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Andie's Halloween Life Lesson #34

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on October 29, 2010

Costume shmostume.  It's all about the candy.



A few words of advice for trick-or-treaters.....


1. Wear comfortable shoes no matter what.  You want to be able to run/sprint from house to house, and blisters forming on your feet will just slow you down!


2. Don't get stuck trick-or-treating with your three year old sister.  She may be adorable, but have you seen her try to run?  Not happening.


3. Ditch the parents ASAP.  They'll want to take too many pictures, talk to other parents, show off your costume, and stay in your own neighborhood.  They secretly don't want you to get too much candy anyway because it will ruin your teeth!


4. Forget those orange pumpkin trick-or-treating containers.  They might be cute, but they are so not functional. Take an old pillowcase instead for maximum candy holding potential.


5. Share the dum dum's, pennies, tootsie rolls and toothbrushes you get trick-or-treating with your siblings.  Keep the good stuff stashed under your bed!


When all is said and done, it's not about how cute or scary your costume was.  It's about getting enough candy in your sack to last you until Christmas!






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Halloween Survival Tips

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on October 27, 2010

We could have 17 bags of candy in our house and my husband would have no desire to eat any of it.  I on the other hand, could polish off a bag a day if I let myself.  For this reason, Halloween is one of the more dangerous holidays in my book.


This year, I'm going to rely on David Zinczenko's Halloween Survival Tips so that I still fit in my jeans come November 1st. If you're like me (or you are married to someone like me who will complain about eating too much candy after the holiday) then check out these awesome tips!


1. Toss the candy bowl
Alabama researchers found that people who have snacks within reach when they're watching TV consume more calories per day overall. But instead of simply relocating the bowl to another table, limit the potential for mindless munching by keeping the candy bagged and in the cupboard.



2. Consume drinks before treats
Drinking 16 ounces of water before a meal fills the stomach, quells hunger, and helps you lose weight, according to a study presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Use this strategy to help tamp your candy cravings. Just don't substitute a sugary beverage for the water or this strategy will backfire: A can of soda has more sugar than two Hershey's Take 5 bars.



3. Work out on Halloween morning

Lifting weights reduces levels of blood sugar by 15 percent for more than 12 hours after you've left the gym, according to research from Syracuse University. Why does that matter? Some of the sugar you consume will stay in your blood stream, providing energy to your cells, instead of pitching a tent in your belly.



4. Switch to dark chocolate
It won't necessarily save you calories, but dark chocolate boasts a bevy of health benefits that milk chocolate can't claim. Flavonoids in the cocoa help keep your arteries soft, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. And according to new research, a compound called epicatechin might help prevent brain damage from stroke. Keep a bar on hand to nibble on any time you have a craving. Seek out those bars with at least 60% cocoa.


5. Chew gum
Sort through any trick-or-treat bag and you'll undoubtedly discover a handful of Super or Dubble Bubble-those small pink cubes wrapped in old-fashioned, end-twisted candy papers. Instead of plowing through the chocolates and taffies, throw a big gob of the gum in your mouth. The chewing suppresses cravings, and each piece has only about 15 calories.


6. Don't hand out your favorite candy
If your favorite candy is Milk Duds, and you're handing out Milk Duds all night, doesn't it seem likely that you're going to wind up with a pound of chocolate and caramel in your stomach by night's end? Of course! And that's not even factoring in how many Duds you'll plow through as they sit on the counter in the days leading up to Halloween. Choose something less tempting.


7. Keep the candy-calorie load to 400
The fewer calories you take in during candy season, the better off you'll be heading into turkey season. So if you worry that you risk overindulgence, set a caloric limit and hold yourself to it. Four hundred is a good number-indulgent yet not overly destructive.


8. Don't skip dinner
A healthy dinner will take the edge off your candy craving, not to mention temper the blood-sugar rush that converts your body into a flab factory and puts you at risk for diabetes. What you want is a meal rich with fiber and lean protein-think chicken breast with vegetables.


9. Take it outside
The worst thing you can do on Halloween night, after most of the trick-or-treaters have cleared off the street, is set your candy bowl by the door where you can grab a handful every day on your way out. Noshing 300 extra candy calories a day will add a pound of flab to your frame in less than two weeks. Instead, set the bowl on the porch before you go to bed. The leftover candy will be gone by morning, guaranteed.


10. Remember: Halloween is a one-day event
A study in the journal of Nature Neuroscience found that eating junk food doesn't just satisfy cravings-it creates them. That's right; junk food is addictive. Limit your sugar splurging to October 31. If you start a week early, you're going to have a serious candy habit to break after Halloween. You might find it to be frightfully difficult.






