December 2014 - Simply Samantha
new year

Cheers to the Year

8:00 AM

How did 2014 go by so fast?? I can believe 2015 is now upon us. 

I usually make a list of things that I would like to accomplish in the new year and post it here on the blog but I feel like 2015 is going to be the year I just take on the world one day at a time.
I do have a few things lined up to get accomplished for January though...

New Camera :: My husbands lovely Canon T1i decided over Christmas break that it wasn't going to read my memory cards anymore. I figure for the price that I could pay to get it fixed I could just go ahead and buy a newer body.
Dear, Canon T3i, I can't wait for your arrival :) 

Healthy Eating :: I think this is first on EVERYONE's list after the holidays. I am ready to get back to healthy eating. I've had way to much soda, sugar, and cheese these past 2 weeks. It's time for salads, quinoa, and lots of water.

Sprucing up the place :: My blog needs a little sprucing up. I feel I will never get to a point were I won't be making my blog look better. Oh well. lol
SPEAKING of sprucing up the place, our home looks so sad without all the Christmas decoration. I need to start working on changing that as well.

Enjoying time with the pup :: I have a couple weeks before I start working again so I have a couple weeks to enjoy all the puppy love I want all the day long.
(p.s, the pup has taken over my instagram

Blogging More :: In this last half of 2014 I have found this crazy passion for blogging. Even if its just a review of a product or something going on in my life, I still love writing about it. I feel that passion is going to spill into 2015 as long as I stay motivated and inspired.

What are your plans for the beginning of the year friends?? 
Have any small resolutions? 

I'm trying not to make any but like every year, I would like to take more pictures and read more in this new year. 


Why the big deal

12:00 AM

As I was scrolling through my facebook feed this morning with my cup of coffee in hand and "Hart of Dixie" playing on the tv in the background, I saw there was a lot of controversy going on with an article Redbook did on Kaley Cuoco and some things she said in that article.

Here is a little except from eonline about her interview

Asked if she considers herself a feminist, Redbook's February cover girl replied, "Is it bad if I say no?"

Presumably more than a few people on the Internet will have an answer for her, but let the actress explain.

"It's not really something I think about," Cuoco, who will celebrate one year of marriage to tennis player Ryan Sweeting on New Year's Eve, told the magazine. "Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around... I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that's because I've never really faced inequality.

"I cook for Ryan five nights a week: It makes me feel like a housewife; I love that. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I'm so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mom was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off."

So, I don't usually put my say out on things like this, but what she was talking about kind of struck me because I can relate. 

Now, I've never been asked if I was a "feminist", I've never encountered an event or issue that I felt I need to stand up for as a woman. However, being a very young married woman in today's society I feel the pressure to be a "feminist" and do my own thing even though I'm married.

When did being married and serving your husband becoming a bad thing? When did this world decide that serving our husbands is beneath us and we as women need to revolt and stand up for ourselves. 
It's like being a housewife is this "voodoo" thing people look down upon. I've had people that I've encounter act shocked when I tell them how old I am and that I'm married, and *GASP* I like being a housewife and that is my first priority. 

I feel its worse the younger you are. I think for young women, the world exudes this need to feel accomplished before marriage. That being a feminist and standing up for yourself should be your most important accomplishment. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we shouldn't stick up for ourselves. But in the right context and for the right reasons. Not so you can just be called a "feminist".

I don't know about other women out there but I feel accomplished by serving my husband. I feel accomplished making sure he has something to eat for dinner when he comes home, that the home isn't in total shambles when he walk's through the door, and that I don't add to his burdens.

Women that don't consider themselves "feminist" should not be looked down upon or critized. In a country that is so bound to find equality, it seems weird that this controversy between being and not being a "feminist" is not inequality itself.

