to my kitchen counter.  I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I love flavored coffee type drinks, hot tea, hot cocoa & things of that nature.  This little sucker is awesome in the morning, even if you’re in a hurry to get out the door, but want that cup of joe to go.  You can put the water in the Keurig, pop in the k-cup of your choice and hit the brew button and you’ve got your fresh, piping hot drink ready within literally a couple of minutes.  My favorite flavor so far is Cafe Mocha.  What flavors do you recommend??  I seen a french vanilla cappuccino on Amazon that I may have to order & try.  Yum!
Next on my list is also a Keurig related item.  The Ekobrew is a reusable filter that you can use in your Keurig in place of a k-cup.  It makes using the Keurig super affordable! You can put just buy your favorite tin of coffee like Folgers, Maxwell House or what have you and just put the desired amount right in this little guy and boom….coffee in a flash!  You can even use it with loose teas as well!  How awesome is that??   Another added bonus is you don’t have to remove any parts from your Keurig to use this like you do with some filters. Just pop it right in like you would with a regular k-cup!  Suh-weet!

Number 3 on my list is this awesome little idea I seen on Pinterest.  I’m a very visual person, so I figured this may be that extra boost of encouragement to stick with a diet, if I’m seeing the results in this way.  I ran out to Michael’s today and picked up a couple of small Mason Jars, along with a couple of bags of decorative gems.  They are clear and then they also had heart gems mixed in with them…so cute.  So I’ll put in the clear gems for each pound and for every 5lb mark, I’ll put a heart gem into the jar…love this idea!  Wish I would have thought about it myself or seen it sooner!  Really affordable though…it cost less than $10 for the supplies! 🙂

Fourth item on my list today is the Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleaning System.  I have to admit, I’ve had this little sucker on my wish list for some time now & I finally broke down and bought it yesterday while I was at Target, as it came with a full size exfoliating renewal cleaners as well as a travel size for only $29.99…I actually think I see this in there weekly ad this morning.  I tried this little puppy out last night for the first time & it is awesome!  Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how much crap is left on your face AFTER you’ve washed your face.  Go ahead…go out and get this & go home and wash your face, then use this…all of the makeup you thought you had removed shows up on the brush…it’s crazy.  You won’t believe how incredibly soft & smooth your face will feel after using the Pro-X.  I’m so glad I finally broke down & bought it!

If you’re kind of clumsy like me & have a tendency to drop your phone sometimes or accidentally knock it off the table, than this is the iPhone case for you!  I finally upgraded to the iPhone 4 in November & carried it around in nothing but a little zippered fabric pouch.  I researched & tried to figure out the kind of case I wanted to protect my precious phone & heard several people at work comment that they loved there cases like this, so I found the color I liked and purchased the Otterbox Defender Case.  It’s actually a hard plastic case, that has a hard plastic cover to protect the face & the touchscreen works just as if nothing was covering it at all!  Then you put the rubber cover over the plastic case & BAM!  You have one super protective case!

The last thing I have on my list of favorite things at the moment post is Boots No.7 Mineral Perfection Foundation with SPF15.  I’ve tried several of the more known mineral foundations out there and this one is by far my favorite.  I first came across it at Target, when they were handing out coupons when they first started carrying it.  It’s a lot more affordable than most of your mineral makeup.  I believe it’s only around $13.99 at Target.  I love to use this in the summer when it’s horribly hot and normal foundation just feels so heavy and then makes you feel like your face is going to melt off.  This gives you the perfect coverage, plus it has sun protection in it as well.  Plus it comes with a great make-up brush everytime you buy a new box!

Well, that about wraps up my favorite things at the moment post, but I also thought it was about time I did a giveaway of some sort.  So, that being said, I wanted to go ahead and do a small giveaway of a 12 pack variety of Keurig K-Cups.

Keurig 12 count K-Cup Giveaway!

How to Enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me of your favorite tea, coffee, k-cup flavor, etc.

Optional Entries:

* 1. Like me on Facebook & leave a separate comment that you’ve done so.

* 2. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter & mention me in the tweet @littleraincloud & leave a separate comment that you’ve done so.

* 3. Follow me on Twitter.

Giveaway closes at 11:59pm on Saturday, February 4th & I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.

    Congrats to the Giveaway winner Ginger.  I e-mailed you.

What is the Deal with the Hello Friend Commercials?

Hello friend! Are all of these vague “HelloFriend” commercials driving anyone else nuts??  I see different commercials all of the time and they are all so random!  It’s like this mini commercial for nothing and ends with a blue screen with the phrase “hellofriend” in yellow letters.  Bizarre!  I know I was out driving last weekend and even came across a huge billboard stating “hellofriend”!

