Tag Archives: giveaway

Throwing deuces

9 Jun

This heat sucks.

There I said it, it’s out and that means I will be complaining about it for the rest of the summer….or will I? I am outta here June 30 and some of you have asked where I’m moving to and the answer is still I don’t know. I am throwing a pair of deuces to Charlotte, driving to the NC beaches for July 4th then going up to DC for a week. Afterwards, I may drive up to NYC and Boston but that’s still in the air. And of course at some point I would like to check out Colorado but I’m not sure if I would drive there or fly. If I flew, I would drive back to Florida where all my stuff will be at my parents then fly from there while they dogsit Lincoln. And then there is Italy in August or September for a few weeks and then Phoenix in September. So I am hoping to have an idea of where I will be come October but we’ll see.

You all remember this bitch of a bedframe?

Well it broke….again. So I threw the deuces to it and now have my mattress on the floor. I feel like I should be in a movie about heroin addiction with my mattress on the floor, it’s just weird. Now I just have to figure out how to dissemble it. I heard a rumor that you can go to Ikea and buy the made-for-Ikea-only tools there but I’m not sure if that’s true-anyone know?

I made my way to the gym on Wednesday morning and had a better than expected workout. I’m so unmotivated to even move when it gets hot out much less go work out. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical then did one mile on an Expresso Recumbent Bike, has anyone else ever done this?

(source)

When I hopped on, you had to either log in or you could sign in as a guest. I’ve never seen it before so I just logged on as a guest then from there you pick your route. I just did a mile since that was the first option and kept beeping so loud whenever I tried to go to another option, I just wanted it to stop. It was cool because you can see right in front of you where you are going, the course, your heart rate, calories burned, gears, distance and other competitors (a few guys looked hot from the backside) but I couldn’t figure out how to steer! I tried moving the handles near the monitor and the ones on the side and nothing. I will have to do some research. Besides the little issue of not being able to steer, I enjoyed this. It’s been forever since I biked, I really would like to get back into it. When I was in high school, we would ride our bikes to beach, stay all day, ride back, stop for lunch, come home and pass out. I miss those days.

I made a chicken tacos for lunch with a side of kale chips. I bought a huge bunch the other day so I need to burn through those babies.

I went to Manifest Disc to find a Zero Seven cd. I discovered them thanks to my friend Pandora and have really been diggin their sound. I also had a $7 left to use there so I got three cd’s for $6, not too shabby

Yes, I like disco and am not afraid to admit it. I wish I had a video camera so I could record Lincoln and I doing the Hustle yesterday afternoon. Ok, well I was doing it and I was motioning his arms in the air. This right here is reason #298 why I don’t have a boyfriend: because I dance with my dog to disco music.

Afterwards, I went to Panera to steal some Wi fi. I just wanted something to drink but forgot they have Pepsi products—boo. I got their low fat Black Cherry smoothie

Let’s talk about the straw

Look at how thick it is (twss)! I thought McD’s had the thickest straws out there but this bad boy was huge and I felt naughty. So after I finished my smoothie, I took it home with me. Unfortunately, the smoothie wasn’t anything to write home about. It tasted chalky and too artificial.

I made Stephanie’s Eggplant Manicotti. Well, kinda, my meal was an adapation from it because I strayed in so many ways. I wanted to make this months ago but apparently there was an eggplant shortage. Good for the shortage though because I found eggplants for $1 each this week at Bi-Lo.

I am not a ricotta fan so I subbed cottage cheese for the ricotta. I’ve never done this before but heard it’s a good substitute. I also didn’t have any spinach on hand or enough breadcrumbs so this was going to be an interesting turn out. Oh, I didn’t mention how I forgot to save or print out the recipe so I couldn’t find it did I? Yeah, well that happened as well so I was kinda just going with it.

 

I chopped up some onion and parsley then added to the mixture along with garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and black pepper.

