Kay Swederski

Jun 212021
 

There are so many words that begin with “C” that you could hate – the word I hate is Cancer. I was recently diagnosed with Colon Cancer. Boy, when the doctor said Cancer my world just started spinning. I really didn’t hear anything else he said. I remember that morning going in for a Colonoscopy thinking – well they may find a few polyps and remove them – I never thought he would find a golf ball size tumor and identify it as cancer just by sight.

The next week was a whirlwind – blood test, CT scans and met with the surgeon. He was able to get me in for surgery pretty quickly. He was able to move the tumor and also 20 lymph nodes (16 of those had cancer). In a few weeks I will be going in for Chemo. How scary is that? See another “C” word to hate!

I am here not for you to feel bad for me – because “I am a Strong Girl from Wisconsin and can handle a few sucky months to have many good years to come.” That is my mantra! I am here to say Colonoscopy is a scary word too – the drink is awful – but please get yours done! Don’t be like me and put it off 7 years! It is quite possible if I had gone when I was suppose to they would have removed a few polyps and I would be on my merry way.

I will keep you updated on how I am doing along the way – not sure when Chemo starts but I met with my oncologist next week. I will be on and off depending how I feel – but I will get caught up in the next couple days with some new reviews. I look forward to many more years of connecting with you all.

Here is Jasper keeping me company.

Have a great week everyone! I am a Strong Girl from Wisconsin!

May 142021
 

One of the best thing about living in Oregon is the wine. The Willamette Valley wine is some of the best around. One of the fun ways to spend a May afternoon is going to The Great Oregon Wine Company. May is Oregon Wine Month. The perfect time to explore a variety of wines.

A little about The Great Oregon Wine Company…

Their wines are handcrafted and produced in small lots with attention to detail and minimal intervention along with vertical integration delivering hand crafted consistency in every bottle. They are one of the first commercially farmed vineyards in Oregon to remove the use of glyphosate (pesticide) in the farming process and have received the Clean Label Project Purity Award. As of May 2020, the winery is certified USDA organic. Each vintage provides the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Willamette Valley farmers that share their organic and pesticide-free farming and environmental beliefs.

Here are a few of the brands that are featured:

  • Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – a smooth daily drinker.
  • La Chouette Pinot Gris – a reserve blend of their favorite lots from the La Chouette Vineyard from 2019. 
  • Coles Valley Vineyard Blanc de Noir – energetic and bubbly in the glass with a light golden hue.

My favorite is the La Chouette Pinot Gris – Is is Golden in color and has a clean tropical flavors, melon and lemon zest. It is always fun trying new. If you can’t visit The Great Oregon Wine Company you can always place an order HERE and have it delivered to your door. I am sure you will enjoy what ever your decide to try.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 122021
 

This is my favorite time of the year – Spring! One thing I love is wear bright colorful earrings. You can give your wardrobe a splash of color this spring with jewelry by Audra Style. Look at these cute earrings – so bold and bright. Using bright, bold colors and patterns, the shapes for the earrings are cut from wood, acrylic, genuine leather, and brass to mix and match the pieces and patterns in unexpected ways. 

Audra Style’s line is unique, fun, and affordable, plus no two items are identical. These earrings made out of wood so they are super light and are comfortable to wear. Look at all the colors!

With a wide selection of accessories and home decor reproduced from Audra’s artwork including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, clutches, stationery, and art prints, the line is unique, fun, and affordable, plus no two items are identical. 

Choosing the right accessory can invigorate your mood and make any outfit more appealing. You can go to Audra Style to find your own style and designs.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 122021
 

I don’t know about you but I have kind of let myself go during the past year – not taking the best care of my skin. I am still furloughed from my job at BCD Travel and hoping every day I get called back. One thing I have decided I have to do is start taking care of myself better. I have started doing my skin care routine again and that includes using moisture.

I started using Zinda’s Moisture Rose Cuvée both in the morning and at night. One of my favorite things about this thick cream is that it is made in small batches, is plant-based, and they use vine-sourced ingredients. Zinda Beauty’s cruelty-free Moisture Rose Cuvée delivers the skin-enhancing properties of Resveratrol and other natural ingredients including Apricot, Rose Hip, and Evening Primrose which are found in and about vineyards. Zinda Beauty’s debut luxurious cream helps soothe, moisturize and hydrate the skin through intense moisture infusion.