 I was just watching the news tonight & they stated that the commercials are actually created by the cable company, Brighthouse.  Someone in there marketing department is pretty smart, because I’m sure everyone else out there is just as curious as I am.  I have a feeling we’ll be finding out the reason for these commercials during the Super Bowl!  Sometimes I think people turn in to the Super Bowl just to see the new & crazy commercials that always air during the game every year & could care less about the game.  If the reasoning behind these bizarro commercials isn’t revealed during the Super Bowl, then I don’t know what Brighthouse’s intentions are behind these commercials.  Come On Brighthouse….inquiring minds want to know!

Game Day Appetizers

Well, with the big game day quickly approaching, I thought I’d pop in & leave you with a few yummy appetizers that everyone will love!  Enjoy!

This first appetizer, I stumbled upon while perusing on Pinterest.  It looked like a super cute and easy idea for a quick little meal in a jar.  Chili in a mason jar, topped with cornbread….how easy is that??  Super portable, individual servings & super cute to boot!!  Check out the how to over at the giverslog blog.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 (10 oz) box of frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)
1 (14oz) can of artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup Shredded parmesan/romano cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 oz prepared alfredo sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 oz (1/2 pkg) of softened cream cheese

*Combine ingredients throughly in a bowl and spread mixture into a small baking dish.  Bake in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheeses are bubbling and melted.  Serve warm with tortilla chips. YUMMO!!

BBQ Cups

3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 (12oz) pkg refrigerated biscuit dough
1/3 cup shredded chedder cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cups of a muffin pan.

  1. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook beef until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Stir in barbeque sauce and dried onion. Simmer for a few minutes over low heat.
  2. Flatten each biscuit, and press into cups of the prepared muffin pan. Make sure the dough comes to the top of the pan. Spoon a portion of the meat mixture into each dough cup.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 3 more minutes.

This one is always a big hit!  You can also fill the cups with pulled pork, taco meat, etc…

Yummy Taco Dip

Equal parts sour cream and cream cheese. I used 16 oz. Of each. 1 1/12 packets of Taco seasoning. You mix that all together and spread in the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Then chill overnight. The following day, top with chopped lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and olives.  Get yourself a bag of tortilla chips & you’re set….so good!!

Anyways, those are just a few of my favorite apps that are super easy and will win over the hungry crowd every time! 

A Sunday Stroll with the Manatees

Long time, no see!  I’ve really got to start scheduling posts or something or else I just never seem to get around to posting more than once a week these days.  Anyways, just wanted to pop in and say “Hey”!  I had a pretty lazy day on Saturday & didn’t do much of anything other then some housecleaning and watching some t.v. shows on hulu.  Then on Sunday, my friend, Stephanie and I went to Blue Springs State Park so we could see the manatees, which are my favorite animal ever….I just think they are adorable!  If we would have gotten there around 8am (too early for a weekend) we could have seen about 80 of them in the springs, but by the time we rolled into the park around 11am, there were probably only about 20 or so, which was plenty for me.  We also seen a gator, a turtle & tons of fish & birds.  It was an awesome opportunity for Stephanie to try out her new fancy schmancy camera she got for Christmas….now I want one!  I’m not going to do an in depth post about the park right now, as I’ll be posting about it when I post for a local tourism website in April on things to do in the area.  If you want to find out a little more about the park now, head on over to Simply Stephanie to check out her post.  I will leave you with some awesome pics by noted nature photographer, Stephanie K. 🙂

Manatee’s Galore….HEAVEN!
Coming Up for Air
A Curious Squirrel
Mama & Baby
Me & a mosaic manatee
The Partner in Crime & I

Inspiration Workshop – Bedrooms

Hello my peeps!  Guess what?  The Inspiration Workshop Link Up Party hosted by Gussy Sews is back!  I think everyone has recuperated from the holidays & are getting back to posting a little more regularly.  I need to get on the ball a little more in that aspect, but at least the link up party keeps me posting every Thursday.  The prompt that was sent out for this weeks Inspiration Workshop was: Bedroom

I’m not sure about all of you, but my bedroom is pretty dull.  I love my bed, which is a dark brown leather with dark brown furniture, but not much else going on in there.  I do have a couple of pics on the walls, but I have yet to find that perfect picture to hang above the bed & that would make a big difference right there.  Well, the pictures I found below are of some very dreamy bedrooms that I would love to have.  I found all on pinterest & provided the links below the pictures.  It was hard to narrow it down to just a few! 🙂 Enjoy!

