Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5 for Fighting... dry, damaged, and dull hair (aka how I got my hair back to health after extensions)

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I'll never forget the day I walked into my new salon, feeling hair defeated after I'd gotten a bad hair cut, bad highlight... and seriously, am I the only one that takes their hair to heart?

She must have sensed my pain, as she told me what I already knew about my sad state of hairdom... then nodded her head and said, I know what to do.

4 hours, and more than that in hundreds of dollars later, I walked out of the salon a new woman.  A new woman with long hair.  Very long and perfectly blonde hair.  And for a girl who had never been able to grow her own hair more than a few inches below her shoulders, I wondered where hair extensions had been all my life.

That is, until a few years later, when I came to a point in my life where my bank account, nor the health of my hair could take it any more.  And after they were finally removed, I was left with even shorter, and even more damaged hair than I'd started with.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brownie Mochatella Milkshake #WRALSmartShopper

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A lot happens at 6:30am on a Sunday morning.

The K-9 alarm goes off, and not in one of those annoying beep, beep, beep ways.  But a big white paw, gently scratching at my side of the bed.   Part of me wanting to roll over and ignore him, on my one day to sleep in.  But the other part, knowing that if I get out and get in quick, we'll each make our way back to our cozy spots for a few more hours of sleep.

As we both stumble down the dimly lit stairs, again, like clockwork...


To read more, and for the full recipe, head on over to , where I'll be contributing weekly recipes that are fun, flavorful, and frugal.  And at just $.93/serving, you're going to want to check this out.


For the full recipe click .

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lemony Cilantro Turkey Burgers with a Honey Dijon Blueberry Kale Salad #healthyluxemeals

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Downton Abbey.  Microplanes.  Kale.

Three things I couldn't imagine living without now.  Yet, each leaving most of you saying "huh?" considering my belated enthusiasm.  Not to mention a few "I told you so's."

So, kale.

I'm not sure why I hadn't taken the plunge before now.  I like spinach, I like Swiss chard... and I've even given collard greens a "you have to try these, now that you live in the South" chance.  But kale looked so thick.  And dense.  And green.  And has even been touted as "The World's Healthiest Food."  Which once again, brings out that stubborn side of me... seriously, could it really be all that healthy?

Meh.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Couponing (really) is Chic- Part 1: The Wheres, Whys and Hows of Couponing

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Up until about 6 months ago, the only discount shopping I did involved the Last Call section on Neiman Marcus' Website, and the free gifts with purchase from the Estee Lauder counter.

It wasn't because I thought I was too good for couponing.  And it wasn't because I was too lazy to do the work (and yes, I won't lie... couponing does take some effort, time, and planning).  But it was mostly because I just couldn't see how saving 50 cents here, and a dollar there, could really make much of a difference in my overall spending.

Boy, was I wrong.  

But it wasn't my fault.  I didn't know the proper steps to take to get the great deals.  Plus, my thinking was all wrong.  Especially when it came to when and why to buy food and other household products, in order to succeed at saving money.  And succeed I have.  I first started couponing as a way to give back, donating bi-weekly to my local food pantry.  And then, once I got past the myths, especially the one that couponing only applies to junk food, I also started using these principles to help save money for my own family.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tilapia Katsu with Shaved Asparagus and a Poached Egg #WRALSmartShopper

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My name is Diana, and I'm a cooking-showaholic.

There, I said it.

And yes, my man is practically a Saint for putting up with my all-hours, all-the-time playlist of the Food Network, Cooking Channel… and have you been following The Taste?

I often wonder what my ultimate “Taste” dish would be.  Perhaps an exotic lamb dish?  Or something that brings memories of home?  Or, maybe something with lobster?...

To read more, and for the full recipe, head on over to , where I'll be contributing weekly recipes that are fun, flavorful, and frugal.  And at just $1.77/serving, you're going to want to check this out.


For the full recipe click .

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sticky Jelly Jar Chicken with Garlicky Sugar Snap Peas #WRALSmartShopper

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There’s nothing like coming across a hidden treasure, especially when it’s more than 20 years later.  

And this hidden treasure came in the form of a recipe card.

Last year, we had some flooding in our garage, and were forced to finally go through some old storage bins.  High School Year Books, old Captain’s Training Manuals, books on planting that perfect garden… that never got planted.  And an old recipe album.  You know, those now archaic storage devices from the 80’s that were popular after recipe card boxes and before computers...

To read more, and for the full recipe, head on over to , where I'll be contributing weekly recipes that are fun, flavorful, and frugal.  And at just $1.93/serving, you're going to want to check this out.


For the full recipe click .

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Brie Stuffed Turkeyballs with a Pomegranate Cranberry Thyme Sauce and What's New for 2014

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Goldilocks was smart.

She knew when something just wasn't right, and refused to settle.  

Too hot... too cold.  Too soft... too hard.  Too big?
Not that gal.  And definitely not this girl.

Now, I'm certainly not suggesting that I've been settling this last year.  But I've had some projects that I've put on the back-burner... and I just can't deny that all signs are pointing to go.  And it's time.  And man, that's something I've learned so much about this last year.  Patience.  And taking time with things, not just bulldozing in, hoping for the best.  And hmmm... I'm starting to sound like my Father.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spinach and Scallion Cream Cheese Baked Omelettes with Grape Tomatoes #WRALSmartShopper

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Eating these omelettes today, I'm taken back in time.  

It's 7am, and I open the back gate to enter what seems a close second to my favorite childhood book, The Secret Garden. I know it won't be long until the coffee is brewing, the smell of popovers baking will permeate throughout the kitchen, and the guests will groggily find their way to the dining room to start another day in paradise...

To read more, and for the full recipe, head on over to , where I'll be contributing weekly recipes that are fun, flavorful, and frugal.  And at just 90 cents/serving, you're going to want to check these out.


For the full recipe click .