I breaded the eggplant and baked them instead of frying them as the original recipe goes for. All in my quest to drop some poundage, as I am all about the fried stuff.

Good thing I stole some toothpicks last week because these didn’t want to stay put

But then I couldn’t remember in the recipe how she sliced them so I sliced one of the eggplant long ways and then I had a few eggplant sliced rounds sitting around so I used those. When I put the filling on the rounds they looked like little eggplant tacos!

I don’t have any jarred spaghetti sauce on hand so I made my own using frozen diced tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, pepper, salt and merlot with the help of my friend Chuckie Shaw

It didn’t make too much sauce since there weren’t that many diced tomatoes.  I poured a little in the pan, topped with the eggplant manicotti, covered the rest in the remainder of the sauce, sprinkled with mozzarella then let bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees

 

The result:

It didn’t look too much like Stephanie’s but it turned out fantastic. I would bake the eggplant a little more next time (because there will be a next time) since it didn’t seem too done but all in all a great tasting meal. I can’t wait to have the leftover, thanks Stephanie for providing the recipe!

Oh yeah, I have a giveaway going on if you would like to enter! It is a sweet package consisting of the following:

*Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Desserts

*Three 2.25 oz jars of Cloister Honey

*Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cake & Baking Mix

*Box of Samoas

Some of you may be thinking “Tiffany, this all stuff of yours that you are trying to pawn off on other people” and the answer is yes. This is stuff that I will throw away if I don’t use, none of the food has been opened and instead of throwing it away, I’m throwing deuces to it as I’m sure someone else can get better use out of it.

Ways to enter:

1)  Tell me your favorite smoothie combination

2) Link this comment back to your blog and leave a comment letting me know you did

3) Follow me on Twitter (@TiffanyNico) and leave a comment or a comment letting me know you already do

4) Tweet about this giveaway : “@TiffanyNico is hosting a sweet giveaway  http://wp.me/pMfHm-18N

 & leave a comment letting me know you did

Contest ends Thursday June 16, 2011 at 11:59pm EST, open to US residents only (sorry internationals!) Winner will be picked via random.org

Good luck!

Oh Anthony, you’re so silly

(source)

Advertisements

Great Day

6 Jun

Before 1pm today I accomplished quite a bit and had some random musings (mostly with help of my dear friend, Mr. Insomnia who wouldn’t let me sleep past 530am):

*Took Lincoln for a mile and a half walk

*Packed a bunch of stuff up that I am giving to charity

*Re-listed a bunch of stuff on craigslist and starting gathering clothes and purses to sell on Ebay

*Had breakfast

*Went through my mail and found that not only did I get a free drink from Starbucks but my parents sent me one as well.

*Realized I have no clue who Terri Ewing is and now curious as to how they got the free drink card to send to me.

*Start to think of crazy stories of how they know Terri Ewing, My favorite one being they knew Terri and killed him or her for a free drink coupon so they could make me happy.

*Wonder if Terri is a man or woman

*Realize it’s spelled with an “I” so most likely a woman.

*Thought about how much I hate unisex names 

*Thought of names for the made for tv movie about the murder and liked “Will Kill For Starbucks: All She Wanted Was Java” the best.

*Start singing “All That She Wants Is Another Java” to the tune of “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base

*Laugh about the notion of this whole idea that someone would kill another for a Starbucks drink

*Stop laughing since I’m sure people out there think that I would kill for Starbucks

*Think that I can ponder about Terri Ewing all day so I better go to the gym

*Had an awesome workout of 30 minutes on the Precor AMT along with upper body strength training

*Come home and attempt to run to shower first thing since I am literally a hot mess.

*Am stopped by Lincoln because he wants to lick the sweat off my face

*Wonder why dogs are so loyal and like gross things

*Finally get in shower

*Portion trail mix into single servings so I don’t go buckwild and eat the entire bag in two sittings

*Flip though Michael Chiarello’s book “Bottega” that I won over at All Kinds of Hungry

*Think that asking for a man who can cook, has a nice smile, straight, gainfully employed with no mommy issues shouldn’t be too hard to find.