The benefits of Zinda’s Moisture Rose Cuvée include:

  • Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that protects skin against environmental stressors and free radicals, while smoothing wrinkles, nourishing and redefining skin in a single step. The signs of aging look less noticeable and the skin appears more youthful.
  • Apricot Oil is obtained from the dried seeds of the fruit. Skin-softening effects are attributed to the high concentration of Vitamin C. This oil can treat a variety of skin conditions without making your skin oily and the antioxidants in the apricot slow the aging process.
  • The combination of properties in Rose Hip Oil has been shown to combat the appearance of skin damage. The antioxidants target damage-causing free radicals; and, Vitamin A, combined with the oil’s essential anti-inflammatory fatty acids helps improve skin tone, texture and pigmentation. Rose Hip Oil also hydrates, helps to exfoliate and brighten skin, aids in boosting collagen formation, assists in protecting against sun damage and contributes toward reducing hyperpigmentation.
  • Evening Primrose Oil is known to be a great moisturizer. Not only does it make the skin soft, but it also supplies it with essential nutrients and healthy fats, making your skin look youthful and supple.

I like how thick Zinda is and how my skin just soaks up the lotion making my face soft, refreshed, vibrant, and supple skin. If you would like to purchase your own Zinda’s Moisture Rose Cuvée You can do so HERE.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 042021
 

I love using face mask to help keep my face looking clear and fresh. Recently I was sent this sheet mask called The AfterMask – made to use after wearing a face mask all day. It helps deep clean your skin from dirt and toxins. It has no fragrance or harsh chemicals. Say good-bye to pesky pimples from wearing our protective masks all day. Highlight ingredients include Green Tea Leaf, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf, Burdock Root, Camomilla, Witch Hazel, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Leaf, and Cucumber. These elements work together for the perfect treatment to fight mask-ne and soothe dry skin.  

It was so easy to use. You just wash your face, carefully apply to your lower face where your face mask was, leave on for 20-30 minutes while you relax. Then peel it off and massage any remaining solution into your skin. My face felt soft and smooth after using it. If you would like to try them for your self – go here to purchase them.

Apr 202021
 

Sometimes a tasty snack is just needed to help move the day along. Seen in the shops in their perfectly shining packages sits one of the nation’s favorite desserts and sweet treats – chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate, and any excuse for chocolate is a good one!

Whether it’s a single chocolate every day in an advent calendar in the run-up for the festive period or chocolate rabbits and Easter eggs on Easter Sunday, there is nothing quite like the delicious snack.

Chocolate actually comes from cocoa farms all the way over in West Africa; there are over 1.5 million different cocoa farms in West Africa where cocoa is taken from a plant and harvested to turn it into the product we see in our supermarkets in products such as Mozart chocolates.

The cacao leaves depend on the sun and require hot temperatures to create the cocoa seeds that will then be harvested. Creating chocolate is a hard one, especially considering that it has to be raised by hand, making this a laborious task.

What is a Cacao plant?

Cacao trees are where the chocolate beans originate. These plants can grow to be over 200 years old. These plants are grown on cocoa farms which are an average of seven to ten acres. Most of these farms are family-run. This business is a hard one, especially as cacao plants are very fragile, meaning that the farms actually lose around 30 percent of their crop every single year.

The Cocoa bean

It takes just over 400 cocoa beans to produce one pound of chocolate, with each cacao plant producing around 2,500 beans.

How does chocolate affect us?

As much as people have been told to limit their intake of sugar for a healthy diet, it has been found that chocolate can help support a healthy diet and lifestyle. As long as it is part of a broader healthy diet and active lifestyle and is only eaten in moderation! Caffeine is a strong component of chocolate, with the average portion of milk chocolate containing the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee.

Chocolate always has and probably will always be incredibly popular. For example, the UK spending on chocolate goes up by 50 million each year. With the estimated worth of the industry being 110 billion dollars a year, this is an extremely financially attractive industry. Americans actually buy 58 million+ pounds of chocolate every year on Valentine’s Day, making this single day the reason for 5 percent of its yearly sales!

Is chocolate the perfect gift?

Shopping for a gift for someone can be stressful, especially if it is not someone that is a close friend. The pressures can build, and sometimes the simplest answer is the best one. One of the great things about chocolate is how convenient of a gift it really is. It can be enjoyed by anyone for any reason at any time and is sold on every corner and modest prices, making this the perfect last-minute gift or thoughtful gesture for anyone to do.

Mar 032021
 

Mother’s Day is around the corner – and Youzey has some great ideas for gifts! They have a lot of budget-friendly and fun accessories that any Mom would love!

I found this really pretty Green Jade Diffusion Necklace with Black Beaded Cord. Swirling in slow harmony, this green jade pendant captures the movement and freezes it in time. The black cord frames the entire event perfectly and invites the viewer to forever enjoy the moment. It has a wooden bead and accent at the top of the pendant. The pendant is smooth and light weight. I am sure my Mom will love it!

