Ore-Ida Totcho Bites #OreIdaTotchos #contest

This is a simple snack recipe. You will need a bag of Ore-Ida tater tots, a utensil and your favorite nacho toppings. I chose sour cream with chives and shredded mild cheddar cheese.

Bake your desired amount of tater tots as instructed by the bag recommendation. Once they are out of the oven and cool enough to touch, use the handle of your utensil to manipulate each tot into a bowl shape.

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Fill each tater tot with your choice of ingredients to finish!

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I received complimentary Ore-Ida tater tots from Influenster. Enter your own recipe or explore more here.

Ore-Ida Tater Tots

You simply can’t go wrong with any form of potatoes. They are one of my favorite foods. I love them baked, shredded, wedged, cut into fries and made into tots.

Ore-Ida tater tots make a great side dish or snack. Cooking is not my forte, but these are quite foolproof. Tater tots always take me back to a more fun and innocent time. They come out crunchy and perfect every time I bake them.

Influenster Jingle Vox Box

I was super excited when I found out that I was chosen to receive the Jingle Vox Box from Influenster. This is my second box from Influenster and I adored the Sunshine Vox Box that I received last year. They both included so many fun products to try out.

The new Hallmark Ittybittys are darling little stuffed characters. I received an Olaf from Frozen, but the selection they carry seems endless. From Star Wars to Disney, they have something for everyone.

I love playing with makeup, but I’ve never been brave enough to try false lashes. This box included a set from Kiss along with a tube of glue. I had a lot of fun applying and wearing them out for a night.

Continuing the makeup theme, I also received a stick of NYC City Proof 24 Hour Eyeliner. Black liner is a staple for me and I left my old brand and converted to NYC after trying this product. It doesn’t smudge and it will last until you remove it.

I tried a nice, affordable nail polish brand, Pure Ice. It’s available exclusively at Wal-Mart and is a great option for anyone on a budget. Home Run is the color I was sent to try and I enjoyed how it turned out, even though I don’t paint my nails much anymore.

I found a new tasty treat to have with my coffee, Biscoff cookies. They are delicious. I also received Cetaphil and a coupon to try Ore-Ida tater tots, both of which I’ve previously reviewed. I had tons of fun testing and reviewing these products.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

I’ve never been much of a lotion user, I prefer to let my hands dry out until they crack and bleed. Every winter I am reminded why I should take better care of my skin, but I never do. Am I lazy or is it a masochistic tendency?

I used a complimentary Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion sample for a few weeks. I never use health and beauty products with strong perfumes. Cetaphil is fragrance free, which is my favorite part of the product. I feel like it performed as well as most other name brand lotions. As with most products, I wish they used simple, organic ingredients, opposed to twenty-lettered chemicals that I can not pronounce.

Losing Mr. Joey

He was fine. He seemed happy and healthy, but within two weeks he was gone. He died and there wasn’t anything I could do to save him.

Mr. Joey and his brother Pretty came to me one morning three years ago. I stepped out back to feed a few of my adopted porch cats and found their tiny, little selves playing on a chair. Like most feral kitties they were intimidated by me at first and it took a few months for them to trust me enough to love on them. As soon as Joey made up with me I fell in love.

934923_541594842568147_1250612564_nLeft to right, Pretty, Nimbly and Joey.

I spent every morning after work playing with and gaining the trust of Joey and four other porch kittens. One day while the kitties were inside the apartment playing Joey curled up in my lap and fell asleep. I was wearing fleece pajama pants and they quickly became his favorite thing to sleep on.

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A lovely local group of women who trap, spay/neuter and release came by my apartment and took about four of the cats, Joey included, away to be fixed. He was gone for two days and I wasn’t sure if they were going to bring him back or not. I was leaving for work one evening and immediately heard intense meowing. I turned and spotted Joey galloping towards me. He greeted me in a way no other animal or human ever has, he was sincerely overjoyed to see me. I burst into tears and almost called in sick to work just so I could spend the night with him.

1964911_853685694692392_6211286326821840339_nHe spent the next year in and out of the apartment, staying inside about 50% of the day, but never wanting to fully commit to the indoor lifestyle. I spent every night off from work with him and we developed a bond that I’ve never had with any other animal and will probably never have again.

All of a sudden he started having trouble breathing and lost his appetite. I don’t make a lot of money, but my boyfriend at the time was kind enough to pay for a vet visit. We took him in that afternoon and they looked him over and decided he had an upper respiratory infection and wanted to test for FeLV before offering any treatment options. Up until that moment I hadn’t even considered him testing positive for it, but once the doctor left the room with him to do blood work, everything came crashing down.

He tested positive.

The only option we had was to give him steroids to increase his appetite, but without an immune system he was unable to fight off the infection. The steroids prolonged his life for about a week, but when the day came, I knew. He could barely walk, he no longer purred and didn’t want us to handle him. I called into work and spent the afternoon comforting him the best I could.

I was seated beside him on the bathroom floor. He would arch his back, scream out, and stare into my eyes as if he was seeking an answer for his pain. I stroked his face, apologized and told him I loved him, over and over again. I felt so helpless. After what seemed like an eternity, he took two heavy breaths and he went still.

My father came over the next afternoon and helped me bury Joey out back where we had first met years before. It’s been about six months since he passed and I still mourn for him everyday. He is the last thing I think about before I fall asleep.

imagejpeg_2_zps8ec11fa9         This is the last picture I took of him.

Animals always take a piece of your heart with them when they leave. I’m trying to fill the void he left in mine with his memories.