Xylitol Caramel Corn and Giveaway From Xyloburst

I know, some of you are thinking WHAT is Xylitol?   I'll try to make it short and sweet ~ ha!

Xylitol is another HEALTHY natural (not artificial) sweetener.  It has become VERY popular in sugar free gums (and toothpaste) because xylitol actually fights tooth decay.  

One of my personal goals has been to get rid of all my sugar free (aspartame-ahhhh!) gums and switch to 100% xylitol gums/mints.  They don't hold their flavor for hours like the generic chemical laden gums but the health benefit is SUBSTANTIAL!  

Xylitol is not a no calorie sweetener like Stevia, but it has about 40% less calories than normal table sugar and is safe for diabetics  (10 calories per tsp. instead of 15)  

Today I'm going to give you a SIMPLE yummy healthy Caramel Corn recipe that was adapted by the most amazing healthy desert blog, Chocolate Covered Katie.

This is SOOOO good - you will not be disappointed!

Seriously, my kids were fighting over the fact that one kid ate more of it than the other.  I was like STOP fighting, I can make more!!  My daughters reply was this:  "I'd be happy your kids were fighting over your healthier food versions mom, it means it was a success!"  (gotta love my daughter's way of thinking!)

Healthy Caramel Popcorn (serves two people)
  • 5 tbsp unpopped popcorn 
  • 1/4 cup xylitol 
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey 
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Sprinkle of salt at at the very end (keep sampling it until it has the right balance of sweet/salty!)
  • optional: any "extras" you would like (peanuts, chocolate chips etc)

Pop popcorn.

Transfer popcorn into a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the two sweeteners, vanilla and the butter.  Heat on low stirring occasionally, until the dry sweetener is completely dissolved. Now sprinkle in the baking soda, this will foam it up and make it easier to pour equally.   Pour this mixture over the popped corn and stir to coat. If the sauce falls to the bottom of the bowl, scoop it up and keep stirring for a full minute. Sprinkle on the salt and any extras IF you wish.

Recently I had the opportunity to try some samples of Xylitol products from Xyloburst.  They have delicious xylitol gums and mints......watermelon being one of my favorites! 

They are offering one reader a "goodie bag" with a xylitol bag and other great xylitol products worth around $50.00.  (So Fun!!!)

ENDED: comment #2 was drawn by Random.org - Thanks!!!

UPDATE:  I was also given some Xylitol Ice Chips candies that were fantastic!  Check out their site.....they have so many fun flavors including Egg Nog, Root Beer and Licorice - VERY YUMMY!! 

PS this is not a paid (sponsored post) they just sent me samples and asked if I would like to do a giveaway for you guys, of course I said yes. :-)

Ideas on How to Decorate Your Decor with Vintage Books

My two favorite ways to decorate and add personality to a home VERY inexpensively is by hanging plates, or setting up a pretty vignette with old vintage books.

The best place to find BOTH of these items for under a buck is at the thrift store.  I know that Etsy and eBay also offer "lots" of old books so you can always check there too.

I picked up these maroon encyclopedias for .50 cents a piece.  I move them around to different locations when I'm getting the decorating itch :-)

I thought for this version of my Creative Juices Award I would show you beautiful vignettes  with ideas on decorating with vintage books.  

Wrapping jute rope or raffia around a collection of books is a great way to add substance to your book collection and make it a focal piece on your dresser, mantel or console table.

Could not find source

How about using books on your table to make a centerpiece!  It's a great way to add height to something you love.


I personally love books on coffee tables.  I found that a lot of times, it really makes guests feel comfortable.  If they want to sit down and flip through a picture book they relax and do it.


AND if you're some one who has a TON of books and your not quite sure what to do with them - how about these ideas? ;-)

Fill up a non working fireplace with cool old books!


I love how artsy this whole wall collection looks.  The books just add a classic and yet eclectic flair to the room.

