Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ivanabitch Vodka: The new kid on the block

Who doesn't love going to their friends house for a party? I know I do, so when my friend and her boyfriend decided to host a Taco Night I was looking forward to it. What better time to introduce Ivanabitch vodka to my friends and some new friends? I decided to take Ivanabitch traditional, peach and dutch apple vodka to the gathering. I also brought along lemonade, soda water and cranberry to mix up some cocktails for the evening. 
Ivanabitch vodka isn't just a vodka with a sassy name it is also rather delicious. It is a product of the Netherlands using all-natural flavorings, using only the finest, most fierce grain spirits and clearest spring water available. Every batch is distilled five times to remove any unwanted impurities then triple-filtered over active charcoal to achieve a clean, fresh, taste that is smooth, delicate and full of attitude. 







I created a few different cocktails to share with my friends using our three different flavors. The winner by a landslide was the dutch apple flavor in a martini with a splash of lemonade and soda water! It was very refreshing but not to sweet. Peach and traditional were also so refreshing. The group all agreed that normally flavored vodka is too thick and syrupy but this vodka has a refreshing quality to it. Here are some other really yummy sounding recipes.

Ivanabitch currently comes in 13 different flavors:
  • Traditional
  • Peach
  • Red Berry
  • Vanilla
  • Whipped Cream
  • Blackberry
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Coconut
  • Dutch Apple
  • Cherry
  • Tobacco
  • The host is holding the crowd favorite.
  • Menthol
I recommend giving Ivanabitch a try! Use their product finder tool to see where you can pick it up. 

You can connect with Ivanabitch Vodka on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest








Monday, February 10, 2014

Do you believe astrology can help you make wiser choices?

I have never been one of those people that was intrigued by astrology or followed it religiously. I will read the occasional horoscope, but I don't wait in anticipation for it to come out every day. Although I really have found that I fit most of the Scorpio traits. 

When I heard about FutureStars and their 6 and 12 month reports I was really intrigued. I am all about planning ahead and putting myself in the right state of mind for good things to come my way. So I figured, what better way to do that then get a look into my future. FutureStars offered me the opportunity to try their 6-month report but they also do 12-month reports. What I really loved about the idea was that it wasn't just some general stab in the dark guess because I am a Scorpio, you actually get your own astrology report based on your specific birth chart. The report aims to help you know what is happening around you and when.

With a long-term overview of what planets’ transits are affecting you in your FutureStars report, you can make wiser choices - and keep a low profile when you know everyone, like your boss, will be going crazy! Forewarned, you can understand the types of behavior to undertake - and to avoid - to make your life a positive experience.
Here is an example of my report for this week: 
Neptune square Uranus: 9/02/2014, Exact (in effect 10/01/2014 - 7/03/2014) During this once-in-a-lifetime transit, you may have difficulty separating fact from fantasy. You may be subject to sudden reversals in your mood, and your judgement is more cloudy than usual. You may also be surprised to find that situations and people in your life are not what you've believed them to be. 
Your interest in spiritual, mystical and metaphysical subjects will increase now. Psychic experiences may be unwelcome and unpleasant, as your ability to stay grounded is impaired. The unpleasantness will pass as you gain greater confidence in yourself. This is a good time to practice yoga and meditation as techniques to better ground yourself.  
Each report is around 35 pages long, is emailed within 5 minutes to your inbox and costs $59. You can also order the shorter 3- and 6-month email reports for $29 and $49. It's In The Stars also has a fun range of gift ideas for birthdays and Valentine's Day from luxury reports from $79 to readings with astrologers over the USA from $125.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

5 Things I Learned From Loveology



Loveology 
God. Love. Marriage.Sex.
by Pastor John Mark Comer 

Recently, I was able to take the time to read the soon-to-be-hit Loveology. This book was just released February 4th, but it is sure to be a hit in the book club circuit and with the average Joe who simply loves love. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dig deeper into god, love, marriage and sex. Without giving too much away I want to share 5 things I learned while reading this book. Don't worry there is way more for you to learn so buy the book!

