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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Ultimate Virtual Baby Shower Giveaway



Welcome to the Showered with All Things Baby Giveaway Event!

Brittanie from Bargains with Brittanie will soon be welcoming her second baby boy into the world and she wants to celebrate with you! She is teaming up with a group of bloggers to offer a spectacular giveaway that features products perfect for the new mom, dad, and baby. With $2,064 worth of prizes and 29 winners this is a giveaway you won't want to miss!

Several of my friends in California are expecting or just had babies and I haven't been around to celebrate with them, so I'm excited to be part of this awesome giveaway!

For this giveaway we have some amazing prizes and want to give a huge thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors who made this giveaway possible. Our sponsors include:



In addition to this great giveaway, you can check out the Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide which contains reviews of the products featured in this event.

Enter the Giveaway!

Giveaway ends August 5th at 11:59pm. It is open to United States Residents only. Winners will be chosen via random.org. All Entries Will Be Verified. Winners will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen. Enter using the widget below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for participating in this event. This giveaway is sponsored by the companies mentioned above. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1800 Reasons Not To Let Groupon Choose Your Dentist

1800 Reasons Not To Let Groupon Choose Your Dentist

When I lived in Mexico and Central America I enjoyed access to terrific and inexpensive dental care.  Now that I'm living in North America it is more of a luxury.  I'm living on a pretty tight budget, so I do my own hair and nails, dream about massage, and run instead of paying for a gym membership.  I make sure my daughter goes to a great pediatric dentist, but I ignored my own need for a cleaning - until I got the email from Groupon offering: a cleaning, checkup, xrays, custom whitening trays - for $24.99

It was a no brainer.  I don't actually regret buying it, it was a fantastic deal.  However, at the end of my checkup I was presented with a plan to replace several old fillings, fill cavities, have a wisdom tooth removed, and see a periodontist.  The estimate for the work I needed was $1800.  Then they tried to sell me an insurance plan, which is really more like a discount membership club, that would somewhat reduce the cost of the procedures I needed.

I was really torn because I was face to face with a very sincere dentist who was telling me that the cavity in my wisdom tooth looked deep, and there appeared to be substantial bone loss.  The alternative would be to try to fill the tooth, but it would likely end up hurting, and I'd need a root canal and maybe a crown which would be even more expensive.  He said, "If it was my tooth, I would have it extracted."  This was kind of compelling, he was trying to save me money, right?

Anyway, I left and never went back.  But I stressed about it.  About my mouth full of cavities.  About my jawbone that was surely disintegrating under the wisdom tooth that was rotten to the core and would start hurting any day now.  About my breath which must surely be wretched with all that decay.

Fast forward 3 years to May, when Ebi and I were in BC with my family.  My wisdom tooth was finally bugging me, a little, I think.  It may just have been sensitive to the amount of lime juice I was putting in my mojitos.  Anyway, I confessed to my parents that I hadn't seen a dentist in 3 years and told them about the $1800 worth of work my mouth needed.  They immediately got me an appointment to see their dentist in Vancouver.

I told the hygenist that I was nervous and why.  She had a peek in my mouth and said that the doctor would be in to confirm, but that there was no way that tooth needed to be pulled.  The cleaning took a while, because it had been so long, but she told me that my teeth and gums were in great shape.  The dentist poked around, and even probed the cavity, then reassured me that it only needed a filling, it was no big deal.  They were both appalled that a dentist had suggested removing it, and glad that I had gone with my gut (and budget) and had a second opinion.  My tooth immediately stopped hurting.  LOL

I had my second appointment yesterday to have the cavity filled, and left the office with a plan to return for a cleaning in 6 months.

So, what I learned from this is that there are unscrupulous dentists out there.  Actually this was just reinforced, because this isn't the first time I've had a dentist try to do unnecesary work.  A dentist who is trying to drum up business by offering discounted services on Groupon is very likely going to try to upsell once he/she has you in the chair.  So, by all means, take advantage of the cheap cleaning, and whitening, but don't have blind faith in their diagnosis.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

5 Blogs I Love





I read a lot of blogs.  I'd like to introduce you to five that I really like.  Here are links to recent posts I enjoyed.


I have a board on Pinterest called "Blogging Tips", and it is probably over 80% populated by Brittany's terrific advice.


I've been enjoying the #mommyreality series, and even shared a photo of my dirty kitchen sink on instagram


Liv writes a lot of raw, personal anecdotes that I can relate to.  This post in particular had me laughing out loud.


Janelle's brutal honesty and wicked sense of humor are always entertaining, and often cringe inducing.


Shana's blog is a unique blend of cocktail recipes, personal stories, and playlists.  This post is her nod to the World Cup.







Monday, July 7, 2014

Luscious Lemon Mousse - gluten free

I helped my sister make a double batch of this simple and delicious gluten free dessert for her book club a few nights ago.  She doesn't remember who originally emailed this recipe to her, but she's been making it for years, and it has become one of her signature dishes.  We put most of it in a big bowl for her to take, and kept a small bowl for us to enjoy.


Ingredients:

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 package Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp rum
1 1/2 C whipping cream

Using an electric mixer, cream butter until light.  Beat in cream cheese, blending until smooth.

Our butter was cold, so I put Ebi to work mashing the butter with a fork until it was broken up enough to mix with the beaters.  She mashed the cream cheese too.  When I ask her to help in the kitchen she lights up, and runs to get a footstool yelling, "Don't do ANYTHING until I get back!"

Mix in the sugar gradually.

Add vanilla, lemon juice and rum.  Beat until smooth.  It will seem pretty runny at this point, that's ok.  
Beat the whipping cream until it holds firm peaks, and fold into lemon mixture.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Makes 6 servings.

Luscious Lemon Mousse


We decorated ours with sliced strawberries, but the lemon flavor would be nice with just about any fresh fruit, or even just a simple mint garnish.  I would like to try piping it into cored strawberries and then sprinkling crushed gingersnaps on top.

Enjoy!


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