Thursday, February 28, 2013

Albion Fit + Giveaway! (and discount code)

I dont know if you're like me but knowing I have cute clothes to wear when I'm working out and getting all sweaty glow-y makes it a bunch easier to talk myself into working out every morning! C'mon girls. Who doesn't want to feel sexy, right?

Let me share with you a little about Albion fit and their selection of women's fitness and swimwear and workout clothing. Plus the kind folks at Albion Fit are giving a special offer (and discount code) to my readers!

One of you will win a Classic Racerback!
(in the color of your choice)

The women's fitness and workout clothing selection is so fun! I'm completely in love with their classic hoodie  (I've been DYING to try out the fun thumb sleeves!), and go long crew (with the early morning workouts I'm sorta cold when I start and I'd love to have a little layering).

Their swimwear has stunning pieces. My two favorites are criss cross chino and show stopper! It's really making me more than ready to have spring and summer here. Now. I'm ready for sunshine!

Find them here:
Albion Fit webpage
Albion Fit facebook
Albion Fit twitter

Albion Fit is kindly offering my readers an exclusive discount of $15 off for use on any purchases $50 or more that you make on our website. Use discount code cranberryfries15. Just be sure to use it soon, it expires 3/08/2013!

So here we go. 
Go enter. 
Good luck!!

To be eligible to win (use the rafflecopter above) you must do both:
~ pin your favorite item from onto one of your Pinterest boards

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writing & Illustrating For Young Readers 2013

If you've been following me, you probably are aware how much I LOVE promoting authors and good books so it might not be much of a stretch that I want to tell you about WIFYR. 

WIFYR is a pretty incredible week-long conference that brings in nationally published authors, publishing house representation and amazing talent across the board from both authors and illustrators for young readers. There is a slew of great classes and workshops plus you get to mingle with others that share your interest and passion (and get to rub shoulders with the faculty).

Registration is NOW open!!

Writing & Illustrating For Young Readers
June 17-21 2013 in Sandy, Utah.
(Click to enlarge photo)
Check out their website, Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers for more information.
Also you can find them on Facebook & Twitter.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto Buy Authors

My friend Jenni participates in this prompt and I thought it'd be fun to see what I came up with.

I've read enough from these authors that I wouldn't hesitate buying their next book, whatever it may be. (I'm also listing, for information sake, my favorite book by that author, though there are a handful that I love.)
  1. Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
  2. Morgan Matson (Amy & Rogers Epic Detour)
  3. Jennifer Crusie (Agnes and the Hitman)
  4. Sarah M. Eden (Drops of Gold)
  5. Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss)
  6. Richard and Linda Eyre (The Entitlement Trap)
  7. John Gottman (The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work)
  8. Markus Zusak (I Am The Messenger)
  9. Ally Condie (Being Sixteen)
  10. Sydney Salter (Swoon At Your Own Risk) , Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl), Sheralyn Pratt (Rhea Jensen series), Kristyn Crow (Bedtime at the Swamp)

Is there an author (or a few) that you'd auto buy?!

Top Ten Tuesday prompt is from The Broke and the Bookish

Cranberryfries Homemade Chili

This is one of my most favorite go-to meals. I used to detest leftovers of any kind but now that I'm making smarter, healthier choices than I was before I find it way easier to stick to what I know is healthy for me. This usually means that breakfast, lunch, and snacks are pretty much the same thing every day (with mild variation). I do love doing different things for dinner though (so my family doesnt get bored).

If all goes as planned, Sunday is my meal plan day when I lay out my weeks worth of food plans and if I can, prep as much of it as needed. This week I made this chili and grilled cubed chicken (to use in tossed salads or other meals-though this week I'll be using it in my chili for more protein and for snacks).

Cranberryfries Chili

  • 1 can (15 oz) red beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 lrg can (29 oz) tomato sauce
  • *1 can tomatoes, petite diced with chipotle chiles
  • 1lb extra lean ground beef (or any meat of your choice) (cook, drain grease and add at any point)

Simmer on stove for 30 minutes or cook in crockpot for a few hours.
If you add all the beans above this usually makes about 10 or so cups (w/ no meat). Sometimes if I don’t have them all on hand I’ll throw in what I do have, I’d suggest at least using 4 varieties. With the 1lb ground beef I got 12 cups.

It’s pretty easy. I add a little season all to my meat when I’m cooking it but otherwise the only extra flavoring I add is in the ingredient I swear that makes this whole recipe delicious. (see * above)

It does make quite a bit so I usually will freeze half (I think it freezes pretty well) and use the other half for a week worth of lunches for me. (My 7 y/o helps me eat it too, it's one of her favorites!)

Nutritional Information including all above ingredients (this is a very close estimate-I did enter all the info into a recipe builder):
Total ~12 cups                   1 serving is ½ cup
146 calories; 10 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 11 g iron; 2 g fat; 2 g fiber

(This was right after I added in all the beans,
but hadn't yet added in my lb of ground beef)
Assuming you get 10 cups out of this here is the nutritional information (without any meat) (this is a very close estimate):
Total ~10 cups.                 1 serving is ½ cup
142 calories; 8 g protein; 27 g carb; 11g iron; 0g fat; 7 g fiber

~Lots of additions! You can also add in corn, sour cream (or greek yogurt for more protein!), cheese and eat with tortilla chips.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Marriage Monday: The Six-Second Kiss

Have you ever had one of those days (or weeks) where it just seems like you and your spouse are passing in the night? Each of you so busy that sometimes it feels like a fleeting hello is all you get?

