Quinoa Crustless Quiche

This is a delicious, crustless version of Quiche. The quinoa holds everything together beautifully and is so healthy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups pre-cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham (I used smoked turkey sausage)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 bag baby spinach (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tomato
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

First, put the cooled quinoa in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, 1 cup of the cheese, sour cream, spices, Dijon mustard, and pepper.

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Heat Olive oil in large fry pan, saute’ onions till they start to caramelize. Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Then add the ham (or sausage) and spinach. Cook until the spinach starts to wilt, 3 – 4 minutes.

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Let the spinach mix cool slightly, then add it to the egg mix.

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Pour into a well-greased baking dish, cover with the rest of the shredded cheese. Then bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Run a knife through the center to make sure it’s done.

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Now take some thin slices of tomato and put them on top, then sprinkle everything with Parmesan cheese. Then place under the broiler for a few minutes.

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Now ENJOY! :)

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Quinoa Crustless Quiche
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups pre-cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1½ cups diced ham (or smoked turkey sausage)
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese
  • 1 bag baby spinach (about 3 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tomato
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Put the cooled Quinoa in a mixing bowl (I usually make it the night before), add eggs, 1 cup of the cheese, sour cream, spices, garlic, Dijon Mustard and pepper.
  2. Heat Olive oil in large fry pan, saute’ onions till they start to caramelize. Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Then add the ham (or sausage) and the spinach. Cook until the spinach starts to wilt, 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Let the mix cool slightly before adding to Quinoa egg mix.
  4. Pour into a well greased baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees (note: cooking times may vary). Run a knife into the center to check for doneness.
  5. Top with thin slices of tomato and grated parmesan. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until golden brown.

 

Book Review: Gone Girl

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On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Gone Girl is not a book to keep you guessing Whodunnit, because you can pretty much figure it out at the beginning of the book. But instead you’re left wondering how far things will go. This book was not as gripping to me as Dark Places was and I found it a little hard to get into. I never really felt close to any of the characters…they were all pretty obnoxious. And I felt like the whole book was a bit repetitive.

And the ending of the story left me like tumblr_n51590TcKG1qgf1i8o1_500That is NOT ok.

I think this may be one of the rare occasions when I actually think a movie would be better than the book. I think it would be easier to relate to the characters and get into the story if we could actually see them. Also, I heard a rumor that they’re changing the ending for the movie. I am actually looking forward to seeing the movie…here’s to hoping it’s not a flop!!

Reading now and next to review….yet another Gillian Flynn book!

Book Review: That Night

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As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.

Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.

Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni’s innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni’s life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.

But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.

 

I was in the middle of reading Gone Girl when I received an advanced reader edition of That Night by Chevy Stevens. I decided to pause my reading of Gone Girl to read it. I can’t tell you the last time I read a book that fast. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will not be able to put it down. I loved how the chapters alternated between the past and the present…each being equally full of action, mystery, and thrills. This book really made me start thinking about how often stuff like this really happens and innocent people are sent to prison. I just can’t even imagine. All of us were teenagers and we all did stupid things. What if those stupid things gave people the wrong impression of us and we were accused of something we didn’t do just because we were “bad”. It really makes you think twice about judging someone. I’m not going to give you any hints about what really happened “That Night”…but I will tell you that it will blow your mind! Fanstastic book…definitely a must-read this summer! Chevy Stevens is a fantastic writer and I look forward to reading more of her books!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I was very happy with the way these little sandwiches turned out. They were delicious, the kids loved them, and they were the perfect size for little hands. And even better, they’re so easy to make! Who loves crockpots? I do! I do! ;)

Here’s what you’ll need to make the chicken:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used a bag of the frozen chicken breasts)
  • 12 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Place the frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot. Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl, then pour over the chicken.

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Now put the lid on the crockpot and let it cook! :) Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

When the chicken is done, take them out of the crockpot and put them in a separate bowl.

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Now shred the chicken. You can use a fork to do this, but the easiest & quickest way is to use a hand mixer!

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After you have the chicken nicely shredded, spoon some of the sauce out of the crockpot onto the chicken…use as much as you want to get to your desired sauciness. :)

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Then just put some of the chicken on a Hawaiian roll, top with cheese & pickles…and voila! A delicious BBQ chicken sandwich!

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Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 oz. bottle BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Hawaiian Rolls
  • Cheese
  • Pickles
Instructions
  1. Put frozen chicken in crockpot.
  2. Mix BBQ sauce, dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce together in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour dressing mixture over chicken.
  4. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  5. Remove chicken from crockpot and place in separate bowl.
  6. Shred the chicken using a hand mixer.
  7. Spoon out desired amount of sauce from the crockpot and pour over chicken.
  8. Make sandwiches using Hawaiian rolls, cheese & pickles. (Or whatever other toppings you desire)

Book Review: Dark Places

 

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“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.”