* David Zinczenko's Halloween Survival Tips found at Yahoo Health

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Watching Football in 6 Words Contest! Win a 40" TV

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on October 22, 2010

In the 1920's, Ernest Hemingway's colleagues bet him that he couldn't write a complete story in just six words.  And so it was that under these circumstances, the short short story was born. Interestingly enough, Hemingway not only won the bet, but he considered his 6 word story, "For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Used." to be one of his greatest works.


So now, my friends, I want to pose that same challenge to you....



In honor of Ernest Hemingway, American Football, tailgating parties, and the ability we have to cozy up and enjoy sporting events from our own living room, I'm pleased to present...


The "Watching Football in 6 Words" Contest


Your challenge is to write a six word story about watching football.  Not seven, not four, not three hundred and twenty one.  JUST SIX WORDS.   Whether your passion in life is football, or you can't stand the game, write a story!  And please, get creative with this!


Become a follower of Room to Talk if you aren't already, and leave your 6 word short story as a comment below by Sunday, November 21st!  A panel of non-biased judges (comprised of some individuals who know everything about football, along with others who prefer painting their nails instead) will gather and collaborate to determine the best short story.


The winner will take home this brand new 40" Prizmo LCD HDTV to satisfy all of their football watching needs this season!




* Remember, entries MUST be 6 words in order to be eligible. Confused about what a 6 word story looks like?  Check out these 6 word story examples.


** After you submit your comment, it might take a while for it to load on the site.  Please be patient with us, but know your story has been received, and will be posted.  Thanks!


Good Luck!


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Zebra Prints

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on October 19, 2010

This season, one of the hottest trends in fashion and home design are animal prints.  Have you noticed?  Look around and you'll be sure to see coats, scarves, shoes, dresses, rugs, wallpaper, and couches boasting sophisticated feline prints.


Which leads me to today's question:

What do you think about Zebra Prints when it comes to home interiors?


Love it?  Hate it?  Feeling indifferent?



Courtesy Traditional Home



Courtesy House Beautiful




Courtesy Coastal Living



Courtesy Squidoo


Courtesy Coco + Kelley




Courtesy Design Sponge




Courtesy Design Sponge






Please tell me your thoughts. 

And if you LOVE it, check out RC Willey's zebra print furniture!


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Caramel Corn Recipe

Posted by David on October 15, 2010

This is the best caramel popcorn recipe known to man.  I swear it.


Here's the skinny.  While my love for anything caramel prohibits me from saying NO to any caramel popcorn, this recipe is special because it creates a perfect blend of butter, brown sugar and gooey caramely goodness that melts in your mouth.


I could, and have eaten a whole batch on my own.  Your waistline might not love you, but your taste buds will!  Enjoy!





Gooey Microwave Caramel Corn

taken from the Ivory family Favorites cookbook


2 bags microwave popcorn (the more buttery, the better)

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup white corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

1 Tbs. vanilla

1/2 cup butter


In medium saucepan, mix together condensed milk, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches "soft ball" stage.  (This usually takes between 8 to 10 minutes.)


Meanwhile, pop microwave popcorn and pour into large bowl.  Sift out unpopped kernels.  Pour hot caramel over popcorn and stir until well-coated.


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How to Set a Table

Posted by Michael on October 13, 2010

If your mother is like mine, she taught you how to fold napkins, arrange place settings correctly, and the rules of proper dining etiquette.  


If you're like me, it's hard to remember everything your mother taught you, and nice to refer to a cheat sheet occasionally....






Image courtesy of Dinner party menu ideas



Does anyone actually remember all of this???



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Cute or Creepy for $7.50

RC Willey Blogger Profile Picture - Andrea Posted by Andie on October 5, 2010

For not being a big Halloween decorator, I think this Witch is dang cute...... 

Luckily, I don't think you have to worry about her putting spells on innocent children and turning them into rodents. (Am I the only adult still scarred from Roald Dahl's book?)  She looks like an old, sweet granny who likes to sit on her rocking chair and read stories.  Oh, and did I mention?  She's willing to come live on your porch this month for $7.50.






On the other hand.  If you aren't going for 'cute' and what you really want to do is scare the pants off trick-or- treaters in your neighborhood.... I think you could really benefit by inviting these guys to come hang around for a while.  I'm not going to lie, these skeletons scared me silly when I opened a dark, empty office and found them inside here at work a while ago.  Again, available for $7.50.





What's your Halloween style?  Cute, or Creepy?


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