Friday, May 30, 2008

Flat Belly Foods

Ok, so I'm not so sure that we'll all get flat bellies in time for swimsuit season by eating these foods, but eating healthy is always a good idea, so I thought I'd share this article from Prevention Magazine.

38 Flat Belly Foods That Fight Disease & Shrink Your Tummy (pdf article)

Here are a few of my favorites:
#1 Kashi 7 grain pilaf
#7 Naked Juice Probiotic Tropical Mango 100% Juice Smoothie
#34 True Lime/Lemon/Orange (free sample)(free sample in Canada)
-I carry packets of True Lemon or Lime in my purse to put in my water at restaurants, instead of putting that yucky, dirty lemon peel in my water.

Overall, the top 5 are:
(1) oils,
(2) nuts and seeds,
(3) avocado,
(4) olives,
and my favorite...
(5) chocolate.

"Eating one serving of any of these foods at every meal will help reduce your accumulation of dangerous belly fat; control your calorie intake and you'll lose inches and pounds, too--especially around your waistline."

For more info check out the Flat Belly Diet

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why pay sticker price again...

When you can get a great deal....

If you have Triple A or a Costco membership you can go directly to them and let them know you are interested in buying a new vehicle. They will ask you the make and model you have in mind and from there they will find a participating dealership in their program. They will send you to the Fleet manager of the participating dealership. You will pay a certain price over the invoice price... Triple A it was 499$ above the invoice price. No haggling, no mumbo jumbo... Just great customer service. They go over everything... Since we were looking for a Ford Escape Hybrid we choose to Deal with VILLA FORD in orange (close to the InLaws). They gave us the price of the vehicle and then looked high and low for a hybrid. Since those are "gold", scarce to find one with what you want and well since they couldnt find one, we ordered one (can take up to 8 weeks). We wanted the ice blue escape with the chrome package... well since another dealership had gotten one in after we ordered, The gentlemen in the fleet department asked if we wanted that one (ice blue with the electrical plug no chrome package) we decided to take it. So, on saturday we walked into the dealership around 10am and walked out with a new car washed, fueled up, and paid for with in an hour and a half... we walked out and drove off into the sunset at 1130am ...

However after we had started to look into getting the hybrid about a week Ford Motor co sent out a memo to the dealerships nationwide that they can not longer have the hybrids participate in the fleet pricing program. They can not keep the cars in stock long enough. The escape gets 34 city and 30 highway. We got just the basics, nothing really cool or fun. I love that the new cars automatically come with a plug for your MP3 Player.

Since it was Memorial day weekend we did get a 1000.00 cash rebate from Ford as well as we put a hefty amount down... we paid for lojack which is normally 999$ for triple A customers we got it at 40% off , as well as on the extended warranty... New car buying wasnt so bad. So next time go to good ol' Triple A if you are a member and ask them what they can do for you in re to purchasing your next vehicle... Mind you if you are looking at buying used I believe they can help you with that as well... It doesnt hurt to ask.
We also have Triple A for our insurance and we asked how much our insurance will go up if we added the escape and dropped our truck. We really wanted to know how much our total purchase would be and how much we would be spending extra a month. Since we decided we could afford it we went for it.
I work for a bank and I went ahead and applied with them and we are getting a 4 year loan and with any luck we will be able to pay it off in 2 years... if all goes the way that is planned. :)
A new car is such a big purchase, we really didnt know if we could do it until we explored all the options and priced it out. I hope this info helps.

Monday, May 19, 2008

How much will will it cost to drive to...

