Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant

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press trip disclaimer Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hang out with some amazing bloggers for the #FranklinCoHarvest One of our stops over the weekend was to the REA Plant in Hampton.  The REA Plant is a building full of history literally.  I got to learn about how Franklin County first had electricity and the farmers would call up to tell them what time they were going to milk the cows or need electricity for other chores.

Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

They have a museum of all the old machinery they used. They also had rooms with tools and machines from the past.   It was so interesting to see everything.

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A History of the R.E.A. Museum

In the early 1930’s only 10% of the farms in the United States used electricity for home and farm purposes. 90% labored the hard way.

  • May 1935 – President Franklin Roosevelt created and signed the Rural Electrification Act. This money provided money to help farmers build distribution lines only.
  • March 1936 – First publicity in Hampton Chronicle: “Are you interested in Rural Electrification?”
  • February 10, 1937 – Federated REA (six counties: Franklin, Hardin, Wright, Butler, Grundy and Hancock) and Central REA (Pocahontas) were each incorporated at Ft. Dodge.
  • February 15, 1937 – Due to prohibitive power charges by electrical plants, Federated asked for a loan of $222,000 from the REA fund. This was a new approach for farmers to build their own generating plant. This loan was granted.
  • March 1938 – Federated (Reeve) lines were generated. “First Coop in the nation to put farmer-owned generated electricity out on farmer-owned lines.” The first diesel engine is still in the plant. There were a total of four engines when the plant was in full operation (the last engine foundation being poured the day of the infamous November 11, 1941 blizzard). The other three engines were removed before the plant was given to the Historical Society.
  • May 1938 – Central (Pocahontas) lines were energized. They had borrowed power from the Reeve plant from March to May.
  • 1948-1950 – Peak period of operation and Reeve Federated then became one of 14 Coops to create Corn Belt Power at Humboldt. Reeve was used as a sub-station for several years.
  • 1988 – Don Yadon of Hampton donated the plant to the Franklin County Historical Society.
  • 1989 – The REA Power Plant Committee under the auspices of the Franklin County Historical Society was formed to renovate the Power Plant. They worked to get it on the National Register of Historic Places, extensively cleaned the structure, and installed new windows, a new roof, painted the interior and opened with an “Open House” in the fall of 1990. Funds for the restoration were from a REAP Grant, donations from the six counties in the original Federated group, Corn Belt Power, and other interested groups and individuals. Over 1800 hours of work was donated by individuals from the community. Since that time the committee has done much work to display what life was like before and after the advent of electricity to rural areas.
  • 2002 – The REA Power Plant Museum was selected as a Point of Interest in the Silos and Smoke Stacks National Heritage Area

Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

History Begins Here

The Museum is open from January 15 through November 15: Monday – Friday, 1 to 4.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is also open Sunday 1 to 4.

Franklin County Historical Museum is located at:

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Cooking Poached Eggs with National Geographic’s Kids Cookbook

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Cooking Poached Eggs with National Geographic’s Kids Cookbook

Cooking Poached Eggs with National Geographic's Kids Cookbook #review donnahup

Jayden loves learning new things. He is always helping out and he really enjoys cooking. He was excited when we got the National Geographic Kids Cookbook.  He found several recipes he wanted to make. We started with the Poached Eggs.

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Jayden is 11 and was able to cook this completely on his own.  We did supervise but only to see if he needed help and of course to take pics of his creation.

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He probably wished he could do all the cooking without pausing for pictures, but he was a good sport.  He had no problem following the directions and making everything.

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I’m pretty sure his favorite part was eating what he made.  Hear what Jayden thought of the cookbook.

Cooking Poached Eggs with National Geographic's Kids Cookbook #review donnahup

I really liked the cook book. It was easy to follow the directions and I really liked the poached eggs. They were fun to make and I will make them again.  I am going to try the other recipes. I think parents should buy this cook book for their kids because they will have a lot of fun cooking.