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club… and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

Wow this book was great! It was a little gory and creepy at times and I found myself wondering why I chose to read it at night after everyone else was asleep (not for the squeamish). It was so great though that I couldn’t put it down. I found myself staying up way too late because I just had to know what happened next. Halfway through the book I knew for sure who the killer was…then I had doubts…then I knew it was someone else…then I had doubts. That’s what Gillian Flynn does in this book…keeps you guessing the entire time. This story just gets in your head and you think about it even when you’re not reading. What a great TV series this story would make. Each episode could be about Libby trying to find out who murdered her family…I would definitely watch it! But I do believe they are making this into a movie instead! With Charlize Theron as Libby Day…holy cow I can’t wait to see it!! I don’t really know what else to say about this book, except READ IT! This was the first book by Gillian Flynn that I read, and I loved her style so much that I started reading Gone Girl, and after that I’ll be reading Sharp Objects! I hope they’re as good as this one was!

Easy Corn Pudding

I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it, so I made it again for Easter and once again it was devoured. I’d say it’s a keeper! And so easy too! Call it corn pudding or call it corn casserole..it doesn’t matter…just make this..NOW! ;)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12-13 ears fresh corn
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Now this is real difficult…are you ready?

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut all of the kernels of corn off the cobs and put them in a bowl. Be careful..we don’t want fingers in that bowl ;) It should make about 6 cups of corn. Scrape the cobs with the back of the knife to get any milk and pulp off the cob into the bowl, then discard the cobs.

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Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, whipping cream and butter. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, whisking until smooth. Now stir the corn into the bowl also.

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Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

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Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes.

Ribbet collage

Easy Corn Pudding
 
Ingredients
  • 12-13 ears fresh corn
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • ½ cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut kernels from cobs into a large bowl (about 6 cups). Scrape milk and remaining pulp from cobs into bowl.
  3. Combine sugar and next three ingredients.
  4. Whisk together eggs, whipping cream and butter in a large bowl. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in corn.
  5. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes.

 

 

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

11870085Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

If you read my last book review, I mentioned that the next book I was reading was not this one. Well, then we went on a cruise and I didn’t want to bring my kindle because I was afraid I would lose it. My stepdaughter had this book so I borrowed it to read. Then I totally got immersed in it and couldn’t stop. The other book doesn’t even matter anymore. I wasn’t that into it anways and probably won’t even go back to finish it…I say that now but I have a weird thing about finishing books…it nags at me and nags at me until I finish it. Even books I don’t like. So..we’ll see… ;)

*May contain spoilers*

That seems like the world’s shortest book summary there, doesn’t it. I know I read the summary and thought..ok a book about some kids dying of cancer. Who wants to read about people dying of cancer? You already know it’s going to be sad and you’ll probably shed a few tears. But let me tell you, there is so much more to this book. The characters in this book are amazing…right down to Van Houten..the crotchedy old man that you want to hate but end up loving. Yes…even old Van Houten has a tragic story. But the stars of this story are, of course, Hazel and Augustus. Can you imagine meeting the love of your life only to know that you won’t get to spend a long time together? It’s heartbreaking. These kids have already been through so much in their short lives that it has aged them. They don’t talk the way “normal teenagers” do, and they don’t worry about things that “normal teenagers” would. All they want is to have a little relief and to not have to constantly worry about the pain, the cancer, being able to breathe, etc. There are so many great quotes in this book. These teenagers are wise beyond their years. Here are some of my favorites:

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I just can’t wait for the movie! I’ll definitely need the tissues for this one!

What I’m reading now and next to review:

Crockpot Mac & Cheese

This is one of the best mac & cheese recipes I’ve made. Everybody loves it and it’s always a hit! And of course it’s super easy because it’s a crockpot recipe :)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 box (16 oz) elbow macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

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First, you’re going to boil the macaroni like you normally would. While that is boiling, shred the block of cheddar cheese. Don’t buy the bags of shredded cheese because they don’t melt the same…trust me. After you have all of the cheese shredded, melt it in a medium saucepan along with the butter.

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Now, in the crockpot combine the butter/cheese mixture, the 3 eggs (make sure the eggs are beaten well…you don’t want big blobs of eggs in your macaroni), sour cream, soup, milk, salt, pepper & mustard. Stir it all up.

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Now add the drained macaroni and stir it all up again.

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Now put the lid on the crockpot, set it on low and let it cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. When it’s done cooking, I usually end up adding more salt, pepper & dry mustard to taste. Then I like to sprinkle the top with paprika…but that’s up to you :)

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Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. box elbow macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 (10¾ oz.) can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the elbow macaroni like you normally would.
  2. Grate the cheddar cheese. Then melt in a medium saucepan with the butter.
  3. Add the cheese/butter mixture to the crockpot along with the sour cream, soup, milk, eggs, dry mustard, salt & pepper. Stir well.
  4. Add the drained macaroni to the crockpot and stir again.
  5. Put the lid on the crockpot and cook for 3 hours on low, stirring occasionally.

 

 

Pinterest Wednesday

Well it’s hump day! And you know what that means….besides seeing multiple posts of the hump day camel…it means it’s Pinterest Wednesday!! So here’s a peek at some pins that I love.

 

I’ve been searching for more fish recipes lately…trying to feed the family healthier food :) This recipe sounds pretty good! But the question is…will my kids eat it??

