Wednesday, January 30, 2013

They Say So On TV, so it MUST Be True...

I hate to admit it, but I am a sucker for a good sales pitch.  It's been so comfy & cozy staying home during this recent cold snap, drinking coffee and tea and doing some kickboxing routines on FIOS TV.  I have also been watching talk shows and of course those dreaded infomercials.  Infomercials, QVC, HSN and other such shows are very dangerous for me.  A lot of people like to eat when they're bored.  Not me, I like to shop.  There is nothing more compelling than a product demonstration to get me to whip out the credit card and order a revolutionary new product. 

I have bought some really cool stuff that was advertised on TV.  One of my favorites is the Set It and Forget Rotisserie from Ron Popeil that does all it advertised to do.  We love the rotisserie chicken and while I don't normally eat prime rib, it is to die for on this appliance.

Chef Tony sold some nice products in the past.  The knife set I bought is still going strong 15 or so years later.  I adored my Ultimate Chopper which lasted a dozen or so years before it broke.  I looked to replace it, but found it had been recalled and was no longer available.  I bought a Ninja chopper at Target, but it is not nearly as good as my Ultimate Chopper.  I really miss it.

My kitchen is filled with assorted infomercial products, or products that have received accolades on Rachel Ray, Dr. Oz and a variety of other shows.  The other day, Dr. Oz was touting the benefits of Rescue Remedy spray, which is made up of flower essences and supposedly one or two sprays on your tongue when you are anxious or stressed will calm you down instantly.  It works on pets too! So I ordered one from Amazon to check it out.  Dr. Oz wouldn't lie to me, would he?

The Super Wave Oven from Sharper Image looks like a kitchen appliance I really should have.  They claim it is a miracle oven, replaces a convection oven, standard oven and microwave oven.  It cooks crispy, rotisserie type chicken, frozen steaks in 12 minutes which are brown on the outside and tender on the inside, and even makes pastries.  It bakes, then even cleans itself while you are eating.  I was on the fence with this one and ultimately passed on it because the free shipping was only if you made one payment rather than the three monthly payments special.  Shipping on the payment plan would cost an additional 19.99.  Now, had they offered the free shipping on the payment plan, I probably would have had enough incentive to buy it.

I did however order the NutriBullet the next day which did offer 6 small payments AND free shipping.  While it is available for a little less at Target and a couple of other sites, the big recipe book (FREE GIFT) was the selling point for me to order directly from their infomercial.  This little gadget promises a lot, and in conjuction with the recipes from the free book, this plan will help with everything from weight loss, to controlling blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, reversing hair loss, even controlling fibromyalgia.  Heck, I'm surprised it doesn't pick the winning powerball numbers too!

So now I'm waiting for my Nutribullet and Rescue Remedy spray.  The Rescue Remedy should calm me down (and pets too although I don't have any).  I should be able to not only lose some weight, but I can lower my cholesterol, regrow some of my thinning hair and keep my blood sugar low.  I have to tell my good friend who is suffering from fibromyalgia that this miracle bullet, I mean Nutribullet will help manage that too!  They say so on TV, so it MUST be true, right??

So please tell me that I'm not the only one that gets suckered in by infomercials.  You've all done it, haven't you?  And every once in a while, a product really lives up to the claims.  I know I have been very pleased with some of the products I have bought.  Have you?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Bucket List

I have had a 'to do' list as long as I can remember.  I had never formally called it a bucket list, but in reality, that is what it is.  I have become more aware of the dwindling time frame for me to complete this list.  The travel portion quite frankly is a challenge.  My husband and I have virtually no help whatsoever from our families and with our sons’ food allergies, traveling is difficult.  Because we have no one to leave them with for us to go away together, we take the boys wherever we go.  And finances are unfortunately a limitation as well.  We go on long weekends and stay where I can take and prepare food, and we also stay at a condo in Vermont for one week each year, but for the foreseeable future, long flights and international travels are simply not feasible.  However they do remain on my list.  I am hopeful that in a few years we will be able to visit at least a few of these places.

Probably the most unattainable item on my bucket list is riding on Air Force One. (but I really, really want to)  Ever since I saw the movie Air Force One with Harrison Ford, I've always wanted to not only see it, but board it and take a ride, even if it was only skipping cities!  Meeting the President would be great as I've never met a POTUS before.  And of course I'd need a photo of me walking down the steps. 

I've been tweeting the following, but haven't gotten a response... Next time you're in town  - Can I have a ride on Air Force One? I'll take a commercial flight home pleeease  

                     If you follow me on Twitter and see this tweet, feel free to RT!

I would love to meet and get a photo with Bruce Willis.  Yippee Ki Yay!!  Call me maybe?

                        Go on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and meet Ellen!

                             Swim with the dolphins..

Visit British Columbia and see a pod of killer whales (Orcas) in the wild.  

       Go on a whale watch and see a whale breach.

My son is a huge Derek Jeter fan and I would love to get a photo of him with Derek Jeter.  We've been to Yankee Stadium, but can't get near Jeter.  We may be going this spring.   CAN SOMEONE HELP???  

            Front row seats to a Maroon 5 concert.  

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and have dinner at an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn.

Take a photography workshop given by a very talented photographer I know.  She runs them every few months. (can't make any of the ones this Jan/Feb) but hoping to cross this off the list this spring! 


