Sunday, January 23, 2022

Valentine's Day Cookies From Kookie Fairy is A Great Idea

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays since it is an excuse to eat delicious treats. Who doesn't love having a day once a year where it's encouraged to eat goodies? I know I look forward to this occasion yearly.  It's even better when all of the candy is reduced in price the next day, my tummy says yum! Make sure you indulge in your favorite sugary treats this February 14th.

Kookie Fairy is an Etsy shop ran by owner Krystal.  When you surf into her online shop, you'll be met with the most beautiful cookies you've ever laid your eyes on.  Krystal's young children hand-decorate each sugar cookie in themes including snowmen, footballs, Valentine's Day, paw prints, and so much more.  Can you believe a 7 and 10 year old can decorate so well? The cookies are truly a work of art and will definitely be remembered when served at an event.  If you're looking for a specific theme for a cookie, Krystal will be happy to work with you to create a custom cookie that fits your needs.  Keep Kookie Fairy in mind for Valentine's Day, birthdays, and any other occasion that calls for cookies!

Since Valentine's Day is just a few weeks away, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to get into the spirit early with cookies.  I'm fond of those gorgeous heart shaped cookies decorated with fabulous detail that I wish I was skilled enough to do.  Luckily, Kookie Fairy will make your cookie dreams come true.

Don't you just love these Valentine's Day cookies made with royal icing? If you're a lover of soft sugar cookies, these are the cookies for you.  

When you sink your teeth into these soft beauties, you won't be able to contain how tasty they truly are. Each freshly baked cookie is decorated in a different way whether it's solid colors, lines, or a flower motif.  The decorating handiwork for each round circle of heaven is surely noticed and appreciated.  I was happy that the cookies weren't extremely sweet, but sweet enough to curb your sweet tooth.  Be prepared to not be able to control yourself, just a fair warning! Don't forget a tall glass of icy cold milk to wash these lovelies down with.

I loved how bright and vivid the royal icing colors on the cookies were.  My confectionery treat decorating skills are on a very low level, so I always appreciate when others possess that talent.  Maybe one day I can get better! 

The rest of the cookies are in my kitchen, but it's only a matter of time before I attack them.  Trust me, it won't be long.  I haven't had a sugar cookie this delicious in a long time, and I welcome it wholeheartedly! 

If you're looking for fabulous cookies that will make you smile, it's time to visit Kookie Fairy's Etsy Shop.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Kookie Fairy for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Saturday, January 15, 2022

Disney On Ice Brings Family Fun to Webster Bank Arena #MickeysSearchParty

It's not everyday that I get the chance to take Scarlett to a live show especially just the two of us.  Since Scarlett has a 2 year old little brother, I know she thrives on one-on-one time with her parents.  When I found out that Disney on Ice was coming to Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, I knew it would be something that would be very special for her.  What child wouldn't love seeing their favorite Disney characters skating on ice? 

I remember going to Disney on Ice in the 1990's when I was a child.  Upon doing some research, I found out that the show initially began in 1981 under the name "World on Ice." Eventually, it was changed to today's recognizable Disney on Ice.  By 2008, a new show was launched every year.  It's wonderful that over 40 years of Disney magic has been brought to families around the world.  The show is usually hosted by Mickey Mouse primarily, but at times Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck help out too.  More recently, the series features segments about the Disney Princesses, Frozen, and even Moana.

Scarlett had never previously been to a live show before, so I knew it was going to be an exciting night out for us.  It's a hard time with covid these days especially, so any kind of fun I can give her is important to me.  I made sure not to watch any videos ahead of time of Disney on Ice shows or show her so the excitement wasn't spoiled.  The current Disney on Ice show is called "Mickey's Search Party" and is sure to bring a smile to any face.

We live about 45 minutes from Webster Bank Arena, so Scarlett and I got on the road way ahead of time factoring in Friday evening traffic.  Luckily, the traffic was very mild and we got to the arena quickly.  Once you get off I95, the arena is extremely close.  There are two parking areas to park in, one being a garage next door to the arena, and the other a parking lot across the street.  I am not sure about the fee for the lot, but the garage charges $10 a car.  