1. The definition of love itself has become so broad and generic that we have started to lose a true understanding of what love means. John Mark explains that, "love is a noun and a verb", or better yet, "love is a feeling and an action." You have to both take the wheel, and sit in the passenger seat to experience real love.

2. We all know what marriage is, but do we have any clue what marriage is for? John Mark believes that there are four reasons for marriage - friendship, gardening, sexuality and family. We were not created to be alone, marriages creates a lasting friendship that we all deeply need. In life we all need a calling, or a "gardening" project; something that we are working on and working towards. Sexuality is best shared with another, or maybe not if that's your thing, but it is better shared with someone with no inhibitions. John Mark says, "the body is one-half of an equation. It's incomplete." 

3. There are four marks of what a healthy relationship should include on your way to marriage - the chase, the line, the friends and the journey to the day. In order for a relationship to begin a man must first chase, or draw a woman in. John Mark explains that the chase means that the man is, "coaxing her out of hiding. Creating a safe place for her. Calling her into the open." Interestingly enough the friends, means that both friends and family should be able, to not just be there for you during your relationship but freely offer up their opinions on it. 

4. Dating to date is just stupid. One of my favorite snippets from the book, that I wholeheartedly agree with is that, "dating to date is stupid. It's a waste of your heart, and it's a waste of your time. You're not looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend. You're looking for a husband or wife." I believe in dating with a purpose, otherwise spend your energy growing yourself.

5. Singleness is a gift. Essentially being single isn't freedom from responsibility, it's freeing you up for more responsibility. I loved reading this because I have always felt that being single gave me the time I needed to build my career. Single isn't something I want to be forever but for now it's necessary to become the person I need to be. 

To get more great insight from John Mark Comer make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter. I enjoyed this book so much I took the opportunity to host a giveaway at a ladies night to pass on the great messages from John Mark. Can't wait to hear the feedback the winner has to share!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Entrepreneur Spotlight - The Honour Society does stylish sporting apparel

Recently, I have found so much inspiration in the stories of other entrepreneurs. It's so exciting to learn the stories behind the businesses you see and support. As a budding entrepreneur, I am all about supporting and promoting others doing great things.

Not too long ago on Twitter, I met Marni Hotchkiss, one of the five owners behind The Honour Society. The Honour Society is this really great small company that specializes in college sports apparel. Not just any sports apparel, but apparel with style! As many of you know, I am a huge Michigan football fan and I am always looking for a way to support and look cute.

The story behind The Honour Society, is one of those traditional hard working, building a company you're passionate about from the ground up stories that I love. Marni is the only female owner in the group, which also includes her husband and three of his friends. Marni said, "my husband and his best friend travel to ACC bball games and are avid Terps fans and that's where this idea started."  There is something so cool about five young sports junkies turned entrepreneurs who work together to create something unique and out of the box that the industry has needed for years. 
Their original product was the FANdora and they started with licenses for only three schools. They are now licensed to sell over 30 colleges including some of the biggest sports favorites such as Michigan, Penn State, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan State and even Ohio State. After the FANdora took off, they started to include new items such as their bags, headwear and scarves.  Their goal is to blend classic tartan, plaid and houndstooth patterns with contemporary consumer products. 

The Honour Society owners believes in organic growth and putting hard work behind growing their brand. They are very active on social media, which of course made me love them right away. Their products can be found in campus bookstores and shops, Fanatics.com, and of course TheHonourSociety.com. Marni told me that they all get so excited when they see their products in the crowd and on major sports networks. 

As you see in the photo above, I am rocking a Michigan infinity scarf from The Honour Society. I fell in love with my new scarf. I own more than enough scarves, as do most women, but this one takes the cake. It's extremely warm and soft. Also, this infinity scarf has a lot of length which is necessary for a good double wrap, whereas most infinity scarves I find leave you feeling like you have a noose on. If you are a big college sports fan such as myself, I recommend that you check them out. Great style and very affordable. When I first visited I wanted to buy the entire Michigan page! Here are a few of my favorites below.