On the Youzey website you will find so many fun accessories including beauty products, earrings, watches, hair accessories and so much more. I am sure you will find something that will delight your Mom and even a few things for yourself.

Here is where you can find the Green Jade Diffusion Necklace MSRP $25. While your looking at the Necklace I have make sure you take a look at all the other great products!

Make sure to follow Youzey on Instagram, Facebook and Pintrest.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Feb 142021
 

Turmeric is one of nature’s best kept secrets. What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a super spice that contains curcuminoids which provide healthy inflammation response and antioxidant benefits.

Rex has arthritis which is the most common joint disorder in the United States. He often wakes up in pain and does not always want to take pain killers. After doing some research we found that turmeric is a often used in Ayurvedic medicine. We decided to give it a try after checking with our doctor first to make sure it won’t interact with medications Rex was already taking.

We found Youtheory had a extra strength formula and wanted to give it a try. Rex takes two capsules a day. He has found after taking for a couple weeks he does get some relief.

What makes Youtheory Turmeric special is the Curcumin c3 complex which is 20x more absorbable than ordinary turmeric. This makes for better effectiveness and efficiency!

We believe in Youtheory. Founded in 2010 by Darren and Patty Rude, Youtheory is one of the original collagen supplement brands. Today, they have grown into one of the largest manufacturers of collagen and turmeric in the U.S. You can find the product Rex takes HERE .

You can follow @youtheory on Instagram.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Feb 122021
 

About One Poison Pie

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496730313
ISBN-13: 978-1496730312
Digital ASIN: B087YNC1B6


In the first in New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon’s Kitchen Witch series, Mia Malone is starting over in Magic Springs, Idaho—where murder is on the menu . . .

What’s a kitchen witch to do when her almost-fiancé leaves her suddenly single and unemployed? For Mia Malone, the answer’s simple: move to her grandmother’s quirky Idaho hometown, where magic is an open secret and witches and warlocks are (mostly) welcome. With a new gourmet dinner delivery business—and a touch of magic in her recipes—Mia’s hopes are high. Even when her ex’s little sister, Christina, arrives looking for a place to stay, Mia takes it in stride.

But her first catering job takes a distasteful turn when her client’s body is found, stabbed and stuffed under the head table. Mia’s shocked to learn that she’s a suspect—and even more so when she realizes she’s next on a killer’s list. With Christina, along with Mia’s meddling grandma, in the mix, she’ll have to find out which of the town’s eccentric residents has an appetite for murder…before this fresh start comes to a sticky end. . . .

Includes Recipes!


Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. She also pens the Cat Latimer series, the Farm to Fork series, and the Kitchen Witch series. Small town setting, big time fun with a bit of murder to keep it interesting. Romance novels are published under the pen name, Lynn Collins. She lives in a small river town like Mark Twain with her husband and three fur kids..
Author Links
·         Goodreads –http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5857424.Lynn_Cahoon
·         Twitter – https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
·         Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor
·         Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
·         Website – http://lynncahoon.com/
Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play 


TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
February 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 3 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
February 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 5 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 5 –  Novels Alive – GUEST POST
February 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
February 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 7 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
February 7 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
February 10 – Wickedly Romance – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 10 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews -SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW  
February 11 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, RECIPE
February 12 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 12 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW  
February 13 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
February 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Jan 302021
 

Do you have cardboard boxes and packaging left over from the holidays? Don’t throw them away! Upcycling these boxes to give them a new life, instead, it is a fun and environmentally-friendly option. That is if you can get them before your cat does. Jasper just loves boxes.

Just the right size for him!
Now this one is a more comfortable.

TheSoul Publishing – one of the leading content providers on YouTube – has several creative hacks to turn a cardboard box into aesthetically pleasing and 100% recycled home storage. These crafty hacks, which can be found in this video. Here are two that would be easy to make.


Here is a cute way to store notebooks, journals and books. It’s easy to do – just follow these directions.

  1. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut a shoebox in half diagonally
  2. Use contact paper or tightly adhered wrapping paper to completely cover the remaining cardboard
  3. Adhere the long sides of the remaining sections together, back to back
  4. Use to store books, office supplies, and more!
Pencil Container
  1. Using a scissors, cut a long, narrow box (such as a perfume box or toothpaste box) in half.
  2. Glue or tape the two sides together, so that both holes face up
  3. Using a hot glue gun, glue paper straws cut in half along the perimeter of the box
  4. Set on your desk to hold pencils!

There is lots more you can do to up-cycle left over boxes. Have fun seeing what you can create. I would love to see what you come up with.