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A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins

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A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins

A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins #review donnahup

The weather might be cooling off but no matter what the temperature is outside it’s never too cold for ice cream!  In fact, our family is always up for a sweet treat.  In fact just the other day we enjoyed a family outing to Baskin Robbins to enjoy some ice cream together.

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Their Flavor of the Month, Pumpkin Cheesecake, offers a twist on two classic fall flavors and features pumpkin and cheesecake-flavored ice cream, ginger snap cookie pieces and a cinnamon cream cheese ribbon.

Other new flavors they had include:

  • German Chocolate Cake: Swiss chocolate ice cream with coconut, walnut pieces, fudge brownie pieces and caramel ribbon.
  • Peanut Butter ‘N Jelly – Peanut-butter-flavored ice cream with grape jelly and peanut butter ribbons.
  • Quarterback Crunch: Vanilla-flavored ice cream with rice crunchies in a chocolate-flavored coating, and a caramel ribbon.
  • S’More the Merrier – Marshmallow and graham cracker flavored ice cream that features milk chocolate chips and a crunchy graham cracker ribbon.

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I thought the Pumpkin Cheesecake was okay because it tasted more like cheesecake. It was hard for me to taste the pumpkin. I always like ice cream though and there are lots of flavors to choose from.  We like going to Baskin Robbins. You should bring your kids there because you can spend time with them and eat good ice cream.

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Walking Pretty in my Jambu Brighton Boots

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Walking Pretty in my Jambu Brighton Boots

Walking Pretty in my Jambu Brighton Boots #review #fashion #footwear

 

Fall is here and the temperatures are dropping. We were in the lower 30’s this weekend and had a 50% chance of snow. It didn’t snow but it was cold. I love pulling out my boots and wearing them during fall and winter.  One of my favorite pairs of shoes are my Brighton Boots from Jambu.  Aren’t they pretty?!

Walking Pretty in my Jambu Brighton Boots #review #fashion #footwear

I love that they are great for dressing up an outfit or a casual get together.  They’re very comfortable too.  I love the platform sole. I’m on heels but they’re very easy to walk in. I’ve received so many compliments when I wear them.

Jambu empowers people to love their journey through life.

Inspired by the beauty and mystique of the rainforest, Jambu is designed to guide you in style and comfort on your next personal journey – at home or across the globe – so choose the scenic route.

Walking Pretty in my Jambu Brighton Boots #review #fashion #footwear

They’re basically a one stop shop for all your shoe needs.  You can find footwear for men, women and kids and they have more than just boots. Check them out!

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It’s time to #GoProatBestBuy – Get your GoPro @BestBuy

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It's time to #GoProatBestBuy - Get your GoPro @BestBuy #review donnahup #giftideas

My husband and I love to travel and explore. We are always on the go.  I also love taking pics and documenting our adventures.  Sometimes I’m not able to take pictures due the activities. I’m so excited about this new action camera!

Have you heard of the GoPro?! It’s a new line of action cameras that will be unveiling soon and the full line will be available at all Best Buy stores! This launch comes in time for gadget guru’s, adventure seekers and family memory makers to upgrade to the latest technology or add them to their holiday wish list. Best Buy will also have the latest accessories and mounts to help you capture immersive footage of the moments that matter most.

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Winter is just around the corner and that means snow boarding! I have so much fun snow boarding and my hubby loves to ski. I bet we could some fantastic footage with the GoPro!

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Best Buy currently has the broadest assortment of action cameras from the top brands.  I know it’s my first choice for all electronics and even DVDs.

Best Buy is the home of the latest cameras and camcorders, including the full line of new GoPro cameras, plus a broad assortment of accessories. GoPro cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone, from kids and teens, to gadget gurus. GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life.

It's time to #GoProatBestBuy - Get your GoPro @BestBuy #review donnahup #giftideas

GoPro specs for the 3 new cameras:

·         GoPro HERO4 Black: the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award?winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.

·         GoPro HERO4 Silver: the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

·         GoPro HERO: Featuring high?quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.

