Monday, November 21, 2011

What Can I Tempt You to Buy Today...

Just when you think the world has everything we could possibly need (except a functional government...) out comes the Kindle Fire!  WOW!  So many people are turning in their well-loved paper backs for the more preferable "e-reader."  I don't have one myself, however, hint hint Santa...

Buy the Kindle Fire here for the book worm in your life.

Amazon is also running a "Black Friday" week this week (wow! more than one day for all you crazies who only shop on BF).  Check it out, there are so many neat gifts; my personal favorites: Bridesmaids DVD (absolutely hilar.  Please oh please let this appear in my stocking!!),  the Nikon Coolpix P7000 10.1 Digital Camera (currently $249.99 which is 50% off!), and lastly the Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System DVD Set (I totes need this for home! BTW- IDK why its underlined, I can't seem to undo it).

To find these gifts plus many, many more visit: Black Friday Week.

Cheers to shopping, y'all!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Gifting Page

For the past several months I have been thinking about getting a part-time job (keyword here: thinking) for some extra holiday spending money (remember the "you made it to December" gifts.... plus I need to give some attention to the star I took off of the angel tree, plus I like to get books for my kids, and lastly because I need to spoil my dogs husband).  As I was doing some research about how to make money quickly, without having to do too much (I mean come on, I don't already work 85+ hours a week or anything...) I found this super cool program: Amazon Associates.  Basically I advertise products that are sold on Amazon.  And basically YOU buy them and I get paid! :)  Works out for everyone!  I will be frequently posting products that I think may be helpful to you as you prepare to do holiday shopping.  Help me out by sending along my blog to your friends and family ;)  Thank you in advance!

Yesterday I posted about Amazon's Christmas Corner which is a wonderful starting point to finding both home decor as well as gifts for everyone.

Today I am going to post a link to another page on Amazon.  This Gifting Page is the perfect place if you have no idea where to start.  It is broken down by recipient, price, and product category.  There are a wide range of gifts in each category and as always, the prices are unbeatable.

Still don't know what to buy someone? How about an Amazon gift card, so ya know, people can buy salad spinners and stuff.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cheers to: Christmas!!

I am a full believer in celebrating and honoring one holiday at a time; and while right now is the time to give thanks and appreciation for all that we have, I am also a full believer that it is never too early to at least begin thinking about Christmas.  I mean hello, it takes Santa a while to process all those orders.

I usually start looking for ideas of what to buy and make around this time, it helps put me in the holiday spirit and I just flat out like it*

*note: I won't listen to Christmas music until Black Friday though.

Speaking of which! BF is right around the corner! I have never been one of those people (you know, at the mall by 2am), but thats only because I have never been much of a deal hunter until recently.  I have, however, taken advantage of the new "Cyber Monday" (what a modern world we live in!) and have done some online buying then.  I came across Amazon's Christmas Corner today and my mind was completely blown! WOWWWZAAA! There is just so much stuff. I didn't even know where to begin (reminds me of going into a department store...during a sale...).

Once I got my act together and was able to look around a bit, I realized I could do almost ALL of my shopping there (including what I'd like to purchase for myself, as a..."you made it to December!" gift)  plus get ideas of things I'd like to make*!

*or at least attempt to, you know me, not much of a crafter...too impatient!

I highly suggest you check it out, you can buy anything from toys, to decorations, to trees, to books, to salad spinners! (I actually would really like a salad spinner...hint hint: anyone).  I'm thinking about starting an Amazon Wish List and letting it carry over into my birthday month*...

*do I think Hope and JJ are even hip enough to know what Amazon is? No, but still...

Click the link below to go to the Christmas Corner and Cheers Y'all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Bagels

I have this issue with baking/eating what I've baked... I love it; I mean, I only base my whole diet around carbs and in fall idk anything better than baked carbs, esp if it involves pumpkin.  We only get canned pumpkin a few months out of the year, why not take advantage of it.

I've never once thought about making bagels before, I didn't even really think real people made bagels, I thought it was all about a machine in the back of Bodos.  However, I came across a bagel recipe during a search for vegan pumpkin recipes* and decided that Ryan would really like homemade bagels.
* please note, I'm 100% absolutely NOT a vegan, we just didn't have eggs or milk in the house and I was in no mood to drive off the mountain to go to the store, so: vegan pumpkin recipes.

One of the first recipes I found was for bagels.  I would have ignorantly assumed that bagels were laden with eggs and milk, but nope, they aren't (does this make them just a smidge better for me??)

A little apprehensive about non-machine made bagels, I pulled out the trusty Kitchen Aid and got to work.

Several hours later: pumpkin bagels!...that Ryan was less than thrilled with.  But thats okay, more carbs for me! 

While they taste really good, especially with lots of Country Crock churned butter, they are missing a lil somethin somethin.  I think its sugar, yea thats it! More fat! Duh. For real though, I would add about 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to the recipe next time and see what that does for me.

Pumpkin Bagels

3 1/4 cups flour (you can use all-purpose or bread flour)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, warmed slightly in the microwave
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup sugar (remember: I didn't do this but I will next time)

Mix all ingredients together and knead for 4-5 minutes

Stop when you have a thick orange dough

Lightly flour your work surface


Shape dough into a ball

Place ball in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 90 minutes (omg! it was so hard to wait that long!)

Feed leftover bits to begging pup


After your super long wait, reflour your surface and make 12 small balls out of the dough

Now, for the hardest part, something I clearly did not master this time: make the bagel shape.  I read online to poke a finger through and wiggle it around while simultaenously shaping the dough in a flat circle.  yeah.  I can't do 2 things at once. But whatevs.  Btw- I have NO idea how normal bagels come out smooth?  Mine are all lumpy.

Place 2 or 3 at a time (no more than that!) in a pot of gently boiling water for 1 minute, then flip and let boil for another minute.  Repeat for all bagels.

Bake bagels for at 425* for 20 minutes

Cool on a wire rack

Slather on the fat ;)