Monday, February 23, 2015

WOO HOO…giveaway ...

  If you love Barbie, you're going to love this post…

A new DVD-Blu Ray is coming out next month called BARBIE IN PRINCESS POWER and I have three (3) copies of it to give away to my readers.

All you have to do to win one of these copies is leave a comment below. I will choose winners out of a hat from all commenters on Friday February 27th at 5 p.m. so get busy commenting!  I'm sure that even if you're not a Princess and/or Barbie fanatic (everyone should be), that you know someone who will love this. It will play on a dvd or dvd player or computer with dvd drive!

 Barbie stars as Kara, a modern-day princess with an everyday life. One day, after being kissed by a magical butterfly, Kara soon discovers she has super powers allowing her to transform into Super Sparkle, her secret, crime-fighting alter ego who flies around the kingdom ready to save the day! But it’s not long before her jealous cousin catches the butterfly and also transforms – this time into Dark Sparkle, her nemesis. Their rivalry takes to the skies, but when they discover the kingdom’s true enemy, can they put aside their differences to form one super team? Soar to new heights and discover that there’s no greater power than the power of friendship!

DISCLOSURE: I have been give three copies of this dvd to giveaway to my readers by a PR firm. I got no compensation for this post.  I can only mail to US addresses!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I need help Bloggy -Friends...

I know that I have pretty much dropped off the face of the blogsphere lately. It is all mostly good, just busy. Teenagers, aging parents issues, working my eBay business as well as doing some freelance work for a couple of lawyers is definitely cutting into my blog time. This is why you might think that I'm crazy for deciding to host a big shindig at my house next week.  At the time my sister (the co-host) and I were planning this event, it sounded like a great idea. Parties at houses are so much less stuffy than parties at restaurants. They seem to be less expensive but once you start buying for the party, it is probably pretty close. I just hosted a big 60th Anniversary party at my house over the holidays but I guess, just like having a baby, I forgot how exhausting planning and hosting was because here I go again. 

Despite my small kitchen and my un-senior citizen friendly house (lots of steps/stairs) we are hosting 22 people for a 50th anniversary dinner party next week.

We want to do lots and lots of hors d'oeuvres and lots of cocktails so if, when it comes time for the main course (which we are catering in) sucks, everyone will be drunk and filled with food, so they won't notice.

We have lots of hot appetizers (including lots of pigs in blankets) planned but does anyone have any great ideas for delicious cold ones? We would love to serve them in mini plates and cups like this….

Thanks in advance for any recipe ideas. If we use yours, I'll be sure to give you a shout out the next time that I blog. Hopefully I can get together a post about this big party. I hope my sister reminds me to take some photos. The last time I had one, I did not take any! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Easy Peasy...

All moms know that feeding our children healthy foods is a good idea. Unfortunately, convenience and healthy don't always go hand in hand.  I love it when I find something that is both easy and healthy to serve to my children.

Therefore, I was excited when Revolution Foods asked me to review their lunchbox kits.  They send me vouchers for 5 kits and I had to go to Walmart to get them. I'm not a big fan of Walmart but I am a big fan of both free and healthy so I ventured there and got my kits.

The kits are like those Lunchable ones but these are healthy and, according to my son, they were quite delicious. His favorite was the turkey & cheddar.

* Disclosure: Revolution Foods gave me 5 free lunchbox kits to test for free. All opinions are my own

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mrs. Green Thumb (not)

I bought two orchids in pretty pots right before the holidays at The Home Depot. As I was paying, the cashier commented that they were pretty. I replied, "I hope I don't kill them right away". She mentioned that if I did murder the orchids, as long as I had the receipt,  The Home Depot would accept a return on them within a year. 

By January 1st, they were both dead. Normally, I would just throw them out but I still had the receipts. Yesterday, I dragged my husband to Home Depot. He could not believe that I was going to try to return two dead plants.  When I arrived at the returns counter, the cashier could not have been nicer. "I don't think it was your fault, we've had a lot of returns on orchids lately. I think that the plants were bad ", she said. 