12x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates

This is at the top of my Christmas list. Why do you want one?

Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.

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Healthy Fall Apple Pie Bake

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Healthy Fall Apple Pie Bake Recipe

#delicious #healthy fall Apple Pie Bake #recipe #lowcarb #LCHF #PlanZ

I’ve been more than thrilled with my success on Plan Z. Not only am I looking better but I’m feeling better too. I have more energy and let’s face it – fitting into jeans I have not been able to fit in for years definitely puts me in a fantastic mood.  My friends have been telling me I look great and I know what the scale says but I see myself every day and it didn’t really hit me until I saw two pictures side by side.

#delicious #healthy fall Apple Pie Bake #recipe #lowcarb #LCHF #PlanZ

In just under a month I’ve also lost one of my chins! It’s a great feeling!  I have to admit though that even though eating clean feels good and tastes good the holidays bring a lot of temptation for me. I love the pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon smells.  So, instead of giving in to the sweet smells I made a healthier version. It’s a win win – I get to enjoy the fall tastes and I don’t have to have the guilt over eating something loaded with sugar and calories.

It’s super simple to make too!

#delicious #healthy fall Apple Pie Bake #recipe #lowcarb #LCHF #PlanZ

I started with one apple and sprinkled it with apple pie spice, PureVia, and a little vanilla.  I then placed it in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  I told you it was easy :)

It’s really easy to make changes too. You could add cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice in place of the apple pie spice. You could also add in raspberries or strawberries. I keep the fruit at about 1 cup per person.  You can also crumble a piece of melba toast on top to make a crust.

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

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Signature Donna #delicious #healthy fall Apple Pie Bake #recipe #lowcarb #LCHF #PlanZ

 

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Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach

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press trip disclaimer Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCreast Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

It’s October and I’m not sure what the temperatures are like where you are but here in North Iowa we hit the 30’s.  It was 31 when I woke up this morning. It’s not cold enough for heavy winter jackets but it’s definitely not shorts weather. While I love the cold weather and where I live I would head back to California in a heart beat.  I had the opportunity to visit the central coast of Cali for the Sunset SAVOR the food and wine festival last month.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

While I was in California I stayed at the SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach.  It was beautiful!  My room was bright yet peaceful complete with a standard amenities, a fridge, a microwave, and my favorite – a balcony.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

 

Yes, this was my view.  I could walk right out and see the beach.  In fact, at night with the breeze coming off the ocean I was able to keep my sliding glass door open.  There was something so peaceful about falling asleep listening to the waves crashing against the shore.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

 

The SeaCrest is not just a hotel, but an experience.  It’s everything you think of when you think of California.  They had breakfast every morning for us and you could eat outside.  There was something very refreshing about starting the day with breakfast on the beach in the sea breeze.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

 

We were just down the beach from the Pismo Beach Pier and within a few miles of multiple restaurants and shops. We were also very close to the highway making it easy to visit up and down the coast.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

 

If you’re thinking of a trip to CA you simply must go! I also highly suggest staying at the SeaCrest while you’re there. Where do you like to travel?

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Wishing Will – Another Fantastic Read by Daniel Harvell

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Wishing Will – Another Fantastic Read by Daniel Harvell

Wishing Will Book Cover Wishing Will - Another Fantastic Read by Daniel Harvell book #review

About a year ago I shared with you how much I enjoyed The Survivors by Daniel Harvell.  I was so excited to get the opportunity to read his newest book, Wishing Will. It was a great read. It may be about a middle schooler, but as an adult I really enjoyed reading it. I love the way that Harvell develops his characters.  There were some surprises and twists in the story line that I never saw coming. I really enjoy reading a book where I can’t figure out everything.