Find Honor Society online at - www.TheHonourSociety.com

Don't forget to find them on social media too! FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram






Saturday, January 25, 2014

Get to know the real #RHOA's Mama Joyce


Have you ever said or done something that was completely taken out of context? Then the next thing you know, you are the bad guy in the situation? Now imagine being in that same situation on a reality television show in front of millions of people. That feeling is all too real for, Mama Joyce, the mother of singer and songwriter Kandi Burruss from Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Mama Joyce has been everything but shy, when it comes to telling Kandi, and everyone else how she feels about Kandi’s fiancé, producer Todd Tucker. The things Mama Joyce has been saying all season have been so mean and heartless, that it makes you wonder whether or not she is the victim of bad reality tv editing. I have to be honest, like many others I was quick to think she was a monster who didn't support her daughter. But knowing that everyone deserves a chance to explain themselves, I jumped on the opportunity to interview Mama Joyce to get down to the bottom of things. 

Mama Joyce, we all know you have been extremely vocal about the relationship between your daughter Kandi and her fiancé Todd. At what point do you just let Kandi make her own decisions and support her?
I have already made that decision. If that is who she chooses to marry, then that is her decision. As long as she is happy then I am happy for her.

Should parents always say exactly what is on their mind or do you have to have some trust?
As a parent you have a right. Whether they do what you say is up to them. Whether I went a little beyond, maybe I did, but I still said what I felt. These were things people told me, these were not lies. People came to me with this information. My son was killed in a car accident and Kandi is my heart. I wanted to keep her safe.

How are things with your daughter right now?
Very good. Kandi and Todd had plans to go out of town for Christmas and I was not going to let Kandi leave the country without talking to her. I called them and wished them a great vacation. I told them how much I loved my family. We have been talking ever since. I was afraid something could have happened.

Do you think as a grandparent you're setting a bad example for your granddaughter by being so against her future stepfather?
She has her own opinion of Todd. I didn’t say anything in front of her to change her opinion. I want her to have her own opinion and decide for herself.

What impact do you think your three marriages have had on Kandi’s love life?
Kandi’s father not stepping up and being a dad had a big impact. Her brother passing also had a big impact, because they were extremely close. She never brought men around or to the house.

In past seasons we watched you criticize Kandi’s ex fiancé AJ and now Todd. Is it just that no one is good enough?
AJ told Kandi he had three kids when they first started dating. Then further along during taping Kandi found out he had six. She was upset and broke up with him after taping.

Does taping change how you act?
No. When you’re taping you don’t have time to evaluate the things you’re going to say and do because of the quick pace. When you say reality, it’s true. Some things make you so angry you just lose yourself in the moment.

Do you feel like you are being portrayed wrong on the show?
They edit the way that they want to edit. Some of the things that were edited were not in my favor. Everything that was shown was obviously said but a lot of things were left out.

Do you have any regrets?
This year, yes. Not in the past.


During our interview, I started to see that although Mama Joyce may have been a bit extreme, she did it all with the intention of wanting her daughter to be happy. In closing, I asked Mama Joyce if there was anything else that I could help her clear up and share with my audience. She really wants people to understand that it’s not about the money. She does not depend on Kandi for support, she draws a pension and has rental properties. She just didn't want anyone to take advantage of her daughter because she wants her and Riley to be ok. Bottom-line, Mama Joyce is a mother who loves her daughter unconditionally and wants the best for her. If that ends up being Todd, then she will fully support them. 