{Photo Credit}
{My Favorite}
{Swoon….doesn’t it look so cozy!}
{So warm & inviting!}
{Love the open feel of this room}
{This would be a cute guest bedroom}

Adorable Puppies!

 Not much to write tonight because I must get back to reading “The Hunger Games”.  I had a hard time putting it down last night, but if I wouldn’t have put it down I would have been up till the wee hours of the night trying to finish and then you wouldn’t have had a very happy camper at work this morning.  This is such an awesome book…I can’t wait till I finish and get on to the next book in the series!  I love it when I find great books like this to read…I know…I’m a nerd!  Anyways, I promised I’d post some puppy pics as soon as my sister sent me some.  I can’t wait to see pictures of them as they get older, as it’s hard to tell how they are going to look right now since they are so tiny.  The mama is full bred long haired miniature dachshund and papa is half chihuahua, half pug…I’ll post pics of them again below!  Enjoy!  Now off to read!

Here are the parents….Emmy & Scooter

 Emmy Being A Good Mama to her 6 Pups

Here is Scooter (the dad) when he was a puppy…as well as their first encounter & photo togeter…Emmy wasn’t amused!

Another Lazy Weekend

Hello, my peeps!  Can you believe another weekend has flown by once again?!  They just go way too fast!  What have you all been up to this week?  Nothing to exciting here…just getting into the groove of working after the holidays.  This week will actually be my first full work week since the holidays, but never fear…we get a 3 day weekend after those 5 days!  Yay!  The only bummer is that the next holiday we get off isn’t until the end of May. **insert sad face here**

This week I watched the dvd I got for Christmas, “Crazy, Stupid, Love”.  It was a really good movie!  It wasn’t as good as I hoped it was going to be, but I set pretty high expectations sometimes for movies and they just don’t meet them.  Loved all the actors in the movie, so I just had to watch it.  Man, Ryan Gosling alone is worth watching the movie! Hubba, Hubba!  It’s the second feature from co-directors Glenn Ficarra & John Requa.  There first directing debut was the zany, crazy, wacky, TRUE story, called, “I Love You Phillip Morris“. Now if you haven’t watched that movie…I’d have to say watch it.  I found if very entertaining & very hysterical, especially the fact that it was based on true events.  It’s so quirky, it’s good.  I stumbled upon it on streaming Netflix one weekend when I was bored. 
It’s kind of got that “Catch Me If You Can” movie feel to it.  You’ll know what I mean after you watch it!

I did get a chance to watch the movie “The Help” over Christmas, which if you haven’t read the book…go out and get it now and read it for crying out loud!  Awesome book!  Once again, high expectations were set for the movie & they were met!  Excellent, excellent movie!  Probably one of the only movies that actually followed the book pretty perfectly!  The same parts you crack up laughing at in the movie and the same things your were laughing out loud about when you were reading the book.  So, I highly recommend watching this movie….but as I always say…read the book first!

In anticipation for “The Hunger Games” movie that is coming out this March….I went out and got “The Hunger Games”, “Catching Fire” & “Mockingjay” for my Nook with a giftcard I had gotten for Christmas.  I’m determined to get through the trilogy of books before March, which shouldn’t be a problem.  I started reading the first book the other night when I couldn’t get to sleep and got about 4 chapters read & then I had to put it down or I would have been up all night.  I have yet to pick it back up this weekend, but hopefully I’ll get a chance by the end of the night.  So far, it’s a pretty good book…can’t wait to get further in!  I just happened to catch the trailer for the movie when I went and watched the last Twilight movie.  The trailer looked like my type of movie and then when it said it was “The Hunger Games” I was surprised.  I had heard of the books, but never read the back of the book to find out what they were about.  I was bad…I judged a book by it’s cover….seriously though…the cover could have been better!  As for the title of the book…it sounded like a movie that Harrison Ford would be in, like “The Patriot Games” & that just isn’t my type of book, but I was totally wrong on that one!  Shame on me!