Outcast middle schooler Will Cricket wants a new look, popular friends, cool parents and enough coordination to dribble a basketball – but he never actively pursues any of it. Instead, Will makes wishes. When the magical wishing corporation known as the Sky Castle Network and Enterprises (a.k.a. the SCENE) agrees to grant him his ultimate wish to be someone different, he must work for his reward. Becoming a super-powered agent for the organization, Will teams up with a celestial wish agent with delusions of Hollywood stardom, a shape-changing half-Genie, a narcoleptic Dreamweaver and a stick-in-the-mud wish lawyer. Together, they grant the wishes of Will’s classmates and family members, helping the same people who pick on Will every day. As if these challenges weren’t enough, there’s a mystery surrounding his peculiar grandmother and a malevolent force bent on enslaving humanity. Will might have to fight not only for his wish but also for the entire world!

I found that it held my interest and was a great read.  I recommend it for both adults and young adults.

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Fall Magic Bars Recipe Plus a Sweet Giveaway

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*This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Sweetworks. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic 

Fall Magic Bars Recipe Plus a Sweet Giveaway

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

Fall is here and along with it comes all the amazing smells and holiday food!  My “Happy Fall Y’all” Wreath is on the front door and I have my pumpkin spice candle burning.  The temperatures have been nice and cool as well.  I never need an excuse to bake but the smells and cool temps are definitely a good reason to get in the kitchen and start baking.

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

Aren’t these Sixlets from SweetWorks fun? I just love the fall colors and knew I had to use them in a recipe.

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

I started by putting aluminum foil in my pan and spraying it.  Then I poured melted butter and crushed graham crackers on the bottom of the pan.  This is a fun one to do with the kids. You can put your graham crackers in a ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Depending on your child’s age and “enthusiasm” you may want to double the baggie.

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

Once your crust is laid our a can of sweetened condensed milk and sprinkle with shredded coconut.

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

After the coconut I sprinkled caramel and chocolate chips. This is fun because the kiddos can help sprinkle all the ingredients also. You really can’t mess it up.  You can also substitute the butterscotch or peanut butter chips for the caramel.

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

For the top layer I used my fall colored sixlets.  I love how colorful it looks!  I put it in a preheated oven and baked it for 30 minutes.  Once cooled slice into bars and enjoy!

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

4.9 from 17 reviews
Fall Magic Bars Recipe
 
*Adapted from the Magic Bar Recipe on the back of the Keebler Graham Crackers
Ingredients
  • 1 and ½ cups crushed graham crackers
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 14 oz of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 and ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel chips
  • 1 cup Sixlets
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Pour in melted butter, then graham crackers. Press with spoon to make a crust.
  4. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the crust.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded coconut.
  6. Sprinkle the chocolate and caramel chips.
  7. Sprinkle the sixlets.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Cool then cut into bars.
  10. Enjoy!

 

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Now, I told you this included a sweet giveaway and it does!  How would you like to make your own fall goodies?! SweetWorks is generously offering ten Candy Prize Packages valued at $50 each.  That’s 10 winners!  All you have to do is enter on the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

*Giveaway is open to the US only. Must be 18 years or older. Giveaway ends 10/15/14 at 11:59pm ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fall Magic Bars #Recipe #giveaway #SweetworksFall Sweetworks Sixlets donnahup

Win Swiss Colony Candy Corn Pie Slices

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Swiss Colony Candy Corn Pie Slices #review #giveaway

Swiss Colony Candy Corn Pie Slices Review & Giveaway

Swiss Colony Candy Corn Pie Slices #review #giveaway

Sponsored By: Swiss Colony
Hosted By: donnahup.com

My husband dove into these almost immediately when we received them.  He had half the cakes eaten by the time I finished the photos.  They’re sweet, rich and delicious.  This is a perfect gift for the fall or to bring to dinner parties. We’re even giving one lucky reader their very own tin of Swiss Colony Candy Corn Pie Slices!

Swiss Colony Candy Corn Pie Slices #review #giveaway

You’ll harvest a bounty of gratitude when you send these unique Petits Fours!

  • Layers of cake and butter creme coated with Swiss creme
  • Taste just like candy corn
  • Form a complete “pie” when they’re arranged in our special gift tin
  • Gift of 10; .65-oz. each.

