I am going to be doing a series of soup recipes here on my blog.  You might ask why? — but I think there is nothing more satisfying that a hot cup of soup and some homemade bread on a cold fall or winter day.  There is no rhyme or reason the the way or sequence that I will use with these recipes and I hope you will try them and leave a comment on the blog as to whether it was a keeper or not in your house.

SOUP NUMBER ONE ~ Easy Creamy Potato Soup

This first soup was quick and easy and delicious.  I often make things based on what is on sale, or what I happen to have in the house.  I have learned over the years some bits and pieces of substitutions that work and so even though something may not “call for it” in a recipe – I am not afraid to try new things.

That said ~~  this soup was really easy to make, and delicious.  It was rich but not spicy at all.  We happen to like it that way… you may want to add additional seasonings to your if you like it spicier.
creamy potato soup ingredients

6 cups chicken broth

10 decent size potatoes (I used 3 different types – yukon gold, red and russet)
  ~ approx. 6 cups cubed

1 8oz package of cream cheese  (leave it out to warm to room temperature)

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 Slices of Bacon (cooked and crumbled for garnish)

Peel the potatoes and cut into approximately 1/2-1 inch cubes; approximately 6 cups.  I needed to add one more potato than pictured to get my 6 cups cubed.

Place the potatoes in your soup pot with 6 cups of chicken broth.  I used the 32 oz container pictured and another can to get to my 6 cups of broth.

Add salt/pepper to taste.

Cook until the potatoes are tender/done.

potatoes cooking The picture here is the potatoes in the chicken broth once they were cooked.  You will need to mash up some ~  to all of the potatoes in the pot till you get a consistency you like.  Just  take some out, mash them and add them back into the pot.  I did mine in batches.   The starch released from the mashing of the potatoes will thicken up the soup.

I actually took out some potatoes, mashed them, and then returned them directly back to the soup pot.  I did this till my soup was 90% creamy with just a small hint of some chunks of potatoes.

Note: You can take them in batches and but them in a blender, or you can use a handheld immersion blender and keep them in the pot.  In my case, I did them by hand a little at a time as I wanted to have some chunks of potatoes in my soup.

Once you are ready add the cream cheese.  You should cut the cream cheese in chunks if you didn’t leave it out to warm to room temperature (I put mine away after the picture) because it will take much longer to completely melt into the soup if it’s one large cold chunk!

Cook and stir, stir, stir. 
I had to stir for longer than I wanted because I didn’t leave the cream cheese to warm to room temperature …. I am hoping you remember and don’t have to quite stir that much.

Serve immediately (or simmer till ready, stirring regularly) and garnish with the cooked and crumbled bacon.  And yes, I forgot to take a picture of the finished soup in the dish, but I promise I’ll take them in the future.



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Do you like to enter giveaways and sweepstakes?  How about one for a $100 Walmart Gift Card? This prize is so versatile that just about anyone could use it.   And if you love that feeling of filling your cart with anything you need or want (and I certainly do!) then handing over a gift card to take care of the cost… then this is the perfect giveaway for you!!

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from yours. Its Annoying is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

 

Welcome to the Step into Fall Giveaway Event!

Hosted by Mom to Bed by 8

Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts Mom Blog Society and Giveaway Bandit!

I am very excited to be able to share in the Step into Fall Giveaway, because … fall is my favorite time of year.  There is just so much that happens in fall, from the falling of the leaves, to the cooler temperatures, and all the fun holiday and family activites.  So without further delay, lets see what fun items you can win in this giveaway!

From Slatkin & Co. {available at Bath and Body Works}
-14.5oz Candle ~ Three-wick candle burns approximately 30 to 45 hours. Includes elegant lid to keep your fave fragrance fresh, while adding a touch of décor.
– Novelty Wallflower ~ Combine with Wallflowers fragrance plug, sold separately to scent any room with 24/7 with noticeable freshness for up to 8 weeks.
-Wallflower Bulb ~ America’s favorite fragrance plug! A quick twist of the rotating plug lets you choose a vertical or horizontal outlet.