Oooo…look at what was on my doorstep yesterday afternoon, when I poked my head out the door to check for mail!  A final Christmas present from my parents!  Aren’t they the best!!  I LOVE the red!  I’m not a huge coffee drinker.  I just haven’t found a good one that I really like.  I went ahead and brewed me a cup anyways with one of the coffee’s that came in the sampler pack with the Keurig.  Added in a little milk & sugar & it wasn’t half bad.  I did grab my old Bed, Bath & Beyond flyers that I had saved in a stack and cut out one of the $5 off coupons and then headed to the store this morning when they opened to check out there selection of K-cups.  I walked out with a pack of Apple Cider and a pack of Cafe Mocha.  Let me know if you have any suggestions of flavors to try!!  I’m always looking for good suggestions to try out!  Let me know!  Well, I’ve rambled on long enough.  Oh, one more thing…my sister text messaged me a little while ago that the puppies were being born…she had 5 so far…Yikes!  Hopefully, I’ll have some cute pics to share with you later in the week!  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a good week!  

Influenster Holiday VoxBox Review

 Back in November I was on Twitter and noticed I had a couple of more followers, so I always like to take a look and see how many of them are robots.  Then I clicked on the website associated with a follower called “Influenster”.  I browsed the site real quick and it is free to sign up, so I did.  You basically just fill out different survey’s and you earn badges.  Then the site evaluates the survey’s and decides if you sound like an eligible candidate for one of the themed “VoxBoxes”.  For instance, they have a green badge with all green and organic products & if they think you sound like a good fit, then they’ll send you a box of products to review, blog, twitter and facebook about to get the word out about the products.  Lucky for me, shortly after I signed up I was selected for a special “Holiday VoxBox”!  It’s pretty exciting to get a box of products you haven’t tried before for completely free in the mail.  If you’re interested in becoming an Influenster, go to the website and sign up at www.influenster.com!  Well, I took the Christmas & New Year’s holiday to take my time to review the products & let you know my thoughts and opinions on the products.  Now, on with my review!

Look at all the goodies that I got in my Holiday VoxBox from Influenster.com!

The first thing I tried right after snapping this picture was the Larabar, as I had just gotten home from work and was really hungry.  I had seen the Larabar advertised by Jillian Michaels on The Biggest Loser during one of the seasons and I had been curious to give them a try.  The flavor that came in my VoxBox was the Apple Pie flavor, which was absolutely delicious!  I love apple everything, so it was an easy sell for me!  The great thing about Larabar is that no matter the flavor, they are made from whole foods and don’t containe more than 9 ingredients!  I will definitely be picking up more of these in the future!  They come in super handy to throw in your purse if you’re going on a plane!  I know I’ve seen these available at Target stores, but I’m sure they are available at many retailers and grocery stores.  If you have a hard time finding them you can go right online to the larabarstore.com and purchase them online!

The next thing I tried was the Mentos Pure Fresh Gum.  If you like a peppermint flavored gum, you’re really going to love the Mentos Pure Fresh Gum!  It has a strong peppermint flavor that will definitely clear your sinuses…lol!  I had a few people at work try it…one spit it out, as they hate peppermint.  Another thought it was pretty good.  The only downside about this product is the packaging!  Worst packaging ever….I broke a nail and an ink pen trying to get the darn pack of gum open!  It had a little plastic pull tab that you’re suppose to pull up on and peel the plastic from around the top, to allow the flip top to open.  I’ve never had to fight so hard to get a pack of gum open.  If they changed the packaging, I’d buy it again, but until they do, it won’t be on my shopping list.

The next product I grabbed and tested out & was the NYC New York Color Liquid Lip Shine in the color Nude York City.  You can’t go wrong with a good nude color in your makeup bag!  I’m a lip gloss girl, as lipstick never lasts and always seems to get all gross.  This liquid lip shine was awesome!  For starters….it smells amazing when you open it up and pull out the wand.  It goes on with ease and it lasts for a really long time…until you eat & then of course you have to re-apply!  I loved that this never had that sticky feeling to it and the color was just gorgeous and very simple.  Another awesome fact…this stuff only sells for about $2.50 anywhere that sells make-up.  I’d definitely recommend purchasing this product, as it won’t disappoint and you can’t beat the price!

While I was at my parents house over Christmas break, I decide to try out the imPress Press-On Manicure Nails.  Unfortunately, I got a print design vs. a solid color called “Lil Drumr Girl”.  It was a hot pink with black zebra stripes…not my style.  The packaging is super cute, as the nails come in a unique plastic case that looks like a nail polish bottle.  The packaging states that they will last 7 days if applied right, so I followed the directions and got the nail all applied and put them to the test.  One thing I do like about these nails is that they aren’t long.  Some of my nails were actually longer than the press-on nails, so I had to do a little trimming.  Once on, they felt very secure and looked as realistic as an animal print nail can look.  I did a few dishes…rough housed with the dogs, slept in them , washed my hair & they were still good to go.  One day two I really put them to the test by helping my dad clean up the very dirty and cluttered basement and by the time we were all done, I was missing a nail.  So of course I took them all off at that point.  If you’re not a get down and dirty type of person or are just looking for something for an evening out…these would probably be a good choice for you!  They have many prints, as well as solid colors available.  If you on on the website http://impressmanicure.com/ you can print off a $1.00 coupon if you’d like to give them a whirl!  Definitely cheaper than getting your nails done!