We are giving a tin of Candy Corn Pie Slices to one lucky fan! Just enter on the rafflecopter below.  You can also head over to It’s Free at Last to win Swiss Colony Pumpkin Spice Truffles!

*Giveaway is open to the US only and ends 10/7/14. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends October 7th at 11:59 PM CT. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Open to the US only, 18+ only.  Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Start your day with NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®

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*I received a Dolce Gusto to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.  

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Review

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®  #Review

Fall is here and the temperatures are dropping. I love this time of year. I prefer to have the heater on and stay warm rather than the air to stay cool.  I start drinking a lot more tea this time of year too. It is so good. My hubby is a huge coffee fan.  We especially like the specialty drinks like lattes and expressos.  That is why I was so excited to get our NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®!

The NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® is an award winning single-cup coffee machine delivering up to 15 bar pressure to make the perfect cup of coffee and milk froth every time. It prepares each drink in less than a minute. Our machine combines the expertise and history of NESCAFÉ® coffee making with De’Longhi superior engineering and technical know-how. It’s a match made in coffee-heaven!

dolce gusto in action NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®  #review

 

I love their chai tea.  It’s a perfect cup of tea including steamed milk! It’s so incredibly easy to use too.  My husband is a fan of both the cappuccino and the espresso.  I love that you can make one cup at a time and it’s so fast.  We love it!

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Signature Donna NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® #review

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What did you do last week? I lost 10 lbs with the help of the Plan Z Diet!

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donnahup Plan Z disclaimer What did you do last week? I lost 10 lbs with the help of the Plan Z Diet!

The month of September has flown by.  I have been incredibly busy and usually have a hard time telling you what I did yesterday let alone the past week.  This week is different though, there’s something that’s made my smile a little bigger and has me walking taller. I have lost 10 pounds! Yes, they’re gone and I’m not looking for them. I do not want them back.

One of the reasons that I’ve been so busy is there have been a lot of fall festivities and group outings. While we’re out my friends and I love taking pictures of each other and the fun we’re having. I was looking at the pictures and had a hard time accepting what I looked like.  I look in the mirror every day when I get dressed and I guess I had convinced myself I wasn’t “that fat”.  Fat is such an ugly word in my opinion, but it’s the truth.  I had to admit to myself I was fat and I didn’t like it.

I started thinking about how I was out of breath when I walked up and down the stairs when doing laundry.  I seemed to be having more back problems too lately.  I know it’s not healthy for my body to have all this extra weight.  I am tired of looking and feeling fat. I decided I needed to do something about it.

I started the Plan Z Diet and it has been amazing! Yes, I have been on diets before and they seem to work in the beginning and then I seem to end up right where I began.  This is completely different because it’s more a lifestyle change.

Plan Z Chicken Enchilada Bowl Button Plan Z Diet #review #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

This is what I had for lunch the other day.  I love Mexican food and this had so much flavor. I was full at the end of lunch also.  Every diet I have ever been on has had me eat their food or take a pill.  I really love that I am able to eat real food and learn. Yes, it’s great to lose weight, but my issue has always been after the diet when I say “what do I do now?”

This past week along with my weight loss I have learned about portion size.  I have also made some amazingly delicious meals.

Plan Z Steak and Balsamic Onions Button Plan Z Diet #review #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

The grilled steak and Balsamic Onions were so good!! The onions have become one of my favorite side dishes.  I even get to have dessert! Now we’re not talking sugary junk, but really good food. I had Apple Raspberry bake the other night and it was like eating warm home made pie. So. Good.

Not only are the recipes (that they give you) amazing, but they support you all along the way.  They want you to succeed and stand behind their Diet.  I receive daily emails with tips and encouragement.  It truly is a lifestyle change.

