Top Ten Gadgets I’d Love to Spend (Waste) Money On

In no particular order for the countdown, and with links to products when appropriate, please enjoy this Top Ten Tuesday post and let me know if there are any gadgets YOU want to get your hands on. Maybe I’ll add them to my growing list!

10. A Dyson Air Multiplier – Why? Well, I LIVED in Texas, where a fan is ALWAYS welcome, and now I live in Okinawa, Japan…where the humidity level is something rivaling a wet sauna in the fiery pits of an active volcano. And, have you seen these things? They look freaking cool! It’s like functional art! Why not??

Image result for dyson air multiplier

9. An Automatic Car Starter – These are more common nowadays, anyway. And, did I mention the heat and humidity with which I’ve had to deal? Having some air circulation in the car before I get in with or without my children would be great and would go a long way in helping avoid instant heat stroke upon entering the oven…I mean, car. In winter, a little head-start on the heat would be nice, too, but I’m beginning to think that winter is just a myth perpetuated by evil penguins. Okinawa has no real winter. It just gets wet and goopy and uncomfortable and even though you’ve lived in the Rocky Mountains with several feet of snow in the winter, a 60 degree day in the “winter” in Oki will make you pull out your parka and electric blanket. Acclimatizing to this sub-tropical island is no joke. Being able to start my car from my phone while I’m finishing the last bit of coffee would be very nice, indeed.

8. An Electrolux Reverse Scan Toaster – This is one of the more unusual gadgets I’ve stumbled upon while surfing the ‘Net. Think about the fun you could have with this thing! Who needs a newspaper subscription when you can save paper AND eat the toast!

7. Camera lenses to attach to my iPhone – They DO exist! Photojojo has a cool set of them for under $50. So, that’s not really wasting money, is it? I mean, they’re totally functional!

6. Taco Plates – For $8.00 as of this writing, you can own your very own set of four Fiesta Taco Plates! I mean, COME ON. Don’t you hate it when your taco falls over on your plate and all the filling falls out and you have to try to cram it back in the shell or just eat it with a fork? If I wanted to eat it with a fork, I would have made a taco salad. I want my taco shells to stand up proudly and hold my taco fillings in!

5. A Personalized Library Embosser – So maybe this is just a thing a teacher would want. Especially a reading teacher. Unless you’re really possessive of your books, and let’s be honest – you do most of your reading digitally these days, don’t you? (No shame – e-readers are supreme gadgets.) But this baby for a teacher – saves time, money, no more labeling with markers or stickers or library card pockets. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…and you get to feel all official when making your seal, too!

4. Ostrich Ladies Comfort Lounger – It’s a beach chair, but trust me…it’s a gadget. A girly-gadget. It has a boob hole! Well, it’s not exactly a hole, but there’s a space in the chair that expands/contracts so you can lay on your stomach and not have that lovely boob smash thing going on that is often accompanied by some level of discomfort. PLUS, there’s a face hole and arm holes for stomach laying and reading, tanning, etc. It is neat0! (Look at the boob hole!)

Image result for ostrich chair

3. A Toothbrush Sanitizer – Let’s face it. You keep your toothbrush very close to where you take care of other hygiene and bodily functions. While the ADA recommends that you replace your toothbrush approximately every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed, you still don’t want to stick a germy mess in your mouth. Do you know what happens every time you flush your toilet? Let’s just say it ain’t pretty and leave it at that. Sanitizing your toothbrush daily might not be a bad habit to start. With help from one of the many automatic sanitizers on the market, it would be super easy, too. Take care of your toothbrush – take care of your teeth. Take care of your teeth and you might get to keep them well into your geriatric years.

2. A Swatch Watch – Remember the 80s? Remember the totally rad silicone watch bands that came in all kinds of cool colors and designs? Well, Swatch still makes watches and people still buy them. So why don’t I have one already? I mean, just check out their Classics for starters.

1. Altec Lansing Life Jacket 2 Floating Waterproof Speaker – It. Floats. Do I really need to explain this one more than that?!?! And really, this one isn’t even a waste of money. It could SAVE money…by ensuring that I do not drop my iPhone in the bathtub.

