Category Archives: blog giveaway

Smokey & Friends: Memories, Music and a Giveaway

The latest release from Smokey Robinson, "Smokey & Friends" smolders and rocks - Giveaway

My earliest memories involve my Dad with a guitar in his hand, sitting at a piano, or dancing around with Mom. Music has always been a part of my life – a friend.

I grew up with the sounds of everything from 60’s protest songs, to classical compositions, dad’s original tunes to the soulful sounds of Motown. The Shirelles sang me to sleep at night. I can’t thank my parents enough for giving me the gift of good music. Now I’d like to do the same for you.

The legendary Motown icon and Grammy® award-winning singer-songwriter, Smokey Robinson released an album that is sure to become as iconic as he is. A compilation of duets with other music legends (hello, Sir Elton) and some of today’s top artists (John Legend, swoon) titled, “Smokey & Friends.”

Everything is good in the world tonight, when Smokey sings along with; James Taylor, Sir Elton John, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and Mary J. Blige, as well as with some of today’s hottest artists including John Legend, Miguel, Jesse J, and CeeLo Green, among others.

John Legend lends an elegance “Quiet Storm,” with his soul-filled grace at the piano. Legend starts the track with an homage and thanks.

“Bob Dylan called Smokey Robinson one of the greatest poets of our time, Smokey it’s an honor to sing this with you.”

The honor is all ours, dear music fans. I literally got goosebumps when Smokey began to sing.

Smokey & Friends

The Tracks Of My Tears – Elton John

You Really Got A  Hold On Me – Steven Tyler

My Girl – Miguel, Aloe Blacc & JC Chasez

Cruisin’ – Jesse J (almost good enough to erase the memory of Gwyneth Paltrow butchering it with Huey Lewis – almost)

Quiet Storm – John Legend

The Way You Do (The Things You Do) – CeeLo Green

Being With You – Mary J. Blige

Ain’t The Peculiar – James Taylor

The Tears Of A Clown – Sheryl Crow

Ooh Baby Baby – Ledisi

Get Ready – Gary Barlow

Whether you – like me- love Smokey’s velvety, soulful, put-the-kids-to-bed-early groove, or enjoy a more contemporary vibe, there is something for you here. Like Sinatra’s duets before it, “Smokey & Friends,” is sure to become a timeless classic.

I’m so excited to have two copies of “Smokey & Friends,”  to give away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Home-Ec 101

The year 1980-something

The setting: Mrs. What-was-her-name-I’m-too-old-to-recall’s Home-Ec 101 class.

She is imparting her wisdom about proper cleaning of an iron. I once again am staring longingly at football-star-dream-boat Lance H. sitting at the table next to me -who has no clue I exist- rather than soaking in this invaluable 411.  This pattern will repeat itself during pillow sewing, laundry sorting, baking basics and light switch repair. A wasted opportunity that will come back to haunt me -repeatedly- in later years.

Lucky for me – and those of you who were also hopelessly distracted by teen dreams in high school-  author, chef, fellow mom of four and all around GENIUS Heather Solos has our back. Her new book Home-EC 101: Skills for Everyday Living is an epiphany for anyone who has ever struggled with reducing laundry piles <–I live here rounding up the clutter <–what this can be done? Imagine my shock or even how to bake a pie.

mmmm pie

Heather imparts common sense along with reviving long lost arts such as on-the-fly fashion repair and proper “seasoning” of cooking gear. With titles like “Pantry Principles: Are You Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse”, “Wallpaper and Other Crimes Against Humanity” my personal fav “Shoes are NOT Hammers” she’ll have you whipping your pad into shape and laughing all the way. She even had a section on how to clean jetted bath tubs, a skill as yet obtained in this house without the aid of outside assistance. Watch out mold you’re goin’ down!

This book is really a revelation. It should be required reading in every bachelor pad, newly wed love nest and Home-Ec slacker’s house!

Want a copy? Well you can’t have mine! You’ve got a few options though. Order it from Amazon, grab it at your local Barnes and Noble or one lucky reader can win it RIGHT HERE! I’ll even be tossing in an Amazon gift card ($10 value) to get you started on that zombie prepared pantry Simply leave me a comment telling me what your biggest  Home-Ec challenge was. At random one of you will win a copy of the book.

Giveaway is open to US residents only. UNLIMITED entries! Closes at midnight Friday April 22, 2011. MUST have either an account via subscription to Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom or leave an email address in your comment so I can reach you.

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the book to read. This review was my choice and all opinions are my own. The giveaway copy is coming directly from me, not Heather or her publishing company. I LOVE this book so much I’m forking over my own dough to share it’s genius!

“Skinny” Dipping

Okay put that first thought you had on hold, this post is about food.. come’ on people! Of course if Johnny Depp had returned my calls about MANuary we could have gone in a whole new direction with this one. Alas, it was not to be. So we will rebound with SNACKS! And because we have ALL stuck with our resolutions this year we’ll make those snacks a bit more “skinny” with the help of Frito-Lay and my mad kitchen ninja skills. Thus the “Skinny” Dipping (punny aren’t I?)

Oh and yeah since I have this thing about “sharing” the nice folks of Frito-Lay have indulged me with a giveaway FOR YOU!

(stay tuned to the end of the post for details)

First we’ll head south of the border for my childhood comfort food with a twist.