*But then come to the conclusion it is

*Get sad about that

*Am hungry from flipping through Bottega

*Make a random lunch

*Wonder what was up with my intense protein craving for lunch

Indeed Paul.

How’s your Monday going?

What’s your story of how my parents got Terri Ewing’s free drink card?

400th post GIVEAWAY!

7 May

Wow, 400 posts. I can’t believe I’m up to 400, there’s been so much I’ve discussed—weight loss, recipes, bad dates, traveling, work issues and more! So in honor of my 400th post, I am hosting a giveaway for…..

The Biggest Loser Wii interactive fitness video game! Includes:

  • Extensive workout customization, a daily calendar for day planning and 50 healthy recipes from The Biggest Loser Cookbook.
  • A complete workout containing over 88 exercises, including upper and lower body, core, cardio and yoga.
  • Select from a 4, 8 or 12 week program and compete with contestants from the prior seasons of The Biggest Loser.
  • Multiplayer functionality allows you to train with a friend and compete in weekly challenges to see who really is The Biggest Loser.
  • Wii Balance Board compatible with 66 of the included exercises utilizing the Wii Balance Board, including squats, knee lifts, lunges and much, much, more.

Want to win this? Here’s how to enter:

1) Leave a comment telling me your favorite exercise

2) Follow me on Twitter  and leave me a comment letting me know , if you already follow me, leave a comment letting me know!

3) Tweet about this contest “@TiffanyNico is giving away The Biggest Loser Wii interactive fitness video game http://wp.me/pMfHm-16G

4) Link this contest to your blog (you don’t need a blog to enter to win) and let me know

Giveaway ends on Monday May 16th at 11:59pm EST.

Good luck!!

Calling all dog lovers!

21 Feb

 Recently Build A Sign approached me asking if I would be interested in making something off of their website. I was intrigued instantly since I’ve never heard of Build A Sign before.  What is Build A Sign you ask? They’re an on-line site that offers an array of products such as duh….signs but also banners, magnetic bumper sticks, license plates, flags and more. What sets them apart is that you can design your product in a matter of minutes with their custom-made backgrounds, pictures and text and have it to you the next day if your heart desires.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make though. It would be pretty cool to stand on the corner with a custom-made sandwich board with my name and number on but maybe that’s not the smartest or classiest thing to do? I decided to design a magnetic bumper stickers—classic and fun, can’t go wrong there! 

So hooray, I figured out what I would make but what was I going to put on there?  At first I thought I would do something about being a frugalista. But then I played around with their online design system and wasn’t crazy about any of them. Then I saw a paw print and that is where my design came into mind. I think you all have read about my love for my dog Lincoln before, yes?

Since I give him love, attention, hugs, kisses, shelter, why not make a magnetic bumper sticker proclaiming my love for him.  I designed my magnetic bumper sticker, submitted the order and soon they were waiting for me at my doorstep.

Adorable right? I am beyond happy with how they turned out and keep telling everyone about my experience with designing them online. The kind people at Build A Sign sent me extra magnetic bumper stickers and I think you all know what that means–a giveaway!  I have 16 magnetic bumper stickers (3″ x10″) up for grabs with multiple ways to win:

*If you have a dog, tell me something interesting about them!

*Link this contest to your blogroll (leave a comment letting me know you did)

*Tweet about this contest “Win an “I love my dog” magnetic bumper sticker @tiffanynico http://wp.me/pMfHm-WF ”  (leave a comment letting me know you did)

Thank you Build A Sign for giving me this opportunity to make my own magnetic bumper sticker!

Contest ends at 12:01AM  on Monday February 28, 2011. 16 winners will be picked at random (you do not need a blog to enter just an email address where I can reach you)  I will announce the winners on the 28th as well!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for my opinion of Build-A Sign’s product or services. Opinions in this post are of my own.