Call me stupid (seriously), but I'm driving to Phoenix this weekend. It's a long drive, so if it were just me, I'd fly, but being fairly last minute, and a holiday weekend, flights aren't cheap. So, we're driving.
Have you heard about the AAA Fuel Cost Calculator? I hadn't, so I thought I'd share this handy little gadget with you.
You enter your starting and ending cities, plus the make, model and year of your car. Then it takes current gasoline prices & your car's average gas mileage over the distance of the trip, and it tells you how much it will cost to fuel your car one way or round trip.
Check it out at

Friday, May 16, 2008

Downloading Free Music Online

A brief (and probably mostly irrelevant) introduction: Throughout my 29 years on this planet, I have witnessed music evolve from 8-tracks, to records/vinyl, to cassette tapes, to CDs. Somewhere in there radio stations were still using something called Reel-to-Reel... a phrase/device that today's teenagers have probably never even heard of. Frankly, I'm glad it's gone. It was a pain to use. In high school I had to splice one of those for credit before my teacher would allow me to be a dj on his radio station.

I digress.

Nowadays, though, people all over the world are downloading their music online in the form of "digital downloads" or "MP3s", and radio stations don't need to worry about their music being scratched as it is mostly, if not all, computerized. Welcome to the 21st century, friends. The romance of the vintage record stores (a la High Fidelity) may be gone, but there are many other perks to being able to instantly purchase your favorite songs with just a click of the mouse.

A quick search of free music downloads yields overwhelming results, but one must still be careful in downloading anything copyrighted on the internet without permission. So to be safe, here are a few tips to finding free mp3s online.

Directly from the artist/record label:
The newest trend in digital downloads is the release of free music put out directly by the artist and/or record label to help promote their upcoming albums. In October of 2007, many were shocked (and thrilled! I was!) to find that Radiohead was releasing their latest album, "In Rainbows", completely free to the public for a limited time.

If you know of a new album coming out, check out the artist's official website as many of them will offer either a track or an entire album FREE! Downloading directly from the artist and record label will ensure you are downloading legal mp3s. This is often time-sensitive, however, so know that they do expire.

A few examples of artists currently offering free downloads:

Barenaked Ladies' "7 8 9" (song only)

Due West (entire album, limited time!)

Nine Inch Nails, The Slip (entire album)

Music Blogs:
Many MP3 blogs exist where people often share their favorite downloads. You can easily add them to your RSS Reader and be notified every time they are updated, thus ensuring you keep up to date with the latest music out there. That's important for those of us who feel like we're seriously losing grasp of what music is up and coming.

Here is a list of some of the more popular (and truly cool) blogs that I am personally subscribed to:

Brooklyn Vegan

Gorilla Vs. Bear

I am Fuel, You are Friends (My personal favorite recommendation!)

I Guess I'm Floating

My Old Kentucky Blog


You Ain't No Picasso

Social Networking Websites:
If you check out an artist's official MySpace, Facebook, even Twitter pages, you will often find free downloads or news of where you can find them.

A Cool Google Trick:
If none of the above suggestions appeal to your personalized tastes, you can enter in specific text to bring up search results for specific MP3s. (Again, practice safe, legal downloading!)

For a general list, copy and paste the following text into -inurl:htm-inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3

To look up MP3s to a specific artist, copy and paste the following text into (changing Kanye West to the name of the artist you are searching out): -inurl:htm-inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3 "Kanye West"

Thanks for letting me have my "hip" moment in sharing tips on legal, free music downloads... Happy listening!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Free Reading

If any of you are like me, you like to read books. I found out about this site where you can read books by email or RSS. I am so excited to get started here & thought you might like it as well. :)

Daily Lit

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kitchen Adventure

I was in the kitchen on Tuesday (I think that was the day) and I made an absolutely wonderful base for a salad, salsa, or dip. Use it for whatever. I am not big on measuring when I create my own recipes and I don't know how much of each item I used but here is what I did.

Finely dice 1 whole avocado, add the juice of 1/2 a lime. Dice 1 roma tomato and add to the avocado & lime. Remove the seeds and dice 1 medium orange pepper and 3 green onions (depending on how much you like green onions and how much of it you use. I would say that if you use a lot of the green at the top only use 2) and add to the mixture. I only had dried cilantro which is also known as coriander but I added some, well actually a lot more than some people think is normal (I love cilantro) If you have fresh cilantro chop some up and add as much as you like. Also add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

This "recipe" doesn't make tons, but it is Oh so good!! I had some just plain on chips. I also added black beans to make it go a little further, but be sure to add some more salt if you do that, it kind of took the fresh flavor away though. :( The next time I made it I put shredded chicken and ranch dressing with it. . .OOOOOHHHHHHH. Chicken salad. (Can you say pseudo Cafe Rio/Bajio/Costa Vida dressing?)

