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Thursday, March 6, 2014

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Length: 400 pages
Kindle Price $2.99

First, I am a HUGE Jennifer Armentrout fan and will read pretty much anything she will ever write in the future.  I stumbled across her books while researching local writers and have been sucked in to her stories every since.  Really, I read one book and then bought all the rest she had out within a few days.  To me, they are that good.
Now with that being said, her most recent book is White Hot Kiss and will be part of a series called The Dark Element.  This book takes you into the world of gargoyle.  I’m sure your thinking, gargoyle, really?  Yes those ugly gray stone things with wings.  Most of Jennifer’s books are surrounded by aliens and Greek Gods, so this was no surprise. In fact, I have been following her facebook page and heard these books were coming.    All I have got to say is don’t knock it until you read the book.  I thought the same thing about aliens and Greek God until I read those series.  This one is the same.
The book takes place in moderen times when the world knows that gargoyle are real but look the other way.  Layla is a seventeen year old girl that is caught in the middle of a war between her adopted gargoyle family, known as the Warden's, and demons trying to kill her.  Layla is a half demon/half gargoyle who tries hard to bury her demon side only to have Roth, very hot and sexy demon, constantly reminding her of it.  
Being a half demon, living in a gargoyle world, has one huge side effect for Layla.  She must fight her demon instinct to suck the souls of the people, and gargoyle, always around.  This is a huge burden since she finds herself rather attached to her adopted brother, Zayne, who is a gargoyle destined to marry another.
I loved the book and admit I found myself turning the page looking for any interaction with Roth.  I could picture Roth in my mind, all tattoos and bad boy, although his actions show otherwise.  He does have this slightly creepy thing that happens with his tattoo's but I will not spoil it for you here.  You will have to read the book to find out.
Like most series, this one left you hanging on for the next book.  I’m really started to dislike that part of books.  I’m almost to the point that I don’t want to buy a book unless the last one in the series has been written.  I read too much and forget that I'm supposed to buy the next one months or years down the road. 
I give this book four starts and that is only because I didn’t get that I don’t want to put to it down feeling like her others.  It was still a great read and I would recommend it to others.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Nutrisystem 5 Day Weight Loss Kit

My weight has always been a struggle.  When I was younger it was trying to gain. To join the military you had to be at least 100 pounds and I was 97 at the time I signed up.  I spent two days cramming my face full of everything I could get my hands on just to make that 100 pound cut off.  Years after that, I still had trouble gaining weight when I was pregnant and my doctor put me on a high calorie diet.

But after the baby, stress and age; it’s has became a struggle to lose the 30 pounds of weight I’ve gained.  I have tried every kind of diet pill, drink, and plan with little to no success.  

I stumbled across the Nutrisystem 5 day weight loss kit at my local Wal-Mart.  I normally wouldn’t have paid the $45 dollars for this plan but I was lucky enough to find two boxes in the clearance section for $36 and couldn’t pass it up. I was really excited after doing my research and seeing others results.

The Nutrisystem does not have all your daily meals you will need.  It comes with your breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.  You must supply your snacks and extras.  These would included your Vegetables (4 daily), Smartcarbs (2 daily), Powerfuel (2 daily) and Extras (not over 3 daily).  So if you buy these kits and want to start them right away, you will need to pick up some extra things as well.  For me, I picked up some of my favorites:
  • Bag of Apples (SmartCarb)
  • 6 pack Applesauce (SmartCarb)
  • Bag of Cashews (Powerfuel)
  • Bag of String Cheese (Powerfuel)
  • Bag of Carrots (Vegetables) x2
  • Celery stalks (Vegetables)
  • 8 can V8 Spicy Hot (Vegatables)

This was around $20.  So lets do some grade school math problems to see if it's worth it.  I spent $36 on the kit and an extra $20 for the add in items which comes to $56.  If you divided this by 5 days you will get $11.20 a day spent on food.  If you divided this by 6 meals each day you will get $1.86 for each meal.  Even if I bought the kit at full price of $44 then we are still only talking $64 total; $12.80 a day; and $2.13 per meal. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Once I got everything home, I sorted each days meal out into one bag. This took the thinking out of what I was going to eat each day and for a busy single mother, it made everything so much easier to grab and go.