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

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Signature Donna Hup Plan Z Diet #review #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

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Don’t Miss Exclusive Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast

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Don’t Miss Exclusive Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast

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Don’t Miss these Exclusive Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast Experiences:
Tickets are Going Fast for Adventure Tours, “New” Hearst Castle Event and Free National Lamb Jam Chef Battle 

(San Luis Obispo County, CA) – There’s still time to savor once-­?a-­?year, exclusive experiences at Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – the West Coast’s premier wine and food event (Sept. 25-­?28).

Time is running out to experience some of the best Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast has to offer, including culinary adventures with local farmers and a rare and glamorous evening at Hearst Castle complete with lavish food and wine. Or win a chance to get free tickets to witness the final battle between nationally renowned chefs in the 2014 Lamb Jam.

“One of the things I love most about Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast is its one-­?of-­?a-­?kind experiences,” said Stacie Jacob, CEO of Visit San Luis Obispo County, which organizes the event with Sunset magazine, the premier guide to living in the West. “Most wine and food events across the nation feel like they can happen anywhere, but Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast looks and feels like the pages of Sunset magazine come to life. It’s a wonderful way to experience the best of the good life on California’s Central Coast.”

Tickets to these only-­?at-­?Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast experiences are still available if you act fast:

§? Sunset at Hearst Castle (Sept. 25) -­? This spectacular event takes place in a new location on the grounds, with more chefs and expanded regional dishes – paired with medal-­?winning wines from the 2014 Sunset International Wine Competition. This is the first public event to feature these incredible wines from around the world. Rather than wrap around the Neptune Pool as in previous years, this year’s party will surround Casa Grande, Hearst Castle’s main building, as the sounds of San Luis Jazz Band float in the air and inspire you to dance. Local chef Meagen Loring of Meagen Loring Catering teams up with guest chef James Siao from the Finch and Fork Restaurant in Santa Barbara.

§? Lamb Jam Masters Finale (Sept. 28) – American local lamb is having a renaissance and is one of the hottest items popping up on the country’s hottest menus. Purchase your ticket toSunset SAVOR the Central Coast Main Event and receive FREE tickets to a Lamb Jam seminar in Chef Central (limited quantity available) to discover why chefs and tastemakers are falling in love with “the new lamb”. Use code LambJamSpecial when you click on the Lamb Jam seminar of your choice at purchase.

§? Learn to Cook Local Farm Cuisine with Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa Chef (Sept. 25) -­? Hosted by Sunset Food Editor Margo True, this private class takes guests on a farm-­?to-­?table culinary adventure overlooking the sea. Chef Jacob Moss of Lido restaurant demonstrates how to transform fruits and vegetables from Loo Loo Farms and 805 Beef into a delicious grilled meal, paired with wines from Adelaida Cellars of Paso Robles (2013 Wine Region of the Year).

§? Explore the Farm and Foodie Secrets of Arroyo Grande (Sept. 26) -­? The historic town of Arroyo Grande sets the stage for this progressive culinary adventure. This walking tour begins at Comfort Market where Talley Farms experts and Comfort Market chefs will get your hands dirty as you learn how to make the most of your produce-­? centered meals. After a farmstead lunch, accompanied by Talley Vineyards wines, you’ll go next door to the famous Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab to enjoy an ice-­?cream making experience and learn about chocolate from the Chocolate Sheet. Bruce Anderson, Sunset Magazine Editor-­?At-­?Large, joins you for this intimate foodie journey.

§? Celebrate Autumn’s Harvest at Windrose Farm in Paso Robles (Sept. 26) – Join Sunset Garden Editor Johanna Silver at this amazing fifty-­?acre family farm, starting with a harvest tour led by the owners. Sample an array of the farm’s signature heirloom tomatoes and learn how fresh produce can enhance handcrafted beverages as you enjoy one-­?of-­? a-­?kind Bloody Mary’s made with fresh Windrose tomatoes and local RE:FIND distillery spirits. For lunch, sit down to a farm-­?to-­?fork picnic bounty prepared by the talented chefs of Avila’s Ocean Grill.