My Top Ten Favorite Cheesy Movies

Top Ten {Tuesday}

In addition to my love for reading, I also love movies. I love all kinds of movies. I love great classics, science fiction, romance, comedy, action… You name the genre, and I bet I can find at least one movie within it that I absolutely adore. That being said, my movie choices aren’t always “mainstream popular.” My husband, in fact, would tell you that I have terrible taste in movies…which is SO not true…mostly. I mean, HE thinks Starship Troopers is a fantastic movie! (And should I mention how much he likes the movie, Spice World? You know, the Spice Girls movie? Nah, I won’t mention it…that would just be mean.) I like all the Twilight movies, but they aren’t on this list. They may have a definite cheese factor (“You’re like a drug to me…”), but as a teacher, I read the books first and they were captivating, if not classically written.

So, my movie preferences may run toward less-popular titles, but I’m okay with that. Some are more mainstream, but are still definitely cheesy. There are a few movies that I really, really like that I’m embarrassed to admit…but only a little embarrassed, and probably just because my hubby makes fun of me for watching them. Here are my Top Ten Favorite Cheesy Movies, in no particular order.

10. What a Girl Wants, starring Amanda Bynes – This is a family-friendly movie, a little on the teeny-bopper side. It is really cute, and mega-cheesy, but I absolutely LOVE it! In fact, I own it, and when I’m having a not-so-great day, I pop it in and instantly start to feel happier. I think Amanda Bynes is such a great comedic actor in almost everything she has done! (I haven’t seen She’s the Man, although my nieces can quote it word for word.)

9. The Cutting Edge, staring Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney – This one is definitely old-school, and I’m still young enough to not care if that dates me at all. It’s from the early 90s, so if that’s old-school for me, I suppose I’m not doing too bad. I’ll always remember growing up, any time my sister or I did anything stupid in front of each other, saying, “Toe pick!”

8. Snakes on a Plane, starring Samuel L. Jackson – This has to be one of the top cheesy movies of all time. The title alone is enough to make people cringe. Don’t worry. I didn’t rush out to the theater to watch it. I didn’t even order it on Netflix. I caught it when it came on cable…and I have watched it more than once since then. It’s not all bad! It’s full of action, albeit within a very limited setting. And, come on…Samuel L. Jackson is just cool!

7. Dream a Little Dream, starring…the Coreys – I have not watched this movie since Corey Haim died last year. It’s not because it would bring up too many sad memories. It’s honestly just because I don’t own it and it doesn’t often come on TV. I think I need to check to see if it is available on Netflix. I was probably in middle school when I discovered this gem, and I have loved it ever since. Embarrassingly or not, this is probably one of my very favorites. Corey Feldman channeling Michael Jackson in a dance scene was just fun!

6. Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon – This. Is. A. Classic. I don’t care what you think. As cheesy as it may be, and I can face the truth about it, it is simply a phenomenal movie. It might not have as great of an impact today as it did in the 80s, but it’s still a great story. The remake of this movie is due to come out this year. I’m already preparing myself to be disappointed. Julianne Hough may be a great dancer, but she doesn’t seem like a rebellious preacher’s daugther to me. And Kenny Wormald? Who the heck is that?

5. Independence Day, starring Will Smith – Aliens! Destruction! Jeff Goldblum! I love it all. I think if this movie were rereleased in the theater I might actually pay (again) to see it on a big screen with surround sound. It’s a great end-of-the-world sci-fi flick. Period.

4. Flashdance, starring Jennifer Beals – Admit it. If you were born before 1990, chances are you’ve danced in the middle of your living room, belting out, “She’s a maniac, MANIAC, on the floor!” I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw this. It does have a lot of boobs in it, but you know, a girl has to make money somehow. It’s a truly cheesy love story. Poor welder girl who moonlights as a stripper catches the eye of her extremely wealthy boss… That’s totally how I met my husband! Haha!