You don't hear many women in Hollywood, like Kaley, saying that they "like serving their husbands" and the being a feminist isn't that important as being their for their husbands. For her to say something like that took a lot of guts. If I can get looked down upon by some people for being "old fashioned" in my own little town, I can only imagine the backlash she is getting out in Hollywood

I know everyone isn't going to agree on everything I just said but that's what this blog is for.
For me, from time to time, to voice my own opinion.

Thanks for letting me step on my soap box and express my feelings readers. 


Merry Christmas

9:00 AM

Merry Christmas
The Riley's

Steve, Samantha, and Bruno

The Riley's Merry Christmas

Hope your holiday's are merry and bright!!!

See you in the new year!

Canyon Bakehouse

Canyon Bakehouse Review + Giveaway

8:00 AM

Have you ever found a Gluten Free product that makes you say to yourself,

"This is the best gluten free (insert said product here) EVER"! 

This is how I feel about Canyon Bakehouse. Their bread is probably THE BEST Gluten Free EVER
Canyon Bakehouse
They have a great variety of products that can be found all over the United States. 
They are also sold in Target!  
Find where they are sold near you here
:: ::
 canyon bakehouse giveaway!
I didn't even wait till I was finished taking pictures before I broke into and ate a Cranberry Canyon Crunch.
It was so delicious.
We also had a nice GF spaghetti meal the other night and the Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia was a perfect side to the dish. It was so thick and moist you wouldn't guess it was gluten free. 

Canyon Bakehouse

I was planning on making some yummy gourmet grilled cheeses with the bread for dinner one night to go along with this post but I ran out of time :o
Within the next couple weeks though be on the lookout for a post/recipe in which I use the Canyon Bakehouse breads.
I think the Mountain White will be PERFECT for grilled cheese.

Canyon Bakehouse giveaway

Would you like to have all the products seen above??
Well, now you have a chance too! And just in time for Christmas!

Canyon Bakehouse wants to send one of my lucky readers a nice little kit filled with all 3 breads you see above including the Canyon Crunch Muffins and Focacccia Bread!

Thank you Canyon Bakehouse for all the goodies!!

*Disclosure: Canyon Bakehouse sent me these products in exchange for a review. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.  

UPDATE::: The GIVEAWAY is now closed and Manda is our winner! Congrats Manda! I will be emailing you today so keep an eye out!



8:00 AM

Have you heard of Zevia? If not, then you are missing out! They offer some of the best natural, zero calorie soda's out there. They are so good and SO MUCH better for you then those "other" sodas.

Right now Zevia is running a great campaign called #CheersTo

Zevia is spreading the holiday cheer! Follow Zevia and share the little moments that mean the most on Instagram and Twitter with #CheersTo for a chance to win oodles of prizes from now through 12/31! Peep at all the holiday sparkle in the gallery and follow along on their instagram and twitter feeds for the daily winners!
Zevia #CheersTo

In honor of their #CheersTo campaign, I made one of my favorite "mocktails". A Shirley Temple.

Zevia #CheersTo Shirley Temple

Its so simple. All you need is a can of Lemon Lime Twist (you could also use ginger ale ), then add a splash of grenadine (you can find this at your local grocery store).
 Add a couple maraschino cherries to top it off and Voila!

  Zevia #CheersTo Shirley Temple

You can see my #CheersTo moment on instagram here :)\

#CheersTo Zevia for this awesome Christmas Campaign! 


MTM Giveaway ::Winner::

8:00 AM

Thank you to everyone that entered the Modern Table Meals Giveaway!

And the winner is....

Marissa Lee!!! 
(winner was chosen randomly via raffle copter)

Congrats my friend!
 I will be emailing you soon so keep an eye out! 

A HUGE thank you to Modern Table Meals for the opportunity to host the giveaway!!

Please help me in supporting this great company and either purchasing their products online or in store!
Remember,They are opening in new store's in 2015 so don't forget to check the store locator often!  

 Modern Table Meals Giveaway

easy cooking

Modern Table Meals ::GIVEAWAY::

8:00 AM

As many of you know, I have 3 things that I shoot for when making dinner.