To love, to be loved, and to be a banker

21 Dec

So yesterday went by quickly whereas today dragged on. And I effed up big time at work. I noticed my mistake I made at the end of the day, had to stay late and discuss with a manager and still have to deal with it tomorrow. Plus I found some more issues with an account after I spoke with a manager and will have to figure that out as well tomorrow. I have a huge knot in my stomach since I will have to face more of this crap tomorrow and am not really looking forward to it. I know it’s not the end of the world but I hate that I don’t know what I’m doing with my role and am not confident of my abilities. The sun will come up tomorrow and the day after but I hate this feeling of dreading going into work.

  Just once, I would like to have a job that I acted liked and was semi passionate about. I hate waking up at 630A each morning, dreading the day and counting down the hours til 5 o’clock. I hate that I feel sick any time I’m about to call a customer with bad news. I hate that I work for a bank yet hate numbers. I hate that I’m too empathetic to do my job whereas other people are fine with practically driving customers to file for bankruptcy. I hate that my job (and former job) mentally exhausts me so much and has made me so bitter that I don’t have the energy to look for a relationship yet maintain one. I hate that I work for a corporation I don’t believe in. I hate that due to most of my experience within the bank, I can’t find anything else, even though I have a degree in journalism. I hate that I’m seriously considering withdrawing some of my 401K to live on for awhile so I can figure out what I want to do to with my life. I would just like to wake up Monday-Friday looking forward to something and not be completely miserable, I don’t think that’s asking for too much right? And huge brownie points for anyone who knows where the title of this post is from.

My package of goodies I ordered last week  from Sephora arriving at my door step didn’t even lift my spirits. Retail therapy, makeup and a surprise package in one?  Nope, didn’t even form a smile while opening so yeah, today wasn’t the best day.

Thank god I had a dinner plan in mind because I couldn’t handle another funky meal like last night. Since I am an emotional eater and all, I really wanted to just order take out and enjoy an insane amount of MSG from the local Chinese takeout joint but I stuck to my original plan–crescent rolls stuffed with onion and chive cream cheese and sandwich steak.

I cooked up the steak on the stovetop and seasoned with Spike seasoning. I didn’t even use oil or butter, the seasoning was the perfect thing to season with.

Then cut into little strips. Of course Lincoln got the leftovers.

I rolled out the crescent rolls to stretch them a little further than normal then spread cream cheese on them

Topped with steak bits

Then rolled up and let bake at 375 for 14 minutes.

I had broccoli on the side with a touch of spray butter and bam–quick, savory meal to end a horrid day.

Anyways, that was my day in a nutshell. Sorry if it was a bit of a downer but nothing wrong with some honesty right?

On a happier note—the winner of the Chobani giveaway is…….

Comment #13—Emily from “A Nutrionalist Eats”

emily (a nutritionist eats) December 16, 2010  “I’m liking chobani on facebook!”

Congratulations Emily! Please email me (simplyshaka @ gmail dot com) your mailing address so Chobani can send those out to you!
Thanks everyone for participating in the giveaway (if anyone knows how I can copy the damn random number generator into a post, it would be much appreciated!)

I’m going to zone out to Family Guy and get some puppy kisses from my little guy.

Hope everyone’s Tuesday was better than mine!

Operation Triple R

19 Dec

So, my weekend started off with a stake out. Not a fun boy-stalking stake out as I had hoped nor was it filled with coffee, cigarettes and discussion about life however it was my friends stake out and I just was there as the getaway car. She had a psycho woman follow her into the YMCA parking lot last weekend after a little traffic dispute then the woman blocked in her car, harassed and I believe threatened her. She wanted to get the womans license plate number just in case anything further happened. My friend asked if I wanted to tag along and of course I said yes!  The fact that she had an awesome name for the stakeout-Operation Triple R (Redneck Road Rage) may have swayed my vote a little as well. I wake up early on the weekend so I don’t mess up my sleep schedule too much and am always looking for something to do when nothing seems to be going on. We went to Dunkin Donuts, got some coffee and three munchkins for me (which the boy gave me for free–thanks DD boy!) and went to the YMCA to stake out. Originally, I had the idea of getting out of the car and hanging out in disguises in front of the Y. I wanted to dress up as a homeless person sitting outside the Y with a change jar and hidden walkie talkie. But she shot that idea down and said it wasn’t necessary-boo. So, we waited….and waited…..and waited.