Once we parked, Scarlett and I had about 3 minutes to wait on-line before the doors opened at 6 PM sharp.  It was a very cold night, so it was great timing that we had such a minimal wait.  Once we were inside the arena, we had a little bit of time to kill.  There are vendors selling food and beverages such as hot dogs, fries, nachos, etc if you want to actually eat real food before or during the show.  If you're looking for small snacks you can sink your teeth into chips or some candy.   I will say the prices are a little high, but that's to be expected for a live show.   There are security and police everywhere in the arena which helped me to feel safe especially at night.  

Of course with food and drink comes merchandise for sale too.  I noticed plenty of vendors selling Disney related merchandise that every child was dying for! You can choose from Mickey light up bubble wands, Frozen stuffed animals, and other various Disney items to make your tiny tot smile.  I had sticker shock when I saw the prices of what was for sale.  I was not predicting the toys to be that expensive! Of course you can try to justify the cost and say this is a special night and you don't pay these kinds of prices everyday.

Scarlett chose a snowcone in a Moana souvenir cup which she was very excited over.  Once we got the snowcone, we sat down at our seats to relax and wait for the show to begin.  We had front row seats to the show and felt extremely lucky.  I have to say, if you can spring for front row tickets it's a fantastic option.  There's nothing or anyone blocking your view,  it's just you and the ice! I can't imagine anything more magical than that.  Mickey's Search Party allows you to join Mickey Mouse and his gang in searching for clues using Captain Hook's treasure map through realms involving stories such as Frozen, Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story, and Moana and Coco.

When the show began, Scarlett was in awe.  She was captivated by the high-flying ice skating, the lights and music, and of course the acrobatics.  Whether you're 1 or 100, there's magic and joy in this show for any age.  The fun thing is that a lot of the Disney characters were ones I grew up with, so it was exciting to be able to share that bit of nostalgia with Scarlett.  You have to make sure you watch every inch of the ice rink as there's something happening everywhere! Maybe someone is being lifted high up into the air, maybe some sparks are being shot off, or just maybe someone is jumping on a trampoline! You just never know what you'll see!

I found that the ice skating was top notch.  The performers did many high flying jumps and tricks that I would be in the hospital if I tried to do! They are extremely talented and I love that they share their skills with the world.  Not once did I feel like the show was dragging or "slow", it offered excitement at every second.  Scarlett got a wave from one of the Coco performers when he stood right in front of her at the end of the Coco segment.  She was so excited! The performers make sure to wave and smile at all of the children which really helps to connect with the audience. The costumes were also right on point too.

There's a quick intermission for people to grab a quick snack or use the bathroom.  Workers come by selling popcorn and cotton candy during the intermission, as well as before the show too. 

We sat next to a couple who didn't have children with them, so it just goes to show that you don't have to be just a child to enjoy Disney! 

This is definitely a show that was thrilling from start to finish.  Once the show ended, I actually said out-loud, "it's over already?" I wish it could have been longer! 

If you have a chance to go to an upcoming or future Disney on Ice show, I highly recommend going.  It's something extremely special that you won't surely forget.  I hope that I was able to give Scarlett the gift of Disney magic which she will always remember.  One day, I'd also love to take Jack when he's older so he can also have this experience too.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Webster Bank Arena and Disney on Ice for providing complimentary tickets in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Calphalon's Intellicrisp Waffle Maker Makes Breakfast Extra Delicious #HolidayGiftGuide

Our school mornings here are hectic.   I'm not only getting Scarlett and myself ready for school drop off, but Jack as well.  I don't have a lot of time to make breakfast that takes too long.  Usually I give the kids frozen pancakes, some quick cheesy eggs, cereal, or yogurt and fruit.  On the weekends when our days are more open, I have more free time to cook in the mornings.  Waffles are always a family favorite and there are so many ways to make them scrumptiously yummy. What is your favorite way to eat waffles?