Another product that came in the VoxBox to try out was Coconut Scrub bar soap by SoftSoft.  I’m sure this is a brand that you have all heard of and used in your homes over the years.  I know it was always very prominent in our household growing up in the form of a pump liquid handsoap.  The soap has a nice, light, coconut scent.  It also has crushed coconut throughout the bar as an exfoliant.  I tried out the soap and the first thing I noticed was once the bar was wet and lathered, there wasn’t much scent to the bar at all.  It didn’t leaving your skin dry or with any soapy residue, like some bar soaps, so that was a plus.  My sister tried it out and she really liked the exfoliating aspect of the bar.  It is another inexpensive product that can fit any budget.  This won’t replace the current bar soap I use, as I’m an Oil of Olay girl and you can’t get a better moisturizing soap than that, but if I ever had to choose something to use besides Oil of Olay, I could see myself buying this again.

Last, but not least was the Montagne Jeunesse Peel Off Face Masque.  I absolutely love face masks!  They always make your skin feel so nice and refreshed.  I had never tried this brand before, but I couldn’t wait to give it a try.  I got the cucumber “flavored” mask…I’m not sure how else to put it, but I can guarantee you I didn’t taste it…lol!  It was a cool green liquid gel that spread out very easily on the face.  It was a single use sample and there was more than enough to cover my whole face.  I sat and surfed the internet for about 20 minutes, as I waited for it to dry, so I could peel it off, which is always the best part!  After I got the mask all taken off, my skin felt so silky smooth!  I will definitely put this in my line up of products to use in the future!  I love the cucumber one, as it give you a very fresh feeling, but I’d be willing to check out any of there masks, as they come in a variety of different kinds!  You can click on this link to see all the different types.

Well that wraps up my evaluation of my Influenster Holiday Vox Box, so I hope you’ll go out and try some of these great products & spread the word if you like them!  If you like to do product reviews, make sure to visit Influenster.com and sign up, so you can get a Vox Box sent to you!

Happy New Year’s!

Happy New Year’s everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and Christmas holiday!  I loved being able to go home for Christmas this year for 11 whole days, which was wonderful!  I didn’t do much of anything while I was back home, other than bum around the house and enjoy spending time with the family and pets.  I miss those darn pups almost as much as the family, but they are family, so that takes care of that silly statement…lol!  I’m curious to see what the puppies will look like that are due in about 10 days or so!  I can’t picture what a mini dachshund mixed with a part pug/part chihuahua will look like!

Did you get anything good for Christmas??  My favorite present was that my fiance` was able to drive in from Ohio and spend the Christmas weekend with me and my family!  I think everyone has a pretty good Christmas.  The weather was even oddly warm back home for that time of year….I think it was in the 40’s most of the time.  I must have taken some Florida warmth with me on my plane ride.  Unfortunately, I brought some Illinois cold back with me to Florida!  The day I arrived back in Orlando it was only 60 degrees!  Crazy!  Oh well…I love it when I get the chance to where my hoodies.

Anyone do anything fun or exciting for New Year’s Eve?  I was a typical bum, as I never go out for New Year’s…it’s just way to dangerous with all the crazies that choose to drink & drive!  So, I went out a little earlier in the day & got me some campaign to chill, as I couldn’t find my Cupcake Moscato D’Asti that I like to buy, so I settled for Barefoot Moscato Spumante, which I have to say I wasn’t a big fan of unfortunately.  It was okay, but I won’t be buying it again.  Besides having a glass of bubbly for the occasion, I got out my iPhone & used FaceTime to call home since my brother brought over his iPod and left it with my sister while he went out for the evening, so I spent 4 hours last night chatting it up with the family & making faces at my sister and just being goofy!  So, when it hit midnight here on the East Coast we yelled Happy New Year.  I tried to make it till Central Time New Year’s, but after 4 hours, this chickie was pooped!  So, at 12:30 I got off the phone with them and turned in for the night!  Gotta love technology!  Couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my New Year’s, other than actually physically being there with the family or with my fiance!  Well, I hope everyone had a great year and I here’s to another great year!  Cheers!