3. The Day After Tomorrow, starring Dennis Quaid – It’s another end-of-the-world movie! There are no aliens, but there is a massive ice storm that freezes everyone within seconds of being exposed to it. And there’s a dad, who happens to be a climatologist, that must trek across the country to save his son, who happens to be trapped in the National Library. This movie is total cheese at its best. Whenever this one is on TV I watch it. It might be the movie that my husband makes fun of the most.

2. Sweet Home Alabama, starring Reese Witherspoon – I think this movie is fun. It’s not the cheesiest movie on this list, by far. There is one particular line that always, for no apparent reason, pops into my head. I think that this line might be what adds to the cheese-factor for me. “You have a BABY…in a BAR!” I live in Texas, and although it’s fairly different from Alabama as a whole, I’m sure that there could, at some point, be a time in my life when I would actually get to use that statement.

1. Bring It On, starring Kirsten Dunst – I am not now, nor have I ever been, a cheerleader. I had friends who were cheerleaders, even in college, so this movie should not have appealed to me. Each sequel, and I haven’t even seen them all, gets progressively worse. So, while this movie may have been tolerable, and is definitely cheesy, it’s also kind of like a train wreck – you just can’t look away! The most memorable line from the movie isn’t even from this actual movie, it’s from Not Another Teen Movie. But whenever most people hear the title, Bring it On, they think, “Oh, it’s already been broughten!”

This list is my no means comprehensive. I could easily write a Top 100 on this topic. I think this is a pretty good representative sample of my tastes, though. Don’t make fun of me. I know there are probably many worse movies on your list!

Have a top ten list of your own? Click the Top Ten Tuesday link at the top of this post and share your list on Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday Link-Up!

Top Ten Healthy Recipes that are Still Delicious

Top Ten {Tuesday}

After completing one of the Writing Workshop prompts from Mama Kat last week, on my very new blogging endeavor, I decided that I enjoyed compiling my own Top Ten lists. It allowed me to be creative, funny, serious, or weird all in the same post! After doing a little web search I found O Amanda’s “Top Ten Tuesday” link-up (click above). So, here I am with my first official Top Ten Tuesday.

In the past 6 months I’ve lost more than 50 pounds. Trying to be more active and eat healthier can be a major challenge, especially when you have young children, and finding healthy meals that don’t taste like “health food” is especially difficult sometimes. Here are my top ten favorite healthy recipes that still taste sinfully delicious! They come from a mix of sources, to which I have included links. My daughters readily devour most of these dishes, but a few can be slightly tweeked to meet the less-sophisticated child palate, if needed.

10. Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash – Slow cooker (or crock pot) meals are great, aren’t they? Pop in the ingredients in the morning and several hours later you have a meal all ready! For this dish, I think it needs a little extra flavor. You can add an additional bell pepper and some spices according to your taste. A little more salt, maybe a bit of cumin along with the paprika, or anything else your tastebuds might find appealing. We served this over egg noodles.

9. Cheesy Chili-Mac – This dish is a comfort-food favorite for many people. This version is healthier without sacrificing flavor. For an even healthier version, you can use whole-wheat elbow macaroni.

8. Spinach Lasagna Rolls – Lasagna rolls are a twist (haha) on classic lasagna. Instead of layering the noodles, each individual lasagna noodle serves as a single serving. Using cooked and cooled noodles you place your filling along the length of the noodle and roll it up, jelly-roll style. In the past, I have enjoyed other versions of these, but the calorie counts are so astounding that I don’t even want to share them. This one, though, has a lean 225 calories (and only 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus) per serving.

7. Chicken Pot Pie – Who doesn’t love chicken pot pie? This one doesn’t come in a box, taste like cardboard, or promise to add an inch to your waistline, but it’s still satisfying and tasty!

6. Falafel Pitas – This dish is on our menu for this week. I’m cheating a little bit and using a boxed falafel mix, which will add a few calories, but overall it’s still a really healthy, cool, satisfying vegetarian meal. For those who fear anything labeled “vegetarian” you can grill up and slice a chicken breast. The yogurt dressing tastes wonderful on the chicken, as well!

5. Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken – The adults usually nix the rice as part of the suggested serving of this dish and opt instead for fresh, shredded cabbage. My girls eat it up with the rice!