Via Domino

There you have it!!  Did you get any good ideas from this post?  Where do you put your old books?  Leave me a comment with any other ideas! creativejuicesdecor

Easy and Healthy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

Believe it or not, I am still keeping to my January resolution and attempting to eat "clean" and healthy!  So........ finding good chicken recipes is top on my list.

I found this Chicken Cacciatore and it was simple and delicious.

It is made with chicken thighs which aren't as lean as the breast but those pieces of meat are TENDER! (And thighs have 50% more iron per equil pieces of breast.)

CHICKEN CACCIATORE (serves 4, adapted from link above)

4-5 Boneless skinless Chicken Thigh (I get a big frozen pack at Costco)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 large onion chopped
3 celery stalks thinly sliced
6 small mushrooms quartered
1/2 c dry red wine (or chicken stock, but I feel the wine is what makes this dish!)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or sprinkle in dried if you don't have fresh)
6 sprigs Italian parsley, plus 1 tbsp chopped to garnish top.
1/4 tsp paprika

  • Thaw out the chicken and then sprinkle the thighs with pepper. Lightly coat with an olive oil nonstick cooking spray . Coat a large nonstick frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and set over high heat until hot but not smoking. Pan-fry the chicken until golden-brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, celery and mushrooms. Fry until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine or stock. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the tomatoes, bay leaf, rosemary, parsley sprigs and paprika.

  • Return the chicken to the frying pan. Simmer, partially covered, until the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, rosemary and parsley. Sprinkle the chicken cacciatore with the extra chopped parsley and serve.

For any one interested in approximate nutrition stats per serving: (not bad, huh)

268 calories
25 g protein
12 g total fat
11g carbs
9 sugars
6 fiber

If you want another chicken recipe - this one is my FAVORITE!!!!  Perfect for your BBQ, and it has a sweet, spicy and sticky coconut chicken!

There you have it!  Another easy, healthy and great tasting chicken 

dish to add to your list. :-)  

~ Selina

Garage Door Makeovers! Trompe l'oeil and Traditional Style

Every once in a while, you run across an obscure blog and your jaw drops..... You're thinking, What?  She should have a billion followers!  

That's what happened when I ran across Lynda's trompe l'oeil painted barn styled carriage garage doors.  

She mentions that they were STARK WHITE before she began.....ya, WHITE!

She PAINTED them to look like cool barn wood!

From white to brown in no time! (I love paint)
Or how about this little scrolly work she did on this ladies home - isn't it amazing??  Really!

The pattern reminds me of an artistic wall art board my friend and I saw at a local home decor shop.  I would LOVE to make something just like that.....maybe I will :-)

This next set of photos was one of the very FIRST projects I saw when I entered the world of blogging.  I am still a subscriber to Remodelaholic and Cassity has even featured a few of my projects on her blog. :-)
Garage doors make up SO much of your home, we may as well make them look the best we can!



That project isn't painted :-)  They put wood over the top of the garage doors.....they give you a full step by step tutorial.

Lastly, I wanted to show you what Terry did from Forever Decorating.  Her husband wanted to have cool hinges, pulls AND windows for his garage doors.  She knew that would be a ton of money so while he was away :-)  she PAINTED on black hinges, pulls and yes, painted in windows.  Now there is some creativity and some GUTS!  

All that you see in black - was just painted on! Even the windows!

If I was to do my garage doors, I would probably buy some dummy hinges like you see on my front door that I did.  They're cheap and hand made from iron.  

I just glued on the cool iron hinges and hammered in the clavoses!  You can see the step by step tutorial of my front door.

What do you think??  

Planning to paint or add embellishments to your garage doors after seeing those pictures?? 

I found a great site that had TONS of garage doors to view in their image gallery.  If you are thinking about updating your garage doors or have new home construction, take a look at all the ideas! 

Here are a few:

Isn't the idea of adding windows ABOVE the garage doors cool!

Classic Carriage style doors with gridded windows.

Carriage style with dummy iron hinges and pulls.

Although this house is in a league of it's own, I couldn't resist adding it because it's just so pretty!!!
Here's to getting our Creative Juices stirred :-)
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