 

The Children’s Place is a leading specialty retailer of children’s merchandise, ages newborn to 10 years old. The Company owns and operates a whopping 995 The Children’s Place stores in North America and its online store, www.childrensplace.com. As seasons change so do the styles and lines available at The Children’s Place. So from sparkles to prints, neutrals to fabulous brights, they have a bit of it all. Here are two of favorite shirts available in-stores and online now – and I even included the online prices, because really you can’t beat The Children’s Place for both great looking clothes, but also affordable prices!

2 Shirts

 

Five lucky readers will receive a $50 The Children’s Place Gift Card &

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Giveaway ends November 14th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

 

And the winners are…

results powered by Random.org

Entry #146893  Amy W.
Entry #109385  Becky V.
Entry #28358  Cynthia C.
Entry #43207  Christine K.
Entry #8588  Janet W.
Entry #78573  Rachael H.
Entry #179356  Danielle K.
Entry #180130  Lena O.
Entry #8391  Jessica D.
Entry #177326  Stephy O.

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from yours. Its Annoying is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

 
Giveaway done by: Elitemama

Welcome to another great Jewelry Candles giveaway. If you haven’t tried one, you should! AND why not enter and maybe win a free one to try ~ I know that I will be entering!  Jewelry Candles was inspired off of the classic movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Inside the movie, very few won a prize when the opened their chocolate bar to reveal a golden ticket. With Jewelry Candles, everyone is a winner. You can find yourself a gorgeous piece of jewelry that is worth any where from $10 to $7,500. You might find a ring, necklace, a pair of earrings, pendant, anklet or even a bracelet.
The candles are made with all natural soy and premium quality scents. They are 21oz and burn anywhere from 110 to 150 hours. There are so many scents to choose from!!!

Now, if you haven’t tried Jewelry Candles, it is a must! Not only for the jewelry, but for the scents as well. When Jewelry Candles first started they had about 18 scents at the time, now they have well over 30 scents to choose from. I was given the opportunity to review another amazing candle from Jewelry Candles. The candle I reviewed was the Banana Nut Bread candle.

The picture above shows you what the candle looks like, the wicks and the candle lit. Jewelry Candles is the only candle that I know of that has two wicks. Normally you would see one in a candle and a lot of the times the candles don’t burn evenly. Having two wicks in the candle ensures you that you will get the even burn you seek in a candle. As for the scent, it is scrumptious. At first I was iffy about giving the Banana Nut Bread candle a shot because of the scent. I wondered if it would come out smelling like the actual bread baking.
Oh Boy! The candle is true to its scent. Just lite the candle, let it burn for a while, walk away and then walk back into the room and BAM! Your senses are hit with a delicious aroma making you want that mouth watering banana bread. Only to realize…. it’s a candle.

Alrighty! Well, I let the candle burn for about an hour and a half or so and the foil was revealed. Didn’t take very long because the jewel was close to the top. So I grabbed my tweezers, scissors and some paper towels. I pulled the foil out, wiped off any wax that was on it, unwrapped and revealed a lovely ring inside. I tried getting the best picture I would of the ring, but taking a picture with a cell phone camera is pretty eh.

Here is the ring in front of the Jewelry Candle. There is a center diamond there are diamonds circling around it. It’s a $10 ring, but I’m not complaining. It’s a gorgeous ring and it’s a size 7 or so. Also, the jewelry is great quality. I have not had any problems with the jewelry what so ever and I am extremely sensitive to jewelry. I love my candle and my ring as well!

Check out Jewelry Candles and get yourself one of these lovely candles
 
Enter to win!
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***It’s Annoying did not receive any compensation for this post. It’s Annoying is not responsible for shipment of this prize.

 

Everyone gets them.