§? The Main Event at Santa Margarita Ranch (Sept. 27-­?28) offers special wine and food tastings, travel and lifestyle seminars led by Sunset experts, and special ticketed programs (just $25) such as:

  • -­?  The much-­?anticipated American Lamb Board’s national grand finale contest, Lamb Jam Masters Finale, where chefs from all over the U.S. battle for top honors.
  • -­?  Sunday chef and winemaker seminars are a best-­?kept secret, with fewer crowds and amazing learnings, such as how to test your wine Blind Tasting Skills. Or push the boundaries of wine tasting and taste unconventional blends at the Grow Wild with Paso Robles Wines seminar. Or savor culinary secrets and trends during intimate sessions withcelebrity chef Tanya Holland and Sunset Food Editor Margo True.Buy tickets at www.savorcentralcoast.com. See us also athttps://www.facebook.com/SavorCC, or @SavorCC.About Visit San Luis Obispo County: Visit San Luis Obispo County promotes San Luis Obispo County through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales. Its membership base is comprised of over 500 tourism industry-­?related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores. Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast is produced and managed by the Bureau. For more information on Visit San Luis Obispo County, please visit www.VisitSanLuisObispoCounty.com.

    About Sunset: Sunset (www.sunset.com) is the leading lifestyle brand in the West. Through magazines and books, events and experiences, and digital and social media, Sunset covers the West’s best flavors, destinations, design trends, and innovations. Sunset engages and inspires an audience of over five million educated, active and affluent consumers every month through its five regional print editions—Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Southwest and Mountain—as well as via all tablet devices and its website. In addition to its print and digital publication, Sunset showcases the region’s unique lifestyle and noteworthy destinations through its flagship events, established home programs, licensing partners, books and International Wine Competition. Sunset is produced by Time Inc., one of the largest media companies in the world.

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Could it be time to cut your Cable Cord?

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Could it be time to cut your Cable Cord?

Could it be time to cut your cable cord

Fall TV is back, but it may be time to cut the cable cord.

Do what?! Don’t worry, I didn’t say get rid of the TV, just the cable. Stick with me for a few.  I remember a time, not that long ago when we had a house phone. I was in Jr High and caller ID was the next big thing. If my parents wanted to get a hold of me, I had a beeper. I didn’t have a cell phone until my senior year of high school and it was one of those old boxy ones with the earpiece that slid up.  My dad still has a land line but I have not had once since college.

Many Americans have decided to cut their landlines and instead use mobile devices at home. In addition to cutting phone landlines, many Americans have also decided to cut their subscriptions to cable or satellite TV, as they have found alternate ways to stream movies and TV at home via smartphones and tablets.

How much do you spend on Cable each month? I know we have spent anywhere from $80 to $150 a month over the last few years. That’s a nice chunk of change that I could use for other things.

I’m not saying get rid of your TV. While I do understand that there are those who have done that, I know my family and I enjoy watching movies together. There are also quite a few TV shows that I really enjoy.  Did you know that you can also rely on your mobile devices for entertainment purposes within your homes?

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One of my favorite things to do on my iPad is stream movies.  There are so many apps like NetflixHulu Plus, and of course iTunes.  Thanks to the reliability of U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network I’m able to watch my movies with no issue.  iPads are not the only device you can stream movies on. There are other cutting-edge devices like the Apple iPhone5S or Samsung Galaxy S5.

You can even use your mobile technology to stream entertainment, even if you still use cable and / or satellite TV.  Starz, HBO, and Encore all have their own apps.  These features are really nice when we can’t agree what to watch.  It’s amazing how technology can enable better moments through simplifying and enhancing your life.

Did you know that Americans who no longer subscribe to cable or satellite TV have increased 44 percent in the past four years to 7.6 million households, according to an Experian Marketing Services report?  A recent U.S. Cellular survey revealed that 79 percent of respondents use a smartphone daily. Of those, 84 percent have cable or satellite TV, but 34 percent have considered dropping it for alternate services. Furthermore, 15 percent are likely to discontinue cable or satellite TV in the next year. Smartphones and tablets, such as the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy S5 and Apple iPad Air, are popular devices to watch downloaded or streaming video.

