April 17, 2013

look what i got!

As a book blogger, I get a lot of books in the mail. (Duh.) You might think that getting packages in the mail becomes old hat—that the thrill of seeing a package outside my door would diminish. You would be wrong. Each time I pull into my driveway and glimpse a package by the door, my heart leaps in anticipation!

Today, I saw three packages. The first two were books I've been looking forward to reading, as I've really enjoyed other books by these authors.

But the third package? The third package contained a book I've been greatly anticipating for nearly a year!

Do you see what that says? "Book Gift from Becky Wade." In February, I received a direct message from Becky Wade on Twitter. She said that as a thank you for my support of her book My Stubborn Heart (which I named my top book of 2012), she'd like to send me an influencer copy of her next book. Of course, I said yes! So while I won't be on an official tour for this book, I'll still be reviewing it ... and hopefully soon.

Trust me, it took just about all the willpower I possess to keep from devouring the book as soon as I took it out of the envelope. But I have three other books that have to be reviewed by next week, so Undeniably Yours will have to wait ... for now. As I sit here at my dining room table, I can practically hear the book calling to me from the living room bookshelf—something tells me I'll be reading it sooner rather than later. And when I do, I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the aforementioned books free for review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

April 16, 2013

chew spry gum and watch a great movie!

I went to the dentist yesterday. It was a pretty normal experience, as far as preventative care visits go. My dentist always gives the same spiel about eating foods that are good for your teeth, staying away from sugary drinks, etc. And he normally says to chew gum that contains xylitol because it can actually help your teeth. Well, he changed it up a bit yesterday, recommending (and giving me samples of) a specific gum which contains no sweeteners other than xylitol: Spry.

Immediately, I recognized the name, but it took me a while to figure out why. Then it hit me—My Girlfriend's Boyfriend! It's a movie I fell in love with a few years ago, and my post about it is actually my #1 viewed post of all time. (You can see it here.) Spry gum has a supporting role in the film—the main character's brother is the spokesman for Spry. I always thought the gum was made up for the movie, but I guess not!

See the clip about Spry, which is one of my favorite sequences in the film:
Now that you've seen the clip, go ahead and watch the whole movie. It's so cute and clean! Oh, and—if you can find it—buy some Spry to go with the movie!

April 10, 2013

snow day in april? yes, please!

We've been having some weird weather here in Nebraska recently. I mean, Nebraska weather is always a bit spastic, but the last few days have really been wild. On Monday, our high was near 70 ... and then things fell apart. Monday night into Tuesday morning, we had severe thunderstorms. My town didn't get hit nearly as hard as some other towns in the area ... but still, we had high winds, hail, and lots of rain. (Yay, rain!) Then Tuesday the temp steadily dropped, the winds were strong, and it rained, sleeted, and hailed. Eventually, there was a bit of snow, but the biggest issue was the layer of ice that covered everything.

Last night, I got the "late start" call. And this morning, 15 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, I got the "school is canceled" call! Roomie and I were both thrilled to have the day off! (She's student teaching at another area school, and her school was canceled, too.)

I had so much work I could have been doing ... but I didn't bring any of it home with me because I honestly thought we'd have school today. It only takes five minutes to drive to work, so I could have gone to pick some stuff up, but really, did I want to go through the effort of showering, drying my hair, and scraping off my car? Nope! So I decided to declare today a "me" day ... and let tomorrow worry about itself.

So today I spent my day

  • baking bread. I used this recipe, which I found on Pinterest. It tastes great ... but the loaves look nothing like the pictures on the website!
  • washing dishes. Becasue I baked bread.
  • rescuing my cats from the dog next door. Don't ask me how I feel about that dog. It's not pretty.
  • catching up on NCIS, Hart of Dixie, and New Girl. Plus an episode of The OC thrown in for good measure.
  • reading Siri Mitchell's Unrivaled. I had mixed feelings about it—look for the review tomorrow.
  • chatting with Blendy. (Maybe if I link to her enough times, it'll shame her into actually updating her blog ...)
  • napping. I never nap ... but I did today!
  • watching Cool Runnings with the roomie. I kept telling myself I wouldn't cry at the end, but I did. I swear, I'm turning into my mother!
All in all, it was a fabulous, unexpected, much-needed day off! 

April 6, 2013

recipe: easy chicken pizza

Last week, I promised you the recipe for my chicken pizza. It's pretty straightforward ... any of you could have "invented" this recipe, too. It's also incredibly quick to make—from the time you turn on the oven until you pull the pizza out, you're looking at 20-25 minutes. It's perfect for those nights when you're looking for a fast, easy supper.

Easy Chicken Pizza

1 thin pizza crust (I use Golden Home's Ultra Crispy & Ultra Thin crust. It comes in a 3-pack for $2.99 at Hy-Vee.)
1/3-1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 can (13 oz.) chicken
4 oz. mozzarella cheese
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Fresh ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Spread pizza sauce on crust, stopping about 1/4 inch from the edge. Drain chicken and crumble over crust. Top with cheese. Sprinkle on garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and pepper to taste. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Bake according to crust package directions. Enjoy!

Some helpful hints:
  • Place a pan on the bottom rack of your oven to catch any pizza drips. Trust me—I learned this the hard way!
  • You can use any combination of cheeses that you want, and you can certainly use more or less than I do! I like to put a handful of grated asiago on top of the mozzarella. Cheddar or parmesan would also be good.
  • You can mince two cloves of garlic to use in place of the garlic powder ... I've done it both ways, and it's way easier to go for the powder!
  • The crust I buy comes in a 3-pack. The package says you can freeze the crusts for up to a month—just be aware that frozen crusts don't crisp up as well as fresh ones.
  • Don't make this when you're the only one eating unless you have a lot of willpower! I have a hard time not eating the whole pizza by myself ... it's just that good!  

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