Calphalon is a brand everyone recognizes for cookware/bakeware, kitchen appliances, as well as cutlery and kitchen utensils.  I can guarantee you have at least one Calphalon product in your kitchen that you use on a regular basis.

One product that Calphalon recently introduced is the Calphalon Intellicrisp Waffle Maker in Dark Stainless Steel.  If you have a beloved foodie on your Christmas shopping list, this would make the ideal present for them.  This waffle maker features a ceramic cooking surface that delivers 20% more even heat for crisp, fluffy waffles.  You'll notice a high-contrast LCD screen that displays a countdown timer for intuitive control and precise results.  The waffle maker locks for convenient, compact, vertical storage.  Choose between 5 waffle shades to match your preferred level of browning and crispiness.  The ceramic surface is 11x more durable than standard nonstick and provides easy food release and clean-up.

One thing that is fantastic about waffles is that they can be prepared in so many ways.  Whether you want chocolate waffles topped with blueberries, bacon waffles topped with warmed Maple syrup, or even just plain fluffy waffles topped with sliced strawberries, the possibilities are endless.  Be creative and come up with something delicious to delight your taste buds today.

It's been a long time since I've made waffles for my family.  Our old waffle maker kicked the bucket and we never got around to replacing it.  When I discovered Calphalon's Intellicrisp Waffle Maker, I knew it needed to have a place in my kitchen ASAP.

Once the waffle maker arrived, I started brainstorming about what kind of waffles I wanted to make for myself, Scarlett, and my husband Jay for a fun breakfast for dinner night.  Although I love plain waffles and they are classically wonderful, it's always nice to add some personality and pizazz to what you eat.  A chocolate chip and banana waffle stood out to me and I knew it was the winner.  I adore the combination of chocolate and banana slices, and I knew my sweets loving child would feel the same.  You don't really need syrup with these because they are sweet enough without it, although you can add syrup if you have a mega sweet tooth.

The waffle maker is truly beautiful and I feel fortunate to have it in my home.  The sleek, dark stainless steel is very attractive and would look wonderful on any kitchen counter.  I added a drop of vanilla in the batter for some extra flavor.  Once the batter was ready, I added in a generous amount of milk chocolate chips and poured it into the waffle maker.  You can't add too much batter though or it will spill out of the sides, so be careful.   If you want just a hint of chocolate, add less, although I am a true chocolate lover.   I'll never say no to it!

Once you're ready to delight your stomach with waffle-y goodness, the waffle maker preheats and lets you know when it's ready to cook on the large LCD display.  I selected a light setting for the waffles and eagerly awaited those beauties to be done.  The large cooking countdown timer lets you know how long is left.  The waffle takes about 2 minutes and 30 seconds to cook.  Once the waffles were done, I plated them and added fresh banana slices to the plate.  What could be more beautiful or tasty? Nothing else, I tell you! The waffles didn't stick at all to the plates and slid out easily. I didn't even have to grease the plates which is a huge help.  I love that you can make two waffles at a time which cuts the cooking time in half for a large family.

Scarlett and Jay devoured the waffles and said that they were fluffy, thick, and wonderfully cooked.  I served the waffles with some crispy turkey bacon on the side.  Who doesn't enjoy breakfast for dinner?  I have to say that the rectangular pieces of heaven were perfectly crisp on the outside and fabulously fluffy on the inside. These are not thin waffles by any means, but large and in charge!  A slice of heaven in your mouth for sure.  The chocolate and banana combination never fails to hit the spot and was a welcomed treat.  It's fantastic being able to make a restaurant quality breakfast in the comfort of your own home.

Since the waffle maker is compact, it can easily sit on a counter top or be stored in a cabinet for storage.  It has a neutral style that would fit in with any kitchen decor. 

If you're thinking of treating yourself or a loved one to a Calphalon Intellicrisp Waffle Maker this Christmas, you'll definitely be making a smart choice.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Calphalon for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.