By using a mobile device with 4G LTE speeds you can keep up with your favorite shows wherever you are.

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If you still like watching movies on the big screen you can reduce your monthly bill by turning to cable alternatives such as Roku. We have one and we’re able to pull up our Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and more up on it.

Smartphones and tablets have reduced the need to fully depend on a remote control to find your favorite TV show, sporting event or a movie.  You can actually use your phone or tablet as a remote!

With the fall TV season set to debut soon, here are tips and questions to help you decide if it’s time to tune out cable or satellite TV:

  • Determine what TV shows you watch. If your list is small, Google Play and iTunes sell individual TV episodes for $1.99 to $2.99. Season passes are available at a discount rate.
  • Hulu Plus and Netflix offer monthly subscriptions that begin at $7.99, and you can watch HD shows on all of your devices including your computer, tablet or smartphone.
  • Are you already a subscriber to at least one of the above mentioned monthly subscription sites? Then you may be interested in purchasing a streaming media player such as a Roku, Apple TV, orAmazon Fire, which allows you access to thousands of channels, subscriptions services, convenient ways to rent or buy movies, watch on demand shows and play games.
  • Are you always on-the-go and can’t watch your shows when they initially air? Being able to stream them wherever you are from a tablet or smartphone with an inexpensive subscription may be a more efficient way to see your favorite storylines.
  • Do you watch a variety of comedies, dramas and sporting events on a wide range of channels? While alternatives are available, it may be better to keep your cable or satellite service to ensure you can continue to watch everything you want.

 If you have children that have access to devices they can stream TV and Video from I would highly recommend downloading the free Parent Child Agreement to help start a conversation on online safety and usage.

I’m curious, have you cut the cord already? Have you thought about it?

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Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres

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Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

I am so excited that Fall is here! Growing up in south Florida we didn’t really have seasons. Okay, we had summer and hurricane season. We also bundled up when it hit 70 degrees.  Things have definitely changed for this girl.  I love that I get real seasons! Fall and Winter are my favorites.

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I love the smells of Fall and seeing the beautiful colors.  I was trying to explain to my 7 yr old nephew (who lives in FL) last year that the tree really did have red leaves. I sent him a picture and he could still hardly believe it. I also love the activities that come with this time of year. Last week the other North Iowa bloggers made a trip to Enchanted Acres.

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

Where do I begin? There is so much to do! It’s a great place for families and there is something for everyone. I love the grounds. There is a beautiful red barn and so many picture opportunities, which I made sure to take advantage of. I want to give a thank you to Jeni from Jeni Eats. She was kind enough to take my picture all day. If it’s a picture of me, Jeni probably took it.

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There was a playground with huge tractor tires, a fire pit with benches to sit around it, and animals!

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They had goats and chickens. I got to pet the goats and even hold a baby chicken!  The baby chickens from Hoover’s Hatchery were adorable!

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Inside, Shannon explained to us the difference between types of pumpkins. I had no idea certain ones were better for baking!  She has a huge pumpkin patch too! I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks and get some.

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We had so much fun making Pumpkin Pie in a bag. It was surprisingly easy. Katy from Learning as I Go and Sara from All in an Iowa Mom’s Day are working on the filling here. I’m not sure if it’s a midwest thing, but I have never made it.  I also loved that everyone could take part. Val from Corn, Beans, Pigs, and Kids brought her two little ones and they were able to participate also.

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Amy from Modern Rural Living and I had a modified version (no crust) so we got extra whip cream. My favorite part was trying our creation. Our pumpkin pie in a cup was delicious! This is something I would totally do with my nephews and nieces!

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We also got to participate in arts & crafts! We used duck tape and modge podge to decorate pumpkins! It was so much fun.  Make sure to check out their Calendar of Events for the different projects and story times.

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We all made a few and mine are sitting on my dining room table now.  It was such a great day. I can’t wait to go back! I highly recommend it for a day of fall fun!

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