We even had a canine friend in attendance

Yes, that would be Lincoln in my friends purse. Fear not, he wasn’t in there the entire time. I was in awe with the size of her purse since I believe in the mantra-bigger is better-and was joking around that Lincoln could fit in there so we packed him in. And you know what? He loved it! He was absolutely calm, appeared to be comfortable and am 99% sure he don’t go potty in there. It turned out to be a waste of time since No 1980’s something brown pickup truck was in sight. Oh well. At least I had a morning of good conversation and coffee right?

Saturday afternoon consisted of a lot of this:

While I updated my resume and searched for jobs, Lincoln napped and eventually I did as well. It snowed for about 10 minutes in Charlotte and I went out a walk but the afternoon mainly consisted of job searching. I got four inquiries about my resume between Saturday and Sunday so hopefully I am on the right track!

Saturday night I made tuna casserole. It’s been foreeeeever since I’ve made it and it’s a fantastic meal for when it’s chilly out. Nothing says comfort like noodles, fish and cheese. Ok, put like that it doesn’t sound good but combined together and baked, it’s super!

I took three cans of tuna fish and drained

Along with that ingredients were

 Half a package of No Yolk Egg Noodles (that I cooked earlier in the day)

 One can Cream of Mushroom soup

 1/2 shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

 Chopped onion

Chopped mushrooms

 One cup frozen peas

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp black pepper 

1/2 tbsp garlic

Then mixed together in a large mixing bowl.

Then transferred to a casserole dish, topped with 1/3 of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (if you are not a huge cheese fan, you can use breadcrumbs instead) and let it bake for 35 minutes

Delicious! Plus it gives me a couple of meals to bring to work for lunch this week (yes, I am the annoying co-worker who heats fish in the break room) and it’s perfect for freezing as well.

I may have watched this movie one two three times afterwards.

What can I say, when I like a movie, I really really like a movie.

On Sunday morning, I woke up had some breakfast and went for a 45 minute walk. It was just cold enough that I felt comfortable all bundled up but not sweating and I felt terrific afterwards.

I put some ingredients in the crock pot to make chili and then headed out to go to see Black Swan and shopping at Costco. Black Swan was absolutely fantastic, it was very theatrical and thought-provoking, a nice change from what I usually dig. My friend has a Costco membership so I wanted to tag along with her so I could get some goodies. I also wanted to try one of their churros since I hear good things about them and it was out of this world!

I was expecting it to be absolute madness on a Sunday afternoon but it was pretty tame for Costco. I will have to hit her up to see when she is going again since I found some great deals but didn’t get too much stuff since I’ll be going out of town for Christmas. For $44 I got  all of this and a bottle of wine:

Holla, I heart Costco!

When I got home, my house has the spicy aroma of chili in the air and I was ready to chow down! I don’t have a set chili recipe but mixed it up a little this time.

Ingredients:

One can diced tomatoes

One can tomato paste

One can dark kidney beans

One can navy beans

One cup Morningstar Veggie Crumbles (browned with tabasco sauce)

1 tbsp Chili powder

1 tbsp Cumin

1 tbsp Garlic

2 tbsp Black Pepper

1 onion chopped

3 Hungarian Wav peppers, chopped

It turned out great. However, the Hungarian Wax peppers made a world of difference! They were spicier than expected and that along with the tabasco Veggie Crumbles made my eyes water. Luckily, I like chili that hot but I think I will stick jalapenos in the future.