I enjoyed my interview with Mama Joyce, she was extremely polite the entire time. I look forward to watching her on RHOA to see what other twists and turns we have in front of us. Make sure to follow Mama Joyce on Twitter @themamajoyce, she recently joined and I’m sure there will be some interesting tweets coming from her. Special thanks to the Tara Thomas Agency for setting up our interview. 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Stuffed Peppers by Non-Chef Nycole

In an effort to stop ordering out so often I decided to make stuffed peppers tonight. Just like any time I cook, I take a picture for proof that I actually cooked. To my surprise, friends on Facebook, actually wanted to know how I did it. I figured, why not use this opportunity to make another blog post!  I'll be honest, sometimes (a lot) I'm way too lazy to actually follow a recipe so I just make things up on my own.So here we go kids. Learn how to cook like a woman who barely cooks, but can rock it out when I actually do!
Stuffed Peppers (The easy way by a non-chef)

What do you need?
  • 4-6 green peppers 
  • 1 lb of ground turkey meat (or ground beef)
  • Diced tomatoes w/ light sauce OR for those who love sauce just go with a tomato sauce. I didn't want a saucy meal.
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice. 
  • salt, garlic, oregano and whatever other seasoning you like :)
  • Shredded cheese
Ok...you've got the ingredients. NOW WHAT?!
  1. Preheat the oven to 365 degrees.
  2. Cook your rice and ground meat.
  3. Cut the tops off the peppers and clean the inside out. Put the peppers in a pan to await their filling.
  4. Once the ground meat is ready, drain it. Then put your cooked rice and diced tomatoes or tomato sauce in the pan. 
  5. Add your seasonings. I used light salt, garlic and oregano. 
  6. Give it a stir, make sure it tastes good.
  7. Take the filling and stuff your peppers...get it...that is why it's called stuffed peppers :)
  8. Bake your stuffed peppers for about 40-50 minutes or until green peppers are soft. 
  9. Before you are completely done toss some shredded cheese on top and pop it back in for a final 5 minutes
  10. EAT IT! (duh)
This just goes to show that anyone can cook. These were super simple and really good. Extremely filling too. I got through 3/4 of a big one and I'm switching to stretchy pants.

Not gonna lie, this would have been WAY better with Malbec. Major rookie mistake. How did I not have any wine to drink while I cooked?

Happy Friday Kids!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Technology Has Changed the Face of Dating

Technology is both, the most amazing, and the worst possible thing that could have happened to dating and relationships. With technology came options. On one side of the coin, we now have all of these options that we can utilize to meet new people and get to know them; enter online dating and texting. On the other side of the coin, we have something that consumes our time, makes conversations less personal, and makes infidelity easier to get away with. I have had both positive and negative experiences with technology when it was involved in my dating life. 

I have to say that the best relationship I have had, was with a guy I met online. He lived in another state, but was planning on a move to Chicago, so apparently he started girlfriend looking ahead of time. Gotta love a man that is proactive and thinking ahead, right? Anyhow, we talked every day on the phone, FaceTime and via text. In that time, because we weren’t able to actually hang out, we spent so much time getting to know each other which gave us this amazing bond. I have technology to thank, for not only letting me meet this guy that I otherwise never would have met, but for also helping me talk to and see him every day. When we finally met, about a month into talking and getting to know each other it was completely easy because it felt like I knew everything about him. Unfortunately, technology doesn’t cure distance, and when push came to shove he wasn’t moving here quick enough and we couldn’t travel enough to sustain a relationship. Because of technology, I am open to meeting a guy that lives in another part of the US. I do not think my Mr. Right has to live within a 5 mile radius, I’d never limit myself like that, and with technology I don’t have to.

Now on the flip side, technology can really stunt the dating, or courting process. Texting specifically has taken away a level of personalization and can lead to a lot of meaningless, and repetitive small talk.  When I am getting to know someone online I will move to text messaging rather quickly, which in turn leads to conversation that lacks depth. When texting back and forth with someone, I often times lose interest quickly because our conversation is recycled every day. How many times can you respond to; “good morning”, “how are you doing today”, “how was your day”, and “what are you up tonight” to name just a few of my daily favorites. You can do it for maybe a week and then you’re done. To remedy this, I have been trying to either FaceTime or talk to someone on the phone to gauge their sanity level and then move on to meeting pretty quickly. I like to get meeting out of the way. Once you do it, you know if it’s worth more conversations and more dates.

Oddly enough, for me technology brought someone far away closer to me, but when it comes to men who are close in proximity, who text too much it can lead to me pushing them away. Use technology in your dating life and relationships with caution.
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