There  will always a time when you can take something that someone says or does as an insult.  But is it really?  Let’s be honest – there is usually at least two sides to every issue.  Not everyone commenting on your page or article has taken the time to know what was “behind” the story that was actually printed.  Not everyone will agree with everything you say or do, and not everyone will agree with how you express it.  Everyone has different reading comprehension skills,  and certainly no one might ever understand your thoughts and the meaning behind your words.

And while I agree, they should have their say, I also believe negative comments, unless sufficiently substantiated do no one any good, not the author, the commenter or the other readers. 

For example, we could each go to the Grand Canyon.  You might be thrilled with the breath taking beauty, but I might be scared I am going to fall any minute.  It’s not that the Grand Canyon is exclusively either of these things — beautiful or scary — because it certainly can be both of those and more, it’s perception.  I could write about how scary it was, and you could comment I am a liar, but really am I?  Your perception of the grand canyon doesn’t match with mine, but it doesn’t make me a liar — or any other name calling you might want to add to that in your comment because you disagree.

As a reader, or as a writer how can you truly know what the motive is in a comment we might receive?  I think the words chosen to express themselves show more about them, than they might about your article.  Based on what they say and how they say it, you can usually tell that they do not have all the facts.

However, if you aim to hurt, insult or belittle someone, you can do that fairly easily by making a comment that has no basis in fact.  Since you didn’t walk in the writers shoes through whatever experience occurred (job loss, child custody, accident, divorce, miscarriage) you can’t know what it was like for them.  To contradict them, say they are a liar, or tell them to “get over it” shows your ignorance of the situation.  You didn’t have anything to do with their experience. The experience being written about is uniquely theirs.

I’d like to think that for these types of people — they just don’t have the right way to deliver the message they wish to convey, and it comes across as crass, rude, or insulting.  Most times they have limited information about a subject and so while they think they “know it all” – they really don’t know the half of it.

One thing I do know is that when you take the time to look at the statement they wrote, you can usually determine if it was meant to be insulting, or meant for another reason. You may even need to ask a question of the person that gave it to determine their actual motive.  So unless you take the time to do that or simply ignore all the negative comments, you might think you are being insulted much more than you really are.

And such is the world of a cyber writer.

Lots of people write articles simply to be controversial and therefore get lots of comments, based on each side of the issue being explored.  There are hot topics and there are just innocent stories.  Let’s face it, we are all human.  We don’t want anyone to be critical of what we do, say or believe.  When someone says something to our face or comments on our writing, they just might not be able to express themselves efficiently enough to get their real point across.

Worse there are the people who take what you write – the wrong way, and then attack you for saying it. Remember no one is paying me to write this article, I have received no compensation, and it is 100% my thoughts and feelings expressed here. You are free to disagree.

 

I waited a year before writing this – hoping time would heal the heartbreak of that day, but it really never did.  I still feel sadness when I think about the events of 10/16/11. 

Who would have imagined that I would get to meet and watch a friendship grow between my sister and an Indy Driver? —  let alone one as amazing as Dan Wheldon.  But one never knows what this life will bring – and what could/might/and occasionally does happen.

In NJ for my 40th High School Reunion, my sister “recruited” me to go with her on the trip she had just been notified she won from the $5 million GoDaddy Challenge Sweepstakes –a trip to the IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship Race with a chance to win 2.5 million dollars.  I was thrilled for her to have this opportunity. 

As the winner of the sweepstakes,  it put her in front of the camera and in the spotlight with Dan Wheldon for that last race of the IndyCar season in Las Vegas, Nevada last October 16th.  She was the only one who would share in the 5 million purse with Dan,  if he could come from the back of the field and actually take home the trophy that day.  She did a wonderful job for IZod, IndyCar and GoDaddy PR wise, she talked with ease on camera, on the radio and talked about the sponsors every chance she could (and to anyone who would listen).  She was herself, in her element, and I enjoyed watching her so at ease with all of that.   But, I especially enjoyed watching her and Dan joke about who could spend it faster and what they would each buy with their winnings. 

