Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Giveaway ~ 25 Prizes, 25 Winners!

I partnered with Cayli (so many spellings of our name!!) to bring this Fall Giveaway to you! 25 prizes, which means 25 winners! So take a minute to bounce around to the blogs & boutiques below, gain entries, and win some prizes!!

Please read and follow all steps to increase your chances of winning these amazing prizes. Good LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Favorite Girl

If you're a regular Kaliwood resident you know that I have a almost 2 year old niece named Athena.  I was up at home last weekend and was so glad to spend some time with her! It's so crazy how much bigger she gets each time. And as you can see when she launches herself on her mom, she's fearless.


She calls me "kee" as of now since she can't really talk. It's cute!

I've never been big on kids in general, maybe because I was the 2nd youngest of 20 or so cousins. But, I guess it's like they say, when the baby is yours (or in this case, my niece) it's a totally different story. I can't get enough of her! And she impresses me everyday with how smart she is!

I jokingly told her to make me some ice cream on Sunday. She disappeared for a bit and then came back with this....

I didn't even know she heard me! HAHA Smart cookie, that one. 

I bought her that Bengals outfit! So glad she now fits into it! WHO-DEY!!! Love her and can't wait to see her again for a little bit tomorrow!

And today's song is inspired by Athena... here's to hoping she'll challenge what the future holds and be bad, bold, and wiser.

Linked up with:
Sarah for Fan Friday
Whitney for #BackThatAzzUp
Lindsey for Friday Favorites

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hump Dayyyy and Halloween

So... it's Hump Day. And, if you follow me on Twitter you know I am obsessed with the following video of this little girl. It seriously cracks me up and I've probably watched it 100 times.

Watch it now. Do it. Do it.

Not only is it Hump Day, but it's also Halloween link up day with some fab ladies, Helene & Sarah! Now, I'm not a big Halloween fan. Never have been. Well, I guess that's not true. When I was little and it was all about candy, I was a HUGE fan. But once it all started to be about haunted houses, creepy costumes, and horror movies, I tapped out. See, I'm a big wuss when it comes to that stuff. Don't ask me to do a haunted trail with you because the answer is NO! Not gonna happen, sister.

This year, however, will be the first year I'm going to give out candy. Since we now live in a house in a neighborhood with lots of kids, we could either turn out all the lights and bolt the door (seriously was considering that one) orrrr participate in supplying these little rugrats with sugar. What made up my mind was when we were at a store and they were selling dog costumes. 

Normally, I would've said "those are fun" and kept walking, but they had a hamburger costume for a dog. And Tim and I both stopped in our tracks. See, Tim calls Piper "sandwich". It originated from somewhere and just stuck and he literally calls her that 24/7. So we see the sandwich costume and it was like we had no choice! So then we had to get one for Bear. Well the only one that was big enough was a frog.

So, alas! We will sit out in our driveway next week during Trick or Treat time, with one Min-Pin/Shepherd Sandwich and one Rottweiler Frog and give out candy to any little munchkin who dares approach us. And... I might enjoy one or two adult beverages in the process. Why should the kiddies have all the fun?

Min-Pin/Shepherd Sandwich

The sandwich is a bit too small to fit around Piper. So I might have to rig something up to extend the straps. Don't worry, girl, I'm sure these sizes run small!!

Rotty Frog

The head is suppose to be on top of his head and it has holes for ears. But, his ears are too floppy it doesn't stay up! But he's still cute. :)

Have a great HUMP DAYYYYY and Halloween!

Helene in Between


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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blogger Opportunity

Christmas is almost here!!

We are giving away

Visa $200 Gift Card

-FREE Link with announcement (Twitter or Pinterest)

-Giveaway date:  December 9 to 20

-Co-host $15.00
10 Links
2 Co-host pages

Extra links $1.50

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Herb Chicken Tortellini with Vodka Sauce

I always try to share with you all anytime I attempt to cook. Mostly because it turns into a disaster and makes for a good story. This one didn't turn out to be a hot mess, but it never ceases to amaze me that when I try something new (no matter how simple the instructions), there is always something that surprises me or is not what I expected. And then I tend to panic. Also, I need your help at the end of this one. I really liked it! But I need advice on how to make it just that much better.

