Monday, March 24, 2014

Delicious Cauliflower Mash

I have a new food obsession! I have always loved cauliflower - I can eat it raw in a salad or steamed with a little cheese. But I found a new way to enjoy Cauliflower - CauliMash!

CauliMash is a great, healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. It cooks in the same (if not less) time as mashed potatoes and has fewer calories.

Start by cutting up a head of cauliflower into small pieces. Wash the cauliflower, then add it to a pot of water. Boil the cauliflower for about 15 minutes, until very tender.

Drain the water from the pot. I used a fine mesh strainer to press out any extra water from the florets. This is important so your mash isn't too liquidy. You could also squeeze the cauliflower in a clean dish rag to remove the extra liquid.

With all the liquid removed, put the cauliflower in a bowl, add a tablespoon of butter and start mashing. I used a hand masher, but an electric mixer or ricer would work as well.

My secret ingredient to get the cauliflower mash creamy like potatoes is adding 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese! This gives the mash a great texture and delicious favor.  I also seasoned with salt, garlic power, cayenne pepper and black pepper. 

The CauliMash tastes amazing! I think using a ricer would give a better "potato" texture, but the flavors taste great. You don't have to feel guilty about having seconds!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cover Reveal: Breaking Fences

I am so excited to be apart of the cover reveal for Breaking Fences (The Breaking Series, #2)! This is a companion novel of Breaking the Reins, but they can be read out of order. Both of these novels are on my To Read list and I will be posting reviews soon.

Breaking Fences (The Breaking Series, #2)
Genre: NA contemporary romance
Word Count: ~80,000
Release date: June/2014
Cover by: Okay Creations

Summary from Goodreads:
All Beatriz “Bia” Fernandes wants is to prove herself—to her family and friends—though it’s hard to prove anything with an overbearing father and three famous polo-playing older brothers. After her acceptance into college results in a heated family argument, the Brazilian girl leaves everything behind to find her own American dream.

College life away from home is perfect until the people she believes to be her friends turn on her. With lies and rumors threatening to suffocate her, Bia turns to her only freedom. Riding.

But one thing gets in the way of her escape. Garrett Blackwell and his bad cowboy attitude. Working at the ranch is his obligation, bugging Bia is his newfound hobby. His thick skin and easy grin don’t hide what Bia already knows—this misunderstood and lonely cowboy fights his own demons. Brushing horses’ coats and mucking out stalls shouldn’t be this sexy, and it isn’t long before he becomes a part of her distraction.

However, escaping won’t solve her problems, and it’s up to Bia to break down the fences around her and prove her strength—not to her family and friends, but to herself … and for Garrett. Because standing on her own doesn’t have to mean standing alone.

Breaking the Reins

The Breaking Series, #1
Horses, mansions, tea parties, and lies are twenty-year-old Hannah Taylor’s life. To others, her family and her relationship with Eric is perfect. But she knows the truth. She lives it.

Read more on Goodreads

About the Author

New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.
Website  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  | Pinterest

Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Blitz: Falling from the Sky

I am so excited to be a part of the Book Blitz for Falling from the Sky. I can't wait to read this YA novel, check back soon for my review!

Falling from the Sky by Nikki Godwin

Summary from Goodreads:

All stability in sixteen-year-old Ridge McCoy's life crashed and burned in the plane crash that killed his dad. This summer-long basketball camp is his chance to improve his skills and escape his problems back home. But his summer plans take a turn in an unexpected direction when he meets Micah Youngblood, the guy who runs the carousel at the local mall and has a reputation for devouring straight boys' heterosexuality for breakfast, alongside his chocolate chip pancakes.

Ridge needs a way to avoid the guys at camp, whose only quest for the summer is to drown in beer and hook up with girls. So when Micah offers to explain how the ten unique horses on the carousel are significant to his tribe, Ridge takes him up on it. Still, Ridge can't decide if this is a bad thing or not. All he knows is that he hasn't felt this alive since his dad fell from the sky, and as the horse adventures come to an end, Ridge finds himself falling as well – for Micah.

Available from: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords


He reaches an arm out from under the towel and grasps my forearm. He pulls me closer to him, and everything in my brain says to fight him off, but my body screams out for him to just hold me close to him and not let me go. His other hand brushes over my bare shoulder, and I glance toward the sky to avoid eye contact with him. I see the towel fall from his shoulder out of the corner of my eye, and I know he's inches away from pulling his bare chest against mine.

In this second of almost touching, I realize that falling for Micah – or any guy for that matter – will be a thousand times worse than falling from the sky. I have a girlfriend, and never in my life have I been attracted to a guy. At least not before now. No one has ever gotten to me like Micah does. His hands run along my arms, and I take the chicken way out.

"Will you jump with me?" I spit the words out quicker than I process them in my head.

Micah pulls back and inhales deeply. He's not smiling with excitement or dragging me to the top of the bridge. He just stares at me with those sad puppy dog eyes filled with disappointment. He almost had me, and he knows it. That's the point of a toxic green elephant – everyone sees it, but no one talks about it. However, he's not talking at all, and the hurt in his eyes actually hurts me in return.

I look back to the bridge so if those brown eyes of his start pouring, I won't see the raindrops. His hands leave my arms, and he steps beside me. He's in my peripherals, but I don't dare turn my head. It looks like he's staring at the bridge, which means he's either debating jumping with me or he's refusing to look at me for the same reasons I won't look at him.

"You sure you're brave enough?" he asks.

I nod, even if he isn't looking. "Yeah. As long as I don't have to jump alone," I say.

"If you jump, I jump," he replies.

I really wish this hadn't made me laugh. "Did you like Titanic?"

He laughs too, and I feel a world better. "I admit, I did…except for when Jack died. I mean, I get that it kind of made the movie, but I prefer happy endings."

Hopefully this falling from the sky experience will have a happy ending for me, as in not smashing my head against a rock or drowning or being eaten by an alligator. Now is a good time to let my "what if" scenarios play out, and it's an even better time to talk myself out of this.

I look over at Micah to suggest my many wild reasons on why I shouldn't jump, but he's smiling. Damn it. Why does he have to smile and actually want to jump off a bridge?

About the Author

Nikki Godwin is a Young Adult author from the southern USA. She is a city girl who can't live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, Hawthorne Heights, and candles from Bath & Body Works. When not writing, she's not-so-secretly internet-stalking her favorite bands. She is slightly obsessed with rock stars and surfers. She no longer hides her love for One Direction.
Website  *  Goodreads  *  Twitter  *  Facebook



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Book Blitz organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Thursday, March 6, 2014

'Be Our Guest' Room Update

Since our family went to Disney World, I've been wanting to update my Guest Room with some new Disney Shwag. (Here is what the 'Be Our Guest' Room looked like originally.)

When we booked our vacation, I ordered the Free Custom Park Maps. When I saw how nice they were I decided to use them as art!

The maps are very large (around 14" x 20") and I couldn't find a frame that size, so I purchased an 18" x 24" and mat board.

I cut the mat board to fit the frame and put the map on top. I tried cutting the mat to put the map behind, but I didn't like how it covered some of the map design.

Here is the framed map! The maps are folded, so they do have creases but they aren't very noticeable. Also, the parks are printed on both sides, so if you wanted to frame all 4 you would need to order 2 sets. So far I have only framed the Disney World Map.

Since going to Disney World, I have 2 new collections. We got hooked on Vinylmation! I needed some shelves to display my collection on so we built corner shelves just like these picture frame shelves.

I also started collecting the Disney Shoe Ornaments! These are adorable!

If I'm not careful I will run out of space and there will be no room for guests in the Be Our Guest Room!