Dan and my sister had some sort of connection.  I am not sure what it was, but I believe they each had personalities that melded.  I loved watching them together. I know my sister much better than I ever was able to get to know Dan, but they each showed me that they like to joke around, had big hearts and a love for all people. They really did connect.  I don’t know if it was Dan or my sister who said …. “We are now friends for life.”  And as it turned out they truly were friends for life.

It’s bittersweet that we got to meet Dan Wheldon in the very last week of his life.  He seemed like a genuine, wonderful, and warm person.  It was especially emotional to be right there in the back of his pit, my sister listening to Dan and the last words between him and his pit crew that day.  I wish the outcome was different.   And… I sometimes do wonder why ~ why she was chosen out of all the entries, why Dan had to die, and why we were the ones “lucky” enough to share some of his last days and to witness the track accident that took his life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Leading up to the race, our week in Las Vegas was fraught with oversights and blunders by Izod, IndyCar, Go Daddy, or whomever was responsible for the trip they awarded my sister.  They gave us false information, and actually told us to go places where we would wait and wait and no one would call or show up.  My sister who has trouble walking, was forced to walk and walk–from the wrong bus locations to the wrong pace car ride location.  It was miserable to be constantly lied to…. and I blame IndyCar 100% for that.  Each time an event was happening they’d give us false information.   They wouldn’t give us our passes in advance (I asked), and they wouldn’t even tell us the correct schedule of things.  Why were they so rude and difficult?   Why were they constantly lying to us? I will never truly know. Could it have been that they wanted to have our tickets, and other items to give to their friends who had accompanied them on this trip to Las Vegas, and not to us?   In fact, based on the value my sister got on her 1099 – I would venture to guess they may have spent money on “other things” and charged it to her trip.   

In fact,  I got the feeling they were laughing every day at us with the stunts they pulled.  And instead of having a wonderful time in Las Vegas, I felt like we were the butt of their jokes… “Hey, you know what I did to those “winners” today?   “I told them where the bus was, but they won’t be able to get on, because I didn’t pay for it, or tell them it had to be paid for in advance….. ha ha ha.”   Some of the things I would even consider cruel — like telling us to go into the food trailer for breakfast, after breakfast was over and all that was left was a few slices of bread and some peanut butter.   Ha ha ha… really funny. 

  

 They asked to have my sisters’ tablet back on race day and returned it broken …. and then gave her a hard time about helping her get if fixed.  They told us Dan died in a matter of fact way while they were whisking us out of the track in a golf cart.  We didn’t even get to stay to see the tribute laps.  The events of the week cumulated in making us heart broken over the loss of Dan Wheldon.  It was an emotional time as we kept wondering why we were chosen to be there, experience that miserable week at the hands of the sponsors and then to have it end this particular way.  The sponsors representatives didn’t talk to us, or even return any of our phone calls when we tried to find out about the remaining events of our week.   The only call we got was from the IndyCar PR person wanting my sister to do a “closing” interview.  She didn’t do it.  I was happy she didn’t.  Because, as we struggled with deep sadness in our hearts over Dan and his family – all they cared about was a closing interview.

 

 

  *This article contains my feelings, opinions and observations on the events that transpired during the week we were in Las Vegas for the 2011 Izod IndyCar race.  They are 100% mine, and told from my perspective.

 

With millions of internet users, all of which browse the internet from time to time, it is important to understand how the internet actually works in conjunction with a WAN (area network). What happens when you do that simple search in Google? This illustration helps explain the process:

Ethernet to Wan to Internet - the Process

The WAN Ethernet plays an important part of any internet connection and search on your personal or business computer. Servers, ISPs, your actual machine, ethernet network … All these things come together to provide you (the typical searcher) with a quick response to your online search!

Provided by XO, A Ethernet WAN Provider

Provider – XO Communications

 

HOLIDAY CASH…..  I don’t know about you…. but $250 sure would come in helpful for that holiday shopping that we will be doing in the next few months… or maybe you want to just get a new outfit, boots, or a winter coat. 