So here is what I made. And yes, it's ridiculously simple...

Herb Chicken Tortellini with Vodka Sauce

First I was surprised that it called for 5 quarts of water. I pulled out 4 pans and none of them were large enough for that much water. So I just went with about 4 quarts. 

Secondly, I was shocked when the tortellini floated! I thought it would sink like other pasta! So I stood there and stirred it constantly so it didn't stick or overflow.

Third, it said to "boil gently" for 7-9 minutes or until tender. Well, is there really such thing as boiling gently? It was either rapid fire or so low I couldn't tell if it was still boiling through the pasta. So, mine was tender in like 5 minutes. Oops.

It ended up being OK though. I threw the sauce in a pan and heated it up quickly and it was all done at the same time.

Add some parmesan cheese, and voila...

Like I said, it was good but here is where I need your help. You couldn't really taste the "herb chicken" that is in the tortellini. So, for next time I'm thinking about getting the cheese filled tortellini and adding in my own chicken. Do they make toretellini with nothing in it? I couldn't find any at Kroger.

Also, I love vodka sauce when it has a bit of a kick to it. This one was pretty mild, but had a great taste. Can anyone recommend a brand of vodka sauce that's more spicy? OR.. what can I add to it to give it a kick but not affect the flavor? Hot sauce? Crushed red pepper? Suggestions welcome!

TC / WS / MM

Friday, October 18, 2013

Your Complete 5K Playlist: From 0 to 3.1

My friend, Kate, and I are running a 5K tomorrow morning. It will be my third and her first. We've been training together for several weeks and I'm so excited to share this experience with her and watch her achieve this goal she has set for herself! Also, the race benefits a local humane society, which is perfect for dog lovers like us!

I know people frequently share their favorite running songs or what is on their running playlist. But it hit me on Monday during our 3 mile training run, that the right songs, at the right time, can really make a difference. At least for me. It just so happened that the "random shuffle" of my playlist that day built me up at the right times, steadied my pace when needed, and motivated me to finish strong.

As I prepare my songs for tomorrow, I'm taking what I figured out on Monday and putting it into a mile-by-mile playlist. And of course I wanted to share it with you! You certainly can use different songs to suit your taste, but I would suggest trying to go with the tempos/pace songs I suggested and see if it produces results for you like it did for me!

I finished my run on Monday (at 3 miles) feeling like I could do it all over again right then and there. I wasn't sucking air and counting down the seconds until my phone announced: "Distance: 3 miles". I was enjoying the scenery, crisp weather, and songs that were pumping through my headphones. That's a good feeling!

This complete playlist is based on a 10 minute mile. Yes, I'm slow. But I'm OK with it.

Mile 1 

For the first mile I like to start slow and steady. I like to find a comfortable pace and avoid jumping out fast so my legs don't die early. I find songs that have a steady beat. Not necessarily a slow Adele song, but one that is more calm with a smooth sound. You could call these the SWAG songs. For me, Mile 1 is all about getting into the run physically and mentally and these songs set the tone.

Song 1: Justine Timberlake- TKO (4:32)

Song 2: Chris Brown - Love More (3:13)

Song 3: Chiddy Bang - Ray Charles (3:51)

Other Mile 1 favorites:

  • Lorde - Team (3:14)
  • Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop (3:34)

Mile 2

Mile 2 is where I need to kick it into high gear. I've found my comfortable pace. Now I need to push myself to steadily increase my speed . After all, I want to beat my best time of 30:03! For this mile, I choose songs that are obviously upbeat and enthusiastic. These are your "pre game locker room songs", whatever gets you hyped up. Also, I love finding a quick steady beat that I can match my steps to. That way the song does most of the work for me! It's all mental, right?