Balsamic Orange Ginger Glazed Cod

Balsamic Orange Ginger Glazed Cod

 

This is seriously so amazing! I really hope it works as good as I’m imagining!

Cake tongs. Why am I just finding out about these??

Cake tongs. Why am I just finding out about these??

 

Speaking of healthy eats! You all know I’m a buffalo addict so I really want to try these! I doubt my kids would eat them, but that just means more for me!!

Crispy Buffalo Style Quinoa Sliders with Sweet Corn + Scallions

Crispy Buffalo Style Quinoa Sliders with Sweet Corn + Scallions

 

This is really pretty and would be great in my stepdaughter’s room! An easy way to add some great lighting :)

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This is me. Every. Single. Morning.  o.O

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Sometimes the scale can be our worst enemy. This is a great reminder!

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So that’s it for today. Make sure to Follow Me on Pinterest to get more details on these pins and to see all of my other great finds! New ones every day!

 

 

 

 

 

Find the Cutes

I don’t know about you, but my kids LOVE any kind of search & find book. It will keep them entertained at home and on long car rides. And they never tire of looking through the same books again and again. Find the Cutes is an adorable book written and illustrated by a husband & wife team. It is not only a search & find book, but it also has a story line and thousands of hand-drawn characters. It’s beautifully illustrated and I’m sure your kids will love it!

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Here are some examples of the fun pages in this book!

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Reasons to buy this book
The world market is flooded with numerous children’s books, so if we wanted to make it big, we knew our book had to stand out. It had to have that extra something that makes you want it and be impressed with it, so that you recommend it to others personally and in reviews. You need to feel your money was worth it. So why buy “Find the Cutes – Playtime?” Because it’s not a regular children’s book.

- It keeps you and your children entertained for hours.
- The illustrations look beautiful.
- It’s cute and funny.
- It’s educational.

What is “Find the Cutes – Playtime” all about?
Children are creative. They have a huge imagination. In society today, despite all the technology and opportunities, the greatest happiness is often found in the home. Children give families that extra enthusiastic energy. “Find the Cutes – Playtime” is based on that concept. It sparks the imagination, stimulates dialogue without words, educates, entertains, and inspires.

Who are the Cutes?
The Cutes are a family. Their last name is “Cute” and all the kids’ names start with a “C”: Carissa, Chaz, Cade, Cammy, and Cindy. The story is based on the “second-mom” phenomenon: As the oldest daughter you sometimes get to babysit your younger siblings a lot. That’s how it can work in bigger families. In every illustration I tried to show their innocence and playfulness.

What inspired you as an illustrator?
As a child, I was much intrigued by search books. I spent hours looking for the right characters and objects on every page. But I discovered there weren’t that many different ones out there. Over the years, I developed a unique cartoon style that I was able to use for several companies and assignments. Together with my ideas and the concept of a search book, my wife (then girlfriend) and I came up with a search book and a fun family as the main characters.

How did you come up with each page, and how long did it take to draw them?
Before each page, I brainstorm about as many creative, funny things that could happen. For example, I divided the Birthday Party page into section of balloons, ball pit, presents, etc. Children can be very silly. So I think of what they’d do with a balloon, like rubbing it over their hair, letting it go into the air, binding it to their ears, popping it, etc. Each page took almost 100 hours to sketch, draw, color on the computer, etc. Each person is hand-drawn and colored in Photoshop. My wife, Celestial, did most of the storytelling. The whole book took 1 year to finish. Some drawings are based on real events. Sometimes something funny that happened in our lives, comes back in the drawings. For instance, when I was dating my wife, we both took a bite of the same huge hotdog at the same time. So in the Swimming Pool page, I drew a boy and a girl eating a hotdog at the same time.

Who is the book for?
Children ages 3 and up. Adults could enjoy it too. With 12 pages of things to search for, kids could be entertained for hours. Not only are we going to make a book, but we are planning on making it a tablet game for the ipad, kindle, and other devices. That will be a stretch goal if we make it.

Are you on social media?
We have a website, www.findthecutes.com, which will be the means of selling our book once it’s updated with a payment system. We are also on Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Feel free to look us up and follow us.

Are you going to make a sequel?
Yes. We are planning on an entire series of 10 books The next book will be called “Find the Cutes – Festival Fun” and will have fun search pages about Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, but also about the Tomato Festival in Spain, Songkran in Thailand, and Sinterklaas in the Netherlands. It will also have 12 pages and a storyline. We already started working on it.

 

When will it be available?
The book is completed, so we now have a kickstarter campaign from March 1st until March 31st. This is the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/92560380/find-the-cutes-playtime?ref=discovery. You can sponsor/back our project in those 30 days and get discounts that way. We are getting the website www.findthecutes.com ready for ordering, so we are in the process of getting the book printed and attaching a payment system to the website. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at findthecutes@gmail.com or personally to my account at vincentnoot@gmail.com.

 

To help support this book, please go to kickstarter and pledge some money. There are some great rewards for pledging certain amounts! Go check it out here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/92560380/find-the-cutes-playtime

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And make sure you LIKE them on Facebook too!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Find-the-Cutes/321501714624871.