How about a plane or train trip home for the holidays?  Maybe some new baby outfits, formula or furniture? 

Well, the choice is 100% yours… because this prize is going to be awarded through paypal…. and then it’s your cash to do anything you please!

~~~~

Welcome to the $250 Holiday Cash Giveaway Event Hosted by Tip Hero 

~~~~

This giveaway is only going to last for 7 days and ends on October 23 at 11:59 US Eastern time.  Bookmark this page and come back daily for extra entries!

Open to United States & Canada, 18+.

To enter please use the PromoSimple entry form below. Good luck!

 

**I did not receive any compensation for this post.  The Its-Annoying blog is not responsible for the payment of this prize. Prize will be handled by Tip Hero.

 

I cannot believe that it has been eleven (11) years and 1 month today (10/11/12) since that fateful day when those airplanes hit the twin towers and they eventually crumbled.  It was a day we will always remember — it was the day things changed forever for us in America.

First, I want to say thank you to all the regular men and woman, the first responders, the fire, police and others who without thought for their own safety rushed in immediately to help others.   I also want to thank all the men and woman who put in countless hours after that disaster to help find the lost, and do whatever they could to bring back normalcy in the lives of those affected.  THANK YOU, it was heroic, it was brave, it was American.

BUTTERFLIES AND CHANGES

 

I wish it was a dream that had never really happened.  The loss of life, the loss of security, the destruction of a landmark and the way we’ve moved forward from there to here.  I look back to that fateful day and see that as the day that changed everything.    

The changes didn’t happen overnight, and they aren’t all bad changes, but they wouldn’t have been as necessary nor as wide in scope had there been no disaster on 9-11-2001.  Some of the changes I am talking about include the Homeland Security branch to our government, the curtailing of our individual freedoms and the fact that just “talking about something” or discussing it, even if you are joking can cause you can be accused of being a terrorist. 

Since that date, we have poured our money into overseas deployments to try and curtail additional terrorist attacks.  We did it at a high cost to our own economy.  I am sure those investments saved lives.  But all the costs weren’t totally and fully apparent then.  The war on terrorism is one that is constantly changing and evolving with ever increasing costs which will never go away.  And… they have had a serious and destructive effect on our economy.  

 We lost more freedom after that event that any other in history – and daily more of those freedoms are being snatched from us “for our own good”. I understand that some of these changes really are for the good of all, and have been helpful to stop those who would harm our people, and our country — but some have just gone way too far.   Our individual freedoms have to now take the back seat for the “good of all”.  Things that weren’t even considered, talked about, or used in the past to try and find “terrorists” are now used freely without regard to any of our “basic” freedoms or rights – and done so without apology.  

One of the things I changed was my flying habits since 9-11…. it’s not because I think the plane will blow up, crash or be hijacked – it’s because of the treatment of passengers by the TSA.  I used to like to fly everywhere, anytime I had the opportunity, and took my chances with a disaster of any kind.  Now it’s something I try to avoid at all costs.  It’s just dehumanizing to have to “submit” to the whims, searches, and demands of the TSA.  If I could tell the TSA anything, it would be that I know anyone can be a terrorist but they are the exception, not the rule.

My business has changed along with millions of other small businesses who for lack of sales and disposable income in this economy have had to adapt or close their doors.  The sad part of that is Americans are losing jobs that will never be replaced.  Too many people are working for less than livable wages because they have no choice – they simply must to survive.  The gap between the haves and the have nots has indeed widened – and more people than ever in this country (especially children) go to bed hungry.

I do not mean to comment about if the changes were right, or just.  I am commenting on the state of our country – since “getting and stopping” ~ THEM ~ became the priority of the government  ~~ the lives, needs and desires of the American people had to take a back seat and I am just not sure anything will be able to stop that now.

*I was not paid or compensated in any way for this article, all opinions are 100% mine.

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