Okay, I know that this is a random post, and it is my first entry on hip homemaker, but enjoy the "recipe." Besides my new roomie loves it. :D

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Popsicles and Cupcakes

I just saw these fun pans featured at Ohdeedoh, and all I have to say is, who wouldn't want to make cookie Popsicles and cupcake ice cream cones? I am thinking this is a must have for the summer.

FREE pictures plus an 8x8 photo book!

For a limited time, is offering new registrants 200 free 4x6 prints, 200 free 5x7 prints, and 1 free 8x8 photo book! But once they reach their targeted number of new customers, the freebies disappear, so you need to register now! And as an added bonus, anyone that becomes a member and purchases something before May 14 will get a free 8.5x11 photo calendar that you customize with your own pictures. What a great gift idea for 2009!

Click here for more information and to register for your FREE prints and picture book!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Twilight in HD :)

To anyone who loves Twilight as much as I do... here's the teaser, teaser trailer :) The actual teaser comes out in 2 days here: Hope ya love it ;)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

DIY: Embossed Wall

DIY: The Embossed Wall

Wall embossing is a technique a friend taught me. What to emboss your own wall? Well, today is your lucky day!

You will need: Stencils, craft knife, pencil, putty knife, painters tape, paint rollers, paint brushes, paint, and dry time spackle.

Pick a Pattern. First off, you need to decide what you are going to emboss on your walls. We picked maple leaves. But be creative, you can use a fleur-de-lis, a daisy, or a bird. Doing a child's room? How about cars, trucks, stars, or fairies?

Get a Stencil. After you have chosen a pattern you need to find a stencil. If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, it is easy to create your own. Simply trace your pattern onto a blank stencil sheet and cut it out with a craft knife. We cut out four maple leaves in various sizes.

Prepare the walls. We will be spackling and painting so give the walls a quick wash and remove any wall plates that might get hit with the roller. Don't tape off yet! If you put the tape on too early, it is harder to remove when you are done.

Outline. Take a pencil and lightly mark where you are going to be stenciling. We wanted the leaves to be placed on our wall in a tree branch pattern and drew lines accordingly. If you want your pattern to be placed on the wall at specific intervals, make sure to mark it off. Depending on how precise you want your pattern to be, you may want to use a ruler and a level.

Spackle Your Design. Grab your putty knife, it's time to spackle! We suggest using dry time indicator spackling. It goes on pink and dries white. The pink color makes it easier to see the design as you're putting it on.

Firmly hold the stencil in place, using your putty knife spread the spackle across the stencil. It works best to spread from the outside of the stencil in. If you want a more worn or rustic look, you can try filling in only part of the stencil. Have fun with this part! If you don't like it, scrape it off and try again.

Let it Dry. While your spackling dries, use painters tape to tape off any door jams, baseboards, ceilings or walls you don't want to get paint on.

Sand. Once the spackle designs are completely dry you will want to sand them. At this point the spackle is still fragile, so use a fine grit sand paper. Sand just enough to get rid of any sharp edges. You will want to leave some of the texture, as it adds to the look.

Paint. Now it is time to paint your walls. Make sure to use a primer if needed. If you find that your spackling is coming off during the painting process, spray it with a little varnish first. Remember to remove the painters tape while the paint is slightly tacky. Don't wait too long or you'll be needing that craft knife to remove it.

Details. Once the paint is dry, feel free to highlight your embossing with little bit of color. You can do this by rubbing a small amount of paint onto the embossed area, then wiping it off with a dry rag. However, don't go overboard, the embossing should be subtle.

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