St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum

St. Aug Light House

We recently visited the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum in Florida. The original lighthouse, built in 1824, was lost to a storm, but the new tower was completed in 1874, and a brick light keeper’s house was added to the site two years later.
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The St. Augustine Lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and offers a fabulous view from the top. We did manage to walk up all 219 steps (though not without a few rests along the way)!
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“We have a light upon our house, and it gives hope to all who sail upon the stormy seas. Do ya know what it means to have a light burning atop your home? It is safety, a place of refuge, seen by all as a signal that ye stand for something greater than this world, greater than us all.”
― James Michael Pratt, The Lighthouse Keeper
Have you visited any historic lighthouses?
Do you have a favorite lighthouse?

Winter Sports: Scenes from Aspen

My sister and her new husband have been on their honeymoon in Aspen, so I thought I would share some of their fabulous photos.
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They love skiing, snowboarding, taking photos of the gorgeous scenery, and visiting all the great restaurants in town!
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I hope winter is treating YOU well!
Have you been to Aspen? Do you have a favorite place to go skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, or snowshoeing?

Glitter & Garlands: Holiday Accessories

If you celebrate Christmas, maybe you add tinsel to your tree to mimic the way moonlight twinkles on the snow outside. It’s fun to add “tinsel” to yourself during the holiday season as well.
I am planning to wear a beaded mesh scarf (from Monroe & Main) to our Christmas Eve party.
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The glittering strands of silver beads add a hint of exotic sparkle to the woven macramé scarf.
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I don’t usually paint my fingernails in anything beyond a basic pink, but I might try nail art with some rhinestones this year.
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I also am impressed when women can pull off a punch of vivid color on their eyes. Cover Girl’s flashy Flamed Out eye shadow pots look fun!
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How do you add sparkle or glitter to your holiday look?

Root Touch-Up by Nice ‘n Easy

Do you color your hair? In between colorings, are you trying to cover up some grays? Here’s a potential solution: Root Touch-Up by Nice ‘n Easy can match salon AND at-home shades. It has a plethora of shade choices, and you can chat online with a Clairol Expert Color Consultant for free to find your seamless match (Monday-Friday, 10 am – 6 pm EDT).
http://www.clairol.com/en-CA/how-to-page.aspx?collectionid=4084
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You can blend away your most visible roots and grays until your next full coloring with the simple Precise Application System.

Designed to match leading shades, even salon color
100% gray coverage
Permanent formula that blends seamlessly
Lasts up to 3 weeks
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Have you tried this or a similar product? What do you think?

Disclosure: I received a coupon for a free box from Vocalpoint (thank you!). http://www.vocalpoint.com/

Dr. Scholl’s® Active Series® Review

I work out every day and nearly always do high-impact activities like running. According to the Dr. Scholl’s Active Series experts, the foot is subject to the shock from impact of 2-3 times your body weight with every step during athletic activity. I received a pair of insoles complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
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These insoles are a godsend! Even on long runs they make my sneakers feel cushy and comfy. They provide advanced support for any workout and come in models for both men and women.
Dr. Scholl’s ®Active Series® helps relieve and prevent pain from common sports injuries like runner’s knee and shin splints.
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It’s easy to use these:
1. Pull out the insole that came in your shoe.
2. Place it on top of the Active Series® insole and trace the outline.
3. Trim the Active Series® insole on the line you traced.
4. Slip the Active Series® Insole into your shoe.
Learn more at:
http://www.drscholls.com/Brand/ActiveSeries

Hare you tried insoles for sports? What do you think?

Tex-Mex Pumpkins

October is generally regarded as pumpkin month, because this fruit (yes, it’s officially a fruit–a member of the gourd family) is usually harvested in October.
In 1584, French explorer Jacques Cartier reported his “discovery” of pumpkins in North America (though pumpkins are native to Central America and Mexico).

These days, limited-time offerings in coffee shops and restaurants include pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin sorbet, and more…

If you’re looking for a unique, spicy pumpkin appetizer, try the Tex-Mex idea below!
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Pumpkin Tacos

SLAW AND CHILES:
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 large dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
PUMPKIN SPREAD:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon ground ancho chiles
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin purée
3 ounces cream cheese, cut in chunks
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup orange juice
TORTILLAS AND ASSEMBLY:
36 small (4 in.) corn tortillas*
1/2 cup salted toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 orange, cut into small wedges
Kosher salt

Preparation

1. Make slaw: Mix cabbage, cilantro, and onions in a bowl.
2. Toast chiles: In a small frying pan over medium heat, cook sliced chiles in oil, stirring often, until some turn reddish brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer chiles to paper towels, using a slotted spoon; reserve oil.
3. Make spread: In a medium saucepan, cook butter over medium heat, swirling often, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add ground chiles and allspice all at once and stir until foamy, about 10 seconds. Reduce heat to low and stir in pumpkin, cream cheese, and salt; cook, stirring, until cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in juice; scrape into a bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with reserved chile oil.
4. Warm tortillas: Divide into 2 stacks, wrap in a cloth napkin, and microwave until hot, turning over once, 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Set tortillas, spread, slaw, pumpkin seeds, toasted chiles, and orange wedges on a tray and let diners make their own tacos, adding a squeeze of orange and more salt to taste.