4. Layered Mexican Chicken – A much lighter version of the classic Mexican chicken casserole, this dish will be requested again and again! I added about a cup of salsa to the sour cream/chicken mixture for an extra kick. Turned out great so I’ll definitely be doing that again. Leftovers of this dish are awesome!

3. Chicken Larb – The name may not sound extremely appetizing, but let me assure you…this dish is delicious! Larb is a Thai/Laotian meat salad. This dish has ten ingredients and cooks up quickly. It is served as more of a lettuce wrap than an actual salad and would even make a great appetizer, but we usually eat it as a main dish. My oldest daughter enjoys hers in a tortilla or pita.

2. Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles – This one is one of my hubby’s favorites to make. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser! We have found that it is a MUST to use fat-free sour cream in this dish. Low-fat sour cream tended to make the sauce separate.

1. Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli – I often substitute ground turkey, as it is quicker and usually more readily available if you don’t want to grind your own chicken. We serve as recommended, with mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus (or other green vegetable – peas compliment the dish nicely). This is my ALL-TIME favorite!!!

I hope I’ve inspired you to seek out some leaner, healthier versions of your favorites and given you some new ones that will become part of your go-to meal ideas. Happy and healthy eating!

Top Ten Don’ts for Summer 2011

10. Aviator glasses. DON’T. You think you look something like this: 

But in reality, you look more like this: 

9. Yes, most of you have to mow your lawns. Of course you don’t want to mow at 3:00 PM when it’s 107 degrees outside in the shade. The alternatives you have chosen? Mow early in the morning or in the evening. Those are great alternatives. However, DON’T mow your lawn after 8:00 PM on a weekday. Please be considerate of your neighbors who work early or have children in bed. I don’t want you to suffer heat stroke by mowing mid-day, but that’s what weekends are for. People are more flexible and well-rested on weekends.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. You think I’m going to say something disparaging about it now, don’t you? Well, I’m not. So what’s the don’t? DON’T make fun of people who go see it, even if they’re dressed up like a bunch of lunatics. Why? Because I’M going to go see it and if you make fun of me I’ll punch you in the face.

7. If you’re my neighbor, and you look something like this:

             please feel FREE to mow your lawn shirtless!! Pretty please!!

If, however, you live within a 30 mile radius of my house and look anything like this (you know who you are):

 we are ALL begging you – DON’T mow shirtless!! At the very least, have the decency to get some manscaping before even cosidering baring those pecs!

6. DON’T drive like a bat out of hell down neighborhood streets. Remember that kids are out of school and many will be playing outside. I would hope they’re all being supervised by their indefatigable, omnipresent, responsible parents…but I’m a realist, so I know that most of these little heathens are home alone for the summer, running around the neighborhood looking for trouble. As much as you might want to, running over them with your car is NOT an option. Try to be safe and use good judgment.

5. If you love yourself at all, please DON’T wear an adult onesie, aka a jumpsuit. They are not cute past the age of 7. These ladies are models, and even THEY look silly. What do you think you’re going to look like?

4. You might be tempted to, but DON’T keep your A/C set at 65 degrees all summer, forcing you to wear a scarf and mittens inside. I plan on being comfortable, but I’m going to avoid the meat-locker-esque environment this summer. I’m not trying to preserve myself, for crying out loud! Your energy bill will be much more tolerable if you keep temps reasonable.

3. DON’T continue telling everyone that you’re going to take a STAYcation! We all get it. The economy sucks right now. I can’t take a vacation either, but when someone asks me if I’m going anywhere, I’m just going to tell them,  “No.” It’s really simple. Saying that you’re having a staycation does not make you sound cool. I think the word was trendy for about a week. We’re over it.

2. For the love of all things good in the world, DON’T wear UGGs in the summertime…especially when you’re wearing shorts.

1. DON’T forget the sunscreen, especially for your children. Building up a little vitamin D is definitely a good thing, but getting blistered skin or melanoma – not so much. It only takes a minute to put some on yourself or your kiddos and everyone will be happier and healthier if you do!

Thanks to Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop for the topic inspiration!
Check her out!

Mama’s Losin’ It

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