Day 1
Breakfast:  Nutrisystem Cinnamon Streusel Muffin
Snack:  Apple (SmartCarb-Small Apple) & Cashews (PowerFuel-2 tablespoon)
Lunch:  Fudge Bar, Celery (1-Vegetable), Carrots (1-Vegetable)
Snack:  Applesauce (SmartCarb-1/2 cup) & String Cheese (PowerFuel)
Dinner:  Nutrisystem Lasagna with Meat Sauce & V8 (2-Vegtables)
Dessert:  Nutrisystem Cheesecake Flavored Bar

I use My Fitness Pal to track my food intake and exercise.  Above is what my first day looked like.  I had issues drinking enough water, just because I got busy at work and forgot.  The food wasn't bad and I ate more than I normally do.  The high sugar does make me wonder a little.  I found that I wanted to eat something before I went to the gym and again about 8pm.  I may try to hold my afternoon snack off until later in the night. I worked out at the gym at lunch and was able to gain an extra 508 calories back.

Day 2
Breakfast: Nutrisystem Double Chocolate Muffin
Snack: Apple (SmartCarb-Small Apple) & Cashews (PowerFuel-2 tablespoon)
Lunch: Chicken Noodle Soup, Celery (1-Vegetable), Carrots (1-Vegetable)
Snack: Applesauce (SmartCarb-1/2 cup)& String Cheese (PowerFuel)
Dinner: Nutrisystem Rotini & Meatballs & V8 (2-Vegtables)
Dessert: Nutrisystem Milk Chocolate Flavored Pretzels

Today was hard to finish all the food on the required list.  I was full at lunch after eating the Chicken Noodle Soup but made myself eat the carrots and celery.  I also was full after eating dinner but drank the V8.  I saved the Pretzels for later in the night because I wanted to snack late last night.

Day 3
Breakfast: Nutrisystem Honey Wheat Bagel & Laughing Cow Cream Cheese (1-Extra)
Snack: Apple (SmartCarb-Small Apple) & Cashews (PowerFuel-2 tablespoon)
Lunch: Nutrisystem Double Chocolate Caramel Bar, Celery (1-Vegetable), Carrots (1-Vegetable)
Snack: Applesauce (SmartCarb-1/2 cup)& String Cheese (PowerFuel)
Dinner: Nutrisystem Chicken Pot Pie & V8 (2-Vegtables)
Dessert: Nutrisystem Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today started off bad and it was a rush to get out of the house.  I forget to grab the carrots and celery so I didn't get to eat them at lunch.  Today I felt the not eating them because after my workout the Nutrisystem Double Chocolate Caramel Bar did not fill me up and I was tempted to cheat and reach for an extra snack but I held off until dinner.  So far the worst meal I've tasted has been the Pot Pie.  I didn't care for that at all.  It's just the pot pie filling with a crust that you lay on top of it.  There wasn't much taste so I had to add pepper to help it out a little. 

Day 4
Breakfast: Nutrisystem Granola Cereal
Snack: Apple (SmartCarb-Small Apple) & Cashews (PowerFuel-2 tablespoon)
Lunch: Nutrisystem Red Beans & Rice, Celery (1-Vegetable), Carrots (1-Vegetable)
Snack: Applesauce (SmartCarb-1/2 cup)& String Cheese (PowerFuel)
Dinner: Nutrisystem Chicken Alfredo & V8 (2-Vegtables)
Dessert: Nutrisystem Popcorn

I didn't eat all the of the popcorn for the afternoon snack.  I'm not much of a popcorn fan so I gave most of it to the dog.  It was good but I just don't care for it.  I didn't show this on the above breakdown because I wanted everyone to see what the days totals looked like.
Day 5
Breakfast: Nutrisystem Peanut Butter Granola Bar
Snack: Apple (SmartCarb-Small Apple) & Cashews (PowerFuel-2 tablespoon)
Lunch: Nutrisystem Loaded Baked Potato, Celery (1-Vegetable), Carrots (1-Vegetable)
Snack: Applesauce (SmartCarb-1/2 cup)& String Cheese (PowerFuel)
Dinner: Nutrisystem Italian Herb Flatbread Pizza & V8 (2-Vegtables)
Dessert: Nutrisystem Peppermint Cookie Patty

After using the kit for five days I have lost a total of 2.2 pounds.  Overall, I liked the program and look forward to repeating the next five days with the second box I have and maybe dropping another 2 pounds.  I also found a few coupons and went back to Wal-Mart and was able to purchase two more kits for Diabetes.  I will test them out as well and write another detailed blog like this one.  

I would love to continue with this program as long as I can purchase the kits at my local store.  I'm still not sold on buying a 28 day supply online at over $200 yet.  From what I understand these are just tester boxes but I hope they develop this further.  I would love to see these products sold separate in the stores so I could create my own meals, leaving out the pot pie. 

Check out my thougths on the Nutrisystem Frozen 5 Day Weight Loss Kit