 Modern Table Meals
I received my first Modern Table Meals package in a gift bag from the Wow Summit a couple weeks ago. I was immediately interested because it was gluten free, healthy pasta, and seemed easy to make. After trying it, I knew I had found my new favorite "go to" for nights when we need a quick and healthy meal.
It only takes 15 minutes to make each Modern Table Meal!!
I was so excited when the lovely people at Modern Table Meals sent me the bag, pictured above, filled with more goodies for me to try out!

What are Modern Table Meals you may ask?
Modern Table Meals is a line of high protein and GMO free complete meal kits. Each kit includes pasta made from beans along with dried vegetables, sauce and seasoning to customize the flavor to your family’s tastes. 

  •         Teriyaki White Bean & Broccoli Noodles with Teriyaki Sauce & Sesame 5-Spice Sauce *not gluten free*
  • Mediterranean Green Lentil Rotini with Garlic Herb Sauce & Mediterranean Citrus Seasoning *gluten free*
  • Italian Red Lentil Penne with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Parmesan Herb Seasoning *gluten free*
  • Southwest Red Lentil Rotini with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Chili Lime Seasoning *gluten free*

I love the pasta's. Being gluten free I have become kind of picky with my pasta. I am not a fan of corn pasta. I think its not as beneficial as other GF pastas out there, and you run the risk of ugly GMO's in corn pasta.
I love the fact that Modern Table Meals use's lentils and beans for their pasta. I think it gives them so much more flavor and more nutrition.

Modern Table Meals

It is creamy, flavorful, and delicious. It also makes for good leftovers :)
Modern Table Meals

For my Vegetarian and Vegan friends, all four flavors are vegetarian.  Two flavors, Southwest Red Lentil Rotini and Teriyaki White Bean and Broccoli Noodles, are vegan.

Modern Table Meals can be found across the country! Use their handy Store Locator to find one close to you : :

If you are like me and find there are no stores close to you that sell Modern Table Meals, you can also order online!
 : :
Modern Table Meals

They will be launching in more stores in 2015 so be sure to check your local health food stores and the store locator on the Modern Table Meals website.

Guess What Readers.
Modern Table Meals wants to send you a wonderful kit filled with their wonderful meals!

For my Gluten Free Friends. Don't be scared to enter just because the Teriyaki isn't gluten free
 (for obvious reasons: Dang you SOY SAUCE), 
do what I did and share the love and give it to a gluten eating friend :) 

Just enter below! 
This contest ends on the 13th at 12am so enter soon! 
I'll announce the winner on the 15th so stay tuned!

PLEASE remember the comment below so I know you entered! 

Thanks to Modern Table Meals for sending me their wonderful products and for doing the giveaway!

*Disclosure: Modern Table Meals sent me these products in exchange for a review. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.  

blogging for books

Greater Devotional Review

8:00 AM

The Greater Devotional : by Steven Furtick

In Greater, Pastor Steven Furtick challenged us to dream bigger, start smaller, and ignite God’s vision for our lives. In this devotional designed for daily guidance, you’ll begin your journey toward the greater life God wants for you. 
Over the next forty days of teaching, scripture readings, and prayer, your life will change. You’ll find the confidence to believe that nothing is impossible with God, the clarity to see what He’s calling you toward, and the courage to take your next step.
Dream bigger. Start smaller. Ignite God’s vision for your life.

My Review: 
I thought I had lost this book days after I received it. I was relieved and thought it was rather funny that my husband had taken it( he's a big fan of Furtick's). So with that said, I only got to take a quick look at it since my husband was engrossed in it every morning. This is a great devotional. My husbands (and my) favorite part of this book is how compact it is. There is a lot of information and great advice put in every day's lessons. It's also quick and easy to do on busy mornings. Steven Furtick is a great preacher and writer and this is just another great book by him.
This would be a great christmas gift for anyone, especially husbands ;)