Birthday Freebies

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L-R, Top-Bottom: Free dessert at Chili’s, Free entree at Jimmy’s Egg, Free sidekick of ribs at Texas Roadhouse, Free soda at Regal Cinemas (from points accumulated), Free drink (or food item) from Starbucks, photo of tea at Jimmy’s Egg, Dessert at Ruby Tuesday (after getting free burger), French onion soup at Red Robin (after getting free burger), Raspberry white chocolate cake (not free, but oh so delicious!). Links in post. (c)2018

Birthday freebies are one of the fun parts of the week or so before my birthday. I am on all the email lists, and to be honest, I can’t possibly use all of the opportunities that arise in my inbox. Some of the benefits come with joining a rewards club, and some are simply signing up for an email list. I thought I would share some of the best ones, although as I said I didn’t use them all, although many of them don’t expire until the end of the month, so I still have time.

Note: Some free items require an additonal purchase (like an entree, etc.)

TGIFriday’s – free dessert

BJ’s Restaurant – free Pizookie

Chili’s – free dessert

Jimmy’s Egg – free entree

Ruby Tuesday – free garden bar or burger

Red Robin – free burger

FYE – 20% off entire purchase

Hot Topic – $5 reward

Starbucks – free food item or drink – only good ON your birthday

Texas Roadhouse – free appetizer or sidekick of ribs

Do you have any to add?

December – Holiday Season – Recipe

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Cranberry Cheese Spread

I experiemented with this earlier in the year, and decided to have it for breakfast, spread on a croissant last week, and it was delicious. I think it works well as a breakfast spread or as an appetizer/snack on crackers or as a dip for breadsticks, pretzels or vegetables.

Ingredients:

1 cup softened or whipped cream cheese

1/4 cup craisins

Directions:

Mix until incorporated.

Options: To make a dip or larger amount, use the entire container of 16oz. whipped cream cheese (or softened 8oz. block) and add in 1 cup (or your preference) of craisins. Incorporate thoroughly. Chives can also be added for a different, delicious flavor.

Cranberry Cheese Spread. Recipe above. (c)2018

GIVEAWAY!!!

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I’ve decided to have my first GIVEAWAY. It being first, in the hope of others down the line.

The prize:

Embrace Hope heart pin, designed and sold by Penzeys Spices.

I have posted a few times over the course of this past year with links and offers from Penzeys Spices. They have used their platform and their motto, Cooking is Kindness to highlight some of the injustice, racism, and the ongoing threat to our democracy that have been happening since the 2016 election.

Their offers are usually directly related to something happening in the news, both negative and positive. For example, they offered a free 1/2 cup jar of any spice in one of the rainbow colors for the anniversary of marriage equality. They offered Tsardust Memories when convictions started pouring in from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. They offered a free eight jar Penzeys American Heart and Soul Box with regional seasonings from around the country to illustrate our unity. When John McCain died, they honored his patriotism and public service with two free jars of their Arizona Dreaming seasoning. I find owner, Bill Penzey’s customer letters to be inspiring.

Embrace Hope was one of those things that began as a sticker on their bags and shipping boxes. From the moment I saw it, I loved it. I was surprised and very much excited when they made it into a pin. I thought it was the perfect message that everyone, on all sides of the political spectrum need to hear and to carry in their hearts.

I have received a few of these pins free of charge, and I’ve shared them with friends and family. After these midterm elections, while outcomes were not exactly what I wanted and what I think this country needed, and of course, we still have a long way to go for universal voter franchisement, returning oversight to the House is a great thing; for everyone. A more diverse House is a great thing; for everyone.

I wanted to share this sentiment with you, my dear readers by sharing one of the Embrace Hope pins with you through this giveaway.

The fine print:

Continue reading

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924 – 2018)

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​Not sure if this is going to be longer later, but – I’m sad that George Bush 41 passed away. I’ve been listening to both the hagiographies and the realistic assessments of his presidency and public service career. Whatever else he was, he was a kind and decent person who cared about and loved his family and his country deeply. He had faith and beliefs that he kept in his heart throughout his life. He had a good sense of humor, and he made it okay for us to not like broccoli.

He signed the Americans with Disabillities Act and when he was asked to intervene in pushing back the Iraqi regime out from their invasion of Kuwait, he acted. He forrmed a multi-national coalition including Middle Eastern/Muslim countries, and when their objective was done (Hussein going back to Baghdad), he didn’t push an imperialistic doctrine.

He saw, and contributed, to the peaceful end of the Cold War after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, including the reunification of Germany, which is likely one reason that Chancellor Merkel came to pay her respects.

I didn’t vote for him, but I worked for him…kind of. I was a civilian in the Navy’s child development program. In addition to our regular group of military children under five, we were also joined by a couple of displaced kids when their parents were called up and their reserve units were activated during the Gulf War. Oddly, I was less politically active and vocal during Bush’s Presidency than just prior when I was in college and studying political science.

When he pledged not to raise taxes, then got into office, and saw the reality of the economy, he took a leap (and it probably cost him a second term), and for the good of the country, he raised taxes. For the good of the country.

He also closed military bases, which included my being laid off.

At 17, after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted, volunteering for the Navy and was the youngest aviator. He was shot down over the Pacific. He then went to college, and over the span of decades was Congressman, ambasasador, director of the CIA, Vice President and President of the United States. A lifetime of service. A good man.

He should be admired.

This eulogized more than I had originally intended.

The point I wanted to make is that if you’re waiting for someone who is unproblematic in order to eulogize them and offer condolences and respects upon their death after a lifetime of service, you may as well stop now. There is no such person. There will never be any such person. Even Saint Mother Theresa didn’t always believe in G-d, and she’s a saint. The point being that take a forward glance towards the future of state funerals and name the one, unproblematic one that we’re allowed to feel bad for, to admire, to want to emulate aspects of. They are all problematic to someone.

That doesn’t dismiss the valid feelings they invoke, but it may need some additional perspective. 

George HW Bush was a decent man, with morals and he attempted to be better, not better than anyone or any of us or anyone around him, but just better.

And in this world of Wisconsin Republicans overthrowing the duly elected incoming state government (is this the tyranny the NRA has warned us about? But that’s another discussion, isn’t it?), we could all use a little bit more decent.