Recipe from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pumpkin-tacos-50400000107261/
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Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe?
Feel free to share a Pinterest or Instagram link!

Healthy Snacks: Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins

Disclaimer: I received samples from the Naturally Savvy blogger program. Learn more at: Naturally Savvy http://naturallysavvy.com/

Time for a healthy snack. Hmmm…nuts or crackers?
How about both!
I just tried Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins.
These just might be THE crunchiest crackers I have ever eaten. They would be great with soft spreads or creamy dips and would DEFINITELY not get soggy!
The Nut Thins do NOT melt in your mouth like buttery crackers.
If you want something super-crunchy they will satisfy your cravings.
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There are three options:
1. Sesame Seeds are paired with brown rice and almonds in this baked cracker. The gluten-free Sesame Seed Artisan Nut Thins provide three grams of fiber with every serving.

2. Multi-Seed Artisan Nut Thins are made from brown rice, almonds, and six kinds of seeds (quinoa, flax, millet, amaranth, sesame, and black sesame). They have 21 grams of whole-grains per serving.

3. Flax Seed Artisan Nut Thins combine brown rice and almonds baked into a cracker. You get 400 mg of ALA omega-3 per serving.
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Learn more on on the Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins page: http://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=677

Each box has 4 servings (at 130 calories per serving), so you don’t have to worry about portion distortion (as in a huge bag of chips).
What is YOUR favorite topping for crackers?

Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ product for testing and review purposes from Influenster.

Stuck in a styling rut? OSiS inspires you to “Kill routine” when it comes to your hair. During the styling process or after you blow-dry, the right products allow you to personalize your look.
I have been experimenting with the Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Gelastic Ultra Strong Flex Gel. It offers lasting definition for short or long hair (mine is long and wavy).
You can apply a small amount of Gelastic onto damp hair before styling or work it into dry hair for extra definition.
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Products in the Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ line include:
GELASTIC
ROUGH RUBBER
SHAPE
DUST IT
BUFF
4-PLAY
MESS UP
Learn more at the Schwarzkopf website:
http://www.schwarzkopf-professionalusa.com/
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Here are a couple of ideas to help you “Kill routine” when it comes to your hair:
Use round or curved brushes in blow-dry styling to add soft curves.
Use bristled brushes for finishing and smoothing a style.
To get beach waves, spritz in texturizing spray or hairspray after your hair is dry to make the look last.

Are you interested in trying a new hair style?

Tastykake® Kandy Bar Kakes

Making “S’mores” is a quintessential summer activity. We always bring graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars when we go camping so we can melt up some gooey treats around the campfire. The S’mores experience is hard to replicate, but the flavors can be captured in other goodies. I just tried S’mores Kandy Bar Kakes from the Tastykake® company.
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There is a graham-flavored cake and a marshmallow-flavored layer of frosting that is enrobed in a chocolate coating. It’s like S’mores-on-the go (no campsite required)!
This is what the inside looks like:
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The chocolate coating is super. I would have preferred a thicker marshmallow layer (frosting, after all, is my favorite food); however, overall, it was a delicious dessert.
I would recommend cutting the bar into 2 or 3 pieces to serve kids. I would also suggest freezing it and eating it right out of the freezer (sort of like an ice cream bar).
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Kandy Bar Kakes are available in S’mores, Peppermint, and Peanut Butter flavors.
Learn more at the Tastykake® website:
http://www.tastykake.com/
The Tastykake® Kandy Bar Kakes are sold at grocery and convenience stores across America, in boxes or individually.

Which flavor would you like to try?
What’s YOUR favorite summer treat?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample for testing and review purposes.
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Coincidentally (while on the subject of S’mores), Dairy Queen just announced that S’mores Blizzard® Treat is its Blizzard® of the Month and will be available all summer long at DQ®!

Playing Games for a Good Cause

There is a fun new site–GoodGames.org–that lets users earn donations for worthwhile causes simply by playing online games.
Users simply go to www.goodgames.org and choose from a list of 109,000 nonprofits and schools (or add their own); then earn donations for their favorite cause when they play top quality online games.
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Goodgames features a range of great online games, including Mahjongg Dimensions, Klondike Solitaire, Trizzle and more. Playing any of them will help earn donations.
With over 113 million Americans playing 50 million hours of casual online games a DAY, Goodgames could raise over $ 1 billion a year for charitable causes!
Goodsearch, the parent company of Goodgames, has already donated nearly $10 million to causes nationwide through their supporters’ simple daily actions–such as web searching, shopping online, dining out, and taking surveys.

So, let’s all play some games!!
Which causes will YOU choose?