Product Review ~ Mott’s Cinnamon Applesauce

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This product review has moved to it’s own blog! Find more at: http://lauralovesbest.com

Mmmm! Mott’s Cinnamon Applesauce is amazing! It is my new favorite snack to have with my coffee – the flavors blend perfectly together! I take a bite of the applesauce, then a sip of my coffee, and perfection results.

Mott’s Cinnamon Applesauce is also convenient to eat as a snack since it comes in a snack pack with 6 individual cups.  Each cup equals one fruit serving and gives you 20% of your recommended vitamin C for the day.   It’s also fat, cholesterol and sodium free!

My mom and dad even enjoy them as snacks , as does my daughter19.   It’s really perfect for my dad who can only eat soft things.  Mott’s states that they hand pick their apples and make the applesauce from their special Mott’s family recipe.  That must be why it tastes so good.

I just know I love it with my coffee!

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Product Review ~ Ghirardelli Brownies

This product review has moved to it’s own blog! Find more at: http://lauralovesbest.com

Mmmm! Chocolately, chewy, caramel-y! The Ghirardelli Chocolate Caramel Turtle Brownies are by far my favorite brownie mix. I have tried them all, but this is truly the best.

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Caramel Turtle Brownies always come out perfect. I love the carmel and the walnuts, they are the perfect touch to their soft cakey chewy brownies.

The brownies are so easy to make, too. I spray the baking pan with Pam. I use an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish. You take the brownie mix and add water, oil and 1 egg and stir about 40 strokes and pour it in the pan. Then you sqeeze the caramel packet on top of the batter in 5 lines, then for a ripple effect you take a knife and in the opposite direction you run it through the batter in 5 alternating strokes, back and forth. It’s easy but looks quite fancy! My daughter19 was impressed, she said, “Wow! How’d you do that?!”

After dinner tonight my daughter19 said she wished we had some dessert. I said, “I could make some brownies…”. She said, “Yeah! Make brownies!” So I did, and they are delicious.

Next time you want brownies remember these – Ghirardelli Chocolate Caramel Turtle Brownies. Yum!

Family Changes

So my family has been going through a lot of changes. Changes like me being laid-off and home all the time, changes in the eating habits of the kids, and changes like me starting to go to the gym.

It’s been interesting being home. I thought I wanted it. I thought it would be the most wonderful thing in the world and I would get SO much done. The truth is that I’m bored sometimes and lonely too because I have all this free time and the kids work and have their own friends and so I’m home alone at loose ends. I’ve finally started to work on the house, and boy does it need it! I’ve given a bunch of stuff away to freecycle.org in the last two days, cleaned my porch mostly, I still need to vacuum it though. It’s really hard for me to get rid of stuff. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been a packrat. Part of it may be having gone through a divorce you feel like you lose so much that you don’t want to let anything you do have go. But I’ve always been like this to some degree. I read a book recently, “Clear Your Clutter with FENG SHUI” by Karen Kingston, and I get it, I get why it is important to clear your clutter and how it could improve your life. It’s just really hard to let go of stuff still. Some things are harder than others of course. I can let go of the dress that I paid 99 cents for at the thrift store and really didn’t end up fitting me that well anyways, but the really cute dress that I bought at Macy’s for a wedding that is too small for me right now but might fit me after I work out for a couple of months, that I don’t know if I can get rid of. I guess I’ll start with the easy things. I thought I would get more done, but I’ve found myself spending hours upon hours on sitting in front of my computer screen. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve made some new friends, but I need to rebalance my time management! That’s my goal right now.

Our eating habits have gone through some changes since I’ve been home. To start off with when the kids were little and I was a stay-at-home mom or SAHM I used to cook 6 nights a week, and one night a week we would go out or get fast food. Since I have been working two jobs, I am lucky to cook one night a week, I’m usually too tired and I usually had the money to just go out or pick something up. Now that I’m home, I’ve started cooking again every night. I’ve had some hits and misses in the cooking department, but I’m rediscovering how much I love to cook! The thing is, now that I’m getting the hang of cooking every night again, my kids have decided to change their eating habits. My 22 year old son has now become a vegan, and my 19 year old daughter is currently on a juice fast. The outcome of this has been that the lovely meatloaf cooked in a bag with veges that I made two nights ago, I have had to eat by myself for two nights, and now I’m tired of it and throwing the rest out. Apparently, I’m going to need to learn to cook vegan or be eating alone. This should be interesting.

Lastly, the gym. I used to go to the gym faithfully. I used to read workout books and Self Magazine (or is it Shape) and be hardcore about going to the gym 5 days a week. I worked out with free weights and machines 2 days a week curcuit training and then did aerobics classes the other three days. I was in fantastic shape! And then I stopped. And then the last 15 years I guess I have been working two jobs and sometimes going to college and there just didn’t seem to be any way to fit in a work out regularly, so I didn’t do it at all. Last year I joined 24 Hour Fitness and planned to go work-out with my daughter. I’ve gone three times, and two of those three times were in the last week. I’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and they told me I should lose some weight and exercise (I always have to check how to spell the word exercise, I want to make it excersize or something else), anyway, I need to be exercising. So, now I’ve started. I went twice with my daughter in the last week. One day we just did the stairmaster, the next day we worked out on the weight machines and also the stairmaster. It’s all starting to come back to me. The things I used to know, the techniques, the enjoyment of working out and being fit! The thing is, I don’t know if I can keep this all up or not once I start back to work. I guess I’ll cross that hurdle when I come to it. How do you balance work, fitness, and all the other stuff you have to do?

Now the 22 year old son brought home 3 yoga/meditation DVD’s. Who knows what my house will be like next week?