Everyone have a fun weekend? I hope more exciting with mine regarding the nightly activities, I am so lame some weekends.

If you haven’t entered yet–remember to enter my Chobani giveaway–it ends Monday night!

Can You Dig It?

7 Dec

Nothing too exciting going on around these parts.  I could talk about

-Lincoln  (I could talk about him all day but I am trying to expand my horizons)

-Food (which sadly hasn’t been too exciting since I’ve been feasting on leftovers)

-Work (when is that ever exciting??)

So I present:

 What I’m diggin!

1) Mail

To be more specific…..

When companies take your opinion into account when you’ve had a bad experience

Even if that means, I am addressed as “Valued Guest”

 2) Bloggie Love

Erica from Fashion Meets Food sent me these awesome smoothies coupons after I responded to a post of hers on the FB offering them out. 

Has anyone tried them before? Good, bad?

 Thanks Erica for sending these to me 🙂

Is anyone else participating in Tina’s Blogger Gift Exchange? I got the name of the person I am buying for and too excited! I’ve never done one before I want to go all out but have to remember there is a $$$ limit. Dear blogger who I got–from reading your blog, I think you will be happy with your gift!

3) New flavors that make my mouth do a happy dance!

4) Cold Weather

Cold chills invigorate me. I don’t know why but I am happier when it’s cold out and love layering up and getting out there.  I just wish it would be cooler longer. I do more when it’s cold out and oddly enough, lose more weight in the winter. When it’s warm out, I get super lazy. I don’t want to go outside to do anything and just want to be in the A/C or outside on a patio enjoying a cold one or four. When it’s cold, I can sport all of my winter accessories like hats, scarves, gloves and dress my dog up in sweaters. Can you say win-win? That being said…..

5) Caribou Coffee’s Hot Apple Blast

Source

i.e. Heaven in a cup. I’ve had four in the past week and at $4 a pop for the smallest size, this habit needs to come to a halt asap. But it’s just so yummy……

6) Christmas Songs

`I love Christmas songs. I am going to share my favorite but with that I am sharing my most loathed…..

Favorite:

Even though Im Italian, I got introduced to this song by an ex-boyfriend in college. PIcture it: Morgantown, WV 2002. Said ex boyfriend made me a mix cd for Christmas. Youngins, this is what peeps did before MP3 players. It was cheap but sweet and as much as I don’t want to admit, am a pretty sentimental person. He made me this cd because I was making an 18 hour drive to Florida alone for Christmas to see the parentals. I thought this was a very sweet gesture…..until I heard the first song….”Hoochie Mama”. Umm, excuse me? Homeboy slice couldnt even make a move on me however the first line of the first song on my cd is “Big booty hoes — up wit it!”??? Say what? Luckily for him, I am a South Florida girl raised on 2 Live Crew (which explains so many things). But still, it threw me off a bit. Then I heard Domenic The Donkey and fell in love with it…… yet unfortunately did not fall in love with him. I would go around the sorority house singing and braying over and over again like a mad woman. Ahhh memories. Lately, I’ve been singing and braying to Lincoln and I think he is realizing that  I’m not all there.

Least Favorite:

Cannot. Stand. This. Song. One of my sorority sisters in turn would sing this song in an even-more-voice than the girl in the song. And why would one want a hippopatmus for Christmas? Can’t we think of something more festive like a reindeer or a clydesdale?

7) Aaron Hernandez and his tats!

‘Nuff said

So, a little giveaway action for those still reading since this post was all over the place:


Two coupons for a free bagel at Einstein’s. They expire 12.31.10 and I’m not going to use them by then so thought I would share the love.

Love the circular carbs and want to enter?

Leave a comment with your favorite or least favorite Christmas  holiday song. Couldn’t be easier. I’ll pick a winner at random and announce in my next post.