Nails: Gem Crush polish

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polish and Gem Crush on ring finger.

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polish and Gem Crush on ring finger.

Generally I am not a fan of glitter nail polish. When I want something sparkly, I want to be able to see if from across the room. I am constantly disappointed by the amount of glitter in nail polishes, until now.

A buy one get one 50 percent off sale at Rite-Aid prompted me to give the Sally Hansen Gem Crush glitter nail polish a shot.

I give the glitter polish 4 stars out of 5.

I give the glitter polish 4 stars out of 5.

Even in the bottle you could tell this isn’t your average glitter polish — it was almost solid glitter.

I put two coats of the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength no chip nail color (#460 Save The Date) on all of my fingers, but only put one coat on my ring fingers. Then, on my ring fingers I added two coats of the Gem Crush polish (#06 Razzle Dazzler) and it covered over the dark purple almost completely.

I love it.

Unless it is a special occasion (Christmas, New Year’s, etc.) I don’t think I would ever paint all of my nails with the glitter polish —that’s just overkill — but it makes for a nice accent on a nail or two.

After a day, I don’t have any chips in my nails, but time will tell how long that will last.

My only complaint is that the glitter is a MAJOR pain to take off. Almost to the point it isn’t worth wearing, that bad. I definitely recommend this product.

4 out of 5 stars.

For more colors:

(If you have any tips about taking glitter nail polish off, I would LOVE to hear them).


Cauliflower Crust Pizza


Healthy pizza

Healthy pizza

I was craving pizza all day today, and even though it is my “cheat day” I didn’t want to blow all the work I have done this week by ordering a pizza, so I decided to make one. I remembered seeing a recipe on a blog or Pinterest for pizza with a cauliflower crust and decided to give it a shot.

A quick google search brought me to several recipes. I picked one that looked pretty good, modified it a bit, and it turned out great! It has a different consistency than I am used to, but I really enjoyed it. Sorry pizza fans, you can’t pick this up by the slice and eat it, you are going to have to use a fork and plate. It’s worth it though!

This recipe serves three people.


Healthy (yummy) pizza

Crust ingredients

  • 1/2 head cauliflower riced
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning



Directions for crustDSC_8144a

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Take riced cauliflower and microwave for four minutes, uncovered.
  3. Combine cauliflower, garlic, onion salt, egg, and Italian seasoning. Mix thoroughly.
  4. On a greased cookie sheet, form mixture into a circle to form the pizza crust.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

Here is what I put on my pizza, but everyone has their own tastes, so get creative!


Ingredients for pizza

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 artichoke hearts
  • 13 slices of turkey pepperoni
  • 8 mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons light ranch dressing



Direction for pizza

  1. After the crust is done baking, remove from oven, turn on broiler.
  2. Spread ranch dressing over crust.
  3. add 1/2 cup of cheese over the dressing.
  4. Add artichoke hearts, pepperoni and mushrooms.
  5. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
  6. Broil for 3-5 minutes (long enough for cheese to melt.
  7. Cut into slices and enjoy! (serves three)

This recipe gets an A from

This is the nutrition information I came up with for each serving of the CRUST ONLY if you want to try different toppings.

This is the nutrition information I came up with for each serving of the CRUST ONLY if you want to try different toppings.

This is the nutrition information for one serving (1/3 of the pizza) for the toppings I used.

This is the nutrition information for one serving (1/3 of the pizza) for the toppings I used.

Note: This post was originally published on my other blog:

Freedom vegtable soup


Delicious low-calorie soup.

Delicious low-calorie soup.

“Don’t you dare call that my soup Lynn Marie.”

That’s what my aunt said to me when I told her I tried to make her soup recipe — with a few modifications.

She sent me the recipe yesterday, explaining it was delicious and, even better, very low calorie. I’m willing to they anything that fits that description.

Here is her recipe:

Freedom soup

  • 1/2 large red onion sliced and halved
  • 2 cups cubed turnip or rutabaga
  • 2 cups sliced carrot (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups cut green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1/2 head med. cabbage cut in med. shreds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 6-8 cups fat free beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cubed zucchini


  1. In large pot- spray bottom with nonstick spray.
  2. Saute first 4 ingredients for 10 min.or until turnips are el dente. (use some of the broth if necessary to keep from sticking).
  3. While sauteing, prepare next 4 ingredients and combine in bowl.
  4. When turnips are ready, add broth, cabbage mixture, oregano, basil,salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil over med heat.
  6. Simmer 10 min.
  7. Add Zucchini and simmer another 10 min.

And here’s what it turned in to…
Kick-ass low-cal Soup

  • 1 large sweet onionSaute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.

    Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.

  • 5 large carrots
  • 2 pints of mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 8 ounce can of sauerkraut
  • 1 summer squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups fat-free beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic
  2. Add mushrooms (quartered)Looking yummy!

    Looking yummy!

  3. Saute for 5 minutes
  4. Add squash, zucchini, carrots, 1 cup of broth
  5. Saute for 5 more minutes stirring occasionally
  6. Add remainder of broth, the rest of the ingredients and two cups of water
  7. stir, cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes
  8. Enjoy!

I’ll have to compare it to the original recipe next time I go home, but I was repay happy with how it turned out. It is super-healthy and filling. The only down side is that it is pretty high in sodium (thanks to the sauerkraut and tomato sauce).