Luckily this was right in front of my husband. She gave me a full refund and I was back out in the plant section and bought two more. This one was only $14.98 and I will try my best to keep it alive forever. If not, I have the receipt in a safe place.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Don't forget the pigs (in blankets)

      During the Holidays, I was lucky enough to host a 60th Anniversary party at my home for my husband's family.   (please note, party supply stores do not carry 60th anniversary party supplies. I guess that they figure that people just won't stay married that long. Despite living in an area overrun with senior citizens, they also don't carry any paraphernalia for 80th Birthdays either. They need a new inventory specialist!)

     Despite the lack of pre-printed party supplies, my husband and I transformed our humble home into a lovely diamond jubilee celebration (60th anniversaries are Diamond anniversaries). We bought gorgeous black linens. I made pretty diamond napkin rings. We had gorgeous flowers and balloons. Candles were floating and flickering all over.

    We decided to go all out and planned an over-the-top menu of tons of appetizers, lots of wine and spirits, as well as steak and lobster tails for everyone.  We found little dipping dishes for the butter (this is not something that I had)*. I baked lots of delicious deserts including Oreo fudge from scratch and an amazing carmel chocolate ganache pie. I bought an adorable little white cake and placed a bride and groom on top.

    The day before the party we headed to Costco. This is not normally an amazing feat, however on December 18th, (one week before Christmas and smack in the middle of Hanukkah) this was like heading into a war zone. The parking lot alone is enough to require tranquilizers. We bought the steaks and the lobsters. We loaded the cart with wine. We loaded up with butter (for the little dipping dishes ).  I then wove my way into the frozen section. To my horror, they were out of little pigs in blankets.  This is a mandatory thing in my husbands family. The require them at every party. Even at black tie events! 

I checked Publix. They were out too. I guess that due to all the celebrating going on, there was a shortage. I had a lot to do so I decided not to make them myself (I would have needed at LEAST 100) I had about 20 of them in the freezer so I did make those.

We had plenty of other appetizers. Tons of other food. We figured that the relatives would just be happy. We were serving steak and lobster for Pete's Sake!  My sweet husband SLAVED over the BBQ cooking 16 steaks perfectly and expertly broiling 16 lobster tails simultaneously.  I  was the hostess with the mostest. 

You know where this is going right?

"Where are the weenies?"
"Aren't there any more hot dogs? "
 "Uncle X just ate 7 weenies and I did not get any!"

 The 20 that I did serve were like gold. What was I thinking just serving 20 of them? The weenies were the main topic of conversation (complaints) . The next day one of the guests came by to mooch around for some leftovers while still complaining about the lack of weenies. 

Moral of my story, make sure that you load up on the cocktail franks at your next party. 

*By the way, I got the butter dipping cups at IKEA in the candle section. They are for tea lights but were the perfect size and $1.99 for 8 or something like that! 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Sorry that I've been too busy to blog very much this year.  I do appreciate you when you did read and comment when I actually blogged this year! It's been a great year here at Japolinaland. I am going to be counting my blessings at midnight tonight!

I gave up making New Year's Resolutions a few years ago when I realized that I sucked at keeping them but I think that I am going to write down some tonight that are very specific and can be accomplished. They will have to do with learning tai chi, practicing more patience and drinking more water.  There will be some fruit and vegetable increases in there also.  I'm also going to try to stop spending money on stupid stuff. 

Wish me luck!

Happy New Year! 

Love, Japolina

Monday, December 15, 2014

Free stuff alert...

I've never met anyone, rich or poor, that does not love a little swag from time to time. I sure do. That is why I joined Influenster.  Influenster is a community of tastemakers, social media hotshots (like you) and educated consumers who live to give opinion of products and experiences.

Just sign up and make a short profile. Once you do, you may get invited to get a VOXBOX.  I've received two already. The VOXBOX is loaded with products like makeup and such for you to try for free! They want you to blog, tweet, Facebook, instragram or tweet if you like what they send you. If you don't like it,  you can say that or keep your mouth shut.  

I promise you, it is not a scam. Just click over to and let them know you are a good friend of mine!