Song 1: Skrillex - Bangarang (3:37)

Song 2: T-Pain - Church (4:06)

Song 4: MKTO - Classic (2:54)

Other Mile 2 favorites:

  • Olly Murs - Dance With Me Tonight (3:27)
  • Taylor Swift - 22 (4:04)

Mile 3.1

Mile 3.1 is where I pull out all the stops. Not only do I want songs that are upbeat and have a catchy tempo, but now I choose ones that are motivational. This is the home stretch. Mile 3 is where you either feel like shit and give up or you power through the pain and kill it. Think girl power songs by Christian Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson from back when we were young. I've noticed that most of mine happen to be sassy break up songs (event though it's not relevant to my life currently!). It's just whatever you need to hear to get you across that finish line. Here's my current choices.

Song 1: Miss Movin' On - 5th Harmony (3:20)

Song 2: Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble (3:41)

Song 3:  Kerri Hilson - Pretty Girl Rock (4:14)

Other Mile 3.1 favorites:

  • Kristina DeBarge - Goodbye (3:29)
  • Katy Perry - Roar (4:30)

I can't wait to crush this 5K tomorrow morning with the help of my running buddy, Kate, and this strategically planned playlist! I'll let you all know how we do!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kitchen Before & After Pictures

The kitchen is making some serious progress! We started with blue laminate countertops and no backsplash. Now we have ganite countertops, new double deep sink, oil-rubbed bronze faucet, and travertine and glass tile backsplash! We had the countertops installed and Tim and I did the backsplash (after a class at the Tile Shop!). I think the only other thing we will change is the floor (from linoleum to real tile) and change out the pendant lights with new globes. The black appliances aren't my favorite but they are top of the line, so I'm fine with sticking with them for a while. Here's the before and after pics!

 >>>>>>>>>> BEFORE <<<<<<<<<<

With new granite countertops...

Installing the travertine and glass mosaic tile backsplash...

(trusty sidekick)

>>>>>>>>>>>>> AFTER <<<<<<<<<<<<

>>>>>>>> BEFORE & AFTER <<<<<<<<<<

Monday, October 14, 2013

Semi-Annual Rotty Sale

No, I'm not selling my Rottweiler (maybe for the right price)... but this was all his idea....

Well you heard the man... hop on over to the sponsor page to see what all we have going on. 

Use code: BEAR to get 50% off


The Social Media Only option has been pretty popular. Get personalized shout-outs from ME to my 870+ Twitter lovers. And it's only $6 today peeps. I mean, really. You won't find a steal that good at Marshalls.

Here's some kind words from my most recent Kaliwood celebrities...

"Kali is super sweet and friendly and a great blog to sponsor. I did my first big giveaway on her blog. Boom! Bitches got some good stuff. I would totally sign up again to be a sponsor." - Katrina from Kakers In Wonderland

So nice of them :)

I would love to not have Bear pee on the carpet anymore work with you! 
So check out the options and shop the sale today!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Job Environments: 9-5 Office vs. Out In The Field

{A guest post by Kaliwood Kontributor, Dave}

Dave Portney
Digital Media Guru / Wannabe Fashionista
Blog / Twitter

Hello Kaliwooders!  Since I’ve had the (un)pleasure of sitting next to Kali for the better part of the last three years, I know how unfashionable I really am.  Guys can’t ever wear flip-flops?!?!?  You’re killing me Kali!

Lucky for you, I am not here to talk about fashion.  Kali has summoned my expertise on the differences between holding a typical 9-5 desk job and the more unconventional positions that take you away from the desk and into the field.

I would be willing to bet most of you at one point or another have expressed your desire to break out of the cube and "into the field" without having a strong understanding of that lifestyle.  Well, prior to working in a cube for the last three years at the AVCA, I spent the previous two years working with various sports teams (Tri-City ValleyCats, New York Giants and Memphis Redbirds) where I had a desk, but spent the majority of time far, far from it.

This "grass is greener on the other side" phenomena leaves people dreaming, but I've lived it and I'm here to break down the three main differences between the two worlds:
(Note, this is a general breakdown of my personal experiences.  I understand there are always exceptions so don't freak out on me.)

1)  Physical activity.  I'm not here to judge, but if you have a slew of health problems and/or are significantly overweight, you will physically have a difficult time performing your job.  While working for the Redbirds, during the game we were not allowed to use any of the elevators in the park.  Need I say more?  It didn't matter if you were in sales, an intern, or the general had to use the stairs even if you were in the basement going to the third floor.  So if breaking a sweat and being on your feet for hours on end sounds daunting, it's best to stick with the cube.

I know what some of you are thinking, "Dave you worked in sports so that's skewing your opinion.  You work with jocks and other fit people who love sports."  Fair point, but athletics are a multi-billion dollar industry that employs the most talented workers regardless of their athletic build just like in any other industry.  So the way I look at it, if my opinion is applicable to a multi-billion dollar industry then it's applicable to any industry.

One day at work they needed an emergency ball boy, so down to the field 
I went while signing autographs along the way!

Compared to cube life:  It's physically easier, which can be good and deadly.  Many studies show sitting for 8-9 hours per day is a key factor in causing depression, high blood pressure and other health issues, so if you are an active person you'll have to change your lifestyle.  Once I got this desk job, I completely changed my diet and exercise habits because I no longer was able to burn it off running around at my job.

2)  Unorthodox hours.  This is probably the most underrated aspect of a non-desk job.  If your occupation takes you out of an office and into the field, odds are you're not punching in at nine and out at five.  There were many evenings I wouldn't make it home until 2AM just to be back in the office in five hours.  I'm not saying every day was like that, but it happens far more often than in traditional desk jobs.

Karaoke with friends...on a Monday night.

The point being if you're not passionate about the job this is the time it will be exposed.  You'll realize you actually want to hang out with your friends on a regular basis, attend that yoga basics class on Thursday evenings and not have your off-day be a Tuesday when everyone's at work.  For me, I loved my jobs and thought there was nothing better than hearing the crack of a wooden bat or the roar of a crowd be my "office."  Spending many weekend nights working was a trade-off I was happy to make because I had a true passion for it.

Food for thought:  this would obviously be a struggle if you have a family.

Compared to cube life:  Simply put, you have the opportunity to actually have a life with a traditional desk job.  You don't let your career define you as a person, and you live an active lifestyle once you pull out of the parking lot.  Eating dinner at a normal hour and seeing friends and family is all you!

I'll take this time to remind everyone these thoughts aren't one size fits all.  Obviously you can have a desk job that defines you as a person, which is fine, but I'm trying to speak to the masses here.

3)  Relationships with co-workers and clients.  When you live in cube city or have an office, it can be easy to stare at your computer all day, say "good morning" to your co-workers and that be enough to get through the day, but that won't cut it in the field.  You will need the cooperation of everyone you work with in order to accomplish the task at hand...there are very few exceptions with this one.  I for one can't think of one job that requires you to be out and about while also being completely on your own - even a door-to-door salesman needs to interact in order to do the job.  So if you are not a people-person and don't work well with others, stick to the desk.

Your co-workers become your family, which means surprising you
 with a pie to the face in front of 10,000 people on your birthday.

Compared to cube life:  I'm not saying this is necessarily an either-or point, but there are plenty of occupations that involve one person doing the job alone and those are at a desk.  There are obviously desk jobs that require teamwork, mine certainly is one of them, but ones that are not are few and far between in the field.

Since I’m a digital media professional, it is waaaaaay more comfortable for me to talk about that field.  If you’re interested at all into that world check out my blog here.
{A guest post by Kaliwood Kontributor, Dave}