Outlander TV Series Premiering Next Week

I am sure many of you are fans of Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling Outlander series, a series of novels that combine romance, science fiction, history and time travel. I was excited to learn that the books have been adapted into a TV series, and it is premiering soon, exclusively from Time Warner Cable on the Starz channel.

If you aren’t familiar with the series here is a synopsis:

Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Outlander will premiere August 9th at 9PM EST/PST on Starz. However I was able to get a sneak preview and watch the first episode early, and I was impressed. The production quality of the show is quite high, and the show does a wonderful job of conveying the Scottish Highlands and setting up the mysterious time traveling. The costumes, music, and realistic settings were all very well done.

And the acting was fantastic too! Actress Caitriona Balfe is fabulous as the heroine Claire, and conveys her confusing and dawning horror as she realizes she has traveled back in time. Additionally Tobias Menzies is well cast as her husband Frank/Black Jack, and he has the difficult task of portraying two totally different characters in the two different times. He really makes them seem like two different people!

A lot of first episode is about setting the scene, and the relationship between Claire and her husband Frank. The actors were very believable as a young couple trying to reconnect after being separated for most of World War II. I felt bad for Frank, especially since I knew Claire was about to be torn away from him! There is quite a bit of action in the second half of the show, once Claire travels to the past, as the Scottish warriors are fighting British soldiers. All in all it was a fun premiere, with romance, action and lots of foreshadowing of things to come.

I can’t wait to see what happens next! What does Frank do when Claire goes missing? How will Jamie and Claire’s relationship progress? These are the kinds of questions that will keep me watching!

I read the first book in this series years ago, and I don’t remember much about it beyond the time travel premise and Scottish men in kilts, so it is mostly new to me! Don’t forget to tune in to Starz on August 9th at 9PM EST/PST for your chance to watch! And follow along on Facebook to learn more about the series.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Time Warner Cable. The opinions and text are all mine.

Back to School with Master Lock

This post was sponsored by Global Influence.

Back to school season is in full swing at my house. I have two children going off to college this year, and one still in high school, and they are all making plans and preparations. A recent survey showed that for 1/3 of North Americans a return to routine is their favorite part of the back to school season. I think I fall into that 1/3, because while unscheduled summer days are fun there is something to be said for the consistency of the school year.

And with back-to-school it is also time to think about keeping your belongings safe. Nearly half of North American parents reported that their child has had an item stolen from them at school, and it can be a problem in college dorms as well.

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A New Twist on Cincinnati Chili with Gift Card Giveaway

The Veggetti®, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Ontel.

My family and I love pasta, but sadly it isn’t always a healthy choice for dinners.  Lately we have been trying to cut back on the amount of refined carbs we eat, and one great way to do that is to replace pasta with “noodles” made from a healthy vegetable like squash.  I recently made the replacement in one of my favorite pasta dishes, the classic Cincinnati Chili.

Cincinnati Chili with Zucchini Noodles

It tasted pretty good with zucchini noodles, and then I didn’t feel guilty about adding a decent amount of cheese on top! To make the noodles I used the Veggetti, a new kitchen tool I was recently asked to review.  This is a simple little device that is designed to quickly turn vegetables into healthy spaghetti. [Read More...]

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Blueberries are probably my favorite summer fruit.  All my kids like them too, so we have them frequently in the summer.  Often we just serve them by themselves as a side dish with dinner, but sometimes I like to use them for a special dessert, like this Blueberry Upside Down Cake.

Blueberry Cake

This cake is one of my favorite that I have ever made, because the blueberries are caramelized and soak into to the cake, which is moist and delicious.  I used a lot of blueberries in this cake, basically covering the entire bottom of the cake pan with berries so there was a thick layer of fruit on top when it was finished. [Read More...]

Five Games for Summer Learning

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor fun, but sometimes it is just too hot or stormy! When you have to stay inside it is so easy for to let kids watch tv, play video games or go on the computer. But there are plenty of indoor activities that are just as fun, and can promote learning at the same time. My family loves to play games together, and here are my family’s five favorite that are perfect for a rainy summer day, because they encourage learning and thinking. These games are most appropriate for ages 8 and up.

five games for summer learning [Read More...]

Decorated Christmas Letters – Christmas in July

One of the projects my kids and I did during on Christmas in July celebration was to decorate Paper Mache letters. We decided to decorate the letters to spell out “NOEL”, mainly because it is short and sweet. We used 8 inch high letters and decorated them in a diagonal striped pattern with mostly muted Christmas colors.

Decorated Christmas Letters - NOEL - Christmas in July

They came out looking great, and we are thinking about doing “JOY” and “PEACE” next so we have letters for the whole fireplace mantle this Christmas. [Read More...]

Freshen Up Your Bathroom Routine

This article is sponsored by Cottonelle.

Organized BathroomWhen it comes to bathroom routines sometimes you have to shake it up a little bit.  I recently some redecorating in my bathroom to make it more bright and cheerful.  After all it is a room I am in frequently, so I want it to look nice.  I bought this organizer shelf, which adds color and whimsy to the boring white room.  And even better it provides lots of storage space for toiletries.  Before this our extra toilet paper was generally stored on the floor – which was handy but not very esthetically pleasing!

Now I have baskets for storing my Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper, and the perfect spot to put the Cottonelle Fresh Care Cleansing Cloths in a handy upright container.  These cloths are another new addition that is shaking up my bathroom routine.  They are great for making sure that I feel totally fresh, clean and confident.  Cottenelle calls this the wet dry system – start with a wet flushable wipe and then finish with some dry toilet paper. [Read More...]

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