        Ride in a hot air balloon. 

                         Skydive.  Just once...  


                  Visit the Grand Canyon.

Rent a camper and drive to Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and Glacier National Parks. (And more of the national parks if we can squeeze them in!)

     Visit a ghost town.  

                         Bike riding in Nantucket.

       Learn to surf.  

        Lose 35 pounds (working on it!)  

Hire a private chef for a month who can work around the dairy, egg and nut allergies.

Spend a week on David Copperfield's private island.


        Visit Hawaii.

    Go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Watch the ball drop in Times Square from a room at the Marquis Marriott.  

Spend a week in a suite at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan at Christmastime.

I dream of spending a month in France, climbing to the top of the Eiffle Tower, walking along the many bridges in Paris, picnicking on wine and cheese in the beautiful parks and visiting the famous sights of the city.  

Then onto a tour of the countryside with a few days lounging on the beautiful French Riviera.

Seeing the pyramids in Egypt is the one thing I really hope I can do before I die.  With all the unrest in that part of the world today, I would not even consider going.  But someday I would love to spend at least a month there, visiting the pyramids, some of the famous temples, the lighthouse at Alexandria, riding a camel, taking a cruise on the Nile, and hot air ballooning over Luxor.  

It is a dream of mine to go back to Italy and rent a car in Florence, taking the back roads through Tuscany to ultimately wind up in Rome.  No set itinerary, just drive and stop at some of the towns along the way and stay wherever it suited us.  

I would love to attend a Mardi Gras.

It would be so cool to have a NASCAR Racing Experience and drive a NASCAR race car on the track. 

I want to rent a camper for a weekend in Talladega for a NASCAR race weekend with my sons (and husband if he wants to go, he's not a big NASCAR fan).

Washington, DC is on our list of family things to do. 

Visiting Disneyworld is also another family vacation we would like take someday.  

Williamsburg, VA is another family vacation we would like to do.  My sons really enjoy history we love exploring these historical locations. 

Attend a Somewhere in Time weekend at Mackinac Island in Michigan at the Grand Hotel. 

I want to learn to take better photos.  I would love to be able to do something with photography, not quite sure what!  But I need to perfect some technical skills. 

Visit all 43 Presidential sites - we have been to 2 so for, Calvin Coolidge & Chester Allen Arthur, both in Vermont.

I want to have my 15 minutes of fame in a movie or on TV.

I want to do something that really makes a difference in someone's life.


I have done a few things that were on my list.  I had always wanted to spend summers at the beach and two years ago I had the opportunity to rent a beach house for 4 weeks.  This summer will be the third summer we spend a month at the Narragansett beaches.  

My husband and I honeymooned in Italy in September, 2000.  We spent 12 days touring many cities and towns including Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Ravenna, Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice, Bellagio, Sangimniano, Padua and even Lake Lugano in Switzerland.  We climbed to the top of the Duomo in Florence and rode on a gondola in Venice, another item on my bucket list.

I always wanted to have a luau party and for my 50th birthday this summer, we had one at the beach house.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.  

        Rode an elephant. 

Went down into a cave. (Howe's Caverns in Cobbleskill, NY). 

I unfortunately don't have photos of the following adventures:  

I have been on a Carribean cruise, visited St. Martin with friends, and had a week long vacation in Antigua many years ago.
Went on a Jolly Roger booze cruise in St. Martin and several of us jumped off the boat and swam to shore - that was pretty fun!

Do you have a bucket list?  What have you done already?  What are some of the things you would like to do most or places you really must see?  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Holy Guacamole!

As my sons are getting older, they are becoming more and more curious and adventurous when it comes to food.  Because of their numerous food allergies, we were fortunate that they really weren't overly interested with a variety of foods when they were younger.  Additionally, there were texture issues due to their autism, and David in particular was very happy to indulge in a limited menu, not too keen on trying new foods.  Occasionally, my husband and I take them to a restaurant with us, but they eat at home before we leave and take their Nintendo DS's or play games with our iPhones at the restaurant.  Because of the extent of their food allergies (eggs, dairy, tree nuts and peanuts), they can not actually eat out.  

I experiment with some of our favorite foods and try to adapt them to be dairy, egg and nut free.  I have been sharing some of them with you on my blog.  With my husband being home more with his little surgical mishap, I have been cooking up a storm.  Yesterday, we decided to have a Mexican night.  I had ordered the Perfect Tortilla pans from an infomercial (you can also get at CVS in the as seen on TV section), and made taco salads and guacamole.  

The soft tortillas at the market are transformed to crisp tortilla bowls and many of the brands are dairy, egg and nut free.  Ortega taco seasoning is likewise dairy, egg and nut free, so other than the shredded cheese in a traditional taco, the boys can enjoy tacos and/or taco salads.  Mikey likes his with guacamole on top, David prefers his guacamole as a dip with Tostito nacho chips.  

I make a very easy guacamole that takes a few minutes to assemble, and a 1/2 hour to an hour to chill and allow the flavors to mix.

Easy Guacomole

2 avocados - chopped
1 small ripe tomato, chopped
1 small onion chopped
juice of one lime

for the spices, I just use a small sprinkle:
cayenne pepper
ground cumin

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a 1/2 hour to an hour to chill and allow flavors to blend.


Let me know what you think of it!!