Tasty Tamale Dip

1 8oz package low-fat cream cheese (room temp)

1 cup low-fat Mexican cheese blend (shredded) -reserve 1/4 cup for topping

1 can diced green chilies

2 tablespoons reduced sodium taco seasoning

1/2 cup green olives (sliced)

Hot sauce to taste (after all some like it hot)

Low fat sour cream and shredded lettuce for garnish (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor or medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients (accept reserved 1/4 cup of cheese) until well mixed. Place in a baking dish (I used a fun Mexican pottery dish). Top with reserved cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish as desired

Now here is the MOST IMPORTANT part. A tamale is a wonderful stuffed corn meal concoction that warms your belly and takes you to Mexico.. so you must have corn! How do we do that? By dipping Fritos Scoops into the warm cheesy goodness. Trust me it’s really good and a heck of a lot less work than an actual tamale!

Next we take a trip to Italy.. alright maybe it’s just a new take on an old dip but doesn’t a trip to Italy sound great?

Mexico meet Italy in this tasty dip!

Sicilian Salsa

2-3 Roma tomatoes (diced)

1-2 gloves of garlic (minced) the amount of garlic increases the “heat”

6-8 leaves basil (FRESH, chopped)

1/2 cup onion (chopped)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup olives (chopped) I use Greek but you can choose your favorite

1/4 cup Pine Nuts (toasted)

1/4 teaspoon Anchovy paste (optional)

cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste

EASY PEASY PREP! Combine all ingredients accept oil, lemon zest and anchovy paste (if using) in a medium sized bowl. Add lemon and paste to the oil and stir until combined, pour over salsa mix and combine. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes prior to serving. We noshed on these with Tostitos Scoops.. it was like an Italian taco salad!


Now that you’re all hungry and stuff how about we set you up with some Frito-Lay snacks and say $100 DOLLARS (in the form of an Amex gift card) to host a killer Super Bowl party or an out of this world snack fest? One lucky Nuggetier (aka reader) will win this fabu prize! And how you say? I’ll tell ya.

Required for entry:

Visit the Snack Chat blog (which is a treat in itself). Follow Frito-Lay on Twitter (@FritoLay) and come join me as a Frito-Lay fan on Facebook…it’s fun, trust me!  Come back here and leave me a comment telling me you did this and what your all time FAVORITE game day snack is (If you don’t dig football, don’t tell me. I’d have to not like you and neither of us want that, ha ha).

Want ONE more entry? Follow me on Twitter and tweet this:

“I’m going “skinny” dipping w/@DipaolaMomma to #win $100 & snacks from @FritoLay

MAX of two entries per person. Contest ends January 31, 2011 at 10 pm (est). Winner will be chosen by random number generation and notified via email on or about  February 2, 2011

This is post was not sponsored by Frito-Lay however I was provided with monetary compensation in exchange for creating the ORIGINAL recipes featured in this piece. Prizes are being provided by a third party.

How’s about a little “Bit”?

So you knew I was a BitMom right? Okay enough with the “Bit of…” jokes, what are you people in Jr. High or something? And for the record it’s “Bit of AWESOME” to you thankyouverymuch. Seriously gang I’m really proud of my involvement with BitMoms . Why you say? Well not only is it an amazing group of ladies who focus on on-line safety for families, kids and pocket books it’s also a great resource. I’d love to see you come join us.

If the cool chick factor isn’t enough to sway ya how about the fact that BitMoms is an extension of BitDefender? Don’t know what that is, well you soon will (had to get the Bare Naked Ladies plug in there).

BitDefender is a company that makes anti-virus software. It has also changed my on-line life. No joke. I installed their  Totally Security 2011 a while back. My kiddos love to play on-line games, shocking I realize. The problem was that every now and then something would slip through the parental controls of our old anti-virus firewall and I’d spend a week with a sluggish (think Flintsones folks it was that bad) computer until I figured out a freakin’ bakery full of cookies had found it’s way into my system. Ah the joy of clearing the cookies, NOT. BitDefender is so much more than just software though they have a KILLER support system. Honestly gang I’m a total MAROON (not a typo, look it up) when it comes to the techie stuff. The folks at BitDefender get that so they have a great section with video tutorials for dummies like MOI!

So why am I telling you all of this today and furthermore why should you care? Well let me tell ya. FIRST off  10 Nuggetiers are going to win their choice between BitDefender Total Security 2011 for PC ($79.95 value) or the new BitDefender Antivirus for Mac ($39.95). Just leave me a comment to be entered to win and BOOYAH gang that is one Festivus gift down!  SECONDLY one of you, who joins me over at and leaves a comment on this post telling me you’ve  joined, will score a Lemon Sugar BitMoms spa package. Cha-ching another one drops off the list.  (Giveaway ends November 30th at 10pm EST)

THIODLY (yes it’s a word) tonight is the BIG night, BitMoms and BitDefender will be parting it down on The Twitter with Resourceful Mommy.

What does that mean? It means FUN and oh yeah KILLER prizes, like a FIVE $50 Amex gift cards and the grand daddy of swag a Netbook fully loaded with BitDefender protection for holiday shopping safety (which by the way BitDefender will be giving us great tips on protecting wallet next week on A CNOW Life just in time for Cyber Monday). Here are the deets on tonight’s festivities, I hope to see ya there!

When: Wednesday, November 17th from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET

Where: #BitMoms hashtag on Twitter

How: Be sure to follow @BitDefender @BitMoms @TechSavvyMama and @ResourcefulMom to participate

No compensation was received for sharing this post however; BitMoms is providing me with a blog conference stipend and other materials
to help me facilitate sharing topics of internet safety and security with my readers and through the BitMom Community. Giveaway materials are being provided by BitDefender as well.