This makes a LOT of soup. I’m guessing about 12 1-cup servings. (The nutrition label is for 10 servings). I had some last night and will have some for dinner tonight. The rest I am going to put in single-serving bags and freeze for quick meals when I’m in a hurry.

Screen shot 2013-03-23 at 8.50.15 PM

Note: This post was originally published on my other blog,

War zone on Boylston Street



Even though I’m a military brat and have never really lived in one place for very long, I spent half of my high school years and all of my college career in Massachusetts before moving out of state. I consider Massachusetts to be my home.

Part of my job as the editor of a newspaper in Missouri is to write a column. Considering my love of my home state of Massachusetts, I knew this week I had to reflect on Monday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

It took hours.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever written. I must have started, and deleted it, a dozen times. It’s hard to write when you can’t stop the tears from flowing.

I posted the link to the column I wrote, but the link didn’t work well for some people, so I have pasted the text below for those of you who wanted to read it.

A war zone on Boylston Street

Marathon Monday is a day unlike any other in Boston. You can feel the excitement and the electricity in the air.

Patriots Day (or Marathon Monday) isn’t celebrated outside the New England states, but in Boston, the holiday might as well be Fourth of July.

That is the day the history-rich city celebrates the anniversary of the first battles of the Revolutionary War.

It’s the day tens of thousands of people descend on the Town of Hopkinton, lace up their sneakers and run the 26.2 miles to Boylston Street in Boston — the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Adding to the excitement is the annual 11 a.m. home game played by the Red Sox.

When I lived in Massachusetts, my friends and I would head to a Boston bar near the end of the route to watch the Red Sox play their morning game. Toward the end of the game the bar would empty out onto the street, joining hundreds of thousands of others along the marathon route, and we would cheer, scream and chant for the runners as they passed. We didn’t know any of the runners. It didn’t matter.

We were proud of them.

We were proud of the first groups of runners that passed for their ability to finish the race quickly, outrunning their peers, finishing the 26.2 miles in blazing fast time.

I was always more proud of the slower runners, those who came one, two, three, sometimes four hours after the first group of runners passed by. These aren’t the runners that were fast enough to earn the right to run the marathon based on their times. Instead they raised thousands of dollars for various charities to earn the privilege of participating in one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. TWEET

Many of these athletes don’t care how fast they finish the race, they just want to finish. They wear shirts with the names of the charities prominently displayed. Others had their own names on the front of their shirts, allowing us to pick them out of the crowd and cheer for them individually.

It’s a unique experience to be a part of. We stood, cheering, about a mile from the finish line. By that point the runners are drained — their legs are exhausted, bodies screaming for them to stop. We could tell by the looks on their faces and the increased pace of their strides, that our cheers were helping them make their way to the finish line.

I wanted to be in Boston Monday to cheer on three friends who ran for their respective charities. Instead, I tracked them by their bib numbers from my office as they made their way along the race route, getting text messages at the 10K, half-marathon, and 30K marks. Each time my phone went off with an update, I became more and more proud of these three people running toward their goal. But the text messages stopped.

At 2:15 p.m., I learned of an explosion in at the marathon’s finish line. My heart sank.

I instantly looked at my phone to try to pinpoint where my friends were on the route. They had all passed the 30km mark, but none of them had crossed the finish line. Looking at the times, I did the math. At least one of them had to be close — very close — to the finish line when the bombs went off.

My mind was instantly filled with worst-case scenarios as I watched the live coverage unfold at the finish line. I was afraid not only for the runners, but for friends I knew would be out there, cheering them along. How many bombs were there? How many more explosions will there be?

It was heartbreaking to watch the aftermath of a truly cowardly act. The finish line of the Boston Marathon is supposed to be a place of celebration where athletes from across the globe can celebrate their monumental accomplishment. Monday it was a war zone.

Slowly over the course of the next few hours, text messages came and Facebook statuses were updated from Boston friends saying they were OK. Everyone was shaken up, but they were all OK.

The friend I was most worried about because of her proximity to the blasts later updated her status to read:

“I was a 1/4 mile from the finish. The cops acted fast and had us run back under the bridge where there was grass. I am so grateful that I wasn’t a minute faster. It was horrific but Boston is resilient. There were so many acts of generosity and kindness. There was no mass hysteria. We were scared but didn’t know the full magnitude of the situation. People were coming from their homes to give us water and sweatshirts and trash bags, anything to keep us warm. People were passing around their cell phones, though not working well, we could reach out to our families. In this great tragedy I saw such acts of heroism and goodness.”

She’s right. Boston is a resilient city. I am confident Bostonians along with the rest of the country will band together to support the victims of this terrible tragedy.

I am confident the person who did this act of terrorism will be found and brought to justice.

Most of all, I am confident the city will rebound from this. The 2014 marathon will be better and bigger than ever. Crowds won’t be scared off. They will multiply. They will line the marathon route cheering louder than ever before — not only for that year’s runners, for the 2013 runners who never got to finish, and for those who were injured or lost their lives.


I’d also like to take a minute to share this with everyone.

My mom works in Hopkinton, Mass. Every day, twice a day she drives over the marathon’s starting line. Wednesday while driving through town she saw a memorial was taking place near the starting line.

She is an excellent bagpipe player and never leaves home without her pipes. She pulled over, took out the pipes and led the group in song. The moment was captured by a Boston Globe photographer. It has since made national news. I am very proud of any small part she has had in the healing process of those who are grieving.

Here is the link to the video.

At Marathon starting point, Hopkinton holds a vigil

**Note: This blog was originally published on my other blog: