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As stated in my last post, the family and I decided to drive to New Jersey on Wednesday and attend the Hungry Girl book signing at the Woodbridge Wegmans.    I could write an entire post on how much I love that store and how I wish we had one near us, but that’s for another day.  😉  Lisa Lillien just came out with her new Hungry Girl Diet book. This book is about taking her recipes and using to jump start your weight loss.  One thing I really like about her is that she will sign ANY of her books at a signing.  Some people won’t do that or they might only do that if you buy a book at that location.  She is so down to earth and friendly.  I really respect her for that.

I had been to other Hungry Girl book signings so I basically knew what to expect.  Wegmans really had it down to a science.  They gave everyone a gift bag as soon as we got upstairs to the cafe area.  Then you were given a card with a letter, telling you that you would get your book signed when your letter was called. I was a ‘C.’  Wegmans employees also handed out raffle tickets to everyone before they told you to have a seat and that Lisa would be out shortly.  Everyone was so friendly.  My husband decided to look around the grocery store part with our kids, while I was upstairs, in other to avoid a meltdown.  It was already pretty crowded so I chose a chair in the corner, by myself and decided to look in my gift bag.  The gift bag alone was worth the trip!  It included a ton of samples and free coupons!

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After a few minutes, I was joined by a wonderful lady who also arrived solo.  She sat next to me and we became fast friends.  It was so nice to spend the time talking to someone who was in the same boat and attended Weight Watchers, been a stay-at-home mom/worked part-time, etc.  Needless to say, we didn’t run out of things to talk about!  She even won a door prize!  We weren’t in the same group to get our book signed so after we tried the available samples and had a nice chat, we bid each other adieu.

I decided to wear my HG 200 under 200 tour t-shirt because you could only win them in 2009 and you had to go to a book signing to get one.  I thought Lisa would get a kick out of seeing it.  I also decided to get my book signed to the whole family.  When I stepped up to get it signed, Lisa’s agent (I think that’s who she was) saw my t-shirt and was so impressed that SHE wanted to take my picture too!  It gets better…Lisa Lillien knew who I was! She knew my name and said she remembered my social media posts to Hungry Girl!  The night couldn’t get any better!

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I also met Charlie from Starkist Tuna.

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I talked to Lisa about maybe doing a book signing in Delaware.  She is such a nice, inviting person!  I would make the drive for her again in a heartbeat.  But I also hope the she will consider Delaware.  😉
If you ever get a chance to attend a Hungry Girl book signing, I suggest you do so.  You won’t be disappointed.  They are so much fun!  Pick up one of her books too.  She makes it easier to live a healthy lifestyle.  Her recipes have helped me lose over 45 pounds.  They add variety to your diet and make you forget that you are eating healthy food.  Her recipes have larger portion sizes by bulking up veggies and proteins.  I can’t wait to read and follow her new book!  My husband got to eat at White Castle on the way home too, so everyone had a great day.

You can follow Hungry Girl (Lisa Lillien) on:

Twitter: Here!

Facebook: Here!

Online: Here!

Have you read any of her books?  Have you ever been to a book signing?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  I just love Hungry Girl and her books!  All comments/opinions are my own.

 

After a full day of watching my two kids and a full night arranging fixtures at a department store, I am tired, to say the least.  Everyone is asleep when I get home so that’s my time to unwind and enjoy myself.  My ‘me time,’ in other words.  Some nights, I go online or read a book.  Sometimes, I read our local weekly paper without any interruptions.  Sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Last night, I decided to break out the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask that I received in my J’Adore Vox Box from Influenster.

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I love a good face mask. They really make your skin feel fresh and clean.  I am already familiar with Boots since I follow them on Twitter and Facebook.  I remember the Boots drug stores when I lived in London during college.  They are such a great drug store and I wish we had the exact same thing here.  They sold the best sandwiches.  Their pharmacist was always friendly and helpful too.  Pharmacists can prescribe medicine to you in the UK.  So it came in handy when we got sick.  So this mask stirs up old memories too, which  is pleasant.  🙂

I took my pajamas into the bathroom (my favorite flannel plastic flamingo ones), turned on the hot water and went to work.  I am starting to get a cold so the steam helped clear up my sinuses.  I applied the mask and let it dry for 10 minutes.

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I then jumped into the shower and rinsed it off.  We have great water pressure so the stream felt so good on my face.  It felt like I was at the spa.  It’s the little things in life, people.  I wasn’t rushed.  No one had a catastrophe.  After I was finished, my face felt wonderful.  It was so fresh and clean.  It looked great too!

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You can see the pjs in this photo a little!  But anyhoo, Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask promises to remove impurities and deeply cleanse your skin.  I believe it does just that. It uses the power of plants to make you look radiant.  I really like that it’s so natural and doesn’t have any weird fragrances.  It willow bark in it, which naturally contains salicylic acid and removes dead skin cells.  Willow bark also has anti-inflammatory properties. Sea silt, or natural oceanic clay,  is also found in this mask. Clay is so great at removing oil from your skin and contains anti-inflammatory properties too.  In other words, your skin won’t age prematurely.  I was pleased with the results and it really helped me rejuvenate after a long day.  I will be using it once a week from now on to keep my skin clean and young-looking.

You can check out Boots Botanics:

On Facebook!

On Twitter!

Online!

How about you?  What do you like to do when you want to relax?

Disclaimer:  I received complimentary products from Influenster in exchange for my review.  Comments and opinions are my own. 

We had an extremely busy Saturday, like most families.  We took a day trip to Baltimore to attend a memorial service for my husband’s grandfather.  Since we don’t get there too often, we also decided to visit my grandmom and then make a stop at our friends’ new house.  Baltimore is about 2+ hours away from us.  Not a bad drive but with two kids under 3, sometimes things can get a little harried.  As long as I have snacks, I can usually keep my kids at bay.  So you can imagine how thankful I was to receive a big red package from Ella’s Kitchen, just in time for our trip!

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Note the little arm reaching inside.  She was excited since she loves their pouches!  I packed those babies up in our Ella’s Kitchen/TerraCycle lunchbag that we won in a photo contest and we were set to go on our trip!

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The thing I love about Ella’s Kitchen is that their products are USDA organic and don’t contain GMO’s (genetically modified ingredients).  They are very handy for on the go and are just downright tasty!  Ella’s Kitchen doesn’t dilute the flavors and they don’t add water.  All of the complex ingredients also ensure that my kids are getting a well-rounded palate at an early age! They come in brightly colored packaging, with tasty combinations that are sure to make any kid ask for ‘mo!’  😉   I know my kids enjoy them!

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I like the pouches because sometimes I can’t control what foods we eat on the road because of what’s available but at least I know that their snacks were healthy and tasty.  Plus, they can eat these with minimal supervision.  The baby can’t even eat solid foods yet so these are perfect for him.  Yes, that is a boy baby.  Please excuse the pink Pooh Bear bib leftover from my daughter.

Ella’s Kitchen offers a wide variety of choices for all tastes and ages too!  From First Tastes for your baby, up to Toddler Meals.  We received The Green One, an apple, pear, kiwi, banana smoothie that my daughter chose first.  My son ate the Pears, Peas and Broccolli Ella’s 1 pouch, which is dairy and wheat-free.  He has a milk allergy so this really fit the bill.  We also received an apples, green beans and raisins pouch and two Yum Yummy Apple and Ginger Baby Cookies.  We knew we would enjoy those since we have a box of the Yum Yummy Milk & Vanilla Baby Cookies in the cupboard already!  My daughter also enjoys the Mangoes and Carrots Nibbly Fingers Snack Bars.

Our trip went very well since we were prepared.  It was literally an all day trip too, with us leaving at 9am and not getting home until 11:30pm.  The kids were such troopers and we all had a good visit with family and friends.

Visit Ella’s Kitchen on their website:  Here!  Their website is really cute!

Or like them on Facebook:  Here!  They run fun giveaways and contests.  They also post cute kid-related stuff!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  I received complimentary products in exchange for my review.  Opinions and comments are my own.  No other compensation was received.

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Holidays can be fatal to your budget…but only if you let them.  As you know, I am a self-proclaimed cheapskate.  Not a day goes by that I don’t try to think of new, creative ways that my family can use to save money and/or get something for free.  Some of my ideas are unorthodox but they work for us.  Certain holidays are not celebrated in my family, at least not on the specified day or in the traditional sense.  Valentines Day is one of those holidays.  So, while everyone is trying to outdo one another with flowers and candy, the Lane family is plotting how we can have the most fun with the least amount of money!  Here are some of the things we do for Valentines Day:

* We buy our candy on February 15th.  It’s still fresh and it’s always around 50% off.  No, it’s not the BEST deal but it’s the best selection and sometimes that works out better.  Buy the leftovers later to use in recipes and so forth.

*We go out using one of our Christmas gift cards, combined with a coupon of course. We also either go to lunch or a few days early or late.  Get caught in a crowd or pay holiday prices?  What do you think I am, an amateur?!?!

*We buy our decorations on clearance.  The Lane family stocks up on Valentines decor and cards one year in advance.  This way, you don’t have to rush out at the last minute plus you get everything at the best price.  Just be careful that nothing has a year on it.

*My flowers come from a grocery store, again, the day after.  Grocery store bouquets are just as pretty and they usually have some leftover after the holiday, on clearance.  Just put those babies in water and add some Sprite. They will perk right up!

*We might make a special dinner at home.  Restaurants cost a small fortune.  Plan a menu of what you would order at your favorite restaurant and then find the recipe.  Make it at home, together.  Thank you, Pinterest.

*Use your imagination.  Make your loved one a gift.  Those are more heartfelt anyway! I made this man-bouquet for my husband a few years ago.  I used a vase and ribbon that we already had and cheap heart sprigs.  The jerky and candy were on sale too.  It costs around $5 to make and he loved it.

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These might be common sense but I hope you might rethink how you spend Valentine’s Day.  Don’t let card companies and jewelry stores tell you how to celebrate!  🙂

So, what are your plans this V Day?