While it's hopefully not something intentional here is a little tip to turn around that lack of attention for each other that could do wonders for your relationship.

"Rituals of connections (like the six second kiss) are crucial to re-establish the connection with our partners.

Attention spent on each other in transitional junctures communicates that “you’re important to me, and when you come back at the end of the day, it’s an event. You matter to me.”

The six-second kiss is “long enough to feel romantic,” says Dr John Gottman. The six-second kiss serves as a temporary oasis within a busy day and creates a deliberate break between the on-the-job mentality (i.e., going to or from work) and a couple’s one-on-one time together."

Quotes from 6 Seconds to Happy Couplehood by Theo Pauline Nestor

When was the last time you and your spouse shared an exciting 'reunion' kiss at the end of a day apart?

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reading Report 4

My reading from Feb 9-Feb 23:

This latest group has a mystery, a few romance (I'm thinking it was Valentines fault), a contemporary new adult, a contemporary YA and a marriage / communication book.

 Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

 Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
Love is Forever by Various Authors

Have a favorite you've read lately?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fitness Check In

Here's a little of what I've been up to lately.

 In December I completed The Bertinators 31 day challenge
December 2012 Fitness Calendar

In January I started a 12 week program
January 2013 Fitness Calendar

The end of January my family took a little trip to California for fun filled family reunion at Disneyland. Admittedly I had a difficult time when I got home recovering from the length, excitement, and fatigue of the trip. The first day home I slept for over 12 hours. It seemed every time I tried to work out I'd tire myself out so thoroughly I was sleeping at 7pm at night. Any who...

So far my February looks like this, so I'm hoping that I can get myself to stay on track!

What are your fitness goals this year and/or month? 
Do you have rewards for your goals?

I'm really looking forward to my reward at the end of the 12 weeks. I've promised myself a hair appointment to get some fun highlights when I complete the first 12 weeks of!!! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Marriage Monday: Date Night: Ideas, Stats and Tips

I've been reading some interesting ideas on date nights in marriage this last week. Here are three snippets of articles I read. Click the links for the full articles.

This article printed in The New York Times (by Tara Parker-Pope) in February 2008 titled Reinventing Date Night for Long-Married Couples
"The goal is to find ways to keep injecting novelty into the relationship. The theory is based on brain science. New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner. Scientists believe regular injections of novelty and excitement most likely play a role."

This article 'Date night' can improve marriage, sexual satisfaction (by Sharon Jayson) was printed in USA Today in February 2012.
"A report about [date nights] suggests that couples who devote time to each other at least once a week are more likely to have higher levels of communication, sexual satisfaction and commitment than couples who don't have this kind of alone time.
[It was] found that wives who spend couple time with their husbands at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy above-average levels of sexual satisfaction, compared with wives who have less than once a week couple time. Husbands report similar results."

This article, Date Nights: They Make Your Marriage Work (by Tammy Nelson Ph D.) was reported in the Huffington Post in February 2012.
"My number one suggestion for a date night, and something I suggest for all couples, is to have a Sex Date once a week. A regular Sex Date creates a sacred time that you both carve out of your schedule to meet once a week and make it special.

There are low energy dates and high energy dates. One idea for a date is to decide beforehand; which kind of date do we want tonight? This is important to meet both of your expectations. If you are looking forward to going out dancing and your partner is thinking about a candlelight dinner, one of you will be sure to feel disappointed."

Do you and your spouse have a go-to date idea? 
Are you weekly daters or 'when it happens' daters?

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Draw, Aim, Release

Hubby and I went to a neighborhood Valentines date night at the indoor archery range. We had a great evening with dinner and chatting and then practicing our aim. 

We all took several rounds and arrows, trading off between a girls line and a guys. At the end the guys stepped out and pinned up seven prize balloons that were just for us ladies to shoot at. Each one had a number and the numbers corresponded to a delicious prize and a secret valentines note. 

I adore my husband. He's a fabulous teacher and cheerleader. He came home bragging to the children that I was such a good shot I won us a prize! I told him it was because he picked me out the arrow with the best fletchings. Kinda makes me want to go back and try it again soon! Pretty darn fun!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Reading Report 3

My reading from Jan 25-Feb 8th: 

 The 7th Month by Lisa Gardner
Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich
The Secret Sisters Club by Monique Bucheger 
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Dole

Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti

What are you reading this week?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Marriage Monday: Be Grateful

"In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy. "
-Albert Clarke

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Review: The Secret Sisters Club

Title: The Secret Sisters Club
Author: Monique Bucheger
Pages: approx 190, kindle edition
Release Date: April 2012
ISBN: 1475008627
Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

About the book: Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Tillie's divorced mom plus Ginnie's widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club. They come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’. Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about. When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

My Review: My 9 year old daughter is always begging me to let her read the books I read, and this is definitely one I'd enjoy reading with her. Ginnie and Tillie are in a delicate time in their lives and also both are learning things about their families and as best friends figuring it out together.

You can buy it here:

Also check out her other books: 

Find author Monique Bucheger on the web:

*I was given a pdf to review for my honest opinion.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Marriage Monday (on a Thursday): National Marriage Week

I realize it's not a Monday but today kicks off National Marriage Week so I figured a good marriage post appropriate.

Check out National Marriage Week USA's website or facebook page for tons of information on activities and classes around the country, tips, and even a free tool kit!

And a fun quote that my friend Kathryn posted.

"If you choose wisely and if you are committed to the success of your marriage, there is nothing in this life which will bring you greater happiness." 
~ Thomas S. Monson

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.